Monday, April 13, 2009

Three Good Reminders from Dr James MacDonald

Today's blog entry is published with permission from Communicating Partners' Dr. James MacDonald.


Developmental age is much more important for learning than his chronological age. WHY?

How old is your child? And what should he be doing now?

You need to know that your child has several developmental ages.

You will be successful when you fit your goals to his developmental ages.

A developmental age is the one he does a task at. For example: Even if Sammy is 6 in years (chronologically) , he may run like he’s five. Draw like he’s four. Understand you like he’s three. Talk like he’s two, and cry like he’s one. Even when he is actually six years old. The point is that you need to teach him at each developmental age so he can learn with you. Teaching or expecting six year old Sammy to talk or understand llike a six-year-old will just spell failure for each of you.



More of what he has already done and just a little more of what he is already doing! When you expect too much of your child, you often do more than he can do. When you expect too much, he learns he cannot succeed with you. When you expect too much he is unlikely to spend much learning time with you.

What to Do?

Every child can do a little more than he is now by expecting a little more action, sound, or word. You will help by showing him a little next step. When you do this, he will succeed and he will stay to learn more with you. If you do too much he may think he is a failure.Your child will do more when you expect and show him one step above.


WAIT FOR A SURPRISE Your child can do much more than you think! When I wait for a child she often surprises me by doing something I did not think she could do! You may think you know your child well. I find that children know much more than we expect. The more you wait silently the more your child will DO things you did not know she could do, SAY things you did not know she could say. Let you know her better. Allow you to get closer to her world, interact with you more. Learn that she can have successes with you.

Wait and let your child surprise you with what he can do.

Communicating Partners 2009


walking said...

I love this post!!!! It is one of the things I emphasized in my talk in Minnesota. It does not matter how LOW a child is in a certain area of development. That is where you must work! Period. If you do not, in all likelihood, the child will not be able to move on if you are constantly outside of their ZPD (which I call the red zone because it builds the habit of frustration).

poohder said...

Thanks for posting this. What a lovely way to restate the "Zone of Proximal Development" in ways folks can truly understand. I love it. Rhonda

Jenny said...

Penny, I love your blog! I am just starting my homeschooling journey and this blog is really helpful to me...

I studied psychology in school, so I am familiar with Vygotsky and Piaget...but this may sound like a dumb question, but do you know of a good, practical resource to figure out my daughter's "developmental age"?

I know you are are really busy, but any help would be greatly appreciated!

Jennie :)

Penny said...

Jennie, We gauge our daughter's level (levels, sometimes) of development on Dr Gutstein's list of stages that now make RDI(r) what it is -- and those are available only through an RDI(r) Program Certified Consultant.

Dr MacDonald has a list on his web site that you can scan -- it's his "map", and as long as you can recognize your child's "holes", it doesn't matter what "age" of development, you just go back there and get the ones you missed and take the time to let development happen.

Thanks for the nice words about my blog.


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