Help in teaching boys Spanish or anything else for that matter..

By Ricardo Cuevas on April 23, 2012 in child reading blog with No Comments


After much frustration with my boy’s inability to just sit and listen, he’s slowly taught me how he wants to learn and so over time I’ve adjusted to his style. There is only one exercise that my boy will sit through for an extended amount of time, and that’s reading. I’m not sure if that’s true for all boys since I know I might have skewed his tastes in this regard. We practice reading daily and bring home books from the library in droves. However, reading is not the focus of this post. It’s when it comes to other activities such as practicing coloring, writing, and singing (this is a new one, more on it in another post) that he really seems to get bored, jumpy and impatient.

I’ve been conditioned (by a three year old) over time that he needs certain things. Things that he won’t necessarily ask for, but things he needs nonetheless. Those things include movement, action, touch, and smell. When you incorporate as many of those as possible you’ve got a winner.

First, is sensory stimulation. I got my first clue of this when my son was just one year old. We were at Sea World on a cold day, and he was leaning over the edge of the “petting pool” to touch a stingray. He giggled as he waited for the ray to swim by and couldn’t contain himself with anticipation since there was one that was headed straight for us. Sure enough, it swam right up to his chubby little arm and he felt its slimy, smooth skin. I taught him the word slimy (baboso) in Spanish (after a quick google translation lookup since the word didn’t immediately come to mind). After that, he would go around pointing out every slimy thing he ever saw. This lesson was subconciously engrained in my brain. I realized he learned by touch. This is why I fully believe in learning programs such as Kid Start Spanish where there are word cards, word books, and flash cards to give the child something to hold on to while learning. Every car salesman knows that the “test drive” will infinitely boost his chance of a sale, because  it allows the person to form a connection with a piece of machinery. I believe language and teaching ha
Secondly, he needs to move. Many scientists believe this is because boys have “biological imperative” to move because they have 15% more spinal fluid than girls and it makes the body more of an extension of the brain. (see interesting abc news article here).  I’ve seen this first hand with the differences between teaching a girl and teaching a boy. Oftentimes, a girl will sit and pay attention. This is not so with many boys. It takes numerous directions and much frustration. ppens in similar fashion. The child has to realize this it is theirs and that language is a real thing.

Some parents believe that this customizing the way you teach children for them is akin to pandering. Those parents will say that the boy needs to learn to sit and pay attention eventually in life, in order to function and work as a productive human being. I tend to agree but I point out that the operative word is eventually. There will be plenty of time for that in the future. In the meantime let’s build a love of learning. For as the bible states in Psalm 1:3 He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers.

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