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12 Things to Know About How Children Learn*

By Debra Bell | May 31, 2022 | Elementary, Homeschool For Success, The Science of Learning

The child

  1. Happy children learn more than sad children. Stress and negative emotions drain a child’s cognitive resources. Laughter boosts a child’s memory capacity.
  2. Play is essential for emotional wellbeing and cognitive development.
  3. An element of risk (risk of failure, risk of danger, risk of pain, risk of embarrassment, etc.) produces a greater sense of accomplishment and reward.
  4. Persistence predicts progress more than talent or intelligence.
  5. Children who believe they will succeed achieve more than children who expect to fail.

The teacher

  1. Praise and encouragement help children persist.
  2. Criticism and punishment undermine motivation.
  3. Targeted feedback is essential to help kids improve.
  4. Assignments should be challenging but attainable with effort.

The environment

  1. The learning environment should be secure, comfortable, and free of distractions.
  2. Surround children with others who know and love them.
  3. Children should be free to move around, change positions, and take a break without asking permission.

*These research-based principles of learning are true for how you learn, too.

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