Author: Saritha P R
Inspiring children to draw on their natural strengths in order to learn...
Having pulled out of school a year and a half ago because of severe and continuous seizures (Neurofibromatosis Type 1), our eleven year old child had started attending sessions with us at Mirra for English and Science. Understandably, he found it difficult to sustain his attention and interest. He loved to work with computers but never moved beyond MS Paint. How do we improve his skills in language, thinking and reasoning, we wondered and worried.
Our educator handling science and computer skills demonstrated to the child’s mother the Scratch software and how programming could be done using that. The mother was requested to install the same on his computer at home and allow him to explore Scratch.
Initially, the discussions and learning was with the mother only, with him eavesdropping on the conversations. His eagerness and interest in computers got the better of him and he started exploring Scratch - the progress in logical thinking, reasoning and analytical skills has only been exponential after that.
Now our man has developed some games, short video clips, and concepts of science such as eclipses using Scratch. Being good in spatial awareness, he develops his own images for the programs most of the time. He uses his logical thinking and analytical ability to develop the programs to suit the requirements of his project. He has started working on his spelling as he realises he needs to know the same while searching for any music or images pertaining to his program. His interest has also expanded gradually and now he has expressed his interest to learn database software such as Excel and Access.
He looks forward to coming to Mirra, and when at home does a few projects regularly using his own thinking and analytical skills. The neurologist who monitors his health has indicated that the child has shown great maturity and has calmed down. The mother attributes this to his interest in Scratch programming. Care is taken to ensure that the on screen time of the child is within the limits.
He has now extended his interest in learning photoshop and works on several softwares to create his own animated video. What he needs is pure direction, facilitation and someone who challenges and encourages him to excel over himself everytime…
Isn’t this enough proof that as educators it is important that we adapt ourselves according to the child’s interest to unleash the potential of the child?