Before we delve into the more granular aspects of child development and learning, it is important to preface the information with one simple bit of advice: all children learn at their own pace, and it’s okay to let children take their time. Some people need to make their way through a problem on their own in order to understand its inner mechanics, which can be tremendously valuable in their later development. Children require various forms of interaction in order to fully develop their mental capacities, and those needs change with age, so while there may be a “general” path we can map out for how most children develop, it is by no means absolute. Education should be fun and exciting, eye-opening and empowering, and that is what we created this platform to be, and what we hope everyone takes away from their time on this site. Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, let’s break down the main stage of child development. Because we focus on tests for children two years of age and older, that’s where our focus will reside for this article.
In these years, building words and sentences, recognizing written words, and identifying objects, animals, and people is the general sphere of interest a child will possess. Games that practice word pronunciation, and matching words to their associated image (matching the word “Lion” to a picture of a lion) are a great source of engaging material for your child. Also, games such as those will boost your child’s confidence in identifying items in their real-world surroundings, which naturally lowers the barrier to interacting or learning further information on their favorite subject. Next, games involving shape recognition and simple puzzle-solving are great for developing a sense of curiosity and bettering problem-solving skills in children. For instance, games that involve moving through a simple maze, or finding which shape corresponds with a certain opening helps build confidence because the lack of an immediate solution calls for iterative thinking and results in higher confidence when such problems are solved. This also works well with games where a child has to find the differences and similarities among a number of items, since keeping track of multiple variables builds memory and allows a child to grow into a habit of considering all of the inputs to a certain problem. Over time, this can help lower the trial-and-error approach that many children apply to finding solutions, and allow them to figure out the majority of a problem in their mind before applying a potential solution.
Lastly, remember that this is a fantastic time for children to become comfortable with exploring their natural surroundings, so going out often and exploring parks, beaches, and other natural areas will help raise their confidence, and even help a child discover a hidden passion for the outdoors.
This next stage in child educational development is where sentence building, communication, conversation, and association between objects becomes important to reinforce. This is the time in your child’s development where they will naturally begin to ask those in their surroundings questions about their world. For parents, it is the time where you will often see your child pointing away at the world with an inquisitive finger, asking why things around them might look “funny” or “weird”. While it is possible they’ll spend most of their energy running over to things to inspect them, climbing tall structures to survey the landscape, and triumphantly holding new and exciting bugs into the air, this is the time when it becomes imperative to allow a child to develop a subtle understanding of the scientific method, or in the very least, an understanding of the steps that most “adults” use in figuring out problems they encounter in their day-to-day lives. Remember, the main reason we test a child’s ability to solve problems, and develop their sense of autonomy towards solving problems is to give them the foundational skills needed to develop into adults with a healthy sense of curiosity and excitement about the unknown.
We have developed a suite of testing applications for children specifically aimed at strengthening their inner drive towards understanding the unknown. Fields of work and study, such as programming, economics, and engineering are all booming fields, but they are dominated by people who have an innate passion for exploring things they don’t understand. The people that push the envelope for new technologies all have in common a very dedicated drive towards uncovering the ways in which our world works, and they tend to come to those new discoveries by way of methods developed as children, where a love of disassembling electronics quickly bloomed into a love of programming, and the invention of technologies such as Uber, Facebook, or Google. Regardless of where you child decides to go in life, an understanding of how to work through a problem, or at least explore its intricacies, can make all the difference in their ability to soar academically and professionally.
In the years following your child turning six or seven, it becomes more and more important to allow them to solve problems on their own, in order to see how well they navigate new experiences, as well as allow them to figure out where they might need further development on their own. It isn’t uncommon to find children asking to be left alone as they figure out a solution on their own, or demand a quick lesson on something before marching off to apply their new knowledge to the task at hand. In the handful of years leading up to high school, the ability for a child to understand what they don’t know becomes useful in the sense that it builds confidence in a child to reach out and ask for additional knowledge that can support their search for a correct answer. Often, these measures are overlooked because parents or teachers don’t want to make a child feel left behind or stagnant, but it is becoming increasingly evident that those methods, while good in intention, are not good for building up a child’s confidence in their own ability to problem solve. This can manifest as anxiety in unfamiliar circumstances, where children who may have been helped along a little too much in their early years find it hard to navigate their way towards a solution, which can lead to a diminished sense of accomplishment. What’s more, it can cause depression and increased anxiety as years move on, and a child who once felt a little on-edge about applying their knowledge can soon find themselves in a college setting, on their own, with a difficult path ahead.
Understanding is fundamental to growth, and for young children looking to know as much as possible about the world around them, it is important to let their spirit for the unknown grow, so that they may not only grow more confident in their own right, but also more confident in their ability to help others using their knowledge. In these years, it is beneficial for a child to try more than one test, as a way of really testing how far their intelligence can take them, but also for them to take tests as often as they need in order to feel comfortable with the way in which information is displayed. The older a child becomes, the more complicated we expect their tests to become; but there are nuances to tests that are taken later on in life, such as the LSAT, BAR, MCAT, and many others that are designed to test one’s ability to find multiple answers within a question, as well as apply previous understandings to the scenarios presented. Developing an omnidirectional approach problem-solving can be fantastically helpful later on in life, but it will offer incredible benefits to a child of any age capable of applying those principles aptly. Our testing platforms were designed to act as an easy-to-use way of getting children interested in exploratory learning, and our multi-point approach to building those skills in children means that your child will not only learn new things, but they will learn them in a way that allows them to develop at their own pace, and always to your amazement.