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Does Your Child’s Education Revolve Around the Sensitive Periods of Human Development?

Research is discovering that brain development makes it easier to learn certain things at specific ages. By educating your children in relation to these phases, your child’s school can ensure that children learn and develop more efficiently. At each age, the brain is more adept at learning specific skills and teaching those skills can enable the child to learn better, as well as to learn faster.

You have probably seen this phenomenon at work in your children for yourself. It’s most obvious, when a child “grows out” of doing an activity that he once found very entertaining, or interesting. The reason he suddenly gets bored with it is that his brain has developed beyond that point and has entered a new phase of learning. Typically, the child will find something new to learn and that activity will become another obsession that the child seeks to master. This indicates the child has entered a new period of development.

A school that bases its curriculum on these principles, such as the Montessori sensitive periods philosophy, can ensure your child’s education coincides with his, or her brain development. This maximizes the child’s ability to master new skills more effectively. For each age group, the brain is open to learning these distinctive skills:

  • Up to age three: sensory development
  • Up to age 1 and a half: movement and motor skills
  • birth to age 7: language skills
  • 1½ to 4: improved muscular coordination
  • 2 to 4: environmental awareness
  • 2 to 6: the senses are refined and social skills are developed
  • 3 to 6: adapting to adult influences
  • 3½ to 4½: writing skills
  • 4 to 4½: developing a better sense of touch
  • 4½ to 5: reading skills

Teaching the right skills within these time frames provide benefits to the child that they’ll carry with them, as they grow. However, failing to adhere to this timetable can mean making the learning process more difficult for the child. This is why schools that take advantage of the sensitive periods of human development produce children, who are better adjusted and learn faster than other children.

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