10 DecWeekly Note: Repetition
Why so much Repetition?
Children seem to innately know that they require repetition in order to learn. One or two exposures for an adult may allow you to assimilate new material, but for a very young child, it takes many, many times before the brain connections that allow the child to understand or enjoy the activity are formed and in place for future use.
Repetition & Brain Development 101
Learning requires electrical energy to create neural pathways. The less “automatic” something is, the more electrical energy is required. The more well-traveled a pathway, the less energy is required. When you are first learning to knit, it takes all of your effort. As it becomes automatic, you use less brain energy and are able to watch your favorite TV show while knitting Susie a pair of mittens.
Patterns make children happy. Knowing what to expect and having things happen in that way not only helps children know what to expect and feel at ease. (They are actually little control freaks!) When the environment and routine is predictable, then a child feels safe and learning can naturally happen.
I know it can seem like we’ve done some activities over and over, but if you ask your child, s/he will say, “Let’s do it again!”