As an EdTech startup entrepreneur, I'm always busy like a fire fighter, but from the day I had children, I vowed to accompany them to grow up. In the process of accompanying them, I'm not only inspired by kids, but constantly discover my own potentials.
The biggest lesson I take away with me after nine years parenting practice is that every child is different. Even mine are twins, confusing looking for outsiders, similar dressing, always together activity……..but are exactly as different as all those kids in other families. Each child is special with unique personality, different talents, and deserves a fair chance to a full development.
Using Chinese learning as an example, yes, I’m really into this topic, Hihi is an intuitive memory type. Every new Chinese word should be associated with a picture of something to help her memorization. For example, the other day, Miss Mandarine, teacher of hihilulu online Atelier, used cartoon “ Louie, draw me a crab” for the activity workshop, as well taught new vocabulary crab ( 螃蟹), which indeed are two very complicated Chinese characters, very difficult for kids.
Hihi had to draw this whole thing to remember!
And Lulu had no need at all--she just picked up writing sheet, writing, memorizing quite abstractly. Hihi always takes more time for drawing than writing. While Lulu already finishes her Chinese assignment long time ago, Hihi is still hanging on her drawings.
Before I found out that Hihi needs this kind of pictorial associative memory to memorize any ideas, objects, concepts, I was anxious and needed to control my temper. I also tried to restrain her time on drawing in order to finish Chinese writing, forcing her to write only in the traditional standard Chinese writing sheets. It turned out that even she wrote page by page, she still can't remember any character. Both of us were frustrated, and she even cried in fear and shame.
Slowly, after my observation and research, I noticed that Hihi can immediately visualize Chinese characters in her mind and draw objects and ideas associated with this specific character. And I am always amazed by her understanding and imagination!
While learning the theme of family members, we watched the animation content on the platform and did exercises. One day, Hihi showed me the eight drawings of her extended family members. For example, I like to arrange flowers at home, so the theme of mother is associated with flowers. Lulu was probably stimulated by Hihi that she immediately run up with short texts for each drawing, and read it out loud. I was amazed by them! We asked hihilulu Team to make a small digital book. The two little ones are so excited about their creation, and their passion for learning Chinese was since soaring.
From there, I encourage Hihi do her drawing, and Lulu speak out.
In fact, the Chinese characters themselves have both phenotypic and ideological categories, which is very suitable for various types of thinking and learning patterns. In addition, the positive interaction between Hihi and Lulu stimulates their learning interests as well as concentration. At the end, enjoying learning is the ultimate goal.
My own parenting journey was to discover the characteristics of my children, accept them to go forward in their own pace, and help them realize the happiness of learning. Eventually, this will “yield twice the results with less efforts” as a Chinese idiom says. Well, it is a constant challenge to parents who have such expectation on their kids. At the beginning, I had to bear Hihi’s snail slow movement in every aspect , even doubted whether she is more stupid than Lulu, moreover, I needed to adjust the possible negative impact on the "weaker" one by the innocent competition between the twins. But once I accept and appreciate the difference between them, there appears a virtuous circle of positive interaction between the two.
My kids’ creativity is what helps me think the way of doing things and making better children-fit products and services. Not only are they my inspiration, but they are my reason behind my goals and future.
Written at the end: Research shows that everyone has his own unique memory pattern; some prefers image associative memory, some text associative memory, and some better with sound-related memory. Find a way that suits you in order to maxiumize learning results.