Engagement During Class
One of the questions that I get repeatedly from parents relates to whether or not their child is engaged in class. And along those lines, if their child’s behavior is “OK” or “Normal” (during class). Each parent might have a preconceived idea about how their child “should be” interacting and attending a Kindermusik class. You might have even asked yourself one of the following:
Is my child doing the right thing?
Should my child be doing what the other children are?
Why does my child walk around the room during class?
My child clings to me the entire class, is that OK?
Is my child still learning if they are up moving around?
Set aside any preconceived expectation of what your child “should be” doing during class. Because there are multiple different learning styles, that means that each Kindermusik class is composed of different types of engagement. And you know what, we embrace each style!
Here are a few examples:
The child who does their own thing. Aka The Trailblazer
Does your child like to build with the instruments instead of clap, shake, or tap them to the beat? Even though you keep asking them to, and showing them how you’re tapping?
We don’t need everyone to be doing the same thing at the same time, we’d look like robots! Rather, let’s meet your child where they are and engage with what they’re doing. There are ways to still accomplish the goal of keeping a beat while engaging with your child even if they might be choosing to line their instruments up like a train.
You could acknowledge the train and choo-choo or toot-toot to the beat! You’re not only keeping the beat but affirming your child’s choice of engagement, which will develop their confidence!
The child who is on the go. Aka The Marathoner
Your child might be up and moving about or running about the room while everyone else is seated and other children are sitting nicely in their grown-ups laps. It makes you feel like your child is the only one “not following”.
Instead of worrying that your child isn’t following along, try to shadow them and invite them to join in. If after three attempts your child still prefers to move around, let them move! The brain is working hard when children are on the go, so we delight that they are getting a body & brain workout. When we begin a new activity, we can try again!
The child who is afraid to leave your lap. Aka The Spectator
This might be an all too familiar scene - a toddler or preschooler who prefers to stay in the grownups lap (and be held!) for most of the class, if not all of it.
Rest assured … this is normal! Author and Educational Psychologist Jane Healy has done research to show toddlers max out at two senses. 2!
That means if your child is sitting in your lap, they are already taking in visual and auditory stimuli and may not be able to handle anything additional. When you child is at home, and does not have all of the stimuli from class you might find that they are playing their instruments along or singing along.
The home materials are important in helping children familiarize themselves with the songs and story so that engagement during the classroom goes up!
The child who is curiously wandering. Aka The Explorer.
If your child wanders around, looks out the window, touches the door (ah the list seems endless!) they might just be an aural learner. For aural learners, they are still listening even if they aren’t engaged visually or physically.
Some children will not need to be a part of the whole group to participate. You’ll notice them singing along even if they aren’t looking. As with the Marathoners, we suggest inviting your child to be a part of an activity and if they still explore, they explore.
For all grownups attending classes take a glance at how your child is interacting this next class. View it through a new lens. See if you can tell the ways your child IS engaging with class rather than focus on the ways you think they aren’t.
We are here to answer your questions and help your little ones engage in their own unique way. Each Kindermusik class is a new opportunity for your child to use the power of music to help with growth & development. Let’s work together to discover the power & joy of music based learning!