The Value of Repetition in the Learning Process

The Value of Repetition in the Learning Process

One question we are often asked is why we include some repetition in the Romp n’ Roll curriculum.  How does it benefit a child to repeat activities and songs?

Repetition actually is extremely beneficial to young children on three levels.  First, numerous studies have shown that repetition allows them to absorb information more easily and retain it for longer periods of time.  Keep in mind that when it comes to attention, comprehension, and memory, your child’s abilities are not as well developed as yours.  While you may understand and appreciate the concepts and principles involved in a particular activity right away, your child needs to be exposed to the activity several times in order to fully take advantage of it. 

Second, it is important to keep in mind that educational development needs to proceed horizontally as well as vertically.  Many parents conceptualize educational development as climbing a ladder.  Once you’ve reached one rung, it is time to move up to the next.  But educational development is better conceptualized as building a pyramid.  The bottom layers need to be wide and firm if they are going to fully support the higher layers.  Lifting your child up to totally new activities too quickly results in a very shaky structure.  Giving your child the chance to thoroughly and completely experience each activity creates the strong and solid foundations required for future success.

And third, as your child moves on to the next class, there actually is very little “repetition” taking place at all.  Heraclitus of Ephesus, the ancient Greek philosopher, said it best: “No one steps in the same river twice.”  Like a river, your child’s educational development is constantly advancing, and it is advancing at a very rapid rate during the early years.  Consequently, while the activities may be similar, your child is decidedly different.  Each activity is being experienced with new interests, new insights, and new skills, making it every bit as exciting, enjoyable, and beneficial as it was the first time around.  Again, while you may feel it is repetitive to be doing a similar type of activity again in your Romp n’ Roll class, if you look at your child, I doubt you will see the slightest trace of boredom, but instead significant developmental progress.

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