The Learning Tree offers a new understanding of learning problems. Rather than looking just at symptoms, this new approach describes how to find the missing developmental steps that cause these symptoms. The best solution to the problem comes from knowing what essential skills to strengthen.Using the metaphor of a tree, Dr. Stanley Greenspan explains that the roots represent how children take in the world through what they hear, see, smell, and touch. The trunk represents thinking skills through which children grow both academically and socially. From these, the branches-children's basic abilities to read, write, do math, and organize their work-develop.
Both parents and early learning professionals will especially welcome the sections on finding and solving learning problems early. With Dr. Greenspan's characteristic wise optimism, this book "raises the ceiling" for all children who learn differently or with difficulty.
Pre-eminent psychiatrist and early childhood expert Stanley Greenspan collaborated with his wife, Nancy Thorndike Greenspan, in their fourth book together, the culmination of many years of research. The authors employ the metaphor of a tree to illustrate how children learn; the roots take in information and plan actions, the trunk represents thinking skills, and the branches stand for academic areas such as reading, writing, and math. Maintaining that labels serve limited purpose, the Greenspans encourage educators and parents to treat each child according to his or her unique learning profile. Instead of focusing on a diagnosis of ADD or ADHD, the goal is to give attention to the origin of a problem, providing exercises and support as children work through their difficulties. Identifying nine levels of thinking, the authors show parents how to recognize problem areas and then use such methods as their signature Floortime in which the parent follows the child s lead, challenges her to be creative, expands the action and interaction, and includes sense and motor skills as well as various emotions. With their developmental approach, the Greenspans focus on practical ways to enhance thinking-based rather than memory-based learning. Several chapters contributed by Richard Lodish, an educator at the Sidwell Friends School in Washington, D.C., demonstrate how Greenspan s methods are used in the classroom and will be of particular interest to teachers.