I have always found it a wondrous thing to watch my son play and see his thought processes while he is playing with new toys or puzzling over something that is frustrating him. While many parents actively try to increase their child’s memory through repetition, many Portland parents, like myself, use the Unschooling practice of allowing them to discover things through their own adventures and work out the kinks on their own. This builds a strong cognitive memory for children because they are able to refer to the things they have tried on their own that did not work as opposed to telling them or showing them the one, and seemingly, only, way things work.
Babies actively start learning from the time they are born. They are naturally curious about things that they have not experienced, therefore, retain this information of what to do, where to explore, and what’s going on around them so that they may indulge in figuring it out as soon as they get the chance. Overall, scientists and doctors refer to cognitive memory as problem solving skills, memory, intelligence, and how someone perceives the world they live in. While intelligence may not be an inherited skill, memory is. While many people have trouble remembering the simplest tasks, children seem to have a better context of problem solving, intelligence, and retaining information when they are allowed to explore and find the answers for themselves, as many Portland parents encourage in their children.
A French Researcher by the name of Piaget used this same theory that Portland parents are using and observed children at play instead of in clinical studies. The information that he obtained was overwhelming and two basic principles were found to be used in children. These thought processes were called assimilation and accommodation. With the assimilation process, children would take new material, information, and matter and apply it to things they already knew. The accommodation process used by small children would focus their attention on completely changing their behavior to try a new thing they learned.
With all that being said, many researchers are now suggesting that parents let children explore on their own, provide them with opportunities, and give them a chance to figure things out on their own instead of showing them through repetition. Not only is this limiting their learning capabilities, but also instills from a young age that there is only one way to do things.