Sky Barragan, daughter of a good friend of mine is the child | observed for this written evaluation. Sky is four years old with a birthday quickly approaching this upcoming July. The observation took place at a local park in Pasadena that Sky frequents quite regularly for play time. We arrived at the park at approximately nine fifty in the morning and left the park at ten thirty. The park is about five acres and located in a quiet neighborhood of Pasadena, CA. It has a playground, basketball courts, handball courts, and plenty of open grass and trees which make for a calm and peaceful setting.
The park was fairly empty with a few adults engaging in morning fitness activities, and the playground was empty. The temperature outside was about ninety degrees which were unusually hot for this time of day. Sky’s mother was watching her play and I took a seat on a bit further away from them to avoid interactions and solely observe. Sky is one of two children to her single mother Margarita with her brother being one year older than her. For a four-year-old Sky is certainly tall standing at approximately four feet and looks quite healthy weight wise, neither chubby nor skinny.
Sky’s legs are about two times the length of her torso, and her arms fall past her hip well into her mid-thigh in length. According to our textbook, “Much of the change in body’s proportions and appearance is due to the lengthening of the long bones of the arms, legs, and fingers (Olsen, Reginato, & Wang, 2000). ” The bone development process ossification plays a critical role in the strengthening, hardening, and generating new tissue by the growth plates of the bones which are critical in children’s growth.
Some of Sky’s other visible characteristics are her black curly hair, and large almond shaped brown eyes. She has a big grin, and although her front tooth is currently loose hasn’t lost any baby teeth yet. Upon arrival at the park, Sky was hesitant to go out and play. Her mother sat on a bench in the playground area and encouraged her saying, “Go play Sky-Sky! Go play! ” Sky looks to her mother whose smiling and happily jogs onto the playground. The social referencing to Sky’s caregiver, her mother is strong throughout the field observation.
Once in the playground area Sky begins to look around, scanning the entire area of the playground. She begins climbing the stairs to the play structure slowly and then runs across the wiggly bridge which she does two to three times. Afterward Sky positions herself on the center of the bridge where she places th hands in a grasping motion onto the railing and begins jumping. The jumps are low and slow at first then high and quick. She squeals with glee well doing so. Next, Sky proceeds to the other side of the play structure where the monkey bars are located.
She jumps up and grasps the bars swinging back and forth for approximately fifteen seconds then let’s go landing onto the turf below. She calls for her mom, “Moom, mooom, kan yow pleeease hep me on the mmonkeey baaarsss? ” she says well pointing at the bars. Her mom replies, “Okay, Sky. ” Margarita, Sky’s mother walks off and boosts up her daughter. She continues to hold Sky’s legs as Sky’s arms make the crossing and grasping motion across the monkey bars. Sky has her mother do this twice more and then asks to be pushed on the swing.
“Mmom, can yow please push me on the swing? Sky says while looking to her mother. Margarita continues pushing Sky on the swing saying, “Pump those legs Sky. Back and forth, back and forth. ” Sky says, “Mmom look how high I’m going. I’m going to go to the moon. ” Margarita chuckles, “okay, enough pushing Sky, you go play on your own some more. ” Sky jets off to the playground and runs up the stairs and slides down the slide repeatedly, each time looking to mom and smiling. The last thing Sky does on the playground before we end our field observation is climb up the slide.
She exclaims “Look, mooommy I can climb fast! From the field observation and me knowing Margarita and Sky personally I can conclude that she has reached all the gross motor milestones of early childhood but skating. The reason being, skating hasn’t been introduced yet. Sky has also reached all the fine motor skills milestones of early child development. This is Sky’s second year in preschool, so she has had practice with activities such as turning the pages of a book, grasping a pencil, writing the alphabet and numbers, drawing shapes, and getting herself ready for school which can help with the mastery of such skills.
Sky is a very talkative young lady whose speech is easily understood but still sometimes changes the phenomes of words mispronouncing them. Sky uses protoimperatives such as pointing to the monkey bars, and looking to her mother when asking her a question in order to engage mother’s attention. According to Piaget’s Stages of Cognitive development, Sky would fall into the preoperational stage not exhibiting decentration and only seeing her own perspective.
From my observation and further knowledge of the child, I would conclude the same. During the observation while being pushed on the swing Sky made a statement, “Mmom look how high I’m going. I’m going to go to the moon. ” Such a statement would be considered precausal reasoning. Sky believes that if she were to swing high enough she might reach the moon. I am unsure if this is really what she may think but did not interact during the observation so have no sure way of knowing other than the child saying something contrary.
Young Sky’s mother is of Mexican-American decent and is raising both her and brother Sean with extended family members which include her grandmother, aunt, and uncle. Sky’s father is of African American decent and his grandmother is the caregiver when her mother is working. Both living with extended family, and extended family taking part on caregiving are often part of the Latin and African culture. Margarita’s children are somewhat bilingual knowing some Spanish and English being their primary language. Sky is a well-adjusted young girl who easily socializes ith others. She also is fairly independent when it comes to tasks such as doing her homework, and getting ready for school. Sky has a brother who is on year older than herself and from what mom says it is only when the two are together that she ever has behavioral problems. Otherwise, Sky is well liked by classmates and teachers, and one of the top students in her preschool class. Well observing Sky, and looking back at the textbook I have contemplated the many child development issues covered in the class.
We have learned that having positive relationships helps all children and adolescents development. Sky has a good support system that consists of mom, extended family, and teachers. There are a number of children who lack a support system, and are of low socioeconomic status. These children may live in somewhat tough urban areas, and have a lack of access to research. According to the paper Helping Children Learn: The Legacy of Violence, “Meeting the learning needs of this significantly large population will be central to raising school performance. ” (). Tortorici, 2002) The education system is flawed in that it is geared toward a specific type of learner that leaves out a large portion of our population. Trauma training for both teachers and counselors need to be part of our public education system. Furthermore, an in-depth look needs to be taken at our current curriculum. It should be more friendly to all learning styles and sensitive to cultural development.
“Overall, cultures influence unevenness of children’s development in several basic ways (Laboratory of Comparative Human Cognition, 1983; Rognoff, 2003; Super & Harkness, 2002): 1. By making specific activities available… 2. By determining the frequency of basic activities... 3. By relating different activities to each other… 4. By regulating the child’s role in the activity. ” (Lightfoot, M. Cole, S. Cole, 2013) According to the steps noted we must consider that children coming from different cultures may not have had introduction to certain subject criteria, not emphasised certain curricula as much, had differing experiences with certain areas due to what was eeded of them culturally, and we must be aware of regulating children’s roles in activities so skills can correctly develop.
There is much to take into consideration when dealing with children and their development. Today children are overwhelmed with homework, extracurricular activities, and media. All these aspects must be taken into consideration and appropriately adjusted to fit the needs of today’s youth and ensure developmental milestones are met.