In my previous post I have mentioned that I will be sharing some tips on how to guide your child better from home. But I’ve got something sweeter for you readers! These awesome blog posts will be contributed by the principal herself! Join us as we welcome C on board as our new contributor writer! C will be sharing tips on enhancing learning through home and various activities you could engage your little ones with. Check out her first post below:
So many things came to my mind when I think about what I would like to share with parents, with infant and toddlers, on how children learn and what could be done to enhance their learning! There are so many things you can do with your child in the home environment that enhances their learning and understanding of the world around them! There are two things that we need to bear in mind at all times:
Firstly, it is important to recognize every moment as a “teachable moment” for your child as they learn best through concrete hands-on and contextual learning in their daily experiences! Seeing connections/relationships between things and events help them make sense of their world! Parents are the first teachers who provide practical application of concepts that they might learn in school. So parents play an important role to help them see the meaning in what they do. When you spot something that your child can learn, mention it at that instant and it spurs your child to think further! It need not be a formal “lesson” to facilitate thinking and learning!
Secondly, it is important to recognize that children have the capacity to learn and understand most things you tell them! Speak to your child like you are talking to a friend/adult, but break down your speech into simpler terms. Never underestimate the power of your speech and choice of words as you interact with your child, on a day-to-day basis! An infant who has yet to start talking is constantly listening to what you say, and absorbing information and knowledge like a sponge! Not being able to talk doesn’t mean she doesn’t know anything! Language acquisition begins from listening, before one gain confidence in speaking, reading and writing. That applies to anyone of any age! The more you speak to your children, the more they listen, the more they learn, and most importantly, they start to make connections for themselves!
We often have many concepts or vocabularies we wish to teach our children and are unsure of where to start or how to make that learning opportunity an effective one. And how do we know if our children understood what we are trying to teach? How much do we teach at a time? How long should each “lesson” be?
I strongly believe that the process of learning is more important than the end result, especially for young children! When the process is done right, the result will follow! In other words, enjoying the process of learning helps children understand what they are learning, hence, we have to set realistic goals based on the situation and each child’s readiness to learn at various stages.
E.g. how much to plan to teach in one sitting? Always be prepared to be flexible and go with your child’s flow, when necessary.
There are many ways to guide young infants/toddlers in understanding a concept or vocabulary, depending on the prior experiences of your child. Your choice of words is important as it helps your child focus on the key content of your intended “lesson”. Knowing “your focus” helps to make your “lesson” delivery and choice of words clearer to the child. With the key focus in mind and presentation of the same term/concept several times, or even in various contexts, children build knowledge over time.
If you give your child an apple to touch, smell, roll, and watch as you peel its skin, cut, remove the seeds and enjoy eating the apple together, you helped them build their knowledge, as well as an in-depth understanding of an apple! Of course you may later refer to an apple in the supermarket, books, pictures, cards, fruit stall etc…. as there is a solid concrete prior knowledge that your child can relate to as you help build their knowledge as time passes…
Learning experiences can be both planned, unplanned, or both! Looking at things from their perspective with the understanding of their prior knowledge and past experiences helps you understand how and what to introduce at various points as you spend time with your child.
Unplanned experiences are incidental learning opportunities in the child’s daily experiences. Observing what your child is doing and looking at it from her perspective helps you support her learning more effectively. E.g. While baking in the kitchen, you may leave utensils onthe floor as your child plays around with it. She is exploring how to make sounds, gaining understanding for the depth of various bowls, size, colours, surfaces…. and the list goes on.. This is also the time when your speech matters! Describe the item your child is holding or playing with and use terms/ vocabulary that you can think of to widen their understanding for things around…. it is through sensorial exploration that they learn best and you are tapping on their interest and curiosity at that instant, to enhance their learning and understanding with the support of language. Helping your child relate to what they have learned when you come across something you taught or mentioned before helps them to build upon their own knowledge!
There are many other topics that I could share, based on my experiences as an Early Childhood educator, as well as a parent of two girls aged 3 yr+ and 9 months old. I have to admit that my girls are like my guinea pigs! I am constantly experimenting/practicing my beliefs, as well as what I have learned over the years! I always enjoy my learning journey with my girls, as being a parent gives me a different perspective of what I know previously as a teacher/principal! It has been fun and enriching as I put theories into practice and see the results, some expected and some unexpected!
C, C for Cereals.
Our new contributor writer is a pre-school principal and a mother of 2 lovely girls age 3 year plus and 9 months old.
Stay with us to find out more about – How to Guide your Children (Colors)