A child's learning is enhanced through daily fun interactions with adults!
Let's get your hands dirty and make learning fun, shall we?
Can you remember how you were taught maths or science in school? As far as I could remember… we had to memorise times-tables on a weekly basis, learn the principle of addition and subtraction from junior primary… We had tonnes of daily homework. We just did without questioning: learning to write, learning to read, learning to memorise… we just did what we were told. But did that make us any smarter? Or were we mere robots in learning?
OK, I have to admit, learning requires repetition, because that leads to mastery. But pure mastery can wait, right? Your child can do that during his schooling years, and through college or university.
But right now, I want to focus on early childhood, i.e. from preschoolers to early primary school.
What is your dearest wish for your young child?
Would you like to instill the LOVE of learning in them? Instill in them the attitude to constantly lookout for new knowledge, be fearless in pursuing to further his or her understanding, have a pure love of learning, or be intrigued by what's happening. Encourage them to possess the energy and drive to explore and to further investigate, and have the confidence to pursue what he or she believes in.
As much as you want to encourage your children to not only be a keen learner, encourage them to be a compassionate learner as well. You see, a successful learner also needs to learn how to get along well with people, how to relate with peers, and treat people with respect and dignity. A true learner needs to be compassionate and care for what's happening around them.
You would also want a child who is aware of his health and well being, be interested to keep himself or herself fit – whether through gentle exercise or team sports. Remember, every child is different; some children just love to move and run, some children prefer to walk and enjoy nature. As long as they keep fit, it does not matter which health pursuit they venture in, right?
Wouldn't you dream of an all round child who is a keen learner, who is emotionally well adjusted, have compassion for the world around him, and a child who is healthy and wise?
Do you believe you can do that?
Yes you can… and it all starts from HOME!
So let's start with this question – how do children learn?
You see, children are born to be curious about the world and they are eager to learn from day one. They learn through listening, observing and feeling through the responses they receive when they "ask" for things, whether it is crying (infant), exhibiting through behaviour (toddler), or verbal (preschoolers and older) and interacting with objects and with people around them.
Their brain is starting to form during the first three years. Their relationships and experiences with their primary carer and people around them during these early years will influence how his or her brain grows. In other words, do they feel safe? Is it an environment that they can thrive in? Can they get their needs met? i.e. Be fed, comforted and clothed.
So apart from being well cared for, how else do they learn?
- They learn through modeling adults and everyone around them.
- They learn through experimenting.
- They learn through exploring.
- They learn through sharing their ideas with someone who is willing to listen and be involved in what they do.
- They learn through being shown how to do things.
- They learn through trial and error.
- They learn by trying.
- They learn while having fun …
In summary, children learn through life: by physically interacting with people, observing what's happening around them, and being fully engaged in what he or she is doing.
I am a true believer that a child's connections with their primary carer should be the first and foremost important part in a child's development, where she feels loved, safe and well nurtured in order for her to thrive.
On top of that, make every connection and experience-sharing opportunities fun and stimulating. When a child enjoys the activity or interactions, he or she will be learning indirectly.
Because, to a child, Play = FUN, and if you make learning a part of playing, your child will be learning without even realising they are actually learning. Children learn because he/she is having so much fun. As you will already know, when a child is enjoying an activity, he will want to continue to play and explore further. Continuing to play will lead to more practice, and mastery, which is a great boost to his self esteem and confidence.
So, let's get your hands dirty and make learning fun together.