“The goal of early education should be to activate the child’s own natural desire to learn.”
— Maria Montessouri
In the early 1900s, Maria Montessori sought to find more effective ways for children to absorb information. Her methodology of education supports hands-on learning in an environment that fosters self-discovery. By building on a child’s innate curiosity and their implicit learning style, parents can provide their kids with the stepping stones for success.
This is just one of the many styles of early childhood education that helps to nurture a love of learning. Exploration in a controlled and supportive classroom setting can spur creativity, introduce various subject matters and get children accustomed to a more structured schedule.
Benefits Of Early Childhood Development
According to the Learning Policy Institute, “Students who attend preschool programs are more prepared for school and are less likely to be identified as having special needs or to be held back in elementary school than children who did not attend preschool. Studies also show clear positive effects on children’s early literacy and mathematics skills.”
Further research also indicates “that [by] providing a high-quality education for children before they turn five yields significant medium- and long-term benefits for students”. These include being better prepared academically, testing at higher IQ levels as well as becoming bigger earners in their careers.
Preschool and Kindergarten Learning Opportunities
When most parents think of preschool and kindergarten, songs, storytimes, and outdoor fun all come to mind. While these types of activities don’t seem to be imparting our children with any sort of sage wisdom, they are actually laying the groundwork for their future educational experiences.
Improve Mathematical And Literacy Skills
Children enrolled in nursery school and in kindergarten are introduced to counting, matching, pattern recognition, comparative form, spatial recognition, estimation, and measuring. This is all accomplished through the use of toys and the implementation of sensory play.
Ironically enough, these same skills are the foundation for Singapore Math, a curriculum that cuts out repetition and memorization and focuses on the mastery of the actual skills. It is proven to be one of the leading styles of math education in the world and it is all based on the sequencing of concepts that start in preschool. Singapore Math starts in preschool or kindergarten and continues through fifth grade and middle school.
Moreover, while in preschool and kindergarten classes, kids are given a comfortable place to enhance their language skills. Reading Rockets, a national public media literacy initiative highlights research that states “[children] are the beneficiaries of considerable, though playful and informal, adult guidance and instruction. Considerable diversity in children’s oral and written language experiences occurs in these years…The single most important activity for building these understandings and [the] skills essential for reading success appears to be reading aloud to children.” By providing kids with an environment for scholastic development that fosters knowledge acquisition through observation, imitation, and play, it implements subconscious learning opportunities.
Positive Reinforcement Through Daily Activities
Interestingly enough, this newly obtained information is further reinforced while they sleep.
According to a study conducted by Dr. Ines Wilhelm of the University of Tübingen’s Institute for Medical Psychology and Behavioral Neurobiology, “During sleep, memory is turned into a form that makes future learning easier; implicit knowledge becomes explicit and therefore becomes more easily transferred to other areas”.
Thus, the more information you present to your child at a young age, the more likely it is to soak in compared to that of an older child or adult. While the apparent understanding of mathematical and grammatical concepts may not be immediate, you will be astonished at how quickly the light turns on with regular reinforcement of these skills.
Moreover, these skills can be bolstered at home. Take the time to read your kids a story every night. Additionally, play memory matching games, dominos and Yahtzee to work on their counting and comparison skills. Furthermore, have them help with preparing dinner or baking cookies. Not only will these daily activities improve their math and reading skills, they will also give you chances to bond with your child.
Bolster Social Etiquette
Another fantastic part of early education is the opportunity to engage with other children. This playtime is a wonderful mechanism for improving their social skills. Concepts like sharing and cooperation are not attributes that are naturally inherent. They need to be learned and practiced regularly.
According to the American Journal of Public Health, studies note that “much evidence has shown how effective intervention in preschool and the early elementary years can improve childhood noncognitive skills in a lasting way. Enhancing these skills can have an impact in multiple areas and therefore has potential for positively affecting individuals as well as community public health substantially.”
While understanding the importance of personal space, eye contact and listening seems simple enough to an adult, if children are not placed in situations where these common courtesies can be mastered, your kids will not attain these soft skills. This can impact their ability to build friendships, handle stressful situations, and excel both academically and professionally.
Moreover, by introducing children to social situations early in life, parents are better equipped to recognize when behavioral and neurodevelopmental disorders are present. Conditions like Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and Autism are extremely common and manageable if diagnosed early.
Positive Reinforcement Through Daily Activities
One of the best methods for reinforcing these social skills at home is to utilize the technique of active listening. Similar to the ancient practice of the talking stick, in order for communication to be effective, one person needs to speak while the others listen. This method is still practiced in many preschool and Kindergarten classes to introduce the necessity of taking turns in a conversation.
As mentioned above, imitation is one of the many ways in which children learn. Therefore, when they are speaking to you directly, it is imperative that you take the initiative to get down on their level, maintain eye contact and remain quiet until they have completed their thought. If they are sad or upset, make sure to use positive nonverbal cues to signal that you are understanding and empathetic to the issue they are facing.
Parents can further strengthen these skills through family fun. Games like Taboo, Charades, Simon Says and I Spy all require these abilities. Best of all, this implicit method of teaching will result in your child becoming a more compassionate and relatable human being, without them even realizing that the transformation is occurring.
Simple Methods of Learning Bring Exceptional Results
Music And Memory
Every parent is familiar with the plethora of tunes that count the number of ducks that came back and monkeys who were jumping on the bed. The ABCs is yet another classic diddy that graces the homes of children across the country. The reason why many of these childhood songs have remained popular for over a century is because music is a magical tool for knowledge acquisition.
Unlike speaking, singing stimulates both sides of the brain, maximizing memory function and one’s ability to focus on a task. In fact, doctors from Harvard University note that auditory stimulation is a fantastic tool for teaching. “Listening to and performing music reactivates areas of the brain associated with memory, reasoning, speech, emotion, and reward. Two recent studies—one in the United States and the other in Japan—found that music doesn’t just help us retrieve stored memories, it also helps us lay down new ones.”
If you are musically inclined, share your passion and show off your skills. Sometimes the biggest motivation is having similar interests with a loved one. Courses like Music Education For Kids can introduce them to different styles of music and help to inspire and enlighten them to expand their natural talents. Likewise, learning to read with the aid of music has been scientifically proven to be highly effective and courses for emerging readers like Read with Music are very esteemed among parents in the know.
Another early learning technique is sensory play. These are activities that engage the senses of sight and touch to invoke a better understanding of concepts and provide a more effective absorption of the material. The use of movement is a proven method of success due to its direct correlation with the building of our neural brain pathways.
“Movement increases blood flow which awakens our cells so that we feel more alert and are able to focus our attention better afterward. The hippocampus is especially worthy of note because it is the region of the brain that is responsible for learning and memory and is directly impacted by physical movement.…. The basic biological responses to exercise suggest that there is a great benefit for student learning. With the creation of new neurons, the creation of new opportunities to learn is also born.”
Therefore, those simple activities like playing in the sandbox or building block towers can have an extremely beneficial impact on a child’s motor skills, language development, and problem-solving abilities. This is exceptionally true for kids who learn through kinesthetic and tactile learning techniques.
Starting Early Benefits Continuing Education
Once your child has mastered the basic fundamental concepts of reading, writing, and arithmetic, they will continue to build and grow these understandings in Kindergarten and beyond. However, without laying the proper groundwork, many students fall behind in their regular classes. This is quite common in subjects like Math and Grammar & Writing.
While a classroom setting will allow for a decent development of these subjects, the large class size can diminish your child’s ability to receive one-on-one attention and it does not accommodate all learning types. For those who flourished through the hands-on learning and individualized attention that is provided in preschool curriculum, parents should consider reinforcing their classroom learning with online education.
By introducing these topics prior to enrollment, it will allow them to gain a competitive advantage over other students in the class and to effortlessly clear hurdles that would have arisen without the more individualized attention of virtual class and online tutoring.
Reinforce Skills Through Online Early Childhood Education
Thankfully, fortifying classroom concepts can be easily accomplished by enrolling your child at Monster Education. Their elite teachers and instructors are experts in their fields, each holding at minimum a decade of experience. Additionally, individual student assessments are conducted to ensure that your child is placed in the class that will best suit their needs. Furthermore, class sizes are six students or less and all of their exceptional programs utilize teaching techniques that engage the senses and incorporate movement and hands-on approaches to learning.
Best of all, their classes are online, meaning accessibility from anywhere in the world and the convenience of no commute. All you need is an internet connection. Learn in London, in the backyard, by the beach, or at the kitchen table! Even better, this virtual classroom promises more interactivity than that of an in-person experience.
For example, their Science For Kids course lets students try their hand at scientific experiments each week, presenting advanced concepts that are normally not introduced until high school. Whether you sign up in the school year or during Summer and Winter breaks, you will be investing in your child’s academic future.
Final Thoughts — The Importance Of Online Early Childhood Education
The key to our youth excelling in advanced courses is contingent on the implementation of creative methods of teaching. When you really think about it, your toddler learns more in one month than you learn in a year. The abundance of life skills that they absorb through observation and imitation is amazing! This subconscious learning starts with movement and is reinforced by repetition through physical, visual, and auditory channels.
Most importantly, their formative years are the optimal time for rapid cognitive development. This is one of the many reasons that a toddler can effortlessly learn various languages, whereas an adult would struggle. Their brains are designed to soak up information like a sponge up until the time they reach puberty.
Therefore, take advantage of this natural capacity for expedited growth and development! By signing them up for online child education courses, you are accelerating their propensity for success in subjects that many students tend to struggle with throughout their academic careers. You will also foster a love of learning that can motivate them to enroll in advanced courses and even further their education after high school.