It is extremely exciting for parents when their children first start going to preschool.
Starting preschool is like stepping into a whole new world of knowledge and information. And every parent is eager to see what his child is learning and how fast his child is learning.
There is an eagerness to teach the child more and more – faster and faster – and this sometimes turns into a race. Children at this age however, are unaware of competition and many a times they do not respond to this race very well. And many of them become disinterested in school and learning – which can create a very difficult situation for parents.
The most important thing to understand about children is that – they are born to learn. The mind of a child is constantly bubbling with curiosity. Children want to explore and discover. They are eager to make sense of the world around them. The world seems like a jigsaw puzzle to them and they are anxious to put the pieces together to make a complete picture. In essence they are learning machines and they learn day and night – whether we teach them or not.
The way they learn however is unique – and if we are unaware of the learning style of children at that age – we may end up discouraging children from learning for the rest of their lives.
To teach children correctly – it is important to remember these things about learning
- Children learn by watching
It is important to allow children the time and leisure they need to look at things and absorb things around them. Rushing them from one activity to another leaves them with very little time to exercise this very important way of learning.
- Children learn by exploring and discovering
It is very important that we allow children to move around and explore and discover the world around them. The classical way of sitting and studying that works for adults – does not work for children.
When children move around – it also changes the scene around them and keeps things interesting for them. This ensures that they remain focused. When we do not allow movement – we push the child towards devices that have moving images
- Children learn by listening
Much before they are born – children can already listen and understand. If you want your child to learn – talk to your child about the world around you. Talking to children builds their vocabulary, improves their understanding of the spoken word and turns them into rapid learners. A child who can speak a certain language – finds it much easier to learn to read and write and spell in that language.
- Children learn by asking questions
The world is a puzzle for your little child and he makes sense of the puzzle by asking questions. The easiest way to turn your child into a rapid learner is – to talk to your child – answer your child’s questions – and allow your child to talk to others. Never ignore your child’s questions and never imagine that the questions are asked to annoy you.
- Children learn by doing
Children learn by doing. And they then perfect what they have learnt by doing it over and over again. But, to do this they require time and space. Rushing children is the wrong thing to do. And expecting them to learn in the first attempt is a mistake that does nothing to improve learning – and instead does everything to damage your child’s self-esteem and interest in learning.
Also Read Preschool – help your child to enjoy it
- Children learn when they find that their parents are involved in school
When children first start going to school – it is an alien space for them. They find it difficult to make the connection between the space they have always been in – that is the home – and the space they have now started frequenting and which has now become an important part of their lives – that is the school. The connection is much easier for the child to make if the parents frequent this new space and familiarize themselves with the people there – it becomes easier for children to make the transition because they feel safer and more secure.
- Children learn faster if they have friends
Children learn more from their peers than they do from their teachers and other adults. It is therefore extremely important for children to find a place in their peer group. It is vital for them to make friends. It is not so easy to make friends however in a strange place full of new people. It is important for parents to make the effort to interact with and befriend the parents of other children so that a bridge is built – over which children can cross over and make friends
- A schedule makes learning easier
When a child begins school – the first few months can be exhausting for him. There is suddenly so much to do and so little time. Things can be much easier if your child can follow a schedule. It is important to schedule enough time for rest. Go easy on the other activities that your child is involved in. Do not push her to do everything together.
- Communication with parents helps children learn
Always ask questions about your child’s day. Find out what she liked or disliked about the day. The friends she made and the activities she was involved in. Knowing what your child is doing in school can help you to support her emotionally
- Connecting school learning to everyday life helps learning
School learning can seem irrelevant to children because it is far removed from what they are doing in their daily lives. Making an attempt to connect what your child is learning in school – to what you and your child do in your daily life can give her learning the context and perspective that is essential to keep your child interested and enthusiastic about learning.
11. Learning improves when children love their teachers
The most important adult in your child’s life – after you is your child’s teacher. Your child will learn everything from his teacher and so children must be able to love and respect their teachers. It is important for parents to avoid creating a conflict in the minds of children by criticizing the teacher or viewing the teacher with suspicion
It is important for parents to understand how little children learn in order to make the preschool experience – a fun and enjoyable experience for their child