6 Important Early Childhood Education Facts
by mary whitman, guest contributor
A parent is their child’s first teacher. What they see you do, they imitate. When you set an example as being a person who’s curious and eager to learn and explore, you’ll awaken the same capacity within your child.
But should you just educate your child yourself, before they start school? What about preschool programs? Wouldn’t they be useful?
Let’s find out!
Here are six important facts that examine how important and effective early childhood education is:
1. Preschool Education Practically Determines a Child’s Future
A popular study conducted by HighScope examined the lives of 123 children, starting from 1962-1967, when the participants were 3 and 4 years old. One group entered a preschool program, and the other group did not participate in such education. In 2005, 97% of the participants were interviewed. At this point, they were 40 years old. The study found that those who participated in the preschool program were more likely to hold a job, had committed fewer crimes, had reached higher earnings, and were more likely to have graduated from high school.
Since the law doesn’t make preschool mandatory, many parents wonder if their children are ready for such a program at an early age. If you were wondering about preschool, here’s a fact that might help you make a decision: it’s effective!
2. Preschool Education Leads to More Effective Socialization
It took me a while before I understood that my 4-year-old daughter needed a more diverse social life as much as I needed it. She was spending her entire days with me. We live in a very busy neighborhood and playing on the street is a mission impossible. Sure, I took her to the park every day, but most of her contacts were limited to family.
When I introduced play dates and preschool into her life, I saw a completely different child. She was no longer nervous. No longer bored. She became a happier, more communicative child; and that practically happened overnight.
3. The Relationships Are Crucial for Personal Development
The relationships that children build with the world around them are the foundation for the development of their personality. They shape the way the child sees the world. In other words, the parent is the first teacher that helps the child develop emotional intelligence. Your attitude makes your child learn whether the world is safe or not. Your actions show who loves them, what happens when they make a joke, and much more.
Your attitude towards other people also teaches your child how to behave. Your connection with your partner, your parents, and your friends sets an example of social skills.
Your child’s relationship with you, the parent, is their first, and most important one.
So it’s not just about teaching lessons and practical things. Early childhood education is also about setting an example of healthy behavior and emotional connections.
4. Play Is the Best Way for a Child to Learn
Whatever you do, do not take things too seriously! So you want to teach your child how to tell stories, but perhaps you’re too quick to criticize, or too rigid in setting the structure; you’ll only make your child sad and risk stifling their imagination. It’s no wonder for this to result in your kid purchasing papers from Aussie Assignment Geek Service when they get to high school and university.
Play is the proper approach!
When you spend time playing with your kid, you show them that they are important to you. But you can also use playtime in a sneaky way that also encourages learning. Storytelling, for example, is a fun activity that you can easily turn into a game. Just come up with a prompt and let the kid’s imagination evolve without any interruptions. You can also draw illustrations and even create a play out of their story. There are no limits to what you can do!
5. Enthusiasm for Learning is Born at a Very Young Age
When you bring your child into the world of knowledge in an exciting way, you help to awaken their innate enthusiasm for learning. Encouraging their natural inclination towards inquiry and discovery. A good preschool program will only reinforce and expand upon that desire for learning.
When your child is still very young, you have an opportunity to influence their desire to learn. Leave the door wide open for all of the questions born of their inquisitive nature. If you don’t know the answers, you can research them together!
6. Encourage the Growth Mindset
Do you know what differentiates effective learners from people who give up? It’s the mindset. People with a fixed mindset believe that learning and skill development are based on talent. If they are not good at something, they simply give up. Those with a growth mindset, on the other hand, believe they will continuously get better if they keep trying.
The parent and the first teacher has the power to encourage the growth mindset in early education. When your child isn’t doing well at something, inspire them to keep trying! Practice is the key to success! With this approach, you’ll encourage them to build persistency and strength of character.
You’ve probably noticed that your kid is a learning sponge. I know I have. It’s not just a parent’s claim that their child is especially bright, all children have that learning tendency; we just have to nurture it!
Play with a Purpose: Educational Play
“Learning through play is a term used in education and psychology to describe how a child can learn to make sense of the world around them. Through play, children can develop social and cognitive skills, mature emotionally, and gain the self-confidence required to engage in new experiences and environments.” -Human Growth and the Development of Personality, by Jack Kahn and Susan Elinor Wright
Making Words Fun for Early Readers
According to Jennifer Quinn of the Billings Huntington Learning Center, simple and fun word games are one more great tool to expose your child to language - the underpinning of his or her reading success. "There are many fun ways to help children gain spelling, letter and word recognition, and early reading skills," says Quinn. She offers these five ideas to help early readers and spellers build their vocabulary and word and phonemic awareness: