Human beings are very complex and the first few years of life are very important, as this is the time we begin to form values and understand systems. Educators such as Rudolph Steiner understood the importance of active learning, especially during the first 7 years of life.
Here are some areas that should be promoted and developed within an early learning program.
- Creativity – Help your child to explore their creative side. Provide a safe environment for the young learner to play with crayons and paper, or work with clay. There should be no guidance as to what activity the child prefers, allowing complete freedom to engage in any of the many learning resources in the classroom. When looking for local childcare services, check out the activities and ask about their vision and mission statements, which should be on their website.
- Critical thinking – Don’t always give your child the answer to a question; rather explore possibilities with them; the earlier you can introduce critical thinking, the better. Cause and effect should be looked at, in a playful way, which helps the child connect actions with reactions. Finding a daycare centre is much easier with Google; you get a list of local programs and you can find out more about the ones of interest.
- Social skills – Nursery is the first real interaction with other kids and the correct social actions should be modelled by all adults, which helps the young minds grasp the importance of being nice to others.
- Physical activities – There should be at least one soft room and a pleasant garden area for the kids to explore. It is important for young children to exercise the major muscle groups on a daily basis, so take note when you tour the school.
- Kindness & compassion – For a child to develop into a well-balanced adult, they need to understand and practice kindness and compassion. Moral values cannot be overlooked, and you can model this at home.
- Coordination – Young kids should play with things that require a delicate touch, which hones their coordination and develop fine motor skills; activities include putting objects into corresponding slots, wooden blocks and string-related games.
Take your time when looking for an early learning program for your child and we hope the above information helps you make all the right choices to ensure your offspring has a successful and happy life.