Collaborative post – I have been compensated for my time
How do children learn? Well by many ways, including play but kids always need a little extra helping hand to ensure that they are doing well. With childcare and early learning, they can easily start to blossom. Kids tend to thrive by:
- By exploration: touching, hitting, putting things in the mouth
- By experimentation: testing, by trial and error
- By repetition: throwing things to the ground over and over again!
- By imitation: copying those around them, be they adults or their children
They learn from and from everything that is in their immediate environment. And what about a child? A lot of things, a lot of people, and a lot of situations —an infinite number of stimuli. Now, learning is never as great as when an adult is present. The adult is in charge of mediating, transferring and translating each stimulus to the child.
Mediating role of the adult in the learning process
The role of the adult is to make it easier for the child to understand his environment — to act as a bond. There is growing evidence showing the impacts on child development of positive and responsive interactions with adults. For example, it has been shown that when teachers intentionally handle behavioural issues, serve the interests of the child, and channel their attention responsively, children improve their behaviour in the classroom and also perform better academically. Toys, siblings, to their children in the care centre or at school are necessary and contribute to the learning process. But they are not enough. Child development is enhanced by interaction with the adult caregiver— at home or in the care centre, where many children spend a considerable proportion of their time. Furthermore, consistency. The presence of a primary caregiver in each setting – gives the child security and reinforces their self-esteem.
Introduce new concepts and expand the child’s knowledge
When you watch or read stories together if the child says “woof-woof”, add “yes, it’s a big dog and it has four legs!” Let them play! Playing is the main means of learning for the child, as well as great fun. Whether that’s with toys or imagination, both are equally as important to them. Through play, the adult can participate and enhance role-play too and it’s also a way for them to copy and mimic their parents, in order to learn how to grow up and do what their parents also do! It’s important to introduce challenges and problems that the child has to solve.
Recognize and reinforce attempts and achievements in a positive way
Congratulate the child with applause, kisses, verbalizing his achievement and attempts, thus promoting his self-esteem and encouraging him to continue learning. It’s important to give them lots of encouragement in order for them to feel as if they are progressing and give them the confidence that they need in order to grow further as well as in order for them to make new friends and interact easier. It takes a little time and patience to understand children but truthfully they are wonderful.
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