We all want our kids to be top performers, but we want them to enjoy learning as well. If you're looking for a fun way to lay a strong foundation for your child's educational future, read on to find out more about this engaging method of learning that involves group play, hands-on activities, and Q&A sessions.
Do you believe in the benefits of providing early education to your children, something that conforms to your kids’ learning styles?
Some parents are not sure about sending their kids to preschool, as it seems to cut short their carefree childhood days. Evidence suggests otherwise.
“There’s increasing evidence that children gain a lot from going to preschool,” says Dr. Kathleen McCartney, dean of Harvard Graduate School of Education, in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
“At preschool, they become exposed to numbers, letters, and shapes. And, more important, they learn how to socialise – get along with other children, share, and contribute to circle time.”1
There are many advantages of exposing your kid to quality early childhood education programmes (Preschool Enrichment, based on various kids learning styles). It results in confident kids who develop early language skills, take a keen interest in books, and generally have higher I.Q. What’s more, early developmental stimulation will give your little ones all the essential skills they need for “big boy/big girl” school.
In Singapore too, most parents insist on laying a strong educational foundation for their kids.
However, the questions many of us have on our minds are: What is the best way to go about this? What learning style suits my kids? How do we provide our little ones with a holistic learning enrichment that is fun, engaging and intellectually stimulating at the same time?
Kids’ Learning Styles: Traditional Learning vs. Critical Thinking
In this 21st century digital world, the old world’s rules hardly apply. Once upon a time, memorising things carried great value. Today, information can be easily accessed, so remembering facts and regurgitating them has limited real-world value.
What we need today in terms of preschool education is a strong foundation for kids in concepts beyond the usual math or English enrichment. At the same time, children should have fun learning how to become creative little problem solvers, while not just committing facts to memory.
In this context, here are six areas of preschool learning that your child should be exposed to:
1. Logical Deduction Skills:
This area of learning encompasses comparing, ordering and finally measuring objects by attributes such as size, length, weight and volume. Comparing makes children pick up common attributes for like-for-like comparison (comparing objects that are similar to each other or that fall in the same category). Putting objects in order helps children make logical deductions about different objects, and is the foundation for counting.
2. Conceptual Understanding of Mathematics:
1,2,3, 4… Counting is one of the first things kids learn once they start speaking. They start applying this skill whenever it catches their fancy—for instance, while climbing up the stairs.This area of learning focuses on numbers and operations.
3. Spatial Recognition Skills:
In our physical world, everything exists in space — and exploring space (which kids love doing) involves movement. Are you turning left or right in the corridor? How do you teach kids movement of objects on maps? Why is your kid writing letters or numbers in reverse? This area of learning strengthens their visual processing skills and teaches kids the idea of perspective: that the same object may look different from another point of view.
4. Skills of Articulation:
This area covers language and effective communication skills — the basis of the entire education system and is a valuable life skill. Here, little ones learn how to achieve clarity of thought through the articulation of concepts.
5. Knowledge of Shapes:
Like words and numbers, shapes are one of the first things children need to learn: the egg is oval, and the toy house is rectangular. Learning about basic shapes prepares the child to learn concepts of geometry when they move to higher classes. They learn about 2D and 3D shapes and symmetry. It also adds to their spatial recognition skills when they can mentally visualise objects in 3D or understand mirror images.
6. Essential Life Skills:
All the above skills become even more powerful when kids learn essential life skills, such as critical thinking skills (ability to review information and challenge assumptions to solve problems), paying attention, having self-control, and developing inter-personal skills.
So how can you instill all these skills in your little one, in a way that is engaging and fun? Head to the next page to find out more about kids learning styles!