Early childhood specialist, Jenny Lindon once said, “Let children be children. A skilled five-year-old grows from a busy four-year-old, a curious three-year-old, a cuddled two-year-old, an adventurous one-year-old and a communicative baby.” Cultivating the interest of learning in a child is not only important but every parent’s responsibility.
Vocabulary, spelling, reading, creative writing, are just some areas, that parents shovel importance at improving, in a child. Children have such short attention spans that teaching them anything can almost be an impossible task, at times. However, children, at a pre-school age, begin to ask numerous questions. If you had or have children that age then you have probably witnessed or are witnessing the children going through the ‘Why’ phase. “Mummy, why is the sky blue?” “Daddy, why do people, and not fishes, have thumbs?” “Mommy! Why do we have to sleep?” Such questions may trigger the point of annoyance in any parent (especially when the question comes after a 10-hour day at work) but it also shows that the child asking is extremely interested in learning.
TheAsianParent trekked the island and found a company that provides parents with educational resources such as books and programmes that aid in a child’s intellectual development.
Established in the 60s with the head office located in New York, Grolier International has offices in 72 countries. The main focus of Grolier is not only to get parents to educate their children well before their children enter school. We know the importance of starting early but how early do we start? “The first four years of a child is extremely important because it is at that period of time that their brain is like a sponge and absorption of information is easy,” says Mr. Sandhu, the Divisional Sales Manager for Grolier.
“Language is important. When a child, or anyone actually, has a good command of language, the person is bound to stand out in a crowd. When children speak well, they are praised and this increases self-esteem,” explains Mr. Sandhu. Time is crucial to one and all. Aware of the short attention spans children possess, Grolier designs the programme in such a way that only 20 minutes a day is needed for it. The programmes use Disney characters, bright colourful pictures and at times, even actual pictures to tap on the interest of the children.
Grolier not only offers resources but it provides workshops for parents as well. These parenting workshops focus on research that has been done on topics that are usually not spoken about. “We explain to parents why and how children should begin learning early,” says Mr. Sandhu. Grolier also provides home services such as sending an executive to the home of parents’ to teach the proper usage of the programme and its benefits. In the words of Mr. and Mrs. Liew, who had an executive teach them, “The most important message emphasised was ‘Children are never too young to learn’.
Such a systematic programme is earning praises from parents who have not only used the product but also introduced them to their friends and family.
Early childhood learning is important. However it is also important to do it right. So what is Mr. Sandhu’s advice to parents? “Never replace yourself with a machine. The attachment that a child has to a parent, the bond that develops, nothing in the world can replace these.”