It’s the week of the young child (ages 3-6), and what a great opportunity to re-examine what we do to help them learn.
- In the early years a child’s relationship with a responsive adult if vital. They learn by watching, and watching someone who is loving and encouraging is VITAL.
- These first few years of formal learning are very hands on, very visual, and very concrete (see, smell, touch, hear, taste).
- Young children learn by connecting new experiences to previous experiences. Learning at this stage is very relational.
- Young children are constantly working to figure out why. This explains why it is so common for children of this age to pepper adults with questions – especially the question “why?” It’s normal and it helps them to “figure out” the world around them.
- Finally, and most importantly it is so very important for us as adults to remember that children learn through play. I know time constraints have forced this across the US, but limiting children in school to only a half hour of recess a day is almost a crime. Play is the format in which children can learn everything. Play to learn a math concept, the alphabet, play while we write… It’s so important that the adults in our young children’s lives realize this and make allowances for learning to take place through play.
If you are wondering about ways to help you child with formal learning in a fun and playful atmosphere we recommend looking at Time4Learning (learning so fun you don’t know you’re learning), Spelling City (spelling lists with games that enable learning), and even some of our own amazing learning games that keep kids coming back! Ways to learn doesn’t stop there, many people are turning to homeschooling even for high school. Free online high schools are another method of learning.