There is a growing awareness that children's educations starts long before they enter the classroom. The brain is the most immature of all of the organs at birth, and continues to grow and develop as we age. Much of that brain development occurs before a child turns 5, and research shows that early education experiences can lay the foundation for future learning. Since the early years are so vital, many preschool programs are shifting toward a holistic model that helps children learn social and cognitive skills and form dispositions, such as confidence and a good base in literacy and numeracy.
In Singapore, the Ministry of Education (MOE) has backed a Nurturing Early Learners curriculum developed by educators with experience in early childhood education. The program works closely with preschool and primary school educators to establish a shared understanding about expectations in kindergarten. For kindergarten, kids at this stage need self-confidence, social skills and a foundation in literary. Constructing expectations is helpful so that preschools focus on nurturing children for the next level.
MOE is dedicated to helping children in their personal development, supporting pre-school centers with a suitable kindergarten curriculum. These proper resources can ease the transition to primary or elementary school.
A comparable trend is happening in Dallas. Now, there are new programs that stress the importance of early education among those who live below the poverty line. As a community, they promote that outside, a child should be surround by similar holistic methods. The need for parent-child communication as a critical part of the education process, as parents are lifelong teachers.
Effective parent engagement is not complicated. Often, the best way to teach a young child is through simple activities like playing with toys, reading, dancing, singing and talking. All kids learn by exploring their surroundings, as their brains form neuron connections based on their environment. Young children, for instance, learn primarily through play. Physical activity stimulates brain activity in all of us.
A lot of kindergarten readiness is linked to vocabulary acquisition, meaning child must hear language from birth, and then learn and practice words in context.
A forward-thinking development in Texas – which many other states can learn from – is the recently passed HB 376, a law requiring a portion of child care subsidy funding in Texas to be allocated toward improving quality of child care providers. Raising the bar among early childhood programs translate to better options for parents, and enhanced opportunities for youngsters.
Ilchi Lee, the president of the International Brain Education Association, agrees that programs should utilize holistic methods for developing children's learning, as the brain is ripe for forming new connections and absorbing information at this age. It is this plasticity of the brain that enable kids to gather ideas, hone skills and start down the path of learning who they will become.