What young children are learning
Nothing replaces the value of learning from your family.
Self and relationships
Your child learns that she’s loved and important. She learns trust – for example, ‘I know you’ll be there if I fall over’. She starts learning to understand her own needs, thoughts, feelings, likes and dislikes. Eventually, family relationships teach her about getting on with other children and grown-ups.
Language and communication
To help him learn about language, written and spoken communication, and taking turns and listening in conversations, talk and listen with your child, and read and sing together.
Space, place and environment
At home with you, your child learns about her place in her community and her impact on the world around her. For example, ‘My home is in this street, the park is down the road, and my friend lives in a different street’, or ‘The plants grew because I helped to water them’. She also learns about her own size and shape – for example, ‘I’m bigger than our stool but not as big as our table’.
Health and physical fitness
You’re a key role model for your child when it comes to healthy eating and physical activity. If you choose to have an apple rather than a snack bar for morning tea, your child is more likely to do the same. If you go for a walk rather than watching the TV, your child learns that exercise is a good, fun way to spend time together.
Other areas of learning
You help your child build skills with numbers with everyday counting – for example, ‘How many bears are on the bed?’ or ‘Can you put all the red pegs into this basket?’. Or you can sing nursery rhymes with your child that include counting.
And your child, through reading and storytelling with you, develops early literacy, playing simple sound and letter games like listening for words that begin with the same sound, and looking at pictures, letters and words in the environment – for example, on signs and in catalogs.
Encourage your child to draw, scribble and write to develop handwriting skills. For example, if you’re writing a card or a shopping list, you could give your child some paper and a pencil so he can join in. ‘Writing’ also helps your child understand the connection between letters and spoken sounds.
Singing with your child, putting on music for her to dance to, giving her musical instruments to play (homemade is just fine), and finding dress-up clothes for her to use are all great ways to get her started on learning about music, drama and dance.
Helping your child learn
You can help your child learn by:
- interacting with your child as he plays and learns
- showing your child how to deal with losing by playing games together and modeling how to be a good loser
- playing rhyming, shape and number games together
- using simple language and not overloading your child with information – that is, give the simple explanation rather than the complicated one
- encouraging your child to listen to longer instructions – for example, ask him to bring two things from his room, then three things, then four things
- limiting distractions (turn off phone and TV) when you’re sharing a book or talking with your child.
Thanks to www.raisingchildren.net.au for the main points in this article
Global Montessori School has been shaping exceptional children since 1988. We offer kindergarten and elementary school classes, daycare and childcare to infants, toddlers and elementary school children in and around the Langley area.