As a parent, teacher, or grandparent, you may be considering ways to help your child – or pupil – develop their skills and understanding. Whether you’re looking for educational tools or techniques to support your child’s learning, this article will help you create an action plan for how to get the most from your early learning experiences.
Early Learning Goals
An early learning goal is a statement of what you hope your child will achieve by the end of an early learning experience. These goals should be measurable to allow you to assess whether or not you’re on the right track.
For example, you may want your child to be able to recognize all the letters in the alphabet and write his or her name, or you may want them to be able to distinguish between different animals and point out their characteristics. These are all achievable goals and you can set them as part of your child’s early learning experience.
Giving each child a personalized learning experience means tailoring lessons to their strengths and weaknesses. The best thing about personalized learning is that it allows you to direct their education while still benefitting from their experiences. For example, if you know that your child is a fast learner, you can set them up with a personalized learning program where they’re pushed to complete tasks quickly and accurately.
This type of learning promotes self-efficacy in children. When children understand that they can learn something and that they are capable of learning, they will be more motivated to continue their education. Self-efficacy is also increased when children see their parents or other role models participating in everyday activities such as cooking, cleaning, and sorting. Enabling your kids to see that you’re capable of participating in these activities increases your self-efficacy as a parent or adult figure. This can also increase their confidence.
If your kids speak multiple languages, it may be beneficial to them to learn another. Around 92% of the world’s population is multilingual – that is, they can communicate in more than one language. Bilingual education not only promotes intercultural understanding, but it also increases the cognitive capacity of the brain through stimulating multiple areas of the language center of the brain.
Children who learn a second language at an early age are more likely to continue their education, become proficient in several languages, and have a higher employment rate as adults. According to the British Council, three years is the minimum time to start teaching a foreign language to a child. This way, they say, the child will be able to make the most of their foreign language experience during their school years. If you’re looking to establish a foreign language within your family, these goals will help make it easier to remember and implement.
A keystone of any parent’s education strategy is to foster their child’s independence. Too often, parents fall into the trap of helicopter parenting, hovering over their kids and controlling every aspect of their lives. Independent kids are self-sufficient, capable of brushing their teeth without needing help from a parent, and can dress themselves without needing adult supervision. Children who experience more independence at an early age will grow up confident and capable individuals.
If your child is old enough to begin school, it’s time to let go. Let them make their own choices and support their independence. A good rule of thumb is to trust your kid to do the right thing – even if you don’t know what that is – but remain available to offer help if needed. Remember: kids are kids and they will need help at times, so be there to provide it. Then they’ll thank you for it by becoming independent and self-sufficient adults.
Another important quality for a confident, successful adult is having the ability to be creative. The more your child participates in arts and crafts activities, the more they will develop their imagination and become creative thinkers. There are plenty of opportunities for children to be creative during family time – something as simple as art, play-dough, or sticker crafts – so take advantage of them. The simple act of getting creative with your kids is a great way to strengthen family bonds while also encouraging their imagination.
The benefits of arts and crafts for kids are numerous. Not only does it develop their practical imagination, but it also helps improve verbal and nonverbal communication skills. Through play-dough, for example, children can practice measuring, cutting, and forming letters and shapes. This helps develop their motor skills as they’re using their hands to be precise.
These skills will help them in day-to-day life. If you’re a parent, grandparent, or educator and you’re considering ways to improve the quality of your child’s life, you may want to consider giving them a practical and creative outlet such as art or craft activities. These goals will help support your child’s personal and social development while allowing you to enjoy some peace during family time.