Why You Shouldn’t Start With A – Lessons In Early Childhood Education
Your child is starting to show an early interest in learning. She’s picked up a pencil and has started drawing with it. Her scribbles are starting to resemble what could be letters so you excitedly decide to develop this interest. Where do you start? Your instincts with early childhood education tell you to start with the letter A, of course! After showing her the letter A, you make it with playdough, draw it on a piece of paper with a highlighter – even hold her hand to write the letter, but still you get a luke warm response.
You go to the bookstore and purchase some activity books. Maybe that will help. Maybe you’re not doing it correctly. The books also start by introducing the letter A, giving you some comfort that you started in the right place. You give the books to your child and she immediately rejects it. “She’s not ready”, you conclude and add the book to another pile of clutter as you don’t want to force the learning, hoping to revisit another time.
Starting with the letter A is like starting with algebra for your child, particularly if this is the first time your child is being introduced to formal letters. To form the letter A, your child needs to know how to draw two diagonal lines going in opposite directions and join these together with another horizontal line. There is too much information for your child to process and starting with the letter A will often lead to frustration. During repeated attempts, you will be met with the same results, leading you to incorrectly conclude that your child is not ready to learn.
This could not be further from the truth. Before the age of 5, 85% of your child’s brain will be developed, making this the perfect time to start developing your child’s interest in learning. It’s been proven that it’s the things you do with your child in the years before they start school which will have the biggest impact on their education and development.
So where do you start?
You start with uppercase I. Starting with the letter I will give your child a surge of confidence because by drawing a simple vertical line from the top of the page to the bottom of the page, your child has written a word, I, a number (1), an uppercase letter (I) and a lowercase L! They will achieve success and with your praise, encouragement and positive one on one time, your child will begin to have positive associations with learning, become hooked and will want to learn more!
Any child can learn to write the letter I once they have shown an interest in holding a pencil and can follow simple instructions. To start, you might want to draw a simple picture, such as a big fish at the top of the page and another smaller fish at the bottom of the page and ask your child to help the mum find its baby!
After your child has successfully written an I, and you have heaped adequate praise upon them, start introducing horizontal lines. This will pave the way to learn how to write uppercase L, then E, F, T, H and so on. Each new letter logically builds on from the previous letter, providing your child with quick wins that will build confidence and belief in their abilities.
The secret to educating children and ensuring they achieve success is through a careful sequencing of activities that build on from previous topics.
Alarmingly, it’s been found that 4 out of every 10 children are not ready for school when they begin and if children start school off on the wrong foot, it will be more difficult for them to catch up.
Over the past 14 years, I have met countless students who have fallen through the cracks through my education company, Spectrum Tuition. It is only through an in depth assessment that we discover that many students who have fallen behind are in that situation because they have not built up a solid foundation with topics not being sequenced correctly, leading to gaps in knowledge.
Arts ‘n Smarts takes children on a learning journey where they will be confident from the start through carefully sequenced and designed materials that have been proven to teach your child essential skills in a fun way.
If you would like to discuss whether our program is right for your child, please contact us by calling 1800 668 177 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.