It's perfectly understandable for parents to wonder how to maximise this critical period or even worry that they won't be able to teach their child as much as they want to.
The first thing we would say is "don't panic"!
We'd also like to reassure parents that if they love and care for their child, they're well on the way to teaching him or her the right things.
Most importantly, you're not on your own!
Little brains are wonderful
There's a lot of space to fill in a small child's brain, and they are naturally curious about the world around them, as well as how to do things they see others doing.
The first three years of a child's life is the time when most brain connections are made, so much so that at three your child's brain is more active than an adult one.
That's why whoever a child has the most contact with in those early years of their life is such an important influence.
And that's why we say parents are a child's first and most important teachers.
Children are eager to learn and so anything that they can pick up, by watching, listening and/or doing, they are likely to absorb.
But there's more to it than sitting there and taking it all in, as children learn best when they are stimulated.
When your child's brain is stimulated, brain neurons make connections, which are necessary for your child to think, learn and move efficiently.
We partner with parents
At Lively Learning we teach within a two year cycle age-appropriate skills, knowledge and understandings through, and of, the Multiple Intelligences that will engage and excite you and your child.
Our qualified early childhood teachers have the expertise; and we take care of the lesson preparation, equipment/materials and the mess!
Our small groups provide opportunities for your child to receive individual attention whilst learning with, and amongst, others.
YOU however provide the most critical ingredient.
This is why children in our Multiple Intelligence Program (16 months to 4 years) attend their weekly Lively Learning session with a significant adult.
Why is your presence at Lively Learning so beneficial?
You know so much about your child, and you are an important figure in your child’s life.
A parent (or close family member) can support an apprehensive child, delight in a child’s eagerness to learn, and be there as a constant guide nurturing and maximising a child’s learning.
The benefits gained from the curriculum, expertise and resources we provide will be greatly enhanced coexisting with the individual guidance you can provide during your child’s learning experiences.
For example, we teach parents the skill of modelling the next stage of speech to develop a child's linguistic intelligence. We provide the activity to prompt the learning. But we need you, the parent, to implement the strategy drawing upon your knowledge of your child’s language stage.
So for a parent of a child saying many single words, the parent would use our suggested strategy in an activity of sorting balls into big and small, to model a two word sentence (rather than a seven word sentence).
Child (Peter): “Ball.”
Adult: “It is a big ball. Peter say, “Big ball.”
Child: “Big ball.”
The proof is in the research documented in the Australian Early Years Learning Framework (2009). ‘Learning outcomes are most likely to be achieved when early childhood educators work in partnership with families.’
Exciting new developments in early childhood teaching and learning important for parents to know.
Being clear about what you want a child to learn and the child being aware of what they are learning positively enhances student learning significantly.
The above statement is the essence of current 21st century research; and it is part of John Hattie’s extensive analysis on what impacts student learning which has created interest, following and discussion amongst educationalists around the world.
In response to Hattie’s research, activities in our 2017 Discovery Playroom now have a learning intention.
A learning intention is a clear and simple statement about the intended learning of an activity. Some examples include: ‘I am learning about the colour ‘blue’; I am learning about things that roll, bounce and slide; ‘I am learning about the word ‘sticky’.
Providing you with the learning intention of an activity is our way helping you to have a clear teaching focus in mind when playing with your child in our Discovery Playroom.
This seemingly subtle difference between ‘play’ compared to ‘play with a teaching focus’ is a powerful strategy you can use to maximise learning as your child's first and most influential teacher.
Take it home with you
Children and parents alike learn lots each week at Lively Learning.
To prompt transfer of learning, all are welcome to take home a picture chat at the beginning of each term.
A picture chat is a picture, which is related to the term theme, with parts missing. Each week a mini-picture is provided for your child to take home to stick on one of the missing pieces.
As the home activity is done for, with or by your child much talk will be stimulated about the session learning, particularly when your child uses the picture chat to show and tell to another family member.
Words to the rhymes sung during a term are also on the back of the picture chat. Did you know that the rhyme, rhythm and vocabulary of rhymes enhance speech and learning to read? So sing lots to and with your child at home.
Draw upon the teaching strategies highlighted by your class teacher as you go about play and everyday duties at home. For example, model language one step ahead of your child's language.
No-one expects you to replicate the Lively Learning Discovery Playroom at home, but you can ensure that your child has an interesting environment with toys, games and activities that engage and challenge them.
A very powerful way to way to connect Lively Learning experiences to the real world is to plan an experience to complement the term theme. Think about the enormous benefits across the multiple intelligences, if you planned for your child to go on a real train or bus ride during our ‘Transport’ theme, as one example.
We realise it can be exhausting, because no matter how much stimulation you provide to some children they want even more, but that's just a reminder of how eager to learn and capable of learning they are.
Not to mention a reminder of how good Lively Learning is for them … and you!
Lively Learning Programs allow YOUR CLEVER CHILD TO SHINE
Let our qualified teachers maximise early learning critical to your young child’s development:
MULTIPLE INTELLIGENCE PROGRAM 16 months - 4 years (with carer)
Expert teachers will develop an individual learning plan to advance your child in early reading, handwriting and number:
READ WRITE AND NUMBER PROGRAM 3 - 5 years
BOOK NOW for a free trial session: http://www.livelylearning.com.au/programs.html