“Wisdom begins in wonder.” – Socrates
Hello! I have created this blog to share my thoughts on early childhood education, discuss the pressures everyone (including the students) in early childhood education face, share ideas of things I have found that work, and perhaps educate those who are not involved in the field about what REALLY should be happening during this time of a child’s life. For example, babies should not be reading flashcards, but that is another post for another time.
My ramblings will be supported in research and developmentally appropriate practices. There are many theories of child development out there and I think they all have valid pieces. Some of the theorists on early childhood education include Jean Piaget, Lev Vygotsky, Howard Gardner, Urie Bronfenbrenner, and Erik Erikson. For those of you who are not in the field, developmentally appropriate practice basically means that students are getting what they need for where they are in the stages of development. Not what they need in five years from now (the whole babies reading thing), now. What they receive now will affect their life in five years, so why skip the important parts? Why rush them through childhood and force them to do workbooks, play computer games, and memorize flashcards? Why not let them play outside, paint a cardbord box, put on a play, blow bubbles, build with blocks, play dress up, and play in the sand?
Those things sound so simple right? I can hear people saying “Playing outside is fun, but how is that going to get our children ready for their future?” Let me tell you. When a child plays outside they are working on: large motor skills, eye-hand coordination (which ties in with fine motor skills: the muscles that help you write, tie your shoes, cut paper, zip your coat, and button your pants), motor planning skills, proprioceptive skills (awareness of your body in space), vestibular skills (having to do with balance and movement), and cognitive skills (colors, directional words, qualitative words). If another child is present they are also working on communication skills and social skills (turn-taking, negotiating, playing fair, being a good sport, playing cooperatively). Depending on what they are playing, they could also be working on math skills (how to organize the game so everyone gets a turn, what materials are needed and how many of each material).
I could go on and on, but will stop here for now. Until the next time…..