ABC and 123: A Learning Collaborative: Saturday Spotlight

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Saturday Spotlight

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Today's Saturday Spotlight is a guest post written by Educational Technologies (ETL). ETL's heritage goes back to the beginning of Time magazine in 1923 and the launch of Time Life Books in the 60's, followed by the popular Life series. They started children's book publishing in 1986 with A Child's First Library of Learning – since then it has sold over 26 million copies in 23 languages and 45 countries around the world! They are currently running a campaign called "Smart Kids Start Early", where they are educating parents about Early Childhood Education.
Why Early Childhood Education & Preschool Education – Good Schooling alone is not enough (Early Childhood Education & Preschool Education does not mean Home Schooling and studying at home, it simply means providing education at home before kids start going to school or education provided to kids at home along with their school education)

Parents try their best to get their children enrolled in the most popular schools in town. They often spend fortunes paying tuition fees because they feel that investing in good schooling is always productive. They hardly mind sending their children to schools that are located far from home, even though children might end up wasting a lot of time commuting. This is because they feel that going to a good school ensures a good education. This belief is often an illusion.. Early childhood education & preschool education is the best option along with the education provided at school. These home learning activities keep kids engaged in educational activities and methods of home learning are a good way of overall development of a child.

These are few reasons why good schooling alone is not enough:

Limited Development of all Seven Intelligences

Usually mainstream schools focus on only verbal-linguistic, logical-mathematical, and bodily-kinesthetic intelligences. Children, who could have done better if other intelligences like interpersonal, naturalistic, musical, visual-spatial, and intrapersonal intelligences were developed, end up suffering.

The Time Factor

•Kids actually spend most of their time outside school. The average child spends about 1500 hours in school every year (seven hours a day, for 215 days). This means that the child spends 3600 hours at home per year (seven hours on each of the 215 school days and fourteen hours on all holidays). Unless parents make sure that these hours are properly utilized, it is likely that children will waste most of their potentially productive hours.

•If parents acquire proper home education resources and teach their children at home, children are bound get a well-rounded education. This is especially so, as a child usually gets only 11 minutes of individual attention at a school every day. This would definitely give impetus to school education.

•Few parents know that the most important time to give their children a good education is before the kindergarten stage. It is only at this stage that the development of the brain can be influenced by engaging the child in certain preschool activities that engender brain development. The zero to three year stage is crucial because during this period the human brain develops very rapidly with proper stimulation. This is less easily done after the child is more than three years old. A proper education has to begin long before a child enters school.
It was not without reason that a sage like Marcus Aurelius Antoninus wrote “From my grandfather’s father, [I learned] to dispense with attendance at public schools, and to enjoy good teachers at home, and to recognize that on such things money should be eagerly spent.”

How Early Childhood Education & Preschool Education Help Kids?

In a report entitled Rethinking the Brain: New Insights into Early Development, Dr. Rima Shore arrives at two important conclusions: "By the time children reach age three, their brains are twice as active as those of adults. Activity levels drop during adolescence", and "Early interactions don't just create a context; they directly affect the way the brain is 'wired'." Dr. Shore, the Adelaide Weismann Chair in Educational Leadership at Bank Street College of Education, prepared the report based on proceedings from a national conference. Anyone interested in learning about the process of development of children must know how the human brain develops in the first few years after birth.

How to boost the development of the child’s brain?

•In the pre natal stage, the fetus’s brain produces more neurons than it requires. All these neurons are not preserved. Later the axons branch out and again some are lost. At the pre natal stage nothing can be done to save the atrophy (loss) of the axons.

•After the child is born, the brain experiences another spurt in growth because of the sudden increase in the sensory stimuli. The good news is that this time a larger number of the newly formed dendrites can be preserved. The technique to preserve them is to provide the brain with more stimulation. This will ensure that more electrical signals are sent through the axons to the dendrites. If a child can be given the required stimulation, more dendrites will be conserved. These dendrites will ensure that the child grows up to have superior cognitive abilities. This will make the child a better learner when the formal process of learning begins at the kindergarten and school level.

Thus the process of kick starting child brain development should begin in the zero-to-three year stage. Of the various ways in which children’s brains can be given the required stimulation, teaching them how to read is the best option. This will ensure that they pick up an essential skill and also get the required stimulation.

For More Information about Early Childhood Education Visit Educational Technologies.


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