Early education is a branch of education theory which relates to the teaching of children from birth up to the age of eight which is traditionally about third grade

Ask anything about earlyeducation

8 Steps to Prepare Your Child for Primary School

Primary 1 is one of many steps which your child will take towards true independence. It is however, the step which to most children will seem to be the biggest one. In Primary 1, most children will learn how to count and use money, be responsible for homework and other activities, interact with a wider and bigger peer group, negotiate timetables, independent transport and manage multiple needs and tasks at the same time.   Whilst most pre-schools will have a primary school preparation programme, there are many things which you can do with your child to help make adjusting to primary school easier.  1. Talk about what to expect Buy some books about what to expect at primary school. Spend some time together talking about what a day in primary school will be like. Encourage your child to share any concerns that they might have and address them together. 2. Attend the school orientation together Most schools will hold an orientation session before the classes begin. Bring your child. The school tour is a great time to figure out what the class room will look like, the canteen, washrooms and bus pickup and drop off points. Prompt your child for any new questions which they might have after visiting the school. If your child will be attending your alma mater, then sharing some stories about your time at the school will help to make the experience more interesting and relatable.  3. Buy school supplies Go shopping with your child and make sure that you get everything they need before the first day of school. Buy a good school bag, shoes, uniforms, books and stationery too.  4. Recess tips and tricks Recess is probably going to be the most confusing time for your child. The rush of students to the canteen, the choices they will need to make and the need to manage money all within the 30 to 45 minute time allowed for recess are usually quite stressful initially. Talk to your child about how to manage payments, deal with queues and make decisions about what to have for recess. To make it easier, you might want to pack a small sandwich or snack for your child for the first 2 weeks of school so that they will still have something to eat if they find it too difficult to manage at recess time.  5. Talk about making new friends Going to a new school often means saying goodbye to old friends and making new ones. Talk to your child about what they can do to make new friends. Re-assure them that they will still be able to see their pre-school friends. Set up some playdates with their pre-school classmates within the first 2 months of primary school so that your child can continue to maintain these friendships.  6. Do a transport dry run Whether you will be walking to school together, taking public transport, or using the school bus, it is always a good idea to do a dry run together. Practice waking up in the morning and going to school. Then do it all in reverse for the ride back home.  7. Establish a routine Set up the routine which you will be keeping to during the school week. Get your child used to going to bed early and waking up earlier. Talk about when they should be doing their homework and if there will be any restrictions on TV time in the evenings. Try to start following this routine about 1 month before school begins.  8. Teach your child about safety Go through all the different situations which your child might encounter at school which are a threat to safety. Discuss what to do in the event that an adult or another child makes them feel uncomfortable, talk about fire safety procedures, the dangers of leaving the school grounds unattended and road safety issues as well.  Content Source

7 tips to choose a preschool for your child

First, narrow down your options by looking at location, hours, and price.  Every family is different, so these considerations will vary based on your needs.  Once you’ve narrowed it down to a few preschools, schedule a tour.  The first tour is best done without the child so you can focus on observing and asking questions.  While you’re touring the preschool, keep these seven factors in mind.  They will be instrumental in choosing a preschool that’s the best fit for your child. 1. STAFF Of the items on this list, preschool staff is definitely the most important!  Keep an eye out for: * How teachers interact with students Teachers should get down to the students’ eye-level when talking.  It’s also important to see real conversations taking place between the staff and the children.  This shows a real interest in what the children have to say, as well as a real interest in the kids themselves. Staff who obviously care about the children.   This can be seen in so many ways when you’re touring a preschool.  You should see smiles and hear laughter in the classrooms.  The staff members should be really listening to the students.  There should be lots of interactions between teachers and students, as well as between students and their peers.  Hugs, high fives, and encouraging words are great indicators too. * Staff who like what they are doing!  This is much harder to ascertain just from observing.  Talk to the teachers, if at all possible, and a love for teaching will usually shine through!  Ask the preschool director about the school’s turnover rate.  If many of the teachers have been there for years, that’s a good sign. * Staff who have received adequate training The preschool director should be able to provide information about CPR training for teachers, as well as what professional development the staff receives. 2. SAFETY * A plan in place   Ask the preschool director about the school’s emergency plans, as well as the teacher-student ratios.  Take a look at the playground while you’re touring, too. 3. ENVIRONMENT * Classrooms with child-sized furniture The child need to be comfortable while their little brains are growing. * Space to move around the classroom The rooms don’t need to be huge, but they should be adequately sized for the amount of kids there. * Print-Rich Classrooms   Look for words labelling parts of the classroom and lots of books.  Watch for teachers writing down children’s stories and look for kid-made books.  These are just a few ways to spot a print-rich environment. * Student work around the classroom Students’ art, writing, building creations, and pictures should be evident around the classroom.  It should feel like a space that belongs to them. 4. COMMUNICATION Communication between the school and the parents Ask the director about a school handbook, as well as their communication habits.  A handbook fills parents in on what to expect from the school.  Monthly newsletters, calendars, and emails may be some ways the school communicates with parents. * Individual communication regarding your child Find out how individual teachers communicate with parents.  It could be via daily notes, weekly emails, or communication apps.  Remember there’s no one “right” way, but it’s important to keep the classroom connected to the home. 5. BEHAVIOR MANAGEMENT * Clear expectations and follow through   Be sure to ask the director what behavioural guidelines are in place in the preschool classroom.  There should be age-appropriate expectations, along with clear rules and consequences.  Additionally, ask about how the staff teaches children to solve problems with their peers. 6. CLASS SCHEDULE * Lots of time “just playing"   Children learn through play, so this is incredibly important!  How much time is built in for the children to do just that?  Often, this is referred to as “centre time” or “choice time”.  It’s the part of the day when children explore tons of concepts in small groups — maybe they’re building in the block centre, telling a story about wild animals in the arctic, or exploring their names. * Varied group sizes The children should have some time together as a class, often called “circle time” or “calendar time”.  There should be time for teachers to share books with the children, as well as time for the children to play in small groups.  Children should also have some small group or one-on-one time with the teacher. * Time to play outside   The children need to be playing, running, climbing, riding bikes, etc. outside each and every day! 7. CURRICULUM * A teaching plan   Please keep in mind — a preschool curriculum does NOT need to be purchased from a store. However, the director and teachers should know the goals for each age group in the preschool.  These goals should be appropriate for the kids’ ages. Hands-on activities.  Again, children learn through play.  Their little bodies need to be fully immersed in the learning.  Children should be holding books, touching blocks, moving math manipulatives, listening to music, dancing, etc.  They definitely don’t need to be sitting down and filling in worksheets day after day. Content Source

Home education methods for children

Most homeschoolers consider their choice of methods to be eclectic. It's rare for a family to fit within the confines of one specific educational philosophy because homeschooling offers flexibility for families to choose and blend different methods according to their children's needs in each stage of development. If you're thinking about teaching your child at home, here are eight common methods to consider. Find the one that best fits your beliefs about education or combine different approaches. 1. Traditional Method Traditional homeschooling mirrors the classroom approach to learning. Parents use textbooks, workbooks, and tests to teach and keep track of their children's progress. They may have a dedicated room in their home for school hours. Some kids love checking off boxes and completing worksheets, and this method works well for them. But if you're taking on the responsibility of teaching your children at home, you may want to experiment with a few other educational philosophies first, as one of homeschooling's main benefits is the freedom it gives families to think outside the box about learning. 2. Classical Education Method Classical homeschoolers base their children's education on the trivium -- three distinct stages of learning, each with its own focus. Languages such as Greek and Latin, as well as the study of classical works of literature and philosophy, form the framework for much of this method. Young children start in the Grammar Stage, in which memorization of facts and figures plays a main role. Around fifth grade, kids enter the Logic Stage, which begins when they can more fully understand the relationship between events and the concept of cause and effect. During their teen years, students progress to the final phase -- the Rhetoric Stage, in which they focus on expressing their own original thoughts, through both speech and writing, about what they're studying. 3. Charlotte Mason Method Charlotte Mason developed a distinctive approach to school education in the late 1800s in Britain. Refusing to give her students textbooks, she had them read original works by noted authors instead. "Children familiar with great thoughts take naturally to thinking for themselves as the well-nourished body takes to growing; and we must bear in mind that growth -- physical, intellectual, moral, spiritual -- is the sole end of education, " she says in her book The Original Homeschooling Series. Mason's philosophies have seen a revival among homeschoolers, who model her emphasis on nature study, short academic lessons in the early years, art and music study, and narration, a retelling in a student's own words of the information learned. 4. Waldorf Education Method Founded by Rudolf Steiner, an Austrian philosopher and teacher in the late 1800s, this method takes a holistic approach to education. It seeks to develop not only a child's mind but also his character, compassion, and creativity. Academic subjects such as math and reading incorporate drawing or painting, and teachers integrate storytelling, nature study, and handwork (including knitting and woodworking) into their curriculum. The principles of a Waldorf education have led to one of the most popular private school movements in the world. 5. Interest-Led Learning Method Families who embrace interest-led learning, also referred to as unschooling, let their children's personal goals and interests form the basis of their education. This movement began when John Holt, an experienced classroom teacher, found himself frustrated by flaws in the traditional school system. He became an early pioneer of homeschooling in the 1970s. In his book How Children Fail, Holt wrote that "children do not need to be made to learn to be better, told what to do or shown how. If they are given access to enough of the world, they will see clearly enough what things are truly important to themselves and to others, and they will make for themselves a better path into that world than anyone else could make for them." 6. Leadership Education Method Proponents of Leadership Education, also known as Thomas Jefferson Education, believe that children learn differently at various stages of their development. Drawing on the work of Jean Piaget and other educational philosophers, the method leads students through three distinct phases of learning: Core, Love of Learning, and Scholar. Classic books, mentors, and inspiration from the parent-teacher also play key roles in the curriculum. The Core phase lasts until around age 8 and focuses mostly on play and family relationships rather than academic development. Children then transition to the Love of Learning phase and continue to learn according to their own interests. The Scholar phase begins around age 12, when the majority of a student's traditional book and academic learning takes place. 7. Unit Study Method Parents who use the unit study method (which is the most common during the elementary years) take a subject their child finds interesting and incorporate it into a variety of academic fields. For example, a child who eats, sleeps, and breathes trains would read books about trains, delve into the history of trains, and use miniature trains as manipulatives when learning math concepts. Arts and crafts and handwriting assignments can be integrated into the unit's topic as well. Unit studies require more preparation time than other methods, but they can be a good fit for families who enjoy this type of hands-on work. 8. Montessori Method Maria Montessori, an Italian physician, developed this method in the early 1900s. Her philosophy, which has resulted in a popular private school movement, includes a focus on hands-on experience, freedom and choices for the student, and order within the learning environment. In a homeschool setting, the Montessori parent-teacher observes what the child is developmentally ready to learn and then provides gentle guidance and direction. According to Montessori, "The instructions of the teacher consist then merely in a hint, a touch enough to give a start to the child. The rest develops of itself." Content Source

How to introduce books to toddlers and babies?

The first and best tip for sharing books with young children is to have fun together! If children are engaged and enjoying themselves, they are learning. When children have positive interactions with books, they are developing good feelings about reading, which will motivate them to continue seeking out books and other literacy materials as they grow. Here are some other ideas for nurturing early literacy skills in your baby or toddler: 1. A Few Minutes at a Time is OK. Don’t Worry if You Don’t Finish the Story. Young children can only sit for a few minutes for a story, but as they grow, they will be able to sit longer. Let your child decide how much (or how little) time you spend reading. And you don’t need to read every page. You may find that your child has a favorite page or even a favorite picture. She may want to linger there for a while, and then switch books or activities. Babies may just want to mouth the book! That’s okay. When you let your child explore books in the ways that interest her, the reading experience will be more meaningful. 2. Talk or Sing About the Pictures You do not have to read the words to tell a story. Try “reading” the pictures in a book for your child sometime. When your child is old enough, ask him to read the pictures to you! 3. Let Children Turn the Pages Babies cannot yet turn pages on their own, but an 18-month-old will want to give it a try, and a 3-year-old can certainly do it alone. Remember, it’s OK to skip pages! 4. Show Children the Cover Page Explain what the story is about. If you have an older toddler, ask them to guess what the story might be about. 5. Show Children the Words Run your finger along the words as you read them, from left to right. 6. Make the Story Come Alive Create voices for the story characters and use your body to tell the story. 7. Make It Personal Talk about your own family, pets, or community when you are reading about others in a story. Ask Questions About the Story, and Let Children Ask Questions Too! Use the story to have a back-and-forth conversation with your child. Talk about familiar activities and objects you see in the illustrations or read about in the story. 8. Let Children Tell The Story Children as young as 3 years old can memorize a story, and many children love to be creative through storytelling. 9. Create Books Together Make photo books of family members. Cut pictures out of magazines or catalogs to make word books. Make a color book by having fun with crayons, markers, and paints. As your child gets older, have him or her dictate a story to you and then draw pictures to go with the words. 10. Make Books a Part of Your Daily Routine The more that books are woven into children’s everyday lives, the more likely they will be to see reading as a pleasure and a gift. •    At Meal Times   Sing or read a story during a moment of quiet nursing or to gather the kids around the noisy breakfast table. •    In the Car or on the Bus  Keep a few books in the car or in your diaper bag to keep your little ones quiet and busy. •    At Child Care Drop Off  Calm a crying child at good-bye time with a favorite story or lullaby. Leave a photo book with pictures of loved family members at child care so your child can flip through it when she is missing you. •    At the Doctor’s Office  Read or tell a soothing story to your little one in the waiting room and sing or talk through the scary parts of the visit. Before the visit, read books about going to the doctor so your child knows what to expect. •    At the Grocery Store  Put a few board books in the shopping cart or tie a cloth book to the shopping cart so you’re not cleaning up books from the floor as you go! •    At Nap Time   Familiar routines always help babies calm down. Use books and stories to quietly ease your baby to sleep. •    At Day’s End  You are exhausted, the baby is fussy. Lie down on the floor surrounded by books. Play a book on tape for your baby. Sing a song together while you all try to relax a bit. •    At Bath Time  Plastic bath time books are great fun and may help a fussy baby enjoy the tub a little more. •    At Bed Time  Soothing books and stories can work magic with babies who fight sleep! Content Source

Tips to manage the initial days of your child's preschool

Starting preschool is an important milestone for your child. Your child needs a lot of preparation to stay away from you and his/her home for a specified time. Here are some tips and strategies to help you and your child in the early days and weeks of starting preschool. 1. Start gradually   Many preschools invite parents to stay for a while during the day in the early days. Speak with the preschool teacher and work out a plan that works for you, your child and the preschool. It’s a good idea to tell your child how long you’re staying, so she doesn’t get a surprise when you leave. 2. Establish some routines  Routines can help your child feel safe and secure, particularly when new things are happening. You could set up a routine for preschool mornings – for example, get up, have breakfast, clean teeth, get dressed, put on sunscreen, pack lunchbox and go. You could even make a chart with pictures showing the different steps in your routine. 3. Develop a routine for saying goodbye Say goodbye to your child so that he knows you’re going, and tell him that you’ll pick him up at the end of the day. You could choose a special place to say goodbye, or an activity to do before you go. For example, ‘If you wave to me from that window, I’ll be able to see you’, or ‘Which book will we read before I go?’ Say goodbye once and leave. Lots of goodbyes can be stressful for both you and your child. 4. Communicate with the preschool teachers  Children get confidence from seeing warm, positive and friendly interactions between important people in their lives, like their parents and teachers. Good communication with your child’s teacher also helps you share relevant information and helps the teacher know how best to respond to your child. For example, you might let the teacher know about things like grandparents visiting from overseas, your child’s favourite songs or books, or simple words in the language your family speaks at home. 5. Celebrate your child’s achievements  Joining a new group, meeting new people, navigating a new environment and learning new ways of doing things are big achievements for your child. You can build your child’s confidence and sense of competence when you celebrate these. For example, you could use descriptive praise when your child meets new people or tries something new. Or you could encourage your child to call a grandparent, aunt or family friend to share her achievements. 6. Have back-up collection plans  Many preschool sessions finish at a specific time. If you tell your child you’ll be there at a specific time, it’s important that you’re there. It’s a good idea to have a back-up plan, so that if you’re delayed or there’s a problem, someone you and your child know and trust can be there to pick him up. If the person who normally picks up your child from preschool can’t make it, make sure the preschool teachers knows who’s coming instead. The teachers will let your child know and ensure your child’s safety. Content Source