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The Importance of STEM in Early Education

STEM has become very important in education today. But what is STEM? And why should parents be interested in STEM Education? STEM helps children develop essential skills that form the foundation of their future success.

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The Importance of Early Education

The Importance of Early Education A lot of people in today’s age are still sceptical about sending their kids to school at an early age. They believe that education only includes the formal education of mathematics, science, social sciences and languages. They are also under the impression that exposing children to the world at the young age of 2 or 3 years will have a lot of negative effects on them. They couldn’t be more wrong.  It is essential to understand for parents that early education is not necessarily a bad thing. It forms a very strong foundation for the children not only for the further years of formal education but for their entire life. A study conducted by the National Institute for Early Education Research states that four-year-old participants who attended regular preschool have greater improvement in early language, literacy and math development. These are not the only reasons that Early Childhood Education is important. Here are some more reasons why education  in the early years is not only important but also beneficial: Academic Learning: The main aim of a preschool is to provide elementary education to young children upon which they can build their future lives. At the age of life, where children have the highest grasping power they are introduced to pre-maths and pre-writing concepts.  Academic learning also involves understanding the language and numbers. Preschools are ideal places for this kind of academic learning. This is because they are equipped with the tools to hold children’s attention long enough to teach them something.  The academic concepts are taught to young children through the method of storytelling or activities. These methods are specially designed to make the children better understand the different concepts.  2.School Readiness: The preschool environment introduces children to a structured environment. Students are expected to follow the norms of a classroom like sitting appropriately, not running around, and following instructions. These things help students develop their behaviour for the upcoming years of formal schooling.   One of the determining factors of quality for any preschool is when they help resolve the continuous questions and endless curiosity of the young students, especially through the methods of exploring and experimentation. It also allows children to get a little detached from their parents and enter social settings. This proves to be very beneficial when students join an educational institute. Social and Emotional Development: Preschool exposes your child to an environment other than the one received at home. When they come in contact with other kids of their own age, they develop a sense of identity. The shared environment also helps them develop a sense of self-confidence.  This is the time when they learn the important social values of respect, sharing and compromising. Most preschools have special circle time set aside for the children where they are encouraged to share their thoughts and emotions. Even though this is a small exercise, it goes a long way in the development of a child’s emotional quotient and makes them more articulate about their feelings. Cognitive Development: The setting of a preschool is very different from a normal school. This is to encourage the child’s cognitive development. Many studies have found that young children learn without being subconsciously taught. And that is exactly what a preschool setting does. Through repeated visual and sometimes tactile cues the development of the child’s senses as well as their brains takes place. This cannot be done in the environment of a formal school. Independence and Belongingness: When young children are exposed to a shared environment with their peers, they develop a sense of belongingness. They understand the concepts of friendship and learn to share the teacher’s attention in class. They consider themselves part of a group. Preschool also helps your child become independent. In a class, the children are taught to sit and eat with their classmates and friends. They are encouraged to do small tasks like keeping and removing their tiffins, taking care of their belongings and washing their hands before and after meals.  These small activities develop in the young children a sense of independence which forms a very strong base for the latter years of life. Phonics: A lot of parents fail to understand the importance of the development of phonics at an early age. Phonics are the sounds made by each individual letter. This is very different from the normal learning of ABCs. For instance, the name of this symbol ‘c’ is cee, however in a word it is pronounced as ‘k’. The latter is what we call phonics. Phonics are very important for the literary development of a child. These help them understand words and letters in those words based on their sounds. This is essential when they try to read new words by themselves. The knowledge of phonics also helps children write down words. These are only a handful of reasons for the importance and necessity of early education. Learning is the journey of a lifetime and a sound early education is its foundation.

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Is It The Right Time To Move To A Big School?

Is It The Right Time To Move To A Big School?​ Shifting your child to a prestigious primary school is a very important step for parents. All parents wish to enrol their child into a reputed school as soon as possible. However, in this bid to bag the admission, we often forget the child and his needs. Education is important, but what is more important is the timing. It is important to make sure that your child is ready for the big move to a formal school, whether it is from a preschool or otherwise. A preschool and a school differ from each other in various ways. Therefore, it is necessary for you as a parent to have a complete understanding of both and make an informed decision. What is a preschool?A preschool is an institution that provides early education to children during the intervening years of infancy and compulsory school education. The preschool is specifically designed and caters to a particular age group of children.  Difference between a preschool and school: 1. Environment:The environment of a preschool, as I mentioned earlier, especially caters to young children. It is lively and colourful but more importantly, it is an environment which reinforces the concepts that are important for young children. It is an atmosphere of fostering as opposed to disciplining the students which is usually followed in big schools.When we talk about teachers also preschool is a different ball game. Teachers play the role of caregivers. The teacher-to-student ratio is usually less which allows them to pay individual attention to children’s growth. It also allows teachers to encourage the students to be more independent instead of forcing them. 2. Teaching methods:There is also a considerable difference in the teaching methods employed by preschools. They are increasingly encouraging holistic development of students rather than uni-dimensional growth. They don’t have a fixed curriculum and syllabus that needs to be completed by the end of the year. Therefore, teachers are unlikely to force the children to learn things before they are ready to. Another commonly used method of teaching in preschool is sensory understanding. Children are encouraged to learn through their experiences by understanding their environment. This allows the child to apply everything that he learns in school to his environment in the practical sense. 3.Testing methods:The evaluation methods employed in preschools are different from those employed in formal schools. In preschools, the evaluations are based on understanding how much the child has understood the concepts taught in schools. The assessment does not solely cover ‘intellectual’ aspects of intelligence. It also looks at the child’s overall and holistic growth.There is not a lot of pressure to deliver marks. Instead, more attention is paid to the development of a child, especially in terms of what they knew when they joined and how much they have progressed in the period that they have been in preschool. Written assessments are usually taken only for Jr. KG and Sr. KG students.  4.Self-learning:Preschool is the first opportunity children get to be independent. They learn to handle themselves independently under the guidance of teachers. They also learn to make decisions for themselves, even if they are small ones. This proves to be very helpful when the child enters a formal school. Besides this, they also learn how to interact with peers and behave in group settings. These are a couple of things that can not be overtly taught to children and schools do not always provide this opportunity. Because of the slightly informal nature of preschool, children get a better opportunity to be self-dependent and confident in their work. These are some of the basic differences that one finds between a preschool and a primary school. It is very important to acknowledge the difference between the two and then understand where your child stands. If your child is independent and emotionally mature, you can consider enrolling him into a primary school. However, if your child is not very social or cannot express himself effectively, preschool might be a better option for your child.

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Impact of cartoons on education through media

Impact of cartoons on education through media Cartoons form an essential part of every child’s life. They are the most popular entertainment for kids. However, a bigger impact of cartoons is that with their help kids can learn about the world around them, new emotions, life issues and other important things they otherwise would not be aware of in their everyday life. For example, for a child living in a village watching cartoons like Mr Bean, Tom and Jerry, Mickey Mouse, and Dora the Explorer works as a form of education. They are visually exposed to the world around them. They learn new sounds, shapes, and colours and also get introduced to music differently. Watching cartoons inspires kids to dance and to talk in a new, imaginative language only known to them. Children improve speech and vocabulary not only regarding their mother tongue but learn foreign languages like English as well. As children grow up, cartoons show them how things function in real life. They explain more about feelings and relationships in a way they can understand. They allow them to understand how to deal with certain situations and people. Cartoons contain some valuable life lessons. Let us understand this with the example of some popular cartoons. With Shinchan children learn how to live life to its fullest by just being themselves and not caring about what others think. Doraemon which revolves around its character Nobita teaches children to never give up and not rely solely on external help. It inspires them to look for alternatives and persevere. Then Chotta Bheem gives the message that you have to fight evil not only through physical violence. Through Peppa Pig children learn about making friends and friendship, how to accept and appreciate our differences and about positive aspects of life. Strawberry Shortcake teaches youngsters about friendship, telling them it is something very precious and important, and showing how with the help of friends you can resolve any problem. Pinocchio teaches them that lying is wrong and that we should always be truthful. Children, especially boys, are very fond of the Pixar cartoon Cars which is much more than an ordinary car race. It makes kids understand that life is not always about winning. Some things are more important, such as the race itself, getting to know the route and the friends we make along the way. Kung Fu Panda helps children discover no secret can guarantee success in anything, or rather that they have that recipe inside themselves – it is their inner strength, determination and will to do what their heart and imagination desire and to be what they truly are. Cartoons are full of positive life messages if we teach children to look at it that way. The true meaning of such stories has to be impressed upon the kids, especially when they are too young to understand it themselves. 

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How to Prepare Yourself As a Parent And Your Child for Preschool?

How to Prepare Yourself As a Parent And Your Child for Preschool? Preschool refers to the beginning of a new phase of a child’s development process. This early stage in life builds the path for your child’s development and later academic success. This might not be easy for either you or your child. You both may experience mixed emotions of excitement, apprehension and sadness as babyhood shall be disappearing. Beginning the Process Many parents wonder about the correct age to send their kids to preschool. Since preschool plays an important role in the development process, make sure your child is enrolled in one at the perfect time. This way they will be ready to take complete advantage of the preschool experience. When children start to express themselves verbally, enjoy new experiences and (unfamiliar with the new adults?) it is the right age and stage to consider enrolling them into preschool. Research study shows the age of three is the most suitable age for a child to be in preschool.  At the age of three, your child can imagine whether you are at home, work, shopping or being with the baby. This enables them to retain a mental picture of you staying away from them. It helps your child to handle the upcoming separation. However, other factors need to be analysed according to each child’s needs. First and foremost make sure your child can communicate. It helps them in expressing their feelings to the teachers in the preschool and stay away from you for a few hours. If your child faces difficulty in communication, and are not comfortable around strangers, they may show signs of distress. In such cases, you can postpone their enrollment for 6 months or a year. Preparation Tips Before Preschool Starts Visiting Preschool Along With Your Child: Once you have decided your preschool, it is a good idea to visit it with your child. Introducing them to the teachers and making them comfortable in the preschool environment will prove very beneficial. Showing them their classroom and respective schedule will help them get an idea of what to expect. Take some time to explain to your child about the first day of school. Talk with them about what they will be doing there. Also, take their help while packing their things and inform them about their personal belongings.  Reading Books: There are several books available in the market related to preschool like “Maisy Goes to Preschool” by Lucy Cousins, “Llama Llama Misses Mama” by Anna Dewdney, “Little School” by Beth Norling, and “The Kissing Hand” by Audrey Penn. These books will give you an idea about the transition for you and your child and will help this transition to be smooth Acting It Out: Make your child pretend like you are going to preschool, hanging up your backpacks and sitting down for break time. Play games, read stories aloud and teach them to prepare a simple snack. Also try teaching your child some basic social skills, how to get the attention of others, mingle in groups, etc.  Work On Improving Child’s Self-Help Skills: Before beginning preschool, make sure that the child can look after himself. Some basic self-help skills like washing their hands and putting on their socks and shoes are a good starting point. Changing Your Schedule: Once the child begins preschool, make some necessary changes in their daily routine. Make them a sleep schedule and be sure to stick to it. Let your child go to bed at an appropriate time at night so that they are fresh for their school the next day. Before going to school make sure they have a healthy and filling breakfast. Also, limit their time with media. Instead, spend some time outdoors and ask them about their day at school. Preparation Tips After the First Few Weeks Of Starting Preschool  Get Your Things Organised: See that on the first day of preschool, you have your clothing, backpacks and shoes organized and labelled. Keep stocking up on healthy snacks and (linh?) foods for your child’s snack time. Staying with your child: Initially, after preschool begins, it is always better to stay around your child for 15 to 20 minutes. Help them connect with the other children around for a few days and once they are comfortable with other children, it’s time to just leave after hugging your child and dropping them at the gate. If your child is stubborn and can’t handle separation, talking with teachers is a good idea. They are ideal for handling such cases because they have prior experience. Always let your child know when you are planning to leave off rather than just sneaking out and always there to pick them up as soon as the school gets over.

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How to help children during the pandemic?

How to help children during the pandemic? Young children are one of the age groups that are most adversely affected by this pandemic and subsequent lockdowns. They are trapped in their homes without completely understanding the reasons and the gravity of the situation. To add to that, they are also the age group that is at a higher risk of contracting this infection due to their low immune system. Therefore it is very important to not only maintain hygiene but also care for the child’s developmental needs. Here are some of the tips that you can use to help your child through these tough times: Maintain positivity: It is very important to remember that young children’s minds are very adaptable. They are also very good at picking up their parents’ emotions. So if you are stressed and panicked about the current situation, your kids are likely to pick that up and model the same behaviour. They will also be worried and anxious. Therefore, it is very important to maintain a positive environment in the house.  This can be done quite easily. Try using positive statements while guiding them to do some work. For example, instead of saying “Don’t throw things here,” you can say “Please, pick up your things and put them in place.” Also, make a point to appreciate your kids when they do a good job or follow your instructions well. Even though these are small changes, they have a very positive impact on the child and make sure the good behaviour continues. 2. Communicate well: It is very important to keep the channels of communication with your kids open. For a majority of kids, this is a completely new situation. They are not used to being trapped in the home or even seeing their parent working from home. It is crucial that you talk to the child and let them express their feelings. They may not be able to articulate well but will feel a lot better knowing that their parents are being receptive.  It is also your responsibility to talk to them about the virus and its consequences. Don’t be extremely detailed but try to explain the situation to them. They are exposed to the news and you cannot entirely shelter them. However, you can make sure that the information which reaches them is not too intense and does not overwhelm them. It is also necessary to make sure that the information they know is correct and not hearsay. 3. Keep a routine: Since the children are home the entire day, they may face problems in spending their time. Time probably feels much longer for them as compared to adults. To avoid this from having a negative impact on their health, draw up a daily routine for them. Don’t make this routine very rigid. Take the help of the child also in designing by asking them what they would like to do and when. Children are known to be more receptive when they have a choice in their activities. You can put in things that children like to do between two things that they don’t like to do. For example, if your child is reluctant to solve maths then you can do an exercise routine before and plan a meal after work. Try to involve children in helping out with the household chores. It is okay if they make a mess.  4. Maintain hygiene: Now more than ever it is important that we maintain personal hygiene. This is also a good time to teach children some basic hygiene practices and life skills. Before teaching them about hygiene, talk to them about it. Find out how much they know about hygiene and build from there. Explain the importance and the necessity of personal hygiene including dental hygiene.  One of the easiest ways to talk to children about hygiene is by making it a fun activity. Try to develop a song or make up a poem for the time that they wash their hands with soap. You can also try developing a story for every time that your child brushes their teeth too. 5. Exercise and fun: It is very important to make sure that your child properly exercises every day. Keep aside some time in your schedule dedicated to exercising. Make sure not to place it right after mealtimes. There are many resources available online to help you with planning out the exercises. You can also plan varied exercises for different days of the week.  For instance, if you are exercising with counts on one day then the next day you can choose to do a dance activity. Remember to make sure that your child enjoys these activities. You can also allow them to choose the exercise that they want to do. In a time when children cannot go out and play, exercising will help them in their development. It will also avoid making them restless and irritated. These are some of the ways that you can alleviate the anxiety and restlessness that your child may be facing during these uncertain times. Teaching them important life skills and involving them in your work can go a long way in their holistic development. This is the perfect time to teach them values like independence and compassion. Keep in mind that they are young and when the pandemic is over, they should be able to look back at this time with good memories.

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