What is the Preschool Child Ready to Learn?
Preschool children are ready to acquire many skills. The experience offered to young children should help them increase the skills for problem solving, thinking, reasoning, and creating…not just memorizing. Preschool children need opportunities for growth and stimulation in all areas of development: emotional, social, physical, language and academic.
Though preschool children can be taught to memorize information such as alphabet letters, numbers and other information, this information will not be meaningful if simply learned through rote drill. Reciting rote responses does not reflect real understanding of the information. For a child to fully comprehend a concept, the information must be meaningful in the context of the child’s experience and development. When learning is relevant to the young child, not only is comprehension improved, but also motivation to learn more is noted.
How Should The Preschool Child Be Taught?
The young child learns best through actions on objects and through exploration in the environment. Preschoolers learn best in natural settings that allow them to be active participants. Programs that encourage exploration, creativity, problem solving, reasoning, questioning, guessing, experimentation, investigation, communication, socializing, and negotiating are positive indicators of a great preschool program. Preschoolers need to be stimulated, guided and encouraged in well-planned activities that allow them to develop at their own optimum rate. The preschool program offers the props, experiences and interactions. The children use all five senses to interact with the objects, people and events that are presented to learn more about their environment and life.
Children learn best when there is a planned curriculum of activities focused on a particular them or concept. Through the thematic approach, children’s experiential base is broadened and their mental schemata is increased. This schemata is one of the keys to leaning how to read. The thematic curriculum is chosen for its relevance and interest to preschoolers and provides a framework on which children can build new ideas and form generalizations. The curriculum also provides for a lot of fun and enjoyment…hence a love of learning!
Animated Literacy Program
Skills learned at the preschool level of your child’s education are really the building blocks for future learning and success. The most important skill that your child can learn is to be able to read and write. Therefore, my preschool curriculum includes those very skills, to help your child learn literacy skill that will provide the foundation for future learning success. The following is a list of skills we work on all year at preschool.
We learn that it takes our whole body to be a good listener. Our eyes are looking at the person talking, our ears are listening to what the person is saying, our mouths are quiet, and our hands/arms/legs are still. We don’t interrupt other people or our friends when they are talking and we raise our hands to answer questions.
We practice looking at each other’s eyes when talking to someone or listening to someone, both children and adults. This helps us to concentrate on what is being said and helps us to understand the message.
We talk about what our tongue/teeth/lips/throat and air are doing in our moths when we make the sounds of the Alphabet. We compare sounds and notice the differences in sounds. (e.g. “P” as in “pan” and “T” as in “tan”)
We talk about not only looking at a person’s eyes when communicating, but also that person’s body language. Are they angry, upset, sad, happy, or excited? This helps in decoding the message and noticing how that person feels.
There are 26 letters in the alphabet, but there are up to 46 sounds. Children need to learn to recognize the letters, learn the sounds the letters make and be able to decode those different sounds in order to read and write. At preschool we will work on the introductory levels of sounds using Jim Stone’s Animated Literacy Program.
At preschool, we will be using a program called Itchy’s Alphabet to assist the children in learning how to correctly form their letters. We will be doing this program along with our Animated Letters. It is just another way to help children have fun with letters and learn how to print them and the sounds they make. Skills taught will be:
- Visual Motor Skills
- Visual Perception Skills
- Fine Motor Skills
My Goal at preschool is to give your child a variety of experiences in literature, math, science, nature and the world around us. I hope that I am assisting in building a strong foundation for learning as well as life long love of learning.