There has been much debate about the type of questions our children have to answer in Singapore’s education system. In this day and age, learning must go beyond rote learning such as memorising number bonds and writing ABCs. A good curriculum focuses on developing and equipping children with the right skills that strengthens their learning abilities and thinking skills.
1. Paying Attention
Movement is very important to children’s cognitive development. A good physical curriculum includes a good mixture of balance, mobility, motor skill strengthening and body co-ordination activities. Balance activities are extremely crucial in stimulating your child’s vestibular system. A strong vestibular system plays an important role in children’s ability to pay attention for any learning activities. At Sparkanauts, children are engaged in a carefully designed rigourous active play time aimed to stimulate their brains and ability to pay attention.
What you can do at home: Introduce action songs to your children that are coupled with movements. Incorporate actions that involve the large motor skills, fine motor skills, co-ordination of the body or basic gymnastics routine.
2. Emotional Quotient
When presented a challenging task, some children respond with a “I-cannot” attitude. Children with such mentality often take a negative attitude towards learning new things. On the other hand, research indicates that an optimistic mindset is predictive of high academic achievement, health, happiness and career success. Emphasis must be placed on helping them become more resililent.
When children feel secure, valued and encouraged to take intellectual risks, they develop an optimistic, can-do attitude. This attitude will carry them through difficult topics in school and setbacks in life. Such children will be undaunted by setbacks and persist until they succeed.
What you can do at home: When completing routine tasks such as getting changed, eating a meal, refrain from intervening, criticizing and correcting. Give your child time to explore ways to meet their end goal. You can empower them by modelling the right way to complete the task, give them time to try and refining their own solutions.
There is a scientific reason behind why young children have shorter attention span, throw tantrums and cry more often. The prefrontal part of the brain which controls their executive function takes a longer time to mature. Developing your child’s executive function is important. It helps your child to control their impulses and inhibit inappropriate responses. Children learn better if they are able to resist distraction and focus on their learning. Research showed that children with higher executive functions ability during the preschool years scored better in mathematics knowledge, letter knowledge and phonemic awareness.
What you can do at home: Establish and inform your child of their schedule. When children are engaged in a predictable schedule, they are better able to manage their impulses and inhibit inappropriate responses. They more they put these abilities into practice, the better they are at using it.
It’s The Proccess, Not The Result
Don’t just teach children what to learn, teach them how to learn. For a young child, the process of learning should be a parent’s and educator’s key focus. Equipping them with the right skills will not only set them up for success in any learrning activities, it will also make learning a pleasurable activity for the little ones! Designed to be fun, engaging and purposeful, Sparkanaut’s curriculum adopts a holistic approach towards early childhood development with the goal of helping children enjoy learning and develop the joy for reading.
By Selene Diong, Principal Instructor of Sparkanauts Photo: Sparkanauts
This was first published on The New Age Parents e-magazine.