As parents, we all know how important it is for our children to start learning early. Studies have shown that children’s brains develop quickly within the first few years of their lives.
As such, your little one’s early years are the optimal time and ‘Golden Window’ to lay a strong foundation for learning. So how exactly do you catch this ‘Golden Window’, which typically occurs from 1 to 2 years of age?
One of the first steps is finding a good and fun educational programme to support them in their early learning journey.
With a unique and well-established curriculum, The Little Skool-House’s Golden Window of Learning (GWL) Programme is an enrichment programme that is definitely worth considering.
What exactly is the Golden Window of Learning (GWL) Programme?
GWL is a fun-filled home-based programme curated to develop and support the foundational learning of toddlers aged 12 months to 2 years old. Specially created by early childhood experts, it is perfect for parents who wish to learn how to engage their children from an early age.
The programme focuses on five Golden Pillars of Learning, namely:
- Language (Mandarin + English)
- Physical (Fine and Gross Motor skills)
- Early Numeracy and Math
- Early Discovery of the World/ Science
With the programme being entirely home-based, this assuages the worries of parents who are hesitant to bring their children for outside enrichment classes due to the COVID-19 situation. Parents can still engage their children meaningfully but in the safety and comfort of their home!
Of course, a good early learning programme must feature experienced educators and a tried-and-true syllabus. The Little Skool-House’s GWL programme is based on research-backed pedagogy by early childhood expert Dr. Marjory Ebbeck. The ‘Relationships-Based’ approach centres around fostering strong bonds between parent and child, laying the foundation for learning confidence.
As for the Mandarin programme, it’s helmed by accomplished educator Dr. Connie Lum. Dr. Lum has written over 30 books on teaching Chinese, and spoken in symposia such as The China Early Childhood Education Conference and the OMEP World Conference.
What goes on in a typical GWL LiveClass
The GWL programme consists of two components: 1) LiveClass Online and 2) Engage at Home (encompassing storytelling videos and activity tutorials).
The LiveClass Online component is a short, 25-min weekly online class, which parents attend with their little ones. Classes span a total of 12 weeks, and signing up for the bilingual package entitles you to two classes (one class in each language) per week. Classes give children exposure to music, language, math and science concepts, whilst allowing them to boost their motor skills in the process.
TNAP sat in on both the English and Mandarin classes, centered around the monthly theme of ‘Animals’. Our lessons started punctually, with cheerful teachers who were friendly and welcoming towards students and parents. They would also go through the learning objectives and ‘Word of the Week’ at the start of each lesson.
We loved how both teachers made the class feel at ease immediately. Their facial expressions and tone were lively and animated, never failing to capture the children’s attention.
The classes we attended were music and movement-focused, with the singing of a few upbeat nursery rhymes and songs that introduced vocabulary to children. Children were encouraged to move along as well, such as flapping their wings like a parrot or moving their trunks like an elephant during the songs! With encouragement from their parents and teachers, many children joined in the fun by trying to do the actions!
Sheila Mandy on Instagram: “So so thrilled to be part of the Golden Window of Learning (GWL) – Specially created by educators for parents who wish to engage their…”
In the Mandarin lesson we attended, the children were also provided with materials to interact and explore. These are part of the material kits that are sent to parents beforehand, for selected classes depending on the lesson plan. Students seem to really enjoy this sensorial approach, where they engage in touching a tiger puppet as part of the lesson’s ‘Wild Animals’ topic.
The sound effects, costume and background slide changes were a nice touch too, bringing the class to life and making it more captivating for the children. Further, we were impressed by how teachers engaged every single student, intentionally asking for their responses during a ‘Guess the animal sound’ section and calling out to them to move along like the animals shown on the background slides. The class duration of 25 minutes also felt just right for young children’s short attention span, so they don’t get bored or distracted halfway.
Zonia Raymond Tan-Ng💋 on Instagram: “If you have been following us since Jamie’s arrival (thank you!), you probably watched her grow these 18 months! You may also have realised…”
Creative learning at home
The other component of the programme is Engage At Home, which consists of storytelling videos and activity tutorials. Parents can access these videos 24/7 and view them anywhere too. Content is tied to the 5 Golden Pillars of Learning, and all videos come with subtitles. The English subtitles in the Mandarin videos are especially helpful for non-Mandarin-speaking parents.
Parents can watch the activity tutorials to glean insights on using the accompanying activity kits, to help their little ones learn. These typically start with learning objectives and the materials required, before delving into creative and fun activities. For example, assembling a fish aquarium craft or a mini “car wash”!
Storytelling videos are for you and your child to enjoy from home, with animation and prompts provided on-screen for both Mandarin and English stories. Videos are kept to 4 to 5 minutes to limit children’s screen time.
FAUSTINA PANG🧋 on Instagram: “Atlas is growing up and learning way too fast! That is why I am always trying to keep him engaged by finding him activities to train his…”
If you’re uncomfortable with your little one having screen time, you can also watch these videos first. After which, tell the story to your child in the same animated manner as the teacher, whilst utilising the materials provided to bring the story to life.
With content that is easy to understand and execute, these videos are great for parents who wish to engage children meaningfully and in the comfort of their homes. Having access to a variety of educational activity ideas, complete with material kits (delivered to your doorstep monthly) and online resources, also eliminates the potential ‘start-stop’ rhythm of physical classes. Your child’s learning thus remains consistent and regular.
You can also reach out to the website’s live chat agents or email the school at firstname.lastname@example.org for more info.
This article is brought to you by The Little Skool-House.
By Rebecca Wong.
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