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Learn to Play or Play to Learn, What is the Real Purpose of Early Childhood Education?

SI Edu Team
Wednesday, December 21, 2016
SI Edu Team
Priya was born in a well educated family. Her dad, a south Indian prodigy, was a business professor in a leading management school in India. Her mom was an engineering graduate from a leading technical institution in north India. The happy family settled in India's silicon city, Bangalore. The little Priya has started walking slowly, and then started running, she tried her artistic skill on the walls and did whatever she can do in that age. However, her parents were anxious. When her same aged friends have started singing songs, Priya was unable to speak even a single sentence properly. When she became three years old, they took her to a doctor. She was completely healthy. After a detailed discussion with her educated parents, the doctor diagnosed the problem and started the treatment. The treatment was not for Priya, but for her parents. The problem was simple. Priya's parents could speak three languages fluently and they used all these three languages randomly inside the house for the regular communication. The curious little Priya might have tried to pick something from them in the beginning, but too much of diversity ended up in learning nothing for her.
Priya is a representative of modern day kids, who has been loaded with books at the age when they need to go out and enjoy the nature. With every passing day, the sight of an early childhood education school is becoming more prevalent. More and more parents are getting their wards admitted to these programs in hope of securing a happy childhood for them. However, it would be an utter nonsense to state that, early childhood education is nothing but unless. There are numerous advantages of early childhood education. Apart from getting a jump-start in education for their kinder garden and elementary years, children are also introduced to other major aspects like social skills and emotional development. Compared to a child who does not attend preschool, kids receiving education from elementary schools are found to be better at mathematics and reading skills. Their cognitive skills increase at a rapid pace because of wonderful programs offered by childhood education centers.
Social and Emotional Development
When a child attends the same preschool program throughout his or her early years, this allows him or her to develop relationships with the adults and children in that environment which provides a sense of security. A child who is comfortable with the people in his or her life is more likely to participate in learning opportunities and in advanced cooperative play, such as role-playing with others, playing games with rules, and working with others to accomplish goals. Children who experience consistency in their early childhood education program demonstrate less aggressive behaviors, because of their ability to interact with others and use their language skills to resolve conflicts. For young children, the knowledge that teachers, other children, and daily routines will be consistent over time fosters confidence and competency in social settings.
Cognitive Development
Consistency in the preschool program can significantly influence a child's cognitive development. High-quality early childhood development program that provides developmentally appropriate curricula, enable children to develop specific cognitive skills at an appropriate age. Developmentally appropriate curricula help children develop cognitive skills through a developmental continuum, which means that the curricula builds on children's existing skills and knowledge to help them acquire new skills and knowledge. In addition, curriculum program that incorporate developmental objectives ensure children to follow a scope and sequence of age-appropriate developmental milestones throughout their time in the program.
Language Development
Language development occurs at a rapid pace in children between the ages of one and five years old. Children who are secure in their environment and with the people around them are more likely to engage in frequent, age-appropriate conversations. These daily interactions lead to more advanced language skills by promoting vocabulary development and conversational skills. Through activities such as daily group discussions, finger-plays, songs, and read-aloud, children develop the fundamental language skills they will continue to build on throughout their lifetime.
With the right kind of treatment, Priya has started talking very soon. Now she is studying in ninth standard and she is a global rank holder of French language. This is the mystery of life. A girl who could not learn any language like her friend's did for a long time, excelled in a foreign language, which is still a tough task to do for an adult. Just like two sides of a coin, early childhood education also has pros and cons. Let the kids 'learn to play' or 'play to learn', it is all in the hands of parents, who need to identify what their kids need.

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