You are your child’s first – and most important – teacher. Every time you hug, talk to, play and interact with your child in a positive way, you are helping their brain to grow. But as the saying goes, ‘it takes a village to raise a child’, so at some point you will probably enrol your child in more formal early childhood education (ECE). This could be at your local Playcentre, Kindergarten or Kohanga reo – or at one of the many centres that provide early childhood education and care. ECE has benefits for families, the community and most importantly for children.
Play is vital for children; it’s their work. It is how children learn, and how they work out who they are and where they fit in the world. No wonder Albert Einstein said, “Play is the highest form of research.” It’s so important to optimal child development that it has been recognised by the United Nations High Commission for Human Rights as a right of every child.
Starting school… it’s a momentous milestone for everyone in the family! The key to making the transition from home/ECE to school a happy one is to get your child comfortable and familiar with the idea. Talk to them positively about school, bring them for school visits and make sure you – and they – are well prepared before (and on) the big day.
Maths in the preschool years is all about learning to count, right? It’s actually so much more than that! Even at this age maths is about measurement, geometry, algebra, statistics and numbers. Children come up against these mathematical concepts all the time in everyday life. You can help them get to grips with these concepts and build a strong foundation for future mathematical learning.
When children start to read and write it can seem like magic. How on earth did those little brains work to absorb all the skills needed for those complicated activities? In reality, learning to read and write isn’t magic; it’s a process that’s well understood and carefully facilitated by you and your child’s teachers.