- Blog By
Ms. Sumita Sen Mazumdar
Editor – Content & Academic Coordinator – KG
The Indian Public School
August 22, 2020 | In Blog
Are Covid-19 challenges inducing you to postpone your preschooler’s learning journey?
Lockdown brought about a whole new perspective to the education delivery system. The classroom setting compulsorily gave way to prerecorded or live learning sessions via the internet following government directives of keeping schools shut for fear of Covid-19 affecting our children. However, learning cannot stop; we have to think of the bigger picture. If we halt the process, every child’s learning is affected, which in turn will affect their future lives, whatever they might choose to do for their careers. You might say this applies to students who are closer to the stage of going to college or university. What about younger children in the primary section and especially preschoolers in kindergarten? Will sitting it out for a year and not attending school even though remotely, via online lessons or offline recordings really affect a child that young? Well, the answer is yes.
Talking specifically about children in kindergarten, here’s how it matters. Learning around the ages of 2.6- 3.6 is mostly through hearing, mimicking and association. This is the age where the foundation for vocabulary is formed. Children learn rapidly simply by hearing and observing. They have the ability to absorb language nuances almost effortlessly. This ability diminishes as they grow older. If you have noticed, a child between these ages will pick up almost any language, no matter what language their mother or father might be speaking to them at home and despite not knowing how to read the alphabet or script. The rhymes, object talks & story narrations that your child’s preschool painstakingly prepares for them have carefully thought out words that are designed to build necessary vocabulary and introduce the concept of numbers too, so that by the time the child moves on to higher grades, more complex learning becomes easier for them to grasp. Unless the foundation for early learning is established well, the child may struggle in later years and even in adulthood where we often come across adults who experience difficulty with communication, often at a loss for words either in written or verbal form.
Then there are the numerous activities which at first glance seem meaningless and fun ways to simply engage a child for a few hours; but they are indeed vital in preparing your child for the future. A good example is the Montessori EPL (exercise of practical living) activity of pouring solids. Yes, your child will enjoy playing with grownup kitchen tools and kitchen supplies like flour or grains, but more importantly, their kindergarten teacher will make sure that they are using the pincer grip and not a raking motion to complete the activity so as to develop their pre-writing skill, something crucial for the years to come. A child who has mastered pre-writing skills will have that extra edge when they are able to sail through large volumes of writing at good speed and clarity in later years.
Making sure that learning in these early years happens under the guidance of trained facilitators instead of just winging it at home by yourself with shared videos can be the difference between a child who speaks well, writes clearly and one who struggles with both leading to frustration in later years. A good preschool will make sure to check on the progress your child is making by asking you to share pictures or videos, etc.
So, if you’re the parent of a preschooler, don’t deprive your young one of age-appropriate crucial learning that will help them in the future and keep them from being at an obvious disadvantage because you think preschool can be postponed in lockdown times. In these new and unprecedented times, it is ever so much more important that you maintain trust in the preschool of your choice and follow the process advised for your budding young learner.