Studies show that children between 0-6 go through stages for acquiring particular skills. While in these stages they are able to grasp and retain information quite easily. This is the reason that early childhood education is so pivotal to developing your childs ability to learn. They are at a significant disadvantage when they start school without the ability to recite and recognize letters and their sounds and numbers as well. The five stages of development are described below and will hopefully give you incite on how your child learns and develops so you can provide the support needed for maximum results.
Stage 1: Sensorial
This stage starts from the birth of the child. The child learns about the world with the use of the five senses. Through the use of sight, taste, touch, smell and hearing, the child can learn about its surroundings. This stage is more apparent as children reach around 18 months old. You will notice that they have a tendency to place objects in their mouths as they attempt to learn from their environment with taste. Parents should ensure that children are placed in safe situations so they can learn in this way as children with low sensorial skills will not learn as quickly in their natural environment.
Stage 2: Social
Social skills make-up a portion of the character of people and creates a foundation for relationships and help to label and rank them within social classes. Studies have shown that children with bad social skills may experience issues with forming relationships, entering unfamiliar situations and be of higher risk of becoming involved in criminal activities or underage pregnancy.
Stage 3: Language
Some parents dont understand the rate at which children are able to learn language at an early age. At around 2 to 4 years old, children reach a stage where they become highly sensitive to learning phonetic sounds. You may even notice that they are able to learn the entire alphabet within a couple of weeks. When they can recognize letters phonetically, they are able to read phonetic books before they even start school. This is an advantageous jumpstart as there may be other issues for them to deal with when they have to transition from preschool to school. It is noticed however, that children who have missed out in this stage in their development have a great difficulty in grasping this skill at a later age. In some cases, children have lost the inability to learn this method and have to learn to read through sight words.
Stage 4: Math
As a parent, you should ensure to expose your children to counting at an early age. Counting is the basic language for math after all. Just like with language, children enter an impressionable stage where they can learn counting and number recognition without much difficulty. Perseverance is essential to helping your child learn math skills. If you succeed, your child will grasp the concept of numbers with no problem. Studies have shown that children who enter school with no counting skills have a harder time understanding math.
Stage 5: Cognitive
Cognitive development includes the use of large motor skills such as running and jumping and fine motor skills such as pre-reading and pre-writing skills. Examples of activities which develop large motor skills are simple yard games like playing with hoops while activities to encourage fine motor skills are puzzles and coloring. Having highly developed motor skills boosts concentration and memory while poor motor skills sometimes show learning difficulties in a child.
Parents are the main source of their childrens futures as they are given the opportunity to influence and educate them on all levels throughout their lives. Thankfully, as education has pushed itself into the 21st century we now have a myriad of ways to help us with the early education of our children.