Children’s brains develop in spurts between the ages of two and seven, during which they can learn new skills and knowledge faster than at any other time in their lives. During these years, children are also naturally intrigued by their surroundings. Hence, exposing them to new things and allowing them to explore and learn will stimulate brain development and deepen their interest in learning. However, while education is critical in a child’s early development, it is often a struggle to get them excited about learning.
Here are some suggestions from one of the best preschools in Singapore for building up your child’s curiosity and encouraging them to learn.
1. Make Learning Fun
Children have short attention spans and incorporating movement and play in teaching can make learning more effective and enjoyable. Even simple games such as treasure hunting for an item is helpful in teaching them vocabulary, how to count, and to identify objects. In preschools like Little Skool-House, where preschool curriculums are designed to encourage play and learning, children tend to enjoy learning more.
2. Find Your Child’s Learning Style
Different people learn differently, and the way we are taught influences how effectively we process information and remember it. For example, some of us understand things better when it is presented in the form of an infographic, while others need to receive the information in an auditory format. The same applies to children, and understanding how they learn will help you devise a more effective lesson plan.
- Visual Learners: Process information as images, find it easier to recall a vivid image, observant of their surroundings and pay more attention to illustrations.
- Auditory Learners: Understand best by listening to messages, demonstrate verbal strengths, and follow oral directions better.
- Kinesthetic Learners: Learn best through a hands-on approach and prefer to have physical movement when learning.
Some ways to identify your child’s learning style is:
- Watch how they express themselves; visual learners use their facial expressions more and they tend to be observant of others’ faces; kinesthetic learners use body language and tend to move around more; auditory learners read aloud and are attentive to the sounds around them.
- See how they solve problems; visual learners use their eyes to observe and analyse the problem before solving them; kinesthetic learners may count with their fingers or prefer to touch the things around them; auditory learners may mumble to themselves a lot or voice out their thoughts.
3. Stimulate Curiosity
An inquisitive child tends to enjoy learning because the process answers a lot of their questions and helps them to discover new things. Providing your child with opportunities to be curious makes them more likely to learn, remain engaged, and retain information better. Some ways to nurture their curiosity include showing them more of the world around them by travelling or going to the museum and zoo, prompting them with questions to get them thinking, and asking for their thoughts on the questions they ask before responding with answers.
4. Expose them to Different Environments
Heading outdoors will pique your child’s interest and encourage them to explore and learn about the environment around them. Putting your child in different surroundings, such as nature, stimulates all their senses by exposing them to an ever-changing environment, which develops their inquisitive mind, increases their observation and communication skills, and maintains good mental and emotional health.
5. Praise Constructively
Praise boosts your child’s confidence and fosters their sense of self. By praising them constructively, you are teaching them how to think and speak positively, as well as telling them that learning is beneficial. This teaches them to recognise when they perform well, makes them proud of themselves, increases positive feelings, and motivates them to learn more.
Praising constructively involves being honest, sincere, specific, and descriptive. For example, instead of “well done, clever girl,” which only highlights your child’s achievement, parents should praise their children’s effort by saying “you did a great job coming up with a thoughtful solution and did really well in tackling that question.”
The preschool curriculum at Little Skool-House helps children in Singapore learn better by encouraging them to investigate, create, and innovate. Our teaching methods include stimulating children’s curiosity in order to develop their interest in learning and guiding them toward effective learning.