How Does a Child Learn Best?
Learning is actually a complex endeavour that involves both mental and physical capacities. For example, a common activity such as writing requires lightning-fast coordination of the hand, eyes and brain. Also, while learning neural connections quickly form, get weak or reinforced so that the skill or lesson would stick.
Recent findings and insights about learning can help us better understand the learning process and best prepare children for the future and the world outside our homes. With those insights we can create a framework that could help maximise children’s potential.
About the VEYLDF
One such framework is the Victorian Early Years Learning and Development Framework that applies to children age 0 to 8 years old. This framework has a focus on the following outcomes:
Notice that there’s emphasis beyond academic learning. It’s not just about preparing kids become productive citizens but also about helping them lead a fulfilling life and understand their role in this modern complex environment.
As parents, we’re more concerned about our children’s future. Will our kids thrive despite the technological disruptions (artificial intelligence, robotics, genetic engineering)? Will they be successful and become useful members of the society? Yes, these concerns are still far off but for many parents they’re already aware of the importance of a child’s early years.
First, during the early years millions of neural connections form each day and the person’s core brain architecture is getting formed. Second, young kids can get early advantages that would compound in the later years ahead. For instance, a child with a strong mathematical foundation is likely to do well in STEM and catching up will never be a problem. Early inclinations in music, arts or the sciences coupled with excellent guidance and instruction can help a child have a smooth ride through the academic and professional life.
The early years are also crucial because people’s early experiences have a huge impact to their behaviour throughout life. For example, traumatic stress during early childhood actually carries through the adolescent and adult years. Many children who had traumatic experiences now have troubles with empathy and relationships. Although our brains can still be rewired, the early trauma could cement us in the path far from economic, emotional and personal wellbeing. It’s like we’re set in a solid direction and then it becomes hard to go back or start over. In other words, negative early experiences can cascade and compound because the initial path was set already.
This applies especially to learning wherein early advantages (or disadvantages) can set a person for life. Of course, continuing efforts are crucial but the initial direction could never be ignored. And yes, early advantages don’t automatically translate to lifelong benefits because there are several other variables at play (e.g. the environment, the child’s innate capacity, availability of excellent resources and facilities).
How does a child learn best
To best help your child in learning, it’s important to focus on the most important variables such as early advantages and the child’s immediate environment. We can’t be with our kids 24/7 and we can’t control each information and experience they receive and process. Good thing is with our guidance and getting a few things right, we’re one step ahead in preparing our children.
The Victorian Early Years Learning and Development Framework is a huge step towards helping our children learn. It goes beyond academic learning because other aspects could be equally important in the child’s development. For instance, children with a strong sense of identity are comfortable with various social settings. A sense of community is also important because children will realise early that they can contribute at home, early learning centre and society. With a strong sense of wellbeing, children can develop a healthy range of social skills and dispositions. Academic and conceptual learning is still important but more and more emphasis now is on play-based learning where kids get more time to explore and interact with objects, other people and the surroundings. And finally, strong communication skills can help kids get along and complete objectives. Communication can also help them form strong relationships, connect with the world and understand other people.
Notice that we’ve discussed learning here as something that goes way beyond rote memorisation and conventional classroom settings. It’s not just about giving our kids more books and resources for them to process and absorb. It’s also about paying attention to the other important aspects of child development.
It’s our approach here at Aspire Early Education where our focus is play-based learning. Through this approach and the successful implementation of the Early Years Learning and Development Framework, kids can learn effectively while also having fun. And with our complete and all-inclusive service (hats, sunscreen, music programmes, nappies, nutritious meals and even sports and yoga lessons), children receive not just proper learning guidance but also excellent care. Contact us today if your priority is your child’s wellbeing and future. We have locations at Atherstone Estate, Cranbourne North, Cranbourne West and Pakenham.