It’s soon going to be time to go back to school, parents! Or, maybe it’s time that your child starts going to school for the first time. Wow, that’s an exciting milestone! Yes, we understand that it may not feel like it during this time of uncertainty, due to educational institutions still being closed. You must certainly want your child to have a normal school-going experience, like you did.
But here’s the thing: the new normal is different! It’s now about making the shift over to homeschooling, and spending more time with your child to teach him the things that he’d usually learn in his classroom. At FirstCry Intellitots Preschools, we are making the change over to the Intellitots Homeschool program. It is a necessity, required to carry on the education of our little ones, so that there is no gap in learning and development.
Given the current scenario, it’s totally okay to wonder if it’s the right time to enroll your child in a school program. In all probability, your hesitation, while being totally valid, is due to the uncertainty of how homeschooling for little children will be conducted. Thus, if your child is about 3 or even 4 years old, and hasn’t gone to school yet, you might be thinking about delaying his enrolment for just a little bit longer until it’s safe for him to physically attend a school and get the old-fashioned experience.
There are several important factors to consider here, all of which revolve around early childhood education and its importance. Let’s take a look at these factors one at a time.
What is Early Childhood Education?
Early childhood education (ECE) takes place in the early years of a child’s life, from birth to about 6 years of age. It includes nursery and kindergarten (pre-primary) schooling, and refers to the cognitive, motor, literacy, emotional and social skills that a child develops during those years through teaching and learning. It has been regarded to have great significance in the proper development of children, and international agencies like UNICEF, UNESCO, Harvard, and Johns Hopkins strongly advocate for the provision of ECE.
Why is Early Childhood Education Important?
As you probably know, a child’s brain develops the fastest and the most during the first 5 to 6 years of his life. During that time, your little one is extremely capable of absorbing a ton of information, of observing and retaining everything that he sees around him, and has a brain that is eager to create millions of new synapses (brain cell connections). To put it simply, it is of great benefit to your child that these early years of capacity are utilized to teach him the right skills and abilities that will serve him in more ways than one as he grows older. The best way to do this is by enrolling him in nursery and pre-primary programs. But first, let’s find out what these benefits are!
- ECE starts building your child’s cognitive and motor skills. From learning to use logic and reasoning, to understanding emotions and empathy, to starting to exercise legs, feet, arms and hands, ECE can cover these crucial developments in your child’s early years.
- ECE introduces your child to social settings that include his peers (students in a classroom). It teaches him necessary social skills, such as how to behave, play, and share with others, and how to be a part of a team.
- It allows him to be in contact with non-familial adults, i.e. teachers, which will help him learn how to form bonds and relationships with his educators, and how to follow instructions.
- ECE also helps in his emotional development and teaches him how to make friends, show empathy, develop trust, and even engage in simple conflict resolution.
- It is a great way to introduce art, music, stories, pictures and digital media as tools of learning and knowledge. Simple lessons of literacy and numeracy (such as counting numbers, and reciting rhymes and songs) can be taught at this age, which will serve as a foundation for future studies.
- It is an important experience to give to your child, as it not only focuses on literacy or academic skills, but on overall, holistic development (social and emotional skills). As he will get older and move into higher grades, the dominant focus will be on academic education.
- ECE can greatly help your child meet important developmental milestones, which will prepare him to meet the requirements of primary school education.
Why You Should Enroll Your Child in an Early Childhood Education Program
Now, let’s talk about your main concern. As you can see, ECE is incredibly important for your child’s overall development. Not only does it equip him with crucial life skills, but also prepares him for further educational milestones, such as moving onto primary school.
Here’s the truth, so that we can put your worries to rest: the fundamental benefits of ECE do not change, whether it is imparted through traditional classroom teaching or homeschooling (teaching your child at home). Your child will still learn all the skills we’ve listed above, and will be ready to enter the next grade when the time comes.
Extensive studies conducted by UNICEF and Harvard tell us how ECE can benefit a child in the long run. Some of these findings say that:
- Enrolment in ECE programs at the right age is a significant factor in helping a child meet his developmental milestones, meaning that it will equip your child with the right competencies and skills for that age.
- A child who receives ECE is more successful in school, has better health, and has better job and financial prospects as an adult.
- Children enrolled in ECE programs are much better prepared for primary school than children who are not.
- Children who receive ECE are less likely to repeat a grade in school.
Postponing your child’s enrollment in an educational program, or giving his early education a ‘gap year’, may not be the best idea – it could lead to certain developmental milestones being missed or skipped, it could leave basic literacy, numeracy, and social skills un-practiced or underdeveloped, and it could put your child at a disadvantage when he does start attending school at a later stage.
Fears and doubts over homeschooling your child are completely normal and valid, parents. We are constantly working to quell these concerns and make our community feel safe and heard. At the same time, you can help yourself by reading up on the benefits of teaching your child at home, and how FirstCry Intellitots will be conducting its Homeschool program.
It is our responsibility to ensure that children’s education does not suffer, and that they receive the right tools and knowledge at the right age, to help them grow into successful, independent individuals. Isn’t that all we truly want for our little ones?
Don’t hesitate to reach out to us if you have any doubts, concerns or suggestions. To know more about FirstCry Intellitots Admissions, visit here. We’re here to help you and your child find the best fit for his educational needs!
Disclaimer: The reopening of schools is contingent on the government’s orders.