When September ends
Hello all and happy weekend.
This week’s topic has to do with PLAY, child development and learning. I was listening to CBC radio this morning and they had on a “parenting expert” who was talking about how we should parent (not a new topic, lol). Interestingly, this made me think of one of my beliefs that “It takes a village” and how we are all responsible for the development of our children, you, the parent or guardian being the person of primary care and importance. So I am going to try to tie the themes of parenting, child development, learning and curriculum together.
One of the ideas that I cued on from the expert on CBC was that research shows that children have a natural curiosity, creativity, and ability to problem solve. In short, if we show a child how to do something (not always a bad thing), they will copy the adult and this will limit their problem solving and creativity. To me it is like providing a child with a lego set and having them follow the instruction to build “the ship” instead of providing them with the pieces and saying “go to it”.
Tie in number one. In the Kindergarten Curriculum document p. 9 (https://www.ontario.ca/document/kindergarten-program-2016?_ga=1.42024229.1421786060.1392905193), it states:
“The Kindergarten program reflects the belief that four- and five-year-olds are capable and competent learners, full of potential and ready to take ownership of their learning. It approaches children as unique individuals who live and learn within families and communities. Based on these beliefs, and with knowledge gained from research and proven in practice, the Kindergarten program:
- supports the creation of a learning environment that allows all children to feel comfortable in applying their unique ways of thinking and learning;
- is built around expectations that are challenging but attainable;
- is flexible enough to respond to individual differences;
- provides every child with the kind of support he or she needs in order to develop:“
This means that as parents (and teachers) we should create a safe and stimulating environment that allows the child to explore (using their competence) their surroundings and interact with the situations with our guidance (tie in two). Teachers ( in the other grades as well as in Kindergarten) create conditions or situations which allow children to explore different ways to solve problems and learn concepts. At home, this could look like sorting – “we have a deck of cards – what groups could we make?”. At the junior or intermediate level – we need to clean the coffee maker. We need to make a solution of 1/3 vinegar and 2/3 water -How can we figure that out? or How many cups will that be?”. Having your child follow a recipe is great for this too.
Hopefully, your child was able to show you during Curriculum/ Meet the Teacher Night some of the strategies and problems they are solving at school during their learning. As a staff, we were engaged in planning activities and approaches based on the curriculum on the Friday PD Day to engage our students. As parents and educators, we are constantly exploring how to create the conditions for our children to learn in a situation, by supporting and directing them, not always by “doing it for them”.