How Children Learn
It is imperative for educators to understand the way children learn. Although all children learn differently, most have a general need in each stage of their childhood that can be met by their caregiver.
Infants: The first step of development for an infant is trust. With comfortable and predictable care, infants feel at ease with the opportunities to explore themselves and the world around them.
Toddlers: This is the stage when children are trying out new skills, developing awareness, and struggling with independence and attachment. Children in this age group enjoy music, art, tumbling, hopping, skipping, jumping, and more advanced motor skills as well as toddler sports like running, climbing, and kicking. Caregivers should provide reassurance during these transitions.
2-yr olds: 2-yr olds are more mobile and have a need to explore to a greater extent. They also have a great need to gain independence. Caregivers should support these needs by providing lots of opportunities for exploration and self-sufficiency including a safe environment, which allows plenty of independent and explorative opportunities, toys and materials that support their new abilities and encourage those that are yet to come.
Pre-schoolers: At preschool age, children are learning many cognitive skills to prepare them for kindergarten. For some educators, it is natural to dismiss the importance of play at this age and spend more time on structured, teacher directed lessons. There are other educators who feel that pre-schoolers are too young and immature to handle such rigorous work as reading, writing and arithmetic, so they provide an environment that is all play with very little cognitive learning. The staffs at L & E Bright Future Child Day Center believe that the best environment for preschoolers is one that consists of some cognitive lessons and much developmentally appropriate play.
**In our preschool class, we offer Spanish lessons twice a week