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Thursday, September 4, 2008

Learning Happens Everywhere

I was on an answer/question site last night and I came across a question I would love to share. The writer asked about a 2.5 year old son and teaching him colors. The writer stated that when they sat and worked on things he wasn't picking the colors up and both the writer and son quickly became frustrated.

I just want to address this quickly. All children are going to learn at different times. As you know I teach three year olds. Some of them come to the first class knowing their colors and shapes, some have no idea.

It is very important when "teaching" young children to learn through experience. Their whole lives are a desk and all around are the teachers. I suggested to the writer not to sit and try anymore but help the boy to experience the colors in everyday life. At dressing time--let's put on your red shirt, where is that yellow sock, should we wear blue shorts today? On a walk--look how bright green the trees are today, what a beautiful orange flower, that bird is really blue, etc.

Constant conversations with key points are very helpful. No one is feeling pressured to "learn" something, but learning is occurring.

It's also fun to experience the colors in other ways like with Play Doh, paint, crayons, markers, even during cooking activities: that's some white flower, the egg is very yellow, how about we add some black raisins. Opportunities to teach your children are all around you. If you do it enough, it will become almost automatic and you won't even realize how much your are teaching your young child.

I know I have based most of this article on colors, but the same goes for numbers, shapes, letters, counting. Pointing objects out in everyday life: the triangle pizza, the square book, the rectangle door, etc. All you have to do is look around and casually point things out or count or sing. Just have fun with it. When you have fun, they have fun. Everybody's learning and everybody's happy.

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Teacher Sheryl said...

I couldn't agree more. Thank you for sharing!

Keely said...

Oh, good post. I try to do this but find myself entering 'teacher lecture' mode - and mine is only 11 months old!

Robin and Emz said...

i'm glad that my 2 yrs old daughter can already identify colors such as pink(which by the way she loves pronouncing as ping-t), orange, yellow, white, black , red, and blue..(we still have to work on the other colors). she also knows numbers and some shapes too! 1-7 and shapes like circle, heart, square, triangle, and rectangle.. :P