Research shows that if children start school with a strong set of attitudes and skills that help them "learn how to learn," they will be better able to take advantage of educational opportunities. While some learning skills come naturally to children, others can be developed through a supportive environment.
Tips for building learning skills:
- Let them choose.
Give kids a chance to make simple choices, such as what to wear or what to eat for a snack.
- Help them finish what they start.
Children experience great satisfaction when they try and finish new things. Give them a bit of support when they need it, but be careful not to take over completely.
- Nurture creativity.
Encourage children to ask questions, try different ways of using materials, or offer them a wide range of new experiences.
- Don't rush activities.
Whether at home or in preschool, children need extended periods of time to really get involved in activities and to experience the "engagement" that is such an important foundation for learning.
- Provide encouragement.
All children start life eager to learn, but if adults are critical, that eagerness may disappear by the elementary grades. Look for achievements to praise and acknowledge your child's progress whenever possible.
One-year-olds are in the act of discovering the world. They enthusiastically use their senses to purposefully explore everything they can. They find pleasure in causing things to happen and in completing basic tasks. They also enjoy sharing interesting learning experiences with adults, and may use gestures and simple sounds or speech to ask adults questions. Since language skills are still developing, one-year-olds rely more heavily on nonverbal, physical strategies to reach simple goals.