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Make Early Learning a Joyous Activity

Sep 1, 2008
Early learning can be fun as long as it is kept informal. A baby should be allowed to explore the world around him. Parents should only provide the stimuli, and not make learning a tiresome exercise.

There is a view that babies are not ready for early learning. Nothing could be more misconceived. All babies love to explore and learn from their environment. What children (and for that matter, adults) are reluctant to learn is what is forced on them.

Your goal should be to encourage your child's natural fondness for learning. This process, if begun early, can ease what some deem the "burden" of education. Studies have shown that early learning can give children an edge over their peers.

The success of early learning depends on the teaching style. The teacher who makes learning fun can teach much more than the teacher who tries to drum lessons into the minds of children.

A child also does not like to be tied to a chair or a routine that is soul destroying. It is important to keep the child engaged through means that make learning a joyous activity.

This is where games or story sessions can fire a child's imagination. The child becomes a part of the teaching, and not an end-object of teaching.

Another argument against early learning is that a young child's brain is not sufficiently mature to handle "complex" tasks such as reading or solving mathematical equations. Quoting neuroscience, some developmentalists argue that children are not ready to start learning to read until the age of six or even seven.

Yet, at Shichida Academies around Asia, children as young as two or three are able to add, subtract, divide or multiply two- or even three-digit figures. There are numerous videos on YouTube showing babies as young as 12 months - or even 9 months, in the case of Aleka Titzer - reading and comprehending the meanings of dozens of words.

Those who question early learning should understand the different ways in which the brain can learn. The reason so many people have trouble with math is because we follow a system of education that addresses the left hemisphere of the brain alone. The left brain analyzes and stores information using logic. Right-brain learning, by contrast, comes instantaneously and effortlessly. In children under the age of three and a half, the right hemisphere of the brain is dominant - and so it is easy to tap into the seemingly amazing abilities of the right brain.

This is why the learning that takes place in the very earliest years of life is of unparalleled value. Not only does it happen naturally, but it will form the foundation of your child's future intelligence. All you need to do is provide the right stimulation - and attitude - to make early learning fun for your child.
About the Author
Madeleine Fitzpatrick is the editor for BrillBaby.
Go to http://www.brillbaby.com to learn more on early learning.
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