Early childhood in general combines the first eight years of an individual’s life. It has been defined as the period between 0 and 8 years of age where tremendous growth and development take place. It is at this stage that the most salient parts and organs develop. The brain develops swiftly, almost to the fullest. It is also at this stage where walking and talking are established.
Self esteem and vision to the world is developed and learnt at this point in life. The important activities of growth and developments that take place during this period show the importance of early childhood education in a person’s life. The significance of early childhood education is to teach younger children the essential things that they need to know early, so they remember them even when they become adults. The young age is a time for development and growth. As the child grows, he also learns (Grotewell 2008).
Child development is the foundation of human development. It is associated with living with decorum and achieving the worth of life at an early stage. The initial years of life are significant to the development of an individual’s social behavior, their intellectual behaviors and personality. A study on brain development attests to the significance of considerable mental, physical and social abilities. Lack of establishment of these fundamental capabilities in early life, especially if there is any form of mental damage adversely affects the learning potential. Early childhood education entirely focuses on children learning through play. The education offered during this year’s plays a pivotal role in the proper development and growth of a person. The experiences and relationships a child has during this period, together with nutritional standards adversely affect their mental growth.
Proper early childhood education helps the brain to grow in a healthy manner. On the contrary, improper care in terms of education and study without play may have a tremendous effect in the brain. The brain is considered the most vital organ during the child’s life. Therefore, the learning and experiences of the child during childhood can be of importance in later years of life.
Another importance in childhood education is habits and characters are learnt during this period. This habits and characters remain unchanged even when the child becomes an adult. During this period, education on health that is adopted during this period and this helps the child to develop proper habits and attitudes.
The school plays a decisive role in instilling these healthy habits in a person’s hence whatever happens in school regarding health has a direct effect on the community. Whatever happens in the community has a direct effect in school. Many defects that involve hearing, nutrition and sight, can be prevented by adopting healthy behavior developed through health education. Life is dispossessed of its usefulness, joys and pleasure, when healthy lifestyles are not adopted.
Early childhood education has shown some significant success in child motivation and learning strength. Parents do not have to wait until their children attain school age or until they become adults before they can take them to school. The first eight years of in children’s life are spent realizing their own personality or identity. At this stage, they learn to associate themselves with others around them and gain a sense of self. It has been rightly said that the way a fig is bent, a tree is inclined. The importance of early childhood education cannot be ignored. It is the key to a great foundation for an individual’s educational success. The patterns they learn and adopt become highly useful in their later years. (Cochran 2007)
Many researchers agree that play is paramount during early childhood education. It should be focused on teaching a child the world around them through playing. Education through playing plays a significant role in developing moral ethics, values and social skills of the child. Functional play assists the child to build up motor and practical skills. They are done with toys and objects plated outdoors.
Playing with sand and water is beneficial in preschool children and makes up about 50% of their play. Constructive play is common among boys, and it is done through building or creating something. Letting children play and doing the things they want improves their individuality and decision-making. All this types of play encourage creativity, problem solving, thinking, and reasoning skills. Pretend play helps children express themselves in their lives. It also helps them develop language skills, excellent imagination skills, and good emotions as they interact with others. A playground has been found to contain harmful objects but it can help develop leaning skills of the children, as it is often turned into a learning experience.
The influence of parental opinions on a child is profound and long lasting. Parents are the primary caretakers, and children adopt their values, beliefs and behaviors long before those of anyone else. They look at their parents as role models and authority figures. Anything that their parents do culminates itself in the children’s behavior. Specifically, parents have a terrific power on a child’s insight of education. Since proper education plays such a vital role in a child’s growth and development, it is the responsibility of parents to ensure that a children approach their educational knowledge in an optimistic and reasonable manner.
If a child had difficulty in school, it is likely that their attitudes about teachers and school in general are unenthusiastic. A depressing attitude about education creates unconstructive performance in the classroom and beyond. A child with a pessimistic attitude about education will have trouble finishing not only school-related errands and responsibilities, but also job-related tasks and duties. The teacher or employer carries responsibility is often lifted from the child’s shoulders, when they fail to perform (Blatchfor 2009).
Parental attitudes have an effect on the child. If the parents constantly criticize educational matters, the child assumes the same belief about education. Unconstructive attitudes influence the child even after official education is completed. Remaining optimistic all through about educational matters, however hard they may be improves and enhances your child’s educational experiences. Parent’s opinions considerably matter a lot in the development of a child. Educating children, when they are still young, helps them to handle the abrupt step up on the things they will learn when they begin school.
It will also set them on a senior level of learning from start to become intelligent beings. Social relationships are also imperative factors in this, and investing your time in the child’s activities assists them to learn better and faster in all aspects. Socializing with their colleagues is also crucial because it will further help them develop language skills and behavioral norms of social interaction, which will make them more certain and gregarious when they are adults (Anning 2008).
The most essential object to remember is not to overwork your child, or make the learning seem to them like it is more of work than fun, but to avoid working them too much. Parents should be cautious not to overlook the boundaries with which they teach their children. There are wide varieties of products available that can educate a child and still entertain them. In conclusion, childhood education is the most salient attribute parents are supposed to give to their children so that they grow into intelligent adults.
Anning, A. and Fleer, M. (2008). Early Childhood Education: Society and Culture. London, SAGE Publications Ltd.
Bhavya, S. (2007). Early Childhood Education. New Delhi, Gyan Publishing House.
Blatchfor, S. and Sylva, K. (2009). Early childhood matters: evidence from the effective Preschool and primary education project. London, Taylor & Francis,
Cochran, M. and Staples, R. (2007). Early childhood education. Oxford, Greenwood Publishing Group
Grotewell, P. and Burton, Y. (2008). Early childhood education: issues and developments. New York, NY, Nova Publishers.
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