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Homeschooling for Early Years Learning - The Way Ahead

When the pandemic and lockdown hit us last year in March, preschools and formal schools alike scrambled to put systems in place to ensure that learning and education did not suffer. We had done a post on online preschool in India-pros and cons  to elaborate on the various modes of distance learning, and the pros and cons associated with each mode. Now, almost one whole year has passed since the first announcement of the lockdown. Online learning systems have stabilized where done well, and there is tremendous learning for all three parts of the triad - the child, the parent and the educator. Parents have been active participants in their children's learning, educators have adapted to and thrived in a new mode of learning, and children have proved as always that they can adapt to any situation that is thrown at them. Unlike adults, they are not so rigid in their ways, which works in their favour. Online preschool in India , or even formal online school, has also evolved enough to no

Toddler Milestones - Language Development and the Role of Stories

A while back, we had done a post on Toddler Milestones and Language Development.  In this post, we will more specifically examine the role which stories play at this crucial stage in a toddler's life. Language development can broadly be divided into two parts. Comprehension Language development in children starts with understanding or comprehending what is being communicated, and this starts as early as the fetus stage of life. Children can listen to sounds before they are even born, and they learn to distinguish the different sounds around them in the first couple of months of their life. Over time, they begin to understand the exact message that is being communicated to them through the medium of speech in the language which is being used at home. Which is why children as young as 2 to 3 months and certainly around 6 to 7 months seem to understand what their parents or other caregivers around them are saying. Speech Speech is the next step involved in language development, and ty

Please and Excuse Me as Part of Children's Vocabulary

I completed my primary education from a convent school in a small town. There was tremendous focus on good and polite behavior. I remember learning how to use both please and excuse me as a part of our regular conversation. Excuse me miss, may I drink water please? Excuse me, is this seat taken? Could you pass me the salt please.  Fast forward to today - now, we are the ones in the driver's seat when it comes to raising kids. There seems to be a conscious effort on our part to follow a somewhat different approach from what our parents did raising us. To right what we thought was wrong? To keep up with changing times? Probably a bit of both. However, where does that leave terms like excuse me and please? And how do children use them these days? Excuse Me When it comes to the use of Excuse Me, there are some interesting observations, at least basis my experience with kids over the last ten years at our daycare in South City 1 , and more so now that we have kids coming in not only fro

Story Telling and its Role in Right Brain Development

This is a simple four step story. It is inspired from the Bubbles First Storybook series (which we use extensively at Morning Glorie, preschool in Gurgaon and online preschool in India). It is simple, packed full of values (as we discussed in our earlier post on Stories for Values and Good Habits in Children ), familiar and lots of fun, especially when when we add picture cards (like the ones shown above) or simple props (a monkey puppet, a banana, a plant to depict nature and so on) for visual appeal.  These and many such simple stories form part of our learning program. But take one step further into analysing the story, and go back to the very first sentence of this post. It is a four STEP story - the story is the sum total of the number of steps, and the order that they appear in. When you look at a story in this way, you realise that story telling is an excellent tool to help build recall in children. This helps exercise and activate the right side of the brain - recall is a part

Right Brain Development - What the Hype is All About

In the last few years, one concept which has come up really fast, and appears to have taken deep roots in the early years learning methodologies everywhere, is Right Brain Development. Either your child's preschool is offering it, or your friend's child's school is, or you have heard or read about it in different forums. At our preschool in Gurgaon , we have had parents enquiring on whether we do right brain development activities. So the question is, what is right brain development, and why is there so much of hype surrounding it? The concept actually first came into picture with the work of Nobel laureate Roger Sperry, who discovered that the human brain is made up of two parts - left and right, and that both these parts of the brain handled specific functions. The left side of the brain handles language, facts, processes data at a slower speed, and works on the conscious. The right side of the brain works on the subconscious, handles the sensory, visual and spatial perce