In the educational sphere as well as in daily life, children are now being exposed to technology-based learning at a younger age. The primary focus at Rosewood continues to be an emphasis on personal interaction, hands-on learning through manipulative material, the development of coordination and gross and fine motor skills through art, music and physical activity and a sense of the world around them through story-telling and exploration.
Can technology play a role in all of this? We think it can, but as an enrichment, rather than primary learning tool. At a tender age, we, as educational professionals, have a responsibility to keep exposure to technology within clearly-defined limits. As mentioned in a recent scholastic journal “Children need real-life experiences with real people to truly benefit from available technologies. Technology should be used to enhance the world around them.” (Perry, MD., Ph.D.).
Using technology at Rosewood
When a child reaches the age of 1 and 2 they will begin to understand the concept of object permanence and cause and effect. This is a great time to teach them the cause and effect between a keyboard and mouse. “A computer keyboard and mouse can provide practice in finger and hand-eye coordination..the development of fine motor skills plays a crucial role in school readiness and cognitive development” (Encyclopedia of Children’s Health. N.P., N.D.).
As young children gain number and letter recognition skills (pre-reading skills), spatial concepts (over and under) and memory skills, we use computer-based games to gently reinforce those concepts in a fun and engaging way. By the time a child is 3 or 4 they will be ready for software with puzzles to solve and storylines to follow, further helping to develop cognitive skills.
Free play and creative exploration
It is vital for young children to have the opportunity to play freely, create and explore, so if technology is introduced, we make sure to balance the open play software with the structured learning software (right or wrong answers). However, “Even experts who are skeptical about younger children’s growing media use recognize its value (Parents.com). Technology can connect children to the real world outside their classrooms because it can show them how today’s people research, communicate, and solve problems in real time, paving the way for a child to enter the new frontiers of technology and science with a greater understanding of the world around them.”
Perry, M.D., Ph.D., http://teacher.scholastic.com/professional/bruceperry/using_technology.htm
Encyclopedia of Children’s Health. N.P., N.D., http://www.healthofchildren.com/E-F/Fine-Motor-Skills.html
Michael Rich, M.D., M.P.H, http://www.parents.com/fun/entertainment/gadgets/is-technology-good-for-little-kids/
Since it is almost Valentine’s Day we thought it would be great to share a blog about compassion and loving one another. These are some of the most important lessons children learn. Valentines celebrations are a perfect time to teach your little ones to learn how to be compassionate, thoughtful and kind to others. A great way to highlight this is through story telling. Valentine’s Day provides a fabulous opportunity to share stories of compassion, friendship and even helping those in need. Through your personal stories or through children’s books, there are plenty of fun ways to reiterate valuable childhood lessons.
Preschoolers are still so young that they are just beginning to see how their individual actions can potentially affect others or impact their lives. We know they are beginning to experience this phenomenon because we have witnessed it when we see our little ones show compassion for their friends or family members in our daily lives. We encourage and steer our children towards compassion through a respectful attitude, generosity and good old-fashioned hugs and kisses.
To further develop this trait of love and compassion, why not participate in a quick Valentine project? The task is to have your child choose a teacher, family member or even a friend they care about. Then help your child create something special for them; a small gift, just to show that they care. There are plenty of ideas for home-made creations that will say, “I care and love you.” For great ideas and for Valentine book recommendations, please check out our Rosewood Academy Pinterest holiday board!
Happy Valentine’s Day!