You want the very best for your child in all aspects of life, including academically. Here’s how we approach our learning environment to ensure the very best for your child.
For years, researchers have studied which classroom experiences lead to a solid learning foundation for young children.
When many of us think about school, we remember back when we were in first or second grade and think about desks, worksheets, drills, and homework. We think that in order for our child to be prepared for the rigors of these tasks, we should introduce them earlier and earlier.
In fact, research shows us the opposite is true. Young children that have the opportunity to engage in play-based learning in intentionally designed classrooms with caring educators are best prepared for long-term success in school and beyond.
At Foundations Early Learning Center, we incorporate this research into active learning in each classroom and learning experience we create for your child.
How do I recognize active learning in a classroom?
You may be unfamiliar with the term active learning, but it’s easy to identify in action! When trying to determine if a learning environment is built around active learning, just remember the acronym HOMES.
H is for hands-on. Young children learn better when they can manipulate real objects. These real objects allow them to create a sort of folder filing system in their brains in which they can store more and more information as they gain it.
O is for open-ended. Open-ended experiences or questions are those that do not have just one answer or one right way. They force children to think through possibilities, create and test hypotheses, and explore how things change and interact when used in different ways.
M is for meaningful. A learning experience is more powerful when we connect it to something that is already interesting to a child. We can teach literacy by reading stories about horses or writing the names of horses. We can teach math by counting how many seeds get planted in a garden. Whatever is meaningful to a child can be turned into a learning experience.
E is for engaging. The best learning experiences give children opportunities to move. Often, when a child sits passively for a long period of time, the brain disengages and learning stops. In our classrooms, moving children are learning children.
S is for sensory-oriented. Young children are sensory-motor learners. Not only do they need to move their bodies, they need sensory engagement. Recent studies warn that too much sensory input can lead to overload, and lessened learning. That is why our classrooms balance a neutral pallet with interesting things to see, hear, feel, touch, and taste.
One long-term study shows the benefits of active learning when your child is young continue to exist and even grow as children (now adults) enter their 40’s!
So, the next time you see your child at play, think of HOMES, and look for the aspects of active learning at work. You see, child’s play is more than just play. It is your child developing the tools and he or she will need to make a mark in this big wide world.