I remembered when I was small, my mother was quite surprised when I got good result.
When I reflect about those days, I think that my mother was never expected me to excel in study.
The fact that I did not go to any kindergarten (she did not send me, actually), would have surprised her even more.
Well, I could not recall what was my parents expectation when they sent me to primary school. What I understand was simply that they wanted me to study and be ‘smart’.
I did not feel much pressure at that time. Never I felt challenge to get good marks. I just simply love going to school and learn, and at the same time play with friends!
Nowadays, I realized that many parents do set certain expectation for their children.
They do expect their children to be able to read (really read like how we read now), write (an acceptable and eligible writing) and count (know how to count, add and minus).
It is alright to have expectation. Then only our children would be able to live up to that expectation.
Yes, we want our children be able to read and write.
Do we as parents understand how language is developed in a child?
Do we know that reading and writing is only part of a child’s language development.
Do we aware that language starts to develop by listening and speaking?
Furthermore, written language is a symbol. A symbol to represent what we said. It does not any sense decoding the symbols without understanding and ability to comprehend.
The word ‘bottle’ is a symbol which represent a real bottle that we hold. If a child does not have the experience touching, using and looking at a bottle, would he be able to understand? Would he be able to imagine?
To be able to understand, they need to have the ability to imagine.
Can you imagine hot if you never experience it?
Can you imagine how does an ice-cream taste if you never eat it?
Therefore, experience is part of a great learning process that a child should never miss!
What is the best way of children to experience? PLAY!
Play is another word which is taboo to some parents.
Let us see some genre of play:
- role study
- power study
- physical study
- language study
- spatial study
- construction study
- music study
- work study
PLAY creates a way of communication, creates the purpose of communication.
We, as adult need to know the authenticity and realness of play.
Note: Inspired at National Early Childhood Conference, Organised by UPSI & HELP University College, Bangunan MATRADE, 29 November 2011