In early childhood education, lessons that are given by teachers at school must be integrative. Since children experience the fastest brain development at early stages, good early childhood education subjects are very important in shaping children’s knowledge, cognitive and social skills and physical health, to prepare them for life and higher levels of education later. There are various teaching methods that are applied at preschools and daycare classes in various countries, but all agree in one thing; integrative lessons must become the focus in early childhood education.
When it comes to creating early childhood education subjects, there are three stages of educations that must be considered: daycare and preschool, kindergarten and 1st grade in elementary school.
Here are early childhood education subjects that are normally given to students at each stage.
Daycare and Preschool
At daycare’s and preschools, the focus is more like early preparation to prepare kids before they actually enter kindergarten, as the first step of formal education before elementary school. In this step, the focus of the subjects is more to cognitive readiness as well as social skills and practical life skills. One of the biggest concerns when handling children at this stage is how to help the children in performing well in more independent manners in different environments, away from mom, dad and house. This is why, the subjects of social skills such as washing hands, eat with utensils, share with friends, have respects for authority figures and such are very important.
In addition, the children also get important cognitive introductions to various tasks such as colors, shapes, letters, and numbers recognition. Children will also be taught to recognize positions, figures, recognize friends by names and such.
While the early childhood education subjects in kindergarten still put emphasis on social skills and positive behaviors, kindergarten is place where students start to get basic academic lessons such as math, language and art, but still in atmosphere that make children feel happy. Children also still get opportunities to play and interact with other children in kid friendly atmosphere, but the schedules start to be more structured. This is to make students ready to enter the first grade of elementary school, in more structured class and more emphasis on academic factors.
The 1st Grade
The 1st grade may be the first step at the elementary school, but this is more like a transition place where students still try to adapt from the life at preschool and kindergarten to elementary school. If the early childhood education subjects at preschool and kindergarten do not address the transition, children will have difficulties in adjusting with the elementary school life, which in many ways are very different from preschool and kindergarten. 1st grade is also a place where children can adapt from their early education era to elementary school.
At the 1st grade, the focus is completely educational with focus on cognitive aspects such as reading, writing, math and language skills, plus physical activities and maybe art as supplementary lesson. Therefore, children must get adequate adaptation at their early childhood education subjects before moving on to elementary school.