Modern research portrays that the child by nature is a curious creature with a thirst for experiment, exploration, and discovery to develop and ignite the intelligence he possesses. However, many of the children are unable to reach their potential and opportunities to further enhance their skills and contribute to the nation's progress. The reason is lack of knowledge of the child's needs and demands among parents and teaching skills in teachers. Resultantly, the learning process becomes slow, and child takes it as a burden on them that they want to get rid of.
Childhood is a period with unlimited energy provides the children with opportunities to learn and grow as a sensible active, productive, and valuable citizen of the country. Thus, the key stakeholders should be focused and sensitized for support. Therefore, awareness sessions, happy parenting articles, webinars, and TV programs are some of the tools that need to be designed and arranged by the Government jointly with national and international organizations in national language/mother-tongue so parents can get benefit at a larger level. Moreover, interactive teaching strategies should be device, and teachers’ training should be designed for improvement.
Jan Amos Comenius says, “Let the main object be … to seek and to find a method of instruction, by which teachers may teach less, but learners learn more.” To help the children enjoy the learning process and reach their potential with experiential learning under adult positive support, below are some of the strategies that can help both stakeholders in creating a favorable environment with hands-on experiences:
Parents should allocate a reflection time before going to sleep where they can ask about their child's whole day activities, reflect on the positive and negative aspects and share the next day's plan. This will help the children develop reflective thinking skills, manage their time, and eradicate negative aspects from their behavior.
Likewise, the teachers must start the day with the same by asking the children to reflect on the previous day's activities and their learnings. The teachers use the same approach at the end of the day so to help the children ponder on the day sequence and the decisions they had taken.
2. Nurturing nature
Parents can utilize a small space available as a seedbed at home for growing vegetables or can design a hanging garden by hanging vegetable pots in child access. They should take their children while buying seeds from the market and give the child exposure to the wider range of seeds available in the market. While selecting the seeds the parents should share with their children the benefit of eating vegetables and the nutritious value of each. Parents should engage their children in the whole process and encourage them to take care of their vegetables.
Teachers can use the same activity or can arrange an exposure visit of the children to any field/shop/ institute/home where they can practically see the plants and get hands-on experience as well.
Parents can engage their children in recycling activities on weekends such as making different vases, decoration pieces, bird feeder, etc. from Cold Drink bottles, make dolls from old clothes, make frames, and many other things.
Teachers can arrange a recycling week where the children can be asked to bring things from home that can be recycled. The brought material can be displayed in Art Corner so the children can see. Discussion should be generated to see what the children want to make from the available material.
4. Care for Environment
Parent should encourage their children to support them in house chores such as, setting the table, dusting, changing the bedsheets and pillow covers, keeping things in their place, serving water/drink to the guest, cleaning seedbed, plant pot, watering plants, cleaning vegetables, pulses, folding washed clothes, mopping, etc.
Teachers can ask the children to set the room after activity such as setting the corners, keeping the books proper on shelves, picking bits of paper, throwing trash/pencil sharps in the dustbin. The teacher can take the children to the ground and can engage them in cleaning making sure that the children wear gloves for such activity.
5. Likes and Dislike games
Parents must know the child's likes and dislikes. They should focus on different things and areas for this like, ask the child about their favorite subject, favorite color, profession, the type of people he/she likes along with the behavior they want. This can be done once a week with your child in a game form. For this, the parents will need to make question slips, fold and keep them in a bowl. The slips can be taken out by all family members where after sharing their likes and dislikes all members get the chance to share once too. Later, the discussion should be arranged where further, knowledge should be shared with all.
Teachers should take it as a theme of the month where the children should be given a chance to share their likes and dislikes in a form of discussion or sketch. Children's work should be kept in their portfolios that can later be shared with their parents during parents’ teacher meetings. Moreover, if they find something or some behavior that they do not like or feel bad about should be discussed with parents on the same day and positive support and guidance or counseling should be provided to the child.
6. Decision Making
Parents must encourage their children to make decisions while buying things for themselves or for others as a gift. The parents must engage their child while renovating the house, changing the households, buying decoration pieces, changing the settings, or painting the wall.
Teachers can ask the children to make their future school/home picture, career of interest, etc., and ask questions to dig out their thoughts and feelings about. Moreover, the teacher can give the children freedom to select any book from the shelf, use role-play, debate, discussion.
7. Creativity and Critical Thinking
Reading stories to the children is one of the best tools that not only help children develop critical thinking but moral values as well. The parents and teachers while reading a story to their child can ask them questions in between to help them guess what comes next. Moreover, the children can be engaged in building blocks, puzzles, picture discerption, making words from given alphabets, etc. on the other hand, gallery walk, making a story from the given words/pictures, educational trips, etc. can also help the children develop their creativity and critical thinking skills.
8. Engaging Children in Mathematical Problems
Nature is the book of math that should be explored through children with the help of fun learning activities. The parents should engage the children in measuring the surrounding things, compare, discuss the shapes, engage in kitchen activities with the help of kitchen toys. Motivate them to help in gardening etc. All this will boost the children's mathematical mind and develop love and curiosity for math.
The teachers can develop mathematical activities that can engage the child from head to toe, teach math through stories, poems, play, etc. Such activities and many more others will help the children develop 21st-century skills and support the child reach his potential in a fun way.
Dear Teachers and Parents let's teach children the skills that will help them compete in the future world. Let us engage ourselves in reflective practices and provide an environment where children engaged in meaningful and problem-solving activities to reach their potential. Let us be the slogan of change and contribute a drop in the ocean of the educational world.