It’s commonly known that early childhood education is critical for developing comprehension skills that will influence a child’s cognitive abilities and aptitude for learning. Of equal importance, yet seldom recognized, is how early childhood education can influence a child’s future attitude toward academics.
Early childhood education is about more than building cognitive pathways to learning. It’s also about fostering curiosity and a passion for academics at the most impressionable time in a person’s life. The lessons learned at this stage reach far beyond educational and extend into the realm of self esteem and personal development. For children, these lessons will influence their view on academics as well as several other areas of their lives.
Careful consideration must be given to ensure that the needs of children are met during this time. Not all children will respond equally to educational stimuli across the boards. Too much emphasis placed on getting kids “up to speed” can have an adverse effect on their opinion of the learning process. Encouraging children to explore subjects they are naturally drawn to while working closely with them on those they are apprehensive to tackle is a far better option than forcing them to spend unreasonable amounts of time gaining proficiency in areas they may have an aversion to. For areas of deficiency in particular, positive reinforcement will help the child to develop an interested where it might otherwise never come to fruition.
In truth, academic subjects are not at all unlike foods to young children. Getting them to eat vegetables with cheese sauce may be a form of coercion (or at least bribery), but the alternative of forcing them to eat vegetables without it is destined to further reinforce what their taste buds are telling them. While their palate may change over time, lessons learned and habits formed at that age tend to stick.
If handled with care, early childhood education can be an experience that shapes children’s views and gives them the capability to successfully face challenges they will experience as adults, both academically and in life. More so than any other time, a child’s earliest years can greatly affect their adult outcome, which is why it’s impossible to place too much emphasis on the importance of proper early childhood education.