The early years of a child are the foundation of his or her social and cognitive development. As parents, you want to give your children the best start in life. You want to have an active part in the learning process as your child’s first and best teacher.
In today’s world, several resources can help you educate your child from the comfort of your home. Many parents engage in early learning online because it allows them more time, security, confidence, and active participation in the learning process.
You will find many programs and activities are designed for early education. But you may also wonder, when is the best time to begin? What else affects a child’s development? Does early childhood education make a difference?
When should early education start?
Early education is a type of educational program for children in their preschool years. These early years vary in different states and countries. For some, it’s the years before school, while others define it as the first three years of life. In general, it takes place from birth up to eight years of age. And the more important thing is to provide learning opportunities during these years.
Scientific research has proven that immediately after birth, children begin their mental development. It is as significant as their physical development. As a child approaches his or her first year, he or she develops basic senses and perception. In the following one to three years, rapid physical, social, and cognitive development occurs. And by four years, they become capable of analyzing and categorizing their environment.
These early years have specific programs, from fundamentals to memory to developing creativity. It is in these years too that their self-concept is developed. With resources in early learning online, you can find specific activities, toys, and other material for the age-group you’re targeting.
What affects early learning?
Early learning advances the social and cognitive development of the children before elementary school. A child’s development is a blend of all these factors, and a lot of them start at home. These developments are affected by the following:
- their genetic inheritance, health, and gender
- their family influences which are relationships between family members and parenting style; also financial situation and occupation of parents
- the community influences like neighbourhood safety and having secure housing
- cultural influences that sometimes dictate family values and beliefs about education, and influence the parenting style
- access to education and learning opportunities; having supportive materials, activities, or programs
Does early education make a difference?
Research has demonstrated that early education increases the child’s success in school and life. They become less likely to repeat a grade and more likely to finish high school. One study found many attended and finished college. It has positive effects on a child’s self-control and self-esteem that extends long after their early years.
When it comes to early education at home, it has its unique benefits. Studies show that children need meaningful interactions with their parents or caregivers in a safe environment. Both of these aspects are met at home. Home learning environments provide a more person-centred approach that promotes a child’s development significantly.
A safe learning environment, plus the proper learning materials, will greatly help your child achieve the best version of himself/herself. Furthermore, parents, family members, and caregivers need to become good examples for the child.