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Teaching Moments vs. Discipline: Helping Young Minds Learn

I love what I do, what I do is my heart & passion. Children are the future that must be preserved; Their young minds are ready to explore and their imaginations are out of this world! The best feeling is watching the way their eyes grow so wide when they've grasped something new! Their excitement shoots through the roof and they take that teaching moment with them as they grow older. Teaching Moment Vs. Discipline: Some people feel there's no right or wrong way to teach young learners. I simply like to think of it like this- When you mess up or do something wrong, would you prefer someone to yell at you and put you in a corner to think about what you've done, leave you to your thoughts, to shortly return asking you if you've learned your lesson? No you said? I thought so...What about when you can't seem to get that answer right on that test. You've studied hard your teacher can agree! But you still can't seem to get a grip of the concept. Should your teacher chuck you away because you're "unteachable" or practice some patience because honestly, that's a hard test and you're going to need some additional tutoring or something! You'd expect some patience and additional help right? So why are we treating young children as if they are to "know better"?

Who said there was an age a child should just "snap out" of doing "kiddy things" having "kiddy ways"? Many will agree to disagree but my standpoint on early education is this, if you cannot practice patience, simply do not teach. Sounds harsh, but with toddlers and preschoolers, you will always find the handful of ones that require a bit more TLC than others. Sometimes all it takes is a longer nap, a tighter hug, or an extra cookie to get and retain their attention now when you have it it's all about the engagement. Now I'm not saying to not discipline or that it's wrong. It is a measure that should be taken when attempting to correct behavior; not when teaching. In my opinion, besides a 1-2 minutes time out if needed, I leave the discipline to the parents. There is no use in yelling at the child for this causes resentment and in some cases fear of the childcare provider. Both being factors that put a negative image in the parents' minds about the childcare program and unfortunately is the biggest reason parents decide to keep their babies to themselves.

How can you keep the child entertained while following your lessons for the day? Children pick up on vibes! Instead of reading the words, make the words come to life! Think outside the box by making a visual sensory activity they can take part in. For example, Many activities consist of having children identify shapes, colors, and numbers. What I love to do is allow the children to get creative with their hands. We would do things like playing with paint allowing them to use their creativity to bring those colors to life. As they use their little hands to create masterpieces, have them repeat the color they're working with. I make templates of shapes and allow them to color the shape using their color of choice; now they become familiar with that shape and that color. Have them alternate the colors and shapes so they become comfortable understanding that that shape may come in various colors and that color will be on various shapes. Use your imagination! There's so many activities and lesson plans you can use to keep children engaged while you teach them the basic principles of life. As a childcare provider, be the bridge that mends the confusion! Help as needed but most importantly-Practice patience, they will most likely always get the color Blue and Orange mixed up. It's against the law in their world for the number 5 to be after the number 4 and 10 does not exist. The alphabet only has the letter A-B-C-D & Z, and nap-time does not actually consist of sleeping. In their eyes, YOU are confused! 😆

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