Building blocks of education
Posted: Sunday, November 30th, 2008 | Posted by: Ashish Rao | Views: 29805
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Every child’s life has a phase which is most important to his growth and development. This phase starts from when the child is one year old till he is five or six. It is considered as the most cute age and for most mothers very challenging. To ease this challenge of dealing with a growing child education has come in handy. So, the play schools which can be found in many places in Mangalore are committed to helping the mother bring up the child in the best possible way.
Lifestyles of a working mother have become so busy that it is difficult for them to give attention to their little ones. Hence the concept of play school and Montessori sprung up. Instead of its home , the child spends most of his formative years in a home-like environment. One such play school is Little Elly at Kadri Kaibattilu.
Little Elly admits children from one year on. The mother and the child come together for admission. The environment is made such that the child feels most secure and is engaged in activities always. Once the child is admitted to this school, it becomes their sole responsibility to teach him the right things required until he is ready for school. Every month there are themes based on general knowledge like animals, shapes, colours and community. It is this age when the child learns most and what he learns lasts for his whole lifetime. Children are most inquisitive in this age. e normal schools alphabet are not taught the conventional way. Instead the child is taught alphabet relating it to concepts like shapes or colour or some lovable character. This is because the child at this age is likely to ask questions like,” Why is A called A?”.Thus concepts are fed into the child’s mind, like zero is taught to be something empty. Stories and characters are used to teach them basic stuff. If the child identifies with a character, then the concept remains in his mind very clearly for a long time. Books are read out to the child and pictures are shown to make them learn fruits, vegetables and other general knowledge. This also builds a good vocabulary in the child. One of the most important   activity in a child are its physical movements. Flexing of its muscles is needed for him to learn right dynamics of  space and time. For this there are suitable toys which let the child fit the wooden blocks into its right slots. This also enhances its eye hand co-ordination. They are also allowed to play in water to make them learn the concept of liquid and getting wet. The children  are given buttoning frames to make them learn to tie shoe lace or put on the buttons of their shirts. There are a lot of such innovative activities which help the child learn to fold napkins, tying threads etc. Everytime the teacher tells the kids to do a certain activity, they bring their mats and sit comfortably to follow it.
In most homes the parents give the children all comforts and do not allow the child to perform house hold chores. This is because they would not want to make the child work at home. But the school encourages such activities like dusting , using the broom and other simple chores. The school engages the children only from 9a.m. to 12 noon. Most parents come to take their children back home after this. Toddlers stay for only an hour. The program is designed in such a way that throught the day there is no repetition of activities.
Each group gets something different to do. A typical day starts with a prayer, rhymes and practice of smiling.  Education on colours is also taught indirectly by using clay of respective colour. By this the child learns through playing the nature of colours. The play time does not exceed half hour. There is a small stage for kids to build self confidence.
Little Elly has 2 teachers and 2 helpers. They are qualified and talented in teaching this age group. Most parents are of the impression that one year is too early for playschools, but imitation and socialization skills are learnt at this age and so it helps the child to go to such schools. During the formative years , such skills are not learnt at home. Their priority is health and happiness. Its not just children but parents also who respond to the entire system by writing their feedback on a suggestion book. They regularly monitor the child’s development. Play schools instill in the child a sense of independence and help the child to stop clinging on to the parents. Thus it makes them sociable. Some children cry when they are taken back home as there is an attachment developed. The school also has slides and children do not interact with each other on day 1, but slowly learn to share and care. One of the examples is when they wait for their turn to play on the slide. A work sheet is also given to parents to keep the child busy. Teachers here come down to the level of the child. They also have day care facility after 12 noon. There are rooms in the school dedicated to art, numbers and animals. If parents go out of station , then there is provision for care at this school. If some child is slow in learning then he is given special attention. An overall evaluation is done from time to time of the child’s motor skills, language, cognitive skills, sociability and  physical growth. Regular field trips and celebration of festivals are performed.

A perfect way to start a child’s life is what Little Elly aims at. And parents can now go about their work without having to worry about their toddlers as they are safe and encouraging hands.
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