Give your baby the ‘Gift of a Lifetime’ in the New Year 2022, by PSK Founder Arjun Seth
I’ve read about and researched the various concepts established over decades of neuroscience and behavioral research done by the Center on the Developing Child at the HARVARD UNIVERSITY^ and the National Scientific Council on the Developing Child^, plus the uncertainty that I have heard from fellow Parents that I understand and feel myself as a parent : “Why Is Early Childhood Learning Important?”, “How can Early Childhood Benefit my baby?”, “What Can Parents and their Families Do to Support their Development from Birth”, “Are these toy/game/activity philosophies truly Montessori/RIE/Waldorf/etc. and can these early learning philosophies help build a strong early foundation for my child? All these findings and learnings stimulated me to read and research about these early childhood philosophies, but I couldn’t accept or reject any of them.
I wanted a clear summary of the various early childhood educational philosophies – to help me make informed decisions about my own child and to be able to help other Parents make an informed decision about their child’s early childhood nurturing, stimulation and learning.
The Montessori Method
In this method, highly trained teachers offer age-appropriate to students. Unlike the traditional teaching methods, Montessori Learning strikes a perfect chord between developing a kid’s natural interests and the available academic activities.
The concept of Montessori learning is basically based on a theory that kids can explore a lot more when they are put into self-directed activity, interactive and collaborative play, and hands-on learning experiences.
How it works:
- The major objective of Montessori philosophy is to put the child in a long stretch of time under self-driven activities or tasks. In a Montessori approach, teachers come and demonstrate to the kids a certain activity and then children are encouraged and willingly made to explore and complete the task/solve the problem at hand
- Materials are picked out with well-thought purposefully and no screens or electronics are involved.
- Kids have a lot of choices at their disposal and they are made free to self-select their own work at different stations and move around the Montessori classroom to explore on their own.
- Montessori materials like toys, books, and other materials are rotated daily and children of different ages are put into the same batches as it gives the older ones a chance to teach younger ones. It also helps reduce the competitive streak, unlike a regular school.
- The ‘Montessori Materials’ are taken very seriously. They are designed very deliberately for hands-on learning and are simple yet beautiful.
- The regular household chores like doing dishes, pouring, washing windows, lacing, watering plants, sweeping, and mopping are the life skills that it teaches to the kids by developing their natural liking towards it.
- Not everything is 100% good. In some Montessori schools, there can be a disconnect between what the philosophies teach and what schools teach.
The RIE Method
The major highlight of the RIE Early Childhood Education method is that this philosophy uses nothing but utter respect for the kids, their thoughts, feelings, and their actions. RIE is all about giving a kid respect that they already deserve as a person.
How it works:
- Under this teaching philosophy, parents are advised not to talk like a baby or kid to their baby or kid. In fact, they are encouraged to talk and treat their just like an adult, a fellow peer.
- You are supposed to give your kid a whole lot of respect. A good example would be to take your kid’s permission to change his clothes.
- Swings, playpens, sippy cups, and pacifiers are discouraged as RIE believes that all such that make your kid feel like a kid undermines their development.
- Children are supposed to be in a safe space or as RIE practitioners call it, ‘a yes space’. Children must be in a safe environment where they don’t feel forced to say no to a certain task. They must feel comfortable to say yes to try new activities and experiences.
- Toys are tricky, or should I say, ‘not so tricky’ in RIE. Those who practice RIE stick to the basic toys like blocks, balls, you get the idea. Flashy and overstimulating toys are not so much preferred.
- Now since you are talking with so much respect and dignity with your kid. Manners, respect, and dignity are naturally developed in their behavior since you are not teaching but modeling it to your kid.
- The good things about RIE is that;
- Developing respect and dignity supports the development of a kid beyond babyhood.
- It focuses on real-world play. Nothing fancy.
- Baby’s or kid’s feelings are of utmost importance and they are treated with empathy.
- What I question about RIE is that it;
- It discourages tummy time which is a proven method and recommended activity for the Early Physical Development of your kid.
- Talking like an adult to a kid can make them miss out on the much-required tones of ‘parentese’.
Out of all the Early Learning philosophies, this one is the most child-directed and it also calls for a lot of respect for a kid’s learning capacity and involves the most open-ended play and free expression. Developed by educator Loris Malaguzzi and other parents in and around the Italian town of Reggio Emilia, the model is based on respect for the child and their learning choices.
How it works:
- The center of interest is not the teacher but the student
- Every child is made free to communicate their own ideas, beyond learning and writing, like art, dance, music.
- Parents are an integral part of teaching. They are kept in the loop from volunteering to curriculum development.
- The learning environment is of paramount importance under this teaching approach. The founder of this philosophy, Loris Malaguzzi, highlighted its importance as the ‘third teacher.
- Kids are encouraged to do tasks and make mistakes. In fact, they are celebrated.
- The good things about Reggio Emilia are;
– It respects the fact that every child learns differently and they need to have the freedom to learn in their own way.
– Parents, teachers, and children coming together means that it supports unity and team spirit.
- Every good thing has its, well, ‘the opposite side’
– To become a Reggio Emilia guided teacher one doesn’t need to go through a formal process of becoming a certified
– The lack of a formal system of teacher certification and education can put parents in deep thought of dilemma to put their kid into such educational system.
Waldorf education is all about teaching kids to learn by exploring their own imagination and creativity with the support of all physical materials often made of wood. ‘Illustrating’ with the help of Technology and screens is a big NO-NO.
- Singing, dancing, art, oral storytelling, imagination games, and the use of those tools are hallmarks of Waldorf, as they all take precedence over technology—screen time in particular.
How it works:
- Kids are taught in groups yet each child is given its own space to learn and explore.
- As we already mentioned, tech and screen time is a big No.
- Reading or writing doesn’t start until the age of 7. However, kids are taught some elements of both skills in a subtle manner. Teachers narrate stories and also talk to kids to let kids explore their imagination and learn.
- The good things about Waldorf.
– The Waldorf classrooms are full of imagination, color, creativity, and storytelling.
– A parent can safely experiment with this technique of education as it has the best of all the philosophies like Montessori and Reggio Emilia.
– Traditional reading, writing, and math learning are postponed until later in elementary school when a child’s brain is more ready for more formal learning.
- However, something that Waldorf philosophies are frowned upon are;
– Books are introduced much later. So many parents can hesitate a bit in choosing Waldorf.
– Most parents call themselves a Waldorf family, so if you don’t jibe with them you can feel a little disconnected from the parent community if that matters to you.
The Birth of Prodigy Super Kids ‘Raise a Prodigy Kid’ Philosophy (Framework).
I would like to share some insights from my own parenting story and how I came up with our own early learning philosophy – The Prodigy Super Kids ‘Raise a Prodigy Kid’ Framework, by taking the best from – each philosophy aforementioned, our research, after having helped hundreds of parents through our Introductory Framework, and my own parenting experience with 2 children.
“Prepared for our son Aviraj’s arrival with a shedload of fancy toys, we thought we were ready to nurture his inherent abilities, but as he turned 3 months old, toys did not appropriately help develop his babbling, nor gestural or facial expressions. I started hunting (literally) about the Science and Research behind Early Childhood Learning and Early Brain Development, and were forced to question ourselves whether – “Can just the best of fancy toys help our Baby uncover his inherent genius and talents in his early development stages?”
Armed with knowledge, information and industry experience, I started practicing stimulation and early brain development activities with his son Aviraj right from his early Infancy stage, which began to yield results within the first week of indulging. I and my wife then had the good fortune of having our second child, and practiced similar yet more refined early learning activities and exercises with her, and saw tremendous developmental results this time too.
The pain-points of Parents : having started feeling stressful and helpless about ‘Staying-at-Home’ turning to be the new-normal around the Lockdown2021 period, they missing the most precious 0-2 year child development window because of lack of exposure to the Concept of Early Learning for infants & toddlers at home, never having come across nor having used an efficient platform (or method, tools) that could give the right stimulation and learning to their child, and the overall impact on their child’s well-being and overall development, plus all the research & findings, learnings and his experience of raising 2 kids – I became overwhelmed with all these findings, both as a parent and an early childhood counsellor. So to help Parents make an informed decision about their child’s early childhood nurturing, stimulation and learning, and also to provide new, innovative and clear tips to guide their parenting journey, I with my learning team were empowered to curate and design the Prodigy Super Kids ‘Raise a Prodigy Kid’ Framework.”
This New Year, resolute to be a Super Informed and a Super Productive to give your baby the ‘Gift of a Lifetime’, the gift of Early Childhood Learning – Prodigy Super Kids ‘Raise a Prodigy Kid’ Programs designed for different stages (age-group) of your child. Because there’s nothing in this world of more value than education and starting early always gives one that necessary advantage in life.
Our holistic ‘Learn-through-Play’ Baby Learning Framework and Programs are bundled with significantly purposeful and fun activities, learning materials, and curated experiences – a solution curated using design and technology, for Parents, their families and Guardians of babies. Our programs are missioned to help Parents and Guardians of babies build these various life these skills in their babies by simply utilizing the PSK online learning guides and learning materials for about 10-15 minutes per day with babies – visual & auditory memory, logical thinking, physical strength, creativity, imagination, pitch perfect music, math, concentration & coordination, early-reading, early language, communication, speech & vocabulary, and fine & gross motor skills, among other skills.”
This was brought to you by the brain behind PSK – Mr. Arjun Seth, and the PSK Learning Team, through the medium of ‘Herewith You’ – an informative platform specially designed for New Parents and Guardians, that they should definitely make “their thing”.