Monday, April 2, 2012

They'll Need This Later

What do kids need to know? When should they learn it? I've been reading and hearing discussion about this with a lot of frequency lately. One school of thought in this debate is to go ahead and tell/teach things to younger and younger kids; even if they don't understand it, they'll need it later. The other side (where I often find myself) is that we need to respect who children are now; we need to recognize that they are 5 (or 4 or 6 or whatever) and gear what we say and do to that age. If they need it later, give it to them later. 

(If you want to read a great post about this - better than I could write but that I fully support - read Would You Like a Lift? on Not Just Cute.)

Since I ponder and reflect on things, I've been thinking about this. I agree that we need to give kids foundational skills and knowledge that will help them later as they learn and grow.

When they are older, they will need to know how to care for others.


When they are older, they will need to know how to solve problems with others.


When they are older, they will need to know how to express their own thoughts.


When they are older, they will need good fine-motor control to do all kinds of tasks.


When they are older, they will need to be able to think creatively.


When they are older, they will need to be able to see patterns in the world.


When they are older, they will need to recycle.


When they are older, they will need to be able to communicate what they are thinking about.


When they are older, they will need to be able to work cooperatively.


When they are older, they will need to think outside the (sand) box.


When they are older, they will need to distinguish subtleties.


When they are older, they will need to be able to appreciate and care about the natural world.


When they are older, they will need to pay attention to details.


When they are older, they will need to tackle dangerous tasks.


When they are older, they will need to see many different possibilities.


When they are older, they will need to set goals and work toward them.


When they are older, they will need to be responsible for the spaces where they live and work.


When they are older, they will need to approach problems in different ways.


When they are older, they will need to express gratitude to others.


I sure wish we could come up with some great ways to teach kids all the things they will need when they are older. For now, we'll just play until something better comes along.

4 comments:

  1. THROUGH PLAY CHILDREN LEARN ALL OF THESE THINGS EVEN AT THE EARLIEST OF AGE, NEVER UNDERESTIMATE A CHILD'S MIND.

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  2. I also LOVED that post that you linked to Not Just Cute. I am also in your school of thought. I teach to the interests of the children rather than what I think they "should" be learning. (I count social skills in the former category since they are interested in socializing and making their community work!).

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