What’s the hurry?
Hi! Thanks for reading this article. I’m assuming that if you are reading it, you’re not in a hurry right now! But yes, the topic of discussion sure is, “What’s the Hurry?”
I’m a new mom, an entrepreneur, an educator and most importantly a teacher, who converses often with children and parents of young children. One conversation I often hear is “Everyone’s child is crawling, why not mine?” or then… “Why don’t you make my child start writing letters at 2 years? Why wait till 3”?, other times I’m asked, “My child’s friend’s school is making children count till 100, why aren’t you?”
These questions are often posed to educators, teachers, school leaders, and the answer that pops in my head nearly instantaneously is, “What’s the hurry?”
Why are we in a hurry, that our children recognise colours and shapes, recite poems and dance to songs, or rattle away numbers or letters? More importantly, how is this hurry helping our children?
Multiple researches (refer: IECEI study by CECED, Ambedkar University, Delhi – http://ceced.net/IECEI%20Study%20Policy%20Brief%20July%202017.pdf) and years of working with young children, has highlighted that starting everything too early is harming, not benefitting children!
I love talking to children, and just so that I can peek into their lively minds, I often pose questions after questions to children, only to be amazed with funny, earnest and heartwarming responses. One of my favourite questions to children is “Do you enjoy school” (you can ask this one too!). Each time I pose this question, I send a silent prayer, hoping the child says yes! And 99% of times, I hear a clear NO!
Isn’t this is a dis-service we do to our children? Making them start too young, be in a rush and then lose the interest and love for learning, forever!
Let’s approach this with a solution then!
How can we hurry less with our children?
- Talk to them, play with them (eye spy, what’s your favourite food, books, person, colour, etc), draw and scribble with them, but don’t force them into answering the colour and shape of every object!
- Read, sing, recite everything you can, in every language you can, but don’t coerce them into becoming a stand-up performer for every guest and every family occasion. Respect their space and give them every platform when they are ready and comfortable!
- Don’t ask their school (pre-school) to hurry into counting and adding, letter recognition and writing. Instead allow them to engage in peeling peas and poking clay, lacing beads and pouring grains.
- Engage in meaningful learning experiences where children are actively involved like counting blocks while clearing up, rather than just meaninglessly saying one to ten by rote. Let them count cars and birds, make letters in sand and in the air and enjoy reading a book with you and the teddy, rather than looking at an online video.
- Choose a pre-school that’s not in a hurry! Know more about your child’s age and stage of
development and consciously choose lively, happy and play-based pre-school programs versus structured, hurried and academic-heavy programs. (Read our blog on: what to expet
- Let them play! Play is the work of the child, as famously said by Maria Montessori. The hours
your child spends turning pages of a book, or caring for the doll, jumping on the bed and
bouncing the ball are all helping them make hundreds of brain connections. So let them play and they will learn as they play along.
And lastly, remember, “What’s the hurry”?
They’ll anyways know the colour of the apple and letter A too!
They’ll know how to count and that the sky is blue…
But the best gift they can give you
Is going to learn with a happy heart and mind that’s waiting to know everything, old and new!