Date : April 24, 2022
Consistency in Early Childhood Education is Essential
Consistency is an essential part of learning during those crucial early years of childhood. It seems likely that the past few years of COVID upheaval have had a detrimental effect on young children and their development in some capacity.
Even now, two years into the pandemic, there are still so many changes in how our kids are being taught. What can you do as a parent to bring consistency back into their lives and get them back on track when there are still changes in rules and periods of home isolation? The key is routine!
Why is consistency in early childhood education important?
Development in the early childhood years is transactional, meaning that little ones learn from adult responses to their reactions. Consistency provides the child with information on what is expected from their behaviour and helps to foster good relationships. Consistency also helps to provide limits and boundaries. If adults follow through on what they say they are going to do, then the child develops the confidence to explore their surroundings in healthy ways. Structure, routine, and consistency work together to help your child develop the educational skills they need to succeed.
Even for adults, the yo-yoing of insolation and re-integrating back into society has been stressful. For children, it’s been very disruptive to their education at a crucial time in their development. As parents, the most important thing you can do is to renegotiate their routine.
Throughout the various lockdowns, your child is likely to have established a different routine to the one they had previously. They probably had to adjust to having more screen time during the day, and they’ve certainly had to adjust to having less interaction with their teachers and friends. It is worth making slow adjustments over a period of time, such as slowly limiting screen times, and having more consistent bed times and waking times.
You can also make sure that your child has their own dedicated study space once more, especially if they were using the kitchen table or your home office. Allowing your child’s day to be broken up into school time, home time, play time, and socialising time can also be beneficial. Try to stick to a routine as much as possible, even on the weekends. Just don’t make it too complicated!
Allow time for adjustment
Returning to school after long periods at home may bring uncertainty to your child’s world, and so you need to allow them time to adjust. You may notice your child is more tired than usual, or maybe is less tolerant of their siblings. Home is a safe place, so your child will feel safer expressing any negative emotions at home. You can help encourage your child to name their negative emotions and to express these emotions in healthier ways – that don’t include tantrums! Be assured that a return to consistency in early childhood education for your child will eventually help them settle.
For more information on early childhood and teaching, May Gibbs has you covered!
Right now, Librarian Bec’s hard at work at your local library, sharing a passion for reading with little people and big. Bec writes about inspiring little readers and embracing lovely literature.