Part of setting her along the right path is sending her off each day with the right frame of mind, I want her to understand the important things that she can do each day to make sure that she is getting the most from her education. The video above is of my daughter talking about the 3 things it is important to do each day at kindy. These things are
We talk about these regularly, when I get home from work we talk about these three questions and what she did in relation to them that day. We also incorporate these into our own play. When I play with her I encourage her to do tricky things, to ask good questions and to do things that are fun.
I want her to "have lots of fun" because I want her to enjoy her education, I want her to love learning, I don't want her to see it as a chore. I want her to "do something tricky" because I want her to challenge herself, to try something new, to try something she is not sure she will be able to do, to fail, to try again, to develop that persistence that means she will not give up in the face of difficulty but enjoy the challenge. Finally I want her to "ask a good question" because I want her to be curious to look at what she is learning and ask those "what if..?" questions, to be interested enough in what she is learning to want to know more. I want her to know that it is important to ask questions when you are not sure or when you need further clarification. These are three important things for her to do as a 4 year old, they are also three important things for her to do as a 14 or 24 or 54 year old.
Sometimes she comes home from kindy having tried all those things, sometimes she has only had tried one or two. I feel that she has made a good start if she can keep those three things in mind each times she steps though the door of kindy / school each day. My concern is always is she going to get the opportunity to do these things, are the adults in the room going to provide those opportunities for her and for my son when he is old enough. Are her teachers going to make learning fun, I know it is not always fun all of the time, but I also know that just having fun, doesn't always mean that she is having fun whilst learning. Are her teachers going to provide her with the opportunities to be challenged to see what she is doing at the time look for ways to be able to push her a little bit further, are they going to encourage her to keep trying when she gets frustrated (which she will) or will they give her a way out and reduce the challenge. Are her teachers going to evoke her curiosity, to give her situations where she needs to ask good questions or will they just tell her lots of stuff and stifle that curiosity.
I want her teachers to know that these are things that I find important and I want my daughter to be able to talk to her teachers about why she thinks they are important as well.
It was interesting to talk to my daughter the other morning about these thing. She said "Dad sometimes it can be two of those things" When I asked what she meant by that she said "Most of the time doing tricky things is fun so it is two things". This was fantastic for me to hear because she realised she could enjoy challenge, I am so proud of her making this connection.
Mathematics Coach and Coordinator in Regional South Australia. Current driving the Empowering Local Learners project as a numeracy strategy from pre-school to senior secondary.
Opinions in this blog are my own and do not necessarily represent the views of my employer.