Thursday, 30 May 2019 05:17

What I Want My Four Year Old to Know

You may have heard the terms ‘hard skills’ referring to academic learning and ‘soft skills’ relating to self-awareness and emotional intelligence. Families visiting our centre often ask about academics in an emergent play curriculum and we are able to articulate this, but we also place great emphasis on the importance of the poorly named ‘soft skills’ in the development of self. So much learning is embedded in meaningful play and the same play experience has different learning outcomes for each child, depending on their interests, needs and strengths (something that our educators reflect on regularly when planning for children). We don’t draw a line between on soft and hard skills, we focus on essential life skills and ensuring children are equipped to thrive as they take the next steps of a life learning journey.

I am a Preschool Teacher and Educational Leader, but at the heart of it all I am a parent. I often ask people what they want for their own child so I wanted to share with you my own personal top 10, of things I want my unique child to know before starting school... 

  1. You belong and you matter. You are a loved child with family and social support around you and being present matters. You have the power to say “Mummy put your phone down and play with me.” Love yourself first, you are an amazing and caring human being.
  2. Anything is possible. You can achieve anything you set out to do. Often there is more than one way to do something so I encourage you to solve problems and think outside the box, investigate... “Try again, you can do anything.”
  3. Your body talks to you. Listen to your body it will tell you everything you need to know, resting is as important as exercise. Don’t sweat the small stuff, you have your own calming strategies so just breathe.
  4. Trust your instincts, you have rights and choice. You can be respectful to others without having to greet, kiss or hug anyone you don’t want to. I value your voice and respect your rights... “It is your body, you say what goes.”
  5. Connecting with nature is good for your soul.  We are so lucky we can walk, ride or scoot most days. We breathe in the air from the trees or the ocean, crunch the leaves with our feet, smell the flowers and collect nature objects along the way. “Feed your senses my dear.”
  6. Laughter and fun are everything! Never have a day where you don’t laugh at something or with someone.
  7. Creativity and imagination are limitless. You have all the tools inside of you and I will support you to find the best channel for you to express your ideas your way.
  8. Preparing a meal together is just as important as eating together. You are competent and I trust you to undertake any task, you will make a great school lunchbox. It doesn’t matter about the size of the vegetable pieces you are cutting, what matters is the special conversation we are having and this attentive one-on-one moment. 
  9. There is no ‘I’ in TEAM. Cooperate and be a team player, listen to others and see the good in everyone. Become aware of how others feel and respond. Remember “all you need to be in this world is KIND!”
  10. Reading time is as much about relationships as it is about literacy and knowledge. Every night we sit together and you always say “put you legs like this” and show me with your hands. I know this is so we can be as close as possible and cuddle while we read. Then when I finish reading you smile and read the stories back to me and find all the letters of our family’s names. This is meaningful, special and simply perfect so continue being you and feed your love for books.

 We all have different values and beliefs and I would love for you to share the key things you want your child to know before they start school.

 

OLLIE LAUDER - MICCC EDUCATIONAL LEADER / PRESCHOOL TEACHER (BUT ALWAYS A PARENT FIRST)

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