Nine in ten Australian children and six in ten Kiwi children under four are enrolled in formal early learning. There is strong recognition among parents in both countries of early learning. In this article we discuss the importance of early learning and the role that the Kumon Programmes can play.
The importance of early learning
Defined as formal learning programmes or curriculums that provides education, outside of the home, prior to a child entering primary school, quality early childhood education lays the foundation for children to grow into lifelong learners.
This is due to the rapid development of children’s brains during their early years. At the age of three, a child has 1000 trillion brain synapses. These synapses are the tiny connections between neurons; the cells that make up a person’s brain and central nervous system.
As the child grows older, these synapses are naturally and selectively pruned by the brain By adolescence, it’s estimated an individual’s brain has 500 trillion of these synapses. And this process isn’t random.
“It is the experiences and relationships that infants and young children have that continuously develop their brains and build the neural circuits that will be the foundation for later development”, summarises the Australian Early Development Census (AEDC) in a fact card.
This isn’t to say that teens and adults can’t learn new things. Rather, quality early education experiences, from infancy to the beginning of high school, build the foundation for lifelong learning and achievement.
How Kumon supports the growth of our youngest minds
Kumon has long recognised the importance of early learning in supporting children to reaching their potential.
“Children display astonishing progress is exposed to right stimuli during infancy”, stated Toru Kumon, Kumon’s late founder.
“The ability of preschoolers is limitless but we [adults] are the ones who draw out their potential.”
Kumon’s approach in supporting early learning is to develop students’ basic foundations in maths and English.
Through Kumon Maths, early learners develop their counting ability. Those who are ready hone their calculation skills through solving problems in addition, subtraction, multiplication and division.
In Kumon English, early learners learn to read words, phrases and sentences. They are also instructed on properly writing letters and spelling words. Those who are ready progress to reading and summarising passages from texts.
This article appeared in the second 2019 issue of Potential magazine. Please feel free to read more here.