Develop Whole Pre-Schoolers
28 July, 2021

Tips to Develop Whole Pre-Schoolers

At Byford Child Care we are committed to the basic principles of whole child development and specifically, working to develop whole pre-schoolers.

We’d like to explain a little of what that means and offer some tips you can consider applying at home too.

What does ‘develop whole pre-schoolers’ mean?

For thousands of years western education for younger children, for the few who could afford it, often consisted of harsh discipline coupled with the teaching of facts by rote.

Even as more widely available social education started in the 19th and early-mid 20th centuries, that was still the largely prevailing methodology.

True, many children managed to flourish under such survival-of-the-fittest regimes but many didn’t and got left behind.

This problem led to the development of new teaching approaches including what is called ‘holistic education’. This basically means focusing on the totality of the child and their overall development, not just skills and facts.

What is the difference?

No two children are the same.

One may be, for whatever reason, able to take on board things like reading and numbers much faster than another. However, that other child may be far more gifted in areas such as social interactions with other children, sharing and empathy etc.

In the past, the second child would have been strongly pressurised to develop the skills they were struggling with, while their obvious interpersonal talents would more often than not have been ignored. By contrast, the first child would have received praise for their skills and their deficiencies in human interactions might equally have been ignored.

The development of whole pre-school kids means recognising ALL aspects of the two children and encouraging them to learn from each other so that they can both enhance their overall skills and development.

Why this matters

Almost any school will confirm that some children are better prepared for starting their formal education than others.

Of course, that includes some basic school-type skills but also how ready they are to work and engage with others around them – both staff and other children.

The more effort child care centres and parents put into developing whole pre-school children, the more likely it is that those children will be happy and do well in their subsequent schooling.

What can parents do to develop whole preschool kids?

Here are some of our top tips:

  • use a day-care centre that is committed to holistic development and engagement with your children – not just a centre oriented towards simply ‘keeping an eye on them’. They should have a recognised development programme for their charges and one that focuses on whole development;
  • make sure your child has the opportunity to spend lots of time playing with other children of roughly the same age. Ideally, this should not just be their siblings. Play is critically important in helping children to develop their social and interpersonal skills;
  • teaching your children at home happens continually and often without you being aware it is going on – such as when they’re watching and listening to you. Expand on this through structured play where you join in but try not to concentrate on areas like numbers or the alphabet. That type of teaching is very useful but balance it with things such as talking about sharing, listening to others, being polite and kind, etc.;
  • involve your children in as many of your household activities as is practical and safe. Get them used to thinking about family (i.e. shared) activities rather than things they just do alone;
  • control the amount of time they spend simply watching TV/videos or playing computer games. That will again encourage human-to-human interactions.

This is though a very big subject. If you’d like to know more, please contact us for a detailed discussion. We’d love to hear from you!

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