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We all know how curious little ones are. From the moment they can move, always with the intention of exploring the world that surrounds them and taking all the information it offers them and then being able to interact in it. Through games, searches, explorations, and trial and error practices, children have the innate ability to learn on their own. That insatiable desire to search, which we will call children's self-learningIt is a very valuable quality that must be fostered, preserved and guided.
And it is precisely in this way that our children manage to acquire most of the knowledge during their childhood stage and with success, during the rest of their lives.
María Montessori is a pioneer in this particular area, as she firmly believed that the most effective and functional way for children to become whole and autonomous people is through children's self-learning through educational games and guided exploration. Without the need to depend on others or settle for what is offered.
What did he mean by this? To that the toys and the activities that we provide to the little ones must be inclined towards their stimulation, so that as they grow they can be interested in seeking their own education: What's next? What can I create with this? What if I do it differently?
These are some of the advantages of promoting self-learning in our children:
- Autonomous children and with an inclination towards independence, which will help them make decisions without depending on other people or taking the initiative in the projects they want to carry out.
- It helps them to have confidence in themselves, in their exploration abilities and in the abilities that they can develop.
- They have strong bases of respect, commitment, responsibility and appreciation of all that is around him, as well as those with whom he shares.
- They value games and extracurricular activities that offer a level of learning.
- Strengthens relationships with parents, by strengthening their ties and having quality time through the games they share.
Many parents, especially first-time parents, always have a certain degree of restriction in allowing their children to explore the world on their own, due to the risks to which they are exposed, both physical and emotional. This leads them to overprotect or deprive them of certain experiences that in the future their children may resent and may even regret themselves.
A very clear example of this is not allowing children to play outdoors or preventing them from using certain toys for fear of getting hurt, not letting them develop their creativity to protect them from the dangers of poisoning or not letting them explore because 'they are not yet old for it'.
Although their fears are justified, suppressing them from these experiences and adventures is not appropriate, because later they will develop fears and restrictions to do new things, which could affect them in their future. However, there are ways to make self-study safe and then you will know how to do it.
1. Montessori method
This is the method par excellence to promote children's self-learning, since its base is interactive toys and games that offer a comprehensive education through cognitive and sensory development. This helps children to sympathize with the objects around them, have a better capacity for observation and exploration, as well as appreciate recyclable and natural items.
The best part is that you can create your own Montessori toys at home and adapt traditional games to fit the pillars of this method. You just have to take some time to investigate and open your creative capacity.
2. Creative activities
Construction games, board games, drawings, crafts, and even music and writing can be your greatest allies for self-learning, as these activities stimulate children's creative ability and they will be interested in what else they can create with those items.
You can even adapt these activities to teach other lessons, such as mathematics (in guided painting books or counting in some board games) grammar, language and public speaking (through stories and writing), object recognition and use, and you can even start teach them about emotions and values.
3. Open-air explorations
Use your patio, garden, a nearby park or a simple walk around your home so that your little one can become familiar with its exterior. In this way you can develop your spatial sense of orientation and location that will be very useful in the future or for an emergency.
Another good option is to promote exploration and orientation games, such as scavenger hunts, racing, or sports rallies.
Promoting independence is not only offering all the knowledge and facilities for the development of capacities, but they also need to know and master daily skills to live, this includes cleaning the home, maintaining hygiene, learning to cook and other tasks .
So don't hesitate to involve the children in household activities and make them a daily habit.
5. Positive motivation
Motivation and parental involvement is essential in self-learning, as it is the way in which children know that they are doing well, gain confidence to face new challenges, seek new knowledge and get excited about wanting to share it with their parents.
With these activities children can always direct your self-learning compass towards a profit course for your future.
You can read more articles similar to Why we should encourage children's self-learning at home, in the category of on-site autonomy.