If you are curious about what life skills young children should be doing, wonder no more. This is one thing that becomes the core of Choo Choo Train early childhood curriculum. It is all about encouraging independence to 3 and 4 years old children so that they can enter preschool confidently and focus on advanced skills. Every day and every way possible, the teachers at Choo Choo Train teach and let children practice to do things on their own.
Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed, early childhood educator says preschoolers should be self-sufficient as soon as possible. Adults should let them do any task a child can learn to do on his or her own like taking care of his or her own body or getting dressed or putting things away in the backpack as it will help the child be more independent and confident in preschool. By the end of the school year, 4 years olds should be able to do these things for themselves:
The trick to teaching life skills to children is to first teach expectations clearly since they are 2 years old. This means teachers break things down for children step by step. If teachers don’t teach the process first, then a rule can’t be understood or followed by children. Take, for example, the skill of washing hands. Teachers tell children that it is to make germs disappear. Then teachers break down the big task into smaller parts:
Can you see the trick here? It’s not just saying “wash your hands” and expecting a child to do the skill. It’s truly teaching all the tiny steps of washing hands that will help children to do it. That is the Choo Choo Train approach.
One thing that parents have to remember is that everything is an opportunity to teach and to learn. Young children are discovering their world as well as the boundaries in it. They need adults to give them both the space to try and fail and they need the support to try and succeed. Every new task or interest a child explores or tries is small opportunities to teach them and give them the tools they need to be independently successful in the process. Remember also, independence doesn’t mean letting a child run around wildly without purpose. What it means is giving children the time, space, and opportunity to explore the environment or a new idea and then guiding that child towards the understanding, skills, and discipline he needs to be successful in the environment. Do you think you can use this approach in your parenting?