Published: 14th November 2019
Celebrating the pillars of a child’s learning on Children’s Day
Every person that a child comes in contact with during their formative years plays a lasting role in moulding the life-long learning of a child
Learning is arguably one of the most defining parts of childhood. Whether it’s the formal learning that happens in schools or the informal learning of something as simple as tying shoelaces and brushing teeth, childhood is the most effective time to grasp and assimilate this learning. If we look back ourselves, it is easy to see that at no other stage in life is so much time and energy set aside for learning as is done during childhood.
In the decade that I have spent creating learning experiences for children across ages, I have realized that there are limitless avenues for children to learn from. Books, movies, videos, television and the internet are some of the most dynamic mediums that aid a child’s learning. However, there is one hidden element in this list that often goes unnoticed. It’s something that has impacted a child’s learning from the beginning but doesn’t always get the credit it deserves - it is the people who make up a child’s life.
Every person that a child comes in contact with during their formative years plays a lasting role in moulding the life-long learning of a child. We can gauge the impact of such early interactions when we look back on our own childhood memories and find them filled with fond, nostalgic encounters with other children and adults in our lives back then.
This Children’s Day, let’s celebrate all the pillars who stand by children in their life and brick by brick build the strong foundation of their life-long learning.
Learning from Family
The family is the first source of support and care as children learn to explore the beautiful world around them. Every single family member that a child interacts with has an impact on the values, goals, and perceptions that they pick up. The gentle nudges from mom and dad to be polite; the bedtime stories from grandma and grandpa that teach simple morals; the sharing of books and toys (willingly and unwillingly) with brothers and sisters; the care and loving attention for cousins when they visit - these are all experiences that carefully build the value-based learning of children.
School is the first thing that comes to mind when we think of a child’s education. But the most impactful part of a school is the people in it. These can be the teachers who broaden a child’s curiosity (and the classroom) to accommodate vast, interesting subjects; lab assistants who carefully guide children in bringing science to life; coaches who instil persistence and dedication through physical fitness; or classmates who teach camaraderie through sheer fun in the corridors and playgrounds. Every educator in school contributes uniquely and lastingly to a child’s formal learning.
Children learn a lot from their friends too, especially during play. Inclusion, resolving conflicts, and making others feel valued are all things that children pick up from their playmates. When their circle includes friends older or younger than them, the experiences that children can gather become even more varied and they learn how to connect with people across age groups better. Early friendships made in childhood also introduce children to the importance of picking and nurturing relationships by choice. All of this contributes greatly to the social learning of children, something that will guide how they interact with others for a long time to come.
These pillars of learning in a child’s life may be dynamic, often interchanging roles with changing situations, but they all contribute equally to a child’s learning.
Being in contact with a child’s life is a gift that albeit unnoticed, has the potential to leave a lasting impression. When we interact with children, we are subtly moulding what the future of our world is going to look like. Let this Children’s day be a celebration not just of young minds but everyone who helps enrich this process.
The author is Divya Gokulnath, Co-Founder & Teacher, BYJU’S - The Learning App