Children learn by doing. They learn simple concepts,
then build on them to tackle bigger and more complex tasks and ideas.
By using their senses, infants and toddlers discover that objects have
weight, volume, color and texture. Preschoolers and kindergartners
learn by interacting with materials and with other people.
Language development is an important cognitive skill. As infants learn
that sounds have meaning, they begin to practice cooing and babbling
their own sounds. This leads to being able to understand and respond
to words and they begin to name objects. As they grow, toddlers expand
their vocabulary by listening to family members, teachers and other
children. Preschoolers use words as symbols for people, things, movements,
feelings and ideas. They also develop the ability to talk about their
observations as they explore the world. This is the beginning of emerging
At this stage of their early childhood development, young children learn to group
and classify things. This includes descriptive classifications like
size, color and shape. The ability to classify is a critical thinking
skill that allows children to make sense of their experiences and the
world around them. Through the development of language and the ability
to think in terms of classes, numbers and relationships, children acquire
the foundation for such abstract skills as reading, writing and computing.
This is the Way focuses on helping young children acquire learning and problem solving
skills, expand logical thinking skills, acquire concepts leading to
a fuller understanding of the immediate world, participate in make-believe
play, expand verbal communications skills, and develop beginning reading
and writing skills. Ways to facilitate these learning processes include
calling attention to sensory experiences during the course of the day, comments on a child's ideas, or providing basins of water so that children can see what sinks and what floats.
Gross motor development includes activities
like throwing, catching, skipping, climbing and balancing. The This is the Way
provides a safe space, equipment and plenty of time for children to
practice new skills. Mastering gross motor skills leads to the ability
to gain fine muscle control and coordination.
Fine motor skills are refined through activities like building block
towers, stringing beads, drawing circles and placing pegs in holes.
When children string beads, learn to zip, or line up shells, they
are refining their eye-hand coordination, their small muscle skills
and their sense of direction. Developing these skills lays the foundation
for cognitive abilities needed for reading, writing and math.
This is the Way focuses on helping young children enhance their gross and fine motor
skills and use all senses in learning. This can be achieved by scheduling
time for active play every day, and using a variety of materials and equipment
that require children to use their new motor skills.
By focusing on children's socio-emotional, cognitive and physical
growth, This is the Way promotes an effective developmental approach to learning.
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