No! Not the mobile! No, Not the TV! No, Not the laptop…
If you are a parent of a toddler, you are probably wondering how to reduce digital screen time for your child, and rightly so, It has been proved time and time again that over exposure to digital media is more detrimental to the child than one can imagine.
The Helen O’Grady International Preschool has been using a few strategies in their digital class room to make it interesting, meaningful and activity based for their children. Limiting the digital class tone hour for the nursery with two breaks in the middle, for one and a half hours for the LKG with two breaks in the middle and for two hours for the UKG with two breaks; the children and teachers have been finding ways to interact, have fun and learn.
A normal preschool has about three hours of planned time that looks at holistic development. Condensing that into the one to two hour slot is not an easy task. Children also learn at different paces, and on each given day, the child’s learning level is dependent on several psychosomatic factors.
The creative educators at the Helen O’Grady International Preschool therefore developed this ‘guided homeschooling kit’ for the parents to use with their children called CrEdo. CrEdo is available in the online mode as well as in the offline mode. Either ways, when you purchase the CrEdo kit, you will be asked to attend a workshop aka orientation where the team from Helen O’Grady will guide you through the contents and the structure of the CrEdo curriculum.
The CrEdo Homeschooling kit is designed to engage the child and the parent in the learning process. It involves the family too and creates an atmosphere of learning. The activities and tasks are often open ended. The parent is encouraged to allow extra time for those activities that capture the child’s imagination. There is no hurry and very often children often start where the CrEdo activity guides them to.. But reach well beyond what could have been expected as the learning outcome.
The focus of the CrEdo curriculum is to develop the 21st century skills. CrEdo is compliant with the National Educational policy 2020. It focuses on giving access and agency to the learner. It looks at the adult as a co-learner or a co-investigator in the process as well.
The Credo is designed to encourage listening to stories, children telling stories, thereby gearing them up to be good readers as they progress into the higher levels of foundational learning.
Chores are an important part of the CrEdo curriculum. Each day, the child is given a little bit of home duty to help the mother or the father with. This increases the child’s sense of being a part of the family. It increases the child’s confidence and self reliance.
Being inspired by the region Emilia approach, the CrEdo Home Learning Kits for Children uses a lot of material that you will find in nature. You do not see a CrEdo parent running to a stationery shop to get art and craft material. All the material required for art and craft are collected by the child and the parent from their garden, kitchen, home. There is huge learning in this aspect as well. One does not need very pretty looking things to learn with. Using available material and making them into different kinds of art and craft is a very creative process.
Nature walks with the family is an everyday feature of the CrEdo curriculum. Children and parents discuss daily news and happening during the walk. They collect material for the next day’s art and craft session, they observe sounds, smells and watch birds, stars… children love nature and with these experiences, they will grow up respecting nature and wanting to preserve and protect it.
Nature walks, we have found, are the times when the maximum questions are generated. The fact that children are beginning to ask questions suggests two things –
1. The child is beginning to compare, analyse
2. The child is able to vocalize his/her thoughts. And more important the child has developed the trust and the confidence that his/her question will be treated with respect.
Finding answers to the questions the children raise is a wonderful chance to teach another element – that of research.
So many wonderful moments all parceled in the home learning kit! A digital class will rarely be able to fulfill all these different outcomes.