May 24, 2010

Learning is Fun

I have heard people say and I have read many times that children learn more indirectly (informally) than directly (formal teaching), and you have to let them learn in their pace, pressing them for learning fast is a blunder. Now I'm being a witness of all this great truth. Aryaa is learning many things very fast these days, but all without our 'direct' or 'formal' teaching, except than our pasting of some posters with numbers and alphabets in our rooms.  In day care center (kindergarten) she goes to too, they have emphasis on 'learning by playing' and 'learning through daily life activities'.

She is very much interested in numbers and alphabets these days. It all started without much effort from our side. 

The process started with '8' more than a year ago. She was playing in the near by children park. She got interested in the number written in the small 'rocking chair' (see-saw?). You can see the actual place in the photo below (taken a few months later).

 the "8" which started Aryaa's interest in numbers

"What is this (written)?"
"It's HACHI (eight)." hr mother replied.

After that for many days, this world was "HACHI" (eight) for her. She would say "HACHI" loudly whenever wherever she saw "8". Her interest got extended other digits too after a couple of weeks and going out with her started to become a big 'difficulty' for us:) She would suddenly stop walking and start saying "TWO-NINE-ZERO-FIVE--------" looking at some signboards. She would also start reading vehicles' number plates and when those vehicles moved without her finishing reading, she would start crying:))

It was the combination of digits that she got interested in after that, which is still continuing. She asks us "What is '2' and '3'?" , "What is '5' and '5'?"----. She keeps forgetting most of them, it will certainly take some time for her age. 

After numbers, it was Hiragana syllabary of Japanese language. "" (no) was the luckiest one:))  For Aryaa, its shape was funnier than others'. She was interested in this one only for many days. It was just like "8" while going out, and she would also search "" in her storybooks. Then it was "" (a), her name in Japanese begins with this. Other alphabets too came gradually. She remembered most of them by trying to read labels in packages, hoarding boards, displays in stations etc.  She now has remembered almost all Hiragana and Katakana syllabary.
The story for English alphabets started from big "P" that she saw in parking area. With the similar process, she got interested in and remembered other letters too. As I wrote in my previous post too, one of her favorite videos in YuuTube these days is "Strange A, B, C---".

Nepali (Devnagari) letters are yet to begin. Currently Aryaa doesn't show much interest in them, might be because she doesn't see much of them in her 'daily life' here. We may have to wait until we go back to Nepal. 

I think almost all the parents of growing kids have similar experiences. Every child is unique and every child has his/her unique interests but the learning pattern, more or less, is similar. They learn fast when allowed to explore by themselves. Encouragement and availability of learning environment/materials is necessary too, but pressure isn't going to work with kids.


archana paudel said...

that's true.children construct knowledge and the environment is the source of knowledge.lf they learn by doing ,then actually learning will be fun for them.

LC said...

Thank you for a fascinating glimpse into the learning process of your little multi-linguist! You are providing a rich environment to capture her interest.

Anonymous said...

majja lagyo, sudip

Basanta said...

Thank you all for reading and commenting!

shail said...

Informal learning is indeed the fastest way kids learn! It was interesting to read how Aarya got interested in numbers and letters. So cute... crying when the vehicle moved away and she hadn't finished reading. Awwww...

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