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The Ideal Education For a 4-Year Old

If we look at the education system today, we will realize that it is all about the teacher instructing the students.  Making them learn, and in this process, the priority is given to the development of academic skills. Least importance is given to the natural method of learning for the children through playing.

Though the coexistence of the rigor and play is possible, in the current scenario, it doesn't seem to be comfortable across the schools in the country.

When the kindergarten moment was initially started, the main aim was to give the utmost importance to self-activity and to play. These were the foundations over which the integrated development of the child was possible according to the movement's founder, Friedrich Frobel. He intended to create a small world for children where they can enjoy with their friends and experience independence on their own. This will hugely provide a boost to their creativity, motor skills as well as social participation.

But this vision is seen to be lost somewhere today as most of the time they are kept under the guidance of adults in schools. The scenario was completely different three decades ago, as 40% of the time in the preschool was meant for letting the child play on his own. The percentage has fallen to 25% today.

Individual authors are in support of the purposeful play or meaningful play in the pre-K classrooms. And there are specialized teachers with virtues of developing a child by stimulating the activity center having materials for make-believe in which children lay down on their stomach when going through the books. But the fact is that this is not the norm, though it can be seen in the early childhood programs of  Waldorf Education and one inspired by Reggio Emilia.

In the year 1987, the innate interest of children was given prime importance in the first publication of the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) 's Developmentally Appropriate Practice (DAP) guidelines. According to the Reggio Emilia's education philosophy, children are blessed with 'a hundred languages', the basis of which lies in the principles involving respect, duty, and society. These are explored as per the interest of children through a self-directed curriculum.

Currently, exploration on the part of children has been marginalized owing to the limited scope of childhood programs driven by adults. But it is high time to realize that teachers have the power to bring enthusiasm in the lives of the children. It is making them curious to know about new things that will make their journey delightful and exciting. This will help them emerge as much better individuals than others who do not get this. This is how the ideal education for a 4-year old should be in this century, to ensure his overall development.

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