Early childhood education is extremely important. Studies have shown that the earlier a child begins to learn, the more likely they are to be successful as an adult. This has led to the creation of structured preschool programs, as well as educational toys and games aimed at infants and toddlers. It’s believed that the earlier they start learning, the better.
Here are five reasons why this practice is considered to be a key to life-long success.
1) Kid’s Brains Are More Malleable
You’ve no doubt heard that kids learn foreign languages better than adults. This is because their brains are more malleable. It’s also why some kids, especially those with parents who speak more than one language, are able to switch between those languages as young as one or two years of age.
For example, if a child learns to speak both English and Spanish as an infant when that same child is a toddler, and someone says “hello” to them, they’ll know to speak English with that person. All of this happens because kid’s brains are more malleable. Their brains are still making those connections, and neural networks are forming. The sooner they start to learn, the better they will remember and know how to use that material.
2) Their Social Skills Are Better
Adults need to know how to work properly with people, and that requires a good deal of communication. While communication skills can be taught – and learned properly – throughout life, it’s better if you have these learning experiences while you’re young.
A child who spends the first five or so years of his life caught up in his own imagination and not interacting with peers is going to be much less social as an adult. This has nothing to do with introversion and extroversion and everything to do with understanding how people communicate with their words and their bodies.
The earlier a kid learns how to work with peers, the better, even if those peers are only three or four years old. This sets them up in a situation where they can read people better, even at a young age. Now carry that over to adulthood, and you have a very successful adult who can work his or her way up the corporate ladder, just because they have the right people skills.
3) They’ll Have Fewer Behavioral Problems
Some kids act up in school because they’re bored. Others do it because they don’t know how to interact properly with their peers or haven’t learned how to do deal with boundaries. The younger a child is when he or she starts their education, the less likely they are to have these issues.
Adults who are in prison didn’t learn how to deal with their tempers and stay out of trouble as children. Those who are a success in the office did learn these things. This is just additional proof that the education that young children receive goes far beyond the boardroom and into real life. It’s important to learn the proper ways to interact with others.
4) They’ll Learn Things More Quickly
Not only to kids who receive an early education learn things like reading and arithmetic, but they also learn how to learn. This sounds weird, but it’s true. There are several different ways to learn something. Some people prefer the visual methods; others need to read the material or hear it spoken to them.
While all of these are correct, these are something that children learn to differentiate from early on in life. Not everyone can pick up a book and learn from it. Some people need to know how to go about picking out the information from that book and retaining it to use in a number of different contexts. This is something that early childhood education reinforces – specifically how to learn. Plus, once they know how to learn, they’ll pick up on new things much more quickly.
5) Early Childhood Education Is Tied To a Higher IQ
Studies have shown that kids who go to preschool or some other early learning program actually end up with a higher measurable IQ than their peers who didn’t do these things. This is due in part to the fact that these IQ tests are tied to measurable knowledge, such understand the difference between two objects or understanding what words mean.
The other part of it is explained by the way that these kids are taught to use their brains. Their brains are activated in a way by the education that they receive. This leads to having the ability to pick up new material faster, and knowing how to get through an IQ test. Honestly, early childhood education really does set kids up for a successful life.
This article is a work of Sven Olsson in support of Wellington College Bangkok.