Early Education Options
Students today have more options than they ever had before in terms of the classes they can take. With a strong push towards second languages, STEM courses, and more, students have an opportunity to explore what they think they want to do far before stepping foot onto a college campus. While many of us are aware of the benefits of these classes, are we all giving our children a chance to work with different skills early enough? Recent studies have shown that learning Spanish, taking part in STEM activities, and learning sign language at a young age has several benefits.
Learning a Second Language
Learning a second language can do so much for young children who are able to talk. While any second language is wonderful, the second most common language in our world today is Spanish. If your child learns Spanish at a young age, they are going to be getting far more than a second language under their belts. According to Dr. Rebecca M. Solomon with Learning Experience, when children learn a second language at a young age, they “demonstrate cognitive advantages, such as increased problem-solving skills and creativity.” In addition to increasing their cognitive skills, children are more curious about other cultures which makes them more “comfortable growing up in our increasingly global society.”
A major benefit to learning a new language at a young age is younger children “readily learn through play-like activities,” says Dr. Solomon. Younger children are also not as self-conscious so they are more willing to try to say the different words. As children get older, they become more afraid of making mistakes. Therefore, it’s good to take advantage of your child’s uninhibited nature and use it to better their futures. Learn more here: Second Language Acquisition
The Language of STEM: STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math
While learning a new language is very important, it is also important to introduce your child to STEM like activities. STEM stands for science, technology, engineering, and math and all of these are very important to your young child’s development. According to Dr. Elisabeth McClure, “children demonstrate a clear readiness to engage in (STEM) learning early in life. Learn more here: STEM Education
Why not encourage and feed that clear readiness right away? When we do feed that readiness, we are reinforcing problem-solving skills and we are helping foster creativity within our children. Simply allowing your child to help with a garden or build a fort is promoting good STEM skills and in doing so, you are helping them grow into independent little people who will strive not only in the classroom but also in the workforce. Learn more here: STEM Early Education
The Language of Sign Language
Finally, teaching your young child (as young as six to seven months) sign language can be greatly beneficial in the long run. One benefit of teaching your child sign language at six or seven months according to Educational Playcare is it “speeds up speech development,” as well as reduces frustration in babies because they can communicate what they want or what they need. Studies have also shown on that some of the long-term benefits of learning sign language include a twelve point higher IQ, accelerated speech and emotional development, earlier reading and larger reading vocabulary, better grades and so much more! The list of benefits would not only help you communicate with your child, but it would help them succeed in the future.
In addition to increased cognitive skills, children who learn sign language early on have shown “improved self-confidence and self-esteem.” Not being able to communicate can be so frustrating; learning sign language early on takes away that frustration and allows children to experience the world positively right away. Learn more here: Sign Language Benefits
There are so many ways we can help our children be more well-rounded, thoughtful individuals in the future as well as right now. Giving your child every opportunity to be successful is always a priority for parents and introducing a new language, teaching STEM ideas, as well as teaching sign language at an early age are just a few ways to give your child a stepping stool when he/she starts school. Why wait until high school when your child can learn it all now?