For many parents, they’re knowledge of Aistear maybe somewhat limited, however parents have to understand, that everything we teach our children, from teaching them to put their shoes on in the morning, to reading them bedtime stories, everything links back to Aistear. Within Aistear, the Early Years Curriculum Framework, there are four themes, each alone have 24 learning goals.
Here is an information sheet on Aistear, directed at parents http://www.ncca.ie/en/Curriculum_and_Assessment/Parents/Early_Childhood/AFL.pdf
Children learn best through play and as parents, we should take their lead, get down with them and play with them. This can be done from day dot, from the moment a child is born, we can talk to them and teach them communication is a two way stream, not just with words, but we speak with our eyes and our face, our voice and tone. You may have it heard it said before, young children are like sponges and absorb everything around them. Nothing about Aistear has to be complicated, we can bring it into the everyday, when the child is having his breakfast in the morning, allow him to do it for himself, pour the juice, pour the cereal, get the cutlery, and let him clean up after himself, wash the dishes or fill the dishwasher.
Children are inquisitive beings, as adults we take for granted they know something already, we must place ourselves in their shoes and understand that they are new to this big old world and when they say why for the twenty millionth time, indulge them, help them and help them find the answer if you don’t know the answer. Use books, use the internet, ask other people, make the journey of finding out fun. Saying that, children like to explore and like to find the answer for themselves, for children, work is play and won’t get bored of trying, experimenting, exploring and thinking.
Children don’t need the expensive toys, I recall myself as a child and playing with an old pot in the garden, the plaster had fallen off the garden walls, these were my plates, I used the tree branches as cutlery, had ample access to a tap, to plants and trees around me and this was my mud kitchen. Children will compensate for what they don’t have and make the most of it, just give them freedom to loose materials.
So as parents, and your child’s main educator, give yourself a pat on the back, you’re doing a swell job and as the saying going, “it’s not the presents you give your child, rather the presence”. Be there for your child, don’t over complicate anything, bring it back to the simple, back to nature and overall enjoy the journey, passion and excitement children bring to learning.