My daughters are almost 3 years old now and it is not long back when I started to look for a formal school for them where they will start their Nursery. In the process, I started to read and research a lot about the education system in India. I was an insider till 2014 and was closely associated with & working in the education system, but early education or beginning of schooling years is very different & dynamic, thus I wanted to read and know more.
In these years I have realized that in India, most of our education system revolves around core subjects such as Mathematics, Science, Technology, Language etc. Till the time kids don’t reach college, these are the subjects that parents, as well as educators, keep on emphasizing to strengthen. But the flip side is, if we look at the primary education system in India, apart from introducing the subjects in classroom & teaching them in a formal setting, there is not much of a fun learning way where these concepts could be introduced to kids & make them fall in love with the concepts rather than make them rote learn. My older post Developing Mathematical Aptitude in Kids talks about how to make Mathematics fun for kids for them to be able to understand it better & have a positive relationship with it. In that article, I have talked about Manipulatives & their importance in learning. I believe that toys, manipulatives, activities etc. are always better to introduce concepts to kids as compared to books, paper-pencil etc.
While reading about this whole topic, I came across the concept of STEM education system. STEM that stands for Science Technology Engineering Mathematics is a curriculum that focuses on integrating & introducing the four concepts to children for them to be able to have a practical learning experience & knowledge on the subjects. It is one of those innovative learning concepts that can help prepare kids for higher studies. It is also extremely important to work towards preparing the next generation to be of Innovators, Thinkers, Educators, Researchers & Leaders. This could be made possible by introducing right resources at the right age.
STEM as a concept has to be introduced during primary education years & has to follow through till 12th Grade before kids take up the professional degrees & courses they wish to. So, being a mother of kids who are about to enter formal education in few months, it made me think how do I as a mother make sure I prepare them for this? Again, the answer is learning methods that integrate fun, curiosity & learning into one. Mechanix, for example, was one game that I used to love as a kid & a lot of concepts like Magnet, Gravity, Circuit etc. were introduced to me in such a fun way at home through this toy way before I read about them in my textbooks. So, I think, educational Toys & learning material is again one great way to do so.
These toys for example by Skola Toys – Peg and Add, Subtraction Truck etc. are great ways of introducing mathematical concepts such as addition & subtraction to kids in a fun way. (Click the pictures for a direct link to the products)
The concepts of Shapes & Patterns, Visual Tracking etc. could be very well introduced to kids through this toy by Skola – Sand Pendulum. (Click the picture for a direct link to the product)
Skola for me is a recent discovery and I absolutely love their products for the reason they are not just fun toys for kids but for me as a responsible mother, I am assured that I am introducing concepts to them that they need to strengthen to be ready for the formal education in the years to follow. Skola has a range of toys that cater to the learning needs of children from the right age that it needs to be introduced. Check out their products on their Website and follow them on Instagram, Facebook & Twitter to keep updated about their upcoming products.
I do not know what career my daughters might want to pursue once they are grown enough to understand, but if it is related to Mathematics, Engineering, Science or Technology, I would want them to be prepared & have a positive relationships with these subjects & concepts rather than be afraid of them, Thus I plan to begin early. Learning activities & toys are my preferred way to do that!