Diary of a SAHM
Some time back, I searched for free online courses on Early Childhood Education (ECE) and I found this – Open2Study.com, a free online course platform that is backed by Open Universities Australia (OUA). It offers many free courses on a wide range of topics. After reading and understanding how it works, I signed up and enrolled in an ECE course conducted by Caitlin O’Connell and Helen Lawrence from Gowrie Victoria. I completed this course and subsequently enrolled in another one. Yes, it is addictive!
I love the way the courses were structured because it suited my current needs. I have always loved learning (and sitting for exams even) but now as a full-time SAHM, I don’t have the luxury of spending uninterrupted hours reading, working on assignments and preparing for exams. For the ECE course, which ran over four weeks, I only had to watch short videos (around 3-10 minutes each; total video time was less than 3 hours) and take a quiz after each lesson. In addition, there were four assessments; each comprised 10 multiple-choice questions. That’s pretty simple, right? Anyway, it worked out great for me. I was able to keep up with my day-to-day chores, spend time with Joshayne and satisfy my thirst for learning. Completing the course also gave me a sense of achievement.
From this course, I learnt about child development (from birth to 5 years of age). It gave me a clearer picture of what to expect as Joshayne progresses through each stage: infant > toddler > pre-schooler.
NOTES from the lectures:
*Between 12 months and 3 years, children can understand a lot more language than they can actually use themselves.
*Children 3 to 5 years of age seek recognition for their skills and abilities.
*Learning through play is crucial for their development.
*Stages of play: Solitary > Parallel (play alongside but without any interaction) > Cooperative > Games with rules.
*How to support play?
– Indoors and Outdoors activities
– Let them be FREE to play; don’t place our own agendas on them
– Give them ample TIME
– Provide them with the RESOURCES
*It’s important for children to know where they BELONG in the world, have the right to BE children, and to be supported to BECOME the best they can be.
*Children can develop resilience (the ability to bounce back) when they know they have people in their lives who love them and that they can trust.
*To promote imagination/creativity
– Give them lots of open-ended materials.
– Allow them uninterrupted time.
– Let them to do things their way.
*Most children are naturally optimistic and have a capacity for hope. Do NOT speak negatively to/about them. Do NOT belittle them.
*When offering a child options, the choice are best designed so that adults are happy that either choice is SAFE and WORKABLE for both them and the child.