Thursday, April 22, 2021

About those important lessons in kindergarten


Many childhood development specialists seem to think kids who are very young during the pandemic, growing into their toddler years without the benefit of interacting with their peers, will be OK, The New York Times reports.

Most are likely to see less than a year of life in quarantine as a momentary delay or pause in their normal lives, and they’ll pick right up after the pandemic ends. Kindergarten enrollment is generally declining, though, during this year. So lessons that kids normally learn at school will come from other channels, including those connections in the brain that normally grow in a school setting.

Researchers for several years have emphasized that connections in the brain get made through the normal give and take of early childhood—from sharing a ball to exchanging pseudo-words in an attempt to communicate with peers.

In other words, learning in very young children goes beyond what many people consider some of life’s most important lessons, which most of us learn in kindergarten, according to Robert Fulghum’s book, All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten: Uncommon Thoughts On Common Things. “Remember the Dick-and-Jane books and the first word you learned—the biggest word of all—LOOK,” he writes.

It’s heartbreaking for parents to see their children not spending time with peers, the Times noted. “Seeing your kid playing on a playground with themselves is just sad,” one parent told the paper. “What is this going to be doing to our kids?”

So, despite the fact that

modern-day long-term studies are scarce in the research literature. The few that do exist, referenced in the bullet points, show that resilience in young children seems to be proportional to how easily their parents are able to get through the tough time the Covid-19 pandemic has put in front of us. Those studies, however, dealt with isolation in young children that was much more prolonged than the current pandemic.

Resilience has also been linked to the quality of the parent-child relationship, as well as to how well children are able to build connections with their peers.

Paul Katula
Paul Katula is the executive editor of the Voxitatis Research Foundation, which publishes this blog. For more information, see the About page.


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