Learning by doing. The enigma of which pedagogy for my kid?

Becoming a parent

You do not become a parent the day you discover you are pregnant. Neither you become a parent when you meet your little one for the first time. No, you start your apprenticeship on how to become a mother or a father.

This is quite an important mission you have been asked to achieve. This little human needs you and you need to learn fast how to reach the milestones and fulfill his needs.

Naturally, you discover everyday what are the needs and how to make the little human become a happy little one. And you essentially learn by doing. Am I right? Next to that, you learn by sharing with the others. How are they doing? What products are they using? How should you do this or that? Is it normal? You exchange with professionals, with your family, with your entourage and you read a lot, a lot, a lot. You could become an expert in some fields related to babies!

THE pedagogy method at the moment: Montessori

When it comes to teaching your baby/kids the basic skills, there are plenty of material to learn from. And from few months before birth I have heard so much about Montessori, Freinet or Steiner … you too? Well, yes this is the big hype right now! Most of the creches are using these methodologies and we looked into it. But to be honest, we did not really thought about adhering to one or another of these methodologies. Why? Because we believe we should first get to know our little human. We wanted him to express himself and see what works for him/her or not. So no big planning on Montessori at home or specific toys initially. We just went with what we believe he/she could like, enjoy and learn from. Let’s be clear, I am not against any of these methods. This is just that for me, for us, part of these pedagogy were appealing, and some other parts were not right for us.

I'm warm here, wait there is STEAM?

Given my professional experience, I knew that, from early on, I would like to sensitize our little one to science, maths, technology, coding, engineering and creativity. In my daily work, I have seen that technology is still under-estimated for kids and this is one of the most essential skill right now! Coding for example should be considered as a foreign language, nothing different. I am an advocate to bring coding classes as soon as kids learn to read. Wait! Before your google it, STEAM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Art & Design, Mathematics. This is similar to STEM but you add art and creativity into it. I never really looked into this specifically but I made some research (you know this part about learning to become a parent …) and it appeared we naturally came to this pedagogy. We did not make specific research or specific discussion about it. Instead, we bought the toys we believed our kid would enjoy. We looked into the skills he would learn with it. By looking into it I discovered we are mainly doing STEAM. Our little human has always been very curious and into making noises, music and painting with food, water. So this is definitely something we are encouraging. Next to that, he is into using some big magnets, reading books and using Lego (so cool for AFOLs 😉 )

What about sensory awakening? Are you an helicopter mom?

We are using a mix of experience to encourage his learning! We have sensory play, plastic toys … we mix a little bit of everything and incorporate a lot of sciences! No I am not an helicopter mom, I just want my kid to be free and happy in life. So no pressure, we want to follow our kid in its endeavors, by giving him the best environment possible. For sure, this pedagogy requires to be next to him quite a lot. Indeed, it requires a lot of exchange with the kid when playing and to count numerous times the little toes! It does not prevent him from being independent too! He eats by himself, using his fork, he spends time reading his books alone. But he is really social and feels best when with someone who explains the world to him.

Respect of our kids' abilities

There is not right or wrong way to educate our kids, we all want the best. This is essential. Let’s not judge the parents on the methodology they use or not. Let’s just be open about each of these and see what could benefit our kids. I will try to share regularly some ideas of activities you can do with your kids (with some STEAM hints), some book reviews (we are multilingual at home so I will try to make them in French and Italian). So plenty of resources should come in the coming months if you are interested to learn more about it. I will also try to explain a little bit more about STEAM, how you can bring a little bit of it at home with your little humans