Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Those wild and crazy carrots

Learning is such an awesome gift. I don't think people actually stop and think about this. You can learn something anywhere at anytime. Maybe you don't even realize you learned something, or maybe you think it's trivial. And it's not just things like, 'Oh, I just learned the state capital of Hawaii!' It's other things, like learning about people's thoughts and feelings. I found this amazing game that helped me realize this and how important it is for young children to be aware of others emotions.
It's part of a preschool curriculum and the game is called Crazy Carrots. It's extremely simple and the carrots have different facial expressions that the child needs to identify. For children at a young age, sights and sounds are crucial in keeping their attention and this game does just that.

Time4Learning is an easy-to-use online preschool curriculum for young learners, featuring animated activities with fun characters and sound effects. The characters in the learning games guide children through the steps of the learning activities, making it simple for pre-readers to follow and enjoy.

I realized that learning isn't just cognitive, it helps others, in the case preschool children, learn about feelings. In general, this helps them when dealing with their own feelings and helps them understand why others act a certain way, thus inciting feelings of empathy. This can be especially important for autistic children, who many think have no awareness of others emotions.

I found a ton of information online about research done on emotional education. Like I mentioned earlier, learning isn't just about geography, math and spelling, it's also about learning and growing socially and emotionally--everyone knows that. Notice how so many people have street smarts but not book smarts and vice versa. Yes, some people are just built like that and that's what they are good at, but for others, there is the possibility that they didn't get enough of the other. I've met people that are so incredibly smart, Mensa material, and seem uncomfortable and awkward when in a group setting. Then on the flip side, I've met some who might be considered 'airheads', but are so incredibly funny and social. We all know people like that. Then of course, there are those who have just the right combination---which of course, is what we would ideally like our children to be.

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