At MTO, we aim to empower children through a play-based curriculum. The planned activities will encourage independent thinking, an opportunity to explore, and diverse experiences indoors and outdoors. Children learn from each other, respect one another, and are taught how to be confident when making decisions.
Our practitioners plan daily activities to develop all areas of learning. We help children to become self-confident individuals as we observe each child individually. Once the observation is over, the practitioner will create appropriate activities to deepen the child’s interests. By taking this action, children will begin to have a positive approach to learning new things.
We encourage the children curiosity by providing them with a range of materials so that they can investigate and explore. This includes experiences outdoors and indoors. Through the help of our practitioners, children are capable to make more links, see more patterns, and make sense of what is around them.
Our work with children covers four themes:
- Unique child – Every child is unique and is continuously learning, capable, resilient and self-assured.
- Positive relationships – Through positive relationships, children learn to be independent.
- Enabling environment – The partnership between the children and the practitioners will meet the needs of the child. All children learn well in an enabling environment.
- Learning and development – Inevitably, children learn and develop at different rates in different ways. The EYFS framework that we follow will cover the educational needs of all children, including the children with special needs and disabilities.
This framework begins from the early year’s provisions and continues through the end of primary school.
How to encourage independence at home
The role of educators and parents in supporting independence and self-confidence is vital. There are many ways that you can encourage this:
It’s more important that children ‘have a go’ rather than how good they are at doing it. Such action will encourage the child to complete more tasks on their own and feel good about it. If you believe that there’s room for improvement, you should provide Specific Positive Feedback. For example, the praise should sound like “I like the way you wiped down the table after lunch! Next time, you should try using a cleaner to make it shinier.”
Tell children that it’s ok to make mistakes. Help children to see that everyone makes mistakes, and the important thing is to learn from them. A child’s confidence will grow if they engage in activities so you shouldn’t take away the opportunity for them to learn. As a result, the consistency of trying new tasks will build confidence.
If you do the work for the child, you’re teaching them co-dependence. Thus, it will be challenging to learn how to make decisions confidently. Instead of focusing on tasks that they already excel at, you should diversify tasks. Sometimes, a child’s endless streams of questions can be tiresome, but it should be encouraged.
Inevitably, children will grow more independent as they grow older; as a parent, it’s essential to teach the skills to get there. Such skills will be the foundation of self-confidence. For instance, you should teach children how to brush their teeth or hair independently or get dressed on their own. A pre-schooler should know how to eat on their own by the time they reach ‘big school’.
Let them feel valued
In the beginning, they may complain, but children feel more valued when they’re counted on to do age-appropriate tasks. Provide them with the opportunity to help with the chores or to get ready on their own. Parents can nurture confidence by increasing responsibilities that must be met.
As a parent, you have to embrace imperfection. As adults, we know that perfection in the eyes of everyone around is impossible; thus, it’s important to portray that message to the child as soon as possible. You should celebrate effort and set clear goals. It may take a while to get there, but you have given the opportunity to learn a new skill.
Being confident and independent isn’t about succeeding at everything, every single time. It’s about being resilient enough to keep trying even if the results are not always as expected.