Whenever we talk about the program people are often quite surprised that we teach children as young as two years old, they’re also surprised with how heavily we implement stories and songs into our teaching. If you’ve ever seen us teach a daycare class you’ll know that nearly every lesson comes with a song, we find this is especially effective for younger students, students that speak English as a second language, and students with a mental disability. Here’s 5 reasons why:
Two years old aren’t going to remember complicated grid coordinates and strategies that require them to think 8 moves ahead, what they will remember is a repetitive rhythm that they can associate with a piece. Our ‘Gallop, Gallop, Crash’ rhythm that we use for the knight is something we see our daycare and even primary school students using whenever they move the knight. This helps transform the strangest moving piece into the easiest piece for us to teach.
Quite a lot of songs have dances or movements that go with them outside of the piece movement. For example when we use ‘Backward, Forward, Side-to-Side’ rhythm for the castle we ask the children to point their hands according to each direction. This both cements memory and gets their motor skills, both fine and gross moving.
Hand Eye Coordination
Our songs are action songs, meaning that they require the children to perform an action in line with the rhythm. Being able to recite the song and as well as do the associated movements helps children develop their hand-eye coordination.
Listening and Directions
Sometimes younger kids don’t always want to follow orders or engage in traditional learning. Creating songs that require students to do something in line with that song is a great way to introduce orders and get them to listen without them even realising. Children have so much fun performing the song and actions that they don’t realise you’re actually asking them to play a complicated game like chess and follow a set of rules.
Language and Vocabulary
When we play chess complicated words like ‘Diagonal’ (the way the queen, bishop, and pawns can move) are not always words in a two year old’s vocabulary, they’re an entirely new concept that a child has never heard before. When we say diagonal we associate it with a rhythm as well as a particular direction and movement. Regularly repeating the word through song and movement helps children understand and associate the word.
Our stories and song help in so many other ways as well. These are just a few of the benefits we’ve found.
Benefits found on 4parentsandteachers.com