While it’s important for children to learn in a group setting at a young age to foster good socialization skills, it has become apparent that individualized learning plans for each child can also be a great asset to early education
It might seem impossible to teach every child differently according to their capabilities, but it’s an important part of early childhood education that can help students later in life. Here are just a few of the advantages and challenges that come with individualized learning plans.
Close Learning Gaps
Whether it’s a pre-k classroom or an elementary school classroom, there are going to be learning gaps between students. Every teacher’s goal is to help struggling students while still challenging students who excel. Fortunately, individualized learning aims to do exactly that. Teaching material that caters to every student’s individual learning capabilities can help bring an entire group of students to their highest learning potential.
Extra Prep Work
It’s easy to see the benefits that individualized learning has, even at a level of education as early as daycare, but the catch is that individualized plans each require their own prep time. Not only that, but considering the rate at which class sizes are growing — only six out of 10 of U.S. Kindergarten programs are open for full-day enrollment — it’s a monumental task for educators. Additional time and resources may have to be pooled in order to train educators in preparing these plans.
More Student Confidence
When you teach each student according to his or her individual interests and abilities, confidence is bound to rise. More confident learners mean more engaged learners. Getting students excited to learn is half the challenge, especially early on in their education when simple lessons may come as a challenge. In addition, by learning though tailored lessons, students become more self-assured that they have the skills necessary to master more complex tasks.
Whether your child is in an after school care program or still enrolled at a daycare center, it’s important to see the benefits of individualized learning at every level of education.