There is overwhelming research evidence, both from developed as well as developing countries, on the critical importance of the early years of a child’s life. The period of early childhood sees the greatest brain growth and development (up to 90%) and provides the foundation for the achievement of individual potential, health and productive citizenry. It is also the period of greatest risk if conditions are not right for the child’s optimal development. Learning though play the LightOn way can play a significant role in enhancing children’s development in the early years thus providing them opportunities to reach their potential at little or no cost to the families.
When we learn through play and the child shares this information with their parents or care givers, the opportunity exists to shift thinking and get the buy in from the entire family.
“Evidence suggests that parental involvement in early learning has a greater impact on children’s well-being and achievement than any other factor, such as family income, parental education or school environment. Supporting parents to help them provide a positive home learning environment is therefore a vital part of improving outcomes for children, particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds.” (Hunt et al 2011)
“In the South African context, parents often lack both confidence in their ability to support their child’s learning, and knowledge about how best they can do this.” (O’Carroll and Hickman 2012)
“Simple information and skill sharing can help to increase parents’ sense of efficacy and alter practices and behaviours in the home, to the benefit of a wide range of child outcomes.” (Hickman 2014)
“What parents do is more important than who parents are.” (Sylva et al 2004)
Imbali supports the Lighton approach to education
Renee Lighton shows teachers, care givers and children in our crèches in Stellenbosch how they can use common household items or waste materials to make toys, equipment, games and activities, which inspires them to see possibility in the things around them and which cost them nothing. These activities build and support a number of skills vital to preparing the child for success in life and at school. They include literacy, numeracy, perceptual skills, self-confidence and self-esteem as well as promoting recycling, caring and the greening their neighbourhoods.
We thank the Mirja Sachs Foundation for the sponsorship of a number of workshops which encourage positive participation in a stimulating, fun and playful process, a strengths based approach that recognises, respects and builds on the child’s knowledge and environment awakening the imagination to what is possible – what we can do with what we have!
Thank you Renee for your ongoing support, love and commitment to the teachers, caregivers and children in the crèches in Stellenbosch.
Bless you for caring
Jeanne and all at Imbali
Jeanne Bestbier-Bloch, Imbali Coordinator
Mobile: +27 83 601 2376