Early childhood education is a developmental process that starts from birth and goes through a long and beautiful path of discovery.
From this point of view, we can see that, from an early age, children begin to make their first interactions in the discoveries of sounds and small movements when they are still babies.
This level of interaction will be improved from school experiences, where the little ones get to know a new environment that is different from what they are used to with their families. Thus, they start to create trusting relationships with adults and other children in the same discovery phase.
What is Socialization in Early Childhood Education?
The definition of socialization involves learning values, beliefs, and behaviors, and the rules that must be followed for a better coexistence, developing feelings that help in the idea of collectivity.
So, when we’re talking about socialization, we’re talking about learning. And we know that children start their learning process when they are still small and cuddly babies.
Yeah! Children begin to learn when they are babies, when they discover touching objects, tasting food, looking at colors, and responding to sounds.
This process is improved in early childhood education when socialization plays the role of helping to develop linguistic, cognitive, pedagogical, and emotional skills.
How important is socialization for children?
Socialization in early childhood education is of fundamental importance for the evolution of the child in the face of different everyday situations.
We often imagine that children are beings who do not know how to interact, however, they are in constant learning and perform their interactions in the most diverse ways.
Watching children socialize, whether at school or in another environment where they feel safe to do so, allows the adults around them to guide their behavior to help overcome their difficulties.
The importance of the school in this process grants autonomy to the little ones, and they start to see the world as a wide space of opportunities to interact with other people.
They begin to recognize when there is a real incentive to socialize at this stage of life. The family’s presence as a supporter of the child in the school environment generates a significant improvement in learning.
The importance of socialization for children implies the development of skills that may be the most diverse and necessary for the future of small explorers.
Below is a short list of skills acquired from socialization:
- Emotional skills: when the child is in the school socialization process, he/she will need to share moments, and share physical space, in addition to making concessions to his/her colleagues who will end up helping in the formation as a person of the little ones.
- Language skills: during the socialization process, the child will develop orality and at each moment will learn to express his/her feelings through oral communication.
- Math skills: When we talk about math skills that children develop through socialization, we must think about the exploration they will make of space, discovering shapes, playing, and learning with the objects that make up the interaction space.
How does the socialization process work?
This process is linked to the construction of children’s cultural identity, as they observe behaviors and begin to understand and practice the social standards necessary for a good coexistence with the people around them in a mixture of discovery and overcoming.
Thus, when you present the child with situations similar to those, he/she usually experiences at home, he/she will easily reproduce in an external environment.
So, if the child has the habit of playing with a little brother or even with his/her dad or mom when he/she is inserted into another context that involves games, he/she will feel safe for that activity, learning to respect the space of the other.
For example, when the child goes for a walk on the playground: His/her behavior is to know and explore the skills he/she has already developed. So, he/she will run to the toys because he/she understands the environment’s purpose.
In the same way, when the child is placed in an environment never seen before, he/she awakens his/her sense of curiosity wanting to know everything about the new things his/her eyes see.
You might think that sometimes some children have resistance to being comfortable in a new environment. What to do in this situation?
This is a common situation for all of us, isn’t it? We often get anxious about starting something new. Whether it’s for a business trip or simply meeting up with some college friends. This is normal! The unknown scares us a little.
The security of the environment and the security shown by the adults give the child the confidence necessary to accept that unusual experience for them.
Thus, when dropping the child off at school for the first time, he/she will realize how much security the parents have in that environment and in the people who make up that educational nucleus, and this can be decisive in this phase of social adaptation.
The practice of socialization in early childhood education
One of the first things that children and parents will learn at the beginning of early childhood education is that when babies leave the protection of the nest to learn to fly, they need to deal with their own emotions, understanding that to live in the world it is necessary to be open to know.
This initial openness to parents represents the ability they will have to develop to let their children walk on their own two feet, that is, to make their discoveries and feel and express emotions.
And as for children, they also have a comfort and trust zone that needs to be expanded. And for that to happen, it is necessary to understand the child’s time.
Therefore, socialization is a word that draws attention to the collective, however, the acceptance of this sociocultural contact happens uniquely for each individual involved.
How to develop socialization activities in the school environment?
The first thing to think about when we talk about socialization is that the child will start his school life, and this will generate changes that need to be accompanied by all those involved in this process.
The school environment must provide children with well-planned spaces for the development of social practices for this age group.
The creation of a space that facilitates this behavior generates confidence in the child to explore the possibilities.
In this way, the environment also educates the child, to encourage him/her in adventures that he/she has already learned that can be carried out there.
Early childhood education is the child’s first step outside of family life, without the physical presence of the family at all times of the day. Thus, this environment must continue to be welcoming, however, in an expanded and safe way.
We must think that education takes place at all times and environments designed for children must offer security, not only for them but for parents and guardians who, upon leaving, are sure that the child is protected and cared for.
Therefore, as a socialization environment, the school must contain intentional spaces for pedagogical practices, where children learn to share, help, and be helped.
It is precisely this welcome that the school environment offers to the child that makes everything around him/her become a great curiosity and pleasure in learning and he/she is there with all his/her classmates and teachers.
In early childhood education, one of the great pillars is affection, so when children are introduced to the school environment, they must feel part of it, just as they feel part of their family in their home.
This affection is easily noticed when the child creates bonds with his/her colleagues and his/her teachers in order to want to be in that environment designed for him/her.
Speaking of teachers, they are fundamental parts of the process, as they will mediate the good relationship of the little ones with their colleagues, with the environment around them, and with their learning, to establish physical, emotional, and cognitive care in this process.
Another fundamental pillar of children’s development is the act of play. They have the art of imagining. Who never thought they wanted to be like a child again? Well, I think we’ve all been through this at some stage of our lives.
The little ones can live in a world of their own and this is magical and enriching for their development. As they socialize with other children, they express affection, generate and resolve conflicts and adapt to that environment and situation, generating a sense of belonging.
Do you think it’s time for your child to have new social experiences?
It’s hard to believe that your baby is already going to school, that he/she’s going to socialize with other children and discover a multitude of things, isn’t it?
So, the environment for your child must be welcoming, safe – in every sense of the word – and demonstrate the potential to present the world to the child by developing skills that will help him/her on his/her journey.
The socialization capacity generated by school interaction provides the development of children with great communicative potential, knowing from an early age to express their feelings and acquiring socio-emotional skills that will accompany them throughout their lives.
Come meet St. Nicholas School, bring your child to explore the physical space of the school, and interact with education professionals who will help in the humanized and globalized formation of your child.
St. Nicholas School is the best private children’s school in São Paulo, with an international teaching proposal, aimed at the development of your child in an emotional way, inserting him/her into the community through socialization and respecting his individualities.
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