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Preschool education
10 ways to build on the vital early years

  1. 50% of a person's ability to learn is developed in the first four years of life.
  2. Another 30% is developed by the eighth birthday.
  3. Those vital years lay down the pathways on which all future learning is based.
  4. After age ten, the branches that haven't made connections die off.
  5. Youngsters are their own best educators, parents their best first teachers.
  6. Youngsters learn best by what they experience with all their senses, so stimulate these senses.
  7. Our homes, beaches, forests, playgrounds, zoos, museums and adventure areas are the world's best schools.
  8. Simple physical routines can help infants explode into learning.
  9. Infants grow in a patterned way, so learn to build on that growth pattern.
  10. Learning anything, including reading, writing and math, can and should be fun.
This 10-point checklist comes from the introductory page of chapter 7, entitled The vital years, from the world's best-selling book of 1999, The Learning Revolution, by Gordon Dryden and Dr. Jeannette Vos.

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They analyze examples of highly effective programs from around the world: Montessori preschools, Suzuki music-teaching methods, the Doman reading method, a wide variety of physical-stimulation activities.

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And they decide that the world's best early-learning methods combine the best from many countries, including preschool methods from areas as wide apart as Sweden, New Zealand, Montana, England, Japan and Philadelphia.

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