When children are growing, it’s important to care for their whole self: their mind, body and spirit.

Each aspect of life and learning is connected, whether it’s encouraging confidence, teaching numbers or helping them stay healthy.

When we incorporate a holistic perspective into early learning, we are supporting the entire being of each child.

We are letting them have the best chance at a rich life, because we are considering the full spectrum of their physical, social, emotional, cognitive, behavioural and personal journeys.

All learning is connected

Holistic educators know learning is intertwined and interconnected. Even when there’s a specific learning outcome, such as identifying animals or making animal sounds, they see how the activity is also integrated with skills like speaking, interacting and listening.

The larger picture is kept in mind, and learning is seen as an all-encompassing process.

Holistic learning includes others

In addition to interaction with educators and other children, holistic learning incorporates family members and relationships within the community. A holistic child care centre, for example, will likely host events where community members visit the centre and share in a special activity.

At Harmony we organise excursions to complement and extend children’s learning about the wider community.

In addition, holistic learning encourages and invites families to visit the centre, get to know staff and other families. Learning becomes a social and family activity. The child, in turn, gains benefit from interacting with a wide range of people.

Children learn to work collaboratively, share stories and talk with various individuals—a skill they can take with them for life.

Nature becomes a part of the process

Holistic child care centres understand the importance of nature, animals, plants and the outdoors.

At our Harmony centres we have large outdoor playscapes with real grass, sand, hay, vegetable and herb gardens, rocks, mounds, forts and water play. We also provide ample opportunity for children to interact with and care for animals.

Through these learning experiences, children understand more about the environment and nature—and their role within it. They learn how to care for the world and enjoy all that the world has to offer.

Values are integrated into learning

With holistic learning, the spirit of the child is developed by exposure and focus on important values. As examples, they may learn how to share with others, wait for their turn or offer help to another child.

Holistic learning allows for children to develop strong internal values and confidence because their whole being is considered during the learning process.

At Harmony, we help children:

  • Have a strong sense of identity
  • Connect with and contribute to their world
  • Have a strong sense of wellbeing
  • Be confident and involved learners
  • Be effective communicators
  • By giving children opportunities to learn values, they have a stronger ability to be themselves and contribute to the world in both large and small ways.

Physical health and wellbeing is made a priority

Taking care of a child’s health improves their ability to learn. When a child is healthy, they are better able to focus on activities like playing with friends, learning letters and sounds, and exploring the outdoors.

Holistic learning places a focus on physical well-being, including a well-rounded, healthy diet and access to physical activity throughout the day. Nutrition is a fundamental aspect of well-being, and is necessary for children to grow well in body, mind and spirit.

Our Harmony centres provide wholesome, nutritious meals prepared by our on-site chef. Our menus include an array of important dietary nutrients needed for a healthy daily balanced diet. We closely follow the Nutrition Australia National guidelines and recommendations. Click here to view our sample menus.

Holistic learning considers the individual child

Because holistic learning is focused on the complete growth and health of a child, it also places emphasis on the individual child, their interests and talents.

Allowing children to be the leader of their learning gives them the opportunity to expand in ways that will have the most impact for them.

For example, if a child shows excitement for building things, a holistic educator might guide that child to various learning activities that involve building—such as using blocks, creating structures out of sand, or reading books about builders. They might also take pictures of things the child has built and share it with family, so parents can be involved and support the child’s interest.

By honing in on a child’s desires and passions, learning opportunities will resonate with that child and keep them engaged in the learning process.

Educators are willing to adapt their approaches

Rather than focusing on one way to teach or one way that children learn, holistic educators see the larger picture. They are trained knowing that different approaches are necessary for different children. Varying learning activities allows for each child to have a chance at absorbing material in a way that works for them.

Using tools like music or one-on-one time might be what a child needs to pick up on a letter sound, for instance. Or maybe a child needs extra care and help when interacting in a group setting.

Holistic learning is especially effective for young children, because it encompasses the whole child and a broad range of learning goals. Focused on more than cognitive development, holistic learning incorporates mind, body, spirit, behaviour and social interaction.

Harmony’s holistic learning environment

At Harmony Early Learning Journey we nourish and encourage your child to continue becoming the very person they are meant to be. We provide a calm and peaceful place for your child to build confidence in themselves and their abilities.

Rather than just teach, we collaborate with each child and family to provide an extraordinary holistic learning environment.

To learn more about Harmony and how we help children discover their unlimited potential, book a tour today.

Acknowledgements

http://www.raiselearning.com.au/blogs/news/5818384-exploring-holistic-approaches-for-early-childhood-educators
http://www.education.govt.nz/early-childhood/teaching-and-learning/ece-curriculum/te-whariki/the-principles-strands-and-goals-of-the-early-childhood-curriculum/holistic-development-kotahitanga
http://www.raiselearning.com.au/blogs/news/5818384-exploring-holistic-approaches-for-early-childhood-educators