Transcript of Learning in the everyday

Parent episode 1 – Learning in the everyday (minutes seconds)

Jacqui Ward – Welcome to the learning every day, in every way, through play podcast series. My name is Jackie ward. I'm the early learning coordinator at the department of education and I'm here with my colleague Therese

Therese Winyard – Hi Jacqui. I'm Therese Winyard. I'm the transition advisor here in early learning.

Jacqui Ward – We're super excited to come together and talk about learning through play, cause Therese and I are both passionate about that and we've developed a podcast series that is all about focusing in on how children are just learning so much through their play, through their everyday experiences and that learning is not only happening when children are attending preschool, school, early childhood services. That learning is actually happening in the home. You know, when you're out visiting the shops or in the everyday kind of routineness of life as well, so this chat really focuses in on recognizing or, making that learning visible for people. And it's also about, you know, making sure families, I guess, feel reassured that that learning is happening in those everyday spaces and helping them to be aware of it so they can support their children in that role.

Therese Winyard – And yes, Jacqui, I like the way you are using the word families, not just parents because you know, anyone supporting their children in their life has really supporting their learning at home. So this podcast is for the whole family, not just for parents, perhaps for grandparents, for aunts and uncles, older brothers and sisters, the whole family.

Jacqui Ward – Yeah and it's really about celebrating the amazing jobs that families do in creating a great foundation for later life learning and success. You know, it's about including and celebrating all the nurturing, the nourishing, the keeping safe, healthy and well, and all of the learning that's happening in those everyday routines, and most importantly, that idea that families play such a significant and important role in cementing a strong, successful start to life and a strong start to school as well.

Therese Winyard – That's so true. Jacqui. This podcast, the first in the series entitled learning in the everyday, is really about learning at home. It's emphasising that learning doesn't only happen when children are at school or at preschool or at the early childhood setting, that there's so much learning occurring in the home. In early childhood, we talk about families and about parents being the first teachers of their children. So today we're really focusing on recognizing that the learning that comes from all those activities, routines that parents and families do every day with their children.

Jacqui Ward – Yeah, for sure. And it doesn't always have to be you know, I think at the, you know, at the moment with all of the learning from home and the pressure on families to support their child's learning and to be active, proactive in doing learning experiences and whatnot. There's actually quite a lot that's happening incidentally and at, there's quite a lot of learning that's happening about maths and English and science and all sorts of things in your everyday routines. You don't have to plan something separate, you can actually just integrate it into your routine.

Therese Winyard – Yeah, that doesn't need to be that time set aside to teach, there's moments all throughout the day when children are learning and children have already learned so much when they are at home from when they're born. Language learning is a great example I think Jacqui, you know, when all the things that children learn at home, the way that they amaze us with the way that they learn language by being involved in everyday activities at home and all the normal routines that happen in the family. And it never ceases to amaze me the way that children learn through those experiences and pick up that really complex skill of language, which is really such a strong basis, such a strong, important skill to everything that follows at school when they start learning formally at school such, so I think that this podcast is really about reassuring families that even if they don't have that time to sit down and teach their children or run to a schedule, something like school, that their children are learning in lots of ways and that the families can make that fun and they can make it really relevant to their family life as well.

Jacqui Ward – Yeah, definitely, and if we think about, you know, some of the learning that happens in those early years, it's all sort of foundational to that future learning. like you said, the language at home, when you talk to your toddler or your pre-schooler, you’re giving examples of how to use language for a range of different purposes, aren't you? When you're saying, you know, giving directions or you're telling a story or your describing things, you're modelling all those sorts of things that's happening throughout what you're doing in your everyday you know, chores of involving children, I guess in something like hanging out the washing, you know, you're, you're getting them to match colours and you can have a little game by creating a pattern. All of those sorts of things.

And I guess one of the things that I wanted to really emphasize, I guess is that, you know, if you're aware that you're having this influence over children's learning when you're doing these sorts of things, then it's important to be pretty purposeful in how you make those decisions around what you do with your child each day. Cause I think first and foremost, you know, as a parent or a carer, a child or children, you think about, well, I need to think about, you know, hygiene and safety and I need to get through all these routines of bath time and meal times and all those sorts of things. But if we look at it from another lens or add another layer onto it and say, well, I do have to do all of those things and I do have to think about safety, but you know, buckling my child into the car seat for example, and we're driving along to go from here to there, we can talk about a lot of things that the child is looking at. You know, we can support the learning that's happening at the same time. Or like I said, if a child's having a bath, there's lots of opportunities to explore the properties of water or you know, sing songs and learn about rhymes. And when you know about words that rhyme, you, you have a better chance to read all of a range of different words because you know, you know, sat and cat and mat all rhyme together. So, if you've had that opportunity to engage with some rhyme games and some see in the bath, you've got the opportunity to have that learning more cemented later on.

Therese Winyard – Yeah, and Jacqui, I really liked the way you mentioned about being aware, like families being aware that when they're doing these things that they're actually creating learning situations for their children. And then when you were aware of it, it really increases your motivation and your engagement in that activity as well.

Jacqui Ward – Yeah, I couldn't agree more. I think about that a lot about, you know, I think about Oprah Winfrey and the people that she used to have on her show about, being in the moment, particularly with your children enjoying the now, rather than always worrying about the future. And I think this is a great way to do exactly that, isn't it? Because if you're thinking about, Oh, what sort of things is my child learning from this bath time? I'm not worried about hurry up, get this bath time over and done with. I'm actually thinking, oh this is a really good investment of my one on one time with my child. Because I know that I'm not only going to end up with a clean child, but I'm also going to end up with a child that's had all of this learning happening.

Therese Winyard – And then while you were aware of it too and engaged so much because you were aware of how important it is, also another key to it is I think to make it fun. And one of the easiest ways to foster children's love of learning is to make it fun. So rather than having, you know, come and sit down and do your learning - integrated into everyday activities and just routine activities and make it lots of fun. You mentioned some routine activities before Jacqui. One like for example, getting dressed that can be so much fun. You talk and laugh together while you do it. I remember with my children when they were young, I used to deliberately sabotage getting dressed so that it would be really lots of fun and perhaps try to put their legs into the arms of their jumper and, put things on upside down or back to front. They used to love it and laugh and laugh and all the language that came out of it, they were really good on positional language, like upside down, back to front, wrong way round tag at the back. All of that is, you know, learning that really helps them and also encourages their independence cause then they want to show you how to do it the right way.

Jacqui Ward – Yeah. And I think that's a really good example Therese cause I think I know they'd probably be plenty of parents or families listening out there at the moment, going on dress or getting dressed time is a very stressful time for me. You know, if we think about looking at it in a different way and saying, well what, you know, even that idea of thinking about the weather, what types of clothes do we need based on the weather? If it's summer, what do we need to think about? Yeah, maybe we might want to wear a singlet dress, but are we going outside? Are we going to spend some time outside where we get sunburned if you wear that? You know, even all those sorts of conversations, they're problem solving. They're learning about all sorts of weather systems and the learning just goes on and on and on I think.

Therese Winyard – So much so much learning in all of those situations. And then we're already dressed and we're having breakfast now, Jacqui. And so, we're going to encourage the kids to make their own choices and to think about what they want to eat. Maybe choose from a range and then to get ready themselves, get the peanut butter on the toast themselves, pour their water or their drink or whatever they're having and learning all the competencies that go with that and the confidence that comes from having a go. And if a drink spills, that's okay. Children need to make mistakes and it's really, really important to let them make those mistakes and say, well that's fine, you've been trying, you've had a really good go at that. Let's just clean that up and have another go. Making mistakes is a really important part of learning.

Jacqui Ward – Yeah, I agree. And also, I think we've got, you know, the whole idea that you might think, Oh, this is sounding like all these routine things are going to take me a long time. But if a child is having fun and you're having fun, next thing you know it's actually taken you a lot less time than if you're fighting and struggling with a child and trying to get all these things happen. So, it's not just about, you know, acknowledging the learning that's happening along the way, but also trying to make those experiences more pleasant for everyone, I guess all around.

Therese Winyard – And actually helping the whole family get through the day, because as children develop those skills, they are able to do more of it themselves and it will take less time, less of your time as a parent or a grandparent or whoever you might be supporting this child in their learning.

Jacqui Ward – Yeah, so I think in summing up, I guess this podcast series just is all about that idea of just, you know, making the learning visible and you know, seeing that every day in every way, so whether it's the child playing or a routine experience or, something where you acknowledge it's a bit more formal and structured learning, they are learning. And if they learn in a playful, joyous way, it's more likely going to be a more successful experience all around, I guess.

Therese Winyard – That's for sure. Jackie. And so probably might be good to mention what else is going to be covered in the podcast series.

Jacqui Ward – Yeah, so we've got the next one coming up, the next episode is called ‘What guides, what and how children learn in the early years. So really talking a little bit about the learning outcomes that are associated with the early years curriculum and seeing how that's relevant for families to know a little bit about that so they can support their child's learning there. Then the next episode is all focused in on play-based learning and really explaining that in more detail and how that's actually quite complex thinking and learning happening in play situations. And the next one is all about letting your child take the lead. And again, it's about viewing children as competent and capable and when they, you know, have an interest in something a bit like what you were saying, if they want to make it fun. They're more likely to go deeper and, and be involved, I guess, and engaged more comprehensively in that type of learning. And the last one is all about supporting families. You know, if you've got a range of different children, how do you support learning across a range of different children or different ages or a group of children? And also, then how do you incorporate, thinking about how it's a bit more holistic, I guess if you're thinking about learning through play, you're not handling subject areas separately. You're actually, you know, looking at learning as an integrated sort of concept. And we're going to unpack that in the last series. So, hope everyone's enjoyed this session and I hope that they will tune into the other episodes.

Therese Winyard – Absolutely Jacqui and those other podcasts series sounds so interesting. I think that it will be wonderful for people to engage in the whole series.

Jacqui Ward – Right. Thanks for chatting.

Therese Winyard – Thanks Jacqui. Bye.

Return to top of page Back to top