However, currently many children in Indonesia are taking preschool education or what is commonly known as Early Childhood Education (PAUD).
It has also been regulated in Law Number 20 of 2003 concerning the National Education System, which states that education will start at an early age.
In this law, (especially chapter I, article 1, point 14) states that early childhood education is an effort to guide children from birth to six years of age.
This is done through providing educational stimuli to help the growth and physical and spiritual development of children in order to have readiness to enter further education.
The education of children at the PAUD level is not only practicing social skills, but also includes academic learning such as reading and writing.
But what is the right age for children to be able to recognize letters and numbers?
Parents can introduce numbers and letters to children, as long as they have to be given at the right time. Following are the appropriate ages of children to learn numbers and letters
1. Age 2-4 years
Children who attend PAUD are those aged 2 to 4 years. In that preschool age, children are still developing their speech and language skills. Because, language development will be related to the development of reading skills at a later date.
At this age, parents are emphasized to read stories in front of their children as often as possible in order to foster a reading request to expand vocabulary. The vocabulary will make children recognize letters.
At this age, children begin to learn basic fine motor skills to learn to write (pre-writing skills). In this case, the child learns to draw lines, draw circles and connect dots. Coloring also supports the development of this skill.
2. Age 4-5 years: Basic literacy
At the age of 4 to 5 years the child begins to enter kindergarten. This is a good time to introduce children to the basics of reading and writing (pre-reading skills): recognizing letters and numbers, listening to rhymes, matching words with the same start or ending sound (e.g. book and month, drag and up).
When the child is able to spell the syllable (ba, ba), it will not take long for him to read simple words (mother, cow, pig). At this age, it is also good to introduce your child to the parts of a book: front cover, title, author, back cover.
The child may start to become interested in writing some letters and numbers. He is increasingly comfortable using writing tools. To support this skill, children can be given games to find a way or connect dots to form letters and numbers.
3. Ages 6-7 years: Learn to read and write.
Supplies brought to kindergarten will help them in their first years in elementary school. This is because children will be taught to read a lot during the first year of elementary school.
At that time children begin to recognize words without spelling and understand the meaning of most of the words and sentences they read.
In the middle of the first year, he can read simple books on his own. At this age, provide a variety of reading material for children, such as books or magazines. Make the most of the school library as possible.
At this age the child is adept at holding a pencil or pen. By the end of this period, the child is already proficient at writing, in legible writing.
4. Age 7-8: Learn to read at an advanced level
In the second year of elementary school, children will be provided with more reading material without memorizing and even sorting the alphabet again. By reading, children expand their vocabulary and knowledge about the world around them.
At this time, children can read aloud with expressions and already have a preference for books or stories that they like. When reading stories, children can identify characters, settings, and events in them. At the end of this period, children usually can read fluently on their own without any guidance.
5. Age 8 years and over
At the age of 8 years, children are already proficient in using their reading skills to learn, both inside and outside of school. At adolescence, children fully understand what they are reading. The types of reading vary, from fiction to nonfiction.
Introducing Numbers to Children
Unlike the age level of children in recognizing letters so that they can read perfectly, introducing children to numbers also has its own golden age level qualifications, namely:
1. Preschool age (2-3 years)
At the preschool age at PAUD, parents can introducing numbers from 1 to 9 to children. This can be done by introducing pictures as well as inviting children to write them down.
However, in some cases, there are some children who have started to write numbers, it depends on their fine motor skills.
If the motor skills are good, then the child will also be able to count objects, especially if the number of objects is not more than five.
Preschoolers can be taught to recognize and continue simple patterns or sequences. Example: oranges - bananas - oranges - bananas.
After a while, the child can recognize and pass on more complex sequences. Example: apples - oranges - bananas - apples - oranges - bananas oranges - oranges - bananas - oranges - oranges - bananas.
In addition, preschoolers can also begin to learn to group objects into two or three groups based on color, shape, size, or other recognizable traits. For example, children can be invited to group the blocks into two groups, red and blue.
2. Kindergarten age (4-5 years)
At this age, children can recognize numbers 1 to 20. The child also understands the concept of the number indicated by each number and can count objects correctly if the number of objects is still in the the number 20 or less.
At this age, some children have started to be able to count good jumps (1, 3, 5, 7 or 10, 20, 30, 40).
Kindergarten-aged children can recognize and pass on increasingly complex sequences (for example: red - red - blue - yellow - red - red - blue - yellow). They are also able to create their own line and continue it.
In addition, children can also group objects into three or more groups based on their properties, for example: large red blocks, small red blocks, large blue blocks, small blue blocks.
3. Elementary school age (6-10 years)
Apart from being taught a lot of reading to enrich vocabulary in the first year of elementary school, they will also be introduced to addition and subtraction with one digit.
In the second year, children begin to add and subtract two or more digits, and in the third and fourth years, children start learning multiplication and division.
It is only at the age of eleven and above that children can fully understand fractions, decimals, percentages, and geometry.
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