A Praying Child – Conversation with Mercy Karuniah

I met Mercy Karuniah in one of the parenting talk last year and we became friend on facebook since then. Mercy is a lecturer in National Institute of Education in Singapore. She is also pursuing here Phd in Early Education at Nanyang Technological University. If you would like to visit Mercy’s profile page in Facebook please click here.

I really appreciate her time to reply some of my questions, doubt or inquiry related to child development or learning. With approval from Mercy, I will share our Facebook conversation here on my blog , so it become a share knowledge for all of us as parents.

Few days ago, I was on doubt with the dogma from Montessori Early Childhood concept that emphasize the important of the first 6th year on every child to develop their learning ability. Montessori called this period *The sensitive Period/ Golden Years*. My doubt is that my daughter just passed her 6 years old and I still feel there are a lot more I need to do with her, especially character building.

I post my question on Mercy wall :

Dearest Mercy, I once read that Montessori proclaimed the best year to educate a child is on the 1st 6 year of life. This cover the whole dimension of a child including their cognitive ability and mental ability. 6 year is not enough and it is too fast, My daughter 6 years just passed and I still think I have a lot to …do to help her grow up, especially the soft-part/character which is the MOST difficult part to teach. What do you say about it? am I late ….? Thank you Mercy, hope you are not busy to answer it. Cheeersss.

And this is the reply from her:

Hi Refine… it is widely believed that the first six years of life are very formative- the brain produces the most brain cells and these need to be activated through varied activities if not the cells basically die off- newest research says that the brain is able to regenerate new cells but the jury is still out- as for education nothing is too late- the brain is simulated through activity and learning is a life long thing- it never ends… you are not too late! What Montessori and many other theorists say is that the earlyyears- 1-6 is the most fertile to introduce the different learning dispositions- these are traits like creativity, curiosity etc that the child needs to cultivate in order to keep learning- these are attitunal things. It doesn’t mean that after 6 life is over! The child continues to learn through experience. You keep introducing Miza to new places, ideas, experiences and discuss these with her- begin a reflection journey- get her to draw or write like in a journal how she experienced certain things- for example when you take her to the art museum, get her to journal what impressed her, what didn’t and why- bring in an appreciation for ther Creator- God or Sprit however you visualize Him, because children need to see that they are not alone in a huge universe but that they are loved and in good hands.. education is a life long thing and parents will always be a child’s first teachers… its a job we won’t ever finish untill we reach God’s own feet.
This by the way is my personal opinion… not everybody talks about God and His role in our development!

Her reply has eased my doubt and give me confirmation that there is always chance for education no matter the time is. However Mercy not only answered my question but she gave me another avenue to explore with my daughter. The concept of GOD.

I can not disagree with it. In my opinion as well as my husband, the concept of GOD/ The creator hold important value system on our child education. The concept of GOD not just teaching a child about value system, moral, good VS evil but it give a deep root inside of a humble character that will bring peace and harmony to her surounding, as well as the *Wonder Mind*. By appreciating each of GOD’s creation a child will have a wonder mind that lead them to study further and find out how the creation was made.

My friend Andy Ang from Facebook always called this term as *the soft-part* of child development which is the Character … the content NOt just any outside attribute.

Thank you Mercy … cheerss.