At Nania_Repetition

Today I would like to talk about another one of the three major learning principles related to young children, that is ‘Repetition’.

At Nania, we pay emphasis on the rhythm of the day, week and year.  We repeat some activities every day, others every week and a few annually.  First and foremost, we strive to establish a nourishing rhythm of expansion and contraction within the day.  When the children come to Nania, arriving in still not a fully awaken state in the morning, we introduce them to an artistic activity, e.g. painting.  It is a calm activity allowing the child to focus and compose his/her inner self (contraction) at the start of the day.  When they finish their artistic work they have free play, an expansion to a more outward and social activity.  After free play, they come together for morning snack.

Children use lots of energy in their activity as well as for body building.  At Nania we have three snack and meal times.  Besides nourishment, snack and meal times act as natural pause periods between activities.  They also offer learning opportunities for household chores.  At Nania, children set the table for meals, they also wash their own plates, fold napkins, etc.  

After morning snack, we have songs and poems (ringtime) followed by outside play (expansion).  After outside play, the children come inside for lunch.  The older children then have study time (extended contraction) whilst the younger ones have free play.  The difference reflects the ability of the older children to concentrate and manage intellectual study.

We then have afternoon snack, which brings both age groups together again.  By this time the children have had five hours of activities, a pretty full day by any means.  They would be satiated and somewhat tired.  We then settle them down for story time and finish up with a goodbye song.

As human beings, we thrive on alternating rhythms, e.g. breathing in and breathing out.  Supported by a nourishing rhythm of expansion and contraction (or relaxation and concentration), children play and learn well, growing up in a healthy way in their body, mind and spirit.

Further to the rhythm of the day, we repeat seasonal festivals throughout the year.  The repetition gives children a sense of stability and helps them to build strong memory.  For every festival we introduce a different set of poems, songs and finger plays. Close to the festivals, we sing the songs and recite the poems everyday for the festival.  Although we introduce many songs, the children remember quickly through the repetition.  They are, more importantly, not memorizing things meaninglessly.  Their learning is filled with the joy of preparing for the festivals.  The joy of learning certainly contributes to a better rate of learning.


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