The Value of Learning Centers in Early Education

Kūkulu Kahua

Honolulu (KHON2) –  Our series Kūkulu Kahua talked about how Hawaiian values of Hōnuanua or learning centers can be valuable building blocks for early education.

Kahoʻokahi Kanuha, Hale Kipa ʻŌiwi Manager for ʻAha Pūnana Leo explained that at each Pūnana Leo site, there are four standard hōnuanua, each with its own focus. One focuses on mākauola (fine motor skills), one on mākauolonoa (sensorial skills), another on mākaumakemakika (math skills), and one on mākauʻōlelo (Hawaiian language skills). Through haʻawina hōnuanua, keiki strengthen their ability to make decisions, manage workspace, fulfill specific tasks from start to finish, and to return things to their proper place, all independently, while honing the focus skills of that hōnuanua.

Kanuha gave examples of how to incorporate Hōnuanua at home, saying, “If youʻre making breakfast and you need 8 eggs from the refrigerator, ask your keiki to grab the eggs instead. Without your keiki even knowing, (s)he is doing a haʻawina mākauola, focusing on lālau nui, or large grasping. At the same time, your keiki is doing haʻawina mākaumakemakika, having to count to eight and collect the right amount of eggs.”

You can find resources to help incorporate Hawaiian values at home online.


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