Honolulu (KHON2) – Keiki O Ka ‘Aina has home instruction for parents of preschool youngsters, better known as HIPPY.
HIPPY stands for Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters. The HIPPY program offers home based early childhood education for three, four and five year old children working with their parent(s) as their first teacher. “The parent is provided with a set of carefully developed materials, curriculum and books designed to strengthen their child’s cognitive skills, early literacy skills, social/emotional and physical development,” says KOKA Executive Director Momi Akana.
HIPPY is a home-based parent involvement and school readiness program, which adds a STEM focus this year. “Today, all students are encouraged to “Think like a scientist!” – a skill that has become all but essential in the 21s century,” explains Carol Matsuzaki, STEM Grant Manager, KOKA. “When children develop these computational skills, they can articulate a problem and think logically. It helps them to break down the issues at hand and predict what may happen in the future. Research has shown that children as young as 4 years old can master powerful ideas from computational thinking and early engineering.”
Some of the first lessons teach keiki the difference between oil and water, a concept called “viscosity”, and what is “matter”. Keiki will make slime, watch an ice cube melt, and start to notice the processes that happen which lead to different outcomes. This helps a child, even at 3 and 4 years old, to begin to see the world around them and analyze what is happening to predict outcomes.
“Children today spend so much time using a computer to think for them, they don’t understand action and consequence, and the “why” behind what happens,” adds Akana.
“Computers have started to do all the thinking for keiki as young as 3 years old. They learn to push a button or swipe and get answers. That is not real world comprehension. Keiki need to learn process, analyze actions and consequences by actively learning these things through STEM lessons.”
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