The majority of articles addressing the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) are centred around the role of education in relation to the development of a child. Although this observation is perfectly true, it is important to remember that emotional and even spiritual health are also concerns which should be addressed at an early stage. To be clear, we are not necessarily talking about a specific religion in general, but rather why many specialists feel that developing a notion of personal spirituality while young can provide surprising benefits later in life. Let’s take a look at some of the reasons why the spiritual side of learning can represent a powerful tool for parents and teachers.
Developing Empathy and Interpersonal Connections
Many researchers cite that spirituality is critical due to the fact that it encourages children to ask questions about the world around them and existence as a whole. Furthermore, this helps to develop a sense of empathy towards others. Empathy is an important concept in terms of overall emotional development. Not only does a spiritual mindset prepare young individuals for the challenges associated with adult life, but it teaches why it is important to value the world and those around them.
Fostering a Healthy Mental Outlook
It is a well-known fact that the EYFS has been designed to ensure that young children are provided with a targeted educational framework. However, we should stress that this very same system also focuses upon emotional development. Cutting-edge tools such as the pupil profile software here will enable adults to gauge the progress of children in terms of learning and they can also be used to highlight spiritual and even metaphysical points of view.
One of the issues which little ones tend to grapple with involves how they fit into the world around them. This is why they tend to ask rather questions such as “where do babies come from?” or “what is god?” at an early stage. A spiritual mentality (or encouraging the formation of a spiritual mentality) will enable them to think outside of the proverbial box and the develop a more abstract perspective than would otherwise be possible.
Character Traits to Last a Lifetime
Spiritual health and emotional health are inextricably linked. As this article points out, there are several additional benefits which can be translated to the child including:
- Mental awareness
- A sense of belonging
- The ability to search for a higher purpose
- An appreciation for the fact that some things cannot be easily explained (awe)
Once again, spirituality and religion are essentially two separate concepts. While a child can certainly adopt a specific set of beliefs, a more general sense of spirituality is just as beneficial.
The EYFS is an effective method to ensure the proper development of a child. As this approach also takes into account emotional health, it makes perfect sense that parents and caregivers should place an equal importance upon the role of spiritualty.