Socialization and Early Childhood “Literacy”

In the Andes and Amazonia children are generally not told what to do or how to do something. Instead, from a very early age, children participate alongside adults in household chores, at first emulating adult behavior and later contributing to the household.
Indigenous homes and classrooms often have child-sized agricultural tools, tiny looms, tiny cookware, and musical instruments for children to develop dexterity in farming, weaving, preparing food, and music making. Children learn mathematics, science and literacy of environmental signs by playing and working in vegetable gardens. They learn counting and market economics by selling produce or small animals in the market with their parents. They learn about ritual by participating in household events and community festivals. Their learning is experiential through and through.

Similarly, children learn about local myths and histories first by listening to stories and later by telling stories themselves with all the nuances of literary expression, metaphor and symbolism.