Your Child’s Most Important Teacher is an e-book for parents-to-be, new parents, people wishing to adopt or foster young children, grandparents, and babysitters.
It presents skills and information that parents can easily teach their children from birth to age 5, with emphasis on the crucial first 24 months. Because of that, the earlier parents learn this information, the better it will be for their child. It also touches on why the best time to teach these things is before your child starts school.
the developmental level of children at different ages,
what they can understand, learn, and do at different ages,
their communication abilities at different ages,
other topics like child proofing and working with your child’s physician.
Here are some excerpts from the book:
Here are four reasons why the first five years are so important. First, brain development during these early years allows young children to learn more easily than during any other time of their life. Second, proper mental stimulation improves the brain’s ability to learn. Third, age appropriate things your child learns at one age will be the foundation for future learning. Finally, children pick up their parent’s habits and attitudes at an early age. Your child’s attitude about learning will be largely determined before they start school, and you can influence your child to want to learn. Your words and actions will teach your child something. What will that something be? . . .
The first two ‘lessons’ I chose for my newborns were language and introducing them to their body. . .
My introduction to their body involved their fingers, starting around three or four weeks old. I would start by saying “finger”, then touching a finger, then saying it again as I was touching it. I might do this two or three times, sometimes touching the same one, other times another one. This taught them about their body and spoken words at the same time. Again, two benefits from one ‘lesson’, plus they seemed to like the gentle touching and attention. . .
Another way to teach, besides songs, is by letting your child experience basic things in life. Once my kids were eating ‘solid’ foods, I used shopping at the grocery store to teach practical things. I started with the name of a food they could eat, both spoken and in sign language. When they got older, I added another, then another. . .
(For my toddler) Sometimes I also used snack and meal time as a teaching time. It would be short, maybe 10 -20 seconds at the beginning of the meal or snack, so it wouldn’t be an unpleasant chore. At first, I might count pieces of cereal as I gave them to my child. Later, we counted together. As my kids got older, they could have as many as they could count – until they got too good!
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