Thursday, August 15, 2013

A Child's First Teacher is You!

As the new school year is approaching I've been doing some cleaning and rearranging of my office and found 11 year old articles I wrote for The Review Atlas! I guess I've been dishing out parenting advice for over a decade!

I therefore dub Thursdays "Throwback Thursdays" and will re post some oldies and some goodies!

This one is dated September 7, 2001.

There are many seasons in life. There are the obvious calendar seasons: winter, spring, summer and fall, but there is also: summertime, Christmastime and back-to-school-time.

When the stores put out the school supply lists and the ads start running for sneakers and blue jeans, we know it, the kids know it ... it's inevitable. It is time for school.

So we do as all good parents do, we attempt to put the kids to bed earlier and vow to make a hot breakfast at least once a week. The school bell rings and off they go. It's time to learn.

The first day of school is monumental for all ages but especially even more so for the younger students; the kindergartners and preschoolers. Many a mother sheds a tear as she leaves her baby for the first time in the hands of a gentle, coaxing teacher. But that is not your child's first teacher.

No, that's not even your child's most important teacher.

Your child's first and most important teacher all this time has been you!

We are very lucky in our area. We have excellent school systems with effective administration and caring teachers. But educators from all over would agree that the learning that takes place in the home in a child's first years are the very foundations by which a child becomes prepared to be a successful student.

Consider the many things your child learns long before you wave goodbye to them on that school bus: natural skills such as feeding themselves, walking, talking and potty training are necessities but so is sharing, manners, self discipline and social interaction.

Where do toddlers learn these acceptable behaviors?

In the home!

Caregivers, mothers and fathers all take part in teaching small children the very foundation they need to excel in school.

It's almost as if the parents are literal architects to their child's world. They have an opportunity to frame their son or daughter's world with meaningful experiences and play opportunities which mold and shape their children's environments.

From the moment an infant is born into this world they come prepared to learn. In a matter of moments they can begin to identify and locate their mother's voice. An amazing task for someone so small

Research indicates that the human brain actually grows the most in the first six years of life.  Approximately 80% of language is learned in the first three years. In fact, if we were to subject a two year old child and a 20 year old college student to the same neurological tests, we would find that the brain activity of the toddler was far greater than that of the undergraduate.

So shall we sit our babies and toddlers down and begin the lectures and lessons? No, of course not.

The most effective way to encourage learning and brain growth in young children is through play: imaginative play, outdoor play, digging-in-the-dirt play, block play and ball play.

Play with of all kinds with all things. After all, play is a child's work. That's their job and that's (formerly) why the First Steps Parent Program exists.

We provide many opportunities for parents and children to be together playing and exploring. Every family in the Monmouth area is invited to come and play with us at playgroup, baby book club, family fun night, parenting classes or any other of our many services. First Steps is a unique program in that we have no guidelines in order to participate. There are no income, developmental or financial guidelines. With our unofficial slogan "Come when you can, leave when you must" participation is on the rise.
Families can choose to participate in any combination of activities at their convenience. For a complete listing of services contact .....

Thanks for stopping by To Write a Better Story! As a mom, employee, friend ... I am trying to be present in every moment! To make this life, my life, a good one! The fact you'd visit today as I attempt that is an honor. I know there are a ga-zillion blogs and not enough time to read them! Thanks for reading mine! And if you enjoyed it ... well, sharing is caring. I'd appreciate it!

Q. What's your story? Please leave a comment! How have you dealt with the demands of parenting in the early years? Did you find a playgroup to participate in or how did you play?

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