Educational development is at the forefront of many parents’ minds. With nearly twenty years of experience in Early Childhood Education, Jeff Horwitz, our Early Childhood Director, has several tips on creating learning environments for all ages both in and out of the classroom. While our teachers and staff educate children at school, their are many techniques that parents can use to engage children in learning outside of the classroom.
1. Encourage Reading & Practice Vocabulary
Encourage your child to pick out a book for you to read together. Read with your child: read to them and have them read aloud to you. Following and during the reading, be sure to discuss the book. Go over difficult words, point out important lessons, and question them about the characters and plot of the book. Reading will help increase a child’s vocabulary and writing, as they are exposed to sentence structures and new words.
2. Make More Out of Screen Time
Screen time can be a learning tool, but it’s all about the conversations you are having with your child. What questions are you asking your child about what they’re watching, what games they are playing, and what they are creating on or with their devices? Make time for screen time with your child. Be sure to ask questions, such as “What do you think will happen next? Why did they do that?” Or commenting on the behavior of the characters. I realize that screen time also allows us as adults an opportunity to make dinner, unload the dishwasher, or complete other household tasks. Finding the balance between passive screen time and active screen time is the key.
3. Complete Household Tasks Together
Here’s a secret: children are capable of more than we think! And they love to be involved. Sharing in the responsibility of doing simple household tasks, such as setting the table, sweeping the floor or assisting in grocery shopping, will help them to become productive citizens of the world. They will begin to understand what it means to be responsible and an active part of a community. Children love having jobs and feeling like they are making an impact. Children also want to imitate their parents. You can also weave academics into chores, such as counting socks while folding. As your child grows older, they can be tasked with writing the grocery list or picking up certain items. It’s all about coaching, learning, and bonding moments.
4. Spend Quality Time Together
The steps above are not just essential in helping your child grow academically, they also are great ways to connect with your child. You will see that you have not only helped your child learn and grow, but that you have spent quality time together.
Early Childhood education is essential. These are the formative years of your child’s brain. You can help pave the way and set them up for a successful future. And we are here to help you along the way. We look forward to partnering with you as your child moves through City Academy.
Jeff Horwitz | Early Childhood Director