I’m both an educator and first time parent. I have been around children since I was a little girl. Educating children is my career but most importantly it’s my passion. I feel that you can educate children no matter how young or old they are. There is so much to be taught and learned by many. I’m still learning and educating myself so that I can better my teaching practices.
One thing that as an educator I have noticed is that many parents do not communicate with their children. Today our children live in a technological world. There are iPhones, iPads, smart TVs, computers and so much more. Our children are exposed to technology from a very young age. I think it is important to take time out of our day to talk with our children. Simple questions like: how was your day? What is something new that you learned in school? What would you like to do? (Other than watching television or playing video games). I feel that technology is hurting the new generation of children because they only know how to play video games or watch television. My son is going to be 6 months old and I talk to him all the time. When we I for walks around the neighborhood, I explain what we are seeing. I name many things for him. He might not know things day to day but he is hearing the vocabulary words that will allow him to use in the future. It is important to communicate and name things for children as young as 5 months old or even younger. They need to know what are the names of things. Everything that we see, smell, touch, taste and hear have names. These names should be used and children should be exposed to these vocabulary words. I also tell my son what I’m cooking, when I’m changing his diaper, these are all the kinds of things that I communicate to my son. It’s important to open our children’s eyes and teach them through the five senses. I know that it is hard working full time and finding the time to communicate to our children but it’s possible. Even a few minutes a day will make a big difference. Our children have so many things to say and we might have the answers for them.
Another big and important part of a child’s life is reading. Children should know what a book is and how to hold one properly. I remember when I was pregnant I would read a few children’s books to my unborn son. This starts the love for books. I read at least 2 books a day to my son now. I noticed he enjoys listening to me read the books. He might not know or understand what I’m reading to him but my love for books will be projected on him. As an educator I have my own personal library at home and I keep buying books for my son. We read the new books all the time. I have noticed that my son will sit and listen to Eric Carle books. The reason may be because of all the colors that are bright. Another strategy for reading with your child is to tell them your own story or label what is the book. Name the characters and the setting of a book. I have many students that do not know what a setting is. Whenever I’m out for a walk with my son I name the setting and where we are. It’s important for students and children to know where they are or where a story takes place. There are so many different things that you can talk to your child about. In a later blog I will give more strategies for reading with your child. I hope this inspires you to talk with your child and start a love for reading with them.