School Skills For Babies and Toddlers Part 1: Introduction

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Back in the days before I had babies, I was a teacher. I got to enlighten the young minds of America for 6 hours a day, 180 days a year. Now that I’m a full-time mom, I’m not in the classroom anymore. It has become quite obvious, however, that I am still a teacher. Only now, I’m in teacher-mode 24 hours a day, 7 days a week with my own kids–no Christmas break or summer vacation, no sick days or off-site training days. Oh, yeah. And I don’t get paid any more. And I wouldn’t change a thing about it!

It is one of the greatest privileges and responsibilities I have as a mom: to be my childrens’ first teacher. And, whether or not they know it, this is every parent’s role. Our children are always learning, and so every little thing we say or do is teaching them something. Babies and young children are like little learning sponges who soak up this wide new world they have entered. And, as the big people in these little people’s lives, we get to share in that with them.

Kids are never too young to start learning, so why not start teaching them? I thought it would be fun to do a series of posts about how I incorporate learning into our days. I don’t do anything formal or “academic” (c’mon, my oldest kid is only 2!) but I do try to teach them at every possible opportunity. For young children, play is serious business. When I “teach” my baby and toddler, then, most of it is done while we’re playing together or through little songs and games that we play.

Since I used to teach Kindergarten and first grade, I know a lot about what kinds of skills kids need to be familiar with before they enter school. I’m certainly not an expert on this matter– not by a long shot!–but there are lots of things I do every day that will help my kids be better prepared for the school years that lay in their (not-so) distant futures.  And if you have young children I bet you’re already doing a lot of these things, too!  I’ll do a post each day this week covering a different topic: literacy, math, science, and social/emotional skills. So, read on this week to find out how great of a parent you already are and maybe get a few ideas for some fun new things to try!

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