If you are continuing along in the 31 Days & 31 Ways To Be A Better Mom series, Day 9 One Smart Cookie touches on how imperative it is that we as moms don’t take a backseat in our child’s education. The way we teach our children and the support they receive from us once they enter public/private education will have a life-long impact.
The Good Ol’ Days
A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, parents did not need to worry about teaching their children fundamentals like the alphabet, basic phonics, reading and math. These concepts would all be taught in due time by elementary school teachers.
Such is not the case now. Preschool programs are now very much the norm and many kids are already reading at a basic level upon entering Kindergarten. Teachers are under enormous pressure to have children meeting certain thresholds earlier and earlier.
Now I must first say that there is a lot I don’t like about the pressure on young children at such an early age. It seems as though we are moving up the timeline bit by bit and in turn, chipping away at the heart of childhood – play.
But I also realize that my single opinion won’t sway the public one. And even if it did, my stance would remain the same that moms who support the educators and education of their child are doing themselves, their children and society as a whole a huge favor.
So how do you do that? How do you “support” your child’s education?
Easy things really:
1.Take your child outside to play and let nature be your teacher. Point out different types of leaves, use sticks to make letters, talk about the weather.
2. Spend a little time each day working on the alphabet
3. Play rhyming games in the car. You say rat, they say cat, you say fat and on and on and on.
4. Read to your child EVERY day. You can never go wrong by reading. Even when your child begins to read on their own, keep reading to them. You will expose them to words and stories they can’t yet manage. Check out some of my favorite books for toddlers!
5. Support your child’s teachers. Say only nice things about them in front of your child. And realize what a huge task they take on each day for far too little money.
6. Volunteer in the classroom. Even if you work outside the home, you can probably manage an hour or two a month to come help with guided reading or centers. Nothing shows that you care about your child’s education like showing up.
7. Have lunch at school. As I learned today, doing this regularly lets you in an VERY important part of a child’s education – the social aspect. By having lunch with my daughter at school, I get better insight into her friends, how she manages conflict and who is giving her a hard time.
8. Help your young child with homework each night. My oldest, Hannah, really likes when I sit with her and we go through her homework packet together. I like it because I can readily see what she’s struggling with be it a spelling word or math concept.
9. Find fun but educational videos and apps for those times when you can’t sit down with your child. PS. I don’t advocate using these a ton but let’s be practical…sometimes we have things to have to get done! I personally love the entire Leap Frog Learning Series. The series is amazing and kids don’t even know they are learning!
10. Never forget to tell your child they are smart, they are capable and they are special. Children need to hear these things over and over to truly believe them.
Because a child who knows they are supported at home will excel in ways we could never imagine.
If you have missed any in the series 31 Days & 31 Ways To Be A Better Mom, catch up here:
INTRO TO SERIES:
DAY 1: OUR BEFORE SCHOOL RULE
DAY 2: UNPLUG AND PLUG IN
DAY 3: STEP AWAY FROM YOUR CHILD
DAY 4: EMBRACE YOUR CRAZY
DAY 5: BE A REBEL
DAY 6: DO AS I SAY
DAY 7: FIND YOUR VILLAGE
DAY 8: DIVIDE & CONQUER
DAY 9: ONE SMART COOKIE
DAY 11: STOP COMPARING YOUR CHILD
DAY 12: TAKE CARE OF #1
DAY 13: DATE YOUR CHILD
DAY 17: PUT YOURSELF IN THEIR SHOES
DAY 18: QUIT BEATING YOURSELF UP
DAY 22: FAMILY DINNER SHMINNER
DAY 23: REBELLION IS A CRAZY THING
DAY 24: TELL THEM IT WILL GET BETTER
DAY 26: IT’S OKAY TO WISH TODAY WAS OVER
DAY 27: BE A GOOD DAUGHTER
DAY 28: QUIT TRYING TO BE THAT OTHER MOM
DAY 29: YOU CAN’T BUY THEIR HAPPINESS
DAY 30: TELL YOUR KIDS YOU ARE A FAILURE
DAY 31: LEARNING TO LET GO