Parenting: Start learning at home

Tuesday, April 24, 2012
We spend 20 minutes each morning reading their favorite books.

We spend 20 minutes each morning reading their favorite books.

My 2-year-olds watch their brother go catch the school bus every weekday. So of course, they want to ride the bus and go to school too.

To make the most of their curiosity, I spend part of each morning "pretending" that Hunter and Zeke go to school.

We have a little plastic school bus with a recording of the "Wheels on the Bus" song on it. We play with that, and point out all the yellow school buses we see when we're walking near our house.

We also spend 20 minutes each morning reading their favorite books. Then we practice our ABCs and count everything in sight - playing cards, pennies, Matchbox cars, stuffed animals, pieces of cereal. Hunter can already count to 13 - not bad for just turning 2-years-old.

We march around the house or go outside to play. I tell them Jake is having playtime, or recess, at school right then too. Recently we started trying to color with crayons or markers.

We also play, or bang on, the piano when it's time for music. It's a way to get them used to reading, writing, and arithmetic, plus music, the arts and sports. They also learn to focus on one subject at a time for 15-20 minutes and to sit quietly.

They seem to love our "school time" and always come to sit next to me or on my lap. Some days when they're not into it, I don't make them finish an activity. I let them have free run of the first floor while I'm doing the activity.

Most of the time they love to learn, create and play. It's our version of pre-pre-school.

A child's first teacher is their parent. So take advantage of their interests and spend a few minutes a day "teaching" them.

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