Since he first started talking, (prior to his verbal regression) I have been reading and researching everything I would need to know to be able to teach him at home.
I’ve been trying to figure out at what age I should start him, what activities work best for someone his age, the right products to use, the best way to accommodate his special needs and so on and so forth. After all of this research you know what I’ve learned?
Follow his lead. Yep, pretty simple right?
Working with kids for as long as I did before becoming a stay at home mom taught me that children learn through play. Learning comes as naturally to them as breathing, it’s just how they operate. So, in light of this, I’ve taken the time to figure out the best way to simply enhance his natural learning at this young age.
It sounds so simple, and it is! Read to your child. Every day! There are a ton of children’s books out there. Everything from simple picture books to more in depth stories. Reading not only helps to expand and enhance their vocabularies, but it is also a great way to fuel your child’s imagination.
Our library has a friend’s of the library book sale every so often and there are always a ton of children’s book included. Nicholas loves picking out new stories, although right now he seems to be obsessed with train books, and it is always great to know we have new books to read each day.
Another insanely simple way to teach your young child! Draw, write, scribble. Whatever they want to do! Grab some crayons, colored pencils, markers, highlighter, your media of choice and let them go to town on some plain paper or coloring books. Nicholas loves when you wrap your hand around his and draw shapes all over the paper.
There doesn’t have to be any rhyme or reason to it but you are working on their motor skills while learning colors and shapes and they are having fun. To them, it doesn’t feel like work or like they are learning, they are just enjoying themselves.
Get up and move with your child! Jump, dance, swing, march, hop on one foot. You may feel silly but to your child, you are the greatest. Teach listening skills by making a game out of it, play a little Simon Says, I promise you, they’ll love it.
A while back we had a horrible time trying to get Nicholas to go to his room for bed each night. We knew it would be a battle before it even began and dreaded it every single night. One afternoon, Nicholas started mimicking the Backyardigans and marched around the living room. We tried it later that night at bedtime and now, every night we march back to bed without a fuss.
Let your child explore. Explore everything (as long as it won’t harm them obviously). Trying to cook dinner? Give them their own utensils and bowls and let them “help” you. The sun is finally shining after a week of rain? Go on a nature walk. Let them pick up rocks and leaves, feel the grass, get dirty. Set up sensory bins, let them help you out with the household chores (Nicholas loves putting laundry into the washing machine), and again, let them explore!
Young children learn best when they are simply exploring the world around them. After all, this world is a big place and it’s all new to them.
Above all, have fun! Enjoy playing with your child and you’ll be amazed at how quickly they learn and grow!