Parents and other family members are the child’s first teachers. Today, more than ever, the interaction between parents and their children in the years before they go to school are crucial to the kinds of opportunities those children will have.
There may once have been a time when parents felt they could safely leave the education of their children entirely to the schools. If so, that’s no longer an option.
The only way parents today can ensure their children will acquire the level of literacy they need to further their education is to lay the foundation at home. The years from birth to the age of five are the most important learning years of all.
By literacy, I mean more than simply the ability to read words on a page. Literacy includes the ability to carry on a conversation, follow directions, play imaginatively, and name the people, things, and activities that surround us. The most important thing a parent can do does not require time taken from day-to-day activities. The most important thing is to talk to your child, beginning at birth.
|Treat preschoolers with respect
Manifesto for parents
|Beware talking books
Family reading is not just for bedtime
Brains need exercise too
|Give your preschooler vocabulary
Basic literacy and parents
Reading success begins at home
It DOES matter what they read
|Does your child belong to the community?
Does your child need to go to college?
Parental choice in education
|The pitfalls of touchy-feely encouragement
Don’t rely on letter grades
“Grade level” is not good enough
|Teens need parental supervision
Beware of education jargon
Children shouldn’t hate school