Parenting is tough business. With more and more push of “formalized education,” parents have lost confidence THEY can teach their child. Parents … you are your child’s first and most important preschool teacher.
Our job as parents is to give children the foundation to learn in the early years. This means fostering imagination, creativity a sense of wonder and a want to learn. While you do this, children will learn the academics needed to read, write and succeed in school.
“Where do I start?” “How do I teach my child?”
· Have confidence YOU can teach your child. You don’t need a degree or formal education to teach your child. Children learn A LOT during the first five years of their lives and parents are the ones who are most involved in that learning process. They know you and love you, which is the first building block to learning. For parenting workshops that provide parenting information and ways to prepare children for the future, parents can turn to the Ingham County Great Start Collaborative or even Head Start.
· Make it fun. Children learn through play, hands on experiences and getting dirty (it’s OK for kids to get messy—that’s what they make laundry soap for). Look online for a plethora of blogs with activity ideas or check below for Lansing activities for your children. Listed below are also many free or inexpensive places to take preschoolers for hands on exploration.
· Get outside and get active. Nature is one of the best environments for learning. Children learn to explore, connect with nature and stay physically active. Learning and the ability to focus is also directly related to how physically active children are. Lansing has a variety of parks and nature trails perfect for exploring.
· Talk, Question and Explain. Describe EVERYTHING and your toddler will gain vocabulary. Ask “W” (Who, What, When and especially WHY?) questions and your preschooler will learn to think. Explain what is happening and your child will learn about the world. If you don’t know… look it up.
Schools are not the only ones responsible for teaching our children. Parents, start from the beginning and you will have a strong, confident, successful learner on your hands.
Places to take your preschooler in Lansing that are inexpensive or free:
Michigan Historical Museum
MSU Children’s Gardens
Woldumar or Fenner Nature Centers
Meridian Historical Village