Teaching your child life skills and academic skills can be a fun and fulfilling experience for you and your child. You are your child’s first teacher, and they mirror your behaviour. Finding time to share small snippets of learning in a relaxed way is a gift. It’s the difference between bringing a joy into their long journey of learning or making it feel like a chore.
Choosing the materials you’re working with is an important decision and it affects your child’s experience. Choose materials that appeal to you, are beautifully illustrated, and encourage conversation and curiosity. Start with small lessons of just ten minutes a day to build academic skills. Little lessons regularly is more beneficial than long drawn out teaching marathons!
At this early age your child is ready to learn. They’re soaking up every opportunity. Their whole world is about discovery. Create an atmosphere of learning.
You can start with building an understanding of the relationship between letters and words with beginning sounds. Practicing in a practical way creates a deeper understanding. On the fridge or a noticeboard have photos of family, pets, and friends, with magnetic letters for the beginning of their names. Label objects around your home with letter tiles. Practice writing the letters with chalk on a blackboard or the sidewalk. Make the shapes of the letters with playdough or clay.
For ten minutes a day create sorting and matching activities where you and your child play with the sounds they already know. Teach new letter sounds and display them with a picture or object beginning with that sound. Talk about the picture or object. What colours and shapes do you see? Are they big or small? Have you seen this animal or object somewhere before? Create curiosity and discovery beyond just the beginning sounds. You’re gradually building on the sounds they know, introducing new sounds, and building interest and vocabulary.
Most importantly enjoy!