With all the fancy curriculum and theories regarding teaching, it can seem like it takes an advanced degree to teach kids. I value my teacher friends and they have learned a lot of skills and techniques to help children learn, but I think we can make the process seem more complicated than it actually is.
Long before there were pretty packages of curriculum for reading and math, children learned to read and they learned basic math.
Some of it they learned while sitting next to their mother who specifically taught them these skills.
And much of it was learned naturally. While copying thank you cards to friends and relatives, my Audrey now knows how to spell “Love” and “thank you”. By copying and looking at a calendar to figure out what day it is, she is also learning days of the week and numbers. She learns it because it’s something we naturally use and refer to every day. There is a motivation to learn that comes with having numbers and words a big part of your life.
This is one of the big secrets to why parents are encouraged (begged, cajoled) to read to their children every day. it’s not about phonics lessons, flash cards and reciting numbers. Although, some kids love this! The things your children will truly learn and understand (beyond rote memorization) come from having meaningful real-life interaction.
- Read a book and then “get distracted” and leave the book where they can find it and try to figure out the end.
- Let them help you with cooking and following recipes.
- Play together.
- Have them dictate thank you cards that you write out and then they copy in their own handwriting.
It’s not complicated and you CAN do it. I promise!
What is the last new thing you learned? I would love to hear your feedback.