Finger Lakes Lifestyle Photographer

Finger Lakes Lifestyle Photographer

Once a Teacher, Always a Teacher: A Simple Parenting Hack and Learning Tip

Those of you that know me, you know that in my "past life" I was a teacher. I loved my job then and I love my job(s!) now and I find that I still use many of the skills that I honed teaching in my everyday life--especially when it comes to raising my daughter. This month's idea that I had was super simple, but very effective and can be applied to all age levels, so parents of older children please stick with me--I promise I'll bring it home to you!

My daughter is heading to Pre-Kindergarten next year, and like any parent, I am anxious to make sure that I am providing her with the skills that she needs to succeed. Lately, we have been working on letters and letter recognition. Though we often talk about letters and sounds incidentally as it comes up during the day or as I see an opportunity arise, I often feel crunched for time to dedicate solely to this cause. Last night, I had a simple epiphany. I went to her bookshelf, gathered all of the alphabet books that I could, and put them in a bin. (I am aware that my daughter is very lucky to have many people in her life who value literacy and provide her with enough alphabet books to easily fill a bin. You can also implement this strategy by visiting your local library.) Then, I explained to my daughter and my husband that each night, we were going to choose at least one book from the bin as part of our reading. She was excited, it got my husband on board to help me even more than he already does, and she chose ALL THREE of her books that night from the bin. Just on that first night we were able to practice more than a half hour of letter recognition, letter sounds, and she even noticed how sometimes uppercase and lowercase letters look the same and sometimes they look different.  Mom win? I think so.

Parent of an older child? You can achieve similar results with a focus on content or even a life skill. Know that your child is going to be studying the American Revolution? Head to the library and pull some books. Math unit on geometry coming up next? Head to the library and pull some books. Notice that your child is having a difficulty with his or her friends? Head to the library and pull some books. Bonus here? I have found that librarians typically love to help with something like this, and some even like to do it for you.

What happens? Your child succeeds. Their teacher is grateful. You feel good about your parenting. And you should. Kudos to you for taking an active role in your child's life, education, and future.


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