Birth to five is the most crucial period for development in general. Parents are the most important teachers. Parents develop a child’s self-esteem. The child’s brain grows by opportunities and experiences provided by his/her parent. The brain grows to 90% of its size by age 5. A child learns 2/3 of his adult language by age 3. The brain grows because it is being used. How does it grow? By opportunities and experiences. It’s not about special games and toys. It’s what you do every day that matters. Talk-Sing-Play-Read. Experiences with language and experiences with print.
Educators use to tell parents to read to their children, and still do, but now we tell them to TALK to their children. Example: Saying nursery rhymes, reading their favorite books, and giving children an opportunity to talk about their favorite movie in as much detail as possible. Example: walking children to school while talking on the cell phone, children will gain more insight by having a two-way conversation about their surroundings or what they plan on doing at school that day. This will offer more time for language development.
Talking needs to be a 2-way communication. Speaking and listening lay the foundation for reading and writing. Reading begins with language. Reading continues with print. Keep the focus on active learning because young children learn by DOING, not by watching or paper & pencil work.
Reading to your child helps build his vocabulary. If a parent can teach their child a love for reading, then it will be less of a struggle to do their homework when the child is older. At the beginning of school a child learns to read, later – like 4th grade – a child reads to learn.