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Find articles, tips, and off-screen activities created by our team of experts in early childhood development and education.
If you’re looking for access to leading experts and trusted resources to help support your child’s learning and development, look no further! We shared your questions with our team of experts led by Dr. Michael H. Levine, and they responded with simple solutions you can start applying to your lives today!
“Young children crave structure!” says Dr. Levine. Knowing what is going to happen each day decreases a child’s stress and increases their sense of security. Establishing routines helps support children’s learning by helping them focus, persist in finishing tasks, and plan ahead.
Create a daily schedule with your family
When everyone is involved in making the plan, they are more likely to follow it.
Herbert P. Ginsburg, PhD, the Jacob H. Schiff Emeritus Professor of Psychology and Education at Teachers College, Columbia University, says: “Early math is important for two reasons. One is that young children enjoy doing everyday math activities like making shapes with blocks, counting toys, making patterns with colors, and comparing lengths. So get engaged with their everyday math activities. In particular, talk about them: ‘Look: the cat is on top of the table and the dog is under it.’ But most of all, have a good time. The second reason is that everyday math lays the foundation for later school math, which elaborates on everyday math. Children who have already played with blocks will enjoy learning in school that a square has 4 sides all the same length. Children who have learned to count at home will enjoy learning in school that when you count after 20 all you have to do is add on the numbers 1 through 9.”
Reading and math skills can be practiced every day during daily routines
Susan B. Neuman, Professor of Early Childhood and Literacy Education at NYU, reminds us, “There are wonderful, easy ways to help children….the key thing that we could do is to be responsive to a child’s queries and interests. So every time the child asks a question and I answer it and I extend it, I’m letting the child know that I’m responsive to their language….that is the key to vocabulary development. It’s the responsive adult interacting with the child.” She also reminds us to read! “The most helpful strategy, of course, is read to your child, even after your child is already reading on his/her own…enjoy a chapter from a chapter book, and read books that are a little bit above your child’s level.”
School is a place where children practice many of their essential social skills. The good news is that your child develops many of these skills at home.
Even though we are spending less time in person with other people, we can still be social with each other!
Dr. Levine reminds us, “Children are unique and learn at different paces.” If your child is in school or other child care, check in with your child’s teacher about what they should be learning. Ask for suggestions about books to read and skills to practice.
Here is a trusted source that shares common milestones for young children—knowing these milestones helps you know what skills to work on with your child:
Encouraging your child to develop all of their skills—physical, social-emotional, and cognitive—is key to healthy development!
Check out Dr. Levine’s interview with CMOM and hear some more tips from one of the leading experts in early childhood!