As we’re setting goals for the new year, I encourage parents to consider the tips below as we all strive to develop learning habits with our children that will stay with them throughout their lives.
- Encourage play. Playing alone and with others not only builds brain development, it also helps children develop social skills and a sense of ethics. The most effective play is free of evaluation and correction (after all, throwing a ball shouldn’t be “right” or “wrong”), while promoting autonomy.
- Play together. In addition to their ABCs and 123s, preschool children are learning and developing life skills that will shape who they grow into as adults. One of these building blocks is learning to play well with others and accepting one another’s differences.
- Get adequate sleep and proper nutrition. Your child will do their best if they get to sleep early and eat a healthy breakfast each day before school. A daily diet of junk food is not compatible with learning. It can cause listlessness and hyperactivity, which can impair a child’s ability to learn. Skipping breakfast, especially, is a detriment to a child’s education.
- Continue year-long education. Routine provides structure, which is often lacking during the summer months when children all too quickly become detached from the lessons they learned throughout the school year. Maintaining a schedule throughout the summer supports an environment that is less of a contrast to the classroom and provides a healthy balance between building skills, play and rest.
- Turn off the screens. The American Academy of Pediatrics urges parents to avoid television and other electronic media for children two years of age and younger. Time spent in front of a computer, TV, video game or other similar devices can interfere with schoolwork, physical activity, curious exploration, social interaction and play.
What habits will you teach your children going into this new year and beyond?
Written By: Cathy Jo Mattson, On-Site Goddard School Owner
The Goddard School located in Collierville offers a year-round child-focused FLEX Learning program for children from six weeks to six-years-old. For more information on why The Goddard School of Collierville is the place for fun and learning, contact us at 901-861-0108.