Just a few days ago, I "discovered" my Kindergarten teacher in Facebook. Mrs. Ramirez who just turned 70 years old. We called her "bionic woman" back then (as she always say that she has bionic powers and will know if any of us will ask our parents to do our homework for us). In our Kindergarten class, we took turns to tell a story every Friday or perform a song. I remembered singing the class song during our graduation. Seeing her again brought me back to my humble beginnings of when I gained confidence to read, sing and talk in public.
In reality, my mom is my first teacher. Before I went to school, she has thought my ABC's and sang me lullabies. She taught me to be bold-not reserved and to speak my mind. She entertained questions and answered them as far as her knowledge can reach. We are both blessed in the way that we were able to stay at home to look after the family (but I must say that staying at home is a lot more work, having the need to oversee
a lot everything inside the household). Much of what I do to my daughter today is an inspiration from my mom, especially during the most crucial first 5 years of life.
It is known that 90% of a child's brain develops during the first 5 years of life and a number of factors influence early brain development such as daily experiences, parent responsiveness, nutrition, physical activity, genetics, and love. From this, we are able to see that before a child goes to school and learn (more), parents play a major role during the child's early years.
These are things
I only have an idea about I didn't know before I became a mom. According to First 5 California, which is great resource for parents to find information, support and activities for different kid's ages (from newborns, babies, toddlers and preschoolers), talking, reading and singing set your child up for a significantly more successful future.
By the age of 5, your child’s brain will have grown to 90% of its adult size. But even earlier than that, by age 3, it’s already reached 82% of its size. This proves that the earliest days, months and years of your child’s life matter so much when it comes to early experiences that shape brain growth and development. – First 5 California
Talk. Read. Sing.® Facts
“Talking, reading and singing” are simple but creative activties that we can do with our children. Investing a little of our time in such activities can promise to reap lifetime rewards not only for us but most especially for our kids. First 5 California website is an accessible tool which can help us attain our goals.
TALK. Have you encountered running out of answers to your child's uneneding queries?As kids grow up, they often have lots of questions. Never run out of answers or instead start asking your little one varied questions throughout the day. Engage in a question game and aim for twenty questions a day to help keep your baby engaged and start building a strong vocabulary. You can start by asking the color of their shirt, the color of the car beside you or what they like for snack. It is interesting that your child’s increased vocabulary means he or she will be less likely to drop out of school later.
READ. While my daughter is still in my tummy, I have read stories to her. As early as she came out and I have adjusted to my new routine as a mom, I started reading to her. Babies who are read and talked to early often develop better vocabularies and wind up doing better in school. You might think they may not understand what you are saying but their brains are physically growing with every word you say.
- Reading to your child at least 30 minutes a day can make a strong impact in her overall development.
- Take note that if the straight 30-minute reading will not be realistic for you, you can divide 10 minutes in the middle of the day, 10 minutes before nap time and 10 minutes before bed.
- Remember you don't have to buy books all the time. Pick up colorful books at your local library
Me and my daughter have spent time together at our local library where she joins pre-schooler's storytime every Friday. Not only it is beneficial for her but it gives me time as well for myself to go back to reading and check out new books, not to mention that it serves as our Mommy and daughter bonding.
SING. Need I say more? I guess with the video below, I can say I am quite good with singing my lullabies. Moreover, my singing skills paid off in teaching my daughter how to do them well. Here she is on her 2nd birthday, singing on top of her lungs. Though her words that time were still inaudible, you can make sense that she is trying to tell a story with her own lyrics.
It is sad in a way how time flies by so fast. She just turned 5 and will be in Kindergrated this schoolyear. Much to my dismay, I cannot hold her forever in my safe wings. I must let her fly and soar on her own, I guess this is the start of her plight.
If you are running out of ideas to do and want to learn more on how to stimulate your kids visit the First 5 California website. It has been a great resource for activities, brain-related stuff, PDFs of books, free downloads, cookbooks and all sorts of other helpful information, etc. you name it. I guarantee that you will not regret it.
Have you been reading, talking or singing to your kids as well? What are some tips you can share to make it more fun?