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Parents...A Child's First Teacher

Children learn new things every day in the school environment. As a parent, it can be a bit confusing knowing just what skills to emphasize when you are reviewing at home.

Remember that reading to and with your child every evening is very important. If you read just 30 minutes together each night, your child will benefit greatly from the activity. 

Practicing practical math skills such as identifying numbers, counting objects, making change to understand the value of money, and measuring with rulers as well as using scales to weigh objects is always a good choice.

Learning can be reinforced in the home environment without turning  into a chore. Here are some practical suggestions for helping your child increase their skills and knowledge.

 
Use household items as an excuse to learn things without it being obvious.
From your household pantry, cans, containers, bottles, boxes, books, etc., can be used to demonstrate lessons in weight, size, geometry, space, etc. as part of your daily household usage.
 
Capitalize on drive time to interact verbally with your child.
Use drive time in the car to play word games, to listen to nursery rhymes, to sing songs, and make connections between real world events and objects in the environment to things your children are learning about in school. Discuss similarities, differences, and how events are interconnected. Provide a basket of age appropriate books for your child to look at while riding in the car. 
 
Make bath time a learning time.
Use shaving cream on the wall of the bath tub to write the alphabet. Use capital and lower case alphabet foam letters to spell familiar words. Discuss properties of water and science concepts such as density through exploration of which items float and which sink. 
 
Use common household items to reinforce writing.
Use a non-porous surface such as a table or flat tray. Some surfaces can be covered with plastic wrap.
Look in your pantry or refrigerator for a fun substance to write in. Allow children to write with their finger in pudding, whip cream, frosting, or peanut butter to have edible letter writing fun.
If you want to clean your table or a cookie sheet, some kids prefer to use shaving cream as their medium. Spray a little shaving cream on the non-porous surface and your child can practice writing their name, their phone number, letters, words, or sentences.
If your child prefers working with a dry substance, salt, sugar, corn starch, baking soda, or flour may be your choice.
To get started with using a dry texture for writing, try placing a thin layer of ordinary table salt or one of the other dry substances in a shallow dish with a snap tite lid for re-use later.  Encourage your child to write their name, letters and numbers, or write words with their finger from their spelling list. 
 
Learning is only limited by your imagination. Know that quality time spent with your child every night will always be a good investment.
And, keep in mind that making learning fun may be as close as your own kitchen cabinet.