My neighbor, Christine, has put together a focus group of moms who are interested in what I can tell them about child development and who, in return, will help me find out what new and not so new parents are concerned about, and how my knowledge might be helpful.
These are well educated, with-it moms. It is an honor that they have agreed to share their time with me. And since they ARE moms, and moms deserve only the BEST, there will be good chocolate, fine wine, sparkling water, and who knows, maybe roses~~
So here I referred to the training but let me add what the strategies ARE!!
We are talking about infants and toddlers. Kids 3 and YOUNGER.
Other than making sure there are books available at ALL ages (obviously they would be chewable for the very youngest and relatively indestructable as we move up the mobility and discovery ladder), the strategies to create readers are the SAME as what we suggest parents use to promote healthy brain development. These are (and I’m going to attempt to put them in one sentence):
Interact with your children at their language level during every day activities that may or may NOT involve print. Give them your undivided attention whenever you CAN as this is what gives them good self esteem AND builds their communication and learning skills. Comment on what they are doing as they are doing it. (OK at this point I realize I am NOT making that one sentence goal!) Respond to what they do, whether it is babble, smile, or ask for more fish crackers!
Add to what you hear them say. If baby says, “Papa”, YOU say, “Papa bye-bye”.
Take a chance when you’re not sure what they are saying. If baby says, “Baa”, YOU say, “Bath, we’re taking a bath” or “Bottle. I’ve got your bottle right here.” (Depending on what you think it might mean)
OK, that’s about it. There are others but these are the GOLD. Go for it!
I was lucky enough to spend yesterday being trained as a trainer for the Iowa Department of Education “Every Child Reads” module for people who teach children ages 0-3. Iowa is one of the top states as far as young children in day care, so this is appropriate.
I’m eager to get out there with this great material. AND I wonder – how many day care centers won’t ever get access to this training? Home daycares won’t get it unless they are registered with the State, and attendance at these trainings are always optional, which is as it should be -
Can we develop peer mentoring that helps busy, frazzled providers tune up their skills?
This business of starting a business – I’m finding that it requires something I hadn’t expected, and that is constantly turning and returning to my VALUES, the reason I wanted to spin away from my (excellent) employer and offer something different.
I share the concerns of many in the field of early childhood – parents are unsupported and unsure, and marketers are eager to capitalize on our passion to do what’s best. I would like to offer some sanity to this dilemma, some information about what I know makes the REAL difference for babies. So those are the values I bring to this endeavor. This blog will be about that, and hopefully I’ll offer some useful information along the way.