Some common sense advice

I often get posts about early childhood and parenting sent to me and this gem came today. 

Here are the five things author Alicia Bayer thinks 4 year olds should know. It's a very easy list to agree with, and so many of these opportunities are missing from children's lives as adults hurry them through their early years.

As I've always reassured parents, child come to what they know in their own time or as Alicia puts it "every child learns to walk, talk, read and do algebra at his own pace and that it will have no bearing on how well he walks, talks, reads or does algebra."

And now the list:

  1. She should know that she is loved wholly and unconditionally, all of the time.
  2. He should know that he is safe and he should know how to keep himself safe in public, with others, and in varied situations. He should know that he can trust his instincts about people and that he never has to do something that doesn’t feel right, no matter who is asking. He should know his personal rights and that his family will back them up.
  3. She should know how to laugh, act silly, be goofy and use her imagination. She should know that it is always OK to paint the sky orange and give cats six legs.
  4. He should know his own interests and be encouraged to follow them. If he couldn’t care less about learning his numbers, his parents should realize he’ll learn them accidentally soon enough and let him immerse himself instead in rocket ships, drawing, dinosaurs or playing in the mud.
  5. She should know that the world is magical and that so is she. She should know that she’s wonderful, brilliant, creative, compassionate and marvellous. She should know that it’s just as worthy to spend the day outside making daisy chains, mud pies and fairy houses as it is to practice phonics. Scratch that — way more worthy."

Visit Alicia's site, linked above, to find out some ways parents can support their children. My favourite, and the research backs this as vitally important, is reading to your child every day. Enjoy this quiet time together at the end of each day and you will make the biggest contribution to your child's education. And you will very much show your child number 1 on the list- every day.