Written by Julia Gorham
In preschool years the effect of a child’s home environment and parent’s behaviour is vital. It is in this age period that parents will have the greatest effect on their child’s cognitive development. In middle childhood, instruction and experience at school are likely to contribute more than parents to children’s intellectual progress.
Parents are children’s first teachers, and so they have the enormous responsibility for making their home stimulating enough to keep their preschool children minds alert and active. It must be safe, yet challenging, organised but not too restrictive, intriguing but not overwhelming. Parents also have the responsibility for offering their children activities that foster exploration, hands on experience and learning and realise that they are models for their child’s high intellectual potential.
Studies have proven that parents who participate in their children’s activities, games and who help them with exploratory play etc. contribute greatly to the child’s path of successful learning where they will reap the benefits.
As an Educator and a mother of two daughters, I put aside special time with my daughters to participate in special and fun activities with them. This was a wonderful, bonding time too.
Parents can guide and educate their children and provide them with a stimulating environment. Parents who spend time with their children completing puzzles, building blocks, playing games reading to them etc. are helping them intellectually.
I have compiled a great home programme for parents to follow with their children which will be posted on Children’s Kickstart shortly. Have a look at Children’s Kick-start examples of Montessori, simple activities that you can set up in your home too.