It is important for not only teachers to know what is developmentally appropriate, but it is also important for parents.
Understanding where your child should be developmentally is part of the parenting job.
It is absolutely natural for parents to compare their children to others. What is important to keep in mind is that every child is different, and they learn in their own time and in their own way. That, your job as a parent is to make sure the experiences and environment you provide for them supports them as they continue to explore and learn.
Know What your Child needs to know
That is why it is imperative for parents to have some idea of what their child should be working on. Learning is scaffolded, before they can move on to another skills, they first must master the skills leading up to it. So, let’s say a child has just turned 3 years old. You aren’t sure what they need to be working on. Go back to a list of what is suggested for an 18-month-old and check off the skills your child has mastered, work your way through a couple of lists, increasing the age of the list as you go.
Make a list of the things your child needs to work on, take note of the items on the list you are sure your child has mastered yet. This is where you start. You need to keep track of what they know and what they should be working on. This way you can make sure you are working with your child.
Learning is Everywhere
It's easy enough! Learning is in everyday things. I also really love the car for educational conversation because they are buckled in and cannot escape you! For example, as you stop at a stop sign, it’s easy enough to say “hey, look at that red stop sign, it is an octagon.” Then ask them to point out more colors and shapes as you drive. You can even ask them to yell out some Letters they see on signs.
It is not easy, but it is your job
Parenting is not easy, it takes dedication. It is quite literally a parent’s job to prepare their child for the world. It starts at birth. From the moment they are born, its time for you to start talking to them. The need you to read to them. They need you to provide an environment where they can safely learn and grasp the world around them. It is important for parents to truly understand they are their child’s first teacher. Being that first teacher is not easy. You have to do your research, you need to be aware of what your child really needs, so that they may thrive, socially, emotionally and academically. You must look outside of the opinions of friends and family and educate yourself based on fact, and not opinion. Parenting is work, and Early Education is the most important thing you can provide for your child in their life time!
Abby Lazarus, M.E.d.
Preschool teacher and owner.Current doctoral student, Masters in Early Childhood Studies, Bachelors in Child Development.
To Newsletter or not to Newsletter?
When I first opened my preschool. Focus was more on the children and what and how I was teaching. I failed to realize the importance and how much help it would be to myself and my students to communicate more with their parents. I underestimated how much that would change my teaching, how it effected how the parents felt about me, and how it would help me get needed information to parents other than one on one face to face communication.
I started out trying to produce a monthly newsletter. A newsletter that included a calendar, reminders, tips and notes. Something the parents could place on the fridge and have as a visual reminder on what is going on at preschool. This ended up for me, being more work on top of everything else I was doing. Just handing these out once per month didn't work because there were things that came up, and I had a need to tell the parents as a whole right away. I stopped doing newsletters.
I tried classroom apps, but it would have been much simpler to text everything myself.
Time for a website
Ultimately we found that a website dedicated to our school and classroom was the best way to handle everything. Plus, the website could take payments, we could share photos on a password protected space, we could keep a running list of upcoming events and it takes less than 30 seconds to add something new and post it. Like updating a classroom needs list. If we run out of red paint, one of us hops on the site and adds it to the list. The site can be accessed when a parent is standing in the middle of target wonder what was on the needs list. She/he has immediate access to that list via the class website. What can be found on the website can be found in the parent information area at school.
They have information on the the go and information they can see when they pick up and drop off. Therefore, this leaves no excuse for not knowing, it means they aren't holding up their end on the communication bargain. I have learned communication means everything, you learn so much more about the family and the child when you communicate and really bond and connect with each of your families. When you do this it changes the whole classroom dynamic, and everything works smoother.
Abby Lazarus, M.E.d.
Preschool teacher and owner. Bachelors in Child Development and Masters in Early Childhood Studies. Current doctoral student at Walden University.