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Fri, Feb. 22
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Successful school career starts before class

Parents often ask teachers what they can do at home to encourage young children to learn.

It is important to remember that parents are the first teachers. The emotional bond between parent and child provides the most natural way for learning to take place. When children are raised in a nurturing environment they are free to explore their world and develop cognitively.

A positive attachment between a parent and child is crucial for social and emotional development of the child. Therefore, time spent talking, playing, or holding your child is worthwhile. Providing the child with opportunities to use his or her senses enhances learning. Children naturally want to touch things. You can provide your preschool child with age appropriate toys that will help them develop small and large muscle development. They also need physical movement to develop motor coordination. A place where they can climb, walk or run is helpful. Children learn through play and love to imitate the adults in their lives, especially their parents.

Being a good role model is important. It is said that "more is caught than is taught." Your child will pick up your attitudes toward just about everything if you have a close relationship.

Reading to your child is one of the most beneficial things you can do to enhance language development and literacy. Young children like books with colorful or interesting pictures. They soon learn that there is a relationship between the print and the pictures. Just remember that books with too many words can cause little ones to lose interest. They often like actual pictures of animals or people. You can elicit conversation by asking questions about what they see. Children will pick up their favorite books again and again .

Raising children is often the most important thing we do in life, and it can be very challenging. Being consistent and fair in discipline is very difficult but it definitely has its rewards. When your child is given rules to live by or set boundaries, he or she will gain security. It is good to anticipate how you might handle discipline problems before they happen. Never discipline out of anger but out of a need to change your child's behavior for the better. There are many resources for parents including books on discipline and parenting classes. They can help you get through the rough times and help you enjoy your parenting experience more.

Lastly, appreciate your little one for the individual that he or she is, because all children are different. Capture that hug, and build a relationship. You won't be sorry!

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