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When Can I teach My Child?
Any age is Learning Age
When is the Best Time to Teach a Child?
The question; “When can I teach my child?” is always circulating among mothers with very young kids. This is often a misunderstood question because many mothers think that there is a certain age when a child must be taught.
Although there is no set age when to teach a child, always take into consideration the readiness of the children.
Here are some simple tips to consider when teaching kids.
- Remember that each child is unique - Each child is unique from his peers and each child has his own capabilities that determine his learning readiness. There are no set rules when to teach a child because the learning process is a continuous cycle that starts once the child is conceived. Of course teaching a child starts even while the child is inside the mother’s womb but the formal training starts only when the child is born. By the time the child is outside this wonderful world, he starts learning the things using his senses.
- Make Teaching a Natural Thing - Teaching a child comes as a natural thing within the family once the child is born. You may not be aware but the child learns from all the things that he hears and sees around him. The baby may not be able to talk but he is learning and absorbing the things that he sees and hears. This is why it is very important to provide the child a pleasant environment where he can learn pleasant things and maintain a positive life.
- Children differ individually. Some children mature very fast. Some mature normally while others mature slowly. It is very important then to gauge how much your child progresses because this will help in determining the maturity of your child and at the same time it will help you determine if you can start teaching your child the things that he is supposed to learn.
- Practical things and life skills can be taught anytime. There are parents who start teaching their kids as soon as the child is born. This is done by using sounds like music, songs and sound from television. Even if the infant is not watching the television; the child's hearing is already working so the child can listen to different sounds around him. Another way is to talk to your child or tell stories, say rhymes and sing songs. The fact that you are doing something for your child means that you are instilling something in him very early which is a helpful factor in his growth and development.
It is like planting a seed, nurturing it properly and providing all it's needs for the purpose of producing a plant that will be productive in the future.
Rami is 2 1/2 years old here.
When should I start training my child to read and write?
The training of kids depends upon how much you want to instill in your child and how much the child can absorb from your teaching. There is no harm in starting to teach a child as soon as the child is born. If you want to let your child listen to nursery rhymes or songs, that is fine. Some even start nurturing their unborn child with lots of kid's rhymes and songs.
When it comes to formal training with kids like writing and reading; this all depends upon the learning readiness of the child. You can start training your child to hold the pencil as early as one year two months when he can properly grasp things. Of course you don’t let him hold the sharp pencil alone because he might get hurt but it is all right to let him hold an unsharpened pencil just for a start. The good thing about giving your child the pencil is to let him know that the pencil is a useful tool that he will soon be using.
In the case of my nephew who I find very smart, he started holding the pencil as early as one year one month. Rami sat watching me on the table where I work with my elder sister on the paper works for our tutors. That time, he was trying to reach for the pen I was using so I told him not to hold the pen because he was too young. He started to complain so I gave him a toy.
The next day, Rami came again to me while I was writing and grabbed the pen from my hand. I didn’t get it back and instead I held his hand and helped him scribble something on the piece of paper that I used as a scratch for solving. He smiled and uttered a word obviously appreciating the scribbled thing on the paper. I said, “Very good Rami. You were able to draw something today.” His answer was a short giggle that meant he was excited to learn something.
You can introduce learning materials very early to your kids. I introduced picture books to my son when he was six months old and he could already sit. When he was two, he could name most of the pictures in his picture books. You can start naming the pictures and talking about the pictures to your child early on. You can even start telling stories to you baby as soon as he is born.
You can start teaching your child more complicated things once he shows some interest in learning something. In the case of Rami who was excited to write we started letting him hold a pencil very early. You don’t need to hurry and force your child to study. Just let your child learn as he plays. Formal education starts when he finally starts school and that is the time you are going to really sit down with him on the table and teach him to write and read.
Your child will learn more effectively if he is having fun while learning.