How to be Your Child’s Best Teacher, As a Parent
A child’s first and most important teacher is their parents. They learn how to be in a family, how to say “please and thank you,” and how to love, among many other skills. When it comes time for school, some children have new teachers that educate them in math, science, history—the basics. Some parents go the home-schooling route, and wear the teacher hat themselves. Because of the pandemic, a lot of parents wore that teacher hat, and a special “hats-off” to you; it was not an easy time for anyone and the fact that you were there for your little one’s early childhood education in any capacity is something to be proud of!
When it comes to teaching at home, whether it’s helping with homework or learning a new skill, it is a special time between parent and child. Although sometimes difficult, this “lesson time” or “homework time” promotes bonding and problem-solving. Teaching your child at home can be daunting, but you can learn the basics from early childhood educators, such as your child’s Playgarden Online teachers. There are also lots of blogs and forums with parenting tips for this, so it is important to do your research.
What do your kids tell you about their favorite teacher? “Teacher so-and-so is so proud of me when I try something new,” or “today, Ms. so-and-so made learning this hard subject really fun!” All parents have their own style, but when it comes to teaching, listening to your child and how they are learning successfully can inform how you can help them out at home.
Children appreciate when teachers:
- Are encouraging
- Celebrate when a new skill is learned
- Listen to their students
- Understand everyone learns differently
- Make learning fun!
Positive encouragement is essential, and it means the most when it comes from a parent. When a new skill is achieved, that’s cause for celebration. Some parents have found success when encouraging their children towards progress versus perfection. Even adults struggle with this concept, so practicing progress over perfection can have a positive impact on the whole family.
Time spent working on homework or teaching a new skill is a great time to celebrate your child’s growth and development. Especially as the material they are learning becomes more and more challenging, it’s important to assure them that they are capable and that some skills may take a bit more time than others.
Listen to how your little one is taking in the new information or how they are practicing their new skill. How do they approach solving the problem? Follow their lead and offer guidance as needed. There’s no denying it, working with family can be frustrating. Breaks are essential. If you feel tension building, it may be beneficial to take a step back and come back to the work later. Take a moment to review what worked while working together and how you can be of help to them in the future, if they are able to communicate that. Whether you have a hand in helping them or not, celebrating accomplishing a new skill instills belief in themselves and builds confidence as they continue to learn.
As your child grows and develops in schooling, the way they learn will inevitably change, that’s why the most important thing a teaching parent can do is keep listening and doing the next right thing. For more gentle parenting tips, join the Playgarden Online community today! When it comes to early childhood education, Playgarden’s team of experts have you covered. Try your first 15 days FREE!
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Hi, I'm Miss Julia!
Miss Julia has been an early childhood educator for 5 years, with over 10 years of experience working in childcare. She has been teaching at Playgarden Prep since 2017, and is happy to share ideas on some of her favorite early education topics with you! Miss Julia has a BA from UC Irvine, and uses her experience in performing arts to inspire little ones every day in her enrichment classes at Playgarden. In her free time, Miss Julia loves enjoying nature, cooking, and creating with friends.