Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Making Every Moment a Teachable Moment

Increasing Your Child's Vocabulary, Recognition, Speech and Comprehension with Daily Tasks
Teachable moments are anywhere and everywhere. Parents should take every opportunity to teach their children as they go through the day. School isn't the only place children should be learning. All parents have to do to take advantage of teachable moments throughout the day is realize that there are teachable moments in virtually anything and everything you do. Below are some examples that I used when my daughter was a toddler.
When you wake up in the morning, ask your little one what the numbers on the alarm clock are. Even toddlers can begin to recognize numbers at an early age! Ask them what shape the alarm clock is. A square, a rectangle, a circle?
1. When eating breakfast, continue with shapes and ask about the shape of the top of a cup, the plate the table, etc. Expand with asking about colors too. What colors are in the food? Fruits and cereals come in many different colors so it's easy.
2. Have your little one match colors together in his breakfast as he or she eats.
3. After breakfast, move on to colors and shapes with clothing. You don't have to let you little one choose his clothing since he may not make the wisest choice for the weather but you can pull out a few choices and have him pick the matching pieces.
4. After breakfast, go out for a short walk. Look at the houses, leaves, cars, people, airplanes, birds, etc and make your child aware of his or her surroundings.
5. On your way to preschool, kindergarten or just to run errands, ask your child about environmental cues. Most children can recognize the signs to popular stores around their neighborhood because they see them often and hear you say them. This is a great opportunity to teach letters as well. If they recognize the Target sign, ask about the first letter in the word. What letter is that? Is there another "T" in Target? Is it a big T or a little T?
6. Identify people in stores while running errands. Teach children the difference between a young boy, a teenager, an adult such as a mom and dad and an elderly person such as a grandpa.
7. Look at prices of items when shopping and teach your child (usually 5 or above) about prices and rounding up numbers. Prices tend to be easily rounded up at grocery stores since most end in 95, 97 or 98 cents.
8. When paying, show your child the money and see if he or she can figure out how much to give the cashier. If the bill is $7, show your child a $5 bill and a $10 bill and see which one he thinks will be enough to pay for it.
9. When taking a bath at home, filling up a glass of water or filling up a bucket in the yard, show your child the difference between half full, half empty, empty and full.
10. At the end of your day, recap and see if your child remembers what he or she learned throughout the day. See what they have retained and what they have to continue to work on the following day.
There are countless other ways to take advantage of the environment around you and make every moment in the day a teachable one. As a former teacher, I try to do this as often as possible with my little one and I've seen it make a notable difference in her recognition, comprehension and speech. It has helped increase her vocabulary and expand on her curiosity. Now she asks me about many things as opposed to me having to pique her curiosity about it.

More resources

  • www.theparentcenter.net

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