2020 is without a doubt going to be remembered as one of the most challenging years in most people’s lives. Changing times force us to create strategies to focus on personal development, and on the continuation of our projects, because we know all this will pass, but time waits for no one.
Amidst this chaotic situation, families struggle everyday to encourage their children’s development while having to manage house chores, work tasks, and so many other situations that may even have us neglect self-care.
As the saying goes: “guilt is born into a family at the same time as the children”.
Obviously, no child comes into this world with a manual, and the fact that you are now reading this article proves your willingness to do right by your child. That being said, try not to panic, do not create intangible goals nor crazy deadlines for your child to accomplish something you want them to. Each child has their own pace and speed and will make progress in their own time. The child’s learning process will depend on the stage of development they are in, on the stimulation they get and on the environment they are inserted in.
- Organize a realistic routine and a regular timetable for learning activities;
- Try to arouse your child’s interest: explain what activities will be carried out and transmit happiness (“marketing is the soul of business”);
- Never associate learning activities with punishment as the outcome of bad behavior;
- Motivate and celebrate small achievements: the words “good” and “job” said together go a long way to motivate your child ;
- Love and affection are fundamental: affection plays an important role on the child’s learning process, which will certainly abound at home;
- Keep stress out of the way: children are extremely sensitive and notice when their parents are not okay. In addition, they may not understand the situation and end up absorbing the tension as something personal. Emotional issues can disrupt the learning process;
- Disconnect from other tasks and focus on the child. Enjoy your interactions and take them as opportunities to establish strong connections with your child.
Language and literacy Development at home
The language and literacy development period, so important and celebrated in regular scenarios, became a huge concern for families in 2020. Having online classes in heterogeneous situations and life conditions can turn into a real nightmare. Many parents cannot count on any kind of professional support, but it is clear that they want to support their families. With that in mind, we’ll start this space in order to provide invaluable information that will help families to positively stimulate the development of their children.
There are many activities that can be done at home. However, each family should act according to their own possibilities. Some basic habits can help a lot. You can find some examples listed below:
- Be playful and have fun. Try to reinforce the correct pronunciation of words and sounds during playtime. Fun activities can favor the child’s motivation and interest;
- Explore the alphabet and sounds of the initials of words that mean something to the child, like simple words they know, family members’ names and objects you can find around the house;
- Use packaging labels and signs in activities;
- Provide paper or a whiteboard on which the child can write something. All hypotheses and rehearsals are important and should be valued;
- Prepare a shopping list with your child;
- Ask the child to help you read and prepare a recipe;
- Write little notes and put them up on your fridge at home;
- Be the example and read the newspaper, books or magazines near your child;
- Read books with your child and make it possible for them to see the pages. While reading, use one of your fingers to follow the words. By doing this, the child will understand linear reading;
- Ask your child to tell you a story, even if it is made up;
- If possible, have various age-appropriate books made available within your child’s reach. Illustrated books are important for the child’s development;
- Explore online reading platforms (there are several free options on the Internet aimed at different ages);
- Allow your child to select books of their choice. Think of characters, animals, or other themes that can arouse the child’s interest while reading.