This week I teamed up with entrepreneur and mother - Monique Samitis. We delve into a Q&A about preparing our children for preschool.
Now before we proceed I must say to all those reading, that I am by no means a qualified ‘Educator’. However, what I do have is a little experience and passion to see children develop.
1. What age did you start to teach Zachariah numbers, colours and the alphabet?
Now, this is an interesting question. I have a deep held notion that children are receptive to information before they are born. So because I hold this belief, believe it or not, I started teaching my son letters by the time he was 3 or 4 months old.
It was by simple things such as flash cards and sing-along nursery rhymes; these were some of the activities I was doing practically. However, to be honest, letters, colours and numbers have always been a part of our everyday communication. I would speak about all of these subjects on a daily basis, just by way of conversation about his toys, games, TV programmes and our surroundings etc.
2. How did you incorporate play into learning numbers, colours and the alphabet?
For me, helping my son to learn is a lifestyle, so we could be out on a walk to the park and play a game of ‘name the colour of that car’. I would ask my son to tell me the colour of the cars he would see and this would progress onto, ‘name the car model.’
During these times he would be having fun either running around, riding his Scuttlebug or balance bike. So the learning is incorporated into everyday life and play.
Similarly, we could be counting birds, or police cars etc. Anything that comes our way is an opportunity for conversation and development.
I remember buying these foam letters and numbers, which would stick onto a wet bath. So learning them became a fun bath time activity and Zachariah would always want these letters and/or numbers in the bath, whilst he splashed around. I would say, ‘Can you grab me the letter ‘Z’, for example, and before his first birthday, he was able to identify all the letters of the alphabet.
3. How did you build now on Zachariah’s prior knowledge from what he has learnt in the past?
I like this question because it reminds me so much of my son’s excellent memory and how this has been encouraged. So—I would ask Zachariah something like, ‘Do you remember when we went to see the aeroplanes land?’ This might have been 3-6 months or so after the experience. He would say, ‘Yes’. ‘OK, son, what else did we go to see on that day?’