Evening Tot Sharing
I spent nearly two years living and working in Japan at an English School. Not only did I develop programs for my branch office to increase their sales, but I also taught English.
I taught hundreds of children under the age of 18. The youngest group was a baby class of five, 6 month old babies. The babies began to respond to English commands and then speak English and Japanese around 18 months old.
I was amazed!
The babies attended English lessons 1.5 hours a day, three days a week. This was considered "early childhood education" for these families. Most of these families believed that language must be introduced early in order to give their child the best advantage of being bilingual. They were right. The toddler group that I taught after the baby class was able to hold a full conversation like a native English speaker after one year of learning.
I promised myself that I would do the same type of lessons with my future children.
|Baby E Playing with an animal sound book.|
I began slowly with Baby E when he was 6 months old. I read to him at least twice a day, sang songs and lullabies and even read fun poems. The key is to fine tuning his listening ability and teach him to enjoy looking at books rather than TV. I shared everything with him in English and Japanese.
Baby E will be one years old this fall!
This fall I will kick things up a notch. I am using the same schedule that I used with the babies overseas. I will also add some of the activities from the toddler classes that I taught.
My son will also attend a day care this fall . You might be wondering why I am doing "tot school" when he will be going to day care. Why should I miss out on ALL of his learning experiences? One reason is that I don't want my son's evenings to be filled with tv. This is the age where tv begins to become a habit or apart of their routine. I also want to spend the evenings doing more than cooking dinner and bathing him. Don't forget Saturday and Sunday. They are all mine! The weekends allow for me to make sure that I am instilling something in him.
You can share with your tot too! When you teach and play with toddlers, you are still sharing. Share your world with them. Show them what crayons can do to paper, what happens when a lava lamp is tipped upside down and how to make pancakes. Be purposeful and have.