Children are constantly learning, right from birth. The early years of your child's life are the foundation for growth and development. What your child learns during the first five years depends on the experiences they have each and every day and will set the standards for the rest of their learning career. As caregivers, this is the greatest challenge, yet the best opportunity.
Social and Emotional
Social and emotional development refers to the way children regulate their own emotions, identify feelings, and form positive bonds and relationships with others. Research shows that social emotional learning is a stronger predictor of school success than any other developmental area. Providing social and emotional activities for your child helps him/her deal with their emotions, learn cooperation and create successful relationships.
Language and Literacy
Refers to the way children communicate with others, and engage with print materials.
All of these promote communication skills that lead to reading and writing. Providing language and literacy activities in meaningful ways promotes growth in this area.
Easy ways to incorporate language and literacy into everday activities: Read books and point to the words; let your child watch you write shopping lists; point out letters in the cereal boxes; talk through your daily activities by describing what you are doing to your child.
Cognitive development refers to thinking skills that children use to explore their world. Expensive toys and gadgets are not necessary. Everything you need to stimulate a child's thinking skills is available in ordinary objects: boxes, pots and pans, books, "low-tech" toys (e.g., blocks, rattles), and most importantly, interactions with YOU.
Physical Well-being & Health
Physical development in young children refers to the small motor (fine motor) and large motor (gross motor) skills, self-care skills and health and well-being.
Approaches to Learning
Approaches to learning refer to the ways children are motivated and engaged in learning activities. Do they ask questions, are they persistent in finding the answers, can they solve problems with assistance? All these qualities prepare children to be successful in their journey through education. Supporting their love of learning is an important part of being a responsive parent.
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Lee County Partnership for Children List