Preparing your child for a lifetime of academic success begins far earlier than most parents believe. The tiny infant already begins to absorb the environment around it nearly from the first breath.
The environment in which an infant and toddler grows impacts forever onward their academic success. Wise parents learn to be sensitive to their infants’ intellectual daily absorption and encourage natural infant curiosity through an introduction to the sound of music or literature read aloud. This may be the first form of academics in the child’s early life.
Academic Success without Regimentation
Many parents refer to the most curious phase of a child’s life as “The Terrible Twos.” In fact, this is a hugely fertile period of a child’s life when the world opens to them at breakneck speed. This becomes the parents’ opportunity to begin to prepare their child for a lifetime of academic success.
Implement and infuse toddlerhood with exposure to science, math and more formal literature. Avoid robotic, regimented lessons and “teaching” at this juncture. Toddlers have a short attention span. Make all new introductions to their learning stark, startling and something short attention spans can retain in memory.
All new introductions to toddlers should encourage them to want “more” and to inspire their curiosity. The Terrible Twos aren’t so terrible if parents place the focus on teaching their young child the advantages of self-discipline early in their lives. Children at this age learn more by example. Thus, it’s important for parents to always provide good examples of learning behaviors.
Pre-School and Academic Success
Once children begin their social lives in pre-school, this is the ideal opportunity for parents to become deeply embedded in their investment in academic success for their child. Choose a pro-active pre-school curriculum that encourages positive attitudes toward learning. Then, infuse their pre-school learning with additional parental input that enhances the curriculum.
When children return from pre-school, the difference in learning environment should overlap. In this way, children accept that learning is the most natural part of their existence. When overlapping exists at this point, the first step to academic success is already in place.
Elementary Academic Success
To properly prepare children to enter elementary school takes a bit of deft parental management. Children from age six to eight generally have major issues with mandatory expenditures of time away from home and in classrooms. This is very normal childhood insecurity. When parents recognize the balking and resistance early on as insecurity, they find it easier to shore up their child’s sense of well-being to help them over this initial phase.
Early recognition of childhood insecurity also helps refocus parents and children attention on the importance of academic success. It’s crucial at this point in a child’s life to provide easily understood examples of the importance of learning. Give the child examples they can understand of how important reading, writing, math and science can be. There are numerous Examples close to home parents can use.
It’s at this time, that children learn to develop their sense of autonomy. Capitalize on this by giving them academic projects suited to their intellectual levels. This helps avoid the arduous task of enforced “studying” children seem averse to. Yet, giving them projects that require research and further study in coordination with their academic studies embeds deep study habits that insure future success.
Sideline Distractions to Academic Success
Some parents choose to send their child to a top boarding school to avoid those prevalent peer distractions that avert their child’s attention from studies. At these private learning facilities, self-discipline develops with daily student routine and curriculum. However, good study habits learned early in life assure a lifetime or academic success.
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Karleia Steiner is a freelance blogger. Away from the office she enjoys spending time with her two daughters and is an adviser to some of the top boarding schools in the country.