The amazing thing about toddlers is their brains are like sponges. They absorb practically anything (if you catch their attention long enough). They ask all these interesting questions and make remarkable observations. They’re not afraid to make mistakes and they’re create without rules and boundaries. They’re the best and the worst students any teacher can ask for. It’s a challenge to teach them everyday.
Even though my husband and I decided to send our daughter to school, we both agreed that we would try to encourage her creativity and curiosity as much as we can. One part of that would be getting her tools and toys that encourage learning. But the more important part is simply being involved with our child everyday.
It’s hard because of work and the challenges of day to day life. But taking time to connect with your child doesn’t have to be a big production. My husband connects with my daughter during meals. She asks questions about her food, about her tummy, about our tummies, and my husband tries to answer as patiently and as truthfully as he can.
My moments with my daughter is when I bathe her or during our afternoon walks. She tries to bath herself. And when she go out, she asks about the animals and plants that she sees. We show her which plants are edible and which ones are not. We both have tried harvesting fruit and planting vegetables. I explained to her why we needed to take out the weeds and why we had to water the plants.
These are ordinary moments that I know is teaching my daughter a lot of things about life, nature, science, math, literature and art. They’re not learning in a traditional sense but it’s effective learning nevertheless. I know my daughter is starting to understand music when I hear her sing different versions of her ABCs. I know she’s starting to understand math and geometry when she looks for shapes, counting their sides, and measuring them with her hands. She builds things, she draws, she’s a dynamo of activity.
I see so much potential and I know it’s going to take a lot of work to keep that potential alive. I hope I’ll always make the time and effort to nurture that. I can’t give her a lot of things but I hope these everyday moments would be enough. I hope that even though I can’t afford to give her everything, I can still give the best education by encouraging in her the desire to learn, create and explore.