Around the dinner table on play dates right now, everyone is having the school chat. Some time ago, I wrote about picking the right nursery for your child and how important it is to gain a great formative education in a fun environment. As time goes on, I’m amazed how modern nurseries seem to support these little people – helping to expand their minds at such a tender age. Big D’s been learning about countries and cultures and wonderful practical things about everyday life that I’m certain I didn’t come close to before I started school. At knocking on the grand old age of 4, I’m amazed at how advanced Big D and all her friends are.
Last week we went to Big D’s nursery for parents’ evening. I always think it’s quite remarkable that at such a young age there’s such a focus on the development and learning of our little Wonderkid (in our eyes anyway)! What I love about these evenings the most is the direction they give me as a parent. After all – I’m a total first timer at this and, lets face it, I’m winging it – so the little pointers that will help my child flourish and prepare for the big step to school are totally invaluable.
8 Points I’m Taking on Board
- Understanding the World – Talking and teaching about different nationalities, languages, cultures and celebrations. Big D and I recently created a show and tell board of the Queen to try to encouraged her to learn about her own culture. She loved hearing that the Queen rides horses and has lots of corgis.
- Expressive Arts and Design – Use drawing, coloring and painting to encourage them to draw more detailed illustrations. It was suggested that I ask Big D to paint an experience we’ve had on the weekend. Get crafty with lots of different materials and textures. Construct objects using blocks or Lego.
- Literacy – Writing ones own name in lower case is high on our agenda at the moment and practice makes perfect along with trying to encourage Big D to identify 3 letter words when reading. “The cat sat on the mat” – you remember that old chestnut, don’t you?
- Personal, Social and Emotional Development – Knowing ones own birthday and address, clearly two very important facts, although I’m not sure Big D will let us forget her forthcoming birthday, she started planning it last Spring! Following basic rules – we don’t have many house rules, but I’m trying to make tidying up a bit of a thing. However, Big D is not so keen on this new law, muttering that it’s boring – I say welcome to my World, little princess!
- Communication and Language – Trying to help Big D expand her vocabulary and understand the meaning of different words. Daddy B is a great teacher when it comes to words. At the breakfast table he often teaches Big D a rhyme from a poem with a new word in it for Big D to learn – telling her that if she can use it 3 times, she owns it – which she seems to like the idea of.
- Physical Development – To use scissors to cut out simple shapes. I used to be presented at the end of the week with an envelope of cuttings presented by my proud daughter and thinking why is it so important to learn how to use scissors? Turns out that using scissors really helps your child to further their handwriting skills. I’m also really trying to encourage Big D to practice writing once a day which usually takes the form of tracing letters and numbers from her latest princess magazine, it seems we can’t leave the newsagents without one these days!
- Mathematics – Begin to recognise and name numbers. Daddy B often asks Big D to tell us the number on a road sign or license plate, which she seems to enjoy. Numbers and letters are all around us and taking a moment to look and study makes learning fresh and fun. A good old fashioned game of Snakes and Ladders is a great way to encourage counting.
- Follow Instructions – Finally getting Big D to take responsibility for carrying out tasks by listening and following instructions. Currently, it goes a little something like this: D will you please take off your shoes and tights and start to get ready for bed?…ignored! D please can you pick a book and climb in to bed for a story?…ignored. Please can you give Mummy a kiss and a cuddle and go to sleep?….Cue, spring to feet and jump on bed, and get ignored. It’s safe to say this one is work in progress! I think I’ll try “Simon Says” tomorrow as taking instructions from plain old Mummy isn’t quite getting the results!
Big D, if you ever take the time to read this when you’re older to get a sense of your little self, then I want you to know what a total legend you are and how proud you make us. Your teachers think you rock and you and your little friends are amazing! Keep up the good work!
Love Mummy B