I remember the first day my son went to school and it was so amazing to see him progress to the next stage in his life. I can’t say that I was all teary-eyed but I can say I was proud. It was the right kind of pride, too. That was really a wonderful time for me and he appreciated every moment of the whole process.

He was allowed that opportunity a little bit earlier in life because of the growth we helped him achieve at home. We started his educational path as early as possible, letting him explore. We also took great care and effort in guiding him and keeping him within an area of safe freedom.

I would like to talk to you about a couple of ways that you can do the same thing for your children or those that you’re in care with in an early childhood education environment.

Book Time

No matter what you do, have a book available somewhere. Even if it has to be on your phone while you’re balancing the baby in one hand and have the bottle in the other. Sometimes it's going to be as crazy as you scrolling through with your thumb at 3 o’clock in the morning. Even if it’s just a brand new infant you've got to read, read, and read some more.

Go to Half Price Books, go to Goodwill, and go to garage sales. Pick up these $1, $2, and $3 awesome books. Get as many as many as you can find. Let your kids get familiar with them all, let them dive into it all, and really let them appreciate books because the books themselves probably won’t be around for too long.

I’m not really sure, how it’s going to work in the future, but I’m pretty sure you don’t want to give your kid an Apple iPad when they’re only 2 years old.

Fun Time

You always have to make time whether for fun with your kids, even if it’s only 10 minutes or 20 minutes. Every single day you've got to have fun with your kids. If this is simply just pulling out some of their toys, getting on the ground with them, and playing then that’s what you have to do. If it’s going into the backyard, running around a few times, and doing some jumping-jacks then that’s what you have to do.

Even if it’s going to Wal-Mart and spending $3 on a box of sidewalk chalk, then going home and drawing the most awesome looking castles on the driveway then that’s what you have to do. You have to have fun with your kids.

The latest child development research shows that you have to spend at least 15 minutes every day with them to make a real positive impact on their lives. After that amount of time, I guess it's all gravy, but I prefer to spend more time with them than that. Your mileage may vary.

Family Time - Early Childhood Education Starts at Home
Credit: Microsoft Office ClipArt Gallery

Family Time

Now, this builds into everything we've talked about so far, whether you’re reading books, having fun or whatever. You’ve been doing all that you can to try to spend more time with them, and I understand that. Well, this section I am talking about is specifically everybody in the family working together.

There are different relationships between mom and kid, dad and kid, kid-to-kid, and then back & forth. Virgina Satir has a great book on this subject called "The New Peoplemaking." Each one of those relationships has a different type of dynamic and inner-working to it. To add to this complex structure, if it’s multiple kids around the house then the number of relationships in the family multiplies geometrically.

Each one of those different relationships has to be nurtured separately as well as together. I don’t know if you’ve seen it before but if two parents are playing with the brand new baby then the toddler or the kindergartener can feel left out. Likewise, if you go play with the toddler or kindergartener, then you feel kind of left out with the infant.

There are many different relationships that need to be nurtured in the family setting and you have to set time aside for each part of all relationships every day.

Boost Their Education Already

When you really want to boost the early childhood education of your kids at home, make time for book time, make time for fun time, and make time for family time every single day. You’ll have good results. Go ahead and pick one 20 minute activity that you can start today and then keep doing it regularly.