From the time I knew that I was pregnant, I was doing things to nurture my child’s development: I sang to him, placed speakers on my belly so he could hear classical music, narrated my day and what the world looked like “on the outside,”
My son’s first read-aloud started the day he arrived home from the hospital- a beautiful book entitled The Day You Were Born, and 8 years later, it is still one of his favorite read aloud stories.
He and I played games together, built blocks, and crafted sand castles. When he could finally walk, we zoomed around the house like explorers visiting outer-space.
I did all the things that my uber-aware-parenting -set were advised to do. Read, Talk, Sing, Play. Again and again, each day: Read, Talk, Sing, Play. And then it was time to send him off to school, where he would be doing more of the same to support his rapidly developing mind.
I well recall that feeling when I first sent my son into the preschool classroom environment. It was such an exciting time, and one also filled with questions: Will he feel secure? Will the teachers look after him as I would? Will he settle in and make friends? Will he rest when he is supposed to?
Around the globe, many parents have just had this “first time into school experience.” This time- the first time in school- is seen as the formal beginning of our child’s education, where they will lay the foundation for their learning and schooling for the years to come. What studies have shown us, however, is that the foundation is laid well before our children walk through the classroom doors; the foundation begins as soon as our children are brought into the world.
Research shows us that a child’s brain is 90% developed BEFORE they are 5 years old. That is an incredibly high percentage, which shows us that the things we do at home before our children enter school can determine their early success.
My son was lucky, he had a well-informed (teacher) mom who knew the importance of a language rich home. Many children do not have this advantage. As a result, many children enter school at a deficit, a deficit which, as outlined by Save the Children can have a long-term impact on a child’s life.
As stated by Save the Children:
…if children do not have caring individuals reading, talking and playing with them regularly; access to quality preschool that enhances these skills; and social and emotional development to help them understand how to interact and play with others, they will be behind before they even start. In fact, children living in poverty in the United States and around the world, are not getting the support they need during these early stages of development.
As a mother, teacher, and citizen of the world, these numbers are frightening and unacceptable. They are also heartbreaking. They don’t need to be the case, and Save the Children is on a mission to change this through their See the Future Unfold campaign.
There are many things that can be done to help close this deficit, beginning with simple home intervention plans such as Read, Talk, Sing, Play. This initiative strives to partner with parents, and educate them about the importance of a language rich home where children have the benefits of these simple, but important, developmental opportunities.
But in order for a child to be read to, a family must have access to books. And this is where the World Moms’ Blog community can step in. Together, we can support Save the Children’s initiatives today by making a small donation to their cause. Money raised will help provide books to children, as well as support the efforts for early intervention in poverty-stricken areas.
At this moment, WMB has 4,644 followers on our Facebook page. Imagine if each of us gave just $3 towards buying books for children. That would be enough to provide 4, 644 children with their first book. Can you image how precious that would be for a mother who cannot provide for her child? I know my Son’s first book- The Day you Were Born, means the world to us.
I’m donating as soon as I finish this post. Will you join me?
To participate, and to see how a donation can change a child’s furture, visit the Save the Children website.
What is your favorite children’s book that you read with your own child?
This is an original post written by Erin Threlfall for World Moms Blog.