The Importance of Early Childhood Education

I’d received this book, How to Raise a Brighter Child, from my mother-in-law when I was pregnant with the toddler and found it intersting and eye-opening.  Since he’s been born, I haven’t had a chance to continue reading it, but the opening chapters were interesting and important.   I hadn’t realized how much a child’s brain development is established by the time they are 2 years old. 

…a young child’s brain forms nearly twice  as many synapses as it will ultimately use by roughly age two.   That level remains fairly stable for the next few years, but after age 10 or so, the brain ruthlessly prunes the weakest synapses, those that have been least used.  By age 16, the brain has only half as many connections as it did at age two. a level that stays steady until roughly age 70, when the number of synapses declines once again.

I’m grateful my mother-in-law sent me this book if for no other reason than this, that it made me aware of the importance of my interactions with my son.   I found my approach to parenting was affected, as I found myself allowing our son to learn and experience things even if it meant making a mess or getting into things rather than saying no all of the time.  And I found myself playing with him much more than I’d expected to and reading to him and having conversations with him even when he was too young to respond.   He’s grown into quite a little chatterbox at age two now and extra time now has to be alloted to allow for him to do things “by himself” such as opening the refrigerator, ouring his juice, being lifted up to shut off lights and turn on his lullabies, stepping into his pull-ups and pants.   He’s a huge handful.  

As I searched for more info, I also stumbled upon some free resources on the U.S. Department of Education’s website, including a PDF called Helping Your Preschool Child.   It provides some basic information that’s covered in many of the parenting books, but it’s free, so why not take a look.   There are also other documents on the website regarding helping your child learn to read.

I truly hope with the next presidency that early childhood education makes some huge strides forward, as I really feel that our society’s best hope for a better future is the education of our children.

Until next time,


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