I need to have this book in my personal library. It’s about the brain research on enrichment during the early years. And I’m not talking about the approach of starting flashcards at the ripe age of 9 months, either.
In case I ever doubt again I should be enriching my kids home environment, I need to have a copy of this book to re-read. Before you wonder about my intentions (that I’m some overachieving, pushy mother), I don’t put my kids into every available enrichment activity or do flashcards. In fact, they only started some organized sports activities over the summer (very laid back once a week program to dip their toes in). I wanted my oldest to get acclimated to a new school (Kindergarten) before I added organized extracurricular activities to her schedule.
For the most part though, I just want to expose them in a very laid back way, to some of the things I want them to know (besides language and literacy, of course). I also want to expose them to nature in all it’s splendor – even the muddy, ooey-gooey, creepy crawly, world of bugs and other critters; the science at work in everyday living; math – a bit of a weak area for me, but I don’t want my girls to have the same weakness if possible; and community living – after all, a family is a microcosm of society, and we all have to contribute to it for it to run smoothly.
I ought to keep this post as my mission statement of sorts. And put it somewhere I can see it all the time when I’m feeling a little doubtful I’m doing anything worthwhile.
Now granted, my own parents didn’t do anything like I plan to do with my children, and I managed to do all right (even managed a pretty good career for 12 years in the biosciences). But then I think, what more I could have done if I had parents making a deliberate effort to enrich the home environment (instead divorce and remarriage and all the junk that goes with it that was my early exposure at home).
I think the single best thing that they did was let me go get plenty of books from the library, so I do appreciate that. I consumed books voraciously and it was my saving grace in a topsy-turvy, misunderstood childhood. Life seemed much grander when you escaped through books.