The survival kit for
Teaching Babies

Hesitating? Help is at hand!

One or more negative thought patterns may be holding you back from embarking on a teaching program with your child. Here are some of the doubts that parents typically harbor…

Now, let's address these concerns one by one:

Should I really teach my child at such a young age?

In our society, five years old is considered the "normal" age to begin formal teaching, although preschool (usually from age three) may also provide opportunities for enhanced learning. If you decide to teach your baby, you may meet resistance from family, friends and neighbors, all of whom may not be familiar with the practice.

If you are having doubts or finding it hard to respond to the skepticism of others, BrillBaby's Early Learning: For + Against section and the articles Top 8 Myths of Early Reading and Top 8 Myths of Early Math are for you. Almost certainly, you will also benefit from meeting like-minded parents, and you can do so in the BrillKids Forum.

What if I'm no good at teaching?

It's not necessary to be a teacher in order to teach your child. Methods of teaching all come with clear guidelines, but the most important thing will be for you to follow your child's lead and adapt your lesson schedule accordingly. To ensure you approach teaching in the right way, make sure you are familiar with the fundamentals of early learning.

In many ways, the fact that you are your child's parent practically ensures that you will be her best teacher. And unless you plan to homeschool, there is only this time - very early childhood, before formal education begins - when you can be the principal teacher in your child's life. Not only is your child hungry for every kind of learning, but the teaching you do in these first few years will strengthen the parent-child bond and give you greater insights into your child's innate talents and personality traits.

How do I know which subject(s) to teach first?

Many parents feel overwhelmed by the monumental task of teaching every important subject that exists. The important thing to remember, however, is that there is no deadline when it comes to your child's learning. It isn't necessary to teach your baby everything under the sun. Rather, teaching is an excellent way to spend quality time with your child.

Firstly, start with the subject or activity that you want to do the most. Your baby will love anything you decide to teach him, provided it is presented in an exciting format. So start with whatever interests you. If something doesn't appeal or seems hard, don't do it. If that means you never cover a certain topic that another parent is covering, that's fine. You and your child will almost certainly be excelling in another area.

Secondly, introduce one thing at a time. This piece of advice is more for you than for your baby (who can handle amazing amounts of new information). Since children learn by repetition and thrive on routine, it's important to be consistent with your lesson plan. Try to do too many new things at once, and you risk being overwhelmed and failing to deliver consistent lessons. This will only make your child unhappy and confused, and impede the learning process.

Introduce a new subject or activity once you have settled into a routine. Your child will enjoy the familiarity of her lessons and will come to expect them - just as she expects meal times, nap time and bath time. You're ready to add a new subject when teaching the previous subject(s) feels as natural to you as brushing your teeth.

How do I find the time/money to make/buy teaching materials?

Once you have decided what to teach, you will need to make, buy or download the teaching materials for your lessons. This is not as difficult as you may think. For early followers of Glenn Doman, who has been teaching parents how to teach their babies since the 1960s, it was necessary to spend copious hours handmaking flash cards. Today however, there are more free resources available to parents than ever before. For example, the BrillKids Downloads section has a range of Flash Card Printouts, PowerPoint slideshows, Infant Stimulation Cards, Children's eBooks, and Activity Sheets that you can download for free.

Next up, methods for teaching babies...