Where do I start?
Where you begin in teaching your child will depend on two key factors: the age of your child, and the subject(s) you are most interested in teaching.
In the womb
If your baby hasn't been born yet, the Stimulating the Senses article in BrillBaby's Prenatal Education section is for you. Talking, singing and reading to your baby are some of the most important things you can do before she is born. All these activities will help her get to know you that bit better, easing the transition from the womb to the world.
Indeed, at any age, talking, singing and reading aloud remain some of the most important ways of providing stimulation for your baby as well as strengthening the parent-child bond. And let's not forget physical affection: hugs, cuddles and kisses all help a child feel secure and loved. Such positive early experiences, when they happen consistently, profoundly affect brain development in ways that help shape a person's mental, emotional and physical health for life.
If your baby is newborn or under 4 months old, an effective way to stimulate his brain is with infant stimulation flash cards. Newborn babies cannot see very far, and as their eyes develop, their attention is most drawn to high-contrast colors such as black, white and red. Patterns in high contrast are easier for newborns to see and so will hold their attention for longer. Infant stimulation cards are available for free at the BrillKids Download section.
From birth, you can encourage your baby to begin crawling by placing her on her tummy on a regular basis. Babies at this age are more mobile than you might think, although they will not crawl very far at first - only a few centimeters at a time. You can use a crawling track (of the type developed by Glenn Doman) to facilitate crawling at any age. To make the experience more interesting for your young baby, stick some infant stimulation cards to the inner walls of the track from time to time.
4 months and up
If your baby is 4 months old or above, then the teaching world is truly your oyster. There is a great deal to choose from - and this is the main reason that so many parents feel overwhelmed. Where you begin really depends on what appeals to you - or, if your child is old enough to express his preferences, what appeals to your child. Remember that there is no right and wrong answer, and that you can always adapt the lessons as you go.