As a prekindergarten teacher for Shelby County Schools, I have firsthand experience with the school readiness problem in our community. I have kids who begin the year not knowing how to spell their names, and some who don’t know a single letter of the alphabet.
We have talked and written about the importance of healthy brain development for about a decade, and we were often the lone voice on this subject in our community.
From the moment your child is born, he is learning about the world around him. His brain is processing new information faster than at any other age. Years before he starts kindergarten, he is a voracious student.
It’s been said that a picture is worth a thousand words, but for our youngest children, there is no substitute for the millions of words that they need to hear in their first years. The more parents talk with their child in those early years, the more likely their child will excel academically later in life.
For many of us, the New Year is an exciting time because of the promise of unexpected surprises and new opportunities.
The tradition of making New Year’s resolutions goes back centuries, and most of us in the closing days of this year will reflect on our priorities and make our own declarations for 2014. As singer-songwriter Brad Paisley has said: New Year’s Day “is the first blank page of a 365-page book.