"You are your child's first teacher." What in the world? I was a teacher ten years prior to being a mom, and I didn't even really get this phrase. But, seven years into parenthood, I think I get it. You are best qualified to know your child and his interests. Your child can learn about anything if you can connect it to something he likes. So, being the one who knows intimately what your child likes, you are your child's link to the world beyond your front door.
For instance, if your child loves rocket ships and Super Heroes, Laurie Berkner's got you covered. Have flying races in your yard with paper airplanes and rockets of every sort (find ‘em at the dollar store). Get books from the library on flight. Talk about abilities of Super Heroes that seem real or fantastic.
Conversely, if your child seems uninterested in a particular topic (say, vegetables) music can be the catalyst you're looking for (try Laurie's Valley of Vegetables or Rhubarb Pie). Investigate local Farmers' Markets and experiment. Make up your own song!
Sometimes, worlds are opened as your ride in the car, and you may not even have noticed. For instance, I introduced my daughter to our friend Clay, and she started singing "Dreydel, dreydel, dreydel." I was puzzled... until I remembered the next line: "I made it out of clay!" Explaining a friend's Hanukkah celebration after that was much easier. Thanks, Raffi!
Music can take you beyond your own world, to worlds unknown. See you out there.
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