I know I brag on here a lot about my kiddos...both the one in and the one out of the womb. :) I have stated the reasons that my son is a wonder...the fact that God is growing him in there and such. I've stated many reasons that I believe Cassie is a little wonder. She daily confirms my belief of such. Don't get me wrong...I think that children in general are wonders. I just get to see her's hour by hour and day by day. I get to experience firsthand why she is the wonder that she is. I'm not calling her a genius, but I will state that I do believe that she is ahead developmentally at this point. I credit that to several things. Number 1, God-given ability to learn. All children soak things up like a sponge. It is all in what they're exposed to. Number 2, largely expanded vocabulary. I kind of think that this is both a cause and effect of her being ahead. She is able to express so much more because of her vocabulary and can therefore increase it so much faster as she puts more together in her little mind and it all "clicks." The third thing that I attribute this to is devotion on my part to teaching her. As I've said before, I don't push her. I don't force her to sit and do "school" every day. I just have learning stuff available for her. I ask her questions. I engage her in conversation. I encourage her to explore. All things that I have found to be priceless as a result our (Mark and mine) decision for me to be a SAHM. I don't claim to have any special talents at teaching her, but I constantly talk to her and ask her questions. I believe that the potential is there for any child that has a parent who is willing and able to spend the time to expand their worlds.
Now, I certainly see this in my interactions with her, but I see it in her interactions with other people; adults and other children alike. I see her inquisitiveness and try to understand what is going on as those cogs are turning in her little brain. The other day, I kept my nephew, Jonah. After a while, she turned to him out of nowhere and said, "Mark's at work." Mark, being my husband, in case you don't know that. I just thought that it was cute that she knew that Jonah doesn't call her daddy "Daddy." She is always asking questions about what something is, what it does, or where it goes. She just is always problem-solving and thinking about things and I believe that it is one of the best ways to learn. On our cruise, I found out that she can count to 20. I knew she could go to 15, but not 20. She just kept going after 15 and got them all right (except that time she DID say "five teen," which I thought was pretty cute).
Like I said, I'm not saying that she's a genius or anything like that. I'm just saying that when they are this little and you give them the opportunity, they can learn SOOOO much and 1-in-1 or 2-on-1 or the likes seems to be the way to go for maximum potential.
So, talk to your kids a lot...no matter how small. Explain things to them whether they're 5 months old or 5 years old. Don't think that they're too young to understand...you never know what concept will "stick" that you'll hear them using at some later point!
Does this post sound cocky or anything, because I really, really hope that it doesn't. I don't mean it in that light at all. I am just a huge advocate for early childhood learning and the benefits of starting really, really small. Who knows, my next child could be complete non-verbal...completely disinterested in learning and then I'll have a new perspective. I just really think that there is something to this concept, though. Please let me know what you think and if you did take this post in a bad way. I've recently heard that I come off bad to some people and am trying to pinpoint what it is that I say or how I say things that comes off wrong. I'm trying to correct it so as not to offend anyone else. :)