It amazes me how many different opinions there are about what a child should learn during the early years. Many think the academics are the most important thing such as letters, numbers, and writing. Others find that character development and respect are the most important things to learn in the early years.
I was curious to see the opinions of some of the other homeschool bloggers I network with in what they thought was the most important thing a child could learn in the early years. Here’s what I found out!
The Most Important Things a Child Should Learn in the Early Years
Sheryl from Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds
One of the most important skills a child should learn before Kindergarten is self-help skills. They need to learn how to do more for themselves, such as putting on and removing shoes and coats, and knowing how to take care of personal needs such as using the toilet, washing hands, and cleaning up after themselves.
Kaitlyn from Simply Learning
I am a firm believer that the most important thing for children is play. I spent over a year doing structured crafts, learning activities and projects with my preschooler, and while she did learn, it felt wrong. Once I started looking into Charlotte Mason, I realized that young children really benefit from exploring and playing. We’ve now adopted a gentle learning style – our days are filled with playful activities and plenty of outdoor time. I do have structure and lesson plans behind the scenes, but my daughter thinks we are just playing or having fun. She has learned so much more with this approach and she’s actually excited about learning.
Valarie from The Crafty Classroom
Teaching children they are unconditionally loved is likely the most important educational foundation you can give them. This starts at home and with the larger idea that a loving God has created them uniquely and purposefully in His image.
Leslie from Family Breakfast Recipes
Teach your children to fix their own breakfast at an early age to boost self confidence, build independence and give Mom a break occasionally.
I suggest you try showing them age appropriate meal prep like pouring cereal, making toast or frozen waffles and instant oatmeal
Sarah from Raising Royalty
One of the top things I want to teach my young children is that they have a choice. Consent is so important and it needs to start early. For me, it starts with allowing them to be able to choose whether or not to share their favorite toy. It continues when I tell my children that they don’t have to hug Auntie, just because she asked. They can just smile and say hello. Their bodies and their things are just that: theirs. They get to choose who gets to touch
Kathie from The Character Corner
The most important fruit we can nurture in our children is Godly character. As parents, we are the best ones to teach them character, and we need to accept that responsibility.
Melissa from Beyond Mommying
One of the most important things I’ve always aimed to teach my young children is to be caring and kind. I expect even my small children to say “please” and “thank you,” I expect they will learn to be aware and respectful of other people’s feelings, and I expect that they take ownership of their actions that hurt others, even when occurring accidentally. Before their ABCs, before they can count their toes, I want them to know how to treat others.
What do I think is the most important thing to learn in the early years? If you’ve been around Sicily’s Heart & Home for a while, you should know that fostering a love of learning is one of the most important things a young child can learn. I want my children to love learning, pique their curiosity, and develop ways to explore their desires. When we build a strong love of learning in the early years, it’s hard to break that habit as they get older. They begin to live a life full of learning and exploring new things.
It’s not always about the ABCs and 123s. Those are an afterthought for the early years. Building a strong foundation for healthy habits such as a love of learning, good character, and self-help skills makes life so much easier and enjoyable as your little one grows up.