A Parent's Guide to Raising Smarter Children

Step 1:

Know that when you became a parent, you also became a teacher. Some of it comes naturally, some doesn’t. We can help you with that.

Step 2:

Talk, sing, read, write and play with your child. These are the only tools you need to get kids learning. Your only investment is time. No need to buy fancy gadgets.

Step 3:

Spend a minimum of 20 minutes a day fully engaged with your child in an early learning activity. It doesn’t have to be done in one continuous block of time, but it does require your undivided attention.

father reading to son

These three simple steps are all it takes to give your child the building blocks for learning to read and being ready to learn when he or she starts school. And, thanks to your efforts now, your child will be more successful in school and will probably earn a better income as an adult.

Keep in mind that early learning activities shouldn’t feel like a chore to you or your child. Consider it entertainment for both of you, and give yourself permission to act silly. There’s also a good chance that your child will want to reread the same book over and over. Perfect! Repetition helps children learn to identify letter sounds and words and to learn that stories have a beginning, middle and end. Kids also like to listen to songs and play games several times in a row, with similar benefit to their learning abilities.

Know that you can be successful in your role as a teacher. These early learning activities don’t require any special training, so you don’t need to be Einstein to do this. The library offers several programs that will get you started on helping your child to Read, Play, Shine.

Every week, each of our libraries offers story times for preschoolers which feature some of the skills we’ve listed inside. We have other programs, too, that explore music and other early learning skills. We’ve listed a few below that may interest you. Frequently, library programs also include ideas for activities you can do with your child at home. Find a full list of programs online at www.dbrl.org/programs.

Marsh Mud Madness With Roger Day

Roger Day will take your family on an imaginative, interactive musical journey up and down the Atlantic seacoast. You'll be dancing in your seat as you imagine all the oozy marsh mud and fascinating loggerhead turtles, ghost crabs and other creatures that populate these songs. Families.

Callaway County Public Library
Tuesday, August 5 • 10-10:45 a.m.
Columbia Public Library
Monday, August 4 • 9:30-10 a.m. , 10:30-11 a.m. , 6-6:45 p.m.
Southern Boone County Public Library
Tuesday, August 5 • 2-2:45 p.m. Register now by calling the library.

Digital Experiences and Your Young Child

Learn about best practices regarding how much screen time to allow your child. You'll also get hands-on time with some high quality apps and stories on iPads. Space is limited. Ages 4-5 with parent. Register now by calling the library.

Columbia Public Library
Thursday, August 7 • 9:30-10 a.m. & 10:30-11 a.m.

Read, Play, Shine With Your Child

Help boost your child's early literacy skills. Enjoy stories, songs and activities at this event that will highlight practices that make learning to read fun for everyone. Your family will also take home a free picture book and an activity flip booklet. Families with children ages 2-5. Registration begins Tuesday, August 5. In Fulton, call (573) 642-7261; in Columbia call (573) 443-3161.

Callaway County Public Library
Saturday, August 16 • 10-10:45 a.m.
Columbia Public Library
Wednesday, August 20 • 5:30-6:15 p.m.

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