Pre-Academics

Teach your child the seeds of knowledge through play and by learning in context. Raise creative, curious and capable thinkers.

Language Development Writing Math Reading Spelling Milestones Preschool Readiness Kindergarten Readiness Activities At Home
Language Development
How to Encourage Language Development

Easy things you can do every day to encourage your toddler to use more language. *Note – Suggestions in this article...

Ages
2-3,
3-4
Language + Literacy
Critical Thinking
How to Encourage Language Development
Ages
2-3,
3-4
Language + Literacy
Critical Thinking
FAQ: How Do I Know if My Child Needs Speech Therapy?

We’re often asked, “How do I know if my child needs speech therapy?” First, listen to your instincts. If you...

Ages
2-3,
3-4
FAQ: How Do I Know if My Child Needs Speech Therapy?
Ages
2-3,
3-4
A Montessori Approach to Learning Language

Learn the Montessori approach to learning language and how to apply it every day.

Ages
2-3,
3-4
Language + Literacy
Critical Thinking
A Montessori Approach to Learning Language
Ages
2-3,
3-4
Language + Literacy
Critical Thinking
*THINK* – Be Powerful with Your Words

Teach your child to *THINK* before they speak. A helpful mnemonic to remind your child that words are powerful. 

Ages
5-6,
6-7
*THINK* – Be Powerful with Your Words
Ages
5-6,
6-7
Writing
How to Teach Your Child to Write

Many of us are eager for our children to learn to write. It takes practice but it also needs to...

Ages
3-4,
4-5
Language + Literacy
Fine Motor + Gross Motor
How to Teach Your Child to Write
Ages
3-4,
4-5
Language + Literacy
Fine Motor + Gross Motor
Practice Writing and Fine Motor Skills with a Salt / Sand Tray

Whether a young child practices prewriting skills or an older child works on sight words, salt / sand trays are...

Ages
3-4,
4-5
Language + Literacy
Fine Motor + Gross Motor
Practice Writing and Fine Motor Skills with a Salt / Sand Tray
Ages
3-4,
4-5
Language + Literacy
Fine Motor + Gross Motor
On Writing Backwards

Is writing letters backwards OK, or is it an early warning sign of a learning difference? Let’s tackle this very...

Ages
4-5,
5-6
Language + Literacy
Fine Motor + Gross Motor
On Writing Backwards
Ages
4-5,
5-6
Language + Literacy
Fine Motor + Gross Motor
Fine Motor Skills, Handwriting and How to Hold a Pencil

Learning to write is a hallmark in a child’s education journey. It empowers them to express themselves and their talents....

Ages
4-5,
5-6
Fine Motor + Gross Motor
Critical Thinking
Fine Motor Skills, Handwriting and How to Hold a Pencil
Ages
4-5,
5-6
Fine Motor + Gross Motor
Critical Thinking
Common Handwriting Problem #1 – Weak Grasp

Little hands often struggle to hold a pencil, especially when their muscles need some building. Fortunately there are many fun...

Ages
4-5,
5-6
Fine Motor + Gross Motor
Critical Thinking
Common Handwriting Problem #1 – Weak Grasp
Ages
4-5,
5-6
Fine Motor + Gross Motor
Critical Thinking
Common Handwriting Problem #2 – Weak Handwriting Strokes

Sometimes, a child may have an efficient grasp and sufficient hand strength, but their handwriting strokes still do not produce...

Ages
4-5,
5-6
Fine Motor + Gross Motor
Critical Thinking
Common Handwriting Problem #2 – Weak Handwriting Strokes
Ages
4-5,
5-6
Fine Motor + Gross Motor
Critical Thinking
Common Handwriting Problem #3 – Poor Control and Precision

When all the other pieces – like grasp and strength – are in place, it may be time to practice....

Ages
4-5,
5-6
Fine Motor + Gross Motor
Critical Thinking
Common Handwriting Problem #3 – Poor Control and Precision
Ages
4-5,
5-6
Fine Motor + Gross Motor
Critical Thinking
Common Handwriting Problem #4 – Too Much Hand Pressure

If a child is too forceful with their grasp, the pressure used will lead to quick fatigue. To help prevent...

Ages
4-5,
5-6
Fine Motor + Gross Motor
Critical Thinking
Common Handwriting Problem #4 – Too Much Hand Pressure
Ages
4-5,
5-6
Fine Motor + Gross Motor
Critical Thinking
How to Encourage Your Child to Write (and Become a Better Speller)

A curated guide of creative and fun everyday activities your child can do to practice their spelling and writing. Great...

Ages
6-7,
7-8
Language + Literacy
Critical Thinking
How to Encourage Your Child to Write (and Become a Better Speller)
Ages
6-7,
7-8
Language + Literacy
Critical Thinking
Math
How to Teach General Math Concepts

Many parents are eager to teach their children basic number concepts at a young age. For a 2-year old, exposure...

Ages
2-3,
3-4
Language + Literacy
Critical Thinking
How to Teach General Math Concepts
Ages
2-3,
3-4
Language + Literacy
Critical Thinking
How to Teach Math Basics: Part 1 – Talk Numbers

Take every opportunity to count…anything, everything! It may feel common sense to us grown-ups, but fluency in talking about numbers...

Ages
2-3,
3-4
Language + Literacy
Critical Thinking
How to Teach Math Basics: Part 1 – Talk Numbers
Ages
2-3,
3-4
Language + Literacy
Critical Thinking
How to Teach Math Basics: Part 2 – Counting

Learning to count may seem simple, but it is critical to learning well. Here’s how to do it playfully. The...

Ages
3-4,
4-5
Language + Literacy
Critical Thinking
How to Teach Math Basics: Part 2 – Counting
Ages
3-4,
4-5
Language + Literacy
Critical Thinking
How to Encourage Your Child’s Math Thinking

Tips from an elementary school teacher for parents when teaching math. Key things to remember when supporting your child’s mathematical...

Ages
5-6,
6-7
How to Encourage Your Child’s Math Thinking
Ages
5-6,
6-7
What to Say When Your Child Says “I Don’t Like Math!”

Consider this your guide and script for how to respond and deepen your child’s understanding of math. Learn how to...

Ages
5-6,
6-7
What to Say When Your Child Says “I Don’t Like Math!”
Ages
5-6,
6-7
Essential Math Terms, Concepts + Tools for Your Child

Understand how to help your child with math skill development and learn common math terms and strategies that teachers use....

Ages
6-7,
7-8
Language + Literacy
Critical Thinking
Essential Math Terms, Concepts + Tools for Your Child
Ages
6-7,
7-8
Language + Literacy
Critical Thinking
Reading
How to Teach Letter Identification

Some children are naturally drawn to learning letters, while others may not begin to learn letter identification until they are...

Ages
2-3,
3-4
Language + Literacy
Critical Thinking
How to Teach Letter Identification
Ages
2-3,
3-4
Language + Literacy
Critical Thinking
How to Teach Reading – Part 1: Develop Oral Language

Learning to read is incredibly empowering for a child, but it’s also very complex. There is no quick-fix or shortcut....

Ages
3-4,
4-5
Language + Literacy
Creativity + Imagination
How to Teach Reading – Part 1: Develop Oral Language
Ages
3-4,
4-5
Language + Literacy
Creativity + Imagination
How to Teach Reading – Part 2: Read *With* Your Child

Book selection is key in helping your child learn to read. Parents of emergent and early readers are often tempted...

Ages
3-4,
4-5
Language + Literacy
Creativity + Imagination
How to Teach Reading – Part 2: Read *With* Your Child
Ages
3-4,
4-5
Language + Literacy
Creativity + Imagination
How to Teach Reading – Part 3: Use a Cueing System

“Does it make sense? Does it look right? Does it sound right?” is a helpful cueing system to help your...

Ages
4-5,
5-6
Language + Literacy
Creativity + Imagination
How to Teach Reading – Part 3: Use a Cueing System
Ages
4-5,
5-6
Language + Literacy
Creativity + Imagination
How to Ask Meaningful Questions During Story Time

Increase critical thinking and curiosity when you read aloud. Take story time to a new level.

Ages
4-5,
5-6
Language + Literacy
Critical Thinking
How to Ask Meaningful Questions During Story Time
Ages
4-5,
5-6
Language + Literacy
Critical Thinking
(Academically) Teach Reading in 6 Steps

If you’re looking for a didactic list, here’s a theoretical, academic sequence for teaching your child to read. Just remember...

Ages
4-5,
5-6
Language + Literacy
Creativity + Imagination
(Academically) Teach Reading in 6 Steps
Ages
4-5,
5-6
Language + Literacy
Creativity + Imagination
What to Do if Your Child Doesn’t Want to Learn to Read

Your child may not want to learnt to read – *yet*. It’s completely normal and natural. Reading is hard. Reading...

Ages
4-5,
5-6
Language + Literacy
Creativity + Imagination
What to Do if Your Child Doesn’t Want to Learn to Read
Ages
4-5,
5-6
Language + Literacy
Creativity + Imagination
Essential Concepts to Know When Your Child is Learning to Read

A simple primer for parents that outlines the mechanics of what it means to learn to read when you’re a...

Ages
5-6,
6-7
Language + Literacy
Critical Thinking
Essential Concepts to Know When Your Child is Learning to Read
Ages
5-6,
6-7
Language + Literacy
Critical Thinking
Why Reading Aloud is Important to Reading Comprehension

Reading aloud is important even for older children and proficient readers. Discover the benefits of reading aloud to your child,...

Ages
6-7,
7-8
Language + Literacy
Critical Thinking
Why Reading Aloud is Important to Reading Comprehension
Ages
6-7,
7-8
Language + Literacy
Critical Thinking
How to Read Aloud and Increase Your Child’s Comprehension

Learn specific tips from a teacher on how to read aloud to your child, listen to your child read aloud...

Ages
6-7,
7-8
Language + Literacy
Critical Thinking
How to Read Aloud and Increase Your Child’s Comprehension
Ages
6-7,
7-8
Language + Literacy
Critical Thinking
Spelling
On Spelling – Part 1: What is ‘Spelling’ and When Should My Child Be Able to Spell?

A primer on why and how learning to spell is such a powerful and fundamental concept for early learners and...

Ages
5-6,
6-7
Language + Literacy
Critical Thinking
On Spelling – Part 2: How to Help Your Child Learn How to Spell

A frequent question teachers are asked by parents is, “Should I correct my child’s spelling?” Our short answer – “It...

Ages
5-6,
6-7
Language + Literacy
Critical Thinking
On Spelling – Part 2: How to Help Your Child Learn How to Spell
Ages
5-6,
6-7
Language + Literacy
Critical Thinking
On Spelling – Part 3: A Checklist to Strengthen Your Child’s Spelling and Writing Skills

A simple checklist for your child to know what to look for in their writing to strengthen their spelling skills...

Ages
6-7,
7-8
Language + Literacy
Critical Thinking
On Spelling – Part 4: What to Say When Your Child Asks for Help

A parenting script for when your child gets stuck on spelling and asks you a series of questions. Response ideas...

Ages
6-7,
7-8
Language + Literacy
Critical Thinking
On Spelling – Part 4: What to Say When Your Child Asks for Help
Ages
6-7,
7-8
Language + Literacy
Critical Thinking
Milestones
Different Ways of Learning

“It’s not about how smart you are, it’s about how you are smart.” -Howard Gardner

Ages
2-3,
3-4
Language + Literacy
Critical Thinking
Different Ways of Learning
Ages
2-3,
3-4
Language + Literacy
Critical Thinking
Sensory Processing Development 101

‘Sensory processing development’ is vital to understanding how children learn. It is deeply studied among early childhood experts, but not...

Ages
2-3,
3-4
Language + Literacy
Fine Motor + Gross Motor
Sensory Processing Development 101
Ages
2-3,
3-4
Language + Literacy
Fine Motor + Gross Motor
What is a Good Resource for Developmental Milestones?

“What is a good resource to understand milestones for my child? At what age should they learn colors? Learn numbers?...

Ages
3-4,
4-5
Language + Literacy
Critical Thinking
What is a Good Resource for Developmental Milestones?
Ages
3-4,
4-5
Language + Literacy
Critical Thinking
What’s Developmentally “Normal”?

How do you know if your child is experiencing a developmental “bump”? How do you know if it is time...

Ages
3-4,
4-5
Language + Literacy
Critical Thinking
What’s Developmentally “Normal”?
Ages
3-4,
4-5
Language + Literacy
Critical Thinking
Preschool Readiness
Choosing a Preschool – Part 1: What to Look for in a Classroom

Trying to figure out what to look for in a preschool and which questions to ask when visiting schools? Learn...

Ages
2-3,
3-4
Choosing a Preschool – Part 1: What to Look for in a Classroom
Ages
2-3,
3-4
Choosing a Preschool – Part 2: Questions to Ask a Preschool

Are you in the midst of visiting preschools and trying to decipher what to look for in a classroom and...

Ages
2-3,
3-4
Choosing a Preschool – Part 2: Questions to Ask a Preschool
Ages
2-3,
3-4
How to Navigate a Healthy Parent/Child Separation

Learn the strategies, tools and what to say to manage a healthy separation process between you and your child, especially...

Ages
2-3,
3-4
How to Navigate a Healthy Parent/Child Separation
Ages
2-3,
3-4
Answers to Common Questions on Parent/Child Separation

The parent/caregiver-child separation process is often an emotional experience, and every child and family experiences it differently. Discover answers to...

Ages
2-3,
3-4
Answers to Common Questions on Parent/Child Separation
Ages
2-3,
3-4
Transitions: Part 1 – Why Transitions Are So Hard

#1 daily challenge with children: How to get from A to Z without fighting, yelling or throwing a tantrum? Learn why...

Ages
2-3,
3-4
Transitions: Part 1 – Why Transitions Are So Hard
Ages
2-3,
3-4
Transitions: Part 2 – How to Get Through Peacefully

Knowing why transitions are difficult is half the puzzle. The other half is how to get through them. Teachers go...

Ages
2-3,
3-4
Transitions: Part 2 – How to Get Through Peacefully
Ages
2-3,
3-4
How to Share – Part 1: Why Share?

Simply saying “Share!” holds little meaning for children. Young children are egocentric and concrete thinkers. Their experience of the world...

Ages
2-3,
3-4
How to Share – Part 1: Why Share?
Ages
2-3,
3-4
How to Share – Part 2: Some Helpful Rules

Conflict is natural for preschoolers who are just learning about peers and group settings – it is expected, healthy and...

Ages
2-3,
3-4
How to Share – Part 2: Some Helpful Rules
Ages
2-3,
3-4
Reinforce (vs. Reward) Positive Behavior

Imagine a magical world where children are internally motivated to be kind and generous. It’s doable!

Ages
3-4,
4-5
Reinforce (vs. Reward) Positive Behavior
Ages
3-4,
4-5
Reinforce Positive Behavior – Make a Marble Jar

Acknowledge and promote positive behavior….*Plinkit* with a Marble Jar! You’ll be amazed at the twinkle in your child’s eye each...

Ages
3-4,
4-5
Reinforce Positive Behavior – Make a Marble Jar
Ages
3-4,
4-5
Kindergarten Readiness
Kindergarten Readiness 101

“Is my child ready for Kindergarten? What does that even mean?” Here’s my high-level perspective as a parent + teacher...

Ages
4-5,
5-6
Kindergarten Readiness 101
Ages
4-5,
5-6
Kindergarten Readiness: Part 1 – Social + Emotional Skills

“I think I have a sense for Kindergarten readiness, now how can I support my child to get there?” Keep...

Ages
4-5,
5-6
Kindergarten Readiness: Part 1 – Social + Emotional Skills
Ages
4-5,
5-6
Kindergarten Readiness: Part 2 – Pre-Academic Skills

ABCs, colors, numbers, sight words…parents have heard of the ‘push-down’ of academic skills – that Kindergarten has a lot of...

Ages
4-5,
5-6
Language + Literacy
Critical Thinking
Kindergarten Readiness: Part 2 – Pre-Academic Skills
Ages
4-5,
5-6
Language + Literacy
Critical Thinking
Kindergarten Readiness: Part 3 – Parent Readiness

Kindergarten is a meaningful adjustment – for parents too. We’ve got simple tips for parents for a not-so-simple transition –...

Ages
4-5,
5-6
Kindergarten Readiness: Part 3 – Parent Readiness
Ages
4-5,
5-6
Kindergarten Readiness: Bonus FAQs

It’s hard to know what you don’t know as your child embarks on their learning journey and enters Kindergarten. Sure,...

Ages
4-5,
5-6
Kindergarten Readiness: Bonus FAQs
Ages
4-5,
5-6
Self-Regulation – Part 1: Optimize Your Child’s Learning

Including children in their own learning process about how to self-regulate is empowering and long-lasting. Here’s how it is helpful...

Ages
4-5,
5-6
Self-Regulation – Part 1: Optimize Your Child’s Learning
Ages
4-5,
5-6
Executive Functioning: Part 1 – Why It Matters

“Executive functioning” is a phrase often cited when talking about child development. But what does it really mean and how...

Ages
5-6,
6-7
Fine Motor + Gross Motor
Critical Thinking
Executive Functioning: Part 1 – Why It Matters
Ages
5-6,
6-7
Fine Motor + Gross Motor
Critical Thinking
Executive Functioning: Part 2 – How to Strengthen It

Nuts + bolts; let’s get tactical. Now that we’ve baselined the three primary processes of executive functioning, let’s look at...

Ages
5-6,
6-7
Fine Motor + Gross Motor
Critical Thinking
Executive Functioning: Part 2 – How to Strengthen It
Ages
5-6,
6-7
Fine Motor + Gross Motor
Critical Thinking
Activities At Home
24 Clever + Creative Project-Based Learning Ideas

Early learners learn best through hands-on, self-directed experiences. Try our Project-Learning Bingo – 24 project-based learning ideas to fuel your...

Ages
6-7,
7-8
Critical Thinking
Creativity + Imagination
24 Clever + Creative Project-Based Learning Ideas
Ages
6-7,
7-8
Critical Thinking
Creativity + Imagination
Easy/No-Prep, Self-Directed Activities Your Child Can Do at Home

Ready-made cards with easy / no-prep, self-directed activities to entertain your toddler, preschooler and early learner. Excellent for when you...

Ages
3-4,
4-5
Language + Literacy
Critical Thinking
Easy/No-Prep, Self-Directed Activities Your Child Can Do at Home
Ages
3-4,
4-5
Language + Literacy
Critical Thinking
Activities + Games You Can Do at Home to Support Your Child’s Learning

Your go-to list of curated learning projects, activities and games that you can do at home to support your child’s...

Ages
3-4,
4-5
Language + Literacy
Critical Thinking
Activities + Games You Can Do at Home to Support Your Child’s Learning
Ages
3-4,
4-5
Language + Literacy
Critical Thinking
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