By: Patricia Rudolph, BBL Library Assistant
Parents are their children’s first teachers. You teach them to talk, to walk, to dance and sing.
You probably teach them to count and to read. You teach them empathy, and kindness, and
how to manage money, and change the oil in their car. Sometimes you teach them things even
when you think they aren’t listening, like the lyrics to your favorite song or that bad word you
said when you stubbed your toe. All the time you spend with your kids might not always seem
like learning time, but children’s brains are constantly absorbing the world around them. In fact,
the 5 practices of early literacy as identified by Every Child Ready to Read are read, talk, sing,
write, and play. It’s that simple. When you spend time with your child, you are expanding their
vocabulary, showing them how the world works, and having fun while they learn.
It can feel like a huge responsibility as your child’s first teacher to help them learn all of the
seemingly infinite things they’ll need to know, but you aren’t alone and we have the resources to
help you do that. At Burlington Branch we have a Parent Resource section that includes books,
workbooks, programs, toys, and tools to help you be your child’s first, and best teacher. If you
want to give your kid a head start before they go to kindergarten: we have books about learning
to talk, read, and count. If you need to squeeze in a boost of summer learning: we’ve got short
books and dvds for on the go learning. If you plan to homeschool: we have a set of curriculum
workbooks on History & Geography, Bible Study, Language Arts, Math, and Science for
Kindergarten through 12th Grade. We also have self-help books about parenting and child
development; from developing speaking skills in reluctant talkers, to learning to read with
dyslexia, to coping with anxiety and anger. All of these resources are meant to be used at home
by parents. You don’t need to have a teaching degree or special training to help your child learn
at home. You just need a library card.