“Teach a child how to think, not what to think.”
If you’re anything like the kids at the Children’s Center, you are loving the freedom the warmer May weather is giving you! We are thrilled to be spending more time learning and growing outside!
The last few weeks have been full of excitement for us at the Children’s Center. We’ve had more visits from the amazing team at the Coastal Discovery Museum, teaching all of our early education classes all about the ecosystem right here in the Lowcountry. We’ve seen real baby alligators and adult alligator skeletons, we’ve learned about the endangered sea turtles, and so much more!
We also spent a week celebrating the amazing staff and volunteers at the Children’s Center. We could not fulfill our mission to provide high-quality early education services without them. They are our heroes! Thank you to all the parents who participated in staff appreciation by purchasing some of their child’s teacher’s favorite treats and delivering them throughout the week, and thank you to Mr. Drew and Mrs. Carmina for making this event happen!
As if those those events weren’t enough, we also raised a whopping $117,516 at our first annual Celebration Dinner. We cannot overstate how blown away we are by the generosity of our community. A special thank you to everyone who attended and participated in our auction and donated during our fundraising appeal. We are thrilled to be able to provide the highest-quality early education at the lowest possible cost to Lowcountry families.
To cap off the last few weeks of life at the Children’s Center, we graduated our 2022 graduating class and we are thrilled to launch them into the next season of life. We are confident they have the tools they need to succeed in Kindergarten and beyond, and while we will miss their adorable faces and wonderful personalities, we could not be happier for them. You can view the graduation ceremony here.
On a special note, we graduated Bryson Wilson (right), whose father Andrew Wilson (left) is also a Children’s Center graduate. What a full-circle moment!
In February, we began a series focused on understanding the South Carolina Early Learning Standards. These standards are the building blocks for the Children’s Center’s curriculum and has contributed to our 98.6% Kindergarten readiness standard. The goal of this series is to provide some practical ways parents can assist their children in hitting the appropriate developmental milestones for their child’s age range.
This month we will focus on Language Development and Communication (LDC) in your preschooler. The South Carolina Early Learning Standards state the following regarding the importance of this developmental domain:
“From birth, children are learning language and developing the ability to communicate. The Language Development and Communication domain describes many important aspects of children’s language and early literacy development.”
So what are some things to be aware of at each stage of your child’s early language development?
As a newborn, communication will be mostly be limited to cries, smiles, and coos. As your infant grows, they will begin mimicking your sounds themselves, focus on speech directed at them and respond with smiles, engage in babble as though in “conversation” with their caregiver. Talking to your infant is an important part of their language and communication development. Research shows babies understand much more that they can communicate, and according to Healthline, by approximately 12 months your child will even be able to clearly say a few words of their own!
Children between the ages of 8 and 21 months will begin to respond appropriately to visual cues such as “come here” and follow simple directions. At this stage, young toddlers will also begin to expect those around them to understand them, and may grow irritated when they are not understood. At this stage children may begin to imitate those around them and act out everyday scenarios they have observed such as cooking or going to bed. Pointing to everyday objects and naming them, and identifying familiar sounds is important in the language development of your toddler.
At this age, parents and guardians will begin to understand their toddler’s speech. This age group will also begin forming short sentences, and will participate in familiar songs and stories. Reading to your child and singing songs with them is a wonderful activity at this stage. They will begin to really delight in active play, music, and being outdoors, and all of these are great opportunities for parents to incorporate new vocabulary and phrases.
As a young preschooler, your child has grasped the more robust dynamics of interpersonal communication. They understand and interpret facial expressions, gestures, and spoken instruction and conversation. At this age it is important to ask your young preschooler questions, and engage them in conversation about everyday life and things that interest them.
Older preschoolers are now able to follow more complex and multi-step instructions, initiate and participate in group discussions, and are able to understand humor. Asking specific questions about their thoughts and emotions is important at this stage, and sharing about yourself in more detail can be an effective way to teach children how to communicate their more intricate thoughts and emotions about the world around them.
To learn more about the language development from birth to age five, click here.
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