Parents as teachers means parents helping children learn

Parents as teachers means parents helping children learn. Busy parents and especially single parents raising children can easily incorporate these activities into the daily routine.

As a parent, you are your child's first and best teacher. Your child's attitude toward learning and school in general comes from you. So does his/her work ethic, and both are important to your child's success - in school and out.

Important issues of health and nutrition fall within your domain, issues which can be addressed only by you.


An alarming number of children are simply not getting enough sleep for their brains to function properly.

Lack of sleep may be responsible for most of the failure in schools today!

Most parents are not aware of the general sleep requirements of school-aged children. Many parents send their children off to bed thinking they are going to sleep when, in fact, they are texting or using the computer to communicate with friends or browse the internet. Parents are wising up and learning to ask children to leave cell phones and mp3 players charging in another room at night.

When deprived of sufficient sleep, the brain alternates periods of focus with periods of non-focus. The sleep-deprived child, then, is unable to focus or concentrate. The situation presents itself as ADD-ish behavior.


Most parents as teachers want their children to be involved in as many activities as possible, and there's nothing wrong with that. In fact, we know that for younger children especially, the more experiences they have, the more dendrites their brains will grow.

However, multiple sports opportunities and extra-curricular activities may be preventing children from getting the rest they need as many of them must stay up late doing the obligatory homework assignments after returning home from these activities.

These sports and extra-curricular activities, though beneficial, may in large quantities be robbing out children of the sleep necessary for optimum brain function. It may also be preventing them from having the time to

play which is of critical importance to child development.

Moderation is the key, and parents as teachers must achieve some sort of balance.


Glucose is fuel for the brain, and a good breakfast really will help your child learn, especially if it includes orange juice not made from concentrate. Studies by Dr. Fritz Mengert, neuro-epistomologist and learning expert, indicate that 6 oz. of the juice delivered each morning may significantly improve performance of at-risk children.

He also recommends low-fat snacks such as animal crackers and low-salt pretzels to boost glucose amounts at mid morning and in the afternoon to provide a steady amount of fuel for learning. So sending snacks to school with your child is a good way for you to help in your role as teacher.

Glucose, fuel for the brain, is depleted during learning so snacks which are low in sugar and fat are a good way to refuel for learning.


The brain is 97% water and heats up during learning so water must be replaced to keep it functioning properly. Sending your child to school with a water bottle and encouraging him/her to drink water regularly at home is very important.

All liquids are not created equal!

There is no substitute for water!

Go to Focus Games from Parents as Teachers
Go to Memory Improvement Exercises from Parents as Teachers

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The Car

Time spent in the car can be time spent learning. Consider turning off the radio or DVD player for part of your travel time. It's a good way to pass the time, and it is the perfect time to build vocabulary.

Learning is all about language. So give them plenty! The brain loves stories, and telling your children happy stories from your childhood is a good place to start. From there, help keep your family history alive by making it a regular part of your family's routine.

It is the ideal time for practicing those all-important multiplication tables in math, too.

The Couch

You're tired at the end of the day, and the kids are wanting to watch television. You can make it all work to your advantage by making TV time learning time. All the elements of good stories are there - character, setting, heroes and heroines - and the pause button enables conversation and brief discussions.

Here are some ideas for these short conversations:

~ What do you think is going to happen next?

~ Do you remember when .....?

~ What do you think about.........?

~ That is sort of like.............

Making predictions, drawing conclusions, and summarizing are all important reading skills, and this is a great time to practice them.

The Kitchen Counter

Cooking together is a wonderful way to practice math skills. Doubling recipes can be a lesson in fractions, and measurement is a critically important skill which has all kinds of practical applications.

And at the end of the lesson -- there's something to eat! What could be better?