Learning at Home


Writing is one of the most complex skills children will develop. Learning to write requires that children develop knowledge about print, the alphabet, and how sounds are represented by letters. It also requires fine motor skills to hold a pencil and to control how it moves. Writing is a very complex skill, but you can support your child to become a writer.

To help young children understand that writing is used to communicate, write in front of your child and explain what you’re writing. Use everyday activities such as writing shopping lists, e-mails, to-do lists, thank you notes, etc. Involve your child by asking what to write and letting them write on the list or send a thank you note.

Writing can happen outside as well. Let your child use chalk or an old paintbrush with water to write on the sidewalk. When going on errands or a car trip, pack a backpack of writing tools and paper for your child.

For more tips visit New York State Education Department

Reading books aloud with children in any language can introduce them to new information, expand their imaginations, and build their vocabulary. When your child sits with you and listens to a book you are sharing, you also are strengthening your parent-child relationship.

Reading develops a child’s imagination and creativity. As children hear a story, they imagine the characters, the setting, and what will happen next.

Reading exercises your child’s brain. Research shows that specific areas of the brain are affected when children are read to on a regular basis from an early age. These areas include memory, problem-solving, emotion, thinking and behavior regulation.

Visit your public library and get a library card. Many libraries have a selection of books that can be accessed on-line and read from a digital device. Libraries also have many family activities that are free. Be certain to check out the calendar of events at your local library.

For more information visit New York State’s Education Department.



Young children are natural born scientists! They are curious. When they play, they observe, experiment, ask questions and try to figure out how things work. Observing, experimenting, asking questions, and trying to figure things out are all key skills for school and life.

Our world is changing and becoming more technological every day. Studies show that children can develop an interest in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) when they are young. These areas will provide more career opportunities in their future.

Science helps children develop many different skills. They develop scientific skills like exploring, observing, making predictions, experimenting, and problem solving. Science also helps children develop their senses and awareness of the world around them.

For more information visit New York State’s Education Department

Learning Outside

Children need time outdoors each day to develop a variety of skills. While outdoors, children learn through their senses and movement. Their senses are naturally stimulated through the ever-changing sights, sounds, smells, tastes and touches of the world.

Outdoor play allows children to learn about the world and naturally occurring events. For example, how do plants grow? Or, how does snow or ice melt? Children can observe and react to the changing of the seasons.

While experiencing nature, children learn to develop a love and respect for nature. While children can gather information from books, such as how a butterfly flies, they deepen their connection with nature when but when they observe it happening outdoors.

For more information visit New York State’s Education Department

Healthy Bodies + Healthy Minds

Growing bodies and minds need well balanced meals and snacks that include fruits, vegetables, meats, and fish. Calcium rich foods like milk and yogurt are important for building strong bones and teeth. Children also need the right amount of sleep. If children are healthy, rested, and feel well, they can focus on learning.

It’s important that as much as possible families establish routines for children: bedtime routines, daily routines of waking, dressing, hygiene practices such as washing their faces, and eating breakfast. Consistent routines give children a sense of security and they know what to expect. Routines help children develop self-discipline. Not knowing what to expect can make children feel anxious.

Young children need to move! They need to run, play outdoors, and make friends, so get outside whenever possible.

For more information visit New York State’s Education Department