This post was sponsored by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central.
Even though I think I have raised them so similarly, my girls are so different, but I’m so glad that they are both wonderfully creative. Different things inspire them both…my eldest is definitely inspired by science and nature…even from an early age she was fascinated by anything that crawled, creeped or flew. As part of her early learning, I encouraged her to get out into nature and explore. I have so many wonderful memories of her camping and asking a MILLION questions as she explored her surroundings.
My youngest is definitely inspired by art and books! From a really young age, I have read to her…and even now as I type this she is sitting and reading out loud to me. For her, books bring alive magical lands, and the wonders of our world. Right now, she is really into books about space and any kind of fiction series – I love to see her get lost in a new book or series. As a teacher, one of my favorite things was watching a child – especially a reluctant reader- find a book or a topic that sparked their imagination. After that, you just have to get out of the way and let them learn – it’s such a cool thing to see as a teacher and as a parent!
While I try to make sure my kids have plenty of ways to explore what makes them curious, that isn’t the case for all kiddos. Research has shown that 61 percent of low-income families have no books at all in their homes for their children. (Reading Literacy in the United States, 1996.) Another study showed that in middle-income neighborhoods the ratio of books per child is 13 to 1, while in low-income neighborhoods, the ratio is 1 age-appropriate book for every 300 children. (Neuman, Susan B. and David K. Dickinson, ed. Handbook of Early Literacy Research, Volume 2. New York, NY: 2006, p. 31.). To me, this stark contrast illustrates an early education gap very well. But the good news is that there is something that you can do to help!
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt is a VERY familiar name from my time in the classroom. They believe that everyday moments can spark curiosity, and it is these moments of curiosity that create life time learners – something that was important to me as a teacher and is very important to me as a parent. Now, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt wants to celebrate these moments in their #SparkAMind campaign, where we can share ideas and find ways to spark a mind! And here’s the best party – for everytime someone uses #SparkAMind on social media, it will appear on the #SparkAMind mini-site and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt will donate a children’s book to an early learning organization! How cool is that – you can inspire and get inspiration from others as well as help close the early education gap and get kids ready for long-term school and life success!
If you are looking for a way to encourage your child’s early learning, I encourage you to check out Houghton Mifflin Harcourt early learning app, The Curious World. The Curious World app is an early learning app for kids ages 3-7 with over 500 fun and educational games, videos and books. Right now, Parent Palace readers can get some awesome savings – the first 30 days free plus 20% off your monthly subscription. Click here to check out The Curious World app and this great deal!