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6 Ways to Give Your Child a Head Start Before School

September 29, 2017
6 Ways to Give Your Child a Head Start Before School
“This post is sponsored by Everywhere
Agency on behalf of Primrose Schools; however, all thoughts and opinions
expressed are my own.”
We all want to give our kids a head start and instill life skills that will make them successful adults. If you’re like me, you don’t really know where to start or what methods are the most effective. Sure, I read to Indigo every night and I talk to him a lot, but I often wonder if I’m doing enough. I got the opportunity to team up with Primrose Schools and give their 6 executive function skills a try. 
Primrose Schools is the go-to source for early education. They provide a premier early education and child care experience for children and families.
Primrose emphasizes 6 executive function skills that help build the right foundation for success in life. They are:
1. Adaptability
2. Teamwork
3. Critical thinking
5. Problem solving
6. Self-control
6. Working Memory
 Learning these skills early will help a child grow into someone who can plan, focus attention, remember instructions and juggle multiple tasks. I’ve been working to instill these executive function skills in Indigo so he can have a head start when he goes to school. Here are a few of the ways I’ve been putting these skills to use on a daily basis: 
6 Ways to Give Your Child a Head Start Before School
Self-Control
Anyone with a toddler knows that self-control isn’t their strong suit! Like most toddlers, Indigo’s natural inclination is to grab anything he wants (like my phone or food) instead of asking and waiting. 
In addition to telling him “no” when he tries to grab (my usual solution), I’ve been making him wait a moment and then say “please”. This method has worked fast and it’s very effective! Now, the majority of the time Indigo wants something he stands calmly and says “please”.
We all think of “milestone moments” as first words, first steps, etc., but the first time your child shows self-control is a milestone moment too and it should be celebrated! 
6 Ways to Give Your Child a Head Start Before School
Problem Solving
Playing blocks is one of Indigo’s favorite pastimes and I love to watch him build. I always get a kick out of how his mind works and how clever he is! Sometimes he studies each block and tries a few locations before settling on a spot. Blocks are serious business to him!
Primrose believes that nurturing problem solving skills early can help your child become a more successful adult. 
Building with blocks is such an important activity for kids because it teaches persistence. Indigo’s giant towers of blocks frequently topple over. He gets upset for a minute and then goes right back to building a new tower. I hope he never loses that “try again” attitude! 
6 Ways to Give Your Child a Head Start Before School
6 Ways to Give Your Child a Head Start Before School
Fostering Working Memory
Before I had Indigo, I never spent much time with children. As a matter of fact, he was the first baby I’ve ever held! It’s been so amazing to see how kids learn and think. One of the things that never fails to surprise me is how great Indigo’s memory is!
Primrose explains that fostering a working memory helps children take on more complex tasks and gives them the opportunity to feel the challenges and rewards of responsibility. One of the ways Primrose recommends fostering working memory is by doing chores together, explaining each step as you go. Indigo loves to help with the chores but I never thought to explain each step (“First we sweep”, “Then we get the dustpan” etc.).
Want to learn more? Here’s an Executive Function Skills video that shows you how to help your child skyrocket to success. Primrose also gives you examples of specific games you can play with your child to help them improve each executive function skill.

Wait there’s more! Primrose Schools is hosting a giveaway! All you have to do to enter is subscribe to Primrose’s newsletter for a chance to win a Primrose Prize Pack consisting of a $250 Barnes & Noble gift card and 5 children’s books. Click here to enter.

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