Philosophy of Empowering Parents to Teach

There is one thing that binds all of us parents together. We have this crazy awesome love for our children that creates a strong to desire to be the best parents we can be.  We seek information on child development, education, nutrition, vaccines, and on and on.  It’s natural; we love our children and we want to do all we can for them.  We want to make EDUCATED DECISIONS for our families.

I designed Empowering Parents to Teach to help educate parents.  As a trained teacher and stay at home mom, I have immersed myself in the development of children.  Whether you are looking for ways to enrich your toddler’s day, gather home school ideas, supplement your child’s public or private education, support emotional development, or bond with your baby, you may find this website helpful.

It is important to understand the underlying philosophy of Empowering Parents to Teach.  I believe that as parents we can guide our children. Control is a fallacy. We cannot control our children. Our job is to lovingly guide them into independence.

Academic learning does not occur in a vacuum. There are numerous emotional and social aspects that go into it. First and foremost, we must nurture our emotional connection with our children.  It provides the security that all development will depend on- emotional, social, and academic. Through brain imaging you can clearly see abnormal brain development in children who have suffered extreme neglect. How we treat our children matters and it is fundamental to healthy brain development and learning.  We may not be able to control our children, but we have some control over certain environmental factors that impact our children’s development- such as nutrition, exposure to stress, parental treatment, etc.

Knowing this, it allows us to operate from a framework of love and respect. The essential bond with us allows our children to fully trust us as their guide in life. From this starting point, we can help nurture all kinds of learning. We teach our children so they can understand the world around them, formulate their own ideas, and make educated decisions. It’s not for grades or impressing others.  We teach and guide out of love, so they can develop into the individual that is uniquely them!

When you see posts on activities that you can do with your child, I will always explain the rationale behind them so that all parents can understand WHY I am doing what I do. That way, I’m not just sharing one activity, rather I am providing tools so that you can create your own too! I will help you train your eye to see learning in everything. It’s like the Chinese Proverb, “Give a man a fish and he eats for a day. Teach a man to fish and he eats for a lifetime.”  I want to teach you how to fish.

We are guardrails and gardeners. Let them follow their path. Guard them from danger, plant the seeds of learning, water when necessary, and watch them flourish!


4 Essentials for Letter Recognition (Part 2)

Looking to help your little one recognize the letters of the alphabet? Adding four essential toys to your playroom may help you! In fact, it may be things you already have.

These two items are hands on materials that allow the child to actually hold each letter and play with them individually. By including all four materials (from Part 1 and Part 2) in your environment you are giving your child the opportunity to see, hear, and touch the letters in many ways!


Recognizing the letters of the Alphabet:

 Alphabet Puzzle

 Empowering Parents to Teach: ABC Puzzle

  • Puzzles in general are great for spacial skills. As the child completes the puzzle, they will recognize the correct orientation for each letter. As you work with your child, name each letter as they place it.
  • Build spacial/ math vocabulary as they work by using words such as “rotate”, “flip”, “turn” when they are having trouble fitting a piece into the space.

Soft Foam Letters

Empowering Parents to Teach: Foam letters

  • Hide and seek game: I had these letter around for my youngest to play with, just hold and get familiar with the letter shapes. But, my oldest became very interested in playing with the letters. So I made up a game. I took five or six of the letters and hid them in the playroom and he searched for them. Once he found them, I took five or six more and hid them. We repeated this until all 26 letters where hidden and found. The younger the child is, the easier they should be to find. For a 2 year old, you aren’t really hiding them, as much as placing them around the room. You can adjust the difficulty for age.

Empowering Parents to Teach: Hide and Seek Letter Game

  • Let them free play with the letters as they would any other toy. The letters can be characters in a play, ramps for cars, or a chair for Barbie! There are endless possibilities.


All of these things are inexpensive and easy! Remember it’s more about how to interact with your child than the toy itself! 


If you want to purchase these from Amazon, just click on the picture. It will take you right to the site. *These are affiliate links. If you make a purchase from Amazon, I receive a small percentage of the sale at no extra cost to you.

 Good option if you want both upper and lower case letters

All uppercase letters

 Foam letters and Numbers

4 Essentials for Letter Recognition (Part 1)

Looking to help your little one recognize the letters of the alphabet? Adding four essential toys to your playroom may help you! In fact, it may be things you already have.

To learn the names of the letters, your child has to see and hear it many times. The first two items on the list are materials that help add more exposure to the letters. By preparing the environment, you are increasing opportunities for your child to see letters in their everyday environment.

The ideas mentioned don’t take a lot of planning or work. They are easy to set up and play.

Recognizing the letters of the Alphabet

Alphabet Line and (Nerf gun)

Letter Game with Alphabet Line

Ways to use it:

Empowering Parents to Teach: Alphabet Line

Hang the alphabet line mid-height on the wall.

  • ABC Song- If the child is young, hold them up and sing the ABC song while pointing to each letter as you say it. If they are older, they can point to each letter as they sing independently or with you. Sing the song slowly enough to clearly hear each letter individually.
  • Tracing- Let them trace a letter with their finger (pre-writing skill). If they are young, you can trace the letter with your finger while verbalizing what you are doing.
  • Target Game- I created a game with a Nerf gun for my youngest when he was little. Boys especially will like this game. Using a Nerf gun, he would try to shoot the letters. Since he was so little (only 1), and not speaking, I would announce what letter he hit or missed. I would say things like, “Wow, you hit the ‘Y’ “, or “You almost got the ‘X’! ” Sometimes I would point to a letter and say, “Try to get the ‘S’ “.  If your child is older, you can give them target letters. They can score points for every letter they hit!

Empowering Parents to Teach : Alphabet Line game


Alphabet Poster

Just like the alphabet line, the poster is another way to introduce letters into the environment. Both the alphabet line and the poster show the letters in alphabetical order, promoting understanding of the sequential order of the alphabet. But, what I like about the poster is it’s size. Smaller than an alphabet line, it can be seen easier all at once, versus turning and moving your head to see the whole alphabet line. It may not seem like much of a difference, but I like having them both so that they can view the alphabet different ways. The poster also helps facilitate different uses. I would also recommend having the poster in a different room than the alphabet line.

 Ways to use it:

  •  Find the letter: Sing the alphabet, then ask the child if s/he can find a certain letter. If they are having trouble, you can say something like, “I see it. It’s right there” and show them.

Empowering Parents to Teach: Find the letter game


  • What’s missing?: Put a post it note over a letter. Ask your child what letter is hiding. Start at the beginning of the alphabet, slowly sing the alphabet song, pointing to each letter, and stop at the covered letter. If your child is familiar with the ABC song, they may know what comes next based on the song lyrics. If they guess a letter, say something such as, “Let’s see” with an excited look on your face. Happily uncover the letter and cheer if the are correct. If they are incorrect, you may something such as, “Good try. It was a “V”, that V tried to trick us!”

 Empowering Parents to Teach: Missing Letter Game

These are just some starting points! If your child starts to take an activity in a different direction, that is wonderful! Follow his or her lead, you’ve inspired them and their minds are busy creating ideas just as they should.


I love that these things are inexpensive and easy! Remember it’s more about how you interact with your child than the toy itself! 


If you have a local teacher store they will often have the alphabet line and poster, I’ve seen them at dollar stores, office supply stores, and sometimes craft stores like JoAnn Fabrics. If you are interested in purchasing any of the materials mentioned, I found an alphabet line and poster on I looked for the Nerf gun on Amazon  and I did not like anything they offered.

*These are affiliate links. If you make a purchase from Amazon, I receive a small percentage of the sale at no extra cost to you.

What Amazon has to offer:

     This one is actually really cute. I have not seen this one personally, but from the pictures it appears to have the Dr. Suess pictures and words from the book Dr. Suess’s ABC.


  This poster looks great! You could probably find one much cheaper at a local store. But if online shopping is for you, this one looks good!

  The book that goes with the Dr. Suess alphabet line (board book)

  Hardcover version (for older kids)




What Empowering Parents to Teach is all about

This is blog is meant to share fun ideas that nurture learning and the positive emotional connection between you and your child. 

As a stay at home mom and former teacher, I enjoy teaching children. Through my education and experience I have gathered knowledge about how children learn and have fine tuned my personal philosophy on education. Always willing to share what I know with other parents, this is my first attempt to share ideas with a large group of people. That would be all of you reading this. So if like many parents you are looking for ways to nurture your child’s development this blog may interest you. I intend to post ideas and resources to help with all kinds of learning needs.

There is no right way to parent or teach. I personally believe the most important thing we can do for our children is to spend time with them. Discovering the world together is not only a great way to bond, but it also gives your child a fundamental framework from which all of their scholarly learning will build upon. Everything we learn is related to concrete, real, hands on experiences we’ve had. Taking a walk in the woods, for example, may seem small but children are actually building necessary schema to understand things to come. They need these sensory experiences. The brain needs somewhere to connect new information and ideas. These real life experiences are that foundation. Whenever possible choose the most natural experience. If you want to extend their learning- read a book about the topic, create a craft, role play, make up a song. This blog will help you with extending a learning experience. I will share some of my ideas, but truly there are endless ways! By doing all of these wonderful things with you, you are also helping to connect with your child, creating the bond that will carry them through their lifetime.


For the at home activities- I highly recommend that if your child is not into the activity, do not force it! You really want to keep it fun and positive. Another important aspect of learning is emotion. The brain can not separate emotion from learning. Our brain biologically seeks pleasure and tries to avoid pain. If a learning experience becomes forceful or a negative experience, the brain will make emotional associations that shut down learning. Learning occurs easily when a child feels safe, good about themselves, and enjoys what they are doing. If you feel like the topic is important, try again another day when your child may be more receptive or change the way you go about teaching the topic. There is no one more qualified than a parent to nurture a child’s learning, because of the unique, innate, emotional bond we have with our children. Trust your instincts and teach with love and your child will learn from your guidance. Have faith in your own abilities and the abilities of your child. We are all a lot smarter and capable than we realize!


Enjoy the journey!





To learn more about some of the things I briefly talked about regarding how the brain learns, The Art of Changing the Brain by James E. Zull is an excellent book.