Ask Our Expert: Natacha Beim on Early Learning

Photo courtesy of John Morgan.

This got your attention!

We published a couple of posts, Is Science in the Early Years Important? and more recently 10 Tips to get your children to love reading that really got your attention. Written by  Natacha V. Beim, early years and parenting expert, and founder of CEFA Early Learning Schools we know these topics are why you trust Modern Mama for parenting advice (and enjoyable reading) so we wanted to share a couple of key questions you had for Natacha.

Here are the burning questions you had for our expert. For direct contact with Natacha please visit her website.

Question on Reading for Kids

“My daughter (age 4) seems very interested in the alphabet and books, I am wondering if she’s ready to read. How can I encourage this, and perhaps push that skill?”

NB: Just like children who are exposed to music instruction in the early years show much higher development in areas such as mathematics and physics, children who learn to read earlier stimulate areas in the brain and form different neuronal connections that enhances learning in that and in many other areas.

Reading is the one activity that, once acquired, will expand the child’s knowledge in every other area. Take any activity as an example and you will soon discover that knowing how to read greatly enhances the child’s ability to further that interest. Anytime a child shows interest is a great time to start.

One method is to start teaching letters, one letter at a time, working on letter recognition, and being able to describe the sounds the letter makes. Try doing themed weeks. For example, the week you focus on the letter A, you serve apples as a snack, watch movies about Alligators and do an arts and crafts project using a cut out of the letter A. Constantly reaffirming the sounds of the letter and what the letter looks like will support their ability to eventually read full words.

Question on Early Learning

“My toddler (age 19 months) is asking more and more questions – can I encourage her learning by not just giving her a straight answer and/or how can I encourage her learning process?”

NB: This is a great opportunity to increase your child’s vocabulary, intellect and school competency. When your child asks a question, research the answer together. Read books on the topic, answer the question and follow up with another question. Increase dialogue. It will positively impact every aspect of a child’s life, and greatly increase the child’s capacity to learn in every other academic area.

The goal is to make this a fun, rewarding and successful experience for both parent and child! Finding the answer together will become an accomplishment and your daughter will feel excited to learn about the next question that comes to her mind.

Thanks Natacha for you expert advice on these important questions!

Natacha V. Beim is an early years and parenting expert, a writer, a speaker, a teacher, and the founder of the renowned CEFA Early Learning Schools ( You can reach her at 

Natacha V. Beim

Top photo credit: John Morgan.

You May Also Like