Houghton Mifflin Harcourt #SparkAMind Early Learning Campaign
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This post was sponsored by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central.
It’s no secret that if you’re reading this you probably love learning just as much as I do! So when I heard about Houghton Mifflin Harcourt’s Early Learning #SparkAMind initiative I was all on board! To me, education isn’t (just) about learning in school. It goes SO far beyond that. In fact when I think of my kids and learning I don’t think of the hours they spend in school – I think of everything at home and in our family that I can turn into a learning lesson! Curiosity inspires possibilities! You can turn almost anything into a creative spark of opportunity to further their learning and that’s exactly what Houghton Mifflin Harcourt is pushing in their #SparkaMind campaign!
DID YOU KNOW? 61 percent of low-income families have no books at all in their homes for their children. (Reading Literacy in the United States, 1996.)
When my oldest son was little I did everything I could to offer him the skills he needed to develop as he rapidly passed through his toddler years. But it wasn’t until he began to be so inquisitive that I realized everything was a learning opportunity. Everything! One morning when he was 3 years old we were sitting down at the table eating breakfast together and he was staring at his breakfast spoon. I almost didn’t catch it until he turned to me and asked me WHY his reflection was upside down in his spoon.
What a seemingly obvious observation but one I had certainly never paid any attention to. It showed me just how much learning goes on in a child’s brain from even the most mundane things and how easily you can capture their curiosity. It was such an astute observation that I’ve dedicated myself to not missing out on the most obvious observations in life with my children. Now that they are older I enjoy delving into bigger interests like cryptozoology and other seemingly mysterious research. We even plan road trips centered full of learning opportunities!
#SparkaMind is a place where you can capture every day moments that spark new learning ideas and read ideas from other people! PLUS it’s for a good cause! Every time someone uses #SparkAMind on social media it will appear on the #SparkAMind mini-site for all of us to share. You can scroll through the hashtag on social media or on the campaign website to read ways others are encouraging learning! Not only that but Houghton Mifflin Harcourt will donate a children’s book to an early learning organization! It’s really a win win for all of us!
DID YOU KNOW? In middle income neighborhoods the ratio of books per child is 13:1. 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.)
This lifetime of learning approach isn’t just great for early learning but even as an adult I find I absolutely crave learning and experiencing new things! The past 2 years we turned into pretty hard core road trippers not only to travel but really to open up so many incredibly real life learning opportunities for our children. #SparkaMind is a great learning resource to piggy back on with a passion for education – I like to call it an educational lifestyle.
You can learn something from everything and everything garners a new perspective on something else. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt has a great new app called Curious World which is an early learning app designed for kids ages 3-7. It includes over 500 fun and educational games, videos and books! It’s great to add as a supplement to your child’s learning, game time, or take with you while you travel!
Whether you are a teacher in early childhood education, a parent, a homeschooler, or a librarian – check out the #SparkaMind site by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and share your #SparkaMind updates on social media! Feel free to leave a comment below and share with us an interesting perspective you or your child has noticed that has sparked the opportunity to learn something new!