EduHelp is a completely independent and private enrichment/support learning programme that assists learners who find the schooling system challenging. EduHelp is for every child and caters for the child's individual needs. EduHelp has experience working from special needs to gifted children....Read More
Teacher/Parent Meetings First Term
A reminder of my popular article 'What to ask Teachers and Professionals during Meetings' with the upcoming end of term teacher/parent meetings. It is now followed by a three-part series: explaining the questions in detail.
All the best!
Continuing with my recommendations of great materials to help your children is the Smart-Kid range.
At the moment I am using the Spelling and Grammar books which are proving to be a great success.
These are a lovely guide and will definitely help develop your child's written skills. I love the extras that look at other aspects of Language that are not always covered in standard grammar books like Figures of Speech and Critical Language Awareness, especially with regards to Primary School. I even use these books to assist my high school learners who do not fully understand the foundations of language. I highly recommend them.
For more information: Smart-Kids
Rory's Story Cubes
A current favourite game I am using in my sessions is Rory's Story Cubes. There is a variety of topics and cubes which makes them a useful tool. I use Rory's Story Cubes to develop creative skills, oral presentation, writing skills, literature skills, sequencing among many others.
This a great game to play at home.
One of the many ways to play the game at home is:
1) One of the players rolls the dice
2) When the pictures are face-up another player can divide the dice among everyone equally - keeping the dice face-up
3) Then the player on the left of the player who rolled the dice can start a story using the blocks in their hands (2 - 3 sentences maximum)
4) Then the next player must continue the story using their blocks
5) The game continues until someone runs out of ideas, a pre-selected amount of turns or when the players opt to end the game
Parenting Behaviours to Avoid: Part One
Parenting is one of the toughest jobs. My recent blog takes a look at some behaviours to avoid.
3 Simple Steps to the Art of Listening to Your Child
As parents, we often feel as though our children are not listening to us but perhaps the feeling is mutual?
My latest blog is 3 simple steps to build on listening skills that benefit our children.
It seems very simple - just buy a chart - BUT it is not. Have a look at my Facebook Post on Alphabet Charts for further information.
Picture from the Activity Shelter.
WHEN SHOULD I TEACH MY CHILD TO READ?
There are two different ways to approach learning letters the ‘Phonics Method’ and the ‘Whole Word’. Personally, I prefer the ‘Phonics Method’. However, the ‘Whole Word’ approach is very useful for sight words and words that use the more complicated phonic rules.
The reason I prefer the ‘Phonics Method’ is because it teaches children how to blend sounds and decode words. It also focuses on the auditory aspect of reading which is essential.
This post will not focus on the different types of learning and I intend doing a blog on the different methods and how they influence reading. It is will be extremely important with regards to younger children learning to read.
However, this post is simply to introduce whether your child is ready to read and when reading should be introduced.
Several schools prefer that parents do not teach their children to read at home. The main reasons for this are that schools have specific methods they use to teach children to read and it confuses the child when there are opposite methods being taught, parents frequently teach letter names instead of the sounds of the letters (phonics), parents tend to mix up phonetical sounds and sometimes parents try to teach their child to read when they are not ready.
This why I stress and emphasize that before you start teaching please approach your school to find out what methods they use and whether your child is ready to read. Children who are ready to read will benefit from reading enrichment (this is where programs like EduHelp are beneficial and preferable to parents teaching at home who do not fully understand how reading is taught) and sometimes children start reading on their own (and this is when enrichment and intervention are definitely needed to help them learn in a positive and functional way).
HOWEVER, IN THE MEANWHILE PLEASE KEEP READING TO YOUR CHILD AS OFTEN AS POSSIBLE. I suggest when you are reading that you read about different topics, introduce your child to a variety of styles of writing (Fables, Stories, Science, etc.) and most importantly ask questions: What, Who, When, Where, How, Why as well as asking them to use their own words to tell you what the story was about. Discuss what you have read from the material to the words used. Don’t forget to talk about the pictures!
Teacher/Parent Meetings: Part Three
I am so excited that all three follow-on blogs are ready for the main Teacher/Parent Meetings of the first term.
I hope this takes out all the stress of the meetings because having a plan and being prepared can change an entire meeting for the better.
Gifted Children and Educational Barriers
Nobody tries to remove the barriers that identify certain children as sporty, musical or artistic but they attempt to remove the barriers that identify gifted children. The aim is to make the learning environment ‘inclusive’ that no one is different. Whilst I agree with the idea of being inclusive and giving children their toolkits I do not support the idea of making them all ‘equal’ by removing the barriers. This is a fatal mistake (and not just for gifted children). We are limiting a part of society from fulfilling their potential.
An Oldie but a Goodie: The Art of Listening
A topic I definitely want to focus on in more detail but here is an updated version of 'The Art of Listening'
Ever wonder about the difference between hearing and listening?
Or how to teach your child to listen actively?
Or how important active listening is in school?
WHY GAMES ARE IMPORTANT
Far too quickly do we allow our children to outgrow ‘board’ games or we do not even expose them to games. However, these are crucial to their development.
To name a few:
- Snakes and Ladders teaches them how to count, recognise numbers, dealing with disappointment (when they go down a snake), ascending and descending (the snakes and the ladders) and logic (if I land on 20 I will be able to go up the largest ladder on the board and to do this I need to roll a 4 on the dice as I am on number 16).
- Snap improves processing speed (as the child is reliant on their reaction time as well as being able to coordinate saying snap and placing their hands on the cards simultaneously) and hand-eye coordination (moving the hand from their cards or where the hand is placed to the pile of cards).
- Battleship develops fine motor skills (working with all the small pins), logic (using the information gained from their previous moves to decide the next coordinates) and strategy (how they are going to play the game).
Our children’s neurological development (among others like motor skills) is vastly improved by using ‘board’ games in their daily lives – you might even be surprised to hear that the games even influences our neurological performance.
Before you decide that your child has outgrown ‘board’ games: stop, think and act.
I use games all the time during my sessions to develop certain skills I want to focus on or purely for a break from the work yet still working on improving their abilities and potential.
Our Children need Good Old Fashion Games
I spent the morning shopping for games at Mambos from Snakes and Ladders, Battleship, Uno, Decoding, Ludo, Chess, Spell Mix and Snap. I forgot how valuable these games are in skills development. We tend to forget the good old games that develop speed, fine motor skills, logic, processing and strategy (and many more).
However, there are also new games that are just as fun and easy to transport for those holiday trips. My personal favourite:IQ Fit
Primary School Practice Tests
A frequent question I am asked is: "Where do I find practice tests for Primary School?"
My personal favourite for English and Mathematics are the Smart-Kids Practice Tests Grades 1 - 7.
Am I ready for School?
Grade R is one of the most important grades as it prepares children for formal schooling... Do you know where to start?
I am very proud to be a co-author of "Am I ready for School?" and it is a great place to start.
Side Note: Also great for grade 1 learners...
Why removing the Barrier does not work
"We cannot make everyone equal, but we can aim to give everyone equal opportunities. Herein lies the difference: opportunities. Do not take the fence away – give children the boxes. Give them a toolkit to live life and to learn through adversity. "
Teacher/Parent Meetings Part Two
Ready for you to read...
It has been a while since I spoke about my "Change Education Project". The initial response has been slightly disappointing but I am hoping that 2018 will be a new year. This project is aimed at promoting the community by supporting education. The idea is that each person participates by adding to the community. The smallest action will make a big difference. So if you donate a book to your local library, offer to read to children once a month or even donate to various educational projects - you are part of "Project Change Education". Please like our page and post your participation of changing education for the better or I can even post it anonymously (like a picture of a book you donated to your library or local school). I am hoping that one small movement can make a big difference in helping our children have a better future. Thank you so much for your support!
Start by liking my page today...
nervous, unsure, worried...
I am super excited to introduce my follow-on article (which will be part of a series)Understanding the Questions to ask at Teacher and Professional Meeting
It explains what to look for when asking questions at these meetings...
My First Few Days of School have been...
The first term (and first days) of school for the younger children can be very challenging for both parents and children.
I am always on the lookout for books that parents can read with their children to assist in these situations.
My current favourite for discussing school is 'The Things I Love About School' by Trace Moroney.
It allows for parents to talk about school with their child in a fun and exciting way.
"My classroom is really interesting."
The book tells us about what is interesting in the character's class. A simple question "What does your classroom look like?" can be used to start a conversation about your child's classroom. The paragraph talks about what is in the character's classroom. Your child and you can compare and contrast the character's classroom to his/her classroom.
I love the book because at the back of the book is a section called "Notes for Parents and Caregivers" that explains the author's perspective and reasons for the book.
*'The Things I Love About School' is part of a series called 'The things I Love About ...'
I bought my copies from Bargain Books (they had the most competitive prices as well as being one of the only stores where I found the full series).
Enjoy the weekend
with the people you love ...
you are not alone...
#TIP: when your child gets home rather than adding demands and instructions give them half an hour to settle: a snack and some time to do what they want (not technology - as that stimulates) are a good place to start.
Encouraging thought for our children for first term of 2018...
Being a great support system...
The first term has started and with it comes parent/teacher meetings. Are you unsure what to ask? Follow our article about useful questions to ask during meetings...What to ask during Teacher and Professional Meetings
REDUCED PARENT CONSULTATIONS FOR FEBRUARY 2018
Starting a new school year can be a very daunting prospect. If you are feeling overwhelmed or purely need a little direction contact me so that we can find the most beneficial route for your child. Sometimes, an objective voice is all that is needed to find the right path for your child.
NOTE: there are still earlier time slots available - perfect for Pre-Grade R to Grade 3.