Tag Archives: behavioural problems

Tuition Tips – Getting Your Child Ready For School

Tutor and student

Small group tuition, it’s almost one-on-one


“A stitch in time saves nine.”  How do you know if your pre-schooler is ready for the next big jump into primary school?

Does your child understand these words – “above” “below” “on” “in” “before” “after” “beside” “first” “second” “last’ “stop” “go” “left” “right” “top” “bottom” “middle”?

Pre-school education should help young learners with their spatial skills and prepare them for primary school, but there are times when these skills are not acquired.  This is no reflection upon the child, though not having an understanding can place the young learner at a disadvantage when they first attend primary school.

Can you imagine the difficulty a young learner will have following the simplest of directions if they do not have an understanding of the words from the list above?  In our tuition room we are seeing more instances where the parents of children in Years 1 and 2 are seeking help because their little ones are not keeping up at school.  How can a student fall into difficulty at such an early stage of their education?

Let the early years be play.  Young children learn through play, being read to, and through song.  Have any of these three things changed in the last decade?  Do children play with other children or with their parents like they used to?  Are they being read to by an adult?  Do the songs they listen to teach them about the spatial world around them?

The things we do with our children before they attend school are just as important as the education they receive before they become adults.  If you can get the foundations right the structure is strong.

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Sometimes There Might Be Learning Difficulties

I don’t know where this statistic arises from but I read that about 5% of public school children suffer from a learning disability.  The difficulties experienced by students include language, reading and mathematics.  At times social skill, emotional and behavioural problems are associated with learning disabilities. As a parent what can you do?

There are many services available to help parents with children who have learning difficulties but, according to Henry Osieki [B.Sc. (Hons.) & Grad. Dip. Nutrition and Dietetics], one of the prime causes is malnutrition.  He suggests certain factors as possible causes to learning disorders include:

Heavy metal toxicity – in the past lead toxicity has been associated with learning problems.

Nutritional Deficiencies – The most common nutrients associated with difficulties with learning are B-vitamins, iron, iodine, magnesium, and zinc.  This can be linked directly to a poor diet.  Here is an example diet for you to consider:

  • Breakfast – bowl of low nutrient cereal; or nothing (because the parent has not prepared a breakfast for their child).
  • Morning tea – nothing.
  • Lunch – hot dog and can of soft drink; or nothing.
  • Afternoon tea – junk food purchased from local shop on the way home or nothing as both parents work.
  • Dinner – sausages, vegetables and gravy with ice cream for dessert.

A child of any age is growing pretty rapidly and is in need of food for energy and nutrients (protein, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals) to help supply the body with the building blocks to allow the cells to multiply and the body to grow.  If the dinner from the above example was to become the breakfast you would have an alert, bright student sitting in the class until about lunch time.

Impaired hearing – inner ear infections or inflammation of the ear drum from allergies will hamper the early learning stages of pre-schoolers.  I am talking about your toddler here who is doing their best to learn a language so they may communicate with the world.  Parents need to be vigilant when it comes to ear infections at this stage.  Image the problems caused with learning a language when a child hears only the first part of a word the first time and the last part the next time.  To them they are hearing two separate words relating to the same subject.

Osieki states that dyslexic children tend to have a higher concentration of copper in sweat and hair and this may be reduced by taking zinc and vitamin C.

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