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IS YOUR PREPPY READY FOR SCHOOL?
“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.
TYPES OF LEARNERS –
Type ‘student’ into clipart and you have fifty-one pages of cartoon pupils sitting quietly at their desk diligently working away. DREAM ON. We know all students are not alike because all children are not alike. In a (teacher’s) perfect world all students would be just so, but …
Approximately 15% of the population are kinaesthetic learners and that means there will be no such thing as a quiet classroom. Kinaesthetic learners just want to touch and feel everything. Their friends are bruised because these learners just have to thump their mates. Their homes are a mess because they have to pull everything apart, just to see how it works. Does that sound like someone you married?
You can picture this in your husband, but how about your little one? How do you know you have a kinaesthetic learner on your hands? Well for starters their teacher will probably be calling you in to complain about how disruptive they are in class. This student finds it difficult to learn through reading and writing. They need the hands on approach so they do better in chemistry experiments, sports and acting. They may not even be aware of their own movement and are easily distracted by the movements of others.
By the age of 6½ they are generally classed as under-achievers or worse still hyperactive.
What can you do with this learner? For starters accept them for who they are. There is nothing wrong with them rather it is our education system that is not geared to accept 15% of the population. As a parent, give them down time after an active session, and reward them for the tasks they perform. These guys may be reward driven. Kinaesthetics learn best with images so paint them a picture of what you want from them. (For more information visit www.educ.uvic.ca )
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