Tag Archives: Reading Problems

Tuition Tip – Let The Things Before School Be Play

Baby ReadingAre there things you can do to help your prodigy to become a person who thirsts for knowledge?

Lately I have been reading a book, “Proust and the Squid’ by Maryanne Wolf which addresses this question.  I would like to share some information with you.

THOUGHTS FROM THE BOOK – Reading and Learning

“The more children are spoken to, the more they will understand oral language.  The more children are read to the more they understand all the language around them, and the more developed their vocabulary becomes.”

“… many efforts to teach a child to read before four or five years of age are biologically precipitate and potentially counterproductive for many children.”  The reason for this is the myelin sheath (fatty coating around nerves to help electrical information to flow) in the angular gyrus (that part of the brain related to language, number processing, spatial cognition, memory and attention) is not sufficiently developed until five to seven years of age.  It develops in all children at different rates and in girls faster than boys.

Sometimes your five year old is just not ready for school and your young lad may not be ready until seven years of age.  By that time they are in year two or three and maybe well behind at school.  It is not that they cannot learn, it is just their brain was not ready for them to learn.  They can catch up, but by this time they may need some assistance.

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Tuition Tips – When they look at the work and don’t understand what is going on!

Eye Tracking“Why am I the only person in this class who doesn’t get this?” 

Eventually they begin to believe “I must be a real dummy I just don’t understand why I keep getting this wrong!”  Their self-confidence disintegrates and at times their behaviour will follow.  After all “What is the point of turning up every day if I can’t learn this?”

What is happening with this student?  What would happen if you saw the number zero as a one? For one thing sometimes five plus one will equal six and other times it will equal five.  If you are in primary school and just learning about numbers and maths these things will make it confusing.  You won’t understand why sometimes ten is ten and sometimes it is eleven. Everything will become an exercise in guess-work for you.

These students will also have trouble seeing decimal points, and fractions are just another language when your eyes skip over the line between the numerator and denominator.

That’s just maths.  When they read “was” it becomes “saw” and whole lines are skipped because the eyes didn’t see the line to read it.  By the time they are in Year 7 their reading comprehension is extremely low and there are gaps in their mathematics because fractions and decimals don’t exist.

Eye Tracking issues occur when the two eyes do not move smoothly and accurately across a line or from word to word.  The student will often lose their place while reading, skip lines, misread short words as in “was” and “saw” and cut off the beginnings and endings of words.

Eye tracking issues are usually corrected by visiting a Behavioural Optometrist who tests for the condition and prescribes glasses that are worn until the condition is corrected.  Normal optometrists do not usually check or test for this condition so if your student has glasses and their school work has not improved it may be time to visit the specialist.

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Tuition Tip – Did You Know…

Tuition Logo…that most learners will forget the last four weeks of learning over the six weeks of Christmas break?  Pretty much everything learned in November is lost by the time they go back to school in January/February.

Six weeks is a long time to have a break from learning and I doubt young minds require so much recovery time.  As I come from a sports training background I know that such a break from training for a sports person would be detrimental to their abilities and performance.  That is why professional sports people do not take a break, they alter how they train.

I have witnessed the downfalls in people achieving weight loss because they cannot gain any momentum on their weight loss program.  There was always something preventing them getting up a full head of steam on their weight loss project; birthdays, work functions, anniversaries, weddings, parties, etc..  It may be the same for our students in the education system.  There appears to be so many things that prevent our students building up momentum in their learning progress; public holidays (about 12 days per year), school holidays (about 12 weeks per year), student free days (at least one after every school break), athletics sports day, swimming day, excursions to …., school camps (1 or 2 weeks per year), …

That is why we run holiday programs for our clients.  To us learning is so important to the development of the child that we give tuition hours away to ensure our students return to school not having forgot what they learned in the last month and a half of school but are advanced on what they know.

OUR 342 HOLIDAY PROGRAM 

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Tuition Tips – Difficulties With The Eyes

Eye TrackingThe Eyes Have It When 5 + 1 = 5

Some students are behind at school through no fault of their own.  They look at the work and do not understand what is going on.  They ask themselves “Why am I the only person in this class who doesn’t get this?”  Eventually they begin to believe “I must be a real dummy I just don’t understand why I keep getting this wrong!”  Their self-confidence disintegrates and at times their behaviour will follow.  After all “What is the point of turning up every day if I can’t learn this?”

What is happening with this student?  What would happen if you saw the number zero as a one?  For one thing sometimes five plus one will equal six and other times it will equal five.  When you are in primary school and just learning about numbers and maths things will become confusing almost incomprehensible.  You won’t understand why sometimes ten is ten and sometimes it is eleven. Everything will become an exercise in guess work for you.  These students will also have trouble seeing decimal points and fractions are just another language when your eyes skip over the line between the numerator and denominator.

That’s just maths.  When they read “was” can become “saw” and whole lines are skipped because the eyes didn’t see the line to read it. By the time they are Year 7 their reading comprehension is extremely low and there are gaps in their mathematics understanding because fractions and decimals don’t exist.

Eye Tracking issues occur when the two eyes do not move smoothly and accurately across a line or from word to word.  The student will often lose their place while reading, skip lines, misread short words as in “was” and “saw” and cut off the beginnings and endings of words.

Eye tracking issues are usually corrected by visiting a Behavioural Optometrist who tests for the condition and prescribes glasses that are worn until the condition is corrected.  Normal optometrists do not usually check or test for this condition so if your student has glasses and their school work has not improved it may be time to visit the specialist.

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How Important Is Handwriting?

Handwriting“Does handwriting matter?  Not very much according to educators.  The Common Core standards, which we have adopted in most states, call for teaching legible handwriting, but only in kindergarten and first grade.  After that, the emphasis quickly shifts to proficiency on the keyboard.”

“What’s Lost As Handwriting Fades” – by Maria Konnikova

I have just finished reading this article and you can follow the above link to access it.  The article suggests evidence is emerging of a greater link between handwriting and learning.  It appears children learn to read more quickly when they first learn to write by hand.

A 2012 study by Karin James at the Indiana University supported the association between handwriting and learning.  Children who had not learned to read were presented with index cards with a letter or shape they were to reproduce.  They could either:

  • Trace the image on a page with a dotted outline;
  • Draw it on a blank sheet of paper;
  • Type it on a computer.

A study of their brain waves as they reproduced the shape or letter showed an area of the brain, active when an adult reads and writes, was highly stimulated when the child drew the letter on a blank sheet of paper.  The activation was significantly weaker through the other two processes.

Learning is a complicated process.  When we reproduce letters, or anything else, by hand a plan is required before executing the action.  The end result is highly variable in that it will not exactly represent the original.  Learning to identify variable representations is important to decoding letters when reading.

The research by Virginia Berninger, a psychologist at University of Washington, indicated that when a child who composed text by hand (either printing or cursive) “They not only consistently produced more words more quickly than they did on the keyboard, but expressed more ideas.”

There is also a suggestion of different neuro-pathways being developed in the brain when a child progresses on from printing to cursive writing.

Research at the University of California have reported laboratory and real-world studies of students learning better when they take notes by hand than when they type on a keyboard.

So is it time to throw away the pen and paper and adopt the technology and the keyboard?  Was it time to give up walking when we invented the car?

 

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When Words Are Not Heard Concepts Are Not Learned

 “What then of children who come from homes where no-one hears Mother Goose, where no-one is encouraged to read signs, write scribbly letters, or play with books of any kind?….What happens to them as they enter kindergarten has serious consequences for the rest of their lives – for them and for all of us.”

Though they may not be able to read by the age of five (and we should have no expectation of this) there is no reason for not sitting a child on your lap and reading to them.  Let them see the words and the pictures as you read them.  They may, or may not, develop at their own pace as they link the symbols of the word with the symbol of the picture.  Just remember, if they don’t they just may not yet be ready so let them be children.

Spending this quality time with your toddler is crucial to early childhood development.  Andre Biemiller, a Canadian psychologist, studied the consequences of lower vocabulary levels in young children.  The results of his studies indicated that children entering kindergarten in the bottom 25% of vocabulary generally remained behind the other children.  By year six they were approximately three years behind their peers in vocabulary, reading and comprehension.

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Let The Things Before School Be Play

Baby ReadingAre there things you can do to help your prodigy to become a person who thirsts for knowledge?

Lately I have been reading a book, “Proust and the Squid’ by Maryanne Wolf which addresses this question.  I would like to share some information with you.

THOUGHTS FROM THE BOOK – Reading and Learning

“The more children are spoken to, the more they will understand oral language.  The more children are read to the more they understand all the language around them, and the more developed their vocabulary becomes.”

“… many efforts to teach a child to read before four or five years of age are biologically precipitate and potentially counterproductive for many children.”  The reason for this is the myelin sheath (fatty coating around nerves to help electrical information to flow) in the angular gyrus (that part of the brain related to language, number processing, spatial cognition, memory and attention) is not sufficiently developed until five to seven years of age.  It develops in all children at different rates and in girls faster than boys.

Sometimes your five year old is just not ready for school and your young lad may not be ready until seven years of age.  By that time they are in year two or three and maybe well behind at school.  It is not that they cannot learn, it is just their brain was not ready for them to learn.  They can catch up, but by this time they may need some assistance

Leave a comment

Filed under Learning

The Eyes Have It When 5 + 1 = 5

Some students are behind at school through no fault of their own. They look at the work and do not understand what is going on.

Eye TrackingThey ask themselves “Why am I the only person in this class who doesn’t get this?” Eventually they begin to believe “I must be a real dummy I just don’t understand why I keep getting this wrong!” Their self-confidence disintegrates and at times their behaviour will follow. After all “What is the point of turning up every day if I can’t learn this?”

What is happening with this student? What would happen if you saw the number zero as a one? For one thing sometimes five plus one will equal six and other times it will equal five. If you are in primary school and just learning about numbers and maths these things will make it confusing. You won’t understand why sometimes ten is ten and sometimes it is eleven. Everything will become an exercise in guess-work for you.

These students will also have trouble seeing decimal points, and fractions are just another language when your eyes skip over the line between the numerator and denominator.

That’s just maths. When they read “was” it becomes “saw” and whole lines are skipped because the eyes didn’t see the line to read it. By the time they are Year 7 their reading comprehension is extremely low and there are gaps in their mathematics because fractions and decimals don’t exist.

Eye Tracking issues occur when the two eyes do not move smoothly and accurately across a line or from word to word. The student will often lose their place while reading, skip lines, misread short words as in “was” and “saw” and cut off the beginnings and endings of words.

Eye tracking issues are usually corrected by visiting a Behavioural Optometrist who tests for the condition and prescribes glasses that are worn until the condition is corrected. Normal optometrists do not usually check or test for this condition so if your student has glasses and their school work has not improved it may be time to visit the specialist.

Leave a comment

Filed under Learning