January 11, 2011
My daughter took several classes at a local gym for children which enhanced her abilities to perform moves in tumbling, ballet, tap dance, and sports such at t-ball and basketball. It got a little expensive over the years so I supplemented her development by teaching some of the same skills at home.
Teaching children physical skills is easier than mental training. While teaching physical skills, parent can rely mainly on demonstrations and focus less on explanation. For example, I can position my daughter to do a front roll and then manipulate her body to perform it. Or let us say that I want to teach my daughter how to do a cartwheel. I can hold her body in the correct position and physically move her through the correct motion of a cartwheel. I can give her some verbal coaching but the most important part of the learning is how she feels as her body moves through the motions.
Another technique for showing physical activities is to have a picture of the activity. The visual reminder will give children a reference to use while practicing. This just makes it easier for children to remember the positioning of all body parts. Once your children correctly perform the physical activity a few times, it gets easier and easier for them to do it again.
March 08, 2011
Counting is how children learn to measure the quantity of items. The simple activity of counting can help kids excel in math. Have your children count peas at the dinner table, count how many people are in the family, or count the number of toy cars on the floor. Once they have mastered the process of counting, add lessons on numerical symbolism. Write the numbers 1 – 10 on a piece of paper. Grab several items to count. Count one thing and show the symbol 1 for one. Count two things and show the symbol 2 for two and so forth. While there are many exceptional puzzles and learning games you can buy from Lakeshore and Melissa & Doug, it is just as easy (and cheaper) to tap into your inner artist and make your own at home with index cards and colored markers. ..
March 17, 2011
Don't be afraid to try different techniques to teach your children. Become your own child's resident "expert". For instance, my daughter had the toughest time saying the "th" in three. I taught her to eventually sound it out. I had her strictly exaggerate the motion of her tongue by physically holding her top lip (so she wouldn't be tempted to use it) and I had her stick her tongue WAY out and exaggerate the motion while saying the word "three". She got it after a few tries. Now I am no speech therapist, just a parent and teacher, but I am telling you my technique worked.