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We believe that learning can be fun and we want kids to know it. Purposeful play and the eureka moment of understanding is the basis of creating life long learners.
Learning is not just about school or nursery – learning is something that happens all day, every day and it’s something you’ll have a major role in as your children grow and develop. The more you can encourage learning, and the more fun you have with it, the better.
Knowing exactly what a child should be learning about, and how they should be learning about certain topics is extremely difficult. We have used our knowledge and expertise to help with questions you may have regarding these questions. Take a look below at some of or recommendations:
What Does My Child Need to Know?
– Repetition, practice makes permanent!
– Learn through play – inside and outside the classroom
– Positive state of mind
– Learning is an adventure
– Open-ended play to develop problem solving
– Perspective, when to take a break
– Capture “teachable moments”
– Re-enforcing activities & games
– How improve concentration & focus
– Discover answers together
– Parental involvement & participation
– Develop critical thinking & logic
Issues Around Learning
– Special needs
– Home schooling
– Relationship between teachers and parents
– Mental maths & spelling games
– Reading & re-reading aloud
– Handwriting skills
– Times tables practice
– Learning money & telling time
– Making puzzles & problem solving a hobby
– Using resources
– Help children through moments of “crisis”
1) What Does My Child Need to Learn?
In short, everything that being a person entails! Education and learning isn’t just about counting and spelling. When we talk about learning, we’re talking about how your child understands and interprets the world around them.
Most things your child does or says will have been learnt from someone, as children are so perceptive and they soak in the world around them. Because of this, learning can be any of the things below:
– Learning social mannerisms
– Learning manners
– Learning about behaviour and how to act
– Learning how to make friends and socialise
– Learning how to play and have fun
– Learning about speech and words
– Learning about writing and spelling
– Learning about animals
– Learning about objects
– Learning about abstract concepts (love for example)
The list goes on and on! Learning is a frequent activity for children and isn’t something contained to the school classroom. Generally all these kinds of learning are separated into the following categories:
How and when do children learn these different things?
Even when a child is born, their learning starts almost immediately and it carries on until they’re adults. Here’s a rough development timeline for what your children will be learning at different points in their lives which you might find useful to look at. Of course, this can change depending on the child, but it’s always a good idea to familiarise yourself with these developmental stages and learning stages.
By taking an active interest in your child’s learning, you’ll notice when they achieve different stages of development or when they move up a stage. By giving your child all the chances possible to learn and by having fun whilst doing so, you’ll be encouraging your child to enjoy their learning and you’ll be giving them the best opportunities to reach these development stages.
2) As Easy as 1 2 3 - Learning Numbers for Kids!
Learning numbers is something that a lot of kids enjoy and pick up naturally as their vocabulary grows. Recognition of numbers starts with recognition of size and some things being more of less than another. It usually starts as something as simple as “How many pieces of fruit would you like?” or “How many crayons do you have?” or “which piece of cake is bigger?” and gradually their understanding of numbers gains momentum.
It’s generally agreed that there are 7 stages to learning numbers, and these are:
The seven stages of teaching these numbers are:
- Counting up to 10
- Counting down from 10
- Counting things and objects around them
- Understanding spoken numbers, even when presented at random
- Ability to speak and recognise random numbers
- Recognising and responding to numbers written out as words (for example, eight not 8)
- Being able to write the numbers
Of course this all takes time, and may span across a couple of years development! The key is to encourage learning with numbers and making the learning process fun, so they feel excited about counting rather than intimidated.
How Can You Start Helping Your Child Learn Their Numbers?
There are lots of little things and fun activities you can do to start helping your child recognise and learn their numbers and we’ve put together a few suggestions below. Some of these suggestions are just small changes to every-day activities, some of them are special games or activities.
Idea 1: Make Counting a Regular Occurance
Whenever you see an opportunity to count something, take it! Kids love counting, especially when they’re first starting to understand the concept, so use any and every opportunity to count things. You could do this at home (for example, counting how many pieces of toast they have for breakfast) or even in the car (count how many people cross the road).
Idea 2: Counting Up and Down
A fun game you can play with young children is counting up and down. Help them to associated smaller numbers with smaller things and smaller sizes. Any activity or game that reinforces some kind of action with counting is also a great way to help them learn and focus. The simplest way of using this technique is getting louder with big numbers, and quieter with small numbers. Or, getting bigger (stretching and jumping) with big numbers and smaller (crouching and curling up) with small numbers.
Idea 3: Songs and Rhymes
There are some great songs and rhymes out there to help with counting! The more you can sing these and introduce them bath time or bedtime, the better.Some of our favourites are:
- There were 3 in the bed and the little one said
- 10 green bottles sitting on a wall
- 1,2 buckle my shoe
- 1 potato,2 potato
Young children especially love learning with songs and rhymes, and it’s a really fun and inclusive way to get them counting.
3) Tips for Helping to Teach a Dyslexic Child to Spell
Spelling is given a high priority in schools, but if your child is dyslexic, they may feel overwhelmed or intimidated by spelling activities and spelling lessons. It’s difficult for dyslexic children because the way they interpret words and letters, is different to how other children interpret those same words and letters. Often, the usual techniques taught in school may not resonate with a dyslexic child – so finding a way of learning that suits them and the way their mind functions, is so important.
For many dyslexic children it can be difficult and frustrating to lose marks on spelling and grammar, especially when they’re trying their best to participate. To avoid these feelings of frustration, and to keep your child motivated and enthusiastic about spelling, it can help to embrace different learning techniques and relevant games / tools designed specifically for dyslexic children.
Another key aspect of helping your dyslexic child learn to spell, is to understand yourself what dyslexia is, and how it affects them. If you know as much as possible yourself – you’ll be able to approach the situation with more understanding and patience – which is so important for encouraging children to make progress.
Top Tips for Parents to Help their Dyslexic Child with Spelling
- Encourage your child to work on sequencing tasks to help them get letters in the right order. Some simple tasks like this can help give your child clarity and order (which is often what they feel is lacking when trying to spell).
- Use multi sensory methods to encourage them to use their senses – using movement rather than relying on visual memory. Use ‘rainbow writing’ to overwrite spelling words using different colours.
- Focus on commonly used high frequency words which include irregular spellings. There are always ‘problem’ words for children, and focussing on these words, and memorising them – can really boost their confidence. If you’re unsure what these problem words are for your child’s age group, just ask their teacher.
- Give plenty of credit for content in their writing and effort, this is really important for their self esteem. Don’t put all your focus on the spelling, be sure to look past that to the themes, ideas and content too.
- Remember – they’re having to work twice as hard than non-dyslexic children, so showing patience and encourage is key. Don’t get frustrated with them for making mistakes, instead stay positive and stay engaged.
- Use technology and games to make spelling fun – there are plenty of apps out there designed specifically for children with dyslexia – and embracing these can make a huge difference.
How Can We Help?
There are many games and activities on our website that can help with dyslexic spelling, so it’s certainly worth looking into our suggestions below and seeing if your child would benefit from them.
Sequencing – lowercase lacing beads
Rewards – reward stamp set
Common high frequency words – Pop For Sight Words
4) How Learning Music Will Help Your Child's Developement
Why is it Important?
Across all ages and stages of your child’s life, music plays an important role in their intellectual, cultural and physical development. Research has shown that exposure to music can help brain development in terms of memory function, recognition of patterns, human connection and stress relief, especially when the child learns to play an instrument themselves.
Elsewhere, music also improves social skills and confidence whilst encouraging creativity and self-expression, helping a youngster to embrace their own identity and truly inhabit their own skin. Playing and listening to music assists the body and mind working together, while the significant workload involved in learning to play an instrument also develops discipline and patience.
Outside all of these tangible benefits to their personal development, however, the role of music in a child’s life can be a great opportunity for self-fulfilment and for forging an intimate bond with their family. Above all, it can be a positive and uplifting experience, helping parents to connect with their children, from the moment they’re born, right up to their teenage years and beyond.
Top Tips for Parents
Start as you mean to go on by introducing your offspring to as many forms of different music as possible at the earliest opportunity – that means while they’re still in the womb! Once born, sing to your child whenever you can; lullabies are soothing methods of sending them off to sleep, while nursery rhymes are great at developing phonic awareness. As they grow, toddlers particularly love silly songs and nonsense rhymes, which can help to develop their confidence, while instructive tunes which teach the alphabet or the times tables can offer enormous educational benefits.
When it comes to them taking up an instrument of their own, encourage them to try out a range of different ones at the outset. There’s no need to splash out on expensive lessons from the get-go; even a simple tambourine will suffice. It’s also important to remember that their own interest should be the driver of their practice, not your encouragement (which can be easily interpreted as pushiness). By all means, take an interest in their musical pursuits and be supportive of their creativity, but never force the issue.
Whether they decide to take up an instrument or not, integrating music as a familiar and comfortable part of everyday life is a recommended strategy for aiding your child’s development. You could use it as a distraction when they become stressed or throw a tantrum, or you could play a particular song to signal a period of transition, such as when it’s time to clear up, when dinner is ready or when bedtime is approaching. However, you use it, remember to make music an inclusive experience – whether playing or listening together at home, or enjoying professionals in a live environment, make it fun and join in!
How Can We Help?
Here are a few suggestions for toys and games which can serve as excellent resources when fostering a musical interest in your son or daughter:
- My First Xylophone Book – a nice portable introduction to an easy instrument
- Recorder for Beginners Set – a great package that includes everything to get started
- Eurekakids Giant Piano Play Mat – great fun, great exercise and easy to store
- Usborne Big Keyboard Book – colour-coded, which makes it great for little ones from a trusted brand
- My First Drumming Book – another winner from Usborne which encourages rhythm and pattern recognition
- My First Musical Keys – babies love keys and this is a superb first introduction to musical sounds with lights