Posts Tagged ‘Literacy’

Learning Too Early Can Damage A Child’s Educational Progress.

Friday, June 18th, 2010

The majority of parents want their children to have the best in education, believing children should be able to read and calculate pi to 22 significant places by the time they are three. But in reality children schooled early can often peak too soon and then fail to thrive in primary school.  Children need to have fun and playing with educational games and toys can be a far more productive way of introducing the learning process.

Although formal schooling starts in England at five years old, in Wales children are allowed to play until they are seven.  By no means the disaster you might think, this approach is generating positive feedback although too early to reveal any definite conclusion. But in Finland, much heralded as the benchmark in early year’s education, children  don’t start school until they are seven years old and  can boast high literacy rates, indicating a significant catch up.

Playing educational games in maths, English and science are a great way of learning in disguise helping children to associate the learning process with enjoyment. They like to repeat favourite games over and over again, a repetitive cycle that may seem boring to parents, but is an essential element of learning.  Seventy five per cent of learning retention comes with practice.

Although there is a central department education in the UK there are several variants in the way the national curriculum is interpreted.  Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and England have slightly different approaches. There are strong arguments for and against the schooling start age with leading educationalists, school Headteachers and research institutions arguing the toss. All agree learning to read is absolutely vital in any educational programme.  “The fundamentals of literacy are caught not taught” says Sue Palmer, former primary school head teacher and literacy expert. “Crucial to the learning process is training people how to achieve this. We have to invest in training practitioners how to help children catch the principles.”  She also said there is no rush to teach children to read and a staunch protagonist against the targets set in the early years learning curriculum.

One concern about changes in the educational process is the inherent time-scale to prove or disprove theory and practice. If proven wrong the change may have disrupted the potential for a generation of children. But one thing we can be sure of, childhood is designed to allow kids to learn through experimentation and fun. If you want your children to master the basics in phonics, literacy and maths before they start school be sure you consider educational games and toys to help.

Handwriting Skills Becoming Obsolete With Today’s Children

Sunday, June 6th, 2010

Alone on the desert island and the sole survivor of an air crash.  The only means of communication; a pen, a single sheet of paper and an empty bottle. Gone are phones, faxes, laptops, Facebook and twitter. All that remains to be used are your educational schooling in literacy and handwriting skills. You need to tell the world what happened and where you are? But over 25 per cent of children have never written a letter, and 40 per cent admit they never received one. The chances of you getting rescued may seem extremely limited!

Okay, we forgot to mention a supply of food and drink is available from the aircraft galley to last at least a week, so you can concentrate on the literacy project.  Quite a daunting task as the bottle can only hold a single sheet of A4 paper with sufficient information to get the reader who finds it interested enough to organise a rescue mission.

The message must be succinct, informative and immediately catch the reader’s eye to convince them to treat your request seriously and quickly. Learning English literacy has taught you comprehension and essay skills but there is precious little space to expand.  And you must gain immediate empathy from the reader.

Text messaging may have honed your abbreviation technique, but is their meaning international?  Twitter has taught you to express your thoughts in 140 characters and Facebook how not to disclose too much secure information.
Your knowledge of geography should help you indicate where you might be, maths, science and physics tell you how long you were flying and at what speed to help you plot a possible location along the flight path before ditching. Biology is going to keep you alive by knowing what food and drink you need.

As a modern language English may have a wide audience in the world but the vast majority of the population speak it as a second language. Make sure your words portray the meaning in easily understood terms. Could be great fun and remember only 500 words and don’t forget the cork!

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