Author: Frances West


Making your kindergartener rock in his studies is possible. How?

November 23, 2017

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As a parent, you may worry how your kindergarten-going kid will perform in his studies. Of course, the trained teachers of the kindergartens in Singapore in which they studied may have imparted the required education in them. The teachers may have created interest in them for studying as well. On your part, you may have played your part also. But you may feel that it may not be enough and that may be the reason for your worry.

Here is some great news for you. It is possible to make your kindergartener shine in his studies. Let us see how you can do it.

1. Find out those things that interest your kid. This will help in starting conversations with him. Even if you are not aware of the topics they are talking, you should make it a point to acquire knowledge about them. Remember that your kid will start enjoying your company if you talk about the topics in which they are interested. Of course, being a small kid, he may already be considering you as his role model and may be taking your guidance in everything. But when the kid starts enjoying your company, it will be easy for you to interact with him so you can motivate him suitably and mold him appropriately. You can impart good ideas into him and can make him more creative.

There is another advantage in knowing the interests of your kid. Researches have proved that kids will be more willing to learn if parents or teachers engage them in those activities that revolve around their interests.

2. You should make it a point to team up with the teachers of your kid because your way of handling him should be in sync with how the teachers handle him. If the teachers and you pull the kid in different directions, it may do great harm to his learning process.

3. Developing communication skills in your kid is very important. Remember that the kid has to interact with his teachers as well as the staff of the pre-school. For instance, if he has doubts in the lessons taught, he must be able to convey this to his teachers. If he struggles to understand the lessons taught and if he is not able to convey his difficulties to the teachers, he cannot learn the lessons.

4. Teachers as well as the staff of kindergarten schools make it a point to put in place suitable everyday activities that can enhance their language skills. Not only that, they make it a point to include a lot of fun elements to their teaching process. They mainly add those elements that may interest the kids. Researchers have proved that if the interests of children are included in their everyday activities of learning, they are likely to acquire better language and communication skills. Even children with disabilities and issues such as delays in acquiring communication skills will benefit if this strategy is adopted.

Including the interests of children in their daily learning activities will bestow the following three benefits.

a) This will motivate the kids to interact with their teachers and the staff of the school. In fact, they will interact for a longer duration.

b) Parents will have more opportunities for promoting the communication skills of their kids.

c) Thanks to the step of including the interests of kids in their daily activities, the children will be motivated to pay better attention when they are taught. This will help them in acquiring a good vocabulary more quickly and effectively.

How to discover your kid’s interests

Experts suggest that you should closely observe the activities of your kid for finding out his interests. You should try to interact with him as often as possible so you can make him speak out. In fact, your kid should do a lot of talking during your interactions with him and your duty is to listen to him attentively. In other words, you must abandon whatever agenda or ideas you may have and focus on what he speaks. This strategy will help you find out his interests.

Top 5 reasons why language and speech therapy are so crucial for non-verbal kids

November 20, 2017

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The so called physical disabilities as noted by the society should not hinder the growth and progress of your child. If the history has been any indication then there are ample example to show how everyone can succeed if given the right opportunity and set in the right path. Parents have often showed reluctance to put their child through speech therapy especially when they are nonverbal. There is a misconception that since their child is nonverbal, they won’t benefit from a speech therapy. This is a grave misconception and it needs to be clarified.

There are various forms of communication that works toward giving your nonverbal child a voice. There is no doubt that someone who is non-verbal can learn to get on with their daily chores and survive in their surroundings, however, life is not adhered to simplistic daily chores or just the proximity to ones liking. To experience life and live fully, your nonverbal child will need speech therapy as it comes with various benefits that you must learn to give your child the benefit of a normal life.

It helps in improving different modes of communication

There are several modes of nonverbal communication. The speech therapy for children helps in achieving them. Communication aiding with the support of non-verbal communication employs strategies like, hand and limb gestures, sign languages, and vocal sounds. Therapists use human comprehensive approach. There are other forms of communication that are used like, writing, eye contact, facial expressions and typing. Along with these the formal ways of aided communications are also used, which includes, tapping someone or nudging on the shoulder. This is a crucial step for non-verbal children, as it educates them with various other modes for communication.

Gives a well rounded social skill

It is important to have credible social skills to survive in a society and a community. A realistic approach to language and its related skills are deviated when you have limited speech. Your child’s dental health plays a major part in speech therapy. Dentistry becomes a major issue for forming and articulating the speech, especially when your child has a problem with teeth or jaw. It is important that this is taken care of. There are a number of tools and strategies that can be employed, including stories, acting, applications for therapy and video shooting.

Language development with speech therapy

Speech therapy doesn’t only concentrates on skill development. It is also a major factor for language development. It is a lot more than just the development of speech. A speech therapist will target a number of concepts like, language, grammar, words, pronunciation, and so much more. It is through this way that they will help your child to develop the language that he/she uses to communicate. There are so much that goes into these therapies.

Helps to develop a mode of communication

The ability to communicate is extremely essential. Through speech therapy, children are at the leisure to communicate using aided and unaided communication. This may include low, mid and high technologically induced communication applications and devices, and virtually no literal text books. With the advent of various technologies, this is not that hard to do.

Develops the power to read

Speech therapy also helps your child with the power to read. Reading allows your child to form words and learns the language in turn. It is a fantastic way to develop your child by imparting education and the demanding life skills. It is also the key to better communication with others.

These are some of the top benefits of speech therapy. Never forget that anything is achievable, once you choose the right path for the goal.

What is growth mindset and how do we encourage it in children?

November 15, 2017

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A growth mindset is the belief that skills, talents, and intellect can change and improve over time. There are varying degrees between these two types of mindsets. But the more one moves to the growth mindset side, the apter the person is to believe that hard work, perseverance, dedication, effort, and time dedicated to a craft or subject will produce more proficiency.
Kids with a fixed mindset believe they’re ‘smart’ or ‘dumb,’ talented at something: painting, music or football, or not. They may believe the world is made of some gifted people, whom the rest admire from the sidelines. Conversely, kids with a growth mindset appreciate anyone can build themselves into anything they want to be. They recognize that people aren’t ‘smart’ or ‘dumb,’ that there are no talented geniuses; only hard-working people who have chosen to take their abilities to the next level.
Children with a growth mindset believe that intelligence can be developed. These students see school as a place to develop their abilities and think of challenges as opportunities to grow. Children with a fixed mindset believe that intelligence is fixed at birth and doesn’t change or changes very little with practice. These students see school as a place where their abilities are evaluated, they focus on looking smart over learning, and they interpret mistakes are a sign that they lack talent.
The first thing our kids need to know is that our intelligence isn’t fixed – that it can change. It can get stronger or weaker depending on how much effort we are willing to apply. Just as a baby isn’t born talking but learns over time, they don’t know everything but can learn over time with work.
Teach them that people with a growth mindset believe that they can learn, change, and develop needed skills. They are better equipped to handle inevitable setbacks and know that hard work can help them accomplish their goals.

Another way to teach about the growth mindset is by telling stories about achievements that resulted from hard work. For instance, talking about mathematical geniuses who were more or less born that way puts students in a fixed mind-set, but descriptions of great mathematicians who fell in love with math and developed amazing skills engenders a growth mind-set.

 

Eight tips for promoting a growth mindset in kids:
• Help children understand that the brain works like a muscle that can only grow through hard work, determination, and lots and lots of practice.
• Don’t tell students they are smart, gifted, or talented, since this implies that they were born with the knowledge, and does not encourage effort and growth.
• Let children know when they demonstrate a growth mindset.
• Praise the process. It’s effort, hard work, and practice that allow children to achieve their true potential.
• Don’t praise the results. Test scores and rigid ways of measuring learning and knowledge limit the growth that would otherwise be tapped.
• Embrace failures and missteps. Children sometimes learn the most when they fail. Let them know that mistakes are a big part of the learning process. There is nothing like the feeling of struggling through a very difficult problem, only to finally break through and solve it! The harder the problem, the more satisfying it is to find the solution.
• Encourage participation and collaborative group learning. Children learn best when they are immersed in a topic and allowed to discuss and advance with their peers.
• Encourage competency-based learning. Get kids excited about subject matter by explaining why it is important and how it will help them in the future. The goal should never be to get the ‘correct’ answer but to understand the topic at a fundamental, deep level, and want to learn more.

KINDERGARTEN FOR CHILDREN

October 12, 2017

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The journey of most children should begin with Kindergarten. This embarks an important step in a childs learning process as this is before he/she starts the formal education. Also known as pre-school, kindergarten for children is the time to explore their unique talents and skills. Not only that but this also give the children an opportunity to expand their love of learning, improve their general knowledge, become social with children their own age and to develop an understanding and interest in reaching out to the world.

Kindergarten and The Self :

Kindergarten for children should be a time and a place where their positive self-image and self-esteem are developed. This should be a place to teach them that they have their own different identities, cultural backgrounds, their independence, freedom and ideas are respected.

Not all work:

Since this is for very young kids, its important to make time for fun activities otherwise they wont come back. The curriculum should be flexible and fun. This should include snack time, nap time, recess and even group as well as individual activities. Kindergarten for children should be an enjoyable experience, as this is how they will view their upcoming school life.

Teachers responsibilities:

At this stage of their lives, children are curious and very eager to learn new things. The key is to pique their interest in not only to help them become creative but to other general knowledge. So it is extremely important to hire teachers with a very strong background in child development and early childhood development. Teachers who are qualified will undoubtedly be able to provide the children of kindergarten with what they need to grow not only physically but emotionally and intellectually as well. In order for our younger students to succeed in school and later in life, they need to be motivated, engaged, and stimulated by highly-qualified instructors who are masters in teacher efficacy.

What is a good Kindergarten made of? :

1.Children are playing and working with materials or other children. They are not worthlessly wandering around the classroom or forced to sit idly or quietly for long periods of time.

2.Children must have access to numerous activities throughout the day, including block building, pretend play, picture books, paints and other art materials, and table toys such as legos and puzzles to stimulate their logical and creative thinking. Children are not all doing the same things at the same time.

3.Teachers work with individual children, small groups, and the whole group at different times during the day. They do not only spend time with the whole class. This will help those who are weak in certain areas as well as help them become friends.

4.To boost their self-esteem the classroom should be decorated with childrens original artwork, their own writing with invented spelling, and dictated stories.

5.Children learn numbers and the alphabet in the context of their everyday experiences. Exploring the natural world of plants and animals, cooking, taking attendance, and serving snack are all meaningful activities to children.

6.Children should work on projects and have at least one hour to play and explore. Doing paper work like completing worksheets should not be their primary activity.

7.Children should be given a chance to play outside every day when the weather permits. This play time or recess should not be sacrificed for more instructional time.

8.Teachers should read books to children throughout the day, not just at group story time.

9.The curriculum should be adapted for those who are ahead as well as those who need additional help. Because children differ in experiences and background, they do not learn the same things at the same time or even in the same way. Each child should get the attention he/she deserves.

10. Most importantly, children should feel safe and happy while their parents should feel satisfied and safe about sending their child to kindergarten.

The focus should be on the development of the child as a whole. kindergarten choices for your child to attend is the one where they can be happy, are not crying or regularly sick along with all that mentioned above!

ENRICHMENT PROGRAM AS A CRITERIA FOR CHILDS DEVELOPMENT

September 27, 2017

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The program in kindergarten and first grade is an enrichment program, a program that is designed to enrich students who demonstrate advanced reading and math abilities for their age. This program addresses the needs of children who are early bloomers, but it does not necessarily mean that they are ‘gifted.’

The enrichment classes for children is a program that is designed to enrich students who demonstrate advanced reading and math abilities for their age. This program addresses the needs of children who are early bloomers, but it does not necessarily mean that they are ‘gifted.’ Children may qualify for just one subject or may qualify for both. Students are re-evaluated, and groups are adjusted in the middle of the year to ensure that we are still addressing the needs of the top performers in the grade level.

TIPS ON HOW TO CHOOSE THE RIGHT ENRICHMENT PROGRAM:

Ask Yourself Why

When my kids were in preschool, it was easier for me to take them to a structured activity than have them at home demanding my attention or making a mess. Activities were also the place for kids to socialize since they met other children their age. Still, enrichment does not come cheap, and I realized that there were far more cost-effective and fun ways to achieve the same objectives. We started participating in informal play groups where a couple of parents took turns every week hosting playdates while the other parents took a break.

Avoid Over-Scheduling

Over-scheduling activities have contributed to family stress and lower self-esteem among kids. When children are constantly ferried from one activity to another, pressed to practice or rehearse, they feel they must perform well at all times. The authors argue that parents and kids need down-time together instead of engaging in frequent self-improvement pursuits.

Set a Budget

If you have more than one child, the cost of enrichment can quickly ramp up. Each September, my family creates a budget and list of activities that the kids will participate in for the year. This ensures that we are not jumping into every new activity that comes on the market.

Giving A Head-Start

Enrichment starts early these days. Many math programs take in children as young as two and a half years old, while music and martial arts lessons are available to three-year-olds. As parents, we often feel the need to give our kids an edge by starting activities at a young age. Depending on the child and the club, it may or may not pay off. For activities that require focus and following directions (such as chess), you may not find strong benefits for young children since theyre not developmentally ready for these skills.

Group Activities vs. Individual Pursuits

Pre-schoolers are still learning to share and play cooperatively with other kids. Activities that give them an opportunity to practice these skills can be helpful. In the early years, group lessons may be a better choice than private coaching, which you can start once the child is older and shows interest in a particular area.

Attend the Trial Class

Many enrichment classes offer you the option to attend a trial class with your child. Dont miss the opportunity! This is especially helpful when it comes to franchise-based classes since the trial will allow you to test out which branch best meets your needs.

Keep It Fun

Take the pressure out of performing well, and let the activities be a space for exploration. Keeping the fun element is important to ensure that pre-schoolers dont lose interest in the pursuit.

There is no limit to enrichment opportunities for our kids today. As parents, we need to recognize our motivations in enrolling kids in programs and be practical about our choices and expectations.

THE IMPORTANCE OF SPEECH THERAPY FOR CHILDREN

September 21, 2017

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Speech therapy for children is a clinical program aimed at improving speech and language skills and oral motor abilities. Children who can talk may work on making their speech clearer, or on building their language skills by learning new words, learning to speak in sentences, or improving their listening skills. Children who cannot talk may learn sign language, or how to use special equipment such as a computer that speaks for them. Children, who talk but have challenges with more discreet communication issues such as facial expression or gestural language use, may work on these areas of communication.

Many conditions, including cerebral palsy, autism, hearing loss, developmental delays, may cause difficulty with speech and language development. Some children may not understand language. Some children may understand the language but be unable to communicate effectively due to difficulty with speech. Sometimes children experience challenges in other areas of communication, such as hand gestures and facial expressions.
For articulation problems, for example, speech therapists in medical centres may work “inside the mouth” using Popsicle sticks, fingers, whistles, straws and other items to help the child gain control over the muscles of the mouth, tongue, and throat. For children with more global language issues, a play based approach to stimulate communication may be used. For children with disorders that impact the coordination of the mouth to produce language (e.g., “dyspraxia”), an approach may be used where the child attempts to produce/imitate certain sounds repeatedly. Speech therapists can also help children with severe disabilities learn how to use special communication devices, such as a computer with a voice synthesizer, or a special board covered with symbols of everyday objects and activities to which a child can point to indicate his or her wishes. This is known as assistive technology. There are all sorts of ways to encourage the production of speech, and they can be integrated into other types of therapeutic systems.

When doing speech therapy with children, motivation can be a roadblock. Speech therapists may then use speech games, flash cards, toys, hand puppets and reinforces of all sorts to keep sessions on track and encourage children to work harder. Since each patient with a speech disorder is unique, such therapy will have to be tailored to the needs of the individual. If a child has difficulty saying words that begin with “b” the therapist may suggest daily practice with a list of “b” words, increasing their difficulty as each list is mastered. Other kinds of exercises help children master the social skills involved in communicating by teaching them to keep their head up, maintain eye contact and repeat themselves when they are misunderstood.

For most children with severe communication disorders, one-on-one treatment is essential. Many children may also have a home program which the therapist asks the family to continue between therapy sessions. Speech interventions often use a child’s family members and friends to reinforce the lessons learned in a therapeutic setting. This kind of indirect therapy encourages people who are in close daily contact with a child to create opportunities for him or her to use their new skills in conversation. In a school setting, some children may receive group treatment, and some children may have a program which is designed by the speech and language pathologist but implemented by the teacher or aid.

The ability to express one’s self is paramount. Speech therapy may help your child achieve a greater ability to use and understand language, to communicate with others and to express himself or herself to the greatest extent possible. Delaying speech therapy for your child runs the risk of missing that all-important window of time between birth and three years of age when the brain is maturing, and learning happens rapidly.

 

6 Things to look for in a child care centre

September 18, 2017

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6 Things to look for when choosing a child care centre

Are you planning to choose a child care centre Singapore for your kid? Well, there will be several options in front of you. All you need to do is to select one for your kid. However, the decision is not that easy as it is one of the crucial decisions of your childs life. Their early base will determine the amount of success they will get in their future. Consideration of important aspects will lead towards an effective decision. Here are some things you need to look for in the child care centre Singapore before finalizing it:

1.Reputation:

The first sign of a good child care centre Singapore is that it has a good reputation. It shows friendly, welcoming and warm atmosphere for the people visiting it. Moreover, they offer the best quality services to the kids. Look for their reputation. This can be done by visiting their website or asking people who have already taken their services.

2.Stimulating curriculum:

The next important thing to consider while selecting child care centre Singapore is their curriculum. The learning should be maximized by the use of techniques that are effective. The goal must be to enhance the learning experience of children. Moreover, the surroundings must be created in a way that they will enhance the learning experience of kids.

3.The expertise of teachers:

The skill level and the expertise of teachers are a must in a child care centre. As they will be looking after your kids, they need to know everything related to the learning. The early years of a childs life are the most critical one. They tend to learn all the basic concepts during these years which are why the role of a teacher or the care taker is quite important. They will follow the teaching of them in their life. Make sure you select a child care centre that has the best teachers and care takers in town.

4.Group size:

The next crucial factor that must be considered before selecting child care centre Singapore is the size of the group in each section. At child care centres, there are always a group of children that are taken care by a single teacher or instructor. The ratio of this group needs to be specified. The minimum the difference is the more effective learning experience your child will get. Do ask them about the group size and then make a decision.

5.Values:

This is a factor which is most of the time ignored by the people while they are planning to select child care centre Singapore for their kids. It is essential that the child care centre has the same values as you have. These may include values related to your religion, food, eco-friendliness and anything else. It is essential so your child does not deviate from the norms of your family. They need to follow the same rules you are following. As they are the early stages of their life, it will be hard for them to understand the difference. This is why; they need to go to a child care centre that matches your values.

6.Proximity:

Last but not the least, considering the proximity of child care centre Singapore is essential. As you will have to go there two times a day, it will be hectic to reach a far centre. Also, consider the area that is safe and secure for your kid.

These are the points you need to consider while selecting child care centre Singapore for your kid.