Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The Organised Learning Center

Setting up learning centers in your home

- If you have spent any time in quality preschools, you know that
great preschools have a layout designed to encourage self-directed learning
called "learning centers". Lots of homeschoolers and parents who are
committed to education decide to use this model to make their home play
areas more conducive to imaginative play and learning. Here's how to set up
great learning centers in your home:

1) Identify a space – you can use a relatively small space for learning
centers, but you will need a spot large enough to separate the room into at
least three separate areas. You don't need walls, barriers, or even
bookshelves to do this, though. But first ensure that you have a room or
part of a room that can fit at least three 3' x 3' areas.

2) Pick several learning center "focus areas". Decide what each area
of the room will be dedicated to – you might have one area for arts and
crafts, another for dress up and pretend play, and another for reading and
writing. Anything your child likes to do can be the basis for a learning
center (playing with cars, making jewelry, practicing numbers – all are fair

3) For each focus area, collect materials needed to engage in that
activity. The idea of a learning center is that a child can decide to go
there, and engage in the activity without too much setup on your part. So
if you have a station designed for reading and writing, you might have an
early reading program like the Funetics Early Reading
Programwaiting at the center, so the
child can learn to read whenever he or she
wants to!

4) Use common household items to create storage for the materials and,
if possible, workspace and/or barriers between sections. You can use items
like shoe boxes or milk crates, or buy plastic crates or simple wooden
storage items from Target or Walmart. Use these items to section off the
room and for each of your areas and also to store your materials. For a
nice added touch, you can decorate the storage items and/or the walls to
reflect the activities intended to take place in each area.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Teach Your Toddler To Read

Many parents underestimate the ability of the very young to learn to read. But, like speech, it is a natural process that should be encouraged and nurtured so that when children start school they are ahead of the game. One of the best programs for this is Funetics which uses computer based games, pictures and activities to encourage letter and word recognition.

The pre-school concepts within the program soon enables your child to read books as well as explore outside of the nursery walls into all facets of life. Funetics is designed around some highly engaging interactive lessons which are entertaining and unlike actual reading lessons. While reading is the key to a child's academic success this early childhood reading program opens the door to the world of education in a way that will surprise the most skeptical parents.

Children as young as two have the ability to recognize words and to engage in the exploration of worlds they may never otherwise hear about until they commence school. In a world that demands ever higher standards of education this may be too late to trigger their full potential. Targeting their interest in reading at such a young age builds strong channels and allows good brain development. It sets them apart and positions them in the enviable position of catching on when they eventually start school.

How much those channels are opened up before they start school will reflect in their academic abilities later in life. However, many children that have never had the chance to learn to read properly can also benefit from this program at a later stage.

It is never too late to teach your child to read. If you have children who are slow in this area and have never really cottoned on to reading why not start them with this fun program and watch them read first grade books within sex months. It is called Funetics because of the methods it employs by which children easily learn to read and understand what it is they are reading.