Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Hearing (Auditory Learning)

Hearing (Auditory Learning) the Basics

Explanation of Hearing (Auditory Learning)

This refers to your ability to learn by listening. A person tells you something and you remember it. You are able to recall information that you have been told.

Do I do any of these?

  1. Discussions and debates
  2. Talk aloud
  3. Remembering stories and details people have told with ease
  4. Enjoying asking question and receiving verbal explanations 
  5. Listening to auditory CDs; studying to music

If you said yes to a few of the above...

or similar behaviours you may want to adapt your learning and performance to a more hearing method.... and see if you have any changes in your work or education.



Friday, 9 November 2012

Visual Learning: The Basics

Explanation of Visual Learning


Visual learning is the ability and skill to learn via any visual stimulus (pictures, patterns, films and arts). Visual learners find it easy to remember a story by using a picture, or younger learners tend to learn letters through pictorial representations of the alphabet.

Visual learning does not mean that you have to be an artist; it means that you learn via your sight.

Do I do any of these?


  1. Do I enjoy looking at the pictures in a magazine verses reading the article
  2. I find visual puzzles easier to solve than verbal riddles
  3. I remember directions via landmarks
  4. Uses pictures in my daily activities
  5. Visual Art stimulate or interest you
  6. Enjoy designing and co-ordinating colours/objects/styles/patterns

If you said yes to a few of the above...

or similar behaviours you may want to adapt your learning and performance to a more visual method.... and see if you have any changes in your work or education.

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Learning Techniques

Did you know that every person, including your child, has different learning techniques?


What many parents, individuals, teachers and others do not always realise or acknowledge is that we all have different learning styles. The best learning or study technique for yourself may not be the same for your child, a friend or even spouse.

The results of using the incorrect technique is that you do not reach your true performance level; frequently feeling frustrated or defeated.

How do you change this?

The initial step is to identify how you learn, or how your child learns. Start by watching your daily behaviours: do you remember numbers with ease, do you enjoying seeing pictures, having a debate with friends, using your hands, doing activities or enjoy organising and creating structure?

These basic observations are the starting point of understanding how you learn... they lead to trial - error action that ultimately defines the best method of learning for you. Understanding how you learn or how your child learns affects your work performance and your child's academic performance.

The key point to remember here with regards to your child is that even though you may have identified their key learning style - not everyone is an academic AND THAT IS ABSOLUTELY FINE!

Some basic styles of learning:

  1. Sight Learning (Visual Learning)
  2. Hearing (Auditory Learning)
  3. Reading (Auditory Learning)
  4. Speaking (Auditory Learning)
  5. Writing (Auditory Learning)
  6. Touch (Tactile Learning)
  7. Movement (Kinaesthetic Learning)
  8. Doing - Hands on (Practical Learning)
One of the following blogs will address how to identify these learning techniques in yourself and your child, as well as, how to apply this to your work, studies and general performance areas of your life.

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

The big question: Parenting?

Parenting

What did we think of our parents and our childhood...

Do you think that because we were children and experienced our parents raising us that (from our own childhood views) we are then knowledgeable parents?

Is it possible that parenting from a child's perspective would influence our parenting? Or make us experts in parenting?

Take some time, think about your parents, your childhood, how you behave as a parent and your child's reactions to your parenting, do you notice similarities or differences between your parents and yourself?

We all have experiences, we have all been children and developed opinions, views and perspectives about our parents and how they raised us. This begs the question though that are we experts at being parents from our own experiences, were our parents and will our children be?

Who are Parenting Experts?

There are many people who proclaim to be parenting experts; you have varying backgrounds, qualifications and experiences. As parents you have to sift through and find the diamonds in the rough (as it were). 

I believe that no one can be proclaim to be the ultimate and all knowledgeable in this field because children are unique individuals. The parenting skills and techniques to raise one child can vary considerably to the next. Children like adults have views; some professionals will stereotype gender parenting approaches (parent and child) and others will umbrella parenting as universal and can be applied to all children. The view that I follow is to view parenting as unique, personal and a holisitic approach to your child.

How do you feel about "Parental Guidance"?

My experience and research has shown me that many parents are hesitant towards parent guidance as they feel it "attacks" their own parenting skills or role as a parent. How do you feel?

As a parent are you open to advice? Do you feel your child is the concern? Or is it teamwork between your child and you?

How would you like the world to view parenting and how would you prefer professionals to approach you as a parent?

I would love to hear your feedback...

Friday, 26 October 2012

What can I do as a parent to monitor my child's progress?

Progress?


Progress can simply be defined as the growth of your child's development, however the term is not restricted or limited to this definition.

Progress should be monitored and assessed regularly. Yet, how do you as a parent judge your child's progress?

Start by keeping a simple notebook or diary and record the following:

Progress can be viewed in some of the following categories:

  • Development (Physically): medical practitioners, such as doctors, nurses and paediatricians are able to give you as a parent expected guidelines for your child's development. These guidelines include steps like when your child should be able to crawl, start talking and walking to adolescent milestones. It is essential to remember that some children reach these milestones early and others are slightly delayed. As a parent your role is to identify if there is an excessive delay or if the milestone is achieved excessively early.
  • Development (Emotionally and Cognitively): this area is slightly more difficult to monitor as information is not as freely available and specific professionals are essential to note these difficulties, one specific professional is a clinical psychologist. However, as a parent you can be involved in developing your child's cognitive (mental abilities) and assisting their emotional progress. It is suggested that you use materials available to you to avoid incorrectly assessing your child's milestones thereby expecting "too much - too early". This may create stress in your relationship with your child - if you are unsure either use the information available to you or contact a professional. This area is as critical as the physical development, but is often neglected.
  • Academic/Schooling/Educational: the primary professional in this area is the teacher/educator. It is suggested that you use parent/teacher meeting and ask the following questions: What is expected of my child this term? Do you have any areas of concern? What can I do at home to ensure my child is capable of the work required of them at school? What is my child's behaviour in class? How do they relate to their work? What is their relationship like with their peers? Are there any noticeable characteristics that may prevent my child from functioning in class and associating with their peers? You may wonder why asking about your child's emotional and social well-being in class is important. It is simple: an unhappy child does not perform academically.
  • Social and Emotional: the interactions your child has with  their peers, adults and other individuals are related to their personality and "learned behaviours" - what you as a parent teaches them and what they imitate from you, as well as, their peers and other individuals. The importance of values, manners and social etiquette stems from you. You as a parent are required to help your child develop the correct social skills so that they are able to communicate and associate in a social environment. Key factors to look out for with regards to social and emotional difficulties: isolation and rejection from peers (being bullied or is the bully), unable to relate to their peers, not listening in a conversation, unacceptable behaviour and emotional regulation/control difficulties.
Your notebook or diary of your child's progress is essential to identifying "problems" it will also assist professionals who work with your child, furthermore it allows you as a parent to spot "problems" early - early intervention can resolve problems with far more ease.

Remember to build your knowledge as a parent, if you notice a concern consult a professional if you are not happy with their diagnosis then search for a second opinion before making any consequential decisions for your child. Correlate and collaborate your information to make an informed and knowledgeable decision.

Tips:

  1. Always try and gather as much information about your child in as many settings as possible school (the teacher), aftercare (individuals who work there), extramural activities and even from the family. Everybody will see your child differently - this because children, like adults, react differently in different situations. Look for similarities and differences in the settings.
  2. Ask your child everyday about their day: how they felt, what did they do, who was nice and who made them feel sad?
  3. Try your best as a parent to keep things clear and transparent in your child's life.

Who is right about your Child?

Everyone and no one, it is the child as an individual in a variety of situations. Therefore, it is about understanding and knowing your child, developing your own knowledge and accessing sources and professionals who can help you and your child.

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Taking Time with your Child

Taking time with your Child


Today's blog is short and simple; it is about spending quality time with your child.

My schedule is Busy?

In today's modern world there are many single parents, working parents and larger families (including 3 generations in one household). Time is limited resulting in quality time taking preference to quantity of time.

I understand that your schedule as a parent is hectic: there is work, there is homework; there is meals to be made and so much more that frequently you feel at a loss and exhausted. What you may not realise is that this directly affects your child, or children. Every emotion you experience your child, or children connect to. The first step is to ensure that you as a parent make provision for yourself and your partner to have time out. Here are the key quality time features in your family to create:

  • Parent time (this includes your own personal time and date night - yes your relationship with your partner is important)
  • Individual child time (spending time with each individual child in your family)
  • Family time
The idea behind quality time is that although the time spent together is short; it is of a personal, relationship developing and all involved feeling valued.

Quality time ideas in time frames:

Parent Personal Time:

As a parent try set aside a time once or twice a week that is your time, whether it be to attend a yoga class, relax in the bath, gym or even spend time with your friends. The time can be as short as one hour, but the time must be valued and enjoyed by you so that you can return to your family refreshed and ready to face the challenge of a hectic lifestyle.

Mom and Dad Time:

Yes! As a couple you need to behave like a loving couple; believe or not if your child or children see mom and dad are happy and inlove they feel involved in a loving and safe environment. I wanted to share something with you: once I suggested to two of parents that the invest in date night - they did - one day in class their amazing son blurted "I LOVE DATE NIGHT!" I was a little surprised at first and asked him why, his answer amazed me and I am sure you will be too "Mom and Dad fight less they talk and don't shout. I can see they love each other. This makes me very happy." I will say I wanted to cry from joy, but what I wanted to share with you as parents, is just how important your relationship is as a couple, not just the relationship as a family. I suggest date night a minimum of once a month, perhaps twice a month - ideally in an ideal world every week.

Parent and individual child:

All children need to know that they are special, frequently children are bunched into a family or siblings category. They do not feel recognised or valued by their parents. Individual time with each parent is essential, even if this is 15 minutes a day, being alone with you in the car, reading a story together at night or chatting before they go to bed. Please make time to acknowledged each child separately. This is their time to share concerns with you, to trust you and build a healthy relationship with you. I strongly recommend that once a month you take each child out on their own and do an activity together. Explain to each child they will each have a special turn with mom and dad - no will be left out.

Family time:

This is time as a family, avoid activities like movies, focus on activities that involve discussions, communication and fostering relationships. Go to museums, picnics, soccer games, ice skating or even just a good old milkshake at the whimpy. A visit to the park, one of my parents take his children to the park whilst the other attends a lesson. I can see the joy on their little faces when they return - I really commend this dad; I can already see that his eldest child is completely open, honest and trust his dad. Well done Dad!

My next blog will include some tips to do the above and ideal time frames :)

 

 

Friday, 12 October 2012

Support Learning vs Tutoring

Support Learning vs Tutoring

What is the difference?

Tutoring: is when your child is guided and taught by someone to complete their homework. This may also involve covering and explaining new concepts at school, or building your child's knowledge on certain subjects you may select, such as, Maths if they find it challenging. Tutors tend to be either teachers, ex-teachers or students.

Support Learning: does not focus on homework or specifically grade level material. It looks at assisting a child to reach their full capacity in the classroom, develop skills so that they can adapt to the classroom, discover their learning techniques and yes, occasionally looking at concepts covered in school (especially if your child has "hiccups" in their schooling knowledge). Supporting learning is usually performed by a variety of different individuals, who have different forms of educational and personal backgrounds. Support learning is not limited to teachers. Support learning is not performed by students, but rather individuals with life experience or academic experience in developing skills.

Is anything the same? There are similarities; both aim to assist a child to cope in the classroom and understand how to apply the knowledge that is taught. They both offer a tremendous amount of support to learners.

Key differences? Tutoring can be over a short or long period, it does not teach the child to study or learn independently. It develops a child's academic knowledge according to their grade level. Support learning is long term and teaches the child skills to apply at school and in their life. It aims to assist in study methods, grade knowledge and independent learning. Support learning returns to the level the child was first comfortable before reaching grade level. Children with learning challenges may find support learning beneficial.

How do you choose?

Understanding the above allows you to know which one is best for your child's needs. Frequently, it is beneficial to use both facilities. At the end of the day it is a very personal decision.

Thursday, 11 October 2012

EduHelp

EduHelp

Why I started my business and why I love my work

What many of you may or may not know about me is that I am both dyslexic and ADHD. I battled through school and ultimately grew a strong dislike to my education. This resulted in me not realising my full potential and not acknowledging my true capabilities. Sadly, this influenced all spheres of my life, to such an extent that even today in my small "town" I am not fully supported by my local schools, local professional and some of my social circles. This is a heart breaker, but even more frustrating and hurtful were the continuous judgements by my teachers and peers when I was at school. Although, I was confronted with adversity in my earlier and developmental years I survived and decided to assist children in similar positions - I wanted to make the change, give the support that could change a child's life.

I will openly admit that I had some amazing teachers who changed my life and none more notable than Mrs Richardson-Yeates (as she was referred to in my standard 2 year). I still believe to this day that she is the sole reason I overcame my adversity and proved all the earlier years criticisms wrong. She is the most remarkable person and she changed my life. My biggest wish is to thank her for this action that may have seem so small at the time, but made the biggest difference. Although, I can only hope to make the difference she made in my life with the children I guide. Furthermore, to provide as much parental awareness as possible. I aspire to achieve the same affect she had in my life.

What you may not know is that in my foundational years it was predicted that I would probably not complete school. I can proudly stand here today and say not only did I complete school I have more than a few degrees and diplomas behind my name. My experience has taught me never to estimate a child's potential and draw limitations on who they may become, but to be open and supportive of who they are.

My business or passion started from my own core experience, but also as I grew and became involved in various forms of education  I noticed the lack of support and understanding there was for children, even more so the lack of facilities and guidance available to parents, to create parental awareness. Enter EduHelp ... I do not proclaim to know or understand everything, but I do believe in my abilities to help children understand who they are and how best to reach their potential. I have seen the results, have parents and children who would stand testimony to the difference my gift has made in their lives.

What is EduHelp?

EduHelp is a support learning facility, I aim to support, guide and assist children and their parents to be able to function in todays' educational and social school environments. In order for the children to become functional members in society. My aim is to provide children with a sense of security to grow, self-confidence, creativity, independence, desire and self-actualisation (or acceptance and understanding of who they are) so that they can live their lives successfully.

My belief is that if every child realises their own skills, uniqueness and potential that they will select careers and lifestyles that will benefit them. Today so many career types are defined by society as the 'ideal' career for every child. Your child is not every child - they are all different, the difference between even siblings is notable. It is essential that the child and their support network understand how they learn, their talents (and every child has a talent - performing the best at school is not the ONLY talent or indicator of future potential), who they are and their dreams. Yes, a child's dream may change but at the heart of every dream is a definition of who your child is - embrace who they are and your child will thrive.

So with all these differences what does EduHelp do? We are a facility that is individualised to each child, there is no one method or correct way. Every child who walks through my door is given a tailor-made program designed around them. The program is aimed to remain at a comfort level for each child, but challenge them to break these levels so that they can progress and achieve.

Last words...

Think about your child, take time to really see them and work with them. Your support and understanding is every child's dream. Although, EduHelp can not reach every parent and child, we can spread the word, create awareness and make a difference... It takes one person to start the ball rolling, but it takes a team to keep the ball going. Be a part of the team who creates awareness, be a part of the team who supports your child...

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Support Learning

What is Support Learning?


Definition


Support learning

Support learning can be defined as facility outside of school that assists children in developing their knowledge. Support learning is designed to tap into each child's learning types and help address concepts that the child has difficulty with or misunderstands at school. Support learning is not just for children who have learning challenges; it is for every child. Support learning helps a child understand their own abilities and develop their skills to function at their learning capacity in a classroom environment. Support learning is usually instructed in small groups or individually.

The importance of Support Learning

Support learning has become invaluable due to the increase of classroom sizes and the changing school outlines, which impact on each child differently.


Why is it more than just teaching?

Support learning is more than just teaching, as it looks at individual learning styles. It does not focus on  teaching, it assists in understanding and application concepts. It is an enrichment process, it helps the child understand who they are, it builds self-confidence and it helps children learn in a safe environment. Support learning also helps to identify more specific and personalised difficulties that may present in a child . Those parents looking for specifically teaching or assistance with homework should view options, such as tutoring.


Does Support Learning replace other forms of Professional help?


Professionals: Education Psychologists, Clinical Psychologists, Speech and Language Therapist, Physiotherapist and Occupational Therapists (are a few highly valued Professionals in a child's development)

There are many arguments about this topic. I believe that it has the capacity to assist children prior to professional intervention and after professional intervention, sometimes the two work together to assist a child. Professional assistance focuses on specific developmental areas, whilst support learning is broad based and looks holistically at the child. However, this does not imply that Professional assistance does not, it means that whilst professional investigate the holistic child they tend to focus on specific difficulties and challenges. Professional assistance is diagnostic and may use interventions to assist a child. Support learning uses interventions and may identify challenges and suggest further professional diagnostic testing and interventions.

I will discuss the different types of Professionals in another blog... so please keep following.

The importance and role of teachers

It is difficult for teachers to be able to identify every child's specific challenges in large classes. Support learning helps teachers understand their learners individually in a group environment. Teachers are vital in support learning as they have views of the child in a different environment. A child's performance varies in different environments; it is essential to recognise that your child's personality, actions and behaviours are influenced by the various environments.

As a support learning facility I commend the work teachers do and in today's situation the challenges they face are huge - parents and other professionals - can not ignore our role. Child development involves teamwork and is not solely the responsibility of the teacher.

Lets support South African teachers by being their team, giving them the chance to fulfil their potential and function. Remember - Would you be able to teach a class of 30 - 40 learners with no assistance? I doubt I would. Its all about teamwork. Support learning adds to the team and gives each child a stronger support system.

The role of the parent

Understandably, in today's world with both parents working and single parents time is of the essence. However, it is essential that you spend time with your child everyday: revise school work and discuss their day, play sports with your child and cultural activities. Children learn from their parents, you are their guide in society. Please do not underestimate your role.

Should I look at support learning for my child?

  • Difficulties in grasping concepts at school
  • Social and emotional development - through self development and enrichment
  • Performance at personalised functional level
  • Finds learning in group environments challenging
  • Children presenting with learning challenges or highly gifted
  • Children who are highly creative

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

The Start of a Journey:

Understanding the value of Education

What is education?

The question we most often wonder, the question that appears so easy to define, but to be completely honest is not. Education is development, it is growth and it is personalised. Education is creating understanding, awareness and communication. It is the root of everything and creates new ideas, support systems and societies. I would say that education is invaluable and the source of creating who we become, but education is not only school or academic education - it is life: everything about you - your culture, religion, family and of course where your potential lies.

Exploring the avenues:

Education starts with you, what do you know, what makes you unique and what is your passion? Understanding these attributes about yourself drives your education. Frequently, education is viewed in a conservative, narrow and simplified way. This prevents us from creating understanding, learning knowledge and being aware - even jobs - we believe there are better jobs, therefore better types of education - but there is not - there is you, your passion and your life. My dream is that everyone becomes aware of who they are, to lead a successful and happy life.

Where this blog is heading:

I hope to cover education, development and protection of us, humans and those we are bound to protect to live. This includes each other and our ecosystem, and those who share it with us. I believe education starts with parents - parents are the key and with a good understanding of parenting and a parent willing to learn, we will make a difference, as our children will grow into themselves and create a better world. Idealistic? Yes, but a possible reality only networking, sharing, awareness and development can create this. I hope you enjoy the blogs  - and please as a first time blogger feedback (good and bad), opinions and questions are always welcome :)