Archive for July, 2014

Time to introduce your kids to caveman kids

Home was a beautiful place, around the cave everything was green

A long time ago before planes and trains and before buses and bicycles. Even before we rode horses. During a time when everybody walked, “Rock Thrower” and his older sister “Little Leaf” lived with their family in a cave. Their home was on the side of a hill overlooking their beautiful valley.

In their little family there was Grandpa and Grandma along with three uncles and two aunties. There were many little children with their own mothers and fathers. It was a big happy family all living together in the safety of the smoke blackened cave.
Rock Thrower and Little Leaf’s mother and father loved the cave and everybody in it and they somehow managed to keep everybody happy.

Home was a beautiful place, around the cave everything was green. The sky above was a deep rich blue and at night the whole sky was pinpointed with endless lights. It was beautiful to sit outside at night around the fire just looking up at the heavens.

Life was good, there was plenty of food but they had to find the berries and bird’s eggs. They followed the bees to the sweet juicy honey high in the tree. That was the easy part, now the fun part began. Only the grown-ups would get the honey. And then there was lots of laughter when somebody got stung and started jumping around the place. They all loved the honey, it was a welcome treat.

Life in the spring, summer and autumn was good. Especially autumn when there were many fruits and berries to eat. But the good days soon gave way to the cool days of late autumn. Then out came the old hides that were hung over the cave mouth to keep out the cold and now home was a cozy cave.

Check out this audio to let your kids find out about what life was like when home was a cave on the edge of a cliff
All the best teaching your children
Teacher Peter

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How Constant Repetition Can Turn You Into A Genius

I was utterly amazed with the National Geographic program My Brilliant Brain. It is amazing what our brains are capable of. After watching the program about the girl chess master it seems that we have to somehow transfer the knowledge from our short-term memory to our long-term memory. In the story when the girl was very young the girl’s father kept showing her different chess moves from the grand masters. This constant repetition instilled her chess knowledge in her long-term memory. This is not an isolated case as the father used the same approach with the younger sisters and the three girls are now all grand chess masters.

I think a similar approach is how we learn reading. When I was a kid I think the Nuns taught me synthetic phonics at school, as that was in vogue at that time. And because we didn’t have as many distractions as the kids of today, we implanted reading in our long-term memory. We did this by reading and more reading. I lived in the library and read a lot and my reading skills now are quite good. I tried a speed-reading course and because I kept at it my reading speed improved. Speed-reading came in handy when I was reading novels or fiction especially science fiction as I love reading that. With science fiction and fantasy you have to imagine what you are reading and that takes you into another realm of speed-reading. Anyway as we get older it is easier for us to read as we have had lots of practice. We have basically implanted the words in our long term memory and we can recall them instantly. I would say very similar to the girl grand chess master. She could instantly recall the many chess moves as they were implanted in her long term memory.

Also I was brought up with a pencil in one hand and to compete in the modern world I had to learn to type. Typing involves memory and with constant repetition typing just becomes second nature like reading. I can now do it without thinking but I first had to implant the different moves of my fingers over the keyboard in my long term memory. And that is where constant repetition comes inby just doing it. To start I had to force myself but over time I settled into the new typing way of not looking at the keyboard. But it did take time. These things don’t happen over night, they just happen.

Now back to reading, I will admit when I was a kid I loved reading so I was pretty close to being a bookworm. I lived in the library and I had an endless collection of books. But it all started with phonics and once I understood the code to turn the word into a sound I understood, I could read. So getting the 44 phonics sounds instilled into your child’s long-term memory is a must. But it does get complicated with the same phonic sounds having many different spellings and meanings. So it takes time but you must get all the different combinations instilled in your child’s mind. Then they must read and read to plant the phonics sounds, meanings and spellings in their long-term memory. Learning the phonics is only half the equation they must use them as they read. This second step is quite crucial so keep them reading. Get them away from the TV and computer until everything is planted in the long term memory then they can read on the computer if they like. Forget the TV if you can.

Now, my daughter had incredible problems and it was only after I started stressing phonics that she slowly improved. Every time she asked me to say a word I would break the word down into syllables and phonics. Then I would read the phonic sounds backwards so she could see the different combinations of letters. Now she is okay but it took a lot of effort on my part. So if your kids are having problems get them started on phonics as early as possible and keep reading to your kids.

I like the Montessori system of teaching writing and reading and this is the course I recommend

Peter Legrove spends most of his time in front of a mixed bunch of kids trying to instill in them some semblance of the road to survive the future.

This article is copyright © peter legrove.

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All the best teaching your children

Teacher Peter

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