Why am I Writing this Blog?

I am very concerned about the growing level of illiteracy among our children. This blog is for parents who are homeschooling, parents whose children are falling behind at school and they don't know how to help them, teachers who would like to bounce ideas off an experienced teacher or get ideas to help student with problems. I will do everything in my power to help anyone in the areas of reading and writing.

In this blog I'll be using the original English spelling forms, so please make allowances if you're American or have been taught the American spelling form.

Please be understanding about the advertisements on the blog. It gives me the opportunity to earn a little to add to my pension.

Related links for teaching training, lesson plans and worksheets:

Fantastic Free Video series on how to teach handwriting:
by handwriting expert Nan Jay Barchowsky
by handwriting teacher Matt Nisjak

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED: http://www.handwritingebooks.com/
101 sheets of lower case and 101 of upper case letters, plus a bonus book on numbers and another on words for $5.95 for the lot - A great bargain.

Information on Education and Homeschooling
EducationBug: Education Directory - articles, directory, newsletter and profiles on schools

Free Worksheets:
Eastside Literacy
First - Schools

Lined Handwriting Sheets:
Handwriting For Kids

Making Handwriting Sheets:
Handwriting Worksheets
Ed Helper

Videos About Teaching Handwriting:
Teachers TV

Free Lessons and Ideas:
The Electric Company
First 55 Come Alive
Literacy, Families and Learning
ESL Partyland

Ed Helper - Spelling
Ed Helper - Reading Comprehension
Ed Helper - Vocabulary
First - School
Sites for Teachers
Sites for Parents
Clipart for Worksheets
The Teacher's Corner
Teaching Made Easier
School Express

Membership Sites:
Ed Helper
Reading A-Z
ELSIE: Reading 0-6

Inexpensive Handwriting Books
Staidens Homeschooling

Monday, April 28, 2008

Concept Development in Children

This is one of the most important things to understand when teaching children. The development of concepts is the linking together of ideas in a child's mind, so that they can process more complex lines of thought.

A concept will develop when it wants to and the child has no control over it. It's not that they're being lazy, not concentrating or misbehaving. Encouragement is the most important thing for these students. They need to be constantly told that they're doing their best and that you're very pleased with them. Don't overdo it. Children are quick to see through false praise. Pay attention to every little success they have and draw it to their attention. 'You couldn't do that a month ago and now you can. You're learning more and more.'

Concept development and level of intelligence are not linked. A student may have slow concept development, but go on to do very well at school. I've had a student who struggled with understanding mathematical concepts until grade five. He was tenacious and never gave up, committing many things to memory without really understanding how they all came together. Suddenly, almost overnight, a light clicked on and using the information he had memorised, he shot to the top maths group within six months, did exceptionally well in high school and moved on to study successfully at university to become an engineer.

The problem for children who are slower to develop concepts, is that by the time the light turns on, they've gone up into the higher grades and don't get the opportunity to go over the basics again. If they were able to do this, they'd advance rapidly. As it is, they often convince themselves that they're 'dumb', stop trying and don't realise that they are now capable of succeeding.

When children were held back to repeat a grade if they didn't understand the work, we didn't have the rate of failure that we have now. That's why you hear older people say, 'In my day it was unusual for children not to be able to read and write.' It was unusual, because students with slower concept development were given the opportunity to relearn the basics. I realise, of course that being held back caused other problems for the student - nothing is perfect -but they did learn to read, spell and write.

In my next blog, I'll give ideas for parents whose children do have slow concept development in the reading and writing area. Please feel free to ask any questions you want to, and I'll attempt to answer them.

Lets encourage our kids to succeed.