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

Thursday, July 24, 2008

The Importance (and Simplicity) of Play

Hi Everyone,

I've found a great blog called "Literacy, Families and Learning" I wholeheartedly recommend it. It's got some great ideas on creativity and learning with young children. The blog is written by Trevor Cairney. I'll print the first part of the blog and you can click on the link if you're interested in reading more.

The Importance (and Simplicity) of Play by Trevor Cairney
I've written a number of posts about play and argued that it is important for many reasons. Broadly, it stimulates children's creativity while assisting their development cognitively, emotionally and socially.

It also encourages their imagination, fine and gross motor skills, decision-making, problem solving and risk taking. As well, it helps children to learn about themselves through success and failure and to build relationships with parents, their siblings and friends.

However, in this post I want to make just one key point - that simple play is best. Simple opportunities for play will always (well, almost always) capture their attention, that's why the box so often wins out over the expensive and complex toy.

Stimulating play does not require expensive equipment or toys, multimedia excitement or body numbing entertainment (though that stuff can be fun too!). In fact, I want to argue that children if given some control over their play will often choose the simple. What do I mean by this? I mean that they will often enjoy:

  • the repetitive and the predictable
  • the unexpected and surprising (yes, that's the opposite of the above - they can love both);
  • the silly over the serious;
  • activities that stimulate their senses (not necessarily all at once);
  • play that involves other people, both actively and passively (this is especially true of parents).

It is important as parents and caregivers to be on the lookout for opportunities to structure situations during the day that permit and encourage stimulating play. While its hard to do fancy stuff when faced by the demands of 2-3 children (or even more in the case of some readers of this blog), if children are engaged in stimulating activities they are less likely to be driving you nuts. And the simple stuff is the easy stuff.

One final thing, as I indicated in a previous post it's also important to allow your children to take lots of initiative - play is when they can take the lead and show you how to do things. Click here for the rest

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