Today, as we commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Soweto Uprising, we remember the Youth of 1976 and the struggles they had to face in education.
Education today is just as important as it was in 1976 and as parents we have a responsibility to ensure that our children receive the best education we can give them. Education begins at home and we are the primary educators of our children. It is our responsibility to ensure that our children have a solid foundation to build their education on.
We started using the BrainBoosters Early Childhood Development Parenting Programme with Kairo from the day she was born and will continue to do so until she enters Grade 1.
All of her learning happens through play and she is not even aware that she is learning! I am continuously amazed by how quickly she absorbs information and how much she is learning through the BrainBoosters methodology.
Today Lynda Smith talks to us about Reading, the theme for month two on the BrainBoosters programmes.
BrainBoosters Module 2 – Reading
by Lynda Smith
The BrainBoosters programme was created and designed to help parents understand the importance of the early years and to create resources and training to help them engage constructively with their precious children from birth. We live in a busy world where most moms and dads are working and need guidance and tools to help them on their parenting journey. The parents are the primary educators of their children and there is much research and science to prove that the early years are key to a child reaching their full potential. The BrainBoosters Parenting Programme is there to assist you on this journey. There are other key individuals who play an important role in this journey and they should also be involved, namely the grandparents and caregivers.
There are ten different modules for each age group from birth to age six. Each module consists of a Development Toy and a StoryBox containing a number of books and toys relating to a specific language theme. Each module also addresses a different parenting theme. BrainBoosters sells these products online with 5 modules packed together. We call this a semester pack and there are two semester packs per age group. From birth to Kairos’s first birthday, her family will be able to work with these ten modules to help build the brain pathways. I would like to remind you to read the last article about the importance of the first thousand days of life as well as the one on module one to understand the importance of why cognitive development is key in the early years. http://momentsbydjzinhle.com/index.php/2016/03/01/fitmoments-part-3-the-firs
The rest of this article will show you some of the key instructions and guidance to ensure that you use the programme for module two. Children love to play and engage and we want both you and your child to have fun. Bite size chunks of quality time will make this process easy for you in your busy schedule.
The theme for month two is all around reading with your child.
Children arrive at Grade R or One with poor pre-reading skills which can be avoided if parents understood their role and what they can do about this.
A love of reading is one of the best gifts you can give your child. It allows them to be confident and to search for whatever information they need and to equip them for the world they will grow up in.
There are problems that therapists and teachers are picking up with many children today. This can be avoided if the parent spends time reading and playing with their child. Listed below are some of the problems being identified?
- Children with poor language ability and limited vocabulary.
- Children who are left in front of TV while their parents are either absent or busy. They are not reading or playing, they are staring at a screen and being entertained.
- Children who can’t express their thoughts and feelings in words.
- Children who are frustrated because they can’t put their ideas into words.
- Children who do not have an enquiring mind.
- Children who are illiterate.
- Children who do not love or value learning.
Here are some fun ways to engage with your child around reading:
- Read to your child often – it is such a precious gift to give to your child. When they have learnt to read, no-one can take this skill away from them and it opens the door to endless learning opportunities.
- Reading boosts a child’s confidence, self-esteem, memory skills and concentration.
- Reading books together builds your relationship with your child.
- The BrainBoosters programme is designed to show you how to introduce new vocabulary.
- Each month has its own theme and the books are written differently for each age group.
- The books for birth to one year of age, for example, show a concept on its own such as blue.
- We call this isolating a concept.
- The next book puts the concept in context, such as ‘The ball is blue’.
- Our colouring books, which are introduced from age three, have a unique feature enabling your child to learn words from other languages as well as many interesting facts, building general knowledge and vocabulary in a fun way.
- Learning a new language under the age of six years is much, much easier than doing so later on in
- Even if you think your child does not understand, read to him and use the words often and they will become part of his vocabulary. Repetition is important.
Reading books and playing fun educational games together are the perfect start to a lifetime of reading.
It is also very important to strengthen the visual system physically for the task of reading.
Here are some examples:
- Babies watching moving mobiles above their cots.
- Playing with toys strung up across their prams or playing under baby gyms.
- Crawling, walking, moving, running, catching, hitting, kicking, climbing.
- The stronger their visual system the easier it will be to read.
- Watching television doesn’t strengthen the eyes in the same way.
- The TV is always the same distance from the couch and the eyes don’t have to move from left to right.
- Playing shape and colour games to help them notice similarities and differences and stimulate many other visual skills that will help them tell the difference between letters of the alphabet and the shape of words, etc .
The developmental theme for module two is shapes. This is a key basic concept that your child should master as well before entering formal schooling. BrainBoosters introduces 10 basic shapes for the child to learn. We introduce them all together and in the same colour so that the brain can differentiate and build the pathways. If a child sees these shapes daily, through fun repetitive activities, these pathways will become strong and your child will have a solid foundation of shapes for all future learning. Reading is about seeing the shape of letters and putting them together or pulling them apart. The early reading of shapes for your child will be the identification of your face as “mommy” or “daddy” and any logos that your child sees on a regular basis. This is how your baby learns to read.
The importance of reading combined with the basic concept of shapes makes this a very important module. Different games, books and ideas are combined for each age group according to the BrainBoosters methodology as well as developmental milestones for children. Don’t miss out on learning through play with your child. Go out and purchase the BrainBoosters Semester Pack for your child. http://shop.brainboosters.co.za/