Thursday, July 21, 2011

The New First Grade

Help! My kindergartner can’t read. Should they be able to read? Some say yes, some say no. No matter what the answer, keep in mind that kindergarten should not be the new first grade. It seems the focus has shifted from social to cognitive or academic learning. Some push kids too hard and too fast to become little first graders while they are still in kindergarten. Sometimes online kindergarten curriculum is too difficult for students to independently work with. Either there is too much text, a busy background, or too much chaos happening on the page. The child can’t always decipher what is meant to be important and what is meant to make the page look fun and interesting. Try to make sure the online resource you use strikes a balance between words and pictures. Ideally, the page will have few words so it can be easily interpreted by a typical student with basic computer skills. You as the learning coach will model and supervise. Show your child the importance of computer skills, and emphasize that literacy isn't necessary to understand, enjoy and learn from the Internet.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Learning Styles

A good online curriculum delivers content in varied learning styles because no two children learn the exact same way. Some kids are very visual/auditory while others might be visual/tactile. Do you know your own learning style? Chances are that you model in the way you learn best. What if your child doesn’t learn the same way you learn? We know that children enjoy being dependent on a teacher or adult to guide the way. They rely on others to determine the method of teaching, when it is delivered, and how. Advances in technology have revolutionized the way people learn. In choosing online programs, finding programs and tools that acknowledge variations in individual learning styles will go a long way in providing an effective learning experience. Now is the time for you to discover the learning style of your child and yourself so you will both be successful.