Tuesday, March 6, 2012

When should my child learn to read?

Most children starts to learn to read from the age of 4 up to the age of 7 years old. Some even started earlier at the age of 3 years old, as long as there is somebody teaches them to read.

I know that the learning and teaching stage should be done in the most fun way and as a parent, I should not make them feel stressed and forced to learn. Let the learning process naturally done as children will learn to read when they are ready. Is that really true and should be like that? How am I supposed to know if my child is now ready to learn?

Since I was pregnant, I always dream of those lovely things in bringing up my baby. I want them to grow in a very positive ways, reading and writing at the age of 3/4, learn to recite and memorize some short surahs from the Quran etc. I believed most parents have the same level of expectations or maybe even higher. To ensure that happens, I started to teach and we learn together as early as when she's still a baby. I spent lots of money on books suitable to her age, educational toys such as puzzle, googling on those recommended learning materials etc just to ensure that my child gets what she should be getting in the most positive ways insyaAllah.

I would say that I use many methods in learning and teaching. Be it the traditional way using books and pencils to the downloading the educational applications to the iPad or even iPhone. And Alhamdulillah, my daughter loves the way we learn together and now, she can read some of the simple books, suitable for her age of 3 to 4.

Some tips that might help in teaching how to learn to read:-

(1) Read aloud with your child everyday, and most importantly, try to be consistent with the reading activities
(2) Show good example to our child. If we want them to love books, we should love books first!
(3) When reading to them, you may point the words with fingers or pen. This is to let the child know the word and its pronounciation at the same time
(4) To start of, you may try the reading activity with the most interest books and suitable to their age
(5) If possible, use the quality picture books and early novels
(6) Monitor or reduce time on digital media such as iPad, DVDs etc

Happy teaching and reading!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Read books boosts child language

A new study by researchers from Perth's Telethon Institute for Child Health Research provides more evidence that reading books to young children and helping them visually to follow story improves a child's language.

The results have been published online in the international journal First Language.

Lead author Dr Brad Farrant said they investigated the factors that facilitate children's language (vocabulary) development between 9 and 34 months of age using data from Growing Up in Australia: the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children (LSAC).

"We looked at a range of factors for 2188 children in LSAC including joint attention, book-reading, child vocabulary, child temperament, maternal age, maternal education, parenting, number of siblings at home, household income and community socio-economic status," Dr Farrant said.

"Our findings indicate that higher levels of parent-child book reading are associated with significantly better child language (vocabulary) development.

"CHildren with more educated mothers have larger vocabularies because they engage in more parent-child book reading"

The study also confirmed previous research demonstrating a gender gap favouring girls, who had a significantly greater vicabulary than boys at around 3 years of age.

Dr Farrant said the results add to the body of evidence that parents play a major role in children's early language development.

"Combining the findings of our study with previous research suggests that interventions targeting children's early language development would be well served by focussing on book reading as early as possible in children's lives," Dr Farrent said. 

"Parents from all backgrounds can help ensure their children have sound language skills at school entry and beyond by reading to them throughout the preschool years."

Parent-child picture book reading provides an excellent opportunity for vocabulary expansion by learning word-object mapping in a more structured setting and involves pointing gestures, joint attention and verbal labelling.

Special credit to this site

Monday, February 14, 2011

Toys: How to ensure their safety?

There are plenty of toys from different manufacturers available in the market. One may offers great toys for motor development skills, stimulates the children’s brain etc. We as parents always look for the best, which is beneficial for our children’s developments and most importantly is their safety while playing with the toys.

Some tips to ensure safety:-

1)      When we first buy the toys, to ensure that it is as per the age recommendation by the supplier on the box. For instance, toys such as blocks or Lego may not be suitable for children below the age of 3 due to choking danger. As most of us well understood, children under this age category tend to put everything insides their mouth. Thus, toys with small parts are definitely a no-no for them.
2)      Immediately discard the plastic items and all packing materials when buying new toys.
3)      Avoid buying toys with sharp edges or that is easily broken. Toys with long cords or strings also need to be avoided, which may lead to strangulations
4)      Check for any damages or broken parts of the toys regularly. Immediate throw away any broken & worn-out parts immediately.
5)      When playing bicycle, tricycle outdoors, always be sure that they are being monitored by us their parents and use helmets or knee-guard
6)      Teach our children to put away their toys that may lead them to tripping or fall over the toys
7)      For those who have elder children, always teach them to put away their own toys from their younger siblings especially those with small parts and not recommended for younger age.
8)      Always ensure that our children play in a safe environment either in the playground or large area, and away from stairs and water area
9)      Last but not least, be sure that all toys are clean! Do wash them as per the instructions at the box.
Have fun in making your children’s toys safety!