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Cognitive Development

Help your child's brain grow! Teach thinking, concentration, pre-math skills, pre-reading skills, and language.

Posted by on in Cognitive Development
The Importance of Quiet Children today experience a very different environment to the one their parents grew up in. Back in the day, Mr. Rogers knew what he was doing when he built a time into his program simply for thinking. We need to spend time every day just thinking. Just imagining.  As a parent, remember to carve out time for your child to have a quiet, slower time to stop, look, and listen. A time to be outside and observe. For further reading see: "Exercise, Sleep, Screens: New Guidelines for Children Under 5" "A 'million word gap' for children who aren’t read to at home"...
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Posted by on in Cognitive Development
Word Families with Blocks STEP 1: Make a block. Have fun. (To make your own block, we have a tutorial.) STEP 2:  Cover each of the six sides with brightly colored paper. STEP 3: Write six different letters, one on each side of the block. Use letters that look different from each other. (See Alphabet Hotel link for examples of letters to begin with.)  After they know their letters and associated sounds, they are ready to put letters together. STEP 4: Make specific word family blocks. Write endings like "at" on a piece of paper that will go to the right of the block once it is rolled. Here are some letters that can go on the block for the "at"-ending word family:  or "ar" or "op".    at -- b, c, r, h, m, f, p, s, or anything else that works ar -- c, b, f, j, p, t, w op -- t, h, p,...
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Kirby's Notes on "The Developing Person Through the Lifespan," by Kathleen Berger 9 personality characteristics that parents can notice within the first few months of a baby's life: Activity Level Rhythmicity -- predictable schedule Approach/Withdrawl when presented with something new Adaptability (similar to Rhythmicity) -- how they adjust to change/disruption to routine Intensity of Reaction -- how strongly they respond (smile/whimper vs chortle/howl) Threshold of Responsiveness -- sensitivity to stimuli, e.g. wet nappy, whether right away or after some exposure Quality of Mood -- happy a lot vs unhappy a lot Distractibility -- how easily they stop fussing with distraction vs not distractible/very focused Attention Span -- playing with one toy for a long time vs moving on quickly This list is to whet your appetite for further reading. Check out the book at your local library. Berger suggests that children can be stretched in the following 5 of the 9 categories: 1, 3, 6, 8, 9.    ...
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Posted by on in Cognitive Development
Three Rules for Development Have you given up on your New Year's resolution already? Here are three rules for you and your children as you attempt growth and development together.   Rule 1: Break it down into doable steps. The Montessori model is an excellent example of this.  For example, in teaching a sport in which you hit something with an instrument in your hand -- baseball, racket sports, paddle sports, etc. -- there are steps.  The same rule applies to adults who are trying to break a habit. Break it down into doable steps. Want to lose weight? Figure out various steps, each of which can be done.    Rule 2: Start easy. We don't start teaching the alphabet by giving the child all 26 letters at once. Teach one letter, celebrate, move on. In learning matching games, start with one pair. Increase.  Note: We all need encouragement, no matter what age. The experience...
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Developing a Reader: the world of pre-reading The first step in pre-reading is reading to your child as they grow inside and can hear what your saying, the rhythms and sounds of reading. When they are born, start naming whatever they are looking at (get other people to do this too). Name whatever they hold...if it's a rattle, name it but if they shake it, say "shake". Once the child learns the sounds to make their own "sound language" treat those as real words. For example, in giving the child the choice of milk or juice to drink, pronounce each option very correctly then if they respond with "mmmm" say, "You want milk." You will know if this is not what they want as they will show you with their unhappiness. At that point you can respond with, "Oh you want juice." This is real talking for them at this stage. A lot of children learn the alphabet...
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