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The ABC's For Kids - And Numbers Too!
Things have changed when it comes to the world of teaching kids there letters and numbers. The days of sitting down with a child with a stack of flash cards, and an hour to kill are over. It is no wonder these tactics do not work anymore, with all of the distractions in a child's day. A parent must remember that a child's brain does not work like his or hers, therefor, sitting down to study the entire alphabet or 1-60 is a waste of time. A child's mind works quickly on one thing and then moves on. So what are we to do?
- Games are a fun resource that children will enjoy. They retain much more information, when the information is applied to them in a fun filled way. Games become the distraction that often distract children from learning, except this time the distraction becomes the learning tool.
- Charts hung randomly in the home are of great benefit to the parent and the children. For these charts to work, they must be used often in a quick painless way. For instance, in my own home I have two large poster boards, pictured in this article, that hang on my fridge just beside the door. As we go to leave home we stop and and point to one letter, my child states the letter and we leave. When we return home we do the same thing, only a number this time. When my child wants to go outside to play it costs him a number or letter. Doing this provides learning in a quick way that is easily retained. No distraction is of concern or overloading the child with information.
- Association of everyday things that your child see's or uses with the starting letter. This is both quick, and fun for the child. A quick reference to the starting letter when they see or use these things is all it takes.
What Worked For You?
Goals of Progress
Parents should sit down with each other to outline a plan for the child's learning. Take in to consideration the child's age, current knowledge, and a timeline. Parents should ask these 10 simple questions.
- When does the child need to have this knowledge by?
- How much does the child already know?
- Does you have what it takes to teach the child?
- Does the child enjoy learning?
- What distractions does the child have?
- What has been tried? What works? What doesn't work?
- What games do you think will work?
- What does the child enjoy dong?
- Are your expectations realistic?
- What is Plan B if you can't find the right approach that works?
Once these questions are asked a good plan should be lying in front you.
The No No's
When looking at teaching children the alphabet, numbers, or anything for that matter, it is just as important to understand what not to do than what you must do.
- Discouragement is an emotion that many kids feel when trying to learn. Do not let the child get discouraged. Once a child gets discouraged, his ability to learn and retain decrease significantly. As an adult, discouragement slows progress down. An adult understands discouragement and understands that it is possible to bounce back and succeed. Unfortunately it takes a child much longer to forget about that discouragement.
- Distractions are something that needs to be handled before attempting to teach your child. Tv, Xbox, toys, pets, and siblings are just a few of the common distractions a child encounters while trying to learn. Never allow these distractions to ruin your child's education.
- Long Study Sessions have proven not to be efficient with today's children. The attention span of a child will not allow them to study and learn for a length of time. Do not try to sit down with a child and force the education on them. After some teaching has been done, do not ruin it by pouring on a lot of new things that will only drown out what they just learned. Remember that retention is the key to success!
In summary, parents must stay true to the do's and dont's. Parents need to ask the questions outlined and develop a plan to execute them. Remember that a child's mind is not as mature as an adult's, and expectations need to be kept realistic. Make learning the alphabet and numbers a fun experience. Parents need to put themselves in the child's shoes to consider what may or may not work. Last but definitely not least, do not let the child become discouraged. Inspire the child and reward accordingly!