Thursday, September 10, 2009

Educational Building Blocks

Building Blocks are the foundations that your child needs to have in place so that they may succeed in school. These usually need to be in place by second grade in order for your child to progress at the appropriate rate and level. The following list should help you understand what your child needs to work on from pre-school on. You can start at an earlier age but remember that your they will only grasp a concept when it is developmentally appropriate!
  • Correct Pencil Holding! This helps your child be able to write easier and better. The following picture can help you show your child how to hold a pencil correctly.

    The website Draw Your World is an excellent resource for helping you find the best way to help your little one hold their pencil the right way!
  • Proper Letter Formation! This may seem like an easy task to teach but it isn't. You cannot make your child write properly but you can help them grasp the right way to write their letters. Don't forget bad habits are hard to break. A great way to start children out or help them is to let them trace letters or connect the dots to form the letters. Good handwriting leads to good spelling and good reading. Here is a link that I find very informative on this subject and just how important it is: Letter Formation.
  • Sight Words! DOLCH Sight Words are very important for your child to recognize instantly. These words are the foundations for reading. Your child should be able to read them immediately when shown them. Ed Helper is an excellent site that will help you with several different ways to help your child learn these words. It also gives the lists according to age/grade level of when they should know them.

  • Technology Skills! In todays techno savvy world it doesn't hurt to introduce your children to technology at an early age. This is such an instrumental part of our everyday lives that they need to grow up using it. There are all types of technology for all ages that can help make your kids tech savvy. Letting them play on the internet is one thing but helping them learn how to log on to the computer, start programs and such will be such a help to their teachers. Lots of schools now are basing their lesson around technology and are using Skype in the classrooms as well as Wikki's, Blogging and YouTube. Here is a great article on how one school system is implementing technology.

  • Reading! I cannot say this enough- Read to your kids every day or have them read to you! It is so very important and helps them more than you can imagine. Just 20 minutes a day can help improve your child's vocabulary, spelling and knowledge. It will also instill in them a love for reading. School systems usually use the Accelerated Reader Program that allows students to read a book and then take a test on that book which will earn them points. The higher the level the higher the points and the higher the reward. Renaissance Learning's site allows you to type in the title and or author of the book and tells you the level of the books and the point value. Some schools will provide a link for your children to be able to take these tests at home but most are done in the classroom or library!

    Instilling a love and want for learning in your child can be a daunting task but will benefit your child greatly throughout their school years. Remember to make sure they realize just how important it is for them to learn as much as they can. This will bring about confidence and success in school and will make our jobs as Parent's much easier. ( This article lists ways to encourage your child to be successful in school.)

    I hope these tips are beneficial to you. Please leave a comment if there are any topics or issues you would like me to write about!

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