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Sarah McKinlay

Sarah McKinlay

Sunday, 30 March 2014 00:00

Following Instructions

“How many times should I have to ask you?” – Is this a common phrase in your house? Do you wonder whether your children can hear properly? Or perhaps your children have selective hearing, opting not to listen and respond to your voice! Or maybe you are struggling with behaviour at home generally?

In addition to improving life at home, being able to follow instructions is one of the key skills that will help children when they start school. Classrooms are exceptionally busy and thriving environments; always so much going on and lots of background noise! Being able to tune in to listen to instructions is a skill that needs to be developed. As parents, you can help your child at home, whilst having some fun along the way! Here are a few examples of how to get your children listening carefully and following instructions:

Saturday, 24 May 2014 00:00

It's all go, go, go...

AM - Packed lunches made? Children up? Sun cream on? Children dressed? You showered? You dressed (whilst toddler wrapped around your leg)? Children’s bags packed? Children’s books read ready to return and change? Everyone eaten breakfast? Teeth brushed? Your toddler doesn’t make the toilet in time so needs changing for the second time? Your work bag, computer, folders organised? Phew...just making it out the door at 7.30am and your baby decides to fill her nappy? Back up the stairs, quick change and out the door? Quick trip to the childminder’s house, kisses and cuddles goodbye, and off to work?

Wednesday, 30 April 2014 00:00

It's Summer Time!

The six week break over the summer seems like an eternity for any young child.  It is crucial that children have the opportunity to recharge their batteries during this time, having lots of downtime and long sleeps.  However, it is also a very long stretch of time away from pre-school or school and parents should be conscious of this to ensure learnt skills are not lost over the summer months.  No, I don’t mean making your child sit down and do formal reading, writing and numbers every day! Far from it...Instead maximise learning opportunities to fit in with wherever you are or whatever you may be doing.  The trick with 3-5 year olds is if it’s done right they will just believe you are playing a fun game or doing an exciting activity or sharing some special time together!

Wednesday, 30 April 2014 00:00

Can you do it please Mummy?

You probably do it subconsciously, especially if you are running around trying to get out the door on time...I know I have!  It’s just easier, quicker to get your child’s coat and shoes on for them.  However, take a step back, and, as you are now not in a rush and are reading this blog, reflect on what you are actually teaching your child by doing things for her.  I know from parenting my own four year old he likes to take his time and will often ask me to help him dress.  It is so tempting to just do it for them sometimes, but, in preparation for school, perhaps begin allowing more time (eg. set your alarm clock earlier in the morning) so your child can practise tasks, such as getting dressed, herself.

Wednesday, 30 April 2014 00:00

It's all in the talk

I cannot stress more the critical role that talk plays throughout every element of a child’s learning journey.  If a child can speak and communicate effectively, has an ever-increasing repertoire of vocabulary to draw upon and has fun with playing with and listening to words and rhymes he will have begun his access to the world.

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