Tuesday, August 7, 2012

You Can Teach Your Child Successfully

I found another Ruth Beechick book, You Can Teach Your Child Successfully.  This was another easy read.
She raised a lot of interesting points:

- Children should learn to read easy material at a rate of 500-900 words per minute.  Have two or three separated timed reading each day for awhile.  Do this every few weeks to encourage the child to focus on increasing his speed.
- "Functional Reading" is all around us in modern life: signs, directions, rules, advertisements, etc.  The skills for functional reading are often different than the skills for textbook reading.  You should make a specific effort to include functional reading skills in your teaching.
- Copying and dictation require close attention to detail, which is what makes them effective methods of teaching.
- Make a custom spelling list of words which the child misspells frequently.
- Never push a child to stop using math manipulatives.  They need those manipulatives to create mental images of the abstract concepts found in math.  When they have the mental images securely in their brain, they will stop using manipulatives on their own.
- Primary grade children learn all their history and social studies through stories of "long ago" and "once upon a time." 
- When introducing a new topic in history or science, have the child write out (or say) questions they want answers to first, to get them thinking about the topic.
- In art, let the child work on the same material and subject matter for a few weeks at a time, such as painting animals.  If you switch techniques too often, the child will not develop mastery of any particular technique.  It would be like playing a different musical instrument every day; you would never develop any skills on a single instrument.
- "Overlearning" means learning facts so well that you can answer them quickly and with ease.  This is the goal for math.

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