This weekend marks a new milestone for Doggie boy as it is P1 orientation for him. It will be his first formal introduction to the Primary school which he will be going to from 2013. It will be a new learning environment for him as he enters the same school that his elder brother is currently studying in.
Doggie boy character is slightly different from Monkey boy. He is not as outspoken and forthcoming as his elder brother. Being more shy and reserved in nature it has been quite difficult getting him to open up and speak up.
It takes him a longer time to process new information and there is need for more revision on the same topic for him to be able to register what is being taught to him. Doggie boy needs more one on one focus as compared to his brother and more breaks in between study sessions.
Regarding academic development
I have tried a few different methods with him and found that he relates better to visual stimulation as compared to just pen and paper talk. Taking into consideration his attention span we came up with a schedule which was agreeable for the both of us.
|Down time||TV/ Playtime (1/2 hr)||TV/Playtime (1 hr)|
|Dinner||Max 1 hr||Max 1 hr|
|Piano Practice||30 min||30 min|
(1.5 hr max)
I do not specify that we need to cover all these items per day but the bulk of it. I believe in frequent revision and having a set schedule will make it easier for Doggie boy to adjust to the new study/ play timetable that he would be having next year.
He gets to choose which activity he would like to do first. The only requirement is that he completes the assigned work before bedtime. I try to cover all three subjects with him during the weekdays however sometimes time doesn’t permit or he is too tired for the day we will cover less.
I do a combination of direct and incidental learning with him using a variety of teaching materials. Kids at this age are unable to sit still for long period of time and require different mediums to keep them stimulated.
We go through a selection of activity books, assessment books, flash cards, game sets, online educational programs, iPad Apps and hands on learning each week. I also infuse learning into the everyday chores which he does around the house.
For example, while hanging up the clothes I may ask him to describe the particular shirt that we are placing up onto the laundry poles in both English and Mandarin. I may also throw in a simple mathematical question for him in the mix on certain occasions to get his mind thinking on the go.
Regarding social development
Doggie boy does have play dates with other kids outside school. This gives him chance to interact with more kids in a range of ages and learn to be able to relate to different personalities.
While outside with Doggie boy I do let him order food, interact with the waiters and pay for our groceries. This gives him the chance to experience handling cash and interacting with other adults. It also gives him a chance to build up his confidence. It is also indirectly preparing him for show and tell which he would be facing next year.
How do you reinforce learning at home and while outside?
In the next installment I will be touching on the physical preparations I am doing with Doggie boy.
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