In the previous post, I wrote about focussing on input and how important it is for a child of Gareth’s age in the toddler years. When should we start to focus on output? From the assessment (although it is called an assessment, it is really more like a review with your child’s teacher on your child’s progress in class and what you should be doing with them at home to help them further develop their whole brain) with Gavin’s teacher at Heguru, now’s a good time to start for a child of Gavin’s age (around 4 years old). This appears to be the going age for TweedleWink as well because 4 years plus is the recommended starting age for the Wink program.
Just as Doman recommended with the regular early childhood programs, in right brain education, the initial focus is also on input. For Gareth, it is all about input, input, input. For Gavin, I should be encouraging some output. These were the activities his teacher recommended for us to do at home (mostly stuff we have been doing on and off):
- Flash cards – select topics that your child is interested in (time to get off my lazy behind and start making more flash cards again); also flash cards for vocabulary expansion (i.e. word flash cards).
- Linking Memory – start increasing the number of cards.
- Space Memory
- Quantity Recognition – you can use the red dot cards or other cards showing quantities and ask your child questions like “which one is more?”; “which one is *insert number*?” This will help him to be able to recognise quantities without having to physically count them.
- Imaging – just before bed time, give your child an imaginary scenario to picture in his head. Make sure you focus on all the five senses in your scenario – for example, “You pass by a rose bush on the way to grandma’s house in the forest. You take a deep breath and smell the lovely fragrance of the roses”, “As you lift your face towards the sun, you can feel its warmth on your cheeks”, “You pluck an apple from the tree and eat it – it is sweet and crunchy”. This activity is supposed to help your child develop his ESP senses.
Gavin’s interest in practicing these activities has been flagging in recent times so I’ve been easing off on them. After hearing his sensei tell me we should practice these at home, he’s now asking to do them again. I never cease to wonder in amazement how effective a third party’s advice can be even for a child. Just as adults always seem to want the “expert’s” opinion over our lay opinion, children, too, want to hear it from the horse’s mouth.
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