One of the greatest tragedies of our time is the loss of childhood. Worldly attractions and street smarts are robbing us of our children. With all of the information available in the world today, children and young people are bombarded with concepts their parents and grandparents didn’t face until well into adulthood. As the world becomes increasingly competitive, parents are left wondering which information to feed to their children, and how soon. How much is enough? How much is harming your child? Many educators and parents promote all-day Kindergarten as a remedy for the competition encountered in some classrooms. Early intervention programs seek out potential problem learners so they will be better prepared for the rigors of kindergarten and first grade. Other children are so prepared for the early years of school that parents and administrators champion gifted and accelerated programs, removing the child from his chronological peer group. The fact is, children are vastly different – each one geared to absorb life’s lessons at his own natural pace. What is the answer?
An increasing number of families are choosing to homeschool their children. So, what do you teach children at this young age? How do you prepare them to be life-long lovers of learning? What do you want your child to know? One of the most important things you can give your child is the ability to teach herself. We read in the scriptures that we should “search, ponder, and pray.” A more appropriate motto for young learners might be “search, ponder, and play.” Play is a child’s work. It is the process by which problems are encountered, examined, and solved. So how do parents teach an early learner from these three words? Let’s take a look at what each word means to a child.
Search Our world is replete with stimuli. Everywhere you go, someone wants you to buy this, or try this. It is no longer necessary to be seekers of knowledge. We can sit on our living room sofa and wait for it to come to us. You won’t have to wait long. It will come to you whether you want it or not. Parents today must become gatekeepers to their children’s minds and hearts. Then they must direct their children to get up of the sofa and go out and seek all that is “virtuous, lovely, of good report, or praiseworthy.” Re-teach your child to seek knowledge. Better yet – explore together!
Ponder Be available to listen when your child wants to talk. This may seem frustrating for some parents, especially when your child is going through the “Why does . . .?” stage. If you are not available with answers, your child will seek out someone who is. And it may be someone giving the kind of answers you don’t want your child to have. Listen! Listen! Listen! Ask about what you hear. Clarify to show you are listening. Stretch your child’s mind to expanded thinking. You have the opportunity to show your child all sorts of possibilities, or solutions. Later in life when problems weigh heavy, a process will already be established for problem solving through prayer, creativity, and meditation.
Play is learning. Children need play in order to become independent thinkers and learners. They need it to express creativity. And they need it to practice acceptable social behavior in a safe environment. Do not fill your child’s hours to the point that she is never bored. Boredom sparks creativity, action, and adventure! This goes for toys as well. Simple is best. Or let them make some of their own playthings. What might your child create with an oatmeal container, construction paper, fasteners, some string, and a pair of scissors?!
LIFE School’s philosophy can be summed up in our name: Life Integrated Family Education. With our fun and engaging lessons, you will be empowered to find ways to integrate your child’s learning into everyday life.
You know, especially if you are the parent of more than one child, that each one comes down from our Heavenly Father unique and with an established personality. Because they have different talents and gifts, they learn about the world around them in different ways, and at different rates. At Life School we are growing and expanding our Sensory Immersion©, reading, phonics, and math program for children ages 2-5. This program presents the discoveries of world to as many of his/her senses as possible. Not all children are audio, visual, or tactile learners. Some are emotional learners and sensory exposure is the most effective way to plant knowledge in the areas of the brain that retain information naturally, automatically – without having to “think about it.”
Sensory Immersion© – Organic Learning
When you use the LIFE School Sensory Immersion© – Organic Learning program, you will be introducing new concepts to your child, including concepts that teach gospel principles, in ways that will engage every mode of learning available to your child. This approach will imbed this new information into the key learning areas of your child’s mind. This is especially important if your child is lacking one or more natural sense.
In our parent manual you will read about the many ways we have created to introduce letters, numbers, and words in ways that access all of your child’s senses – especially the spiritual and emotional senses. This process will facilitate learning that will be long-term and natural – even eternal. In short, you are adding to the information already written into your child’s DNA, so what your child is exposed to is critical during his/her early years. For instance, learning a new number and the information associated with that number will be retained and accessible later if learned by seeing, feeling, hearing, saying, doing, and smelling – if applicable. Our manual helps you create an emotional experience. Your job is to reinforce the experience with hugs and relevant praise.
For example, in Volume 1 Part 1, you choose a warm day, provide a large driveway and sidewalk with cookies and ice cold lemonade. Together you draw each other on the driveway, taking turns outlining each other, then drawing in clothes and happy facial expressions. You then write love messages to each other. If your child is not yet writing words, you’ll create a rebus message – a message using simple pictures. You’ll end the activity with “Great job!” “I had fun doing this with you.” Don’t forget hugs.
This type of experience will never be forgotten, nor will the words, concepts, and feelings shared together. This, and hundreds of activities like this are part of Search, Ponder, and Play’s Sensory Immersion© – Organic Learning Toddler/PreK/Kindergarten Math and Reading program.
Is my child readyfor LIFE School Level 1?
Is your child ready to begin our Red Level 1? There is not a magic point at which a child is ready. Basically, if your child knows his alphabet, can read and write some words, and can write his name, he or she is probably ready. A child does not need to be a skilled reader or writer to begin. Our program helps them grow in these areas. For instance, you as a parent may spend a couple of months writing as your child dictates answers to questions or thoughts for a journal entry. Over time, you will encourage your child to write 2 – 4 word sentences of their own. By the time your child has finished the Red level, he or she should be able to complete all of the Learning Journal pages with minimal help from you.