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Thread: Everyday Education

  1. #1
    Debbie Lee Guest

    Default Everyday Education

    As a Primary Teacher, I am amazed at the broad spectrum of knowledge that some children have. Some kids come to school knowing how to read and write the alphabet, they can write their name and some other small words and they can tie their own shoes. Others haven't even seen or heard of the alphabet, cannot count to 10 and haven't even attempted to tie they own shoes. It makes for a very challenging experience as a teacher to accomodate for all the different levels of knowledge. I guess it's our job though!
    Anyway, it got me thinking. What can I do to help prepare Gabby for school while she is still so young? What can I do in these next few years while she is at home, to build up her knowledge so that she isn't left behind before she even starts?
    I don't want to be on her back all the time - and I don't expect her to be able to read "War and Peace" by the time she is 5.
    I would, however, expect her to be able to write her name, recite the alphabet (and have some general knowledge of letters and language - maybe even write a couple of simple words like "cat" and "dog"), be able to count to 10 (and maybe even write the numbers) and be well on her way to doing things like tying her shoes, helping to pack her bag and being responsible with her belongings.

    I was thinking about how I could go about some of this by incorporating learning into every day life. I found a list on the Department of Education and Training Website that I thought might be of some use. Some things, I imagine, people do all the time with their children anyway!
    * Sing songs and play games like "I Spy"
    * Sing finger play songs such as "Where is Thumbkin" and "Incy Wincy Spider" to encourage finger dexterity and interest in rhythm, rhyme and words.
    *Talk about letters, words and numbers children see when shopping, on television, in books and on computer screens.
    *Provide pens, pencils, thin crayons, felt-tipped pens, junior scissors, paste and paper for your child and show them how to use them.
    * Show your child how to hold writing tools approriately with whichever hand feels most comfortable.
    *Join the local library and borrow books and toys.
    *Talk about and draw characters and events from books.
    *Let your child help with cooking - pouring, measuring, stirring, counting cups and spoonfuls.
    *Count and sort things together - washing, cutlery, groceries etc.
    *Talk to your child how you use clocks, calandars and diaries.
    *Do jigsaw puzzles and build things out of construction toys or "junk" materials.
    *Talk about what happens during the day and about past and coming events.
    Just reading through some of these, they seem like a pretty easy ways to help out in your child's education! I guess it's just a matter of becoming more aware of how everyday things can become real learning experiences. From what I have encountered, children's learning is far more enriched when these things are done for real. If they are counting real money, sorting real objects and reading real texts (like signs, the newspaper, things on TV), it can really help them. Moreover, if their parents are taking a real interest in how they are developing, it's going to give them a huge sense of pride and self-worth.

    So, my question to you guys that have BTDT or are going through it now, what are some of the ways that you use "everyday education" with your children?

  2. #2
    Debbie Lee Guest


    Fletch - oh yeah! I forgot about shapes! Uno.... it amazed me that some of my grade 1 kids last year didn't know their basic shapes?? It was even more astounding that some of them didn't even know the days of the week or the months of the year!! Honestly, days of the week are mentioned alllll the time - it baffled me that they didn't know them at the age of 7!!

    Shannon - wow @ what Brielle knows already! Wow! Computer games are great. If only everyone would substitute those mind-numbing murder games with educational ones (which are SO much fun!). They are also a life-saver for teachers who have early finishers and only 10 minutes to go until the bell rings! hehehe

  3. #3


    I was actually amazed the other day cause I was in the kindy doing something and Kameron was next to me just counting to himself....I already knew he could count to 12 and he said "11 12" and the Kindy teacher who was helping me do what I had to do said "Oh my god he can count past 10" and I was like "umm yeah don't they all" and she said "you would be amazed at how many kids we have that can't even get to 10" So I was pretty happy then LOL.

    At the moment I am trying to teach him to read basic words like dog cat etc. I write them on a piece of paper and ask him where dog is or where cat is, but then he memorises where they are so I write them again on a different page in different places, so he has to think about it.

    He knows what the traffic lights are for and yells at me if I go through on amber 8-[

    We have had a lot of packs of flash cards and learnt what different objects are with the help of those every night before bed.


  4. #4
    Debbie Lee Guest


    That's fantastic, Kathryn!

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Outer East, Melbourne


    This is an old thread, but now i have ** BROADBAND ** I feel like replying to everything !

    Debbie you're lucky you are a teacher and have the background and the interest and the inclination to do that. What is it about a childs first five years and their brain and formation and stuff, all the groundwork is done before they get to school. My sister is a teacher and has had kids whos parents have never read to them, who dont know how to hold a book.

    About everyday educaction - I give Cait 10 cents at the milk bar and she finds a lolly with 10cents on the front and we talk about two 5cent lollies being the same price. Years back we used to count food - nuggets, peas, smarties. We have a lot of those basic alphabet books with a letter to a page and we also made one and cut pictures out of magazines. Shapes and street signs. We also have a few seasme street books with numbers, colours and shapes. The cardboard page books that have been thru the mill. Most books and puzzles come from school fetes and op shops. Friends are going to DK parties at the moment paying top dollar for books that do the same as my 50 cent ones.

    The calendar - more use this year since she turned four - going through the months and writing in birthdays and stuff and doing countdowns until good events like parties or going out.

    Anything with shapes, colours, numbers, letters on it can be used. Price tickets on things, letter boxes, counting steps. With the clock - I tell Cait she can put the TV on at 3 when the kids shows are on and instead of nagging me for when its 3 oclock, she looks at the oven clock now.

    I just had a thought - it's just like play school in real life, 14 hours a day !

    Barbs brag moment - Cait can count to 182 before she gets bored and wants to stop and has known her full name, mine and nicks name, address and phone number since she was 3. She can recognise and write about 20 words including - I love Fry. (I didnt know futurama had that impact !)

  6. #6

    Join Date
    May 2003
    Beautiful Adelaide!


    it's just like play school in real life, 14 hours a day
    LOL, I fear it is like that in our house too!!

    Olivia is verbose to say the least, at 2.5, so unless we keep up with her questioning, she gets cranky......I often say to DH at the end of the day "I feel like a cross between Nonni Hazelhurst and Debra Mailman".......but I am also glad, becasue from what Deb and Fletch have suggested, as professionals, it looks like we are giving a good start?

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    In Bankworld with Barbara


    I agree totally with different kids having different levels of skill. There are kids in Lindsay's class who still cannot write their names, and one of those kids even repeated Kindergarten.

    Parents just can't assume these days that learning begins with school, it has to start so much earlier than that. Not that they should be little Einsteins at 3, but so long as they know the basics it puts them in great stead for when they do start school.

    We encouraged Lindsay to think outside the square and the question the 'why' of things instead of taking everything for granted. It is also important to try to identify where your child's talent lies - if they prefer numbers over words and creative over logical problems etc because it can make the learning process so much easier if they are doing something they like and that it seems like fun to them.

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Outer East, Melbourne


    With Kinda/pre school in Victoria - I don't think they have to 'teach' the kids anything academic - reading, writing, numbers etc. I think there are goals, like recognising their own name and some numbers. As well as the social and independence stuff.

    Caits kinda teacher used to do a thing where the kids stood in a circle and counted around in the circle until they got to 10. The child that was 10 went and washed their hands ready for snack time. One of the mothers saw this and cracked it and said there was too much pressure to learn to count.

    Off track a bit, about Play School ... I used to be quite fond of Andrew McFarlane in his Flying Doctor days ... someone told me recently that he was gay, is that right ?

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