10 tips on early reading

Posted on June 02, 2014 by Lubica Misevski


 I saw a letter from Dr. Seuss to a primary school yesterday, and I thought his advice was brilliant. It read something like this “Dear Primary School, read, read, read, read, read, Sincerely Dr. Seuss.”

Dr. Seuss was truly a brilliant man, and a wonderful writer of children’s books. So his advice is well worth listening too, at least in our opinion. So this got me thinking, how can we teach our daughter to read, and acquire a love of books? Our little girl is only 3, and fortunately we have been able to achieve the first point by reading to her daily since birth. She loves to read books, and we are very pleased about this.

However, how do we move her from loving to read to reading, as she is not at school yet, and if we are to teach her how do we ensure we do this correctly?

So we gave this some thought, read some books ourselves, and searched for some good ideas. We thought there were some fantastic ideas and concepts out there, and wanted to share these with you today.

1. Share rhymes and songs, and encourage your child to join in

2. Point out letters, and words all around you and explain them

3. Stick the alphabet on a wall and go through each of the letters

4. Have them listen to the ABC song, one they like and sing it with them

5. Have them associate letters with characters, such as L is for Lion

6. Go to your local library and join the reading class

7. Make sure they have a bedtime story, in our daughters case we are now negating this down to 4

8. Repetition, reading the same books over and over is actually also very good

9. Let them choose books for themselves at the library or bookstore

10. When you are reading books over and over to them, stop midway through a favourite sentence and ask them what happens next?

So there you have it 10 quick tips, we hope they are useful and prompt some ideas of your own. Reading is truly a beautiful gift to give your little one, and one that they will be able to cherish forever.

Please let us know if you have any other great tips, or ideas that you would like to share?


Posted in Early child education, learning to read, zero to five

The First 5 Years Matter The Most

Posted on May 26, 2014 by Lubica Misevski



The first 5 years matter the most.

Every parent wants the best for the children; in fact more often than not you want more for them than you had yourself. Your reason is simple and it is one of love. You hope they achieve more, are happier, and fulfilled, and believe in possibility.

What we know now about early childhood development is a substantially more than our parents knew. And knowing this gives us an advantage in helping our little ones receive the right early childhood education and development.

We now know that the first 3 years of our children’s livesaccount for 90% of the brain development. And the quality of the relationships and learning environments are critical in these early stages for babies and toddlers.

The experiences they have in the initial years very much lay the foundation for their lives. And as we want to create a strong foundation for our children it is important that we provide a safe, nurturing, and learning environment.

Some things we can do to help set up this foundation are to provide our children with good nutrition, nurturing and predictable environments. Simple things like cuddles, reading to them, using more complex language, explaining things to them, and being responsive and warm.

We need to play with them, and encourage play, and know that they are watching us all the time and learning from what we do, not what we say. Our children are born ready to learn, and exposure to language, mathematics, puzzles, and safe social environments all add to their early development and help establish a strong foundation for the future.

How we parent matters, and whilst we all have access to different means and resources, some have more than others. We all have the most valuable resource available for our children, and that is love.

So to recap your little one is born ready to learn, and if they are exposed to love, good nutrition, a safe and secure environment, reading, and interactive play you are off to a great start.

There is a lot to cover in the area of early childhood development and we will do our best to bring you the most up to date and practical information as we continue this blog.

And please let us know if there are any areas you would like us to cover in coming posts?

Posted in child education, Early child education, zero to five

Tips to disciplining your children

Posted on May 23, 2014 by Lubica Misevski

Early child education

How do I discipline my child fairly? How do I know that it will work, and I am doing it the right way? For many parents, these are the questions we ask ourselves.

How do we create the best values, and do the right thing by our children and help mould Adults who are responsible, caring, and have strong values. The best place to start is to define what discipline is. Discipline is about teaching and helping them regulate their own behaviour, emotions and actions.

Usually when our kids, are acting in a way that we do not agree with, it can be the simple fact that they do not yet understand what we expect of them. Also, it can be a way of expressing their feelings that they do not know how to express any other way.

A great way but one that can be challenging is to ask them questions. For example:

Is there something wrong, are you feeling bad or upset?
Do you need a cuddle, or some love?

Identifying the cause of the behaviour is the best place to start, as when we identify this we can also help our children express what is going on. If you want your child to do something, explaining why is often helpful to the outcome. For example “When you eat vegetables, you are making your body strong and healthy.”

Having a routine and structure also helps, as does allowing your child to be involved in decisions. For example in our home, we brush our teeth before bed that is a rule we all follow, so this has become easy to implement. We tell our daughter, she has only one more show to watch on television, and to come and tell us when it is over. She always proudly runs in the kitchen to tell me she has finished watching the show, at which point we both turn the television off.

And if she is misbehaving we have found it best to ask her why? She is strong willed, so we are and will have some debates :).

Our children learn by our actions, having rules, and being involved in the decisions. When your child simply won't behave and you feel there needs to be consequences, they need to be aligned with the behaviour.

They need to happen soon after the event as practical. As the longer you leave it the less likely the child will know why they are being punished. They need to know what the best behaviour is, and what you expect of them. Your child always needs to feel loved, safe, secure and listened too.

The Ages

Your Baby (0-1)

Your baby needs no discipline at all they do not yet understand the world and they are simply trying to communicate with you. Another misconception that we will touch on is that you cannot spoil your baby with too much love. That is right, it is impossible.

Terrific Toddlers

They need to learn new skills, you are their teacher, and showing them the way in a calm and well-communicated manner is the best approach. At this age, the do not understand consequences, and if they express their feelings it is best to acknowledge and listen to them. For example, they might say they do not feel like breakfast, and the best thing to do is gently prod them throughout the morning, and ask them if they are hungry yet? Eventually, they will eat, and there is no point forcing them.

3 to 4 years old

We are still very much teaching at this age, and we need to show and explain to our children what we expect of them. If they feel loved and understood, they will be more likely to go along with your request. It is a lot like the Television example we gave above. If you tell them in advance or show them they will be more inclined to follow.

5 - 12 Years

At this age, your child certainly knows more about consequences, and they have started to understand a lot more about themselves. At this age, you can start to tell your child about your feelings, and what makes you behave in certain ways. This helps them understand other perspectives and behaviours.

It is also helpful to ask them about their feelings and thoughts, so that they may share with you how they see the world. Remember we are all-different, and just because they are your child does not mean they are going to see the world they way you do.

At this age, it is important to understand your child and build an open and healthy communication channel.

Discipline is a tricky subject, but in summing up the consequences need to match the action. Before the age of 4, it is best just to build trust and communicate with your child. And from five onwards, if they are running around the house and knock over a drink, then they should clean it up. But taking their bike off them for a week is not aligned with the action.

We hope these ideas are helpful, and would welcome any questions you might have. Staying calm is sometimes a challenge, but one that will reward you and your child for a lifetime.

Posted in child education, Early child education, zero to five

It Starts From Birth

Posted on May 21, 2014 by Lubica Misevski

Early child education
It starts from birth

Childhood education starts from birth, and from the moment your little one is born they start learning. Think about this for a second, they learn very quickly that you love them, you will protect them, you will keep them warm, and you will feed them.

This all happens within the first 24 hours of their little life, and they continue to learn every single day. And hopefully we do too. This means that you are your child’s teacher, and their very first one, and no-one is better placed to educate your child then you. Because your starting place is pure love, and the desire to give your child a better start and life than you had.

And very early on there are many things you can do to start to begin the process of teaching your child.

This include’s joining playgroups so they may interact with other kids, and start to develop social skills.

Read to them, and whilst you may think that they are not absorbing this, they certainly are. We have been reading to our daughter since birth, and at 3 1/2 years of age, her ability to communicate to us and others is something we are very proud of.

Play music for them, as this will help develop creativity as well as providing enjoyment for you both. Especially when they start to move to the music, or hum their first tune.

Take them for walks and show them birds, dogs, a bus, trees, shops, homes, and the world. Explain those things to them, and try to determine what captures their interest the most.

Encourage them to express their emotions as they grow, so their ability to communicate develops.

Start to teach them the alphabet from an early age, and also the numbers, and you will be surprised at how quickly they pick this up. A great little book we used with our daughter was Coco.

Our children are sponges and they want to play, learn, and experience the world. From the moment, they are born they are learning, and this never stops. We have a wonderful opportunity to help them learn, and look at life through the eyes of a child again, with amazement, wonder, and possibilities.

We are truly blessed to have access to more materials, knowledge, and methods than you and I had when we were growing up. But the greatest asset of all is our love for our children.

We would love to hear stories about how you teach your little one? And please share any ideas you have that you think other parents would value.

Posted in baby, child education, Early child education, zero to five

My Baby, Their Future

Posted on May 20, 2014 by Lubica Misevski

my baby their future

My Baby, Their Future

From the very moment your little one is born, they start learning and developing. They realise that someone is there to care for them and love them. They recognise your face, how you smell, your touch, and that you will be there for them when they need you.

And there are many things you can do for them from the moment they are born, and as they develop. We will just cover the first three months in today’s post.

Initially just holding and singing to them and talking to them is a great start. They will feel safe, comforted, and protected from a very foreign place. You can look for early signals of their needs, by the tone of how they cry. Do they just need comforting? Or are they rubbing their eyes and tired, or is it a cry of need because they have to be changed, or are they are hungry?

This is certainly a challenging and very rewarding time. One where the bond and communication between you both develop. And they learn that when they communicate they can be heard and more importantly understood.

Soon they start to smile:), and there is nothing more heart-warming than watching this happen. For two reasons, you know they are happy, and you taught them how to express this, it is your smile you are seeing.

Very soon they can hold your finger, and grip things. This is when we should give them books, teddy bears, different textures and toys to hold onto. And wow what a day when they start to discover their feet and little hands, the look they get in their eyes is just magical.

Despite some misinformed opinions, you cannot spoil your baby with love. In fact I do not think you can spoil anyone with love, so helping them feel good, comforting them, helps them trust and manage their own feelings.

We also feel it is important that you read to them from the very beginning, as your little one is born with 100 million neurons (brain cells). And when you spark activity in the brain you are starting to develop their synapse’s (which is just the road or highway between the brain cells). You are obviously developing their minds.

So right from the beginning you can start to develop their mind through touching, reading, music, love, smiling, feeding and comforting.

They are your precious gift to the world, and you are their world. We would love to hear about your early experiences, and also what you have learned along the way?

Posted in baby, child education, Early child education, zero to five

Fact's About Our Baby's Brains

Posted on May 18, 2014 by Lubica Misevski

Fact About Our Baby's Brains
In today’s article, we look at your baby’s brain development and highlight some key facts that we feel are crucial to know.

Of all the energy your baby consumes, 60% percent of it is concentrated in the brain. This means that your baby is consuming 60% of all they eat directly to the brain. As we have expressed before, nutrition is critical at any age. But none more important than the early stages of your child’s brain development. So the more natural the food, the better. “There is a saying, if it was not food 100 years ago, it is not food today."  Whilst there might be exceptions to this rule, it is a pretty good yardstick to use as a measure.

The birth to three-year-old period is the fastest period for brain development across your child’s entire life span.

Just by talking with your baby, by the age of two, those babies will know 300 more words than babies who’s parents rarely speak to them.

Allowing your little one to explore and engage with others will develop their learning at all ages, and their social skills.

Anyone who looks after your baby, is part of their development, and will have an impact on how their brain develops.

Having a good relationship with your child will help them feel more confident about themselves, and allow them to better handle the challenges we all face in life.

Your little one will take cues from your facial expression on how to feel, so go ahead and smile at them all day, it might just be good for you too :)

Giving your little one a cuddle, and holding them will help your baby to produce important hormones that allow them to grow.

Reading aloud to your baby, will help stimulate brain development. So even though you are not always getting feedback with this especially in the early stages it is important to read to them. As I have said earlier we had to chase our son around the house for the first year of his life, but now he is handing us the books.

And wow by the time your child is 3, your child has formed 1000 trillion connections between their neurons.

The best way to help develop your little one’s brain is to read, play, sing, play music, build with blocks, explore outside, talk to them, and fill their body with healthy nutrients.

Let us know if you have questions? We would be more than happy to answer them in future posts.

Posted in baby, child education, Early child education, zero to five

Involve Me And I Learn

Posted on May 17, 2014 by Lubica Misevski

invovle me and I learn
We have all heard this quote “ Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.”

I would like to emphasize the last point again “involve me and I learn.” If you take a moment and think about how you learn, and when you have retained information the best, was it not through involvement? To illustrate this point, let's look at learning to drive.

For those reader based elsewhere, I will be using the model by which we learn to drive in Australia. If you are 16 years old, you can then sit a written test, know as the Driver Knowledge Test. You can only sit the test once you have read the “road users handbook," and the guide on “getting your driver's license.”

Once you pass this test, you are then given a “Learner Driver Log Book," and you have to log a minimum of 120 hours driving with a parent or instructor. You also need to be over 17, and held your learner license for a minimum of 12 months. Only then can you attempt to move onto your provisional license.

So if we think about this for a second, and use the above proven model when applied to our children’s learning? We will note that the majority of the time should be spent in the doing, whilst combining the written knowledge of others experience with action.

I think it can be safely said that we all learn more rapidly and completely if we are doing something. This necessitates the need to learn.

In an experiment by the “One Laptop Per Child Organization." They dropped off tablet computers with programmed applications to Ethiopian Villages to see what would happen.

The goal was to see if illiterate kids with no previously exposure to written words could learn how to read by themselves. These children could experiment with the tablet and its preloaded alphabet training games, e-books, movies, cartoons, paintings, and other programs.

Within five days they were using 47 apps per child, per day. Within 2 two weeks they were singing ABC songs in the village, and within five months they had hacked the Android, to turn the camera on that had accidentally been disabled. Each kid customized the desktop to suit him or herself, even though this too had been disabled.

You see Negopronte who leads this organisation felt, “if they could learn to read, the could read to learn." He has stated “what can we do for these 100 million kids around the world who don’t go to school?" Can we change the paradigm so they may learn too?

Our children learn through doing, and as the above story illustrates, the combination of reading and action can produce unbelievable results. We can learn to drive, but more importantly our children can learn to learn.

Posted in child education, Early child education, zero to five


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