Planning, creating, writing, reading, spelling, mapping, comparing, matching, weighing, counting, adding, exploring and problem solving is what I saw today - all going on in the local shop.
This morning at the local supermarket a ‘prep child’ with his mother were interacting, communicating, prompting, sharing the experience together of shopping for the week ahead for lunch, breakfast and dinner. They were having fun chatting, encouraging one another, taking ownership of each role in the shopping expedition. The tool was a shopping list and one they had obviously created together.
They were not the only ones in this interactive process in the supermarket. There was also a father and son doing almost the exact thing. The young boy ticked off items that had been written down and I observed him helping dad to pack the items into groups, so he was asked to put together all the ‘cold items’. In real life situations, we continue to develop these concepts – the ‘hands on’ experience and having the environment to learn within.
Parents are teachers too. This weekend, more than the ‘sight words’ for the week were being learnt. Well done to those parents who encouraged the learning, invited the child to be part of the shopping experience and share quality time together. Of course, learning doesn’t just happen in a classroom in a school environment. Every day, every minute learning happens. Embrace the opportunities you have with your children for you to be another teacher in their life.
Pictures below are of two handwritten shopping lists and a picture with the writing 'When it comes to education, there's no school like home!"
What does progress look like?
As a specialist for children with a vision impairment and multiple disabilities, supporting the parent/s is so important for empowering them, in teaching them how to observe for progress, little steps, slight changes – even something small is important to notice.
Every parent wants to observe progress being made by their child.
This could include:
- Responding to voice
- Responding to a musical sound
- Change of breathing pattern
- Appearing to notice something
- Do you think he just looked? If you think he did, he probably did.
- The extra babbling sound
- A new sound when playing on the floor
- An extra hour of sleep overnight!
- Less seizure activity
- Small steps – don’t have to be big gains
- A new tooth on the way
- Have just come out of hospital – starting to drink again
- Grown out of her size 00’s
- Avoiding eye contact – (to avoid, requires noticing first)
- They may look and then look away
Has your child made progress this week?
Share the progress…
A young child who appears ‘not to be making progress’ may be the first indicator that the child may have an impairment in an area of development. Further investigation is recommended. Consult a GP for a referral to a Paediatrician. In the meanwhile, observe, and invite other specialists nearby to gather data and contribute towards notes and informal assessments.
In my past blogs, I've referred to 'joining the club' , the experiences of home visits by specialists, the effects on siblings. This week I am handing the discussion over to some Australian specialists who are sharing information on early signs of a vision impairment, along with parents sharing their experiences in the process. This link just shows you a snippet of specialist conversations from this website that was developed for parents raising children, with a particular focus on the early years and children with disabilities. The site also has a very practical feature when you need to search for a provider in a particular geographical area with specialist skills. 'Eyes and Independence' matches 3 tick boxes. Add it to 'your Neighbourhood' map. A fantastic resource for all parents!
Click on this link: Raising Children Network
NDIS Registered Provider no. 4050011793
Kerri Weaver is a service provider for children with disabilities.