Tag Archives: early childhood

Children Who Are Different

When my brothers and I were children our paternal grandmother lived with us and she was forever exhorting us to ‘be stock-sized’. To draw attention to yourself by behaving or speaking or writing in a way that was outside the norm was frowned on. Our parents, on the other hand, encouraged us to express ourselves fully, to not hold back. Children today are encouraged to be individuals more than ever. Continue reading

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Exercise and the Brain

We all know that exercise is good for us, and for those of us involved in motor co-ordination in children, that exercise is what helps to develop the brain, not just the body. Continue reading

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The Importance of Fingerplays

Fingerplays, those little rhymes we loved as children which involve contorting our fingers (and often other body parts as well), are often overlooked as being unimportant by the very people who should be teaching them to young children. This is a great shame as they are extremely beneficial for many reasons, including social, physical and linguistic. Continue reading

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The Importance of Good Grammar

I often hear it said that in this day and age of computer technology with spell check and grammar check, it is not necessary to have a good command of spelling or grammar. The argument is extended to suggesting that you can always pay someone to edit your work for you. I find this a disturbing trend because it encourages sloppiness and laziness. Continue reading

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Singing in Schools

Last Friday night on ABC TV’s Stateline program, there was a segment featuring a lady by the name of Rosalyn Happs, a music specialist trying to introduce the ‘novel’ notion of singing in schools. In case you weren’t aware, the overwhelming majority of teachers do not do any form of music tuition in their classrooms any longer. The reason? There’s a music specialist in the school. When they move to a new school with no music specialist they are so unused to programming in music that it never happens. This is tragic. It was wonderful to hear about Ros Happs’ program and realise mine is not the only voice out there in the wilderness urging teachers to teach music in their classrooms, in whatever form that may take. Anne Trigg, local ASME committee member, sent the following quote from Ros Happs, which I reproduce here: Continue reading

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Education, Physical Activity and Aging

Having recently finished reading Norman Doidge’s book ‘The Brain That Changes Itself’ I was interested, in particular, to see what he had to say about education, physical activity and aging. Given that the children we teach today are tomorrow’s world leaders, and the senior citizens of the day after that, these facts are relevant to all of us. Continue reading

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Tempus Fugit

I was reading Phillip Adams’ column in the Weekend Australian recently (May 28/9) talking about the general ‘hurriedness’ of life today. His comments, as usual, were insightful. It got me thinking about the ramifications of our hurried lifestyles and the stress that places on children. The younger they are, the more stress they pick up on. Young minds need a slow pace of life to absorb everything around them, which is why we have child-centred learning in our early childhood settings. I reproduce part of his article here as he as an amusing mode of expression. Continue reading

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