Posts found under: books

The benefits of a bilingual brain – Find Out

The benefits of a bilingual brain<iframe src="https://www .youtube.com/embed/NSoD342NGe8″ width=”100%” height=”250″ frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen=”allowfullscreen”>The benefits of a bilingual brain. Bilingual children always follow a particular pattern of learning which is systematic and organized. In fact, the rate at which a bilingual brain works is far superior to a child that just speaks one language. However, the biggest and most significant advantage of learning two languages is the ability of children to live anywhere in the world and confidence to lead a contended life.

Teaching your children two languages is still very difficult. You may never teach it intentionally and you do not teach with a definite purpose. Learning language comes automatically to children. However, teaching two languages takes some time and effort. In addition, children will learn language effortlessly when parents give them enough time and exposure to the language

The second class of bilingualism is the successive bilingualism. This occurs when the child learns one language first and become proficient in it before learning the second language either at the school or in the community. This phase occurs when the child is about four years old and in many cases, the new language is acquired within the school, where the child attends the language class

Preview our Early bilingual Program here

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Early Bilingual Program Review by Chill Mom

As a non-Chinese reader myself, I never knew which Chinese book to get for my children. I’m certainly not capable of reading it to them either.

I’m also eager to expose them to the language at an early age. It would be a little too late to leave it to pre-school. Languages are after all, easier for children to learn. The younger they are, the better.

Which is why I’m quite excited to share my review of the Early Bilingual Program by Learning Tech with you today. It is engaging, fun and very comprehensive for children from the age of 2 to 6. Because it has both English and Chinese translation on the same page, I find myself learning alongside Lauren and Georgia. And oh, I don’t have to buy other chinese books anymore, at least not for the next 3 years.

As you can see, the whole program contains many things. Here is my review of each component of the Early Bilingual Program.

Story Books

All 28 books in the program are audio enabled, making the stories come alive for small children. The books are beautifully illustrated. Lauren calls each book by the colour of the cover. Her favourite is the Mini Teddy Book 8 with the blue cover. Each book contains 2 short and very simple stories, and a sing-a-long song/rhyme at the end of each story.

For example, the first story of Mini Teddy Book 8 tells the story of Puppy who goes into the woods with his cart one day and finds Kitty’s comb, Teddy’s life ring and Nicky the Mouse’s roly-poly. He puts them into his cart and returns the items to each of his friends. His friends are very grateful and thank Puppy.

The story is told in English and Chinese through the reader. You can point the reader onto the page number to have the story read in English or point it on each sentences to repeat the lines in either Chinese on English.

You can also point to the objects mentioned in the story (in this case, the cart and the life ring) and the reader names the object too.

 The reader makes such an excellent independent reading tool. I didn’t have to sit with the kids and they can have the whole book read out to them by the reader.

The books teaches basic phonics. Children are exposed to 48 different conversation topics and 64 English rhymes.I like to sneak in a little read with Lauren and Georgia just before their daily Hi-5 show on television.

Mini Books

These 2 books are probably the most used books out of the whole program. You can see after just 1 month, the corners are already all tattered because I bring them everywhere we go. I like that both books are small enough to fit into my handbag.We read them during car rides, flights and while we wait for the food in the restaurant. I’m at a risk of sounding like a tiger mum here but the reader makes it fun for Lauren to learn the objects names in Chinese and English.

You will find 500 English vocabulary and Chinese characters in one book and the other one focuses primarily in Chinese characters and Han Yu Pin Yin. Each word is clearly illustrated.

Flash Cards

After going through the Chinese mini book, you can then test your child with the flash cards set. Your child can learn 300 English vocabulary and Chinese characters with these cards. It has illustrations with Chinese and English words on one side; Chinese characters, hanyu pinyin, and a Chinese sentence using those word(s) on the other side.
You can flip it over. Show your child the Chinese characters only (no pictures) and see if they are able to recognise them. English transalation is available in small print at the lower right corner for parents to refer to.
Through these flash cards, a child can learn 25 different themes ranging from clothings to family members to antonyms.

Activity books and CDs

We also receive a set of 5 activities books in Chinese. It is suitable for kids aged 3 to 8 years old. I’ve only started Lauren on the first book. Some of the activities are quite simple, while some required some logical and sequence thinking. I haven’t gotten her started on the harder ones yet. Once she can understand more complex instructions, I can’t wait to see how she tackles those questions.

Animation DVDs

 

All the stories told in the Mini Teddy and Hello Teddy story books are available in animation, so the children can see the stories come alive too.

Audio CDs

All the rhymes and songs from the books are also available in audio CDs. There are also stories from the various titles. Great for car rides.

Dinasour encyclopedia, CD and toys set

We also received a Chinese dinosaur encyclopedia, CD and toys with the program. I haven’t started on the book yet because everything is in Chinese. My girls haven’t shown any interest in dinosaurs either. But if you have boys who love dinosaurs, I’m sure they’ll be excited with this. I like the cool toy that transforms from an egg into a dinosaur.

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Child Reading milestone

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Young children begin to recognize familiar words.Your young child may learn whole words that she can see, like STOP signs, before she learns individual letters. Young children may also learn logos and symbols, so, as they pass familiar restaurants, they may point out a known letter, such as “big M.”

Young children learn that stories have a clear structure and specific elements. As your young child listens to stories, he learns that all good stories have a beginning, middle, and end. He also learns to predict, based on the book cover, what the story will be about, as well as what might happen next or how the story will end. Young children learn that there are characters in stories and that the setting (where and when it takes place) is something that a listener would want to know. Your child will enjoy comparing the characters in a book to himself and to other real life people he knows.

Your young child may “pretend” to read. Children who have been read to frequently will pretend to read books to themselves or to their toy dolls and animals, using their own words or phrases from the story. Parents and caregivers may also observe young children incorporating pretend reading into their play—”reading” a recipe as they make a cake or “reading” a shopping list as they put groceries in their basket.

Young children become aware that the world is filled with letters. During the preschool years, many young children will be able to recite or sing the alphabet. They may begin to recognize familiar letters, especially letters in their own names, followed by letters from parents’, siblings’, and friends’ names. Finding familiar letters in their homes, at preschool, or in the grocery store is very exciting for young children, and they will let parents and caregivers know when “I found another big N!” or “Hey, there is the little t!”

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Why you need a home library at home?

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Home library size has a very substantial effect on educational attainment, even adjusting for parents’ education, father’s occupational status and other family background characteristics,” reports the study, recently published in the journal Research in Social Stratification and Mobility. “Growing up in a home with 500 books would propel a child 3.2 years further in education, on average, than would growing up in a similar home with few or no books.

“This is a large effect, both absolutely and in comparison with other influences on education,” adds the research team, led by University of Nevada sociologist M.D.R. Evans. “A child from a family rich in books is 19 percentage points more likely to complete university than a comparable child growing up without a home library.”

This effect holds true regardless of a nation’s wealth, culture or political system, but its intensity varies from country to country. In China, a child whose parents own 500 books will average 6.6 more years of education than a comparable child from a bookless home. In the U.S., the figure is 2.4 years — which is still highly significant when you consider it’s the difference between two years of college and a full four-year degree.

The researchers used data from the World Inequality Study, which pooled information from a series of representative national samples. In most nations, survey participants (a total of more than 73,000 people) were asked to estimate the number of books in their parents’ home when they were 14 years old. The scholars compared that figure with other factors influencing educational achievement, including the education levels of one’s parents.

“Regardless of how many books the family already has, each addition to a home library helps the children get a little farther in school,” they report. “But the gains are not equally great across the entire range. Having books in the home has a greater impact on children from the least-educated families. It is at the bottom, where books are rare, that each additional book matters most.”

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Complete Educational Program (A+) review from PeiPei.HaoHao

For busy parents, sometimes it can be quite challenging to source for suitable learning resources for their children. Recently, I was introduced to the Complete Educational Program from LearningTech, which is a holistic program for children from preschool to primary school.

One interesting feature of the program is Eltee Pen, which is an audio learning device. By tapping the icons, it would “speak” or “sing”! The children were amazed by it!

There are 3 components: Awareness – Time to Learn, Ability – A Time for Math, Attitude – Lifetime Values.

Awareness – Time to Learn

This is a set of encyclopedia with 3 sections, Living World, Explore, as well as Science & Technology. A question is used as a stimulus to trigger the curiosity in the children. In addition to the text, Eltee Pen has extra information, songs and sound effects. There are also suggested investigative activities for the children to carry out hands-on experimentation. This provides an all-rounded learning experience – visual, audio and kinesthetic.

In addition, the Children’s Atlas enhances their knowledge in Geography and different cultures. A tap of Eltee Pen on the icon would play the national anthem of the country, so interesting! The children learn new vocabulary using Children’s Dictionary. Not too worry if you are not sure how to pronounce certain words, as Eltee Pen would do a great job!

Ability – A Time for Math
Through this multimedia program, the children build a strong foundation in Mathematics in a fun way. The program cover Numbers & Counting, Measurement, Addition, Subtraction, Multiplication and Division. The concepts are introduced through stories, games and songs using story books, activity books, Eltee Pen and CD-ROMs.
I read the story books with the children, and ask them questions from the books, then they use Eltee Pen to check whether their answers are correct.
My children are particularly interested in playing the board games and the card game, which strength their addition and subtraction concepts.
Attitude – Lifetime Values

It is not meaningful to be the most knowledgeable person who does not have good character. One way to introduce positive values to the children is through storytelling. Through reading with the children or using Eltee Pen, the children learn about moral values like honesty, caring, and sharing. The colourful illustrations are attractive, and the children are engaged through the dramatisation and music from Eltee Pen.

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Why is reading aloud to your child important?

How-to-Read-Aloud-with-Your-Kids-What-to-do-at-home-to-help-them-develop-the-reading-readiness-skills-they-need-for-school.

You child will be able to hear how reading sounds like when it’s done by an adult, how it is different from his own reading. He carries the echo of the sound in his ear as he learns to read alone.

Even when a child develops enough confidence in himself by reading to his parents and younger siblings, he still needs to hear stories read aloud for him too. The growing independence in reading alone is strengthened by the praise he receives from his listeners.

Reading aloud is a social event, your child learns not only stories, he learns about life, his family, his place in the world. While reading a story, we tend to talk about it and even after the reading is over, we still continue to talk about it. Events from stories can be related to everyday life, reinforcing the story in your child’s mind.

Hearing a story in a group at the library or school cannot compare to hearing a story read aloud to you by your own parent at home. When you read to your children, you are not only teaching them about the material they are reading. You are telling them that they are important to you, that they are safe and secure with you by their side.

All children needs to receive messages like these, to show that you feel that they are important to you.

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A Book Is a Child’s Companion

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If we want our children to enjoy the companionship of books, we must allow the child’s contribution to the relationship to be wholly salient. We want the child to know that he is relevant to the book. So as we look at a book with a child, we are flexible about how that process goes. We forget that we know it has a beginning, middle and end, and we allow the child’s pleasure and interest to dictate what it is to which we will attend, and of what the interaction will consist. We attend to the child’s agenda. We do our best to explicate the demands of perspective the illustration demonstrates, and we spend the time we need to cover and uncover, make disappear and reappear, our own faces and hands, until this loses its interest for the child. Only then do we proceed in the book. It is not unlike taking our child to the beach to view the vast ocean or to admire the sunset while acknowledging that the tiny sandcrab that scurries over the toe of his sneaker and totally captures his attention is a wholly worthy competitor for our intent and deserves our closest mutual attention. We are flexible, and we care about what our small friend’s interests are because only then can he bring his whole self to the encounter. And that is what we want. We want the child to know that he is relevant to the book.

Babies and toddlers are enriched by books. Even more important, the relationships between very young children and their parents are enriched by books. Books provide a source of mutual pleasure for parent and child that is likely to last a lifetime. We introduce infants and toddlers to books not simply because of what they will learn from them, but so that they will grow to love them. It is a gift beyond measure.

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Developing a Reading Habit!

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Here are a few tried-and-tested techniques to help get you started:

Before reading a book to your child, read it through once yourself to identify areas you might want to concentrate on.

Point at each word with your finger as you read, and encourage your child to follow along. Even before your child can read, they can be highly stimulated by the pictures they see in books.

A child’s attention span tends to be rather short, so choose simple books with plenty of colorful pictures.

If you are concerned about little hands tearing and smudging books, buy sturdy toddler board books that can withstand some ‘abuse’.

Parents who show that that they enjoy and benefit from reading will set good examples to their children.

Children are constantly imitating adults, so if you make reading out to be a fun and enjoyable activity, it is likely that your child will as well.

Make reading a treat instead of a chore! Don’t just read to your child at bedtime – read to him throughout the day or whenever time allows.

Show enthusiasm and excitement, and vary your reading tone to give characters different voices. Make your own puppets out of household items to use when reading.

Involve your child in the reading process. Let him turn the pages of the book, and give him adequate time to look at the pictures and ask questions.

If your child has developed an adequate level of reading comprehension, ask him simple questions about the story after each reading session.

Most children will have ‘favorites’. Read your child’s favorite books often, and make them available to your child at all times by placing them on a shelf within easy reach. This allows your child to look at his favoriteswhenever he desires.

All children have an innate desire to communicate. Write simple notes and letters to your child, and encourage him to do the same to you.

For children who have yet to master reading and writing, simply let them ‘read’ you their mental notes, and then read your notes to them.

Visit to your local library regularly, and engage the help of the children’s librarian to assist your child in choosing books that are appropriate for his age group.

When he is old enough, obtain a library card for your child. This will help him acquire a sense of responsibility alongside an interest of reading.

By making reading fun, and keeping your child’s reading experiences positive, you can nurture a child to grow into an avid reader, and one who views reading as an enjoyable pastime.

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10 reasons to read to your child!

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We all know that learning to read is important, but as parents what do we do to facilitate this milestone?

Reading to your child has many benefits one of which is simply having time to snuggle together.

Here are 10 reasons to read to your child.

1.When you read to your child, he/she will learn that reading is important to you, therefore reading will become important to him/her.

2.The more your child hears sounds, the better he/she will process these sounds into words. When a child is preschool/kindergarten age the listening word starts to become the written word.

3.Reading has a calming effect on a restless or fussy baby. Who doesn’t want an easy way to calm a fussy baby?

4.Reading is a wonderful before bed routine. Studies have shown that a child will thrive in an atmosphere in which routines are present.

5.Reading will help to develop your child’s imagination. Have you ever gotten lost in a good book? Your child can do the same while you are reading to him/her.

6.Reading will foster your child’s ability to listen and pay attention. With all the problems we here about concerning attention spans this is a great way to avoid that.

7.Reading to a young child will teach him/her the correct way to hold a book and turn the pages.

8.Reading to your child will develop in him/her the desire to become a reader.

9.Teachers will thank you

10.When a child is read a personalized story book, he/she will be able to recognize his/her name in print at an early age.

Isn’t it exciting to think that you can have such an effect on your child’s ability to read just by reading to him/her? You have the power to develop a life long joy of reading and learning in your child.

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Teach your child to read

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You can start teaching your child the building blocks for reading before they ever step foot in a classroom. Once your child enters school, you can work with your child and their teachers to help aid the learning process. Teaching your child to read will involve dedication and patience.
Make reading an important part of your child’s life before they can even speak. Read to your child as they develop in the womb and when they are babies. When your child is ready, start to read out loud to them while they follow along by looking at the pictures. You can then start to point out words in the book to your child while you read their favorite stories.

Read your children books with rhymes as well. The rhymes are easy for your child to remember and as they grow older they can learn to recognize some of the words in their favorite rhymes.

Start to introduce your baby to the alphabet from a young age. When your baby is just a couple months old you can start singing the ABC’s song to them. Between twelve to eighteen months, your little one will start to sing parts of the song on their own. A few months after that, you can start showing them the letters of the alphabet on a chart as you sing through the tune.

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Importance of Reading to Baby!

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Remember how you felt the first time your secret crush looked at you? That is nothing compared to your baby’s gaze at you. He looks at you in the eyes and you feel like you’re in heaven. You are then compelled to talk to him. It’s an automatic reaction. It is as if the baby is expecting you to interact with him. The truth is, your baby is really expecting something with that eye-contact!

In these moments, your “cootsie-coo” or the cute but utterly senseless “dah-dah-dah-dah,baby?” or “ ah- ba-ba-ba-ba…” babble, wouldn’t be enough. Of course, another way would be to make your baby giggle endlessly with your “peek-a-boo” However, you’re not waiting till your baby turns blue before you stop, are you?

The totally senseless sounds you make just to entertain your bundle of joy could only go on if you don’t mind being totally senseless for a longer period. Usually, it is you who gives up first. And the baby looks at you as if telling you not to stop . This is the time when you usually start talking to your baby with real words — This is where the story-telling comes in handy.

…. and then you read to your baby.

If you have been talking to your baby while he was still inside his mother’s womb, unbeknown to you, something almost magical is unfolding with this first time face-to-face talking and reading to your baby.

He remembers your voice!

According to the latest scientific findings, a developing fetus can hiccup and actually reacts to loud noises as early as on its ninth week. Your baby dreams, can taste the food that the mother eats, and he actually starts hearing by the end of the second trimester. In fact, he can distinguish the voices of his Mom from another person.

Research shows that a fetus’ heart rate slows down when his mother is speaking – this means he is calmed by the mother’s voice. Furthermore, the fetus responds to a familiar story (a story that has been repeatedly read to him while he’s inside the womb) and he prefers to listen to it over a new story read to him after birth.

Although there are no scientific findings to show that the baby appreciates the story that you read, reading to your baby (especially if you start while he is still inside his mother’s womb) becomes his first social encounter with you – this is your first bonding. Your voice becomes one of the first stimuli that he can identify with and connect to you. It would then become very important for the Mom to read aloud to the baby while he is inside the womb. Well, you can just talk but it would appear crazy, right? Besides, if you just ramble on, you might forget yourself and you might end up talking about something that pisses you off.

Here are some simple tips for reading to your baby:

• Pick a book that will become your baby’s favourite. Don’t worry if you find your baby prefers one single book read to him over and over. Don’t insist on introducing new ones if it is not welcomed. Babies learn by repetition. They may not even understand anything about it – they just love to hear the sound of your voice, and the familiarity of the words read to him. Pick a book that has simple, repetitive words. It would be better if the words rhyme, so you can read it in a sing-song voice.

• Pick a book with simple and large pictures of familiar objects against solid backgrounds. It would also help if it is one of those board books that could survive the baby’s hands, spit, and bites. You would also want to make sure it is always clean as the baby would always want to put it in his mouth.

• When reading, you don’t need to always start from the first page. You can immediately go to the baby’s favourite page (it might be because of the picture, or it might be because it is the part where your reading becomes very expressive – read with exaggerated voice expression; use different voices for different story characters; make animal sounds, or say “chug-chug-chug…tooot! toot!” when you’re reading about a train. You don’t have to finish the book in every sitting, too. Remember, the baby still does not understand the story.

• When reading, you don’t have to totally leave everything to what the author has written. You may interrupt the story every now and then to interact with the baby (this is specially so if the baby can already respond or point), e.g., “See? There’s goes the baby duck…Where’s the baby duck? Yes…that’s the baby duck. It goes, ‘quack! Quack’. What’s the sound of the duck?” Or point at the drawings or pictures and say, “This is the house. It is a red house…” etc.

The first five years of a human being’s life are a time of incredible growth and learning. Reading to your child gives him his first encounter with words, colors, numbers, letters and shapes. Constantly reading to your baby imprints these concepts in their minds. Reading becomes a part of your baby’s life. As months pass, notice how your baby behaves when he sees you holding his favourite book. He may even try to grab it from you, may help you flip the pages, point at objects, or he may even surprise you with a “Quack! Quack!” when he sees the duck.

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Reading aloud to your child.

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Reading aloud is fun, it open doors, and builds the desire to read. It gives educational advantage for your child, and can establish bonds between the both of you. Reading aloud also develops the ability to read alone. You can make reading aloud to your child more fun, if you speak in the voice of the characters in the book. For example, in Goldilocks and the Three Bears, you can use different voices for the three different bears. For even more fun, your children can also act or playact the parts of their favorite stories. Assign parts in the story which are fitting to the characters, for example, dad could be the Papa bear, mum could be the Mama bear, and your child, the baby bear. After doing this many times, the roles can be reversed, so your child gets chances to play the Papa bear or any other character. The game gets even more hilarious when the roles are mixed up.

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Ways a Parent can Help with Reading!

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  • Parent Testimonial

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