Monday, January 5

Learning Through Games

This list of URLs have been selected appropriately for children with learning differences. I have personally screened them and used them in a class of School-Aged children. Do not be detered from using it because you feel it may be too simple for your child. Test everything out. The most important thing is that he or she enjoys the activity.

Make sure you accompany your child during these activities (and should be applied in reading and playing). This creates a three-way interaction (consisting of you, your child and the computer) as opposed to your child and the computer, which is not encouraged (because there is no human-human interaction). If you normally have difficulty communicationg with your child, the computer may help bridge you and child. This also ensures that you are there when your child needs any assistance. This is crucial since we want their learning experiences to be as pleasurable as possible.

My personal experience is that children, no matter what their differences, are strongly attraceted to appliances such as the TV. In this case, I'm afraid, it aslo applies to the computer. Now, we don't want a potentially learning session to end up in behaviour problems, do we? So, what I suggest is that before the activity begins, tell your child, clearly and slowly, that when the timer/alarm clock beeps, it is time to end the activity. Make sure you repeat it twice before the activity. And also REMEMBER to remind your child when there is 5 minutes left! Then when it beeps, you help your child shut down the computer(even if he/she is sulking/crying). We've found this method highly effective for our students. A simple but reliable kitchen timer will do. Some children may not get it initially. But be consistent, and they'll figure it out in no time.

DOn't be afraid to repeat an activity more than once or even for a month! Children feel good about themselves when they are able to do something without assistance, all by themselves. This also helps improve their self esteem, apart from helping them learn particular skills. Besides, what better opportunity to praise your child while he/she is doing well in an activity!

These games are to promote the love for learning. Help your child to get the correct answer, in the begining. When he or she familiarises themselves with an activity, they can then try to attempt it on their own. Don't stress too much about sticking too much to the plan. Allow yourself to be flexible during such sessions.

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