Posts for: December, 2013
There is a lot of attention drawn to "unstructured play" time as valuable in a child's development but it is also a very important part of "team-building" and bonding between parent and child. As parents we need time to be open-ended and creative with our kids. Free time where new ideas and mutual interests can be explored can change the direction that families and children pursue. A lot of learning goes on in school and parents need unscheduled time to stay in the loop of where their kids are in their peer groups.
Access to definitive information can be a big part of stimulating and pursuing family interests. The family computer can greatly augment conversation. Wikipedia is a great resource.
San Francisco State University has begun using an innovative, hands-on approach to teaching 3rd grade students fractions. “Academic music” facilitates a fundamental working knowledge of fractions by the use of clapping, drumming, chanting and musical notation. The fractional values of half, quarter, eighth notes etc. provide an effective added dimension to learning mathematics in addition to the symbolic and word problem format.
The importance of fractions in everyday life, often referred to as “mental math”, can be a key facilitator for later academic success or frustration. Algebra requires it later in middle school. Discussions in the business world and around home financial matters certainly involve this ability.
It is wonderful to contemplate how children's music as well as the beautiful rhythms of Beethoven and Mozart may influence learning and lead to functional strengths as an adult!