What’s the Time Mr Wolf?

I am in Singapore to conduct some workshops. On Sunday I took the chance to relax by the pool and prepare my mind for the busy week.

As I lazily let my mind slip into the relaxed surroundings and half-heartedly tried to read, I heard such a familiar chant. I was immediately transported backwards over decades to when I was a little girl.

“What’s the time Mr. Wolf?”

I am imagining the mounting excitement until it is time to be eaten! I listened to the squeals of terror and nervous giggles and so the old game is played out- this time with local kids from Singapore. This game has jumped geographical, historical and cultural boundaries and not even SLIGHTLY changed!

Kids love repetitive games like this- they have common elements-

  • Can be repeated easily- often for hours and hours.

  • Need no props and can be played ANYWHERE.

  • Kids of any age can join in

  • Have an element of chance and a good healthy dose of fear!

These games teach children to collaborate, cooperate, stick to rules and much, much more. Games prepare children for life!

They need plenty of time to play these games. PLAY is not an optional element in childhood- it is ESSENTIAL!

Without play, children’s social intelligence would be stunted and this can affect their whole future. Already, we require children to spend large amounts of time on homework and often “play” is confined to I-pad and You-Tube time.

If we are serious about nurturing children and providing optimal learning environments we MUST allow adequate time for play.

Read some more about this important topic here:




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We all learn differently- guest blogger perspective: Andrew Herrmann


I love to talk to parents about their own personal learning experiences with “THE SYSTEM.”

Andrew Herrmann Managing Director – Access 1 Security Systems, father of four talented and creative children had this to comment:

Dear Victoria ,

Thanks for the quick chat reminiscing through my early childhood studies.

It was amazing to realise how the general government school system misses opportunities for talented students and fails to recognise the potential in some children.

After describing my childhood schooling, we soon realised that  I excelled in the more advanced classes but produced less than average grades in the general classes.

Victoria, you immediately identified after asking me a series of questions what my schooling environment was like?

Was I challenged in the normal classes?

Did the teacher provide direct input with me or was I even pushed?

I soon realised that in the general classes I was treated like any other child left to my own measures to complete whatever I was asked, but in the advanced classes the teachers took a more focused view point and pushed the students to complete their tasks.

Being a creative type I needed the additional push to excel in what I was doing be it maths or science. The difference is obvious:

Achieving A averages in the advanced classes but in the general classes only achieved D averages. I am glad all my children have been and are still doing your courses, I can see the results in their grades at school.

Thank you, Victoria for your educational input please keep it up. Warmest regards


Sometimes we have to throw away our “maps” and become enlightened scientists digging and delving till we find WHAT WORKS!

Any other parents who would like to share their experiences of “the system”- please contact me- victoriacarlton@iinet.net.au

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“DOUBLES BOOKS” for Doubling Reading Progress

This is my second blog about DOUBLES BOOKS.

You may want to look back on the first one to read how they were started!


Lately I have been using the strategy again- for my very visual learners who need lots of repetition and have lost their confidence with reading and spelling.

It is a method that harnesses their own interests and well worth the small amount of time it takes to construct these simple books.

They work particularly well for students from 4-8 years of age and beyond for those with learning problems.

Milly is a very creative 7- year old student. I see her once a week and she is intrigued with everything to do with fantasy.

Milly has done well with the Jolly Phonics program but her word-recognition and spelling skills are still a little low.

Recently she was keen to write a story about fairies and as I need to improve her word recognition and spelling skills, we used the DOUBLES approach in her tuition session.

Milly dictated her story to me. I typed it with a simple font she could easily trace.

Milly read it to me and did not complain about the doubled words. In fact, she was so proud that she could read the words 100% accurately!

Milly then chose colours to trace the words and neatly worked her way through our “book.”

She had her book to show Mum at the end of the hour and was SO proud.

Some readers might remember this approach from the LANGUAGE EXPERIENCE method. Simply double whatever they dictate and either leave lines for them to copy or provide traceable fonts.

This method is successful with young students who need a boost of confidence, word-recognition and spelling skills and really accelerates their literacy skills in a non-painful and enjoyable way!




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