Hothousing Tuition- not our style!

The recent media attention on tuition for selective schools has once again put tuition companies under scrutiny.

          Really they are just responding to community demands and I     don’t blame them BUT……..

For a long time I have felt increasingly concerned about the incredible pressure put on students of all ages.

We seem to back in the HARD TIMES era of Charles Dickens with ramming facts into students’ heads.

“NOW, what I want is, Facts. Teach these boys and girls nothing but Facts. Facts alone are wanted in life. Plant nothing else, and root out everything else. You can only form the minds of reasoning animals upon Facts: nothing else will ever be of any service to them. This is the principle on which I bring up my own children, and this is the principle on which I bring up these children. Stick to Facts, sir!”

Victoria Carlton Programs also provide tuition but we are opposed to “hot-house” methods.

We help kids to improve academic skills by leading them and engaging them so they start to LOVE learning. We stimulate their minds and increase their curiosity while building self-discipline and goal setting skills.

Yes- I know that we have chosen the least lucrative pathway but our goal with Victoria Carlton Programs has always been to nurture children and build on strengths and help them improve weak areas through effective, well researched and creative teaching methods.

I have noticed increasing numbers of  our parents are starting to rise up and express very strong opinions about wanting their kids to love learning. They want their kids to be kids and this will not happen unless some sanity prevails.

The world is NOT just about competition. There is so much more to education than becoming no 1.

We have a broad, rich and diverse curriculum in Australia with plenty of opportunities to deepen or modify areas to suit gifted students or those at risk.

Sure- having an effective guide or tutor might help children improve academic skills or gain entry to schools of choice- but let’s make sure our kids do not lose the ability to think, be creative and develop their emotional intelligence within this increasingly competitive education system!

Read this article for a balance treatment of this topic.

https://theconversation.com/selective-entry-schools-tutoring-improves-student-outcomes-but-adds-pressure-39683

 

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The ABC of Child Whispering: R is for REAL

Working with children is both a privilege and a great blessing. They transform our understanding of the world and help us to become more real!

 

Of course the process of becoming “REAL” can be both joyful and painful!

 

This is my favourite excerpt about becoming REAL! (From the Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams.)

 

The toys are chatting one day……….

“Real isn’t how you are made said the skin horse. It’s a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real”

 “Does it hurt? asked the Rabbit.

“Sometimes”, said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. “When you are Real you don’t mind being hurt.”

 “Does it happen all at once, like being wound up,” he asked, “or bit by bit?”

 “It doesn’t happen all at once,” said the Skin Horse. “You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t often happen to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand”.

 Teachers and parents understand this. The whole process of becoming real IS painful and parenting and teaching will leave you raw, hurting, worn out but also (occasionally) incredibly grateful and joyful.

Kids always pick out the non-real teachers and make their life hell. They have an uncanny knack of doing this but also change quickly when a teacher shows their REAL side.

  • They read faces

  • Listen to voices

  • Look for congruence of actions and speech and if they don’t see it will not believe you!

They are wonderfully forgiving but will not EVER wholly their best to those who are not real.

Kids want us to become authentic and to share who we are and to really BE there for them.

Children ALWAYS know the difference between real/not real!

 

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HOTHOUSE TUITION

The recent media attention on tuition for selective schools has once again put tuition companies under scrutiny.

Really they are just responding to community demands and I don’t blame them BUT……..

For a long time I have felt increasingly concerned about the incredible pressure put on students of all ages.

We seem to back in the HARD TIMES era of Charles Dickens with ramming facts into students’ heads.

“NOW, what I want is, Facts. Teach these boys and girls nothing but Facts. Facts alone are wanted in life. Plant nothing else, and root out everything else. You can only form the minds of reasoning animals upon Facts: nothing else will ever be of any service to them. This is the principle on which I bring up my own children, and this is the principle on which I bring up these children. Stick to Facts, sir!”

Victoria Carlton Programs also provide tuition but we are opposed to “hot-house” methods.

We help kids to improve academic skills by leading them and engaging them so they start to LOVE learning. We stimulate their minds and increase their curiosity while building self-discipline and goal setting skills.

Yes- I know that we have chosen the least lucrative pathway but our goal with Victoria Carlton Programs has always been to nurture children and build on strengths and help them improve weak areas through effective, well researched and creative teaching methods.

I have noticed increasing numbers of  our parents are starting to rise up and express very strong opinions about wanting their kids to love learning. They want their kids to be kids and this will not happen unless some sanity prevails.

The world is NOT just about competition. There is so much more to education than becoming no 1.

We have a broad, rich and diverse curriculum in Australia with plenty of opportunities to deepen or modify areas to suit gifted students or those at risk.

Sure- having an effective guide or tutor might help children improve academic skills or gain entry to schools of choice- but let’s make sure our kids do not lose the ability to think, be creative and develop their emotional intelligence within this increasingly competitive education system!

Read this article for a balance treatment of this topic.

https://theconversation.com/selective-entry-schools-tutoring-improves-student-outcomes-but-adds-pressure-39683

 

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DO CHILDREN START SCHOOL TOO YOUNG?

The media have raised issues about community concerns that perhaps children are not coping with formal work at such an early age. I think it is more likely that the formal METHODS are not working.

Young children LOVE to learn and are ready to learn some early literacy and numeracy concepts. The problems start when we think they ALL must be ready at the SAME time and will learn at the same pace!

Young children learn best with a multisensory approach,

rich in creative experiences such as art, music and drama.
Most are not going to enjoy or benefit from working from workbooks and worksheets.
There are so many ways to teach literacy with a rich, “hands-on” approach. When workbooks and worksheets are constantly used, the power of the curriculum is being passed to the work-sheet writers and sellers.
Early childhood experts have raised many legitimate concerns over the last few years but still we can see very young children trying hard to make their letters or numbers on a page when they could (more easily) be writing them in sand pits, on huge whiteboards, or even large sheets of paper with crayons.
We have become a worksheet obsessed educational community and parents are picking up on this and keeping children back until their children can cope with this approach.
The answer is simple. Just change the methods of teaching. Pre-school and early childhood teachers are well-aware of the best ways to teach. Let them get on with it rather than insisting young children should learn like older children. Most of them simply don’t have the fine-motor skills or concentration to do this. By using age-appropriate methods the children will enjoy the learning process and probably learn more! Very definitely they won’t start to think of themselves as failures at 3 and 4 years of age!
For many years we restricted children’s access to early learning opportunities. Research has proven us wrong. However, we must choose the correct tools to enable all youngsters to attain success.
It’s sad to see parents holding children back from what should be one of the most exciting and enjoyable phases of their lives!
Read these well researched articles for more information and ideas for appropriate teaching strategies for young children.
It is vital that we stop using inappropriate teaching strategies with young children and provide them with rich, multisensory and stimulating learning environments!
http://www.earlychildhoodnews.com/earlychildhood/article_view.aspx?ArticleID=134
http://www.pre-kpages.com/no_more_worksheets/

 

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