This made me cry!

You only need one of these……………

Dear Victoria

We wanted to write you this letter to express our appreciation to you and your staff for the help and support you have given our son this year, the benefits of which cannot be understated.  

The International Centre for Excellence – your name says it all!  Once you make the decision to bring your child along you soon discover what a wonderful thing you have just done for them.  

The Centre is holistic, vibrant and an incredibly unique learning environment where each child has their individual learning objectives met in a setting that encourages creative thinking, individual self esteem, cooperation and productivity. Your hands-on learning approach is rarely seen in either the public or private school systems and should be applauded for its successes. 

Your staff are positive, talented, passionate and amazing people who work hard to build a strong rapport and trust with the children who attend. Each child is immediately put at ease from the moment they walk through the door. 

To us, it’s a lot like the premise of putting hidden veggies in meals, the kids don’t realise how much they are actually learning as they are having way too much fun to notice!

Your uncanny ability to relate to children gives you a unique perspective of each child and allows you to discover their often overlooked talents and skills.  In the same way that you do this you also build up each child’s self esteem to a level where they are able to realise and utilise their strengths to overcome their “weaker” areas of learning.  This also assists them in collaborating and interacting with other children as often these skills can deteriorate with learning difficulties which can negatively impact on the child’s confidence. 

Our son loves coming to ICE each week to find out what’s new!  It makes tutoring so much easier when your child is wanting to come and learn, rather than being coerced, and for this we cannot thank you and the staff there enough. 

Keep doing what you are doing!

With grateful thanks,

L and S

This brought tears to my eyes!

 

I received this testimonial in the mail yesterday and felt so happy and blessed to know that people really GET what we try to do! Whenever I have a bad day I will re-read this!

Dear Victoria

We wanted to write you this letter to express our appreciation to you and your staff for the help and support you have given our son this year, the benefits of which cannot be understated.  

The International Centre for Excellence – your name says it all!  Once you make the decision to bring your child along you soon discover what

wonderful thing you have just done for them.  

The Centre is holistic, vibrant and an incredibly unique learning environment where each child has their individual learning objectives met in a setting that encourages creative thinking, individual self esteem, cooperation and productivity. Your hands-on learning approach is rarely seen in either the public or private school systems and should be applauded for its successes. 

Your staff are positive, talented, passionate and amazing people who work hard to build a strong rapport and trust with the children who attend. Each child is immediately put at ease from the moment they walk through the door. 

To us, it’s a lot like the premise of putting hidden veggies in meals, the kids don’t realise how much they are actually learning as they are having way too much fun to notice!

Your uncanny ability to relate to children gives you a unique perspective of each child and allows you to discover their often overlooked talents and skills.  In the same way that you do this you also build up each child’s self esteem to a level where they are able to realise and utilise their strengths to overcome their “weaker” areas of learning.  This also assists them in collaborating and interacting with other children as often these skills can deteriorate with learning difficulties which can negatively impact on the child’s confidence. 

Our son loves coming to ICE each week to find out what’s new!  It makes tutoring so much easier when your child is wanting to come and learn, rather than being coerced, and for this we cannot thank you and the staff there enough. 

Keep doing what you are doing!

With grateful thanks,

L and S, Morley

 

In Praise Of Teachers

Lately I have been in many schools to train teachers how to use JOLLY PHONICS and JOLLY GRAMMAR.

 Yes, I know there are unkind,  harsh teachers who may lack some skills.
There are disinterested teachers and some who simply picked the wrong profession. This occurs in ALL professions. There are unkind, disinterested and  inept doctors, lawyers, accountants, politicians etc.
There always will be.

Teachers are particularly on public show and many people harbor thoughts that anyone who has been to school can teach. WRONG!

Just try to teach a group of youngsters with varied needs, learning styles and often with insufficient time, resources and with the huge demands placed on teachers to interpret the curriculum, continuously assess children and deal with many difficult parents.

Our teachers are well trained, extremely caring about the needs of the children in their care and often put their personal needs aside as they give up night after night to plan and mark. It is pretty much impossible to get all these tasks done in a school day, not to mention the research of new methods and searching for better methods to ensure ALL children are learning.

Yesterday I sat outside a kindergarten class waiting for the children to be dismissed as I was using that classroom for training. I was with a group of parents and grandparents who were watching their beloved children through the windows. I didn’t watch the kids- I watched the teacher.

I watched as she used a puppet to engage and enthuse the children, read a story with a wonderfully expressive voice and then lead the children to reflect about the morning’s learning. They discussed all their observations about the snails they were studying and were encouraged to postulate further questions to consider tomorrow.

Then these happy, excited kindergarten children spilled out of the class, many of them confidently saying “Hi!” to the stranger sitting there. (Me!)

Then after at least 4 hours of prep and teaching,  15 teachers sat and listened to me on tiny chairs, at tiny tables for another 3 hours as they ate their sandwiches. (No corporate training lunches for them!)

Without any break they encouraged me to begin, listened intently, asked many probing questions and examined ways they could use these programs to further improve literacy for their children. After 3 hours of presenting, I was exhausted but no- these amazing teachers wanted to ask questions, help me pack up and arrange to come to my center and borrow some teaching materials. 

This is a perfectly normal scenario. I often see teachers after exhausting days of teaching and no breaks as they often have playground duty and are faced with long prep hours at night.

They deserve better. They deserve our respect and admiration as they get on with their job of educating and transforming the future by their daily work.

Cut them some slack and forgive their occasional mistakes and grumpiness. Most of them LOVE your children and would do anything to help their young charges to reach for the stars.

 

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

 

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!

 

TWO NEW WRITING PROGRAMS FOR AUSSIE KIDS

 

Teachers at the Victoria Carlton Centre for Excellence in Bayswater have instituted several changes to their writing program with remarkable results.
MIND JOURNEYS
MAD WRITING
MIND JOURNEYS is a method of teaching that increases imaginative thinking and ability to create “mind-movies” as you write.
Victoria commented, “It is not uncommon for children to go from 2 lines to a whole page in 1 or 2 lessons! It is like a hole in the mind is opened and ideas pour out onto the paper!”
MAD WRITING stands for Modelled Awesome Daily writing and children watch a brief modelled session by trained teachers and then write on specific engaging topics. The results are immediate as children are given complete models, support and immediate feedback. Even their most reluctant writers will try with this method!
Training for these two methods is included in the Professional Development course, GROWING WRITERS available to educators.
Interested parents or teachers can contact VICTORIA CARLTON PROGRAMS on 92714200 for more information.

 

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

 

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/