In Reading Comprehension: Late Starters Catch Up Fast

One of the major contentions of parents considering Central Coast Rudolf Steiner School for their child is the pull of traditional education, which may seem to be the safe choice when it comes to pre-kindergarten, kindergarten, primary and high school education. In particular, traditional instruction schools start early in teaching children how to read than Steiner schools. Some parents fear that the late start in reading may affect how their child compares against his peers. The assumption here is that the earlier you start at reading, the better you become at it.

This is actually a common misconception about reading comprehension and Steiner education. Two separate studies conducted by researchers from Germany and New Zealand have found no significant difference in children who learned to read late or early. Those who began reading late are able to catch up fast, and perform at par with their peers. Sebastian P. Suggate, Elizabeth A. Schaughency, Elaine Reese wrote about it in their paper “Children learning to read later catch up to children reading earlier” for the Early Childhood Research Quarterly.

Once this misconception is set aside, parent may find themselves enamored with Steiner education and what it can do for their child. The best thing about it is that the academic is not the sole focus. While it remains an important component of a child’s development, the creative, emotional and spiritual are also given ample attention. As Steiner once said: the soul needs nourishment as well as the body.

The holistic approach to education that Central Coast Rudolf Steiner School espouses equips children in dealing with real challenges, not just academic tasks. They still perform at par with their traditionally educated peers when it comes to reading, math and other educational categories. Add to that, they grow up to become vital driven individuals through education that help in discovery and self-discover.

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Gymnastics Training Can Improve Your Child’s School Performance

There’s a long standing belief that a healthy mind starts with a healthy body. Brain research that spans more than 50 years supports this with proof of the direct connection between mind and body. The great news is that, if you have a crawler or toddler, starting them early in gymnastics may mean giving them the mental edge too, apart from training them to be physically active.

We can deduce how gymnastics can help out your child physically. The activity increases their strength, agility, spatial skills, as well as their sensory motor skills. Aside from this, the mental discipline required in gymnastics teaches children time management and organizational skills, as well as dedication and commitment. Do you also know that gymnastics can also improve your child’s reading skills? Gymnasts are proven to be better in content assimmilation, giving them the ultimate edge when it comes to school work. That is why kids who are into gymnastics tend to perform better in school.

The connection of gymnastics and reading/ content assimilation springs from studies done by Dr. James Fadigan, and research and application done by Ralph R. Barrett, who is also a gymnast and educator. The proof is so glaring that Barrett even wrote an article about this connection and how he applied it to his SMILE Lab project, called “Does Gymnastics Enhance Reading? Yes!”

In Fadigan’s studies, he refers to neuroscience and psychology work done by Bruner, Gagne, Gadner, Guilford and Piaget. He concluded that:

  1. Various sensory motor skills are developed until the child is two years old.
  2. After the second year, 26 kinds of cognitive skills are learned.
  3. Reading and content assimilation skills only occur after enhancement of these skills.

In Barrett’s case, after thorough research, he applied his findings in developing SMILE (Sensory Motor Intensive Learning Environment) Lab, a program that improves sensory motor skills of his students.

Both Fadigan and Barrett saw the lack in the public and private school systems, particularly the tendency to address problems in content assimilation with more content assimilation. Sensory motor training – through gymnastics – is an alternative to addressing these problems.

SMILE Lab was very successful in what it set out to do. Starting with minimal budget and through different work stations, it was able to improve children’s visual acuity, balance and cross laterality. The emphasis is movement – and this has helped greatly in improving school performance.

Within two years, SMILE Lab noted mental improvements in its core kindergarten and first grade classes from Ross E. Jeffries Elementary in St. Cloud, Florida. Those praticipating in SMILE Lab’s sensory motor activities demostrated improved reading-readiness skills, as compared to those who didn’t join the activities. Another test conducted in 1998 and 1999 has students involved in gymnastics performing better in their reading and math SATs, compared to those who didn’t.

Today, Barrett’s methodology is being implemented in many Kinder Gyms around the world, and bringing about positive results. In the Central Coast, Central Coast Gymnastics Academy’s Kinder Gym offers opportunities for your child to get into gymnastics early and acquire mental skills that put him or her ahead of the pack.

Tips for Hiring a Good Electrician

Gosford ElectricianNot all electricians are equally qualified and experienced. The quality, speed and cost of their work will vary. Here are tips on hiring the best one for your project:

1. Check their Licenses and Insurance: The best electricians should be properly licensed and insured. This is actually a basic qualification, and the first step to being able to do their jobs right. Usually, electrical companies can ensure that the professionals under their organisation have these prerequisites. When hiring independent contractors, ask about their licenses and insurance before getting into the details of your project.

2. Ask Friends for Referrals: How your electrician performed in his past projects matters. He should have done a good job, keeping within schedule and delivering the best output. This is where he gains his credibility as a good electrician. At the same time, he can potentially get more projects through referrals from his past clients. As a customer, one of the best ways to find your electrician is through referrals from your friends and colleagues. Typically, they would know the strengths and weaknesses of an electrician that they’ve hired.

3. Get an Initial Quote: It is not uncommon for some electrical jobs to exceed their projected cost. Perhaps along the way, as the electrician worked on your project, complications arise, requiring more time and raw materials. This shouldn’t stop you from asking for an initial quote. Never let an electrician begin work without providing you with a quote first. Quotes give you a ballpark cost. At the same time, you get to make sure that the electrician understands the project’s specifications. You can also compare quotes, if you have an alternative electrician in mind.

4. Agree on a Timeline: In connection with the initial quote, you also need to get a timeline for your project. Don’t agree on an open-ended project, in which you don’t know when to expect the final working output. Of course, understand too that schedules can change. Some work may be more complicated than how it was initially assessed. A good estimate on the timeframe will do.

5. Know any Required Permits: Some electrical work needs permits from local authorities. Make sure to know these. A good electrician should tell you about these requirements and wait to work if you don’t have them yet. You can’t risk your project with an electrician who’s okay with cutting corners.

6. Get Recommendations: Your electrical project should be a collaboration between you and your electrician. Tell him your requirements, and make sure that he understands. Ask for recommendations. You can gain from your electrician’s experience and expertise – they should know the best way to expedite your project.

In Gosford, Rod is one of the best electricians we’ve worked with. He has more than 30 years of experience under his belt. He is honest and straightforward – a true professional. Consult with him if you have an electrical project in mind. PH 4340 5311 or MOB 0447 742 201

When You Want Air Conditioning for Your Home

AirCCC Air Conditioning Services

There are many things to consider if you need to install an air conditioning system for your home. And, what you do now – picking out your unit and installing it – has huge implications on future maintenance headaches (or, if you do it right, lack of headaches). Here are some tips to get you started:

  1. The time that you buy your air conditioner matters: Your air conditioning unit keeps the summer heat at bay. It maintains your home’s good ambiance and makes it inviting to family and guests. It is then ideal to check on the state of your air conditioner and foresee the need to buy a new one. You can’t risk for it to conk out on you in the middle of summer. Summer is the most expensive time to buy a unit. Spring, on the other hand, is the best time. It is “rebate season” during spring so you can get a discount on a new and better air conditioner.
  2. Know what type of air conditioner is best for your home and budget: There are advantages and disadvantages in terms of energy efficiency, coverage, cost and space requirements, among others. So don’t just go to the store and buy the first thing that you lack. Plan ahead. Know what you need and where you’ll have room for an air conditioner. Take measurements if you must. Your options include window units, through the wall units, portable units and central air units.
  3. Of course, your brand of air conditioner matters too: Not all air conditioning units are created equal. Brands matter when it comes to installation requirements, reliability, longevity, cost, energy efficiency and maintenance needs. In fact, a major consideration is if the unit you choose will have spare parts available somewhere down the road.
  4. Make a checklist of the features that you need: Your air conditioning unit should at least have an adjustable thermostat, variable cooling and fan speeds, as well an energy saving option. Choose more than two cooling and fan speeds if you need a powerful aircon unit. An electrostatic filter is a nice feature to have. Newer models already have this as a standard feature.
  5. If you have a bigger room or house to cool, get an aircon unit with a bigger BTU/hour: BTU stands for British Thermal Unit. Typically, a small room needs an air conditioning unit that is at least 5,000 BTU/Hour.
  6. It is not only the size of the room that matters when deciding on your aircon’s BTU/Hour: You should also consider how the room is occupied; ie. if there are a lot of people traffic in the room and a lot of furniture. Also, the room’s insulation, and number/size of windows matter too.
  7. Choose an aircon unit with a higher EER: EER stands for Energy Efficiency Ratio. This lets you know how efficient the unit is. The higher the EER, the more efficient the cooling. This leads to less costs in the long run.

Lastly, it is always best to turn to experts when it comes to choosing, installing and maintaining your air conditioning system. It doesn’t matter how big your unit and your house is. It will save you time and effort, as well as future maintenance costs, if you let air conditioning and heating experts handle all the hard work. If you’re in Central Coast, NSW, turn to AirCCC Air Conditioning Services for all your air conditioning and heating needs.

Steiner Education: The Alternative Education Movement that Can Make a Difference for Your Child

Central Coast Rudolf Steiner School Graduates

It has become a complicated world. In order to cope, your child needs more than what traditional educational systems can provide. Its concentration on mechanized instruction and memorization just isn’t enough. Your child needs to learn in an environment where their hidden potential is supported, and where they can develop understanding – not just the ability to rattle off random facts.

This is where the Steiner Education Movement comes in. The Steiner Education, also known as the Waldorf Education, is the biggest alternative education movement globally. It was founded in 1919, and has since garnered worldwide acceptance. Some European countries have even taken a step forward towards this alternative education by providing state funds to Rudolf Steiner schools and teacher training.

The core of this education movement is that for children to really learn, they need a form of education that equally focuses on the body, soul and spirit. This holistic approach ensures that children equip themselves with the tools that they need to thrive in current realities and become actualized adults.

To do this, children embark in a journey of discovery and self-discovery. This is done in three different stages, starting with early years and elementary school education to secondary school education.

During the early years, the focus is on practical and experiential activities. Children learn through exploring and doing, all within ‘creative play.’ Once they step into primary schooling, the focus shifts to social interaction and artistic expression. Analytic and creative thinking becomes norm. In secondary education, instruction hones critical understanding and idealism. The stress is on knowing and understanding but still allowing the imagination to explore possibilities. By this time, the academic, artistic and practical are integrated – where your child is expected to grow into a well rounded individual.

To know more about the Steiner Education Movement, contact the Central Coast Rudolf Steiner School. We will also be talking more about this in future posts. Check back in soon!

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