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How to Help Your Child Settle into a New Primary School

Posted by Jane Shearer on December 7, 2021 at 3:15 PM

Every year many children move to a new school.

And as Covid makes working from home more common, prompting parents to relocate away from big cities, even more students may be faced with the challenge of integrating into another school.

Generally, there are three times in a child’s life when they must deal with education-related change: starting pre-school, moving to primary school and moving to secondary school.

When a child is starting school, they are generally with other children who are all new starters too. But if you have relocated to a new area, your child may be the only new student and it can sometimes feel a little overwhelming. Fortunately, there are ways that you can help them.

Here are some tips for settling your child into a new primary school so that they can enjoy the experience and learn successfully

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Topics: Confidence & Resilience, School, Learning Capacity

How to Improve Your Child’s Social Skills

Posted by Peter Barnes on November 19, 2021 at 11:44 AM

Peter Barnes

Are you concerned your child's social skills may not be up to scratch?

Here you will find some strategies, tips and activities to help your children improve their social skills. You will also learn where to look for online programs and professional help. And if you want to dive deeper into the topic, there are some links to resources from around the world.

But first, what are social skills anyway, and why should you care about them?

Social skills include behaviours and emotional competencies

Social skills include a range of behavioural and emotional competencies such as:

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Topics: Social Skills, Social & Emotional Learning

How To Help Children Prepare for Their Exams & Reduce Stress

Posted by Jane Shearer on November 16, 2021 at 2:54 PM

Are young children more stressed out about taking exams than they should be? Recent research shows that exam stress is hurting students in Australia and elsewhere. 65.1% of Australian youth report high levels of exam stress.

Even young kids aren't immune to it, especially children who will be sitting important exams for the very first time. This is why proper stress management skills are important for a child's wellbeing and academic performance.

Here's how to prevent your child from getting stressed and help them prepare for their exams. 

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Topics: Confidence & Resilience, Learning Capacity

What I noticed in one class after Covid lockdown

Posted by Moya Gibb-Smith on November 12, 2021 at 1:26 PM

There was a Covid outbreak at a school near where I live.

A lot of the teachers at that school had to isolate. Added to that were the staff who hadn’t returned to school because they’re unvaccinated. This created a drain on the pool of casual teachers in the local area.

I work for LearnFast but I like to keep my hand in by doing a little casual teaching work for the department. So when all the casual teachers in my area were covering the Covid affected classes, I got a call from my old school which is also close to where I live.

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Topics: Social Skills, School, Teaching

Designing a Perfect Homework Environment for Your Child

Posted by Jane Shearer on October 27, 2021 at 2:09 PM

According to some studies around 45% of students in grades three to 12 spend more than an hour every night doing homework, with some spending over three hours doing so. By the same token, only 50% of children get enough sleep (an average of nine hours nightly is recommended).

To enable your child to make the most of the little free time they have at the end of a long day at school, designing a positive homework environment is helpful.

Tidiness, ergonomics, and natural lighting are three aspects that will help them maximize their learning experience.

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Topics: School, Learning Capacity

Elements - Newest Addition to the Fast ForWord Literacy Program for Secondary Readers

Posted by Peter Barnes on October 15, 2021 at 9:48 AM

Peter Barnes

Elements is a new addition to the   Fast ForWord Literacy program  for secondary readers. The four exercises in Elements I and the five exercises in Elements II are designed to deliver the rewards, instant feedback, and socially safe learning environment that adolescent learners need to stay motivated and become college and career ready learners and readers.

This new release also represents a further advancement in our delivery of   Mastery-Based Learning, enabling adolescent learners to achieve mastery of new skills on their own individual learning path, using a combination of instruction, persistent practice, and continuous assessment.

Explore the exercise samples below to see how Elements has been designed to promote key aspects of mastery-based learning:
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Topics: Reading, Fast ForWord, Artificial Intelligence

Easy Ways To Teach Your Child About The Basics Of Good Nutrition

Posted by Jane Shearer on October 11, 2021 at 3:15 PM

Good nutrition plays a vital role in a child's academic performance. However, according to recent data gathered by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, only one in 25 children met the daily recommended guidelines for vegetable consumption, and most kids are eating unhealthy food on a daily basis. Poor nutrition not only affects a child's health, but also their ability to learn.

A study by the Society of Neuroscience found that diets with high levels of saturated fats can impair learning and memory. Meanwhile, a diet that's loaded with artificial sugars can have a negative impact on attention, focus, and memory retention, as well as affect a child's mood.  

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Topics: Learning Capacity

Risky Play and Its Role In Early Childhood Learning and Development

Posted by Jane Shearer on September 21, 2021 at 1:35 PM

Researchers suggest that engagement in risky play provides children an opportunity to navigate and cope with uncertainty, resulting in decreased anxiety, according to a recent Canadian study.

Risky play is defined as a thrilling activity involving challenges that test limits and the possibility of getting injured. Typically, children love trying out new things and, in the process, seek opportunities that allow them to engage in challenging activities or risky play.

While risky play might seem dangerous for kids, it offers many benefits, including improved social, motor, and spatial skills, critical aspects in building student learning capacity. Below are some of the essential roles of risky play in early childhood learning and development.

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Topics: Confidence & Resilience, Social & Emotional Learning

Fast ForWord Receives Another Gong

Posted by Moya Gibb-Smith on September 6, 2021 at 3:12 PM

Fast ForWord and MATHia have been named as Award (Gong) winners in the 2021 Best Tools for Back to School (USA). They were awarded for helping students, parents, and teachers succeed as they head back to school.

The new Awards of Excellence program is published by:
Tech&Learning (techlearning.com) TOOLS & IDEAS TO TRANSFORM EDUCATION

And is designed to help their readers find the most impressive products and solutions for their work in any learning environment.

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Topics: Fast ForWord

Even you, will grow older

Posted by Moya Gibb-Smith on August 25, 2021 at 1:23 PM

Every minute that passes we age, and most people believe that advancing age will inevitably mean a decline in our mental abilities.

I know that at 66 years old it takes me longer to remember things that once I could bring quickly to mind.

However a recent study has found that not every mental faculty declines and that some even improve!

Now new research from Georgetown University Medical Center offers surprisingly good news.

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Topics: Brain Science, Adult Brain Fitness

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