Mums and dads help your children become better learners
As our children move from home to preschool and then onwards into primary school, their learning needs change. Read on to find out how Lorna Whiston Workshops for Parents and Teachers can help you enable your child’s learning.
Your little one is growing up so fast!
She has moved up from the cooing and goo-goo-ga-ga-ing stage and is now able to string together three to four words. Soon, she will be ready for kindergarten and reeling off truckloads of questions and telling long tales that leave you both, exhausted and secretly very very pleased.
This is also the stage when all children are like little sponges, soaking up all information and experiences around them to form the foundation of their lifelong learning journey.
As parents you will undoubtedly want to enable their learning journey as best as you can. But to be able to do that you would have to begin by understanding your child’s learning style and moving on to helping them become better readers and writers.
While some of this might be instinctive parenting, a lot of this enabling also has to be learned.
This is something that Lorna Whiston, a pioneer in English Language Programmes in Singapore, understands. Over time, the team at Lorna Whiston has developed a series of workshops and short courses for parents to help support their children in reading and writing.
In response to parent’s needs
Lorna Whiston has been running the workshops for parents for over 10 years now. The first workshop was a response to feedback from involved parents, who wanted to learn how they could get more involved in their children’s learning.
Says Headteacher Ms Lori Bormann, “We get asked by parents all the time about what is the right way to teach; they worry about doing the wrong thing.” She adds, “We address their concerns on an 'as and when basis' but these workshops help them have a holistic understanding about their children’s learning.”
Don’t worry too much early on
“Actually you don’t need to worry about the formal teaching until your child is about 3 or 4, but it is important that they become familiar with the rhythm and sounds of the language at an early age,” says Ms Bormann.
One thing that Lorna Whiston teacher, Ms Heather Mahy warns against doing is talking to infants and toddlers in baby language. “Baby language is dumbing down. By saying ‘horsie’ instead of horse and ‘doggie’ instead of dog, you are also adding in extra sounds and making words longer.” She suggests that parents use simple and short words and don’t add any extra sounds.
Preparing yourself to enable happy learners
It is important that that parents understand the developmental stages that children go through and what is appropriate for a child to be learning at any given time and also what they are expected to learn in school.
Says Ms Bormann, “We also hope to reassure parents that children develop at different rates and help them understand how they can help encourage a love for reading and for learning for life at home.”
Why you need to be involved
You are probably thinking why do you need to learn any of this. After all, it is the teacher’s job to get your child to learn how to read and write properly.
However, you should remember, all children love to spend time with their parents and they can learn a great deal from them so anything you do will be beneficial.
Ms Mahy explains that parents also need to be able to reinforce what the kids learn in school. “The child can get confused if mummy speaks differently from the teacher. Parents and teachers are partners as they both need to work together to get the best learning outcomes for the child.”
“During our workshops and short courses we try to give parents ideas for fun and supportive activities which they can engage in with their children to develop reading and writing skills,” explains Ms Bormann.
Why Lorna Whiston’s workshops are right for you
Lorna Whiston has been in Singapore for over 30 years and has a very clear understanding of the requirements of the local primary school curriculum, PSLE and secondary school requirements.
I attended the workshop on Study Tips For Your Child's Learning Style conducted by one of Lorna Whiston's most experienced teachers, Nick Cheadle, and have to say I came away having learned a lot.
Mr Cheadle was engaging, informative and very willing to address individual parent's concerns with helpful and actionable suggestions. Not only did he help us identify our children's learning styles, but also our own. He did this through the most interactive of exercises and materials. I have since come home and applied some of the learning. As a result I have found that I have less struggle with my child when I am trying to get her to sit and finish a task.
Lorna Whiston’s Workshops for Parents are a must attend because:
- They give you an understanding of you child’s developmental stages
All of Lorna Whiston’s workshops will give you a better understanding of the developmental stages of children at the targeted age and of what you can expect from your child at a certain stage.
Not each child crosses all developmental stages in the same way; equally all children have different learning styles. There is a workshop designed specifically for you to be able to better understand your child’s learning style.
- They are planned and executed by experienced head teachers and senior staff
Lorna Whiston has a team of trained professionals with many years of experience in teaching children and helping parents and teachers develop their skills.
The team keeps up with the latest research worldwide and works tirelessly to improve their courses whether they be for students, parents or teachers.
- They are highly interactive in structure
While the exact structure depends on the length of the workshop or the specific course, all are always highly interactive. The team running the workshop gets parents to work on the activities during the workshop, giving them hands on practical experience. This helps parents replicate the activity at home more effectively.
- There are tangible takeaways
During the course of the workshop, parents are shown how to use simple things that they probably have at home already, to create fun, learning activities. As head teacher Ms Bormann says, “We know how to make even the most simple of materials a fun learning tool.”
During the course of the workshop, parents are equipped with lots of ideas as to how they can encourage their child to read and write and improve their skills and understanding without stress.
In addition, they also help you select books which are appropriate for your child rather than those which you might think are appropriate.
While providing quality education is the main thrust of the company, Lorna Whiston also supports charities and children from disadvantaged homes. For example these educational workshops are always made available to Life Community Services Society (LCSS) staff to attend for free.
Shirlana Kaur is one LCSS staff member who has benefitted from the workshops. Ms Kaur attended the phonics course in 2014 and says, “It was an engaging course. The group size allowed individuals to interact with the trainer effectively. The sessions taught phonics through play, which ensures children have fun while they learn. There were many creative ideas shared in the teaching of phonics. Sessions were very practical with good resources. Trainers were very knowledgeable and experienced, which made learning interesting.”
Lorna Whiston’s Short Courses and Workshops for Parents and Teachers are interactive, informative and insightful. They are prepared and planned with great care and attention and are constantly updated and upgraded based on new research and learning.
They take great care in ensuring that you attend a workshop based on whether it will be useful and effective for your child. Register for the workshops by clicking here.
In addition to the workshops, Lorna Whiston also runs short courses for parents for a deeper understanding of reading and phonics. Click here to find out more about the short courses.