Tuesday, 1 February 2011

The Importance of Continuity

This may seem like stating the obvious, but if you want your child to learn anything well there has to be some form of continuity.  Repetition and lots of it is the key to entrenching something into the mind of any child, but particularly one with Down's Syndrome. 

In the past it has been quite a challenge to ensure that the child I am teaching manages to hold on to what they have learned throughout the school holidays.  I have mentioned on here before all the little tasks that can be done in order to keep up the work without the child realising they are still working even though at home.

At the moment I am teaching a little boy who needs a great deal of repetition, but unfortunately has not yet made more than a couple of full weeks at school in the time I have been with him, due to various reasons.  This means that whenever we have a couple of really good days of working hard, making some real progress with signing and attempts at speech, after a break at home for a few days, 90% of that knowledge has faded as the routine has been broken and it has not been reinforced at home.  I know from personal experience with my daughter that it takes quite a while to get a piece of learning in, but once it's in there, it's there for life  - but this cannot be accomplished without work both at home and school in conjunction with each other.

In order for steady progress and visible results to be seen, there has to be some cooperation between parents and school - it cannot be expected for the school to produce a miracle during the few hours they have the child if their work is not supported at home for the other 18 hours of each day...and weekends...and holidays!  No-one said it would be easy!

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