Reading the newspaper again, I saw an article about children who were poor readers at the age of 6 becoming the best in their class after being given one-to-one tuition. It only took 30 hours over a 12 week period to bring the children's reading abilities up to that of their classmates and after a further two years, the former poor readers had overtaken them. Way to go! The programme is called Every Child a Reader and is backed by the government. Teachers operating the scheme use Reading Recovery techniques to help those children who have been identified as weak readers.
Imagine what might have become of these children if this intervention had not taken place. There obviously was not much wrong with the kids themselves. They may only have needed help to overcome particular learning blocks and after one-on-one time with the teachers they were able to perform very well.
And it is this same principle that underpins the Cayac Pre-School Learning System. The books are designed so that an adult can sit with a child and guide and encourage him or her through the learning activity. And of course that means ample opportunity for the adult to discuss the pictures with the child, encourage questions about the actions, compare things in the pictures with things in the child's environment and so on to encourage speech development.
Many of the educational books on the market aimed at young children dedicate perhaps 2, 3 or 4 pages to a particular learning activity. If a child has not mastered the skill by the end of the third or fourth page, they have no further opportunity to practise and that bit of knowledge remains incomplete. The Cayac Pre-School books provide 15 or more pages on a particular learning activity to help children of differing abilities get to grips with and understand new concepts and practise the skills being taught.
Even if a child does not need all the pages to learn the targetted skill, he or she may simply enjoy the activity and want to continue copying the shapes and colouring the pictures. I know older children who like to work through the books in quiet moments just for the fun of doing something well within their abilities.
I am all for anything that will help to ensure children get the chance to fulfill their potential. The plan is to roll this programme out across the country. This scheme could well be the key that will open the door to a brighter future for lots of kids.