Educational Input or Output?

In education, we look for output to determine the effectiveness of our curriculum and methods. We call this process testing or assessing. In schools, teachers test often to determine grades as well. In some states the home school law requires that families have their children assessed at designated intervals. Some say that we should not test at all. Assessing is appropriate at times, but the question is how much and how often. I do believe that we tend to elicit output more than we provide input. Often, we test before the child has had an opportunity to learn the material. May I suggest that we spend too much time getting output and, for many children, too little time providing input?

Here are two tips that you can use to provide input in your child's education:

As a child, I participated in a classroom activity called, "Around the World." As a teacher, I have also used this method to test my students to see how well they knew their math facts. This is different than using flashcards to provide input. The neurodevelopmental approach uses flashcards as input rather than a test. To use flashcards as input, quickly show the student the information giving the answer. Repeat these in SHORT, FREQUENT times throughout the day. One website that I have used provide downloadable curriculum items. They have weekly free curriculum offers and the others are reasonably priced. One time I chose Periodical Table flashcards. These downloadable flashcards, once prepared, provide a means to input the information the child should learn. Flashcards provide visual input.

You already know that children develop reading skills when following along as they listen. Did you know that an individual's auditory processing improves by listening to stories without following along? Further, if the individual listens only in the dominant ear (same side as the hand he/she uses to write), listening can contribute to establishing a one-side dominance. This dominance enhances long-term memory and emotional control. (Caution: If the story has a musical background, listen with both ears.) These stories provide auditory input. The website below provides free, downloadable stories with the text. I listened to a 14 minute story: "The Monkey Who Loved Chocolate." Classic Authors include Lewis Carroll, Oscar Wilde, Charles Dickens and Rudyard Kipling. Bible stores appear as well.

Think about how much of your instructional time is spent in eliciting output and how much providing input.

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