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The Seven Steps to Beginning Curriculum for The Young Reader

Each month we will be featuring a different part of the Seven Steps. If you miss any of the parts or just want to go back and re-read a part, just click on the links below .

1. Strategies For a Positive Mind (August 2005)
2. Writing Plain and Clear (September 2005)
3. Vocabulary By Example (October 2005)
4. Spelling In Parts (November 2005)
5. Listening With Feedback (December 2005)
6. Comprehension Puzzle (January 2006)
7. Phonemic Awareness (March 2006)


How do you teach your child to be a great listener?

There are four areas of development that need guidance during your child’s early years that lead to listening with feedback. These areas are character development, solution building, example playacting, and a strong connection to God.

Character Development is the foundation of being a great listener. Self is left behind as others become important. Every child needs responsibility that includes putting others first, such as opening the door for every member of the family. This child is thanked with a smile or a kind word from the other family members he serves. One can only be a great listener if he has learned to be humble, kind, and caring. The connection to serving others such as washing dishes, setting the table, mixing the salad should always be recognized with smiles and gratitude. Making the bed daily should be met with kind praise such as, "You make the house look great because you always make your bed.” Character Building includes giving and volunteering. Recognize at the dinner table qualities you want to see in the future, such as, "Jon cleaned up all of his toys, so no one would step wrong and trip. Jon is very thoughtful and a real asset to this family." Use words to create a listener who is humble, kind and caring. No one listens to constant criticism.

Solution Building is an organized way to Listening With Feedback. When teaching kindergarten, the class would beg to have a time to share problems about other students. Every child wanted to look at me and complain about the behavior of another child. The children had been taught at home to go through a parent to solve sibling fighting instead of directly confronting and listening. The children did not know how to confront and listen with feedback to solve problems. They also found out that parents give them attention when complaining about a sibling problem. They got completely out of all responsibility of solving and got attention, too. At home set aside a 15 minute time for all complaints. Explain that during this time your child must face the other sibling with hands to the side. Explain that your child must talk in complete sentences when explaining the problem. Explain that when someone talks, your child must stop and listen even if what is said is not accurate. Explain that after one speaks, your child will have an equal chance to speak with no one interrupting. Solution Building creates patience, confidence, and practice in Listening With Feedback. The parent checks that each follows the rules during this 15 minutes by silently observing the talk back and forth. The parent encourages conversation with respect and helps guide the children to a solution at the end of each child’s turn to speak. As an example, "Jon, it is your turn. What do you think would be fair?" Having eye to eye contact, using complete sentences, and talking directly to the problem are skills needed with much practice to be a Listener With Feedback.

Example Playacting is very necessary to get the ball rolling during the 15 minute daily problem solving time. At some time tell the children to pretend that there was an argument about who can get to ride the stick horse. Tell them to face each other and speak one at a time about their feelings about the new toy. You will have to help them with a few sentences at first. The children are learning how to face each other, argue, listen, and solve problems before they really get into a situation later in the day. Playacting helps to develop the foundation to Listening With Feedback.

The last and most important connection to Listening With Feedback is a strong inner character guided by God. Learning to set aside attention and self needs leads to this humble character development. Parents, you set the example.

We care about our future generation at QuickStartReading.com. If you have any questions or comments please feel free to e-mail us at questions@quickstartreading.com

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