My child won't sit and listen.....
'My Child won't sit and listen'
If I had a £1 for every time I heard this, I'd probably be retired in Tahiti with a Mojito right now.
So let me talk to you about our expectations at Story Imagin-ory.
Zero. Absolute Zero.
We are working with under 5's. Predominantly under 3's, who have an average attention span of about 1-2 minutes or less. Seriously. As adults our maximum attention span is 10 minutes without being distracted or our minds wandering.
So the thought of an active baby, toddler or child is probably daunting when thinking about attending a story session. But you love books, and you want them to love books just as much as you. You believe in what we do, our sessions look fun.....but you are just that little bit too anxious to hit 'Book'.
At Story Imagin-ory we administer a range of techniques throughout the class to keep the children engaged, the pace steady, and the listening ears intrigued. Listening is most definitely learnt, it's built with patience, repetition, reward and calm.
Your child at some point is almost guaranteed to lose focus, wander off, decide they want to play with their toes, or run around at the back. And guess what, that's ok! All we ask at Story Imagin-ory is that you gently encourage them, praise them and help engage them in circle time (which is only a tiny part of the class!). We don't expect you to clasp them on your knee or force them to sit. Often you will find if you give them a little bit of freedom and choice, they will reward you with periods of listening and attention.
The same goes for the babies, you may come along and feel your baby or toddler is getting nothing from it, not listening or can't join in. But from 16 years experience of working in the speech and language field I can absolutely guarantee they are. Listening to rhythm, learning new forms of communication, watching and learning from peers, experiencing new sounds, new sights and new sensory experiences. And if they are having a bad day? Then right it off and try again another day - after all - we all have bad days and our expectations of our young children can often be too high.
And don't forget, at least half the time in our classes is spent exploring 'free play', a range of up to 10 activities to choose from, all linked to our story of the week.
When your child goes to school they will be expected to listen, to follow instructions, to self care, to sit for prolonged periods of time. If these skills haven't been established in early years then making that transition to school will be more difficult.
So trust in us to help you on your journey into developing comprehension skills. Let us help your child build their skills over several weeks, with techniques you can use at home to continue learning.
Most of all, let us help your child establish a LIFE LONG love of books, of which will help their long term education, communication, self esteem, social and emotional development and all round early development.