I spent yesterday and today in Leoben at the Down Syndrome Center participating in a two-day workshop on Yes We Can– Teaching People with Down Syndrome Mathematics. I have talked about it a bit before, as Vince was part of a pilot project for this last spring.
The method teaches the ground work for reading, writing and counting. Basically, the method is based on giving the child a very solid foundation in involvement of the body language (making sure the child know and can feel all of its body), then comes the understanding of spatial relationships (behind, in front of, above, below, beside, everything round about me), Auditory Perception, Visual Perception and understanding seriality.
Ok, reading that just made me exhausted and I was lost within half a second. BUT the material that goes a long with the project is awesome! It is not presented in a complicated way at all. ALL games and ALL material that we used in the work shop is pretty much provided in the material. Of course there are always games, toys etc that you have at home that you can use to further advance the knowledge in the different areas, so you can add to it as well.
And the book is written in a ‘normal’ way. No need for big fancy dancy therapist words, it is all easy to understand. The material is available in German, English, Danish, Romanian and Italian.
Once you have gotten to the point of actually counting, which is important that you do not do too early, there are a bunch of little quick checks you do to make sure your kid understands that amount 4. Not only counts to four, but knows 4 points on a dice, knows 4 bananas is the same as the number four etc.
You count with your fingers starting from your left hands pinky finger. Why?
Because that is the same direction we read, and the same direction we write.
What is the advantage of this method?
You always have your hands with you!
Everyone can learn it!
It is very logical and your child learns in a step by step way. It is also very easy to see how much your child really understand and therefore you can apply the accurate resources to that level.
Also, this method challenges the frontal lobe of the brain and the parental lobe in an optimal way (I just read that in my notes…).
On this link there is a detailed report on the method if you want to read more. It is red and can be downloaded.
Also on the same link (click) at the bottom of the page is an introductory short movie of the method.
Let me know if you have any questions! I am all excited about this now!