In my earlier post regarding the first Heguru lesson that J attended, we were first introduced to Peg Memory – from numbers 61 to 70 (namely, sun, shoe, candy, shore, sieve, stick, melon, cheesecake, sea lion, sack). This technique is not something new to me as it was taught in school; however, teaching a toddler is something that I had never considered before attending Heguru class. After the class, we were advised to go back and try to work on the items associated with their respective numbers, by forming a story to help with the memorising.
Actually, I was the one doing all the work, as J was only interesting in playing with the cards for a minute or so. These cards are available for purchase from Heguru Method; an alternative is to DIY. Since I do not have a printer and I’m quite lazy to download the pictures, I bought the cards. Instead of cutting out the numbers as advised by the teacher, I left the numbers intact with the corresponding pictures for ease of flashing to J and getting him to associate the numbers with the items. Frankly, I think he would make a mess with the cards if I have to handle both the pictures AND the numbers as separate cards. I also laminated them (I have an A4 portable laminating machine – an essential tool for parents with kids IMO) to prevent J from tearing the stockcard or crushing it – two of his current favourite activities.
During my attempted home practice with J, he was concentrating on stuffing the cards into the mattress rather than focusing on my story-telling. I wonder how much of what I said had gone into his head. *Big sigh*. Oh well, my current strategy is really to get him to play with the cards and identify the pictures by naming them, rather than ‘forcing’ him to memorise the sequence. He also does not have the attention span to sit through the repeated story with me. It is more fun this way to incorporate a little free play rather than agonising over the actual technicalities of doing the peg memory exercise. I also allowed him to help me “flash” the cards so that he remained engaged. The rule of thumb is to let him spend as much time as he wants on the cards, as opposed to me dictating what we should be doing. So there was a little bit of card-flashing, telling the linking story, and multisensory engagement through touching and playing with the cards.
As much as I would like to spend more time doing the Heguru activities since these concepts are still new to me, my work irregular work schedule remains a challenge. And throughout the day, besides half day Preschool, J would also spend time playing on his own and requesting for the Mickey Mouse videos on iPad (which I am trying very hard to limit his screen time).
Perhaps in time, when J is older, he would be able to do much more than me. Meanwhile, I better work on my own failing memory before the next lesson.