Mediation and learning at home

By Sarit Levy , National Vision Instructor at ELI

Vision affects all areas of development. It is the organizing sense that pushes us to connect with the environment, stimulates curiosity and through it we perceive and understand the world. Many knowledge and abilities are learned from the context, and development in a variety of fields is based on imitation and training.

While sighted children can adapt to the environment and infer from sight and hearing at the same time, a child with a visual impairment will need adult mediation to reach an understanding of the situation in which he finds himself. Infants and children with blindness and visual impairment have fewer opportunities for learning, so we, the environment that surrounds and cares for children have an important role in their learning process about the world, in understanding everyday scenarios and situations. The key to learning is not to tell about the world around us, but to create situations and experiences that enable self-learning through which world concepts and knowledge will be acquired. It is important to understand that as the children experience, experience and learn that the world around them is full and full and interesting, there is a chance that their curiosity will develop and they will initiate more learning on their own.

The house is full of interesting activities and fascinating objects that can be a tool for play and activity, promote independence and develop motor and cognitive abilities. You can share with the children everything that happens at home and experience the activities with them.   

1.     Laundry-related issues

·         Allow children to lay their hands on the washing machine while it is running, explain what is happening, why the machine is shaking and why there is noise, when the noise ends and what it means.

·         Let them empty the clean, wet laundry into a basket or tub. Write down the concepts and textures they experience, during the activity, such as: wet, heavy, inside and more ….

·         You can also put the dirty laundry into the machine and carefully and with help pour the laundry soap and feel the pleasant smell.

·         With guidance and direction you can teach them how to turn or press the right button to turn on the machine.

·         When hanging the laundry on the rope, you can allow them to serve the clips, count them. When they are older they can be allowed to experience hanging the laundry alone, thus practicing the grip of the tweezers (opening the fastener by pressing the finger and thumb together).

·         Once a pile of clean, dry laundry is piled up, it is fascinating to take out a garment-garment and announce to whom it belongs in the family, so that it is possible to follow who will have the highest pile. At the same time you can also learn to sort the clothes according to their use (jerseys, shirts, pants, etc.).

·         A unique skill is finding the partner for each sock !!!

2.     Related activities לFamily Meal

·         Children can be helped to set the table for the meal so that they will feel an active part of the family and learn a lot about the beginning, middle and end of the activity, the sequence of actions of the scenario, learning by imitating and acquiring different skills and concepts. While taking part in setting the table, the children learn where the cutlery is and what tools are needed for the meal. In addition, they learn to count the family members who sat down to eat and the place of each one at the table.

·         Before the meal you can help prepare the meal, for example:

          Help take vegetables out of the fridge to make the salad. In this way the children learn to identify the vegetables according to their visual characteristics, and to scan and locate the desired vegetable among the other vegetables in the refrigerator. Among other things, they learn where to store the vegetables after shopping or any other food they want to prepare for the meal.

          Wash the vegetables and peel them with a vegetable peeler

·         After the meal you can help wash the dishes, sort the cutlery after rinsing, store the rest of the dishes and foods left for their storage places in the kitchen.

3.      Activities related to tidying and cleaning the house:

·         Clean surfaces with a wet cloth and learn about the difference between clean and dirty.

·         Washing floors is an important experience and learning, especially if you learn to squeeze the rag and clean all corners of the room. While washing the floors the child will experience active learning of various concepts such as, wet and dry, gripping, careful and slow walking. In addition, the child will have to deal with maintaining stability in a wet surface, proper grip of the mop, dealing with different textures and more.

·         Arrange the house and learn to put different objects in their place (shoes, bags …)

·         Arrange games at the end of the day – If the games are stored in separate baskets for each type of game (Lego separately, blocks separately, cars separately, colors separately, etc.), it is easier for children to sort them, when they are asked to put the games in place.

4.      Sometimes it is worth asking the children to bring us objects from different places in the house. This is how they feel we let them help and assist and in addition, they learn the location of various objects in the house.

5.      In the house there are different and varied types of appliances, which can be learned to use and get to know the sound that each one makes.

6.      There are many types of interesting papers in the house – foil, baking paper, cellophane paper, duct tape, newsprint and rustling paper, which are nice to tear and make with them or just cut and paste.

7.      You can learn to open various objects in the house, for example: the glasses box, a bottle of fabric softener (after it has been emptied), various cardboard boxes, a box of chocolates or cookies made of metal, a salt shaker, click on the liquid soap bottle or the shampoo / softener bottle and more. 

By transcribing actions, using rich language, doing things together, seeing things up close and becoming partners, purposeful exposure to different scenarios, sharing experiences, encouraging and stimulating curiosity, accessing world knowledge and great and tailored exposure, we will help our children learn and develop.

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