Recently I was sent a copy of 100 things to learn before you’re 10 by Gail Hugman to review. Gail has taught in schools for 30 years and in 2005 she set up Lessons Alive, a private teaching and development service. This book has been written to help parents get the best out of their children in terms of learning and motivation. The 100 things to learn are not the things you might initially think of like getting dressed or tying shoelaces. These are more the life skills needed to succeed in school. Things like listening (more than just hearing), concentrating and organising.
The book is split up into 16 lessons. These lessons cover a wide range of topics. Lesson 4, for example, is about time and teaching children about the concept of time. How many times do you say “just a minute” to your child and do you think they really understand how long a minute is? There are ideas to help children understand how long a minute is, how much time they have in a day (to allow them to understand that even after doing their homework they have plenty of time for fun) and how to help them work faster if need be.
Other lessons include listening, the bubble strategy (which is a great little exercise to teach children how to listen and concentrate in class), feelings and organising and planning. I love that the book offers exercises to help you and your child as well as possible responses that you could give to things that your child might say such as “It’s not fair!”
A lot of the lessons and exercise are recommended from age 7. However, F is just 4 an in her first year of primary school, but there are still some lessons and tips in there that we can use already. Such as dealing with tantrums, teaching her how long a minute is and involving her in planning family events. I was pleased to read that Gail’s lesson on how to deal with tantrums was similar to how we already manage them but there were still a couple of ideas we could try.
There is a really useful section for older children on homework. Gail includes lots of tips to help minimise homework battles, helpful tools (stationary etc) and exercises to help slow down a racing brain. I know I will be referring to this chapter again and again once F is older.
At the back of the book are some lists of useful books, games and activities. I love that Gail includes suggestions of books that can help in specific circumstances. For example, those who lack confidence in reading, comprehension or dealing with grief. There are also suggestions for books with fabulous rhythm or for children that love art. For the games section, she gives plenty of suggestions of no or low cost activities as well as games that can be purchased. She tells you what each game is good for and how it can be used. This helps you decide which games would be beneficial for your children and when.
Finally, the book includes the complete list of 100 things to learn before you’re 10. These are listed alphabetically and range from addition, boundaries, choice, focus, gratitude, handwriting, loss, money and order.
Overall, this is a really useful book for parents of primary school age children. A really useful resource to dip in and out of as your child progresses through primary school. Packed full of tips and exercises to help parents teach children the skills they need to get the most out of school. As I mentioned above, it is most useful from around age 7. Even though most of it is aimed at children older than mine, it was really useful to read this at the start of our school years. I know that I will be reaching for this book time and time again over the years.
100 things to learn before you’re 10 by Gail Hugman is available to buy now.
Disclosure – I was sent my copy free of charge for the purposes of this review. All thoughts, opinions and photos are my own.