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Say What You Mean for Preschoolers: Laying a Proper Foundation for Effective Communications

By JoJo Tabares
Art of Eloquence

8270 Monroe Avenue
Hesperia, CA 92344

This 60-page spiral-bound book teaches concepts that I knew were important to an age group that I had completely overlooked. Designed to be used over a two to three year period with children whose ages range from 2 to 5, this program teaches concepts that lay the groundwork for a lifetime of good communication skills.

In the introduction to the book, the author shares three basic reasons why a young age is a good time to begin to learn these concepts. First, it is easier for younger children to learn. Secondly, they are less likely to be intimidated by learning new things. And thirdly, learning at a young age will give them more time to practice these skills (and, I might add, help prevent bad habits that they will have to spend time unlearning).

The study is divided into nine basic subjects: Social Graces and Making Friends, Pronunciation and Grammar, Description Skills, Giving Directions, Listening Skills, Vocabulary Skills, Public Speaking Skills, Reading Skills, and Writing Skills. Each of these subjects is then subdivided. For example, Social Graces and Making Friends is divided into Basic Manners, Whining, Showing Respect, Introductions, and Sharing.

Each topic employs games and activities that teach the same skill in different ways. The author has provided learning activities for visual, auditory, and kinesthetic learners. So no matter how your child best retains material, there is something offered for him or her. Each activity is coded, making it easier for the parent to determine which learning style would best be targeted by that activity (e.g., "V" for visual learners).

The author suggests going through this study more than once with the same child, addressing the skills during each of the different developmental stages as the child matures towards school-age. Provided in each section are "Mom Notes" that help to guide the homeschooling parent through each activity and concept. I found this very helpful to keep me in tune with exactly where my daughter was as well as where we, her parents, would like her to be.

While the concepts taught are very basic (such as saying "please" and "thank you"), it is helpful to me, as a parent and homeschool teacher, to have them outlined and reinforced in one resource. Often times, I will forget to teach some of the most basic skills, not because of lack of desire but because of busyness of life. This reference helps me to make sure that I am covering all of the bases.

The study retails for $24.95, and given the thoroughness of the concepts covered, I think it would be a good investment for any homeschool with preschoolers. In addition to the preschool-level materials, Art of Eloquence has studies and materials available for elementary, junior high, and even adults.

Product review by Melanie Bunnett, The Old Schoolhouse Magazine, LLC, June 2007

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