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How this course helps those with special needs
Contact Us
The Order of Progression
Appealing to the Senses
About the Course Designer
Appealing to the Senses

The sense of sound
We use music, rhythm, poetry, chants, songs for each letter. For those children who learn well through sound we give lots of ways to link the shape of the letter to the sound it makes. We use a poem to help recall the letters as well.

The sense of touch
We try to make learning tactile to help those students who learn well through their hands. We suggest using letters shaped out of wood, plastic, magnets, plasticene, mactac, sandpaper, rubber, sponge so the child can turn them over, mouth them, see what is always the same about them (shape) and what does not matter (color).
Children naturally when shown a letter for instance 'r' may wonder what makes it 'r' and may think it is its size or its color, or its place on the page. When we show them 'r' in many sizes, made of many materials, in many places on the page, they start to realize that what makes the letter 'r' is its shape. And we help them feel it in many textures to help reinforce this idea.

Motion and large physical activity:

We realize that special needs children are often restless. This may not just be because they lack fine motor movements. It may also be because they are frustrated. We can use their desire to move around by giving them a learning method that requires or allows large physical motions- jumping on letters, running, fetching things, reaching, touching and for those who are able to make such motions, this type of gross physical activity not only makes the child less restless and brings them joy, but it also helps reinforce the learning  For those students who can't make large physical motions, even tapping a page or clapping or even blinking to indicate 'yes' or 'no' can be incorporated to help communicate when the picture on each page matches the instruction.

For those students who like to move rhythmically or to dance, wherever possible we have tried to suggest body action poems for each letter.

The senses of taste and smell

Taste and smell are powerful senses and we can use them to help teach.


For every letter we suggest many strong-scented foods or flowers that start with that sound and we advise parents to let the child smell a few of these.

For every letter we suggest several foods the child can eat that start with that letter and we suggest that these foods be used as treats and rewards when that letter is being taught. In that way not only is the learning experience pleasant, but the child is also more likely to remember the experience since we have linked the visual with another sense - taste.

If you would like more information about the basic Anchors and Sails course philosophy
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Anchors and Sails is designed by
Bev Jaremko  521-18 A St. NW Calgary AB Canada T2N2H3