© 2002, 2010 Susan Rich Sheridan
|Book review, HandMade Marks, by Dr. Susan Rich Sheridan,
Written by Betty Edwards, author of the classic book on drawing and brain science, Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain.
Dr. Susan Sheridan has written a book that every parent should read! Her message, loud and clear, is that childhood scribbling is important to later development, and parents should do everything possible to encourage and build on it. All parents are charmed with the scribbles of their very young children, but the idea that those early marks on paper are strongly linked to later reading, writing, and arithmetic skills, to say nothing of musical and advanced math skills, will be a new idea to many parents. Susan Sheridan provides abundant supporting research and wonderfully accessible pages of exercises that enable a parent and child just to dive in. In a brilliant move, the author includes blank pages for parent and child drawings right inside the book.
The exercises range from first marks of one-to-two year olds, to later first attempts at realistic depiction. These pages for drawings are embedded in pages of scholarly research, presenting the proposition that scribbling knits together the right and left hemispheres of the brain . . . creating the very stuff of speech and literacy. One hopes that Dr. Sheridans work will inspire subsequent research that may point to amelioration of autism and learning difficulties by means of cultivating drawing skills at an early age. But beyond all of the practical uses of Handmade Marks, Susan Sheridans book brings home the sheer joy children experience when parents encourage them to make meaningful marks in the form of childhood drawings.
Dr. Betty Edwards
|The Child's Way into Literacy: A New Look at Scribbling and Drawing
Two books provide a new way to look at parenting and education in early childhood. "Saving Literacy" is designed for teachers, and "HandMade Marks" is designed for parents, including homeschooling parents. Both books combine developmental benchmarks, evaluation tools, hands-on exercises, and research questions, while also addressing the issues of television, computer-use, and childhood autism. A brain-based theory and practice place children's spontaneous marks at the heart of language learning and healthy mental/emotional development.
Amherst, MA (PRWEB) April 7, 2010 -- Two books provide a new way to look at parenting and education in early childhood. "Saving Literacy" is designed for teachers, and "HandMade Marks" is designed for parents, including homeschooling parents. Both books combine developmental benchmarks, evaluation tools, hands-on exercises, and research questions, while also addressing the issues of television, computer-use, and childhood autism. A brain-based theory and practice place children's spontaneous marks at the heart of language learning and healthy mental/emotional development.
Dr. Susan Rich Sheridan has devoted twenty-five years to teaching and researching a method called Drawing/Writing, working with students, teachers and administrators from the pre-school through the college levels. By taking mark-making back to its earliest beginnings in scribbling, Dr. Sheridan proposes a Scribbling/Talking/Drawing/Writing program for parents. Key to the success of this program is re-establishing one-one-one relationships between parents and children around marks and words, without the interference of the television or the computer.
By bringing language learning in its broadest sense "back home", Dr. Sheridan believes that many early childhood delays and deficits can be prevented or reversed, including hyperactivity, attention deficits, emotional deficits, delayed speech, and learning disabilities connected with reading and writing. Her teaching and research support the positive effect of strongly mentored (or parented!) scribbling and drawing on the mental/emotional unfolding of the child as a language-learner. Because of increasing numbers of children with emotional, attentional, and language-based issues, including autism, Dr. Sheridan believes that a change in parenting and early education is necessary, away from the pervasive use of electronic technology with and around young children, back toward face-to-face relationships organized around the child's spontaneous and important behavior, which we call scribbling and drawing.
Pictures and words get into childrens brains through their eyes and hands. Dr. Sheridan also proposes that the basic shapes and patterns on which all pictures and words depend are already embedded in the neural architecture of the child's brain. Scribbling and drawing both access and organize these special brain patterns for the exciting and important human enterprise we call literacy!
Go to Dr. Sheridan's web site to read her papers, access free lesson plans, and link with her books about marks and meaning and the development of the human mind.
|Please e-mail your questions or comments for Dr. Sheridan at email@example.com|
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