“It all began with a two-year-old boy, a souvenir pipe from Tenerife, a newspaper, and by merely observing and valuing young children’s precious years.
“I saw my two-year-old take a little pipe that was given as a souvenir from Canarias from a display (I didn’t know that he knew it was there) and took a newspaper from the side of the unit. He sat down on the chair with the paper (upside down) and started ‘reading it’. After a few minutes, he excitedly showed me a word he recognised and this word was ‘Hoover’. Then he took me by my hand to the vacuum cleaner and pointed to the word again.
“I then realized that he was learning to read and love it. But who taught him that word? The reply is that the environment taught him; and there are hundreds and thousands of toddlers learning to read by just observing their own environment and watching television. As well as learning to read, these under fives are learning a second language unconsciously.
“So, guided by my 2 years old, I continued providing him with more words, my attitude and approach were joyously to play this game, and it was the most satisfying rewarding, exciting game of my life. We built a very close friendship and he loved the attention, and affection of the reading game. He used to beg for the game and I was delighted to provide. I will never forget my little son’s face when I put a few words together that he already knew to make a sentence; he was immensely happy to discover that words have meaning. At two years he discovers a new world.”
“He soon read in Spanish “El Oso Winnie” and a few weeks later Goldilocks and The Three Bears. He read rapidly and comprehended better than a seven-year-old because he viewed reading just like another fascinating game in life, full of excitement.”
“Seeing my son’s enjoyment for reading, I knew that it would be a crime if I did not give my daughter the same opportunity. I started to play the reading game with her at 11 months old and she also loved the game. At the age of 2 she read fluently, rapidly, and comprehensively books for 7-year-olds in Spanish and English. At fourteen months we explore painting, drawing, and playing dice games; these activities opened a new world for my children. They were very happy as they were fulfilling their inner selves. No tantrums maybe because they had lots of opportunities to quench down their tremendous thirst for learning in a loving manner.
“Having observed my children’s incredible eagerness to learn, I used my childminding background of 12 years, my knowledge of psychologists, such as Jean Piaget and Frobel, and the great influence by Maria Montessori, to open Cherry Tree Day Nursery. The day nursery was opened by Mayor Janet Dunbavand on the 18th September 1994.
“After seeing by myself and proof of Montessori’s, sensitive periods, how the children from birth to 5 years (not just my own) absorb information at a staggering rate, I decided to take action to open the Spanish school 6 months later, aimed at toddlers from 2 years to adult classes.
“Having learned English as a second language, taught a large number of students of all levels, and observed my own children become bilingual by acquiring Spanish as a second language, I have introduced a method of learning Spanish with English synonymous. I teach what is essential in a friendly, caring, and well-structured course for people with no prior knowledge of Spanish. Even those with very little time available are able to confidently communicate in Spanish in a short amount of time.”
Contact us, in Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire, for more information on our nursery.