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CAMI Perceptual Skills Builder - More Info PDF Print E-mail
When a child goes to school, learning how to learn will be his/her most important lesson. Learning happens when someone becomes curious about something seen, heard, felt or experienced and behaviour changes are made as a result. The purpose of learning is to help a child understand and and be able to contribute to his/her environment. 

The final goal of learning must be the creation of insight.  True knowledge is gained when we absorb parts, with individual uniqueness,  through our senses and then shape a total image of the world around us. This image becomes our reality and each new experience broadens and reorganises this reality.  It is from this that we make decisions and take actions to investigate, test and anchor what we believe in our understanding.

CAMI's original focus was as the leader in Computer Aided Instruction for mathematics. However, when our attention included school readiness and learning difficulties, we discovered that there is no single, comprehensive system that addresses all the perceptual development needs of the child.  We then proceeded with the development of the CAMI Perceptual Skills Builder, a comprehensive system for the development of the foundation for learning.

The CAMI Perceptual Skills Builder addresses an immensely important period of the child’s life, from the age of 4 to 9 years old.  In this stage the child distances himself from the pre-conceptual stage. The child has acquired the understanding of object constancy and has learned to link his actions and thoughts with words.  According to Piaget this 4 to 9 year phase is the intuitive phase of intelligence.  The child learns to use language more actively and to think more activelyand logically.  The child is very dependent upon observation during this phase.  Most children struggle with the transition from the intuitive to the concrete-operational stage.

Total brain development :
The most well known cliché in education today is "left versus right brain".   Sometimes a superficial label is attached to children by identifying them as left or right brain learners.  The more we use both hemispheres, the more intelligently we will function.

The Gestalt (right) hemisphere is to a large degree responsible for spatial orientation, patterns and concrete objects. This hemisphere forms a total image from smaller elements. The logical (left) hemisphere is responsible for language and words.  Here further analysis, sequencing and fragmentation into smaller portions occurs.  Creativity is a total brain process, which requires technique and detail from the logical hemisphere and flow and emotion from the Gestalt hemisphere.

In just the same way, mastering a language requires the correct words and sentence construction coming from the left brain and emotion and dialect from the right brain. This integration enables the learner to read and write as well as to understanding and creatively interpret what has been read.

CAMI's Perceptual Skills Builder software uses the total brain development approach to heighten the effectiveness of the brain, making learning more integrated and successful. The program is developed in such a manner that even 4 year old children are able to come into contact with unfamiliar situations which enable them to develop strong self-confidence and a spirit that is hungry for knowledge.

The CAMI Perceptual system is fully featured and addresses the eight areas of perception: colour, shapes, spatial orientation, associative skills, mental retention, auditory skills, the estimation of quantities and exercises that deal with the human body.

Visual discrimination is vital for good spelling, reading and mathematical development.  Exercises involving the ability to identify similarities and differences have been specially developed to improve visual discrimination.  A child with poor visual discrimination will find it difficult to differentiate between letters, numbers and words. Children in this situation read letter by letter.

Visual sequencing exercises organise and stimulate the brain for effective reading and spelling. More advanced exercises emphasise mental recall which improves the memory.  If the child learns and is then unable to recall the information, then the learning was of little use.

Critical thinking and analysis as well as the ability to use logical thought can be practised and mastered by the foreground/background exercises in the system.  These finely tuned exercises lead to focused participation and interaction, which in turn leads to independence and a healthy self-confidence.  Both of which are essential for the all round development of the child.

Children with a foreground/background problem tend to be disorganised and behave accordingly.  Each new stimulation attracts their attention.  A child who has not yet mastered this skill will often skip portions of a text while reading and also struggles to solve problems.

Memory retention is vital for learning to be effective. A child with poor visual memory cannot remember what he has seen which will result in comprehension difficulties because he/she will not be able to remember what has been read.  Memory retention exercises have been developed for this reason.

In order to complete many of the exercises in this program, the child is required to concentrate and focus on the given task.  This skill is difficult for many young students to master but it is essential to all learning.  The auditory instructions help the child to understand the exercise and also teaches him/her the correct use of language.

Body image exercises help children who have midline difficulties.  Research has shown that children who have this problem find it difficult to move their eyes from left to right for reading and to move their hand from left to right in the writing process.  These difficulties hinder learning.  Body image and the different aspects of mirror image exercises are of great importance for the child’s progress at school.

Benefits :
The CAMI Perceptual Program creates an opportunity for optimal school readiness (as a foundation for future learning) in the child.  This means that he/she can take full advantage of the learning experience at school.

Good flow and rhythm in hand-to-eye coordination, as well as the ability to focus in both a forwards and lateral direction, is achieved through the medium of the computer mouse.  Left-right domination is checked and enriched by being able to use the mouse correctly and accurately.

 Exposing the child to new situations prepares him for the classroom environment.  A high level of perseverance is needed in order to focus in an environment where there is a great variety of distractions.  The ability to resolve objective demands in parallel with problem situations must be encouraged and developed for children to operate successfully in today's world.

The perceptual abilities that the pupil acquires place him or her in a position to sensibly interpret educational material.  The child’s ability to think is developed and optimised  leading to optimum conceptualisation.  Integrated development of the pupil takes place through a high level of logical and associative memory development.  It also places the teacher in a position of analysis, synthesis and globalisation of his or her observations, which means that individual attention can be given to the learners.

In short, the CAMI system facilitates whole-brain development by stimulating and integrating both hemispheres of the brain.  Cognitive development is optimised and learning becomes more effective and happens quickly and easily!