Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions

  1. Do I have to be a teacher or know about teaching to use THE NOGSTM OF NOTCH HILL?
  2. My child has finished Grade 1 and is struggling to learn the letters of the alphabet. Could THE NOGSTM OF NOTCH HILL be useful for us?
  3. I am a home school parent- would THE NOGSTM OF NOTCH HILL be appropriate for us?
  4. I am a teacher – can I use THE NOGSTM OF NOTCH HILL with my class?
  5. My child is learning English as a second language – would THE NOGSTM OF NOTCH HILL be appropriate for us?
  6. My child has a learning challenge – would THE NOGSTM OF NOTCH HILL be appropriate for us?
  7. How do I know if my child is ready for the NOGSTM OF NOTCH HILL?
  8. I don’t have much time in my life – how can I fit THE NOGSTM OF NOTCH HILL in?
  9. How often do we need to play?
  10. What on earth are NOGSTM?
  11. My child can smell an educational game from a mile away – how do I introduce this system without hearing “Mommy, you aren’t my teacher”?
  12. Will you be bringing out a game to teach the upper-case letters of the alphabet?
  13. What does a typical Playsession look like?
  14. What is your refund policy?

General Questions

1. Do I have to be a teacher or know about teaching to use THE NOGSTM OF NOTCH HILL?
Absolutely not! THE NOGSTMOF NOTCH HILL was specifically designed to be used by parents with no knowledge of teaching. The Notch Hill Learning System guides you step by step through each Playsession. It requires no pre-planning  just find 15 to 20 minutes of free time, sit down with your child and the games, and be prepared to have some fun together.

2. My child has finished Grade 1 and is struggling to learn the letters of the alphabet. Could THE NOGS OF NOTCH HILL be useful for us?
The Notch Hill Learning System is based on co-founder Joan Thornton’s 30 years of experience teaching children who were struggling for various reasons. While the games and exercises in THE NOGSTM OF NOTCH HILL work for children with no challenges they are very appropriate for children who are finding school a challenge. Our system is based on a “multisensory” approach to learning which experts have long hailed as the ideal approach for children who are struggling.

The Notch Hill Learning System is designed to go at the pace of the child, which is ideal for building confidence in children who have been left behind by the system.

The longer a child struggles in school, the harder it is to get them back on track and to rebuild their confidence. If you suspect that your child is beginning to struggle in school or at Kindergarten talk to their teacher. Whether you decide to use THE NOGSTM OF NOTCH HILL or find a tutor, set your child up for success in life – don’t hesitate to ask for help early on.

3. I am a home school parent – would THE NOGSTMOF NOTCH HILL be appropriate for us?
Absolutely. In fact we may go so far as to say THE NOGSTM OF NOTCH HILL would be ideal for you. It teaches the basics in reading and writing. It has been designed by experts with more than 30 years of teaching experience so you don’t have to spend hours figuring out the most appropriate way to introduce literacy to your child. And best of all, it’s FUN!

3. I am a teacher – can I use THE NOGSTM OF NOTCH HILL with my class?
THE NOGSTM OF NOTCH HILL is designed for use in a one-on-one situation, making it ideal for Special Educational Assistants who work with children one -on-one.

4. My child is learning English as a second language – would THE NOGSTM OF NOTCH HILL be appropriate for us?
If your child can understand an average English language children’s storybook , they will absolutely be able to take advantage of THE NOGSTM OF NOTCH HILL.

5. My child has a learning challenge – would THE NOGSTM OF NOTCH HILL be appropriate for us?
The term “learning challenges” covers a broad spectrum of mild to severe challenges. The Notch Hill Learning System is based on co-founder Joan Thornton’s 30 years of experience teaching children who needed extra help learning basic literacy skills. While the games and exercises in THE NOGSTM OF NOTCH HILL work for children with no challenges, they also are appropriate for children with specific learning challenges too. If your child is in the school system, THE NOGSTM OF NOTCH HILL would likely be an excellent option for you.

Our system is based on a “multisensory” approach to learning which experts have long hailed as an ideal approach for children with challenges. The system is also designed so that the child progresses at their own pace – imperative for any child with a specific learning challenge.

“As a dyslexic kid, I loved playing the games. They are designed so that I competed against myself. As long as I tried hard, I could win and succeed – which was something I didn’t do a lot of in school.”
Nicola Lott – Co-Founder and Joan’s daughter.

6. What is “Multisensory Learning”?
“Multisensory learning” is a long word for a simple theory. If you learn something by experiencing it through several senses then you will find it easier to learn and easier to retain. An example of this could be learning the letter “d’
Sound – What does the letter “d’ sound like? Does it sound like a drum?
Look – What does it look like? Can you spot some “d’s in a sentence?
Feel- What does it feel like to draw “d’?
Move – Practice tracing the “d’ out in the air. Pretend to beat a “drum’ when you hear the letter “d’.

7. How do I know if my child is ready for THE NOGSTM OF NOTCH HILL?
The general age range that we have found works best with THE NOGSTM OF NOTCH HILL is 4 to 6 years of age. However, it is important to realise that every child develops differently. Some children will be ready to learn their alphabet and write around the time they turn three, while other children are developing quickly in other areas, but are not ready to learn their alphabet yet. If your child is 5 and only just starting to learn the alphabet and write don’t worry. They are still very young and more than likely, still ahead of 50% of their classmates.

To test to see if your child is ready for THE NOGSTM OF NOTCH HILL:

  • Write “wgw’ large in thick pen on a piece of paper and ask your child to spot the difference between the letters.
  • If your child can’t see the difference, try again in 6 months.
  • If they can do this, give them a crayon and show them how to hold it properly.
  • If your child holds it properly they are ready for THE NOGSTM OF NOTCH HILL.
  • If your child can’t hold it properly but holds it in their fist they may be ready to start THE NOGSTM OF NOTCH HILL but will likely find the writing portion the most challenging area.
    • If their age is very young, wait a few more months before trying.
    • If they are older, start THE NOGSTM OF NOTCH HILL. Their hand coordination will improve with practice.

8. I don’t have much time in my life – how can I fit THE NOGSTM OF NOTCH HILL in?
THE NOGSTM OF NOTCH HILL is designed for people like you who are extremely busy. The system only requires 15 to 20 minutes of your time once a day. Remember, this is good, wholesome, fun time with your child. If you’re tired at the end of a long day, it’s ok. Very little thinking is required of you. All you need to do is follow step by step instructions and remember to enjoy yourself.

The best way to fit THE NOGSTM OF NOTCH HILL into a busy schedule is to schedule it in. Find a time of the day that runs on routine. Perhaps you always feed the kids at 6:00, bathe them at 7:00 and put them to bed at 7:30. An ideal time to play the games would be at 6:30. Schedule it in along with dinner, bath and bedtime. Once you get into a routine, it will be easier to play than to skip a day, and require no extra effort on your part.

9. How often do we need to play?
We recommend that you play 5 days a week. This enables you to take advantage of your week day schedule and schedule it into your routine. If you miss a session or two you won’t notice it. If you find that you are barely getting to THE NOGSTM OF NOTCH HILL once a week put it away until your schedule becomes more regular again. The system is based on short bursts of learning with a lot of repetition. If you play extremely irregularly your child will struggle to remember letters they have learned. This can be frustrating for both the child and parent.

10. What on earth are NOGSTM?
NogsTM are your friends! They are the magical creatures that live in the far away land of Notch Hill. There are 26 NogsTM and animal friends that live in, on and around Notch Hill. They all want to meet you and your child!

11. My child can smell an educational game from a mile away, how do I introduce this system without hearing “Mommy, you aren’t my teacher”?
The key is to focus on fun. Engage yourself with the fun contained in the games, act silly, goof off a bit, join in with the funny arm movements, and animate your voice when reading the stories. Focus on having fun together and leave the learning to occur naturally. It may be that this is your child’s way of telling you that they are not ready for literacy yet. If your child isn’t enjoying themselves, don’t force the issue. Simply put the NogsTM of Notch Hill aside for 6 months and try again then.

12. Will you be bringing out a game to teach the upper-case letters of the alphabet?
YES! We’re working hard on it right now.

13. What does a typical Playsession look like?
5 minutes – games to review previous sessions
5 minutes – introduce the letter of the day, tell its story, learn to recognise and write the letter.
5+ minutes – re-enforce the learning through playing two games.

Below is a sample Playsession from the Parent’s book and Playsession guide.
(Click on the image to enlarge.)

14. What is your refund policy?
If you buy THE NOGSTM OF NOTCH HILL and decide that you don’t like it, return it within 30 days of receipt and we will refund 100% of the cost.
NOTE: This does not include a refund on shipping.