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FUN? Can Homeschooling be FUN?

By Lynn Hogan

Added Friday, July 08, 2005

============================================================
The Homeschooler's Notebook
Encouragement and Advice for Homeschool Families
============================================================
Vol. 6 No 27    July 8, 2005
ISSN: 1536-2035
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Copyright (c) 2000-2005 Lynn Hogan. All Rights Reserved.
============================================================

Welcome to the Homeschooler's Notebook!

If you like this newsletter, recommend it to a friend. We all
need to be helping each other with our schools!

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==============
IN THIS ISSUE:
==============
Notes from Lynn:
-- FUN? Can Homeschooling be FUN?
Helpful Hints
-- Free Books from the Teaching Company
Question of the Week:
-- Free Sources for Teaching English?
Reader's Response
-- Help My Student Learn Numbers, etc.
Lynn's Picks
-- High School Biology/Chemistry in Your Home

=================
NOTES FROM LYNN
=================

Last week we talked about having fun in the "now". I promised we
would talk more about incorporating that fun into our school
year as well. First a quick disclaimer: Let's be realistic. Not
every moment of every day is FUN! My husband loves his job but
not EVERY minute of EVERY day. I love being a homemaker, but,
to be honest, I don't care much for doing laundry! So, a lot of
times, we think that school shouldn't be "fun" either. School
is our child's JOB and they should recognize that not every job
is fun, right?? Well, Yes and No.

Previously, we have discussed making school a cooperative
learning experience. Unfortunately children ARE children and,
if it isn't fun, many times they just don't want to do it. Fun
does not have to be bouncing off the walls, and fun does not
have to be loud, and fun does not even have to be expensive.
Think of all the fun things that you did last year. (You DID do
SOME fun things last year, right?) Ask yourself what made those
things fun.

Some activities are fun because they are DIFFERENT. Different
can be fun. Instead of doing spelling words in a book, play "I
Spy" and use clues to the spelling words. Anything that makes a
standard fare "different" will USUALLY be a big hit.

Creative activities can also be fun. By the way, YOU do not have
to be the one doing the creative activities. When I am with my
great scout troop, many times they will try and "play school"
to learn certain things. My co-leader and I make them turn it
into a game so that it is not a lecture format by just a few
students. These girls come up with outstanding ideas that my co-
leader and I may NEVER have considered. It is absolutely amazing
what your children can come up with when they are given the
opportunity. I am sure your students will surprise you once you
help train them to get those creative juices flowing!

Here's something that might surprise you and will not apply to
every student. Challenging activities can be fun. Even though
some students may "freak out" over an activity that stretches
their mind a bit, challenging activities presented correctly can
really bring out the best in your child.

Spend a little time this summer asking yourself how you might
add some "fun" into each of your subject areas.

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=======================
HELPFUL TIPS:
=======================

The Teaching Company is offering: "For the fourth consecutive
year, we are offering over 1,000 pages of free books to our
loyal customers. "

It is a simple sign up to have access to these pages. They post
a few pages of several books every week for a year until the
whole book is downloaded.

Go to: http://teachinglearning.com/freeteach.php to sign up.
- Cindy

========================
ASK YOUR QUESTION
========================

I currently live in Mexico, but I would love to know if there
are any free website out there that teach the English language?
I bought that program from Phonics, but I canĀ“t seem to get my
son interested enough to catch his eye. HELP! (He is a 9th
grader). Also, when I ask him to speak the language with me, he
says he is embarrassed, and refuses to do so).

========================
YOUR RESPONSE
========================

NOTE: my publication of these responses does not necessarily
mean that I endorse a product or an activity. You make your own
decisions about how these responses might work in YOUR school!
---

I have a son who is struggling to remember, his numbers, shapes
etc. He turns 6 in September and still cannot correctly name a
circle for instance when he sees one, let alone his numbers.
---
Learning difficulties are very frightening (for the parents) and
very frustrating for the child. The first thing you need to
remember is to keep your feelings about his seeming inability
to learn VERY LOW-KEY. He sounds like he has some neurological
disorganization. Sounds scary but isn't that big a deal. Did
he crawl like a "normal" baby? Does he do some things with his
right hand and other things with his left? Is he right-eyed but
left-eared. All of these types of things affect the way our
brains process information. If everything we see, hear, and
feel isn't put into the same side of the brain, then the
information becomes difficult to retrieve. Examples: someone
whose dominant ear is the opposite from everything else in
their body will seem to never be able to pay attention and
remember what you said to them. So, when you say, "Go put this
in your room." and walk out then come back ten minutes later
and find the child hasn't even moved, you fuss, "I thought I
told you to put this in your room" and the child says, "I
didn't hear you" or "I didn't remember" and he really didn't
hear or he really doesn't remember. Solution: plug the ear
(with swimmers wax) so that the child must use the proper ear
more. This isn't an instant solution, but it addresses the
root of the problem and will eventually shift the dominance to
the correct side. For more information about neurological
disorganization there are several websites you can access:
www.NACD.org, www.hope-future.org, or look up the International
Christian Association of Neurodevelopmentalists (I-CAN).- Rhonda
---

First, don't panic. Your son will pick up on that and will make
it worse for both of you. Second, call a local pre-K school
and ask them if they have an experienced teacher there that can
come and evaluate and give you hints as to what to do. My
homeschooling neighbor called a pre-K school at a large church
in our area with a similar problem regarding ABC's and number
recognition. They were very understanding and helpful. They
also directed her to a state run program (in Maryland it's part
of the WIC program) that will come and evaluate your child for
any possible learning problems. It's free to all families of
any income range and is directed to birth through Kindergarten
children. Remember, just because your first sons were 'fine'
doesn't mean this one is going to be a walk in the park. A
parishioner in our former church that homeschools, has two
dyslexic children (ages 8 and 13) but her first 3 (ages 14, 16,
and 18) have no dyslexia. She had to totally regroup her way
of homeschooling with them. She couldn't use the same books,
manipulatives, or anything! There are also some homeschool
support groups that are specialized for children that have
special abilities or need to learn in a non-conventional way.
Be calm and remember that you can get through this! You need to
address it as a challenge and not a problem. It's a road that
may be less traveled by your family, but a road that is worth
traveling for the sake of your son. - Angela
---

My middle daughter was like that! I took her to church to have
her prayed over because I was so concerned! She could match her
clothes but couldn't tell me the names of the colors. Then one
day about a week after I took her to church, we had company and
she sat down with my friend and read whole words to her! I
couldn't believe it! She was reading a rebus book that
substituted pictures for some of the words. That seemed to
clarify in her mind that all those words meant something and
weren't just squiggles on the page. She still couldn't tell me
the names of the letters, but could put together the sounds.
We started doing math with wooden sticks. When you get 10 you
put a rubber band around them and move them to the "tens"
column. It even looks like the "1" in "10". She turned out to
be really good in math. She just had a different "learning
style" from my other 3 kids and now she is a grade ahead of her
age. I still, sometimes but not often, have to try about
twenty different things to find what combination of words or
pictures will get it through to her but once I find the key -
she gets it. I also find that every time I start to fret with
any of my kids about something I don't seem to be able to teach
them. When I drop it and pick it up later it turns out that-
either they got it the first time even though there was crying,
and gnashing of teeth, or they get it easily the next time.- Deb

==============
LYNN'S PICKS
==============

Last week I told you that I was learning some web design things
this summer. My latest accomplishment is Bridget Ardoin's
Science for High School site. She has finished her High School
Chemistry in Your Home curriculum and has added it to her
biology offering. If you would like to check out my work, stop by
Bridget's new website at http://www.scienceforhighschool.com





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