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Filling the Gaps (Part 2) and What to Do with an Energetic 4 Year Old?

By Lynn Hogan

Added Friday, September 16, 2005

The Homeschooler's Notebook
Encouragement and Advice for Homeschool Families
Vol. 6 No 37    September 16, 2005
ISSN: 1536-2035
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!



Notes from Lynn:
-- Filling the Gaps - Part 2
Helpful Hints
-- Helpful Loop for Homeschooling High Schoolers
Question of the Week:
-- Send Yours Next Week
Reader's Response
-- Help with an Energetic 4 Year Old


A quick housekeeping note, I will be leaving town on Tuesday and
will not be back until Monday (the 26th of September). For this
reason, I may not have access to my e-mail. If you write, I
will not be able to respond until I am back in town. The
newsletter still be available next week, but not much else will
be coming from my e-mail this week! I'm sure you understand.

Last week we began the discussion about "gaps" in our schooling.
I hope I convinced you that there are always going to be gaps.
When I used to be a rep for a well known unit study, I would
love to talk, primarily to dads, that would ask the question
about gaps. My standard question was "do you know all the parts
of the ear?" Nine times out of ten the answer was "no". Then
my next question to them was: "Did you sleep okay last night?"
The listeners would always laugh. In the end, they were
reminded that we tend to overly worry about gaps when what we
need to be worrying about is learning what we will use.

Oh, here I go again. Yes, I know that we need exposure to LOTS
of different materials to actually know what things the student is
going to need. This is the reason for doing survey courses. You
can study weather in one popular curriculum from 2nd grade
through 9th. EVERY year there is a good amount about weather
woven into the curriculum. I'm sorry, but I find that to be an
awful lot of "weather" to cover if my student is not going to
be a meteorologist. If my student IS going to be a
meteorologist, they will cover weather much more in depth when
they hit the college level anyway. If my student is far more
interested in rocks or volcanoes or birds or the human body,
then spending this much time studying weather takes away from
those opportunities.

Isn't that why some of us began to homeschool? I know that
many of us began homeschooling because we wanted to get our
students away from something, but we now also have the benefit
of flexible scheduling both in time and material taught. I do
realize that many of you are from different states and countries
than I. Your state laws may be different from mine and you may
be required to cover certain material in certain years. I will
never pretend to know what the requirements are for every
homeschool in the world, but it would seem to me that we can
still TRY and teach toward our children's giftedness and not just
what is listed in a traditional program. This way the gaps that
your student has will not be a surprise to you. This way, you
can choose the appropriate time for doing "weather" or any
other topic! You *can* choose the gaps and recognize when the
best time is to deal with each "gap" at a time that is most
appropriate for YOUR student!

Next week I have a great article from a former homeschooler that
is a grandmother and someone that understands about gaps! I
have gotten permission to share her article with you next week.
So I will run a guest article a week early so that it can be
kept with the context of "gaps".




You may already be familiar with this Yahoo homeschool group
conservativehs2c - it is a homeschool group that focuses on
college prep and applications. Even though we are a few years
away from college applications, I have learned a tremendous
amount from the members. Anyways, I thought I'd pass that
along in the event you have someone write you looking for a
high school type support group. To subscribe, send a blank
e-mail to: conservativehs2c-subscribe@yahoogroups.com
Although the name of the group says conservative, I think people
from all political views would glean info from the posts.- Michelle


[Lynn didn't have a question for this week]


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!

My 4-year-old is smart as a whip, and so energetic he can't
focus. He does not want to learn to write. He does everything
verbally and can't slow down. How do I help him adjust to
school time? I'm worried about not knowing how to teach him to
his benefit.

I wouldn't worry about it yet. Your son is still awfully young.
I've homeschooled five kids over the last 15 years and have
learned over the years that when I don't worry so much things
go better. I highly recommend reading 10 Things To Do With
Your Child Before Age Ten on the Bluedorn's website. Look for
it on www.triviumpursuit.com .  It is full of wisdom. I wish I
had read something like that 15 years ago--maybe I wouldn't be
so gray already! When your son is ready to begin writing you
may be interested in taking a look at Teach Your Child to Read
in 100 Easy Lessons. The child learns to read and write at the
same time. I'm using it with my 5 year old, and we both really
like it. I'm finding it much easier and enjoyable than the
program I used with my older four kids. It doesn't take long,
just 15 minutes, and my son sits on my lap as though we are
just having story time. I've found it helpful with my two
middle boys to do short lessons and then take a five minute
break to run circles around the house. We race each other, get
a little fresh air, and have a good laugh, then go back to the
books. They are 9 and 13 and still require that little outlet
for their energy or they start wiggling in their chairs. If
the weather is bad we do sit ups and jumping jacks inside. For
those two I have also switched to videos, field trips and
research, and hands on activities, throwing out the workbooks.
Once I accepted that they will never sit still in a desk and
look at a textbook we all began to enjoy school. - Lisa

My kids also hate the writing part of their schoolwork. At age
4 I probably wouldn't push it as his fine motor skills might
not but up with his capacity to learn. If you want to have him
do activities that require writing you might want to use a
chalk board or have him write in a tray of sand. - Sandy

I would suggest you read any books by Dr. Raymond Moore.
You will learn about the overwhelming evidence that very young
children should not be expected to do close, concentrated,
focused school work. Many learning disabilities, emotional
disturbances, and even physical problems can often be
attributed to the neurological damage that is caused by too
much structured learning too soon. Let your little boy be a
little boy. The structured school work can come later. Read a
variety of good literature to him. Let him play with money,
thermometers, rulers and yardsticks, scales, etc. Take nature
walks and let him develop an appreciation for God's creation.
If he wants to draw things you see in nature, let that be his
"writing" lesson. Let him dress up and act out stories. Do
simple crafts with him. Give him productive things to do with
his energy -- building bird feeders, planting a garden,
shoveling snow, pulling weeds, etc. Let him help you with
household tasks, but make them fun. You'll be so much farther
ahead in the long run. - Mary Beth

Why does a 4-year old need to learn to write? He probably does
not yet have the motor skills for writing. Spend time reading
to him, playing color games, etc. At 4, he's doing what he
should be doing, playing and developing his body and learning
everything verbally. I don't think 4 year-olds should be "in
school" at all. - Bette

Next - Those Pesky Gaps (Conclusion), Studying the USA, Character Re-Energizing!
Previous - Those Pesky Gaps (Part 1), Studying the States, Reader Answers

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