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Delaying Formal Learning, Tips for a Reluctant Writer

By Heather Idoni

Added Thursday, April 09, 2009

The Homeschooler's Notebook
Encouragement and Advice for Homeschool Families
Vol. 10 No 28 April 9, 2009
ISSN: 1536-2035
Copyright (c) 2009 - Heather Idoni, FamilyClassroom.net

Welcome to the Homeschooler's Notebook!

If you like this newsletter, please recommend it to a friend!
And please visit our sponsors! They make it possible.




Notes from Heather
-- Delaying Formal Learning
Helpful Tip
-- Send Your High School Tips!
Winning Website
-- Tooter4Kids
Reader Question
-- Tips for a Reluctant Writer?
Additional Notes
-- Newsletter Archives
-- Sponsorship Information
-- Reprint Information
-- Subscriber Information

Notes from Heather

Delaying Formal Education


I read a really good blog post the other day from Barb of Barb's
People Builders. Here is an excerpt:

"Some scholars and clinicians conclude that formal education
should wait until ages ten to fourteen... Strong clinical and
research evidence indicates that early exposure to the so-called
stimulation of school often destroys childhood motivation for
learning. By grade three or four many children become stranded
on a motivational plateau, never recovering their early excitement
for learning."

Here is a short URL link to the whole article:

The #1 recommended book about delaying formal education (including
avoiding early reading instruction, etc.) is "Better Late than Early"
by Dr. Raymond and Dorothy Moore.

I personally subscribe to this philosophy with all 5 of my sons,
and have done so since my oldest was about 7 years old. If you have
never read this book, I highly recommend it! It gave me so much
insight early on in my homeschooling 'career' -- and helped me to
relax immensely.

I agree with a member of our HomeschoolingBOYS.com group who wrote
recently, "It's a fabulous book, and I'd recommend it to anyone,
whether parent of a late bloomer or not."

-- Heather


Do you have comments to share? Please do!
Send your emails to: heather@familyclassroom.net


The Full Year Notebook System

"Two years ago I learned about FULL YEAR NOTEBOOKS and it has
changed the way I schedule homeschooling. I plan each child's work
for a year at a time and they each have a notebook with their lessons.
It takes me a lot of time during our off months to do the planning,
but it frees up more time for me during the school year because my
planning is already done!"


"I have been homeschooling for 14 years (we are graduating our
first this year) and finally found a system that keeps us organized.
It is called the Full Year Notebook System. The planning part has
helped my children to learn to be more independent and plan their
school time more efficiently. I am no longer having to search
folders, drawers, etc. for completed work. Their daily schedule and
all paperwork they have completed are organized into their notebooks!"

Find out more!



Helpful Tip

Please send in your tips for homeschooling high school! Our
Monday issue will be our first Homeschool High School SPECIAL
ISSUE and I'd like to feature some good tips on planning and/or
preparing for high school or ANY highschooling tips. :-)


Do you have an idea, experience, or tip to share? Please write!
Send to: HN-ideas@familyclassroom.net

Winning Website

Tooter4Kids – www.tooter4kids.com

Another great resource for planning your own thematic units!
Designed by a classroom teacher, this site has lots of great
areas to explore. My favorite part is the thematic units.
Using her class page you and your child can read about various
countries, do suggested activities and even print a few activity
sheets. Although some of the pages on the site refer specifically
to information for classroom teachers, homeschool moms will find
plenty of helpful tips as well, including ideas for teaching
writing and literature.

-- Cindy at www.HomeschoolingFromTheHeart.com

Last Issue's Reader Question

"Hi -- I am new to homeschooling. I am trying to be creative
in having my 12 year old son write (using a computer for
writing, starting his own blog, etc.), but he avoids writing
at all costs. I know it is not his favorite activity, but I
could use some suggestions on how I can get him to try or how
to incorporate writing into our day." -- Lisa

Our Readers' Responses

"Hi Lisa -- My son who will be graduating this year hated to
write. We had such a struggle. I had tried several programs
with no success. One year at a home school convention I came
across the booth for Write@Home, an online writing program. My
friend has a daughter the same age and she also hated to write.
We both ended up signing our children up for the program. There
is a cost to the program, but they have discounts if you sign-up
early. Your child is teamed up with a writing coach and has
assignments once a week. They upload their papers and they are
critiqued and sent back. They have access to their coaches with
questions and concerns -- and you do as well. My son loved the
program and he did very well; I would suggest you check the
website out. My friend's daughter also loved the program and
excelled with her assignments. I believe the web address is
www.writeathome.com " -- Barbi


"My suggestion is Institute for Excellence in Writing. This
curriculum breaks down the writing process in easy, manageable
steps. If you use the DVDs, your son will thoroughly enjoy Andrew
Pudewa's teaching. We have used this curriculum for years, and
I can't say enough about it." -- Kathy in CA


"I have two boys, 11 and 9. They do not enjoy writing at all,
but I have found ways to sneak it into our schooling. I have
them write stories about our pets, what they did over the weekend,
why they like certain toys, etc. I also use a program called
Writing Strands. It is written to the student. In other words,
the author writes it as if he is talking directly to your child.
It is a program that is done one week, then takes a week off; this
makes my boys think they are getting a vacation. The assignments
are easy and seem to be helping both of my boys' writing skills.

I also have them do copy work. I copy a few lines from a favorite
poem or book on a piece of paper, then have them copy it in neatly."
--Tammy M.


"Hi Lisa – My son is quite a bit younger (7 years old), but I
struggle with the same thing. I do have a couple of suggestions
that might help. First, see if he would be interested in doing a
weekly newsletter for family and friends. He could email it or
post it to a blog. Consider having him do different columns each
week –- trivia, jokes, updates on Mom and Dad, school news, inter-
views with family members, start a garden and write updates about
it, etc. Second, give him opportunities to write about what he is
interested in. I can't get my son to do copywork, but when a
gift-giving opportunity comes along, he makes card after card
after card. He also loves to make mini-books and stuff about cars
and trucks. If your son is a kinesthetic learner, like mine, you
might also consider getting him a digital camera or camcorder. My
son got one for Christmas last year and he is constantly taking
pictures and little videos –- especially for Grandpa. If you are
comfortable with this, you might consider letting him post short
videos to his blog, as long as he writes a short paragraph to go
along with it (say 50 words). When we send Grandpa pictures, I have
my son dictate a few sentences explaining the images to Grandpa.
Finally, perhaps his hesitation is in typing or the physical side
of writing. If he is a slow typist, he may not be able to get the
words typed as fast as they are coming to his head. There are a
couple of free typing games available on the Internet that might
make things easier for him – try Tux Type 2:


I hope these things help!" -- Mandi in SC


Lisa -- Did you get to read Karen Lange's "Cover Creative Writing"
articles? Here are the issues that included parts 1 and 2:


Part 3 will be in our upcoming 4/16 issue! :-)

The following advice is from my 13 year old niece, Future Peace.
She is new to homeschooling this year and very much enjoying her
creative writing co-op class with Rosemarie Brennan at United
Homeschool in Brighton, Michigan:

"Have him do an activity -- get a section of a newspaper, take a
Sharpie marker (or anything else) and have him scribble out the
words that he doesn't want to use, and try to make a story,
paragraph, or sentence out of it.

Or he could cut out words out of magazines, a newspaper, etc. and
paste them to a piece of construction paper (or any other kind of
paper) and make stories, sentences, or paragraphs, etc. out of it.

Both of these activities are so much fun!"

Answer our NEW Question

[Answers will appear in our first High School Special issue!]


"I have an 8th grader this year who is a reluctant learner.
I'm worried about high school and what to do. He has the
potential, but not the drive; he hates school. I've tried to
do unit studies with all 3 of my children (14, 12, and 7),
but he slows them down. He takes too long to do the subjects
that are not involved in the unit study like math and silent
reading. If I wait until after our group time to do math, he
struggles more. He says I never do anything that he wants
to learn about, but if I do that, I feel like we are constantly
jumping around. We are using Learning Adventures and Teaching
Textbooks. I'm so nervous about where to begin next year. Does
anyone have any DETAILED ideas for next year. I'm not the most
organized mom, but God is always working on me." -- Tiffany


Do you have any ideas for a fresh high school start for Tiffany?

Please send your answer to: HN-answers@familyclassroom.net

Ask YOUR Question

Do you have a question you would like our readers to answer?

Send it to HN-questions@familyclassroom.net and we'll see
if we can help you out in a future issue!

Need Immediate Help?

Visit our Homeschool Encouragement Center! This is a live 24/7
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and let them know that Heather sent you!

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there to serve and share their wisdom... or just offer a listening
ear and encouragement.


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