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More Wisdom for Diana, Nature Study Blog, Homemaking Resource

By Heather Idoni

Added Thursday, June 04, 2009

                The Homeschooler's Notebook
     Encouragement and Advice for Homeschool Families
   Vol. 10 No 41                           June 4, 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.

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  Notes from Heather
  -- More Wisdom for Diana
  Helpful Tip
  -- Free Homemaking Resource
  Winning Website
  -- Handbook of Nature Study Blog
  Reader Question
  -- High School with Autism
  Additional Notes
  -- Newsletter Archives
  -- Sponsorship Information
  -- Reprint Information
  -- Subscriber Information

       Notes from Heather

  Last issue we had a question from Diana regarding frustration in
  dealing with her 7 year old son.  One of our longtime readers,
  Mary Beth A., had sent in a very thoughtful answer that I somehow
  didn't receive!  Thanks, Mary Beth, for resending it!  I am very
  happy to include it here for everyone to glean wisdom from. :-)


  "Diana, it's difficult to get inside our children's minds and know
  what's going on sometimes.  I have a few ideas for you.  My son,
  who is now 15, seemed to have a greater need for me to be with him
  -- whether he was doing assignments, practicing his music, or doing
  household tasks.  He's simply more sociable, and always stayed on
  task better when I was beside him, even though I wasn't usually
  helping him.  Your son is so young, and I think it's completely
  okay for him to want you with him.
  Having said that, there could be an attention-getting strategy going
  on.  You could tell him you have so much time to spend with him; then
  ask whether he'd rather you spend it doing math, or playing a game
  (or something else he would enjoy).  It sounds somewhat mechanical,
  but he might get some assurance from knowing that you will give him
  your undivided attention, and then let him choose the way he spends
  the time with you.
  Another motivation, which I used often with my children when they
  were younger, was to give them a certain amount of work and a certain
  amount of time; when they got their work done, the remainder of the
  time was free time to go outside and play.  When the time was up,
  then it would be time to do housework or other tasks.  If they
  frittered their time away, they would have that much less free time.
  I strongly recommend that you never use assignments of any kind for
  punishment.  If he truly needs more practice on a certain skill,
  by all means provide the extra practice.  But if you use school work
  for punishment, it will quickly take on a negative connotation in his
  mind, and he will certainly hate it for the rest of his life.  Also,
  any time your relationship with your son is in jeopardy, please
  remember that all the math skills in the world aren't worth it.  If
  you don't maintain your relationship, he won't want to learn from
  you, and you'll lose his heart in other, far more important areas.
  He must know that you are his advocate, not his enemy.

  Since he's ahead, how about taking a break from math?  During the
  time off you can do fun projects or play games that use math skills,
  or you could abandon math completely and take a rest from it.  Or
  you could ask him if he'd like to back up and do a review to relearn
  the things he seems to have forgotten.  Ask him how he would like
  for you to help him make it easier.  Make him look you in the eye.
  If he's manipulating you, that will be difficult for him to do.
  If patience is a difficult issue for you, I recommend a DVD from
  Dr. S.M. Davis, 'What Impatience Does'.  You can get it from this
  site:  http://www.solvefamilyproblems.com

  That video turned my life around in the area of patience.  He has
  other videos on family relationships that might be of interest to
  you as well." -- Mary Beth


  And here is a reader comment about our last issue --

  "Hi Heather -- WORM FARMS are FUN!!!  My kids are 15 and 17, and
  I am 57, but we're having a great time incorporating worm science
  into our garden projects.  Now if we can just figure out what to
  do with the bugs we don't want!!!  Thanks.  Today's column was a
  great encouragement." -- Sybil


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

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      Helpful Tip

  "The Future Christian Homemakers' Handbook is now available -
  FREE – online.  Twelve chapters of cooking lessons, devotionals,
  homemaking lessons and more!  Hard copies of the book are still
  available, while supplies last, but my husband and I decided
  to put the book online, free, to help those who want to teach
  homemaking skills at home, at church, or in their neighborhood.
  We pray it will bless many families, especially during difficult
  economic times.

  We'd appreciate it if you'd blog about this 200+ page free
  resource at:  http://www.FutureChristianHomemakers.com  

  Thanks so much!" -- Laurie Latour

      Winning Website

  Handbook of Nature Study Blog
  This blog chronicles one family's experience using this classic
  by Anna Comstock.  Those who wish to add more nature study to
  their homeschool day will love the "Outdoor Hour Challenges", each
  built around the text in the Handbook.  This is probably the best
  resource I have found for gaining concrete advice and instruction
  on how to utilize Charlotte Mason's ideas of nature study.  Once
  you visit this helpful and lovely site, you'll be inspired to
  gather your children and explore the great outdoors!

  -- Cindy, http://www.HomeschoolingFromTheHeart.com


  Here is a link to the reprint of the original 1911 'Handbook of
  Nature Study' by Anna Botsford Comstock:


      Last Issue's Reader Question

  "I have a 16 year old autistic son.  After years of reading and
  dreaming about homeschooling, my husband and I are planning to
  start home schooling him this fall. 

  I would appreciate any advice anyone would care to share with me
  about homeschooling with our situation.  Information is overwhelming,
  there is so much.

  I do have a specific question though.  My son's abilities are all
  over the board.  With reading and spelling he is at a junior high
  level, but his comprehension level is more like 2nd grade.  He is
  so good at reading, but dreads doing it.  Is this because it is
  hard work for him and he doesn't comprehend much of it anyway?

  Do you have any curriculum suggestions or ideas for us?  Thank
  you so much." -- Beth

      Our Readers' Responses 

  "God bless you, Beth, for taking this step in helping your son.
  It won't be easy, but you'll be so glad you did.  My 14 year old
  daughter has Asperger Syndrome; we've been homeschooling for 4
  years now and we're both glad we are.
  I don't know if your son has Asperger's, but the book 'Homeschooling
  the Child with Asperger Syndrome' by Lise Pyles may be of help to
  you -- or at least get you started.  As far as your son being at
  different grade levels -- well that's the beauty of homeschooling.
  It doesn't matter!  You can begin at whatever level he is now and
  let him progress at his own pace.  If possible, attend a homeschool
  curriculum convention so you can get a hands-on look at the material
  -- and then jump right in.  You can always change later if it's not
  Also, be prepared for there to be days when nothing gets done.  I
  feel fortunate if we can get three good days of schooling in a week.
  At times it may be a whole week of 'life skills' instead.  Structure
  is important, but flexibility along with it will keep you sane.
  And always remember: a bad day homeschooling is still better than
  the best day in public school for our kids." -- Betty Jo R.


  Editor's Note:  Beth -- here are 3 links I think you might find
  useful if you haven't already utilized them. -- Heather


  (scroll down to the Autism resource section)


     Answer our NEW Question

  "Would anyone happen to know of a good resource for our family to use
  for learning Spanish?  I know there are good resources for individuals
  to use, but we would like to try something that could be used for the
  whole family all at the same time so we could truly learn Spanish
  together.  I am thinking some video program is probably the way to
  go -- but which one??  Any suggestions?" -- Barbara D.


  Do you have a family Spanish learning idea for Barbara? 

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

     Ask YOUR Question

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

  Send it to mailto: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
  'chat' area where you can talk live to our homeschool counselors
  by typing in a box.  When you get there, just introduce yourself
  and let them know that Heather sent you!

  This ultra-safe chat is supervised by experienced moms who are
  there to serve and share their wisdom... or just offer a listening
  ear and encouragement.


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Next - Summer Learning, Family Language Study, List Mania!
Previous - Worm Farm Fun, Lego Challenge, Help for a Seven Year Old

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