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Proud Mom Stuff, Wayfinding Skills, Cursive Early?

By Heather Idoni

Added Thursday, October 08, 2009

                The Homeschooler's Notebook
     Encouragement and Advice for Homeschool Families
   Vol. 10 No 74                          October 8, 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
  -- Proud Mom Stuff
  Helpful Tip
  -- Five Minute Mysteries
  Winning Website
  -- CompassDude.com
  Reader Question
  -- Cursive Early?
  Additional Notes
  -- Newsletter Archives
  -- Sponsorship Information
  -- Reprint Information
  -- Subscriber Information

       Notes from Heather

  Just want to give a little teaser for some very PROUD MOM news
  I'll be sharing in Monday's high school edition --

  Due to specialized training which he began at age 12, my oldest
  son just landed a job he is very excited about!

  Some of this training involves skills any child can begin learning
  at a young age (with help from his or her parents) at our "Winning
  Website" featured in today's issue.

  I'll share more about Ben's new job on Monday! :-)

  -- Heather


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



  Would you like your kids to LOVE Spelling?

  Introducing... ClickN SPELL!

  Test drive a FREE lesson here --




      Helpful Tip


  "I just wanted to pass along a website that I use with my boys.
  A friend told me about it a month or so ago after her children
  started using it.  She saw it on an ABC news feature.  They give
  two new mysteries every week.  My children have really enjoyed
  them.  They are working on becoming top sleuths but still have
  a ways to go.  The site is about $10 per year and they also do
  fundraisers for groups." -- Jean

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

      Winning Website

  Compass Reading -- Finding Your Way with a Compass... and More!


  Headings, bearings, orientation, triangulation, declination (Oh,
  boy -- I JUST learned about declination!) -- if these words are
  Greek to you, then you might want to take a look at this site!


  As you finish reading one page, click the link near the bottom
  to graduate to the next level of learning.  Even if your children
  don't anticipate using these skills in a career, you never know
  when you might be very glad they understand the concepts.

  I never really "got" North, South, West and East until I was an
  adult.  Equip your kids early with the knowledge of determining
  their location and direction in any situation at this great site!

      Last Issue's Reader Question

  "My 5 year old son has already learned to print, but I recently
  read that teaching cursive before manuscript (print) can help in
  many ways.  Identifying words as a whole and preventing dyslexia
  are two of those, as well as helping the student be able to read
  cursive later and have the ability to write a legible hand-written
  note.  It just makes sense to me that our founding fathers and
  children all the way up to the 19th, maybe 20th century did this.
  Also, children in Cyrillic countries learn to write the cursive
  equivalent in their language first.  It makes sense to me to teach
  him cursive for several other reasons.  I think it will help his
  overall handwriting in the long run.  Since he does know how to
  print, I have decided to continue to use the print to reinforce his
  spelling and phonics, but I am also slowly teaching him how to write
  cursive.  I found great sheets on DonnaYoung.org that are bigger
  than most.

  I have really gotten very little, if any, support or encouragement
  from anyone.  My question is this:  Has anyone else done this or
  taught their child cursive earlier than the 'normal' 3rd grade?
  What helped?  What made it harder?  Thanks." -- Nicole

      Our Readers' Responses 

  "Yes, my son was ready for cursive at age 7.  We used Handwriting
  Without Tears -- http://www.hwtears.com -- for printing, and HWT
  has a 'cursive readiness' test in their materials.  While he was
  still working on printing, we added the cursive.  He found it much
  easier due to how the letters are connected, which cuts down on the
  number of times one has to lift the pencil.  HWT's program is gentle
  and fun for an audio-visual learner.  It is fairly inexpensive, and
  there are hundreds of free downloads on the HWT site.

  My main reason to learn cursive was so my son could choose between
  the two which was more comfortable for him.  I do a mix of print and
  cursive when I write.  I also wanted him to be able to read cursive
  -- like the letters his three grandmas send to him!" -- Julie C.


  "Nicole -- My 6 year old learned some basic printing in kindergarten
  using Handwriting Without Tears.  It was just enough to learn to
  recognize and write the letters, but very little emphasis on penmanship
  of any kind.  But this year I am teaching him cursive handwriting and
  have been amazed at how easily he has picked it up and how it seems
  that the writing practices have helped develop his fine motor skills.
  Best of all, he really enjoys learning cursive and gets quite impressed
  with himself as he sees his own improvement.  I've been using Abeka's
  Cursive Writing curriculum for first graders.  It's a perfect level
  for young ones because they introduce one letter at a time and combine
  it with words and sentences for early readers.  I believe that with
  a relaxed and encouraging environment, learning to write in cursive
  is perfectly appropriate for first graders.  In addition to the
  cursive writing, I have him copy things like days of the week, colors,
  Bible verses, phonics charts, etc. in his printing so he'll also have
  a strong foundation in Manuscript writing." -- Vicki B.

     Answer our NEW Question

  "My question concerning homeschooling high school is for the student
  who probably isn't interested in going to college.  I have one who
  is a real 'hands on' learner.  He loves making things, building things,
  creating things, fixing things, inventing things even -- as long as
  it's with his hands.  Not that those things don't require using his
  brain, mind you, but he's not a book learner.  Let's just say, college
  would not be his first choice as a goal for his future.

  Would you recommend he be coaxed a little more toward the academics
  he would need to attend college?  Or should I settle (with him as a
  freshman) on teaching basic math and minimum requirements on science,
  for example, rather than higher level courses?  What would you
  recommend to get him ready for the work force or entrepreneurship?
  Thanks." -- Lynda


  Your answer to Lynda's question will be featured in Monday's special
  High School Edition of our newsletter! 

  Please send your email 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 with 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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