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Morse Code Fun, Story Book Math, ADHD Strategies

By Heather Idoni

Added Monday, November 02, 2009

                The Homeschooler's Notebook
     Encouragement and Advice for Homeschool Families
   Vol. 10 No 81                         November 2, 2009
                      ISSN: 1536-2035                              
   Copyright (c) 2009 - Heather Idoni, FamilyClassroom.net

  Welcome to The Homeschooler's Notebook!

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  Notes from Heather
  -- Morse Code Fun
  Helpful Tip
  -- Literature for Math
  Reader Question
  -- Strategies for ADHD
  Additional Notes
  -- Newsletter Archives
  -- Sponsorship Information
  -- Reprint Information
  -- Subscriber Information

       Notes from Heather

  -- --- .-. ... . / -.-. --- -.. .

  In 1999 I studied for and passed the exam for a ham radio tech
  license.  Although I haven't really done much with it for the past
  10 years, my interest was kindled when I received a renewal notice
  in the mail.  I decided to renew my license (since I didn't want to
  have to EVER take that test again!) and I've been thinking about
  setting up a home station and teaching the kids about it, too.
  My station call letters are KC8NPV, for anyone who is interested.
  Any ham radio operators out there? :-)

  Proficiency in Morse Code used to be a requirement for licensing.
  I am not very good at audio discernment, so I applied for a "no code"
  license.  At the time, the deadline for this type of license being
  offered was looming on the horizon.  Then, in 2006, it was dropped

  Although it is no longer required, Morse code is alive and well
  and has been used even recently in emergency rescues.  In 2008 a
  hiker in the Cascade Mountains broke his leg.  He didn't have a
  cellphone (and often they don't work with mountains around, unless
  you are on top of one!), but he did have a low battery radio
  transmitter and was able to tap out a distress call via Morse Code.
  A man over 600 miles away in Montana heard the SOS, got his location,
  and was able to summon help for him.

  Several times in the past 20 years satellite communications have
  gone down in emergencies and ham operators knowing Morse Code have
  still been able to communicate during disaster relief, etc.  Just
  Google "Morse Code Used in Rescue" for more stories.

  Here is a good link to learn about the history and uses of Morse:

  Here is a great page for easy tips for learning Morse:

  Here is a fun page where you can type in a message and translate
  it into Morse (like I did  for the title above).  Children would
  enjoy sending coded messages with this!

  I've read that it is easy to teach young children Morse Code and it
  can be used in music lessons to teach rhythmic duration.  For read
  aloud time, here is a picture book that teaches Morse Code!  It
  is based on a true story. "Radio Rescue":



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

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  road so far.  I feel a new surge of hope.  You are an answer to prayer.
  Thank you again!  I'm looking forward to getting started!" -- Tonya

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      Helpful Tip

  Literature for Math

  I found another little gem at HomeschoolShare.com!  This is an
  extensive list of story books to go along with just about every
  possible math topic:


  Keep this list handy for trips to the library and you can do a
  math-literature connection whenever the need arises! :-)


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

      Last Issue's Reader Question

  "We have a 7-year-old boy that may have ADHD.  I haven't had him
  tested, but he checks out according to the lists.  I have a few

  1) When we get together with grandparents and cousins, he gets
  overstimulated.  It is hard for him to control his energy when he
  is so excited and having fun.  Does anyone have any strategy for
  training kids to calm down on their own, and does it include rewards
  or consequences?

  2) My son is very talkative, and I've told him that it is a gift
  that he should use wisely.  We talk a lot, but I also teach him that
  there is a value in learning when to be quiet.  When he gets an idea
  in his mind, he feels like he needs to say it right away, even if it
  interrupts.  I have worked with him, but it doesn't sink in yet, and
  we have run into public situations where he really needed to be quiet.
  Any training suggestions for interrupting?

  3) Complaining can really become an issue at times.  I work with him
  on re-phrasing to say something positive and not to predict the future.
  When he gets too excited or bummed while playing games, I try to
  remind him to keep his attitude neutral and level because we all lose
  at some point.  It's still hard for him.  Any tips for complaining or
  bad sportsmanship -- training, rewards or consequences?  Will he
  mature through some of this?

  4) I would like to do some speech therapy with him and wondered if
  anyone has any tips to help a child say their 'R', 'L', and 'S'
  sounds.  I know that tongue positioning is key, but I don't know how
  to explain it to him, and he just gets frustrated.

  There is so much experience in this group, so thanks for your help!"
  -- Anne

      Our Readers' Responses 

  "Research the Feingold Diet.  We have been using it in our family
  for about six years and it has done wonders for our children.  Even
  those who don't have ADHD find they focus better when they stick to
  this diet.  It is easy to use, and we can find most of the foods
  right at the grocery store.  Their website is http://www.feingold.org
  Try it for two weeks and you will be hooked." -- Karen


  "I find that my son can get overstimulated very easy at times if I
  feed him high glycemic foods.  I learned about how this works by
  watching a video by neurosurgeon Russel Blaylock.

  I know there is a lot of information about how you can help ADD and
  ADHD with natural medicine.

  Here's a nutrition talk:
  And here's a story I Googled:
  And a news story:
  I know you have to be dedicated to changing diet (avoiding refined
  foods, as well as possibly finding food allergies).  I know good
  fats are important, like Omega 3.

  As neurosurgeon Russel Blaylock says, you should avoid chemical
  additives and neurotoxins like MSG, Aspertame, etc.  I also know
  that I heard many years ago that some ADD cases can be helped by
  just taking acidopholus.
  I really hope you research this yourself; you are in charge of
  your family's health.  Good luck in finding what works for you!"
  -- Anna H.


  "Anne -- I don't know about ADHD, but I have had a child do speech
  therapy.  We went through Easter Seals and I was able to sit in on
  all of his sessions.  You are right about tongue position being
  important.  What the therapist did to get my son to understand it
  was to work with him not only on words with those sounds, but words
  with those sounds in the beginning, middle and end of the words.
  She also had him practice tongue position with a mirror so he could
  see what he was doing.  She would do it with him the right way as
  well as the wrong way so he could hear the difference and see the
  difference.  She also exaggerated the sound, singling it out clearly,
  and taught him to do the same so he could single out the sound and
  even 'feel' it when he made that sound.  I hope some of this helps.
  Good luck." -- Mary in DE


  "I have been in the education field all my life, basically having
  taught all levels, and am now in the education department of a

  There is a condition known as Scotopic Sensitivity/Irlen Syndrome
  (SSS), which has to do with light sensitivity causing perceptual
  problems.  This is NOT a vision problem; it's a perceptual difference.
  The brain is processing information in a different way.  It affects
  approximately 12% of our population, and yet people are often not
  aware of it.  Often the black print on white paper is not being
  seen in the same way that most of us see it, and this causes readers
  to lose their place, see 'rivers' running down the page, or even
  perceive that the letters might be moving.  This condition can be
  helped with colored overlays, and this child should be screened for
  this.  There are also colored lenses that can be worn, which is a bit
  more convenient.  I've just screened two adults this week who are
  in my classes, who grew up thinking they were slow and stupid.  The
  difference is incredible!  Children who have this have often been
  mislabeled as having ADHD, because rather than not being able to pay
  attention, which affects their reading ability (so it's thought);
  really they're not able to read, which affects their ability to pay
  attention!!  This is very real. 

  Please google Irlen Syndrome -- there are youtube videos to watch
  which explain more and resources to help.  I hope this is helpful."
  -- Dr. C.W. in California

  "I have two children who face the same types of challenges -- one
  who has been diagnosed ADHD along with other diagnoses, the other
  who currently has none.
  Homeschooling gives us the freedom to not worry about labels, but
  instead worry about what it takes to help our children function
  The biggest thing for all my children has been to give them ample
  time for physical activity, especially outside.  There is something
  calming about nature, and if they are not getting enough movement
  I very quickly see a change in the general temperament of our home.
  Something else that would help is to teach your son ways to self-calm.
  A good place to start is this site: http://www.out-of-sync-child.com/

  Regardless of whether your son has a sensory processing disorder,
  our sensory systems can all become overloaded, and her books offer
  some great ideas on how to teach your child to self-calm.  If you
  can afford an evaluation by a good pediatric OT, they can also offer
  helpful ideas and advice in this area.
  A consult with a speech therapist would help give you ideas on how
  to address speech sounds -- or contact CHADD.  They have a link to
  a program designed by a speech therapist for use by homeschool
  parents with their children.
  Above all else, consistency and patience, combined with time and
  maturity, will help both you and your son slowly move toward the
  goals you have set for him.  Good luck!" -- El in Canada

     Answer our NEW Question

  "I was wondering if anyone has experience in, has a child interested
  in, or looked at sign language as part of their children's education.
  Is there anyone familiar with the differences between Signing Exact
  English and American Sign Language and their usefulness in real life?
  And what is your preference?  What kind of credit can be given for
  ASL and/or SEE?  How far can they go at the high school level?
  Thanks for your help." -- Anna

  Do you have some input for Anna? 

  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 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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