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Simple Homeschool, Trivia 'Sparks', Reluctant Exercisers

Added by Heather Idoni

Monday, February 6, 2012
Vol. 13 No. 4, February 6, 2012, ISSN: 1536-2035
(c) 2012, Heather Idoni - www.FamilyClassroom.net

Welcome to The Homeschooler's Notebook!

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Notes from Heather
-- Reader Feedback
Winning Website
-- Simple Homeschool
Helpful Tip
-- Trivia Questions
Reader Question
-- Reluctant Exercisers
Additional Notes
-- Newsletter Archives
-- Sponsorship Information
-- Reprint Information
-- Subscriber Information

Notes from Heather

Reader Feedback


8 Great Things NOT to Do for Homeschooling Success

"Heather -- thank you for sharing the encouraging article of things NOT to do when you homeschool. This is my third year homeschooling my three children, and I am learning to 'let go' of the public school mindset. I have caved to the thoughts that my children must know this or that by a certain age, but I am realizing that it is all about learning and ENJOYING learning!

We had used unit studies the first two years, and my children loved it. It was a lot of legwork for me, and I was afraid they weren't learning 'enough', so we switched to workbooks this year, and this is the first time my children have said they hate school! I was so dismayed!! They are recalling days of 'hands-on' learning, so I have decided to switch tracks right now and go back to unit study. I realize there are going to be some mundane days and tough days of research in anything we learn in life, but I want their overall learning experience to be as memorable as possible. Thanks for your support!" -- Janet in Tennessee


Another Response for Carol

"I have a late reply for Carol. My son struggled as well, and graded poorly in some subjects. He really wanted to go to college, so to be fair to him and ethical on his transcripts, I would let him re-test, and average the two grades together. The bottom line to me was whether he knew the material, and that's what the grade reflected." -- Trish


Your feedback is always welcome -- just send your email to heather(at)familyclassroom.net.


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Winning Website


This great site has thought-provoking articles and simple, fun, practical ideas like this one:

Creating a Visual Schedule for Kids

"Simple Homeschool is here to walk with you on your homeschooling journey. Our writers come from a variety of backgrounds and experience, but we have one common goal: we want the best for our children."

Helpful Tip

Trivia Questions to Expand Horizons and Spark Discussions

"We have found that trivia games of all sorts provide a really great spring board for sparking interest and further studies. We are currently spending a few minutes in the afternoon while I ask trivia questions from a National Geographic game. We learn facts, but it also opens up doors and then they end up discussing things they learned with Dad around the dinner table. The discussion is the gem."

-- Kelly, www.GenerationCedar.com and www.RaisingHomemakers.com

Last Issue's Reader Question

Physical Education - Help with Getting the Kids Outside

"We have tried the gym classes locally and my kids do not enjoy them. We have done 3 different classes, different ways, etc. Just wondering what is a good approach when you have very opinionated kids who don't want to be told what to do! :)

How do you get them to get exercise and what age is old enough to require this? My oldest is 8 and often has trouble getting to sleep at night when he doesn't get enough exercise during the day.

I'd love to have my kids outside riding bikes, etc., but they get very bored with this. We live in a neighborhood that is generally empty during the day. There is NO one around. We have a 1 acre plot with a large mowed field behind us that we can use, but is generally swampy during these winter/spring months. I know playing with them works to an extent, but usually it is a tug of war just to get them all dressed and outside. Plus I am about 6 months pregnant, so I can't get around fast anyway. We have a mini trampoline in the house, but I can't 'make' them go on it. Just takes all the fun away, I guess!

Any ideas?

My boys are 8, 5 and 18 months... and I have a 3 year old daughter. My oldest is a book-kid, so getting him outside at all is a challenge in itself, let alone when it is 30 degrees out!" -- Jennifer, HomeschoolingBOYS group member

Our Readers' Replies

"The best thing I have ever done, both as a parent and an educational instructor, is to train both my children and former students in instant obedience without excuse, reason, or delay. Two of my students were not accustomed to obeying anyone, but they quickly responded to the genuine love and concern lavished on them and cheerfully and willingly obeyed in almost every situation -- even when I know they would have preferred not to.

During a former season in our lives, we were living from one hotel room to another. How well I remember the challenge physical exercise was for our four young children then aged from 11 months to 7 years. I too had to be creative and look for opportunities for physical exercise in 'out of the box' ways. Sometimes we ran in place as fast as we could for 30 seconds. Other times we would jump up and down for the same amount of time or until we fell over, whichever came first. :-) Even a hotel room has enough space for two small children to hop on one foot for a length of approximately 7 to 10 feet and back. A quick, 15 minute stop at the park seemed to be more exciting than an entire day, for knowing they only had a short amount of time there, they would play fast and furious. Sometimes we simply walked through a mall or other large store. How many times can they run around the vehicle without stopping? Challenges and excitement, no matter how minute, were practically intoxicating. The more fun and laughter the others had, the more my non-participating book lover wanted to join in. Something about listening to her siblings laugh together drew her out. The dynamic fruit from those early lessons in instant obedience saved both me and my children countless times over. I was free to take advantage of every opportunity, no matter how odd, without resistance from the children, and the children were free to run, jump, and play every chance they were given because not doing what mama said wasn't even on their mental radars, so to speak.

Be assured my children are very real children with decidedly strong personalities. They are as capable of balking at activities and instructions they don't like as the next child. However, because of earlier lessons in obedience, they did what was requested anyway. They did it sweetly enough we all had fun. Sure, there were seasons where the lessons in obedience had to be reinforced and reconfirmed. These seasons of reconfirming were short and nothing major. All of us have days when we just don't want to. Children are no exception. Not wanting to is not an acceptable reason not to exercise when mama says it is time to, though. It definitely isn't a habit of behavior that will lead to future success.

I have a friend who would require her young sons to drop and give her 25 push-ups when they had been disobedient and/or disrespectful. Her technique did double duty. It took care of exercise and their attitudes. This wasn't a mean, angry family either. They were the most fun loving, laughing, happy, crazy fun family I have ever known. My friend was extremely creative and rather than scold, she thought 'out of the box'. She was the best mentor I have ever had for relaxed, don't-sweat-the-small-stuff, enjoy your children fully parenting. She is the one who confirmed to me the freedom that instant obedience training brings a family. I apologize for the long length of this reply. I guess going back so many years made me chatty. Hopefully this will provide something of help." -- Becky


"Jennifer -- my response might be a little controversial for some, but here is what we do. Our boys (18, 17, 7, 6) are only allowed 1 video game per week. However, last year we bought an X-box 360 Kinect with our tax refund. We let them play 'active' games more often. Our 7 year old plays several times a week and works up a sweat. At times, we do have to tell him to turn it off, but I feel it's better than sitting down and only exercising his thumbs." -- Lacey

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