Starting young with homeschooling

Having problems figuring out where to start? Let other homeschoolers offer you some advice!

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FrankD
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Starting young with homeschooling

Postby FrankD » Tue May 23, 2006 8:25 pm

My boy is about to turn 2. Yes, I know it's a bit soon to work on his calculus skills. :) But I would like to know if there are materials out there that would be good to get his brain in gear and thinking more that will also keep his interest for more than 2 seconds. So far his interest is piqued when we're at one of the local parks with animals, he'll spend an hour trying to feed the deer leaves and grass (as well as dirt, sticks and rocks).

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Postby hbmom36 » Tue May 23, 2006 10:01 pm

My son is 3, and interested in everything. We read a ton-books about numbers, shapes, colors and letters as well as lots of storybooks. I can't think of any better material than a good book read with a loving parent.

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Theodore
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Re: Starting young with homeschooling

Postby Theodore » Tue May 23, 2006 11:46 pm

If you have an encyclopedia, there are probably many articles with interesting pictures of things like spiders, birds, dogs, mountains, aircraft, bridges, etc. You can also go out and look under rocks, or dig in the yard for earthworms, or plant flowers or vegetables, or if you're looking for things to do indoors, read him stories with lots of pictures. Classic comic book series are excellent for this, such as Asterix, Tintin, or Prince Valiant, or if you don't mind the stories being significantly less advanced in scope, Berenstein Bears (careful on the spelling, you want the ones by Stan and Jan Berenstein) or Dr. Seuss. Usborne Books also publishes a vast number of illustrated books on any topic you can think of, so you'll probably want to look at what they offer if you have a specific subject in mind.

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Postby momo3boys » Thu May 25, 2006 9:22 am

if you don't mind getting messy, play in the mud, with glue and other messy stuff, it really helps them explore their world and it's fun for you too! :P
Phi 4:13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

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Theodore
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Re: Starting young with homeschooling

Postby Theodore » Thu May 25, 2006 8:54 pm

Mud is fun! The common area in back of our house was just a big expanse of mud and rocks for the first several years after we moved in, but we'd run all over it, build bridges to the sewer cover at one end, climb on the dirt piles, and turn the ragweed forest into a labyrinth by stomping out paths. We also made a fort by dragging tree trunks and large rocks to one end, but then the subdivision sent in a truck and carted them all away. Now the common area is just another grassy field, not really worth playing in, though I suppose somewhat more safe and a good deal more scenic. Oh well. We're too old to play with dirt now anyway :)

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Postby momo3boys » Fri May 26, 2006 6:51 am

No one is EVER to old to play in the dirt. We just call it gardening instead. :lol:
Phi 4:13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

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Postby FrankD » Fri May 26, 2006 9:33 pm

I guess those are good points. Lately he's fascinated with the wood chips in the park. He grabs handuls of them, examines them then throws them up in the air, sometimes at me. He is curious about textures. I just thought he was merely avoiding eating when he stuck his fingers into his banana and other foods.

The thing that bugs me a bit is that he used to LOVE having me read to him. Now that I'm not home at night, mom just watches TV most of the time and when i try to sit with him his attention span is limited. Any ideas on how to break it apart from limiting his TV in the daytime?

Should I just read as long as he permits me to? I try to make it fun for him and make a big to-do if he identifies letters when I ask him to, cause he loves that. I'd like to drag him to the library next week and see if there's something he can look at without tearing up.

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Postby hbmom36 » Fri May 26, 2006 10:09 pm

FrankD wrote: mom just watches TV most of the time and when i try to sit with him his attention span is limited. Any ideas on how to break it apart from limiting his TV in the daytime?



Limit TV time during the day. TV is an attention span killer. My kids (7 and 3) watch almost no TV, and they have amazing attention spans. Once they get used to those bright graphics and flashy characters on the screen, reading a bunch of stories is going to be BOOOOORRRIIING!!

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Theodore
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TV rots your brain.

Postby Theodore » Fri May 26, 2006 10:27 pm

Yes, TV rots the brain. You shouldn't allow it at all during his early years, and if you allow it after that, limit him to an hour or two per day and only as a reward for finishing his homework. And it's better if you watch things (video and DVD as well) as a family, so you can discuss the story line and any issues that come up, and keep his brain active.

For now, just do all the reading that you can, and substitute other activities that use his brain more (perhaps a set of building blocks?) for the TV. If he has too much energy to sit still when you want to read to him, do something active first and tire him out a bit :)

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Postby FrankD » Tue May 30, 2006 6:31 pm

I agree with the no TV thing - for the most part...and maybe here you can shed some light from experience.

I would be inclined to think that there ARE a few good things for a kid to watch. For example, I gre up watchin Mister Rogers and Sesame Street. The latter is not what it used to be, but Mister Rogers is still, in my opinion, a wonderful way to introduce positive ideas.

When I was younger, my dad also had me watch other PBS shows on science and nature, and even the news. Not sure I'd go with the news until he's almost school age, but today there was an interesting documentary on researching volcanoes on.

Mind you, he's not old enough for any of that yet, but I'm saying there are a few exceptions to the rule out there.

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Postby hbmom36 » Tue May 30, 2006 9:44 pm

Of course there IS good TV out there-for older children. My 7 year old is watching NOVA right now. She watches Storm Stories almost every night, and we take out two or three historical videos a week (she watched Ken Burns' Civil War series, and is now working her way through The West). My 3 year old has almost zero interest in TV. When he's in the daycare at our gym, he completely ignores it if they have it on.

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Postby FrankD » Tue May 30, 2006 10:15 pm

The past few days I've kept the TV off after Mister Rogers is on. I took him to the library and he had a blast since they had computers for the kids to play with, and wanted to pull all the books off the shelves. Luckily, I talked him into a nice ABC book which we sat down and read together. Amazing how well he listens when the TV isn't on. I think I need to convey this to the wife. She's a teacher but for some reason refuses to believe me when I tell her that all the TV is not good for him. Guess I have to pull out the studies I read about.

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Postby Janet Tatman » Wed May 31, 2006 12:28 pm

Frank D,

We removed our TV when our first child was born. Instead, we would go to the local library once a week and check out books to read. My children became avid readers with great imaginations that lead to future success during their college years - tons of information and text books to read as well as papers to write. The only time they watched TV was at Grandma's house.

To this day, my children would still read a book before watching the TV. Develop habits in your son's life now, and it will reap great rewards in the future. TV has its place with history channel, etc., but use it as a tool to educate instead of to entertain. Why sit and watch when you can go and experience life instead?
Janet T.
HS MOM FOR 25 YRS
www.janetsjournal.com


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