always playing

Are you homeschool a special needs child? Are you personally physically challenged? Here is the place to share your questions, tips, and experiences.

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Elei
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always playing

Postby Elei » Wed Oct 17, 2007 6:03 am

Hi, I'm new around here.
We are a homeschooling family in Spain with two children. The oldest has a diagnosis ADHD (9years old) and the youngest we don't know exactly what he has. (We are thinking of HSP)
The thing is we have just started homeschooling in September because muy oldest was really getting behind at school. His ADHD didn't let him work at his level and teachers normally don't understand this problem

At home it is sometimes quite a struggle to get him to work. The two of them always want to play and play. They'd be playing with Playmobil all day long and never do anything.

I'd like to know how you deal with that. Do you let children play whenever they want, as long as they want?

Thanks for your advice.
Elei

Calleigh
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Postby Calleigh » Wed Oct 17, 2007 6:24 am

Hi Elei,

I think most people probably struggle with this problem on some level. I give mine breaks to play, but when it is time to resume school, that is it. Often I have to remind them that it is a school day, and we will be doing school. I don't believe you can let them play as long as they want, or that would be all they do. They still need structure.

Calleigh

Elei
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Postby Elei » Wed Oct 17, 2007 8:12 am

Hi Calleigh

Thank you for your answer. I actually do the same thing. They HAVE TO work.
But the thing is I read quite a lot about homeschooling before starting this and you read these wonderful things about children learning on their own, they have this natural instinct that they just want to learn.
I do believe in this but now at home I just don't see it happen. I start to believe that my children don't WANT to learn anything. Well yes, they want to learn about animals, so I make him copy texts about animals, we look for pictures about animals. But sometimes even the copying is too much for him, he gets tired after two lines and then it's the struggle again about finishing it, the star stickers for extra Playmobil, he starts to write very big so he can finish the page quickly.... etc... etc... They seem to love the rule: let's see if we can get everything done, doing the least of effort.
But I do believe that the most important thing in succes is just that: effort, doing your best. How do you get a child to do "his best"?? if the only thing he thinks about is getting out of the work as soon as possible and start playing.....

Do they ever get into the joy of learning??
Elei.

Calleigh
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Postby Calleigh » Wed Oct 17, 2007 8:52 am

Elei,

I'm sure you will soon get more responses to this and they will be quite different from mine... I think that while yes, children should like to learn, they also are going to try to do as little as possible USUALLY. I'm sure there are those minority cases who actually want to learn, learn, learn :shock: . Not in my house, though.

I think it is really important for them to understand that there are lots of things in this life that we don't necessarily want to do, but we just have to do it. If I let them slack in the school department, I think it will eventually carry over into other aspects of their lives. I do pray for balance, though! :|

It sounds like you have sons (so do I), and generally I find that boys want to get things done in the least amount of time, with the least amount of effort. :roll:

Calleigh

Ramona
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Re: always playing

Postby Ramona » Wed Oct 17, 2007 4:00 pm

Elei wrote:They'd be playing with Playmobil all day long and never do anything. ...Do you let children play whenever they want, as long as they want?


Sounds like my son, wrt Playmobil! :D

I believe in unschooling, but I believe it should still be parent-directed to some extent.

We do not unschool because when I tried it my kids told everyone that they weren't learning a thing.

One day I called them back in from playing outdoors after a visitor I had had left by asking enthusiatically, "Should we finish school now?"

I thought I was using a non-threatening way of telling them it was time to finish.

They thought I was giving them a choice, and all said no and headed back outdoors.

I called them back again and said, "I said that wrong. What I meant was, 'It's time to finish school now. Please go to the table.'"

They all went with no complaint, so I learned to be very careful how I say things.

Our schedule is flexible (about things like they can play when someone comes to visit me), but we do have one, partly so that I can tell them "it's time" to do some particular thing.

Ramona

Ramona
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Postby Ramona » Wed Oct 17, 2007 4:05 pm

Elei wrote:they want to learn about animals, so I make him copy texts about animals, we look for pictures about animals. But sometimes even the copying is too much for him, he gets tired after two lines...Do they ever get into the joy of learning??


If I assigned my kids to copy a text, that would kill their interest in the subject in about 2 letters, never mind 2 lines.

If they wanted to learn about animals, I'd have them research all the animals Playmobil makes, build some animals out of plastic bricks, and then go outdoors and both pretend to be animals and also look for any animals (including ants and flies).

Using the things they enjoy to promote their finding out new things about subjects they're interested in is the way to help them keep the joy of learning.

HTH,
Ramona

momo3boys
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Postby momo3boys » Thu Oct 18, 2007 8:19 am

I love natural history, it is my favorite topic, we catch and take care of animals. Mostly reptile and amphibians, some insects. In order to keep them for any length of time, they have to learn about them, their habitat, and their food. This leads to learning about ecosystems and the food chain, as well as the classes and orders of animals. I don't assign copy work I think it promotes plagiarism, (from my own experience) I let them keep a journal and write what they have learned and draw pictures. I don't give them a limit, they do it on their own. That said, my oldest will do it as quickly and lazily as possible, while my 8yo, will make a wonderful drawing and write some great and interesting facts. Either way is ok, I know that they have learned something, and I know that my oldest would rather study engines and that's ok. I'm not expecting him to be a biologist.

I think that we need to accept that children will remember what they want to remember and what we make memorable. When they are older they will choose a specialty, then they can do more in depth stuff, right now they are just learning a little about everything so that they can decide what they want to learn about later.
Phi 4:13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

Ramona
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Postby Ramona » Thu Oct 18, 2007 12:06 pm

momo3boys wrote:I let them keep a journal and write what they have learned and draw pictures.


I love to tell my kids stories. They usually seem to enjoy listening. So when they are interested in a topic, they ask questions about it and I just sit around and tell them long answers, whatever I know about it. Sometimes if I don't know much and they are even more interested, I get out a book and read aloud.

Everybody can figure out their own way.

Ramona

Elei
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Postby Elei » Thu Oct 18, 2007 2:41 pm

We do have animals.
We went fishing tadpoles and are making pictures of them now every week. He should then make a log about it. We also have a "wormobservatory", that means just soil with worms between two pieces of glass to look at the tunnels they make.
We have the cat to take care of. The poor rabbit died. And every now and then we have changing insects in pots....

They already know all the playmobil animals and are saving up points to have them all. They make huge playmobil forests and "dogtraining centres...." it's really funny to see what they invent. My son is dissapointed that there are no "cat trainingcentres". He says he will run one when he is grown up.

Maybe he is really learning with all that, maybe it is my problem and the way I look at learning. Because how do you learn spelling if you never write anything? I suppose he has to write. If I let him write whatever he wants it's just full of mistakes. I supppose he has to learn how to spell a word properly. So to avoid boring spellinglessons I make him copy texts he chooses about animals, so that at least he learns something about the proper spelling.

I also read a lot to them from two nature magazines we have. They love that.

Maybe it's my problem that I think too much they have to do something "schoollike". Because I suppose he has to learn some maths. How do you learn the timetables playing with playmobil animals??

Thanks anyway for your oppinions and any others are still welcome.
Elei.

Ramona
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Postby Ramona » Thu Oct 18, 2007 6:09 pm

Elei wrote:how do you learn spelling if you never write anything? How do you learn the timetables playing with playmobil animals??


We do a lot of our spelling orally. We have spelling bees. But I don't start to teach correct spelling until 2nd grade.

I use Lego bricks to teach addition and subtraction, and Chinese checkers marbles to teach multiplication and division.

Ramona

Elei
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Postby Elei » Fri Oct 19, 2007 3:41 am

But my son is in 4th grade, he's nearly 9, so he should do some writing and spelling.
By the way, we also use Lego for maths... :lol: my youngest (he's 6) love's that, but he always ends up building more than doing the exercises.
Elei.

Calleigh
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Postby Calleigh » Fri Oct 19, 2007 5:53 am

Alrighty then, why don't you do a SMALL amount of time (initially, then increase it gradually) of doing some multiplication flash cards. Starting with twos (or whatever) and then kind of add it into his play time after.... "You have these two pieces of playdough...two more of them...two times two is four; just like in your cards." Or something like that.. That way you are reinforcing the flash cards.

They do need to learn to spell, write, etc.. Life is not all games (in fact most of it isn't :roll: ; but he doesn't need to know that yet!) :wink: .

Calleigh

cartersmom
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Postby cartersmom » Sat Oct 27, 2007 8:21 pm

I was going to suggest that if you are trying to get more writing in, how about having the boys write a play using their playmobile characters? You could videotape and send it to family or post their play on the internet (youtube) so that they get the satisfaction of 'publishing'. If they are good on the computer they could help you publish the video with interesting text.

I know with my son that the less it seems like 'school' the more he learns.

momo3boys
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Postby momo3boys » Sun Oct 28, 2007 1:58 pm

Elei wrote:Maybe it's my problem that I think too much they have to do something "schoollike". Because I suppose he has to learn some maths. How do you learn the timetables playing with playmobil animals??

Elei.


It's ok. Just like a college studennt isn't going to school with his diapers and wipes, your children will learn eventually. Dont' think that they have to be the stereotypical Homeschooled student that is WAY advanced and graduates Highschool at 12! It's ok. I think that the ideas you've been given are great, but the most important is to let go, and relax. They will learn, they will grow out of the playmobil animals, but don't worry about making them grow up faster, they do that on there own. A few years from now you will wish that playing with those toys was the biggest problem you had. :) You'll be fine and they'll be fine.
Phi 4:13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

Elei
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Postby Elei » Wed Oct 31, 2007 7:20 am

Thanks for the good advice and ideas.
I think my problem is the "relaxing". We also have this problem that in Spain homeschooling is not allowed, so in case we have problems I have this feeling I have to show they have been "doing school".
But I know you are right, the wonderful stories about homeschool children cooking their own meals and studying two courses ahead make it a bit depressing when you have children who are learning one course behind.
Thanks for the advice.
Elei.


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