By what age should they...

Discuss unschooling, eclectic, the unit study approach, or any other "unusual" homeschooling method.

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By what age should they...

Postby kkapfe » Fri Aug 07, 2009 11:57 am

Be leaning more towards independant work? My daughter has been homeschooled for 4 years (starting in K and now in 4th). She still needs me to pretty much sit at her side for EVERYTHING!!!! She is ADD and spaces out regularly but she is taking meds to help (it is really noticeable when she forgets to take them!). In science we are using a Scott Foresman textbook. I have to read it to her and even then she can't answer an questions about what we've read. I will assure you that she absolutely CAN read. However, if I read the lesson it will take 30 minutes verses 4 hours. She can do spelling on her own for the most part, as well as a lot of her math. Everything else she needs me to sit with her for; grammar (including reading the problems), science, and culture studies.

I worked with my nephew a few years back who was taking a year break from public school. He was then in 5th grade and he did everything on his own. I assigned homework, answered questions, and graded his assignments. I didn't read anything to him (he was able to read his own directions). My daughter is my oldest so my history with my nephew is all the experience I really have to go on.

My main issue is that I have to have her work more on her own. I have 2 younger daughters who actually need my help, my middle one is in 2nd grade and is still conquering her reading skills and my youngest is in kindergarten and is brand new to anything book-wise. I can't spend 10 hours a day on school!!

Is there something better to use for science and social studies, maybe something video oriented? She learns really well as a visual learner. What can be done for grammar?

Please help!!

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Postby Lily » Fri Aug 07, 2009 1:46 pm

This is why we tend to go towards more hands on work. The q&a style of 'read this, answer this' doesn't work for my kid. He'll space out, and what he does answer doesn't mean anything except that he knew how to find the answers in the text. Whoop dee do. It's forgotten by the next day anyway.

Same subjects, same issues with us (10yo here, too). We just went in a different direction.

We're getting to where he's able to work independently on everything. I'm not too keen on giving up the direct contact with all the subjects, though, because I do think that no matter what age kids benefit from having a guide there to help when needed. We spend a lot more time outside of the academics working on independent skills. Cooking is great for that - he decides what to make, I sit back after going over the initial questions with him and just watch. When he needs help, I'm there, but the point is to get him confident enough to work on his own.
Chores, too. I don't spend my time nagging; there's just "done" or "not done" and if it's not done (or done right) all I say is "the chore isn't finished." He gets to draw on his mind and figure out what needs to happen - he's too big for me to tell him over and over.

When he does need to work alone with the academics I use the same idea. I go over it initially with him, have him set a time limit, and then go do my own thing.

"Okay, kid, what do you need to do for this? What materials do you need? How long do you think it'll take you? Sounds like you've got it figured out - I'm going to do laundry, but I'll come back when the timer goes off and we'll go over it then. Sound like a plan?"

If the timer goes off and little to nothing has been done, that's when we troubleshoot. If it's a game, eventually they get tired of still working on one piece when everyone's off doing other things. If it's a learning block, that's when you change what's not working.
"The greatest sign of success for a teacher... is to be able to say, "The children are now working as if I did not exist."
- M. Montessori
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Lorelei Sieja
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Homeschooling and ADD

Postby Lorelei Sieja » Fri Aug 14, 2009 7:00 pm

I homeschooled four kids from 1989 - 2002. My older two needed a LOT of help, all the time. My younger two learned to work independently, because I was always busy with the older two! Unfair, sure. But the older two had gone to PS from K - 3, and just didnt' learn good skills. One was labeled "gifted" at school, but sounds a lot like your daughter. He might have been labeled ADHD if I had left him in PS. He would take 4 hours to complete a short assignment, unless I sat right there, nagging him. I'd get sooooo irritated!

What I learned that worked well with him, was never bore him. Never give him review work on stuff he knew. Break up the day, allowing play and exercise breaks. Sometimes I'd "bribe" him, with "if you can do these many pages on your own in this time frame (with a ticking timer, to keep him focused) then I will read the rest aloud for you".

For some review, I'd have him teach a younger sister stuff. That was great, because he was more focused, but not only did it help me, it also built strong relationships. He is STILL close to those younger sisters! And my kids are ages 21 - 29!

Have you read anything by Raymond and Dorothy Moore? I'd recommend "Homeschool Burnout" for their discussion on ADD and homeschooling. Many times children can function better without medication if they are given plenty of constructive activities to release their energy. My sister's middle son was on ADHD medication for many years, but if she had to do it over, she has said repeatedly that she would NOT medicate him. When he was 18 and wanted to go in the army, he could not be on medication. They stopped the drugs, some of his other behavior issues disappeared, and he excelled at boot camp. Of course, how you chose to deal with your child's condition is entirely your decision, I just thought that you might want to read about some alternatives.
Lorelei Sieja
Nurturing Creative Young Minds and Wiggly Bodies

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Postby MelissaM » Tue Nov 10, 2009 5:49 am

Have you tried breaking up learning with exercise. I had a friend who's child sounded very similar but responded well with shorter bursts of intense learning with revision while exercising. Worth a try...
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Postby felicaks » Thu Feb 25, 2010 7:34 am

Ok, I am brand new to this site, but, grateful to find it!

I have been homeschooling our 11 year old for only about a year. (I wanted to earlier, but, thought we really had to have my fairly good income---seems God decided to show me differently when I was laid off for the 4th Anyway, I've had some of the same issues with our son. It is almost like he wants my total attention. He'd been diagnosed as a possible ADHD child, but, not totally proven since meds only helped a little. (He's not on any now.)

We've started something knew for long reading passages like History & Science. And, it really seems to be working really well. He's loving it and we seem to feel it's it inspired from lots of prayer.

First, we are going to start a couple of subjects on the computer in the next couple of months so had the software to use those. We were already preparing questions and "notes" in Word and he was used to using the computer for that(I prepare ones he fills in that hopefully he is learning to do for himself at some point.) Plus, he loves electronics, which didn't hurt either. But, the time it took to discuss and read through his material was just as you said. He would get side-tracked just asking questions about something sort of related, but, not really. So, it would take forever. (Or be really boring if I didn't discuss some of the things) Anyway, it came to me to use my headset with a mic to actually record these readings on the my computer when I was more relaxed and make them available to him. It took MUCH less time (like 5-15 minutes per lesson) for me to read it. I even talk to him on the recording about things that I might say during actually reading, but, he doesn't really have time to get too side tracked. I also record spelling words so that he can practice for tests. He works on that all by himself and loves the little things I say in the middle of the reading. He's doing all of that work alone now and totally enjoying it.

I will add, that he may be a bit more of an auditory learner than your daughter. (and, more than I am, actually) But, you might try it and see if it helps.


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Postby Dee_N » Fri Mar 19, 2010 6:01 pm

Mine weren't working alone until about the 8th. grade :)

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Postby hscoach » Sat Mar 20, 2010 5:46 pm

It sounds like your daughter would really benefit from some "hands on" activities for learning science and social studies. These would keep her attention, be fun for her and not seem as boring as a textbook.

Maybe you could buy some cheap/used science kits and try to do some fun things for social studies such as dressing up, cooking projects, etc. She will remember what she learns from these "hands on" projects more so than what she would read in a textbook. She might even be able to do these things independently if they come with instructions.

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Check Out Ambleside Online

Postby Sherlock85 » Wed Mar 31, 2010 8:51 pm

Charlotte Mason has a list you can find on that gives an idea of what a child should know by age 6 and age 12.

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