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More on 'Work Avoidance' Syndrome, Creative Outdoor Math, Olympic Aspirations

By Heather Idoni

Added Friday, June 01, 2007

The Homeschooler's Notebook
Encouragement and Advice for Homeschool Families
Vol. 8 No 43 June 1, 2007
ISSN: 1536-2035
Copyright (c) 2007 - Heather Idoni, FamilyClassroom.net

Welcome to the Homeschooler's Notebook!
If you like this newsletter, please recommend it to a friend!




Notes from Heather
-- More on 'Work Avoidance'
Helpful Tips
-- Creative Outdoor Math
Winning Website
-- GeoSpy Game!
Reader Question
-- Olympic Aspirations
Additional Notes
-- Searchable Archive
-- Our Email Group
-- Sponsorship Information
-- Reprint Information
-- Subscriber Information

Notes from Heather

One of our readers, Dr. Joan, wrote in regarding her own success
in curtailing 'work avoidance' issues with her daughter -- similar
to another family's experience in our last newsletter.

Here is her encouraging advice for those with the same problem! :-)


"In the past we used this type of block scheduling with our youngest
disabled daughter. We found it worked great with a huge white board
and some magnets. My nifty husband made a grid on the white board
with blocks for days of the week across the top and the half hour
time slots down the side. Then we bought the magnets that you use
for business cards and cut them in half. We wrote on the magnets
each subject with black marker.

We used this system to give our daughter some 'control' over her
daily schedule. She has many additional therapies on her schedule
and it was hard to motivate her. The magnets could be rearranged
each day to allow her to control the flow of her day. This type of
scheduling allowed her to make her own schedule and pick what she
wanted to accomplish first. She was also given 2 'bonus' magnets
that she could place anywhere on her daily schedule for good attitude.
If she displayed a good attitude she was rewarded; but if not they
were taken away for that day. She had to earn them each day.

We no longer use this scheduling system, but she is still very moti-
vated to accomplish whatever I give her to do independently. We as
well used a modified schedule like this with our older daughter and
she works well independently throughout the day. It has been our
experience that providing a framework via a schedule is a blessing
we can give our children that will serve them as they grow into
responsible adults." -- Dr. Joan E.


Do you have comments to share? Please do!

Send your emails to: heather@familyclassroom.net



Helpful Tip

Creative and Active Outdoor Summer Games for Math!

"I have twin boys who don't like to sit still much. This summer
we have a goal for them to memorize the addition/subtraction facts.
With the weather nice here, nobody likes to stay inside, so we came
up with a few ways to review:

1) Scooter math - they answer a flash card and then scooter around
the cul-de-sac the 'units' number of times (ie. answer = 13 takes 3
trips around the circle).

2) Scooter math around the neighborhood - they answer a flash card
and then scooter to the next street and stop at the curb, while I
walk as fast I can to catch up (gives me a workout too!).

3) Trampoline catch - they answer a flash card and then I throw a
ball to them while they jump on the trampoline (we have a net so they
don't fall off).

4) Block hide and seek - answers are taped to wooden blocks which
we hide around the yard. They each get a flash card and race to
find the answer block and bring it back.

5) Block throw and find - using the same wooden blocks, we throw
them in the yard. They each get a flash card and race to find the
correct answer block and bring it back to me. Then they throw it
back into the yard again before the next question.

6) Math obstacle course - they answer a flash card and have to
follow the course we set up...(ie. the answer is 9, then 9 jumping
jacks, 9 bounces on the trampoline, 9 times down the slide, etc.)...
all while mom drinks ice-tea on the hammock!

I'm sure we will add some basketball games, maybe a croquet twist,
or something using the sprinkler this summer. Anyone have ideas?"

-- Chris


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

Winning Website

GeoSpy at National Geographic

I played these addictive geography games myself and can't wait
to show my children! :-)


Be sure to check-out other games they have to offer!
-- Heather

Last Issue's Reader Question

"I have a daughter who is torn between olympic dreams and the laid
back 'hanging with my buds' teen life. She has no interest in
education whatsoever, and my home becomes a battleground everytime
I mention options around her grade 9 studies. My husband wants her
to graduate, preferably through a regular high school, but she has
a mild learning disability that would make it necesary for her to
devote almost all her free time to studies just to pass if she took
that path. I think I could educate her at home so that she does have
time for her athletic goals and still hanging with her friends some,
but she prefers the classroom style of teaching where the kids she
sees each day are pretty much the same. My biggest worry about that
is she will not pay attention (because she's not interested, and it
is harder for her to focus in a classroom setting), and will just
plan to fail until she's old enough to not go anymore. How do I come
up with a plan next year that will honour my husband's concerns, and
guide my daughter into using the gifts God gave her?" -- Raven in BC

Our Readers' Responses

"Your desire to honour your husband's concerns is the most impor-
tant part of your question. You seem to be thoroughly examining
all the angles of your options, which is very wise; hopefully, you
are examining those issues with your husband, and both of you are
able to see the pros and cons.

When the Olympics are televised, the announcers will very often
tell the career goals of the athlete who is competing. Help your
daughter to see that an athletic career is very short-lived, and
very few star athletes continue in athletics into their adult years.
If Olympic athletes are her role models, she should easily see that
those people are also pursuing some academic area of interest. She
needs to find hers.

The advantages you see in home education -- time to pursue her
interests, less distractions, etc. -- are very accurate perceptions
on your part. Perhaps you could use time with her friends as a
reward for completing a certain amount of academic work. Also,
some schools would not allow her to participate in sports unless
she kept her grades up, so attending school might bring discourage-
ment to her.

We visited our National Olympic Center in Colorado Springs, and it
is mind-boggling what is expected of those athletes -- believe me,
they do not have time to hang out with their friends! They are
expected to hold jobs, do community service, and many other require-
ments in addition to their training. I don't know if it is the
same in your country, but I'm guessing that your Olympic athletes
are required to lead very disciplined lives also. If she were to
contact your Olympic headquarters, she might receive some informa-
tion that would motivate her to seek a good education as well as
social and athletic pursuits." -- Mary Beth A.


"Have you considered joining an academic homeschool co-op? In our
area there are two. One group is dedicated to science, foreign
language, and clubs like yearbook, drama, etc. The other is a
literature and history combination class. Between the two co-ops
many of the high school students get much of what they need. The
co-ops offer enough social activities to fill the teens' needs for
companionship. At home, we use Teaching Textbooks; it offers excel-
lent interactive high school math CDs with all of the problems
explained in detail.

Pray about your decision with your husband and daughter. I'll be
praying for you also." -- Sharla T.

Answer our NEW Question

"I have a 13 year old son that has terrible speech problems. He
has been in speech therapy since he was three and I also give him
home therapy. I am not seeing much progress. My husband and I
can understand him but it is difficult for anyone else to get it
all. They only pick up on words here and there. My son is really
an intelligent young man but the speech problem has cost him so
much socially. We take him to church and he is isolated after he
opens his mouth. He doesn't let it stop him though -- he still
approaches other children to talk; but he is most often ignored.
This is so heartbreaking to us to watch our son be treated so un-
fairly. He is such a sweet young man! He is also the last one at
home -- all the other children are grown, some with children of
their own. He mostly hangs out with us, which we like, but we
would love to see him have a friend. Any suggestions?? Of course
we pray about this all the time." -- Janet in Indiana


Do you have some experience or guidance to offer Janet?

Please send your answer to: HN-answers@familyclassroom.net

Ask YOUR Question

Do you have a question you would like our readers to answer?

Send it to HN-questions@familyclassroom.net and we'll see
if we can help you out in a future issue!

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Tags: homeschool block scheduling, work avoidance, eliminating distractions, outdoor math, summer games, National Geographic GeoSpy, homeschooling olympic training, Teaching Textbooks, homeschool scheduling system, home education tips, advice

Next - Writing Starters, The Write Stuff, Speech Impaired Kids
Previous - Educating their Boys - Moms Share Great Tips!

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