More on Motivation, Auditory Grammar, Reader Feedback
By Heather Idoni
Added Monday, April 11, 2011
Vol. 12 No. 19, April 11, 2011, ISSN: 1536-2035
© 2011, Heather Idoni - www.FamilyClassroom.net
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Reader Feedback - Thank You!---
"Dear Heather -- A friend told me about your newsletter a year or so ago and I've found it a real help and encouragement. Thank you for all you put into getting this out to all of us." -- Eunice---
(The following are just a few of the many affirming emails I received regarding my note about the controversial 'Telling God's Story' curriculum. Thank you to everyone who wrote with words of encouragement!)---
"Thank you so much for pointing out what the 'Telling God's Story' curriculum teaches. I think it is so important for people to be aware of all the information, doctrine, or style before a family purchases curriculum. For me this is very important to know." -- Jody Parenti---
"Heather -- Thank you for once again sounding the alarm on these wolves in sheep's clothing. They do such harm to unsuspecting homeschoolers attending Christian homeschool conferences with their guard down. Especially at risk are those new to homeschooling, since the choices are so many and it's overwhelming to try to properly evaluate before purchase. I appreciate the time and personal risk you have taken to expose them. I am sharing this with the four homeschool support groups I am member of. With warmest thanks..." -- Beth F.---
"Thank you, Heather, for printing this story. Many Christian homeschoolers are familiar with Peace Hill Press and have used their products. I shudder to think that some homeschooling families might blindly trust in Peace Hill Press curriculum just because of its reputation and be led astray by 'Telling God's Story'." -- Jennifer G.---
"Dear Heather -- I enjoy and appreciate your newsletter. Thank you for sounding the alarm on this unbiblical text touted as Christian and the request to pray for all involed with the Ken Ham disinvites. Keep up the good work." -- Pam
Your feedback is always welcome! -- mailto:email@example.com
How to Get Kids Motivated
"Great question and one most homeschoolers struggle with. I highly recommend A Thomas Jefferson Education to communicate to you as the parent that all education is self-education. In other words, you can make a child do work, but you can't make him learn. My oldest son wouldn't do his math for a significant period and fell behind. This, despite the fact that I had carefully chosen a curriculum that suited him (Life of Fred).
When he found out that his peers at school were ahead of him in math and when he adopted the goal of going to a top university, he suddenly couldn't do enough math. Not only that, but he absolutely loves it! This, despite the fact that I didn't threaten or bribe.
That doesn't mean that I don't enforce work with my other children (the oldest is very self-motivated). But I am careful to determine before requiring that the work really must be done. No reason to demand all the exercises be done if a child gets it, for example. My oldest asked to quit doing art. I started telling him that I had to take art in school -- only to realize that this is a silly reason to require it. For the same reason, I let my son quit piano after several years of lessons. He didn't play for a few years at all. Then he became obsessed with classical music and now practices the piano for hours a day. Again, through nothing I required.
How do you motivate when the work must be done? Be excited about it yourself. Use games and curriculum that you think is fun to do. I love Mathematicians are People Too, Math Mysteries, biographies like Gifted Hands, contests to see if the kids can beat Mom in speed tests of math facts and more. I use lots of praise and baby steps. Some children really want Mom to work with them on subjects and then they are all for it. Of course, they need to be able to work independently at some point, but if your relationship is a motivator (and you aren't actually doing the work for them), isn't that why we homeschool?
I teach in the mornings and I'm there to help with math, writing, etc. and then unschool in the afternoons. I review what the kids did independently each afternoon and let them know where they stand on core vs. non-core hours. That seems to keep them from going completely off the rails while allowing them to pursue their passions."
-- Melanie at http://www.motivatedhomeschooler.com
Kids Do Ecology - http://kids.nceas.ucsb.edu/
This is an interesting site to explore for ideas on teaching kids about ecology, world biomes, marine animals, and more. There are printable puzzles and quizzes, lesson plans and activities for teaching the scientific method.
Grammar for Auditory Learners
"I was talking to a homeschooling mom several years ago and she said she was using a grammar (English?) curriculum that used a singing/music CD with it. I was wondering if anyone would know what resource that might have been? Thanks." -- Anna
"Hi, Anna -- It could be Bob Jones University. I know that at least the first grade level has a Listening CD with songs that go with the topics and for learning Phonics." -- Talena W.---
"As an ESL teacher, I knew of these:
There are math jingles too." -- Melissa---
"Hi, Anna. It sounds like you may be thinking of Shurley English. This homeschool program includes a disc of jingles. Lessons begin with a brief 'jingle time'. The jingles are primarily used to help children learn the parts of speech, how to use them, the memorization of certain parts, and other grammar usage in sentence structure.
I am currently using Shurley English with my 10 and 6 year olds. I LOVE this curriculum. It is easy to adapt for a child that does not enjoy writing, like my 6 year old, or a child that loves to write, like my 10 year old.
There is a heavy emphasis on classifying and labeling parts of sentences, which I love. It is like a puzzle at times, and it helps with their sentence stucture tremendously. There are suggestions, especially for an auditory learner, to record the process of classifying the sentences on a recorder of some sort. They can play it back for extra help, or I assume as a primary source of grasping the concepts for certain kinds of learners.
It does not include literature instruction, but I do find it to be more than a complete grammar curriculum. For most cases, I think it is even a complete composition curriculum. There are suggestions to include light Bible additions, but is for the most part a decision you make as to how much, if any, is included.
I hope this helps with your search!" -- Grace---
"Could it be Shurley English?
The teacher's manuals include a cd of jingles to help students learn parts of speech, etc." -- Elsie---
"This looks really fun, and may appeal more to auditory learners than the standard workbook. You may need to read this aloud, but because it reminds me of 'Alice in Wonderland' it should be pretty fun. The parts of speech are all characters in the story:
Worksheets (if you want) for the book can be found here:
I plan to use this next year as part of our grammar for my older kids, and an introduction for my youngest." -- Cheryl---
"The program is Shurley Grammar. My kids Love it! And I find it pretty easy to use. It is parent directed so you would have to fo alot of reading and explaining ro them." -- Becky---
"Hi Anna -- I believe you're talking about Shirley Grammar." -- Michelle---
"'Grammar Songs: You Never Forget What you Sing!' is a book/CD combo by Kathy Troxel. She and her husband also did 'Geography Songs', which is wonderful." -- Kathryn
Integrating Biblical Studies with History
"Hello all -- It is on my heart to integrate our ancient history with Old Testament survey type studies next year for two of our teens (Grades 8 and 11). I've been on the hunt! I've been looking at Tapestry of Grace, Truthquest and Biblioplan as ideas yet do not know of anyone in my area who has used these materials for me to chat with.
Please let me know if there is something you have tried that really did help put these wonderful books more solidly into your teen's heart, first of all, and then if you know of something that really helped amplify the context for the Old Testament I'd love to hear about that. Thanks so much!" -- Eunice---
Would you like to share your thoughts and suggestions with Eunice?
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