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Old 02-08-2012, 12:20 PM   #11
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Re: HOW to do lessons?

Draw out letters on printer paper and have him create plah-doh letters that match! The other ideas are wonderful too! This gives you tons of activities that he probably won't even realize are helping him learn


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Old 02-08-2012, 02:18 PM   #12
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Re: HOW to do lessons?

Those are relaly great ideas. I really like the shaving cream. I'm totally going to try that!!!

I'm totally bummed about Horizons. It looks SO nice. Any other suggestions on K curriculum that is not too tough? I was also looking at A Beka but I understand it is really tough.

He is in a gym class and enjoys it OK but doesnt socialize with the group - just one boy. I'm fine with that but his teacher said it would cause problems in K.

After reading all the comments, I'm 99% sure hes just not ready for K.

Registration is tomorrow. They have K, Preschool for 5's and K COOP. I'm leaning toward the Preschool for 5's but still don't know because he is "struggling" in his preschool for 4's class!!!

What would you choose? If I homeschool, I'll have to quit my job and DH will have to get a full time job. We would probably lose a LOT of medical coverage. So its a huge decision. Plus I dont know if I would be good enough at teaching.

I emailed the school's HS support group to ask if they had any resources for new or maybe homeschooling mothers. I told her basically i needed to be taught how to teach.

BUT, I still need to make a decision by tomorrow to know what program to sign him u pfor. they have registration fees for each spot so doing more than one is out.
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Old 02-08-2012, 02:48 PM   #13
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Re: HOW to do lessons?

Do you know your ABC's? How about numbers at least to 20? I think you just may qualify to teach You aren't teaching a classroom full, just your son and you are probably the only person who knows him best...what his strengths are, what his weaknesses are...I think moms are the perfect teachers, look at all the stuff you've taught him already, getting dressed, brushing his teeth, everyday life skills. Kids pick up a lot of information by just observing and doing.

Sounds like you will have to do a lot of thinking about life circumstances but I have never for a minute regretted my decision to is hard with one working parent and money gets tight at times but it's worth it to our family. Good luck with your decision
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Old 02-08-2012, 03:27 PM   #14
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Re: HOW to do lessons?

Honestly it sounds to me like the problem is with that school. It just sounds like they are too rigid to handle children with different learning styles or social styles. Many children prefer the company of one or a few children to large groups, there is nothing wrong with that. I would not want to continue with my child in a program like that at all. It isn't about moving your child on to K (and I have a feeling he would perform just fine in a public school K problem regardless of what his teacher is telling you right now) or pre-K 5 class in this school, it is a matter of whether this school is actually a fit at all for your family. At least that is how I see it.

If it were me I would pull my child out of the school and either find a different program, public school, charter school, umbrella charter school (homeschooling under a charter school) a different private school or homeschooling. It really isn't about whether a program is "hard" or "easy" it is more about whether it is suited for your child's learning style. From the description of your son I doubt either of you would enjoy ABEKA, but I could be wrong. I know a lot of people start with it and hate it in under a month. When I teach my children K I focus on reading, handwriting and math. While homeschooling is absolutely not for everyone there is no reason to think that you can not teach your own child. Sometimes it just takes a while to find the program that is right for you and him. I know many parents in the begining want a program that tells them exactly what to teach, how and when. There are plenty of those programs out there. I like Funnix for reading (it is free to download right now) and as an added bonus it teaches writing. I also like the Funnix math program. It is done on the computer so there is very little worry about how to teach it. There are some popular handwriting programs out there as well though I have never used them myself, I just print work pages or buy huge workbooks. Handwriting without tears is popular and I believe A Reason For Handwriting actually has a full curriculum for K-6th.

For my kids I use a free online curriculum but I supplement. It takes a little leg work but I don't mind. preK-5th I use Funnix both phonics and math along with it. After 1st I use a history and science supplement as well.
Here is the a reason for website. I know nothing about this at all except I have heard it recommended from time to time. It appears to be religious.
Handwriting without tears. I have never used this either but other people seem to like it
Funnix I have used this and we love it. I used reading with both of my kids and I use math with my youngest because he needed more support to learn his math (his number recognition was rough but that may have been more stubbornness on his part).
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Old 02-09-2012, 05:35 PM   #15
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Re: HOW to do lessons?

1+1+1=1 is a great blog with tons of free printables and ideas.
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Old 02-09-2012, 05:52 PM   #16
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Re: HOW to do lessons?

Is it possible your DH (since he works part time) could homeschool him next year? HSing a five year old shouldn't take more than an hour or two a day at most. So it's likely you could work around the current schedule. Anybody can teach a kid preschool/k stuff, especially a parent!

Last edited by CamilikinsMama; 02-09-2012 at 05:53 PM.
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Old 02-10-2012, 09:32 AM   #17
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Re: HOW to do lessons?

His teacher says he's "struggling"? I don't accept that preschoolers can struggle with school work. Some 3- and 4-year-olds are ready and very interested in school work and others just...aren't. It doesn't mean anything. I think the pressure on him won't fix anything--it will just stress him out and make him think that he isn't "good" at school, which isn't fair for him to think so early. Boys, especially, are notorious for not being great at handwriting right in the beginning.

If you and your dh can figure out how to keep him home, at least for kindergarten, you can let him learn at his pace, with his own style (not whatever style the school decides he should learn with). After that, you can reassess the situation and he may be ready to enter first grade. PP is right, kindergarten should only take an hour or two a day, at most. As for your confidence with teaching, just read a homeschooling book or two to boost it and then find the right curriculum for your little guy. You can definitely do it!
Adrienne, wife and lover to Andrew Mama to Simon (2/21/06 - 2/26/06), Norah (6/28/07), Ezra (5/11/10), and Phoebe (6/14/12).
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Old 02-10-2012, 10:27 AM   #18
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Re: HOW to do lessons?

Hi there. I replied to you earlier, but my reply did not get posted. Lol So I will write again.

First, about the lesson. How do you teach?
Sounds like perhaps you are trying to follow exactly what the curriculum (workbook) says? Your curriculum does not have to be the conductor of the homeschooling. You get to be in charge, so you take a look at the curriculum (workbook, etc) and you can pick and choose, or customize to meet your child's need. Other words, your child does not have to complete everything the workbook say, or in specific manner which workbook tells you to do. As long as your child is learning and understanding, you are on a right track.
Especially at Kindergarden age, we want to teach children that the learning is fun! (Not to say that learning ABCs and 123 is not important, those are important too.) In the beginning when a student is still learning to learn, I think it's ok if he/she did not complete the worksheet exactly the way he/she is suppose to. For example, if he/she did not write the letter in correct order, but did complete the worksheet, then we can compliment the student for the work he/she did and make them proud. This will hopefully motivate the student to want to complete more worksheets in future. You can go back to the lesson and teach him/her the correct way to write the letter again at later time.

Should you get a white board? Should you stand up or sit down?
As a teacher, it is totally up to you. Some teachers use whiteboard, some don't. Some stand up, some sit down, some do both. There's no rule that says teaching and learning should be done in this way or that way. You get to be in charge. It's sort of like do you like to wear apron when you cook? If so, do you like to use the full apron or half apron? Some like apron, some don't.... But as long as the food gets cooked, that's what matters. As a chef, you get to decide how you want to cook things.
If you are cooking chicken, you can decide to bake it, boil it, grill it, etc etc, it's up to you.
Curriculum and pre-made lesson plans are there as a guide to help you. But just like you might improvise the recipe, or change the chicken in the recipe to beef, you are the chef and the conductor.

Now to answer should you get a white board? If you think it's helpful, try getting $1 white board from $1 store, and see if it is actually helpful or not. If you find it helpful, use it. You might find you prefer smaller one, or bigger one. One you can hold, or one you can hang. Or you might prefer black board, or you might find out that you actually prefer teaching your child at the park and saying things at loud. Or you might find you like using sidewalk as a blackboard. If you do use whiteboards, here are some tips for you.

Some markers can be stinky. If you find some markers to be too strong, try low-odor markers or dry-erasable crayons.

Wipe things off when you are done for the day. Baby wipes work pretty well. If you get a dry-eraser marker stain, I hear rubbing alcohol work well for wiping things off.

Watch out for stains.

Should you stand up or sit down.
Some teachers like to stand up to get children's attention, but the same teacher might sit down next to the student to get to student's level. Or even let the children sit on the chair and teacher might sit on the floor to let students be higher than the teacher sometimes.
Or you might teach kids while you are driving the car, or while you are chasing your students at the park.

Whatever works.

What would you choose?
I love homeschooling so I choose homeschooling, but I think first, you might want to think about, can you afford this? And if not, how can you make it affordable – for example, you might look for ways to make money at home by selling something you do not need, or you might cut off your family budget by using coupons or buying in bulk (finding ways to save.) Net, you can look for more affordable curriculum vs. expensive ones to make homeschooling more affordable. There are free curriculum, or you can try buying used curriculum vs. new. You can also borrow from library.

Have fun.
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Old 02-10-2012, 12:13 PM   #19
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Re: HOW to do lessons?

I have an in-home daycare and have 4 kids that will go to Kindergarten in the fall, plus DS who just turned 4. We do school every day, but there is very little sitting at the table working (unless a child wants to). We sit on the floor for storytime. We have a wall calendar and each day add a number and do gross motor activities while counting up to that number. We chant words that start with the letter we're working on. We use our "magic writing finger" to "write" letters on the carpet while I model the letter on the whiteboard. We manipulate our fingers to try and make the different letters and so on.

As an example, for letter T, I would read a T story. I use Scholastic's AlphaTales (When Tilly Turtle Came To Tea), but any book that had T words would do (I'm sure your local library has intro ABC type books). Then we would find all the T words in the story and make exaggerated T sounds, like t-t-t-t-tea. We would do 10 toe touches or 20 tummy taps or whatever makes sense. The kids might lay on the floor and make the letter T and I take their picture so they can see it.

I love the sensory activities suggested by others. Activities the include pinching (like using tongs to pick up tiny toys), snipping (just cutting pieces of paper), and squishing (play-doh and the like) are excellent for building up those hand/finger muscles needed to have the strength to write letters.

I agree with others that some things just probably aren't of interest to him right now. Also, not that this would help with any kind of decision you need to make, but school is 6+ months away. His interest and aptitude for "school work" could change drastically. When I started doing more "school" type things with the group I have now, one little guy was not ready-couldn't sit still at all, had NO interest in letters, numbers, sitting down to do anything. 6 months later, he knows all of his letters, puts puzzles together like a whiz and is working hard on his name (and doing very well considering getting him to even pick up a pencil last August was not happening).

I say just ignore his teacher. Do fun activities at home. Be silly and show him that he can have fun with you-don't stress the learning part. It will come.
Kristin, wife to Dan (16 years) , mom to Abby (14)
Emma (12) and Owen (7)
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Old 02-10-2012, 05:04 PM   #20
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Re: HOW to do lessons?

Here is what I do with my pre-k son. I also agree your son is not struggling and not being able to write at 4 is not a concern. My son just turned five and HATED even picking up a pencil, crayon, anything while he was 4. Here are the things we did for learning instead.

We played games, tons of tons of games. Things like Hi ho cherrio, old maid, candy land, yahtzee jr. We have leap frog games that have letters, such as alphabet old maid (he loves this game and it exposes him to letters).

There are tons of exercises that strengthen their fine motor skills to prepare them for writing. Here are some things we do
Play with playdough
writing in rice or salt box
shaving cream (writing) most preschoolers will try circles, shapes before their letters
lacing cards
dot to dot and mazes ( my son hates writing, but loves these and it uses the same muscles)
transferring pom poms with tweezers

I also gave him a blank journal and he likes doodling as long as it isn't forced.
He enjoys pouring water or transferring beans with a teaspoon.

We also READ all the time. I think this is huge. I would say put the workbooks away for awhile and read and play. Everything will fall into place.
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