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Gotta Learn Somehow!
volume 112, Program 14
5/24/2012
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Homeschooling moms of sons may wonder sometimes if there are any boys who don’t have ADD! But Melanie Young, who has homeschooled six boys, has some teaching tips to channel those short attention spans into surprisingly focused learning. Melanie joins HSLDA President Mike Smith, today on Home School Heartbeat.

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Mike Smith:
Melanie, some of the stereotypical traits of good learners—like quietness and attentiveness—seem totally foreign to a lot of boys. Would you talk about the ways that you have learned to tailor your teaching style to the natural needs and strengths of boys?

Melanie Young:
Mike, I do get lots of calls from mothers convinced their son has ADHD and needs to be medicated. Not so! Research shows that boys do learn differently, and there’s some simple things we can do to help.

Boys tend to learn best when it’s cooler, brighter, louder, and when they’re moving. Put them in a cool corner of the room with a lamp of their own. Speak loudly, with animation, when you talk to them. As hard as it is to endure, wiggling and tapping his feet or pencil are likely helping him and not distracting him. He might even enjoy doing his math standing up at the kitchen counter, like Thomas Jefferson, at a standing desk. Or writing large on a big whiteboard, so he can use those big muscles, too.

Give him a list of what he needs to do, having him exercise before hard subjects, and encouraging competition against his best time—or his brother—doing his math, can motivate him to keep working. These ideas can make homeschooling more fun for both of you.

Mike:
Melanie, thanks for sharing those helpful ideas! I’m sure they’ll be very beneficial for homeschooling parents of boys. And until next time, I’m Mike Smith.


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Hal and Melanie Young have presented a series of webinars with HSLDA’s @home e-vents program to provide practical encouragement and advice for parents of boys. If you’re enjoyed this week of programs, check out their on-demand e-vents today!

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