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Generate Enthusiasm
Volume 116, Program 13
6/12/2013

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Do your kids automatically share your enthusiasm about starting a new curriculum or a new subject? Vicki Bentley explores ways to give a shot of excitement to your students as you approach the new school year—that’s today on Home School Heartbeat with host Mike Smith.

Mike Smith:
Vicki, you’ve shared some great tips to help homeschooling parents plan well for a new school year. But there’s another factor in the equation—the student! What can Mom or Dad do to help motivate the children for another year?

Vicki Bentley:
I often ask parents, “What does your child do, when he’s not doing schoolwork?” Look at his interests, his passions, and find a way to capitalize on those. For example, a friend of mine taught her son to alphabetize in one afternoon by teaching him how to organize his favorite baseball cards alphabetically. It would have taken her weeks using her standard language arts lessons after he’d slithered to the floor from his chair.

Some of the motivation factor depends on the age of the child, Mike. For an older child, I’d consider including him in some of the decisions. What science or history topics does he want to know more about? Would he prefer to write a report, or do an end-of-section project? What foreign language sounds interesting or useful to him? Even a younger child can tell you what he knows and what he’s wondering about a topic.

Read up a bit on learning styles. Try to include some work that’s “up his alley,” so to speak. Depending on the child’s interest, you could toss in an occasional game day or a pick-your-own-topic unit study, or maybe celebrate some holidays as homeschool curriculum. We have some ideas for you in the curriculum section at HSLDA.org/EarlyYears. But most importantly, parents, be excited about being with your children as they learn, because your enthusiasm can rub off on them.

Mike:
Well, Vicki, thank you for your enthusiasm and encouragement today! And until next time, I’m Mike Smith.


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