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4/18/2013 9:42:01 AM
Vicki Bentley--HSLDA
Toddlers to Tweens--Stir Up a Little Homeschool Enthusiasm

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HSLDA's Homeschooling Toddlers to Tweens Newsletter
April 2013--Stir Up a Little Homeschool Enthusiasm
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Stir Up a Little Homeschool Enthusiasm

Knowing your child's interests can help you to stir up some
enthusiasm. Learning is more interesting when it becomes relevant to
real life or is tied to something about which he is passionate (even
if it's just the "fascination of the week"). In "The Christian Home
School," Gregg Harris refers to this as "delight-directed" learning;
Marilyn Howshall expands the definition in "Wisdom's Way of Learning"
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=18081 and Robin Sampson explains
more in "The Heart of Wisdom Teaching Approach."
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=18082

Focus on His Fascination

What does your child do when he's not doing schoolwork? Consider his
interests and find ways to capitalize on those. For example, a friend
taught her son to alphabetize in an 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 had
slithered to the floor from his chair in frustration.

Your roller-coaster enthusiast might become more interested in physics
introduced in the context of amusement park rides and the science
behind them. The budding storyteller or novelist can be inspired to
learn editing and revision, literary style, vocabulary--not to mention
word processing and keyboarding--as he develops his own composition.
In a room makeover, let the child pick his own paint and then
calculate his room's square footage, and the amount of paint needed,
then the total cost of the project!

For an older child, consider including him in some of the
decisions--what science http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=18083 or
history http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=18085 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 wonders about a topic.

One parent built a themed study around a student's interest in
visiting Scotland. The high school student researched flight
information, currency types and exchange rates, places to visit, the
history and government of Scotland, customs and dress, literature and
culture, and more.

Food for Thought

Another creative homeschooler spent several years in various studies
arising from baking a red velvet cake! The ingredients list--flour,
eggs, cocoa, salt, etc.--became the study topics. Where does flour
come from? How is it milled? What are various types and how do they
differ? What are the health and finance ramifications of
industrialized milling? Where do we get red food coloring? (Can you
say, "beetle juice"?) Egg research evolved into a small business
selling eggs and raising chicks, and chocolate became "food" for
research as this homeschool family investigated the history and
processing of several varieties of chocolate. A year or two later,
they ate cake.

Think Outside the (Curriculum) Box

Lighten things up a bit with fun and games in your homeschool.
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=18086 Read up a bit on learning
styles http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=18087 and try to include
some work that is "up his alley," so to speak. It helps to dangle the
occasional "carrot" of a fun family project for closure--such as a
medieval feast to finish a Middle Ages unit--or a few off-the-wall
holiday http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=18088 celebrations, such
as Dr. Seuss's birthday.

Be Contagious!

Most importantly, be excited about being with your children as they
learn--your enthusiasm can rub off on them!

Enthusiastically,

Vicki Bentley
HSLDA Toddlers to Tweens consultant

MORE RESOURCES


"In delight-directed study, a child's interests are fanned to flame
and supported in ways that increase his interest in his studies. The
child's delight is the spark that ignites everything. Once
established, like a fire, it is self-sustaining. The student begins to
study for his own personal satisfaction, and the fruits of his study
begin to flow outward to others." (Gregg Harris, The Christian Home
School, Noble Publishing Associates, 1995; page 96)

"I have longed for thy salvation, O LORD; and thy law is my delight."
(Psalms 119:174 KJV)

Rhyme It to Win It!

That's right: HSLDA's 9th annual Poetry Contest is underway! Students
ages 7-19 can win generous cash prizes while exercising their
creativity in an exciting experience. The category prompts have been
intentionally chosen to leave your children the most room for fun and
ingenuity! Spread the word to any imaginative students and follow the
link below for complete information. Read more about it:
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=18089




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