by David Morgan

In every class you will find children displaying this phenomenon.

There are many children who struggle with reading, while being evidently bright and hard working.

Initially everything can seem OK. But, while other children’s reading progresses steadily, these children will hit a plateau at around 6. As the text they are expected to read gets more complicated, they will get more and more confused, often guessing wildly.

In the end their reading will go into reverse as their confidence implodes. They can feel the worry of their teacher and parents, but don’t know what to do.

These children will often be labelled dyslexic. But that is quite wrong.

Dyslexia suggests there is some underlying problem that cannot be overcome.

But these children have no real reason not to be able to read. They are just approaching it in the wrong way.

Let me explain what’s happening.

A very visual child will find the alphabet easy to memorise. Then the first words they are show they will memorise as well. Everyone praises their progress and as far as they know, they are reading. The early reader books feed into this by using a very limited vocabulary that repeats a lot.

So all seems well.

But this approach implodes on them as the text gets more complicated. Some children will be able to switch to decoding words phonetically, because they also have a strong natural auditory ability. They can see how the sounds within the speech relate to the text.

Others cannot make the switch without careful instruction. Their auditory perception just isn’t up to hearing the phonic structure of the words.

And these are the children that get stuck.

You will see them guessing wildly, just using the context and the first letter of the word.

They find themselves down a cul-de-sac and don’t know the way out. At the same time they can feel how worried their teacher and parents are, but can’t do any more than they already are.

Without expert guidance, these children will become part of the 20% who still cannot read properly by the age of 11. Their academic career and earning potential for the rest of their lives hangs in the balance at this moment.

And what a tragedy. We routinely watch them become confident readers in just a few weeks. They only need to be guided back onto the right path.

The label dyslexic is very dangerous. It lets everyone off the hook of actually finding a solution. And still consigns the child to a lower and tougher track through life.

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by Diane Noble

When you decide to homeschool your child, you are committing to taking charge of your child’s education. There are many amazing benefits to homeschooling, but the responsibility and time commitment is significant as well. You probably need to spend a good amount of time planning lessons and units. A great way to end a unit is with a project. Projects help children sum up, review and implement everything they have learned.

Here’s an example of how to organize a project with your child. Let’s assume you’ve just finished a biology unit, a great week long project might be to create an ecosystem in an aquarium. The goal will be to create an environment that can be self-sufficient in the sealed aquarium. While learning about the different cycles of nature, encourage your child to think of the most efficient way to create the ecosystem. Your child can think of ways that nature is efficient and try to mimic these characteristics to create a sustainable and efficient environment.

Let’s look at one example of how to set and implement a project. If you’ve been working on a biology unit, a good project idea is to create an ecosystem in an aquarium. The goal is to create an environment that can be self-sufficient in the sealed aquarium. While learning about nature’s different cycles, encourage your child to consider the most effective way to create an ecosystem. After your child has hatched a plan and spent some time laying out the details in terms of materials, methods and so on, go to the store to buy the required project materials.

After your child is done detailing the plan, it’s time to gather the supplies. You child should have a list of supplies needed to put together the ecosystem. You can offer your child some assistance in setting up the aquarium but allow your child to do as much of the work on their own as possible. It much more useful for a child’s self-esteem to end up with a mediocre project they created all on their own, than to end up with a tidy and well done project that they know required someone else’s skills to pull off.

Projects can also be a great way to involve the entire family in a child’s education. The ecosystem your child creates, for example, could be placed in the kitchen or family room where all family members can observe and enjoy it. You can have your child present the project to the other family members and even hold a question and answer session. This will surely create a sense of pride in your child and help create positive feelings about his/her education. If your child attends public school, then chances are you only get to see their project when it all done. Homeschooling parents have the advantage of admiring and encouraging their child during every step of the way.

Another super advantage to homeschooling is that you are not limited by the practicalities necessary in a public school. Project ideas are only limited by you and your child’s imagination. For every unit, encourage your child to list ideas for long term project that will help solidify the knowledge they have acquired in a particular unit. Allowing your children to choose their own project ideas will not only enhance their creativity, it will also make them feel like they have a say in their education. This will do wonders for their motivation and enthusiasm.

About the Author:

by Abel Cheng

Self-esteem is the foundation of how a person acts, thinks and feels about the world and themselves.

Self-esteem is also a key to feeling competent and in control. Good self-esteem can impact future and present success in all area of life. Our self esteem is formed by our primary relationships as children, and our very first relationships may indicate how we feel about ourselves for the rest of our lives.

Even though our later relationships with our peers and other adults may impact our self-esteem, the most important thing parents can do is to allow a child to feel as though they can be themselves in an emotionally and physically safe environment.

A child’s self-esteem is based on a positive relationship with parents and eventually teachers. Parents can foster that can-do attitude in their children with a “Wow!” or a “That’s great!” every time they accomplish a feat.

However, positive comments are not the sole builders of self-esteem. Providing a warm, loving, and caring environment is just as important. Children who are shown a lot of affection can still suffer low self-esteem because they feel inadequate or unaccomplished. On the flip side, confident and joyful children can have low self-esteem if they are not loved. A child must experience a balance of both love and confidence to have high self-esteem.

Giving constructive communication, positive messages, and carefully delivering criticism will lead to good self-esteem. Use these tips to improve a child’s self-perceptions.

1. Limit the “Don’ts” to the barest minimum. State your requests positively. Too many negative words in your sentences will only lead to a child’s self doubt.

2. Allow a child to finish their own sentence Children begin to feel unimportant if you are always putting words into their mouth. Let them finish what they’re trying to say without interruption.

3. Give eye contact Kids want attention. When you look a child right in the eye, they know you are listening. It gives them the idea that you are interested in what they have to say, even if you aren’t.

4. Make sure you have conversations One person shouldn’t do all the talking. Likewise, kids must learn only one person should talk at a time. Everyone can’t speak at once. Make sure they know that if more than one person is trying to talk, they won’t understand a thing.

5. Speak calmly, and keep irritation and a critical tone out of your voice A calm voice keeps a child from panicking. Use words that the child will comprehend. Let kids know what they need to do, and why or why not they should do something.

6. Don’t be afraid to discipline. If you child misbehaves, tell them in a simple way they understand that the behavior is unacceptable, and explain what behavior you expect.

About the Author:

by Phyllis Wheeler

Here’s the issue: how to be sure your kids are safe from viewing objectionable sites when they are searching the Internet. After all, you don’t want them to stumble across something they should not see.

I bet you would like to find a program you could buy that you could install on your computer to block objectionable content, but permit research.

Here’s the bad news: filtering programs can’t do the job by themselves. NentNanny and other applications like it search for certain words in the Web site your child is clicking on. Simple words like “belly” can be targets for blocking, causing frustration, while research on “breast cancer” may be impossible.

But programs that look for words fail completely if the site has no objectionable words–only objectionable photos. My teenage son figured this out. He used Google Images to look for objectionable sites. He found them despite the fact that our filter, NetNanny, was turned on.

In fact, the filter program could never block these sites because it searches for words. It can’t evaluate pictures.

The next question is, “What’s a parent to do?”

*Put the computers the kids use where YOU are in your home. Then monitor what they are doing.

*Only the adults should know the login password. The kids will have to have permission to get on.

*Require the child to log off when he is done. Now the password is required for the next session.

*Use NetNanny or a similar filter. It can only help.

*Kids should be told what you expect from them, and the consequences of disobedience.

*If a child is just using a word processor or some other local program, disconnect the Internet cable.

*Require younger children to use your email address. This will allow you to protect them from vicious spam. As they get older, give teens their own email address, but make sure they give it out only to friends.

Your watchfulness will pay off. Your children will be protected from what they should not see, and they will also learn good habits for using the Internet as adults.

About the Author:

by David Morgan

In every class you will find children displaying this phenomenon.

There are many children who struggle with reading, while being evidently bright and hard working.

Initially everything can seem OK. But, while other children’s reading progresses steadily, these children will hit a plateau at around 6. As the text they are expected to read gets more complicated, they will get more and more confused, often guessing wildly.

In the end their reading will go into reverse as their confidence implodes. They can feel the worry of their teacher and parents, but don’t know what to do.

These children will often be labelled dyslexic. But that is quite wrong.

Dyslexia suggests there is some underlying problem that cannot be overcome.

But these children have no real reason not to be able to read. They are just approaching it in the wrong way.

Let me explain the process.

A child will always approach a problem in what seems the easiest way. To a visual child, memorising the alphabet and simple words seems easy. People praise their achievement. So they think that they are reading. And early reader books encourage this with a very limited vocabulary.

So all seems well.

But this technique gets more and more difficult as the text gets more complex. Children with a good natural ear for the phonic structure in words will now switch to decoding the words instead.

Others cannot naturally distinguish the sounds within the words (phonemes) and so cannot relate them to the letter patterns that represent them in text (graphemes). At least not without quite a bit of careful instruction.

And these are the ones that have major problems.

You will see them guessing wildly, just using the context and the first letter of the word.

They are frustrated and puzzled by their situation and don’t know the way out of it. They can sense the frustration of their teacher and parents, but have actually been doing their best.

One in five children reach the age of 11 unable to read properly and these children make up a large proportion of that group. It is a disaster for their academic career and working life.

And what a tragedy. We routinely watch them become confident readers in just a few weeks. They only need to be guided back onto the right path.

The label dyslexic carries a great risk that everyone will just relax into acceptance of the situation as inevitable. That leaves the child to deal with a much harder path through life.

About the Author:

by Diane Noble

Homeschooling your children means taking responsibility for their education, but with this responsibility comes many benefits. One of the greatest benefits that you get to set your child’s curriculum according to your family’s values and your child’s interests. Projects are important part of any homeschooling curriculum. Once you’ve set your curriculum outlined goals for each unit, include projects at the end of each unit to provide your child with an effective way to review and implement all they have learned.

Here’s an example of how to organize a project with your child. Let’s assume you’ve just finished a biology unit, a great week long project might be to create an ecosystem in an aquarium. The goal will be to create an environment that can be self-sufficient in the sealed aquarium. While learning about the different cycles of nature, encourage your child to think of the most efficient way to create the ecosystem. Your child can think of ways that nature is efficient and try to mimic these characteristics to create a sustainable and efficient environment.

Teach your child to spend a good amount of time planning before taking any further steps. Planning is often the part of the project children like to skip over or hurry along so they could get to the fun part. But teach your child the popular saying: “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.“ Reinforcing the need to plan for a project will help your child establish this good habit for all future endeavours.

You can assist your child in setting up the ecosystem, but make sure they do most of the work on their own. This is not only essential for their education, but also for their self-esteem. Once your child is done setting up the ecosystem, have them track his progress every day. This will be an opportunity to learn how to create and read graphs and charts.

Once the aquarium is set up, have your child track progress everyday. This will help build observation and recording skills. You child can learn how to use different types of charts and graphs to keep track of the project results. It’s important to teach your child that projects require step by step work and for your child to eventually internalize these organizational steps.

Another super advantage to homeschooling is that you are not limited by the practicalities necessary in a public school. Project ideas are only limited by you and your child’s imagination. For every unit, encourage your child to list ideas for long term project that will help solidify the knowledge they have acquired in a particular unit. Allowing your children to choose their own project ideas will not only enhance their creativity, it will also make them feel like they have a say in their education. This will do wonders for their motivation and enthusiasm.

About the Author:

by Danise B. Keasda

As parents, we all know the importance of a top quality education for our children. It does not take a special education degree to know and understand just how important schooling is for our children. Now, you can become your child’s teacher and reap the rewards of home schooling! In the past few years, a strong movement has occurred in the home school endeavor. Parents everywhere are joining together and enjoying educating their children at home.

Today, more than ever before, parents are starting to know and understand the importance of a solid education with active participants from the family. Here, I will express the benefits of educating children at home as the parent of two children that are home schooled.

When a family decides to homeschool their children, it is extremely beneficial in that it actually enables the bond between all individuals to become stronger. In families where the children attend a traditional “brick and mortar” school, it is common to see distance between everyone – as each person seemingly goes their own way. In the home school family, nine times out of ten, the focus of attention goes to the children and their upbringing.

In the homeschool family, it is common to see that the attention is placed on the education of the child, or children in the home. Schedules put the educational and moral upbringing of the child or children as priority. The bond of the entire family unit is actually strengthened.

The next benefit to providing a home school education to your child is that you can take their individual beliefs, learning styles, personalities, and more and turn it into a customized learning plan that can be really beneficial to that child. You have the choice to teach the lessons as you want and apply the plans that are best for that particular child. Just as long as you stick to the educational guidelines that are put in place by your state, you have as much flexibility as you want and/or need.

There are many different ways that you can teach your children from the comfort of your home. You can integrate the use of poetry, puppets, blocks, art, music, and more! In addition to this, if you have specific religious values that you want your child to learn, you can also incorporate these lessons into your day to day activities. You and your child can experience a lot of flexibility when it comes to scheduling, lesson plans, and activities in general when home schooling!

Many children are locked in the same classroom day after day, studying the same books, and not receiving the personalized attention that they need to succeed. However, if you elect to home school your child, they can enjoy a lot of flexibility in where they study, where they receive instruction, as well as how they learn in general. This is a major benefit of providing your children with a home school education!

There are many unique strategies that can be used to teach children in a homeschool environment are numerous. Many parents incorporate field trips, community service, nature walks, and various other types of outdoor and educational experiences in order to supplement the lessons that they provide to their students. Having this luxury is extremely beneficial.

Home schooling allows parents the opportunity to take responsibility for the education of their children. The home classroom has evolved in such a way that it makes use of computer technology, the internet, hands on training and lessons, and various other things. All of these, when combined, creates an enriching and stimulating educational setting for children. There is no more “uniformity” in the educational environment. This environment has flexibility and creative approaches when it comes to stimulating the minds of today’s youth.

If the home school approach sounds exciting to you, and you feel that your child will grow from it, you should research the opportunities in your community. You may find that there are a lot more resources and methods of assisting your child than you ever imagined! Home schooling your child may be the best choice you ever make!

About the Author:

by David Morgan

Most teachers of 5 and 6-year-old children will tell you how baffled they can be by this phenomenon.

There will be bright children in the class, who work hard but struggle to read.

Initially everything can seem OK. But, while other children’s reading progresses steadily, these children will hit a plateau at around 6. As the text they are expected to read gets more complicated, they will get more and more confused, often guessing wildly.

And then their confidence collapses under the pressure. They can feel everyone’s concern and don’t know what to do to fix the problem.

Sometimes this leads to a diagnosis of dyslexia, which is quite wrong.

Dyslexia is a broad term that covers any fundamental problem with reading despite normal intelligence.

But these children are usually just trying to read the wrong way. There is no reason why they should not be able to read.

Let me explain what’s happening.

A very visual child will find the alphabet easy to memorise. Then the first words they are show they will memorise as well. Everyone praises their progress and as far as they know, they are reading. The early reader books feed into this by using a very limited vocabulary that repeats a lot.

So all seems well.

But this technique gets more and more difficult as the text gets more complex. Children with a good natural ear for the phonic structure in words will now switch to decoding the words instead.

Others cannot make the switch without careful instruction. Their auditory perception just isn’t up to hearing the phonic structure of the words.

And these children are heading for failure

They become more and more addicted to wild guessing, using the context and the first letter of the word as cues.

They find themselves down a cul-de-sac and don’t know the way out. At the same time they can feel how worried their teacher and parents are, but can’t do any more than they already are.

Without expert guidance, these children will become part of the 20% who still cannot read properly by the age of 11. Their academic career and earning potential for the rest of their lives hangs in the balance at this moment.

And what a tragedy. We routinely watch them become confident readers in just a few weeks. They only need to be guided back onto the right path.

The label dyslexic carries a great risk that everyone will just relax into acceptance of the situation as inevitable. That leaves the child to deal with a much harder path through life.

About the Author:

by Diane Noble

Homeschooling used to consist of four or five children sitting around a table scribbling away in a pile of workbooks, while a stern parent stood over them and lectured. With the help of innovative teachers like Charlotte Mason, homeschooling has come a long way. Today, there are many different methods of homeschooling. The Charlotte Mason method has become quite popular with homeschooling parents today. If you’re thinking about homeschooling, you should definitely consider the different practices out there and see which will suit your children and family best. In this article, I will introduce you to Charlotte Mason method of homeschooling.

More and more parents today and choosing the Charlotte Mason method to homeschool their children. Charlotte Mason founded the homeschooling movement in the early 1900’s (1842-1923). Her enthusiasm and commitment to the education of children paved the way for a comprehensive and adaptable program. The foundation of the Charlotte Mason method of homeschooling is a focus on core subjects with an emphasis on classical music, fine arts and literature. Charlotte Mason dedicated her life to creating an effective educational program that would engage children and provide them with quality and lasting educational experiences.

Charlotte Mason coined the term “living books” when she described the types of text books teachers should use. One of the most important requirements for a “living book” is that it must be written by someone who is passionate about the subject. The book should also be written in a narrative or conversational style which is sure to capture the attention children much more powerfully than the dry factual texts often found in public schools today. Books that feel “alive” and engaging will inspire a similar feeling towards the subject. Mason also coined the term “twaddle,” to describe books that condescend to children by dumbing down information or using unsophisticated language. Mason criticizes “twaddle” for killing a child’s enthusiasm and insulting their intelligence.

An important part of Mason’s program includes reading literature and narrating. Children must become proficient at narrating in their own words what they have read. The narration can be oral, written or even expressed in drawings. Narrating after reading helps to ensure comprehension. Younger children can narrate orally or through drawings but by ten years old, the child should be able to narrate a story by writing. Narration ensures that the child has synthesized the reading, organized the information in their mind and determined how best to communicate this information.

Another cornerstone of the Charlotte Mason method of homeschooling is nature diaries. Teachers should often conduct quick and catchy lessons outdoors and then ask children to conduct their own observations of nature and draw what they see. Mason believes that the consistent study of nature paves the way for the meaningful instruction of scientific topics. Spending a significant amount of time outdoors helps children create a bond with mother nature and a sincere respect for the environment. If you would like to incorporate the Charlotte Mason method into your homeschooling program, a great first step would be to ask your children to keep a nature diary which can include prose, poetry and pictures.

Children educated the Charlotte Mason way must not only develop literary, scientific and mathematical skills, but also excel in building good character and discipline. Mason was a firm believer that children must learn to govern themselves and develop a sense of inner discipline. Parents and teachers play an important role here, for they must guide children towards the development of good habits. Some of habits Mason encourages parents and teachers to nurture in children are: respect, patience, cleanliness and timeliness. Mason stated that it often takes four to six weeks for one of these skills to solidify as a habit. Parents who want to incorporate The Charlotte Mason method into their homeschooling program should try to implement as many of these practices as they can.

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How to Plan a Successful Family Home Evening

from wikiHow – The How to Manual That You Can Edit
Planning a successful evening at home doesn’t require a lot of time or money. Taking a little time to plan some activities ahead of time as well as a menu is all that is required.

Steps

  1. Think of fun games that are also educational, or teach kids about morals. This is a great way to weave these lessons into a fun time without making kids feel like they’re being lectured by a parent. Below is a free site with many suggestions on activities and games.
  2. Think of both kids’ and parents’ favorite foods. Make sure you incorporate these snacks into the family night.
  3. Does your family enjoy movies? If so, movies are great! However, remember if you want interaction, you will have to encourage it. One way is to discuss favorite and least favorite parts after the movie is over. Was a part particularly funny or scary? Encourage both kids and parents to explain their thoughts about the movie.
  4. Create some new family traditions. Baking cookies or a favorite dessert is always fun for kids. You could even make the treats for someone else, and let the kids choose who on a weekly basis! Crafts are another fun option.
  5. Gauge kids reactions to games. If they seem to be bored after a while (being easily distracted is one clue), change to something else. Remember you want to keep things fun!


Tips

  • Prepare ahead of time by shopping for snacks or ingredients that are enjoyed by all.
  • Find games/activities ahead of time and get them out of storage or purchase them.
  • Locate any other materials or resources such as notebooks or paper to record family memories or allow kids to spontaneously create pictures.


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Sources and Citations

Article provided by wikiHow, a collaborative writing project to build the world’s largest, highest quality how-to manual. Please edit this article and find author credits at the original wikiHow article on How to Plan a Successful Family Home Evening. All content on wikiHow can be shared under a Creative Commons license.