Free Israel Unit Study

Here she goes again…

Terri Johnson at Knowledge Quest has most graciously shared with us another one of her unit studies.  This one is on Israel.  These are simple & yet a lot of fun.

 

Go to Knowlege Quest to get the Unit Study.

If you subscribe to her newsletter, she will send you a link to her “Around the World” unit study.  Her website & blog is full of lots of freebies (& who doesn’t love that!).

Time to vote for the best Homeschool blog

It’s that time again to vote for your favorite Homeschool blog.

 

You can see Jacque’s pick here.  Or go to the home of the Homeschool Blog Awards here.

There are instructions there for you.  It is easy.  I’m on my way over there now to cast my vote.  I like this because it also exposes me to many new blogs that I didn’t know about that I can add to my blog roll.

Join Us at the HSBA!

You Can Correct & Prevent Dyslexia

I have 2 children with varying degrees of dyslexia.  It has been a challenge to teach them, but it has been done.  We used techniques that others didn’t agree with, but it worked for us.  Finally, I found an “expert” who supports what we did & says that it works.  We knew that it did, but it always helps to have a expert say it also.  We did not raise our children under the umbrella of “disability”  We never told them that something was wrong.  They are not special needs, they have learning challenges.  Who doesn’t have learning challenges, but theirs is just a little more complicated.  Here is an excellent article that showed up in the THSC  newsletter.  I would suggest htat you share it with anyone who is struggling with a child.

 

You Can Prevent and Correct Dyslexia


 Sue Ellen Haning

 

Texas Home School Coalition Association REVIEW © February 2005

Dyslexia is a fairly new word (I could not find it in the 1971 Oxford English Dictionary), but it is one that we see and hear with increasing frequency, and it has become a buzzword in the educational community. Although each of the many books and articles written on the subject of dyslexia has a slightly different spin, the common ground most share is the death sentence to the student and his or her parents. I have even read, “Once dyslexic, always dyslexic.” Is this death sentence a reflection of current societal thinking? (Victims are everywhere.) Is the word “dyslexia” a scapegoat for the school system in which such labels originate and which receive funds for students in special programs? How many sleepless nights have mothers and fathers spent blaming themselves–or just lying awake trying to engineer a way to remove the unfortunate label–while the powers that be (teachers, administrators, doctors) slam the gavel on the child’s file, condemning him or her to a life of special classes that go on and on, year after year, seeming to make little, if any, difference in the child’s ability to progress? As a parent, I would strongly resist any label that anyone wanted to put on my child.

My education degree is not in special education, but I have thirty-three years of experience teaching “dyslexics” in the classroom and in private tutoring. My students have ranged in age from five to thirty-five, and many have been labeleddyslexic” for years. Their symptoms include problems in reading, spelling, and comprehension; poor decoding skills (inability to read phonetically); terrible handwriting and reversals; auditory processing problems (inability to store and retrieve information presented auditorially); visual processing problems; attention deficit disorders; hyperactive disorders; etc. There seems to be no end to the symptoms attached to the label. Most of these students have attended special classes specifically designed for them. While well intentioned, these classes move the student along at a snail’s pace or not at all, and most use the same teaching techniques that did not work for the student in the first place. Self-esteem work is often a major part of these classes. Our society seems to value positive strokes above real learning, and coddling ourselves above challenging ourselves, and it does not understand that self-esteem is a natural by-product of personal accomplishment.

The International Dyslexia Association (IDA) defines dyslexia as a “specific learning disorder that is neurological in origin,” meaning that dyslexia is a nervous system malfunction. I disagree with the IDA that all diagnoses of dyslexia are neurological in origin; however, I do not doubt that 20-25% of the population has some degree of learning difference—not disorder. We are all unique in our learning styles. Some understand numbers better than words. Some have auditory strengths; some have visual strengths. Some are kinesthetic. Some have a mixture of two or more of the preceding. The diagnosis of dyslexia relieves “the system” of responsibility, but it does not necessarily help the student who is having trouble learning.

 

To facilitate the educational system, all students are expected to operate within one learning style. Professionals in both the educational and medical fields encourage—indeed often demand—that a child take one or more of the popular drugs to help force him into the mold. Ritalin is just one drug prescribed to millions of America’s children, and its chemistry is so close to cocaine that it takes a chemist to tell the difference. I encourage you to read You Can Prevent or Correct Learning Disorders by Dr. Hilde Mosse. If you are not up for reading the entire book, please read the pages devoted to drug use in children.

More often than not, my experience with “dyslexics” has exposed environmental causes rather than neurological ones. Environmental causes are preventable and correctable. In order to learn well, children need daily, frequent, verbal interaction with adults—the complete sentence type of dialogue. The language and perception skills a child learns from personal, face-to-face, frequent, daily dialogue with an adult will go a long way in preventing learning problems by building good thinking skills. What keeps these good skills from forming?

 

Television, in my opinion, single-handedly causes more harm to children’s learning than diet, day care, and dairy products combined. This ingenious invention can connect us to the rest of the world and teach us much about the world and the people in it, but in my opinion, the destructive aspects of TV outweigh the constructive ones. Television continually stimulates the viewer both auditorially and visually, with short, choppy thoughts—which shorten attention spans. Children’s programs are the worst, as they constantly jump from one focus to another. Family shows are not any better, with their constant interruption by commercials (which often focus on a pill to solve our ills). In many homes this TV monster is on much of the day and night, even when no one is watching. Parents say, “Oh, our children don’t watch TV.” Further questions reveal that the children may not watch the TV, but it is on nevertheless, and what are the children doing while the parents are watching TV? They are engaged with and entertained by other electronic devices such as the computer, video games, books on tape, etc. The same attention and learning problems result from these toys. No amount of technology can replace the one-on-one, face-to-face, positive interaction with adults through dialogue and reading.


There are other environmental causes of learning problems and hyperactivity that I have directly addressed with my students and their parents: disorganization (household and personal), cluttered walls at home and school (visual stimuli), inconsistency in all aspects of life, too many outside activities, pressure to hurry, noisy study environment, too little rest, MSG and other food additives, emotional turmoil, chaos, and tension at home and in the classroom. It is impossible for a child to concentrate for any period of time when he is overly excited or overly stimulated in any way. Most children are over-stimulated day and night. No wonder so many are hyperactive. “But we live in the twenty-first century,” you say. “This is part of life.” You must determine if it is more important for your child to fit into the culture or for him to have a good foundation for life.

The educational system inadvertently creates problems too. Often the copy method is used in teaching children to form letters and numbers. The teacher stands at the board in front of the students and forms a letter or number with little or no instruction in how to accomplish this task, and the student must try to mimic the forming of this letter or number on his paper. Casual teaching is popular, with the belief the child will get it in his own time. The correct formation of each letter and number must be taught, and then the student must practice it correctly. In English, we read and write from left to right and top to bottom. Beginning readers and writers must have consistent practice in forming their letters from left to right and top to bottom. The copy method often results in the student beginning the letter at the bottom and going to the top or starting the letter on the right side and going back to the left. Constant practice in forming the letters inaccurately teaches the brain to address the written word incorrectly, and dyslexia is born. Teaching rhyming words—bat, cat, fat, hat, mat, pat, rat, sat, etc.—trains the child to look at the end (right side) of the word first and then look back to the beginning of the word (left side). We read from left to right—not from right to left. This may seem simple or inconsequential, but to a beginning reader and writer, it is very significant. Teaching systematically is imperative in preventing or correcting writing and reading disorders.

The popular use of workbooks that require one-word answers inhibits language development also. The child usually chooses from a list of four words to complete the sentence. The child may not even be able to read all the words in the sentence but can often make a correct choice. In workbook assignments, the student does not have to engage the entire language. The language appears in bits and pieces (what goes in the blank). Active practice in writing and speaking in complete sentences advances language skills.


Another hazard to linear reading is the comic book or cartoon. The inconsistent placement of words and the visual stimulation of the pictures encourage scanning and picture-gazing. Often children look for the pictures to tell the story and read only a word or two of a caption on pages where the pictures do not tell the story. Comic book reading may not cause a problem in the experienced reader, but it hinders linear reading progress in the young or beginning reader and in the child who has a learning difference.

While the educational system creates some learning problems, others actually happen accidentally as the child grows. One correctable neurological problem is crossed hemispherical dominance. Hemispherical dominance is helpful in working with any learning. If a person is right handed, his right ear and right eye should be dominant as well. If he is left handed, his left ear and left eye should be dominant. If one side is dominant, he is hemispherically dominant. The dominant eye and dominant ear receive information and store it on the opposite side of the brain. If the right eye is dominant, but the left ear is dominant, then information is incorrectly filed and becomes hard to retrieve. This problem accounts for children being able to access previously learned facts one day but unable to access the same facts on another day. For more information on this issue, log onto http://www.hope-future.org. This Web site will give you access to full information on hemispherical dominance and how it affects learning, and it will help in determining and reinforcing dominance.

My experience with dyslexics has taught me that consistent, multisensory, detailed instruction and practice is the approach that works. Whether the weakness is auditory, visual, or kinesthetic, the multisensory approach corrects the weakness and makes the strength stronger. I teach extensive phonics to my dyslexic students (no matter their symptoms) and have them practice daily. It is the consistency in correct practice that makes the difference. This method has been so successful that I can guarantee reading and writing success. Parents’ cooperation in removing or at least reducing environmental hazards results in greater improvement. When this approach is faithfully followed, the outcome is always positive.

Some learning differences are more involved than others, but when the parents and students are dedicated to working consistently and correctly, the results are phenomenal, and the dyslexia goes away! The key is in the instruction, practice, attitude, and philosophy. The only question is, Are you willing to accept the challenge?

 

Meet Sue Ellen Haning

 

Free Social Studies Lesson Plans

I have all kinds of free stuff for you today.

 

The American heritage Education Foundation has K-12 lesson plans on CD-Rom available for free($150 value).  I checked it out & ordered a few weeks ago & just got my CD in the mail this week.  Go to their site & request your own CD.

Free Lesson Plans!

America’s Heritage:  An Adventure in Liberty is a tested lesson plan resource and supplement for Kindergarten-12th grade teachers of social studies, U. S. history, U. S. government, political science, economics, geography, speech, and/or related subjects. Written by fellow teachers, the resource consists of age-appropriate and modifiable lesson plans grouped into three separate books according to level: elementary, middle, and high school. Each elementary school lesson plan correlates practically with the nationally applicable Core Knowledge Skills (grades K-6) (national edition) and/or Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) objectives (Texas edition).  Each middle and high school lesson plan correlates with the National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS) standards (national edition), TEKS objectives, and/or Project CLEAR objectives (Texas edition).  All lessons emphasize one or more themes of freedom, unity, progress, and responsibility.

Homeschooling the Rebel

We have a rebel in our family & this article by Deborah was very helpful to me.

Homeschooling the Rebel

by Deborah Wuehler

“I won’t do it!” my child screamed after being asked to sit down and start the day’s math assignment. “You will too!” I resolutely stated right back. “I will not!”

Some days were worse than others, but all were equally miserable. The older siblings would complain and take up my offense. Younger siblings would cry because Mommy was crying. All the while, the smug little hard-nosed rebel sat defiantly on the bed screaming and shouting to his (or her) heart’s content. It was a struggle not to allow bitterness to rule my spirit. The daily strain upon my heart, soul, and body were wearing me down to the point I wanted to pull away from everything and everyone. I would cry out to God. “How long, O Lord?” I lived in the comfort of the Psalms. After I cried, I would read and pray. I HAD to in order to face my child again.

How did we end up here? We analyzed everything from birth. Was it the fact that this child was born screaming? Maybe it was that time at 3 that I intervened, thinking Dad was too harsh. Or was it because in public he was well behaved, so I let slip his passive rebellion at home? Was it his early mental maturity trapped inside a childish body? Was it because he was sandwiched between six other siblings? Was it medical? (Indications of ADD were present-not hyperactive, but rather the ultra-slow, highly distracted side.) It was probably the combination of all of these things that enabled this sweet little child to erupt into a full-blown rebel. Yelling, screaming, throwing things, you name it. I had only read about this kind of child, and now I had one. What in the world was I to do?

Recognize the Triggers of Rebellion

We both desperately needed help, so I started to research. I learned to recognize the triggers of these angry responses and my contribution. I began to look at what happened before the flare-up and recognize the signs of an impending eruption. Was I angry with him? Was he provoked by a sibling or maybe jealous for my attention? Was he distracted? Was his schoolwork too difficult or too easy? Did he get enough sleep? What was he eating? Getting to know the triggers helps in warding off the explosions. Follow me as I share with you what I have learned in dealing with a rebel.

Be a Disciple, Make a Disciple

Discipling was one of the keys to eventually opening our rebel’s heart. As we continued to disciple and pour the Word of God into our child, we began to see things change. Here are some suggestions:

  • Be a good disciple of the Lord yourself! My goal is for my rebel to follow Christ as I follow Christ.
  • Draw your child in close. We had to pull our rebel in as a shepherd does with a wayward lamb. We took him with us wherever we went, and he stayed by our side as much as possible.
  • Be to her what you would have her be. Exemplify patience and kindness. You will begin to see your child’s heart soften and your own heart change toward her.
  • Have other godly influences in his life: teachers, friends, and godly pastors and speakers who reinforce what you are teaching.
  • He needs to be close to the authority figure. He should go to work with Dad or become his shadow when he is home.
  • Disciple her in prayer. Show her who to run to! Let her see your vulnerability. She usually sees your strength. Let her see your tenderness. Allow her to follow you to Jesus.
  • Discipling takes time. Invest time you do not have, and you will reap fruit you did not expect. 

Teach What Is Good

  • Teach your rebel the Word of God. Help him define rebellion. Lead him to Scriptures relating to “rebellion,” “fools,” and “stiff-necked” people.
  • Teach him that God disciplines those He loves.
  • Teach her the cycle that is repeated throughout history: idolatry, bondage, repentance, deliverance, and rest. Idolatry is turning away from God’s commands to our own self-rule: this leads only to bondage. If we repent, we are delivered and find rest (read the book of Judges).
  • Teach him God’s plan for protection offered in authority. When we step out from under the authority placed in our lives, we are left unprotected.
  • Teach repentance by modeling repentance toward the child. If I show any signs of anger or unkindness, I ask for forgiveness quickly.
  • Teach the order of godly government. God has given us the duty to govern our own households. Children lacking self-government must be governed. God’s beauty and order is displayed in godly government.
  • Creation is governed by order, not chaos, and declares the glory of God.
  • Teach the foundation of our faith based on the order of a literal, six-day creation. God also created our rebel to declare His glory-teach her that she can glorify God if she stays under His authority structure. Teach him that self-control is placing himself under God’s control. He will soon realize that he can’t control himself; this is when you can show him his need for God’s control.
  • Go over what Christ did on the cross. Christ can free us from the power of sin and the penalty of sin. Lead your child to the cross at every turn.

Homeschooling

If you are dealing with major rebellion from your child, you may need to adjust your educational goals for the time being. You may need to step back and let your child excel at a lower academic level rather than struggle where he “should” be. I had to re-focus my standards on the basics: Bible, math, and language arts. You can also help your child with the following adjustments:

  • Provide lots of good reading to cover the rest of the school subjects, such as good biographies that exemplify people strong in spirit.
  • Look for curriculum that doesn’t frustrate. Don’t hesitate to change curriculum that is boring or overkill.
  • If writing is too hard, have him dictate to you and then show him his work.
  • Allow her to choose topics of study. Find out what she delights in and continue in that direction until the desire ceases.
  • Have him read a Proverb and ask him to tell you what it might be saying to him personally. What did God mean when He wrote it? How can he apply it to his life this day?
  • During peaceful times, have her read the Bible or a good character book to you and discuss it together.
  • Scripture memorization changes hearts. Write the same verse every day until it is memorized. Feel free to do so with her.
  • Let him play his instrument before doing his schoolwork. It can help soothe and set the tone for other work to follow. If it doesn’t distract, play calm praise music quietly in the background during school time.
  • Separate siblings. This eliminates many distractions and potential trouble. Try to make a place of solitude for your rebel. Have the other children respect that privacy.
  • This is the kind of child that needs to be “doing” something with you. Our child flourished when we worked together and balked at independent study. Stay with her until she is confident and successful.
  • Give him something to look forward to when he gets his assignments done. Have a good book, special project, or free time waiting for him as a reward. Rebels can be highly motivated by rewards.

Consistency

Provide clear, strong guidelines in all areas-personal, school, chores, etc. The child must know what is required of him, and requirements must be clear. Print them out. Have the same rules, the same school assignments, and the same chores every day. Give him a daily schedule or checklist to visually keep him on track and monitor progress. Be consistent in all of these areas:

  • Have a consistent bedtime. This child may have an earlier bedtime than his siblings, since he may need more sleep.
  • Have consistent meal times. We eliminated sugar and provided snacks between meals to keep blood sugar level issues at bay. This helped the intensity of emotion to decrease.
  • Be consistent with discipline, and be sure consequences for each offense are consistent. Allow input so that the child knows you are being fair.
  • One of our rules is no breakfast until morning chores are finished. Our rebel can’t handle more than two assignments at any one time. We keep our instructions as few and simple as possible and try to keep them focused on the task at hand.

Discipline

Drastic rebellion sometimes calls for drastic measures. We employed all of these disciplinary tactics at one time or another:

  • If he caused trouble with siblings, he was not allowed to play with them for a time and was assigned to his room. He could play quietly or read books of our choosing.
  • For disrespect, disobedience, or angry outbursts: loss of privileges such as computer time, playing or talking with friends, going on field trips, or participating in classes or any form of entertainment for a given length of time (rest of the day, week, etc.).
  • If the morning went badly or if he had an eruption the previous day, he went to work with Dad with a backpack full of school books. He followed Dad around on the weekends frequently.
  • We have had to say no to many activities. For the most part, people understand. Some think we are too harsh, but they have never seen the rebel who lives at our house. They only know the sweet child who goes out in public. Only after a year’s worth of many painful cancellations did our child begin to realize his loss and our commitment to keeping our word. Only then did we begin to see a real change.
  • We have had a tendency to ride the rebel hard and forget about the other children. Stay consistent in enforcing the rules with all of the children so that no “respecter of persons” or bitterness is fostered.
  • Don’t drag out the discipline. Take care of it quickly. When it’s over, allow her the grace to start over. Don’t bring it up again. Always pray together afterward.
  • If he cannot control his emotions, he is grounded to his room. I have him read the Word and pray before he is allowed to come out so that he will have an acceptable attitude.

Change the Way You Respond

This type of child tends to be extremely intelligent and to push the boundaries wherever possible, employing manipulative strategies. They are also good at blame shifting. How should we respond?

  • When I react harshly to disrespect or disobedience, the battle escalates. My grievous words stir up anger in both of us. I have to be quiet and calm, purposing to be kind. Falling into anger and bitterness against the child does no good, as our anger never produces the righteousness of God.
  • Continuing to repeat a command only frustrates both of you. If the argument is over a command you’ve given, don’t continue repeating the command. Set aside the physical action you want done and take the spiritual action of dealing with the heart issue of rebellion.
  • Don’t entertain an argument or try to have the last word. Stop yourself in the middle of the battle. Drop it and allow the Holy Spirit to intervene. Rebels love to battle, so this will make them angry. You may need to isolate the child until he has calmed down. Don’t take personal offense. The rebel is not the enemy; we are doing battle with the enemy of her soul.
  • Instead of pointing out all her faults, share your own struggles with her. Come up with word pictures or analogies to show her the effect of her actions.
  • He feels like a failure, so watch him closely with the purpose of praising him. Find the good, however small. Praise any attempt at obedience or kindness. Praise for the lack of meanness.

Love Your Rebel

Your child needs to see and feel your love, and not only when it is manifested as correction.

  • Don’t pull away from her physically. She needs to be reassured of your love for her every day.
  • Discover his “love language.” Plan dates whenever possible. Your child’s wayward actions may be his way of trying to get your attention. Be proactive and give him undivided attention regularly.
  • Teach all the children to love and not to engage in conflict with or provoke each other. Teach them to love their enemies and to find a way to bless and not curse them. Teach boys to honor and protect girls. Teach girls to love and respect boys.
  • Love is patient and kind-but is Mom patient and kind? Allow God to fill you with the same love that He has for your child. She needs to see love from you even while she is yet a rebel.

Stay Grounded

Rebels are very draining-spiritually, mentally, emotionally, and physically. We need to stay grounded in the Word and in prayer.

  • We need times of refreshing at regular intervals. Get away to a quiet place and rest. Spend time in the solitude of prayer and Bible study.
  • We need the Word. This is a heart-wrenching, iron-sharpening, full-out battle, and we need to keep our armor on. We need the belt of truth. Untruth comes forth from the child regularly. Read the truth, speak the truth, and memorize it together.
  • We need prayer and fasting. We are in the trenches of warfare for the soul of our child. We need to be vigilant and proactive and one step ahead in prayer. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood but against every evil thing that exalts itself. Spend time fasting and focus on the spiritual battle-not just the outward rebellion.
  • We need to die to our pride, our anger, and our unrealistic expectations.

Have a Future Vision

We need a future vision as we are raising the next generation. What will these rebels have to face in their future that will take this kind of strength of character? If persecution comes to your rebel for his faith in Christ, what kind of person will he need to be? Obviously, God is raising up an army. Remind your child to fight the good fight he was created for. Remind him that he is fighting the wrong fight when he is fighting God’s authority (you), and tell him that God made him strong for a reason-he is to be God’s warrior. Give her a cause to stand up for, something to fight against, and help her use her strength for good now. We need rebels in the Kingdom of God to stand against sin and to stand for righteousness.

Be a Rebel

Homeschooling a rebel is extremely difficult, and we are still working through it all. Yes, we still have eruptions, but much less frequently. We have learned how to pray, repent, and start over. More importantly, the strong will has carried over into spiritual battles. This will be the time to form a stronger prayer life, a stronger sense of what is right and wrong, and a stronger love for the Lord and His Word. Rebels don’t give up easily-be a rebel, Mom, and don’t give up on your child. You will both learn to turn to the only One who can truly change hearts: Jesus Christ.

I can hear you asking, will my child ever change? I am here to tell you that there is a God and that He is more interested in the heart and soul of your child than you are. Jesus Christ Himself intercedes to His Father on your child’s behalf. Join Him in prayer as you intercede for the heart of your child. Don’t give in to discouragement; be encouraged with new vision for your child. You are not alone in having the special blessing and calling of raising a rebel.

“And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.” -Galatians 6:9


Further Resources

I highly recommend the following resources:

  • Homeschooling the Challenging Child, by Christine Field
  • No Greater Joy-free monthly newsletters
  • Winning the Heart of a Rebel and other resources on anger by S. M. Davis
  • The Five Love Languages of Children, by Gary Chapman
  • Doorposts-many resources taken from the book of Proverbs
  • Homeschooling with a Meek and Quiet Spirit, by Teri Maxwell
  • The Heart of Anger, by Lou Priolo

Deborah Wuehler is the Senior Editor, Chapel Editor, and Devotional Editor for the Old Schoolhouse Magazine. She resides in Roseville, California with her husband Richard and their seven gifts from heaven. She loves digging for buried treasure in the Word, reading, writing, homeschooling, and dark chocolate!
http://www.HomeschoolBlogger.com/DevDoorDeborah

*What about boys?

I found this article & thought it was worth passing on.  Since I have 6 boys, I understand that it does take an extra measure of creativity & patience to homeschool them.  Laurie Bluedorn understands this also.

What do I do with This Boy?

by Laurie Bluedorn Copyright ©  2006 Eclectic Homeschool Association

Frequently Asked Questions

Question: I have a boy who manifests several of the following behaviors:

  1. Hates to hold a pencil and/or has terrible handwriting
  2. Isn’t motivated
  3. Does the minimum required–seems lazy
  4. Wanders around with seemingly nothing to do
  5. Has to be continually reminded
  6. Doesn’t read much
  7. Doesn’t like academics
  8. No project appeals to him
  9. Has a narrow field of interests
  10. Has a short attention span
  11. Often seems ‘hyper’
  12. Always has to be doing something with his hands or his feet
  13. Doesn’t want to do any of the things I suggest
  14. If enrolled in a classroom school, he might be “labeled”

What do I do with this boy? I feel very frustrated

Here are a few suggestions:

  1. Keep him away from television, movies, computer games, music that contains any kind of a syncopated beat, sugar and caffeine, and allow him only supervised contact with peers.
  2. Make him repeat back to you what you’ve told him to do.
  3. Work with him until you’re satisfied with his obedience. This is of the utmost importance.
  4. Make a list of the things he needs to accomplish each day, and have him check them off as he does them. Hold him accountable daily.
  5. Wait until age 8 or 9 before teaching him to read. Don’t start academics until age 11. (See our article on “A Suggested Course of Study” in Volume II of our magazine.) Read to him at least two hours each day. If he hates to write, allow him to dictate to you his letters and journal entries, or use a tape recorder.
  6. Make use of the child’s one or two chief interests. Use it as an avenue to other things. (i.e., Link guns to the Second Amendment to the Constitution and to principles of sound government) Get him started in his own business that involves his interests. For example, if the child’s interest is fencing you might suggest that he give fencing lessons to other children, develop a web page on fencing, write a newsletter on fencing, do a display at the library on fencing, write an introductory booklet on fencing, produce fencing equipment, do a fencing seminar for 4-H. He can become the homeschooling expert on fencing.
  7. Give him lots of physical work to do–regular household chores and special jobs. But don’t dump it all on him at once — he probably is the kind of person who is easily overwhelmed and frustrated. Break everything down into parts and mete them out one or two at a time. Use a chart to keep him accountable.
  8. If possible, move to the country so you can raise animals and there will be more outside work to perform (raise rabbits, goats, or chickens, display these projects at the fair, obedience train your dog and show at fairs, raise earthworms to sell or for your garden, raise berries to sell or barter, raise some specialty animal such as a certain breed of horse, and become the local expert on that breed, have him practice carpentry skills by rebuilding a small shed or outbuilding).
  9. Get the child involved in some kind of community service (visit the nursing home every week for one hour, cook meals for the elderly, do repair work for the elderly, pick up the trash around your neighborhood, make small wooden toys and give them to children in the hospital, make greeting cards and give them away, write letters to relatives or others).
  10. If possible, Dad can take him to work once or twice a week.
  11. Do unit studies instead of the traditional textbook approach to academics.
  12. Get involved in historical re-enactments (Civil War, Buckskinners, Medieval, WWII), make costumes and equipment, and attend events.
  13. Teach him to hunt and fish.
  14. Get him a good mountain bike so he can explore.
  15. Keep the child on a regular schedule (flexible, but regular).
  16. This suggestion is listed last, but is really the first: the child should be part of your daily family Bible studies led by the Father.

Sometimes, if the child persists in refusing to be interested, you must insist. The key to all this is to recognize early on that your child is one of these “late bloomers.” You don’t want to wake up to this fact when the child is 17 or 18 and has already developed numerous unprofitable habits and wasteful ways of thinking. Motivating a 17-year-old is much more difficult than motivating a 10-year-old. Molding a 17-year-old is much more difficult than molding a 10-year-old.

With any child, you must build a solid foundation before you begin academics. With a “late bloomer” the foundation takes longer to build and more patience must be used because the bricks tend to be less than square. But, trust me, by the mercy of God, if you persist, the structure that is built on this foundation will be worth all the blood, sweat, and prayers.

This article was reprinted from Teaching the Trivium Magazine, Trivium Pursuit PMB 168, 429 Lake Park Blvd., Muscatine, Iowa 52761 http://www.triviumpursuit.com/. The magazine is now out of print, but many additional articles and resources are available at their website.