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Our Reasons for Home Education:

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Although he was achieving good results, he wasn't reaching his full potential because his love for learning had been destroyed & hence his grades were steadily declining.

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Completely failed by the system, he hated school, was always tired & homework time was a major frustration for both of us. He was severely frustrated & quickly heading to become yet another ADHD statistic.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Progress

“Fair” does not mean that every child gets the same treatment, but that every child gets what he or she needs . . . Students should be encouraged to concentrate on tasks that show what they can do instead of what they can’t do. ~ Richard D. Lavoie

WoW, I can not believe the first half of this school year is almost done. I know I’m way overdue on a blog update, but time & energy have just not been on my side lately. I have learnt so much already & yet still have so much more to learn.

We have just 3 weeks left to school holidays. Once again I’ve had to reschedule our school holiday for this year. This time Jesse is scheduled to go away on holiday with his friend again for about 10 days so he needs to do an extra week to catch up for being away when he is supposed to start his next term. I’ve also rescheduled their September holiday in order to accommodate the horse camp.

It has been a hectic term & I have had to make some changes to accommodate the boys learning styles and thus far the results have been astounding. We now start our day with “How Things Are Made”, “How They Do It” and “Myth Busters” followed by Guitar.

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We invested in Switched on Schoolhouse 3rd Grade Language Arts for Misha. He loves the interactive games & although he still has very creative spelling, he’s finally starting to write some sentences on his own. We have also added Vocabulary & SpellingCity to help him get a grip on Spelling & Vocabulary. We use a variety of educational games & internet resources to learn the way he learns best with technology and all other hands-on methods we can find.

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We have also replaced his boring Maths worksheets with Teaching TextBooks 3. Here he has the option of either doing his Maths in the workbook provided or doing them interactively on his laptop. Of course he prefers the interactive version & now he does 2 Maths lessons a day (27 questions per lesson) with a smile in about 30 minutes, whereas 1 worksheet with 10 questions can take him anything from 30 to 60 minutes. He gets immediate feedback & of course the auto grading frees up some of my time.

For additional Maths practice we use educational software, online games and any hands-on material we can find. In short, we cater for kinaesthetic, audio as well as visual learning. No more moping over filling out sheets, but instead, excitement when he gets it right.

Best of all, is that his quiz & test results for Maths are in the high 90% & his English scores range between 80% & 95%, which goes to show if they don’t learn the way you teach, teaching the way they learn and addressing their learning styles makes all the difference in producing lasting results.

 

Avoid compulsion and let early education be a manner of amusement. Young children learn by games; compulsory education cannot remain in the soul. ~ Plato

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Tannie Hettie has recently done an assessment of his gross motor skills & I’m happy to report that except for not yet being able to touch his toes when bending down, all the other gross motor skills are finally up to date. He has finally mastered the skipping rope, midline crossing and all the other lacking areas & with that we have seen a huge improvement in his reading. Hettie says home-education has been the best move we could have made for him. She has recently introduced him to SpeedStacking in order to enhance his writing skills. We even use the Wii Fit as a physical education training tool. He gets to hop, skip & jump whenever necessary. Physical education is not a once a week period or afterschool activity. We incorporate it throughout the entire day in and even during lesson time.

I still stand amazed at the difference2011_0519_152406 physical & gross motor skills development have made to his overall ability to learn & retain what he has been taught. Over all he is much more relaxed & his confidence is improving steadily.

In short, he didn’t learn the way the system taught, so we now teach the way he learns with the added bonus of teaching both for the price of one & it even includes Junior Engineering, camps & field trips.

 

What is desired is that the teacher cease being a lecturer, satisfied with transmitting ready-made solutions; his role should rather be that of a mentor stimulating initiative and research. ~ Jean Piaget

Jesse also loves his Switched on Schoolhouse General Science II. His science scores have gone up from the high 70% to 85% and above. We are currently investigating his options for grade 9 & onwards. Daddy wants him to go the Cambridge route, but he is enjoying SOS so much that he wants all his subjects that way. We’ve also seen some great high school material last weekend at the FutureEd Expo for the IEB Matric, but Jesse still prefers the SOS to all the options we have seen so far. At this stage it is probably going to be a choice between British International Distance College for Cambridge and Switched on Schoolhouse for SAT.

He enjoys the freedom of getting up later, being able to listen to his music whilst he’s working. He sets his own schedule and as long as his allocated tasks for the week are completed by 12h00 on Friday, he gets to choose whether he wants to work at his desk in the classroom, on his bed or at the kitchen table. He has even allocated himself SOM (Sit on Mommy) subject & of course when dad get’s home from work at night Jesse does S.O.D (Sit on Daddy) Subject.

 

What is desired is that the teacher cease being a lecturer, satisfied with transmitting ready-made solutions; his role should rather be that of a mentor stimulating initiative and research. ~ Jean Piaget

Misha still goes to school twice a week for chess and once a week for SpeedStacking. Jesse also gets to spend some time with his ex class buddies when we take Misha for his activities. Of course the highlight of their week still remains Junior Engineering for Africa (Lego). Misha is currently doing Robotics and Jesse is on to Pneumatics 2.

As for field trips we’ve already done the Sci-Bono Science Museum, the South African Military Museum and the Planetarium. Misha has also been to the Monte Casino Bird Sanctuary.

Honestly, I’m so glad we’ve made this move. I love the overall affect the stress reduction has had on our family. The daily fighting & whining is gone & has been replaced with a relaxed atmosphere & left just the occasional fight. We now have a very relaxed, peaceful atmosphere around the home. We no longer do home school, we do home education.

 

A teacher affects eternity; he/she can never tell where his/her influence stops. ~ Henry Adams