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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.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

How We Learn

Well, we’re already halfway through our first 5-week session of schooling for this year and  what a hectic time it’s been with both mine & my sister’s birthdays 5 days apart and Oma returning from Ireland for good. I can’t believe we’re almost at the end of January again.
Last year we converted one room into a classroom. Initially the boys were happy to sit at their desks, but then, with the schoolwork added, they very quickly felt like they were at school & the dislike to being their started. Towards the end of last year, Jesse described it as being let out of jail when we took them out of school, but then just being put straight back into jail with the schoolbooks. Then I allowed them to find themselves a comfortable spot & the classroom was deserted for the remainder of the year. This year we’ve done away with the “school at home” approach since that just had us all totally stressed out and frustrated already half way through last year.
We started off last year with our brand new classroom which in the meantime has had some minor changes and at this stage only Misha uses it. Jesse does most of his learning on his PC in his room or on dad’s iPad and my Galaxy Tab.
I recently discovered Reading Eggs, a reading program for kids up to 13 years old. I signed Misha up for the 2 week trial & it seems to have him all excited over learning to read. Of course he’s been sitting under Jesse’s desk with his laptop doing Reading Eggs for hours ever since I’ve signed him up. He’s already done 20 lessons since he started on Thursday, which for him is a major achievement. Now all I still need to find is similar programs for his other subjects, then school for us would be a breeze. However, for right now, I think I’ll let him stick to the Reading Eggs to improve his reading 2012_0123_143955further before I start worrying about all those other subjects that are still waiting. I think it’s more important to conquer the reading anyway. Once that’s sorted the other subjects will be so much easier for him to master. If Reading Eggs continues to tickle his interest, I’m sure he’ll be up to his grade required reading speed before the end of 2012_0123_143850this year.
Thanks to Mel’s recent blog post on reading & how to motivate them, he turned Jesse’s desk into his 2012_0123_101210reading tent. Who said you must sit at a desk to learn? Misha’s converted Jesse’s desk into a reading tent. This is cool & works for him, so I’m happy and Misha’s learning. I’m happy to see that he’s much more confident reading out loud as well as making his own sentences. He’s also making up stories now, something he refused to do before.
I’m also going to be doing The Story of the World 1 with them this year. Thus far I’ve done quite a bit of reading for them. We also picked up the guitar lessons again. Amazingly enough though, this year they are showing more interest. Jesse’s already started to learn to play his first songs today. For the past few days he’s been practising about 3 times a day as opposed to last year when it was a drag to get them to focus. I’m quite sure Misha will follow suite as soon as he notices Jesse moving getting better. I’m happy I left it at that because now they’re motivating themselves to continue.
I’ve taken a similar approach to Jesse’s other subjects, since forcing him just produces more resistance. Pretty much left him for the first few weeks this year & now he seems to be starting to pick up his studies on his own. Although it’s not all that easy, I am learning to trust him that he will learn in due time when he’s ready.