I’ve written before about when we began to home-school our then 5th grader, now a proud 6th grader, in We don’t need no thought control. I talked about how last year, after the third time my beautiful, smart (then) 10 year old broke down on the couch crying he was stupid, we decided school was stupid! So we began to home-school.
I used to be one of “those” people. The one who rolled her eyes at the people who touted home-schooling as superior. The one who said I would never, ever home-school my children, because I simply really didn’t want to do so. And for my oldest two children, now 22 and 20, that was just fine. Then, my lil bit came along, now 11. He has ADHD, which let me to complete my Master’s thesis. It was called Adults Perceptions of Children and Adolescent Use of Medical Cannabis for ADHD, Autism, Seizure Disorder, Cancer, etc. (you can find it here, if you’re curious).
I was also one of “those” people about ADHD. I was unsure if it was a “real”disease. To be fair, I still think it is largely over-medicated, but it is absolutely a real disease. When my son was 4, I knew he had ADHD. I could see his brain moving behind his eyes while he was trying so desperately to concentrate on what someone was saying. It was another 3 years before I was able to convince my husband/family to have him tested.
Last year, as he began 5th grade, the material became more difficult and he can’t learn the same way other children do. For example, when I’m giving him instructions on something, he needs to stand to listen. When he’s seated, he feels restrained and it distracts him from what he needs to be doing, listening. In a regular school, this simply isn’t a feasible solution. We couldn’t change his school model, so we changed the learning model. We immediately began looking for a curriculum that would cover everything we needed. Since he has trouble with focus and there is so much to focus on while on the computer, we chose a computer guided curriculum. After a big of a rocky start, he’s doing fantastic.
When home-schooling, I think it is important to include extras in your lessons. Cooking is a great time for an impromptu chemistry lesson. When you add heat and cook ground beef, it becomes brown. Why? It’s a chemical reaction! Usually, the hubbs and I have a pretty decent division of labor. I do English, Science, Arts and Foreign Language, and we switch of Karate class 2-3 days a week for exercise (along with walks, and swimming, etc). The hubbs generally does Math, Social Studies, Geography, etc.
This year his first Social Studies lesson was Early Hebrew Civilization. Since my family is Jewish, I took this one. We started by watching Fiddler on the Roof and talking about how my grandmother grew up in a village like that in Russia. My grandparents met in a work camp in Russia, during WWII. It was a great way to teach him about his heritage while also giving him a basis for his school lesson. Afterwards, we went to his curriculum, which talked about the Torah (the first 5 books of the Old Testament), Passover (the holiday where G-d sent 10 plagues to the Egyptians so that Moses might free the Jewish people from slavery), Abraham (considered the Father of Judaism), and more (one of his favorites was the Jewish name for G-d as Yahweh).
Coming soon: How to socialize your home-schooled child.
Since he had seen the movie he had a good basis for Jewish culture, which allowed him to assimilate the information much more readily. Teachers often use media in class. They use everything at their disposal.
We have the entire world at our disposal! Use it!
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Since I have so desperately missed psychology, I have decided to add tele-therapy sessions to my repertoire and you can find that webpage at Self-Actualization Therapy. It will be more clinical psychology and less personal but I would LOVE to see you all there!!