Consider Behavior First
- Readiness to learn formally is more than just “academic readiness”
- Behavior problems of the preschool days will get carried into school work
(Having a school schedule does help behaviors some, but will not solve them entirely.)
- The trouble you might be having getting teeth brushed or coming to breakfast, etc., will
only be exacerbated by adding “come to school table” or “do seatwork” or “listen.”
Donna Reish, author of character quality language arts and meaningful composition, answers a couple of readers questions about kindergarten. In this podcast episode, she specifically talks about what types of behaviors parents should expect from a four to six year-old child before starting formal academics and the six most important things to focus on first, including obedience, morning routines, chore times, and informal learning. She describes the optimum learning environment and gives insight as to what to look for in readiness to learn to read. Join Donna as she describes some of the best years of parenting.
I was recently asked what my “educational expectations” would be with a five year old. Now, this fall marks our thirtieth year of homeschooling. Through the years, we have ebbed and flowed with the trends of homeschooling just like all other long-term homeschoolers. However, there are some things that have always stayed the same for us:
|Speaking about “Building Study Skills and Comprehension” at a conference
There are many aspects of teaching a child how to learn, one of which is working to increase our children’s comprehension. When people have good comprehension, they can learn anything, anywhere, anytime.
There are three primary ways that we have worked to increase our children’s comprehension: (1) Discussion with parents and those more knowledgeable than the child; (2) Good questions following reading or discussions; and (3) Provide a rich background of experience.
The first two of those go hand-in-hand. Discussion of everything with our children from very young ages has given our kids experiences in areas that they would normally not have experiences in. It gives us the opportunity to teach all the time—and gives them learning hooks that they create with the discussion material to bring into other learning situations.
Good questions, not just rote questions, help the student think more deeply about subjects and allow you to observe his thought processes and help them along. Lastly, a rich background of experience gives your student the edge in learning any subject. Like discussion, it gives a child more knowledge, more background, more information to bring into future learning scenarios.
I am adding some information about teaching children how to learn, good materials, links to articles, etc., in the sidebar of this article for those who would like to study this further. Just being aware of always teaching our kids how to learn, how to study, how to research, how to further their understanding is a big step in teaching kids how to learn.
Tips and Links for Teaching Children How to Learn
~People often ask us what we would have done differently in our homeschool. One of the things I would have done differently is that every child, every year would have done a thinking skills book of some sort from the Critical Thinking Company: http://www.criticalthinking.com/index.jsp?code=c
Our favorite patriotic “devotional”! Our two sons, ages fifteen and eighteen, asked me to get this back out for this summer’s reading since we haven’t done it for two years now. I LOVE this book. Short readings–about 5 to 10 minutes each, plus “This day in history list” for each day. So inspiring!
You might be familiar with one of the authors, William J. Bennett, from his amazing story collection, “Book of Virtues” (a great read aloud book for families with multi ages of children and even older children!). He has done it again in this wonderful 365 excerpt patriotic book!
If you homeschool, you want this book! If you homeschool and you are doing American history this year, you definitely want this book! 🙂
“American History Parade” pg. 235 (Today in history)
1776 The Continental Congress adopts the Declaration of Independence
1802 The US Military Academy opens at West Point, NY
1826 John Adams, age ninety, and Thomas Jefferson, age eight-three die
1831 James Monroe, fifth US President, dies at age seventy-three
1959 A forty-ninth star is added to the flat to represent the new state of Alaska
1960 A fiftieth star is added to the flat to represent the new state of Hawaii
Click here or on the picture below to get this book!
DISCLOSURE: I am an affiliate for these products that I recommend. If you purchase these items through my links, I will earn a commission, but you will not pay more when buying a product through my link. 🙂