My husband and I had the wonderful opportunity to attend the Illinois Christian Home Educator’s Convention this past Friday and Saturday. Thanks so much to my mom for babysitting our four little ones. I’m in between babies right now, so we were able to attend alone!
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This convention is always so encouraging and challenging. And it certainly was again this year. I’d like to share a few things in a nutshell that I learned. I’ll probably share more details at a later date.
1) Does your child struggle with anger? It is possible that the parent is provoking their child to anger. Lou Priolo has written a book called “The Heart of Anger” in which he shares 12 ways a parent provokes their child to anger. Here are 4 of the ways: by lacking marital harmony (oneness), by establishing and maintaining a child-centered home (instead of God-centered), by modeling sinful anger and by disciplining in anger.
2) Dianne Craft is a special education specialist who shared some wonderful ideas about teaching the right-brained learner. Half the population is right-brained, but almost all curriculum is “left-brained”. To help the child who isn’t learning easily, add color, pictures, emotion, a story or something weird. That will help push it into the right brain where long-term memory is stored. For example, if the child is constantly misspelling the word “comb”, write the word and draw a comb on the “b”. That’s probably all it will take for the child never to forget how to spell it again!
3) From Jessica Hulcy, the co-author of Konos (a unit-study curriculum): Use discovery learning as often as possible. For example, give your children a lightbulb, battery and wire and say, “Make it light.” Or ask your child to make himself a baker’s hat–and give no instructions. They will learn far more from the trial and error and mistakes than if we show them exactly how to do it.
4) To help your child learn communication skills (giving a speech), let them know that communication is always one-on-one–even if speaking on the radio or to a huge crowd. Treat the listeners with dignity. Focus on the mission of your speech, not on yourself. Direct the nervous energy you feel into the audience instead of into yourself (which often leads to distracting mannerisms). Look people in the eye and have variety in your voice (in speed, volume, etc.). These ideas were from Jeff Myers, an incredible communicator.
5) Scott and Kris Wightman have written a book called College Without Compromise: How to Start Early, Finish Economically, and Protect Your Homeschool Vision. This was a very encouraging seminar. One suggestion they made is that as soon as you study a particular subject in 9th-12th grade (such as Algebra II or American History), have your child take a CLEP or DANTES test (credit by examination) to get college credit for it. They can easily study for the tests before taking them. Once you have 9-15 hours (depending on the college), the student can transfer to the school as a college student instead of being an entering freshman. This eliminates the need for high school transcripts, SAT scores, etc. You can get an entire baccalaureate degree from this independent study method for about $6000! (Three schools to look into are Thomas Edison State College, Charter Oak State College, and Excelsior College.) Or, if your child chooses a degree which requires some on-campus work (such as nursing), they can go the dual enrollment route, doing as much as possible through independent study before going into the classroom. This saves A LOT of money. My friend laughed that I went to this seminar since my oldest child is only 5, but I have to say it was so encouraging to know about all the possibilities. There are even independent study law schools.
Well, that should do it for now.