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Having # 3 and #1 is an unmotiveated almost 5 year old...

Last post 05-01-2008 8:04 PM by hsiamy. 6 replies.
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  • 03-12-2008 12:44 PM

    • TracyC
    • Top 200 Contributor
    • Joined on 03-12-2008
    • Posts 3

    Having # 3 and #1 is an unmotiveated almost 5 year old...

    How can I get my almost 5 year old ready and willing to learn his K skills with a newborn to take care of too? My 2 year old will do anything his big brother will do, so I know he will want to participate as well. I have some ideas, but honestly he is LAZY and doesn't want to learn anything. He would prefer to just sit and watch TV (which I only allow on occasion and it is PBS Kids then). He is into dinosaurs, but he doesn't want to learn anything about those either...I ahve some GREAT fact sheets/coloring sheets/worksheets but he doesn't want to do them. I hate to force him to do anything, but I am at a loss on how to start.

    Any ideas?

     

    TIA

  • 03-15-2008 1:38 AM In reply to

    Re: Having # 3 and #1 is an unmotiveated almost 5 year old...

    TracyC,

    I, too, have one that is 5, one that's 2, and one that's 1. I also have one that is 16 and one that is 9. My 5 year old is kind of the same way. What I have done is played educational games with her. There are alot of ideas on the internet, but even easy stuff like ABC Bingo. Educational games that can be played on the computer are always really good, as well. We also only allow PBS kids or Noggin on at our house, so that's a really good start. But maybe take it a bit further by letting him play on PBS kids dot com, or Noggin dot com. My kids love art and experiments, so maybe try to integrate that into your lessons. Just remember, anything you do is going to be better, especially if he's not interested, than sending him to school where he would probably get left behind. (Or in trouble because he's not doing what he's supposed to.) It will get easier! Good luck with everything!

    Karen

  • 03-18-2008 12:54 PM In reply to

    • TracyC
    • Top 200 Contributor
    • Joined on 03-12-2008
    • Posts 3

    Re: Having # 3 and #1 is an unmotiveated almost 5 year old...

    karen,

    Thank you for your tips. He isn't very interested in the computer, so I haven't done much with him on it. He does enjoy playing some games, such as Leap Frog's Letter Factory, but he doesn't seem to get the letter/sound/name recognition from it. I am hoping he will get interested in things very soon, but I am not going push him at this point. I do understand that all kids learn at their own pace, but it is still frustrating ya know?

    Thanks again!

    TracyC

  • 03-20-2008 10:06 AM In reply to

    Re: Having # 3 and #1 is an unmotiveated almost 5 year old...

    Hi Tracy,

     Thanks for posting your questions re: your 5 yr. old.  I wanted to take this moment to talk a bit about the 3 stages of childhood and how that plays out in homeschooling.  In my former life (before homeschooling) I was a teacher in a Waldorf school and earned a dual degree in Human Dev. and Family Studies/Elem. Educ.  I particularly fell in love w/Waldorf Education mostly b/c it doesn't rush the children through the stages of childhood.  It honors and allows for the child to grow naturally w/out being forced to learn things that their brains just aren't ready for yet...and this generally has little to do with motivation.  This is a big part of my homeschooling philosophy...remaining focused on the developmental stages of my children. Our style of homeschooling places the development of the individual child in the focal point.  

    * Although the capacities for thoughtfulness, emotional involvement, and intellectual activity are inextricably connected, they do not develop uniformly.  Rather, they develop in pronounced ways during 3 distinct seven-year stages of childhood, and therefore, are worked with differently in preschool, grade school (gr. 1-8), and high school.

    Preschool: In early childhood, from birth to around age 7, the young child is active.  This is evident in the kicking legs of a crying infant and in the curling toes of a nursing newborn, and it is definitely experienced by any parent or childcare provider who tries to keep pace w/a toddler.  This urge for activity is also observed in the exuberant and purposeful play of the kindergarten child.  It is through activity that the young child is most easily engaged and most easily taught.

    Grade School:  The urge to be active does not disappear when a child enters 1st gr.; neither is the young child unemotional before this point.  Rather, activity recedes in importance over time and is gradually supplanted by a growing inwardness during the school yrs.  Over the course of the 2nd phase of childhood, from the age of 6 or 7 until around the age of 14, feelings become paramount.  This change occurs gradually, the way one season changes to another.  A growing emotional capacity begins to show itself the way that the warm days of summer precede the solstice.  And these changes come in waves, just like stretches of crisp autumn weather that can arrive in late Aug, become more common by Sept., and then commonplace by Halloween.

    High School: The third 7 yr, phase of childhood is the one in which thinking prevails.  Teenagers are certainly emotional and active (when they want to be), but their capacity for critical thinking shows itself in a pronounced way with the onset of adolescence and particularly at the beginning of high school.

    * No single capacity is viewed as more important than another.  To foster a child's healthy development, we need to encourage a balanced growth of all 3 aspects so that in the end, clear, insightful thinking will rest upon a strong foundation of the purposeful activity, as well as, framework of emotional dev.  This natural and healthy progression from active experience and emotional response to conceptual understanding is a basic tent of Waldorf theory and my personal parenting/homeschool philosophy.

    Accelerated learning has long been in vogue.  When a 3rd grader's reading ability is measured to be on a 7th gr. level, parents and teachers are pleased.  The pressure for early learning is one of the most significant factors affecting young children's experiences today.  Across the country there is an increased emphasis on direct instruction in the early yrs.  The growing importance of tests scores in the grades as a measure for determining academic success has compelled schools to begin academic instruction at an earlier age.  It is now customary for reading and arithmetic to be taught to 5 yr. olds in kindergarten.  But what is the price we pay for accelerating academic instruction?

    * Before brain regions are myelinated (and nerves have the outer coating needed to transmit impulses), they do not operate efficiently.  For this reason, trying to make children master academic skills for which they do not have the requisite maturation may result in mixed-up patterns of learning.  I would contend that much of today's academic failures result from academic expectations for which student's brains were not prepared - but which were bulldozed into them anyway.

    So, how does one "guide the brain in its correct course of development at the age of 5"?  Young children will learn by doing.  And what young children love to do most is play.  You can  still provide a young child with language experiences, sequential routines, and learning opportunities.  Having a learning environment that provides natural opportunities for learning.  If children learn to count or to memorize a song or poem, it is out of their own impetus and occurs naturally when they are developmentally ready and not through direct instruction.  The implicit understanding is that it is counter-productive to require participation in advanced activities at an early age.   If we offer up age/developmentally appropriate activities/resources to help facilitate this process and allow for more of a natural process to occur then we stand less of a chance of hampering out the natural will to learn.  At this stage of the game...becoming more of a "facilitator" (this is a great time to observe learning styles too...is your child learning more via Auditory, Kinesthetic, Visual, or Tactile...when it comes time to chose curriculum this will help with the decision making process) and less of "teacher" may also help the process. 

     

    "Happy Homeschooling"

     Warmly,

    ~hsiamy

     

       

    ~ hsiamy
  • 03-25-2008 11:09 AM In reply to

    • TracyC
    • Top 200 Contributor
    • Joined on 03-12-2008
    • Posts 3

    Re: Having # 3 and #1 is an unmotiveated almost 5 year old...

    Thank you so much for this. sorry it has taken me so long to respond...I have been busy with the kiddos, adn trying to prepare for Rhiannon's (#3) arrival. I think I need to look more into the Waldorf education style.

    Thanks again for all the great info!

    TRacy

  • 04-06-2008 2:25 PM In reply to

    Re: Having # 3 and #1 is an unmotiveated almost 5 year old...

    Dear hsiamy

    I couldn't help noticing that you are aSsteiner teacher and wonder whether you could advise me in how to plan homeschooling a five year old in this way.  I don't know much about it but while waiting to hear whether my daughter has got into a Steiner School I plan to home educate her for the intervening term.  If she should be unsuccessful again in gaining a place I will continue this but would value any advice on how to set up a plan based on SW education.  i have bought lots of booksbut as i am moving house tomorrow have no access to them for the next couple of weeks at least!!!

     

    Any help would be greatly appreciated!

    Gill

  • 05-01-2008 8:04 PM In reply to

    Re: Having # 3 and #1 is an unmotiveated almost 5 year old...

    Hi Gill,

    Play is the quintessential activity of young children.  It is the serious work of childhood.  Creative play awakens and harnesses the power of imagination.  For a young child the imagined world can have more reality than the actual world.  This is the basis for early childhood programs in a Steiner School.  Waldorf educational theory is based on this approach in the kindergarten classroom.  A Waldorf teacher will often be found telling many stories as well.  A story told from the heart (rather than read from a book), however simple its content, always has more meaning to a young child than the most wonderful tale told by a disembodied voice heard through earphones - for the simple reason that a living person is engaged in telling it.  The mental skills we learn through storytelling and play become the basis for creative thinking, problem-solving and above all the ability to grasp complex concepts.  Play by its very nature involves a process of experimentation and discovery.  Play starts from a given situation but the outcome is unknown.

    A Steiner Waldorf Kindergarten is like an extended family.  The day and its activities have a regular rhythm and structure from the child's arrival until their departure.  There is a balance between the daily work that needs to be done, caring for the house, baking the bread, doing the washing, and so on as well as handicrafts such as simple weaving, carving, embroidery and sewing.  There is sweeping to be done, leaves gathered up outside and even a little garden to tend.  Then of course there are the festivals to celebrate, stories to be told, songs to be sung and games to be played.  Last and by no means least, there is time for creative play both indoors and outdoors.

      As you can see, it really is an extension of home.  In a Steiner Waldorf Kindergarten the emphasis is on children mastering physical skills rather than abstract intellectual ones.  The learning environment is wholly integrated rather than compartmentalized and subject based.  This is achieved by the 'natural' homely atmosphere of the kindergarten.  The development of mathematical, conceptual or coordination skills arise experientially out of the practical activities, such as those described above.  Language skills are strengthened through children being encouraged to speak freely and describe their experiences.  Listening is equally important to the cultivation of language skills and this is encouraged through oral story telling and listening to each other.  The recitation of rhymes, counting verses and poems, carefully chosen for their language content, strengthens sound and especially recognition, an important condition for good literacy skills.  Emphasizing oral skills also helps the children extend their vocabulary and develop their powers of memory.  Through creative play and daily activities, your child will learn how to relate and interact. There is a strong emphasis on caring for the environment as well. 

     I hope that this helps!  Best of luck to you as you move and walk the path of homeschooling.

     Peace,

     ~hsiamy      

    ~ hsiamy
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