Thursday, April 19, 2012

What about motor skills?

Wondering if you're giving your child everything they'd normally get in a public school classroom? If you need some general guidance, one helpful thing is to work on fine and gross motor skills. Building blocks, lacing cards, and even coloring and painting will help with fine motor skills. Even teaching kids to tie their shoes is an appropriate part of school at this age. Frequent playtime with running and jumping, or playing with a ball, for example, will improve gross motor skills.

At the preschool and kindergarten age, kids will benefit from a wide range of teaching methods, and the materials don’t need to be anything fancy. Arts and crafts projects are both fun and educational. In fact, just "helping" mom or dad with everyday activities helps motor skills too. It’s all about building a strong foundation for the future, and if you’re new to homeschooling, it’s a great age to try homeschooling on for size.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Recess time!

Do you give your kids enough playtime to balance the academics? Every homeschooler knows someone who hears they homeschool and responds with a smirk and some comment about permanent recess. Some people really think homeschooling is all about sleeping late, watching TV, and playing all day. Real homeschooling families don’t work that way. But on the other hand, public school kids get breaks for recess, so shouldn’t homeschooled kids be able to play outdoors for a bit?

Schoolteachers know it helps kids’ performance and ability to learn if they have breaks in between lessons. Playtime lets kids clear their heads and come back to their desks ready to focus again, and homeschooled kids benefit in much the same way. They can shake off the bad vibes from that math lesson they didn’t like, and be ready to attack their spelling words after playing outdoors for a bit. At the kindergarten level, so much learning happens through play that recess really needs to be emphasized as an important part of the day.