Category: Teaching Tips

Scrapbooking for the Reluctant Writer

I love scrapbooking – and it has found its way into our homeschool experience.  Before all you who think you don’t have time or don’t have an arty bone in your body disappear just hear my definition of a scrapbook page:  a photo, a title, some words.  It is the same definition I have for a notebook page: a graphic, a title, some words.   Scrapbooking doesn’t have to be fancy, mind you, neither do our notebook pages. Several years ago when Daniel was struggling to write – there was a combination of poor fine motor skills, plus a delay...

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Teaching and Using Idioms

An idiom is a group of words or an expression that means something different to the literal meaning of the words. As an example, “to bark up the wrong tree,” is to look for something in the wrong place or to go about something in the wrong way. Idioms can be grouped by language (some idioms are particularly Aussie whereas the British have their own peculiar idioms) and other idioms can be grouped by other particulars such as animals, food, colours, health, time, sports, etc. Continue reading

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Homeschool Bartering

Maybe you can’t teach music but you love to teach a subject that a nearby friend does not. Maybe you could swap! If you like Nature Study and your friend isn’t the most motivated person for Nature Study yet she loves Art, Cooking, Sewing or History maybe you could do a Lesson Swap! The benefits of Lesson Swapping are numerous. You don’t have to each everything – especially the subject you’re either not interested in or know nothing about. Continue reading

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Boys and Manners

Douglas Wilson Boys have a need to be respected, but sometimes this need can be communicated in some strange ways. And because boys can gravitate toward such strange forms of communicating their boyhood, they may come to think that manners are for sissies. A very easy mistake for boys to make is that of thinking that masculinity consists of being rudely tough, or gross, or both. A ten-year-old boy can readily think that masculinity is displayed whenever he can make all the girls in his class go eewwwww. This is of course not the case, but we still have to qualify what we are saying.   There is a fine line here because there is a type of boy who is effeminate, and displays that effeminacy through being a “well-mannered” and mousy little boy. This arouses the disgust of the surrounding boys who, in a frenzy of metaphor-mixing, proceed to throw out the well-mannered baby with the mousy bathwater.   In addition, those adults who care the most about “manners” often do not understand masculinity either, and so they cannot help boys to make the distinction which they themselves blur. This means that a boy will view all attempts to “teach him manners” as simply an effort by the adult world to make him craven, which he does not want to do. He knows intuitively that a well-mannered boy...

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Hard Work

by Douglas Wilson Boys, taking one thing with another, tend to be lazy. This means that one of the central duties parents have with regard to their boys is the duty of teaching and instilling what used to be called a work ethic. “He that gathereth in summer is a wise son: but he that sleepeth in harvest is a son that causeth shame” (Prov. 10:5). The son who causes shame is one who causes shame to his parents. The shame is theirs because the responsibility to teach the lessons of work was theirs. Work is not a result of the fall of Adam, but work goes the difficult way it does because of the fall. Prior to the advent of sin in the world, Adam was given the task of tending the garden, and naming the animals. We were created for work. But when sin entered, God in His wisdom saw that thorns and thistles were now needed (Gen. 3:17-19). In His grace, God cursed the ground. Just as the law is a schoolmaster to bring us to Christ, so is the sweat of the brow. Sinners don’t do well living on the Big Rock Candy Mountain.   And so this is why boys need to be taught and disciplined in physical labor. Of course it is not an end in itself-the point should always be grace-but in...

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Future Men by Douglas Wilson

Volume 12, Issue 1: Childer Douglas Wilson As much as it may distress us, our boys are future men. I was once leading a seminar for teachers at our Christian school and, in the course of discussion, I mentioned that many of the girls in the school would, within a few short years, be adult women and would take their place in our midst. The teachers heard all this with aplomb, but when I went on to say that within a few short years the boys they were instructing would be lawyers, airline pilots, pastors, etc. the looks on the faces of the assembled teachers ranged from concern to mild panic. Boys take a lot of faith. This is good because the presence or absence of faith reveals whether or not we have a biblical doctrine of our future. Unbelief is always anchored to the present, while faith looks at that which is unseen. But even here we only get half the picture. Too often we think that faith only looks at unseen heavenly things, but this truncated approach is really the result of an incipient gnosticism. In the Bible, faith includes the ability to see that which is unseen because it is still future. According to the text, Abraham rejoiced to see the day of Christ, not the day when he, Abraham, would go to heaven. Faith conquers...

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Using Songs to Reinforce Learning

Every Week(tune: Are you Sleeping) Every week has 7 days,See how many you can say.Sunday, Monday, Tuesday,Wednesday, Thursday, Friday,Saturday. What’s today? Days of the Week(to the tune of Frere Jacques!) These are all theda-ays of the we-ek,Sing with me,Sing with me. Sunday, Monday, TuesdayWednesday, Thursday, FridaySaturdayA day to play.     Dates(To the tune of “Frere Jacques) Today is Monday(Today is Monday)April 12th(April 12th)1998(1998)That’s the date(That’s the date). Days of the Week (to the tune of Frere Jacques) Tuesday, Tuesday,Tuesday, Tuesday,All day long, all day long,Yesterday was Monday, tomorrow will be Wednesday,Oh, what fun! Oh, what fun! Sunday, Monday , Tuesday, Wednesday,Thursday, Friday, Saturday Today is Song(To the tune of “Frere Jacques”) Today is _______.Today is _______.All day long, all day long.Yesterday was ______.Tomorrow will be _______.Oh what fun!Oh what fun! The Months of the Year(To the Tune of “Three Blind Mice”) January, February, March,April, May, June.July, August, September,October, November, December.These are the twelve months of the year.Now sing them together so we can all hear.How many months are there in a year?Twelve months in a year. Months of the Year (to the tune of “Ten Little Indians”) January, February, March, and April,May, June, July, August, and September,October, November, and December,These are the months of the year. Good Handwriting If you are wiseYou will organizeYou handwriting alwaysTo be the right size.The shape is importantRound and neatUsing your handsNot your...

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