Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Homeschooling a Struggling Learner

As part of our homeschooling preparation, we joined the Homeschool Legal Defense Association (HSLDA). While we certainly don't plan on having run-ins with the law over our decision and/or ability to homeschool, it is always good to be covered. I'm discovering that this decision has benefits far beyond an insurance policy, however.

Today, I received a newsletter from them about "Homeschooling a Struggling Learner". It particularly focused on struggles with writing which both my children, but especially the elder, seem to experience. They are both bright children who hate to write. This newsletter really helped me to see that it may very well be a brain issue. The very act of writing takes them so much effort that the purpose of writing as a learning tool is actually negated. They don't learn anything by writing it down (ex. copying spelling words) other than the frustration of writing. Most of the suggestions in the article are ones that I have already incorporated - limiting the writing, doing more orally, and limiting the use of workbooks. Still, it is good to have validation that I am on the right path. It said to save writing energy for where it matters - actually learning how to compose a paragraph or paper.

On the plus side, David actually wrote three sentences today:

That is a pencil.
That is a thin pencil.
That is a yellow and thin pencil.

We were working from a Writing Strands book. The focus was trying to get children to use adjectives in their writing to describe something. He liked that once he had the first sentence, he was only adding a little bit each time and could copy the rest. It seemed to really relieve a lot of his anxiety over writing the subsequent sentences because he could copy them.

For those who are interested in more information on homeschooling a struggling learner, visit http://www.hslda.org/strugglinglearner/

1 comment:

Mary B said...

I loved writing strands!