Homeschooling a Physically Active Child
This is my first year homeschooling our youngest child. (Due to careers and circumstance, our older children were public-schooled, and have all graduated.
Our son just turned six. He is very physically active; I can only get him to sit about ten minutes at a time to do anything school-work related. I am having to basically demand for him to sit to do school related activities.
We are struggling with learning to write and recognize letters, and this just seems "not right" for a six year old. He is bright, if it is something he is interested in knowing (trains and tractors, animals).
Am I expecting too much for a just-now six year boy? I don't know how this child would make it in public school; I am sure I would be getting calls weekly on his attention span, and activity level ;)
I just need some advice, some ideas - thoughts from anyone who has home schooled an active boy at this age.
Congratulations on having such a bright and active six year old. He is going to be lots of fun to homeschool!
Firstly, if it were me I would stop trying to get him to sit to do his schoolwork. He sounds very much like his learning style is of a more active kind. Howard Gardner has written several books on this subject and says that Bodily/Kinesthetic learners need to be taught by using physical experiences - hands on learning, role playing and so on. Certainly, a friend of mine always found her youngest remembered things better if she let him wander around or play with something while she was talking with him. And my son always needed to be fiddling with lego. Why not see if you can incorporate lots of movement into your lessons - I am sure it will help, especially if you also capitalize on his love of trains, tractors and animals :)
Reading happens when they are ready and I honestly believe it isn't something you can hurry along. My daughter could recognize letters at that age, but my son couldn't. Just take it nice and gently. Try to read to him lots. And perhaps do physical letter formations such as encouraging him to write in trays of sand or flour. Or lay out letters and words using building blocks (or his trains!).
Please try not to worry about reading and writing. It happens naturally and by allowing it to develop in it's own time you will have an avid reader on your hands. Have a look at some of the ideas on this help with homeschool reading page - it may have some ideas good for you too.
Best of luck with your homeschooling journey.
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