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Old 08-19-2011, 09:13 AM
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DeBora4BobbyL DeBora4BobbyL is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2004
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I think the most important thing, whether you homeschool or send your child(ren) to school somewhere is consistency. I've always made sure my kids and GKs stick to a schedule. This insures the child feels safe and secure and knows what is expected. This includes having rituals.

Some of our rituals are that the children get to pick out their own clothing for school the night before. Make sure the clothing is comfortable but also nice enough to help them understand that they are going to enter a learning environment. I do not allow the children to wear flip-flops or crocs to school as those send a message of play, not learning. Allowing the children to pick out their own clothing will make them feel confident and mature about going to school and it gets them involved in decisions about school. If you want to limit the choices so the child does not pick out play clothes, pick 2-3 items and let him/her pick one of them.

Be sure to feed them a good breakfast as that helps the brain to learn.

On test days, I send my children to school with a "lucky pencil." You can purchase a nice pencil for such occasions. The luck is in the child's belief in the magic that makes them think they will do well, thus reducing test anxiety.

When they come home from school, I allow the children to get a snack out of the after school snack bin. I fill a little basket of goodies in the fridge. This ranges anywhere from individual servings of cheese, yogurt, crackers, and so on. If their behavior and grades were good that day, you can allow 2 after school snacks. I allow them a snack and 30 minutes of TV time before starting homework. Then, I do not allow TV or playtime with friends until they finish their homework. It is incredible how much easier homework goes when they want to play.

One thing that we are going to try here this year is a game with cards to help with math. Remove all face cards and tell the children that the ace is a number one. You have to have more than 1 child or a total of 3 people. I am going to give each child a card and have them hold it over their foreheads so that the child holding it cannot see the number but the opposing child can see the number. If you are playing an addition game, give the children the answer and ask who guess the other child's number first. For example, if one child has a 3 and another child has a 7, you will announce that the answer is 10. The child who has the 7 might notice that the other child has a 3 and figure that the difference is 7 so his/her card is a 7. This can be done with subtraction, multiplication, and division. The other cool thing about this game is that it introduces algebra as the child has to solve for X. I cannot wait until we start playing this game.
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