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Monday, June 3, 2013

Personal Development Homeschool Style - Child Development and Goals

(this graphic is from morguefile)

Over the summer I wanted to spend sometime becoming more intentional about
how I'm teaching my children. There is so much information out there
that it can become overwhelming. Over time I think I have lost sight of the
real purpose and the focus for our learning time. I thought it would be a
good idea to regroup my thoughts on what I think about what I'm already
doing. Each Monday I will write a post about the topic I have chosen. I
will also at the end of the post announce the new topic. I will then research
what I need all week long and you can to if you like. You can add any
information you find in the comments section. Then on the following
Monday I will post my finds so that I can put my thoughts in order.

This weeks Topic is Child Development.

As each year passes by I see how different my children become and
how much they grow. I often see one phase go out and a new one come in.
Understanding the development of each age is helpful in creating teaching
strategies that are effective to the learning process. When you look at a child's
development you have to remember that some children may develop faster
or slower than another. So when referencing you might want to look at
the development of children an age below and an age above their given
age. Overall though there are predictable patterns of development in 4
principle groupings physically, emotionally, socially and ability to think.
Keep in mind if your child has a learning disability or learning challenge
the timeline may differ and that is ok.  The reason I want to look at the
development stages is so that I might find what is appropriate for
learning. It's not for me to compare my child to another or to a standard.
It just gives me a basis and an understanding about why a particular behavior
may suddenly appear in my child's life. Often times growth is uneven and
learning comes in spurts. I feel that children learn naturally that they desire
to see what the world has for them . They want to know more about what
comes next. Overall the development of children is always changing
just as our world is always changing. It is good to relook at your  child's
development every so often. Possibly more than just your once a year
well visit. It provides a basis , a window so to speak into the way you
will be able to connect with your child.

Let's start with my youngest. She will be 4 in August.
Last year looking at her development I used the website zero to three
There is a lot of good information there and you can spend hours reading
many good articles. There is also special podcasts that you can listen to
I have listened to the entire series. Little Kids Big Questions
You might want to try clicking the behavior and development tab at the
top of the page as well.

Now my favorite source for taking a quick look at each child's level
Is the book Yardsticks Children in the Classroom Ages 4-14. What I
like most about this book is that it doesn't just show developmental stages
but it shows them as to how they relate to a child and their academics.
Yes it's based on a classroom setting but still it has information that
is useful to the homeschool mom as well.  I can use this information and
begin planning ahead .

.  Again starting with my 3 soon to be 4 year old here is what I have
gathered.  After the dashes are my notes to myself. Its a mix of development
and learning goals.

Development 4's

*Needs lots of physical activity- Movement activities, use lots of music,
learns best using large muscles.

* Loves Jobs- taking attendance, putting out snack, passing out pencils
I can use this to my advantage when she becomes frustrated with waiting
on the older children. I'll have to think of some small jobs ahead of time.

*very talkative (which means lots of disruptions for my other students)
I will need to find a plan for her so she remembers to respect their study time.

*loves to be read to- Perhaps using older children to read to her would
help with my time management and help to develop her reading skills.
Since she is a talker having her retell the story will help her develop skills.
Fascination with fairy tales, acting them out and dramatic play.

*Not ready for close visual activity- should do very little paper skills.
Hmm not what I have seen on the blogs. Will need to work on developing
a Paperless ABC curriculum with less writing skills. Until she is ready.
Want to base it on her Children's bible.

*Ready for prewriting skills- finger painting, painting with brushes etc...

*Beginning to read environment- Perhaps the label notebooks would be
a fun start to reading.

*Hands on experiences -Play

* Ready to count using real jobs - Counts now to 10.

* Colors, shapes, sizes, sorting - Exploring opportunities

Development of 7 year old

*moody , sulky, - yes we are at this stage for sure. Lots of sulking going
on. Need to work on a plan to help him work out his emotions. Will have
to look into ways to help with this.

* Need security and structure - relies on me for help. Wants me to see
everything he does. Look at me is said numerous times in a day. Need
a plan so he does not disrupt older children with his look at me wants
and at the same time validate him. Possibly have a special time to look
over the projects he has done.

*Likes to send notes - might use this to my advantage for writing.
Maybe a pen pal this year.

*bothered by mistakes- wants to give up when he makes one. I'll use
Encouragement and praise.

*enjoys games- Should use more in our lessons  . Is very active.

*holds pencil near point, presses hard and finds it hard to relax-
work more in handwriting without tears this year. More copywork.

Find ways to get him to relax. Research

*Doesn't read silently to self- maybe try whisper phones to get
him to move to that stage. Do more silent reading but make sure
to still do the reading aloud time.

*Needs humor- to get through his work and it helps if it looks like

* phonics- work using games and practice reading
this summer. Need to create that summer plan. Summer library
program is a must.

*Need work on improving mental math and number sense.

*likes to verbally learn, and discovery type centers.

Development of 13 year old.

* Hygiene important at this age.

*Lots of physical activity/health- my child does not like, so have to push
The issue. Signed him up for tennis the summer. If that goes well
might do more with it. Would like to do some health education
this coming 2013 year.

*quieter , likes to be alone, moodier and sudden burst of anger.
His feelings are easily hurt.- Oh that last one. He has become very
sensitive emotionally lately. I know its changes he is going through.
I feel like I walk on egg shells. I have to really think before I talk to him.

*horse play and jokes- One practical joke he likes to do is moving my
bathroom decorations. Makes me completely nuts but for some reason he
thinks this is hilarious.

* may get headaches from close work- Yes have had this happen numerous
time. Maybe more breaks in between reading.

*interested in humanity- Maybe should start doing some current events
work. Read fiction and non fiction on social issues. Would love to start
some community service projects as a family.

*Literature and Writing- Still need that read aloud time and want
to get him writing more with a journal this summer. (All the kids)
Add to list of supplies spell checker. Work more on cursive writing.
Classical conversions is on its way for this. So excited.

*Geography- need a better sense of our world geo.
Looking for something to help with that. Wonder if homeschool group
still has geography club. Possibly make one for our school. Varying ages
would be interesting to figure out.

Development of 16 year old (soon to be 16)

*needs lots of exercise and sleep. Often sleeps during the day.

* Adult personality develops. - in that know it all stage.

*Developing larger vocabulary

* working on that deeper meaning in literature and language

*reads a lot

*enjoys small group discussions- meets in online sessions

*growth of individual skills - work on skills for culinary ,
food skills.

*project based learning- Says she doesn't like this but she always
seems so excited about what she has created.

*Couple important things- Need to take PSAT, SAT's
Start touring Schools.

Two other things to keep in mind while learning. Children
learn better with Brain breaks. Need healthy snacks during work time
and Water near work areas.

Using all of this information I can now work on planning my school year.
Using the developmental areas and goals I think I can place just the
right material for my children needs and learning styles. Now I'm
ready to start searching catalogs and our current curriculum.

If you have any other ideas to share or websites please add to
my comments so that I can learn more.

Next weeks Topic: A short look at  Education Theory

Warm Blessings,



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