Homeschool Journal: Teaching High Energy Learners

This morning, I woke up to the kids at the school table already starting without me! They had completed Calendar Time, played The Months are Fun game, and started on math. This is what I witnessed at 7:30 am:wp-1471871938487.jpg

Completely in the zone.

Unfortunately, V had moved on to a lesson that we hadn’t yet covered and aside from being frustrated over getting the answers wrong, she was getting the answers wrong. Granted, it’s a private program, but I still use their scores to grade them. While I admire the work ethic here, the stress just started to build for her. V‘s a perfectionist and doesn’t take an incorrect answer lightly.

At that point, I asked that we take ten to evaluate what exactly our game plan was for the morning. We decided that the tension was a bit too high to continue math, and language arts was where we were supposed to start the day anyway. For V, language arts concepts are built into her DNA. Needless to say, her confidence boosted about three minutes into the lesson and she continued her work independently. J, however, was far too wound up to focus. We were working on simple and compound sentences, something that was introduced last year, and he simply wasn’t getting it. Nouns, subjects, predicates: he had forgotten everything. I asked him to continue on his own so I could have a moment to recoup. In crises like these, I turn to Google: {How to teach a slow learner}. I stumbled upon this article and found some solace in the final point: “We have a hard time sitting still.”  That was it,” I thought. In J’s case, homeschool shouldn’t be about having to suppress his boyhood spirit. Stare at an eclipse and you’ll go blind; try to confine J and you’ll just go nuts. So I decided to try something different. I decided to implement some high energy learning.

High Energy Learning

High energy learning is all about teaching concepts in a way that burns energy in the process, so that learning becomes both fun and engaging.  Inspired by a childhood favorite game of mine, I came up with something called Simple Sentence SPUD:

The kids had a blast! We didn’t get anything else done for the day, but the next time J and I sat down to complete his lesson, he finished in record time, with flying colors. This is what homeschool is all about. We were faced with a challenge, and came up with an unorthodox work around that transformed J’s challenge into an opportunity for learning.

~J

 

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