We have tried Oak Meadow and found that this did not really work for him. Although, it will work wonderfully for my 2 and a 1/2 year old. I guess that this is part of the beauty of homeschooling-- tailoring things to the individual's needs
My oldest ds is 5 yo, very bright, articulate and exceptionally strong in math and science. However, he struggles with small motor skills and therefore, detests writing and art projects-- although, he creates the most incredible lego projects from the smallest of legos. He has a real engineers mind.
I am hoping to foster his natural abilities and help him tp gain confidence in his weaker areas. He is a real perfectionist, so things truly bother him when he is not able to do them perfectly.
Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated...
I would say let him lead. If he detests writing and art projects...put them by the wayside for the time being. The fact that he is more involved in science, and especially Legos, gives him lots of opportunity for fine motor development. Perhaps you could get him some science-based art projects? Building a volcano out of clay...coloring spaceships...even model kits might be more up his alley.
In time, he will find an interest in these things, I'm sure. As he begins to read independently, he'll have a greater love for the written word, and may even enjoy writing projects!
After I read The Well Trained Mind I decided to use a classical educational approach. My son really enjoyed the Singapore Math program, and we began doing science and history using the recomendations in The Well Trained Mind using Usborne books, lots of library books and corresponding projects. We also used a writing program called Handwriting Without Tears which my son enjoyed and his writing has come a long way this year. Feel free to PM me if I can help you in any ways or give you more info.
Momschooling, I hear you on the letting him take the lead. I really do and for the most part that is what we do. He loves science projects and will spend hours working with us on any given one-- dinosaurs, astronomy, kitchen table science, etc. He has a amazing concentration when something is of interest to him. Funny, considering how many people used to looooove to tell us about his "ADD":
However, part of the trouble is that he is frustrated with himself and his inability to write, draw, etc. He has the desire, but becomes so angry with himself that it is not to his expectations. That is part of why I want to find a way to help him develop those skills. I should also mention that he does love to read. Dh spends at least an hour every night reading some of the classics in children's literature to him ( at ds's insistence ). He would love to be able to write some of his own stories down...
Khrisday, is your son spririted, as well? In case you haven't noticed from my post, ds is pretty spirited-- which is a good thing, but just presents its own unique opportunities and challenges. This is also why I am looking for a little more structure. Nothing rigid-- we are still mostly unschoolers, but just a little something more.
I would love to hear more about this book that you are referring to as well as the writing lessons and math. We have yet to use any curriculum other than Oak Meadow, as I said, so I am new to all of this.
Well, sorry for being so longwinded. I really appreciate all of your suggestions, momschooling and Khrisday. Please feel free to send any more my way
He is diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome (and then also has symptoms of ADHD, OCD and depression) so I hear ya!
I like to call us "classical unschoolers" because we like to encourage and follow interests, but also use the very loose structure of a clasical education. My son is really thriving within this framework, and we only spend an hour a day doing sit down "schoolwork".
The basic theories of clasical education are that the child should be doing developmentally appropriate work (ie in the elementary age which they call the grammar stage they should be given lots of information to absorb and not have to figure everything out), teaching history chronologically in a four year cycle (so they get history from the first civilization to modern day in each developmental period) and using literature, music, geography, science and art to tie it in to the rest of the curriculum, and to teach skill such as memorization, logic and languages as well as the basics.
Here are a couple of websites for you:
My ds is now 7 1/2. He still does not like art or writing. He can write but if it is not perfect he gets frustrated plus his brain works so fast that it hard for him to slow down to write. I have decided to let him decide when he want to use his writing. I know that when it becomes applicable he will take off with it. I try to encourage him by using things that interest him (e.g. I will ask him to look through the pitsco-dacta catalog and make a list of things that he is interested in). He usually catches on to what I am doing and will balk a bit but sometimes he will write out a list. I am trying hard to not push it though. I will also emphasis that perfect writing is not important. I tell him that if I can understand what he has written then that is good enough. He is interested in learning keyboard this year so I think we will take a whirl at that in the next few months.
I have heard the age of eight is a more reasonable age to start a child with handwriting but I don't have any info to back that up.
I have let him take the lead with his Legos and he is now able to do basic computer programming with his Lego Mindstorm Robotics. I choose to think of his lego building as his art. I love homeschooling, it is such a great way to meet the needs of kids!
If you don't have a pitsco-dacta catalog you can order one at
Most of their stuff is for groups of students but the catalog is great fun for a lego enthusiasts to enjoy (or you may want to get together some lego building kids together).
I'm not sure I have helped here, I just wanted to let you know that there is another mom of a "loves legos, doesn't like to write and do art" kid out there! ~Jill
Okay, this looks like a really good site:
Perhaps this might shed some light on what way he can learn best (forgive my grammar, I am pretty tired).
Khrisday, the classic unschooler approach looks really interesting. Dh and I were looking over some of it last night. This sounds like it might be a good fit for us
breathingmom, thankyou for your support. Your post made me laugh I am glad to know that there is another mom of a "kid that loves legos, doesn't like to write and do art out there". LOL.
Also, dh was sooooo excited about the legos site that you sent. Let me tell you, I don't know who is going to have more fun with that site-- ds#1, ds#2 or dh...: Seriously, though, it looks like great fun and right up ds' alley.
gilnikche, thankyou for the site. I have not read that book, but I will. This should be particularly helpful for me as my two sons have very different learning styles already.
Thankyou all again
I agree with the whole don't push your son thing, but if he is frustrated by his inability to draw and write, here are some ideas.
Has your son tried any of the "how to draw" sorts of books for children? My 5-year-old daughter loves them. We have a few by Ed Eberly and a couple others, but I just learned of a series called Draw Write Now, which looks great.
Also check out http://www.fun-books.com/reading.htm for some fun books on writing. One that looks particularly good to me is Peggy Kaye's Games For Writing. They also carry the Draw Write Now books.
You might also want to look for a book called Drawing With Children, by Mona Brookes. This would take a little more work on your part, but I know a lot of people who rave about this book. I'm hoping to do it eventually.
Khrisday, we have always been an unschooling family, but I recently picked up The Well-Trained Mind and am impressed by it. So now I am also trying to see how I can work some of the ideas of classical education in with unschooling.
You are all so creative. I am glad that I came here for ideas This is one of the many wonderful things about Mothering here-- it is full of wonderful people with creative ideas and support. Thankyou
Hydrangea, I must admit that I think of you often these days as we just planted our first hydrangea bushes a couple of months ago. They are so beautiful! Hydrangeas and lilacs are my very favorites. I am guessing that you love hydrangeas as well.
Great ideas ladies! I will keep you posted on how it all works out
I also just really love the word hydrangea.
I hope your ds's are feeling better soon.
Right now this is the only thing we are really using cirriculum wise. She really needs some structure to her day and this sorta helps us get off to a good startwithout me feeling like we are just playing school at home.
The truest answer to violence is love. The truest answer to death is life. The only prevention for violence is for the heart to have no violence within it. We cannot prevent evil through any system devised by mankind. But we can grapple with evil and defeat it, but only with love—real love.
As far as things others have mentioned: we have Draw-Write-Now...dd enjoys it, but never uses it for the handwriting component. She likes to do the drawing part, though. We also have Games for Writing, which is great (libraries often have Peggy Kaye's books, BTW). Lots of neat ideas. We also have Handwriting Without Tears, and that made a BIG difference in helping her see which direction some of the letters were supposed to face (someone who worked in schools helping kids with handwriting recommended it, as I recall). We also have Drawing with Children, but I've never had the patience to use it with dd. Hmmm...sounds like we have a veritable bookstore here, doesn't it? We also have FIAR, and I suspect it's not going to do what you want. I use it when we need a break/change of pace. We've been loosely following Well Trained Mind as far as history and science go, which is great because I feel like we're getting a good overview of the subjects.
Now, I am just trying to sort out what works for us and our budget. But, I must tell you ladies-- I am so excited! You have all brought some wonderful ideas!
Ds and I have been trying out the bird drawings from Draw Write Now. He is so excited that he has learned to draw a bird! Plus, we have been making thankyou notes (he just turned five) with the thumbprint art drawings. He loves this, as well...
The well trained mind looks so very interesting, as well. Isn't homeschooling exciting? I am so excited for my children and for dh and I... we get to learn so much of what we missed the first time around-- yeah!