March 31, 2008,
N.S. asks from South San Francisco, CA on February 09, 2008
Advice on Homeschooling 5 Year Old
We just pulled my 5yr old out of Kindergarten at a Christian school. He is aggressive towards other children in social situations and the school didn't seem to be helping our son. They labeled him the "bad" child and his punishments were always worse than the other children. We, as parents, have tried the doctors, therapy, rewards charts, punishment...Now I am going to homeschool him until September, but where do I start? He seems so bored this past week (we pulled him out last Tuesday). We had paid for his books last August so they gave them all to us when we left. It just seems to be ditto after ditto and I know he can't just do this all day long...plus I don't know how to teach the material. Please if anyone has any advice on songs, activities, or learning methods I would really appreciate it. His school was just about to begin teaching long vowels sounds and the way I've been explaining it, he's not understanding. Thanks in advance for any help.
So What Happened?™
I want to thank EVERYONE for the outpuring of support I received! Never in my wildest imagination would I have expected the number of responses that I received. It is so comforting to know that other people out there actually take the time to assess my situation and respond with such great advice as you all did. You don't understand how much it means to me to not feel alone in all of this. My life was literally turned upside down, but thanks to all your great comments we are now starting to get on track. Thanks to all of you for caring. I can only hope to help you someway in the future. God bless!!!
C.M. answers from San Francisco on February 11, 2008
I'm a Calif. licensed teacher K-12 and can give you some insight.
1. He needs socializing the most, it is all fine and dandy if Johnny can read, but if he can't get along he might be miserable.
2. Find a playgroup. I'd offer my five year old stepson who has the same exact problem...he has been kicked out of every setting he has been placed in...doesn't like to share, but more importantly, doesn't want a grown-up directing him. He is hard-headed and high-energy. Those together doesn't make you the teacher's pet!
3. If he can recognize all letters, name them, and say their sound, then he is ready to read. Keep reading short vowel books for a while. Might just need more practice.
4. I'd teach in 20 minute time blocks, alternate with large-motor movement. Tag, running, exercise videos, etc.
5. This age needs lots of hands-on stuff, and they don't get enough of this in my opinion in traditional schools. Playdough, painting, rice or beans in a tub..., water and sand, etc. Finger-painting, modeling clay, etc., blocks - if you don't have a really good set you might consider making that investment.
6. They do a lot of cutting and pasting at this grade, so be sure to make books with him. Have him cut pictures from magazines, plan, glue, write. You can google "book making" and find loads of ideas.
7. Teach him how to do things. Load and unload the dishwasher, vacuum, clean a toilet, (don't expect a grown-up result) run laundry, fold and put away. Cook. Plan menus., yardwork, fix a flat on his bike, etc.
8. Make a weekly lesson plan, write in pencil, some things will take longer than you thought - but you are so right in knowing that worksheets alone will not educate your boy.
9. Go to different parks on different days at different times in the hopes of meeting Moms you like. See if he can make a friend.
10. Go on field trips. There are tons of places to go, just start asking. Go to your Visitor's Center for ideas.
11. Take him hiking. Find little units on science that is age appropriate and incorporate the real hike/experience with learning about Earth science. Pretty much everything you do with him could be considered schooling.
12. Teach him how to set a table, how to use the right utensils, how to use manners... how to introduce himself or someone else.
14. Check out day care centers, try and put him into one at least One day a week. This way he can socialize. Very important. The day care can give you ideas on activities to do with him to encourage his learning.
14.5 Visit the library once a week.
good luck, it isn't easy what you are attempting. You can do it!!!
1 mom found this helpful
J.F. answers from San Francisco on February 10, 2008
I asked a friend of mine who has exclusively homeschooled her two kids (ages 7 and 9) what thoughts she had. Here is her response:
I have one word for this mom....
Board games, of ALL kinds. They teach math skills, motivate kids to be interested in reading, teach colors. Lots and lots of one on one time with a loving parent. They can't get enough. It teaches kindness, taking turns, being a good winner/loser. In our family, the winner and loser acknowledge each other by saying "Good game!" and then the winner has to put the game away (makes the loser feel a little better).
Puzzles, too...which will be frustrating at first...start with the easy wooden ones, and then work your way up with him to the 100 piece puzzles. It teaches logic, spatial reasoning, and PATIENCE. ;-)
Kids don't need books and workbooks in Kindergarten...
If she is in California, she has a free year. She doesn't need to file for homeschooling status until her son is (I believe...she should check with the rules again--I've not looked in a while) six years old.
Go to the park and run the boy ragged every day. Sounds like he has a lot of energy that needs to be channeled. Check his diet for extra sugars and preservatives. Many parents diagnose Asperger's and other things in just her manner (my child is the "bad kid.")
Hug him, kiss him, and give him lots of attention, particularly catching him in the act of "doing something good."
Hope that helps!
1 mom found this helpful
S.M. answers from Bakersfield on February 11, 2008
You may find homeschool programs in your area on-line. In California, there is a program called CAVA K-12. They haev a curriculum to follow and some even provide all the materials free of charge (i.e. CAVA K-12).
1 mom found this helpful
R.H. answers from San Francisco on February 11, 2008
I'm sorry to hear that you're dealing with this right now. I can see how that must be very frustrating! I've been homeschooling a few of my boys that age for a few years now, and it is hard, I know! I would recommend the curriculum Sing, Spell, Read, Write. You can look at it online. It is a phonics program (very pricey) that has games, songs, reward charts, etc. (I actually have one I'm trying to sell if you want to go a cheaper route.) If he's bored I would recommend getting him involved in different activities. Lindsay Wildlife museum has classes for homeschoolers, I know Walnut Creek Civic Arts does as well. Once you get involved and meet some other homeschoolers, you'll be amazed at the help you will find! It's quite a large community here! If I can help you in any other way, feel free to email me personally at ____@____.com. I'd be happy to chat with you.
1 mom found this helpful
K.W. answers from San Francisco on February 11, 2008
I am a teacher with the California Virtual Academies or CAVA. CAVA is a public charter homeschooling program. It is a wonderful program and it is free for all California families. The curriculum is excellent and you will have a credentialed teacher that will support you. Visit www.caliva.org for more information. Good Luck.
1 mom found this helpful
S.R. answers from San Francisco on February 11, 2008
SOOO glad that you are choosing to homeschool! I have not started homeschooling my children (ages 2 years and 9 months) quite yet, but I was homschooled my entire life (excpet for one semester in 3rd grade when our house flooded). It is the best and most challenging way to go. We were taught with a VERY hands on approach. My mom's philosophy was that people learn best when they are DOING, not when they are talked at. I remember when I was in 4th grade and we were learning about the body, and my mom turned our entire home into the digestive tract. Complete with intestines and..ahem...anus (we had to crawl through a hula hoop!). When children are young it is SOOO important to read, read, and read some more!!! My mom would read to us ALL the time, and that's probably why I love books so much. We did a lot of singing to learn (the alphabet song is a great tune, just add you own words or sounds. We learned our greek letters with the alphabet song) If I were you, I'd only use the books that you have as a guide. I would NOT follow it word for word. Ideas for "writing": get a ziploc bag and put in anything quishy (shaving cream, paint), double bag it and give your son letters to write with his fingers. When he's done, squish up the bag and give him another letter. Put rice/sand/dirt/shaving cream in a pan and give him letters to write with his fingers. Don't worry if he doesn't use a pencil or crayons, he's learning his letters now and having fun! For math, go on a hike, pick leaves, find bugs, and add them up, and then subtract them. Have him count how many times he can throw a ball, or bounce a ball, or jump (P.E. and math at the same time!). Count by 2's. If you have more questions, e-mail me!! I have tons of ideas, and so does my mom (homeschooler for over 20 years). We would love to help you! Blessings to you on your endeavors, and HAVE FUN!!! ~S.~
1 mom found this helpful
M.D. answers from San Francisco on February 11, 2008
Hello my name is M.. I too have a very active 5 almost 6 year old. We tried several more private institutes and the more dogmatic they were the wrose he did. We found a small public school and he fit right in and was stimulated enough by the environment that he learned well and was just like all the boys in school. Our issue we have found is dealing with a very bright child who is highly sensitive. Highly sensitive person is something you should read online about and see if it fits. We found our son has food sensitivities as well such as intolerance to potato which is in most things( even meat now!), and eatinf refined sugar and fruit mixed. When he eats these foods his energy gets VERY intense and if its the sugar he gets angry and more aggressive and emotional. Keeping these foods in balance helps him stay grounded.
Also being very smart he needs to be challenged alot with a variety of learning experiences that are hands on. We try to give him jobs like using tools to work with wood projects, cooking a meal a few times a week, feeding our rabbits or chickens.We go on long walks and study the nature around us.He is earning money for allowance and learing how to use it and we do a lot of art projects. We also spend time dancing and listening to music. For homeschooling, which we are at the moment, you have to get them involved in classes or groups often. My son like Karate and soccer, drama. There are also many homeschool groups that get together and go to events or have classes together. We also like to travel so we go to music festivals, camping, different cities.
Good luck and contact me if you have any more questions!
1 mom found this helpful
C.H. answers from Modesto on February 11, 2008
Well congratulations on your decision to homeschool. I have been a homeschool mom for three years now. I also taught Kindergarten for one year at a Christian school. There are a few options for you. If you want or need a great deal of guidance, you can seek out a Charter school. There they will help set up curriculum,schedule etc. Public charter schools lend you curriculum at no cost. I went through two different Charter schools but now I am independent. I found I did not agree with their philosophy's so we separated from the public sector altogether.
I've used the ABEKA curriculum (which is a complete Christian curriculum). It is very good especially in teaching children to read. The advantage to this curriculum is that your daily lessons are prepared in detail for you.
I have broken away from "curriculum" and now use the Core Knowledge Series by E.D. Hirsch. "What your Kindergartner needs to know" is the first book in the series. Go to your local Borders and check out this book. Each book has the following sections:Language & Literature,Music,Mathematics,Science, Visual arts, and History & Geography.
It illustrates what your child should know in each subject during the course of his/her grade. (You can even use these books when your child returns to school to supplement in their education.)
Since you are planning to homeschool for just a few months, I would suggest you use this route. It lays a very good foundation for the Kindergarten level.
I also just found another book that I am so excited about. It is called, "The Ultimate book of Homeschooling ideas." 500+ fun and creative learning activities for kids ages 3-12.
I assume your child knows his short vowel sounds and the sounds of the consonants. Teach him the long sounds. A as in acorn, E as in eagle, I as in icce cream, O as in open and U as in Uniform.
Rules: 1)When there is one vowel in a word, it usually says it's short sound.2)When there are two vowels in a word, the first vowel says it's long sound, and the second vowel is silent.
I suggest buying, "A Handbook for reading" and the Kindergarten readers from ABEKA.
By the end of the school year my Kindergartners were reading sentences like: But Joy and Troy will not make noise in the shop.She will wait for her turn to get on the bus.
Hope this helps a little. You can contact me by email if you'd like. ____@____.com
P.S. My child is in 4th grade.If I could do it all over again and had a school in this area I would enroll her in a Waldorf School. I LOVE their philosophy!! I believe they are worth looking into also.
1 mom found this helpful
E.S. answers from San Francisco on February 10, 2008
take your son to a nutritionist. many behavioral issues are diet/allergy related. if he has blood sugar issues this will affect his behavior too. can't hurt.
i am the mother of a 12 year old and taught preschool and schoolage kids for many years. aa in child development.
1 mom found this helpful
R.A. answers from San Francisco on February 11, 2008
Have you ever looked into Waldorf ed? It is nice for kindergarten, but you might use the first grade curriculum because it is more academic. I am using the Oak Meadow/Waldorf curriculum now ( I am a homeschool teacher)There is a more traditional curriculum called Live Education...You can also look into Zoophonics....good luck.....
V.C. answers from Salinas on February 11, 2008
I don't advise going it alone as you still have a whole semester left of school, but I definitely support homeschooling as I homeschool my 6 year old. What I would suggest is checking into a homeschool charter. I use Monterey County Homeschool Charter which is free and available to ajoining counties as well. They provide you with teacher edition books that give supplemental activities that go beyond just worksheets. In addition you have the weekly home visit of an accredited teacher that provides you with support and ideas. Hang in there, it is not easy, but it is very rewarding. And remember: When 2 vowels go a walkin, the first one does the talking. Your son was in a good kinder program, because we are just now learning long vowels in 1st grade.
D.W. answers from San Francisco on February 11, 2008
I've enjoyed reading all the varied responses, because the reality is that so many different things could be coming into play with your son, and having so many angles to consider should help your instincts hone in on the best ideas for your unique child.
My son had a lot of issues with aggression in preschool that seemed to settle down in kindergarten, and the main reason I saw was that the environment changed. Similar with a boy that transferred into my daughter's first grade class last year; he had actually been kicked out of his previous school, but since settling in at our school all his aggression issues have disappeared.
The thing to remember is that young children act out physically because they have limited tools with which to tell us what is wrong. By pulling your child out of a negative situation, you have done the best thing. Too often we keep running with the situation and trying to discipline our children into conformity, instead of figuring out WHY the child is acting out. I should never have kept my son in that preschool, when so much was going wrong, but changing course can be so difficult. I applaud that you had the insight and tenacity to do so.
It turned out that my son was experiencing a combination of difficulties, including sensory issues (non-specific to the environment, but that the preschool was completely insensitive to) and stress (in part specific to the environment, from negative experiences that occurred there, and in part from an undiagnosed educational special need). Once in the right environment, the special needs became easier to spot and have diagnosed. Among other things, my son has difficulty in social situations, reading the cues and reacting appropriately, and also has some very specific areas of academic weakness (this was difficult to spot, because he is so very bright on the surface, that often teachers would assume he just "wasn't trying," when that was not the case at all). Our school eventually diagnosed my son as having mild Aspergers,which has qualified him for special services and accommodations.
I have learned that every child will thrive in the right environment. It's just that knowing what that right environment will be isn't always so easy. After all, every child is unique, and input from other parents can only take you so far. Keep listening to your instincts, you are doing great.
Sorry I can't help with curriculum ideas, but from everything I've read here, and all the ideas you've gotten, I think you will be fine.
G.R. answers from Chico on February 11, 2008
Hi N. ~
I'm a kindergarten teacher, and, unfortunately public or private with No Child Left Behind it can be ditto after ditto! Don't be discouraged. Does your son have a good memory? What materials did the school use? If it's the ABEKA(sp) program, all the letters, sounds, and families are included and easy to taech (word family at, cat, bat, hat, etc.) And the little reader books are a wonderful beginning way to teach reading. Also Cat in the Hat books.
As for vowels, each vowel says it's name and another sound. That's how I teach and my students use the program that is mandated by our school district, but it includes a song for each letter.
When did your son turn 5?
My personal take, all little boys are high energy :)
R.R. answers from Sacramento on February 11, 2008
I homeschooled for a while...after my oldest boys teacher kept trying to get me to medicate him for ADHD. The best advise I can give you is to join a homeschool co-op of other families. I had met sooo many wonderful and diverse families and I got the best advise from them. I homeschooled my kindergartener and a second grader. The hardest part is figuring out which charter school to use (the state will actually pay for all your supplies and stuff like that) and to decide which materials to use. I think you may also be able to find a local christian homeschool co-op if you want. You do need to realize that the expectations in public school and even most private are rediculously high. They must be reading and writing and have like over 100 sight words memorized to pass kinder. In homeschool...the advantage is that you allow your child to go at their own speed. I did kinder with my son for 3/4 of the school year (granted he was still only 4 and made the cutoff for school by a week) and when I put him in public school...they said he was behind. He struggled in writing and some of the vocabulary they used in class...but was very advanced in his math and phonics. They told me he was most likely going to have to repeat kinder for a whole year. He actually was the youngest student in kinder and he caught up and passed not only in the meeting standards but in the exceeding. There are so many different options but I personally used a phonics book that we followed daily and used Singaphor Math which we followed by workbook daily. I would find history assignments online and I had a CD that my oldest son had brought home from public school kinder and it had some great songs on it. Field trips were the best part...that is the advantage of a co-op...other parents set up field trips so there was alot going on each month to choose from. Best of luck and don't worry...if you decide on a Charter School...there will be an advisor assigned to you and they help you decide what to do.
A.B. answers from San Francisco on February 11, 2008
I tutor with an adult literacy program through my county library. The program has about 50% ESL (English as a Second Language) and 50% learning disabilities. For the latter we use a program called the Wilson Reading System.
Now, I know your child doesn't necessarily have this issue, but I do know some schools use it. And it's a GREAT system for step-by-step learning that the student can do at their own pace, so your child could progress more quickly if he's getting each step.
Also I use games with my adult students, like "Concentration" (matching) and "which one is different" (sat, hat, bat, ham), etc.
This site gives an overview:
The Wilson website is: www.wilsonlanguage.com
They have a special program for K-3 called Wilson Foundations.
The lessons I do have ten steps for each session, which include both decoding and encoding, both reading and spelling.
They may have special activities in the Kindergarten pack. It's not cheap, but it's effective material.
R.J. answers from Sacramento on February 12, 2008
Here are a few songs to sing about the colors: To the tune of Are You Sleeping, Brother John?
I can spell red, I can spell red,
Fire trucks are red, Stop signs are red.
To the tune of Farmer in the Dell:
B-L-U-E spells blue, B-L-U-E spells blue
Hi Ho, don't you know. B-L-U-E spells blue.
The big sky is blue, the ocean is too,
Hi Ho, don't you know b-L-U-E spells blue
A song for vowels: Also to the tune of Farmer In the Dell:
There was a farmer who had a dog. Bingo was his name O!
A-E-I-O-U! A-E-I-O-U! A-E-I-O-U
Bingo was his name O!
(This time instead of saying A.....clap for the letter A)
There was a farmer had a dog. Bingo was his name O!
Clap, E-I-O-U! Clap E-I-O-U! Clap E-I-O-U
Bingo was his name O!
(This time clap for letter A, clap for the letter E.)
There was a farmer had a dog. Bingo was his name O!
Clap, clap ....I-O-U! Clap, clap.... I-O-U! Clap, clap ....I-O-U
Bingo was his name O!
This time clap for letters A, E, and I.)
There was a farmer had a dog. Bingo was his name O!
Clap, clap.... clap O-U! Clap, clap.... clap O-U! Clap, clap.... clap O-U
Bingo was his name O!
(Now clap for letters A, E, I and O)
There was a farmer had a dog. Bingo was his name O!
Clap, clap.... clap, clap U! Clap, clap.... clap, clap U! Clap, clap.... clap, clap U
Bingo was his name O!
(Now clap for all the letters)
There was a farmer had a dog. Bingo was his name O!
Clap, clap....clap, clap, clap! Clap, clap....clap, clap, clap! Clap, clap.... clap, clap, clap
Bingo was his name O!
Also, you may call the public school district in your area and ask for info re: home teaching.
There are groups of parents who get together to go on field trips and other gatherings here in Sacramento, CA. I am a retired Kindergarten teacher and you can have a lot of fun teaching your son when you get some more info.
There was a farmer had a dog. Bingo was his name O!
Clap for A! Clap for E! I-O-U!
S.M. answers from San Francisco on February 11, 2008
Hi N., I taught Kindergarten and "Young Fives" (developmental Kindergarten for Kindergarten age children with late birthdays) for 6 years. You don't need to do tons of paper-pencil activities to give your child a good Kindergarten education and in fact too much of it can be harmful at that age. If you want ideas, try going to Morrison school supply and checking out some educational activity books, and Kindergarten curriculum idea books. "A is Amazing" is a great one as are several others. You can pick weekly and monthly themes and tie in a lot of different activities to the theme: reading books, writing, letter recognition, math, field trips, singing, arts & crafts, cooking, creative/dramatic play, etc.. Your child will stay interested in learning and you'll have fun too. Also put some basic routines/structures into your day - calendar, letter learning, math activities/manipulative exploration, journaling, etc.. Good Luck and have fun!
S.B. answers from Sacramento on February 11, 2008
I am a teacher with 10 years experience in public schools. My advice is two fold: 1. maybe he is not ready for school. Wait a year and try again. In the meantime, try a 2 hour preschool program. 2. Or try a public school. They are equipted with certificated teachers and resource specialists who can decide as a team how to deal with your son's behaviors. So much of what is learned in Kindergarten is social, and it relies on the social dynamic between kids. I don't think that homeschooling can achieve the social and behavioral goals that you need to reach in order to have success in subsequent grades.
M.P. answers from San Francisco on February 11, 2008
I am a teacher in the public schools. I see some kids that start school and they just aren't ready yet, OR the school is not a fit. My first question to you is...Do you really want to homeschool your son? There are so many different kinds of schools out there that may just fit his learning style. (i.e. Montessori, many different charter school that have various missions...)I'm wondering if your son is acting out because he's bored, frustrated etc. There are a number of things that cause aggression. If you really have your heart set on schooling him at home, there are also many resources for homeschooling parents. Go to your local public school district office and they will have a resource person to help with not only curriculum, but also how to teach it. There should also be a local Teacher's materials store where you could purchase teaching materials. Good luck!
K.C. answers from San Francisco on February 11, 2008
contact your nearest homeschooling organization and consider hooking up with other families. Also, I would have him seen by the pediatrician to rule out any physical abnormalities that are causing the aggression. There are many great books to read on how to parent the aggressive child. Consider another school that will work with your child, maybe he needs a smaller school environment.
Good Luck, do not give up on him and make sure you discipline him appropriately when he is out of line (sit in a chair, etc). Many parents let their kids be wild and kids do not know the meaning of consequences. They learn quite quickly...
V.A. answers from San Francisco on February 11, 2008
Who says a five year old has to be in school? Both my kids did not start reading or writing anything until they were 6 years old. And I taught both kids at home for 3 years from the age of 6 until 9 years old.. We did not follow any particular curriculum that schools required. When they entered school for the first time at the age of 9 the teachers expected that they would do poorly. But they were at the top of the class in all subjects. Today, my son is an MD/PhD graduate and my daughter graduated with a BSN.
So, do not despair. Turn off the TV. Be firm. He'll calm down after a while. Let him use his mind. Give him lots of paper and crayons. Have him help you cook, do the laundry, clean house, etc. You'd be surprised what he can learn just by helping. Read to him. Take him to the library. Go to the park and identify flowers and ducks, etc. This is all part of the learning process. And he won't get bored. And it will be fun. Best of all, you will have a close relationship with him and everyone is happy. His character is thus being formed by his own mother and not by the rowdy kids at school.
Smile! You are on the right track!
K.M. answers from Sacramento on March 31, 2008
If you do through the public psychologist please don't stop there. After my daughter was tested, it took my reading and studying on learning disabilities to discover my daughter had ADD, then got verification from her pediatrician and a private psychologist. The school wasn't very helpful most the time. I am NOT trying to diagnose your son by ANY stretch of the imagination, but read about ADHD and some other learning disabilities to see if any of it rings true. One author I like is "Hallowell" I believe. Good luck! K
S.T. answers from Sacramento on February 11, 2008
We home school a 2nd grader and a Kindergartener and have lots of support through our school district. We are enrolled in a Home Study Charter school so we get resources from the district, a teacher to oversee the cirriculum, a yearly budget to spend on each child, and weekly enrichment classes as well as field trips. I would recommend checking online for any charter schools in your area, or calling your school district for info. This was the hardest part for me, since it did not seem to be very publicized information.
There are lots of online sites that can help you with ideas too. One good site is www.school.familyeducation.com/kindergarten/school-readiness. there are lots of other sites, I will have to look them up and send them to you later.....but this site should get you started......again I love having the support of my charter program, so that would be my first suggestion, instead of doing it all alone.....S.
R.M. answers from San Francisco on February 11, 2008
Home schooling means at home,thus giving up on a schedule that has structure and the education that qualiffied teachers give, they spend their time trying to educate your students they offer much more than an uneducated mother that has good intentions but is trying to take the easy way out. Giving up. Keep that boy in school! Get him an one one aide to help him foccus during his school day. Then when he gets home, there waiting is a loving,and supportave Team. His family. School offers so much more. All children need to be in School even if they have Special Needs all their needs can be met in public schools. with the new Strict laws, it helps children to keep up with the states standards,that means No Child Left Behind. Find out why your son is aggerssive. Go to school with him for a while, see what triggers the negivive behavior, and try to hone on it with a school phycolist and with special ed clsses,they get good funding and provide really good assistiants & programs for students who need help.What Did your Doctor say. Did you get a second option? I wish you well.
B.S. answers from Chico on February 11, 2008
I homeschool both of my children. Your son is not a bad kid he just gets bored, we are not ment to think in a box and some children especially boys resist this about school. There are great programs in Butte County for homeschoolers. Hearthstone is a great Home school charter. There are great books by Brian D. Ray. Who advocates homeschooling. As for teaching make it fun most of all. I live by the phrase "The World is the Classroom." If you let kids wonder about there world and follow that lead education comes naturally. As for teaching kids to read I really like the Zoo Phonics program they use all 3 learning style to teach kids to read. Which they use with Hearthstone. Good luck. At first its all intimidating but now you have the power to educate you child embrace it!!
C.R. answers from San Francisco on February 11, 2008
That aggression you refer to might be something developmental so keep an eye on it. I personally have had experience with what you are now going thru, but with my older son. I caught it early and the schools and teachers worked with us very well until the 4th grade. That was the worst time of our lives.
I now homeschool my 2 sons - 13 yrs & 8 yrs old. I started first with my older son since he didn't fit in socially. I pulled him out after the 4th grade after the teacher and peers "broke" him (his spirit). He LOVED going to school until then. After the first year of homeschooling, my younger one saw all the projects and hands-on work we were doing and asked to be pulled out also. We are a part of a charter school/ homeschooling program that pays for all our books and even has supplemental classes my kids attend. We love it and you may even consider keeping your son out longer than just until September when you realize how rich the learning experience is for everyone.
You're lucky that you're starting him at this age. I wish I discovered it when my kids were that age. I've had to deprogram many of the habits and pressures that were put on them by a traditional school. I would be extremely happy to share more with you or anyone else who is curious and unhappy with the route traditional schools are going. You may contact me privately if you want.
To point you to a good website for young learners, try www.enchantedlearning.com. There are some freebies there but to get everything, it's a $20 membership fee. Another website is www.brainpop.com. (or BrainPop Jr.) There are cartoony films on various subjects & quizzes on them. My kids love that one. Again, there are some freebies there but to access everything, it costs a membership fee. I'm not sure how much as my school has paid for ours.
Hope this helps and good luck on your endeavors! - C.
M.A. answers from San Francisco on February 11, 2008
It can be incredibly difficult to homeschool your child. I know mom's who have done it successfully, but it depends on a lot of factors. I am a teacher and I would not choose to homeschool my kids simply because of my own temperment and how it mixes with their's. While I can be of no help to you when it comes to homeschooling, I can make a few school suggestions. If he gets bored easily and is also restless, that may be why he acts out. He may need a non-traditional school setting such as Montessori. A true Montessori classroom is very organized and quiet. There is no chaos. They often get to work on floor on "jobs" at their own pace, but the teachers keep them on task. They teach in a way that works well with a lot of different learning personalities. My daughter is in Kindergarten at a Montessori and doing well. They are ahead of most standard K classroom curiculum. Many Montessori schools only go to 1st or 2nd grade. There are a few that go higher in this area. If they have any openings, you may want to start him now. In the Red class at American Montessori Academy, the lead teacher is known for being able to work with difficult boys (although she has a variety of students). I don't know if she would be willing to take someone new on at this point, but it might be worth it to ask. My daughter was having some trouble this year with talking and disrupting, but now she is doing so much better! I think I will keep her in Montessori for at least 1st grade because I don't think she will be able to handle a traditional classroom/desk environment yet.
Good luck to you!
J.T. answers from San Francisco on February 11, 2008
Wow, N., you have your hands full. First off, you don't say what the doctors have said. I would just dismiss what the parochial school said if they are labeling your son as 'bad' (boy, that's helpful), but there IS something going on with your son if he is acting out the way he is. Kids can be ornery, kids can be very difficult, kids can be high-spirited, but what you are describing here sounds like more than that.
You've got to find out -- to your satisfaction -- what is causing this behavior. It could be many, many things. Find a doctor or therapist or psychologist you really like, and work with him/her.
C.C. answers from San Francisco on February 14, 2008
I agree with the other advice. Please have your child checked out for any phsiological and/or psychologicol problems.
There is a great htomeschooling organization called Home School of California. (you can google them)
You want to use a lot of play, songs and hands on activities. Handwriting without tears has a great program for kindegarteners in learning their letters, numbers and other things.
You might want to visit preschools in your area to get some ideas. Another idea is to take an ECE class in curriculum at your local community college.
I tutor and started working with a 4 year old. He really liked working on the chalkboard. Other multisensory activities include working with clay, letters in the sand, etc. Science activiites are also fun. Growing beans, making different colored water with food coloring, raising a butterfly garden.
You want to have activities that are interactive, where your son participates to his fullest extent possible.
J.G. answers from Bakersfield on February 11, 2008
I am an English teacher and have a Reading Specialist certification. I actually had my youngest home schooled by a friend for kindergarten and first. I have also had my children in parochial schools and public schools.
I have had many problems with schools because they simply don't teach to every child. I had a daughter who was doing great with her counting, colors, writing, alphabet, etc. upon entering kindergarten and she went into a downward spiral after that. The way they taught her at school simply didn't make sense to her. What I taught her did. The difference? I'm her mom and I took the time to pay attention to how she learned. (At the time I didn't have a college degree.)
My suggestion: 1) Go online to the state website and look up the state standards for kindergarten. Print them out. 2) Look at what your child already knows and what he still needs to know. 3) Set up a schedule that is realistic. You don't need to work 6-7 hours a day like school does. In a one-on-one situation, you can get the work done in 3-3 1/2 hours a day. 3)Teach him in a fun, hands-on way that makes sense to both you and your child. Save the dittos for practice once he already understands the skill taught in that fun, hands-on way. If you aren't sure how best to teach something, use a little internet researching. There are many good ideas out there. 4)Include your daughter as much as possible.
Coloring, painting, drawing, play-doh (art), cooking (math), music (physical activity, rhythm, math), story time, creative writing (They draw a picture then write about it. Or, you can transcribe what they tell you and write it under the picture. This works great if a child can't spell or write yet.)
Education can be frustrating. I would say it is safe to assume that even your child understands how important it is to do well in school, but it just wasn't working for him. So, by giving as much love, fun, and understanding along with firmness and structure he, your daughter, and you should succeed.
B.P. answers from San Francisco on February 11, 2008
If you had to pull him from K, I would suggest alternatives to home schooling. Try structured play dates. Where you can observe his behavior, 1 on 1 and respond to the positive and negative behaviors. He just may not be ready for the K environment yet. Slowly teach him to sit and do activities for 20-30 min each sitting. Try motor skill exercises in between. Hopping on one foot, jumping from one spot to another (clearly marked) challenge more and more for a feeling of success.
I've raised 5 kids to adulthood, my 6th is 11 now, and truly a good kid.
M.L. answers from Sacramento on February 11, 2008
I know how frustrating it can be to have a son who isn't ready for the traditional school setting. I congratulate you on making the choice to homeschool. Your son's well being and learning style are the #1 priority. There are many different approaches to homeschooling. I homeschool with a charter. There are many choices in Nevada County which can give you guidance for the remainder of the year. I have 2nd and 3rd grader's @ Union Hill Charter. They are wonderful,accredited teachers with a wealth of knowledge and resources. They even have block classes on Wed. & Fri. from 9am - 12pm if you would like your son to have some classroom time with other kids his age. They do art, science, library, recess, spanish...you can attend with him or drop off. There are about 10 per class. He would be with K - 2 kids. There is no charge because they are part of the public school system. You are not required to live in the school district just Nevada county. I know they would be happy to answer your questions regarding curriculm, activities, learning expectations etc...
I pray you truly enjoy the time with your son...it can be so exciting to see them learn and grow. Good luck with your decisions.
M.K. answers from Sacramento on February 11, 2008
I am not sure where you live, but some charter schools are set up to where a teacher will come to your home and assist, recommend and keep you up to date on the state teaching/learning standards. Horizon Charter School has excellent teachers that come to your home once a month and it costs NOTHING. State funds are used just like a traditional public school. But, they are in California and cover only El Dorado, Nevada, Placer, Sacramento, Sutter, and Yuba Counties. Check into it, there maybe one near you!
J.T. answers from San Francisco on February 11, 2008
Look into CAVA virtual academy. This is a wonderful way to home school. They provide all the curricullum and lesson plans, along with all the books and tools you will need. They deliver them to your door. They also have a great support team and an accredited teacher in your area is assigned to you for any help and guidance you may need. They also arrange for school trips with other home schoolers. This is a K12 accredited school and tuition is FREE. You can see more detail if you look on line, simply type in CAVA virtual academy and hit search. GOOD LUCK.
Also look into Native Remedies, you can find this on line also. These are all natural products to help with calming and focus as well as many other things. We started using these products a while ago for our son who has ADHD and they have been helping more than the prescribed medications.
I hope this information is helpful to you.
T.S. answers from San Francisco on February 11, 2008
You mentioned trying therapist, has your son had a full evaluation a "Multi-team evaluation" like OT, Psychological, Speech, Educational, Neurological, Psychiatry etc...An evaluation can tell you what your son needs and possible how he needs it like movement breaks every ten minutes or visual cues instead of verbal etc.
Also there should be a local Home School chapter/association in your area, try google. They have fieldtrips, teaching materials, support, and much more. When homeschooling it really makes a difference. Plus the group outings are smaller then a class with many parents present so it may be perfect for your son.
Home school may not be the only or best option, there are special classes for children similar to your son smart kids but with behavioral needs both in private and piblic schools.
For a proper eval and group(wish I had done group sooner makes a difference): I know of Childrens Health Council Palo Alto they bill insurance and have scholarship, Morrsey Compton Palo Alto, EMQ in campbell, N.E.A.T in cupertino., and Stanford Hospital/Clinics - out paitent is on Quarry road.
N.F. answers from San Francisco on February 11, 2008
I'm so sorry your child had a difficult time at school. Those first experiences should be so special! Are you set on home schooling him? It's not too late to try another school. You can enroll your son in public school at any time of the year. Since they have to take ALL children who enroll, they're usually pretty good with high energy kids or any other "type" (all kids have personalities, energy, "special needs and interests," etc.) that comes their way. You could also try another Christian school with a different teaching philosophy. You may want to explain to any school -- public or private -- what your son has been going through and see what their ideas are before you enroll him.
K.L. answers from Redding on February 11, 2008
Here are some sites for Christian homeschooling that might interest you.
L.T. answers from San Francisco on February 11, 2008
This is the first year I have "tried" homeschooling my now 6 year old boy. He was in a preschool in Lafayette for two years until I decided to homeschool him. He loves Starwars and martial arts, so he comes across as agressive. Even though he was very quiet at school, he would act out at home. My daughter (9) was in a private school through 1st grade. I started homeschooling her in 2nd grade and she is now in 4th grade.
The state standards are very lax for Kindergarten. Basically, if your son begins to read and has good number sense he will be fine. You could use a program called Spell to Read and Write (http://www.rainbowresource.com/prodlist.php?sid=120276999...) which is a phonics based program. It is labor intensive for the parent, but well worth it. There is a yahoo group to assist you. An easier, cheaper way to go would be to purchase Hooked on Phonics at Costco. It is very cheap and contains most of what you need. We are in a public charter school that covers Contra Costa, Santa Clara, Alameda, etc. Counties and provides us with $1,500 per year for curriculum and classes. If you decide to homeschool, you might want to look into it. Please don't hesitate to email me.
J.S. answers from San Francisco on February 11, 2008
the blog "live without school" has lots of resources and ideas. http://lifewithoutschool.typepad.com/
A.L. answers from Sacramento on February 11, 2008
As an 8 year k teacher I really think that you should hook up with a home schooling site. They will help guide you as you do not want him to get behind and have to start k again next year. Kids don't learn by dittos!!!! You can easily find one in your area on line. He should still participate in social outings with other kids so that he has a chance to practice positive behavior in a controlled environment. I also think that it is important to reiterate that he was not pulled out because he was "bad" or that you think that his teachers were "bad". Either way will bring problems when he does go back to school next year. Private schools do not usually have the sources like public schools do for kids that need a little extra.
As far as songs...Greg and Steve CDs are great! Kiss Your Brain..can't think of her name.
Teaching long vowels...they say their name, like you say yours. Sneaky "e" makes them say their name, too.
ok...this was very brief but I hope it helps!! Good Luck!
E.G. answers from San Francisco on February 10, 2008
I have a son (he's almost forty now, I'm already a grandmother). He was a difficult child in school because of his conduct. But after several schools where I was asked to take him out, I found what the problem was: the schools, the teachers, the principals.
Sometimes there are children with a lot of energy... or intelligence and they get bored with children their age, or regular childish activities. When I finally took him to a school where they gave him responsibilities, and made him feel important, that was it!
Maybe your son is an "indigo child" and gets bored. Try to find responsibilities for him at home, and of course, a good school where they understand his intelligence or hyper-activity.
C.V. answers from San Francisco on February 11, 2008
I am a homeschooling mother of three children. My son is in the 4th grade and has never been to traditional school. I also have a 2 and 3 year old.It sounds like taking some of the pressure off of yourself for the acedemics would help for now. Maybe nurturing the social side and getting to know your son in the home environment will be enough.The acedemics will follow... he is only five remember. Children learn all the time because of us and despite us. :) I don't know where you live but I am in the bay area in Ca and we have so many resources and opportunity with our schooling, it is really unending. Tap into that in you area, other mothers always help. Good luck, keep an open mind, you may find that you want to continue schooling at home come fall....
D.F. answers from San Francisco on February 11, 2008
Do you know what kind of a learner your son is? Some children are kinesthetic, which means it's very difficult for them to sit still, they concentrate better if they are moving about. Some childen are more auditory and they learn easily by songs and rhymes etc. Other children are very visual and learn by seeing the shapes of things. There is a book called "The Way They Learn" that gives you more info on this, and how to identify your child's learning style.
There are many different thoughts on how children should be educated, and homeschooling gives you the freedom to discover who your child is to a greater depth. Boys can be a little slower in the reading dept, though not always. When I was homeschooling my children I was using a program called Sing Spell Read and Write. It was Phonics based, and worked wonderfully. As I was working with my 4 year old, we started witht the short vowel sound, and he took off.... I never got to do the long vowel sounds, he was just reading. In school they use all kinds of "manipulatives" for math, but you can use the real thing.... socks: I have 5 socks, I take 3 away, what do we have? Bobby has 4 cookies he eats one and his sister eats one, what is left? Have fun with your son. There some great homeschooling organizations that can help you. Mt Diablo School District (Concord CA) have their own Horizons Home Study Program with teachers who come out to your home and bring you supplies and give you support for concepts you may be needing some help with. They are great. Perhaps your school district has something like that. Give your son the gift of time, you won't regret it.
It sounds to me like your son would do well with a lot of physical activity. You didn't say if the doctors had diagnosed him with anything specific, or given you any behavioural modification techniques. Is he rough with his younger sister?
G.P. answers from Modesto on February 11, 2008
Maybe your son has a temper issue. You can have him tested by a pychologist. If there has been changes at home, or something else. Lashing out is a sign something is wrong. I have a son who is in special ed with a bad temper, only if provoked. Some children have learning problems, or he wants to be center of attention. Play a game with him and watch for his attention span. I don't know what else to suggest. Some children like to do things and lose interest a few minutes later. Good luck with your son.
A.F. answers from Sacramento on February 11, 2008
Have you considered enrolling your son in a public school? I, being a public school teacher, have experience working with an array of children with varying needs and abilities as do most public school teachers. You should definately go visit and observe you local public school Kindergarten teachers and see if one would be a good fit. You may be surprised. Children at that age truly need socialization. Kindergarten is the time to do that. Also, have you considered that your son should begin Kindergarten next year rather than this year? He may just not be quite ready. Hope this helps.
K.P. answers from San Francisco on February 11, 2008
Sorry to hear of your struggles. If you can afford it, I would look into hiring a specialist to come and give you some help. Obviously traditional teaching methods are not going to work for your son so you need to make learning more physical. I remember when I was researching homeschooling for my kids someone said that she'd put large shapes on the floor and have her kids jump to the shape she yelled out when that was their subject. You can make learning long vowel sounds into a game as well. Get as silly as you can by over enunciating each letter. Try to make a silly face as you overextend the facial muscles used to make each sound. Kids love that kind of stuff and he'll think you are so funny he'll want to mimick you without realizing he is learning something.
You can set up a running game where he has to start where you are and you give him a letter starting with a. Each time he reaches the tree, house, etc. then he has to shout back that letter to you. Kids LOVE to run and shout! Maybe time him and see how fast he can get to the landmark then back to you. If you couldn't hear the letter he shouted from the landmark he has to do that one again.
Just some thoughts. Good luck!
M.H. answers from Sacramento on February 11, 2008
Perhaps revisiting the therapy with a therapist who specializes in childhood disorders such as Conduct or Operational Defiance. From how you've described the situation, this behavior isn't just going to go away, and will probably increase. The public schools have school psychologists who can test and see if he qualifies for extra support. Is public school completely out of the question for your family? They also have support for Home Schooling, should you continue down that road as well. Hang in there!
R.M. answers from San Francisco on February 11, 2008
I highly recommend a program called Kumon. It is all over the United States. It is a reading and math program and both of my sons have progressed far above what others their age can do in both subjects in a very short time. It is in a group setting but the children get a lot of one on one time with the Kumon instructor. You usually go into the center twice a week and then you as a parent do a lesson with them at home the other days. You don't need any special training and you could even get pointers from the Kumon instructors if you had problems with any of the lessons. Kumon lessons only take about 15-20 minutes and it would be a great supplement to other home schooling I think. You may want to check it out. I believe they have a website too where you could probably check locations.
J.Z. answers from Sacramento on February 11, 2008
Hi there. It sounds like you are in a tough spot right now. I can give you my two cents and perspective as a child since I was a homeschooled child until 3rd grade. I also was a child who went to a private christian school, I have my daughters aged 8 and 5 in one right now but are going to make the jump to public next school year.
First of all. Homeschooling on your own, isnt the way to go in my opinion. There are a ton of resources that you can utilize. They have socialization opportunities (which honestly sound paramount right now). Some school districts have programs and there are also charter programs. These give you the tools to teach your children. Teachers go to school not to relearn elementary subjects but to learn to teach them to children in a way they would understand. I personally could not homeschool my child, but many people do successfully.
Also at least in our state of CA children can be tested and receive any learning help that your school district has whether or not they attend public schools. We have some kids at our girls school who have outside aids from the school district come into to our private school and help, and some who go to the aids for help, all free (that is why we pay taxes!)
Trying to teach your child without a program may be really hard, but also I cannot stress enough the need for the socialization, having been homeschooled myself, it is so important. The programs plan activities, field trips, the moms can swap tips.
As for the private school. They are not geared nor funded for kids with all different learning types. They really only can teach a certain set of kids. We are removing ours because of socialization reasons. It is a small school where the kids go to school with the sam kids in their class each year. My 8 year old has asked for more.
As a parent, trust your instincts to do right by your child. Be open to options that can help while staying true to your values.
R.C. answers from Sacramento on February 11, 2008
As hard as it may be, the worst thing you can do for an agressive child is isolate them from others. I know it seems logical to take away the reasons he acts out, but if he doesn't get the socialization he needs now, he may always be different. It sounds like your boy is bright and bored in a traditional setting. Have you considered a motessori school? Lots of kids that suffer in the regular "sit down, listen, mind you manners" setting do well in Montessori programs. Most importantly, get your son into something social. Scouts, karate, church groups, maybe he needs something everyday to keep him stimulated. I know its hard on the parents, but they can't adapt to our needs, we have to adapt to theirs.
As far as home-school, it is a lot harder than people make it out to be. You already know your son isn't going to gain anything from sitting and doing paperwork all day. I would recommend downloading all the state standards for education (cde.org)and picking the ones for Kindergarten that you think he needs most right now. I am not sure what curriculum you have, but Houghton-Mifflin's eduplace.com is what I am most familiar with. That website has lots of resources for parents. For your immediate needs, I would make up songs using the long vowel sounds of each letter and make picture cards to cue his memory. Focus on a few each day and then do an activity using those words. For example, For long A make an "acorn" card, make up a song about Acorns to a simple childrens song, and then go on a field trip in a park to find acorns. Then extend the idea beyond acorns, and point out other things around you that start with the long A sound, and have a competition to see who can find more things. Make sure he gets a prize when he "wins" like choosing an arts and crafts activity, or choosing what letter to do next.
The key to teaching is keeping limits in mind. Most people can keep focused on something for as long as their age + 2 minutes adds up to. Your son can probably sit and attend to a task for about 7 minutes if he is interested. If he is bored, 7 minutes may be way too long. Keep the tasks short but meaningful. Change the setting often, sit for one task, walk for the next, sing and dance for the third, sit again for the fourth. That should get you through one subject in about 30 minutes.
Remember to give yourself credit and slack as you learn with your son. It took me 6 years of college and several years of experience to get comfortable teaching beginning reading, its a big job. You have my best wishes!
T.G. answers from San Francisco on February 11, 2008
well, we also homeschool. California will try and make you get into a program but they just want control over you and your son. You DONT HAVE TO DO THAT. You can teach your son on your own with our enrolling in a public school homeschool program (like Coil)
A quick suggestion, to help with immediate learning it to join www.time4learning.com
They have really great, interactive learning programs in Reading, Math, Science and Social Studies for all grades. My 1st grader learned to read strickly from this site! It was really cool. It does cost $19 per month ($15 for any more kids) but I totally feel it is so worth it.
E.C. answers from San Francisco on February 10, 2008
I've had many years teaching experience as well as 3 of my own, now grown and now a 6 year old grandson. Don't be too hard on yourself or your child. Kindergarten is where he gets his interest in learning so make it fun. Go to the library and find books he has interest in, be it baseball, football, horse, whatever. Then read to him and get him to read along with you after a while. The words and sounds will come to him. I would pick out signs on the street to read and he'd follow along with me and eventually he'd learn them. The firestation is a great outting for him, or any factory where work is being done. Boys get excited about seeing what other men (guys) do. Get a list of words that he will need to enter public school as a first grader in the fall and slowly reinforce his learning with rewards, of the words. Money is a great way to teach numbers or count the days until a special event. Give him chores to do to help you and in turn he can learn as well. Feel free to call me for any more ideas or on how these work for you and your son.
E. C. ###-###-####
S.S. answers from San Francisco on February 11, 2008
I would enroll him in a public school right away and request(demand nicely) psychological testing for him. They will do a battery of tests. The public schools have a timeline that they must meet so testing on your son should be done this school year if you enroll right away. Don't wait until September. Sometimes private schools don't have the resources or facilities to have this kind of testing available. Good luck to you and your family. Your son is NOT "bad." He may just need some extra help. Now is the best time.
T.G. answers from San Francisco on February 10, 2008
I'm a 1st/2nd grade combination class teacher in a public school. The way I explain long vowels to my firsts (and some of my seconds) is as follows.
First I make a little poem book for each of them that focuses on the sounds the vowels make. One poem for each long and short vowel sound. This way they are aware that there are two sounds for every vowel. We read the poems, go through them and pick out the words in the poem with the targeted sound and memorize the poem. From the poems we choose "anchor words," or a words that represents a particular vowel sound, for example, short a might have the word "apple" as it's anchor word. This way when a student gets stuck I can help them recall their anchor word to help them figure out the sound on their own. If you can find songs that are full of the targeted sound that is fun too. It may help you later on to type up the words to the songs.
Then I explain that vowels have to have a reason to say their name (i.e. the way we say them when we say the alphabet). If they don't have a reason, then they are short. I explain most vowels work as "letter teams." This means that "when two vowels go walking, the first one does the talking." When there are two vowels right next to eachother, they work together as a team where the first one gets to say it's name, and the second one is just a helper...poor guys just helps the other vowel to say its name, but then doesn't get to say anything...but he's a good teammate and is happy to help.
Then we go back through the poems and lift words from texts with the targeted letter team and I write the words on chart paper, drawing a heart around the letter team. Scholastic books Firefly book orders have book collections that target these kinds of phonics issues. You can find them at Scholastic.com. I hope this helps!
K.C. answers from San Francisco on February 11, 2008
I wrote this big long thing but now I see there are tons of other responses, so I'll just say this: YOU know your child the best, and YOU can pick and choose what is best for him. You can do it!
E.C. answers from San Francisco on February 11, 2008
i have been homeschooling my 7 yr old twins since kindergarten (now in 2nd grade), and i have found it to be immensely rewarding and personally challenging. this year, i started using the living books curriculum (a Christian-based curriculum that uses books and stories as the foundation) and have really loved it. my kids are avid readers, though, so it fits in with their learning style, but if your son does enjoy stories, then it might be worth a look. (you can try their curriculum for 60 days and get a full refund if it does not work for you.) for kindergarten, i incorporated a lot of crafts and outdoor activities and field trips into their learning. i also used "teach your child to read in 100 easy lessons" to teach them to read, and rewarded them every 3 or 5 lessons with either a treat (cookie, candy, etc) or a small toy. i hope this helps, and God bless!
A.A. answers from San Francisco on February 11, 2008
Hello! I have been happily homeschooling my son, who is 8, for the past two years.
Certain resources have been invaluable such as: www.schaweb.home.comcast.net (sonoma county homeschooling association) which provides connection, networking, social contact and information. Another great resource is www.hsc.org (covers california and specifically lists TWO homeschooling conferences being held this year - one in April in socal and one in August in nocal) and www.homeschooling.gomiliptas.com (sf bay area unschoolers). Also, there are fabulous books about homeschooling. Anything by John Holt is a good place to start.
Before we actually began homeschooling, we went to The Link conference in Southern California. We took the Homeschooling 101 classes which covered all the basics for start-up, legality and resources. We feel grounded on the basics and at the same time, we are charting our own course and allowing our child to lead. The homeschooling conference introduced to us the concept of allowing our child to "detox" from school (for lack of a more positive term). Detox meant to let him BE for awhile without forcing teaching/learning on him. We took that to heart and have seen the bad habits (like lack of self-confidence and fear of doing something "wrong" ease away) For instance, in November he announced that he wanted to learn history. On Christmas day, he received a history book and spent almost 2 hours pouring over every page. We have been following the book up with games (Age of Empires) and field trips. His week consists of gathering with other children for art, theatre, science and nature awareness, play.. plus math, reading, writing. We built up to all this over time.
I know that you want to get started right away and at the same time, remember that you're taking on something that may take a bit of research and preparation to do enjoyably and successfully. It is ok to allow yourself to do that while your son is "bored", don't you think?. Might he also be interested in being a part of some of your planning? For instance, do you know how he learns best? Is he very visual? Does he like sounds, singing, rhythm? Is he kinesthetic... does he move his body in space to learn? What does he enjoy most? How can you incorporate his passions into the way you teach him? Is he developmentally ready for the long vowel sounds?
I wish you fun, fun, fun with your son! I'm sure he is high energy because he is vibrant, joyful, and passionate. Try to match that energy for him and he'll be so happy! Would he love sliding down to the ground slowly while singing the long vowel sounds and jumping up like a jack-in-the box while saying the short vowel sounds quickly?
B.J. answers from San Francisco on February 11, 2008
I'm not much help on formal homeschooling, but I did teach my son how to read by age 2, mostly using LeapFrog products. I highly recommend the DVDs: The Talking Words Factory, and The Code Word Caper (very good for long vowel sounds, and combined consonants). That will give you a starting point, and then you can use the concepts & songs in there to help spur you on to other lessons. Best of luck to you! Also, I'd recommend finding a different child psychologist, who can connect with and inspire your son to be his best self. :) Don't give up. Best of luck to you!
L.S. answers from Sacramento on February 11, 2008
Although it is now the practice to teach reading in Kindergarten
most five year olds(girls and boys) are not developmentally ready to learn to read...especially boys. Boys brains develop more slowly than girls and need more time for being physical. Two things to look at...If he is aggressive he may be seeking sensory input not being a naughty boy. Have him assessed by an Occupational Therapist. Give him another year before starting him in school.
C.B. answers from San Francisco on February 11, 2008
Please go online and check out the K12/CAVA (if you are in California)program. It is a wonderful program. If you teach your child at home under their public school program, they will give you everything you need to be successful and most importantly for your child to be successful. Your child will learn at his pace, you will be the teacher, yet there is always someone (a support teacher) who is available to help you. They supply the books, workbooks, computer and printer, and all supplies he will need for free. They also have field trips where he will meet other kids and fun family outings you can participate in. My son has been in this program for 1 year and while somedays it is a challenge, I know he is getting a much better education in a relaxed environment. If you are not in California, there are other states that have K12 programs. I highly recommend this program, every mom can teach their children using this program. Good Luck.
C.S. answers from San Francisco on February 11, 2008
Hi I would like to start with congratulating you on keeping your young son home. Since he is so young he should not have to do real academic work but you could give him meaningful work, like helping you in the kitchen, with sweeping,simple cooking tasks, like cutting fruit or vegetables, stirring, doing dishes, little ones love to work with water.
Then have him play outside as much as you can and inside, building blocks are great, it is great for imaginary play.
Try not to have him watch television or expose him to any media, if you have to sometimes, age appropriate video's, but if you can cut him totally of of it, you will see a big change in his play and behaviour I have seen and heard it many times, I amazed myself when I turned TV and movies of for my own young children.
Then secondly you could try to test him on food allergies, especially artificial coloring and flavors score high in aggressive behaviour.
There is a possibility of being allergic to salisylates, google Feingold Diet. Then for books Bob & Nancy's bookstore online and google waldorfworld, lots of sites for home schooling books on games and songs etc. I hope this helped you, Good Luck, C. S
L.H. answers from San Francisco on February 11, 2008
Check with your local school district. They may have an "independent studies" program that will allow your son to stay at home, but give you some direction. It should be free, but would require you to register him in the public school system. Not sure if that would be a problem. Most programs require you to meet with a teacher once a week for an hour or so. At that meeting you will recieve work for the next week and you will turn in work from the previous week. It will give you some time to talk with the instructor about lesson plans and implementing them. Your son will be doing the work that the other "Kinders" will be doing (in public school)and you can supplement with the books you have already purchased. Sadly, a lot of it will seem like it is paper and pencil work. The internet will have a lot of resources as well. Another thought is to see if you can get a copy of the teacher's manual that goes with your son's books...That will give you some direction on the "actual" teaching of the lessons. I hope this helps-as an Independent Studies instructor I know that Kindergarten is a hard one to teach at home. Best of Luck! Let us know how you progress.
L.R. answers from Stockton on February 12, 2008
As a teacher for 8 years (2 in Kindergarten), and a mother of a very active 4 year old myself, I want to really encourage you to find another school environment for your son. I don't know specifics that I believe matter, like is he a late birthday or why you are choosing not to send him to public school, but I do know that without more social interaction, these traits will only get worse. Did he attend preschool? At a Public school, they have specialists who will be able to help him, including a Psychologist, if not at the site, at least available through the district. Also, children who attend private schools are allowed access to the local school district's support services via the taxes you pay. I had 2 or 3 kids in my Kindergarten classes who were normal, wonderful kids and just had some anger issues that they needed to learn to control. They benefitted greatly from a 2x a week meeting with the counselor at school. Please consider this, as I truly feel that by isolating him, he will not learn to manage these behaviors around other children, which will not be any fun for you! Best of luck, and feel free to contact me with any questions.
C.H. answers from Sacramento on February 11, 2008
I feel for you! I just started Homeschooling my 1st grader this year. I did home daycare when she was young, then we sent her to preschool, then to K-garden at the public school. I had it easier that she already had the basics of reading down. We started with Hooked on phonics which she didn't like so we switched to Scholastic's Phonics and she likes that better. Bored with dittos try turning the ditto's into games. My daughter didn't want to do her math so I noticed she wanted to play with marbles so we got the microwave bacon cooker out & she would count out the marbles in the rows and do the math that way. I have just been told that you don't have to spend a lot of money to homeschool. Also I got a book called What your 1st grader needs to know and What a 2nd grader needs to know. I think they now have one for kindergarden. I also got a book that has the state standards and has test so at the end of the year we can see if we were close. Mostly you just need to be creative and make it fun. Still do art and crafts, games & puzzles. You need to find out what style of learning your son is. My daughter is a audio learner. Your son might be a visual. Hope this helps.
L.W. answers from Sacramento on February 11, 2008
Hopefully you are able to feed him more organic foods, processed foods often result in this kind of imbalance. He is not too young to learn Quantum Touch, which will help empower him to send love into the situations that he knows are not already perfect. Often the large spiritual being who is in a tiny body is not getting the kind of respect that they know they deserve. Their essence is not young and they don't like being treated as if they don't have a clue.
Also asking for respect yourself and setting that example will help him realize that he must also respect others for them to lovingly respect him.
Bless you! This must be a challenge and I give you my best wishes for finding the solution, they say that whenever there is a challenge, that the answer was actually created first, then the challenge is given so that if you look at it this way it can hopefully be perceived as a game. Can you say "hmm. my higher self already knows that this is solved, and I am receiving that help so I can know where to look, like hide and seek."
A person's greatest flaws usually when overcome turn out to be the greatest strengths later in life.
I hope this helps in some way.
J.E. answers from Sacramento on February 11, 2008
Good for you for not letting your child stay in a situation that labels him as "bad". Perhaps he is just not ready yet for school, perhaps the school is not a good fit for him. I think that many schools today focus too much on the academic side of children, they are not little adults, they need to be children and play is their "work", it is their way to learn. Children need to be active, not sit still in classrooms. I agree with the sensory integration evaluation and also a psych eval won't hurt. There is a CAVA online schooling information meeting Weds in Elk Grove at the Starbucks at 8868 Bond rd. corner of florin and bond. I have looked at many alternatives for my 3 children, my first child was very aggressive, I think a combination sensory integration and bad school fit. In hindsight, I didn't want to homeschool him, but I put him into some untenable situations for a little boy to handle. After all they are CHILDREN, they are supposed to react to things that upset them. I would also recommend looking into Waldorf schooling, they do a lot of developemental appropriate work with children. My "aggressive" son is now almost 13, spent 7 year of horrible schooling in public/private schools. He grew out of aggressive behavior around 4th grade, he is very smart, but has a learning disorder (diagnosed by Sac State Univ. not by the school district) he has been diagnosed with ADD, previously he was diagnosed with ODD, depression, etc. etc.I really think it was more situational than anything. We tried to focus on his positive things and gave him room to be successful in other areas, boy scouts, music, individual sports, He is the sweetest kid! And a very gentle young man. So don't give up, you know your child better than anyone, believe in him and yourself. With love and patience your child will grow up and out of this behavior. Look into "Positive Discipline: by Jane Nelson a really great book. Good luck.
D.B. answers from San Francisco on February 11, 2008
You have a lot of answers, so just quickly, remember that organized schooling is not mandatory until age 6 in California, so relax! Kindergarten is not obligatory. He may not be ready, or he may be bored. Your son is like my two boys who I've homeschooled all along. He's probably just very smart.
I used Sing Spell Read and Write with both my boys. It uses songs to teach each concept. Your son will be singing and reading in no time. That is if you are willing to spend a few more dollars on curriculum.
I would suggest doing little spurts of school, followed by lots of physical activity and then more little spurts. Also, do lessons in everyday activities. Have him count out 4 apples and 3 organges at the store to teach math. If you are using the school's curriculum, offer small rewards after each page of work (like a sticker, etc.)
Find support groups online. Most support groups have field trips or play groups to keep homeschool families connected. The more socializing he gets the sooner he'll learn not to be agressive.
Good luck to you.
L.C. answers from San Francisco on February 11, 2008
I am a first grade teacher and I really encourage you to find a school/ program that works for you and your son. The worst thing you can do is isolate him. In Kindergarten and first grade we work a lot on socializing and learning to get along with others. I often tell parents that working on social behaviors, and generally how to behave well are just as big parts of first grade as the academics. This is hard for parents to understand sometimes because they think school is only about academics but it's not.
L.A. answers from San Francisco on February 10, 2008
First of all, I want to say that I am sorry that this is happening to you and your son.
#1. This school that your son went to put him at a disadvantage. Rather than treating him like the "bad" child, they should have challenged him. There's no such thing as a bad child. ONLY BAD ADULTS!!! Bad adults for not taking the time to recognize the needs of your child.
#2. It could be that your child is aggressive because he is bored. That is my take on it. Lessons (ie. math, music,etc.) are not enough. He needs to blow off some steam. Kids are full of it. LOL!!! Your little boy just might have more than the average child. Do you have a play structure in your backyard or is there a park close to your home?
#3. I have found that artistic children have a difficult time concentrating. Combat the daydreams by doing art projects with him. 2-3 times a week. Or maybe as a reward for doing well on his lessons.
#4. For yourself. Get together with some other homeschooling parents. Sit in on lessons... This is your first time doing this. ???? Maybe your just missing something. You can't go from Mom to Teacher just like that. And following the curriculum isn't enough. There are techniques. One's that just don't come naturally.
#5. Just a thought... You also have a 2 year old. Yikes!!! I've got one of those right now too. She's taking a lot of your energy? How is it affecting you frame of mind? How is your son dealing with seeing the tantrums? Even at 5, kids are prone to copying what they see. Or he may even feel neglected when you're having to pay attention to the little one. Even if it's just to calm her down.
I don't think that what is going on with your son is abnormal. By any means. And if the doctor or therapy isn't working, it's probably because there really isn't a problem. And he definitely should be separated from other children. That just isn't right because he'll just feel isolated or punished. Home school for now if you have to, but don't isolate him. You will have a problem down the road if you do.
One other thing, you had him in a Christian school. So, it's a no brainer that you are a Christian. Pray with your son and teach him Bible stories. And definitely teach your son the value of QUIET TIME. Meditation will help.
Laurie Amagan, 32
Daly City, CA
H.K. answers from Fresno on February 11, 2008
My "aggressive/high energy" 5 yr old boy has been diagnosed with Sensory Processing Disorder. It's when the five senses are overstimlated. He may act that way beause he feels like he is going to come out of his skin. There are some great things that you can do (exercises, staying with a routine, occupational therapy) to help him. We just took our 8 yr old daughter out of school and started homeschool through http://westernchristianacademy.com. They have some great programs for Kindergarten - High school. It's very structured and user friendly, especailly for moms who have never done homeschool.
I.B. answers from San Francisco on February 10, 2008
I am homeschooling a 5 and a 8 yr. old. School life can be as complicated as you want to make it. You are already under stress, so take it easy for a while. There is no law to school a 5 yr. old and despite what the schools attempt to make us parents believe, children do NOT need to learn certain things all at the same time, unless toddlers are now required to all walk and talk at the same time and speed.
Maybe, all he needs is some time off. Or, you could go to this website
and focus on things that make him be kind without pointing a finger and a face that says "you better be like this person now". There are many activities and books listed, for all ages.
It might also help to read "Between Parent and Child" by Dr. Ginott. Whenever I am at a loss, that's what I turn to.
Connect with fellow homeschoolers. Search the yahoo groups for the one in your city.
Also, just to be on the safe side, have you checked for food intolerances? Is there a time/day that he is more aggravated than others? Is his behavior geared towards the same persons, one particular gender, etc.?
J.B. answers from San Francisco on February 11, 2008
Have you thought about putting him in public school? From what I have heard they are often less structured and may be better for your son. It sounds like your son may be bored in school and this causes him to act out.
I have raised two very active and sometimes aggressive boys. I know it can be difficult. I always hated the labels. The good news is that they usually grow out of if with maturity.
B.C. answers from Sacramento on February 11, 2008
N., let me start by saying....GOOD FOR YOU! You made the right choice, so often society labels our children according to "their" standard.
Homeschooling my kids for 2 years was the best choice I made for my kids. It is a whole different kind of learning. When your doing kindergarden, it's more of a hands on learning than the books. I would suggest going to your local office of education for the county you live in, and they most likely have a homestudy program(and it's free!), and teachers to help guide you....and LOTS of learning tools!
Homeschooling is rewarding at the very least, but more importantly you get to teach to where your child is now. There are several kinds of ways that people take things in, "kind of learner", i.e., visual, tactical, etc. It may take you a bit to find where you son is, and it could be that he has a bunch of energy and needs to have as much active learning possible. It will be a challenge, but well worth it.
Also, most of the "book work" is up to you...keeping a daily journal of what you did, museums, even a trip to the grocery store(not to shop) can be a learning experience. Having him "search for the number 12", or things of the like. Think of starting him in a music class offered by your local Rec Dept. It's a lot of creative thinking on your part, but so much fun at this age. You will be surprised how much your younger one will pick up too! You can incorporate the writing part into short sessions, so he doesn't loose interest. Go to local growers and take tours, then have him draw a picture about what he saw. So much of his learning will be tactical and oral reporting on his part, you basically want to make sure he gets what you are trying to teach him.
I know this is a lot of info, but I was so excited for you when I read your questions!!
Best of everything to you!!! You will LOVE IT!!!
J.A. answers from Sacramento on February 10, 2008
I taught first grade for 8 years before I decided to stay home with my 3 kids (almost 4 year old twins and a 1 year old)...just an FYI...I don't think kindergarten is mandatory in California, BUT...the expectations in first grade are high and there are some skills that your son should have before he starts first grade. It is important for your son to have letter/sound knowledge, number sense and some sight words before he starts first grade. He should also be able to at least write all the letters and his name. A few words would be good too....
You may want to look up the California State Standards on-line and see what the public schools expect kindergarteners to learn.
I personally don't feel that kindergarten is the place for worksheets...it is a skill, but at that age they need to be experiencing learning. Some practice writing letters and numbers is good, but there is much more to learning then can be done with worksheets.
A few ideas for you:
I completely agree with the person who suggested games...absolutely!! All sorts of games...board games, card games...you'd be amazed what your son can learn.
READ,READ,READ....as much as you can. Read to your child..Ask him about the story. Talk about characters...setting...plot...don't think he is too young for that type of conversation. Have him show you different letters/words in the story. Also, books on tape or CD are GREAT!!! Especially if you need a little down time. You can get some at the library or buy some at a book store.
Cook with your son...you can do so much math while cooking..count the different foods you need...discuss the amounts of each thing. Have your son help you measure and estimate.
Try some of the Leap Pad products...my 4 year old twins have them and have learned so much on their own.
There are so many website for kids with tons of learning games...if your son isn't already familar with the computer it will take a lot of your time to train him, but once he is trained he could work on the computer each day for a bit. The websites are many...too many to list...
Try to have your son around/interacting with kids his own age as much as possible.
Some ideas are:
Story time at your local library...great on so many levels. He'll need to sit and listen to the story which is an important skill in first grade. Also check out a stack of books while you are there...get all kinds of books..fiction and non-fiction.
Check with your local recreation department and see if they have any classes you can sign him up for..most likely you will need to either observe or participate...which I know may be hard with your other little one...but maybe she can participate too. Most recreation departments have gymnastics, art and music classes for kids your son's age. These classes are usually 30 to 45 minutes long. This would give your son time to interact with other kids his age for shorter periods of time.
These are just a few ideas...I'm sure others will have some too. I wish you the best and don't be too hard on yourself!!
R.U. answers from San Francisco on February 11, 2008
Why don't you try to find another parent or two who have a child or children around the same age as your son so that you can plan and work together several days a week. This will, also, give your son the opportunity to learn some positive social skills without the public humiliation that goes along with that kind of training in school. Be positive but firm with him so that he learns appropriate behaviors. Good luck. (I'm a reitred principal.)