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Alberta Home Education Association

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Tips on How to Keep a 3 Year Old Busy WHILE Home Schooling!

This question was recently asked on the AHEA Facebook Page:

Anyone have ideas for learning boxes for an extremely busy 3.5 year old? I have tried some learning box ideas but he's done playing in 10 minutes and isn't interested again.

Answers:

*I think 3.5 year olds are extremely busy and don't have a great concentration span. My best suggestion is to make a LOT of boxes for him, and to keep using new ones. It's best not to repeat them in under 10 days. When the boxes aren't used often, the kids enjoy them longer. (SORRY) I have a Pinterest Board w/ ideas for 3 - 5 year olds (and really believe the time spent making these IS worthwhile and makes Home Schooling easier.) I planned to have 8 to 10 different activities for each morning of Home Schooling. It does take a while to accumulate these activities - but is achievable and worthwhile.

Home School ideas for Boys - many of the ideas are for young boys. Check that out, too.

Sometimes it is thinking outside the box with what we already have - add an empty gift wrap tube or makeshift ramp for little cars to go down... Fill a shallow tub with water (on a couple of bath towels) and have a *car wash* or a *Duplo wash*. Yes, it is more work. Yes, it can make a mess BUT your little ones will love the time and attention. There are TONS of easy learning activities on both the links above. Many are quick and easy to make. I had /have a bookshelf for the best of those activities. OH, and the longer you use them, the more he will learn to *do* them for a set period of time. Put not so fun activities in between fun activities and say this is the next activity - try it for 5 minutes. I am always watching for fun activities to buy, too (on the garage sale Facebook page for our area). Just bought magnetic Fun Faces.

The thing is you must find his interests. My first son was very smart, very busy and nothing calmed him down. Absolutely nothing. I bought him Jumpstart Fractions cause it was on sale. This was intended for use way in the future .....perhaps 11 years old (he was only 4 at the time). He saw it and begged me to put in in the computer. I did. He used this game for two years. I never, ever had a problem with him sitting still again. Listen to your son, you probably know what his interests are. Take those interests and be creative yourself. My second son -it was a car mat and dinky cars, the legos. Btw, those busy kids are usually quite gifted:)

Thanks for the help! I made a large pile of learning "bags" and put them into one big plastic tub. He's been digging through them everyday and picking out something to do. I even found him coloring on his own for quite a long period of time. Before this week, he wasn't interested in colouring for extended periods of time.

*I have a nephew who is 3 and in a Montessori preschool and daycare. He, too, is a busy boy. His favorite activity is "shelf work" checking out some Montessori sites might give you some more ideas. I think having a rebounder is a good idea for all kids to burn off some energy. I got one at a garage sale with my 12 year old in mind.

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Fun Extras for Home Schoolers

Here are some links to check out:

Geography Challenge for Canadian Students

Lego Play Book Giveaway

Learning Notebook Idea - very good. Daily Theme Ideas -  Written by an Alberta Home Schooler! 

Help Dyslexic Kids to Read - through Art!  This link looks so good .  I think it would be fun for everyone - Dyslexic Games

Morning Board and Calendar Time for younger Home Schoolers - very good tutorial.

I hope you are enjoying home schooling this week.  Any of the above would add fun into your home school AND would be fun extras to book! 

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Why Do You Attend Home School Support Group Meetings?

Another question that was asked on the AHEA Facebook Page - Why do you attend Home School Support Group Meetings?
*I will say if you aren't sure why you should attend a Home School Support Group Meeting, check out the Support Group Blogs on the AHEA website. smile
*Encouragement, new ideas, reviews of curriculum, socializing. Lots of reasons.
*A home school support group gives one access to information, ideas, resources and opportunities you might not otherwise find out about. They also can provide guidance on how to handle various aspects of the journey. Knowing others you can talk to and ask questions of who can relate to what you're doing is invaluable.
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What Things Would You Change if You Could Go Back and Start Home Schooling Over?

This was another question asked on the AHEA Facebook Page.
*I would have relaxed more (esp. with younger kids) and just enjoyed learning. It took me so long to realise hiking, baking, and even chores (!!) were learning experiences, too - we didn't have to be doing workbooks at the table to be learning....
*Well since I would have started earlier...lol. I would change the way we learned. I was so worried that I needed it to be just so. I also didn't realize that much of everyday life is where she learned the most.
*I wish I had spent more time on character building.... This blog says a lot of what I am thinking tonight: Beyond the Textbooks
*I would have to agree with both of you; I would definitely have been more relaxed with my firstborn (and first to be homeschooled). I've been way more relaxed with my second (of our two) child and its gone much, much better.
*I actually would have been more rigorous from the start, with more structure.
*I would have quit focusing on others expectations of what learning should look like and trusted my instinct sooner. Instead of worrying about content, I would have focused more on making the process of learning, fun, experiential, and interactive from the beginning. It's so much easier to homeschool when the child is excited about it.
*I wish I had been more patient and relaxed when we first started hs-ing (I was one stressed out mama), but there are also things I wish we had focused a little more on these past few years.
*I'm extremely thankful we started Home Schooling when our oldest started K.
*My biggest regret is not focusing more on character building in the beginning. Also, I wish that I had paid more attention to Charlotte Mason, although I do realize I wasn't ready to adopt her philosophy 5 years ago. Home Schoolng is definitely a journey that is different for everybody
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If you had to do it all over again, would you Home School?

This was a discussion recently on the AHEA Facebook Page which was inspired by a blog Home Schooling - the Hardest Thing I've Ever Done... Below are the answers that were shared!
*Depends on the day. In seriousness, though I may question myself daily, I know it was the best decision I made for my kids.
*Unequivocally YES!! But, I would start at Kindergarten rather than gr 4!!
*Yes!!! Though I would have started much much earlier!!
*Yes - would have started sooner!
*Yes!!!!. Would have done it with my older grown children if I had known about it. Homeschooling was not a word you heard when they were young.
*Yes! Yes! And Yes!
*Absolutely!!
*Oh, for sure - but would have done a few things different if I could.... lol
*In a heartbeat.
*I love the *in a heartbeat* above. I only wish we had started sooner. We waited until grade 1 with our oldest daughter - it just didn't make sense until then - BUT it is the only thing that has made sense ever since!
*Without a moments hesitation, ... best decision I ever made in spite of the opposition from family and trials along the way.
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