by Lyn Waldeck
When I first started training with Bob back in the early to mid 1990s, I was fortunate to be able to sit through hundreds of evaluations with him. Hundreds of times I heard him ask the question, “So Johnny, what do you do for fun?” One evening over a working dinner meeting he went to great lengths to tell me how important that simple little question is in getting to understand what makes a kid “tick.” It allows us to see various obsessions or DSAs (Debilitating Sensory Additions) a child may have. It allows us to see gaps in global maturity that need to be addressed. It identifies who is at a loss of how to put their thoughts into words. It also provides a wealth of information when it comes to assisting the parent in how to guide the child’s day. In this particular article I want to address how to take a passion and use it to motivate a child in the advancement of his education.
I am always shocked at some of the monotonous writing assignments given in school. The one that really pushes my buttons is when they assign the child to write a persuasive paper and give them a topic that they have no frame of reference for or don’t have any interest in. To become a good writer, it is much more productive to use a subject that the student already has a foundation of knowledge in and has a passion for. On program many of you will have “Fun Unit Studies” written on a line of your program. Truthfully, I wish we could make that one little line about 5 inches bigger than the rest of the academic activities. It seems to be an item left off more times than not and is a huge loss in opportunity. I think that most of the time it is because you really don’t grasp what we mean by “Fun Unit Study” to begin with. It is not meant to be a note to motivate you to purchase pre-packaged curriculum. How can anything be individualize and yet pre-packaged? While there are some wonderful tools that can be used for unit studies, we do not mean following a plan that is laid out without the interest of the child taken into consideration. Some of the best unit studies start with a simple question from the child. If it is fun to continue gathering information, then continue. If it loses its appeal, move on to something else. I can remember the first time one of my son’s saw a school history book. He was disgusted that Christopher Columbus got less than half of a page devoted to him. His comment was, “Didn’t we spend 6 months learning all about things to do with him?” Then he went on to list the things not covered in the history text. These were things he had learned approximately 6 years before. The reason he retained that information over the course of time was because he was interested in the first place and we proceeded in a fun way with the learning.
I want to let you observe two videos that have been sent to me by wonderfully smart boys on my caseload who inspired me to write this article. I will not go into their original challenges that brought them to us, but I will say that each of the mothers has done an amazing job of working to put pieces together so that their brilliance can shine through. These parents have an understanding of how to work on processing and make learning child-centered. As a result these boys have retained information in areas of interest that they have spent a lot of time gathering. They research their topics of interest and share with an enthusiasm that makes me want to learn more about what they are saying.
As you look towards a future for your children, let’s not bore them with meaningless memorization for tests only to have them forget most of what is drilled in to them. Let us explore their passions, research and expand knowledge, and work with them on ways to communicate to others in a way that makes the information come alive.
- Do Certain Subjects Require Specific Hours Of Teaching For Homeschooling My Kid (knoweducation.wordpress.com)
- Benefits Of Homeschooling (knoweducation.wordpress.com)
- Science for High School: Chemistry Review (wecanhackett.wordpress.com)
- Education Links (emilypeterson4.wordpress.com)
- Crosspost: Visualizing “The Myth of the Unsocialized Homeschooler” (homeschoolersanonymous.wordpress.com)
- Some Homeschool Questions Answered (awisewomaninthemaking.com)
- What Homeschool Curriculum Should You Use? (apluseducationalsolutions.com)
- ‘Common Core’ Nationalizes and Dumbs Down Public School Curriculum – Ron Paul (dprogram.net)
- 13 Questions for Parents of Homeschoolers (expatteacherman.com)
- 5 Important Tips To Homeschooling (knoweducation.wordpress.com)
So where does your child go to school?
Is your child’s school respected in the community in which it serves?
What makes the school good?
How are the teachers?
My son just finished 5th grade at Shepherdstown Elementary School. He started at SES in Kindergarten. For most of his tenure at SES we were pleased as parents. Some of the fundraising events seemed a bit over the top at times, but what truly stood out were its teachers and leading educators.
It was always nice to hear that his Elementary School was considered one of the most highly rated in the State of West Virginia and even in the tri-state area. It was also nice to hear when the principal, Dr. Susanne Offut was voted as the best principal of the year for Jefferson County.
So, what do you do when the County announces it is facing a short fall in budgets and wants to cut back on teachers, including teachers from your school that you considered were a key reason the school was so good.
Something else to think about in this case is why there is a shortfall and does it have anything to do with the paving of parking lots at the highschool for student parking or tennis courts that are rarely used? I have never attended a single BOE meeting in the county but had considered going many times.
Perhaps I will go next year since I still have a daughter in the school system and plan to keep her at SES. As for my son, we will homeschool him next year because the Middle School he is supposed to attend does not have the same reputation as the Elementary School did and we are not ready to entrust our son to them at this time.
So, who is your favorite teacher? Please add there names to this blogpost so others can learn the names of the very educators that make our schools what they are…
Let me first admit… I was guilty!
At 5:54 pm last night, I pulled up in front of the Shepherdstown Sweet Shop, which is “kind of” across the street from the Shepherdstown Library. I did not actually realize it was not yet 6pm (the time paid parking at meters ends) but figured it was too close to worry about.
We all went in and started our search for great books to take out. Before leaving we had an opportunity to talk with the Head Librarian and hear about the wonderful plans for the new Library near the Clarion Hotel. This was especially exciting since we are going to start some form of Home Schooling next year and will really rely on the local Library. We also heard all about the current Library and because of how old it is it simply is not realistic to attempt to modify the current structure.
The kids and I walked out and as we headed over to the car we happened to notice a red parking ticket on the front window. As I approached the car I was somewhat confused since we parked so close to 6pm that I could not imagine how a parking person could have gotten to my car so quickly. The time on the ticket was 5:55PM. No question, who ever ticketed my car watched me pull in and as soon as I was in the Library, they pounced on the opportunity to ticket me, to get that last ticket in before the close of the day, to improve on their daily haul.
I did not even know about the spaces. But I certainly do now.
I went to the City Town Hall this morning and visited the Police Department where I painfully paid the $10 fee for my 5 minutes of illegal parking last night. Or was it 6 minutes. Oh well, it could have been much worse if I did the same thing in Washington DC where the penalty would be 10 times that. I was told that I could speak to the Judge and that if I lost I would still only pay the $10.
I decided, since I did not have a pic of the Judge for this blog that that would be silly.
Lesson to all of you who want to go to our great Library in the middle of Shepherdstown, park in the designated spots or make sure you always fill those meters, even if you only have 5-6 minutes left until the end of the day.
SHEPHERDSTOWN PARKING METER POLICE IS WATCHING!!!!!
Oh, and it was raining too.
- Many drivers ‘pay unfair charges’ (confused.com)
- Shepherdstown Community garden is organizing again… there are still some plots left this year. (underthelobsterscope.wordpress.com)
- Senior pinned in parking mishap (insidehalton.com)
- Great Responsibilities tonight at Shepherdstown Film Society… (underthelobsterscope.wordpress.com)
- Poets House (Library of the Month) (womenlove2read.wordpress.com)
- Call for parking ticket watchdog (bbc.co.uk)
- A Peek Into the Life of a Blogger Mom: Saturday (Part Deux) (chatonsworld.blogspot.com)
- Parking Tickets (toplessdrivers.com)
- Birmingham and library board settle sexually hostile workplace lawsuit (al.com)
- Bicycling Glory? Only if I make it … (gilessnyder.wordpress.com)
- Fallen But Not Forgotten – The Statistics (thecommunicatorwv.wordpress.com)
- The Kansas City Library: Doing Pinterest Right (elizabethwillse.com)
- A Tale of Two Battlefields: Comparing preservation organizations (markerhunter.wordpress.com)
- BART worker may lose job over act of ‘benevolence’ (sfgate.com)
- Just got back from a Solar Project lecture at Town Hall (underthelobsterscope.wordpress.com)
- National Library Week (cricketmuse.wordpress.com)
- I’m Somewhere Else Instead (papermudandme.wordpress.com)
- A Primer on Ebooks for Libraries Just Starting With Downloadable Media (teleread.com)
- Report: Charlotte hotel ripped off after $15,000 check (wcnc.com)
- 366 Days in the Life of ME! 105/366 “Set The Controls for the Heart of the Sun” (awjphotography.wordpress.com)
- Rockefeller: Youth sports concussions too prevalent (wvgazette.com)
- Sitting in the radio station after crawling through ice to get in. (underthelobsterscope.wordpress.com)
I would like to open a discussion to get the view points of parents of home school kids who had at one time or another been public school students in Jefferson County WV. After a recent situation at Public School, we are considering home schooling our kids. We know many families in the County who home school and produce the top 1% of university students at Shepherd and WVU.
Please chime in, if you have gone in either direction or even tried but undid the move.