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    We offer a wonderful online homeschooling Private Christian Academy, with 150 Bible-based courses using a state-of-the-art, multimedia-rich interactive online homeschooling experience. Traditional texts, videos and more accompanied by CD-ROMS and website adventures make us the most comprehensive Christian online homeschooling program available.

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    5 Best Videos for Teaching Children to Use the Potty

    The Morningstar Academy
    Wednesday, 6 August 2014 20:36

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    Teaching children to use the potty is a task that many parents find very difficult to do because lots of

    children do not cooperate easily when it comes to that. The use of videos in teaching children on how

    to use the potty has helped many parents to overcome this problem. Listed below are 5 best videos for

    teaching children to use the potty.

     

    1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_hiMo7C8xSMHow to potty train a toddler

    - Fast and Easy! Some children are just stubborn and you cannot get them to learn to

    do potty on their own easily, but with this video, you can easily overcome that and make your

    child love doing it easily.

     

    2. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8gcI6S4jzAcPotty Training Tips

    What your baby cannot refuse. Those tips that has helped many children in the past to easily

    master the art of using the potty. You will find this video very helpful as many of these tips are

    interesting to children.

     

    3. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ALPJNwLvtskHow to Potty Train Toddlers

    This video teaches how parents can use books to potty train their children. It is true

    that children cannot read but then, they can easily understand pictures, and whatever they see

    sticks to their subconscious mind. Use books to teach your children how to use the potty.

     

    4. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2-lzW22PUww I Have To Go Potty

    A video that tackles the challenges parents face in potty training children that have

     

    developmental challenges. It follows practical steps that any parent can easily follow.

     

    5. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lUssJK8vYPIWonkidos Going Potty FULL

    EPISODE.  An animation that gives detailed steps of how to go about potty training.

    Children love it so much because it is fun all the way from the beginning to the end.

     

    Become a Content Writer:

    Limited time special offer for Learning By Grace parents! We are offering discounted and/or free tuition

    in exchange for article content writing. If you are a great writer and are interested in the opportunity,

    please email your resume and a writing sample to ddahl@learningbygrace.org.

     

     



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    The Importance of Written Goals for Yourself, Your Students, and Your School Year.

    The Morningstar Academy
    Friday, 25 July 2014 17:13

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    Most people understand that goals are important, but did you know that written goals are about 40% more likely to be achieved and those goals which are both written and discussed with a friend have a success rate of 76%. This is from a recent study by Psychology professor Dr. Gail Matthews (http://www.dominican.edu/dominicannews/study-backs-up-strategies-for-achieving-goals).

    For the Christian homeschooling parent, this is exciting information. Someone who has put in the love and work it takes into successfully educating their child whether via standard written curriculum or the more modern online homeschooling method wants to believe that the work that they and their students have put into that education will be profitable and successful. To this end, writing goals seems a clear choice in that it will make attaining those goals more likely.

    What does a helpful written goal look like? It looks S.M.A.R.T.

    • Specific goals, rather than vague goals are more achievable, such as “I want to make good grades” versus “I want to get 100% on my math test Tuesday.”
    • Measurable goals are those that can be measured through a metric such; date, grade, or certain amount of something.
    • The A in the acronym can mean “attainable”, or “action-oriented. Both are valuable in helping you reach your outcome. Action oriented is obvious “I will choose the appropriate online homeschooling site for my student.” An attainable statement means that the goal is within.
    • R is for realistic or relevant, meaning “is this goal truly attainable given my circumstances and does this goal make sense in the plan I have for my life”. Each person much choose which will be more helpful to their situation.
    • T stands for time, timely, time-bound, or time sensitive. All mean the same thing basically; you put a date on your goal to make it concrete and give yourself some motivation.

    Whether you are creating objective goals for education, or you and your student are creating some personal goals, using the SMART system is sure to help you reach those goals more effectively.



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    5 Best Websites for Teaching Science

    The Morningstar Academy
    Tuesday, 24 June 2014 18:25

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    All students love science because it is a practical demonstration of things happening around us and it explains many things the student would not have been able to understand other ways. The best way to teach science is to make it interactive, this way; students will be able to follow steps easily and to ask questions when necessary.

    Highlighted below are the 5 best websites for teaching science. They have been selected based upon their relevance to the field of science, the content they provide, and how they are able to attract returning users.

    Edheads: This is a website where you will find great science content and many science related activities that you can be part of. These activities cover different areas so that you will never get lost no matter your area of interest in science.

    Science Kids: A website built for playing science games. The games are designed to be great interactive learning tool which will take users through various scientific processes and tasks. The resources here will help students to follow these processes and perform those things themselves.

    National Geographic Kids:  Teaches about nature in general to children. Some aspects of nature it covers include plants, animals, places and people. It also contains games, videos, and activities that will make the whole learning process really enriching.

    Wonderville: Students of all ages and classes will find this website very useful because it actually helps them to learn based upon their level of understanding and maturity. There are games that are tied to each activity that you will find on this site. The games show you science, while activities allow you to explore what you have learned earlier.

    Try Science: A website full of all kinds of adventures in games, field trips, and interactive activities. Many important scientific concepts are explained on the site also.

    Mimi Rothschild

    Mimi Rothschild is the Founder of Learning By Grace, the nation’s premier provider of online homeschooling Academies and Courses for Christian Homeschoolers since 2001. www.LearningByGrace.org

    www.Mimi-Rothschild.com



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    Give Your Child A Superior Education with Online Homeschooling

    The Morningstar Academy
    Thursday, 27 March 2014 13:08

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    Online homeschooling has become very popular with parents who want the best for their children. More and more parents are now choosing online education for their children instead of sending them to a traditional school or instead of just books and workbooks. 

    Families choose online homeschooling for a variety of reasons. First, many families want to ensure their children are taught from a Biblical perspective. Families homeschool because their children have learning disabilities that the local public school cannot accommodate or their children suffer from health issues. Some chose homeschooling because they want a better education or to avoid your child being bullied. Online homeschooling is a phenomenal way for your child to get the best education because it marries the best things about homeschooling with the best things about private school. 

    Many parents who would like their children to be schooled at home feel unequipped to give their children the best possible education. And private Christian school is simply unaffordable. 

    This is where The Morning Star Academy has changed the lives of tens of thousands of parents and children. 

    The Morning Star Academy is celebrating its 13th year of providing online home school services throughout the globe. It is respected as the institution to turn to when parents want to educate their children at home but also want teachers to guide their children. 

     This premiere online homeschooling provider has been providing outstanding results to PreK-12th grade students in over 50 states and 20 countries around the world. It is very popular because it gives families all the tools that they need to make their child’s education a fulfilling successful experience. 

    Among online home schooling’s many advantages, one is convenience and accessibility with its on demand learning. Unlike a traditional school where you have to attend wherever the school building is located, online homeschooling with The Morning Star Academy, your school is wherever you have an Internet connection. This means if you are a busy family with many different demands and activities, no child is left behind. Students have 24/7/365 access to their lessons as long as you have an internet connection. Have a baby or younger children that require more attention? No problem! Your child always has access to her lessons and teachers. 

    The best part of online homeschooling is the time it saves because all of the learning materials are given to you on a daily basis, freeing mom up to tend to her many other responsibilities. 

    Students will receive online and offline components which include • EBooks (electronic books with websites, photos, quizzes) • Videos • Workbooks • CD-ROMS • Assignments • Tests • Gradebook • Joy-Directed Activities 

    Online homeschooling is the way of the future, allowing children to receive a better education in the comfort of their own home instead of being disrupted in a large classroom. 

    Online homeschooling not only allows the child to receive an education with no distractions, inappropriate or unsafe behavior, it also allows the family the freedom of wonderful day trips to museums, art galleries and other venues to further their child’s education. 

    The Morning Star Academy allows parents to give their children an education that they probably wished they had. An education that every child in an ideal world should have! 

    For more information on The Morning Star Academy and home schooling, please visit http://www.themorningstaracademy.org

     

     



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    A Quick Reference List Of Homeschooling Tips

    The Morningstar Academy
    Friday, 21 February 2014 18:18

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    Author: Alethia Holmes

    In recent years, there have been millions of parents who have turned to homeschooling. The reasons vary, but homeschooling is a legitimate option that can actually offer a better education than a public school in some cases. If you have considered homeschooling, there are things you need to know. Check out these tips to help you make the most of homeschooling.

    You don’t have to homeschool for your child’s entire education. You can do it for one year to correct shortcomings and behavioral issues. You could do it until middle school or high school. If you wish, they can be homeschooled right until college. The best part is that it’s totally up to you!

    Sit down as a family each Sunday and discuss the upcoming week. This allows everyone to know what is expected of them during the week and how each person can help make the week more successful. Planning also gives everyone the opportunity to take part in field trips and projects.

    Keep a journal of your activities. You can track the techniques that you have used. You can then look back to find the techniques that had worked well for your children and what did not. It will help you come up with a homeschooling regimen that works well for your family without trying the same things over and over.

    Understanding your child’s learning style and educational needs is the key to creating a successful learning environment. For example, many children experience peak learning times in which they are more receptive to new information and more likely to remember it. Identifying this peak learning time allows you to develop an itinerary that is perfectly aligned with your student’s needs.

    It is crucial when homeschooling children not to underestimate the importance of socialization. Eventually, your children will need to go out and function in and with the general public. Enrolling them in local clubs, youth programs or summer sports is an easy way to ensure that they have an opportunity to build important social skills like sharing, teamwork and leadership.

    Learn how to recognize an impasse with your child. If you’re using one teaching method and it’s not successful, don’t keep doing it. Look for another method to teach them on that subject. Whether it is a game, movie, or even bringing in a tutor or another parent to help, you have options! If you push too hard on them learning a certain way, it will only frustrate you both.

    Think of yourself as a guide rather than a lecturer in the homeschooling environment. The truth is, you are probably going to come across topics that you don’t understand very well. Have fun learning with your little one and don’t be afraid to say, “I don’t know; let’s research it!” when a difficult question arises.

    Make no mistake, homeschooling is a serious decision that needs to be thought about carefully. It takes a lot of time and a real commitment from both the student and the teacher. Homeschooling has its rewards, though, and if you have what it takes, consider taking the plunge. You child’s education is vital to their success.



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    Vision for Your Child’s Childhood

    The Morningstar Academy
    Wednesday, 12 February 2014 15:09

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    Author:Robin Chisholm 


    God’s Vision for your Child’s Life

    Proverbs 22:6 “Train up a child in the way he should go [and in keeping with his individual gift or bent], and when he is old he will not depart from it.” (NIV)

    I sat down one day, prayed feverishly to God, and asked for wisdom. My children and I were going through the healing process from being victims to domestic violence. They were silent witnesses to domestic violence that I had tolerated too long. I wanted their childhood to be a complete reversal from the past so I visualized and set goals for what I wanted my children’s childhood to be.

    God spoke to me to envision what they would tell their kids about when their parents about their childhood. What stories would they have to share? Would they be good stories, traumatic stories, and sadness/fear stricken stories? Would they be grown adults that were emotionally healthy? On the other hand, would they carry deep scars from my parental choices and emotional roller coasters?

    I created a vision-to encourage and mentor-to allows them to make mistakes. God showed me to be their support to help back them up when they fell in life. God had blessed me with parents that provided that unconditional love and support. I have been able to flourish with their Godly support providing confidence in my adulthood. God instructed me to follow through with the vision by communicating to them via text and/or in person these words-I am proud of you, I am so proud to be your mom, and I love you.

    I want their childhood foundations built strong as the winds of change in adulthood come. Therefore, they would have emotional security inside to be able to endure and make healthy life choices. Without the negative inner self-talk dialect be hopeless, worthless, and your nothing or will not be anything. I want their inner dialect to be God driven; you are strong, you can figure out how to get through this obstacle with God’s direction, their loved, and help is only a phone call away.

    I encourage you to seek God’s wisdom to create your mental vision for your children. Envision them as adults telling the stories of their childhood. Think about your everyday life, what is the atmosphere is that surrounds them in the privacy of your home. Is it an environment that when they are grown they felt safe, protected, loved, and happy in or is it an unstable, walking on eggshells, fearful experience? My goal is that my children will not spend their adulthood erasing and reprogramming themselves from damage during their childhood that God has entrusted me trains them in.

     



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    10 Quick Tips for Teaching Your Child to Read

    The Morningstar Academy
    Monday, 10 February 2014 17:39

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    Author: Michael Levy

    A great deal of a child’s reading success depends on the level of support that she or he receives at home. Children who are given the tools and the opportunities to learn to read both at school and at home have a better chance of success. The following are ten tips that can help parents know when they are on track helping their children prepare for reading success.

    Tip #1: Read with and to Children Regularly

    Reading at home with children is one of the best ways to ensure that they are ready for reading. It also sends the message that reading is enjoyable and fun. Parents should read with their children at least five times a week.

    Tip #2: Let Children Explore Books Alone

    Many parents often make the mistake of strictly controlling the reading opportunities that their children have. They may let their child select the book, but then completely take over from there. All children should be given the time to explore a book before and/or after they read it with a parent or other adult. When the child reaches the point where he or she can read alone, it’s still a good idea to not rush into reading, but to encourage exploration first.

    Tip #3: Show Confidence in the Child’s Abilities

    Children need to believe that they can do something. And, when a child becomes discouraged, it is often a parent’s belief in his or her abilities that helps the child over a rough patch. Displaying a lack of confidence can make the child question his or her abilities.

    Tip #4: Avoid Expressing Worry About the Child’s Progress

    Parents who are worried about a child’s reading progress should avoid discussing this with the child. Discussing concerns with the child’s teacher or other homeschooling educator is a far better option than risking compounding any reading problems the child is having by bringing them to his or her attention.

    Tip #5: Encourage Children to Read to Others

    Parents are built-in audiences for young readers. Parents should encourage their children to read to them often. Grandparents, aunts, uncles, older siblings and cousins, and neighbors are also great audiences.

    Tip #6: Have Realistic Expectations

    Parents have been reading for so long that they have understandably forgotten how long it took them to learn to read. Children learn to read at different paces and they begin to learn to read at different ages. Parents need to be sure to accommodate different learning styles to avoid rushing a child into reading or expecting too much from a struggling reader.

    Tip #7: Avoid Rushing a Reading Session

    Children should not feel rushed during a reading session. And, parents should avoid feeling conflicted between spending time reading with children and getting something else done. Schedule time for reading when nothing else will interfere.

    Tip #8: Provide Reading and Writing Opportunities

    Encourage children to read and write by putting them in charge of the shopping list and sharing letters from friends and relatives. Parents can also help teach children to learn to write by helping them write their own name on letters to friends and relatives. Opportunities for reading and writing development can be found in simple, everyday activities.

    Tip #9: Provide Appropriate Reading Materials

    Parents should make sure that their young readers have a wealth of age-appropriate reading material. Be sure to stock the home with books that interest the child. Take the child to the library as well. Encourage children to select their own library books and participate in the library’s story time.

    Tip #10: Nip Problems in the Bud

    A child who is having trouble reading might have issues that need attention. A child that has trouble might have a learning disorder, hearing problems, or poor vision. Parents should be aware enough to attend to problems as early as possible but not so concerned that they create problems where none exist.

     


    Michael Levy, PhD, is professor emeritus at the University of Florida, where his teaching and research focused on human cognitive functioning, particularly information processing, learning, memory, and writing. Dr. Levy was an innovator in the development of interactive tutorials for teaching complex concepts (such as those embodied in Reading Buddy 2.0) and has published 12 books and nearly 200 articles and book chapters.

     



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    10 Tips for Fun and Successful Play Dates

    The Morningstar Academy
    Thursday, 6 February 2014 16:22

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    Author:  Symmetry

    The idea of play dates used to make me nervous. I worried about who I should invite and how to invite them. I stressed about planning activities and how involved I should be.  I especially stressed about what to do if it all went wrong. Would my daughter forgive me if I just avoided them altogether?!

    Most likely she wouldn’t.

    My daughter is 3-year-old social butterfly. She makes a new friend just about every time we go out to the playground, the museum, the swimming pool or even the supermarket. While casually playing with others outside is great, time spent one-on-one is best for close friendships. In this way, she learns to share, cooperate, listen and hopefully make lasting friends. Play dates are where she can learn those skills in a safe home environment.

    Here are some of the best tips I’ve found to help you with your child’s next play date:

    Before the Play Date

    • Invite one of your child’s friends. Decide who to invite with your child. One-on-one play dates are best for developing close friendships. With three or more, there is more of a chance of a child feeling left out.
    • Keep the get-together short.  Between one and two hours is more than enough time for younger children.
    • Be specific about a time and date when organizing a play date. Many moms make the mistake of saying, “We should set up a play date.” People get busy and if you offer a specific date and time, it’s more likely to happen.
    • Avoid mealtimes at first. The best times to schedule a new play date is mid-morning or afternoons.
    • Set up play date rules. Discuss with your child how to be gracious.
    • Discuss discipline with the other parent. If mom stays for the visit, and it’s a good idea at first, it may be more effective for each parent to discipline her own child.
    • Set up “activity stations”. Put them in different areas or rooms of your home. Some fun ideas may include art, sand play, dress up, sports, play dough or building toys.

    During the Play Date

    • Be involved. While you don’t want to be hands-on for the entire play date, it is important for parents to have a role in the play date.
    • Keep the activities rolling. Suggest changes in activities when you sense restlessness or misbehavior.
    • Always have snacks. Food is a great diversion for a play date that’s getting out of control. Make sure you ask about any food allergies her child may have, and always choose a healthier option.

    After the play date

    If your child feels good about the play date, let the other mom know and plan another play date!

    What are your best play date tips?


    Symmetry is a trained teacher, homeschooling mom and currently living overseas in China. Visit her website at Step By Step Homeschooling.



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    Sleep Deprivation Related to Weight Gain

    The Morningstar Academy
    Tuesday, 4 February 2014 17:27

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    Author: Joanna Dolgoff  MD

    There seems to be a number of contributing factors to the obesity epidemic our nation is facing.  Some of these include excessive caloric intake, decreased physical activity and cultural influences.  Now some researchers are investigating whether sleep deprivation may contribute to obesity.

    Research presented at the International AC21 Research Festival points out that short sleep duration may lead to obesity through an increase of appetite via hormonal changes caused by the sleep deprivation.  Lack of sleep can produce the hormone Ghrelin which can stimulate appetite and creates less Leptin which suppresses appetite.

    Babies and children under the age of 5 getting less than 10 hours of sleep at night are more likely to be overweight or obese 5 years later.  Insufficient sleep at night may be a lasting risk factor for obesity later in life (napping cannot replace the benefits of nighttime sleep).  Babies and children up to age 4 who didn’t sleep enough at night were 80% more likely to be obese 5 years later. In older children (5-13) this same link to obesity was not seen.

    As for kids, studies show that most are not getting enough sleep.  There is an epidemic of childhood and adolescent obesity and video games and fast food are not solely to blame.  Researchers uncovered that shortened sleep in children under 5 years old predicts weight problems later on.   Also, short nighttime sleep duration increases the risk of early teens to shift from normal weight to overweight.  In other words, adolescents who sleep less are more likely to pile on the pounds.

    Sleep disorders in young children may be avoided by following established bedtime routines.  Begin the calming down process at dinnertime. Dinner should not be served watching T.V. every night.  After dinner, allow the child to have some quiet playtime.  Offer puzzles, blocks or books ( as long as the activity is relatively quiet ).  Run a warm bath and allow for some playtime in the bath.  After the bath, get your child in a routine of getting their pajamas on, brushing their teeth and cleaning up.  Put your child into bed with a few books ( or feel free to join in this time ).  Set a limit and have some relaxing reading time before bed.  Have the books seem like a special treat every night which will also help develop a love of reading.  Most importantly, be firm with the bedtime routine.  The less you deviate from it the easier it will become.  This lets your child know what to expect each night.  Repetition for young children especially, can be extremely comforting.

    Many teen’s hectic schedules keep them up late many nights.  Most teens need at least 8.5 hours of sleep.  However, studies show 85% of teens are getting less than 8 hours every night.  This sleep deficit causes many problems including adverse effects on their health causing weight gain. Some ways to prevent sleep disorders may be to avoid caffienated beverages after lunchtime and limit stimulating activities before bedtime. Also, limiting extracurricular activities and practicing relaxation techniques before bedtime such as gentle stretches help prevent symptoms of insomnia ( Resource-Mayo Clinic 2007).

    So, are we overweight because we sleep less, or do we sleep less because we are overweight?  Until we know these answers, it makes sense to include a good night’s sleep in any child’s routine.  It turns out getting good, regular sleep may help to eat more regular meals which can be associated with better weight control.  We should avoid using food as a “pick-me-up” when it turns out, it’s really just sleep we need!


    Joanna Dolgoff MD is a pediatrician who specializes in child and adolescent weight management. She is the creator of Dr. Dolgoff’s Weigh



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    Homeschooling Your Child with A Learning Disability

    The Morningstar Academy
    Friday, 31 January 2014 15:47

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    Author: Melissa Murdoch

    Making the decision to home school your child is not the easiest decision at the best of times, but what about when the weight of your decision is compounded by the fact that your child has been diagnosed with a learning disability?  Firstly, do not despair that your child has been ‘categorized’ as having a learning disability.  This may or may not be correct.  It may simply be that the classroom that the child is in follows a teaching style not optimal for your child’s learning style.  If this is the case, then more personalized and focused attention may yield very different results.

    Even if your child has been diagnosed with a learning disability by more than one professional, you must remind yourself that this label should only be used as a tool, rather than an excuse.  If categorizing or labeling of your child does not produce improved results, or worse, your child’s ability seems to deteriorate even further, then what use is this label?

    Homeschooling is an ideal environment to provide the sort of one-on-one attention that may be required for your child to thrive academically, whether learning new things is a challenge for them or not.  The important thing is to focus on what they can do, rather than what they can’t do.  And, if your child has some acute difficulties, educating your child at home does not necessarily limit your resources.  Acute learning difficulties may need particular strategies to overcome hurdles, so your child’s facilitation may require that you learn some of these strategies from a professional, and continue to employ them from home.  Remember, even at a school specially catering for ‘special needs’ children, will not have the time and resources to give your child the attention that you can.

    If your child has an acute learning disability, you may need to contact your local General Medical Practitioner for details on what resources are available locally.  It is best to at least be aware of what’s available, even before you need them!

    It is important to focus on your child throughout his/her education – never the disability or perceived disability itself.  While your child may have some more challenges on the educational pathway, it is important that the focus stays where it belongs.  The focus is the outcome to be achieved, or the concept to be mastered, rather than the difficulties met along the way.  Whatever it is you focus on becomes bigger, so ensure that it is the destination rather than the bumps along the road.

    Focusing on the disability itself also practically ensures that the child will not achieve as highly as they are capable.  A learning disability is a challenge to be managed rather than an excuse for not achieving.  If your child give their disability too much consideration, it will become a anchor that drags them, and may become an excuse to not even try.

    Remember, even though as a homeschool parent you are responsible for your child’s education, kids are kids.  Sometimes, their attention and behavior will fluctuate.  This is normal and, what’s more, I suggest that sometimes you just go with it rather than trying to fight it.  When your child is being extremely uncooperative, this may be your sign to take a break, step back, change gears and focus on something else.  Sometimes a change of subject will suffice.  At other times you may need to take a break, have a snack or better yet, go out and do something fun.

    Keep in mind, too, that if you are frustrated, your child will pick up on that frustration.  Relax, keep things light, and calm.  Stress inhibits the learning of new concepts.

    Learning is fun, even with a child with learning challenges.  By taking responsibility for their education, you are doing the best you can for your child.




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