All posts tagged: early learning

simple lessons of the gospel children learn before salvation, via lagarfias.com

Bringing Our Children to Jesus

How to Teach God’s Greatest Truths I held his heaving body close to my own, willing his sobs to subside. “Sh-sh-sh,” I murmured. “It’s over. It’s okay. Mommy forgives you. God forgives you.” But this time, he would not be comforted. The heart-wrenching tears flowed painfully down his 3-year-old cheeks, wetting his hands, his footie jammies, his concerned mother. It wasn’t the slammed door that had necessitated this discipline session; it was the lie. “It was my sister’s fault!” he had yelled defiantly when I corrected him. Insistently, he stuck to his story until I reminded him that lying was much worse than disobedience in our home. He crumpled then, covering his face in his chubby hands, repeating, “I’m sorry, Mommy! Sorry, Mommy!” in anticipation of the consequences. The consequences had been swift and sure. Now it was time to hug and forgive. I had asked if he wanted to tell God he was sorry, and he seemed eager to pray. The room was silent for a full minute as he clasped his hands, closed …

what curriculum is best for preschool? via lagarfias.com

Curriculum for the Little Ones?

Why preschoolers learn best with their siblings My three “school-aged” children have been studying the Middle Ages for the past several weeks. They have enjoyed tales of plundering barbarians who never take baths, conquering kings who unite peoples, and the development of their own English (or should we say “Anglish”?) language. We devoured Beowulf with a relish I never experienced in my own drab English Literature college course; the tale of a heroic young man who defends the honor of his father’s friend by slaying a dinosaur-like creature fired the imagination of us all. My 3-year-old has been the most fascinated by our studies. Indeed, he has been known to insult his sister with the epithet, “You look like Grendel’s mother this morning!” As I write this, he is barefoot in the backyard, waving a stick into the air, screaming to an imaginary king that he will, indeed, kill the “hideous monster Grendel, or die trying.” He must, for his father’s sake. Preschool-aged children benefit most educationally from exposure to their older siblings’ elementary and …

How do you begin teaching children to write? via lagarfias.com

Simple Cursive Instruction for Young Children

I was recently asked to explain how I teach my children to write. And when I thought back … way back … I realized you can’t teach a child to write until you have begun handwriting class. Handwriting, the bane of humanity. Really, we don’t need to dread teaching or practicing handwriting so much. Like so many other subjects, we simply need to keep it simple and remain patient. Start with cursive. I thought you said keep it simple? But cursive really is the simple way to learn. Children have learned “proper handwriting” for centuries … until the rise of “look-see” reading programs in the 20th century and then the proliferation of technology. Then not only across this country, but around the world, adults quit teaching their children how to write beautifully, fluidly, and legibly. This integral part of our culture need not be lost. Cursive is easier for young children’s small motor skills. Rather than picking up the pencil numerous times and making harsh corners and points, the young hand is allowed to remain …

Have you ever blown it, #homeschool mom? via lagarfias.com

I Blew It

I did it again. This happens once in a blue moon around here, so I should have learned my lesson by now. But I still manage to blow it every time it happens. Studies get going at such a steady clip; the children and I get into the groove. Do a math lesson. Tear out a grammar sheet. Correct your mistakes. Keep going forward. Before you know it, the students are hurtling toward their goals of finishing the book before birthdates. Another day, another worksheet. Such a simple plan. Until one day, we hit a brick wall. This morning, I corrected Sweetie Pooh’s grammar, and the page was quickly covered in red. My pen bled all over his worksheet as I moaned exasperation. “Hey! What do you do if someone is speaking?” He looked up from his cyphering with a glazed expression in his eyes. I motioned him to come over, and he stumbled toward me, shaking his head clear of numbers and desperately trying to change gears. “Um, capitalize the first word?” “Quotation marks!” …