Oct 28, 2008
Oct 26, 2008
Oct 25, 2008
Socialization Strengths of Only Children
Do you have an only child? While most "onlies" would love to have siblings -- and many still will -- there are positive social strengths to be gained by being a homeschooled only child.
A week ago, we did a Quick Tip on the built-in social training-ground for children with siblings. Only children who are homeschooled also have a built-in social training-ground. It may be less obvious to your only child, but it's there.
The first reason for their positive social skill development is because they learn very early that others jump to the conclusion, even before they've met them, that only children must be spoiled! So onlies start out having something positive to prove about not being spoiled and being able to share. Only children in homeschool families also learn very quickly that there's no free lunch when it comes to other children wanting to play with them and be with them. If they want other children to come over to their house, and if they want to be invited back somewhere, they need to be the kind of friend that other children want to have. They also need to be the kind of guest whom other parents want to have in their home.
Onlies learn that complaining is a pain. They learn that sharing is a must. They learn that they need to be a friend worth having if they want to have friends. Even though at their own home they don't have siblings, only children also learn how to wait...they wait for friends.
Families who homeschool only children tend to seek out support group classes and field trips possibly more often than other families. Families who homeschool only children also seek out playmates and sponsor projects at their homes. They tend to invite others over quite a bit. But those activities alone do not build social skills. They are opportunities. Onlies learn how to share, help others, and work things out constructively with other children, or they don't get a second chance with that child who just came over to play, or with that family. They learn how to be considerate, interesting, and not selfish, because when they don't do those things, they are not invited back. It's tough! For onlies, the real world starts right away.
There's a second way that onlies build social skills. While only children may have many things and resources that some children in larger families don't have, there are also very high expectations on them. When grandparents and other relatives come to visit -- there's no question about who will stop playing and come (right away!) to be polite and talk and listen to the relatives. It's not someone else's turn -- it's the only child's turn -- every time.
Onlies do have the benefits that we all see. They tend to be showered with love and attention and lots of resources. But in that shower of attention, they learn how to negotiate with parents for a little less attention, rather than more. If you have an only, help them see the positives. Help them with these opportunities to build their social skills. Give them some space and cut back on constantly bragging about them to others. Relax and see, and help your only to see the value of what they're gaining as an only-child homeschooler!
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My only does a great job in most situations, but she does have issues when in large groups as well as dealing with younger (3-5 years) siblings. We often have her friends here so that they can play without being bothered by little brothers (which most of her friends have) and her friends often like the break from their siblings. KM's friends that are onlies also have most of the traits mentioned. I think that this article really hits all it's points right on the mark!
The only thing I think it left out is the strain that is put on parents who homeschool onlies to be the playmate, teacher, and parent. It can be a struggle, especially on those days when you just can't manage to get a playdate, there are no classes or events scheduled, you are sooooo tired and your only has decided that they NEED your help because they HAVE to build a fort with the couch or that their Barbie needs to buy new shoes but their is no cashier in the store!
I would not trade my only for anything, but I am ever so glad that KM is close with my younger siblings and her relationship with SC is priceless!
Do you have an only? Can you think of any unique challenges that haven't been mentioned?
Oct 24, 2008
Oct 22, 2008
Oct 21, 2008
Oct 20, 2008
Oct 19, 2008
On top of all the medical things going on, we still only have one car! Hopefully by Tuesday CJ's truck will be out of the body shop and I will be able to drive his little "BIC" car ~ we call it the disposable car, because he bought it last spring when the gas prices hit their peak for $600 and it paid for itself in gas savings over the truck in about 3 weeks time ~ which will make life a bit easier so that I won't have to keep juggling to borrow MC's car.
Speaking of MC, she is newly pregnant and moving on Halloween! So I am sure that you can only imagine what a stressed out ball of who knows what she has been as of late!
Okay - Enough with my ramblings!
We always do!
We will breathe through it...
and we will make it!
Oct 17, 2008
I am sooo excited about this program - I came across it on one of the secular yahoo lists that I belong to, and after looking at it for a few days decided that for the affordable price I really couldn't go wrong!
Here is the summary of the program:
Writing Tales is a comprehensive writing curriculum that teaches from a classical approach. Lessons and practice in grammar, spelling, vocabulary and handwriting are also included. Level One is written for 3rd-4th grade ages, or middle grammar level students. This consumable workbook is meant to be used in tandem with the Writing Tales Teacher's Guide.
So I ordered it and arrived today! I haven't been able to put it down! It looks like it is going to be the perfect direction for her! I like the aspect of the them re-telling classic stories with the room for creativity, instead of the strict retelling that can be rather boring. I also really like the fact that it has co-op lesson plans included. I think we will have to tweak some of it a bit, like leaving out the copy-work, but for the most part I think it is going to work out! I will be sure to let you know how things are rolling as when we start using it!
Oct 15, 2008
So I get to spend $50 at Discovery Toys!
I can't wait to get some new things for SC!
I will let you and Choosy Homeschooler know what I think of the products we get!
In the meantime, you could be a winner too!
It is so simple to enter just sign up for their email newsletter!
Oct 14, 2008
When she got bored, her house kept her entertained!
Oct 13, 2008
Kiddie Records Weekly began in 2005 as a one year project devoted to the golden age of children's records. This period spanned from the mid forties through the early fifties and produced a wealth of all-time classics. Many of these recordings were extravagant Hollywood productions on major record labels and featured big time celebrities and composers.
Over the years, these forgotten treasures slipped off the radar and it became our mission to give them a new lease on life by sharing them with today's generation of online listeners. Each week throughout the year we added a new recording and before we knew it, our one year project turned into three! Although we will not be continuing beyond 2007, Kiddie Records Weekly will remain online and we will update the Bonus Records section every now and then.
So whether you are hearing these records for the first time or reuniting with a childhood favorite from long ago, we hope you take great pleasure in your trip down memory lane!
We were checking the site out a bit this evening and KM asked if we could listen to them in the mornings during breakfast, I thought that was a lovely idea! I feel it is very important to have at least some grasp of classic stories as they are constantly referred to in everyday life.
Oct 11, 2008
- Readily distinguishable from all others; discrete: on two distinct occasions.
- Easily perceived by the senses or intellect; clear: a distinct flavor.
- Clearly defined; unquestionable: at a distinct disadvantage.
- Very likely; probable: There is a distinct possibility that she won't come.
- Notable: a distinct honor and high privilege.
Don't know where she could possibly get that from!
Oct 10, 2008
They had a great afternoon playing together
she has been fascinated by it since she could crawl -
don't know why, but I am not going to complain!
to keep the dogs off and SC on the back porch!
This will help with my sis's fears a bit!
(not of the dogs, but of SC running around the house and out into the street!)
Although our trip to the zoo started off with a bang...
or it was more of a crash really...
none of us were hurt and KM and I got some great shots of the animals.
The gorillas come right up to the windows and start posing as soon as they see flashes going off!
KM took this one of the wildebeest.
I absolutely love the lighting through the trees!
When we came out of the gift shop this peacock was just strolling around.
The leopards were a bit tricky to get and I am surprised, due to the lighting that these came out at all.
I had to share this one because we never knew that the giraffe's had to spread their legs like this in order to eat from the ground.
Oct 8, 2008
I have converted about half and then I will start to edit, compile, add and take out sound and hopefully get it all onto one or two DVDs with different chapters and such.
I have done this before with pictures but never with video so it will be interesting to try it out.
Whom ever thinks that homeschooled children are not socialized should come and visit us this week!
We haven't stopped, it is only Wed and tomorrow is the only day this week that we don't "have" to be somewhere! I am sooo tired!
I have many "guru" types in my life, for various aspects and my very favorite ~all knowing~ homeschool guru mentioned one time having "Go Days" and "Stay Days" and sticking to them. On Go Days you have classes, do errands, have appointments, etc. On Stay days you stay at home all day - for the most part, a quick trip to the store for milk is permissible, but not much else - there really isn't anywhere that you "HAVE" to be. She tries to plan and schedule things around those days so that the kids know what to expect, she can get things done around the house and no one gets burnt out!
My new strategy ~ once I get through the rest of this jam packed week ~ I am going to try to have three out of seven days be stay days each week. Not that we will have full GO days four days, but we need to have three days that we are home. One day for laundry and cleaning, one day for baking and pre-cooking, and one day for mom to not loose that wonderful sanity I have been gaining.
I will say that KM has been incredibly receptive and cooperative this week on the go schedule - far better than she ever has been before! I however feel like I could keel over at any second and sleep for a month.
How does your family juggle the hustle and bustle that homeschooling and life can bring!
I will let you know how this system works out for us after we have tried it out a bit! Please share any tips, strategies or rules that your family lives and learns by!
Oct 6, 2008
We are so fortunate to have this wonderful supportive group of families around us! It is such a diverse group, but everyone is so warm, welcoming and open!
We are very excited about our upcoming sessions!
Oct 4, 2008
With oil prices still pretty high and the forecast of a VERY chilly winter on the way, CJ and our neighbor spent the day gathering and splitting dead wood from our yards. We had a wonderful fire going this evening to eat our indoor s'mores by!
Although we have had a wonderful summer, I am ever so glad that things have slowed down, CJ will be home a bit more, I get to be cozy in my sweats and fall is truly here!
Oct 1, 2008
Then today at lunch we had one rather scary moment, here in our own house. KM, SC, CJ, and I were all having lunch together when suddenly KM said, "What does it mean if I can't see right here?" and she pointed to her left side. Upon further questioning it seemed that she was having throbbing pain over her right eye, as well as loss of left peripheral vision. To avert the panic that was rising in my stomach, I immediately called her doctor's office, spoke with a nurse, made an appointment and had her go lay down until it was time to go. She was asleep within minutes -while I sat trying to not panic - and when I woke her up an hour later to go to the doctor, her vision had cleared. When we got to the doctor's, KM was very thorough in answering all the questions herself - she can be so mature when she needs to be - and the doctor felt incredibly certain that it was a textbook migraine attack. She suggested lots of rest, documenting all attacks, and ibuprofen to help when one hits. Since KM will be seeing her primary care at the end of the month for her yearly physical, we did not need to schedule another appointment before then.
So now we sit and wait to see if another one hits her...I am soooo not good at waiting.
I feel like this is all I have been doing lately. Waiting to hear back about someone's something!