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Author Topic: Have you ever taken a break from EL?  (Read 8580 times)
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« on: December 27, 2013, 01:47:20 PM »

Hello. My son and I have taken a "long" break from early learning. We have not really done anything for about 5 months! We went overseas for couple months but when we returned home, we have not really touched any subjects of early learning.

Have anyone taken a break from early learning?
For how long?
How did you found your way back?

I would like to start our lessons again but my little boy is not interested. He goes to school full time and in Senior Kindergarten now. He loves school and always talks about what he learns from school. However, when Mommy wants to teach, he simply tells me that I am his Mom, not his teachers.  unsure


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« Reply #1 on: December 27, 2013, 05:12:52 PM »

I would just play with him in "his" games! To teach playing is more interesting than just teaching smile We had a break, too. We don't have EL "lessons" any more. We just play and it's enough..She learns much from our games.

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« Reply #2 on: December 27, 2013, 06:05:47 PM »

We've been on an EL break since October.  I've been sick, and EL (and keeping the house clean, and cooking anything not out of a box, and a lot of other important things) has gone right out the window.  I'm hoping to start back up after the holidays.

I don't have the same problem with "you're my mom, not my teacher," because my two aren't in school yet.  But I plan to just start with the things they love.  For my kids, that's Brillkids software; anything I let them see on the computer is a special treat.  Could you show some educational movies or YouTube clips?  Something that he really enjoys, even if it's not as great learning material as the activities you had planned?  That might help ease back into it.

My kids also love being read to, so we will restart our weekly library visits and I'll take the time to pick out some educational books every week.  For my kids, that's MathStart and Pebble science books; they'll let me read them over and over and talk about the concepts.  Again, they don't think of that as "learning," but I do.

Sometimes I'm OK with using food to get things going the right way.  (Potty training, for instance.)  When my 3 year old is particularly math-resistant, math becomes food-based.  How many raisins?  How many should each of us get to be fair?  If you can get two raisins every time you go to the jar, and I say you can go to the jar three times, how many raisins will you have?  Of course, this is all physically done, and then she eats the raisins.  That's very motivating!  I've even used food rewards for spelling word before and it's gotten her very excited about an activity that's not normally her favorite.

And, of course, keeping an EL mind ready in everyday activities.  Talking about precipitation when it snows, or evaporation when the snow melts, or math when cooking dinner.  Those are great ways to learn, although they're harder for me than pre-planned activities.


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« Reply #3 on: January 04, 2014, 02:08:24 AM »

Yes. A very long break....and I feel guilty, but I'm not sure how to fix it.

A few background details.

My First Daughter, I discovered Doman when she was 1 year. I followed Doman and a few other reading methods. I also worked on math, physical program, swimming, and a few bits in between. I only had 1 kid, and I did LOTS. She is now 6, can read about a grade 6 reading level, just passed her 3rd swim lesson (with 8-9 year olds), and has an impressive memory. Math didn't turn out so well, I would just label her average - but hey, we can't have it all. To sum it up, I feel this daughter could almost be a poster child for Doman or LR. I'm not bragging, I'm just really proud of her (and me and the whole process). But, I'm just not sure what/how to continue with her. I feel we have been at a stand still for about a year. She is reading of course, but other than that, I'm not doing anything for her. I'm not sure what I am suppose to be doing with her.

Second Child, a Son. I followed the program in Doman's How Smart is Your Child and I also followed the physical program. We did awesome for the first year, I provided lots of opportunity and did almost all the daily lessons and a few things in between.  At about 12 months, he stopped looking at the flashcards or dot cards or the computer screen, basically he wouldn't look at anything. This Son is now three, and for the last year we have done almost nothing. When he stopped looking at flashcards we took a small break and then I would try again. Between his 1st and 2nd birthday I would stop and start and try lots of new and different stuff....all to no basically no avail. He just wanted to jump or run or roll or be active, he was (still is) uninterested in sitting still. Physically, this boy, is pretty good. He has reasonable stamina, dexterity, flexibility, but he won't listen long enough to really teach him. He can ice skate, bat a baseball, catch a baseball, kick a soccer ball, but not swim, and he refuses to brachiate. He can't read, and I can only get him to sit for 1 book. He can do some math, but again, I would say average 3 year old stuff.

With my first child, I could confidently say I was a Doman Mom, a Professional Mom. I liked that, it felt good, and my daughter was happy. She is still happy. With my second child, I feel like I can no longer say I am Doman Mom. Now, I'm just a Mom trying to balance 2 kids and all the home/chore stuff. Before I felt that maybe my kids could make a difference in the world, and now, I just feel my kids are average. Not that average is a bad thing, or being above average is all there is to life, but I preferred raising kids that were going to be able to start life standing on my shoulders. I don't feel that anymore.

Ideas on how to fix it? Nope, sorry. I tried so many times in the past 2 years to interest my son in EL stuff, and he just runs away. No matter how fun or connected or bonded we are, he still isn't interested.

Just today I tried to get him to run from one room to the other carrying a ball and a cup and look at the word on the wall (above a basket) to throw one item in - nope. Refused to look at the word. I'm rather discourage, but I am following this thread to see what ideas other parents have.

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« Reply #4 on: January 04, 2014, 03:58:07 AM »

Wow..looks like I am not alone here. I feel a bit better but yeah, I feel guilty. When my son was little, I could teach him anything! Our learning lessons were so much fun! Doman is so darn right. The younger the easier to teach.

I don't know what stage my son is in right now. I tried to get him to do additions with toys and cars. He would just look at me and said " It's playtime not math time, Mom.". He is negotiating, bargaining, and nibbling!  He also gave me choices (like I normally gave him sometimes.) He was smart enough to only offer choices that would be good for him.   LOL


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« Reply #5 on: January 10, 2014, 10:40:41 PM »

lovely thread, I have just kind of taken a break for a month or so, although of course I still sneak in EL all the time ;-). I just feel I am very inconsistent and there are many resources I bought that I am not using. I am just trying to follow my kids' lead and they just don't seem to enjoy LR much nor do they want to watch Your Baby Can Read videos. If I really sat them down in front of these things they would follow it, but I've noticed there are certain things they love (music, dancing, socialising, playing with friends) and other things (mainly EL stuff) that they will tolerate but they are not enjoying, they're not laughing, they're not having fun, and even Doman says the kids should love learning and have fun. So I've tried to shift activities to what they love. My 1 year old loves climbing and walking and running (started walking at 8 months!) so I am encouraging her physical development a lot. She's to busy to follow LR program because she always runs away! My 3 year old loves dancing and music so we do a lot of Little Musician together and I always play classical music and she dances to it. I also let them socialise and play with friends a lot because they are really into imaginative play and I think it is great for creativity (and for me getting a break ;-) ).

I don't feel guilty about it. I feel like I am doing the right thing. Of course the pushy parent in me is a bit sad that they may not be as advanced as other EL kids, but somehow my gut tells me it's right to take a break when your children aren't having fun and don't want to do maths! But I still think being an EL parent in general that I probably still do a lot of EL even if I think we are taking a break, so they are always learning something!


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« Reply #6 on: January 13, 2014, 02:51:52 PM »

I had a very stubborn daughter and we would often take really long breaks.  We started EL when she was 23 months old (rather late).  She was reading books independently by age 3 1/2, so she advanced despite our breaks.  I tried not to compare but sometimes I would feel bad in comparison to the more consistent moms.  On breaks we still read a lot.  She likes books.  Since starting school she has been impossible and doesn't, accept me as a teacher.  She is now 6 yrs old and in first grade.  I have sneaky ways to encourage learning.  I buy apps and leave them on the iPad for her to discover by herself.  I keep lots of library books in the living room and read them myself.  My daughter doesn't want me to read them first so she will read more to finish quicker than me.  I buy puzzles and mention how hard they are so then she has an urge to prove they are too easy.  I help her turn her writing into books for her to share with the family - nothing fancy- I just add cardboard covers and staple her writing and drawings into the covers.  I videotape her playing piano and post it on youtube sometimes to encourage piano practice.  Anything that taps into her competitive spirit seems to work, but formal lessons are futile.  good luck, Lori

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« Reply #7 on: January 13, 2014, 08:58:21 PM »

akalori, I love your tricks! They are smart but we parents always try to outsmart them :-). Your daughter sounds like my eldest, very proud and very stubborn. Has anyone here read "Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mom"? I always think of my daughter when I read about her second daughter Lulu. My daughter has actually learnt a lot from EL but often pretends she doesn't know. I thought I had taught her letters and phonics in vain but recently discovered she actually knows them all, she was just pretending she doesn't to freak me out.


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