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News & Announcements
Overcoming Learning Obstacles
     Your Response to Obstacles
Identifying and Overcoming Obstacles
     1.  Readiness
     2.  Prerequisites
     3.  Understanding
     4.  Pace or Depth
     5.  Discipline
     6.  Motivation
     7.  Various Other Problems and Solutions
Recommended Resources
     Guitar Lessons from Jean Welles Worship Guitar Class
     Bright Beginnings: Complete Christian Preschool Curriculum
     Moody Science Classics 20-Volume Video Collection
     "Hidden Treasures" 90 Illustrated Proverbs
     Teaching Home Magazine Back Issues
Sunnyside Up: Humorous Anecdote


     Sooner or later every child runs into a roadblock on their
road of learning.  How will you and your child react?  How will
you know what the problem is?  What can you do to help your child?

       You will find many practical suggestions for overcoming learning
obstacles in this issue.  We hope that you will find them useful and
that the Lord will bless you and your family for His glory.

Cindy Short and Sue Welch, Sisters and Co-Editors
The Pat Welch Family, Publishers
Pat, Sue, Heather, Holly, and Brian


You can learn to play worship guitar like a pro in no time flat.

Guitar Lessons
from Jean Welles
Worship Guitar Class
     Video courses offer a quick
and easy way for you and your
children to play the guitar.

 *  "Play-as-you-watch process" is vivid, yet simple.
 *  Step-by-step detail.
 *  No musical background, experience or training is needed.
Ages 5-9
Ages 9-Adult


News & Announcements

Deadline March 31
State-Fish Art Contest
and Free Lesson Plans
     Wildlife Forever invites home-school
students to enter their annual State-Fish Art Contest.
     A free 25-page "State-Fish Art Lesson Plan" for grades
4-12 is available online.
     The Lesson Plan is interdisciplinary and incorporates
writing, vocabulary, and math lessons in addition to science.
It also includes background information, activities, glossary,
and species identification section.  For complete information
and application form see

Mount St. Helens 25th Anniversary Conference
       The 7 Wonders Museum and the Institute for Creation
Research are organizing a creation conference May 20-21 in
Longview, Washington, during the 25th anniversary of the Mount
St. Helens eruption.  Dr. Steven Austin, Dr. Keith Swenson, and
Ed Osmond will speak.

NBC News to feature the Creation Museum, March 25
     The NBC Nightly News will showcase Answers in Genesis's
future Creation Museum on a nationwide news broadcast, March
25.  Check your local listings for the time in your area;
schedule is subject to change.
     The entire Creation Museum, located two exits west of the
Cincinnati Airport, will not open for at least two years,
although initial sections will open later this year.

Home-School Events
     The Teaching Home's website (below) lists state events,
dates, and links to complete information.
April.  CA, CO, DE, KS, LA, ME, MD, MA, MN, NE, NM,
     OK, SC, TN, TX, UT / AB, MB
May.  AR, FL, GA, IL, MI, MS, NH, NJ, NY, NC, OR, PA,
     TN, TX, WV, WI, WY / NB, QC
June.  CO, CT, ID, IL, IA, KS, MT, NY, OH, SC, SD, 2 TX, VA
July.  AL, AZ, CA, KY, TN / NZ  August. OR, 2 TX
     Read "Getting the Most Out of Home-School Events" at


Bright Beginnings:
Complete Christian
Preschool Curriculum.
User-friendly for a relaxed atmosphere;
2-book set, 36 weeks of lesson plans
requiring only a Bible, household
supplies, and optional library books.


Overcoming Learning Obstacles
by Cindy Short and Sue Welch, editors
with contributions from Joy Marie Dunlap and Chris Ellyson

     Sooner or later every child runs into a roadblock on their
road of learning.  How will you and your child react?  How will
you know what the problem is?  What can you do to help your child
over this obstacle?

Your Response to Obstacles
     When a problem arises, common, immediate reactions are
anxiety, frustration, or stress -- for both you and your child.
Instead, follow these three steps as your first response.

1.  Don't Panic.
     In most cases there is no need for much worry. It is normal
for any child to run across things he does not understand right
away. If you expect this to happen from time to time, and know
what to do when it does happen, your home school can be a much
less stressful experience for you and your child.
     If your child senses that you deem this a major crisis, he
may experience anxiety and a sense of failure which could
contribute to a mental block against the subject in which he is
having difficulty.

2.  Pray for Wisdom.
     God is there for us, waiting to show us the way to handle
our problems if we will only ask and wait patiently on Him.  He
promises to grant us wisdom if we ask it of Him.
     "But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God,
     who gives to all generously and without reproach,
     and it will be given to him." (James 1:5)

3.  Reassure Your Child.
     Pray with your child, asking the Lord to help you teach, and
to help him understand, the problem material.  Tell him that God
will certainly help you find a way to help him understand.
     Teaching your child that, when facing any problem, he should
first call upon our loving heavenly Father is an important
spiritual and life-skill lesson.  The opportunity to teach and
model this lesson is more important than the academic lesson.
     Trusting the Lord can help both you and your child to regain
calmness and confidence.
     Your prayer together will also let your child know that you
care about his problems.


Let "Moody Science
Classics" Show Your
Family the Connection
Between Science and Faith
     Marvel at the majesty of God,
as you watch, learn and enjoy
a glimpse of nature's mysteries captured on film.
     This 20-volume collection of economically priced videos
($9.95) or DVDs ($12.99) makes a valuable addition to your
home-school, support-group, or church library.  Spanish tracks
are included on 17 volumes.
     Order Your DVDs or Videos Online:
Or contact Customer Service at: 1-800-678-8812.
     For a listing of other products by Moody Publishers
see our online catalog at


Identifying and Overcoming Obstacles
     Be willing to take whatever time is necessary to help your
child over his learning hurdle:
 *  Especially if it is in an area of basic skills such as
     reading, writing, or math.
 *  Even if it takes weeks.
     You will be further ahead at the end of the year if you stop
to clear up an obstacle and then go on, than if you continued to
struggle the entire time.

1.  Readiness
     Readiness is more likely to be an issue with children under
the age of 9-12.

Identify the Problem
     Ask yourself if your child is emotionally, physically, and
neurologically ready to learn the material.
     As an observant parent, you will know that the answer is not
necessarily based on what other children are ready for at this
age or even what else this child is ready for.

Work on the Solution
 *  You might wait and try again a little later.
 *  Offer readiness activities to prepare your child for this new
     learning challenge.

2.   Prerequisites
     Some subjects, such as reading and math, are building-block
subjects.  If your child does not have a firm grasp of earlier
concepts, it can cause problems with all subsequent work.

Identify the Problem
     To find out exactly where your child is having trouble and
if it is a result of inadequate mastery of prerequisite knowledge
or skills:
 *  Break the problem or concept down into its smallest parts.
 *  Test your child separately on each area.
 *  Work from the simplest step up to the most difficult.
 *  Take time to observe your child's reasoning closely.

Work on the Solution

Pick Up a Missing Prerequisite
     When you find the gap in your child's knowledge, set aside
your scheduled curriculum and take time to master the missing
concept or skill.
     This will often include items such as:
 *  Basic math facts and processes of addition, subtraction,
     multiplication, and division.
 *  Rules of phonics sounds.
 *  Sentence structure and grammar.

     Going back over previously studied material can show you the
concepts your child did not understand thoroughly, and can
reinforce his skills as well.


Dig into the
Book of Proverbs
with Your Family
     "Hidden Treasures" contains 90
illustrated proverbs for you to identify
as your family reads through the
book of Proverbs.  This new resource is from Doorposts, who
offer Bible based, parent-designed, family tested products to
help you apply Scripture in your home.


3.  Understanding
     Sometimes the obstacle may be a surprise to us; something
that our child has misunderstood or failed to understand.

Identify the Problem
     Talk to your child and ask him to explain to you, the best
he can, what problem he is having and if there is anything that
doesn't make sense to him.

Work on the Solution
     When you know what is bothering your child, explain the
concept(s) in new ways until he really gets it.

     "Recently our daughter could not understand the concept of
rounding money values to the nearest dollar.  I decided to take
time to elicit her perspective.  She told me that it didn't seem
honest to her to call $2.55 "three dollars."
     "Realizing that she could not understand why we would round
a dollar amount, I showed her how estimating the amount I spent
while shopping allowed me to stay within our budget.
     "She tackled rounding and estimation enthusiastically after that.
It was as if the explanation had moved a gigantic boulder out of
her path." - Joy Marie Dunlap

4.  Pace or Depth
     Sometimes your curriculum or schedule goes too quickly
without enough practice or review for your child to thoroughly
understand and master the material or concepts.
     Other times, your curriculum might not include enough
depth.  Your child might need more information in order to truly
understand the subject.

Provide More Time.
 *  Slow down and take more time for each lesson.
 *  Try cutting your lessons in half and mastering smaller chunks
     of material each day.
 *  Schedule a series of separate lessons to supplement the
     problem area.
 *  Take one concept at a time until your child is clear in his

Provide More Material.
 *  Use visuals such as globes, maps, timelines, books, and
 *  Incorporate experiments, demonstrations, and hands-on
 *  Check out library books that simplify and illustrate
 *  Use a different curriculum that teaches the concepts more
     slowly and thoroughly.
 *  Discuss concepts with your child.

Provide More Practice.
 *  Use flash cards and math manipulatives.
 *  Use learning games of all kinds.
 *  Buy a reproducible worksheet course and make multiple copies
     of worksheets for extra practice.
 *  Design your own activities or worksheets which reinforce


Never Out of Date:
Teaching Home Magazine
Back Issues

     Many home schoolers have
found information, inspiration, and
support from the writers who have
contributed to The Teaching Home
magazine for more than 20 years.

51 Back Issues Are Offered for Sale Online.
     These back issues never go out of date.  They are relevant
and applicable to your needs today.


5.  Discipline
     There are two mistakes that can be made when you consider
discipline as a factor in your child's learning problem.
 *  Assuming that discipline is an issue when it isn't.
 *  Assuming that discipline is not an issue when it is.

Identifying the Problem
 *  If your child outright refuses to try to work through his
     problem, then overt rebellion is being manifested.
 *  If your child finds all kinds of excuses why he cannot work
     on his problem, then passive rebellion may be at work.
 *  If your child is genuinely trying to work on his problem
     with a good attitude toward you, then discipline is probably
     not a part of the obstacle.

Work on the Solution
     If your child's problem is unwillingness to submit to your
instruction and obey you, it is very important for you to work on
and resolve this issue.
     Basic child discipline can be quite straightforward.
 *  Read together what God says about the parent/child
     relationship so that your child knows that he needs to obey
     the Lord by honoring and obeying you.
 *  Give clear instructions for your child to obey along with
     your Scriptural, moral, or practical reasons when appropriate.
 *  Be lovingly consistent.  Don't let your child's temporary
     discomfort from negative consequences prevent you from correcting
     him.  You are doing him a great favor by helping him to obey the
     Lord.  He will also gain the good and long life promised to
     children who honor and obey their parents (Ephesians 6:1-3).

6.  Motivation
     You might be able to help your child over a learning
obstacle with the right kind of motivation.
     Our newsletters #93 and #94 listed and expounded on the
following "15 Ways To Motivate Your Child To Learn":
       1.  Appeal to Spiritual Motives
       2.  Clearly Define Goals
       3.  Reveal the Purpose of the Study
       4.  Set the Stage
       5.  Enable and Recognize Success
       6.  Capitalize on Learning Styles
       7.  Give Incentives
       8.  Get Your Child Involved
       9.  Know and Use Your Child's Interests
     10.  Provide Variety
     11.  Be a Good Example
     12.  Maintain a Positive Relationship
     13.  Employ Accountability
     14.  Utilize Teamwork
     15.  Make Careful Use of Competition

     See complete articles in our newsletter archives at:


Please Thank and Support
Our Sponsoring Advertisers!
     These free newsletters are made possible financially by the
fine suppliers who advertise in them and in the accompanying
e-mail.  Please consider those that advertised in our last issue
(below) as well as the ones in this issue.

The Bible in Living Sound: Passion of Jesus Christ. 1-800-634-0234
Hadassah: The Girl Who Became Queen Esther
Keystone National High School.  1-800-255-4937


7.  Various Other Problems and Solutions
     If your child is having unexplained problems, you might consider
the following possible solutions:

 *  Have his eyes checked to see if he needs glasses or vision
 *  Have a general health check-up.
 *  Follow good habits such as:
     Regular and healthy meals and snacks.
     Daily outdoor exercise, such as walking.
     Adequate sleep and rest.
     Enough water to keep hydrated.

Study Area
     Your child might do better if he is able to concentrate with
less distractions such as noise, clutter, movements of other
people, or visual distractions.
 *  Also make sure your child has adequate light and a
     comfortable place to sit and write.
 *  Sometimes it helps if you sit with, or near, him in order to
     encourage him to keep working or answer questions as they
     come up.

     You might find that your child will do better overall if you
switch to a different curriculum for all his subjects or just
selected subjects with which he is having difficulty.  Consider a
program that uses another primary method of delivery such as:
 *  Textbooks (with or without workbook)
 *  Worktexts (text combined with workbook)
 *  Unit Studies
 *  Computer Programs
 *  Video Classes

Grade Level
     Your child might profit from going back a grade level in a
subject that is giving him constant problems.  It is always
better to get a good foundation than to keep pushing on with
incomplete understanding.

Learn How To Learn
     A short course in learning how to study and learn might
provide your child with the resources to tackle many learning
challenges throughout his life.

Learning Style
     Consider presenting a difficult concept in your child's
preferred learning style (auditory, visual, or kinesthetic) or
switch to a different one than has been used.

Different Teacher
     Perhaps Dad, an older sibling, or even an extended family
member could take a crack at teaching an occasional tough concept
or subject.

Take a Breather
     Sometimes a child may get so tied in knots over a problem that
your best solution is to simply leave it alone for awhile and come
back to it later for a fresh start.


Sunnyside Up:  Young Bachelor's Dilemma
     We live in a little town with just one other home-school
family, so our 6-year-old son Matthew plays with their daughter
Carah several times a week.
     One day Matthew informed his grandpa that he was going to
marry Carah. When his grandpa asked how he knew that, Matthew
said, "I have to marry Carah. She's my only hope. She's the only
girl I know!"
     Submitted by Kelly T., West Virginia

God Loves You.
     Because we have been separated from God by sin, Jesus Christ
died in our place, then rose to life again.  If we trust Jesus
Christ as our Savior and Lord, He will give us eternal life.
     "For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that
not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of
works, that no one should boast" (Ephesians 2:8, 9).

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