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1994-2005 by Ed Dickerson, all rights reserved.
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Books and Stuff

Books for Parents and stuff for the homeschool

Fortunately, in homeschooling, you don't need to know more than your children in every subject area. You DO need to know about child development, about character development, and about how we learn. If I label something a "must have," it's because it helps parents understand children better, or helps all children learn. If you purchase items through the links provided here, you'll get a good price, and it will help me out just a little. Thanks.

Books for Parents

Sorry, still under construction 6/30/2005

Come back soon!

Videos for Parents and Children

I just have to share with you the best homeschool DVD I've seen in a long time. Last night my wife and I watched Fred Rogers, America's favorite neighbor This is three hours of wonderful material about his life, greate moments from his 900+ episodes of children's TV, and other remarkable episodes.

A highlight is the confrontation between Fred Rogers and Senator Pastore in a congressional hearing 30 years ago. It has to be seen to be believed.

Fred Rogers understood children, and ministered to the needs of millions of them for thirty years. And just listening to this caring man, imbibing his spirit, makes me better. As he said at one point in the video, he respected children. For me, that has always marked the difference between the really worthwhile material for children, and the mountains of schlock. The best material never talks down to children, never treats them as foolish or stupid.

Rogers focused on child development, and that's one of the things that made him so effective. It also makes the most effective approach to teaching, whether in school or at home. Spending time with someone who did it so well can only help us do better.

I could go on, but the best thing to do is get the DVD-- you'll be glad you did.

Games, Manipulatives, Miscellaneous cool stuff

Few things are so poorly understood and poorly taught than Mathematics. In fact, few children are actually exposed to Math in any meaningful way. Most of what's taught in Elementary schools is Arithmetic, and drudgery at that.

Music and mathematics have many things in common, yet we have a culture almost dominated by music, and at the same time virtually unaware of math.

If we taught music the same way we teach math, maybe there'd never be another garage band. It's hard to imagine a garage math group.

Imagine if you never heard music other than in elevators, or at professional gatherings. The first serious exposure to music began with: "This is a quarter note. Draw the note body, then the stem. Two quarter notes equal a half note." and so on. And the goal of music class was to prepare sheet music with all the notes in the right places.

Well, we do something like that with math. Instead of introducing children to the beauty of patterns, which is at the core of math, we start them with the notation. That's what notes are. They aren't music, they're simply the way we write it so that others can experience the melodies and harmonies we have heard or originated.

Well, that's essentially what numerals are: they are the notation, the way we write down the math we have discovered or observed.

So, what kinds of math experiences can we expose our children to, that will be somewhat comparable to listening to music? Well, we start our children out with lullabies, simple, soothing, easy songs that help the relax and go to sleep.

Most games can serve that same function, and most are mathematically based. Even young children enjoy matching the patterns on dominoes, or playing tic-tac-toe. Children with mathematical aptitudes will quickly demonstrate that they see the patterns involved.

I've worked with many children who had developed a phobia concerning arithmetic, and helped them identify and develop their aptitudes.

As they get older, and their games get more sophisticated, the opportunities are more involved. I learned to convert fractions to percentages by computing batting averages for baseball. My children learned most of their basic arithmetic--and very thoroughly, too-- playing monopoly.

As I said, almost all games are math based, and can be used for learning. I include links to purchase several I've found particularly useful in the past.