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DD10 says school is supposed to be fun. Is it?


paulcindy
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She says school is sooooooooooooooo boring. I told her school isn't supposed to be "fun" it is about learning. Hmmm, maybe she has a point. I suppose you learn more when you are having "fun".

 

Is there a such thing as a "fun" curriculum even out there? Now keep in mind, I like things completely laid out for me. I do not mind if I have to get books or supplies. But I like a day by day plan of what to do. With a busy lifestyle, I have to be organized.

 

I don't think something like this exists, but thought I would throw it out there.

 

Thoughts?

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Have you ever tried a literature-based curriculum: CM, Sonlight, My Father's World, etc?

 

I used CLE for my son in first grade and while he did well, he didn't bloom until we went to a lit based program. He still complains occasionally, but he also forgets that all the good books he reads are actually school. He is more prone to whine about math lessons.

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In general, I believe that learning should be fun for kids. But then, I remember what my Music History professor made us all memorize in college: "Learning is a painful process." He attributed it to one of the better known ancient Greek philosophers, but I can't remember which one. :lol:

 

That probably doesn't help much, does it? :001_huh:

 

Mama Anna

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I just asked my kids, they said they think it is fun:)

 

I do A LOT of field trips, almost weekly in the spring and summer. I ask them every year if would like to try school, so far I never gotten a yes. We school pretty much 4 days a week and we never stop science or math for the most part. We took 3 weeks off at Christmas and we take a couple of summer week long vacations and that's 'bout it. Seems to keep everyone happy!

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I think school should be fun. Not every minute of every day. There are things that we have to learn and sometimes that is hard work. However, work shouldn't be drudgery either. I think a 10 yo should be enjoying what she is doing and developing a love of learning or you will never keep her engaged as things get harder or make a lifelong learner out of her. I don't have kids that will do workbooks without extreme boredom, we avoid them. You've already gotten the living books suggestion and I think that is the best answer. My kids think books are the best. They'll read anything and listen to anything. There is no limit to what they will learn that way. Active learning, science experiments, and lots of living books all add up to kids who think school is fun in my house!

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Maybe I'm just being too picky about terminology, but I think that learning should be "joyful" though not necessarily "fun". What I mean by that is that there is joy in accomplishing a difficult task or acquiring a worthwhile skill or deepening one's understanding, though there may not always be much fun in the process.

 

That said, I do try to find ways to make sure that my dd looks forward to school as much as possible. It depends on the child of course, but I'm figuring out for her that textbook and workbook learning is NOT the way to go. She likes literature-based curriculum and creative, hands-on activities. Beyond Five in a Row is a joy for her. But I also still make her do math and Latin daily, like it or not! Luckily, she usually likes them.

Edited by GretaLynne
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Perhaps compare her learning style with the style of what programs you're using and see if you have a bit of a "mismatch" or not. For example, if most of your school is textbook / workbook style, perhaps she's looking for more hands-on? It doesn't mean you have to *switch* from what you're currently using -- instead, make sure you regularly *supplement* with things that fit her style a little better.

 

For example: perhaps make Fridays a "fun day" where you use games, videos, co-ops, field trips, do big hands-on projects, etc. for all the school subjects, to have something to look forward to each week. Or, keep a 5-day schedule, but make sure each day you add at least ONE "fun" supplement to one of the school subjects to spice up school.

 

Also, does she have some specific interests that you could make sure you're including into your schooling in some way -- art? music? horses or animals? drama?

 

Also, what about opportunities to learn with other homeschoolers, which is always more interesting -- a co-op class; a weekly PE morning; occasional group field trip; putting together a history project; doing a big messy science experiment as a group; etc.

 

Finally, in answer to your question: No, I don't think it's my job as the teacher to make sure school is "fun." However, I have found that school is certainly more enjoyable when we add in some supplements that get us out of the house, or present material in a new way. And sometimes, information *does* stick better when we're learning it without realizing we're learning! :tongue_smilie: Below are some ideas as possible supplements to what you're already doing. Enjoy! Warmest regards, Lori D.

 

 

History:

- field trips

- activity projects (make a craft from a time/culture; make foods, dress up, play games, etc. of the time/culture; make a diorama or model of a famous structure; )

- interesting videos

- feature films set in various time periods/cultures that match your

 

Science:

- field trips

- experiments

- kits

- interesting videos (Schlessinger Media; Magic School Bus, Bill Nye the Science Guy, Popular Science for Kids, etc.)

 

Math:

- board/card games

- computer games (Mathblasters series; Mighty Math series; Number Munchers; etc.)

- manipulatives with accompanying booklet (geoboards, pattern blocks, multi-link cubes, and cuisenaire rods were especially enjoyed here, with "Math Discoveries with..." books; cuisenaire rod books; and others)

 

Grammar:

- online grammar games

- Schoolhouse Rock: Grammar (DVD and/or computer game)

- Mad Libs

- Grammar Ad Libs

 

Reading

- meet occasionally with other girls of similar age for a book club

- reading incentive program such as Book Adventure or Book-It

 

Writing:

- write a story together, a little at a time, taking turns (depending on how strong or weak she is writing you can either each take 3-6 turns and roll a die (and that's how many WORDS you get to add to the short story on your turn). OR, if she's a stronger writer, you each take 1 turn a day and each write 3-5 sentences to the story for the other one to find and then add onto it.

- substitute occasional fun writing assignments for your regular writing program (Peggy Kaye's book "Games for Learning". OR, Majorie Franks' book "Complete Writing Lessons for Primary Grades" or "Complete Writing Lessons for Intermediate Grades". OR slowly work your way through Wordsmith Apprentice as a fun supplement.)

 

Handwriting

- occasionally substitute jokes and limericks for whatever copywork is to be done

 

Critical Thinking/Logic

Play a game or do 1-2 pages of critical thinking puzzles together several mornings a week for 5-10 minutes as a fun warm-up to school:

- puzzle collections (Puzzlemania; Logic Countdown; Critical Thinking Activities in Pattern, Image, Logic; Gifted & Talented series)

- games (Set, Duo, Secret Door, Amazing Labyrinth, Blokus, Clue, Scan (old Parker Brothers game, usually available on ebay))

- solo games (Logix, Scramble Squares, tangrams, Rush Hour Junior)

- printable puzzle pages (Soduko, mazes, simple crosswords, word searches, codes/cryptograms)

Edited by Lori D.
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Well my husband and I just had this discussion at the dinner table. Our dd at times did complain, but she never wanted to go to school. We feel the key is trying to find out what is their style of learning - did I try and make her subjects fit with her style of learning - yes. She is an avid reader so all subjects except math revolved around reading.(she now attends a private university and is on the daens list) Now with our ds we are just learning - we have switched several times our thoughts on how he learns and part of it has to do with he is young and changing himself. He does do some workbooks for reading/phonics and math and sometimes I do the writing for him(pick your battles) he does not care to write. But bottom line we feel if you keep them home they have to learn and learning is not always fun because learning is sometimes hard. So what does your daughter like best? What type of learning do you see her responding to and is learning the most from? :)

Blessings

Lisa wife of Guy, mother to dd18 and ds6

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Fun is the goal around here, for every single subject. I kid you not. Spelling, grammar and math included. My main goal for homeschooling is to develop a LOVE of learning. So how do you do that? By making it fun. There's the key there, MAKING it fun... which lies in the hands of mom. We tend to be creative by nature, so it's a no-brainer here. My daughter's learning style is more hands-on, and she's a Sociable Sue, so that does make for fun adventures.

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Like others have mentioned, I think school should be engaging and done with a, not a joyful spirit all the time, but an eager and happy one. I also think that fun has its place, and luckily enough, it is super easy to add in stuff most 10-yr-olds consider great fun!

 

I came into home schooling after a work background heavy on adult training and education. It was very much considered my job to present the material in a way that was both engaging and easy to understand. The 'students' were expected to keep up their end of the bargain - - pay attention, do the required work - - but if a certain seminar or presentation wasn't getting the job done, it was up to me to figure out why and change it. I was never allowed to tell my students to suck it up, :lol:

 

Therefore, I've never had the issues some others have with the idea of making school interesting, engaging, and yes, fun! I've seen plenty of middle-aged business men madly compete for the very non-lavish prizes I used to hand out in seminars, so I have no qualms about occasionally declaring it Math & Cookies Day or acting as a game show host for Latin vocab review.

 

I also think that hours of school with one or two or three students can get tedious rather quickly - - let's face it, there is a fair amount of silly fun in school that hs kids miss out on. My kids work hard and I challenge them often, but we also have lots of fun as we go.

 

It certainly doesn't have to be complicated or time-consuming. Just make a list of things that might spice up the day, and jot a note once or twice a week on the calendar to try one.

 

*99.9% of kids love whiteboards and colored dry erase markers; invest in some small ones and one on the wall if you can. My kids love ours (I have a 10yr old dd, too), and recently swooned when we did Latin conjugations with new, hot pink markers.

 

*Along the same lines, don't hesitate to buy occasional fun things that you don't 'need.' Our fun stuff includes a school bell and a hall pass, because it amuses my kids to no end to ask permission to use the restroom (and then have me check for their pass upon return).

 

*Head outside on nice days; an old blanket and a $6 lap desk mean that you will never gaze longingly out the window again.

 

*Offer occasional, unexpected prizes - - a piece of candy, a notebook with kittens on the cover, red ink pens (another universally popular item, dunno why). Sometimes we do very silly prizes, you got the answer o' the day correct! you get a stamp ON YOUR FOREHEAD!.

 

*Almost anything that has to be studied/reviewed can be turned into a quick, no planning required game: call out Latin words, kids have to sit for the nouns and stand for the verbs; have the kids toss a ball to each other as they answer questions, if they answer wrong, they have to run a lap around the yard (my kids love this; why??); have Topsy Turvy Day and let her be the teacher, quizzing YOU; another foreign language one is to call out the word and the kids have to perform an action related to that word (start with easy ones, like 'jump' and move on to harder ones like 'think' or 'dream')

 

*Don't forget actual games - - bingo for most subjects, word games, math games, art games, science games!

 

*The quickest way to engage learners is to, well, engage them - - that is, actively involve them in the learning process, rather than expecting them to just receive and manipulate information all day. Science experiments, art projects, all that messy stuff.

 

*Create opportunities for home schooled kids to share and display their work: frame and hang art work, put good papers on the fridge, make a deal about showing the non-teaching parent the history notebook, send photos and samples to grandma. It's very disspiriting to most kids to knock themselves out finishing a project only to have mom quickly grade and file it, never to be seen again.

 

*Make a show of it when kids finish a book or course - - wow, look at all the math problems you've worked! look, you were only adding when you started, and now you can do long division! my kids have the silly gene, and they run around the house with the book, doing the Dance of Joy, and then write messages and draw pictures all over it (ComPletd by Lucy, on a Thursday, happy face and rainbows).

 

*get out of the house - - field trips, of course, but also try schooling at the library, the park, Starbucks! mix it up, it's way too easy to fall in a rut as home schoolers who rarely HAVE to leave the house. Most kids love a change of scenery, especially one that involves snacks.

 

*when you do stay home, remember - - hey, you're at home! nothing wrong with the occasional jammie day, right?

 

None of this helps if you're using a curriculum that is a poor fit for your child. SWB says something to the effect that tears during the occasional math class mean a rough day or a hungry kid; tears every day mean it's time to switch curriculum.

 

I just reread this, and I'm thinking that perhaps I have exceptionally goofy kids. No matter; the point is, I mostly agree with your dd, and you will find what works for you. If your curricula isn't just deadening, no major changes might be needed, and you can even schedule in your attempts at levity! Just write in code so the kids don't know.

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Guest Alte Veste Academy
She says school is sooooooooooooooo boring. I told her school isn't supposed to be "fun" it is about learning. Hmmm, maybe she has a point. I suppose you learn more when you are having "fun".

 

Is there a such thing as a "fun" curriculum even out there? Now keep in mind, I like things completely laid out for me. I do not mind if I have to get books or supplies. But I like a day by day plan of what to do. With a busy lifestyle, I have to be organized.

 

I don't think something like this exists, but thought I would throw it out there.

 

Thoughts?

 

To me, asking if school has to be fun is like asking if food has to taste good. The answer is no but it sure does make for a happier life.

 

Certainly, there will be favorite subjects and dreaded subjects but there's a problem if school in its entirety is dreaded, you know? I would start by asking her what she would like to see in the way of improvements. Her answers might surprise you. I don't know that there is such a thing as a fun curriculum, more like one that has the right components to match up with both your dd's wish for fun and your wish for everything being laid out. I think it's true that if Mommy's not happy, nobody's happy.

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We strive for fun here too. but our version of fun may be somewhat different from the norm. My son told me diagramming sentences was fun. I find my attitude towards teaching a subject has just as much bearing on whether it is deemed fun or not.

 

We are continually looking at creative ways to work through curriculum. Sometimes it's just a matter of going with the flow even if it's a rabbit hole. Granted some days that is easier than others, but it is a journey we are on.

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Oh, I forgot one of my favorite ways to add excitement and drama: when you are planning a day off for whatever reason - - perhaps you have a doctor's appt or a deadline to meet - - never, EVER let the kids know about it. Just plan your work accordingly, complete with faux entries if the kids are likely to read the plan book, ;).

 

Then, when the day arrives, really hustle the kids through breakfast and getting ready, because there's sooo much to do today. March them into the school room, sigh dramatically, and state that you don't know how they're going to get everything done. "After all, you have to go to grandma's house today, and that means you're going to have to play, and maybe watch tv, and I know she's going to make you eat ice cream . . . "

 

It's fun, I promise you!

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These are some really terrific ideas!! Thanks ladies. I really do think I need to mix it up a little and maybe get away from so many workbooks. I suppose it would be quiet boring sitting and just reading and filling in blanks, right?

 

Maybe, I can lean more towards a Unit Study. I love TOG. Friends of mine use it and it seems their kids look forward to doing school work.

 

My daughter loves to read, and she is definately hands on. Or maybe just add some fun stuff to what we are doing now. She may juts be getting burned out from sitting and just filling in pages and pages of workbook material.

 

Thank you!!

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We use workbooks for our 3R's (except for Writer's Jungle), but for science and history we use a lit based teaching. Reading aloud is a key to our history teaching. I think it is a throw back to our FIAR days of snuggling on the couch reading. They still love this even my 15 yo although he might not readily admit it.

 

Jennie

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and ds,8, loves it. He said it is fun, easy, and "homeschooling has never been this good." He keeps me on task on this one, too. Even on our coop day he was expecting workboxes. I find we are doing a lot more, because he is eager to finish all the boxes. I add in games, puzzles, projects.

 

I think it really depends on your daughter's learning style,etc. And of course, what feels comfortable to you. I think Winter Promise is a fun curriculum, but not everyone would. It is literature based with lots of hands on.

 

I agree with what others have said, learning can and should be fun, but it may not always be fun. If most of it does not seem fun to her, then she probably thinks learning=not fun. But learning is life. It is everwhere. There should not be a time in our lives when learning stops. However, if we have come to have negative associations with it, we will not seek it out and even perhaps miss much of it even right under our noses.

 

I think this is one of the reasons I homeschool. I was just remembering yesterday how I spent most of junior and senior high--waiting for every class to be over with. As soon as I got into class I would make a time chart with numbers like 60,45,30,20,15,10,5,4,3,2,1. And I would cross out the minutes as they passed. It is astounding to me now that I spent almost 6 years literally marking time. What a colossal waste of time.

 

I don't think I can always make our school fun, any more than I can make my children always happy. However, I do put a lot of work into finding ways that work for each child for them to learn and enjoy the process.

 

Homeschooling for me has been a continual process of shifting my approach and my thinking. Perhaps there may be some shifts coming for you. If so, it is not always easy. So, I will send you some :grouphug:. Best of luck to you and your daughter.

 

Woolybear

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Cindy, I like this thread and LOVED that long response you got on pg 2 with all the suggestions from katilac (I think). I am using a lit based program that's pretty fun (HoD) and I think dd likes it, but she has been to school and knows what she's missing. I think she misses her silly friends, and sometimes I think she misses the routine of knowing "ah, it's 9:45, time for spelling!" We have done a lot of fun things but I recently decided to involve her more in the chosing of some fun things. We bake one day a week. She wants to learn to sew, so we are doing that. I haven't had time yet, but she has been clamoring to learn Spanish, so I am going to spend the money and get a Spanish program we can start.

 

Next fall I am planning to enroll her in a local one day enrichment program so she can be around more kids her own age. There they will do music, PE, foreign lang, art, and public speaking.

 

Unfortunatley she's easily distractable, so trying to do school in other environs is hard for her. I wanted to go outside today but she didn't want to if her brother would be out there playing.

 

Can you simply ask your dd what she feels like would make it more fun? More art, more field trips, more cool books? Maybe she will have some good ideas you can work with.

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We've had a tough year with a move and my having to work a lot. And our kids have gotten some bad attitudes.

 

I want them to love learning and I want it to be fun, but it's hard when they don't have a cheerful spirit.

 

Today I was doing some research about Right-brained learners and I'm starting to think I've made their learning *too much* fun. When they have to learn in "boring" ways, they're bored and have bad attitudes. Well, there are many times in life when we just have to read texts and figure things out. It can't all be beautifully visual and appealing... How will they adapt to college classes in all their (sometimes) "dull" presentations?

 

Maybe we are doing our kids a disservice when we present them only with "fun" options. Maybe part of learning is learning how to tough it out when the going gets tough.

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In general, I believe that learning should be fun for kids. But then, I remember what my Music History professor made us all memorize in college: "Learning is a painful process." He attributed it to one of the better known ancient Greek philosophers, but I can't remember which one. :lol:

 

That probably doesn't help much, does it? :001_huh:

 

Mama Anna

 

I don't know if this is what your prof was referring to, but I say this to dd frequently:

 

The roots of education are bitter, but the fruit is sweet. ~Aristotle. :001_smile:

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One more vote for MFW. It's all laid out like you want, yet it is interesting, engaging and every changing. So you aren't reading the same book all year long. And the read aloud is my kids favorite. The book basket is chock full of great books for a 10 year old. Mine loves it. He wishes MFW was all we did for school.

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We use Sonlight, so there is a lot of cuddling on the couch and reading, so that helps. However, I'm reallly bad about letting the "fun" things drop off in favor of math, handwriting, etc. (which I know are important, but my sons LOVE science experiments and field trips and such).

 

Yesterday I had a light bulb moment, and I hope this works. They seem excited about this so far.

 

My son that complains about not getting enough art and science experiments done has now been put in CHARGE of art and science experiments. He gets to choose what we're going to do, and he will run that portion of our hs and make it happen.

 

My younger son who thrives on the outdoors is now in CHARGE of gym and field trips. I'm going to help him research fun field trips, but he is the one who is going to make sure it happens (and believe me, he will! This kid is a force to be reckoned with!).

 

Obviously, since this is a brand-new thing I can't report on how well it's working. However, this is one of the things I LOVE about homeschooling, which is to teach that you don't have to be dependent on a teacher to learn (or to have fun!) - you can take responsibility for yourself (to a point, at this age). The kids are thrilled at the idea of having a turn being "in charge," and I feel sure the "fun" things are more likely to happen now.

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*Offer occasional, unexpected prizes - - a piece of candy, a notebook with kittens on the cover, red ink pens (another universally popular item, dunno why). Sometimes we do very silly prizes, you got the answer o' the day correct! you get a stamp ON YOUR FOREHEAD!.

 

Katilac, I read your post to my fun loving 10 yo daughter and this was her favorite. :lol: I copied your list to use as reference when I'm feeling boring and the day needs a kick start. That was wonderful! It is such a good reminder that small things can add up to big fun and motivation for kids. My ds loves hs after hating school for years while he was in ps. I do lots of the things on your list, but I still enjoyed all the great ideas in one place.

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Depends on the kid.

I haven't read other responses, but I can tell you my first thought. My 8yo HATES everything. She might decide a year later that something was "fun", but while going thru it, she hates it. She complains about everything. I tried everything under the sun: social conversation, literature based learning, hands-on, workbook. I either found she wasn't learning and liked what we were doing only because she felt like she was somehow cheating and not really learning, OR she hated what we were doing because she doesn't like learning. What I have learned is that she needs to be forced to learn a new skill, and after she finally masters that skill, then she is happy that she learned it and enjoys it (like reading!) She will never like her "schoolwork", and I have to be OK with that. I'm struggling with her right now because I've been very lenient on her over the years and now with her new 3rd grade work, she's doing very poor workmanship because she can be lazy and get it all done in 1.5 hours. She convinces me that she can't do the work, and so I treat her like a learning disabled student. I'm realizing now that I really need to discipline her and make her WORK. My 6yo, on the other hand, begged to learn to read at age 4, and LOVES doing her reading. She begs to do reading assignments first everyday, does 2 lessons per day, and wants to do more. Go figure. She doesn't have the same spark for math, LOL, but if you ask her, she "kind of likes school". Different kid, different attitude. She seems happiest with bright, colorful workbooks, and doesn't like a lot of hands-on.

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IMHO, I don't think school has to be fun.

 

I don't know what it is, but my children enjoy learning. They don't always want to answer comprehension questions or write a report on a chapter, but they know it needs to get done and they do it. Complaining or whining isn't going to do anything.

 

We have used literature approach and now textbooks.

 

I do know that I get excited about their curriculum. When I learn something new, I let them know ;) they also catch me reading their history or science textbooks.

 

They don't always 'like' school but have a willingness to do it.

 

My dh enjoys his job, but it's not always fun :)

Edited by Homeschooling6
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I think if you just switch out your history and science for something more like Sonlight, Winterpromise for history and easyclassical or noeo , sonlight or wp for science, it will liven it up a bit. It does look kind of dry from what you listed. I've also heard complaints about CLE when using all their stuff because the kids tire of so many workbooks.

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Fun? I disagree. School is work. It learning to process and use information. Educators prepare tomorrow's leaders. I'm wondering at what point did students decided they are entitled to a "fun" school? Recently I've read Real Education, the author tackles this question of students and their ideas of what school should be.

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I don't think school has to be fun. That said, I do try to find books, projects, field trips etc. to enhance our learning and make it fun! I have learned, though, that fun is quite relative. I have one son who finds nothing fun if it has to do with any requirement in his life. Admitting that he is having a good time just isn't cool somehow. Often he will tell us how 'fun' something was after he did it; rarely while it is happening.

My other son on the other hand is easy. He likes most things.

 

Imho, this really depends on the kid.

 

Susie

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You know, "fun" is not one of the words that I would use to describe our homeschool--or the schools I have been to, including the ones I loved the most. Interesting, fulfilling, tedious, thought-provoking, challenging, satisfying, worthwhile. These are some of the words that I would use. Learning can be painful, it can be tedious, but it can also be immensely rewarding.

 

I think that schools these days make a mistake when they try to make everything "fun". It doesn't have to be fun to be worthwhile, even to a child. I'd rather have my child tell me that a lesson is interesting than that it is fun. Frankly, if he told me something was fun, I would think that either my lesson had something wrong with it or that, more likely, that he wasn't being accurate with his language.

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