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Teaching Help Columns: 1998-2000

"Breaking Down the Barriers" by Kathryn Stout
December 2000
"When children struggle repeatedly without success, their natural reaction is to avoid that challenge in the future. Happily, patience, encouragement, and a few simple one-on-one teaching techniques can turn a frustrated student into a willing learner."
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"Teaching Children to Take a Stand" by Kathryn Stout
November 2000
"How can we train our children to stand against the onslaught of persuasive techniques that pull them toward compromise?"
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"Developing Classification Skills in Young Children" by Kathryn Stout
October 2000
"Busy schedules make it easy to overlook suggested reading or math readiness activities simply because they don't seem to be necessary. But spending time on these activities when children are young and eager to learn can pay off later by increasing their ability to make connections in order to draw logical conclusions and make predictions."
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"Motivating Young Readers" by Kathryn Stout
September 2000
"Children want to imitate their parents, and, so, are eager to read. At least until they discover that one short lesson isn't enough! Here are a few things you can do to encourage the perseverance needed."
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"A Simple Approach to an Essential Tool: Vocabulary" by Kathryn Stout
August 2000
"If a child is able to retell the basic plot of a story just heard or read, or fill in workbooks by copying the correct passages, is it proof that comprehension has taken place? Unfortunately, the answer is "No." But there is a simple remedy."
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"The Pauses That Refresh" by Kathryn Stout
July 2000
"Burn out is a common complaint among homeschooling parents, even among those just starting out. Here are a few tips to help prevent-or at least bounce back from-feeling tired and overwhelmed."
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"I Think, Therefore I…Fill in the Blanks?" by Kathryn Stout
June 2000
"Even if a workbook page is labeled 'Thinking Skills,' it may not be developing a student's ability to reason."
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"The Play's the Thing" by Kathryn Stout
May 2000
"We can no longer take for granted that our children will be physically fit—with all the benefits that brings. We need to schedule physical play, and summer is the perfect time to start."
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"Adjusting Attitude" by Kathryn Stout
April 2000
"If you want your students to have a lifelong love of learning and the self-confidence necessary to eventually learn on their own, it's worth looking at a subtle influence—the teacher's attitude."
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"Gaining Literary Experience" by Kathryn Stout
March 2000
"With guidance, students can develop analytical skills that will make time spent reading literature a life-enriching experience."
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"Fostering Creativity—A Balancing Act" by Kathryn Stout
February 2000
"It requires a balancing act to prevent discouragement while developing ability, but it's worth the effort—creative expression without the right tools ultimately limits a child's ability to accomplish his vision."
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"Confidence Builders" by Kathryn Stout
January 2000
"How we interact with our children can make or break their self-confidence. Simple actions can make all the difference."
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"Toys That Teach" by Kathryn Stout
December 1999
"Young Children can learn a great deal as they play. Following are a few items that can be used fairly independently by children from ages 3 to 6."
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"Why Bother with Physical Education?" by Kathryn Stout
October/November 1999
"Often considered just one more thing that has to be completed, physical education is frequently pushed to the bottom of the "to-do" list in favor of the academic."
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"What's in a Game?" by Kathryn Stout
September 1999
"By incorporating games into your lesson plans, kids have a chance to improve skills and have fun-which fosters a love of learning."
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"Introducing Word Problems" by Kathryn Stout
August 1999
"Kids tend to look for the quickest and easiest way to complete a lesson. Therefore, once they see a pattern, they simply plug in the assigned numbers. Since this does not require understanding, they can appear to be a whiz at math. Their secret is only revealed when those rare word problems come along and they fall apart."
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"Getting Ready to Handwrite" by Kathryn Stout
July 1999
"Enjoyable activities that develop hand-eye coordination pay off later when young children learn to write. For children already writing, they can help improve the control necessary for neat handwriting."
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"Exploring the Sense of Touch" by Kathryn Stout
June 1999
"Let your children explore and make discoveries about their senses. Not only will they develop a greater understanding of their own capabilities, improve their vocabulary and ability to observe, but even though these activities 'count' as school-your kids will think it's just summer fun!"
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"One Stop Shopping, or Eclectic Education?" by Kathryn Stout
May 1999
"The homeschool shopping season has begun. Here are a few tips to keep in mind as you select materials."
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"What Do I Need to Know About Learning Styles?" by Kathryn Stout
April 1999
"Anything we find confusing or complicated is best learned when we can see, hear, and do something in order to understand it. In general, however, by age 8 or 9, a child is stronger in one of those three areas: seeing (the visual learner), hearing (the auditory learner) or doing (the kinesthetic, or hands-on learner)."
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"Teaching Children Who Have Difficulty Learning" by Kathryn Stout
March 1999
"Each child is unique, and his learning disability specific. However, there are general techniques that can be applied to most situations."
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"Kids Who Have Trouble Paying Atten…" by Kathryn Stout
February 1999
"When lessons don't seem to stick, a short attention span could be the culprit. Here are a few suggestions to help students focus and, hopefully, retain the lesson."
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"Fun With Money" by Kathryn Stout
January 1999
"The holidays are over and its time to get back to the academic routine-but, that doesn't mean assignments must be dull. Begin the year's math lessons with a topic most kids enjoy, money."
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"Easy Ways to Put Spark into Your Home School" by Kathryn Stout
December 1998
"There is nothing more exhausting than trying to get kids to do what they don't want to do. If you have discovered that the curriculum you thought would be easy, isn't, or your home school has become a place of brooding instead of learning, you may want to try some of the following techniques to turn things around."
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"How to Teach Handwriting" by Kathryn Stout
November 1998
"There are three components to handwriting, whether a child is learning to print or write in cursive: correct letter formation, uniform letter size, and uniform slant."
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"Tips for Multi-Level Planning" by Kathryn Stout
October 1998
"Here's one approach to developing a working outline that is easily adapted to multi-level teaching."
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"Casual Conversations Can Build Thinking Skills" by Kathryn Stout
September 1998
"Here's an easy way to help your children get more out of the fiction they read or hear. Choose one or two of the following questions (from Critical Conditioning) to ask casually while reading out loud, or after a child has read a book and is helping with chores, or, perhaps, during dinner."
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"Help! My Child Can't Spell" by Kathryn Stout
July/August 1998
"Spelling is a regular part of the language arts curriculum through eighth grade. So why don't all children learn to spell?"
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"Fringe Benefits of the IEP: Individualized Educational Program" by Kathryn Stout
June 1998
"What is an IEP? With only one student in mind, the teacher targets specific weaknesses (in any area, not just academics), decides on an attainable goal, or goals, in each area, and lists how the attainment of that goal will be measured."
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"Is It Possible To Enjoy Social Studies?" by Kathryn Stout
May 1998
"If you want your children to benefit from studies in history, geography, government, and economics, you must make the people, the place, and the problems real and meaningful."
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"Playing To Learn" by Kathryn Stout
April 1998
"Long before official "school" begins, children's play can provide opportunities for development in motor skills, language skills, and reasoning."
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"What to do with the Hands-On Learner" by Kathryn Stout
March 1998
"This month, let's take a look at the hands-on, or, kinesthetic, learner. These are the kids that are in trouble most of the time. They want to touch everything (including the walls as they walk down a hallway). These kids can be exhausting to teach no matter what method you use. However, if you ultimately want to see an improvement in skills, and a desire to learn, you must consistently use the following teaching strategies."
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"Beat the Blahs" by Kathryn Stout
February 1998
"This is a good time of year to take stock of what's worked and what hasn't. ... Often, however, adjustments to the pacing of the school day and the method used in teaching the information can make all the difference in helping a student experience success instead of continual frustration."
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"Simple Techniques To Encourage Thinking Skills in the Young" by Kathryn Stout
January 1998
"Here are a few simple ways to encourage the development of problem solving skills in children from ages 4 to 8."
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