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Teaching Help Columns: 2001-2003

"Building More Specific Images in Compositions" by Kathryn Stout
November 2003
"One of the most common weaknesses seems to be the use of a very limited vocabulary, resulting in vague sentences. Here are a few strategies that can help kids build more specific images in their sentences and paragraphs."
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"Minor Adjustments for Major Benefits: Using English to Teach Teens to Think" by Kathryn Stout
October 2003
"As I mentioned last month, teenagers need plenty of opportunities to think critically. We can meet this need by simply adjusting the approach used to cover required high school subjects. Last month we discussed history, so let's take a look at what we can accomplish during four years of high school English."
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"Minor Adjustments for Major Benefits: Using History to Teach Teens to Think" by Kathryn Stout
September 2003
"The high school years should include plenty of opportunities for teens to practice thinking critically. This can be done by making a simple adjustment to the approach used to cover content in required courses such as history."
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"More Tips for Teaching Handwriting" by Kathryn Stout
August 2003
"Handwriting questions continue to fill my mailbox, so here are a few tips that I hope will help."
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"The "Foreign" Language of Math" by Kathryn Stout
July 2003
"Sometimes the errors kids make in solving math problems have nothing to do with skill in computation or basic reasoning; it's just a misunderstanding of the language used."
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"The Quest for the Perfect Curriculum" by Kathryn Stout
May/June 2003
"The perfect curriculum is the one you put together with your child in mind. No, you don't have to write a curriculum. You just have to judge resources for each subject based on your child's age, personality, learning style, strengths and weaknesses."
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"The Power of Purpose" by Christopher Stout
April 2003
"My parents told me I could do anything and then acted like it was true. I'm not the smartest guy, and I'm not the most talented, but I've finally been convinced that I can change the world and that's a lesson I'm a thousand times more grateful for than any subject I mastered in school."
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"More About How Kids Learn" by Kathryn Stout
March 2003
"If you teach more than one child, it may seem impossible to meet everyone's needs. But there are a couple more bits of information that should set your mind at ease."
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"Developing a Writer—Part II" by Kathryn Stout
February 2003
"Parents and teachers hoping to develop both interest and skill in writing should borrow from the Suzuki method for teaching young children to play a musical instrument."
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"Developing a Writer—Part I" by Kathryn Stout
January 2003
"Parents and teachers hoping to develop both interest and skill in writing should borrow from the Suzuki method for teaching young children to play a musical instrument."
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"Making an Alphabet Book" by Kathryn Stout
November 2002
"Making an alphabet book is a simple activity that helps develop reading readiness in young children. It can also be used to aid the transition from manuscript to cursive handwriting."
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"How Do I Know if My Child 'Gets It'" by Kathryn Stout
October 2002
"It's easy to believe a child "gets it" when he answers a question using the exact words he just heard or read. Actually, all that proves is a good memory."
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"A View From the Homeschooled" by Clea Stout Fennemore
September 2002
"Kathryn's daughter Clea comments on homeschooling and her mom's methods as guest columnist this month."
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"Tips for Tutoring Middle School Math" by Kathryn Stout
August 2002
"As a math tutor, my job includes helping students with difficulty staying focused develop work habits and organizational skills along with problem solving strategies. Following are a few techniques that have proved helpful."
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"Machiavelli Was Right—Sort Of" by Kathryn Stout
June 2002
"A family I work with recently reported that their son's former public school teacher (former because they now homeschool their son) had announced to the class after he left that anyone choosing to be homeschooled would never have the opportunity to attend college and would not have a promising future."
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"Little Things Do Mean A Lot" by Kathryn Stout
May 2002
"Parents are often surprised when I suggest something is important that they thought was insignificant, primarily because they didn't see the long-range effect. Let's take a look at a few of those "little" things."
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"The Perfect Homeschool—Yours!" by Kathryn Stout
April 2002
"As a consultant, I have been impressed with the wide variety of creative ways in which parents have adjusted to the needs of their children and themselves in order to homeschool effectively. More often than not, these are parents who pray for guidance and share their stories with the preface 'And then the Lord showed me.'"
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"Handling Homeschool Stress" by Kathryn Stout
March 2002
"My days were already more than full, so when I thought about taking on homeschooling I panicked. How could I possibly manage it all?"
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"Time for a Change?" by Kathryn Stout
February 2002
"This is a good time of year to step back and review what's working and what's not. As we draw on our observations and ask for our kids' input, we can adjust our methods and materials at any time to ensure their progress and sense of success--the great advantage of homeschooling. Here are a few ideas to consider."
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"Help for the Anxious Child" by Kathryn Stout
January 2002
"Is your child a perfectionist? Is he easily frustrated? Frequently worried? Does he struggle with poor self-esteem? The answers to these questions should give you insight into whether or not your child has the confidence to learn or, instead, retreats from challenges, afraid of failing. Here are a few suggestions to encourage the nervous child or one who has poor self-esteem."
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"Music Makes a Difference" by Kathryn Stout
December 2001
"Do you want your children to move with grace? To read with expression? Would you like your children to be self-confident? Do you want them to develop perseverance? You can help your children develop all of these qualities and more by taking advantage of their natural enjoyment of music."
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"The Power of Patience" by Kathryn Stout
November 2001
"How we teach influences our children as much, or more, than what we teach. If we hope to raise children who love to learn, have confidence in their ability to learn, and are able to think critically, then patience will be our biggest ally."
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"The Gifted May Not Seem A Gift, But They Are" by Kathryn Stout
October 2001
"As a teacher I saw too many bright students who had become bored. I often wondered if they would ever reach their potential once out of school or if they would simply lose heart and settle for ordinary lives."
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"More Ideas to Help the Developing Reader" by Kathryn Stout
September 2001
"We often forget just how many details we are expecting our children to master as they read. By providing plenty of opportunities for supplementary practice we can prevent children from becoming discouraged when the lessons in a reading program move ahead too quickly."
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"Training Our Children In the Way They Should Go" by Kathryn Stout
August 2001
"As I work with parents whose teen-agers are aimless, without a sense of purpose or meaning, I find myself sharing some of what I did with my own kids. Perhaps these ideas will be helpful to you as well."
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"What Do I Do With Those Test Scores?" by Kathryn Stout
July 2001
"You may have been thrilled--or dismayed--by your child's standardized achievement test scores this spring. If his scores were high, should you jump ahead a few grade levels? If low, have you failed as a teacher? The answer to both questions is, 'No.'"
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"Add Benefits to Summer Fun" by Kathryn Stout
June 2001
"A great deal of learning can take place during the summer without the sense of formality a child may associate with school. Here are a few ideas that are simple to implement but have lots of benefits."
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"Helping Children Learn to Read" by Kathryn Stout
May 2001
"There are a variety of good reading programs available, yet many children progress more slowly or with more difficulty than expected. Here are a few hints that may help."
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"Time to Talk" by Kathryn Stout
April 2001
"Oral presentations, from "show and tell" in kindergarten to debates in high school, are all part of training children to speak in front of groups. Too often, though, these training opportunities are set aside in order to complete the "more important" reading and writing assignments. Are such public speaking experiences really just time-fillers?"
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"Teaching With Toddlers" by Kathryn Stout
March 2001
"Keep toddlers occupied in the home classroom with suitable materials and let them feel involved."
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"Getting More Out of Movies - Part II" by Kathryn Stout
February 2001
"Movies have become a routine part of many of our lives. Let's use them as an opportunity to share our values with our children as well as to equip them with skills needed to help guard their minds and emotions."
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"Getting More Out of Movies - Part I" by Kathryn Stout
January 2001
"All students can benefit from learning how a filmmaker uses visual effects and sounds to accomplish in moments what may require several paragraphs or even pages of prose. This makes movies a useful supplement to any English program."
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