Newsletter 10-27-2009

Recently, I included
in my newsletter a question from a customer.  It was regarding her student, who was
having trouble focusing during school. 
This customer was asking for suggestions that might help her in
homeschooling her student.  From the
description she gave, I suggested that the student was a kinesthetic learner and
needed a more kinesthetic approach to his learning.  I invited all readers of the newsletter
to give us suggestions to share regarding this.  Below are responses that we received.
someone suggested a particular product, I have tried to link to it within the
response.  I also had a few more questions included in
some responses…and I promise that I will get to those

I hope you



Cyndi Kinney, R.N.,

Knowledge Box



Response #1:

Math facts, we did a form of hop-scotch- call it jump scotch if you will. Just
straight squares of numbers, then for 3 + 9, count and jump to the three, then
count to nine while jumping forward nine more squares.


many different ways can you jump to 10?   
subtraction, start on the number and jump
those that need to “complete the ten and go on”, use a different color chalk for
the 10.


multi-sensory approach- hear it, see it, jump it.




Here’s a product on that can be used if you don’t want
to use chalk:

Carpets Hopscotch


too have a kinesthetic learner, and while we still struggle sometimes to get on
the same page (she is now in 5th grade), I have had great success with “wrap-up”
for math and geography facts, sticker or coloring maps for history and
geography, anything science-experiment related, Math-U-See (because her early
math became playing with the blocks!!), and History
books for when I read to her about history.  Story
of the World history’s activity books
 had great enrichment ideas, and
we used their recipes and craft ideas as much as feasible til just the last
year.  During a “pirate” phase, I made us matching eye patches & we sat
and counted our “gold coins” like pirates (down to the “ahoy matey!!” for each
10 we counted!).  We also found Scholastic
had math board game and phonics “board” game books
that you can copy from
and glue into a file folder – we colored them & played them way past her
proficiency in those skills because she loved them.  I discovered she loves
; we bought several from the company “ThinkFun
at our local toy store (also available sometimes in Target) that are
3-dimensional puzzle-type
things that pack into their own bag & are great for trips & “school on
the road.”  I still sometimes read to her while she does a puzzle or colors
or crochets; she really absorbs information better audibly.  I have quit
stressing about it; she is really very bright & creative & has loved the
we used for bugs we catch.  She always hated writing about
things she read, but she loved doing the ice cream cone book report form from
(they have several shapes available!).  Five
in a Row
was a great tool for her well into 3rd grade.  Just hang in
there & be creative & PRAY!!

Response #3:

have the same difficulty.  I have always been a MUS fan and it has worked
beautifully for my now 9th grader.  But along has come my – now 9 yr. old –
who just can’t work with it.  I have recently discovered Right
Start Math
.  It is completely kinesthetic and I LOVE it, but most
importantly, so does she.



I enjoyed your article/response to the woman who wrote you. 
I, too, felt that she was describing a kinesthetic learner and that 9 to 5:30
was way too long for any child to be “doing school” let alone a 2nd
grader.  I do bible and the 3 r’s before noon (reading and writing often
are on history and scientific subjects), then after lunch is either free time or
hands on stuff like lap books, project pockets, games etc.  It depends on
what I have to get done for the rest of life.  My kids help with chores,
play sports and participate in 4-h, so academics until dinner is just not going
to happen.  Oh, sorry for the rambling (hee hee)!

So my little suggestion is that one of my boys has trouble
focusing.  He is 11 and in constant motion, constant talking or chewing on
something that does not belong in his mouth (he is worse than a baby with
putting everything in his mouth), constant rocking or bouncing when he sits,
constant hands on his siblings with fidgeting, wrestling, teasing etc. 
So….I allow him to sit at the table with an exercise
ball for a chair
, or in a rocker while reading.  The constant motion
allows him to expel some of his energy and this gives his brain a chance to
relax enough to focus.  I know it sounds strange, but for him it
works.  Sometimes he stops rocking to focus on something for a moment then
begins again, sometimes his motion intensifies when he gets excited about what
he is doing.  It’s really quite funny to watch.  (My husband was the
same way, and still has trouble sitting still at times)

So there it is.  If you think it’s not a good idea, that’s
fine.  If you think it may help someone feel free to pass it along, editing
my chatter of course, to fit your message.

Blessings to you,



just read the email from the mom with the kinesthetic learner that you posted on
your website, along with your suggestions. (Great ideas, by the way.)
 I also have a daughter (my third child that I also home schooled) who is a
kinesthetic learner who struggled with many of the same things that this mom
says about her daughter.  For example, my daughter didn’t get the idea of a
consonant-vowel blend until she was nearly 8 years old.  So, she did not
even begin to learn how to read until the very end of her “2nd grade”
year.  In 3rd grade, we worked on many concepts and school work at a 1st
grade level. 


the time, I was very concerned but did not have the sense that she was
suffering from a learning disability.  She just was different in the way
that she learned.  With much prayer, I worked with her at her level
regardless of what grade she was supposed to be in and tried to present
materials to her in a way that fit with her learning style.  It was a
challenge for me (I am a visual learner), but I found hands-on activities
for math and science, we would dramatize history with dress-ups and
“plays,” we used what I could find of learning concepts put to
music. We made up games for language arts and writing activities, and (by
God’s grace) patiently reviewed as much as was needed.  She took a lot of
my time with one-on-one interaction, unlike my older two girls.  I threw my
expectations out the widow and prayed that the Lord would give me wisdom in
teaching her what she needed to know.  And her dad and I emphasized her
character development and her walk with the Lord, over the importance of her


long story short, as she matured and developed good study habits, she began to
make faster and faster progress.  By the time she was in high school, she
had caught up and was on grade level.  She graduated from our home school
and went on to college and graduated #1 in her class from a small 4-year
university here in the south. 


don’t know if I have any specific suggestions of materials to use, mostly just
some encourgement.  Don’t push too hard.  Use as many
hands-on activities as possible and don’t get discouraged with having to repeat
concepts.  Always be upbeat with the child in question, don’t compare her
with others, only compare her with herself as she improves and matures and
grows and learns.  Work with attitude.  A child with a bad attitude
will have problems learning and remembering.  Work with character, helping
the child to build good work habits.  And look for those areas in which the
child excels and encourage her to move forward in those areas as much as
possible.  Give her every opportunity to develop her tallents, her
gifts.  If possible, use her areas interests as a gateway to teach new


don’t know if this is a help, but I look back on those days with my daughter and
remember the struggles that we had and my heart goes out to this mom. Then
I look at my daughter today — she is one of the most outstanding young women
that I have the priviledge to know.  All of the struggles were well
worth it.  God is good and He answers prayer, especially if we are trying
to do what He has called us to in teaching and training our children.  Gal


in Christ,




got your email about the mom with the 2nd grader that is hands on.  
 Loved that one by the way.   My son was so out side the box it wasn’t
funny.   May I suggest that she look into Charlotte Mason method.
 Turn her loose on a study of bugs. Outside with live catch jars to capture
study and release.  Sketch pad to draw them and digital camera to take
pictures of them.  I have some resources for the bugs and other studies for
moms that have hands on learners.   See below.  There are so many
things that she can do hands on. Including Architecture, Engineering, Medicine,


know this page says 100 things to do in the summer,
there are loads of things to do not just insects, there are plants, animals,
weather etc.


link is loaded with paper crafts: . 
a model of the sun, a volcano, the earth, ships, pyramids and much

she love the stars the Moon and the Sun?  Then Classical


site has loads of hands on projects – Paper



Response #7:

article was so well writen.  Thank-you for sharing some more ideas to
help.  I thought I would share something that has made a difference for my
family.  I have a 8 yr. old boy who has struggled for the past 3 yrs.
getting through the Lifepacs
we were doing.  By the end of last year both of us were ready to strangle
each other, it was a continual battle and I was so happy when we finished the
curriculum.  I vowed to change what we were doing because it was not
working for him.  My 6 yr. old daughter on the other hand loves it and will
go through 30 workbook pages a day.  She had no clue what the big deal
was. She loves Lifepacs
and will continue with them!  I researched many programs and ideas as he
was really struggling with reading and writing also and hated it.  I
finally invested in the Draw
Write Now
 books and he loves it.  He’s reading, writing and I
don’t have to fight him anymore, he considers it part of his art.  I also
changed to the Heart of
 curriculum and it is now the first thing he asks to do each
day!  No Kidding!  If I give him a choice of chores, music, taking
care of pets, etc., his first answer is school work.  It only takes us 2
hours to go through all the subjects and he likes it because there is so much
kinesthetic activities involved and changes subjects about every 15
minutes.  When he is suppose to invent hand motions to go along with a poem
to help memorize, he acts out the whole things and becomes very dramatic. 
He is retaining all the stories and info and loves the experiments each
week.  Yesterday we coated his 1 hand with shortening and stuck both
hands in the sink of ice water to learn about how whales stay warm with
blubber.  He loved it.  I like that we are becoming closer, enjoying
the time and he loves to learn again.  I’m loving homeschooling this
year.  If kids are fighting or struggling with what you are doing, don’t
keep doing it!  I learned that there is no reason for this.  Discover
how they learn and then teach them appropriately.  I hope this helps. 

Other products that were suggested a customer who

*** When studying Ancient Egypt, we
enjoyed these “hands-on” supplements:

Mystic Egyptian Tomb Dig & Play
Excavation Archaeologial Set, Discover Ancient Egypt and its

Ancient Egypt

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