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So NOW What??

By Lynn Hogan

Added Friday, June 10, 2005

The Homeschooler's Notebook
Encouragement and Advice for Homeschool Families
Vol. 6 No 23 June 10, 2005
ISSN: 1536-2035
Copyright (c) 2000-2005 Lynn Hogan. All Rights Reserved.

Welcome to the Homeschooler's Notebook.
If you like this newsletter, recommend it to a friend!


Notes from Lynn:
-- So NOW What???
Helpful Hints
-- Free Art Projects and Lessons
Reader's Response
-- Assorted Answers to Assorted Questions


I was talking to a mom this week that had attended the state
homeschooling convention a couple weeks ago. She received SO
MUCH great information at the conference. She came home totally
"psyched", encouraged and ready to think about her next year of

All of a sudden her world came crashing down. Those words of
encouragement became, in her mind, words of condemnation. She
started replaying the lectures she heard as little lists of things
that she had left un-done. She began to look at her school
and see all the shortcomings. She realized one child was
behind in math and the other in language mechanics. How did she
manage to be so busy and fail so badly? What's a poor mom to do?

Can you relate to this? I know there were plenty of times when I
could. Here are some things I learned in my homeschooling
experience that I shared with Marie:

1. Every child masters certain skills at THEIR time of
readiness, not necessarily when you are in the mood to teach it
to your student. Even different children in your family will
master things at different times. (Didn't each of your children
learn to crawl and walk at different times?)

2. Don't judge your school by anyone else's. You will always
find someone whose school "appears" to be more coordinated, or
more thorough or more advanced than yours. In reality, every
school has their own challenges based on the family dynamics.
You aren't IN that other school 24/7 to see the issues that the
other family may be enduring!

3. You can't fix everything in one year. I can't tell you how
many families I have worked with that think they can remedy
EVERY issue for EVERY student in one year. It isn't going to
happen. Sorry. Some years you will spend more time with one
student than another. Some years you will feel like you are
going two steps forward and three steps backward. Sometimes
that is true and sometimes it is just your feeling.

4. Speaking of feelings: Our feelings are not what determines
how our school is going! Sometimes we *feel* like we are
accomplishing nothing and there is great work going on within
our child. Remember when your child was not speaking but had
great passive understanding? It was obvious that he understood
far more than he could speak. Eventually that child started
talking and the concepts all came together for him.

5. Some years you will focus more on one subject than another.
Some SEASONS you will focus on one subject more than another.
If you are doing unit studies, some units lean more heavily
into science than history (although it is practically
IMPOSSIBLE to teach science without history). That doesn't
mean that you have failed this year in the subject you didn't
focus on. It does mean that if you do testing, not to expect to
see huge improvements on the subjects you did not "hit" this
year. (BTW, you will probably still see SOME improvement, but
not as much as in the topics you focused on this year.)

6. Find the time to take a break, read a good book (NOT related
to homeschooling). Then grab a cup of coffee (most know I LOVE
coffee) and look for some positive things that happened in your
school. THEN look at those and see *why* they happened. What
made them work? Honestly, the same thing won't always work the
same way, but it is wise to remember what worked. Sometimes it
WILL work again with just a little tweaking!

7. School is not only about academics! When you get a
compliment on your child for his behavior or attitude,
smile and KNOW that you are doing the right thing! Store up
those moments in your memory or in a journal somewhere, so when
the bad days come (and they always do), you will know that
there really IS more to school than the bad things!

And FINALLY, trust yourself. Your students will help to show you
when they are ready to learn certain things. Don't rush ahead
of their abilities. Talk to people that encourage you and build
you up. Steer clear of those that don't understand or don't
want to help you be successful on your homeschooling journey.
Many of us believe that the Lord has called us to homeschool.
If that is the case with you, then you KNOW HE will help you
along the way to do what HE has called you to do! Be patient
with yourself and with your family. It's YOUR school.




Free Art Projects and Lessons

FREE: Masterpiece Art Instruction Free projects, lessons and
ideas for teachers utilizing a wide variety of techniques and
supplies. For further details visit:
My daughter LOVES these projects! - Francine


My question is about test taking. I have a 3rd grader and a 5th
grader who both are not good at preparing for a test. I never
know how much I should help them study since I know what will
be on the test. What would be a good way to teach them to learn
to study on their own. I feel sometimes they don't take test
taking serious since they are homeschooled and are rather lazy
and memorizing material. What can I do to get them to respect
testing. I am mostly speaking of history, science, etc.


NOTE: my publication of these responses does not necessarily
mean that I endorse a product or an activity. You make your own
decisions about how these responses might work in YOUR school!

In response to the one who wondered where to get easy read books,
I can tell where I found many of mine. There are public
libraries that have bookstores that sell donated books for a
few cents on the dollar. Usually, these are run by senior
citizens that donate their time and use the money for senior
citizens activities or events in the area they are in. A lot of
these book are hardback books discarded from the library.
Others may be donated by parents as they outgrow them. I pay
anywhere from a dime to a dollar for them. I know of three
stores just in a 10 mile range of my home . I am sure there are
many more throughout the country. Most people don't know of
these except by word of mouth. - Becky

There are a couple of wonderful sets of books for slightly older
readers in which homeschooled characters are portrayed in a
very positive light. They are "The Homeschool Detectives"
series by John Bibee and the "Hannah's Island" series by Eric P.
Wiggin. I purchased both sets from Youth With A Mission (YWAM)
publishing. I enjoyed them, my wife enjoyed them, and our now
13-year old son enjoyed them. In both series, which are
mysteries, the children involved are homeschooled. - Wayne

Try mainlesson.com for some very unique, many out-of-print
stories. They also have links to similar sites. Stories are
organized for appropriate ages/grades by either the Ambleside
or Waldorf approach. - Sandi

Next - Marriage and Homeschooling: Both Take Work
Previous - A Little Time, A New Attitude!

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