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Putting Your House in Order and De-Stressing

By Lynn Hogan

Added Friday, July 22, 2005

============================================================
The Homeschooler's Notebook
Encouragement and Advice for Homeschool Families
============================================================
Vol. 6 No 29 July 22, 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. We all
need to be helping each other with our schools!

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==============
IN THIS ISSUE:
==============
Notes from Lynn:
-- De-Stressing
Question of the Week:
-- Making Homeschooling Work
Reader's Response
-- Free Sources for Teaching English?

=================
NOTES FROM LYNN
=================

First a quick housekeeping note: There were a few subscribers
that may have been lost in the last couple weeks. I just added
back in the folks from the JCHE bookfair from a couple weeks
ago. Welcome aboard, folks! If someone tells you that they were
getting the newsletter and now are not through no choice of
their own, please tell them to go to the website and sign up or
send me an e-mail and I will make sure their names get added.

Can you believe it is already practically the end of July. Where
has this year gone? Many of us are just cleaning up the
projects from our school year, while others are trying to "firm
up" what they are going to do next year. I know there were
times when I felt like I was on this roller coaster and JUST
when I thought things were settling down, it was time to gear
back up! Although I understand the feeling, I would like YOU to
be less stressed than I was!

Here's my two cents on this situation. Start by getting your
home in some kind of order. With the summer time, things may
have slipped a little. The routines are different during the
summer than during the traditional school time (usually). Have
a plan that allows you a few minutes every day to start
getting things in some kind of order. Process those old
projects and find a new home for them. Make yourself some room
on the shelves for new projects and books. You will breathe a
sign of relief when you realize that it doesn't all have to
happen overnight. Marla Cilley (AKA the Flylady -
http://www.flylady.net) talks about doing things 15 minutes
at a time. That is a lesson we should ALL learn. It really
IS a stress reliever.

We have already talked about finding the things that we have
accomplished over the last year. That gives us our ground work
for establishing our goals for next year. Enjoy the
satisfaction of those things that went well. For those things
that did not go so well, evaluate why and move ON! School is a
journey and you have time to fix things. Not every subject will
be covered in the same way that someone else might do it.
That's okay. YOUR school is tailored to YOUR students and your
family's situation. This is as it should be! Even in the
traditional schools, not every teacher teaches every page of
the SAME text book the same way!

I look at homeschooling kind of like a car ride. You might take
a Cadillac or you might take a Volvo or you might take a Nissan
or you might even take a bicycle. You may or may not travel the
exact same road as someone else. Even if you do, you may hit a
pot hole that other person did not happen to run into. That
does not make you a bad driver and them a good one, it just
means that you didn't drive EXACTLY the way they did. Each bit
of travel helps you to learn something new. Looking at your
homeschooling journey that way can help take some of the stress
out of being perfect!

Showing your children that you are not perfect and that you do
not demand perfection from them, gives them room to grow. For
example, what about a failed science experiment? I've been told
by several different parents that they don't do experiments
because they don't always turn out the way they expected. WOW
what a GREAT learning tool for you AND your students. You get
to play detective and try and find out WHAT went wrong and how
would you have done the experiment differently. Hey look , the
stress of FAILURE is gone and the excitement of investigation
has begun.

As the second half of the summer fills up with your looking for
curriculum, and trying to get in the last of those back yard
barbecues, enjoy the fact that you are doing a GOOD thing! You
have an opportunity to help your children learn to learn. The
details of what they learn are not as important as the fact
that they CAN learn and you are teaching them how. You CAN do
this!

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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

========================
ASK YOUR QUESTION
========================

I'm just starting homeschooling and it is ALL new to me. I have
an 8 year old boy, a 12 year old girl and a 16 year old girl.
What would your readers say are the top 3 things I need to know,
do or have to make this work? - Francine

========================
YOUR RESPONSE
========================

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!
---
I currently live in Mexico, but I would love to know if there
are any free website out there that teach the English language?

---
I was just reading the note for help from the lady living in
Mexico. I read this and then read the advice. I am wondering
if this family is struggling with learning issues or just the
fact that living in Mexico makes her son want to use Spanish.
Does he speak at all? If he functions well in Spanish then he
probably has no use for English. I am living overseas and have
for the last 8 1/2 years. I've seen things similar to this. I
don't have any advice other than necessity pushes us all to new
heights and needing to function in English could be the answer
for him. But if it isn't a learning issue don't make him feel
like he lacks or is deficient. Only encourage him and bring
situations to foster this along. - Dena
---

It may sound extravagant, but it would be expedient: a week long
trip to the eastern seaboard states would probably provide the
motivation. When I traveled to the southwest I realized that
speaking Spanish is a necessity. Your son will quickly realize
upon a visit east of the Mississippi that being bilingual is a
good thing. Also, one of the quickest ways to learn a language
is to be immersed in it. Also, think of all the history lessons,
cultural lessons, science lessons, etc you would reap out of
such a trip. Philadelphia, New York City, Boston, Williamsburg,
Florida, Maine, the Great Lakes...pick a suburb to stay in, use
public transportation, and see the sights. Ordering in a
restaurant, picking up personal items at the local quick mart,
catching a cab or bus, reading brochures and museum displays,
checking the newspaper for the weather report, listening to the
television at night in the hotel room: all these things would
be in English. - Ellen





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