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Hurricane Relief, One Mom's Story, Homeschooling 'Hits'

By Lynn Hogan

Added Friday, September 02, 2005

The Homeschooler's Notebook
Encouragement and Advice for Homeschool Families
Vol. 6 No 35     September 2, 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!



Notes from Lynn:
-- Hurricane Relief Ideas
-- Next Week - Filling the Gaps
Helpful Hints
-- One Mom's Story
Question of the Week:
-- Help with an Energetic 4 Year Old
Reader's Response
-- Your Biggest "Hit" in Homeschooling


I don't think that there is much of anything I can say about the
current situation in the southern states that you have not seen
or heard from someone else. I have a dear friend that has
family in Louisiana and we have been praying for the victims of
this latest hurricane in earnest. If you are like me and have
been watching the television with horror or reviewing the on-
line news sources, you may be wondering how you can help. I am
including a number of links where you can go and donate
finances to the victims through one or another agency. I have a
banner on my website at http://www.unitstudyhelps.com to take
you to the Red Cross. This is one of my personal favorite
agencies for this type of situation. This site has MANY, MANY
more places where you can put your money should you choose.
Another is Project Noah is based out of TX but they do help people in
other states on a regular basis. They are currently collecting
supplies for Katrina. It is a Christian organization but will
help ALL homeschoolers in need. email: project.noah@gmail.com
website: http://www.projectnoah.org/

There will be a huge number of displaced families for several
months to come. At least a couple homeschooling websites are
offering free course content and materials for victims of
Hurricane Katrina. These websites have actually started posting
FREE homeschooling (on-line) materials for victims of the
hurricane. I am not sure how many of these homeschooling
families will have access to libraries or friend's internet,
but I am hoping MANY will be able to take advantage of this
site. AO-HELP -- Ambleside Online Helping Hands Emergency
Learning Plan http://www.amblesideonline.org/HELP.shtml

A couple of weeks ago, I got a sweet letter from a reader that
was pleased that I had "given her permission" not to be Miss
Perfectly in Charge of her School, but was worried about the
possible gaps in her children's education. This is a somewhat
lengthy topic to respond to, but not one that I mind addressing.
It goes hand-in-hand with "how do I know I am doing enough?"
Due to the length of the newsletter without my article this
week (and my feeling regarding the importance of posting
information for how we can help fellow homeschoolers that may
have been displaced by Katrina), I am going to hold this topic
until next week. Hopefully you will consider it worth the wait!




I always enjoy reading the newsletter and enjoy all the
different ideas everybody has. I have been a homeschool mom now
for about 5 years. My son is ADHD. At first I thought, instead
of helping him, I would be doing him more harm. Little did I
know, he would just about turn his chair over from moving so
much, beating the books with his pencils, just not learning
anything. But watching him, I knew he had to move. In order to
learn he needed to do sit -ups while he spelled a word, run
around our trailer while he yelled out math problems with the
answers , worked in the yard while talking about science and
talking history while cleaning out dresser drawers. He had a
day to wash his clothes going through counting , saying the
colors and sometime telling me how he thought a shirt was made.
He had a cooking class where he learned math and planned the
meal, set the table, serve the meal and watch all that ate it
clean up the dishes with big smiles on our faces.

We live on a 22 acre farm with 10 horses, so school is much more
than books. Now he has school starting at 2:00-5:00 and is back
at it after dinner. He has learned to be still and when he gets
bored he comes to me ready to do school. Sometimes that might
be at 11:00 at night because he can't sleep, so I let him call
some of the shots. He cuts grass and has about 15 yards to
cuts; some he gets paid for and some he does for free. That is
also some school. We have learned that some people like to go
to school in the second shift and sometimes we even like to do
school in the third shift. Boy has he come along way. Watch,
listen and learn. Most kids will show you how or what to teach
them. My grandson has spinal bifida and a shunt. They told us
he would not learn anything. At 3 years old, he is learning to
count by saying numbers on a old phone. He is learning to spell
his name by saying a letter then clapping. He is learning his
way. I sing to him all the time, lower my voice, high pitch my
voice, even make laughing sounds as I say words - anything to
keep him learning and he loves it. He is surprising even the
nurses and doctors. Just a few ideas that I thought could help
someone. - Marie


My 4-year-old is smart as a whip, and so energetic he can't
focus. He does not want to learn to write. He does everything
verbally and can't slow down. How do I help him adjust to
school time? I'm worried about not knowing how to teach him to
his benefit. - Tina


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'd like to ask your readers that if there was ONE activity that
has been the biggest "hit" of your school (past or present),
what was it?

The one thing my children missed when we started homeschooling
was PE. They were active and loved to be moving. We lived
close to a Recreation Center with an indoor pool that was open
early in the morning from 5:30 to 6:30a.m. The center was the
property of the local school district and the time was set for
the people who worked nearby. By 7:00 am the building was full
of school kids, dropped off by parents on their way to work,
who played there and waited for school to start. It was also
perfect for us! Every morning we went swimming from 5:30 to 6:
30 a.m. Then we got dry, dressed, and went home for breakfast
and learning. Because of the early exercise they were awake,
aware, energized, and hungry. They were easy to get up and
going. We no longer live there and no longer get to do that
and the one thing we really miss was our early morning swims,
and even when the weather was icy and cold and dark we loved
going. - Julie

Unit Studies are so awesome because you can use the same
information and gear it to each child. Take our homeschool's
Butterfly Unit Study:

Mom gathers reading material on Butterflies from the Public
Library. Oldest Child reads to the younger children. The
children that can't write draw pictures of what was read to
them. Oldest child writes a story about the pictures (the
younger ones may have to interpret their drawing for them.) The
family heads outside to a park or backyard looking for
butterfly eggs. Reward the first one who finds them! A
couple weeks later and new field trip to hunt for those baby
caterpillars! Take that branch home with you and give them some
TLC. (grow your own butterfly assignment). Read some fiction
books about butterflies. Put on a play: The Life-Cycle of a
Butterfly. Make a Life-Cycle Mobile. Viola! a Multi age Unit
Study! Hope this helps!- The Becks

I'd like to suggest that any homeschool family plant a small
garden. It need not be large, but wouldn't it be a wonderful
way to teach the basics of biology, agriculture, and
identification of edible plants? (There are any number of other
benefits, too numerous to explore here.)

Also, share the vegetables with other homeschoolers, or maybe
even demonstrate (especially to the neighbors) how delicious
fresh produce is compared to store bought.

I hope this suggestion is beneficial. - Beilosz

Next - Those Pesky Gaps (Part 1), Studying the States, Reader Answers
Previous - Fall is for Planting... and for Fun! -  Comprehension and Listening Problems

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