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NON-College-bound Students, Build A Bear, Making 1st Grade 'Fun'

By Lynn Hogan

Added Friday, November 04, 2005

The Homeschooler's Notebook
Encouragement and Advice for Homeschool Families
Vol. 6 No 44    November 4, 2005
ISSN: 1536-2035
Copyright (c) 2000-2005 Lynn Hogan. All Rights Reserved.

Welcome to the Homeschooler's Notebook!

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Notes from Lynn
-- What About Non-College Bound Students?
Helpful Hints
-- Educational Items at the Build a Bear Website
Question of the Week:
-- Squabbling Between Teens
Reader's Response
-- Can School be Fun for First Grader?
Lynn's Picks
-- Pre-Holiday Sale at Unit Study Helps
--Subscriber Information Including Archive Retrieval
--Sponsorship Information


I got an interesting note from a reader last week asking me
about the NON-college bound students. That was a great question.
This series ran longer than I usually allow any series to go,
but there was just so MUCH information and I truly believe that
even if your student is going to go to traditional high school,
you may benefit from at least some of the information shared.
Please allow me one more week to share information primarily of
interest to parents of high schoolers. I promise that next week
we will be on to other topics.

Although we have spoken quite a bit lately about the whole
college thing, not EVERY student is destined for college. For
some, college may never happen. For others, it might happen in
2 years or 4 years or (like my dear husband) even longer. As
much as we would like to believe it to be true, college is
truly NOT the be all and end all of higher learning. Often
times, sad to say, it is not a college degree that gets your
homeschool graduate that ideal job, but instead it is who he or
she has met along the way and/or the experiences he or she has
had that truly open the door to the perfect job.

If your student does not have a clue what he or she would like
to do in the future, college may not be a great choice for
right now. Your student could be forced to go to college and
end up changing majors 3 times and taking an extra 2-4 years to
graduate, OR you could encourage your student to get involved
with community service, a job of some kind and/or some
apprenticeship activities that might allow your student to
mature while getting exposed to other things that a college
environment might never give him or her the opportunity to

I did a quick scan on the internet for "apprenticeship programs"
and this was one website I found. I am sure there are plenty of
others and a quick search will help you find the direction that
might be perfect for your student.
Apprenticeship programs don't have to be official. You may know
someone that might be willing to take your student under their
wing for a while as a mutually beneficial project. Your student
could learn more about computers by helping a friend who does
computer repair as a profession.

Finding your student's giftedness and encouraging them to go in
the direction that they are "bent" is far more productive than
forcing them into a situation that is going to please no one.
Let me give you one example. My son loves computers and has
ALWAYS loved computers (since he was 6). I wanted him to go to
a REAL college. From the time his sister was looking at schools,
I dragged him from college to college knowing that ONE of them
was going to get him excited about being out on his own and
going to college. Guess what? He never found a college that
made him want to be there. After 2 years of trying to convince
him that he needed to be in a 4 year college and after
realizing that a 4 year college would be, for MY son, the
biggest mistake we had done in a while, I gave in. I started
paying more attention to his giftedness and less attention to
my preferences. We decided to allow him to apply to a computer
technical school. Sure enough, he got in with no problem and
has been very successful in that venue. If we had put him into
a traditional college, I feel assured that the results would
not have been the same. For us, a technical school was an

I know others that have allowed their children to go on long
term mission trips to get to "see the world", plus learn beside
others about how to help others as well as learn a skill. All
missions trips have something to teach; it might be a chance to
learn plumbing or painting or teaching or any number of other
things that might not be so easy to find an apprentice type
position in under normal circumstances. There is a LOT of
learning by doing in missions! For some students, this is the
ideal teaching environment!

Your student may or may not be destined for a college degree,
but regardless of their future, you are working to give them a
solid foundation. You are working hard to teach them to be
independent thinkers. Let them be the primary decision makers
about their post-homeschooling experience. You'd be amazed how
accurate they can be about their capabilities and how, with
your help, they can make great decisions about the right time
to make a good college decision!



Here's Your Chance! Send YOUR Ideas Along to

Just wanted to let you know that the Build a Bear web site,
http://www.buildabear.com, has some neat educational stuff - maps,
online flash cards, a "hangman" type game and a whole lot more.


Have you a burning question that you can't ask just anyone? Send
it to HN-questions@familyclassroom.net and we'll see if a smart
subscriber can't help you out. (Editor's Note: You can also
post your QUESTIONS at the message board to see what others
might have to say. The address is: http://www.voy.com/89720/
SEND YOUR RESPONSE to HN-answers@familyclassroom.net

My teenage children are lately getting into saying unkind things to one
another and I am struggling with a way to stop it. Any
suggestions? - Sherry


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 have a 1st grader and have only been doing homeschool really
since last year. She is hating it because she isn't having any
fun. While I think not everything in life needs to be fun, I
think school should be at least sometimes.:) Any ideas on how
to make it fun or fun learning activities?

For young children, hands-on activities are usually more fun
than book work. Studying outside on a nice day is more fun
than being inside. Curling up on the couch is more fun than
sitting at the table. A playful challenge such as, "I bet I
can trick you on this math page," or "I bet you can't get this
done before I fold the laundry," might motivate some children.
A smiling, cheerful mother is more fun. Studying subjects of
interest increases the enjoyment level. Read books about
topics of interest to her; make up math problems about her
favorite animal, storybook character, food, etc. Be sure you
are teaching to her learning style; an auditory learner needs
sound; a kinesthetic learner needs action, etc. Also, check
whether she is resisting in other areas of life besides school.
She might be entering into rebellion, in which case you must
address that before you'll ever be able to accomplish anything.
- Mary Beth

I was (and still am at times with my 4 kids - depends on the
subject) in the same boat 2 years ago with my youngest. Three
things I tried (with success)- Draw-Write-Now program - kids
draw pictures by practicing shapes they will need for writing -
it made writing fun for school. Another was to use Spelling
Power - for the spelling program. Not only is it easy and does
a great job at teaching kids how to spell, but it has a large
supplement of games and other activities the kids really
enjoyed. My kids favorite part was (and still is) "drawing"
out the letters in a box of sand or rice or whatever. The
third (and most fun for my kids) was science. Science is
another way to keep things fun - there are a lot of quick and
easy science books out there and just as many web sites. First
grade is a wonderful time to begin introducing things like
Entomology (study bugs), Biology (learning about different
types of animals), Physics (balloon cars and rockets),
Chemistry (baking soda and vinegar), Oceanography, etc. Science
encompasses so many different areas (reading, writing, drawing
what you see, mathematics, etc) that it is a great place to be
during 1st grade!

Oh - don't forget art - those cutting and folding skills are
very important - you can always include them in almost any
subject (check out learningpages.com). Remember also to
include going outside to play. I can usually tell when the
kids need this type of a break - and sometimes we even take a
"run around the house 5 times" break - takes about 5-10 minutes,
but when they return, they are ready to continue.- Lucinda

I'm wondering how you define "dedicated." If you mean you and
your daughter are spending 5 or 6 hours a day in the books...
it may be time to rethink your definition. 6 year old's don't
need hours upon hours in schoolbooks every day to learn. I
would suggest this: go to Sam's or another warehouse club and
pick up a workbook called "comprehensive curriculum;" it's
categorized by grade. Pick up one that's appropriate for her
and set it in a designated spot. Let her get into it when the
mood strikes her. The rest of the time, DO things with her.
Let her live life and look for the educational value in what
she's doing instead of trying to force-feed her an education.
Cook with her, take her shopping, go on nature walks and see
what sparks her interests. Watch educational programs of all
sorts. Institutionalized education (the classroom) has given
society the idea that learning is something you go to do, like
a job and robbed us of the fact that living is learning. Let
her learn naturally at this age. She's got years ahead of her
that will be spent pouring over books to learn algebra, history,
etc. If you take a more natural approach with her now, chances
are that when she's older, she'll dig into the books with
relish instead of viewing it as something that's just a
requirement to "get through school." - Ms A


Let me help you with your holiday shopping! 20% off your total
order of in stock items (minimum of 10.00 order)! Coupon code:
HNS (put this in the coupon code box when you place your order).
This offer expires November 11th. Stop by
and get a jump on your gifts for fellow homeschoolers!

My buddy Barbara had a great response to her sample offer last
week! She'd like to continue, for a limited time, a special
offer with select samples! You can find out more at:
http://www.blueridgecoffeeroasters.com. Please understand
these are per bag prices. Try it and enjoy some of the best
coffee you've ever tasted!


There are opportunities for you to be a sponsor of this
newsletter. If you are interested, drop an e-mail to
marketing@stretcher.com with "Homeschoolers-Notebook" as the
subject. We'll send you some information on how to be a part of
this ministry!


All contributed articles are printed with the author's prior
consent. It is assumed that any questions, tips or replies to
questions may be reprinted. All letters become the property of
the "Homeschooler's Notebook". (Occasionally your contribution
may have to be edited for space.)

Again, I welcome you to the group. Feel free to send any
newsletter contributions or get in touch with me at
Lynn@unitstudyhelps.com or catch me on ICQ(#6729825) or AOL
Instant Messenger at: LH for Jesus. You can also find helpful
links at my website: http://www.unitstudyhelps.com

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Next - Lynn's Farewell, BrainChild.com, Spelling Help
Previous - Choosing a College (Part 2), Art History Timeline, Avoiding Excessive Activities

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