"" -- A Homeschooler's Notebook Subscriber.
An interactive, FREE, twice-monthly ezine packed with great reader tips, reviews, & practical encouragement for homeschool families.


Some of Our Sponsors


Landry Academy

Math Mammoth

Great Homeschool Conventions

The Old Schoolhouse Magazine

Resource Links

All About Spelling
Homeschooling ABCs
Upper Level Homeschool
FIRETIME Notebooking
FREE Funschool Units
Homeschooling Help
More Homeschooling Help
HS Gifted and Talented
Homeschool Country Life
Beloved Books & Audio



Library Book Sales, Classic Movie Unit Studies, Apprenticeship Ideas

By Heather Idoni

Added Friday, January 20, 2006

The Homeschooler's Notebook
Encouragement and Advice for Homeschool Families
Vol. 7 No 3 January 20, 2006
ISSN: 1536-2035
Copyright (c) 2006 - Heather Idoni, FamilyClassroom.net. All Rights Reserved.

Welcome to the Homeschooler's Notebook!

If you like this newsletter, please recommend it to a friend --
We all need to be helping each other with our homeschooling!

Directions for subscribing and unsubscribing are below.



Notes from the Editor
-- January Bookin'
Helpful Tips
-- Classic Movie Unit
Question of the Week
-- Your Questions
-- Your Answers
Editor's Picks
-- Finding Library Sales
-- Subscriber Information
-- Sponsorship Information

Notes from Heather

While there are few reasons to look forward to January
in Michigan, there is one event I look forward to more than any

The return of the LIBRARY SALES!

As a confirmed book-aholic, I have to admit that I really, really
can't wait for all the holidays to be over so that the "Friends of
the Library" groups will be back in session and doing what they
do best -- organizing all the donated books so that I can SHOP!

Our home library of 3,000+ books was created from the discards
and donations from dozens of local libraries.Paying from 25 cents
to $1.00 a book, the bargains abound.But you have to know
what you are after!And you have to know how to locate the
really good sales.

In the old days, locating library sales meant getting on the
phone and calling individual libraries.But now, with the internet,
tracking down the sales within driving distance is so much easier!
In fact, you can even have information for local library sales
delivered weekly to your PC via email.(See "Heather's Picks" at
the end of the newsletter for more about that!)

The best strategy for finding great books is to actually help set
up the sale.Volunteer for the nearest library "friends" group that
gets good donations or regularly sets up large sales.After the
work is done, or even as you are helping, you can often choose
the books you want for your own family and purchase them at a
discount.And you can enlist the whole family to help!My boys,
from the age of 5 and up, have always enjoyed library sales.The
youngest are trained to pick a good book and go sit under a
table while the rest of us "work" the sale.

I let the kids bring me books they are interested in and add them
to a pile of books that my husband and I might find.The pile
grows throughout the sale and then, near the end, we sit down
and sort through all our finds. We check the interior condition
of the book, the content (if we aren't sure we want it), and we
basically decide if each is a true "keeper" or not.

Building a home library can be a fun project... and learning what
to look for in a book can even become a profitable adventure
when you can sell a duplicate copy to another family.Just be
careful or you might end up addicted, like me.Since I am unable
to pass up a great book (even if I already own it!) I had to
eventually open my own store! I'm sure you have much more
restraint, right?;-)

I'll talk more about the 'why, what and how' of building a home
library in our next issue! I'll even let you know what great finds
I got in Lake Orion, Michigan at the "friend's preview" sale next
Wednesday night. If you are in the neighborhood, maybe I'll see
you there! (Did I mention this is a date for my hubby and I?)

Happy booking! And don't forget to check "Heather's Picks"
near the end of the newsletter for that booksale site.



[Here's your chance!Send YOUR ideas along to

This week's fun tip is from Rhonda.Thanks, Rhonda!

"Some days when my children and I need a break from "regular
schooling" we will choose an old classic movie preferably one that
they know well.We will watch the movie together, stopping all the
time to try to think of all the subjects that could possibly be related
and looking things up in encyclopedias (research skills).

For example, the Wizard of Oz:
Weather - tornadoes, sizes and speeds of, where and how they
usually form, what to do to be safe; what does a fire need to burn,
fuel/oxygen/water, safety issues; history of flight, aerodynamics,
monkeys verses birds; relationships between people - character
qualities - obedience, respect for authority, gratitude, friendship,
honesty, specific Bible verses that could be applied to the various
characters situations; plot development, foreshadowing, character
development, styles of clothing, musical effects, background details,
colors/moods, song versus dialogue.

We also have discussions about what would we do differently if we
were a character in the movie, and/or how we would change the
ending.One that my kids really like is comparing how differently
the same movie would be made today using computers, graphics
and special effects that were not available at that time. With imagi-
nation anything in life can be turned into an educational experience.
If you write down what you have learned, you can call it a day."


Send YOUR ideas to:HN-ideas@familyclassroom.net

Last Issue's Question Was...

"I'm looking into apprenticeship ideas for my son and daughter, ages
16 and 17, respectively.They have a wide variety of interests, but
I would like to help them find opportunities which will not only expose
them to new skills, but also apply toward credits on their high school
transcripts.Is anyone doing something like this with apprenticeships
or does anyone have suggestions for locating opportunities for home
schooled children?For instance, we have a few local dads who could
teach welding and a mom who caters.Is it appropriate to pay for the
training or to work in exchange?Anyone who has advice please send
it my way!Thanks!"

Our Readers' Responses

Thanks to everyone who responded!I included as many as
I had room for!They were all great.


"One of the motivators for my husband to start his own electrical
contracting business was so that he would have a marketable skill
to train our two oldest sons in.He made it clear from the beginning
that he had no expectations that this would have to be their life's
work.The boys "apprenticed" in the electrical field from an early
age as their father's go-fer.They learned the tools and language of
the trade, accompanying him to estimate, buy supplies for and then
complete the job.They were paid generously, but learned to work
hard!The life skills they learned were inestimable.At 22, son
number one is working for a large electrical contractor while studying
toward certification at the local vo/tech school.His first love is music
but he realizes the importance of having a trade.

Son number two, at 20, works with his dad on his school breaks and
knows for certain he would not want to make his living this way.
Both could tackle most any electrical problem they might face in
home ownership and generate consistent praise from customers for
their good character.

Though he often fell short in his promises to help with the day-to-day
schooling, my husband's original vision paid off.In the boys' most
formative years he was their greatest influence and teacher of life

Now we still have two daughters to navigate to adulthood.When the
older floundered a bit, I was able to beseech a homeschooling mom
who was a native German speaker to take her in once a week to give
her lessons in German and German culture, one of her few interests
at the time.The original idea was that my daughter would in turn be
a mother's helper, but I babysat a number of times in return as well
as my husband consulting on a number of their home improvements.
This same daughter takes voice lessons and her teacher is now bar-
tering lessons for electrical upgrades in their new home.A key to
success with these bartering situations is developing a relationship
of trust and mutual respect.

One of the greatest lessons experience has taught us is that a truly
delight directed student will attract eager teachers.The piano tuner
would spend hours at our home discussing his trade with my
second son and was eager to consult via internet when he wrote a
thesis paper on "Musical Temperament."When computer problems
motivated him he never failed to find someone skilled and willing to
help him through.He chose himself a musical mentor, a minister
of music and song writer from clear across the country, and then
volunteered to create a website to post chord charts for this man's
choir music.What a great way to create lifetime learners!" -- Marion


"I have 4 boys and 3 are still being homeschooled. With my first son
in his last year of schooling he began in afternoons of helping a local
plumber. He enjoyed it and is now working full time as a plumber's
apprentice.My second son, who is 16, set up an arrangement with
a John Deere dealer.He wants to see what it is like to work on
tractors and diesel motors.The agreement they came to was that
he would come in and job shadow a mechanic 2 times a week for 3
or 4 hours to see if this is a job he would like to go to school for.My
son was happy with this arrangement.If this isn't what he likes we
will look at what else he is interested in and keep asking until he
finds what he enjoys." -- Maggie


"Apprenticeship is a wonderful way to learn skills for the future, but
I think it depends on the area of interests that the student has.For
example, if they are interested in becoming a nurse, they could
become a candy striper at their local hospital for the summer.
Nursing homes have many opportunities for people to get involved
as well.Just being in that environment will help the student learn
what goes on in that trade.My 13 year old son is interested in
becoming a chef.We read in the paper how a local restaurant
owner started out peeling potatoes at age 13, so we are going to
talk to him about opportunities for my son in his restaurant.He can
also enter cooking contests.A man who owns a local nursery
invites kids to apply to work there during the busy season.This will
in turn teach them about horticulture.Volunteering at your local
library can provide a wealth of information.And if you befriend the
staff, as my 13 year old son did, then they will be on the lookout for
books that focus on your child's area of expertise.I would not pay
for this training, unless it was through a county program or com-
munity college.If the trainer is willing to pay your child, don't turn it
down.It's a double blessing to get paid to learn." -- Noreen


"I am a homeschooling mom of a 13 year old and 7 year old. I am
also a college student. When I intern I never have to pay. I have
done internships just to get a job. I have done internships to get
the skills I need and I do internship work for my classes.You are
basically donating your time to learn a trade the person that you
intern work for will set up a schedule and you work.I normally
donate 180 hrs of time in return I learn a trade and I also get a
letter of recommendation this has earned me scholarships in school
and prospective employment when I finish my degree.

You can never have too many letters of recommendation!Also, if
you are planning college or just working, start a portfolio.Colleges
and employers get really impressed with these.I have my portfolio
I started when I was in high school, and when I got out in the
work force I started a portfolio.Now that I am back in college I
have started another!" -- Janet


"Most apprenticeships can apply toward high school credit. Just take
into consideration the type of work the apprentice does, and then
estimate how many hours are spent in the various areas; then plug
the hours into their transcripts.For example, if a child is working at
a grocery store, he would likely gain experience in math, speech and
communication, business/computer/management, health and nutri-
tion, etc.Most apprenticeships contribute very favorably to resumes
also.You might browse through the newspaper or telephone book
and start calling businesses and services that interest your children.
Your local Chamber of Commerce might be willing to notify its mem-
bers of your desire to do apprenticeships.You could also put an ad
in the local paper. Some suggestions might be: electrician, carpenter,
farmer/rancher, seamstress, elder care, plumber, cleaning services,
nursery/greenhouses, newspaper/publisher, florist, nanny, appliance
repair, small engine repair, piano/organ repair, pet groomer/kennel,
heating and refrigeration, landscaping -- for starters.Be sure to
screen potential employers and make sure they will be a good
example for your children.Concerning pay, usually an apprentice
works in return for his training.Some employers will add monetary
pay as the apprentice gains skill.Whatever both parties agree to
would be appropriate." -- Mary Beth


"So far we have had luck at the local pet stores.My son has had 2
internships cleaning cages, all the way up to stocking shelves.At
busy times, he even answered the phone!Also, our veterinarian
said he could intern there when he is 13!" -- Denise


"My son(15-really close to 16) is interning at our church.He is
very interested in audio engineering and he also plays the drums.
He interns five hours a week learning audio engineering. The five
hourscan be split to fit your schedule.I would not suggest you
pay the person instructing your child; The child's time and work
should suffice as payment. We did pay for the curriculum my son
is using so that we could keep it for our records.He also volun-
teers playing drums for our youth service. That gives him practice
with other players and live performance practice. He will also get
his Arts credit that way." -- Terry


"Have you considered contacting your local city/county govern-
ment?They may allow apprenticeships.When we lived in a small
town several years ago, one of the young girls in our church did
this in the city clerk's office and it led to a paid position." -- Jayne


"We have several opportunities here for apprenticeship.A local
person (who is a close friend) runs a mechanical shop and teaches
my oldest two, 14 and 13, to repair small items such as tillers. We
have plans as they get older for him to teach them welding as well
as working on vehicles.We did offer to pay him but he insists that
he uses the boys to clean up his shop and he really enjoys their
help.This man is like a brother to us and we know him really well
so we know we can trust him and he will let us drop by whenever
we want as long as we follow proper safety rules, such as no going
into a shop when a truck is on the lift and no entering while he is
welding.We have also helped with several building projects through
Helping Hand and that gives them carpentry skills.One rule I have
is that they have to be in pairs, to have at least another child with
them.It isn't that I don't trust people but it is better to be safe
than sorry." -- Marsha

Answer our NEW Question!

This week 2 of the questions I received were very similar so I am
posting them together.Thanks for helping our readers!


"We have been homeschoolingfor three years and so far, it has
been wonderful.My kids are learning well, and on most days, we
work well together.I am overall very pleased with homeschooling.
We have recently moved to a new town, and there is supposedly
a large homeschool population here, but it seems very scattered
and the moms do not seem to reach out as much as I have been
used to.We are in a homeschool group (not a co-op), that does
field trips and other activites, which we do, if does not interfere
too much with academics.My kids ages are 8,6, and 3, so I think
I am providing enough time with other kids (we do PE class,
church, and have oodles of non-hs neighbor kids around).But for
the first time, I am feeling very isolated as a homeschooling mom.
I feel I have tried to reach out and it just hasn't "clicked" yet. The
homeschool group I am in seems very nice in some respects and
very cold in others.Has anyone experienced this in lieu of a move,
and what were some things you did to alleviate the isolation
(without quitting homeschooling)?" -- Jill


"I am in desperate need of a homeschool network of friends. I
know one other mom I know that homeschools, but seems too
busy to share.I was not homeschooled and I have a 4 year old
daughter that reads at probably a 1st or 2nd grade level (purely
her desire, no egging on to get this little bookworm to read!), a
10 month old and a new one coming inabout 7 months.Help!"
-- Christine in PA


Do you have a suggestion for these moms?
Send your responses to:HN-answers@familyclassroom.net


Do you have a burning question that you can't ask just anyone?
Send it to HN-questions@familyclassroom.net and we'll see
if our readers can help you out.


Here is the website to locate library booksales in your area!


Sometimes there ARE mistakes, though.So when you
narrow down the sales you want to try to attend, it pays
to contact the library directly to verify all the information.

It is easy to sign-up to receive an email weekly with all the
upcoming sales, too.You can specify the driving distance
as a radius around your area.

Interactive Email Group

In an effort to help our readers become more of an interactive
community, we have set up an email loop at YahooGroups called

Please sign-up for the group and take our poll, even if you want
to go "no mail" for the loop.This will help me to understand what
ages your children are, how you school, etc.(The information will
be kept anonymous and private, of course.)

Here is the link to sign-up and take the poll:



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
contributions to HN-articles@familyclassroom.net or

You can find helpful links at our website:

More resources and links can be found at Lynn Hogan's site:


To subscribe, just send a blank email to the following address:

To unsubscribe send a blank email to the following address:


Next - Why Have a Home Library?, Isolated Moms, Decluttering
Previous - New Readers' Email Group, Bathtub Icebergs, M.L. King Day Lesson Ideas

     Site content copyright individual contributors and FamilyClassroom.net 2001-2011 - Digital duplication expressly prohibited.
Privacy Policy | Advertise