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Post 9/11, Occupying Preschoolers, Geography Quizzes

By Heather Idoni

Added Friday, April 28, 2006

The Homeschooler's Notebook
Encouragement and Advice for Homeschool Families
Vol. 7 No 17 April 28, 2006
ISSN: 1536-2035
Copyright (c) 2006 - Heather Idoni, FamilyClassroom.net

Welcome to the Homeschooler's Notebook!

If you like this newsletter, please recommend it to a friend!

Directions for subscribing and unsubscribing are below.



Notes from Heather
-- Life is Fragile
Helpful Tips
-- Occupying Toddlers
Question of the Week
-- Your Questions
-- Your Answers
Editor's Picks
-- Geography Quiz Site
-- Subscriber Information
-- Sponsorship Information


I don't have much to offer this week, except to ask you to think
back a few years to what you were doing when you heard the
news of September 11, 2001. I remember in the days and weeks
afterward just being so glad I could hold my children... and pulling
each one close for frequent hugs. Life is fragile; so unpredictable.

This week I have seen some 9/11 footage -- two internet videos --
that I think everyone needs to see. At the very least there is
excellent science presented. At the worst, it may all be actually
true. Here are the links:

[links removed as of November 2006 - no longer available]

I do welcome feedback about your reactions to these movies. I'd
truly like to know the objective impressions of other homeschooling
families because of our common experience. Getting feedback
from other families will help me know how to process this information.

Thanks for bearing with me... I just feel strongly that I should share
this information and some sort of a dialogue in the homeschooling
community at large.

In God's care alone,


Send your thoughts to:



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

"I have homeschooled for 15 yrs. and I've homeschooled with toddlers and
pre-schoolers. It was a while ago but here are some things I did to help
the situation -- although nothing works all the time.

- Separate the toys and keep a box of toys that you only let your little
one play with during school hours they will be less bored with these
since they are "special" and only for certain times.

- Use computer programs like jumpstart Toddler and Preschool which will
teach as well as keep them busy, at least for a little while.

- Spend time with the younger one first doing something and then set
him/her up with an activity, like coloring at the table, while you
accomplish something with your older one.

- Include the younger ones in some of the studies you do, especially
reading aloud. You will be suprised how much they pick up by just
listening in.

- Get as much accomplished during nap time as you can. I had two
children who napped in the afternoon through Kindergarten, one who
napped until they started K, and one who gave up naps early on, right
around the time they turned 4. If they don't nap you can still insist
on a time of quiet looking at books and resting in their bed while you
teach something without interruption to your older child, I used to
use this time for teaching my child to read because we got quiet
uninterrupted time.

- For anyone reading this who may have 3 or more children including a
toddler or preschooler -- One of the things I used to do that
worked great was teach one child and have the other one entertain the
youngest. Teach one school age child their reading lesson and have
the other school age child play with your toddler/pre-schooler then
switch and/or teach one math, etc. This does take longer but I used to
do it for one subject only, the subject my kids had the hardest time
with so I could give them my undivided attention.

- Use TV as a babysitter -- I didn't do this often but if it was a
rough day I would let them watch PBS.

- With my 3rd child, which was my oldest son, I had to "lock" him in
the living room. We lived in a trailer and we had limited room. He had
a hard time learning to amuse himself so I put up two baby gates so he
could see us but not get to us in the kitchen where we did school. He
soon stopped crying and learned to play with his toys by himself while
we got a little school done. I did not leave him in there all day
alone or anything, and we were where we could see and hear him if he
really needed us. I usually did a combination of the above ideas
first, including having my girls take turns playing with him during
math time and put him in the living room alone to play during one
subject, so he could learn to play by himself and so we could get
school done.

Hope these ideas help!" -- Debbie in DE


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

Last Issue's Question

"I'm homeschooling 3 - my oldest 13 year old daughter has always
been at home. I have a 4 year old daughter in pre-school - home
school. My son is 7 years - school is great - but then he is so bored
when he is done. He's very social and it is exhausting trying to meet
his needs. He's in karate - and we have friends - he has a couple of
friends who come over - but he wants friends every day and makes
me feel guilty about it. He hounds and hounds as if I have nothing to
do other than meet his needs. What can I do? Any advice?" -- Debbie

Our Readers' Responses

"We do our children a disservice when we teach them that the world
revolves around them. Because if we teach them that, we are teaching
them a lie that will be discovered probably the first time they leave
the house. This modern society teaches its children that everything
should be "good" all the time. If it isn't good then something must be

God allows us to have difficult circumstances - even pain in order that
we grow and learn and draw closer to him. He never gives us more than we
take but sometimes as much as we can stand. So as parents should we
prepare our children to be strong and self sufficient. I must allow my
children to experience difficulties with others, boredom, work and
self-sacrifice in order for them to learn how to deal with these things
on their own.

It is not your job to find amusement for your child. He needs to learn
to play by himself as well as with others. Point him in the right
direction. Give him a little shove toward the legos or the bookshelf and
make him understand that it is his responsibility to amuse himself, that
boredom is a choice and that he is being selfish and unloving to you
when he continually asks you for more when he has enough. (time with his
friends etc...)

When my children say they are bored I give them chores to do. This is
very effective in encouraging them to find some way to amuse themselves
and not ask me to do it for them. I have two 7 year old boys who were
drying dishes with the rest of the family when they were two and a half.
Life is work. We should find great satisfaction in hard work done right.
If we don't teach our kids to work and find pleasure in accomplishing it
well, we will raise selfish adults who spend their lives doing every-
thing they can to avoid it. Kids should work in partnership with the
parents to run the household and gain more responsibility as they gain
coordination and thinking skills. Each of my kids - including the 7 year
olds - have their night to cook dinner for the whole family. You would
be surprised at what children can do when it is expected of them and
they take great pride in doing it.

As far as him making you feel guilty - that is also a choice. By allow-
ing him to make you feel guilty you are teaching him to manipulate you.
There is a certain amount of detachment you must have to be an effective
parent. We must do lots of things our children do not like.

As far as him nagging you. If you tell him to stop, he should stop -
instantly, and never mention it again if that is what you have told him.
My kids are not allowed to "ask" for anything that is not a necessity
unless I ask them what they want. They may point stuff out to me in
stores or admire it (not touch it...), but as soon as they ask the
answer is automatically "NO" so they don't ask. That gives me the
opportunity to be generous, offer things to them (when I can) and to
give them gifts that they are grateful for instead of "I got it because
I asked for it" or worse "I got it because I bugged her into it!" It's a
nice surprise for them and I have the joy of giving to them.

If you tell him to stop asking, that you will let him visit someone when
you can and you will let him know when that is, and he brings it up
again - he is disobeying you and you need to come against it. His
desires do not come before yours, his sister's, his father's etc.

We are surrounded by rebellious children; adults who never grow up and a
world full of greedy complainers who think they should sue everytime
someone makes a human mistake. The parents of the last generations
wanted things to be easier for their children but what they ended up
teaching them was that life should be easy and if its not (which it
never is...) something's wrong." -- Deb

Answer our NEW Question

"My girls (12,9,4) and I are leaving Michigan May 20th for a trip
to CA with my parents in their motor home. We'll be making a
13 state loop. I'm actually only going the first three weeks and
will fly home from CA. The kids and grandparents will take
approx. 2 more weeks to get home. I'm not very creative in
hands on learning activities, being more comfortable with work-
book type learning. I really want to break out of this mode and
make this whole trip a great learning experience for them without
them feeling like Mom is making them "do school". Any sugges-
tions would be greatly appreciated. The loop will have us as far
south as Arizona and as far north as Wyoming and South Dak-
ota." -- Susan M.


Do you have some ideas for this mom?

Send your emails 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 a fun FREE site where you can choose from all kinds
of geography quizzes! Identify continents, countries, or states
and provinces with interactive maps.


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

Here is the link to sign-up!



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Next - Cross-Country Vacation Education, The Mega Penny Project
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