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Feedback from Readers, Kids' Corner, Animal Unit Studies

By Heather Idoni

Added Friday, June 16, 2006

The Homeschooler's Notebook
Encouragement and Advice for Homeschool Families
Vol. 7 No 24 June 16, 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!




  Notes from Heather
  -- FREE Magazine!
  Letters from Readers
  Kids' Corner
  -- An Animal for Me
  Question of the Week
  -- Your Questions
  -- Your Answers
  Editor's Pick
  -- ArtofEloquence.com
  -- Subscriber Information
  -- Sponsorship Information

       Notes from Heather


I was so excited to get a call from Israel Wayne today! He
had learned about our newsletter and thought it would be nice
to share a free issue of his "print" magazine, HOMESCHOOL
DIGEST with our readers. This is a *wonderful* Reader's Digest
style magazine with the best-of-the-best of Christian home
educating authors and leaders in the homeschooling movement.

And I have never seen an offer for a FREE copy before!! Usually
it is $5.00 for a trial issue, but Israel just programmed a special
code for us at the website to get one in the mail free. This is a
completely free, no-strings-attached offer. You will not be signed
up for a subscription and there is no obligation to buy anything.

To get your free issue, go to this link:

Enter Promo Code: FCH2
[This is for U.S. residents only]

More info about the magazine:

"The HOME SCHOOL DIGEST has been published nationally
for 17 years. It is the nation's longest running Christian home-
schooling magazine in print today. Each issue is nearly 100
pages of encouraging articles and helpful product information.
The articles are written by a variety of homeschooling leaders
and veteran experts in the field of home education.

The HOME SCHOOL DIGEST has an emphasis on Family
Discipleship, Character Building and Developing A Biblical
Worldview. Sample issues are usually $5.00 each, but for a
limited time they are available for FREE by using the provided
link and promo code above."

Thanks, Israel! :-)

[By the way, he said it is fine to share this with your local
friends and around the internet, too, however the code will
only be good for a limited time.]


Do you have comments to share? Please write!




      Letters from Readers

A Thank You

"I just wanted to say thanks to all the readers who sent sugges-
tions on how to make our 13 state loop vacation educational
without feeling like I was making them "do school".  While I
returned home by plane from CA last Sunday, the kids are still
en route home to MI with the grandparents and are currently in
Utah.  I used many of your suggestions.  We had an absolutely
fabulous time, doing everything from identifying wildflowers and
birds (science) to camping near the headwaters of the Rio Grande
and sledding on the Continental Divide (geography), learning land-
forms (what's a mesa?) and history everywhere.  Yesterday they
got caught in a sandstorm in Nevada. I convinced them that was
a cool experience.  Your readers who said they would learn more
in this 5 weeks than the entire school year might just be right.
Kudos to all of you who answered my question!" -- Susan in MI


The Animal School

"Heather -- That link came at exactly the right moment for me!
  I am going through the preparations to begin home schooling
again in the fall after sending the kids to charter school this past
year.  This very day we will find out if we're eligible to adopt a
little girl with fetal alcohol syndrome.  While the idea is very scary,
if she is the one God has chosen for us, and we're trusting He'll let
us know, we will succeed on His wings!  This video reminded me
that just because she will be different does NOT mean her differ-
ences are bad, they're just that.  Dealing with an FAS kid is all
about looking for cues and clues and adjusting to meet their needs
...much like the video you shared, thanks for the reminder!"
-- Vicki Peace, www.caringbridge.org


[If you didn't get to see "The Animal School", here are the links
to the presentation -- first is in flash, second is text-only.]



      Kids' Corner Question

Last week I asked the children to write in with the answer to
this question:

"If you could think of an animal that is like your personality,
what animal would it be... and why?"

Here are the responses I received...


"I would say a monkey because my mom says I am always
running around and getting into mischief."
-- Jacob - age 7


"I think I'm like a cat because I jump a lot, look out the window a
lot. My brother bugs me like he bugs the cat. Sometimes I cry
when I don't get what I want... and our cat does, too. I like to be
left alone a lot, except when I want to play." -- Benjamin - age 7


"I'm like a bug... a moth. I bug people. I'm always moving around.
I like to have lights on." -- Benjamin's brother, Nathaniel - age 5


"I'm like a penguin... because I wish I could fly."


"I am most like an owl; a saw-whet owl to be precise. I really like
many things about them.  I picked an owl because I can see very
well in the dark." -- Patrick - age 13

"I want to be a monkey. A boy monkey. They climb and some-
times they fall down, just like me." -- Sean - age 4

      Last Issue's Reader Question

Cyndi writes:

"I have an 11 year old daughter who will be in 8th grade in the
fall. She wants to be a vet when she grows up.  I have been
considering doing a unit study of some kind with her in the fall --
maybe on veterinary science or something like that -- some-
thing that would allow her to learn more about animals and that
career field.  I have searched and searched for a unit study, and
I am coming up empty-handed.  Do you know of any out there?"

      Our Readers' Responses 

"Winter Promise has a year-long literature based unit study called
'Animals and their Worlds'. You might want to add more scientific
or anatomy books but it covers a lot about many different animals."
www.winterpromise.com -- Carin


"You may want to look at what 4H has to offer, They have great
animal projects for kids to do and you don't have to live in the
country to do them. Wonderful booklets that make great unit
studies!" -- MG in Louisiana 


"You may want to look into obtaining a Boy Scouts of America
Merit badge book and going off of that. It would only cost about
$3.50 or libraries often carry them. They contain mounds of info
in a nice organized format.  Also if you wanted to expound on it
you could look for additional activities on scouting related sites.


Lists the requirements but the book itself would provide the info."
-- Sandy in Utah


"You might want to check at your local 4-H extension office.
Ours in Washington State has a Veterinary Science program
for youth. 4-H is a great program for accessing all kinds of
information - animal science, food, nutrition, archery, etc. Most
of our informational booklets are available online and can be
printed off at no charge." -- Dorene


"Try 4-H!  Your county 4-H agent is located at the Cooperative
Extension Office.  They can help you with curriculum projects for
all kinds ofanimals. The NC 4-H page is http://www.nc4h.org/
You can go to links for your county." -- Sarah


"There is a Boy Scout merit badge for Veterinary Medicine.
Current requirements include:

-- companion or small animal medicine, equine medicine
-- food animal or large animal medicine
-- exotic animal medicine
-- marine animal medicine (mammal and fish)
-- poultry medicine
-- wildlife medicine and aquaculture medicine
-- public health medicine and zoonotic disease surveillance/control
-- the military
-- food safety and inspection
-- laboratory animal medicine and research
-- teaching and government
-- training required to become a veterinarian
-- registered veterinary tech/animal health tech/training required
-- human-animal bond
-- veterinarian visit

I haven't seen the actual merit badge pamphlet, but most merit
badge pamphlets include sufficient information to complete or at
least start the requirements.  In the back of each pamphlet, there
are usually additional resources (websites, books, addresses) for
more information or in-depth study.
To branch out into other subjects, you could read books; write
reports; vocabulary words; draw pictures; do graphs of statistics
related to occupations, etc.; costs of education.
Merit badge pamphlets can sometimes be found at public libraries.
If you know any Boy Scouts, you might be able to borrow from
them.  You can also purchase them (inexpensively) from a Scout
Shop (check with local Scout troops or the Yellow Pages)."
-- Sherry A.


"When my sister was young, I'm not sure exactly what age, she
was able to volunteer several hours a week in our vet's office.
You might ask local vets or at an animal shelter where they give
shots and spay/neuter if she can go help out.  You can also get
books about veterinary science, and biographies of vets from the
library. Ask a librarian to help you. They are usually really
helpful and can come up with ideas you wouldn't think of on your
own." -- Gretchen


"I don't have any ideas on a unit study, but I went to college to
be a Veterinary Technician because I loved animals! I had no
idea what I was getting into because I had no experience with
anything veterinarian. I would highly suggest visiting vet hospitals
and getting to know veterinarians and technicians and see what
they do day in and day out. I was only a tech for a few years,
then became a secretary because I could type well."
-- Kathleen Lindsey, www.MyLittleMailbox.com


"I don't know of any animal unit studies, but I do have some ideas
to enrich your child's experiences in this area. I have a just turned
13 y/o daughter who is also into animals. We take advantage of
classes and programs offered by our local zoo (keeper chats are
great) and she can hardly wait to turn 14 when she will be eligible
to work at the zoo as a junior keeper. We also go to programs
offered by our state parks -- we've learned about snakes, owls,
flying squirrels, turkeys, etc. Another thing we use is her Girl
Scout badge book. She has earned her wildlife badge and is
working on All About Birds and Pets. For each badge a girl must
do at least 7 activities - including at least one career exploration
activity and one service project, things like job shadowing with our
vet, volunteering at the local animal shelter, interviewing a wildlife
rehabilitator, and participating in a hummingbird banding at one of
our state parks." -- Regina


"For vet science order the 4H booklets. My daughter has been
doing them.


Three books at $3.95 each!  That is a great price."
-- Lisa Taylor, www.grandecooking.com


"I do not know of any "prepackaged" vet unit.  There are times
that I just take out all the books on a topic from the library to read
(and discuss) with my children. Would your daughter be interested
in being a small (dogs & cats) or large (horses, cows) animal vet?
That could make a difference on which direction you would go.
You may consider some animal anatomy and husbandry. 
Consider having your daughter volunteer at an animal shelter (or
kennel) several times over a month or two.  If she thinks she wants
to do large animals, have her volunteer at a farm or riding stables.
The kennel, farm, shelter may be able to use the help or may want
you to wait a year or two (depending on her maturity level).  Do
you have a vet you take your animals to?  Would they be willing to
allow your daughter to "shadow" a vet or vet tech?  Consider having
your daughter interview a vet/vet tech.  If she is able to volunteer at
any of these places over a few months, it may help your daughter
know if that is the direction she wants to pursue.
We have the 5th oldest zoo in our town.  They have a program
during the summer that brings in children (by age groups - K &1st,
2 & 3, 4 & 5th graders) to the zoo for five 1/2 days. The children
are able to go around w/ the zoo workers behind the scenes to
feed and care for the animals.  The program is to teach children
about caring for exotic animals.  This zoo's program goes up to
teens that become junior zookeepers. Check around at zoos near
you to see if there any programs like this near you." -- Heidi W.

     Answer our NEW Question

"I am fairly new to the unit study method.  My kids and I love it!
My questions is how much time do you spend on your reading
aloud?  Do you read from several living books? My children aren't
quite ready to read on their own.  Any other helpful tips would be
greatly appreciated.  Thank you in advance for all of the wonderful
replies." -- Jennifer in California


  Do you have some input for this mom? Share your opinions!

  Send an email 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.

      Editor's Pick

The Art of Eloquence

Would your child rather cut off their right arm than speak in
public? Maybe you feel the same way?

One of our long-time readers and contributors, JoJo Tabares,
has an awesome website all about teaching communication
skills to our kids. And it isn't too late for us to learn, either!

Games and tips for teaching... as well as complete curricula.

http://www.artofeloquence.com [Christian site]

Beloved Books Online - 15% OFF

Continuing through to the end of June!

If you haven't visited my online store before, this is your
personal invitation! Audio stories make WONDERFUL
birthday presents... and they are great for summer road trips!

We have exciting Newbery award CDs like The Perilous Road
by William O. Steele, classics like Girl of the Limberlost by
Gene Stratton Porter, and our favorite series -- Sugar Creek
Gang. Also - Pilgrim's Progress and KJV Scripture Songs!


If you send me an email, I'll reply with a personal coupon code
for 15% off your first purchase at Beloved Books. :-)

Email: heather@familyclassroom.net

When in Michigan, please drop in for a visit!
(Directions at the website.)
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Next - Why Should My Family Have "Read-Aloud" Time?
Previous - The Animal School - Personality and Learning Style

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