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Does Your Husband Have a CLUE?

By Heather Idoni

Added Friday, July 28, 2006

The Homeschooler's Notebook
Encouragement and Advice for Homeschool Families
Vol. 7 No. 30 July 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!




Notes from Heather
-- Clueless Husbands!
Helpful Tips
-- Teaching Teens
Question of the Week
-- Your Questions
-- Your Answers
Editor's Pick
-- Free Robotics Tutorial
Additional Notes
-- Searchable Archive
-- Our Email Group
-- Sponsorship Information
-- Reprint Information
-- Subscriber Information

Notes from Heather

Dealing Gently with those Dads who are CLUELESS

[Note: Not all dads are. Many are deeply involved or even
solely responsible for homeschooling their children. No
offense is intended by the title of this article. -- Heather]


Summer is a great time to plan a "date" with your
husband at a quiet restaurant. When you get there,
flip that paper placemat over and sketch out your plans,
ideas, and expectations for the next school year. But
before you go, read this wonderful advice for dealing
gently with husbands from Lynn Hogan's husband, Jim.
(originally published in our January 12, 2001 issue)

Jim writes:

"Well, I wasn't exactly thrilled when Lynn said that she wanted
to try homeschooling our two children. But, I knew that look in
her eye. After all, several of her friends were "doing it". (I
wanted to say: "if your friends were jumping off a cliff would
you do it too?") Anyway, like many husbands, I took the path of
least resistance and we agreed to try it for ONE year. She would
teach and I would serve as the school's principal. As Principal,
it was my duty to enforce discipline and help drill by asking
about their school day.

Lynn tried to involve me in a lot of other ways (choosing curri-
culum, lesson planning, etc.), but I was not interested. To her
credit, she never gave up in this regard. She always assumed
that I wanted to have input in all the homeschooling matters. I
usually responded with "whatever you think is best, Dear". Oh,
Lynn really loved that!

There were some rough days in those early years. I became
hesitant to ask: "and how was your school day?" One day, I
heard about how Lynn threw a math book in the general area
of our son (Lynn's note: it was a soft back and this should never
have happened) in frustration. Another day, while we were eating
at a restaurant, I asked our children what they had learned in
school that day. It must have been the first time in months that
I had showed any interest in their school activities, because my
children were completely bewildered. When Lynn asked them to
recite all they learned about canals and buildings, they couldn't
remember what canal connected to where or even the name of a
huge insurance building that my daughter had written a report
about! Lynn was so distraught, she exited to the restroom in
tears. "Oh joy, let's do this through high school", I remember
thinking to myself!

During those bad days, what I failed to realize is that Lynn just
needed me to BE there for her. She needed a friend and a com-
forter; someone to say "it will be better tomorrow." Too often I
missed my cue. Instead, I thought she needed a way out. "You
are right, honey, this really stinks. You should quit right now."

MOMS, the first thing you can do to get support from your hus-
band is to tell him SPECIFICALLY what you need him to do...
or what you do not need from him. I had NO clue that Lynn just
wanted me to be on her side when the whole world seemed to
be against her. The last thing she needed was for someone
else to tell her to "throw in the towel". But, until she told me, I
had no idea that I was "against her". Yes, Moms, your husband
is CLUELESS. Tell him! He loves you and he will listen.

Next, do not nag your husband to get him more involved with
homeschooling. When Lynn did that, I just pulled back even
further. Don't beat him over the head about what he is not doing
or about what Mary's husband is doing. Lynn was very good at
picking her moments when I was open to hear what she needed
from me. Do it in a patient and loving manner, and then DROP it.
Also, don't be afraid to "butter him up". (All right, ladies, stay
with me here!). Lynn would often say to me: "You are SO smart
when it comes to history - you would be a great teacher. The
kids would LOVE it!!" Let him teach about something HE is
excited about. The first class I ever taught my children was
about short-wave radio. (A real MUST for fifth and third graders!
- NOT) Lynn encouraged me and it got me started. More impor-
tantly, I learned to appreciate how hard it is to teach!

Ladies, if your husband does ANYTHING positive towards home-
schooling, just encourage him. Chances are, God has given you
both VERY different gifts and teaching styles. He probably won't
do it the way you would do it. Lynn learned very quickly to leave
the room when I was teaching. A few times she tried to correct
me and I did not take it very well. The more involved I became in
my kids' homeschooling, the more I would ask Lynn for help (as
I felt "safe"). Then we finally started working together!"


Do you have a similar story to share? Let's talk about this! Dads
are welcome to respond, too. I'd love to hear from YOU!

Send your emails to: heather@familyclassroom.net



Helpful Tip

Tip for Teaching Teens - from Nancy Welliver, Michigan

"As a mother of 2 homeschool graduates and a local curriculum
consultant, parents often come to me frustrated about getting
enough credits for their students. They realize how many credits
their child needs to graduate but think they can only give them
credit for textbook work. Since they can't find textbooks on voca-
tional skills or electives they do not think they can give their
student high school credit for them.

The public high schools use what is called credit hours for keeping
track of students accomplishments. Credit hours are added up to
make 1 full credit or one year's worth of work for a specific subject.
We as homeschoolers can use this same type of system for our
students. Here's how you can do it yourself: 45 minutes to an
hour's worth of work is one point (or one credit hour). 150 points is
1 credit. You, the parent decide ahead of time how long it should
take to complete a task and set a point value to it. If the teen
completes his task in less time, they still get the point(s). If it
takes longer for them to complete, they do not get extra points.
You want to encourage them finish in a timely manner. Giving
extra points for taking longer could encourage them to take longer
in order to get more points, thus having to do fewer projects. Your
student will need 5-6 credits a year (depending on your state's
requirements) to graduate.

This system can be used for anything that you do not have a text-
book for, such as Physical Education, Composition, Literature,
Music, Automotive Repair, Sewing, Woodworking, Home Econo-
mics, Child Developmentā€¦. The opportunities for learning experi-
ences are endless. Giving your teen credit for these experiences
not only encourages them, but also shows colleges/employers
that they are well rounded students."


Nancy and her husband, Scott, have been homeschooling since
1990. They are owners of a WONDERFUL home business called
Educational Accents. Their website is the only one I ever recom-
mend when asked for a good source for buying used curriculum.
They are very trusted friends with dependable personal service!

Scott and Nancy's website is: http://www.edaccents.com

Very soon they will be launching a NEW site where you can
buy and sell curriculum -- including teacher's guides -- something
homeschoolers can no longer do on eBay. (You can join their
free mailing list to be notified when the new site is ready.)


Do you have an idea, experience, or tip to share? Please write!
Send to: HN-ideas@familyclassroom.net

Last Issue's Question

Last issue I asked our readers to write in about special trips
they've taken where some really neat "teachable moments"
took place. Below are the emails I received!

Our Readers' Responses

"Yesterday we ended up at the beach, at a little below high tide.
My six year old decided to make a sand castle, which then
became a fight to save from the tide. In the struggled that
followed, we learned about how sea walls/levies can protect
property for a while, about erosion, how a small breach can
become much wider as water flows through it, had a discussion
about hurricanes, and learned how water in a river will be deepest
and quickest at the outside of the curve. We lost the battle to
save the castle, but gained some important insight to building,
weather, science, history and even some politics." -- Cheryl W.


"My family usually goes home twice a year. Each time we do
we drive by Mystic Aquarium in Mystic Conneticut. We finally
went to the aquarium this time around. It was a worthwhile stop.
Since my daughter was little we sang the Baby Baluga song and
talked a little bit about the species. At the aquarium we got to
see a Beluga whale and apply all the knowledge we know. We
also got to know more about the whale from the wonderful staff
that work there. Now my daugther can put a picture and know-
ledge to the song. If you ever are traveling on Interestate 95 and
going through Mystic, it's a worthwhile trip." -- Christine N.


"We were in Mesa Verde, Colorado in May. At an elevation of
about 8,000 feet we came across a plaque explaining how marine
fossils are all around that elevation and how they got there. It was
a big long explanation about how the ocean used to be there. The
whole explanation was preposterous to us all. I asked the kids
what other explanation there might be. Noah's flood was their
answer. It made so much more sense to them. The Bible is not
so hard to believe. The evidences of it's truth are all around us."
-- Susan in Michigan


"A homeschooling friend and I took our 8th grade sons to Phila-
delphia for a couple of days this Spring. One of the most mem-
orable parts of the trip for me was a trunk that belonged to George
Washington. During our trip, we went to Valley Forge. At the
"headquarters" we saw a replica of a trunk that belonged to
George Washington and our "guide" told us that the original trunk
was at his home at Mount Vernon. On the way home, we went to
Mount Vernon, in part to look for the trunk; the boys looked for the
trunk and when they didn't find it asked about it. Unfortunately,
our guide didn't know anything about it, commenting that some
items were currently in storage waiting for the completion of the
museum. Once the museum is completed, we'll have to return
and again look for the trunk.

In studying the Civil War and working on the American Heritage
merit badge for Boy Scouts, my son and I read a book called The
Silent Witness (or something similar). The book was about a rag
doll that belonged to one of the McLean children who lived in the
home where General Grant and General Lee signed the surrender
papers. The book noted that the doll was taken as a souvenir by
one of the Union officers, but had since been returned to the
museum at Appomattox Court House by one of his descendants.
We are planning to visit Appomattox Court House in the next few
weeks and have made note to look for the doll in the museum."
-- Sherry A.

Answer our NEW Question

Sandy writes...

"I have a question that I am hoping to get some insight from
your readers. I have been homeschooling my children and I
really think they enjoy the freedom and knowledge it gives them.
Our biggest problem has been that they really miss having the
instant friends that school provides. I have 5 kids on a fixed
budget so running around town or paying for expensive classes
is not practical. The neighborhood kids tend be at school and
then after school run off to dance, piano etc. My kids tend to
get bored and lonely. How have others handled this situation?"


Do you have some practical advice or encouragement for Sandy?

Please send your answer to: HN-answers@familyclassroom.net


Do you have a question you would like our readers to answer?

Send it to HN-questions@familyclassroom.net and we'll see
if we can help you out in a future issue!

Editor's Pick

Free Computer Robotics Tutorial!

Ask a teenager this question: "How would you like to learn how
to program a computer to do the kind of stuff they do in robotics?
You know, like monitor switches, turn lights on and off, control the
speed and direction of motors and record and play back sound --
stuff like that?"

Visit the following website if you get a positive answer. It is a free
tutorial that shows how to control real things in the real world with
computers, and does so in plain English.

The only prerequisites are basic mathematics and curiosity.


Our Searchable Newsletter Archive

Access the Homeschool Notebook issues you have missed...
or search on a specific word or phrase in issues all the way
back to January 2001! Just go to this link:


Interactive Email Group

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community, we have set up an email loop at YahooGroups called

Here is the link to sign-up!



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
become 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
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