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Take to the Woods!

By Heather Idoni

Added Friday, August 25, 2006

The Homeschooler's Notebook
Encouragement and Advice for Homeschool Families
Vol. 7 No 34 August 25, 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
-- Teaching at Co-op
Helpful Tips
-- Spelling Fun
Question of the Week
-- Your Questions
-- Your Answers
Editor's Pick
-- Homeschooling Dads
Additional Notes
-- Searchable Archive
-- Our Email Group
-- Sponsorship Information
-- Reprint Information
-- Subscriber Information

Notes from Heather

In just two weeks I will be teaching my first ever co-op class!
I'm very excited! I would never have considered such a venture,
but it is a subject that became a passion of mine after reading
an excellent book about it and I just couldn't help myself. This
particular class is based on the entrepeneurial business history
of Michigan and its impact on the global economy. I think my
passion came through in the course description because 12
students -- a.k.a. "willing victims" actually signed up. One is
my own 14 year old son (who didn't really have another choice!)

Anyway, did I mention I'm really excited? :-)

I would LOVE to hear from other moms and dads who have taught
structured classes in a homeschool co-op situation. How did you
plan your courses? What worked for you and what didn't? Were
you NERVOUS that first day? Any tips and tricks? Did you ever
encounter any discipline problems? How do you feel about supple-
menting your homeschooling with co-op style classes? Did you
ever have one or more of your own children in one of your classes?

I'll keep you posted over the 10 weeks that I will be teaching and
let you know how it is going. I'm sure I'll have lots to share!


Please send your input about teaching co-op classes to me at:


[Note: This next week I'll be at our famous FIRE Homeschool Camp
in Michigan, but the newsletter will go out as usual. We are going
"On the Pioneer Trail" this year... and building covered wagons! We
are really looking forward to our time with all the wonderful families.
Next year at FIRE Camp 2007 we are hosting Answers in Genesis!
Details will be forthcoming in Spring 2007. Plan now to spend your
vacation in Michigan next year! There will be room for 100+ families.]



Helpful Tip

Spelling Made Fun

"My 12 year old son HATES to write. We do oral spelling in
'weird' ways. For example: Spell ____ while holding the tip of
your tongue -- Spell ____ while standing on 1 leg."

(This fun tip is from Donna J. on the HomeschoolingBOYS.com
email group. Thanks, Donna!)


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

Last Issue's Reader Question

"I just starting to homeschool. My son is 6 and very active. After
praying about how and what I am going to use to teach him, aside
from the Bible, the Lord brought to my mind using my son's love
of the outdoors as the basis. My question is, has anyone done a
study of outdoor survival, or is there curriculum for the learning
of how to live outdoors? My son recently watched "My Side of the
Mountain" and all I am hearing is that he wants to do what that
boy did... go away and live in the wilderness! Any suggestions
will be helpful. Thank-you." -- Suzy

Our Readers' Responses

"How exciting for you to have your 6 year old lead you to this
adventure!! When I was little, my favorite book was "(the Art and
Science of) Taking to the Woods;" by C.B. Colby and Bradford
Angier. I still love it - it is a comprehensive guide to outdoor
living and goes from basics to advanced techniques. I recommend it
highly; I hope you can find it!!" -- Trish M.


"I am currently getting ready to do this with my three daughters.
Old (antique) girl and boy scout manuals have a lot. I'm using old
Outdoor Life books also (Finding your way in the Outdoors by
Robert Mooers, Jr. and Survival in the Outdoors by Byron Dalrymple)
Our local state park sometimes offers classes in map reading and
compass use." -- Kanina


"Check out a book called The American Boy's Handy Book by
D.C. Beard. Originally published in 1882. This is a really neat
book. From the back cover: "The Handy book was the perfect
survival manual. It contains plans for 16 kinds of kites and hot-air
balloons and fishing tackle. It tells you how to make and stock
an aquarium, to construct a water telescope and how to camp
out without a tent. Or in a hut made from pine boughs. How to
build 10 kinds of boats, including a flatboat with a covered cabin.
Iceboats, too. One-person canoes. Bird calls. Squirt guns with
astonishing range and authority." It is a thick book (431 pages).
I have not used it as a curriculum per se, but I think it would be
a very good one." -- Megan


"Buck Wilder books!!!"


"For boys that love the outdoors I would check out the KONOS
curriculum developed by mothers of active, rambunctious boys.
Also, along with "My Side of the Mountain" you might check out
the Total Language Plus materials for learning language arts
through books. They offer teaching materials for "My Side of the
Mountain". -- Sherrie


"Love To Learn has a 1-page section in their current catalog for
"Outdoor Fun". There are a couple of "wilderness survival" books
for teens/adult, which you might be able to "translate" for him.
They also have a couple of "Handy Books", which contain outdoor
type projects. Their website is www.LoveToLearn.net

You might also want to look into Tiger Cubs. This is an "intro-
ductory" program in Cub Scouts for younger boys. Not all Packs
offer the Tiger program, so you might need to check around."
-- Sherry A.


"Welcome to homeschooling! There are 2 that come to mind
that you might want to investigate. Konos is an activity-based
curriculum that would keep your active son busy. Based on
Godly character traits, each week is planned out for you with a
central theme (like frontiersmen, tracking and trapping) and acti-
vities to teach that theme. You supply library books and lots of
enthusiasm! The other program, Prepare and Pray, is based on
preparedness, both at home and in the wild. It is also activity
oriented. Keep your days fun and he will learn so much!" -- Ginger


"You may like to look into Prepare and Pray. I haven't used it
personally, but have heard good reviews about it." -- Donna



"We did a unit study on survival and preparedness with our children
using Jim and Robin Brashear's "Prepare and Pray". It's very good.
They have now come out with a second volume, "Blessed Assurance",
which we have purchased and plan to use soon. Their website is
www.prepareandpray.com. To supplement, we have also used "Tom
Brown's Field Guide to Nature and Survival for Children" by Tom Brown
(He also has a book on animal tracking.); "Little Bear's Outdoor Adven-
ture Guide for the All-American Boy" by Richard "Little Bear" Wheeler,
available from www.mantlemin.com; "Camping and Wilderness Survival"
by Paul Tawrell; "The Field and Forest Handy Book" by D. C. Beard,
from www.lifetimebooksandgifts.com; "The Boy Scout Handbook"; and
"Survival Handbook" by Peter Darman (based on survival skills taught
to military special forces). You are very wise to choose your curriculum
according to your son's God-given interests and passions."-- Mary Beth


[Editor's note: The "Prepare and Pray" curriculum gained popularity
during the "preparing for Y2K" years. It is really awesome and still
very relevant for learning survival skills. It uses the book "Swiss
Family Robinson". I have my copy around here somewhere...
probably back behind those white buckets full of dry beans... hehe!]

Answer our NEW Question

[Note: We are taking a week off from answering a new question
as I will be at the FIRE Homeschool Family Camp in Michigan
and unable to compile answers. Next week's issue will feature
a previously unpublished question and answer session from one
of our email groups. Keep those questions coming! -- Heather]


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

Homeschooling Dads

A few weeks ago I featured an article by a dad that implied fathers
were often "clueless" in helping their wives with homeschooling.

To be fair, there is a growing movement of dads taking on the primary
role of homeschooling their children. There are also countless single
fathers and widowers who know they are called by God to continue
in homeschooling and who are doing a fantastic job of it.

Aptly titled, HomeschoolingDads.com is a growing community of
fathers who homeschool. It is worth checking out! Here is the
direct link to the message boards with over 100 members so far:


New Sponsorship Openings Soon!

Due to the high demand for newsletter sponsorship positions and
the popularity of the newsletter itself, we are expanding to TWO
issues per week effective the first week of October. If you have a
homeschool-related business or organization and would like to be
a sponsor of The Homeschool Notebook, now is the time to make
your reservation! We are usually booked months in advance, but
the doubling of our issues offers a rare opportunity for exposure
without having to wait quite as long for an opening. We would love
to see new advertisers come on board, so if you know of anyone
with a business that would be blessed by exposure to a wide audi-
ence of homeschoolers at a LOW cost, please tell them about us!!

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