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Christmas with Toddlers, College for 'Average' Students

By Heather Idoni

Added Monday, December 11, 2006

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The Homeschooler's Notebook
Encouragement and Advice for Homeschool Families
==========================================================
Vol. 7 No 59 December 11, 2006
ISSN: 1536-2035
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Copyright (c) 2006 - Heather Idoni, FamilyClassroom.net
==========================================================

Welcome to the Homeschooler's Notebook!
If you like this newsletter, please recommend it to a friend!

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=================
IN THIS ISSUE:
=================

Guest Article
-- Christmas with Toddlers
Helpful Tips
-- Scholarship Info
Resource Review
-- Organized Ramblings
Our Reader Question
-- The College Experience
Additional Notes
-- Archived Newsletters
-- Email Support Group
-- Sponsorship Info
-- Reprint Info
-- Subscriber Info

=======================
Guest Article & Extra!
=======================

Enjoying Christmas with Toddlers
by Rachel Paxton

The holiday season can be stressful if we try to do too much,
but throw in a couple of toddlers and things can become very
overwhelming quickly, not to mention stressful for your kids!

Here are some toddler tips to help make your holiday season more
enjoyable for the entire family:

Try as much as possible to include your toddlers in holiday
activities. At this age they like to "help", and if you include
them in what you are doing it often reduces the possibility of
temper tantrums.

My boys enjoyed helping me decorate our Christmas tree. We
debated whether or not to let them touch the tree, but we found
that they really just wanted to play with the ornaments. We put
all breakable ornaments up out of their reach and hung non-breakable
ornaments where they could touch them and play with them.
Every morning they pull the bottom ornaments off the tree and
throw them on the floor. For the most part they leave the tree alone
the rest of the day. At night I hang the ornaments back up, and the
next morning we start over again. The boys think this is really fun.

I turn our outside Chrismas lights off and on at the same times
every day. The boys look forward to when I turn all the lights on and
remind me if I forget. They love looking at our lighted "reindeer" out
the front window. You could also take the family on a drive around
the neighborhood to look at holiday lights.

When you're visiting friends and family during the holidays, try to
minimize any disruption to your toddler's schedule as much as
possible. If your toddler continues to eat and sleep at the same
times as normal, he or she will be much better able to cope with
holiday festivities.

Try to resist the urge to give your toddler too many holiday sweets.
At Thanksgiving I made the mistake of giving our boys a tiny taste
of homemade fudge, and then they wouldn't leave me alone. It's
amazing how boys who can't remember not to bite each other can
remember where mom hid the candy.

The holidays are a great time to introduce new DVD's and CD's to
your toddlers. Yes, Elmo has a decent Christmas DVD. It's a
nice change to the other two Elmo movies we watch every day.

I did a lot of my Christmas shopping online this year to avoid
dragging the boys to the mall. I'm too tired to go out after they go
to bed at night. It's nice having things delivered to your front door!
Many web sites offer free shipping this time of year.

Don't feel like you have to buy your toddlers tons of presents for
Christmas. At this age they're more interested in how much they
like a toy, not how many they have. Now if I can just convince the
rest of our family of that. If your toddler receives too many presents
for Christmas, put some away for a rainy day or for when the toys
he or she is playing with lose their appeal.

Toddlers love books. Don't forget the "reason for the season".
Read the nativity story to your toddlers and introduce them to the
baby Jesus.

That's about it! I love this time of year and these simple tips have
made our family's holiday season fun and nearly stress free!

Rachel Paxton is a freelance writer and mom who is the author of
What's for Dinner?, an e-cookbook containing more than 250 quick
easy dinner ideas. For more recipes, organizing tips, home decorating,
crafts, holiday hints, and more, visit Creative Homemaking at
http://www.creativehomemaking.com.

---

Do you have comments to share? Please do!
Send your emails to: heather@familyclassroom.net

---

Editor Extra!

I just received the December issue of the Remembrance Press
Newsletter from my friend, Jill Novak. Wow, this is beautiful!
It is FILLED with inspiring ideas for preserving holiday memories
and giving your children the gift of words.

Make a cup of tea, download, and enjoy!

Download link: http://www.filecrunch.com/file/~mxqfi0

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


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================
Helpful Tip
================

"For those of you who have students graduating between now and
June 2007, applications are open for the Sam Walton Community
scholarship until 1/12/07. Homeschoolers are eligible!

Go to www.walmartfoundation.org for more information." -- Kris D.

---

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


==================
Resource Review
==================

Organized Ramblings: Home Education From A to Z

Let's face it - sometimes homeschooling can be tough. Often it
seems like we have more questions than answers. Reading
"Organized Ramblings: Home Education From A to Z" is like sitting
down with a veteran homeschool mom and listening as she shares
thoughts and wisdom gleaned from over 20 years of homeschooling.
In true Titus 2 fashion, mother of 12 and author, Catherine Jaime,
tackles topics ranging from Art & Music to Zoos & Museums and
everything in between. Although she is happy to share lots of tidbits
and practical advice, I appreciate her comment in the introduction:
"I don't have all the answers; I don't even know all the questions!
What has worked best for us (her family) now may not be what
works for your family. Only you can decide. And what works best
for us now may not be what works best for us in a few years.
Life is, after all, a series of changes." In a world where anyone
who writes a book is deemed an 'expert', it is refreshing to hear
from someone who recognizes that her way is not the only way!

Each chapter in Organized Ramblings stands on its own so you
can read the book from cover to cover as I did, or simply choose
the topics that are most important to you. Scattered throughout
you will find suggestions of resources that the author has found
particularly helpful over the years. In a relaxed, down-to-earth
manner, the voice of experience speaks loudly on topics such as,
teaching preschoolers, developing your own philosophy of educa-
tion, teaching teens, drama & Shakespeare, standardized tests,
saving money while homeschooling, transcripts, unit studies, using
learning games, the importance of having a support group and so
much more. Whenever you read a book like this one, it is
important to know where the author is 'coming from'. First of all,
though not a 'Christian' homeschooling book, the author is a
Christian and she makes frequent references to her faith through-
out the text. Regarding, her philosophy of education, Mrs. Jaime
lets us know that over the years her family has tried many different
educational methods. Words like eclectic, delight-driven, Charlotte
Mason, and classical homeschooling are used as she describes
her journey and philosophy of homeschooling. It is evident that
the author has a strong aversion to textbooks, particularly in the
elementary years. Now, if you are a mom who prefers textbook
learning, don't let her aversion to them keep you from reading this
book! There's so much practical wisdom offered here that all read-
ers will benefit from reading (and re-reading) 'Organized Ramblings'.

Whether you are a new or veteran homeschool mom, 'Organized
Ramblings: Home Education From A to Z' is one of those books
you will want to read with highlighter in hand. The margins are even
wide enough to make notes of your own as you have those 'Ah Ha!'
moments - and if you're like me, you WILL have those moments!
So grab a cup of coffee, or whatever beverage you prefer, and pre-
pare to be encouraged and equipped for the incredible calling of
home educating your own children.

For more information or to order:
http://www.creativelearningconnection.com

---

This resource was reviewed by Cindy Prechtel at:
http://www.HomeschoolingFromTheHeart.com


===============================
Last Issue's Reader Question
===============================

"I read many stories about outstanding, homeschooling kids who
score high on the ACT's and other college entrace exams, and are
doing so great in college. This is wonderful!

My question is, what about the homeschooled young people who do
NOT score high on the ACT, and who struggle academically but who
really want to go to college? It's natural that they want to get out
and meet other young people. After age 18 most young people are
not content to stay at home.

And we wouldn't want that forever, either. Is college closed to these
kids because they are not good in some academic area which pulls
down their ACT score?" -- JS in Utah

=========================
Our Readers' Responses
=========================

"No answers, but similar concerns. I have one bright son who learns
differently and is not strong in the traditional academic sense, and
thus he tends to test poorly. But he has so many other wonderful
skills and abilities, and I hate to see him get discouraged because
of weak scores or to feel he's not college material." -- Karen in Maine

---

"My daughter is a senior this year. She is a good student and very
self-motivated but never tests well. I was the same way all through
school. We did the SAT workshops and studied with her, and still
she earned only a fair score on the SAT. When applying for college
this fall we learned that the ACT or SAT score plays a smaller part
in acceptance than it did back in my day. Most colleges are looking
for well-rounded kids that have a combination of average grades, with
an average ACT or SAT, that have been involved in quite a bit of com-
munity service and have shown a continuity in their outside interests,
such as horsback riding or drama. Community Colleges are always
a good option as well. They will offer an entrance exam in lieu of the
ACT. I went this route myself, matured immensely in two years, and
was amazed at how much easier it was for me in a small college
classroom. My grades were fair in the beginnning and by the time I
graduated I had made the President's list several times. I was ready
then, both academically and personally, to move on to a four year
school. My daughter has now been accepted to a four year state
college 30 minutes from home. As she matures she may decide to
live on campus with her friends or even get an apartment, but for now
we are happy to have her continue living at home and go to a good
school." -- Angie in NC

---

"How about a community college? They accept anyone who is
eighteen or older, even people who never finished high school or took
the equivalence exam. They don't require applicants to take the ACT
or SAT or any of those standardized tests. (They do give credit for
AP tests, though.) Your son can study academics or vocations or
trades, etc. Most students earn 60 units at community colleges,
and then transfer to a university with junior standing. It's a great
opportunity for everyone to get an education." -- Sherry L.


=========================
Answer our NEW Question
=========================

"Hello! We have been homeschooling our two sons for 6 years
now. My oldest is in 8th grade. I had always expected to home-
school right through high school. My oldest love football and is
a very talented player. He has only one more year of township
eligibility, though. He desperately wants to play football beyond
next year, but there are no homeschool options in NJ. I'd hate to
compromise education and values for football, but it is a passion
of his and he hopes to play at the college level. Other than school
(public or private), what options do I have? Has anyone else
encountered this problem? Thank you!" -- Sue in NJ

---

Do you have an experience and/or advice for Sue?

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


=====================
ASK YOUR QUESTION
=====================

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!


=====================================
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:

http://hub.thedollarstretcher.com/cgi-bin/lyris.pl?visit=hs-notebook


==========================
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
"Homeschool-Notebook".

Here is the link to sign-up!

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/homeschool-notebook/

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SPONSORSHIP INFORMATION
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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!

=====================
ADDITIONAL NOTES
=====================

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
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Tags: homeschooling with toddlers, walmart sam walton scholarship fund, homeschool college, college prep, homeschool book review, community college, dual crediting, ACT, SAT, college entrance exams, homeschooling to university, homeschool tips, support





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