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Christmas Units, Free Nat'l Math Bee Software, Art Detective Game

By Heather Idoni

Added Friday, December 15, 2006

The Homeschooler's Notebook
Encouragement and Advice for Homeschool Families
Vol. 7 No 60 December 15, 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
-- Fun Christmas Units!
Helpful Tips
-- National Math Bee
Winning Website
-- Art Detective Game
Our Reader Question
-- Football Options
Additional Notes
-- Archived Newsletters
-- Email Support Group
-- Sponsorship Info
-- Reprint Info
-- Subscriber Info

Notes from Heather

Looking for some fun FREE ideas for Christmas related study?
Here are some great choices from Kathryn Martinez's website:

Topping the list for the most web visitors is the Polar Express unit:

Coming in a close second this year is the Narnia unit:

Other very popular pages are...

Legend of the Candy Cane

Gingerbread Mini-Unit

A Christmas Carol - Comprehension Questions

Jan Brett's 'Wild Christmas Reindeer'

We also have our VERY popular Christian units from Karen Caroe!

At this link below (under the heading Holidays/Christmas) you will
find the 'Names of Jesus Unit Study', 'Symbols of Christmas Unit',
and the beloved hymn-based unit, 'Good Christian Men Rejoice'.


Looking for last-minute Hanukah activity ideas?

Here is a free site with Hanukah crafts and coloring pages!


Editor EXTRA! I found an AWESOME bargain to share with you...
and there is still time to get these CDs for Christmas, too!

I bought these classical CDs a few years ago at full price. I LOVE
them and have played them at my bookstore for a few years now.
My customers always ask where I got them! :-)

Imagine my surprise to find that they are now 82% off for the 12 CD
set!! Wow. You can read all about them at the link below... this
"Masterpiece Collection" is SO well done... I'm ordering a bunch of
sets to offer at my bookstore! At this price you might wonder if they
are really that good, but I can assure you these CDs are top-quality.




Helpful Tip

Free National Math Bee Software for Homeschoolers

"If you want a free homeschool license to get the National Math Bee
software on your computer, just email David at support (at the link
below), and tell him that I told you about the free download." -- Ryan



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

Winning Website

[Brought to us by www.HomeschoolingFromTheHeart.com]

A. Pintura - Art Detective

An online game about art history and art composition. In the game,
you play a 1940's noir detective with a degree in art history. A
distraught woman asks you to identify the artist who made a
painting she found in her grandfather's attic. To do so, you must
examine paintings by famous artists from Gauguin to Van Gogh.
Each example highlights an art concept such as composition, style
or subject. The story concludes with an appropriate noirish twist,
as the woman's true identity and motives become apparent.

Best for 4th grade and up.

Last Issue's Reader 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

Our Readers' Responses

"I believe that Pop Warner Football and another league are options
for your son. My son played Pop Warner this past year and loved
it. I am not sure of the ages, but they have a website. Just Google
'Pop Warner' or 'Football Leagues'.

-- JoJo Tabares - http://www.ArtofEloquence.com


"I am not sure about rules in New Jersey, but here in Minnesota,
kids can play for the public school teams – though each district
has different requirements. My son plays on the varsity soccer
team, other friends play on the public high school football, hockey,
lacrosse, swim, baseball, dance, gymnastic, basketball, and tennis
teams. Check out Home School Legal Defense website for more
information on your state, http://www.hslda.org

Another option is to check with local private schools. I know that
there are several that often need 2-5 more players to fill out their
team rosters and several kids have been able to use that route to
play high school sports.

Last option - check with other homeschoolers and develop your own
football league. I know of one local co-op that does that for soccer
and basketball." -- Lucinda


"I think the second-to-the-last magazine from HSLDA.org had a
great multi-page article on homeschool high school sports. I would
also contact University of the Cumberlands, (formerly Cumberland
College) in Williamsburg, KY. My daughter will graduate there in
May. She says they give tons of sports scholarships. Perhaps you
could talk to someone there, and they could tell you if you have to
play high school football to get a football scholarship. The smaller
colleges are different than the big ones.

The problem with football is even if you send him to high school
there would be no guarantee he will make the team, and the exposure
to everything else is a huge concern. Maybe there is a creative way
he can still be in football. Could he help coach a little league type
team? Could you make a big commitment to drive to another town
to play? Could you work out something with a local private Christian
school to be homeschooled under their school and play football for
them? Have you read all the nitty gritty school laws? Yes, they are
boring, but you may find the answer there." -- Ann in KY


"It appears that New Jersey requires students to be enrolled in order
to participate in sports. However, it also appears that there is a
loophole for homeschool students that you might look into. Your rules
state "...Properly enrolled students on Home Instruction provided by
the Board of Education are eligible if the student satisfies..." and
there are requirements in another section. I would check into what
the Home Instruction is. If it is some curriculum you must follow,
you could do so but in your own way with homeschooling, if that's
possible. The only other way is to become activist and change the
ruling. If you are up for it, I am sure there are others in NJ who
homeschool and want to play sports. My suggestion would be to write
a proposal and go before the state high school athletic association.
Be sure to include a clause about homeschool students being allowed
to participate in sports 'in the school that they are districted to
attend' as this eliminates what the athletic associations are trying
to prevent -- recruiting."


"Why not ask the public school what their policies are? In our state,
if there is room in non-core classes & extracurricular activities,
they are open to the homeschoolers in town. I have yet to hear of a
student in our town to be turned away (although the schedule of these
rotating classes was very inconvenient for the homeschool schedules).
Some football scholarships are available, as I'm sure you know; your
son should be given the opportunity to earn one." -- Tricia, NH


"We ran into the same problem with soccer. Around here there is no
way to play soccer in the fall unless you are on a school team. Both of
our local Christian high schools have what is called a Caleb program.
You pay them a monthly fee (ours is $100), and have to follow their
rules as far as submitting grades etc., but my son is allowed to take
one class, which we haven’t done, and play a unlimited amount of
sports. He will get a transcript through them and be allowed to grad-
uate with his class if he desires. Maybe you have something like that
available in your area. Mostly the Christian schools have this option,
but I have heard of some public schools allowing you to homeschool
through them and take a class and then be eligible for sports. It
depends on the school system near you." -- Kimberly in Ohio

Answer our NEW Question

"I am troubled and was wondering if anyone has been though this
and if you have any advice.

We homeschooled my 3 oldest children for two years (2004-5 and
2005-6). We have moved to a better area and my husband wanted
to try out the local public schools. Though the school is much better
than what we left behind, I still feel like homeschooling is better.

I really enjoyed teaching and learning with the kids, they were less
stressed and were able to work at their own pace. I was hoping to
get used to it but it still bothers me very much that the kids are at

My husband is a great man but wants the kids to experience the
real world and have a positive influence on those around them.
Any suggestions? Thanks to you all!" -- Troubled Mom


Do you have some wisdom for our reader?

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!

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Tags: Christmas unit studies, polar express, hanukah unit, chanukah unit study, hannukah, classical music cds, homeschooling, free software for homeschoolers, art detective game review, homeschool football league, pop warner, college homeschool football, tips

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