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Tips for 'Others', Reading Comprehension Help, Free Rosetta Stone Online?

By Heather Idoni

Added Monday, January 15, 2007

The Homeschooler's Notebook
Encouragement and Advice for Homeschool Families
Vol. 8 No 4 January 15, 2007
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
-- 8 Tips for Others
Helpful Tips
-- Rosetta Stone... Free?
Our Reader Question
-- Reading Comprehension
January Featured Resource
-- Raising Leaders
Additional Notes
-- Archived Newsletters
-- Email Support Group
-- Sponsorship Info
-- Reprint Info
-- Subscriber Info

Notes from Heather

This week my good friend, Jodi, sent me a link to a blog entry that
really blessed me. It is basically 8 things every non-homeschooler
should know about homeschooling families and how they can start
becoming more of a help -- and less of a hindrance. This might be
worth printing out to share with that well-meaning but hurtful
neighbor or relative who gives you the most pain about homeschooling!

Kendra Fletcher writes...

"We've been educating our children at home for ten years now. In
those ten years, I have observed that there are expectations that
non-homeschoolers can place on homeschooling moms simply
because they lack the practical knowledge of what it means to

Link to complete article is here:


If anyone has a number 9, 10, 11, 12, etc. to add to her list --
please write. I'll share them in the next issue. :-)


Send your emails to: heather@familyclassroom.net



Helpful Tip

Rosetta Stone Online - Does your local library subscribe?

"After reading the responses to the question about foreign language
learning, I just wanted to remind everyone to check their public
library online resources. The Los Angeles city library, for example,
subscribes to Rosetta Stone online. With my (free) public library
card, I can access Rosetta Stone online from home for free! And
did you know, you don't even have to live in Los Angeles to have a
library card? (You do have to pick up your card in person, however.)"
-- Kristi


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

Last Issue's Reader Question

"A couple of my kids tested low for reading comprehension. What
do you do to improve that?" -- Diana

Our Readers' Responses

"I've done a few things over the years to help my kids with
comprehension. The best one so far is going on a treasure hunt
or mining the article. I usually make a copy for each child (I have 2)
and then a copy of whatever it is we are reading for myself. First I
go through each paragraph and find the words they likely wouldn't
know and insist instead of skipping them we look them up first in
the dictionary then the thesaurus. Once we've got a clear compre-
hension of the meanings we're likely to fill in the similar word from
the thesaurus while reading the text out loud together. We take it
very slowly... I ask things along the way, sometimes I'll say things
like, 'Wow, that sentence was packed with facts and information...
what are all the different things the author was trying to point out
to us?' Since I have 2 kids close in age it becomes a challenge
to each child to be the first to hit the treasure of discovery. So
far this has helped us emormously. I would suggest using small
passages at first, like quotes or bible verses. Then move on to
bigger texts." -- Cherie


"Ask your children to summarize in their own words something
they have read. You will quickly be able to determine how well
they understood the material. You might do it with different types
of material: a newspaper article, fiction, non-fiction, editorials, etc.
Sometimes standardized tests don't really measure what they
claim to measure, and you might find that they comprehend quite
well. Through your own informal evaluation, if you discover that
they do need some improvement, continue with the practice of
narration. Have them narrate to you the things they have read,
including it as an activity in your daily lesson plans. Narration
serves two purposes: it develops comprehension ability, and
provides an ongoing evaluation tool. It does not have to be
regimented or formal; they will usually enjoy doing it. It's natural
for children to want to tell you about their experiences, and reading
gives them more experiences to share with you." -- Mary Beth


"My 12 year old son also tested low on his reading comprehension.
Then I found audio books. He has already read all the Narnia books
and is now reading Eragon. Our library has a good selection of
childrens audio books too. We also found the website
www.homeschoolradioshows.com. They have a ton of stories that
the kids can listen to for free. My son loves to 'read' now and I'm
loving the fact that he's comprehending everything he reads."


"My oldest son tested low as well. What I'm doing to help in this
area is reading simple library books from our home library. I will
read about 3 pages of the book and from there I will make a work-
sheet (inadvanced) with about 5 or 6 questions regarding what we
just read. The worksheet has multiply choice questions -- since
that's primarily what the tests have on them. He fills out the
multiple choice questions and we go over them. We work on this every
day and I make up new questions as we go through the entire book.
We've done several books, but I do short pages of material and so
far he is doing well with this method. I'm trying to work my way up
to the entire book. These are not a chapter books but books like
'The Adventures of Benny and Watch' -- The Boxcar Children Early
Readers -- there are several books associated with these readers
and we just get them all from the library.

Also, I have him read to me books he picks out at the library, and
then as we read I will ask him questions as we go so that I know
he is understanding what we are reading. He is 9 years old and he
is at a lower level in understanding so the books that we choose
have to be not at that age level but at a lower level. He is reading
at level 1 or 2 and we're just moving up as we go." -- Renee B.


"I have two suggestions for improving reading comprehension. You can
do a search on Google for Reading Comprehension and it will produce a
myriad of websites that have free graded resources intended to improve
reading comprehension. Another suggestion would be to read age and
reading ability-appropriate books together and discuss them with your
child. This will give him/her an opportunity to interact with you and
not just the computer or a piece of paper. Reading with them will also
give you the opportunity to see if there are 'mechanical' problems with
their reading. If they don't understand what they are reading, perhaps
they are having difficulty reading." -- Jennifer J.

Answer our NEW Question

"What do you all do with all the drawings, crafts, etc. that your kids
make? I have 2 girls who love to color, draw and create. They are
good at this type of ability but I can't keep it all! I threw away some
pictures and my 6 year old was VERY upset. Keep in mind, it was
just a few marks on a paper I didn't realize it was important to her.
Where can I keep it so it doesn't take over the house? How do I
teach her you can't keep every piece of paper forever?" -- Michelle L.


Do you have an emergency measure for Michelle? :-)

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!


This new section is to share great curriculum resources or
homeschooling 'helps' that motivate, mentor or inspire me as a
parent. Here is my winner for January!


P.S. I have personally reviewed and I'm utilizing the package at
the link above, so if you have questions you want to ask me
personally before making a purchase, please feel free to email me.
If you'd like to add your own testimonial, please write to me about
that too! ;-) Send emails to: Heather@FamilyClassroom.net

Our Searchable Newsletter Archive

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All contributed articles are printed with the author's prior
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questions may be reprinted. All letters become the property of
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Tags: reading comprehension, free Rosetta Stone online, public library Rosetta Stone, testing low for reading comprehension, improving reading comprehension, narration, homeschooling tips, home education help, online homeschool chat, irc chat, support

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