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Enjoying Your Teens... and Restoring Your Passion!

By Heather Idoni

Added Monday, January 22, 2007

The Homeschooler's Notebook
Encouragement and Advice for Homeschool Families
Vol. 8 No 6 January 22, 2007
ISSN: 1536-2035
Copyright (c) 2007 - Heather Idoni, FamilyClassroom.net

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




Guest Article
-- Enjoying Your Teens
Helpful Tips
-- Art Encouragement
Resource Review
-- Times Tales
Our Reader Question
-- Losing Your Passion
January Featured Resource
-- Raising Leaders
Additional Notes
-- Archived Newsletters
-- Email Support Group
-- Sponsorship Info
-- Reprint Info
-- Subscriber Info

Guest Article

Enjoying The Teenage Years
by Audrey Okaneko

I cannot count the number of times I've heard well meaning parents
say 'enjoy them now; soon they will be teenagers'.

I see so many reasons why this sentence is harmful and misleading.
First of all, each time you personally say this phrase in front of your
own children, it affects their feelings of self worth. If you have a
teenager who hears you constantly warn others about teens, you are
basically saying your own child is troublesome to you.

If this sentence is being said in front of preteens, those preteens are
listening and hearing and watching for reaction. They want to know
how mom and/or dad react to being told that in a year or two, their
own child will no longer be enjoyable.

Let's face it, every stage of life brings about it's own set of
challenges and opportunities. Toddlers are learning independence.
Preteens are learning a new sense of independence. Teenagers are
learning about the independence of becoming adults. By midlife, we
often hear the phrase 'midlife crisis'' and then we often hear that the
elderly can get away with anything because they are elderly.

Every stage of life is different. We continue to grow as a person from
birth right through death. I smile incredibly thinking of a wonderful
woman I know who is over 90. She still drives. She still sits on the
board of a few organizations and she still participates in and leads
a current events group. This is proof positive that we continue to
grow and learn throughout our lives.

I personally have enjoyed immensely the teenage years of both of
my daughters. As teens they are very independent, meaning you
can leave the house for a few hours and not worry, you can ask for
help with cooking, cleaning, and all other chores and you can enjoy
incredible conversations with these kids who now have very strong

I have enjoyed meals out in exotic restaurants with my teens. I
have enjoyed long walks where we can chat about life and our own
thoughts. I have enjoyed weekend trips with my girls. I have
enjoyed a morning cup of coffee. I have enjoyed the most recent
movie release with them. Of course this list goes on and on.

Did my kids ever yell? Of course they did. Did they ever not follow
a rule? Of course they did. Just as toddlers, preteens and elderly
do all of these things, so do teens.

When someone tells me their child is about to become a teen, I
hug and congradulate them. They are about to experience a won-
derful new relationship.


Audrey Okaneko is mom to two girls. She can be reached at
audreyoka@cox.net or visited at www.scrapping-made-simple.com


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



Helpful Tip

[Editor's note: I had to include just ONE MORE answer to the
question we answered last issue about keeping artwork. This is
a wonderful testimony that brought tears to my eyes!]

"I was glad we had kept some of each of our children's art work as
well as labeled it (name, date and age). One of our younger children
complained to me that she couldn't draw. She would become
frustrated with what she was doing and tear up her picture. Of course,
I tried to encourage her. That's when I found out that she was
comparing herself to an older sibling. I located some drawings that
that older sibling had drawn at her sister's age and showed them to
the younger one. You should have seen the look on her face! She
has been happily drawing ever since." -- JOM


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

Resource Review

Times Tales
For more information or to order: www.timestales.com

Multiplication got you down? Why not try a story?! No, I'm not
referring to the dreaded word or 'story' problems we're all familiar
with, but rather a neat program called "Times Tales".

Time Tales uses pictures and stories as mnemonic devices to help
trigger recall of the more difficult 'upper' times tables. Designed
to supplement and not replace your regular math program, "Times Tales"
doesn't teach children the concept of multiplication, choosing to
focus instead on memorizing ten multiplication problems for number
6 through 9. The authors have created an easy to use flip-chart,
which features simple line drawings of the characters representing
numbers in the stories. Also included are clear, step-by-step
instructions and of course, a scripted story for each multiplication
problem. By following the recommended order of instruction, students
can quickly (in about an hour) learn problems that may have been
stumping them for weeks. The included section on division reinforces
the multiplication problems using the same visual prompts and

Mnemonic devices are especially helpful for visual learners, but
auditory learners will benefit from hearing and retelling each story
as well. "Times Tales" is just what the doctor ordered for those
wanting to get their upper multiplication problems memorized once
and for all!

-- Review provided by http://www.HomeschoolingFromTheHeart.com

Last Issue's Reader Question

"I am graduating my oldest child this year. I have found that as I
prepare to wrap up her formal education I have lost my passion for
home schooling my younger children. Is this common? I still have
no desire to send them elsewhere for their education, I just seem
to be doing less of a quality job with them as the focus is centered
on making sure our oldest has all her gaps filled." -- Melissa

Our Readers' Responses

"I have experienced your feelings very recently as our first of 6
graduated last June (2006). This observation is still very fresh, but
for me it seems the problem IS me, not them. I don't like to repeat
the same courses, curriculums, books, methods, etc. So, I have
come to the conclusion that it is not my desire to teach the remaining
children, but the content and resources that need to change. The
same subjects can be taught using many different tools. It sort of
happened by osmosis vs. conscious decision, but I am not using
all the same sources with my younger children that I used with the
older ones. Of course, some of the same books NEED to be re-read,
but those are mostly ones I enjoy (classic literature) as well. We
are moms who truly love to learn along with our children and we
need fresh materials, too. Hope this helps and congratulations on
getting one through!" -- Helen H.


"When I get tired of homeschooling, I start reviewing homeschooling
websites, blogs, and articles on homeschooling. Before long, I feel
energized once again. I'm always looking for newer, better ways to
home educate my children. Just knowing there are others out there
doing it too helps keep me motivated." -- Vivian M.


"Melissa, I don't know if how you feel is common, but it was the
same reaction I had when I graduated my first in June 2005. I put
so much time and energy into her, that I felt drained. Although I
wanted my other three kids home, I lost my passion to homeschool.
I tried cutting back our activities, changing our curriculum, and
making our homeschooling adventure more fun all to no avail. When
I was diagnosed as being mildly depressed, it all began to make
sense. I did use SAMe, an over the counter product that can be
purchased at Wal*Mart, and it helped a little. I'm now taking an
Omega-3 supplement and a Mood Elevator from the health food
store, and am getting better results. I would also encourage you
to take some time out this summer to reflect (through fasting,
prayer, and time alone) on where you've been and what direction
you should take with your homeschooling. I did this recently and
God sent a public school teacher (go figure!). She was just venting
about her daily pressure of teaching to the SOL's, following the
schedule set by the school board, and dealing with the behavior
problems of the kids, and I was sold on being a homeschooling
Mom again! There is also strength in numbers, so ask a few of
your close friends to pray for you. And that's what I'll be doing for
you!" -- Noreen

Answer our NEW Question

"We are currently in our 8th year of homeschooling. We are tossing
around the idea of enrolling our 9th grader in an on-line school.
She wants more freedom to schedule her days and to be finished
with school more quickly than the usual four years. I would also like
for her to have a transcript and high school diploma - though I am
not convinced of the importance of these pieces of paper. What do
you think of on-line schools and the value of High School Diplomas?"
-- Gina


Do you have an experience and/or an opinion to share with Gina?
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

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All contributed articles are printed with the author's prior
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Tags: enjoying your teens, teen years, raising teens, homeschooling teens, encouraging art, homeschool art, math games, math program, homeschool burn out, burnout, encouragement, gaps in homeschooling, curriculum help, homeschooling tips, chat, irc, java


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