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High School the 3rd Time Around, Museum Units, 'Colorful' Advanced Math

By Heather Idoni

Added Monday, January 29, 2007

The Homeschooler's Notebook
Encouragement and Advice for Homeschool Families
Vol. 8 No 8 January 29, 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
-- High School the 3rd Time Around
Helpful Tips
-- More Museum Curriculum Units
Resource Review
-- Teach Your Children to Read Well
Our Reader Question
-- Text with Advanced Math in Color?
January Featured Resource
-- Raising Leaders
Additional Notes
-- Archived Newsletters
-- Email Support Group
-- Sponsorship Info
-- Reprint Info
-- Subscriber Info

Guest Article

An Intro from Heather...

I'm in the process of writing a series of articles to share with you
that detail the insights I share with local homeschool moms and
dads as they prepare for homeschooling high school. As I see
some parents intimidated by the looming high school years make
what is, in my opinion, a very sad decision to put their children in
public school, I feel pressed ever more strongly to share just how
WONDERFULLY EASY these years can be... and just what they
are throwing away by giving in to the pressures around and from
within them. I meant to have the first article ready for this issue,
but circumstances (being sick *and* out-of-town at a homeschool con-
vention where I was invited to be a vendor) prevented me from getting
it done. In the meantime, enjoy this excellent article from a regular
contributor toHSN -- Barbara Frank! -- Blessings, Heather.


Homeschooling High School the Third Time Around
by Barbara Frank

The baby I carried on my hip while I homeschooled my first two
children is now 14. It’s time for me to think about how I home-
schooled her older siblings when they were teens, and how I want
to homeschool her now that she’s reached high school age.

In reviewing what I did with my older two, my goal is to avoid what
didn’t work and to repeat what did. In that vein, here are a few things
I’ve decided.

This time around in our homeschool high school, I will not:

1) Use a correspondence curriculum with prescribed course require-
ments and graded-by-computer tests. I did that with my older children,
and consequently they learned to memorize facts long enough to ace
the test, and then forget them. That’s what I did in high school, and I
certainly wanted better than that for my own children. But I was afraid
to tackle my older children’s home education without the guidance of
a formal curriculum, nor did I have the time to design each one’s ideal
program because I had two younger children (including one with disabili-
ties) who needed me. But this time around, my youngest is 12, and
while he will always have developmental delays, he’s much easier to
care for. So I am now free to design and implement a high school
curriculum tailored to my daughter’s interests and future plans.

2) Use the local school district’s driver education course. Both of my
older children took driver’s ed at the local high school, and we all
agree it was a total waste of time. Since then, the school board has
voted to raise the fee from $50 to $300, which makes this decision even
easier, since private driving school costs about $350.

3) Cut our teenager slack on household chores because she may have a
part-time job, rigorous school work, or both. We did that with the
older two, and found it difficult to ever get them back in the groove
of helping out at home. That’s why our home-for-the-summer college
student son is very little help around here.

There are also some things I did with the older two that I definitely
want to do with our third-born. This time around, I will:

1) Regularly update her high school transcript on my computer, add-
ing every bit of volunteer work, every job, every online course, her
driver’s ed class, and every bit of 'school work' she does that can be
listed on a transcript. I will do this promptly, so I don’t have to rely
on my not-very-good-these-days memory. This way, each time I
need a copy of her transcript for future college applications, I can
just print out an up-to-date copy from my computer.

2) Sign her up to take the ACT each year of high school, so that by
junior year, she’s very comfortable with it. Doing this with my older
children was part of the reason they both scored very well. I already
knew that high scores make teens very attractive to colleges; what
I learned was that they directly lead to scholarship money.

3) Continue to encourage her to learn to use the computer (she
bought a laptop with babysitting money) because she will need that
skill in the future, whether she goes to college, works, starts her own
business, and/or runs a household.

4) Use community and local colleges to augment her studies, as
they’ll provide her with classroom experience in areas I don’t want to
teach (#1: Chemistry!) as well as college credit.

5) Give her increasing responsibility for deciding when to do her
assignments, to the point that by senior year, my involvement in her
schoolwork will center on a once-a-week meeting with her to review
her assignments.

6) Do Life Prep for Homeschooled Teenagers
(http://www.cardamompublishers.com/cardamom-life-prep.htm) with
her during her junior and senior years of high school, because it
worked so well with the older two, and because I’d like to add some
resources and books to it that will be chosen just for her.

Also, as I did with her older sister, I will:

7) Give her increasing experience in cooking, cleaning and other
household chores. That, combined with the babysitting she already
does in our neighborhood, will help train her for that most important
of all jobs, being a homemaker for the family she hopes to have

8) Continue to garden and sew with her, because it gives me great
joy to share such pleasurable activities with her, and because I want
the time with her. I learned from the last two to treasure such times
because the days pass so quickly.

Finally, in addition to the all of the above, there’s one more thing I
will do with her that I was not able to do with her older sister:

9) I will continue to do the Mother/Daughter study of 'Women of the
Bible' that we began a year ago, because it’s so nice to study the
Bible together, and we have had such great discussions!

These are the basics of my plan. Making these plans is kind of
bittersweet, because this is my last opportunity to do our 'traditional'
version of high school. (My son’s high school will be much different
because of his delays, but will surely bring its own joys, as teaching
him thus far has done.) This time around, I have a much better idea
of how well homeschool high school can be done; I saw it with my
older children. Thus I have a lot more confidence this time around.

If you’re going to homeschool your children during their high school
years, I hope these tips help you. Just remember the most important
thing: enjoy these years, because they will be over before you know it.


About the author:
Barbara Frank is the mother of four homeschooled-from-birth children
ages 13-22, a freelance writer/editor, and the author of 'Life Prep
for Homeschooled Teenagers' and the new eBook, 'The Imperfect Home-
schooler’s Guide to Homeschooling'. To visit her Web site, 'The
Imperfect Homeschooler', go to www.cardamompublishers.com.
Reprinted with permission (c) 2006 Barbara Frank/Cardamom


Do you have comments to share about this article? Please do!

Send your emails to: heather@familyclassroom.net



Helpful Tip

More Museum Curriculum Units

"This is for the reader who introduced us to the USS Constitution
online curriculum and others (like myself) who became interested.
If you enter 'museum curriculum units' into a search engine, there
will be several free and fee-based online museum curriculum units.
Two that I thought would be interesting involved the California Gold
Rush and the National Wildlife Art Museum featuring 'Winter on
the Plains'." -- Anissa


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

Resource Review

Teach Your Children to Read Well Series
For more information: http://www.teachyourchildrenwell.ca

Dubbed by some as the "Maloney Method", the Teach Your Children
to Read Well series is the result of years of research and practical
application with thousands of children in group, and one-on-one
tutoring situations. There are four levels of instruction, beginning
at K-2 and continuing through 8th grade. Each teaching set includes
an Instructor's Manual, Student Reader and Student Workbook.

The well-researched methods of Mr. Maloney and his colleagues are
clearly presented as you follow the scripted Instructor's Manual. In
fact, it is imperative that you follow the manual exactly. In addition
to providing the wording for the teacher to use when instructing the
student, the manual also tells you how to correct your child if they
respond with something other than the expected outcome. It does
take some time to get accustomed to the teaching model, which is
explained in detail at the beginning of the Instructor's Manual. After
some time to familiarize yourself with the program, lessons proceed
more smoothly since you follow the same steps for each lesson.

We were given the K-2 set for review. The Student Reader has
practice stories and also includes 'fluency' checks. There are forms
in the back of the Student Workbook for tracking progress and
charting fluency scores. One thing I need to point out is that some
children may not like to have to keep working on the same word/sound
list until they get a proper score on the fluency check. I understand
that these checks serve an important purpose for overall success in
using this program and with proper incentive most children apparently
do very well, but it was a small point of contention when we were
testing the program with a young reader. The Student Workbook is
well organized with plenty of working space.

Overall, Teach Your Children to Read Well is a thorough, easy to
implement reading program that has proven successful for struggling
and beginning readers in both home and classroom situations.


The above review brought to you (with love!) by Cindy Prechtel. :-)

Last Issue's Reader Question

Advanced Math in Color?

"I am a homeschooling mom of an 12 year old girl. She is very
advanced in math, as she is currently using Teaching Textbooks
PreAlgebra, which is for 8th grade. We used colorful curricula for
math previously, because she is a very visual learner. However, as
we move into the more difficult/advanced maths, we are finding that
everything is just black and white. This Teaching Textbooks
curriculum has a black and white book, but the CD-Rom features
a 'colorful' lecture, but she is extremely bored (and annoyed) by
the voice of the lecturer. So, here's my question: Is there a math
out there that is COLORFUL in the upper math levels?" -- Cyndi

Our Readers' Responses

"Take a look at the math texts by Harold Jacobs. While they are
not 'in color', each lesson includes wonderful graphics, many of
which are well-known cartoons and comic strips. And he writes
wonderful texts especially for folks really into math. The textbooks
can often be found on sites like half.com; the teacher notes and
answer books are available from FUN-books.com." -- Babette in CO

[Editor's note: I will second the motion about Harold Jacobs' books!
They are excellent! He wrote only 3 books that I am aware of... and
treated the math 'subjects' in a more holistic way. 'Algebra', 'Geo-
metry', and 'Mathematics: A Human Endeavor'. What is more -- for
the frugal-minded -- you will never lose money when going to re-sell
his books at a later date. They've never been 'revised' so you don't
have to worry about your edition becoming obsolete -- something that
keeps companies like Saxon, BJU, and Abeka in business, I think...
those silly constant revisions that make that textbook you bought
just last year practically worthless. Grrr... Okay -- off my soapbox.]


"Try Math U See It's a K-12 program that uses little colorful blocks.
www.mathusee.com" --Dawn Kropp

[Editor here again... another one I like to recommend! Though not for
every child, I do appreciate Steve's approach to teaching math. Your
regional representative can send you a free demo video, too. Just
contact through the website.]

Answer our NEW Question

"My son’s birthday is in late September, so I am having trouble
deciding whether to start kindergarten in the fall. What have other
homeschoolers done with kids who have late birthdays? Are there
particular curricula that work well for young 5’s?" -- Jennifer


Do you have some experience and/or a recommendation for Jennifer?

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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Tags: museum unit studies, museum curriculum, teaching reading, teaching children to read, homeschooling high school, SAT, ACT, high school transcript, teaching life skills, Barbara Frank, Maloney Method, Harold Jacobs Algebra, Math U See, homeschool tips

Next - A High School Plan, Motivational Ideas, Young Fives
Previous - Your Kids CAN Write, Free University Project, Online Schools

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