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A High School Plan (Part 2), Fallacy Detective, Teaching a Friend's Children

By Heather Idoni

Added Monday, February 05, 2007

The Homeschooler's Notebook
Encouragement and Advice for Homeschool Families
Vol. 8 No 10 February 5, 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!




Notes from Heather
-- A High School Plan (Part 2)
Helpful Tips
-- Recording Stories
Resource Review
-- Fallacy Detective
Reader Question
-- Teaching Others' Children
Additional Notes
-- Sponsorship Information
-- Reprint Information
-- Subscriber Information

Notes from Heather

*Note: If you missed the first part of this series, you can read it
here: http://www.familyclassroom.net/Articles20071/20070202.html


High School - Planning the BEST Years (Part 2)

The next thing I consider during a high school planning consultation
is how much high school level work has already been done in the
years considered 7th and 8th grade. Many of the families I meet
with have used Apologia science already -- specifically the General
and Physical Science texts. According to Dr. Jay Wile, if your
child is not a college-bound science major, you should absolutely
consider this work to be high school level and include it on the
transcript for the 9th and 10th grade years. In fact, according to
colleges I have spoken with, any high school level work should
be included on the high school transcript, even when completed
prior to the 'official' high school years.

Work accomplished (both for hours spent and/or mastery of subjects)
can be spread among the 4 years shown on the transcript (year 1,
year 2, year 3, year 4) regardless of which year the work was
completed. It is easier for the person reviewing the transcript to see
at a glance 4 years of math, 4 of language arts, 4 of history, 4 of
science, 2 or 3 years of a foreign language, etc., (regardless of
whether a subject may have been completed in a shorter time)
if it is evenly spread among the 4 years shown.

Language Arts can include any of the following: American and/or
English Literature, composition, expository writing, creative writing,
language origin studies, speech and debate, journalism, and poetry.
In my oldest son's case, he has one year where he did intensive
self-study abput ancient manuscripts. It is completely up to us
how we position the work he did... it could be considered either
language arts or history. Interpretative Reading can be used for
a language arts credit, too... or as a drama credit.

Science includes an amazing variety to choose from... everything
from the traditional courses of biology and chemistry... human
anatomy, zoology, cinematography, aerospace science, geology,
astronomy, oceanography, nanotechnology... the list is only
limited by your imagination!

When sketching out a 'plan' for the high school years, the first year
is often where I put down any earlier high school level work. This
has the added benefit of showing the student how much they've
already accomplished. From there I encourage the family to plan
to taper off the work load as the years go on, ending with the
fewest courses of study in the senior year. By the very nature of
things, these courses usually end up being the most intensive
and it is a good idea just to plan less. Also, many children want
to hold a job by that time and may need more free time for volunteer
opportunities, etc.

Next issue I will share my oldest son's ever-changing transcript
draft and also a sampling of several others I've helped prepare.


Do you have some general questions to ask? I may include your
question here with my answer. Please write!

Send your emails to: heather@familyclassroom.net



Helpful Tip

Recording Stories

"When my son was about 3 years old, I recorded some of his favorite
stories on a cassette tape. I used a toy piano to make a bell sound
for turning the page. The tape had about 4 books on it. He loved it
so much he listened to it all the time. I only had to read the book
one time and he could listen to me read it dozens of times. He still
likes to listen to books on tape and he is 8 now. You could make a
couple of tapes each containing several stories and store them in a
large freezer bag with the books. I had to do this when my second
child was born and my time to spend with my son was now divided."
-- Cindy H. (taken from our HomeschoolingBOYS.com email group)


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

Resource Review

A word from Cindy...

There are some resources that I read, review and put on the shelf.
Then there are books like "Fallacy Detective"! After writing the
following review over a year ago, I had the joy of using it in a
discussion group of teens ages 13 - 16. We had such a great time and
the kids learned so much. We were pretty informal, yet I am still
surprised how much my son still remembers a year later. I believe our
children need to be able to not only perceive when people present ideas
that are contrary to their worldview, but to also be able to tear down
those arguments WITHOUT tearing down the person. Fallacy Detective is
a great tool to put in your worldview toolbox!

Resource Review - Fallacy Detective
For more info or to order: www.homeschoolingfromtheheart.com

As a homeschool mom, the study of logic has always seemed out
of reach to me. I simply could not imagine trying to help my children
navigate a subject which I couldn't grasp myself. Thankfully, two
homeschool graduates, Nathaniel and Hans Bluedorn, have done
families everywhere a great service by writing The Fallacy Detective,
which introduces young adults to the study of logic in an
easy-to-understand, non-intimidating format!

The Fallacy Detective encourages young people to become thinking
Christians, able to navigate the maze of messages that are presented
through the media, advertising, politics and everyday conversation.
Designed to be self-teaching, each of the 36 lessons is written in a
conversational tone. Lessons are short, usually no more than a
couple of pages and utilize clear, sometimes humorous examples
to help the reader grasp the faulty reasoning being illustrated. The
authors have also included illustrations from some popular comic
strips, including their own series, Nuna and Toodles. After presenting
the new lesson material, readers are instructed to work their way
through several examples to see if they can find the fallacy or
propaganda in each statement/conversation. An Answer Key is
included at the end of the book along with instructions to create
your own Fallacy Detective game.

Although The Fallacy Detective is designed to be self-teaching, the
authors encourage parents to study the book with their child(ren).
I agree - in fact, the teen years are the perfect time to dialogue
about many of the issues presented as examples throughout the
book. When reading The Fallacy Detective, students begin to build
a biblical worldview as they consider some of the common
arguments and statements used to defend abortion, smoking,
religion, conservation issues and more. And parents be forewarned -
I recognized plenty of faulty reasoning in my own thought processes,
which just goes to show, our kids aren't the only ones who will
benefit from the study of logic! Some of the fallacies introduced
are generalizations, red herrings, equivocation (changing the meaning
of a word in the middle of an argument), making assumptions and
circular reasoning. I especially enjoyed the first several lessons,
which discuss why we as Christians should study logic, the
importance of "really" listening to what others are saying and the
importance of seeing both sides of an issue.

Designed to introduce readers to the study of informal logic, The
Fallacy Detective lays a great foundation for future studies in more
formal or traditional logic. Another great product to follow your
reading of Fallacy Detective is "The Thinking Toolbox" also by the
Bluedorns. This book focuses on reasoning and thinking skills
for ages 13 and up. Both books are well written and highly

Last Issue's Reader Question

"I have been home schooling my kids for 2 years now and we are
getting comfortable with our routine. Our children are 4 1/2, 6, 8,
10, and 14. My friend who was also home schooling is in the
hospital and the prognosis is very poor. They are giving it two
weeks for a possible miracle but the doctors feel that she is brain
dead and there won't be any improvement. This was a sudden
event; now her husband is going to put her children in school. They
have a 6 year old ( who is best friends with mine) and a 14 year old
(who is good friends with mine), and they also have an 18 month
old who I am already going to be watching. I am devastated by the
thought of these poor kids dealing with the possible death of their
mom and having to acclimate to a school environment as well. I
would gladly be willing to school them with my kids but I am
concerned about legal ramifications. Their father works 5 days a
week and they have no other family who could help at this time.
Please, anyone who knows of or have themselves been in this
situation, please tell me what to do, if I can in fact do anything!
I want to help her children through this very difficult time; I know
that she would do it for me in a heart beat if my kids were the
ones needing help." -- Sarah in Missouri

Our Readers' Responses

[I received many emails for Sarah and most referred to the page
for Missouri at http://www.HSLDA.org which outlines HSLDA's
understanding of the Missouri homeschooling laws. There were
about 10 recommendations to consult the HSLDA website, so for
the sake of space, I've included only a few answers that add a
little something beyond sharing legal advice. Many wrote to express
their encouragement and to let Sarah know they would be praying
for the situation. Thanks to ALL who wrote in! -- Heather]


"I am sure that the father is absolutely overwhelmed with all of this
and wants what is best for his children. He may feel that he
cannot ask you to teach his children, but may accept an offer if
you make it. He may have some reservations - you already have
5 children to educate, and he may be wondering how you could
possibly do more without negatively affecting your own family. I
would say the following to him:

* I know that you want what is best for your family at this difficult
time, but I have an offer that I would like you to think about.

* I have been thinking of involving my children in more group learning
experiences and the similar ages would help our family in this.

* Please give this a trial run of through the end of the academic
year. If over the summer you decide you want your children to go
to a public/private school, that would be fine with me.

* This will give your children a chance to cope with their family
changes in a more gradual way - they would have time to grieve for
their mother without being in the public eye of the school. They
can cry when they need to without feel that they are losing face.

* It will give you more time to prepare them for public/private
school. At the end of the year they could sit in on some classes
to get a better understanding of how it is different and similar to
what they have been doing.

* This does not make more work for me. With the kids working
together, it will actually be less work, with less squabbling, etc.

I hope that we can hear back that the miracle occurred, and that
you are able to help to with the education of your friend's children."
-- Cheryl in California


"What a heartbreaking situation! I think it sounds like a wonderful
idea. I have known of others teaching children not their own in
addition to their own. It has worked out very well for all involved. I
looked up the law for your state and it is possible. The law states
that up to four not related children may be taught. I say go for it.
What a blessing you are to this family!" -- Hillary


"I am in Missouri also. I am sorry to hear about your friend and the
dilemma, but in Missouri, you can teach your own children, plus up
to 4 other children who aren't yours. That is the law. I would be like
you, and do the schooling myself if I felt up to it. Talk to the dad.
Public schools are not for children!" -- Jan in Salem, MO


"Although I am not familiar with your state’s legalrequirements, I
have done what is referred to as 'Group Homeschooling'. I took
another child into my home and she schooled along with my three
children. As far as legal requirements we considered the parent to
be the primary teacher and I was the tutor assisting the parent. I
will say, this did not work out for us because it also became a full
time babysitter situation where I really had no means to discipline
this child who very much needed some boundaries. Her actions
were also influencing my children in a negative way. However, if
those issues are resolved ahead of time it could really work out well
as I have heard in other success stories. May God bless you as
you reach out to this family." -- JuliAnna in NJ


"I would check with a local CHEF group, but my understanding
is that this is allowed as long as you receive no compensation for
your teaching services. Books and materials would be okay; a fee
for teaching the children is not." -- Cynthia in MO


"It sounds like it would be legal for you to school your friend's
children, however, I suggest you talk this over with whatever
accrediting agency or support group you are registered with or
HSLDA to make sure. You also need to talk with your husband
and PRAY heavily to see if you really can take on 2 more children
and still give your family the attention you all need. While your
friend may not pay you to teach his children, he should be the
one to purchase whatever curriculum and supplies the children
use including field trip fees,etc. While you will keep the records
for your school, you should prepare a report card/transcript type
list to their father showing what each child did and how well they
did while with you. This will help both of you make decisions
about future schooling." -- Anne Marie in SC

Answer our NEW Question

"I have always planned on homeschooling my kids, and I have read
your newsletter for a few years to get ideas. However now I find
myself in a tough situation. We have just moved to a new area,
and I am five months pregnant. My oldest son will be five and ready
for kindergarten this year. We have been doing pre-K crafts and
activity pages on an irregular basis this year, but I know he needs
a daily structure for next year. Come August I will have a brand new
baby, a three year old, and my oldest. I am looking for any resources
or ideas for homeschooling a child while caring for an infant and a
toddler. I know other women must have done it, but now I find myself
facing skepticism from family members about my ability to handle it.
Sadly, I think it is beginning to affect my own opinion of whether I
can 'handle it'. Any suggestions would be appreciated, and also
any recommendations for a good homeschooling group near 77354,
Texas. Thanks so much." -- Ali S.


Do you have encouragement and/or practical wisdom for Ali?
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: homeschool high school planning, high school transcript, Apologia Science, Dr. Jay Wile, subject mastery, red herrings, fallacy detective, critical thinking, informal logic, homeschooling in Missouri, homeschooling someone else's children, homeschool tips

Next - A High School Plan (Part 3), Spelling Test Twist, New Baby on the Way
Previous - A High School Plan, Motivational Ideas, Young Fives

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