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Reader Feedback, Homeschool Country Living, Teaching Natural Health

By Heather Idoni

Added Friday, April 27, 2007

The Homeschooler's Notebook
Encouragement and Advice for Homeschool Families
Vol. 8 No 33 April 27, 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
-- Feedback from Readers
Helpful Tips
-- Making a Syllabus
Winning Website
-- Country Living Group
Reader Question
-- Teaching Natural Health
Additional Notes
-- Searchable Archive
-- Our Email Group
-- Sponsorship Information
-- Reprint Information
-- Subscriber Information

Notes from Heather

Our Readers Write


Getting Outside to Play

"Hi Heather -- this article came just at the right time. We live in
New York and let me say our weather is, well, questionable. We have
been cooped up in the house because of cold weather (snow) or rain,
or a combination of each. Well, last weekend the weather cleared up
and was beautiful, sunny, and almost 80 degrees! On Saturday we were
outside from 10:30 am to 6:30 pm (we even ate lunch outside.) My
youngest son, 2, needed that. He played hard all day with no nap and
then crashed at 7:30 and slept until 7:30 the next morning. He has
been much more pleasant and not so cranky all the time. The weather
continued to be great all the way through yesterday (Tuesday), just a
little cooler. As I'm writing this, however, we are back to 39 degrees
and raining. YUCK! It looks like it will be like this for the rest
of the week here. I just keep thinking 'without the rain, it won't
look beautiful later'. Thinking sunny!" -- Kellie in NY

"I really enjoyed your article on the importance of outside play. I
have 3 boys, ages 6, 4 and 2 and have found that as they get older, it
is sometimes more of a struggle to get them outside, and the littler
they are they continue to beg to be outdoors! I am going to make more
of an effort to keep them playing outside! Thanks!" -- Carrie

"Thanks for an excellent article, Heather. I know my own kids sometimes
need 'prompting' to get outdoors but once they go they normally play and
play. The best games and 'adventures' are thought up outside! In some
ways it's just easier to let them stay indoors. Less worries for mom.
But enjoying God's creation is good for their bodies and their spirits
and well worth the time invested in a trip to the park or time out for
a walk around the block! Thanks for the encouragement." -- Amy

"My children are not high tech children. I subscribe to your newsletter
to enrich their public school education. Even though we are living in
a high tech world they are encouraged and required to have time
outside. I don't have a lot of the high tech stuff simply because being
a child outside playing is more important." -- Laura B.


Computer Age vs Nature: One Family's Experience

"My son is a computer geek. He has been fascinated with computers and
electronic equipment since he was two. At the age of two he would spend
4-6 hours daily on the computer in electronic bliss. He has Sensory
Integration Dysfunction and we have allowed him to do this because it
has really helped him to learn to filter out sensory input that had been
either frightening or terribly distracting to him in the past.

Christopher used to yell and hold his ears when he walked into a
restaurant and beg to leave because the noise of people talking and
milling around was more than he could handle. One Sunday we had to take
him into the church sanctuary because the children's ministry building
was not yet finished. He was visibly uncomfortable and almost
immediately asked to leave and held his ears. My daughter gave him a
hand held game she happened to have in her purse. He was instantly
comfortable, able to focus on the game and filter out all of the
extraneous noise! From that moment on we used the hand held games to
get him through the times when we had to be in situations where it was
noisy (like a doctor's office).

Very quickly we noticed that not only was he comfortable at that time
but he had taught his brain how to filter out other sensory input and he
was less and less uncomfortable in these situations. Now when we walk
into a store, restaurant or doctor's office, he is completely comfort-
able even without the hand held electronic game to focus on! It was
only afterward that we found that through dumb luck we did for our son
exactly what doctors often prescribe (hand held electronic games) for
children with Sensory Integration Dysfunction!

That being said, my husband and I do worry about him not getting out-
doors as much. We had signed him up for football last year and plan to
do that again this year. He loved it once he learned to better focus in
the contact, noise and commotion. I used to have a picnic in the back-
yard and go on nature walks through the backyard and in the parks. He
didn't like getting dirty so it was somewhat of a challenge but we had
fun. We would even walk around the neighborhood looking at bugs with a
magnifying glass and pick oranges in our backyard. I would set up a
blow-up pool and/or a sprinkler and he would play out there for a few
hours with or without his sister.

However, last year we moved up to the high desert and things drastically
changed. It is extremely windy here both in the summer and the winter.
Sometimes the gusts of wind almost blow me over and so it isn't very
comfortable to play outdoors. My son still has a problem with the wind.
He doesn't like the sound, the feeling of wind on his eyes, and gusting
in his mouth, so he walks backward if the wind is blowing from in front.
My husband bought a plane the kids could fly and for months they haven't
been able to play with it because it has been too windy. We are afraid
to put up the trampoline the kids LOVED because we have heard stories
of tramps blowing into and over houses in the wind.

Most of the high desert is barren. Dirt yards are common and there are
precious few parks. One park is quite far and in a questionable area
next to a school. The other really doesn't have much there and is not
very close either. Again the wind is an issue. We have nothing in our
backyard but dirt so there isn't anything interesting to see. We won't
be landscaping the back for a long while yet.

Without driving down the hill (about an hour's drive one way) I am not
sure how to put nature back in our day." -- JoJo, www.ArtofEloquence.com


Advice for Parents with Boys Spending 'Too Much Time' on Computer Games

"[I would suggest relating] the academics to his interest in computers -
he may work in the gaming industry some day. I didn't think about that
when my son was 14 and would spend so much time (in my estimation) on
computer games. Today, in his 20's now, he is majoring in computer
science and minoring in computer gaming/artificial intelligence! He
will have a rewarding, enjoyable career when he graduates... and get
paid to do what he loves." -- Tricia in NH


On Dads and Daughters

"Heather -- I wanted to suggest a website related to the Daddy/Daughter
dates idea in your recent newsletter. There is an interactive website
with a discussion forum called www.PolishedCornerstones.com that is for
Dads and Daughters. It might be a useful site for your readers."
-- Israel, www.WisdomsGate.org


Showing Appreciation for Dad

"My husband, too, has taken our children out on daddy dates. But we
also turn the tables on him and have 'I Love You, Daddy' parties about
three or four times a year. The children pick a theme, decorate the
dining room, plan a special menu and print it up, and buy him presents.
Many times the theme has centered around a video that we get from the
library or one that we have (Hogan's Heroes, Ice Age, National Treasure,
etc.), and then we watch it as a family later. The presents have been
as inexpensive as his favorite pop or candy bar, but have been as expen-
sive as a much needed new computer. I usually oversee the cooking, but
the children do the serving and wait on him during that evening. We
have been doing this for almost twenty years. The children have a great
time planning the whole thing, and my husband has always been surprised
and extremely pleased." -- Karen


Do you have comments to share? Please do!

Send your emails to: heather@familyclassroom.net



Helpful Tip

Creating a Syllabus

"I love your newsletters. I work for the public school district but
home school my last child of 5 children, who is in high school, now.
I also homeschooled my 2 oldest, which were twins, for awhile. I have
been a single mom for almost 4 years, so had to get a job.

A tip I would like to share is something I do with my highschooler.
I make a syllabus for her for each subject. That helps me with
record keeping. I not only have a hard copy but save it on my
computer also. I've also been told this is a great way to prepare
her for college. I have to say that one person who made that comment
was very against my homeschooling my daughter, but when they actually
saw what we were doing said, in awe, 'Wow -- that's really helping
her prepare for college, unlike high schools do!'

Thanks for all your support in your newsletters." -- Marsha in TX


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

Winning Website

Homeschool Country Living

This issue's question about teaching our kids about natural health
(herbal remedies, healthy eating, etc.) reminds me that I haven't
mentioned our Homeschool Country Living group in a long time!

Are you living in the country or just dreaming of it? Do you love
gardening and raising/growing your own food? Do you need input on the
best equipment for grinding wheat for home baking or a recommendation on
an herbal remedy?

This group, just for Christian homeschooling families, may be the one
for you! To check it out, go to this website:


Last Issue's Reader Question

"Hello and thank you in advance! I know next to nothing about eating
naturally, herbal remedies, or when to use lavender or echinacea or
anything else. We eat lots of grains, veggies, fruit, and home-raised
beef and chicken, though. I don't have the time to devote to an
in-depth education on the subject. (Imagine that?!) My children are
10, 9, 7, 5, 3, and 10 months... and I officially homeschool the four
oldest. I am now wondering if there isn't some basic book on nutrition
and wellness from a Christian perspective that I could go through with
my oldest children as part of their curriculum so that we could all
learn together? Help! Thanks!" -- Jill in Florida

Our Readers' Responses

"Jill, you might check out www.hacres.com - Hallelujah Acres. Their
diet would be a radical change for most people -- I've been unable to
completely adopt it myself -- but all their teaching is based on
Biblical principles. They do sell books, but they also have a lot of
free information on their website." -- Mary Beth


"Hi Jill! I recently discovered a site that may be of great help to
you. It is called Learning Herbs, and they are a wonderful resource
for learning all things herbal. They offer a FREE 7-day herbal
education e-course, and also have for purchase a board game that can
be played with your children that teaches you 25 important edible and
medicinal plants and their uses in mostly first aid situations. They
offer many other reasonable, do-able herbal products, and can be found
at: www.learningherbs.com. Good luck, and happy learning!"
-- Shani in Arizona


"Dr. Joseph Mercola counts himself a Christian, but I don't know that
his book, Total Health, has a particularly Christian slant to it.
Still, I consider it a good book from which to learn about healthy
living and especially healthy eating. It has a lot of recipes, which
could be used to help kids learn to cook and to be open to trying new
foods." -- Carolyn


"Though it's a bit over the head for your children right now, I highly
recommend 'What the Bible Says about Healthy Living' by Rex Russell, MD.
This is a wonderful book on wellness mostly, though nutrition is also
covered. I plan to use it for my own kids probably next year. I did
read some select parts to my 11 year old some months back, and he was
fascinated, however a lot of it is too deep for him right now. It also
has a small section on sexual perversions, which does not get real
in-depth, but would not be appropriate for young kids." -- Kathy in TN

Answer our NEW Question

Fostering Chidren and Homeschooling

"I was wondering if there were any other foster families out there that
homeschool. I currently homeschool my 5 year old son and I have a 2
year old. We have been licensed to take up to two more children ages
0-4. I was wondering if there were any other foster families out there
that homeschool and what advice you may have to keeping a schedule with
other children coming and going. Also, does anyone homeschool their
children and have foster children that attend public school?"
-- Kris in Florida


Do you have experience to share with Kris?

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: sensory integration dysfunction, computer careers, Polished Cornerstones, Wisdom's Gate, creating a syllabus, homeschooling dads, homeschool country living, high school record keeping, transcript, portfolio, natural health, eating healthy, herbal remedies

Next - Fostering Children, Truth Seekers Mysteries, Homeschool Haven in Detroit?
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