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Feedback from our Readers, Home-Grown Speech Therapy, Co-op Break?

By Heather Idoni

Added Friday, May 18, 2007

==========================================================
The Homeschooler's Notebook
Encouragement and Advice for Homeschool Families
==========================================================
Vol. 8 No 39 May 18, 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!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

=================
IN THIS ISSUE:
=================

Notes from Heather
-- Reader Feedback
Helpful Tips
-- Home-Grown Speech Therapy
Winning Website
-- Single Parent Homeschool
Reader Question
-- A Break from the Co-op
Additional Notes
-- Searchable Archive
-- Our Email Group
-- Sponsorship Information
-- Reprint Information
-- Subscriber Information

=======================
Notes from Heather
=======================

Feedback from Our Readers

---

Graduation Open Houses


"Our son homeschooled from 7th grade through to graduation,
combining grades 11 and 12. We affiliated with a Pennsylvania
homeschool organization for the purpose of evaluation and grad-
uation and he graduated with pomp and circumstance at a church
in a nearby city, with sixteen other homeschoolers.

The actual 'party' was held at a family restaurant but the
rehearsal dinner was held here at home and included lasagna,
tossed salad, fruit salad, punch and cake, with about ten out
of state family members devouring it. It was an easy make
ahead dinner.

He is now completely on his own (three years later) in Cali-
fornia, working and pursuing his music. His Pennsylvania
certificate of graduation (with distinction) is and will
continue to be important to him, and the actual graduation
brings back many happy memories." -- Paula F.

---

"I really enjoyed your tips on doing a graduation open house,
but wanted to share one other item. Something you might want
to check into is the potential involvement (or lack thereof)
of family and friends. Our first son graduated in 2004; we
had a graduation ceremony with the state homeschool associa-
tion and then the following weekend we had an open house. At
the ceremony we had 2 people show up and at the open house we
had very little interest as well. My husband and I both have
large families and we were very disappointed that so many chose
not to come. There were even some very close relatives who
didn't even send a card or acknowledge his accomplishment at
all. We truly feel that the lack of interest was due to us
homeschooling. Most did not feel it was a 'real' graduation.
We spent about $400 on the open house for food, rent and deco-
rations. Most of the food was wasted because it wouldn't keep.

My second son is graduating this year. We gave him the option
of having an open house (although it would be toned down quite
a bit with only cake, punch, etc.), or have a special weekend
for him, his siblings, his dad and I. He chose the weekend.
His ceremony is in Indy and we are staying in a motel a couple
of nights and just having some family time together. We feel
the money is going to be much better spent on our immediate
family, who we know will appreciate it, than for people who
may or may not come.

So, in saying all this -- make sure your family and friends
will be considering this to be a 'legitimate' graduation before
spending a lot of time and money planning to involve them."
-- Martha in Indiana

---

Fish Oil Feedback... for 'Focus' and Much More!


"After reading about the fish oil for 'brain food', I wanted
to write.

I take 3 capsules in the morning, and 3 more at night. This is
about the amount for an adult. My daughter has knowledge of how
much each person needs according to weight and size.

I am diabetic with lots of problems related. Since getting on
fish oil, I have brought down the amount and frequency of insulin
I take. My cholesterol was 260 before fish oil, and within a
couple of months, it was 205! My triglycerides are much better
also, making my doctor take notice.

I also have disk degeneration in my neck -- 2 disks are almost
gone and I have a spur pushing into my spinal cord. In my lower
back I have 3 bulging disks. Fish oil helps with the inflammation
and pain of this problem. My ability to walk (even with diabetic
neuropathy added to the disk problems) has gone way up! I recently
went to New Mexico on vacation, and went through the first half of
Carlsbad Caverns unassisted except for my daughter's arm, just in
case. (I also have retinopathy, and seeing in the dark is almost
impossible -- so going into the cave wasn't the smartest!)

In case you can't tell, I'm a walking advertisement for fish oil!"
-- Jan in MO

---

Do you have comments to share? Please do!

Send your emails to: heather@familyclassroom.net

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

================
Helpful Tip
================

Home-grown Speech Therapy

Today's tip comes from our own family! My two youngest sons
still struggle with enunciation on certain combinations of
sounds, especially "air" as in bear or care. My 9 year old
pronounces this sound more like "boh" or "coh". Something
we have started that is REALLY catching on is to make a game
of our own homegrown speech therapy. Our boys (and my husband!)
enjoy the musical "My Fair Lady". They know well that 'the
RAIN in SPAIN stays MAINLY in the PLAIN'. So we decided to
have fun with our own special version that helps them with
their own problem -- "The BEAR at the FAIR is in his underWEAR".
You should hear them giggle as they work at clearly enunciating
this line! It is helping them to hear how they sound and take
time to make it come out right. They can when they want to!

You could make up any line to help with a particular problem.

-- Heather in Michigan (editor)

---

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


==================
Winning Website
==================

[This week's winning website was suggested by one of our longtime
readers. Thanks, Mary Beth!]

http://www.singleparenthomeschool.christianhomeeducation.org

"This is a wonderful website for single homeschooling parents.
It has encouraging articles, free and discounted offers, testi-
monies by single parents who are homeschooling, as well as links
to other helpful resources." -- Mary Beth A.


===============================
Last Issue's Reader Question
===============================


"I have a question for anyone who can help me. I have been
involved in a great co-op the past 2 years that meets once a
week for about 6-7 months in the school year. There is also
another co-op that I am very interested in also that we have
ties to. In the midst of deciding what co-op to go to next
year my husband and I are thinking to just take a complete
break from all co-ops next year and just do some field trips
and go to plays. The reason for this -- or at least one -- is
to focus 'inside the home' (for example more family time and
sibling friendships). We have 4 children and I feel sometimes
our focus is more on our friends and making new ones than on
family. Don't get me wrong -- I think this is a great way to
meet new people -- but I just think maybe a semester or even
a whole year off would do some good for our family situation
right now. Also I am thinking we are getting behind on core
subjects because one day is co-op and the next day is catch-up
on house stuff and school work... or we are just too tired and
need some rest time. What are your experiences with co-ops?
Keep in mind this is the only time we are around other home-
schoolers for the most part. Our church is all public school
but that doesn't seem to bother my kids. HELP! I NEED ADVICE!"
-- Missy in TN


=========================
Our Readers' Responses
=========================

"We had been involved in a couple of different co-ops, differ-
ent styles, for a few years. Last year, the one we had most
recently been in wasn't offering anything 'appropriate', so we
took a year off. This year, this year, my son has really
enjoyed classes back at a 'co-op' (almost a 'school', really,
with non-profit status), and has gotten so much out of the
classes and the chance to hang with other homeschoolers on a
weekly basis. For us, the change was really good!! I highly
recommend taking that break for your family as well!"
-- Elaine in NJ

---

"I found this question interesting as I have been pondering
the same thing, but from a different perspective.

When my son was born 5 years ago, I decided to take a semester
off from co-op. We had been going there for about 6 years at
that point, and my kids loved it, but I knew that I'd need a
break. Well, we never went back. I did go to a smaller co-op
for a year, but dropped out of that also.

Even though I know in my heart that my kids would enjoy going
immensely, and would benefit from the educational opportuni-
ties, I cannot convince myself to return. I personally don't
like teaching other kids. I also dislike the time taken out
of my school schedule. My kids would get three classes, but
some of them were more fluff than I'd like. When we'd get home,
I'd be too exhausted to do any of our regular school, and we'd
just seem to get further and further behind what I wanted to
accomplish for the year.

So other than occasional twinges of regret, in general, I'm
glad that we don't belong to a co-op any longer." -- Bev

---

"Three years ago we were involved in a support group/co-op and
we were struggling in much the same way you are. My husband
and I sat down and listed the benefits our family was reaping
from the group. Then we tried to measure the costs -- mileage,
time, stress, fatigue, things neglected at home, etc. We
quickly realized that the costs were far too great, and the
benefits way too small. We also examined the benefits and
determined that we were able to provide those same advantages
at home. We decided to take a leave of absence and give it
more consideration. After we left the group, other *better*
opportunities opened up for us; we had not seen them before
because the co-op was consuming so much of our time and energy.
I am not advising everybody to drop out of their co-ops, but
I would encourage all homeschoolers to evaluate their involve-
ment periodically and reassess whether it's the best thing
for their family.

Sometimes when we are removed from a situation and look at it
from the 'outside', we see things that we couldn't see when we
were closely involved. As we look back, these are some of the
things we have discovered about support groups and co-ops:

1) Peer pressure in homeschool groups is sometimes as bad as it
is in public school (peer pressure among homeschool moms can
be a serious problem too).

2) Well-managed homeschool groups support the parents in their
efforts, and are not for the purpose of providing social acti-
vities for the children.

3) Private tutoring is far more efficient and more effective
than group learning situations -- this is one of the great
advantages of home schooling, which we sacrifice when we enroll
our children in a class.

4) Not all social influences from homeschoolers are positive.

-- Mary Beth A.

---

"We've been out of a co-op now for almost 4 years. It seemed like
a burden lifted, because of the extra responsiblity of having to
contribute time/talents/money just to be part of the group. There
has been plenty for us to get involved in (here in East TN) without
having to be in a co-op. Band, field trips, church outings, etc.
We have still been able to develop friendships with other home-
schoolers, and to tell you the truth, those friendships are the ones
that seem special and genuine (not obligatory because we're members
of a 'club').

We have mostly public schooled kids in our church as well, but there
is a good spirit and bond between all the kids, it seems.

The Lord will bless you and your children with the friends He knows
you need!"

---

"Your explanation of your situation certainly sounds as if you have
a gut feeling in this regard. It doesn't hurt to try taking a break
from group activities for a while and see how it goes. I suspect
you'll find that you are seeking a better balance in your homeschool-
ing life. Sometimes friendships can consume far too much time and
energy. Finding a way to take care of family FIRST and then make
room for a few CLOSE friendships, leaving some time but not too much
for acquaintances, works out better than constantly trying to meet
everyone and know them well."

---

"If you're feeling this strongly NOW that you need to sit back and
skip a co-op, you probably need to! That is certainly the beauty
of home education -- making decisions based on the needs of your
own family.

I would suggest, however, that you schedule social time with other
homeschooling families so as not to isolate YOU or your kids from
other homeschoolers. This could be attending Park Days, field trips
and definitely 'Mom's Night Outs'. After homeschooling for more
than 10 years, I've seen many give up and put their kids back in
school. 99% of those have allowed themselves to get so caught up
in 'home time' and 'family time' that they became isolated. So when
the discouraging times came, they had no network to lean on for
encouragement and help -- and ultimately they just gave up because
they felt so inadequate. Don't let that happen to you! Stay
involved and keep that support system pumped up around you."
-- Mary in Florida


=========================
Answer our NEW Question
=========================

"My 16 year old has been in a local school for all his life. He has
had problems with getting through the year. He is a quiet child with
few friends. Is there anyone that is home schooling their teenage
child that can give me information on how to get started on home-
schooling my son? He has worked on his computer during the summer
with the FLVS (Florida Virtual School). He does very well with the
computer classes. He seems to be a visual or a hands-on learner. I
find that the teachers in his school don't use different techniques
to help the children learn the lessons they are teaching. My son is
a B-C student. I feel that he could do better if he is taught using
his learning skills. I have talked to his guidance counselor but she
seems not to listen. Thank you for any help that can steer me in the
right direction." -- Lucy

---

Do you have some practical advice or direction for Lucy?

Please send your answer to: HN-answers@familyclassroom.net


=====================
Ask YOUR Question
=====================

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!


=====================================
Our Searchable Newsletter Archive
=====================================

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or search on a specific word or phrase in issues all the way
back to January 2001! Just go to this link:

http://hub.thedollarstretcher.com/cgi-bin/lyris.pl?visit=hs-notebook


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Here is the link to sign-up!

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=====================
ADDITIONAL NOTES
=====================

All contributed articles are printed with the author's prior
consent. It is assumed that any questions, tips or replies to
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Tags: homeschool graduation, open house tips, high school graduation, homeschool diploma, fish oil for diabetes, homeschool speech therapy, homeschooling tips, single parents homeschooling, homeschool co-ops, homeschool classes, home education, tips





Next - A Reader Graduates her Son, Rummy Roots, Starting HS with a Teen
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