"" -- A Homeschooler's Notebook Subscriber.
An interactive, FREE, twice-monthly ezine packed with great reader tips, reviews, & practical encouragement for homeschool families.


Some of Our Sponsors


Landry Academy

Math Mammoth

Great Homeschool Conventions

The Old Schoolhouse Magazine

Resource Links

All About Spelling
Homeschooling ABCs
Upper Level Homeschool
FIRETIME Notebooking
FREE Funschool Units
Homeschooling Help
More Homeschooling Help
HS Gifted and Talented
Homeschool Country Life
Beloved Books & Audio



Museums Not to Miss, Money Management for Kids, Girls Who Aren't College Bound

By Heather Idoni

Added Friday, July 20, 2007

The Homeschooler's Notebook
Encouragement and Advice for Homeschool Families
Vol. 8 No 57 July 20, 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
-- Don't Ignore Those Small Museums!
Helpful Tips
-- Money Management for Kids and Teens
Winning Website
-- Marvelous Machines
Reader Question
-- Girls not Heading to College
Additional Notes
-- Searchable Archive
-- Our Email Group
-- Sponsorship Information
-- Reprint Information
-- Subscriber Information

Guest Article

[Editor's note -- I came across this recent blog post and had to
say I couldn't agree more. My husband and I recently took a 'date'
trip to Bay City, Michigan, and went on a fun cruise on a tall sails
schooner. Apart from getting seasick, it was great! The next day
we went to Midland, Michigan, the home of Dow Chemical Company.
Since I had taught a co-op class about Michigan history's many
entrepeneurs, I was excited to seek out the Herbert Dow Historical
Museum. It was part of a bigger complex, but I was only interested
in this one small segment that was separate from the 'big' museum.
The nice lady let me make an individual donation, rather than pay
the higher price for a ticket that would have covered 'everything',
and Jim and I fully enjoyed our time at this walk-through exhibit.
It made me realize that normally I would have skipped over a smaller
museum, had I not had the interest, and spent all my time (usually
with the boys along) at the larger mega-style museum. This one was
entirely educational and interactive. The boys would have loved it,
AND -- we could have all enjoyed it for the small donation, rather
than a 'per person' price. So don't miss those smaller museums this
summer. Our guest author shares some tips on why they are often
better and how you should set aside time for them. -- Heather]


Don't Ignore the Small Museums

We have all heard the saying, "You can't judge a book by its cover".
Well, the same can be said about museums. I would like to share
with you a personal observation.

I was visiting my sister in Gastonia, North Carolina for the last
few days. We were trying to decide if we really felt up to driving
into Charlotte to visit the big kids' museum. When she mentioned
that there was a small natural history museum about 10 miles away,
we looked it up on the internet and found it also had a planetarium.
(If you are ever in the Charlotte, NC area, take the time to visit
the Schiele Museum of Natural History www.schielemuseum.org )

I will not bore you with a description of all of our adventures,
but I do want to share some observations with you. I have visited
numerous museums -- too numerous to count -- and I have found that
while the "big" museums have their advantages, the "small" ones have
some too.

1) Generally, the price of admission is MUCH cheaper. Many times
local residents get in free.

2) They have more hands-on exhibits for kids. The above mentioned
museum had a small pool of marine animals that encouraged the chil-
dren to touch. They also had an origami station with the special
paper and a computer program that showed them step-by-step to create
several different animals. They had a life-size replica of a T. Rex
and encouraged the kids to touch it.

3) Sometimes the exhibits are in better shape because thousands of
kids instead of millions of kids have used them.

4) The staff tends to be more friendly and helpful. It seems to be
more than a job for them. They are generally local, and can help
by suggesting other attractions in the area.

5) Because they do not have as much money as the big museums, they
tend to put more thought into what goes on display, and I believe it
makes for a better museum.

Now do not think I am suggesting that you not visit the major museums.
I am only suggesting that you not forget the smaller ones. If you are
going on a several day trip, save one day for anything you might find
in the area. Many times these small museums do not advertise much and
you will not find out about them until you are there or even drive by.


About the Author

Danielle (Mrs. Dani) Toussaint lives in South Carolina. She is a
stay-at-home homeschooling mother of two who likes to blog to offer
moneysaving ideas, recipes, encouragement to other homeschooling
mothers -- and little rants about the news. You can enjoy her plethora
of pertinent posts at http://www.homeschoolblogger.com/coffeewithmrsdani


Do you have comments to share? Please do!

Send your emails to: heather @ familyclassroom.net



Helpful Tip

Teaching Finances and Budgeting

"My parents never taught me anything about finances. All I saw
was my dad using his credit cards to buy whatever he/we wanted,
whenever we wanted it. My husband's family lived on a very tight
'budget', but they never talked about money with their kids. We
were oblivious to finances when we got married. We thought it
was great to get all those offers for 'FREE' credit cards when we
were first married. We found ourselves deep in debt.

About 7 years ago, I heard Dave Ramsey on Focus on the Family with
Dr. Dobson. I was intrigued so I bought his book. My husband
and I both read it and followed his instructions in the book.
Praise God we are debt free, except for our home!

We were determined to not let our boys grow up like we did so I
got the books, 'Money Matters for Kids' and 'Money Matters for
Teens'. We went through these two years ago and it has really
helped our boys. Our oldest now works at McDonald's and has a
strict budget he lives by. He has a book that has a topic for
different pages (i.e. car, cash, savings) so he knows how much he
has for gas or repairs on his car each paycheck. They all take
their tithe immediately from their paychecks. All three of our
boys have regular jobs (paper route for our youngest, farm work
for our middle and McD's for the oldest) so they do have money to
budget. It's a pleasure to see our youngest find a Lego set he
really wants and figure out how much he will have to save per week
in order to buy that. It has made a world of difference for them
-- and us!" -- Pam in Michigan - member of HomeschoolingBOYS.com


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

Winning Website

Marvelous Machines

This site features experiments and forms for recording results
based on simple machines. Although some experiments require
specific items such as gears, others use household items. This
would be ideal to supplement a textbook or workbook for a physical
science curriculum.

-- Cindy - www.HomeschoolingFromTheHeart.com

Last Issue's Reader Question

"I have 2 teen daughters who are not college bound and I am think-
ing of taking an unschooling/delight-directed approach with them
in their schooling this year. I do also have some topics/subjects
that I want them to learn so that they function well on their own
when they leave my house, such as how our government operates and
life skills. Any advice or suggestions on how to do this? Recommen-
dations? Can you take this type of approach and have requirements
for them on some of the things that you think that they should
learn?" -- Heather L.

Our Readers' Responses

"I highly recommend Barb Shelton's book 'Senior High: A Home-Designed
Form*U*La'. You can purchase it from her site:

This book is absolutely excellent for planning an unschooling/delight
directed High School program. It is great for all homeschool High
Schoolers, no matter whether they are going to college or not.

In her book she includes 'helps' for how to use the book, a plan for
giving a diploma, what requirements to include (just suggestions),
help for planning a graduation ceremony (testimony about her two
oldest children's graduation ceremonies), how to do record keeping,
various articles on things related to homeschooling High School, what
to do about grading if you plan to give grades, how to make it all
personal, atep-by-step directions on how to make your 'framework'
(plan for High School), how to design each class, tips on organizing
your materials, and more. My favorite section is 'Completed Class
Plans', in which she gives you the complete course details from her
two children's high school days -- exactly what they included for each
subject, which includes many pages that you can just print out and use
'as is' if you want or adapt them to fit your family. Also, toward
the beginning of the book is a section called 'Potpourri of Curriculum
Supplements' that has many forms you can print off and use for your
girls -- for instance: a 'Cooking Terms Vocabulary' sheet, a 'Concert/
Performance Record' sheet, and an 'Elected Officials and Their Func-
tions Search-It-Out' sheet -- just to name a few!

I highly recommend this book to everyone homeschooling their kids
through High School and I hope it helps you to tailor your High School
requirements to fit your girls as well as it did for me creating a
great High School experience for both of my girls, one who graduated
in '04 and one who graduated in '07." -- Debbie Phillips


"Hi Heather - It's not easy going against the crowd and not sending
your girls to college -- good for you! I have even taken a lot of
flak from the homeschoolers around me. I found helpful information
that said 100 hours equal a credit in any certain subject. My girls
liked being able to keep track of their hours (for those subjects
you want them to have.) We also enrolled them in the local skills
center -- we chose health careers -- to give them something to do
after school was finished. I liked this particular program because
it gives them experience that will be great for being a mom and
taking care of their family as well. I also have things I want them
to learn as life skills -- budgeting, cooking, sewing, painting, etc.
I want them to be knowledgeable about all aspects of taking care of
their future home and family some day." -- Laurie P.


"We also have two teens who will most likely not go to college.
We've only been into this one year, so I can't give you results
yet, but so far it's going great, and I'd love to share with you
what we're doing. We outlined the skills we feel they will really
need, then considered their unique interests and abilities, and
developed goals accordingly. Your plan will look different from
ours, but here's the gist of what we came up with.

We are requiring our children to become effective communicators --
not necessarily public speaking -- but to express themselves clearly,
tactfully and graciously, and to develop good listening skills in
their everyday interactions with people. They study consumer and
applied math courses, so that they will make wise decisions when
shopping for everything from groceries to health insurance; and so
that they will know how to reduce their taxes. We are also training
them in saving and investing. We are trying to help them develop
good time-management habits. Our son will learn skills in car and
household maintenance; business management (since he'll probably be
self-employed); and family leadership. Our daughter is pursuing
household management, and nutrition. Both of them will study parenting
skills and marriage skills and are now learning to garden and process
the food they raise. Our son is interested in farming, so he will do
research in animal husbandry and horticulture. Our daughter would like
to write and illustrate books, so she receives extensive writing and
art instruction. Even though our son isn't as avid a writer as our
daughter, he will be required to write well enough that he will be able
to write a good business letter, letter to the editor, letter to an
elected official, and letter of complaint. We are training them in
critical thinking so that they will be able to recognize false claims
in sales pitches and political campaigns, and faulty logic. They are
both accomplished musicians, and we will continue to support and
encourage them as they develop those talents. Both of them are avid
readers, and we coach them in choosing good literature. We consis-
tently have family read-alouds, and many of our most inspiring conver-
sations are provoked by what we're reading. I believe they will be
life-long learners because of this habit of reading and discussing,
although right now they think it's just for fun -- and we don't ever
intend to tell them otherwise, tee hee!

They are learning a great deal of these skills through day-to-day
living, as we mentor them in real-life situations. We use curricular
materials for those topics we feel we need help with, or want to teach
within a more structured approach.

We are in the process of making up our own requirements for graduation
so that their transcripts will show that they met the requirements.
It's doubtful that anyone will ever look at their transcripts, but we'll
have them in case they need them.

If your children grow up knowing how to communicate well, how to manage
their money, how to think, and how to have good relationships, they will
be way, way ahead of most high school graduates." -- Mary Beth


"Heather -- I recommend you read 'Senior High: A Home-Designed
FORM+U+LA' by Barbara Edtl Shelton. In this book, she really
encourages you to let your kids pursue their interests, but also
shows you how to document what they do. I also recommend having
your daughters sign-up for a class that suits their interests at
your local community college. My daughter was not college bound,
but had no other prospects. She felt that community college was
a smooth transition from homeschooling. After taking a few classes
at the community college, which led to two years of study there, she
is now heading off to college to finish her studies as a registered
nurse." -- Noreen


Editor's input:

Heather -- as for the life skills, have you seen 'Life Prep for
Homeschooled Teenagers' by Barbara Frank? It has projects and
reading assignments that your daughters can do independently.

Here's an info page with a link to a FREE project from the book
that you can download:


If you have any questions you can contact Barb directly through
the email link at the bottom of that page. You'll also see all
her rave reviews! :-)

I'm going to have more about teaching 'life skills' in the next
issue, too, including a compilation of all those great suggestions
that have been pouring into our Homeschool-Notebook Yahoo Group!

Answer our NEW Question

"Our daughter has decided she will complete her last year of high
school at our local public high school where she has attended part-
time for the past three years. I have accepted her decision and
will support in her in any way necessary. Here's my dilemma: Now
that I won't be homeschooling anymore I feel a part of me has died.
A major part of my identity lies in my status as her teacher. Any
suggestions on making the transition easier for me (and perhaps our
daughter)?" -- Kay


Do you have some words of encouragement and/or advice for Kay?

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!

Need Immediate Help?

Visit our Homeschool Encouragement Center! This is a live 24/7
'chat' area where you can talk live to our homeschool counselors
by typing in a box. When you get there, just introduce yourself
and let them know that Heather sent you!

This ultra-safe chat is supervised by experienced moms who are
there to serve and share their wisdom... or just offer a listening

Check out our schedule of daily chats and jump right in! :-)


[Note: This ministry is geared toward Christian parents, but all
are welcome. You may need to download a Java program to utilize
this service. Email Luanne @ educationforthesoul.com if you have
any technical difficulties.]

Our Searchable Newsletter Archive

Access the Homeschool Notebook issues you have missed...
or search on a specific word or phrase in issues all the way
back to January 2001! Just go to this link:


Interactive Email Group

In an effort to help our readers become more of an interactive
community, we have set up an email loop at YahooGroups called

Here is the link to sign-up!



There are opportunities for you to be a sponsor of this
newsletter. If you are interested, drop an e-mail to
marketing @ stretcher.com with "Homeschoolers-Notebook"
as the subject. We'll send you some information on how to
become a part of this ministry!


All contributed articles are printed with the author's prior
consent. It is assumed that any questions, tips or replies to
questions may be reprinted. All letters become the property of
the "Homeschooler's Notebook". [Occasionally your contribution
may have to be edited for space.]

Again, I welcome you to the group! Feel free to send any
contributions to HN-articles @ familyclassroom.net or
HN-ideas @ familyclassroom.net.

Our main website is:

We also sponsor an incredible site with over 1,500 pages of helps!


This newsletter may be copied in its entirety without special per-
mission. To use any single part of the newsletter, please direct
your request to: Heather @ FamilyClassroom.net


To subscribe, just send a blank email to the following address:
join-hs-notebook @ hub.thedollarstretcher.com

To unsubscribe send a blank email to the following address:
leave-hs-notebook @ hub.thedollarstretcher.com


tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Next - Life Skills Prep for Teens, Facing the Empty Homeschool Nest
Previous - Dr. Raymond Moore, 'Teaching Myself', Preparing to Homeschool

     Site content copyright individual contributors and FamilyClassroom.net 2001-2011 - Digital duplication expressly prohibited.
Privacy Policy | Advertise