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Homeschool Across America, A Dangerous Book, Eating Healthy Cheap

By Heather Idoni

Added Monday, August 06, 2007

The Homeschooler's Notebook
Encouragement and Advice for Homeschool Families
Vol. 8 No 62 August 6, 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
-- Homeschool Across America
Helpful Tips
-- Antique Picture Books Online
Resource Review
-- The Dangerous Book for Boys
Reader Question
-- Eating Cheap Yet Healthy
Additional Notes
-- Searchable Archive
-- Our Email Group
-- Sponsorship Information
-- Reprint Information
-- Subscriber Information

Notes from Heather

Homeschool Across America

I found a neat website this week which is worth bookmarking for
information being added... and for following the progress!

Here below is their recent press release.


4th Grader Set for 6 Week 'Homeschool Across America' Tour;
Businesses Consider Homeschool an Emerging Market

A nine-year-old Oregon girl will homeschool across the contiguous
United States this fall, calling attention to an emerging niche market.

"Lake Oswego, OR, August 05, 2007 -- Like millions of other chil-
dren around the country, 9-year-old Caroline Haroldson of Lake Oswego,
Oregon will start school the day after Labor Day. But unlike most
fourth graders, she won't enter any school doors. Instead, Caroline
will begin a six-week trek homeschooling (or 'travelschooling') across
the contiguous United States in a quest to learn about our nation's
history, geography, and government.

Amy Haroldson, Homeschool Across America's founder, hopes the adven-
ture will inspire families of the over one million homeschoolers in
the United States to take advantage of the freedom to travel home-
schooling offers. 'I can't imagine a more enriching way to learn than
through travel to the actual places where history took place,' says
Haroldson, who is also Caroline's mother and travel companion for the
journey. 'Homeschoolers can travel anytime to learn. We avoid the
holiday break crowds and long lines and can take advantage of off-
season discounts.'

Many in the travel industry think Haroldson might be on to something
and recognize homeschooling families as an emerging niche market.
After attending a mini convention for homeschoolers in New Jersey,
Sales and Marketing Director for Great Wolf Lodge, Pocono, Christopher
Salerno said, 'I came away seeing a great potential for our resorts
to generate incremental business during our traditional slow times.'
The lodge will launch a promotion specifically geared to homeschool
families this fall.

National destinations such as Colonial Williamsburg, Disneyworld, and
Hershey Park have already developed special programs specifically for
homeschoolers. Williamsburg's event, 'Home Educator Week' is held
each fall and spring. Attendees are treated to discounted rates on
lodging and passes as well as specially scheduled educational activi-
ties and programs.

In planning Homeschool Across America's itinerary, Haroldson has been
amazed by the amount of support businesses have provided. Many museums
and tours, including the The Mark Twain Boyhood Home, Thomas Jeffer-
son's Monticello, Boston Duck Tours and Hershey Park have offered free
passes. The Great Wolf Lodge and Colonial Williamsburg have both
offered to host Homeschool Across America's visits to their area.
'They definitely realize that the homeschool movement has created a
new audience.'

Homeschool Across America's ambitious itinerary will take Caroline
through every geographic region of the U.S. highlighting destinations
appealing to families seeking enriching educational experiences. The
website, homeschoolacrossamerica.com, encourages visitors to
learn along with Caroline with educational activities, games and links.
When the adventure begins, the site will track Caroline's travels on
an interactive map and through podcasts, a blog and video postcards.
'The site is also a great resource for families looking for educational
travel experiences,' says Haroldson.

Haroldson is interested in helping other homeschoolers see the benefit
of bringing the classroom to locations that inspire learning.


About Homeschool Across America:
Homeschool Across America is a cross-country journey focused on finding
and promoting educational vacation destinations for families seeking
edifying and enriching travel experiences, and encouraging homeschool
families to take advantage of the travel benefits offered them. Those
who would like more information about Homeschool Across America can
visit their website:

Do you have comments to share? Please do!

Send your emails to: heather @ familyclassroom.net


Give Your Child Skills For Success

Catch up or accelerate spelling, reading, and vocabulary AT
ALL LEVELS in one simple step. Short character-building
stories cement all the words in each phonetic and tricky
pattern in minutes.

-ture - Do you like stories of adventure? Capturing the
enemy? The future? Other cultures?...

SILENT H - John was an honest and honorable shepherd. Hour
after hour, exhausted,...

IR - Virginia awoke at the first chirp of birds in the firs
and watched squirrels stir up dirt...

Grades 2-college. www.beyondphonics.com


Helpful Tip

I found an interesting website -- a project to put antique
children's picturebooks online to read or print out! Some even
have audio files to go along.



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

Resource Review

The Dangerous Book for Boys

For more information or to order: www.homeschoolingfromtheheart.com

(You’ll find this gem, in our “Fun Extras” category!)


I admit it - I'm a sucker for gold letters, on a rich red cloth-
covered book! That 'old book' look will catch my eye every time.
Couple that with the irresistible title of 'The Dangerous Book for
Boys' and you’ll see me go for my checkbook. This is a truly hand-
some book that will not only look great on the shelf, but it's
contents are well-written and designed to bring years of enjoyment
to happy readers.

What I expected when I opened the pages of this beautifully bound
book was directions for building a tree fort, tying knots, and how
to make a battery -- you know, the usual boy stuff. What I found
is all that and more. The Dangerous Book for Boys features informa-
tion that every boy should know; not just things to keep their hands
busy, but a lot for their minds as well. In addition to information
on the phases of the moon, cloud formations, and Morse code, I was
surprised to find things like grammar, seven poems every boy should
know, amazing stories of incredible courage in the form of brief
biographies of explorers and soldiers, the Declaration of Indepen-
dence, the Ten Commandments and much more.

The Dangerous Book for Boys was written by two brothers who hope to
inspire a whole new generation of boys to take up pursuits and inter-
ests that, though they might seem old-fashioned, strengthen body and
mind while fueling the imagination. The book has many pictures and
illustrations, and the inside keeps the 'old book' feel. There are
so many great topics covered in this book! One word of caution would
be the information on the solar system, fossils and dinosaurs (after
all, a book for boys wouldn't be complete without them), which is
approached from an evolutionary worldview.

The topics covered in The Dangerous Book for Boys can serve as a
jumping off point or reference for various academic subjects. In
addition to the biographies, there are science topics, history
(including text and maps outlining famous battles), language arts
(grammar, poems, and book lists), along with all types of cool things
to make. More than just a book for boys, I've seen many a grown
man's eyes light up as he flipped through the pages of this book
while his wife was shopping in our booth at a homeschool convention!

With 270 pages of information, instruction, and inspiration, The
Dangerous Book for Boys will provide many fun-filled, productive days
for all of the men in your life. This book allows boys to be boys –
boys who will someday be men. It inspires them to not only work with
their hands, but to grow in knowledge and character.


For more information or to order, see this page:


A note from Cindy -

Are you studying American History this year? I’ve just finished my
latest project, Character Building Copywork – America’s Story, 180 Days
of Quotes to Inspire Young Minds! Arranged chronologically, your chil-
dren can practice their handwriting by copying great quotes from the
men and women who made America great. Features quotes from almost
every President! To learn more visit www.HomeschoolingFromTheHeart.com

Last Issue's Reader Question

"I would like to ask if someone could give advice on how to save
money as a homeschooling family trying to eat healthy and avoid a
lot of packaged and processed foods?" -- Bonita

Our Readers' Responses

"Most processed and packaged foods are more expensive than fresh
foods prepared at home. So you'll save some money right away
simply by doing home cooking. Raw fruits and vegetables might seem
expensive, but they require few additional ingredients, and no
cooking, so in the long run, they are less costly than dishes pre-
pared with lots of ingredients. They are also less time-consuming
to prepare. Dry beans, whole grains and potatoes are very inexpen-
sive, very healthy and very filling, and can be served in a huge
variety of ways. You can make potato chips with fresh potatoes by
baking sliced potatoes in the oven, or drying them in a dehydrator.
We have found that meat causes our grocery bill to go up, so I have
been trying to buy only what's on sale and serve smaller portions
of meat, thinking of it more as a side dish.

Baking your own bread saves a lot of money. If you have access to
locally grown wheat and grind it yourself, the savings is even
greater. I can bake a loaf of whole wheat bread for less than 30
cents. Considering the health benefits, it actually pays me to
bake bread! Growing your own food also helps tremendously in
cutting costs and improving nutritional value. Sprouting is another
inexpensive and healthy step to take.

I would also suggest that if you have lots of eating habits to
change, start gradually. You will get more cooperation from your
family if you don't expect them to make drastic changes all at once.
Start by adding one healthy food at a time, and you'll find that the
less healthy foods will eventually get crowded out." -- Mary Beth


"Bonita, go to your nearest natural food store (aka 'health food-
store') and purchase as much of your food from the bulk department
as possible. (You can even bring your own bags or containers.)

Also, see if there is a co-op or buyers club near you. Co-ops
sell organic or natural/wholesome foods. You can find out using
this link: http://www.coopdirectory.org/ " -- Carolyn


"To reduce our grocery bill and eat healthier we have headed for
the local farmer's market. I do have a small garden at home but
the farmer's market helps to supplement our diet. If you prefer
organic, another suggestion I have is to join a local organic
co-op. We joined one and have been able to save a lot over the
health food store. My last suggestion is to plan your meals ahead.
Buy what is on sale and cook one or two days a week and freeze your
meals until you need them. There is lots of great info on the web
about cooking once-a-month if that is something you are interested
in." -- Lori H. in Michigan


"One thing that has been a huge help financially for us is to
plant a vegetable and herb garden. For a small investment each
spring, we have fresh tomatoes, squash, beans and herbs in the
summer, veggies and herbs in the freezer for the winter, and some
extra for friends. If you do not have enough land available, you
can plant a container garden. Not only do we save money but we
eat much better. At some point we also want to plant a few fruit
trees. That will be great to just walk outside and pick an apple
or a peach right from the tree.

Another thing that we do is to visit local farms to pick straw-
berries, apples, etc. My kids enjoy picking fruit. We have a lot
of fun and it does not seem like work when we are laughing and
enjoying ourselves while we are doing it. It may not be as inex-
pensive as planting them myself, but I can only do so many things
without compromising my time with my kids.

Both are great learning experiences for children and lots of fun!"
-- Alicia


"We struggle with the same problem. We have to be very careful
what we eat due to food sensitivites in my youngest daughter. By
the way, I believe her problems were caused by eating so many
processed foods to begin with. So keep at it, you are on the
right path! Most of the coupons out there are for processed food,
however, there are many for non-food items and also some for
healthy, more natural food. Check out the ads for your local
stores. Match up your coupons with the sale ads and that can
result in free stuff. Some weeks I don't have coupons for any of
the food that I need to buy but with the coupon savings on non-food
items, it stretches my grocery money. I go to more than one store
if their loss leaders are good. Look for places outside of super-
markets to purchase groceries. We have a produce market that has
great prices. I can afford more produce by going there. For us
to buy all organic produce is not an option right now, but I think
we are ahead of the game that we are eating fruit and vegetables
instead of Pop Tarts and Doritos. Also, look for bulk food stores,
bread outlet stores and grocery outlets. We eat a lot of eggs and
oatmeal. They are fairly cheap. We also drink a lot of water.
You can make your own iced tea or lemonade instead of buying juice,
if your family won't drink water. Do your own baking with whole
grain wheat flour. Use your leftover chicken or beef for sandwiches
(much healthier than lunchmeat). Most of all, pray for God to guide
you. I pray when I go to the store that He will guide me to the
absolute best food for my family as well as the best bargains and
that He will make the money stretch. It's amazing the creativity
He will give you in the kitchen when you ask. When I don't have
some ingredient in a recipe I look for a suitable substitution. If
I can't find one, I look on the internet. God is good, trust Him
to meet your needs and He will!" -- Joyce


"My best advice would be to have a family garden. You can all
enjoy working in the garden. Start a compost pile; don't use
commercial fertilizers. You can use your garden as an educational
tool as you research natural ways to control pests and avoid using
pesticides. The garden itself can be an educational tool as you
notice the difference in time it takes for certain plants to mature
and as you plant and have to calculate how many seedlings to put
in a certain amount of space. It is a great way to teach planning

Another suggestion would be to join a natural foods co-op. You can
locate a United Natural Foods Buying Club near you on this website:
http://www.unitedbuyingclubs.com/ I belong to one. I can buy
organic foods, bulk flour, sugar, and other staples, as well as
dried fruit without preservatives or added sugar; most of the time,
it is cheaper than at the store because you are buying from the
supplier for the grocery store and cutting out the middleman. I
live in an area where there aren't any grocery stores that special-
ize in healthy foods. Most do not stock much organic food and if
they do the prices are sky high. Of course this requires storage
space. But, if you belong to a group, you can split cases of things
with other members.

Be prepared to spend time cooking and enjoy it! I love to make my
own treats for my kids rather than buying the junk that lines all
the snack aisles in every grocery store. My 5 year old daughter
already loves to help me bake. Baking and cooking are also excel-
lent teaching tools -- you need to read recipes, follow instruc-
tions, and do math in order to cook." -- Jennifer


"I came across that same issue a few years back and found that
I could actually save money by eating healthier. Here are two
simple tips that I hope will help. Our family buys from a local
fresh fruit and veggie market. The market already beats grocery
store prices. For example, apples are 1.69/lb at the grocery
store, .99/lb at the market and if I request a box (40 lbs.),
they are only .45/lb! That allows for us to eat quite a few more
apples every month! Also, sometimes I split cases of produce with
other families. Ask around, I guarantee there is someone who would
like to save money and eat healthier just as much as you!

Try searching www.unitedbuyingclubs.com for a local coop to join.
This buying club offers products you would typically find at
WholeFoods, but at better prices. And the more you buy, the higher
the discount. Spices can be bought through www.frontiercoop.com
and grains through www.wheatmontana.com . They each have minimums
for their orders, but it can be done!-- Susan


"The secret to our low food bills is stocking up and cooking ahead.
I buy staple foods and things that will keep in large quantities
when they go on sale, especially those 'loss leader' sales most
grocery stores run to get you in the door. I keep an eye on the
sale flyers from five or six local grocery stores (all are available
online) and when something we use pops up at a really good price I
buy a large amount and store it. Most of the 'loss leader' sales
rotate through every month or so, so I buy enough whatever for a
month or six weeks. It sounds more time-consuming than it is,
because not all the stores have something I need every week, and I
usually stick to the sale items so the trips aren't long.

When we started doing this we couldn't afford to buy a couple of
months worth of everything, so we started small and stocked up on
just a couple of things each week. Soon our grocery bill started
dropping, because every week there were more and more items we didn't
have to buy on our weekly trips and more money could be spent on
stock-up items. After several years of doing this I can skip a
month entirely if I need to without having to buy more than milk and
fresh veggies.

Veggies incidentally generally come from the farmer's market - cheaper,
better quality, and when I find a good price I can cook and freeze
the extra.

Part two of my evil plan is to cook from scratch about 90 percent
of the time. Yes, really. But I cook large - I mean LARGE - batches
and freeze several meals worth each time, so when I'm strapped for
time or just not in the mood I have as much access to 'convenience'
meals as anyone else, plus there's a lot to choose from.

Yes it's more work - good thing I have helpers! In addition most
of what I cook is of the 'turn it on low and walk away' school of
cooking. Crockpot, slow-roast or simmer for an entire day. Very
little of what I make is fussy or overly time-dependent.

We have a medium-size chest freezer, and it's one of the best invest-
ments we ever made. Newer ones have much better insulation so their
power use is minimal - it's worth spending the money for a new one,
since older ones tend to suck power like mad.

Also it's not all about pathologically finding the lowest price, it's
about finding the best price on as much *healthier* stuff as you can
afford. Stretching my food budget this way allows me to selectively
spend more on organic, unbleached, non-hydrogenated whatever.

In addition this part of our family routine has provided on-the-fly
lessons in math, economics, health and science, as well as instilling
a healthy skepticism of advertising.

Above all else, have fun!" -- Susan S.


"I have found that if I make a large meal on the weekend with a
large roast (beef or pork), turkey or ham, that I can stretch the
meat to last all week. I have the advantage that the meat is
already cooked, so all I need to do is add the vegetables. Favorite
dishes at our house for dinner include: curries (made with cabbage,
onions, carrots, seasonal vegetables and coconut milk or sour cream,
with a premixed curry powder), pot pies, enchiladas (made with canned
enchilada sauce, cut up corn tortillas, meat and canned or pressure
cooker black beans, and cheese on top), soups, stir fries, and meat
mixed with in-season vegetables and tomatoes. If I know that we are
going to the park before dinner, or have other activities, I will cut
up the vegetables before I leave so that it is ready to throw in a
pan to cook, or I can bake it at a much lower than normal temperature
so that it won't burn. We also eat the meats for lunch as sandwiches
or on tortillas toasted in the toaster oven with some cheese or salsa.
The local egg farm sells eggs cheaper at the farm, so we also get
flats of eggs, some of which I hard boil for snacks, sandwiches and
deviled eggs." -- Cheryl in CA

Answer our NEW Question

"Recently my mother was diagnosed with cancer and it has spread
throughout her body. She's been given 6 months to 1 year to live
and I am the primary caregiver living an hour away. This will be
my 5th year homeschooling and at the end of the school year we
decided we did not want to continue with Bob Jones satellite courses.
I will be working part-time, taking care of mom, and teaching my 5th
grader. I'm looking for something inexpensive to use for my 8th
grade daughter. I would like something that she can work on her own
a lot (that's what she prefers) yet I want something with a little
more meat than Alpha Omega. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
Thank you." -- Patty H.


Do you think you know the right curriculum solution for Patty?

Please send your email 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!

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


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