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Beginning the School Year with a Realistic Outlook

By Heather Idoni

Added Friday, August 31, 2007

The Homeschooler's Notebook
Encouragement and Advice for Homeschool Families
Vol. 8 No 68 August 31, 2007
ISSN: 1536-2035
Copyright (c) 2007 - Heather Idoni, FamilyClassroom.net

Welcome to the Homeschooler's Notebook!
If you like our newsletter, please recommend it to a friend!


Awesome Home School Notebook Planner
The Full-Year Notebook System

Plan your home school curriculum using a simple/flexible
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This is a simple program which includes step-by-step
instructions and worksheets for both analyzing your time and
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notebooks for subjects that don't fit well into "regular "
school such as field trips, music lessons, service
opportunities and more.

One of its best features is that it doesn't take a semester
to learn, in fact you could download it today and be
implementing it tonight.




Guest Article
-- So NOW What??
Helpful Tips
-- Free Historical Bookmarks
Winning Website
-- Civil War Cookbook
Reader Question
-- Fundraising Projects
Additional Notes
-- Searchable Archive
-- Our Email Group
-- Sponsorship Information
-- Reprint Information
-- Subscriber Information

Guest Article

[NOTE: I'm consolidating efforts into ONE 'Labor Day Weekend'
issue because I am so behind with life right now! :-)
Look for our next issue on Friday. In the mean time, I thought
this article from a June 2005 issue by our previous editor,
Lynn Hogan, was a good one to reprint with most of us back to
schooling again for the year. Blessings! -- Heather]


So NOW What??
by Lynn Hogan


I was talking to a mom this week that had attended the state
homeschooling convention a couple weeks ago. She received SO
MUCH great information at the conference. She came home totally
"psyched", encouraged and ready to think about her next year of

All of a sudden her world came crashing down. Those words of
encouragement became, in her mind, words of condemnation. She
started replaying the lectures she heard as little lists of things
that she had left undone. She began to look at her school and see
all the shortcomings. She realized one child was behind in math
and the other in language mechanics. How did she manage to be so
busy and fail so badly? What's a poor mom to do?

Can you relate to this? I know there were plenty of times when I
could. Here are some things I learned in my homeschooling exper-
ience that I shared with Marie:

1. Every child masters certain skills at THEIR time of readiness,
not necessarily when you are in the mood to teach it to your
student. Even different children in your family will master things
at different times. (Didn't each of your children learn to crawl
and walk at different times?)

2. Don't judge your school by anyone else's. You will always find
someone whose school "appears" to be more coordinated, or more
thorough or more advanced than yours. In reality, every school
has their own challenges based on the family dynamics. You aren't
IN that other school 24/7 to see the issues that the other family
may be enduring!

3. You can't fix everything in one year. I can't tell you how many
families I have worked with that think they can remedy EVERY issue
for EVERY student in one year. It isn't going to happen. Sorry.
Some years you will spend more time with one student than another.
Some years you will feel like you are going two steps forward and
three steps backward. Sometimes that is true and sometimes it is
just your feeling.

4. Speaking of feelings -- our feelings are not what determine how
our school is going! Sometimes we *feel* like we are accomplishing
nothing and there is actually great work going on within our child.
Remember when your child was not speaking but had great passive
understanding? It was obvious that he understood far more than he
could speak. Eventually that child started talking and the concepts
all came together for him.

5. Some years you will focus more on one subject than another. Some
seasons you will focus on one subject more than another. If you are
doing unit studies, some units lean more heavily into science than
history (although it is practically IMPOSSIBLE to teach science with-
out history). That doesn't mean that you have failed this year in
the subject you didn't focus on. It does mean that if you do test-
ing, you shouldn't expect to see huge improvements on the subjects
you did not "hit" that year. (By the way, you will probably still
see SOME improvement, but not as much as in the topics you focused
on that year.)

6. Find the time to take a break, read a good book (NOT related to
homeschooling). Then grab a cup of coffee (most know I LOVE coffee!)
and look for some positive things that happened in your school.
THEN look at those and see *why* they happened. What made them work?
Honestly, the same thing won't always work the same way, but it is
wise to remember what worked. Sometimes it WILL work again with
just a little tweaking!

7. School is not only about academics! When you get a compliment
on your child for his behavior or attitude, smile and KNOW that you
are doing the right thing! Store up those moments in your memory
or in a journal somewhere, so when the bad days come (and they always
do), you will know that there really IS more to school than the bad

And FINALLY, trust yourself. Your students will help to show you
when they are ready to learn certain things. Don't rush ahead of
their abilities. Talk to people that encourage you and build you up.
Steer clear of those that don't understand or don't want to help you
be successful on your homeschooling journey.

Many of us believe that the Lord has called us to homeschool. If
that is the case with you, then you KNOW HE will help you along the
way to do what HE has called you to do! Be patient with yourself
and with your family. It's YOUR school.


Do you have comments to share about Lynn's article? Please do!

Send your emails to: heather@familyclassroom.net



Helpful Tip

"Here is a website where you can get FREE historical bookmarks.
Just scroll down the web page to view that category."


-- contributed by a member of HomeschoolingBOYS.com


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

Winning Website

Civil War Cookbook: www.civilwarinteractive.com/RecipesHome.htm

If you're going to study the Civil War, then you'll want to visit
this site! Over 550 authentic recipes from cookbooks printed during
the mid - late 1800s. Also check out the link at the bottom for
"This Day In The War" to find out what was going on this date during
each of the Civil War years.

Last Issue's Reader Question

"My children are old enough now that they've started joining clubs
and teams which travel for competitions or put on drama productions
which cost a lot of money. Can others give me some advice for club
fundraisers? I hate to send my kids door-to-door peddling overpriced
cookie dough like the public school organizations do around here.
Thanks!" -- Jean

Our Readers' Responses

"I fully agree with you. We have been ripped off by so many fund-
raisers, that we are reluctant to support even the most worthy of
causes. I would certainly not want my children to be involved in
them. I believe that the children would benefit more if they have
to actually work for the money. Perhaps you could have an auction
-- each child could offer a service and people could bid on those
services -- such as, washing windows, washing cars, babysitting,
mowing lawns, etc. They could have a bake sale or a craft sale,
selling the items they've made themselves. Cinnamon rolls and dough-
nuts usually go over well, as do gift baskets. Our local Boy Scout
troup sells *Bierocks, and can't keep up with the orders. They take
orders ahead of time, and get together on a Saturday morning and make
the Bierocks. A soup or chili supper, hamburger fry, or other dinner
served to the community will often bring in a fair profit, especially
if the ingredients are donated. You can charge so much per plate, or
take a free will offering. People are usually generous if they know
they are giving to a good cause, and getting their money's worth."
-- Mary Beth

*(Editor's note): A Bierock is similar to a Michigan Pasty, which
also makes a good fundraiser project, esp. in the winter! Here are
a few links where you can read all about their historical background:




"We have struggled with the same issues and this worked for us. I
contacted the local Pizza Hut (but other restaurants do this, so call
around) and asked to speak to a manager. They have a program in place
to assist local clubs and schools. All that is required is that you
register with the restaurant and print your own coupons, which we did
on the computer. Then they were copied at our local Kinko's and dis-
tributed to family and friends. The basic premise is this: On the
club's designated day, anyone eating at the restaurant, ordering take-
out, or delivery would present one of our coupons. A certain percentage
of the order would go to our club. We had a designated day every other
week for the entire school year and it was the most painless fundraiser
ever - minimal work, great return!" -- Homeschool Mom in TN


"We recycle cans and bottles and it pays quite well here in CA. My son
saves his cans for us and that is where most of it comes from. If you
go that route ask friends to save theirs for you also." -- Nancie


"I too hate those 'fundraising company' type fundraisers.

You could try to think of things that relate to the club. For a Drama
Club you could sell tickets to a Skit Night, For a Band Club you could
put on a concert, etc. Don't forget to email all your out-of-town
friends and relatives and ask them if they might be willing to donate
to the cause.

I personally would rather donate $5 and know the kids get it all than
buy $10 popcorn and know that the kids get 10 percent." -- Sandy


"Our daughter was able to participate in several out-of-town trips
with a youth orchestra. Several fundraising opportunities were
made available to the group and she was able to raise almost all the
money to cover trip expenses. Some things that the group (or indi-
vidual teens) did: bake sale at early December Christmas concert;
bottle drive; phone book recycling (20 cents per book collected --
hint: gather from offices and apartment buildings of friends, etc);
selling Entertainment books, having an evening of music with desserts
served plus a silent auction (with donated items). The best ongoing
fundraiser was through a local grocery chain. The youth were provided
with reloadable cards that they gave to friends and neighbors who
loaded money on the cards and then used the cards to buy groceries at
those stores. For each $1000 spent per month through the orchestra's
grocery cards, the store gave the orchestra $50.

Our son is on a competitive curling team. They also used the same
grocery cards for fundraising. In addition, they wrote letters to
individuals and businesses seeking team sponsorship -- each year
they have received some support that way. The team has always been
sure to send supporters thank you cards and, in fact, they give out
thank you cards to organizers and officials at events where they

At youth group, our teens have helped raise money by doing tasks for
people in the church -- yard work, babysitting, cleaning, painting.
etc. They have served at events at the church and helped after with
dishes and clean up. The group has also sponsored a silent auction.
Having a variety of donated items with a wide price range helps a
silent auction do well. Another idea was a garage sale -- with dona-
tions coming from many families in the church, a considerable amount
was raised. One year, some teens going on a short missions trip
raised money by selling barbequed hot dogs and hamburgers at the
annual church picnic.

Hope that provides you with at least a couple of do-able ideas!"
-- Helen Cave

Answer our NEW Question

"Hello, Heather -- thank you for your e-newsletter. I was won-
dering how your readers schedule school? Last year I did weekly
lesson plans (which did not always work). This year I was planning
to schedule for the whole school year. Most of the curriculum that
I will be using I can do this. I just have a few that are supposed
to be done at the student's own pace without having a set number
of lessons to do daily. So, how do you plan?" -- Jennifer


Can you share your successful planning methods with Jennifer?

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!

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...
at our archives! http://www.FamilyClassroom.net

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

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consent. It is assumed that any questions, tips or replies to
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Tags: homeschooling encouragement, curriculum reviews, choosing curriculum, home school curriculum, no stress homeschooling, home education, fundraising ideas, club fundraisers, sports team fundraising, homeschool support, tips, help, home school

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