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Readers respond to 'What if You Had Been Homeschooled?'

By Heather Idoni

Added Friday, September 28, 2007

The Homeschooler's Notebook
Encouragement and Advice for Homeschool Families
Vol. 8 No 75 September 28, 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
-- Raising the Roof, Reader Feedback
Helpful Tips
-- Free Virtual Dissection CD
Winning Website
-- Handwriting Worksheets/Printables
Reader Question
-- Spanish Curriculum Input?
Additional Notes
-- Searchable Archive
-- Our Email Group
-- Sponsorship Information
-- Reprint Information
-- Subscriber Information

Notes from Heather

Raising the Roof

Today is my birthday! Woohoo - I'm 43! :-)

I decided to take this special day to ask my Notebook readers for
some very special help. There is a family near and dear to my
heart who travels anywhere they are asked to speak and minister to
homeschooling families. Their stories and love encourage so many,
and those who know them or have heard them will tell you, they are
one of the most humble, loving and giving families you will ever

Well, they are in desperate need of funds to put a new roof on the
old part of their house and I have a volunteer team forming to go
out and do just that for them. We just need to raise the funds for
the materials. Any excess money raised will be given to the family
for medical expenses for an operation for their mother, who daily
lays her life down to bless and care for others with her ministry.
She is thinking of her family in getting their badly leaking roof
replaced first, even though her life is threatened by this illness.

I love them dearly, and I hope you will bless me on my birthday by
giving to this family who is one of the first and foremost in the
homeschooling community... and rarely lets their own needs be known.

If you are able to donate $5, $10, or any amount, please send it to
this special PayPal address I have set-up below. Can you imagine
if everyone chips in? We'd have the funds raised so quickly! We
need them raised quickly because winter is on the way.

Here is the email address for the PayPal account:


Donations can also be mailed to:

Beloved Books
8572 Silver Lake Rd.
Linden, MI 48451

(Make check payable to Beloved Books, but specify ROOF FUND please.)

Alternatively, you can call me at the store and pay by credit card.
I'm here Tuesday thru Friday, 11 to 3 EST. Call (810)735-0977...
or you can use the toll-free number - 1-877-223-4415.

Thanks for caring... and for blessing me on my birthday! -- Heather


What if I had been homeschooled?

Some of our readers took some time to think about and respond to
last issue's hypothetical question - "What if I'd been homeschooled?"
I printed them here for all of us to enjoy reading.


"If my sister had been homeschooled... she would not have had such
a hard time sitting still in the classroom. She would not have
caught the attention of the teachers as a 'difficult child', and
wouldn't have been thought of as different by her peers. She would
not have grown up feeling different; like a failure at school, like
someone abnormal to her peers, like a trouble-maker at school. She
wouldn't have been picked on by peers, looked down on by teachers,
sent to the principal's office so many times, stuck in remedial
classes (though a test in high school would show her IQ to be at
genius level); labeled 'hyperactive' by a therapist... had she not
had to sit still in a classroom at a desk all day long. Maybe she
wouldn't have started to do desperate things to get the approval of
her peers; like rebellion, drugs, alcohol. Maybe she wouldn't have
failed a grade in high school, and then dropped out altogether twice.
Things ultimately turned out good for my sister. She got her GED,
learned to not think of herself any longer as a failure at academics,
found friends as an adult once she wasn't stuck in the 'socialization'
the schools offered, got a bachelor's degree, and now owns her own
business. But, one thing is definitely changed as a result of her
schooling. I will never be sending my children to public school."
-- Diana


"I was home schooled from age 12 on; I came from a family that didn't
care much for the way the public school system worked. When they
realized they could move me legally out of school, they did.

With the use of the internet, there is no excuse for not finding and
gleaning from the wisdom of young adults who have been there and
gone on to educate their own children at home. I often wonder if
our pride keeps us from searching out these people and putting trust
in their experience. I find I have learned so much from homeschooled
children and homeschool graduates with and without their own children
to teach. They have been down a road that I am leading my own chil-
dren down, even though I myself have not been down it completely. I
simply had a chance to walk down it a short way before I rushed back
to bring my children with me. Unfortunately I missed so much of the
beauty of it because I started out so late. My experience is very
different from children who know nothing of the horror of being in
junior high. I was a popular, fun loving person who had developed a
heart as black as coal and as hard as stone.

Like most of the home school moms I know, we learn more teaching our
own children than we ever did in our own school experiences. But
what did we really learn from our school experience? I believe we
learned a valuable lesson. We learned that we did not want our chil-
dren to experience that same education that became to so many like a
form of punishment instead of joy.

This is a gentle reminder to homeschooling moms new and veteran;
don't do public school at home! The public school system is set up
to serve it's needs. They have to maintain a set curriculum because
of the large volume of students. And as wicked as some may think
the public schools are, they are set up so that they can try and meet
the needs of everyone as best as possible. Unfortunately most of us
know that chasing that rabbit trail has led to a complicated and often
harmful school system.

Why would some people try and homeschool their children using the
failing school system's way? Well, I know of two legitimate reasons.
One, they don't know where else to start, and trying to do their best,
they follow the only example they know. Two, they have a situation
that might likely lead to putting their children back in public school
and feel it is only right to remain on track as much as possible. If
either one of these apply to you I strongly encourage you to find
someone doing it differently and seek out the wisdom of their ways.
Education is power, and this knowledge may very well help you preserve
a love of knowledge for your children." -- Wildflower C.


"I have two schools of thought on this issue. On the one hand, I
think it would have been great for me to be homeschooled because I'm
one of six children. To this day, we are not close. I think that,
had we been at home in a family setting, we would have gotten to know
each other better and become each other's best friends. That's one of
the great plusses to homeschooling.

On the other hand, my mother is not a Christian and I was raised out-
side of the Christian faith. If it hadn't been for the faithful
witness of my Christian schoolmates in public school, I might never
have heard about the true Bible, and might never have found Christian-
ity as an adult.

So, although I wish we'd been able to be a closer family, I feel that
by going to public school, I was given the gift of Jesus, a gift I
couldn't have received in my home environment. Although I homeschool
my sons, I am thankful that God brought me up in the public school
setting!" -- Serena


"'What if I had been homeschooled?' What an interesting question!
As I thought about it I realized... I was! I believe I WAS home-
schooled, even though I went to a public school my whole school

As an 18-year veteran homeschool mom (with ONLY 12 more years to
go!), I believe every child is homeschooled by their parents; some
just do it after traditional school lets out. I was always a good
student, but I was a fast reader -- a trait that sets you up for
success in traditional school. I always liked school and was
fairly popular, so had no personal reason for not sending my chil-
dren to traditional school. But I believe success in any school
setting is largely based on home life.

If homeschooling had been avaliable, I am sure my parents would have
done it. My mother had read 'Better Late Than Early' and other books
by Raymond Moore, so when my first brother turned 6 in August, 1965,
she did not send him to first grade that fall. She believed that
early formal schooling could wait. She and my dad were promptly
visited by the school district. 'Why were they not sending him?
Was he handicapped?' She explained their desire for him to wait a
year, and the authorities were satisfied.

In my family, the homeschooling of the 5 children and 30 or so foster
children took place outside of public school hours. My mom read
aloud to us well into our teens. My dad often took one or several
of us kids along as he sold cattle, cut hay, visited neighbors, etc.
We were allowed to have forts inside and out. We spent hours
exploring the creek, riding horses and bikes, building tree houses,
visiting grandparents and older people. We helped with house work,
farm work, childcare, hospitality, church and service work. And
always there were BOOKS.

We had every type of person visit and stay at our house. We had
foster children, relatives with different lifestyles and values,
foreign visitors, people from other states, friends, teens, seniors,
unwed mothers, displaced families and every range of person you
could imagine. Morals were taught. Tolerance was lived.

We were encouraged to try new things, do what we were interested in,
and to travel. As pre-teens and teens we were allowed to visit
distant relatives alone for extended summer vacations (a process I
call 'building safe independence'). We were taken out of school
for longer vacations. Our parents always felt time with 'real'
people and experiences trumped worksheets and class periods.

For the last 23 years my parents have been grandparents, and they
still continue to 'homeschool' by helping with their grandchildren.
They take the kids and give them safe, new experiences whenever
they can manage it.

Now that I have a couple of married sons, I hope that I, too, can
someday be a homeschooling grandma, no matter what form of school-
ing my children choose for their children." -- Jannell in SD


Do you have comments to share? Please do!
Send your emails to: heather@familyclassroom.net



Helpful Tip

Free Digital Frog 2 CD

"The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine is giving away
free educational CD-ROMs for Digital Frog. For those of you who
don't want to dissect, or just for help in your dissection, you
might want to order this.

Here is a link to the details:


I had my lab students use the original Digital Frog before dissecting."

-- Vicki in CO - Member of our Homeschooling Gifted and Talented group


Reader response to last issue's TIP on teaching cursive

"Before our children could even write independently in manuscript
style, I was making their names with dashes or dots. You know, the
kind where you make it so your child can TRACE their name and feel
accomplished. Also, when teaching both styles of writing I felt it
was important to do a lot of tracing what was in the book with not
only your pencil, but also with the child’s finger. Then they could
*feel* how the letter was formed and see how it was formed. We did
that with cursive, too. I think that Abeka has an INCREDIBLE hand-
writing curriculum. We have used it for all our children. I taught
them manuscript from Rod and Staff and Abeka K4 and K5, but then
immediately went into CURSIVE in 1st grade. All 3 children have
clean, precise, beautiful handwriting that they have been and continue
to be complimented on. I think Abeka handwriting is a great resource."
-- Charity in NY


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

Winning Website

Handwriting Worksheets and Printables for Preschool and Kindergarten

Who needs purchased workbooks when you can print handwriting worksheets
and lined paper for free? More than just learning to print their ABCs,
this site has practice sheets for learning to spell colors, days of the
week, months, and numbers. There are also pre-handwriting sheets to
help build skills.

-- Cindy - www.HomeschoolingFromTheHeart.com

Last Issue's Reader Question

"I am looking for a good program to teach my 17 year old Spanish. Can
anyone suggest to me what they have used and why or why they did not
like it? Has anyone used Rosetta Stone Spanish or The Learnables?
Thank you." -- Sandi

Our Readers' Responses

"My husband and I are currently using Rosetta Stone and so are both
my boys (12 and 6). The 6 year old is going VERY slowly with lots of
help. I feel like we are all learning a lot. The major downside to
me is the expense, however, AFTER we purchased I found that several
libraries around the country offering Rosetta Stone online at no
charge for local patrons and for a nominal yearly fee if you are not
local. Chattanooga, TN is one and Alachua, FL is another. I'm sure
there are more but these are the ones I'm familiar with. If you are
a Florida resident the library card for Alachua County is free. For
out of area folks, I think the fees run around $30 - $40 per year,
which, in my opinion, would be worth it. You'll have access to all
the languages available at that library and if it doesn't work for
your son, you aren't out hundreds of dollars." -- Jen in FL


"My daughter currently uses Rosetta Stone and she enjoys it very much.
I urge you to check with your local library system to see if you can
access the program through the library's databases. Our library
allows us this opportunity and we take the course on line, for FREE.
You may want to see if other programs are available for check-out in
order to try them out if you decide you need to purchase a program.
Happy homeschooling!" -- O. in FL


"We used Rosetta Stone Spanish last year. Our problem was with tech
support - the program crashed about 2 months in and the best they could
do for us was to restart the program. We couldn't skip lessons, so he
got a very thorough review." -- Regina

Answer our NEW Question

"I would love to know how moms are keeping track of all the wonderful
and very helpful websites we receive from this newsletter. I some-
times turn them into a 'Favorite', but I am losing control of all of
this information. Most of it I know I would use in the future but
the recall method has become a mountain for me." -- Susan in Minnesota


Do you have some organizational ideas for Susan's cyber problem?

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...
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:

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.]

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