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More on Homeschooling Flexibility, Rosetta Stone News

By Heather Idoni

Added Monday, October 08, 2007

The Homeschooler's Notebook
Encouragement and Advice for Homeschool Families
Vol. 8 No 78 October 8, 2007
ISSN: 1536-2035
Copyright (c) 2007 - Heather Idoni, FamilyClassroom.net

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Notes from Heather
-- Flexibility, Rosetta Stone, Pubermania
Helpful Tips
-- Musicians Who Hate Math
Resource Review
-- Fundamentals of Homeschooling
Reader Question
-- Rosetta Stone Online
Additional Notes
-- Searchable Archive
-- Our Email Group
-- Sponsorship Information
-- Reprint Information
-- Subscriber Information

Notes from Heather

Homeschooling and Flexibility

Life is filled with change, both joyful and often difficult.
Having the flexibility in homeschooling our children allows us
to take the needed breaks when "life" happens... or to be able
to hit the road to help a friend or relative when their own life
is taking a turn that makes the formal education of our children
secondary to the life experience we can gain by dropping every-
thing to serve. That seems to echo the thoughts of 2 moms in
Florida who wrote in to share the blessings they have personally
experienced with the wonderful flexibility of homeschooling!


"Flexibility was the key word for our family when my son and
daughter-in-law presented us with a granddaughter four years ago
and then again two years ago! I homeschool one son (12) and he
and I just packed school books and off we went after both births
to help with the new little family (them in Texas and us in
Florida). I certainly couldn’t have done that very easily if
the 12 year old had been in a conventional school situation. We
were able to stay as long as needed and we're actually looking
forward to the next one arriving, whenever that might be!" -- Tara


"In March of 2007, my Mom was diagnosed with lung cancer. I was
never so glad to be homeschooling my two children. How fortunate
for me that I was able to leave that day and drive to be with my
Dad and my Mom. If they had been in school, I would have had to
pack us all up, go to the school, meet with teachers to get their
work and them. Instead, we worked together getting everything
ready and just left! I have been able to just leave at a moment's
notice to drive to their home 1 1/2 hours away to help them.

In fact, just today we found out that it has traveled to her brain.
If my children were in public school, we would not have been here
to find out! Now I can stay and help her plan her next treatments.

My daughter does most of her schooling online, we were able to get
her a laptop with Internet access, so she can do her schooling
anywhere. My son is very easy going and will work when we can.
He seems to catch up quickly if we get a bit behind.

And frankly, time spent helping others is what we are here for
and I am glad that I am able to do this!" -- Bunny in Florida


'Pubermania' Article

"Ha!! LOL! I just read the wonderful article on 'Pubermania'. I
only have one child, a son, and he is thirteen years old. When I
read this article, I didn't know whether I should laugh or cry.
I honestly did a little of both. I have been wondering why my
sweet-tempered, kind, compassionate, and loving son was changing.
It seems he will argue with me over the smallest of details and I
come away feeling frustrated and stupid and quite honestly, a little
more than angry with him. THANK YOU for the article. It answered
soooo many questions about his behavior. I'm always amazed at how
God will put things in our lives at the very moment we need them.
Thanks once again and God bless you." -- Vicki

*Editor's note: If you missed the article, here is the link again:


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


NEWSFLASH: Rosetta Stone Going OFFLINE for Libraries

Many readers over the past year have written to comment on the
wonderful library-based Rosetta Stone program offered through
public libraries and accessible from home computers.

I am sad to say the company has made a decision to discontinue the
library program -- possibly effective June 2008 or earlier, based
on conversations I saw online on message boards.

Here is the official statement from the company. I thought it
might be helpful for those of you who do use it to know about this
change of events as soon as possible, for purposes of planning, etc.

Also, there is contact info, in case anyone wants to call and
express disappointment and/or ask the reasons for this decision.


"Rosetta Stone Ltd. recently provided your organization a price
proposal for Rosetta Stone Online so that your library could offer
patrons online language learning. The company recently introduced
Rosetta Stone Version 3, which will replace the Rosetta Stone
Version 2 proposed. After careful analysis, the company has
decided to discontinue access online for public libraries.

Thank you for your interest in Rosetta Stone. This decision was
not an easy one to make. If you have any questions or need addi-
tional information, please contact Christy McDaniel, Director of
Public Library Sales at 800-788-0822, extension 5242."


Create Your Own Online Diary or Journal.

As easily as exchanging e-mail with friends, writing a
private note, or uploading a photo, OurStory helps capture
the memories and moments from life's journey in a
permanent, secure online archive that you share with the
people who matter in your life. Each detail is organized by
date, place and topic on your personalized timeline...
letting you add chapters, see the whole picture, and easily
find whatever you're looking for.

OurStory can also be used as an online journal, diary, blog
or scrapbook.

Try it for FREE.


Helpful Tip

For the Musician who Hates Math

Math & Music --

"When students tell you, 'I don’t need math, I’m going to be a
musician!' - introduce them to world-renowned drummer Ndugu Chancler.

Here is a link to the movie."


-- Contributed by a mom in Virginia on our HomeschoolingBOYS.com group


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

Resource Review

Fundamentals of Homeschooling - Notes on Successful Family Living
by Ann Lahrson-Fisher

For more information or to order: www.nettlepatch.net/homeschool/

*This is an abbreviated review - to read the review in its entirety,
visit: http://www.homeschoolingfromtheheart.com/hsreviews/fundhs.html


Ann Lahrson-Fisher, mom of two grown homeschooled children, has
discovered some of the secrets of homeschooing success and she has
graciously decided to share them with the rest of us! Her book,
'Fundamentals of Homeschooling - Notes on Successful Family Living',
is filled with practical advice, research, techniques and encourage-
ment from a mom who has 'been there, done that' AND enjoyed it. In
her over 20 years of research and experience, the author has found
that "homeschooling success builds on this simple foundation: living
a satisfying learning lifestyle." Yep, that's it - the secret is out!
Although it is a huge responsibility, homeschooling is really all
about what comes naturally - living, loving and interacting with our
children on a daily basis.

'Fundamentals of Homeschooling' is a robust discussion of the limit-
less possibilities for homeschooling success. Although she mentions
various methods of homeschooling and offers plenty of recommendations
for everything from phonics instruction and fun, family games to eval-
uations and college preparation, Lahrson-Fisher's book is first and
foremost a book about habits that become the basis of a life-long,
learning lifestyle. The book is organized around five basic habits
of successful family living: Play, Conversation, Togetherness, Growing
Up, and Exploration. Each section begins with a 'Keynote' chapter,
which serves as an introduction, and a discussion of the 'whys' of
the particular habit. Subsequent chapters in each section deal with
more of the particulars as they pertain to family living and learning.

Parents of young (and not-so-young) children will appreciate the words
of wisdom shared throughout the book, but the first section, 'Play',
provides us with plenty of ideas and suggestions for early learning
through the use of games (either purchased or homemade), books and
observation of the world around us. This section includes a huge list
of creative suggestions including an inspiring list of items that are
useful for encouraging language development, gross and fine motor
skills, music and more.

The other sections, or 'habits', covered in this 411 page guide are
just as packed and just as practical as the section on 'Play'. The
'Conversation' section reminds us that our children learn so much
just by interacting and conversing with us throughout the day. Recog-
nizing this as a struggle for many families, Lahrson-Fisher provides
some practical encouragement and chooses to use the term 'Older Bloom-
ing Readers'. I like this term -- they're not late; they just learn
to read at an older age than other children do.

'Fundamentals of Homeschooling' continues to get better and better as
each habit is discussed and expanded. The 'Togetherness' section
explores some of the challenges of learning together, social concerns,
homeschool management and tips for coping with varying ages and stages.
In the 'Growing Up' section, several chapters are devoted to ideas for
celebrating traditional milestones in ways that are consistent with a
homeschool lifestyle. There are many creative ideas for evaluating
educational progress and preparing for the future - college, appren-
ticeships, military, entrepreneurship, etc. In the final section,
'Explorations', you will find a veritable storehouse overflowing with
practical tips, suggestions, and resources.

Refreshing and thought provoking, this is not a book to be left on a
shelf gathering dust, but rather one to be read and highlighted as
your family grows and learns together.

-- Cindy Prechtel, www.HomeschoolingFromTheHeart.com

Last Issue's Reader Question

"We are fortunate enough that our local library does have Rosetta
Stone for free online, but there are no instructions. I was wonder-
ing if anyone that has bought it or is using it from another library
could tell me how to use it! I did two lessons, both only about 15
minutes to check it out, but I don't know how it's supposed to be
used to be most effective." -- Elizabeth in PA

Our Readers' Responses

"What you did with Rosetta Stone *is* how it works! Rosetta Stone is
based on the best model for learning a foreign language -- immersion.
It is the same way you learned your native language -- by hearing it
with the visual, contextual cues over and over and over again. When you
learn your first language, there are no grammar books, exercise books,
vocabulary cards -- just the language over and over and over again.
It's the repetition that makes it happen.

That said, my kids wanted a bit more happening while they were using
Rosetta so we supplemented as we supplement many of our other subjects
(just remember, it's not necessary or required). If you are learning
Spanish, I've found 'Spanish is Fun' by Wald to be very straightforward
and easy to use as a book supplement. Don't try to coordinate lessons;
just do a bit from it along with the Rosetta. Also reading aloud in the
new language (children's books are great), and listening to anything in
the other language you can get your hands on (check the internet). The
best game I've found is 'LinguaFun'; it has a neat card game for making
sentences and a tape or CD that goes along with it.

Finally remember that understanding what is heard develops first, then
being able to speak it, then writing it. Avoid forcing later stages too
early. Just think about how your children learned their first language
(and how long it took!) and follow the cues from it. My husband's
Masters is in foreign language education, and we just sent our oldest
off to college (where he's taking Latin and Greek), so we have spent
years dealing with the 'how to teach a foreign language at home' ques-
tion. After evaluating virtually every program out there, Rosetta Stone
came out on top educationally. It is not the typical public school
approach but it works; that's why the diplomatic corps, NASA, etc. use
it. And it will make your life so much easier as well. Just use it and
use it and use it, play with the new language in the best of homeschool-
ing ways, and let Rosetta do the work!" -- Babette R.

Answer our NEW Question

"I have three daughters from 2nd-6th grades and have always home-
schooled. During the past several years I have felt an enormous
amount of strain in the relationships between myself and my close
friends who are not homeschooling. The strain does not appear to
be related to our decision to homeschool (for example, they
respect and appreciate my decision to homeschool as I do their
schooling choice as well), but rather one of priorities and
schedules. I feel that the homeschooling moms are thought of
poorly because we choose not to attend mid-morning Bible studies
and generally cannot have a social life during school hours like
other stay-at-home moms who have children in school during the day.
In contrast, the moms with kids in school all day feel guilty
leaving their children or not focusing completely on them during
the hours that their children at actually at home with them. This
tends to create distance in otherwise close relationships. I know
that this probably cannot be resolved completely, but I was hoping
that there might be others out there who had experienced this who
might have some creative ideas of how to balance schooling the
kids and still maintaining relationships with our own non-home-
schooling friends. Thanks for any suggestions." -- Stephani in NC


Do you have something to offer Stephani?

Please send your answer for her 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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