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Traditional Roles, Maintaining Relationships, Math and Graphing Games

By Heather Idoni

Added Friday, October 12, 2007

The Homeschooler's Notebook
Encouragement and Advice for Homeschool Families
Vol. 8 No 79 October 12, 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
-- College and Traditional Roles
Helpful Tips
-- Math and Graphing Games
Winning Website
-- Homeschool Diner
Reader Question
-- Maintaining Relationships
Additional Notes
-- Searchable Archive
-- Our Email Group
-- Sponsorship Information
-- Reprint Information
-- Subscriber Information

Notes from Heather

College or No College; Traditional Roles or Just an Overall Trend?


Is the 'no college' decision a reflection of a trend toward more
traditional roles for girls -- or just a trend toward more indepen-
dent thinking for all homeschoolers, male and female alike?


HSLDA's Mike Smith had some comments to share recently about the
expectation many parents have for their children attending college.

He writes, "For most high school graduates in the United States,
enrolling in college is the automatic next step. But is college
necessarily the best choice for every student?

There are many other ways for young adults to pursue their interests
outside a traditional four-year college program: internships, appren-
ticeship, travel, a job.

What are your children’s dreams? What are her interests? How has
God gifted him? What are their goals?..."


I hadn't really thought much about it, since I have all boys at the
moment, but I think I know parents who both encourage college/career
or college 'alternative' choices for their girls while at the same
time putting no pressure on their sons to necessarily attend college
either, if there isn't a compelling reason to do so. I haven't
noticed a particular trend to train girls only for homemaking... in
fact I think it is more the other way. The girls I know are just
too in LOVE with learning not to have developed some interest that
could translate into a 'career' at some point if desired or necessary
-- but that interest doesn't always demand a college degree, either.

Also, I still believe there is no higher calling than being a wife
and mother. In fact, the most effective education for me has been
attained through training up my own children -- with the seasoning of
time and experience to mature me a bit. It is only at age 43 that I
really feel like I know what I want out of life -- and for several
years I have had the confidence to know I could pursue any goal I
desired or any direction God might lead me -- with or without a parti-
cular college degree. This thinking has been modeled to my boys.


An email I received from a reader poses an interesting question along
these lines. Her letter is copied in below -- and the particular
newsletter issues to which she makes reference can be found at the
following links:



"Hi! I have a question that I would like to pose to your 'audience'.
I am a certified teacher who knows many children in traditional
school settings and many in home-schooled situations. I recognize
the pros and cons of each situation and know each family's choice
is carefully chosen. I saw the articles about homeschooled girls
who choose not to go to college and started wondering: Do home-
schooled children tend to fall into more 'traditional' roles
(females become homemakers and/or midwives, males work outside the
home) or is higher education in the form of college encouraged?

I'm not sure if I believe there is a 'right' answer to this. I was
just wondering if there is a certain trend. Thank you." -- Andrea R.


If any readers out there have something from their own experience
or knowledge to share with Andrea, please start typing!

I don't want to get debative about it, and some feelings may run
strong, but let's just share our perspectives and observations over
the next few issues, okay? Just a little adult conversation to
stimulate our minds! :-)


Send your emails to: heather@familyclassroom.net


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Helpful Tip

Creative Math and Graphing Games

"Tape numbers to the floor. I vary the pattern depending on what
I am teaching. For addition and subtraction I taped a huge number
line on the longest linear stretch I have in my house (1 8x11 sheet
of paper per floor tile) but the sidewalk or driveway and some chalk
would work great too. Then my kids would repeat the equation (for
example - 8+12) and start at 8 and move forward 12 to land on 20.
For multiplication I would use only the multiples of whatever table
I was teaching and have them hop forward calling out the table.

Cutting paper works great for fractions. One cut for 1/2, two cuts
for 1/4, etc. This also works great for visualizing really small
numbers -- even when the paper is too small to cut you could, in
theory, still cut it, and cut it and cut it. For graphing and per-
centages we use the question 'How many times does...' the fridge get
opened before 9 am, the phone ring during school hours, your little
sister say 'no', etc. My daughter then graphs the results and figures
percentages based on questions I ask her. An ongoing project I did
last year was to hang a huge world map on the wall and we checked our
clothing tags every morning to see where things were made. They put
a push pin in the map for every tag and after a while she graphed the
results (don't re-mark something if you've already worn and tagged it
before). That one also taught us all a little geography (not every-
thing is made in China!)"

-- Contributed by Dorothy to our HSGifted Yahoo Email Group



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

Winning Website

The Homeschool Diner - www.HomeschoolDiner.com

What a neat site design! On the menu you'll find all kinds of
information - from how to get started and learning styles to
teaching methods and special needs. Whether you are new to home-
schooling or just need some fresh ideas, The Homeschool Diner is
serving up lots of great information!

-- Cindy, www.HomescholingFromTheHeart.com

Last Issue's Reader 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

Our Readers' Responses

"I started homeschooling our daughter after her 2nd grade year, so
yes, I walked away from Bible studies at our church that were held
in the mornings. I also had to say no to the invites for meeting
for coffee and even a daytime Bunko party. Well, I have been
deliberate about keeping (some of) my friendships alive by having
a 'home ec' lesson with my daughter; making Lefse, Swedish Almond
Cake, etc., and then we continue learning to be good hostesses as
we invite and serve coffee/tea and what we have made to our guests.
My daughter will join us for the delicious treats, sometimes offer
more coffee/tea, and then after a bit she will leave us for the
adult time I need. We only do this 1-2 times a month, so I really
am missing out on all the other ladies' get togethers but it amazes
me how these friendships (those that come to our home) are deep and
long lasting -- and each time it has become clear that we have
ministered to them in a special way. This is one of the reasons I
love homeschooling. There are friendships that I haven't had time
to nurture but we try to regularly send cards and notes. I feel
this is also a life lesson that is learned only through practice.
We have also had to agree that there really isn't time to meet with
everyone we would like to so hopefully God will let our paths cross
in other ways. Pray about who to pursue friendships with and see
what God will do." -- Susan in Minnesota


"Well, first of all, BE PROUD that you're doing your best for your
children in homeschooling them!

Also, would it bother you as much if you were missing Bible studies
and social outings with your friends so you could care for one of
the kids when he/she was sick? Of course not! We sacrifice things
for our kids all the time. Don't let yourself think that people
are thinking badly of you. ASK them. And if someone thinks poorly
of your choice to homeschool, well, opinions are like belly buttons
-- everyone has one, unless it's surgically removed! If you can't
agree to disagree, do you really want to invest the time in being
their friend?

Now, this isn't to say that it would kill the girls if once in a
while, you got a sitter and WENT to your Bible study. After all,
in order to avoid burnout, we have to take care of ourselves, too!

Homeschooling or not, most parents try to do the best they can for
their children. I haven't always been able to be there for my chil-
dren, because because I have had to work full-time the whole time
we've been homeschooling. (I've been an RN for 25 years, a home-
schooler for the 19th year this year!) So I worked nights to try
to be with them as much as I could during the day, and my husband
and I worked opposite shifts when they were little.

I've always had friends who homeschooled, and friends that didn't.
Our non-homeschooling friends know that while their kids are in
school, mine are doing their studies, too. The ones that are our
friends respect our choice, just as I respect theirs.

I hope this helps!" -- Therese (whose oldest child, homeschooled
through high school, is now serving as an intern for the House
Committee on Science and Technology, and is in his last year of
law school!!)


"Stephani, I had the same problem. My children were not always
homeschooled, so when we began to homeschool I had a lot of friends
who had children in public school. Not all of us were so fortunate
as to stay at home, but there were conflicts nonetheless.

I found that I needed new friends *and* my old friends. A couple
of my very close friends, with children whose ages corresponded to
my own, are still a joy -- and we uphold each other even though our
paths are different. However, I discovered that having close
friends within the homeschooling community lessened my feelings of
being homebound, enabled me to join Bible studies when we were able
to get together with other families, and otherwise uplifted me.
Now, when I spend time with or talk to my friends who do not home-
school, I feel less like an outsider -- because I'm *not* -- I'm
just maybe in a different circle.

Good luck and God bless." -- Anne


"Hi Stephani -- Yes, this problem has happened to me and I've
agonized about how to maintain the balance. The only thing that
comes to mind right now is that you have to accept the situation
for what it is. The homeschool lifestyle is different. You have
to give up a lot of things like free time, Bible studies, and yes,
even friendships. God could be moving you toward developing friend-
ships with like-minded (homeschooling) moms.

You don't have to completely dissolve all of your other friendships,
but you might want to evaluate if they are pulling you away from the
direction that God is leading you in (kinda like the carrot dangling
before the horse's nose). If so, then they could be more harmful
than beneficial if you are always second guessing your call to home-
school or how much you miss 'the good old days' of being able to do
all the things you can't now. Homeschooling is a big sacrifice, but
one well worth it if we 'do not grow weary in well doing'. -- Noreen

Answer our NEW Question

"I have 10 year old twins. One of them has had difficulty reading
and it is becoming apparent that he may have dyslexia. He has trouble
reading vowels and gets the 'b' and 'd' mixed up. He has trouble with
3 letter words, yet can read 3-4 syllable words without a hitch. Some
days he will read the words and then some days he will struggle over
the same words. He sees the right vowel, but just gives it another
vowel sound. I understand dyslexia could be caused by a muscle in the
eye that with therapy can be helped. We have a fixed income and limited
insurance. I don't really know where to start looking for help. We
used Romalda Spalding's 'Writing Road to Reading' since he was in pre-
school, a curriculum that was initially intended for adult dyslexia and
other learning disabilities. So I don't understand why he is still
having trouble. Is this something he will always struggle with or can
it be corrected? Can I effectively teach him or should I get help?
Where can I learn about dyslexia?" -- Nona


Do you have some advice, experience, or a resource to share with Nona?

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!

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Next - Traditional Roles vs. College for Girls; Does My Child Have Dyslexia?
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