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One Girl's Higher Education, Science Toys, 'AirSchooling'

By Heather Idoni

Added Monday, October 22, 2007

The Homeschooler's Notebook
Encouragement and Advice for Homeschool Families
Vol. 8 No 82 October 22, 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
-- Reader Feedback
Helpful Tips
-- Free Science Projects
Resource Review
-- Ed Emberley's Art Books
Reader Question
-- AirSchooling?
Additional Notes
-- Searchable Archive
-- Our Email Group
-- Sponsorship Information
-- Reprint Information
-- Subscriber Information

Notes from Heather

Thank you to everyone who wrote in with congratulations for our
family! :-)

Here is more great feedback from a reader about her experiences
as a 'girl' who has always valued higher education and continues
to believe in its importance.


"I am a mother of five boys and no daughters (God bless you as
you anticipate your first girl!), so I do not speak from a per-
spective of a mother of girls. However, I am the youngest of
six myself so I speak as a 'girl'! My parents raised six chil-
dren on my Dad's ONE income as a carpenter. He didn't even have
a high school education. He quit school to care for his mother
and three younger sisters who had been abandoned by their father.
He was an AWESOME father, who loved his Lord and his family. He
was an AWESOME provider, who made it his goal to support his
children and encourage them toward opportunities he did not have
as a teen and young adult. My mother was an AWESOME teacher at
home, though we all graduated from public school. She taught us
to use our mind and our limited resources wisely. She was vale-
dictorian of her high school class, but graduating in the Great
Depression, she did not have the opportunity for college herself.
Both my parents were very WISE, as well as INTELLIGENT. One of
my Dad's favorite phrases was 'Education is the key'. He read
lots, researched lots, and employed critical thinking skills
daily on construction jobs and on the farm. Education was a
lifestyle, not just a book or an institution for my parents.
Yet, they produced six children who among them have completed 2
earned Doctorates, 2 Master's Degrees, and 2 post high school
studies in trade skills. Those six children have produced fif-
teen children who also have a tremendous record of college and
graduate degrees, as well as stable income for their families.
Greater than that, the family units are stable and are contri-
buting positively to society. The bottom line is that education
is a way of life. Each person's track will be unique. As a
Master's level person, I have flourished in a full-time work
setting prior to having my own children. My heart's desire was
always to be a full-time wife and mother, but I did not marry
until several years after college. My life has been very full
of opportunities which have always prepared me for the NEXT
season of life. My own education and work experience have pre-
pared me to be a better teacher and organizer, as was stated by
another mom who wrote in. I've also demonstrated before my
children's eyes my life as a continual learner. I've used my
'education' to lead conferences in church and weekday teacher
education, lead home school classes and conferences, and as a
published writer. Most of all, I've used my 'education' daily
to help my children LOVE learning and to use that knowledge to
serve God and others. Should I never have married, or should
something happen to my husband while I had several young children
at home, I know I could have earned a living. I now help provide
care for my 92 year old widowed mother. I am still LEARNING how
to balance meeting needs and serving those in my family from age
6-92. But I know God has fashioned my life with the opportuni-
ties and skills necessary for the tasks now at hand, if I am
only faithful to employ those skills. I believe my children will
also LEARN from how I handle this season. I know God has ordained
my steps since before I was born. He provided me with excellent
opportunities for education and I've accepted those opportunities
and made the best of them. But my mother had no formal education
beyond high school and she's been a tremendously stabilizing
force in my life. She's been very quiet, but I've learned great-
ly from her. Our lives as women have been VERY different, yet
each has served faithfully with the life God put before us and
each of us have raised several children, giving our whole selves
to them and our husbands. My answer would be 'He can do exceed-
ingly beyond all that you ask or imagine' (Ephesians 3:20). So,
live to the fullest under God's direction and PRAY DAILY for his
direction to be revealed and fulfilled in you daily!"


Do you have comments to share? Please do!

Send your emails to: heather@familyclassroom.net



Helpful Tip

"My boys are having lots of fun working on projects from this
website: www.sciencetoymaker.org

The free projects are divided into easy and advanced with simple,
colourful instructions. You and your kids can make fascinating
toys from basic stuff found around your home and have a great time
learning about a variety of 'science' stuff at the same time."

-- Contributed by Marie - Member of HomeschoolingBOYS.com


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

Resource Review

Art resource - Ed Emberley's Drawing books

Ed Emberley has written 15 drawing books for children that can
also be addictive for adults who try them! His approach of
putting together lines and shapes in small bits can make anyone
a successful draw-er. (For a review and tutorial, go to
www.Familyfun.com and search Ed Emberley, or see his own website
and activities at www.edemberley.com )

Emberley has a definite system of drawing using a drawing 'alpha-
bet' that is explained simply at the beginning of each book. If
you take a couple of minutes to figure it out with your child,
you may later find him/her drawing intently in a corner somewhere.
Our sons and daughters alike enjoyed these books. They seem
especially attractive to boys, since Emberley shows how to draw
castles, fire trucks, teepees, cars, racecars, dragons, ships,
etc. Our daughters gravitate to the horses and animals. A do-it-
yourself drawing program!

His books are avaliable at the library, Barnes and Noble, Amazon
and many other places. Our family favorite is 'Ed Emberly's Make
a World', with over 400 things to draw in it. Other titles include
'Ed Emberley's Big Red Drawing Book', 'Big Green Drawing Book',
'Big Orange' and 'Big Purple', etc. Some books do have a few
cartoonish devils, dragons, etc., if those things concern you."

-- Contributed by Jannell in SD

(Thanks, Jannell!)

Last Issue's Reader Question

"My husband works for Southwest Airlines (we LUV SWA!) and one
of the benefits is that we are able to fly anywhere Southwest
flies for free -- standby, of course! I am grateful for this
gift and I would like to make the most of it. Our son is newly
four and we're just starting to homeschool him while our daughter
is only a year-and-a-half. What can I do to maximize the educa-
tional value of these trips? I know that we can work on some
things in flight, but I would also like to know what I can do
while we're waiting for our flights around the airport! Thank
you!" -- Katie D. in TX

Our Readers' Responses

"I would check out sites regarding car schooling, such as
carschooling.com just for starters. Most, if not all of the
info provided should be transferable to 'air-schooling' I would
think. Just google car schooling and you will get a lot of
resources." -- Kathy E. in TN


"Katie -- My favorite travel book is called Carschooling. It
has ideas for everything and you can tailor it to any age. My
favorite pastime for travel -- especially the airport -- is

Kids love them and they pass the time amazingly well. Don't be
surprised when children from far and wide come to join you. Go
to Gymboree in the mall or to one of their play facilities. They
sell these bubbles that you can practically catch and you can
clearly see all the swirls of colors of the rainbow. This is
where the schooling can come in: colors, rainbows, shapes, a bit
of higher science in that circles only ever touch on 3 sides, etc.
If you check the web there is a lot you can do with those topics.

Happy traveling!" -- Michelle L. in OR


"Hi Katie -- First of all congratulations on the gift of free
flights for your family! How wonderful. I would like to suggest
the book 'Carschooling' by Diane Flynn Keith. She has a ton of
information in it that can be adapted to your 'AirSchooling'.
Also take advantage of everything that your final destination has
to offer to educate your young son. Research the area and visit
the local museums and educational facilities. The Science Centers,
the zoos, the Interpretive Centers; all of them are wonderful to
experience, and many of them have hands on areas that are ideal
for children that are your son's age." -- Sheri


"We also travel a lot, and we turn our trips into fun little unit
studies. Our oldest is 5, so this is a work in progress that will
continue to grow as their abilities grow. We have maps posted
around our house, and we always go to the maps and show the kids
where we've been and where we're going. We get guidebooks and
kids' books at the library in advance of trips and prepare for
where we are going and what we want to do.

We also line up the kitchen chairs and play airplane in the days
before a trip. We talk about the various things that will happen
(boarding, safety warnings, in-flight movie, drink service), and
the kids then love seeing them happen and feeling like they're
in the know.

My oldest now loves to help pack, and she packs a 'busy bag' for
each child with a few toys, stuffed animals, etc., and I often
pick up little things that I save for surprises in the busy bags.
They are our saving grace on the plane, and sometimes in the

As for the travel itself, we play games where we look for letters
or a certain color suitcase or a man with a beard or whatever,
and if we have a layover of more than about an hour, we don't
hesitate to pop in a DVD right there in the airport.

My kids also love tickets of any sort, so we let them hold the
various pieces of paper that we get around the airport (used
ticket stubs, brochures, etc.), and they treat them the way that
they see us treat the real boarding passes.

One other thought to add! It's actually one of the most important
ones! Our secret weapon, the one that has brought us the most
pain-free travel, has come about through trial and error. We
often don't seat the kids together! Mom and Dad split up and each
take a kid or two. Our small children really love the one-on-one
time with Mom and Dad that results when the airline can't seat us
all together. We learned, quite by accident, that they actually
behave MUCH better when we're not all sitting together. On a
recent flight, I had one with me and my husband had one with him
and a nice man next to me offered to swap seats, and we all said,
'NO THANKS!' and laughed. At the end of that flight, the woman
behind us remarked that my 3 year old had been so well-behaved
and that she thought it was hilarious that I read the same book
to her 47 times (every time I finished, she said, 'Again!')."
-- Bobbi in TX

Answer our NEW Question

UGH -- A BOOK Report?

Recently there was a question on our HomeschoolingBOYS.com group
about alternatives to book reports... or different 'forms' of
learning that can substitute for a book report. Here was the
original question and then a follow-up question from another group

"My son is in 4th grade, nine years old and loves to read (most
of the time). I know he is at the age of doing book reports, but
does not like to write at all, and does not like lapbooks. I do
not want to take his joy of reading away by slapping more work on
him. Does anyone know a fun form of book reports? He naturally
does an oral one to me and husband. Any suggestions would be

"I'll second the request. My son will eat up books, but to get
any details - especially in a written format - is like pulling
teeth! I agree that I'd hate for him to start disliking to read
just because he knows there will be 'work' at the end. I know
that is when I stopped liking to read."

Rather than answer the first question based only on the particular
circumstances, I thought it would be productive to invite our
readers to share ANY cool ideas and/or experiences you have had
with activities related to reading that have substituted nicely
for the traditional 'book report'.

Thanks in advance for sharing your creative ideas!


Please send your answer to: HN-answers@familyclassroom.net

Ask YOUR Question

Do you have a question you would like our readers to answer? We
are fresh out of reader questions again!

Send yours to HN-questions@familyclassroom.net and we'll see if
we can help you out in a future issue!

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