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Welcome to the New Year!

By Heather Idoni

Added Friday, January 04, 2008

The Homeschooler's Notebook
Encouragement and Advice for Homeschool Families
Vol. 9 No 1 January 4, 2008
ISSN: 1536-2035
Copyright (c) 2008 - Heather Idoni, FamilyClassroom.net

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




Notes from Heather
-- Welcome to the New Year!
Helpful Tips
-- Daily Journals
Winning Website
-- How Does a Caucus Work?
Reader Question
-- Ready to Graduate in Ohio
Additional Notes
-- Searchable Archive
-- Our Email Group
-- Sponsorship Information
-- Reprint Information
-- Subscriber Information

Notes from Heather

Welcome to the New Year!!

My 'nesting instinct' finally kicked in -- about time with only
6 weeks to go till my 2/14 due date! (Well, it is actually 2/13
according to the ultrasound, but Valentine's Day sounds so much
better... hehe!) I got lots done cleaning-wise after Christmas
-- including reorganizing the clothes in my dressers to make room
for baby clothes again. Over the past few years I accumulated
much more than I need... and I had incringed on the baby dresser
next to my bed! We do 'family bed' with our babies, rather than
a separate nursery, so it is convenient to have all the baby's
things handy. :-) Did I mention this is my first home birth??!!?

Funny as it sounds, I really missed creating the newsletter over
the holidays. I missed you all! But now I'm back in full swing
for 2008. I can't figure out if I'm more obsessed with the Ron
Paul 'Revolution' campaign... or having this baby. I think my
hormones have gone crazy with hot flashes -- thus explaining my
political 'fever'. LOL. Have you Googled Ron Paul yet? ;-)

On another note, my friend (Vicki in Michigan) sent me an excerpt
from 'The Homeschool Minute" -- a fun email sent out weekly from
Old Schoolhouse Magazine -- http://www.TOSMAG.com -- I liked it
and thought I'd share it here, since another friend (Jodi in Iowa)
is currently spending her time wiping noses in between recovering
from the endless caucus phonecalls. This one's for YOU, Jodi! :-)


From Todd Wilson, FamilyMan Ministries - http://www.familymanweb.com

"As we say good-bye to 2007, it's time to do what all self-respect-
ing writers do to fill space and that is... to devote the page to
reviewing the past year, looking at the most important, world-chang-
ing, significant events and people of the last year.

However, unlike most self-respecting writers, I'm not going to
mention republicans, democrats, or even "grass roots" Christian
underdogs. I won't fill this column with INTERNET buy-outs, tech-
nological breakthroughs, or teenage-billionaires.

I'm dedicating this space to the REALLY important stuff like -
wiping noses, bottoms, and perpetually syrup-covered counter tops
- and moms and dads who give everything they have only to be told
by a six-year-old who doesn't even vote yet that, 'You don't love

You want courage and bravery? Let me tell you about the multitudes
of homeschooling mothers who drag themselves out of bed every day
(or almost every day) trying to make a difference but most often
feeling like big failures.

In fact, if I had to name the person of the year, I'd name YOU.
Don't believe for one moment that all the tripe that fills the
papers and news channels is what's important; it's not. What you
do everyday is not just important: it is the MOST important. The
world may not applaud you, but God does - and so do I.

So congratulations on being selected as the Familyman's Person of
2007. But I'm afraid you can't bask in the glory long... because
your youngest just stuck your favorite shoes in the toilet... and
so begins 2008."


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



Helpful Tip

"We are relaxed homeschoolers, but one of my requirements is
that our children keep a daily journal. It has been wonderful
to be able to go back three or four years and read their entries!

Also, this is a wonderful opportunity for pointing out spelling
and grammar errors. I don't have them correct them, just make
them aware of them. This way we can see progress over the years
in their language usage and development." -- Carol W.


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

Winning Website

How Does a Caucus Work?


Political caucuses date back to 1796, but their intricate
operations are often hard to explain! The above link at
HowStuffWorks.com does a great job -- and is a good jumping
off point to delve into the process with your children.

Last Issue's Reader Question

"My oldest daughter is 16. She has always worked far beyond her
age/grade level, has completed all of her high school coursework,
and we'd like to graduate her. However, the age for compulsory
attendance in Ohio is 6-18. If we graduate my daughter with a
homeschool diploma at age 16, are we facing possible truancy
issues with the local school district? Our district is not
homeschool-friendly. We homeschool independently, therefore
the diploma would be one we'd issue ourselves (no umbrella
schools, etc.)." -- Candace

Our Readers' Responses

"I know a lot of friends here in Georgia that get around the early
graduation question (although our compulsory age is 16) by joint-
enrollment with the local community college, or several other home-
school-friendly colleges near our town. They have the advantage
of remaining at home, taking college-level courses (and gaining
college credit) while honing their math, science, English or other
skills. Then by the time they actually graduate from high school,
they typically have at least one year of college under their belt.
They've improved their study skills while under the supervision and
prodding of parents, and from what I've seen, do extremely well in
their college career. Another option is to apprentice and/or
intern. If your child is interested in being a veterinarian, then
she could work days as an intern and do research on what interests
her. Obviously, this can be expanded into many fields, and most
businesses are eager to find responsible, relatively inexpensive
(cheap?) help during the day when most teenagers are in school.
Hope this helps." -- Judy S.


"First, I am NOT from Ohio, and I am not going to give specific
homeschooling advice, because my state has different age require-

However, from my own experience I can say you might want to start
contacting colleges. I never 'finished' high school (from public
school, no diploma), but got early admission to a major university.
I contacted them about starting early, submitted an application,
interviewed and wrote about why I was ready for college, and got
accepted. It helped that my SAT and ACT scores were high. Early
admission is different from early acceptance -- one is permission
to come when you finish high school; the other is permission to
*leave* high school and start early.

You might also check and see if her college of choice has a summer
program for rising juniors/seniors. Alternatively, if you would
consider online college, you could enroll her, but still be school-
ing from home. Not knowing Ohio law, I am not sure how you could
explain that one.

Good luck -- and I would love to hear how this one turns out!"
-- Anne M.


"We live in Florida so I can't address the legal issues for you.
Our youngest daughter just turned 16 and like yours has worked
beyond her grade level. Florida has a program where high school
juniors and seniors can dual enroll and take classes in the local
community colleges without paying tuition. (This program is open
to public, private, and homeschoolers -- anyone who scores high
enough on the SAT/ACT or the college's entrance exam). Some
students take more classes than others, but any classes they take
give them both high school and college credit. Many of the general
education classes are online, so my daughter only has to go into
the testing center to take the exams.

Another option is to study and take CLEP exams. These cost $75
each but can give the student between 3-12 college credits. My
daughter took the CLEP test for Western Civilization 1 when she
was only 12 earning 3 credits. At age 14, she studied and passed
the CLEP test for American History 1. This year she is studying
for CLEP General Psychology because we feel very strongly that
this is not a subject where we want her to sit in a classroom with
a secular professor. (The summer he was 17, my son passed the CLEP
tests for American Government, Freshman Composition, Western Civi-
lization 1 & 2, thus completing a full semester of courses without
going into a classroom.) You can find more information about CLEP
tests at http://clepprep.tripod.com/cleplessonplans/index.html

My homeschool friends and I have found that earning any college
credit while still in high school helps to validate our homeschool
transcripts. Sure it means they will graduate with more than the
usual amount of high school classes, but it's hard for anyone to
argue with their success when they have college credits as proof.
God bless your homeschool!" -- Rhonda


"I'm not sure if this will work in Ohio, but here in Virginia what
a lot of homeschoolers do is to enroll their highschoolers in the
local community college. When they graduate from high school in
two years, they also graduate from the community college with an
associates degree and have only two years of additional college
needed for a bachelors degree. Even the public schools allow this
dual enrollment. Another option is to focus on preparing for and
taking AP exams and CLEP exams which will also count toward college
credit." -- Susan

Answer our NEW Question

"I am a single parent working full-time and raising three chil-
dren ages 22 months (female), 12 years (male) and 13 years
(female). I have been completely frustrated for years with the
school system, especially when it comes to my son. What are my
options for homeschooling given the fact that I work full-time,
I'm single and I don't have family within 3,000 miles of me?"
-- Floy


Do you have encouragement and/or practical advice for Floy?

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
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any technical difficulties.]

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