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Kids Pay for College, Bring Classics to Life, Solo Homeschooling

By Heather Idoni

Added Monday, January 07, 2008

The Homeschooler's Notebook
Encouragement and Advice for Homeschool Families
Vol. 9 No 2 January 7, 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!




Guest Article
-- Should Teens Help Pay for College?
Helpful Tips
-- How to Teach Science
Resource Review
-- Bringing the Classics to Life
Reader Question
-- Single Parent Homeschooling
Additional Notes
-- Searchable Archive
-- Our Email Group
-- Sponsorship Information
-- Reprint Information
-- Subscriber Information

Guest Article

Should Your Teen Help Pay for College?
by Rachel Paxton

It's that time of year again, time to fill out financial aid
forms for college.

Our family is a proud member of the American middle class, the
portion of the population that is not eligible for any type of
government grants for college. Several years ago we found
ourselves footing the entire bill for our daughter's college

So should your teen have to help pay for their college education?
I have heard many points of view on this subject.

If your family cannot afford to pay for your teen's college
tuition, then of course your teen will have to at least help pay
in order to attend college. This is especially true in families
where there are several children who will be attending college.

I also know of families that could afford to pay for their teen's
entire college education, but they instead expect their teen to
pay the bill if they want to attend college.

Our family fell into a category where we probably could have paid
for all of it if we really cut back on all of our other expenses,
but my husband and I decided that our daughter should help pay
for part of her tuition.

If your teen knows he or she will have to help pay for their
tuition, it will influence which college they attend. They will
definitely take the cost of tuition into consideration. When
looking for colleges, don't let them rule out private colleges.
Although public colleges are usually less expensive, our daughter
chose to attend a small private college that costs about the same
amount as a large public college.

It was fairly easy for us to determine how much to have our
daughter help pay for her tuition. When we filled out her
financial aid forms her first year of college, she qualified for
a small government student loan and some college work study. The
work study allowed her to work on campus about 10 hours a week
and the money she earned she paid toward her tuition. This is
great because this money goes straight to her expenses. Her
student loan is approximately $2300 per year, so after she
graduates she will have a total of about $7000 in student loans
to repay. Her second year of college she didn't qualify for work
study but she was able to keep her job anyway...many colleges
have jobs on campus that aren't only reserved for the work study
program. At first I was afraid the work study would be too much
in addition to school work, but we have found that 2 hours a day
has not gotten in the way of her schoolwork in any way.

Between student loans and work study our daughter is paying for
approximately 30% of her total education expenses. My husband
and I took out a loan to pay the rest.

We are very happy with the arrangement we've made with our
daughter. We didn't in any way want to burden her with huge
student loans after she graduates from college, especially if we
had the means to help her pay for it. On the other hand, we also
wanted her to appreciate it more by feeling she had helped pay
for it.

There are many ways to reduce the price of college tuition, so
make sure to do your homework and don't wait until your teen is
ready to graduate from high school to start looking into your
options. Our daughter, only a slightly above average student,
attended community college for a year and a half during high
school, earning both high school and college credits. These
credits made it possible for her to attend only three more years
of college to get her four-year degree, saving us an entire year
of college tuition. The total of our portion of our daughter's
college education amounts to what many colleges cost for only one
year of college. Not too bad!


Rachel Paxton is a freelance writer and mom of four. For more
inspirational articles and tips for everyday living, visit


Do you have comments to share? Please do!

Send your emails to: heather@familyclassroom.net



Helpful Tip

How to Teach Science


"This website is wonderful for the Periodic Table. The cost is
very affordable and won't hurt your pocketbook. You get a note-
book sized Periodic Table that your child can color in as they
learn each element.

Every week you will receive an email for an element. For every
element you are given the facts, history of its discovery, and
facts for the advanced learner.

It is a fun way to learn about the elements! I NEVER learned
the elements and it is great fun to learn with my two children.

I hope you will visit the website and find it as wonderful as
I did!" -- Bunny in Sunny Florida


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

Resource Review

Bringing the Classics to Life Reading Series
Published by: EdCon Publishing Group
For more information or to order: www.edconpublishing.com

'Bringing the Classics to Life' is a unique reading comprehension
series. What is unique? Well, instead of making up "kiddish"
stories, they have taken classics from authors such as Shakespeare,
Jack London, Orson Wells and others, and created highly interest-
ing, readable selections for grades 1 - 5.

Each classic is broken down into 10 "chapters". Each chapter is
about one page of reading and a page with an interesting illus-
tration. Prior to each chapter, there is a vocabulary list with
pronunciation guide and definitions. Following the reading portion
are two workbook pages with comprehension and inference questions,
along with an activity to reinforce the vocabulary introduced in
the chapter.

I have never been a big fan of reading comprehension workbooks,
and I know many families desire for their children to stay away
from 'twaddle', which includes abridged versions of the classics.
However, I must say I have been pleased with the selections offered
in this series. First, the editors have done an excellent job of
keeping true to the original tone/structure of the author (except
Shakespeare, which is retold in story format). My son enjoyed the
Shakespeare titles immensely and they even fueled a desire to read
more of his works! Second, the classics make for such interesting
reading, that even a reluctant reader will want to open their book
each day to see what happens next. Each workbook takes about two
weeks to complete, so your child can sample many great books over
the course of a school year.

I regularly recommend this series to homeschool moms looking for
something to help reluctant readers, or who are looking to help a
child who is weak in the area of reading comprehension. We love
spending lots of time reading the classics, but the 'Bringing
Classics to Life' series allows young readers to get a taste of
many titles they may never have time to read, while improving their
reading comprehension and vocabulary skills.

-- Cindy Prechtel, http://www.HomeschoolingFromTheHeart.com

Last Issue's Reader 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

Our Readers' Responses

"There are definitely benefits to homeschooling while working
full time. I worked full time up until the last three years.
When my oldest was in school, the school was always bothering
me at work, and my child was sick more often, causing me to have
to call in sick a great deal more than was comfortable. When we
started homeschooling, the children were being better cared for,
not just education wise, but health wise as well. You can't do
it alone, however. Talk to whomever babysits or will babysit
for you, and make sure that he or she is willing to help you with
this project. You can coordinate the lesson plans, or simply
purchase computer software that the children can use fairly
independently. Supplement that with lots of reading. When you
get home from work, you can check their progress, and help where
needed. This worked for me for a long time." -- Laurel S.


"Not knowing what kind of work you do, this might not be possible,
but I have a friend who manages an assisted living facility who
homeschools her four children. They study from video courses,
using two TVs at the facility. While two children are taking
instruction the other two are doing assignments. The mother,
along with a dozen or so grandmothers, are available to help when
they need it. The main disadvantage to these courses is that
they are very expensive.

I have known of several single parents who take their children
to work with them and provide a place for study. Most of their
instruction takes place in the evenings and on weekends, and
they complete assignments while at work.

If you work at a place where you would not be able to take your
children, another option might be to find another homeschool
family in the area, or someone who is supportive of homeschooling
who would be willing to supervise your children while you're at
work. You could instruct them in the evenings and on weekends.
There are some support networks out there for single parents.
An internet search should help you find them. It is difficult
for single parents to homeschool, but it can be done, and most
of the ones who do it are well rewarded for their efforts."
-- Mary Beth


"Floy -- Wow, I thought I had it hard! I am alone right now with
two children, 11 and 5. I am currently seeking a childcare
license. I say I am alone but I am really not -- God has helped
me so much to do what I do with the kids and to have the strength
I need each day. It is not easy but each day He sends things to
show us how much He loves us. Even our kids will be an asset to
our day! Your options -- give it to God and watch what He would
have you to do -- ideas will come to you like streams of water!
Do you have a church home? Also a co-op in your area would help;
try to find someone who homeschools kids the ages of your own.
HomeschoolingBoys.com is an excellent way to get answers to ques-
tions and just support. It was birthed by Heather who does this
newsletter and is a tremendous source of wisdom and insight with
homeschooling. God bless you -- He is there to help you. He
loves you!" -- Millie J.


"Hi -- I am also a single parent working full time and homeschool-
ing my two kids (ages 15 and 18). I don't have family around
either and I have homeschooled my two kids for three years while
working full time. My advice to you is to work an evening or
night job and hire a local teen or friend to sleep all night at
your house. If you could get a friend to do this for you free
for a night or two and only pay the teen a minimal amount for a
couple of nights, the cost would stay low. I don't know what line
of work you are in but I am a home health care worker and I actually
get to sleep at my client's house due to minimal care during the
night. I call home every night to touch base with the kids. I
work a 13 hour shift and only have to work three nights to get my
hours in. I hope this would work for you! Good luck -- you CAN
do this." -- Carol S.

Answer our NEW Question

I have an almost-6-year-old kindergartner we just pulled from
private school and started homeschooling. He loves all of the
subjects except for reading and writing. He knows his letters
and basic phonics, but balks when it comes to reading out loud,
sounding out new words, and writing. He is VERY self-aware when
it comes to making mistakes and would rather just not try than
to make a mistake. Please help! Does anyone have any tips on
how to help build his self-confidence in these two subjects?"
-- Christin C. in PA


Do you have some advice or encouragement for Christin?
Please send your answer to: HN-answers@familyclassroom.net

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Do you have a question you would like our readers to answer?

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if we can help you out in a future issue!

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Next - Mary Pride Speaks Out, Building Confidence in Reading
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