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A Flash Forward in Time, Winter Science, PSAT/SAT Prep

By Heather Idoni

Added Monday, January 14, 2008

==========================================================
The Homeschooler's Notebook
Encouragement and Advice for Homeschool Families
==========================================================
Vol. 9 No 4 January 14, 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!
And please visit our sponsors! They make it possible. :-)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

=================
IN THIS ISSUE:
=================

Notes from Heather
-- Personal 'Flash Forward'
Helpful Tips
-- Winter Activity Websites
Resource Review
-- Passionate Housewives
Reader Question
-- PSAT/SAT/ACT Test Prep?
Additional Notes
-- Searchable Archive
-- Our Email Group
-- Sponsorship Information
-- Reprint Information
-- Subscriber Information

=======================
Notes from Heather
=======================

A Personal 'Flash Forward' in Time

---

As I was considering what to write this issue for my "notes" I
started daydreaming a little forward in time about the new baby
girl we are expecting in about a month. "Wow! This baby just
bought me another 18 years of editing the newsletter!", I thought
with a smile on my face. (Funny thought, eh?)

I started thinking about how it would be... with 5 boys grown and
out on their own. My oldest will be (cringe) 36 years old when
she graduates... and my youngest son will be almost 25 if I did
the math right. Wow.

At that point I'll be looking back over years of experience with
raising boys... and one girl (who EVERYONE promises me is going
to be VERY spoiled, but I'm determined not to let her be!) This
is definitely a new phase of our lives. :-)

Thinking about 18 years from now makes me feel pretty young and
immature in the homeschooling arena -- even at age 43. I'll be
61 when she graduates and probably a grandmother several times
over -- maybe even a great-grandmother -- you never know!!

I wonder what the internet will be like then -- even what the
newsletter will be like. I wonder if someone younger and less
dependent on naps will have taken it over by then, too. ;-)

Funny thoughts I just had to share with you today! Thanks for
letting me ramble... and enjoy the newsletter!

Blessings!
Heather

---

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


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================
Helpful Tip
================

"Here are some winter internet sites to share with your readers!"
-- Marsha M.

NOAA's National Weather Service's Winter Weather Safety and
Awareness: http://www.nws.noaa.gov/om/winter

Educational pages about ice and snow:
http://www.units.muohio.edu/dragonfly/snow

National Snow and Ice Data Center:
http://nsidc.org/snow/index.html

SnowCrystals.com:
http://www.its.caltech.edu/~atomic/snowcrystals

USA Today: Understanding Winter Weather:
http://www.usatoday.com/weather/wwinter0.htm

Scholastic.com information about winter storms:
http://teacher.scholastic.com/activities/wwatch/winter_storms

---

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


==================
Resource Review
==================

Passionate Housewives, Desperate for God
Authors: Jennie Chancey and Stacy McDonald
For more information or to order:
www.HomeschoolingFromTheHeart.com

---

"You deserve a break!"
"Why should you have to do all the caring for the kids?"
"You're wasting your life being a stay-at-home mom."

These messages and others are the voices of feminism that seek to
undermine God's high calling of being a wife and mother. These
messages, whether spoken or inferred can be discouraging - especi-
ally for homeschool moms who are not only mothering, but committed
to teaching reading and even chemistry if needed! It can be easy
to fall into a "woe is me" attitude that breeds discontentment and
selfishness.

In this refreshingly honest and down-to-earth book, two godly women
sit down to put forth a fresh vision for homemaking. The message
of 'Passionate Housewives, Desperate for God', is one of HOPE!
The authors are real, and scattered through this convicting and
encouraging book are stories and glimpses into their very real
lives. They are quick to dispel the "perfect housewife" myth. You
know the one - the 1950s happy homemaker vacuuming in her high heels
and pearls. Instead, they take the reader straight to the Word of
God, for fresh insight and pearls of truth. Be prepared to be chal-
lenged - I found myself switching between this book and my Bible,
highlighter in hand!

Both of the authors have a lot to say and they say it quite well.
The book begins and ends with the fictional account of the life of
'Carol'. It is kind of a before-and-after glimpse of her life as
she first gives in to the message of feminism that permeates our
society (and sadly, the church), and then as a woman set free by
God's Word to be all that He created her to be - completely ful-
filled in her service to Him by serving her family.

'Passionate Housewives' is not a politically correct book! The
concept of dying to self, of living to serve your husband and
children as unto the Lord, is not a popular ideology in our society.
You may not agree with every doctrinal position these ladies and
their husbands hold, but you will, however, be blessed with truths
that transcend denominations - and timeless wisdom desperately
needed in this day and age. This is not a "how-to" book. You
won't find ideas for successful home management, or picking the
right homeschool curriculum. Here's something else you won't find
- authors who expect you to be just like them. Oh, they hold firmly
to their beliefs about many things, but when it comes to what a
"perfect" wife and mother should be, well, they are quick to remind
you to lay aside those thoughts of perfectionism and to be wary of
comparing yourself with others, including them!

This book addresses so many issues of the heart, it is difficult
to describe the breadth of coverage and the amount of hope and
encouragement one will find in its pages. As I read, I had many
"Aha!" moments and there were definitely places where I was con-
victed of falling for the message that I am somehow "missing out"
on life by serving my family. I was challenged to realize that
I can be home with my kids, but not really "be here" in my heart.
I have found the really good books are the ones that do more than
cheer (although this book definitely inspires). The books that
I put at the top of my "must read again" list are those that make
me a bit uncomfortable, that cause me to examine my heart and
propel me into the arms of God. 'Passionate Housewives Desperate
for God" is one of those books. I highly recommend it!

---

Reviewed by Cindy Prechtel
http://www.HomeschoolingFromTheHeart.com


===============================
Last Issue's Reader Question
===============================

"I'd like to ask other homeschool moms if they think that prepar-
ation for the PSAT and SAT are really beneficial. I have a thick
practice book to 'improve' your SAT scores, and vocab cards for
the PSAT, but these methods always seemed to me to miss the point
of testing what the student knows. And the books look like they
take so much time away from the child's school work. My oldest
has just taken his PSAT, and I'm wondering if I should make study-
ing for the big test one of his regular subjects for awhile. Is
there anyone who has experience in this test-taking business?"
-- Elyse W.


=========================
Our Readers' Responses
=========================

"I do reccommend spending some time with practice tests from
review books for several reasons. First, it's just a good
review of the material. Second, it gives good practice at test
taking - something they will need of they go on to college.
Third, it presents the material in a new way for them, which
can improve their understanding. Fourth, It helps them know
what is on the teat and become more familiar with the way ques-
tions are asked and the wording common to standardized tests
which can help them relax and focus better during the actual
test. My son had always made straight As in science, but on
his first attempt at the ACT, he scored at a remedial level in
science because, as he put it, 'I didn't have time to study the
graphs and charts like I usually do and absorb the information
-- I had to give answers right away because of the time limit.'
The type of question was different for him, so we had to spend
some time on test-taking skills to improve his scores."
-- Regina in AR

---

"I'm in the business of getting homeschoolers to their education-
al goals. The PSAT test practice books are a fine way of famil-
iarizing the student with the test and giving a little practice
taking the test. They usually come with several different versions
of the test. I recommend you have the student take one cold,
without preparation, and within the usual time constraints of the
test. Then walk through a couple more versions, taking all the
time you need to answer the questions, then take another version
as though it were the actual test. This time the student will be
pacing him/herself a little better, and doing a better job target-
ing the questions s/he knows how to answer. You'll often see a
score jump 50 - 100 points just because the student knows what to
expect. It's pretty cheap preparation. You can spend alot of
money after that on various test prep courses, but familiarity
with the test and practice with the time constraints will get the
most increase in test scores.

I also wouldn't place too much weight on the PSAT, which is also
the National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (NMSQT) when taken
in the student's junior year of high school. If a student needs
to work strenuously to get into that upper 1/2 of 1% to qualify as
a National Merit Scholar, then high-intensity college is going to
overwhelm them. A nice SAT score and a good GPA (3.5 and up on a
4.0 scale) will often get a student 50% gift aid at many private
colleges. You don't have to apply for it. It's yours upon accep-
tance. Check the college's website for 'gift aid' under their
financial aid page, and find out what SAT or ACT score is neces-
sary." -- Molly C.


=========================
Answer our NEW Question
=========================

"We have 6 (soon to be 7) children and have been homeschooling
for 6 years. I don't like to plan too far into the future because
I want to enjoy my children where they are, but I feel it is time
to slowly start looking a little ahead now that my oldest is in
5th grade. I want to be sure my children have all we feel they
need to be successful for whatever God has in store for their
lives, so I am interested in hearing from some 'seasoned' moms.

I am looking for good resources to help me plan my children's high
school curriculum. For example, I would like to know what order
they should take each of the sciences. What order should they do
math (we use Saxon and I have heard they should skip one of the
courses, advanced math or Algebra 1/2?). How do we record their
time, give grades, give credits, etc. I'm sure there are some great
resources out there where I can get wisdom about the high school
years: web sites, books, etc. If I can read leasurely about some
of these things now, I will feel more comfortable about what we need
to concentrate on when the time comes. I know that the Lord will
put all the pieces into place for them to have the tools they need
for their futures. Thank you!" -- Jane

---

What are your best resource recommendations for Jane?
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
ear.

Check out our schedule of daily chats and jump right in! :-)

http://www.HomeschoolChat.us

[Note: This ministry is geared toward Christian parents, but all
are welcome. You may need to download a Java program to utilize
this service. Email Luanne@educationforthesoul.com if you have
any technical difficulties.]


=====================================
Our Searchable Newsletter Archive
=====================================

Access the Homeschool Notebook issues you have missed...
at our archives!

http://www.FamilyClassroom.net

...or you can search on a specific word or phrase in issues all
the way back to January 2001! Just go to this link:

http://hub.thedollarstretcher.com/cgi-bin/lyris.pl?visit=hs-notebook


==========================
Interactive Email Group
==========================

In an effort to help our readers become more of an interactive
community, we have set up an email loop at YahooGroups called
"Homeschool-Notebook".

Here is the link to sign-up!

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/homeschool-notebook/


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=====================
ADDITIONAL NOTES
=====================

All contributed articles are printed with the author's prior
consent. It is assumed that any questions, tips or replies to
questions may be reprinted. All letters become the property of
the "Homeschooler's Notebook". [Occasionally your contribution
may have to be edited for space.]

Again, I welcome you to the group! Feel free to send any
contributions to HN-articles@familyclassroom.net or
HN-ideas@familyclassroom.net.

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===========================
REPRINT INFORMATION
===========================

No part of this newsletter (except subscription information
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from the editor. Individuals may, however, forward the newsletter
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