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Preschool Curriculum, Punch Bug Math Twist, Skipping Grades?

By Heather Idoni

Added Monday, February 04, 2008

==========================================================
The Homeschooler's Notebook
Encouragement and Advice for Homeschool Families
==========================================================
Vol. 9 No 10 February 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!

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


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

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

Notes from Heather
-- Schooling for Preschoolers
Helpful Tips
-- Math Twist on 'Punch Bug'
Reader Question
-- Skipping Grade Levels?
Additional Notes
-- Searchable Archive
-- Our Email Group
-- Sponsorship Information
-- Reprint Information
-- Subscriber Information

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

For Parents of Preschoolers - Part One

[This advice was overheard on the HomeschoolingBOYS.com group.
I thought it might be encouraging for our readers who have young
children and are concerned that they are doing *enough* -- so
I'm sharing the question/answer here with you! -- Heather]

---

Question --

"I am doing preschool homeschool with my 3 year old and it is
working out -- he loves it. I taught public school for 9 years
so I feel I have the skills to put together curriculum and mater-
ials -- but with taking care of my other little one (18 months)
I am feeling a growing desire to purchase a curriculum of some
sort to simplify things for next year when my oldest son is 4."

---

One answer --

"Since your kiddo is so young, this is a great time for YOU to
learn! One of the most important skills for you to deveop is
how to see everyday life as a learning oppportunity, or full of
'teachable moments'. A child learns constantly, and the best way
to help that along is to fill his or her life with creative,
varied and worthwhile things to do.

Stay away from toys that play FOR your child - plug-ins, batter-
ies, one use only. Look toward traditional toys... blocks, Legos,
crayons, play-doh, puzzles, a safe yard. Avoid things that have
too many rules for use. TALK all the time about what you are
doing, and teach good vocabulary simply by using good words ('Oh
boy, look at that enormous, brindle Great Dane!' vs. 'Look at the
big doggie.')

http://waymarks.com/homeschool/
http://www.homeschoolzone.com/faq/faq2.htm

A rich home environment is the best homeschool for preschoolers:
http://www.besthomeschooling.org/articles/lillian_jones_ps_kdgtn.html

Some structured activities ideas -- LIMIT these!
http://www.homeschoolingadventures.com/preschool.html

If you HAVE to have paper - think of the Rod and Staff ABC series
at about age 4, or better, 5 for Kindergarten.

I choose not to do ANY formal curriculum before first grade (except
tons of books to look at, read to them, etc., coloring, providing
arts/crafts materials). My oldest 3 have college degrees (includ-
ing a Master's in nursing), then we have a special needs child,
then our youngest is still at home. By the end of 1st grade they
were all testing into 3rd grade levels.

Relax! -- you have lOTS of time. Don't burn either of you out. I
think 'educrats' want to convince parents that they NEED them (the
educrats) or the kids' brains turn to jello. NOT! They learn sooo
much from a thoughtful, rich home life; not 'school at home'."

---

** Next issue: Another HomeschoolingBOYS.com member mom shares
her best advice on a "Preschool Curriculum" -- stay tuned!

---

Do you have comments to share? Please do!

Send your emails to: heather@familyclassroom.net


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


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

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

A Math Twist on the 'Punch Bug' Travel Game

"My almost 7 year old is just now learning to count to 100, but
he can do extensive adding and subtracting due to our version of
'Punch Bug' game. When my oldest son was little he and my nephew
would fight when it came to playing so we converted the 'punching'
to points. We then added PT Cruiser Bruiser, and gave extra points
for convertibles. When my little one decided to start playing he
added Hummers and Jeeps (just his favorite cars). So now our game
looks like this:

VW Bugs = 1 pt
Convertible VW Bugs = 2 pt
PT Cruisers = 1 pt
Convertible PT Cruisers = 2 pt
Hummers (all versions) = 1 pt
Hummer Trucks = 2 pt
Jeep (traditional) = 1 pt
4 door Jeep (new) = 2 pt

I can give my son any combination of these points like: I have 2
Jeeps, 2 Hummer Trucks and a Bug. Then he gets another set of cars:
You have 2 convertible bugs, 4 PT Cruisers and 3 Hummers. He has
to tell me which of us has the greater point value and answer 'How
many more points do I need to tie with you?' He does all this in
his head. We have not even started doing this on paper yet! :-)

He does know how to write his numbers though! I personally think
that is pretty impressive for a 1st grader."

-- Lesa W. - HomeschoolingBOYS.com member

---

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


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

"I am wondering what the pros and cons are of having a child skip
a grade or move ahead a grade level if they seem to be breezing
through their current grade's material. Is this wise to do?
Have any of you done it before? How do you do it without missing
a whole bunch of building material in the grade you're skipping?
Thanks for any help your readers are able to provide." -- Christina


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

"Christina -- My daughter was born just after the cut-off for the
grade, that is, she was one of the oldest in her grade. She was
also a student who loved doing school work and we had her do as
much as she was willing to do. Still, I never understood people
who moved their kids up a grade. It gives them the ability to
mature a little longer before college; it gives you and/or them
more time to save for college; to take community college classes
or CLEP tests; to apply for scholarships; to learn to drive or
develop other skills; and it gives you more time to develop rela-
tionships with them before they go.

I'm sure others have great arguments for the other side, but these
were considerations that applied in our case." -- Connie in WA

---

"One disadvantage to moving your child ahead a grade is health
insurance coverage. Most health insurance companies cover a child
only until he is 19, unless he is enrolled full-time in college.
You can't just assume that your child will enroll full time and
continue. One of our sons enrolled for 12 hours, then dropped
some of those classes, making him ineligible for health insurance
on my husband's company policy.

One idea is to move your child to the next year in curriculum, but
continue to report him as being in his age-appropriate grade. You
might even want to take two years to complete 12th grade, letting
your child have more free time to explore other interests, or simul-
taneously enroll in a few basic college classes at a local junior
college. If your child has already had a successful college experi-
ence while in high school, and a few credits toward his degree
already, maybe he'll want to keep working toward that goal after
high school graduation." -- Jeanne S.

---

"Hi Christina! We have had the pleasure of skipping Kindergarten
with our 7 year old daughter, Lillie. She was so eager to learn to
read (age 3) and just kept on plugging. Then when we pulled our
son out of the public school to homeschool (we found that he
couldn't read on a 3rd grade level.) My son and I would do our
work at the kitchen table. Lillie would then say, 'I want to do
school'. My husband and I thought she just wanted to 'play' school.
No, no, she wanted to actually learn. I didn't have many materials
for Pre-K at the time, so I went to my local warehouse club and
bought a mighty thick Pre-K workbook, thinking this would last her
for a year. She finished the entire book in about 2 months. So
we just kept on working with her to develop other skills. And
then it came time to enter Kindergarten. I sought wise counsel
from ladies in my church. Some said to put her in Kindergarten
and let her be really smart. Others said put her in first grade,
because if you don't she will get bored. Others still said, 'You
and your husband need to pray and let God guide you'. So that is
what we did. The Lord answered us by allowing to go to a fellow
church that was offering a homeschooling seminar and also had a
Bob Jones University rep there with all of his materials. My
husband and I said that we thought this would be a good way to
see the curriculum and let Lillie look at the books. Reading and
Math were our subjects of concern. As the rep lectured, he said
to feel free and take the books to your seat and look them over.
My daughter took 3 of the 6 1st grade readers to her seat and read
them all. And as for Math... she finished it in January. This
probably seems like an easy grade to skip, but there are some con-
cerns we have now. She is now in 3rd grade and a year younger
than her peers. Sometimes she seems immature for her grade, but
too mature for her age. Does that make any sense? She has started
to slow down the pace; Math, being her favorite, is now on schedule.
She is usually 3-4 months ahead and Reading is at the 6th grade
level. Sometimes it is very hard to keep up with her at this pace.
We also have a 12 year old son who repeated 3rd grade after we
removed him from the public school. With him we have the opposite
problems! He is 1 year older than his peers and his maturity level
is higher. And to round out our clan we have a soon to be 1 year
old daughter (February 5th) and soon to be 3 year old son (April
5th.) Our next challenge is Pre-K with our son, and believe me,
it's not going to be easy! I think in general girls learn faster
than boys. I can even see it with our youngest daughter. Have
you found your child's learning style? Believe me when I tell you,
if you haven't, do so. You can then tailor the curriculum to your
child's specific needs. Do you have any other children this could
affect? Sometimes my son gets discouraged when his sister is using
the same spelling words he has. She has motivated him to read more
also. They can get competitive at times, but it is a good learning
experience for them. Our biggest concern at the beginning of our
'do we, don't we skip' decision was what was the best interest of
our daughter? We did feel if she was to remain in Kindergarten she
would get bored, and then we would be purchasing the curriculum for
1st grade in January anyway. The Lord answered us and has blessed
us. Lean on Him and He will direct you. Look at different curri-
culums or design your own to accommodate your child. The greatest
benefit of homeschooling is our freedom to change to the needs of
our children." -- Kellie in NY

---

"One of the beauties of home schooling is you don't have to follow
a strict criteria -- you can teach your children at their pace
whether they are behind or ahead. You can tailor make it to fit
their needs! You don't have to put your child in the same grade
level with all their subjects; they could be at different levels.
Each grade level repeats and reviews the same things, so you don't
need to worry whether they are going to miss out on something.
Follow your instincts, relax and enjoy the wonderful benefits of
home schooling your child! I did -- and we are happier... and
learning is happening!"

---

"I've studied up on this. It turns out holding a child back takes
away his motivation, making things boring and tedious. Skipping a
grade provides the challenge they need to keep them excited about
learning. Some kids prefer to work hard, because they forget they
are working when they concentrate. The building blocks are natur-
ally filled in as you go. If you come across something you hadn't
covered, but needs to be figured out, you look it up. This in
itself is a valuable skill, for it teaches them how to learn, not
just the answer. Don't forget -- the first few months of school
in every subject is review, and the last few months are often
skipped. Most schools don't finish their books fully knowing that
the information will be reviewed. Have the faith in your child
to take this leap -- after all, you are the security net that can
help a snag if it comes -- and chances are, it won't." -- Heidi

---

"My boys have a love for math. My six year old began doing triple
and quadruple digit addition and subtraction perfectly more than
a year ago, long before I'd ever mentioned borrowing or carrying.
In an effort to make sure such concepts are covered I am allowing
he and my eight year old to do the same math (1st-2nd grade) pro-
gram, but at their own pace, doing up to 10-12 lessons in one day.
They also have extra workbooks and a math page generator for addi-
tional challenge because the system I purchased is simply too easy
for them. The next curriculum I choose will be a harder one that
may slow them down a bit. They aren't 'skipping' a grade but they
are skipping the constant practice of what they know and going on
to something that interests them.

In my opinion, one reason we choose to homeschool is so that when
our children are not being challenged in their learning (thus not
really learning) we can challenge them. If you're concerned you'll
miss a basic, check scope and sequence for your area, cover it as
quickly as possible and move on to the next grade.

You could just not tell them they are skipping if you believe undo
pressure would come with that knowledge. If the self confidence
that knowledge could provide would be helpful, you could let them
know they skipped after a trial period." -- Kelly

---

"I have a child who is in 6th/7th grade. She is moving quickly
through the material for 6th, and we chose materials in a couple
of subjects this year that were above 6th (7th or 8th level). She
could easily take high school classes tomorrow. She reads at a
college level. What we are doing is letting her set the pace in
math and science, so that she can move as quickly as she gets the
work done effectively. (Not skimming or skipping, but doing the
work.) At this pace, she should run out of math (through Saxon
Advanced Math) before age 16. We will worry about that then.
Luckily, we use Apologia Science, and they have lots of different
courses for high school, so she will not run out there. In his-
tory, she knows her reading and work for the week/month/year, and
can work ahead if she wants.

I guess the point is that although she is working above grade
level, we are not letting her skip anything. She can move ahead
by working faster. When people ask what grade she's in, I just
tell them 'middle school'. Good luck!" -- Anne

---

"I would worry about social problems that come with skipping a
grade. It would depend a great deal on which grade you are talk-
ing about skipping. Rather than skip, I would suggest giving
your child more challenging books to read on the same topics the
teacher is presenting at the time AND presenting your child with
other topics the teachers are unlikely to study at all (e.g.
Egyptian history, ancient Greek history and mythology, the Renais-
sance and Reformation, astronomy, geology). Give your child lots
of good biographies and historical fiction to read as well as lots
of science and more advanced math."
-- Marilyn P.

---

"I certainly don't know if what I am doing is correct, but then
again, homeschooling is more about finding what works best for
each child, right? I can be a bit paranoid about 'making sure
that she is getting everything', but at the same time, I realize
that she is needing more of a challenge while working on her
expected grade level (by age). I didn't want to skip over whole
years of education, so what I did was increase the scheduled
amount of work for each day, while including more advanced mater-
ial as well. For example, my daughter completes two weeks of
scheduled curriculum for every week. In addition, I find related
material to let her investigate or plan field trips to make the
learning more applicable. She doesn't realize how advanced she
is working. She is finishing second grade, and will begin third
soon. She loves school and learning. This may not be ideal for
all, I suppose. When we start third grade, I will adjust her
schedule accordingly." -- Misty

---

"One thing that helps us is to remember we're working on a
continuum with our children's education. Our children are at
'grade level' in some subjects and working a year ahead in
others. If, for example, we are working on math and I discover
my child is not challenged, I skip a lot of the questions,
verify with the review pages that the concept is indeed mastered,
and keep him moving. This put our oldest a year ahead in math
over the course of 18 months. Our philosophy is that our chil-
dren are simply on the path of learning and it will be a life-long
path. One of the perks to homeschooling is allowing my child to
speed up or slow down as necessary to maintain interest and retain
information. The point for us is not to have them in a 'grade'
but rather to have them learning. If my child is not challenged
I fear he is learning very poor work habits and discipline habits.
This was my public school experience and I want better for my
children.

When asked what grade they are in I have instructed my children
to answer as if they had been in a public school rather than open
the conversation for being in various grades in various subjects.
That helps people who don't understand that 'grading' a child is
a social measure that allows the public system to categorize chil-
dren and teach them in mass settings. A tailor-made education for
each child, reflecting strengths and weaknesses across various
subjects, is obviously not an option for the public system.

In our area the public system does not promote children ahead of
their grade level. I believe their reasoning is the child is no
longer with his peers, opening the door for a more immature stu-
dent to be placed with those that are more mature, potentially
creating problems. Since that isn't an issue in homeschooling,
it simply doesn't apply.

I think it is very sad to see a child who excels in one subject
be bored to tears in it, losing interest and not maximizing his
potential, simply because he is average in other subjects. Do
I ever love homeschooling!" -- Andrea

---

"My older son attended a quality public school (Magnet program)
and his first grade teacher suggested we move him up at least one
grade. There were a ton of hoops to go through -- psychologist
evaluation, medical, etc. In the weeks between, I checked all of
the possible teachers for third grade -- but didn't like them. I
found a second grade teacher whose style I liked, and quietly
approached him. My son moved seamlessly into his class and had
a wonderful year. (We pulled him to homeschool due to a safety
issue -- bullying by some of the fifth and sixth graders which the
principal did NOT address.) He is now fifteen, and has needed to
have his schedule adjusted quite a bit. He takes his math and
science courses at the local junior college, along with maxing out
their offerings in his chosen foreign language, and socializes with
teens his age as well as the 'regular students' who are in their
late teens and early twenties.

He's the classic 'academically gifted' kid, and his chosen reading
list at 15 is most comparable to the ones given to college sopho-
mores and juniors at quality liberal-arts colleges. But even in
one subject, his progress is NOT EVEN; not universal. His reading
and comprehension are effortlessly equal to those of college
juniors and seniors. In grammar, he does college-level diagramming,
but his original writing lags several years behind in detail and
polish. We know he has to allow time for at least three drafts in
his research papers, and I proofread for him if he asks. Writing
is his least favorite subject and his least skilled, so he's learned
to give himself extra time to work on it. (Teaching kids how to
recognize both their strengths and weaknesses and work with both
is an integral part of our homeschooling journey, which helps
reduce the number of sleepless nights over forgetting something!)

Sometimes I discover I *have* forgotten something with my older
son, and because his schedule is so constrained by his college
class work, it usually means spending weekend time on the forgot-
ten material. An example: I didn't discover until he was in
eighth grade that he'd never learned Roman numerals beyond I, V,
and X. It took a few minutes to explain the concept and a little
review spanning irregular intervals over the following weekends,
BUT he mastered it much more quickly than if he'd been given the
material in third grade.

Sometimes a key concept will slow down understanding in later
areas. It's fairly scary to put the brakes on the planned lessons
for the subject, but it's the simplest way we've found to 'catch
up' an essential element, especially in math. Set aside whatever
you've planned, and work from slightly *below* wherever the gap
is -- through the gap and up to whatever the current grade is.
Example - not fully understanding 'greater than/less than' symbols
will also confuse the 'greater than/equal to' and 'less than/equal
to' symbols. If you’ve planned X minutes per day on math, spend
NO LONGER THAN THAT. Work until the gap is caught up, then
re-assess the 'problem' material. You may find it's not merely
understood -- but a breeze. DON'T try to do the assigned work
and also the back study at the same time.

My younger son is equally bright, a seventh grader, but his school
experience in kindergarten was so terrible for him that he would
NOT pick up a book for a year and a half. He has hearing issues;
as a result his spelling is two grades behind his actual grade
and he still struggles with it. Because he was only in public
school for one disastrous year, I've been FAR less concerned about
'grade level'. Last year's history textbook for him was a tenth
grade book, and his only problem with it was that the writing
assignments were long and boring. I trimmed his comprehension
questions down to two per section, then asked him to write a
one-page fiction piece illustrating the concepts in the chapter
instead. (Playing to his strengths - fiction writing - and his
interests – graphic novels and illustration - while still check-
ing his comprehension and analysis.)

Changes for both children are essential, because their needs are
different than the 'average student'. Making changes for my
older son involves more paperwork, more hassle getting him
approved for classes at the junior college (even though his
assessments have supported his readiness for their material
since age 13) and lots more paperwork for covering THEIR legal
strings. For my younger son, things are MUCH more flexible,
because he won't be ready to enroll in college until the 'usual
age' due to his emotional maturity and the much greater gaps
between best and worst subjects.

Of the two, I strongly suggest you go with your gut and adjust
as needed *without* the paperwork hassle, unless the child's
functional work is more than a single grade above the official
one. If your child is *consistently* working a year or more
above the assigned one across all the core subjects and still
complaining things are too easy, it's perfectly reasonable to
skip them a grade ahead. I should warn you that the local
government schools were NOT GOING TO HONOR my son's grade-skip
when I asked about enrolling him in high school, and there were
tons of questions when I first tried to enroll him at the junior
college. The irony is, the SAME DISTRICT'S public school was
the REASON for his ONLY grade-skip! Be aware that they may not
be very receptive to your child's 'new grade' and be prepared
with extra 'proof' if you need to reserve the option to enroll
in a public or private school later.

Some tips for avoiding gaps: As you think about planning for
the semester, or the next four weeks, whatever period is comfor-
table for you, review a list of skills you want your child to
have *as an adult*. I find the guide at worldbook.com a bare
starting point, and the 'What your Nth–Grader Needsto Know'
books are slanted in a different direction, so comparing the
two often helped. Feel free to add the things you consider
essential (how to change the oil in a car, how to change a
diaper, etc.). Keep records on the fly, and try to take notes
more than three times per week to help cover more learning areas.
'Had trouble with absolute value today, maybe check understand-
ing of number lines as a representation.' Sometimes as little
as five minutes' work is enough to clear up a 'gap'. In your
official records, keep a list of ALL of the books you use,
including any textbooks, and be sure to note the grade level
AND reading level.

Here's a description of how I chose a grammar book for my
younger son. First - physical appearance. More little blocks
of text with white space are better at keeping his interest and
motivation, although the reading level is ninth grade level, two
grades ahead of his official one. Second - I had him read a
random page aloud and checked for vocabulary lags. (The classic
counting for hesitations, mispronunciations, etc, but focused
for his age.) Third - I gave him the unit tests for several
chapters *before* he began using the material the usual way, to
give a sort of 'course preview'. He always takes the chapter
test FIRST when working through the book, and a chapter test he
gets 100% correct, we skip the chapter.

If he finishes a book before the end of the planned school year,
I find the same topic at a slightly higher level. If it's a
very broad topic, like his General Science textbook, we spend
the rest of the time diving more deeply into sub-topics he is
interested in and don't worry so much about grade level or
reading level in those.

Thanks so much for taking the time to read this —- I hope there's
at least SOME helpful information in it. Have courage!" -- Sarah

---

"Christina, I would encourage you to forget about grade levels.
One significant advantage of homeschooling is allowing each child
to progress at his own pace. Grade levels were fabricated by
schools to help them manage large groups of children. Homeschool-
ers don't need them. When your child is ready to move on, you
would be doing him a disservice to make him continue working on
the material. (How would like it if someone made you practice
your ABC's for several hours?) On the other hand, if he needs
more time with a concept, let him have as much time and help as
he needs. Your child might be working on a so-called 3rd grade
level in math, 6th grade reading, and 4th grade writing; that's
okay. When you homeschool, you're free to meet the needs of the
child, and he's free to learn. He doesn't have to try to keep up
when it's difficult, or wait for everybody else when it's easy."
-- Mary Beth

---

"I'm not homeschooling yet, but I had the experience of moving
from a private Montessori school to public school between grades
3 and 4. Age-wise, I 'skipped' a grade, although my schoolwork
in Montessori was approximately the same level. Some peculiar-
ities were: missing learning handwriting altogether, and covering
some subjects twice. I know that's not your situation, but maybe
it might help you. My advice? Make sure you don't miss any
'important' building skills, but let your child go as fast or
slow as they want to. Maybe you'll end up one grade ahead in
some subjects, one grade behind in others - isn't homeschooling
great?" -- Katherine

---

"I don't know what grade you are considering skipping, but I'll
tell you about my experience. Hopefully there is something help-
ful here. I have three children, two girls and one boy, that
have skipped eighth grade and moved directly to high school work.
Our elementary years were pretty free, with lots of reading and
hands-on projects. The voracious reading of the oldest child
proved to be what motivated me to consider skipping because in
seventh grade she was already reading high school literature and
testing at college levels in a couple of subjects. The eighth
grade books looked boring to her, so we took the plunge. The
biggest adjustment was the work load, and all the content to
learn. For example, you can't learn what you need for a biology
credit just from 'fun' books. So the math and science subjects
were the major adjustment. I found that an important thing to
evaluate is their maturity level and ability to be disciplined.
In high school the work load increases, and the material becomes
more 'serious'. Are they ready to discipline themselves to stick
to the harder work, day after day? This has been the adjustment
for all three of our children, and it has been hardest for my
hands-on boy, who doesn't enjoy sitting and reading. That dis-
cipline of reading, as well as the materials the girls read, gave
more preparation for high school work. The girls also seemed to
have matured at a quicker rate in the area of readiness for
responsibility, which makes a difference in how smoothly the
transition goes. As far as missing preparatory material for the
upper grades, we have found that upper grades tend to repeat the
information in various subjects with more detail added, so they
did not really miss anything. The exception to this would be
math, in which I would make sure they follow the subject in order
and don't skip. If math is easy and they are understanding it
well, just move along at a quicker rate, not doing every problem
required in the text. We did not do any skipping in the elemen-
tary grades, but my thought would be that since during those years
there are so many styles in which to teach, and the order in which
you teach material can vary, that you really would not be missing
material. You can just add enough detail when you do cover a
subject. The exception again would be math, which needs to stay
more linear.

I would not assume that because a child is ready for more challenge
academically that they are ready to move ahead socially. I have
seen some disasters in this area. In the instance of a more
immature child, I'd recommend making the course more challenging
with projects, more detail to the subject - whatever ideas you
come up with - and later having them do college courses during
high school years, but keeping them in line socially with their
maturity level. This appears to work out best. Hope this is
helpful. God bless you in your decisions." -- Joy in PA

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

"I am homeschooling my twin sons who are 8 years old. They are
struggling to read. What programs can you reccommend to teach
reading skills? Thanks for your help!" -- Teresa

---

Do you have a suggestion and/or experience to share with Teresa?
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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There are opportunities for you to be a sponsor of this
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as the subject. We'll send you some information on how to
become a part of this ministry!


=====================
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.

Our main website is:
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We also sponsor an incredible site with over 1,500 pages of helps!
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===========================
REPRINT INFORMATION
===========================

No part of this newsletter (except subscription information
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etc.) please direct your request to: Heather@FamilyClassroom.net

===========================
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