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Valentine Fun, Lamplighter Series, Teen Exercise Ideas

By Heather Idoni

Added Monday, February 11, 2008

The Homeschooler's Notebook
Encouragement and Advice for Homeschool Families
Vol. 9 No 12 February 11, 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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Notes from Heather
-- Valentine's Day Fun
Helpful Tips
-- Science in the Kitchen
Resource Review
-- Rare Collector Series
Reader Question
-- Daughter Needs More Exercise
Additional Notes
-- Searchable Archive
-- Our Email Group
-- Sponsorship Information
-- Reprint Information
-- Subscriber Information

Notes from Heather

Valentine's Day Fun

If you are looking for some fun Valentine's Day projects to
choose from, here is a *completely updated* list of internet
links to crafts and activities to do with your children! If
you start now, there is still time to make some of the gift
ideas, too. You can surprise grandparents and friends!


Plan now for a day off -- and make some fun messes. :-)

Happy Valentine's Day!

-- Heather


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


"Give Me 60 Seconds and I Can Predict The Financial Future
of Your Kids!"

By asking 12 simple yes/no questions about YOUR financial
habits, I can predict if YOUR KIDS will be financially

Interestingly, the likelihood that your kids will be
financially successful is not correlated to your current
income level or financial status!

Take 60 seconds to determine your child's Financial Future
Score at http://www.KidsFinancialFutureIndex.com


Helpful Tip

Science in the Kitchen - Article Recommendation

"If you worry that your kids can't learn without huge expenses,
formal curriculum ALL the time, or that you can't DO it, etc.,
-- read this article -- http://www.crosswalk.com/1308889/

Homeschooling is at least as much life-style as it is formal
learning, if not more. After all, your kids are living with you
ALL the time, but I hope you're not 'schooling' 24/7."

-- Aardvark (member of our HomeschoolingBOYS.com email group)


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

Resource Review

Rare Collector Series
Published by: Lamplighter Publishing
For more information or to order: www.lamplighterpublishing.com

The Rare Collector Series from Lamplighter Publishing is a collec-
tion of out-of-print books that have been chosen for their moral
and theological content, and painstakingly reproduced in beautiful,
heirloom quality hardcover books that are as much a pleasure to
read as they are to behold. Our family has been greatly blessed
as we read stories written over 100 years ago, during a time when
tales of courage and high character, along with biblical values,
were the norm.

There are over 50 books in the Rare Collector Series, with more
being added each year. Along with faithfully preserving the struc-
ture and style of the author, Lamplighter Publishing also includes
the original illustrations. I appreciate the attention to detail
and how up front Mark Hamby (owner of Lamplighter Publishing) is
regarding any changes that are made to a text. Due to the histori-
cal setting and possibly unfamiliar vocabulary due to the country
the book is set in, there are occasional footnotes for clarity.

There are so many wonderful heroes and heroines featured in these
chapter books! We have been charmed by medieval tales like "The
White Dove" and we've cried as a young, crippled boy meets the
Messiah and finds healing for his body and his heart, in "Joel, A
Boy of Galilee". We've enjoyed mysteries and sat on the edge of
our seats through books like "The Hidden Hand". Each time I think
a book was my favorite we read another and IT becomes my new favor-
ite. Do we love them all? No -- there have been some our family
hasn't loved. But each book will appeal to a different type of
reader. That's why I appreciate the way the publisher summarizes
each book and even suggests whether it might be enjoyed more by
boys or girls. For those who like to add literature to their
history studies, the catalog and website highlight what time
period and geographical location each book is set. Not every
book is best for all ages, but with so many to choose from, you
are bound to find one that is just right for your family.

I am always looking for ways to challenge my children in their
spiritual walk and I really appreciate the strong character dis-
played in each and every book in the Rare Collector Series.
Each book is replete with examples of how God works in our lives.
Children will see the benefits and the consequences of the choices
we are all faced with at some point in our journey. Outside of the
Bible, the books from the Rare Collector Series have proven to
be the most helpful tools in forging the character of every member
of our family. I highly recommend them!

-- Cindy at *Homeschooling From the HEART*

Last Issue's Reader Question

"I have 2 kids and my older daughter doesn't get enough exercise.
I homeschool both of them. My daughter is 16 years old and I am
disabled -- I walk with crutches. I walk the mall almost every
day with both of my kids but I don't think this is enough. My
daughter takes two classes outside of the home so she is very
busy with schoolwork. If you have any suggestions on how to fit
in more exercise and what kind of exercise we could do, that
would be great." -- Bonita

Our Readers' Responses

"Hi Bonita -- If you can afford it, get your girls going to the
gym. There are lots of places around. We all have different likes
and dislikes, but maybe if one or two of her friends, not just her
sister, would join with her a couple of nights a week, that may be
the thing to get her motivated. We have a 'center' 30 miles from
us that our girls could exercise, join a P.E. group once a week,
and swim every day. We just can't afford it. Mostly our 2 grand-
daughters walk around our circle driveway (it's up and down hill)
while they talk and use their imagination playing 'princess games'.
They are 12 and 13 years old. When they argue, and I've had
enough, I will have them run around the house several times.

They also put their music on and dance, sometimes wildly! Invite
a couple of other homeschool girls her age over for a sleepover
and start a 2-day-a-week program of dancing to their favorite music!

I, too, am disabled, using a wheelchair for shopping and other
long-distance walking. I know how hard it is to keep up with
teenagers! It can't hurt to try everything once. Not everything
works for everyone. Keep trying different things until something
works. Exercise is very important." -- Jan in MO


"I found my solution to this was when my oldest daughter was
getting too old to take part in the local recreational sports
programs and the only thing that seemed to be left was getting
involved with local school sports. That was when we discovered
the martial arts program sponsored by the Recreation Department.
After a bit of questioning the instructor, we found that the
program involved fitness and self defense, and none of the
Eastern mysticism that a lot of programs include.

My 14 year old daughter started in 1997 and the rest of her
younger siblings started training in 1998, including my 5 year
old son. My husband began training in 1999 when he got tired
of watching from the sidelines. I went from severely disabled
by fibromyalgia to learning Tai Chi along with a recovery proto-
col in 2001. I started training with the rest of the family in
2002. To bring us to the present, my husband, 4 daughters, one
son and 2 sons-in-law are all Black Belts, and my husband is now
teaching the program along with the kids' help.

The real positive was that it became a program that the whole
family is involved in, not to mentioned that I don't miss the
summer-sports 'circus' of trying to arrange schedules around
games and practices in baseball, softball, soccer and basketball.
Those were the 'good old days' when I felt I was living in the


"We love using the activity classes at our local YMCA. This would
be an excellent way for your child to gain exercise and social
time. They offer swimming lessons (and some a swim team), dance,
exercise, basketball, karate, and more. She would be enrolled
with other kids her age and experience level and be in a safe
environment. The best part is most classes are only for 2-3 months,
so if your children want to mix things up, they are able to do so.
Most Y's offer a sliding membership fee based on income, and some
can even provide classes for as little as $10 per class (a class
being 2-3 months)". -- Christin C.


"I would suggest that you check http://www.curves.com/ to find a
Curves facility near you. It is a 30 minute total body workout
that includes strength training and cardiovascular exercise, and
is exclusively for women. All the machines utilize hydraulics
so it is safe for any age or condition. I have been a member for
five years, and even worked there as a fitness trainer for a year
and a half, and absolutely love it. It is a fun, safe place to
exercise, and the recommended 30 minutes 3 times per week is very
doable even if you're super busy. I like that the focus is on
being healthy and not impressing others or being super skinny. It
will also give your daughter a chance to cultivate some new friend-
ships with women who are supportive (rather than competitive) and
of a variety of ages." -- Prajna in CA


"One way to get some really good excercise anytime, is to get a
rebounder. You can do lots of different kinds of jumps, runs,
walks, marches, and of course don't forget your arms or even sit-
ting with your legs up - so you make a V - and you will feel the
difference! Do some rebounding every day or two for just 15
minutes at a time, and it will help your heart and all your other
muscles, because the force in the bounce works on every cell in
your body - even your brain." -- Christine in Ontario, Canada


"Bonita -- How about workout videos/DVDs? My favorite is Leslie
Sansone. You can find her walking routines at Wal-Mart or Target
for around $10. Her one-mile workout walking routine only takes
about 10 minutes. The people in her videos are decently dressed
and there isn't any objectionable music. Very wholesome. You can
also find a great assortment of workouts at your local library so
you can try before you buy. I've heard great reports from people
who have their kids in gymnastics and karate as well. Happy exer-
cising!" -- Noreen


"Dear Bonita -- Exercise is very important to us as a family as
well. As a mom, I find that while I don’t typically “feel” like
exercising, the endorphins from taking a walk outside provide me
with more energy and give us special time as a family, enjoying
God’s creation. We bought some land in the country, so we enjoy
taking walks outside on our property every now and then, especially
when the weather is warmer. We also take advantage of several
park walking trails where the kids often ride their bikes ahead
of me as I walk and then either wait a short distance ahead for me
to catch up or circle back and forth so we stay together. We also
found a beautiful arboretum within 20 minutes of our home that we
all enjoy exploring on walks -- and sometimes the kids bring their
bikes (thankfully, there are paved trails throughout). Even though
the kids often groan at the suggestion of a walk, (and even when
my husband has to coax me to venture out as well), some of our best
family times have been taking quiet walks outside in nature, whether
or not we have to bundle up a bit. Even days when I muster up the
energy to take the kids for a quick walk in our subdivision, my
mood is lifted and my mind feels clearer as we get out in fresh air.
A motivator recently for our family is for us to chart our miles.
We want to visit New York City as a family, so we found that the
distance to get there is 286 miles. I made a simple chart and we
chart our miles collectively as a family (for instance, a 2-mile
walk for 3 of us counts as 6 miles). So far, we are on 107 miles.
The winter has slowed us down, but as least the goal to visit a
new place keeps us motivated. Perhaps we should have chosen a
place a bit closer to home for our first goal. :-) However, we
are having fun working toward our big goal! Blessings to you on
your journey!" -- Marlisa in Virginia


"After seeing it on the 700 Club, I bought 'Dance Praise 2' for
my teenage daughter for Christmas -- and it's great!


This is a Christian version of Dance Dance Revolution. For $50
you get software with about 50 Christian songs from top artists
-- and a dance pad. She can set the difficulty level... and if
you get a second dance pad the 2 kids can play at 2 different
levels. There are lots of 'expansion packs', too, with lots more
songs. Lots of fun and great exercise for teens, kids - and
moms!" -- Dorrie in MA

Answer our NEW Question

"I have a simple question and could use some creative ideas.
Like many homeschoolers, we have a clear plastic 'tablecloth'
covering our kitchen table. We love putting things under it
at each child's place. They come to the table learning and
talking about the things I put under the plastic. But I don't
change it often because I am stumped for ideas. Our children
are ages 1 to 10, so all ideas would be applicable. We currently
have an outline map of the United States (and quiz them sometimes
to locate the states/capitals), the alphabet (with the vowels in
a different color from the consonants), a number chart, and
shapes for the three year old. If I have a list of things I can
use, I could easily change things around more often and keep it
exciting. I appreciate any ideas you can offer! Thank you!"
-- Jane in Texas


What a fun question! Do you have a brainstorm of ideas 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!

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