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The Theatre Experience, Whee! for Physical Fitness

By Heather Idoni

Added Friday, February 29, 2008

The Homeschooler's Notebook
Encouragement and Advice for Homeschool Families
Vol. 9 No 17 February 29, 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
-- The Theatre Experience
Helpful Tips
-- Wii for Physical Fitness
Winning Website
-- Printable Arithmetic Rummy
Reader Question
-- Homeschooling a Grandson
Additional Notes
-- Searchable Archive
-- Our Email Group
-- Sponsorship Information
-- Reprint Information
-- Subscriber Information

Notes from Heather

The Theatre Experience!


This week my boys are involved in the "big ballet" of the year
produced by the Young People's Ballet Theatre (www.ypbt.org) in
Flint, Michigan. While Carman (my 15.5 year old) is seriously
preparing for a career as a dancer/choreographer, my oldest son,
Ben (17.5), has worked with the ballet company a few days per
week for the last several months to help with ballroom dancing
scenes and partnering with the girls for ballet variations. My
"non-dancer" has been looking pretty good! :-)

Valentine, my youngest son (7.5), takes beginning classes and
was invited to play a small role (big for him!) in the produc-
tion of 'Little Women', which has been staged with original
choreography to wonderful classical music. We are also doing
a delightful version of 'Snow White', in which Carman has a
lead role as the evil Queen's huntsman.

Did you ever wonder how boys could have so much fun putting on
make-up and dancing?? :-) Ben especially enjoys the excitement
of getting the scene changes done, complete with moving pianos
and huge Christmas trees on and off the stage. He revels in
relating the latest scenery or prop mistake to me - 'You didn't
SEE that, Mom?' -- No, honey... the audience didn't notice. :-)

My boys learn so much through the 'theatre experience'. They
learn the ropes of production, from constant choreography changes
that force them to adapt on a moment's notice, to gathering and
organizing props -- to stage direction, make-up and costuming.

The company we are blessed to be involved in is a pre-professional
company with professional results. However, opportunities abound
in many communities for amateur theater productions that provide
a professional experience. Community theatre itself provides an
excellent learning opportunity and can nicely round-out a high
school transcript with drama, acting, music and dance experience.

Although it takes a good chunk of time and commitment, consider
exposing your children to 'the theater experience'. As a family,
we truly enjoy the excitement of seeing our children perform
together. And seeing them learn to work with others to create
something of beauty -- however short-lived -- is a treasure in

Enjoy the newsletter!

-- Heather


P.S. I'd love to hear from others whose children are involved in
the arts and/or community theater!

Send your emails to: heather@familyclassroom.net



Helpful Tip

(Whee!) for Physical Fitness

"I know we have not discussed this topic since before Christmas,
but it was on my mind today. I have stated my disdain for video
games, but with my husband a serious gamer, have reconciled myself
to the fact it will always be part of our house. The kids gener-
ally get 30-40 minutes a WEEK total, on Fridays, if they have a
great school week (good attitude, finishing work, etc). At Christ-
mas, they decided they wanted a Wii, really badly. They took
their Christmas money (we have 4 boys ages 9-14) and bought one
the day after Christmas. Since dad was going to use it just as
much, he bought a few things as well.

Since we were on 'break' and the grandparentss were visiting, we
let them have some free time with the Wii for a few days. Let me
tell you, it has been awesome! My 70 year old dad (awaiting a new
kidney) and step mom (who had severely broken her arm last year)
got into it with the kids and loved it. We had Wii bowling tourn-
aments and boxing matches. No mindless staring at a video screen
ignoring those around you. All were involved, cheering each other
on and getting sweaty and sore muscles from playing! I have seen
this system as a positive thing in our family.

The boys have been pooling their money to get games to share and
we have had families over for tournaments, where we share a meal
and a devotion as well. I have started to let the boys earn 10
minutes (Monday -Thursday) per day if they have a really good day
-- including chores done, etc. Today, we are in the middle of an
ice storm and it was a nice way to get in our Physical Education!

Anyway, just wanted to share in case there are some moms wondering
if all video games are bad and addicting. Oh -- also -- Wii will
come on and show on the screen, 'Don't you want to take a break?'
after about 20 minutes. It does this when we are taking turns
with the Wii-mote and it thinks it is one person just playing. It
can also show you the total time you have been playing, so that is
good if you want to keep track of the kids' playing time.

For the record, besides the occasional Animal Planet show, Amazing
Race, or American idol, the boys watch no TV and maybe a movie
every other week. And they are all huge into sports, playing out-
side, church group activities, reading, listening to books on CD,
playing musical instruments, puzzles, board and card games, art,
exploring nature, etc. Video games, in our case with the Wii, have
just added a new, relaxing diversion -- and I am even enjoying
playing with them." -- Julie, HomeschoolingBOYS.com email group


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

Winning Website

Printable Arithmetic Rummy


I love using games to teach and reinforce concepts! This simple
site provides printable cards and instructions (in .pdf format)
for playing Arithmetic Rummy. The creators have provided rules
for several different games, so you can play at the level best
suited for your child's math skills.

-- Cindy Prechtel - www.HomeschoolingFromTheHeart.com

Last Issue's Reader Question

"I am a grandmother raising my fourteen year old grandson. He
is in the public school system, in junior high. He has struggled
for eight years (special ed classes for math, etc.). He has been
asking me for two years to home school him. I live in the state
of Maine -- I do not know where to begin. Any info would be
greatly appreciated. Thank you." -- Mary

Our Readers' Responses

"Dear Mary -- My son sounds like your grandson - he asked me for
2 1/2 years to homeschool him before I was brave enough to do it.
And my greatest regret is not doing it much sooner. He also strug-
gles with math, and do you know what I found out? He just needed
more time and attention! He was unable to keep up with the pace
set in school, so fell further and further behind! There are
many great curricula out there for math and everything else, so
I would suggest you pull him out now, let him de-school, and do
your research to find what you might like. The Sonlight website
-- www.sonlight.com -- gives pros and cons for the math that they
offer, and has excellent suggestions for high school. Good luck,
and God bless you for raising your grandson!" -- Trish in NY

Answer our NEW Question

"I am a single mom with a business that I work out of my home. My
daughter hates school and begs me to homeschool her. I have no
clue -- zero, nada. Can you help?" -- Elaine H.


Do you have some words of wisdom for Elaine?
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
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This ultra-safe chat is supervised by experienced moms who are
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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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