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Why Homeschool High School?

By Heather Idoni

Added Monday, March 10, 2008

The Homeschooler's Notebook
Encouragement and Advice for Homeschool Families
Vol. 9 No 20 March 10, 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
-- Why Homeschool High School?
Helpful Tip
-- Improving Fine Motor Skills
Resource Review
-- Computer Science Pure and Simple
Reader Question
-- Adapting to a Life Change
Additional Notes
-- Searchable Archive
-- Our Email Group
-- Sponsorship Information
-- Reprint Information
-- Subscriber Information

Guest Article

Seven Things You Can Do While You Homeschool Through High School
by Janice Campbell


Why would you want to homeschool through high school? Do the
advantages really make it worth while? My husband and I home-
schooled all four of our boys from kindergarten into early college,
and we'd do it all over again in a minute. It was a joyous
journey! Here are seven reasons you may want to consider home-
schooling through high school.

Home educated teens have time to:

-- Build Strong Relationships

As my boys have grown through their teen years and into adulthood,
it has been a joy watch our relationships develop and change.
Without negative peer influences teaching them that they shouldn't
like or respect their parents, the boys have remained a delightful
part of the family. It's fun to have real conversations with your
young people, and to see them bring their own insights, knowledge,
and understanding to the discussion.

-- Get a Jump Start on College

Why spend four years just doing high school, when you could exert
a little extra effort and earn college credit at the same time?
By taking advantage of college-level exams, community college and
online classes, and other opportunities, it's possible to graduate
from college when most teens are graduating from high school.

-- Serve Others Through Volunteering

I've heard it said that teenagers are old enough to be useful,
but young enough to be dangerous. One thing that can help a
teen through this awkward stage of life is serving others. There
are countless volunteer opportunities, formal and informal,
within the church and community. Homeschooled teens have the
opportunity to learn while meeting real needs for real people.

-- Start a Microbusiness

What could be better than a summer job flipping burgers?
Entrepreneurship, for one thing. Just think -- instead of spend-
ing time in a mindless entry-level job, teens can start and run
small businesses, and not only earn money for the future, but
also learn about planning, budgeting, organization, marketing,
and customer service -- and perhaps even gain experience for a
future career.

-- Do Career Sampling or an Apprenticeship

In traditional school, you're lucky to get one day off each year
to shadow a worker at his or her job. Homeschooled teens can
try different careers through informal mentoring relationships,
formal apprenticeships, or volunteering opportunities.

-- Develop Special Talents

Have you noticed who is winning spelling and geography bees,
music competitions and chess tournaments, debates and robotics
competitions? Homeschooled students are often at the very top
of these contests. Why? It's because they have time to pursue
special interests. If they want to spend three hours a day
practicing violin, there are no deadlines. They don't have to
put down their instrument after 45 minutes and go rushing off
to algebra or soccer. A homeschooler's world lacks arbitrary
deadlines, which means they can spend time on things that really
matter to them.

-- Learn Through Travel

Just over a century ago, well-educated students were expected
to complete their schooling with a Grand Tour of the world.
While you may not have the resources for a Grand Tour, you can
probably travel to nearby historic sites, visit other states,
or yes, even travel around the world. By preparing wisely and
choosing to travel when rates are low, you can experience dif-
ferent cultures and make unique memories without breaking your
budget. Travel can be an education all by itself!


Janice Campbell, author of "Get a Jump Start on College! A Prac-
tical Guide for Teens"; "Transcripts Made Easy: The Homeschooler's
Guide to High School Paperwork"; and the forthcoming "Excellence
in Literature" series, has been writing and speaking in central
Virginia since the late 1980's. She homeschooled her four sons
from kindergarten into college, using the principles she now
shares in her books, her blog -- http://www.Janice-Campbell.com
workshops, and her free e-newsletter. Sign up for it today at:


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



Helpful Tip

Here is a tip gleaned from a 2001 issue of the newsletter.


Ideas for Improving Fine Motor Skills

1. Use plastic needlepoint sheets -- cut a square and have
the child do a whip (loop) stitch back and forth. When it is
finished it can be used for a cup or glass coaster. The
finished project will give them a sense of accomplishment and
it has also worked on their fine motor coordination.

2. Do some origami (paper folding). Find books at the library
with simple projects or find free project sheets online.

3. Work with clay -- not soft stuff like play dough.

4. Knead bread.

5. Braid thin ribbons. Tie a knot and braid to desired
length. Tie another knot to hold the braiding. It can be
used as a book marker.

6. Button buttons, especially small ones. Also teach your
child how to sew a button on if you think they can handle it.


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

Resource Review

Computer Science Pure and Simple for Homeschoolers – Book 1
Authors: Wheeler, Sleeth, Sparks and Breidenbach
Publisher: Motherboard Books
For more information or to order: www.motherboardbooks.com

Computers... love 'em or hate 'em, they're here to stay! In fact,
we will be doing our students a disservice if we do not equip
them with the tools they need to excel in an increasingly 'digital'
world. Whether you consider yourself an expert or novice, it can
be challenging to come up with a way to systematically teach these
important skills. When I heard there was a curriculum for teaching
computer skills, I immediately contacted the author for a review
copy. My son, then age 12, was the perfect 'test' candidate. :-)

"Computer Science Pure and Simple for Homeschoolers" provides a
strong foundation in three important areas of computing: basic
office applications, computer programming, and website design.
From the very first lesson, we found this program to be well
organized and easy-to-understand.

Computer Science Pure and Simple presents all concepts in a step-
by-step format. Lessons in each topic build on each other. Along
with clear instructions, there are also plenty of screen shots so
the student knows exactly what they need to look for as they are
working through the lessons. My son was able to work through the
lessons with very little help from me. Although they cover three
different areas of computing, they keep it interesting by 'mixing
up' the lessons. For example, the first lesson covers some basic
functions of word processing using Microsoft Word. In lesson 2,
students begin a series of lessons on basic programming. Lessons
vary in length, with some having additional assignments to allow
students to apply what they have learned. There are 21 lessons
all together and these are designed to be completed on a once-a-
week schedule. Much of this material was originally presented
in a classroom situation, with students sent home to practice
skills learned each week. We found that working independently
my son was able to complete several lessons in one week. So, if
using in a co-op situation, the course would take 5 months, while
students working on their own should be able to complete it in as
little as 6 to 8 weeks.

One of the reasons that my son completed several lessons in one
week (in a burst of motivation!) was the programming section and
software used by the author. In order to complete the programming
lessons, you will need to have a copy of MicroWorld, which is
available for purchase from the publisher. MicroWorld is a pro-
gramming interface for the Logo computer language. Logo is a very
basic programming language that has been used by beginners, young
and old, for several years. My son LOVED learning Logo! In fact,
even if he didn't do any of the other lessons in the book, the
exposure to MicroWorld and the Logo language makes this book worth
the price.

In addition to basic word processing and programming, the curri-
culum covers basic web-design and other office applications such
as spreadsheets. Each topic is presented in an easy-to-follow
format. Some lessons include additional exercises or assignments
designed to reinforce the material covered. I did find myself
wishing there were more assignments though. This would really
help the student to apply their new skills and help the parent to
have an idea of how well their child understands the material.

Computer Science Pure and Simple for Homeschoolers fills a real
need for families desiring to give their children a well-rounded
education that includes computer skills. I can't say enough about
the MicroWorld component – if your child is even remotely inter-
ested in programming/video games, this is the best way to give
them a feel for what it is like to develop their own programs.
The lessons for all of the topics are presented so well that most
students can work through the course independently. I eagerly
look forward to reviewing future products from Motherboard Books!

-- Cindy Prechtel - www.HomeschoolingFromTheHeart.com

Last Issue's Reader Question

"I recently was in the hospital with what was finally diagnosed
as a seizure. I now am no longer able to drive my 6 year old
first grader to our home school group meetings and we're missing
out on her friends. Her behavior has not been great and being
the oldest, some emergency care ("if I have another seizure")
falls on her shoulders. Can anyone tell me a good way to help
us adjust through this transition?" -- Christine

Our Readers' Responses

"It seems to me that your best option would be to contact your
homeschooling group and explain your situation and find out if
there may be a volunteer that lives close by that could pick you
both up and carpool to the homeschool activities. You may also
consider hosting a homeschool meeting at your house or even just
a small play date so your daughter has an outlet and a chance
to see her friends. The behavior she is exhibiting could be from
the stress of seeing mom sick, the change in routine, or the
added responsibility of the possible emergency care she may have
to perform. Some kids really respond to things like awards or
certificates. Make a badge or something with her name on it that
says she is mom's special helper to make her feel more proud of
her new role and make it seem less like a burden. I sincerely
hope that everything gets better for you all soon." -- Eve


"I had a similar situation. I broke my back in a sledding acci-
dent that left me in a brace and unable to drive for months.
Thankfully, I made a full recovery. My friends offered to come
over to help clean, cook, and drive, but I requested that they
bring their children with them so that my son still had time with
his friends. While my friends were at our house, my son's respon-
sibility for my care was relieved. He and I both looked forward
to these visits.

Another idea -- perhaps you could lead a homeschool class in your
home with some outdoor playtime after class (art, history, cook-
ing -- whatever you're good at).

Keep in mind that most people with a seizure disorder eventually
can control them with medication and return to driving again. You
are in my prayers as you face this challenge." -- Tricia in NH


"My heart goes out to you. It must be scary to not know if or
when this might occur again. I have a couple of ideas that might
help you with your transportation needs.

First, I would ask if there is anyone in your homeschooling group
who would be willing to drive you and your daughter to the meetings
and events. You can and should offer to pay a portion of the gas
bill. That way you will be helping each other out -- you get a
ride, she gets some monetary help.

Second, if you live in a metropolitan or suburban area you might
be eligible to be picked up at your home. My town has a program
that gives rides to the elderly, the disabled or others with cer-
tain medical conditions that do not allow them to drive. You call
the number the day before and they pick you up and take you where
you need to go within the area. The program is run by the regular
transit system.

Do ask your community for help. You'd be surprised how many people
are willing, ready and able to help." -- Marta-Sunshine


"Christine -- I will pray for your medical condition! It can be
tough for the oldest, or most social, when you have limited
mobility. First, don't worry about her too much -- kids have made
do without frequent interaction with their friends. Second, if
possible, can you host activities at your home?

The new activities may not be the same, or serve the same purpose
-- you might have different friends for your daughter to interact
with, it might not be 'school' centered, but fun centered, etc.
However, it could serve to help her transition into staying home
more often. Sometimes this can be hard if you have limited space
or live in a remote location, but think hard about it -- even if
you have to get creative." -- Anne M.


"Hello Christine -- God bless you! My first thought is: are you
okay asking for help? Because honestly, for me, that would be so
hard if I had to deal with this issue.

Second, if your daughter knows of 1 or 2 people she can call if
you do have a seizure that might give her and you some peace.
I do not know if you have some plan set up; I assume you do.

Third -- are you close with some of the people in the homeschool
group? Setting up play dates would help her, especially if they
know your situation.

Another thought is that someone could take her, especially if it
is not too frequent.

Lastly, pray, pray and pray some more. God has not forgotten
any of you during this and I personally will be praying for a
glorious outcome for you all." -- Michelle in Oregon


"When I was 35, I had an unexpected heart attack due to use of
the birth control patch. My oldest son was 5, my younger son was
2. Thankfully, my husband was running late that morning and was
home. The following few days, I was scared about being home and
taking care of these two young ones by myself. So my oldest son
and I made 'his' phone directory. He already knew about 911 and
how to use it, but this was HIS personal directory. I took 8x11
sheets of plain paper, folded, stapled and hole-punched to attach
a cord. I tied it on a nail near our main phone. The first page
has our information - name, address and phone number. That way,
if he DID have to call in an emergency, it was all there for him.
The next page had Daddy's information - cell phone number, office
number. He drew a picture of Dad, and we made little pictures
of a cell phone so he knew which number was which. We then inclu-
ded 'fun' people for him too - family, friends, neighbors - each
entry being the same format - Name of person, his drawing of them,
their contact information.

He's now 9, and refuses to replace the directory! He has disass-
embled Andre-drawn parts (for friends who have moved away or phone
number changes) - but the original is pretty much intact. It also
firmly taught him our own information (house number, etc.) as well
as memorizing friends' phone numbers!

As far as the 'weight' on his shoulders -- after about a week,
life returned slowly to normal. After two weeks, he stopped check-
ing in on me if I hadn't made noise in a while. However, if anyone
is ever hurt, he's the FIRST one to respond -- including retrieving
the phone for me to dial the physician's office! I don't think
that's a negative trait." -- Jennifer J.

Answer our NEW Question

"I am homeschooling my 10 year old son who is in 4th grade. He
has had extreme difficulty with learning to read. His reading
level is still at about a beginning 2nd grade level. He was
tutored by a private reading specialist last year and has been
tutored this year at our local Christian school but still is not
reading on grade level and reads very slow as well. I am trying
to discern if he needs another approach to learning to read or if
there are some other issues involved. Testing has not revealed any
disabilities. A friend recommended that I check into 'The Phonics
Road to Spelling and Reading' and someone else recommended that I
check into 'The Wilson Reading Program'. I wanted to know if any-
one has used either of these programs with a struggling reader and
if either of these programs worked for their child." -- Kelly in PA


Do you have some experience to share with Kelly?
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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there to serve and share their wisdom... or just offer a listening

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


[Note: This ministry is geared toward Christian parents, but all
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this service. Email Luanne@educationforthesoul.com if you have
any technical difficulties.]

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