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How Can My Son Work More Independently?

By Heather Idoni

Added Friday, April 04, 2008

The Homeschooler's Notebook
Encouragement and Advice for Homeschool Families
Vol. 9 No 27 April 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!




Notes from Heather
-- Idoni Family Notes
Helpful Tip
-- Mother's Day Contest
Winning Website
-- Online Astronomy Course
Reader Question
-- Independent Work for Son?
Additional Notes
-- Searchable Archive
-- Our Email Group
-- Sponsorship Information
-- Reprint Information
-- Subscriber Information

Notes from Heather

Thank you to everyone who has emailed and/or sent a card to
express their love and care for us these past weeks as we
said goodbye to our baby daughter, Hallel Selah Idoni. My
husband, especially, has been blown away by the love and
support. Each evening, for weeks, we have been reading cards
and emails together. It has been a very tender time -- and
God's love and peace continue to be a very real and comfort-
ing presence.

Yesterday was a huge milestone for me -- our oldest son, Ben,
drove his 3 youngest brothers to downtown Detroit's Comerica
Park for a Tigers' baseball game. They lost their 3rd one
in a row, but the boys got home safe and sound. I can't
remember the last time I'd been that nervous! After I had
briefed my youngest about "sticking like glue" to his older
brothers, he decided he didn't want to go after all. I am
pretty sure I scared him! I've never been one to do the
"don't talk to strangers" routine, so this was new for him.
I had to re-talk him back into going after that! (Then for
the rest of the day I still worried. LOL) No matter what, I
will hold my children a little tighter now. Life is so

Yesterday held another milestone, too. Carman, almost 16
(and my dancer/dreamer), just started his first "real" job as
a bread baker at the organic mill that is part of the complex
where my bookstore is located. He LOVED his first day on the
job and the miller was very pleased with his work, too. It
will be nice to have my son working there with me a few days
a week.

And *today* is our 21st wedding anniversary! Jim and I are
taking some time away together for the weekend -- alone.
I'm really looking forward to it! :-)

See you on Monday --

Heather Idoni
-- Mom to five sons, Ben (almost 18), Carman (almost 16),
Angelo (12), Gabriel (10), Valentine (7.5), and one daughter,
Hallie, in Heaven.


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



Helpful Tip

MeetMeAtTheCorner.org is hosting a contest for Mother's Day!

Here is the notice from their website:

May 11th is Mother's Day. To honor the special day, children
ages 7-13 can participate in a special contest, '7 Reasons Why
I Love My Mom'. The contest is sponsored by FlowerStore.com.

To enter, kids can submit their list, plus a photo with mom,
to: 7 Reasons I Love My Mom Contest, 1710 First Ave, #283,
New York, NY 10128. Four winners will receive special Mother's
Day bouquets for their moms from FlowerStore.com and have their
lists made into a special podcast to be aired on May 11th at
MeetMeAtTheCorner.org. The contest deadline is April 30, 2008.

For an official entry form and submission guidelines, visit:



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

Winning Website

Eyes on the Sky, Feet on the Ground

A free, hands-on, online astronomy course for kids! If you've
been thinking of doing an astronomy unit, you'll want to check
out this incredible resource. From the site:

"In the following six chapters are hundreds of fun explorations
into astronomy as a classroom tool for learning how to theorize,
experiment, and analyze data. The activities are fully illustrated
and contain detailed, step-by-step instructions as well as sug-
gested discussion topics. This book is lots of fun for teachers
and students alike. This site contains the complete text and
graphics of the collection along with related links, a table of
contents, an explanation of how to use this book, and email links
to the authors."

Disclaimer: This is not a creation science website, so you may
run into references of the origins or age of the universe that
don't line up with a your worldview, just like you would encounter
in an astronomy book from the library.

-- Cindy - www.HomeschoolingFromTheHeart.com

Last Issue's Reader Question

"My son will be 13 years old in the fall. He really wants to
work independently but is a slow reader, which inhibits his
ability to work as quickly on his own. His days are done faster,
easier and with less frustration when I work with him. Does
anyone have any suggestions for any curriculum which is suited
to independent work?" -- Beth

Our Readers' Responses

"My 13-year-old loves ACE, Accelerated Christian Education by
School of Tomorrow. It's designed for independent work at each
student's own pace. Hence, the workbooks are called PACEs."
-- Kay in WV


"Dear Beth -- Have you ever heard of Paradigm Accelerated Curri-
culum? Here's their website: www.pacworks.com/core_subjects.htm

Your son can read the material and answer questions on his own.
According to their website, he will be able to tell how much work
to do each day. They have courses in American History, English,
Science and some Math for grades 7-12." -- Cindy


"I have a 12 year old boy who is also a slow reader. We have
chosen curriculum by My Father's World (http://www.mfwbooks.com)
which covers the subjects of Bible, History, and Science (Art
and Music are scheduled but not required). They make suggestions
for Language Arts and Math, but don't provide lesson plans for
those subjects. The age range for the particular study we are
doing is for grades 2 - 8, so we are doing it as a family (a 3rd
grader and two 6th graders). Because this curriculum is designed
to be used with multiple children, Bible, History and Science are
scheduled to be read aloud rather than individually.

My son will be going into the 7th grade next year, and his science
will be done independently with a lot of reading. This is designed
to prepare him for high school by teaching him the study skills
he will need when he reaches that level. I was concerned how he
would do with that much reading. He reads fairly well, but because
he spends so much time decoding words his comprehension isn't at
the level I would like. He is also mostly an auditory learner, so
he learns better by listening to me read. The science he will be
using next year is called Exploring Creation with General Science,
published by Apologia Ministries. They have a MP3 audio CD avail-
able that I'm planning to order. I thought that if he needed it
he would have that option of having the audio version of the text-
book to listen to.

I will say that my son's reading skills have greatly improved
through practice. Each summer I have asked him to read a certain
number of books. I like for him to always have a book to read,
whether he reads a fiction book cover to cover, or if he chooses an
informational book and reads excerpts he is interested in reading.
He also reads his Bible, and has some reading to do in his AWANA
book each week. Copywork has helped his reading and spelling
skills as well. My Father's World does incorporate copywork into
their curriculum, which has been a benefit to all of my children.
I wish you well in your search." -- Missy


"Lisa -- Have you tried a computer curriclum or letting him read
for awhile then having you go over it with him as you fix lunch
or whatever before he answers the questions? It would give him
the alone study time he desires but would also give him a time
frame to do the work in." -- Lisa


"I don't have any curriculum suggestions for you, but I would ask
you to think about how important it is for your son to feel that he
is capable of functioning independently as a man. I would happily
sacrifice some efficiency and even some overall academic progress
to build this kind of confidence into him, because it is so near the
center of his developing masculinity.

In other words, if your son can learn to take responsibility for
himself and take charge of his own life, I wouldn't worry if the
school day goes a little long or if you don't quite finish the
curriculum for the year.

On the other hand, if he finishes school with a wealth of knowledge,
but in his heart he believes he can't learn without you, it would
obviously make it more difficult for him to function as an adult."
-- Rick in Michigan


"My son also has been a slower reader. Yet he possesses a keen desire
to learn many subjects that require higher level reading. Often his
interest level and ability to comprehend the subject matter is 1 to 2
years ahead of his 'grade' level, yet his slowness in reading speed
has created a frustration that prohibits him keeping up with a higher
level curriculum.

When he was 13 years old, I found a curriculum that suited our situa-
tion perfectly. It's called Paradigm Accelerated Curriculum, found
at www.pacworks.com.

The coursework is suitable for junior and senior high level. The
reading is specifically geared toward those who could use 'reading
enhancement.' The daily lessons include interesting reading, often
in story form, with worksheets which the student works independently
to think through the material.

Because the material is written for use in both public and private
schools, it is not openly Christian, but it is extremely favorable to
Christian influence in history, often quoting Jesus of Nazareth or
Hebrew proverbs. We were very happy with this approach.

We used the several of the science materials and the American history
series. I highly recommend them." -- Ginia

Answer our NEW Question

"Hi all - I am just jumping into home schooling my second grader.
My weakest area is creative writing. Does anyone have any good
resources (books, internet links, etc.) on how to teach the writ-
ing process?" -- Lauren


Do you have suggestions for Lauren?
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 and encouragement.


[Note: This ministry is especially for Christian parents, but
all are welcome. Email Luanne@educationforthesoul.com if you
have any technical difficulties.]

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