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News from Homeschool Digest, Learning Styles and Unschooling

By Heather Idoni

Added Friday, May 09, 2008

The Homeschooler's Notebook
Encouragement and Advice for Homeschool Families
Vol. 9 No 37 May 9, 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
-- Homeschool Magazine Discount
Helpful Tip
-- Science Website Find
Winning Website
-- Nineteenth Century Reading
Reader Question
-- Learning Styles and Unschooling
Additional Notes
-- Searchable Archive
-- Our Email Group
-- Sponsorship Information
-- Reprint Information
-- Subscriber Information

Notes from Heather

News from Wisdom's Gate Publications

I have some very good friends who publish 3 Christian magazines,
one being Home School Digest. They recently had to adjust sub-
scription rates (due to rising costs), but when you purchase a
year's subscription to any of their magazines, you are able to
give the gift of an additional subscription to a friend.

Now HERE IS THE NEWS -- They have made a prayerful decision to
allow families undergoing financial pressures to subscribe for
ANY AMOUNT they can afford. Here is the link:


These magazines are excellent resources for Christian families,
so please spread the word! -- Heather


Reader Feedback

"Both the tip and the resource review in the May 5th issue were
very helpful. I've never been good at geography (better at U.S.
than world). In public high school, I chose World History, just
to avoid World Geography, in fear that it would kill my GPA.
Just after reading the tip about learning as we teach, I read
the resource for Visualize World Geography. I followed the link
and was very impressed by what I found there. I'm ordering it
as much for myself as for my son. I usually skip over the
Resource Review, but I'm glad I looked at this one!" -- Sherry A.


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



Helpful Tip

"Hello everyone! I found a cool science site the other day
called 'Earth and Sky - a Clear Voice for Science'.

Here is the link: http://www.earthsky.org/kids/

They have two sections: short articles and podcasts (average 9
minutes long).

The articles and podcasts are by scientists and cover interesting
and varied topics. In general the articles are suited for around
8 and up and the podcasts for 12 and up. Examples of articles are:
'Why is the sky blue?', 'Why don't tree branches grow straight up?'
and 'How far can a spider reach?' Some examples of podcasts are:
'Robots replace animals in toxicology testing', 'Marc Bekoff on
animal joy, animal sorrow' and 'Deep sea sharks in trouble'.

They also have a section called 'Tonight's Sky' for all of you
amateur astronomers.

They have new articles and podcasts every couple of days. We
will be checking this site out often." -- Aaron R.


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

Winning Website

Nineteenth Century Children and What They Read

This site boasts an impressive amount of writings for children
from 1800 – 1872. In addition to numerous books, the site also
includes many short stories and articles from popular children's
magazines of the era. Each work has been transcribed into a very
readable format and is available for you to print or read online.
This site is definitely a treat for those who love old books and
the strong moral foundation they (typically) teach.

-- Cindy at www.HomeschoolingFromTheHeart.com

Last Issue's Reader Question

"I have an 8 year old son. He has never attended school outside
of our home. I have read about different learning styles and am
wondering if anyone has suggestions about how to specifically iden-
tify which style of learning your child has. I am also interested
in the 'unschooling' style of homeschooling. I do not know any-
thing about it, other than it is pretty unstructured. What does a
typical day look like in an 'unschooling' homeschool situation,
and how are these children assessed at the end of the year? Thank
you." -- Suzanne

Our Readers' Responses

"Suzanne – This is not unschooling per se, but a 'delight-directed'
learning style. To find out more about this type of learning style,
go to: www.ignitethefire.com or www.heartofwisdom.com or look for
any of Gregg Harris's teaching ideas. Also, the Moore Foundation.
There's more but that's all I can think of off the top of my head.
Basically, unschooling is meeting your children's needs without a
set program; paying attention to their skills and assessing where
they need to go next (you assess the skills, they let you know
what topics!), using a variety of materials available (lots of
free materials on web –- think museums, libraries, etc).

You'll probably want to learn some about notebooking – just for
a quick, easy way to begin organizing -- and maybe for a fun
(and practical) way to continue. Enjoy the journey!"
-- Michelle A.


"As a 23-year homeschooling mom of 13, I want to note how impor-
tant it is to teach to your child's learning style. When teaching
through your child's *first and best mode of taking in information*,
that information will 'stick' much, much quicker in your child's
mind, resulting in less frustration for your child and less effort
for you -- and who wouldn't love that?!

Cheri Fuller's 'Talkers, Watchers, and Doers' is an easy book to
read and an excellent resource. In addition, my '20 Secrets to
Success with Your Child' book has a chapter about learning styles --
and how to tailor your teaching to your child's learning style.

-- Erin Brown Conroy, MA
Author, speaker, family/parent coach, and mom of 13


"I do not officially 'unschool', however, most of our subjects are
learned through reading books. My daughter LOVES to read and it
really helps with the unschooling type learning. As for testing,
I get my daughter tested by this group:


The website will tell you all about the Woodcock-Johnson III test.
What they do is mainly verbal, with a little writing for math and
spelling/punctuation. They just ask questions until your child
gets some wrong, then they score based on that. I just had my
daughter tested for the end of 3rd grade, and she scored 4th grade
level for math and spelling, 6th grade level for English and 8th
grade for reading, history, geography, science, art, and music.
I am sure that she scored so high because of all the reading she
does in our 'unschooling' part of school. I still think if people
unschool they need to make sure their children are learning. I
know people that 'unschool' and their 2nd graders can't read or
write yet. But I think for us, with my daughter's love of books,
it works wonders for her." -- Katie


"Studying learning styles can be very involved, but it doesn't
take much to learn enough to improve your approach to teaching.
There are learning styles inventories you can access on the
internet, if you want an official assessment. You can also do
an informal assessment on your own. Take him to a place where
there's a lot to experience, such as a zoo, a park, a barnyard,
or a museum. Without coaching him, at the end of his visit,
have him tell you about it. If his descriptions include more
of what he saw, he's probably visual; if they include more sounds,
he's probably auditory; if he describes things he felt or did,
he's probably kinesthetic.

Another quickie test is to give him three phone numbers to learn
on different days. Write the first number on a piece of paper
and have him memorize it from the paper. Say the second to him
out loud. Have him learn the third one by actually dialing it.
The number that he learns fastest and most accurately will be a
good indication of his best method. Most people will learn more
efficiently if allowed to use the preferred style. All the avenues
will enhance each other, so it's a good idea to use more than one
of the approaches whenever you can. We tend to teach by way of
our own preferred learning style, which can be a challenge if the
child's style is different from the parent." -- Mary Beth


"I have studied multiple intelligence theory and have presented
the information to homeschool support groups and parent meetings.
This is much like 'learning styles', except more defined and more

Multiple intelligence theory is the idea that each of us is smart
in different ways. We have varying levels of each intelligence
present in our lives. The primary intelligences that have been
identified are: linguistic, logical-mathmetical, spatial, musical,
bodily-kinesthetic, interpersonal, intrapersonal, naturalistic,
and existential. For more information on each of these, visit:

For a free online multiple intelligence test for ages 8-12, go
to: http://www.mitest.com/omitest.htm

See more links at the bottom of that page for more information,
or click HOME to choose tests for teens or adults." -- Lisa W.


"This is a great website with quizzes to help identify different
learning styles. It's interesting to do it for yourself, as well
as your child, and then have your child do it."


-- Linda T.


Editor's Note: Here is a good article about learning styles
at our EasyFunSchool.com site:


Answer our NEW Question

"I am experiencing a problem with my oldest son and it truly
concerns me. He is 11 years old and his reading level is at
3rd grade. He struggles with reading every day. He tries to
read but often it seems as if he forgets every rule that we
have learned. I plan on working strictly on reading through
the summer, but I really need to know if anyone has a suggestions
on reading curriculums that will help an 11 year old. Finances
are tight as well, so I don't have hundreds of dollars to spend.
Please help me!" -- Kathy In SC


Do you have a suggestion or some encouragement/wisdom for Kathy?
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.]

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:


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Next - Don't Forget the Fun!
Previous - Reader Feedback, Visualize World Geography, Study Skills

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