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Country Living Basics, Science Fun and Games Sites

By Heather Idoni

Added Monday, August 18, 2008

The Homeschooler's Notebook
Encouragement and Advice for Homeschool Families
Vol. 9 No 66 August 18, 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
-- Heading Home
Helpful Tip
-- Science Fun and Games
Resource Review
-- Encyclopedia of Country Living
Reader Question
-- Scheduling School with Work
Additional Notes
-- Searchable Archive
-- Our Email Group
-- Sponsorship Information
-- Reprint Information
-- Subscriber Information

Notes from Heather

Our family just enjoyed a long weekend in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
We are just heading home this morning and my brain is still in
"vacation" mode. Jim has the van packed and I need to send the
newsletter -- so this is all you get today! LOL

Enjoy your week -- see you on Friday! -- Heather


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


Awesome Home School Notebook Planner
The Full-Year Notebook System

Plan your home school curriculum using a simple/flexible
system that works!

This is a simple program which includes step-by-step
instructions and worksheets for both analyzing your time and
resources as well as worksheets to include in your children's
notebooks for subjects that don't fit well into "regular "
school such as field trips, music lessons, service
opportunities and more.

One of its best features is that it doesn't take a semester
to learn, in fact you could download it today and be
implementing it tonight.



Helpful Tip

Here are a couple of helpful websites sent in by members of
our HomeschoolingBOYS.com email group. I had never seen either
of these, so they might be new to you, too! :-)



I just stumbled across this and it looks pretty good.

-- Tina in CA


If you like to teach with games, you have to check out Ellen
McHenry's Basement Workshop. Lots of free stuff!


-- Nancy


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

Resource Review

A "Back to Basics" education that families can share in!

[Please PRAY for Cindy Prechtel today -- the hurricane is heading
toward her home in Florida.]


The Encyclopedia of Country Living by Carla Emery, 10th Edition

This classic book is celebrating it's 35th anniversary this year!
The author is well aware that not everyone will need all the
info in this huge volume, but she has tried to thoroughly cover
every area of homesteading.

Although there are definitely things that apply to more rural
homesteaders, we city-slickers can gain a LOT of valuable infor-
mation. Topics include gardening, constructing various structures,
homemade cleaning products, growing and using herbs, composting,
recipes, preserving food, housing chickens, making cheese, basic
first aid, dealing with various livestock, building a barn and
so much more!

Whether you live in the city or the country - or anywhere in
between - this is the complete, practical guide to living well
and living simply. 922 pages!

-- Cindy Prechtel, www.HomeschoolingFromTheHeart.com


Like so many others, Cindy's family has felt the nudging to get
"back to basics" and be less reliant on others for their daily
needs. Especially with the recent changes in fuel costs and
the evidence of crop shortages, wheat prices, etc., it makes sense
to become less dependent on the food chain and grow more of our
own food. Learning about where our food comes from and our
dependence on the trucking industry is an education in itself!

Cindy and her family are slowly learning and converting their
suburban home into a "homestead in the city" and she invites
everyone interested to visit her blog, www.journeytosimplicity.com
This is where she is journaling her small steps toward simplicity.

Last Issue's Reader Question

"I have been a homeschooling mom for the past 13 years. During
those years I have worked a number of part time jobs in the
evenings. However, due to a number of financial situations, I
have had to return to the work force full-time and during the day.
I only have one child schooling now and she is a junior this year.
She has always been homeschooled so she knows what is required
and is somewhat of an independent learner. I am feeling so guilty
for not being with her as I was with her brother. Another problem
I am having is that by the time I get home I'm tired -- so sitting
down and going over school work and grading papers is hard -- plus
trying to get supper ready. So I guess my question is this: Are
any of you in the same (or similar) situation -- and do you have
any suggestions for scheduling schooling time?" -- Roxanne

Our Readers' Responses

"My workload also increased as my son got older. Since he is an
independent learner (10th grade now), I had him start grading his
own work. This works just fine for subjects that have answer keys.
He does the work, then grades his work. If he doesn't understand
why he missed something (or disagrees with the answer key!), he'll
ask me.

This has freed up my time immensely. I read his written essays
when I have a few minutes... but grading the subjects that aren't
so subjective has been removed from my workload.

We sit down together once a month to make sure he finished the
previous month's work, and make the plan for the next month. I'm
fortunate that he can keep himself on track, and does so honestly
-- but that's what we've been working toward for the past 10 school
years!" -- Lisa in PA


"I would recommend you check out Switched On Schoolhouse. It allows
the child to work independently on the computer. It grades most
things for you. If the child has to type a response you will have
to check it, but there is a grading key so it is effortless. I
love the program!" -- Valerie

Answer our NEW Question

"Does anyone have any suggestions on what materials I could use to
teach High School civics? I'm starting off with Drive Thru History
America: Foundations of Character by David Barton and Nita Thomason,
a DVD from Focus on the Family.

I'm not even sure if this is where I should be starting, but the
kids seem to like it! Any suggestions would be appreciated."
-- Sally S.


Do you have a suggestion or some direction for Sally?
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:


Interactive Email Group

In an effort to help our readers become more of an interactive
community, we have set up an email loop at YahooGroups called

Here is the link to sign-up!



There are opportunities for you to be a sponsor of this
newsletter. If you are interested, drop an e-mail to
heather@familyclassroom.net with "Notebook Sponsorship"
as the subject. We'll send you some information on how to
become a part of this ministry!


All contributed articles are printed with the author's prior
consent. It is assumed that any questions, tips or replies to
questions may be reprinted. All letters become the property of
the "Homeschooler's Notebook". [Occasionally your contribution
may have to be edited for space.]

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