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Poetry with Children, Tutoring Income, New Harvest Homestead

By Heather Idoni

Added Monday, September 22, 2008

The Homeschooler's Notebook
Encouragement and Advice for Homeschool Families
Vol. 9 No 76 September 22, 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. :-)


The Ulimate Home Schooling Mom's Planner

You are about to learn all about successful planning as a
homeschooling Mom!

How did I learn these things? Because I have lived the
homeschooling lifestyle for more than 13 years. I admit - I
love planning and this habit has paid off in my own life and
those of my family.

A homeschooling mom's day is not all about teaching children
their ABC's and 123's. She has to be a chief cook and bottle
washer, the medic for bumps and bruises, the domestic help
who cleans, the trainer of her children, encourager of her
husband, occasional gardener... the list goes on.




Notes from Heather
-- Thoughts on Poetry
Helpful Tip
-- Helpful Math Websites
Resource Review
-- New Harvest Homestead
Reader Question
-- Can I Tutor for Income?
Additional Notes
-- Searchable Archive
-- Our Email Group
-- Sponsorship Information
-- Reprint Information
-- Subscriber Information

Notes from Heather

Thoughts on Poetry for Children

I discovered a fun little science poem in an article today --
and it got me thinking about how much my boys enjoy all the
poems shared throughout our Sugar Creek Gang audio series.
One of the characters, "Poetry", gets his name from his
obsession with poems. My boys have learned to enjoy poetry
just because of its integration into some fun adventure stories!

I happened upon a Practical Homeschooling article by Karen
Andreola about the Charlotte Mason approach to teaching poetry,
and this bit really stood out to me:

"How can we introduce our children to poetry? You can never
make a girl or boy like a poem against his or her will. You can
not bully them into it, or argue them into it. Convert them by
indirect means. Infect them by your own interest and gentle
enthusiasm. Pick out some poetry that appeals to you and simply
read it aloud to your children. Eventually they may desire to
start reading some on their own. Don't be surprised if their
tastes are a bit different than yours!

If you do not like poetry there is an obvious remedy: introduce
the child and the poem and leave them to make friends for them-
selves. They may, or they may not, but you can never make things
better by your interference.

In introducing people it is generally a mistake to praise too
much beforehand. You may only establish a distaste. In the same
way it is a mistake to praise a poem too eloquently. After all,
the child is entitled to form his own opinion. To drag a poem
into the glare of publicity is to lose some of those very
qualities which made it precious. When you share a poem you
can simply say with tact 'I like this poem; do you?'

In the case of younger children, try and create a mood of
enjoyment, first by choosing the sort of poem they are likely
to appreciate and then by throwing yourself into reading it
aloud with gusto, or better still allowing them to throw them-
selves into it with zest. If you introduce them to really good
poetry as Miss Mason advocated, suitable for their age, children
will do the rest for themselves."

You can read the entire article here:

Here is the poem that tickled us today. It playfully introduces
the science concept of properties of matter -- and it is part of
another article I want to share with you soon about getting away
from textbooks for science and other subjects that are adaptable
to a more hands-on or living books approach. I changed it up a
bit because my boys liked it better this way:

Have you ever seen somebody walk through a wall?
Did you ever drink from a glass of rocks?
Have you ever played with a lemonade ball?
Or put on milk for socks?


Here are some recommended books for poetry:

The Random House Book of Poetry for Children
A Child's Garden of Verses by Robert Louis Stevenson
Best Loved Poems of the American People

Many poems are also available online. Here is one of the poems
we love from our Sugar Creek Gang series, "The Village Blacksmith":


Happy reading and reciting!

-- Heather


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



Helpful Tip

Two Math Site Recommendations


"I love getting your newsletter! Thanks for all your hard work!

The website www.MathWay.com will solve any math problem from basic
math to calculus. You put in the problem and it shows you step
by step how to get the answer. It's pretty amazing. Happy problem
solving!" -- Sherril in NC


"Try www.CoolMath.com -- This is an interactive math site that is
loaded with all lessons and games -- for kids just learning to
count... to Calculus." -- Monique, www.HomeschoolingBOYS.com member


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

Resource Review

New Harvest Homestead Newsletter
Published by Lisa Vitello
For more info and a sample issue: www.newharvesthomestead.com

After a recent mention of my desire to be more intentional regard-
ing sharpening my homemaking skills, I had the blessing of "meeting"
Lisa Vitello via email. She encouraged me so much by telling me
that there are many other sisters out there who are feeling the
same nudge to return to the "basics" and learn lost skills. Lisa
has a wonderful newsletter and she was kind enough to email me a
sample issue. WOW! Her writings and the contribution of others
in her publication are just what I've been looking for. I promptly
subscribed AND ordered all the back issues. It has been money well
spent! I have already gleaned so much information, and, more
importantly, I've found confirmation and encouragement in every

While not specifically written for homeschool moms, Lisa's news-
letter is homeschool friendly. Topics include recipes, preserving
the harvest, natural remedies, day to day homemaking activities,
homemade gifts, raising children, being a wife, mother and woman
of God, and so much more. The most recent issue had 47 pages
(with no ads), FULL of encouragement for any woman who has chosen
to be "steadfast at home" no matter whether our homestead is a
piece of land in the country or an apartment in the city.

-- Cindy Prechtel


[NOTE: Lisa Vitello is also a regular reader of our newsletter and
she wrote to me recently saying she'd be happy to offer Homeschooler's
Notebook subscribers (2) FREE back issues! Just send her an email
with "HS Notebook Promo" in the subject line and she'll send them right
out to you. Thanks, Lisa! :-) -- Heather]

Last Issue's Reader Question

"I am at a point where I need to make some income. I thought
tutoring math and/or reading would be something I could do. I
have homeschooled three children since day one and now they are
in grades 6, 9 and 11. So, I have taught K-6 math three times
and have taught reading three times. I think I could tutor,
maybe. Are there any homeschool moms that tutor public school
children? How do you do it? How did you start? Would you have
to have a degree in teaching in order for people to respect your
tutoring? Do you do it at home or away from home? Is there a
program you use? How much do you charge? I need advice! Thanks."
-- Jennifer

Our Readers' Responses

"Jennifer -- I think this is a great idea! I'm speaking from
the experience of a piano teacher, not an academic tutor, but
I'll share what bit of experience I can. You would probably
make a better tutor than a certified public school teacher,
because your experience is in private tutoring, where the public
school teacher's experience and training are both in the group
teaching model. As you probably know, the two are very different.
Since an agreement to tutor someone's child will be between you
and them, and the state will not be involved, your credentials,
or lack of them, are irrelevant. Your best credential is how
well your own children are doing. You might be interested to
know that in our local school newsletter, they frequently print
requests for volunteers from the community to help with after-
school tutoring. I chuckle when I see those, because basically,
they are admitting that the professionally trained teachers are
asking for help from anybody off the street, to accomplish in
one hour what the professionals can't do in 6 hours.

I have taught at my own home, at a my students' homes, and at a
studio. I much prefer teaching at my home, because if someone
cancels at the last minute, I can go about my personal business
and not waste the time. Also, I don't have to worry about what
to do with my children while I'm teaching. If you go to the
student's home, be sure to take into account your driving time
and expense when you set your charges. Some parents are so happy
to have a service delivered to their door, that they will gladly
pay more for it.

You will need to spend a few sessions to simply get to know the
child and his needs. His parents, and perhaps his school teacher,
can fill you in somewhat on where he needs help, but you still
need to take time to establish a relationship with him. From
there, you can determine what materials you might need, or if
you can teach from what he's using at school. In most cases,
I would say to use something different; a student's struggles
are sometimes caused by using material that's not suited to his
learning style.

If your clients appreciate what you do, you will probably get
more work than you want simply by word-of-mouth. But to start,
you will need to make people aware of your services. If your
community has a public bulletin board, you could put a notice
there; you could put an ad in the paper; you could send a letter
to the elementary school teachers, or to a parent's organization;
you could watch for ads from parents who are looking for a tutor;
the library might put up a notice for you.

Your charges would depend in part on where you live, because of
the difference in cost-of-living. I live in rural Western Kansas,
and charge $10 for a half-hour private piano lesson. My children
have just begun teaching private lessons, and they each charge $5,
because they are less experienced.

A few other suggestions, based on my experience: Set rules early
on. Be sure students understand which door they are to enter,
and whether they are expected to remove their shoes, wipe their
feet, etc. Make sure that parents understand that if they bring
other children with them, that the parents are fully responsible
for constant supervision of the other children. Decide whether
you will allow parents to sit in on tutoring sessions. If you have
a separate room away from where you are tutoring where parents can
wait, that would be helpful. Set policies for payment. Clarify
whether the charges include materials, or if parents will be
expected to pay for those. Let your own children know what you
expect of them while you're tutoring.

Maybe your oldest child could do some tutoring, too." -- Mary Beth

Answer our NEW Question

"I would like to start homeschooling my 4 year old at Kindergarden
level. I have no idea where to begin or what resources would be
useful. I would like a very structured curriculum that outlines
exactly what a child at that age level would need to know and a
good way to present the material. Any advice on how to begin
would also be very useful. Thank you in advance." -- Aubri in TX


Do you have some wisdom... or some practical suggestions for Aubri?

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!

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[Note: This ministry is especially for Christian parents, but
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have any technical difficulties.]

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