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Readers Discuss Kids, Money and Current Events

By Heather Idoni

Added Friday, October 10, 2008

The Homeschooler's Notebook
Encouragement and Advice for Homeschool Families
Vol. 9 No 81 October 10, 2008
ISSN: 1536-2035
Copyright (c) 2008 - Heather Idoni, FamilyClassroom.net

Welcome to the Homeschooler's Notebook!

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Notes from Heather
-- Kids, Money, Current Events
Helpful Tip
-- Free Rice Game Website
Winning Website
-- Hopeful Farm Foundation
Reader Question
-- Juggling all the Kids
Additional Notes
-- Newsletter Archives
-- Sponsorship Information
-- Reprint Information
-- Subscriber Information

Notes from Heather

Reader Feedback on Teaching our Children about Current Events
Regarding the Financial Crisis in America and the World


"Hello, Heather -- This is a great question; I'm looking forward
to reading all the answers. Books written by people who lived
through the Depression usually include the ways they 'made do',
which can inspire us to thinking more resourcefully.

It's an especially good time to remind ourselves and our children
that it's very unwise to put our trust in money, the government,
insurance, or anything other than Jesus Christ. He'll be there
for us, no matter what happens, and He'll use it all to His glory,
whether with us, or in spite of us. He also gave us good minds and
strong bodies, so He doesn't want us to just sit down and wait to
see what He does for us. He expects us to work, to help each other,
and to be creative and resourceful in finding ways to deal with
crises. Anticipating the needs of others will help to alleviate
some of the worry -- do you know any elderly or handicapped people
who might need help? What if a beggar came by? Would you have
a food package and a blanket you could give him? What if it were
a whole family?

Two preparedness unit studies by the Brashears, 'Prepare and Pray'
and 'Blessed Assurance' are excellent. We subscribe to 'Backwoods
Home' magazine, which is not written from a Christian perspective,
but has some very practical articles on self-reliant living (we
prefer to call it God-reliant). (If you get that magazine, preview
or tear out the joke page before you let your children have access
to it; there is an occasional off-color joke.)

We are trying to store additional provisions, especially food
in the form of home-canned meats, vegetables and fruits. Not
everyone is equipped to do home canning, but for those who have
been thinking about it, now would be a good time to start. If
canning isn't practical, storing grains and beans is very easy
and inexpensive. Store things you normally eat. Stocking up
on some garden seeds might be worthwhile.

Depending on the age and maturity of your children, I would say
share enough that your children don't think that you are hiding
something from them. When we are worried, they certainly know
it. If you have TV, be very careful how much they watch, and
watch with them when they do, so that you can clarify things
for them, and turn it off if the news gets too heavy for them.
It's always better for them to get their information from you
anyway." -- Mary Beth


"I guess it all depends on your mind set toward your children.
I remember not being told about a LOT of things as a young girl.
I wound up being either ignorant or misinformed about a lot! When
our son was born, my husband and I agreed we wanted to make sure
he was well informed. We have been teaching him about being care-
ful with money since he was a toddler. I have a vivid memory of
visiting Kroger to pick up some groceries... he ran ahead of us
into the store, and came running back to me, exclaiming at the
top of his lungs... 'Mommmm! They have jello on sale!' Although
I was a little embarrassed at his exuberance, I was secretly
pleased that he had already learned the lesson of being thrifty,
at such a young age.

Because of our early teachings on a thrifty lifestyle, I don't
believe he will be as easily shaken as those who have not been
informed of such things. I do understand how some parents feel
the need to shield their children, but you never know when the
harsh realities of life may intervene before you have a chance
to teach your children how to deal with such a situation."
-- Debora in Georgia


"Hi Heather -- We have not talked about this subject but I have
been wondering where a person could find materials to teach our
two high schoolers about this.

If anyone has suggestions, I would appreciate it." -- Mary Frances


"Hi Heather -- We have always talked to our children (6 and 8 year
old girls) about money. But, we also always stress the Bible and
that God takes care of us, as He did when my husband lost his job
and was unemployed for 6 months.

We talk about the 3 categories for money: saving, tithing and
spending. They have asked, in reference to the election, what all
the 'noise about money' is about. This is based on what they see
from watching Fox Cable News. We discuss money -- as in the con-
cepts of government and what the 2 political parties do differently
with money.

We see discussing money no different than other topics: the dentist,
germs, etc. There are some good things about it, but if you are
not responsible then you can have a lot of pain and trouble. We
are matter-of-fact about money. Since they were young, I explained
(while waiting in line at the grocery store), that anything they
could see or touch was either candy or a toy -- that is called
sales and marketing. They 'get it' and often discuss between the
2 of them. They say (and I quote), 'Look, sis, they just want our
money for ____.'.

I have found a program recently that has really educated me though:
Kids Wealth. The perspective on piggy banks -- and that this
thing is really just saving to spend -- was right-on; and it
really caused me to change my philosophy on money. Instead,
the author suggests having a real bank account, so children
learn what a bank is and what it does." -- Michelle in Oregon


"Heather -- My kids are old enough to know what's going on with
the papers and TV saturating our lives with doom and gloom. I
speak very openly to my kids about the financial crisis. In a
practical sense, I tell them how it affects us: we can't eat
out as often, we can't buy new clothes (but Goodwill cast-offs)
are fine, we need to conserve electricity by turning off lights
and not running the heater until absolutely necessary, etc.

Before we were aware of any financial crisis, I had my kids break
up their allowance and babysitting money into Tithe (10%), Save
(45%) and Spend (45%). I am hoping that this will discipline
them to be faithful in their financial dealings, no matter what
the circumstances are. Most importantly, I teach them in a
Spiritual sense that: we don't know what the future holds, but
we know The One who holds the future. God will provide all of
our needs according to His riches in glory. Keep our eyes fixed
on Him and He will take care of us!" -- Noreen


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



Helpful Tip

A great way to learn... and provide free rice for the hungry!


"We like to use the Free Rice Game at http://www.freerice.com/
It is a free web game that automatically gears to the level of the
person using it. There are several subjects available, including
English vocabulary (with audio pronunciation available), English
grammar, art, multiplication, several foreign languages, chemistry
and geography." -- The Driver Family


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

Winning Website

Hopeful Farm Foundation - A Special Cause for Special Needs

Many of you are familiar with Jill Novak, author of "The Gift of
Family Writing" and publisher of The Girlhood Home Companion.
Well, the Novak family has founded Hopeful Farm, a non-profit
organization that ministers to families impacted by special needs.
Hopeful Farm is holding an extraordinary internet benefit through
the end of October. Listen to "Hope for Families at Hopeful Farm"
with Claire and Jill Novak and find out how you can receive from
20 to 40 gifts with a donation to this worthy cause!

Listen: http://www.hopefulfarmfoundation.org/interview.html

Read: http://www.hopefulfarmfoundation.org/benefit.html

Last Issue's Reader Question

"I am homeschooling three kids, ages 14, 8 and 5. My 8 year old
is autistic. I am doing pretty well finding a way to teach him,
and with his developmental delays, I can add the 5 year old in and
teach them with the same format. Teaching him requires a lot of
one-on-one attention, though. My problem is that my 14 year old
is starting 9th grade curriculum. Boy, toss a high schooler in
there and I am about to lose my mind. Do you have any advice on
how to structure her day (the 9th grader) and tips to managing them
all? Last year we did one subject per day and it worked well for
her. This year I am thinking there is just too much in a chapter
to do in a day and retain any of it. I am struggling with being
just one person and trying to meet all their needs." -- Mary Ann

Our Readers' Responses

"Mary Ann -- I have a 9 year old daughter who skipped a grade and
is in grade 5. Her sister in grade 6, brother in grade 7, and
another sister is in grade 9. We use a program which has the 12
grades divided into three sections, therefore, I have 3 kids in
the middle grades section and one in high school section. One
thing that I tell my 9th grader is that she is responsible to get
her work done without me telling her which subject to do when. But
we do have a general outline for the day which applies to everyone,
regardless of their grade. In the morning we do math and English,
then have a break. For English she has grammar, reading, writing.
She'll read everyday but do grammar one day and writing the next
day. After break we do extra subjects like Latin and Logic; maybe
her Spanish too, then lunch. After lunch is always either history
or science. Monday, Wednesday, Friday = History. Tuesday, Thurs-
day = Science. Art or music is done after school time or in the
evenings. I don't know which subjects your daughter does, but if
it's similar, this could help. We also have one day week for the
library. The 9th grader has to do her own research and take out
(and be responsible for) her own books." -- Nadeen in BC


"Mary Ann -- I can identify with your situation! Last year at this
time, I had one starting 9th grade, a 4th grader, a preschooler,
an 18-month old, and a new baby! Things change so much when our
children start high school studies, don't they? Here is what we did:
Before school started, we sat down with our 9th grader-to-be (son)
and told him that school would be changing for him now that he had
reached high school. My role would now be different; I would now
be his facilitator instead of his teacher. He would be taking more
responsibility for his schooling. We discussed the fact that he was
ready to move into independent studies, and I laid out what would be
expected of him. Then we just kind of jumped in and learned as we
went along. I taught him study skills, note taking, how to make the
most of his time, etc., as the year progressed. I kept assignments
short at the beginning and gradually increased his load as we went
along. And he did beautifully. After a very short amount of time,
I simply discussed his assignments with him each morning, and he went
off on his own and completed them. Then we would meet in the after-
noon for me to correct his work, discuss what he had done, and to
teach anything that he couldn't do on his own. He actually enjoyed
this arrangement more because he could complete his work without
waiting for me to finish with other kids, and it helped him develop
important skills that he'll need as an adult. We also saw him grow
in maturity and responsibility. So, I would encourage you to hand
off as much of her schooling as you can to your daughter, teaching
her the skills she needs as you go along. It has worked wonderfully
for us!" -- Mindy

Answer our NEW Question

"I have always gone through a homeschool program that was accredited,
however, finances are going to make that impossible next year and
I think I can save almost $1,000 by doing this on our own and just
buying the curriculum direct.We need to know if children have any
trouble getting into college having not gone through an accredited
'school'.I didn't back in 1981, but times have changed.How is
this handled nowadays? Do kids just put 'homeschool' down and
colleges just go with the SATs or ACTs? Do we have our children
take GEDs? Thanks." -- Ruth


Would you like to help answer Ruth's question?

Please send your email 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.


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Next - The Endless Debate, Kids and Money, Accredited School?
Previous - Uncle Dan's Algebra, Improving Vocabulary, Question for Readers

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