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Coloring Masterworks, Bananagrams, Story Starters!

By Heather Idoni

Added Monday, December 15, 2008

The Homeschooler's Notebook
Encouragement and Advice for Homeschool Families
Vol. 9 No 98 December 15, 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
-- Coloring Book of Art
Helpful Tip
-- Bananagrams Game!
Resource Review
-- Story Starters
Reader Question
-- Help for Complaining Sons
Additional Notes
-- Newsletter Archives
-- Sponsorship Information
-- Reprint Information
-- Subscriber Information

Notes from Heather

Color the Great Masterpieces... Free!

My wonderful friend, 'Jodi in Iowa', sent me a link to this great
site where you can print out and color famous works of art. They
even have discussion-starting questions with each page you can
use to make it a well-rounded art lesson. I think all ages would
enjoy this website -- and I had never seen it before, so it might
be new for some of you, too!



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


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Helpful Tip

"A friend recently introduced us to BANANAGRAMS. I love this
new game (I played with the boys tonight). It is similar to
Scrabble, but everyone plays at the same time and builds their
own words off their words. First one out of tiles wins. Oh,
and you can keep moving your tiles around to make and change
your words during the game too! The kids are learning to spell,
learning new words, and it's great for my kinesthetic learner!
P.S.-- they are having fun while they are learning too!"

-- Barb in Seattle

[Here's a short link to Amazon for BANANAGRAMS! I just ordered
one for my kids, too! -- Heather]



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

Resource Review

Story Starters
Author: Karen Andreola
For more information or to order: www.HomeschoolingFromTheHeart.com

'Story Starters' is a great supplement to use throughout your
school year to inspire you children to write as they’ve never
written before. Featuring wonderful, wholesome and exciting
stories for kids to 'finish', it is easy for even the most
reluctant writer to get caught up in the story, and then be
eager to add their own ending or create a new scene for the
characters to continue the adventure.

There are over 65 stories; some are more involved than others.
Each story draws the student in and then ends with the student
getting the chance to finish. There is plenty of variety, so
both girls and boys, young and old, will find stories that
appeal to them. This one book contains both teaching helps for
the parent/teacher, the stories, and writing instruction for the
student. Each story is accompanied by beautiful, black and white,
19th century illustrations. These illustrations really help
younger writers and are used to help guide the students to write
more descriptively. Mrs. Andreola has done an excellent job of
providing encouragement and direction for struggling as well
as confident writers.

Story Starters can be used with children from age 8 and up. The
author has done a great job of providing stories of differing
lengths and has labeled them for beginning to more advanced writers.
With so many stories to choose from, this big book should last
for several years. Parents will especially like the Biblical
values present in each story. The characters are usually children
who serve as great examples of courage, kindness, generosity,
respect for their elders, patience and more.

-- Cindy Prechtel, http://www.HomeschoolingFromTheHeart.com

Last Issue's Reader Question

"Our sons are in 5th and 4th grade. They have both been home-
schooled from the beginning. Though they are very bright and I
am proud of their education, they claim to 'hate' school. I spend
lots of time hearing things like 'this is boring', 'I hate school',
'I don't want to do (insert subject of choice)' and so forth.We
use a variety of techniques in the different subjects (it's isn't
just bookwork), they have outside activities and I just really
want them to enjoy school SOMETIMES (or at least stop the complain-
ing and bickering). How do you make school something they look
forward to or how do you stop the complaining/bickering?" -- Rebecca

Our Readers' Responses

"This sounds like a challenge that needs three things! A correc-
tion of what has become a bad habit, a negative consequence for
continuing that bad habit, and a positive consequence for stopping
that bad habit! First of all, their words are not respectful to
you. You put time and effort into their education, and for them
to say they hate school is very unappreciative of your dedication
to them. Apparently they have gotten into, and you have allowed,
the bad habit of saying they hate it, but unfortunately they are
speaking words that their attitudes will follow! An idea for you
that works for my 4th, 6th, and 7th graders: Put their allowance
in QUARTERS in a glass jar on the counter. For every NEGATIVE
word, sigh, harumph, look, gesture, or sentence, they take out
one quarter and hand it to you with an apology for that bad habit
or attitude. You MUST be consistent and do this for EVERY little
negative thing they display, from a mumbled sentence of 'this is
boring' to a slight roll of the eye. You are retraining a habit
here! Then, make a list with them of all the other things YOU
could be doing besides homeschooling them! Going to lunch with
friends, going to the gym, going shopping, taking classes, working,
etc. Help them to see that you are choosing to put them first in
your life! Then, begin to reward them for positive (SINCERELY
positive) actions and words... 'Thank you, Mom! Thank you for
homeschooling us, Mom. Thanks for helping me with my math, Mom.'
These words and hopefully the positive attitude that will follow
will make a BIG difference in your homeschool, and in their
character. Perhaps an empty jar that they put in one marble for
every truly positive word of appreciation and 'I like homeschooling!',
and when the jar is full, you all go do something fun together!
You'll be training them to be positive, to think and speak posi-
tively, and to be people of good character who are appreciative of
others." -- Monique in TX


"First decide on what your (first) real goal is. Is it to stop
hearing the whining? (If so check out the Dr. Rosemond website
or books for a great ticket technique.) Or is it to get them to
really enjoy school? If this is it, ask what they would choose
to do or how they would choose to learn. I would work on the
griping first, as I suspect it's just an easy habit for them to
whine and put their problems onto your guilt list. After that's
accomplished, there will be enough peace to decide on creative
teachng methods. But you must get THEM to be responsible for
the (their) job of learning." -- Sylvia


"Hi, Rebecca. What do your kids enjoy doing? Would they rather
being playing video games or watching TV? Playing with toys or
other pleasures? In our home, we had to completely do away with
video games during the week. After all work is done on Friday
(both schoolwork and chores) the games can begin. While I am all
for making their work as enjoyable as possible, in reality all
work is not fun but it still must be done with a good attitude.
I would not allow them to say they 'hate' schoolwork or anything
else that is good and useful. I would let them know that just
because they don't 'want' to do the work is not a good reason to
not do it or to complain about it. I highly recommend the book
'Created for Work' by Bob Schultz.We are currently reading it
aloud as a family for the second time since summer. Our children
need to be taught to have the right attitude towards work. After
all, they are going to have to work at something their entire
lives and everything is not going to be fun. May you have peace
and joy in your home!"


Here is a link to the book 'Created for Work':

Answer our NEW Question

"I have a 17 year old senior in high school and she isn't sure
what she wants to do for a career. Does any one have any
suggestions as far as good books to read on careers? She thinks
she may want to be a photographer; she is also good at writing
and Spanish. Thanks so much for your input." -- Bonita


Do you have some thoughts for Bonita?

Please send your answer to: mailto:HN-answers@familyclassroom.net

Ask YOUR Question

Do you have a question you would like our readers to answer?

Send it to mailto:HN-questions@familyclassroom.net and we'll see
if we can help you out in a future issue!

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