"" -- A Homeschooler's Notebook Subscriber.
An interactive, FREE, twice-monthly ezine packed with great reader tips, reviews, & practical encouragement for homeschool families.


Some of Our Sponsors


Landry Academy

Math Mammoth

Great Homeschool Conventions

The Old Schoolhouse Magazine

Resource Links

All About Spelling
Homeschooling ABCs
Upper Level Homeschool
FIRETIME Notebooking
FREE Funschool Units
Homeschooling Help
More Homeschooling Help
HS Gifted and Talented
Homeschool Country Life
Beloved Books & Audio



All Children's Books to be Banned 2/10

By Heather Idoni

Added Thursday, January 08, 2009

The Homeschooler's Notebook
Encouragement and Advice for Homeschool Families
Vol. 10 No 2 January 8, 2009
ISSN: 1536-2035
Copyright (c) 2009 - 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.


Time4Learning.com: Online Interactive Homeschool Curriculum

Affordable & engaging interactive curriculum with lessons,
multimedia exercises, and assessments for PreK - 8th Grade.

Our program includes thousands of student-paced lessons,
printable worksheets & graded activities for Language Arts,
Math, Science & Social Studies:

Parents like the simplified lesson planning & record-keeping:
Students like learning on the computer.

Only $19.95 for 1st child, $14.95 for each additional child.
14 Days RISK FREE. No Contracts. Try the Demos Here:



Notes from Heather
-- Children's Books Banned
Helpful Tip
-- Launchball Science Game
Winning Website
-- Electronic Naturalist
Reader Question
-- Curriculum Compromise?
Additional Notes
-- Newsletter Archives
-- Sponsorship Information
-- Reprint Information
-- Subscriber Information

Notes from Heather

*** Please see article HERE for updated information for the article below.As of 1/27/2009 there have NOT been changes to the law in question.



The Sale of Children's Books to be Banned


Oh, how I wish this were a joke! But it is a grim and looming,
almost Orwellian, reality.

Effective February 10th, in the United States, the sale of
all children's books (books intended for children ages 12 and
under) is to be PROHIBITED. Every single book printed prior
to the ruling is affected, whether new or used. New books in
production are required to include a "lead-free" certification
and will be the only books that are legal to offer for sale.

What does this mean to the homeschooling family?

Well, for one, curriculum fairs across the country will be
cancelled as book vendors scramble to figure out how to comply
with the new ruling. Complete book inventories will have to be
destroyed -- the ruling even prohibits giving away the books!
Local thrift stores will be hard hit -- most will likely have to
close their doors -- yes, even Goodwill and Salvation Army.

Clothing, toys and books -- even CDs and DVDs are included in the
ruling. Thrift stores will no longer be able to accept or process
anything (including clothing) that would be intended for a child.

No more library sales. Libraries will not be permitted to give
away or sell book donations. It is unsure yet, however, how
the libraries' shelves themselves will be impacted (the ruling
doesn't explicitly mention "loaning" books, just selling or
giving them away). The key word, however, is "distribution" --
libraries may well be required to destroy books from their shelves.

(The ruling that originally passed was about toys, but the EPA has
since made a statement that clothing, books and media are included
in "children's toys".)

Just how serious is this new law?

Amazon.com has already notified all vendors of their need to comply.
No book can be sold at the Amazon site that was printed prior to
compliance. And the "compliance" must be coordinated at the manu-
facturing stage. At the time of this article there is no clause
to be able to grandfather-in older books or even rare out-of-print
books. It can cost between $500 and $1500 to test a book for lead.

I happen to own a children's bookstore specializing in living books
from the 1950s and '60s. My punishment for selling a book after
February 10th? Up to $100,000 and 5 years in jail. And yes, it is
a felony charge. For selling a SINGLE book.

(Although I don't think the S.W.A.T. team scenario would become a
reality overnight, at the same time I would be leery of blatantly
violating Federal law.)

So what can you do to help save your local used bookstore that
sells children’s books? Or that homeschool curriculum business?
Or your EBay business selling children's items?

ACT NOW before the quickly approaching deadlines:

1) Email or call the CPSIA - the office of the CPSC ombudsman at
888-531-9070. http://www.cpsc.gov/cgibin/newleg.aspx

Comments on Component Parts Testing accepted through January 30,
2009. Or email: Sec102ComponentPartsTesting@cpsc.gov

2) Contact your local representatives. For their contact informa-
tion, just enter your zip code.

3) Make your voice heard by voting on this issue! The top 3 in
each category will be presented to President-elect Obama.

4) Sign the petition.

5) Spread the word! Forward this article. Send an email. Write
about this on your blog. Tell others about this issue and
encourage them to do the same.


For the complete story, read the following links:


Consumer Product Safety Commission Summaries on Legislation Index
page for Children's Products Containing Lead; Lead Paint Rule and
other rulings


Office of the General Counsel FAQ on retroactive inventory require-
ments -- The use of forward effective dates appears to force current
inventories to adhere to the ruling on February 10th, 2009


Specific FAQ on their interpretation of books and other media to be
included in the testing of lead based products


Effective Date: Lead content limit of 600 ppm becomes effective 180
days after enactment. An advisory opinion regarding the application
of the new lead limit to inventory existing at the effective date
can be found on our web site at

Getting the Lead out: There is no lead in children's books

There is no lead in Children's books: From a Pedtrician


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



Helpful Tip

"Here's a good science teaching game for kids." -- Barbara in FL



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

Winning Website

Electronic Naturalist — http://www.enaturalist.org

An on-line education program providing a weekly environmental
education unit. Each unit has artwork, text, activities, additional
websites, plus online access to a professional naturalist. Two
reading levels are available for grades K-3 (Quick Read) and 4-8
(Full Read). You can choose to view the current topic or browse
past topics for handy units anytime you need them! Each topic
includes a free mini poster you can download and print plus an
interesting activity to reinforce the information taught in the

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

Last Issue's Reader Question

"We are in our first year of homeschooling and are already
beginning to plan for next year. My dilemma is what curriculum
to use. We currently use Bob Jones materials for my 8 and 5 year
old. They love it and do not want to switch. I think much of
their love comes from the fact that this is what they know and
are used to (they used this at the Christian school they once
attended). I too love the layout and depth of their program,
but teaching a full individual program to each of the girls
leaves me running a marathon between the two all day long. I
would rather try something more like Sonlight where I can teach
more than one child at once. Do I stick with what they enjoy
or do I choose what is best for me? Any ideas?" -- Dianah

Our Readers' Responses

"Perhaps you could do a gradual weaning out of the familiar and
into the new. Using only one of the content areas, such as
science, history, or Bible, abandon the published curriculum
and try something new. After they have adjusted to that, switch
another subject.

Another approach might be to take a break from Bob Jones and do
a fun unit study for a week or two. This would provide an easy
and non-threatening introduction to a new approach.

In my seventeen years of homeschooling, most of the drop-outs
I've known were using a traditional textbook method. As you are
beginning to see, burnout is one of the side effects." -- Mary Beth


"Perhaps something in between will work. My children each have
their own curriculum for the basics in language arts and arithmetic.
While one is doing seat work or practice, I teach the other. For
subjects like science, history, the arts, geography and social
studies, I do a combined class with everyone. They seem to get
more out of it this way. The five year old will get a lot out of
doing work with the older child. If there are worksheets involved,
scale it down to their age. For example: have the eight year old
diagram, describe and label the stages of a plant growing while
the five year old just draws them." -- Danielle T.


"Dianah -- I would highly recommend looking at 'My Father's World'
-- www.mfwbooks.com . I started using their curriculum (which is a
combination of unit study/classical/Charlotte Mason) with my 2
daughters when one of them was 8. MFW does an excellent job of
researching and providing all the books needed to teach Bible,
Science, Music, Art, Geography or History, and it comes with
complete daily lesson plans! They make it so very easy to teach
all your children together. You purchase your own Math and Language
Arts curriculum and you're good to go. We began with the 'Countries
and Cultures' curriculum, learning about geography, and then pro-
ceeded to the years of world history -- and I think I loved it as
much as my girls did!" -- Dawn


"Hi Dianah -- You could always use your existing curriculum for math,
English, and spelling, and use a unit study format for subjects such
as history, science, geography, etc. We loved 'Considering God's
Creation' for science, Greenleaf Guides for history, and Kathryn
Stout's guides on a number of topics.

You could also combine subjects like handwriting with spelling or
English to save a little time. Instead of using a separate hand-
writing curriculum, have your children write out spelling words,
lines from a story, or sentences from the English lesson to make
that count as handwriting. Keep age level lined paper and a hand-
writing chart handy; you may have to help them to start to model
good penmanship, but it'll save time in the long run.

Consider also doing subjects like history and science every other
day. We did this in the elementary grades with unit studies and it
worked out fine; we got plenty of work done over the course of the
year. I would often assign my kids small projects that correlated
with the unit studies, such as drawing pictures of a historical scene,
making up a game with science facts, doing some research for a
project, working on our timeline, etc. The small tasks were often
done on our 'off' day, or in time I allotted for such projects. I
considered this type of thing just as important as other subjects,
as they were still thinking, creating, and learning.

Trust the Lord for wisdom; He provided wonderful support for me over
the years. All the best to you!" -- Karen in KY


"Weaver curriculum from Alpha Omega Publications is a great way to
teach two or more of your children together, even though they are
different ages/grade levels. Add your math and any supplemental/
resource material and you are good to go! One volume contains
material through grade 8. There are recommended/suggested resources,
but many of these are optional and/or can be borrowed from the
library as needed. It is a very flexible curriculum that is adapt-
able to a variety of teaching/learning styles as well."


"Dianah -- I don’t think you have to choose between something that
works for you and something that works for the kids. Is there
another alternative? Is there a way to combine some of their
lessons in BJU? Can you use Bob Jones for some subjects and
something else that the girls can do together for other subjects?

Personally, I love the Five in a Row curriculum for that age and
was able to educate my children (2 to 3 years apart) together.
Maybe you could borrow a unit study (or find a free printable
one on the web), and let your kids try it out. Discover if this
is a good way for them to learn before making a commitment to switch.

When it comes down to it, the education has to work for all of you
as a family." -- Jean


"Maybe you could do a mix of things - keep Bob Jones for, say, math,
and perhaps language arts, and find something else for history and
science that you could use with both children. This would give them
the opportunity to get used to something new, while keeping their
familiar favorite, yet would reduce the burden on you." -- Laurie


"BJU can be a lot! Designed for classrooms it includes many 'extras'.
Satisfy their comfort and your own sanity by compromise. Use BJU
for Math as it is harder to teach to various ages but skip some of
the extra work. Science could be combined using Apologia or Christian
Kids Explore. History I think is more fun taught jointly. You may
want to keep them separate in English. If you like BJU Bible there
is no reason it cannot be used for multiple grades. Doing Bible 3
days a week we used one BJU book for 2 years; supplement Bible
reading for 'reading' one day a week. Sometimes it's hard to get
beyond grade labels. I think you will find it more interesting
later on with the variety!" -- Sue

Answer our NEW Question

"This is a spin off from the reluctant writer question (I will be
checking out Excellence in Writing!). My children are a bit younger,
6, 8 and 10. My 10 year old can write but doesn't enjoy it very much,
especially creative writing (fictional). She does reports well, but
reluctantly. My 8 year old has lots of creative ideas, but his
spelling and sentence structure really needs help! Is there somewhere
I could see where they 'should be'... objectively? A friend in our
co-op suggested that if they aren't 'composing' comfortably by 6th
grade, then it's time to hunker down and make sure they are there by
the beginning of 7th grade. For those of you further along, do you
find this to be true? What are your thoughts on what they should be
able to do and when, with regard to writing? Thanks!" -- Jill


Do you have an opinion and/or some guidance for Jill about writing?

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!

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.


Our Newsletter Archive

Access the Homeschool Notebook issues you have missed...
at our archives! http://www.FamilyClassroom.net


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
reach our audience of over 12,000 homeschooling parents!


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.]

Again, I welcome you to the group! Feel free to send any
contributions to mailto:HN-articles@familyclassroom.net or

Our main website is:

We also sponsor an incredible site with over 1,500 pages of helps!


No part of this newsletter (except subscription information
below) may be copied and/or displayed in digital format online
(for instance, on a website or blog) without EXPRESS permission
from the editor. Individuals may, however, forward the newsletter
IN ITS ENTIRETY to *individual* friends (not email groups). For
reprints in paper publications (homeschool support group newsletters,
etc.) please direct your request to: mailto:Heather@FamilyClassroom.net

Next - Lori Shares her 'Unschooling' Story with Jill
Previous - A Fair Idea, Quiet-Time Busy Books, Bible Curriculum?

     Site content copyright individual contributors and FamilyClassroom.net 2001-2011 - Digital duplication expressly prohibited.
Privacy Policy | Advertise