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Greg Landry Science, TruthQuest History, Speech Therapy

By Heather Idoni

Added Monday, March 23, 2009

The Homeschooler's Notebook
Encouragement and Advice for Homeschool Families
Vol. 10 No 23 March 23, 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.




Notes from Heather
-- Reader Feedback and Reminder
Helpful Tip
-- A Wee Tip from Ireland
Resource Review
-- TruthQuest History Guides
Reader Question
-- Homeschooled Speech Therapy
Additional Notes
-- Newsletter Archives
-- Sponsorship Information
-- Reprint Information
-- Subscriber Information

Notes from Heather

Reader Feedback on Greg Landry's Homeschool Science Academy


"Heather -- Homeschool mom of 5 boys here, in South Carolina -- I
have written in a couple of times. Just want to let you know how
awesome the timing is of getting your note about Greg Landry and
his help for homeschoolers. Incidentally, I subscribed to Greg's
mailing list last Fall just by coming across it in an online search
for Biology helps for my 16 year old. With two college boys on
full academic scholarships now, I'm a fairly confident homeschooler
after doing it all of my life... BUT... I have a 'Science Boy' who
needed more than I could give him, as he desires to be a Biology
major in college. Anyway -- just this past Sunday night we tapped
into Greg Landry's online chat 'Top 10 Mistakes Homeschoolers Make'
-- it was the first time we've accessed his online seminars. He
affirmed and challenged us! I can see where we've made some mistakes
and we are adjusting our homeschool expectations for our 3 remaining
fellows based on some of his recommendations. Though the older two
are doing well in college, they will be more challenged in Science
classes due to our mistakes in preparing them better at home.

All that to say, it's funny that you sent the recommendation for
Greg Landry today and I'd just listened to him Sunday night for the
first time! I HIGHLY recommend his counsel to ALL homeschoolers!
Thanks for encouraging others with good resources!"

-- Crystal Baker

Note from Heather: Crystal -- thanks for writing! For those wanting
more info about Greg's FREE online talks, here is his website:



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

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Helpful Tip

A Wee Tip from a Mom in Ireland

"Here is a good wee site I have recently found where there are
plenty of free things to download as well as stuff to buy --
BUT you can also SELL your lessons that you have made!"


-- Chris in Belfast, Northern Ireland


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

Resource Review

TruthQuest History Guides
Author: Michelle Miller
For more information or to order: www.truthquesthistory.com

One look at TruthQuest History and you'll never see the study of
history the same again! Homeschool mom and author, Michelle Miller,
has challenged both the parent and student(s) to view history in a
brand new way -- not just the story of mankind, but the story of the
One who made mankind! Her literature-based guides through history
are deep and meaty, yet surprisingly easy to understand and to use.

For this review, I was sent the 'Guide for Ancient Rome' and 'American
History for Young Students' Volume 3 (1865 - 2000). These are just
two of the twelve guides available -- enough to give a thorough study
of American and World History for your child from Kindergarten through

First, I’d like to point out how all of these guides are organized.
Each guide has an introductory 'Notes for Mom' section that briefly
explains how to use this style of teaching. Then, the main text of
the guide uses embolden type to highlight the commentary which will
bring to life the most important God-revealing principles of history,
human worth, government, etc. This commentary is part of what makes
TruthQuest History unique from other literature-based curriculums.

For those of us who didn't grow up with a Biblical worldview, but who
desperately want our children to have one, Michelle gets us thinking.
She teaches our children AND us as we discuss the many points she so
clearly brings out. The main section of each guide also includes an
extensive reading list specific for each topic. Thought-provoking
'ThinkWrite' exercises (strategically placed throughout the volumes)
provide a place for our children to process what they’ve been learning
and put their thoughts on paper. The final section of the book is the
appendix, which provides a summary of the main points as they relate
to the ThinkWrite assignments -- a very helpful tool for mom.

On the surface these guides may seem to be nothing more than a
glorified reading list - but they are so much more! The Ancient
Rome Guide has much more challenging ThinkWrite assignments,
lending it best suited for upper elementary through high school.
If you have children in multiple grades, you can definitely use
this guide with younger students as well (using more discussion
of the ideas and forgoing or adjusting the writing assignments).

The 'American History for Young Students' volumes 1 - 3 use fewer
and easier ThinkWrite assignments, less commentary and more extensive
book lists. I have used Volume 3 with my children and can tell you
that they *live* the books we read through their playing! I elected
to use a timeline notebook and some outline maps found online to
supplement our study. The guide is so easy to use, I read the
commentary aloud then we spent time reading from some of the
wonderful books Michelle recommends or others that I found at the
library. No textbooks, tests or tears!

What about lesson plans? There are none because the author feels
that there is no 'one-size-fits-all-plan' for God’s children. "He
has made each one uniquely, and has a unique plan for their lives...".
She doesn't know what that plan is for your family, so what right
does she have to schedule your day?! Of course, she does recommend
that you have a general plan of what you want to cover. I know there
are days when we do very little reading because of time constraints
and then other days when the book is so good we can’t put it down.
Then we let other things 'slide' so we can keep reading as long as
mom's voice holds out! In her 'Notes for Mom' section, Michelle
encourages you to be assertive -- feeling free to skip topics, add
activities or assignments -- whatever best fits YOUR family and
educational philosophy.

One word of caution -- as I’ve mentioned, these guides have LOTS
of books listed to give you as many choices as possible. Guard
against the temptation to purchase every book listed or feeling
like you can't study a topic if your library doesn't have the books
recommended! Pick and choose the books you will use and leave the
rest -- without any guilt!

Overall, TruthQuest History has provided just what many lovers of
literature have been looking for -- lists of great books and how to
link them, in order, to various periods of history. All of this
with the added benefit of commentary and assignments from a Biblical
worldview that challenge our kids to see history in a whole new light.

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

Last Issue's Reader Question

"I have a 6 year old son that had been in public school up until
October 2008, when we began homeschooling. In kindergarten and
1st grade, at the public school, he received speech classes. He
substitutes the 'w' sound for the 'r' sound. I was told that he
could not receive any more speech therapy because the 'r' sound
isn't considered a problem until the child is 8 years old and
still can't pronounce it.

My question is this: Has anyone ever used or tried anything at
home to correct this? His previous speech teacher sent home some
exercises that involve him 'growling' when he says the 'r' sound,
but I still hear the 'w'. I was told of 'Straight Talk #1' (a book
to use at home), but I'm not sure what to do. He also stutters.
He started at about 4 years old, but only for about 2 months and
then all of a sudden he stopped. Then, about 8 months ago, he
started again and continues to stutter. He gets sooooo frustrated,
but I've been told to just leave it alone. Thanks." -- Leslie

Our Readers' Responses

"Hi Leslie -- We successfully used 'Straight Talk I' with our
second son, who could not say his r's correctly.

He was 8 when I started it with him. By that age, he was able to
understand and successfully participate in /r/ correction. It
took about a year of daily practice (doesn't take long each day;
we just made it part of his school), which transitioned from making
the correct sound in different positions within individual words,
to producing it while he was reading aloud, and eventually saying
it in his everyday speech. By the time he was nearly 10, you would
never know he'd had a problem saying his r's. /r/ is a difficult
sound in the standard American English dialect and it takes time to
retrain a child's brain to produce it correctly, so have patience
and don't give up!

Also, believe it or not, our oldest son went through a period of
stuttering back when he was about 3 1/2. I sought out online
resources and found help via the Stuttering Home Page at
http://www.mnsu.edu/comdis/kuster/stutter.html -- and the Stuttering
Foundation of America
at http://www.stuttersfa.org/ . They directed
me to a wonderful, university-based speech language pathologist whose
university was an hour's drive from where we were living at the time.
He and his students (assistants) evaluated our son and gave us some
great tips for helping him at home. This first consultation, and a
few follow-up phone calls to touch bases with the SLP and make sure
we were on track, were all that was needed to help our son get over
his stuttering.

Your son is, I believe, still young enough to be in that 'window'
where he can be helped to completely overcome stuttering. But this
will require your active involvement; the advice you are getting to
just 'do nothing' is wrong! The key is not to correct him when he
stutters, but instead, to model what he is trying to say using relaxed,
normal speech. So for example if he says, 'I w-w-w-want the b-b-b-ball'
you would say, 'Oh, you want the ball?' There's more to it, but it's
been so long that I can't remember. To help get you started, I
encourage you to look into a university-based speech program (look for
one specializing in stuttering) if one is in your vicinity. Also, a
book that greatly helped us is 'Stuttering Intervention: A Collaborative
Journey to Fluency Freedom'
by David A. Shapiro, Ph.D., CCC-SLP."
-- Kathleen


"Leslie -- Three of my four children had this same speech quirk.
Yes, /r/ isn't considered a problem until much later. So, you may
just want to relax and let it be. Other than sending your son to
speech classes, you may want to try *not* to correct him -- instead,
model the correct speech sound. For example, if he talks about his
'woom' (room), reply with a sentence that contains the word 'room'
and emphasize the proper sound. When you do phonics or reading,
explain the sound clearly and try to get at least one repeat from
him that sounds close, but let it go after that.

By the way, each of my children moved out of this phase by age 7,
and they all practiced being pirates to help with the proper sound.
'Arrrghh!' doesn't have the mouth come close to the /w/ sound; it
starts with the mouth and jaw open, so it is easier for the child
to not mistakenly begin the sound with the lips puckered. Note: I
am not a speech professional, but I have worked with my children
and with others for various speech sounds, and most seem to resolve
themselves naturally with patience and good modeling." -- Anne


"I have a daughter and a son who mispronounce the l and r sounds.
I just found out about a series of books which I have ordered through
my library. (I sometimes do this before purchasing the actual book;
then I know if the book is worth owning.)

Title: 'Help Me Talk Right' by Mirla G. Raz

Here is a link to Amazon that you can view about the book and some



"My son also had the same problem with his 'r' sound. 'New York'
came out Nuh Yewuck, 'right' was white. It was really bad and he got
teased the one year he was in school. He grew out of it at about age
8-9. I really wouldn't stress about that." -- Sandy


"Hi, Leslie. I'm a grandma who is just beginning the homeschooling
journey with my 10 year old grandson who has autism. We have been
through years of speech therapy. I'm not a speech therapist but you
might want to try mouth and tongue exercises. Some examples I remember
are blowing up balloons, playing with soap bubbles, playing with blow
toys (like a pipe thing with a basket at the end and a little ball --
you blow in the pipe and the ball lifts up), making exaggerated funny
faces in a mirror together (try to make the face using the muscles that
are needed to make the 'r' sound), play games rolling a grape or a
round candy from one side of your mouth to the other, holding the grape
or candy on your tongue and sticking your tongue out without dropping it,
drink with a narrow diameter straw, roll the straw (or something else)
between your lips from one side of your mouth to the other, chew gum
and blow bubbles, paint both of your teeth and lips with peanut butter
and lick it off.

A therapist could tell you specifically which exercises would help with
the 'r' sound. I can't remember. Most important is making it a fun
activity for the two of you to share - not 'therapy'." -- Linda


"Hi, I am a Speech Pathologist/Homeschool Mom. My name is Sue
Abernethy. I'll try to offer a little assistance with your child.

Developmentally, a six year old does not need to use his/her 'r'
sound. Sometimes for a six year old, it may be difficult to produce
this sound correctly even with maximum help. However, I have worked
with even younger children who have been able to get the sound and
use it correctly. Every child is different.

Here is what I tell a child whom I am working with:

'When you say 'rabbit', your lips form a round shape and say 'wabbit'.
Let's try it another way. Open your mouth, put your tongue up, and
then take your finger and gently push it back -- while keeping your
tongue up. Then, try to make the 'r' sound and try to sound like a
fire truck, and don't let you lips go round into a circle.'

This may take time and practice. Until the 'r' can be sounded correctly
in isolation (alone), you cannot begin to try to put it into words with
your child. Once your child is ready to begin with words (because the
isolated 'r' is strong), begin with what is called 'broken words' such
as: 'rrrrr-abbit' or 'rrrrr-ake' so that the child cannot round his
or her lips.

I hope that this makes sense for you. This is plenty to get you started!
Learning the 'r' is one of the most difficult sounds and I encourage
you to not put too much pressure on your child. It can take six or
more months to teach it and get it used correctly and consistently.
Reducing pressure to produce the sound correctly may help reduce the
stuttering you spoke of as well as building self-confidence with the 'r'.
In fact, in order to build listening/auditory skills, I have found it
to be quite successful for the teacher or the parent to make lots of 'r'
mistakes (at the beginning of words only) and let the child correct
the adult -- without having to repeat the word correctly afterwards.
The goal here would be for the child to learn to LISTEN for the sound,
which facilitates development (without pressure). An example would be
'Are you 'weady' to go?' Then you could say, 'Oops, I forgot to use my
'r'', then correct yourself.

Good luck! It's a tough task, but it can be done!" -- Sue

Answer our NEW Question

"I am starting my third month of homeschooling and my son is doing
pretty well. He sleeps a lot -- possibly due to his medication for
seizures at night. Sometimes he is too tired to do much, so I get
in what I can. He has OT and Speech therapy 3 times a week, so he
is tired from that -- and he has separation anxiety when they try
to take him in without me.

I am struggling with finding curriculum -- I am using workbooks and
making up my own papers. He is in 3rd grade but works at 1st to 2nd
grade level. I need to find something soon that is affordable. Any
advice you could give would be greatly appreciated." -- Robyn


Do have some suggestions for Robyn and her son?

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

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Next - The Thinking Toolbox; Readers Suggest Affordable Curriculum
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