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Money Math Games, RightStart vs. MUS, Geography Songs

By Heather Idoni

Added Monday, April 06, 2009

The Homeschooler's Notebook
Encouragement and Advice for Homeschool Families
Vol. 10 No 27 April 6, 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.


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Notes from Heather
-- CPSIA, Money Math Game
Helpful Tip
-- RightStart vs. MUS
Resource Review
-- Geography Songs
Reader Question
-- Homeschooling Jr. High
Additional Notes
-- Newsletter Archives
-- Sponsorship Information
-- Reprint Information
-- Subscriber Information

Notes from Heather

CPSIA Meets Dr. Seuss Podcast - Listen to the Show!

Jodi Whisler and I were guests last Thursday (4/2) on Grace
Talk Soup with JoJo and Carla -- and we had a blast! (I had
quite a head cold, so if I sound funny you'll know why... LOL)

Here is the link to listen to the show! (Scroll down to 4/2/2009)


Please post a comment there if you do get a chance to listen!


Money Math Revisited

This issue a reader recommends a cool game for teaching 'money
math', which was a topic of discussion recently. The game is
called "Money Bags" and has a total of 15 5-star customer reviews!

I put it in my shopping cart at Amazon.com -- this looks like the
best resource I've ever seen for teaching making change and coin
values, etc. If you read the reviews you will get a good picture
of how it is a really fun game and not just a boring 'educational
tool'. Here is the link:


-- Heather


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


The Homeschooler's Notebook Recommends the GOLD CLUB:

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Try out your 30-day membership! Just visit this link and read all
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It is never too early to start planning the high school adventure!



Helpful Tip

RightStart Math vs. MathUSee

"I have been using RightStart for 3 years and can't say enough
good things about it. I have used it with both of my boys -- my
oldest began in 1st grade (he skipped the kindergarten book because
he already knew its concepts) and is now in 3rd. The other I
started with the Kindergarten level and he is now doing 1st.

We chose it over MathUSee - mainly because of the variety of
manipulatives. Also, its focus of 'seeing' 5 and 10... versus
counting, seemed good to me.

Both my boys love math and ask to do it first each day. I credit
RightStart -- http://www.alabacus.com/ -- for that.

I would also suggest getting the RightStart card game book (and
the necessary cards). The games are easy and fun and really do
teach the concepts.

Two other games we have loved that taught them their money math
are "Buy It Right" and "Money Bags".

We either skip or breeze through the RightStart money lessons
because the boys already know them from playing these games so much.

-- Kytha, HomeschoolingBOYS.com group member


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

Resource Review

Geography Songs
Published by: www.audiomemory.com
For more information or to order: http://www.audiomemory.com

How many of us remember catchy jingles from commercials or learning
grammar rules via songs and poems? Music helps information that
otherwise might be tedious to learn and remember, 'stick' in our
minds. Travel around the world, and even out into the solar system
with Geography Songs, and you'll be amazed how much your children
learn and, more importantly, remember!

Geography Songs has twenty-seven songs covering the solar system,
regions, continents, and countries. The simple melodies are easy
to learn, and songs primarily stick to names of countries, states
or provinces, and capitals. In addition to the CD, the song
lyrics are provided in a colorful student book.

In addition to the song lyrics, the student book also contains
illustrations that correspond with each song - landmarks, flags,
etc. Of course, no geography resource is complete without maps,
so a map is provided with each song showing the information in
the order it is sung. Additional pages with interesting facts
and pictures of famous landmarks, along with student test pages
(reproducible) with fill-in-the-blank song sheets, help students
retain the information they are singing.

Though not a complete geography curriculum, Geography Songs will
go a long way toward building geographical literacy in all ages!
Especially beneficial for auditory learners, all students can
benefit from singing along and pointing to details on the included
maps as they sing. This product makes a great supplement to your
existing curricula, or a stand alone introduction that will lay
fs a great foundation for future studies.

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

Last Issue's Reader Question

"I am thinking about homeschooling my daughter for the next two
years so she will miss the Jr. High where we live. She will be
in the 7th grade. I have always wanted to homeschool her, but
being a single parent with extremely limited outside support and
having to work full-time as a teacher in the district, it hasn't
been possible. Do any of you have any ideas or suggestions? I
do plan for her to take band and participate in the school's
sports offerings. I simply know since I teach in that school
district that it isn't the safest place for her to be. I also
have doubts about the quality of the '3 R's' education she is
getting. I am just so confused about all of it right now that
I think any feedback would be very welcome." -- Julianna D.

Our Readers' Responses

"Hey, Julianna -- Congratulations on your decision! You won't
regret it, especially at your daughter's age right now. Having a
son who just completed 7th grade, I recommend some programs that
he has been using that your daughter will be able to use pretty
independently, but get a great education AND enjoy it at the same

For Language Arts, I would recommend Mosdos Press for Literature.

They have an anthology of short stories, essays, poetry, a full
novel and a workbook that goes along with it with vocabulary,
essay questions, examination of literary devices and elements,
and writing opportunities. Website is: http://www.mosdospress.com/

Also for Grammar, I recommend Easy Grammar and Daily Grams - a
great program for grammar, capitalization, punctuation, and sentence

For an interesting History program, I would recommend you look at
the online books available for different time periods, events,
people, and countries. They are factual but more in a story format
and my kids love history this way and better remember everything
this way as well. After each chapter they write a summary of what
they have just heard (since we all read together), we also map
out things and keep a timeline. Here are links for stories in
audio format and online book format:


For science, I would recommend Apologia General Science. Great
science program - we use the book on CD format.

It comes with the text, audio and video files, study review guides
to print off with answer key, tests and answer keys. We also buy
the lapbooks from Live and Learn Press that go along with this:


My son cuts out the booklets and answers the questions that go along
with the program; then he glues the booklets onto card stock and puts
it all into a notebook. We also print off the experiment sheets from
the CD text and he does these pretty much on his own -- he writes
down the results and puts this into a notebook as well. It uses only
easily found household materials.

For math, I completely recommend the Teaching Textbooks series:

Hope this helps and gives you some ideas! Good luck to you and
your daughter!" -- Katie from Katie's Homeschool Cottage

'Sharing Creative Ideas to Homeschool the Charlotte Mason Way'

Answer our NEW Question

"Hi -- I am new to homeschooling. I am trying to be creative
in having my 12 year old son write (using a computer for
writing, starting his own blog, etc.), but he avoids writing
at all costs. I know it is not his favorite activity, but I
could use some suggestions on how I can get him to try or how
to incorporate writing into our day." -- Lisa


Do you have a practical suggestion for Lisa and her son?

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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and let them know that Heather sent you!

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there to serve and share their wisdom... or just offer a listening
ear and encouragement.


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Next - Delaying Formal Learning, Tips for a Reluctant Writer
Previous - Covert Writing II, Art Treasure Hunt, Teaching Money Math

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