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Our First High School Edition!

By Heather Idoni

Added Monday, April 13, 2009

The Homeschooler's Notebook
***SPECIAL SERIES - High School Homeschooling***
Vol. 10 No 29 April 13, 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.


"Whatever Happened to Penny Candy?"

"[This book is] absolutely marvelous and clearly explained!
I am a science teacher certified to teach all the major science
disciplines and have read many books concerning economics. This
one trumps them all! Common sense is throughout... what every
American needs to know." -- P.G. in New York


"It is truly a shame that a reader can learn more from this
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This book should be taught starting in junior high. It's clearly
and simply written and very few of the concepts require a great
deal of thought. After understanding it, you'll trust your own
judgment over the babblers on T.V. and in the universities."
-- Bob W. in MO

Get your copy of the most popular homeschool economics book of
all time -- "Whatever Happened to Penny Candy?"



Notes from Heather
-- Our New High School Newsletters
Readers Share
-- Answer Our Question!
Helpful Tip for High School
-- Timing Math Courses to Testing
Recommended Resources
-- Freedom in the High School Years
Reader Question
-- Direction for a Reluctant Learner
Additional Notes
-- Newsletter Archives
-- Sponsorship Information
-- Reprint Information
-- Subscriber Information

Notes from Heather

Welcome to our very FIRST *dedicated* HIGH SCHOOL issue! :-)


Twice per month we will have an issue dedicated solely to the
high school years. It is never too early to plan ahead and
begin learning about the fun of planning/customizing a high school
education! If you have a child 11 years old or older, you can
expect to find a abundance of tips for preparing for the high
school years, including planning an interest-based, unique course
of study, deciphering CLEP exams and how they can save thousands
of dollars on college expenses, learning exactly what colleges
are looking for on a transcript, and thinking outside of the box
when it comes to those magical 4 years of preparing practically
for an independent adult life.

I don't intend to reinvent the wheel, either! There are some
awesome mentors with fantastic websites/articles online designed
to take you by the hand and give you confidence to captain the
helm of your own ships -- and hundreds of our own readers who
have also successfully navigated the high school waters! I want
these special issues to be reader-created and full of gold nuggets
of insight, encouragement and practical tips.


Here is a great example of a "gold nugget"!

I recently read an article by Lee Binz (The HomeScholar), a mom
who is known for helping her sons acquire $184,000 in full-tuition
college scholarships -- just by developing outstanding transcripts!

She gave some great assistance to a mom who was concerned that her
son's only real interest was in watching a show called "Warriors"
on the History Channel -- and he couldn't get enough of it. The
host of the show had become a real hero to him -- he has read his
biography and had a strong desire to follow in his steps.

Here is Lee's reply to this desperate mother to help her learn to
incorporate 'delight-directed' learning into her son's high school
education by taking full advantage of a seemingly non-academic
interest. She wanted to know if there was a 'program' to fit her


"I don't think there has been a program written like that yet, so
you'll have to do it yourself!

But first, let's think about it. My son studied economics during
every year of high school; Beautiful Feet has their 'History of
Horses' program. Let's just assume that it CAN be done, and then
brainstorm together.

Idea #1 -- How about the history of weapons? There are certain
'history of war' books that will provide a timeline of every war.
During each war, there could be some research, written reports,
study the science of the times (tie it in to the history of science,
for example, so that he studies that.) He could draw each weapon
as well. Consider looking at the Teaching Company Lectures, because
I believe they have some of the history of science topics.

Idea #2 -- Purchase a time period based curriculum (Sonlight, The
Well-Trained Mind, or Tapestry of Grace, for example.) Instead of
using their curriculum as written, substitute their writing sugges-
tions for a more personalized assignment. Spend additional research
on your child's interests, instead of the assigned research. That
would provide a little more structure than idea #1.

Idea #3 -- Model your high school after your son's hero. You and I
both know that the hero's resume’ is not what was required of him.
It was who he IS. But to hold up your son to this ideal would really
help in the long run. By following this hero, your child will be
motivated to learn math, science, etc. Let's look at his hero, Terry
Schappert, for a moment:

'Terry began his military career 17 years ago with the 82nd Airborne
Division. While assigned to a recon squad, he completed Ranger
School. After serving in the Persian Gulf War, he moved on to his
ultimate challenge, becoming a Green Beret.'

[This all requires strong preparation in Phys Ed.]

'Since completing the Special Forces Qualification Course, Terry has
been deployed on training and combat missions all over the world,
most recently in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. In addition to
his military credentials, Terry is a licensed paramedic,' --

[Biology and Advanced Biology are necessary for a paramedic. Some
experience with blood and/or hospitals are a help. He might consider
being a hospital volunteer. Paramedics also need math, so they don't
kill someone by giving the wrong dose of a drug or the wrong volume
of IV fluids. I'm a nurse, so trust me on this one!]

-- 'has extensive martial arts training',

[Excellent PE! Martial arts can provide not only PE, but also a
passionate interest that could last for 4+ years, with the ability
to develop leadership as his skills improve.]

-- 'speaks several languages',

[Ask your son what language he wants to speak, then follow that.]

-- 'and holds a degree in Anthropology'.

[Anthropology is a branch of social science (social studies.) He
would need to develop his history and comparative governments -- as
well as economics. Anthropology requires a strong background in
statistics, a branch of math.]

'Terry is the eyes and ears of the viewer, as he travels the globe
to discover exactly what it takes to be a warrior.'

This is a great opportunity to discover geography! That might be
a good 'right now' course. We used Runkle's 'Wonderful World of
and my boys memorized the location of every country in
the world (no kidding.)

It was great, because then as they learned more about history and
current events, they could understand where they took place. And
as your son watches his hero on TV, he will know exactly where these
places are located. And by the way, the history channel is a GREAT
way to get history! So go for it!"


This is just a very small example of the great consulting that is
available for free to Lee's Gold Care Club members!

Tuesday, April 21st, at 3 pm Eastern time (12 noon PST), Lee is
launching the full version of the Gold Care Club program -- the
first parents to sign-up will receive some great bonuses, (and there
are MANY other amenities -- too many to list here) so READ about
it at the link below, then bookmark it and mark your calendar! :-)


Interested? A FREE 30-day Gold Care Club membership is available
RIGHT NOW for families who purchase Lee's e-book "The Easy Truth
About Homeschool Transcripts

And don't miss Lee's FREE mini e-course -- "The 5 Biggest Mistakes
Parents Make When Homeschooling High School... And How You Can Avoid


In future issues we'll be sharing some of these 'real life' examples
of the kind of customized help you can expect from Lee and other
high school mentors. Do you have an experience like this to share?

Please do!

Send your emails to: mailto:heather@familyclassroom.net



High School Question of the Issue

I will be including a question each week that I invite our
readers to answer! The answers received will be shared in our
next high school issue on Monday, April 27th.

Here is our FIRST question:

"For those who have graduated at least one child/student, what is
is the single most important thing you wish you had known before
you began the high school years?"


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

Thank you! :-)

Helpful Tip for High School

Great Tip on Timing Math Courses to College Entry Exams


"This is something I discovered that I would like to share. My
daughter Alissa worked with her sister who was a year older for
most of their subjects, which worked fine except that she completed
Algebra I and II, and Geometry, by her Sophomore year. She then
took Business Math her junior year for a more practical side of
math. The problem was that the ACTs are taken your Junior year
and placement tests your Senior year. Therefore she needed to do
intensive review and didn't do near as well on the tests as she
would have if she had been currently taking the math that was being
tested for. So in looking back -- and ahead for my other children
-- I will adjust that and either have them take CLEP tests when
they finish a subject or have them continue in a higher math just
to keep them fresh, even though they don't need it for their
intended field." -- Misty W.

Recommended Resources

If you are interested in thinking outside the box about high school
(especially if you have a child less interested in formal academics
and college prep and more interested in "getting on with life",
including starting their own business... or an art focus, etc.), you
might enjoy reading these 2 books. They are also great to help
de-school if you have a child/student leaving the public school
system during his/her high school years and you want to break the
herd mentality that comes with institutionalization:

Real Lives: Eleven Teenagers Who Don't Go to School Tell Their Own Stories

The Teenage Liberation Handbook:  How to Quit School and Get a Real Life
and Education

These books are enlightening even if you have a traditional course
of study planned for high school! They help you think more about
interest-centered learning and life prep.


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

High School Websites

I would like this section of the newsletter to be a spot where our
readers can share any website that has been helpful to them with
high school or college preparation... or help with navigating the
teen years! It can be specific to a subject (like math) or more
general -- just any site you've bookmarked and used to help with
high school. Share the website address and also a little about the
site and how it has helped you personally.

To start us out I'm going to just list some of my favorites --

Homeschool Oasis - High School Helps Section

The Official SAT Question of the Day

About the College Level Examination Program (CLEP)

Last Issue's Reader Question

"I have an 8th grader this year who is a reluctant learner.
I'm worried about high school and what to do. He has the
potential, but not the drive; he hates school. I've tried to
do unit studies with all 3 of my children (14, 12, and 7),
but he slows them down. He takes too long to do the subjects
that are not involved in the unit study like math and silent
reading. If I wait until after our group time to do math, he
struggles more. He says I never do anything that he wants
to learn about, but if I do that, I feel like we are constantly
jumping around. We are using Learning Adventures and Teaching
Textbooks. I'm so nervous about where to begin next year. Does
anyone have any DETAILED ideas for next year. I'm not the most
organized mom, but God is always working on me." -- Tiffany

Our Readers' Responses

Dear Tiffany,

We didn't receive responses to your question -- perhaps because
it is difficult to give *detailed* ideas without knowing more
about your son. However, I do want to direct you to a previous
series I wrote about what I do with counseling students/parents
locally. Please take the time to read here:

A High School Plan - Part One
A High School Plan - Part Two

A High School Plan - Part Three
A High School Plan - Part Four
A High School Plan - Part Five

The high school years can be a wonderful time of relationship
building and getting to know your son's personal interests. If
it were my son, I'd pull back on academics and re-group a bit.

It might be nearing the time for him to have a break -- and then
also NOT come back to working with his younger siblings on units.
He is older and ready for more independent work -- and the younger
children can continue enjoying unit studies while his course of
study can be more customized to his own interests. Let him take
a hand in planning his own days and then let him go with it! It
sounds like you may be trying to do too much overseeing and
direct teaching with him. Give him some time off and then give
him some independence. I think you will find that he comes back
to the math later on his own -- and you'll discover what he REALLY
wants to learn about. If you let him be more independent in his
own subject choices, you can concentrate on just mentoring him as
needed and doing more hands-on teaching with the younger ones.

Do read those articles in the issues I posted above -- and also
consider joining up with Lee Binz's 'Gold Care' program. I think
you will find it priceless to have some personalized care through
the high school years!

The Gold Care program officially launches on the 21st, but you
can read about it early and bookmark the page to sign-up:


Lee's Gold Care program is very similar to what I do one-on-one
with families at my store in Michigan. She takes you by the
hand and walks you through the high school years!

PS... There are several bonuses if you sign-up on April 21st at
or around 12 noon PST (3 pm EST).

PPS... If you haven't signed up for Lee's free mini-course on "The
5 Biggest Mistakes Parents Make When Homeschooling High School
you can do so here. Almost 2000 families have already signed up
and they have received nothing but RAVE reviews. Best of all,
it's FREE!!

Answer our NEW Question

[Our answers will appear in the next regular issue on Thursday.]


"I am looking for recommendations for math curriculum for a child
who loves math. I have been very pleased with the curriculum I've
used for the elementary grades (Bob Jones), but my daughter will be
in 7th grade next year and I was not as impressed with the curriculum
for the upper grades. So much of the discussion I've read has been
about reluctant or struggling learners. My girl loves math; she just
thinks mathematically. She can figure many things out in her head
before I've even explained the concept to her. What suggestions do
you have for a good math curriculum for a math-loving kid? Thank you."
-- Janet in KS


What do you think Janet should do with her math-loving daughter?

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.


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Next - Covert Writing III, Sideways Learning, Math-Loving Girl
Previous - Delaying Formal Learning, Tips for a Reluctant Writer

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