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By Heather Idoni

Added Monday, June 22, 2009

                 The Homeschooler's Notebook
      ***SPECIAL SERIES - High School Homeschooling***
   Vol. 10 No 46                          June 22, 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.


  Attention Catholic Homeschooling Families...

  Do you have a teen who loves Tolkien's Lord of the Rings?  Or
  just loves exciting historical fiction/fantasy?  Then they
  will love the CROWN OF THE WORLD trilogy from Nathan Sadasivan!

  "Masterful swordplay, powerfully intense battles, deceit and
  treachery, and the emergence of the saintly Baldwin IV, young
  Mr. Sadasivan has woven a vivid and enthralling tale of a
  forgotten Catholic kingdom... and has this reader awaiting
  Book Two of the Trilogy with great anticipation." -- Scott Jones,
  Our Lady of Victory Traditional Catholic Homeschooling

  "Nathan Sadasivan has a rare, raw talent and Crown of the World
  is a rip-roaring success.  A saga of Christendom told with a
  breadth of historical knowledge and a depth of empathy and
  understanding, this novel transports us to a time of turbulence
  and faith.  A work of such accomplishment from a writer of such
  youth is simply astonishing.  I hope and pray that this is the
  first of many more to follow." -- Professor Joseph Pearce, Ave
  Maria University, author of 'The Quest for Shakespeare'

  BOOK ONE has just gone on sale at Amazon!  Read all about this
  fantastic novel from a homeschool prodigy who began writing
  CROWN OF THE WORLD at age 15!

  Click here to find out more.



  Notes from Heather
  -- A Homeschool Mom's Experience
  Feature Article
  -- College for Struggling Learners?
  Helpful Tip for High School
  -- World Geography in 7 Months!
  Answers to Reader Question
  -- Thinkwell and CLE Electives
  Additional Notes
  -- Newsletter Archives
  -- Sponsorship Information
  -- Reprint Information
  -- Subscriber Information

       Notes from Heather

  I've been asking our readers who have graduated one or more children
  to share with us about what they wish they had known before they began
  their journey and what they have learned that might benefit the rest
  of us.  Here is one more email I have received in response to that
  request.  It is particularly directed toward Christian parents, but
  there is good advice here for everyone!


  "I have graduated two of my children and have five to go.  First
  off, relax in the Lord.  He is the master of your child's future
  and will direct it in ways you can't imagine.  For instance, we
  could not afford books for several years.  During that time I taught
  them using my old college books and library books; their assignments
  were research and write -- and then research and write some more.
  I felt awful and was convinced that my children would be crippled
  academically for not having all of those wonderful programs I drooled
  over in the catalogs.  When I finally had a dime to my name, I signed
  on as a consultant for a book company that specialized in critical
  thinking materials.  I was hoping to earn some of those really cool
  programs.  By that time though, my oldest son was a sophomore in high
  school.  HOWEVER, when I asked him recently what prepared him the
  most for his college success, he responded that it was those years
  when we didn't have books and I taught him to research and write
  papers and essays coupled with the critical thinking materials I
  earned for him the final two years of high school!  Though I didn't
  know it, the Lord was preparing my son, and He was doing it in a way
  that I would not have thought to choose.  He is currently at a private
  university attending on hefty and prestigous scholarships. 
  A practical tip would be to document everything beginning in the 9th
  grade.  I was really not prepared for the transcript and course content
  documentation that was requested by the schools.  I found it difficult
  to sort through old papers and determine what to name the classes
  (especially considering that we had not used a definitive program),
  and assign a grade for each class for each semester of high school.
  All of a sudden I had to add up grades for four years and come up with
  his averages!  It was daunting simply because I had not been record
  keeping all along. 
  I would also encourage extracurricular activities to match the child's
  anticipated major.  My oldest is a political science major with a minor
  in economics.  During high school he did things like volunteer on a
  gubanatorial campaign and set up a political education table at our
  local community college.  To demonstrate leadership skills, he
  organized a speech class through Toastmasters for homeschoolers.  My
  7th grader wants to be a doctor, and we have already contacted a
  naturopath who teaches homeopathic medicine classes as a community
  service.  We are anticipating and preparing for his entry into high
  school now.  Classes should also be specialized with a student's goals
  in mind.  My 7th grader knows that he must reach a certain level in
  math and science before graduation and is focusing special attention
  on those areas now in order to be at the appropriate college prep
  levels his senior year. 
  Above all, seek Christ in all things!" -- Lisa in Oregon


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

                         OUR SPONSOR


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       Feature Article

  College for Struggling Learners (Part One)
    by Lee Binz

  Dealing with learning challenges is difficult, but in high school
  it can become seriously concerning.  You don't have to be afraid!
  With the great student to teacher ratio of homeschooling, and the
  love for your child, you have what it takes! 

  Debbie was at her lowest point when she realized her 12 year old
  son, Dan, could not read or write in his Sunday school classes.
  She had to carefully shield him from the judgment of others.  Her
  homeschool friends were very understanding, but she worked hard to
  keep him away from situations where he would have to read aloud.
  She was distraught.  Again and again they changed curriculum,
  hoping each time that a new curriculum would change everything.  It
  seemed like nothing would ever work.  He struggled with learning all
  the way through high school.  She never had him officially tested,
  because she didn't want him to be labeled as an adult.  Dan has
  achieved wonderful things since graduating homeschool!

  When Dan turned 18, he started working at Starbucks.  An excellent
  worker, he received nothing but positive feedback which motivated
  him to continue his education.  He decided to attend college.  He
  didn't score well on the SAT, so they did not report his scores to
  colleges.  He entered college 'through the back door' his mother
  said, by attending community college first.  His excellent work
  ethic and love of learning helped him thrive where others felt
  adrift.  Dan transferred from community college to the university
  with a 3.89 grade point average.  There were 300 applicants to the
  business school this year, and Dan was one of only 100 admitted.
  Debbie says, "He finally realizes he can do it!"   

  Debbie has some great advice for parents.  Don't push them before
  they are ready.  She was glad she kept him home, so that he could
  avoid the negative feedback from a public school setting.  She
  read aloud to Dan constantly – even his high school textbooks,
  when necessary.  She used verbal assessments in all his classes,
  and didn't introduce essay writing until much later. 

  She recommends books by Dr. Raymond Moore, including Better Late
  Than Early: A New Approach to Your Child's Education
, The Teenage
  Liberation Handbook: How to Quit School and Get a Real Life and
by Grace Llewellyn, and The Way They Learn by Cynthia

  Debbie says, "You feel like you're failing – like you didn't do
  something right."  Don't be deterred, though.  It takes a lot of
  one-on-one time, but that's the benefit of homeschooling.  Read to
  them their textbooks -- and the classics.  Even in college they can
  be allowed help with reading. 

  In her lowest moments, Debbie would remember her grandfather.  He
  also could not read.  His wife would read blueprints to him each
  night so he would be prepared for work the next day.  Still, her
  grandfather was a successful businessman.  He was able to compensate.
  Her son Dan is able to compensate now.

  Her biggest surprise was realizing that Dan wanted a college degree.
  She had never thought he would go to college, and only vaguely
  considered a technical school.  But when he worked at Starbucks, he
  identified his gift in business.  So her additional advice is the
  same as mine.  She says, "Even if you think they won't go to college,
  they may – so always be prepared!" 

  Dan is so thankful he was homeschooled.  He has said he would never
  put his own children in public school.  He knows that if he had been
  in public school, he wouldn't be where he is today.  Nurturing is
  critical, and homeschooling can provide that best.  Debbie says, "I
  remember the hopelessness; they CAN succeed and excel – just give
  them the tools."


  (Stay tuned for more 'real life' stories -- in Part 2 of this
  series -- coming in our July 13th High School edition! -- Heather)


  Lee Binz, The HomeScholar, is an expert in helping parents homeschool
  high school.  Both her two boys earned full-tuition scholarships at
  their first choice university.

  Her e-book, "The Easy Truth About Homeschool Transcripts" will show
  you how to how to package that great education into an AMAZING
  transcript that will impress the colleges!

  Visit Lee's website for more information on how to homeschool high school.

      Helpful Tip

  Here is a FREE resource to teach World Geography --

  Globalmania -- Master World Geography in just 7 months!

  (Note: This free e-book and bonuses will only be available
  for a few weeks, so hurry and sign-up for yours!)

  Click here for more info:



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

      High School Question

  "I would like to know if anyone has used Thinkwell's programs.  We
  are looking at American Government and would like some input.  I
  am also looking at Thinkwell's Chemistry to enhance Apologia with
  lectures.  Also -- has anyone used or seen Christian Light Education's
  'Small Gas Engine Repair'. Any info would be great." -- Terri

      Reader Responses

  "I am currently working torwards a Masters Degree in Secondary
  Math Education.  I can't answer to Thinkwell History, but I have
  now used Thinkwell Algebra, Trigonometry, Pre-Calculus, and Calculus.
  I can honestly say that I learned more math from those courses than
  any I took in high school or in my undergraduate courses!  The math
  teacher is very engaging, and the course moves as quickly as you want
  -- often I did the sample problems in the lesson and moved on.  When
  I needed to, I supplemented with the extra exercises on the CDs.  The
  website also had a Powerpoint of the graphics used in that lesson
  along with the notes from that lesson.  Because I was uncertain what
  I would need extra practice with, I purchased the companion workbooks,
  which usually had the charts and graphs from the lessons, along with
  HUNDREDS of pages of extra problems.  However, I rarely needed to use
  them.  In six months I earned 16 graduate credit hours in math content
  and passed my secondary math content licensing exam -- and that was
  21 years after my last math course in college! (For the record, I
  was a business major -- I took one statistics course, that was all.)"
  -- Cyndi


  "The CLE Small Gas Engine course is great.  My two youngest sons just
  did it this year together -- I don't understand much of any of it.
  They had go-carts and now have four wheelers and the info they gained
  from the course has helped them tremendously.  They have tackled many
  self repairs because of the knowledge they gained.  Know that the
  course was not written by CLE, but rather a man that had many years
  experience working and teaching the material.  You can't beat the
  price... about $80 for all the books -- student's and teacher's.  My
  sons did not do all the 'lab' work as we didn't have all the equipment
  that a classroom would have, but they still learned a lot.  CLE's
  other high school electives are great also." -- Bobbi in NC


  Editor's Note:  Here is a link to CLE's Small Gas Engine course... and
  you can see the left hand side of the site for more elective courses they
  offer!    http://www.clp.org/store/by_course/102

     New Reader Question for Next Regular Issue

  "You all are such a valuable source of information and I really
  appreciate all of you and the time you so generously give in sharing
  information. I am searching for a first grade program to use with my
  nine year old twins. My daughter is reading and my son is not. I would
  like something with videos or some sort of viewing. I use A Beka with
  my older children but it is too advanced for my younger ones. We have
  made it half way through the first grade and it is far too complicated
  for my son at this time. We need something that does not progress so
  quickly. A more gentle approach maybe. Any information or suggestions
  you can offer would be so greatly appreciated as I am at a loss as to
  what would work for them. Thank you so very much for all the wisdom
  represented here and your willingness to share it with the rest of us!"
  -- Linda


  Do you have some ideas, experience or practical advice for Linda?

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

     Ask YOUR Question

  Do you have a question about homeschooling high school?

  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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  All contributed articles are printed with the author's prior
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  the "Homeschooler's Notebook". [Occasionally your contribution
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