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By Heather Idoni

Added Monday, September 14, 2009

                The Homeschooler's Notebook
       ***SPECIAL SERIES - High School Homeschooling***
   Vol. 10 No 67                        September 14, 2009
                      ISSN: 1536-2035                              
   Copyright (c) 2009 - Heather Idoni, FamilyClassroom.net

  Welcome to The Homeschooler's Notebook!

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  Notes from Heather
  -- Suggested Math Alternative
  Feature Article
  -- A Business-Centered High School
  Resource Review
  -- Key to... Math Series
  Answers to Reader Question
  -- Suzy and the Skateboarder
  Additional Notes
  -- Newsletter Archives
  -- Sponsorship Information
  -- Reprint Information
  -- Subscriber Information

       Notes from Heather

  High School Math... Algebra, Geometry, Consumer Math... ?


  One of our readers (and a sponsor of our Notebook!), Maria Miller
  of www.MathMammoth.com , had an interesting question from a parent
  of a homeschooled teen.  I was completely tickled to see her answer
  because it is the EXACT recommendation I gave to a local friend
  recently -- and one I have offered over the years for those families
  who would either like to add more variety to their high school
  mathematics course sequence... or who just love math and want to
  read/do a great book!

  Here was the question she was asked --

  "I am a homeschooling mom with two children still at home.  We use
  Switched On Schoolhouse almost exclusively.  My son will be a senior
  this fall.  He took Algebra I and Geometry, but was against taking
  Trig.  I had him take Consumer Math this year and I am trying to
  find him something for his senior year.  He is not leaning toward
  college, but perhaps a tech school.  ANY advice you can give will
  be greatly appreciated! Thanks!"

  See Maria's answer here at this shortened link to her blog post:


  Note:  If you don't have full internet access to view the post, drop
  me an email with "Maria's Answer" in the subject line and I will
  send it to you.  I didn't have time to get her permission to put
  the entire post in the newsletter, but I am sure she wouldn't
  mind if I emailed it to a few readers. ;-)

  -- Heather


  Do you have comments to share about high school math, how you would
  have answered this question, or anything you'd like to see discussed
  in our special high school issues?  Please write!

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

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       Feature Article

  Centering Homeschool High School Around a Business
    by Daniel Yordy


  What is one way that a highschool-aged homeschooler can fit learning
  around starting a business?

  Every child's interests and abilities differ.  In modern education,
  public or private, it's mostly one-size-fits-all.  Home school gives
  us the chance to do something different.  Don't be fooled by the
  claim that a homeschool high school course has to match what is done
  in modern education so that the home schooled child will be prepared
  for "real" life.  The truth is, the graduates of modern schooling are
  hardly prepared for "real" life at all.  To get different results we
  must leave their box entirely.

  Preparation for "real" life takes place in the heart much more than
  in the mind.  A high schooler who pursues his or her own interests
  with vigor, who creates value and sees other people desire that value
  for themselves, is learning heart lessons that modern schooling
  cannot teach.

  So, that being said, how do I fit the interests of my fifteen-year-old
  daughter around a business-based program of learning?

  She loves to read and is mentally capable of comprehending the great
  themes of literature.  She is artistically and musically gifted.
  And she can work wonders with her hands in crafting.

  My daughter started a piano teaching business this summer.  She
  already has 8 students and is making more per hour of actual work
  than many adults.  She finds that she loves teaching little children
  to play the piano.

  When I can persuade her that "school" has started, she will start my
  course, Micro-Business for High Schoolers.  This will give her the
  pathway to make her piano teaching a real business, one that she can
  leverage onto the internet for an increase beyond hourly wages.

  She has wanted to learn world history.  I will give her a regimen of
  reading that will take her through a fascinating and controversial
  approach to both world history and world literature.  She won't read
  a history text book or a literature anthology.  She will construct
  a history timeline and weave in the pieces through fascinating
  historical works like Prescott's "Conquest of Mexico" or Iggulden's
  "Genghis Khan".  She will read "The Iliad" and portions of "War and
  Peace".  She will watch Armand Assante's "Oddyseus" -- again.

  My daughter wants to learn a language; I will buy her a Rosetta Stone
  language program.  She is accomplished with the piano, but wants to
  learn the cello.  She will rent a cello using her business earnings
  and receive cello lessons.  Since reading and writing are high
  priorities with both her and me, I will have her do a series of
  "Vocabulary from Classical Roots" workbooks.  She will participate
  in the family devotionals on learning the Old Testament. -- And she
  is threatening me with the need for a driver's ed program!

  What is missing from this plan is a Mathematical/Logic exercise for
  her.  I have never been persuaded that algebra and text book geometry
  develop spatial/logical thinking.  I have a spatial/logical mind; I
  have designed and built many buildings in many unusual situations,
  having remembered almost nothing from high school math.  Designing
  and making things with your hands is what develops this kind of mental
  ability.  A mathematical mind is developed by going back and forth
  between figuring and building, between imagining with the mind and
  crafting with the fingers; it does not come by doing endless math
  problems in a workbook.

  But, in developing her business, my daughter will learn bookkeeping
  and keeping accounts.  She will write a business plan that includes
  financial thinking.  She will figure taxes.  Math for her will be
  real world and needed right now.

  Along with the business, however, my thought is to have her schedule
  a set time to play mathematical/logical games, including chess, with
  her 9-year-old brother, who needs those activities far more than the
  excruciating pain of endless math problems he does not understand.

  I would be more than happy to assist you in developing a custom high
  school program for your teen around the core of starting his or her
  own business.  Just contact me through the sites below.

  Help your teen build his or her own business with 'Micro-Business
  for High Schoolers', a nine month course that guides step-by-step in
  the creation of a real-world business, while learning a whole lot.
  This course could easily become a central part of your child's high
  school education.

  Check it out at http://www.YguideAcademy.com/MicroBusiness.html

  If you have any questions about applying business-based learning
  to your teenager's education, please contact us.  We would be happy
  to help you to devise what will work for your own family.


  Copyright 2009 by YGuide Publishing, Inc.

      Helpful Tip

  Key To... Math Series
  For more information or to order:  http://www.keypress.com

  When I was looking for something to help my son with fractions,
  a friend recommended the 'Key to Fractions', part of the 'Key To'
  math series.  I'm glad I listened to my friend's advice!  The Key
  To Fractions course is a workbook-based program that walks students
  step-by-step through the all skills needed to understand and use
  fractions on paper and in real life.  There are four workbooks and
  one answer key in the set.  As the student works through each book,
  new skills are learned with plenty of review of previously learned

  I like how the books in the 'Key To' series stay on one concept
  throughout.  This allows the student to be immersed in the topic.
  The workbooks themselves are very basic, but that doesn't mean they
  aren't thorough.  Concepts are clearly presented and the program
  is paced so students aren't pushed too fast, yet they don't get
  bored either.  All material is presented directly to the student
  in their workbooks, and I love the fact that they are not overly
  wordy in their explanations.

  In addition to fractions, this helpful series includes courses
  covering decimals, percents, and measurement, along with more
  advanced courses in Algebra and Geometry.  Although none of the
  series on their own are a compete math program, the Key To... Math
  books are a great source for supplementing, introducing material,
  or for students who need more focused study before moving forward
  with more advanced or new skills.

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

      High School Question

  "I have a question for a friend of mine.  Her son is 16 years old and
  has decided he wants to homeschool.  She agreed for last year.  Her
  son did a 'virtual' academy and hated it, ending up goofing off for
  the majority of the time.  He wants to homeschool this year, but
  doesn't want to 'do' school.  His main interest is skateboarding and
  he is really very good at it.  He wants to have some type of career
  in skateboarding.  Do you have any suggestions to help guide her in
  what to involve her son in, and any information as to what direction
  his education should be focused on... or any creative ideas for an
  educational plan?  Thank-you for your input and suggestions."
  -- Suzy in Ohio

      Reader Responses

  "My son is a musician and a tattoo artist.  It may sound like you
  get to just do what you want to all day, but... NOPE!  You have to
  know how to handle money VERY wisely -- it's not a steady paycheck
  -- you have to understand contracts and have some business savvy,
  too.  If he wants to be a professional skateboarder he's going to
  have to get sponsors and make sure his contract is up to snuff, and
  to make sure an agent isn't ripping him off -- they can see you
  coming a mile away!  He's going to have to keep track of expenses
  and plan for down times and be very good at budgeting.  So his
  reading comprehension and math skills are important, and his
  business skills need work.  Being a professional skateboarder is
  business!  If you look at the school work from that point of view,
  it makes it relevant to his interest."


  "This young man sounds like a book I read a few years ago, and it
  might be the right path for him.  Unschooling.  This is not the path
  I would take (I’m too chicken to do this).  Read 'The Teenage
  Liberation Handbook'


  I believe he can actually use skateboarding as a theme around which
  to build his studies.  History, ways of manufacturing, different
  designs, sporting events –- track around the world and study the
  culture of the area.  Study the impact skateboarding has had on
  youth in America and elsewhere.  Study business aspects of running
  skateboarding events, operating a store, sales and merchandising.
  Maybe plan to get a job at a skateboard shop, write to different
  people in the sport to explore the different careers that involve

  I would also negotiate with this young man to make sure he has some
  basics down -- like math, writing skills, personal finances and
  other life sills." -- Judy A.


  "May I suggest you get your friend to check out Daniel from YGuide
  and his academy?  It may be just what the young man needs - project
  driven rather than textbooks.  Here is the web address:


  Hope this helps." -- Michelle

     New Reader Question for Next Regular Issue

  "I have an 8 year old with ADD, Tourette's and learning disabilities,
  who needs one-on-one with me nearly all the time.  My 5 year old
  is quite bright and able, but is just starting out and also needs
  lots of individual attention.  Additionally, we live in an apartment
  where there really is not another place to go for very long.
  Schooling, play, chores... life pretty much happens all in the open
  downstairs living area.  The 2 upstairs bedrooms are large enough
  for beds, dressers and not much else.  I'd love any suggestions
  for how to constructively occupy my kids while I am working with
  the other on schoolwork.  Activities they can do, creative use of
  space, how to keep the other from interrupting, creative scheduling
  ideas... anything you can think of.  Thank you." -- Dee


  Do you have some practical thoughts for Dee?

  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!

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