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By Heather Idoni

Added Monday, November 16, 2009

                The Homeschooler's Notebook
       ***SPECIAL SERIES - High School Homeschooling***
   Vol. 10 No 84                         November 16, 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.


  Do You Want to Homeschool High School with Confidence?

  Get Your FREE "Yes, You Can Homeschool High School" lesson today!

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  Notes from Heather
  -- An Apprenticeship Story
  Feature Article
  -- Useful Learning for Teens
  Helpful Tip for High School
  -- Online Classes Guide
  Answers to Reader Question
  -- Exchange Students?
  Additional Notes
  -- Newsletter Archives
  -- Sponsorship Information
  -- Reprint Information
  -- Subscriber Information

       Notes from Heather

  Last special issue I asked our readers to send in apprenticeship
  stories.  I was delighted to receive this one from Andrea!  Not
  only would learning this trade be a benefit for anyone in life,
  but it is my dream that one of my own boys would follow this path;
  I think it would be a bigger plus than having even a doctor or
  accountant in the family! :-)


  "My son, Jesse, is fortunate to have an Uncle who has an Auto
  Repair business.  Jesse has been working with him for a year, and
  is currently in 9th grade.  His uncle is keeping track of the skills
  he is learning and Jesse keeps track of his hours.  It will be a
  great asset to have this for his transcripts at the end of the year.
  It also counts as an elective!  And the skills he is learning will
  be beneficial to him for the rest of his life, even if he does not
  go into auto repair. 
  I urge homeschoolers to seek out apprenticeships in their towns.
  They can be truly rewarding.  We have a career class at our home-
  school co-op right now.  We are introducing careers to these kids
  that they may not have otherwise had a chance to learn about.  One
  of the speakers, a chef with her own business, offered to take on
  any students that wanted to do an apprenticeship with her.  (Wish
  I could go do that!!)  What an opportunity for someone with a dream
  of becoming a chef, or even just a student who wants to learn how
  to cook!

  I think most local business owners would be willing to teach someone
  their trade.  It never hurts to ask!"

  -- Andrea in PA


  Are you doing something unusual or out-of-the-ordinary with your
  teen for high school?  PLEASE write and tell us all about it!  :-)

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


  The Gold Care Club is like a personal high school support group.
  A FREE 30-day membership is available with Lee Binz's e-book,
  'The Easy Truth About Homeschool Transcripts'.

  The Gold Care Club offers audio and video courses about high school,
  priority email support, and a free 20 minute consultation each week.

  "I'd like to thank Lee for helping me gain the confidence I
  needed to start teaching high school this year.  Instead of
  timidly requesting information from various sources, I simply
  devoured everything I could find on her website and spoke to
  her several times as part of a Gold Care Club membership.

  I cannot stress enough how empowering it is to have this
  important information up front!  I am not worried about missing
  test dates; I know when to start communicating with colleges.
  Scholarships are not a big mystery anymore.  Transcripts will
  be a labor of love instead of a necessary evil.  And if we
  prepare well, we may save thousands of dollars by obtaining
  college credit in high school.

  Yes, high school is a lot of work for both student and teacher,
  but what a difference it makes to have a plan and to know the
  game rules.  Thanks again, Lee, for being such a great mentor."
  -- Dana in Oregon

  Read more testimonials and get more information here!


       Feature Article

  Useful Learning for Teens
    by Barbara Frank

  This week our local paper published an article about the increase
  in truancy rates among students of all ages in the local schools.

  What interested me the most is that the rate of truancy increases
  as children get older, so that by the time they reach 12th grade,
  well over 40% of them miss at least ten days of school per 176-day
  school year, and a quarter of them miss 20 days or more per school

  Some of this can be explained by the fact that 12th graders often
  have cars and can easily take the day off, drive around town, and
  no one will notice because they look like the young adults they are,
  not students.  It's a lot easier for them to play hooky than it is
  for your average first-grader.

  But I wonder if there isn't another reason so many teens skip school.
  My memory of the last two years of high school can be mostly summed
  up by the phrase 'relentlessly boring'.  Each semester, when I set
  up my schedule, I squeezed my class requirements into the tightest
  time period possible, skipping lunch and putting study hall at the
  end of the day, so I could be out of there as early as possible.

  However, I didn't spend that extra free time loafing.  During my
  junior year, I had a job in a hardware store, working from 2:30 to
  9 most days.  So I needed to get out of school early.  But I also had
  a life, one that extended beyond what was going on in my high school.

  Most of my classes were dull, not very useful for the future, or both.
  Some useful classes were offered, such as typing, home economics and
  industrial arts, but those of us who were college-bound knew better
  than to court the possibility of wrecking our GPAs by risking a B
  or C in those subjects.  So I did my best to stay awake through
  classes that were not very interesting or not very useful: World
  History via lectures and textbooks, Literature via lectures and
  textbooks, Sociology via silly games and fake wedding ceremonies.

  However, I took one class during my senior year that was excellent,
  and I loved it.  It was designed and run by one of the school's
  social studies teachers, and it was called Public Service Practicum.

  The teacher, a highly regarded educator named Richard Chierico,
  designed the course to help students understand what goes on in
  local government.  He worked out agreements with local government
  entities, including the village board, the public library board,
  public works, etc., to allow each of us to work within the system
  as volunteers, and to shadow various employees so that we would get
  a firsthand look at how local government operates.

  I worked with the public library board, which meant I had the chance
  to work at all the stations in the library so that I understood just
  what went on.  Then I attended library board meetings after being
  filled in on the issues by the head librarian.  I even attended a
  gathering of head librarians from all over the region.  Having long
  been a bookworm and regular visitor to the library, I found it all

  As much as I enjoyed the course, I think what made it extra special
  is that Mr. Chierico treated us as young adults.  He trusted us to
  go out during the school day to our different posts in local government
  and to arrange future appointments with our supervisors.  He didn't
  treat us as other teachers did, as students in need of repetitive
  instructions and orders.  He just expected that we would do what we
  needed to, and so we did.

  I think that's the problem with high schools, and why there's such
  a high truancy rate among older students.  What teens do in school
  is not relevant, it's not interesting, and it's too much of what
  they've been doing for all their lives: sit still, raise your hand,
  you need a pass to go to the bathroom, no you can't leave campus for
  lunch.  We all know the drill.

  Teens are too old for that kind of school.  They need to be challenged,
  trusted and freed.  Will some of them bolt if given freedom?  Sure,
  but you can't imprison everyone because some will run.

  Teens are smart enough to know when something's useful or of value.
  They're also smart enough to know when they're being warehoused.
  Instead of trying to figure out how to reduce the truancy rate by
  imprisoning teens further, parents and teachers need to consider
  other alternatives.

  I think this is why so many teens have done well in homeschooling.
  It gives them the time and the freedom to explore their interests
  and to consider what they need for their futures.  Not to mention,
  they never need a pass to go to the bathroom.

  Copyright 2009 Barbara Frank/Cardamom Publishers

  Barbara Frank is the mother of four homeschooled-from-birth children
  ages 16-26, a freelance writer/editor, and the author of "Life Prep
  for Homeschooled Teenagers", "The Imperfect Homeschooler's Guide to
  Homeschooling", and "Homeschooling Your Teenagers".  You'll find her
  at http://www.cardamompublishers.com and http://barbarafrankonline.com

      Helpful Tip

  Free Online Classes Guide

  A few years ago I remember getting the news that the Massachusetts
  Institute of Technology (MIT) had started an "open courseware"
  offering -- posting their course outlines, notes, videos and exams online
  for anyone to use free of charge.  I also remember thinking it was a
  great opportunity for those interested in high level math and science
  to work these online university courses at home -- what a magnanimous

  Well, it has recently been brought to my attention that this "open
  courseware" concept has come full circle to involve dozens more
  colleges -- and MIT is now offering a full buffet of free online
  courses!  They have everything from Dance Theory and Composition
  to Advanced Kitchen Chemistry!  At MIT?  Sure!  Beginning Japanese,
  Artificial Intelligence, or a Hands-On Intro Nuclear Magnetic
  Resonance?  You got it!

  Have fun browsing the different topics and specialized courses --
  and find something new to add some spice to the high school years
  and beyond! :-)

  -- Heather


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

      High School Question

  "Do any of you know of an agency which would place foreign exchange
  students with homeschool families?  We would  love to host a foreign
  student, but would want them to do their academic work at home,
  just like we do." -- Mary Beth

      Reader Responses

  "Mary Beth -- I applaud your desire to reach out to a foreign
  exchange student and think the idea is wonderful and could bring
  some tremendous benefits to your family.  However, I would warn
  you to be cautious by way of a life example.
  When my family was ministering in PA we had some friends there who
  were also in ministry and who had adopted a young girl from Russia.
  They homeschooled her and were pleased to sign up to host a foreign
  exchange student from St. Petersburg, in hopes that they would both
  gain some obvious mutual benefits.  The Russian teen who came to
  live in their home seemed fine early on (their child was about 8-9).
  However, they soon saw their daughter begin to withdraw and behave
  fearfully around this young lady.  Both our families took a field
  trip to Philadelphia, and our two teenagers tried all day to open
  up to and befriend the young lady, but she would have none of it
  and seemed to barely tolerate our presence.  The family soon learned
  that this girl was hitting and threatening their daughter, and
  when they learned about the behavior and confronted her she became
  openly hostile to all in the house and they found themselves in
  the regrettable position of having to have her placed with another
  family in the States.
  Although I am certain you will find many, many stories of host
  families who had wonderful experiences and developed long-lasting,
  cherished relationships, please make certain to investigate every
  aspect you can of the program you choose and the visiting student
  before diving in." -- R.G.

       Question for Our Next Regular Issue

  "I have 7 year old boy in 2nd grade.  We are currently using Abeka
  and he is at grade level for reading.  The problem is that he cannot
  spell and does not even try.  We have stopped doing spelling tests,
  but continue to do language arts and grammar.  We are currently in
  our 3rd month of vision therapy, but that is not helping his spelling.
  Do you have any suggestions for us?  Thank you." -- Ely


  Would you like to share your thoughts on this issue with Ely?

  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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