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High School Webinar News, Tips for Quizzing Grandparents

By Heather Idoni

Added Thursday, January 14, 2010

                The Homeschooler's Notebook
     Encouragement and Advice for Homeschool Families
   Vol. 11 No 4                          January 14, 2010
                      ISSN: 1536-2035                              
   Copyright (c) 2010 - 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.




  Notes from Heather
  -- High School Webinar!
  Helpful Tip
  -- Lemons for Literacy
  Winning Website
  -- Game Goo
  Reader Question
  -- Grandparents Quizzing
  Additional Notes
  -- Newsletter Archives
  -- Sponsorship Information
  -- Reprint Information
  -- Subscriber Information

       Notes from Heather

  Dear Readers,

  I have exciting news for anyone with questions about homeschooling
  the high school years!  Our good friend, Lee Binz, has agreed to
  give a FREE "webinar" (an interactive, online seminar) just for our

  "Credits and Grades and Transcripts... OH, MY!" will be LIVE online
  next Thursday, January 21st!

  Mark your calendar -- we will begin the webinar at 8 pm EST (5 pm PST)
  and continue for one hour.  Lee's husband, Matt, will field our
  questions/comments and give them to Lee as we type them.  All we
  do is listen in on our computer speakers!

  Here is the link to register FREE:


  We only have room for 1,000 listeners, so register early to guarantee
  your spot!

  After you sign up, make sure to read Lee's eye-opening guest article
  below, which addresses one of the most distressing issues for parents
  facing the high school years.

  My name is Lee Binz, The HomeScholar.  It takes a lot to get me
  riled up, but when I read phrases like 'real teachers', 'an approved
  curriculum', 'a real high school diploma' in the advertisements
  for government run alt-ed programs and homeschool accreditation
  agencies, I get steamed!

  I am so frustrated with 'professional educators' and government
  agencies telling us that homeschooling high school is SO HARD and
  SO COMPLICATED that parents would be foolish to even try it. 

  I get angry when parents who are doing a WONDERFUL job homeschooling
  their young children are suddenly faced with the strident voices
  of organizations that have a direct monetary interest in scaring
  them into giving up homeschooling in high school.

  I grow weary when parents are told in countless ways and in countless
  forums that they are INADEQUATE and UNQUALIFIED to deliver a quality
  education to their children through high school.

  When you hear these sorts of messages, remember...

  They are lying to you!

  You CAN provide a quality education to your children through high
  school, *without* help from certified teachers and accreditation
  programs.  You have the raw material to create homeschool records
  that perfectly represent your homeschool -- and will AMAZE and
  IMPRESS the colleges! 

  In fact, I am going to show you exactly how to do just that.  It's
  NOT hard.  I will prove it to you – and also save you thousands of

  I am so excited that Heather asked me to present this webinar
  exclusively for her readers!  On Thursday, January 21st, I am holding
  a FREE one-hour webinar called 'Credits and Grades and Transcripts,
  OH MY!!!'  In it you will learn how easy it is to create EFFECTIVE
  homeschool records that will gain college admission and secure great
  scholarships for your children. 

  We are cooking up something really special for the parents who
  attend this presentation live, so make sure you sign-up today to
  reserve your spot!!

  Here is the information you need:

  What:   "Credits and Grades and Transcripts! Oh, My!!" Online Webinar
  When:   Thursday, January 21, 2010, 5 PM PST / 8 PM EST
  Where:  https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/884502785

  Space is limited on this webinar and I expect it to fill up quickly,
  so reserve your seat now!

  After registering you will receive a confirmation email containing
  information about joining the webinar.



  More Answers for Laura and Her "Different-Learning Daughter"


  "Laura in Missouri may also want to look at the possibility of
  right brain dominance.

  Dianne Craft addresses right brain dominance.

  Carol Barnier talks about ADHD."  -- Roxanne in Arizona


  "Dear Laura -- Have you heard about visual-spatial learners?
  Look into it.  Sounds like you and your 2 twin daughters are
  auditory-sequential learners and your husband and older daughter
  are VSLs -- visual-spatial learners." -- Kim


  Encouragement from a Friend


  I LOVE hearing from our readers -- and it really made my day
  when I got this sweet note from Beth...

  "I love reading the Homeschooler's Notebook!  Thank you for all the
  hard work you put into publishing this newsletter.  I have gotten
  so many ideas from this newsletter.  May God continue to bless
  you, your family, and this newsletter!  Thanks!" -- Beth W.

  Beth -- thank you so much for your sweet encouragement!  I had to
  really bolster myself up to get back to work after the holidays.
  It is great to be back after a break, but it wasn't easy to get
  the engine running again!  Little notes like this remind me that
  you all are really out there reading what I spend hours editing.
  THANK YOU! :-) -- Heather


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

                       OUR SPONSOR

  Bring a Friend FREE to the HomeschoolingABCs Class!

  For the month of January, we are excited to have you invite a
  friend to take the class for free!  This would be an amazing
  opportunity for your friend, but also for you.

  Here's why... You will give and receive support/encouragement
  from a real live friend of yours.  This opportunity will provide
  accountability, structure and LOTS of food for thought and
  conversation.  In fact, the two of you might decide to split
  the costs so that you each receive a half-price membership!

  Hurry! This special is good only for the month of January...



      Helpful Tip

  Online Vocabulary Game that Donates to Literacy Programs

  "Lemons for Literacy is a vocabulary building game that is available
  to anyone, anywhere.  Players must identify a series of vocabulary
  words and every correct answer helps someone learn to read."

  Similar to the 'Free Rice' game, which donates rice to a country in
  need for every correct answer you give on a variety of subjects
  (www.freerice.com), 'Lemons for Literacy' is a fun vocabulary game
  your children can play online which supports literacy programs in
  need of materials by donating money provided by sponsors for every
  correct answer.  As you answer correctly, a lemon is squeezed into
  a glass, making lemonade.  You can choose different subjects for
  variety as you match definitions to different words.


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

      Winning Website

  Game Goo 
  This fun, educational site features games that help develop early
  reading skills.  A great resource for supplementing your phonics

  -- Cindy, www.HomeschoolingFromTheHeart.com

      Last Issue's Reader Question

  "I have a question - perhaps strange.  My two sons, ages 5 and 7,
  have been homeschooled since last February.  We have made HUGE
  strides in learning - reading, spelling, math, Bible study, science,
  etc.  It's been fun and rewarding (and fairly frustrating too!).
  However, my question is this - when we are not 'doing school' or in
  school mode, they seem to have trouble remembering what they have
  learned.  For instance, every time their grandparents are around,
  they want the boys to read something to them, or they will propose
  simple math problems for them to answer in the course of conversation,
  and these SIMPLE questions seem to stump them every time!  They
  honestly appear to not know anything, and the 7 year old is a math
  whiz!  So, am I doing something wrong?  Are they not retaining the
  info as they should?  They do fine when we are in 'school', so I
  know they are learning, but when called to do it on the spot, they
  stumble.  Any advice appreciated." -- Amy in MI

      Our Readers' Responses 

  "Awww... the kids just want to be kids when grandma is around,
  not grilled about school.

  Here's an idea -- when you know grandma is coming for a visit,
  plan for it.  Have a 'cool project' ready for your children to
  show her; go on a field trip just before she comes and have the
  kids share what they enjoyed; if they play an instrument, practice
  a special piece just for that visit (this is what my son loves
  to do).  My mom always asks me what we're up to today and I share
  with her some of the projects or subjects we're covering.  If
  grandma lives nearby, invite her to join you on one of your field
  trips or co-op activities.  We have some families whose grandma
  teaches the grandchildren a subject -- that's a great option to
  explore, too.

  Have the fridge covered with their work so that you or your
  children can share with grandma -- but no 'pop quizzes'... that's
  no fun." -- Tricia D.


  "Do your parents have other grandchildren who go to public school?
  Do they quiz them as well?  If they do not quiz the other children
  the same, then point it out to them.  Your kids do not like surprise
  quizzes, and it is not helpful to them for your parents to do this
  to your children.  If you know that your parents are coming over,
  have your kids pick out some recent work to show your parents.  If
  it is a spur-of-the-moment visit, get out some stuff yourself and
  tell your parents that you know that they want to know how well they
  are learning... and show them some papers.  If your parents persist,
  remind them that kids do better when not under pressure; that is
  why libraries are having 'Read to a Dog' day for beginning readers --
  because the kids are not under pressure to perform 100% correctly
  and instead experience the joy of learning.  It may be good for you
  to find out their motivation for doing this.  If they just want to
  know what the kids are learning, they should just ask 'What are you
  learning in math now?'  If they are concerned that your kids are not
  up to 'grade level', that is interfering with your schooling.  Remind
  them that, particularly in the early years, students do not learn at
  the same rate and that your kids are learning at the perfect rate
  for them." -- Cheryl


  "I personally get tired of everyone quizzing my child to see if the
  'schooling' is going well.  Maybe it's not that they forget everything;
  maybe they are just reacting to suddenly having to answer school
  questions to prove themselves.  Honestly, how many people come up
  with math problems during the course of conversation?  Is this the
  same way they were treated before they were homeschooled?  Maybe the
  children are just confused by the change in behaviour of the adults.
  I, like I said, got tired of the quizzing and just started informing
  people 'our school day is over; why don't we do something else?'  I
  did have to say to one person, 'The school system keeps track of his
  testing.' -- Terri


  "Amy -- I wouldn't worry a bit.  My kids are now 9 and 7 (girl and
  boy).  They have done the same thing.  I think the key is what you
  said about how they are questioned 'on the spot'.  Especially for
  young kids, I think that just causes them to kind of freeze.  It's
  like when you're trying to tell someone something and the word is on
  the tip of your tongue, but you just can't remember it (or sometimes
  it's recalling someone's name).  The kids and I had an experience
  recently.  We had learned the names of all the US Presidents in
  a song and tried to recall them for someone... all three of us got
  stuck!  How embarrassing!
  I would talk to my kids about it later and make sure they feel
  confident that it's okay that they didn't get the right answer or
  couldn't answer the question.  I always tell my daughter that making
  a mistake is a good learning experience.  My son doesn't generally
  get as upset about making mistakes.
  You can look forward to the kids stumping other people in a couple
  of years.  I love when my son and daughter quote our country's
  founding fathers and ask people 'Who said that?'.  LOL!  Most people
  do not get the right answer.
  Keep on keepin' on!" -- Misty


  "Hi Amy -- I  just wanted to let you know that my kids were the same
  way.  Even when their Dad would come home from work and ask them what
  they had learned that day, they'd give him a blank stare.  It was worse
  though when they couldn't 'perform' for the grandparents.  It always
  seemed like I was being tested on my teaching -- and failing.  However,
  now I babysit for a 6 year old.  I pick him up from school and ask him
  what he learned -- and usually I just hear about recess, or perhaps
  'we read a book but I don't remember what it was about'.  I think maybe
  it is a developmental thing -- the expressive skills of recalling
  information out of context and putting it into words seems to develop
  with age.  Give it a few more years and I think you'll see that your
  kids do better with 'on the spot' questions. 

  One other thing I did that helped with the relatives was have the kids
  bring some of their projects, workbooks, etc. along when we visited.
  Having something concrete to 'show and tell' helped my kids discuss
  what they had learned, and also helped the grandparents see that they
  really were learning something." -- Laurie


  "I think this is a perennial question of any parent or educator: how
  to get kids to understand that they need to know this stuff in general,
  not just when they are being taught the material.  Your kids are young
  enough that they need to have the context of learning to trigger their
  memories.  (My teens don't have that excuse.)  If their grandparents
  truly mean well by quizzing them and aren't trying to undermine your
  efforts, incorporate it!  Bring out the books, let the kids show what
  they are learning and share.  It will also help them realize that what
  they are learning is not just meant to keep them busy during the day."
  -- Anne


  "I just want to encourage you -- many adults do not do well 'under
  pressure' to perform for family.  It is hard for many children as well.
  My children are making strides, but often do not always remember things
  on cue.  I think that many children want to please adults -- especially
  grandparents -- and freeze up.   Also, if you see your children making
  good progress and remembering what they need to know with you alone,
  you don't have to worry about anything.  They will soon be able to do
  things more confidently and without any hesitation, as long as they
  are encouraged by you.

  Just give it time, don't pressure them, and give them lots of praise."
  -- Amanda


  "I think most adults would stumble when called to do something on the
  spot, so at the ages of 5 and 7 I don't think you need to worry too much.
  When my older children were young, their grandmother would also ask
  them questions, usually involving math.  My children hated being put
  on the spot and it began to damage their relationship with her.  I
  eventually mentioned this (gently) to her and she stopped.  After all,
  she never 'tested' her other (public schooled) grandchildren; only our

  As their mother, you know what they are learning -- that is the important
  thing.  Even though they are very young and may have limited attention
  spans at that age, they are retaining what you are teaching.  They may
  not feel like answering questions when other people ask, but that's
  okay because you are their teacher and you know how smart they really
  are." -- Nicole


  "You know, Amy, your children are very young and probably shouldn't be
  put 'to the test' by their grandparents.  Do you realize that just
  because they can't remember when put on the spot, you're questioning
  what you know to be true about them?

  They do the work and know the material when they're with YOU.  They're
  safe with YOU.  Not only are they being undermined by their grandparents
  (well-meaning though they may be), but so are you.  I would suggest you
  gently and respectfully tell the grandparents to refrain from testing
  your sons.  Then focus on parenting your children whom *you* know best
  and for whom you are the parent.

  The time will come when in later years, IF you display confidence,
  patience, and leadership (not worry) with your sons, when they will
  regularly demonstrate their intelligence and knowledge in life.

  I pray this is helpful." -- Diana in Ohio

     Answer our NEW Question

  "I have a 12 year old that I'm preparing a high school plan for next
  year.  He's really into Legos and right now is really interested in
  the possibility of a career with Lego.  Does anyone have any tips to
  point me in the right direction?  I'm browsing through Lego.com's
  job listings to try and get some ideas as well.  He's very smart and
  excels in everything he does.  Thanks for your help -- I appreciate
  it!" -- Beth


  Do you have any tips for Beth 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!

     Need Immediate Help?

  Visit our Homeschool Encouragement Center!  This is a live 24/7
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  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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