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Nobody Told Me that Homeschooling Would...

By Heather Idoni

Added Monday, May 24, 2010
Vol. 11 No. 28, May 24, 2010, ISSN: 1536-2035
© 2010, Heather Idoni - www.FamilyClassroom.net

Welcome to The Homeschooler's Notebook!

If you like this newsletter, please recommend it to a friend!
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Guest Author, Barbara Frank
-- Nobody Told Me...
Helpful Tip
-- Summer Reading Programs 
Reader Question
-- Timed Tests & Graduations
Additional Notes
-- Newsletter Archives
-- Sponsorship Information
-- Reprint Information
-- Subscriber Information

Guest Article

Nobody Told Me that Homeschooling Would Change My Husband and Me


Like most homeschooling parents, my husband and I chose homeschooling because
we thought it would be good for our kids. We had no idea what an impact it
would have on us.

We grew up in the public schools. We were both good students and obedient kids
who didn’t really question why we were there until we got older. I can’t speak
for my husband, but my thought was that school was deadly boring but utterly
unavoidable. If there was anyone homeschooling in the 1960s, we sure didn’t
know about it.

But in 1983, when I read about the concept of homeschooling in a wonderful book
called Home Grown Kids by Dr. Raymond and Dorothy Moore, that hackneyed light
bulb went off over my head, and it’s been burning brightly ever since. Not send
your kids to school? Trust them to learn at home in a much more efficient and
interesting manner than school? My main thought was “Tell me more!”

I learned more, mostly through the Moores’ newsletter, and we eventually decided
that homeschooling was for us, at least for a year. We figured at the end of a
year we would know more about how homeschooling would work for us; if it was a
dud, we could send our daughter into first grade with no harm done.

That first year went very well, and so did the next, and the next, and eventually
I quit saying that we’d take it a year at a time. We became die-hards, and now,
more than 25 years after I first learned about homeschooling, we’re still at it
with the youngest of our four children.

But all those years of homeschooling had an effect on my husband and me far beyond
just homeschooling. Once you realize that you don’t have to follow the crowd when
it comes to educating your children, you start thinking about other ways to take
the path less followed. In our case, it meant me staying home while my friends went
back to work after several years off for baby-raising. After a while, it meant my
husband starting a business in our home so he could help me with the daily work of
raising four kids (one with developmental disabilities) and educating them.

Now, we’re almost done homeschooling (our youngest is 17) and we want to continue
the lifestyle homeschooling first brought us. My husband had to close his business
after the exodus of U.S. manufacturing to China, but he now works in our publishing
business, Cardamom Publishers, which lets both of us work from home. After nearly 30
years of home ownership, we sold our house in suburbia three years ago and enjoyed
two years in a rental house in our favorite vacation spot before moving to our
current rented home in southern Wisconsin, far from the crowds of suburbia. Who
knows where we’ll go next? It’s fun being free to make changes.

Would any of this have happened if we hadn’t chosen to homeschool? I doubt it. We’d
probably be like most people our age, like the people we went to school with when
we were kids: both commuting to full-time jobs away from home, our children and each
other. Our youngest would be in school, and our time together would be caught in bits
and pieces here and there, along with an annual vacation (if everyone’s schedules
could be coordinated).

Instead, we have time together as a family, and we love it. Nobody told me that
homeschooling would change my husband and me.


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/


Do you have comments to share?  Please do!

Send to: mailto:heather@familyclassroom.net


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Helpful Tip

Summer Reading Challenges


Here is web page with lots of great links to summer reading incentive programs:



Do you have a website, tip, idea or experience to share with our readers?

Send to: mailto:HN-ideas@familyclassroom.net

Last Issue's Reader Question

Test-taking and the Concept of Time;  Elementary Graduation Caps & Gowns


"During test-taking, my kids are usually slow, and like to take their time, even
though they are timed. They know how to say the time when they look at the clocks,
but they still do not understand the concept of time, which is understandable.
Still, how can I get them into the gear of understanding the concept of time?
They are in 1st grade and Kindergarten.  My first grade son likes to be neat and
organized while doing his school work.  As a result of that, he spends way too
much time on a particular question.  How can I help him work faster, taking into
consideration his age and grade level?  He is 7 years old.

Also, I'd like to know where to get graduation gowns and caps for my kids.  I've
heard of gowns and caps for high school homeschoolers, but what about those for
elementary school kids?  My first grader attended Kindergarten in a private school
and he had a swell time wearing the graduation gown and cap.  I'd like to do
something like this for them at home and invite few friends over.  Any ideas?
Thank you!" -- M. K.

Our Readers' Responses

"First of all -- congratulations!  To have a seven year old that likes to
take his time and be organized with his school work is impressive.  The fact
that both of your children can tell time at such an early age is equally
impressive.  As to not understanding the concept of time, I think that most
children struggle with this.  To help my own children, when they were younger,
I would sometimes point out the time on the clock and then show them where
the big hand would be in ten minutes.  They could then watch the clock and
actually 'see' the minutes ticking away (and know how much time they had left)
before we would eat dinner, brush our teeth, etc.  I have been homeschooling
now for six years and in my experience timed testing during the early grade
school years often causes unnecessary anxiety.  Children learn to dread test
time, rather than seeing it as just another learning tool to help chart their
progress.  Once your children get 'into the swing' of test taking, then you
can introduce the stop watch in the later grade school years.  When taking
tests, it may be helpful to teach children to answer all the questions that
they readily know first, and then to mark those they don't know right away so
that they can come back to them later if there is additional time.  Also, if
there is still additional testing time left, they can be taught to use this
extra time to review their answers.
Your home graduation sounds like a great idea for your kids!  Creating these
memories (and recording them for their future enjoyment) is a wonderful gift
for children.  You can check Amazon.com or E-bay for new or used gowns.
Just type in 'child's graduation cap and gown'.  Last time I checked they had
several in at least three different colors.  Hope this helps!  Best wishes
with your continued home school success!" -- Jo W.


"I think they're pretty young to be hurrying them too much.  But here are a couple
of tools that might help." -- Pam




"Oriental Trading has child graduation gowns.  They come in different colors
and are only $10." -- Lacey


"You can keep an eye out at Goodwill or Salvation Army.  The store near me
saves them in the back until October and then puts them out with the
Halloween costumes.  You could also ask any recent college graduates that
you know.  We have a gown for each of my children and I just safety pin
them to the correct height for that year." -- Annette


"I know this does not really answer your question, but here is a resource
for an untimed test.  I have used it with my son for several years now
because he does not do well with being timed.
Hope this helps." -- Rebecca E.


"I have found kid sized cap and gowns from Oriental Trading." -- DeAnna

Answer our NEW Question

Question for our next special High School Edition --

"I am looking for a high school curriculum.  I have been loosely using The Well-Trained
Mind since first grade with my daughter. She is 14 years old now. We are looking for
a low key curriculum that will cover everything that she would need to meet High School
credits." -- Debbie


Do you have suggestions or advice for Debbie?

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

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