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Off to Philadelphia!  Plus... Science Simulations, 1st Grade Sites

By Heather Idoni

Added Thursday, July 15, 2010
Vol. 11 No. 38, July 15, 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!
And please visit our sponsors! They make it possible.


Learning Through History
Explore the world with a variety of history, timeline and geography products for middle and high school students. Learning Through History 64-page thematic issues are a perfect start to forming a unit study or to supplement textbook learning. Add period timelines and maps to form an entire course of study.
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  • Ancient History (Egypt, Greece, Rome, Near East, China)
  • Middle Ages (Early/Late Middle, Byzantine, Vikings, Mughals)
  • Renaissance (Italian, Tudors)
  • America (Natives, Slavery, Civil War, Roaring 20s, WWII, Space)
  • European (Explorers, Dutch Golden Age, French Revolution)

Dozens of Timelines:




Notes from Heather
-- Off to Philadelphia
Helpful Tips
-- Bring 'em On!
Winning Website
-- Science Simulations & More!
Reader Question
-- First Grade Learning Websites?
Additional Notes
-- Newsletter Archives
-- Sponsorship Information
-- Reprint Information
-- Subscriber Information

Notes from Heather

We're off to Philadelphia... I'm so excited! :-)

My husband is on summer break from nursing school and we have planned
a history trip to Philadelphia.  He and I are going to scope out all the neat
places to visit and then I'm bringing the boys along with me for another trip
out there in the fall when Jim is back in school. (Long story -- I planned
the kids' trip first last fall -- and then shortly after we found another good
deal on plane tickets so now Jim and I can go on an extended "date" first!)

We've been married 23 years and always talked about going.  Earlier this
year I realized that if we don't do it now our oldest kids might miss out on
the "family trip" aspect.  They love history and Philadelphia has been at the
top of their list ever since seeing the movie National Treasure!

Anyhow, I'd love to hear from readers who've been (or even live nearby)
about the best places not to miss.  I've heard about Bartram's Garden and
Rodin Museum -- and of course we'll be visiting Independence Hall -- but
are there other hidden secrets?  And are there particularly good places to
eat that aren't too expensive but have delicious and predictable food?

We do plan to try a famous Philly Cheesesteak!  :-)

Just reply to this email or send an email to the address below -- and put
"Philly Tips" in the subject line.  I might also compile the emails and
share them with everyone -- who knows who else might like to plan a trip?

-- Heather


Do you have comments to share? Please do!

Send to: mailto:heather@familyclassroom.net


This is a MUST TAKE class for all homeschoolers - new or seasoned!

"I cannot recommend it enough!  I have been homeschooling for a decade, and last year
I lost all enthusiasm for homeschooling.  I was prepared to 'ship them all off to school!'
Terri's class has helped me to refocus my goals, remember why I wanted to homeschool
and get out of the rut we were plodding through!" -- LeeAnn



Helpful Tip

Your tips are needed here!  Bless our readers by sharing your best homeschooling tips.

C'mon now... it won't hurt! :-)


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

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

Winning Website

ForgeFX Simulations -- http://www.forgefx.com/casestudies/prenticehall/
Created to complement textbooks from Pearson Learning, this site features a good
selection of Immersive Learning Simulations covering a variety of science topics.
Students can explore activities such as creating a virtual paintball launcher
while learning physical science, view an interactive cow eye, sculpt mountains
and valleys in a topographic map simulator, and more.  This is an excellent
resource to bring textbook learning to life!

Cindy Prechtel, www.HomeschoolingFromTheHeart.com

Last Issue's Reader Question

"I am home schooling a 5 year old who is reading along the first grade level, and her
math is around the same way.  She loves the computer, but all the free interactive
websites I can find are for pre-school aged kids and she finds them boring, or I find
stuff meant for much older kids.  What websites do you recommend for reinforcing
kinder and first grade skills that are free or very inexpensive?  Thanks." -- Bran in TX

Our Readers' Responses

"Inexpensive is relative, but my son uses a website program called Time4Learning.com.
It has programs starting at pre-school level and going to 8th grade and it also gives you the
ability to go a grade above and a grade below what the 'grade level' is.  For example my
son was in '1st grade' last year and he could access appropriate lessons for kindergarten,
1st grade and 2nd grade level -- and I was able to increase his math or science portion to
a 3rd grade level even though the rest was 1st grade.  It's fun and engaging and he can self
direct like he's wanted to do most times, but you have the ability to control the level to
the child's strengths and weaknesses." -- L.A. (aka Jerry's Mom) in Florida


"I have discovered a website that has free lesson plans for pre-K thru 5th grade.  It can
be used as a complete curriculum or you can just pick and choose for supplemental activities.
Most lessons have links to free online games and activities.  It is www.lessonpathways.com."
-- Lacey


"My daughter loves Jumpstart.  It is an online game, but when you are a member there are
three download games also.  They are very educational and really fun.  I tried a month's
promotional rate of 99 cents thinking only to use it for the month, but when I saw what my
daughter was learning I subscribed for $7.99 a month.  I think it is well worth the money."


"I recently discovered Head of the Class.  You can select levels from Pre-K to 3rd, and I
understand they are working on adding higher levels.  They cover topics ranging from Math
and Reading to Geogrpahy, Science, and Art.  Best of all, it is completely free!  We are
actually planning to incorporate it into our school year." -- Patricia

Answer our NEW Question

"I would love to hear from families who have read-aloud through the junior high and
high school years.  How did you maintain the children’s interest?   What quiet
activities might they pursue while you are reading?  How long were your sessions?
Did you have the children share in the reading aloud?" -- Chun Mei in CA


Would you enjoy sharing your experiences with Chun Mei, myself and our readers?  :-)

Please send your email 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
'chat' area where you can talk with 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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Next - Family Trips, Candy 4-Way Phonics, Read Aloud with Teens!
Previous - Email Encouragement, A Biblical Board Game, Spelling Question

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