"" -- A Homeschooler's Notebook Subscriber.
An interactive, FREE, twice-monthly ezine packed with great reader tips, reviews, & practical encouragement for homeschool families.


Some of Our Sponsors


Landry Academy

Math Mammoth

Great Homeschool Conventions

The Old Schoolhouse Magazine

Resource Links

All About Spelling
Homeschooling ABCs
Upper Level Homeschool
FIRETIME Notebooking
FREE Funschool Units
Homeschooling Help
More Homeschooling Help
HS Gifted and Talented
Homeschool Country Life
Beloved Books & Audio




By Heather Idoni

Added Monday, November 01, 2010

Vol. 11 No. 65, November 1, 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.


The Keystone School is an accredited and licensed private school that offers teacher-supported distance learning courses for grades 6 – 12. We have partnered with homeschool families for over three decades in educating children at home through middle and high school. At Keystone you can enroll your child in a full course load, or supplement another homeschool curriculum with one or two Keystone courses. Whether your child’s goal is to become conversational in Mandarin, get a head start on earning college credit by taking AP courses or brush up on English grammar, Keystone can help. Visit keystoneschoolonline.com or call us at 1-800-255-4937 to learn more.



Notes from Heather
-- 'Press for Ben' and More
Helpful Tips
-- Career Direct Inventory
Winning Website
-- Chemistry Lessons
Reader Question
-- How Much Time to Spend?
Additional Notes
-- Newsletter Archives
-- Sponsorship Information
-- Reprint Information
-- Subscriber Information

Notes from Heather

Article Featuring My Son! :-)

Some of you might remember back in High School Issue #12 (about a year ago) when I shared about my oldest son's interview with the local fire department:


For the past several months, Ben has been training hard to be a firefighter. A few days ago he was interviewed and photographed for a local paper -- the stuff of which makes this mom proud!


You can even watch a short video of him just below the pictures. The article itself isn't particularly well-written, and Ben claims he was sloppily misquoted, but press is press. ;-)

-- Heather


Mom of a High School Student Shares her Strategy

Today's issue features a question from a mom (and answers from our readers) about how much time to spend with a high schooler on academic work each day. A member of our HomeschoolingBOYS.com email group happened to share recently what works for her in this regard -- and I thought it would fit nicely to include it here also.

Melissa writes...

"Teaching my children to work independently has always been something I incorporated into our homeschooling. We use a mix of curriculum.

My 10th grader uses the Saxon Dive CD for math, Apologia science, and Latin independently on his computer. We usually do writing (IEW) and history together. When he reached high school I changed his 'daily assignment' log to a "weekly assignment" log. Instead of having to complete his assignments each day, he chooses his own schedule for the week. I felt this would help him prepare for college since he'd be responsible for balancing his time and work load. We meet each morning for about 10 minutes to talk about his school work, answer any questions, and to talk about the upcoming activities and plans for the day/week. This has been very effective for the past 2 years. It allows him to gain confidence in his planning abilities and to do the work on his schedule. It allows me to work more with my other children. Plus, I don't have to relearn algebra!" :-)

Melissa in Louisiana with 5 boys - 15, 12, 10, 7, 4


Your feedback is always welcome! -- mailto:heather@familyclassroom.net


Homeschooling High School... Why walk this road alone when you can have someone hold your hand and help guide the way?


"I came across your website last week, read the introduction to 'Upper Level Homeschool', and enrolled in your 13 week course by the end of the same day. My daughter is about to start her 9th grade year and until I found your course, I still felt like I had no idea what I was doing or even if I was planning and prepping her curriculum correctly for the standards of high school. After reading through the first 2 lessons, I feel like I have such a better grasp of what I'm doing and how to do it... and there are many more lessons to come. Lesson 2, which I just read, brought me so much peace of mind because now I know several ways to apply a high school credit. I had so much anxiety about how to do this before I read your lesson. I'm so excited that I found your site and enrolled in the class. This is a true answer to a very deep prayer of mine. God certainly guided in the perfect direc tion! Thank you for taking the time to share your knowledge in a way that is easy to read and doesn't take too much time. I'm so looking forward to the weeks ahead and the knowledge that will be shared. Now I feel like I can take on this whole high school/home school thing with confidence and peace of mind!" -- Babs


Do you want to homeschool your highschooler with confidence, too?
Get your FREE "Yes, You Can Homeschool High School" lesson today!


Helpful Tip


"I took the Career Direct inventory years ago in high school. It was quite helpful then, and it's probably been updated and improved since then. Its parent company is Crown Financial, a Christian financial ministry." -- Michelle -- HomeschoolingBOYS.com member

Winning Website

Chemistry Lessons -- http://www.chemreview.net

Free book available to download with sequential instruction for first year chemistry students that will also work as a supplement for high school students as well.

Cindy Prechtel, www.HomeschoolingFromTheHeart.com


Do you have a website, tip, idea or experience to share for our next issue?

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

Last Issue's Reader Question

High School... How Much Time?

"I'm looking for a little wisdom from parents who have homeschooled through high school. I have a 10th grader. How much time should I have to spend helping her with her work?" -- Vicki

Our Readers' Responses

"I believe the goal is for our high school students to be as independent as possible. That being said, it doesn't happen overnight. Depending on the curriculum that you use, you could have to spend an hour teaching every subject to her (traditional textbooks), or you could just spend a little time correcting papers and tests and helping when she hits a wall. I prefer the second option! Our oldest just graduated from home school. Our second is a junior, and she is very independent. A set curriculum with a check list really helps with this. We have used My Father's World high school with great success. We have also done some high school DVD school and Switched on Schoolhouse. You could do the same with materials you pull together. Just make out a schedule that shows what is expected of them and is easy to follow. A meeting time with mom once or twice a week to make sure that work is really getting done to your expectations is a great way to oversee their work and stil l encourage independence. As far as how much time THEY should be spending on work... my high school students often spend all day (9-5) on their school with a few breaks for distractions (siblings, computer, etc)." -- Carylee


"How much time you spend helping your child with her work will totally depend on how independent of a learner she is and what learning style she has. It can also have to do alot with the curriculum you are using. I spend several hours each day working with my high schoolers because we still choose to work together on several subjects. I have an auditory learner, so I read their Biology aloud to them. My visual learner sits with her book in front of her so she can see what I am reading.

I also do devotions and a family read aloud (yes, even at the high school level - bonding), plus work with them on their American Literature and History. We use Math-U-See for Algebra 1, so I work through the practice lesson with them each week before they do the daily worksheets.

If you use a curriculum that is more independent of you as the teacher, and if your child has learned to work more independently, you may spend much less time each day working with them.

Our entire school day still only lasts about 3 - 3 1/2 hours and that is with both of my students working on 8 credits this year.

Hope this helps to give you some ideas about the variables in how much time you may spend helping your high school student."


"Vicki -- I have a great non-answer for you... it depends on your child. I have two children at the opposite ends of the spectrum. One has so much initiative and so many ideas of his own and so many interests that he learns all the time, every day, without me doing anything. He strives to gain new knowledge and skills and can produce amazing stuff when he wants to. Where we butt heads and I need to be on my toes and invest the time, is when it comes to something I feel he MUST learn but he sees no meaning in learning it. Then his willfulness and self-initiative works in the opposite direction and he resists me to no end!

My other child has many learning difficulties (dysgraphia, dyslexia, global apraxia, etc., etc.) which we have addressed and worked on for many years. Now that he is beginning high school I have come to realize that one reason I have to spend so much time with him still, in spite of his vast improvements, is because of his lack of initiative or curiosity and his apparent unawareness when he gets problems wrong -- and his apparent lack of desire/awareness of advancing in learning. This requires me to be much more involved daily and hourly.

I suspect that most kids fall somewhere in between my children and that is why I don't think you can give a blanket answer as to how much time you should be spending in tenth grade. Also, I think some depends on habits already learned, as well as on your goals for the end result (mastery of material as opposed to passing a pre-set curriculum)." -- Carol


"I have homeschooled six children through high school... four more to go. My experience has taught me that high school kids need to fine-tune their ability to locate information -- how to use a hard-back and online dictionary, encyclopedia, and resource materials. Then, they need time to discuss with a parent their thoughts, opinions, and questions. Children this age are formulating their own values, their own opinions. And as parents, we need to allow them to think for themselves, to explore the uniqueness of who God has made them... under our watchful eyes, of course!!

Some of those tough subjects, like Chemistry and Algebra, may need extra time of your help. But building upon the love of learning that we, as parents, have all worked so hard to instill in our children, and fine-tuning their abilities to find the answers for themselves, gives our kids the chance to continue learning long after the tassel is moved!" -- Kay in TX

Answer our NEW Question

"Hi -- I am wondering if any veterans out there have used (or ditched!) Right Start Math. Why so much focus on the abacus -- and has anyone actually been successful teaching modern math with an abacus? Seemed like a good idea at the time... Thanks for any input." -- Liz


Would you like to share your experiences with Liz?
Please send your response by email to: hn-answers@familyclassroom.net

Ask YOUR Question

Do you have a question for our readers?

Send it to mailto:HN-questions@familyclassroom.net and we'll answer it in an upcoming 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.


Subscription Information

Here is the page where you can subscribe to all of our newsletters!


And here is our searchable archive of recent newsletters:



There are opportunities for your business to be a sponsor of this newsletter! Read more about our VERY AFFORDABLE advertising here:



All contributed articles are printed with the author's prior consent. It is assumed that any questions, tips or replies to questions may be reprinted. All letters become the property of the "Homeschooler's Notebook". [Occasionally your contribution may have to be edited for space.]

Again, I welcome you to the group! Feel free to send any contributions to mailto:HN-articles@familyclassroom.net or mailto:HN-ideas@familyclassroom.net.

Our main website is:

We also sponsor an incredible site with over 1,500 pages of helps!


No part of this newsletter (except subscription information below) may be copied and/or displayed in digital format online (for instance, on a website or blog) without EXPRESS permission from the editor. Individuals may, however, forward the newsletter IN ITS ENTIRETY to *individual* friends (not email groups). For reprints in paper publications (homeschool support group newsletters, etc.) please direct your request to: mailto:Heather@FamilyClassroom.net

Next - Audio Freebie, Weather Balloon, Abacus Math
Previous - Mom Loves It; Daughter Hates It

     Site content copyright individual contributors and FamilyClassroom.net 2001-2011 - Digital duplication expressly prohibited.
Privacy Policy | Advertise