"" -- 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



Audio Freebie, Weather Balloon, Abacus Math

By Heather Idoni

Added Monday, November 08, 2010

Vol. 11 No. 66, November 8, 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.


Time 4 Learning

Need an affordable (and effective) homeschool curriculum?

Time4Learning; made the Homeschool.com "Top 100 Educational Websites" list in both 2009 and 2010. We combine the technology they love with the curriculum they need to make learning fun!

PreK-8th grade curriculum includes 1000+ animated lessons, printable worksheets and graded activities for language arts and math (including algebra). Science and social studies are also available in most grades.

Parents like the detailed lesson plans and simplified record keeping. Kids like using the computer to learn.

Time4Learning requires no contracts and offers a 14-day money back guarantee. Check out their lesson ; plans, try the lesson ; demos or view some screenshots. ; There’s no obligation.



Notes from Heather
-- Homeschool Freebie Today!
Helpful Tip
-- Weather Balloon to Space
Winning Website
-- That Artist Woman
Reader Question
-- Anyone Use Right Start Math?
Additional Notes
-- Newsletter Archives
-- Sponsorship Information
-- Reprint Information
-- Subscriber Information

Notes from Heather

Homeschool Freebie of the Day - Sugar Creek Gang!

Today and tomorrow (Monday and Tuesday) our Sugar Creek Gang audio stories are being featured on Homeschool Freebie of the Day! :-)

If you are reading this email a little late and would still like to get the free MP3 audio story, I will leave it up for a few extra days at this link:


-- Heather


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


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.


Helpful Tip

"Here's a link to see video of a weather balloon sent into the stratosphere with an HD video camera and iphone (GPS) to see the beauty and vastness of space. Pretty cool! Wish we'd been in on this." -- Natalie



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

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

Winning Website

Art Projects -- http://thatartistwoman.blogspot.com

This blogger has tons of tutorials for art projects perfect for elementary and middle school age children! She's a gifted artist herself and I'm amazed at the creative ways she has students use common supplies to express themselves artistically.

Cindy Prechtel, www.HomeschoolingFromTheHeart.com

Last Issue's Reader 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

Our Readers' Responses

"I have used Right Start with two kids now. My eldest is in level E. The early levels are the perfect balance of high level concept introduction with lots of hands on activities and games and very limited use of worksheets. As you progress through the levels, the child spends more time on worksheets. The games are genius. They fit perfectly with the curriculum, of course, and remove the need to do math fact drill as they get all the repetition that they need through the games. You can buy the games kit and add the games to any curriculum even if you choose not to use Right start.

The bi-colored abacus really helps kids to visualize numbers and manipulate them mentally. For example, my almost 5 year old is at the very beginning of level B (one of the entry levels). We were at the aquarium talking about a field trip that required a minimum of 20 students. She commented that, in addition to her and her brother, we would need two 9s more. She could not add 9+9 yet but she knew that 9+1=10 and she could reason out that if 20 is 2 tens and we already have 2, we needed two 9s more. Right Start develops that sort of reasoning skills which leads to fantastic mental math skills." -- Rebecca


"We used Right Start Math most of the way through. Our oldest is using their final level this year and adding in Video Algebra in a few weeks. It's worked great with both of our kids. One is a visual learner -- it helped her be able to see the concept on the table in front of her. Our other child is a tactile learner -- it helped him with beads to move on the abacus, blocks to stack, etc. We tried Saxon early on, and Right Start just clicked for both me to teach and my kids to learn." -- Jo in MN

Answer our NEW Question

Silly Boys

"Our pre-teen/teen boys are driving us crazy! Everything is a joke. They are silly at the supper table, on the way to church, during devotions. Is this 'normal'? We understand they are kids, but they need to learn to have self control. We appreciate any ideas, etc. Thanks!" -- Megan


Can you relate to Megan's dilemma? Or have you discovered the answer and want to share?
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 - Challenging the Herd, Silly Boys, Heavens Above

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