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Challenging the Herd, Silly Boys, Heavens Above

By Heather Idoni

Added Thursday, November 11, 2010

Vol. 11 No. 67, November 11, 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.


FREE Around the World Unit Study

Free Around the World Unit Study

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This complete unit study on New Zealand is a great way to give geography some needed attention in your homeschool. It is chock full of fascinating information, beautiful photos and fun activities to help you and your children learn more about our amazing world and the people living on it.

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Notes from Heather
-- Challenging the Herd
Winning Website
-- Heavens Above
Reader Question
-- Silly, Silly Boys
Additional Notes
-- Newsletter Archives
-- Sponsorship Information
-- Reprint Information
-- Subscriber Information

Notes from Heather

The Farmer, The French, and Other Fables

"Historically, we are in a time when technology overshadows everything. In my opinion, this is the only reason math and science currently reign over the other academic subjects. I have asked dozens of students to list every school subject in order of how important they believe each subject is for their futures. They always place math and science first and second. Every now and then, someone will put dance or art or music at the top of their list. But, we know that is foolishness. After all, fifty million educators can’t be wrong.  Or, can they?"

This excerpt is from a really great blog article by Chris Davis, originally of Elijah Company.  It is well worth reading, especially if you appreciate independent thinking from John Taylor Gatto and others who challenge the herd mentality.  Enjoy at the link below!  :-)



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. Call us at
800-255-4937 or visit keystoneschoolonline.com to learn more.


Winning Website

Heavens Above - http://www.heavens-above.com/


Would you like to be able to daily look-up the exact times each night you could view the International Space Station gliding by overhead?  You can do that and more at Heavens Above!

Here is one way you can use the site:

1.  From the home page, click on "from database".
2.  Choose your country and then type in ONLY the city name without the state or province.
3.  Select the exact city location from the next page.
4.  Bookmark THIS page as your "start" page for return visits!
5.  From this start page you can choose (under "Satellites") ISS for the International Space Station.
6.  This page will now list dates, times, magnitude of brightness, etc.

You don't need a telescope to view the space station.  Just a clear night and the naked eye -- or some decent binoculars.  Here are some books and other resources for viewing the night sky with binoculars.

One of the best books I can recommend (which has been used by a young friend of mine in Iowa) is Binocular Highlights: 99 Celestial Sights for Binocular Users.

Enjoy your celestial adventures!

-- Heather

Last Issue's Reader Question

Silly, 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

Our Readers' Responses

[Editor's disclaimer:  Some of our answers today refer to articles written by Michael and Debi Pearl.  I am fully aware of the controversial aspect of some of their teachings, but I also know that our readers are perfectly able to come to their own opinions and conclusions, so I am presenting these answers to our 'silliness' question without any editing or censorship.  I personally enjoy being silly with my boys (to a certain extent) and don't see the lasting harm of it.  However, every family is different and you may take some 'nugget' away from the articles mentioned -- so there you are!]


"Dear Megan -- Oh BOY is it normal!   I think it is all the hormones running around their bodies!   I let mine be silly but did ask them to tone it down at church or in places it is really not appropriate.  I know it drives you crazy but just engage the 'mom ignore' gene and ignore them.   I secretly suspect they do it partly to annoy us anyway.   One thing that did work at times is to act silly like them - especially in front of their friends!   It does embarrass them and they get a taste of their own medicine.   My advice - let them be silly - it won't last long and they are only young once.  Soon they will be gone and you will actually miss their silliness.  I'm on my second set - my older ones are 19 and 21 ( they did outgrow the 'sillies') and I have a 9 and 14 yr old!" -- Paula


"Here are two great articles that address this very issue."

Silly Boys

Just Foolin Around

-- David


"Megan -- You are not alone.  I am the mother of 4 (3 of them boys).  When the oldest reached the age of 11-12, the silly/goofiness started.  Disciplining for it didn't seem to be helping a whole lot, but it must be done.

The best thing that helped us was reading an article by Michael Pearl.  I'm sorry that I can't put my finger on the exact copy right now, but you can probably find it through a search engine.  It talked about Biblical reasons why the foolishness needs to be driven from young boys and the consequences if you don't.  Although it was 'painful' to do this, it DID help.  Every once in a while when the boys lapse back into this behaviour, we tighten the clamps a little again.  It has helped immensely and made life bearable.  We have tried to let the boys be boys, but yet not let them take this to the extremes they once did." -- Ruth F.


"Have you tried having a discussion about there being a time and a place for everything, including silly behavior?  Maybe enforce this with some 'mature' privileges for 'mature' behavior and actions.  These would be chosen according to the boys' interests." -- Faith

Answer our NEW Question

"Hi -- I was wondering how people manage to get the 'fun' subjects done.  I have 3 kids - grades 6, 5, and 1 - and with 2 having learning disabilities, math and language arts take a long time.  I was happy to let things slide for a while, but now my boys complain they never get the 'fun' stuff.  I am so tired by the time we finish the basics that I am done for the day.  Anyone have any ideas?" -- El in Canada


Would you like to respond to El's question?  It would be very appreciated!
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.


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