"" -- 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



Peril of Praise; Hilarious HS'ing Commercial!

By Heather Idoni

Added Thursday, November 18, 2010

Vol. 11 No. 69, November 18, 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.


Stop Wasting Gas, Time, and Money!
Learn & Master Home School Editions
The driving. The time. The COST!
Stop driving all over the place, taking hours, and spending thousands of $$$ each year on private music and art lessons.

Learn & Master Home School Editions for Guitar, Piano, and Painting provide a full 2-Year Scope and Sequence.

You will be able to take your Home School students (and yourself if you like) through a comprehensive music and art curriculum, even if you have no previous experience or musical/art skill.

All Three Courses Now On Sale for $120 OFF



Notes from Heather
-- Power and Peril in Praise
Winning Website
-- Minnesota Zoo Games
From Our Readers
-- Commercial Contest
Reader Question
-- Gripping for Handwriting
Additional Notes
-- Newsletter Archives
-- Sponsorship Information
-- Reprint Information
-- Subscriber Information

Notes from Heather

The Power (and Peril) of Praising Your Kids

This is an interesting article -- and not just for parents of gifted kids, either!


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


Winning Website

Minnesota Zoo Online Games - http://www.mnzoo.org/education/education_games.asp

Minnesota Zoo online games are fun and educational ways to learn about the animal world!

From Our Readers

Hilarious HSLDA Commercial!

"My best friend's son (age 20) wrote the script, made the scenery, and produced this commercial for a competition through HSLDA (Homeschool Legal Defense Association). My best friend is 'Mother Goose'; she's been homeschooling for 20+ years.

I think HSLDA will be making the commericals available on their website so we can vote for our favorite (not sure if it will be all or if a narrowed down selection).

I think it is FANTASTIC!"

-- Di in NJ (via HomeschoolingBOYS.com)


Last Issue's Reader Question

Handwriting Postures

"Hi -- I was wondering if anyone has experience or knowledge in various handwriting postures. My fourth child holds his pencil with all four of his fingers together on one side and the tip down by his pinky. I thought I should break him of it at first, but I wondered if anyone knows anything about the differences and the pros/cons of them? Thanks." -- Anna

Our Readers' Responses

"Hi -- My son used to hold his pencil in a similar manner and seemed to really struggle when he wrote. We went to a stationery store and bought a pencil grip that was specially shaped to help him hold the pencil better." -- Connie


"My 5 year old held his pencil that same way. I tried to get him to hold it the right way, but he fought the change. I found the following link to be helpful:


I especially found useful the idea of using crayon stubs instead of big bulky pencils. Crayola now makes Crayola Pip-Squeaks Markers that my son really likes. Also having him hold half of a tissue with his pinky and ring finger and then hold the crayon stub normally helps. I was expecting to have to work with him for a month or so to break his habit, but he switched over after a week or so of practicing daily. I just had him trace a simple pre-writing worksheet each day." -- Sandy


"All 6 of my kids hold their pencils a little different, and they all do just fine. If you look at adults, many of them will have a different pencil/pen grip. I think it is fine." -- Megan


"My daughter did the SAME thing when she was younger. She is now 14 and holds her pencil the correct way. We did not do anything to correct it; she just naturally did it on her own. I wouldn't worry." -- Kaye


"Some people have really strong views on how to hold a pencil. However, I hold my pencil very differently from others and I never even knew it until I grew up and noticed my hold was different. My handwriting is very clear and I've never had problems. Unless your child seems to be having trouble with the grip, is holding it too hard, or is writing too hard, I wouldn't worry about it. If it does concern you or he's having trouble, there are grips you can put on his pencil that will help him put the 'correct' fingers in the 'correct' spots." -- Carla


"I feel it is important how one holds the pencil. We are working with the Dyslexia Learning program and they have a set holding style. Barton Learning system is where I learned how it important it was to have a good hold on the pencil for writing (thumb and index finger holding the pencil and it rests on third finger, rather than a bear hold or thumb over position). I think it was the free video about 'Who is Susan Barton' on her website that shared her reasons.

We did manuscript first and my son has struggled; we started cursive and he is coming along well. His work is neater, too. I thought it had to be manuscript first, then cursive, but I learned that those who struggle or those with dyslexia would benefit with cursive from the beginning. I was late to learn that." -- NB

Answer our NEW Question

"Hi -- I'm new to homeschooling and wondering if anyone knows of any free websites out there for introducing music theory?" -- Vicki


Do you have information for Vicki?
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 - New Boys' Adventure Catalog, Music Theory Online, More!
Previous - Finding Time for the Fun Stuff

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