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By Heather Idoni

Added Thursday, December 02, 2010

Vol. 11 No. 71, December 2, 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!
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Notes from Heather
-- The Homeschooling Difference
Winning Website
-- Khan Academy Videos
Helpful Tip
-- Community College Credit
Reader Question
-- ADD and Falling Behind
Additional Notes
-- Newsletter Archives
-- Sponsorship Information
-- Reprint Information
-- Subscriber Information

Notes from Heather

While "mining" for gold for our High School issue, I came across this great blog post at The Homeschool Channel...


What a Difference Homeschooling Makes
  by Mary Friedeman

This week my 11-year-old son and I went shopping for his sister's birthday. Just the two of us. He's a big boy for his age—5 foot 3, over 100 pounds. As we started across the parking lot, he reached out and snagged my hand, then looked over at me and grinned as we walked hand-in-hand into the store. My heart melted. And I thought, “What are the odds he would do something like that if he went to public or private school?” Not impossible, I’m sure, but certainly less likely if he spent the majority of the day in the company of peers who would probably look askance at a “tweenage” boy’s public display of affection towards his mom.

I know a Boy Scout leader whose troop members have recently refused to wear their uniforms—to both meetings and official public events. Some of the parents defended their sons: “It would be social suicide.” Now, rest assured mom and dad want these boys to earn their Eagle rank; that has cachet attached. They’re in for a shock—it won’t happen, at least in their current troop, if the boys don’t follow the rules. “Social suicide” or not.

I am convinced that homeschooling is the biggest single factor in the ease with which our family has experienced the teenage years. What is often a dreaded stage of parenthood has been, in a word, a joy! Simply removing the constant exposure to peer influence with all its attendant pressures makes a world of difference. It allows students to focus on their studies without all the drama and distraction of clothing styles, cliques, and the pervasive romance culture.

Homeschooling strengthens familial bonds—parent to child and sibling to sibling. It has given us the time and environment needed to shape hearts and minds and to reinforce standards of discipline and behavior. Primary relationships are found in the family, not outside it, and that is where our teenagers look first for approval and validation.

It has also provided our children the spiritual and academic foundation to think biblically and to make godly choices in their relationships with others, in their use of time, in their leisure pursuits, and in their plans and goals for the future. They aspire to fulfill God’s plan for their lives.

I’ve noticed a trend among homeschoolers: often, when the middle and high school years approach, parents panic and think they can’t handle more advanced academics. In other cases, especially with boys, the desire to participate in high school sports becomes an issue. (That’s a topic for another blog) So they bail out on homeschooling, convincing themselves that the elementary years were more critical.

I beg to differ. Stay the course! Homeschooling through high school is not only possible, it’s vital to the educational, emotional, and spiritual wellbeing of your adolescent.


Want to read more from Mary? She blogs regularly at The Homeschool Channel!

Here is the link to her page:

-- Heather


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


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Winning Website

Khan Academy Videos - http://www.khanacademy.org/

"We have had great success augmenting our math program with the Khan Academy which offers short videos explaining most everything from elementary math and up. My husband (who is studying for his PhD) is using it at times to clarify concepts. The videos are short and the explanations are very well formulated and easy to understand. This has been a great blessing for us as at times, to allow our boys to hear the explanation from someone else, to reinforce concepts and clarify new ideas."

-- Christina (via www.HomeschoolingBOYS.com)

Helpful Tip

Why Three Months Can Equal a Year with Community College Credits

"In a community college, they don't spend a whole year going through a calculus textbook. They spend three months instead. In community college, they don't go through a level of French in one year; they spend three months instead. In high school American History, it takes a whole year to get a credit; in college you can finish the course in a quarter or semester. In college, students will usually just take three full courses at a time, then three months later they take another three classes, and then another three classes. In high school, almost everyone takes more classes than that. In high school, calculus covers... well, calculus. In a year of college calculus, students cover calculus 1, calculus 2, and differential equations. And so that is why...

What a high school calls one credit will be covered in one year, while a college will cover the same material in three months and call it 5 credits.

In other words, three months of college can equal one whole year of high school.

Each high school has its own way of translating community college credits into high school credits, and some colleges don't like credits for community college classes. However, if you are looking to try to reconcile college credits onto a high school transcript, you may want to consider the 5 college credits = 1 high school credit equation." -- Lee Binz, The HomeScholar


To view comments and discussion on this tip, go here:

Last Issue's Reader Question

"My son was diagnosed with ADD in sixth grade, and he was in public school until his 8th grade year. According to the public school system he was working at slightly below his grade level, so when I began to homeschool him I made the mistake of not doing a skill level evaluation. By the middle of our 9th grade year I began to realize that all of the basic skills that he was supposed to have gained in public school were not there or not strong. I had him take a skill evaluation test the end of last year, and I adjusted his curriculum to his ability. My question is this: How do I get all of his required high school classes completed while still adjusting his curriculum to reteach things he has missed at a skill level he can handle? If anyone could help it would greatly be appreciated."
-- Felicia

Our Readers' Responses

"Homeschooling affords us the ability to do so much more with our kids and in a shorter amount of time. Your son should have no problem catching up on the basics while learning high school. If you cannot move forward in the high school curriculum due to his lack of basic knowledge, my suggestion would be to finish out this year with basic stuff (quite frankly, it shouldn't even take that long) and work less formally on high school level during the summer. By the end of next year, he should be near or at his level. It's so easy to catch up. I find that most homeschool families over-do the work needed (NOT an issue for most) so that by the time their child graduates, he/she is way ahead of their public schooled peers -- or they graduate early." -- Jen in Michigan

Answer our NEW Question

"Does anyone have any resources -- preferably something audio so I can play in the van while we're traveling -- for teaching multiple-age children about the lives and music of the famous composers?" -- Christina


Do you have some suggestions for Christina? It would be greatly 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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