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An Encouraged Mom, Activity Bag Swap, Typing Answers

By Heather Idoni

Added Thursday, January 13, 2011
Vol. 12 No. 4, January 13, 2011, ISSN: 1536-2035
© 2011, 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.


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Notes from Heather
-- An Encouraged Mom
Helpful Tip
-- Preschool Activity Bag Swap!
Reader Question
-- Typing for Young Children?
Additional Notes
-- Newsletter Archives
-- Sponsorship Information
-- Reprint Information
-- Subscriber Information

Notes from Heather

Reader Feedback for 'An Outpouring of Support for Joy in Georia'


"Thank you for publishing Joy's question and all the encouraging responses. I felt so validated and encouraged as I felt like I was a very inadequate homeschool mom/teacher. Thanks for letting me know I am in the majority and not the minority. You were an answer to prayer." -- Nelda in New Mexico


Nelda -- It had the same effect on me! It is so good to be brought back to our foundations and remember the most important reasons why we have chosen homeschooling -- and also to know that if we have been called, we will be completely equipped. We can't possibly measure now all the good fruit that will come from simply not allowing our children to be institutionalized. As long as homeschooling is kept legal, we are making the most of our freedom to choose what is best for our own. -- Heather


For those who didn't get to read the "Outpouring", here is a link to our last issue in the archives:



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


Homeschooling ABCs

"I was sold on the first mini class and started the 26 week course after
that!  Thanks for showing us how to start and stay going.  We are excited
with Homeschooling ABCs and feel comfortable knowing someone cares about
our homeschooling experience being a success.  All the planning is already
done for us and we really like the freebies and weekly schedule that make
each lesson personal and fun!

Please tell us this will never end, LOL, no really I mean it!!!  Thanks,
Homeschooling ABCs!" -- Debbie in Maryland


Helpful Tip

Keeping Preschoolers Busy

"I made 'activity bags' with a group of other mom's - We each made 20 of 1 or 2 activities and then swapped them. The cost was about $20 including bags. I downloaded the activities and bought all the bags at Costco in bulk. Then each mom picked up her activities and bags. We met again in 2 weeks to swap. I have used them for 2 kids now so I think it was well worth the time. We have used the bean bags for spelling, math games at the doctors office, counting by 2's, colors, and many other sneaky ways I have thought of to make learning fun. You can also do this on your own - it would just cost a bit more but you could do a couple of activities at a time. We always do the bunny counting to 25 in the spring." -- Nikki C. via our HomeschoolingBOYS.com email group.

Related link for more info:

Last Issue's Reader Question

"What typing program would any of you recommend for kids kindergarten to lower elementary age? Or is this too early to start? We've tried several free online typing programs, and they just don't seem to be very good. Any suggestions?" -- Christina

Our Readers' Responses

"Dear Christina -- My family uses the Mavis Beacon typing program. They love it, and they love the games on it. I haven't had to do anything to teach them typing; they are learning it all from the program." -- Mary


We use Dance Mat Typing. It teaches using the home row and so far my kids have liked it better than some of the programs that we paid for. My kindergarten son did not want to get off this morning so that his brother could practice. I am trying to have my kids practice for 10 to 15 minutes a day. For children with small hands, it may be best to use a small laptop or smaller keyboard so that their fingers fit the keys properly." -- Cheryl W.


"My son started Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing (version 12) last year in 5th grade. Unlike other typing programs with lots of video game-like typing games and lots of distractions, this program is very straightforward. She teaches the letters a-s-d-f first, then j-k-l-;, etc. She leads you through lots of drills, then speed tests. There are easy games interspersed as well. Multiple students can use the same program under different user accounts. My son loves the instant feedback and I love to hear, 'Mom, I just typed 18 words per minute with no mistakes!'" -- Brenda in Washington State


"I'd like to put in my 2 cents regarding typing programs for young students. I have taught piano for 20 years and for the past 5 years, I have seen an increasing amount of carpal tunnel syndrome in 2nd graders! The change: 'Keyboarding' classes in school. I think the parents of very young children should be very careful about how much typing they do on a daily basis. I have no hard science but anecdotally it would appear that too much keyboarding or any repetitive motion by young children has an adverse effect on their developing physiology. The very good piano teachers will not take a student younger than 7, unless they show unusual musical talent, and then they monitor them very closely as well as limit their practice time for just this reason. Thanks for letting me chime in!" -- Janet G.


"We have loved dance mat typing. This is a free typing program by the British educational system. The characters are very funny and engaging, and my boys loved the British accent!" -- Lois T.


"We really like Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing. I recommend children begin learning to type around the age of eight or nine." -- Mary Beth


"I've used 'Zoom Type'. It is designed for young and old! If they already recognize letters, they can do this. It is designed to learn typing in 5 minute increments. Also, you don't have to have a computer or keyboard. The keys and finger positions are all on the page. You learn a couple of letters at a time (which are the only ones viewed on the page). The picture on the next page blacks out the two that should have been learned; so, you're practicing without seeing the key letters. The website is www.typingtutorcourse.com." -- Jenn

Answer our NEW Question

[Answers to our new question will appear in our 1/20 issue.]


"First, let me say thanks for all of the great resources you have provided - it's much appreciated! I was wondering if there are other support organizations for homeschoolers such as provided by HSLDA, but an organization that would be for secular homeschoolers. Thank you very much." -- Michele V.

Do you have a resource to share with Michele?
Please send your reply 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!

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