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Do You Have a Strong Enough WHY?

By Heather Idoni

Added Thursday, April 14, 2011
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Vol. 12 No. 20, April 14, 2011, ISSN: 1536-2035
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(c) 2011, Heather Idoni - www.FamilyClassroom.net
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Welcome to The Homeschooler's Notebook!

If you enjoy this newsletter, please recommend it to a friend! 

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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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IN THIS ISSUE:
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Notes from Heather
-- A Strong Enough WHY
Helpful Tip
-- Free Scholastic Books
Winning Website
-- Read-Write-Think
Reader Question
-- Integrating Bible and History
Additional Notes
-- Newsletter Archives
-- Sponsorship Information
-- Reprint Information
-- Subscriber Information

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Notes from Heather
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Do You Have a Strong Enough "WHY"?

In the 20+ years that Ellyn Davis has spent home educating her children, she has spoken with thousands of other homeschooling parents. A common thread she discovered along the way was that most parents complaining of difficulties in teaching their children have been so caught up in the "HOWs" of homeschooling that they've never really gotten their "WHYs" sorted out.

I've noticed a similar phenomenon with parents I meet who have begun homeschooling without taking the time to properly flesh out what they believe about true education and its purposes. They haven't taken enough time to develop their own "philosophy of education" -- knowing WHY they have chosen to home educate and then mapping a course that isn't simply curriculum or program driven (or even college-entry driven), but deeply rooted in a foundation of intentional conviction about the whole mindset that we call home education.

Ellyn has written an e-book all about this concept -- and I think you will find it very encouraging, especially if you need some inspiration in that area! Right now her e-book, "A Strong Enough WHY", is FREE to read online at this link:

http://issuu.com/synaction/docs/a_strong_enough_why2

It is easy to read on a large enough screen, but for those with smaller screens you can choose the option to view one page at a time -- that will help a lot! (You can also read through it from top to bottom or from side to side like a real book.)

Enjoy!

-- Heather

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

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Helpful Tip
============

Free Book Offer from Scholastic and Kumon - http://www.scholastic.com/kumon/learnandearn/

Scholastic has partnered with Kumon to encourage children ages 5-12 to work on their reading and math skills.

When your child or student completes an activity sheet, he or she earns free Scholastic books!

You'll receive 2 books for completing one activity sheet or 5 books for completing two activity sheets: one in math and one in reading.

http://www.scholastic.com/kumon/learnandearn/

Note: Expires October 15, 2011 or when 1,250 sets have been rewarded

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Winning Website
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Read-Write-Think -- http://www.readwritethink.org

This site has been developed by educators for educators. There are resources for teaching reading and writing for grades K-12. I was recently looking for help with teaching compare and contrast essays. This site has some excellent material, including a thorough "teaching" slideshow that you could sit down with your child and go through that teaches this type of essay. Of course, this huge site covers much more than just writing! Check it out, and you'll find lesson plans and printables for a variety of language arts topics.

Cindy Prechtel, www.HomeschoolingFromTheHeart.com

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Reader Question
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Integrating Biblical Studies with History

"Hello all -- It is on my heart to integrate our ancient history with Old Testament survey type studies next year for two of our teens (Grades 8 and 11). I've been on the hunt! I've been looking at Tapestry of Grace, Truthquest and Biblioplan as ideas yet do not know of anyone in my area who has used these materials for me to chat with.

Please let me know if there is something you have tried that really did help put these wonderful books more solidly into your teen's heart, first of all, and then if you know of something that really helped amplify the context for the Old Testament I'd love to hear about that. Thanks so much!" -- Eunice

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Our Readers' Responses
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"For accomplishing this at ALL levels, I feel My Father's World is the best choice available. There is a user forum available from that website, and several groups on yahoo (one general for families, one for each level). Feel free to call the office too, they are excellent with personal service. The first year of high school is a study of Ancients, and OT study is fully a part of that." -- Pam

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"Eunice -- I can't give advice on the curriculums you listed, but I did want to mention that this year we have been using Ancient Civilizations and the Bible, the first year of the History Revealed curriculum that is a combined effort of Answers in Genesis and Diana Waring. It is written mainly for grades 7-12, but there is an elementary activity book that you can also get, and I have been adapting it for use with both my 2nd grader and 7th grader. It has been excellent, and my children have learned so much -- as have I! I have never studied early civilizations from a Biblical perspective before, and it has been so eye-opening! Diana Waring's extra stories on the audio CDs add so much, and her passion for history is contagious. I highly recommend this curriculum!" -- Mindy

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"I would use as many 'living books' as possible. There is a series by Orson Scott Card (of Ender's Game fame), that explores the lives of Sarah, Rebekah, Rachel and Leah, that really puts you in ancient times. These are the ones that came to mind, but there are probably others." -- Jan

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"My children really love the Then and Now Bible Maps by Rose publishing. The maps have a clear overlay showing the current day countries we are discussing, compared to the ancient world, cities and regions. Also included are timelines and a breakdown on Paul's life and journeys, and a really interesting timeline comparing Bible history with ancient world history. Bringing the two together made it very concrete for my kids. Rose Publishing also puts out Bible timelines by book (we a have a few and they are great!), full of quick facts about the people and places mentioned. It really allows you to see the overlap of lives that shaped the modern Bible." -- Jamie

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[Editor's Note: Eunice -- I'm going to weigh in on this one! :-) I would also recommend the 'living books' approach of TruthQuest History, which you mentioned you are considering. Michelle Miller did a fantastic job writing the narrative guides that you can read aloud with your children. You can pick and choose the literature you want to use, depending upon how deeply you want to study each historical event/time. Then you could supplement with materials pertaining to the Jewish feasts and history of Israel from Robin Sampson's Heart of Wisdom resources, as well. The curriculum Mindy mentioned (from Diana Waring and Answers in Genesis) sounds great, too! -- Heather]

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Answer Our New Question
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Getting a Ten Year Old Boy to Write

"Hello -- I am in my second year of homeschooling my 10 year old son. He has autism -- and language in general is his area of biggest challenge. Although he is 10, he is working at about a 2nd grade level (higher in math, that's his strength). We have worked really hard on reading, and reading comprehension this year, and he is now reading on about a 2nd grade level! Yay! But now we need to work on writing. He can't write. I don't mean the physical aspect; his handwriting is fine. It's the composing and then putting it down on paper part that he can't do. Not even a sentence, let alone a story or a paragraph. I know I can teach him to write (or I'm certainly going to try my best), but it would need to be a concerted effort working for a short time everyday on a fun, progressive curriculum. Does anyone have any suggestions? How do you start to teach writing when your child has trouble even SAYING a sentence? I know he can learn, it just seems to take a lot more time and effort than 'typical' children. Do I just need to wait until he's developmentally more ready, or is there something I can try to start now with him? I'd appreciate any help or advice readers have, and please don't feel that you need experience in autism to answer this question. Thanks so much!" -- Pam in Utah

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Would you like to share your thoughts and/or practical suggestions with Pam?
Send your email to: hn-answers@familyclassroom.net

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Ask YOUR Question
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Send it to mailto:hn-questions@familyclassroom.net and we'll answer it in an upcoming issue!

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