"" -- 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



Freedom Charters and Challenges; Free Range Learning

By Heather Idoni

Added Thursday, June 30, 2011
Vol. 12 No. 28, June 30, 2011, ISSN: 1536-2035
(c) 2011, Heather Idoni - www.FamilyClassroom.net

Welcome to The Homeschooler's Notebook!

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

Not a subscriber? Get your own subscription to The Homeschooler's Notebook here:

And please visit our sponsors -- they make our publication possible.


Looney Tunes Phonics incorporates the research based curriculum and instructional design of the highly acclaimed ClickN READ Phonics® program. Featuring the zany antics of Bugs Bunny, Daffy Taz, Tweety and more, children learn to read the right way with help from the world famous Looney Tunes characters. Parents can provide the same research based reading instruction taught at USA public schools right in the comfort of their own homes.

Parents with children who have autism, dyslexia and down syndrome, among others, no longer need to try to find specialized products designed specifically for a particular disability. The ClickN READ curriculum used in Looney Tunes ClickN READ Phonics has been successful for both children and adults with learning disabilities and special needs.

Click Here to Try Looney Tunes ClickN READ Phonics FREE!


Notes from Heather
-- Freedom of the Press and More
Helpful Tip
-- Free Range Learning
Winning Website
-- The Charters of Freedom
Reader Question
-- Typing for Visually Impaired?
Additional Notes
-- Newsletter Archives
-- Sponsorship Information
-- Reprint Information
-- Subscriber Information

Notes from Heather

Dear friends,

As our homeschool convention season winds down, I am finally back home and can give more attention to our newsletter!

I also have been able to enjoy being a more normal mom -- attending baseball games and snuggling with any of the boys who are still young enough to let their mother near them (which is about ONE). ;-)

And I have some exciting news to share! Carman, our almost-19-year-old son, is traveling to Poland to serve as a dance teacher with Poland Evangelical Mission for almost 2 months. He's also officially graduating from homeschooling! (Your prayers for his safety are appreciated as he will be traveling alone.)

I also have some happy news regarding the homeschooling-related lawsuit that I am still defending...

God has miraculously provided a wonderful Christian homeschooling attorney to take my case!

For over a year I have been defending pro se (without representation by an attorney), but God has enabled me to learn what I needed to learn to face each challenge. Let me tell you, it is like having to write a 50 page term paper every other week. UGH.

Next issue I expect to be able to share with you exactly WHO has taken my case -- but for now I am just so very blessed and relieved.

Other news -- which I am sorry to have to share -- is that Helen Hegener, editor of Home Education Magazine, has also now been named as a defendant. Please keep her in your prayers as well.

Freedom of the Press is clearly being challenged in this case -- as well as our right as a homeschool community to share and discuss information about issues that are clearly in the public interest.

Thank you for reading my "notes" -- and enjoy this issue of our Homeschooler's Notebook! :-)

-- Heather


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

Helpful Tip

A Book with Great Tips/Activities for Reluctant Writers and More!

"I stumbled on a book that helped me with activity suggestions that really got my 10 year old son writing.

He writes clues for treasure hunts, writes down ideas for a playwright's group (that we started with friends thanks to this book), writes codes with his own code-breaking key, and writes three reasons why we should decide something in his favor.

The book has ideas for math, science, critical thinking, phys ed, history -- all sorts of areas -- each one open-ended so it works for your family. I don't homeschool in a way I'd call 'free range' but I have to admit, the activity section has stopped homeschooling from being a struggle and made it more fun and creative than it ever has been before.

The book title (before I forget!) is Free Range Learning by Laura Grace Weldon." -- Grace

Winning Website

Our Charters of Freedom


Here is a great website for use with July 4th U.S. Independence Day studies. Enjoy interactive learning on all the pages and even choose a pen to add your own signature to the Declaration of Independence!

Reader Question

"I homeschool 3 children ages 7, 9 and 10. The nine year old is a special needs child which makes our days interesting. She is legally visually impaired and can't write. I want to teach all of them keyboarding, but not sure how. I think this would open up a whole new word for my nine year old, but I just need to figure out how to do it. Any ideas??" -- Donna

Our Readers' Responses

"I created a typing program that uses audio for the core teaching of the keyboard. It also includes video and written instructions but you can help her with those.

Your daughter will be able to learn the basics of the keyboard without ever having to look at a letter.

'The Typing Coach' has not yet been released but you are more than welcomed to have a copy sent to you at no cost if you contact me through my website at http://www.household- budget-made-easy.com." -- David Kimball


"Have you contacted the Braille Institute? They should be able to provide you with a wealth of resources." -- MaryEllen


"Hi Donna -- I've tried different computer programs that were supposed to help kids learn to type and my kids would always make it to through the levels, but never really learned to type. So, I remember what my high school teacher did when I learned to type. I covered the keyboard with little round stickers so my child could not see the keys. Then I used a college keyboarding book to teach from. My high school teacher would have us put our hands on the home row keys and walk around the room as she said 'a, a, a, ;, ;, ;, a ; a ; a ;', etc. She did this all throughout the class. Maybe this could work for your children; you could have them all do it together." -- Linda O.


"As a supplement, there is always Dragon Naturally Speaking software. Once mom helps train the program to the speaker's voice with some editing help, she can 'write' without writing or typing much.

As motivators, check LearningAlly.org and BookShare.org as well." -- M.E. in WA


New Reader Question

For our next High School Issue...

"Hi -- Has anyone used College Plus and would you recommend it? It sounds like guidance to CLEP credits, but is there more to it? Thank you." -- O.P.


Would you like to respond to our reader's question?
Please send your email to: hn-answers@familyclassroom.net

Ask YOUR Question

Do you have a question for our readers? You'll be next in line! :-)

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

Subscription Information

Here is the page where you can subscribe to our newsletter:


And here is our searchable archive:



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:


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


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