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Fighting for Freedom in Philadelphia

By Heather Idoni

Added Thursday, August 18, 2011
Vol. 12 No. 34, August 18, 2011, ISSN: 1536-2035
(c) 2011, Heather Idoni - www.FamilyClassroom.net

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Notes from Heather
-- Trip to Philadelphia
Winning Website
-- Free Online Dyslexia Test
Helpful Tip
-- More Resources for Yvonne
Reader Question
-- Speech-to-Text Software
Additional Notes
-- Newsletter Archives
-- Sponsorship Information
-- Reprint Information
-- Subscriber Information

Notes from Heather

Dear friends,

On Wednesday, August 24th, I will be once again flying to Philadelphia to participate in the defense of my Constitutional rights to Freedom of the Press and Freedom of Speech. Also, in order to defend her own rights, publisher Helen Hegener of Home Education Magazine is traveling from Alaska to our meeting as well. Helen was added to the lawsuit due to her journalistic integrity in passing along information of interest to the entire homeschooling community. You can read some of the recent court documents here:


As you can see from the link above, David C. Gibbs III, famous for his Supreme Court fight to save the life of Terri Schiavo, and the founder of Homeschool Legal Advantage, has graciously stepped in to defend me against this frivolous lawsuit brought by Mimi Rothschild, Howard Mandel (her husband) and Learning by Grace (their business). After over a year of defending this case pro se, I am very blessed to have counsel!

Please pray for our meeting this coming Wednesday to discuss settling this lawsuit without continuing to trial. We are meeting at the James A. Byrne Federal Courthouse, which is on the same block as the Liberty Bell -- and only a short walk to the National Constitution Center! Please pray that justice is served and this chapter in my life (and Helen's) can come to a peaceful resolution.

In God's abounding grace - Heather


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


All About Spelling - Testimonials from Parents

"I am so grateful to have found this program. My son's confidence and ability to spell is now out of understanding and not merely memorization. We are working on Level 1 and are ready to move on to Level 2. I wish I had found it sooner!" -- Cheryl


"We started using All About Spelling with our third-grade son, and I am so thankful that I bought the curriculum. My son struggles with spelling, but since beginning All About Spelling two weeks ago, he is soaring! He even gave me a high-five today as he was going through the lesson. Thank you from the bottom of my heart!" -- Linsey D.


"All About Spelling has been a huge success with my eight-year-old. We have cruised through the first twenty lessons with enthusiasm. He actually looks forward to the next day's spelling challenges and has gained confidence in writing." -- Darcie P.


Winning Website

Free Online Dyslexia Assessment


This free online dyslexia assessment from Reading Horizons has been designed using guidelines from research centers as well as the National Dyslexic Association. It doesn't give an official diagnosis, but it can give you an indication of whether the reading struggles your child might be having can most likely be attributed to dyslexia.

Helpful Tip

More Suggestions for Yvonne in Montana

(Yvonne's question and our readers' responses can be found here.)

"Yvonne - I had a similar problem with our son, but we made it!, he's now a junior in college. So keep up hope as it seems a lot of boys go through this.

Maybe they need of a challenge. Have you considered maybe starting some college credits by exams for them? Since they are so young, you can take your time to prepare them. There are free lesson plans and an on-line support group:


There are also many colleges now offering non-credit on-line classes -- colleges like MIT and other prestigious places. This is just one place of many where you can find info:


Also: http://www.sascurriculumpathways.com/portal/

Don't know anything about this, except an article I read about expanding to include homeschoolers."

-- Judy

Last Issue's Reader Question

Speech-to-Text and Text-to-Speech Program?

"I am looking for an inexpensive program to help my son who is delayed in writing. Also, he needs some help in reading larger words. If he has help reading, he has no problem comprehending. He can also express himself, but is very insecure about typing out his answer. Any sugggestions? Thanks." -- Theresa

Our Readers' Responses

Theresa -- The only suggestion I received from our readers is for a software called Dragon Naturally Speaking. Doing a search I found another option, which may be free -- I can't really tell. You can find out more at NaturalReaders.com. Hopefully one of these options will help your son!

-- Heather

New Reader Question

Worn Out Mom

"I am wondering what I'm doing wrong here. I start the day off with morning chores (laundry, dishes, picking up), getting my shower and getting dressed, and overseeing breakfast. While that took one sentence to type out, it takes 2-3 hours to accomplish. Then, I begin piano practice with my 3 oldest children. I sit and supervise each kid as I've had a huge music background and want to make sure they're practicing properly.

After this, it seems like it's getting close to time for lunch. There may be a little bit of time for a stab at math and English, but it always feels rushed and hurried. I am expecting my 6th child, and I've got 3 in active school right now. That means, Saxon math on 3 different grade levels and Abeka English grammar/reading/writing on 3 different grade levels. I feel like I need HOURS and HOURS to get each kid through their day's Math and English assignments as I really try to use these two curiculums the way they were designed to be used -- which with all the drills and teaching the lessons for each kid (4th grader, 2nd grader, and 1st grader). Well, it takes forever to do it all properly.

After lunch, it's naps (me included) and then our group work time: Story of the World activity book projects, Apologia science (reading together and projects), English from the Roots Up memorization, Sequential Spelling, penmanship practice and teaching cursive writing. I used to try to do Power-Glide Spanish here as well, but I was stressing us all out so I threw it out. I'm often finishing up my group work while trying to also start supper. It gets a little crazy some days.

In the evening (after cooking and cleaning up for supper), we have family worship which is when the children get their Bible time (taught by Daddy). This all lasts about an hour.

After family worship is more chores and time to do my desk work (paperwork, paying bills, answering email, etc.) until bedtime.

I feel like we have a fantastic homeschool curriculum lined up. I love everything we're doing individually, but as a whole, I don't feel like I can fit it all in one day. I'm very stressed out. We go year-round because we have to. With doctor appointments and morning sickness and field trips, we just never have a day where we get to it all. So, how do you do homeschool more simply (preferably with this curriculum line-up I have going on) with several kids on various grade levels? I've got another child coming up for K-4 (Abeka) this next year, and a newborn arriving in February. So, HELP! Any thoughts as to how to make this happen more smoothly? I'm worn out!

-- Christina in Texas


Do you feel impressed to share your wisdom and/or practical advice with Christina?
Please send your email to: hn-answers@familyclassroom.net

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