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Growing w/o Schooling, Survival Bracelets, Beginner Blogs

By Heather Idoni

Added Thursday, October 6, 2011
Vol. 12 No. 38, October 6, 2011, ISSN: 1536-2035
(c) 2011, Heather Idoni - www.FamilyClassroom.net

Welcome to The Homeschooler's Notebook!

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Want to keep the kids excited about learning? Here are two tools that might help:

  • Time4Learning.com (for prek-8th) disguises standards-based curriculum behind multimedia lessons with a sense of humor. Kids like that it feels more like video games than online lessons, making it a great tool for presenting new or difficult concepts in a non-threatening way.

  • Time4Writing.com (for 2nd-12th) offers 8-week online writing courses taught by certified teachers. Kids at all skill levels get one-on-one interaction and personalized feedback designed to them master the art of writing.
  • Learn how you can promote a can-do attitude toward learning with the help of Time4Learning & Time4Writing.


    Notes from Heather
    -- Personal Notes
    Winning Website
    -- Growing Without Schooling
    Helpful Tips
    -- Paracord Survival Bracelets
    Reader Question
    -- Beginning Blogging
    Additional Notes
    -- Newsletter Archives
    -- Sponsorship Information
    -- Reprint Information
    -- Subscriber Information

    Notes from Heather

    On the Personal News Front...

    My oldest son (21) has moved away from home! He's only about 10 miles away (and I still get to seem him three times a week since he works in the same building as my bookstore), so that has made the transition easier on me! :-) My second son (19) is back from a 2 month missions trip to Poland, which was greatly enjoyed. He had plans to move out when he got back to the U.S., but we've talked him into staying home awhile longer. They are growing up too quickly!

    My third son turns 16 next week and he is deep into driver's training, football and Civil Air Patrol. Fourth son has taken up guitar and is quite the prodigy -- he is learning everything from YouTube video tutorials created by talented guitar teachers like Marty Schwartz. My youngest son is on a First Lego League robotics team this fall and studying food safety, which is the theme this year.

    And... my husband finished his nursing degree and passed the Michigan RN exam! Yay! :-)

    -- Heather


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


    All About Spelling - Testimonials from Parents

    "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

    Growing Without Schooling Magazine Archives: 1977-2001

    All issues of the historic magazine, Growing Without Schooling (GWS), are now available for free public access!

    Growing Without Schooling was the very first national magazine about homeschooling, unschooling, and learning outside of traditional school. It was founded by the late author/teacher John Holt in 1977.

    In addition to 24 years of personal stories, news articles, and research in each issue through 2001, the magazine website also contains new information about John Holt and his work, including never-before-released video footage of Holt, photographs, and newly digitized audio files of his interviews and lectures.

    Helpful Tips

    Emergency Paracord Bracelets Project


    Teach art, emergency preparedness, knot tying, physics and more! Paracord bracelets (also known as survival bracelets), are a convenient way for hikers and explorers to always have eight feet of 550 parachute cord literally 'on hand'.

    Last Issue's Reader Question

    "If one of my older children is interested in starting her own blog and is fairly comfortable using basic computer/internet skills (but not too technical), where should I start? What pre-made blog set-ups are there? Is that a good way to go? How do we choose which one? Are there financial benefits for her? If so, how does one go about setting up/connecting to do that? What works well or not so well? Thanks in advance!" -- Anna H.

    Our Readers' Responses

    Although we didn't get any reader feedback on your question, Anna, I did find this great resource list compiled by www.ChoosyHomeschooler.com. Reading these articles and exploring the resources at each link should provide a good start for your daughter! -- Heather


    Your Homeschool Blog
    This article from Home Education Magazine encourages homeschoolers to start blogs, and gives ideas for sharing.

    How to Start a Homeschool Blog
    Step-by-step suggestions for getting started blogging.

    Blogs and Kids - Staying Safe and Having Fun
    A good article with important considerations about blogging with kids.


    This free blogging service is popular with homeschool bloggers.

    Word Press
    Another very popular free blogging service.

    Homeschool Blogger
    This is a place where homeschoolers can sign up for free, and receive a personal homeschool blog of their own.

    Homeschool Journal Dot Net
    This site, run by homeschool parents, offers free homeschooling journals for homeschooling families to document their experiences.

    Live Journal
    With a free basic account, Live Journal can be used as a blog, journal, or whatever a family wants it to be. More features are available with a paid service.

    This blogging service is easy to use and offers different pricing plans according to level of expertise and budget, along with a free 14-day trial period.


    Blogging For Dummies by Brad Hill
    This resource for new and intermediate bloggers provides step-by-step instructions, illustrations, tips, and more.

    The Weblog Handbook: Practical Advice On Creating And Maintaining Your Blog by Rebecca Blood
    This is a very useful guide to weblogs: how to start one, how to grow an audience, protecting your privacy, and more.

    Essential Blogging: Selecting and Using Weblog Tools by Shelley Powers
    A helpful guide to getting started in the world of blogging.

    New Reader Question

    "Anyone out there know of any Japenese course that can be taken by homeschoolers that is reasonably priced for a high school freshman? My son is interested in taking a class in Japenese. Thanks so much in advance." -- Bonita


    Do you have a Japanese suggestion for Bonita?
    Please send your 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!

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