Monthly Archives: April 2010

Friday’s Mailbag for April 30, 2010

One thing that I was particularly saddened to read about this last week is that Sweden may be joining Germany in making homeschooling essentially illegal. At the same time, I was heartened to read that the U.S. is granting asylum to one of the German families that has been persecuted by the German government for homeschooling.

I also was happy to read this post, entitled Booster Shots… For Homeschool Parents, which has nothing to do with immunizations and everything to do with remembering why we decided to homeschool in the first place.

And I got a chuckle out of this post,The Public School Parents’ Guide to Homeschool Parents (#10 is We Don’t Do This to Annoy You).

Equally uplifting, but on a more serious note, was I Am Not the Woman I Planned to Be, which provides me with a good closing:

It’s a far cry from the corporate world and the monetary pay is far less. But the blessings and rewards are tremendous. 

Labels: High School
Posted by Maureen Sklaroff

Online and Distance Learning Options for Homeschoolers

I’m sorry that I have been AWOL, but we’ve had visitors, illnesses, and injuries around here and I’ve been struggling to catch up with everything.

Today I wanted to list all of the online/distance education options for homeschoolers that I know of. These programs are not free, which is why I will only devote one post to all of them and not discuss them in detail. My kids actually despise online/distance learning, so I really cannot comment much on these programs, but am only listing programs that have been recommended by other homeschoolers. To the best of my knowledge, all of these programs are available to students throughout the U.S. (in most cases, throughout the world). I also have tried to note any program that is affiliated with a religion. Still, be sure to do your research before paying any money.

It seems like I hear about another online/distance education program everyday, so I’m sure that I missed some. If you know of any that I missed, please e-mail me or note it in the comments and I’ll update this list.

Labels: Curriculum, Online Learning
Posted by Maureen Sklaroff

Friday Mailbag for April 16, 2010

One article that was making the rounds on the internet this week was “10 Celebs Who Homeschool Their Kids“. I am posting it due to its popularity, but it bothers me that the article seems to be implying that only now that celebrities are choosing to homeschool, homeschooling must be okay.

Another article that I have some misgivings about is “Public Schools Lose When Gifted Kids Are Homeschooled“. Obviously, I don’t agree with the article, but I don’t have time to write a well-thought-out response right now. I will say, however, that I’ve never been fond of the argument that I should send my kids to public school for other people’s kids’ sake.

Meanwhile, elsewhere on the web, there is an article about Dads homeschooling. I was glad to see it as more and more men are opting to become stay-at-home parents and homeschoolers.

The article “Why Yes, I Work Full Time and Homeschool” reflects another trend that I have been seeing in the homeschool community, working parents who also homeschool their kids.

A final trend in homeschooling that was addressed this week is the changing demographics of homeschoolers, who used to primarily be either Christians or hippies. Pagans and Homeschooling discusses why pagans might want to homeschool (ironically, while some Christians homeschool because of the perceived lack of Christian values in schools, pagans may want to homeschool because of the perceived dominance of Christian values).

Labels: High School
Posted by Maureen Sklaroff

Enroll Your Homeschool in the 2010-11 Book-It Program

The Pizza Hut Book-It program is a nice incentive to get reluctant readers to read (or a nice treat for kids who already enjoy reading). The program rewards kids in grades K-6, who meet a reading goal, with a certificate for a free personal pizza. I’m also really excited that Pizza Hut has a new page devoted just too homeschoolers! The deadline for enrollment is June 30th.

Labels: High School
Posted by Maureen Sklaroff

Friday’s Mailbag, April 9, 2010

I belong to many homeschooling Yahoo Groups, subscribe to many blogs and Google Alerts, and read many homeschooling-related online magazines and newspapers. So I come across a lot of interesting articles. Rather than try to post something every time I read one, I’ve decided that I will try to post a weekly summary of some of the articles and blog posts about homeschooling that I have read during the week. Hopefully, you will find some of them interesting.

  • The first blog post that I wanted to mention isn’t actually helpful for us homeschoolers, but we homeschoolers may be able to help clear up some misinformation about homeschooling by commenting on it. Beyond the Pale has a post, entitled “Nosy Friday Survey: Homeschooling”. Some homeschoolers have found it to be offensive, but even if you do find the post offensive, I encourage you to look at this as an opportunity to engage in some positive PR about homeschooling.
  • “52 Totally Awesome Science Experiments You Can Do At Home” is an article from Phelbotomy Technician Schools. 
  • As many parents of children on the autistic spectrum, myself included, choose to homeschool their children, I thought that some of you might be interested in this announcement from the Autism Society of America. They have teamed up with AMC Entertainment to bring “Sensory Friendly Films”.
  • Home Education Magazine ran an article that referred to a 1995 article by Carol Wanagel. While I don’t agree with everything Carol states in “Revelations of a Homeschooling Mom”, the article did help to remind me of why I homeschool.
  • Do you have trouble saying “no” to people? I know that I do. Plus, some people make the mistake of thinking that because homeschoolers are “home” all day, that we have time to help them out with childcare, talk on the phone, have them over, etc. As such, I felt that Wise Bread’s post, entitled “12 Straightforward Ways to Say No” was particularly useful.
  • Money Saving Mom has a post about saving money by switching fonts. She says you can save $20/year, but I figure that many homeschoolers can save even more money as we probably print more than your average family.
Labels: High School
Posted by Maureen Sklaroff

Request a Free Truth About Trees Kit for Your Homeschool

A few weeks ago, I learned about a free kit from the Hardwood Forest Foundation. I saw the picture of it online, but still was not prepared for the large box that arrived on my doorstep! The “Truth About Trees” kit comes with an activity guide, handouts, a DVD, pencils, and all sorts of hands-on materials (including cookies for some reason – I have not read the whole guide to determine why, but cookies are always appreciated around here). The site says:

Please note the Truth About Trees educational kit is only distributed to forest products industry members and teachers. Verification is required.

I always consider homeschool parents to be teachers, so didn’t think twice about requesting the kit. I’m also always truthful about filling out such forms and received the kit with no questions asked, so assume the group is homeschooler-friendly.

If you are at all an environmentalist, I would recommend you look at the script before hand. The activity guide is completely separate from the script, but I could see where some environmentally-focused folks might not  not want to use the kit as they might not agree with everything in the script (it is done by people in the lumber industry and reflects that). I would recommend this kit for 2nd -5th graders, though it could be used for younger and older kids too.

Labels: High School
Posted by Maureen Sklaroff

Barnes and Noble Educator Appreciation Days – April 10-18, 2010

This year, Barnes and Noble’s Educator Appreciation Days will be April 10 – 18. Homeschoolers can participate in the event and receive aneducator’s discount. I have heard a variety of tales about how Barnes and Noble employees handle homeschoolers. Some employees just take your word for it, others require something akin to a national security clearance before they will allow you to have an educator’s discount. I think that all companies are trying to become more sensitive to meeting homeschoolers’ needs, but if you want to take advantage of this discount, it would probably be best to try to arrive prepared with some form of proof that you homeschool (support group ID cards, copies of your declarations of intent, etc.)

During Educator Appreciation Days, Pre-K through grade 12 educators save up to 25% on classroom and personal purchases and 10% on CDs and DVDs! There will also be many special events for educators. You will need to check with your local Barnes and Noble or online to find out about what will be going on in your area.

Labels: Educator Discounts and Curriculum Sales
Posted by Maureen Sklaroff