Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Hi Everyone,

I'm sorry that I've been missing in action for a while, but our lives here at Homeschool View have taken a new turn. We have a 4 year old bundle of energy in our lives now. We are the proud family of a foster child, a little boy. He keeps us quite busy, but we are having a lot of fun.

Anyway, I received the following information in an email. I've been watching the progress of this new channel that will be offered through the Angel Network with curiosity and anticipation. This is their latest update. There are links in the post so that you can check things out more closely.

The Homeschool Channel Update July 27, 2009

Just a note to let you know that plans are moving along for our launch of The Homeschool Channel. Our hope is that THC will be a big asset to the homeschool movement.We have hired additional personnel, begun shooting some video, and talking with leaders in the homeschool movement to make sure we are maximizing our help to homeschoolers.

If you have any suggestions concerning THC, please share them with us. You may send your suggestions or comments by using our feedback form.

Also, please share news about THC and invite them to register at our website so they can be alerted to the progress we are making.

Sincerely,Donald E. WildmonThe Homeschool Channel

P.S. Please check the video section of our website for a sample of the programming we will be offering.

©2009 The Homeschool Channel 107 Parkgate Drive, Tupelo, MS 38801

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Thursday, July 9, 2009

Famous Homeschooler of the Week

Thomas Alva Edison

Thomas Alva was a mischievous and inquisitive child. His parents placed him in formal school at age 7, but his active, creative nature was stifled in a rigid educational setting.

Nancy Edison, a former schoolteacher, trained her youngest son in the basics and fostered his creative, inquisitive nature. As one Edison biographer put it, "She was determined that no formalism would cramp his style, no fetters hobble in the free rein, the full sweep of his imagination." Edison himself said of his mother, "She instilled in me the love and purpose of learning."

The results of Thomas Edison's love for learning are legendary. After beginning work as a telegraph operator in 1863, Edison invented improvements to the telegraph. He went on to improve fire alarm systems, stock tickers, and the telephone transmitter, and to invent, among other things, the phonograph and the incandescent light bulb.

Thomas Edison obtained the most U.S. patents ever given to one person, and ranks as one of the greatest inventors and industrial leaders in history. He also serves as just one more example of the power of parent-directed education.

(My personal note: "A love for learning." How many public schooled children have a true "love for learning"? That is something that we can instill in our children because we have the freedom to teach them in a more creative way that makes things more interesting and fun than the public schools.)

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Curriculum Ideas

I wanted to let you know where you can find some homeschool curriculum. I am going to tell you a little about each of the ones I have chosen to mention and you can find links to websites to each of them on my sidebar, and you can click on a link and check out the curriculum, you might be interested in, in more depth.

The first ones I will mention, I mention only because they are names I have heard of, and I know people who have used them and have been happy with them. I, personally, have not used any of these:

Bob Jones -- I hear this is pretty advanced and has quite a bit of workbook work, but I know
people who use it and really like it.

A Beka -- I hear much the same about this one as I hear about Bob Jones.

Veritas -- I believe this is a literature based curriculum. I have not used it, but I have seen
some of their books and they look impressive.

The Mystery of History -- this is a very impressive history curriculum I have heard nothing
but good things about this. We have not tried it, but I may change
one year for my youngest son and do some of the things I haven't
done with my oldest. If so, we will definitely do this. If you want
your children to learn history, including Biblical history, I hear this
is outstanding.

Aswers in Genesis -- This is an organization started by Ken Ham. There are several curriculum
that are available through them, all either history or science and all from
a creation standpoint. This is another one I would love to do with at least
one of my boys, but haven't yet. I only became aware of these this year
at the homeschool convention.

Now for the ones that I do know:

Sonlight -- this is the one we currently use. It is literature based and involves lots of reading.
It covers Bible, History, Literature and Writing. It also offers other subjects done
by others. They, too, have a core package that focuses on Biblical history.

Apologia -- This is Science curriculum. It is creation and Christian based. It is challenging and
includes experiments to do in each level.

Saxon -- This is math curriculum. It is a good curriculum that teaches a concept and continues

to build on one concept after another. My oldest used this until he reached the Algebra

level, and my youngest is currently using it.

Math U See -- This is also a math curriculum. Math is not my oldest son's strong point, so when

he reached the Algebra level in Saxon, it was too difficult for him and was causing

much grief. We switched to Math U See and absolutely love it. It comes with

DVDs of the man who created it, explaining the concept before your child begins

to work on the concept. He explains things so clearly, my oldest son now gets

A's and B's in Math, and actually likes Math.

I hope you will find these suggestions and links (on the sidebar) helpful.

Sorry about the spacing difference. I'm not sure why this started doing this, but couldn't figure out how to fix it. (See, now it changed again. Weird!)

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

An Unschooling Homeschool Day

Yesterday the boys wanted to do school again, but after a busy holiday weekend, I didn't feel like doing our usual curriculum. I wanted to "play and have fun". So we had a school day that counts according to the PA Homeschool law, but we learned things through fun activities.

We began by playing a game called "Great States". The board is a map of the United States and there is information about each state included on the board. There are three different stacks of cards, a spinner and a timer. On each person's turn, you had to spin the spinner, which told you which stack to pick a card from and you handed the card to the person on your left and they would set the timer for 30 seconds and read the question on the card, and maybe show you something pictured on the card, and you had to find the answer before the time was up. If you found the answer and answered correctly, you kept the card, and the first person to collect 10 cards won. You could also play longer and make the winner the first person to collect 20 cards. It was fun and yet, as we played, the boys were learning United States Geography.

Next, we played a game of Scattegories -- all 12 lists! This, too, is fun and utilizes vocabulary skills.

For music, the boys thought this was a hoot! I have always been a fan of many different types/styles of music, as long as it doesn't involve screaming that the lyrics cannot be understood or cursing or vulgarity or singing about criminal activities and such. So, I have tapes of country, pop/rock, oldies, classical, American Indian, jazz, big band, rags, alternative, contemporary Christian, and hymns and worship songs, and soundtracks from movies and Broadway plays and of course, we have children's music in the house ever since the boys were young -- most of this they have outgrown.

So, anyway, I played one song from the soundtrack of the movie "Yentl", two songs from the Broadway production of "Jekyll and Hyde", two songs from an Andy Griffith hymns tape, three songs from an alternative tape by Laurie Anderson and four songs from a big band cassette of hits by the Andrews Sisters. We discussed each style of music and some of the lyrics after listening to each selection. It was fun and the boys thought some of the stuff was quite funny. Anthony especially thought the Andrews Sisters songs were funny. He said, "Nobody sings like that today."

Then the boys went out and rode their bikes for a while and then played wiffleball with a couple of the neighbor boys. This was gym class.

Finally, we ended the evening by playing a game (well most of a game) of Homeschoolopoly after we had done our family Bible study. This game is one of my favorites. I never cared much for regular Monopoly. I always thought it took too long to complete a game. But this homeschool version is a lot of fun, even though it takes just as long and is very similar. I guess it's just because I can relate to this version so much better.

Some people homeschool in this free spirit style daily, but I'm not comfortable with that. I do like to do it as a treat every now and then, and we always enjoy it. There are so many ways to accomplish an education when you have the freedom to choose through homeschooling.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Our First Week of School

Yes, this is our first official week of the 2009-2010 school year. My boys couldn't wait any longer to get started. After a month off, they wanted more to do. The week is going quite well. We are enjoying the new things we are learning this year. Today, the boys did double in most of their subjects so that they won't have too much to do tomorrow because Dad has off work tomorrow for the 4th of July.

In addition to this week's school assignments, my oldest son, Anthony, also finished reading David Copperfield by Charles Dickens (which is why I thought it fitting to use Charles Dickens as the Famous Homeschooler of the Week this week). He wrote an essay about the parallels of the characters and he wrote a book report on David Copperfield. He has great writing talent. His Worl Literature teacher from one of the co-ops we attended last year told him the same thing and encouraged him to keep writing.

In addition to the above mentioned items, Anthony also took it upon himself to write a poem. You can read it here. He is extremely self-motivated.

That's what we've been up to this week. Next week I'll try to post on some different types of curriculum.

Famous Homeschooler of the Week


Born in 1812, Charles Dickens would become one of the world’s most celebrated novelists by his early 20s. It is recorded that his first years of education were received from his mother. In his own words, Dickens gives her the credit for teaching him to read and write.

Although he later attended school, there is no doubt that his mother’s influence had a profound effect on Dickens’ life. When you read Dickens, his emphasis on family relationships is immediately noticeable. His characters were often formed by the impression he received from his parents, grandparents, and other relatives.

Charles Dickens died at the age of 58, ending a very prolific writing career. All told, he created over 2,000 characters and personalities in stories like David Copperfield, Oliver Twist, and A Tale of Two Cities, in books which grace the libraries of homes everywhere. In fact, my older daughter Jayme reads the well-known story, A Christmas Carol, from Dickens, aloud to her younger siblings each Christmas Eve as a family tradition.

Charles Dickens was a literary genius, and yet another example of the influence that parents can have when they are committed to directing the education of their children.