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Approaches Various Ways to Homeschool
       We are often asked, “How do people homeschool?” It’s not an easy question to answer because there is no ONE way to homeschool. Ideally, each family designs a program that fits their particular needs, interests, concerns, and educational goals. Most families use a combination of teaching methods that has come to be known as the eclectic approach because it uses ideas from a variety of different approaches. ...
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Character Matters Developing Character in Children
Character Trait 'Accessibility' — Character Matters Article for May 2010
       It's almost more than our mind can grasp. Why on earth did Jesus Christ, who participated in Creation and established the vast expanses of the universe, willingly leave the glory of heaven and render himself subject to the limitations, temptations, and evil whims of this world? Simply, to reestablish mankind's connection to God. ...
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Character Trait 'Attentiveness' — Character Matters Article for April 2009
       Character Trait – Attentiveness: Check It Out – What Does It Mean? – Why Does it Matter?
April's Quote of the Month by Dr. Johnson calls attention to a vital element of a child's training – reminding the student of important information. A good portion of our job as parents and educators is to train our children to be attentive, not only when we are instructing them, but to the day-to-day details of life that can be boring and tedious. ...

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Character Trait 'Biblical Character' — Character Matters Article for September 2011
Bearing the Fruit of Character
       Character matters. It matters to your family, your neighborhood, your community, your government, and society. It matters to God. So much so that He gives us specific instructions to develop character in ourselves and our children. ...

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Character Trait 'Character-Deliberate' — Character Matters Article for January 2011
Drive Time
       “Go ahead, Charlie Brown. Kick the football. I’ll hold it for you,” challenges Lucy. We know what’s coming next, don’t we? Charlie Brown, gullible guy that he is, gears up for a run and makes a mighty kicking sweep at the air as Lucy pulls the football away at the last moment. ...

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Character Trait 'Character-Discipline' — Character Matters Article for December 2011
Core Integrity
       This month’s character trait is discipline. Discipline is an element of integrity. Integrity is based on the same root word as integral and integer (think whole number). It means whole, untouched, unbroken, and complete. ...

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Character Trait 'Character-Dependable' — Character Matters Article for May 2011
Drudgery or Dynamo?
       We’ve become a bottom-line society. We look for the fastest, cheapest way to accomplish something. If something takes too long — like reading the full description of a homeschooling product in a catalog or online website — we skip over it. Forget reading through the introductory sections of the teacher’s manual — give us a Quick Start sheet instead. Or better yet, a short Quick Start video. ...

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Character Trait 'Character-Driven' — Character Matters Article for November 2010
Drive Time
       Do you know you are raising up a leader? Your son or daughter may not lead a corporation or ministry or volunteer group or sport team, but they will lead their own families. Preparing them for that role is just as important, if not more important, than preparing them academically. ...

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Character Trait 'Consistency' — Character Matters Article for June 2010
       Character Trait – Consistency: Check It Out – What Does It Mean? – Why Does it Matter?
One way the Bible describes our Christian walk is to be complete in Christ (see Col. 2:10 for one example). The King James Version often translates this as being perfect – in the sense of being fully grown or mature. Being complete is having integrity. ...

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Character Trait 'Contentment' — Character Matters Article for July 2010
       Character Trait – Contentment: Check It Out – What Does It Mean? – Why Does it Matter?
This month's character trait is contentment. To be content literally means “to hold together with.” With what? With whom? With the Creator. ...

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Character Trait 'Creativity' — Character Matters Article for July 2010
       Character Trait – Creativity: Check It Out – What Does It Mean? – Why Does it Matter?
Discerningly Creative
Do you consider yourself creative? We usually think of creativity as a natural ability or personality type rather than a character trait. Yet we cannot escape the fact that one aspect of the Creator God’s character is creativity. It is part of the joy of His creation and the character trait of joy. Since Genesis 1:26 says we are created in His image, then we have an element of this creativity in us. As we will see, however, it isn’t just the ability to produce artwork, perform, or write imaginatively. ...

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Character Trait 'Determination' — Character Matters Article for March 2009
       Character Trait – Determination: Check It Out – What Does It Mean? – Why Does it Matter?
Activity: Have your student work a crossword puzzle or work one together with your younger child. Afterward discuss ...

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Character Trait 'Discernment' — Character Matters Article for January 2010
       As homeschoolers we often stress cooperation and unity. We teach our children to avoid strife and to try to live peaceably with others to the extent possible (Romans 12:18). We teach them that division is generally not healthy. I dare say that most 4th and 5th graders who are tackling the division facts would agree! ...
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Character Trait 'Discretion' — Character Matters Article for September 2009
       Discretion - The Better Part of Valor
The Bible tells us not to grow weary of well-doing (Gal. 6:9). I might add: don't grow weary of being wary. To be wary means to be cautious. To be cautious doesn't mean you do nothing. It means you take the time to discern, judge, and carefully examine all the options. That's what we learned about last month's character trait of thoughtfulness. ...

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Character Trait 'Grace and Graciousness' — Character Matters Article for October 2011
       Family Foibles
Raise your hands if you have ever had this happen to you: your children spend the day with another family who reports back to you about how well-behaved your children were, even in an area that seems to be a problem in your own home. You shake off the shock and then ask yourself, “What gives?” ...

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Character Trait 'Heart' — Character Matters Article for March 2011
       Character Trumps Comfort
“The thing that reveals character,” according to John MacArthur, “is involuntary response, not planned response. Your character isn’t manifest by what you prepare to do. It’s manifest by what you’re not prepared for and how you react to that, that involuntary reaction. That shows character.“* ...

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Character Trait 'Humor' — Character Matters Article for July 2011
       Spiritual Funny Bone
Why is it that we call the elbow joint the “funny bone” when it hurts so much when hit? There’s nothing funny about it. Perhaps it is someone’s twisted sense of humor. After all, there is such a thing as biting humor. And most of us have felt the sting of teasing and kidding that was meant to be funny yet had the opposite effect on us. ...

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Character Trait 'Industriousness' — Character Matters Article for November 2009
       Industriousness – Steady As She Goes
Do you remember the billboards or posters that inspired us to keep on truckin'? Okay, so I'm dating myself. But that phrase embodies this month's character trait: industriousness. It is another aspect of the broad category of responsibility that we have been studying. Industriousness is earnest, steady effort. ...

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Character Trait 'Initiative' — Character Matters Article for November 2011
       Time in a Bottle
“If I could save time in a bottle, the first thing that I’d like to do…” These first two lines of an “oldies” song by Jim Croce are intriguing. If only we could bottle time and then release it when we most need it. Time, that most precious of commodities, is one of the greatest pressure points for homeschoolers. And one of the greatest assets we have – time with our children. ...

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Character Trait 'Innovative' — Character Matters Article for April 2010
       Made in the Image of a Creative God
The world around us displays the incredible, unlimited creativity of our God. Genesis 1:27 says that He placed a portion of that creativity in each of us because we are made in His image. Some of us may be blessed with more creativity than others, but it's there whether we have developed it or not. ...

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Character Trait 'Orderliness' — Character Matters Article for March 2010
       Okay, we now know that if we want to grow in God's way, orderliness needs to be a goal. Practically speaking, however, our houses probably are not a perfect picture of orderliness. The logistics of homeschooling, maintaining a household, juggling the varied activities of family members, and being involved in our church and community pretty much rule that out - despite what the covers of homeschooling magazines seem to convey. ...
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Character Trait 'Perseverance' — Character Matters Article for February 2010
       Character Trait – Perseverance: Check It Out – What Does It Mean – Why Does It Matter?
Living his faith – that’s what William Wilberforce is known for. Against great obstacles Wilberforce, an evangelical Christian ...

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Character Trait 'Purposefulness' — Character Matters Article for June 2009
       New homeschoolers often wonder if they are qualified to teach. They question their ability to recall facts and figures. Or perhaps they recognize they lack knowledge in a particular subject. Such questions reveal a mindset that sees education simply as the accumulation of knowledge or the ability to recite what others have taught. ...
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Character Trait 'Resourcefulness' — Character Matters Article for October 2009
       Resourcefulness – Drawing from the Wellspring
Do you want your child to be responsible? Then here's one aspect of responsibility that you may overlook: resourcefulness. Resourcefulness is the ability to deal promptly and effectively with problems or situations. One dictionary describes it as being clever in finding resources. ...

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Character Trait 'Responsible' — Character Matters Article for July 2009
       responsible, adj. (based on Latin for requiring an answer from)
1. expected or obligated to account for something, to someone; answerable, accountable;
2. involving accountability, obligation, or duties;
3. able to distinguish between right and wrong and to think and act rationally, and hence accountable for
    one's behavior;
4. trustworthy; dependable; reliable; as in able to pay debts or meet business obligations.
    (Webster's Unabridged Dictionary, second edition.)
As homeschooling parents, we are taking the primary responsibility for our children's education. ...

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Character Trait 'Self-Reliant' — Character Matters Article for June 2011
       The Self-Reliant Christian
Does that sound like an oxymoron? After all, what distinguishes the Christian faith from other religions is that it is not based on man’s ability to perfect himself. It is based on Christ’s sacrifice on our behalf and God’s grace. ...

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Character Trait 'Selflessness' — Character Matters Article for February 2011
       The Example of the Servant-Leader
A quick reading of Jesus’ discipleship-training course recorded in the gospel of Matthew as the “Sermon on the Mount” turns some readers away. They are repulsed by their mental image of a meek, door-mat of a person who refuses to stand up and be assertive. ...

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Character Trait 'Sensitivity' — Character Matters Article for December 2010
       A Sensitive Peace
Being sensitive to the changing “weather patterns” around us is not only a key life skill, it is an essential character trait. ...

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Character Trait 'Serenity' — Character Matters Article for August 2011
       Afraid of the Silence?
If silence is golden, why is it that we rush to fill it with background noise, random thoughts, idle small talk, or “zone out” activities? We have become so accustomed to our clatter-filled, clutter-filled lives that we don’t know what to do with silence. We’re uncomfortable with it. ...

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Character Trait 'Servanthood' — Character Matters Article for December 2009
       Servanthood – The example of Christ
Christmas – the celebration of Christ. Even though the season focuses on the event that brought Christ to earth, we can't help but reflect on his life and ministry. Isaiah prophesied what this ministry would entail, calling out the names to be given the child born unto us: Light, Ruler, Wonderful, Counselor, Almighty God, Everlasting Father, and Prince of Peace (see Isaiah 9:1-7). ...

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Character Trait 'Teachableness' — Character Matters Article for May 2009
       Character Trait – Attentiveness: Check It Out – What Does It Mean? – Why Does it Matter?
Have you ever sat in a church service or meeting and thought to yourself, “I've heard this before. I guess I can tune out?” Be honest now. Guess what? We reap what we sow. Our children can do the same thing to us during homeschooling or when we are disciplining them. ...

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Character Trait 'Thankfulness' — Character Matters Article for August 2010
       It's that time again. Time to pull out your planner, your teacher notes from the past year, your homeschooling catalogs, and any resources you've already collected. Oh yes, and your Bible. It's time to get down to business and map out the next round of training in your home education. ...
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Character Trait 'Thoughtfulness' — Character Matters Article for August 2009
       Cautious. Conscientious. Circumspect. Sober. Prudent. All of these words have fallen out of popularity in our fast-paced, superficial society. In fact, most of us would probably not want to be thought of as a sober-minded prude. That's just too old-fashioned, and conjures up images of dour old-ladies who never smile and never enjoy life. ...
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Character Trait 'Virtue' — Character Matters Article for October 2010
       Values vs. Virtue
The illustration that accompanies this month’s newsletter shows the pathway human behavior takes. It highlights the fact that all behavior is based on core beliefs. The illustration has been modified slightly - the core typically list beliefs and values. ...

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Choosing Curriculum How to Choose the Right Curriculum .
Choosing Curriculum — Audio
       When getting started how do you know which curriculum to choose? If you've had a chance to look online or through homeschooling catalogs, you've probably seen that there are a lot of resources and programs available. It can be overwhelming ...
10 minutes 33 seconds

How to Design A Course — Archival Choosing Curriculum Article
      The Right Fit
      One of the primary advantages of homeschooling is tailoring the program to fit the needs and interests of the student. Sometimes the curriculum can be adjusted, but sooner or later you will probably want to design your own course. Especially at the high school level, it can be hard to find curriculum for specific electives. There are so many options possible that it makes it hard for publishers to produce something for a limited market at a reasonable price. So what do you do? ...
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How do I know which curriculum to choose? — Archival Choosing Curriculum Article
      Short Answer & Explanation
      Since there is no set way to educate a child and there is no set way to homeschool, there is no set curriculum. There are a variety of curriculum types and formats, and each of these has its strengths and weaknesses. The different types fit different situations and conditions. The key is to choose whatever materials fit your educational goals and your child’s learning style. ...
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Structured Course — Sample Course Description — Archival Choosing Curriculum Article
      This is a one-year high school course in Biblical doctrine. The primary text is a laymen’s version of Berkhof’s Systematic Theology. Key concepts of evangelical Christian doctrine are briefly described and referenced to scripture passages. Excerpts from the Westminster Confession of Faith are included where applicable. ...
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Sample Electives — Archival Choosing Curriculum Article
      This document is a list of sample electives.
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Unstructured Course: Internship — Sample Course Description
      Archival Choosing Curriculum Article
      This is a one-semester high school English course designed to give the student practical experience in the field of journalism. The student will work as an intern for the local weekly newspaper. Assignments will include: taking classified ads over the phone, assisting in laying out block ads, writing captions, conducting interviews, researching articles, writing articles, proof-reading, and learning layout. ...
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Unstructured Course: Performance — Sample Course Description
      Archival Choosing Curriculum Article
      This is a one-year high school elective course designed to give the student practical experience in the field of digital photography. The student will learn principles of good photography, selecting cameras and other equipment, the basics of image editing, using Photoshop, how to restore old photos, and printing digital images. ...
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Unstructured Course: Real-Book & Project — Sample Course Description
      Archival Choosing Curriculum Article
      This is a one-year high school fine arts course designed to teach the student basic piano methods and music theory. Students learn the musical staff, notes, timing, measures, scales, hand positions and fingering, and musical terms. Students will learn to play simple musical pieces that use both hands, including the left hand for chords and notes. Students are expected to practice outside of the scheduled instruction time, complete theory assignments, and perform at a year-end recital. ...
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General Homeschooling Articles on General Topics .
Decision to Homeschool — Audio
       So you've made the decision to homeschool, now what? How do you get started? The first thing you need to know is that each state sets its own regulations for homeschooling; and these vary from state to state. ...
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What is Homeschooling — Long Answer — Audio
       Someone said to me the other day, “I hear a lot of different terms used for homeschooling. I’m confused. What exactly is it?” ...
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What is Homeschooling — Short Answer — Audio
       Someone said to me the other day, “I hear a lot of different terms used for homeschooling. I’m confused. What exactly is it?” ...
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a name="HighSchoolHomeschooling"> High School How to Homeschool High Schoolers .
Components of Worldview — Archival High School Article
      What is Worldview?
A worldview is simply how you view the world around you. It answers the basic questions of life such as what is true, what is important, and what is the purpose of the individual. A worldview includes your values, morals/ethics, and assumptions about life. Your worldview determines your behavior and way of thinking. ...

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Homeschooling Through High School - Frequently Asked Questions
      This section is dedicated to answering typical questions that arise when homeschoolers enter the high school years. This section can also be accessed from the homepage by clicking on the "High School" button in the left column of the page.
Learning Goals — Archival High School Article
       There is no one way to homeschool. There is no set curriculum or listing of what must be covered at each grade. Your goals for your homeschooling will be based on your family’s view of education and your child’s needs and interests. The following is a sample listing of typical learning areas for the high school level. Use it as a guide only. You can choose those areas that you want to cover with your child each year and list them as your academic goals. ...
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Suggested High School Reading List — Archival Teaching Tip
       A suggested list of Novels with Authors and Literature Course References for the High School Reader.
Transcripts and Diploma — Question and Answer High School Article
What about homeschooling through high school? Where do I get the transcript and diploma?
      Short Answer?
Each state sets its own requirements for high school graduation. These may include specific subjects and a set number of credits. Credits tell you how much work is expected in the course and the number of hours spent studying the subject. There are different systems for counting credits, so be sure you are using whatever system your state requires. ...

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Keeping Focus Encouragement
A Charge to Keep — Keeping Focus Article for August 2009
       Homeschooling Dad Mike Southerland offers the idea of giving our teens a “charge” when they reach the age of accountability that defines what it means to move toward maturity. He went so far as to create a document for his eldest daughter entitled “Guidelines for a Southerland Lady” that described what that particular family considers important for a young woman of God. ...
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A Defining Moment — Keeping Focus Article for July 2009
       One definition of homeschooling is that the parents take the primary responsibility for their children's training and education. We are living in a time when life-changing events are happening “fast and furious.” Change is all around us. ...
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Am I Doing Enough — Keeping Focus Article for November 2009
       Does this email strike a chord in you? We currently do our Bible study as a family & are not using any particular text than the Bible itself and Bible commentary. It's been fun going off on rabbit trails - lately we've been reading about the Ark of the Covenant - but can you suggest a more systematic approach that can include all ages? ...
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A Powerful Perspective — Keeping Focus Article for December 2010
       It’s been a lovely fall day, warmer than usual. But just as one of my coworkers heads out the door, it starts to storm. “You picked a bad time to leave,” I teased. “It’s pouring rain.” To which he responds with the quote of the month: “There’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing.” ...
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Creating from Nothing — Keeping Focus Article for June 2011
       As homeschooling parents, we recognize our responsibility to be wise stewards of the gifts – our children – that God has given us. We also know that homeschooling is work and often comes with its own unique struggles. Some are inherent in the process of training up a child. Others may be of our own doing. ...
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Dad’s Time-In — Keeping Focus Article for November 2010
       Last month we found Mom in a Time-Out. This month we hope to encourage Dad for a Time-In. The nature of homeschooling and the responsibilities of fathers as the primary providers in the family mean that dads are usually not that involved in the day-to-day training. For the most part, it is up to mothers to use their nurturing anointing to bring out what is best in their children and curb what is worst in their behavior. Dad may be called in to add “substance” to any disciplinary measures, but the bulk of the program falls to Mom. ...
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Discover the Beauty Within — Keeping Focus Article for July 2010
       This rock is rarely what it seems. On the outside, it appears rough and bland, being comprised generally of a nondescript form of limestone. Crack it open, however, and your eyes are treated to an array of beautiful crystals, often with marvelous colorings. Certainly not what you would expect. ...
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Don't Grow Weary of Sowing — Keeping Focus Article for August 2010
       I had one of those “thank you, Father” moments with my small group the other day. My 20-year-old daughter had joined us that evening since she is home for the summer. The topic of family mission statements came up, particularly how valuable they are in helping families decide what activities to be involved in and how to discipline their children (as in picking and choosing your battles based on what are your priorities at that stage). ...
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Do You Get It? — Keeping Focus Article for February 2011
       Do you get what homeschooling is really about? Jerry Chrisman, president of the Oklahoma Christian Home Educators Consociation Board of Trustees, touched on this issue in an article for the OCHEC Informer, Winter 2010. ...
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Father Knows Best — Keeping Focus Article for September 2009
       The title of this article could be Parents Know Best. Who knows your children intimately? You, the neighborhood kids, community officials, state educational professionals, federal lawmakers, or the global community at large? The obvious answer – at least what should be the obvious answer – is that those who live with the children and interact with them on a daily basis know them best. ...
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Flimsy Enclosures — Keeping Focus Article for March 2011
       Snow is piled about a foot high on my deck. The view out is blurred by the plastic covering the window in an attempt to keep the drafts out and the heating bill down. Six-foot drifts block the line of sight pulling out of the driveway and street corners. We’re enclosed by winter. ...
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Growing Season — Keeping Focus Article for September 2010
       I've been strolling down memory lane lately, rereading my prayer journal, looking for nuggets and experiences that I can incorporate into a course I am writing on prayer. Something dawned on me in the process that has to do with perspective.
       A good majority of the entries have no direct "answer" associated with them. At least not something that can be tied directly to that one prayer. For many, many years I prayed the prayers found in Paul's letters for my children. I can see them beginning to come to pass now - partly from prayer and partly from so many other factors. ...

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IEP - Individualized Education Plan — Keeping Focus Archival Article
What if I suspect or know that my child has a learning disability or learning issues?
My child has an IEP from the school system. Do I have to follow it? What is an IEP?

Short Answer
Learning takes place in stages, and children progress through those stages at different rates. The changes are similar to the differences in how quickly children grow or reach certain “benchmarks” in their physical development. There are mental (cognitive) and learning benchmarks that signal that a child is learning at a “normal” pace. If not, then a learning disability is “diagnosed” or at the very least labeled as a “learning issue.” ...
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Journey — Keeping Focus Article for March 2009
       The homeschool year can read much like a novel. There’s the introduction, where the setting or theme for the year is revealed. Then there’s the gradual build-up of events, activities, and plot that the author (parent) has expertly planned ahead of time. Each day’s work builds upon the other, line by line, precept upon precept. ...
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Labor of Light — Keeping Focus Article for November 2011
       If you recall, last month we highlighted our labor of love. No one else loves our children the way we do. This month I want to focus on our labor of light. Jesus declared in John 8:12: “I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” ...
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Labor of Love — Keeping Focus Article for October 2011
       A principle of good leadership is to consider what you can do best, what no one else can do quite like you can, and contribute that to the organization. What can homeschooling parents do best? Be a family. ...
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Looking for a "Cure-All?" — Keeping Focus Article for June 2009
       When I ventured into my first homeschool support group meeting way back when, I was astonished by two things. First, the sheer number of families involved, and second, the fact that they seemed so “normal.” They looked just like me. Hmmmm. Perhaps I could do this after all. ...
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Messy Missions by Lori Coeman — Keeping Focus Article for January 2011
       I received an email reminder from a local homeschool support group about a regularly scheduled “Time Out for Mom” at an area coffeeshop. I couldn’t help but chuckle at the modified definition of a time-out (compliments of Debbie Rossi and the L.I.F.E Support Group): ...
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Mom’s Time-Out by Lori Coeman — Keeping Focus Article for October 2010
       I received an email reminder from a local homeschool support group about a regularly scheduled “Time Out for Mom” at an area coffeeshop. I couldn’t help but chuckle at the modified definition of a time-out (compliments of Debbie Rossi and the L.I.F.E Support Group): ...
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Pleased As Man With Men To Dwell — Keeping Focus Article for December 2009
       This is the miracle of the Christmas season – that Jesus Christ would leave the perfectness of come to an imperfect a perfect reconcile imperfect human beings to the Father. He became the Father's firstborn “among the dead” to bring many brethren into the family of God (Romans 8:29; Colossians 1:18). He came to reproduce Himself (Romans 12:5). ...
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Reminded — Keeping Focus Article for April 2009
       The Spring Solstice has come and gone, bringing it's annual reminder of new beginnings. For most homeschoolers, Spring is a time when we begin to wind down the academic year while looking ahead to next year's curriculum. “What's next?” we ask ourselves. ...
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Running Lame — Keeping Focus Article for August 2011
       We may not be chickens running around with our heads cut off, but too many of us are running lame through life and one of the main reasons is lack of margin in our lives. Margin is the breathing space or buffer zone we create to allow for unexpected events, emergencies, or misuse of our time, energy, and resources. It’s our shoulder along the highway of life. ...
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Scatter Plaster in Your Field — Keeping Focus Article for April 2010
       The great innovator, Benjamin Franklin, was always on the look-out for ways to improve life. One such idea entailed scattering plaster in the fields to help things grow. When he passed the idea along to his neighbors, they didn't believe him. They even argued that the plaster would be of no use to the grass or grain. After a while, he let the matter drop. ...
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Schooling vs. Raising Your Children — Keeping Focus Article for September 2011
       Okay, I need your attention, so please – stop. Send your children off to play quietly in another room. Turn your cell phone off (or at least to vibrate). Turn off the radio, stereo, television, and anything else that has an on/off switch and produces noise. Pull the iPod® plugs from your ears. Just stop. Really. ...
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Sticky Trials — Keeping Focus Article for May 2011
       Do you ever sense that you are going through the same trial over and over again? Do you feel as if you’re stuck on the same lesson, wondering if you’ll ever learn it so you can move on? Take heart. Perhaps you are making a pearl. ...
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Stop, Look, and Listen — Keeping Focus Article for January 2010
       This is one of the first lessons we teach our young children when crossing a street. We would do well to teach it when dealing with life in general. If for no other reason than as an antidote to our society. ...
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The Best Question Ever — Keeping Focus Article for December 2011
What would you say if I told you I have the answer to disciplining your children? Sounds too good to be true? How about the best question ever, instead? Actually, I don’t have it – Andy Stanley does in his book of the same title. And he found it in the Bible, specifically in the Psalms and Proverbs. ...
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The Challenge of Teaching — Keeping Focus Article for May 2009
How can my child learn something I can't teach?
       Whether you're new to homeschooling or a veteran homeschooler, there may come a time when you ask yourself this question. It may be when your high school student attempts Chemistry or Algebra 2. Or it may be when you're considering homeschooling for the first time. ...

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The Four I's of Homeschooling — Keeping Focus Article for May 2010
I often reassure new homeschoolers who are nervous about their ability to teach that teaching boils down to communication. And since they are already communicating with their children, homeschooling is just adding another avenue to that process. ...
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The Learning Glitch — Keeping Focus Article for October 2009
by Regina Steiger
       This was not an issue I'd ever anticipated. A former writer and television news reporter, I grew up LOVING to read. I began homeschooling 10 and 1/2 years ago when my eldest daughter turned four. We started marching through "Sing, Spell, Read and Write" with nary a problem, earning stickers and blue ribbons along the way. ...

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The President Who Persevered — Keeping Focus Article for February 2010
by Lori Coeman
       February 12, 2009 was the 200th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s birth. It is fair to say that he is one of the most esteemed American leaders this nation has been privileged to have as president. Yet the road was not easy for him. ...

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Watch Your Step — Keeping Focus Article for July 2011
       It can never be said enough in homeschooling circles: what we are doing is training our children, not just educating them in academics. In that sense, we are more coaches than teachers or instructors. ...
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What's Your MO? — Keeping Focus Article for March 2010
by Lori Coeman
       For homeschoolers, our MO is how we typically go about our day. It's how we organize all the activities we have to juggle. Just as there is no one way to homeschool, there is no one way to organize ourselves. In fact, the way you organize your life is one element of your learning style. Or should we say teaching style? ...

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Learning Styles How Children Learn .
Learning Style Article — Archival Article
       A story is told of a management consultant firm who was asked to conduct a staff aptitude evaluation for Jesus of Nazareth. When the report came back about the 12 men picked for management positions in his new organization, it advised that four of the nominees lacked the proper background, education, and vocational aptitude for the type of enterprise Jesus was about to undertake. The report added that they did not have the team concept. ...
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Learning Styles — Question and Answer
What is meant by a child’s learning style? Is it important to know? How do I identify my child’s learning style?
Short Answer

       Learning style simply means that we recognize that children learn differently, depending on what comes “naturally” to them. Learning is easier when the teaching method and curriculum matches the child’s learning style. ...
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Learning Styles by Lori Coeman — Audio
       One of the advantages of homeschooling is that you can adjust the program to your child's learning style. Let's take a moment to look at what that means. ...
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Legal Articles About the Legal Aspect of Homeschooling
Homeschooling Legal Information An Informational Website
       The following informational links to sites that discuss homeschooling laws are not meant to constitute legal advice. You should contact your local homeschool support groups and state department of education for the most current information regarding homeschooling in your State or Province. Most public libraries have information about local support groups. We recommend that you begin by contacting these groups since some education sites do not encourage homeschooling. It is important that you both read the actual law and read interpretations of those laws from informed personnel (such as homeschooling groups). ...
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Is Homeschooling Legal? — Getting Started Question
       Short Answer & Explanation
For now, the answer is yes. It is legal in every state in America and every province in Canada. ...

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Is Homeschooling Legal? — Audio
       "One of the first questions I am asked is if Homeschooling is legal. The answer is yes, it is legal in every state in America and every province in Canada. ...
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News Items Articles in the News About Homeschooling
2011 – The Year of School Choice — News Item Article August 2011
       Is this the "year of school choice?" So declared the Wall Street Journal in one of their top opinion stories for July 5th. Even though the article focused more on charter schools and voucher programs, this rising tide against the public school system signals that homeschoolers are not the only ones opting out. ...
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21st Century Skills — News Item Article August 2010
       It's the new buzz in education: 21st century skills. It's at the heart of the federal government's push for core standards. It's also the “new and improved” version of Goals 2000 and School-to-Work initiatives from previous administrations. ...
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A Statistical Quandary — News Item Article September 2010
       Despite increased funding and redoubled efforts to reform the system, our nation’s educational system has a troubling statistic facing it. Fourteen states graduate only one half to two-thirds of their high school students. An additional nine states graduate between 67 to 72.9 percent of their students. Read this article to see how your state measures up.
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Another Bullet Dodged — News Item Article February 2010
       Thousands of homeschooling families in New Hampshire mobilized to fight a major infringement that could have seriously affected their ability to homeschool. The alert went out to contact legislators concerning this attack in the form of a proposal to change New Hampshire's homeschooling regulations. The proposed change would have required every homeschool student be tested every year, a portfolio review be conducted for every student, and test scores reported annually to the state's Dept. of Education. The measure was soundly defeated 324-34.
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Breaking the Law with Higher Education — News Item Article February 2011
       The law of supply and demand, a basic tenet of a free-market economy, has been broken deliberately by the Obama administration. The Department of Education (ED) was enacted sweeping changes that greatly impact the supply side of the equation. In the biggest change to the federal student loan program since its inception, the government eliminated the competition, making the ED the only source for government-backed loans.
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Buyer Beware — News Item Article June 2011
When it comes to choosing among the many approaches to homeschooling, remember this: buyer beware. It’s important that you understand all the implications involved in opting for “free” offers, the ease of “drop-off classes,” or the attractiveness of high-tech computer courses just because your child would rather play computer games all day.
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Case in Point: Idaho Virtual Schools — News Item Article October 2011
       The Idaho Coalition of Home Educators offers this thorough examination of the advantages and disadvantages of the virtual school programs offered in that state. Many of the issues and trends identified here are being seen in other states’ programs as well.
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Change in Approved Tests for Pennsylvania — News Item Article August 1, 2009
       The homeschooling regulations for Pennsylvania require students to take standardized tests in grades 3, 5, and 8. While families can opt to take these tests at the public school, they can also take one of the nationally normed standardized achievement tests approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Education.
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Common Core Review — News Item Article October 2010
       Thirty six states and the District of Columbia have adopted the Common Core Standards set by the federal government as of October 1st. When we teach critical thinking skills to our children, one of the basic concepts is to analyze the underlying assumptions behind any initiative, evidence, or statements. ...
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Common Core Testing — News Item Article July 2011
       Now that the Common Core standards established by the federal government have been adopted by 44 states, the next logical step in the process has been started – designing tests to evaluate student progress. ...
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Common Core Update — News Item Article September 2010
       As of the first of August, over thirty states have adopted the Common Core Standards set by the federal government. This should come as no surprise since the states must accept the standards as an “all-or-nothing” enterprise. The states cannot pick and choose from among the recommended benchmarks, based on what the people think is important to cover. To further “encourage” the states to adopt the standards, Title 1 funding – a primary source of monies for financially-strapped school districts – is tied to the adoption process.
       Why are such extreme stipulations deemed necessary? That’s a question every parent, educator, administrator, and legislator needs to ask.

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Distance Learning – Teachers’ View — News Item Article October 2011
       Online academies and programs are mushrooming in every state, and more and more homeschooling families are considering these distance learning alternatives. To get a better view of what is within this mushrooming cloud, it is helpful to find out what teachers think of these options. After all, what the teachers think impacts what school systems can offer over the long haul.
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Don’t Be Weary in Well-Hearing — News Item Article March 2011
       Galatians 6:9 says we’re not to grow weary in well-doing. We can take this one step further and say let’s not grow weary in well-hearing. Too often when we hear a news report or read an article on an issue, we tend to ignore subsequent reports because we think we’ve already heard everything there is to know. But just as we have our children practice skills over and over, adding details or depth each time, we need to readdress issues to add depth to our understanding. This article from Christine Field of Homeschool Legal Advantage (HLA) was posted on the Spunky Homeschooler blog. It alerts us to even more concerns about homeschool tax credits.
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Expanding Trend? — News Item Article February 2010
       For several years now, a few legislators have been trying to expand Michigan's compulsory education. Their efforts have attempted to expand both the upper and lower limits of the compulsory school attendance. On January 4, 2010, Governor Granholm signed a law that raises that age from 16 to 18 years of age. It affects children who turn age 11 on or after December 1, 2009. Efforts to lower the age and force universal preschool have been stymied so far. ...
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Exposure to Different Belief Systems Mandated — News Item Article October 1, 2009
       OneNewsNow reported last month on a custody case in New Hampshire that strikes at the heart of the parental right to homeschool and pass along sincerely held religious beliefs to their children. ...
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Free To Be's Abstinence Message Challenged — News Item Article November 1, 2009
       Free To Be sends speakers into middle and high schools each year to talk to students about the benefits of abstaining from sex until marriage. Eagle Forum reports that the ACLU targeted the groups' efforts in California, specifically in school districts in Sonoma County. The ACLU claims that schools violate state law by inviting Free To Be to campus because the speakers do not teach students about contraceptives – even though under California law not every speaker has to cover every issue. ...
Good Advice Against a Con Con by Phyllis Schlafly — Important Issue - News Item Article April 9, 2010
       Suggestions that the United States call a new constitutional convention, as allowed in the Constitution's Article V, have popped up in some state legislatures and even on a page in the Wall Street Journal. No longer do these voices claim a convention can be limited to consideration of a single amendment (e.g., a Balanced Budget Amendment); grandstanding politicians are proposing a wide assortment of many amendments to produce big changes. ...
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Grade Inflation and Educational Deflation — News Item Article October 1, 2009
       Statistics may abound to affirm that the American educational system is being “dumbed down,” but it appears that we don't want to admit it. Particularly at the college level. The Eagle Forum cites a website posted by Prof. Stuart Rojstaczer of Duke University that tracks the history of grade inflation in American higher education. ...
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Habits Persist — News Item Article December 1, 2009
       What is the connection between a child's involvement in church and adult religious commitment? A recent study conducted by the Barna Group provides some insight into this question. The survey asked adults to think back on their upbringing and to describe the frequency of their involvement in Sunday school or religious training. The Barna staff then compared the reported behaviors with the respondents' current church activities and faith. ...
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Home Education: Alternative or Traditional? — News Item Article December 2011
       As homeschooling becomes more widespread, many families are considering it as a viable alternative to public school education. But there are some who don’t see it as an alternative but a return to traditional education. Parent-directed education, training, and child-rearing.
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Homeschool Legislation Review — News Item Article June 1, 2009
       As the academic school year draws to a close for most children, so does much of the activity in the state legislatures. Several recent actions highlight the positive influence homeschooling is having.
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Homeschooling and the Recession
— News Item Article March 23, 2009 —
       As unemployment figures and home foreclosures continue to rise, the state of the economy is affecting families across the nation, and the educational community in particular. Not only are public schools slashing budgets to make ends meet, but private schools are having to close due to lack of students.
       To view the article from, please click on this link:,5143,705292756,00.html?pg=1
Homeschooling Boom — News Item Article January 9, 2009
       Despite negative publicity in the mainstream media, homeschooling is growing. The statistics are sometimes hard to pin down since the majority of homeschoolers are not counted. Even still, the Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics reported a 36% increase in homeschooling in just the last five years.
       To view an article from WorldNetDaily about the boom in homeschooling, click on this link:
Homeschoolers in the Army National Guard — News Item Article January 8, 2009
       The National Defense Authorization Act was signed into law by President Bush in January, 2006. The act requires all four branches of the Armed Forces to develop a uniform recruitment policy for homeschool graduates that includes an exemption for homeschooler from any requirement to have a secondary school diploma or a GED.
       See: and
Legal Challenge to Prayer Thrown Out — News Item Article May 2011
       On April 14th, the US Appeals Court overturned a decision by a federal judge in Wisconsin that declared the National Day of Prayer unconstitutional. The Appeals Court did not rule on the validity of the case itself as a violation of the separation of church and state, but on the legal standing of the persons who filed the lawsuit. The judges felt the plaintiffs lacked sufficient enough injury to bring the case to court, saying that just because they felt excluded and could not participate because of their personal beliefs, no real injury occurred. They pointed out that the declaration for a national day of prayer was a request, not a command. Since a request can be ignored or declined, no harm was done. ...
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Look Before You Leap — News Item Article September 2011
       Riddle: When is homeschooling not homeschooling? The answer may not be as obvious as you think. With homeschooling gaining popularity, the public school systems and other alternative education outlets are taking note of lost revenues and looking for ways to latch onto the homeschooling market. ...
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Know the Issues: The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child — News Item Important Current Event Article September 2009
       As homeschoolers, we teach our children the importance of critical thinking, and not just taking something as fact just because we see it in print. The possibility that the Obama Administration may push for ratification of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (often referred to as CRC or UNCRC) has spawned a movement for a constitutional amendment that would protect parental rights. The Bible tells us to be watchful and to walk circumspectly. That means we are to evaluate a decision from every angle in order to understand the consequences of any course of action. It is in that vein that we offer this information. ...
Media Exposure, Addiction — News Item Article March 2010
       "Media exposure has become America’s most widespread and serious addiction." Read this article by George Barna at
Michigan Compulsory Attendance — News Item Article December 8, 2008
       Rep. Alma Smith (D-district 54) has submitted a bill (House #6674) to raise the age of compulsory school attendance in Michigan from 16 to 18 years. The bill was submitted to the committee on 11/20/2008.
More Lost Tools of Learning — News Item Article - Important Issue - November 2011
       The Lost Tools of Learning by Dorothy Sayers sparked a fire in educational circles that set many homeschoolers on the path of training their children in the home. While that book made home education more accessible, there’s a trend mushrooming that could make it harder. And it has to do with lost tools of learning.
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New Regulations in Europe Threaten Homeschooling Freedoms — News Item Article August 1, 2009
       A series of clampdowns in several European nations seems to point to a tightening of regulations for homeschoolers.
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No Child Left Behind Reworked — News Item Article November 2011
       The legislation that was supposed to revamp the way our nation does schooling is being left behind. Sort of. Recognizing that there is widespread disagreement with many aspects of the current law, the Senate committee responsible for offering a viable alternative has done just the opposite. ...
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North Carolina Judge Orders Homeschooled Children Back To Public Schools
— News Item Article March 11, 2009 — Plus Follow Up Article March 15, 2009
       A parent's right to decide what is best for her children is once again being challenged by the courts. A new article by Bob Unruh of the WorldNetDaily posted March 11, 2009 reports that a North Carolina judge has ordered three children to attend public schools in the fall because the judge felt that their homeschooling needs to be “challenged.” This despite the fact that the children have tested above grade level by as much as two years, were involved in swim team and other activities and events outside their home, and had taken leadership roles in history club events. The decision is raising concerns among homeschoolers, as did a similar case in California recently.
       To view an article from WorldNetDaily about the boom in homeschooling, click on this link:
Parent Trigger Reform — News Item Article January 2011
       There’s a new education union in California, but it isn’t for teachers, according to a report in the November 2010 edition of the Education Reporter. Surprisingly, the self-described ‘progressives’ of the Los Angeles Parents Union sound a lot like homeschoolers as they push for parental choice in education. ...
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Parental Choice Makes Inroads — News Item Article May 2011
       The first few weeks of Spring brought some new beginnings and some refreshment. At the end of March, the SOAR Act reauthorizing and expanding the popular and highly successful D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program (DCOS) sailed through the House, despite opposition from the Obama administration. Unfortunately, it faces a tougher challenge in the Senate, where passage is still uncertain.
       Indiana’s House likewise overwhelmingly passed a major piece of legislation that expanded the state’s school voucher program ...

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Pushing for National Standards — News Item Article September 2009
       What used to be a mainstay of states' rights – control over the educational system – may now be handed over to the federal government. And those responsible may surprise you. It's the governors and the state school officers! ...
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Safer at Home? — News Item Article January 2010
      Released: December 17, 2009 by Mackinac Center for Public Policy — Author: Ms. Hannah K. Mead
       A Detroit News headline today claims that "lax home-school laws" are to blame for a young girl's death by parental neglect. This was indeed a tragic event, and people are right to seek ways to prevent such abuse. Putting heavier regulations on home-schoolers, however, would not solve the problem of abuse. ...
Shadow of Things to Come? — News Item Article June 2010
       First the good news. Two bills died in the Alaska legislature that would have impacted the educational community. House Bill 59 would have required the Alaska Department of Education to develop an early childhood education plan for preschool children (ages 3 to 4). House Bill 69 would have established a voluntary home visiting program to help educate parents with newborns to five-year-olds. In addition to monthly visits, the program would have involved monthly parent group meetings and annual screenings of the children for developmental and health issues. ...
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Something's Different — Our New Look and Layout — News Item Article January 2010
       New look, added flexibility. That's the reason for the changes you see on this website. This new format enables us to bring more variety in terms of content, news alerts, updates, quick tips, and special features. ...
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States Reconsider the Common Core — News Item Article September 2011
       Given the financial incentives from the federal government, it was not surprising that the majority of states, many of which were cash-strapped, adopted the Common Core Standards. Now that many of those incentives have fallen through and the states have had time to digest the implications of the standards, there appears to be a counter-move to abandon them. ...
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Tax Credits – Boom or Bust? Important Issue - News Item Article February 2011
       With the new Congress considering ways to make government more responsive to the American public, new hope has risen for those who are looking for more freedom in educating their children. Vouchers and tax credits are two possibilities. ...
The Passing of a Homeschool Patriarch — News Item Article November 2009
       On October 12, 2009, homeschool father, attorney, author and speaker, Chris Klicka, went to be with the Lord after a 15-year struggle with multiple sclerosis. Our heartfelt thoughts and prayers continue for the Klicka family, even as we rejoice that Chris is now with the Father, unhindered by pain and immobility. ...
What Lens Are You Using? — News Item Important Issue Article September 2009
       What do a lens, a mirror, and focus have to do with each other? For those of you who are intellectually spent after a long year, here's the answer. The focus is the point where rays of light come together (converge) or where they spread out (diverge). Lenses are used to bend the light rays toward the point of focus. ...
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What's an IB School and Why Should You Care? — News Item Important Issue Article September 2009
       As homeschoolers, we do not train up our children in a vacuum. We function within a society that pushes a specific educational system geared toward developing future leaders and influencing culture. Currently, there are three major trends in education that homeschoolers need to be aware of. Not surprisingly, the three trends are inter-related. ...
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What's Being Measured? — News Item Article March 2010
       A new grading scale at Concord High School in New Hampshire is just one result of a trend affecting students across New England and the nation. Read this article by the Education Reporter at Eagle Forum. ...
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What's In Your Textbooks? — News Item Article May 2010
       Every book and every curriculum program is written from a distinct worldview. These assumptions about how the world works affects what information is included and what is left out. There is another issue that affects what is presented: money. ...
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We'd Like to Hear From You! — News Item Article January 2010
       Starting in January we will begin a series filled with tips and helps for teaching specific subjects. This practical series will answer specific questions asked by homeschoolers. How do I get my son to write? How do I know if my daughter is ready to start school? How do I help my child learn the multiplication table? My son has a great vocabulary and can read well, so why is his spelling so bad? And many more! ...
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Which is Safer? — News Item Article February 2010
       A series of articles published December 17, 2009 by the Detroit News seems to be opposed to the Legislature's recognition of parental rights. Based on an article of child abuse, the author contends that Michigan's homeschooling laws are too lax and that more regulation is required. According to the headlines, homeschooling puts kids at risk. ...
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Whose Law Is It? — News Item Article July 2010
       In May, the Supreme Court ruled that it is unconstitutional for the United States to sentence juvenile offenders to life in prison without parole for cases not involving murder. ...
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Why Not a National Curriculum? — News Item - Important Issue - Article August 2010
       In response to the Shanker Institute’s “A Call For Common Content” Manifesto and the US Department of Education’s initiative to develop national curriculum and assessments based on national standards, a wide range of educators, concerned citizens, and think tank representatives have countered with their own “manifesto” that explains why a national curriculum is bad for America. ...
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Planning Articles on Organization and Planning .
Goals and Objectives - Audio Presentation — April 2009
       One of the advantages of homeschooling is the opportunity to teach until the child learns, rather than pushing the child through a system. I am often asked at workshops "How do you know when it is time to move on in the program? There are really two parts to this question. The first has to do with what stage you are at in the learning process ...
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Creating a Positive Learning Environment — Archival Planning Article
       Just as growth is a part of life, so is learning. Learning is growing. The ultimate goal of homeschooling is to create an environment that is positive and nurturing, that encourages learning, and enables the child to grow into a successful adult. That is why in the article on Goals and Objectives it is suggested that you ask yourself this question: “What is it I want to see in my children when they are young adults? ...
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Learning Goals - Elementary Level — Archival Planning Article
       Purpose of the Elementary Years (Grades 3-5): practicing basic skills in reading, writing, and arithmetic, and more systematic exposure and introduction to all other subjects. ...
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Learning Goals - Intermediate Level — Archival Planning Article
       Purpose of the Intermediate Years (Grades 6-8): mastery of basic skills in reading, writing, and arithmetic, with exposure to more details in all other subjects; basic knowledge and framework for understanding. ...
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Learning Goals - Primary Level — Archival Planning Article
       Purpose of the Primary Years (K-3rd Grade): learning basic skills in reading, writing, and arithmetic, and exploring other subjects. ...
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Philosophy of Education — Archival Planning Article
       All publishers have a philosophy of education. So do teachers. So do parents – even if you don’t realize it! It is simply your view of education and what you want education to accomplish in your child’s life. ...
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Purpose Statement (Family Mission Statement) — Archival Planning Article
       I’ve heard that homeschoolers should write a purpose statement or family mission statement. What is that and how do I write one? ...
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Sample Family Mission Statement — Archival Planning Article
       Please note that this is a SAMPLE only. It is designed to show homeschoolers different aspects of a mission statement, which is why it is longer and more detailed than would normally be necessary. This is only ONE example. It should not be considered a generic statement. You can get ideas from it, but you should customize it to fit your specific family and situation. Each family’s mission statement should be unique and distinctive. ...
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Product Reviews Review of Various Products
Already Gone — Archival Product Review
      Bear with me for a moment. I suspect that the title will turn some people off, especially if their children are involved in a church youth group. I ask that you give this book the courtesy of a good hearing.
      This book begins with a dare: When you are in church this Sunday, look to the right and to the left. Look at the children and the teens around you. Now imagine two-thirds of them have just disappeared from your church. Imagine two-thirds of them aren't even there. Why? Because they've already gone. ...

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Bible Study Reference Kit a bundled kit of resources published by various publishers — Archival Product Review
       What spiritual habits do you want your children to develop? A regular pattern of prayer? Personal devotions? Systematic Bible study? As with any educational goal, it helps to provide the tools to develop the desired habits. ...
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Character for Life — Archival Product Review
       The subtitle of this book offers a good summary of what the book is about: An American Heritage – Profiles of great men and women of faith who shaped Western civilization. Each chapter focuses on a specific character trait or virtue, which is examined in the person’s life in the context of the historical time period. ...
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Countering Culture — Archival Product Review
       This worldview resource can be used on its own or as a sequel to the Thinking Like a Christian course by the same author. Whereas Thinking Like a Christian helps students develop a Christian worldview and understand its validity, this resource explains three other worldviews. But it doesn’t stop there. It presents the case against these alternatives based on what the anti-Christian philosophers themselves have written. ...
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Developing Godly Character in Children — Archival Product Review
       The subtitle of this book says it is a handbook and resource guide for parents and teachers. The publisher says it can be used as a curriculum guide for character training for kindergarten through 12th grade. I would say that most of the material and activities are more appropriate for grades 3 and up, although younger children can certainly benefit from lessons done with older siblings. ...
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Diagnostic Tests — Archival Product Review
       Alpha Omega, a Christian publishing company, has a series of diagnostic tests that are used to place students in their LifePac curriculum. Each grade level of the LifePacs has ten booklets for each of the core subjects, so the placement test is designed to tell you not only what grade level the child is at but which booklet to start with. ...
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Discovery Zone — Archival Product Review
       This is a companion resource to my book, How To Teach So They Can Learn, that explains each component of a child’s learning style. In that book, I include what I call “clue sheets” that give parents clues to identify that element in their children. The focus of the book is to show how learning styles impact teaching and offer tips for choosing and adjusting curriculum to fit a child’s profile. ...
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Getting to the Heart of the Matter: Overview of Core Courses — Archival Product Review
       The homeschooling requirements for every state say that we must teach the core courses. But what are they and what all is included? This handy resource answers those questions simply, yet thoroughly. ...
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Hero Tales - Volumes 1 through 4 — Archival Product Review
       I stumbled upon this series in my local Christian bookstore. Naturally, as a homeschooling mom, I am always vigilant, looking for anything that might prove useful to our homeschooling. I was looking for a devotional that the whole family could use together that had some substance to it. ...
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Home School, High School, and Beyond — Archival Product Review
       The idea of homeschooling through high school can be a bit scary. Thinking about planning for four years can be overwhelming. How do I know what needs to be covered? How do I put it all together? What records do I need to keep? What about a transcript? We can get so caught up in the world’s way of doing high school that we overlook the important things like what is God’s plan for my child’s life? ...
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Homeschooling Navigation Compass — Archival Product Review
       This is a companion resource to my book, Navigating through Homeschooling Waters (see the Product Reviews). Both books come directly from my consultations. As we talk about the various programs available to fit their children’s learning styles, it doesn’t take long before parents realize that the right curriculum is also based on their goals, reasons for homeschooling, and what they want their homeschooling to accomplish. Yet I find many of them have not had a chance to think through these issues. Some don’t even know where to begin. That’s the purpose of these booklets. ...
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How to Teach So They Can Learn — Archival Product Review
       I had read some things about learning styles and heard about it on the radio. I suspected that some of the problems we were having had to do with learning styles, but I wasn’t sure where to turn. I picked up Lori’s book and soon realized that our biggest problem is that I am the opposite learning style from my daughter! I was expecting her to learn the way I did, and couldn’t understand why she didn’t get it when I explained things to her. Now I know. ...
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How We Communicate: Overview of Language Arts — Archival Product Review
       I designed this booklet to be a sort of mini-workshop on Language Arts. In my consultations, I find that many families don’t really know what all is involved in this core subject. They know they have to teach it all the way through high school, but they aren’t sure what has to be covered at each grade level. I explain the different topics and when they are typically presented: phonics, reading, penmanship, spelling, grammar, vocabulary, writing, and literature. I also show you what skills are covered at each stage, the types of curriculum available, and how to choose a curriculum for your child. ...
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I Think, Therefore I Am: Critical Thinking Skills — Archival Product Review
       In my workshops parents often ask me to define what is meant by critical thinking skills. Some people are a little “gun shy” about the word critical. Does this mean our children should question everything, including our instructions and discipline? ...
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Navigating Through Homeschooling Waters — Archival Product Review
       This is a companion resource to my book, How To Teach So They Can Learn. In some ways, it is a “prequel” to the learning styles book because it deals with the first part of the sailing analogy used in the book – the destination. It gives parents the information they need to chart their homeschooling course. ...
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Parenting with Scriptureby Kara Durbin, Moody Press, 2001 — Product Review for July 2011
       The subheading explains the value of this handy, easy-to-use book: a topical guide for teachable moments. Psalm 119 says that God’s Word is a lamp unto our feet; it lights the way we should go in training up our children. But when you’re in the middle of applying disciplinary action or get caught off-guard by a child’s question, it’s not always easy to remember the appropriate passage from scripture. Seeing it in print or hearing you read it aloud from the Bible reminds parents and children alike that we base our life and actions on the Word. ...
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Quick Start Homeschool Packet — Archival Product Review
       This packet is part of our popular Homeschool Helps series. I put it together in response to customers who needed a quick orientation to homeschooling. The introduction provides the “bare bones” information people need to get started with any curriculum. It briefly answers the most frequently asked questions about homeschooling and getting started, as well as explaining the “first steps,” keeping records, lesson planning, scheduling, determining credits, and basic teaching tips – all in a “quick start” format. ...
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Socially Smart in 60 Seconds — Product Review for June 2011
       This handy “quick-read” offers etiquette Do's and Dont's for personal and professional success. Written by a former Fortune 500 VP, experienced certified public accountant, speaker, Bible teacher, certified behavioral consultant, and author of “30 Days to Taming Your Tongue,” it presents a unique blend of business experience and godly wisdom to help older teens and adults become more polished in business and social settings. These life skills are vital for any person in any field. ...
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Spectrum Test Prep Series — Grades 1 through 8 — Archival Product Review
       Even though we don’t have to use structured tests to know what our children are learning in homeschooling, some states require families to report grades. Other states require standardized tests be taken at various intervals. So often times we have to administer tests even though they don’t fit our approach to homeschooling. ...
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Textured Touch & Trace Cards — Archival Product Review
       The more senses a child uses in learning something, the more likely the material will stick. This is especially true for hands-on (tactile-kinesthetic) and visual learners. It is harder for these types of learners to grasp a concept merely by doing worksheet activities. There just isn't enough "involvement" with the material. ...
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The Kingdom Series by Chuck Black — Archival Product Review
       “I can’t stop reading it!” my son said. My husband just looked at me in a strange way and didn’t say a word. He didn’t want to say anything to dissuade our son from the excitement he was finding in this book. This hasn’t happened before with any book he has read. What was the book? It was one of “The Kingdom Series” books by Chuck Black. ...
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The Molding of a Champion — Helping Your Child Shape a Winning Destiny — Archival Product Review
       If I had the power to make this book mandatory reading for all homeschoolers, I would. It's not that it's a primer on homeschooling per se or THE textbook for Homeschooling 101. It doesn't even deal with the idea of homeschooling directly. But it is one of the most readable and practical books I have read about training up a child – which is what homeschooling is all about. ...
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The Thinking Toolbox — by Nathaniel and Hans Bluedorn, published by Christian Logic — Archival Product Review - August 2010
       So begins the introduction to this very user-friendly, Christian-based “textbook” for critical thinking skills. The textbook is part reader, part cartoon strip, and part tongue-in-cheek logic primer.
       In fact, this textbook-turned-toolbox has several compartments: tools for thinking, tools for opposing viewpoints, tools for science, and projects/games/activities. There are 35 lessons in all, with each lesson only 2-4 pages in length, followed by simple comprehension exercises (answers included in the back of the book). The projects can be used as a final “test” grade. ...
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The Timetables of History — by Bernard Grun, Touchstone Books (Simon & Schuster), 4th Revised Edition, 2004 — Archival Product Review - September 2010
       I admit it. I'm addicted to books. I love curriculum fairs. Like a mother hen I gather books around me, tucking them onto my bookshelves where they are close at hand, for ready reference.
       Flipping through a homeschooling catalog one day, my eye caught a title, The Timetables of History. Being a visual learner and a sucker for timelines, I uickly added it to my order without reading the details. (Another one of my bad habits yet to be reformed.) ...
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Thinking Like a Christian Teaching Set and Student Journal — Archival Product Review
       Finally, a user-friendly curriculum that puts worldviews in focus from the author of the worldview resource, Understanding the Times. From TV news to the public school classroom, secular ideas are presented as “the way to think” even though they are based on false assumptions. Many Christians are unaware of this faulty reasoning and fall prey to these ideas, often without even realizing it. They don’t understand how remarkably reasonable it is to view the world from a biblical perspective. ...
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The Yellow Pages Series — Archival Product Review
       The Yellow Pages series is a great time-saving resource. It’s like have the library reference section at your finger tips. It gives teachers and students comprehensive resources for teaching and learning essential skills in the core subjects. Each title is a collection of rules, checklists, study tips, and information capsules that make it easy for students and teachers to check their work. ...
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When Children Don't Learn — Archival Product Review
       What can parents do when their children struggle in school? Is there an explanation for their school difficulties beyond the labels that have been placed upon them? Diane McGuinness, Professor of Psychology at the University of South Florida, takes some controversial yet thoroughly documented positions in her book When Children Don't Learn, published in 1985. ...
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Record-Keeping How to Keep Records
How do I keep track of our homeschooling? What about record-keeping?
What records do I need to keep?
— Archival Record Keeping Article
      Short Answer & Explanation
It depends on your state’s regulations. Some states specify the types of records that must be kept, including attendance; some even have forms that must be completed. These can be obtained from your state’s Department of Education or state-wide homeschool support group. ...

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Teaching Tips Tips About Homeschool Teaching
1+1+1=1 — November 2011 Teaching Tips Article
       The title of this article may look like a mathematical representation of the Trinity, but there’s more to it than that. It is the vital key every homeschooling parent holds to unlock their child’s learning potential. ...
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The 10,000-Hour Rule — February 2010 Teaching Tips Article
       What does it take to succeed? That question may sound too secular for some Christian homeschoolers, so let me word it another way. What is it you want your homeschooling to achieve? Or what do you want to see in your son or daughter by the time they reach 18 years of age? Or try this: How will you know if your homeschooling has been successful? ...
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A Learning Factor YOU Can Improve – The Brain — by Jan Bedell, M.Ed., M.ND and Michelle Thompson — Teaching Tips Article for August 2009
       Nothing in all creation can compare to the amazing capacity for adaptability of the human brain. Research into neural plasticity of the brain (the brain's ability to change and adapt) has proven that every child (and even adults) can learn and function more efficiently when the brain is given proper stimulation and neural efficiency exists. ...
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Art Institute Treasure Hunt — Archival Teaching Tips Article
       This activity can be used to encourage students, particularly younger children, to take more time to observe the artwork during a field trip to the local art institute. It can be adapted for any type of field trip. ...
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Auditory Processing – the Best Kept Secret in Education — by Jan Bedell, M.Ed., M.ND (Certified Neurodevelopmentalist) — Archival Teaching Tips Article for October 2009
       Auditory processing is the ability to sequentially hold multiple pieces of auditory [oral] information together. It is a person's capacity to take in auditory information and use it in their short-term memory, which refers to information coming into the brain and then immediately coming back out. ...
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Auditory Processing – Part Two - Did You Hear That? — Archival Neurodevelopment Teaching Tips Article for November 2009
       Why are so many children struggling with low auditory processing? Many years ago, when our educational system was developed, we were primarily an auditory society. We ate together as families two to three times a day and TALKED. We read as a family in the evenings or LISTENED to radio broadcasts for hours. We developed our auditory processing abilities by practicing. ...
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Attention — Archival Teaching Tips Article
       What does it mean to pay attention? How do you know when you have your child’s undivided attention? When he is looking you in the eye? When she is listening to what you’re saying?When he is concentrating on the exercises in front of him? ...
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Bible Study Essentials — Archival Teaching Tip for October 2010
       There are numerous ways to approach Bible study. Just about every approach suggests using reference tools to get the most out of your studies. This list includes essential helps that should be included in any student’s library. ...
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Breaking the Code — Archival Neurodevelopment Teaching Tip for May 2010
       You love to write and express yourself. But if you don't follow the code system used to write English, how will anyone be able to read what you write? ...
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Character Notebook — Teaching Tips Article for March 2009
       Education is more than just learning facts and figures; it is more than academics. It includes instilling values, character, and discipline. One activity that is especially helpful is to have students put together a Character Notebook. The contents will vary with the child’s age, with younger children drawing pictures or cutting out pictures while older students can record their own findings and observations. Get a one- to two-inch binder with a clear vinyl cover that allows the child to insert his/her own cover design. ...
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Compulsory Preschool for Homeschoolers — Archival Teaching Tips Article March 2011
       Homeschoolers are generally exempt from compulsory preschool regulations. But are we really? We may not be obliged to register our preschoolers, but the mindset of pushing structured learning earlier and earlier is affecting us. ...
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Concentration — Archival Teaching Tips Article
       The word concentration is a compound word that means “with a center.” It enables the brain to be fixed on a central point, for the child’s attention to be focused on a specific task. It is an underlying ability essential to intelligence and learning. It is also absolutely essential to memory. ...
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Concentration and Perseverance — February 2010 Teaching Tips Article
       Let us begin with a semantic shift: in public education, teachers usually use the words “focus” in place of concentration, and when they on occasion ask for perseverance, it’s usually called “staying on task.” Perseverance and concentration are trainable, but don’t wait for the schools to do this; it‘s up to the parents. HOW? Read on. ...
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Create Your Own Game — Teaching Tips Article for April 2010
       Games are a great way to practice key skills without overwhelming the child with tedious drill. They have several advantages; they work with all sorts of learners, they can be used to break up the routine of worksheets and textbooks, they can give active children a chance to move around, by using other senses, they can increase the likelihood that the material will “stick” in long-term memory ...
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Creating a Knowledge Bank — Neurodevelopmental Teaching Tips Article for August 2010
       The human brain is remarkable. Even a brief study of it shows the awesome wonder of God's creative power. At birth, a baby's brain contains 100 billion nerve cells (neurons) – roughly the number of stars in the Milky Way! The neurons act as a loosely-formed circuit board that serves as the brain's control panel. At first, the circuits are very generalized. They are established through brain activity brought on by experiences. Every time a circuit is used, connections (synapses) are formed between the neurons. ...
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Craft Dough — Archival Teaching Tips Article
       This craft dough mixture can be used to create a variety of hands-on activities to extend learning. Since I have a visual and hands-on learner, I’ve used it a lot. It’s inexpensive, made from common baking ingredients, and is easy to clean-up. It was a staple in our house during our Geography lesson – it can be molded into mountains, fjords, kettles, valleys, bays, you name it. ...
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Cut to the Chase — Teaching Tips Article for March 2010
       Identifying the main idea of a passage is an important skill in reading, writing, and arithmetic. Yes, even in math students need to be able to recognize what the main idea is so they can chose the right operation to use. That's why it is considered one of the most basic critical thinking skills a child can learn. ...
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DIY Course Descriptions — Teaching Tips Article for July 2011
       Does your student love a certain area of interest? Does your child have a hobby? Is your student talented in a specific area? Great! Add it to his or her course of study. At the high school level, these courses may count toward credits in the core courses or they can count as elective credits. ...
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Dominance – A Determining Factor in Learning — Neurodevelopmental Teaching Tips Article for June 2010
Q: Where is all that information going that I teach my child each day?
       Dominance is a huge determining factor in the brain's ability to store and retrieve information. In order to be neurologically efficient (like a defragged computer), your brain must be neurologically organized – one hemisphere must dominate and coordinate your entire body. ...

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Egg Carton Matching Game — Neurodevelopmental Teaching Tips Article for April 2010
       This activity is designed to develop your child's visual concentration, apart from reading and listening. This vital underlying skill is used in math, spelling, and reading. Begin with a few items and then increase the number of items to challenge the child's visual concentration and memory. ...
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Field Trip Ideas — Ask an Expert - 'Replies' - Teaching Tips Article for July 2010
       One of our members wrote, "I would like to know how to get more field trips in without having to spend a great deal of money. Can you give me some tips?" We took this question to our other members for ideas. Thank you for your ideas. ...
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Financial Math Credit — Ask an Expert - 'Replies' - Teaching Tips Article for July 2010
Q: We want our daughter to do a course in financial management for high school credit. Do we count this as an elective or math credit?
Short Answer
       It can be either, depending on the other credits your daughter has already earned and what math sequence you are following in her high school plan. ...

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Fitting Together Thinking Styles — Teaching Tips Article for November 2010
Why does God’s Spirit have so many holes?
If the Holy Spirit lives in my heart to guide me, how can he see where we’re going?
       Go ahead and chuckle, but these were real questions posed by some very concerned children. Some very literal children. Concrete thinkers par excellence! It’s not surprising, since most young children begin life as concrete thinkers. They have to see, touch, handle, and quite possibly chew on whatever they encounter – as any parent of a toddler knows! ...

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Goals and Objectives — Archival Teaching Tips Article
       What is the difference between goals and objectives? How do I write them?
Goals are general statements about what you want to accomplish or what you want to see happen. Objectives are specific statements about how those goals are to be fulfilled and the steps necessary to “get the job done.” ...

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Hands-On Letters and Words — Neurodevelopmental Teaching Tips Article for March 2010
       A child's attention span and concentration are highly influenced by learning style. If the child is doing an activity that matches his or her natural way of learning, it's easier to stay focused. Of course the opposite is true as well. ...
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Here, FIDO — Neurodevelopmental Teaching Tips Article for January 2011
       Fido can be your best pal when it comes to educating your children. No, I’m not referring to the family dog, but FIDO. FIDO stands for Frequency, Intensity, Duration, and Observation. ...
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How To Master the Times Tables - by Ruth Beechick — Teaching Tips Article for April 2009
Here is an easy solution to what has become a major problem among homeschoolers.
      Problem: Can’t memorize the times tables.
      Solution: Don’t blindly memorize; teach meaning instead.
This article explains how to teach meaning. Meaning stays with children for life; blind memorizing does not last long without constant review. Meaning fascinates and engages the mind; blind memorizing bores the mind. ...

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Improving Language Arts Skills — Teaching Tips Article for July 2010
       Here's a list of the top five things you can do to improve your child's language and writing skills: 1) read aloud to your child, 2) read aloud to your child, 3) read aloud to your child, 4) read aloud to your child, and 5) read aloud to your child. ...
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Inclement Weather — Teaching Tips Article for December 2010
       If you have just pulled your child out of public or private school to homeschool, take heart. It doesn’t really matter that you’re starting in the middle of the academic year. Despite what you’ve been told, education is not grade-level-sensitive or calendar-time-sensitive. What does matter is that you recognize some adjustments will be coming. ...
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In Their Own Words — Teaching Tips Article for May 2010
       One of the first principles of communication is that what you say is not necessarily what is heard. Every parent has experienced this quirky twist. Especially when assigning chores. And probably when explaining a lesson. ...
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Learning Gateways — Neurodevelopment Teaching Tips Article for September 2011
       We humans take a lot for granted. Especially things we experience every day. Like learning. We automatically assume that when we teach, someone learns. If we realized what must take place for learning to occur, instead we might be amazed that learning even takes place.
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Learning to Write - Part 1 - by Lori Coeman — Ask and Expert - 'Replies' Article for February 2010
       How do I get my child to write? What writing curriculum do you recommend? Part 1 — What Writing Involves and Why It Is So Hard for So Many Students
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Learning to Write - Part 2 - by Lori Coeman — Ask and Expert - 'Replies' Article for March 2010
       How do I get my child to write? What writing curriculum do you recommend? Part 2 — Different Types of Writing and the Writing Process
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Learning to Write - Part 3 - by Lori Coeman — Ask and Expert - 'Replies' Article for April 2010
       How do I get my child to write? What writing curriculum do you recommend? Part 3 — The Thinking Process
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Learning to Write - Part 4 - by Lori Coeman — Ask and Expert - 'Replies' Article for May 2010
       How do I get my child to write? What writing curriculum do you recommend? Part 4 — Mechanics of Writing
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Learning to Write - Part 5 - by Lori Coeman — Ask and Expert - 'Replies' Article for June 2010
       How do I get my child to write? What writing curriculum do you recommend? Part 5 — Mechanics of Writing and Grading
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Learning to Write - Part 6 - by Lori Coeman — Ask and Expert - 'Replies' Article for July 2010
       How do I get my child to write? What writing curriculum do you recommend? Part 6 — Writing for Elementary Students
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Learning Style Is No Excuse - by Lori Coeman — Teaching Tips Article for May 2009
       One of the advantages of homeschooling is that you can adjust the curriculum and training to fit your child's learning style. Learning style has to do with the way a child naturally learns. There are different styles of learning just as there are different “natural” abilities such as being mechanically inclined or being creative and artistic. ...
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Lower Level Brain Organization — by Jan Bedell, M.Ed., M.ND — Neurodevelopment Teaching Tips Article for September 2009
       Each of us is born with tremendous potential. A well-functioning tactile system [our sense of touch] is imperative for receiving information and taking that potential to the next level, which will then be transmitted into producing intentional movement (crawling, walking, running, etc.). Movement makes “memories” which causes the circuitry that releases intelligence. ...
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Making Wise Choices — Teaching Tips Article for September 2011
       Educational choices abound. That’s a good thing. And it’s a bad thing. The more choices we have, the more decisions that have to be made. Decisions require evaluation, and evaluation requires a measuring rod. ...
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Mathematical Evolution — Teaching Tips Article for June 2011
       No, this is not another article trumpeting the spread of the evolutionary theory into yet another subject. It’s about how the teaching of math has evolved over the years. ...
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Memorizing by Dr. Ruth Beechick — Teaching Tips Article for December 2011
       Do you teach, “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want?” And after the child says that well, you follow up with the next verse? That is bit-by-bit memory, and it is probably the method most families use. Far better is the whole memory system. ...
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Memory — Archival Teaching Tips Article
       One of the underlying abilities for learning is memory. There are actually three types of memory that impact learning: (1) short-term memory; (2) active working memory; and (3) long-term memory. We say that the child has learned something when it is in long-term memory and can be “drawn out” to be used again – also known as remembering. ...
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Museum Curator — Archival Teaching Tips Article
       This activity can be done with just about any subject. It’s a nice way to evaluate what children have learned besides taking a test. ...
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No More Tears Reading ~ Part 1 — Nuerodevelopment Teaching Tips Article for May 2011
       What is the secret to motivating children to do anything? They must feel a sense of accomplishment, that they are progressing, and that they are successful in their endeavors. How do you promote these feelings in your children when they are struggling with their schoolwork and they hate math, hate reading, and hate writing? Here are some tips on how to motivate your children to want to learn to read. ...
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No More Tears Reading ~ Part 2 — Nuerodevelopment Teaching Tips Article for June 2011
       In the previous article, we talked about the Quick Flash Method. After you have used this method and your child has read through the Dick and Jane, or similar, books, your child will be ready to read other books using the following method: ...
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Notebooking — Teaching Tips Article for February 2009
       This practice is very popular in the Charlotte Mason approach to homeschooling. It started with the nature journals that are a key element of that approach, and expanded into century books and museum books. Curriculum designers soon started adding notebooking to their programs to provide a hands-on, interactive activity that works for both tactile-kinesthetic and visual learners. ...
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Now is the Time — Teaching Tips Article for February 2010
       How much time does it take to see your child reach his/her true level of functioning that will allow them to perform academically up to their grade level? How much time does it take to reduce the quirky or puzzling behaviors, or to see them become able to organize themselves enough to start and complete a project, a subject or a class without being distracted, confused, troubled, or struggling? How much time will it be before they can keep track of things, stop the emotional melt-downs, or begin to behave more their age? ...
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Of Cilium and Sheaths — Teaching Tips Article for January 2011
       This time of year it’s not unusual for young children to come down with ear infections. These infections can cause problems in learning far beyond just interrupting the schedule and daily lesson plans. More and more research is pointing to the effects on language development, learning, and even hyperactivity. ...
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Organizing to a Different Beat — Teaching Tips Article for September 2010
       Organization. Does the thought of that word elicit cheers or groans from you? What about from your children? Your answers most likely result from your learning style.
       What most people think of as organization is a tidy, neat system where every item in the household has a logical storage place and every activity follows a set routine. And that is the rub. Logic and routine are very specific traits that come naturally for only a few learning styles. ...

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Organizing Your Global Learner — Teaching Tips Article for March 2010
       Let's face it. This title is a bit of an oxymoron, a contradiction in terms. Organization and global learners mix about as well as vinegar and oil. You can throw the two together for a bit, but when things settle down, chances are the organizational system you tried to impose separated out of your child's life. ...
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Personalized Flip Charts — Archival Teaching Tips Article
       Random and global learners form their own little view of the world and what is worth paying attention to. Unfortunately, what they think is important and what curriculum publishers think is important are often two different things. These types of learners do not automatically think in terms of rules, lists, and definitions. Learning facts, dates, and formulas is hard for them. ...
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Phonics Ladder Game — Archival Teaching Tips Article
       This is a method for drilling phonics skills in a way that is more fun and active. Make a drawing of a five-rung ladder, either on a chalk/white board or table-top visual. In the space between the rungs, write whatever phonics skill you want to practice: consonant sounds, vowels, vowel teams, consonant blends, sound phrases (letters grouped together that make a sound but don’t form a word), phonics words, or sight words. (See examples.) ...
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Phonics vs. Whole Language — Archival Teaching Tips Article
       There are two basic methods for teaching reading and spelling: phonics and whole language. Phonics-based reading and spelling programs are based on the sounds of our language (phonemes) and the different ways those sounds are coded (phonograms). The individual letters of the word a re analyzed according to phonics rules. ...
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Purpose Statement — Teaching Tips Article for April 2009
       Why are we doing this? Why I am putting myself through this? Have you ever reached the point in homeschooling when you asked yourself these questions? If you’re new to homeschooling or just thinking about it, don’t let the possibility of these questions deter you. Homeschooling, like any job or task, has its good days and bad days. ...
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Practical Record-Keeping - by Lori Coeman — Teaching Tips Article for August 2009
       No matter which approach to homeschooling you follow, you must keep adequate records. Some states have specific regulations listing the types of records and forms that must be completed. Besides these, it's a good idea to keep weekly records of what is covered each year and the progress made. There are many different ways to keep these records, as well as a variety of planners available that are designed specifically for homeschooling. ...
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Reading Practice — Archival Teaching Tips Article
       Reading is such a basic skill to all of learning that we recommend at least 15 minutes of reading practice a day. What form this practice takes depends once again on the child’s stage of reading. ...
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Reading Problems — Archival Teaching Tips Article
       When parents tell me that their child is having problems reading, the first thing I do is find out what stage of the reading process the child is at. Each stage has potential pitfalls that relate to certain physiological changes and abilities that must exist first. ...
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Recording Your Reading — Archival Teaching Tips Article - October 2009
       Reading is a pivotal skill to a child's educational success. This makes it one of the most important educational goals for homeschoolers. Whether you follow a structured reading curriculum or use the living books approach (real books selected by the parent and/or student), the specific reading objectives – the results you want to see because of your reading program – will vary depending on the stage of reading your child is at. ...
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Sample Education Goals — Archival Teaching Tips Article
       Sample Home Education Goals
In light of our family mission statement, purpose and vision, worldview, and family profile, we have set the following goals for our training efforts. ...

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Scheduling and Sequencing Subjects — Archival Teaching Tips Article — September 2010
       When it comes to scheduling, it helps to take a signal from the way our brain works: automate as much as possible. The brain functions most effectively when it can automate certain tasks, freeing up processing functions for new material and different tasks. ...
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Sight Words — Archival Teaching Tips Article
       Sight words are words that appear so frequently in children’s books that it is helpful for children to known them before the phonics rules have been taught. Some are considered irregular words that don’t follow phonics rules. Some are words used in giving directions. Others are position words, number words, and colors. ...
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Spelling Pattern Practice — Archival Teaching Tips Article
       When a child comes across an unfamiliar word in reading, phonics skills can be used to “sound out” the word, applying what the child knows of the individual sound-letter connections. This is known as decoding. This skill can also help a child analyze a spelling word. ...
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Spelling Problems — Archival Teaching Tips Article
       Understanding the Source of the Problem
Reading and spelling are similar skills; they are two sides of the same coin. To read a word, a child must sound it out by breaking it down into the letter codes used to form the word (decoding). Spelling, on the other hand, requires the child to put letters together to form the word (encoding). ...

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Stages of Learning — Teaching Tips Article - August 2010
       Believe it or not, education is NOT about grade levels, grades, tests, or even scope and sequences. Nor is education about standards, placement, or achievement scores. All of these school activities came about because of the needs of a group classroom teacher to monitor numerous students. ...
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Stages of Reading — Archival Teaching Tips Article
       Evaluating a child’s reading depends on the stage the child is at in the reading process. Learning to read is a sequential skill. That means it builds letter-by-letter, word-by-word, line-by-line and sentence-by-sentence. Each subsequent skill is based on mastery of previous skills. Reading skills are categorized into four stages. There are also certain preliminary skills or underlying abilities that must be developed for a child to be able to learn to read. Sometimes these skills are referred to as pre-reading. ...
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Steps to Success — Teaching Tips Article - October 2011
       Successful home education seeks not to master facts and figures only but to instill a love for learning. Knowing how to learn ensures that a student can learn whatever is needed, whenever it is needed. Such an approach fills in any “gaps” that may occur along the way. ...
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Sticky Thoughts — Teaching Tips Article - May 2011
       In one ear and out the other. Here today and gone tomorrow. Spinning wheels get you nowhere. Is there anything we can do to avoid these sayings when it comes to our homeschooling and help learning stick? Yes, sticky thoughts. ...
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Still Photography — Teaching Tips Article - August 2011
       I love black and white photography. Maybe it’s because it reminds me of the old days when color photography didn’t exist and the pace of life seemed slower. Or maybe it’s because it slurs together all the details into one gray scale, drawing your eye to one element that stands out. It has a way of capturing that moment in time in a distinctive way. ...
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Suggested Intermediate Reading List — Archival Teaching Tip
       A suggested list of Novels with Authors for the Intermediate Reader.
Suggested Primary Reading List — Archival Teaching Tip
       A suggested list of Stories with Authors for the Primary Reader.
Suggested Upper Elementary Reading List — Archival Teaching Tip
       A suggested list of Novels and Stories with Authors for the Upper Elementary Reader.
Switch It Up — Neurodevelopment Teaching Tip Article for July 2011
       If you’ve spent any time on this website, you’ve probably come across the terms left-brain and right-brain learners. Left and right refer to the two hemispheres in the brain, each of which specializes in doing certain types of activities or skills. ...
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Taking Stock, Taking Aim — Archival Teaching Tips Article - December 2009
       The change of the calendar year is often a time of looking back at the passing year, giving thanks for God's faithfulness and provision. We remind ourselves of the gift of Christ – rejoicing in salvation, yet mindful of the work He is still doing in us. We examine ourselves within the limitations of our own reasoning to look for New Year resolutions – most of which dissolve in the demands of daily living. ...
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Teaching Multiple Children — Ask an Expert - 'Replies' Teaching Tips Article - August 2010
       Q: How does a parent that is slightly disorganized teach three children (ages 7, 6, and 4)? I also have a 16-month-old toddler. All I know is the public school way of doing things. How do I get away from all that?
Short Answer
       First, forget about grade categories and grade-based skills. Think in terms of broad categories such as primary, elementary, intermediate, and high school. The focus of the elementary years is to provide the basic underlying skills needed for all of learning – namely, reading and arithmetic. For everything else, think in terms of introducing the children to concepts rather than mastering skills.

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Testing Dominance in Learning — Archival Teaching Tips Article - June 2010
       Learning is the ability to recognize, process, and retain information so it can be used anytime, anywhere. Several factors influence this learning process, including the child's thinking style, developmental age, learning environment, physical development, and attitude. ...
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The Art of Making a Life — Archival Teaching Tips Article - September 2009
       An educational system isn't worth a great deal if it teaches young people how to make a living, but doesn't teach them how to make a life.
       The author of that statement is unknown, but the concept is not to many homeschoolers. It is one of the abiding principles that raising up a child entails so much more than academics. With the mushrooming emphasis on preparing students for the global marketplace, the admonition above takes on even more weight. ...

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The Brain, Diet, and Attitudes — Neurodevelopment Teaching Tip Article for October 2010
       God’s design of the human body intricately connects each body system together so that what happens in one area of the body affects the entire body. Likewise, the physical body is affected by the thoughts in the mind, the emotions of the soul, and the state of a person’s spiritual life. ...
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The Daffodil Principle - by Lori Coeman — Teaching Tips Article for June 2009
       This month's character trait is purposefulness. It reminds us of the vision God has for our homeschooling. Purposefulness keeps us going, even in the sometimes tedious drudgery of everyday life.
       Whereas purposefulness deals with our overall vision for homeschooling, this month's teaching tip deals with a time-proven principle in learning: taking it one step at a time, no matter how small the step. This is known as the Daffodil Principle. ...

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The Fourth Dimension — Neurodevelopment Teaching Tip Article for August 2011
       How exactly do our children learn? Modern research and advancements in MRIs and other imaging tools have provided important insights into how the brain processes information and stores it for future use – otherwise known as learning. The components of human intellect and how these are influenced by personality and thinking style have shown us how to tap into a child’s unique learning style. ...
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The Other Side of Socialization — Teaching Tip Article for February 2011
       Chances are you’ve heard the challenge from some homeschooling skeptic: “What about socialization?” On the positive side, this question at least acknowledges that God created us as social beings who are wired for relationship. ...
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The Preposition Ending Myth - by Ruth Beechick — Archival Teaching Tips Article - May 2009
       Knowing this history, you can ignore the Latin-style grammar books and join Winston Churchill, whose real quotation is, “This is the kind of bloody nonsense up with which I will not put.” That frees you to use English as good writers use it. ...
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Three Weeks Can Be Habit-Forming - by Lori Coeman — Archival Teaching Tips Article - November 2009
       New mothers, as well as new homeschoolers, quickly learn to pick their battles. Whenever we begin a major new endeavor, it can seem daunting. There is so much to do in a limited amount of time. In most cases, more than can be done reasonably. So we learn to choose the most important concerns and work on those. In short, we attempt to make a molehill out of a mountain. ...
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To Drill or Not to Drill - by Lori Coeman — Teaching Tips Article for April 2009
       Drills and repetition have a bad reputation in education these days, particularly with this generation that has been raised on high-octane, fast-paced entertainment. Students don't want to bother with anything that is boring, tedious, or hard. That's why the Harris brothers are challenging their peers to “do hard things.” - ...
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Touchy, Touchy, Touchy! — Neurodevelopment Teaching Tips Article for January 2010
      By Jan Bedell, M.Ed., M.ND (Certified Neurodevelopmentalist)
      In Kindergarten, we learn about the five senses – touch, taste, sight, smell, and hearing. As home educators, we must be keenly aware of these senses as they are the inroads to the brain. These senses build pathways in our central nervous system, which keep many of our intricate systems running. ...
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Try the OPT Tool - by Lori Coeman — Teaching Tips Article for July 2009
      What interests them? How do they spend their time? What do they excel at? What comes harder to them? How do they express themselves? You get the idea. These observations will give you general clues about how your children learn. ...
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Visual Gateway — Neurodevelopment Teaching Tips Article for November 2011
       In the previous months we learned that hearing and seeing are an integral part of the receiving gateway. Any visual or auditory impairment can hinder learning. ...
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Visual Processing – Did You See That? — Neurodevelopment Teaching Tips Article for December 2009
       Visual processing is visual short-term memory - what goes in through the visual channel to the brain and right back out. This vital skill picks up visual information from the environment, which can then be stored in long term memory. Scarcity of visual processing ability can require a child to use other channels (auditory or tactile) to bring in information which may not be the most efficient. ...
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What’s Behind the Mask? — Neurodevelopment Teaching Tips Article for December 2011
       Relying on coping and compensating strategies is always second best. There are programs, and many of them grace the halls of our educational systems, that only teach coping and compensating. Unfortunately, that is not the best solution today. Especially in light of the research and development concerning the function of the brain and body, and how most learning issues can be eliminated if we address the root cause of the problem. ...
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When Is It Learning and When Is It Not? — Teaching Tips Article for January 2010
       A child's brain works much like a computer. It takes in information or data, files it, and manipulates it in some way to perform a task. This processing, however, is not the same as learning. Here's why. ...
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Purpose Statement — Teaching Tips Article for February 2009
       Why are we doing this? Why I am putting myself through this? Have you ever reached the point in homeschooling when you asked yourself these questions? If you’re new to homeschooling or just thinking ...
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Character Notebook — Teaching Tips Article for March 2009
       Education is more than just learning facts and figures; it is more than academics. It includes instilling values, character, and discipline. One activity that is especially helpful is to have students put together a ...
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