Friday, December 28, 2007

Website of the Day: Best Homeschooling

I found myself looking through this site today and thought it would be a good resource today. With the Holidays passing by it seems that many have had their homeschooling decision challenged by "well-meaning" family, friends. Nothing like debating your choices over the holidays, right?

Best Homeschooling has a lot of balanced articles as well as links to more resources than I would probably ever be able to read.

Some of the well written articles are:
What My Children Taught Me, by Helen Hegener

Considering Methods & Styles of Homeschooling, by Lillian Jones


Growing a Writer, by Miranda Hughes one that I will definitely re-read since I have a budding writer in the family

and their "Gateway to the Internet" provide links to a variety of other resources like

So, if you have some time, pull up your chair, get comfortable and check out BestHomeschooling.Org. Huge Kudos to Lillian Jones who I believe put together this easy to navigate website.

New Year Traditions

In keeping with the holiday theme. Here are some web resources having to do with various New Year traditions.

Happy New Year everyone!

Look what I found

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Our Christmas Playlist

Before the New Year comes I just wanted to share our Christmas Tunes. Stay safe! Stay educated

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Another Holiday to learn about

Today is Boxing Day in Canada. What a great opportunity to learn about the holiday and the country.

Here is a bit about the holiday courtesy of Wikipedia:
Boxing Day is a traditional celebration, dating back to the Middle Ages, and consists of the practice of giving out gifts to employees, the poor, or to people in a lower social class. The name has numerous folk etymologies[3]; the Oxford English Dictionary attributes it to the Christmas box; the verb box meaning: "To give a Christmas-box (colloq.); whence boxing-day." Outside the Commonwealth, the day is celebrated with a different name.

Here are some more webpage if you want to learn more about this holiday:

Have fun learning!


I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas. One thing I find is after all is said and done the gifts I enjoy the most are ones I can share with others. Board Games are still a huge hit in our family. My son is also learning games from other countries - Shogi and Go being two that I am trying to learn also. I do hope that I can get a GO board down the road. I have found about some groups for GO when I was at the Japan Expo. I will share the links with you all as soon as I find the paper in case there are others who enjoy the game or want to learn more about the game. If you know of other groups, games that you suggest for family time, please share

Saturday, December 22, 2007

The History of Christmas

I believe that there are learning opportunities everywhere. One fun way to involve education with the holidays is to research the origins of this Holiday. You can also research the foods and traditions served in various places for a Geography, Humanities and Cooking tie in..

One site I found today was The History Channel's - The History of Christmas but there are many, many resources found on the web and internet.

Enjoy your Holidays!

Homeschooling in the News: Homeschooling Missionary Family Narrowly Avoids German Deportation for Now

You can find the entire story at this site. Here is an excerpt.

Homeschooling Missionary Family Narrowly Avoids German Deportation for Now

By Peter J. Smith

UELFELD, Germany, December 21, 2007 ( - A US Baptist missionary family has narrowly avoided deportation from Germany for their commitment to educate their children at home thanks to successful eleventh hour negotiations by home school advocates.

The International Human Rights Group (IHRG) reports that its European Counsel, Dr. Ronald Reichert, convinced German officials to drop a deportation order that would have required Mr. Clint Robinson, his wife Susan and their three children to leave Germany on Thursday for the outlawed practice of homeschooling their children.

"The deportation has been postponed while we continue to negotiate a settlement on the visa and homeschool issue," Joel Thorton, President of IHRG, told "I think they were convinced because Ronald Reichert convinced them that it was best to resolve the issue rather than act rashly."

Thorton explained that the authorities have been feeling pressure from a number of political fronts as well.

Help Provide Books & Promote Literacy

Education & Literacy is very important to us as a family. Please consider supporting worldwide literacy efforts by clicking the link below

The Literacy Site

Have a wonderful & Safe Weekend

Do not stress over shopping. Enjoy each day to the fullest and enjoy each person in it.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Homeschooling Apparel

As more and more people homeschool, you will find more and more companies going after the homeschool dollar. I'm not criticizing but being honest. I've often bought Homschool related T-Shirts. The reason is quite simple. I will not hide nor be ashamed of the fact that we have chosen to homeschool after much research and prayer. I also know that we usually break the norm that many have in their stereotype filled head.

Anyway, I can't find the place that I last bought shirts from. I did come across this website but I haven't used them before. Anyone familiar with them?

To be honest, I prefer to support a homeschooling family, so if you know of one, please past on their information

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Wishing everyone a wonderful day today

Look for the learning opportunities that are always present

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Homeschoolers in the News: Celine Dion

I notice that people who don't homeschool often have problems trying to understand the homeschooling family. They try to define it in one way when each family approaches homeschooling in its own way. I hope that by letting the world know about various homeschoolers, they will knock down misconceptions.

While reading my Parade magazine I noticed that Celine Dion and her family homeschool their son.

Here is a snippet of the article:

Her son is being home-schooled. “It’s working extremely well,” she told me. And is Mom or Dad le professeur?

“Neither one,” said Céline. “We have a wonderful teacher. Her name is Kerri. There! Now she will be the world’s most-famous teacher.”

When Céline flies in February to Johannesburg, the first stop on her yearlong world tour, both Renés will join her—Angelil running the show, and their son in tow. How big is her traveling party?

You can read the entire article at

Friday, December 14, 2007

Homeschooling in the News: Home-schooler to lead S.C. Board of Education

Found this in the SCNow.Com news section. I personally think it is great.

Here is a bit from the news story:

Home-schooler to lead S.C. Board of Education
Wednesday, Dec 12, 2007 - 05:51 PM
By Rebekah Carter and Robert Kittle
COLUMBIA — South Carolina’s Board of Education has a new chairperson, and it’s a woman who has never sent her four children to a school.
Kristin Maguire, 39, of Clemson was elected Wednesday morning by the state’s Board of Education, which is responsible for public elementary and secondary schools.
Maguire was elected to lead the board after members rejected Trip DuBard of Florence by a vote of 9 to 7 by the 17 board members. One member abstained from voting.
DuBard was the selection of the board’s nominating committee. After his defeat, Maguire was elected by voice vote.
DuBard, who has three children who attend public schools in Florence, said he thinks he would’ve made a good chairman but respects the decision of his fellow board members.
“It is what it is,” DuBard said. “I’m going to keep working for South Carolina schools. I think I would’ve done a good job.
“ ... hopefully we can focus on a couple of really key issues that have high impact on student achievement,” he said.
DuBard’s main concern is the state’s graduation rate, which he described as “bordering on the immoral,” as well as teacher retention and early childhood education.
Maguire said she is “totally passionate” about reading, and wants every child in the state reading by the third grade. She said she also wants more attention put on math in the classroom.
Maguire has been a member of the board for eight years and has won admirers for her dedication and hard work. Board member Rick Adkins, who represents Anderson and Oconee counties, said she’s the most-prepared member for board meetings.
“She knows the education system, public education system, backwards and forwards so I had absolutely no problem supporting her. She’s absolutely the best person for the job,” he said.

A new widget I found

website stats

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

A bit about the fellow homeschoolers - Will & Jada Pinkett Smith

I love this quote because I truly believe it reflects what so many homeschoolers believe:

In 2005, Jada Pinkett Smith told Essence that the decision to home-school was based partly on the family's extensive travel schedule – but also on dissatisfaction with the other options.

"The school system in this country – public and private – is designed for the industrial age," she said. "We're in a technological age. We don't want our kids to memorize. We want them to learn."

The complete article can be found at

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Homeschooling in the News: Heisman winner has priorities in order

Many people know by now that Florida quarterback, Tim Tebow, won the famed Heisman Trophy this year. What some do not know is that he was homeschooled. Here's a piece of an recent article in the Baptist Press:

"I love the University of Florida, I love being a Gator. I love Gator Nation," Tebow said. A homeschool student who played for Nease High School in Ponte Vedra Beach, Tebow helped Florida win a national title last season as the Gators' backup. He is the first major college player to run for at least 20 touchdowns and throw 20 TD passes in the same season. This year's 22 rushing TDs are tied for the FBS record (formerly Division 1-A) for rushing TDs in a season by a quarterback.

You can check out the article in its entirety here


Monday, December 10, 2007

Hope everyone is having a wonderful December

This seemed timely so I wanted to share - Stay Safe!

A Website Resource: LearningPage.Com

Becoming a member of this website is free - so you may want to try it out


Thursday, December 6, 2007

Field Trip - History, Culture

I got this off of a board I'm a member of so I thought I would share:

Little Tokyo Walking Tour - December 27


Found this while looking through Sushi&Sake Magazine (pg 6)

Little Tokyo was once a thriving residential business and cultural center of one of the largest Japanese American Community in the U.S. until World War II. On Saturday, December 27, relive history and learn about present-day Little Tokyo with National Museum docents on this historic walking tour. Reservations, along with comfortable clothes and walking shoes are recommended. The fee is $8 for National Museum members, and $13 for non-members, which includes Museum admission. Weather permitting, meet at the National Museum on First and Central at 10:15 a.m. The tour concludes at 12: 15 p.m. (213) 625-0414

Monday, December 3, 2007

Foreign Language - Japanese

With the JLPT (Japanese Language Proficiency Test) being held yesterday I thought I should keep with that theme and have a Japanese Language resource.

I came across this site while looking for more information on the JLPT. It seems pretty easy for beginners. The URL is


Friday, November 23, 2007


We hope that everyone had a terrific Thanksgiving.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Field Trips: Riley's Farm - Oak Glen, CA

I feel that we are so fortunate to live in California. There are so many possible field trips to go to and they appeal to such a variety of interests and ages.

One place you may want to check out is Riley's Farm located in Oak Glen.

Here is a bit of information on what could be a great family or group trip:

Now you can explore with us the domestic, agricultural, and cultural heritage of Colonial America with
“hands on” demonstrations of

17th & 18th Century Children’s Games
Cheese Making
Butter Making
Feather Quill & Ink Calligraphy
Cider Pressing
Bread Baking
Colonial “Fire Bucket Brigade!”
Candle Making
Caramel Apple Dipping
Calico Fabric Stamping

(Each tour will include at least 8 of the above activities at our discretion)

All staff will be wearing authentic 17th or 18th century attire.

General Information
This tour is two hours in length.

We consider this program appropriate for young and old, and we vary our presentation according to age group.

This tour includes one free hot dipped caramel apple for each participant. Call 909-797-7534 or visit

To book your passage!
(Summer Guests MUST reserve ahead)

$9.00 Per Person (Groups of 30 or More)
$10.50 Per Person for individuals and groups of less than 30 People. This is not a "walk-on" tour; please call 909-790-TIME to make a reservation or use the reservation link.

(One free adult for every 15 students, 30 person minimum)
Smaller groups and families may book on days when other groups are present, so please call for a reservation.)

Schools and Groups of 30 or more
($9.00 Per Person, Includes Caramel Apple)

Book your reservation by signing the

Individual and Family Reservations
($10.50 Per Person, Includes Caramel Apple)
(**You Must Confirm Date & Time FIRST
at 909-790-TIME)

Friday, November 16, 2007

A Widget for you!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Freebie: Acton: Animal Acres

They have a free tour on Sundays. Learning about animals is a great and fun homeschooling activity. Also this tour would fit nicely in a unit - Read non-fiction and fiction books about animals, watch a video about an animal, the child can draw their favorite animal or even write a story about an animal. You can create a vocabulary list having to do with animal, talk about various careers involving animals. Look for the opportunities to learn each day and soon you will find out you don't have to look. Learning will be living.

This was taken from their homepage:

Animal Acres is a farmed animal sanctuary and compassionate living center located just 45 minutes from Los Angeles.

Animal Acres works to promote compassionate living through its farmed animal rescue and refuge efforts, public education and outreach, and advocacy projects to prevent cruelty to farmed animals. Since we opened our doors in 2005, thousands of people have visited the sanctuary and learned that farmed animals need protection, and love, too.

Animal Acres is "Home Sweet Home" to rescued cows, pigs, chickens, turkeys, sheep, goats, and other "country critters. We invite YOU to become a member of our sanctuary family too! Members contributing $25 or more annually receive our quarterly newsletter and FREE ADMISSION TO SUNDAY TOURS so you can visit your farmed animal friends as much as you’d like. An Animal Acres membership is the best way to keep our doors open to needy animals, and educate your friends and family about compassionate living choices.

You can be a part of Animal Acres by:

Pitching in for our daily farm chores. Volunteers are needed every day of the week to help us clean barns.
Feeding and caring for a rescued farmed animal through our Adopt-a-Farmed Animal Project. Your sponsorship saves lives.
Bringing your friends and family to Animal Acres — public tours are held every Sunday. Our beautiful sanctuary is also available for weddings, birthday parties, and other special events.
Having a barn stall in your name by becoming a member of our Gandhi Society, the Animal Acres distinct donor club.
Teaching children to be kind to all animals by bringing your school or youth group to Animal Acres for a fun and educational learning experience.
Placing our banner on your web site to let others know about L.A.’s new farmed animal sanctuary and compassionate living center (click here for details).

Friday, November 9, 2007

Spelling & Vocabulary

Here is the sister site to AAAmath that I posted the other day (was it yesterday). It is called AAASpell, I have not used it myself but here is a snippet from their first page

From first look it looks like it could be a helpful resource

Trying something New

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Mathematics on the Web

My mind recently recalled another website we used when first starting out. AAAMath covered various levels and was pretty easy to use. In checking their website today I see they also have a spelling section but I have not checked that out.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Never Underestimate the Power of the Library

Homeschooling does not have to be expensive. Let the library be your friend. Many libraries even have textbooks. You can even maximize your time with some systems by placing a hold on the items (some systems allow you to do this for FREE)and then have your library day be one of the days that you go for pickup.

There are even videotape lessons that you can use. I know in earlier years we checked out The Basic Math series (from Los Angeles Public). They had over 30 tapes.

Anyway, I just wanted to share this often overlooked option with you.

Happy Homeschooling!

Monday, November 5, 2007

Another 2008 Convention

The Link also has information for their 2008 Convention up. It will take place April 25-27, 2008 at The Renaissance Hotel in Agoura Hills, CA. More information is found at their website.

I truly hope you will be able to make it out to at least one of the many well-organized conventions/conferences.

Vocabulary and Hunger Help

This is a website where you can work on/perfect your vocabulary while helping a good cause. The premise is every correct answer contributes 10 grains of rice - you can see how th more the truly the merrier.

I first heard about this on a e-group (whose name I can't think of currently) I'm a part of and then today saw an email come across it from another one so I thought I would share it here.

I'm going to do some today. Let me know what you get. The website says that the rice is donated through the United Nations and they have a FAQ page for those who want to know more

Upcoming Conventions

You can never plan too early and believe me if you are a bit lost or feeling a little overwhelmed conventions are a great place to start. There seems to be a session that fits every type of family and method you can think of.

Here are some upcoming Conventions we've come across.

California Homeschool Network
CHN Family Expo Expo 2008 will be August 1-3, 2008 at the Ontario Marriott Hotel

HomeSchool Association of California
2008 HSC Home=Education Conference August 14-17th, 2008 at the Radisson Hotel in Sacramento, California

CHEA: Christian Home Educators Association of California
April 11-12, 2008 Santa Clara Convention Center Santa Clara, California
Featuring Chris Klicka, Keynote Speaker

I will keep posting as I come across California Homeschooling meetings/conventions/events. Do try to attend some.

An Art Site

Here is a great site that we've used a bit since we had a child who definitely loved art. It is also great for those who are just children at art and is very comprehensive. It is called HomeschoolArts and they have information on different mediums. Click the link and check it out.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

What I've noticed

One thing I've noticed is that often we say we want something and then when others present it we fail to support them. I'm guilty of it too.

An example: I remember always looking for teenage events. But I noticed that when I see that some are coming up I fail to go. So I encourage you and I talk to myself. If you want to see events you have to do your best to support the ones that are out there.
Now was far as teenage events there are a lot of them out there and I will do my best to not only attend but also to let any who read this blog know about them so they can support them.

In the meantime there is one e-group that I know of off the top of my head:
Socalteenhomeschoolers. So if you're homeschooling a teen or you are a teen homeschooler - check them out, and get involved.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Stay Connected

One of the most important things I would say to anyone homeschooling or thinking about homeschooling is to stay connected. Fortunately in California we have wonderful State Organizations that provide tremendous resources. Don't just look at them - check them out.

Here are two that I can not recommend highly enough

California Homeschool Network


HomeSchool Association of California


We're Homeschooling in California

Actually we've been doing it for a while. For the most part people are supportive but it still amazes me when some go out of their way to show that they aren't. Do I expect everyone to agree with us or our choices? NO! But... I do question individuals who make a point of letting you know they disagree - repeatedly.

Just thinking out loud.