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8/7/2008 10:01:38 AM
Home School Legal Defense Association
HSLDA's Homeschooling Thru High School Newsletter -- August 2008

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HSLDA's Homeschooling Thru High School Newsletter
Teaching Research Skills
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Dear Friends,

It's August! Summers go by quickly, don't they? We hope your summer
has been a pleasant and relaxing respite from the busyness of the
school year. While you are wading in the ocean, hiking in the
mountains, or swinging in the hammock on your back porch, we pray that
the Lord is using this downtime to prepare you for another school
year.

Although we hate to interrupt your summer with thoughts of school (!),
we'd like to use this month's newsletter to provide you with helpful
information, websites, and resources to teach your teens research
skills.

THE NECESSITY OF RESEARCH SKILLS

Research is the ability to investigate, discover, and explore a topic.
Knowing where to locate information is important when writing a
research paper, searching out answers of personal interest,
investigating training needed for a specific occupation, finding a
recipe, fixing a washing machine, or identifying birds in the back
yard.

Academic research skills are essential no matter what future endeavors
your teen has in mind. Research is needed in high school (and later
in college) when writing essays, preparing for debates, or outlining a
speech. But, research is also required in various occupations when
searching out new clients, preparing reports for the boss, or learning
what permits are required for a home remodeling job.

THE RESEARCH PROCESS

Having a plan of attack is important when preparing for battle.
Similarly, developing a plan for the research process will give your
teen a clear and detailed path.

The Cambridge Rindge and Latin School website details 21 steps in the
research process beginning with selecting a topic and ending with
evaluating the finished product
(http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=5352). Tip sheets are included for
each step (http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=5353). The site also
provides an outline maker that will help your teen think through the
various sections of his paper and how it will all fit together
(http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=5354). And, last but not least, if
your teen needs assistance in separating a large assignment into
smaller segments while adhering to a deadline, the University of
Minnesota's assignment calculator is a useful tool:
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=5355 . Try it out!

RESEARCH TOOLS

Information may be garnered through many different sources such as
encyclopedias, books, films, atlases, maps, dictionaries, magazines,
newspapers, almanacs, and of course, the internet. To help with
internet searching, the University of California-Berkeley has designed
A Teaching Library Internet Workshop that offers a five-step search
strategy (http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=5356).

In light of the many varied sources of information, it is helpful to
learn how to assess the usefulness, importance, or validity of a
source. The University of Maryland provides a checklist to use in
evaluating websites, http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=5357, books,
and periodicals (http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=5371). Another
website (produced by the Springfield Township High School Virtual
Library) provides many online activities that promote information
literacy including how to evaluate an author
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=5358 , practice in ranking sources,
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=5359 , and the differences between
summarizing, paraphrasing, and quoting,
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=5360 .

In addition to the websites, you may want to peruse the book An
Educator's Guide to Information Literacy: What Every High School
Senior Needs to Know by Ann Marlow Riedling,
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=5370 . It sounds particularly
helpful for students transitioning from high school to college.
Lessons, checklists, and assessments are given as well as ideas for
integrating information literacy skills into your curriculum.

If you feel incapable of or do not wish to teach writing and research
methods, then be encouraged to know there are other venues for your
teen to learn these skills. He or she may take courses online, at the
community college, or even through co-op classes. For example,
WriteAtHome offers a research paper online workshop
(http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=5361) and Write Guide offers a
research paper as one of its project options
(http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=5362) . Other providers of writing
courses, http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=5363 , may include units on
research skills.


A TOUR THROUGH THE LIBRARY

To assist your teen in finding information quickly from newspapers,
magazines, and other sources, plan a visit to your local library. Ask
the librarian or an aide to give your child a brief tour of the
reference room. Although much research can now be done online, being
familiar with the major sections of a reference room including subject
bibliographies, periodic guide and indices for magazines, general and
specialized encyclopedias, directories, handbooks, dictionaries,
atlases, etc. is a useful tool. Some resources may be on CD-ROM or
microfiche.

In addition, the Information and Library Services Department of the
University of Maryland offers several modules that provide tutorials
in using the library to find books, articles, and websites,
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=5364 .

CHIN UP (NOT DOWN!)

As with all of the information we present to you, never feel that you
need to incorporate everything! If the very thought of a research
paper or teaching research skills is enough to send you to the loony
farm, please stop and take three long breaths. :) You may choose to
use only one or two of the items we mention above (or none at all),
but whatever materials you have the time and energy to include in your
planning will enable your teen to improve upon his research skills and
aid him to be a better writer. Tuck away this information and keep it
handy in case one day you are looking for help in this area.

Dare we say it was fun to do the research for this newsletter? Well,
it was--and we learned a lot that we're glad to be able to pass on to
you. Join us next month as we encourage you to continue the journey
through high school.

Jump in the pool one more time for us, and we'll see you in September,


Becky Cooke and Diane Kummer
HSLDA High School Coordinators


AT A GLANCE

New on the HSLDA Homeschooling Thru High School website
Revamped testing section with information on achievement, PSAT, SAT,
SAT Subject tests, ACT, AP, CLEP, GED and career interest tests
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=5365

Worldview/Apologetics resources
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=5366

Check out our blog containing tips, ideas, and new resources
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=5367

MP3 sets of HSLDA High School Symposium seminars "Essentials of
Teaching High School at Home" for sale
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=5368

BECKY AND DIANE'S SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTS

October 10, 2008 Map Your Future Indianapolis, IN
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=5369 (Becky and Diane)

November 10, 2008--Chapelgate Home Education Program (CHEP)
Marriottsville, MD Contact: Lisa Hamby zhamfam@verizon.net
(Diane)

March 27-28, 2009-- APACHE (Peoria, IL)
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=5372
(Diane)

April 2-4, 2009--MACHE (Minnesota)
(Becky & Diane) http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=5180

May 22-23, 2009--CheNH (New Hampshire)
(Becky) http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=5181


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