Originally Sent: 10/17/2013

HSLDA's Toddlers to Tweens Newsletter

October 17, 2013


Skills tutor at home!Skills tutor at home!

Extracurricular activities—how is a parent to choose?


Need advice on teaching your children from preschool to eighth grade? Visit HSLDA’s Toddlers to Tweens webpages or contact Vicki Bentley.

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You Asked—HSLDA’s Toddlers to Tweens Answered!

Learn more.Learn more.
Vicki Bentley helps HSLDA members homeschool children in preschool through 8th grade. She and her husband homeschooled 17 children and led a support group of over 250 families. Read more >>

More than 1,300 of you responded to our survey earlier this year—thank you so much! Every opinion and comment is important to us. I did personally read every single response and comment; some of the suggestions will become full articles, newsletters, or workshops. In an earlier newsletter I highlighted a few of your questions, and I’d like to include a few more this month, to keep you apprised of HSLDA resources that may be unfamiliar to you. For example …

Where can I find suggested resources for science (math, language arts, social studies) for my children, especially on a tight budget?

Aha! Our “Homeschooling on a Shoestring” series is just the ticket! There is a general article, then four subject-specific articles follow with money-saving curriculum tips, value-priced suggested materials focusing on each subject, plus everyday activities for that subject area using materials you may already have around the house.

How can I choose or prioritize extracurricular activities?

If you are in a remote area or don’t have an active homeschooling community, you may find a need to provide your own opportunities for your children to feel connected.

But even if you have lots of options, how do you decide? Whether your child is in preschool, elementary, or junior high, an earlier newsletter outlined questions to ask as you evaluate an activity. A recent Struggling Learners newsletter even highlighted tips on including special needs students in group activities.

Help! Any tips for lesson planning and record keeping?

In our “Lesson Planning” article (under the handy-dandy Organization tab), one mom walks you through her lesson-planning process for three children.

We even have a five-minute Home School Heartbeat series on lesson planning! And for record-keeping tools, both paper and techie versions, check out the record-keeping section of our Resources tab.

All these resources are conveniently located for you at the Toddlers to Tweens section of HSLDA’s website.

What? HSLDA has a website?

HSLDA.org not only gives you the latest info on legislative initiatives affecting home education in your state, we update you on issues such as Common Core, military enlistment, adoption issues, homeschool implications of health care reform, and more.

Our blogs highlight practical and encouraging insights by our consultants and other staff bloggers. The Group Services section offers tips for leaders, by leaders, with financial and legal tips, insurance information, and practical leader support (including our new Meetings in Minutes archive!).

HSLDA’s expanded online bookstore offers not only great homeschooling and parenting resources, but a variety of graduation items such as personalized diplomas, transcript service, caps and gowns, and more.

Check out the PerX program for member discounts, and visit the online curriculum market for money-saving deals.

The list of all the great departments is too long to include here, so check out the website for everything from A to Z (well, at least A to Y), from active case updates to our YouTube collection of homeschool videos for you. (Okay, there may be a Z on there somewhere to make it a true A to Z listing, but I’m short on research time! A prize goes to the first reader who sends me a Z resource on our HSLDA site!)*

Even our consultants have their own HSLDA micro-sites to support and equip you, including Homeschooling thru High School, Homeschooling Your Struggling Learner/Special Needs Child, and Homeschooling Toddlers thru Tweens.

Yes, there is a section just for parents of children preschool through eighth grade! Scroll to the bottom of the Toddlers to Tweens page for a table of contents for the site.

Topics include:

Getting Started—Questions, tips, planning, recordkeeping, and suggested resources.

Curriculum—Costs, considerations, various homeschool approaches, learning styles and teaching styles, homeschooling on a shoestring, suggested resources for everything from math and language arts basics, to civics for preschool through middle school, to using games in your homeschool, to devotional and character training helps.

Organization—Time management, home organization, practical tips, meal planning, lesson planning, recordkeeping, suggested resources.

You Can Do It!—Encouragement and tips specifically for preschool, elementary, and middle school/junior high.

Testing—Assessment options, from informal evaluations to portfolio reviews to standardized achievement tests. Includes articles on test prep, placement testing, choosing the best test for your needs, and an updated test resource list.

Resources—Includes additional suggested resources for all the tabs listed above, plus sections about gifted learners, recordkeeping and lesson planning, publications and webinars, “A Day in Our Homeschool” stories, state organization activities, articles specifically for dads, and more!

I hope this gives you a glimpse into the wealth of information at your fingertips through HSLDA. We provide all this information at no charge to our readers—and members have the added benefit of talking in person to our legal or consulting staff! So if you are a member, I look forward to serving you “in person.” And if you aren’t a member yet, won’t you consider joining today?

Enthusiastically yours,

Vicki Bentley
HSLDA Toddlers to Tweens consultant

*Due to the expected overwhelming response to this contest, please know that if you are the winner, I’ll contact you. Everyone else: I will read your entries but may not be able to personally respond to each one. Regardless, you’ll have my gratitude for the confirmation that you read and researched it! SmileSmile

"Homeschooling Toddlers to Tweens" is a newsletter of the Home School Legal Defense Association. All rights reserved. For more information on Homeschooling Toddlers to Tweens or the Home School Legal Defense Association please contact us at:

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