Originally Sent: 1/22/2015

HSLDA's Toddlers to Tweens Newsletter

January 22, 2015


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“Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.”
—1 Corinthians 15:58 (NKJV)

Start the new year by reading through the Bible in 90 days—even if it takes you a bit longer, you’ll still be hiding God’s Word in your heart. What a wonderful read-aloud or quiet time activity!

Other encouraging reading for the new year: “20 Questions for New Years Course Corrections”

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The HSLDA Curriculum Market is buzzing with activity! Save money on new and used homeschooling materials, or sell your extras.

You can only do so much...

No one can be everywhere at once. And you can't be at home, teaching your children, while monitoring your state's legislature. Through electronic legislative services, HSLDA is monitoring state legislation for you—watching and listening carefully for any proposed laws that could erode your right to homeschool.

Join HSLDA today—we'll watch out for your future. We also provide 24/7 legal assistance and some great money-saving benefits!

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The Home School Foundation supports homeschool families in need. Whether it's a widow or a family suffering after a natural disaster, HSF is there to help. You can give directly, or through our Clicks For Homeschooling program; online merchants contribute to HSF when you shop!

Start shopping here to contribute to HSF at no cost to you!

Help for Your New Year’s Homeschooling Resolutions

Vicki Bentley Vicki Bentley

Dear Friend,

We asked readers, “What are your homeschooling goals for the new year?” You may not have answered that survey, but I’m guessing you just might nod in agreement with at least a few of the comments we got. Now that the first month of the new year is nearly over, could you use some help with these resolutions?

My New Year’s Resolution: To Help You Achieve Yours!

I couldn’t help but think as I read each goal, “We have an article or resource on our site to help with that!” Maybe you didn’t know we have such an abundance of helpful tools, or perhaps you’re not sure where to find them. Here’s a start for you to stick with those resolutions!

HSLDA’s Helps for Homeschooling in 2015

[Please note that a few of the resources listed here may be in the members-only archive and will require a log-in; most are accessible to all readers.]

My biggest goal for this year is to train my [insert age here]-year-old to read for pleasure!

“The Summer Reading Challenge” by Faith Berens (summer focus, but helpful year-around concepts) 101 Ways to Love a Book by Mary Engelbreit, or the “Reading Aloud” section of The Teaching Home newsletter (as found in HSLDA’s article, “Homeschooling on a Shoestring Budget: Focus on Language Arts,” and book lists for preschool through high school.

This was my [first/fifth/tenth] year homeschooling and I wasn’t very organized or consistent … so I am praying for structure and diligence this coming year. (We are having fun, so it’s not all a loss .….)
I am trying to get more organized.
We need some sort of routine.

“How does a busy homeschool mom spell relief? R-O-U-T-I-N-E!”” Check out HSLDA’s organization section for everything from lesson planning to getting dinner on the table the same day you homeschool! And we have several home organization webinars for you, as well.

We’ve just decided to homeschool mid-year. Now what?

“How to Start Homeschooling Mid-Year”
Getting Started Checklist
“Homeschooling: Getting Started”
Home School Heartbeat“Let’s Get Started”

I want to figure out what makes reading so hard for my daughter and fix it.

Our Struggling Learners/Special Needs web section has several articles on reading comprehension and remediation strategies, including Dianne Craft’s Struggling Learners newsletter article, “A Simple Way to Make Reading Easier.”

I want to start regularly grading stuff (daughter is in 1st grade) for records and get in the habit of saving all her work in a more organized fashion.

On grading: When it comes to evaluating schoolwork in the homeschool setting, some parents wonder if their expectations are too high while others worry theirs are too low. On saving work: Check out the records section of the HSLDA Toddlers to Tweens pages, especially the article on using binders.

To make my children disciples of Jesus Christ, and learn to apply the Bible to every area of life, every subject.
I want to start doing a memory verse each week for the kids.
Glorify the Lord in all we do.
Keep Christ as first priority. Make sure that God is the center of everything that I teach my children.

Find lots of resources for memorization, character, and more in “Deliberate Devotions.” The Home Education 101 Mentor’s Manual has a section in the curriculum session on the topic of worldview. And we have lots of encouragement articles for both moms and dads because, as Mark Holden writes, “It’s All About Jesus Christ.”

Keep building a love for writing.

Your students may be inspired by other young homeschooled writers featured among our Bright Spots. Or maybe you’d like to avoid “The Four Deadly Errors of Teaching Writing” by Andrew Pudewa.

Ridding the government from our business; persuading HSLDA and other homeschool parents to work to change laws where we don’t have to account to the government for something that God has placed in the hands and responsibility of parents.

HSLDA and ParentalRights.org are proactive in this effort!

Revamp, reorganize, and change curriculum. Mix things up a bit …

How about “Choosing Activities for a Unit Study”? Or “Stir Up a Little Homeschool Enthusiasm.”

I’m looking for more science curriculum.
We’re going to put extra focus on math and science.

You can even manage that on a shoestring budget!

My daughter wants to produce a weekly cooking show on youtube.

Hmmm … how about highlights of students who have excelled while pursuing their passions (including a family who made a film!)?

To find at least one homeschooling family in the area we live in.

Check out the local support group listings for your state. Sometimes your state organization has a more comprehensive listing, so be sure to look at that site, too.

To protect our sons’ time so they can continue discovering their strengths and gifts and setting their goals.

Hal and Melanie Young share their insights in Raising Real Men: Surviving, Teaching, and Appreciating Boys. For a taste of their insights, check out their webinars on this topic.

Becoming fluent in a second language is a big goal!

HSLDA’s Home School Heartbeat helps in “Finding Foreign Language Options”, and Sindy Quinonez encourages you to consider a bilingual homeschool in her Court Report article.

My only goal is to simply be a better teacher and mother. I have felt lately like I am failing in so many ways. I am leaning on God to help change me and create a new enthusiasm for all of this.

Renew your vision in five minutes! Listen to this Home School Heartbeat series. For more encouragement, visit the “Encouragement” section of our site.

Raising/homeschooling [X number of ] kids is hard work … how do the rest of you do it?

Read Sally Clarkson’s “Re-discovering Joy” or get a “Jump-Start to a Joyful Year.” And for a glimpse of a homeschool day in someone else’s house, read “A Day in Our Homeschool.”

It’s been extra hard for us since my husband has been out of work for six months and can’t get a job.

“Keeping Your Homeschool Strong in an Uncertain Economy” was the focus of a Court Report article.

To help educate more people.

We have free brochures for you to distribute, on topics from the basics of homeschooling, to homeschooling preschool or high school, or a struggling learner. If you have a website or blog, grab our graphic link here, or tell your Friends about our Facebook page!

To make it through today.

Check out these encouraging articles.

Simply to finish the school year on time and sanity intact!
Just to keep on going!

Here’s some mid-year motivation for you.

Read our Bible more … pray more … and serve each other more!

How can a busy homeschool family incorporate Bible study, everyday-life application of biblical principles, and prayer in their day? Here are some ideas—everything from the “one-inch” Bible study to inductive studies for kids, and everything in between!

Change curriculum.
We are changing some curricula and my goal is to be more hands on with the schooling.

Check out various homeschool approaches.

My goal is to continue to fully embrace the unschooling lifestyle the Lord has been slowly leading us into the last few years. I am enjoying the journey and my children are thriving beyond my wildest dreams.

Read about Robin Sampson’s “Unplanned, Delight-Directed Homeschool Day,”, then pick up a copy of Teri Brown and Elissa Wahl’s book, Christian Unschooling.

Teaching the family to use planners to plan and stay organized.

See several homeschool planners in our store and visit our site for planning tips! Learn how to create a lifestyle-of-learning environment in our organization webinar.

So encouraging to see others with many of the same struggles and joys we are experiencing.

You are not alone! Get a glimpse of how others manage their days at “A Day in Our Homeschool.” (Tell us about a typical day in your homeschool!)

My goal is to work less so we can be more consistent with our schedule as dad days never are the same as mom days. Also to incorporate more biblical teaching.

Lesson planning can help you focus your learning days to be consistent, yet allow some flexibility. Speaking of those dad days, did you know we have a whole section just for dads?

Teaching my children to organize.

Be purposeful in modeling and explaining household organization and time management. Not sure where to start? There are many organization resources available.

We’re establishing an economic system for the household with privilege cards instead of monetary allowances.

Chuck Bentley shares about teaching children financial management, and our Toddlers to Tweens webinar walks you through “Getting Kids to Help at Home.” And The Everyday Family Chore System includes a section on rewards and motivation!

To decide between putting my kid in public school and homeschooling. My daughter is supposed to start pre-kindergarten this year, but we’re not sure we want her to. That means getting more connected to the local homeschooling community to figure out what people actually are doing.

Will it help you to have some statistics, or some suggested resources? In our free “Getting Started” webinar, we walk you through a planning checklist to help you prepare for the homeschool adventure! Topics of discussion include research, goal setting, supplies, and schedules, plus “Six Tips for Success”. And you can usually check out a local support group meeting or state convention to get a sense of homeschooling in your area.

Finish the year off with all our classes finished on time and with the love to learn and feel that we accomplished our goals!

With our “Lessons Learned” worksheet, you can evaluate all aspects of your homeschool year.

My goals for my daughter are to read at least one novel a month and to learn how to write her own short story (she wants to do a graphic novel). My goal for my son is to learn his ABCs.

How can you reach your measurable, attainable goals? Check out “Where Do We Go From Here?” and its accompanying goals worksheet.

To get healthy and finish out the school year with no more hospital stays. Though being in the hospital taught me that our son can step up to the plate and run the house when needed.

We have suggestions for those times “When Life Broadsides Your Homeschool.”

Focus on my kids’ strengths, interests, and giftings—and just let the other stuff follow.
We’re working on staying out of the way of our girls and remembering their natural desire and ability to figure out what they need to know.

Let us help you “Find the Gift in Your Child”; visit our site for more on gifted learners and learning styles.

My goal is to try to enjoy every precious second I have homeschooling and try to remember what a blessing it is to have them at home.

And one of our goals for 2015 here at HSLDA is to help you do that by continuing to defend and advance your constitutional right to direct the education of your children and to protect family freedoms as we have done, by God’s grace, since 1983! If you are currently a member, thank you so much for your support of our home education advocacy and education. If you aren’t, well, here’s one more link for you to check out!

Whatever your plans or goals for 2015, may you find strength, patience, provision, renewed vision and joy in the Lord who has called you to home discipleship of your precious children.


Vicki Bentley
HSLDA Toddlers to Tweens Consultant

Adapted from January 2012 Toddlers to Tweens email newsletter.

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