Category Archives: Homeschooling

Online School Sites

As a home schooling mother, I am constantly checking out new online sites. Wanna know what sites I have found? I’m glad because I was going to tell you anyway! πŸ™‚


Sheppard Software
The School Bell
Cool Math 4 Kids (and it really is cool!)


Typing Web (a new favorite)
Typing game
Peter’s Online Typing Course

Since I got caught up taking typing tests and getting a bit carried away in the process, I am only sharing math and typing sites tonight. Stay tuned for more!

Proven Right

While playing online math tic tac toe, Phillip was showing me that if he clicked on the answer box, it would pull down a list of numbers to choose from. I immediately saw that it was only a list of numbers that had been typed before, and the number he was looking for (5) was not there.

I typed in “5” for him and left it for him to click enter. He said, “Mom, I could have picked from the box.” I said, “It wasn’t there.” Wanting to see for himself, he deleted the answer I had typed and pulled up the box to choose from. Sure enough there was the number 5 right at the bottom. He clicked it and said, “See?” πŸ˜€

Save Our Successors (SOS)

David Ogden is a man who believes that America is already bound by the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child due to International Law because almost every other nation has signed the treaty. That means Ogden already believes that the government has more control over children than their parents.

If that doesn’t concern you, Ogden also believes that there should be no internet filters at the library to prevent children from viewing pornography. He has a different view of such things than many of us.

Wondering why you should care?

David Ogden is scheduled to be confirmed by the Senate Judiciary Committee tomorrow (Thursday, February 26) as deputy attorney general. That is the 2nd highest highest seat on the Justice department.

Still wondering why you should care? His confirmation could mean that we are no longer allowed to home school our children, no longer allowed to take them to church, no longer allowed to keep them from viewing inappropriate things online, no longer allowed to send them to a sitter and be confident that they will still be there whenΒ  you return!!

Please call and let your local senator know that you are against his confirmation. You have at least 2 very good reasons. You can add the amount of children or grandchildren you have to that number too. Their lives could be in danger in a much more serious way than physically!

Here are the numbers for some states. If yours is not listed below, keep reading.

Senate Judiciary Committee Members*

Patrick J. Leahy
Chairman, D-Vermont
(202) 224-4242

Herb Kohl
(202) 224-5653

Arlen Specter
Ranking Member, R-Pennsylvania
(202) 224-4254

Dianne Feinstein
(202) 224-3841

Orrin G. Hatch
(202) 224-5251

Russell D. Feingold
(202) 224-5323

Charles E. Grassley
(202) 224-3744

Charles E. Schumer
D-New York
(202) 224-6542

Jon Kyl
(202) 224-4521

Richard J. Durbin
(202) 224-2152

Jeff Sessions
(202) 224-4124

Benjamin L. Cardin
(202) 224-4524

Lindsey Graham
R-South Carolina
(202) 224-5972

Sheldon Whitehouse
D-Rhode Island
(202) 224-2921

John Cornyn
(202) 224-2934

Ron Wyden
(202) 224-5244

Tom Coburn
(202) 224-5754

Amy Klobuchar

Edward E. Kaufman
(202) 224-5042

Notice that all these numbers have the same area code? That is because these numbers all call a the Senate Office Building in Washington DC. If your state is not above, choose a random number from above and call it. Tell them what state you are from, and they will transfer you to the correct person.

Please call. Don’t think your voice doesn’t count. It does!!! Not only does your one voice count, but you can reach even more voices by sharing this information with others who will call and oppose David Ogden as deputy attorney general of the United States.

*These phone numbers came from HSLDA (Home School Legal Defense Association).

Online Subject Ideas

As a techy(?) homeschooling mom, I am always looking for online ideas that will make learning fun for my children (and for me). I came across 2 cool sites today, thanks to an online friend and fellow homeschooler, Stretch Mark Mama.

Also, here are a few more sites that I use regularly:

How Smart is Your Brain?

Since Anna has finished her science book, and we still have 3 or 4 months of school left, we decided to let her choose the topics that interested her most from her book and research them online.

Today’s topic was the eye. We found a really cool site that teaches about how your eye has a blind spot. To compensate for this, your brain automatically fills in what it thinks should be there based on what is surrounding the object in your blind spot.

Go ahead. Check it out. But I suggest not doing it near bedtime. Not only will your brain be mostly sleeping and may not feel up to “filling in,” but (if you can get your brain to work) you might find yourself staying up later than you had intended. πŸ™‚ Anna’s response to the science lesson: “This is fun!” Cool!

Are Home Schoolers Socialized? Part 3

In part 1 of this series, I talked about Luke’s home school experience and my public school experience with social skills. In part 2, I posted a Luann comic about socialization in public school. Here is my input on homeschooling and how it is actually better at teaching social skills than public school.

According to socialize means “to make social; make fit for life in companionship with others.” Because the definition for “socialize” uses the root word in it, I went ahead and looked up the word “social.” defines it as “seeking or enjoying the companionship of others; friendly; sociable; gregarious.”

When I think of my public school experience, the definition above does not come to mind. A typical school day consisted of free time before school, class, several minutes to change classes, lunch and recess (in elementary school). In high school there were two 5-10 minute breaks instead of recess. Because students typically were not allowed to talk in class, the time to socialize was before school, a 20 minute lunch (barely time to eat, let along talk), and breaks/recess.

While it is true that sitting still and being quiet is a social skill, it is only one circumstance that does not change from day to day. Children are taught to be quiet during class, but there are not many other opportunities to learn other social skills. Even when children are allowed to discuss and/or share their viewpoints, only those who already have social skills and are brave enough to speak up raise their hands to answer and share. The others are very likely to sit back and look like they are listening.

Children who are home schooled encounter many different circumstances and opportunities to learn a variety of social skills. They are more likely to go on many different field trips that teach them how to become “fit for life in companionship with others” as listed in the definition above. Different social skills are used to visit a science museum than are used to visit an art museum or the fire station. Not only that, but because home school groups are usually smaller than public school groups, there is more opportunity to speak up and ask questions and actually interact. Because public school groups are so large, it is easy to sit back and listen to what everyone else has to say (like I used to do) instead of interacting.

Socialization at my school was limited to children of my own age, my teachers, and maybe my school bus driver. We lived in a rural area where there were not many children to play with (until Luke’s family moved in), so there was not socializing after school. Just boring ole homework. πŸ™‚

Home school students are constantly around children of diverse ages. They work with their parents to learn their lessons and then are able to teach the same concepts to their younger siblings. From the younger sibling’s point of view, they interact with older siblings and also get to learn the same concept taught in multiple ways. In Luke’s family, the younger siblings also got to spend time with their nieces and nephews and children from other home school groups.

Home school groups allow home schooled children, regardless of birth order, to learn to interact with children of various ages and adults. There are home school groups all over the country, and they are usually pretty easy to find. The groups usually have activities for both similar age children and children of all ages. The amazing thing about most home schooled children is that they get along with children of all ages – and actually enjoy it.

When I got together with my home school group last month, three teenage girls took temporary ownership of my 2 year old and enjoyed it thoroughly. I had to do very little for her because these older girls were eager to do it. The whole time the group was together there was a constant game of capture the flag with children ranging in age from 5 to 17! They didn’t just play side by side; they played together. They were “seeking or enjoying the companionship of others;” being “friendly, sociable, and gregarious” as the definition of “social” states.

I feel that it is necessary at this point to say that I do not oppose public schools. Some of my kids’ best friends go to a public school. There are public schooled children who get along with children of all ages. There are those students that make a point to raise their hands and participate and, in so doing, grow up with wonderful social skills. Your child can learn awesome social skills, regardless of whether he/she is in public, private, or home school. The key in any aspect of a child’s learning, including social skills, is the participation of the parents. I will talk more about the role of the parents in teaching social skills in “Are Home Schoolers Socialized Part 4.

Are Home Schoolers Socialized? Part 1

When I was 12 years old our church got a new pastor who had seven children. I had never met a family with that many kids, but something else about them was even more intriguing than the number of people in the family. This family was home schooled. (If this story sounds familiar, you probably read about it in a previous post.

My parents and many others showed concern that this family was not getting “socialized” like public schooled kids so naturally I wondered too. I became best friends with the two oldest girls and went to their house regularly (like once or twice a week minimum). It didn’t take long for me to totally forget the question of socialization. I had more fun at their house than anywhere, including public school.

These seven kids, including the little ones, had great manners among other children and adults. They knew when to be quiet and when to speak up (for the most part – they were still kids). They had social opportunities when they visited friends’ families and when friends visited theirs and also when they were at church.

Interestingly, I did not become “socialized” until after my first year in college. The change in me was due to a summer mission trip to California. On that trip, I was forced to speak to people I did not know and to work with partners that I had only known a week. I guess you could say I learned to swim by being tossed into the water.

By comparison, the oldest child in the new pastoring family at the age of twelve loved (and still does) talking to people of all ages. He was able to talk to an adult and almost seem like one himself, yet he could also keep the attention of a two year old for amazing amounts of time. He was able to handle himself in a social situation without a problem. His 10 year old sister had the same capability.

Of course, I ended up marrying that twelve year old boy, and we continued the family tradition by home schooling our children.

Believe it or not, this was just my introduction. I have a lot more to say on this topic, but it is bed time, and this is a good stopping place. Stay tuned on Saturday for more.

Healthy Learning

Today marks day 2 of our home school year. I was in a crunch today, so I had Anna read her Health book out loud to Peter. Because they are going through a fighting stage (I hope), I walked out of the room thinking “yeah, right. That’s really going to go well!”

When I walked back into the room, Anna was explaining to Peter what good posture was, and doing a right good job! I tried to hide my surprise, but I think they might have heard my jaw when it hit the floor. πŸ™‚

They spent at least half an hour on Health and talked about it some throughout the day as they worked to stand and sit with good posture. I think Peter got as much learning (if not more!) from that lesson than I could have given him, and Anna got a lot more out of it by teaching it to someone else!

So, I guess I just hired a new health teacher! πŸ™‚