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HSF Ambassadors help families homeschool through hard times. Visit www.homeschoolfoundation.org volunteer to learn more. 10535 HEAV BOARD & StAff HEAV Board of Directors Anne Miller President Williamsburg Patrick Ryan Vice President Purcellville Kevin Mulhearn Treasurer Yorktown Linda Linder Secretary Manassas Rick Boyer Board Member Rustburg Cherrie Moore Board Member Virginia Beach Advisory Board Lauren Bell Virginia Beach Yvonne Bunn Murfreesboro HEAV Staff Anne Miller Interim Executive Director Yvonne Bunn Director of Homeschool Support & Legislative Affairs Lauren Bell Convention Director Diana Un Office Manager office heav.org Carolyn Birney Finance Manager Anna Shealy Administrative Assistant Lora Howard Administrative Assistant Publications Staff Maureen Bittner Director of Publications & Marketing Mary Kay Smith Magazine Editor editor heav.org Melissa Barnes Editor Kathleen Lansing Advertising Director advertising heav.org Kathleen Dillie Update Manager Karen Sweeney Update Content Editor update heav.org Chris Update Editor Arielle Potter Copy Editor & Above-the-Fold Writer Maya Barnes Update Layout Laurie Sitterding Editor Michael Grice Webmaster Alyssa Mulhearn Web-Content Editor Linda Mesibov HTML Coder Susannah Miller Graphic Designer Sara Hemmeke Graphic Designer Jennifer Covington Social Media Manager Angela Palomo Transcript Editor SEnD ADDRESS CHAnGES TO Home Educators Association of Virginia 2248-G Dabney Road Richmond Virginia 23230-0745 Fax 804-278-9202 E-mail office heav.org Phone 804-278-9200 or Web www.heav.org. For fastest service send your former and new addresses. Check your mailing label to see if you are a member if not join today The purpose of the Virginia Home Educator is to provide information resources and encouragement to Virginia homeschool parents. The views expressed in this magazine do not necessarily reflect those of the Home Educators Association of Virginia. All Scripture quotations are from the King James Version unless otherwise noted. The Virginia Home Educator is sent quarterly to Virginia s homeschooling families without charge. To receive a free subscription sign up at www.heav.org. To inquire about advertising or submitting an article please contact HEAV at PO Box 6745 Richmond Virginia 23230-0745 or e-mail us at advertising heav.org or editor heav.org. HEAV reserves the right to edit for style and space or to refuse any submission deemed inappropriate for our publication. Permission is granted to reprint any news items from this magazine providing proper credit is given all other material is copyrighted. For reprint permission please contact the editor at editor heav.org. 2013 Home Educators Association of Virginia SUBMiSSiOn DEADLinES Winter 2013 (Issue 4)--September 15 Spring 2014 (Issue 1)--December 1 Summer 2014 (Issue 2)--March 15 Fall 2014 (Issue 3)--June 15 16 18 10 Features 10 Ten Things Every Homeschooler Should Remember Kathie Morrissey Departments 4 5 6 From the Editor Mary Kay Smith 14 Cheering for Parents Rick Boyer From Our Facebook Page... From the Director of Homeschool Support Yvonne Bunn 16 Overwhelmed by Expert Advice Melissa Barnes 18 The ABC s of Learning to Read Penny Gardner 8 Freedom Watch 22 Coming to Virginia 22 Classified Ads 20 Right-Brain Writing (When Other Methods Haven t Worked) Dianne Craft MA CNHP Can Stock Photo Inc. Robhainer From the Editor Mary Kay Smith I have to say that Venice is about my favorite city on Earth. There is no place you wouldn t want to aim a camera. You look one way and see gondoliers with their striped shirts and black pants rowing down canals whistling and laughing with each other as they pass. You look another way and see pastel homes with arched windows and carved lintels and wrought-iron railings and window boxes spilling with flowers. Another direction you walk along narrow cobblestone streets filled with shops selling decorated masks and handmade lace and blown glass and see people chattering away happily in outdoor cafes. Venture a distance in any direction and you will cross canal bridges and find yourself in a little square with a magnificent church with impressive pillars on the outside and spectacular paintings and gilding and statues and marble work on the inside. You can row past the home of Marco Polo visit the stunning mosaics gorgeous domes and winged lions of St. Mark s Cathedral and attend a concert in the church of Antonio Vivaldi. There is no place you don t want to aim a camera no nook you don t want to explore. Even the tiniest alley boasts brick houses with old shutters clay roof tiles and interesting ironwork. Who cares if you get lost You ll eventually find your way back and this is Venice--a feast for the senses the perfect field trip for the arts Only this time we had a funny experience. We sat near the front of yet another beautiful church and listened enthralled to the chamber ensemble Interpreti Veneziani s stunning performance of works by Vivaldi and other masters. What a lovely evening what gorgeous music what a perfect venue We wound our way back towards our flat popping over bridges carved with comical faces strolling through mosaic-tiled streets looking into shops laden with the trade of Venice. All of a sudden we came to water. Water This was supposed to be a street We took a detour. Maybe something flooded and we could get around it. No matter where we turned we finally realized that to get to our flat we were going to be sloshing through streets filled with water. The tide was in full. Not unusual for November but then the city is prepared for it and puts up wooden platforms to walk on but this was May and the flooding unexpected. There was no choice for us but to take our shoes off roll up our pants and wade through. I started laughing. What a funny downto-earth end to a sophisticated evening. It reminded me of a statue I saw of a large stately lion bearing a firm regal look with wings unfurled and ready for action--only the effect was destroyed by a seagull sitting on top of his head. And so our regal evening ended with us hobbling and splashing through St. Mark s Square giggling at the cold water and holding tightly to our belongings so they didn t get ruined. Ever had an experience like that Everything going well in parenting or schooling and then something unexpected happens to put you in your place. It s just another reminder that a dose of humility and a sense of humor are necessary ingredients for life. But no matter--that s just one more place to point the camera. 4 THE ViRGiniA HOME EDUCATOR FALL 2013 from our Facebook page... Milestones My eldest will be starting kindergarten at home this fall but I can t shake the idea of him missing out on the starting-school milestone. How do you make it a big deal rather than just another day at home Wendy I buy a backpack and a lunch box for each child (not every year but often enough that we don t miss out on things the other kids have). The first day of school they have all their new school supplies and I pack a lunch just like they would take to school. When we start the day I march everyone outside for school pictures and then they fill out a first-day-ofschool sheet that lists things like their favorite color how tall they are etc. They don t feel like they miss anything. Pat Try these ideas big-boy desk new crayons pencil box with pencils and markers his own calendar with the big date circled a special breakfast a Today-I-am-a-kindergartener badge to wear and a cupcake with candle at lunch (other siblings can have plain cupcakes). All sorts of special rituals can be started that each child will anticipate when it is his turn to start kindergarten. Angela Our wonderful co-op does a notback-to-school picnic at an amazing local park. We make a potluck and bring our old curricula and learning toys to give away. We clear out our old things get tons of good stuff and start the year off with friends and prayers. Most of my friends also have not-back-to-school pictures taken either professionally or at a local landmark. Do your children prefer to work independently or do they prefer to work alongside you or a sibling Has it changed as they ve gotten older Lisa We had lots of togetherness early on but in high school my son has done much more independent study as would be expected. I won t be able to help him much at college so all is good Erin We do a little of everything. We start our lessons with a joint class on history and memory work. Then one does busy work while I work one-on-one with the other. Then we switch. That way they each get private time while still having group learning. Laura At the age of five my son wants to be independent because he is very strong-willed and thinks he can do everything on his own. However I have to work with him or he will stare out of the window all day or play with his pencils or start folding his paper...you get the idea. Janet All my kids do really well working independently. We do a few things together but it s good for them to work independently too It teaches them self-discipline. Time4Learning.com has helped in this area. join the online conversation How do you handle your child chatting on the phone face time Kristy I would start small--like giving her phone privileges only during certain hours so you have more control. Also only allow her to talk in front of everyone (like in the living room kitchen dining room). I personally think children should not be allowed to have their own phones until they can pay for it on their own. Derek Have your teens check in their phones at a certain time every night. At that time all phones and any other communications devices (iPads for example) are checked in and hooked up to a community charging station located in the kitchen. Teens today think there are no limits to talking and texting but our rules apply to everyone no matter whether they are twelve or eighteen. Outside the Box This simple game gives your little one practice with fine motor control and letter recognition as well as an introduction to phonics--and it s FUN From our Pinterest page Reprinted with permission from Imperfect Homemaking. www.imperfecthomemaking.com SnAPSHOt favorite History Curricula Biblioplan 24% Tapestry of Grace 13% www.notgrass.com 13% Truthquest 9% Diana Waring History 9% Story of the World 9% Mystery of History 5% KOnOS 5% Sonlight 5% Beautiful Feet 5% Trisms 3% Letters thanks to HEAV Hi to all you weary wonderful warriors My husband and I learned so much watching the short thirtieth-anniversary video at the keynotes.... This was my first conference and although I was a homeschool mom before I arrived I feel like I didn t even really know what that meant two days ago. The conference changed so much for me in so many wonderful ways. I cannot thank you enough for all the hours of dedication sacrifice and love that went into making this event happen. It was a paradigm shift for me. Thank you Marisa Nance DIGITAL FORMAT Editor s note HEAV s anniversary video is undergoing final editing and will be soon be available at www.heav.org. Now get the same great magazine on your tablet & mobile devices--FREE Visit www.heav.org thevirginia-home-educator. Scan Me THE ViRGiniA HOME EDUCATOR WWW.HEAV.ORG 5 From the Director of Homeschool Support Yvonne Bunn C an you be a successful homeschool parent Perhaps you have a high school diploma and you re concerned you may not know enough. Or maybe you re afraid you can t teach your children everything they need to know. Or you could be having second thoughts about the curriculum you ve chosen. We all have concerns that keep us teetering on the fence between Yes-I-can-do-this and I-must-be-crazy-to-think-I-can-do-this Our minds are filled with ideas from homeschooling magazines and we see mental pictures of how it works in the typical homeschool family. We know homeschooling works for others but because our family has its own challenges we wonder if it will work for us. Can we do it So much is unknown...so we read we search the Internet and we watch. YOu MAY HAVE DOuBtS We see homeschool moms teaching their children with unending patience calmly working with each child and patiently correcting them when necessary. Then we recall the frustration we felt when we last corrected our child and we think to ourselves Maybe I m not patient enough to homeschool. We wonder how homeschool moms teach their children to read or work equations in algebra or calculus or master the periodic table in chemistry. We ask ourselves how we can possibly teach these difficult subjects and think Maybe I m not smart enough to homeschool. We see bookshelves with orderly rows of books and colorful plastic bins filled with neatly labeled school supplies. We glance at a teacher s plan book and find weekly lesson plans prepared for each child. That order reminds us of the disorder in our home--the sticky notes all over our work space and the bills mixed in the piles of papers. In the midst of our confusion we think Maybe I m not organized enough to homeschool. Our friends show us the lovely lap books they ve created and the scrapbooks with reports they ve written and photos they ve taken of their homeschool field trips. Their school room is filled with art projects and supplies--paint brushes markers papier-m ch animals and clay sculptures. Then we visualize the coloring-book pages displayed with magnets on our refrigerator door and we think Maybe I m not creative enough to homeschool. Some of us know homeschoolers who memorize whole chapters of the Bible and recite them with fun hand-motions. They have daily devotions and even the youngest child sits quietly. Then we recall our struggle to work daily Bible reading into our schedule and we lament Maybe I m not spiritual enough to homeschool. Do these doubts sound familiar We can become so discouraged by self-doubt that we are tempted to stop even before we begin None of these homeschoolers want to discourage us. In fact they want to do just the opposite--they want to encourage us to teach our children. But we begin focusing on the wrong things. ARE YOu WILLIng Know one thing God begins with us right as we are--imperfect unsure and needy. He takes our hand comes alongside of us and helps us take one step at a time. The most important first step is to be willing--willing to grow 6 THE ViRGiniA HOME EDUCATOR FALL 2013 into homeschooling. If we stumble and make mistakes we can learn from them and move forward. Here are the real questions we should be asking ourselves n Am I willing to take responsibility for my child s education n Am I willing to demonstrate good manners and habits before my children n Am I willing to learn along with my children n Am I willing to make education a priority in my day n Am I willing to sacrifice my time and reevaluate my outside commitments n Am I willing to commit to my children s positive character development and self-worth n Am I willing to put my children s interests above my own n Am I willing to allow God to direct my homeschool YOu CAn DO It Successful homeschools are built upon these important lifechanging choices. We don t have to know everything or be everything in order to begin homeschooling. It s important to begin where we are and to be willing to learn the lessons God has for us as we go along. Yes we re in school too. We ll learn things we never imagined we needed to learn. Each day we can walk along a lifestyle path that has the potential to bring wonderful joy and blessings. It is hard work and we can expect bumps and some twists and turns in the road. But by God s grace we will carry on and not grow weary in well doing. One day we will reap a harvest if we faint not. With God s help we can become the person and the family that He wants us to be. Yes you can do it PLAnnIng DIStRICt 8 OnLInE PROgRAM Homeschool teens who are taking the online driver education course in Planning District Eight have a new option for viewing the required 90-Minute Parent Student Driver Education component. Students and parents can now complete the program online at www.90minparentteen.org. The cost of the online course is 14. After logging in you have 48 hours to complete the course and download and sign the Affirmation of Attendance and Contract. Certification will be issued after you fax or e-mail the form to the addresses on the website. NOTE Planning District 8 includes the counties of Arlington Fairfax Loudoun and Prince William and the cities of Alexandria Fairfax Falls Church Manassas and Manassas Park. Driver education students in other districts are not required to complete this program. THE ViRGiniA HOME EDUCATOR WWW.HEAV.ORG 7 tHE COMMOn CORE CHAngES ARE COMIng Although homeschoolers are not part of the public-education system we cannot escape the far-reaching effects of the Common Core. These national educational standards are on track to influence the education of fifty million K-12 students in America--including homeschool and private-school students--unless something changes quickly. The Common Core State Standard Initiative-- providing standards in math and English language arts--is now being rolled out in the majority of public schools. Without state or national debate and without state or congressional approval this unprecedented move by the federal government is set to develop a national educational program. Control of mathematics and English education has now been removed from most communities and state boards of education. In addition by 2014 federal testing will be in place to provide state accountability. BRIEf HIStORY Attempts to impose academic standards on public educators began in the early 1980s. It shifted when President George Bush s No Child Left Behind Act signed into law in January 2002 provided a financial incentive for states to create their own academic standards. This resulted in fifty states with fifty different standards. It was during this time that Virginia developed the Virginia Standards of Learning (SOLs) that are still in place today. So far Virginia has refused to throw out the SOL s and replace them with the new Common Core standards. However forty-six other state governors voluntarily agreed to implement the Common Core even before reviewing the standards. Virginia Texas Nebraska and Alaska refused the CC and the monetary incentive. Minnesota accepted only the English CC standards but rejected the math standards. Several states are now reconsidering their decision to accept the Common Core because of the high cost of implementing the standards. Because of the carefully chosen name it sounds as though states were involved in developing the Common Core but they were not. The CC was developed and copyrighted by private individuals and companies (most with no educational experience). The project has been funded largely by a multi-million-dollar grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Common Core standards were not subject to public meetings community discussion or any form of voter accountability. There have been no pilot programs and no studies showing the results of this one-size-fits-all program. The experimental standards curtail classic literature in favor of reading information texts. They delay the introduction of higher math skills until later in high school. None of the content changes are supported by academic research. InVASIOn Of PRIVACY In addition the 2009 Stimulus Bill requires states to develop and begin tracking students in a database. Tracking will begin in the preschool years and end when a student enters the workforce. With the development of this database states will begin to link CC assessment results to other personal identifiable student informa8 THE ViRGiniA HOME EDUCATOR FALL 2013 tion--information such as student attitudes disabilities religious affiliation medical information family income and hundreds of other academic and social markers. The information will be available to a variety of departments within the federal government as well as unknown private companies. Collecting and sharing personal information without a parent s permission has raised serious questions about the appropriate role of government. COnStItutIOnAL PROBLEM Should parents be concerned about the federal government s increasing role in education The 10th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution states powers not granted to the federal government by the Constitution nor prohibited to the States are reserved to the States or the people. Based on this amendment it has long been established that educational decisions and oversight belong to the states not the federal government. The Common Core was not developed by the states or local citizens it was not a grassroots movement. Although federal law prohibits the U.S. Department of Education from prescribing a curriculum the developers of the CC found a way around the law--they linked federal Title I funds to the adoption of the Common Core. tESt CHAngES Although Virginia is one of the few states that has rejected the Common Core we cannot expect to escape its influence. Virginia public schools will have to align subject and textbook content with the CC. Why Because schools must ensure student success on the SAT or ACT college entrance exams--exams that are already aligning with the Common Core. This will definitely impact homeschoolers who plan to attend college and must score well in order to be accepted. David Coleman an architect of the Common Core and the College Board president said he wants the college entrance exams to reflect the new standards. In line with the SAT and ACT changes the GED assessment recently underwent a major modification as well. The GED will begin using its new version in 2014. GED representatives stated the reason for the change was because the shift to the Common Core standards is happening nationwide at the current time. Closer to home for homeschoolers the Iowa Test of Basic Skills and the Stanford 10--popular standardized achievement tests used by homeschoolers--are now in the process of being aligned with the CC. Like test providers private curriculum publishers (including some homeschool publishers) don t want to be left out of the new education market. They are also working to align their content with Common Core standards. StEPS tO tAKE Although this fast-moving educational train has left the station it is not too late to change its direction. Homeschool parents must be actively involved in the upcoming statewide elections. Make sure the candidates you support understand the importance of this issue. Educate them. Changes in the make-up of the General Assembly and the upcoming gubernatorial election could have serious effects on home education. Work for the candidate who supports your values Share this important information with the parents in your neighborhood. As more people understand the dangers of the Common Core more people will speak out against it. Parents of all students who are concerned with freedom in education must fight this battle. Encourage your friends and neighbors to oppose further encroachment on the autonomy of local schools. Because what happens in public schools will affect all of us all Virginia citizens should contact the state school board (BOE doe.virginia.gov) the state superintendent (Dr. Patricia Wright Virginia Superintendent of Public Instruction 804-225-2023 Patricia. Wright doe.virginia.gov) and the governor s office (www.governor. virginia.gov AboutTheGovernor contactGovernor.cfm) to urge them to stand firm against nationalized education. If enough states reject the Common Core there is a chance the SAT and ACT will be modified or another college entrance test could be developed. Parental rights We agree with ParentalRights.org In order for homeschooling to succeed we must empower parents. Ultimately parents are the best protectors of their children. As technology advances and more government agencies want personal information about your children resist the pressure to share private information. HEAV will actively oppose legislation to put the State Longitudinal Database System in place. We will vigilantly watch for changes in the homeschool statute that could possibly link us to a statewide or national database. We will adamantly oppose any connections to the Common Core standards for homeschoolers. HEAV is thankful for the work of ParentalRights.org in initiating and passing parental-rights legislation in Virginia but we must also have parental rights protected at the national level. We urge you to support the proposed Parental Rights Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. It will strengthen the role of all parents by declaring that the liberty of parents to direct the upbringing education and care of their children is a fundamental right. Earn a University of Virginia Engineering Degree from home Start with a Virginia Community College Associate Science of Engineering degree with a 3.2 GPA . . . then transfer to PRODUCED the UVA on-line engineering degree program. Now through PRODUCED you can change the world . . . from home For more information visit produced.seas.virginia.edu or contact jgroves virginia.edu at UVA Engineering School Charlottesville VA JOIN US for everyday Discounts Become a Playologist and enjoy a 15% discount on every purchase The 19PlayologistMiniKitincludesover 25inretailproductandbusinesssupplies PLUSdeepdiscountsonNEWproducts andmanyotherbenefits Building Smarter Kids & Stronger Families with our award-winning games Follow Us facebook.com simplyfun pinterest.com simplyfun twitter.com simplyfun simplyfun.com 9 The Virginia home educaTor www.heaV.org The best teacher God can provide for your children is you. 4 5 svetikd istockphoto.com You CAN do it We all have times when we wonder whether we are giving our kids what they need academically or wonder how we will get through the challenging high school subjects. The key is that we can do it through the strength of Christ. Daily time alone with Christ is essential Without His help we will struggle. 10 1 2 3 10 ThinGs EvEry homEschoolEr should rEmEmbEr Kathie Morrissey You don t need to wait until you feel prepared and qualified. You will never totally feel ready or confident that you are as qualified as you should be. However if you feel God is calling you to teach your kids and you are willing to obey Him you are ready. That is the only qualification and preparation you need a willing heart and spirit. Be teachable and let God lead you. He will bless your efforts and obedience. Don t take yourself too seriously. As homeschooling parents we tend to take our responsibility very seriously--and we should but at the same time it s important to lighten up and enjoy the journey. Read together go to the park laugh and have fun. When things are stressful and a child or a subject is frustrating you switch things up change your focus for a time and do something different. Don t sacrifice the relationship because of a standstill with a subject. Your marriage needs to stay at the top of your priority list. Don t get so caught up in planning and teaching that you don t have time to nurture your marriage. The kids will be gone one day and you want that relationship to still be strong. (Plus you are giving your children the example and vision for a wonderful and godly marriage.) 6 7 Regardless of how qualified you may or may not feel the best teacher God can provide for your children is YOU their parent. As parents we know our children best and we love them more than any teacher would. We can evaluate their work based on their abilities and assess it based on their effort rather than their intelligence. We know them well enough to know if they are really trying. We can challenge them at their level but without unnecessary frustration. The most important thing you can do is win your children s hearts. When you have their hearts you are able to pour into them the truths that God is teaching you you have a valuable opportunity to influence not just what they do but who they are. Give priorities first place in your day. God s Word shows us what our priorities should be as parents. In 2 Peter 1 5 it says ...add to your faith virtue (or character) and to virtue knowledge. Start your day pointing children to God and His Word and then train them in character. Training them in godly character is much more important than teaching them academics. The academics are important but character is what will make a difference in their life. Wisdom is the principal thing--not knowledge. THE ViRGiniA HOME EDUCATOR FALL 2013 8 You can t do it all It s so easy to get too busy with all the wonderful opportunities we want to give our children. However if every day is overbooked with activity and rushing about it leads to fatigue and eventual burnout. There is a limit to our physical energy so it s important to make wise choices about how we will use our time. Ask God what HE wants for your family and make decisions based on His leading rather than on what you see other homeschooling families doing. We are not all created alike and God calls each of us to different things. 9 We all have bad days. Not all of us want to admit that and we usually don t want to talk about them but they are part of the package. Kids get sick moms get sick kids have bad attitudes and you will wonder what in the world possessed you to ever keep them home On the other hand some days will be great. You will love what you are doing and be glad God called you to teach your kids at home. Don t let the bad days get you down. Homeschooling is more about discipling and preparing children for life than it is about academics. There are definite academic advantages but the true value of homeschooling comes in the spiritual and biblical values that we are able to impart. 10 Kathie Morrissey founder of the Character Corner Courtship Connection (www.courtshipconnection.com) is a mother of eight children and a homeschooling mom of twenty-eight years. She is a popular speaker at homeschool events family seminars and mother daughter banquets. Her desire is to help and encourage parents in raising godly children with strong Christian character. Did you miss hearing Kathy at the convention It s not too late to order an MP3 of her talks Go to http heav.org convention convention-recordings. THE ViRGiniA HOME EDUCATOR WWW.HEAV.ORG 11 THAnK YOU FOR A WOnDERFUL COnVEnTiOn WE HOPE YOU WERE GREATLY BLESSED More than 14 000 participants joined us on June 6-8 for HEAV s 30th Anniversary Celebration Our largest convention ever included 42 speakers and 19 members of the Duggar family as well as 203 exhibitors and sponsors. Friday afternoon s keynote with Jeff Myers of Summit Ministries included a balloon-andbeach-ball-filled 30th Anniversary Celebration honoring those who have courageously served Virginia homeschool families. Saturday s keynote The Coming Attack on Homeschooling by Mike Farris was eyeopening and informative. All keynote attendees also got to preview HEAV s new history video which will soon be available online. An amazing 800 volunteers orchestrated the convention on-site--and that doesn t count the untold hours of volunteer time in the weeks and months prior to the event. As we look back on this year s convention we thank the moms dads and young adults who selflessly served. We thank God for His vision and His bountiful blessings. And we thank you--our faithful friends attendees and members--for your prayers and support throughout the entire convention season. We are listening to your comments ideas and concerns and are already working on improvements for next year MARK YOUR CALEnDAR Home Education A Hope and a Future The 31st Annual Virginia Homeschool Convention will feature Voddie Bauchaum as a keynote speaker and will be held on June 5 6 and 7 2014. Please remember the convention-planning committee in your prayers as we begin to work on the 2014 convention Antique Photo Frames Booka1 istockphoto.com Your best choice for homeschool ACHIEVEMENT TESTS Providing parent teacher administered tests since 1990 PO Box 250 Kill Devil Hills NC 27948 website www.baysideschoolservices.com email orders baysideschoolservices.com voice messaging 800-723-3057 Important Do not let affordability determine your test Bayside and CTB McGraw-Hill continue to supply the choice We have partial scholarships available. If you need newer and better CAT 5 replacement the TerraNova 1st help contact us for details at the above email or snail mail Edition. 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You ll wonder why you ever worried about testing (TN Grades K-8 and All TCS 2 Grades) Can Stock Photo Inc. 4774344sean Cheering I for parents Rick Boyer n an airport recently I happened to see the final seconds of a Our society isn t very family friendly any more. The government televised basketball game. Since our family doesn t have a TV at views parents as laymen who can t be trusted to educate their own home it isn t often that I see the mass hysteria that accompanies a children or even to choose their schools. Certified professionals are close athletic contest. This particular game was a cliffhanger and the needed they say and in fact a whole village is needed to meet the crowd was frantic as the seconds ticked off the clock and the buzzer needs of children because parents just aren t up to the job. But just sounded the climax. Then the field house erupted with noise as the a couple of generations ago Americans knew that it does not take a clock decided the hard-fought contest. The fans were on their feet village to raise a child and anybody who said otherwise would have screaming and the cheerleaders were leaping and doing handsprings been considered a village idiot. at the edge of the court. It s too bad but a lot of modern churches I remarked to Marilyn later what strange have fallen into that way of thinking. If you sing creatures we humans are. Two teams of five men a song beautifully or preach a brilliant sermon You should be each selected from the best of the best and preor sell your home and go to the mission field praised and pared by thousands of hours of training throw or give away fifty gospel tracts in a week you respected... if an air-filled ball around a gym and through a net will be praised and respected. And you should hanging from a metal hoop. All the while thoube. But what if all you sang this week were chilall You sang sands look on as though the fate of the world was dren s songs and lullabies What if your sermon this week were being decided on the polished hardwood floor in was heard not by five hundred people but by front of them. We do love our play. children s songs one five-year-old What if you did fifty diaper And I have no quarrel with those who like changes this week Are you less spiritual or less and lullabies. to play. I like to play myself and when work valuable because your labors of love seem munpermits I m always ready for a good time. Still dane compared with more public achievements as a parent advocate I d like to see more cheering for parents rather Three cheers for parents They are the ones who give their all all than for games. I think what moms and dads do is worthy of some the time. And their work is so much more important to the world applause. In fact a whole lot of applause. After all which is more than that for which some game players make millions. So the next important--throwing balls through hoops or forming little souls time you see a young mom or a young couple out with their little who will live forever ones don t just watch them walk by. Compliment them on what a Where are the cheerleaders who do handsprings when a frazzled nice family they have and how encouraging it is to see such wellyoung mom puts her preferred activity on the back burner for the behaved children-- even if they re not being perfect at the moment. umpteenth time each day in order to read a story to a three-yearEvery day all over the country parents are giving their all. Someold Who s waving the pompoms for the dad who works long hours body ought to be cheering. at a job that s not all that much fun in order to provide a home for his wife and little ones Who s admiring those who rock the cradle Rick and Marilyn Boyer have fourteen children all homeschooled. change the diapers pay the bills and never have a real day off They have authored several books on homeschooling and Christian Parents are the unsung heroes of every race nation and neighborparenting and are national and international conference speakers. hood. They daily put aside their own wants in order to meet the You can visit them at www.thelearningparent.com. needs of those who depend on them for everything. There ought to Did you miss Rick or Marilyn at the convention Order the MP3 at be some cheering going on. www.heav.org convention convention-recordings. THE ViRGiniA HOME EDUCATOR WWW.HEAV.ORG 15 He or she could be suffering from a writing glitch called Dysgraphia or just a Blocked Writing Gate. Hates writing Writing reversals Math problems not lined up Place value or reading clock di cult Omits letters when spelling Can t get thoughts on paper Copying very labor intensive Poor spacing on paper Great stories orally but writes very little Fine motor di culties These kids are often Gifted with a Glitch . Correct that glitch easily at home in 15 minutes a day. Does Your Child Seem Lazy Sloppy and Unmotivated 305 Bell Park Dr Woodstock GA 30188 Phone 770-516-5000 FAX 770-516-7588 www.breadbeckers.com support breadbeckers.com Smart Kids Who Hate to Write DVD by Dianne Craft MA CNHP Identify a child teen with a blocked writing gate dysgraphia or visual spatial problems. Eliminate those problems using a proven method. This exercise was originally developed to improve eye hand coordination and ball handling ability in sports. Coaches said these students just knew where they were in the eld after doing this exercise. For use with teenagers adolescents and young children. Bread making appliances and supplies for making fresh bread in your home electric and manual grain mills for freshly ground flour mixers for bread-making (and general mixing needs) food processors bread machines bakeware and utensils cookbooks wheat and other raw grains beans yeast raw-unpasteurized honey dough enhancer lecithin gluten and just about anything else you need to make bread at home Grains and beans available in 6 gallon buckets 1 gallon pails and some items available in 2 lb. bags. Free on-line classes and video demonstrations We have WonderMills NutriMills Verona Electrolux Assistant Mixers Tribest Blender Bosch Universal Mixers Country Living Grain Mill Zojirushi Bread Machine Lello Pasta Maker FREE E-mail Newsletter HelpDesk Forums and Sue s Blog BreadBeckers.com Visit our website for all our information price lists updates demonstrations & speaking engagements special offers and to subscribe to our www.BreadBeckers.com Major credit cards accepted FREE E-mail Newsletter Retail Store Mon - Sat 9AM - 5PM Co-ops established around the Southeast www.diannecraft.org Dianne Craft is president of Child Diagnostics Inc. Denver CO 16 THE ViRGiniA HOME EDUCATOR FALL 2013 Can Stock Photo Inc. Kurhan Overwhelmed by expert Advice melissa barnes I nursed all of my children so when we adopted our son I decided I wanted to attempt to breastfeed him. I knew it would be a challenge but it sounded easier than learning to bottle feed and paying for formula. I entered the NICU where he was born armed with my trusty nursing pillow and eleven cumulative years of nursing experience. About five hours later I snuck out of the hospital ran for the car and vowed not to attempt breastfeeding my new baby until we were in the privacy of our home...all because of expert advice that left me feeling overwhelmed confused and inadequate. I think my experience is replicated far too often in the homeschooling community. Parents come to homeschooling from a variety of paths but most begin with a degree of trepidation and uncertainty. CAn I REALLY tEACH MY OWn CHILDREn What if I mess up I ll never be able to homeschool as well as.... We begin our journey experience a little success gain some confidence and then--wham Something occurs to make us question ourselves all over again. Much like my experience with my son it is often good things that cause our confidence to falter. Perhaps we read a book or attend a seminar or talk to a homeschool veteran. We get great tips learn new methods or hear encouraging success stories. But instead of inspiring us they make us question our abilities or our outcomes. They leave us feeling inadequate or unequipped. We lose confidence in ourselves. We become overwhelmed by expert advice. In reality we have forgotten our calling. We don t homeschool because of any credentials we have earned from outside sources. Our qualifications do not come from the state or the local homeschool organization or the neighbor down the street. We aren t successful because of any books we have read or workshops we have attended. We don t teach because we have found the perfect curriculum or enrolled in the ultimate co-op. Those of us who homeschool do it because God has called us to teach our children. He placed the desire in our hearts (Ephesians 4 1) gave us a Scriptural mandate to teach our children (Deuteronomy 4 9 6 6-9) and equipped us for the task (Ephesians 2 10 2 Timothy 3 17). We don t need our work validated by any experts. Seeking wise counsel from those who are more experienced reading a book on an area of weakness attending a workshop for ideas and refreshment...these are all positive and helpful things for any homeschooler. But the minute you begin to feel that your homeschooling is under a microscope that you are inadequate or that you should not trust your own instincts about what is best for your children PAUSE. Put the books and curriculum catalogs away. Turn off the podcasts and stop answering the phone. Go to the throne of the One who created you and placed His children in your care. Ask Him to remind you of your calling and of His equipping and bask in the reality that His is the only expert advice you will ever need to take. Melissa Barnes is a homeschooling mother of six. She loves being a member of HEAV s publication team. When she isn t teaching writing or editing she enjoys spending time with her family and friends reading and working at her office (the nearest Starbucks cafe). THE ViRGiniA HOME EDUCATOR WWW.HEAV.ORG 17 ThE Abc s of Penny Gardner W hat is more exciting than watching your child learn to read While it may be intimidating to help your child with this critical academic skill there are many ways to help the process along. READ ALOuD Experts agree that reading aloud is the most important activity we can do to prepare our children to read. In our family we usually have a chapter book in progress for the older children and picture books for the younger children. Don t make the mistake of thinking that once your children know how to read you should stop reading aloud to them. I was profoundly affected when my sixth-grade teacher read The Hobbit to our class. I couldn t wait to hear the next chapter. When Mrs. Colburn finished the novel I reread it on my own and that launched me into reading material that was more challenging. You never know which book will touch someone s life--or when. DOn t RuSH ACADEMICS Some parents seem to base their success as educators on how early their child learns to read. After studying David Elkind s Miseducation Preschoolers at Risk and books by Raymond and Dorothy Moore I decided that a late start is often a better start. Ruth Beechick calls the moment of readiness the optimum learning time. She says if we wait until the child shows readiness and interest the child will learn faster and easier. In her excellent book A Home Start in Reading Beechick cites a study in which one group of kindergarten children focused on reading skills and another group focused on science learning about the world around them. Three years later the science group outscored the reading group in their reading test scores. Many prominent people were late readers so don t worry if your child is eight or nine years old before he takes off. Follow the child s lead instead of pushing. At age two my daughter was delighted with her magnetic letters. She d spend hours at her little desk often asking me what a certain letter was. By age four she knew most of the sounds because of her own motivation so I thought she would be an early reader. Surprisingly things didn t click for her until she was almost eight. Even though she had the tools she didn t have the maturity to master reading. There is more to reading than simply knowing phonetic sounds. HELP YOuR CHILD unDERStAnD PRInt Every child needs a sense of accomplishment and success. Use predictable books to foster it--stories in which the child can easily guess 18 THE ViRGiniA HOME EDUCATOR FALL 2013 the text of the book because of a pattern a rhyme or the illustrations. Write a familiar predictable story or nursery rhyme on a chart. Make three copies of it. Let your child become acquainted with the chart by reading it together. Then help him cut a copy of the chart into sentence strips. He can place the strips on the corresponding sentences on the chart. Or he can arrange them in order (or a silly order) without the chart. Later help him cut the third chart into word cards. He can match the words on the chart or make up original sentences from the word cards. These kinds of experiences help children realize that the whole is broken down into sentences then into words then into sounds. This is called global learning or learning from the top down. Experts claim it is the way most children learn. tEACH tHE CODE You don t need to invest a large amount of money in a phonics program. All you need are homemade flashcards pencil and paper lower-case magnetic letters and an excellent book Reading Reflex by Carmen and Geoffrey McGuinness. This book and Beechick s book get my highest recommendation. The book starts by teaching the basic code or what I used to think of as simple phonics rules. The basic code is one symbol (a letter or combination of letters) representing one sound--the most common sound. Each time you see one of the symbols say the sound that it represents. Make your way through the word and when you get to the end you have meaning. tEACH SIgHt WORDS While a child is learning the basic code he will see words that don t follow the rules. These irregular words can be taught as sight words as they occur. Some sight words are more phonetic than others so have the student look for clues. Charlotte Mason stressed the importance of habits. If a child spells a word wrong it may become a habit. Be thorough by teaching your child to spell each of those weird words correctly and by reviewing them often. Lloret istockphoto.com WORK On fLuEnCY Rereading familiar books will help the child gain fluency and mastery of reading. Echo reading is wonderful for fluency. I like to do this on material that is slightly above the child s comfortable reading level. Use Scriptures and children s literature pieces that are not predictable. Sit close together so you can both follow along in the book. The parent points to each word as parent and child read aloud together pausing very slightly after each phrase. Sometimes the parent will read a split second after the child echoing him on the easier parts. Sometimes the parent will take the lead so the child is echoing the parent through the difficult parts. Echo reading helps greatly with fluency and expressive reading. uSE REAL BOOKS fOR YOuR READIng PROgRAM Real books are much more interesting than basal readers. Avoid reading workbooks unless you want to instill an aversion to reading. Jim Trelease author of The New Read-Aloud Handbook said that many Americans are alliterate (able to read but choose not to) because of the thousands of senseless workbook pages they were forced to do in school. Strive for a book-centered approach to reading. RELAx AnD EnJOY Keep things low-key. Avoid putting pressure on your child to read at a certain age. Don t try to dictate what he may read we all like to choose our own reading material. If your child reads every book in a particular series at least he s reading. You can expand horizons through your read-aloud program. Discussing books with children informally or having them narrate the story line can take the place of book reports. Watching our own children learn how to read is a memorable event. We see things start to click we re thrilled to observe a tentative reader turn into an avid one Let s soar with our children into the fascinating world of reading. 1999 Penny Gardner. This article is excerpted from her article in The Virginia Homeschool Manual and was used by permission from Penny Gardner author of Charlotte Mason Study Guide and the Nine-Note Recorder Series. Visit www.pennygardner.com to learn more. The newly revised the Virginia Homeschool Manual is available at www.heav.org store. Achievement Cognitive Career College Credit and Practice Tests National standardized achievement tests The Iowa Tests for grades K-12 Stanford (SAT 10) for grades K-12 SAT 10 Online for grades 3-12 TerraNova for grades K-12 (Complete & Survey) www.TriangleEd.com S pecializing in SMC.IO Stone Mountain Consultants It s a digital world we make it easy 276-664-1476 Woodcock-Johnson III for ages 4-99 BASITM for grades 3-12 Brigance - up to 7 yrs. developmentally CogAT for grades 2-12 OLSAT for grades 2-12 Interest ExplorerTM for grades 9-12 CLEP Exams DSSTTM Exams heIowaPracticeTest CogAT T OLSATPracticeTest Scoring HighTestPrepBooks - former CAT Test (California Achievement Test) Group discounts available Some restrictions apply Your Child is Uniquely & Wonderfully Made Triangle Education Assessments LLC 2521 Schieffelin Rd. 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THE ViRGiniA HOME EDUCATOR WWW.HEAV.ORG 19 Can Stock Photo Inc. monkeybusiness 1 tHE PROBLEMS Because they could not transfer the pieces (left brain) to the whole (right brain) the detailed sequential method of outlining did not work for them. Because of their loose thought patterns I needed to help them see the entire paragraph or paper in their head before they could write it. Having them re-write or edit after they wrote their papers was a useless exercise for this group. Correcting spelling errors on their papers was very defeating to them. 2 3 Right-BRain (when other Methods haven t worked) riting comes naturally for many children and others learn it only after the writing process is taught in detail. However some children never find writing easy and they avoid it like the plague. These children continue to struggle with the process of writing a cohesive paragraph or composition. What is going on Many of these children have an undiagnosed dysgraphia or blocked writing gate. They are the children who reversed letters and numbers longer than their siblings did switched handedness when they were younger and exhibited many visual spatial issues such as lining up math problems incorrectly. In other words the act of writing or head-to-hand processing did not transfer properly to their automatic brain hemisphere. For this reason thinking and writing at the same time takes much more energy for them than for those without this visual spatial block. These students might have been carefully taught regular methods of writing such as reading a passage and highlighting the main ideas making a list of action verbs or colorful adjectives to use and outlining their topic. While all these methods are excellent these students continue to be non-writers. They can journal fine because that process does not include any organization of Shape theiR WRiting thoughts but is merely a conversational rambling. What I discovered is that loose-thought patWhen they aRe terns plague many of these children. They cannot appRoaChing the easily think in an organized manner and therefore aSSignment RatheR cannot write in an organized manner no matter than CoRReCting how much practice they have. Because none of it afteR they the classroom curricula works I developed my have WRitten it. own strategy of teaching writing and used it with the sixth through eighth graders I worked with. Shape RatheR than CoRReCt It was important for me to shape rather than correct their work. If I didn t correct then how did I handle misspellings I did not mark them on their paper but rather harvested their misspelled words and added them to our list of spelling words for the week. I then taught them how to use their photographic memories to store these tricky spelling words. I ignored mistakes in punctuation or style. Instead I shaped their writing skills in a subtle way by giving them points for every good thing that was on the paper. For example they received points for starting with a capital letter ending with a period giving good adjectives etc. 20 THE ViRGiniA HOME EDUCATOR FALL 2013 W Writing Dianne Craft MA CNHP 4 5 Immediate feedback and motivating strategies were necessary. Praising work was not enough. tHE SOLutIOnS Using these observations I developed the Right-Brain Writing Method using a simple formula 1 Right-Brain Webbing instead of more piecemeal outlines enabled them to see the whole paragraph or composition before they even began the writing process. 2 Modeling modeling modeling. Webbing on the board allowed us together to come up with the topic sentence three blobs of information about the topic and then the conclusion. (I helped them generate ideas and I wrote only the trigger words on the webbing. After many months they got it and could easily do this process on their own with any topic of choice.) 3 No re-writes. This was very important. These kids did not tolerate markings on their papers or editing of their work. That method had already been proven to be totally unsuccessful for them. Baby steps. We wrote only one paper a week. Each week I did the webbing on the board with their ideas putting in all the transitional phrases. They wrote the paper from the webbing. Before we did the webbing for each paper I would teach a lesson that was customized to the mistakes they had made in their previous papers. 4 Then I taught those missed skills the next week just before we wrote our next paper. If they had written many run-on sentences the week before I taught them how to avoid run-on sentences. If they were putting numerous adjectives in a sentence without commas I taught that skill. This way I could shape their writing when they were approaching the assignment rather than after they had written it. This proved to be so much more successful for them. ReWaRd One powerful element of this method was that each point was assigned a reward. For example they could earn one less math problem to do have more time on a computer game receive the opportunity to stay up later earn money etc. No matter what the age the child or how small the reward all the kids liked to get them and wrote more to earn them. Also each week I would add another example or thought to our blobs of information about the topic we were writing. As a result of these baby steps by the end of the year my students were writing four-page papers on their own by just being given a topic to write about. It was impressive and easy. SuCCeSS Why do I call this the Universal Writing Method I have seen that it always works no matter what. After students have learned how to think while writing they are ready to use writing methods that focus on more of a polishing technique. They become writers. Dianne Craft is a former homeschool mom with a master s degree in education. Her books and DVDs have helped families remove learning blocks in their struggling children. Visit her website www.diannecraft. org for articles on children and learning and to download her FREE Daily Lesson Plans for the Struggling Reader and Writer. You can also put Right-Brain Writing Instructions in the subject line and e-mail her for a free copy of them at craft ecentral.com. Did you miss hearing Dianne at the convention It s not too late to order an MP3 of her talks Go to http heav.org convention convention-recordings. Michael Hoover 703.728.0784 Michael MusicLessonsinYourHouse.net www.musiclessonsinyourhouse.net S TA N D A R D I Z E D T E S T S California Achievement Test K-12 The Survey Edition of the CAT covering Reading Language Arts and Math. Tests and scoring 25 Providing affordable simple and comprehensive testing services for homeschools and private schools since 1982 TerraNova 2 Tests (CAT 6) K-12 TESTS SCORED WITHIN TWO WEEKS The most recent edition of the CAT licensed for homeschool use. Available in both the Complete Battery Plus and the (shorter) Survey Plus Edition. Tests and scoring 45 Iowa Tests (ITBS and ITED) K-12 The Full Battery (ITBS & ITED) with official Iowa reports. Grades 9-12 available with the Interest Explorer A tool designed to help students determine career paths suited to their traits and interests. Tests and scoring from 29 GENERAL TESTING Online Algebra Placement Test Test Prep Materials Determine if your student is ready for Algebra 1. 15 1-12 Available for CAT Iowa and TerraNova 2nd Edition. WWW.SETONTESTING.COM 800-542-1066 THE ViRGiniA HOME EDUCATOR WWW.HEAV.ORG 21 Coming To VirginiA SEpTEmbEr 9 11 12 16 18 & 19 -- Jamestown 19 & 20 -- Biltmore Estates Ashville North Carolina 26 -- Virginia Air & Space Museum Hampton oCTobEr 3 -- Natural Bridge Rockbridge County 4 -- Virginia State Fair Doswell 18 -- Mariners Museum Newport News noVEmbEr 1 & 2 -- Mt. Vernon For special educational discounts and links to event information see http heav.org events homeschool-day-events. For other great Virginia and vicinity field-trip ideas check out George and Michele Zavatsky s Kids Love Virginia (www. KidsLoveTravel.com) and Jane Ockershausen s One-Day Trips through History (www.amazon.com). Share HEART in Africa Inc. 2013 Race for HOPE Until Aug 15th Aug 16th - Sep 6th Day of Event COST 5K 25 30 35 1 Mile 10 12 15 Saturday September 7th 2013 The Mariners Museum and Park 100 Museum D rive Newport News VA 23601 Join HEAV TodAy Want to advertise here HEAV members receive a free ad Check your mailing label to find if you are a member and when your membership expires. mullEn building CompAny Licensed general contractor in Virginia and North Carolina serving Southside Virginia and Lake Gaston. All types of construction residential new construction remodeling and additions as well as commercial. Contact Berkley Mullen at 252-908-5834 or mullenbldgco gmail.com Heb. 3 4 Scan here to Register Registration starts 7 00 a.m. 5K starts 8 30 a.m. 1Mile starts 9 00 a.m. Race T-shirt is guaranteed if registered by Aug 24th. 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Ready to join our family Learn about Regent s homeschool-friendly admissions policies. 888.718.1222 regent.edu Associate s Bachelor s Master s Doctoral G G On Campus Online THE ViRGiniA HOME EDUCATOR WWW.HEAV.ORG 23 CAS130705 Christian Leadership to Change the World Hope Ammen Student Cinema Television 2248G Dabney Road n P.O. Box 6745 n Richmond VA 23230 Non-Profit Organization U.S. Postage Permit no. 297 Richmond VA 23230 PAID Join HEAV TodAy More info on page 9. Train up a child in the way he should go...