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March 2016

by Mary Ann Kelley
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 Elections, Geography, Women’s History Month, College Admissions, and More

From the Editor

While the vitriolic politics of a big election can be hard to take, there is nothing like electing a president to teach kids about politics, elections, and government. As a newsletter subscriber, you have access to several quality notebooking units and workbooks from TheHomeSchoolMom. If you haven’t don’t so, you can download copies of our free unit studies about elections and presidents at the link below. Just enter your subscribed email address and morningcoffee as the password. We ask that you don’t share the downloads with friends, but instead point them to that page where they can subscribe and download all of the resources.

Elections are also a great time to discuss the importance of critical thinking with your students. Understanding worldview and confirmation bias is good preparation for college (and for adulthood in general), and election time — when opposing views and dubious claims are being shouted by both sides — is the perfect time to emphasize critical thinking.

Enjoy the newsletter!

Warm regards,

Mary Ann Kelley

Teaching Calendar

March 22, 2016 — Easter

March 23, 2016 — Purim begins at sundown

April 2, 2016 — Hans Christian Andersen’s Birthday – 1807

April 4, 2016 — Martin Luther King, Jr. Assassinated – 1968

April 13, 2016 — Thomas Jefferson’s Birthday – 1743

April 14, 2016 — Abraham Lincoln Assassinated – 1865

View the entire calendar »


Educational Resources

Agrument-Writing Unit: Crafting Student Editorials

From the NYT Learning Network, this unit for eighth graders has students “analyze Aristotle’s modes of rhetoric and consider how to construct a persuasive argument. Then, they select their own topics and engage in the writing process to produce their own editorials.” The focus on deep thought, quality research, and constructing their position will equip students with the writing skills needed to effectively communicate and defend an argument. If you’d like, you can use the unit in conjunction with the Times’ Student Editorial Contest.

Geography Fun! How to Use Google Earth

If you have never used Google Earth (not to be confused with Google satellite maps), you are missing out on one of the coolest tools available to interest your kids in geography. Heather at Blog, She Wrote has put together this guide to using the tool, which is a free download from Google. Google Earth is available for use on PC, Mac, or Linux desktop operating systems as well as Android and iOS mobile devices. It can be used for things like Google Lit Trips, a collaboration where you can download files (free registration required) with the locations in books mapped out in Google Earth to be used as an interactive tour of the places in the book (this article offers a better explanation than the site itself). For starters, though, there is nothing like opening Earth and zooming in on your own house!

Women’s History Month Mini-Site (Time for Kids)

Time For Kids is a resource from Time Magazine highlighting current events, holidays, social and environmental issues, country facts, a homework helper, and more. Their Mini-Sites include resources for learning more in greater depth and is a great place to find resources for Women’s History Month this month. Other TFK Mini-Sites include Space, Black History Month, Antarctica, Native American Heritage Month, Hispanic Heritage Month, and more.

Recent Blog Posts

Ask Jeanne: Homeschooling the Child Behind in School

Ask Jeanne: My son is 12 and in 6th grade but is reading at a 1.5 grade level. How do I go back and teach him the basics of reading and math?My son is 12 and in 6th grade. He is failing this year. Truthfully, I don’t know how he has passed in past years, and this year he seems to be regressing. He is currently reading at a 1.5 grade level. It is making it impossible for him to learn anything in school when he can’t read. He is in special ed, but they can not work with him one-on-one – not enough resources. We have spoken with the special ed dept and the staff and they agree that pulling him out of school and working with him at home would be best for him. I want to go back and teach him the basics of reading and math. My question is how do I legally do this? I mean I want to start over with him at 1st grade, so how do I do that and still have him enrolled in some homeschool program? He doesn’t have the ability to go to school and then me teach him the basics at home. It’s just too much for him. So how do I start over with him? Please help. Read More…

Pushed Out: When the School Says to Homeschool

TheHomeSchoolMom Blog: Pushouts - When the school tells you to homeschoolWhat if the school is telling you to homeschool? More and more in the homeschool world, we hear from parents whose children have become known as force outs or “push-outs.” That’s because they are children who did not drop out of school or did not have parents who eagerly chose to homeschool, but who were strongly encouraged to withdraw — pushed out — by school officials. Their parents were not seeking to homeschool, but were pushed to do so, being told that the school cannot meet the child’s needs. Homeschool advocates are taking note of the many stories of kids who are pushed out of school to homeschool. Homeschooling can be a great way for children to learn, but parents in this situation need to be aware that the local public school is obligated to provide an appropriate education for the child. Read More…

College Admission Requirements: Homeschooling High School

TheHomeSchoolMom Blog: College Admission Requirements for HomeschoolersHomeschooling is not public schooling, and homeschooling parents have wide latitude in what their children should study, how they should learn, and what qualifies a teen for graduation or a diploma. Homeschooling is governed by state laws, which vary from state-to-state, and you should check with a homeschooling organization in your state to see if there are course or “subject” requirements, and how homeschoolers show they have met those requirements in that state. If there are no course requirements, as with homeschoolers in most states, what should your child study and learn during high school, if college is on the horizon? Read More…

Resources for Homeschooling High School When Mom’s Not the Expert


When people who don’t know anything about homeschooling start talking about why it can’t work, one of their criticisms is that homeschooling parents can’t possibly know enough to homeschool the “hard” subjects of high school, which is why homeschooled kids won’t ever get into college.

Of course, this would be a shock to all the homeschooled kids who’ve not only been accepted to college, but also already graduated.

But what I mean to talk about is, how does the learning happen? I mean, one of my sons speaks pretty fluent Spanish, but I don’t. Another of my sons writes code, but I can’t. Another son is an excellent musician, but I’m not.

How do homeschoolers learn things that their parents don’t know anything about?

Just a little research in the world of homeschoolers can show people that homeschooling parents don’t have to teach everything their children are learning. They just have to facilitate opportunities so their kids can learn.

Here are a few of the ways kids learn things their parents don’t know about…

Read the rest »

TheHomeSchoolMom may be compensated for any of the links in this post through sponsorships, paid ads, free or discounted products, or affiliate links. Local resource listings are for information purposes only and do not imply endorsement. Always use due diligence when choosing resources, and please verify location and time with the organizer if applicable. Suggestions and advice on are for general information purposes only and should never be considered as specific to any individual situation, nor are they a diagnosis or treatment advice for any kind of medical, developmental, or psychological condition. Blog posts represent the views of the contributor and do not necessarily reflect the views of other contributors or the publisher. Full terms of use and disclosure

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