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Learning By Grace is the online homeschooling leader. Partnering successfully with families for almost ten years, we reach Christian homeschool families in all 50 states and 20 countries. Founded by veteran homeschooling parents of 8 children, we understand your needs and meet them, because we've been there.

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Our online homeschooling curriculum works so well because it is filled with rich multi media experiences through its 28,000 video clips, 120,000 hand-picked websites, and fun learning games. It engages. It empowers. It can be done 24/7/365. It can be done fast, slow, paused, or skipped; the student is driving and that makes him learn.

Reluctant Homeschooling Learners

Written by Mimi Rothschild
Wednesday, 29 October 2008 14:08

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-by Mimi Rothschild

The beginning of the school year is so exciting! We have fresh new books, sharp new pencils, great new ideas, and lots of enthusiasm.

By now, there may be foot-dragging when it’s time to gather for lessons, staring out the window when there should be diligent work going on, and even a little bit of whining.

If it’s just a reluctant day or two, there might be occasions when you should take some time out and come back refreshed. A “mental health day” every now and then is okay. A constantly reluctant learner is frustrating for the home educator, though, and is likely to fall behind and fail to be prepared for future grades, college, or adult life.

Here are some ways to cope with the reluctant learner:

• Start your day with prayer. There may also be times when you need to stop during the day and have a prayer break before you go on. Ask God to guide you and your students, to give all of you the joy of learning, and to strengthen your discipline. Proverbs 23:12, “Apply your heart to discipline and your ears to words of knowledge,” is a good verse to remember at this time. Another is, “And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ.” (Colossians 3:23,24).

• Be an enthusiastic example. It’s so easy for us to lightly say, “I always hated science,” or “You’re like me. I just never liked to read.” Keeping guard over our tongues and sharing our own love of learning can make a difference in our children’s attitude. Let your students see you being diligent about your personal Bible study or your homework for Sunday school, reading for pleasure, and keeping to your housekeeping schedule conscientiously. Helping the kids seek out the interesting aspects of the things they’re studying helps, too.

• Recognize that we don’t always want to do what’s best for us. Choosing to go ahead and study even when we don’t want to is great practice for an adult life when we sometimes have to go ahead and work even when we don’t feel like it. With practice, making that choice will get easier. If we give in whenever our kids make a fuss, it will give our kids practice in refusing to work, rather than practice in discipline and diligence. Say, “I know you don’t want to study right now. However, I also know that you will enjoy having your free time when we finish the lesson, and you’ll feel good about what you accomplish, so we’re going to continue.”

• Be open to change. Having recognized that sometimes reluctant students just need to be more diligent, it is also true that there can sometimes be good reasons for learners’ reluctance. Are the lessons appropriate for the ability level of the student? Do they last the right amount of time for the age of the student? Do they work with the student’s learning style? Homeschooling allows us to accommodate the specific needs of our students, so we should take advantage of that freedom to tailor the lessons to suit our children. For some students, just moving to a more comfortable place, changing activities more often, or giving them more control over things like the order in which they study their subjects can make a difference in attitude.

• Prayerfully consider rewards. We’d like to think that intrinsic rewards like the satisfaction of learning are always enough, but our own experience will tell us that this isn’t true. As adults, we often work because we’ll be paid, or because we enjoy the company of the people we work with, as well as for the sheer joy of service. However, making rewards the center of schoolwork can backfire, causing our children to depend so much on rewards that they won’t study without them. Occasional, surprise rewards work best: free reading time when our students have made it through a tough math lesson, a special meal on Friday night when they’ve stayed on task well all week, or stickers on particularly good papers.

If all these things fail to solve the problem of reluctant learners, be sure to consider your students’ physical health. Sometimes an undiagnosed vision problem, allergies, or other physical problems can distract children from their studies. With good physical health, good habits, and time, our students can become enthusiastic learners.

Mimi Rothschild is the Founder of Learning By Grace, Inc. the nation’s leading provider of online PreK-12 online Christian educational programs for homeschoolers.

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The Light at the Beginning of the Tunnel

Written by Mimi Rothschild
Thursday, 13 March 2008 15:45

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By: Michael C. Broome

Home schooling is not only a right of each and every American, it is also a joy with blessings that many home schoolers wouldn’t trade for anything. Not just the children, but the mothers and fathers that give so much of their time to ensure their children have the best life can offer.

Today, I had the pleasure of speaking with Andrea Scully, a homeschooling mom from Arkansas. Andrea shared with me the joys that she, her husband (Adam) and her four children experience. And what started out thirteen and a half years ago, for them as an idea, soon developed into a six month trial before their oldest was scheduled to attend school.  At the end of this trial period, a mutual trust was formed thus paving the road to home schooling all their children. Where did that road end? So far, it isn’t close to ending; but the oldest is a first year student at a college of pharmacy. She just turned 18. The second oldest is a freshman in college. The youngest two are still being home schooled.

Andrea is a disciple of Jesus in her everyday life, and a home schooling Mom with an English degree. Their children were taught to not only acknowledge the presence of Jesus in their everyday lives, but to think of Him as their best friend, their inspiration and foundation.

Being someone that is expecting twins in just a few months, I had to ask, “How did you combat ‘burn-out’ and stay focused on your duel role as a mother and a teacher?”

“Jesus,” she said. Genuine. Confident. And knowing His presence in her life, her husband’s life and the lives of their four children. Jesus is not an entity they fear or hide from or eliminate from their daily educational activities, rather they embrace His role in their lives as their pillar of strength.

Andrea told me that whenever adversity turned its ugly face her direction, she always found the presence of Jesus offering an answer. Like the time she was searching in vain for a more “user friendly” grammar curriculum.  She took her kids to a dentist appointment and found a young girl diligently doing her grammar work on the floor. Andrea asked the young girl’s mother what grammar she was using, and the woman was more than willing to share what curriculum she used. The two younger Scully’s are still using this grammar to this day. 

“Andrea, one of the main complaints home schooling parents deal with is the question of socialization. Was this a struggle for any of your children?” I asked.

“That’s funny. I hear that one all of the time too,” she said. “Honestly, my children are comfortable around anyone. They do what kids do when they are around other children and aren’t afraid of talking to adults. I’m not sure if that is just them or the home schooling, but socialization has never really been a concern for any of them.”

We talked more about this issue and eventually the word “confidence” materialized. We talked about how home schoolers tend to have confidence without the swagger. Confidence without the ego. Confidence to be approached or approach another, without the fear that is generally associated with immaturity. My philosophical side emerged and tried to claim that public schools can categorically force a bully system based on age, size and grouping by grading that forces children to learn where they belong and squeeze themselves into that space, either with comfort and ease or with force and shame.

Andrea wasn’t willing to comment on the wrongs with public schools, but rather what worked for her and her children. We did agree though – society questions home schooling socialization. Home schooling parents don’t. And the kids tend to laugh at not fitting in, since as home schoolers they are taught to fit into the entire world, not merely the class of children their same age.

“Andrea, are you familiar with what is going on in California and home schooling?” I felt compelled to ask.

“I am, but only from what I’ve been able to follow on the internet,” she said.

I briefly explained some information about it, and Andrea responded by telling me a quote her Grandmother constantly repeats, “I don’t know what the world’s coming to.”

We again agreed.  People don’t send their kids to church anymore; it’s no wonder why there is so much evil creeping its way into their lives. Without Jesus, we are robbing the world of hope. Christianity nurtures our youth with hope. Hope for today, tomorrow and for the entire foundation that is. Without Jesus, we are without hope. And without hope, we are without the foundation to build a sound platform.

Hanging up with Andrea, I thanked her and let her know that her story is one worthy of more than merely a blog posting. It is bigger than the papers, and stronger than one person’s account of home schooling. She politely interrupted me and told me that I wasn’t only capturing her story about home schooling, because without her husband and his support, their lives just wouldn’t be the same. I was also crowning her children’s vast accomplishments.

Truthfully, Jesus and Christianity would certainly remain a constant, but their road to enlightenment would have had a lot of different turns and speed bumps. The children might not be in the same places today, but all of them would have traveled together, with Christ as their guide. For some, perhaps this is a road less traveled. For the Scully family, it has been the best route from point A to point B, earth to God’s kingdom.

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Children’s Books About Disabilities

Written by Mimi Rothschild
Monday, 29 October 2007 13:42

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By Mimi Rothschild

Check out the book list below, it’s specifically geared towards students with disabilities.  I only included part of the list, you can click the links to find more great books!  Let me know what you think and what you discovered.  I’d love to hear some of your recommendations!

This list has been sorted by the books’ readability levels. To find what you want, click on a readability grouping below:

AC = Adult Read to Children. For Pre-K to Grade 3, ranging from 10 to 30 pages, with illustrations; typically designed for parents to read to their children.

JE = Juvenile Easy Reader. For children who are beginning to read on their own, such as those in Grades 1-2; ranging from 30 to 80 pages; illustrations are included to break up the text.

JF = Juvenile Fiction. Children’s fiction or chapter books; for children in Grades 2-6; ranging from 60 to 200 pages, the books are generally divided into chapters, contain fewer illustrations, and have more complicated plots or concepts than either AC or JE books.

YA = Young Adult. For young adults in Grades 5-12; more complicated plots and topics of general interest to the young adult population.

A = Adult. Contains language and/or content that may be unsuitable for young adults.

  • Title: Andy and His Yellow Frisbee
    Author: Mary Thompson
    Publisher: Woodbine House, 6510 Bells Mill Road, Bethesda, MD 20817; 1996
    ISBN #: ISBN-0-933149-83-2
    Disability: Autism
    Story Profile: Sarah is a new girl at school who is curious about why Andy spins his yellow frisbee every day by himself on the playground. When Sara tries to talk to Andy, Rosie, Andy’s older sister, watches and worries about how her brother may react. Rosie knows that Andy is in his own world most of the time, and that he has trouble finding the words to express himself.
    Reading Level: AC

  • Title: A Picture Book of Helen Keller
    Author: David A. Adler
    Publisher: Holiday House
    ISBN #: ISBN-0-8234-0818-3
    Disability: Deaf-Blind
    Story Profile: Some salient details in the life of Helen Keller are described in this pictorial biography; her frustration and untamed behavior and the radical changes effected by Anne Sullivan Macy.
    Reading Level: AC

  • Title: Armann and Gentle
    Author: Kristin Steinsdottir
    Publisher: Stuttering Foundation of America, PO Box 11749, Memphis, TN 38111-0749; 1997
    ISBN #: ISBN-0-933388-36-5
    Disability: Stuttering
    Story Profile: A six-year-old boy, Armann, stutters when he is frustrated.
    Reading Level: AC

  • Title: A Very Special Friend
    Author: Dorothy Hoffman Levi
    Publisher: Gallaudet University Press, Kendall Green, 800 Florida Ave., NE, Washington, DC 20002-3695; 1989
    ISBN #: ISBN-0-9300323-55-6
    Disability: Deafness
    Story Profile: Frannie, a lonely little girl, discovers a new friend when a deaf girl her age moves in next door.
    Reading Level: AC

  • Title: A Very Special Sister
    Author: Dorothy Hoffman Levi
    Publisher: Gallaudet University Press, Kendall Green, 800 Florida Ave., NE, Washington, DC 20002-3695; 1992
    ISBN #: ISBN-0-930323-96-3
    Disability: Deafness
    Story Profile: Mixed feelings are experienced by Laura, a young deaf girl, upon finding out her mother will soon give birth. Her initial excitement is replaced by worries that the new child, if able to hear, would be more lovable.
    Reading Level: AC

  • Title: Be Good to Eddie Lee
    Author: Virginia FilIing
    Publisher: Philomel Books, Putnam & Grosset Group, 200 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10016
    ISBN #: ISBN-0-399-21993-5
    Disability: Down Syndrome
    Story Profile: Eddie Lee, a young boy with Down syndrome, follows the neighborhood children into the woods to find frog eggs. They are resentful and try to make him stay home.
    Reading Level: AC

  • Title: Big Brother Dustin
    Author: Alden R. Carter
    Publisher: Albert Whitman & Co., 6340 Oakton Street, Morton Grove, IL 60053-2723; 1997
    ISBN #: ISBN-0-8075-0715-6
    Disability: Down Syndrome
    Story Profile: Dustin, a young boy with Down syndrome, learns that his parents are expecting a baby.
    Reading Level: AC

  • Title: Cat’s Got Your Tongue?
    Author: Charles E. Schaefer, Ph.D.
    Publisher: Brunner/Mazel, Publishers, 19 Union Square, New York, NY 10003; 1992
    ISBN #: ISBN-0-945354-45-2 hard copy; ISBN-0-945354-46-0 paperback
    Disability: Communication Disorders, Mutism
    Story Profile: Anna, a kindergartner, is diagnosed as an electively mute child.
    Reading Level: AC

  • Title: Eukee: The Jumpy Jumpy Elephant
    Author: Clifford L. Corman and Esther Trevino
    Publisher: Specialty Press; 1995
    ISBN #: ISBN-0-921629-8-1
    Disability: Attention Deficit Disorder
    Story Profile: Eukee is a smart little elephant who likes to chase butterflies,
    blow bubbles, and do cartwheels. He always feels jumpy inside, however, and can never finish the march at school. Unhappy that he doesn’t have any friends, he consents to a visit to the doctor where he learns he has ADD.
    Reading Level: AC

  • Title: Clover’s Secret
    Author: Christine M. Winn and David Walsh, Ph.D.
    Publisher: Fairview Press, 2450 Riverside Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55454; 1996
    ISBN #: ISBN-0-925190-89-6
    Disability: Child Abuse
    Story Profile: Clove attempts to hide family violence. She feels much better when she confides in her teacher and the family receives help.
    Reading Level: AC

  • Title: Danny and the Merry-Go-Round
    Author: Nan Holcomb
    Publisher: Jason and Nordic, Publishers, PO Box 441, Hollidaysburg, PA 16648; 1987
    ISBN #: ISBN-0-944727-00-X
    Disability: Cerebral Palsy
    Story Profile: Danny, who has cerebral palsy, visits the park with his mother and watches other children playing on a playground. He makes friends with a young girl after his mother explains cerebral palsy to her and points out that it is not contagious.
    Reading Level: AC

  • Title: Happy Birthday Jason
    Author: C. Jean Cutbill and Diane Rawsthorn
    Publisher: IPI Publishing Ltd., 50 Prince Arthur Avenue, Suite 306, Toronto, Ontario, M5R 1B5 Canada; 1984
    ISBN #: 0-920702-37-6
    Disability: Reading Disability, Dyslexia
    Story Profile: A delightful story that will help children better understand their world by understanding Jason’s. His story reveals that children with learning disabilities are more similar to other children than they are different.
    Reading Level: AC

  • Title: Having a Brother Like David
    Author: Cindy Dolby Nollette and Others
    Publisher: Minneapolis Children’s Medical Center, Early Childhood Center,
    2520 Minnehaha Ave., South, Minneapolis, MN 55404; 1985
    ISBN #: N/A
    Disability: Autism
    Story Profile: Marty’s brother, David, is autistic. Marty explains that David looks a lot like other children but has special needs.
    Reading Level: AC

  • Title: Ian’s Walk: A Story About Autism
    Author: Laurie Lears
    Publisher: Albert Whitman and Company, 6340 Oakton St.,
    Morton Grove, IL 60053-2723; 1998
    ISBN #: 0-8075-3480-3
    Disability: Autism
    Story Profile: Tara feels frustrated while taking a walk with her autistic brother, Ian. After she becomes separated from him, she learns to appreciate the way Ian experiences the world.
    Reading Level: AC

  • Title:Keith Edward’s Different Days
    Author: Karen Melberg Schwier
    Publisher: Impact Publishers
    ISBN #: ISBN-0-915166-74-7
    Disability: Down Syndrome; Physical Disabilities
    Story Profile: Keith meets a variety of people with differences, including Down syndrome and physical differences, and learns that being different is okay.
    Reading Level: AC

  • Title: Knots on a Counting Rope
    Author: Bill Martin and John Archambault
    Publisher: Henry Holt
    ISBN #: ISBN-0-8050-0571-4
    Disability: Blindness
    Story Profile: A boy is told a story by his grandfather of a boy born blind.
    Reading Level: AC

  • Title: Lee: The Rabbit with Epilepsy
    Author: Deborah M. Moss
    Publisher: Woodbine House, 5615 Fisher’s Lane, Rockville, MD 20852; 1989
    ISBN #: ISBN-0-933149-32-8
    Disability: Epilepsy
    Story Profile: Lee is a young rabbit who experiences occasional
    blackouts and trances. After Dr. Bob, the wise owl, administers a series
    of neurological tests, Lee is told she has epilepsy.
    Reading Level: AC

  • Title: Leo the Late Bloomer
    Author: Robert Kraus
    Publisher: Harper Collins, 1971
    ISBN #: ISBN-0-87807-042-7
    Disability: Developmental Delays
    Story Profile: Leo is a tiger cub who just can’t keep up with what the other animals are doing. He can’t read, write, or speak, and he is a sloppy eater; he’s a late bloomer.
    Reading Level: AC

  • Title: Luke Has Asthma, Too
    Author: Alison Rogers
    Publisher: Waterfront Books, 98 Brookes Ave., Burlington, VT 05401; 1987
    ISBN #: ISBN-0-914525-06-9
    Disability: Asthma
    Story Profile: Luke has an older cousin who teaches him some aspects of asthma management and serves as a general role model.
    Reading Level: AC

  • Title: My Brother, Matthew
    Author: Mary Thompson
    Publisher: Woodbine House, 5615 Fishers Lane, Rockville, MD 20852; 1992
    ISBN #: ISBN-0-993149-47-6
    Disability: Mental Retardation
    Story Profile: David is a young boy who describes life with his younger
    brother who was born with a mental disability.
    Reading Level: AC

  • Title: My Mom Is Handicapped: A “Grownup” Children’s Book
    Author: Barbara Turner Brabham
    Publisher: Cornerstone Publishing, PO Box 2896, Virginia Beach, VA 23450; 1994
    ISBN #: ISBN-1-882185-22-6
    Disability: Physical Disabilities
    Story Profile: A six-year-old boy describes life with his mother, a teacher with physical disabilities.
    Reading Level: AC

  • Title: Otto Learns About His Medicine: A Story About Medication for Hyperactive Children
    Author: Matthew Galvin
    Publisher: Magination Press/Brunner Mazel, 19 Union Square West, New York, NY 10003; 1995
    ISBN #: ISBN-0-945354-04-5 hard copy; ISBN-0-945354-03-7
    Disability: Hyperactivity
    Story Profile: Otto, a fidgety young car that has trouble paying attention in school, visits a special mechanic who prescribes a medicine to control his hyperactive behavior.
    Reading Level: AC

  • Title: Russ and the Apple Tree Surprise
    Author: Janet Elizabeth Rickert
    Publisher: Woodbine House, 5615 Fishers Lane,
    Rockville, MD 20852; 1992
    ISBN #: 1-890627-16-x
    Disability: Down Syndrome
    Story Profile: Russ, a five-year old boy with Down syndrome longs for a swing set. All his backyard has to offer is an apple tree. When his grandparents visit, Russ discovers the job of picking apples and making them into apple pie. He decides that his apple tree may be just as good as a swing set.
    Reading Level: AC

  • Title: Russ and the Fire House
    Author: Janet Elizabeth Rickert
    Publisher: Woodbine House, 5615 Fishers Lane,
    Rockville, MD 20852; 1992
    ISBN #: 1-890627-17-8
    Disability: Down Syndrome
    Story Profile: Russ is a young boy with Down syndrome whose everyday life experiences – not his disability – are the subject of books in this series. Russ goes “on-duty” with his Uncle, a fireman. Their shift includes a full inspection of the fire equipment, including keeping it clean. He also encounters Spark, the firehouse dog. At the end of this exciting day, all the firemen thank Russ for his hard work and invite him back for another visit.
    Reading Level: AC

  • Title: Russell Is Extra Special: A Book About Autism for Children
    Author: Charles A. Amenta III, M.D.
    Publisher: Brunner/Mazel, Publishers, 19 Union Square, New York, NY 10003; 1992
    ISBN #: ISBN-0-945354-43-6
    Disability: Autism
    Story Profile: This portrayal of an autistic boy and his family is designed to help children (ages 4 to 8 ) and their parents understand this serious developmental disorder.
    Reading Level: AC

  • Title: Silent Observer
    Author: Christy MacKinnon
    Publisher: Gallaudet University Press, Kendall Green, 800 Florida Ave. NE,
    Washington, DC 20002-3695; 1993
    ISBN #: ISBN-1-56368-022-X
    Disability: Deafness
    Story Profile: Christy MacKinnon is a young girl born in 1889 on a farm on Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia, Canada who became deaf after having whooping cough. She describes her life in adjusting to deafness, her relationships with family, and her problems trying to understand and be understood by hearing individuals.
    Reading Level: AC

  • Title: Talking to Angels
    Author: Esther Watson
    Publisher: Harcourt Brace, 525 B Street, Suite 1900, San Diego, CA 92101-4495; 1996
    ISBN #: ISBN-0-15-201077-7
    Disability: Autism
    Story Profile: Christa is an autistic girl who is described in this picture book by her sibling. Her behavior is described and illustrated in mixed media, including her favorite sounds and textures, occasional staring and fixation on stimuli, and interactions with others.
    Reading Level: AC

  • Title: There’s a Little Bit of Me in Jamey
    Author: Diana M. Amadeo
    Publisher: Albert Whitman & Co., 6340 Oakton Street, Morton Grove, IL 60053-2723
    ISBN #: ISBN-0-8075-7854-1
    Disability: Leukemia
    Story Profile: Brian struggles with the fact that his brother Jamey has leukemia and submits to a bone marrow test, which leads to a transplant.
    Reading Level: AC

  • Title: Thomas Alva Edison: Great Inventor
    Author: David A. Adler
    Publisher: Holiday House
    ISBN #: ISBN-0-8234-0820-5
    Disability: Deafness
    Story Profile: Thomas Edison’s life and his many inventions, despite his deafness, that shape our lives today are explored in this book.
    Reading Level: AC

  • Title: What Do You Mean I Have a Learning Disability?
    Author: Kathleen M. Dwyer
    Publisher: Walker and Company, 720 Fifth Avenue, New York, New York 10019; 1991
    ISBN #: ISBN-0-8027-8102-0
    Disability: Learning Disabilities
    Story Profile: Ten-year-old Jimmy is having problems at school and believes he is stupid. After a parent-teacher conference, he is tested and found to have a learning disability.
    Reading Level: AC

  • Title: What It’s Like to Be Me
    Author: Helen Exley
    Publisher: Friendship Press, 1984
    ISBN #: ISBN-0-377-00144-9
    Disability: Various Disabilities
    Story Profile: Children from all over the world write about themselves and their disabilities. They tell us how they see themselves and how they want to be seen. All of the illustrations are created by the children.
    Reading Level: AC

  • Title: You Can Call Me Willy. A Story for Children About AIDS
    Author: Joan C. Verniero
    Publisher: Brunner/Mazel Publishers, 19 Union Square West, New York, NY 10003; 1995
    ISBN #: ISBN-0-945354-60-6
    Disability: Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS)
    Story Profile: Willy is an eight-year-old girl with Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). Describing her life, she shares her hobbies, friends, family life, and aspects of her medical care and how it impacts her activities.
    Reading Level: AC

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Teaching Strategies for Home School Students with ADD

Written by Mimi Rothschild
Thursday, 18 October 2007 06:49


 By Mimi Rothschild

More and more homeschooling parents have asked me about Attention Deficit Disorder and the best way to homeschool their children who have ADD or ADHD.  I found this list of ADD/ADHD resources online, I thought I’d share it with everyone.

“Excerpted from Teaching Strategies: Education of Children with Attention Deficit Disorder.

Effective classroom teaching requires knowledge about attention deficit disorder, a solid grounding in behavioral management, skill in instructional design, and an awareness of the disorder’s medical components. This understanding is enhanced when strong relationships are built between professionals and families.

The following articles outline suggestions and strategies to use when working with students with ADD/ADHD:”

Getting Help for Students with ADD/ADHD

Classroom teachers play a key role in identifying students who are ADD/ADHD. The first step in identification is being clear as to what attention deficit disorder is and what it is not.

A brief description of why schools have teams consisting of qualified professionals, on which medical professionals often serve, to identify students with attention deficit disorder.

Suggestions on ways to find useful information on identifying students with ADD/ADHD.

Tips and suggestions for working as a part of a decision-making team to evaluate the assessment data for students with ADD/ADHD.

This article briefly explains formal assessment guidelines when working with a student with ADD/ADHD.

Teaching Students with ADD/ADHD

This article describes the diverse needs of students with ADD and how to meet these needs.

Suggested modifications to make for students with ADD/ADHD.

Strategies and suggestions on managing a classroom with ADD/ADHD students.

This article describes successful ways to communicate with an ADD child’s family.

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Home Schooling Virtual Schools are Meeting the Needs of America’s Students

Written by Mimi Rothschild
Friday, 20 July 2007 14:59

1 Comment

By Mimi Rothschild

Virtual schools, cyber school, online academies. These terms seemed foreign to most Americans ten years ago, but with advancements in technology and the deterioration of the public school system, virtual schools are growing in popularity. The Tucson Citizen documents the growth of virtual schools in Arizona.

Below is what some Arizona students are saying about their virtual school experience:

“I won’t have the distractions of other people in class who don’t want to do their work and who are trying to get me to join them,” said William Huston

“The flexible schedule is great and a lot less stressful,” said Rebekah Devine.

“I’d like to finish high school in three years, so the virtual classes are great. This summer I was able to do what I wanted during the day and do my classes at night,” said Diana Garcia.

Home school combined with Christian online academies is an outstanding way to educate children. Home schooling with online academies has proven to be extremely successful. While virtual schools eliminate the dangers of public schools it does not eliminate students learning about evolution and other fallacies. Instead, Christian home schooling online academies teach home schoolers the truth of the Gospel and allow parents to instill Godly values into their children.

To read Mary Bustamante’s article click here.

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Homeschooling, a National Success Story, is Recognized by a Supreme Court Judge

Written by Mimi Rothschild
Wednesday, 18 July 2007 06:48

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By Mimi Rothschild

Michael Smith, co-founder and president of the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA), wrote an interesting article in The Washington Times earlier this week about home schooling’s success in America. Smith is ecstatic, as we all should be, that U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas recognized home schooling as a viable educational option in his opinion of Morse v. Frederick.

Morse v. Frederick examined the constitutionality of public schools ability to regulate a student’s speech. The case was heavily discussed among the media. The Supreme Court, in a 5-4 ruling, said Principal Deborah Morse did not violate Joseph Frederick’s rights to free speech when she took down his poster which advocated marijuana use.

In his opinion of Morse v. Frederick, Supreme Court Justice Thomas said, “If parents do not like the rules imposed by those schools, they can seek redress in school boards or legislatures; they can send their children to private schools or home school them; or they can simply move.”

The Supreme Court judge’s suggestion that parents can choose home schooling along with their right to choose private or parochial schools is a step in the right direction for the home schooling movement. Justice Thomas also put home schooling on the same level with both public and private schools which is rarely done by someone who isn’t a part of the home schooling community. Smith writes, “After 24 years, it is gratifying to read the words of a Supreme Court justice who rightfully placed home schooling on a level playing field with public and private schools. This kind of recognition is tremendously significant to the home school community.”

Read the rest of Michael Smith’s compelling article here.

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Florida Charter Schools Receive Mixed Reviews

Written by Mimi Rothschild
Friday, 6 July 2007 13:04

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By Mimi Rothschild

Seventy-eight charter schools have closed in Florida between 1996 and 2006. Ronnie Blair of The Tampa Tribune gives charter schools a mixed report for the first ten years charter schools have operated in Florida. Blair writes that “charter schools are public schools funded by taxpayers but operated by private individuals, organizations or other public entities. They are free from government regulations other than testing, health and safety requirements.”

Most charter schools aren’t significantly different than public schools. While on the surface, some charter schools may appear to be successfully educating students, it only seems successful when comparing it to the abysmal public school system. Since charter schools are less regulated than public schools there is more of a chance for mass cheating, like charter schools in Texas, or other disreputable activities.

Blair notes that failing grades and mismanagement of schools were two big reasons why so many charter schools in Florida were shut down. Too many times people with good intentions, but no business-sense or background in education try to save children from public schools by opening up a charter school. In the end, though, some charter schools end up being worse than public schools.

The most effective alternative to the public school system is homeschooling. A charter school that is recognized as being successful still only offers one-size fits all curriculums. Charter school classrooms are just a little less crammed than those of public schools. Homeschools don’t have to deal with any of these problems and homeschooling delivers higher quality educations too. Homeschooling statistics prove that homeschooling is an all around better alternative to public schools than charter schools.

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Home Schoolers Stay Active and Debunk Socialization Myth

Written by Mimi Rothschild
Tuesday, 3 July 2007 11:25


By Mimi Rothschild

One of the best aspects of homeschooling is that it allows families to have flexible schedules while also allowing home schooling students the opportunity to pursue their passions. If a student wants to learn more about World War Two then he or she can learn more. If a student wants to study the affects of new media on society then he or she can study it. If a student wants to learn an instrument or play a sport then they are certainly welcome to do so.

Home schooling students in central Pennsylvania exemplify this pro-active attitude of learning and doing. The Central Pennsylvania Homeschool Ensemble is alive and well according to The Patriot News. Some people worried that the home school ensemble would collapse after Pennsylvania finally allowed the state’s 25,000 home school students to participate in public school’s extracurricular activities in 2005. The orchestra is still going strong under the direction of its conductor Barry Clay. The central Pennsylvania Orchestra has twenty-four members, ages ranging from nine to nineteen.

It’s great that this ensemble is still going strong and it makes a statement too. Often times home schooling students get inaccurately labeled as not being properly “socialized”. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Home schoolers, on average, participate in five activities. That is a lot of venues for home schooling students to socialize with their peers.

Home schooling students, like the ones in the Central Pennsylvania Home School Ensemble, pursue their interests while socializing too. The bottom line is this: home schoolers are socially active amongst other home schoolers and also amongst non-home schooling students.

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The Benefits of Home Schooling Special Needs Students

Written by Mimi Rothschild
Wednesday, 20 June 2007 10:07


By Mimi Rothschild

One of the most appealing aspects of home schooling is that home schoolers receive all of the teacher’s attention, instead of sharing it with hundreds of students. Home schooling is especially effective when the parent is able to devote the majority of their attention to a home schooler with special needs, like dyslexia. The ability to solely focus on one student or a few students is next to impossible for teachers in traditional schools.

The Houston Independent School District has been in the news recently because of its inability to provide that attention to students who have been identified with dyslexia. Houston is just one example of a much larger problem within the public school system. Texas law requires “districts to identify and tutor students with dyslexia, a learning disability that affects 5 percent to 20 percent of all children” (Jennifer Radcliffe, “Schools fail to meet law on dyslexia”). This school year the Houston Independent School District only gave 256 of its 200,000 dyslexic students extra help. But who pays in end? Taxpayers like you and me. The National Right to Read Foundation estimates the nation spends nearly $225 billion a year on social services and lost income stemming from the problem of dyslexic students who aren’t receiving the proper help.

Crowded classrooms and bureaucratic policies make it hard for dyslexic public school students to receive the sort of attention they need. Home schooling students with special needs can work at their own pace and be given full attention by their home schooling teachers. Home schoolers with dyslexia and other disabilities greatly benefit from home schooling’s environment, flexible schedule, and the fact that their teachers are usually available for them 24/7.

To read more about the crisis in Houston and all around the nation click here.

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Why Keep Public Schools Around?

Written by Mimi Rothschild
Thursday, 14 June 2007 13:38


By Mimi Rothschild

In a recent series of articles, Jonah Goldberg of The National Review Online and David Gelernter of The Weekly Standard both propose that America might be better off without public schools and discuss how we might decide whether to have them or not. Both writers cite public school’s well documented shortcomings.

“Americans want universal education, just as they want universally safe food. But nobody believes that the government should run 90 percent of the restaurants, farms, and supermarkets. Why should it run 90 percent of the schools — particularly when it gets terrible results?” says Goldberg.

Why not liberate all the vast resources we spend on public schools to be re-channeled to private schools chosen by the nation’s parents? Any public school offering an education that parents will actually pay for (of their own free will) would presumably be replaced by a private school offering essentially the same thing. But a vast array of new private schools would germinate also. And a vast number of failed public schools would disappear.

“In the system I am picturing, education would continue to be free and accessible to every child, and all taxpayers would continue to pay for it. Parents would be guaranteed access to ‘reasonable’ schools that cost them nothing beyond what they pay in taxes. It would all be just like today–except that public schools would have vanished” says David Gelertner.

“Many sources agree that, on the whole, American public schools are rotten. In 2000, a whopping 12 percent of graduating seniors were rated ‘proficient’ in science, and international surveys rank our graduating seniors 19th overall out of 21 nations. In 2002, the Washington Post summarized a different survey: ‘Nearly six in 10 of the nation’s high school seniors lack even a basic knowledge of U.S. history,’” says Gelerneter.

The article raises the question if private entities would be capable of providing enough new schools to replace existing public ones? Can America’s private organizations build enough hospitals to care for it’s sick, enough nursery schools to teach its very young and enough grocery stores to feed it’s population. Of course! Will these privately run schools be good enough? They would have to be or no one would attend them and they would go out of business. Competition among the newly formed schools would force them to give the public the best product at the lowest price, just like every other business in this country.

Home schooling has received some positive press lately and it may be due to the fact that the media has begun to expose the inadequacies of the public school system. It is frightening to think that entire generations of Americans aren’t being properly educated.

Home schooling offers world-class educations to millions of American students, but unfortunately homeschoolers are still in the minority right now.

Read David Gelernter’s article: A World Without Public Schools.

To read Jonah Goldberg’s article: Public Ed 101.

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