From the HSLDA E-lert Service:


5/19/2011 10:15:22 AM
Home School Legal Defense Association
HSLDA's Homeschooling Thru the Early Years Newsletter--May 2011

HSLDA's Homeschooling Thru the Early Years Newsletter
May 2011--Cool Stuff I Found at Homeschool Conventions


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Dear Friend,

I love homeschool conventions! In fact, working with conventions has
been such an integral part of my life since 1997 (or since 1992, if
you count when I started attending them), I wrote an article for you
called "Getting the Most out of Your Homeschool Convention."

The leaders of your state or regional homeschool organization plan and
work year-around to bring you speakers and exhibitors to inspire,
equip, and encourage you in the homeschool journey. Not only do the
speakers spark (or renew) the vision for strong families and home
discipleship and education, but the exhibitors also minister to
parents' need for encouragement, and they provide tools for teaching.

This month, let me share with you some of the interesting tools I've
found in the exhibit halls I've had the privilege to visit so far this
spring. Let it suffice to say that my youngest child is 22, and I've
still managed to spend more than $300 (so far) this year at homeschool
conventions! Here are some nifty products and companies you might want
to check out:


> Picture This! The PictureSmart Bible has reproducible pages for use
by families or co-ops (or home Bible studies). This multi-level
resource introduces a basic overview of each book of the Bible in a
way that is engaging for all ages. (I bought both the book and the CD
version.) Draw your way through the Bible! For preschool through adult.

> Sonbeams Bible-based
preschool materials

> HeartBinders Bible memory
lessons for preschool through middle school. Your little one can
memorize Psalm 91 in NKJV with visual aids, and your elementary
student can learn the same Psalm in Hebrew!

> I bought the Busy Bible felt book for my granddaughter and she loves
to go through the stories, putting the pieces in place. What a great
quiet time activity!

> Scripture Memory Fellowship--Value-priced materials in KJV or NKJV

> Daughters4God-- Resources
for mentoring daughters of all ages

> Mission Imperative offers
self-study materials for 6th-8th graders (or may be used as
read-alouds for younger students)

Foreign Language

> Tell Me More from Auralog
--foreign language programs for ages 11 and up

Fun & Games for Families

> Family Game Coach
--Teaching/tutoring through games. Check out their Ten Days series
(such as Ten Days in the USA) and other games of all types for all
ages. Implement a family game night using their educational games
partnered with the Game Plan and teach your child academics,
creativity, and healthy competition.

> Simply Fun --Learn and
connect through play. A few of my favorites are Clover Leap (strategy
and parts of speech), Share a Berry, and Are We There Yet? (As you
might guess, it's a travel game for kids!)

> Bring that "Are We There Yet?" game with you on your road trips
using Michele Zavatsky's travel publications as your guide! (See link
under Social Studies.)


> Nature's Workshop Plus has
all the wacky science gizmos that my husband loves to play with! Fun
science for kids of all ages.

> Applied Inspirations
--Learn electronics by doing. For ages 10 and up; great for co-ops.

> offers
"Homeschool Corner" and has more than 7000 free articles available

> Creation Studies has some
nifty science guides for 3rd-6th grade (younger if you read it to
them); titles include physical science, chemistry, earth science, and

> Ring of Fire Science has
teaching guides and activity guides for hands-on studies of earth
science, especially geology, from a Christian perspective.

Various Teaching Approaches

> Moving Beyond the Page for gifted learners
from K to 7th grade

> Within These Pages
--Literature-based unit studies in five categories. K-3rd includes
read-alouds and lots of discovery learning. 4th-8th includes lots of
hands-on activities based on both fiction and non-fiction reading.

> BiblioPlan --History-based
units, easily adapted for use in co-ops. Uses Susan Wise Bauer's Story
of the World series.

> Homeschool Legacy is a
series of once-a-week unit studies, each outlined for you and designed
to last 4-6 weeks; multi-level plans are included.

> Silver Age Music uses music
as a tool to unlock history, technology, arts, science, architecture,
literature, and government/politics for ages 12 and up; from 1600 to
1914 in eight lively DVDs containing 13-plus hours of instruction.

> Learning Adventures
chronological unit study guides for grades 4-8 (adaptable for K-3rd
using optional supplements); lessons are planned for you and include
all subjects but math.


> Joyce Herzog has not only
revised her popular Choosing and Using Curriculum (which includes a
comparison of seven different reading approaches and the pros/cons of
each for various types of learners), but she has some nifty tools for
learning. Her Early Learning System includes hands-on,
manipulative-based mental exercises to encourage thinking skills using
large muscle activities, art, drama, and games. See her math
materials, below.

> Character Concepts for Preschoolers by Marilyn Boyer of The Learning
Parent helps children learn to apply 12 character qualities in their
own lives. My 3-year-old granddaughter loves me to pull this out when
she comes to visit! Buy the Mom's Guide separately or in one of the
kit options.

Sonbeams is a Bible-based
preschool program


> My Box of Ten is truly manipulative based; the activities and
manipulatives ARE the lessons. First of a hands-on math series from
Joyce Herzog. ; preschool
through multiplication (about grade 2/3).

> ChristianPerspective.net
--Katherine Loop has written two books that can change how you teach
math! Beyond Numbers introduces a truly biblical worldview of math,
while Revealing Arithmetic is the how-to guide, helping you present
the concepts and guide your children to think mathematically. Math
becomes a real-life tool! Also includes how to make and use an abacus.

> Math on the Level Instead of
the typical emphasis on grade level, parents are encouraged to teach
to the child's maturation level, matching the pace of instruction to
the child's ability to learn. For pre-K to pre-algebra.

> RightStart Math Math for
preschool through middle school; manipulative-based for concrete
learning to encourage mathematical thinking

> Life of Fred--Practical math for middle school and higher; available
from Queen Homeschool .

> Outstanding Guides are
reference tools designed by four middle school math teachers; students
make their own lapbook-style reference guides.

> Jones Geniuses --Matrix
Math, rapid mental calculation, and memory skills training are just a
few of the topics addressed in this series; great for all learners,
especially right-brained thinkers.

Language Arts

> Callirobics --Handwriting
exercises set to music to improve hand-eye coordinator and fine motor
skills; helpful for dysgraphia.

> The Struggling Reader
includes diagnostic inventories to help pinpoint weaknesses.

> Language Lessons (for little ones through high school) from Sandi
Queen; follows a Charlotte Mason approach to language arts.

Social Studies

> Notgrass Company's Exploring
America and Exploring World History series all include primary sources
(for junior/senior high). Their Draw to Learn series is for all ages.

> Queen Homeschool's Learning
History through Living Books series is just one of the
Charlotte-Mason-style materials available from this comprehensive

> Geography Matters offers
Trail Guide to Learning unit studies (includes all but math)--Paths of
Exploration and the new Paths of Settlement units for various ages;
includes study of primary source documents, biographies, and more.
Also caught my eye: Galloping the Globe (ages K-4th) and Cantering the
Country (1st-6th)

> Travel 15 states (plus Washington, D.C. and the I-95 corridor) with
Kids Love! Publications travel guides.

Other subjects

> is a
source for economically priced lessons and instrument rental.

> offers eight
different modules in kit form or on CD for teaching sewing skills to
all levels

> Heritage Makers offers a digital scrapbooking club to help you
design your portfolio or family yearbook , to make a family storybook
your children will want to read over and over again!

> Etiquette Factory helps
kids of all ages, from preschool manners to getting along with your
college roomie!

As you browse your local convention hall, jot down a few of your
favorites and let me know what you liked and why. I'll look forward to
hearing from you!

Wishing you vision and inspiration,

Vicki Bentley

HSLDA Early Years Consultant

Use Your Best Judgment

Of course, this is just a smattering of the wonderful resources
available to parents. Just because I am fascinated by something,
doesn't mean that you'll love it for your family's needs. This month's
resources list is not exhaustive by any means, and inclusion or
exclusion of an item should not necessarily be construed to be an
HSLDA endorsement or censorship of any resource. Some materials may
not be written from your family's worldview or may include resource
suggestions inconsistent with your worldview so, as always, parents
are encouraged to use discernment in selecting materials appropriate
for your family's needs.

From Scripture

"Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are
honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure,
whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if
there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these
things." Philippians 4:8

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