“Homeschool News” is going Online!

A group of awesome people started a paper called “Homeschool News” and now their paper is going online. Kids from around the world are welcome to submit articles and artwork online. Check them out at Homeschool News!

I always loved the idea of having a group of kids coming up with a printed “school” newspaper to hand out to friends and family. How could we make that happen in our area? The Hi-Desert Star prints right here in Yucca Valley. Last year we took a tour of their shop! I wonder what the cost would be to run off a real printed paper? Would there be enough kids in our area that would like to meet regularly to come up with articles? Research and investigate? Might be fun! I started to look at online journalism classes and my brain started running around with it. I wonder if there is someone who might want to do a journalism workshop around here?

What about a family paper? Something simple, like a newsletter that each family member contributes to and sends out to family members.

Latin?

Does anyone still learn Latin? I was surprised when my then thirteen-year-old asked me about learning Latin. He thought it looked like it would help him understand English better. I think he read somewhere that it would be a good place to start learning other languages. He really enjoyed the program we got because it wasn’t just learning the words. It had a lot of history along with it.

We bought the online version that you could print the pages you needed as you went along and really enjoyed that. My son was always overwhelmed at the sight of a large book of print when he was younger. He knew he didn’t need to complete it. And he knew that it was up to him how long he wanted to stick with it, but he having the book there in his sight made him feel anxious. He didn’t even like coloring books when he was younger because he felt compelled to complete them even though he didn’t really like coloring. I’m happy to report he grew out of that. He’s almost sixteen now has large books sitting on his nightstand that he reads a bit from every night. And he is perfectly capable of taking apart a big project and doing a little at time. But I digress! I was able to print out a couple pages at a time this way and it gave him a chance to practice writing a bit as well.

The program we used was called Lively Latin. The author of the program was a homeschooler herself. I met her once at a homeschool conference after my son had been using her program for about a year. She was so friendly, one of those people you feel like you already know when you meet them.

Here are some articles about why you should, or should not learn Latin. Do some research and decide for yourselves. I know we had a great time learning it together! It’s come in handy learning other languages and at museums. And it’s entertaining to harass each other about using Latin words in games like Scrabble!

7 Reasons Why I’m Learning Latin And Teaching My Kids Too

Don’t Study Latin

Kissing the frog: Our Latin Curriculum Hunt and What I Learned

Poetry

I came across a Facebook post from HSC today that pointed me in the direction of another cool and free resource!

The Complete 10 Week Poetry for Kids Course

There are lots of ways you can use this for your homeschool. One would be to assign it to your kids but I doubt you’d get the results you really wanted. If you asked your kids if they are interested in poetry and if they wanted to go through the course with you, they’d get more out of it. But if you have kids like mine, they’re probably not interested at all. My solution would be to take the course myself, very publicly, and share what I’m learning with them daily. My kids love poetry but for a long time they didn’t even know! So much of their favorite music has wonderful poetry. I just needed to point it out a couple times when we were listening to music in the car. Now they point lyrics that really speak to them all the time. When I find poetry that speaks to me deeply, I tend to share it with them as well.

Sentence Structure?

I don’t think anyone invented language. I pretty sure that it naturally evolved. No one had an “ah-ha” moment about putting the noun before the predicate. “Mr. Norton walks.” So why do we torture children with diagramming sentences and picking out verbs, nouns, and adjectives? Someone at sometime (probably a word-nerd, someone fascinated with semantics or linguistics) heard all these words and sentences we naturally use, noticed a pattern of some kind, that most people used them in certain way, and decided to write down all these “rules”. Anyone that hears people speak regularly can pick this kind of stuff up naturally without ever knowing what a interjection is. But now we feel we need to sit young children down and explain these rules whether they are interested or not, as if they wouldn’t know how to speak or write if they didn’t know them in an academic form.

If you are fascinated by the rules of language, by all means study them! But you really don’t need to harass people of any age about it. If your children hear people speak in the dialect and form you desire, they will learn that language naturally. You can hear language in multiple ways. You can listen to conversation, watch TV or movies, play online role playing games, or read books. Just like learning to walk, your children learned to talk. They don’t speak like Native Americans in a old Western movie, do they? So why would they write that way?

Here are a couple links to get the juices flowing in your mind!

Sandra Dodd’s page about “Language Arts”

Unschool Rules!