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January 29, 2010

Air Traffic Control School is Now Open

Filed under: Daily News — dailynews @ 7:14 pm

Prior to my graduation in June 1985, I went and enlisted in the United States Navy. I had a guaranteed school, Air Traffic Control. I graduated top of my class in a course that 1/3 of all who started failed to complete the entire school. Then it was off to my first command and a trip to the local Air Force base for on the job training. It was in the actual positions in the control tower that I thrived. Although many felt that it could be a stressful job, I found it relaxing. Each day was different. Sometimes things were a little slow; but then you would be slammed with back to back traffic in and out bound. Occasionally, an emergency was thrown in for a little flare. I became strong enough to start training others and eventually even doing the final examinations of others.

Of course that time is behind me now, but I still talk about those days often. I really think the training I received and the seven years worth of practice, prepared me to be the mom of three children, to homeschool them even with their health and special needs issues, while juggling a military life (through my husband) and my own career. I learned to take things in stride and quickly prioritize what needs to be “landed” first. I can handle emergencies calmly while others around me panic. In addition, if need be, I can change my plans mid-step, rearrange for an unexpected “arrival” or “departure”, and still keep things moving smoothly.

So, I am very happy to announce that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has announced an open enrollment. This is something the FAA SELDOM offers. What this means is they are accepting applications for air traffic control school. It is open to all 18 to 31 year olds who have a high school diploma. They do accept college credit as well, which is fantastic since many of our 16 year olds are already taking classes at the local Community College.

Don’t let my statistic of those who fail to complete the course scare you off. When the military offers the same school that civilian community does, they tend to shorten it considerably. The course I took was 16 weeks versus a year long course through the FAA (of course that was back in 1985/86 time frame). So, the civilian course, though still a very nice course, will not be as intense as the military version.

So, have I peaked your interest? If so, even if you are at the least bit interested, please visit http://www.faa.gov/jobs/job_opportunities/airtraffic_controllers/. You can submit an application and decide further down the road, as this is the government and the likelihood is it will take a little (or a lot) of time before they will get back with you.

So, wind, southeast at five miles per hour, check wheels down, you are cleared to land.

For a discussion on this topic and others, please go to our discussion forums at http://forum.homeschool.com/forum/forum_topics.asp?FID=51.

Written by:
Susan Harris
Homeschool.com News Editor

January 28, 2010

Department of Defense Offers Military Families a New On-line Tutoring Program

Filed under: Daily News — dailynews @ 7:33 pm

The Department of Defense has expanded a free, on-line tutoring service to cover all servicemembers and their families. This program, which originated with the Marine Corp and Army, has now been extended to cover all active duty service members, National Guard and reserve personnel on active duty in a deployed status, Defense Department civilians in a deployed status and their dependents.

This on-line tutoring service offers 24 hours/7day a week access to professional tutors. They assist with homework, resume writing, studying, test preparation and more. This wonderful service is made available through www.tutor.com/military.

Tutor.com offers one-on-one tutoring services that cover math, science, English, and social studies. They provide these services from Kindergarten level through high school senior level.

This is a wonderful opportunity and free service that can assist our many homeschooling families that are also military families. We often would love to ask for extra assistance. To have the opportunity to have an additional resource to help in those more difficult areas, helps relieve some of the stress of separation from our loved ones. Not to mention, it is sometimes nice to have another person that can present some material to our student in a different way than we can. I cannot tell you how many times I have “butted” heads with my son, only to have another person to present it to him and it “clicks”. This provides that opportunity no matter where you are in the world.

Please pass this information on to all the military families that you may know and if you are a military family, please check it out. You have nothing to lose.

To read more about this topic, please visit at: http://www.defense.gov/news/newsarticle.aspx?id=57732.

For a discussion on this topic and others, please go to our discussion forums at http://forum.homeschool.com/forum/forum_topics.asp?FID=51.

Written by:
Susan Harris
Homeschool.com News Editor

January 27, 2010

Wednesday’s Helpful Links

Filed under: Daily News — dailynews @ 7:46 pm

Today is another episode of Wednesday’s Helpful Links.

Just a reminder, not all links will necessarily apply to you, your style of homeschooling and/or with your beliefs. I am not promoting one website over another. I am simply presenting some links and allowing you to choose what you would like to utilize. Since my readership is vast, some links will apply to you while others may apply more to your neighbor down the street.

Valentine’s Day is fast approaching. How about making Valentine’s Day cards? Do you want to have some craft ideas? This site provides some inexpensive way for your child to say “I love you” to family and friends. Check it out at http://childparenting.about.com/od/funcelebrations/tp/valentinecrafts.htm.

Do you remember any of the Old Mother Goose nursery rhymes? Could you teach them to your children? Nursery rhymes are great for memorization and the rhythm they present are a precursor to reading. This first link lists the nursery rhymes in alphabetical order: http://www-personal.umich.edu/~pfa/dreamhouse/nursery/rhymes/. This second link presents the rhymes by topic: http://www-personal.umich.edu/~pfa/dreamhouse/nursery/rhymes.html.

Do you like McGuffey Readers? Would you like to use 19th Century books and materials for a 21st Century Education? How would you like to do so for free? If this interest you, check out this website: http://www.ignitethefire.com/oldfashioned.html.

Historical Tool Kit (http://dohistory.org/on_your_own/toolkit/index.html) provides short essays that help teach how to do historical research. They even give forms you can print out to assist in your research. This is great for those historians or for someone that would like a different approach to teaching history.

I would love for members to send in links to things they have found so that I can pass them along to other homeschoolers as well. Please feel free to send them and your homeschooling success stories to [email protected]

Please let us know how you liked this article on our discussion forums at http://forum.homeschool.com/forum/forum_topics.asp?FID=51.

Written by: Susan Harris
Homeschool.com News Editor

January 26, 2010

Germany Homeschoolers Granted Asylum in the US

Filed under: Daily News — dailynews @ 7:58 pm

Today, January 26, 2010, a German homeschooling family was granted political asylum in the United States. The Romeikes fled from Germany in August 2008 to escape persecution simply because they chose to home educate.

Immigration Judge Lawrence O. Burman granted the asylum stating, “Homeschoolers are a particular social group that the German government is trying to suppress. This family has a well-founded fear of persecution…therefore, they are eligible for asylum…and the court will grant asylum.” Judge Burman further stated his surprise that even though Germany is an ally and a democracy, they seem to be targeting a specific social group within their country. In his ruling, he called this “silly” and “odd”.

This is a HUGE victory for all German homeschoolers. With granting this political asylum by stating Germany is violating basic human rights, it shows the entire world that Germany is wrong in their persecution of homeschoolers. This may give them pause to rethink this persecution that has intensified over the last two years. It may also give other nations paused before they begin.

This also helps us in the United States. If an immigration judge will grant political asylum to another country’s homeschool family, then it sets a precedent that homeschooling is a basic human right that no government should have the ability to remove from parents. Although we may have to continue the fight, perhaps this will deter some of the attacks or it may at least make our opponents think twice.

Let’s all join together in celebrating this victory!

For more details, please visit HSLDA’s website at http://www.hslda.org/hs/international/Germany/201001260.asp.

For a discussion on this topic and others, please go to our discussion forums at http://forum.homeschool.com/forum/forum_topics.asp?FID=51.

Written by:
Susan Harris
Homeschool.com News Editor

Michigan Has New Compulsory Age Attendance Law

Filed under: Daily News — dailynews @ 1:28 pm

Michigan’s Governor Jennifer Granholm signed into law the new extended compulsory attendance age on January 4, 2010. The new law extends the age from 16 to the age of 18 for mandatory attendance in school.

This new law affects all students under the age of 11 as of December 1, 2010. There is an opt-out component at this time. So a parent, even one of a public school student, has the option of opting-out and allowing their 16 year olds to pursue other interests.

Even though this law contains the opt-out feature, Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) did not support this legislation. HSLDA felt it was another encroachment on parent’s rights to control their children’s education. They still have concern that in years to come the law will be changed to remove the opt-out feature.

To read more about this topic, please visit HSLDA’s website at: http://www.hslda.org/hs/state/mi/201001070.asp.

For a discussion on this topic and others, please go to our discussion forums at http://forum.homeschool.com/forum/forum_topics.asp?FID=51.

Written by:
Susan Harris
Homeschool.com News Editor

January 21, 2010

New Hampshire Homeschoolers Win Big

Filed under: Daily News — dailynews @ 6:55 pm

New Hampshire homeschoolers can breath easier. On January 13, 2010, the New Hampshire House of Representatives voted down a new law that would have brought undue and unnecessary restrictions/rules for homeschooling families. It was shot down 324 to 34!

A bipartisan committee had already shot the legislation down but some democrats, in a surprise move, brought it before the House for a vote.

Had the law passed, every homeschooled student would have to be tested every year. In addition, a portfolio would have to be kept and turned in for review. The test scores would have been sent to the New Hampshire State Education Department for review as well. They would have also been given the right to revamp the homeschooling rules as they saw fit.

This is a fantastic story to show a couple of points:

1. When we pull together as a group, we can affect change even in the government arena.

2. Even though it is legal to homeschool in all 50 states, we still have to keep vigilant and be ready to fight when the need arises.

It is great to report a win for homeschoolers!

For a discussion on this topic and others, please go to our discussion forums at http://forum.homeschool.com/forum/forum_topics.asp?FID=51.

Written by: Susan Harris
Homeschool.com News Editor

Wednesday’s Helpful Links

Filed under: Daily News — dailynews @ 9:44 am

I seem to find, and am sent, links to websites that I could possibly utilize in my homeschooling adventures. Not all of them apply to me, but they may be useful to others. So, I am planning on every Wednesday sending out possible helpful links. Now, as with me, not every link will be helpful to everyone that has subscribed to this list. So, please, if there is a link that doesn’t interest you, or agree with your beliefs, remember that others may find it helpful.

Math, it seems to be the subject most homeschooling parents fear tackling. Now there is some help in the form of a free interactive website. Children can play single person games or multiple person games, arcade style. The topics covered are things like addition, subtraction, division, multiplication, integers, fractions and ratios. If you would like help in geography and language arts, it is here too. Stop by and check it out at: http://arcademicskillbuilders.com/.

How about making your own science toys? This next website does just that. It helps teach scientific ideas and laws, all the while giving the child a hands-on approach. The skill level ranges from easy for young children to more advance for more matured students. From the little that I poked around, it seems most items needed were actually readily available in one’s house or easy to get. Click the link to check it out:

http://www.sciencetoymaker.org/.

http://phet.colorado.edu/index.php provides free interactive simulations of physical phenomena. You can go in by subject and/or grade levels. It is worth a check.

Barbara Frank, a veteran homeschooler and author, has written a wonderful article about training children in basic cooking, hospitality, etc. This seems to be a dying art, but a necessary skill. She also offers helpful links at the bottom of her article so you can continue on the path of cooking creativity. You will need to scroll down the page a little to get to the actual article. Check it out at: http://barbarafrankonline.com/articles/back-to-basics-kids-cooking.php.

Here is one for the teens! Barbara Frank, the same author from above, has written a book that teaches teens about buying a car. This includes comparison shopping, financial considerations, and all aspects of the car purchasing experience. She has offered a “sample” of the first few pages in her book at http://www.cardamompublishers.com/mini-life-prep2.pdf. So, “test drive” before you buy the entire book.

I would love for members to send in links to things they have found so that I can pass them along to other homeschoolers as well. Please feel free to send them and your homeschooling success stories to [email protected]

Please let us know how you liked this article on our discussion forums at http://forum.homeschool.com/forum/forum_topics.asp?FID=51.

Written by: Susan Harris
Homeschool.com News Editor

January 19, 2010

Children Illnesses and the Benefits of Homeschooling

Filed under: Daily News — dailynews @ 8:04 pm

When a child attends public school and they are ill, even for the flu, when they return to school they have to play “catch up”. They have extra school work to bring home to make up for missed days and they must try and figure out where the rest of the class is for the current lessons. This may be a little difficult if the illness was prolonged and it is a subject like math. The same would be for a child that has an on-going illness that requires missing many days through out the year.

For a child that is homeschooled, this is not the case. If they are ill with a cold, they can do lighter work or just relax. When they do get back to work, it isn’t make-up work. They just start off where they left off. For example, if they do their lessons for Monday, but are sick the rest of the week, they don’t “make-up” the school work the other four school days plus the following Monday, they simply do the lessons you had planned for Tuesday on Monday and you revamp your lesson days. Remember, we have 365 days a year that we can school, whereas the public school system averages around 180.

An on-going illness, like uncontrolled asthma, severe allergies, arthritis, cancer, and any other, also benefit from homeschooling. Via homeschooling, the parent can maximize the “good” days with the child’s education, while allowing the child to have the needed rest they require on bad days. It allows the flexibility to schedule lessons around appointments, treatments, and/or hospitalization. They never need to “miss” school; it just needs to be scheduled around them.

Please stop by our forums to discuss this topic and further ideas of how to help the families of Haiti. You can find us at http://forum.homeschool.com/forum/forum_topics.asp?FID=51.

Susan Harris
Homeschool.com News Editor

January 15, 2010

12 Year Old Boy Wins NYSE and K12 Contest

Filed under: Daily News — dailynews @ 8:59 pm

A 12-year old homeschooled boy, Fabian Fernandez-Han, won the 2009 Financial Future Challenge. It was sponsored by the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) and K-12. Fabian and his family was just flown to New York City for a special ceremony on January 11, 2010 where he was awarded a $2,500 check. He impressed those in attendance by handing out his business card and explaining how he came up with his winning idea, “Oink-a-Saurus”.

So, what is “Oink-a-Saurus”? It is an Apple iPhone/iPod Touch application that combines profiler, which allows the system to “learn” your preferences and interest by tracking your spending and web browsing habits. The system would then present the operator with “what-if” scenarios. What would happen if the operator would take that same money and invest it in the stock market.

Fabian stated the following about his idea:

“’My idea will show kids how investment opportunities exist all around them as they go about their day buying things at the store, browsing favorite websites, etc. It will allow them to go from buying a favorite thing to learning about the company that makes it, to news/research about that Co, to buy/sell that Co’s shares in stock market simulator & for real. My app combines many existing technologies to learn the user’s buying habits to recommend Co’s to invest in. My app is smart & over time learns about the user & provides wise investment ideas that appeal to each particular user. It will also include a news service providing teen-friendly stock market & investing info.’” (on website: http://www.bkfk.com/Modules/Innovator/Innovator.aspx?Inv_ID=1600)

To read more about this incredible boy, you can check out the article at: http://bkfk.com/financialfuture/.

Written by:
Susan Harris
Homeschool.com News Editor

January 14, 2010

Help for Families in Haiti

Filed under: Daily News — dailynews @ 7:54 pm

For Immediate Release
1/14/10

Homeschoolers around the world band together to support the Haitian community during their time of crisis.

Through World Vision and CurrClick.com, homeschool families can now come together to support Haitian earthquake victims and their families. Small donations of $5 and $10 are being accepted at http://www.currclick.com CurrClick.com will be matching donations. A counter is being kept on the CurrClick.com homepage that will keep track of the donation amount as it grows.

“Homeschoolers are generous, giving people and CurrClick is excited about being able to match that generosity with a donation to World Vision. World Vision is a great organization and we look forward to donating a significant amount to their efforts,” said Staley Krause of CurrClick.

Leah Nieman, also from CurrClick asks that homeschoolers help spread the word about this opportunity by posting the following text on Twitter and
Facebook: Homechoolers Help Haiti! Join with other homeschoolers & donate now:
http://www.currclick.com/product_info.php?products_id=33677&it=1 “Social media is on of the best and fastest ways to spread the word,” says Nieman.

All donations will go directly toward distributing life-saving relief supplies – including food, clean water, blankets, and tents — to children and families devastated by the earthquake and aftershocks in Haiti.

To make a donation, visit: http://www.currclick.com/index.php

Please stop by our forums to discuss this topic and further ideas of how to help the families of Haiti. You can find us at http://forum.homeschool.com/forum/forum_topics.asp?FID=51.

Susan Harris
Homeschool.com News Editor

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