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The Morning Star Academy


Did you know that The Morning Star Academy was chosen by readers as a Top Back to Homeschool Resource?  You can find the awards here, and sample an AOP product here. Interested in’s Back to Homeschool e-magazine?  Then just click here

We’re having an entire Back to Homeschool Event!

Choosing homeschool curriculum can be overwhelming. There are literally hundreds of companies with hundreds of thousands of resources to choose from. In the early years of homeschooling, families had no choice but to use textbooks and workbooks. With advances in technology, over92% of homeschooling families use online learning to provide a cutting edge education for today’s homeschooler.

The internet has made it possible to learn anything anywhere. Online learning opens up newdoors for homeschoolers who are interested in receiving a top notch education in the comfortof their own homes.

Top 10 Benefits of Online Homeschooling:

  1. Online homeschooling is the perfect fit for different learning styles. Every child is unique and a flexible online homeschool program takes that into consideration as courses are developed. Online curriculum allows the student to tailor their educational experience according to their individual needs.
  1. Online curriculum are available to students 24/7. Some students learn better in the morning,others have activities that prevent them from following traditional school schedules. Online courses are self-paced, and the student can learn or review at a time that suits their particular schedule. For families that travel, online schooling is perfect as the student can take school work with them and cross time zones without missing a lesson.
  1. Online homeschooling can be engaging and interactive. Students benefit from discussion boards and chat rooms where they can discuss material and even get extra assistance if needed. Online instructors are more easily accessible than traditional classroom teachers. This works exceptionally well for the student who has scheduling conflicts with regular school hours.
  1. Online learning can provide students a sense of equality. Every student is treated equally. Students can interact without the fear of being judged on physical limitations or issues.
  1. Online homeschooling curriculum can be rich with multimedia content. Online courses can supplemented with online resources and videos that may be of interest to the student and enhance the educational experience. Technology has literally changed the way children learn,and online learning works supports these changes to make course material come alive for your student.
  1. Online homeschooling provides accurate real time assessments of your student’s progress.This helps parents to accurately assess their child’s progress and make any changes necessary in study habits or time spent on schooling. Pinpointing issues as they become apparent helps the student to be aware of any difficulties before they become major issues.
  1. Today’s students have many options for college, and online schooling is becoming a popular way for students to save money while continuing their educations. Online learning during the earlier years prepares students for this option, and gives them the confidence and self-discipline needed to complete college courses online.
  1. Online homeschooling gives the student a sense of independence and accomplishment as they navigate courses as opposed to parent led education or traditional classroom study. The self-discipline and ability to work independently will carry students from their college years into the workforce.
  1. Online homeschooling offers students a cutting edge accredited education that helps them to prepare for today’s challenging world. As technology changes, parents can rest assured that online learning evolves to incorporate the latest in excellence in education.
  1. Online homeschooling offers the best of both worlds. Your students get a fully customized program designed to fit their needs that they can use at their own pace on any device. Your students also get the safety and comfort of learning in their own homes. Your students also get1:1 unlimited assistance from qualified teachers whenever they need it.

With this many outstanding benefits, it is no wonder that 92% of all homeschoolers are using some form of online homeschooling.


Mimi Rothschild is a co-founder of and, two online homeschooling academies serving homeschoolers in 50 states and 20 countries since 2002Mimi began homeschooling her 8 children in the early 1980s and developed online homeschooling programs out of her own need for help in giving her children the best homeschooling experience possible.

For FREE homeschool consultations from caring and knowledgeable homeschooling consultants, please go to or call 484-383-3900.

Homeschool Writing

Filed under: Daily News,Educational Adventures — Tags: , , — dailynews @ 4:00 am

Generating Writing Ideas

Unconventional Ways To Generate Writing Ideas

Parents who homeschool their children have an extra difficult task in designing curriculum that will inspire their children’s learning and creativity. Some children naturally gravitate towards writing as a form of expression while others prefer mathematics, computers or physical movement.

Writing is an important skill to learn and whether your child participates enthusiastically in writing exercises or drags their feet about them, here is a set of activities that may spark their interest:

Newspaper exercise. Read an interesting newspaper article to your child and ask them to write a continuation of the story after it’s ended. This exercise is a great prompt because the characters and setting are already established, they just need to focus on developing a continuation of the plot. It’s ideal for kids who need a little prodding when it comes to working on creative writing.

Write a movie review. After watching a movie, ask your child to write a review of it. Be sure to give them instructions on what to include in the review such as:

  • Were the actors good in their roles? Who really shone in their role, whether they had a small or large part?
  • If applicable, were the costumes and scenery well done? Could something be improved?
  • If applicable, how good was the animation?
  • What was your favorite part and why?
  • How about the story? Was it told in an interesting way? Was it too long, too short, confusing or did the director get the timing right?
  • If you were the director of the movie, is there anything you would do differently?

Write a poem. You could do an entire unit on poetry, teaching your child various styles: from poems that rhyme to freestyle poetry to Japanese Haiku to sonnets and limericks. Ask your child to write their own version of these poems. Here’s a great resource on various poetry styles and exercises.

Diary/Journaling. Writing in a diary or a journal can also feed their creative flames and allow your kids to learn how to express their thoughts and feelings through writing. You can allow them to write in the diary on their own or give them prompts like these:

  • Three good things that happened today/this week.
  • Who are my best friends and what do I like most about them?
  • If I could go anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?

Check out this page for some journal writing prompts.

Remember that the part of the rule of journals is that it’s private, so no peeking unless your child chooses to show you something. This will allow your kids to feel free to express anything they feel like, which is the whole point of a journal. Also, since you won’t be reading it, you won’t be correcting it. For children who for whatever reason feel intimidated by the editing process, it can be a safety activity when they’re not up to putting their work out there.

Seeing their words on a webpage online can fill your child with pride. It can give them a higher level of appreciation for their writing and persuade to take it more seriously. Obviously, you want to take some precautions when setting up a blog with your child. Make sure that the comments get sent to your email for approval first. Also, it’s probably best if your child chooses a pen name instead of their real name. And you should make sure to read your child’s posts thoroughly before publishing to make sure there isn’t any personal information such as name, address, phone number, being divulged in their post. Here’s a great post on the benefits of blogging and how to set up a blog safely.

An ideas jar. Write down a bunch of writing prompts and ideas and put them in a jar. Whichever one your child picks, that’s the one they’ll work on that day. This can be a fun exercise in itself because it puts the child in charge of choosing and makes a game out of the assignment.


Cari Bennette is an experienced blogger and ghost author. She is in love with writing and does her best to help other people become better writers. Cari often covers education related topics in her blog posts and will be happy if you circle her on Google+

TutorMing Chinese Learning

Filed under: Daily News,Educational Adventures — Tags: , — dailynews @ 4:00 am



TutorMing Chinese Learning Case Study: Rios Family

A few months ago, TutorMing sponsored a raffle here on We gave away a 3-month Chinese program, and the Rios family was the lucky winner. After taking a few classes, they decided to purchase TutorMing packages for both of their children, so they could continue learning Chinese.

It makes sense for the Rios family to continue studying Chinese. In a blog post about Why Learning Chinese is the Next Big Thing, we’ve outlined the practical benefits of learning Chinese. It could help future-proof your children, or even offer them job security later in their lives.

We asked Ms. Rios why she thought learning Chinese was important for her children, and she responded, “with China entering the global market, Chinese [will be] a great language to know.” Especially since nearly 20% of the world’s population already speaks the language, Chinese is becoming a ubiquitous skill.

Ms. Rios affirmed this further when we asked her what goals she had for her children. She responded, “I would like my children to be able to speak fluent Chinese.” Her children are currently taking weekly lessons with TutorMing and are on the fast track to achieving Chinese fluency. The quickest way to pick up a new language is to practice as often as possible. Some avid language-learners even move to a new country just so they can immerse themselves in the language. However, for those who do not have the means to travel there, or are unwilling to uproot their family, e-learning is one of the best ways to learn a language.

When asked what benefits come from e-learning with TutorMing, Ms. Rios responded, ”It allows us to select a time that works best for our schedule.” For busy parents that don’t have time to drive their children to a Chinese school, or supervise an in-person tutoring session, learning Chinese via the Internet is a safe and convenient option.

When we asked Ms. Rios how TutorMing integrates with her kids’ other curriculum, she responded: “My children are currently taking Chinese in a classroom setting, but only learning vocabulary words.  TutorMing [helps them] learn how to converse with those vocabulary words that they have learned.” At TutorMing, we have thousands of lessons. All of our lessons present vocabulary in a situational context, so students will not only learn new words but also how to use them.

We’ve emphasized the importance of live interaction in the past, especially when the student is learning Chinese. Since Chinese is such a tonal language, speaking practice is exceptionally vital. Recorded videos and audio may be useful for developing listening skills, but are not effective when it comes to speech. The only way to improve Chinese pronunciation is with an experienced, Chinese teacher, who can help correct the students’ tone and accent. Children also have an advantage over adults when it comes to learning Chinese: evidence shows that children who learn from a younger age are less likely to speak Chinese with an accent.

Young students learn quickly and efficiently with TutorMing’s method. The intuitive system tracks their progress and assigns classes based on their skill level and age. Many of our Chinese tutors have a certification for Teaching Chinese to Young Learners (TCYL.) TutorMing also provides several free Chinese-learning tools, so students can supplement their learning.

As mentioned, her children are making rapid progress with their TutorMing classes. Ms. Rios observes, “My children have been able to quickly learn to make simple conversation [in Chinese] in a very short period of time.”

We’ve so happy that the Rios family decided to continue their Chinese learning adventure with us! If you would like to discover how TutorMing can help your children learn Chinese, you can sign up here.

Conceptual Academy

Filed under: Daily News,Educational Adventures — Tags: , , — dailynews @ 4:00 am


Did you know that Conceptual Academy was chosen by readers as a Top Back to Homeschool Resource?  You can find the awards here, and sample their product here. Interested in’s Back to Homeschool e-magazine?  Then just click here

We’re having an entire Back to Homeschool Event!


Whenever Professor John Suchocki is asked, “what do you teach?” his immediate reply is “Students!”

Professor Suchocki (pronounced Su-hock’ee) first began developing distance education videos for chemistry and physical science nearly 20 years ago at Leeward Community College in Hawaii. He has a passion for helping students learn not the facts of science, but rather the excitement of discoveries made through science. The universe for what it is, not for what we might wish it to be, is more astounding and profound than we could possibly imagine. Science, John believes, is a tool that helps us toward this realization, which in turn can lead to creative solutions to the many challenges we currently face.

Professor Suchocki has worked tireless to bring together interesting and vital information into his courses and textbooks, but he doesn’t stop there! For John, learning is a two step process. The first step introduces the student to new ideas through reading textbooks and listening to lectures. In the second step, the student works to articulate and apply the new ideas he/she has learned.

Most students are pretty good at working through the first step. It is, after all, what they spend most of their learning time engaged with, and requires less effort than the second step. What students might not know, is that where learning is easy, so is forgetting.

This is why Professor Suchocki places emphasis on the second step. It’s the effort that students expend as they try to articulate and apply new ideas that makes the learning durable. Professor Suchocki describes this in much more detail in his article on “How to Study Effectively” (

It is this deep passion for helping students become responsible citizens and strong thinkers that inspired Professor Suchocki to create Conceptual Academy, which is imbued with his teaching philosophies in every corner. Conceptual Academy was created to change the way students are taught in our education system, moving toward a profound shift toward a greater recognition of the essential role of step two where students are responsible for their own active engagement with the curriculum and their peers, under the expert guidance of the course instructor. Conceptual Academy is designed to make this happen. Conceptual Academy’s Chemistry self-study course was reviewed by Cathy Duffy, known for her rigorous assessments of homeschool curricula. Read the review here:


John Suchocki, Ph.D.

Author, Conceptual Chemistry,

Conceptual Physical Science, et. al.

Adjunct Professor Chemistry & Physics

Saint Michael’s College

(802) 985-9987


William Carey University

Filed under: Daily News,Educational Adventures — Tags: , — dailynews @ 4:00 am





William Carey University is a private, faith-based university in Mississippi. The main campus is located in Hattiesburg, which is known as the “Hub City of the South” because of its close location to the state capital, the Mississippi Gulf Coast, New Orleans, and Mobile, Alabama. A satellite campus, known as the Tradition Campus, is located just minutes away from the Gulf Coast in Biloxi.

Carey offers a friendly, Christian environment with strong campus life opportunities and numerous academic offerings. The nurturing environment is perfect for students of all backgrounds and especially for homeschooled students. Students choose Carey because of the Christian environment, the caring and available faculty and staff members, and because of its reputation for academic quality. The institution was recently named Mississippi’s “Hidden Gem” by College Raptor, Inc., a national college matching platform, and consistently ranks at the top of U.S. News & World Report rankings. In 2015, Carey was named a “Top Tier Regional University,” a “Best Value,” and a school with the “Least Debt of Graduates.”

Carey offers both undergraduate and graduate degree options through the schools of Arts and Letters, Business, Education, Music and Ministry Studies, and Natural and Behavioral Sciences. The College of Health Sciences offers degrees in nursing, health information management, health education and administration, and, beginning in fall 2016, a doctoral degree in physical therapy. The College of Osteopathic Medicine, established in 2010, offers the Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine degree. The university is consistently adding new academic programs in response to needs within its local communities, the state, and the region.

Carey’s quality education is also affordable. Over 90 percent of Carey students receive some type of financial aid, with many students receiving institutional scholarship awards. Scholarships are given for various merits, including academics, athletics, talent, transfer student, church-related vocations and missionary dependent. Generous donors have also made numerous endowed scholarship gifts possible.

In addition to quality academics, the university also fields 16 academic teams, known as the Crusaders. The Crusaders compete in Division I of the Southern States Athletic Conference of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics. Eight sports are offered, including basketball, softball, baseball, soccer, cross-country, track and field, indoor track and field, and golf. The Crusaders perform strongly on both the conference and national levels.

Most importantly, Carey is a university focused on the success of its students. Carey’s creed, adapted from the watchwords of university namesake William Carey, is “Expect great things from God; attempt great things for God.” This creed, along with the mission of providing challenging, quality educational programs in a caring, Christian academic community, define the institution and its goals. Additionally, each academic year, Carey selects a theme based on a biblical concept to provide focus for the university community. The 2015-2016 theme is “Going the Extra Mile,” adapted from Matthew 5:41. This theme motivates the university and its students to “go the extra mile” in their pursuit of education.

The Carey admissions staff invite you to visit the university during any of the events below or by scheduling a campus tour and appointment with an admissions counselor. The Office of Admissions can be reached at (800) 962-5991 or by email at Find out more about Carey by visiting or by following Carey on social media ( or @WmCareyU on Twitter).

Upcoming events:

  • December 9, 2015 – Open House
  • December 9, 2015 – Homeschooler Brunch
  • February 24, 2016 – Open House


Bible Study Tips for Kids



Bible Study Tips for Kids


When people are willing to study the Bible, they can do great things for God. Such was the case for a young man who accepted Jesus as his Savior during the late 1880s. Moved by the Holy Spirit, he wanted to learn the Bible, but when the minister stood up and said, “Turn to 2 Timothy 2:12,” he couldn’t find it. Thumbing through the Bible, he finally looked in the table of contents for the page, but by that time, the pastor was already talking about something else. Embarrassed, unhappy, and frustrated, the young man developed a fiery passion to learn God’s Word. Because he was willing to seriously study the Bible and obey its truths, he became a famous preacher who led millions to Jesus Christ. That young man was Dwight L. Moody.

Although family devotions are an important aspect of homeschooling, are your children also learning how to study God’s Word on their own? According to Switched-On Schoolhouse 4th Grade Bible and the LIFEPAC 4th Grade Bible Unit 4 Worktext from Alpha Omega Publications, the best way for a child to learn how to study the Scriptures includes the following:

Read the Bible – Observation

What does it say? Forming the habit of reading God’s Word should start from a young age. Because daily Bible reading is to your child’s spiritual life what daily eating is to his physical life, an organized and systematic intake will give your child the strength and wisdom he needs to grow more like Christ.

The morning is usually the best time to encourage your child to read the Bible. While his mind is fresh and alert, he can find a quiet place to be alone and digest the truths of Scripture. Sitting up at a desk free of clutter will help him concentrate better than reading while lying down on his bed. Young children should start small and read five to ten minutes, gradually increasing in time as they grow older. To help your child become accountable and more disciplined in his Bible reading, make a colorful poster graph to help him track and record the time. Use stickers, markers, or other craft supplies to track and log his progress.

Learn from the Bible – Interpretation

What does it mean? Three things your child should look for while reading the Bible are promises, commands, and principles.

Promises – There are many promises in the Bible, but your child needs to understand if the promise applies to him, a group of people like the Jews, or the future. Next, instruct your child to ask himself, “Do I have to do something to receive this promise?” Many promises have qualifying actions that involve obedience. For instance, 1 John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” Meanwhile, other promises simply come from the love of God. “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourself: it is the gift of God” (Ephesians 2:8).

Commands – Most children are only familiar with the Ten Commandments found in the Old Testament; however, the Bible is filled with many commands from God that tell what to do or not to do. As your child reads verses like “Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right” (Ephesians 6:1) and “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself” (Matthew 19:19b), have him write down commands that will better his life if he obeys them.

Principles – The message of the Bible is timeless because its truths apply to all mankind. Principles are the truths from Scripture that help your child find his way in life. When a principle gets into your child’s mind, he’ll learn how to make wise decisions. Jesus said, “If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them” (John 13:17).

Think about the Bible – Application

What is God saying to me? Sometimes children have the misconception that the Bible was written just for adults, but nothing could be further from the truth! Although there are concepts a young homeschooler can’t grasp, there are far more he can discern with God’s help. Show him how to apply the following:

- Start each Bible study with prayer, asking the Father to keep him alert as he reads.

- Read expecting to learn something new from God.

- Keep a pencil and paper handy to write what he has learned.

- Highlight passages that are important to him. Mark portions giving a promise in blue, commands in red, and verses with principles in green.

- Use these five tips to memorize favorite verses and help him find victory over sin:

1. Copy the verse on a card.

2. Read each sentence or phrase saying the reference before and after.

3. Say the verse aloud from memory.

4. Tell the verse to someone else.

5. Re-study the verse later.


Alpha Omega Publications is a leading provider of PreK-12 Christian curriculum, educational resources, and services to homeschool families worldwide. AOP follows its mission every day by creating and providing quality Christian educational materials to thousands of students through curriculum, educational books and games, support services, family entertainment, and an accredited online academy. To learn more, visit or call 800-622-3070.

Middlebury Interactive Languages


Did you know that Middlebury Interactive Languages was chosen by readers as a Top Back to Homeschool Resource?  You can find the awards here, and see more about Middlebury’s products here. Interested in’s Back to Homeschool e-magazine?  Then just click here

We’re having an entire Back to Homeschool Event!


The Value of Learning a New Language Online

By Theresa Bruns


As a homeschool parent, I discovered the advantages of using an online world language program to give my children access to a second language and culturally authentic materials. The digital courses not only provided us with the flexibility that our family needed but also with an excellent curriculum.

As a homeschool mom of four, I have heard frustration in homeschool circles when it comes to choosing a world language curriculum. There are many options, but without expertise in that area, quite a few homeschool parents feel frustrated determining which option is best for their children. Even as a Spanish teacher, I had to do a great deal of research on how to provide the best world language education to my own children. Ultimately we chose Middlebury Interactive’s online curriculum, and our children have greatly benefited from it, continuing their language study in high school and college.

One of the benefits of digital language courses is that they offer homeschool families flexibility. Courses are self-paced, offer individualized learning and are adaptable to many different learning styles. Additionally, they are highly effective for the advanced, self-disciplined student. A good digital language program can compensate for the absence of a world language teacher and give students the start in second language acquisition that they need to be successful.

There are many proven benefits to exposing students to language and culture at an early age, starting with elementary courses. Students in middle school and high school will become successful in their pursuit of second language acquisition through task-based activities that reinforce learned skills and provide immediate feedback, as well as videos featuring native speakers at native speeds. Some families have benefited from purchasing additional support from a language teacher, while others find that doing it on their own fits their child’s learning style.

The self-paced program is enticing to homeschoolers in that they can work on the program as slowly or as quickly as fits their learning style and interest. Because digital programs offer that freedom, a homeschool student who is highly interested in languages can work through a program quickly at his or her own pace. A student who needs to work a bit slower but still wants to learn the language can also do so. Both types of students are able to learn the language at a comfortable pace.

Most homeschool families are comfortable with the core curriculum subjects and can dive right into choosing a program that fits their family; however, a second language is different because they don’t feel they can teach it if they don’t speak the language. It’s common for homeschool families to find someone who can teach their children the language if second language learning is important to the family, but that is not always convenient.

A digital language education program, such as Middlebury Interactive’s, gives students access to listening activities with native speakers, authentic materials to read that are created for the target culture, opportunities to write and speak, as well as instruction on grammar. Because the interactive online program is complete with computer-scored assessments, a homeschool parent can feel confident that they will be able to accurately monitor their student’s progress in the language. Because most homeschool students don’t have a certified world language teacher available, a good world language curriculum can still allow homeschool students to study a second language in their own home.

As a homeschool mom, I actually learned alongside my children. We enjoyed exploring and finding ways to reinforce what they were learning in their curriculum. Through the digital courses, a homeschool parent can find ways to reinforce the language, such as during dinner hours—where only the language is spoken, art and music exhibits that feature the culture they are studying, finding a native speaker with whom they can practice, attending a church service in the language, visiting cultural restaurants or volunteering within a community of people that speak the language.

When considering a language program for your children, consider the flexibility, accessibility and benefits that a stand-alone digital curriculum can provide for your children. Your children will have the flexibility they need to learn the language and have access to a curriculum that will hone their reading, writing, speaking and listening skills. And remember, you don’t have to be a language teacher for your children to learn a second language.



Theresa Bruns taught Spanish for more than 20 years at the high school and collegiate levels. She also taught online for seven years and is now a part of the professional development team at Middlebury Interactive Languages. Theresa and her husband homeschooled all four of their children.


Global Oneness Project

Filed under: Daily News,Educational Adventures — Tags: — dailynews @ 9:51 am




Global Oneness Project is an educational resource for homeschool educators which offers free multicultural stories and lesson plans for middle and high school age students. Their award-winning collection of multimedia materials are free. You can explore their website   as well as this booklet to learn more.

Plus, here are some free lesson plans -


Ancient and Modern Worlds

In this lesson, students watch a film about the Gamo people of the Ethiopian Rift Valley and explore how their ancient worldview raises questions about our modern way of life.
Read on ›



Practicing Empathy

In this lesson, students watch a film about a unique high school physics teacher’s perspective on life and explore the themes of social and emotional learning and empathy.
Read on ›



Passionate Pursuits

In this lesson, students view photos of craftspeople, learn about the Maker and Reskilling Movements and discuss the alternatives to mass production.
Read on ›

Rebecca Kochenderfer Interview

Filed under: Daily News,Educational Adventures — Tags: , , — dailynews @ 4:00 am


This is Rebecca Kochenderfer from I was just interviewed by and I thought you might find the information useful – especially as you’re starting up the school year.

The topic was Negative Reinforcement

1) What is negative reinforcement?

Rebecca: I am not a big fan of negative reinforcement – it’s too close to punishment. (I prefer to discipline and motivate using natural consequences and logical consequences.) But negative reinforcement can work under the following conditions: 1) your child must clearly know what is expected of him, and 2) you have to follow through. For example, let’s say you’ve been having a problem of having too many Legos out of the container and strewn all over the floor and it has become a tripping hazard. You and the child talk and agree that no more than 11 Legos will be out at any one time and that if the child breaks this safety rule, he has to put the Legos away and can’t play with them until the next day. (You now have a verbal contract. You and your child have agreed on a set of conditions and what will happen if those conditions are not met.) Your child breaks the rule and you have to follow through – the Legos are put away until the next day. Ideally, the child has learned his lesson and will never again spread his Legos all over the floor. You have reinforced the behavior you want (a safe carpet area) with a negative consequence.

2) How is it different from positive reinforcement?

Rebecca: Positive reinforcement rewards the behavior you want. In the Lego scenario, you would “catch him being good” and reward him when you see that there are 11 or fewer Legos on the carpet. “Good job, Johnny, the carpet is nice and safe now.” (Ideally, you would use intermittent reinforcement, the most powerful kind of positive reinforcement, and not reward every time you see the carpet clear, just some of the time. And ideally, you would never reinforce with food.) You have to be careful with positive reinforcement. Otherwise, the child only does something if they are going to receive a reward. A good book to read on this is, “Punished by Rewards.”

3) What is an example of negative reinforcement?

Rebecca: Here is an example of negative reinforcement that worked for my family. My daughter knew she was supposed to wear her seatbelt, but she kept forgetting. We were on a trip through Colorado and once again she had forgotten to wear her seatbelt, so I had her do “lines,” like we had seen in Harry Potter. She had to write 100 times, “I always wear my seatbelt. I always wear my seatbelt.” We all had a good laugh and it actually worked. She always wears her seatbelt now. Note how I had her focus on the behavior that I wanted, not on the behavior that I did not want. I didn’t have her write, “I should never forget my seatbelt.” And of course, I didn’t have her write, “I’m a bad kid because I always forget my seatbelt.”

4) When should using negative reinforcement be avoided?

Rebecca: As I said, I’m not a big fan of negative reinforcement. We want our children to be intrinsically motivated, not extrinsically motivated. With both positive and negative reinforcements, the reward is coming from someone else. With natural and logical consequences, the child learns from the experience and then motivates himself to do better. Here is an example of natural consequences. The child refuses to put on her coat so when she goes outside, she is cold. She learns her lesson and hopefully next time, she will put on her coat before going outside. She is not rewarded for putting her coat on, or punished for not putting her coat on. Instead, she experiences a natural consequence that leads to learning. Here’s an example of logical consequences. Let’s say, little Janey pushes JimBob down and he skins his knee. Instead of putting Janey on a time out for her behavior, you have her help bandage JimBob’s knee. The idea here is that you broke something so the logical consequence is to fix it.

5) Any other guidelines/suggestions?

Rebecca: As I mentioned, I prefer to use natural and logical consequences. But if you do use negative reinforcement, be sure your child knows what is expected and be sure you follow through. And remember, your goal is intrinsic motivation, not extrinsic motivation.


Homeschoolers Get More Sleep

Filed under: Daily News,Educational Adventures — Tags: , — dailynews @ 4:00 am



Homeschoolers Get More Sleep


If you’re concerned that your school day starts too late or that your teenager sleeps in too long, don’t despair. A new study shows that homeschoolers are happier, healthier, and perform better academically and socially because they get more sleep than their public and private school peers.

Led by Lisa Meltzer, a sleep psychologist at National Jewish Health, the study examined the sleep patterns of 2,612 teenagers, including nearly 500 homeschoolers. It found that homeschoolers sleep 90 minutes more per night and wake up an average of 18 minutes after the first bell sounds at high school.

According to the National Sleep Foundation, adolescents need between 8.5 and 9.25 hours of shut-eye each night to function best. Meltzer’s study found that over 55 percent of homeschool teens get the ideal amount of sleep each week, compared to just 24.5 percent of traditional school students. Only 16.3 percent of homeschoolers said they don’t get enough sleep.

Attempting to coax a teen into an earlier bedtime isn’t necessarily the answer to sleep deprivation, however. During puberty, adolescents’ biological sleeping and waking patterns move forward by about two hours. Due to this shift, it is natural for a teenager to hit the hay around 11 p.m., according to the NSF.

“It’s not that they don’t want to go to bed, but physiologically they simply can’t fall asleep earlier. So, the logical solution is to allow them to sleep later,” said Meltzer.

While homeschoolers typically have the flexibility to adjust their school day schedules to allow for extra a.m. snoozing, high schools are fielding protests that students aren’t alert enough for a 7:15 a.m. roll call.

“Academics, and the ability to learn, concentrate, and pay attention is all diminished when you haven’t had enough sleep,” Meltzer said. “But more than that, a lack of sleep can also impact a teenager’s mood.”

In the NSF’s 2006 “Sleep in America” poll, 73% of teenagers who reported feeling unhappy, sad, or depressed also reported not getting enough sleep at night and being excessively sleepy during the day. Sleep deprivation can even lead to aggressive or inappropriate behavior, such as yelling, impatience, irritability, and loss of temper.


Alpha Omega Publications is a leading provider of PreK-12 Christian curriculum, educational resources, and services to homeschool families worldwide. AOP follows its mission every day by creating and providing quality Christian educational materials to thousands of students through curriculum, educational books and games, support services, family entertainment, and an accredited online academy. To learn more, visit or call 800-622-3070.


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