Thursday, May 18, 2023

Homeschool Coffee Break Reading List - May 2023

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A long time ago I did an occasional round-up of articles, resources, and just fun things around the web and called it the Coffee Break Reading List, because this blog is the Homeschool Coffee Break, so of course! It included things unrelated to homeschooling too, as it was essentially a collection of the different things I was reading. As I finished the journey through homeschooling my own kids, I did continue tutoring and mentoring homeschool families, and was involved in the homeschool community, but I did this round-up less often, until eventually I left off doing it altogether. After a recent move, I started a new blog which is now the home of the Coffee Break Reading List, but because I still care deeply about homeschooling, I'm still going to try to do a homeschool related reading list here. Here are just a few things I've found during recent coffee breaks that you may find interesting as well.

The homeschool reading corner:

  • Enrollment in U.S. government schools dropped by over one million students from 2019 to 2021, and while some of that shift was certainly due to Covid lockdowns, the trend is continuing. Many parents are finding that public schools are unwilling or unable to provide help for students that are struggling, sometimes stating that scores aren't 'low enough' to warrant intervention. It begs the question, how far behind does a student need to be to prompt a public school to help? As public schools fail to address students' needs, more parents turn to alternatives (from The Lion) explains.
  • Since my son was a member of Civil Air Patrol, I found this article very interesting. A Virginia student who had been in Civil Air Patrol applied to an Air Force JROTC program but was told he was ineligible because he was homeschooled. Ryan Carbonel had plans to get into the US Air Force Academy, so this was a setback. Thanks to assistance from the HSLDA, the public school was informed that Carbonel did have the right to join the JROTC and he is back on track. Read more: Never Give Up: How a Teen, His Mom, and HSLDA Cleared the Runway to JROTC.
  • Congratulations to these homeschool students and to the Richmond Mall for this colorful art showcase, "Art Around the World", featuring artwork from homeschooled students at a local co-op. See: Homeschool Art Showcase Adds Color to Mall (from the Richmond Register)
  • I'm not sure about statistics, but it seems like families that homeschool are more likely to eat meals together. Anecdotally, a large majority of the homeschool families I know do eat at least one meal together on most days of the week. I saved this article quite some time ago, but I believe it's still relevant. Anita Ojeda asked Does The Family That Eats Together Have Better Mental Health? and also offered a few tips for making family mealtime work better. And that's news we can all use, even if we're not homeschooling!
  • Visit the HSLDA campaigns page to check on legislation affecting homeschooling in your state and the HSLDA recommendations on those bills.

The home is the first and most effective place to learn the lessons of life: truth, honor, virtue, self-control, the value of education, honest work, and the purpose and privilege of life. Nothing can take the place of home in rearing and teaching children, and no other success can compensate for failure in the home. ~David O. McKay

Dear friend, don't let the bustling culture determine the needs of your own children. You get to choose how they grow up. You can protect their time, energy, and imagination. You are the gatekeeper of the garden of their childhood. ~Ainsley Arment

Resource Spotlight:

This free webinar takes place this evening, so very time-sensitive! Learning to Write: Getting the Right Start! is a free 45-minute workshop Q&A provided by HSLDA. This workshop will help you introduce K-6 students to writing and cultivate their love of writing. 

Speaking of writing, one resource we liked a lot, especially for middle grades was Fix It! Grammar from Institute for Excellence in Writing (IEW). Their Structure and Style writing method is well-known for teaching composition. Fix It! Grammar is a series of six books that teach grammar skills and knowledge by having students find and correct errors in short daily passages that tell a story. It's an interesting and fun way to practice using grammar skills.

See our full review: Fixing Grammar with IEW

Fixing Grammar with IEW (A Homeschool Coffee Break Review for the Homeschool Review Crew) on has a Drivers Ed course! Did you know? I remember that when my kids were teens learning to drive, my state still required new drivers to learn from a driving school, so you will need to check what the laws are where you live. But either way, the Friendly Drivers Ed course will be a big help! It covers how to pass the exams to get the license, basic car science, safety, maintenance, and ownership concerns that every one of us needs to know. 

From the archives here at Homeschool Coffee Break: 

Curious about Civil Air Patrol, which I mentioned in one of the news stories? Here's an article I wrote about the organization in 2016 when my son graduated from high school: From the High School Lesson Book - Civil Air Patrol

From the High School Lesson Book - Civil Air Patrol on Homeschool Coffee Break @

Our daughter just graduated from university, and this is the season for graduations! Got me thinking about many of the graduation traditions like the cap and gown, and I remembered mentioning a few of those traditions when I wrote about my son's high school graduation a few years ago. I suppose I should share about my daughter's latest achievement here - watch for that post coming soon! For now, you can check out: From the High School Lesson Book - Graduation

From the High School Lesson Book - Graduation on Homeschool Coffee Break @ - What our group's commencement exercises are like, and a little history about some grad traditions

My personal coffee break reading:

Fair As A Star by Mimi Matthews
The Keys to Gramercy Park by Candice Sue Patterson

Find out more at my book blog Just A Second.

Found anything interesting on the web lately? Read any good books? Leave a comment and let me know!

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