Everything you've always wanted to know about Home Schooling and Home Business

June 1 , 2006 EJOURNAL...

The Joys of Reading, part 2: Great Books Stimulate Creativity
by Valerie Bendt
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art 1 HERE>>

For a list of Valerie Bendt's recommended books for children, GO HERE>>

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journal, CLICK HERE>>

Focus on reading excellent literature

People often say to me, “Well, it’s fine to read all those books with your children, but how do you find the time?” Reading great books must be our first educational priority. Let the textbooks and workbooks take second or even third place. I believe that the education of home school children would be enhanced if an entire school year were taken off to focus on reading excellent literature.

When I was pregnant with my fifth child, I had an opportunity to test this theory. It was not by choice, but by necessity, that we implemented this mode of learning.

I was sick almost the entire pregnancy and spent much of the time in bed. (One of my teenage sons relates now that all of his memories of me during that period are horizontal!) The children gathered in my bed and listened to me read aloud for hours, though I admit, I worried that they might suffer academically. The opposite proved to be true as I observed that their vocabulary, thinking, and composition skills soared.

When it was time for annual testing, their reading, spelling, and math scores had actually improved. This was enough proof for me: exposure to great literature stimulates the mind. Since that time, literature has held a high position in our home.

Children reflect their parents' interest in reading

It is whether we, as parents, value reading that determines whether our children will be attracted to reading. Parental involvement and absorption in reading relates directly to the child’s ability and desire to learn to read. In other words, the more involved the parent is, the more interested the child will be.

My strong belief in the value of sharing great literature with my children is confirmed again and again as I study the works of educators such as Ruth Beechick, Charlotte Mason, and Susan Schaeffer MacCaulay.

Reading widely not only helps to stimulate our children’s academic abilities, but it stimulates their creative abilities as well. Sharing great books with our children – books teaming with life – provides an avenue for creative activity. Reading these books together allows us to spend precious time with our children while strengthening their academic and creative skills.

A good book will transport us to another place and time and help us to become intimately acquainted with great individuals – real heroes and heroines. A biography offers us an opportunity to tread in another person’s footsteps, enabling us to share in their triumph, defeat, anguish, and jubilation. Even a well-crafted fictional character may offer us a glimpse of true heroism.

I treasure memories of my children acting out characters from classics such as Pilgrim’s Progress, Heidi, Swiss Family Robinson, and The Secret Garden. The majority of children today spend more time watching TV and videos than they do absorbing good literature. They are generally held hostage by the cookie cutter heroes (pressed out of an inferior mold) formed by the latest TV or movie craze.

One cannot walk down the aisle of a store without being bombarded by this mediocrity. I think over stimulation from the media has squelched our children’s natural inquisitiveness so they settle for the mundane and the mediocre. I will grant some videos and TV programs have good things to offer and are not to be discounted entirely. However, we should not allow the good things to crowd out the best things.

Children enjoy literature from an early age

Follow a plan of reading aloud that introduces new levels of difficulty as the child develops. Begin with picture books for young children. Bright pictures focus the child’s attention while still leaving much to the imagination – more so than videos, which bombard them with fast moving pictures and sounds.

Picture books also help young children develop an appreciation for art while building familiarity with the rhythm and flow of our language. As children mature they will enjoy other types of books: fantasy, fiction, non-fiction, poetry, biographies, and more.

My children have learned to enjoy literature from an early age. It is exciting for me to see that literature continues to hold a place of high importance for my teenagers. Recently, my 17-year-old daughter, Melissa, said to me, “One of my goals in life is to read all of the classics. I think I have a pretty good start so far.” We then discussed our favorite authors and books, and she commented, “I’m interested in reading books that were written at least a hundred years ago. Most of the books that are being written today can’t compare with these, so why waste my time?”

Years of learning alongside my children have taught me the value of reading great books with them. By “great books,” I mean books that stimulate the mind and arouse the heart. Great books help us to grow intellectually and spiritually. They allow us to experience loyalty, courage, honesty, truth, wisdom, and other enduring qualities through the creative expression of the author. Great books are of outstanding literary quality.

I wish that I had realized the importance of reading literature with my children earlier in my home schooling experience. It is so easy to be caught up in completing this textbook or that workbook to the point that meaningful education is pushed aside. Reading great books with our children has provided us with many wonderful educational experiences, and reading aloud to them from an early age has prepared them to begin formal reading instruction.

For a list of Valerie Bendt's recommended books for children, GO HERE>>

The positive influence of literature

As my children play I am reminded of the positive influence of literature in their lives. Last year when my youngest daughter, Mandy was 7 years old, she began taking piano lessons. This sparked an interest in the lives of the great composers, so we read more than twenty biographies. Some were the easy-reader-type, which she could read to me, while others were more lengthy books, which I read to her. I was amazed at how she kept the events of the different composer’s lives so neatly sorted.

This enthusiasm flowed over into her playtime where she centered her activities on a composer’s era. She managed to draw her 3-year-old brother, Randall, into her pretend world. I recall one day in particular when they were totally absorbed in their play. I rushed into the bedroom because we were hurrying to leave for an appointment, and there they stood – coats on (in the heat of summer) and suitcases in hand. I abruptly commanded, “Hurry up! We are going to be late for the orthodontist. Take off these things, and get into the van.”

Mandy and Randall took no notice of me. I repeated my orders. Then Mandy said, in an emphatic tone, “He’s Mozart and I’m Nannerl, Mozart’s sister. Mozart’s performing at a concert tonight in Vienna. We must be off to Vienna at once!”

“I’m sorry,” I said. “Mozart can have his concert when we come back home. We must go to the orthodontist now.”

My teenage son, Robert, was listening from the hallway. He burst into the bedroom, exclaiming, “Nannerl, Mozart, we must hurry! The last coach leaves for Vienna in five minutes!”

Without a word, the two little waifs, with coats on and suitcases in hand, ran outside and jumped into the van. I stood silently in the bedroom for a few moments, until my son put his hand on my shoulder and said, “Mom, you just have to meet them in their world.”

I encourage you to assist your children in creating worlds of their own. A great book is a gateway into such golden worlds.

Valerie Bendt

P.S. I have always relied on Honey for a Child's Heart, Books Children Love, and Read for Your Life, which has been reprinted and updated as Honey for a Teen's Heart.

Would you like to submit an article for our ejournal? GO HERE>>

FREE LIST of Valerie’s recommended books for preschool, elementary and middle school, and high school. Read Valerie Bendt's booklist here>>

For our list of top books for children of all ages, GO HERE>>.

Valerie and her husband, Bruce have home schooled their six children for over 25 years. She has written the following books: How to Create Your Own Unit Study, The Unit Study Idea Book, For the Love of Reading, and Success with Unit Studies - all of which have been released in one updated. She has also written The Frances Study Guide, Creating Books with Children, Successful Puppet Making, Making the Most of the Preschool Years, and Reading Made Easy. Valerie is probably best known for her teaching on unit studies.

To help Christian parents choose the best in children’s literature, the books below contain recommendations and annotated book lists.

The Read-Aloud Handbook by Jim Trelease. This book not only convinces you of the critical importance of reading aloud to your children, but it also has lists and lists of the "best of the best" books that all ages can read aloud and enjoy.

Invitation to the Classics by Louise Cowan and Os Guiness. Subtitled, “A Guide to the Books You Always Wanted to Read,” the authors have prepared a history of literature by presenting, in chronological order, important literature in the history of Western civilization. They start with Homer, through the Greek poets, the Romans, the Middle Ages, and so on to the twentieth century. Each chapter analyzes a different author’s work from a Christian perspective, explaining his or her worldview, and summarizing the plot of some of his or her most important writings. A large, hardcover book. Young adult and up.

Books Children Love by Elizabeth Wilson is a wonderful book derived from the insights of Charlotte Mason who believed education should take place mainly through reading books that make a subject come alive. It lists hundreds of “living books” by subject area and grade level.

Books by Gladys Hunt

Honey for a Child’s Heart
gives many suggestions for making reading more rewarding and includes an 85 page annotated booklist of the best children’s literature by subject and age level. Honey for a Teen's Heart is the sequel to Honey for a Child’s Heart and has teen reading lists and lots of ideas for creating teen readers and keeping them reading. Honey for a Woman's Heart is another great reading compilation, this time for busy Christian women. Full of great summer reading ideas.

Reading Lists for College Bound Students
contains suggested reading lists from 100 top colleges, an annotated list of the 100 books colleges most often recommend, and suggestions for planning a high school reading program.

For our list of top books for children of all ages, GO HERE>>.

Until next time....

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© Copyright 2006. Home School Marketplace, 1053 Eldridge Loop, Crossville, TN 38571.

What Does
Home Schooling Mean to You?

I home schooled my three boys for their whole schooling experience, so I know what home schooling means to me. But I wasn't sure what home schooling means to all the other parents who are educating their children at home.

So I decided to ASK.

A lot of you have already voiced your opinion, and I appreciate you taking the time to take part in my survey. The webpage was down briefly last week, so if you wrote out your ideas and didn't get a "Thank You" page when you pressed the "Submit" button, we apologize and hope you will submit them again.

If you haven't had a chance yet to tell me what home schooling means to you, please GO HERE NOW. It will just take you a few minutes and your input is invaluable to me. Thanks!


Home Business Resources

The Pride Financial Network Stock and Options Home Study Program
I keep encouraging you to at least check this program out because of the time critical issue mentioned below and also because I know it works. For a limited time, Chris Verhaegh is offering his home study program at a special price and with a special extended guarantee. Find out more about it HERE>>

If you've ever thought about learning to invest in the stock market, do it now. Find out why this is TIME CRITICAL HERE>> Chris is still monitoring the VIX for an ideal set-up, so make sure you're a part of it.

Google Adsense is big money and I have friends who make six figure incomes each year by creating websites strategically designed to run Google ads on them. I’ve made money with Google ads, but so far not six figures a year.
But I’m getting there. Running Google ads on your website is a great way to create passive income.

So why am I talking about Google Adsense? Because I’ve been studying under a guy named Len Thurmond who is teaching me to create highly efficient Google Adsense sites and he’s going to release his method in a home study program on June 5.

Len’s students (including me) have gotten to beta test the program and so we are being given the opportunity to tell others about it before the release. It will only be on the market for three days and will be heavily promoted by top internet marketers, so I want you to have the opportunity to be part of the pre-release.

Don't have a clue what Google Adsense is? You can find out more about Google Adsense is, how it works and what the problems have been and how Len's program will solve these problems if you GO HERE and download his free e-book "How To Win The Billion Dollar Adsense Game." Go ahead an get the book as soon as you can, because I don't know how much longer it will be available.

And be sure to sign up to be notified for the pre-release of his program The Amazing Sitebuilder System. There are only a few days to do so.

Rhea's Entrepreneur Days I've known Rhea Perry for over ten years and seen her heart for helping home school families develop an entrepreneurial mindset and start their own family businesses. She also is very concerned that teens are trained to become entrepreneurs. So for the last five or six years she has held "Entrepreneur Days" where she brings together leaders in different businesses and lets them share their secrets.

If you:
....are facing downsizing and are looking for a way to create income
....desire to work for yourself instead of someone else
....want to train your children to own their own business so they can become financially free

then this is the place to go! Find out more about it here.

Building the Business of Your Dreams (8 CD Set) I've had requests for just the business portion of the From Home School to Home Business Seminar, so have developed a set of the business CDs from that set. It contains 8 CDs and includes sessions on The Entrepreneurial Mind, Multiple Streams of Home Income, Discovering Your Ideal Life and Ideal Business (2 CDs) , Developing a Business Plan (2 CDs), and The Importance of Business Relationships. Plus, there is a very important and insightful interview on Redeeming the Marketplace. Find out about this life-changing set of CDs HERE>>

Home School Resources

Notebooking! Yes! You CAN Be a Binder Queen! Cindy Rushton is the "queen" of education through notebooking and uses notebooking for EVERYTHING! In this resource, she teaches you how to create "notebooks" around each course of study, whether you're working with a toddler or a high-schooler, pouring out all her ideas and tips for heling your children deepen their studies and document learning all along the way. Cindy addresses many of the tough questions that many of us face in a way that will make it easy to for you to apply these ideas TODAY!. Special offer: 30% off! This is the 2005 version that normally sells for $20, but you can get it now for $14.

Books and CDs by the Elijah Company. We have closed down the Elijah company mail-order store, but Home School Marketplace carries many of the products by Chris and Ellyn Davis as well as products we published for others. Here are just a few of our best-sellers.

30% off WIN books

We have the following WIN books available: The Reluctant Writer,
Comprehensive Story Writing,
Writing Man 1 & 2, WIN Twin, and
Expository Writing Handbook

For more information and to place an order, FIND OUT MORE HERE>>

I Saw the Angel in the Marble

With over 4,000 copies sold in just a few months, I Saw the Angel in the Marble is becoming a home schooling best seller!

This book represents the best of 15 years of Elijah Company articles. Find our more HERE>>

Davis Seminar Set (8 CDs)

The Best of Chris and Ellyn Davis, this set contains seminars given by Chris and Ellyn Davis of The Elijah Company at home schooling conventions. The set contains all of the favorites that home schoolers ask for over and over. People have told us this set of CDs changed their lives. Find out more about them HERE>>

Angel in the Marble/Davis Seminars Set
Order a combination of I Saw the Angel in the Marble and the Davis Seminars CDs HERE>>

From Home School to Home Business
(14 CD Set)

If you missed one of our From Home School to Home Business Conferences, you missed a great time.People who have attended tell us that it changed their lives—not only in the area of home schooling, but also in the area of creating their own sources of home income.This set is huge and filled with useful and encouraging information about how to be successful at home schooling and at home business! Find out more about this life-changing set of CDs HERE>>

Building the Business of Your Dreams (8 CD Set)

I've had requests for just the business portion of the From Home School to Home Business Seminar, so have developed a set of the business CDs from that set. It contains 8 CDs and includes sessions on The Entrepreneurial Mind, Multiple Streams of Home Income, Discovering Your Ideal Life and Ideal Business (2 CDs) , Developing a Business Plan (2 CDs), and The Importance of Business Relationships. Plus, there is a very important and insightful interview on Redeeming the Marketplace. Find out more about this life-changing set of CDs HERE>>

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View past ejournals HERE>>

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