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By Heather Idoni

Added Monday, December 14, 2009

                The Homeschooler's Notebook
       ***SPECIAL SERIES - High School Homeschooling***
   Vol. 10 No 90                         December 14, 2009
                      ISSN: 1536-2035                              
   Copyright (c) 2009 - Heather Idoni, FamilyClassroom.net

  Welcome to The Homeschooler's Notebook!

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  Notes from Heather
  -- My Famous Cousins
  Helpful Tip for High School
  -- Apprenticeship Opportunity
  Answers to Reader Question
  -- Independence for My Son
  Additional Notes
  -- Newsletter Archives
  -- Sponsorship Information
  -- Reprint Information
  -- Subscriber Information

       Notes from Heather

  [My great-grandfather's grandmother was Sarah Wright Harris.
  She was the only sister to Orville and Wilbur Wright's father,
  Milton.  My great-great grandmother was Laura Harris, Sarah's
  daughter -- a first cousin to Wilbur and Orville.  That makes
  me a first cousin four times removed*!]

  Encouragement from My Cousins, the Wright Brothers


  From an early age, Wilbur and Orville Wright both demonstrated
  inventive mechanical abilities beyond average boyhood curiosity,
  leading to the establishment of a successful bicycle manufacturing
  and repair business before becoming famous for their aeronautic
  endeavors.  Although their formal education ended with high school,
  and neither received a diploma, within a few short years they had
  become self-taught engineers and well-known for their unique
  observations in diverse scientific concepts.

  Their mother, Susan Koerner Wright, was the daughter of a carriage
  maker and she spent hour after hour at her father's shop developing
  a finely tuned mechanical aptitude.  She went to college, studied
  literature and science, and was actually the top mathematician in
  her class.  As an adult, she would build home appliances for herself
  as well as toys for her children.  And who do you think the boys
  went to when they needed mechanical advice or help on a project?

  When the Wright brothers had achieved a certain amount of notoriety,
  their father was asked to share about the childhood of each of his
  famous sons.  Here are excerpts from the newspaper article:

  Bishop Milton Wright regarding Wilbur...

  "Up to his nineteenth year, he was distinguished for health, strength
  and activity.  He excelled in skating, making and flying kites, and
  in gymnastic exercises on a turning pole.  He did not attend school
  till he was about eight years old, and had already been taught by
  his father to read.  But from the first, he had facility in learning,
  and close application, and as these in later years did not forsake
  him, he ever excelled as a student.  He pursued more than a full
  course in high school, and closed at Dayton, Ohio, but could not
  graduate there because three of his years in high school course had
  been pursued elsewhere (Richmond, Indiana).  His parents thought
  of sending him to Yale college, but in playing a game on skates,
  at the Soldier's Home, the bat of a young man flew out of his hand
  and struck Wilbur, and some two or three weeks later palpitation
  of the heart developed, and for some years he was unable to pursue
  a student's life, though his much reading and study in that time
  perhaps nearly equaled the advantages of a classical education.

  His mother being a declining, rather than a suffering invalid, he
  devoted himself to caring for her, watching and serving her with a
  faithfulness and tenderness that can not but shed happiness on him
  in life, and comfort him in his last moments.  Such devotion of a
  son has been rarely equaled.  And the mother and son were fully
  able to appreciate each other.  Her life was probably lengthened
  at least two years by his skill and assiduity.  He, all these years
  used his spare time to read and study, and his knowledge of ancient
  and modern history, of current events and literature, of ethics and
  science was only limited by the capacity of his mind and his extra-
  ordinary memory.  He became a clear writer, and a ready extempore
  speaker, almost wholly without practice in the latter."

  And about Orville...

  "His education was closed in Dayton, Ohio, where he pursued three
  years in the high school, and then, at about seventeen years of age
  ran into a job printing and publishing a little advertising paper,
  in which Wilbur joined him some years later.  He began typesetting
  earlier on a small scale in a kitchen, with a very small outfit, and
  worked on till, untaught, he became a rapid and correct compositor,
  an accurate proof-reader, and a fine printer.  He always worked for
  himself, and in his earlier printing, his presses were invented and
  made by Wilbur, who was a natural workman in wood, iron, or any
  other material.  Orville in later years fully equaled his brother
  in invention and workmanship."


  Here is a story that has been passed down in my family over the
  years that I think you might enjoy.

  It seems one summer Milton paid his sister Sarah a visit.  Sarah
  recalled in later years how funny it was that almost the entire
  duration of his visit he was concerned about the welfare of two
  of his sons, namely Orville and Wilbur.

  He expressed his distress to his sister, perhaps looking for some
  advice to help get his adult sons on a proper career track.

  "All those boys do is tinker around in that bicycle shop!", he is
  quoted as saying.

  So, let that be a bit of a comfort for those of us who can't see
  a 'future' for a particular child... or can't quite envision where
  their unusual interests could possibly take them in life.

  You never know -- you might be raising a Wright brother! :-)

  "We were lucky enough to grow up in an environment where there
  was always much encouragement to children to pursue intellectual
  interests; to investigate whatever aroused curiosity.  In a
  different kind of environment, our curiosity might have been
  nipped long before it could have borne fruit." -- Orville Wright


  [*Confused by relational terms like "once removed"?  Read all
  about it here: http://www.genealogy.com/16_cousn.html ]

  Do you have comments to share?  Please do!
  Send your emails to:  mailto:heather@familyclassroom.net

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      Helpful Tip

  Trades Skills Apprenticeship Opportunities


  "My husband and I have a business in SE Missouri called Koinania.
  We are Christians and have homeschooled our children -- and our
  grandchildren are now being homeschooled as well.  We offer family
  themed nature-based vacation lodging for people wanting to get
  away from it all.  We are near many state parks and we have our
  own small fishing lake and riverfront area on 110 acres surrounded
  by Mark Twain National Forest as well.
  We are always building, expanding, remodeling, fixing fences and
  landscaping.  My husband is very good with training young men in
  the trades.  He is a certified HVAC mechanic as well as an auto
  mechanic -- and blessed with skills in electrical, plumbing, etc.

  All that to say this... we sometimes have young men ages 15-24
  come to our place and live for weeks or months at a time learning
  new skills.  We have even had father and son teams come for weekends
  to help us build while they are learning skills.
  Right now we have openings for our Winter schedule which begins
  approximately January 15th.  We need both weekend folks (families)
  and boys who can come for a week or 2 at a time.  We always pray
  and ask God to send us who He thinks will most benefit from an
  experience here at Koinania.  We have a Boy Scout group planning
  to come in March to build trails.  If there are other scouting type
  groups who would like to come and do projects to earn patches and
  gain experience we are open to that also." -- Mary
  Duane and Mary Wiltberger
  Koinania Cottages and Cabins
  1231 County Road 66
  Black, MO



  Do you have an idea, experience, or tip to share?  Please write!
  Send to:  mailto:HN-ideas@familyclassroom.net

      High School Question

  "We have two children, a son who is 14, and a daughter who is 12.
  We've been homeschooling for 5 years and although I'll never regret
  the decision, I seem to be having more trouble with our son when it
  comes to completing lessons on his own.  I'll admit, I probably
  helped a little too much for the first couple of years, but after
  we got the hang of homeschooling, I've been having them to do more
  things themselves.  My daughter has no trouble whatsoever working
  on her own; she's always been the independent type.  But my son
  seems to have a lack of confidence in himself to be able to complete
  his work without me checking every problem/sentence, etc.  I've
  repeatedly told him he CAN do it, he's smart!  And he has the
  ability to find the right answers - but to no avail.  It seems we
  can have a few really great days, then something sets him back and
  I have to constantly look over his shoulder, at his request.  I know
  that confidence is something you can instill in your child, but you
  can only take it so far and they have to do the rest.  How do I get
  him to realize his potential?  How do I give him the self-assurance
  he needs to possess in order to have the confidence to complete
  tasks on his own?  Thanks in advance for any advice." -- Tammie

      Reader Responses

  "I hate to be this way, but I think it's a guy thing.  I have the
  same problem with my son and husband.  If they already know how
  to do something they are good.  If not, they are stuck. 

  To motivate my son, I'll help him with a few problems, then just
  sit back and let him do the next on his own, only helping if he is
  really stuck.  If he progresses on his own, I'll tell him to look
  for me if he needs help and do something else near by.  I point
  out when he does things independently and compliment him.  We do
  fluctuate between independent work and needing help, but overall
  I think he is becoming more independent." -- Anne


  "Hi Tammie -- You enable him to develop confidence by giving him all
  the support he needs.  To withdraw it or compare him to his sister
  is disastrous.  This is when you choose what's more important --
  time for yourself or the time and effort your son needs right now.
  If you make the investment in him now (and maybe even for the next
  year or two), the time will come when it will pay off and you'll
  see him become a confident and self-directed learner." -- Diana

     New Reader Question for Next Regular Issue

  "We used to have a nice routine that paralleled 'typical' public
  school hours while Dad was at work.  Recently my husband was
  promoted to a position with second shift hours.  Since Dad is
  now home during our normal school hours, the kids want to spend
  much of that time with him.  By the time he goes off to work, no
  one is looking forward to starting the school day in earnest.
  (Especially me, since my best thinking/teaching time is much
  earlier in the day!)

  I know that one of the perks of home educating is flexibility.  I
  would love it if my husband would consistently take this opportunity
  to lead daily morning devotions and maybe even help with schoolwork,
  but I don't want to nag him about it.  Can anyone provide advice on
  the best way to transition into a new schedule that would include
  Dad's presence?  Thanks!" -- Elsie


  Do you have the miracle solution Elsie is hoping for? :-)

  Please send your answer to:  mailto:HN-answers@familyclassroom.net

     Ask YOUR Question

  Do you have a question about homeschooling high school?

  Send it to mailto:HN-questions@familyclassroom.net and we'll see
  if we can help you out in a future issue!

     Need Immediate Help?

  Visit our Homeschool Encouragement Center!  This is a live 24/7
  'chat' area where you can talk live to our homeschool counselors
  by typing in a box.  When you get there, just introduce yourself
  and let them know that Heather sent you!

  This ultra-safe chat is supervised by experienced moms who are
  there to serve and share their wisdom... or just offer a listening
  ear and encouragement.



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