Rabbi Avraham (Arthur J.) Fischer

Rabbi Avraham (Arthur J.) Fischer

Rabbi Fischer Rabbi Fischer was born and raised in New York City.  During adolescence, he was drawn to a stronger commitment to Jewish tradition, eventually earning rabbinic ordination from Yeshiva University-Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary.  At the same...

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Books that every Homeschooler should read

Books that every Homeschooler should read

I was asked this week what my favorite books on homeschooling were. Hard to pick, but my top favs are probably Jesse and Susan Wise Bauer’s The Well Trained Mind, Marva Collins, The Marva Collins Way, Rafe Esquith’s Teach Like Your Hair’s on Fire but there are so many more.

So I did y’all the favor of making my comprehensive list of Books that every Homeschooler should read.

Most of the authors listed also have websites, resources, podcasts, and online stores. They all have something to add to your life as an educator.  Dig in. Enjoy!
A Child’s History of the World by Calvert. Christian culture despite personal beliefs. The timeline of history as a framework for life.

Home Education by Charlotte Mason – Home Education is an atmosphere, a discipline, a life.
Summerhill  School, A New View of Childhood by A.S. Neill –  Freedom from coercion and repressive cultural ideas; free expression; believe in kids ability to want to learn.
How Children Learn by John Holt – Allow your child to follow their passions and develop their personhood. Life is learning, learning is life. Play is a child’s work.
Teenage Liberation Handbook by Grace Llewellyn- Throw off the shackles.
Homeschooling for Excellence and Hard Times in Paradise by Colfax. We are shaped by the work that we do;  back to the land, live pro-actively, excellence in education.
The Successful Homeshcool Family Handbook and Better Late Than Early, Home Grown Kids by Raymond and Dorothy Moore– Delight directed education; lay a firm foundation, the importance of basics. Better late than early.
AlphaPhonics Crimes of the Educators by Blumenfeld–  Fundamentals of education, lay a firm foundation; don’t expect the government to truly educate our country’s youth.
Timeless Teaching Tips by Joyce Herzog – To really understand something, start your research in the children’s section of the library.
The Underground History of Education,  Dumbing Us Down by John Taylor Gatto – Be proactive. Craft something beautiful despite the norms that seek to entangle you.
The Joyful Homeschooler by Mary Hood – Learning centers, discovery learning.

No Regrets, How Homeschooling Earned me a Master’s Degree at 16  by Joyce Swann – Accelerated education.
Beautiful FeetTeaching Character through Literature Unit studies; the joy of connections.

Homeschool Design Form+u+la by Barb Shelton – Delight directed, vocationally oriented. Record-keeping and organization, how to create a course.
The Well Trained Mind Eat an elephant one bite at a time. Have a vision that incorporates depth and width. Expect more from your kids and from yourself.
Latin Centered Curriculum and LCC: A Homeschoolers guide to a Classical Curriculum Depth vs. Width; simplify, stick with the basics; go far.
The New Global Student the world is (or could be) your classroom.
The Marva Collins Way Ordinary Children, Extraordinary Teachers  Become the teacher you wished you’d had. Know your stuff. Know more. Classical ed, baby, by a class act.
Rafe Esquith Teach Like Your Hair’s On Fire -LIghting Their Fires —Real Talk for Real Teachers The power of discipline, the arts and passion. Pursue sponsors for what you know to do.
University Model Schools– Combining the strength of homeschooling with the power of community. Win-win.
HSLDA– Strength in numbers- parental rights (vs. state rights).
G.H. Henty– Age of exploration. Find joy in history. Facts are dazzling diamonds, so it doesn’t matter if they are set into the same mold time and again.

Sonlight Curriculum– Literature and Bible-based teaching are a powerful combination.

Above Rubies– Establish a legacy.
Gentle Spirit– What do you have in your hand? Understand, establish and work with the seasons of life.

Sally Clarkson- Sympathize with the heart of your child.

Montessori– Kids are not mini-adults. Ages and stages, uninterrupted blocks of time to focus, discovery model
Mary Pride– The hand that rocks the cradle, rocks the world.
Hugh Ross– Science and Theology are beautiful bed-fellows. Intellect and faith go hand in hand.
Usborne books– The power of graphics; thinking skills made fun.
Marilyn Howshall–  Lifestyle of learning. Get one.
Classical Conversations– Train the brain to retain; grammar, dialectic and rhetoric stages.
Logos Academy/ Doug Wilson– The power of doctrine; living according to a clarion call; cclassical ed.
TeenPact– Age doesn’t matter in your ability to do great things for God. There is something unique about where you live right now. What/how does God want you to know/do about it?
Greg Harris– Establish your kids vocationally; do hard things; live out-loud.
Diana Waring– Joy in the journey, laugh out loud.
Greenleaf Press Press– 4 year history cycle, academic excellence.
Jim Weiss- The power of story-telling
Andrew Pudewa– Power of language; find the expert; give the kids as much help as they need; distill the difficult into simple. Master teachers and excellent curriculum rock.
Robinson Curriculum– Different seasons demand different methodologies; stick with the vision and make the curriculum work for you. The basics ware gonna get you through the night, baby.
Timberdoodle– Toys with a purpose; imaginative, active play; the discovery of the world through art, building, creation.
Cindy Rushon– Notebooking; journaling with an academic purpose.
Apologia– Textbook as lecture.

Who is on your list? Who did I miss?

Are you a new homeschooling mom? Or maybe you are just a seasoned homeschool mom looking for some encouragement. Check out our recommendations for books for homeschooling moms. Be encouraged today! #books #homeschooling #homeschoolmom

Teaching Our Kids to Be Independent Learners

Teaching Our Kids to Be Independent Learners

At True North Homeschool Academy we believe it is essential to create independent learners.  We polled our amazing FaceBook Group Help Homeschooling High School and came up with some great tips and resources for you!

So how can you teach your children to be independent learners?

Let them fail

Amber Fonseca teaches Advanced Literary Analysis and Composition (CLEP Prep) for us at True North Homeschool Academy. She also blogs at The Journey of Life.

Amber’s advice, “ Let your kids fail. And then encourage them to assess, make changes and start again. Scientists and inventors fail way more than they succeed, but they don’t let the failure stop them. Even our President had to file bankruptcy…but look where he is now. Failure is not an end but a chance to begin again.”

As parents, we want to see our kids succeed- that is only natural. But allowing them to fail, and teaching them how to not get stuck in that failure, is just as important a skill as how to handle success! Assessment tools are a great way to evaluate successes and failures and can keep us moving towards our visions, mission, and goals, despite set-backs!

Christine Joseph reiterates that we must be willing to,  “allow our kids to LOSE. One of the many lessons we learn by playing games are sharing, taking turns, following rules/instructions, how to compromise, empathy, being a good winner and a good loser. Using games allows kids to gain mastery in areas that they may be weak in. Allowing kids to create their own games (using the answer key) to play with other students benefits everyone. At Teaching with Games, most of our games are made with rules from time-tested, traditional games. Use our FREE custom Game Tool with your information.”

Let them be bored.

Jennifer Ann suggests, “it’s important for us to allow our kids time in their schedule to get bored, allow them time to shape what they study; by either helping design their own classes, make decisions about curriculum being used or by eliminating busy work.”

You can hear more of Jennifer Ann’s thoughts on this recording she made for Global Learn Day.

Teach your children life skills

Susan Brown shares important life skills your teen can learn including phone etiquette, laundry tips and more! Check those out here!

Dana Susan Beasley recommends,  “help your students discover their passions and calling by giving them the opportunity to develop marketable skills. Think outside the job box and prepare them for a bright future by given them entrepreneurial skills.” You can check out Dana’s blog, Angel Arts, here.

Require your kids to do chores and big projects around your home. Our kids all know how to do the laundry, shopping, cooking and cleaning, along with drywalling, laying brick, floor and tile, garden and many other life skills. We’ve required them to work alongside us, partly out of necessity and partly by design and now they wow us with their domestic superpowers!

Let them pursue their passions

Merideth Duke suggests, “parents learn to say yes when our kids want to do something different, like beekeeping, or starting a small business…or writing books and self-publishing them. When kids find something that truly interests them, let them pursue it further. It could lead to a better education than you could plan. Successes, failure, planning, frustration, marketing, sales, etc.

My son has a successful small business as a beekeeper from 11 years old through high school. My daughter has written 4 books and self-published 3 of them. She ‘s pursuing a publisher for her 4th. She’s 16. Let them dream. Let them plan. Let them do it. Let them fail. Let them try harder. Let them succeed. You want your child to be an independent learner? Let them pursue a dream and see how much they can do.

It’s only the beginning to what they will learn to do on their own. In addition to that set goals and tests for the week that have deadlines. Check their work when it’s due. They learn consequence and rewards pretty fast when they see a passing grade or an “F”. Start small with short deadlines and easy assignment. Add as they get used to it. Lengthen the dates on big projects like research papers and have smaller deadlines to break it up so its’ not so overwhelming. By the time our kids were in high school they knew our routing. My son is now in college and working ahead because he knows how to plan accordingly.”

Travel is another great way to teach independence

The very act of travel expands and changes our paradigms. You don’t have to travel far (but that can be really fun too); be a tourist in your own area. Get to know the idiosyncrasies, unique features, and beloved landmarks well of your region well!

Read widely to and with your kids across time and geography. Magazines are an easy way to get unique views and perspectives and our assortment over the years has included but is not limited to National Geographic (+Kids), Ranger Rick, Ladybug, Cobblestone, Science News, Biblical Archeology Today, Artifax, The Economist, and World Magazine.

Encourage Self-Directed Learning

In my experience, one of the most effective and straightforward ways to create independent learners is to outsource some classes each year, beginning in Junior High. Preferably a class that meets regularly has homework, regular assessment, and grading and provides feedback to student and parent. Not all stress is bad and coupling creative, self-directed work with work that comes with external accountability and assessment teaches kids that sometimes we have to perform to a standard beyond ourselves. True North Homeschool Academy offers great classes, we do the grading for you, and our price is amazing!

In closing, I would also like to recommend the book Grit by Angela Duckworth. Great advice for teaching our kids how to set goals, keep them, fail well, accept disappointment, defeat, and failure and keep moving towards success and fulfilling their call and vision. Some kids are natural goal setters and some struggle with frustration. Teaching our kids to structure themselves is a great gift. Teaching our kids to fail, accept defeat, learning to de-brief and self-evaluate – these are all great skills to equip our young adults with so that they can move towards independence.

We’d love to hear from you! How do you teach your kids to become Independent Learners?

Are you teaching independent learning in your homeschool?  Check out our tips for creating independent learners in your homeschool. #TrueNorthHomeschoolAcademy #independentlearners #homeschool #homeschooling




Course Description:  Chemistry is the study of matter and the changes it undergoes. A basic understanding of chemistry is central to all science—biology, physics, Earth science, ecology, and others. It is also central to our everyday lives. This high school chemistry course, while not exhaustive, is designed to provide students with a solid foundation in core chemistry concepts that will serve as a precursor to more advanced science courses in high school or college.

In this course, students will view chemistry lectures, participate in online discussions of the course material, and will practice the concepts covered via worksheets and various online tools that help to cement their understanding. Students will be evaluated through a combination of quizzes, homework assignments, and tests.

A textbook is not required for this class, however the textbook Glencoe Chemistry: Matter and Change ASIN: B014S2JAEC can be purchased as a reference. All notes and additional course material will be provided for an additional charge. The notes are fill-in-the-blank and are to be completed as students review the online lectures. The course material consists of all the worksheets and assignments the student will need for content mastery.