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Web Newsletter

September 1999 Newsletter

September THF Events...


The monthly support meetings of The Homeschooler’s Friend will be the second Tuesday of each month from 7-8pm at Temple Baptist Church (2813 E. Hwy. 390). We would like to encourage everyone to attend these meetings. The meetings are primarily for parents, as we have many other activities for the children. You may bring your children if they sit quietly with you during the meeting, and do not run around the church after the meeting. Parents need to pick up after their children, because we'd like to leave the church better than we found it.

The Pearls’ Child Training Seminar In Panama City!

Event: To Train Up A Child Seminar
Speaker: Michael Pearl
When: September 24, 7:00 p.m.
Where: Panama City - Location to be announced at support meeting and will be sent out by e-mail, or write
Cost: None. A love offering will be taken up.

Here is the Pearls’ mission, from their web site: “As goes the child so goes the future adult—and the future parent. At every moment, parents holding little children are holding the future. Parenting, the most important and demanding job in the world, comes on us by default. Ready or not, prepared or ill equipped, all parents produce fruit that lasts throughout eternity. It is like stopping everyone that walks down the street and seating them at a piano to play for five minutes. The melody or the dissonance goes on and on from one generation to the next unless someone takes the time to break the cycle and learn the skill……of parenting.

Through books and tapes, the Pearls are training parents to break the bad habits passed down from former generations and to recognize and emulate the wisdom of those who have gone before. The Bible and common sense are the foundations for effective parenting.”

This evening will not be for homeschoolers only, so talk it up in your church and with friends. They’ll be so glad you told them about it! The evening won’t be for Moms only, either. Lots of Dads showed up in Thomasville, but many of the ladies said afterward, “Oh, I wish my husband was here!” Lots of good stuff for the Dads, and how important their role is in child training!

For more information, visit the Pearl’s web site, No Greater Joy, and read their newsletters.

Park Days

The Homeschooler's Friend will be hosting Park Days. Every Thursday will be at a different park in town. If you have a birthday this month, we will honor you on the 2nd Thursday (exception this month - see calendar). Bring your favorite goodie to share. Also, if you have a favorite game or toy, such as a Frisbee, wiffle ball, dodge ball, etc. feel free to bring that.

General Schedule:
First Thursday - Under the Oaks
Second Thursday - Oakland Terrace
Third Thursday - Bailey Bridge Park
Fourth Thursday - Under the Oaks

Bowling Days

THF Homeschool Bowling Days will be every 2nd Wednesday of the month at 1 PM at BowlARama Lanes on 15th St. $2 per game. RSVP to Shelly before each Bowling Day.


Harvest Home Educators Events

Harvest Home Educators (HHE) is a networking organization for homeschoolers throughout the southeast, who plan major events and are dedicated to keeping home schoolers informed.

Besides the Sea World Homeschool Day, here are a few more of their events. For more, go to

Sept. 17 - Dollywood Home School Day - Call (423) 429-7270.
Sept. 23 - Harvest Home Educators’ Home School Day at Atlanta Braves

Home Education Legislative Conference

Find out how homeschooling started in Florida, what direction it has taken over the years, and learn about exciting legislation that is now in the works for Florida home educators. See how you can get involved!

The Home Education Foundation (HEF) will host its Home Education Legislative Conference on Saturday, September 25. Paid registrations ($15, plus $3 for spouse) must be postmarked by September 18. (Registration form at end of newsletter.) For directions, more information, and nearby hotels, refer to our August newsletter.

HEF Tapes

“The History of Home Education in Florida” is now available on cassette or video from the Home Education Foundation (HEF). Learn how far Florida homeschoolers have come, from defending their parental rights, to taking the offensive with new legislation. Learn more about HEF, your voice at the capitol. See how HEF has been fighting for your freedom to home educate your children. This tape is a must for every Florida homeschooler! The cassette is available for a $5 donation to HEF, the video for $15. We will have it at support meetings.


Visual Arts Center Homeschool Art Classes

The Visual Arts Center (VAC) will be offering students’ art classes designed with the homeschooler in mind. Each class will cover one medium and will last for four weeks. Classes will begin on September 7th and will be ongoing throughout the school year.

There will be a parents’ meeting on September 3rd, 1pm at the VAC to discuss materials and specific classes. All parents or representatives are asked to attend this first meeting if possible. If you have a conflict, please contact Cathy at or Wadonna Riley at the VAC at 769-4451 as soon as possible.

The mediums that will be covered will be: Drawing 1 & 2; and Painting 1 & 2. The cost for the classes will be $25 per month. These classes will be scheduled according to the wishes of the parents. Possible times are Tuesdays, 12:30-2:30; 3:00-5:00; or Wednesdays or Thursdays, 1:00-3:00. Be sure to attend this first organizational meeting. I look forward to seeing you there! - Cathy

Panama City Swim Team

Panama City Swim Team is a not-for-profit organization with a competitive swim program held at GCCC for children aged 6-19. PCST coaches develop swimmers in the four “competitive” swim strokes with the goal of participating in swim meets.

Minimum swim skills are needed to join the team. Children must be at least 6 and be able to swim 25 yards, or one pool length, in freestyle and backstroke.

Cost: 11 & under, $50/mo.; 12 & older, $60/mo.; $30 annual registration fee.
To Join: Bring your swimmer to a practice with a $30 registration check. Your swimmer will be evaluated & assigned to a practice group. You may join for a one-week trial basis.
Schedule: M & W, 7-9pm; Tu, Th & Fri, 3:15-4:50pm. As long as you pay the monthly fee, your swimmer can come to practices as much or as little as your schedule allows. Daytime Numbers: Joe Hassler, Pres.: 785-6156; Jeremy Vail, Head
Coach: 914-9844.


HHE Sea World Homeschool & Private School Day; KSC Field Trip; Days Inn Lakeside

See August Newsletter)

Washington DC Tour

by Joslyn E., Independent Thinkers, Navarre -

Washington, DC: September 21-25, 2000 - Historical tour: Jamestown, Williamsburg, and Washington, DC - just before the presidential election and during Williamsburg's Home Educator Week. Fee covers round trip air fare, 4 nights hotel accommodations, all meals, all admissions and fees, planned evening activities (such as dinner theatre), and comprehensive accident/health insurance. Registration ends January 31, 2000. An estimated cost per person, for four persons to a hotel room, is $1,100. Registration does not obligate. Contact either me ( or Amy Taylor at 1-800-945-7410.



The Homeschooler’s Friend membership cards will be made available at our monthly support meetings, beginning this month. This card will entitle you to teacher discounts in certain local bookstores.


All Florida Parent Educators Association (FPEA) memberships expire September 30, 1999. If you haven’t already joined for the 1999-2000 year, send a $15 check, payable to THF, to our P.O. Box. Write FPEA on the check. Renew ASAP, to avoid missing the next Almanac issue.


by Pamela Martinez, THG

Find out about the National Homeschool Association, which is forming, or FPEA and join. This is one way for home educators to strengthen their common bond. Now that home education has become successful and mainstream, the NEA feels their hold on education slipping. I personally don't want my freedom to educate my child to discontinue or be dictated by the NEA. Do you? We must unite. [Editor’s note: Another reason to support HEF!]

From the NEA 1998-99 Resolutions, B-65. Home Schooling: “The National Education Association believes that home schooling programs cannot provide the student with a comprehensive education experience...Instruction should be by persons who are licensed by the appropriate state education licensure agency, and a curriculum approved by the state department of education should be used. The Association also believes that home-schooled students should not participate in any extracurricular activities in the public schools.” To learn more about the NEA, go to the following website:

A Local Homeschool Consignment Shop?

by Debbie Cogburn

A great bookstore has recently opened on Harrison Avenue. It's called Books by the Sea. The owner, Elizabeth Fravel, and I were talking recently about the need for a local place that homeschoolers could leave their curriculum and other related items. I discussed with her about the possibility of having a section of her store for that purpose. She was very interested and wants to know how other local homeschoolers feel about the possibility. She would take items on consignment and would also consider carrying new curriculum, such as Abeka, Bob Jones, Alpha Omega, etc. if there is enough interest. The new curriculum items would possibly be at a discounted price. Her store is mostly used books which she buys, sells, and trades. It also has new books at a 25% discount. If you would be interested in her setting up a consignment and/or new curriculum section, please call her or go by her store. The address is 23 Harrison Avenue (next to Curry Copy) and the phone number is 784-8100. She seemed willing to work with us if there is an interest, so please call or go by. Tell her Debbie sent you!

Florida History in the Making

by Cindy Lukehart

The largest ecological restoration project in history is just beginning. In an attempt to reverse more than 50 years of ecological damage, the US Army Corps of Engineers will try to restore as much as possible of the Everglades wetlands.

The sprawling Everglades ecosystem was originally a vast, shallow basin fed by pure water from Lake Okeechobee to the north. It was a wide, slow-moving "river of grass," with a rich, diverse ecology including many animal and plant species that are now endangered or extinct.

Today, that ecology has been drastically changed by human attempts to tame the periodic flooding of the Everglades basin. To restore the natural flow, the Corps will remove artificial dams and fill artificial canals. If the project succeeds, the Everglades might one day return to their former beauty.

More about the Everglades wetlands ecosystem:
Many organizations are taking part in the restoration effort:
Another Cool Fact about wetlands:

by Judy Ransom

I’m very thankful for everyone who is chipping in this year to offer support in THF! More and more parents are volunteering with an enthusiasm and conviction to help other homeschool families. When people help out of a genuine desire, their labor of love has enduring rewards for their own lives, as well as for those they help.

Through the years I’ve actually heard a few people complain about various homeschool support groups in different areas, as if they were paying the people who were doing all the work! I don’t mention this to be critical; I honestly think they just didn’t understand how a support group works. It is simply a group of people who offer one another support, who help one another. Members who don’t help, when it’s within their ability or means to do so, are missing the whole point of a support group, i.e., members helping one another.

Someone once told me that if you need to get something done, ask a busy person, because busy people know how to prioritize their time. That just about qualifies every homeschooler! I confess that I’m not always the wisest with my time, but one thing I’ve learned to do is to write everything I need to do on my calendar (I have a BIG one), and then LOOK at it every day. If I tell someone I’m going to do something, but don’t write it on my calendar, then it doesn’t get done. I suppose I look at my calendar as my “promise keeper.”

If you’ve offered to help with THF, but haven’t received an “assignment,” please forgive me. Either I didn’t write it down and forgot, or I need to know more about what you’re willing and able to do. Give me a call or drop me an e-mail. You don’t have to wait on me, though. I encourage you to “take the bull by the horns,” see THF as your support group, decide how you’d like to help, and then do it. The best help is offered by people who follow through with what they say they’ll do, until it’s done. If you have a “What needs to be done?” mindset, you’ll always find a need that you’d be perfectly suited to meet. No matter how great or small your help may seem, it contributes immensely to a fully functioning, healthy support group!


Texas Tech University
Accredited curriculum available from Texas Tech University. K-12 curriculum for homeschoolers as well as an accredited Texas department of education K-12 school district homeschoolers may be admitted into. Those students in the school district will have a transcript maintained for them at all times. Students may enroll on any day and the courses are self-paced with 6 months given to complete a semester course. Students may enroll in dual credit courses which earn both high school as well as college credit. 800-MYCOURSE Ext .244 or 888-ENROLLME.

Science & Technology Competition

High school seniors are eligible to enter the Siemens Westinghouse Science and Technology Competition. Students working individually or in groups of two or three may submit independent science projects. The contest, which is sponsored by the Siemens Foundation, awards more than $1 million in scholarships. Deadline for entries is September 24, 1999. Top prize for an individual entry is a $100,000 scholarship; the winning team splits $90,000 in scholarships. For more information, call (877) 822-5233 or go to

Parents, please check sites before introducing to children.

NASA is My Playground.:
Here are some cool NASA sites just for kids.

Universe in the Classroom:
The Universe in the Classroom is a free quarterly educational newsletter published by the ASP for teachers, youth group leaders, librarians, and anybody else who wants to help children of all ages learn more about the wonders of the universe. It is available either in printed form or electronically on the website.

Thursday's Classroom:
Science@NASA announces the first installment of Thursday's Classroom, a prototype educational web site for teachers and parents. Its aim is to provide a dynamic connection between NASA's latest research and the classroom environment - a pipeline of new knowledge between scientists and students.

Grammar Slammer:
Online English grammar help. Includes letter writing, confusing words, and easy search engine.

The Michigan Electronic Library:
Elements of Style by William Strunk; A+ Research & Writing for high school and college students; Guide to Grammar and Writing (includes diagramming sentences, Build A Better Vocabulary (subscribe to a word a day), spelling rules). Too many online books and writing resources to list!