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 September 2002

Black Hills Homeschool Association

An inclusive group dedicated to empowering all homeschoolers in the Black Hills of South Dakota through Support, Encouragement and Education

Volume 2, Issue 8                                                                   September 2002


A WARM WELCOME to the new families who have recently joined our group.  We have 38 families with about 84 children.  The group email list now has about 40 members on it.  Please continue to encourage those new to homeschooling.


PARK / LIBRARY DAYS!!!  Join us every Friday at 10:00 at Robbinsdale Park on nice days, or the Library on bad weather days. 


SCHOLASTIC BOOK ORDERS - We will have these order forms at our monthly meetings and will take orders then.  Lisa R. has PreK-2nd,
Jen has 3rd and up.  Scholastic also has a book club.


BHHA Website is updated monthly and recently got a make over.  Go check it out at  If you have ideas or suggestions let Jen know.   If you just LOVE it, let her know that too!!


MONTHLY MEETINGS are at the RC Public Library, usually on the last Saturday of each month from 1:00 to 3:00.  Check the dates.

Bring something to "Show-n-Tell".  It doesn't have to be on-topic.  This has been so interesting and we get to see new things we may never have heard of before.

Following is the tentative topic schedule.  If you or someone you know can discuss something in particular about one of these subjects, please let
Rhonda know!

August 24, 2002 - Getting Started / Back to School

September - Organization

October - Spelling and Grammar

November - Math

December - Science

January - History

February - Special Needs



Science Class!!  Planets and Constellations, taught by Kay.  For elementary kids, about grades K-4 or 5 at Imagination Station on Wednesdays from 10:30-12:00.  Class will begin on September 18th and will finish on November 20th with the 27th for a make-up if needed.  Cost is $5/child/class.  Discounts given for families with more than one child enrolled.  Call  or e-mail  Kay .


Public Speaking Class,For junior and senior high aged students, about grade (5 or) 6 -12/adults welcome too.  This will meet at the Free Methodist Church (4813 S. Canyon Rd.) on Thursday afternoons from 1:00-2:30.  Class will run from Sept 19-Dec 12.  We will not meet on Nov 28th and we will keep Dec 19 as a make-up day if needed.  Cost is $5/student/class with discounts given to families with more than one child enrolled.  This class helps students to become at ease speaking in front of a group as well as teaching
them how to organize their thoughts and materials for a public presentation.  Call or e-mail
Kay  for more information..


Spanish Classes - Chris Spader will be offering Spanish classes to 7 year olds and older on Thursday afternoons this Fall for 10 weeks at a cost of $50. You can contact her at for more information.


ASL (American Sign Language) Club.  This is not a regimented class, but an opportunity to expose the younger kids (mine are 6 & 4) to the basics of conversational signing in a no pressure situation, like one afternoon a week. Contact Diana


French Classes - I am considering teaching a French I class for homeschoolers.  I will be teaching French II at the Mustard Seed School in Belle Fourche on Wednesday and Friday afternoon as a continuation of last year's French I class.  The French I class will have to be on Saturday's if you are interested. I will need about 4 students to make the class workable.  The class will be 75 minutes or 1 hr and 15 minutes.  I will be using Bob Jones curriculum.  You will not need to buy a book. The ages for the class need to be about from 8th up to 12th grade. (Many colleges require 2 years of a foreign language for entrance.)  I will be teaching this class all year long; this way your child can earn a full credit in the language. My credentials include a minor in French and I will be certified by the State of South Dakota next Spring when I graduate from BHSU with a degree in Secondary Education. (I will have a certification in K-12 French.) I will be charging $5 per class session, which will amount to about $20 per month. I am sorry but Saturday's are the only time that I have open.  Please email me at   We will start the next Saturday after Labor Day if I can find enough students that are interested.

Mom's Coffee/Tea will continue this Fall at the westside Millstone on the first Thursday of the month at 7pm.


Girl Scouts  Jen is a troop leader and has room for your girls, meeting on Saturdays.  For more information call  or email


YMCA offers homeschool classes.  Watch the next newsletter for the schedule or get a flyer from the YMCA.



The Rapid City Concert Association has the 2002-2003 schedule.  Five concerts consisting of a brass quintet, Dixieland band, an A cappella group, a husband & wife piano duo, and The Golden Strings. All tickets are reciprocal with concerts in Belle Fourche, Hot Springs and Newcastle. The best is the price !  Two adults with children (even if that means you have 10 children) is $110, one adult plus children is $60, individual student season pass is $25, and an adult only pass is $50.  Call the Dahl Fine Arts Center for additional information  605-394-4101.



Dr. James Dobson, of Focus on the Family, and who recently encouraged families to leave the public school system, has scheduled a week of homeschooling radio broadcasts from September 15 through 20.  Go to  to find where and when you can hear these broadcasts. 



Your World. Your Country. Your Community. It Starts With Your Classroom!

On December 6, 2002, at 12 noon, millions of students, teachers, and parents around the globe will unite to read for 2003 seconds (approximately 33 1/3 minutes) in a shared celebration of the power of books.

Is anyone interested in the Read for 2003?  There is also a program where if we read 100 books, scholastic will donate 100 books to literacy programs like save the children and first book.  If anyone is interested, contact Jen




Fall Semester Homeschool Classes begin September 10th.  Register early, class size is limited!!  Call Margie for more information at 388-3446.  Or check their new website at

Algebra - Tuesdays and Thursdays 10:00 to 11:00 am for middle and high school students. 

Chemistry - Tuesdays 1:30-2:45 pm for middle and high school students.

Human Body - Thursdays 1:30-2:45 pm for all ages.

American Girls Club - Watch for the new schedule

American Boys Club - Watch for a schedule.



Gratha Gregory who teaches music at Memorial Christian School is once again offering to include homeschooled children in her music lessons and band class at Memorial.  Last year about 1/3 of the band were homeschoolers.  This is for children who fall in the grade/age range of 4th -7th grades. 

The cost is $25.00 per month. The lessons are group lessons once a week for 30 minutes for the first semester.  Second semester the once a week group lessons continue plus a 30 minute all-band lesson each week.  (No change in price for this additional lesson.)  Gratha  really enjoys teaching the children.  If you have questions or want more info, call Gratha Gregory at 342-0341. 




1. Peace of mind
2. Peace of heart
3. Peace of soul

1. Squash gossip
2. Squash indifference
3. Squash grumbling
4. Squash selfishness

1. Lettuce be faithful
2. Lettuce be kind
3. Lettuce be patient
4. Lettuce really love one another

1. Turnip for meetings
2. Turnip for service
3. Turnip to help one another

1. Thyme for each other
2. Thyme for family
3. Thyme for friends




Home Schoolers in the Black Hills, a local homeschool activities and support group mostly in the Northern Hills area held a picnic in Spearfish in August. 
Kay gave a great speech on Getting Prepared.  Her basic outline was
  • Commit the school year to the Lord.
  • Evaluate your children by grade level, maturity, learning style and special needs.
  • Lay out your overall plan including teaching style, subjects, length of day and year, and extracurricular activities.
  • Set short term goals for each child, such as wisdom, stature, favor with God and favor with man.
  • Arrange for necessary times.  These would be special times set aside for husband (marriage), self, evaluation of school and assessment of lifestyle.

Thank you Kay for the informative and encouraging speech and for sharing with us your personal experiences.

For more information about the Homeschoolers in the Black Hills support group, please contact Sandy at 642-9616.


By Jill McCarthy,

When talking to new to Homeschooling parents, I encourage them to relax.  You have time to figure out what you want to do and how you want to homeschool.  If you can, I encourage you to read about homeschooling either in books, magazines, and/or online; to interact with homeschoolers by finding a local support group; and to let your child(ren) explore being at home while you learn about the way she/he learns and about homeschooling.  Then when you are ready you will be relaxed, your child(ren) will be relaxed, and you will have much clearer ideas about how you want to homeschool.  What schedule will work best for you and your child(ren), what learning materials will best help your child(ren) learn etc.  You won't waste money on materials you don't need, you won't start off on the wrong foot when you are all stressed about this life change, and you will be able to enjoy learning with your children.  Spending time with your children learning is fun and you can enjoy it too.  I guess my motto is that time is on your side. 


Suggested books to read include:

  • The Ultimate Guide to Homeschooling, Debra Bell
  • Homeschooling the Teen Years, by Cafi Cohen
  • The Homeschooling Book of Answers, by Linda Dobson
  • Homeschooling the Early Years, by Linda Dobson
  • The First Year of Homeschooling Your Child, by Linda Dobson
  • Christian Home Educators Curriculum Manual, by Cathy Duffy
  • The Homeschooling Handbook, by Mary Griffith
  • The Unschooling Handbook, by Mary Griffith
  • The Teenage Liberation Handbook, by Grace Llewellyn
  • For the Children's Sake, by Susan Schaeffer Macaulay
  • Betty Late than Early, by Raymond and Dorothy Moore
  • The Successful Homechool Family Handbook, by Raymond and Dorothy Moore
  • The Big Book of Home Learning, by Mary Pride
  • A Survivors Guide to Homeschooling, by Luanne Shackleford
  • The Way They Learn, by Cynthia Tobias
  • Beyond Survival: A Guide to Abundant Life Homeschooling, by Diana Waring
  • Well Trained Mind, by Jessie Wise and Susan Wise Bauer



National Geographic Geography Bee

The National Geographic Geography Bee is making some changes for homeschoolers.  Homeschoolers must now submit a list of participants with their names, addresses, and ages. (However, they will allow children to participate who didn't get their name on the list when the group registered.)  This year they recommend that homeschoolers band together to have a countywide homeschool bee. They claim that homeschool groups have abused the bee in the past, by having several bees (with the minimum of 6 children) so that they can send more students on to the State Bee. They said that schools of many grades could only send 1 winner on, so homeschoolers need to get together. They are considering making this a mandatory rule for next year.  They also now have the rule that the Bee can only be run and organized by someone without any children participating.



Author unknown


It really depends on your child as to what curriculum you might want to use.  Here is some information that may help you with your decision. I have researched math curriculums over the past couple of years to discover why programs work for some kids and not others by testing the programs with my daughter and from feedback from lots of people including math professors, etc.. Hope this helps you with your decision.


Saxon is most like the math they teach at public school. It is the old style of math instruction which is currently being phased out since so many people end up not understanding math using this approach. It is the math recipe approach where you learn techniques to solve math problems but often don't gain a deeper understanding of the "how" and the "why". This program is good for children that need lots of practice with math topics and the program is set up incrementally, meaning there is lots of review along the way. It is also good for linear thinkers that need math spelled out step-by-step. Also, the books are self-explanatory so children often work on their own using this math curriculum with no parental involvement other than perhaps correcting their work and tests. 

Many homeschoolers use this program because 1) it is familiar - it is how most of us adults learned math; 2) it is still the most common method used in schools - many homeschoolers want to do school at home meaning use the same materials as the schools; 3) most standardized tests still test math using this type of math (non-application) so parents like the program because the child usually will test well since it covers the same topics in the same way as the standardized tests. But please note, testing is changing to a more application approach (understand and apply the math in problem solving verses memorizing a formula to apply to a problem) and therefore Saxon users may have a harder time with the tests.


Math-U-See is a program that covers all learning style approaches - there are video tapes for visual and auditory learners and manipulatives for hands-on learners. The video tapes feature Steve Demme as the math instructor in a classroom setting. While parents are suppose to be the ones watching the tapes and then teaching the topic, many parents have the children watch the tapes along with them. Then the child completes the worksheet pages using the colored blocks. The math topics are set up in unit study approach meaning a topic is fully covered before moving on to the next one. This program is more expensive than the rest because of the various components. I am surprised that someone told you that MathUSee is so different from public school because I would say that of all the programs you mentioned, Saxon and MathUSee would be most like most public school programs. I am not sure that this is bad thing - something being different from what is taught at public schools. What subject has the most phobia around it? Math! Why? We don't understand it? Why? We didn't learn it from a place of it being a problem solving tool and given problems to experience it therefore understand it, we just learned the math recipes, not how to apply it in our daily living.

Many homeschoolers use this program because 1) it helps the adult (especially if they are auditory or hands-on learners) start to understand and enjoy math for the first time or the child if they have used other programs that don't teach to their learning style; 2) it teaches to all the learning styles; 3) it is familiar for the adult because it recreates the classroom in the home type feeling and approaches math in the same linear format as we learned it.



Miquon is a discovery math approach which works well with children who are naturally good at math. Parents that don't share this same skill may become frustrated with the program because it is very math intuitive. Math topics are presented in a series of consumable math books and children are encouraged to skip through them finding topics of current interest to them. Math is therefore, not sequentially taught as in Saxon or Math U See. Children may learn to multiply before they learn to subtract using this program. Cuisenaire rods are used to visually and physically demonstrate the various math topics.

Many homeschoolers use this program because 1) math is learned in its pure form of a tool of problem solving. This is why algebra is introduced in this program for K-3 although many people use it as a K-6 program; 2) many adults finally get math along with their children because they see the underlying connections and relationships in math (patterns and relationships which is a big part of math); 3) it uses manipulatives (hands-on), parental involvement (auditory) and worksheets (visual) so it can be used by any learning style



Singapore is the new kid on the block and is a math program used in Singapore which has a very high rate of math achievement among its students. Singapore is a blend of math approaches and is more advanced than U.S. math programs. The program consists of consumable math workbooks and the math information is presented pictorially using algebra concepts. This helps the child connect math computation skills (K-6) with math reasoning skills (7+ grades) so there isn't the big disconnect that often happens when children move into higher math reasoning. This program is based on math as defined as a problem solving tool so it takes a problem solving approach (verses the recipe approach). Parents who are math skilled love this program, while parents who aren't as math astute often give it up because in the past there has been a lack of parent support materials (before you could only purchase the workbooks, there were no teacher guides, instruction books, etc.). This is being remedied and support materials are now starting to be offered so I see this program gaining in popularity as it helps the parent understand math along with the child. This is why I mentioned parents in other descriptions because if a parent doesn't understand the approach, they often give up the program and look for one that she/he does understand. A minor complaint that some have is because they are written for Singapore students the names may seem unfamiliar as well as the money, measurement, etc.

Many homeschoolers use this program because 1) it teaches math as a problem solving tool; 2) pictorially it connects computation as a skill to be used with higher math topics; 3) familiar in the sense that topics are introduced in a sequential form although the line up is different than Math U See and Saxon because there seems to be a more intuitive or inner-connectiveness math approach to Singapore like Miquon



Meg B. entered 4 items in the fair.  She got 1st place for an Uncle Sam painting, 1st place for a sheep picture, 1st place for a photograph and an "incentive" ribbon for an apron-thing she sewed!!  I'm so very proud of her!!!!

Alex C. entered a Lego structure in the fair and won a 1st place blue ribbon.

Rebecca E. entered a huge 3D puzzle of the white house which earned a blue ribbon.

Shawn V. showed his rabbits and won best of breed and a couple of others.  He also sold all the babies and will learn all about a savings account.

Meg B. earned her blue belt in TKD.  Only two to go, watch out!





Anyone doing biology this year?  Check this out:    It is a very realistic site!

As we continue with production of Volume II of Susan Wise Bauer's The Story of the World, we've put the first five chapters online to help you get started this fall before the book is available.  You can find the page at .  Or just go to the Well-Trained Mind home page and click on the "Sneak Peek of Volume II" home page..


Membership in BHHA is FREE!!  Our group is open to all homeschoolers.  We are inclusive meaning we welcome all homeschoolers regardless of religion or methods of homeschoolingFeel free to invite anyone interested in homeschooling to our meetings and events.

Donations are always appreciated!!

Join our Group Email List at  

Newsletter submissions may be sent to Rhonda at  News, notes, children's works, ideas or anything you'd like to share are welcomed and encouraged.

Issues are available FREE online at our website and the email list.  If you'd like to receive a hard copy of our newsletters, please send $12 for a one-year subscription.  


Black Hills Homeschool Association
Rhonda  *  Jennifer  *
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