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__________________________ IHEN Journal __________________________
> #3.10 October 2003

An e-newsletter, published by the INDIANA HOME EDUCATORS' NETWORK
>> The Web Project: Helping Hoosiers Homeschool

Subscribe by e-mail
"IHEN Journal" Online & Back Issues
Support the IHEN Web Project
"IHEN Journal" (c)2003, IHEN and respective authors if noted.
All Rights Reserved. Non-commercial distribution rights allowed.
See forwarding guidelines at the end of the newsletter.

______________________________________________ CONTENTS__________

> [1] LETTER FROM THE (temporary) EDITOR

you read, you write, we read, we share


a monthly sampler from the state's "IndianaHomeschoolers" list

> [5] HOOSIER HOMESCHOOLERS ON-LINE by jessica radtke
art education part 2: online art activities -- PROJECTS!

>> STARTING A CHESS CLUB, PART 2 (when? where? how?)
by joe stull
by rebecca peterson

what's happening with homeschoolers nationally

> [8] IN-VIEW (homeschooler POVs)
by jj ross, ed.d.
by shay seaborne

> [9] IN-FOCUS: LEARNING COMMUNITIES by betty malone
life learning center: anderson, indiana

> [10] IN-SITE by ben bennett
>> monthly classads program update
>> two new e-lists from IHEN warming up nicely
>> ihen journal redesign readers' poll still running
>> rent your educational DVDs from IHEN!
>> etcetera, etcetera, etcetera

>> where's YOUR point? (put your group's info/calendar here!)
>> use IHEN's FREE ClassAds pages to sell your stuff
>> want your ad to reach hundreds (maybe thousands) of homeschoolers?
>> you can help hoosiers homeschool: support the IHEN Web Project

_____ the standard stuff __________

who's who; staff and volunteers
e-mail addresses
[un]subscription instructions

forwarding guidelines

____________________ LETTER FROM THE (temporary) EDITOR __________
by benjamin bennett

HELP WANTED: Still looking for a well organized person to take the
reigns as editor of the IHEN Journal. Want to have a hand in Helping
Hoosiers Homeschool and in developing a respected homeschooling
publication for IndianaHomeschoolers? Fear not! Your chance to do
this and more is just an e-mail away! Send inquires to

THIS ISSUE HAS A THEME! (the envelope please...)

As I was putting this issue together, and having scanned the
IndianaHomeschoolers list digests of the past month, I discovered
this issue has a theme.


Just happened! It's everywhere it seems. Every day, people are asking
our County Contacts and IndianaHomeschoolers list subscribers for
information on homeschooling groups and activities near them. I
didn't keep track, but if we are hearing from maybe a dozen or two
new homeschoolers a month, how many more are out there that DON'T ask
or don't know who to ask?

Not long ago, I was one of those parents. Seems like the more things
change, the more things don't change. I've been a Full-Time Dad and
homeschooling parent for over 9 years, and it seems it's still hard
(not as hard, but still hard) to easily find a support group or
resource. Is it just me? Maybe I just don't see the forest for the

Whatever the case, the Web Project Volunteers and Advisors are going
to be doing some exciting things over the next couple of months to
hopefully change things. We're going to be attending conventions,
speaking about how IHEN is Helping Hoosiers Homeschool, and how the
IHEN Web Project and the IndianaHomeschoolers e-list have changed the
way homeschoolers in Indiana (and the the country for that matter)
network, communicate, and SUPPORT each other.

Things are looking pretty exciting, and you'll be reading about it
the IHEN Journal, on the IndianaHomeschoolers e-list and on

Some might say that blatant promotion is a little vain. Maybe so. But
if no one knows you're there, what good are you?

Oh! I think I hear the ice cream truck coming down the street! That
blatant promoter!


We are pretty much in support mode this month. The number one
question we get asked is, "Where can I find a support group near me?"
So I hope that we present several ways to address that question, right

We'll write a little about IHEN's Support and Resource Directory,
LIFE Learning Center in Anderson, and some thoughts about support
groups in general. As usual, another pretty full issue, which, by the
way, needs an editor or two.
Letters to the Editor
Vote to change the IHEN Journal format and help us grow

______________________________ LETTERS FROM THE READERS __________
by indiana homeschoolers

Why not take a moment and let us know how YOU think we're doing?
Put fingers to keys and write a letter to the editor:

___________________________________________ JANE'S VIEW __________
by jane casey


Jane's View will be sent to subscribers in a suplimental post. -ed.

Jane Casey is a founder, Volunteer Advisor and Allen County
Contact person for the Indiana Home Educators' Network.
Want to know what Jane Casey thinks? Got a question that needs
answered? Jane's your gal! She's been homeschooling long enough to
have quite an opinion (or two) about homeschooling in Indiana. Find
out what Jane thinks, by sending your question to:
> with "Jane's View" in the subject.


Get ready for another successful year of homeschooling by
supplimenting your current study plans with homeschooling and
educational DVDs you RENT from the people who have been Helping
Hoosiers Homeschool since the turn of the century -- IHEN!

No matter what your budget is, we've got a rental plan that's
right for you.

Just visit the IHEN Web Project's DVD Rental Library today!

> Web:

>> IJad.001 ------------------------------------ ihen journal <<

_______________________________ INDIANA'S E-LIST DIGEST __________
by debbie harbeson

You want discussion? We have discussion. This month was filled with
discussions about legal issues of homeschooling, the Governor's
Education Roundtable and P-16, an article in USA Today, and selecting
reading material for our children, just to name a few. -dh

If you want to go to a specific post, go to our website
> and click on
messages in the left margin. Once there, type in the message number
in the "Msg #" search box. If you see an active link below, you
can use that too! :-) You must be a list subscriber to access the
archives and files. Subscription information is below.

Now for this month's sampler of posts to the list:


Delaware County Activities and Information

Steuben County Chess Club Information


National Day of Prayer Essay Contest Information

Indiana Envirothon Information

Bradford Woods Homeschool Day October 13

Camp American Essay Contest


Teach Art at Home Newsletter Information

Site for homeschooling t-shirts
Subscribe to the IndianaHomeschoolers list: 

>> ---- IndianaHomeschoolers: Helping Hoosiers Homeschool ---- <<

Who HASN'T heard of the IndianaHomeschoolers Networking and
Discussion List? Plenty! So tell a friend today, that the
IndianaHomeschoolers List is just about the best place to
discuss homeschooling in the state of Indiana!
Subscribe for FREE!:
> E-mail:
> Web:

PLUS: Find e-lists, resources and more on the Web Project:

Thanks for Helping Hoosiers Homeschool!

>> IJad.002 ------------------------------------ ihen journal <<

_________________________ HOOSIER HOMESCHOOLERS ON-LINE __________
by jessica radtke


Last month we gave you several links and online resources related to
"Art Education" and the people, places and things related to art.
This month we'll focus on online resources that help you get messy.
That's right... PROJECTS! Here are many online links related to art
-- the messy stuff! Happy browsing, and don't forget to create
something pretty for yourself, for the 'fridge.

Remember to cut and paste links that are cut in the mail.


On-line "ArtEdventures"

A. Pintura, Art Detective - "The Case of Grandpa's Painting"

An interactive lesson on composition with renowned wildlife artist
Carl Rungius

Explore visual elements and principles with "The Artist's Toolkit"

Museum of Modern Art: "Art Safari"

Art Tales: Telling Stories with Wildlife Art

What if you were trapped inside a painting and had to solve a mystery
to get out? Explore a painting from the inside out with "Inside Art"

Surrounded by Beauty  an interactive reference site on Native
American objects


Art Curriculum Scope and Sequence with Examples:

ArtLex On-Line Art Dictionary

Art curriculum page for homeschoolers (includes informal reviews of
off-line resources)

Multiple tutorials, primarily for children

More tutorials for children

Cartooning and Animation links, many with tutorials

Portraiture tutorials

Various Tutorials, primarily for older students

More tutorials for older students

Free art appreciation course

Eyes on Art: A "Learning to Look" Curriculum













If you have or know of an on-line resource, or if you own or know of
a Web site you would like to spread the word about in "Hoosier
Homeschoolers On-Line," send the information to Jessica Radtke at:

_____________________________________ FEATURE ARTICLES ___________
send submissions to:

__________ REASONS FOR STARTING A CHESS CLUB - PART 2 ____________
(when? where? how?)
by joe stull

Last month we looked at four reasons to start a chess club. If you
missed this article it will be worth your time to go back and read
it. For those who have read the first article and have children who
would love to be in a chess club, but can't find anyone to start a
club I ask you to consider taking the chess club challenge. I'd be
more than glad to help assist you. If there are any eager beavers out
there don't hesitate to contact me. You can also ask around your
homeschool group for anyone who may be interested.

Moving onward to part two: The when's, where's, and how's of starting
a chess club.


For homeschooling families this can be more of a chore than a
typical club at the local public school. I have found that
home-educated children may be involved in a vast number of
activities, which take place in the evenings, like music lessons,
speech and debate. Because of these, scheduling a time and place can
be difficult at times.

It is best that you talk with others in your homeschool group which
are interested in playing chess and find a mutual day and time that
each of you can get together for some chess every week. How do you
find others in your group who are interested? If your group has a
newsletter you can ask there. Possibly your group has a phone tree
where it can be communicated. Then there's always word of mouth among
the homeschoolers you do know.

The length of time for the meeting should be 30 minutes for
Kindergarteners and 1st Graders, and 1 to 2 hours for the older


Once you have found some people who are interested you'll need to
figure out the best times each of you can get together as well as
finding a place to meet. I suggest you check with your local library.
Many of them have meeting rooms with tables and chairs, which can be
used free of charge or for a very small fee, like a dollar or two.

Also, if you have someone in your group who attends a church it might
be permitted that the group could meet there.

Our chess club here has gone both routes in the past with no
troubles. There may be other options for you as well. A lot depends
on your community and what it has available.


First of all you will need someone to start the club. Don't wait for
someone else to do it! If you don't step up and make it happen, it's
unlikely someone else will. You have the opportunity to enrich the
lives of dozens of young people. Most often parents having only basic
knowledge on how to play chess and limited time due to other
commitments are the ones who do it! If not you, then who?


Next you'll need chess sets. If you have any plans of playing in a
chess tournament you'll need a certain standard of equipment on which
to play, though you can build up to this in time. I recommend you
purchase them from American Chess Equipment. This is where we
purchased equipment for our group (each family paying for their own
equipment) at a bulk rate that is very reasonable.

Boards: The 20" vinyl boards of any color are tournament standard.

Chess Pieces: The solid plastic Club Special Pieces are tournament

Vinyl Bags: XL Vinyl Bag 12 x 9" with handle, zipper & sleeve. These
are to keep you pieces and board in. Depending on the number of sets
you are looking to purchase you may want to check out the Prepak

Chess Clocks: Either the BHB Turnier Clock or the Precision Digital
Green clock. It would be best to have at least one clock for the
group, preferably the Precision Digital Green clock because in
tournament play it has precedence over the mechanical BHB Turnier

Demonstration Board: 28" Vinyl Roll-up Demonstration Board with
Pieces. While this is not a "need" it is nice "want" to have during
practice when instructing a room full of children.

For starting out any chess sets you can find will do even those at
the local dollar store. You won't need a chess clock until you decide
to go to your first tournament, and then you don't really need one,
though it would be helpful for the children to have experience
playing with one before a tournament.


Emphasize the purpose of the club is to play chess and have fun. No
other activities should be allowed. Once kids start playing, try to
group kids by skill level. If someone is winning more than losing,
encourage tougher play. Always emphasize good sportsmanship.


Make no mistake. Chess can be a complex game, especially for young
children. However, experience has shown that any child that can be
taught the alphabet can be taught chess. The younger they start, the
more they will likely be to get good at the game and enjoy it later
in life.

For teaching, "beginning chess", you do not need a chess expert. What
you really need is a good teacher who knows the basic game, is good
with kids, and can explain things simply.


The key to teaching very young children (pre-K and up) is to reduce
the concepts and explanations into its simplest elements. Keep it
light and entertaining. Don't try to teach the entire game at once.
Teach it a piece at a time starting with the least complex. Use
simple made-up games along the way to reinforce the concept.


Teaching older kids is simpler because you can find more books for
the older audience and you can assign homework. The concepts of
keeping it simple and pacing per the child's ability to absorb still
hold true at any age.


I recommend the Usborne book Starting Chess. ISBN: 0746048866 It can
be purchased at their website:

Below is a free downloadable booklet called The Guide to Scholastic
Chess that shows you how to organize a chess club at a local school
which can also be applied for a homeschool group with some

There you have it! Some basics on the when's, where's, and how's of
starting a chess club. Remember, if you have any questions about
chess or starting a club don't hesitate to contact me. I'm here to
help you.

Joe Stull is the official chess advisor for the IHEN Web Project's
"Relaxation and Entertaining Diversions Committee." E-mail him at:
Chess Tournament Schedules: The following link is the best and only
place in the state to find scholastic tournaments (from the same
people who will not let homeschoolers play in team events for fear of
us cheating.)

_____ HOW TO FIND YOURSELF A SUPPORT GROUP _______________________
by rebecca peterson

What about homeschooling groups? Are there any? In the state of
Indiana there are over 500 homeschooling groups that offer a wide
variety of services.

First, let me explain about homeschooling groups. There are those
that are support only, those that are class co-operatives only, and
those that are both.

Support only groups have meetings and/or activities to help with
socialization and just getting to know other homeschoolers. They
might offer things like Mom's Support Night, Family Game Night,
Social Clubs, and a Field trip or two. Support groups might or might
not have a membership fee. They are generally open at all times of
the year for accepting new members. This group is perfect for a
family with young children (2nd grade and younger) who might just
want to meet people but not participate in classes or do a lot of
different activities.

Class co-operative groups offer a regular class-time service. Some of
these groups meet on a weekly basis at a regular place. They will
offer classes in a wide variety of subjects in a classroom setting.
Some of these classes might be strictly for the socialization end of
being in a peer setting. Other classes might be educational (science,
history, etc.) This depends on the class co-op and what they feel
their children need. Class co-operative groups may or may not have a
membership fee. They generally will be closed during the school year
so they may organize classes for a certain number of children. Class
co-operative groups are perfect for families with 3rd grade and older
children who want to make more friendships and yet only participate on
a minimal basis.

A group that offers both the support and the class co-operative is a
complete group. These groups are generally big in size and have a lot
of different offerings. Depending on the location of the group, they
might have connections with local theatre organizations and get
theatre tickets at a discounted price for homeschool students. These
groups generally have a monthly newsletter to get all the information
they have to their people. These groups generally have a membership
fee to cover their maintenance costs. They may or may not accept
members all year round or even at all. This depends on the size and
location of the group. Some groups may be closed as they wish not to
have more than a certain number of family members. They may also have
a waiting list. It never hurts to ask. The complete service group is
perfect for a family who wants a lot of offerings. These groups
generally let their members pick and choose their level of

Now, how do you find a homeschooling group that is perfect for you?
There are a few different ways to go about this. You may contact
statewide organizations, like IHEN, who usually have a directory of
groups and other resources that might be in your general area. The
state organizations (made up of mostly volunteers) will do their best
to guide you to a group that is right for you. If not, they will at
least have a list of contacts to call. In the end, it is up to you to
make first contact.

Another method of finding a group is via the internet. By using
search engines, you are able to pull up a lot of information on
groups in your state or possibly in your area. You can start by going
to > and typing in the words "homeschool" and
[your county] and "Indiana."

E-mail lists or e-lists have become a vital aspect of the "networking
life" of homeschoolers, and YahooGroups has a wonderful free e-list
service, that is home to literally thousands of homeschooling lists.
A lot of people begin their homeschooling endeavor with the internet.
Many are finding all the support they need solely online!

IHEN's IndianaHomeschoolers e-list has become the largest networking
and discussion list for homeschoolers in the state of Indiana, with
over 460 subscribers as of October, 2003. This e-list and IHEN's web
site (see resources) are quickly becoming the networking hubs for
homeschoolers throughout Indiana. The Web Project (the web
end of IHEN) is in the process of building a support group and
resource directory for the entire state. (see resources)

Other resources include the Home School Legal Defense Association and
your local library. (see resources) HSLDA has a small list of Indiana
support groups in their database. They are also a great source for
legal interpretations of Indiana education law. Your local library
might actually turn out to be the best source for local support group
information. Homeschoolers are some of the best customers libraries
have, and the librarian who doesn't know at least ONE family that
homeschools, is a rare one indeed.

There are many avenues out there for homeschoolers. And finding a
support group, or even a few parents to share with, is one of the
best ways to ensure a good start. Homeschooling is the fastest
growing phenomenon in the United States today. It is easy to get
started and even easier to do. You will be amazed at the world that
will be opened up to both you and your child. Enjoy the adventure.
How to search the Internet
(Click on a help link. They have wonderful files on searching!)
Indiana Home Educators' Network Web Project
IHEN's Support and Resource Directory
IHEN County Contacts
Indiana State Library
(Find the web site of your local library, AND homeschooling info.)

>> --------- SUPPORT IHEN: Help Hoosiers Homeschool  --------- <<

IHEN is an all volunteer, Web-based project, produced by the
publisher of this e-mail newsletter: Peach Grove Press/eMedia. has one main goal: We want to Help Hoosiers Homeschool.
If you believe as we do, that what we're doing is worthwhile,
please consider supporting the IHEN Web Project.


Thank you for Helping Hoosiers Homeschool!

>> ---------------------- ---------------------- <<

_____________________________ HOMESCHOOLING IN THE NEWS __________
national home education network

Headlines from the recent issues of "Homeschooling in the News" from
the National Home Education Network. See RESOURCES for subscription
information. ALSO: Remember to cut and paste overly long or broken
links into your browser's URL address window.

Chicago Sun-Times: Homeschooled students shine in National Merit list 

The Journal News: Home-schoolers left out

The Indiana Gazette: Candidate's Suit Claims Daughter Was Harassed

The Independent Institute (OpEd): Homeschooling Must Be
Decriminalized: Parents Really Do Know Best

The Oregonian: As schools buldge, more learn at home 

The Oregonian: More help for home-schoolers 

Peoria Journal-Star: Regional school chief seeks proof of home

American Daily (opinion): Captive To The Orthodoxies Of The State
Write to this address to subscribe to "Homeschooling in the News"
Or visit the NHEN web site

___________________________ IN-VIEW (Homeschooler POVs) __________

An Essay from an Academic-Turned-Unschooling Mom 
by jj ross, Ed.D. 2003

Maybe I need a regular alarm clock.

When I wake to news radio as is my custom, the golden-throated
stories I hear in half-consciousness stay with me, imprinting my mood
and thoughts. Yet the accurate details of which news is made -- facts
my fully alert mind would have recorded and filed for recall --
escape me almost entirely. Thus I'm left with a sort of dj vu sense
of the story, sure that I "know" but off-balance about how I know.
(Could this be the way divine revelations are experienced, as beyond
explanation or objective proof?)

In any case, as an academic, I've been embarrassed over less.
Fortunately PDE is not a traditional academic setting! 

It happened again, as I awoke this morning. Suddenly my mind was
filled with stuttering orphans used for 1939 experiments, in the
then-nascent science of speech pathology at some university in the
Midwest -- Iowa? As I said, I was half-asleep -- and it turns out
that the orphans weren't stutterers at all. They were purposely TOLD
by the university they needed speech therapy to correct a tendency to
stutter, given a few weeks of "sessions" to see if the bogus diagnosis
and intervention could create stuttering rather than curing it, and
subsequently were returned to their regular orphan lives with the
only noted effect being a new hesitancy in their speech. (Itself a
sign of stuttering, I mused, but then I wasn't really conscious.)

The news story continued. Some 50 years later, a journalist
discovered the dusty thesis and tracked down a few of the now-elderly
participants, who had never doubted what they'd been told as children
by those university experts. This "educational experiment" had caused
them to live their lives believing they had a scientific tendency
toward communication problems, a diagnosis some say was destiny,
making them hesitant and reclusive, removing some options, limiting
their identity. But here's the truth, the journalist says -- it was
all a lie in service of experimental research, says the journalist.
You could have been a contender!

Lawsuits are pending.

The university named a building after the now-dead "father of speech
pathology" who supervised the orphan stuttering studies. His protege,
Mary Somebody (told you I was semiconscious, remember?) says she
regrets that ethical standards in 1939 weren't what they could have
been. There are some quirky legal points about sovereign immunity in
place at that time in that state, whichever one it was  but that's
not the part that imprinted me for the day.

My own random-abstract take on it is not legal or even scientific,
but educational. Power of Story. Humans are impressionable,
especially children. Facts and ideas and judgments can enter a
child's mind and lodge where they land, almost like radio news
flowing into a brain whose daytime defenses are asleep. This
educational research was high-minded, meant to help children
generally with speech problems. Whether it contributed anything to
that goal is debatable, but it did apparently harm, not help, the
specific children it involved. Children who -- talk about Power of
Story! -- literally had no chance for any form of parent-directed or
parent-protected education, because they were orphans.

Where is the accountability for what was taught and learned in this
"story?" The radio says orphans often were used by this university
for such human experiments, precisely because there were no parents
taking primary responsibility for the best interests of each specific
child, as opposed to this generalized whatever-is-for-the-social-
good-and-the-benefit-of-my-own-reputation approach to working with

I'm not sure how far working with children has come since 1939. It
seems to my free-associating mind that there are similarities in this
"story" to today's accountability frenzy, in which demonstrable harm
to actual individual children is perhaps "regrettable" but only of
secondary concern to the rankings and statistics and academic
reputations of those arguing over how vast sums of taxpayer and grant
money should be spent next -- all the while building university
buildings and naming them after each other (never for the
learner-subjects of their research, who make the educational
"research" possible.)

My half-awake mind doesn't care about money or academic reputations,
not even my own. It cares only about the two fully asleep little
minds dreaming down the hall, the ones that will sleep until they
wake with their own thoughts and their own songs forming, in their
own time, no radio alarm, no clock alarm, no alarm at all. Each
morning belongs to them and them alone, and my accountability as
their mom is very clear in my mind, asleep OR awake. I am accountable
to keep it this way. Period.

JJ Ross, Ed.D.
Legislative and Education Resources
A belated introduction of JJ Ross is due, so here it is:

Ever notice that standardized testing stops with the Three Rs and
thus tells us nothing about the very important Three Esses? Someday
I'll develop a curriculum based on Sustained interest,
Self-examination, and Sense of humor, and make millions!

Until then, my family has been making it up day by day for the last
decade or so, fortunately without school -- and unfortunately,
without those millions.

I am resident egghead, featured columnist, and co-owner (with Nance
Confer) of a new parent resource and support site at:

My amateur interests include cognitive psychology, learning theory,
school politics and cryptic crossword puzzles. (Did you know that
"amateur" means "for the love of it?") I delight in the perfect
analogy. I believe in Parent Power. I've been a passionate and
sometimes controversial NHEN participant since it was but a virtual

For a more detailed -- but not more conventional -- introduction,
check out the essay: "The Education of MisEducation" at
Read this article
See a list of POVs on the web site Libary

by shay seaborne

A homeschool mom I know says, "The problem with support groups is
they're made up of people who need support." True, but the same
organizations can also be a central point for meeting new
homeschooling friends, so it isn't uncommon for families to have
mixed feelings about support groups.
Read the rest of this insightful essay at:

________________________ IN-FOCUS: LEARNING COMMUNITIES __________
by betty malone


It's an April Monday morning and the robins are chirping in the green
fields and woods of this small city in the Midwest. Cars loaded with
mothers, children of varying ages and sizes, and books and bins of
learning materials park in the small lot across from the Wilson Boys
& Girls Club in Anderson, Indiana. They pile out and hurry into the
old two story school brick building, some carrying folders and books,
mothers pushing strollers with baby sisters and brothers and all
smiling and laughing in the spring sunshine. As they enter the
building, you can hear the sound of children's laughter and
conversation ringing through the old hallways.

There are clusters of women and children gathered talking and
greeting each other. Some children seem to know exactly where they
are supposed to go and they head off to classrooms and meeting areas,
others mingle in the halls and the gymnasium, content to visit with
friends for awhile before they decide what they want to do that day.
Life Learning Center is finishing up it's spring term and some
mothers are setting up a pitch-in luncheon on long tables in the
hallway. Others rush off to "teach" or lead classes and activities,
and several are cleaning the preschool play room. All around there
are people engaged in conversation, discussion, and learning.

Some of the learning is occurring in teacher led classes, such as the
JASON Science Project, where the mom/teacher is demonstrating a
science experiment involving kelp, with other mothers assist at
different kelp stations set up around the room. The children, ages 9
to 14, appear interested and involved. Conversation is lively and
loud as they rotate around the room trying the variety of activities.
One group is building a kelp model and then seeing how it withstands
the force of a fan simulating ocean waves.

They laugh as their model topples to the floor and they discuss how
they could have constructed their model differently and why real kelp
forests function well. They take their model back to the building area
and add more components. In other areas of the room, other groups are
talking, trying new activities, laughing and learning together. In
one corner, two mothers are looking over the curriculum and
discussing an upcoming group assignment on a related art project
demonstration that each child is preparing to present to the group.

Down the hall, another group 8 and under, are working in the art
room. Two of the mothers are designated leaders for the day and they
have brought in musical instruments to demonstrate how sound works.
There is a short lecture followed by lots of experimentation with the
different instruments. One of the leaders gets out art supplies and
the kids gather around a large table to put together a related art
project on sound waves. As with most young children, there are
varying levels of involvement in the activity. Some are chatting
about the horns, and two little girls are showing each other their
bracelets, giggling and poking each other. One little boy is quietly
watching everyone and picks up his crayon to color part of his
project. He occasionally looks up and smiles at someone and then
returns to his paper, appearing content to be in the room and with
everyone. Two mothers are bouncing young toddlers their laps and
discussing handwriting textbooks. All around the room, there appears
to be joyful conviviality occurring as friends chat and play and
learn together.

Downstairs in the large gymnasium, three young boys, ages 11-15 are
shooting basketballs. They are sweating and joking with each other as
they run up and down the gym floor, chasing the ball, shooting over
and over. A mother, who appears to be occasionally monitoring the
boys, sits on a bleacher reading a book. In the computer technology
room down the hallway, a mother and her son are looking through
computer learning games and they choose a mathematics program. They
take it over to one of the computers in a long line and sit together
while the mother demonstrates how to turn the computer on and start
up the program. The little boy, about age 5, smiles and takes over
control of the mouse as the program begins running. He and his mother
sit side by side, talking and playing the learning game for about 30
minutes, before he becomes bored and gets up to walk out of the room.
They put away the disk and amble out the door, running into another
mother and little boy. The two boys greet each other and start
playing as the two mothers chat. In the game room, two girls are
sitting at a table playing a card game, they are talking and laughing
and appear very interested in their game, oblivious to the hustle and
bustle of people in and out of the room, gathering for lunchtime.

This is a typical "learning" day at LIFE Learning Center; people of
varying ages and skills gathering in a friendly manner to study,
learn, and work together. LIFE stands for Learning is for Everyone,
and the organizers of the innovative, fledgling learning cooperative
are determined to prove that true. This group of homeschooling
mothers, in cooperation with Bruce Rhodes, the Chief Professional
Officer of the Wilson Boys & Girls Club, have formed an elected
democratic steering committee to develop the learning center
homeschool programming.

LIFE began as an idea in the spring of 2002 between Mr. Rhodes, Betty
Malone, a homeschooling mother and volunteer with the Wilson Boys &
Girls Club and Pam Filbrun, leader of a local homeschool support
group, Home Schools United. Mrs. Filbrun, a long time homeschooling
advocate in Madison County, Indiana, had arranged to let her
homeschool support group use the Boys Club facilities during the day
when club members were traditionally in school and the building sat
idle. After one year of such use, Betty Malone, became convinced that
a true learning center could develop with increased organization and
pulling in more participants to utilize the developing program. She
and Mr. Rhodes initiated the LIFE Learning Center format and in the
summer of 2002, offered the learning center concept to all area
homeschoolers. The response was slow but steady and by the spring of
2003, over fifty families were members of the new learning center;
some utilizing many of the programs, others just a few.

As in any new venture, much is learned by trial and error and the
leadership of LIFE Learning Center has learned the challenge of
initiating and sustaining a venture of this nature. The homeschooling
movement is a grassroots network that has grown to encompass varying
socio-political viewpoints and educational theories. Attempting to
develop a program that allows for such wide ranging belief systems
can be a daunting effort at times. The LIFE Learning steering
committee has seen that this can also be a positive attribute of this
type of learning community. As different viewpoints have developed,
there is plenty of space and opportunity for those groups to develop
their own uniquely suited activities and learning opportunities.

A good example is the JASON science project mentioned before. While
some mothers and students enjoyed the strong academic slant that this
class offered, others felt it was too structured and they stated that
they preferred a less challenging JASON study. This year the JASON
project will be available to parents to utilize in whichever manner
they wish. One group is considering a more co-operative use of the
curriculum with different parents and students choosing a chapter to
organize and present, some parents will have access to the curriculum
to have a more formal study with written work and full experiments.
The true strength of lifelong learning centers will lie in their
ability to listen to and react to the demands and needs of their
members, without the bureaucratic loopholes that large school systems
have to jump through to enact any significant change in their offered

LIFE Learning center is situated in a traditional urban city setting
and most of the Boys & Girls Club regular members come from homes
surrounding the Club. The homeschool members of LIFE Learning center
are composed of members from a much wider socio-economic status, from
suburban families to rural farm families. Many members travel in from
the small communities that geographically surround the city of
Anderson. The public school system of Anderson has been strongly
challenged by a wide variety of problems in the last decade, stemming
from job loss and changing demographics. Many homeschooling converts
have fled the school system or never entered it and LIFE Learning
Center is primed to be of service to these families as their
educational needs grow. It is the goal of the steering committee to
continue to offer wide range of cooperative learning activities that
will assist those families and the present membership.

In addition to the Boys Club regular play and sport activities, these
new learning adventures seek to empower the students living in this
urban environment to increase their desire to become life long

The past year, 2002-2003, can be considered a success in many ways.
There was an increase in student membership. A strong mission
statement was developed and implemented. Several grants were applied
for and fundraising projects developed. There was increasing
acceptance and awareness of LIFE in the local homeschool community as
well as the community at large. The Boys & Girls Club board is in
support of the program as it develops and there have been increased
number of volunteers working with all levels of the LIFE Learning
Center program.

This fall, LIFE Learning Center has again increased its membership.
We have moved from one day of class co-op activities to two full
days, with younger children on one day and ages 9 and up on another
day. This fall's classes are full at this time, but new members can
begin attending field trips and special events. New semester will
start on Jan. 20th. Special projects for the fall include organizing
a yearbook, "school" picture day, talent show, fall bazaar, and
preparing to produce a spring musical, Fiddler on The Roof.
Interested persons can contact > for
information on any LIFE Learning Center classes, activities and
additional information.

While traditional homeschooling will always remain the central core
of home education, more and more families are beginning to understand
that there are many reasons for families to join together to create
unique learning opportunities for their students. These opportunities
vary in scope from class co-ops to special activities like basketball
teams, drama groups, speech and debate clubs, Friday schools, etc.

Next month we will highlight Lifetime Learners of Hamilton County and
their huge, successful weekly co-operative with over 200 participating
families. If you are involved or know of a successful group learning
project in the state of Indiana, please e-mail me. I'd love to share
your "edventures" with our larger homeschool community.

Betty Malone is the director of Anderson's LIFE Learning Center
9638 West 10 North, Anderson, IN, 46011
E-mail Betty with a learning project YOU want to know about
LIFE Learning Center e-mail address
We are interested in your tales of cooperative learning adventures.
Please write to Betty Malone at > and she
will contact you for an e-mail interview or a real life visit. Each
month we will highlight a different cooperative learning group or

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_______________________________________________ IN-SITE __________
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__________ IHEN WEB PROJECT CLASSADS _____________________________
Our ClassAds program is starting to catch on. For those of you who
aren't aware, the Web Project is offering free classified ad space on
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Homeschoolers. Currently, these ads for these products and services
are running:

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Our two new and official IHEN managed e-lists are coming along
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think you'll be pleased with the selection and the available learning
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__________ THANK YOU (in advance) FOR YOUR SUPPORT _______________
I can't emphasize enough, how important it is for Hoosiers who use
IHEN's Web Services, to help in any way they can, with the financial
support that will help this project to continue. Whether you support
the Web Project with a small donation to keep the site in operation
> -- or volunteer your skills via the IHEN
Web Project e-list > -- or
simply help another homeschooler on the IndianaHomeschoolers list,
every positive action YOU take Helps Hoosiers Homeschool. And THAT is
what we do. Thank you in advance.


As always you can drop us a line to let us know how we're doing. We
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____________________________________ POINTS OF INTEREST __________

If you want your non-commercial support group promotional ad or
meeting notice in our "Points of Interest" section, send your
information to our Ad Manager or directly to the IHEN Journal before
the 20th of the month.

How silly is it to not take advantate of a free advertising resource?
Right. Downright silly. The Web Project has a free ClassAd
service on the web site. Got something to sell, trade or buy? What
are you waiting for? Check our our ClassAds page!

...then think about advertising in this very periodical. The small
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think about it and drop our Ad Manager an e-mail. He'll help you make
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You can help in a big way, by supporting IHEN and Helping Hoosiers
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| See you next month and daily on the IndianaHomeschoolers list! |

______________________________________________ CONTACTS __________
> who's who; what's where at IHEN



_____ IHEN JOURNAL STAFF __________

PUBLISHER: Peach Grove Press/eMedia >

IN-VIEW (Homeschoolers' POV) Submissions: >
Indiana E-list Digest: Deb Harbeson >
Op-Ed and Letters: >
Janes View: Jane Casey >
Hoosier Homeschoolers Online: Jessica Radtke >
IN-FOCUS: Learning Communities: Betty Malone >

Ben Bennett >
Rick Beymer >
Jane Casey >
Janis Chrissikos >
Debbie Harbeson >
Marla James >
Deanna Maidwell-Baatz >
Betty Malone >
Rebecca Peterson >
Jessica Radtke >
Deborah Resnick >
Tracey Rollison >
JJ Ross, Ed.D. >
Shay Seaborne >
Joe (Coach) Stull >






"IndianaHomeschoolers" E-LIST MANAGER: Debbie Harbeson



_____ IHEN E-MAIL LISTS __________

The Indiana Home Educators' Network maintains, sponsors and
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recommend the ones we find the most useful for Hoosier Homeschoolers.
Above all, the volunteers here at the Web Project invite you
to subscribe to our favorite e-mail list in the state:
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with homeschoolers across Indiana. If you only want to subscribe to
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_______________________________ COPYRIGHTS/DISTRIBUTION __________
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notices and subscription instructions.

Thank you for supporting the Web Project, and thank you for
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