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Homeschooling is more than just education at home. Homeschool parents, children, tutors, and anyone interested in learning online, a structured home classroom or unstructured unschooling will find A2Z Home's Cool an "cool" home school blog.

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Ask Ann Newletter

How to Subscribe to Ask Ann

When you subscribe to the Ask Ann Newsletter from the “Join! Get Newsletter!” drop-down menu in the top right of any page on this site, you’ll get a weekly newsletter on Thursdays with a homeschool question that one of our readers has sent in, and our answer to that question which will include specific links to additional information on that topic on our site. It is short and sweet like this sample below. You will also get occasional offers for great deals on homeschool educational materials, games, and software.

If you join the site while you are in that dropdown menu, you will be welcomed every time you visit the site, like an old friend. You will also be able to easily comment on posts that encourage comments. This makes it easier to tell me to add or edit your homeschool resource. Comments are moderated.

Issue: 211 Jan. 15, 2015
Dear [Your Name Here],

Welcome to the Ask Ann newsletter! You are receiving this if you subscribed to it on A2Z Home’s Cool.

Do you have a homeschool related question I can help you with? I’d like to hear from you! While I can’t promise to answer every question, I’ll choose the questions that I feel will help the most people and answer them here. Reply to this newsletter with YOUR question.

But first, please welcome and support our sponsor…

Kick off the new year with a bit of fun with a FREE Do-it-Yourself Desk Calendar! Simply print out the calendar, connect the dots, then easily slip your child’s artwork into a CD case for your very own desk calendar. Your child can create a truly personalized calendar to start your new year!

This Week’s Q&A


In January, right after the end of the holiday rush it’s hard to get my children refocused. We’ve been on the go for so long that they quickly get tired of being inside. How can I change things up?


It’s a fact of life – children do get bored occasionally and if your family life is busy, busy during the holidays the shock of limited or no activity can make studies unbearable.Coming up with ideas to keep things fresh can be difficult but keep in mind that you are not the only one in charge of coming up with ideas. Children often have agendas far different from a mom. The key is to brainstorm with the whole gang occasionally and make a list of some things each of you would like to do, see, or accomplish. Even very young children can participate in brainstorming. Keep those ideas in a small notebook in a nearby, convenient place and refer to it before the boredom sets in.As for finding interesting things, first realize that kids aren’t nearly as bored as adults by seeing the same thing over and over. Children learn and find the details in repetition. Children can be endlessly entertained by watching a construction project for weeks on end. Places with big trucks and noisy machines and any place with mud, dirt or sand will grab their attention over and over.Boys and girls can learn so many things outdoors, stamping out boredom and allowing for active learning. Rich experiences can be enjoyed through gardeningentomologyrock identificationfishing, animal and bird identificationpond water life identification – how about photography? The list is almost limitless. There is always something new to see on a hike in the woods or down by the creek. There are also new ways to think about old places. For instance, your family could take up a cause – by getting involved in changing (or not changing) something. There are formal naturalist programsand 4-H Clubs in most towns too.

Teach your children to ask questions and then go together and find the answer. Where do you get drinking water? Where does it go when you flush? Where do you get electricity and natural gas or other sources for heat? Check out the police and fire departments and the local waste water treatment plant. Most of these public services offer field trips, or tours or even activities.Your local library has age-appropriate children’s books and videos about all of these ideas and many more interesting subjects. Adding books to your experiences can bring them alive. Your library may even have a story time for children. The children’s librarian is your best friend.

You may consider volunteering for local or national civic projects like Habitat for Humanity or supporting the military or working at the local food bank or community garden.Join your local homeschool group. Many times moms will figure out what connections and memberships they have and pool their resources to get group discounts and reciprocal memberships. They may call it by a different name but it’s worthwhile figuring out what is offered before spending full price. Here is a link to the Association of Science – Technology Centers which have what they call a “Passport Program.” Each local museum may have their own rules regarding their partner programs. You have to do a little research to find the best deals. Go down to your state to begin the hunt!Always ask if the place you want to go offers a homeschool family discount. Some do. A discount could come in a different form like a 14-month membership for the price of a year.

Most importantly – whatever you choose to do, have fun and make memories!

Do YOU have a homeschool-related question for me? Just reply to this newsletter.


Ann Zeise
Ann Zeise


A Little Help from My Friends…

CathyDuffyReviews.com: The most comprehensive homeschool curriculum review website. If you subscribe to her weekly newsletter, get a FREE $3.00 savings coupon for Cathy’s new 102 Top Picks ebook or printed edition. Regardless, her website has the most comprehensive set of product reviews anywhere.

BraveWriter.com: You can get the ebook “Help Your Kids Fall in Love with Writing!” from Julie Bogart – FREE if you subscribe to her enewsletter.

Homeschool Buyers Co-op: Save BIG on your curriculum at the Co-op — membership is FREE. If you decide to join, enter “ANN” in the Referral Code space of the sign up form, and you’ll get 500 SmartPoints which you can use to get curricula for free.

ClickSchooling.com: Get a FREE web-based curriculum idea every day! Explore the archives for hundreds of ideas from previous issues of ClickSchooling on the website.

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