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Monday, June 30, 2008

Free 4th of July Unit Study and Eworkbook

These are from school express, and you can sign up for their free newsletter at www.schoolexpress.com These are completely free for you to print and use, for your homeschool needs.

http://www.schoolexpress.com/ishop/software/fourth_8r26.pdf

http://www.schoolexpress.com/ishop/software/fourth_9f6h.pdf

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Bill # 62 Tax Deduction for Homeschooling or Regulations to come?

Every homeschooler needs to read this bill. Once the Federal Government starts making laws, governing homeschooling, it will supercede all of your state laws. The page that I am copying and pasting is the email I received from my homeschool support group. The links are provided, so you can read the bill for yourself Comment on this bill for those who're interested: I agree with the National Home Education Legal Defense's Bulletin #62 which says that this bill is a bad idea. The federal government is *not* supposed to make laws regarding education--that' s supposed to be left to the states--and once the federal government does make a law, it can cause havoc with the laws that states already have in place. Federal laws supercede state laws and some laws or definitions that states have put in place may be invalidated by federal laws passed in regard to homeschooling. Plus, if the federal government starts giving money for home education (even in the form of tax breaks), someone is going to demand evidence that they are getting their money's worth. Will they demand state testing for everyone? Or some other form of accountability? Personally, I don't want the government any more involved in telling me how to educate my children. Will they try to pressure homeschoolers to use certain types of curricula? Will they exclude unschoolers or those who make up their own curriculum rather than purchasing pre-made curriculum? Will they push for homeschoolers to follow the same sort of curricula that public schools use? I don't want the government to have that much more power over homeschoolers? There are a number of other problems with this bill. I'm sure it was started by some well-meaning person who hoped to help homeschoolers. But I don't want any such legislation passed because it opens up too many horrible possibilities. ... Chavivah ************ ********* *********If you haven't already done so, I encourageall homeschooling parents to read theNational Home Education Legal Defense'sBulletin #62 which offers a thorough andbalanced explanation of another attemptto federally legislate homeschooling: S. 3076: Home School Opportunities Make Education Sound Act of 2008 Introduced : 06/18/08To read Bulletin #62, please use this URL:http://www.nheld./ com/BTN62. htm************ ********* *********Text of bill from http://www.govtrack.us/congress/billtext.xpd?bill=s110-3076S. 3076: Home School Opportunities Make Education Sound Act of 2008Bill StatusIntroduced:Jun 3, 2008Sponsor:Sen. David Vitter [R-LA]Status:IntroducedGo to Bill Status PageYou are viewing the following version of this bill:Introduced in Senate: This is the original text of the bill as it was written by its sponsor and submitted to the Senate for consideration.Text of LegislationS 3076 IS110th CONGRESS2d SessionS. 3076To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to provide a tax deduction for itemizers and nonitemizers for expenses relating to home schooling.IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATESJune 3, 2008Mr. VITTER introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on FinanceA BILLTo amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to provide a tax deduction for itemizers and nonitemizers for expenses relating to home schooling.Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.This Act may be cited as the `Home School Opportunities Make Education Sound Act of 2008'.SEC. 2. ITEMIZER DEDUCTION FOR HOME SCHOOL EDUCATION EXPENSES.(a) In General- Part VII of subchapter B of chapter 1 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (relating to additional itemized deductions for individuals) is amended--(1) by redesignating section 224 as section 225, and(2) by inserting after section 223 the following new section:`SEC. 224. HOME SCHOOL EDUCATION EXPENSES.`(a) Allowance of Deduction- In the case of an individual, there shall be allowed as a deduction for the taxable year an amount equal to the qualified home school education expenses paid by the taxpayer during the taxable year on behalf of each qualifying child of the taxpayer.`(b) Maximum Deduction- The deduction allowed by subsection (a) for the taxable year shall not exceed the lesser of--`(1) $500 for any qualifying child of the taxpayer, and`(2) $2,000 in the aggregate for all qualifying children of the taxpayer.`(c) Definitions- For purposes of this section--`(1) QUALIFYING CHILD- The term `qualifying child' has the meaning given to such term in section 24(c).`(2) QUALIFIED HOME SCHOOL EDUCATION EXPENSES-`(A) IN GENERAL- The term `qualified home school education expenses' means expenses for--`(i) books, supplies, and other equipment necessary for a course of instruction in a classroom environment,`(ii) academic tutoring,`(iii) special needs services for qualifying children with disabilities (within the meaning of the Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990), and`(iv) any computer technology or equipment (as defined in section 170(e)(6)(F) (i)) or Internet access and related services, if such technology, equipment, or services are to be used by the qualifying child and the qualifying child's family during any of the years that the qualifying child is educated in an elementary or secondary home school (not including computer equipment designed for sports, games, or hobbies unless such equipment is primarily educational in nature),in connection with a course of instruction in an elementary or secondary home school.`(B) ELEMENTARY OR SECONDARY HOME SCHOOL- The term `elementary or secondary home school' includes any home school that meets the requirements of State law applicable to such home schools and that provides elementary education or secondary education (kindergarten through grade 12), whether or not such home school is deemed a private school for purposes of State law.`(d) Special Rules-`(1) DENIAL OF DOUBLE BENEFIT- Except as provided in paragraphs (2) and (3), no deduction shall be allowed under subsection (a) for any expense for which a deduction or credit is allowed to the taxpayer under any other provision of this chapter.`(2) ADJUSTMENT FOR COVERDELL EDUCATION SAVINGS ACCOUNT DISTRIBUTIONS AND HOPE AND LIFETIME LEARNING CREDITS- The amount of qualified home school education expenses taken into account under subsection (a) with respect to a qualifying child for a taxable year shall be reduced by the sum of--`(A) the amount of any credit allowed under section 25A with respect to such child for such taxable year, and`(B) any amounts excludable under section 530(d)(2) for such taxable year by reason of the qualified elementary and secondary education expenses (as defined in section 530(b)(3)) of such child for such taxable year.`(3) ADJUSTMENT FOR CERTAIN SCHOLARSHIPS, ETC- Rules similar to the rules under section 25A(g)(2) shall apply for purposes of this section.`(4) IDENTIFICATION REQUIREMENT, LIMITATION ON TAXABLE YEAR OF DEDUCTION, ETC- Rules similar to the rules under paragraphs (2), (4), and (5) of section 222(d) shall apply for purposes of this section.'.(b) Clerical Amendment- The table of sections for part VII of subchapter B of chapter 1 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 is amended by striking the item relating to section 224 and inserting the following new items:`224. Home school education expenses.`225. Cross reference.'.(c) Effective Date- The amendments made by this section shall apply to taxable years beginning after December 31, 2007.SEC. 3. ADDITIONAL STANDARD DEDUCTION FOR HOME SCHOOL EDUCATION EXPENSES FOR NONITEMIZERS.(a) In General- Section 63(c)(1) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (defining standard deduction) is amended--(1) by striking `and' at the end of subparagraph (A),(2) by striking the period at the end of subparagraph (B) and inserting `, and', and(3) by adding at the end the following new subparagraph:`(C) the home school education expenses deduction.'.(b) Definition- Section 63(c) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 is amended by adding at the end the following new paragraph:`(8) HOME SCHOOL EDUCATION EXPENSES DEDUCTION-`(A) IN GENERAL- For purposes of paragraph (1), the home school education expenses deduction is so much of the amount of the qualified home school education expenses paid by the taxpayer during the taxable year on behalf of each qualifying child of the taxpayer--`(i) as does not exceed $500 with respect to each such qualifying child, and`(ii) as does not exceed $2,000 in the aggregate with respect to all such qualifying children.`(B) QUALIFYING CHILD; QUALIFIED HOME SCHOOL EDUCATION EXPENSES- For purposes of subparagraph (A)--`(i) the term `qualifying child' has the meaning given to such term in section 24(c), and`(ii) the term `qualified home school education expenses' has the meaning given to such term in section 224(c)(2).`(C) SPECIAL RULES- Rules similar to the rules of section 224(d) shall apply for purposes of this paragraph.'.(c) Effective Date- The amendments made by this section shall apply to taxable years beginning after December 31, 2007.

This is definately something I will be keeping an eye on. While they are introducing this as a tax deduction, for homeschoolers, I agree with the writer it could turn into them demanding stiffer regulations. Here in Florida we have to do a yearly evaluation, and that should suffice enough, but as the writer stated, the Federal Government can start making demands, to be sure they are getting what they paid for, if you will. I could, however see how this could be helpful to families who struggle to buy the very expensive supplies. Even with that in mind, I think the Federal Government, getting involved, will probably just lead to stiff regulations. If you have any views on this bill, please feel free to share.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Its been a rough week here at Melissas Homeschool

Grrrrr is all I can say. On Wednesday my computer started acting weird. We did all the usual clean up stuff, and it seemed to be ok. Thursday, I couldnt stay online for more than 5 minutes, and it would shut down. I spent all day Thursday running scans, cleaning, defragging, and whatever else I could think of, and at 5pm it was still doing it. So I just turned it off and said I cant do anymore. Plus I had one of my 3 day migraines, which makes staring at the computer all that more difficult. Now I wouldnt die without my computer, but we really cant afford a new one right now, and we do use it an awful lot. School is out for summer, and we dont do a full curriculum on the computer. This is exactly the reason I chose not to do it all on the computer, just for these reasons. I do however use the computer, for making money, blogging, communication, school work, nursing ceu's plus a ton of other things. Anyway my husband did some kind of recovery thing last night, and that seems to have fixed the problem. So for now I am back online, and doing all the normal things I do. By the way this virus, got through our Firewall, and our virus protector which is always on. Our virus scanner didnt even pick it up, so be careful because the protections dont always work. I wish I knew where it came from, so I could warn others, but we never did figure it out. The only thing I know it was something that was running on my computer that should not have been, and it was impossible to find it.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Free Printable Planet and Activity Thematic Unit

You are free to copy these at your leisure, they are wonderful for kids under 5th grade, to learn with. Both links should be here for the Planet Theme Unit, and the Planet Activity Unit. I get these from school express, and they say we can share them with others. If you want to join school express, and receive your own free newsletter, just visit their site and sign up. Or you can come back here every week, and I will add the new units here on my blog. Enjoy

http://www.schoolexpress.com/ishop/software/planets_g845.pdf

http://www.schoolexpress.com/ishop/software/planets_5674.pdf

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Education Place Home Activity Center

This website is sponsored by Houghton Mifflin Company. It is a great site, with all kinds of age related topics, games, printables etc. It is all free, and goes up to at least 5th grade. We love this site, and visit it frequently. Check it out at http://www.eduplace.com/hac/ this link will take you to the 2nd grade activities. But if you go to the very bottom of the page and click on their homepage it will transfer you to pick the topics and grades you need.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Tutorial World Free School Worksheets

This site has free math and grammar worksheets for various grades. They are test oriented and that is what I use them for, testing purposes. It is a great site, and you can use it as many times that you like. I use them after our workbooks have been completed, but still have time left in the school year. It is a very useful site, check it out at http://www.tut-world.com/index.html

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Bloggerwave Europe's New Media Outlet for Bloggers

Ok I am sure you are thinking, what does this have to do with homeschooling. Well Bloggerwave is a way to make extra money via blogging. I like to write, but sometimes my skills are lacking. Especially in the areas of grammar, and sentence construction. At Bloggerwave, your posts will only be accepted by Administration, after review. So, as I post topics for Bloggerwave, I get to tweek my writing skills, which in turn can only help me teach my children better. Bloggerwave, once you have signed up and been accepted, will pay you to post topics on your blog. You get paid, via your paypal account, once your assignment has been accepted. Bloggerwave, is a new company, based in Europe. As more and more people sign up, and word gets around, more opputunities to make money will come along. If you would like to sign up at Bloggerwave go to http://www.bloggerwave.com/ and follow the simple sign up procedure. Once you have added your blog, you will hear from Bloggerwave in about 3 days, on whether you were accepted or not. It is simple, and only takes a couple of minutes. So go on over to Bloggerwave, and start getting paid to do what you do anyway.



Monday, June 16, 2008

Daily Noggin great site for preschoolers

Noggin, which is a TV channel that is based on preschool learning for children, has a website, with tons of games, prinatables to color, crafts, and other great items. I find it to be free, and have not run across having to pay for anything. This site is geared more towards small children, such as preschool, and kindgarten grades. Check it out at http://www.dailynoggin.com and let your child experience this wonderful site.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Happy Fathers Day

I would like to wish my husband, father in law, and all wonderful and carind DADs everywhere a Happy Fathers Day.

Fathers Day Comments
Fathers Day Comments ~ Myspace Comments

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Welcome to Melissas Lake



Just a couple of posts ago, I was complaining about how hot and dry it was. Well the other day we got close to 6 inches of rain, and my yard turned into a lake. Not just my yard, the yards across the street, and the whole street. It receded quickly, after the rain finally stopped, and everything is getting nice and green. My husband, will be mowing soon.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Do your kids love to color?

My kids are 7 and 4, so coloring is still a big part of their education style. While looking for cool fathers day cards, for them to make, I came across some cool coloring sites. Check them out if you like.

http://www.coloringcastle.com this site was the only place I could find a blank USA map, for my son, that was printable for free.

http://coloringbookfun.com/ this one has all free printables as well, nice selection too

http://www.crayola.com/ This one is probably my favorite, of the ones I found. It has tons and tons, of stuff for kids, including crafts.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

I Cant Believe How Hot It Is Already!

This is our third year, living in Florida. We are originally from NY, and while we are adjusting to the heat, this is ridiculous. It is the time of year, where it starts to heat up, here in Florida. We dont usually see this kind of heat, this early however. It has been well over 100, every day for at least 5 days now. It is so hot, that our pool feels like a hot tub. We have to go out and swim, before 10 am, for it to even feel cool and refreshing. I hope this is not a sign of the summer to come. Back in NY, where we still have family, they are under heat warning themselves. We have had thunder every single day, but maybe only 10 drops of rain. The grass is all brown and yucky. I hope we get some good rain soon.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

School Express lots of free stuff

This site is awesome. I am fairly new to it, but if you sign up for their newsletter, they will send you, via email, a free thematic unit every Monday. So far I have received one on beavers, and it was very well done. They have tons of other free stuff as well, including software. Go to http://www.schoolexpress.com/index.php and check it out.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Timberdoodle Homeschool Resource Site

I have to thank our good friends Dave and Lyn for sharing this catalog with me. I have gone to their website, and viewed their catalog. They have awesome items, at really great prices. I have looked at alot of homeschool sites, and this one is wonderful. Check it out at http://www.timberdoodle.com/

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Portfolio Self Reflection

Alot of homeschool evaluators, do what is called a Self Reflection. This is a sample of the one, we will be using. You can use this one, if you like, or adapt it to your own needs.

Portfolio Self-ReflectionThis portfolio contains samples of work I have done this past year.I am especially proud of ____________ _________ _____because…The activity/unit/ assignment I liked best this year was…I learned from this activity that…If I had more time I would have…This work shows my ability to…End of year reflections:I did my best work this year in…I would like to learn how to…I need more help in…Best book…I wish we had done more…Favorite field trip was…Next year I want to…Congratulate yourself on a great year!For older homeschoolers I add a few other reflections:Self-Reflection Prompts:I am proud of this because…The most difficult part of this assignment (unit, activity, etc)was…I learned from this activity that…If I had more time I would have…This product connects to my future goals by…This product shows my ability to…The theme of this assignment could be…If I had better software/hardware I would have…End of year reflections:I did my best work this year in…I would like to learn how to…I need more help in…The activity/unit/ assignment I liked best this year was…Best book…I wish we had done more…Favorite field trip was…Next year I want to…

Monday, June 2, 2008

Book Swap Website

At this website, you can swap the books you have read, or no longer need, for books you do want or need. There are kids books, right up to all levels of reading, for adults. This is a nice little site, check it out at http://www.2swap.com/2swap/showHome.php

Missy69 on Redbubble

Currclick for Homeschoolers

CurrClick

Custom Ornamental Gates

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