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Eclectic Homeschool Online Newsletter

Eclectic Homeschool Online NewsletterEclectic Homeschool Online Newsletter
April 16, 2012

Please share this newsletter with others.

Note: Some URLs may wrap to the next line, which causes the link not to work properly. Copy and paste both sections of the URL into your browser window to access the page, or visit our home page where you'll find links to everything listed here.


With spring comes warmer weather, and that means sending kids outdoors whenever possible. When I was a kid, my sisters and I spent many hours planning and performing our own productions in the backyard. Our focus this month is Shakespeare for All, and the new feature article is all about encouraging your kids to create there own theatrical productions. Once you get your kids crunching on the acting carrot, send them outside to craft their own set and prepare to enjoy some unique theater.

Now for a tricky subject: Finances. Our Amazon income has dropped dramatically. I don't know whether this is the economy or a problem for our readers in using our store pages. If you've had trouble with our store, please let me know at Our first quarter earnings for this year were $39.42. Last year brought in $342.11. We've been operating on a shoestring budget, but the shoestring is about to break. If you shop at Amazon, please use our bookstore as your entry to that site. EHO gets credit for everything you buy. You can book mark this easy link: Amazon for EHO.

Feature Articles

Theatrical Temptations or How to Fill Your Spare Time Watching Your Children's Self-Inspired Dramatic Performances
You too can spend your spare time watching your children perform their latest dramatic creation by putting the right resources in reach and then getting out of the way.

Mother's Day Resources

Good Stories for Great Holidays: Mother's Day

  • Cornelia's Jewels
  • The Lark and Its Young Ones
  • The Revenge of Coriolanus

Mother's Day Crafts

Motherhood Resources

Spa at Home Resources

Focus: Shakespeare for All

Shakespeare for All Ages
Many have never considered the possibilities that lie in the study of Shakespeare for younger children. Shakespeare, a prerequisite for high school literature classes, needn't be reserved for a once in a lifetime wrestling match. Shakespeare's stories can be enjoyed in their own right, and a gentle introduction to his vocabulary and writing style can be nurtured into a lifelong love of the melody of language.

Shakespeare for High School Homeschoolers
If you're ready to launch into a study of Shakespeare with your high school student but not quite ready to fly by the seat of your pants, there are some resources that will give you room to be creative while offering assistance with the more arcane matters.

Shakespeare's Allusions
Know your Shakespeare, and you'll get most of the allusions found in great literature. Shakespeare's plays are full of allusions from the Bible and the Greeks and Romans. Allusions from Shakespeare are also frequently found in literature. Let Beverly Krueger get you started finding allusions in the works of Shakespeare.

Theatre For Their Minds:
Remember that episode of the Brady Bunch where Peter invited the whole bunch to help with a school project by acting in his movie about the First Thanksgiving? Nearly every viewer could relate to the value of learning by doing. Peter probably learned more by filming that play than he could have spending numerous afternoons in the library. A reading activity called Readers' Theatre applies the same concept. Doing a book promotes not only understanding, called reading comprehension, its also increases reading speed, called fluency.

Drama Activities for Children
Children can begin developing their acting skills at home by using any of the following activities to sharpen their imaginations.

Educational Weblinks




Eclectic Homeschool Resource Center

Shakespeare on Video

Science Department

Science Spot
Space shuttle Discovery mounted atop jumbo jet for ride to Smithsonian
NASA mounted space shuttle Discovery on a jumbo jet Sunday (April 15), in preparation for the retired orbiter's delivery to the Smithsonian. The paired air- and spacecraft are expected to depart Florida for Washington, D.C., on Tuesday morning (April 17), weather permitting.

Crafts Department

A Year in Homeschool Crafts: Crafts for April

Charming May Day Baskets
Handing out May Day baskets is a charming and gentle activity for children and adults.

Make Seed Packets and Start your own Seed Company
Here is a great project that not only takes creativity but will teach you a little about nature and business at the same time.

Seed Art
It's fun to collect the seeds and create these unusual pictures

MORE: Book of Love, Classic Mother's Day Card, Moms Special Wish Jar, Handprint Lily, Egg Animals , The "Colors-of-Christ" Cross, Handmade Paper Bead Necklace , Celtic Cross, Make a Portable Craft Kit, Design Your Own Paper Dolls, Make Your Own Lip Gloss, May Day Baskets, Easy Spring Flowers, Coffee Filter Butterfly, Tissue Paper Flowers, Tin Can Herb Pots

Eclectic Homeschool Online Reviews

* Geology of the Pacific Northwest
* How to Enjoy Shakespeare
* Macbeth and the Dark Ages
* Macbeth and the Dark Ages supplement
* Merchant of Venice (New Kittredge Shakespeare)
* Science Unit Studies for Homeschoolers and Teachers Ages 4-13
* Shakespeare for Beginners
* The Tempest for Kids

Eclectic Homeschool Resource Center

Featured Resource April

Simply Shakespeare: Readers Theatre for Young People
Jennifer L. Kroll
Our Price: $32.84 - 3% Off, You save $1.16
Buy Now:

This collection of scripts includes readers theatre scripts based on Shakespeare's comedies, tragedies, and romances. Each script includes a summary, presentation suggestions, and a character list.

You don't have to look any further to find the best of the Bard! From misalliances and misadventures to romance and comedy, students can explore the wonderful world of Shakespeare through Readers Theatre. This unique collection of 13 scripts from Weekly Reader's Read magazine features age-appropriate play adaptations from some of Shakespeare's greatest and best-known works. Magnificently preserving the flavor of Shakespeare's writings, the language has been modernized so that young readers can easily grasp and appreciate the characters and the plot. Each script is accompanied by a summary, presentation suggestions, and a character list.

The scripts can be used independently (for stand-alone performances) or as precursors to classroom units on Shakespeare (e.g., in conjunction with reading or viewing one of Shakespeare's plays in its original version).

Plays include: As You Like It, Hamlet, Julius Caesar, King Lear, Macbeth, A Midsummer Night's Dream, The Merchant of Venice, Much Ado About Nothing, Othello, Romeo and Juliet, The Taming of the Shrew, The Tempest, Twelfth Night

Featured Resources

The Children's Shakespeare
E. Nesbit, Rolf Klep
Our Price: $11.66 - 22% Off, You save $3.29
Buy Now:

In her touching introduction to this collection, Britain's beloved children's author E. Nesbit shares with us her very personal inspiration for The Children's Shakespeare. As a writer, she understood that the stories are the least part of Shakespeare, but as a mother she also understood the need for simplicity. Her daughters were far too young to handle such complex language, yet certainly they must be capable of appreciating, indeed enjoying, the stories hidden within.

Envisioning this simplified introduction to works such as The Winter's Tale, Romeo and Juliet, A Midsummer Night's Dream and The Taming of the Shrew-eleven plays in all-E. Nesbit set out to make them more accessible to young readers without sacrificing any essential elements. For if the stories were stripped of their wit and humor, of their emotion, the children would be no more entertained by them than by the indecipherable originals.

In the end, under E. Nesbit's gifted pen, these stories emerged with all the charm and grace of the very best fairy tales. Written in thoroughly modern English and each no more than ten pages in length, the eleven plays featured in this volume afford children the opportunity to discover for themselves the magic of Shakespeare.

The Merchant of Venice (Graphic Shakespeare)
Gareth Hinds
Our Price: $10.06 - 16% Off, You save $1.93
Buy Now:

With elegant, contemporary artwork and a faithful but succinct adaptation, this graphic novel casts a classic drama in a provocative new light.

Here is the tale of young Bassanio, who, to win the love of fair Portia, entangles his dearest friend, Antonio, in a dangerous bargain with the moneylender Shylock. Only Bassanio’s heartfelt efforts — and a clever intervention by Portia — will save Antonio from paying Shylock "a pound of flesh." Moody and mesmerizing, this graphic novel adaptation of one of Shakespeare’s more controversial plays boasts a chic modern cast, high drama, and all the dark, familiar beauty of Venice.

Henry V (DVD)
Our Price: $9.99 - 33% Off, You save $4.99
Buy Now:

Very few films come close to the brilliance Kenneth Branagh achieved with his first foray into screenwriting and direction. Henry V qualifies as a masterpiece, the kind of film that comes along once in a decade. He eschews the theatricality of Laurence Olivier's stirring, fondly remembered 1945 adaptation to establish his own rules. Branagh plays it down and dirty, seeing the bard's play through revisionist eyes, framing it as an antiwar story. Branagh gives us harsh close-ups of muddied, bloody men, and close-ups of himself as Henry, his hardened mouth and willful eyes revealing much about this land war. Not that the director-star doesn't provide lighter moments. His scenes introducing the French Princess Katherine (Emma Thompson) are toothsome. Bubbly, funny, enhanced by lovely lighting and Thompson's pale beauty, these glimpses of a princess trying to learn English quickly from her maid are delightful.

What may be the crowning glory of Branagh's adaptation comes when the dazed, shaky leader wanders through battlefields, not even sure who has won. As King Hal carries a dead boy (Empire of the Sun's Christian Bale) over the hacked-up bodies of both the English and French, you realize it is the first time Branagh has opened up the scenes: a panorama of blood and mud and death. It is as strong a statement against warmongering as could ever be made. --Rochelle O'Gorman, Essential Videos

All the World's a Stage
Michael Bender
New From $4.00
Buy Now:

Shakespeare's world comes alive in the elaborate pop-up illustrations and fascinating text of this historically accurate portrait of the world's most famous dramatist. All the World's a Stage invites readers to step inside the life of 16th-century England's most luminous playwright and to discover how he got his start in the theater, how he came to London and later escaped the spreading plague, and how he evolved from an actor into the house playwright of the famous Globe Theater. Shakespeare is everywhere these days-from hit movies to best-selling scholarly studies-and this entertaining look at his life offers a perfect way for readers of any age to get better acquainted with the master of the Elizabethan stage.

Shakespeare for Children: The Story of Romeo and Juliet
Cass Foster
Our Price: $11.21 - 25% Off, You save $3.74
Buy Now:

Highly condensed, fully illustrated version of the world's greatest and most tragic love story. Author supplies thought-provoking discussion questions that allows you to explore this tale from any age or perspective. Use the same discussion questions to help you explore the other plays from a similar perspective. Nominated for the Benjamin Franklin Children's Storybook Award and selected by a panel of children for Ladies Home Journal as one of "The Best Toys for under $10."

New Resources

Shakespeare Shorts (grades 4-6) (Readers' Theater Series)
David McAleese
New From $13.27
Buy Now:

This reproducible book is for grades 4-6. It has 6 ten to twenty-five minute plays which are programmed for easy staging and costumes. There are 21 reading comprehension and writing activities.

The Night Fairy
Laura Amy Schlitz
Our Price: $6.99
Buy Now:

From 2008 Newbery Medalist Laura Amy Schlitz comes an exhilarating new adventure — and a thoroughly original fairy who is a true force of nature.

What would happen to a fairy if she lost her wings and could no longer fly? Flory, a young night fairy no taller than an acorn and still becoming accustomed to her wings — wings as beautiful as those of a luna moth — is about to find out. What she discovers is that the world is very big and very dangerous. But Flory is fierce and willing to do whatever it takes to survive. If that means telling others what to do — like Skuggle, a squirrel ruled by his stomach — so be it. Not every creature, however, is as willing
to bend to Flory’s demands. Newbery Medal winner Laura Amy Schlitz and world-renowned illustrator and miniaturist Angela Barrett venture into the realm of the illustrated classic — a classic entirely and exquisitely of their making, and a magnificent adventure.

The Everything Kids' Science Experiments Book: Boil Ice, Float Water, Measure Gravity-Challenge the World Around You!
Tom Robinson
Our Price: $8.95
Buy Now:

Science has never been so easy - or so much fun! With The Everything Kids' Science Experiments Book, all you need to do is gather a few household items and you can recreate dozens of mind-blowing, kid-tested science experiments. High school science teach Tom Robinson shows you how to expand your scientific horizons - from biology to chemistry to physics to outer space.

You'll discover answers to questions like:
Is it possible to blow up a balloon without actually blowing into it?
What is inside coins?
Can a magnet ever be "turned off"?
Do toilets always flush in the same direction?
Can a swimming pool be cleaned with just the breath of one person?

Get ready to enter the laboratory and learn how to conduct cool experiments, understand scientific terms like "photosynthesis," and know fun facts like how many latex balloons per day can be made from a rubber tree. Each section has a great science fair project, complete with all the details you need to wow your teachers and friends.

You won't want to wait for a rainy day or your school's science fair to test these cool experiments for yourself!

Imagine: How Creativity Works
Jonah Lehrer
Our Price: $15.28 - 41% Off, You save $10.72
Buy Now:

Did you know that the most creative companies have centralized bathrooms? That brainstorming meetings are a terrible idea? That the color blue can help you double your creative output?

From the New York Times best-selling author of How We Decide comes a sparkling and revelatory look at the new science of creativity. Shattering the myth of muses, higher powers, even creative “types,” Jonah Lehrer demonstrates that creativity is not a single gift possessed by the lucky few. It’s a variety of distinct thought processes that we can all learn to use more effectively.

Lehrer reveals the importance of embracing the rut, thinking like a child, daydreaming productively, and adopting an outsider’s perspective (travel helps). He unveils the optimal mix of old and new partners in any creative collaboration, and explains why criticism is essential to the process. Then he zooms out to show how we can make our neighborhoods more vibrant, our companies more productive, and our schools more effective.

You’ll learn about Bob Dylan’s writing habits and the drug addictions of poets. You’ll meet a Manhattan bartender who thinks like a chemist, and an autistic surfer who invented an entirely new surfing move. You’ll see why Elizabethan England experienced a creative explosion, and how Pixar’s office space is designed to spark the next big leap in animation.

Collapsing the layers separating the neuron from the finished symphony, Imagine reveals the deep inventiveness of the human mind, and its essential role in our increasingly complex world.

Joanne Fink
Our Price: $11.55 - 32% Off, You save $5.44
Buy Now:

"Patterning is fun, easy and relaxing - and it is a great way to add interest and texture to any design." Joanne Fink presents creative monogram and pattern techniques in Zenspirations, offering intriguing ideas for filling boarders, edges and spaces with creative flourishes. The many decorative boarders, frames, shapes, and alphabet will appeal to a spectrum of tastes and styles. Use Joanne's techniques to create details, depth and beauty reminiscent of classical architecture, medieval block printing and manuscript calligraphy. Her passion for beautiful patterns is contagious. Joanne makes it easy to turn simple lines into attractive designs while her doodled shapes inspire readers to embellish more and just have fun with the process.

Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption
Laura Hillenbrand
Our Price: $29.70 - 34% Off, You save $15.30
Buy Now:

On a May afternoon in 1943, an Army Air Forces bomber crashed into the Pacific Ocean and disappeared, leaving only a spray of debris and a slick of oil, gasoline, and blood.  Then, on the ocean surface, a face appeared.  It was that of a young lieutenant, the plane’s bombardier, who was struggling to a life raft and pulling himself aboard.  So began one of the most extraordinary odysseys of the Second World War.

The lieutenant’s name was Louis Zamperini.  In boyhood, he’d been a cunning and incorrigible delinquent, breaking into houses, brawling, and fleeing his home to ride the rails.  As a teenager, he had channeled his defiance into running, discovering a prodigious talent that had carried him to the Berlin Olympics and within sight of the four-minute mile.  But when war had come, the athlete had become an airman, embarking on a journey that led to his doomed flight, a tiny raft, and a drift into the unknown.

Ahead of Zamperini lay thousands of miles of open ocean, leaping sharks, a foundering raft, thirst and starvation, enemy aircraft, and, beyond, a trial even greater.  Driven to the limits of endurance, Zamperini would answer desperation with ingenuity; suffering with hope, resolve, and humor; brutality with rebellion.  His fate, whether triumph or tragedy, would be suspended on the fraying wire of his will.

In her long-awaited new book, Laura Hillenbrand writes with the same rich and vivid narrative voice she displayed in Seabiscuit.  Telling an unforgettable story of a man’s journey into extremity, Unbroken is a testament to the resilience of the human mind, body, and spirit.

Survival Mom: How to Prepare Your Family for Everyday Disasters and Worst-Case Scenarios
Lisa Bedford
Our Price: $13.44 - 33% Off, You save $6.55
Buy Now:

Undaunted by the prospect of TEOTWAWKI (The End of the World as We Know It), Lisa Bedford tackles every what-if and worst-case scenario head-on, offering practical advice on how to prepare your family for whatever might come your way. From a few days without electricity to an unexpected job loss or total chaos after the destruction of a tornado, Survival Mom provides everything you need to become self-reliant and establish plans for your family, including:

  • preparing the home for a natural disaster
  • alternative sources of energy in a power's-out situation
  • everything you need to know about food storage
  • personal protection (do I really need to learn how to shoot a gun?)

Deep inside every mom is a Survival Mom whose passion for her family drives her to make the best of the present and prepare for the future. So tap into your Mama Grizzly instincts and channel your worries into action. Whether you're a full-fledged "prepper" or just getting started, with real-life stories and customizable forms and checklists along with Lisa's "you can do it" attitude, Survival Mom replaces paranoia and panic with the peace of knowing YOU have the power to keep your loved ones safe and secure.

Buy Resources in the EHO Resource Center and Help Support EHO

Thank you for using the Eclectic Homeschool Online Resource Center as you entry point into Amazon. Whether you purchase an item listed in the Resource Center or search at Amazon once you click through, any item you place in your cart is attributed to us, and we receive a percentage of the sale. It’s a way of supporting the work of EHO without costing you anything. We use the money raised to pay our online bills and the expenses we incur from our product review department. If you shipped packages recently, you know how expensive shipping can get. Our earnings for March 2012 were $10.27. Thank you!

Look for our Shop Amazon - Fund EHO Link posted throughout the EHO website or visit the EHO Resource Center main page at

Eclectic Weblinks Index

Our Eclectic Weblinks Index has our non-commercial (or mostly so), educational links. Lots of categories and great learning and resources available through these links. If you'd like to add a resource to these listings, visit

Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers
A different take on traditional and non-traditional homeschooling. Ideas, crafts, encouragement, and blogs to help any homeschooling family.

Family Fiction
A website that has reviews and lists of books to help families determine safe books for their children. And a place to find age-appropriate books.

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Visit for resources to assist you in finding online classes and schools for K-12 students.


Eclectic Homeschool Resource Directory

The EHO Directory is a great place to find small and large companies that focus on the many aspects of homeschooling. If you’re looking for something new or a little different, try browsing our Directory. We currently have 101 Categories with 755 listings.

If you're interested in listing your business in the directory, please visit the following page to submit a commercial or non-commercial website.

The Lord bless and keep you,
Beverly Krueger
Eclectic Homeschool Online

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