Substantive Education

Sept. 2009 Newsletter


Grace Prep School

30750 Montgomery Ave., Nuevo, CA 92567


All of this information is also available at

As we start off the year I thought it worth going over some of the most recent test results on homeschooling as well as answering some of the ‘most asked’ questions. So to start us off….

Are parents really qualified to teach their children?

Yes, although I understand if you have your doubts. We have been taught to think that we need a special credential to teach our children and that if we teach something in the wrong order our children will be permanently damaged. As you will see in a minute, the research suggests that not only are parents qualified, but that they do a much better job than the majority of schools.

The reasons should be obvious…who is more concerned and tuned in to a child than his parents? Who knows his/her strengths and weaknesses better? Who is more interested in seeing that child succeed? What school can offer the individualized help that a parent can offer? Just the one on one tutoring nature of homeschooling gives it many advantages over a classroom situation.

Added to the fact that parents have far smaller ‘classes’ to teach, curriculum writers have realized that homeschoolers are a big market and have written curriculums with the parent/educator in mind. You don’t need a credential to use these materials, most come with step by step instructions. Understanding that parents will be doing the teaching, curriculum writers have taken that into account and made their products usable for families.

In addition, many homeschool parents, frustrated with what is out there in terms of curriculum, have written and marketed their own, and it is excellent. Unlike your local school, where one curriculum fits all, parents are free to choose from the hundreds of quality programs that are out there, the one that will fit their child the best.

For a multitude of reasons, homeschooling has proven itself successful…but don’t just take my word for it. Let’s look at some of the research that has been done.

Studies have been conducted by Universities, State boards of education, and various Education Research organizations. There have been studies done on both academic achievement, and the all important socialization issue.

Here are the results from the most recently published research project. The following is taken from the HSLDA website. You can go to the site to view even more details.

Drawing from 15 independent testing services, the Progress Report 2009: Homeschool Academic Achievement and Demographics included 11,739 homeschooled students from all 50 states who took three well-known tests—California Achievement Test, Iowa Tests of Basic Skills, and Stanford Achievement Test for the 2007–08 academic year. The Progress Report is the most comprehensive homeschool academic study ever completed.

The Results

Overall the study showed significant advances in homeschool academic achievement as well as revealing that issues such as student gender, parents’ education level, and family income had little bearing on the results of homeschooled students.

National Average Percentile Scores
Subtest Homeschool Public School
Reading 89 50
Language 84 50
Math 84 50
Science 86 50
Social Studies 84 50
Corea 88 50
Compositeb 86 50

a. Core is a combination of Reading, Language, and Math.
b. Composite is a combination of all subtests that the student took on the test.

There was little difference between the results of homeschooled boys and girls on core scores.

Boys—87th percentile
Girls—88th percentile

Household income had little impact on the results of homeschooled students.

$34,999 or less—85th percentile
$35,000–$49,999—86th percentile
$50,000–$69,999—86th percentile
$70,000 or more—89th percentile

The education level of the parents made a noticeable difference, but the homeschooled children of non-college educated parents still scored in the 83rd percentile, which is well above the national average.

Neither parent has a college degree—83rd percentile
One parent has a college degree—86th percentile
Both parents have a college degree—90th percentile

Whether either parent was a certified teacher did not matter.

Certified (i.e., either parent ever certified)—87th percentile
Not certified (i.e., neither parent ever certified)—88th percentile

Parental spending on home education made little difference.

Spent $600 or more on the student—89th percentile
Spent under $600 on the student—86th percentile

The extent of government regulation on homeschoolers did not affect the results.

Low state regulation—87th percentile
Medium state regulation—88th percentile
High state regulation—87th percentile

In short, the results found in the new study are consistent with 25 years of research, which show that as a group homeschoolers consistently perform above average academically. The Progress Report also shows that, even as the numbers and diversity of homeschoolers have grown tremendously over the past 10 years, homeschoolers have actually increased the already sizeable gap in academic achievement between themselves and their public school counterparts-moving from about 30 percentile points higher in the Rudner study (1998) to 37 percentile points higher in the Progress Report (2009).

As mentioned earlier, the achievement gaps that are well-documented in public school between boys and girls, parents with lower incomes, and parents with lower levels of education are not found among homeschoolers. While it is not possible to draw a definitive conclusion, it does appear from all the existing research that homeschooling equalizes every student upwards. Homeschoolers are actually achieving every day what the public schools claim are their goals—to narrow achievement gaps and to educate each child to a high level. (Emphasis – mine)

Of course, an education movement which consistently shows that children can be educated to a standard significantly above the average public school student at a fraction of the cost—the average spent by participants in the Progress Report was about $500 per child per year as opposed to the public school average of nearly $10,000 per child per year—will inevitably draw attention from the K-12 public education industry. “

Park Days

Tuesday’s at 1:30

Come for some relaxed time at the park to chat with other mom’s and let your kids run off some energy. We have some new young families this year so hopefully our park days will be a busy time. Once a month at Park Day we will have a story and play/craft time for our younger kids, so keep your eye on the Calendar so you don’t miss out.

The park we meet at is in a development and doesn’t have a name, so here is how to get there. From Nuevo, take Menifee toward Sun City. Turn Left on McCall, and Right on Heritage Lake. The park is a few miles down on your right. There is a playground, basketball courts, baseball and soccer fields. While there are bathrooms, they are not always unlocked.

Sept. 15th at Park Day

Story and craft from 2-2:30

Water Day at the Park

Sept. 22nd

Come prepared. There is not a water source at the park…so bring an ice chest full of water balloons, or a giant dispenser of water and water guns. Whatever you have on hand, fill it with water and come on down.


Many of you have asked about what will happen with Grace once Joe graduates from high school. I have no plans to change anything at this time, however, realistically I have a few concerns.

As most of you know we have a couple of kids in college and will continue to have for a few years to come. I need to be working to help alleviate the extra costs that that brings to our household. If we continue to add new, and younger families I don’t expect things to change…however if there is a drop in either enrollment or participation in classes that makes the time I’m investing in preparing and teaching unprofitable I will have to take another part time job which will curtail how much time I can spend on the school. If that were to happen we would have to make some changes, probably in Tuesday or Friday classes. I’m hoping none of this is necessary as I love teaching and I love all your kids.

The above and the fact that many of you have had to make cut backs in recent times, is what has prompted the changes to how Grace is accepting students. I am hoping offering the Part time option will help those of you who are struggling, and offering the Adjunct student option will bring some extra students to our classes. These changes will not affect most of you, but will hopefully allow for us to accommodate the needs of more families, while protecting the integrity of Grace.

Full Students –
Costs… $35 per student to register, $30 per month for Sept. through June, an additional $5 per month for each additional child.  Tuesday and Friday classes are $15 per month.  This means you have full participation in the school, all of the activities, field trips, graduation, curriculum counseling etc.

Part-time students. This is for families that already have another school keeping their records, but wish to participate in field trips, park days, and classes.  $15 per month, and classes are $20 per month.

Adjunct students– if a child just wishes to take one of our classes, and space is available, without participating in any of the other things Grace offers, they can do so for $30 per month, per class.

Lord! When you sell a man a book you don’t sell just twelve ounces of paper and ink and glue – you sell him a whole new life. Love and friendship and humour and ships at sea by night – there’s all heaven and earth in a book, a real book.

– Christopher Morley

Friday Classes start back on Sept 4th.

  • 9:00  Middle Ages…history and art

  • 10:00 American Government

  • 11:00  Essay writing

  • 12:30  Creative Writing

  • 1:30  Elementary Science

Tuesday classes will begin Sept. 8th.

  • 9:00  Latin 1

  • 10:00 Physical Science

  • 11:00 Chemistry

In terms of curriculum, there are only a few classes this year that require books.  Physical Science and Chemistry will require the Apologia Science books.  Latin 1 will be using The Latin Road To English Grammar, vol. 1.  The MIddle Ages will be using Susan Wise Bauer’s World History, vol. 2.  Order your books NOW.    Other than that I will be providing the curriculum.

On Sept. 18th at Friday classes we will be having our first dress up day of the year. Everyone come in your best 80’s outfit. Bright colors, big hair, leg warmers, and crazy layers.

At lunch we will have a costume contest and some 80’s trivia…prizes will be 80’s style.


Thursday, Sept. 3rd


Tickets are $22, unless your child is under 48 inches…then it is $20. Remember there is a charge for parking…the amount for that is not on our contract. I will let you know at the parent meeting. Bring a picnic lunch to eat. All tickets must be purchased at one time, so be there at 9:30 so that we can check everyone in, count money, and get the tickets before the park opens at 10. You must bring the exact amount...I may not have enough small bills to make change.

Petco Field Trip

2545 W. Florida Ave
Hemet, CA 92545

Monday, September 14th

10:00 -11:30

Note, this field trip is on a Monday. Here is a description of what we will be doing…this is the perfect field trip for our elementary school kids.

The Fur, Feathers & Fins program allows children to learn about the characteristics and habitats of fish, reptiles, birds, and small animals. At your local PETCO, lessons in science, math and geography come to life through this hands-on field trip. As students develop a respect for animals, they will also develop a greater sense of responsibility.

Cal Poly Shakespeare Festival

Studio Theatre in Theatre Building 25-110

Cal Poly Pomona

Friday Sept. 25th


Student tickets are $12, Adults $15

Studio Theatre in Theatre Building 25-110

Cal Poly Pomona

We saw one of these plays last year and it was very well done. Many students have requested we return…and this is a great play for kids. It’s a comedy revolving around what happens when you make a big ado about nothing…or gossip.

I will need to know, immediately, if people want to go. It is a very small theatre and the shows sell out. I will be calling to reserve tickets (hopefully, they are still available) after our first parent meeting.

Dates to Save in October

In addition to Tuesday and Friday classes you don’t want to miss the following:

Oct. 5th Parent Meeting

October 13th Field Trip to the Western Center for Archaeology and Paleontology

October 16th Wild Things Day at Classes. Come dressed as a Wild Things and for those who are fans a group will be going to see the movie after classes.

October 20th Bubble Day at the park

All Directions are from the church.

To get to Raging Waters

5.1 mi2.Turn right to merge onto I-215 N 15.5 mi3.Continue on CA-60 W (signs for CA-60/Main St) 22.8 mi4.Take exit 29B to merge onto CA-71 N/Chino Valley Fwy 5.4 mi5.Slight right at CA-57 N 2.3 mi6.Take exit 24B for Arrow Hwy 0.2 mi7.Merge onto W Bonita Ave (signs for San Dimas) 0.7 mi8.Turn right at S San Dimas Ave 72 ft San Dimas, CA1.

To get to Cal Poly Pomona

Head west on Nuevo Rd toward Lakeview Ave 5.1 mi

2.Turn right to merge onto I-215 N 15.5 mi

3.Continue on CA-60 W (signs for CA-60/Main St) 26.6 mi

4.Take exit 26 for Diamond Bar Blvd toward CA-57 0.3 mi

5.Turn right at N Diamond Bar Blvd (signs for CA-57) 1.4 mi

6.Turn left at W Temple Ave 2.0 mi

7.Make a U-turn

Destination will be on the right 0.4 mi

3801 W Temple Ave

Pomona, CA 91768


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