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The Way Home - The Link's eNewsletter

Dear Readers:

In In this issue of The Way Home, we present two very different articles. The first, by John Taylor Gatto, one of the titans of homeschooling support, we offer "A Curriculum Beyond Money." This article is sure to enthrall anyone who wonders where the "authority" for modern institutional education came from. The second article, more light-hearted, is "The Field Trip Lady" by Teri Brown, a homeschool mom who lives in Oregon and has been on many field trips as an organizer and participant. We hope you are edified by these offerings and we thank you for reading.

Michael Leppert

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Real Authentic Women

The Collective Sound - Summer Camp for Young Musicians
By Jennifer Nairne

Most music lessons teach a child to read music, but there are not a lot of resources to teach children how to create music. There is value in learning how to play classical pieces and kids love imitating their favorite pop stars – all of which can be learned through traditional music education. Traditional music education for homeschoolers often means learning music theory from books and parent-teachers look to private instruction for improving technique. Unfortunately, this rarely encourages those students who look to music as a form for self-expression. Even the most dedicated instructors seldom have access to the latest composition software or incorporate the latest technological advances in recording.
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The Collective Sound

Mercury Online Education

A Curriculum Beyond Money
By John Taylor Gatto

For the last 20 of the 30 years I taught public school in New York City, I ran a volunteer program in which every single one of the 120 or more 13-year-old students I taught spent a full day each week of the school year, about 35 days or seven school weeks in all, in a volunteer action program which sent every young man and woman, often alone, to the far-flung comers of New York City and even across the river into New Jersey.

This was not an official program sponsored by the government or a university, the State Department of Education or my school district, but a program generated from long discussions with worried parents who were alarmed at the indifference and irresponsibility of their own children and wanted a way to combat it. Although we received scant encouragement from the school district, we proceeded covertly to find a booking for every kid, to provide a ledger of testamentary approvals from every parent, and to recruit some local business and community leaders in support. The school superintendent was presented in effect with fait accompli which gave him an insurance policy against fatal criticism. And so, my first Volunteer Action Program was launched.
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Apprentice Doctor
American Cap and Gown

Music Learning Workshop

Career Choices & Changes - Book & Website

The changing fortunes of our economy have caused a renewed interest in career planning for all of us. Thinking about what you do for a living - or want to do -- is not the exclusive domain of young people in high school or college, but now relates even to middle--aged workers who have suddenly been tossed into the realm of unemployment and no return to their former jobs.

Academic Innovations has published an extremely helpful - even vital - book to aid anyone in thinking about career choices and solving the attendant problems. While anyone can use the book to their advantage, this book is particularly focused on high school and college age students. However the exercises and discussions in the book and website, My10yearPlan.com, are tremendously helpful in self-assessment for anyone. And young people who enter college with a career focus and education plan are much more likely to graduate.
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Academic Innovations

College For Homeschoolers

The Field Trip Lady
By Teri Brown

"Dad! Stop! What's that one?" The brakes slammed yet again. Binoculars were raised and heads swiveled. The people driving behind us, instead of being annoyed, followed my son's pointing finger, their own binoculars already in place. My daughter grabbed the National Audubon Field Guide and started leafing through the pages.

This scene was played out a dozen times over the weekend of the John Shariff Migratory Bird festival in Burns, Oregon. It was probably one of the best field trips we have ever taken; bound to become a yearly tradition. Field trips, for the homeschooler, are the stuff that real learning is made out of. Whether you do unit studies, a full curriculum, or are a happy unschooler, field trips can add flavor to your life, cement what has been learned or be a complete educational experience in itself. Sometimes a field trip can be taken for the sheer pleasure of it.

During the school year, we try to take one field trip a week. So why don't more people take a field trip a week? Economics. Field trips can be expensive. The average Art Museum charges between $8 to $12 per child and more for adults. Many homeschoolers have quite a few more than the average 2.2 children. So, if you multiply eight to twelve by five you have . . . . a lot. Probably as much as many people spend on curriculum and supplies in a year. That is just one trip to the museum. Try going to the ballet or the orchestra.
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Nelson Academy of Agricultural Sciences Online

Oaks Christian School

Art Trek – Community Art Center
By Jennifer Nairne

Recently I stumbled upon a secret garden in Newbury Park. Hiding in plain sight amongst the seemingly endless rows of businesses in the industrial complex, it doesn't look very special. But just beyond the tinted door lies a warehouse of creativity where little imaginations have the space to grow.

Art Trek, a new center across from Amgen in the industrial complex of Newbury Park, is looking to offer homeschoolers a place to learn about Art in a fun and engaging way. With 30 years of teaching experience, as well as chairing the Hands-on Activities for the annual Thousand Oaks Arts Festival, Nan Young opened the Newbury Park center about eight months ago.
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Art Trek

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