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Dear Readers:

This week our articles are to the point: Grammar and Creative Writing by Daniel Schwabauer and from PowerScore, SAT and ACT comparisons. Please give your attention to our advertisers. We find products that we want our readers to see, so these companies are valuable resources for you. Thank you for reading.

Michael Leppert

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Real Authentic Women

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

Movies as Literature

From PowerScore: The SAT and ACT: What You Need to Know
By Victoria Wood

Applying to college is a confusing process, especially for students who donít have access to a full-time guidance counselor, so to help you out here are our answers to some of the most common questions people ask about their college admissions tests.

Which test should I take-the ACT or the SAT?

The answer is simple: Both! The tests are very different, so it is a good idea to try them both and submit the score that best conveys your academic abilities. If you are limited to taking only a single test, take a free, timed practice test of each (see below) and then choose the test you find to be easier.

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Curriculum Design
College Prep Genius

Choir 21

Donít Dismiss Canned Curriculum!
By Curt Bumcrot, MRE

I used to look down on "canned curriculum." I think my attitude came partly from my first teaching experience at a private school in Southern California. I didnít have a teaching credential when I was hired. In fact, I was still about a year of "course work" away from finishing my bachelorís degree. In spite of this I was offered a position as a second grade teacher. The school granted me, as well as the rest of the teaching staff, an amazing amount of freedom. We were encouraged to innovate and create interesting lesson plans to reach the learning objectives for our particular grade levels. Along with this freedom came two full-time teachers whose sole task was to source instructional materials from a "mini warehouse" on the school campus for us.

Three years later I accepted a teaching job in Oregon. This school ran differently. To accomplish their objectives a "canned curriculum" was used. What I mean by "canned" is that the curriculum guide had a very specific plan that told you what to teach and when to teach it for every day of the school year. It was timed to the minute and even told the teacher when the students should take a break and use the restroom. No kidding! I balked at using it, and eventually replaced it once I took the elementary principal position.

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Basic Skills

College For Homeschoolers

Grammar and Creative Writing
By Daniel Schwabauer

Q: Should we throw out grammar, spelling, and rules during the creative process?

A: Yes.

I was fifteen the first time I drove a car. Mr. McAfree, my Driverís Ed teacher, slid into the vinyl-clad passenger seat as Craig Sulley, another student, buckled up in the back. Even though McAfree was nearing retirement, he looked uncomfortable. I chalked it up to lack of self-confidence and revved the engine before pulling out into traffic.

For ten minutes or so everything went smoothly. I followed his instructions quickly and with perfect attention to detail. And then it happened. We were charging along a busy four lane street in Kansas City when Mr. McAfree made a rookie mistake so silly that it still surprises me.

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Worship Guitar
Fascinating Education

Academic Innovations

Six Ideas To Encourage Summer Reading
By Sarita Holzmann, Sonlight, President & Founder

When summer break comes around, you couldn't stop some book-loving kids from reading if you wanted to. But what about children who still struggle to read? What can you do this summer to encourage them? Here are six simple ideas:

1. Keep reading! Even if you take a well-deserved break from other studies, most children benefit from continuing to read every day. This could mean sharing a read-aloud together at bedtime, having your children read to you, or setting aside 20 minutes a day for everyone to grab a book and read silently.This steady little bit of work each day can pave the way for a reading breakthrough. It also keeps your kids from losing whatever reading confidence they've built up over the school year.

2. Read to a dog Several different studies show that reading out loud to dogs can help kids gain confidence and fluency in reading. A quick Google search for "Reading to Rover" will turn up interesting studies and various library programs around the country. It seems that kids love the fact that the dog won't judge them, won't correct them, and listens with endless patience. Plus, these pets tend to calm children who would otherwise be nervous about reading out loud.So if you have a cooperative dog at home, consider encouraging your children to read one-on-one to their furry audience.
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Sonlight Curriculum

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