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Dear Readers:

This week we bring you two academic articles to provide you with concrete ideas and thoughts to aid your homeschooling experiences. First, by writing-teaching expert, Andrew Pudewa, is "Nurturing Competent Communicators". Second is "Why Teach Cursive?" by Linda Corson. Both of these writers are very experienced in their fields and we believe that their topics are of utmost importance to homeschoolers now and in the future. We hope you will patronize our advertisers, as we choose them for their potential value to you and if you use their products, they will continue to want to serve homeschoolers. As always, thank you for reading our publications.

Michael Leppert

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Rockbrook Summer Camp for Girls
By Michael Leppert

Serving girls since 1921, Rockbrook Camp for Girls (RBC) is proud of being the perfect place for girls to spend time together, enjoying the outdoor beauty of western North Carolina, building confidence along with new friendships that will become part of their foundations for life.

"Rockbrook’s Mission is to provide a haven for girls; a place of their own, where they can explore the beauty of nature, try new things, enjoy carefree summer living, and make some of their very best friends." Read more about the camp's philosophy at: http://www.rockbrookcamp.com/describe/philosophy.html.


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Nurturing Competent Communicators
By Andrew Pudewa

"Good readers will become good writers!" A mantra frequently heard in the lecture halls of academia, echoing along the corridors of Junior High Schools, and boldly preached from the homeschool conference lectern, most often out of the mouths of the more wizened and experienced parents and educators, this statement strives to be a truism. But it cannot be such, because it isn’t true. At least not always. Certainly, it does happen that good readers can become good writers, but to extrapolate from that fact that good readers will automatically, naturally and inevitably become good writers is to warp a truth into an untruth, which when preached long and hard, becomes-if you will-a myth, an unfounded belief.

Further damage is done when this error becomes a basis for a teaching methodology. If encouraging children to read a great deal-combined with opportunity to write creatively-becomes the primary method of instruction in composition, few students will reach the level of success hoped for, and many will fall short of their need. How do we know this truism to be a myth? Look around. In any family, classroom, or group of kids, count the number of "good" readers; now check the percentage and see how many can be considered "good" writers. Half?One-quarter? Not a majority, for sure. Undoubtedly, the "good" writers in the group are likely to also be "good" readers, but why does one not follow from the other as we have been told? How do we understand and deal with the good reader/poor writer enigma? An astute teacher must ask these questions.

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Design-A-Study Teacher Guides for Homeschool Classrooms
By Jennifer Nairne

Many parent-teachers turn to homeschooling, not out of choice, but out of necessity. Whether the child is gifted, has special needs, or struggles academically, parents choose to homeschool children who are unable to fit into the traditional "read, memorize, test" approach to learning, commonly found in public schools. Neither of my children fit the mold and it was torturous to watch their love of learning die, as they increasingly resented having to attend school each day.

After making the commitment to homeschool your children, it can be terribly intimidating. What content do you teach? What curriculum should you use? When should you teach specific skills? What kind of learner is my child? What type of curriculum is best for my homeschooler’s learning style? Just a quick search online for "educational products" will show hundreds of stores and thousands of websites competing for your attention.

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Why Teach Cursive?
By Linda Corson

The United States is about to eliminate cursive writing from its teaching curriculum! If implemented, we will be taking an enormous gamble that cursive in today’s environment is obsolete. As of today, 40 states have adopted the Common Core curriculum which supposedly establishes the requisite skills necessary for mastery in college and career. This document ultimately phases out teaching cursive writing. Is the U.S. ahead or behind other countries whostressfoundationalskills like cursive handwriting to develop their leaders and workers? Is Common Core curriculum just another educational experiment like “The New Math” where mindless memorizationof facts was deemed unnecessary and “Word Recognition” was a revolutionary method to replace phonics?The problem with this gamble is that once cursive is gone from our culture, it is not recoverable.

We may have already reached that point of no return. Elementary teaching graduates are not taught how to teach cursive in college so when they get their first teaching assignmentmany have no idea what to do.Students are telling their teachers they have to print the assignments on the chalkboard because "they can’t read cursive."Many high school students have to ask their parents to read their teacher’s notes on their tests and compositions because "they don’t read cursive."


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English From The Roots Up
By Linda K. Foster

I can’t count the number of times in my life that I’ve said, "it’s Greek to me" meaning, of course, that I didn’t understand something. After reading English From The Roots Up, developed to provide a foundation for the English language through the study of root words, I realized that not only the things I don’t understand, but, also, most of the things I do understand are "Greek to me". "Just as phonics helps children figure out what words are, Latin and Greek help them figure out what words mean." This quote by Joegil K. Lundquist, author of English From The Roots Up provides a simple explanation for learning the Latin and Greek roots for English words. In the introduction, Ms. Lundquist opines, "Without an early working knowledge of these indispensable components of their language, children are handicapped in their ability to use words well."

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