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The Way Home - The Link's eNewsletter

Dear Readers:

In this issue, we present two very thoughtful and read-worthy pieces for your edification -- homeschooling and in general. First, is "How to Get an Education in Spite of School" by John Taylor Gatto, one of the most valuable professional voices in support of homeschooling. Mr. Gatto taught junior high in New York City for 30 years and was awarded the NY City and NY State Teacher of the Year in his last year of teaching. Our second article is "A Liberal Education" by Robert Livingston, with a foreword by me, explaining why I wanted to share it with all parents who cared to read it, but especially homeschooling parents. One of our Free Offers this week is a download of one of Mr. Gatto's session at one of our homeschool conferences of a few years ago. We hope you enjoy this week's issue and thank you for reading our publications.

Michael Leppert

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MusIQ Homeschool - Early to Multi-Level Music Curriculum Software Develops Musical Skill & Increased Math Ability
By Michael Leppert and Lennon Leppert

By now, the fact that early music instruction increases math and general mental ability in children of all ages,is well-established -- beyond the Mozart Effect.One of the best ways to build self-esteem is through the study of music, allowing the child to see his/her progress as a short time passes and practice is performed.Self-discipline is also learned in a pleasing way and a well-rounded education has to include the study of music for all of its value in human development. Homeschool families have long appreciated these facts.

In order to achieve both goals, Adventus has created MusIQ -- exciting and valuable sets of homeschool music-learning materials that will wonderfully develop your child's musical skills per seand will also increase his/her math ability -- and MusIQis reasonably-priced!

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Dawn Publishing

The Guerrilla Curriculum: How to Get An Education In Spite of School
By John Taylor Gatto

An intelligent and sensitive woman named Mary Wallech, when asked by her grown son Martin, my good friend, to consider the possibility that America’s wars were never fought for the reasons offered by great newspapers and television stations, replied simply, "It’s better not to know." I recall Mrs. Wallech to you not to explore any implications of her thesis or that of her son, but to underline for all of us how difficult it is to come to terms with the concept "education," how slippery.

Was Mary Wallech content to remain ignorant, simply to be the peasant cut off from the larger world that her immigrant ancestors were, or was she wise beyond her years in understanding that the pursuit of forbidden knowledge often ruins the seeker, that the malice of the great ones who seek to fool ordinary people is unfathomable at bottom, another of the eternal deficiencies of human nature? That attending too closely to unraveling their deceits can unravel, instead, one’s faith in the ultimate goodness of the universe? That the loss of faith is a worse harm than being gulled?

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Continental Academy

Discovery Internships

Tests I Wished I'd Never Given
By Curt Bumcrot, MRE, Director, Basic Skills Assessment & Educational Services, www.basicskills.net

OThere's a form of testing I’ve used, and one I suspect many of you have too, that makes no sense at all. And I regret it.

Some publishers of home school textbooks still equate regurgitation with excellence in education. And because they do, students spend hours reading, looking up, and memorizing facts to get the "seal of approval"-- an "A" or "B" on a test. And the longer the test, the better, or so we’re led to believe.

For many students, the test is taken quickly, right after having taken a final look at their notes before they forget what they’ve "stuffed" in their head. Once examined, the data is dumped in order to make room for the next batch of information, and so the process repeats itself. Why do publishers continue to create these kinds of assessment tools, and why do we subject our kids to them? What are we thinking? What should we be thinking?

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Basic Skills

CA African American Museum

A Liberal Education
By Robert Livingstone, Foreword by Michael Leppert

The following is an essay taken from the 1955 edition of the Great Books Primer, published by the Great Books Foundation. I found the Primer at a "Friends of the Library" sale for a quarter! As a homeschooling father, I have been constantly striving to increase my knowledge and intellectual understanding. I feel I owe it to my son to make the attempt, even if I fail on occasion. Many homeschooling parents feel the same way and my question is: "Why shouldn’t everyone?"

I wanted to share this essay with you because without intending to, Mr. Livingstone cogently analyzes the negative condition -- and therefore, the beginnings of a solution -- to what I feel is a modern American tragedy: The comfortably-accepted idea that “average” people should be consumers, but not thinkers; breadwinners, but not philosophers; workers, but without the expectation of possessing a fully-functioning brain. When I was in high school, I did not understand why it was accepted that the blue-collar, factory-working fathers and the white-collar office-working people, could come home from work night after night, sit in front of the tube after dinner until sleep overcame them, and then stumble off to bed. They read only the newspaper -- never a book.

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Dr Heater
Modesto Milling


Mayan Unit Study
By Michael Leppert

The Mayans were, by our Western standards, one of the most advanced native peoples that ever lived. We hear of the Egyptians and their building skills and advanced culture, but until recently, seldom have we heard of the Mayans in this light. They werea fascinating and mysterious people who achieved far more in the realms of math and science than the Egyptians - and were expert builders in their own right. One Mayan structure, The Pyramid of the Sun, has a base as large as the Great Pyramid of Giza!

The ancient Mayans lived in the Yucatan Peninsula area of what is now Mexico and southward to the Central American countries of Guatemala, British Honduras, and portions of Hondurasand El Salvador. Their kingdom’s first period lasted from 1000 B.C. to 900 A.D. This period was lived in the tropical rain forests of the area and included building large pyramids and well-planned communities with other structures where the people lived and worked. These cities were mysteriously abandoned and the Mayans moved north into what is now Mexico and mingled with the Native Peoples there for second Mayan period, which lasted from 900 A.D. to 1500 A.D., when the Spanish defeated them.

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