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The Way Home - The Link's eNewsletter

Dear Readers:

In this issue, we present a very important article to all parents -- "4 Steps to Choosing Your Child's Guardian", by homeschool mom and estate planning attorney DierdreWachbritt. Our second article, "College Homeschool Style", is by now-grown Rachel Phillips, who homeschooled her student life. We hope these two articles shed light on your experiences and help you in homeschooling and raising your children. As always, thank you for reading.

Michael Leppert

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Real Authentic Women

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

There'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

Learning A-Z

4 Steps to Choosing Your Child's Guardian - and Finding Yourself!
By Diedre Wachbrit Braverman, Attorney at Law

Choosing a person or family to care for your children is difficult. In fact, for many families, it's the hardest part of planning their estate. It's not easy to think of anyone else raising your child, no matter how loving they might be. Yet, you can make a tremendous difference in your child's life by planning ahead. And you have nothing to lose except a few moments thinking about what you value most in life, and in what constitutes proper child-rearing.

Anyone with a child under the age of 18 must consider who would raise that child if they were unable to. Of course, we all imagine the worst case scenario -- our own premature deaths -- when we mull this over. But there is a less tragic and more common situation in which naming a guardian is crucial: Incapacity. If you and your spouse were unable to care for your children for a time, who would watch over them while you recovered your abilities? How would their education be supported?

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Press For Learning
Rhymes Tables

Study Dog

Sing 'n Learn
By Michael Leppert

Typically, the very best homeschooling supply companies are those that are owned and operated by homeschoolers themselves. We understand subtle nuances that are significant to homeschooling families, but that other companies might not even notice. Sing ‘n Learn is such a company. It was founded by a homeschooling couple, Fred and Sarah Cooper, who were on the cutting edge of the modern homeschooling world, beginning to teach their oldest son in the mid 1980s and their second son shortly thereafter. Both boys never attended school until college.

The Coopers quickly learned the value of coupling music with pieces of information to be learned and they created their company to supply such products. They now offer over 900 products from over 100 publishers. They produce some of their products themselves and others they obtain from outside. But in all, they maintain their mission of using music, as well as auditory products such as stories, as the means of making learning fun.

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Sing N Learn

Museum Section

College, Homeschool Style
By Rachel Phillips

Since the time I was a teenager homeschooling through the high school years, I have been perennially asked, "What will you do about college?" When people ask me now about my college experience, I tell them: "Before attending college, I was homeschooled in the San Francisco Bay Area from second grade through high school. I attended community college a number of years, then transferred to Skidmore College - a small liberal arts school in upstate New York. Although I graduated from Skidmore in May2007, I did not consider myself to be done homeschooling. I think of myself as having homeschooled through college, and I expect to continue my homeschooling approach to learning throughout my adult life." As you can probably imagine, my answer leads to more questions.

Author of One’s Life
To clarify what I mean when I say "I homeschooled in college," I must tell you a little about what the word "homeschooled" means to me. Homeschool families have the privilege (and challenge) of designing an educational experience from the ground up. How do we do this? Well, homeschooling a child is a process (a lifestyle) leading to an end result—an adult with certain traits. If a family can determine what traits they want their children to embody as adults, they can design a homeschool education that supports those goals. Above all, my parents wanted me to be an autonomous adult; they wanted me to possess the confidence and abilities I would need to be the author of my own life. Consequently, during our homeschooling years they gave me as much freedom as my maturity would allow to be an equal voice in creating my education so that I could learn through experience what it is like to be self-directed.

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Fire Station Buddies
DJ Inkers

Dr Heater

MATH DRAWINGS - Good Stuff For Teachers
By Emerson Sandow

Math Drawings by Mary Smale is an exciting multi-disciplinary method of incorporating art with math allowing students to create entire pictures using only basic geometric shapes. For over 30 years, Mary Smale taught algebra and other math disciplines in high school and middle school. During this time, she developed her unique math-based art lesson, originally used as a reward system for her 8th grade students.

Mary soon found that she was able to disguise new and old math vocabulary as instructions for drawing and, for the first time in her teaching career, she had 100% participation in her math lessons. Her students were able to combine their love for drawing with basic geometric principles to create "works of art". Mary later taught math and art on television for 2˝ on the Los Angeles based KLCS-TV program "Homework Hotline Teacher" and was ultimately convinced to write Math Drawings so her principles could be used by teachers in their art, history and special education classes.

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Math Drwaings

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