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The Way Home - The Link's eNewsletter

Greetings, readers of The Way Home.

This week our two articles, by homeschooling moms and professionals in their respective fields, are very different. From Carolyn Forte, co-owner and founder of the Excellence in Education Resource Center in Monrovia, CA, we have "Family Games for Fun and Learning". Carolyn has developed a game-centered curriculum to teach children of all learning styles and this is the first of many articles we will feature in this e-news. Our second offering, "The Relaxed Homeschool Mindset -- Christian Perspective", is from Dr. Mary Hood, a well-known and popular author, speaker and homeschooling guide, who operates ARCHERS for the Lord in Cartersville, GA. We have found that Dr. Hood's information has a great deal of value for all homeschooling families -- Christian or not. Please tell your friends about TWH and our magazine, all of which are free. We will send quantities of the magazine to your support group or information night, free of charge. As always, thanks for reading our publications.

Michael Leppert

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Real Authentic Women

Fire Station Buddies - Fundraising To Benefit Volunteer Fire Departments
By Karen McHale, illustrated by Simon Goodway

Author Karen McHale, an engineer, emergency planner and volunteer firefighter, has writtena book relating to emergency awareness.

Fire Station Buddies, was conceptualized as a series of books to inform and interest children in emergency safety and response, as well as to raise funds to aid the volunteer fire departments around the country.

These are Books 1 and 2 of that planned series and Ms. McHale also offers the opportunity for your child to become a Fire Station Buddy by visiting the website, www.firestationbuddies.com.

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Fire Station Buddies

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Family Games for Fun and Learning
By Carolyn Forte

The most essential factor in playing a game is fun. No one wants to play a game that isnít fun. If a game is too complicated or too slow or even too simple for the some of the players, they will probably refuse to play. This can make choosing a family game a little complicated. You need something simple enough for your 3- or 4-year-old, yet interesting and challenging enough so Dad doesnít fall asleep and your teen doesnít completely zone out into the nearest hand-held device. Believe it or not, this is not the impossible dream. There really are unplugged games that can fill this bill.

For starters, let me introduce Ruckus from Funstreet, Inc.This card game targets age 7 to adult, but my 3- and 5-year-old grandchildren play it with gusto. The genius of Ruckus lies in its counter-intuitive game rules that give the slowest player the advantage. Typically, older players cannot resist making swift moves, which in Ruckus can work to the advantage of younger, slower players.

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Nelson Academy of Agriculture

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.

"Rockbrookís 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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The Relaxed Homeschool Mindset - Christian Perspective
By Dr. Mary Hood

Excerpted from The Enthusiastic Homeschooler, Ambleside Educational Press, Cartersville, GA

What is relaxed homeschooling, anyway? I get a lot of phone calls and letters from readers, many of whom say things like the following: "Iím really drawn to the relaxed homeschooling method. My problem is, I donít really understand how it works. What do I do when we get up in the mornings? What happens when my kids are lazy? Do I step in with more traditional methods?

"I really enjoy your philosophy of homeschooling. Unfortunately, my kids just arenít motivated like yours are. Iíd like to be like you, but I donít think we will ever be successful or relaxed. And I lost my joy a long time ago."

"Relaxed homeschooling . . . isnít that an oxymoron?"

The problem with most of these readers is that they misunderstand what "relaxed homeschooling" is all about. It isnít a method. Relaxed homeschoolers may use all kinds of methods as they tailor things for each individual child. It isnít a curriculum, or the absence of a curriculum. Iíve used various books and materials over the years, including some textbooks when a child asked for them or when I thought they were a useful resource in the upper grades. It isnít really a philosophy, either, because I donít have the time to create a whole new philosophy, and you donít have time to study one.

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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 kingdomís 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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