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The Way Home - The Link's eNewsletter

Dear Readers:

In this week’s issue, we have two articles of diverse interest. The first, "How Can You Have the World in Mind?" deals with geography and its teaching. It has been well-publicized in recent years how American school children have a huge deficit in understanding of physical geography. This article may be of use to you to ensure your homeschooled children do not have such a lack of knowledge. Our second article, by Erin Chianese, is "In Character" discussing the importance of character in a child’s education. We hope you have a safe and enjoyable 4th of July and thank you for reading.

Michael Leppert

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Real Authentic Women

Destination Science - Summer Day Camps for Grades K-6
By Jennifer Nairne

It may be hard to believe, but summer is quickly approaching. Although a large portion of the country continues to shovel out of record-breaking snowfall, we all know that planning ahead for the summer saves money and a lot of time misspent worrying about it. I would know because I am an expert in procrastination. We take a long break over the hot summer months from "school", but I try to seek out any opportunity to keep learning and education part of our daily routines. Yet I always seem to wait until the last minute to find structured or organized activities for the kids to join. My kids end up participating in programs that cost a fortune (because I waited too long) and fail to engage their interests (because I waited too long). The resulting battles, tears, and money lost over the years have finally made an impression. I have decided this year will be different.

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Destination Science

Nelson Academy of Agriculture

How Can You Have the World in Mind?

It is wonderful to see so many homeschooling families understand the importance of helping our students acquire a mental map of the world. Being able to see a world map in their mind’s eye, that they can reference, and even draw out at will, is a skill that shall serve our children well in innumerable situations throughout their lives. Therefore, with literally tens of thousands of homeschooling parents desiring their children to benefit from having a mental map of the world, what methods are being used by homeschoolers to acquire this skill, and how effective are these methods?

One very popular method, used by the majority of World Geography books, is to try and make each country memorable through a series of activities: cooking a traditional meal, listening to regional music, and so forth. One benefit to this method is that the activities themselves are a delightful way to continue to strengthen the relationships we have with our children/students. However, often times, the most lasting remembrances of this activity based approach to world geography, is not so much learning name-place facts, but that of baklava, sweet bread, and all the fun time spent with you.

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Math Drwaings
Autry Museum

Penn Foster

Common Ground Center - Uncommon Family Camp Fun in Vermont
By Emerson Sandow

Homeschooling families enjoy being families. Parents are not in a rush to get rid of the kids and be free of them. Sometimes it can be difficult to find activities that are truly geared for grownups and children to enjoy together. Camp Common Ground in Vermont offers just that – in an eco-friendly community spirit.

The Camp has the following 4-week-long sessions this summer: 2013 family camp weeks begin on:

  • July 20, 2013
  • July 27, 2013
  • August 3, 2013
  • August 10, 2013

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Camp Common Ground

Data Works

In Character
By Erin Chianese

Jimmy is sixteen and has been working every Friday the past few months at a delicatessen. He receives the annual flyer in the mail announcing Homeschool Day at Six Flags Magic Mountain. He loves roller coasters and wants to go just as he has gone every year since he was five years old. The event is on a Friday in one month. Does he decide to talk to his boss now about taking the day off, or does he decide to call in sick on the morning of the Homeschool Day? The latter choice would ensure getting the day off while the former may not.

Character will determine Jimmy’s decision. We each use our character to deal with situations both mental and ethical. Big and small dilemmas arrive in our paths daily. Our personal sense of integrity, honesty, ethics, sincerity, and kindness, among many other qualities, determines our own character. The stronger our character, the easier our decisions are to make and the gentler their affect on our inner being.

Teenagers are notorious for knowing "everything" by the age of seventeen. They are pining for independence as they develop their own beliefs and opinions. They are solving their problems using their judgment. Any mistakes they make, they must own and learn from. Independence requires responsibility. Their character will be tested and amended at every turn and it will determine their choices in how they think and act. As English philosopher, John Locke, reassured in the late 1600’s, "Character consists of what you do on the third and fourth tries." Now is a perfect time for teenagers to be aware of the make-up of their character. Sometimes parents can engage in discussions on character by sneaking in their two-cents or retelling an old story of heart or integrity from their own lives. I like to recount certain short stories from the radio.

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Smart Tutor

Museum Section

Math Without Borders - High School Math Courses
By Jennifer Nairne

High school mathematics can be an incredibly intimidating subject for parents teaching their own children.Traditional math textbooks are not meant for independent study and most students struggle unless they have guidance. But unless you have the training and experience, it can be difficult to fill in that role of "math teacher". And many of the most popular courses for homeschoolers lack depth and complexity. A lot of students get bored quickly and they lack the preparation they need for success in college.

David Chandler has created Math Without Borders - a series of Home Study Companion video lessons to accompany the most rigorous and thorough math textbooks available, while maintaining a student-friendly approach. He is an experienced teacher of mathematics, but has also taught physics, astronomy, and computer programming. And after working with homeschool families at a charter school, Mr. Chandler wanted to develop the materials and resources families need to teach high school math at home.

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Math Without Borders

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