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Dear Readers:

Dear readers: In this edition, we have two articles that deal with alternative education, which is what homeschooling really is. When you begin to question the validity of the institutional schooling model, you are on the threshold of the alternatives. First, is a piece by Emerson Sandow discussing both the Montessori Method and the Waldorf Method, two very prominent alternative education models. Our second article, Educating from the Outside In or Inside Out, is by Mariaemma Pelullo-Willis and Victoria Kindle-Hodson who have helped many families through their Learning Styles Assessment and their books and on-site work in Ventura, California. We hope you are having a restful Thanksgiving weekend and thank you for reading.

Michael Leppert

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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

Dr Heater

Two Learning Alternatives: Montessori and Waldorf
by Emerson Sandow

Two of the most popular and successful alternative teaching methods are the Montessori Method, developed by Maria Montessori and Waldorf School, created by Rudolph Steiner. Both have similarities and differences that are significant, but the teaching parent can gain much from learning more about both approaches.

The Montessori Method of teaching was developed by an Italian educator, Maria Montessori (1870-1952) in the 1890s. Her original experience was with retarded, supposedly uneducable children, whom she taught with great success. She then became a government-sponsored teacher of the poor in Rome, again to great success. Thus, Montessori’s theories were proven in the field and she was ultimately able to apply them to "normal" children. One of the earmarks of her method was the belief in allowing children to direct their learning, with the teacher functioning as observer and guide, rather than an absolute director of what the child would learn. Montessori also believed that physical activity was significant in a child’s integrating academic concepts. Ms. Montessori believed in the competence of children and had faith in their abilities to lead their knowledge-gathering. She believed in a holistic learning approach, even to having child-size furniture and accessories, allowing children to feel competent in their environment; which competence would develop and grow into adulthood. Ms. Montessori had a strong awareness of students’ learning styles and believed that it should be taken seriously when developing a child’s academic program. The Montessori name and method are not trade-marked or legally limited in any way. Therefore, many schools can call themselves "Montessori" without having to have pedagogical authority to do so.

Waldorf Education was developed by Rudolph Steiner, a German Renaissance Man (1861-1925), who was an architect, farmer, spiritual philosopher and social theorist. He published his book The Education of the Child, in 1907, setting forth his theories and observations. In 1919, the owner of the Waldorf-Astoria Cigarette company hired Steiner to create a school for the children of its employees, hence the name "Waldorf", which is trademarked worldwide. The governance of Waldorf schools is well-formed, with the academic decisions made by the teachers in committee and the other decisions made by the board of directors. This tends to produce a very satisfying educational experience for students, parents and teachers. Each private Waldorf school is self-governing and unique but most choose adhere to Steiner’s curriculum. State-supported Waldorf schools are likely to have to adhere to the Steiner method.


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Dynamic Literacy

About a year ago I was in Florida for my son’s wedding and had the TV on while getting dressed. I happened upon one of my all time favorite shows, "Leave it to Beaver." In this episode, Wally was helping Beaver with his English homework, and Beaver was really struggling. Finally, in exasperation Beaver whined "English is really hard. Why do I have to learn this stuff anyway?" Wally replied "People judge you by the words you use Beav, and if you use crummy words, people will think you’re a creep!" I knew instantly that I was going to use those words. But you know, Beaver was right. Why is English so hard? Well, for starters it’s HUGE. If you Google "number of English words", you will find estimates from over 500,000 to over 1,000,000 words. Unlike many other languages, there seem to be at least 2 words for just about everything in English. Sometimes there are 3 or 4. Why is this? For the answer to that, we need to go back to merry olde England in the year 1066. During the summer of 1066, you might have heard the following in many English households: Pu ure faeder, de eart on heofonum; Sy bin nama gehalgod. Cume din rice. Sy din walla on eordan swaswa on heofonum...

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Dynamic Literacy

California

Learning Success Coaches ™ -- Educating from the Outside-In or the Inside-Out?
By Mariaemma Pelullo-Wills, M.S. & Victoria Kindle-Hodson, M.A. Learning Success Institute, Ventura, California

This morning, reading an email from a home schooling mom, an old adage came to mind, when things start going your way it is usually YOU who has changed direction.

This mom gave up trying to get her children to change their direction and instead dramatically changed her direction to support their curiosity, passion, and learning styles. As she writes, little did I know the difference this shift would make in my life!

In his book The World is Flat Thomas L. Friedman introduces a formula for a young person’s success in the globally-competitive world of the not-too-distant future. CQ + PQ > IQ, he says — Curiosity Quotient plus Passion Quotient is greater than Intelligence Quotient. Whoa! This is important information! Parents and teachers we work with are always concerned about what kids need in order to be successful in the “real world,” and here is a New York Times bestselling author emphasizing CQ and PQ. So, is Thomas Friedman saying teach your kids to be curious and passionate? No, absolutely not! Curiosity and passion can’t be taught. Our kids are born with these attributes. The question is, how do we support and develop the CQ and PQ that our kids already have?

As we see it, there are basically two ways to educate children — from the outside-in and from the inside-out: One approach short-circuits curiosity and passion and the other opens the circuitry for these wonderful attributes to flow.

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Montessori Services and For Small Hands Catalog, Building Self-Confidence & Independence

Delight young children with real tools that let them handle age-appropriate tasks “all by myself!” The child-size items featured in For Small Hands give children the means to pour their own juice or rake leaves by your side, purposeful “work” that supports self-confidence and independence.

This unique catalog brings together hard-to-find games, toys, and resources that provide young children with enriching opportunities to develop the basic skills they need for later academic learning.

What’s Inside:

* Child-Size Tools – Garden rakes, brooms, mops, woodworking tools, and kitchen utensils made to fit small hands are the stars of this catalog. This may be the widest range of child-size dishes, pots and pans, garden tools and baking gear available all in one place. The scaled-down supplies are perfect for pretend play and made well enough for real cooking, gardening, and woodworking.

* Learning Toys – From classic memory games and fact cards to puzzles, blocks, models, and building toys, the range of choices for children ages 3 to 8 is amazing. These toys offer young children absorbing opportunities to learn as they play. Choices explore color, shape, size, pattern, geometry, gravity, balance, cause-and-effect, the seasons, nature, animals, geography, and more.


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Montessori Services

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