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The Way Home - The Link's eNewsletter

Dear Readers:

In this issue, we present you with two articles that demonstrate the breadth of homeschooling in the 21st century. First, we offer you “Buying Used Computers” by Andrea Yust, of Homeschool Programming.com. (www.homeschoolprogramming.com) Andrea has a wealth of knowledge to share that we hope will benefit you – especially if you are working on a budget, but need to equip your household computer-wise.

Our second article is by the very experienced and knowledgeable penmanship expert, Nan Barchowsky, with “A Handwriting Goal”. (www.bfh.com) Despite the downplay that handwriting may receive in the public school realm, many private schools and homeschoolers value its importance and are keeping it alive as an active skill. Ms. Barchowsky’s wisdom will help greatly. I wish to reiterate that we seek out excellent companies to advertise to you. We find quality products and/or services and present them to you for your edification and to improve your homeschooling experience. Please patronize our advertisers, purchase from them when possible, and tell them that you heard about them from us! We appreciate it and thank you for reading our work

Michael Leppert

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Since 1995, The Link Homeschool Magazine has been the premier non-religious/non-secular alternative education publication in No. America. We respect all philosophies and styles of homeschooling and home-centered life. Hard copy and digital editions are FREE and we never rent or sell any of our lists.

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Real Authentic Women

Great Homeschool Conventions Brings Homeschoolers Three Exciting Events Nationwide in 2014

The year 2014 will be an exciting conference one for homeschoolers who attend one of the three locations of Great Homeschool Conventions (GHC): Greenville, SC; Cincinnati, OH and Ontario, CA (https://www.greathomeschoolconventions.com). Each conference will offer over 200 speaking sessions & over 200 vendors.

The team at GHC has prepared excellent resources at all three that will serve and entertain their attendees, giving them the boost that such an event is so valuable for. Rubbing elbows with other homeschooling families, hearing great speakers live and having access to great vendors all in one weekend, is powerful and uplifting for months afterward.

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Great Homeschool Convention

Yes Japan

Buying Used Computers
By Andrea Yust (Copyright 2011 Homeschool Programming, Inc.)

Your Student's Back-to-School Computer! It’s almost time for school and for many students that means one thing – a new computer! Of course, new computers can be expensive; so many parents may be looking toward a cheaper used computer instead.

It is very important to check a used computer thoroughly before buying so that you can avoid trouble in the future. Let’s take a look at the possible issues that you should consider while purchasing a used computer.

How Old is Too Old?

How old is the used computer? A computer’s age is important for many reasons. Computer parts will wear down over time, causing hard drive failures and memory problems. When you are checking out a used computer, make sure to power it down and then turn it back on. Listen to the sounds that the computer makes as it start up. Does it hum along quietly, or are there clicking or beeping noises? Any clicking, clacking or beeping noises could be a sign of age on important parts like the hard drive and power supply.

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Calvert School

The Reading Game

Assessment by Valerie Schuetta, M.A. Reading Specialist

As a Reading Specialist, I am always looking for fun, engaging activities that will enhance my students’ success in reading. The students I work with are considered high-risk for reading failure, so it is important to me that they are highly motivated and engaged in the lesson. The lessons I present consist of letter and sound activities, sight words, a phonemic awareness lesson, and reading for fluency. I especially like teaching phonemic awareness because it is the one component of reading that I feel you can have the most fun with and the activities can be very engaging, especially to younger students.

As any Reading Specialist knows, if a reading program is to be effective, especially for beginner readers, phonemic awareness should be at the top of the list, and for good reason. If a child is going to become a successful reader, how well he or she does with phonemic awareness will significantly improve their success in reading. I am always searching for new ways to teach phonemic awareness, especially lessons that appeal to the different learning styles.

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Smart Tutor

Choir 21

A Handwriting Goal: Legibility at Age-appropriate Speed
By Nan Jay Barchowsky, handwriting specialist (http://www.bfhhandwriting.com)

“The peak of automaticity…pays off in effortless attention to high demand, whether a master level chess match, a NASCAR race or…oil painting…The more you can relax and trust bottom up (automated) moves, the more you free your mind to be nimble.” -- Daniel Goleman in his book, Focus.

You, who homeschool, are to be much admired for the enormous love and thought you give to your children and their futures. You question every “New and Improved” plan for public schools; much (of which) just takes education down another notch.

As a handwriting specialist, it is the cursive/technology controversy that reaches me. According to the Common Core State Standards, only a print-like script is to be taught, and not beyond first grade. We learn the skill of handwriting with the movement of our hands. These movements are wired to be stored in our brains, and retrieved as we write.

Recent research proves the cognitive value of handwriting instruction. MRI brain scans compared children who learn the alphabet by writing letters by hand with those who use a keyboard. Handwritten letters and numerals were implanted best in motor memory for writing as well as for letter recognition—reading.

Letter formations are stored in motor memory. It follows that words, phrases, and finally putting thoughts to paper, beg an efficient way to learn alpha-numeric characters.

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Learning Rivers

Peterson Handwriting

Woodloch Resort

Nelson Academy of Agriculture

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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Design a Study

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