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Dear Readers:

This issue, we offer you an excellent, short article about the value of exercise before studying – “Kicking Your Brain On” – relating how recent neuro-scientific research has shed much light on how to effectively increase brain power. Our second article, by one of the foremost experts in the topic, Jessica Hulcy, deals with the Unit Study as homeschooling tool. As always, thank you for reading.

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

Nostalgia and Now – Handwriting and Technology
By Nan Barchowsky, http://www.bfhhandwriting.com/

As I see items in the media about the future of handwriting, the quotation immediately comes to Mind: “Technology propels us into a period of transition.” Communication has a major role.

Handwriting evolves throughout history. The discoveries of the printing press -- and much later the typewriter -- were momentous. Handwriting survived both. It may again survive.

Nostalgia aside, the sort of looped cursive commonly practiced today may become obsolete; replaced by something better-suited to our evolving time. Handwriting must be easier to learn and teach than either print-like script or looped cursive and it should retain legibility.

Current research proves that children gain greater cognition with alphabetic shapes formed by hand, than they do with keyboarding. As a hand moves around the lines that shape letters, images are implanted in motor memory to be used for writing and for reading.

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Barchowsky Hand Writing

WallWords

Kicking Your Brain "On" for Academics Through Exercise
[This information is taken from Sparking Life's website, http://sparkinglife.org/page/the-new-physical-education.]

There is a revolution occurring in education -- slowly, as all institutional changes do -- that homeschoolers need to be informed of. It is the connection between vigorous exercise BEFORE learning, that creates a heightened state of attention.

Developed and explained by Dr. John Ratey, a clinical psychiatrist at Harvard Medical School in his book "Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain", wherein he presents an understanding of neurobiology with worldwide research to inspire the reader to embrace exercise as a means to achieve optimal brain performance.

Dr. Ratey and the late Phil Lawler, high school teacher/coach in Naperville, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago, presented Dr. Ratey's concepts to Mr. Lawler's young students to great effect.

Vigorous exercise BEFORE learning, helps create a heightened state of attention. Scientific fitness studies document academic improvement linked to movement and exercise, generating worldwide interest in the Sparking Life movement.


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Rhymes Tables

Math Without Borders


Inspired Scholar

The Reading Game – Learn-to-Read Game for Ages 4 and Up
By Janet Esposito

www.thereadinggame.com

The Reading Game is an amazing tool for all homeschoolers learning to read. Whether you have a pre-schooler, who is ready to move on from pictures, or if you’re teaching the basics to your kindgartener, or even if you are looking for resources for your struggling reader – The Reading Game is for you.. After completing all the levels of The Reading Game, your student will be able to read 180 new sight words. And it meets criteria for four skill sets in the Common Core Standards for Language and Literacy Arts. Although it may sound too good to be true, this program has been field-tested in a variety of settings (both in public school and homeschool settings) with amazing results.

There are six color-coded levels to progress through in The Reading Game: Skunk (red), Snake (orange), Bear (yellow), Penguins (green), Unicorn (blue), and Zebra (purple). Each character has cards to play the “matching game,” 3 large flashcards, and a book. All the materials are extremely well-made, user-friendly, and contained within a small box. The stories are fanciful and fun – perfect for sparking your young reader’s imagination.


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The Reading Game

EFSAP

The Unit Study
By Jessica Hulcy, co-creator of Konos Unit Study

Ingredients of a DELICIOUS Unit

I do not know of anyone who enjoys a piece of cake one ingredient at a time…..first, the raw eggs… then the baking powder… followed by sugar… then the butter… and, finally, the flour! Even if you follow the recipe, eating separate ingredients does not give you a delicious whole cake taste! Likewise, traditional learning subject by subject is not a whole learning approach but a fragmented, unrelated, unconnected group of subjects. Even though we were taught using the subject-by-subject approach, it is not natural and was designed for public school classrooms so each teacher would know what the other teacher was teaching. In contrast, unit studies provide the whole topic approach, weaving individual subjects like literature, activities, art, research, music, writing, history, biographies and even science, into the topic; providing a cohesive, natural approach for homeschool learning. But what are the ingredients of a DELICIOUS unit?

WORTHY THEMES

Units can be built around any theme; however, some themes have a deeper, dual purpose. Character trait themes with topics under the character trait establish the deeper purpose of focusing on and training kids with their eyes on worthy character to emulate. The topics under the character trait are the vehicles for imparting academic knowledge PLUS the character trait. While studying the character trait of Obedience, a topic of Kings and Queens leads to studying feudalism. Historically, feudalism was based on the character trait of obedience, for when a king wanted an army of vassals, he had vassals kneel before him and place their hands between his hands pledging their allegiance, and their men, to the king whenever he called. The king, in turn, gave each vassal a clod of dirt which represented land or a fief he gave as payment for the vassal’s service and obedience. Knights jousting, parts of the castle, Arthur and the round table, Greensleeves, biographies of Henry VIII, constructing catapults out of plastic soda bottles, lady-in-waiting costumes and medieval feasts, all become part of the unit. Obedience is the focus, but memories have been created causing academics to be remembered along with the character trait focus.

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Microscope.com

NUV Academy

Clark Financial

Nelson Academy of Agricultural Science
By Michael Leppert

If your child is interested in agricultural and/or veterinary pursuits, the Nelson Academy of Agricultural Science offers the perfect study solution — online agriculture courses! Or, maybe your child simply has an interest in taking an agriculture science course . . . Nelson Academy again provides the solution.

Mr. Leroy Nelson, founder of Nelson Academy, taught agriculture and advised FFA chapters for more than 15 years in his home state of Montana, and a five of his student FFA advisees are Montana state officials for the FFA. Since 2004, he has been the superintendent of the Opheim, MT, school district.


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Nelson-Academy

PAC

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