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Dear Readers, this week we bring two articles that seem divergent, but actually may have a thread connecting them. First is Michele Bru’s “Breastfeeding Is Good for Your Baby’s Brain”. The psychological and emotional values of on-demand breastfeeding have become well-established, which may seque into our second article, “What Are the Effects of a Classical Education?”, which discusses civilization and barbarism, among other pithy topics. One might reason that a well-adjusted child is a primary component of a civilized adult; therefore, the connection. At any rate, we hope these articles serve you well – and our advertisers’ products too – and as always, we thank you for reading our work.

Michael Leppert

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Real Authentic Women

Rocket Math App  Basic Math Facts Learning Game for K-5
By Janet Esposito

For 15 years, homeschoolers and public schools across the country have been using Rocket Math, the highly successful supplemental practice curriculum. Using paper and pencil, worksheet-based math fact worksheets, students practice learning math facts in pairs or with a parent at home. The scientifically proven success has been a hit in classrooms nationwide, but now parents can take this educational experience to the next level using the Rocket Math app for iPhones and iPads. Continue to use your own broader math curricula while supplementing with Rocket Math games that your kids will love. The Rocket Math app is free and the science behind its success is well-documented.

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Rocket Math

Breastfeeding - Good For Your Baby's Brain
By Michele C. Bru La Leche League Leader

An interesting fact that most of us probably don't know is that the human infant's brain is only about 25% of its adult weight at birth. Most other mammals are born with 60-90% of their adult brain size. Dr. James McKenna, a Professor at Notre Dame University, has done extensive studies on the mother-infant breastfeeding relationship. His scientific studies of mothers and infants sleeping together have shown how tightly bound together the physiological and social aspects of the mother-infant relationship really are. He goes on to say that "most other young mammals become independent of their parents within a year, whereas humans take 14 to 17 years to become fully developed physically, and usually longer than that to be fully independent." This means that 75% of the baby's brain will still be developing and growing after birth. Why is that you may ask? If the baby's brain were fully developed at birth, then baby's head would not fit through the birth canal. So here we have this newborn baby whose brain needs to grow 75% larger.

Well, it would be obvious at this point to stress the need for good nutrition for your baby's brain. But the question one must ask is does artificial baby milk, which is based on cow's milk, contain the right ingredients for my developing baby's brain? I submit to you that it does not. Every year formula companies are trying to enhance artificial baby milk with a new ingredient that they find in Mother's milk. In this article, I would like to explore two essential fatty acids and how they affect the developing brain of your baby.


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Math Nook

Virtual Field Trips


The Speech Wizard

Shawn Manvell is a Licensed Speech-Language Pathologist, Pediatric Feeding Therapy, and Assistive Technology Specialist. She owns a private practice in Camarillo California where she lives with her 5 year old daughter, two horses, two dogs and two cats. She holds a master’s degree in Communication Disorders & Sciences from California State University, Northridge. For over 20 years Shawn has dedicated herself to helping families with children who have special developmental needs. She has volunteered at United Cerebral Palsy, therapeutic horseback riding, and as a respite care provider for various families and agencies.

Shawn was persuaded to become a speech-language therapist through different occurrences in her life. A combination of experiences, events, and people influenced her career path decision, starting with childhood helping her younger brother’s delayed speech and language development, and continuing into her professional work now at her private practice. With each experience, Shawn has the fortunate opportunity to see, feel, and hear the differences she makes to positively impact children’s lives. With a lifelong dedication and passion to the field of speech-language pathology, she feels that she practices with the highest of standards to greatly improve people’s quality of life through communication skills. She is determined, as well as confident in her ability, to continue and expand the feeling of gratification and satisfaction that she receives from providing quality services as a speech-language pathologist and assistive technology specialist.

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The Speech Wizard

Dr Heater

What Is the Effect of a Classical Education?
By S.B.

People often associate the phrase "classical education" with a kind of elite intellectual endeavor, as if a classical education is only for especially bright students. I think this is because a classical education is perceived to be an almost entirely intellectual pursuit. It is not. In fact, an overemphasis on the intellect -- and a narrow part of the intellect at that -- at the expense of the rest of the human person, is one of the grave faults of modern education.

Classical education is concerned with the whole person -- his whole intellect, his emotions, his passions, his appetites. These do not exist separately in a human being but, rather, are integrated in each person. A complete education addresses all of these attributes both in regard to the materials used in education and in the way education is pursued. If education is simply about knowing things we will go about it in a particular way. If it is more properly about understanding things, we will go about it in a very different way. Is it more important to know the facts or to understand what they mean? I suggest it is the latter.

That does not mean that possessing information is not important. To understand the facts one must first know them. But who better understands what a horse is, the girl who knows facts about horses -- quadruped, single-toed, eleven-month gestation, vegetative diet -- or the girl who lives with horses, takes care of them, touches them, speaks to them? Which girl would you want to take care of your horse? The second girl knows the facts but she also knows something else. Absent direct experience of horses, is there a way to obtain the kind of understanding that the second girl possesses? Or to obtain that kind of understanding about any human experience and about what things are, whether we are in the realm of materiality or the realm of ideas?

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Runkle Publishing

Nature Friend

Richer Resources

Unleash the Genius in Your Child

Every child can learn. Sometimes they just need an engaging teacher or personalized instruction. GiftedandTalented.com, the premier online courseware, developed by Stanford University, offers Kindergarten through 12th grade courses, in Mathematics, Language Arts & Writing, Physics, and Computer Science - over 20 courses in all. Whether your student is an advanced learner or just looking to score better on standardized tests, GiftedandTalented.com's extra-curricular courses are a great place to start.

Most importantly, GiftedandTalented.com courses include Stanford University-trained tutors who mentor students, guiding them through the courseware and coaching parents on study tips and learning strategies. Tutors are experts in their subjects and work with students through email, phone, chat, video conversations, and online digital classrooms.

What courses should students start with?

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Redbird

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