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Dear Readers: This week we have writings from two very knowledgeable and well-known women in the homeschooling world Ė both moms of 5 children, too! First, Dr. Mary Hood presents ďThe Relaxed Homeschool MindsetĒ and secondly, Catherine Levison, offers insight from the Charlotte Mason Method, ďNature StudyĒ. You can hear Dr. Hood speak at our upcoming Homeschool Conference in February, 2015 at the Westlake Hyatt. It will be an excellent show and a great weekend for families. As always, thank you for reading.

Michael Leppert

Homeschool Magazine.com
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

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 masterís 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 brotherís 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 childrenís 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 peopleís 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

The Relaxed Homeschool Mindset
by Dr. Mary Hood

What is relaxed homeschooling, anyway? I get a lot of phone calls and letters from readers, many of whom say things like the following: "Iím really drawn to the relaxed homeschooling method. My problem is, I donít really understand how it works. What do I do when we get up in the mornings? What happens when my kids are lazy? Do I step in with more traditional methods?

"I really enjoy your philosophy of homeschooling. Unfortunately, my kids just arenít motivated like yours are. Iíd like to be like you, but I donít think we will ever be successful or relaxed. And I lost my joy a long time ago."

"Relaxed homeschooling . . . isnít that an oxymoron?"

The problem with most of these readers is that they misunderstand what "relaxed homeschooling" is all about. It isnít a method. Relaxed homeschoolers may use all kinds of methods as they tailor things for each individual child. It isnít a curriculum, or the absence of a curriculum. Iíve used various books and materials over the years, including some textbooks when a child asked for them or when I thought they were a useful resource in the upper grades. It isnít really a philosophy, either, because I donít have the time to create a whole new philosophy, and you donít have time to study one.

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Destination Science

Laurence Tech

American Academy - Christian-based Homeschool Academy, pre-K-High School

By Ellen Meade

The variety of Christian-based homeschooling resources has grown exponentially over the last few years. Homeschooling support groups, online curricula, and subject-specific materials can be readily found. However, it has become more difficult to find traditional, comprehensive, Christian-based curricula for home study. Lesson plans are often complex and require intense preparation or expensive materials - time and money are two things that are in short supply for many families. Ask yourself: Do you believe education should come before socialization? Do you believe homeschooling curricula should develop a strong Christian character? Do you want your childís education to instill a love for our country and a desire to perpetuate our American heritage?

American Academy has developed an entire academic program emphasizing the development of personal character and Christian family values. The Founder and President of American Academy, Marvin L. Reynolds, has more than 30 years of educational experience. His deeply-held Christian convictions form the backbone to the educational goals of American Academy. The staff, including Mr. Reynolds, are ready to support parents in their homeschooling endeavors. In addition to offering parents guidance and educational expertise, American Academy provides record-keeping -- report cards, transcripts, diplomas, and graduation services. From curriculum, to socialization, American Academy is ready and eager to help every parent become a successful homeschooling educator.

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American Academy

Charlotte Mason Method -- In An English Garden
By Catherine Levison

Nature Study

Charlotte Mason wrote extensively on various educational philosophies and she held to an unusual emphasis of taking children outside every day to be in direct contact with nature. She really means every day, and she lived with the less-than-perfect weather of England. The objective is to help the child learn to be observant. The parent can relax, sit on a blanket, bring a project or a book along, and make this a leisurely outing, casually point out scenery around your children. Charlotte suggests we ask them "Who can see the most and tell the most about . . ." any plants, insects, or anything nearby. This appears to be a form of narration to me. With as little talking as possible and absolutely no lecturing, attempt to have them notice the geography of the area, the position of the sun, the weather, and the clouds.

In order to foster the power of observation you need to take your children to places where they will find things worth observing. Charlotte wanted children to have beautiful memories of their childhood stored for their old age and thought too many of us have blurry memories due to the fact we did not slow down and really look at things. To remedy this, she suggests that on rare occasions we have the child take a mental photograph of some scenic landscape. Have the child look, then shut their eyes and describe the scene. If it is too blurry in their minds, have them open their eyes, look again, and make a second attempt.

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Analytical Grammar

Original Bible

Richer Resources

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 ó 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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