Welcome to this issue of The Way Home

"I Know What’s Best For My Education": A Lesson In Uncertainty
by Richard J. Prystowsky

Learning Through History by Brett Mills
PCI Educationby Joseph Grayhaim
Math Made Fun by Linda Pliagas

Greetings, readers of The Way Home,


Happy 2009! As dire as the economic forecasts are, we see very little evidence of it. Many people we talk to see this contraction as a very positive experience, bringing us all into a more healthy alignment with our financial activities, in particular, and our lifestyles in general.

Of course, since homeschoolers are typically more in focus anyway, having to be responsible for all aspects of their children’s lives – financial and otherwise -- we might not notice quite as much of a downturn as society in general.

We are looking forward to a great year, with plenty of growth in the homeschooling world and we are happy to be a part of it. It is a pleasure to be of service to such a vital and powerful group of people as homeschoolers are. No matter what your homeschooling philosophy or style; charter school or totally independent, we a proud to be a part of your lives. Thank you inviting us in. We will do our best to be worthy of it.

Mary Leppert, Editor/Publisher


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Art Instruction Schools


Homeschooling Growing in Popularity!


The number of homeschoolers has skyrocketed in the past five years, according to a new report by the U.S. Department of Education.


Currently, the government estimates that 1.5 million children are being homeschooled across the nation; however, homeschool experts place the number closer to 2 million. They content that homeschooling parents are less inclined to respond to government surveys.


The report, released in December, states the numbers of children being homeschooled are up 74 percent from 1999 to 2007 and up 36 percent since 2003. Reasons cited by parents for homeschooling include: to provide religious or moral instruction and dissatisfaction with academics and the environment at traditional schools.


German Homeschoolers Face Jail Time


While homeschooling is growing in popularity in the United States, homeschoolers in Germany could possibly face jail time and fines.


According to the Home School Legal Defense Association, a mother and father were recently handed a three-month jail term and a $1,200 fine for not sending their children to school.


Currently, approximately 400 families homeschool in Germany, almost all of them are either in hiding or facing action.


The prison sentences were overturned on Christmas Eve, no new trial dates have been scheduled yet. The sentences were dismissed on three grounds, including one technical error.

Art Instruction SchoolLearning Through History
by Brett Mills

This is my history: American history. Every day is a chance to learn about the people and times that helped to make the America I live in now. I try to keep the American story clear for young historians, but it can get tricky. When American history gets mixed up, I go to work. I’m Joe Bygoneday – time detective.

I was working the afternoon watch in the Colonial America division when two young people needed to see me. The pair came into my office and introduced themselves as Sarah and her friend Josh. Sarah and Josh told me that they were usually good friends, but a problem with American history had them mad at each other now. I knew they needed my help right away, so I asked them to tell me about their problem.

They were trying to learn about groups of people who came to settle colonies for England in America.

Read More...>>>

Rainbow Resource



World's Finest Chocolate

"I Know What’s Best For My Education":
A Lesson In Uncertainty
by Richard J. Prystowsky

During our college’s first two weeks of the Fall 2005 semester, I dealt with an incident at our college that caused me to reflect on the relationship between my homeschooling life and my college work life.
For years, when our kids were young, I felt that my growth as an educator resulted largely from what homeschooling was teaching me about healthy learning paths and from what my mainstream educational life was teaching me about unhealthy learning paths. I had become, one might say, a radical homeschooler who was nearly one hundred percent committed to following unschooling paths. Slowly, however, my certainty about radical unschooling began to waver. As I’ve grown older and have continued to reflect upon what I think I know, I feel more and more akin to the persona in Bob Dylan’s song “My Back Pages,” who sings, “Ah, but I was so much older then; I’m younger than that now.” Let me explain.

Read More...>>>

PCI EducationPCI Education

PCI Education Brings the Struggling Student Powerful Help
by Joseph Grayhaim

PCI Education has as its logo, a light bulb inside an apple, communicating its philosophy of providing bright ideas to educators – parents or teachers. PCI focuses on teaching basic skills to students who are struggling, for whatever reason. Whether Special Ed, ESL, Adult Ed, or any other reason for experiencing academic difficulties, PCI has the products you and your child need to fulfill your educational goals. By accentuating your child’s strengths, rather than weaknesses, you build your child’s positive self-image and confidence and PCI offers you plenty of positive teaching aid.

A focused review of the PCI website provides a huge amount of information useful in many fields of study and especially in the Reading department. There are read-along cassette & book sets for both elementary and secondary level students. Also, Character Education and Social Skills books are offered, teaching tolerance, honesty, consideration, cooperation and other topics of importance. Most homeschoolers can easily agree that a healthy attention to the “Three R’s” is the cornerstone of a child’s education, but “peripheral” subjects such as Character Building and Social Interaction are equally valuable to developing a well-rounded, confident person. Books teaching these topics can be difficult to find, so PCI’s offering of them is extremely useful. PCI’s books are attractive, full-color, affordable tomes, that are a pleasure to read and re-read. PCI also offers a complete line of pre-reading and language arts products that help you prepare your pre-reader.

Before you buy reading and other products for your K-8 student, please visit PCI’s website and take a relaxed “stroll” through their huge array of products – or request a catalog – and bring your child excellent learning assistance! JG


Math Made FunMath Made Fun

Motion and Math Equal Learning Success
by Linda Pliagas


Do your little ones have so much energy that it’s hard for them to sit still to study? Having an abundance of vigor may be viewed negatively in a traditional school setting, but a new teaching system exists to transform that enthusiasm into math success.


The “Multiply With Me” program, developed by Suzy Koontz, has been getting rave reviews in the mainstream media and with traditional teachers as well. “It’s the only method that exists where children learn math through movement.” says Koontz.  This approach fits well with recent research that suggests that movement enhances learning.


The program, which includes an instructor guide and a student workbook, uses a multifaceted approach to teach multiplication.  First, basic counting is introduced, which Koontz calls “the foundation” of all mathematics. Once this is mastered, children learn to “skip count” groups of edible objects. From there they move on to learning multiples. Children can start as young as 4 or when they can count to 100.  The program also works well for older children who have not mastered multiplication.


Koontz includes activities and games in her book, Multiply With Me, Learning to Multiply Can be Fun.” Some of these activities can be done outside. For example, she suggests skip counting as children play ball or jump rope.


It’s no secret that learning math can cause a lot of anxiety, and Koontz has experienced this first hand. As a teen, Koontz’s math tutor became so frustrated with her inability to understand certain principles that he told her she would never succeed in math.


Koontz proved him wrong. She went on to major in mathematics in college and even received a master’s degree in statistics. Now, it is her mission to ease the stress of learning math, one child at a time.


For more information, please visit: www.suzykoontz.com

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