Welcome to this issue of The Way Home

Famous Homeschoolers
The Why of Homeschool

Survival Outpost: Readiness and Survival in an Uncertain World
Meet Me at the Corner by Melissa Stepan
Camp and the Home Schooler by Julie Hartley

Basic Biology: Homeschooling

Homeschooling is part of the natural continuum of human life. In the animal world, mammal parents teach their young the ways of the species and nurture and protect the young until they are able to fend for themselves. The length of time varies with each animal. Most domestic animals seem to be independent after about ten months – certainly by one year, while animals in the wild might take more or less time, depending upon many factors. Human animals take the longest of all – anywhere from 16 to 20 years, according to their circumstances.

When you teach your little one to tie shoes, eat with utensils or dress himself, you are homeschooling – you simply are not teaching academic subjects. Once you begin to teach your child to read – you can begin as early as age four or five – you are still teaching, but the subject has changed. In your child’s mind, however, s/he will perceive learning to read just like learning to brush teeth or eat with a spoon . . . no big deal . . . unless you make it a big deal. A little later, you may begin teaching basic math with manipulatives – coins, checkers, sticks, but to your child it is just another thing his mom or dad shows him how to do . . . no big deal. In teaching your child yourself, and insulating him from what you consider to be undesirable parts of the external world, you are fulfilling the natural instincts and roles we possess as bipedal mammals. It is your individual responsibility to determine when your offspring is ready for a new step toward independence – just as the mother cat, dog or lion must do, making homeschooling the natural way to raise children. Thank you for reading our publications! – Michael Leppert


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Readiness and Survival in an Uncertain World: Why You Should Care To PrepareSurvival Center
By Kevin Baum

I recently stayed at a high-end hotel, for business, and was struck by how empty the place was. No matter where I went I was alone, wandering the halls of a seemingly empty facility. It was unsettling and strange, like a plot out of a B-grade movie where suddenly one person finds that he is all alone in the world.

One evening, while eating dinner in the hotel’s restaurant, I mentioned my observation to the waitress. “You’re right,” she said. “I think with one exception, you are the only person staying here. In fact, we just had to lay off a lot of our employees. Some had been here for years.” I replied that I was sorry to hear that the economic crisis has hit them so hard.

“It’s more than just the economy,” she continued as she stared up at the ceiling; “Something just doesn’t seem right. It’s as if the world is off course or something. Just watch T.V., it’s all doom and gloom. It reminds me of the months just after September 11, when the world went into a holding pattern while everybody waited anxiously for who-knows-what to happen. I’m nervous. All my friends are nervous.” She paused and looked back down at me as she finished her musings, “Anyway, one thing is certain: We live in interesting times . . . ”

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Meet Me at the CornerMeet Me at the Corner
By Melissa Stepan

In today’s world the idea of self-expression via the Internet can be a scary concept. Many open forums for kids and/or adults can be extreme and in some cases a dangerous scenario; however, there is a place and outlet that is indeed safe for kids and we wish to introduce you to it: www.meetmeatthecorner.org is a dynamic, interactive site which promotes and encourages individual expression and participation through video submissions from children worldwide. Meet Me at the Corner’s goal is to create a community of children whom can learn the art of self-expression and storytelling through video.

Donna W. Guthrie, author of more than twenty award-winning children’s books, is also the founder and creator of Meet Me at the Corner. Donna’s vision and concept has created a virtual media outlet for kids. At www.meetmeatthecorner.org children become reality-show hosts, journalists and directors of their own documentaries. Once you have logged onto this amazing site, you will have full access to past videos that include stories like twelve-year old music student, Aglaia’s interview with Alexandra Dunbar, an accomplished harpsichordist at the Julliard School of Music in New York City or Emma’s interview with children’s author Michael Buckley during their visit to Abrams Books.

Parents will love this site and love that their children have a safe, secure and creative place to express themselves, tell a story, display an interview and better yet, show off their videotaping talents. For more information on how your child can learn how to upload his/her own educational tapings, contact the Meet Me at the Corner editorial department by logging onto www.meetmeathecorner.org or simply call 719-633-3595. MS

Camp and the Home SchoolerCantauri
by Julie Hartley

As directors of an international sleep-over arts camp, we have welcomed dozens - perhaps hundreds - of homeschooled campers over the years. We have gotten to know these kids well enough to understand - and reject - the cliches about why a homeschooler can benefit from overnight camp. And we’ve also come to see how overnight camp is a great fit for the homeschooled child - particularly when that camp has a specialty, or a unique focus.

If anyone has ever told you that your homeschooled child should attend overnight camp to help them develop their social skills, then you can rest assured that we are not going to say that here! Our homeschooled campers have social skills equal to those of school-educated campers, and sometimes better. But it is a fact that school-educated children have dozens - maybe hundreds - of kids they mix with daily, making it more likely that they will meet other children in their community who share their interests. If your child has a specific passion - say, robotics, or creative writing - meeting others who share that interest can be a challenge, and is even more so when the child is homeschooled. Choosing a specialised overnight camp can introduce your child to dozens of like-minded people, and enrich their homeschooling experience once they return home.

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The Why of Homeschool
by Isabel Lyman

It was only a matter of time before Hollywood "discovered" homeschoolers. Ponder the promo from The O'Keefes, a sitcom, which will premiere this summer on the Warner Brothers Network.
"Harry and Ellie O'Keefe are loving but eccentric parents who've homeschooled their three children to protect them from the loud and libidinal world." (Translation: The parents are losers.) "Despite a ban on all things pop culture, teenagers Danny and Lauren and younger brother Mark are growing increasingly curious about what lies beyond the walls of their school/dining room." (Translation: The children are kept under house arrest.)

"They can speak six languages, but are unable to converse with kids their own age. The answer lies in their father's worst nightmare — public school." (Translation: Kids who don't attend government schools become misfits.)
It's infuriating, but not surprising, that homeschoolers—the largest group in the so-called school choice movement—still elicit scorn. The National Education Association, for instance, regularly passes an anti-homeschooling resolution at its annual convention. The resolution states that homeschooling "cannot provide the student with a comprehensive education experience." Now it's apparently Tinsel town’s turn to bash the estimated 1.5 million homeschooled children in the United States.

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Famous Homeschoolers

PEARL S. BUCK (1892 – 1973)

Pearl S. Buck was born in Hillsboro, NC on June 26, 1892 to Presbyterian missionaries who moved to China when she was 3 years old. Buck learned the Chinese language and customs from a Chinese teacher and was homeschooled in English as a second language and other subjects by her mother and tutor until she began formal school at the age of 17. Buck’s mother understood her daughter’s need for a creative outlet and focused on her writing skills, encouraging her to write something every week. Buck began writing for missionary magazines at the age of 6 and, as a young adult, decided to become a novelist. Her works primarily displayed a sympathetic focus on life in China and in 1932 she won the Pulitzer Price for widely acclaimed novel “The Good Earth”, the story of the farmer Wang Lung's life. In her lifetime, Buck wrote more than 65 books in addition to hundreds of short stories and essays.

ANDREW CARNEGIE (1835 – 1919)
Steel Manufacturer/Philanthropist

Andrew Carnegie was born on November 25, 1835 in Dunfermline, Fife, Scotland in an impoverished, yet cultured, political home. Many of Carnegie’s closest relatives were self-educated trademen and class activists. At the age of 5, Carnegie refused to go to school so his parents kept him home where an uncle read to him out loud. Three years later, he started school but quit at the age of 13. Carnegie’s “education” was enhanced by Colonel James Anderson who opened his personal library to working boys. Carnegie was a “self-made man” intellectually, culturally and economically. He was the founder of the Carnegie Steel Company, one of the most powerful and influential corporations in the United States. Carnegie was also a widely respected philanthropist who, later in his life, gave away most of his riches to fund the establishment of many libraries, schools and universities in Scotland, America and worldwide.

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