Welcome to this issue of The Way Home

The Nuts and Bolts of Homeschooling by Michael & Mary Leppert
The Children Are Watching, [Modeling Parent Behavior] by Richard J. Prystowsky

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Wall Words by Joseph Grayhaim
MENC: The National Association for Music Education by Emily Adams
Doulton® Water Filters by Linda Pliagas

Happy Spring, Dear Readers!

Despite the outward appearances of our economy, we have much to be joyful for! Not every sector of business is down; not everyone is laid off and homeschooling is thriving as never before! The number of families opting to teach their own or at least partially teach their own in charter schools, is growing each month and this increases the number of excellent companies producing high-quality products and services designed just for homeschoolers! Long-gone are the days when a harried mom had to photocopy material from the public library and then cut-and-paste her own workbook or supplemental activity book. While some may still choose this homemade materials route, it is not the necessity it was. Also, as our numbers increase, so will the support we receive from our elected officials, to at least laissez faire. (“Leave us alone.”) All of this bodes well for homeschoolers for the years to come and we can celebrate as the fragrance of fresh-cut grass wafts through the kitchen window and the sound of our children playing and laughing outside – in some locales, for the first time in many months – comes as music to our ears. Despite some of the outward conditions, homeschooling is getting better. Thank you for allowing us to be a part of yours! -The Leppert Family


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Art Instruction Schools

Wall WordsWall Words
By Joseph Grayhaim

Decorative Wall Words are transfer-taped letters, words and graphics, that allow you to decorate and/or beautify your home in a unique and attractive fashion by placing famous quotes or custom decorations across a wall, ceiling or even your car! If you are a positive affirmation buff, you can place your favorite uplifting, positive statements in large, beautiful letters on easily-visible walls to keep you focused on your goals. Or, you can affix inspiring words of wisdom from great minds or classic literary works. Your imagination determines what you can do with Wall Words.

Wall Words offers Baby Names & Meanings, too, so you can decorate a wall of the nursery or grandma’s house with a photo of your child along with the meaning of his/her name! What a wonderful gift, commemorating the birth of a child!

Bring the unusual ambience of Wall Words into your home by adding a silhouette of a tree – or forest! Or a mountain range, a man slouching against a door molding, place a border of leaves across the top of a room . . . Wall Words offers a very large line of ready-made possibilities, as well as flexible creations for customizing.

And Wall Words can become Vehicle Words! You can advertise your website or business with Wall Words, placing your domain, in large letters across the bumper of the car. See the extensive catalog of material to choose from and order Wall Words at www.wallwords.com.

NEMC: The National Association for Music EducationMENC
A Vital Music Teaching Resource
By Emily Adams

MENC: The National Association for Music Education is a news and information portal for music teachers around the country. However, the organization’s website is also a great resource for homeschooling parents interested in teaching music.

MENC’s site contains numerous articles for music educators. These wide-ranging articles provide suggestions for encouraging appropriate performance etiquette, instilling good practice techniques, and teaching music theory. Articles also provide creative ideas such as methods for teaching history and art through music. Forums for discussions, questions, and feedback are also open to subscribers.

The section on national music education standards can provide homeschooling parents with valuable guidance and direction for their own curriculum. Checklists and progress reports are also available on the site.

Most significantly, MENC provides members with online access to the organization’s six publications, a combined wealth of information for anyone involved in music education. Additionally, members receive a 25% discount on MENC resources as long as orders are placed through Rowman and Littlefield Education.

Homeschooling parents who have some musical foundation and are interested in teaching music will find a wealth of information at MENC’s website. Parents teaching music in a group setting will find the suggestions and ideas especially helpful. Subscriptions are about $100, although subscription prices vary according to state. More information is available at www.menc.org. ES

Doulton® Water FiltersSinging Made Easy
By Linda Pliagas

Brad Emerson discovered Doulton® water filters by accident. He and a group of friends were camping a few years ago, when one member of his group suddenly became ill after sipping water from a creek. When Emerson saw his friend going through such discomfort he decided to learn more about water filtering systems. After researching for some time, he discovered Doulton®, a line of water filters manufactured in the United Kingdom.

We started researching water filters in the early ’90s, and from the research we’ve done, we have found that these were the best productions on the market. I purchased them myself, liked them and thought there was a need for it,” he says.

The Doulton® SS-4, which is competitively-priced at $199, holds two-and-a-half gallons of water. The polished stainless steel filter is handsome enough to be displayed in the most elegant of kitchens. The portable model is easy to keep clean and easy to use. “No water pressure or electricity is needed,” Emerson explains, adding, “The Doulton® SS-4 filters one gallon of water per hour. Most families simply fill them up before bedtime.”

Forget about breaking your back by filling up five-gallon water bottles, the Doulton® SS-4 eliminates the need to buy bottled water entirely. This unique filter will not only safeguard a family’s drinking water, it will also save them money in the long run. “If you break it down, it costs just pennies per gallon,” Emerson says.

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The Nuts and Bolts of Homeschooling

Excerpted from The Homeschooling Almanac by Michael & Mary Leppert.
Copyright 1999, 2009. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

More Home Than School
      Today’s homeschooling is far more about “home” than “school.” Few Americans today have the close-knit family life that so many Americans once had—before compulsory education pulled the children from their parents’ responsibility, beginning in 1852 in Massachusetts. Children who attend school are raised by strangers more than by their parents. Family circles are more loose and ephemeral than ever before. In the past 150 years, schools have gained an increasing stranglehold on culture while families have lost more and more influence over their children. Is this a coincidence?
      Many modern families consider eating a meal together unusual. And more often than not, they spend their “together” time watching television or a movie rather than looking at each other while discussing and listening to what other family members have to say. Compared to Americans of the early 1800s, modern families in general are strangers to each other.

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The Children Are Watching, [Modeling Parent Behavior]
by Richard J. Prystowsky

“Don't worry that children never listen to you; worry that they are always watching you.”
-- Robert Fulghum

In The Altruistic Personality, a landmark study of rescuer behavior during the Holocaust, authors Samuel and Pearl Oliner demonstrate that parental modeling of caring behavior was a key differentiating factor between rescuers, on the one hand, and perpetrators and bystanders, on the other. I thought about this observation a number of years ago when I interviewed Irene Opdyke, a Christian rescuer from Poland who saved the lives of Jews during the Holocaust. During this interview, Irene related the story of her mother’s taking into their house and caring for a sick, so-called, Gypsy woman -- that is, someone who, according to social custom, should have been avoided. But for Irene’s mother, the sick woman’s heritage was irrelevant; what mattered was that the woman was sick, that she needed help, and that Irene’s mother could help her.

Although I do not want to suggest an easy correlation between the behavior of Irene’s mother and Irene’s behavior during the Holocaust (nor do the Oliners suggest easy correlations in their study), it was clear to me that the caring attitude and behavior that Irene’s mother displayed towards those in need left a deep and lasting impression on Irene. At great risk to herself, Irene actively helped Jews who were in desperate need of assistance. For Irene, the matter was straightforward: she had to help save the lives of these Jews -- not because these persons were Jews, but because they were fellow human beings who needed help, who requested her help, and for whom she could provide assistance.

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