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Welcome to California Homeschooling Today

Homeschool Resources

We publish a nationwide print magazine, Homeschool Magazine.com and a nationwide E-newsletter, The Way Home, which have resources and articles that are pertinent to homeschoolers, teachers and librarians.

We have been in business since 1995 and since we are based in Southern California, we feel very close to the homeschooling and alternative education world in our own state. That is why we have this website, to serve you, our fellow Californians in teaching your own children as you see fit.

If you have any comments or questions, please do not hesitate to e-mail us at: mary@homeschoolmagazine.com or Michael@homeschoolmagazine.com or call us at 310-826-1401. We invite you to visit our other, national websites, www.homeschoolnewslink.com and www.homeschoolmagazine.com for further information. Thank you. The Leppert Family


Reading: Teaching All of the Aspects

Learning to read may appear natural and, therefore, easy to teach. Yet it’s one of the most difficult tasks any child will take on; and homeschooling parents must cover some important foundational topics along the way. The National Reading Panel has identified these skills as phonological awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension.

A great deal of research* suggests students who have mastered two main critical skills—good phonological awareness and letter naming—will have little difficulty learning to read.

Getting Started
Early reading instruction begins with pre-K and kindergarten students and should focus on these two main skills. Phonological awareness, the ability to hear and manipulate sounds in words, includes several skills; some are easy, and some are difficult. Children demonstrate phonological awareness when they identify words that rhyme, break words into syllables or count the number of syllables in a word, and change the first sound in a word (the onset) to make a new word.

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All Play Music–Private Music Lessons for Kids in the Greater Los Angeles Area

There is a British pop star trapped inside the body of my thirteen-year-old daughter. I am not sure exactly when or how it got there, but we have noticed a gradual transformation over the last few months until she informed us last week that she wanted to quit piano lessons. She was not original in her complaints – that the lessons are boring; the teacher is too old to understand “real” music; that she wants to play music that is “cool” instead of the Hollywood musical soundtracks she was learning. But just because her grumblings are familiar, does not mean they were a necessary part of music instruction.

After some research, I called All Play Music to learn more about their incredibly popular programs I kept hearing about. Tim Guille opened the doors for All Play Music more than 8 years ago, and has experience with young teenage girls being possessed by musical fads. Tim has developed an entire philosophy of musical instruction that incorporates students’ musical tastes – the “real” music they want to learn.

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Alexis Math Services–Online Tutoring To All

Math can be a struggle for many students. Even with the individualized support and customizable curriculum parents can use in homeschooling, students might continue to struggle with specific areas or types of math. Sometimes excellent content and parents’ best intentions are not enough. Tutoring services are a great alternative, but can cost a fortune. Services offered by college students are less expensive, but are accompanied by less-than-stellar expectations since they are provided by inexperienced young adults.

Alexis M. Scott has been teaching and tutoring students in mathematics for more than 20 years, and as a college professor of Mathematics for over 18 years. Recognizing a real need in her community, she developed Alexis Math Services, a tutoring service to provide quality mathematics learning support in the Dallas-Ft. Worth area. Alexis helps students identify the underlying root of the problem content. She goes beyond “teaching to the test” and enables students to pass any exam for their age level. The goal for Alexis is to offer children and young adults the tools and skills they need to be successful math students, not to simply pass one specific test.

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California Institute of Jewelry Training – Professional Development for Careers in the Jewelry Industry

One of the many benefits of homeschooling is the flexible nature of the curriculum. Parent-teachers are able to explore content that may not be covered in the traditional school setting. For those homeschoolers interested in the craft of jewelry-making, there are plenty of resources to buy supplies, books, and even videos online. But for those who are truly passionate, online resources only take a student so far and do little to provide career assistance.

The California Institute of Jewelry Training is located in Carmichael, California – a quiet suburb in the Sacramento Valley. Students from around the world come to CIJT to learn jewelry making, gemology, and jewelry appraisal from the passionate, knowledgeable instructors in a professional setting. Students are designated an individual jeweler’s bench with all the necessary tools and materials. The hands-on training from instructors with real-world experience in manufacturing, retail, and design, is self-directed and intends to replicate a traditional jeweler’s setting.

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Art Trek – Community Art Center

Recently I stumbled upon a secret garden in Newbury Park. Hiding in plain sight amongst the seemingly endless rows of businesses in the industrial complex, it doesn’t look very special. But just beyond the tinted door lies a warehouse of creativity where little imaginations have the space to grow.

Art Trek, a new center across from Amgen in the industrial complex of Newbury Park, is looking to offer homeschoolers a place to learn about Art in a fun and engaging way. With 30 years of teaching experience, as well as chairing the Hands-on Activities for the annual Thousand Oaks Arts Festival, Nan Young opened the Newbury Park center about eight months ago. Although the center is new, Nan and her staff have been serving the Conejo Valley and surrounding communities for many years. One of their most notable recent contributions is the Peace Garden created at the Rio Del Norte elementary school in Oxnard. Staff led the fifth graders in creating the decorative tiles that surround the garden and remind the students of the many skills they learned in their peace training.

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Channel Islands Whale Watching

One of the many things California is famous for is its whale migration viewings. Whale watching is a wonderful reason for taking a boat into the beautiful Pacific in the Channel Islands region along Ventura and Santa Barbara counties’ coastlines. It can also be spectacular when you get up close to one of these gentle giants and see them tail lobbing and diving or coming up for air near the boat!

The undisputed experts in whale-watching tours is Channel Islands Whale Watching. Blue, Humpback and Gray whales are all passing through the area and can be seen by passengers on the boats of CIWW. This is one of the only places on earth where such an array of cetaceans can be seen.The crews of the CIWW boats have many years’ experience in these waters and of course, they love what they do, so their comments and discussions are enthusiastic, informative and fun to hear! Additionally, wildlife interpretation is provided by Channel Islands Naturalist Corp, (CINC) volunteers, who are part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

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Career Choices & Changes – Book & Website

The changing fortunes of our economy have caused a renewed interest in career planning for all of us. Thinking about what you do for a living – or want to do — is not the exclusive domain of young people in high school or college, but now relates even to middle¬-aged workers who have suddenly been tossed into the realm of unemployment and no return to their former jobs.

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Hearing Officer: “Claimant’s Home School Constitutes a Private School”

The HSLDA has a history of defending California homeschoolers in both large and small classes. Although it was many years ago that officials from the Department of Education took the stance that homeschooling was illegal, attorneys are still defending homeschool moms in their right to homeschool. One recent case of defense took place this past October, where an attorney successfully defended a homeschool mom over an issue of welfare. The mother’s 16 year old daughter’s welfare check had been discontinued because the welfare department rejected the daughter’s attendance in a private homeschool and did not consider it “regular school attendance.”

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Angelina Jolie talks relationship with Brad, homeschool and death penalty

Angelina Jolie briefly mentions one of the things she likes most about homeschooling her children is history. As many already know, Angelina and Brad have adopted children from different countries. It makes sense that she enjoys homeschooling because she can teach her children various countries’ points of view. In doing so, she wants her children to “form their own conclusions.”

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Homeschooling works

In this letter to an editor, Michele Bru of Poway says that homeschool families do not homeschool solely for academic reasons. Speaking from 17 years of personal experience, Michele believes that homeschooling does work, and prepares children for bright futures. Furthermore, Michele shares that homeschooled children are well-adjusted and has seen countless homeschooled children attend colleges and universities in not just California, but all over the country.

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Computer Science for High School Students

By Chris Yust, Homeschool Programming, Inc.

Do you have technically-inclined students who might want to pursue a career in computing? The future has never been brighter! In this article we will explore the golden opportunity awaiting graduates with Computer Science and related degrees. We will also help decipher what the different types of degrees mean and how a high school student can prepare for a computer-related major.

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Hemisphere Educational Travel – Offering Custom Educational Tours

By Michael Leppert

Focused travel and homeschooling go together like a hand in a glove. It is one thing to read about the Battle of Gettysburg, quite another to read about it and then visit it with the reading fresh in mind. Nothing cements information into one’s consciousness like real-life relating, which is why many homeschooling families love taking tours and field trips that provide a learning opportunity.

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California College Tuition Hikes — Credit-by-Exam More Attractive

by Joseph Grayhaim

Many California college students are voicing their opposition to lawmakers’ putting any tuition hikes into effect without at least six months’ warning, so the students can prepare. Many are commenting that the rising costs are forcing them to opt out of further college attendance. This makes credit-by-exam even more sensible than ever. The cost per exam can be as low as $80, compared to $100 or more per unit!

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KidsPark

Debbie Milner, founder and CEO of KidsPark, Inc. is celebrating her 23rd year in business. Debbie founded KidsPark licensed childcare centers in Silicon Valley in 1988, expanding nationally with franchise centers the past 6 years. This amazing woman has built a successful business with sales over a million annually doing what she loves—offering busy families a fun and safe place to bring their children.

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The Colfax Corner

by David and Micki Colfax

Q: My homeschool son is 15 and isn’t interested in going to college. Where can we find out about apprenticeships? B.Y., Albuquerque, NM.

A: Apprenticeships are appealing to homeschoolers for a number of reasons, not the least of which is that they provide young people with an opportunity to participate in a meaningful way in the real world of work, and to learn about themselves and the world in the process. John Gatto, teaching in New York’s schools, found that his students who were given an opportunity to work in a variety of commercial and industrial settings, usually as unpaid and short-term apprentices, almost invariably acquired a wide range of valuable skills and attitudes. (continued)

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Yes, My Grown Homeschooled Children Are Odd — And Yours Will Be Too!

By Diane Flynn Keith

I am sick and tired of defending homeschooling from the question, “What about socialization?” Members of the modern homeschool movement have insisted for thirty years that homeschooled children are well-socialized. We laughingly refer to socialization as the “S word.” We deflect the socialization question by insisting it’s a myth. And yet, it persists.

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Waiting for “Superman”

By Stacey Kannenberg

Only those living in the land of Metropolis might have missed all the recent national media buzz and hoopla over the release of Davis Guggenheim’s educational documentary Waiting for “Superman.”

Waiting for “Superman shares the plight of five compelling children who are hungry and eager to learn, but stuck inside the walls of a failing public school. We learn the heart-breaking saga of Anthony, Daisy, Bianca, Emily and Francisco. They all have dreams and goals. They all agree escaping public schools is the only option for each of them to succeed but sadly, a lottery system is their only chance to get into a more successful charter school. The film highlights renegade reformer and “Superman”, Geoffrey Canada, who tried and failed to change the public school system. So he started his own charter school, The Harlem Children’s Zone, where his educators start with a child and family at birth and stay with them until they graduate from college. We are also introduced to the KIPP Academy, another successful charter school but we are also told in the movie that many charter schools are also failing schools. We meet another superhero, Michelle Rhee and her battle to change the system by cutting the central office and firing bad principals and teachers who were ineffective, inside an already failing system. She found education to be more about the needs of the adults. Since the September, 2010, release of the documentary, Michelle Rhee was let go from her position at the top of DC’s public schools. She became another victim of a system resistant to change.

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Practical Learning Online for Entrepreneurship Education

At first glance, the current economic climate seems to be completely gloomy and without a future, but it is not. As in past times of turmoil and upheaval, this is the perfect climate for independent thinking and entrepreneurship – even on small, neighborhood levels. Bright, driven young people who wish to push themselves onward and upward can find a myriad of opportunities to express their abilities and achieve success. People with marketable skills who have been laid off, now may have the reasons to make their own businesses of their skills.

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Turn The Critic Off!

Making any sort of social decision that is outside the mainstream brings with it some feelings of insecurity and fear. We open ourselves to a certain amount of frowning and tongue clucking. Sometimes, these critics may even be our own voices. But when we arm ourselves with good information and friendly support and face these fears, we will grow not only as courageous parents, but also as human beings.

When we choose to homeschool, we make a decision that some may perceive as a personal attack on the public school system or personal laziness, or misinformed hubris. Once again, we must strengthen our resolve with information and support. This is a good opportunity to model courage of conviction for our children. When they see us as paranoid and fearful, it may create a negative atmosphere in the family and interfere with our potential for joyful living and learning. When they see us as bold and confident, they can open themselves up to their learning with a sense of freedom and possibility.

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