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Is Homeschooling legal? And Maintaining Discipline in Homeschooling

Is Homeschooling legal?

Without a doubt, homeschooling is legal in all the 50 States of
the U.s. But, that is just about where the similarity ends. Laws
and regulations regarding homeschooling vary from state to state.
Interpretations of these laws can vary from scholl district to
school district. Additionally, these laws may change every year.

The National Home Education network is a wonderful resource when
it comes to the legalities of homeschooling. It has a listing of
the actual state laws for each state in the U.S. Reading the laws
that pertain to your state is perhaps the best way to get accurate
information about these laws. But, most people need to get the
laws interpreted by a qualified attorney. You can get valuable
information from the support group at your locality. Additionally,
many state education departments have online resources that will
help you in interpreting the state requirements for homeschooling.
The internet is also a good source of information.

It is a good idea to check out your state laws regarding
homeschooling before you start educating your child at home. This
will prevent any nasty surprises on the way. If you have to move,
you will need to be aware of any tests or exams that your child
may need to take.

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Maintaining Discipline in Homeschooling

When the child stays at home all day, and mommy is the teacher,
there are certain issues of discipline at stake. It is easy for he
child to misconstrue the freedom he has at home and feel that
homeschooling is just a long summer holiday. This is a potential
landmine and children need to be disciplined right at the start.

Homeschooling gives you and your child a truly immense amount of
flexibility. You and your child decide where to learn, how much to
learn and when to learn. But,these should be decisions made at
the beginning stages. If your child is too little to take an
active part in the decision, chart out a few hours of the day for
the various activities, and stick to it. When there is no outside
agency to supervise and no exams to answer, it is easy to get
sidetracked. If your child is old enough, consult him and find out
when he wants to learn. Apply your parental discretion and come up
with a timetable.

Homework is also a part of homeschooling. What this means is that
once lessons have been taught, the child should be asked to do
some part of the course work by himself without your guidance. You
will need to make sure that your child sits willingly and finishes
his work.

Courtesy, manners and punctuality are some of the various facets
of discipline that a child has to imbibe in the early years of his
life. The school where he interacts with his peers, his seniors
and juniors and his teachers mould these values quite
automatically. At homeschool, the child should be taught the
importance of speaking and behaving in a proper manner and
appropriate corrections need to be meted out if behavior is
unsatisfactory.

It is advisable to keep aside a particular room or a part of the
room for your homeschool. The child should be expected to reach
his desk at the appointed time, in proper attire with all the
necessary material. It is easy to allow the school to become an
extension of play if these ground rules are not laid out and
followed. As the teacher, supervisor, principal and janitor rolled
into one, you should also approach the study area with a cool
professionalism.

Homeschooling is doomed to fail without patience. In spite of all
the precautions and steps one takes, it is easy for a child to get
familiar' at homeschool. At such times, it may be difficult to
discipline the child and get him to listen to you attentively.
When this happens, switch to something new. Allow the child to
take a breather and enjoy a break yourself.

Homeschooling is not easy. It requires a lot of hard work and
patience. The very informality of the whole procedure sometimes
works against it by making it too easy. If you take steps to
establish rules at the very beginning and adhere to these rules,
your homeschooling experience will be a huge success.


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Homeschool teachers and Homeschooling and college

Homeschool teachers

The teacher is the key to the success of homeschooling. In most
cases, the teacher is a parent or a close relative. In some cases,
parents may divide the subjects between them. Rarely, if both
parents are busy, they may hire a homeschool teacher. Whatever the
case, children need time with their parents. Parents, as a rule,
make very good teachers.

Teaching does not involve a clinical presentation of facts.
Learning has to be integrated lovingly into daily life for it to
interest the child. That is where parents come in. Grandparents
also make great teachers, especially since they have an abundance
of patience.

If you feel anxious about your skill or knowledge, relax. There
are countless homeschooling resources that are aimed at helping
you. Professional curriculum packages, support groups, online help
desks, virtual schools and library resources are all available.
When you start out, you may want to make use of the commercial
curriculum packages. Readymade software also allows you to record
and log important achievements.

Local support groups are an excellent source of help, ideas and
material. This is where you get to meet experienced homeschoolers,
who will be more than happy to offer their insight and advice.
Once you settle into the homeschooling routine, you will find
yourself tailoring the curriculum to suit your own needs.


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Homeschooling and college

As children grow out of their little pants and are ready to begin
their teens, many parents wonder if they should continue with the
homeschooling program. They fear that colleges may not give equal
opportunities to a child educated at home.

Many fears of this kind were put to rest when 2 homeschooled boys
got admission into Harvard. Harvard does not require a high school
diploma for gaining admission to their degree program. Many
colleges are more interested in the knowledge and behavior of the
homeschooled children rather than their high school diplomas. In
fact, other things being similar many colleges prefer
homeschoolers because of the diversity and richness they bring to
their college life.

Admission requirements may vary. While some colleges require the
child to appear for the SAT, others may need a general equivalency
diploma. And some may not care for any tests at all. The criterion
may vary depending on the college that you wish to apply to. But,
college courses really do not require any high school background
or special training.

It is common to come across parents who frantically try to shift
out their homeschool children to high schools because they fear
unavailability of college admissions. But college admissions are
open to all educated individuals, regardless of whether they are
educated at home or at a public school.

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Home Schooling: The Pros and Cons of Home Schooling

Home Schooling: The Pros and Cons of Home Schooling

Nowadays, home schooling has become quite popular in
the United States. With more and more families now
trying to home school their children rather than send
them to public schools, you will definitely think
about home schooling your children too. However, you
need to consider the fact that although home schooling
has its advantages, there are also some several
drawbacks that you need to remember.

Home schooling is basically not for everyone.

Although home schooling is legal in the country, you
have to consider that it is still being debated
whether home schooling can be beneficial for children.
There are still a lot of controversies that opposes
home schooling. So, here are some advantages and
disadvantages of home schooling in order for you to
decide whether it is for the best for your kids or if
enrolling them to public schools will work a lot
better.

The first benefit is that you, as a parent, will be
able to keep your eyes on your child at all times.
When you get them to public schools, you won't really
know what's happening to your child there. You will
often worry if they are really learning, if they are
being bullied by other kids, or if they are behaving
themselves.

Home schooling can also work for the benefit of
children who are mentally or physically challenged. If
you have a child who is mentally or physically
challenged, which makes it impossible for them to
attend normal public schools and that you don’t want
to enroll them to specially designed schools then you
will see that home schooling will benefit both the
parents and the children.

Another great benefit is that because you know how
your child learns, you will be able to set the pace
for learning that will be favorable for your children.
This means that there will be little pressure on how
fast they should learn.

Because you will be the one to teach your child, you
will be able to spend more time with them and make the
bond between you and your child much stronger. This is
another advantage of home schooling.

Although home schooling has these advantages, you have
to consider the fact that there are also disadvantages
to home schooling. Here are some of the disadvantages
on home schooling that can help you decide whether
home schooling is right for your child or not.

First of all, because the parents themselves will be
the one to take over the teacher's role, they may
become too strict or too lenient on their kids.

Another disadvantage is that the child will be unable
to socialize with other kids. Today, this is a very
serious issue as children will grow up being shy with
other people. Socialization is important. Unless you
can let your kids play with other kids their age, home
schooling can work for them.

Lastly, the academic knowledge of parents can also
come in to question as well as their teaching skills.

As you can see, it is no wonder why home schooling is
still being widely debated if it should be accepted or
not.

All in all, you have to remember that before you
decide to home school your children, always determine
if you can compensate for the disadvantages of home
schooling. If you can't, then you may want to give up
on the idea. However, home schooling is still a great
way for children to learn.

Home Schooling Tips: Helping You Become Successful In Home Schooling


Recently, home schooling has exploded in the country.
A lot of parents and children are doing it and most of
the time, they are successful. There are quite a lot
of reasons why home schooling is preferred by more and
more families. However, before you start deciding home
schooling your children, you have to remember that
home schooling is simply not for everyone.

Although home schooling may be successful for some
people, it will not work as well for others. You have
to remember that home schooling will require a
commitment from both the parents and the children.
Before you decide to home school your children, there
are still so many questions that you have to answer in
order for you to determine if home schooling is the
best for your kids or not.

So, here are things that you may want to look into in
order for you to decide if home schooling is the right
choice or not.

First of all, you need to understand the laws about
home schooling in your state. Make sure that you can
follow the requirements before you decide. You have to
remember that home schooling demands a lot of time
from the parents. If both parents are working, then
home schooling may not be the right choice.

You also need to ask yourself if you and your children
have a close personal relationship. Although this
question may seem a bit odd, try figuring out if you
can get along with your children well. If you have a
hard time being around your children at any given
amount of time, then you can expect to have a tough
time home schooling them.

You also need to ask yourself about your educational
skills. Even if you will be teaching basic math,
reading and writing, you have to remember that these
basic skills are the most important things that you
should teach your kids. If you are not good at any of
it, then you may want to give up on home schooling.
Both parents can also share the load. For example, if
you are good at math, but bad in reading and writing
but your spouse is good at reading and writing but bad
in math, you can share the load for teaching. Aside
from ensuring the best education for your children,
both parents will be able to spend quality time with
their children.

Your communication skills should also be another
factor that you should look into. Try asking yourself
if you are good at communicating with others. Remember
that you will be a teacher to your children and good
communication skills are required in order for your
children to understand what you are trying to teach
them.

You also need to be observant. If you are naturally
observant and that you really know your children, then
home schooling can work for you. You have to remember
the fact that parents are not just there to provide
food for their children, but they are also there to
love and also guide them in order to let them grow up
well and develop good values as well as discourage
undesirable ones.

Organization is also an important skill that you must
have. Ask yourself if you are organized enough to
handle home schooling. Although this may look easy,
you have to consider the fact that there are other
things that you will need to do. You need to work,
make lunch, dinner, clean the house, and any other
issues that may come during the day. If you can
organize all these things and still give plenty of
time for home schooling, then this is for you.

Remember these tips and you can be sure that home
schooling will indeed work for you. Just remember that
if you are going to decide if home schooling is right
for your kids, ask yourself the question if this kind
of method of education is the best for your kids.

Home Schooling and Computer Learning

Home Schooling and Computer Learning

You can find computers in almost every household. It
is very important to have one at home because of its
many benefits, most especially if you have an internet
connection. With computers, you can have a unique and
interesting educational experience. Children today
should already learn about this very important gadget
even at an early stage and one way to achieve that is
through home schooling computer programs.

At present, even pre-school children are already
taught how to use the computer and other support
resources. If you opt for home schooling, you and your
child will also spend most of your time making use of
the computer and the internet. Educating your children
will be much better when done online because of the
diverse resources. Your child will be provided with
exceptional education which he/she will greatly
benefit from in the near future since the job market
trends today involve the Internet.

Most African Americans prefer home schooling because
of some society issues and they too can keep
themselves abreast through home schooling. Parents of
these minority children can help their kids learn more
effectively by having an internet connection at home.
The education of the kids is better supported by the
parents and they can also help in improving the
mindset of their kids as well. The parents can pass on
to their kids their great heritage through the various
online resources.

Remember that home schooling will only work best if
the parents are willing to support their kids all the
way. They must also be committed and prepared for the
challenges that they are about to encounter. The
parents should look for a good computer program that
can help their children learn all about computer
usage. Oftentimes, the lessons are divided into
several parts or series so that the children can cope
easily. Kids have various learning capacities and
since they are not given much chance in traditional
schools, this is their chance to bring out their best
through the use of computers.

Home schooling is not new today and if you think that
your child is not performing well in school, talk to
the teachers and ask some feedbacks regarding your
child. The guidance counselor can also help you in
determining the best education for you kid. Home
schooling is already accepted and perhaps it can help
your kid learn better in the comforts of your home.

You can even ask your kid about his performance in
school and then bring in the subject of home
schooling. See how your kid reacts to the idea and
tell him/her about its advantages. Somehow, if you can
convince your kid, computer learning will be a lot
easier. It’s better if you and your kid both agree to
home schooling. Persuading your kid to commit to home
schooling will not be very good and so you have to
seriously talk now. Spend time with your kid and know
his/her interests. Explain that computer programs in
home schooling can greatly help. Besides, tell your
kids that they can indulge more in their interests if
they know how to use the computer.

So why not look for the best-suited computer program
now? There are lots of home schooling programs to
choose from and it will take some time before you can
find the appropriate one.

Home Schooling and the Study of History

Do you think that spending time in traditional
classrooms is not worth it? To some people, that is
true. For example, a test is coming up and the
students are asked to memorize a lot of dates and
names. However, after taking the exam, they will
definitely forget about those dates and names. That’s
what most students do every time they have exams. Are
you one of them? If you find traditional history
lessons boring, home schooling which focuses more on
the history of the world will surely catch your fancy.

Memorization is not enough to know the significance of
famous people and important events. Through history
home schooling, you can learn about the different
cultures of the past in a unique but interesting way.
Through the study of history, you will also understand
the current situation of the world today.

If you think that home schooling is the best option
for your child’s effective learning, you should also
be prepared to take some responsibilities. Since there
will be no teacher physically, you have to supervise
your child’s learning progress.

Suppose your kid is interested in sports. Through
history home schooling, you can simply start by
putting a wall map on your child’s room. Mark the
location of his favorite sports team and make sure
that you track all the team’s activities and
schedules. One way to go back to history is to read
biographies of the various athletes who became popular
in the particular sport your child loves. Aside from
that, you can also look into the history of the
specific sport and discover where it originated, its
inventor, and the other things happening in that
particular time.

For example, your child loves baseball. You can teach
your kid about the history of Negro Leagues,
government hearings on the use of steroids, and other
favorite pastimes during that time. Always remember
that you can apply this concept on any file of
interest such as dance and inventions. You can also
have conversations with your child concerning the
current events or read interesting historical fiction
and other books. Aside from that, you can also watch
documentaries together with the whole family. There
are various resources that your child can use in home
schooling like maps, a globe, an atlas, and
encyclopedias. Through the exciting adventures that
you and your child went through, he/she will find it
easier to remember the names and dates in history. So
you see, learning is best when done in a fun and
educational way.

These things are recommended if the child is still
young but once your child is much older, you must
choose the appropriate home schooling program that is
suitable for his/her age. The programs are available
on the elementary level, high school, and even
college. You simply have to search online for these
various programs. A good thing about these programs is
that you can tailor it to fit the interests of your
child. But you must see to it that all the lessons are
learned and followed by your child.

Once you and your child decide to go for home
schooling, you must be prepared for some changes to
take place. The learning environment will now be at
home and through the various resources that you can
use like the computer and internet.

Grading in homeschooling AndHomeschool burnout

Grading in homeschooling

Grading in homeschooling is done by the teacher-in-charge. In most
of the cases, this means mom! In this situation, grading can get a
bit tricky because it can be a little difficult to grade your own
child. There is no benchmark against which you can evaluate your
child's performance. In most cases, you also have no awareness of
how well other children are doing. So, obviously the traditional
method of grading is perhaps not the best method to follow.

When grading a child undergoing homeschooling, it is more
important to assess whether the child has understood the subject
that is being taught. Inherent in this is the fact that if the
child has not understood something, you will go over it again.
This will work in your child's favor in 2 ways. Firstly, the child
knows that if he or she fails to catch on, the topic will be
repeated till it is mastered. Secondly, the child also knows that
once the topic has been mastered, he or she will get full credit
for his hard work. Getting full reward for the hard work put in is
a great motivational factor, especially for kids.

When assessing your child's abilities, do not allow emotions to
overcrowd your rationale. Do not yield to the cries and tears of
your child if he or she resists certain topics or subjects. If
mastering these skills is necessary, then you as the teacher (and
not as the parent alone) have to go over the topic over and over
till it sinks in. When dealing with tougher concepts, the child
may get restless and may even show frustration or belligerence.
When the child is still young and unable to understand the
importance of his lessons, it is your responsibility to see to it
that the child develops the skill set necessary for future growth.

In case you belong to a state that requires yearly tests, this
will help you to judge your child's ability vis-à-vis his peers.
Even if it is not mandatory, you may want to test your child every
year. These tests will reveal the variations in the child's
learning pattern. It may show up unexpected areas of strength and
hitherto unknown areas of weakness. This enables you to structure
your teaching to cover the areas that are weak, and build upon the
areas that are strong.

In case your state requires a homeschool report card, keep a
record of the yearly development and scores of your child. Include
pertinent areas like punctuality, discipline etc in the report.
You may also need to keep a record of the number of working days
and attendance schedules.

While grading your child, make sure that you use as many external
tests as possible. There are several websites that deal with the
various age groups, and allow free downloading of question papers.
This is an excellent and cost-effective method to assess your
child. Homeschooling, if done in the proper manner, will boost the
child's confidence because he will be studying to satisfy his
natural curiosity. The scores therefore will reflect his true
intelligence.

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Homeschool burnout

When a parent takes on the responsibility of educating his or her
child, homeschool burnout is one of the more common issues they
have to deal with. There are many reasons that lead to this
burnout: an illness, a new baby, added responsibility, change in
routine etc.

The symptoms of burnout vary from lack of patience to overeating
and crying without any apparent reasons. Surprisingly, a burnout
need not be such a bad thing. It is a wake-up call - an indicator
that things are not going well and that you need to reschedule.
Reversing or avoiding a burnout is possible if you get fair
warning.

Firstly, lower your expectations. Do not be a perfectionist. Take
the good days with the bad. Next, when something does not seem to
work, look for alternative methods. Flexibility is a key
factor. If tension starts mounting, take a break. When necessary,
change the style of teaching. For instance, small children love to
take on their spellings when they quiz an adult.

Avoid overkill. Do not pack too many activities for the sake of
socializing your child. A worn out mom means a grouchy kid and
that means no happiness. Get support from your spouse or a
neighbor or a support group. Don't try to achieve everything by
yourself. Homeschooling means 'happy schooling' - don't forget
that.

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Homeschool - Field trips AndHomeschool - staying connected

Homeschool - Field trips

If you are going over a particular subject with the family and
feel that a field trip would be beneficial, then that's what you
should do - go for a trip. If you are attached to a support group,
you can plan to include other children too.

Here are some guidelines that will help you plan:
1) Collect the rates
2) Allowed ages
3) Special highlights
4) Size of the group
5) Timings
6) Eating facilities

Inform your support group of all these details well in advance so
that the necessary circulars may be sent out. On the appointed
day, arrange to meet with other parents and children in a
particular place. Plan the mode of travel and reach the place at
least 10 minutes in advance.

The field trip is not just fun. So, let your kids bring their
writing material. Allow them time to stare and admire. Do not
hurry them along. Collect data beforehand so that you can clear
doubts. Get help from a guide, if necessary. And most importantly,
have fun and enjoy the time you spend with your children.

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Homeschool - staying connected

The world has become a jungle of knowledge. Wherever you turn, you
find a new fruit that just has to be passed on to your child. In
the middle of all the knowledge flying to and fro, we sometimes
forget to talk and relax with our children. A mom who doubles as a
teacher needs to leave the teacher behind and simply become mom
for a few hours everyday.

Listen to your child. Do not just hear the words, but notice the
emotion too. Many children find it difficult to express exactly
what they want. Talk to your child about general stuff and allow
him to be 'just a kid'. When you talk to your child, as for his
opinions. Few things please him more. It also adds kilos to his
self-confidence.

Most parents interrupt when their children talk. We, as adults,
detest it when someone cuts across our lines. Kids keep mum
because they are forced to be silent when we shut them up. But
this is unhealthy and unfair. Allow your child to finish and then
express your views in a rational manner. The child should have the
confidence to confide in you.

Gentle parenting is the key to successful homeschooling. Be a
parent first, and then a teacher.

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Homeschooling and the family And Homeschooling hours

Homeschooling and the family

According to the National Center For Education Statistics, almost
1.1 million children underwent homeschooling in 2005 alone. That's
a lot of children. Once upon a time, homeschooling used to be a
radical statement - something like a declaration of independence.
It was the conservative Christians who advocated homeschooling in
the '80s and legalized it in every State. But the typical
homeschooler of the day is not religiously motivated.

Recent surveys indicate that parents are actually quite fed up of
the public school systems where much of the learning is
superficial and compulsory. They are also concerned about negative
school environment ranging from drugs and abuse to negative peer
pressure. As a result, we have a surprising mix of people who form
the homeschooling world of today. They cut across all religious
and regional borders. Their main aim is providing meaningful and
productive learning through a method that strengthens the bond
between the various members of the family.

All these families have one thing in common - a long enduring
commitment to the sanctity of childhood. The children in these
families are accorded a primary position. Many believe, and
rightly so, that homeschooling allows parents to bring up children
in a more natural and nurturing environment. Public schools can
make one nervous, diffident and downright mean. Children who get
schooled at home are protected from these damaging negative
influences till they reach an age where they can handle it.

Homeschooling draws the whole family into the almost religious
task of schooling. Everyone is put to work. The parents together
form a bond with the children. Any experience can be turned into
an educational experience. Both the parents are aware of exactly
what is going into their child's head. Parents also have greater
control on the kind of religious and moral values that the child
imbibes. Even watching a movie together can become a learning
experience. Trips to the libraries and other places become
educational as well as recreational.

A homeschooling family is primarily dependent on the income of one
earning member. That means that often spending has to be curtailed
and proper planning of expenditure is a must. This helps to bring
the family members together and everybody gets involved in the
process of saving money.

Having a parent at home to supervise, to nurture and care for the
children brings with it a lot of love and caring. Even your
husband chips in and there just is no room for boredom. Yes,
problems do crop up, and there are a lot of misgivings in your
mind. But when you know that your kids can always count on you,
and your kids know it too, then homeschooling becomes a richly
rewarding experience.

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Homeschooling hours

How many, how often and when? These are some oft-repeated 
questions when it comes to homeschooling hours. Flexibility is of 
course one of the key underlying principles behind homeschooling. 
This flexibility applies not only to the curriculum but also to 
the number of hours. It is only natural that parents, especially 
if they have just started out on homeschooling should feel that 
their children should be at their books all the time when regular 
school-goers are at school. This is not only fallacious but can 
also be damaging and counter-productive.

One of the most ignored but glaring drawbacks of the public 
schooling system is the sheer waste of time and energy that it 
causes. Many periods are simply wasted away and the child 
effectively derives only 1-3 hours of study everyday. Then, there 
are days when the studies become too intensive and other days when 
it's only games and no work at all. There is a lot of 'invisible 
wastage' involved here.

Early on in your homeschooling practice, work out a schedule. It 
is advisable to stick to the same hours everyday. A routine makes 
it easier to learn and gives structure to the learning experience. 
It also tells the students that parents are strict about their 
learning. A routine also allows your child to free his mind from 
other activities and concentrate on studies. He knows that a 
particular time is strictly set aside for learning. 

The actual number of hours that you need depends on the curriculum 
you have chosen and the learning style that suits your child. If 
you are dealing with a subject that seems to be more complex, you 
may need to sit with the child for a longer period. Using various 
techniques, it may be necessary to demonstrate what you are trying 
to teach. For instance, a lesson in Algebra may take more time 
than a lesson in English. 

Homeschooling does not refer to the practice of sitting in front 
of the books and learning the printed matter. Field trips, 
watching documentaries, visiting factories and libraries also make 
up an important slice of the homeschooling process. It makes sense 
to intersperse these activities so that learning becomes fun. 
You may want to finish off the few hours of textbook learning 
in the morning and dedicate the afternoons to these kinds 
of activities. 

Given the fact that too many public school hours are wasted in 
meaningless activities ranging from talking to extra-curricular 
activities, do not allow public school hours to dictate the time 
you should spend teaching your child at home. Remember that at 
home, he is getting a high-quality one-to-one time that is highly 
productive. About 1-3 hours of study is enough in the primary 
level. It is of course true that the more number of hours you put 
in, the more learning takes place. This is also the reason why 
homeschooling children are much smarter and more balanced than 
regular school going children. 


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