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Classic considering homeschooling...  from Homeschool Family: Will your children believe in Jesus when they graduate from high school? Homeschooled: 94% Public Schooled: 15% 94% of homeschoolers keep the faith and 93% continue to attend church after the high school years. But a shocking 75% to 85% of Christian children sent to public school drop out of church, and do not hold a Christian worldview after high school graduation. There has never been a better time to homeschool... Never before have parents had access to such a wealth of educational resources and technology for home education. And, Christian homeschool support groups abound, offering parents a helping hand in homeschooling. There is an abundance of extra-curricula activities for homeschoolers to participate in, with opportunities for wholesome friendships and real-life learning experiences. Homeschoolers avoid harmful school environments where God is mocked, where destructive peer influence is the norm, where drugs, alcohol, promiscuity and homosexuality are promoted, and where school violence is on the rise. By grade eight, the average homeschooled student performs four grade levels above their public and private school counterparts. A background in teaching is not necessary; in fact, "home educated students' test scores remained between the 80th and 90th percentiles, whether their mothers had a college degree or did not complete high school." How to get started homeschooling... It is natural to feel uncertain when you begin. Pray and trust God for the confidence you need. Get the support of other believers by contacting the homeschool organization listed on the back of this brochure. Research homeschooling by attending Christian homeschool conventions and reading books like Home Schooling: The Right Choice by Christopher Klicka. Keep your young ones home and out of preschool which disrupts family bonding, teaches inconsistent discipline, and exposes children to harmful peer behavior. Avoid government homeschooling programs such as "charter schools" and public school independent study programs. These government programs usurp the father’s God-given headship over the family and focus the homeschool on humanist goals and curriculum. Discover the blessings of private Christian homeschooling – your children will appreciate your caring efforts. In fact, a recent study found that 95% of the homeschool graduates surveyed were glad that they were homeschooled. What does God say about education? Homeschooling is the most Biblical form of education. God addresses parents, not government employees, as the educators of their own children: "And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up." - Deuteronomy 6:6-7 "All your children shall be taught by the Lord, and great shall be the peace of your children." - Isaiah 54:13 "Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it." - Proverbs 22:6 Jesus said: "Can a blind man lead a blind man? Will they not both fall into a pit? A student is not above his teacher, but everyone who is fully trained will be like his teacher." - Luke 6:39, 40 "Learn not the way of the heathen." - Jeremiah 10:2 "He who walks with the wise grows wise, but a companion of fools suffers harm." - Proverbs 13:20
On Saturday, May 2, Exploring Homeschooling will be hosting a Homeschool Information Night featuring a panel of homeschool support group leaders.  The panel will include: Janice Henry is currently a member of the Regional Advisory Board of the statewide organization, Christian Home Educators of California (CHEA). In 1992 she and her husband, Kirk, entered homeschool leadership, in spite of the fact that they had just begun to homeschool themselves.  The initial group of people, who were simply interested in getting information about homeschooling, developed into a CHEA Support Group and Independent Student Program.  With members in Los Angeles, Orange, and surrounding counties, Southern California Christian Academy (SCCA) continues to help families homeschool with joy and excellence. Janice's warm yet thought provoking messages encourage parents to build strong children and youth for the Kingdom of God through private Christian education in the home. Debe Haller, wife to Danny for 35 years, and mother of four home-schooled graduates, has been a respected leader in home education for over twenty years.  With truth and humor she shares Biblical principles and practical applications she has learned by the grace of God in the areas of being a wife, creative ways to get children to cooperate, teaching techniques, and home school organization.  The Haller family own and operate Hope Country Schoolhouse Homeschool Book Store and Hope Christian Academy PSP in Garden Grove. Debe is the author of The Challenge of Raising Cain and Mrs. Mom: Agonized or Organized? Rebecca Kocsis, is a veteran homeschooling mother, Support Network Director for the Christian Home Educators Association of California.  Along with her husband, Ed, she graduated all five of her children from their homeschool and is proud to say that her grandchildren are now being homeschooled, as well.  Rebecca serves as the Director of Olive Tree Christian School, a PSP serving Riverside County and much of the surrounding Southland. Terri Bonstrom and husband Greg recently celebrated their 20th wedding anniversary. They have one son, Jimmy, who will be 16 in May of this year.  Jimmy has been homeschooled since birth.  Greg and Terri currently lead a support group for families, South Orange County Christian hOmeschoolers (SOCCO), which offers a private website for members to share their homeschool trials and triumphs, and to volunteer their God-given resources with each other to support one another in their homeschool journey. For more information on SOCCO, please visit the public website: www.socco-online.com Toni Muus and her husband Jerry have been married for 33 years and have homeschooled their three children since 1988.  Their youngest son will be graduating in 2010.  Along with homeschooling Toni has been in some form of leadership with Whittier Christian Schools PSP and has been its Director since 1999. Posted by Considering Homeschooling.
Kathy Lowers, Founder of Considering Homeschooling This week we are hoping to hear some happy cheeping from the chicken eggs we are incubating.  Homeschooling is ideal for do-it-yourself living creature projects and the butterfly, lady bug, praying mantis, silk worm projects -- to name a few -- that we have done were easy and yet so valuable. How wondrous it is to view the metamorphosis of one of God’s creatures, right in your own home. A public school classroom might have a fish tank with some leaves and a chrysalis or an incubator with some eggs; the students may or may not see the butterfly or chicks emerge during school hours.  Their teacher might teach the life cycle of a butterfly or chicken, but no credit to the Creator could be given. In contrast, Christian parents who teach their children at home find that such a project rises to an infinitely higher dimension.  At home, there is a bonding between parents and children and among siblings as they experience a living miracle -- and there is a resulting acknowledgement and awe of the One who designed it. So, I jumped at the chance when a homeschooling 4-H mom offered her incubator and a clutch of chicken eggs.  Never having incubated eggs before, I assumed it would be a cinch, just like a cocoon.  Just pop the eggs in the incubator and after a while, you would get your chicks, right?   After some web sites, books and experience regarding this subject, the children and I discovered that incubating can be a complicated and risky process. For one, the incubator we have is not the expensive, digital kind that controls its own temperature and humidity.  It is the old-fashioned version where you have to keep checking the temperature, which seems to meander up and down on a whim.  A few times it got below or above the instructed 99.5 degrees, and we panicked, tweaking it back to the proper temperature, but wondering did the fluctuation affect the chicks? Chicks cannot survive extreme temperature deviations.  And then you have to keep the humidity at the ideal level, which varies according to where you are in the 21 day cycle.  You have to add water into special wells in the incubator.  If there is not enough water, the chicks will stick to the shells.  If too much humidity is present, the chicks will drown. Eggs in an incubator must also be turned several times a day.  A hen instinctively turns her eggs to keep the developing embryos from sticking to the sides of the shell. One of more interesting aspects of the incubator project is “candling” the eggs. You shine a light through the eggs to see if you can determine if there is life in them; sometimes you see a beating heart or movement -- very cool.  What you usually find is that some eggs were never fertile while others started growing but “quit” -- either because the environment was not right or just because they were not meant to make it.  You have to remove the non-living ones because they could explode. Out of fourteen eggs we had five infertile ones, two rotten ones, and seven that may or may not make it -- we’ll know in about three days.  I have to admit I have felt pretty incompetent and stressed when I thought the humidity or temperature was off.  But, we tried our very best to give these eggs the cleanest, safest, most conducive environment possible for coming out healthy.  That, along with prayer, gives us some optimism. I could not help realizing there is a strong analogy here between incubating eggs and raising up children.  While at the beginning all the eggs appear the same, all children start out with such potential, such seeming innocence before some are destroyed by the way of the world. But some Christian parents think that they can place the fragile soul of a child in any old environment, like the extreme anti-God environment of government schools, believing that child will come out just fine through going to Sunday school 45 minutes each week. These naïve parents imagine their child being a great evangelist to all the other youngsters there, not realizing their child is being evangelized more smoothly and intensely, by humanist teachers and curriculum. By the time the process is nearing the end, some have really become rotten, both eggs and children.  While sometimes there was no preventing a bad egg, Christian parents putting their children in the perverted incubators of the public schools is by far the biggest contributor to failed children. If you are a loving parent who really knows Jesus and adheres to His Word in all you do, if you can create an uplifting, safe, inspiring Christian environment for children in your home – and I am convinced most real Believers are more than capable of this -- then you should be homeschooling.  Don’t let the world incubate the souls of your children; God gave that job to you!
I always thought there should be country wide protests against government on tax day -- at least until all involuntary taxation was eliminated.   When someone suggested I attend a "tea party" my reply was something like "been there, done that... what's the point?"  True, I was a member of Young Americans for Freedom and a long-time pro-life activist, so protesting is in my blood.  But, in the last few years I have soured somewhat on street activism, at least for myself.  Then I realized that our local tea party was on tax day... tax day!  Now it made sense. Here is my tax plank from my only run for public office some ten plus years ago: "All involuntary taxation is equivalent to armed robbery and is immoral. I support any measure that relieves the burden of taxation from the individual and family. Furthermore, I support any tax relief measure that promotes and protects the Christian family. For example, two-parent single-income families should be exempt from state and federal income taxes. Families without children in public schools should be exempt from all property taxes. And, tax credits for children should start at conception." So my son and I ventured out this afternoon... it wasn’t exactly Boston Harbor in the dead of night or under the threat of execution for sedition... but I was impressed with the turnout in our sleepy seasonal retirement community.  Two thousand plus patriots of diverse backgrounds. Never have I heard so many cries against "socialism" from average folks.  A number of people came up to my son and said they were there "for his future".  The realization that he was homeschooled answered with enthusiastic "God bless you" from strangers.  And everywhere God fearing people with a true love of liberty. I do not get the sense that these protests are just Presidential election whiplash as some would suggest -- most of the people on the street seem to realize that we simply traded one flavor of socialism for another.  The left will dismiss these protests as irrelevant and reactionary right wing tantrums.  Perhaps the left dismisses them at the peril of their own political power.   This grassroots movement is perhaps the beginning of something far more profound and lasting, perhaps the grumblings of a revolution. I hope my son can someday tell the tale to his grandchildren of when the tide was turned against the steady creep of collectivism and tyranny.  And, I hope it is a tale of a democratic people peaceably taking individual responsibility and flexing the machinery of republican government to refresh the tree of liberty.  Let’s all help to prove Thomas Jefferson’s adage wrong: "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is it's natural manure." To paraphrase Franklin, we have a republic, let's keep it.
He has risen indeed... Matthew 28:1-17 Mark 16:1-14 Luke 24:1-49 John 20 - John 21 An illustration from a mid-19th century copy of Grand Catechisme des Familles.  
Posted by Considering Homeschooling For all our friends in Southern California, Exploring Homeschooling of Orange County is once again hosting an incredibly informative "Homeschool Information Night" on Saturday, March 28, 2009 with special guest speaker Janice Henry. Well, you've decided to homeschool your children and are excited about it - all the prospects of great things both educational and spiritual that will help you grow your children into powerful leaders for Christ.  But do you really have to do this alone?   Surely there are groups that will support you as you raise your children at home, aren't there?  The answer is - YES!  But how do you find them?  And how do you know which one is right for you - and for your children? This month, Exploring Homeschooling will be exploring just that - how to find support groups in your area, what the different types of support groups are, and how to choose one (or more) that will provide the support you need as you build your homeschool.  Our speaker, Janice Henry, a Regional Advisory Board Member of the Christian Home Educators Association of California, will walk us through this important question as she shows us how to circumnavigate the various groups.  Come learn for yourself and bring a friend to community support in the world of private Biblical homeschooling.  You will learn: What is a homeschooling support group or a PSP (Private School Satellite Program) and why would you want to be part of one? How to find homeschooling groups in your area and what things to look for. How to file your own affidavit and run your own homeschool. What types of people that you can include in your support structure. Some of the support groups right in your area - who they are and what they do. Janice Henry is currently a member of the Regional Advisory Board of the statewide organization, Christian Home Educators of California (CHEA). In 1992 the she and her husband, Kirk, entered homeschool leadership, in spite of the fact that they had just begun to homeschool themselves. The initial group of people, who were simply interested in getting information about homeschooling, developed into a CHEA Support Group and Independent Student Program. With members in Los Angeles, Orange, and surrounding counties, Southern California Christian Academy (SCCA) continues to help families homeschool with joy and excellence. Janice's warm yet thought provoking messages encourage parents to build strong children and youth for the Kingdom of God through private Christian education in the home. For more information about Janice, see: www.PrivateChristianEducation.com Get all the details about the "Homeschool Information Night" at: www.ExploringHomeschooling.com  
Posted by: Considering Homeschooling The North Dakota Home School Association (NDHSA) 2009 Home School Convention is March 19-21, 2009 in Jamestown, ND.  Workshops and guest speakers include: Michael P. Farris is Chairman of the Home School Legal Defense Association and Chancellor of Patrick Henry College. George Escobar is the founder of Advent Film Group (AFG) and has over 20 years experience in film, television and interactive media. He has worked for top executives in the industry including Sony CEO, Fox Network and TELE-TV SVP. Prior to AFG, Escobar was VP of Product Development for Discovery, Executive Director for AOL/Time Warner and is former producing Fellow from the American Film Institute Conservatory. He holds seven U.S. patents in technology and user-interface design. Most recently, George co-produced, directed, and scripted COME WHAT MAY in association with Patrick Henry College (PHC). Mike Farris, founder and chancellor of PHC, plays the moot court coach in the movie. COME WHAT MAY was made by and stars homeschooled students. George acknowledges, “When I was in Hollywood I was a marginal Christian. I knew Christ, but I didn’t live for Him. Now, as a more mature Christian, I can clearly see and appreciate why the Lord literally pulled me away from Hollywood. I might have grown to become a successful filmmaker, but I would have been an ineffective ambassador for Christ. The Lord first had to mold and remake me as a homeschool dad of three sons and a devoted husband to my wife, Claire, for 20 years. More importantly, I needed to learn that the Lord comes first in everything I do. That includes my family, church, education, world view, my craft as a filmmaker, the people I work with and the organizations I support.” Theresa Deckert lives in Devils Lake, ND with her husband Jeff. They have been homeschooling in the state of North Dakota for 24 years. Their two oldest children have graduated from their homeschool and are married. Theresa is currently homeschooling a senior and a 2nd grader. She and her husband serve on the board of the North Dakota Homeschool Association. She is also part of the legislative team working toward a better law for our state and the Lake Region Area Homeschoolers. Her passion as a board member and a workshop leader is to represent and help those who are just beginning this amazing journey called homeschooling. Steve Demme and his wife Sandra have been married for over 29 years. They have been blessed with four boys: Isaac, 28; Ethan, 26; Joseph, 23; and Johnny, 21. With God’s help, they have all been home educated. Steve addresses a variety of topics at homeschool conferences to encourage parents in their God-given responsibilities of raising and training their children for His glory. He and Sandra have created the Math•U•See Foundation, a nonprofit corporation to assist and encourage parents and families with cassettes, booklets, and other helpful resources. Steve is the author and founder of Math•U•See. He served in full or part time pastoral ministry for many years after graduating from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. www.stevedemme.com Lois Walfrid Johnson believes that an important part of her call as an author is to restore the spiritual dimension to our understanding of history and religious and political freedoms. Her 29 books and 17 updated editions include three historical series and 21 novels: the Adventures of the Northwoods (1906-07, transition years in MN, WI, and upper MI) and Riverboat Adventures (1857, immigrant, steamboat, and Underground Railroad history). In her Viking Quest series (approximate year 1000) Lois shows a world view in which Vikings came to raid and encountered Christianity. When enough of them became Christians the raids stopped, and courageous sailors changed world history. In the fifth novel, The Raider’s Promise, Lois’ characters join Leif Erikson in founding the only authenticated Viking site in North America. For a partial list of awards received see www.loiswalfridjohnson.com and click the “about Lois” tab. Peggy Ployhar serves as the MACHE (Minnesota Association of Christian Home Educators) Special Needs Coordinator with the goal of “Empowering parents to love homeschooling the special needs children God has chosen for their homes.” She says that homeschooling was God’s chosen blessing for their family, an adventure that started almost 6 years ago when her oldest son was diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome. Peggy’s passion to serve God where He calls and motivate others through her speaking and counseling to do the same, has given countless individuals the courage to step out in faith and trust. She believes that being in the will of God is the cornerstone of the Christian walk and therefore her lessons, lectures and retreats all center around bringing individuals back to truth in all life circumstances. Peggy is the former MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) Area Coordinator for MN, ND and SD, and she is certified by the American Association of Christian Counselors. Peggy lives in Apple Valley, MN with her husband Doug and their three children, two cats and one dog. Victor Storkel is founder and president of Virtue in Knowledge Publications. He is first a disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ and has committed his life to follow and apply the teaching of the Bible in all areas of life and to follow the example of Jesus Christ under the leading and empowerment of the Holy Spirit. He is also a national speaker and author on the topics of education and critical thinking skill development. He has been a featured speaker at National Home Education Conventions across the country for the last 10 years. He and his wife Gail have 3 children, Crystal, James and Collette. In his spare time he enjoys studying God’s Priceless Word, travel, golf and soccer. www.virtueinknowledge.com Allen Wold is a former farmer from Wheaton, Minnesota. He has been married to his wife Beth for thirty-two years, and together they have three children and one grandchild. He farmed for twenty-seven years before God led him to enroll at Oak Brook College of Law, a Christian college. He graduated in October 2007. Since the school was online, he homeschooled himself in law while continuing to homeschool his two youngest children.
Venessa Mills is fighting a legal battle for the heart and soul of homeschooling in North Carolina. As reported on World Net Daily, on Friday, March 6, Judge Ned W. Mangum stripped her of the right to homeschool, and ordered her three children to enter public school.  Mills was forced to defend her right to homeschool during divorce proceedings brought on by her husband's unfaithfulness. Mr. Mills admitted, under oath, to repeatedly committing adultery. Even with abundant evidence showing the Mills children are well adjusted and well educated, Judge Mangum ruled overwhelmingly against Mrs. Mills on every point. He stated the children would do better in public school despite the fact that they are currently at or beyond their grade level. Evidence showed two children tested several grades ahead. When issuing his verdict Judge Mangum stated his decision was not ideologically or religiously motivated. However, he told Mrs. Mills public school will "challenge the ideas you've taught them." What has emerged is a picture of a clearly liberal judge imposing his beliefs and striking down traditional values. Mangum, a Democrat appointee, disregarded the facts of the case in favor of his own agenda. Such anti-conservative prejudice is increasingly legislated from the bench, and appears to be encouraged by the Democratic Obama administration. Robyn Williams, friend and homeschool mother of four was present at the proceeding. "I have never seen such injustice and such a direct attack against homeschooling," said Williams. "This judge clearly took personal issue with Venessa's stance on education and faith, even though her children are doing great. If her right to homeschool can be taken away so easily, what will this mean for homeschoolers state wide, or even nationally?" On March 24th lawmakers in North Carolina will be reminded of the sheer numbers of homeschoolers in their state. As students and their parents descend on the capitol, organizers of the Capital Fest 2009 field trip will show they have a voice in North Carolina legislation regarding education. Williams is rallying homeschoolers from across the nation to fight back to defend their rights as Americans to educate their children. She feels the judge has been given a free hand to impose his personal opinions and needs to reexamine his decisions. Please subscribe to Robyn's blog and join the fight for protecting everyone's homeschool rights (www.hsinjustice.com). For more information or to schedule an interview contact Adam Cothes at acothes.publicity@gmail.com or call 253-797-6194. The public is being encouraged to take these action steps: 1. Forward this message to every person on your contact list, and all those interested in protecting basic American rights. After the right to educate is gone, property and other basic rights will follow. 2. Read the blog at www.hsinjustice.com 3. Contact three officials to express your outrage at Venessa Mills' right to homeschool being taken away and the prejudicial orders of this judge. Three or four short emails or phone calls could be the difference for these kids, and many more like them. You can reference the case number: #08CVD17753 Judge's Supervisor Judicial Standards Commission P.O. Box 1122 Raleigh, North Carolina 27602 919-831-3630 State Legislators NC Senate--Neal Hunt (R) 919-733-5850 Neal.Hunt@ncleg.net NC House--Ty Harrell (D) 919-733-5602 Ty.Harrell@ncleg.net North Carolina Governor Governor Bev Perdue Office of the Governor 20301 Mail Service Center Raleigh, NC 27699-0301 Phone: (919)733-4240
Book Review by Kathy Lowers (and by Victoria Lowers, age 7) Title: Katy Author and Illustrator:  Mary Evelyn Notgrass ISBN number: 1-933410-86-8 Approximate reading level: Ages 7-12 Katy by Mary Evelyn Notgrass is a godly character book that is appropriate for all children.  It is of special interest to families who are in the midst of a decision to homeschool or who have decided to homeschool and are transitioning their children out of a school setting.  It is also an affirming book for those already home educating. Katy is a sweet story about a nine year old girl, Katy Porter, whose everyday life is about to change, now that her parents are considering homeschooling.  It is an enjoyable read about a loving and close family.  But, like so many Christian families in these dark times, the Porters have concerns about the anti-god influences of the public school on their children; homeschooling is looking like a worthy option to them.  Reasons for and objections to homeschooling are explored by members of the Porter family throughout the pages of this book.  Katy herself struggles with the fear that homeschooling will make her different than others in a negative sense, a common fear among those thinking of homeschooling. It is interesting to see how the children adjust to the idea of being taught at home.  The children are portrayed as respectful but human and the adults are good role models as well.   Better yet, Mr. Porter happens to be a pastor, and we could sure use more of them deciding to homeschool (hint: buy this book for your pastor’s kids).  Through the eyes of a child, this book conveys the joys of an intact, functional Christian family.  This is the subtle yet powerful message of the story – the family loves being together, which is something that homeschooling would enhance.  This is underscored by some memorable moments such as when Katy’s parents lock the children out of the house by mistake, leaving the children outside in the dark.  This situation makes them realize how being home together is where they prefer to be. Not only did Mary Evelyn Notgrass put together a nice book that younger children will connect with, she has given a real boost to families who are considering homeschooling. Katy is available from the Notgrass Company.
Are your kids on MySpace or Facebook?  Then they may be facing the same dangers that they might in public school.   According to the New York Times and Washington Post, MySpace has deleted 29,000 registered sexual predators from its membership and Facebook is not far behind... and those are just the sexual predators that they found out about! The good news is that there is a full featured, parent driven social networking site on the way just for Christian homeschoolers.  I can't divulge too much right now as the project is still in development, but the principals are interested in finding likeminded Christian homeschoolers as investors and ministry partners for this new online community. If you are interested in becoming an investor or ministry partner in this ground floor opportunity, please email homeschoolspace@gmail.com.
To all our friends and everyone considering homeschooling in Orange County, California: This month's Exploring Homeschooling™ Orange County is a special introduction to homeschooling by Susan Beatty, founder of the Christian Home Educators Association of California.  Today, Susan is a leader in the homeschool movement, but at one time she started too.  Come learn for yourself or to introduce a friend to the how and why of private Biblical homeschooling.  You will learn: Susan Beatty of Christian Home Educators Association of California What types of homeschooling options are available and which ones are the best for you.   Different homeschooling teaching approaches, what they are, the pros and cons of each, and how they can be used in your family.   A courses of study - what it is and how to develop one.   How to set up your records so that you are compliant with state requirements or regulations.   Some of the special things that you can do that other educational choices will not offer.   The unexpected blessings to your family that come through private Biblical homeschooling. Susan will share from a wealth of experience, having homeschooled her own children and helped thousands of others learn about and succeed in homeschooling their own children. Susan and her husband Larry began CHEA of California and started homeschooling their three children in 1982.  In addition, Susan ran an Independent Study Program from 1985 to 1998.  She even found time to write An Introduction to Home Education manual. Susan and Larry have graduated all three children, the last child in 1998, and Susan has continued to be an integral part of CHEA, currently are as a member of the board of directors, general manager, and events manager. Susan writes and speaks at workshops and conventions on home education, annual national leadership conferences on homeschooling, and is a founding board member of The National Alliance for Christian Home Education Leadership. As a spokesperson for the home education community, Susan is interviewed for radio, television, and newspapers. Susan is a professional writer/journalist with a BA degree (1971) from Cal State University Los Angeles and a graduate of CLASS (Christian Leaders and Speakers Seminars). If you are considering homeschooling, starting out, or just curious, this informative free seminar will be a true blessing.  Get all the details here.  
Part Three of a Series by Kathy Lowers Founder of Considering Homeschooling  If I could take every conservative Christian parent to their neighborhood abortion clinic parking lot for a "field trip," I think I could convince most of them to homeschool. I would only need about an hour. Let me take you there on a Saturday morning… Dachau Concentration Camp Styled Planned Parenthood Abortion Clinic in Houston, Texas First, upon arriving at the abortion clinic, you will witness a parade of cars entering the parking lot. No, they are not Christians who got out of bed to come to pray and save babies there (those are a rare sight these days). Instead, fresh faced teens peer out at you from those cars. Having stood outside abortion clinics in several states for 22 years, praying and sidewalk counseling, I can tell you it seems harder than ever for American high school teens to find a parking space at most abortion mills. Many weekends in the suburbs and in the cities, it is double parking and then some. Now try handing out literature on alternatives to abortion and information on abstinence to these teens. Some of the young people will totally ignore you, others will curse you out, a few may threaten to beat you up or worse. Within that hour of standing in front of an abortion clinic, a teen or two is bound to talk with you. Percentage-wise, they will be from a family that professes faith in Christ, and some will even tell you the name of the "saved" church they go to. You will find that Christian teens going for abortions are often the more elusive ones -- likely to tell you they know it is wrong, but they know Jesus will forgive them after they kill their baby. (Isn't Christianity great?!) You will be outraged to see many cases of obvious statutory rape -- older men who drive up in nice cars, dropping off underage girls. You might begin to realize that there are a lot of parents out there who are totally unaware their grandchildren are being torn, crushed, sucked out of the wombs of their daughters or their sons' girlfriends. How did these teens become customers of Planned Parenthood, et al? Whose children are these who are streaming so cavalierly into abortion mills throughout our country every week, as if they are streaming into a McDonald’s? If you let the government schools have your offspring, then most likely they are yours. If your children are yet young, you have more hope -- please don't let them turn out to be future abortion clinic clients. Realize the public schools and abortion clinics are symbiotic ventures -- the first one gives the sales pitch, the latter is there to cinch the deal. Government schools strip God and His values from every subject, seeding the child's heart with cynicism and nihilism -- which makes a child vulnerable to premarital sex and the temptation to abort any resulting children. Peers and teachers of unknown morals surround your children all day in a school setting. Since you only see your child at night and since they have so much homework, you only really get a few minutes with your kids before they are off to sleep. In other words, your daily influence is negligible. Once your child understands how spending time with friends is more important in the school model of teen life than spending time with family, you will rarely see them on weekends either. Where are they really going? What are they really doing? Are they being chaste or being chased? Like those parents of the teens you saw at the abortion clinic, you are out of the loop, clueless. But if you are a loving Christian parent who can provide a safe, wholesome home where a child can thrive, you should homeschool and teach them the clear message that God made people in His image and that they should have the utmost respect for the unborn. You could even bring your child out to the abortion clinic -- to pray and save babies. And you will not be one to worry whether one of your grandchildren is being done in by some abortionist on a Saturday morning. I hope you will see homeschooling as a great way to help protect the next generation from Planned Parenthood. One group that trains teens in a pro-life summer camp is called Survivors.  I participated in pro-life events with Survivors in the past, and these teens are impressive. Most seem to be from homeschooled families, which is what you would expect.
This weekend, I was at in a quandary at the library -- I had reached the 100 book limit on my card again, and this did not reflect the other books we had out on another card. The librarian, with a knowing smile exclaimed, "you must be a homeschooler!" We then got into a conversation about why homeschoolers are noted for reading a lot more than their schooled counterparts (as an aside – I do screen the books I get from the library for inappropriate content. There are still wholesome fiction books and accurate non-fiction to be found in libraries, if you know what you are looking for, and if your library has not been totally taken over by liberals). Why is it that home educated children are known for reading a great deal more than typical children? Looking at our own home, I can see several reasons. First, homeschooled children do not come in after a hard day of traveling to and from school and have to tackle a load of take home assignments. They do their reinforcement work as they learn their subjects and so their nights are not plagued with the burden of homework. And, since a homeschooler’s day is usually shorter in duration than a brick and mortar school day, homeschoolers naturally have more free time to read.  In our home we are building what we call a "generational library" -- stocking our shelves with classic and quality Christian books found at garage sales, on-line, etc. that cannot be found in the secular libraries. The library we have in our home is brimming with all kinds of edifying gems our children love to read again and again. In addition, our church has an expanding family resource room that is brimming with God-centered reading materials. And, we go to the library, on average, twice a week. Most homeschool families I know have unplugged the TV and are not engaged in the entertainment gamer craze. It is no wonder, then, that no one has to force anyone to read in our home -- whenever they get a free moment, our children grab a good book and that they are several grade levels ahead in reading. We are not anti-technology -- far from it -- my husband is a computer programmer, and our children will hopefully reach his level of expertise one day. But, technology can replace book reading in the lives of modern day children. I am convinced there are a multitude of skills such as vocabulary accumulation which are gained by old fashioned book reading that just cannot be obtained elsewhere. Here is an article in this regard that caught my eye today. Note that is states that among the children surveyed "almost a third take a games console to bed rather than a book, while a quarter never read in their own time". I guess we homeschoolers should be happy when we catch that child with the flashlight, trying to read under the covers!
Well, you thought that cell phone would keep your kid safe if there was another school shooting.  Who knew the shots would actually be homemade porn made with that very same cell phone?!? File this under the complete pornification of our society.  What's an awkward teen boy do to get a date now?  He sends a girl a picture of his junk. Parents, can I speak frankly here?  If you are not considering homeschooling, you are completely nuts. From the Cincinnati Enquirer: Teens here are taking nude photos of themselves or others, sending them on their cell phones or posting them online. Some teens do it as a joke. For others, it's the new bold pickup line to get a date. A year ago, a 19-year-old Goshen cheerleading coach was charged and prosecuted for a misdemeanor, contributing to the unruliness of a child, for taking a topless photo of herself and a 15-year-old girl. A Glen Este Middle School boy was taken to juvenile court during the last school year for taking explicit photos of his girlfriend. The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy and CosmoGirl.com last month revealed results of a study that showed 20 percent of teens say they have sent or posted nude or semi-nude pictures or video of themselves. The results don't surprise local teens, school officials, police officers and others. "If I were to go through the cell phones in this building right now of 1,500 students, I would venture to say that half to two-thirds have indecent photos, either of themselves or somebody else in school," said Jim Brown, school resource officer at Glen Este High School. Turpin High School Principal Peggy Johnson thinks that the results would be similar - about 50-50 - in her building. According to the national study, most teens who send sexually suggestive content send to boyfriends or girlfriends, while others say they send such material to those they want to date or hook up with or to someone they only know online. Brown, who also is Glen Este Middle School's resource officer, said of the 14-year-old boy's cell phone photos last year: "They were as graphic as you would see in any Penthouse magazine, I've been told." The study also showed that 44 percent of teens say it's common for sexually explicit images and text messages - sexting - to be shared with people other than the intended recipient. "Guys who get pictures like this from girls, I don't think girls understand that guys gossip way more than girls," said Taylor McCleod, 17, a Withrow University High School senior who is a teen leader for the Postponing Sexual Involvement program. "And when a guy gets a picture like that, he's not just going to keep it between him and the girl. He's going to take that and show every guy that he knows that knows that girl. And every time somebody looks at her, it's going to be a loss of respect for her." The stakes of taking and sending sexually explicit photos can be high, compared to the thrill at the time. The consequences can range from humiliation to losing out on jobs to going to court. When kids are 14 or 15, Brown said, they don't often make the right decisions. "They think, 'I have the right to decide what's best for me.' The next thing you know, it's on YouTube, and you become an international star because you're exposing part of your body. ... Then, they want to retrieve their good reputation, and they can't." Kids have lost scholarships and jobs because of what's posted on Web sites, Brown said. Many kids have "wised up," taking photos of body parts, but not faces, to avoid detection. And while some teens intend for the suggestive photos to be seen by only one person, they might not think those photos will be forwarded or that something posted on the Internet lives on. "I don't think it even crosses their mind," Daniel "Woody" Breyer, chief deputy prosecutor in Clermont County, said. "I think that kids are in the moment. What's going to happen today? What are we doing tonight? What are we doing this weekend?" Going to court might not cross their minds, either. Prosecutors evaluate the intent of the photo when deciding if charges are warranted. "If this is clearly just a joke and everyone involved thinks it's funny, now somebody's mom sees it and gets mad. Technically, a charge could be filed," said Julie Wilson, chief assistant prosecutor and public information officer for the Hamilton County Prosecutor's Office. "We're asking police to evaluate if it's a criminal charge or a matter that could be handled by the school or parents. For whatever reason, we have not seen a lot of these cases." With so many implications, why do kids do it? Besides peer pressure, the practice is provoked by what's considered acceptable in this culture, Breyer said, citing videos, such as "Girls Gone Wild." "What is acceptable behavior in our country has just gone through the floor," Breyer said. Christopher Kraus, director of the Postponing Sexual Involvement program at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, said that in his 20 years of working in adolescent medicine at the hospital, he's yet to see a teenage trend that does not mirror a larger adult trend. "Adolescent sexuality is part of normal human development," Kraus said. "Teens are trying to figure out how to express their sexuality appropriately. They are learning, and they are learning from adults." Kraus, who also is project manager for the Ohio Department of Health's new Guidelines for Sexual Health and Adoption Education, Grades 7-12, said teens are learning how to sort out many sexual messages in the media, including text messages. "Some messages are complimentary. Some are offensive. Some are confusing. Each message is different." 'Kids Gone Wild' Another teen Postponing Sexual Involvement leader, Mariah McCollum, who has received unwanted and unsolicited photos from an acquaintance, talked about the trend. "Every day or every other day, I hear about a new video of one of my peers. There's a new video going around involving sexual activities," said Mariah, a 17-year-old senior at Withrow University High School. "I think it's pretty lame for a male to send you pictures without consent. ... Who says I want to see your private areas?" Mariah said, adding that she lost a lot of respect for the boy who sent it. Meanwhile, Brown said parents need to pay attention to their kids' use of technology. Part of the problem is that kids' inhibitions are knocked away by alcohol-fueled parties, where many sexually explicit photo opportunities occur, he said. "It's 'Kids Gone Wild,' with technology being provided by the parents," he said.
I keep seeing stories about homeschooled college football star and Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow.  The prospect of competing in high school sports, scouting, and having a professional sports career are not concerns for our family.  But, sports are a consideration for many families considering homeschooling, especially as families consider homeschooling high school. In some states, homeschoolers are able to play on local public school teams.  In other states certain homeschoolers are fighting to change laws to allow homeschoolers to play.  The public school bureaucrats, of course, don't want private homeschoolers playing on their teams.  My personal opinion is that I don't want anything the government schools have to offer.  With "free" goodies comes control and government control of my home school would be an anathema.  The good news is that the options for private sports training are many and varied.  Private and amateur leagues abound in most metro areas. For example, the Oklahoma Christian Home Educated Football Association is a nonprofit Christian athletic organization established to serve homeschool families in Oklahoma City and the surrounding areas.  Although the public schools may have larger programs for traditional team sports, we live in a new world order of sporting.  Baseball and American football are not Olympic sports.  (Baseball and softball was voted off the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London.)  The internet provides a medium for acquiring the best training information regardless of your locale.  So, if it’s the training, discipline, team experience, or personal confidence that you are hoping sports will help provide your children, homeschooling is still the best option... if your children love the Lord, sports is just another avenue where these positive character traits can be a good witness. Let's pray that Tim Tebow can continue to be a good witness for the Lord and homeschoolers.  Here is some Tim Tebow biography from Wikipedia: Timothy "Tim" Richard Tebow (born August 14, 1987) is an American football quarterback for the Florida Gators. He was the first college football player to both rush and pass for 20 touchdowns in a season and was the first sophomore to win the Heisman Trophy. Tebow played quarterback for Nease High School in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, where he became a Division I-A recruit and ranked among the top quarterback prospects in the nation as a senior. After a tight recruiting battle, he chose to attend the University of Florida over the University of Alabama. Tebow, being a dual threat quarterback adept at rushing and passing the football, was used in his freshman season largely as a change of pace to the Gators' more traditional quarterback, Chris Leak. His contribution in the 2006 college football season was as a key reserve who helped the Gators win college football's national championship game for the first time since 1996. As a sophomore in the 2007 season, he became the Gators' starting quarterback and broke the Southeastern Conference records for both rushing touchdowns and total touchdowns accounted for in a single season. In addition to the Heisman Trophy, his performance in 2007 also earned him the Maxwell Award as the nation's top football player, the Davey O'Brien Award as the nation's best quarterback, and the James E. Sullivan Award as the nation's most outstanding amateur athlete in any sport. Tebow was born on August 14, 1987 in the Philippines to Bob and Pam Tebow, who were serving as Christian missionaries at the time. While pregnant Pam suffered a life-threatening infection with a pathogenic amoeba. Because of extremely strong drugs used to bring her out of a coma and to relieve her dysentery, the fetus had experienced a severe placental abruption. Expecting a stillbirth, doctors recommended an abortion to protect her own life. She carried the baby to term, and both mother and child survived. All of the Tebow children were homeschooled by their mother, who worked to instill the family’s deep Christian beliefs along the way. In 1996, legislation was passed in Florida allowing homeschooled students to compete in local high school sporting events. The law specifies that homeschooled students may participate on the team of the local school in the school district in which they live. The Tebows lived in Jacksonville, Florida, and Tim played linebacker and tight end at the local Trinity Christian Academy for one season. Tebow's preferred position was quarterback, but Trinity football team's offense did not rely on passing the football, so he began to explore his options to play for a new high school. He decided to attend Nease High School, which under head coach Craig Howard was known for having a passing offense. With the rest of his family living on a farm in Duval County, Tim and his mother moved into an apartment in nearby St. Johns County, making him eligible to play for the football team at Nease. His performance soon began to turn some heads, and led to a minor controversy over him being a homeschooled student that chose for which school he wanted to play. As a junior at Nease, Tebow’s stock rose as he became a major college football quarterback prospect and was named the state of Florida's Player of the Year. He would repeat as Player of the Year in his senior season. One of his highlights as a high school athlete was finishing a game on a broken leg. During his senior season he led the Nease Panthers to a state title, earned All-State honors, was named Florida's Mr. Football and a Parade All-American. Tebow finished his high school career with 9,810 passing yards, 3,186 rushing yards, 95 passing touchdowns and 62 rushing touchdowns. He played in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl Game in San Antonio, Texas which features the top 78 senior high school football players in the nation and is shown nationally on NBC television. Tebow was considered one of the nation’s top recruits and was the subject of an ESPN “Faces in Sports” documentary. The segment was titled "Tim Tebow: The Chosen One", and focused on Tim’s homeschool controversy and missionary work in the Philippines, as well as his exploits on the field of play and the college recruiting process. Tim Tebow was also featured in Sports Illustrated on the “Faces in the Crowd” page. In 2007 he was named to FHSAA's All-Century Team that listed the Top 33 football players in the state of Florida's 100 year history of high school football. Despite having family ties to the University of Florida, where his parents first met as students, he remained open-minded during the recruiting process and became very close to Alabama coach Mike Shula. After careful consideration he decided to play for Urban Meyer's Florida Gators. One of the reasons he chose Florida was because of Meyer's spread option offense, an offense for which Tebow was deemed a prototypical quarterback. Tebow spent the last three summers before enrolling at the University of Florida in the Philippines, assisting with his father's orphanage and missionary work.
From the Boston Herald: "Christine A. McCallum, 29, who is on leave from her job at an Abington elementary school, was charged yesterday with seven counts of statutory rape for the serial liaisons in Rockland and Abington from February 2006, when she allegedly took the boy’s virginity, to November 2007." This is just too sickening to comment about... read my comments on any other story about public school teachers sexualy abusing children... Ahhh, that's what they mean by socialization... a PTA mom, a 13-year-old public school boy, and the back seat of an SUV. Public schools are filled with preditors.  It is time for your to stop considering homeschooling and home school now.
If you have been considering homeschooling, let that public school indoctrinated peer pressure kick in... From WND:  A homeschooling movement is sweeping the nation – with 1.5 million children now learning at home, an increase of 75 percent since 1999. The Department of Education's National Center for Education Statistics reported homeschooling has risen by 36 percent in just the last five years. "There's no reason to believe it would not keep going up," NCES statistician Gail Mulligan told USA Today. A 2007 survey asked parents why they choose to homeschool and allowed them to provide several reasons. The following are the most popular responses: Concern about the school environment, including reasons such as safety, drugs or negative peer pressure – 88 percent A desire to provide religious or moral instruction – 83 percent A dissatisfaction with academic instruction at other schools – 73 percent Nontraditional approach to children's education – or "unschoolers" who consider typical curriculums and standardized testing as counterproductive to quality education – 65 percent Other reasons, such as family time, finances, travel and distance – 32 percent Child has special needs (other than physical or mental health problems) that schools cannot or will not meet – 21 percent Child has a physical or mental health problem – 11 percent Parents who report that they homeschool to provide religious or moral instruction increased from 72 percent to 83 percent from 2003 to 2007. Above all other responses, parents cited providing religious and moral instruction as the most important factor in the decision to teach their children at home (36 percent). The second most important issue was concern about the school environment (21 percent), while the third reason was dissatisfaction with academic instruction at other schools (17 percent). Research has shown the positive effects of homeschooling through the years. While some critics say teaching children at home may stunt their social growth, studies indicate homeschooled students fare well or better than public and private school students in terms of social, emotional and psychological development. Additionally, homeschoolers earn higher marks than peers who attend public schools. Academic Leadership, an online journal, cites findings from at least three nationwide studies across the United States and two nationwide studies in Canada. "The home educated in grades K to 12 have scored, on average, at the 65th to 80th percentile on standardized academic achievement tests in the United States and Canada, compared to the public school average of the 50th percentile," it states. Three studies also show that demographics, income and education level of homeschooling parents are generally irrelevant with regard to quality of education in a home setting. On average, homeschoolers in low-income families with less formal education still score higher than state-school averages.
As promised, another New Year's resolution... perhaps the grandest of them all.  While the spiritual burden falls upon dad to raise-up your children in the Lord, most of the daily duties fall upon mom. If you are considering homeschooling, then equip yourself with the best information available from experienced Christian homeschool families. If you are in Southern California, this New Year's resolution will be easier to keep come January 16-17, 2009.  Our friends over at Exploring Homeschooling of Orange County, California will be hosting a free conference by Michael and Debi Pearl of No Greater Joy Ministries on January 16-17, 2009.  Friday from 7:00pm - 9:00pm and Saturday from 9:00am - 3:00pm at Knott Avenue Christian Church. Get all the details and register here. Considering Homeschooling hosted a one night seminar with Michael and Debi Pearl back in 2004.  It was great fun, full of insight and truth as only Michael and Debi Pearl can deliver. This seminar will be twice the fun and insight. Mark your calendars now for January 16-17, 2009... this is the perfect New Year's resolution:  "Train up a child in the way he should go..."
I guess you can see where I'm going with this... but we really want you to attend this free conference.  Did I mention that it's free?  As in free curriculum for life and living! Plus, I know that when wives see the phrase "be a better husband" they will "persuade" their husbands to go.  (Don't worry guys; tomorrow's resolution will be for the wives.) Michael and Debi Pearl's ministry is not just limited to raising-up children with joy, but also strengthening the marital relationship. If you are in Southern California, this New Year's resolution will be easier to keep come January 16-17, 2009.  Our friends over at Exploring Homeschooling of Orange County, California will be hosting a free conference by Michael and Debi Pearl of No Greater Joy Ministries on January 16-17, 2009.  Friday from 7:00pm - 9:00pm and Saturday from 9:00am - 3:00pm at Knott Avenue Christian Church. Get all the details and register here. "Through books and CDs, Michael and Debi Pearl train parents to break the bad habits passed down from former generations and to recognize and emulate the wisdom of those who have gone before.  The Bible and common sense are the foundations for effective parenting." Considering Homeschooling hosted a one night seminar with Michael and Debi Pearl back in 2004.  It was great fun, full of insight and truth as only Michael and Debi Pearl can deliver. This seminar will be twice the fun and insight. Mark your calendars now for January 16-17, 2009... this is the perfect New Year's resolution:  "Train up a child in the way he should go..."
If you are in Southern California, this New Year's resolution will be easy to keep come January 16-17, 2009.  Our friends over at Exploring Homeschooling of Orange County, California will be hosting a free conference by Michael and Debi Pearl of No Greater Joy Ministries on January 16-17, 2009.  Friday from 7:00pm - 9:00pm and Saturday from 9:00am - 3:00pm at Knott Avenue Christian Church. Get all the details and register here. "Through books and CDs, Michael and Debi Pearl train parents to break the bad habits passed down from former generations and to recognize and emulate the wisdom of those who have gone before.  The Bible and common sense are the foundations for effective parenting." Considering Homeschooling hosted a one night seminar with Michael and Debi Pearl back in 2004.  It was great fun, full of insight and truth as only Michael and Debi Pearl can deliver. This seminar will be twice the fun and insight. Mark your calendars now for January 16-17, 2009... this is the perfect New Year's resolution:  "Train up a child in the way he should go..."