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I spent some time in special education classes as a child for a physical handicap -- a bone disease that, thankfully, that did not progress far enough to cause permanent damage.  Of course, my participation in these classes was more about the additional revenue the school would receive from the state than any benefit I received concerning my handicap.  Now, I will qualify this with the acknowledgment that there are likely many good people caring for these children in most schools.  However, like any public school teacher, these special needs teachers are strangers caring for children that especially need the loving kindness of mom. A hat tip to Fearfully and Wonderfully Made for this article from CNN about children forced into cell-like school seclusion rooms.   (UPDATE: Just an update to note that I never saw anything like this article describes.  I didn't really spend much time there.  But, I do remember one incident of a teacher berating and humiliating a quadriplegic student for soiling himself.)  "Seclusion rooms, sometimes called time-out rooms, are used across the nation, generally for special needs children." "A few weeks before 13-year-old Jonathan King killed himself, he told his parents that his teachers had put him in 'time-out.'" "The room where Jonathan King hanged himself is shown after his death. It is no longer used, a school official said." "'We thought that meant go sit in the corner and be quiet for a few minutes,' Tina King said, tears washing her face as she remembered the child she called 'our baby ... a good kid.'" "But time-out in the boy's north Georgia special education school was spent in something akin to a prison cell -- a concrete room latched from the outside, its tiny window obscured by a piece of paper." "Called a seclusion room, it's where in November 2004, Jonathan hanged himself with a cord a teacher gave him to hold up his pants." Now, your state may offer you all kinds of "help" for your special needs children, even if you home school.  But, is that something you really want? In other instances of alleged abuse, from the article: A Tennessee mother alleged in a federal suit against the Learn Center in Clinton that her 51-pound 9-year-old autistic son was bruised when school instructors used their body weight on his legs and torso to hold him down before putting him in a "quiet room" for four hours. Principal Gary Houck of the Learn Center, which serves disabled children, said lawyers have advised him not to discuss the case. Eight-year-old Isabel Loeffler, who has autism, was held down by her teachers and confined in a storage closet where she pulled out her hair and wet her pants at her Dallas County, Iowa, elementary school. Last year, a judge found that the school had violated the girl's rights. "What we're talking about is trauma," said her father, Doug Loeffler. "She spent hours in wet clothes, crying to be let out." Waukee school district attorney Matt Novak told CNN that the school has denied any wrongdoing. A mentally retarded 14-year-old in Killeen, Texas, died from his teachers pressing on his chest in an effort to restrain him in 2001. Texas passed a law to limit both restraint and seclusion in schools because the two methods are often used together.
From another report about poisoned toys coming from China: "Customs and Border Protection officers assigned to the Port Everglades Trade Enforcement Team seized over 3,500 toys in two separate merchandise seizures entering Port Everglades from China, the agency said on Friday..." "The federal officers also made another seizure at Port Everglades involving 1,440 toy soldiers also coming from China. Officials from the Consumer Product Safety Commission tested the toys and determined that these toy soldiers contained excessive lead in the paint and were in violation of the lead paint ban as they posed lead poisoning hazard." If you home school like we do, you are shielded from the peer driven and media driven demand for this plastic stuff.  Sure, we would like to have some of this otherwise neat stuff... but our love for the Chinese people who suffer under communism far outweighs our desire to amuse ourselves. While most Americans have probably forgotten the Chinese toys of death scare from 2007... below is a repost that explains my sentiments: Chinese "Date Rape" Beads of Death The Herald Tribune is reporting that "Aqua Dots" Chinese-made children's toys contain the 'date rape' drug. Scientists say a chemical coating on the beads, when ingested, metabolizes into the so-called date rape drug gamma hydroxy butyrate. When eaten, the compound — made from common and easily available ingredients — can induce unconsciousness, seizures, drowsiness, coma and death. Could this Chinese toy thing get any stranger?  Lead, asbestos, gamma hydroxy butyrate... could they try any harder to make this look like a sinister communist plot to kill American children? We have long boycotted Chinese made products -- yes, it is possible.  It takes more time shopping and sometimes we go home empty handed.  But, like most Americans, who needs more stuff?  As someone who loves toys, those three little words - Made in China - sure help us save a lot of money.  Try it; just put the stuff back on the shelf. Our little family is like a chorus going through a toy store: "Made in China", "Made in China", "Made in China".  I believe those are the first words most of our children learned to read -- dad's homeschool of consumer awareness.  Our little boycott started, not because of consumer safety reasons, but because the communists represent real evil in this world.  Christians are persecuted in China.  Political freedom is suppressed.  Individual expression is punished.  Information is controlled by the state.  Every industry profits from slave labor (through forced labor of political prisoners in energy and mining).  And, women are forced to have abortions. Also, a portion of every dollar that goes to China gets invested into the PLA (Peoples Liberation Army), China's military, which is engaged in a great strategic expansion in anticipation of the coming conflict with the United States.  Historically, China views the United States as an enemy.  All of their military build-up is targeted at countering the United States -- anti-satellite weapons to target our communications, blue water navy and submarines to counter our aircraft carriers, hacking to disrupt our information infrastructure, anti-surface missiles to counter our navy, short and medium range missiles to target Taiwan and US bases in Asia, ICBM's to target American cities. Please pray that this coming conflict does not come to pass.  Pray that the communist government of China would be destroyed and freedom would come to the Chinese people.  Too long have they suffered under the suppression of totalitarian government (at key historical points reinforced by western powers).  The Unknown Rebel In 1989 brave individuals stood up for political reform in China, the result was death and prison for thousands.  The west largely ignored these tyrannical acts and expanded trade relations with China.  Trade has done little since then to give the Chinese people political freedom.  Instead, the power of the communist dictators has been reinforced and strengthened by the influx of western cash. Please stop giving your cash to China; instead give them your prayers and determination to see them free to worship Christ as you do.  Don't you think that is a better lesson for your children then that plastic (and perhaps lead painted) toy?
[Editor: Considering Homeschooling is proud to present this special guest column by Michedolene Hogan of Unique Parenting.] By: Michedolene Hogan When parents send their children to school, they expect for their children to be taught the necessary academic skills appropriate for their age.  Yet, there scope of education is growing at an alarming rate.  Schools have begun to overstep their boundaries and assume the role of the home in many aspects such as the socialization of our children. According to the 2003 Webster's New World dictionary, to socialize means to make fit for living in a group.  This definition is similar to that found in the 1810 Merriam-Webster which states: To make social: especially to fit or train for a social environment.  In order to be properly socialized, children must be able to be sociable, having a disposition to associate and converse with others.  Children must have the ability to join in company or society and to unite in a general interest.  Children must also have the ability to work in conjunction with others in the community and conform to laws.  Children must exhibit respect for authority and an understanding of how the world works.  Observation and practice are the main tools that children employ in order to learn these social skills.  Based on the aforementioned necessary skills one would assume that the best place to learn such skills is in a classroom surrounded with peers and authority figures, right?  Wrong. What kids really learn in traditional public education settings Traditional public schools settings are not as idealistic.  Children may be surrounded by their peers but, these are not the best role models for social behavior.  In schools, children often meet peers who are involved in delinquency, low academic achievement and exhibiting behavior problems.  These are the children who get the most attention from their teachers and as a result, stand out to their peers.  In the end, our children learn an unacceptable concept of social behavior by practicing what they observe.  Despite this reality, the school continues to take the lead in training children for social situations. Raymond and Dorothy Moore, in their research on the validity of Early Childhood Education, determined that enrollment in formal schooling before ages 8-12 was not as effective as projected, but put children’s development at risk.  They presented evidence of a correlation between the following childhood problems and the increasingly earlier enrollment of students: Juvenile delinquency Nearsightedness Increased enrollment of students in special education classes Behavioral problems Early enrollment in schools interrupts bonds and emotional development that children form in the home with parents.  This damage, as found by the Raymond and Dorothy Moore, is not repaired in an institutional setting. Over 8,000 studies were conducted in the 1970’s by the Moores.  In the end, they concluded that, “Where possible, children should be withheld from formal schooling until at least ages 8-10” because, “children are not mature enough for formal school programs until their senses, coordination, neurological development and cognition are ready.” Another theory, developed by teacher John Caldwell Holt, stated that “academic failure of school children was caused by pressure placed on children in schools.”  He declared in 1980, “I want to make it clear that I don't see home schooling as some kind of answer to badness of schools.  I think that the home is the proper base for the exploration of the world which we call learning or education.  Home would be the best base no matter how good the schools were.” The school setting expects children to handle a whole new set of emotions as early as 3 years of age.  At this tender age, children do not even understand their emotions, much less know how to appropriately deal with them.  Children end up imitating their peers, whom as stated earlier may be involved in a number of behavior issues.  The impact of a child’s sociability is an absolutely harmful progression away from positive sociability and self-concept. This progression is best explained in When Education Becomes Abuse: A Different Look at the Mental Health of Children. Here is their explanation of the sequence of emotions experienced by young children in early childhood settings: Uncertainty as the child leaves the family for a less secure environment Puzzlement at the new pressures and restrictions of the classroom Frustration because they are not ready to handle the regimentation of formal lessons (unready learning tools – senses, cognition, brain hemispheres, coordination) Hyperactivity growing out of nerves and jitters from frustration Failure which quite naturally flows from the four experiences above Delinquency which is failure's twin Benefits of Home Schooling Learning in the home is the best option.  Home is the where true learning, exploring the world, takes place.  ‘Learning’ in this case includes not only academic education but also an understanding of the social environment of the world.  Teaching children in the home has countless benefits including: Home provides the proper atmosphere and value system to build upon.  Home sets the example of honoring and respecting authority.  Home teaches children how to be part of their community both physically and spiritually. Children with home as their base of exploration benefit from more time spent with warm, responsive parents, limited time with peers and free exploration under parental guidance.  The parents are in control of the social influences and the child isn't exposed to the whirlwind of emotions that come with early childhood education.  Children build a strong bond with the parents as the center example for proper social behavior and are given more opportunities to be among their community in a guided manner. The National Home Education Research Institute conducted a survey in 2003 of 7,300 adults who had been home schooled.  Their astounding results once again make a case for the home; 71% home schooled adults are active and involved in their community compared to 37% of U.S. Adults from a traditional education background.  76% of home schooled adults between 18-24 voted within the last five years compared to 29%.  The numbers are even greater in larger groups at 95% compared with 53% of traditional schooled adults.  The survey also reported that 58.9% of home schooled adults reported that they are “very happy” with life compared with 27.6% for the general U.S. Population.  73.2% find life “exciting,” compared with 47.3%. Socialization is to make social: especially to fit or train for a social environment.  Children best acquire this skill through the practice and observation in the home, not in the schools.  Raymond and Dorothy Moore recognized this need in their first publication in 1975.  That was just the tip of the iceberg in the research of socialization and teaching children.  Evidence abounds and grows continually to support the home as the best place to socialize our children.  Most recently, the NHERI statistics drive home the essential call to all parents to model their successful and productive adult lives with their children as the best social example to follow. About the Author: Michedolene Hogan lives in a quiet neighborhood of Yucaipa CA with her husband of 15yrs.  Her favorite activities include spending time with her family and crafting fun family activities.  She finds her greatest satisfaction in being a stay at home mom raising healthy children and publishes a bi-weekly newsletter offering advice for building strong families.
I'm really not making this stuff up, read the report about the PTA vice-president and mom seducing the teenage boy here. Your children are NOT safe in public school.  It used to be that you only had to worry about the male teachers, coaches, and volunteers around children.  Blame feminism, blame pornography, blame abortion... it doesn't matter.  All that matters is that your children are not safe in public school.  Even if you have only been considering homeschooling... start your home school now. The educational establishment in America really has pulled the wool over most parents' eyes. Almost every parent teaches their child to speak English or whatever is their primary language. They've done the bulk of the teaching of the basics. But the establishment has put this aura around education and (says) only certified teachers should be teaching. Those teachers are less qualified than you to teach your children. You know them... they don't. "What about socialization?" goes the establishment programmed response. "Do you think Americans are well socialized?" I always ask people who ask me the socialization question. They usually falter, especially after I remind them about the astronomical rate of family breakups, that workplace and school violence is escalating, that one in five high school students graduates with a sexually transmitted disease, etc.  Then I ask the inquirer what social skills he or she considers vital.  They usually cite the ability to get along with others or to communicate well with others. I ask them, "Do you think the typical public school teen can naturally have a meaningful conversation with a senior citizen – or with you?  And why not?  Could it be that being forced with people the exact same age as you all day, most days of the year does not mirror the real world -- where you need to adjust your social graces to all ages -- and actually produces a dysfunctional form of socialization?"  As a Christian homeschooler, I tell them, I can give my children consistent instruction on how to get along with others, and from the ultimate best source – the words of Christ such as "Do unto others..."  By the end of the conversation, the inquirer is often convinced that homeschooling can in fact be a great way to socialize children -- the right way. It's inevitable that you will receive criticism for considering homeschooling.  It's a spiritual battle, and the media has been used to turn hearts against the most Biblical form of education.  People are quick to tell you the negatives of homeschooling they have heard (and most of them are myths) but they don't know about the joys and good fruit.  By coming to our meetings, you can learn about the many blessings of homeschooling, as well as the actual challenges. Every meeting makes you more knowledgeable and confident.
Each week Considering Homeschooling recognizes the faithful service of someone getting the message out about homeschooling.  This week we recognize Wayne Walker for his blog Hymn Studies, "studies of hymns that can be used in your homeschool as part of your devotions, Bible curriculum, or music study."   "All the Heavens Adore Thee" Dec. 13, 2008 on Hymn Studies "And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him" (Matt. 25.6) INTRO.: A hymn which aplies the thought of this parable to us is "All the Heavens Adore Thee." The text was written and the tune (Wachet Auf or Sleepers Awake) was composed both by Philipp Nicolai, who was born on Aug. 10, 1556, at Mengeringhausen in Waldeck, Germany, where his father, Dieterich Nicolai, was a Lutheran minister. After an early education at Mengeringhausen under Ludwig Helmbold and Joachim von Burgk, in 1575 Philip entered the University of Erfurt and in 1576 went to the University of Wittenberg, where he graduated in 1579. Living for some time at Volkhardinghausen neare Mengeringhausen, he frequently preached for his father. In 1583, he was appointed Lutheran preacher at Herdecke in Westphalia, where his father had been minister earlier, but found many difficulties there and resigned his post. In 1586 he became minister at Niederwildungen near Waldeck, and in 1588 moved to Altwildungen, where he also served as court preacher to the widowed Countess Margaretha of Waldeck and tutor to her son, Count Wilhelm Ernst. In 1596, he became minister at Unna in Westphalia. It is believed that he produced these words there in 1597 during a pestilence of bubonic plague which claimed some 1,400 victims. The song was first published, with the tune, along with two other hymns in the appendix to his devotional work Frewden-Spiegel dess ewigen Lebens, printed at Frankfurt-am-Main in 1599.  In 1601, Nicolai was selected minister of St. Katherine's Church at Hamburg, where he married at age 44 in 1606 and died of a fever two years later on Oct. 26, 1608. It is possible that this hymn is based on the Wachter-Lieder (Watch Songs), a form of lyric poetry popular in the Middle Ages and introduced by Wolfram von Eschenbach (1170-1220). However, while in the Watch Songs the voice of the watchman summons the workers of darkness to flee from discovery, with Nicolai it is a summons to the children of light to awaken to their promised reward. The translation was made by Catherine Winkworth (1829-1878). It was first published in her 1858 Lyra Germanica, Second Series, and revised in 1863 for her Choral Book for England. Several alterations, especially in the third stanza, have been made to Miss Winkworth's original translation, various ones attributed to illiam Cooke, Edward A. Dayman, Philip Pusey, and Frances E. Cox, which appear in the 1872 edition of the 1871 Hymnary. It is possible that the melody is based on the "Silberweisse," c. 1513, by Hans Sachs (1494-1576). The tune was sometimes ascribed to Jacob Praetorius, the music director of the St. Katherine's Church in Hamburg where Nicolai was minister. However, it is now known that Nicolai was the composer and Praetorious only arranged it.    The modern harmonization was made by Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750). It was done for the concluding chorale, "Gloria sei dir gesungen," in his Cantata 140, Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme of 1731, based on this hymn. The hymn has been called "The King of Chorales" (chorale being the name for hymns used in the German Lutheran church of that day). John Julian calls the text, "A beautiful hymn, one of the first rank," and Winterfeld says, that the tune "is the greatest and most solemn melody of evangelical Christendom."  Among hymnbooks published by members of the Lord's church during the twentieth century for use in churches of Christ, the first one in which I have seen the song was the 1963 Christian Hymnal edited by J. Nelson Slater, where only the third stanza is used. The entire song appears in the 1986 Great Songs Revised edited by Forrest M. McCann, the only other book among us that I know of to use it. This is not an easy song to sing. Believe me, I know because we sang it when I was in high school chorus. However, it is an important hymn historically. The message is good and the tune, while difficult, is majestic and inspiring. The song encourages us to wake, to watch, and to worship. I. Stanza 1 is a call to awake "Wake, awake, for night is flying: The watchmen on the heights are crying, 'Awake, Jerusalem, arise!' Midnight's solemn hour is tolling; His chariot wheels are near rolling; He come! O church, lift up thine eyes! Rise up, with willing feet; Go forth, the Bridegroom meet: Hallelujah! Lo, great and small, We answer all; We follow where Thy voice shall call." A. Christians are to awake out of the sleep of darkness: Rom. 13.11-12 B. God's watchman, through the written word, is calling us to be alert: Isa. 52.8, Ezek. 3.17 C. Therefore, like the five wise virgins, we need to be vigilant: Matt. 26.7-13 II. Stanza 2 is a call to prepare "Zion hears the watchmen singing; Her heart with deep delight is springing; She wakes, she rises from her gloom. For her Lord comes down all glorious, In grace arrayed, by truth victorious; Her star is risen, her light is come! Ah, come Thou blessed One, God's own beloved Son, Hallelujah! We haste along, An eager throng, And gladsome join the advent song." A. We need to remember that someday the Lord will come down all glorious: Acts 1.11 B. He who will come is the bridegroom, God's own beloved Son, for whom we wait: Jn. 1.29, Phil. 3.20-21 C. And we must be prepared so that we can join Him in the marriage feast of heaven: Rev. 19.6-9 III. Stanza 3 is a call to praise "Now let all the heavens adore Thee! Let men and angels sing before Thee! All praise belongs to Thee alone! Heaven's gates with pearl are glorious; We there shall join the choir victorious Of angels circling round Thy throne. No mortal eye hath seen, Nor mortal ear hath heard The wonders there; But we rejoice and Thee adore, And sing Thy praise forevermore." A. All the heavens, both men and angels, will adore Christ: Rev. 5.8-14 (the original third line read, "With harp and cymbal's clearest tone," but Christian Hymnal uses a different version to eliminate the reference to instrumental music) B. This will be the primary activity in that eternal city where the gate is made of pearl: Rev. 21.1-21 C. As yet, no mortal eye or ear has experienced this: 1 Cor. 2.9 CONCL.: The latter passage is not talking about heaven, but the language can still be used in this regard to remind us that while we as yet have not been to heaven, it should be our desire, both here and in eternity, to let "All the Heavens Adore Thee."
This from the Palm Beach Post: Three students at Glades Middle School in Miramar were suspended this week and face expulsion after school administrators say they were engaged in inappropriate sexual activity in a classroom. One female and two male seventh-graders may have been involved in sexual activity for several weeks, school district spokesman Keith Bromery said. Two seventh-grade teachers have been reassigned to work away from students while the district investigates, Bromery said. The activity was allegedly going on in their classrooms," Bromery said. "They're responsible for maintaining a certain decorum." He said none of the students are being accused of rape. Other students may have been involved aside from the three suspended - all of whom are about 13 years old. "These three are the perpetrators," Bromery said. Principal Krista Herrera sent a letter home with students Tuesday, assuring parents that students at the school are safe. Reason 524,237 to start your home school today.  I like the quote about the "reassigned pending an investigation" teachers:  "They're responsible for maintaining a certain decorum."  No word yet if these are former "Teacher of the Year" awardees.
The Parable of the Lost Sheep Now the tax collectors and "sinners" were all gathering around to hear him. But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, "This man welcomes sinners and eats with them." Then Jesus told them this parable: "Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Does he not leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, 'Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.' I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent. - Luke 15:1-7  If you are ready to start your home school or just considering homeschooling, then call your friends and neighbors together and say, "rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep."
OK, so my kids have no idea who any on the hottest Hollywood celebrities or pop stars are... no clue.  Ask them and they will just stare at you like you are dumb.  (I've got to work on their manners!) As homeschoolers we get to pick and choose who we want to admire and why.  The media cannot force feed us or our children because we abstain from their influence altogether.  No cable television, no satellite, and only rabbit ears on rare occasions (like when we got a direct hit from Tropical Storm Fey). So on December 7th, we can look at the lives of real people who made a difference... like those brave men who did their duty for family, liberty, and country on December 7, 1941.  Brave men like Cassin Young: CASSIN YOUNG Congressional Medal of Honor Rank and organization: Commander, U.S. Navy. Place and date: Pearl Harbor, 7 December 1941. Born: 6 March 1894, Washington, D.C. Appointed from: Wisconsin. Other Navy award: Navy Cross. "Comdr. Young proceeded to the bridge and later took personal command of the 3-inch antiaircraft gun. When blown overboard by the blast of the forward magazine explosion of the U.S.S. Arizona, to which the U.S.S. Vestal was moored, he swam back to his ship. The entire forward part of the U.S.S. Arizona was a blazing inferno with oil afire on the water between the 2 ships; as a result of several bomb hits, the U.S.S. Vestal was afire in several places, was settling and taking on a list. Despite severe enemy bombing and strafing at the time, and his shocking experience of having been blown overboard, Comdr. Young, with extreme coolness and calmness, moved his ship to an anchorage distant from the U.S.S. Arizona, and subsequently beached the U.S.S. Vestal upon determining that such action was required to save his ship."   U.S.S. Vestal If you are considering homeschooling, consider turning off your TV and reading to your children starting now.  You can read about more of these brave heroes here and here.
Each week Considering Homeschooling recognizes the faithful service of someone getting the message out about private, biblical homeschooling.  This week we recognize "ladyofvirtue" for her blog "Virtual Schooling".  Visit the original on the Large Family Mothering blog.   Virtual Schooling December 2, 2008 by ladyofvirtue I live in a largely blue-collar town. There are no mansions or super affluent people that make up our community. The families that choose to be "traditional", with the daddy as the breadwinner, struggle. Lots of homeschooling families that I know here have had trouble even affording a computer. In a community like ours, virtual schooling where the government sends a family a computer, pays for internet use, and supplies all sorts of glossy, colorful curricula and even science and craft supplies, is just too much of a temptation. When our state first began to offer such programs, I can remember the glowing reports of all of the "goodies" that were sent--it was like Christmas! Everything needed was provided, including scissors and craft paper, and seeds for growing things. Mothers who before had been wringing their hands wondering how they were going to afford the Saxon Math series were now almost care-free. But there was a catch. Someone has said that nothing in life is truly "free". With all of the goodies and the ease of knowing someone else was in charge came a large price. Instead of worries over buying supplies and curricula, now the mothers had a heavy burden placed on them every day. They had to coerce and nag and bite their fingernails over getting the work done that was required--a whole boat-load of extra fact-cramming and busy-work that made it almost impossible for anyone to have a good life, especially for the mother who had even 3-4 children on different levels. Instead of having their lives simplified, they were complicated beyond comprehension, and their children were being harmed in the process and turned into drones who hated anything to do with "learning". The most unfortunate thing of all was that most mothers were convinced that this sort of government-sponsored slavery was what homeschooling was all about! Many who were already feeling overwhelmed about teaching their own children became convinced, after allowing the state to muck with things, that homeschooling was impossible and horrid. So, they gave up. But learning is not a super-complicated thing that only professionals know how to do! Our children were born to us completely helpless--they could not even hold their own heads up! Somehow, with our encouragement, they learned to walk and talk and feed themselves. Children, even in some of the most impoverished conditions, learn to do these things, unless they are ill or haven't any food to eat. Why do children learn these things? Is it because they are constantly nagged, or they have been through the right "programs"? No. Children learn these things because they want to and they need to. The parents are there to facilitate and encourage. Now here is the secret that those who run teaching colleges and publish curricula and make their living on the supposition of universal idiocy do not want you to know: TEACHING CHILDREN IS NOT DFFICULT--THEY ALREADY WANT TO LEARN! I once checked out a magazine published for teachers from the library, thinking I could glean something of value for my own family. An article was written therein about teaching composition to middle-school students. I could not believe the amount of verbage it took--paragraph upon paragraph of evidence and studies and then the methodology that took pages to explain. What a waste! Writing is just an extension of language, another form of communication. When it is taught in this context, it no longer seems mystical or complex. Good writing is learned by reading the good writing of others--with reading aloud, discussion, and application. The same goes for the other subjects. Math is a sort of communication, it is the communication of the Creator to His creation--that there is order and care. Science is best described as the "thinking of God's thoughts after Him". The wonder of this planet and the universe is the only catalyst needed. Once the appetite has been whetted, a parent need only to watch a child take off like a rocket-ship (and be willing to enjoy the adventure). Of course, you can't enjoy the wonderful adventure of discovery with your child if every day is prescribed and written down. The time and energy you would normally have to explore and discover is all taken up by the reading of droll, dumbed-down texts, numerous questions to be answered by rote understanding, canned experiments and the like. Yes, there are times when a little rote learning can be valuable, but not as an all-encompassing program. The teaching of facts should be likened to handing out tools that a skilled craftsman, the child, can use to create and discover further. Rote learning should never become the end, but the means. We should not be so much concerned with turning out children who can win at Trivial Pursuit as much as we should be concerned with raising children who can take the information in any situation, analyze it, and come up with wise conclusions and solutions. I do not write theory here; I myself have seen the proven examples, and not just among my own children. But the public schooling industry, and it is a great part of our economy, does not want you and I to know just how simple teaching and learning really is. Just think of how many meetings and conferences would have to be canceled. Whole political commmitees would have to be disbanded. We would see a lot of educational phd's flipping burgers, and whole educational supply industries woud go belly-up. Besides all of this, those who desire power over our population would be the saddest of all, because people of America would once again, as in the crazy times of our inception, realize just how many choices they have, and would develop the intestinal fortitude to pursue those choices. I personally believe that it would allow Chrisitanity to return once again as the underlying foundation of our Republic, as parents would be allowed to pass on their Judeo-Christain values in a personal way to the next generation. But you won't read this in the leaflets sent out to entice you. They will act as your friend, and say how they understand that you feel unsure and intimidated. But they are not friendly. They only wish to use your own fears to convince you that you can not do it on your own. But, with God's grace and help, YOU CAN!!!!!!
I have never really identified much with my ancestry -- race and nationality are not things that matter much to me.  I am proud of America, or more so its foundation of faith and history of sacrifice for liberty.  (That's different than being proud to be an American, something which I did not choose, but nevertheless choose to remain.)  However, these Ukrainian history markers catch my attention, perhaps because of my Ukrainian ancestry, but more likely because they are fascinating history.  It is a region rich with history, but largely unknown in the west. Posted by Skanderbeg over on RedState: Today In History – 6 December 1240 With all my travel to and around Ukraine, I have indeed made it to Kyiv (that’s the Ukrainian version of “Kiev”). Kyiv is beyond beautiful. Kyiv is majestic. Kyiv began as a Norse outpost. As Viking traders began to make use of a fairly easy route to Constantinople (up the Narva River, a fairly easy portage across modest terrain, and then an easy journey down the Dniepro River to the Black Sea), around 800 they established a fortified post at about the only terrain feature along the Dniepro – some high bluffs along the western bank. Thus was born the city of Kyiv. The local Slavs realized quickly that these Viking traders, whom they called Varangians or Rus, knew what they were doing. Lacking leadership themselves, they came to the traders and made an offer. They offered the lead guy kingship, and the choice of any one of their many excellent-looking princesses to be his queen. With good leadership and a good position along a major trade route, Kyiv grew rapidly in strength, wealth, and importance. In 988, the Kyivan leader Prince Vladimir accepted Christianity from Byzantine missionaries – while one of those missionaries, Cyril, gave the Slavs a written alphabet for their language. Vladimir ordered all his subjects to convert with him; they were all herded along the main boulevard of Kyiv – called to this day “Christening Boulevard” – and into the shallows of the Dniepro for a mass baptism. Kyiv continued to grow and prosper as an eastern outpost of civilization. By the early 13th century, it was the second largest city in Europe – second only to Paris – with a population of 50,000. But all that came to an abrupt end on 6 December 1240. When dawn broke over Kyiv on 6 December 1240, the population was 50,000. By nightfall, the population had been effectively reduced to zero. After a brief siege, the Mongols, led by Genghis Khan’s grandson Batu, broke into the city. The city was quickly pillaged, burned, and demolished. Gone were the 400 churches. Gone were the monasteries. Gone was the legendary “Zoloti Varota,” the famous “Golden Gate” – known musically as “The Great Gate of Kiev.” And gone, mostly, were the 50,000 inhabitants – slaughtered or, for the few survivors, dragged off into slavery. Think you’re having a bad day? Methinks that 6 December 1240 qualifies as the ultimate “bad day.” "OK, I am considering homeschooling... what does this have to do with homeschooling?" you ask.  Well nothing, except... tell me if you learned any of this in public school?!? Oh, the history of the Mongols and Vikings goes much deeper and has far more impact upon what you might consider "relevant" history.  The shape of Christian Europe, your church, and religious practices might be significantly different without these two powerful forces in history.  It's not just Ukraine; try England, France, Germany, and Italy... getting more "relevant"? Dig a little deeper... no dumbed down, politically correct, and State approved textbook is needed. That's the power of homeschooling.
Yellow Star: A cast of homeschooled students and graduates present a story of faith and courage set in France during World War II. It is an inspiring Christmas drama for the whole family. Performed by The Homeschool Dramatic Society, Cookeville, TN. Trailer for Yellow Star DVD   "Maurice Beaumont and his sisters are living in their family’s large old house in a Nazi-occupied French village during World War II. In spite of the Nazi presence, the Beaumonts’ lives are calm and quiet. Things change, however, when they agree to take in several children from Paris who have been sent to the country to avoid the tension and fighting in the city." "Things change even more when four workers in the French Resistance ask the Beaumonts to take in several Jewish children who are being hidden from the Nazis. The Beaumonts recognize the danger to themselves and the children from Paris if they take in the Jews, but they also recognize the danger to the Jewish children if they do not take them in. If they agree, the identity of the Jewish children must be kept a secret from the other villagers and, most importantly, from the Nazis." "The children, the villagers, and the Nazis are all in desperate need of the peace that is found only in Jesus Christ. The star that shone above the Christ Child so long ago to point the way to Him is bright enough to illumine all of their war-torn hearts, but that light will not penetrate their darkness unless they let it shine through." "Traditional French songs and folk dances, as well as original musical numbers and choreography, bring this story to life for the entire family. This play was performed by the Homeschool Dramatic Society on September 11 and 12, 2008 at the Cookeville Drama Center in Cookeville, Tennessee." The production, written and directed by Mary Evelyn Notgrass, is available on DVD from the Notgrass Company. If you are considering homeschooling, realize the wealth of private music, drama, and sports training available to your family.  There is no reason to be beholden to the state for your child's education.
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.
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!
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.
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.  
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.
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.
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
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.
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  
Classic considering homeschooling...  from Considering Homeschooling: 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
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.