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This discussion group meets monthly to encourage area homeschool parents in their quest to provide the best possible education for their children.
This discussion group meets monthly to encourage area homeschool parents in their quest to provide the best possible education for their children.
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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.
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."
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.
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