Posts Tagged ‘special education’

Homeschooling Conference

Pioneer Pa and I had the pleasurable opportunity, this past weekend, to attend a homeschooling conference in Sioux Falls, SD.  Amid the fabulous speakers and workshops, the fellowship and curriculum vendors, I believe we have finally stumbled across THE SOLUTION to helping our struggling readers (Charles and Grandpa), as well as something that will help our other children take off in this area.

During the SECHE Conference, I attended three out of the four workshops taught by Denise Eide, the founder of Logic of English.  Learning that the spelling rules, phonetics and word roots used in the English language make sense was tremendously helpful too me.  You see, I don’t actually remember how I learned to read… I just did.  I was reading by early kindergarten and by the end of second grade, I had read Laura Ingalls Wilder’s entire Little House series independently.  On the other hand, I am a mother of sons, both who have experienced varying levels of difficulty in learning to read. Charles in particular, deeply struggles in this area of learning.  Not knowing why your child is having such trouble in such a fundamental subject is extremely stressful for parents… not knowing how to help, leaves you feeling helpless to fix the problem.  I was so impressed by the Logic of English in the first session, that I decided to attend Mrs. Eddie’s classes on Soaring, Not Struggling and the Importance of Handwriting.

In a nutshell, the most important things I learned were: English makes sense and teach your kids WHY, intensive systematic phonics, spelling rules and understanding word roots will rescue your struggling readers, and teach cursive handwriting first (if your child already learned manuscript printing, do cursive intensively and make the switch…require cursive on all their work.)  I’m thankful for what I have learned this year at our homeschool conference, and most especially for Denise’s hard work in creating the Logic of English.  I don’t often order curriculum that I’ve never used before at these events, but this program is a complete language arts curriculum for rescuing an older student or adult who is a struggling reader, as well as starting beginning readers off on the right foot. We ordered the Essentials reading program and can’t wait for it to arrive, to begin rescuing Charles’ reading.

Meanwhile with some new tips on teaching penmanship skills, we will run through teaching cursive writing again, beginning with the lower case letters.  After we run through both upper and lower case alphabet letters and the few connector strokes to form words,  we will completely switch to cursive writing in June.

We Are So Excited! Part 1

My middle and youngest brothers

My middle and youngest brothers

There are so many things for our family to be excited about this spring and summer, that it is hard to keep them in order and write about them all.

I guess one of the most exciting events will be  this coming summer. My younger brother, Eric, is getting married to the sweetest gal I’ve ever met, his fiancee, Rachel. (Eric is picture on the right wearing the glasses and standing next to my baby brother, Roy.)  As if a wedding and the resulting family reunion that creates wasn’t exciting enough,  Eric and Rachel will tie the knot on Pioneer Pa and I’s  11th Wedding Anniversary.  It is sure to be a great time for all, including our kids, who will be getting to see their cousins for the first time in 7 years and getting to see their great-grandmothers, whom the older two barely remember and the youngest has never met.

The Original Modern Pioneer Ma... I learned from the best!

The Original Modern Pioneer Ma… I learned from the best!

Traveling to Missouri this summer for Eric and Rachel’s wedding will be our family vacation this year.  It will also be our 1st major homeschooling field trip.  We plan to visit, Independence Square & Courthouse (the gateway of the Oregon, Santa Fe and Mormon Trails), visit the Harry S. Truman Home, Library, the soda fountain where Harry Truman had his 1st job, Bess Truman’s Tea Room, Ft. Osage and the Lexington Civil War Battlefield.  If there is time, we might visit Jamesport, MO (home of the outlaw, Jesse James), a Natural History/Science Museum or a Zoo.

In other news, I’m so pleased and relieved to once again have my income taxes filed for another year.  If you’ve never had to file your farming income along with the regular income taxes for a job in town, this is quite the chores and every year I am thrilled and excited once it is crossed off my to-do list.

Other things I’m happy to have crossed off the to-do list this week: Finding Eggplant purple dress shirts for both Farmer Boys to wear at their uncle’s wedding and finding the perfect yellow & white Easter dress/dress for uncle’s wedding for our Littlest Pioneer Girl (oh and finding a matching pair of  dress shoes to go with it for $1 at the thrift store! Cha-ching!)

Other things of course have been added to the to-do list since though.  My mom and I were assigned to plan the rehearsal dinner/BBQ.  And I was specifically assigned the task of designing, baking and decorating the grooms cake because I am apparently the family guru of special foods needs AND the best cake decorator in the family.

National Cub-Scouting Week

Today marks the end of National Cub-Scouting Week, so I thought I would dedicate my post today to our 2 young Cub-scouts and their accomplishments.homeimprovement 031

Unfortunately, it’s been a couple months since they have attended meetings, between weather issues, meetings that were canceled by their den leaders for various reasons and somebody at home being sick with some sort of illness almost constantly since before Christmas.

But, back in November at our Pack Meeting, Charles participated in the Flag Ceremony and did a very good job of it.  At this meeting, both Charles and Henry also earned their Bobcat Badges… the first of many to come.homeimprovement 036

homeimprovement 039

Henry’s Tiger Den made their $200/scout quota for selling popcorn.  Charles’ Bear Den exceeded the $200/scout quota and averaged about $350/scout.  Charles was a great little salesman and earned $358 in popcorn sales for the Pack.  Both of them did AWESOME!

Both Henry and Charles have been working hard on their bowling skills with their Grandpa Bill in order to earn their belt loop awards for the sport of bowling.

New Frontiers in Education Part 2

(The 1st “Homeschool” many of us remember, reading aloud with grandma. Pictured are Aimee Packard’s sons, Theo and Charles being read to by her mother Patrica Wells)

Welcome back if you are returning to read this sequel to New Frontiers in Education (Part 1- The Why’s of Homeschooling).  If you are a new reader to Modern Pioneer Family and interested in the topic of Homeschooling (or interested in supplementing the education your child is recieving from a public or private school), then we encourage you to read our previous post on this subject.

I asked my dear friend, Aimee Packard, a homeschooling mother of two wonderful boys, to write a guest post for us on my blog about Homeschooling (as a New Frontierr in Education.)  It just happens that Aimee is very passionate about this topic and not only did a fabulous job writing about it, she went above and beyond and wrote 2 guest posts for us to read and consider here on Modern Pioneer Family.

One of the reasons I wanted to cover this topic is that in the Colonial and Pioneering periods in North American (both in the United States and Canada, our northern neighbor), education of the family within the home was a mainstay of our culture.  Even when those homes were represented by a covered wagon for families moving westward, children were being educated.

There still exists in North America today where public schools are so few and far between that parents consider homeschooling a better option than busing their children 40 miles or more one way to the nearest school (that would be the length of the trip if the family drove it, add in the school bus route and you could easily end up with a 2 hour trip one way  or more for students to just to get to school and another 2 hours + to return home.)  If school began at 8:20 am and got out at 3:30 (an average school day most places), this could easily put a kindergartener getting on the bus at 6 am (probably waking up at 5 am) and not  returning home until after 5:30, if they happened to be the kids furthest from the school.  This is a situation my own family has faced at our current public school and when the school district was considering consolidation with the next nearest school which would have added at least another 45 minutes each way, well that would not have been an option we’d have chosen as a family had it materialized.  By the time our boys get home, do their few little farm chores (feeding the dogs, rabbits and chickens and gathering eggs) and eat supper they are too tired or too irritable to really apply themselves to doing any assigned homework.  Thus both their grades and their learning is compromised.  If, I want to keep them caught up to their grade level, I must supplement their education on weekends, school holidays and in the summer.

Another reason I asked Aimee to write these posts, is that my oldest Farmer Boy, Charles is deeply interested in doing  his “schooling” as it was done during the Pioneering Period of American history.  He longs for a one-room schoolhouse and a tiny class consisting mostly of his siblings in which he can get all the personal help he needs to learn.  The larger public school classroom (while it does help with many of his social skills challenges) seems to be too distracting for him to adequetly  learn his most difficult subjects like reading for comprehension and other subject matter heavy in reading skills (social studies, science).  Farmer Boy Charles, has requested to make his sister’s playhouse into a one-room schoolhouse (at least for summer use) until his sister is old enough for playing house with her dolls, which will probably be 2 to 3 years.  The playhouse in question is larger than most storage/garden sheds, approx 10 ft x 14 ft and nearly tall enough for a small loft area to store things. (We already have 2 folding desk-chairs we found 2nd hand for $10 each and there is probably just enough room for 2 1/2 students (baby in a playpen), Ma a small table as teacher-desk, a blackboard and maybe a bookshelf for reading and art materials.  Given we have a busy, sometimes chaotic household with several dogs and other distractions, we are definitely considering using this space as a schoolroom for a time, because both boys are having serious struggles in education and the school doesn’t do the excellent job we would like to see them doing in many of the major core areas.  There is also our decided lack of a Sunday School space in which to do much of their religious education and such learning begs for a “special space” without in which to really study and play WITH GOD. (I have been teaching a curriculum of Sunday School Education called “Godly Play” based on Montessori method for over 10 years.  For info you can check out www.godlyplayfoundation.org & for resources  www.godlyplayresources.com.)

And now that I have gone into some depth about why I asked Aimee to cover the topic of Homeschool (because I felt my own children would benefit from my learning more about it mostly), here is her post for you to consider and ponder in your hearts.

New Frontiers in Education

(Part Two)

The “How-To” of Home Education

by Aimee Packard

*REPEATED Disclaimer:  I am going to discuss how to home school; actually I am going to discuss how to gather information if you want to really research home education for your family, this post really doesn’t talk about the how-to of homeschooling at all, not in a daily schedule or curriculum for a certain grade level sort of way.  However, none of this, or any of my comments should be taken as an attack on parents that choose to use the public school as a tool to educate their children.  This piece will be pro-home education

There are many basic steps to “seriously thinking about homeschooling”.  I will list them out, and talk about them, give you a few options and starting places.  Again, remember entire books are written about this topic, and actually about some of the subtopics; this is a brief concise starting point, how-to get started in seriously considering the option to homeschool or the option to supplement a lackluster education being provided in public schools at home with additional help for struggling students or to cover subject matter NOT covered in local schools.   However I am not going to be put them in a strict order.  I’ll order them for the sake of writing clarity; but the order you choose to approach the steps in doesn’t need to conform to my sequence.  Everyone thinks, takes in data, and processes information differently, that is what makes homeschooling work.  Adults are no different than children – and we all have our own “needs” when approaching a new, or not so new, topic.

Let me say from the start I LOVE my library and I love my librarian and I LOVE that she does Inter-Library-Loan (I.L.L.) for me.  (I love her for many reasons, but her active I.L.L. is on the top of the list).  It is a strict rule of mine I do not buy any homeschooling book – either for my own edification, or to use directly with the kids – with out physically viewing it first.  I have requested so many books I.L.L. (because we have a small local library) and been so glad I did when I did not like them; or after reading the book once did not feel it was worth buying to own.  Get to know your librarian!!!  He or she will be an amazing resource for you now, and especially as you start to educate at home.  Request books you library doesn’t have; check them out, read books before you buy (or decide not to).  There are so many good books out there; search on amazon.com and then go to the library.  You’ll find some you need to own; you find some you don’t read more than a chapter of and some you will be glad you read once, but can always request again later if you want to reread it.

  1. There are many “schools      of thought” on home education; Montessori (http://www.montessori.edu/) ,      Waldorf (http://www.whywaldorfworks.org/),      classical, Charlotte Mason (http://simplycharlottemason.com/      — one of my all-time favorite homeschool websites, by the way),      un-schooling.

We are a classical education family that schools at home: that means our education at home some what resembles the school classroom, with many text books, work books and seat work.  We seek a classical education; one based in great books and a challenging outline (see more here: https://scribinglife.wordpress.com/2010/08/16/classical-education-at-home/ ).  When you start reading, you will find a “theme” that fits your personality and your family, and your faith, and then go from there.  Look at all the books and websites and media available as a big buffet.  It doesn’t hurt to look, even to try a taste.  Take what you want, what works, and leave the rest; but do not be afraid to LOOK,

1.    One free resource is http://www.currclick.com/product/22668/Homeschooling–The-Other-Side-of-Education?it=1  Homeschooling- The Other Side of Education.  It is a much more complete look at what I have been discussing in these two posts.  It is free and a fast easy read.  This e-book is worth the time to cover the basics.

2.    http://classicalacademicpress.com/images/free_resources/20091210_ICE.pdf  is another FREE e-books (about 45 pages if I remember correctly) that give a solid introduction to Classical Education.   It is an excellent resource.  Even if you do not feel drawn to Classical Ed it is a good (FREE) read to start you thinking and asking question about education.

3.    State laws for the State you live in.  Every state has laws that govern home schooling, school attendance and school recording.  LEARN YOUR LAWS.  If you are in a highly regulated state and thus will be expected to do a great deal of reporting and recording, that could realistically affect you schooling choice.  http://www.hslda.org/laws/ is certainly a starting point; just be sure you are aware of what is legally required of you in your home state.  Knowing the laws to which you are required to adhere will help you in making your homeschooling decisions and it also will help you defend your rights to homeschool, if there is ever a problem with your school district, local or state government.  If you know your rights as a homeschooling family, then you will know if educational officials ever try to encroach on those rights.

  1. Network.  Find support.  Most states have yahoo groups.  My locations have live support groups (Park Day and other events are very common).  Make connections, homeschooling can be very lonely; and experienced home education families can be a Godsend to get you up and running and though that first year (or that first year of high school). Join a message board to two; great conservation and tons of experienced parents happy to help you.
  2. Surf the web!!!  There are some great sites (and some real losers too).  Look around, browse.
  3. A good site, not so much how to, or why to: but to show you what tools are out there to help you, to guide you, and to assist you in educating your children, either full time or after school if you decide the education they are currently receiving is not up to muster (and trust me, test scores be damned, it is not) go to your local library and check out (or request on inter-library-loan) 100 Top Picks for Home school Curriculum: Choosing the Right Curriculum and Approach for Your Child’s Learning Style by Cathy Duffy.  The last actual publication was 2005 (I hope there will be a new one soon) but there is up-to-date data on her website.  http://cathyduffyreviews.com/.
  4. http://oldfashionededucation.com/
  5. http://www.homeschooldiner.com/ is a fun site, and not overwhelming.
  6. http://www.welltrainedmind.com/  join the discussion board too – very active.  (I am there)
    1. Finally, most important, is READ, read, read, read…..here are a few suggestions to get you started.  Look them up on amazon.com and look at all the linked books, explore – be a kid again, nothing you look at or read can hurt you.  If you do not like it leave it and go on.  There are many many good books out there, and many great websites.  All you have to do, all you can do, is start reading and educate yourself about your child’s education.
    2. The Well Trained Mind. http://www.amazon.com/The-Well-Trained-Mind-Classical-Education/dp/0393067084/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1333066699&sr=1-1  It is a blue print to home education, both they why (not from a Christian stand point, from and education stand point) and the how.  Read it now, even if you never plan to home school
    3. Honey for a Child’s Heart. http://www.amazon.com/Honey-Childs-Heart-Gladys-Hunt/dp/0310242460/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1333066983&sr=1-1   By Hunt the power of reading with your children, no matter where they do their school work.  The greatest power a parent has is the power of reading.
    4. When Children Love to Learn: A Practical Application of Charlotte Mason’s Philosophy for Today  http://www.amazon.com/When-Children-Love-Learn-Application/dp/1581342594/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1333068776&sr=1-1
    5. Real Learning: Education in the Heart of the Home http://www.amazon.com/Real-Learning-Education-Heart-Home/dp/0971889511/ref=sr_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1333749060&sr=1-3
    6. Finally one I have not yet read; but really want to:  Educating the Whole Hearted Child — Third Edition http://www.amazon.com/Educating-WholeHearted-Child-Third-Edition/dp/1932012958/ref=pd_sim_b_24

Remember if you choose to educate your child fully at home, or to supplement, you are not facing teaching everything a child needs to learn and you have forgotten off the top of your head.  There are books and full curriculums to walk you though it; you are not alone.  There are  many resources out there that are available for free or of little cost, so do not be daunted in your desire to educate at home by advertisements for expensive full-curriculums that all insist they are THE BEST, you can pick and choose from affordable and/or free lesson plans and materials to piece together a curriculum that will suit your child’s needs.

New Frontiers in Education (Part 1)

The post below, New Frontiers in Education (part 1) was written by my dear friend, Aimee Packard.  Aimee is a homeschooling mother of two sons with special needs, who contracts through her local school for Special Ed. services, but otherwise educates her children in the family home.  Aimee also writes a blog about their family’s adventures as they homeschool and raise children of faith. Her blog Scribing Life can be found here a this link http://scribinglife.wordpress.com/.

“THE POWER OF HOME EDUCATION”

(Aimee’s oldest son 5 years old, “Big Brother” drew a butterfly coming out of a crytsalis and descibed it to momma using correct scientific terms . Unfortunately he erased his drawing before Daddy got home from work. )

New Frontiers in Education- Part 1

(The WHY’s of Homeschooling)

Note:  this is PART ONE – where I talk about WHY,

in PART TWO I will talk about how

Disclaimer:  I am going to discuss why TO home school, why it is important, why someday it may be necessary and not a merely an option.  However, none of this, or any of my comments should be taken as an attack on parents that choose to use the public school as a tool to educate their children.  This piece will be pro-home education and will discuss what, to us, are negatives in the public school system.  Nevertheless every family has to make their own choice, as led by God.  I have dear friends who are not Christian; I have dear friends who make use of the public school system.  This is food for thought and is certainly not a judgment on anyone.
In the New Frontier there are going to be many ‘new skills’ that are skills our Great-Grandmothers and their mothers will shake the heads in dismay that we have to learn and that we do not simply do with our mind occupied with prayer or something else of value.  There is a good chance your life, or your daughter’s life, may resemble your Great Grandmother’s mother’s life more than your mothers’.  I pray to be wrong, but the fact is we must be ready.  You and I are going to have to learn to cook from scratch, to cook things we never thought we’d eat (maybe), to can, to sew, and to knit, among other skills.  One thing we simply must do now, and will certainly be forced to in the days to come, even if we do not choose it today, is personally educate our children.  On a mere moment’s notice, if necessary.  Read, think, keep materials on hand (great for a rainy Saturday afternoon or the summer).  Be ready; know what the kids know and what they need to know.

I do not care if your child goes to the best school, with a great teacher, at the end of the day you need to be sure your child is learning the skills and acquiring the wisdom they are going to need.  You need to be fact checking their education, and being sure they are obtaining real time-tested knowledge and the ability to use it, and not merely propaganda set forth by liberal government entities.  You have be in their books, in their assignments, reviewing their class notes.  You have to know what your children are being taught and what they are being exposed to, tested material or not.  When the rubber meets the road, maybe in ways unexpected, grades are not going to help anyone.  The schools and school teachers, no matter how good, have no vested interest in your child or their life beyond the end of the year test score and beyond high school graduation.

God gave us the gift of children on loan my dear friends and we have to answer to Him for their care and the path we put their tiny feet on.  There are many places where the public schools are excellent and many good private schools are an option.  There are many places where that is not the case.  Either way, God is going to ask you, not Timmy’s 3rd grade teacher, about Timmy’s lack of long division skills or his lack of understanding of Seward’s Folly  (if you need to look that up:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alaska_Purchase).

Think about it; let’s talk about it.  Please remember entire books are written about these subjects, so this coverage is going to be brief, at least as brief as I am capable of making it.

It is extremely difficult to compare home school students vs. public school students; at least accurately.  Even if it could be done, it really doesn’t matter as we all know correlation does not prove causation.  So even if you could truly compare the two, as if comparing the ingredients on a cookie package, you could not say beyond a doubt that the benefit of either was caused by the education choice.  Education choices come down to parenting, and good parents assure their children a good education no matter what tools they choose to use.  Nevertheless there is clearly no empirical evidence that homeschooling produces negative results compared to standard institutional schooling.  Homeschooling is an extension of parenting, and if the parenting is good, the homeschooling will be; but good parents are good involved parents to children in public school too.  Parents need to take responsibility for their children, children God has given to them, and the State needs to remember it is NOT the parent and the school needs a strong and constant reminder that they are employed by and function at the pleasure of the parents. If this reminder is in the shape of many children being removed, so be it; if it is the shape of the votes packing the School Board with people of faith, that is another option.

What you and I must remember are our God given roles, our responsibilities to our families, and to our Nation.  Home education can be, though this is not a primary reason for our family, it is something that I think of, an act of preserving the Republic.

As a Nation, we were founded by home educated men; we all have a responsibility to the Nation (under God).  Home education is preparing the next generation to lead, not to follow.  Home educated individuals founded this nation and it may indeed be up to home educated individuals who are called upon to save it.

Consider this: from the 1620’s to the late 1800’s in the United States there was no mandatory public education; for a long time no public school option at all.  Education was parents, older siblings, at the kitchen table and a strong commitment to the best the child could be.  Parents taught their children to walk, to read and to be adults.  Literacy rates in the colonies, (1640 to 1700) particularly in New England, were extremely high relative to those in the Old World; and sadly relative to today. Shipton, New England has a 95% literacy rate. By the middle of the 1700’s nine Colleges / Universities had been founded including Harvard, Yale and William and Mary.  All stressed Classical studies and a Biblical foundation.  Learning to read, learning to acquire and use information, to manipulate language (written and spoken), learning to think… not learning to pass a test.

Freshmen at William and Mary had to “be able to read, write, converse, and debate in Greek”.  The King’s College inNew   Yorkrequired applicants to translate the first ten chapters of the Gospel in to Latin.  Nevertheless Thomas Jefferson, John Adams and James Monroe, all educated at home, of course, entered college at age sixteen.  (page 118 The Right Choice Home Schooling by Klicka).

There are three main elements, as to why we home school; there are other less critical aspects that make home educating ‘even a better deal’ but for us there are three main ‘deal makers”.  Our reason to home school, will not be the same as your reason (or your reasons not to home school).

First being we as parents do not want others (adults or peers) having a strong molding influence on our children, we want to strengthen our children’s values before they are loosed into the world and asked to make their own choices.

Secondly we dislike the public schools and their humanistic, politically correct, worldly view point; that we feel is not merely neutral (which would be acceptable if not desirable), but actually progressive and liberal.

Finally, related to both is the growth my understanding and convictions.  In many cases I truly believe God wants our children at home; and in every case no matter what tools you use, God hold the parents exclusively accountable for the education of the youth He gives them.

I strongly dislike the idea of someone other than myself or my husband or family fundamentally shaping the beliefs my children hold or their point of view about life and the world around them.   This is a statement about the inherent susceptibility of young children to things around them, good and bad alike; young children are sponges. QUOTE:  Young hearts and minds are especially vulnerable, having an amazing ability to absorb large amounts of teaching innocently, naively, without judgment, prejudice or bias.”  The How and why of Home Schooling by Ballmann page 20-21.

A big part of our parental choice to home school has to do with faith, but even more so with our understanding that children, any children are not strong enough (emotionally or spiritually) to be a leader and not a follower at 5, or 7.  Peer pressure and influence is not only for teenagers.

Big Brother came home from a week of Vacation Bible School (15 hours total) with new less-than-desirable phrases added to his vocabulary.  Bullies do not live only in middle schools and high schools either; again, Big Brother came home in tears 2 out of 5 days of VBS.  At VBS, he was in a group of 8 children with an adult and a couple of older youth helpers; what could be expected from him being a peer group of 20 or more with only one adult?

Yes, there will be leaders in Kindergarten – but the question we have had to ask is “if my child is not the leader, where will that leader take my child?”  There will be bullies in Kindergarten- what a choice!!  For our child to be either the bully or be bullied!  Can you honestly expect a 6 year old to walk away from peers making a bad choice, time after time after time?  To do so without then becoming the target of that peer group continually making poor choices?  Proverbs 13:20- He who walks with the wise grows wise, but a companion of fools suffers harm.  One of our most basic parenting principals is that we set our children up to succeed not to fail.   We do not ask of them, or demand of them what they are not capable of.  Children below the age of reason are not capable of consistantly turning away from their peers, so we do not ask our children to do so.

We choose to keep our children at home, where their moral compass can be established and made strong by us, or other adults we personally choose.  At home where their pliable understand of the world can be wrought in accordance with out values and beliefs.  At home where their aptitudes (academic and moral) can be nurtured and supported, refined; where weaknesses can be address and remedied.  At home where they are will not be bullied, or over-looked.  At home where they have all their mental energy and emotional energy available for learning because they are safe and loved and their well is not spent trying to maintain and protect themselves.  At home where they are consistently challenged to excel, encouraged and celebrated.  At home where they are not bombarded by secular humanistic ideas; where they do not have to struggle over what is popular being deemed “right.”

We want our children to grow slowly and to grow strong- to have time to be children.  We do not want them facing moral challenges or struggling with the good and bad in the world when they are at recess.  We want them safe and happy and playing, not worrying about bullies or the greater inequalities of life.  They should be wrestling with each other, not with the moral ambiguities and life’s deeper meaning.  There is time enough for that when God calls them to be a force for change, not while they still struggle to change their shoes alone.  Trees grow slowly and, if bent while young, will always be bent.  We desire our children to be confident in themselves and in the right choices they will have to make as an adult.  I [will] have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth. (3 John 1:4)

Our prayer is that, in the days to come, our children will serve God and be a force for the better in the world at large.  God can use anyone, but how much more successful will the ministry be of a proven and trained worker?  We defeat this goal before we start if we allow the evils of the world to destroy them before they are educated enough, strong enough and mature enough to stand up for the Right and be that force for Good.  To change the world for the better they are going to need a strong and straight moral compass, a rock solid faith and a stalwart education.  The Nation is going to need them, God expects me to have them ready.

I keep telling you God expects you to be accountable for the education of  your children.  Now let’s let Him tell you.  Biblical support for home schooling:

*Psalm 127:3  Sons are a heritage from the LORD, children a reward from him.

*Deuteronomy 6:6-7 These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. 7 Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.

*Deuteronomy 4:9:  Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them slip from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them.

*Jeremiah 10:2  Thus saith the LORD, Learn not the way of the heathen

*Luke 6:40 A student is not above his teacher, but everyone who is fully trained will be like his teacher the beloved teacher –

*Romans 12:2 Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

*Proverbs 13:20 He who walks with the wise grows wise, but a companion of fools suffers harm.

*James 3:15-16 Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, of the devil. 16 For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.

The Right Choice: Home Schooling, by Kennedy is an old book but I like his discussion of Christian children in the schools.  On page 111 to the concept as Christian children in the public schools as “missionaries” or being sent there to be the Light of the Lord in the schools.  This is an often used argument for why Christians SHOULD send their children into the world rather than keep them “separate.”  Kennedy notes that nowhere in the Bible is there a precedent for a youth missionary, not even teens.  The people of the Bible sent out into the world to be a “light” were adults, educated and mature in their faith, people beyond the age of reason and accountability, not at risk of being easily corrupted by the worldview.

Conventional education operates on the philosophy that education is neutral – that it merely conveys fact and that facts do not require a spiritual context.  That sums up my fundamental “problem” with a public school education quite nicely.  We believe that facts, whether scientific, mathematical, historical, or otherwise, can only represent truth if they are taught in the context of a Christian worldview.  We believe there is no neutral standpoint, to try to avoid God is to deny Him.  I accept that the school system as a whole cannot teach a specific set of values, there is no practical way to address the diversity of faiths with in a school.  It would be too much to address the diverse Christian views alone, much less add in Jewish students and others.  That I acknowledge, understand and respect.  The fact that schools cannot teach values; it is inherently impossible.  Values are my responsibility as a parent.  My issue is when the schools deny the Judo-Christian values and choose in their place another set of values to teach.   If values were simply NOT taught that would be another case; and I would frankly feel better placing young children in a school like that, where it is understood and agreed that value education is to take place at home.  I do not think such a school is practical, or realistic, but it is one I could support.

Home education is always a hot topic, and as our great nation faces more and more challenges it is more and more a hot topic.  It is a topic each parent must answer to God for.  Right now there are many choices; but the A great place to start really thinking about your child’s education, if you want to home school or even if you are happy with the public schools, is to make a family Education Mission Statement.  Here is a link to mine: http://scribinglife.wordpress.com/education/family-education-mission-statment/.  Think about what you want your child to look like as an educated adult.  Think about the skills you want them to have, the wisdom you want for them.  Think about how you want this happen, think about what you want to avoid as much as what you do want.  Reality is there may soon be a day when you have no choice but to teach Sally to read at the table in the kitchen, are you ready?  Have you even thought about your education choices in the light of moral questions and the future of our Nation?

Don’t miss Part 2, where I discuss the “How-to” of homeschooling!

God Bless,

Aimee Packard

I hope you enjoyed my friend, Aimee’s article on the reasons WHY home education of children works for many families, the historical significance and the behind-the-scenes information she provides.  And WHY home education will be important in our near future as a nation, whether we choose to fully educate our children at home, or merely fill in the gaping holes in our kids’ edcuation that are left when traditional public/private schools allow many necessary for life skills and faith education fall by the wayside in favor of budget cuts and teaching of political propaganda.

With my own family, I typically homeschool my children during the summer months especially.  Both o catch them up to grade level in areas they are behind and to prevent complaints of boredom.  Both of my Farmer Boys (Charles and Henry) struggle in various areas at school (Charles in math, reading, spelling, self-direction, cooperative group projects and penmanship and Henry in penmanship, attention span, memory skills, direction following, turn taking and math.  Due to our religious circumstances (with a church that is only able to meet once a month and can not meet in the the church building from Nov. to April due to lack of heat… and actually this coming Easter Sunday is THE LAST SUNDAY we will ever be able to meet in our church building, as it is being closed due to the need for too many costly repairs and a great lack of rear ends in the pews), I have been doing my children’s religious education at home, as no Sunday School has been available to them.  Our son Charles was treated very badly by Sunday School teachers in our 2 previous parishes that we attended because of his disability.  The very people who should have loved and accepted him most in the community, his own religious community, instead treated him with abuse and disdain… simply because he was “different”.  This rejection of our child caused us to leave these parishes where we were not accepted as a family.  Withou a “place” to teach Sunday School to our children, we have no other option than to teach it in the home.  Because schools typically neglect areas of life skills these days, like home economics, wood/metal shop, accounting, agricultural education, and enterpenurial skills and because children with autism disorders need extra and very specific education in these areas, we work on teaching such subjects, year-round at home.  Schools no longer teach students things like: learning to grocery shop on a budget, how to plant a garden and grow your own food, how to repair a lawnmower, a car or a piece of furniture and how to run a small business.  Schools would rather teach your child to praise Communism than to read a map, to do advanced algebra  and other “higher mathematics” than to balance a checkbook or the family budget (to be sure our government is not able to do that, so why should students… the government is happy to be borrowing money from foreign countries to write checks it can’t afford and wants to teach students to do the same, to buy on credit then declare bankrupcy.)

Laura Ingalls Wilder and her sisters were homeschooled for much of their education, as was another of my favorite authors, Mark Twain–Modern Ma (Rebecca Hunter)

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