Welcome to Marmee's Pantry

Welcome to Marmee's Pantry

Friday, February 26, 2010

Furniture Oil/Polish

Here's another great find from Homesteadblogger.com's Front Porch courtesy of Lisa Barthuly from http://www.homesteadoriginals.com/.

Furniture Oil/Polish

~Grab an old container, any will do -- Tupperware, canning jar – whatever is handy and has a tight fitting lid. :)

~Fill half full of Olive Oil (I usually only use a half cup or so, as a little truly goes a long way and this is super easy to make up quickly when needed!).

~Add 1 t of Lemon Juice OR (and this is my personal preference) add some Sweet Orange essential oil, or Lemon essential oil–about 5 drops to the Olive Oil.

~Tighten your lid down, shake it up a bit and it’s done.

~Next, take this container and an old cloth and polish the woodwork, furniture, etc.

~Be sure when you are done–the lid goes back on tightly AND you CLEARLY MARK the container “FURNITURE OIL”.

Blessings from Ohio...Kim<><

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Lesson Planner: Teaching Life Skills

I write a recurring column in The Old Schoolhouse magazine called The Lesson Planner. Just in case you missed them, I've decided to post them from time-to-time...Blessings from Ohio...Kim<><
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Teaching Life Skills in our "Real World" Homeschools ~

One of my pet peeves – and I’m sure yours, too – is when someone makes the comment that homeschoolers do not live in the “Real World.” If those people only knew how silly that remark made them look to homeschoolers, I’m sure they wouldn’t make it anymore. However, as I have been a county coordinator here in Ohio for many years I HAVE noticed something. In years past, homeschoolers have been so eager to prove nay-sayers wrong that some of us have concentrated a little too hard on academics. Now don’t get me wrong, homeschoolers must and DO receive a top-notch education, academically…but…I have witnessed a few homeschool grads who made all the grades but couldn’t even boil an egg! How would they function in the everyday world? We didn’t want that for our children.

We are very eclectic homeschoolers, but I have to say that one of our favorite educational methods is the Unit Study. We’ve even written several of our own. But I needed some serious help in gathering information and research for many of the everyday things that come across our lives – things that come up that you never think of. For example: Everyone has been to a funeral, right? But how many people have actually had to plan one? You would be surprise at how few. Unfortunately, my husband and I were forced into this reality one sad day when our oldest child died of SIDS when she was three months old. We were faced with all the hard, must-be-quickly-decided-upon, costly decisions that are involved in funeral arrangements. We were just kids, ourselves. Life – and death – had hit us full-force in our faces and we didn’t want that happening to our children/teens. Life’s decisions aren’t always fun and easy, even though certain life experiences must be lived out to be fully understood, the mystery and scariness can be somewhat abated by knowing what to expect.

Now, we wanted to know, where can we find resources that truly teach about real life?
Let me show you…

Most Unit Studies are made to be used for a week, a month, maybe even a year. And they are great! But I have found two incredible life skills Unit Studies that can take our children through anywhere from four years to seven years! Of course, like all homeschool materials, we are not bound by the books and we also may pick and choose what we will use and when we will use it.

These unit studies have greatly helped me to “wrangle” the teaching and introduction of life skills and needed life knowledge. Having all girls, I will be telling you about two studies made specifically for girls, but please note that there ARE counter-parts for boys!

Enter Far Above Rubies (FAR) written by Lauren and Lynda Coats. (The boy’s version is Blessed is the Man. This can also be used simultaneously with FAR.) This brave endeavor was created to be all you need for FOUR YEARS! All the way through high school. Granted, if you want to dive deeper into upper math or sciences you will need other texts – remember, this unit is about LIFE; not everyone uses calculus in every-day living. Suggestions for higher learning can be found in the FAR Appendix. [Up-date: Since I wrote this article, FAR now comes in a CDRom - as you can see in this photo! This reduces cost & you merely print off what you NEED!]

If you specifically follow their guide, you will travel through 20 units that each cover lessons under the subjects of: Bible and Christian Character, Cultural Studies, Reading and Literature, Composition, Math and Personal Finance, Science, Health and Physical Fitness, Practical Arts (Home Ec in disguise), and Decorative and Performing Arts – all based upon Proverbs 31:10-31 – “A virtuous wife, who can find? Her value is far above rubies…” [KJV]

The authors have written very detailed and descriptive Guidelines beginning with their reasons for writing such a tome, bios of the authors and the philosophies behind FAR; a few being: #1) God created each of us as individuals, #3) Salvation is in the blood of Jesus Christ and in no other, #5) God gave each child to specific parents for a reason, #7) ALL education is religious, #9) Teaching should be done in a natural way, #12) The purpose of teaching and parenting is to work ourselves out of a job (I like that one!).

FAR also covers the four different learning styles and gives us questions to ponder so that WE can better serve our children. They also explain their “Six R’s of Education” – Reading, (w)riting, (a)rithmetic, research, responsibility and righteousness. Be sure to read their suggested instructions for using FAR as there are codes to follow and understand. But, again, these are guidelines and suggestions – I do not advocate becoming a slave to the order of ANY book, text or curriculum. This is YOUR school!

You will find suggestions on record keeping, transcripts and other final records, and Using Credits for Graduation which will come in handy and may give you great peace of mind in keeping orderly accounts of what has been studied in the high school years. Also included are planner pages, goal planning check list, a high school cumulative record and even report card page – all ready to be copied at your convenience. You will also find a beneficial list of materials and suggested items. Most can be found in a local library if you don’t have them in your home library.

Other learning tools the authors suggest is the making and using of Timelines and Mindmapping. Learning to use these aids helps students keep their thoughts contained onto on chart or paper.

Here’s How…

Now, let’s get into some meat, shall we?

Each of the 20 units is not only based on a segment of Proverbs 31:10-31, but is also divided into “Mini-Units.” Here’s what I mean:

Unit 15
Strength and honor are her clothing;
She shall rejoice in time to come.
Prov. 31:25


A quick glance at the unit Overview will lead you to the titles of the mini-units with a brief description. For instance, Unit 15’s mini-units will deal with:
A. Dignity and Strength in all Circumstances
B. The Family Cares for its Own
C. Prophecies of the Future


A slice of each of the above mentioned mini-units will be covered under the earlier mentioned subjects (Bible and Christian Character, etc.). And you will NOT lack for anything to cover! If you decided to try to do all activities suggested, you may even be using this volume for MORE than seven years!

The Dilemma…

Initially, when I imagined the “perfect” unit study to help me teach Life Skills to my daughters, I had in mind something with more hands-on time. FAR is an excellent resource and couldn’t have been better put together…but…it is nearly all research and reading. Very little actual hands-on for what I had in mind. What to do?

Once again, I set out and looked through all of my catalogues, searched the internet and bugged my friends who have a similar educational philosophy. A resource that kept popping up was Training Our Daughters to be Keepers at Home [TOD]. For a little while there was a problem, the first publication of TOD was a multi-volume, EXPENSIVE, resource. As I did some more probing, I discovered that Ann Ward (Smiling Hearts Press) had done an ingenious thing! She had taken ALL of the material from TOD and put it onto a CDRom! This not only knocked down the cost of the product but now, as the user, we can simply copy off the portions that we need/want and create our own Life Skills notebook! What an incredible idea! I, for one, couldn’t have been more grateful!

Now, as FAR is a four-year Life Skills Unit Study, Training Our Daughters is a seven-year Life Skills Unit Study! What FAR is in research, TOD is in hands-on! Mrs. Ward has generously laid out the framework for all seven years, along with the anticipated number of weeks involved in each course of study – each year is about 36 weeks. Again, remember – this is YOUR school, YOUR study and YOUR children – YOU are in charge of how you use this or any other curriculum.

Ann Ward has given a summary of each project by category, unit and year. For instance: Each year covers Godly Womanhood, Sewing, Cooking, Gardening, Knitting and other home arts and is expanded and further explored each year. This can be a great asset to a family who has already mastered some of the categories offered as you can then move on to the level that best challenges your students. Through the years you will also cover such womanly life skills as Care for Children and the Elderly, Care for the Sick and Injured, Hospitality, Card Making, Family Finances, Raising Animals, Soap and Candle-making, Childbearing, Women’s Health Issues and Home Business, among others.

As this Unit Study is SO hands-on, you will find very thorough directions – many with pictures – to teach some of the skills with. So, even if you don’t knit, you may still successfully get your daughter who has always wanted to learn to knit off on the right foot, simply by following the directions!

Let me tell you what we have done…

Our family has combined these two great Unit Studies! And what has come out of it has been large notebooks – one for each of our daughters – FULL of basic and necessary Life Skills. As we have been learning, we have been collecting our information in those notebooks. Our daughters will take these books with them throughout their lives to refer to time and time again. These books contain directions for knitting, cooking (we have added all sorts of great recipes – both those suggested in the study and our own family favorites!), child care, elderly care, funeral arrangements, how to recognize good gem stones, home remedies, basic family medical care, stamping and card making, marriage and courtship…yep, they’re BIG notebooks! But just think of the treasure of skills and knowledge they now have that will even be a benefit to their families.

Teaching life skills is teaching LIFE. It’s multi-generational and so needed.

Honorable Mention…

I can’t let you go without mentioning another valuable resource. How many of you had a mom or grandma who kept a book chock-full of her favorite recipes, cleaning know-how, patterns, family records – Grandma’s “Go To” book?

Martha Greene has put together just such a book! Treasury of Vintage Homekeeping Skills has been put together with Grandma’s Go To Book in mind. If you would like to start the tradition of a Life Skills notebook for your children or teens – boys, too! – this would be a great place to start and then to add to.

Martha has included chapters covering: Homekeeping, Hospitality, Home Duties, First Aid in the Home, Gardening, Cooking & Baking, Reserves for the Family, Handiwork, Business of the Home and Family Records. You can even design your own family crest and family creed!

I was SO excited when I found out about this book! THIS was exactly what I had in mind when we began our own Life Skills notebooks! Martha has done such a great job. You just know that this was a labor of love; a labor of her heart. As it should have been and as YOURS will be.

All Good Things…

Life Skills is such an important lesson to teach our children. It’s an on-going, never-ending School of Life. While academics ARE important, we must not forget to include the things that our children will need their whole lives through. What good are the best academics if they can’t help you change the oil in your car? A well-rounded education makes for a well-rounded person – ready to take life by the horns and hang on for the ride!

Contacts:

~ Far Above Rubies:
http://www.farandblessed.com/FAR.shtml or through TOS contributor, the Urban Homemaker, at http://www.urbanhomemaker.com.
~ Training Our Daughters to be Keepers at Home: Smiling Heart Press, P.O. Box 130, Imbler, OR, 97841 or through the Urban Homemaker.
~ Treasury of Vintage Homekeeping Skills:
http://www.marmeeskitchen.com. ~ Questions? Contact Kim Wolf at: http://marmeespantry.blogspot.com

REVIEW: Miserly Meals

Miserly Meals
Healthy, Tasty Recipes Under $.75 Per Serving
By: Jonni McCoy ~ Bethany House Publishers

Boy, what a timely book for this season of our lives, huh? These days, families need to s-t-r-e-t-c-h those pennies. And homeschool mom, Jonni McCoy of Colorado, is right in there with us!

Unlike other cookbooks I've read, Jonni has included tips on such things as: high-altitude adjustments, basic staples that every well-stocked pantry should have (GREAT for newlyweds or homeschool home ec!), and explanations of the various types of cooking oils. THEN...comes the FUN part! Jonni has VERY EASY, VERY TASTY recipes for everything from appetizers to beverages, soups to sauces and dressings. Plus, at least 16 recipes for every busy mom's favorite kitchen helper: the crockpot!! How about some Crock Lasagna? Serves 8; prep time: 20 minutes! Or Mock Pizza! Whoever thought you could make PIZZA in a crock pot? Serves 6; prep time: 10 minutes! Hungry yet?


Not only does she also cover desserts, main dishes, breads and muffins, but she also includes great information on food storage (length of time and how to store), measuring and weighing foods, and those ALWAYS necessary emergency food substitutions.

So much in a great little book. This would work well in any kitchen...the frugal kitchen, the working mom's kitchen, the new bride's kitchen or the homeschool home ec class.

Blessings from Ohio...Kim<><

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Fighting the Fight, Finishing the Course, Keeping the Faith

2 Timothy 4:7 ~ "I have fought the good fight, I have finsihed the course, I have kept the faith."

During our 16 years of homeschooling, I was often asked, "Just how long are you going to homeschool your girls, anyway?" And then, of course, when I told them that we were going all the way through from Kindergarten to the high school years, I got "that look." You know...the one that says, "YOU are SUCH an odd-ball. How can you stand to be with your kids so much?" That's about the time I had to take a deep breath and say a quick prayer for help & forgiveness all-in-one! How sad that they think being with their children is a burden.

When people don't understand us, they automatically label us. {"Odd, unsocialized & sheltered" comes to mind.} This was especially true of the pioneer homeschoolers who revived this blessed educational option in the early '80's. Don't forget...we were much the same way at one time. What did you think when you first heard of homeschooling? Weren't "those people" a little odd to you? Didn't you wonder how they could teach their kids all they needed to know without that magic, all-powerful teacher's certificate?

It takes a strong person to stand up to the crowd (or the NEA-led public school community). It takes a strong person to say, "The Emperor has no clothes!" It takes a strong person to show grace in a sticky situation...such as when a doubting relative casually edges up to your child with a book in hand to see if the child really knows how to read; or asks your third grader to answer a question about something they didn't even study until their Junior year of high school. Oh yes...it takes a strong person to fight the good fight...with grace.

When our oldest daughter was nearing her high school years of homeschool, I had considered graduating her early, but decided that I wouldn't. I'm convinced that there are other things besides mere academics that need to be studied before our children head out into the world...such as life skills. Not only do homeschooled children need readied for the SATs but they also need to grow in maturity. There is something to be said for good household skills. Even though one daughter wants to be an author & the other is praying about starting a ministry, for the good of their future families they each will still need to be a good wife, housekeeper, cook, mommy, nurse, delegate, banker, book-keeper, teacher...Sometimes, there is more to finishing the course than finishing the course work.

The most important part of home education in our house is encouraging their desire and willingness to love and serve the Lord. I can truly say that "I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in the truth" (3 John 4). In homeschooling, I kept my children home to serve them by giving them a godly education and to nurture and prune them as tender plants until they are strong and mature enough to be transplanted into the soil of the world. The most important part of their education has been training and study in the Word of God. Even if a family member is sick...they can at least read a daily Proverb or a family member may read it to them. If we had a day that was going to be devoted to a field trip...Bible study must be done. Our children must start the day prepared to look at the world through eyes of faith tinted by God's Word. How will they be able to keep the faith if they don't know what that faith consists of or where it comes from?

I have a card hanging by my desk that reads, "A hundred years from now it will not matter what my bank account was, the sort of house I lived in, or what kind of car I drove...But the world may be different because I was important in the life of a child." The Lord has chosen me to teach and influence my children. He has His reasons. And I know that even though I may be odd in the eyes of the world, justification of my educational choice just isn't necessary. I can't make skeptics understand fully why I homeschool...the Lord needs to fight that fight. I can't open up my children's heads and pour in knowledge (although, there are times when I wish I could!)...the Lord needs to run that course with them. Even though I can teach my children Biblical concepts they do still have their own free will...only the Lord can create that mustard seed of faith that grows and blossoms within them.

We live in a world where, as Christians, we seem to constantly be swimming up stream. But God IS with us and has promised to always be there. When my life comes to an end, I want to be able to say, "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith." Not only I, but my children as well.

Blessings from Ohio...Kim<><

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The Simple Woman's Daybook ~ #67 ~ 2/23/10


For Today...

Outside my window...grey skies, drizzle, melting snow...still about 4-6".

I am thinking...of our friends who lost their dog last night. So sad.

I am thankful for...the leaks, from snow damage, in our school/laundry/computer room will be covered by insurance! PTL!!!!

From the kitchen...lunch out today! Still giving supper some thought.

I am wearing...denim skirt, turtleneck sweater w/large multi-colored stripes, charcoal grey tights.

I am remembering…things my daddy told me. I must have dreamt about him last night, I woke up w/him on my mind. Good feelings.

I am going…to have lunch w/my publishers from The Old Schoolhouse magazine, the Suarez's. I'm so excited, I haven't actually seen them for about 3 years!

I am reading...all the many, MANY verses I have underlined & highlighted in my Bible. I WON A NEW BIBLE! And I'm transferring all of my notes & markings to the new one. I'm very visual so I HAVE to do this. lol And it will take...A WHILE! Also, it's leather & I've never had a leather Bible before.

I am hoping...that my mom will somehow be happy again.

On my mind…my adult daughter. It's hard to watch our children learn the hard way.

I am creating...a peaceful home.

I am hearing...the radio.

Noticing that…I'm enjoying the realization that I'm in a different part of the Titus 2 years.

Pondering these words…the TRUTH is not complicated.

Around the house...straightening, cooking, comforting.

One of my favorite things...the raw talent on American Idol. How exciting for them.

A Scripture thought...II Cor. 12:15-16 ~ "So I will very gladly spend for you everything I have & expend myself as well. If I love you more, will you love me less? Be that as it may, I have not been a burden to you. Yet, crafty fellow that I am, I caught you by trickery!" Ya just gotta love Paul!

A few plans for the rest of the week...lunch w/the Suarez's, getting the leaks in the schoolroom fixed, church.

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you...

I just love this photo. It was in one of those e-mails w/all sorts of 'caught-in-time' shots. It just makes me happy.

Blessings from Ohio, Kim Wolf<><

Monday, February 22, 2010

The Biblical Basis for Homeschooling Christian Children ~ Pt. VI ~ The Money Pit/Conclusion

**This is the final entry of a 6-part series ~ although each entry can stand alone, it is best read in order. Please scroll down and begin reading Part 1**

The Money Pit

“Then Jesus said to them, ‘Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s.’ And they were amazed at Him.” (Mark 12:17)
As with all things, someone has to finance the whole endeavor. The social elitists are not going to do it. That burden is left to you and me – the cogs of the system, the pawns in the game; whether we benefit from it or not. And more than likely we will not.

One of the tricks of the trade is to require that all citizens of each and every school district – even if you have no children using that school district – must pay for the (failing) schools. At a local school district meeting that I attended (along with the Superintendent, the School district’s Treasurer, eleven senior citizens and two other school moms), the superintendent proceeded to expound on the need for a coming levy (read: TAXES). After he described how the parking lot needed new black top and parking lines, I asked the Superintendent how much combined money (federal, state and local property taxes) are allotted toward each student in our district. The thirteen residents who attended that meeting with me, while we alone represented the five thousand of our village, were simply astonished to hear that $8,000.00 was the total amount designated! Then the shocking revelation that depending upon whether your child is a special needs child or “merely” a traditional student – only the pittance of three to twenty percent was parsed out to each lucky child. Translated, that is a mere $240.00 to $1,600.00 goes to each child per year out of the $8,000.00. Your tax dollars at work.

Imagine if each homeschool family could spend $8,000.00 on each of their children. While it sounds so lovely and causes the imagination to wander into the area of turning vacations to Europe into extended field trips, a Christian homeschool family would probably turn the bulk of that money away. It would not be good stewardship. Any homeschool family who has homeschooled for more than one or two years will find that they become more and more eclectic. In doing so, any homeschool family who has homeschooled for more than one or two years will tell you that they can very successfully educate multiple children and teens on the tidy sum of five hundred to eight hundred dollars per year. Our household is a shining example of that statistic.

Just as Jesus multiplied the fish and loaves and fed more than five thousand people, so He can multiply the resources in the Christian homeschool. Not every textbook or workbook has to be new, resources from older children can be handed down to younger siblings. The role of the homeschool community is that of Prov. 27:17: “As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.” Families in the homeschool community are the hands and feet of Jesus.

As a writer for The Old Schoolhouse homeschool magazine, and as a speaker, I have the opportunity to meet and speak with many diverse homeschool parents. It is nearly universal that Christian homeschool families take seriously the responsibility to help each other in the Name of Jesus. There are always families who are willing to tutor a child, mothers willing to give up their time once a week to teach a co-op class or to drive a group to a field trip or to a community service project.

The commonality of many homeschool families, other than raising their children as arrows for the Kingdom of God, is that the majority of families live on one income. Because of this, homeschool families are forced to count the cost of choosing to homeschool. Jesus advised us by saying, “Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Will he not first sit down and estimate the cost to see if he has enough money to complete it?” (Luke 14:28) By being watchful of sales and shrewd with the internet, a homeschool family can be very successful in the stewardship of their meager income. It seems to me that the treasurers of the public schools would do well to learn how to spend as wisely as a homeschool family.

CONCLUSION

“Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.” (Proverbs 22:6)
As Christian homeschool parents, the above Scripture is a basic guideline. It points us to God’s attitude, methods, and principles.

“The words train up are not framed as a mere suggestion. They are a command…In the original Hebrew, train up means ‘to touch the palate.’…Hebrew mothers would feed their children by first chewing their own food very carefully and, then, touching a little of it to their child’s palate. With that intimate sharing, the mother would instill in her child a taste for the very same foods she enjoyed…To translate the metaphor educationally: parents are to instill in their children a taste for their own delights by enjoying things together with their children. By working together, studying together, playing together, and simply living the Christian life together, our children develop…a deep inner yearning, an appetite…These tastes will form the basis for their lifetime of joyful obedience to the Lord.”[1]

Gregg Harris goes on to explain that “in the way he should go” describes that the kind of training our children are to get is training in righteousness. No public, government-funded school will allow that. It doesn’t fit the “I’m OK, you’re OK” lie. Unfortunately, when someone lies someone has to be wrong – whether it hurts the feelings of another or not. Hell is far more to worry about than hurt feelings. By understanding that there is a right and a wrong – again, which public schools are loath to teach – it may be the difference between eternal hell and separation from God forever or salvation through a saving knowledge regarding the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ, God’s only Son.

And it seems that this train of thought brings us back to the favorite verse among homeschoolers, Deut. 6:4-7, in reminding us to teach God’s truths as we talk to our children in the home, and as we are walking along the way, and as we lay down at night telling stories, saying prayers and having wonderful bed-time conversation…only to rise up the next morning to start the whole cycle of teaching and demonstrating God’s truths as life is lived.

Homeschooling is a calling of God, for the training up of our children. It is a commandment of God, as we are with our children nearly every hour of the day. It is a revival of God, in that a remnant has been called to breathe fresh wind on a spark and watch it fan into flame across the land. It is the truth of God, in an educational system dying from lies and deceit. It is the tie that binds, when so many in the educational system are trying to divide children from parents. It is a battleground, in the fight for our families and the minds and souls of our children and teens. It is exercising good stewardship as we wisely and frugally use the abundance of resources God has given us to educate our children & teens. It is touching the palate, to taste and see that the Lord is good.[1] Gregg Harris, The Christian Home School (Wolgemuth & Hyatt, Publishers, Inc., 1988), 63, 64

Saturday, February 20, 2010

The Biblical Basis for Homeschooling Christian Children ~ Part V ~ A Battleground for the Minds of Our Children

A Battleground for the Minds of Our Children

“Jesus said to His disciples: ‘Things that cause people to sin are bound to come, but woe to that person through which they come. It would be better for him to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied around his neck than for him to cause one of these little ones to sin. So watch yourselves.’” (Luke 17:1-3)

John Dewey was a very out-spoken prophet for the anti-God public school system. Not only did he not want God entering through the doors of our schools, but God’s absolutes, God’s morals and principles would put a wrench in his plans for our youth. There is no room for the God or anything to do with His kingdom. “Every teacher should realize the dignity of his calling; that he is a social servant set apart for the maintenance of proper social order and the securing of the right social growth…In this way the teacher is always the prophet of the true god and the usherer of the true kingdom of god.”
[1] [emphasis mine] And again, just in case you didn’t understand the first time, he added this for good measure: “Faith in the prayer-hearing God is an unproved and out-moded faith. There is no God and there is no soul…There is no room for fixed, natural law or moral absolutes.”[2]

Oh, but there is more. Horace Mann and John Dewey were certainly not the only ones to take this point of view. They are merely standing at the head of the line of our modern school system. More recently, Paul Blanshard, a writer for The Humanist magazine even hinted that even though America’s arithmetic, science and reading skills are sinking – even while billions of our tax dollars are being poured into the bottomless pit of educational “reform” – that only seems to be part of the plan for him. “Our schools may not teach Johnny to read properly, but the fact that Johnny is in school until he is sixteen tends to lead toward the elimination of religious superstition.”[3]

For anyone who doubts, Blanshard was not the first person to think this way. Adolph Hitler once said, “Let me control the textbooks, and I will control Germany.” And that is exactly what he did. And to make sure, he made private school, parochial school and home education illegal. “Recalcitrant parents were warned that their children would be taken away from them and put in orphanages or other homes unless they enrolled[4] [in the government schools].” (Sound familiar?) But Hitler was certainly ahead of his time. In 1983, John Dunphy, yet again another writer for The Humanist magazine, reiterated that what the public schools are secretly fighting unaware parents for are the minds and immortal souls of their children: “The classroom must and will become an arena of conflict between the old and the new – the rotting corpse of Christianity, together with all its adjacent evils and misery, and the new faith of humanism.”[5]
And let us not forget about this generation’s leader of the pack: The National Education Association. Dr. John Goodland wrote a report for the NEA in which he said, “Our goal is behavioral change. The majority of our youth still hold to the values of their parents and if we do not resocialize them to accept change, our society may decay.”[6] [emphasis mine]

Reading, writing and arithmetic have had to make way and be replaced by a new value system. Values clarification seems to be the order of the day whether parents want it be or not. (Remember the outcome of the Ninth Circuit Court’s decision.)

“Values Clarification.” It has the sound of the educational system desiring nothing more than to help our youngsters get a handle on right and wrong, doesn’t it? Mary Pride, in her book “The Way Home,” is not one known to beat around the bush. She cuts right to the chase as she puts it this way: “…as the public schools are demanding the right to indoctrinate children in values that may be directly contrary to the parents’. Sex education courses are designed to brainwash children into accepting homosexuality and fornication as ‘valid forms of sexual expression.’ Values clarification classes systematically destroy the Biblical concepts of an absolute right and an absolute wrong. One-world government programs in Social Studies are meant to destroy patriotism, while the study of ‘women’s role in today’s society’ is a front for indoctrination in feminism. Economics courses teach socialism; English teachers assign pornography as required reading; even my high-school gym class featured instruction in occult Yoga techniques.”

Even though I graduated from high school in 1977, I can personally verify nearly everything she listed. In my own experience, my Psychology teacher required us to lay on mats hooked up to monitors that measured our bio rhythms. All in the name of progressive learning. Mann and Dewey would have been so proud.
{Continued...}

[1] John Dewey, My Pedagogic Creed (Washington D. C.: Progressive Education Association, 1897), 17
[2] John Dewey, Characters and Etlents, Popular Essays in Social and Political Philosophy, Vol. II (New York: Holt, 1929), 515
[3] Paul Blanshard, “Three Cheers for Our Secular State,” The Humanist, March/April 1976 (A publication of the American Humanist Assoc., based in Amhurst, New York,), 17
[4] William Shirer, Rise and Fall of the Third Reich (New York, Simon and Schester, 1960), 255
[5] John Dunphy, The Humanist, January/February 1983
[6] Dr. John Goodland, Report to the National Education Association: Schooling for the Future (no date given)

Friday, February 19, 2010

The Biblical Basis for Homeschooling Christian Children ~ Part IV ~ Who Owns Our Children?

Who Owns Our Children?

“Sons are a heritage from the LORD, children a reward from Him.”
(Psalm 127:3)


After a mere 160 years of public education – after an accumulation of world history with parents or tutors having been the sole teachers of children – the folly of our choice to let others have reign over the influence and education of our children is coming home to roost in a very big way. In my own experience as the Miami County, Ohio homeschool coordinator for eleven years, I know of many instances of superintendents, and other school district “authorities” actually believing that every child in their district belongs to them, and not the parents. Indeed, this was driven home by the outlandish decision by the 9th Circuit Court’s admonishment and judgment against a concerned family who discovered that their young daughter’s school believed it necessary to conduct interviews of third grade students, asking explicitly sexual questions, greatly disturbing many of the school’s innocent children – without parental consultation or permission. When a Christian father went to the Principal of the school, he found out that his authority over his own daughter stopped when he and his wife let her cross the threshold and walk into their government school. And when that father took his school district to court, this Socialist point of view was confirmed by Ninth Circuit Judge James V. Selna in his June 2, 2005 decision, which reads in part: “[O]nce parents make the choice as to which school their children will attend, ...their fundamental right to control the education of their children is, at the least, substantially diminished. The Constitution does not vest parents with the authority to interfere with a public school’s decision as to how it will provide information to its students or what information it will provide, in its classrooms or otherwise…While parents may have a fundamental right to decide whether to send their child to a public school, they do not have a fundamental right generally to direct how a public school teaches their child. Whether it is the school curriculum, the hours of the school day, school discipline, the timing and content of examinations, the individuals hired to teach at the school, the extracurricular activities offered at the school or…a dress code, these issues of public education are generally ‘committed to the control of state and local authorities.’ ” [emphasis mine]

This judge clearly overstepped his bounds. Or, is he just living up to what has been the plan for the public school system all along? He obviously thought the superintendent had birthed those children his employees were corrupting himself. After all, they were his children, right?
But these are the type of offenses that take place when parents give up their authority and when attendance in the public – government – school arena becomes the unfortunate norm. But it wasn’t always this way. “The function of the parents to control the education of his children has been a Constitutionally recognized right in a long line of cases beginning with Meyer v. Nebraska in 1923. A U.S. Supreme Court decision to protect parents’ rights in education was not necessary prior to 1923 because there were hardly any compulsory attendance laws that required children to attend public school. As soon as compulsory attendance laws were passed, however, the attack on parental liberty began. Education became a state responsibility rather than a traditional parental responsibility. As experience teaches, whenever the state takes responsibility of any private sector, controls always follow.”[1] [emphasis mine]

And as time marches on, parents willingly give their children over to the state to indoctrinate and claim ownership…right under their noses. The state’s children are then fed a steady diet of lies and pseudo education. They are told – on pain of a failing grade and possibly a few lines on their student record, which will follow them for the rest of their lives – that evolution is truth. Not theory. Truth. Those ‘oddities’ who espouse “Creation Science” and “Intelligent Design” are odd, religious bigots. After all, what about separation of church and state? Besides, our universities have perfected their curricula and have spent years, themselves, being trained to train our children. All they want is to teach our children the very best of academics and humanities without any interference of religion or even any agenda of their own…right?

“Horace Mann had a view of education in which the elite must manipulate and conform the masses in order to create an ideal society. The state, not the parents, knows what is best for the children. There is little room left for God in Mann’s philosophy of public education.”[2] But certainly, Mr. Mann was the only one involved in the formation of our public school system to feel this way. Not so fast. John Dewey, who was a signer of the Humanist Manifesto and who was also the first president of the American Humanist Association believed that there was no place in society for Christian values. “This same man applied the principles of the Humanist Manifesto to America’s public school system. Dewey believed that man is not a reflection of God, but that society and education must be ‘socially planned’ by the state.”[3] [emphasis mine]

So now what is it that we find being taught in our public schools? Humanism has become the new non-religious school religion. It is a true religion that can be camouflaged as nothing at all. Or better yet, if some curious parent comes snooping around and asking too many questions they can be patted on the head and sent away with the assurance that their children will come away with a new tolerance and acceptance for the down-trodden; that the “I’m OK, You’re OK” philosophy is just a needed and innocent teaching tool and will become just as accepted as New Math and long division. “Don’t worry, we’re the experts, we went to teacher’s college for this, we know what we’re doing.”

Even though that parent might feel the urging of the Holy Spirit telling them to ask deeper questions, or even more, to get their children out of the public school system, they think it is just their imagination that they felt as if they had just left some sort of spiritual battle ground. But that is exactly what it was.

{Continued...}

[1] Chris Klicka, Home Schooling – The Right Choice! (Loyal Publishing; Sisters, OR, 97759)
[2] Christopher Klicka, Home Schooling – The Right Choice! (Loyal Publishing, Sisters, OR 97759), 82, 83
[3] Ibid

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Blog Button Part 2...

OK...It seems that 1/2 of those who wanted to put my Blog Button on their own blogs were successful & 1/2 were not. Now...thanks to Nannie Dearest of http://acountrymom.blogspot.com/, the problem just might be licked! Be sure to scroll the link as you 'copy'.

Please let me know if this works. Thanks SO MUCH, Nannie, for your patience & skill.

Also...since installing our new virus protection, I am unable to "Follow" some of my new blog friends' blogs. A 'Certificate Error' pops up. If anyone knows how to take care of that, please let me know. I know...I'm helpless & needy & VERY non-techy. So, just hold my hand & we'll be fine. :-)

Blessings from Ohio...Kim<><

The Biblical Basis for Homeschooling Christian Children ~ Part III ~ Who is Teaching Whom?

Who is Teaching Whom?

God’s Word says,
“Do not be deceived: Bad company corrupts good morals.” (I Cor. 15:33)

Job reminded us that…
“God is exalted in His power, Who is a teacher like Him?” (Job 36:22)

In light of Luke 6:40, mentioned earlier, since a student will be like his teacher (and peers), no parent, having truly looked at how immersed in anti-Christian training that schools are, could send their children purposely to be trained by the enemy. Once more we watch as the neighborhood children are bussed off and away. So many parents stand by willingly and let that huge, yellow monster come by and gobble up their children. Do they come home unscathed? Or are they “socialized” to their betterment? Let us take a look at the public school ‘socialization’ that those who do not understand (or condone) homeschooling think our children are missing…

Even as far back as a study done in 1985, by the National Education Association, no less, declares that “Students…abuse other students, both directly and by damaging the school facilities. It’s estimated that every month some 282,000 people are physically attacked in schools, most of them students. In addition, $600 million are spent each year to repair vandalism.”[1] Yes, I am sure anyone can plainly see how that kind of socialization would be of great benefit to any Christian child. Don't you? The younger, the better!

Yes, this is just the environment we so willingly send our precious little five year olds and teens into. After that big yellow monster regurgitates them onto the school driveway, they are then hurried into the school building where absolutely nothing will resemble any other social or work situation of their lives. Unless, of course, you are living in a Socialist nation.

This is where individuality, uniqueness, free thinking and any bud of leadership dies. From here, the children are shown their classroom where everyone is the same age – give or take a few months. Everything is provided for them by the all-knowing, all-powerful teacher at the front of the classroom. Once class has been called to order, the teacher will then have all the children who brought their brand new, brightly colored school supplies to the front of the class and lay them on the teacher’s desk; the teacher will then inform them that those items – that their parents bought with their own money, for their own children – now belong to the whole class. Their personal school supplies have now become community property.

Homeschool parents do not want their children or teens to follow the mold of the institution. Children who enter school full of excitement and eager to learn soon find their excitement and eagerness are squelched. In the false environment of the public school, students must stay on the track that the teacher leads them on, they are a cog in the system, and there is no room for the individual. And, most certainly, there is no room for God.

On August 12, 2008 a Federal Judge in California made a most tyrannical decision. This judge took it upon himself to conclude that the University of California system was right in denying Christian students who were taught from texts from such well-known, well respected, highly researched Christian publishers as Bob Jones University and A Beka – to name only two – will not be accepted by any campus in the University of California system[2]. Concluding that the university was correct in rejecting students who had graduated after having been taught using Christian-based curriculum - whether they attended a homeschool or private school - the judge said, “Defendants [the University of California system] necessarily facilitate some viewpoints over others in judging the excellence of those students applying to UC[3].” A witness cited by the judge displayed his intolerance by testifying that the Bob Jones History book, United States History for Christian Schools, "instructs that the Bible is the unerring source for analysis of historical events, attributes historical events to divine providence rather than analyzing human action, evaluates historical figures and their contributions based on their religious motivations or lack thereof and contains inadequate treatment of … non-Christian religious groups."[4] This judge, and those representing the University of California system display by their own words, ignorance and actions that a mind is a terrible thing to waste.

And these are the leaders that have come from our secular school and university systems. These are the people who are influencing the minds of our future leaders. Our system of public learning – public school and college levels – have done a marvelous job in evacuating God from their hallowed halls. Johnny can’t read, but he still gets pushed through the system. A system where the leaders of tomorrow do not know the Word of God, have not been taught of morality, but have been taught that what is bad is good and what is good is bad. We were warned of this:
“There is no fear of God before their eyes.” (Ps. 36:1 and Romans 3:18)

Homeschool parents understand that…
“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline.” (Prov. 1:7)

Homeschool parents want their children to be dependent upon God, because of their choice to accept salvation through the death, burial and resurrection of God’s Son, Jesus Christ. They want their children to be literate in God’s Word, the Bible. They want their children to grow into men and women who have been influenced – read: socialized – by their relationship with the LORD. This relationship, and that of spending many hours under the tutelage and godly authority of their parents, will give this world the godly leaders of tomorrow. Those who will be of influence at the city gate.
{Continued...}

[1] Gregg Harris, The Christian Home School, (Wolgemuth & Hyatt, Publishers, Inc., 1988), 23
[2] Bart Carney, Association of Christian Schools International, 2008
[3] U.S. District Judge S. James Otero, Central District of California Ruling,2008 (Los Angeles, CA)
[4] Ibid

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The Biblical Basis for Homeschooling Christian Children ~ Part II ~ Homeschooling: A Revival

Homeschooling: A Revival

“He decreed statutes…He commanded our forefathers to teach their children, so
the next generation would know them, even the children yet to be born, and they in turn would tell their children. Then they would put their trust in God and would not forget His deeds but would keep His commands.” (Psalm 78:5-7)

Many homeschool parents look upon the rising numbers of homeschoolers in the United States as a revival. A revival of godly families raising up their children for the future…to be godly parents themselves and to be the leaders of the future. Homeschool parents are picking up the baton of godly education that those before them dropped. And when the baton was dropped in this country (in the 1840’s when the first Government-funded public schools opened their doors
[1]) it slowly started to roll…away. It picked up speed in the 1960s when prayer was taken out of public schools[2], a little faster in the 1970s when authority was taken away from teachers and principals to discipline students[3]. And faster and faster through the 1990s and the beginning of the twenty-first century when immorality and violence have become so rampant in our public schools that parents must wonder if they will ever see their children again after they walk out the front door to school.

It will take a revival to reverse these trends. Trends set by those of influence in the public school leadership who think little children who, having been influenced by the love and care of their mothers, are “sick” because they hold godly values. Harvard Professor Dr. Chester M. Pierce of The Association For Childhood Education International, boldly displayed his disgust of traditional values and families when he admonished teachers in saying: “Every child in America entering school at the age of five is mentally ill because he comes to school with certain allegiances toward…his parents, toward a belief in a supernatural being…It’s up to you teachers to make all of these sick children well by creating the international children of the future
[4].”

Homeschoolers understand this undermining of God’s plan for the Christian family. Not only are they building their children’s education on the foundation of God’s commands (Deut. 6:4-7, see Part I), but they are creating and cultivating a Biblical mind-set in their children. As Chris Klicka says in his book, Home Schooling – The Right Choice, “[H]ome schooling parents, aware of the anti-God curriculum and complete lack of absolute values in the public schools, cannot sacrifice their children to such a system
[5].”

Because of the command of God in Deut. 6:4-7, how can we not see that God requires truth be taught to our children…by the parents. We know that God specifically says that, regarding His commandments (or “words” in the NASV), parents are to talk of them all through the day: sitting at home…walking along the road…when we lie down and when we get up. How can parents do that if they are separated from their children and teens a minimum of six to eight hours a day, five days a week? That doesn’t even include time spent on the bus. Parents are sending their children to a place that does not teach God’s thoughts, but man’s thoughts, for 35 hours a week. Can any thinking, rational parent conclude that all will be cured with a mere one or two hours in church on Sunday morning to turn the tide of bombardment of daily indoctrination of evolutionary theory (taught as fact, of course), of negative peer pressure, of the outlawing of the mention of God – how much more the Name of Jesus? But, our culture and society has certainly shown us that, yes, so many parents are simply conditioned by our culture to believe it.

{Continued...}

[1] Christopher Klicka, Home Schooling – The Right Choice! (Loyal Publishing, 1995), 82
[2] Ibid
[3] Ibid
[4] Dr. Chester M Pierce, a written address delivered to over 2,000 teachers in Denver, CO; see Schooling Choices, (Portland, OR: Multnomah, 1988), 131.
[5] Christopher Klicka, Home Schooling – The Right Choice!, (Loyal Publishing, 1995), 109

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The Biblical Basis for Homeschooling Christian Children ~ Part I ~ The Homeschool Verse

In September of 2008, I graduated from Thomas Bilney Theological Seminary w/an Associate's Degree in Biblical Studies. I've decided to share my Thesis w/you in the next few posts. I hope you enjoy it & are edified. And I hope that those of you who homeschool are encouraged to carry on, those of you who are considering it are motivated & those of you who wonder about those of us who homeschool have many of your questions answered. Blessings from Ohio...Kim<><

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Walk into a room with a group of strangers and one of the first questions someone will ask you is, “What do you do for a living? What is your job?” Ordinarily, this refers to one’s vocation. In the life of a homeschool family, particularly the homeschool where Mother is usually the primary teacher, it encompasses far more than vocation. It is a way of life.

It is fulfilling the command of God for Christian parents to be the principle teachers and protectors of our children. It is making one’s home, a Christ-centered home, one’s never-ending school of life.

The Homeschool Verse
“Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. Love the LORD your
God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These
commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. 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.” (Deut. 6:4-7)

Here is the mandate that most Christian homeschoolers build their foundation upon. This verse is uniquely important to Christian homeschool parents and families as it reminds parents that God has specifically given them the responsibility of impressing God’s teachings and His commands upon the hearts of our children – HIS children. Not a stranger in the building down the street, not Grandma and Grandpa, not even their Sunday School teacher or their pastor.

There is something special, something lovely and spiritual about the bond between parents and their children. God has instilled this relationship of love and intimacy between parents and children, particularly Christian parents and children, because, from the beginning, He expects parents and children to spend large amounts of the day with each other. This is as it was meant to be. What better way to spend the day then with those that you love? Who better for a child to learn from than someone who loves them like no other and wants the very best for them?

As the numbers of homeschoolers grow it is more and more apparent that a growing number of Christian parents are coming to this realization as well. Jesus said,

“A student is not above his teacher, but everyone who is fully trained will be like
his teacher.” (Luke 6:40)

Mike Farris, of Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA), put it this way, “Your children will become the disciples of the person with whom they spend the majority of their time and from whom they receive instruction. If they spend the majority of their time with their peers, they will become disciples of their peers. We call it peer pressure. Should we be surprised when a substantial number of children from solid, believing Christian homes reject their parents’ faith and embrace the life styles and philosophy of the people by whom they have been discipled?” [emphasis mine]


Parents, not the state, are solely responsible under God for the education their children participate in and learn from. They either take responsibility or relinquish it to someone else; they choose who it is who surrounds their children, who influences their speech, their mannerisms, their worldview, their relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. The justification I hear so many well-meaning, but misguided, Christian parents use while sending their children off to the lion’s den of public school, is that they want their children to be witnesses for Christ. They trust that their five year old darling or hormonal teen is mature enough in his faith and understanding of Scripture that he can defend the faith and evangelize his classmates without either falling prey to their influence or being sent to detention by the teacher for using language that is banned in the classroom and playground. Usually, the Name of Jesus Christ while not being used as a curse.

One must then remind those parents that there is no place in Scripture where God either delegates the responsibility to teach Christian children to the state or where God tells someone to send their children out to evangelize among the pagans. That task is left to mature adult Christians.

Now, someone may say, “What about Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego?” Turning to the Bible we read,

“Then the king ordered Ashpenaz, chief of his court officials, to bring in some of the Israelites from the royal family and the nobility…He was to teach them the language and literature of the Babylonians.” (Daniel 1:3 and 4b) [emphasis mine]

First, they were captives in a foreign land. They had no choice but to obey the pagans who had captured them…at least, for a while. Secondly, by God’s grace they had come from a godly home and obviously had been “homeschooled” in the Scriptures before their captivity. They were forced by that foreign government to learn the ways of the culture. But, the third detail we find is that their childhood training gave them the godly foundation to stand upon as young men. Because they were trained by their parents who had impressed God’s commands upon their hearts, and because of their faithfulness to God due to that foundation laid by their parents, God was faithful to them and caused the hearts of many to be turned to Himself…including the king.


{Continued...}

Monday, February 15, 2010

The Simple Woman's Daybook ~#66~ 2/15/10


For Today...

Outside my window...Snow, snow & more snow...again. 6"-8" more expected.

I am thinking...that I hope it won't be too dangerous of a drive to pick up DD#2 from work this afternoon. The 20 minutes drive took about 30 this morning & the snow was JUST starting! It may be a 45 minute drive by the looks of things.

I am thankful for...an extra day w/my Sweetheart!

From the kitchen...lazagna & salad for supper. An on-going pot of Vanilla Biscotti coffee! A loaf of flaxseed bread almost ready to come out of the oven. Maybe some sugar cookies, later. Cold, snowy weather makes want to bake!

I am wearing...jeans, brown & antique gold hoodie & warm socks. (My Monday hoodie 'uniform'.) :-)

I am remembering…childhood snow games.

I am going…to the farm stores tomorrow...hopefully...I'm HOPING the country roads will be clear enough by then.

I am reading...I saw that the movie "The Jane Austin Book Club" was on last night. Made me want to say "eenie, meenie, minee, mo" & read one of her books. Hmmm...which one...which one...?

I am hoping...for some plans to come together.

On my mind…my mom, bills, a great job for DH.

I am creating...a peaceful home.

I am hearing...the radio & my DH laughing at something someone said. I love his laugh!

Noticing that…I am blessed.

Pondering these words…"God's plan for marriage is permanance. As the Bride of Christ, I'm counting on that b/c He IS returning for His Bride!" ~~From Sunday's sermon.

Around the house...Cleaning, laundry, baking, picking up DD#2 from work...Monday's list.

One of my favorite things...animal tracks in the snow.

A Scripture thought...II Cor. 11:6(a) ~ "I may not be a trained speaker, but I do have knowledge."

A few plans for the rest of the week...keeping the family on track, taking DD#2 to/from work; since my Sunday School finished our book we will all bring a few goodies, have a time of fellowship & then pray for our church & one another. What a great way to end a Sunday School quarter!

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you...
This is my Daddy when he was a little boy (c. 1932). Isn't he a cutie? I always thought it was interesting that one of those guys came around to a farm w/a pony & a cowboy outfit, even though so many in the area already had horses & ponies. Oh well...it worked. '-)

Blessings from Ohio, Kim Wolf<><

Now THAT'S an Icicle!!

Sometimes, those old homeschool juices just keep flowing no matter whether you've graduated all of your kids or not! The Lord has such a great sense of humor & I find that He often lends His humor to the field of Science. EX: The myth of man-made Global Warming...but I digress...

Today's lesson, boys & girls, is "Let's See If That Icicle Will Touch the Ground Before It Breaks." And voi la! IT DID!

Above...I'm 5'7" tall so this gives you an idea of how tall & thick it is (or was, possibly, by the time your see this). Below...the proof! It's on the ground.

Yes...like I have always told my girls...It's the little things in life that bring the most joy.

Blessings from Ohio...Kim <><

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