A beautiful article from my friend David d’Escoto at World Net Daily today:
Back in the ’90s there arose a short-lived trend among professing Christians of wearing bracelets that displayed the capital letters “WWJD” (What Would Jesus Do). This new fad caused people to talk about Jesus Christ and how Christians should actually try to model Jesus in all areas of their lives.
The Bible teaches us, “Whoever says he abides in him [Jesus] ought to walk in the same way in which He walked” (1 John 2:6), and “Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ” (1 Corinthians 11:1). Sixteenth-century pastor John Calvin referred to Jesus as the “Grand Model” for all Christians to follow and learn from. Jesus modeled so much for us during his earthly ministry. For example, He modeled how to pray, how to handle temptation, how to speak the truth in love, how to stand against evil, and how to really train and disciple others.
Christian parents should look at Jesus’ life as the perfect example of how parents should train, teach and love their own little disciples – their children. It is interesting to note that Jesus, on occasion, publicly called His disciples “children” (Mark 10:24). Eighteenth-century Bible commentator John Gill noted “it was common with the Jews to call [their] disciples … ‘children.’” When reading the gospels we get an intimate view of how Jesus discipled and loved His own “children.”
Click here to read the rest: http://www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=340277
You’ll be glad you did!
How does Jesus’ example in teaching His disciples affect how you educate your children? Please share your thoughts by leaving a comment!
By His Grace,
What’s the most annoying question anyone has ever asked you about homeschooling? Chances are, this one is right up there–
Do they let you do that?”
Seriously? Are these children that I carried, birthed, and nursed theirs? Or, how about this one–
Is that legal?”
No. And thanks for asking, by the way. I was hoping you’d turn me in.
Okay, so maybe we’re finally at a point in this country where most homeschoolers don’t have to worry about nosy neighbors calling the truancy officer, but there are still laws that homeschooling families are obligated to comply with. Yes, homeschooling is legal in all 50 states, but each state has it’s own laws in regards to education. Everything from compulsory attendance ages to curriculum requirements to recorded keeping rules are different from state to state.
So where do you go to find out what’s what?
Well, you have a few choices.
You could contact your state’s educational authority, department of public instruction, or local school district, but I don’t recommend it. Why not? Because state and local authorities are often ignorant or even intentionally misleading about what is actually required by law. While I want to be careful to not paint with a broad brush, many homeschoolers have found public school officials to be mistrusting of and hostile toward homeschooling families. It’s hard to get quality, accurate information about homeschooling laws from someone who’d like to see your kids enrolled in a government school.
Another option would be to contact a nation-wide homeschool advocacy group. There are a couple of these out there, and they can be very helpful. Often, though, you really want (or need) to talk to someone who is an expert in homeschooling in your state.
This is why I love my state’s homeschool advocacy organization. Why, just this week I was able to look up how a recent change in Wisconsin’s kindergarten law would affect my 5 year old, and when my electronic homeschool enrollment report is due. You should find yours, so you can love them, too.
But where do I look? And who do I trust? A quick internet search might turn up dozens of sites, and who knows which ones are actually run by a legitimate homeschool advocacy group, and which ones are just trying to sell you something.
And then, I had an idea…
This blog has readers from all over the country. What if we were to come up with a “master list” of reputable state homeschool advocacy groups? We could, together, create a fantastic resource for new homeschooling families who aren’t sure where to start.
Wanna help? (Would you, please?)
Leave a comment below including a link, contact information, or both for your state (or perhaps, a state you used to live in) homeschool advocacy organization(s). Please only leave links to real, legitimate homeschool advocacy groups (NO SPAM) that you are personally familiar with.
I’ll go first. Scroll waaaay down to the bottom and look for “Wisconsin”.
As more information is shared, I will update the list. I hope it will be a blessing to many families for a long time to come.
District of Columbia
Georgia home Educator Association (GHEA) – Christian Organization (They provide downloadable forms that do not include the spaces for the information that the state form TRIES to collect from you that you are not legally required to provide.)
258 Sandy Lake Cir.
Fayetteville, GA 30214
Telephone: (770) 461-3657
Fax: (501) 638-5264
Home Education Information Resource (HEIR) – Non partisan and Non sectarian
http://www.heir.org/ (website only, no other contact information at this time)
Illinois Christian Home Educators (ICHE)
Mailing Address: ICHE P.O. Box 307 Russell, IL 60075-0307
email: fill out form on the “contact” page of their website
Illinois Homeschool PAC
email: fill out form on the “contact” page of their website
Indiana Association of Home Educators (IAHE)
PO Box 217
Stilesville, IN 46180
NICHE – Network of Iowa Christian Home Educators.
WRITE to NICHE at:
Dexter, IA 50070
CALL the NICHE Voice Mail at:
(800) 723-0438 (in Iowa)
(515) 830-1614 (all other areas)
Midwest Parent Educators:
Mailing Address: Box 14391, Lenexa, KS 66285-4391
Office Phone: (913) 599-0311
(Primarily for Kansas but information regarding activities in Kansas City on both sides of the state line.)
Christian Home Educators of Kentucky (CHEK)
mailing address: PO Box 1288, Bardstown, KY 40004-1288
P.O. Box 32308
Fridley, MN 55432
Greater Minnesota (toll free): 1-866-717-9070
Missouri (see Kansas)
Oregon Christian Home Educators Network (OCEAN)
Mailing Address: 17985 Falls City Rd, Dallas, OR 97338
Phone: (503) 288-1285
Texas Homeschool Coalition (THSC)
mailing address: THSC, PO Box 6747, Lubbock, TX 79493
phone: (806) 744-4441
fax: (806) 744-4446
Home Educators Association of Virginia (HEAV)
P.O. Box 6745
2248-G Dabney Road
Richmond, Virginia 23230
The Organization of Virginia Homeschoolers
PO Box 5131
Charlottesville, VA 22905
Homeschool Helpline: (866) 513-6173
Wisconsin Parent’s Association:
–Call the WPA Voice Mail at 608-283-3131 and leave a message. A WPA representative will return your call.
Wisconsin-CHEA (Christian Home Educators Association)
–email: use the email button on the “contact” page
This week is my homeschool planning week.
Planning the year is probably my least-favorite part of homeschooling. There are, of course, ways to avoid this. Some people buy a “school in a box” type kit, some folks follow someone else’s pre-written curriculum schedule, and still others ditch the schedule completely and “wing it”.
None of these options suit me well. I’m way too opinionated to follow anyone else’s plans exactly, and way too distractable by nature to leave it all to chance.
With all my children still being on the “little” side (my two “school-aged” children are 7 and 5), I’ve never before felt the need to plan the entire year in advance. This year, however, I’ve decided that I really need to give myself a better idea of what I’m doing and when. I want to make sure that I have planned adequate time for everything I’d like to accomplish this year. I also want to make sure that, in my over-achieving zeal, I do not bite off more than I (or my little ones) can chew.
Just a couple days ago, the weight of this task was weighing heavily upon me. We had just finished with the Bible Bee–our major project for the summer–and rather than feeling up for the challenge of calendars and assignment charts, I was feeling…well…just a little bit panicky.
But then God, in His infinite wisdom, allowed me to spend yesterday afternoon and much of the evening with her.
She’s a friend whose children are older than mine–who has been homeschooling for longer than I have–who has used much of the curriculum that I am using and shares a like-minded philosophy of education.
She took out her planner and showed me everything.
And suddenly, like a cool breeze that comes off the lake and fills your lungs on a hot and humid day, planning my school year didn’t feel that overwhelming anymore.
Friends, do you have a wise woman like this in your life? Do you have someone you can turn to when you’re not sure what to do next–when the task ahead seems like more than you can handle?
Without counsel plans fail, but with many advisers they succeed.” Proverbs 15:22
Who can give you wise counsel today? Will you ask her?
(From the archives…)
When I was just beginning homeschooling my oldest child, a wise, experienced homeschooling mom told me this:
Homeschooling in the early years is mostly reading out loud and playing outside. Everything else can be accomplished in less than 30 minutes a day.”
At first, this might seem counter-intuitive. Most of us were raised to think that sitting in a desk, listening to a teacher talk, is the only legitimate way to learn anything. We might think that we need expensive curriculum and elaborate lesson plans to really educate our children.
Last week, I talked about how, with a back-yard, a library card, and some writing materials, we can turn outdoor play into simple nature study with little ones.
This week, we’ll dip our toes into the fascinating waters of reading out loud to our children.
Honestly, this is my favorite part of homeschooling. I love to curl up on the couch, surrounded by little people and a stack of good books! I remember the summer after my daughter (baby #2) was born. My son was barely two, and the only room in the house that was air conditioned was the master bedroom. I spent most of that summer sitting in my bed, nursing my baby girl, and reading books to my son. Those days were so special to all three of us! Today, at 6 and 4 years old, their love of reading continues to blossom.
Reading out loud isn’t very hard, but sometimes, finding good books can be challenging. I am often reminded of King Solomon’s warning:
Of making many books there is no end…”
This is notably true of children’s books. Most of the books being marketed to preschoolers these days are what Charlotte Mason called “Twaddle”–marshmallow fluff silliness, without much depth or texture. Pull ten random books off the shelves in the children’s section of the library, and nine of them will be twaddle. We, as home educators, want something completely different. We want living books–high quality works of literature, that expose our children to worthy ideas, and grow them in thoughtfulness and creativity.
So, how do you find the good stuff? Here are a few resources that I’ve found helpful. As a disclaimer, I must say that I haven’t read every book mentioned in each of these resources. At times, there are books that I personally would not use with my children. So, don’t take my word for it–look at the books for yourself before deciding to read them to your kids.
- Ambleside Online Year 0 Book List –This is by far my favorite book list for preschool and Kindergarten. The folks at Ambleside Online share Charlotte Mason’s philosophy of education, and have come up with a pretty impressive twaddle-free book list for young children. These are classic favorites, with truly interesting stories and well-done, engaging illustrations.
- Picture Book Preschool by Sherry Diane Early– This fun little book is a great way to get started with homeschooling preschoolers! It contains a weekly list of 5-7 quality picture books, centered around a theme, with one or two simple activities to complete the “lesson plan”. If you’re a creative type who wants to do more with your books than “just read”, you’ll really enjoy this one!
- Honey for a Child’s Heart by Gladys Hunt– This book is thicker and more comprehensive, but a thrifty buy. It contains many different lists of books, from a baby’s first board books, all the way through various novels for young teens. While I sometimes disagreed with the author about which books ought be included and which should not (for example, she includes Harry Potter while ignoring The Boxcar Children), this is still a great resource. You may even be able to find it at your local library.
- Books Children Love: A Guide to the Best Children’s Literature by Elizabeth Wilson– Another fantastic, Charlotte Mason based booklist. Books are grouped into categories such as animals, biography, history, and poetry, not merely by age groups. This is a resources you’ll continue to come back to throughout your homeschooling years!
Remember, you don’t need to purchase a lot of books for your little ones right away. Most of the books on all of these lists are easily obtained at the library. As you find books that become true family favorite, you can slowly add to your home library as the funds become available. Living books make great gift ideas for grandparents, aunts, and uncles, too!
What about you? What are your favorite resources for finding quality books for your little ones? Please, leave a comment and share your ideas!