Sometimes home is just across the border: a few thoughts on homeschooling…

IMG_0069In response to an inquiry one Thursday  afternoon, the leader of a  Statewide Homeschooling Organization asked me the following, and I now ask you, dear Reader:

What do you believe solid support for homeschooling would look like where Statewide Homeschool Organizations are concerned? (SHOs)

My reply was threefold.

Number One: SHO Leadership and SHO materials would clearly demonstrate a personal mission (speaking engagements, website content and  support group leader outreach) which is clearly understood as a support of homeschooling as defined: discipleship strengthening, parent-directed, privately-funded education. 

Showing support of Public School At Home Programs (some call”Parent Partnerships”) would not demonstrate clear vision for advancement of homeschooling or Christian home discipleship. They set up divisiveness, unbiblical financing and discrimination against families of private oversight.

Number Two: SHOs would provide clear information and direction for new and seasoned home educators with respect to locating support groups which apply the stated priorities of SHOs (especially when they are Christian home discipleship) and sponsoring seminars and events to encourage all home educating families to that end.

Number Three: SHOs would provide a procedure of application for Support Group Leaders offering an endorsement from SHO of the group’s privately-funded status and a demonstrable commitment towards stated goal, being Christian home discipleship. This endorsement should be something SHO leaders can feel comfortable with and renewable at the frequency which they feel best but be something support group leaders can include in their printed materials and websites. This would serve as a courtesy to families searching for the healthiest support as they teach their children.

Interestingly, Indiana has spoken clearly on this matter in this article, we await to see if other areas of their website will show wisdom in this area, too. 
Definitions Matter, Debi Ketron
Sometimes home is a little to the south.


Peer Teaching: Turning Teens from Passivity to Passion

Teens are taking turns leading classes – Be encouraged by the endeavor of grappling with 2 Timothy Chapter 3 this week—memory verse due next time is 2 Timothy 4:1 “In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead and in view of His appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge.”

Scripture Memory tip from Mr. Hackbarth—memorize the verse…backwards (last line, then back up a line and add…until you have it.)

Below we link the video teaching- view at home and discuss. Have a great week!

If your child or children were prevented from getting into college because they didn’t have the right credentials due to the fact that they were homeschooled…what then?…what now?

 Karen Braun poses the question: If your child or children were prevented from getting into college because they didn’t have the right credentials due to the fact that they were homeschooled would you still homeschool them through high school or would change what you are doing to meet those new requirements.
It seemed so unthinkable at the time that we would ever reach that point. But I believed that would be the way they would control our freedom to educate. Nine years later, we are facing that reality.”

Read the article below by Karen who spells out the tactic of those who quite simply want the kids. All of them, and how the manifestation of these realities is coming to a head right now.

(The article above was included in a recent discussion featuring many perspectives on the right of parents to choose educational options for their children. From the issue of a homeschooling parent going from reporting intent locally to reporting it to the state, to compliance with state laws or being willing to fight them in court to the frustration of seeing our own state of Michigan run by a statist Governor (Snyder) who want total control over parents. He said,“I want to emphasize a vision of P-20. A PRENATAL to life long learning. We have to get beyond the old models of saying there are silos for for K12, silos for community college, for higher ed, for preschool. They shouldn’t be separate. They can be separate institutions. not to threaten the institutions. But shouldn’t we make it a seamless system. Where a student in that system doesn’t have to figure out all these tough choices but can just focus on success…and understanding it starts even at the prenatal stage and looking at is the expectant mother getting the right diet, the right primary care…”) Are you in a place where you would like a conviction check? Click on the link above


Dealing with Discouragement, Moms?

The Process

How fearful is the process! I am smiling as I type. Fearsome, indeed are the works of the Lord, our children are no exception. In all of our frailties, which of course they emulate at one point of another the process of what each one of the children is moving through is unknown and only rehearsed to the One who staged the whole thing out already and knows how it ends for them and for all of us.

So teaching each of them, appreciating each of them as individuals is fearsome indeed. It requires an economy of time I know I have not provided adequately. However!

Tomorrow is a new day. (whoops, today… my early morning typings).

A new day to challenge old paradigms and unworkable beliefs. What if they did have time to study exactly what they are passionate about, and enjoy mentoring from me and their dad instead of being handed a to do list?

What if we did schedule longer chunks of time to read and discuss, do crosswords we made up ourselves, pair up into buddy groups and teach youngers more math and writing skills on our own…making it fun… what if…

we trusted in the Lord, knowing only He knows if we even get a tomorrow. Did we give the children ourselves today? Our loves, pursuits, our pitfalls decoded, our apologies rendered, our hopes…did I give the children these?

They deserve this. Irregardless of the banging, clanging noise of the systems claiming to know the future, the voices and clamor of this busy, terrified, hiding-behind-requirements world—they are souls raised by souls and redeemed perfectly,totally and at great cost to the Redeemer-of course, they deserve to genuinely know their parents. And the God who began it all in the first place.  We. are the curriculum, and yes- How fearful is the process!DSCF0272

Kids and the Campaign


Fear or Faith? Hailing the right driver for their best education

I am not sure exactly when it happened, but somewhere down the road of my adult life I simplistically boiled most of life’s great decisions down to a fairly understandable choice. In general terms, the decisions I make are made either out of fear or faith.

As a result, my life can become pretty predictable. Here is the essential question I ask myself…am I doing _________ out of my fears or based on my faith in God? Is this decision coming from a place of trembling dimness or some degree of firm strength.

Of course there are other things I think about as a mom. Now I am aware I am a piece of visual art my children can see each day. Some days I am a little bit of a Renoir, others, more often than not, maybe more like a Picasso or Pollack, Bill Keene (?) but—there it is. I ask myself what I guess they see as I make one choice or the other. Knowing I am core-bent on providing the very best family life and education I can for them (because I want this for my grandkids someday), the issue I realize I show either fear or faith in the most are the time choices I make regarding homeschooling them.

Chiefly, I realize that when I say Yes to faith, I am saying No to fear. This is partly why I say Yes to authentic relationship building within the homeschooling community rather than yes to mandated programs which set up comparisons between it’s members and play on fears and unworkable beliefs that mothers and fathers are just not enough horsepower to drive a young person’s quality education.

Here in Michigan, homeschoolers have, at least on the books, the most leeway compared to sister states to teach as they see fit. Yet many Michigan moms have said Yes to the crazy train. Here Lee Binz, The HomeScholar, shares a cautionary note about one of the main culprits of the disconnect many moms feel in their quest to homeschool – the Public School Parent Partnership Programs.