Thursday, June 30, 2005

Taking God out of Education

How can you write a term paper about Religion and Governement and not mention God? But that's exactly what Bethany Hauf's college professor wanted her to do. Take out the big "G" word.
Hauf's teacher approved her term paper topic — Religion and its Place within the Government — on one condition: Don't use the word God. Instead of complying with VVCC adjunct instructor Michael Shefchik's condition Hauf wrote a 10-page report for her English 101 class entitled "In God We Trust.""He said it would offend others in class," Hauf, a 34-year-old mother of four, said. "I didn't realize God was taboo."
She refused to comply and failed the term paper and ended the term with a C in the class. She is appealing the decision with the help of ACLJ. She argues,
"I don't lose my First Amendment rights when I walk into that college," Hauf said. She is demanding an apology from the teacher and that the paper be re-graded.
Where is the anti-censorship crowd on this one?

Hat tip:
Joanne Jocobs

The Energizer Mommy

I will never again have a Starbuck's Caramel Machiatto and Java Chip ice cream on the same day. Even if the ice cream was free. Tigger couldn't compete with me yesterday and my poor children (let's just say the house looks awesome!)

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Our right to blog

I thought things couldn't get any more ridiculous. First, the Supreme Court takes away our property rights and now the FEC is deciding whether or not bloggers are a threat to democracy!

Gee, what's left....our children. Oh wait, I think that happened first.

Hat tip: Blestwithsons.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Supreme Justice

Logan Clements has found a unique way to express his outrage at the recent Supreme Court ruling Kelo vs. City of New London Here's what his press release claims,
This decision allows allows city governments to take land from one private owner and give it to another if the government will generate greater tax revenue or other economic benefits when the land is developed by the new owner
He is seeking to take over Justice Souter's private home for the
deveopment of the "Lost Liberty Hotel".
The proposed development, called "The Lost Liberty Hotel" will feature the "Just Desserts Café" and include a museum, open to the public, featuring a permanent exhibit on the loss of freedom in America. Instead of a Gideon's Bible each guest will receive a free copy of Ayn Rand's novel "Atlas Shrugged".
"I admire the convictions of this man and I sincerely hope he wins. Individual property rights are vital to a democracy. I am not a lawyer and I don't claim to know all the details of this case but it seems amazing that our government can take one man's property and claim it is for the benefit of "all".

The new American Manifesto of our "wise" Supreme Court, "From each according to his ability to the government according to their greed".

(Hat Tip: Drudge Report)

LIbrary Update

For anyone who remembers my dilemma with the library and fines....I am happy to report that I am debt free once again. A few lost books were found and I wound up with a fine of only about $25. Much better thatn the original $62. Thanks to all your suggestions I was able to return all my books on time and I'm sitting here at our library ready to check out about 50 more. Hope this next round goes as well.

I'll be there

If you are a regular reader to my blog you already know that my favorite spot for a "meeting" is Starbuck's. They know us by name and our drinks by heart. (Tall Caramel Machiato for me, Venti extra hot Caramel Machiato for my hubby) Well, on Wednesday, June 29, that's where you will find us and this time I think we'll even bring the kiddos. Why would I do that? They're giving away free ice cream. All day. You can get all the details and find your nearest Starbuck's by clicking here.

Thanks to the
Tulip Girl for letting me know.

Monday, June 27, 2005

I think, therefore I blog

I love this t-shirt. I think I'm going to have to order a few. If you would like one the Jolly blogger is taking orders. The cost is $15.00.

My thanks to Anne who always cruises the web for fun things so all I have to do is read her blog and get all the good stuff in one spot. But I always wonder why does someone living in Hawaii blog?

Too Busy to Share

"Mom?" my son Jason asked, "Are those people Christians?" (He was pointing to my neighbor's house.)

"I don't know." I replied.

"Well then, don't you think we ought to go and talk to them and find out?" He pressed.

"Yes, honey I suppose we should." I answered, as I began to shuffle the five small children inside and shift my thoughts to dinner.

That was a conversation I had with my son Jason when he was about 7 or 8 years old. He had heard a sermon about our need to share Christ with our neighbors. He wanted to put it into action. I wanted to cook dinner. How I wished I had listened to him.

A week later, the wife died of a heart attack in the back seat of her car. The husband, a diabetic died a few weeks after that. I felt awful. Not just because they had died but because I clearly missed out on an opportunity to talk with them about the Lord.

I made a commitment at that time to make sure my life was never so busy that the sharing my faith would be crowded out. I pray that each week the Lord would bring people to me that need to hear a word of encouragement or hope. God hasn't called me to go to a foreign land but as a believer there are plenty of "foreigners" to the Gospel. My children say that I am a "Meijer Missionary". And it's true, I have so many opportunities at the grocery store to share my faith. I often hunt for the longest line in the grocery store and pray that the Lord would give me an opportunity to encourage someone as we're waiting. (Okay, it's wierd but true.)

This weekend, the Lord provided a few such opportunities. One with a family at Wal Mart and another with a woman at the lake. I usually come away from those conversations more challenged to live a life for Christ an glad I took the time to share.

As for my neighbors, I was able to talk with their daughter-in-law. The family was a Christian family and the father a retired pastor. But that event was a wake up call to me. I never want my children to see mom again as too busy or too in a hurry to take the time to share again.

I haven't forgotten

I know I am woefully behind on some of my promised posts and adding people who have e-mailed me to add them to the blogroll. (I"m trying to get all 50 states listed.) I am upgrading my template and so some of this should get done soon.

I just finished a few articles for The Old Schoolhouse for their site launch at The whole thing should go be up and running in the next few weeks. This should be fun. Thankfully, my part is just about done.

The Thinking Toolbox just arrived from Mind and Media. We really enjoyed the Fallacy Detective by the Bluedorns so this should be fun to review. I love logic books. There so.......logical.

Also, I am working on the posts on husbands and homeschooling. I have had a few people e-mail me with questions in that area. This is a tough subject and one I don't want to handle lightly. I want to be cautious in what I say and how I say it. I am also working on my review of Created to Be His Helpmeet.

Add to that homeschooling, laundry, cleaning, and Starbuck's dates, and I'm one busy lady. So stay tuned, I haven't forgotten.

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Life From Their Perspective

Spunky Jr. had an interesting post the other day. She said,

Elaina is 1 ½ and I would guess that she’s only 3 feet tall and from my perspective (I’m 5’ 7”) I would never have guessed the way she looks at things. The counter top seemed like a giant and my 6ft, 14 year old brother (who’s still growing) seemed like the Empire State Building! Even my sister Katie (11) who’s barely 4’ 5” seemed tall.

I always knew that Elaina had to look up to see anything, but it was interesting to actually be at her level.

I would encourage you the next time your bend down to pick something up, pause for a moment and crawl into your siblings world for a few moments and learn a few
I think this is great advice. Not just for siblings but for all of us. Too often, I view life from my perspective and that is not always the best vantage point. Crawling into our children's world give us a better understanding of who they are and what they are dealing with.

I remember when Kristin was younger, I found a piece of paper where she had written out a few of her thoughts. I don't remember them exactly, but they said something like this.
It's hard being a child sometimes. I want to do what is right but I find myself getting in trouble even when I didn't know it was wrong.
That was a very challenging note to read. Obviously, I had corrected my daughter without first giving her the knowledge necessary to do it correctly. Reading her perspective helped me to make sure that I would train her first before I corrected her. And that in the times when I failed to teach her that I would be humble enough not to be too hard on her for making a mistake.

Seeing issues from another perspective is difficult for me. I am a very black and white person. (Surprise! surprise!) But having children and learning to see life through their eyes has helped move me out of my self-centered world and have the servants heart I desire. Thankfully, Kristin is learning these lessons a little earlier in life than I did. I am sure she will be a much better mother for it.

Friday, June 24, 2005

Happy Birthday Mom and Dad


Happy Birthday to my parents!

They are the proud parents of 5 and the grandparents of 22 homeschooled grandchildren all serving the Lord. Wouldn't we all like to say that some day?!?!

Update 6/25 - We're celebrating their birthdays and also some graduations today. Back Monday.

Living my dream and LaShawn's too!

I often joke that when my last child graduates from high school, I will have homeschooled for nearly 40 years. Some may consider that a desert but for me it's the promised land.

I love being a wife, stay-at-home mother, and educating as many children as God chooses to give us. I also love writng and have even found a niche to get paid a few pennies for my thoughts. I guess you could say I'm living my dream.

While my life is not appealing to many,
La Shawn Barber doesn't view it as a desert either. Instead she calls it a rich dessert .

The kind of man I’d marry would want his wife to stay home and raise his children instead committing them to the institutionalized “care” of people who couldn’t possibly care for them as much as I could or know them half as well, while he works outside the home. My roles would be godly wife, partner, homemaker, teacher (for home schooling), and whatever else God assigned. If I expect my husband to be the main breadwinner, he’ll have certain expectations of me.(snip)

About my marital state, while I love to write and hope I never have to give it up, it would be a distant second if I were married with children. If I managed to squeeze in a tiny bit of writing time, it would be icing on an already rich cake.

If you'd like to read the story on why I chose home click here.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Membership in HSLDA

The comments on HSLDA are as varied as the eclectic group of homeschoolers that we are. As for our household, we are not members and do not plan on becoming members. The Deputy Headmistress of The Common Room, summarized my feelings about HSLDA quite well. She said in her comments,

As a believer in freedom of association, I am not going to complain about a voluntary organization that has membership guidelines that exclude me. I can't be a member of a lot of organizations because their guidelines and my life don't make a good fit. Not a problem. (snip)

I won't be a member again because I'm not happy with the use of their dues to support Patrick Henry College. I'm not mad at them- it's their right. But it's also my right to spend my money in places I think it does more good. No matter how good Patrick Henry is, grads from there are going to have to overcome teh reputation of their college to work outside the conservative Christian sphere, and I'd rather HSLDA used money I give them for homeschooling insurance to defend other homeschoolers. Exclusively.

For me, it's not just that the money goes to Patrick Henry College it's that the money would go anywhere but to defend other homeschoolers. If they want to lobby states for different laws then maybe a separate organization should be set up. There are strong differences of opinion among homeschoolers as to what a "good" homeschool law is. (Section ML 380.1561 is still a sore spot with many in MI.) Many homeschoolers in MI found themselves at odds with the organization they thought would defend them. From their website about who they are,
HSLDA works to defeat or amend harmful bills, but also works proactively, introducing legislation to protect and preserve family freedoms.
It is the blending of defense with proactive efforts that is a problem for us. I t don't to want to possibly fight the organization I paid to join. I am not saying this cricially, they are free to decide the purpose of their organization and we are free not to join.

NY Times covers homeschoolers & sports

The New York Times (reg. req'd) has an article on homeschoolers and school sports. It is a balanced article outlining the differences between homeschoolers who want to participate in sports and the difficulty that the public schools have with it. This is an issue that keeps coming up in up around the country. Here's another link to a post about something similar in Tennesse from a while back.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

HSLDA and Patrick Henry College

Let's keep the conversation on HSLDA going. It is very interesting to me. Especially since there are things going on in VA that involve the homeschoolers and HSLDA's involvement in those events. (Worth a look, I believe both sides of the issue are meeting today. I could not find a link to HSLDA's position.)

If you would like to tell me what you think about HSLDA
it's all happening here.

On a slight tangent.......

A few may not be aware that many of the founders of HSDLA have also started a college in VA called
Patrick Henry College. The New Yorker has just published a piece on Patrick Henry College . At the "Harvard for Homeschoolers" as many call it, the students stand out in sharp contrast to the students at so many major universities. The large majority of which come from a home education background.

Homeschoolers are not the most obvious raw material for a college whose main mission, since its founding, five years ago, has been to train a new generation of Christian politicians. Politics, after all, is the most social of professions, and many students arrive at Patrick Henry having never shared a classroom with anyone other than their siblings. In conservative circles, however, homeschoolers are considered something of an élite, rough around the edges but pure—in their focus, capacity for work, and ideological clarity—a view that helps explain why the Republican establishment has placed its support behind Patrick Henry, and why so many conservative politicians are hiring its
I am sure there are problems at Patrick Henry and not it's not for everyone. But it is great to see a college thriving on the personal discipline and hard work of the children and a conservative Christian tradition in the faculty.

(Thanks to my friends in Chicago for letting me know about this article. We miss you Lindsey!)

Monday, June 20, 2005

Homeschool Legal Defense Association (HSLDA)

Scott Sommerville, attorney for HSLDA, wrote a lengthy piece on the history of homeschooling. It is called The Politics of Survival: Homeschoolers and the Law.
Twenty years ago, home education was treated as a crime in almost every state. Today, it is legal all across America, despite strong and continued opposition from many within the educational establishment. How did this happen? This paper traces the legal and sociological history of the modern home school movement, and then suggests factors that led to this movement's remarkable success
The topic is very interesting to me and the paper is quite lengthy. I haven't had a chance to read through it all but thought I'd pass it along for your review as well. Hopefully, I'll get a chance to read it in a few days.

And while I'm on the subject of HSLDA, there was a comment posted on
Joanne Jacobs blog that got me thinking.
The egregious Homeschool Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) is the worst offender in this area. They pretend to speak for all homeschoolers, yet they espouse controversial views that many, many non-rightwingers disagree with.
I don't agree that they pretend to speak for all homeschoolers. They clearly do not. But they do have an authoritative voice in homeschooling and with the media. So my question is...Are you a member of HSLDA? Why or why not?

I'll wait to share my answer. (I don't want this discussion to be about my views at this point I'd just like to get a feel for what others are thinking.)

Why I'm glad my children blog....

....because every so often I get a post like this from my 16 year old daugher about her dad that makes my day/week/month/year!!!

Southern Baptists and Presbyterians

The Southern Baptists are having their convention this week. Sure to stir up a little controversy is the resolution calling for Christian members of the Southern Baptist Convention to reconsider their support for the public schools. This is the same resolution that was defeated last year but seems to be gaining a little more steam this year.

For more info see
Get The Kids Out
Albert Mohler has his take here.
(Thanks to
Agent Tim's mom for also letting me know about this.)

Presbyterians attempted a similar resolution. DaddyPundit blogs about it as well.

For my thoughts on public education see
How then shall we educate. And Is Silence an Option

Homeschool Talk Radio

  • Homeschool Talk Radio has my interview up this week. We chatted about the ART of Homeschooling.

    Lynda is a great lady and the interview was alot of fun. Hope you enjoy it as much as we enjoyed recording it.

    Sunday, June 19, 2005

    Educational Blogs

    Every so often I leave my "sheltered" life as a mother of 6 and venture into the blogosphere to read what others in public education are saying . A few blogs that are always worth my time and interest are Jenny D., Joanne Jacobs, and Education Wonks. I'd encourage anyone interested in educational issues to make a trip every so often to their sites. EdWonk also puts together a great carnival every week from different educational bloggers.

    And a special thank you to
    Joanne Jacobs for giving a plug to the new homeschool blogger portal by The Old Schoolhouse.

    Saturday, June 18, 2005

    The Politics of Homeschooling

    Dear Senator Bennett,

    I liked visiting your house today. Now that I have been to yours will you please come visit mine?


    That letter was written by my son when he was 6 years old. We had visited our State Capital in Lansing and he just couldn't understand the difference between the "legislative house" and the "house" one lives in. The double meaning of words is a difficult concept to grasp sometimes. So I just let it go and sent the letter.

    A few weeks later, I received a phone call.

    "Hello, this is the office of Senator Bennett. And we would like to accept Jason's invitation to visit. What day
    would work best?"

    Total panic swept over me. I had five children seven and under and my house looked just like what you imagine it would. Our decorating style was early Fisher Price with a slight touch of Duplo as an accent. I contemplated renting my neighbor's house just for appearance sake. After all, we're homeschoolers and I didn't want him to get the wrong impression.

    I decided to accept the invitation. If for no other reason then it would force me to completely clean the house!

    The evening actually went very well. His was a very gracious man. He marveled at my children's "artistic talents" and sat for a few photos.

    As he was getting ready to leave, he said, "It was so refreshing to get Jason's letter. As politicians, we usually only get silence or complaints. I wanted to finally meet a constituent who just wanted to visit for a change."

    I always remembered that.

    Most states are becoming more homeschool friendly but there are always attempts to limit our freedoms by a very vocal minority. I decided I didn't want the first time my legislator to hear from us was when we wanted to complain about a bill.

    Since that visit, we have visited many of our local and state lawmakers. I have found most to be just as friendly and approachable. This has helped in the few times when issues do come up. They seem more willing to take our call and listen to our opinion because a relationship has been established.

    The right to homeschool was a long and hard fought battle in MI as I am sure it was in many states. (
    And some are still fighting.) We have benefitted greatly from a few families who were willing to challenge the status quo years ago and achieve the right to homeschool for the rest of us. I don't want to become complacent and think that this will always be the case. Keeping informed of the laws and those who make them is a responsiblity we all share.

    So today, we are walking in a local parade with
    our current State Senator. (The other was term limited out). It is alot of fun and it keeps the relationships going. I have even been trying to get them to start a blog just as a few other politicians have. So far I haven't been able to convince them. But we'll see what happens after a 3 mile walk in the sun.

    And I know they've been to my blog.... I think it's about time I get a chance to visit theirs!

    Friday, June 17, 2005

    I was never good at keeping a secret....

    ....and this one was hard to keep. But since Gena Suarez, the Publsiher of The Old Schoolhouse announced it on her blog so I guess that means I'm free to tell. Here's some of what she wrote,
    Christine Field (HomeFieldAdvantage) and Karen Braun (Spunky Homeschool) will be heading up a new column in our print magazine, The Old Schoolhouse, just on BLOGS.
    It will be a feature in the print magazine on homeschool blogs and blogging. The magazine comes out four times a year. And in each magazine, I will feature a blogger and a few tips on blogging. I am excited to work with Gena, Chris (a great author), and the incredibly talented staff at The Old Schoolhouse. Their print magazine is very well done. (If you don't have a subscription, now is a great time with the 19 free gifts their offering.)

    Marry Well! Marry Well!

    We're all in the car driving home from piano lessons.

    Kate: "Mom, can we go out to lunch today?" (Typical question after piano)

    Mom: "No, dad told me before I left that when I got back he wanted to go out for a meeting."

    Katie: "That probably means another trip to Starbucks" (spoken with a slight hint of sarcasm)

    Mom: "Yep! It probably does." (spoken with a huge hint of expectation and joy)

    Kate: "You always have meetings with dad at Starbucks." (subtle attempt at manipulation and guilt)

    Kristin: "Marry well Katie! marry well!" (wise advice from an older sister who loves Starbucks!)


    I attended my first homeschool convention when my oldest child was nearing school age in 1992. One of the first things I noticed was how few fathers attended such events. Mine included. (My husband had an "excused absence" he was working full time and attending night school for an MBA I went with a friend.) There were a few brave souls who did venture out into the maze of books and workshops but not many.

    Over the years, I have seen this changing for the better. The last few conventions I attended were much better attended by fathers and they had special workshops encouraging them. A fun title at one convention was "Help! My wife wants to homeschool now what am I supposed to do?"

    Truly, fathers are an indispensable part of homeschooling. Let's face it we wouldn't even have the children to homeschool without them!

    Fathers differ in so many ways. Some are very hands on an involved others are more reserved and offer guidance only when asked. That's a good thing not a bad one. The problem is, many times mothers think the fathers should be something different than what they are. The wife with an involved husband wishes he were less so. The father who is more reserved frustrates the woman who desires her husband to "just take the lead" for a change.

    The challenge for most of us is to honor the man we married not the one we wished we married. (He doesn't exist anyway!)

    So this Father's Day give your husband a gift he'll never forget and you'll never regret...a wife who truly honors her husband.

    Thursday, June 16, 2005

    Playing Hookey Today

    My brother in law is in town from Tennesse so we're off to spend the day with him and his children. Hopefully, the weather will cooperate and we'll be able to go to the lake.

    If you haven't already done so (and I see many already have), check out
    The Old Schoolhouse Homeschool Blogger site. Things are still in Beta test but boy is it taking off. (I'm still SpunkyHomeschool there as well.) What could be more fun than over 300 homeschool bloggers all in one location. It's like having a convention every time you turn on the computer.

    Wednesday, June 15, 2005

    Reviewer of the Week

  • A big thank you to
    Stacy Harp at Mind and Media for selecting me as Reviewer of the Week. So for those of you curious about the voice behind the blog you can click on over to Mind & Media and listen to a 15 minute conversation on blogging, homeschooling, and life with Stacy and me. Hope you enjoy it!

    Tuesday, June 14, 2005

    Separation of School and State

    Hooray! Finally someone in the mainstream media understands what many of us realized years ago. That is, that government control of the schools needs to end. Jeff Jacoby of the Boston Globe is right on. In an editorial, he articulates several battles in schools districts around the country between believers and secularists. Then he states the thinking of many homeschool families.'s time to put an end to government control of the schools. There is nothing indispensable about a state role in education. Parents don't expect the government to provide their children's food or clothing or medical care; there is no reason why it must provide their schooling. An educated citizenry is a vital public good, of course. But like most such goods, a competitive and responsive private sector can do a much better job of supplying it than the public sector can.

    Imagine how diverse and lively American education would be if it were liberated from government control. There would be schools of every description -- just as here are restaurants, websites, and clothing styles of every description. Parents who wanted their children to be taught Darwinian evolution unsullied by leaps of faith about an Intelligent Designer would be able to choose schools in which religious notions would play no role. Those who wanted their children to see God's hand in the miraculous tapestry of life all around them would send them to schools in which faith played a prominent role.

    But the sad reality is that many parents do expect the government to provide these things. That's why we have school lunch programs, before and after school programs, clinics, and sex ed in the schools. Parents don't want the hassle of doing it. Sad but true.

    A competitive environment would be helpful and the children would benefit but the educational establishment (unions) is unwilling to yield any control. People would never accept the government telling them where to eat dinner, or grociery shop, or which car to buy. But for some reason they accept the government telling them which school their children go to simply on the basis of what street they live on. I have never understood that.

    For more reading see, The Myth of an Equal Education

    (Hat tip. Homeschool Revolution)

    The "real world" and our mission

    Tom Brokaw gave the commencement address at Darmouth here's part of how he views the world,

    The world you're about to enter is filled with adolescent pettiness, pubescent rivalries, the insecurities of 13-year-olds and the false bravado of 14-year-olds. Forty years from now, I guarantee it, you'll still be making silly mistakes, you'll have a temper tantrum, you'll have your feelings hurt for some trivial slight, you'll say something dumb and at least once a week you'll wonder, "Will I ever grow up?"

    You can change that. In pursuit of passions, always be young. In your relationship with others, always be a grown-up. Set a standard and stay faithful to it.

    In this new life you'll have to think of money in a new way. I know this is strange to realize but now you're gonna have to earn it. You should also think about how you can hang on to some of it and, if you're fortunate, use the money beyond what you need to save a life, save a neighborhood, save a community, save the world.
    You may be surprised to learn that is the use of the money that you will earn over your lifetime that is the most gratifying. (snip)

    Become a missionary in this great, common cause - at home, at work, among friends. What could be more noble or worthwhile than to save a forest, preserve a wilderness, protect a wetlands? To save the world?

    So the chief end of man is to grow up, finally earn our own way, and if we're fortunate enough to hang on to some of it, (is that before taxes or after taxes?) we're supposed to become missionaries to save the world.

    Graduates, what are you waiting for "Go ye into all the world and make wetlands?"

    Homeschooler wins "The Scholar"

    Scot from New Freedom, PA won last nights competition and $50,000 and advances to the finals. His bio from the TV show "The Scholar" on ABC tells of a very determined young man.
    Home-schooled his entire life, this incredibly thoughtful and determined young man is bound for great things. With a 4.0 GPA and near perfect SAT scores, Scot was not only home-schooled but also self-taught for most of his primary and secondary education. He currently works four jobs, sometimes up to 80 hours a week, to help support his family and save for college. A black belt in the martial arts discipline of Tae Kwon Do, he is a determined and disciplined athlete, in addition to being one smart cookie. Admittedly cut from a different cloth, Scot hopes to one day be a lawyer, an investment banker or... a beatnik poet.

    Congratulations. It's nice to see hard work paying off.

    Thanks to Millenium Hippies for the tip. She saw the show and talked about it on her blog today.

    Parents and forgiveness

    I have had a few e-mails in response to my post the The 3R's of Parenting. In particular the part where I encouraged parents to seek forgiveness when they are wrong. Here's what I said,

    I knew I never wanted to only work on outward behavrior but leave the heart unchanged and shackled by guilt. Scriptures says, "If we confess our sin he is faithful and just to forgive our sin and cleanse us from all unrighteousness." I knew that no matter what, I wanted my children to understand that no matter how bad things became there would always hope in Christ if they repent. And the same is true for the parent. We will all make parenting mistakes but if we are willing to humble ourselves, the relationships with the Lord and those we love most, will be stronger.
    To summarize the e-mails, they shared that they don't ever remember their parents apologizing while they were growing up. As I thought about my own childhood, I have to say, that there were not that many times I could remember my parents apologizing for something. Is our experience unique? And if your parents did seek forgiveness was it true of both mom and dad or just one. Lastly, is it happening in your family today?

    Monday, June 13, 2005

    The power of blogging

    Don't underestimate the influence one blog can make in the blogosphere and in the media. Check out the stats of Michelle Malkin. She's celebrating her one year anniversary and posted her stats on the number of people who read her blog. (I have been reading her blog for about 9 months.)

    Total visits as of today, 12:30pm: 6,341,092

    Average Per Day 53,639

    Average Visit Length 0:17

    Total page views as of today, 12:30pm: 8,663,273

    Average Per Day 72,033

    Average Per Visit 1.3

    Granted she has the help of TV to boost her stats. But still it is still fascinating to realize that those whose voice would at one time been ignored are becoming a powerful influence. Keep blogging and you'll be amazed at the people God will have you reach. You may not reach the heights of Michelle Malkin but your "sphere" of influence is no less important.

    A Chance to Play in PA

    This seems to be a recurring theme around the country. Homeschoolers who want to play and participate in school activities. There's a bill currently making its way in PA that would allow that very thing to happen. I have mixed emotions on this. Here's the article describing what's going on in PA. You can read what I wrote about a similar proposal in TN here. The bottom line is that this is about money for both sides.

    The TV is my Shepard

    A modern Psalm taken from “The New International Unchristian Perversion.” “

    The TV is my shepherd, I shall not want anything else. It maketh me to lie down on the sofa. It leadeth me away from the Scripture. It destroys my soul. It leadeth me in the paths of s*x and violence for the sponsors sake, Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will enjoy the evil, for blood and s*x they excite me. It’s cable and remote they comfort me. It prepares a commercial before me in the presence of my children. It anoints my head with humanism, My coveting runneth over. Surely laziness and ignorance shall follow my family all the days of our lives, and we shall dwell in the house watching TV forever.”

    But don’t worry parents, as you know the TV doesn’t have any influence on the children of parents who don’t want it to influence them. That’s why the sponsors only advertise products you have already decided to buy.

    I cannot take credit for writing this. It was a comment posted anonymously on another blog but I think it is outstanding.

    For my views on TV see my post
    Don't Control the Remote...Control the Appetite.

    More Parents find Outsourcing an Option

    Here's an interesting article where a parent isn't even afraid to admit that he wants others to parent his children for him.

    For busy families, like the Plonskers, where both parents, Patricia and Jeff, work long hours, sending Joey, 17, and Pearl, 12, to etiquette school seemed a fast track to domestic order.

    "I don't want to spend my time nitpicking them, but of course I won't let them throw rolls across the table," says Patricia Plonsker.

    Or "shout with their mouth full or interrupt," says husband Jeff Plonsker. At dinnertime, even Fred the family dog, is expected to mind his manners.

    "The only way for him to be with us is to know the rules," says Patricia Plonsker.

    So the father is saying, I want my son to know how to behave properly I just don't want to take the time to teach him. So what are a father and mother for then? The article goes on to say,
    But who teaches the rules may be as important as the rules themselves. And some experts in family relationships say parents today may be outsourcing too many lessons.
    I similar words in my article Outsourcing Parenthood. Some parents got angry with me, saying it just wasn't true. But it seems that others see an opportunity to capitalize on their unwillingness to teach their own children.

    Sunday, June 12, 2005

    Just a nice story

    Thanks to Anne for passing along this story. It's nice to read a story like this every once in a while. And Anne was right it is hard to read without getting a little teary eyed.

    Saturday, June 11, 2005

    Add this lady to your blogroll

    Kay Brooks has a blog. She is very informed on legislative issues in the Tennessee and around the country. Here's how she describes what her blog content will be about
    primarily on Tennessee education issues but she may comment on just about anything. It's hoped that this blog's gleanings and comments will enable parents to ensure that their child gets the best education possible.
    Even if you not in TN her blog is worth reading. I am glad there are people like Kay out there staying informed and keeping us informed. Thanks Kay!

    Friday, June 10, 2005

    Thinking Like a Blogger

    I have been asked to write an article on blogging with the subject being "Thinking Like a Blogger." If I may be so bold as to ask for your help, what is the one thing that you wished someone had told you to do when you started your blog? And if you have any other suggestions on blogging that you think ought to be inlcuded let me know. I can't link to all who make suggestions but I may be able to squeeze in a shout out for a few of the more original tips and ideas if I use them.

    Also, if you have a tip on how you have successfully marketed a product or service on your blog feel free to share that as well.

    Thanks for your help. The article is due soon so don't hold back. I'll let you know when it is published. You can also e-mail if you would prefer.

    Errors in Education

    Here's an excerpt from Convers Francis Discourse on Errors in Education written in 1828. That was BEFORE he became a Harvard professor of pulpit eloquence and the pastoral care.
    We are told, that when Antipater demanded of the Lacedemonians fifty of their children as hostages, they replied that they would rather surrender fifty of the most eminent men in the state, whose principles were already formed than children to whom the want of early instruction would be a loss altogether irreparable. The Spartans were wise; and shall Christians be less so? Oh no; - for we believe that our labor cannot perish even with life;- we believe that, even if inscrutable providence of God removes these objects of affection from us, neither the pleasure they have poured into our hearts, nor the good we have imparted to them will, or can, be lost.
    Do they even have a Professor of pulpit eloquence and pastoral care at Harvard anymore? I guess it's ust more evidence of the "Errors in Education" that Mr. Francis obviously saw back in the 1800's. I wonder what he'd say today?????

    (The excerpt was taken from the Introduction to the
    Mother's Book by Mrs. Child published in 1831.)

    Homeschool Talk Radio

    If you haven't heard about it yet it's wonderful. An internet radio show dedicated to homeschooling produced by homeschool mom Lynda Menegotti. This week she interviewed homeschooler Christina Routon about her new e-book and surviving her first year of homeschooling. This weeks show also featrues

    Homeschoolers in Business: Samuel Harris & Daniel McClintock (homeschool graduates) talk about how the started

    Summer Planning : Communication Expert JoJo Tabares from gives us a few ideas for how to include small children in the planning process.

    Tips to Go for Parents Today: Jodie Lynn answers a question about how to structure your day when working from home

    She interviewed me yesterday for a ashow that will be on early next week. The website is interesting and fun to read..I mean listen to. I think new and veteran homeschoolers are going to benefit from Lynda's passion for homeschooling and desire to encourage homeschoolers around the world. The internet is truly an amazing place to learn about people we might otherwise never hear about isn't it?

    Tagged on books

    Barbara Curtis tagged me on books and I've finally gotten around to my answers.

    Q. Most books I've ever owned.

    We have too many to count but not enough to stop buying more. Some once asked J. Paul Getty how much money was enough. He replied, "just one dollar more than I currently have." I sometimes feel that way about books.

    Q. The last book I bought.

    Created to Be His Helpmate by Debi Pearl.
    Blog by Hugh Hewitt (A purchase I'd gladly make again.)

    Q. The last book I read.

    I usually have a few books going at at time and I will read a different one depending on my mood or energy level. So here's the last few books I've read.

    Being Logical. by D. Q. McInerny ( I love logic books and this one is good one.)

    On Writing Well by William Zinsser (an excellent recommendation from author Barbara Curtis)

    Created to Be His Helpmate by Debi Pearl (A disappointment and a blog for another day.)

    Blog by Hugh Hewitt (A great primer on blogging and it's potential influence.)

    Q. The five books that meant the most to me.

    The Bible especially the book of Esther and Proverbs.

    The Disciplined Life by Richard Taylor

    The Excellent Wife by Martha Peace

    Stepping Heavenward by Elizabeth Prentiss (written in the 1800's)

    Letting Go by Fenelon (An old book I'm not even sure if it's still available)

    Tag 5 people,

    Ann, Mrs. Happy Housewife, Victoria, Monika, and I'll leave the fifth spot open for anyone who'd like to add their name please feel free. (And even if that's taken feel free to share your answers in the comments or on your blog.)

    Thursday, June 09, 2005

    The 3R's of Parenting

    If I had to summarize my parenting into three ideas that would be easy to remember they would be:

    Repentance and forgiveness

    All three are needful around my house to maintain order, build a solid family, and move beyond the mistakes we all make.

    Relationships without Rules leads to lawlessness.
    Rules without relationship leads to rebellion.
    And relationships and rules without repentance makes no difference at all.
    Let's take a look at all three.


    This is the heart and soul of a family. Cultivating strong relationships with one another makes each individual stronger because there is something supporting them during the good times and the bad. A solid relationship is built around Christ as the center.
    I do not desire a parent centered home, a child centered home, or family centered home. It is our desire to center our home around God with the family and the individuals that make up the family second to that.
    When our children were young, I made a wheel out of paper and put a round cog in the center and labeled it Christ. Shooting out from the center were spokes and at the end of each was an arch with the name of a family member. It was our "family wheel". When we all stayed in our appointed place, the wheel ran smoothly. But as it often happens, one of the spokes tries to place himself in the center of the wheel. At that time, anyone else was free to go up to the wheel and move Christ out of the center and place the name of the individual in the center. It quickly became obvious that the "family wheel" was broken and needed fixing. It was at that point that we stopped what we were doing and sought to repair the wheel and the relationships. (I have to admit it was humbling to walk into the kitchen and find my name in the center. Ouch! But they were usually right!)


    Every family needs rules. Without them life would be chaos. But rules are not enough by themselves. We, as parents, are responsible to train our children in how to obey these rules. This means a lot of practice at doing things before expecting that the rules can be followed correctly.

    For example, we can tell our children to make their beds every morning but if we don't teach them how to make the bed then following the rule is more difficult. The child may make valiant attempts at obeying but without proper guidance they will usually give up out of frustration because they cannot please the parent. The parent then reads this as disobedience but actually it is the parent that has not lived out their end of the agreement. This is a simple example but it serves as a reminder that...Rules need to be taught not just talked.

    But relationships and rules are not enough.


    To explain this I would like to share a story.

    When I was a young mother I had the opportunity to speak with a group of adolescent girls one afternoon during a Vacation Bible School. In between changing diapers and rocking babies, I asked them about parenting from their perspective. We talked about many different philosophies of parenting. Some they had heard of and others I found myself explaining to them. After we finished talking about some of these parenting ideas most of the girls slowly wandered off into their own conversations. Parenting was an interesting topic to me but obviously not to most of them.

    But one young lady lingered behind. She was a friend of one of the workers and did not attend the church. As I sat nursing my infant, she looked right at me and said, "The philosophy or technique is not the most important part of parenting."

    Curious, I asked her what she thought was the most important part of parenting. She replied, "All these philosophies that we've been talking about center around changing the character and the behavior of the child. Well that's great. So their character and their behavior get better but what about the guilt?

    She had a slight quiver of emotion to her voice as she repeated, "So the behavior improves but the guilt from past mistakes stays around long after. What can I do about that?"

    Quickly, I could tell we moved from the theoretical to the very personal. She shared an emotional tale of her past few years as a teen. It was "typical" in many respects and very sad. But she was struggling to improve and changes were being made through family counseling. But the guilt remained.

    Sadly, no one had told her that she could be free from the guilt that her past mistakes had put upon her. I shared the truth that in Christ we all sin and fall short but that their is one who can take away the guilt if we are humble and confess.

    Thankfully, she understood and that day this young lady walked out free from the guilt that had been burdening her heart.

    She wasn't the only one who had changed that afternoon. I also had a new and better understanding for parenting my children. I knew I never wanted to only work on outward behavior but leave the heart unchanged and shackled by guilt. Scriptures says, "If we confess our sin he is faithful and just to forgive our sin and cleanse us from all unrighteousness." I knew that no matter what, I wanted my children to understand that no matter how bad things became there would always hope in Christ if they repent. And the same is true for the parent. We will all make parenting mistakes but if we are willing to humble ourselves, the relationships with the Lord and those we love most, will be stronger.

    Wednesday, June 08, 2005

    Elite Take Homeschool Route

    More and more parents seem to be realizing the obvious, that is, children accomplish more when they have the freedom to do so and the whole family experiences the benefits of home education. I appreciated the thoughts of this father quoted in the article.,

    home schooling also has brought his family closer together and in ways he never thought possible. (snip)

    Just because a teacher isn't grading her doesn't mean she isn't learning.


    Tuesday, June 07, 2005

    The business of blogging

    There was a time in my life when I didn't read blogs. Then came Hugh Hewitt and I became a daily reader during the run up to the election. When the election was over, did my blogging interest decline. Nooooo! I had to go and start one on my own. Shortly after, I discovered more homeschool bloggers like Anne in Hawaii and decided to have a convention. That was only 2 months ago but in the blogosphere that's an eternity. Blogging is a dyanmic changing environment. I enjoy it tremendously but the business of blogging is a whole 'nother matter.

    I feel like the baker who likes to make bread. He bakes a some loaves and sells them to a few friends. They enjoy the flavor and order more. Soon he finds himself in the midst of a business he never thought he'd start. And with it comes opportunities to do things he never thought possible. The "work" of maintaining the bakery leaves little time to bake his bread. And the baking is what he really enjoys doing the most.

    I love writing for my blog. I am thankful to God that HE has provided a forum to exchange ideas and share thoughts with one another. But the management of the "blog business" is more than I ever could have imagined. Sometimes, feel like I have 7 children not 6. Many opportunities have opened up that I would never have imagined 6 months ago. But I want to make sure that the "business of blogging" doesn't distract me from the joy of "writing my blog". Between blog rolls, e-mails, getting tagged, and commenting I could literally be at this all day long. But it has always been my goal to keep "first things first".

    So today I am going to dedicate to the business side so that I can get some long neglected things done and then hopefully be freed up to concentrate on the fun part of blogging. Have a great day.

    Monday, June 06, 2005

    Getting to know you!

    Thinks have been a little serious on my blog lately. I love the conversations that have been taking place and I'm always challenged when others share their thoughts and opinions. (Thanks Anne and Victoria and Kimberly.) You all have provided me with much to think and blog about. I haven't forgotten about the husband issue either. I'm still working it.

    But in an effort to lighten the mood, I thought I'd share a list my daughter wrote today. We are reading
    Because of Winn Dixie. And in one of the chapters the father shares 10 things to his daughter about her mother. So as a writing assignment, the children wrote out the some things to describe their mother. My nine year old daughter Elizabeth summarized me quite well. Here's her list.

    1. She loves to write.
    2. She likes to cook.
    3. She is known as Spunky.
    4. She loves to take her children to the grocery store.
    5. She likes coffee.
    6. She likes to buy her kids sweets.
    7. She loves to read her kids books.
    8. She hates the house a mess.
    9. She is a nice mother.

    So if you care to share how would your children describe you?

    Sunday, June 05, 2005

    Pearls of Wisdom

    Anne shared something in the comments on my post about the Pearl's that I'd like to share. She said,

    Another Pearl article I just don't like- and I did used to like them! Another one that if I hadn't realized this before, would've made me feel guilty and put undue pressure on myself to produce the "perfect" and saved Christian kids.

    He makes it sound like you are either passionately successful or a total failure as a parent. Where's the middle ground here? I just don't see it as this black and white. The Christian life and parenting are both struggles. We should strive to live for Him and improve, but we will have struggles and failures too.

    I suspect Anne's not alone in her feelings. Many times after reading an article by the Pearl's or someone similar, I would have felt the same anxiety and the pressure to do this job perfectly without failure. But in continuing to walk with the Lord I have discovered that I cannot do it all perfectly. And I am in good company. Paul wrote in Romans 7 verse 18
    For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.
    As Christians we are called to live a holy life. That is a high standard. Micheal Pearl reminds us to live that life. And for that I am grateful. But like Paul, I have the will to do good but often I fail. What am I to do? That is what my Savior is for. When I fall down HE picks me up. I cannot and will not be the perfect parent. When I fail, get angry or hurt another, I can seek forgiveness. 2 Corinthians 12:9 states, "
    My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me.
    and in Phillipians 3:12
    Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.
    So we needn't feel any more guilt that we don't measure up to some such a holy standard. None of us (including the Pearl's) do. Jesus is the restorer of relationships that have been broken by sin and failure and the guilt that accompanies it. The Pearl's serve to remind us of the holiness of our calling but I wish they would also remind us more often of the forgivenss found in Christ when we fail.

    Free Book: Save A Marriage, Save A Nation

    Coral Ridge Ministries is offering the book Save A Marriage Save A Nation by D. James Kennedy. Here's a description of the book.
    D. James Kennedy looks at the personal and public importance of marriage in this eye-opening examination into why marriage matters for all of us. Happy homes it turns out, make for a healthy culture. Dr. Kennedy also speaks candidly about what it takes to make your own marriage work, offering insight and biblical teaching to help you be everything you (and your spouse) want to be as a husband or wife.
    They will ship the book for free but during check out will ask for a donation if you are able.

    It sounds like an interesting title and I'm looking forward to receiving the book. Thanks to
    Mind and Media for the tip. To order you copy click here.

    Saturday, June 04, 2005

    Jumping Ship

    Kristin posted today about an article she read in No Greater Joy called Jumping Ship where Micheal Pearl exhorts parents to impress a Godly worldview on their children . Here's what she said about the article.
    I would encourage even young people (like myself) to read this aritcle because we are the next generation. How we are raised affects how our children are raised.
    I agree with Kristin. Read the article and make sure to it pass it along to your children. Psalm 78:5-7 says
    He decreed statutes for Jacob and established the law in Israel, which 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 ommands.


    When my son was around 6 years old he came to me one day and said, "Mommy, I just realized you're not perfect! But that's okay Jesus died for you too!"

    There are not perfect mothers. It was fun knowing that my son thought I was perfect. Even for a few brief years but reality sets in quick. We all make mistakes. But true joy is knowing that even in our imperfection, we are still God's perfect choice to raise HIS children.

    So whether our mistakes are large or small, we can rest in the knowledge that we serve a God who is quick to forgive and remember them no more. (And thankfully children who are usually just as willing.)

    Friday, June 03, 2005

    Need another reason to homeschool

    I'm a few days late reading this but it's still worth noting that with educators who think like this it isn't hard to see why more and more parents are choosing to homeschool.
    Setting aside their capacity to abuse or exploit their children, the parent-child relationship has coercive or choice-inhibiting tendencies; that is, parents are unable to give their children access to a limitless range of choices, because they are limited by their own knowledge and means, and also because they demand more of their children than they would have a right to expect of them merely as fellow citizens. This creates a gap wherein parents lose the moral right to make all choices for their children and yet where these children do not have the full capacity to choose freely for themselves. Schools occupy this gap.This has some interesting implications, about which I plan to write more. One of these implications is the permissibility of home or private schooling. Children must be sheltered from indoctrination; that is, exposure to one viewpoint to the exclusion of all others. Home schooling sits in very dangerous territory.
    Thankfully Daryl, Chris, and Ron and a gal named Jeanne did the heavy lifting (read the comments) so the rest of us can stay busy indoctrinating our children in peace.

    Homeschooling Never Ends

    Kristin and I went for lunch yesterday by ourselves. She's a "quality time" child, so as the oldest of six I try to make sure that every now and then we get out by ourselves. We went to Panera's (our favorite lunch spot) and talked about high school and her future. I told her that I was a little worried about some holes in her education that needed filling.

    Kristin gave me the perspective I was missing in my desire to get it all done, "Mom, every one has holes but that's what homeschooling is for. When I teach my children I can learn it right along with them and fill some of those in!"

    So in reality homeschooling never ends.

    A Double Minded Blogger

    Well a few have already found out about a new site dedicated to homeschool bloggers. It is still in beta test format. The actual site will not launch until July. I have a new site there. The site is being run by The Old Schoolhouse Magazine. They have some features that blogger does not (categories) but they are still working on adding a few features that blogger has. For a while, I will maintain both sites and then determine if I am going to switch. I don't plan on running two blogs. One is enough for me.

    Here's my homeschool blogger addy SpunkyHomeschool I am still in the process of working on my template so if you see something that doesn't work or looks funny please let me know.

    HSLDA sets the record straight in CA

    It's always interesting and fun to watch public school officials try to exert pressure on homeschoolers and create their own rules. Such was the case last Friday when an attendance officer in Gilroy, CA published this editorial in which he stated,
    Interestingly, there is no exemption in the California Education Code for “home schools.” In other words, education code does not recognize the term “home school” and therefore does not exempt students from compulsory attendance if they are, in layperson’s terms, being home schooled.
    HSLDA has responded with this correction to the misrepresentation.
    California recognizes this fundamental right pursuant to the private school exemption which is found at Ed Code sec. 48222. Although many of states have specifically recognized homeschooling by way of statute, California, like 11 other states, recognizes homeschooling through the private school exemption. Home educators that have established a private school in their home are under the same law as the brick-and-mortar private school down the street.
    If you live in California it's worth reading the letter and HSLDA's response. I am amazed that in CA, a state that supports just about every lifestyle imaginable has such a problem with homeschooling. Their laws seem to be more alot restrictive than here in Michigan.

    Thursday, June 02, 2005

    Husbands and Homeschooling

    After the question of "What curriculum do you use?" the most often asked question is "What can I do to get my husband to lead our home?"

    That is a tough question. But the short answer is nothing.

    You cannot do anything to GET your husband to lead (that's God's job) but you can a few things that will KEEP him from leading. Here are a few things that a wife can do to keep her husband safely in his "corner of the attic".

    1. Compare our husband to another man. Oh, if my husband would only be more like so an so's then things would be so much better around here. We're not married to "so and so" and so his faults are well hidden from view. You are married to the man you are. Accept that and learn to love who he is not who you want him to be.

    2. Criticize his actions. I was chatting with my neighbor one day. She was lamenting how her husband never helps her around the house. Then a few weeks later she complained that her husband makes her life more difficult. How? When he folds the laundry he does it all wrong and she just has to do it over again! Can you blame the man for not helping! A critical spirit is a marriage and family destroyer.

    3. Lead for him. Most women would not admit that they are actually leading the home. But we do. When our husband isn't doing what we think ought to be done we like to rush in and find a solution. After all, the children need to have devotions and if he's not doing it I must. The children need to see a mother willing to wait on the Lord for HIS leading than take matters into our own hands.

    4. Seek the counsel of others before seeking his thoughts. Many times when we have a problem we will consult the latest "manual" on the subject, decide which method we like best, and move forward. When our husbands sugggest another idea it's too late, the experts have already spoken up and we're moving forward. A polished author will always make his solution sound the best and easiest. But let's give our husbands the respect they deserve. They will never lead if we are already following someone else's advice.

    These are some tendencies I struggle to keep in check. I'm sure there are a few others we could add to the list. But the idea here is to see our husbands as the leader and then wait for him to lead. That is the hardest part. Fear and worry will rush in faster than a fighter jet ready for a battle and keep us from patiently waiting.

    The scripture says in 1 Peter 3 "You will be like the Godly women of old if you do what is right and do not give in to fear." When a wife realizes the wisdom in waiting on the Lord to teach her husband how to lead there will be a rest in her heart that will quickly displace any fear.

    Wednesday, June 01, 2005

    Mind and Media Reviews

    After reading the list of the 10 most harmful books, I am excited to have the opportunity to review the Bluedorn's newest offering "The Thinking Toolbox" for Mind & Media. We greatly enjoyed the Fallacy Detective and are eagerly awaiting the arrival of this book. (To read a description click on the book).

    I will also be reviewing John Pipers latest book for Mind & Media. The book won't be available until September but I am looking forward to getting it.

    Mind & Media.opportunities for publishers to connect with bloggers who are willing to read their books and post their opinions on their blogs. If you are interested in becoming a reviewer please visit Mind & Media.

    Choosing Home

    If you need some encouragement today, I invite you to join me at the "House Warming Party" for the opening of the new website Choosing Home. Molly and Jenna have put together the stories of women that have dedicated themselves to the Lord and their families. My post Choosing Home won a blue ribbon. Enjoy.