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Description: CHOIS Connection is a quarterly magazine published by Christian Homeschoolers of Idaho State. Its purpose is to provide educational support to homeschool families in Idaho State.

Connection a magazine for idaho home educators Summer 2017 DUAL CREDIT 101 AN OVERVIEW OF THE POSSIBILITIES Amy Vassar WHY I WASTED MY EDUCATION Melanie Wilson Ph.D. NATURE STUDY IN THE EARLY YEARS Copper Webb HOMESCHOOL DADS Tim Boswell Ph.D. MORE THAN THE PRINCIPAL COEUR D ALENE IDAHO SATURDAY OCTOBER 7 2017 REGIONAL CONFERENCE See inside for details Connection a magazine for idaho home educators EDITOR S NOTE Homeschool Friends Summer Am I the only one rejoicing in the sunshine after the hard winter we recently experienced Four seasons always make me happy but this year I am choosing summer as my favorite. I hope your family is ready to enjoy many adventures during these long warm days. This issue shares the 2nd part of a series on Idaho s portion of the Lewis & Clark Trail. Summer is a great time to follow in their footsteps or form your own Corps of Discovery. Also do not miss the Roaring Springs ad that will give you a discount code to use during their Homeschool Week. Once again I d like to inivite you to attend the 19th Annual Homeschool convention in Nampa on June 2 & 3. It s going to be a very special occasion. We are returning three beloved keynote speakers this year who tell us that they are presenting their final CHOIS speaking engagement. Please do not miss your opportunity to meet and hear from Mike Smith President of Home School Legal Defense Association Jessica Hulcy the queen of unit studies and Idaho s own Barry Peters former President of the Idaho Coalition of Home Educators. We are so grateful for the wisdom and service of these three homeschool heroes. We also look forward to hearing from speakers who have never yet graced the stage at our convention. We know that you will enjoy hearing Julie Bogart from Brave Writer Pamela Gates from Right Brain Learner Linda Hobar from Mystery of History and Mike Riddle from Creation Training Institute. We are also returning a few of our perennial favorites. ABOUT CHOIS Christian Homeschoolers of Idaho State (CHOIS) is the statewide organization that has been serving the needs of Idaho s homeschooling families since 1998. CHOIS is a 501c3 Idaho non-profit corporation directed by a board. OUR MISSION CHOIS exists to INSPIRE parents to homeschool their children PROMOTE parent-led privately funded relationshipbased home education and PRESERVE the freedom to homeschool. BOARD OF DIRECTORS Adam and Diana Childress Alan and Deanne Knopp Paul and Linda Patchin Tony and Jennifer Vahsholtz Mike and Copper Webb PUBLISHER Published quarterly by Christian Homeschoolers Of Idaho State EDITOR Linda Patchin GRAPHIC ARTIST Diana Childress ADVERTISING Rates are available upon request by email. Finally if you will have a high school senior next year online registration for the 2018 Graduation opens on September first. I look forward to seeing you at the convention Joyfully CONTACT INFO Christian Homeschoolers of Idaho State PO Box 45062 Boise ID 83711 info chois.org chois.org Linda Patchin 2017 Christian Homeschoolers of Idaho State. All rights reserved. 2 CHOIS COnneCtIOn SUMMER 2017 on the 22 Coeur d Alene Idaho CHOIS REGIONAL CONFERENCE Cover TABLE OF Summer 2017 CONTENTS 4 8 10 12 16 18 20 24 26 28 30 MORE THAN THE PRINCIPAL Tim Boswell Ph.D. WITHIN THIS ISSUE ADVERTISERS 7 THE DINING ROOM TABLE Aby Rinella WHY I WASTED MY EDUCATION Melanie Wilson Ph.D. ACADEMIC GROWTH CHART Linda Patchin ICHE ICHE AT A GLANCE ROARING SPRINGS BEST WESTERN PLUS A FAMILY ART HARVEY S REPAIR JONATHAN LONG BARRY PETERS ATTORNEY AT LAW NORTHWEST CHRISTIAN CREDIT UNION 13 15 DUAL CREDIT 101 Amy Vassar UNRELIABLE HOMESCHOOLERS Michelle Anderson 23 23 23 DO YOU KNOW YOUR CHILD S INNATE INTELLECT Daniel Bobinski NATURE STUDY IN THE EARLY YEARS Copper Webb 29 29 31 MEET EMILY WAHL THEY DON T NEED JUNE CLEAVER Stef Layton LEWIS AND CLARK TRAIL IN IDAHO Connie Seward SUMMER 2017 CHOIS COnneCtIOn 3 More than Principal Homeschool Dads Pass on Your Knowledge Support the Lead Teacher Take Part as Much as You Can the by Tim Boswell Ph.D. Watch for Teachable Moments Every Day Show an Interest I n my days as a homeschool student in the 80s and 90s people were less likely to know what home schooling was. My parents were often asked How does that work The arrangement explained only partially in jest was that my mom was the teacher and my dad was the principal. For some current homeschool families that description is lamentably accurate meaning that the mother carries out all the educational duties while the father serves as administrator financier and disciplinarian when reinforcements are needed. Too often homeschool dads accept these boundaries and miss out on the countless ways they can be involved in their kids education. With intentional choices dads can engage instruct and prepare their children in ways that powerfully complement Mom s role helping their homeschool thrive in the process. Dads here are five ways to make that happen. Strategy One Show an Interest Every day give your kids the chance to demonstrate what they ve learned. Make it interactive. Ask specific open-ended questions about what they learned and then have them elaborate. When possible have the kids physically show you their work--tests quizzes crafts activities pictures and so on. Consider with Mom s coordination utilizing stickers stamps or some other means to reward great work. Try to let the children demonstrate the knowledge they have learned such as re-creating a science experiment or doing a craft. Or explore deeper--use an encyclopedia together investigate the topic online watch a video or share your own knowledge on the subject. 4 CHOIS COnneCtIOn SUMMER 2017 But wait Check your attitude before you even start. You may be exhausted but this is important. Like little counterfeit investigators kids can spot a fake a mile away and it sends the wrong message if you seem checked out or impatient. Show your enthusiasm interest and appreciation and don t forget to praise both the children and their teacher. Strategy Three Support the Lead Teacher I can t stress enough the importance of this intentional choice. If your wife does the bulk of instruction support her. Ask what she needs and then follow up even if it means late-night grading. Teaching a class is a tremendously timeconsuming and energy-intensive undertaking. There s a reason teachers are considered community heroes. It s a huge sacrificial role and a full-time job. This is 100 percent true for homeschool teachers. The first step in support is good communication. Find out what is easy and what is rocky then identify specific areas needing support. This may involve grading planning the next day s schoolwork purchasing classroom supplies or just sitting down with the kids after you get home to Strategy Two Pass on Your Knowledge You have skills Everyone has areas of expertise and interest and the first step is recognizing that you have something to share--even in an academic setting It might be woodworking auto repair finances playing a musical instrument or building a model ship. Whatever it is identify the skill and discuss with Mom how and when to work it into the curriculum. It doesn t have to be on a school day--you can give a Saturday class. With intentional choices dads can engage instruct and prepare their children in ways that powerfully complement Mom s role helping their homeschool thrive in the process. If your area of expertise seems too advanced remember that most skills can be broken down or learned at basic levels first as with the apprenticeship model of olden days. Adapt the class to your children s age and grade level so it is challenging but not frustrating. Where possible find ways to connect knowledge across subjects. If your child is learning about currency and the value of money and you are teaching her how to replace a spark plug take her to the auto parts store and have her buy it and count her change. Also look for ways to capitalize on your children s interests. If you re teaching woodworking and your child is crazy about ponies woodcut a horse together. If you re teaching how to paint it doesn t have to be a bowl of fruit. A dragon or a pirate ship works just as well. help them focus on homework or finish a science project. What helps the teacher helps the students so your support could also involve lowering Mom s stress level by providing lunch watching the kids so she can get a nap or even providing her favorite treats or pick-me-ups. Look for ways to support the lead teacher both logistically and emotionally and the whole class will benefit. Strategy Four Take Part as Much as You Can There s no substitute for being involved therefore rearrange your schedule to connect with your children in various activities or to be home with them during part of the school day. SUMMER 2017 CHOIS COnneCtIOn SUMMER 2017 CHOIS COnneCtIOn 5 As technology allows for more and more jobs to be done remotely parents have new opportunities to work from home for at least part of their work week. If possible pursue telecommuting one or two days a week. If working from home is not a possibility in your position or line of work you might consider working longer hours one evening and then going in late the next morning allowing you to teach (or co-teach) the first class of the day. If however your schedule is fixed and working from home is not an option there is the potential for communicating with your family long distance. The smartphone or computer allows you to talk leave messages or interact face-to-face. Whether it s on your lunch break or during your walk into the office check in to encourage the kids to support their mother to ask what they are working on to share insights or advice and to generally be a part of the school day even from a distance. Use downtime for practice time. Quiz your kids on what they have been learning everything from Bible verses to American presidents. Make it a game to see who can run multiplication tables the fastest while standing in line or have younger kids recognize colors shapes letters and numbers in the world around them. Stay keenly aware of teachable moments and watch for them as they arise--not just for teaching facts and figures but also for teaching character and values. Talk about the right thing to do in a situation about what pleases God and about what the Bible teaches regarding what your children are seeing hearing experiencing or doing themselves. Don t just lecture ask questions and help the children to arrive at the truth. Reinforce this by modeling godly behavior and using critical thinking skills. Realize they are always learning from you--they are continually watching and listening. Seize the opportunity this affords and look for ways to teach your children every day. The time and energy you pour into your children s lives and learning will produce untold dividends in their education their character and their relationship with you. With all the other obligations you have on your plate the easiest approach is to leave everything homeschoolrelated to their mother but don t take the path of least resistance. Be intentional. Be involved. Make that investment and watch your home school thrive as a result. Make a point to be engaged with your kids education. It matters. And you can take great satisfaction in knowing that you are much more than your home school s principal. TIM BOSWELL PH.D. (home schooled from kindergarten on) earned a doctorate in creative writing and is managing editor for the peer-reviewed journal Studies in the Novel. He has edited or ghostwritten over thirty books (www. BookExpeditions.com) and teaches fiction workshops in the Dallas Fort Worth area for writers in grades 9-12 (www. Storytown.us). A homeschooling dad Boswell lives in Fort Worth with his wife three sons and far too many books. Strategy Five Watch for Teachable Moments Every Day Remember that homeschooling never stops which is one of the greatest things about it. Grab hold of learning opportunities when they appear. Capitalize on homeschooling s amazing plasticity. You can take a family vacation in the middle of the school year but you can also turn that vacation into a learning experience--writing a report about the states you travel through studying geography and maps or learning about nature cultures history or science whether at museums parks zoos or monuments. Daily regular experiences also offer chances for teaching. If you take your kids grocery shopping teach them about store operations or health and nutrition or money and spending habits or even about different cultural foods you find in the aisles. 6 CHOIS COnneCtIOn SUMMER 2017 Test Registration open May 1-Sept. 25 for March 2018 Testing New This Year Extended Deadline for 25th anniversary Updated Test Version www.iche-idaho.org Locations 19 test sites statewide Test with your friends 25 heading AddYears Protecting Homeschool Freedom Honors Honor cords for graduation Who s Who Summa Cum Laude Freedom High scores show there is no need for government oversight of Home Education. YOUR FREEDOM MATTERS. RESERVE YOUR SEAT TODAY SUMMER 2017 CHOIS C IdahoCoalitionOfHomeEducators OnneCtIOn 7 The Dining Room Table by Aby Rinella So much laughter learning and joy. I quietly shut his bedroom door and walked down the hall. I passed her quiet dark room stopping for a moment to listen in and make sure she was asleep. I continued down the hall through the living room and into the dining room. All that was left of cleanup from dinner was to wipe down the dining room table. I grabbed the dishrag walked over to the table and stopped for a moment taking in the mess. How many times have I wiped this dining area I remember picking this table up so many years ago at a thrift store throwing a few more screws in it and slapping on a fresh coat of paint having no idea what would take place there. I thought of the countless meals consumed at that table. Breakfasts lunches and dinners. Most enjoyed many choked down. Some quiet some loud. From the time it was just my husband and I seated there until now joined by our children. I thought of the frustrations of getting our first child to eat and the breath of relief when she finally did just to have another bundle of joy come along and give us a whole new set of dinner table challenges. I thought of the food I ve wiped off the floor under the table and the spills down the adjacent wall. I thought of the many meals I spent on my feet rocking and bouncing babies while others ate. I tried to remember a meal where I stayed seated for the entire duration and realized that there wasn t one. Oh how thankful I am to have a family to get up and down for. I reminisced of the company that has joined us at that table people with nowhere to go for a holiday college students looking for a home-cooked meal family from near and far friends of old and friends of new. Holidays birthdays celebrations of many. More than a dining room table The longer I stood there the deeper I saw. There before m e was so much more than a table. There before me stood my life I saw a desk that my children sat at each day and learned of their world with pencil marks upon it and even more eraser dust. Thank you Jesus for erasers. I saw a work bench with knicks and scratches from the many creations built by our very own hands throughout the years. I saw a craft table with paint glue and glitter left behind long after the masterpieces had been completed and hung. I saw play dough crumbles in the wood grain and could hear the giggles from the fun it brought while I prepared dinner. Oh What fun has taken place at that table. So much laughter learning and joy. I took another step closer and leaned in. I wiped away a few crumbs from the bread I had made earlier in the day and a sudden wave of emotion came over me. There I saw 2 indentations. I looked across the tabletop and there were 2 more. I ran my hand over the very place where my husbands and my elbows have rested for years as we prayed after meals. For our family our children our life and the world around us. By now I was looking through eyes blurred by tears when I noticed a crack in the wood. A poorly made piece of furniture No. The crack opened a gate and a flood of memories came rushing in. That crack could be the result of so many things One of many heated arguments had at that very table A glass jovially slammed down after a night of laughter Perhaps it was the time my girl decided that the best place to dance was on the table... in her pink cowboy boots Or maybe it was from all the hanging on the edges by my son trying desperately to see what was way up there his little feet dangling below. I sat down and laid my head upon that table. My lids could no longer hold the tears and down they fell upon the stains that remained from so many other tears that had been shed at that table. Tears of joy tears of pain tears of frustration and worry and tears of praise to the One that gave us it all. I thought of dreams dreamt and plans made at that table. I thought of news that was told and realizations come to as we sat there. I thought of the truly good and the truly hard times we had been through always coming back together at that very table. I slowly got up grabbed the rag and put it back on the counter. For tonight I will leave the table a mess for that mess was a beautiful mess. I dimmed the lights and as I walked out of the room I turned around for one more look and there in our dining room stood so much more than a table. There stood our life. ABY RINELLA an Idaho native along with her husband Jesse raise and home school their 3 children in the mountains of Idaho where they live to serve Jesus hunt fish four wheel snow machine ski and do whatever else they can think of in His creation around them. She has a passion to encourage women to fully live out God s calling in their lives as well as finding the beauty in the day to day. 8 CHOIS COnneCtIOn SUMMER 2017 The longer I stood there the deeper I saw. There before me was so much more than a table. There before me stood my life. SUMMER 2017 CHOIS COnneCtIOn 9 Not every mom is called to homeschool but I was. Why I Wasted My Education by Melanie Wilson Ph.D. I have a Ph.D. in clinical psychology but I don t see patients and I don t teach at the university. I gave that up to stay home with my children and homeschool them. The most stinging criticism I received for that choice was What a waste. It wasn t what about socialization or how can you possibly teach children at different levels or I would be crazy being home with my kids all day. It was Don t you think you re wasting your education that got to me. Truth be told there was a part of me that agreed with those critics. I had accumulated 30 000 of debt for my education. I had also invested ten long tearful years in school and practice for the privilege of calling myself a clinical psychologist. I could have helped hundreds of people had I continued practicing the past 16 years that I ve been homeschooling. Yet I chose to pour out my education for the sake of six little people who call me mom and not Dr. Wilson. I d like to tell you that I had thoroughly thought through that choice that I had counted the cost and that homeschooling was the clear winner in my deliberations but that isn t how it happened. Instead I found myself pouring out what I thought was so precious without even fully knowing why. I just knew I had to. I wanted to. A reason for hope I was like another woman two thousand years ago who was accused of waste. While Jesus was in Bethany in the home of Simon the Leper a woman came to him with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume which she poured on his head as he was reclining at the table. When the disciples saw this they were indignant. Why this waste they asked. This perfume could have been sold at a high price and the money given to the poor. Matthew 26 6-9 I wonder if like me this woman ever secondguessed herself. Who could she have helped What else could she have become if she hadn t chosen to waste what she had Jesus answered her question and He answered mine. Aware of this Jesus said to them Why are you bothering this woman She has done a beautiful thing to me. The poor you will always have with you but you will not always have me. Matthew 26 10-11 There will always be people in need of counseling. These poor souls will always be with us. But my children won t be. My oldest has just finished his first year in college and day after day I think I wish I would have taught him this too. When I was counseling the number one pain point for the people I saw was a disconnect with mom or dad. Mom or dad weren t there to guide weren t there to teach weren t there to encourage and the hurt of that carried on for decades. It s true that I have poured out my education--wasted it even--for the sake of six children I love so much. I never wanted them to sit in a therapist s office saying She was never there for me. In pouring myself out for my kids I believe I ve done a beautiful thing for them and for Christ to whom I was being obedient. Not every mom is called to homeschool but I was. As hard as it was to hear how I was wasting my education when I chose to stay home I was also so encouraged. At the time I was leaving the Christian practice I was in a dad with his Ph.D. was joining us. When he learned why I was leaving he said I m so proud of you. I still get misty thinking of that. More than most this man understood the sacrifice I was making-- the sacrifice I am still making with no regrets. And so homeschooling mom who has wasted your education to homeschool your children I want you to know I m proud of you too. What a beautiful thing you re doing. DR. MELANIE WILSON was a Christian psychologist before God called her to homeschool. She and her husband have six children two of them grown. She is a blogger podcaster and author of The Organized Homeschool Life and Grammar Galaxy language arts curriculum. PSYCHOWITH6.COM 10 CHOIS COnneCtIOn SUMMER 2017 JESUS SAID beautiful thing MATTHEW 26 10 SHE HAS DONE A SUMMER 2017 CHOIS COnneCtIOn SUMMER 2017 CHOIS COnneCtIOn 11 GROWTH CHARTS By Linda Patchin ACADEMIC pediatric endocrinologist. I scheduled an appointment with her regular pediatrician on the day we got back. I gave him the St. Louis doctor s report and shared his concerns. Our pediatrician took a deep breath looked me straight in the eye and laughingly said Frankly my dear my crystal ball is not working as well as the one the doctor in St. Louis is using. He went on to explain that the doctor in St. Louis was looking at only one point on a graph and that in fact that point didn t look very promising. But our regular doctor had the perspective of a full growth chart showing a steady incline. He explained that his long-term perspective gave us hope that she would continue to thrive and even experience A s an infant my daughter was frequently ill which resulted in a sluggish growth rate. She weighed only fifteen pounds on her first birthday. As a new mom I was concerned about obvious sickness and it never occurred to me to regularly monitor her growth. My husband travelled extensively for his employment and when possible the children and I would accompany him. On one such trip Emily became ill. We took her to the emergency room of a large children s hospital in St. Louis. The pediatrician who treated her was concerned about her diminutive size. He told me that her rate of growth would result in an adult height under four feet ten inches. He made me promise that upon our return home she would see a growth spurts such as he had already seen. Now an adult my daughter is five feet four inches tall which is two inches taller than her mother. She is not a giant but she has obtained a respectable height for a woman. Heels help. I was recently reminded of this experience during a discussion about the benefits of annual standardized testing. In Idaho home educators have worked hard to achieve a law that does not require us to participate but we are privileged to have an opportunity to voluntarily take the IOWA Test of Basic Skills through the Idaho Coalition of Home Educators. I believe that it is prudent for homeschooled students to participate in these tests annually. 12 CHOIS COnneCtIOn SUMMER 2017 homeschool testIng prIor to throwIng the baby out wIth the bath water. It seems that standardized testing has fallen out of favor for a variety of reasons. Parents who have removed their children from public or virtual charter schools are especially opposed to it. Their children were required to take standardized tests while enrolled. A quick search on the website of Boise schools lists one national five state and five district tests which a student may be required to take annually. That s a whole lot of testing Testing can be stressful but perhaps worse than that is the amount of time spent teaching test material prior to taking the test. It seems like the object of teaching is to prepare to take the tests. Vicious circle It makes sense that after removing a child from traditional school parents may wish to avoid placing their child in that environment again. However it is important to recognize the benefits of homeschool testing prior to throwing the baby out with the bath water. First testing through ICHE can be a surprisingly stress-free experience. Anxiety often begins with the parent (or teacher) and can be highly contagious. Examine your own attitude if you find your child stressing at the thought of testing. Are you placing too heavy an emphasis on scores Testing through ICHE is different from other testing environments. Proctors are mandatory. That means that your children will need to have an adult at their table while they are taking their tests. The proctor s job is to ensure that no mechanical errors are made on the test. Proctors watch for mistakes such as filling out the bubbles in a math test section while taking the reading test. Having a trusted parent by their side can do a lot to alleviate anxiety My children enjoyed participating in annual testing because I made it special. We went shopping together to purchase unique treats. The snack break during testing became an opportunity for myself and my kids to meet new friends and catch up with old ones. In many respects testing became a family reunion. I met my lifetime best friend there twenty-five years ago. My son met his future wife at testing when they were pre-teens. (It was more than a decade before their friendship blossomed into something more ) We eliminated score anxiety by telling them about Olympic high jumpers. Every time they successfully make a jump the bar is raised. We can only judge how high they can jump by taking the measure when the bar is knocked down. A student is expected to get some of the test answers wrong. If they do not then the test has failed to adequately assess how high their brain can jump. Knowing that it is ok to make mistakes even anticipated removes a lot of the stress Testing can also be a game. My children loved games that challenged their speed such as Perfection Bop-it Boggle and Catch-Phrase. When taking tests I would encourage them to challenge themselves to see how many questions they could answer before the time ran out. No pressure just a game. The proctor who is sitting beside their students can offer plenty of encouragement. Gentle back rubs high-fives thumbs-up and verbal praise are always welcome. Individual test scores helped me to determine the efficacy of my curriculum choices and I was able to make future course corrections as a result. It s true that homeschool parents usually have a fairly good idea of how their children are performing on their schoolwork but the ability to measure their progress by what It Is Important to recognIze the benefIts of ICHE at-a-glance May 1 2017 Test Results mailed May 1 - Sept. 25 2018 Test Registration Open NEW Test Version NEW later deadline 19 Sites Statewide Who s Who Summa Cum Laude Graduation Honor Cords Reserve your seat today ICHE-IDAHO.ORG Save The Date Nov. 15 Student Display Applications Due Feb. 14 2018 Legislative Pie Day SUMMER 2017 CHOIS COnneCtIOn 13 peers are expected to know is really great feedback. While homeschooling provides an excellent opportunity to step out of the realm of comparison it is prudent to maintain grade-level proficiency in case your child ever needs to attend public or private school. Failing to do so places a child at a tremendous disadvantage. Another instance where reliable test scores from an outside entity can be helpful is in a custody dispute where a former spouse opposes homeschooling. Judges look favorably upon maintaining the familiar education environment of a child when positive results can be demonstrated. Testing also gives the home educator peace of mind and an opportunity to silence critics. I do not recommend ever sharing actual test scores with anyone but a spouse but oftentimes those who oppose us feel relieved to know that our child is being tested. General comments are very helpful We were very pleased with the results of Johnny s tests. I know that he missed a few of the random spelling words you quizzed him on last week but his spelling scores were actually several grades ahead of his age mates. (What exactly is a curmudgeon anyway ) And even though he missed some of the triple digit multiplication problems you were grilling him on his math scores are showing steady improvement. Boom Guilty silence. Test scores in the upper twentieth percentile result in recommendation to Who s Who among Idaho Scholars and earns the recipient the right to wear gold honor cords upon graduation. Scores above the 90th percentile earn Summa Cum Laude honors and recipients wear gold and white honor cords during their graduation ceremony. Furthermore testing is an acquired skill and practicing under real testing conditions gives participants a leg up when they take their high-stakes college entrance exams such as the ACT or SAT. Taking tests does not end at high school. There are exams in the military and many occupational licensing and advancement tests. Like all life skills becoming a proficient test-taker requires practice. scores tell a remarkable story and provIde IncredIble encouragement. ICHE uses homeschool aggregate test scores for lobbying purposes. Participating in voluntary testing speaks volumes. Our consistently high scores help convince our elected officials that further regulation is unnecessary. Individual test scores are private and parents are the only ones who receive a copy. Finally regular participation in testing provides the same thing that my daughter s growth chart showed her pediatrician steady improvement and learning spurts. Each year s scores tell a remarkable story and provide incredible encouragement. I kept my score strips on a transcript folder where my husband and I could check annual progress at a glance. We compare scores by subject or in composite. It was thrilling to note that a curriculum change resulted in higher math scores or that their study of English roots garnered higher vocabulary scores. A poor score could be seen in context as a single point on the graph rather than the whole picture. I encourage you to give IOWA testing through ICHE a try especially if you ve had some bad experiences in the past. Set up a regular schedule for taking assessments so that you too can monitor the curves on the graph. Participating in voluntary testing is one small thing that we can all do to maintain our freedom. LINDA PATCHIN and her husband Paul managed to keep all four of their children growing until grown up. Homeschooled from birth through high school they have all completed college. T h ey still enjoy games and challenges and have taken many tests as adults. BENEFITS OF ANNUAL STANDARDIZED TESTING Like all life skills becoming a proficient test-taker requires practice. Testing is an acquired skill and practicing under real testing conditions gives participants a leg up when they take their high-stakes college entrance exams such as the ACT or SAT. Taking tests does not end at high school. Oftentimes those who oppose us feel relieved to know that our child is being tested. Testing gives the home educator peace of mind and an opportunity to silence critics. It s true that homeschool parents usually have a fairly good idea of how their children are performing on their schoolwork but the ability to measure their progress by what peers are expected to know is really great feedback. Individual test scores help to determine the efficacy of curriculum choices. Participating in voluntary testing speaks volumes. Our consistently high scores help convince our elected officials that further regulation is unnecessary. ICHE uses homeschool test scores for lobbying purposes. Each year s scores tell a remarkable story and provide incredible encouragement by showing steady improvement and learning spurts. Testing helps measure your student s academic progress. 14 CHOIS COnneCtIOn SUMMER 2017 SUMMER 2017 CHOIS COnneCtIOn 15 DUAL CREDIT 101 An Overview of Possibilities By Amy Vassar High school students and their parents have many decisions to make and plenty of options to sift through. One of those options is dual credit. While it won t be an ideal fit for every family it is a blessing to have it available as a possibility for our homeschooled high school students. In this article I will attempt to provide a general overview of what dual credit is and how you might use it in your son s or daughter s high school career. I will also include a question and answer section at the end. Thank you to all of you who contributed questions and to my colleagues in the CWI dual credit office who helped draft the responses in that section. Dual credit (also called concurrent credit) refers to college credits that students can earn while still in high school. These credits may be earned through classes at local high schools that have been aligned with the college curriculum and approved to be taught for college credit or they may be earned by taking classes directly from the college or university. They will go on the student s transcripts just like any postsecondary classes they take after graduation. One confusion I often see is dual credit versus dual enrollment. Dual credit as stated earlier refers to college credits earned while still in high school. Dual enrollment is usually used to refer to students who are homeschooled but take at least one class or participate in sports or other extracurricular activities at a local high school. Theoretically there could be classes that are both if a student takes a class at their local high school that has been approved as a dual credit course and they choose to register and pay for the college credit. In general though these are two separate options that homeschool families might consider. There are various benefits to taking dual credit classes while in high school. One obvious benefit is time. Especially if your son or daughter is considering a career like law or medicine that will require 8 or more years of schooling being able to start at a younger age puts them that much closer to finishing and starting into the workforce. Also if they are ready to take on the responsibility of collegelevel coursework they can take some of their classes like math science and foreign language for college credit instead of taking them as high school classes and then repeating them again in college. Another benefit is Q&A in response to a Facebook post soliciting questions about dual credit Will CWI start following BSU s lead when it comes to college credit for younger students (under 16 years old) for the Advanced Learner Achievement Award which is a one-time 1 000 scholarship payable in the fall. For all CURRENT dual credit students CWI continues to do its best to preserve the 65 per credit rate for on campus and online classes. Because of this discounted rate existing dual credit students do not qualify for any additional financial aid. You may have heard about the Advanced Opportunities Fast Forward program through the state of Idaho which pays for dual credit courses for high school students. These funds are not available to homeschooled students or students in private schools. However if you have chosen to dual enroll your son or daughter in a public school for at least one class per year he or she may be eligible to access those funds. CWI has always allowed students under 16 to take classes in the high school for dual credit as well as to take classes from CWI s campus. We have always had a Sophomore by Exception form in our registration packet that is required of students under 16. Do all Idaho colleges accept CWI credits when transferring All IDAHO STATE colleges do accept CWI credits when transferring IF they are GEM courses. If they are considered an elective or if the student is choosing an in-state private school (or any school outside of the state of Idaho) it is best to contact the transferring institution to determine how the credits will best be transferred. Is there any financial aid available Can dual credit students take classes online For PAST dual credit students who enroll in CWI as a full or part time student (at least 9 credit hours) they qualify Yes dual credit students who are taking classes directly through CWI (that is not through their local high school) may choose from any traditional online or hybrid course. 16 CHOIS COnneCtIOn SUMMER 2017 cost. In most cases dual credit classes in the state of Idaho are 65 per credit at the time of this writing. This is a savings of just over 50% compared to regular tuition at CWI and even more at other schools that have a higher cost per credit. Finally I consider the responsibility involved to be an added benefit. Taking college classes while still in high school allows students to become familiar with the expectations of college-level work as well as with college policies and resources. There are a few things that you may want to be aware of as you decide if and how to incorporate dual credit into your homeschool high school plans. First if your son or daughter is taking classes directly through the college whether online or on campus they will be treated like any other college student. Unless they inform the instructor they are not identified in the class roster or elsewhere as dual credit students. One way this might impact you is that the instructor is only allowed to discuss the student s grades with the student. The FERPA (Family Education Rights and Privacy Act) policies that protect your access to your child s academic records are transferred to the student when they attend a school beyond high school. There is a form they can sign to allow you to be included in meetings with the faculty member but otherwise all communication about their performance in the class will only be directly with the student. Another important consideration is whether there are opportunities that you anticipate may be available to your son or daughter specifically as an incoming college freshman (athletic programs National Merit or other 4-year scholarships etc.) If you are looking at specific programs or scholarships you may want to contact the school or scholarship provider to find out if dual credit will impact the student s eligibility (see the Q & A section for more about this). One concern that always comes up when talking about dual credit is transferability of those credits. A recent change in Idaho s general education requirements may help provide some clarity and reassurance here. The Idaho State Board of Education in collaboration with all eight public postsecondary institutions recently revamped the general education core requirements for college students in traditional degree programs (Associate of Arts Associate of Science and Baccalaureate degrees). These courses are referred to as GEM (General Education Matriculation) courses and are accepted for transfer between all Idaho public institutions. Students can also earn a GEM certificate that demonstrates to the other schools that they have completed all the general education requirements for their degree. If your son or daughter chooses to attend an out-of-state school after graduation they will have to request a transcript evaluation to see which of their credits will transfer although many times the lower division basic classes like English 101 will transfer without too much difficulty. I know this is a lot of information to dump into a single article but I hope it is helpful to you in considering whether dual credit would be a good option to incorporate into your high school plans. AMY VASSAR is a homeschool graduate homeschool mom and college professor. Amy attended College of Idaho where she earned a B.A. in Spanish M.A. in Teaching and Idaho Teaching Certificate. She embarked on a teaching career which led through elementary ESL high school Spanish and online teaching before arriving at her dream job of teaching at the College of Western Idaho. What classes are available and their locations for the upcoming year Where would I look for this information To homeschooled students the only courses that would be available for the upcoming year would be those either offered on CWI s Campus (including online) or through the Idaho Digital Learning Academy. CWI s course schedule can be found at http cwidaho.cc current-students class-schedule What percentage of scholarships might someone miss out on by not being an incoming freshman if they take college courses while in high school This is a difficult question to answer predicated upon the fact that each post-secondary institution handles the enrollment of dual credit students differently. That said CWI s Dual Credit Office does not have access to reliable data as it relates to a certain percentage of students who may miss out on freshman scholarships. How does getting college credits while still in high school impact students that wish to be college athletes Each post-secondary institution has a different way of enrolling dual credit students. Some who have enough credits to be considered a Sophomore can enroll as a Sophomore while others are still enrolled as incoming Freshmen. It would be best for athletes to contact their transferring institution to see how their credits and enrollment status may affect their athletic career. Author s note The responses in the Q & A section pertain specifically to CWI and are accurate as of the time of publication. Boise State and NNU as well as other institutions around the state also offer dual credit courses to high school students. However some schools charge the regular tuition for classes taken directly through them the 65 rate is only for classes taken at a high school. Your best resource for up-to-date information about the institution you are considering for dual credit will be the dual credit office at that school. SUMMER 2017 CHOIS COnneCtIOn SUMMER 2017 CHOIS COnneCtIOn 17 Unreliable HomescHoolers By Michelle Anderson Unreliable. Selfish. Disloyal. Quitter. D o these words describe today s homeschooler Let me start by saying my intent in writing this is not to buy anyone a ticket for a guilt trip. I am reaching out to our community to ask that we (me too ) take a closer look at how we are living out our calling to educate our kids. If this doesn t apply to you-- awesome Keep on keeping on mom and dad. I m concerned that perhaps in our zealousness to make sure our kids are experiencing the best of what s out there homeschoolers have sometimes unintentionally left others in the dust when zooming on to the next shiny thing. I know I ve been guilty of this before. We ve needed to drop classes have been late or otherwise haven t completed what we had planned on. At the time it didn t seem like that big of a deal. One of the cool things about being a homeschooler is not being beholden to anyone right I think I may have been wrong. In fact at times I really have been an unreliable selfish disloyal quitter. Let me explain. Our family has been homeschooling for nearly a decade. In the beginning of our homeschooling career I was concerned about missed opportunities. I wasn t yet confident about this homeschooling gig and wanted to make sure my kids had many chances to meet other children and participate in activities that their public school peers might do. I made sure to follow many homeschool Facebook groups and email lists in our area so that I could hear about the many (many ) ways homeschoolers were gathering--plays musical performances park days gallery outings co-ops PE classes and more. So. Many. Things. To. Do. I didn t want my kids to miss out. No was a word that was alltoo-often absent from my vocabulary. It s no big surprise then that this lead to overscheduling our family. One semester we had something scheduled outside our home every single weekday plus church on Sunday Talk about overwhelming. The craziness didn t last long. Soon we found our groove and learned how to find balance between staying home and doing outside activities. Phew What a relief As I ve become more connected in the homeschooling community and have taken on leadership roles for various homeschool groups I ve come to realize just how impactful it is to have people not follow through with their commitments. It s amazing how perspective changes when you re the one who is in charge Not only does having people come late not show up quit etc. create more work for the people that have to step up and fill in it also makes the organizers (READ volunteers) have to do more work to either reschedule resources or make changes. This in turn requires them to take more time and energy away from their own families. I believe much of the burn out we ve seen at homeschool co-ops is because the same small group of people keep their commitments to serve while others seem to just want to have their kids participate without being obligated to contribute. That s just not sustainable. Curious to see if my experience is an anomaly I had a conversation with a group of fellow homeschoolers to find out. All have held support group leadership positions and have volunteered at 18 CHOIS COnneCtIOn SUMMER 2017 Be thoughtful when considering whether or not to add another class sign up for a field trip or join a co-op. Subscribe Today 1 YEAR 10 Name Street Box City State Zip Code Phone one time or another to organize extracurricular outings events and activities for homeschoolers. You know what They ve seen this same trend too One spoke about deciding to not volunteer to coordinate a much-loved annual event any longer because she has found that the challenges of dealing with large numbers of changes and lastminute cancellations has sucked the joy out of it. Another shared about her experience organizing a competitive academic team. They ended up with 20% of their team quitting before the season was complete. This left the remaining kids having to increase their workload considerably in order to honor the team s commitment to go to the competition. Two long-standing co-ops on in the Treasure Valley were unable to offer classes for Spring 2017. Why While each had enough members that wanted to take classes neither had enough parents willing to teach. I am even more dismayed though when homeschoolers are out in the regular community and don t follow through with their commitments. Again to see if my experiences are unusual I reached out to various businesses in the Treasure Valley to see what they thought of homeschoolers. It s not pretty. The overall impression is that homeschoolers are sometimes not very reliable. They ve shared that homeschoolers are often late cancel at the last minute or will book a field trip with a certain number only to show up with far fewer than planned. On the surface that may seem like not a big deal but when you consider these businesses often need to increase staffing to accommodate a group it makes sense that they would be frustrated. Knowing just how generations before us much the struggled to make homeschooling not just legal but an accepted form of education it makes me sad to see how we back out of classes don t show up are late and otherwise come across as flakey. It concerns me how homeschoolers are then perceived as a group. I imagine that eventually businesses will either stop offering opportunities for homeschoolers or will have to start charging more to compensate for the no-shows and the extra effort it takes to deal with us. In the end we all suffer with a tarnished reputation. Where do we go from here My plan is to be more thoughtful when considering whether or not to add another class sign up for a field trip or join a co-op. Is it helping us to reach our physical academic social and spiritual goals for the family Have I thoroughly examined what the time commitment will be Will it realistically fit into our schedule Can our family budget cover the cost Have we left enough down time for free play and exploration Once we ve made the decision to sign up--that s it. We re committed. We will show up on time. We will be gracious and grateful to the people that have given of their time and talents to our family. We will communicate our gratitude. We ll also not just be takers. We will help in some way too. If something truly gets in the way of us fulfilling our promise we will communicate as early as possible and with humility. And finally we will be the best homeschooling ambassadors we can because fair or not homeschool skeptics are watching and waiting for us to fail. Who s with me Email Mail this form and checks to CHOIS P.O. Box 45062 Boise ID 83711 or go to www.chois.org to subscribe online If paying this subscription fee would be a financial hardship for your family please email info chois.org and request a scholarship. CHOIS exists to inspire Idaho parents to educate their children at home to promote parent-led family-funded relationshipbased home education and to preserve homeschool freedoms. We are a non-profit organization committed to encouraging homeschooling families. The CHOIS Connection a quarterly magazine seeks to provide encouragement and help for Idaho homeschooling families. ................................. WEBSITE Please visit us at www.chois.org LIKE US A faithful community where we share our days with you. facebook.com CHOIS FOLLOW US Get on-the-go homeschool updates and see what we are up to. twitter.com CHOIS PIN US Check out our boards on the things many homeschool moms love. pinterest.com CHOIS MICHELLE ANDERSON has been married to hubby Chuck for 26 years and counting. They homeschool their daughters from their little farm in south Nampa. Prior to full-time motherhood Michelle worked as a corporate trainer. WAYS YOU CAN HELP Spread the word about CHOIS to family and friends. Like us on Facebook and encourage your friends to Like us too. Collect Box Tops for Education for CHOIS. Donate to the CHOIS Silent Auction. Join us in our effort to connect the whole state. Check out the website for volunteer needs. Pray for the CHOIS Board of Directors and volunteers we really need it SUMMER 2017 CHOIS COnneCtIOn 19 innate intellect By Daniel Bobinski Do you know your child s A re you aware of the concept of multiple intelligences The model is different from what we commonly refer to as IQ (intelligence quotient) and in my opinion more useful. Based on research spearheaded by Howard Gardner in the early 1980 s at Harvard the model suggests that all human beings have at least nine different areas of intelligence. Furthermore Gardner suggests that within each individual several areas will be dominant some will be average and some will be diminished. The nine areas identified by Gardner are Why should you know these things Because if we know our children s strongest innate intellects we can engage them more solidly with their learning. I will provide a link to a free assessment at the end of this article but here are some examples that can help even if you don t use the assessment. EXAMPLES OF IDENTIFIABLE CLUES David is gifted at assembling model ships and airplanes and seems to be a born tree-climber. He also loves doing role plays and acting in skits. Likely a strong BODILY- VERBAL-LINGUISTIC INTELLIGENCE - well-developed verbal skills and sensitivity to the sounds the meanings and the rhythm of words. KINESTHETIC INTELLIGENCE. MATHEMATICAL-LOGICAL INTELLIGENCE - an innate ability to think conceptually and abstractly with a strong capacity to discern logical or numerical patterns. and respond appropriately to the moods motivations and desires of others. Eva sings with beautiful pitch and seems to pick up melodies and rhythms naturally. She can also tell you when instruments are out of tune. Likely a strong MUSICAL INTELLIGENCE. INTERPERSONAL INTELLIGENCE a capacity to detect Whenever picks up a pencil he starts drawing strikingly realistic scenes. He s also good at reading maps and he loves photography. Likely a strong VISUAL- Russell INTRAPERSONAL INTELLIGENCE a capacity to easily tune into their inner feelings values beliefs and thinking processes. In other words they are quite self-aware. SPATIAL INTELLIGENCE. Simon MUSICAL INTELLIGENCE an ability to understand and loves science experiments and thinks it s fun to solve math puzzles in his head. Memorizing his multiplication table was a snap. Likely a strong appreciate rhythm pitch and timber. They are often adept at creating music as well. MATHEMATICAL-LOGICAL INTELLIGENCE. VISUAL-SPATIAL INTELLIGENCE a capacity to think in images and pictures as well as to visualize things in their mind both accurately (concretely) and abstractly (conceptually). Anna loves to read and she regularly asks what different words mean when she hears adults using them. Likely a strong VERBAL-LINGUISTIC INTELLIGENCE. NATURALIST INTELLIGENCE an ability to recognize Olivia just seems to get people. INTELLIGENCE. relate to and systematize things in nature such as plants animals and other natural objects. She is the person her friends turn to when they need an ear. She reads body language well and helps people see things from different perspectives. Likely a strong INTERPERSONAL BODILY-KINESTHETIC INTELLIGENCE an ability to control their own body movements and also to handle manipulate objects skillfully. Carl is interested in animal s lives and their various habits. Katilyn EXISTENTIAL INTELLIGENCE a desire and capacity to He loves camping and hiking and exploring along creeks and rivers. Likely a strong NATURALIST INTELLIGENCE. sees the big picture easily. She enjoys being outside and asks a lot of questions about life. Discussions about religions always interest her and she has deep insights for her age. Likely a strong EXISTENTIAL tackle deep questions about human existence and the meaning of life. (Note Gardner named this category existential allegedly because he didn t want to get into spiritual things but spiritual intelligence is a large part of this category.) 20 (SPIRITUAL) INTELLIGENCE. CHOIS COnneCtIOn SUMMER 2017 IF WE KNOW OUR CHILDREN S STRONGEST INNATE INTELLECTS WE WITH THEIR LEARNING. CAN ENGAGE THEM MORE SOLIDLY Hailey keeps a diary and enjoys spending time alone INTELLIGENCE. appearing introverted. She is self-motivated but prefers working independently. Likely a strong INTRAPERSONAL INTERPERSONAL INTELLIGENCE Now that you know how the nine different intelligences might play out the following are some activities you can do to help your students learn better Assign group projects whenever possible Encourage students to interview people who are specialists in the area being studied Assign students to teach others a portion of the subject matter INTRAPERSONAL INTELLIGENCE VERBAL-LINGUISTIC INTELLIGENCE Provide word games such as crossword puzzles & word searches on the subject matter Have students write stories reports or poems about the material and give presentations Hold discussion groups on various subjects Teach students how to use spider graphs (mind maps) Encourage daily weekly journaling on personal thoughts concerns Have students write reflections on topics studied in class MATHEMATICAL-LOGICAL INTELLIGENCE NATURALISTIC INTELLIGENCE Look for patterns in things (such as poetry music art & history) Do proofs by solving problems in more than one way Let kids create experiments that validate a concept When weather permits and when it s practical hold class outside Write and or perform skits involving things found in nature Where possible show how nature and or weather affects what is being studied MUSICAL INTELLIGENCE Research the types of music popular in the time period of history or social studies Encourage students to write songs about what they re learning Have students find topic-related songs on YouTube (or similar) EXISTENTIAL (SPIRITUAL) INTELLIGENCE Provide overviews so the student can see the big picture Have students examine learning from different points of view Discuss how the topic being learned relates to the world overall Although we homeschoolers do well to understand our learners I d like to emphasize that it s best to know thyself first. For help with that you can access free assessments by visiting FamilyExperience.net tools. Take one yourself and if your child is old enough you can have him her take one too. You can elaborate on the questions to help younger students understand. And may everyone have happier teaching and learning environments DANIEL BOBINSKI M.Ed. is a homeschooling dad a workplace training consultant a best-selling author and Director at Family Experience LLC. Daniel thoroughly loves helping people learn how to connect more deeply with their family and with God. This article is adapted from his award-winning book Become a Student of Your Students co-written with his wife Jeralynne. VISUAL-SPATIAL INTELLIGENCE Use spider graphs (mind maps) to teach and or review material Have students create drawings or a photo exhibit on subject matter Have students create or put together jigsaw or 3-D puzzles (e.g. Legos or clay) on subject matter BODILY-KINESTHETIC INTELLIGENCE Use manipulatives let student play with objects related to the subject Do act-it-out (for literature) and or role-play Have students create build models of anything in their lesson SUMMER 2017 CHOIS COnneCtIOn 21 CHOIS REGIONAL CONFERENCE COEUR D ALENE IDAHO MORE THAN A CONFERENCE AN EVENT TO REMEMBER FOR MORE INFORMATION AND TO REGISTER VISIT WWW.CHOIS.ORG Come hear Rachael Carman co-founder of Apologia Educational Ministries who will be our guest speaker. REGISTRATION OPENS JUNE 15TH WWW.CHOIS.ORG Details When Saturday October 7 2017 Cost full-day event is 25 with spouse attending for free Where Candlelight Christian Fellowship 5725 N. Pioneer Dr. Coeur d Alene ID 83815 22 CHOIS COnneCtIOn SUMMER 2017 PREGNANCY BIRTH NEWBORN Respectful personalized quality maternity care (208) 284-4324 (208) 585-1051 www.afamilyart.com 6630 W. Overland Road Boise Idaho 83709 DIGITAL FORMAT Harvey Breaux 208-573-1157 25 Hartman Boise ID 83704 harvey harveysrepair.com www.harveysrepair.com Connection Fall 2016 a magazine for idaho home educators ALSO INSIDE convention photos and comments from this year s attendees. Can Your Children Explain WHY THEY HOMESCHOOL Zan Tyler Get the same great magazine on your tablet & mobile devices Visit www.chois.org Keeping the Home in Homeschooling Linda Hobar Why Join a Homeschool Group J.Mike Smith FREE COMING SOON... FREE MONEY What are ESA s and how will they affect homeschoolers SUMMER 2017 CHOIS COnneCtIOn 23 Nature Study Living in the digital age children today know more about nature than previous generations. It s likely that you have a child much like my seven-year-old son who is a walking talking encyclopedia of facts. Yet despite this abundance of knowledge children today have minimal physical contact or actual experiences in nature. Richard Louv author of Last Child in the Woods writes that most children today are suffering from Nature-Deficit Disorder. As much as I would like to deny it I find this trend to be true in my own homeschool. This past semester I have dutifully driven to Deerflat Wildlife Refuge every other Saturday to pick up a classroom trunk to delve into with my children and some homeschooling friends. We have delighted in learning about God s creation this way and eagerly anticipate what new treasures from nature will be brought into our home via the trunks. But how often do I actually take my children outside and into nature I make time to retrieve teaching materials from the wildlife refuge but I am not near as apt to work into our schedule the space necessary for my children to freely explore the refuge. Idaho provides world-renowned access to nature yet most my family s days are spent within the boundaries of our manicured subdivision. Time in nature is not leisure time writes Louv it s an essential investment in our children s health. Children need experiences with nature just as they need sleep or healthy food. Richard Louv spends much of his book explaining exactly what nature offers children emotional well being spiritual sense of perspective observation skills cognitive abilities creativity healthy risk taking humility stress management increased attention and lowered depression. How can time spent in nature provide all these benefits Primarily because it involves all of the senses. Consider also Psalm 19 1-2 The heavens are telling of the glory of God and their expanse is declaring the work of His hands. Day to day pours forth speech and night to night reveals knowledge. There is no speech nor language where their voice is not heard. And Romans 1 20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes His eternal power and divine nature have been clearly seen being understood through what has been made so that they are without excuse. God reveals Himself through nature If we neglect to study nature we may miss truths about Him. I ve resolved an important and to make a priority. But to make nature study part of our homeschool place-based education how exactly should I go in the by Copper Webb early years about putting this new precedence into action I m passionate about free unfettered play for children but plopping my little ones into a state park and announcing that we re going to do nature study is a gamble. There seems to be a 50 50 chance that they ll either take off with wild abandon or they ll trail behind me with complaints of I m hungry hot cold tired I ve lived with my children long enough to know that I need a game plan tucked into my back pocket. But what kind of framework would work best for nature study Simply taking a fact-based approach with my children would most definitely elicit cries of I m bored and ultimately I want to go home moving Beyond the Facts John Burroughs the great American naturalist once said Knowledge without love will not stick. But if love comes first knowledge is sure to follow. It is time enough to answer children s questions when they are interested to ask them. As home educators we have the gift of time. We don t need to cram facts into our children s minds because we have time to wait and watch for sparks of enthusiasm and curiosity. With the luxury of time on our side enthusiasm can easily grow into love. Your main objective should be simply to enjoy nature. Let nature study be learner-centered experience-based. Recommended ResouRces Last Child in the Woods by Richard Louv Sharing Nature by Joseph Cornell The Outdoor Life of Children by Charlotte Mason Pocket Full of Pinecones by Karen Andreola The Curious Nature Guide by Clare Walker Leslie Exploring Nature with Children (e-book found at raisinglittleshoots.com) Birds Every Child Should Know by Neltje Blanchan Trees Every Child Should Know by Julia Ellen Rogers Wild Flowers Worth Knowing by Neltje Blanchan COPPER WEBB is a secondgeneration Idaho homeschooler and mother of four children ages 10 and under. Copper and her husband Mike are CHOIS board members. The Webbs have long maintained that the quickest way to eradicate grumpy attitudes in children is to take them to the Boise River and let them throw rocks. COPPERWEBB.COM 24 CHOIS COnneCtIOn SUMMER 2017 Stage One awaken enthusiasm Let a sense of joy permeate your nature study. Start with an activity that breathes zest and creativity into your children. Act like squirrels hunting for acorns. Pretend to be trees blowing in the wind. Hop on the ground like frogs. Once everyone is laughing and excited move onto the next phase of your nature study. Stage t wO Focus attention Encourage your children to be keen observers of nature. Can they hear seven different sounds How many shades of green can they find How does the flower smell differently than the grass or the leaf Before you start a walk gather a few items from nature and challenge your child to find identical items along the trail. Hunt for specific signs of an animal s passing. Give your child a small field guide and have them place a sticker on the picture of each object they locate. Flow leaRning TM In his book Sharing Nature Joseph Cornell recommends a simple framework for nature study which he calls Flow Learning TM . The sequence follows four stages that flow naturally from one to the next. Stage t hree oFFeR diRect expeRience Give your children the opportunity to observe an animal insect tree flower or river up close. Use binoculars magnifying glasses or even jeweler s loupes (they fit easily in pockets ). Not sure what something is Take a picture and look it up at home. Practice making bird calls. Settle into a safe spot blindfold your children and let their other senses awaken. Stage FOur shaRe inspiRation Provide an opportunity for your child to reflect on their experience. Draw and color a picture of the river flowing. Act out how the beetle crawled. Sing like the bluebird. Describe how the leaves moved when the wind blew. Which trees was your child able to identify (Don t hesitate to teach your preschooler to identify species. Preschoolers love classifying items. Consider how they group their toy cars or eagerly rattle off the names and identifying talents of each Paw Patrol Pup.) SUMMER 2017 CHOIS COnneCtIOn 25 25 SUMMER 2017 CHOIS COnneCtIOn Q& Meet Emily Wahl Homeschooling momma of three boys ages 8 5 and 3 and founder of Treasure Valley Nature Study Group. A How long have you been homeschooling I consider myself to have been homeschooling from the very beginning. So about eight years Describe a typical nature study outing for your group. What inspired you to start a nature study group I first heard the term nature study about two years ago when I discovered the Charlotte Mason philosophy of education. Her idea was to instill in children a love of nature and a habit of careful observation. A childhood filled with nature study provides the foundation of all of the sciences. It also resonated deeply with my memory of what it was like to be a child. I remember being completely fascinated with the tiny plants and bugs that lived in my yard. But I never learned their names or connected them with what I was learning in science class. Nature study is exciting for our whole family as we learn more about the world around us I decided to start a group for several reasons. The first is that I needed a higher degree of accountability to keep nature study happening every week and in every kind of weather. The next is that I see nature study as a connecting point between many different homeschool philosophies and an opportunity to build a much-needed community with other homeschooling families. 26 CHOIS COnneCtIOn SUMMER 2017 We begin with a Welcome Circle where one person from the group presents a theme for the week. Then we hike for about an hour. When we get to our picnic spot we start nature journaling and picnicking. The theme leader might share a bit about the topic and then open things up for anyone else who would like to share. Then the children are free to play all afternoon while the parents have an opportunity to chat and relax. We keep things flexible as we often have to adapt to changing weather an exciting nature discovery or other things. For example one week we encountered some unexpected flooding on our trail. This particular day turned into an adventure in finding alternate routes and ultimately a pretty fun bonding experience What do you look for in a nature study location I prefer as wild of spaces as possible but with lots of easy parking My favorite places have a wide variety of plants and wildlife as well as unpaved trails. During the winter we often choose locations with a nearby shelter or nature center in case families needed to head inside for a while but our goal is always to spend as much of it outside as possible I like to keep things within 30-40 minutes from home so that the focus can be on learning and enjoying each week and less on preparing for a big trip. We are going to start planning field trips once a month for the farther locations we would like to visit together. How has nature study benefited your family How do you make nature study accessible for small children I think it is important to allow them to go at their own pace slowly touching and smelling and observing. Give them a small journal and art supplies to draw what they discover. This should be interest driven as much as possible. A small simple field guide has also been a source of lots of excitement for my kids. Even my three year old enjoys bird identification Sometimes when we hit resistance it is valuable to take what we know about the child and apply it to nature study. For example one of my sons enjoys drawing specimens and making lists and another of my sons gets most excited when he draws in story format imagining stories with the animals and places he s learning about. We have been incredibly blessed by the wonderful people we have met through starting the group and the fact we get to see them weekly. We also enjoy the fact that cultivating a habit of nature study gives us an enjoyable pursuit for the rest of our lives. I wish I had begun it earlier for myself but it is so incredible to be able to give that to my children. My hope is that they grow up with gratitude for the incredible world we live in and an enjoyable lifelong hobby And if any of them end up as scientists I feel confident that this will provide a foundation in observation and understanding. What advice would you give to parents wanting to start their own nature study group My advice is to not wait for things to be perfect or for sunny weather. Even if it s winter get some warm clothes grab a journal and go for it The experience if intentional will build upon itself and you will be amazed at the fruits you will see after a few months SUMMER 2017 CHOIS COnneCtIOn SUMMER 2017 CHOIS COnneCtIOn 27 They Don t Need June Cleaver A nother bedtime. I made it. Huge sigh of relief. Another day and miraculously we made it. I have no idea how but I m just thankful it s done. It s over. After one more request for a glass of water this day is in the bag It s been over ten years and I ve been able to keep up this mother act. They have no idea their mother is a fake. When I was supposed to be carrying that egg around for Home Economics I was skipping school for the beach. I never made that batch of cookies from scratch so I m hoping my children think the best muffins are made from a box. (Betty Crocker I love you ) I m sure they ll find me out soon because we play this game of house but instead I feel like we re reenacting the Titanic and I am sinking. Can t they see the panic before lunch The gasping for breath every afternoon can t I keep their toenails clean Why can t I get them to flush the toilet Why am I washing winter clothes in the summer Why can t I get them to eat vegetables Why can t I find matching shoes Why can t I help them keep their rooms clean My heart desires to be a June Cleaver for these boys but in my frustration and sinking I wrestle back the Mommy Dearest in me. Rather than wire hangers I want to cry What are Lego pieces doing on the floor when I told you no Lego pieces on the floor--ever Are you there with me on the floor in a mess of tears and frustration Do you know the sinking feeling by Stef Layton If we were perfect June Cleavers they might not see the need for perfect Jesus. They love me. I m the one who God has given them. He trusts me with these little hearts. He is perfecting me while I show them the need for a Savior--the living out of forgiveness and grace. My boys get to experience the pounding out of self and a heart hungry for change. They see afternoon prayers on display heartfelt worship and an ongoing list of gratitude. June Cleaver could never offer that to your kids but you can For I am confident of this very thing that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus. Philippians 1 6 STEF LAYTON started homeschooling her boys in 2008. She is a hands-on learning advocate and columnist for Homeschooling Today magazine. You can find fun activities and mom encouragement at her blog qualitytimematters.com or follow her on Instagram qualitytimematters. WWW.EDUCATINGLAYTONS.COM Do you feel like you re failing at motherhood Some nights I m overcome with confusion God will I ever get this right And there with my long list of shortcomings and character flaws God points something out to me. He wants you to see it too Ready THEY DON T NEED JUNE CLEAVER. They don t know I m failing at motherhood The list of all the areas where I m failing rattles off in my head. Why 28 CHOIS COnneCtIOn SUMMER 2017 10% Discount on Wills & Trusts for CHOIS & ICHE Members Call 939-2600 now for your Free Initial Consultation Learn more at BarryPeters-Law.com SUMMER 2017 CHOIS COnneCtIOn 29 Lewis & Clark Trail in Idaho by Connie Seward Part 2 Salmon Idaho to Lolo Montana Following a dramatic meeting with the Shoshoni people and Sacajawea s brother Chief Cameahwait the Corp reached the Lemhi valley and Clark led a reconnaissance party on an exploration of the Salmon River. Their Shoshoni guide Toby told them the river was impossible to navigate but they pushed on determinedly. After traveling another ten perilous miles Lewis recorded Clark s decision to abandon the river route with this statement after the river reached this mountain it continued its rout to the North between high and perpendicular rocks roling foaming and beating against innumerable rocks which crouded it s channel and as it was impossible to descend the river or clamber over that vast mountain covered with eternal snow neither himself (Toby) nor any of his nation had ever been lower in this direction...... With river travel out of the question Lewis and Clark persuaded Old Toby to help them find a shortcut trail over the pass with the hopes of saving a day s travel. The expedition bushwhacked a path through the thick brush along the North Fork of the Salmon and began the arduous ascent of a Bitterroot ridge so steep and rocky that the horses kept falling. Some experts believe this portion may have been the most difficult terrain encountered by the expedition. On September 3 Clark states the difficulties emence hills and some of the worst roade that ever horses passed our horses frequently fell . Their struggles were compounded by hunger due to lack of game and 2 inches of snow followed by rain and sleet. It was with much relief that they reached the more hospitable Bitterroot Valley where they spent several days preparing for their next crossing of the Bitterroot Mountains at Lolo Pass. The geography of the mountainous country from Salmon to Lolo was far more challenging than any the expedition had ever encountered and a portion of it was completely devoid of any human presence. Two hundred years later the land they covered remains predominately uninhabited. The rushing creeks deep ravines and rugged mountains still stand in pristine beauty just as the explorers beheld them in 1805 and 1806. From the comfort of a vehicle traveling Highway 93 your family has the privilege of following in the moccasin trails of Lewis and Clark and rediscovering this amazing history first hand. The Bluff-Mile 315.1 Clark s river reconnaissance party camped near this location from August 21-25 1805. This BLM recreation site offers the Tower Rock Campground toilets interpretive signs boat launch ramp and accessible fishing pier. Tower Creek-Pirimids-Mile 315.7 Route Plan on a minimum of one full day for Part 2 of the Lewis & Clark Trail in Idaho but for ample exploration and maximum benefit plan on several days. There are plenty of camping and lodging options available along the route. Begin just east of Salmon on US Hwy 93 and conclude in Lolo Montana at the junction of Hwy 93 and Hwy 12 a distance of 129 miles. An optional but highly recommended side trip on partially paved FS 30 is also listed. For the truly energetic there is also an optional 2- 8-mile cool weather hike. The Pirimids is a rock formation Clark described in his field notes for August 31 1805. Traveling north on Hwy 93 turn right at mile 315.7 to Tower Creek road for a 1.6-mile side trip to the Pirimids rock formation. Four Mountain Spur CrossingMile 319.1 There are no interpretive signs or facilities see FS tour guides for history & journal entries. Fourth of July Creek-Mile 321.0 There are no interpretive signs or facilities see FS Interactive tour guides for history & journal entries August 22 1805. Discovery Hill Wagonhammer SpringsMile 324.4 Optional Hike With winter only a few weeks away the entire expedition traveled across these foothills as they began their arduous journey over the high rugged hills of the North Fork of the Salmon River. A scenic overlook and miles of trails are located on BLM land one mile north of Salmon via St. Charles Street. A complete history can be accessed here http www. salmonvalley.org lewis-clark-history-atdiscovery-hill The original Lewis & Clark trail begins here and is marked from Thompson Gulch to its return to the North Fork of the Salmon River at Trail Gulch a distance of approximately 6 miles. This trail offers a rare opportunity to hike a 6-mile portion of the explorer s trail that remains virtually as it was when traveled by the expedition. Forks of Louis s River-Mile 306 River Reconnaissance SignMile 326.2 There are no interpretive signs or facilities see FS tour guides for history & journal entries. Salmon Creek-Mile 309.9 An interpretive sign notes that Clark hoping for a navigable route to the Pacific explored the first few miles of the rugged Salmon River Canyon (North Fork) below here late in August. His small advance party camped near here. There are no interpretive signs or facilities see FS tour guides for history & journal entries August 21 1805. Fish Creek Village-Mile 326.4 near North Fork Guard Station There are no interpretive signs or facilities see FS Interactive tour guides for history & journal entries August 22 1805. 30 CHOIS COnneCtIOn SUMMER 2017 River of No Return- FS 30 (partially paved) Optional Side Trip Turn left onto FS 30 at the town of North Fork and the North Fork Guard Station. See FS Interactive tour guides for history & journal entries August 23-24 1805. This 25-mile side trip highlights numerous Lewis & Clark sites while following the turbulent course of the North Fork of the Salmon. This drive will provide an opportunity to see why Clark s scouting party abandoned the River of No Return. Camping lodging & other services are intermittently available. Lewis & Clark and the Native People of Idaho is a very informative resource guide for Part 1-4 of the Lewis & Clark Trail in Idaho and can be obtained at www.visitidaho.org content uploads 2015 09 LewisandClark_Brochure10_web.pdf Lewis & Clark Interactive Tour Guide with sites from Salmon to Lolo Montana. Highly recommended for side trips on FS 30 and for historical background on individual Hwy 93 sites that do not have interpretive signs or facilities. Map 1 www.fs.usda.gov detailfull scnf learning history-culture cid fsbdev3_029654&width full Map 2 www.fs.usda.gov detailfull scnf learning history-culture cid fsbdev3_029655&width full Lewis & Clark Expedition Tour Guide found at www.fs.usda.gov Internet FSE_DOCUMENTS fsbdev3_015842.pdf Lewis & Clark Trail Map with sites between Salmon ID & Lolo Montana found at www.lewisandclarktrail.com section3 idahocities salmon mappingidaho.htm ONLINE TRAVEL GUIDES Gibbonsville-Mile 337.2 There are no interpretive signs but services are available see FS Interactive tour guides for history & journal entries September 2 1805. Deep Creek-Mile 341.3 There are no interpretive signs or facilities see FS Interactive tour guides for history & journal entries September 2 1805. Lewis & Clarks-Last Ascent-Mile 345.5 There are no interpretive signs but high peaks are visible to the north. See FS Interactive tour guides for history September 4 1805. Lost Trail Pass Lost Trail Pass at mile 351.1 marks the approximate area of the expeditions camp two miles west of here on the night of September 3. The visitor center is on the Idaho Montana border at elevation 7 014 ft. and is open Jun-Sep and includes a rest area and picnic facilities. Travelers Rest 6717 Highway 12 West Lolo MT 406-273-4253 This is the only archaeologically verified campsite of the Lewis & Clark Expedition in the nation. Lewis & Clark stayed here on their journey west September 9-11 1805 and on their return journey at the end of June 1806. With Lolo Creek at the center the 51-acre park is a scenic spot for a self-guided historical interpretive walk around a mile loop trail. Travelers Rest offers unique group interactive learning experiences. A visitor s center with Lewis & Clark artifacts interpretive signs a picnic area and restrooms are also available. www.lewisandclarkjournals.unl.edu item lc.jrn.1805-09-04 www.pbs.org lewisandclark www.nationalgeographic.com west www.lewis-clark.org www.idahoptv.org sciencetrek topics science_lc teachers.cfm www.idahoptv.org sciencetrek topics science_lc links.cfm www.pbs.org lewisandclark class idx_les.html www.lewisandclarkjournals.unl.edu item lc.about.links ONLINE HISTORY LESSONS ETC. CONNIE SEWARD along with her husband Quentin home schooled their children through high school in the Treasure Valley. Their family continues to enjoy discovering Idaho together. They spent a family vacation camping along the Lewis & Clark Trail in Idaho and highly recommend the journey as a fantastic family learning adventure. Locations Nampa 716 E. Colorado Ave 208.466.0916 Boise 6115 W. Overland Rd 208.376.5525 NWChristianCU.org Savings Free Checking IRA s CD s Auto Loans (Low Rates) Mortgage Loans Credit Debit Cards Church Business Savings & Checking Accounts Church Ministry Loans 20 Treasure Valley Locations to serve you Just look for the Co-Op sign A partner of the Shared Branching Network offering over 5 000 convenient locations to access your CU accounts. SUMMER 2017 CHOIS COnneCtIOn 31 Christian Homeschoolers of Idaho State P.O. Box 45062 Boise Idaho 83711 Please let us know if your mailing address has changed or if you no longer wish to receive the CHOIS Connection Magazine. Send updates to info chois.org. 2017 Friday June 2 and Saturday June 3 Homeschool Convention N N U BR A N D T C EN T ER N A MPA I DA HO Have Courage Stand Firm stand firm in the faith. Let all that you do be done with love. 1 corinthians 16 13-14 be courageous. be strong. be on guard.