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Description: CHOIS Magazine is quarterly publication printed by Christian Homeschoolers of Idaho State. Its purpose is to encourage homeschoolers of Idaho State.

Connection a magazine for idaho home educators HIGH SCHOOL horizon THE ESCAPE HATCH Convention of the StateS on the Common Core What s So Bad About Winter 2013 2 ChoiS ConneCtion winter 2013 WEBSITE Introducing a new look for CHOIS. Please visit us at Celebrating CHOIS Connection s 10th Anniversary CHOIS Connection s Winter 2003 inaugural issue began with the words We desire to be a unifying voice that will inspire inform encourage and connect homeschoolers. After ten years of .................................................................................................................................... publishing we believe that we have remained loyal to our goal. We hope that you will enjoy reminiscing with us. The back cover of this issue highlights the many changes that our magazine has made over these past ten years. We have spent 2013 making major transitions to our magazine. Perhaps you have noticed that we have started using family photos on our front cover while keeping our seasonal theme. Our state is beautiful but we wanted to place a higher emphasis on families enjoying one another during everyday life experiences. Have you noticed that we are now a full color magazine Or that our columns and columnists are changing We want to be as visually stimulating as our content is informative. Our logo is another thing that has changed in order to maintain consistency with our integrated website Facebook Pinterest and Twitter accounts. ................................. LIKE US A faithful community where we share our days with you. CHOIS Ten years have flown by. We trust that we will be around for at least another decade. If you would like to help us achieve this goal then please consider donating the suggested subscription rate of twelve dollars per household per year. While we are grateful that we can provide free subscriptions to those who need them we desire to be wise stewards of our resources. Please help us continue connecting homeschooling families across Idaho by donating today. FOLLOW US Get on-the-go homeschool updates and see what we are up to. CHOIS PIN US Check out our boards on the things many homeschool moms love. CHOIS 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. Donate to cover the cost of your subscription to the CHOIS Connection or more if you are able. 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 We look forward to seeing how many improvements and changes another ten years will bring to this magazine and ministry. Thank you for being a part of this community. May God richly bless your family during the coming New Year. winter 2013 ChoiS ConneCtion 3 Connection a magazine for idaho home educators Copyright 2013 by Christian Homeschoolers Of Idaho State. CHOIS Connection is published quarterly by Christian Homeschoolers of Idaho State. 2013 CHOIS Connection. All rights reserved. No material may be reproduced in any form without the express written permission of the publisher. CHOIS is solely responsible for its content. DISCLAIMER The articles contained in this publication have been prepared for and are intended to provide information that may be useful to Idaho home educators. The reader must evaluate this information in light of the unique circumstances of any particular situation and must determine independently the applicability of this information thereto. COLUMNISTS The views of guest columnists do not necessarily reflect the views of CHOIS. ______________ FREE SUBSCRIPTION Send name and address to info or mail to address below ADDRESS PO Box 45062 Boise Idaho 83711. Phone (208) 424-6685 WEBSITE ADVERTISING Rates are available upon request by email at advertising or by calling (208) 424-6685. CHOIS reserves the right to refuse without explanation any advertisement it deems unsuitable. Moving Please send your new address to info so that you can stay Connected PUBLISHER CHOIS EDITOR Linda Patchin MAGAZINE LAYOUT AND DESIGN Diana Childress STUDENT PHOTOGRAPHERS Kylyn Maschek 4 ChoiS ConneCtion winter 2013 Contents Winter 2013 DESIGNER LIVING . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Parents today share some of the same reasons for homeschooling their children as the pioneer generation though they are likely to state their reasons differently. SAVE THE ENDANGERED WORDS . . . 8 What s up with all that Is this a rare Aztec dialect THE RESOLUTE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Christians must remain steadfast to their assigned mission of bringing peace between men and God. THE ESCAPE HATCH . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 Our Framer s left us an escape hatch The Convention of the States. ALL-IN-ONE CURRICULUM . . . . . . . . 16 Choosing a curriculum that covers everything is sometimes worth its weight in gold. COMMON CORE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 There are only two things wrong with the Common Core State Standards (1) How we got them and (2) How ineffective they will be. HIGH SCHOOL ON THE HORIZON . . 22 Homeschooling during the high school years is a noble task IN EVERY ISSUE Outwards . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 Discovering Idaho . . . . . . . . 26 Advise from a Geek . . . . . . . 29 Newsworthy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30 winter 2013 ChoiS ConneCtion 5 chois tidbits By Linda Patchin CHARACTER TRAINING Designer Living EFFICIENCY Again the efficiency and flexibility of homeschooling grants our children time to pursue their interests. Academic artistic entrepreneurial athletic and recreational pursuits flourish under the flexible demands of home education. Whether you call it values training or religious instruction plenty of people choose homeschooling because it allows parents to select the worldview lens through which instruction is filtered. As a matter of fact this is still the most commonly cited reason for homeschooling. Flower Children of the 60 s used to chant Never trust anyone over the age of thirty. They are now ever so much more than thirty and I wonder if they have learned to trust their elders. The modern homeschooling MORE RIGOROUS ACADEMICS Homeschooling individualize their allows parents to teaching approach EXPOSURE Homeschooling affords us opportunity to take our child s education on the road. We re free to move about the world because we are not locked into a rigid school schedule. We can take advantage of off-season discounts while we seize the opportunity to visit the places that we are learning about. Staycation exposure is also educational. tailoring instruction to fit each child s learning style. Freedom from a rigid classroom schedule allows a child to learn at his own comfortable pace without the pressure of feeling left behind or the boredom of being unchallenged. Instead of only 180 days of academic instruction homeschooler s employ a lifestyle of learning all year round offering first-hand preparation for the real world. Parents who are excited about learning and who participate in the process easily instill a love for learning in their children. movement has passed its thirtieth birthday as well with trademark reliability intact. Those of us who were around at its infancy marvel at the mature movement of today. We are so grateful for God s provision and steadfast care Parents today share some of the same reasons for homeschooling their children as the pioneer generation though they are likely to state their reasons differently. The dual nature of homeschooling provides advantages while it avoids hazards. Here are some of the reasons why both generations have chosen to homeschool their children. Lasting lessons are learned when we immerse our children in a foreign culture by converting our own dining room into a showcase of international cuisine. There s no better way to learn geography than through the taste texture and sound that can be recreated in our own home. ENHANCED FAMILY RELATIONSHIPS Homeschooling is an efficient delivery method. Our tutorial style results in less wasted time giving us more time to enjoy our families. Our multi-aged teaching methods provide our children with opportunities to invest in one another s lives. Rather than being separated and compartmentalized for eight or more hours a day homeschooling families operate as a capable fully-functional unit. FINE FRIENDSHIPS True socialization is a club of fellow enthusiasts not a class of uninterested age-mates. As adults most of us form friendships around common interests and our children are no different. We have the advantage of choosing when where and with whom our children associate. HEALTH BENEFITS Homeschooled children commonly have less exposure to communicable diseases resulting in fewer sick days. Eating a healthy diet is important and homeschooling provides children with carefully planned 6 ChoiS ConneCtion winter 2013 and prepared meals served up with love. Access to junk food and food allergens is limited curriculum as math or English. He went on to say that parents make the biggest impact on their children s behavior simply by being present in their lives. I do not take issue with rock and roll but it is nice to know that as a parent I have the privilege of sharing my musical tastes with my children while limiting their exposure to music that I find objectionable. FREEDOM FROM LABELS There is an epidemic of diagnoses that all end in the words syndrome disorder and disease. These labels marginalize our children as they limit and lower our expectations. They focus on an area of weakness while ignoring obvious strengths. Experts would have us believe that they are an unchangeable life-long hindrance to academic growth. Without the pressure of strict grade-level expectations children can learn with confidence and freedom in their home. Call Accepted Homeschooling is not something that we have to do. It is something that we get to do. It is an act of obedience for those who feel that they have been called by God to educate their children. It is an opportunity for Christian parents to display the wisdom and goodness of God through their lives. The success of a movement can be gauged by whether or not the second generation remains faithful to the vision of the first. It is encouraging to find so many graduates homeschooling their own children young parents who choose to homeschool from their own conviction and calling. It is exhilarating to stand at the juncture of first and second generation. I feel confident that the leader s who are emerging today will continue to wisely shepherd this movement for another thirty years. Homeschooling parents of today I admire your courage to step out in faith. I recognize the calling of God upon your lives from the calling on my own. I know that God will bless your faithfulness. He is trustworthy FREEDOM FROM INEFFECTIVE METHODS Experiments with new teaching methods for reading and math frequently prove to be ineffectual. When the experiment is finished little or no remediation is offered for the students whom the method failed. In contrast homeschooling parents are free to try various methods and books until they find a workable tool for each child. FREEDOM FROM BULLIES SEX DRUGS AND ROCK AND ROLL Emotional and physical bullying begins younger every school year. Studies note the increase in female bullying. Bullies today are armed with the ability to spread slander and intimidation on the World Wide Web. Even elementary classrooms have internet groups where this type of abuse occurs under the watchful eye of moderators. Homeschooled children typically have less exposure to pornography and peer pressure to engage in immorality. Parents are the gatekeepers who must remain vigilant. Homeschooled children are also free from sex education courses which encourage promiscuity. In 2007 the Secretary of Education stated that your child is going to school each day in a building where drug use sale and possession are as much a part of the LIBRARY PRIVILEGES Reading books sometimes contain selections which are objectionable to Christian parents and which have a contrary political agenda. Reading lists serve the purposes of the one making the list. Many homeschoolers empower their children to read widely on topics of interest. They are not afraid of classical literature or unpacking difficult passages. They have time for rich discussion. FREEDOM OF DESIGN Homeschooling to live. families have an opportunity to design the life they want They are not held prisoner by someone else s schedule or the books they choose or the method of delivery they want to employ. Our families can enjoy an integrated lifestyle of learning. Linda began homeschooling in 1988 and completed her calling in 2011. She was a trusting child of the 60 s. winter 2013 ChoiS ConneCtion 7 feature article Save the Endangered WORDS By Carol Barnier All of this brings me to a surprising AWLTP BTDT RB Y TAW TLITBC DBEYR . . . What s up with all that Is this a rare Aztec dialect Has my computer contracted a virus that reveals only two out of every five letters in a word Perhaps I just missed hitting the home keys when I placed my fingers on the keyboard. Oh no good parents. Nothing so accidental as that. This . . . is text speak. And if you ve chanced upon any messages written in current text-messaging lingo this is exactly what you would find. In fact these are but a few of literally hundreds of acronyms permeating the writing amongst texters. I ve passed these citizens of Texttopia in the mall on the sidewalk and at McDonald s their faces bent over a small glowing electronic box their agile and overly muscular thumbs flying. They seem held in a trance pressed nose-down over this box by some hypnotic force . . . till they apparently see something that strikes them as amusing. Then they suddenly snort over the box g l a n c e up to see if the anyone snort witnessed wipe away residual emissions of above-said snort and send their thumbs flying yet again into a new blinding speed-round of response. Then slowly their bodies curl back down resuming the trance stance. place--spelling--a subject about which my opinion has recently (and radically) changed. Not too long ago I advised a more relaxed approach to spelling. Don t worry too much about spelling I soothingly intoned. The inclusion of excellent spell-checkers found in most word-processing software has virtually eliminated the need to memorize lengthy spelling lists and complicated rules. Take a big cleansing breath. To which my old high school English teacher most certainly would have responded Gadzooks or some such thing. I still maintain that there was a bit of wisdom in my previous approach. After all learning to type and edit is probably equally as valuable a skill in today s technological age as is knowing how to spell. Communication is really the point of it all right And if spelling is basically taken care of by modern devices so be it. We can focus on other things such as word choice punctuation even . . . dare I say it . . . coherent thought But that was before. That was yesterday. That was when I thought we were still talking about at least using words. That was before text-speak. I ve tried to give these texters the After all every generation seems to have its own codes. At one point the benefit of the doubt. hottest item in a Cracker Jack box was a decoder ring. Pig Latin was big in my day. Oo-yay oo-tay And frankly if we look at Shakespeare s words today they can certainly seem like code You churlish flybitten onion-eyed moldwarp See what I mean Every generation loves to have some fresh lingo that sets it apart from the previous generation. But at least up till now all such lingo was actually words . . . you could spell . . . and even read. What a concept. So I ve begun a revolt. Words may soon be on the Endangered list along with entries such as Spotted Owl and Amami Tip-Nosed Frog. Join me in the radical belief that little Reginald should not only know that ROTFLOL should be replaced with actual words (i.e. rolling on the floor laughing out loud ) but also that he should know how to spell those same words. Get ready Reginald. Laffing out lowd will no longer be tolerated. Save the baby words Yank them back from the endangered list. Dig out that spelling curriculum you once set aside. 8 ChoiS ConneCtion winter 2013 Now the fun begins because children learn spelling in different ways. Some of them simply need to see the word. (Bless them.) They are so visually oriented that once they ve taken a mental snapshot of a word they can tell if it s misspelled simply by how it looks. This is wonderful. And easy. If you have a visual learner learning how to spell will be a fairly straightforward task. The problem comes when you have a child who processes information via another learning style for example the child who couldn t possibly take a mental snapshot of the word because that would require he sit still for more than three seconds at a time. Or how about the child who is an auditory learner who not only needs to hear the word but needs it to come out of his own mouth Then there s the child who must physically be in motion for his brain to be able to successfully process new information. For these kids you re going to need different approaches. Use the sign language alphabet to practice spelling. Look for a mnemonic device to aid in learning. Can t remember the spelling differences between here and hear Remember that you hear with your ear. How about remembering the spelling of accommodation Is that one c or two One m or two Teach your student that there is a lovely hotel which provides accommodations of two cots (cc) and two mattresses (mm). Say the word overemphasizing a letter that is often forgotten such as the last e in extremely. Your child says ex-treem-Elee several times until that wily slippery e is firmly established in his auditory memory. (As long as we don t return to weekly dusting I m really good with this.) Not only will Reginald one day thank you but he ll also be able to spell thank you on the card he sends. What a concept. The ideas in this article are just some of many in Carol s newest book The Big WHAT NOW Book of Learning Styles. Join Carol s free online coaching community for parents with highly distractible kids at http . Or check out http . And just in case you re wondering AWLTP means avoiding work like the plague BTDT means been there done that RB Y means right back at ya TAW means teachers are watching TLITBC means that s life in the big city and finally DBEYR means don t believe everything you read (as if these texters could still read--pshaw ). Copyright 2010. Originally appeared in The Old Schoolhouse Magazine Fall 2010 If your child doesn t learn by means of a traditional approach take heart there are many ways to teach a child who learns atypically. So America cue patriotic music envision unfurling flag let s take back endangered words Let s return to the values of yesteryear when Grandma made cookies milk was delivered to your door and teachers cared about spelling. What do you do then You step outside the box. You add to the lesson some activities that connect with this child s primary learning style. And if you re not sure what those are just try several different things till one of them works. Things like . . . Toss It Spelling. You toss a beanbag back and forth. With each throw you say out loud the next letter of the chosen spelling word. Once you ve spelled it correctly do it again with the alternate person starting. Use Scrabble game tiles to practice spelling words. For some kids simply getting the pencils out of their hands frees up their brains. If your child regularly misses a particular letter combination in words (such as the gh in fight might right) have him copy them as usual but make the GH large overemphasized. Then box in these letters with colored markers. Spell the word over and over out loud until a rhythm or pattern of sorts develops. (Quick--think about how you learned to spell Mississippi.) Fill a large ziplock bag with a small amount of shaving cream seal it and then write words (correctly spelled of course) on the bag using your finger instead of a marker. HOW BEAUTIFUL Floral desig n A floral design company for weddings and events Contact Emily about your upcoming wedding or event to develop your vision and put shape to your floral ideas. Emily Patchin DESIGNER Emily 208.921.4593 winter 2013 ChoiS ConneCtion 9 feature article The Resolute T he British were resolute that the Northwest Passage was to be their discovery and their prize. Even though much of the Arctic had been explored and many significant discoveries resulted from their efforts years of expeditions had failed to lead the British to the fabled Northwest Passage. Thus in 1845 the Admiralty appointed Sir John Franklin to lead yet another expedition into the Arctic. Franklin and his crew of 128 men set sail on two ships The Erebus (named for the Greek god of darkness) and The Terror. Whether or not Franklin and his crew grasped the irony of the names of the ships is not known but they never emerged from their quest. They simply disappeared into the terrorizing darkness of the Arctic. Over the next several years many expeditions attempted to discover what had become of Franklin and his men. One such famous attempt was a five-ship flotilla sent by the Admiralty under the command of Sir Edward Belcher in 1852. After a winter searching Belcher some say overcome by the terror of the Arctic ordered the commanders of the other four ships to abandon their vessels. On May 15 1854 all the crews boarded his ship and set sail back to England. Henry Kellet captain of the HMS Resolute did so only under protest. He considered the abandonment of four seaworthy vessels and their mission a dereliction of duty. Nevertheless The Resolute was lost to the Arctic and although Belcher was acquitted in a subsequent court martial he was never again offered another command. Belcher was scorned by fellow officers and suffered the dark disdain of the Admiralty. Then in September of 1855 James Buddington an American whaling captain out of New London Connecticut happened upon The Resolute locked in an ice flow some 1 200 miles from where the ship had been abandoned. The Resolute had survived and was intact. Buddington divided his crew and sailed the British ship back to New London arriving on Christmas Eve where it instantly became a tourist attraction. At the time British and American relations were strained. President Franklin Pierce in an address to Congress declared that diplomatic relationships with England had ceased. Britain and the U.S. were almost certainly headed for a third war. And yet one of the major hawks in the Senate James Mason from Virginia proposed a bill to allocate funds to buy refurbish The Resolute and then send it back to England as a gesture of friendship and goodwill. On December 17 1856 The Resolute was presented to Queen Victoria as a gift from the American people. Tensions between the two nations eased and war was averted. The Resolute sent to rescue Franklin and his crew of 128 men lost in the Arctic aboard The Erebus and The Terror had been abandoned under protest from its captain. It had been assumed crushed by the elements and lost as well. Yet it sailed unmanned over 1 200 miles of hostile ice-bound seas preserving everything onboard. Finally recovered by an American whaler it was given a new vision by a 10 ChoiS ConneCtion winter 2013 The Resolute U.S. Senator to rescue and help mend the strained relationship between two governments. The Resolute had accomplished more than its masters ever imagined possible. When the ship was dismantled in 1879 Queen Victoria ordered that four desks be made from the timbers one of which was sent to President Rutherford B. Hayes as a gift. That desk sits today in the Oval Office of the White House and while seated behind it Presidents have signed important legislation and documents upon it. It has become a symbol of hope security and steadfastness. It is called The Resolute Desk. Today home school parents are being pressured by the culture and even by some within the movement to abandon their mission and to compromise the first principles that helped guide and build the movement. Christians must not retreat from a culture steeped in darkness and must not flee the terror of secularism that rules the day. Christians must remain steadfast to their assigned mission of bringing peace between men and God. Home school leaders are to proclaim hope not just to individual home school families or even to the Christian community but they also are commanded to proclaim the hope of the gospel to a culture bound in the deep darkness of sin. Jesus said You are the light of the world. Matthew 5 14 (NAS) Be steadfast. Know this that even if all others abandon the mission that even if leaders themselves succumb to the bitter cold reality of a secular culture God will bring His ship to safe harbor manned or unmanned. God s purpose will not be thwarted. He simply chooses to allow us to man His ship for His glory. Therefore You will not be afraid of the terror by night... Psalm 91 5 (NAS) Be immovaBle. Know as well that your vessel may never find safe harbor until the very eve of His return but rest assured that the remnants of your efforts will ever adorn the palace of the King. All will see that He has written His name on you. He who overcomes I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God and he will not go out from it anymore and I will write on him the name of My God and the name of the city of My God the new Jerusalem which comes down out of heaven from My God and My new name. Revelation 3 12 (NAS) Be resolute. By Bill Jack Therefore my beloved brethren be steadfast (resolute) immovable always abounding in the work of the Lord knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord. --I Corinthians 15 58 (NAS) Therefore my beloved brethren be steadfast (resolute) immovable always abounding in the work of the Lord knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord. I Corinthians 15 58 (NAS) But what of Franklin and his crew on The Erebus and The Terror Subsequent discoveries and interviews with the Inuit revealed a horrifying tale of eventual starvation. The Inuit reported sightings of emaciated men trudging aimlessly across snowfields hauling sledges filed with equipment from their abandoned ship. When the last of the crew s bodies were discovered inside a 1 400 lb. lifeboat loaded on a sledge scattered around it were useless items of no value to desperate men fighting for their lives in such conditions. Leopold M Clintock leader of the last British expedition to find Franklin later described the contents of the boat as a mere accumulation of dead weight slightly useful and very likely to break down the strength of the sledge crews. Those who initially discovered these remains and relics had no explanation for the mystery. Nor did they discover the remains of 14 crew members winter 2013 ChoiS ConneCtion 11 feature article buried at the site. Only years later would both mysteries be solved and the grisly truth be uncovered. Either out of arrogance or ignorance the British expeditions to the Arctic refused to consult the Inuit in matters of food and dress. Rather than taking their cue from the Inuit s ability to live off the land in such hostile conditions expeditions such as Franklin s brought in canned meat for example. Yet in Franklin s case the process of canning was rather a new invention and the contractor for the expedition in his haste had undercooked the contents and had used too much lead to seal the cans. Among the relics uncovered from the expedition the opened food cans had lead dripping like candle wax inside them. Modern day researchers have discovered from the bodies unearthed connected with Franklin s expedition that the crew suffered from severe lead poisoning. Some of the effects on the crew would have included insomnia cognitive deficits convulsions delusions aggressive behavior hallucinations and erratic behavior resulting from personality changes. Indeed evidence indicates that the last of the surviving crewmembers practiced cannibalism before succumbing to the elements. Franklin s expedition had indeed descended into depths of Darkness and Terror. The British were resolute courageous persistent determined--all admirable qualities--character traits that Christians are encouraged to emulate. Yet because of greed exacerbated by their arrogance and pride the British explorers in the Arctic squandered vast resources in search of an elusive never to be realized trade route. They viewed the wisdom of the Inuit with disdain and sometimes suspicion looking down on them as subhuman. They cared not for their souls but only for the wealth the British could extract from the region. As a result ships were abandoned and wrecked supplies were wasted and lives were ruined and lost. In Luke 16 1-13 Jesus commended the children of this world for knowing how to use resources. Franklin and his crew would have done well to apply Jesus admonition in practical ways by learning from the children of the Arctic. They did not and the result was death. Home school families recognize the obvious danger of immersing their families in the world s system of thinking. Eating of the culture s ideas often leads to poisoning. Yet Christian home school families can fall prey to the more subtle temptation of ignoring others around them and hoarding the blessings God has bestowed on them. Home school families should recognize the danger of retreating from the culture and removing all salt and light to the point of ignoring our calling to proclaim Truth and Grace to those we meet. Christians too can squander our resources in this life. The result is the death of the culture and the loss of blessings. Let us all be reminded of the commendation Jesus gave the wise steward. Home school families are admonished by our Lord Jesus to be wise in training up the next generation and to be diligent in reaching out to those who are lost in a culture of Darkness and Terror--for the blessings and rewards to come and for the blessings and rewards it brings culture now. As one commentator wrote about the parable Jesus told in Luke 16 Pursuing money can make people selfish leading them to take advantage of others to treat other people as objects and to be unfaithful to God. It tends to reflect an excessive attachment to the world. This is what Sir John Franklin and other British explorers did and the end was death. Bill Jack is a faculty advisor for Worldview Academy an academic leadership program that seeks to train Christian students to think and live in accord with a Biblical worldview so that they will serve Christ and lead the culture. Bill has appeared on numerous national radio and television programs and is the producer of several apologetic and worldview training DVDs. Bill s passion is to raise up a generation who have the vision to reach their culture with the gospel who have the valor to engage that culture with the truth and who rely on the virtue of the Word of God. Bill and his wife Tabby have three children and live in Colorado. He will be a CHOIS Convention keynote speaker in June as well as the teen program director. 12 ChoiS ConneCtion winter 2013 online interactive publications WEBSITES newslet ers MAGAZINES ADVERTISING R E COLLATERAL I D Logos graphicAGE design SIGN PRINTMEDIA web design editorial design Specializing In Art Direction a graphic design firm ADVERTISING WEBSITES Website Design Logos Print Media Newsletters Advertising social email sr phone 208.659.8408 winter 2013 ChoiS ConneCtion 13 res piece No doubt a great deal of nonsense has been talked about the inalienable rights of the individual... Living political constitutions must be Darwinian in structure and practice. The words of Mikhail Gorbachev or perhaps Fidel Castro Amazingly it was President Woodrow Wilson that announced this progressive goal in 1908 five years before his election. Fast forward 100 years and today those inalienable rights have largely vanished. Escape Hatch Spending & Debt Crisis Above all Thomas Jefferson feared fiscal irresponsibility. I place the economy among the first and most important of republican virtues and the public debt as the greatest of the dangers to be feared. Yet Congress and the executive branch have recklessly spent beyond their revenue even using entitlements to guarantee votes. Appallingly the last federal court ruling invalidating an unconstitutional exercise of the power to spend was in 1936. Already 17 trillion in debt Congress recently added a trillion more. And rather than passing a constitutionally-mandated budget detailing expenditures it has proceeded with another blanket continuing resolution. Using normal rules of accounting today s unfunded government pensions and Social Security benefits along with other liabilities far exceed the total worth of all Americans. Confiscating all assets from all billionaires would only run the government for less than six months. And contrary to Washington-speak clearly we cannot tax our way out of this debt. Rapidly submerging under the weight of reckless spending our once great flagship is vanishing from view. the Method Although the president did not fully achieve his progressive dream his successors have persistently succeeded in amassing federal power. French philosopher Alexis de Tocqueville accurately foretold their incremental strategy almost a century before their time. To increase centralized power de Tocqueville noted rather than forcing compliance the government covers the surface of society with a network of small complicated rules minute and uniform. Rather than coercing man his will is softened bent and guided. Rather than being forced to act he is restrained from acting. Expanding on de Tocqueville constitutional scholar Mark Levin concludes that our nation has entered an age of postconstitutional soft tyranny. A tyranny that has crept into our federal government unnoticed and accepted by most as normative or inevitable. Soft tyranny State Sovereignty Interference Enticingly Congress uses federal grants to control the states. First Congress taxes the state citizens. Then it offers funds back to the states in the form of grants. States must then function as de facto regional agencies of Congress carrying out regulations and largely unfunded mandates tied to their grants. Decision-Making Collusion The Framers believed that whoever decides the law is as important as what is decided. Therefore they viewed the constitutional structure of limited and delegated power as the guardian of liberty. Strict adherence to this foundational doctrine was essential. The federal separation of powers assured checks and balances. Enumerated limited powers which the federal government could not exceed were specified. And any powers not specifically granted to the federal government were reserved to the states. Divided power limited decisionmaking. Alarmingly today collusion among the three branches has become commonplace in line with Woodrow Wilson s Darwinian view of a living constitution. And with the imprimatur of the Supreme Court the federal powers unconstitutionally seized from the states and the liberties denied to the people relentlessly march forward. Emboldened the Supreme Court in a 1992 decision dared to openly admit the flexibility of the Constitution to allow for the enormous changes in the nature of government that the Framers would not have conceived that any government would conduct. the ProbleM federal abuSeS The federal government has repeatedly demonstrated its negligence in four major areas that have trapped us in the bowels of a sinking vessel severed from its constitutional moorings and perilously adrift. Regulatory Oppression Blurring the separation of powers Congress has unconstitutionally delegated its lawmaking authority to the executive branch. Unaccountable government agencies issue complicated and burdensome regulations causing businesses to suffer with crippling economic loss and failure. Tragically the American Enterprise Institute reports federal regulations have made America 72% poorer since 1949. 14 ChoiS ConneCtion winter 2013 USA PENNSYLVANIA NEBRASKA IDAHO OKLAHOMA MISSISSIPPI INDIANA FLORIDA NEW MEXICO DELAWARE WASHINGTON ILLINOIS WYOMING VIRGINIA NORTH DAKOTA KANSAS SOUTH CAROLINA OREGON TEXAS ARIZONA NEW JERSEY VERMONT CONNECTICUT ARKANSAS NEW HAMPSHIRE KENTUCKY NORTH CAROLINA NEVADA WEST VIRGINIA UTAH HAWAII MICHIGAN ALASKA MASSACHUSETTS CALIFORNIA IOWA LOUISIANA MONTANA RHODE ISLAND WISCONSIN MAINE MINNESOTA MARYLAND SOUTH DAKOTA GEORGIA OHIO MISSOURI TENNESSEE NEW YORK COLORADO ALABAMA The Escape Hatch Convention of the States Thankfully the Framers looked down the corridor of time to our day when Congress would never be able to generate enough support to amend the Constitution to limit abuses of power. In addition to provisions for constitutional amendments to originate in Congress another means was created to bypass Congress altogether. The original approval of the Constitution was delayed to amend Article V adding language requiring that a Convention of the States be called when two-thirds of the states applied for an amendment. This escape hatch does not involve the Congress the President or the federal Supreme Court. It is the mechanism whereby the states may unilaterally gather for the sole purpose of amending the Constitution. This Convention of the States cannot throw out the Constitution since its authority is derived from that founding document. It can only offer amendments. To convene the convention thirty-four state legislatures must pass a bill calling for a Convention of the States on the same subject matter. Each state has one vote. Proposed amendments are passed with a majority vote. Those amendments are then sent to the states for ratification. Once thirty-eight states ratify an amendment becomes part of the Constitution just as it would had it originated in Congress. Michael Farris formed the Convention of States (COS) Project to urge and empower state legislators to call a Convention of the States. Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) Chairman and Chancellor of Patrick Henry College he also now heads this critical effort. Farris second crucial goal for COS is to energize grassroots support. This will take the efforts of all particularly homeschoolers who have the most freedom to lose in this wholesale government intrusion. The strategy is to build operations in 75 percent of the legislative districts in 40 states. In Idaho 100 volunteers will be needed in each of at least 27 districts. 2 700 volunteers state wide. Volunteers will contact their state legislators attend hearings and help the campaigns of those legislators who support COS. As COS was forming during this past summer Mark Levin Landmark Legal Foundation President released The Liberty Amendments. An instant New York Times bestseller his excellent book calls for a Convention of the States as the last hope to reclaim our nation. In addition to exceptional historical background Levin suggests eleven amendments as a starting point once the COS is called. A sampling includes amendments imposing a balanced budget Congressional and Supreme Court term limits executive order limitations and federal taxation caps. Liberty means the right to make our own decisions and live life free of government involvement. Government wants to run our lives. With enduring results the Founders pledged their lives their fortunes and their sacred honor to stop this intrusion. Freedom abounded prosperity returned and morality had a chance to thrive. We want to preserve the right of parents to make decisions for their children and family. And for everyone to make decisions for their businesses their property their money their worship. When government properly needs to make decisions this needs to be at the lowest possible level of government closest to the people. Our Framer s left us an escape hatch The Convention of the States. Is your country worth the fight Is your family worth it What will you teach your children Complacency in the face of jeopardized liberty. Or will your family energize the critical 100 necessary in your district to stand up for our future and win this battle. Take back your liberty now or likely lose it forever. Take Back Your Liberty Now Learn the issues Subscribe to updates Join the effort Spread the word Enlist others Win the battle __________________ RES PETERS is the State Testing Director for the Idaho Coalition of Home Educators. She resides with her husband Barry in Eagle where they home educated their two post-collegiate daughters through high school. Now it s our turN. winter 2013 ChoiS ConneCtion 15 resource review Traditional Textbooks All-In-One Curriculum BY KRISTI KRONZ M.A. Choosing a curriculum that covers everything is sometimes worth its weight in gold. There are many advantages in choosing an all-in-one curriculum. Following a preconstructed schedule with its ready-made scope and sequence saves the homeschooling parent much time and energy. Textbooks and teacher guides can be passed down and used with other children in the family. Using such a curriculum can also bring a sense of assurance that everything that needs to get covered for your student(s) will get covered thus freeing the homeschool parent to engage in other home or outside activities. On the flip side this perceived sense of security can sometimes prove false and often keep the parent from seeing the areas where your student needs further help or perhaps has already mastered the subject matter. In addition as a parent it can be difficult to foster a sense of oneness and experience some of those more meaningful and spontaneous learning moments when using a curriculum which determines for you the day the lesson and the eventual academic goals for each student. Whatever your situation or motivation it is valuable to know what curriculum is available to you should you choose to make use of this option either temporarily or over the course of your homeschooling years. While not an exhaustive list the following curriculum suppliers have stood the test of time and are worth investigating further for this purpose. and the 16 ChoiS ConneCtion winter 2013 A BEKA One can t be in the homeschooling world too long without hearing this name. Founded by Arlin and Beka Horton A Beka books is one of the largest Christian textbook publishers in the nation. Its K-12 curriculum is written and used in many private Christian schools but is also wellknown in the homeschool community to be thorough colorful distinctively Christian and definitely advanced. A Beka provides several options for homeschooling families including virtual distance learning through A Beka Academy as well as homeschool parent guides for every subject should you opt to do the teaching yourself. With a variety of subjects covered throughout the high school years A Beka comes highly recommended. Especially helpful is the fact that you can buy A Beka s materials for one or more subjects individually without having to incur the cost of the entire curriculum. Texts teacher manuals answer keys quiz and test books and extra materials are all sold separately or in discounted packages on their easy to use website. Elementary school products are typically consumable in nature. Pricing for A Beka materials is reasonable considering that you have the option to buy only what you need. An entire year s curriculum including all necessary textbooks materials and the DVD s or online streaming option will cost you between 800.00-900.00 per student depending on the grade level. Switched on Schoolhouse offers five core subjects per grade level. The pricing is based on the subjects which can be bought individually for approximately 99.95 per subject with some of the high school electives costing more. To buy the comprehensive curriculum for the year you will pay in the area of 500.00 or more per student. The obvious downfall of this curriculum is the fact that your student s entire school day is dependent on a functioning computer. However if your student enjoys using the computer as a learning tool and is especially adept at troubleshooting should computer problems arise SOS might be the perfect curriculum choice. Alpha Omega also offers a more traditional comprehensive K-12 curriculum better known as Life Pacs. Their Life Pac resources boast of mastery learning for all grade levels. This unique approach encourages your students to go at their own pace while also not allowing them to progress until proving they ve mastered the previous materials. With ten Life Pacs per subject per year per grade -- be prepared to manage a lot of homeschooling materials and to spend much of your time grading tests. It is estimated that each work text (containing lessons activities review questions and tests) will take between three and four weeks to complete. As with Switched on Schoolhouse Life Pacs offer five core subjects including Bible History Geography Language Arts Math Science and several electives to choose from. With BOB JONES Stemming from Bob Jones University Press which publishes curriculum for Christian schools across the nation the Bob Jones homeschool curriculum has made its way into the hearts and lives of many homeschoolers since the inception of the homeschool movement in the 1980 s. BJU Press offers a full range of K-12 textbooks and materials. Like A Beka it also provides standardized testing record keeping consultation services as well as a distance learning option through the use of online streaming or DVD s for purchase. The distinctive of the Bob Jones materials is that they weave a Biblical worldview throughout their products. Bob Jones curriculum can be bought for individual subjects or as a comprehensive set. Also a bonus you can find the BJU Press products outside of the company website sometimes at reduced prices. You ll appreciate this perk as this textbook-oriented curriculum does come with a hefty price tag -- particularly if you are aiming to use the distance learning option. Bob Jones offers individual subjects from 250.00-350.00 per student. To buy the year s worth of DVD s or online streaming along with necessary materials you ll be spending approximately 1 000.00 per student covering six academic subjects. Products bought even without the distance learning option receive excellent reviews for their value ease of use academic excellence and quality. To complete the package of necessary texts answer keys manuals test books and possible extras you will be making a large investment in your homeschooling curriculum with this choice. However according to the reviews it receives the sacrifice might just be worth it. ALPHA OMEGA PUBLICATIONS Upon researching (AOP) I Alpha was Omega pleasantly Publication surprised at how many well-known products and curriculum choices fall under this longstanding Christian publisher. They are best known for offering a K-12 curriculum solely using the computer as a teaching tool. This award-winning interactive learning program is Switched on Schoolhouse. Bible passages weaved throughout this Christian curriculum is the most affordable mentioned thus far at 58.95 per subject or 286.95 for the five subject set per grade level. If you re looking for a curriculum for your independent learners with minimal teacher involvement Life Pacs may be just the right fit for your family. HAPPY SCHOOLING Kristi Kronz and her husband have homeschooled their three children for 14 years. They interact regularly with friends who have enjoyed and appreciated this option immensely and they have learned to find value in the old saying Viva la difference when it comes to homeschooling in a myriad of ways. winter 2013 ChoiS ConneCtion 17 What s So Bad About Common Core There are only two things wrong with the Common Core State Standards (1) How we got them and (2) How ineffective they will be. by Barry Peters Esq. legal update MY PREVIOUS ARTICLE described how Idaho adopted the standards without really knowing what they were. In the midst of the turmoil of the Great Recession many wellmeaning elected officials in Idaho lunged for the tantalizing bait offered under the federal government s Race to the Top program. They jettisoned Idaho s existing educational standards and replaced them with the untested Common Core State Standards (CCSS). Disappointingly the state received none of the promised rewards except for the consolation prize of an exemption from the requirements of No Child Left Behind. So now that we have these new standards will they really increase the college and career readiness of our students as proponents claim Will Idaho s public school students reverse course and become skilled at independent analysis and creative problem-solving Sadly no. Consider this The academic achievement of a state s students has never shown any correlation to the stringency of its educational standards. Historically students from states with high standards score no better than students from states with low standards on national testing. Think about that for a moment. No difference in student achievement due to the adoption of stringent standards. So why is Idaho spending hundreds of millions of dollars to transition from its prior standards to the new-and-improved Common Core standards In large part Idaho did so because those touting the standards promised they were the magic pill that would finally produce students who are capable of independent analysis and creative problem solving. And teachers were enticed with promises that the thrill of teaching rapt students would follow from the demise of the dreaded drill and kill teaching methodology. Imagine being a teacher suddenly able to leapfrog to the holy grail of engaging students in creative problem solving without ever having to wade through the tedious memorization of basic information. Unfortunately the premises behind this endeavor will preclude its success. Central Educational Planning The first question that must be asked is In what area have we ever seen central planning serve as the foundation for success For decades educators and citizens alike have pressed for local control of education. The more local the control the more responsive and successful the outcome generally becomes. Historically we ve wondered why should the state or even the school district dictate how teaching is done Shouldn t it fundamentally be up to the parents and teacher to direct and implement each student s education Yet these Common Core standards are nationally uniform in adoption and implementation. Moving in lockstep they ve been adopted by Idaho and almost every other state. Can this one-sizefits-all approach to education suddenly work in this instance Consider the most successful forms of instruction. At the top we find home educated students and students from highly-selective private schools. Next are students from specialized public charter schools. Below that are the students in the brick-and-mortar public schools. And finally there are the students enrolled in the computer-based virtual charter schools. Conceptually these schools show an inverse relationship to the one-sizefits-all computer-dependent education touted by the Common Core s approach to teaching. Home schools and selective private schools rarely have any formal standards at all. They simply teach subjects in their entirety expecting teachers to teach and students to master each subject. Being a part of the public school system brick-and-mortar charter schools are required to meet certain standards but they have the freedom to focus on their specialization as well. Whether such schools focus on music science foreign language or any other specialty their students tend to thrive as compared to other public school students. Focusing away from the state standards actually seems to produce higher results even in these public charter school settings. So why has Idaho embraced the very rigidity that seems to lead to academic lethargy. Analysis Without Data The next land mine embedded in the Common Core approach is found in the premise that teachers will no longer be required to teach via the age-old drill and kill method. Instead teachers can gently guide enthralled students to discover creative ways to discern answers to problems. Embracing our postmodern culture students will be given more credit for vigorously-defended wrong answers than for correct answers given without explanation. 18 ChoiS ConneCtion winter 2013 But in this jettisoning of old-school memorization the Common Core approach overlooks the need to learn the objective what before students can probe more deeply to discuss the why the how or the should. For how can a student engage in independent analysis and creative problem solving without a foundational knowledge of basic facts from which to craft solutions If a student doesn t know the math tables for example will he have to laboriously reinvent the wheel using his fingers and toes each time he is faced with a rudimentary calculation for the rest of his life Home School Concerns Why should all this concern home schoolers Several reasons. Common Core standards do not yet apply to home schoolers or private school students. However most experts acknowledge that there will be pressure to include them at a later date. But even if they are never legally subjected to the standards the elimination of competing curricula and testing resources will so change the educational landscape that it will be almost impossible to ignore the Common Core standards. Common Core standards. Colleges are also quickly rebuilding their admissions requirements around these aligned tests. So home schooled students hoping to attend college will have another incentive to narrow their own education to these same standards even though they aren t currently required to do so. Since both curriculum and testing will inexorably be aligned with the Common Core standards it will become harder for home schooling families to find alternative materials especially at a reasonable cost. Plus early indications are that once social studies and science standards (that are currently under development) are added to the mix finding curriculum that reflects the parents worldview will become increasingly difficult. backers argue that the federal government is merely influencing the process by its multi-billion dollar expenditures not controlling the curriculum. Conclusions So welcome to the world of Common Core standards. Unfortunately this public school disaster-in-the-making will have significant blowback onto private home schooling families. Curricula will become less varied. Test results will no longer reflect mastery of the subject matter. Central planning will sweep away local control. Parents will find it more difficult to find curricula that reflects their worldview. Invasive data on the students and their parents will be collected and maintained for decades. And in the end student academic achievement will continue to languish. Electronic Monitoring The next concern for home schoolers should be the data collection mandated by the Common Core experiment. As part of embracing these standards each state is required to expand its existing programs that gather and store student data. The data that is gathered includes not only the academic information about the student but also broad demographic data on the student and his family. Collection Unless we push back. Our state legislators are the key. They are the group tasked with educational policy. Most of them have a sense that they bought into this program without sufficient deliberation. Though there is tremendous inertia in favor of the Common Core standards like tugboats exerting sustained statesmanlike pressure on our legislators asking them to Why should all this concern home schoolers The Standards Locomotive Experts understand that educational standards drive the whole train. Once standards are adopted on a large scale curriculum providers will rush to align their curriculum to the standards. Curriculum that focuses on teaching to the Common Core standards will be embraced throughout the nation. Curriculum providers that fail to align will miss the opportunity to tap into the mother lode of expenditures that our nation s public schools are making as they transition to the new standards. Likewise once the standards are adopted most testing to determine student academic progress or achievement will ask only those questions that reflect what the Common Core has determined to be important. Already the SAT ACT GED and the latest version of the Iowa Tests have all announced that they are aligning to the of that information will start at least by the preschool years and continue after graduation into the student s career years. That data including students personally identifiable information will then be made available without parental consent to any government agency or private entity that the federal government claims is evaluating an education program. reconsider their decision will in the end turn the Titanic around. So reach out to your legislators today to politely encourage them to take a second look at this issue. _____________ For a more in depth look at this topic the author recommends the following additional on-line sources 1. youtubechannel-dvd (watch 5 part video series) commoncore _____________ What Constitution Any serious scholar of the United States Constitution acknowledges that education is not a task assigned to or even permitted by the federal government. It is instead reserved to the states. Beyond the Constitution various federal laws expressly prohibit Congress and the federal government from prescribing supervising directing or controlling the content of public school curriculum. With a shrug Common Core 2. 3. 4. Barry Peters is an attorney in private practice with offices in Eagle Idaho and is one of the legal advisors for both ICHE and CHOIS. His law practice focuses on the areas of wills trusts probate and real estate contracts. winter 2013 ChoiS ConneCtion 19 Now is the time to invest in Good HealtH In the near future--without some determined Congressional intervention--national health care is going to be implemented in the United States. While many citizens lack specific and truthful information about the so-called Affordable Care Act and the socialized medicine program this law is going to force into being one thing we know the status quo is going to change. Aside from the issues of taxation bureaucracy and central government control health care is going to change because it is impossible to add tens of millions of people into newly created insurance plans without sending shock waves through the health care delivery system. After all the number of physicians nurses pharmacists technologists and other health care professionals is finite. Training new health care specialists takes time and even if the country started training the tens of thousands of professionals who are going to be needed today it will be many years before the gap is bridged1. Further because the price will be driven down for services given many health care providers currently in practice will likely choose to retire early or move to different careers. Inundating the health care system with millions of new patients logically suggests that patients are going to have to wait longer to even see a doctor. It also means your time with a doctor--if you get to see one--will be dramatically shortened. And though we do not want to contemplate this out and out rationing of health care is also a logical possibility perhaps even a probability. Many unknowns are facing health care in the United States certainly in the coming decade. Nationalized health care with its mine field of unknowns is just one of many changes America is facing. Many observers would agree that the United States is a post-Christian society. Assumptions about social behavior government worldviews and morality were traditionally based on God s revelation in Scripture. Sadly these assumptions are changing and diminishing year by year. Living out an overt life of discipleship to Christ is going to take both increasing courage and increasing wisdom. Christian home educating families need to apply the principles of wise living to our thinking about health. We need to be like the men of Issachar--men who understood outwords By Ken Frederick Health care choices available to Americans are changing. However we can be wise we can understand the times and we can make some decisions that will stand us in good stead in the future. Christian homeschooling families should make health a topic of both study and habit. 20 ChoiS ConneCtion winter 2013 Ways we can take bett THE BASICS Do the basic things for good health we know we should do but often put off. Eat a nutritional balanced diet with lots of fresh fruits and vegetables lean meats fiber and complex carbohydrates. Avoid fats sugars and heavily processed foods. Try to get a good night s sleep every night. According to a recent study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 25% of all heart disease and stroke deaths could be prevented by practicing these kinds of health habits. DISCIPLINE Work on self-discipline. Disciplining yourself in an area that involves your health will pay dividends to you and your family. And you will set a fantastic example for your children. One way to improve your selfdiscipline in healthy habits is to set small goals then put in the work to reach those goals. Success in small areas will help lead to success in greater areas. the times and acted accordingly. First Chronicles describes a time of uncertainty in Israel. Saul had been exposed as a corrupt and ineffective leader and God removed him from Israel s kingship because of his disobedience. In the aftermath of Saul s death the tribes of Israel had to choose whether they would remain loyal to Saul s royal lineage or give their allegiance to David. Along with other tribes the men of Issachar took a long and sober look at the situation they faced (1 Chron. 12 32). Then they acted wisely. Many studies point out a relationship between outdoor activities and health improvements. A 2010 report issued by the National Wildlife Federation examined the correlation between declines in how much kids play outdoors and declines in their mental and physical health2. Kids today the report says ...devote only four to seven minutes a day in unstructured outdoor play like climbing trees drawing with chalk on the sidewalk taking a nature walk or playing a game of catch. Yet kids spend more than seven hours each day in front of electronic media. This report attributes numerous negative health effects to a detachment from the outdoors including obesity sleep disorders asthma vitamin D deficiency and diabetes. Walking outside is simple and it is good exercise. Even the simple act of going on a walk can be enriched by investing some time and curiosity into observing learning about and enjoying God s wonderful creation. Whether you walk bike run swim or enjoy the cultured rigors of English country dancing get active and keep at it. If your approach to home education already includes a strong focus on family health good for you But if you can make some improvements please think about it. It is more important than ever to invest in good health. Ken Frederick and family enjoy the fresh air around their home in Meridian Idaho. Ken gratefully acknowledges the contributions to this column from Dr. Joe Kronz. Training a physician takes a lot of time. Medical school an internship and a residency typically takes seven to eight years--and that is after four years of college. 2 Whole Child Developing Mind Body and Spirit through Outdoor Play National Wildlife Federation 2010 1 etter care of our health. EDUCATE YOURSELF Get good information and use it. emphasize good information here. I Lots of information is available but it can be tough to discern what is truly good and helpful. This is especially true in the area of nutrition and diet. One book says carbs are bad while another book says carbs are fine--and both books are written by experts. We have to ask good questions and consult trusted sources of information to guard against being misled--especially in today s information-drenched world. winter 2013 ChoiS ConneCtion ENCOURAGEMENT When it comes to health get some encouragement from others who are of the same mind. If you are working on strengthening your family s health habits seek encouragement and reinforcement from others who are on or who have already tread the same path. Find people with experience and knowledge and allow them to bless you with their wisdom. Finally get GET ACTIVE active and stay active. Exercise takes many forms and because this column advocates for enjoying and learning about God s creation (the Great Outdoors) it will come as no surprise that I suggest outdoor recreation as a source of healthy exercise. 21 feature article High School on the Horizon By Diane Kummer Homeschool parents are a varied lot Some of you have been teaching high school for many years and as a veteran homeschooler in your circle of friends many people come to you with questions. Or you may be in the midst of homeschooling your first high schooler. Still others of you have yet to begin the high school adventure or you may have recently pulled a teen out of public or private school. Regardless of your level of experience I believe there is value for all of us to be reminded of the basics. Teaching high school at home does not need to be a daunting task but can instead be a wonderful opportunity to educate and enjoy your teens. Information from these books will prove helpful to refer back to many times throughout the high school years. All of the authors were homeschool parents so they know the questions you have the concerns you think about and the encouragement you need Take a Mom Dad to Lunch One thing I love about homeschooling parents is that most of them want to support and encourage others. Take time to develop a relationship with another homeschooling family who is currently teaching a teen or one who has already graduated one or more children. A free breakfast or lunch may be quite a lure Inviting a homeschool mom or couple either to your home or to a restaurant will give you uninterrupted time for picking their brains. Potential questions may include What do you see as the benefits of homeschooling high school (You may first want to ask if they are having a good day ) What curriculum has worked for you and why What curriculum has not worked and why (Both of the preceding questions are necessary so that you can compare contrast curriculum that may best suit your teen.) What part of homeschooling high school did you find to be a challenge How did you structure your day Are there any tips that you want to pass on to someone just starting out Be anxious for nothing but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God and the peace of God which surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Philippians 4 6-7 Prepare for Teaching High School You ll want to prepare for the task of teaching high school by picking up at least one resource book that lays a good foundation and provides many practical tips. These are but a few of the choices The High School Handbook Junior and Senior High School at Home by Mary Schofield Senior High A Home Form U La by Barbara Edtl Shelton Designed Homeschooling High School Planning Ahead for College Admission by Jeanne Gowen Dennis Homeschooled and Headed for College by Denise Boiko 22 ChoiS ConneCtion winter 2013 g during the high school Homeschoolin years is a noble task Be an Excited Learner In Watch and Pray Homeschooling during the high school years is a noble task that may meet resistance from others including your teen When your decision to homeschool high school is challenged it s a good time to remember the reasons you are homeschooling in the first place. Especially during the high school years pray about all aspects of your home education including but not limited to courses to teach curriculum to use activities to participate in and perhaps even changes to the family s routine schedule relating to mom s teaching responsibilities. Pray for your teen s spiritual growth and relationship with the Lord. Pray for your teen s relationships with friends and his her character development. Pray about...everything have front row seats watching as they meet new challenges develop personal convictions and mature into young adults. A little preparation and planning will increase your faith and set you going in the right direction. the same way you desire your teen to be excited about the learning experience you ll want to set a good example by investigating and exploring the many aspects of teaching high school. Keep your eyes open for teaching seminars. I ll present high school seminars at the 2014 CHOIS conference that give information you need such as developing a high school plan creating a transcript staying on track during the high school years keeping good records and knowing about tests such as the SAT ACT PSAT and others. Although it always takes a special effort to be away from home the information you ll glean from a one-hour workshop at the conference may save you hours of time finding the information on your own. Diane Kummer HSLDA High School Consultant My husband and I homeschooled our children from kindergarten through their high school graduations. I remember well the initial anxiousness and trepidation as we began the high school years. The Lord proved to be faithful and true during those years and it s a joy for me today in my position as a High School Consultant with HSLDA to assist others as they teach their teens. Join me at the CHOIS 2014 conference and be equipped to teach high school at home with confidence Become Spiritually Equipped Teaching high school is serious business but keep in mind that one of the most crucial aspects of homeschooling your teens is simply the opportunity to continue building strong relationships with them. The teen years are pivotal ones and you will see your child grow and mature in many ways. Do your best to keep the lines of communication open and carry on with the training you began many years ago. I recommend an excellent book on the spiritual training of teens called Age of Opportunity A Biblical Guide to Parenting Teens by Paul David Tripp. As a precaution although spiritual fruit is a wonderful bonus when homeschooling your teen it should never be the reason that you homeschool. If it is then the absence of spiritual fruit will lead to discouragement weariness and despair. Rather see your faithful obedience to the task of homeschooling as an opportunity to trust in the Lord s provision and power to take your meager sacrifice and accomplish His purposes in His timing and in His ways. Your focus will then rightly be on the Lord and His faithfulness not on your child or on your teaching. With high school on the horizon you have an opportunity to engage your teens and Adapted from High School on the Horizon originally published in 2009 by Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA). Used with permission. winter 2013 ChoiS ConneCtion 23 Christopher Gilliam GRI Graduate of the Realtor Institute Associate Broker Realtor Licensed as an Agent in 06 as a Broker in 09 Dad of 3 homeschoolers - Ages 9 12 & 14 Buyers Full Service Broker but you don t pay Sellers - FREE What s My Home Worth report EXPERIENCED - PROFESSIONAL - SINCERE o Old and new homes o 70 000 to 700 000 homes Christopher Gilliam GRI FREE to CHOIS Connection Readers Search the MLS Like an Agent at 24 ChoiS ConneCtion winter 2013 208-899-0779 The market has changed Interest rates are low It s time to make a move... Call Christopher today ICHE BULLETIN BOARD 2014 Testing Preparation Letters Registration for March 2014 testing has closed. Letters with detailed testing information will be mailed the first week in January 2014. Go to the website for suggested test preparation materials Scope and Sequence and other testing information. Legislative Pie Day January 29 2014 Applications are posted on the website to participate in this annual Statehouse reception for our legislators. Deadlines to apply Music (December 1) Displays ( January 17) Pies ( January 14). Hundreds of home-baked pies are needed for our law makers favorite event of the session. Your help is appreciated. Online ICHE Memberships You may join ICHE or renew your membership online. 25 memberships are effective for one year. To find your expiration date go to Join ICHE on the website. You Can Homeschool A Closer Look DVD View this encouraging and informative DVD on the ICHE website. winter 2013 ChoiS ConneCtion 25 discovering Idaho Abraham Lincoln hiS legaCy in idaho by Connie Seward Idaho commemorated the 150th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln s Gettysburg address on November 19th 2013 with the grand opening of a museum and archive collection titled Abraham Lincoln His Legacy in Idaho. The new exhibit is located in the Idaho History Center near the Old Idaho Penitentiary in Boise. David Leroy former Idaho Attorney General and Lieutenant Governor along with his wife Nancy donated this splendid collection of over 1 500 artifacts to insure that future generations have access to the historical legacy of our 16th president. For over 25 years Leroy has avidly gathered Lincoln artifacts from as far away as Paris and is particularly eager to help the public understand Lincoln s vast connection to Idaho. Lincoln was born in Kentucky spent his youth in Indiana began his political career in Illinois and governed the United States from the District of Columbia but never set foot in Idaho. However the newly exhibited Lincoln collection clearly shows that Lincoln had a permanent link to Idaho. This unique museum is open free of charge to all ages. Visitors enter through a reproduction of the White House room where President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation. The reconstructed Cabinet Room is outfitted with historically correct replicas of furniture wall coverings and fixtures that give visitors the opportunity to journey back in time. The story of Lincoln s youth law practice political campaign for congress presidency and death by assassination are brought to life in the main gallery by way of interpretive text hands-on question and answer flip cards and authentic artifacts. Key components of history during the Lincoln era such as the Battle of Gettysburg and the Civil War are highlighted along with important ties Lincoln had to Idaho. After moving through the displays visitors exit through a reconstructed viewing box at Ford s Theater where Lincoln was assassinated. An impressive collection of over 1 000 original books are housed in a special reading room where students as well as professional scholars can access the documents for research. Amongst the items of special interest on display are Civil War memorabilia such as buttons and belt buckles a picture of Lincoln wearing spectacles presidential campaign mementos documents signed by Lincoln appointing Idaho s first two Governors and first Chief Justice a lock of Lincoln s hair taken at his autopsy a cast of Lincoln s hands and two cast of his face one from 1860 and the other from 1865 which show how much the cares of the war had affected his appearance. The research archives boast an 1860 hardbound copy of the Lincoln v Douglas debates as well as numerous letters cartoons and photos. Abraham Lincoln has been honored in many ways but perhaps none quite as unique as the Lincoln-Idaho legacy collection. Across the United States there are numerous cities counties universities schools streets and businesses named in Lincoln s honor. Statues and busts can be found as far away as Scotland and England. In the United States Washington D.C. holds nine likenesses Gettysburg Pennsylvania four Springfield Illinois seven while Boise boasts two. State historic sites are sprinkled through Illinois Kentucky and Indiana. The National Park Service has six units highlighting Lincoln such as Mount Rushmore and Ford s Theatre. Library collections of Lincoln era books and documents dot the country as well. However interactive museums solely devoted to the memory of Lincoln are not as plenteous. The opportunity to find a museum of the magnitude of the Abraham Lincoln His Legacy in Idaho in the Rocky Mountain West is still more rare. Idahoans are understandably proud of their new museum showcasing Lincoln s timeless connection to Idaho. Your family will want to embrace the privilege of remembering Lincoln by being amongst the first patrons to view this marvelous collection. Plan to allot 45 minutes or more for your visit Wednesday through Saturday 11am-4pm. Strollers are not advised due to space limitation. Groups of 20 or more visitors should call ahead. Docent led group field trips for students as well as online curriculum will be available spring 2014. The research center is open without appointment to students experienced in working independently or to younger students accompanied by a parent teacher. A public lunchroom is also available for research students and museum visitors. 26 ChoiS ConneCtion winter 2013 Idaho State Archives-Idaho History Center 2205 Old Penitentiary Road Boise Idaho 837012 General Inquires 208-334-3620 Hours of Operation Wednesday Saturday 11 am 4 pm Closed State Holidays No admission charge Strollers not recommended Web link http idaho-state-archives http archives-hours-location CURRICULUM CONNECTIONS Plan to connect the Lincoln exhibit to your curriculum yearly. This valuable resource should not be relegated to only a couple visits during your child s educational years. Historical Connections Idaho History US History Black History Civil War US Westward Expansion US Constitution and US Secession Studies. __________ Web link Abraham Lincoln His Legacy in Idaho http lincoln-legacy __________ Holiday & Special Occasions Connections Lincoln s birthday-February 12th President s Day-third Monday in February Martin Luther King s Day-third Monday in January Black History monthFebruary Idaho Archaeology and Historical Preservation month-May. __________ Field Trip Contact Spring 2014 Steve Barrett Archivist 208-514-2324 Philosophical Connections Compare contrast slavery and the Civil War with human rights issues from antiquity through the modern era. __________ LINCOLN S IDAHO LEGACY Lincoln gave our nation the legacy of E Pluribus Unum Out of many one and the legacy of preserving the constitutional right of Liberty to all . Lincoln also left Idaho an enduring legacy of government enterprise and industry that can be traced through key exhibit artifacts and documents. Research Connections Seize this priceless opportunity to teach your students how to access use and cite original source documents for research projects. Any historical subject related to Idaho including genealogy can be accessed in the Idaho State Archives research room. Students with a topic in hand perhaps as young as upper grade school may be ready for instruction in research papers. _______________________________________ The family of Connie and Quentin Seward are excited about the the new Lincoln exhibit because it provides an opportunity to learn more about Idaho s connection with Lincoln. Their ancestor William H. Seward (of Seward s Icebox fame) was the Secretary of State under Lincoln. Other family ancestors homesteaded in Idaho circa 1889. Sixth generation Idaho natives the Sewards are truly one of Idaho s gems Amongst the most notable connections are Lincoln s signing of the Homestead Act of 1862 which gave opportunity for men women minorities and immigrants to qualify for 160 acres of federal land thereby solidifying the foundation of Idaho s agrarian roots. Eventually 60 000 enterprising homesteaders proved up in Idaho after paying the 18.00 filing fee building a home and living off the land for a number of years. The signing of the Pacific Railroad Act of 1862 which gave root to Idaho s commerce system. Declaring Idaho a territory in 1863 thereby securing our valuable natural resources. Lincoln personally appointed fifteen of Idaho s first officers such as Chief Justice and Governor of Idaho Territory thereby securing Idaho s government. winter 2013 ChoiS ConneCtion 27 28 ChoiS ConneCtion winter 2013 What s Up With All Those Updates S oftware uPdateS. advice from a geek By Ken Barnes bought online downloaded and a installed of in minutes. be trying to take advantage of improved hardware technologies. As for fixing things they could be fixing a bug that they somehow missed in their pre-release testing. (Computer Trivia Grace Hopper found a moth in the Mark II computer she was working on in 1947 and since then finding problems in a computer program have come to be known as debugging the program.) Or they may be plugging a hole that makes the application and possibly your whole device susceptible to bad guys and their evil plans. So I recommend looking at the software s change log if available to see what the update is updating. If it is just changing a feature that currently works fine you might want to skip the update. But if it is to patch a security hole or correct something that isn t working right then updating the device would be wise. If in doubt err on the side of safety and install the updates. And if you need to install every Well matter I remember back in The DOS days way before Windows. only software update you got was when you bought the next version of the software. And you installed it from floppy disks. One humorous (to me anyway) misunderstanding from that time period was that floppy disks were the 5.25 disks and the 3.5 disks due to their harder plastic outer shell were sometimes called hard drives. In reality those were floppy disks too. They just did not flop as much. Hard drives were and still are metal disks fixed inside the computer. And today you might not even have a hard drive. Instead you might have a Solid State Drive (SSD) which works very similar to a big memory chip. It does have one key difference though. When you turn off your PC the memory chip is cleared. But the SSD retains its data just as if it were stored on a hard drive. What makes it better than a hard drive is that it retrieves data faster and since there are no moving parts is quieter and less likely to wear out. And many updates were available for download and installation directly from the manufacturer s website. But you still had to go to the website and check for updates. Then software developers got a little smarter and added the ability to check for updates directly within the application. Today if you have a smartphone or tablet you no doubt have noticed that your device may notify you when updates are available or it may even just update them automatically. Microsoft can also update its software on your PC without any intervention from you although I do not recommend letting it do that. I have my PC set to notify me when updates are ready then I pick and choose which ones I actually download and install. y ou May wonder why there are So Many uPdateS. w update for every app every time. Weren t we talking about ait a Minute. the reasons for updates fall into 2 main categories adding features and fixing something. Software developers are always adding new features to either keep up with the competition or to stay ahead of the competition. They may also software updates Eventually the Internet found its way into almost everyone s home. When that occurred there was Software could be no need for floppy disks and less need for CD drives too. Ken Barnes and his lovely bride Cindy have been updating the 4 features they added to their family with new information in a homeschool setting since 2003. ColleCt those Box tops CHOIS can redeem General Mills Box Tops for Education. We can earn up to 20 000 per year for our organization. Ask your extended family and neighbors to collect them for you as well Thank you for your help winter 2013 ChoiS ConneCtion 29 news worthy GraduatioN Class of 2013 Back Row L-R Malachi Dean Cody Stump Seth Kalousek Jordan Hepton Holly Monaghan Anna Tizekker Micah Watson Caleb Abernathy Jared Haupt William Holes & Jacob Palmer. Third Row L-R Nicolas Buckley Dakotah Richcreek Talia Merrill Jessica Murrell Anneliesa Dykstra Rebecca Tweedie Francesca Ghiorso Emily True Caleb Dixon & Thane Seward. Second Row L-R Kaj Forney Anastasia Marks Lily Weinacht Camille Breaux Meghan Dickey Arianne Emerson Johanna Fisher Abigail Sweet Kara Luckey & Curtis Shaffer. Front Row L-R Joseph Herrera Christina Nelson Jenevieve Mingus Sarah Hodgkinson Melanie Schroder Andrea Prigge Christina Roberts Laura Boisse Elizabeth Brooks Emily Peel & Michael Carrier. CoNGressioNal medalists Dignitaries - L-R Attorney General Lawrence Wasden Micron Technologies Inc. Mike Renoldson Congressman Raul Labrador Senator Mike Crapo Senator Jim Risch State Treasurer Ron Crane Medalists - L-R Eric Summer (Bronze) Christiana Stone (Silver) Emily Peel (Gold) Cory Buckley (Gold) Rachel Hooper (Gold) Thane Seward (Gold) C reated in 1979 by Congress the award program aims to encourage youth ages 14-23 to engage in wide-ranging character-forming experiences specifically 400 hours of community service 200 hours of a sport or physical activity 200 hours of personal development in the arts and a four-night expedition for those striving for the ultimate Gold Medal award. (There are six levels of awards from the highest Congressional Gold Medal to the first stage Congressional Bronze Certificate.) Free Subscription or Donation Form Name ______________________________________________________________________________________ Street Box___________________________________________________________________________________ City State__________________________________________________________Zip Code__________________ Phone____________________________________ Email ___________________________________________ (Optional) I have included a donation of _________ to help cover the printing mailing costs of CHOIS Connection. Mail this form to CHOIS P.O. Box 45062 Boise ID 83711. You may cut out and use this form copy it or go to to find a printable version. 30 ChoiS ConneCtion winter 2013 Bountiful HARVEST A H O M E E D U C A T I O N And let us not grow weary while doing good for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. Galations 6 9 StAte HomeScHool convention June 5-7th 2014 16th AnnuAl College Church of the N azarene 504 E. Dewey St. Nampa Idaho winter 2013 ChoiS ConneCtion 31 Christian Homeschoolers Of Idaho State P.O. Box 45062 Boise Idaho 83711 Encouraging and Connecting Homeschoolers We ve come a long way since the premier issue of CHOIS Connection in the winter of 2003. We hope that through the years our pages have given you fresh ideas encouragement and the assurance that you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you. We hope that you have been inspired from the lives of writers like Chris Klicka Mike Farris Heidi St. John Todd Wilson and so many more that we couldn t possibly list them all. Thanks for the wonderful memories and God willing we hope you enjoy many more issues for years to come. Connect with us. Subscribe today at