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Description: CHOIS Connection is a magazine published in Idaho for Christian Home Educators

C To d d W i l s o n HOIS ONNECTION r e j o i c e a magazine for Idaho home educators j r e f l e c t j r e n e w FALL 2012 Hey That s Not Fair H a l a n d M e l a n i e Yo u n g The Holy Grail of Getting Your Husband Involved in Homeschooling A Publication of Christian Homeschoolers of Idaho State 2 CHOIS Connection fAll 2012 Contents Fall 2012 6 speCial features Husband Involved in Homeschooling By Todd Wilson C HOIS ONNECTION r e j o i c e a magazine for Idaho home educators j r e f l e c t j r e n e w Publisher CHOIS Editor Linda Patchin Advertising Inquiries advertising 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 Moving Please send your new address to info so that you can stay Connected CHOIS Connection is published quarterly by Christian Homeschoolers of Idaho State. 2012 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. Copyright 2012 by Christian Homeschoolers Of Idaho State. Advertising rates are available upon request by email at advertising chois. org or by calling (208) 424-6685. CHOIS reserves the right to refuse without explanation any advertisement it deems unsuitable. Columnists The views of guest columnists do not necessarily reflect the views of CHOIS. Hey That s Not Fair By Hal and Melanie young 14 The Holy Grail of Getting Your 6 regular Columns 4 8 coNveNTIoN coNNecTIoN LeGAL UPDATeS Darwin s Dread 10 reSoUrce revIew Bringing r-e-L-I-e-F to your Homeschool 18 cHoIS TIDBITS Turn off Tune out Drop connections 22 reS PIece The Long view 24 oUTworDS The Likeable Honeybee 22 27 ASk A Geek Fun with Sci-Fi Movies 28 DIScoverING IDAHo Idaho Potato Museum 30 NewS worTHY 8 24 and the rest 21 IcHe Bulletin Board 21 Free SUBScrIPTIoN AND DoNATIoN ForM 31 Feature Illustration Jared Meuser fAll 2012CHOIS Connection 3 Convention ConneCtion Chois Convention updates lans are already under way for the 2013 convention. We hope that you will join us next June. We will once again be offering free admission to the convention for parents whose oldest child is under five years of age and who have never attended the convention before. It was wonderful to see so many young families at the convention this year and we hope that even more parents of preschoolers will take us up on our offer in 2013. In the last issue of the CHOIS Connection we told you about one of our keynote speakers. Hal and Melanie Young are the authors of the best-selling book Raising Real Men. This book has hit the Christian book market by storm. If you have sons we hope that you will come and hear them. If P Homeschooling Moms Believe and The Official Book of Homeschooling Cartoons. CHOIS has been printing his cartoons in our magazine for many years. Todd is married to Debbie and they homeschool their eight children. His website www.familymanweb. com is a great resource for getting Dad s interested in and excited about home education while it reminds parents of what is most important in life. Todd is a popular convention speaker all across the country and is a frequent guest on Focus on the Family. We are just beginning to work on getting some great workshop speakers contracted and will report more about them in the next issue of the magazine. We also plan to once again offer a children s and teen s program and a used curriculum sale. We look forward to seeing you next June If you do not have sons we hope that you will come out and hear them. They speak on a broad range of homeschool topics as well as speaking about their newest book My Beloved My Friend. The Young s have a lot of wisdom to share about keeping marriages strong and healthy. We have also booked another keynote speaker. Todd Wilson is the author of the books Help I am Married to a Homeschooling Mom Lies you enjoy receiving the CHOIS Connection Magazine and would like to continue receiving it please consider a donation . The annual cost of printing and postage is 5 for every family that receives the magazine. Advertisements provide only a small portion of this cost and we rely on donations to cover the balance. Please send your donation to CHOIS PO Box 45062 Boise Idaho 83711 4 CHOIS Connection fAll 2012 fAll 2012CHOIS Connection 5 Hey THaT s NoT Fair by Hal and Melanie Young ickering and arguing can drive you crazy can t it Yet our children usually learn to deal with conflict from us. When two sinners marry there are going to be times they disagree. It seems like our enemy works overtime though to bring conflict into homeschooling marriages our family missions are so likely to play havoc with His plan for the next generation that perhaps we get a little extra attention Michael Smith of Home School Legal Defense Association confirmed this. He told us recently that he and his staff are hearing from more and more serious committed Christian homeschooling families whose marriages are struggling. It doesn t have to be this way. We ve learned that a lasting marriage isn t one without conflict but one where conflicts are resolved in a way that strengthens our bond. We ve agreed on some principles of disagreement (odd as it sounds) which help this happen. What s more it s a great life skill for our children to learn too because these principles apply to all our relationships. B power. Instead of living in openness and vulnerability we stockpile our weapons and build defenses. We all know divorce is destructive. It doesn t free the angry spouse it binds them up with a family court judge often for decades. Instead of just breaking a friendship it s like tearing flesh If marriage is a picture of Christ and the church and He promises never to leave or forsake us then how can we live out that example while toying with this idea of leaving each other And still defuse the nuclear option What s the worst thing that can happen to a marriage Short of homicide it s the death of the relationship As long as you re willing to admit the possibility of divorce you allow doubt not trust to develop and you give even small disagreements an explosive some people use the threat as a weapon or escape hatch instead of working their differences out. We have a dear friend who was divorced before she knew Christ and even though she is remarried to a Christian she is tempted to leave every time they argue. Sometimes they both threaten it. From time to time she calls sure that this time it s over. Melanie always counters So what Biblical grounds do you have for divorce There never is. Well then she reminds her you guys have to get over it. Friendships are built on trust and if you always have the exit in mind one foot out the door it will be hard to stay motivated and mend the breaks that occur. It s crucial then that you start with a commitment to preserving the relationship. When we got married for example we agreed at the very start that divorce was not an option. After all we were both Christians we understood the commitment and any sin that came up was just reason for repentance. Believing this up front changes the whole nature of conflict in a marriage and it takes the nuclear option off the table. And it s worth remembering that God commands us to love one another. If it s commanded then it s a decision and an action not a feeling. Why would Christians say We ve grown apart or We don t love each other as if that were an excuse rather than a symptom If you don t love the one you wed then you need to repent and go do it. God will give strength to fulfill His commands Remember what it took to build the relationship to start with. Start making time for one another sharing activities talking working together. We saw a bumper sticker once which said If you leave me I m coming too. When you take the nuclear option off the table it means you are going to have to work it out. That knowledge gives you the motivation to fight fair. don t Go to Bed angry Many people have never seen a healthy disagreement. If you grew up in a broken home or even just a family 6 CHOIS Connection fAll 2012 that fought ugly you may have no idea how to resolve conflict without damage. What we discovered is that when one of you wins you both lose. Either you both win or you both lose. To keep it healthy you ve got to keep the drama out. Don t call names. Don t resurrect dead issues. Constantly reassure each other of your love and respect and always work towards reconciliation. We ve adopted Ephesians 4 26 for our whole family. Paul says Do not let the sun go down on your anger. If we re mad we don t hide. We work it out. Sooner or later we re going to have to apologize and eat our hurtful words and they taste a lot better when they re fresh There s a lot of wisdom in that passage. The longer we sit and think about our anger the more bitterness grows. On the other hand if we work it out and forgive each other immediately problems don t get big and dramatic. We never have a chance to brood over it. Now this isn t very convenient. There are times we have sat up talking until all hours when we really needed sleep but our relationship is more important than rest more important than being fresh for work more important than anything short of our relationship with God and He wants us to work it out too. The longer we sit and brood over our anger the more bitterness grows. On the other hand if we work it out and forgive each other immediately problems don t get big and dramatic. at the other then grow madder still because the other doesn t get it. We ve got to keep talking. Anyone who knows us would laugh at the thought that either of us is even capable of the silent treatment whether we re happy or mad But really we sulk too. The solution is to tell your love why at the right time in private with respect but as soon as possible. How can they repent if they don t know they ve sinned Or how can they explain themselves if they think you already agree It just isn t fair. You can see where this is going. Maturity. Acting like grown-ups. Getting over it. When you get mad go to your beloved privately and calmly and without drama. Explain how you feel. Then shut up and listen. Then talk some more. Deal with it. Real forgiveness means complete forgiveness. You don t hold it against them. Not now not later not ever. It s scary. It s hard and it takes the Holy Spirit to give you the strength to do it. But turn it around how incredibly freeing to know that when you blow it it can all go completely away. When we show real forgiveness we are imitating the Lord. It doesn t get much better than that. Real Forgiveness Leave the sink in the Kitchen silence isn t Golden You can t address things you don t know about though. Melanie has found Hal is no good at reading her mind. Hal realizes he may not be thinking what Melanie thinks he s thinking. So it s not fair for each of us to get mad But once you engage the problem deal with one issue at a time. Sometimes the frustration is so great or you just want to win so badly -- you throw everything into the fight including the kitchen sink. But is this right The Lord says I will remember their sins no more. (Hebrews 8 12) When we pray Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us and expect God to forgive us immediately are we secretly keeping score against each other Forgiven means forgotten. It s important to leave God room to work. Jesus said the Holy Spirit would come to convict the world we don t have to win by breaking each other s will He can do that so much more effectively Hal and Melanie Young have been married for 24 years are the homeschooling parents of six boys and two girls and are the authors of Raising Real Men Surviving Teaching and Appreciating Boys. Their new book is entitled My Beloved and My Friend. This article is adapted from their upcoming book on marriage. Find out more at and fAll 2012CHOIS Connection 7 LegaL Update darwin s dread by Barry Peters iChe poLitiCaL anaLysis Proverbs 20 12 The hearing ear and the seeing eye the Lord has made both of them. ost people react with delight when gazing at a feather from a peacock s tail even more so when the peacock stunningly puts the whole tail on display. Darwin on the other hand found that view disconcerting. Here s how he described it in a letter to a friend in 1860 M Darwin himself never actually explained precisely what troubled him about the peacock s tail. But as an amateur birdwatcher several possible explanations spring to my mind. To begin let s define the problem. Darwin s Origin of Species had just The sight of a feather in a peacock s tail whenever I gaze at it makes me sick been published a year earlier. His new theory was rooted in the notion that evolution was driven by natural selection. That process presumed that characteristics which enhanced the survival of any given species were likely to be passed on to subsequent generations. Parents with those characteristics were more likely to live long enough to reproduce. Alternative and less-advantageous traits would tend to be weeded out by an earlier death. Speedier creatures were more likely to survive than those less swift of foot. Those blessed with natural camouflage tended to survive better than those with eye-catching coloration. Those with more acute eyesight and hearing were more likely to do the dining rather than being dined upon. Yet here is the peacock. He struts through life with a neon blue body and a humongous tail. Even when not displayed to impress the local pea hens the peacock s tail is so large several feet of it drags behind him on the ground. In fact it is incorrectly thought by many that the peacock s tail is so large that it actually precludes him from taking flight. But the disadvantage to the peacock of such a large tail is remarkable. He is barely able to become airborne at all. And when he does so it is only for short distances at very slow speeds. On the other hand any predator who decides to pursue a peacock has a much easier task of simply chasing him and grabbing his tail to bring him down and taking him home for dinner. Then there s the whole coloration dilemma. Instead of being camouflaged and fading into his environment the peacock is cursed with plumage that can only be described as garish. Bright greens blues and yellows abound. His natural predators would have to be nigh on blind to miss spotting him. As an astute naturalist Darwin would have also noticed the unique design feature within the coloration of birds. No other phylum of the created order had the same remarkable coloration as do the birds of the air. Not even the breathtaking beauty of tropical fish could compare. To fully appreciate the startling appearance of birds one has to understand the structure of the feather. Bear with a short avian anatomy lesson. A typical feather has a shaft up the middle. It gives the feather some rigidity without it becoming fragile. Off of the shaft run parallel vanes. When those are stroked or preened they seem to stick together. They can be pulled apart but then re-adhered. This unique function is due to the fact that on the side of each vane are miniature barbules and hooklets. These flexible hooklets grab onto the barbules on the adjacent vanes when the feather is smoothed out. But if something strikes the feather during flight (like a bug) it can pop apart 8 CHOIS Connection fAll 2012 out causing any damage to the feather. Then at the next rest stop the bird can coax the feather back into its original shape by preening it. Kind of like nature s earliest Velcro. Here s where it gets even more interesting for Darwin. The color pattern of an individual feather is not strictly a matter of a given feather or vane being a distinct color. Looking closely at a peacock s tail feather for example reveals that as a single vane grows off of the shaft it often starts out one color but then changes to several different colors at specific points in its growth. But the really mind-boggling part of the puzzle was that the series of colors of a given vane coordinated with the colors on nearby vanes to produce a pattern that transcended the structure of the feather itself. Hence the apparent eye-shaped coloration emerging out of the progressive coloration of hundreds of parallel vanes on a peacock s feather was stunning to Darwin. He understood the inadequacy of his theory to explain such a complex pattern of bright colors displayed on an easel of side-byside vanes. Haphazard mutations were totally inadequate for the job. From a natural selection perspective the male peacock was a disaster a walking refutation of the principles argued by Darwin s new book. In short Darwin was agreeing that if his theory were correct peacocks would have long since become extinct. Perhaps that was the genesis of Darwin s gastrointestinal discomfort with the peacock. Or maybe there was even more to his distress. In the letter in which Darwin complained about the peacock s feathers the comment immediately preceding this observation provides some additional insight. It states It is curious that I remember well time when the thought of the eye made me cold all over but I have got over this stage of the complaint & now small trifling particulars of structure often make me very uncomfortable. Why did the mere thought of the eye give Darwin the heebie-jeebies Because he knew that the eye was far too complex of an organ to be explained by his new theory. As he himself conceded If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed which could not possibly have been formed by numerous successive slight modifications my theory would absolutely break down. As Darwin grew to understand and appreciate the stunning complexity of the eye he knew that its development could not be explained by a series of slight modifications each of which gave the recipient an advantage over the previous generation. Indeed the supposed missing link stages of any species development would have been significantly disadvantaged by the existence of an incomplete eye. So Darwin effectively crossed his fingers and hoped that time might provide some explanation for that which made him so uncomfortable. Unfortunately rather than simplifying that which he recognized as complex time has only brought to light a greater degree of complexity in the eye than Darwin could have ever imagined. So perhaps here is the origin of Darwin s dread of the peacock tail. Not only was the peacock s tail so eye-catching and bulky as to almost guarantee the extinction of any bird burdened with such an appendage but that same tail had the audacity to taunt Darwin with what appeared to be dazzling eyes at the tip of each of its dozens of tail feathers. The image of the impossibly complex eye repeatedly and brightly superimposed on the peacock s resplendent tail feathers was simply too much for Darwin to bear. In the end Darwin at least was able to see that the survival of the peacock species with its stunning and ocularpatterned plumage was by itself a refutation of his new theory. And the passage of 150 years has not lessened the quandary posed by the peacock tail to the believability of his theory. As we marvel at the unlikely existence of an entire avian kingdom capable of defying gravity with sustained flight let us not lose sight of the Creator s great imagination in festooning such creatures with arresting but unnatural images. For this grand design reveals not mere randomness but rather intelligence far beyond anything of which we might conceive much less emulate. 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 real estate contracts and business formations. fAll 2012CHOIS Connection 9 ResoURCe Review Bringing R-e-L-i-e-F to your homeschool Organize Your Homeschool and Lighten Your Load ome of the most creative women best suited for the task of teaching their own children never do. Some quit after one year. So many moms are committed to the philosophy of home education but quit because the task is daunting. Never having been taught to home educate and manage a home they are exhausted. They look to the training of their mothers and find no answers because their mothers never homeschooled. The Bible tells us that older women are to teach younger women and the encouraging news today is that many wonderfully successful home school moms are ready to teach those following in their paths. One such woman is Vicki Bentley the HSLDA Early Years Coordinator. In several one-to-two-page articles on HSLDA s website ( Vicki Bentley provides homeschool moms with wonderful lists and tips to organize home and home education to give mom more time to enjoy her family and this strange new life calling. I have organized her articles and a few other contributors at hslda. org into four areas Time Management Home Management Record Keeping and Lesson Plans. 10 CHOIS Connection fAll 2012 BooK & CuRRiCuLum CRitiques S By Suzanne Reid The blessing about these resources is that all of these articles are freely accessible online at While Vicki does recommend other resources which the reader can purchase the information in her articles if followed is enough to help any mom bring order to her home and find joy in the process. The caveat is that mom must follow the tips an area with which we all struggle but Vicki even has helps for that in her article Help I m Organizationally Challenged Vicki Bentley Time Management for Busy Families by Vicki Bentley article available at earlyyears Time.asp This short article provides a time management wealth of information and tips to unclutter your schedule. Most noteworthy is Vicki s advice that time management is not about finding the perfect organizer or planning calendar. Instead she says Time management is about identifying what is important to you and then ordering your days to reflect those priorities in such a way that you can accomplish what God has for you for today. Help I m Organizationally Challenged by Vicki Bentley article available at earlyyears OrganizeChart.asp In this article Vicki suggests three tools that she uses to bring structure to her busy life daily routines categorized to-do lists and time reminders. Vicki details the beauty of each of these tools and explains how uses them in her personal life. To keep herself on task Vicki displays these tools in places where she will notice them throughout her day. She shows pictures of the visual charts and tools that she uses and provides links to websites where the reader can purchase them. How Does A Busy Homeschool Mom Spell Relief R-O-UT-I-N-E by Vicki Bentley article available at earlyyears Routine.asp Vicki explains that establishing a family routine relieves much stress for both parents and children. In this article Vicki outlines the process of creating a routine and provides actual examples of her personal homeschool routines. Burnout Busters for Busy Moms by Vicki Bentley article available at http earlyyears Burnout.asp For those who feel trapped living lives of constantly putting out fires Vicki words of wisdom bring relief. She tells moms about tools that they need to acquire to bring sanity to their lives. Her advice is so sensible and easy. Multi-Level Teaching schooling More than One Child by Vicki Bentley article available at earlyyears MultiLevel.asp One of the most efficient ways to achieve more order and family time is selecting curriculum that teaches several ages at one time. Vicki suggests adapting curriculum or using multilevel materials setting goals etc. and organizing the home for success. home management Organizing your Home to Create a Learning Lifestyle Environment by Vicki Bentley article available at earlyyears Organize.asp Whether the reader is a homeschooler or not this article is full of easy tips to get rid of the clutter in our homes and make our spaces more usable. Vicki reminds the reader that home organization is not about an immaculate house. Rather she says Organization is a means of functioning effectively and efficiently and you must find what works for you and your home. She provides a long list of practical things moms can do immediately to bring order to their homes. Organize for Success in Home Management Training by Vicki Bentley article available at http earlyyears OrganizeTrain.asp One of the most important lessons of our homeschools is teaching our children to learn responsibility for picking up after themselves. Vicki suggests several helpful tips to help our children succeed in being orderly by setting up systems for them to follow. Examples include giving each child his own color code so that his towel cup storage bin etc. is his color only. Getting Dinner on the Table the Same Day You Homeschool by Vicki Bentley article available at earlyyears Dinner.asp Vicki provides some statistics on the importance of family dinners and provides various suggestions on how to prepare foods ahead to shorten the time to prepare daily dinners while maintaining a homeschool schedule. Suggested Resources for Meal Planning by Vicki Bentley article available at earlyyears MealResources.asp This is simply a listing of helpful meal planning books. Lesson plans Planning Tips by Kara Murphy article available at http www. earlyyears PlanningTips. asp Kara s article is extremely helpful to those new at planning because she reveals pitfalls in over-planning and unrealistic planning. She encourages those who might be discouraged by unfulfilled plans by explaining the realities of planning. Kara says Unrealistic planning is planning what you think you should be doing rather than what you really can do. Lesson Plans by Vicki Bentley article available at earlyyears LessonPlan.asp Written from her personal experience Vicki steps the reader through the process of setting annual goals ... continued on page 12 Vicky s Booklist (partial list) Clutter s Last Stand It s Time To De-junk Your Life ByDonAslett More Hours in My DaybyEmilieBarnes 15-Minute Home and Family Organizer byEmilieBarnes The Busy Woman s Guide to Healthy EatingbyEmilieBarnesandSueGregg Saving DinnerbyLeanneEly My Homeschool PlannerbyVickiBentley The Everyday Family Chore Systemby VickiBentley Clutter Cutters Store It with StylebyBetter Homes&Gardens Messies No MorebySandraFelton Life Management for Busy WomenbyElizabeth George The Organized Student Teaching Children the Skills for Success in School and Beyond by DonnaGoldberg Managers of Their HomesbyTeriMaxwell What Your Child Needs to Know Whenby RobinSampson fAll 2012CHOIS Connection 11 ... continued from page 11 for each student determining the school year schedule reviewing the curriculum and organizing the lessons in the lesson planner. She addresses various methods for different personalities and suggests that all of these plans are simply guidelines and that there is not one way to plan. Record-Keeping Records to Keep by Vicki Bentley article available at earlyyears LessonPlan.asp Vicki subtitles this article Souvenirs of the Journey--For You the Children and the Officials. She discusses the importance and value of creating a portfolio for each child and she tells you what documents should be included and how to assemble it. Additionally Vicki recommends creating a scrapbook for memories and encouragement. Record Your Accomplishments By Cindy Short and Sue Welch Editors The Teaching Home. Article available at earlyyears RecordAccomplish.asp This article is a fantastic to-do-list. The authors tell you what to sort file and dispose as it relates to schoolwork textbooks and records. Also included are wonderful links to ABeka Bob Jones and Worldbook which send you to downloadable pdf files of the scope and sequence for each school year listing what a child should learn at each grade level. Lessons Learned--Finishing the School Year by Vicki Bentley article available at earlyyears LessonsLearned. asp At the end of a school year Vicki provides a list of questions to help moms evaluate their homeschool year. Questions help mom assess goals that she set at the beginning of the year and consider areas where she can focus and improve in the upcoming year. Suzanne and her husband Brian have homeschooled their children for the past 14 years and serve in the homeschool movement as Board Members of Idaho Coalition of Home Educators. To contact Suzanne with any comments or resources you would like her to review email her at sreid Find us on FaCeBooK Keyword search Chois 109033379127712 12 CHOIS Connection fAll 2012 raisingrealmen. fAll 2012CHOIS Connection 13 The Holy Grail of Getting Your Husband Involved in Homeschooling BY Todd Wilson et me just say up front that my passion is showing dads how to be more involved in their families and especially in their homeschools. Now if I were writing to a bunch of men I d give them all kinds of practical ideas and thoughts on how to do that. But this time I m going to address all you moms who are reading this. After all if a dad isn t very involved he probably isn t going to be reading this article anyway. 14 CHOIS Connection fall 2012 L I m going to share with you the holy grail of homeschooling - how to get your husband more involved in your life your family and your homeschool. I can see you shaking your head in disbelief. But I m serious. What I m going to share with you has the power to transform your life your marriage and especially your homeschool. Actually it s not all that difficult in theory. In fact it all boils down to one very simple principle. I could be putting myself out of business by sharing it with you because it s that simple. Are you ready for it Here it is Whenever your husband involves himself in any way... LET HIM. That s it. You see most of the time when a husband tries to help out he gets told that he did it wrong whether it s loading the dishwasher dressing the toddler or picking something up for you at the store. Consider this scenario for example Your husband sees you struggling and feels guilty about the huge burden that you shoulder alone so he decides to try and help. Hoping to surprise you he straightens up the schoolroom mess before he goes to bed so you can start the day with a spic-and-span homeschool area. Thinking he has done something good he excitedly waits for you to see the room the next morning. But instead of being appreciative you complain that he messed things all up by putting stuff where it doesn t belong ... You put Josh s books where Anna s books should be. Where is my lesson plan I can t find anything Now guess what goes on in your husband s head when he gets that kind of response He makes a mental note never to do that again. And he doesn t. Oh but it s not just about cleaning up the schoolroom. It applies to helping with the dishes disciplining the children leading family devotions and a hundred other things. We husbands often quit involving ourselves because when we do you only point out how we did it wrong. We pull out. We quit leading. We quit offering to help and we sit on the couch and watch TV instead. It s easier--and safer. My own wife still does it to me sometimes. Before I got married I thought I was smart and could do simple tasks like park the car but after we got married things changed. I d pull into a parking space and my wife would say Why are you parking here I looked at her like it was a trick question and answered Um because it was empty She just wanted me to park a little closer but I felt like she thought I was dumb. It even got to the point that I d freeze up when I got to a parking lot and had to check with my wife before I parked. One time I was speaking to a large group of women in Massachusetts about this very thing and gave them the homework assignment of telling their husbands that they picked a good parking spot. The very next day a big guy walked up to me and said I don t know what you told those women yesterday but my wife told me this morning that I did a good job parking the car. He paused and then without a hint of a smile he said It ll never last. In short he was saying I can never do anything right in her eyes. Mom let me say again this is why husbands don t get involved. We ve learned that although you need our involvement you don t want our involvement unless it s done YOUR way--and we can t always do it your way. So here s what you need to do. Whenever your husband involves himself in any way shape or form-- LET HIM do it his way. I know I said that before but it bears repeating. So if he cleans up the kitchen and puts things away in the wrong place you say Thanks honey. I really appreciate you doing that. If you do that I guarantee that he will do it again. The next time your husband spends a few minutes reading to one of your children don t tell him you d love it if he could do that more often. Just say thank you and he WILL do it again. If you ask for more he will give you less. If you thank him he will give you more. If you want your husband to take a more active role in disciplining your children just wait until he does and then thank him for doing such a wonderful job. If you correct him for his over-zealous punishment or undo what he has done then he won t do it anymore. If you need your husband s involvement and you do then whenever he involves himself in any way--LET HIM and then be appreciative Am I starting to sound like a broken record Good. Mom I m telling you as I have told thousands of other moms that this will work. Try it this week and see for yourself. He may not do it your way but that doesn t matter. The important thing is that he will become more involved in your family you and your children will reap the benefits and he will love you more because you believe in him. So go on let him. Todd Wilson author of Lies Homeschooling Moms Believe Help I m Married to a Homeschooling Mom and The Official Book of Homeschooling Cartoons is a dad writer conference speaker and former pastor. Todd s humor and guthonest realness have made him a favorite speaker at homeschool conventions across the country and a guest on Focus on the Family. As founder of Familyman Ministries his passion and mission are to remind dads and moms of what s most important through The Familyman Weekly (a weekly e-mail sent to thousands of dads) seminars and books that encourage parents. Todd and his wife Debbie homeschool their eight children in northern Indiana. You can visit Familyman Ministries at fAll 2012CHOIS Connection 15 16 CHOIS Connection fAll 2012 fAll 2012CHOIS Connection 17 Chois tidbits by Linda Patchin Chois ChaiRman s CoRneR turn off tune out drop Connections There is something enchanting about the notion of fresh starts and do-overs. Homeschool moms have an opportunity to start all over again each autumn. It is hard to say goodbye to the action packed days of summer but it is pleasant to get back to the routine of a new school year. Have you recharged your batteries refreshed and refilled your enthusiasm for the task ahead Can you squeeze in one more mom moment Let me recommend the book The Spiritual Power of a Mother by Dr. Michael Farris. It is a short read coming directly to powerful conclusions. It is a resource from which I have drawn strength year after year. It sits on my nightstand to remind me to pick it up on those evenings when I most need it. You can purchase a copy from New beginnings come with a lot of hope attached. Each fall I make a lot of new (school) year s resolutions and purpose to prayerfully walk them out. Here are some of them as my children grew older and began to have more opportunities outside of our home. We wanted to complete each day s academic goals prior to pursing interests and activities. Also higher level courses required more time for completion. Every passing year I recognized a greater need to hide God s Word in the hearts and minds of my children. Together we attempted to memorize at least one Bible verse per day. I would write a verse on our blackboard each morning and we would begin reciting it together. As the day progressed I would periodically erase a word or phrase here and there in the verse and we would recite it again with the erased word being supplied from our memories. By the end of our school day the whole verse would be gone and we would be able to recite it at the dinner table from memory. This method provided us with an easy way to memorize a verse while pondering its meaning. Scripture Memorization Starting Our School Day Earlier I had to get an earlier start Keeping Account It is never too late to start maintaining records. For more information on this topic visit the website and read the archived CHOIS Tidbits column entitled Beating the Records. Turn Off Homeschool moms spend more time with their children than the average parent but that does not mean that we are always really there. It is possible to be in the presence of our children without being present. Tempting distractions buzz tweet ring and beep intrusively interrupting lessons mid-sentence while asserting undeserved priority status. This year resolve to ignore outside interruptions as you engage your child s heart more fully. Eye contact Tender touches Live fully present and in the moment. Get Engaged It is easy to fall into destructive habits such as beginning cell phone conversations as soon as you get in the car thereby cutting off communication with the person sharing your journey. Not only does this make your passenger feel unimportant but they also overhear every idle word of a one-sided conversation perhaps drawing erroneous conclusions. Put down your phone. Model safe handson fully-focused driving habits to your pre-drivers. Engage your children in conversations that will draw them out. One of our favorite car rituals was a game we played where I would begin telling a story stop at an exciting moment and turn over the storytelling to one of my children who would continue the story stopping at another climax before turning it over to a sibling continuing until everyone got their chance to speak. We loved this game. It relieved boredom while providing an opportunity for creative word play. We also talked about the things that we were seeing on our drive. We enjoyed people-watching looking for funny signs and discussing good and bad driving habits that we witnessed. This encouraged observation skills critical thinking and a sense of humor. 18 CHOIS Connection fAll 2012 Preschoolers learned colors and descriptive words from playing I-Spy in the car. Tune Out Another autodistraction for me was talk radio. This addictive habit filled our car with political rhetoric while frequently exhibiting discourtesy rudeness and cursing. If you want your children to learn the worst manners to use in public discourse then treat them to this steady diet. I now listen to talk radio when I am alone in my car and have nothing better to listen to. I am more selective when feeding my news-junkie habit. I will admit that emails on my computer screen offered temptation to me during class time. Today homeschool moms are tempted by social media blogs twitter and texts as well as email. All of these are good things but they need to remain outside of the classroom. Consider this. If you were a hired teacher you would have to leave all of these outside influences off while you Drop Connections were in the clasroom. Teaching your own precious children should be far more important to you than the job of teaching other people s children for a pay check. Sacrifice instant communication with everyone else while showing respect to your children. Prove with your actions that you really do believe that the lessons you are teaching are important ones for your child to learn. It is possible to gain communication with the whole world while losing our connection to the very ones who are supposed to mean the most to us. Group Think Each year I would try to incorporate at least one extra learning activity into our school day that could be done by us all. We enjoyed doing at least one thing together each day. For example on Monday we always used a picture prompt book and everyone would participate in a short creative writing assignment. Then we would take turns reading our stories aloud. It never ceased to amaze me how each of us could draw something different from the same photo. The individual personality traits of my children began to emerge through this exercise. This was our Monday routine for most of my homeschooling years. The activities for other days changed with the years but here are a few of the books that we used together. The Young Peacemaker s series by Corlette Sande. This comic book series taught my children how to get along with others while resolving disputes peacefully. We learned the difference between Peace Makers Peace Breakers and Peace Fakers. It was an excellent use of our time English from the Roots Up by Joegil Lundquist. One Latin or Greek word root per week taught my children how to decipher difficult vocabulary words. The Fallacy Detective by Nathaniel and Hans Bluedorn. This was a great introduction to logical thinking and wise consumerism. Mind Benders from Critical Thinking Books. Thinking exercises. Scripture Sleuth series by Mat Halverson. We would read only one chapter aloud per week because these books were so good that they needed to be savored slowly. Lives of the Signers of the Declaration of Independence is a reprint of an 1848 original that I purchased from Wall Builders. I would read aloud one short biography a week and we would find the signers portrait on a large framed copy of the Trumbull painting entitled The Declaration of Independence. These biographies are inspiring Use your imagination and the interests of your children to find at least one extra activity to ignite interest and fun in your homeschool this year. I pray that this new school year will be a blessing to your family as you grow closer to one another and to God. Linda Patchin retired from homeschooling last year when her youngest of four children graduated from high school. New beginnings abound in her life right now but she still enjoys being part of the CHOIS Board of Directors. 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 Collect those Box tops fAll 2012CHOIS Connection 19 20 CHOIS Connection fAll 2012 ICHE BULLETIN BOARD Congressional and state legislative candidate statements concerning home education are posted on the website. Study the positions of the candidates in your district and volunteer for a day to assist with the campaigns of those whom you support. Contact your County Clerk for your legislative district number which may have changed due to redistricting. Vote November 6. 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. 2013 testing preparation Letters Candidate statements posted vote november 6 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. online iChe memberships Registration for March 2013 testing has closed. Letters with detailed testing information will be mailed the first week in January 2013. Go to the website for suggested test preparation materials Scope and Sequence and other testing information. Applications to participate in Legislative Day at the Statehouse are posted on the website. Deadlines to apply Music (December 1) Displays ( January 18) Pies ( January 14). Hundreds of home-baked pies are needed. Your help is appreciated. View this encouraging and informative DVD on the ICHE website. Legislative day January 30 2013 you Can homeschool a Closer Look dvd Name ______________________________________________________________________________________ Street Box___________________________________________________________________________________ city State__________________________________________________________Zip code__________________ Phone____________________________________ email ___________________________________________ (Optional)Ihaveincludedadonationof _________tohelpcovertheprinting mailingcostsofCHOISConnection. C ONNECTION r e j o i c e HOIS j a magazine for Idaho home educators FreeSubscription r e f l e c t j r e n e w orDonationForm Mailthisformto CHOIS P.O.Box45062 Boise ID83711. Youmaycutoutandusethisform copyit orgotowww.chois.orgtofindaprintableversion. fAll 2012CHOIS Connection 21 Res pieCe O CommentaRy Beyond peanut ButteR Cups Long View by Res Peters ne year at a time. We don t marry for one year at a time. We don t purchase a home for one year at a time. We don t even acquire a pet for one year at a time. And we certainly don t raise children for one year at a time. Yet when the issue is homeschooling it is often considered for one year at a time. Thirty years ago when the modern homeschooling movement began this unconventional path was legal in only six states. The Founding Families of the modern era engaged in an educational method untried in the 20th Century. Although a sound historical norm homeschooling was atypical and often unacceptable to grandparents neighbors and government officials. To placate this host of skeptics the one year at a time response was born. The Founding Families however were far from tenuous in their commitment to home educate. This was not merely an appealing idea. This was a commitment to a deep philosophical conviction that for some brought imprisonment the loss of their children and even death. To those Founders one year at a time meant until we are discovered and stopped. 22 CHOIS Connection fAll 2012 It was this philosophical base forged with unwavering commitment under the shadow of enormous opposition that produced the success that is universally recognized today. With little choice in curriculum limited funds and often isolation those Founding Families produced a generation that has been acknowledged for high moral character community leadership and academic excellence. And in this age of tweets and transience it s important to discipline ourselves to provide commitment and consistency for our children as well. philosophy Whether this is your first year homeschooling or you are a veteran begin by thinking through and writing down your philosophical basis for this weighty decision. You will return to this over the years for clarification direction and renewal of purpose. To assist you in clarifying and crafting your thoughts Idaho Coalition of Home Educators (ICHE) has provided a wealth of information at For a listing of homeschooling resources from a variety of perspectives go to Getting Started. Begin by viewing the streamed DVD You Can Homeschool A Closer Look for a helpful overview. In committing to the long view it is particularly important from the start for you to look ahead to the end of the road where the most rewarding years await. To find a comprehensive roadmap to navigate you through the high school and college years go to High School. Links to courses of study curriculum transcript preparation the college application process scholarships distance learning online tutoring and numerous additional resources make it feasible for your family to homeschool through high school and beyond. The most extensive link categorizes resources for preparation before during and after high school. This includes college prep vocational military and transitional guidance as well as personalized help from experienced high school counselors. The test scope and sequence graphs of composite scores and online registration are available on the website. Registration is open annually May 1 to August 1 for testing the following March. Links are provided to email regional coordinators for further information concerning testing local homeschool support groups and other homeschool information. High school students with qualifying scores are nominated to Who s Who Among Idaho Scholars and are designated Summa Cum Laude Scholars. These honors are particularly well-regarded for college admission and scholarships and entitles those students to wear honor cords at graduation. vigilance Curriculum Once you have established your philosophy go to You Can Homeschool for practical information to consider as you create your homeschool. A sampling of national curriculum resources and homeschool publications is also provided. As you chart your course it is wise to annually evaluate your children with a nationally standardized test. To find information concerning ICHE s voluntary statewide testing program on the Iowa Tests of Basic Skills go to Testing. At nineteen locations across the state testing is offered for third through twelfth grade students. Test scores are private and sent directly to parents. The long view also involves knowledge of the laws governing home education and protecting them for the future. To find summaries and the actual Idaho and federal statutes go to Idaho Law. Print and keep accessible The Social Worker at Your Door 10 Helpful Hints and Idaho Health & Welfare Protocols that detail your legal rights when contacted by state authorities. Keeping our Idaho freedom requires our collective vigilance. The website offers several avenues to keep you informed of legal issues. Postings include candidate homeschool positions continuous homeschool news feeds an issues library and alerts. When responsiveness is needed the red alert box will link to the specific issue or legislation background and analysis and the suggested action. A link is provided for you to directly respond to the appropriate legislators or officials. Email notices of the alerts are sent to current ICHE members. Your 25 membership includes Educator Discount and Student ID cards which are honored by many businesses. It is your membership and donations that have enabled ICHE to protect the right to unrestricted private home education in Idaho for 20 years. Join online or print out a mail-in form. Involving your children in the legislative process is particularly vital to the long view. Training the next generation to value and protect the freedom which has been safeguarded for them is crucial. And it is your legislators that are the gatekeepers of that freedom. Seize the opportunity in October for your family to win the respect of the gatekeepers you support by helping their campaigns with door drops and posting signs. And as you do ask the candidates to instruct your children about the legislative process. As they see the first-hand the diligence of your family you will become a valued voice to them in support of homeschooling. Your family is a unique blend of personalities and of circumstances. With that in mind it is your responsibility to consider which avenue of education is best for your children. Like the Founders you would be wise to map out your plan through the scope of the long view. Then commit to it and follow it. One year at a time An apt response... but only to placate your skeptics. 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. fAll 2012CHOIS Connection 23 ideas FoR outdooR LivinG and LeaRninG oUtwoRds the Likeable honeybee by Ken Frederick first became interested in honeybees in the late 1980s. I was helping conduct a prescribed burn when a co-worker warned me about a hazard. There s a bee nest over in that tree he said pointing at a large dead ponderosa pine. Don t get too close to it. Naturally I hiked over to the tree. Sure enough honeybees were flying in and out of a large crack in the bole of the tree evidently using a hollow cavity in the tree as a nest. This was interesting and it had possibilities. I marked the spot in my mind. Six months later my oldest brother Gary and I hunted down the tree. We carried a makeshift bee-tree kit a small chainsaw coveralls mosquito netting gloves a coffee can (for a homemade bee smoker) a roll of duct tape and an empty five-gallon bucket. After donning our protective gear we bored into the tree with Gary s chainsaw. By cutting a square hole near the crack we hoped to penetrate the cavity where the honeybees had built their comb. The first and second holes revealed nothing but we struck gold on the third try. Gary peered into the cavity awestruck and said It is full of honeycomb We waved some smoke into the nest and started to remove lobes of creamy white honeycomb. We ended up with about six quarts of honey. Some years later I repeated the adventure with a good friend. We had located a honeybee colony in a large cottonwood snag but this time har24 CHOIS Connection fAll 2012 I vesting the wild honey was a lot more work. My friend Dick and I talked it over and agreed that obtaining a few beehives might present an easier way to procure honey. And so I became an amateur beekeeper. Since Biblical times two qualities have endeared the honeybee to humans. We like the things honeybees make (especially honey ) and we appreciate the thing honeybees do (pollinate crops). But I would submit to you a third quality something that gives the Christian homeschooling family another reason to like honey- bees. Here s a hint it has to do with the work of the Master Designer of the universe. Some warm day when you are filled with equal measures of curiosity and courage get a magnifying glass and spend fifteen or twenty minutes observing honeybees. You can see quite a bit without risking a sting but be warned honeybees can defend themselves. If you are allergic to bee stings accessing knowledge of honeybees is best be done by looking between the pages of a good book or via the computer screen. If you look carefully at a honeybee you might notice her wings. Honeybee wings are designed to give the bee incredible maneuverability in flight. Their wings are light but strong. If you look very carefully you will notice that honeybees have two sets of wings which fasten together (using tiny hooks) when the bee is flying. When she returns to her hive the worker bee unhooks her wings and folds them A worker bee visiting a flower. The yellow lump on the bee s left side of a load of pollen being carried in the bee s pollen basket. over her back. This comes in very handy inside the crowded and cramped hive where space is at a premium. You might also notice the honeybee has somewhat odd legs. Each leg has an extra knee joint creating an extra leg segment. In each pair of legs the extra leg segment has a special tool the bee uses. One pair of legs has a tool that some liken to a crowbar. It comes in handy for numerous jobs inside the hive. Another pair has a set of spurs and pincers. One set of legs has a set of stiff hairs that are shaped like a basket alongside the leg. Actually this is exactly how the bees use that appendage it is called a pollen basket. Field bees use this basket to carry pollen--the bees source of protein--back to the hive. Of course quite a bit about a honeybee cannot be seen even with a magnifying glass. You can certainly see the bee s eyes but you cannot see what the bee sees. Some scientists believe the compound eyes of the honeybee enable it to see its surroundings with incredible exquisite detail. I guess if I were flying in the midst of a swarm of thousands of other bees this kind of vision would be critical in preventing me from flying into my neighbor. This quality of vision would also enable me to quickly and flawlessly fly through a dense tangle of vegetation without striking stems petals or thorns with my wings. Another aspect of the honeybee that cannot readily be seen is the social structure that governs life inside a bee colony. In the Middle Ages beekeepers called the largest bee in the hive the king bee. The largest bee they thought must rule the hive and who rules but the king We know this special bee is female so we call her the queen. The queen does have a lot to do with the health and wealth of the hive but not through decree. She does this by building the population of the hive at the right time through the deposition of eggs. A quality queen lays around 2 000 eggs per day. Her loyal subjects--all of whom are her offspring--feed her and cater to her every need. But a poor queen--one who isn t cutting it in the egg-laying department--may find herself out of a job. How The worker bees somehow sense the lack of egg production. Dissatisfied they will raise a new queen one whom they hope will get the job done. Though they cannot communicate aurally or visually honeybees seem designed to communicate anyway. One way honeybee workers communicate is through body movement. A field bee (one whose job is to forage for nectar and pollen) who strikes it rich returns to the hive with a payload of nectar and news of where the strike has been made. Using a pattern of circles she walks in and by wiggling her abdomen in a certain manner the worker can tell her sisters which direction to fly and how far to fly to find the nectar source. Pretty amazing In addition to movement (understood by the honeybee s sense of touch) a lot of communication inside the hive is done through the medium of chemical scents. Chemicals called pheromones are emitted by the queen and she can say a lot with a whisper of this chemical perfume. Worker bees also emit pheromones. For instance when she stings a worker bee releases pheromones that say in essence Here is where I stung the enemy Come and get him You have probably figured out the third quality to admire in honeybees. Everything about honeybees proclaims DESIGN. Her wings legs and eyes are designed--not to mention her antennae her mouth and her stomachs. Her abilities to navigate reproduce store food ventilate her home carry food and water and many other aspects of her life are designed perfectly by the Master Designer God. Secular scientists would have us believe that honeybees are a fantastic example of evolution. Yet one significant aspect of the honeybee s physiology that would seem to make the most sense to evolve her ability to survive a conflict with a predator--is strangely lacking. Honeybees defend themselves using their ability to sting. The stinging weapon is really quite amazing. The bee s sting is a tiny lance comprising three trough-like segments that fit together to form kind of a hollow spear. This spear has barbs that allow the shaft to move easily into something but coming out...not so much. A venom sac sits at the back end of the sting. Muscles surrounding the sac contract during stinging and force venom through the hollow shaft and into whatever is being stung. If honeybees evolved then evolution sure blew it when it comes to survival of the fittest. When the worker bee flies away after stinging her victim her sting shaft naturally remains stuck in her victim thanks to the barbs. But a portion of the worker s innards remains attached to the shaft and is torn out. Thus injured the worker bee will soon die. Wasps and hornets can sting multiple times without giving their lives to the cause. Why not honeybees Would not a bee that can survive stinging its enemies be the fitter bee than one which dies There is no doubt honeybees are creatures of incredible design. God knew exactly what He was doing when He designed the honeybee s stinging mechanism. Perhaps the reason the honeybee dies as a result of stinging is to puncture the myth of a flawlessly evolved insect. Ken Frederick and family enjoy outdoor recreation from their home base in Meridian Idaho. fAll 2012CHOIS Connection 25 26 CHOIS Connection fAll 2012 A Geek Ask by idaho homesChooL dad ansWeRs ComputeR questions Ken barnes Fun with Sci-Fi Movies short-sighted of the writers of Star Trek to give their devices such minimal features doesn t it And what about weapons What geek wouldn t love to play with a real lightsaber Or what about all the cool guns and exotic weapons used in the Men in Black movies Have you ever wondered why weapons of the future never use real physical bullets but instead always shoot energy beams or pulses I think I know why. Think back to the westerns you watched as a kid. How many times did you watch the good guy fire ten to twenty shots at the bad guy with his six-shooter without ever reloading With a ray gun of the future I bet the energy source could last all day. Next to consider speed I find it very interesting that sci-fi writers have come up with all sorts of ways to travel great distances. Here is the problem they are trying to overcome. Imagine driving your car to the sun at 60 miles per hour. It would take nearly 150 years to get there If Adam and Eve got into their First On Race Day (FORD) Mustang shortly after being created they would almost be able to reach Pluto by now. Roughly 6 000 years So obviously we can not travel to distant stars at the speeds we currently travel to grandma s house. Jet airplanes get us all over the globe much faster than cars for two reasons. First they can travel at several hundred miles per hour and secondly they aren t constrained by the geography of the earth. No mountains or large bodies of water to go around. But in the world of science fiction vehicles can carry people at speeds that are multiples of the speed of light ( Ensign warp factor 7 - engage ). Or they can take shortcuts through wormholes. Some movies try to make their stories more believable by having the passengers hibernate for months or even years on long voyages. I wonder what kind of fuel they have that lasts that long There are also some classic scifi movies that are not all that far off from reality. If you have ever watched 2001 A Space Odyssey then you might know what I mean. Video phones a space shuttle that carried passengers like today s jet airliners a space station that spun to simulate gravity talking computers etc. Many of the things in that movie from 1968 are actually available today or are not very far off. What about you Are there some sci-fi gadgets that you would just love to play with right now Or do you have any questions about present or future technology Be sure to Ask A Geek So how about you Instead of asking maybe you can Tell a Geek about some cool use of technology this summer Ken Barnes is a sci-fi-loving geek who also teaches computer and math classes in his local homeschool co-op. He and his wife Cindy have been homeschooling their four children in Nampa since 2003 hat kind of movies do you like to watch Do you have a favorite genre I am a guy so naturally I like comedies and actions. Not so much romantic comedies or dramas. However I do occasionally watch them with my lovely bride because I know she enjoys them. But my favorite movies to watch are science fiction. And I bet a lot of geeks are that way. For one thing sci-fi movies tend to have a lot of special effects in them and geeks love cool special effects. Sci-fi movies also tend to be futuristic and geeks love thinking about the cool gadgets that will be available in the future. Take for instance the various Star Trek TV shows and movies. In the original Star Trek series (often referred to as TOS for The Original Series ) they had these devices that were part clipboard part tablet. Captain Kirk would sign reports brought to him using what looked like a pencil. Now we have iPads and other tablets some of which can be used with a stylus to sign an electronic document. Considering all the functions that tablets do today it almost seems W fAll 2012CHOIS Connection 27 disCoveRing idaho Idaho Potato Museum A Brief History by Connie Seward ho s soil water and climate contribute to the growth of a potato that surpasses all others. Our volcanic ash soil is laden with necessary nutrients warm summer days and cool nights provide a beneficial climate while our abundant snowfall ensures that the Snake River contributes water for ample irrigation. Industrious Idahoans have utilized our unique environment and revolutionized the industry with the help of machines. The Potato Capitol of the World Blackfoot Idaho is home to a one-of-a-kind museum covering all aspects of the potato and the potato industry. Here at the Idaho Potato Museum you can gain One potato two potato three potato four mashed potatoes baked potatoes spud guns and more Idahoans are surrounded by potatoes yet we tend to take our famous heritage for granted. A study of Idaho history would be incomplete without a careful look at the importance of our hospitable growing environment and the potato industry in Idaho. Idaho s rich environment provides almost perfect growing conditions for potatoes. Ida- Family Field Trip Gems a well-rounded education on the tuber that made Idaho famous. Once a bustling passenger station and shipping center the 1913 Oregon Shortline Railroad Depot now houses The Idaho Potato Museum which showcases a unique segment of Idaho history and an important component of our agriculture and industry. The quaint stone building at 130 Northwest Main Street is easy to spot with an iconic concrete baked potato replica near the entrance. You and your students will want to pause for a post-card picture beside the giant potato complete with sour cream and a pat of butter before venturing inside on your learning endeavor. Museum visitors are greeted by Blackfoot Chamber of Commerce employees who enjoy catering to people by educating them about the Idaho potato. Interior rooms display information on the history of the potato as well as the growing and harvesting of the potato A short video highlights how the potato industry has developed through the years. Other rooms highlight nutritional and educational facts 28 CHOIS Connection fAll 2012 along with quirky trivia. Do you know which preacher was responsible for planting the first potato in Idaho or in which year the first commercial sale of potatoes was recorded Do you know which two inventions revolutionized the potato industry All those answers and more can be found at the Idaho Potato Museum. Living up to their slogan We give tators to out-of-staters each visitor is given a delicious potato product such as a box of hash browns or au gratin potatoes at the conclusion of their stay. Even the outside grounds cater to the visitor. Old potato farming implements grace the inviting picnic grounds and the spacious parking lot can accommodate RV s of every size. The museum s gift store The Spud Seller offers a myriad of potato memorabilia. From t-shirts to key chains there are numerous items sure to please every shopper. How about a little spud gun that promises over 300 shots from one potato Now that s some real bang for your buck Or perhaps a big spud truck snow globe for the younger tikes On the more practical side there are Idaho shaped patches decks of cards and magnets ornamented with pictures of Idaho. Connie Seward and husband Quentin have been homeschooling their Idaho spuds in Boise for over 18 years. They like to joke that their family has lived so long in Idaho (6 generations) that if you look closely behind their ears you might see potato sprouts growing idaho potato museum 130 Northwest Main Street Blackfoot Idaho 83221 Ph. 208-785-2517 hours of operation April September 9.30 5.00 Monday - Saturday October March 9.30 -3.00 Monday Friday Closed all national holidays admissions Adult 3.00 Seniors & Military 2.50 Children 6yr 12yr. 1.00 Children 5 & under FREE Group of 15 or more 2.00 fAll 2012CHOIS Connection 29 news woRthy homesChooLinG aCCompLishments in idaho elcome to News Worthy where we are blessed to be able to recognize and rejoice in the accomplishments of homeschool families that reside in the great state of Idaho. Please do not hesitate to send us information and photos if possible to use in future issues. Send your news items to info W The North Idaho Home Educators Association (NIHEA) held their 2012 High School Graduation Ceremony on May 26th 2012 in Post Falls Idaho. Pictured are graduates Timothy R. Strasburger (back row) Jennifer Ann Wright and Aleisia Marie Meads (front row left to right) and Officiants for the ceremony State Representative Vito Barbieri (left) and State Senator Steve Vick (right). If you live in the Panhandle and would like to participate in next year s ceremony please contact NIHEAgraduationCeremony Opposite Page Excelsior Homeschool Graduates Ashlyn Abbott Kimberly Fox Jordyn Hussey Zechariah Silkwood Parker Forest Rebecca Furley and Kyle Paulekas. 30 CHOIS Connection fAll 2012 Above Top Row - L-R Stephen Jones Jordan Wright Frisco Adams Brett Jackson Ethan Geer Jedediah King Daniel Ostyn Garrett Speiser and Tyler Blank. 4th Row - L-R Ian Richter Gabe Ives Joseph Beck Bryce Petersen Jacob Brotcke Rebecca Mathias Zoie Tally Aria Faddis Michael Bodenbender Matthew Stone and Jordan Boston. 3rd Row - L-R Peter Sterling Elizabeth Knapp Megan Fox Morgan Fox Danielle Lytle Jennifer Emerson Courtney Peel Nikanna Beers and Trenton Duenas. 2nd Row - L-R Micah Liston Andrew True Amanda Carlson Valerie Gonzales MacKenzie Felzien Angela Renn Danielle Hooper Robyn Case Megan Kalousek Bethany Abernathy Josiah Kronz and Joshua McCammon. Front Row - L-R KeLynn Stanley Brittany Boone Allie Gertsch Emily Miller Mary Mesenbrink Natalya Johnson Elizabeth Van Vleck Jennie Williams Alexandra Rust Kimberly Oswalt and Victoria Perkins. Not Pictured - Elisabeth Manor fAll 2012CHOIS Connection 31 Christian Homeschoolers Of Idaho State P.O. Box 45062 Boise Idaho 83711