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Description: CHOIS Connection is a statewide homeschool magazine in Idaho.It provides information about education styles, seminars, classes, field trips and anything related to Christian home education.

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 W inter 2012 Your Own School for Boys H a l a n d M e l a n i e Yo u n g Homeschool Vertigo A Publication of Christian Homeschoolers of Idaho State Winter-2012.indd 1 11 26 2012 9 39 44 AM 2 CHOIS Connection wInter 2012 Winter-2012.indd 2 11 26 2012 9 39 45 AM Contents Winter 2012 6 speCial features 14 Homeschool Vertigo 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. Cover Photo Kylyn Maschek Magazine Layout Jared Meuser Feature Illustration Jared Meuser Your Own School For Boys By Hal and Melanie young By Todd Wilson 18 Organizing your Home to Create a Learning Lifestyle Environment By Vicki BenTley 6 regular Columns 4 8 COnVEntiOn COnnECtiOn LEGAL UPDAtES Rescuing Religious Liberty 8 10 RESOURCE REViEw History Resource Review 16 CHOiS tiDBitS State Organizations Here to Serve You 24 OUtwORDS Appreciating God s Gift of Snow 27 ASk A GEEk Google is Just a Search Engine isn t it 28 DiSCOVERinG iDAHO Franz Bakery 31 nEwS wORtHY 14 24 and the rest 21 iCHE Bulletin Board 21 FREE SUBSCRiPtiOn AnD DOnAtiOn FORM wInter 2012 CHOIS Connection 3 Winter-2012.indd 3 11 26 2012 9 39 46 AM Convention ConneCtion Chois Convention updates hidden. We know that you are going to love them With their down-to-earth humorous and incredibly relatable teaching style Hal and Melanie are well-loved speakers. Their workshops cover a broad range of topics from encouragement and inspiration to many practical how-to sessions as well. They are the authors of the bestselling book Raising Real Men Surviving Teaching and Appreciating Boys. They have a new book that is about to be released called My Beloved My Friend. e are excited about the plans that we are making for our convention next June. Every year we look for ways to improve and we hope that this year will be very special. Last year we had record-breaking attendance and some of our workshops were elbow to elbow. We still think that the College Church of the Nazarene meets the needs of our event but to ease the crowding in workshops we will be trying something new this year. Instead of offering four workshops consecutively this year we will be offering five. It s never easy to choose which workshop to attend so we hope we are not making things too difficult for you. All together we will be offering thirty-seven unique and helpful workshops Once again we will be offering free admission to Parents of Preschoolers whose oldest child is under the age of five and who has not attended the convention previously. We are so excited to give these young families an opportunity to look under the hood of homeschooling while they are thinking through the many educational options for their young children. 4 CHOIS Connection wInter 2012 W Another difference this year will be with our registration forms. In recent years we have seen more of our registrations made on-line and very few people are mailing them back. We will still be offering the mail-in option but we will be streamlining our registration form. All of the information that you are used to seeing on the registration form will be on our website and our mailed forms will have minimal information. We hope that this will not be a huge inconvenience for anyone. Of course most of the things that you have come to love about the convention will be the same. We ll still be hosting a used curriculum sale the day before. We ll still be hosting an amazing silent auction where you can get some phenomenal deals on curriculum services products even dinner and a movie. Our children s and teen s programs will be back. Last issue we told you about our keynote speakers for next June. Some of our CHOIS Board members recently had the privilege of meeting up with Hal and Melanie Young at the National Home Education Leadership Conference. Their enthusiasm for families could not be Hal and Melanie Young We are also excited about hearing from our other keynote speaker Todd Wilson. He has a wonderful sense of humor that he freely uses while making excellent points. What we appreciate the most about Todd s message is his transparency. He is not content with putting on a put-together persona of homeschooling or Todd Wilson Winter-2012.indd 4 11 26 2012 9 39 46 AM family living. He is real. He s going to give it to us straight that homeschooling is hard but worth it. He is encouraging Todd is the author of Lies Homeschooling Moms Believe Help I m Married to a Homeschool Mom and The Official Book of Homeschool Cartoons. He is also the founder of Familyman Ministries. Another great workshop speaker that we will be bringing is Vicki Bentley. She is HSLDA s Toddlers to Tweens Coordinator. Mother of eight daughters foster mom to over fifty children Grandma to fifteen Vicki has more experience with children than most of us can even imagine. She has homeschooled seventeen children since 1988. Vicki brings a heart for moms along with strong practical wisdom and encouraging words. She has authored several books including Home Education 101 A Mentoring Program for New Homeschoolers. She is sure to please. We will also be bringing back William Estrada and Generation Joshua. This teen program called iAdvocate will feature interactive activities that simulate what a legislator encounters when drafting and advocating legislation. Participants will have to choose between competing priorities such as personal legislative goals party goals and the professional agreements made with other Vicki Bentley participants. This program will include a mock Legislative session. We hope that you are also looking forward to all of the fun of attending a state homeschool convention. It is a great opportunity to make and renew friendships with other parents who share your passion for educating their own children. We look forward to seeing you there wInter 2012 CHOIS Connection 5 Winter-2012.indd 5 11 26 2012 9 39 47 AM Your own School for BoYS by Hal and Melanie young here are days when we look at our sons and think If they were in school they d be on so many pills they d rattle when they walked. At one point before our oldest graduated Melanie was teaching six boys aged 18 to 6. Was it noisy You bet. Active Quite. Chaotic Oh boy. It still is. And guess what They still learn and they do quite well on outside measures like the SAT and ACT AP exams and other standardized tests. And our oldest moved comfortably into one of the most challenging colleges in the U.S. It sure doesn t look like a traditional classroom in operation here. The difference we fully believe is why we think homeschooling is generally the best option for educating boys. Hal graduated from twelve years of public school and did pretty well academically but then he s always been an avid reader a regular bookworm. Having a mom who was a librarian probably helped. But then in the classroom he figured out how to fit in. It s not that easy for a lot of boys today. Many of the standout teachers Hal remembers were close to retirement when he knew them they were 6 CHOIS Connection wInter 2012 T from a different generation trained to a different set of expectations. Since then classrooms have become much less friendly toward boys. Increasing emphasis on high-stakes testing high stakes for the teacher as much as the student is locking students to their desks filling out worksheets and practice exams for many weeks of the year. Recess has been eliminated in some districts and rough-and-tumble games have been banned in others. What s more the diagnosis of attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder ADHD has mushroomed. Even though there is controversy over the exact nature of the condition the number of students and adults diagnosed with ADHD has continued to climb by 3% a year. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 2006 nearly 12% of American boys had been diagnosed not suspected or labeled but diagnosed -- with ADHD. That s separate from any learning disabilities they may have had. And a large percentage of them were on psychoactive medication to deal with it. How about girls The CDC found something less than 4.8% had been identified as suffering from ADHD. We re not a medical professionals and we re not about to argue about the definition of the disorder or how it should be treated. However it does raise the question how one boy out of eight ends up dysfunctional and in need of medical intervention. If nearly two-and-a-half times as many boys as girls are finding themselves out of sync with the culture could it be that the standard of functionality may be playing against something which is commonly found in boys Has our culture patholo-gized boyhood as some have suggested Making learning boy-friendly What we ve found in raising a houseful of active boys demonstrates to us why many of them may be struggling in the traditional classroom. Frankly boys and girls respond to different things whether social and emotional cues or educational techniques or even the setting of the thermostat. Winter-2012.indd 6 11 26 2012 9 39 47 AM No really. We had an illustration of this when our soon-to-graduate son visited Hampden-Sydney College an all-male school in Virginia. John was invited to sit in on a freshman economics class. He came back completely charged up. Mom it was great he crowed. The professor yelled at them he called them knuckleheads they argued. It was awesome. His mom no stranger to vigorous debate was still taken aback. He didn t find that intimidating No and apparently the rest of the class ate it up as well. Point One Young men respond to louder voices stronger statements verbal challenge. It s one reason that experimental single-sex classrooms are reporting great progress among students that were academic washouts and disciplinary problems the year before instead of aiming for a calm low-key environment these teachers have found a way to fully engage male students and get them where they live. A second fact is that boys are active - always. We used to have cats if you watch them they are rarely still. Even asleep a tail is twitching or a paw flexing somewhere. Boys are the same way. Yes it may distract the teacher if boys are drumming their pencil while they read tapping a foot or turning some random object while they listen. That s natural. Give them something quiet to handle a tennis ball to squeeze or something like that. Better yet give them an opportunity to use large muscle groups. Instead of filling in worksheet blanks maybe your son will work better on a whiteboard or even large sheets of paper with a big marker instead of a sharp pencil. As an engineer if Hal had a really complex problem he often found himself moving away from the computer and drawing oversized flowcharts on the back of blueprints or sketching possible solutions on the blackboard. Somehow it helped him focus his thoughts when he could see the whole problem BIG. Or maybe he needs to be challenged to run up and down the stairs ten times when he just can t focus on math. Using those big muscles and burning up that excess energy can make it easier to sit down and focus afterward. A related idea is how your son sits. We ve all read the recommendations for feet flat on the floor light coming over the left shoulder proper posture and so forth. On the other hand Thomas Jefferson did much of his writing at a tall desk without a chair. Winston Churchill did the same or else dictated his speeches and books to a secretary while he paced the room and made wide hand motions. If your son is more comfortable doing his math with his feet propped higher than his head can you live with that Of course you can Oh and the thermostat. Research has found that boys work best in a cool environment. Warm rooms (heated for the girls comfort) make them drowsy. If you re teaching a mixed group consider putting your daughter s seat in a sunny spot and your son in the cooler part of the room - maybe even give him a small fan Finally don t forget the value of active learning. Experiments demonstrations anything that will make the ideas on paper more concrete will help your sons absorb the concepts in the books. You can even turn mundane exercises into a competition - who can finish their math drills fastest and with the best accuracy Who can read and report on the most books this month Field trips and visits with special people - veterans professionals specialists of any sort - are not only fun but extremely valuable for connecting textbooks with the real world. Is homeschooling the only way to educate a son We won t claim that it is. For our money though we can t think of a better way to take a boy as God made him and help him become what God intends him to be -- without forcing him through a mold for the convenience of an institutional program. And it can be very very rewarding along the way. Hal and Melanie young have been married for 24 years and are the homeschooling parents of six boys and two girls. They are the authors of Raising Real Men Surviving Teaching and Appreciating Boys. They will be CHOIS convention keynote speakers in June. wInter 2012 CHOIS Connection 7 Winter-2012.indd 7 11 26 2012 9 39 48 AM LegaL Update Rescuing Religious liberty by Barry Peters iChe politiCal analysis Apastorwasjailedfor60days in New Mexico for violating zoning restrictions by continuing to host a private Bible study in his home. The fact that all of this is being forced upon an unwilling populace is evident in the occasional backlash from an exasperated population. Remember the free-for-all that erupted after the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals took the phrase under God out of the Pledge of Allegiance A similar outcry occurred when the Democrat Party removed all references to God from the party platform. Just eight years earlier that platform had included seven references to God. Likewise the blocks-long lineup to buy chicken sandwiches around the country in reaction to threats by several cities to exclude Chick-fil-A restaurants from opening or expanding due to the traditional marriage views of the company s CEO. So what unleashed this recent tsunami of judicial activism against people of faith The assault came from two quarters. First the U.S. Supreme Court be- ur Founding Fathers envisioned a nation in which diverse religious liberties would be freely celebrated and openly expressed. To them freedom of religion was an unalienable right. Yet today the all-too-common reaction when people of faith attempt to be heard is that their perspectives are not relevant in the public square. And unfortunately those who want to purge religious viewpoints from public discourse have a growing arsenal of weapons. Indeed in 1990 there was a quantum shift in the judiciary against religious liberties. With the stroke of a pen that year the U.S. Supreme Court demoted religious liberties from the esteemed position it had enjoyed since the founding of our nation. Our religious freedoms were effectively removed from the pantheon of liberties that theretofore had always been recognized as fundamental and unalienable. And since that moment when the wall protecting our religious freedoms was breached the onslaught against those liberties has accelerated at an alarming rate. A few recent examples 8 CHOIS Connection wInter 2012 O the problem Colleges Vanderbilt University effectively evicted every Christian student group from campus by denying them access to school facilities. Hastings College of Law refused to recognize the Christian Legal Society because it is unwilling to let non-Christians lead the group. Studentsareroutinelyaccused of hate speech if they criticize alternate lifestyles or religious beliefs. Employers & Employees Employers are required to provide contraception and abortion insurance for employees despite conscientious objections. A photographer unwilling to photograph a same-sex civil union ceremony was forced to pay a heavy fine. Nurses and nursing students are threatened with demotion or dismissal for refusing to participate in abortion procedures. Churches & Charities Catholic Charities in several locations have been forced to shut down because they won t place children for adoption with same-sex couples. New York City excluded all churches from meeting in school facilities outside of school hours despite routinely offering those same facilities to non-church groups. gan flexing its muscle in the 1950 s and 1960 s under the 1st and 14th amendments restrictions on government establishment of religion. Under this principle Bible reading prayer and other organized religious activities were methodically purged from our public schools and government endeavors. In due course any individual who more recently wished to express religious sentiments in a public school or government Winter-2012.indd 8 11 26 2012 9 39 48 AM setting was in danger of being chastised expelled or fired. The second arm of this assault began in earnest in 1990. In that year the traditional deference given to the free exercise of religion under the 1st amendment was suddenly and dramatically curtailed. Since our nation s founding the free exercise of religion was recognized as a fundamental constitutional right. It was historically protected on an equal footing with other constitutional rights such as free speech equal protection and a free press. That recognition meant that a governmental edict that prohibited or discouraged a religious practice was only permitted if it was both (1) done in the pursuit of a compelling state purpose and was (2) done in the least intrusive or restrictive manner necessary to accomplish that purpose. But if the purpose being pursued was not compelling or if that purpose could be accomplished in a less intrusive manner then the action was held unconstitutional. Then in Employment Division v. Smith a 1990 case that involved the religious use of a hallucinogenic drug by two Native Americans the U.S. Supreme Court dramatically departed from these principles. Instead of following longstanding precedence and concluding that the government has a compelling interest of the highest order in preventing dangers that arise from drug usage the court took an entirely new tack. By a vote of 5 to 4 the court announced that it would no longer treat the free exercise of religion on an equal footing with other constitutional principles. The Court specifically declared that hybrid or blended religious liberties those simultaneously involving religious liberty along with other constitutional liberties would continue to be upheld as always. In other words religious speech religious publications and religious assemblies would still be protected in the same high historical fashion. But religious liberty by itself would no longer be protected to the same degree. A statute or governmental action that impacts religious activity will henceforth be presumptively valid in the absence of some additional constitutional violation under the new rules. Government intrusion or interference with religious practices that doesn t also jeopardize speech the press or church assemblies is now generally permitted. This decision in the Smith case removed a restraint that had traditionally protected individuals in their religious practices. It opened a floodgate of restrictions that no longer had to clear the difficult two-pronged test that had protected our religious liberties for two centuries. The result has been the tidal wave of restrictions that have relegated religious liberties to the second class position where it languishes today. The good news in all this is that it is possible for individual states to restore the same religious principles which the Supreme Court has abandoned. In Idaho this can be accomplished by a succinct addition to our state s constitution. An amendment could easily provide that any restriction on religiously-motivated actions or words would be required to meet the test historically used in this country. This would permit religious practices to once again prevail against government intrusion unless the state s actions are necessary to further a state interest of the highest order and such interests are pursued in the least restrictive manner possible. Such an amendment to the Idaho Constitution would effectively reinstate the liberties established by our country s Founding Fathers. It would restore the balance under which this nation operated and flourished for two hundred years. It would also protect the religious liberties of Idaho s diverse population. No longer would our religious liberties be threatened by a tyrannical minority bent on imposing its wishes through the solution court decrees. Elevating these principles to our state constitution will make it clear that we hold these principles in the highest regard and that we want them protected for generations to come. The time is past for mere handwringing over the loss of our precious liberties. Instead when the opportunity comes as it will in the near future it is imperative that the voice of each person of faith be heard in support of this effort. Let your legislators know what you expect of them. Let your friends and family -- as well as those in your places of worship -- know that they are needed in this battle. And don t be daunted by those who might oppose this effort. They will paint a twisted portrait of what is at stake. They will claim this change will usher in an era of child abuse spouse abuse a time of special rights for prisoners and the like. But what is at stake is simply the restoration of those liberties that made our country great. Contrary to such fear-mongering all such misbehavior will continue to be illegal even under this new amendment. Adherence to these principles for 200 years did not have that effect. Neither will the restoration of those principles. If we are not active in this battle when it comes we should not be surprised that our freedoms continue to be eroded. Together we can restore this precious liberty to the shining and prominent position that it once enjoyed. 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 2012 CHOIS Connection 9 Winter-2012.indd 9 11 26 2012 9 39 48 AM ResoURCe Review history Resource Review By Kristi Kronz M.A. graphs or illustrations to help draw in littleones or add clarification to the text. This curriculum does not require large amounts of parental effort or study beforehand. Supplementary activities are listed but not required. There are helpful review pages quizzes and tests -- all of which are useful for those parents interested in quantitative results on a subject they might want adequately covered academically but without rigorous effort or a large sacrifice of time. Of substantial interistory tends to be the cornerstone for many Christian homeschoolers. Their choice of curriculum and amount of time spent on history and geography often determine the overall direction of their education at home. Taking the time to assess your choices in this area will prove valuable in a variety of ways. Book & CuRRiCuluM CRitiques H the Mystery of history The Mystery of History written by Linda Lacour Hobar is a highly awarded curriculum and well known in the homeschooling community. Offering three complete volumes (Vol. 1 Creation to Christ Vol. 2 Early Church and Middle Ages Vol. 3 The Renaissance Reformation and Growth of Nations) it features short history lessons which can be used for all age groups elementary aged through high school. Offering quarterly summaries pretests and 2-3 page lessons with accompanying optional activities The Mystery of History also provides regular reviews timeline suggestions tests student notebooking ideas and a small list for supplemental reading. One of the many positives of The Mystery of History curriculum is its ease of use. The lessons themselves are easy to read with several photo- On the flip side The Mystery of History is lacking strong writing suggestions for older students. Without an emphasis on supplemental reading this would not be a strong history resource for high school students who would benefit from more dialogue reading and writing on the various topics covered. The 4th Volume (Revolutions and the Rising Nations) has yet to be printed. This fact creates a large hole in an otherwise solid history curriculum. Also while engaging as an author I don t have a strong sense of Lacour-Hobar s accuracy in her history. What the author may be lacking in content however (and you will find definite gaps in the texts) she far makes up for in style and conversational tone which is both easy to read aloud and to understand for even the youngest students. In conclusion I find The Mystery of History to be an above-par curriculum for families seeking to cover history adequately in a light-hearted manner. It would be a particularly good fit for large families with multiple age levels or those with students in the upper grade levels who are more science math oriented and therefore not wanting to engage large amounts of time on the subject of history. Biblioplan for Families est is the low all-encompassing price of approximately 40.00. An audiobook version is available as well as a cd packet from which parents can download and print maps and activity sheets for multiple children. Several years ago while looking for a classical Christian history and literature curriculum I came across a relatively unknown gem. BiblioPlan for Families originally written by a group of educated homeschool co-op moms is a distinctive example of a literature-based history curriculum. Providing four separate years of history study (Ancients Medieval Early America and the World and Modern America and the World) the weekly lessons are set up to include three active history lesson days with the remaining days used for activities supplemental reading and or writing. Offering your choice of several different spine books parents can delve as 10 CHOIS Connection wInter 2012 Winter-2012.indd 10 11 26 2012 9 39 48 AM deep or as shallow as they desire on any given topic. Long lists of supplemental historical literature reading is suggested but not required and a high school level Literature and Government reading option is included. Incorporated within all lessons are timelines map work and writing prompts for both grammar and logic level students. Bible study suggestions composer study and family read aloud suggestions round out the curriculum. One of the biggest positives I have found in both studying and using this curriculum for the past 6 years is its extremely parent-friendly layout. Each page covers a week s worth of study with both class and individual reading outlined and literature suggestions offered according to grade level. The selections for supplemental reading have always been of the highest caliber. Included each week are writing prompts that are some of the most creative I have ever come across. In addition at the beginning of each unit a detailed annotated book list (offering a short summary of the book) is given which has proven extremely helpful in knowing which books to have my students read and which we want to invest in for our own home library. Although the BiblioPlan guide ( 42.95 for hard copy 32.95 for e-book) is all that is necessary to direct you and your students through a year s worth of history and literature several supplements are available including a companion guide with photographs additional historical tidbits to go with each week s lesson and missionary highlights. Also available are maps for those who won t use the maps given in their spine book options quizzes and art and craft pages for younger students to complete while listening. While it is easy to sing its praises there are some flaws in BiblioPlan for Families as with all other curriculums. Although small in size and easy to use it does require that you buy or use an additional spine book or books. The choices for spines offered differ from year to year. While most of the spine book selections can be bought used or found at the library should you choose to add them to your home library for ease your cost will increase. The lit... continued on page 12 ICHE BULLETIN BOARD Are you registered for March 2012 testing Contact your Regional Coordinator listed on the website if you don t receive your information letter by January 15th. testing information letters January 15 Is your homeschool freedom worth baking a pie Help from your own home Visit Legislative Day for pie signups display applications and information. Are you receiving ICHE Weekly Updates and legal alerts If not join ICHE on the website or go to page 13 for a mail-in form. The legislative session begins Monday January 7. Go to Your Legislator to identify your district your legislators and to email them your message. Displays Application Deadline January18 legislative day January 30 Mayor s award for youth nominations Do you live in Ada County and have students in grades January 15 Application Deadline legislative alerts 7-12 ICHE & CHOIS have been asked to nominate deserving students who have contributed to the community. A Mayors Award Selection Committee will select the 2-4 students to be honored at a ceremony in April. Nomination forms posted at are due January 15. wInter 2012 CHOIS Connection 11 Winter-2012.indd 11 11 26 2012 9 39 49 AM ... continued from page 11 erature selections are wonderful but sometimes hard to find. Should you opt for the economical approach the homeschooling parent using this curriculum will need to invest time each week in securing and being assured of the availability of books from the local library. Finally there is a distinct lack of discussion prompts from which older students in particular would benefit from. A highly involved parent will be able to use this curriculum successfully through high school. To conclude BiblioPlan for Families although relatively unknown is an exceptional history curriculum choice giving a broad overview of world history from a classical Christian literaturebased perspective. reading alone and together. Writing with excellence is weaved throughout the program. It s inclusion of philosophy is a distinction not many other history curriculums can boast of. One of its unique features is the excellent discussion questions and prompts for parents -- allowing for critical thinking and discussion among family members and making history applicable within our current culture. Tapestry of Grace offers several pages of helpful teacher s notes per unit. The literary analysis throughout is comparable to college level coursework. With several fun hands-on activities tapestry of Grace Tapestry of Grace written by Marcia Somerville is a long-standing example of a rigorous curriculum which includes four separate volumes covering the Ancient World (Year 1) the Middle Ages (Year 2) the 1800 s (Year 3) and the 1900 s to present day (Year 4). It features assignments for all grade levels and incorporates a whopping eight academic subjects (History Geography writing literature Church History Fine Arts Philosophy and Government) into its core. Tapestry of Grace is a heavily parent-involved choice for those seeking to provide their students with a high level liberal arts Christian-based history education. Tapestry of Grace prides itself on being thorough. Somerville s accuracy and meticulous care for details definitely puts this curriculum in a class by itself. Providing several literature selections in all grade levels it requires large amounts of time for both provided per lesson this curriculum particularly lends itself to completing within a group or co-op setting. In spite of its excellence in a variety of areas there are several negative features of this curriculum worth mentioning. Tapestry of Grace comes with a heavy price tag. The print edition of the core curriculum is nearly 300.00 and does not include the many helpful and perhaps necessary supplemental materials which also carry a high price. Finding the curriculum used is no easy task and my understanding from seasoned users is that the publisher is not very helpful to customers using and referring to resale versions. The digital edition available (excluding extras) is substantially cheaper but also non-refundable. Several of the spine books necessary for even the most limited participation are also expensive and might prove difficult to find at the library. In addition the Tapestry of Grace curriculum is overwhelming not only in size (4 large notebooks per year) but also in magnitude of work required. The design and massive quantity of paper to shuffle through make it difficult to follow. Even for veteran users Tapestry can prove overwhelming in its scope and workload. To sum up for those families seeking a highly academic and rigorous history curriculum with a Biblical worldview woven throughout Tapestry of Grace is an excellent resource. I highly recommend it for families who have multi-level students up through middle school. However once the curriculum hits the high school level the often secular-based and collegelevel reading writing and expectations might prove overwhelming and counter-productive to students seeking a balance of academic subjects on their transcripts. Kristi Kronz lives out and loves history along with her three children and husband on their small hobby farm in southwest Idaho. Find us on FaCeBook chois.idaho 12 CHOIS Connection wInter 2012 Winter-2012.indd 12 11 26 2012 9 39 49 AM wInter 2012 CHOIS Connection 13 Winter-2012.indd 13 11 26 2012 10 02 40 AM Homeschool Vertigo BY Todd Wilson ust for the record I ve never experienced vertigo. But experts say that when it hits you you re unable to distinguish between up and down. If a pilot happens to be flying an airplane in fog and experiences vertigo it can result in the pilot pulling up right into the ground. From my perspective there seems to be a pandemic of vertigo in the homeschool world. It s a condition that affects mainly homeschool parents during the months of January say...through December. Actually I believe it s a relatively NEW disorder because I don t think parents have always suffered from it. It used to be that a mom and dad s job was to train their children for life. They taught their children vital skills that they would need to function in a home of their own one day. They were 14 CHOIS Connection wInter 2012 J taught the value of a dollar to work hard to persevere and to make do. They were also taught about God their need for a savior and what it means to be the church on earth... important stuff. But somewhere along the way advanced algebra and applied biology was invented and vertigo began to creep in. Instead of all the things parents THOUGHT were important now other experts voiced what THEY THOUGHT was more important. And they said it louder. As a result parents began to doubt and second guess their own ideas and convictions. Maybe it isn t enough to know how to work hard to care for a family and to be salt and light in the world. Maybe there really are more important things that need to be taught. Now we re in 2012 and hardly know which way is up. We re in a fog surrounded by opinions and experts each with convincing arguments as to what our children should know to ensure success in the future. Why just a couple of weeks ago a homeschool mom from Texas called me who was suffering an acute case of homeschool vertigo. I just need some advice she declared. She went on to describe her teenage son who struggled in math and she wondered if she was failing him and how he d ever get into college or make his way in the world. I knew she just wanted to talk because I could hardly get a word in as she continued to share more of the story. He feels like he has been called to preach the word of God... and others tell me how sharp he is...but I don t know...we re looking at small Christian colleges...but he Winter-2012.indd 14 11 26 2012 9 39 51 AM just doesn t like or get math. It sounds like you re doing a good job I said. The truth is I m not a math guy either. I took advanced calculus in college and I couldn t solve a simple algebra problem today if my life depended on it. I can t even count back change the correct way. My wife has tried to teach me...but I can t do it We talked a little more and the more she talked the more obvious it became to me and to her of what was really important to her and her son. The fog may have still been there but now she knew which way was UP. The hard thing for her to do next was to make decisions based on...UP. It s the same with so many other moms and dads I talk to all over the country. They come up to me all uptight and often in tears. We talk about what matters and what doesn t. They shake their head in agreement and often reiterate what really matters. The vertigo begins to fade and for a few brief moments the sun peeps through the clouds and everything is so clear and simple. Yeah that s true they agree. BUT as we wrap things up the doubts creep back in the fog thickens and vertigo sets back in. But I just don t know they say in bewilderment. Yes you do know I insist. You just told me. You KNOW which way is UP but you re still listening to THEM. THEM has such a confident enticing voice that makes so much sense. It sounds right and just about everyone else seems to follow its advice. THEM has charts statistics and testimonies of success. Others will look at you like you re a right-wing lunatic for not following THEM S plan. But THEM is causing the vertigo. THEM thinks like the world and gets its wisdom from the world calling what is important non-important or maybe more accurately calling what is NOT as important important. You with me THEM is killing us and leading us down a path of hardship and death. But you don t have to listen to THEM. God has made you smart enough to raise your children. What you know to be right IS RIGHT What you need to do Mom and Dad is act on what you KNOW to be important no matter what anyone else thinks or says. If you believe it s more important to know how to keep a checkbook than to be able to work advanced algebra then do what you know to be important. If you believe that it s more important to enjoy your children (whereby training them to enjoy you and their children) than it is to score a 100% on every subject then DO what you know to be... UP. Be Real Todd Todd Wilson Todd will be a CHOIS Keynote speaker at the convention in June. 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. 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 Free Subscription or Donation Form 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. wInter 2012 CHOIS Connection 15 Winter-2012.indd 15 11 26 2012 9 39 51 AM Chois tidbits H by Linda Patchin Chois ChaiRMan s CoRneR weigh these risks against a dubious return. We remained in our homes during school hours and gave evasive answers to the question of where our children attended school. When we found other homeschooling families we embraced their fellowship preferring to hang together rather than alone. State Organizations Here to Serve You ave you ever been surprised when meeting an old friend after a long separation to discover that she has aged and her children sprouted You get an odd little zing when you realize that she is thinking the same thoughts about you. The passage of time gives us perspective. In 1989 I began the Great Adventure. In the preceding eight years I had witnessed homeschool parents incarcerated and their children placed in foster care for the crime of home education. I sat through a close friend s hearing whose eight-year-old was being tried for truancy. I made what seemed like an agonizing choice between the few textbooks being sold to homeschoolers. My husband and I prayed earnestly and wrestled diligently over difficult decisions. Would we be able to stand firm in our conviction to disciple our children even if faced with the very real possibility of jail How could we protect our children from being put in foster care Thankfully this was not a part of God s plan for our life but all homeschoolers at that time were forced to My Slightly Older Friend Legal in all fifty states. Thousands of curriculum choices. Conventions. Co-ops. Magazines. Support groups. Websites. Activities catered specifically to our needs. We ve come a long way haven t we Today is a glorious day to be educating our children at home But how did my young friend grow up so quickly and so well Homeschooling My Youthful Friend I was introduced to homeschooling in 1981. Dr. Raymond Moore was interviewed on a Focus on the Family broadcast. He vaguely described the relatively new concept of home education. Three years would pass before my first child would be born and yet I knew on that day that God had reached my heart and my future course was charted. Two attorneys homeschool fathers began assisting families faced with prosecution. One day they met and laid the foundation for what would become Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) Through their tremendous effort our legal rights were established throughout the land. Today HSLDA continues to work to sustain our freedom. Without question this fledgling movement would not have survived without their vision leadership and obedience to God s call. While HSLDA was working at the federal level they needed to find people willing to work in individual states. State Organizations were born. Formed independently these groups have a flavor as unique as each individual state. They are strategically positioned to work within the confines of fifty distinct state laws. in His wisdom God... 16 CHOIS Connection wInter 2012 Winter-2012.indd 16 11 26 2012 9 39 51 AM These groups also began serving homeschooling families by providing encouragement through conventions and by being the conduit through which information flowed to individual homeschool families in their state. They understood the unique make-up of their state because they resided there operating their own homeschools in compliance with their state law and building relationships with the families in their midst. In 1983 an alliance was formed between the state organizations. Leaders from many states and foreign nations began meeting together annually to pray for this movement and to share information. Three decades later this network is still going strong supporting leaders as they make decisions that affect their state as well as surrounding states. Leaders are able to share ideas tools and knowledge while recognizing trends beginning in one state that could inevitably spread to others. In 1992 after gaining our legal freedom the Idaho Coalition of Home Educators (ICHE) www.iche-idaho. org was born. The purpose of ICHE is to protect the right to privately home educate without restriction in Idaho. This is done by generating standardized test results to show homeschoolers composite academic success by grass-roots lobbying and by Legislative Pie Day at the Capitol to remind our law makers of the remarkable accomplishments of families that teach their children at home. Most states have only one state organization which combines the dual functions of protecting and promoting. ICHE s by-laws limited their role to only one purpose. They looked forward to the day when another organization would form as a counterpart. 1998 saw the birth of Christian Homeschoolers of Idaho State (CHOIS) This state organization exists to train equip and encourage homeschooling families. They bring an annual state convention and a free quarterly magazine to Idaho families. They provide speakers to local support groups. Their website includes support group information links to resources articles and more. Their Facebook page posts news events and inspiring articles every day. These two organizations are completely separate and yet they enjoy a cooperative working relationship. Both are recognized as official state organizations by HSLDA and other national leadership groups. They prefer to remain distinct organizations. Well yes as a matter of fact it is Homeschooling parents in this very state have dedicated decades of service on our behalf. Not everyone is called to testify before a legislative committee but praise God for those who have answered this calling pushing back the forces that would seek to shackle our efforts with regulation and red tape. Their work advances our opportunity. Praise God for the parents who toil to bring encouragement with words. Big Deal Words written in publications such as this one and words spoken at the state convention. Topics Speakers Vendors all prayerfully selected and brought specifically to meet the needs of the families in our state. These parents serve without compensation. Their servant s hearts desire nothing more than to assist other families to succeed in teaching. They serve families 365 days a year not just the few days of the convention. They are here to monitor the Legislature and build relationships all year long. They care about what happens in Idaho because they are Idahoans. Both of Idaho s state organizations are managed by all-volunteer boards. Both are incorporated as Idaho nonprofits. They operate on very limited budgets preferring to use their revenue entirely on ministering to the needs of Idaho home educators rather than enriching individuals. Every fee or donation is used entirely for these purposes. Strong healthy state organizations and their nationwide network are the first line of defense. Without them we are truly alone easy to pick off individually. Together we are strong. Homeschooling thrives in 2012. Will it stand the test of time Even while our hard-earned freedom is being passed to the next generation the pioneers tremble to inquire Will the movement we worked so hard to establish be safe in these tender younger hands ... continued on page 26 will it Stand 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 2012 Collect those Box tops CHOIS Connection 17 Winter-2012.indd 17 11 26 2012 9 39 51 AM organizing your home to Create a learning lifestyle environment by Vicki Bentley HSLDA Early Years Coordinator rganization is not about an immaculate house or quintessential neatness. There is not any one best way to organize. Organization is a means of functioning effectively and efficiently and you must find what works for you and your home. Why get organized To beat stress and be in control of your day to accomplish what God has for you for today. I Corinthians 14 40 says Let all things be done decently and in order. It s all about stuff and time. On another page we discussed the importance of organizing our time. We went over basic time management skills lesson planning sample schedules etc. to help our households run smoothly and efficiently. Now let s consider how to physically organize our homes--including our stuff--to make the best use of our space and our time because if we can find things and move through our houses easily we will save time and effort. Some physical household management will overlap with time management. For example a chore system or household tasks system will help you stay on top of the cleaning and maintenance but it also falls under time management. None of this is carved in stone. Glean from this what you can. Ask your spouse and family about key areas to target for 18 CHOIS Connection wInter 2012 O improvement and pray about areas that may need your concentration. There are many systems to help you get started or motivated to take control of your surroundings--we ll list a few for starters. Some people need the all-day-long reminders and assignments from FlyLady while others will appreciate the one-itema-day task listing in The 70-Day Rush Hour Challenge. Entire books are devoted to How to Organize Your Stuff so we certainly cannot cover it all here but we can pass along a few helpful tips. moms we also have challenges unique to the 24 7 proximity of our families the amount of time we may spend in the car (van ) on field trips and the oftenoverwhelming amount of paperwork and other stuff generated by a houseful of children. Here are a few ideas that moms may find helpful. Set up a Command Center. Remember The Bridge on Star Trek This should be an area close to your family s activities in the house not totally isolated--you want to actually use it Have a plan. Some sort of planner calendar and or note system will be helpful (see Resources). Because our family tends to be predominantly visual I find it helpful to use lists like our Tidy Room checklist. I also have a weekly chore chart system that incorporates child training with housekeeping. Store items closest to point of use. In our small mobile home I don t have space for a silverware (Practical Ideas for Getting More Organized) Although homeschool moms have tasks common to most I Know It s Here... Somewhere Winter-2012.indd 18 11 26 2012 9 39 52 AM drawer so I stood five pretty blue plastic cups in a nice basket on the counter and put spoons tablespoons forks salad forks and butter knives in the five cups. The basket sits on the counter in a corner next to the dish drainer and below the cabinet that contains the dishes and cups. What started as a compensation for too little space turned out to be a wonderfully convenient storage of flatware. When the girls set the table the silverware is right there with the dishes one or two steps from the table. When they empty the dish drainer they don t even have to move to put the silverware away Notice if you habitually must go somewhere else to get what you need to accomplish a task. Ask yourself if it can be stored closer at hand or if it would be practical to have a duplicate item to keep at the task location. Keep stamps and envelopes in the bill-paying area. Store extra staples near the stapler. Ask yourself Where would I look for this Where do I most often use this Simplify housework. Clutter is not the first problem (although it surely may seem that way sometimes ) I had to ask the Lord to free me from any bondage to things. The chore system I mentioned earlier helps me to narrow down my household routine (or household blessing a la FlyLady ) to certain tasks. In this way I accomplish what I have decided is important and am not as easily sidetracked by other would be nice items. wInter 2012 CHOIS Connection 19 Winter-2012.indd 19 11 26 2012 9 39 52 AM Streamline the kitchen. Gain counter and drawer space by paring down the number of gadgets. Organize the pantry and freezer so you can cook more efficiently (see Leanne Ely s articles on Get rid of extra cookbooks you never use. Stand those cookie sheets and baking pans and cooling racks in 4 lid racks from the discount store. Purge the leftover containers and invest 10 in a matching assortment with lids that stack together bases that nest etc. Keep all the mixing items near the baking center and the pots and pans near the stove. Consider a knife magnet or block for your knives to free up a drawer. Ikea and others sell small racks that can be set up on the back of the stove to hold salt and pepper timer oftused spices etc. and can save counter space. Hang a small metal bookstand on two plastic hooks inside a cabinet door to be quickly retrieved to stand your cookbook on the counter then swiftly returned to the hooks during after-dinner cleanup. Make your kitchen kid-friendly. If you want them to fix their own breakfast put the cereal or other breakfast items where they can reach them. Put dishes in a cabinet low enough for them to set the table or get their own drinks (unless you are trying to avoid this ). Speaking of kitchen cabinets Put your support group phone list in a plastic page protector and tape inside a cabinet door for reference Clean out the car. Take everything out including the junk behind the seats (hidden in those big pock- ets) and in the glove box. Put back the essentials into the glove box (registration insurance card maybe a map or emergency numbers flashlight etc.). Be sure to put a supply of trash bags in the car (our van has a small wastebasket behind the driver s seat) and use empty the bags regularly. Corral those dangerously rolling items in a laundry basket or a cardboard box in the trunk or back of the van. I have a basket for things to be delivered dropped off and a basket of things that stay in the car (emergency kit bottles of water-- real dangers when they roll under- Organization at a Glance Pray about what God wants you to work on for your particular family. Ask your spouse for guidance as to which areas are important to him. Find a balance Our house is clean enough to be healthy and messy enough to be happy. Be careful not to be such a perfectionist that people are uncomfortable living in your house. Our goal is to glorify God with our lives and as homemakers with our homes. we can do that better in an orderly home because we can be more gracious to our children when we aren t rushed or hunting for the car keys or always behind and can be hospitable. Our home is more peaceful and calm. this is a spiritual work because the end result is to bring peace to our homes and to glorify our Creator. Look for ways to bring order to your home but don t allow organization to be an idol. Get organized to give you the time and liberty for relationships. 20 CHOIS Connection wInter 2012 Winter-2012.indd 20 11 26 2012 9 39 52 AM foot library returns file paper towels jumper cables etc.). Have an Errand Box. If you tend to forget to return items or forget to put them in the car make yourself an Errand Box or Errand Basket. On a shelf near my front door is a basket into which I deposit items to be picked up or returned or dropped off somewhere next time I go out. On the same shelf is a pretty napkin holder that contains the outgoing mail. I usually stash my wallet or purse on the same shelf so I am reminded to check the basket when I grab my wallet to leave the house the keys are on a hook nearby. In another house we had a small armoire near the front entry in which I housed a basket for things-to-go-out a shelf for the library basket and shelf space for my purse and cell phone. A 5 key rack from the home improvement store held several sets of car keys inside the armoire door (I used 3M removable adhesive to stick the rack up). Consider taking toys out of kids rooms and having a toy closet. I remember a childhood friend whose room was totally devoid of anything but beds and dressers and a comfy rug. When we wanted to play a game or with a toy we went to the closet in the hall and got the game or toy took it to the rug and then put it back in the closet when we were done. Also when the closet was full they had enough toys. Another option is to select a handful of toys and books to keep out then store the rest away. Every six months trade the toys on display with some of the toys in storage and it will seem to your child that he has all new playthings Color code when possible. Assign each child a color and buy towels napkins cups etc. in those colors. You will easily know whose towel is on the floor which basket the math book goes into which file the papers go in etc. Pre-sort laundry. Instead of a jumbo hamper that holds several loads that must be sorted prior to washing consider a multi-compartment sorter or stacking recycling bins (or separate laundry baskets if you have the space). Teach the children to put the correct color items in each basket (label lights darks colors or whatever you choose). It will be much simpler to just toss a load wInter 2012 CHOIS Connection 21 Winter-2012.indd 21 11 26 2012 9 39 53 AM into the washer if it is pre-sorted. I went so far as to purchase a white hamper a black hamper and a colored (blue) hamper to make the sorting obvious. Laminate your books and answer keys. Use clear contact paper to cover paperback books workbooks answer keys etc. your materials will last longer. Store magazines upright. There are some magazines that I feel I must keep for reference so I store them in plastic or heavy cardboard magazine holders. If those are too spendy cut a Cheerios box at an angle to accommodate your magazines booklets pamphlets teacher keys etc. Appliance manuals and receipts can be stored in plastic page protectors or zipper bags in a binder. Or file warranties for indoor appliances in one file and outdoor in another. Keep receipts or copies of receipts with the manuals for easier warranty service. Deal with paperwork now instead of later. Homeschool moms accumulate a phenomenal amount of paper. Keep track of library books. Have one location for library books (library basket shelf etc.) and remind the children to always return books videos to that location. Clip a copy of the library book printout or the check-out cards to the basket so you will be sure you have all the books upon your return trip. Because I check out a lot of books at a time (as do most homeschoolers ) I found that I could not always be positive the books were returned unless I made a checklist which was time consuming for me and I often found myself presented with a list of books outstanding that I was sure we had turned in (and sure enough they were found on the library s shelf ). The system we found helpful was to carry the books straight from the car to the photocopier at the library. I stand as many books on their spines as I can fit so the titles and hopefully call numbers fit onto the glass (I have to hold them upright while I leave the cover up and close my eyes when I push Start). I carry the books straight to the check-in counter from the copier and I then mark the date and branch location on the photocopy. This gives me a record of all the books returned and I am 100% sure of what got turned in where. I put this paper in a file that stays in the back of my car. It costs me up to about 50 cents per library visit but this is considerably less than the cost of a replacement for one book I was sure we turned in. Have a short-term holding area if needed. Picked something up and aren t sure yet where it goes Have a small short-term holding area (one designated basket or drawer or shelf )--but plan regularly to clear it out. Of course it s better to have a place for everything and everything in its place. When you are in a time crunch and want to have the house tidied it is so much simpler to put things into pre-designated logical spots than to try to figure out good places to stash them and then just hope you can figure out later where you stuffed them. Again ask yourself Where would I look for this later Manage your school area. Keep school tools handy and convenient in a specific location. In our house we charged a 25-cent deposit before the scissors tape etc. could be re- 22 CHOIS Connection wInter 2012 Winter-2012.indd 22 11 26 2012 9 39 53 AM moved from Mom s desk to another room. If Mom had to ask for the item to be returned the deposit was forfeited. Teach the children to manage their paperwork. Regularly sit with them and walk them through the purging organizing process. Video or photograph non-heart-rending projects and keep the picture in a scrapbook or file the tape then give away the original (Grandma ). Put books on shelves by categories so you can find what you need when you need it. You can even mark different categories with colored dots on the spines. Bookshelves are a girl s best friend Organize your shelves so most-used items are closest at hand to save you unnecessary movement during the day. VicKi is the mother of eight girls over 50 foster children and grandma to 15. Vicki and her husband Jim homeschooled their daughters for 17 years. Vicki will be a featured workshop speaker at the CHOIS Convention in June. wInter 2012 CHOIS Connection 23 Winter-2012.indd 23 11 26 2012 9 39 53 AM ideas FoR outdooR livinG and leaRninG oUtwoRds appreciating God s Gift of snow by Ken Frederick o you look forward to the first snow of the winter season The first snowfall of the winter is an exciting event in our home. I really enjoy looking out the window of our warm home when big soft flakes of snow are floating out of a gloomy gray sky. If the first snow falls at night the next morning sees a mad rush among the younger set to don stocking caps throw on coats find a pair of gloves (which usually don t match) and frantically look for snow boots. People used to handle snow much better than they do now. These days snow seems to be a problem. Snow gets a bad rap because it snarls traffic hampers air travel and makes walking somewhere practically impossible. But a few generations ago snow was a blessing. It meant water for farms and ranches and it actually made travel easier if a family had a horse and a sleigh. Even if someone did not really like snow at least people understood that it was part of life in a colder climate. Rather than dwell on the negatives often associated with snow we should really appreciate it because snow is a good thing. It is God s gift. We should appreciate snow first of all because it is a fascinating weather phenomenon. According to meteorologist Paul Douglas a snowflake is a unique collection of ice crystals that adhere as they fall to earth. A snowflake starts as a microscopic piece of 24 CHOIS Connection wInter 2012 D dust or a tiny bit of organic matter caught up in the atmosphere. When the atmosphere is supersaturated (meaning the humidity is above 100 percent) and the temperature is below 32 degrees F ice crystals begin to form around tiny nuclei suspended in the air mass. The snowflakes quickly grow as more and more ice forms and soon they become heavy enough for gravity to tug them earthward. Meteorologists have identified four basic kinds of crystals that comprise snow dendrite needle plate and prism. Dendrite snowflakes are the typical branched snowflakes we are most familiar with. The needleshaped snow flake is a thin spear of ice which sometimes forms in connected pairs. Plates can form in a single six-sided disc or they can occur with short stubby appendages. The prism-shaped snowflakes are hollow six-sided columns of ice. Most snowflakes have a hexagonal crystalline structure because that is the molecular shape that water takes when it freezes. The differences in crystals result from the specific temperature and humidity variables present when snowflakes form. If you are like me you have undoubtedly heard that no two snowflakes are alike. In terms of their appearance snowflakes forming as tiny needles or microscopic prism-shaped tubes occur in basic shapes and oftrepeated shapes. It would be easy to find innumerable snowflakes that look identical--if you had the ability to look at a few million flakes. Winter-2012.indd 24 11 26 2012 9 39 54 AM On the other hand when snow is falling in the classic dendritic form-- the kind of snowflakes that kids makes by folding a piece of paper and cutting holes in it--it would be pretty difficult to find a repeated shape. Under the right conditions snowflakes can grow into incredibly complex multi-branched collections of ice crystals. (In fact the largest snowflake ever documented measured 8 inches by 12 inches.) Billions upon billions of molecules are contained in these three-dimensional forms. Sometime when you are watching those big fluffy flakes falling through frigid still air pop a glass microscope slide in your freezer for a few minutes then take your microscope outside. Capture a snowflake and take a look at it. You will see why it is tempting to claim that no two snowflakes are alike. We should also appreciate snow for the many opportunities it gives us for invigorating and fun outdoor recreation. Sledding skiing tubing snowshoeing hunting building snow forts and snowmen--there are a lot of ways to have fun in the snow. If you are like me you were cautioned about eating snow when you were a youngster. I can still recall my mother telling me Don t eat snow I would have to agree--but not for the reason my mom had in mind. Although snowflakes form around minute bits of matter those little particles of debris are extremely small. With the smoky conditions across much of Idaho last summer most Idahoans probably inhaled an uncomfortably high amount of pollutants--far more than a kid will ingest with a mouthful of snow. A more pressing reason to avoid eating snow is that the body has to equalize the temperature of snow after it is swallowed. In other words eating snow helps make you cold--thanks to the depletion of body heat. If you are outside in the winter that is generally not a good idea. Speaking of snow sports in my younger years I used to do a lot of cross-country skiing. I learned the sport under the tutelage of that great teacher Trial N. Error. What a teacher he was Getting moving on cross country skis was not terribly difficult. Changing direction and changing speed (especially when the speed needs to change from a bit too fast to stop ) were often a different story. One of Mr. Error s favorite lessons to inflict on me was the Intermediate Face Plant. It is tough to think of winter without thinking of snow but with an El Ni o winter predicted to be upon us snow--at least in the southern reaches of the state--may be on the skimpy side this winter. Nevertheless a lot of our state is usually blessed with ample snow. Many places in northern central and even eastern Idaho receive at least 40 inches of snow in an average winter. Even if you live in a drier locality enjoying some snow-based recreation is feasible. But perhaps the most significant reason we should appreciate snow is because it is God s way of regulating the presence of water on the land. We would be up a creek without snow. (Sorry--bad play on words there ) Mountain snowpacks take months to melt which mean the meltwaters does not appear all at once (a phenomenon called flooding ). Further the gradual melt of the snowpack means that the resulting run-off is easier to capture and store in reservoirs. Captured spring run-off is not just critical for drinking water it is also vital for agriculture. According to the Idaho Department of Commerce farmers are able to irrigate more than two million acres in Idaho thanks to the annual runoff from Idaho s mountain snowpack. Snow is God s incredible provision for water storage. But we can also appreciate its beauty and the kind of lifestyle it affords us. So if you are tempted to get upset over a snowfall when you need to be somewhere take a few moments to ponder the good things about snow. Teach your kids that God s blessings sometimes come in disguise. Then drive carefully. Ken Frederick and his family look forward to a few good snowstorms at their home in Meridian Idaho. wInter 2012 CHOIS Connection 25 Winter-2012.indd 25 11 26 2012 9 39 54 AM ... continued from page 17 Hands that were not made calloused by the struggle to wrest freedom from a powerful tyrant. Hearts untested by inducements to trade their birthright for a pot of stew. Unsteady feet stumbling toward the ensnarement of legalism ease or compromise. Here are some ways to safeguard this treasure for the next generation. Pray This revival movement was birthed by prayer. Never take this mighty miracle for granted. Pray for our leaders. Pray that God will raise up their replacements. Pray for smooth transitions. Love Homeschool parents make enormous sacrifices of time talent and income to educate their children at home. With all of this effort it is easy to neglect to take the time to love one another well. Take the time This is far more important than Algebra. 26 CHOIS Connection wInter 2012 Stand together Connect Meet other homeschool families. Form strong bonds. God will use these relationships. Give of yourself. Join Join or build a support group. Be part of a team. Become a member of ICHE and HSLDA. Grow I have studied the habits of homeschool moms who still find joy in teaching and parenting into their second and third decade. Their secret They are lifelong learners. They still delight in scouring a curriculum hall. They love the tools of learning. They love discovering ways to make their teaching more alive. They humbly seek wisdom. Never be satisfied with good enough. Grow and continue to grow. Support We invest in the things that we care about. We all have limited resources. If you can only attend one convention or conference this year make sure that your conference fee is staying in your state where it will be used to benefit the homeschoolers of Idaho all year long. Attend your state convention. Will I be able to recognize my friend in the future Heavenly Father help the next generation to seek your face to build their foundation upon your Word so that when the storms come they will be able to stand strong. Thank you Lord for the amazing blessing of being able to disciple the children that you gave us. Safeguard this movement into the future where our grandchildren will see their grandchildren being lovingly educated at home. Amen. My Enduring Friend Linda Patchin is the mother of four homeschool graduates. She and her husband Paul met as lab partners in a Boise State University Chemistry class. They have enjoyed experiments ever since. Winter-2012.indd 26 11 26 2012 9 39 56 AM A Geek Ask BY idaho hoMesChool dad ansWeRs CoMputeR questions Ken Barnes Google is Just a Search Engine files in your Google Drive account Isn t It Let us first take a quick look at Gmail. Setting up a Google account essentially gives you a Gmail account that allows you to take advantage of most of Google s other services too. Bonus tip If your email address is currently using your Internet Service Provider s (ISP) domain like or if you only have an email account at work I highly recommend you set up a free personal account at Gmail (or Yahoo or Hotmail or or someplace similar). By having an account that isn t tied to your ISP or work then if either changes you will not have to hassle with changing your personal email address. To set up a Gmail account go to http in your browser and click the Create an account link near the middle of the page. Then fill in the fields on the next page and you re all set Once logged into your Gmail account you will see several other services listed at the top of the window. I would like to focus the rest of our time together looking at the one labeled Drive. It provides the ability to read and edit word processing spreadsheet and presentation files all online. The simplest way to use Drive is to save your files online but it is possible to save them on your PC and even edit them offline (disconnected from the Internet). When reconnected those files are automatically synchronized with the in the cloud and on any other of your devices linked to the same account. Like an Android-based tablet or smartphone. Imagine working on a file on your home PC one night and having the updated file available on your phone at a client site the next morning. I think that is cool I remember way back when Google was just a search engine. It still is a search engine. And then some. For one thing what was a noun (the name of a website that allowed visitors to search the web for whatever information they needed) has now become a verb. Surely you have heard (or maybe said) Just Google it when a website was suggested but the actual website URL (Uniform Resource Locator - the Internet address of a web page) was unknown. But Google is so much more than that now. There s Gmail Google Drive Google Voice Google Maps Google Apps Google Android Chrome YouTube Picasa etc. etc. etc. Before I go on I want to make it clear that I do not work for Google and am not trying to sell any consulting work to implement any Google services. But I do use several of them and want to pass along how you can too. And almost all of them are free Google does have some services that are intended for business use and some of those have fees associated with them but our focus will be on personal accounts. One benefit of working with files online is that when you share a file (by clicking the Share button while editing the file) the person you share it with can edit it too even while you edit it I must admit it was kind of spooky the first time I saw someone else changing the file while I was working on it. But it does speed up any collaboration needed to get that document written. Google has a good help system with more details but I hope this is enough to get you started using Google for more than just searching for other websites. Of course you can always Ask a Geek Ken Barnes is a Google-using geek who also teaches computer math and astronomy classes in his local homeschool co-op. He and his Google-using wife Cindy have been homeschooling their four children in Nampa since 2003. wInter 2012 CHOIS Connection 27 Winter-2012.indd 27 11 26 2012 9 39 58 AM disCoveRing idaho FRanZ BakeRy hen asked to recall a few of their favorite field trips each of my grown children listed the bakery as being especially memorable. That is a high complement considering the number of field trips they experienced during their homeschool years. Perhaps it was the delicious aroma of freshly baked bread wafting through the facility or maybe the uniqueness of wearing a paper baker s hat while watching in awe as hundreds of loaves passed over head on the conveyor belt that inspired their fond memories. Tugged by my own nostalgia I joined a local homeschool field trip group for a glimpse inside the workings of Franz Bakery in Nampa Idaho. Our tour began with a brief history of Franz Bakery where we learned that Austrian born Englebert Franz was given passage to America in trade for time spent working at his uncle s bakery. Eight years later in 1906 Franz sent for his brother Joseph and together they bought a small Portland bakery. By 1954 Franz Bakery had grown to be the largest in Portland. At Eglebert s passing his son Joe Franz took over and subsequently 28 CHOIS Connection wInter 2012 Family Field Trip Gems by Connie Seward led the bakery into becoming the largest in Oregon. In more recent years Franz has earned the distinction of being the largest family owned bakery in the United W Alaska as well as Oregon. In addition to wheat-based products Franz also has a special line of gluten-free products including fresh 7-grain bread. The company has numerous bakery outlet stores where day-old bread products are sold at a discount. Two of these outlet stores are located in the Treasure Valley area as well as the new Nampa baking facility. As our history lesson came to a close we were whisked off to the ingredients room where we were duly impressed by the huge quantities of flour sweetener and yeast ready to be measured. From the ingredients store room we moved to the mixing States. The company uses state of the art equipment and is committed to developing quality products at reasonable prices. Franz currently produces and supplies millions of bread loaves buns and cookies to Washington northern California and parts of Idaho Montana and and kneading room where gigantic tub-sized bowls of flour water and yeast were being combined to make a mixture known as a sponge while other machines remixed and kneaded previously risen sponges. Our guide explained that once a sponge is mixed it is then hustled off to the Winter-2012.indd 28 11 26 2012 9 39 58 AM fermentation room for a rising period of four hours. At the completion of the first rise the sponge is then remixed kneaded and turned into the final dough product. Our guide noted that Franz uses the sponge and dough process for nearly all their bread products and that what varies is the size weigh and shape of dough pieces and processing time for baking and cooling various products. Next we watched the dough processed through the extruder divider into small individual pieces of a given weight. Some of the dough products required special shaping and we watched in wonder as a worker deftly turned out perfectly formed buns at what seemed like the speed of light. We were told that the shaped dough would be sent to the proof box for another rising period in a warm moist environment before receiving any final toppings. In the topping area we viewed workers applying butter to brioche rolls while other products received a coating of oats or other grains. The plump loaves and rolls were then loaded onto metal baking carts and rolled carefully into hot ovens. Through the glass oven doors we were able to glimpse numerous carts of browning bread on a long winding floorto-ceiling conveyor track for cooling. The next stop was the slicing and bagging room where touring students were given their first sample of bread fresh from the oven. At the conclusion of our tour we gathered in the staff lunchroom where another delicious snack of fresh bread waited for us. Our guide surprised us with an informal oral quiz on informa- wInter 2012 CHOIS Connection 29 Winter-2012.indd 29 11 26 2012 9 39 59 AM tion presented during the tour and rewarded students answering accurately with a t-shirt. Each of the students received a special yellow Franz pencil before being directed to the Outlet Store. In the Outlet Store we were able to choose more free bread products. Franz s Nampa bakery tours are open to groups of 10 or more. Tour availability follows the basic school schedule with dates open September through May. Strollers are accepted but no jewelry except wedding bands may be worn during the tours. Closed toed shoes must be worn and non-skid soles such as tennis shoes are highly suggested. Guided tours consist of a brief history of the Franz family bakeries and a half hour tour of the facility. Participants then enjoy a snack of fresh bread and are given a gift bag before heading home. Connie Seward and husband Quentin have been homeschooling in the Treasure Valley for over 18 years. Their favorite Franz products are the double fiber loaf and the 7-grain gluten free bread with an occasional splurge on the yummy blueberry streusel loaf. Franz Baker 914 Park Center Way Nampa Idaho 83651 Tour Contact Matt Hartzheim 208-468-2291 ext. 3001 Franz Baker Outlet Stores Monday-Saturday 9 AM until 6 PM Call ahead for the availability of gluten-free bread Nampa Outlet Store 914 Park Center Way 208-468-2291 Boise Outlet Store 455 N. Benjamin Street 208-323-5994 30 CHOIS Connection wInter 2012 Winter-2012.indd 30 11 26 2012 9 39 59 AM 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 2012 Idaho Congressional Medalists L - R Christiana Stone Bronze Ian Richter Gold Emily Esquivel Bronze Jake Wright Gold Esther Frederick Gold and Matthew Liscinski Silver If 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 wInter 2012 CHOIS Connection 31 Winter-2012.indd 31 11 26 2012 9 40 00 AM Christian Homeschoolers Of Idaho State P.O. Box 45062 Boise Idaho 83711 Winter-2012.indd 32 11 26 2012 9 40 01 AM