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Description: Articles, resources, events, and news for Virginia homeschoolers, published by the Home Educators Association of Virginia.

THE VIRGINIA HOME EDUCATOR WWW.HEAV.ORG 1 Brett & Christina s story Pre-existing condition Members for one year Maternity Need Go to Brett & Christina We are connecting with people who we don t know but the only bond that we share is Christ--living out New Testament Christianity that we see in the Book of Acts. For more than twenty years Samaritan Ministries members have been sharing one another s medical needs without using health insurance through a Biblical model of community among believers. Samaritan members share directly with each other and do not share in abortions and other unbiblical practices. Come see what our members are saying and start your own Samaritan story today at More than 50 000 families (over 165 000 individuals) Sharing over 15 million in medical needs each month The monthly share has never exceeded 405 for a family of any size 888.268.4377 samaritanministries samaritanmin As of October 2015 Biblical community applied to health care 2 THE VIRGINIA HOME EDUCATOR WINTER 2015 HEAV Board of Directors Anne Miller President Williamsburg Patrick Ryan Vice President Purcellville Linda Linder Secretary Manassas Rick Boyer Board Member Rustburg Cherrie Moore Board Member Virginia Beach HEAV BOARD & STAFF Advisory Board Lauren Bell Virginia Beach Yvonne Bunn Murfreesboro Jennifer French Acting Treasurer Williamsburg Kevin & Katrina Hoeft Goochland Craig & Stephanie Konicki Midlothian Joseph & Tiffani Miller Newport News HEAV Staff Anne Miller Interim Executive Director Yvonne Bunn Director of Homeschool Support & Government Affairs Lauren Bell Convention Director Helen Wright Finance & Administration Manager Ann Miranda Office Manager Lora Howard Assistant Office Manager Morgan Langowski Receptionist Lisa Workman Director of Special Events Publications Staff Maureen Bittner Director of Publications & Marketing Mary Kay Smith Magazine Editor editor Melissa Barnes Editor Kathleen Lansing Advertising Director advertising Kathleen Dillie Update Manager Karen Sweeney Update Content Editor update Linda Mesibov Update Editor Arielle Potter Copy Editor & Above-the-Fold Writer Maya Barnes Update Layout Laurie Sitterding Editor Michael Grice Webmaster Alyssa Mulhearn Web-Content Editor Linda Mesibov HTML Coder Susannah Miller Graphic Designer Amanda Schwatz Graphic Designer Sandra Modersohn Social Media Manager Kelly Pedone Communications Coordinator Sarah Dillie Marketing Assistance SEND ADDRESS CHANGES TO Home Educators Association of Virginia 2100 W. Laburnum Avenue Suite 108A Richmond Virginia 23227 Fax 804-278-9202 E-mail office Phone 804-278-9200 or Web For fastest service send your former and new addresses. Check your mailing label to see if you are a member if not join today The purpose of the Virginia Home Educator is to provide information resources and encouragement to Virginia homeschool parents. The views expressed in this magazine do not necessarily reflect those of the Home Educators Association of Virginia. All Scripture quotations are from the King James Version unless otherwise noted. The Virginia Home Educator is sent quarterly to Virginia s homeschooling families without charge. To receive a free subscription sign up at To inquire about advertising or submitting an article please contact HEAV at PO Box 6745 Richmond Virginia 23230-0745 or e-mail us at advertising or editor HEAV reserves the right to edit for style and space or to refuse any submission deemed inappropriate for our publication. Permission is granted to reprint any news items from this magazine providing proper credit is given all other material is copyrighted. For reprint permission please contact the editor at editor 2015 Home Educators Association of Virginia SUBMISSION DEADLINES Spring 2016 (Issue 1)--December 15 Summer 2016 (Issue 2)--March 15 Fall 2016 (Issue 3)--June 15 Winter 2015 (Issue 4)--September 15 Cover Photo Courtesy of Allison King Eliana Richardson at the 2015 HEAV Convention 6 1 1 16 FEATURES 6 8 The Beat of a Different Drummer Kirk Martin DEPARTMENTS 4 5 From the Editor Mary Kay Smith Journeying to a Lifelong Love Gary Thomas Crystal Paine From Our Facebook Page... 11 I Gave Up Trying to Be a Perfect Mom 12 Homeschool Minutemen-- Are You Ready For the Battle Katrina L. Hoeft 18 Coming to Virginia 16 Stressless Organization Marilyn Rockett THE VIRGINIA HOME EDUCATOR WWW.HEAV.ORG 3 FROM THE EDITOR Mary Kay Smith 50 ISSUES SURPRISE Mary Kay thank you for your incredible dedication and commitment to HEAV and the homeschool families of Virginia I recently read an interesting article about Joe Riley the mayor of Charleston South Carolina (Southern Living September 2015). The writer talked about how intentional Mr. Riley has been about creating racial harmony and opportunity and building up the city s economy during his forty years as mayor. He has had two major disasters during his tenure Hurricane Hugo in 1989 which wiped out part of the city and the recent June 17 shooting at Mother Emanuel. He couldn t prevent either one but all of his preparations paid off in both cases (read the article ). Mayor Riley made an intriguing comment Disasters catch you where you are and then they accelerate your natural condition from that place. The Bible has something similar to say Therefore be careful how you walk not as unwise men but as wise making the most of your time because the days are evil (Ephesians 5 15 NASB). That word time is kairos. Merriam Webster defines kairos as a time when conditions are right for the accomplishment of a crucial action the opportune and decisive moment. If we have been walking carefully we ll act in that decisive moment of opportunity the way we should. That brings me to the discussions in this issue--perspective and preparedness. They beg the questions for all of us how intentional are we how diligent how ready to face whatever comes our way This isn t just important for civil leaders but for everyone. Christian parents and homeschoolers have a particular reason to take this to heart. Whether excitedly or reluctantly we have chosen to educate our children at home and that choice brings major responsibilities. Have we analyzed where we are now and what holes we need to fill in our families education character training and relationships Have we been intentional about getting whatever help or resources we need Have we been developing habits of timeliness organization diligence and perseverance in ourselves and our children If so when crises arise and catch us where we are--and they will-- our schooling and our family life won t fall apart. We ll ride on the wave of our natural condition--the one we ve been working on day after day up until that point. VALUES COUNT JOIN A COMMUNITY OF CHAMPIONS THAT STANDS FIRMLY ON CHRISTIAN VALUES. Student-oriented faculty skilled in various specialties of law A six-course practical skills program recently ranked third in classroom simulation by preLaw magazine A supportive community that helps facilitate academic success STUDY LAW IN AN ENVIRONMENT WHERE YOU CAN GROW IN YOUR FAITH AND REMAIN UNCOMPROMISED IN YOUR CONVICTIONS. LawAdmissions (434) 592-5300 HEAV 4 THE VIRGINIA HOME EDUCATOR WINTER 2015 from our Facebook page... Working from Home Withdrawing a Child from School join the online conversation Homeschooling... Net Gain Q People think you give up so much to homeschool. What have you gained Kristen Peace. My child s safety. But most importantly for me I get to teach my kids daily about the Lord Kim Time So much more of course but time comes to mind first. Jennifer Our close relationship with our child. We take off when my spouse takes off work so they have a great bond too We also keep our faith 24 7--it doesn t go on hold Aisha Peace intrinsic motivation focus and connection Lindsey Is it possible to work from home and homeschool Cynthia I own a business and I homeschool my pre-K and kindergarten girls. It works for us because we get our schooling done in the early afternoon and I finish my work late at night. We all sleep in--usually until around nine o clock--so this schedule works for our family. Erin Keep in mind that whether you work from home or not girls that age need a lot of your time and attention. It s just the nature of that age. They ll have questions need your help with basic skills knowledge and more. Later as they get older and have a good foundation they ll be able to do work more independently. Natalie I am homeschooling a first-grader and two pre-k kindergarten children and also running a business from home. This first year I have found that I need flexible structure. When I m too rigid I feel overwhelmed but I have started setting weekly goals vs. daily lessons and so far that s working. I prep lessons activities for the week and keep them on hand and then take advantage of teaching times as they come. This really allows for work school and playtime each day without pressure. Vicki There is a book called by Mary Jo Tate for homeschool moms who also work and try to keep up with the house. Lindsey I d like to pull my children out after Christmas break. Has anyone pulled their kids out mid-year Tamara I pulled mine out two years ago mid-year. They were in kindergarten and first grade at the time. I was going to wait until after Christmas but I let their last day be the day before Thanksgiving break. Their classes had parties everyone got to say their goodbyes and it was a smooth transition with a week off before starting back up homeschooling. Jeanne Sure. I ve never heard a parent say I wish I d waited longer. I have had many parents say I don t know what I thought I was gaining by waiting until X (the end of this semester or the end of that vacation and so on). Why wait Debbie You need to choose which option you will be homeschooling under and then you need to write a letter of withdrawal that goes to the individual school and file your NOI with the superintendent. Doing both at the same time can make it simple. If not file the NOI first and then give the letter of withdrawal. For more information on starting mid-year please see our website at basic-info beginningafter-the-august-15th-deadline An oldie but a goody. Take a block of ice salt and food coloring and you have art and science lessons rolled into one Melting Ice Experiment photo used with permission by The Artful Parent (http 2012 07 melting-ice-science-experiment-with-salt-liquid-watercolors.html) Outside the Box SIGN UP FOR A 4-PART MINI-COURSE on planning for high school record keeping and transcripts and post-high school options. THRIVE THE VIRGINIA HOME EDUCATOR WWW.HEAV.ORG 5 THE BEAT OF A KIRK MARTIN look at him he makes me cry. He is a wonderful creation. Through all the struggles I can see the imprints of the Creator. That boy is my son. He marches to the beat of a different drummer. Thank God. Celebrate Calm founder Kirk Martin has given more than 400 000 parents and kids concrete practical strategies to stop defiance power struggles and sibling fights in everyday situations. Learn how at HEAV is co-sponsoring a parent conference in Richmond on March 3 where Kirk Martin will be the featured speaker. Go to calmuniversity for more information. W hen my son was younger I didn t know how to deal with him. He wasn t the child I expected. But now I peek in at him late at night lying in bed fast asleep. I peek at my no-longer-little guy sprawled out across his bed with a long unruly mess of hair covering his face...and I smile. I smile because he is full of personality. He is so different from me in many ways--different from my expectations different from the little boy I had always imagined. And for that I am grateful. He s his own person and knows what he likes and doesn t like. I look in at him peaceful and innocent while he sleeps. The fight is gone and his mind is resting. He has gone full force for the last sixteen hours and needs a break. I like it that he pushes the limits like it that he questions everything because one day he s going to do something spectacular. Along the way he s going to make some big mistakes but he s going to live large and dream large. Underneath the spunk and mouth is a heart not only lined with gold but filled with it. It is large and feeling and it wants to do good even when his impulses lead him astray at times. I think God must look down and confuse him with a little tornado. But I also think God looks down and likes what He has created--likes the little tornado who is growing into a man. I think He sees Himself in my little boy funny as that sounds. The part of God who is the Creator who by the sheer force of His energy and being created life and all that is in the world. The part of God who was willing to step into humanity and persevere on a rugged cross because it would help people. The part of God who walked among men largely misunderstood and often reviled because He was different and didn t do things the way the rulers of His era thought they should be done. I think God must see Himself in the part that sometimes misses out on earthly things because he s in tune with something deep inside another person. The part who remains an idealist even when the world around him is less than ideal. The part that isn t afraid to look into eternity and see better things in all of us. That is my son sleeping there. We fought each other until we couldn t fight anymore. Until I realized that I was the one who needed to change because I wasn t going to change his nature. Perhaps he was given to me so that I would change. That is my son. Sometimes he inspires anger sometimes frustration. Then he makes me laugh even smile in resignation. And as I 6 THE VIRGINIA HOME EDUCATOR WINTER 2015 Easy ordering available all year Over 25 years supplying tests worldwide Be sure to check online for early testing specials No extra or hidden costs free USA postage to you Prepare with our Teacher Guide for the CAT 6TM Publisher scored during spring test season Free Practice Exercise for Grades K-8 Scholarship assistance available Questions Email them and we ll get you answers right away. Order online directly from our website. No web access Call and we ll mail you our informative brochure with order form. Do It Yourself Testing 55 Bayside School Services PO Box 250 Kill Devil Hills NC 27948-0250 orders voice messaging 800-723-3057 We d LOVE for you to LIKE us on Facebook pixelheadphoto After homeschooling through high school I pursued a Bachelor of Science Degree in Equine Science and Management with a minor in Biology at the University of Kentucky. I plan to be a veterinarian and Apologia Science gave me a solid foundation for my college studies. Virginia Stilwell College graduate Bachelor of Science Degree in Equine Science and Management I AM APOLOGIA SCIENCE THE VIRGINIA HOME EDUCATOR WWW.HEAV.ORG 7 TO A LIFELONG LOVE GARY THOMAS I t came almost as a warning and frankly I needed one at the time. I was a young husband and during a concentrated time of prayer I sensed God telling me very directly that Lisa wasn t just my wife she was also his daughter and I was to treat her accordingly. It was an intense application of 1 John 3 1 See what kind of love the Father has given to us that we should be called children of God (ESV). This was a moment of revelation for me and the force of this insight grew once I had kids of my own. If you want to get on my good side just be good to one of my kids. Conversely if you really want to make me angry pick on my kids. I d much rather you mess with me than with one of my kids. So when I realized I was married to God s daughter everything about how I view marriage changed. God feels about my wife--His daughter--in an even holier and more passionate way than I feel about my own daughters. Suddenly my marriage was no longer about just me and one other person it was very much a relationship with a passionately interested third partner. I realized one of my primary forms of worship throughout the rest of my life would be honoring God by taking care of a woman who would always be in His divine mind His little girl. VIEW GOD AS YOUR FATHER-IN-LAW We often hear pastors contemplate the Fatherhood of God--a wonderful and true doctrine. But if you want to change your marriage extend this analogy and spend some time thinking about God as Father-in-Law. Because when you marry a believer He is When I fail to respect my wife--when I demean her or am condescending toward her or mistreat her in any way--I am courting trouble with her Heavenly Father who feels passionately about her welfare. At our wedding rehearsal dinner my father-in-law broke out in tears telling me how happy he was about the next day s wedding. Bill later explained what was behind the tears Gary when you married 8 THE VIRGINIA HOME EDUCATOR WINTER 2015 my daughter I thought to myself I don t have to worry about Lisa. She s found a guy who will take care of her. She s going to be okay. Now that I have two daughters in their twenties I can easily empathize. During the last conversation I had with Bill as he was dying I told him I just want you to know how grateful I am that you gave me Lisa and I want to remind you--you don t ever have to worry about Lisa. I ll make sure she s okay. I said that because I can imagine that on my own deathbed that s exactly what I would want to hear. Already secure about my eternal destiny I d be concerned about those I was leaving behind. I d want to know someone would be there for my daughters. Viewing God as father-in-law has helped me understand the apostle Peter s words when he wrote Husbands in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life so that nothing will hinder your prayers (1 Peter 3 7 NIV). That used to seem backwards to me. I thought I needed to pray for a better marriage but Peter is telling me I need a better marriage so I can pray. Looking at God through the lens of father-in-law resolved the dilemma. If a young man came to me praising me complimenting me on my character even singing songs about me and giving me ten percent of his income all the while I knew he was making one of my daughters miserable through abuse or neglect I d frankly have nothing to say to him except Hey buddy start treating my daughter better and then we can talk. You say you respect me Then take care of my little girl. To the women reading this to get a feel for how well you re treating God s son just consider how you d feel if a daughter-in-law treated your boy the way you treat your husband in any area. Would you thank God for her or would you be pleading with God that He would convict her and soften her heart FORGIVE AS GOD FORGIVES YOU Do you realize that in the height of your rebellion against God He was for you That He was working out your plan of salvation softening your heart calling you into His Kingdom You never somehow found goodness within you and released it to the point where God had to forgive you. In your deepest rebellion and most selfish state God called you out of the darkness into His wonderful light That happened. That s how God treated you. So is it too much for Him to ask us to treat our spouses with the same grace we have received We must be for our spouse as God is for us (Romans 8 31)--as God was for us even in our sins. KEEP AN ETERNAL PERSPECTIVE The older I get and the longer I am married the more I realize how crucial an eternal perspective is in order to make sense of marriage in the here and now. What I think about the future day of judgment has a huge impact on how I live this day. We should live with this glorious truth in mind For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body whether good or evil (2 Corinthians 5 10 ESV). What Paul is referring to here is a day that every Christian will face at the dawn of eternity. This is not a judgment of whether or not we will spend eternity with God--that is safe and secure in the finished work of Jesus on the cross. That is something we cannot earn or sin away. It is a gift of grace by God s mercy and God s work. The judgment seat of Christ is rather a proclamation of what we have done with God s grace and provision in our lives. That phrase whether good or bad could just as well be translated whether good or worthless. Did we waste God s mercy in the sense that we sat on our hands and soaked up God s blessings but filled our days with worthless pursuits and selfish preoccupations Or did we like Paul work with the understanding that we must give an account of our days to our heavenly Father Think of how radically this can alter our view of marriage. Most of us look at how to make our marriages work here on earth to make things more pleasant or more fulfilling in the here and now. Scripture urges us to set our sights much higher--how we live our marriage here can affect us in eternity for eternity I do believe that living a godly life has many many rewards in this life. We can celebrate those rewards and be thankful for them. But God has told us He is preparing an even better place. He has said that while there are many blessings on this good earth that we can receive with thanksgiving our ultimate reward won t be found here. Ultimate happiness won t be found here. Ultimate fulfillment won t be found here. It s waiting for us in the new heavens and the new earth so at the very least let s live our lives here remembering the importance of preparing for life there. Focusing on the new heavens and the new earth keeps us headed in the right direction. It gives us the power the will and the perspective to make eternally profitable choices when we don t experience immediate rewards or payoffs--when we love our spouse but are spurned in return when we give sacrificially and are not even thanked when we stay committed and are rewarded with a spouse s apathy or even infidelity. God has promised to set things right and He will. But He reserves the right to do so on a calendar of His choosing not ours. This can provide great endurance for those who are disappointed in this life who feel like they give and give and give and don t reap rewards and responses from their spouses. College is Coming...Are You Ready Lying awake at night worrying about the cost of college Wondering how to help your student pick the right school Do you know which schools offer 100% of Need Based Financial Aid but not a penny of Scholarships Did you know your student can receive 5 figure Merit Based Financial Aid even when you make a 6 figure income Did you know a Private College can cost less than a State Flagship University Did you know PSAT Prep is just as important as SAT ACT Prep Call us today and mention this issue for a complimentary 30 minute phone consultation and get your questions answered 703-928-9036 Luanne Lee CCPRS Your College Planning Coach 70 Main Street Ste. 32 Warrenton VA 20186 Learn more at Blue Ridge Cabin Rentals Find your Truly Restful Getaway this Winter at Request Free Info Packet (Fido is welcome too ) 540-943-8552 THE VIRGINIA HOME EDUCATOR WWW.HEAV.ORG 9 MAINTAIN YOUR FOCUS An Olympic athlete in training will go to the movies read a book stroll through a museum and have dinner out with friends. But she will never do anything that will undercut her training. Not if she s serious about winning a gold medal. She certainly wouldn t tire herself out trying to win a 5K race the day before she runs in the Olympic trials. She gives up focusing on the lesser so she can save her best efforts and express her most earnest passion for the greater. We also have to work at keeping our focus. It s easy to get lost in the important though lesser aims of marriage--trying to improve our communication getting our finances in order keeping our romance fresh and fun etc. But these are the not the stuff of life they are not the end goal. Instead I have to stay awake to an eternal perspective. I have to remember that what will be rewarded then should be the driving force behind what I choose to do today. We need to ask each other How is the hope of Heaven influencing the way we love each other the way we raise our kids the way we spend our money the way we focus our time Along with viewing God as my heavenly Father-in-law realizing I need to forgive as God has forgiven me and keeping an eternal perspective have radically changed the way I view and live in marriage. Gary Thomas is a best-selling author and international speaker whose books weave Scripture church history and the classics together to make practical applications for spiritual growth. This article is excerpted from his latest book on marriage A Lifelong Love What if Marriage Is About More Than Just Staying Together Also take a look at his book Sacred Search which is an excellent resource for your children as they contemplate marriage. Visit Gary at Co-ops established around the Southeast Reduced shipping & Quantity Discounts Call or email for co-op locations. Also visit our website for online store special offers and free cooking class videos. You can also subscribe to our free email newsletter We specialize in appliances & supplies for making fresh bread in your home as well as teaching people about the health benefits of real food. We also offer bulk food items for long term storage and high quality cookware and kitchen appliances. Bulk Foods Grains - Wheat - Kamut - Spelt - Oats - Rice - GF Grains Whole Foods Real Bread Unpasteurized honey Unprocessed sugars Olive Oil Natural sweeteners Coffee & Tea Natural Sodas Much more Kitchen Supplies Electric Grain Mills Hand Mills Mixers Bread Machines Pressure Cookers Canning Supplies Yogurt Makers Tortilla presses Dehydrators Fermentation Crocks Soy Milk Maker And much more support Phone 770-516-5000 Fax 770-516-7588 305 Bell Park Dr. Woodstock GA 30188 Beans - Kidney - White Navy - Black - Peas - Lentils - Pinto - Much more Grains and beans available in 6 gallon buckets 1 gallon pails and some in 2lb. baggies 10 THE VIRGINIA HOME EDUCATOR WINTER 2015 lulu TRYING TO BE A PERFECT MOM CRYSTAL PAINE F or years I had visions of the type of mom I would be. Calm quiet organized patient loving creative... I was going to be all those things and much more. Then I had kids. And very quickly I realized I was not at all as patient as I thought I was Motherhood has shaped me broken me changed me humbled me and caused me to rely upon God more than ever before. And one of the most important lessons I ve learned so far is to give up on perfect. It s fantastic to want to be the best mom I can be. I want to love my children well. I want to set a good example before them. I want to invest in them love them and nurture them. But it s impossible to do a perfect job. I will make mistakes. I will lose my temper. I will get frustrated. Things won t be all neat and orderly all the time. I will have days when I feel overwhelmed. I will have days when life feels hard. MY NON-PERFECT MOTHERHOOD MANTRAS Instead of getting frustrated over the mess I want to embrace it realizing that messes mean little people are exercising their creativity--a skill that will take them far in life no matter where they end up. Instead of feeling disappointed in myself for losing my patience I want to admit I was wrong and ask forgiveness of my children recognizing that this probably speaks volumes more to my children than being a perfect mom ever would. Instead of focusing on the hard and difficult things I want to soak up the beauty in each moment knowing that a grateful attitude is one of the greatest gifts I can give my family. Trying to be a perfect mom only set me up for frustration. Giving up on perfect has brought much more peace and joy--to our whole family. Crystal Paine is a child of God homeschool graduate wife to Jesse homeschool mom of three founder of and author of the New York Times bestseller Say Goodbye to Survival Mode. THE VIRGINIA HOME EDUCATOR WWW.HEAV.ORG 11 W MINUTEMEN KATRINA L. HOEFT ARE YOU READY FOR THE BATTLE e often talk about emergency preparedness in our homes churches and places of business because there is comfort in knowing a plan of action is in place. However I never expected an emergency on the morning of January 9. That all changed when my husband Kevin called me prior to leaving the office saying NEWS Channel 6 is driving out to our home to do a television interview. The reporter and camera crew will be there in forty-five minutes. They want to discuss the Goochland County School Board s Religious Exemption homeschool policy. I am on my way. As cheerfully as possible I responded Okay hung up the phone and explained to our two children what would and could happen when the news crew arrived knowing that anything could go wrong. Just before the doorbell rang Kevin gathered us together to pray as a family. The Lord s peace was such a gift. The moment I learned we would have visitors in our home whose sole purpose was to question our lifestyle and broadcast our perspective to a large audience was a game-changer. I am just an ordinary mom who journeys through life with her husband and children in a learning lifestyle. Implementing a curriculum at home certainly compels me to be ready to teach but homeschool preparedness as in this case implied something more. The freedom to home educate is intrinsically tied to parental rights and religious liberty therefore homeschool preparedness means being ready to give an answer for why we school at home and on what basis we defend this liberty. And we were ready. Prior to that night the foundational work had already been done in my heart and in my family for what was going to take place with the news crew. I didn t have to read a book clarify my educational philosophy or stop to have a long talk with Kevin as to why we decided to homeschool. We had already prayed searched the Scriptures read a myriad of books researched the law and thought through the issues. To the best of our ability we had prepared to be homeschool minutemen. MINUTEMEN ACT IN FAITH The term minuteman presumes readiness for action but does not guarantee victory. This is where faith meets action. Homeschool minutemen faithfully work to accomplish God-honoring goals being certain of the Lord s call and trusting Him for how it works out. HOMESCHOOL FAMILIES MUST BE WILLING TO DEFEND THE PRINCIPLES ON WHICH OUR LIBERTY RESTS Our own American history has provided the primary example of minutemen in action. The Battle of Lexington and Concord which took place April 18-19 1775 should inspire all home educators in our efforts to preserve liberty. Are we ready to speak truth and stand firm when faced with a threat to homeschool freedom It is comforting to learn that perfection isn t required to be a minuteman but faith humility courage perseverance and boldness are a few character traits we may need to exhibit along the way. MINUTEMEN WORK TOGETHER Paul Revere may have begun his famous midnight ride on a lone swift horse named Brown Beauty skillfully evading capture before warning John Hancock and Samuel Adams of the redcoats advance to Lexington but by no means did he act alone There was the friend who hung the two lanterns in the steeple of the Old North Church and the two friends who rowed him across the Charles River to Charlestown--not to mention the seventy militiamen who gathered on Lexington Green after he had spread the warning. We must also work together. Homeschool families are independent-minded but we shouldn t be islands unto ourselves. We must make and find opportunities to connect with other homeschool families even if they don t use the same curriculum or attend the same church. The Goochland religious exemption policy debate brought together a diverse group of home educators parents with children in public or private schools pastors and concerned citizens from the surrounding area to stand together. As Benjamin Franklin said We must indeed all hang together or most assuredly we shall all hang separately. MINUTEMEN SOUND THE ALARM In the early morning hours of April 19 Paul Revere continued his ride to Concord--but he never made it British troops blocked his way. Providentially he had met Dr. Samuel Prescott 12 THE VIRGINIA HOME EDUCATOR WINTER 2015 In 2013 the Goochland County School Board adopted a policy that required fourteen-year-old children of parents homeschooling under Virginia s religious exemption statute to write a letter stating their personal religious convictions. The School Board retained the right to call in those children and inquire whether or not they wanted to be homeschooled. Parents were threatened with referral to Goochland Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court for failure to comply. students in a complex world need an interrelated classical Christian liberal arts education Patrick Henry college Visit to request a free high school resource guide in the mail. 5 only years after graduation 1.9% of alumni 13 86.4% owed no educational debt THE VIRGINIA HOME EDUCATOR WWW.HEAV.ORG were looking for employment and Achievement Cognitive Career & Practice Tests National standardized achievement tests The Iowa Tests Stanford 10 (paper and online) TerraNova2TM - California Achievement Test Brigance Woodcock-Johnson III Strong Interest Inventory Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI ) CogAT OLSAT (paper and online) Career Tests Practice Tests for Iowa Stanford CLEP TerraNova California CogAT OLSAT S pecializing in Group discounts available Some restrictions apply Your Child is Uniquely & Wonderfully Made Triangle Education Assessments LLC 5512 Merion Station Dr Apex NC 27539 Ph. 919.387.7004 orders Toll free or fax order 1.877.843.8837 14 THE VIRGINIA HOME EDUCATOR WINTER 2015 en route earlier that evening who offered to help spread the word. Dr. Prescott escaped the British and rode through woods and swampland to warn the people of Concord about the 700 approaching British regulars. Consequently the bell tolled and Concord s militiamen prepared to fight. We must also communicate with one another to sound the alarm when threats to homeschool freedom arise. Sounding the alarm involves many people who do not let the message stop with them but who pass it along and encourage others to be involved. It doesn t matter who gets the credit what matters is advancing the message loudly and clearly. MINUTEMEN STAND THEIR GROUND The men waiting on Lexington Green must have been afraid of the powerful army approaching them. Captain John Parker reportedly told his men Stand your ground At 5 00 a.m. on April 19 British Major John Pitcairn who had boasted that the Americans would run approached the Green and told the militia Lay down your arms While some chose to leave many others stayed to fight. Homeschool families also must be willing to defend the principles on which our liberty rests It is intimidating to oppose public school superintendents and school board members. We could have avoided the pressure. Concerned citizens could have ignored the e-mails and phone calls and stayed home. The people who attended the meeting could have remained seated and not voiced their convictions. School boards may instruct parents to lay down parental authority and religious freedom but homeschool minutemen should stand firm not moving from the foundations of our liberty. MINUTEMEN ARE STEWARDS OF LIBERTY By 7 00 a.m. on April 19 a full force of 700 redcoats arrived in Concord to seize American military supplies and confiscate and burn private property. As citizens of Concord watched the smoke rising minutemen decided to advance on a group of redcoats guarding the North Bridge. More and more militia units began to pour in from other towns. The British exhausted after an all-night march now had to fight Americans along a twenty-mile battlefield on the road back to Boston. They arrived twelve hours later with nearly 300 soldiers killed or wounded. The moral victories gained at Lexington and Concord inspired Americans across the colonies and served as a catalyst beginning the War for Independence. What would prompt farmers and merchants to take up arms against professional British troops Outnumbered outgunned and out skilled in military technique the colonists were expected to run when confronted. But this was no mob of uninformed rebels. American colonials didn t suddenly decide in 1775 to rebel against the mother country. Rather Englishmen living on the American continent had been self-governing since 1607 and had established churches towns legislatures courts and militia to protect their way of life. Minutemen units were formed by citizens from the local militia who took seriously their responsibility as caretakers of liberty. Homeschool minutemen must also guard their liberty. More than thirty people addressed the Goochland County board regarding the religious exemption policy and at the end of the public comment period the board voted to completely rescind the policy. MINUTEMEN ARE HERE TO STAY After this experience I can no longer sit back passively perusing the latest curriculum catalog while ignoring the foundational issues that underscore all I do as a homeschool mom. The battle is just beginning. I have always respected pioneer homeschool parents who engaged lawmakers school superintendents and neighbors to gain the legal freedom I exercise every day but the reality has hit that the baton has passed not just to this generation of home educators but to me--an ordinary mom. May we join together to stand like colonial minutemen to preserve homeschool liberty for ourselves and our posterity. In the immortal words of Captain John Parker at Lexington Green Let it begin here -- with us. Katrina Hoeft is the leader of Christian Homeschool Connections of Goochland (CHCG) support group. The television broadcast she references can be seen at http wtvr. com 2015 01 09 goochland-parents-upsetabout-new-home-school-policy. 5 PRACTICAL WAYS YOU CAN STAND FOR HOMESCHOOL FREEDOM KATRINA L. HOEFT HOMESCHOOLING FREE. GIVE A GIFT TODAY AT WWW.HEAV.ORG DONATE THE VIRGINIA HOME EDUCATOR WWW.HEAV.ORG 15 STRESSLESS MARILYN ROCKETT Monkey Business N ow let me get this straight--a homeschool mom is supposed to teach her children (all academic subjects all day long) while she keeps her home immaculate bakes bread twice a week chauffeurs the children to two activities per day--and then still have time for her husband and her church. Right A homeschool mother certainly didn t start that rumor Regardless of false expectations a homeschooling mother does have more to do on most days than almost any other human on the planet. Disorganization adds stress and frustration to her day. Is it possible to homeschool two children--or ten--and survive Is it hard work Yes to both of those questions. However when you re organized your job is much easier and less stressful. STRESSLESS ORGANIZATION What does organization look like Let s eliminate the things that organization is not. It s not having a perfect home that could go on the cover of a magazine at all times. It is not running a boot camp in your home never allowing a mess. It certainly isn t having closets that could pose for the organized closet advertisements. Organization is a state of mind and heart that desires God s best for your home and family and the willingness to do whatever you need to do to work toward that best. It is a recognition that little things count. Elisabeth Elliot said it well in her book Keep a Quiet Heart It is not easy to find children or adults who are dependable careful thorough and faithful. So many lives seem honeycombed with small failures neglectful of the little things that make the difference between 16 order and chaos. Perhaps it is because they are so seldom taught that visible things are signs of an invisible reality that common duties may be an immeasurable ministry of love (Revell 1995). If you experience stress due to disorganization perhaps applying these ten principles will help you stress less in your home and homeschool. ORGANIZING IS WHAT YOU DO BEFORE YOU DO SOMETHING SO THAT WHEN YOU DO IT IT IS NOT ALL MIXED UP. SEE GOD S PERSPECTIVE In the bustle of life we often are shortsighted and don t realize how much the little things count. Training your children in the importance of everyday duties is as necessary as training them in academic subjects. God is a God of order He made us in His image and Scripture is replete with admonitions to plan well count our days and do things decently and in order. God tells us to do those things because they reflect His character. God never calls us to do anything for which He does not provide the means to obey. If you have grown lax in your homekeeping you need to see your home from God s perspective. TAKE TIME TO PLAN Planning well does take time. However it takes much less time to plan than to try to recover from the consequences of no planning. Each morning stop a moment to review the day s plans or stop each evening for ten minutes to plan the following day. Take a larger block of time once a week to review the coming week. Ecclesiastes 8 5b-6a tells us that a wise heart knows the proper time and procedure for everything. That is only true when you take time to reflect on wise plans. REEVALUATE YOUR PLANS Your plans don t always work out as you thought or hoped they would do they When you see that a particular plan or method is not working you need to reevaluate to see where you can make an effective change. Plans are your tools and means to accomplish the important things in life. It is normal for plans to change when they are not serving the intended purpose. An old proverb says A good plan today is better than a perfect plan tomorrow. Continual reevaluation will help you reach your intended destination. ESTABLISH PRIORITIES The most difficult part of getting organized is making choices. When your priorities are firmly established you are able to fill your time with the best choices maintaining a sense of direction. Personal and family priorities keep you on track and help you say no to things that do not fit your established priorities. Conscious choices are better than choices by default. A written Family Mission Statement compiled by the family gives direction and keeps balance in your home. Sit down together and decide what is most THE VIRGINIA HOME EDUCATOR WINTER 2015 important to the family. Fill in the blanks for these statements Our family purpose is ___. Does ___ [a specific activity] fit our purpose Your list allows you to produce a mission statement that brings the family together for common purposes. SET GOALS Priorities give you direction but goals are the means that move you in that direction. For success goals must be simple specific measurable and attainable. State goals in positive rather than negative terms. I won t let the laundry pile up is not a goal. I will keep the laundry current and in the drawers closets immediately after it is clean each week is a positive goal. I will wash one load of laundry per day Monday through Friday will fold the load before lunch and will have the children put the clean clothes away after lunch is a plan to reach that goal. Don t overplan and try to accomplish too many things at once. Work on the things that bother you most or the things that are out of control before tackling other problems. When you prioritize a problem and set a goal for changing it you put the problem on track for a remedy. Your feeling of accomplishment when you see progress in areas in which you struggle motivates you to continue setting other goals. SIMPLIFY YOUR SYSTEM No matter what method you choose to keep up with your activities keep it simple. Some people prefer to use only a calendar others prefer a nice paper planner or electronic means. Don t tie yourself to a method that seems too complicated for you. Your planner or organizer is your tool and it should help you get the things done that you need to do. If it doesn t examine why that is true. Are you failing to use it properly to help you or is it the wrong tool for you Simplify your choices in every area possible--meals sched- ule and housework--and establish a simple basic routine for your homekeeping. If you stick to a simple household routine adding extras when possible you will always have the basics accomplished. LIST YOUR PLANS Lists won t do your work for you but they do keep you on track and aid your memory as your day squeezes tighter. If you keep one central planner or notebook you will avoid scattered or lost notes to yourself. A written plan crystallizes your thinking and holds you accountable for what you said you were going to do. It helps you see the bigger picture when you record your plans and activities on a calendar plan book or notebook. How you put it in writing isn t as important as actually doing it in some way. Use what is comfortable for you. ELIMINATE CLUTTER We don t like to talk about clutter and it frustrates us in multiple areas of our lives. We are ashamed of the messes (otherwise why would we try to explain them away) and clutter usually causes more difficulty in our lives than we realize. The truth is that life is messy in all kinds of ways and we have to face it eventually. Strive for the balance that I call functional neatness --neat enough to be peaceful and messy enough to be happy. Deal with the clutter in your life and experience freedom to produce fruit in important things. In the process you will also teach your children to be good stewards of their possessions and their time. SLOW DOWN Life moves fast. Why do we believe that we can add more and more to our lives and not suffer the consequences Homeschooling affords the opportunity for us to love and raise our children at a THE VIRGINIA HOME EDUCATOR WWW.HEAV.ORG 17 pace that produces real fruit and real life. Place time with the Lord first--He is your source of strength and wisdom. Learn to say no based on your priorities and take time to rest and refresh yourself to continue in your mission. In Little Things a book of quotations edited by Louise Bachelder I came across this wise advice from Josh Billings One half the troubles of this life can be traced to saying yes too quick and not saying no soon enough (The Peter Pauper Press 1969). Slow down to eternal speed and enjoy your family STAY THE COURSE If you haven t planned well evaluate how you failed and plan to do better. God is the one who is able and His grace is boundless. When you commit to persevere He will honor that commitment and lift you up to fulfill your mission. The Word of God encourages you to persevere in the most important task the Lord has called you to do--raise godly children. Therefore my beloved [sisters] be steadfast immovable always abounding in the work of the Lord knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord (1 Corinthians 15 58 NASB). Faithful is He who calls you and He also will bring it to pass (1 Thessalonians 5 24 NASB). I love what A. A. Milne (creator of Winnie-the-Pooh) said about organization Organizing is what you do before you do something so that when you do it it is not all mixed up. In order to display God s glory through our homes and families we don t want our homes to be all mixed up. With God s strength you can reverse what could possibly be your most stress-inducing concern--disorganization. You and your family will reap the peaceful rewards of an organized household. Marilyn Rockett homeschooled for fifteen years before she ran out of sons to teach. Her book Homeschooling at the Speed of Life provides organizational helps. Visit her website at or contact her at marilyn to learn more. This article first appeared in the Spring 2007 issue of TVHE. COMING TO JANUARY 6 7 28 26 29 19 How to Begin Success Seminar High School Success Seminar HEAV Day at the Capitol Children s Museum of Virginia & Virginia Sports Hall of Fame - Portsmouth Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center - Virginia Beach Agecroft Hall Virginia Living Museum CalmParenting University Mount Vernon American Civil War Museum & NPS sNationalBattlefieldPark-Richmond Luray Caverns - Luray FEBRUARY MARCH 3 5 8 11 14-19 HEAV works with museums and theme parks to arrange events for Virginia homeschoolers. For more information see events. 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These former homeschooled students grew up in environments that encouraged academic challenge from a Christian foundation. Today they re experiencing this and more thanks to Regent s high-quality degree options honors program and expert professors who also serve as mentors. Ready to join our family Learn about our homeschool-friendly admissions policies and tuition discounts for HSLDA members. Associate Bachelor s Master s Doctoral ON CAMPUS & ONLINE Top 7% Most Affordable Undergraduate Christian Colleges CCCU Survey 2015 CAS150685 APPLY TODAY. 888.718.1222 THE VIRGINIA HOME EDUCATOR WWW.HEAV.ORG Christian Leadership to Change the World 19 2100 W. Laburnum Avenue n Suite 108A n Richmond VA 23227 Non-ProfitOrganization U.S. Postage Permit No. 297 Richmond VA 23230 PAID HOMESCHOOLING FREE. GIVE A GIFT TODAY AT WWW.HEAV.ORG DONATE Train up a child in the way he should go... 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