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Description: CHOIS Magazine is published for Christian Home Educators in Idaho State

FedeRaL student tRacking DEFEATED Connection a magazine for idaho home educators Spring 2016 hate hoMeschooLing Oui S Ja You Can Teach FoReign Language at Home INCONCEIVABLE Right Path for M ath The got Roots Be an Arborist Intentional See inside for details homeschool convention 18th annual SubScribe Today Connection a magazine for idaho home educators FedeRaL student tRacking DEFEATED Spring 2016 INCONCEIVABLE hate hoMeschooLing 1 YEAR 10 Name Street Box City State Zip Code Phone Mail this form and checks to CHOIS P.O. Box 45062 Boise ID 83711 Oui S Ja You Can Teach FoReign Language at Home for Right Path Math The got Roots Be an Arborist Intentional See inside for details homeschool convention 18th annual In this issue you will find all the convention details and a mail-in registration form. You are welcome to register online at and visit our website for updated information. DETAILS convention 18th Annual Idaho State Homeschool Email SPECIAL 5 9 18 18 or go to to subscribe online FEATURES FROM THE EDITOR ICHE BULLETIN BOARD USED CURRICULUM SALE WE NEED YOU AS A VOLUNTEER CHOIS does not want financial hardship to keep anyone from being connected so please accept a complimentary subscription if you are unable to pay. CHOIS exists to inspire Idaho parents to educate their children at home to promote parent-led family-funded relationship-based home education and to preserve homeschool freedoms. We are a non-profit organization committed to encouraging homeschooling families. The CHOIS Connection a quarterly magazine seeks to provide encouragement and help for Idaho homeschooling families. ................................. WEBSITE Please visit us at LIKE US 19 YOUNG ENTREPRENUERS 19 TEEN PROGRAM 27 CHILDREN S PROGRAM 30 FAMILY FUN FIELDTRIPS A faithful community where we share our days with you. CHOIS FOLLOW US Get on-the-go homeschool updates and see what we are up to. CHOIS PIN US Check out our boards on the things many homeschool moms love. CHOIS WAYS YOU CAN HELP Spread the word about CHOIS to family and friends. Like us on Facebook and encourage your friends to Like us too. Collect Box Tops for Education for CHOIS. Donate to the CHOIS Silent Auction. Join us in our effort to connect the whole state. Check out the website for volunteer needs. Pray for the CHOIS Board of Directors and volunteers we really need it 2 CHOIS COnneCtIOn SPRING 2016 INSIDE the issue SPRING 2016 Connection a magazin e for idaho hom e educators ON THE 6 8 12 20 COVER JOY IN THE JOURNEY H ate HOmeScHOOling incOnceiVaBle STAYING THE COURSE Federal Student tracking deFeated PARENTING cOnVentiOn inSert A SOLID FOUNDATION g Ot rOOtS Be an INTENTIONAL a rBOriSt BRIGHT BEGINNINGS tHe r igHt PatH FOr m atH HOMESCHOOL ENRICHMENT 24 28 YOu can teacH FOreign l anguage at HOme SPRING 2016 CHOIS COnneCtIOn 3 DESIGNING TO MAKE THE WORLD A BETTER PLACE NNU engineering students take on projects that transform their perspectives while transforming the world. One 2015 team designed green houses for the community of Fatima Argentina then traveled there to help turn their vision into a reality. JORDAN DYK 2015 Engineering Graduate It is our hope that this process will help the community grow closer and provide the church a unique opportunity to share the Word of Christ. --Jordan Dyk NNU.EDU TRANSFORMED 4 CHOIS COnneCtIOn SPRING 2016 From The Homeschool Friends Editor PUBLISHER CHOIS EDITOR Linda Patchin MAGAZINE LAYOUT & DESIGN Diana Childress Copyright 2014 by Christian Homeschoolers Of Idaho State. CHOIS Connection is published quarterly by Christian Homeschoolers of Idaho State. 2014 CHOIS Connection. All rights reserved. No material may be reproduced in any form without the express written permission of the publisher. CHOIS is solely responsible for its content. DISCLAIMER The articles contained in this publication have been prepared for and are intended to provide information that may be useful to Idaho home educators. The reader must evaluate this information in light of the unique circumstances of any particular situation and must determine independently the applicability of this information thereto. COLUMNISTS The views of guest columnists do not necessarily reflect the views of CHOIS. SUBSCRIPTION Subscribe by mail (see page 25) or online at http www.chois. org chois-connection subscribe ADDRESS PO Box 45062 Boise Idaho 83711. Phone (208) 866-5773 WEBSITE ADVERTISING Rates are available upon request by email at advertising chois. org or by calling (208) 866-5773. CHOIS reserves the right to refuse without explanation any advertisement it deems unsuitable. Moving Please send your new address to info so that you can stay Connected Are you ready to say good-bye to winter I know I am. It s hard to believe that another school year is about to draw to a close. For the CHOIS team spring means that our convention plans are beginning to emerge like the green shoots of crocus and it won t be long before we re in full bloom. We are so excited to share more about our plans in the convention insert issue of this magazine. To begin we are humbled and blessed by the generosity of Northwest Nazarene University. Even in the midst of last year s convention their staff was formulating a plan to improve our convention experience in the future. Their plan includes using a greater portion of their campus. We are excited for this opportunity to create an enjoyable full-campus full-family extravaganza Here is what it will look like Our keynote sessions will all take place in the lovely Swayne Auditorium in the Brandt Center. This state-of-the-art auditorium has cushy comfortable seats and a new sound system that is amazing. Our workshops will all take place in large classrooms across the campus. We will have a fun theme to guide you from one location to the next. We know our exhibit hall was in the perfect location last year and so it will remain in the Johnson Sports Center fieldhouse which is also where our used curriculum sale will take place. We have a wonderful assortment of speakers and topics that we know you will enjoy. Our teens and children s programs are brand new this year written especially for our convention. Both programs fill up quickly so please do not hesitate to register. As always you can read full workshop descriptions and a full list of our exhibitors at the website. Online registration is open and easy and of course you can always register through the mail as well. Please take a few minutes to look over the convention insert in this issue and we hope that we will see you in June. Have a wonderful spring Linda Patchin Now offering digital downloads for your convention recordings 4 Create an account with This can be done either before during or after the convention. As the convention nears look for the CHOIS Convention under Featured Conferences at Add your favorite sessions to your cart and then check out. You will receive an email with a download link. ORDER FROM YOUR PHONE COMPUTER OR ON-SITE AT THE CHOIS BOOTH. SPRING 2016 CHOIS COnneCtIOn 5 JOY IN THE JOURNEY by Linda Patchin Hate Homeschooling INCONCEIVABLE If you re looking for someone that you can relate to then Heidi will exceed your expectations. The title of one of her presentations makes me sigh in relief REAL Life Homeschooling. One of her workshops addresses a topic rarely seen at a homeschool convention Cultivating REAL Relationships with Other Women. Friendships are important and many homeschool moms confess to feeling lonely at times. Heidi can help. It is no exaggeration to say that you will love Heidi Our other keynote speaker has been requested often but is in such high demand that we have had a tough time securing him. We are thrilled to announce that Steve Demme will join us again in Idaho Steve has been married to Sandra for 37 years and they are the parents of four sons. He is the author of MathUSee and the founder of Building Faith Families. I was once guilty of presuming that the author of a math curriculum might a tad boring. Images of my crazy-haired college Algebra professor clouded my vision. But then I got to know Steve and first of all he doesn t even have hair and if he did I am certain that he would comb it. Secondly Steve has a sense of humor and he isn t afraid to use it. And while one might think that the author of a math curriculum would want to speak about math the truth of the matter is that he doesn t. Steve is full of passion and the fuel that fires him is his desire to help build strong families. Steve will share his failures and successes. He will talk about the valleys of marriage parenting and life and the means for redeeming them. He will share his heart Bad days. We all have them. Days when we actually look up the phone number of the nearest school and long to declare a teacher s holiday. If you haven t had one then you probably haven t been homeschooling long enough. One young mom recently posted on social media that she officially HATES homeschooling. She claimed to be posting from her closet where she was eating ice cream from the carton while her children were attempting to escape her wrath by pretending to do schoolwork. This sweet mom was only kidding. Mostly. What I appreciated about her post was her honesty. She could have kept silent and let everyone believe that her homeschool was rolling along in pleasant perfection. She chose transparency instead. Her friends surrounded her with support and understanding and no judgement because they too have had those kind of days. My beautiful friend eventually found the strength to leave her closet apologize to her children and start all over again. She recognized that even difficult days of homeschooling are worth it. I imagine that some of her friends were surprised to discover that they had something in common with this seemingly perfect homeschool mom. And that is the beauty of it. We can all relate to someone who willingly kicks the pedestal out from under themselves by exposing their insecurities and imperfection. We appreciate someone who has the humility to reveal their shortcomings as they model persistency and grace under fire. One such unpretentious lady will be our keynote speaker at the convention this year. Heidi St. John is the author of several books including The Busy Mom s Guide to Daylight. She has been married to Jay for 26 years and they are the parents of seven children and have two grandsons. She speaks with a unique sense of humor while maintaining her trademark transparency. 6 CHOIS COnneCtIOn SPRING 2016 for special needs. His youngest son John has Down s syndrome and Steve serves on the board of Joni and Friends. Please don t miss this opportunity to meet Steve. It s taken us 15 years to get him back to Idaho and while we hope to bring him again before 15 more years pass the truth is your youngest child may be graduated before we can. Another speaker that I am excited to be bringing is Will Estrada. Will is a homeschool graduate as well as an attorney for Home School Legal Defense Association. He works on Capitol Hill as their Federal Relations Director among many other duties. He and his wife Rachel are the parents of one son. For several years Will taught our teens in the Generation Joshua program at our convention. It is now a wonderful privilege for adults to hear him speak. Will is a leading expert on all things Common Core and parental rights. He will share the unique perspective of a homeschool graduate on nontraditional education particularly at the college level. Will possesses the gift of being able to communicate volumes of information effectively. His engaging style will have you sitting on the edge of your seat. We are very thankful to Northwest Nazarene University. They were wonderful hosts last year. They recognized the limitations of their sports complex for our convention and have since opened up their entire campus for our use. We have many special plans for celebrating this opportunity to stretch our cramped legs...and those who attended the convention last year will appreciate our more comfortable seating. The convention will begin in the spacious and elegant Swayne Auditorium in the Brandt Center. After our morning keynote we will spread out for the day. It will be great to take some outside breaks between workshops If you need one more reason to attend the convention here it is Community. Come and find the support and encouragement you need face-to-face with hundreds of other parents who understand. in con ceiv a ble adjective not capable of being imagined or grasped mentally unbelievable. synonyms unbelievable beyond belief incredible unthinkable unimaginable extremely unlikely impossible beyond the bounds of possibility out of the question preposterous ridiculous ludicrous absurd incomprehensible When I asked my Facebook friend about whether or not she really hated homeschooling she gave a thoughtful reply which I ll share with you here and sense of community that only homeschoolers offer each other. I eat a lot more ice cream now than I ever did before I doubt myself as a mother and teacher more than I ever thought possible but I have grown more than I ever expected. Homeschooling has made me a better mother better wife and a terrible house keeper. Please join us at the convention this year where you will be loved encouraged supported and pampered. Leave your ice cream at home y Truly what sent me to the closet was my own glaring failure. You asked if I really hate homeschooling and my first response is YES My relationship with homeschooling walks a fine line of love and hate daily... I hate the process I hate that I am so picky about the way I want things done I hate that I have to let go of control and let them figure it out. The list could go on. With all of that said I love homeschooling. I love that it is forcing me to relax I love that I get to see all of my precious babies special moments right here at my kitchen table. I love the support LINDA PATCHIN completed her homeschool journey several years ago when her youngest son graduated from high school. She is excited to be a guest speaker at three state conventions this year. She loves serving on the CHOIS Board of Directors. SPRING 2016 CHOIS COnneCtIOn 7 STAYING THE COURSE by William A. Estrada Esq. Federal Student Tracking DEFEATED Imagine if the federal government tried to track every student in America based on whether they were privateschooled public-schooled or homeschooled. Congress recently attempted to do just that for the children of all Department of Defense civilian and military employees. Every year Congress passes the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). This bill sets the priorities for the U.S. Armed Forces. It establishes what military equipment will be purchased sets policy for military personnel and (in a nutshell) guides the military for the next year. Some NDAAs are very controversial while others fly under the radar. In recent years HSLDA has attached crucial language to the NDAA that allows homeschoolers to enlist in the military and we re grateful to our friends in Congress for helping us with these victories. Earlier this year the House of Representatives Armed Services Committee which is chaired by Representative Mac Thornberry (TX) began its marathon markup of the NDAA. During the markup the bill gets discussed in committee and various sections are often added. Markups can last all day or even stretch across multiple days. NOT-SO-SUBTLE CHANGE During one of these markup sessions Representative Mark Takai (HI) quietly inserted Section 574 into the NDAA. This section would have allowed the 8 CHOIS COnneCtIOn SPRING 2016 E ditor s military to study whether or not the Pentagon should maintain records of where students who are dependents of members of the Armed Forces or Department of Defense civilian employees are enrolled in elementary or secondary education be it private public or home-schooled. This section could have slipped in under the radar except for one thing your friendly HSLDA Federal Relations department. We have a cutting-edge program that tracks every bill that is introduced amended or even moves on Capitol Hill. Our program flagged the mention of student tracking and homeschoolers--and as we read this language we realized that this section had to be stripped out of the NDAA. We immediately reached out to Chairman Mac Thornberry s staff and told them that homeschoolers (and many other families) are strongly opposed to any tracking of their children by a government agency. We explained that there was no good reason for this tracking. If the military wants to help children when their parents deploy the Pentagon should offer support to all parents (and there are currently many such programs available to our war fighters and their families). There is absolutely no need to have a Big Brother-style tracking system for children whose parents defend our nation. We d love to say that our stirring words fixed the problem--but alas that was not the case. In a tense conversation Chairman Thornberry s staffer indicated that they were resistant to the idea of eliminating Section 574. HSLDA instantly sprang into action. We reached out to House leadership including senior staff for House Speaker John Boehner (OH) House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (LA) and House Conference Chair Cathy McMorris Note Will Estrada works behind the scenes on Capitol Hill for our benefit. This article describes his daily effort on our behalf. We hope you will come hear him speak at the convention this year and catch his contagious enthusiasm for home education. ICHE BULLETIN BOARD Rodgers (WA). Speaker Boehner s staff in particular quickly assured us that they would work with us to make sure this language was stripped out of the final bill. May 1 2016 TeST reSulTS Mailed loST in The Mail Contact registrations STRATEGIC DECISION At that point HSLDA had a choice to make. The NDAA was rapidly moving to a vote by the full House of Representatives. Should we send out a nationwide action alert and try to stop the entire bill on the House floor over this section Or should we make a strategic retreat in the House focus on defeating this language in the Senate s version of the NDAA and then defeat this language in the conference committee when the two differing bills were put on the table We chose the strategic retreat. We told House leadership that we wouldn t oppose the NDAA on the House floor but that we would hold them to their promise of helping us eliminate this language in the final bill. HSLDA then met with senior staff for Senate Armed Services Committee members including Lindsey Graham (SC) Mike Lee (UT) and Ted Cruz (TX). We also made sure that the staffs for Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCain (AZ) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (KY) knew about our concerns. All of the staff on the Senate side were very favorable to HSLDA s request and they assured us that they shared our concerns about student tracking. We were very pleased when the Senate s version of the NDAA bill passed without this student tracking language ever even being introduced. We began circulating a coalition letter May 1 - auguST 1 2016 TeSTing regiSTraTion open ICHE TESTING IS NOT ALIGNED WITH COMMON CORE regiSTer Online Mail-in download form Offered at 19 regions throughout Idaho Closes midnight August 1 honor STudenTS & cordS Qualifying scores earn Who s Who nomination 5th - 12th grade Summa Cum Laude Scholars designation 9th 12th grade Follow us on Facebook Idaho State Homeschool IdahoCoalitionOfHomeEducators Graduation honor cords Follow us on Facebook IdahoCoalitionOfHomeEducators SPRING 2016 CHOIS COnneCtIOn 9 STAYING THE COURSE for signatures. We have long-standing relationships with many privacyfocused organizations and were able to get 20 organizations from across the political spectrum to sign our letter which we sent to representatives who were on the conference committee. We also sent out action alerts to our HSLDA members who live in the states of the chairmen and ranking members on the Armed Services committees asking them to encourage these four representatives to reject the House language that authorized a student tracking study and to follow the Senate s example which did not have this student tracking language. In a victory for student privacy and homeschool freedom the House and Senate released their NDAA conference report at the end of September. There was no mention of a student tracking feasibility study. The NDAA Conference Report was approved by the House of Representatives on October 1 and the Senate followed suit a few days later. Due to an unrelated issue President Obama vetoed the NDAA but a modified version (which also had no mention of a student tracking feasibility study) passed Congress and was signed into law on November 25. overwhelming phone calls and emails carried the day. But homeschoolers also win many other victories which are not as public. Your membership in HSLDA allows us to serve you as the only homeschool organization with a constant presence on Capitol Hill. Our relationships with members of Congress and their staffs and our constant tracking of legislation allows us to defeat dangerous bills-- sometimes even before they become public. And we couldn t do this without your ongoing support. WILL ESTRADA is a homeschool graduate who began working for HSLDA in 2004. He directs HSLDA s Federal Relations department and as HSLDA s representative on Capitol Hill Will uses his passion for homeschooling to advocate for all homeschoolers. For five years Will directed Generation Joshua and managed the CHOIS teen program. In 2011 he became director of federal relations for Will is a member of the U.S. Supreme Court bar and the California bar. Will is married to Rachel a homeschool graduate and a professional pastel artist. Together with their son Dominic the Estrada family resides in northern Virginia. REACHING OUT At the same time we reached out again to House Armed Services Committee Chairman Mac Thornberry. This time we met with a senior staffer who was very sympathetic to our concerns. We believe that the attention brought to this issue including by members of the House leadership made the difference. A senior House staffer told us later Many thanks to the due diligence [HSLDA] did to draw awareness to the issue. It really helped us in negotiations. tHere IS abSOlutely nO need tO Have a b Ig brOtHer-Style traCkIng SyStem fOr CHIldren wHOSe parentS defend Our natIOn. We share this story with you to thank you for your membership in HSLDA. Homeschoolers have won many public victories--most recently against the UN Disabilities Treaty where your 10 CHOIS COnneCtIOn SPRING 2016 SPRING 2016 CHOIS COnneCtIOn 11 H C ho ol om e s c t ion v en on od be to G glory the Friday June 3 and Saturday June 4 2016 Fees Registration Early Registration is available at the discounted price of 50 for an individual or married couple and is open online at from March 1 through June 1 2016. You may also register through the mail by sending in the registration form from the next page paying by check. Please understand that there is a size restriction on the children s and teen s programs and the best way to ensure enrollment is to register online early. Once these programs are full we will not be able to accept any more child or teen registrations either online or through the mail. Be advised that if you are registering through the mail you should check online first to be certain that space is still available for children and teens. Parents of Preschoolers Parents of Preschoolers Free Admission Program is intended to reach families before their children are of school age as a positive way to expand and share the vision of home education. To help reach parents of preschoolers we are offering free admission. This is a great way to invite young families to come to the convention to learn more about parent-let familyfunded relationship-based home education. If you know someone who meets the following criteria please tell them about this opportunity. To participate Their oldest child must be under five years of age. They must be first-time attendees to the CHOIS Convention. They must register for the convention prior to May 20 2016. CHOIS COnneCtIOn SPRING 2016 OnneCtIOn On Site Registration After June 1 registration will only be accepted at the door. The at-the-door admission fee for an individual or married couple is 60.00. It is not possible to register a child at the door. Non-homeschooling Grandparents Free of Charge We understand the importance of grandparents in Non-Homeschooling Grandparents are always welcome to attend the the homeschooling process. convention for free if they attend with their adult children who are registered for the convention. Grandparents who are still homeschooling their own children must register separately and pay the admission fee. 12 S omething very special happens when homeschooling parents gather together as a community The atmosphere is charged with excitement and expectation when parents who share a similar vision and passion meet together face-to-face. NNU BRANDT CENTER Join us the first weekend in June as we utilize the full NNU campus to meet quality vendors and hear speakers with a message of hope and encouragement. You ll receive a wealth of practical ideas and insights to help you as you nurture develop disciple and teach your child. You will also enjoy shopping in our expansive exhibit hall offering a wide array of quality curriculum and resources. But that s not all We have several exciting new things in store for 2016. It is our prayer that you will leave the convention refreshed re-energized strengthened inspired and full of new ideas for the year ahead. Make plans to join us as CHOIS hosts the 18th Annual Idaho Homeschool Convention And remember when the convention is over CHOIS will still be serving the Idaho homeschool community all year long. The CHOIS Board of Directors is honored to serve you and your family. See you at the convention NAMPA IDAHO Anyone can listen to a recording or podcast of a great talk or place an order online but sharing the experience together in person is dynamic and energizing. God meets us here. He provides answers and direction often through other homeschooling parents. The CHOIS convention is so much more than just listening to a speaker or shopping for curriculum...although you will certainly find those things and more. Attending the convention is a unique opportunity to get inspired refreshed and equipped to continue--or perhaps begin--the adventure of home education. The convention is meaningful because of the person you sit next to in a workshop the conversations you have between sessions or while waiting in line at the concession stand. You receive encouragement and you have opportunities to encourage others. Linda Patchin CHOIS Convention Director now REGISTER AND SAVE 10 early regiSTraTion by Mail M ay 20 2016 online J une 1 2016 Visit for more information and To regiSTer online . Convention Registration Open Keynote Session Exhibit Hall Open Workshops Lunch Break Vendor Workshops Workshops Workshops Keynote Session 8 00 8 45 10 00 11 10 12 00 12 45 1 30 3 10 5 05 Schedule The adult admission fee is for an individual or married couple. Free spouse admission is included to encourage husbands and wives to attend together. Adult Admission am - 6 00 pm am - 10 00 am am - 5 00 pm am - 12 00 pm pm - 1 30 pm pm - 1 15 pm pm - 2 20 pm pm - 4 00 pm pm - 6 15 pm 50 60 Free Free 25 30 March 1 - June 1 At the Door Non-Homeschooling Grandparent Parents of Preschoolers Youth Admission Childrens Program (5-11) Teen Program (12-18) SPRING 2016 CHOIS COnneCtIOn 13 Children & Teens We love children and want to include them whenever possible. This conference is geared for parent teacher enrichment and learning so we encourage you to make childcare arrangements for your children. See page 27 for details about this year s all-new Children s Program New Testament Adventure The Children s Program is for ages 5-11 with an admission price of 25 per child. See page 19 for details about this year s Christian Teen Program iNegotiate presented by Generation Joshua. Teen Program admission is 30 per student for ages 12-18. Volunteer Opportunities Volunteers are an integral part of the success of the annual Idaho Home Education Convention and Curriculum Fair hosted by CHOIS. Our convention is run entirely by volunteers from the convention director to the registration staff. Our volunteer workers help keep costs to a minimum while continuing to provide an excellent conference. We are looking for responsible adults to volunteer in a variety of positions at our convention. If you would like to be a part of our team please see the Volunteer tab on for more information. Pastors CHOIS recognizes the value of pastoral support for homeschooling families. Pastors and their spouses are invited to attend the convention for free. If you are a pastor please send a request for free admission on church letterhead along with your registration form. We regret that we cannot offer scholarships to children and teens. Exhibit Hall The convention is a great place to purchase your homeschool curricula and supplies. The Exhibit Hall will be located in the Johnson Sports Center on the NNU campus 313 E. Dewey St. in Nampa. Exhibit Hall Only Pass Free of Charge Saturday June 4th l 10 00am - 1 00 pm For those who have limited time and just wish to come shop in the exhibit hall we offer an Exhibit Hall Only Pass which will be available on site starting at 9 45am Saturday. Silent Auction CHOIS will host a silent auction with proceeds going to underwrite the printing and postage expenses of the CHOIS Connection magazine. Many wonderful items and services have been donated and will be awarded to the highest bidder. For more information or to donate an item please email info Scholarships CHOIS is able to provide a very limited number of scholarships. Please email info for more information. Food Support CHOIS by purchasing food onsite at the convention. Breakfast lunch and snacks will be available in the Johnson Sports Center during the convention and the Used Curriculum Sale. Additionally there are many restaurants located near NNU. Feel free to bring a sack lunch from home and enjoy a picnic on campus. Hotel Accommodations The following establishments have offered reduced rates for those attending our event. To receive the reduced rate you must ask for the CHOIS Convention block and make reservations prior to May 1 2016. Hampton Inn & Suites Nampa at the Idaho Center 5750 E. Franklin Rd. Nampa ID 83687 (208) 442-0036 Holiday Inn Express Nampa-Idaho Center 4104 E. Flamingo Ave. Nampa ID 83687 (208) 466-4045 14 CHOIS COnneCtIOn SPRING 2016 OnneCtIOn Keynote Speakers Heidi St. John Heidi St. John has been married to her husband Jay since 1989. Together they have seven children and one grandson The St. Johns children range in age from under five to adult. They have homeschooled the kids all the way through high school. A favorite conference and radio speaker Heidi approaches marriage and parenting with humor and grace. Her passion to encourage moms and set them free to be who God has created them to be will bless and encourage you. WWW.THEBUSYMOM.COM Steve Demme Steve and his wife Sandra have been married since 1979. They have been blessed with four sons three lovely daughters-in-law and three special grandchildren. Their fourth son John has Downs Syndrome and lives with them in Lititz PA. Steve has served in full or part time pastoral ministry for many years after graduating from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and has served on the board of Joni and Friends Eastern PA. He is the creator of Math-U-See and the founder of Building Faith Families. WWW.BUILDINGFAITHFAMILIES.ORG Something very special happens when Homeschooling Families gather together as a community Featured Speakers Copper Webb When asked as a little girl what she wanted to be when she grew up Copper would answer A homeschooling mommy. Until she reached that season of life Copper used her love for teaching in schools churches and on ski hills. Now with a fabulous husband Mike of 11 years and four beautiful children Copper is thrilled to have landed her dream job as a second-generation Idaho homeschooler. Copper wrote the curriculum that CHOIS has been using for the past decade in their Children s Program and she is the Bright Beginnings columnist for the CHOIS Connection magazine. She occasionally blogs with a baby on her lap at Mike and Copper Webb are CHOIS Board members endeavoring to encourage and equip young families who are establishing their own homeschools. EARLYLEARNINGHOME.COM Will Estrada Will is a homeschool graduate who began working for HSLDA in 2004. He directs HSLDA s Federal Relations department and as HSLDA s representative on Capitol Hill Will uses his passion for homeschooling to advocate for all homeschoolers. For five years Will directed Generation Joshua and managed our teen program. In 2011 he became director of federal relations for is a member of the U.S. Supreme Court bar and the California bar. Will and his wife Rachel who is also a homeschool graduate as well as a professional pastel artist and their son Dominic reside in northern Virginia. WWW.HSLDA.ORG SPRING 2016 CHOIS COnneCtIOn 15 Featured Speakers Linda Patchin Linda Patchin has been married to her college sweetheart Paul since 1980. They have four children who were homeschooled from birth through high school and who have since graduated from college. Linda is a founding and current board member of Christian Homeschoolers of Idaho State. She is a regular columnist for the CHOIS Connection magazine and her articles have appeared in many other state homeschool magazines. She lives in Boise Idaho where she loves to offer encouragement to homeschool parents. WWW.CHOIS.ORG Daniel Bobinski Daniel Bobinski is a homeschooling dad a workplace training consultant and Director of Family Experience Ministries. As a Certified Behavioral Analyst with a Masters Degree in Education Daniel loves helping people learn how to connect more deeply with their family and with God. Daniel is the author of numerous books including Become a Student of Your Students co-authored with his wife Jeralynne. He has been interviewed by FOX News CNN Money and of all things ESPN Radio. Amy Vassar Amy Vassar is a homeschool graduate homeschool mom and college professor. After graduating from high school in 1999 she attended College of Idaho where she earned a B.A. in Spanish M.A. in Teaching and Idaho Teaching Certificate. She embarked on a teaching career which led through elementary ESL high school Spanish and online teaching before arriving at her dream job of teaching at a community college. Today she teaches Spanish at College of Western Idaho and is active in initiatives for improving online and hybrid instruction at the college. Amy s husband Paul is a business owner and they have four children ranging in age from 17 years to 11 months. Jason Colwell Jason Colwell is a homeschool graduate homeschool dad and mathematics professor. His love for math was ignited as a child in a math club run by a local professor. After graduating highschool he decided to pursue mathematics further and attended the University of Alberta for both his undergraduate and Master s degrees. At age 26 he received his Ph.D in Mathematics from Caltech and has been teaching math to (mostly) eager students ever since. At present he teaches here in Idaho at Northwest Nazarene University. He is active on his church worship team and enjoys writing and performing music in his spare time. Together he and his wife homeschool their two children in 3rd and 1st grade. Molly Benton Molly Benton and her husband Dave are parents of four homeschool graduates and a son in the 7th grade. The fourth graduate has Down Syndrome and is 20 years old. Their three oldest children are married and Dave and Molly have been blessed with two grandsons. Molly has a passion for investing in the lives of other parents with special needs children. 16 CHOIS COnneCtIOn SPRING 2016 OnneCtIOn Cheri Reiswig Cheri is a veteran Home Educator of 24 years. She and her husband Kim former Idaho residents and CHOIS board members live in Minnesota. With BS and MS degrees in music and education Cheri also taught (K12) general vocal and instrumental music in public and private schools. She has participated in church worship music for 47 years. Kim and Cheri are blessed with 7 children who are now adults and live in 6 states across the US. They recently welcomed their 7th grandchild. Cheri is in her first year of retirement and is looking for her encore career. William Boyd Will has worked in science education for over fifteen years in various capacities including as the education director of a public lands advocacy organization science chair and teacher at Montrose Christian Academy in Moscow ID and as an instructor at the University of Idaho. He is the founder and board president of the Homeschool Institute of Science (HIS Inc.) and he absolutely loves encouraging and inspiring his sons and others whom he teaches to explore God s great Creation WWW.HOMESCHOOLSCIENCE.ORG Check-in 8 00-8 30 FRIDAY JUNE 3RD SATURDAY JUNE 4TH Children Check-in 8 00 KEYNOTE 8 45-10 00 KEYNOTE 8 45-10 00 R.E.A.L Life Homeschooling St. John St. John Demme Estrada Boyd Patchin Webb St. John Demme Estrada Boyd Patchin Vassar St. John Demme Estrada Reiswig Bobinski Webb Demme The Family that Stays Together Stays Together Demme St. John Estrada Boyd Patchin Webb Vassar Multi-level Teaching Finding Hope in the Valley Constitutional Liberty Social Services and You Make It Parts for Your Little Makers Homeschooling The Great Adventure Preschool From the Ground Up WORKSHOP I 11 10-NOON 10 Marriage Myths that will Steal Your Joy Nontraditional Navigation through High School WORKSHOP I 11 10-NOON Teaching Inquiry-based STEM with LEGO Choosing Curriculum and Teaching Methods The ABC s for 3-4-5 s Traveling with Children The Busy Mom s Guide to Daylight Math U Understand Why We Homeschool Pinterest as a Springboard for Science Curriculum Transcripts Diplomas...oh my Balancing Working While Homeschooling WORKSHOP II 1 30-2 20 St. John Demme Battle for Homeschool Freedom and Parental Rights Estrada A Path to Success in College Colwell Connecting with Your Child s Innate Intelligences Bobinski Joys and Trials of a Learning Challenged Student Benton The Busy Mom s Guide to Romance Five Strategies to Build Up and Encourage our Wives WORKSHOP II 1 30-2 20 Cultivating REAL Relationships with Other Women Five Most Important Truths to Teach Your Children WORKSHOP III 3 10-4 00 WORKSHOP III 3 10-4 00 Strong Roots Six Principles that will Improve How You Communicate The Danger of UN Treaties Sailing Stormy Seas Weaving God into Every Topic An Early Start in STEM The Common Core Con Starting a FIRST Robotics Team Foreign Language Learning at Home Preparing for College Mathematics St. John Demme Estrada Boyd Vassar Colwell St. John 17 The Divine Blueprint for Building a Family of Faith KEYNOTE 5 05-6 15 Five Things You Need to Go the Distance KEYNOTE 5 05-6 15 SPRING 2016 CHOIS COnneCtIOn used CurriCulum sale THURSDAY JUNE 2 the annual We need you as a Volunteer Registration Workshop Monitors Concessions Exhibit Hall Sound T echs Silent Auction Some of these areas include Children s Program FREE ADMISSION Johnson sports Center nnU CampUs 313 e ast Dewey st nampa Visit for more information and to 10 am to 1 pm The first 50 people who apply to volunteer will have their names placed in a drawing for 2 Roaring Springs Day Passes. Please check out our Volunteer tab at Contact our volunteer coordinator at info using the subject line Volunteer . reserve yoUr spaCe now CHOIS Homeschool Convention P.O. Box 45062 Boise ID 83711-5062 Please complete this form and mail with payment to Please Print Visit w w w.chois.o Pre-Registration Deadline May 20 2016 by mail June 1 2016 online Please check appropriate fees Pre-registered after June 1 2016 by June 1 2016 or at the door rg to register onlin e Parent s _______________________________________ Teen s Attending _______________________________ ______________________________________________ Children Attending (including age) ________________ ______________________________________________ Address _______________________________________ City State Zip __________________________________ Phone ( ) ___________________________________ Email _________________________________________ I __________________________ would like to serve as a volunteer 2 3 4 5 hours. O Individual ......................................... 50.00 ........ 60.00 O Spouse .................................................. FREE .................... O Teens w parents (12-18) ...................... 30.00 per teen O Children (5-11) all children must be pre-registered 25 per child O Grandparents ...................................... Free .................... O Parents whose oldest child is under 5 and who have never attended the convention before ........................................ Free .................... O Subscription to CHOIS Connection magazine ..... 10.00 TOTAL ....................................................................... ____ Early registration enables CHOIS to plan efficiently and save you money and time at the check-in counter. If you would like confirmation that we have received your registration please include a self-addressed stamped envelope with your registration. Otherwise your cancelled check is your confirmation. Please make checks payable to CHOIS REGISTRATION IS NON-REFUNDABLE AND NON-TRANSFERABLE 18 CHOIS COnneCtIOn SPRING 2016 OnneCtIOn Are You A homesch ool YOUNG ENTREPRENEUR Students & Grads Ages 13 to 23 Do EN T R on A pplica ti is d e a dlin e You hAve A business Y OU EP R NG U RS or proDuct thAt You hAve creAteD AnD wAnt to shAre with the public EN E 2016 MAY 15 Dow nloAD the Young en trepreneurs pAcket At w w w.chois .org . Teen Program for ages 12-18 at the CHOIS Homeschool Convention W e have a real treat for our teen guests this year. We are pleased to invite them to participate in this two-day program. We invite you to send your teen as an ambassador to Generation Joshua s iNegotiate Through a mock international summit this program presents students with a hands-on opportunity to learn about the challenges faced around the world by diplomats and foreign ambassadors. Throughout the program students will have the task of choosing between making demands and exercising diplomacy forming alliances and burning bridges. They will have to know when to strike and when to bide their time. They will make decisions and accept responsibility for how those decisions impact the nations they represent. Daily ScheDule Check-in Lunch Break Conclusion 8 00-8 30 noon-1 30 6 00 In the midst of a fun and engaging environment students will get a glimpse of the weight and responsibility that come with great power and influence. Their characters will grow their minds will be stretched and they will need to act with honor integrity and much wisdom to achieve success. We look forward to seeing how God uses this experience in the lives of participants in the future Teens must check-in at the iNegotiate registration desk in the Brandt Center. Teens will join their parents for lunch. iNegotiate Teen Program Space is limited to the first 125 teens to register for this exciting program. Participants must have at least one parent in attendance at the convention. For more information visit the website. SPRING 2016 CHOIS COnneCtIOn 19 A SOLID FOUNDATION by Heidi St.John Got Roots Be an Intentional Arborist G ot Roots Not the grow out roots you get from an overdue visit with your hair stylist The other kind. The kind that belong to the tree written about in Psalm 1. David was describing righteous men when he said this They are like trees planted along the riverbank bearing fruit each season. Their leaves never wither and they prosper in all they do. (Psalm 1 1-3) Can you picture those trees They are strong. Their roots run deep. They re anchored in rich soil. They ve been carefully nurtured. How Well by a specialist of course. An arborist to be exact. So what is an arborist says this ar bor ist noun A specialist in the cultivation and care of trees and shrubs including tree surgery the diagnosis treatment and prevention of tree diseases and the control pests See if this describes your job as a mom Cultivation and care of your child-- check Requires some heart surgery-- mostly the inner kind--check Demands a diagnosis from time to time--and treatment too--check Preventative in nature--check Pest control You know it See You re an arborist. If you ve got kids you re an arborist. Only you re tending to the eternal not the temporal. You re impacting the future one tiny trim and watering at a time. 20 CHOIS COnneCtIOn SPRING 2016 OnneCtIOn I ve been privileged to watch some amazing arborists in my time. And guess what They didn t do everything right. But I ll say this they were intentional about caring for their little saplings. The best arborists are grown trees themselves you know and they have learned to bend so that they don t break. These mature arborists take care not to over-water their young trees with the language of legalism. Instead they cover their young with grace--and the occasional necessary pruning. Strong kids almost always have this in common they ve been patiently tenderly intentionally nurtured over time by parents who take their job seriously. These parents--these tree-whisperers--are doing what is arguably the most important job on the earth they are raising the next generation. The world we live in is challenging. It s easy for young saplings to get torn out by their roots when cultural winds blow. And the winds are sure blowing now aren t they But strong trees--trees that are rooted deep in the rich soil of God s truth and grace-- are not blown about by the winds that surround them. As a mother it is comforting to know that God cares deeply even more than I about our young orchard. I don t have to worry about what to teach our children about truth-- since truth does not change. God has spoken to the really important matters already. He has told us how to love--and He has shown us how to love. We must love in spirit and in truth. Is it tough (Does in rain in Washington ) I m learning -- sometimes the hard way -- that I can be an intentional arborist withouthaving it all together. I don t have to have every answer. But I must be willing and I must be rooted. Willing to put in the long hours and willing to tend to my own root system my marriage my own relationship with God and my relationships with others. After all a strong mother needs strong roots too. What does it look like to be an intentional arborist Here are three ways you can become a better more intentional arborist. Harvey Breaux 208-573-1157 25 Hartman Boise ID 83704 harvey Get rooted yourself. You ll need fertilizer. God s Word is the best there is Strong roots strong mama. You can t be like that tree in Psalm 1 if you re not rooted first in the soil of the Bible. Spend time with the Lord each day. I like to read just a chapter each day in the Psalms and this year I m going through the New Testament. Keeping your freezers full of quality meat From our homeschooling family to yours 208-649-4403 SPRING 2016 CHOIS COnneCtIOn 21 A SOLID FOUNDATION Don t know where to start Try the book of Philippians. You can t go wrong. Get praying. Need wisdom I sure do Seems like each one of our seven children needed an entirely new set of instructions Cookie-cutter parenting simply doesn t work. Ask God specifically for the needs of your children. Name them. God made and designed them so it makes sense that He would know what each child needs. Even that strong-willed child. Yeah. That one might require some extra prayer. I know my poor mother had her hands full with me Lord help me shape this strong will for your glory knows we ve got to see the WHY or we can easily get lost in the oh-so-daily tasks of parenting. Mom you are doing an amazing job. What we re doing today will impact our grandchildren. I wonder ... what kind of a root system will they inherit from this generation of arborists The impact of your intentional parenting will last long after the last load of laundry has been run through and you ve watched your child begin to put down new roots on his own. The work you do now will yield a harvest of joy if you hang in there. Plant tenderly. Sow with love. Plant with the harvest in mind. The harvest is coming busy mom. As I watch my adult children interact with my little ones I am reminded of how fast the years go. I seem to have become a grandmother as I was tending to tender saplings of my own. Indeed the days can be long but the years go by fast. Know what I mean You sure look cute in those arborist overalls by the way. Get the BIGGER picture. Boy is it hard to see past tantrums late nights long conversations repeated instruction consistent discipline failure disappointment. (And I m just talking about my own issues here ) Goodness HEIDI ST. JOHN has been married to her husband Jay since 1989. Together they have seven children and one grandson The St. Johns children range in age from under five to adult. They have homeschooled kids all the way through high school. A favorite conference and radio speaker Heidi approaches marriage and parenting with humor and grace. Her passion to encourage moms and set them free to be who God has created them to be will bless and encourage you. WWW.THEBUSYMOM.COM 22 CHOIS COnneCtIOn SPRING 2016 SPRING 2016 CHOIS COnneCtIOn 23 BRIGHT BEGINNINGS by Copper Webb The Right Path for Math M y youngest son Sawyer who just celebrated his third birthday loves to line up objects and count them. Whether he s counting cars or candies it usually goes something like this One Two Fwee Fo Seven Leven Twelve Nine TEN Sawyer always gets much praise and applause whenever he displays his counting abilities. The accolades annoy my oldest son. Sawyer s not even counting right he once protested. Sawyer s skipping numbers and doesn t have them in the right order I don t get why you tell Sawyer that he s doing a good job. He s not. (You gotta love those literal firstborns ) I had to explain to my eldest that Sawyer at the early age of three doesn t understand what the word seven really means. Sawyer is building his vocabulary by repeating words that he hears family members use. When I tell Sawyer to bring me four plastic plates from the drawer he will bring me the entire stack of plastic plates. I don t anticipate that Sawyer will fully grasp the concept of one-toone correspondence until he is closer to age four. One-to-one correspondence is the ability to count skillfully attaching correct number names to quantities of objects. As parents of preschoolers we can naturally incorporate one-toone correspondence as we go about our day. When Sawyer brings me the entire stack of plates from the drawer I help him select the correct number of 24 CHOIS COnneCtIOn SPRING 2016 OnneCtIOn Any time abstract concepts can be tied to everyday experiences they become much more understandable. plates needed for lunch. One plate for Canon. One plate for Dezzy. One plate for Hazel. One plate for Sawyer. That s one two three four plates We ll continue this same process with getting cups and silverware to set the table. We have similar conversations while getting dressed. Let s put on one shirt. Now let s put on socks. One sock for this foot one sock for that foot. Look two socks are on Sawyer s two feet Sometimes we ll count the stairs as we walk up them. Another way to involve the entire body in counting is to give instructions to clap hop skip pat etc. a certain number of times. Nursery rhymes are a fun way to reinforce counting skills. I m sure you can even now as an adult still remember the words to One Two Buckle My Shoe. My preschoolers have all loved Once I caught a Fish Alive because we use funny voices and I love it because the rhyme requires them to count across all ten fingers. c onTinuing The c onverSaTion When we think of teaching math skills to preschoolers we can often get stuck on numbers. But math has a rich language. Many of the words we use in math stand for abstract concepts. As parents we can build a foundation for future learning by giving our preschoolers common everyday physical experiences with these concepts. Some of these concepts are equal greater less more bigger smaller add take away increase reduce join together combine multiply divide etc. For example as you are playing or working together ask your preschooler questions like Which truck is bigger Which cup holds more water ONCE I CAUGHT A FISH ALIVE 1-2-3-4-5 ONCE I CAUGHT A FISH ALIVE 6-7-8-9-10 THEN I LET HIM GO AGAIN. WHY DID YOU LET HIM GO BECAUSE HE BIT MY FINGER SO. WHICH FINGER DID HE BITE THIS LITTLE FINGER ON MY RIGHT Are these books equal in weight Which one is heavier This is your favorite song Let s increase the volume and sing loudly. Now let s reduce the volume and sing softly. Oops That s too many goldfish crackers We should have less. Let s take away some. Can you help me divide these blueberries into four equal bowls SPRING 2016 CHOIS COnneCtIOn 25 Learning track EARLY at the 2016 CHOIS Convention Check out the PRESCHOOL Thinking abouT n uMberS There are three modes of thinking in arithmetic MANIPULATIVE MODE MENTAL IMAGE MODE and ABSTRACT MODE. Manipulative mode is mathematical thinking done outside the head with objects. Preschoolers can work through problems with real objects that are physically present and can be manipulated to solve problems. Once a preschooler understands oneto-one correspondence they can solve complicated problems often not introduced until second grade as long as they have manipulatives to touch and see. For example I had ten jelly beans and mom gave me four more so now I have 14 jelly beans. If I ate six I would only have eight jelly beans left. This actual experience with objects is the foundation upon which all later arithmetic understandings are built. In her book The Three R s Ruth Beechick names using real objects to solve problems as the secret to arithmetic success. She continues with a warning Failure to do this is probably the single cause of children s arithmetic difficulties. It is why people grow up with Arithmetic Anxiety. Mental image mode refers to thinking done inside the head using images. After your child gains enough experience with real objects they are then able to create mental pictures. There is no longer a need for a child to physically touch the jelly beans to figure out how many they have left to eat because they can picture the jelly beans in their mind. Parents often ask how they will know when their child is ready to solve arithmetic problems in mental image mode rather than manipulative mode. The answer is that your child will let you know. They will become impatient with the slow process of counting and moving jelly beans because it is faster to solve the equation mentally. As your child grows you may notice that they often switch between manipulative and mental image mode which is perfectly fine and demonstrates good problem-solving skills. In your future years of teaching math to your child you will likely run into concepts that your child cannot seem to grasp. Even though you ve gone over the steps to working out a problem a dozen times they will still give you a deer-in-headlights look and you will wonder what is going on inside your student s brain. When you get to those days remember that when we say that a child doesn t understand something we usually mean that they are not able to produce a mental image in their head. The solution is to provide more manipulative experience. After sufficient practice with objects a child will eventually be able to produce an image of the troublesome process in their head. ABSTRACT MODE is thinking of number concepts without using images. In this mode children can think about seven as an abstraction. They don t have to picture seven jelly beans or seven space shuttles. They have become so familiar with what seven represents that they can add and subtract the number with ease. Resist the temptation to push your child into thinking in abstract mode or you may find yourself with a child that claims to dislike math. The only path to good abstract thinking is through lots and lots of time spent working through problems in manipulative and mental image mode. If you d like to read more on this topic I wholeheartedly recommend the previously mentioned book The Three R s by Ruth Beechick as well as Your Child s Growing Mind by Jane M. Healy PH.D. COPPER WEBB is a second-generation Idaho homeschooler and occasionally blogs with a toddler on her lap. She lives in Meridian with one husband three sons one daughter zero pets. Together they equal one happy family. you can find ManipulaTiveS for pracTicing ariThMeTic wiThin your own hoMe and backyard Paper clips Buttons Beads Mini erasers Clothespins Fuzzy pompoms Straws Craft sticks Toy cars Blocks Berries Cheerios Crackers Dried Beans Rocks Twigs Pinecones Acorns Leaves EARLYLEARNINGHOME.COM 26 CHOIS COnneCtIOn SPRING 2016 OnneCtIOn Brand New CHOIS Children s Program unveiled at Convention 2016 because we re going back in time to the New Testament Children ages 5-11 are invited to join us for an exciting new adventure where we will be diving into God s word studying alongside the Early Church We ll be joined by friends some old and some new to help us on our journey of faith growing as His disciples. And as always there will be tons of fun crafts songs skits and games. We hope to see you there Convention attendees may enroll their children (ages 5-11) in the two-day CHOIS Children s Convention. Miss Abbie Kircher and Miss Bethany Kircher will manage our team of enthusiastic and well-trained teen volunteers. For only 25 per child convention attendees may enroll their children in the two-day CHOIS Children s Program. Children must be 5 years old by the convention to participate in the Children s Program. Children must have at least one parent attending the convention to be enrolled in the Children s Program. Pre-registration is required for the Children s Program and there will be no registration available at the door. Early registration is required as there are a limited number of openings for the Children s Program. Brush off your toga and find your sandals T esTameNT a dveNTure Schedule check-in 8 00 Check-out for Lunch noon Check-in 1 30 Check-out 6 00 Children will join their parents for lunch. There will be a children s presentation at the conclusion of the Saturday afternoon Keynote Session. N ew 10% Discount on Wills & Trusts for CHOIS & ICHE Members Call 939-2600 now for your Free Initial Consultation Learn more at SPRING 2016 CHOIS COnneCtIOn 27 HOMESCHOOL ENRICHMENT by Amy Vassar There are a few subjects that seem to be particularly terrifying for homeschooling parents one of which is foreign languages. You Can Teach ForEign L anguagE at Home oui s Ja I hope will be a great solution for some of you reading this article. The first option and the one that my parents chose for me when I was in high school is to hire a tutor for individual or small-group instruction. The value of this option is that it provides the kind of personalized instruction that we value in homeschooling and is a fantastic way to develop conversational fluency. A similar solution is finding a homeschool co-op group that has language courses as part of their offerings. Taking language courses through your local high school (dual enrollment) or A s parents of high school students it s always a toss-up whether we re most in need of a pep talk to remind us that this can be done or nitty-gritty details about how it can be done. Today I am going with nitty-gritty. There are a few subjects that seem to be particularly terrifying for homeschooling parents one of which is foreign languages. Since I have taught foreign languages for over a decade now at all levels (kindergarten through college) I am going to outline a few solid options available for homeschool students to study languages and then go into more detail about one of the free options that college (dual credit) is a second option. In most cases these could both be done either on campus or online. The high school classes will be the cheaper option of the two but college classes will give your student the opportunity to become familiar with college-level expectations and get some college credits while still in high school at a significantly lower price than after graduation. The limitation you may encounter here is that many schools only offer a couple language options usually Spanish and possibly French German Japanese or American Sign Language. 28 CHOIS COnneCtIOn SPRING 2016 The third option which I am going to expound on for the remainder of this article is to develop your own language program using digital apps and free online resources. Following is an example of how that might look. Everything I have included in the following plan is available for free at the time of this writing. The main platform I propose using is a free app called Duolingo. It is currently the most-downloaded educational app in the world and it is available for Apple Windows Phone Android or just through your browser. If you sign up at you can create a classroom that allows you to assign lessons or point goals to your son or daughter and to track their progress through the program. It is estimated that 30-35 hours of practice with Duolingo is equivalent to a collegelevel introductory language course. One of the most exciting things about Duolingo for our homeschool students is that it currently offers 15 languages for native English speakers (Spanish French German Italian Portuguese Dutch Irish Swedish Danish Turkish Norwegian Bokmal Ukrainian Esperanto Russian and Polish) with another 12 in development. Of course an app will always have its limitations so I recommend creating a fuller language learning experience by supplementing with two or three other tools. One thing that polyglots (people who speak several languages) often recommend is memorizing the highfrequency words in the target language. You can find high-frequency word lists for most languages with a quick Google search and then use a flashcard website app like Quizlet to create flashcards for studying those words. For further language development label things around the house and involve the whole family in incorporating the target language in conversation when possible. You can also require regular voice recordings using a sound recorder on a phone or computer or a website like or Even bilingual dictionaries can be found for free online my personal favorite with a wide variety of languages is www. Writing early and often in the target language is also a good way to develop communicative skills. Early on this might just involve writing lists of words from memory developing into writing simple sentences and then more fluent writing. Use a 5-minute timer allow any and all writing in the target language and assess simply the number of words produced. Be sure to also add opportunities for reading and hearing the language in authentic settings. Reading news articles watching news stories listening to podcasts and listening to music are great ways to accomplish this. Students do not need to understand all or even most of what they read or hear to benefit from exposure to the language. Here are a few sites that can be used to encounter authentic input for multiple foreign languages. todaysfrontpages (includes today s front page from newspapers around the world) or (create stations with popular musicians from the target language) http w w ws languages (BBC news pages in 32 different languages including news videos) YouTube and Vimeo can be good places to find video in the target language but you will need to use your own discretion as to how to best accomplish that. One possibility is to put together a playlist of videos for your student to view so they don t have to browse through videos that may have content unsuitable for educational purposes. WEEKLY LESSON PLAN To SuMMarize TheSe ideaS i have creaTed The following weekly leSSon plan aS an exaMple for how ThiS MighT look . french aS The TargeT language . MONDAY i choSe 20 minutes of Duolingo 5 minutes of high frequency word practice with Quizlet Watch 2-3 news videos in French on BBC 5 minutes of free writing TUESDAY 20 minutes of Duolingo 5 minutes of high frequency word practice with Quizlet Listen to 45 minutes of French music on Pandora 5 minutes of free writing WEDNESDAY 20 minutes of Duolingo 5 minutes of high frequency word practice with Quizlet Watch 2-3 news videos in French on BBC 5 minutes of free writing THURSDAY 20 minutes of Duolingo 5 minutes of high frequency word practice with Quizlet Listen to 45 minutes of French music on Pandora 5 minutes of free writing FRIDAY 20 minutes of Duolingo 5 minutes of high frequency word practice with Quizlet Compare today s news stories from a U.S. newspaper and a French newspaper read the entire front page in the French newspaper and highlight familiar words and cognates. Create a 2 minute audio recording of simple sentences in French introducing and describing yourself. AMY VASSAR is a native of both Idaho and homeschooling She lives in Nampa with her husband and four children. She also teaches Spanish at a local community college which gives her unique insight into how to help prepare our homeschooled students for education beyond high school. I hope this gives you fresh inspiration for incorporating language learning into your homeschool curriculum. Give it a try make modifications as needed to fit your family and your students interests and learning styles and show the world that homeschooling through high school can open all kinds of amazing doors for our children SPRING 2016 CHOIS COnneCtIOn 29 FUN FAMILY FIELDTRIPS by Connie Seward A GIFT to Idaho Harriman State Park R ailroad Ranch is located in Harriman State Park which is 130 miles north of Pocatello Idaho and 28 miles south of West Yellowstone Montana. The Railroad Ranch has a deep history that shapes what Harriman State Park is today. Unlike many state parks there is no camping allowed. The park s main mission is to provide refuge for waterfowl and wildlife showcase the ranch s history offer summer and winter recreation trails and seasonal livestock grazing. The park also rents cabins and yurts to the public. 1 Oregon Shortline officials purchased the land in 1902 followed by E. H. Harriman and other railroad investors from 1908 to 1977. During this time Railroad Ranch served as a cattle ranch and private retreat for the Harrimans of Union Pacific Railroad fame and the Guggenheims then prominent in copper. Though E. H. Harriman died in 1909 before he could visit his newly acquired property the Railroad Ranch was the full-time or part-time home of his sons Roland and Averell ranch managers cattle foremen and cowboys. The historical impact of the railroad through Island Park stands out significantly as a major influence in the opening-up of tourism lumbering and ranching in Island Park. From 1909 to 1979 the Ashton to West Yellowstone track brought contributors of long lasting impact to the life style of the area. For 70 years the Ashton-West Yellowstone line was maintained and was a functional part of the Island ParkYellowstone area. In the late 1970 s the Union Pacific Railroad administers deemed the line unprofitable and proceeded to close the line. 2 When the railroad stopped operating in 1977 the Harriman family gifted Railroad Ranch and the land to the state of Idaho to be used as a public park. Today Harriman State Park and Railroad Ranch lie within Island Park a 16 000acre wildlife refuge in the greater Yellowstone area which provides visitors with amazing scenery. The park is also located within a geological feature called the Henry s Fork Caldera. The Henrys Fork River known as one of the best fly-fishing streams in the nation flows through 8 miles of Harriman State Park. The rich wildlife habitat has been preserved since the turn of the century and Trumpeter swans the world s largest waterfowl species sandhill cranes moose and elk are common sights at Harriman. Unique retreats for families or groups are made possible through dorms kitchens ranch houses a bunkhouse a meeting and conference center cabins and rustic yurts. These rental facilities are perfect for family events such as vacations weddings retreats and learning conferences. A complete list of available lodging can be found at the conclusion of this article. Harriman State Park offers 22-miles of hiking mountain biking fat tire biking and horse riding trails that wind through meadows meander along riverbanks and through pristine forests. Many of the trails are suitable for horseback riding and Dry Ridge Outfitters offer one and 2-hour or half-day trail rides from June 1 through October 31. With advance reservations educational field trips and special rides for handicapped guests can be scheduled. During the winter 24 miles of groomed Nordic ski trails snowshoe and fat tire bike trails offer views of Henrys Fork and winter wildlife. On weekends the historic Jones House and the Becker hut serve as warming huts. Free Winter Snow Access Day and Full Moon Ski are offered each year along with many other free programs and activities. A full calendar of events is listed on the website or harriman.park. The park also hosts educational opportunities for youth. Writers Harriman is a workshop held the first week of August every year for high school students who enjoy writing. Enrollment is limited to 40 students and 30 CHOIS COnneCtIOn SPRING 2016 OnneCtIOn homeschoolers are encouraged to apply. Applicants must submit a twopage essay by June 15th in order to be considered for enrollment. Mountains and Strings is a chamber music camp for youth 13 and up while Mini Mountains & Strings is for students 12 and under. Both camps are held in mid July with audition recordings and applications due by April 30th. The week consists of string quartets and other small chamber ensembles a chamber orchestra master classes string choirs and coaching from professional performers and teachers. Performances include the student quartet concert and the Mountains & Strings Chamber Orchestra concert in Harriman State Park. Outdoor activities during the week include daytime and evening hikes in Harriman State Park outdoor barbecues games and initiative classes. Every Saturday during the summer free activities for all ages such as bird watching wildlife hikes and building terrariums are offered. Junior Ranger and Every Kid in the Park programs are also available. Harriman State Park keeps history alive with Heritage Day. The three-day celebration includes demonstrations of the golden age of classic camping horse drawn carriage and wagon rides and haying with horses. Other attractions include hand-churned ice cream open hearth cooking hand crafted leather local arts and crafts old time fiddling and cross cut demonstrations. A complete listing of dates and activities can be found on the website or Facebook. Twenty-seven of the original Railroad Ranch buildings from the cookhouse to the horse barn are still intact furnished and carefully maintained. 3 During summer weekends and holidays the Railroad Ranch buildings are staffed with knowledgeable docents and open for self-guided tours from 10 AM to 4 PM. Each building contains interpretive information about its historical use and occupants. The Jones cabin provides hints of the hunting and fishing lifestyle with big game trophies on the wall and capes on the floor. The Harrimans and Charles Jones also were avid fishermen and their waders are still hanging in their cabins. The horse cow and sheep barns all contain some of the original tack and equipment. Cattle sheep and even elk were raised at the ranch during the early days and many of the original farm implements are still on display. 1 With its rich history stunning scenery comfortable lodgings and varied outdoor activities Railroad Ranch and Harriman State Park make a perfect year-round discovery destination for your family. CONNIE SEWARD together with her husband Quentin homeschooled their children through high school in the Treasure Valley. They hope to spend some leisure time in Eastern Idaho in the near future. Railroad Ranch and Harriman State Park are at the top of their must see list. References 1. Steubner Steve Striking a Careful balance between grazing wildlife history and fishing at Harriman State Park 2. RAILROAD HISTORY CONTACT INFORMATION HARRIMAN STATE PARK 208-558-7368 parks harriman things-to-do state-parks harriman-state-park RAILROAD RANCH OVERNIGHT LODGING Reservations 1-888-922-6743 Customer Service 1-888-778-4520 camping harriman-state-park SPRING 2016 CHOIS COnneCtIOn 31 Christian Homeschoolers of Idaho State P.O. Box 45062 Boise Idaho 83711 Please let us know if your mailing address has changed or if you no longer wish to receive the CHOIS Connection Magazine. Send updates to info