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Description: CHOIS Connection is a quarterly magazine, published by Christian Homeschoolers of Idaho State. Its purpose is to provide educational support to homeschool families in Idaho State.

Connection Fall 2016 a magazine for idaho home educators Also inside convention photos and comments from this year s attendees. Can Your Children Explain Why They homeschool Zan Tyler Keeping the Home in Homeschooling Linda Hobar Why Join a Homeschool Group J.Mike Smith coming soon... FREE MONEY What are ESA s and how will they affect homeschoolers Connection a magazin e for idaho hom e educators ABOUT CHOIS Christian Homeschoolers of Idaho State (CHOIS) is the statewide organization that has been serving the needs of Idaho s homeschooling families since 1998. CHOIS is a 501c3 Idaho non-profit corporation directed by a board. OUR MISSION CHOIS exists to INSPIRE parents to homeschool their children PROMOTE parent-led privately funded relationship-based home education and PRESERVE the freedom to homeschool. BOARD MEMBERS Adam and Diana Childress Mike and Copper Webb Paul and Linda Patchin Alan and Deanne Knopp on the COVER 6 12 14 28 LEGISLATIVE LOOKOUT PUBLISHER Published quarterly by CHOIS Coming Soon... Free Money EDITOR Linda Patchin HOMESCHOOL ENRICHMENT GRAPHIC ARTIST Diana Childress Why Join a Homeschool Group STAYING THE COURSE ADVERTISING Rates are available upon request by email. Can your children explain why they homeschool JOY IN THE JOURNEY CONTACT INFO Christian Homeschoolers of Idaho State PO Box 45062 Boise ID 83711 info Keeping the home in Homeschooling 2016 Christian Homeschoolers of Idaho State. All rights reserved. 2 CHOIS COnneCtIOn FALL 2016 INSIDE this issue FALL 2016 featured ARTICLES 8 18 20 22 24 30 A SOLID FOUNDATION Traditional Textbooks THE LEARNING ADVENTURE Nurturing a Love For Learning BRIGHT BEGINNINGS The Value of Chores PARENTING Dads Boys &Evel Knievel HIGH SCHOOL also INSIDE 5 16 29 32 4 7 10 10 19 21 26 27 Letter from the Editor Convention Photos & Comments ICHE Bulletin Board 2017 Graduation Details For the Student Who Hates Academics FAMILY FUN FIELDTRIPS Boise Depot advertisers ICHE Harvey s Repair Lavender & Grace Christian Educators Conference C.K. Quade Law Northwest Science Museum Barry Peters Attorney at Law Jonathan Long Realty FALL 2016 CHOIS COnneCtIOn 3 4 CHOIS COnneCtIOn FALL 2016 Letter from the EDITOR Homeschool Friends I hope your new school year is off to a great start Isn t it nice to be back in the more structured days of Autumn In this issue of the CHOIS Connection Magazine we are taking a fond look back at the convention we hosted in June. It was one of our best and I hope you enjoy looking through our favorite photos. We ve already started working on our plans for the 2017 convention so please mark your calendars for June 1-3 2017 and plan to join us then. I d like to introduce you to two new authors in this issue. Daniel Bobinski has been a popular convention speaker for the last two years and we have asked him to share some of his great ideas with our readers. We are also excited to introduce you to Rob James a homeschool father of four. We know you will enjoy reading articles by both of these men. We would also like to remind you that we have a weekly e-newsletter that is full of inspiring stories and timely information. Please sign up to receive it in your inbox. You can do so from the CHOIS website. We also have two Facebook pages that bring daily ideas and encouragement. Our group page is called Homeschooling Idaho and our official page is Christian Homeschoolers of Idaho State. If you have a senior this year please visit the website where you can learn more about how your student can participate in our graduation ceremony. See the ad on the back page. May God bless your new school year Warmly subscribe Today Connection Fall 2016 a magazine for idaho home educators Also inside convention photos and comments from this year s attendees. 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 Zan Tyler Can Your Children Explain Why They homeschool Linda Hobar Keeping the Home in Homeschooling Why Join a Homeschool Group J.Mike Smith HigH ScHool for the student who HATES ACADEMICS Amy Vassar Email or go to to subscribe online 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 Linda Patchin DIGITAL FORMAT ConnectionConnection Fall 2016 Winter 2015 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 a magazine for idaho home educators FAMILY Can Your Children Explain WHY THEY HOMESCHOOL Zan Tyler ALSO INSIDE convention photos and comments from this year s attendees. part 2 Discipleship A MOMENT for MUSIC Keeping the Home in Homeschooling Linda Hobar Why Join a Homeschool Group J.Mike Smith SINGING to LEARN Get the same great magazine on your tablet & mobile devices Visit 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 HIGH SCHOOL for the student who HATES F & Easy ast CROCK POT recipes for Busy Weary Homeschool Mom for the HOPE FREE ACADEMICS Amy Vassar Homeschool Families FALL 2016 CHOIS COnneCtIOn 5 LEGISLATIVE LOOKOUT by Barry Peters Free Money M oney has always been effective bait. And free money from the government That s both priceless and irresistible. A couple of recent examples show how well the formula works even in the area of education Your state might win a share of 3.5 billion to be handed out by the U.S. Department of Education. All it has to do is adopt the Common Core State Standards. How about a free computer plus you can continue to use your favorite curriculum Just enroll your home schooled child in our virtual charter school. Despite these alluring promises after Idaho dutifully adopted the Common Core Standards it received none of the promised federal funding. And after the on-line charter schools were up and running the list of approved curricula was systematically narrowed to just a few options all of which had to be both sanitized of any spiritual content and aligned with the Common Core Standards. Nothing sells like free. But when a person takes the government freebies they re on the hook. The government runs the show. They can change the rules at will. And there s no accountability for the government s failure to live up to its promises. Free Money For HoMe ScHoolerS Seeing the writing on the wall we asked that home schooled families be excluded from the bill. Despite the assurances of the bill s sponsors they lacked the ability to truly shield us from bureaucratic intervention. To view the full story of that encounter with bureaucracy see the story at issues 49 . That experience convinced both Idaho Coalition of Home Educators and Christian Homeschoolers of Idaho State that the best policy is to firmly decline the financial assistance offered by our government. Many years ago several wellintentioned state legislators proposed a tax credit bill that would have helped those whose children were being taught in a setting other than the public school system. That struck us as more than fair in light of all the money that our efforts were saving the state each year. To our amazement as soon as our homeschool-friendly legislators began to debate the bill in committee the discussion quickly focused on the accountability that would need to be imposed to make sure the home educated children were properly educated. State registration and testing requirements were suggested as appropriate first steps. How we Got Here Idaho is considered by many to be the most homeschool-friendly place on earth. It is where the legislature has given us the freedom to teach our own children without government oversight. It s the place that highlights the fact that as a group children taught at home without government involvement achieve academic results that are lightyears ahead of the children in the public schools. The average home schooled student in 6 CHOIS COnneCtIOn FALL 2016 Idaho outperforms four out of five of the students in the public system on standardized achievement tests. Have you ever wondered why we enjoy such freedom It turns out that a significant reason why our legislature has blessed us with unfettered freedom is our willingness to forego its financial assistance. For years we ve gone to the capitol every February for ICHE Legislative Pie Day to offer our legislators a show-and-tell type of encounter with students who have actually been taught at home. We draw them in with homemade pies and encourage them to linger at our displays and talk with the students. And we tell them how much we appreciate the tremendous freedoms they ve extended to us. To answer their academic questions we show them our composite achievement test scores assuring them of our students accelerated progress. And we let them chat freely with our children to dispel any lingering doubts about any supposed lack of socialization. They in turn regularly remind us that we are the only constituency that does not show up with our collective hands held out. We don t ask them for funding to help us. We live within our means even though most of our homes have become single-earner households in order for us to teach our own children. To qualify for ESA funds home schooled children must first be enrolled in the public schools for at least 100 days. Only then may the parents apply for the ESA. To remain qualified every student must be tested annually to demonstrate academic progress that is satisfactory to the state. Parents of home schoolers who receive an ESA may continue to teach their own children but only after they have first applied for and been approved by the state as a Participating Entity . Even parents who go to the trouble of becoming a stateapproved Participating Entity are not permitted to pay themselves for their educational services. They may only spend the money on curriculum purchases and annual standardized tests for the students. the state. Once they ve cleared all those hurdles their actual educational expenditures will then be subject to an audit by the state each year. concluSionS For those committed to protecting our freedom to teach our children without government interference any one of these requirements is a deal-killer. Together they are a threat of such substantial proportions as to force our vigorous opposition. Having said that we understand and appreciate the motivations of those who wish to bless home schoolers with this free money. And we understand the need for free market choice in education to be brought to bear on the public school system s virtual monopoly. But we also understand the threat to Idaho home schoolers autonomy that will come in the wake of this effort to open the door to state funding. We are resolved that Idaho home school freedoms will not become collateral damage in the pursuit of a broader choice in education. In the final analysis we must firmly but politely say The mosT Terrifying Words e nglish language are i m here To help. i m from The governmenT and in The -ronald reagan tHe new Free Money The next iteration of free money for home schoolers is on the horizon. It is the prospect of Educational Savings Accounts (ESA s). These are effectively debit card accounts provided to the parents of school-aged children who are being taught in a setting other than the public school system. The operation of such accounts in the few other states which have passed them has been eye-opening though not entirely surprising. In Nevada for example here are some of the guidelines that must be followed In short for the typical home school family to receive a debit card that can only be used to cover the cost of curriculum and testing the parents must (1) enroll their children in a public school for 100 days (2) apply to the state for its approval of the parents as a Participating Entity and (3) they must then test their children every year and release the test results to Thanks buT no Thanks. BARRY PETERS is an attorney in private practice with offices in Eagle Idaho. He is one of the legal advisors for both ICHE and CHOIS. His law practice focuses on the areas of wills trusts & probate. Harvey Breaux 208-573-1157 25 Hartman Boise ID 83704 harvey FALL 2016 CHOIS COnneCtIOn 7 Begin be bold and venture to be wise -Horace Tried and True TRADITIONAL 8 CHOIS COnneCtIOn FALL 2016 A SOLID FOUNDATION by Linda Patchin Traditional textbooks provide structure and reliability. There is little opportunity for learning gaps because their comprehensive approach systematically covers all of the bases. F all affords every student and teacher an opportunity to begin educators. In this first issue I will begin with the Traditional Textbook approach in honor of all of the teachers and students who enjoy putting those first creases in their new workbooks. The modern homeschool movement might have died a sudden death in infancy if curriculum had not been attainable. Thankfully two providers were willing to crack open their Christian school catalogs and begin the experiment of selling directly to families. The experiment worked quite well. Faithful diligent homeschoolers started working their way through the courses grade by grade year after year and in their wake they left a high water mark of achievement. Indeed this method is dependable and comprehensive. If you attended a public or private school you were probably taught using a traditional textbook approach. This method incorporates a 180-day school year and publishers divide information into twelve years of instruction perhaps even stating the grade level on the spine of the book. Catalogs are conveniently sorted by grade level and often contain student textbooks workbooks teacher s manuals answer keys and tests. In other words they are thorough and complete. Very little teacher prep is required because if one purchases the teacher s manual most of the planning has already been done. If you have little time to devote to creating lesson plans and preparing to teach then this would be an excellent teaching method to choose. The lesson plans are complete but you must create a schedule. Since most of these books assume a 180-day school year it is important to determine early how many days per week you intend to hold class to establish how many weeks it will take to complete the course. For example if you intend to teach five days per week it will take 36 weeks. If you prefer teaching 4 days per week it will take 45 weeks to finish the book. anew. Clean slates whether original or wiped fresh on sun-drenched summer days bring life-giving grace to every home. Some will be picking up where they left off last spring. Others have continued with their schoolwork all summer long. Many will have new pencils books and binders. Seasoned veterans will pursue what has worked well in the past while adventurous souls will premier new teaching methods. Beginners will be initiating the adventure of teaching their own. Be bold my friend for God has called you to this place. He is faithful One day you will look back fondly on these days and you will marvel at the tapestry which was woven from what seem to be tangled threads. I promise Come along with me over the next several issues of the CHOIS Connection Magazine as we explore some of the commonly employed teaching methods used by home BENEFITS OF THE TRADITIONAL TEXTBOOK sTarT simple I f yOu Have lIttle tIme tO devOte tO CreatIng leSSOn planS and preparIng tO teaCH tHen tHIS wOuld be an exCellent teaCHIng metHOd tO CHOOSe. learning sTyle tHIS metHOd IS exCellent fOr StudentS wHO learn beSt by HearIng and SeeIng. economical tHIS metHOd IS alSO affOrdable fOr famIlIeS wItH multIple CHIldren wHO plan tO reuSe textbOOkS. learning gaps tHIS metHOd HaS a lOw rISk Of leavIng learnIng gapS beCauSe It IS dependable and COmpreHenSIve. FALL 2016 CHOIS COnneCtIOn 9 It is wise to set your annual schedule before beginning the course. At the very least divide the material into fourths and plan to be at that section of the book by the end of each quarter. all of the bases. This method builds independent learners because students quickly learn how to look ahead at what is scheduled and figure out for themselves how to get there by the end of the week. This method is excellent for students who learn best by hearing and seeing. For more information about learning styles read The Way They Learn by Cynthia Tobias and The Big WHAT NOW Book of Learning Styles by Carol Barnier. Everyone has a learning modality that is optimal and an important part of being a good teacher is understanding how your student learns best. Invest some time studying your student. This method is also affordable for families with multiple children who plan to reuse textbooks. If the subject has a workbook though it is wise to ask about prospective future edition timelines and perhaps purchase multiple workbooks to ensure their availability for all of your children. easy to find quick success which provides beginners with confidence and peace of mind. Once this method is working well a teacher can begin to experiment with other more eclectic methods of instruction but transitions should be made cautiously and slowly. Or perhaps if it is working well no changes need to be made at all. Home education does not require that one size fit all Sadly all teaching methods have negative aspects as well as positive and this method is no exception. Traditional Textbooks can be rigid. Suppose your student s interest is ignited by something that they have learned and they want to explore it further. They will have to do so on their own time because the next day s lesson is already written on their to-do list. Likewise in reading most textbooks use only short selections or a single chapter of a good book. If a student enjoys reading the piece they will need to make time to read the full book on their own. Some children find this frustrating. I recommend that those who are new to home education begin with the Traditional Textbook approach. When using this teaching method I recommend using the same publisher per subject for numerous years so that your student will have continuity in content. This does not mean that you can only use one publisher. You might prefer one publisher s math materials and another publisher s literature but try to avoid making changes within a single subject as publishers use different sequences. Traditional textbooks provide structure and reliability. There is little opportunity for learning gaps because their comprehensive approach systematically covers I recommend that those who are new to home education begin with the Traditional Textbook approach. It is familiar for most of us. It is relatively 10 CHOIS COnneCtIOn FALL 2016 These are not necessarily bad things. Remember the goal of a Traditional Textbook approach is to provide a comprehensive education. If your child spends an entire semester reading only one great work of literature they will have missed being exposed to other genres like poetry biography non-fiction fiction and technical writing. Returning to the subject of learning styles this approach can be a bit boring for children whose primary learning modality is kinesthetic. These are the students who have to touch and move to learn. If this describes your child and you want to use this method I suggest that you give your child opportunities to interact with their learning environment. For example teach your child to manipulate objects like clay while they are listening. And finally this method tends to compartmentalize learning. Reading is a book. Science is a book. History is a book rather than an integration of study that incorporates subjects. Again this is not a deal breaker as long as you pursue learning within the context of life. Whatever method of teaching you choose understand that there will be folks around you doing something different and what they are doing might be working well for them. It doesn t necessarily follow that what they are doing would be better for you too. The grass is always greener where you water it If you are finding success then continue to nurture its growth. Vive la diff rence LINDA PATCHIN is the mother of four homeschool graduates. She helped to found CHOIS in 1998 and continues to work hard to support and encourage home education. She made the mistake of requiring that her first child use two full curriculum sets from first to third grade because she couldn t decide which one she liked better. He still occasionally twitches but he survived and is presently a reasonable adult. HERE ARE JUST A FEW EXAMPLES OF TRADITIONAL TEXTBOOK PUBLISHERS curriculum seTs bOb JOneS unIverSIty preSS abeka CHrIStIan lIberty preSS CHrIStIan lIgHt e duCatIOn rOd and Staff alpHa and Omega individual subjecTs apOlOgIa SCIenCe m atH u See teaCHIng textbOOkS myStery Of H IStOry lIfe Of fred When Nov 12 Where Boise Bible College 8695 W. Marigold St. Boise Time 8 30am 5 15pm Cost 25 (includes manual and lunch) Christian Educators Conference Who should attend Christian school teachers (1 CEU credit) Pastors and youth pastors urs Home school educators nosa Di Sunday school teachers ics get Anyone wanting to teach polo A More information info (859) 250-7987 Course Topics What is Christian education Life-long learning tools Why the origin of life is a showstopper for evolutionists Teaching about the Bible creation and time Teaching about the fossil record Training students to defend their faith Age An overview of dating methods of th e Ea Moral relativism in education rth Four essentials to teach about dinosaurs Putting it all together educating for success Register online at CECregister Can wha you Def t You en Belie d ve Creation Training Initiative FALL 2016 CHOIS COnneCtIOn 11 HOMESCHOOL ENRICHMENT by J. Mike Smith President Home School Legal Defense Association Why join a homeschool group to depend upon Him but also to rely on each other. This is especially true when we are involved in something as challenging and complex as homeschooling. The support we receive from others is invaluable. Even a simple You can do it can have a lasting impact on a discouraged homeschooling parent. Most of us would not be able to homeschool without the help and encouragement of our friends and neighbors. Homeschoolers are sometimes criticized as isolating ourselves from the outside world. In our experience this claim is simply not true not only are homeschoolers well-connected with each other but we are also very active in our local communities. Today homeschooling families are united and networked perhaps better than any other group in America. It is that unity coupled with a passion for making a difference which has allowed us to bring about the positive developments in freedom that we have seen over the past three decades. When homeschoolers become involved in an issue politicians find they have to listen. Most of these state homeschool The future growth and success of homeschooling depends upon the continued strength of state organizations and local groups. In addition to helping defend the freedom to homeschool these groups offer countless services to homeschoolers. They provide VALUABLE INFORMATION AND RESOURCES for new and returning homeschoolers alike. As homeschoolers we need each other. We need to be connected to the lives of others especially those who have things in common with us. God made us not only They help homeschooling students CONNECT AND MAKE FRIENDS through positive activities ranging from academic courses and field trips to social events and sports teams. A recent article in Slate quoted a number of state lawmakers blaming HSLDA for the avalanche of polite but forceful calls and emails they receive whenever they propose restrictions on homeschooling. Although we appreciate the backhanded vote of confidence these legislators give HSLDA too much credit for the effectiveness of the homeschool lobby. They fail to acknowledge the work of homeschool advocacy organizations in each state which have mobilized their members in grassroots opposition to harmful legislation. Without these state organizations and their members HSLDA would never have been able to accomplish so much. They ORGANIZE USED CURRICULUM exchanges sales and giveaways. Educational co-ops let homeschooling parents SHARE THEIR TALENTS by teaching each other s children in a variety of subject areas. Support groups LINK NEW HOMESCHOOLING PARENTS WITH EXPERIENCED HOMESCHOOLERS for advice and encouragement. Local groups REPRESENT HOMESCHOOLING TO THE PUBLIC in an authentic and positive way. organizations have been in existence for over 25 years. They were founded when the freedom to homeschool was still largely unrecognized. We walked with them through those difficult times--and we re proud to say that the relationships we forged with state regional and local homeschool organizations are still strong today. Groups DEVELOP NEW LEADERS so that they can continue to serve the next generation of homeschooling families. Finally they HOST STATE-WIDE CONVENTIONS regional symposiums and local support group seminars. 12 CHOIS COnneCtIOn FALL 2016 I want to take a moment to highlight the importance of the annual state conventions. These conventions raise revenue for the state organizations which helps pay for the other activities that we listed above. While some state organizations also receive revenue from memberships and donations many offer their services to the homeschooling community for free--so the annual convention usually serves as the state organization s biggest revenue source. These conventions provide exhibit halls used book exchanges free informational sessions for new homeschoolers practical workshops graduation ceremonies and inspiring speakers on many different topics. Recently because of competition from for-profit conferences and internet resources attendance has been declining at many state conventions. This makes it harder for state organizations to find the resources necessary to support homeschooling families. A great way to support your state organization--and the many benefits it provides--is to participate in its annual conference. To locate a conference near you go to calendar. More parents are homeschooling today than ever before. But for homeschooling to succeed in the long run groups are essential. If you aren t already part of a homeschool organization or support group I encourage you to consider joining one. Every family is different and there is no one-size-fits-all approach. But we believe that there s a group out there for you. By supporting your state organizations participating in local groups and being a member of HSLDA you are making a strategic investment in the current and future success of home education in America and around the world. J. MICHAEL SMITH and Michael Farris along with their wives founded Home School Leagal Defense Association (HSLDA) in 1983. He has served as president of the organization since 2001. The most enjoyable part of Mike s job is when he is able to go to homeschool conferences and meet what he calls America s greatest heroes --homeschool moms. HSLDA.ORG This article is reprinted with permission from the Third Quarter 2015 issue of the Home School Court Report published by Home School Legal Defense Association. If you re already part of a group--or are interested in starting one--contact us. HSLDA offers a range of free services to help your group succeed including Legal advice on group organization and structure Practical advice on maximizing your group s effectiveness Dedicated group consultants Access to attorneys for group legal issues Discounts on liability insurance for the group and its members Advice on how to establish policies on child protection and other important issues A free newsletter and online resources Listing on the HSLDA s website A 20 HSLDA member discount for each group member And much more--visit groupservices or call 540-338-8619 and ask to speak to our group consultant. FALL 2016 CHOIS COnneCtIOn 13 STAYING THE COURSE by Zan Tyler Can your children explain why they homeschool M y children grew up with television cameras in the living Can you play sports Will you ever be able to go to a prom Where do you want to go to college ... do you think you will be able to get in Are you learning anything I will never forget the first time the camera crew came to our home. The boys were seven and five. They were well-prepared to meet the crew socially. They interacted well and were not intimidated even at such a young age. And then the official interview began. I had not prepped them for it because I wanted their I cringed. From my son s perspective his answer was absolutely true and important to him. He had been in preschool before we started homeschooling where he couldn t do those things when he wanted to. But that s not what I wanted being discussed on the nightly news. answers to be sincere spontaneous and genuine. The reporter asked my totally endearing five-year-old So tell me son why do you like homeschooling He looked the reporter straight in the eye and said Because I can get a snack and go to the bathroom anytime I want to. room and school room. We began homeschooling in 1984 and it was a controversial decision to say the least. As we marched through the process as a family of lobbying for homeschooling legislation my children were asked a thousand questions What about socialization Do you like homeschooling Do you have any friends Do you feel like you are missing anything Why does your family homeschool THE PROCESS OF PREPARING CHILDREN FOR INTERVIEWS BRAINSTORMING We had a white board at the time. I began by drawing a line down the middle. I then asked questions like the ones at the beginning of the article. Each child would give his response. If the response was appropriate for the interview I wrote it down on the right side of the board. If it were appropriate for private conversation but not necessarily an interview situation I put it on the left side of the board. TWEAKING AND POLISHING At the end of that exercise we then looked at the answers on the right side of the board and we began to tweak and polish them a bit. ROLE PLAYING Then we role played. I would be the reporter and I would ask the boys questions. Then we would switch roles and they would ask the questions and I would answer. It gave them a chance to hear my responses. We would continue until they were too tired to be productive or we had an answer relatively down pat. PRACTICING Once we had gone through the role playing we would practice -- sometimes formally sometimes informally. If we were in the car I would throw out one question and have them answer it. Sometimes we would go back to the white board and have a more formal training session. If a new question arose we would go through the process again of brainstorming tweaking and polishing and role playing again. 14 CHOIS COnneCtIOn FALL 2016 It was my fault. I failed to realize that lawyers prepare their witnesses to be interrogated. It doesn t mean the answers aren t sincere and genuine but they are thought-through as opposed to spontaneous. Sometimes spontaneity isn t all it s cracked up to be Adults prepare for job interviews so they are able to put their best-foot forward for the potential employer. If adults need to prepare for interviews and interrogations in the real world how much more does a child need to prepare and rehearse I set to work and from that point on my children gave thought-out answers to the list of questions I thought they might be asked in an interview situation. And no age is too young for preparation by people at church by strangers and occasionally by a TV reporter or a legislator. And sometimes wellmeaning friends and relatives can t wait to get your children alone so they can find out what they really think and feel. You will be doing your children and yourself a great service if you teach them how to handle questions in a graceful confident knowledgeable way. This is a perfect forum for beginning to teach your children how to answer the countless questions they will encounter about homeschooling. Go back to your white board at home. Divide it into three sections -- mind body and soul -- and list the benefits of homeschooling provided in this book. It will be a great springboard for discussion. You will have reasons to add in addition to those listed by the author. Some reasons will be more important to you than others -- or more important to your children. The point is this begin the discussion. Prepare your children well to answer the questions that will arise almost daily in their lives concerning homeschooling. They are truly some of the greatest ambassadors homeschooling has. A great resource The Little Book of Big Reasons to Homeschool is a 70-page little book written by my friends David and Kim d Escoto. Because it is a quick and easy read (and is only 7.99) it makes a great book to keep on hand to give those who are interested in homeschooling. But I have also discovered another great use for this book. Have your children read it -- or read it out loud together as a family. (And count it as part of your school day.) This book gives a little history on homeschooling and then has sections on the benefits of homeschooling to the mind to the body and to the soul. All of life is an interview. Every child is asked a thousand questions in his growing-up years. If that child happens to be homeschooled the tally rises to a million fairly quickly You know how it is--you can t go through the check-out line in the grocery store without you and your children being riddled with questions. Homeschooled children are questioned by friends by relatives You can transfer this process to other areas. Your children will be questioned about their Christianity as they grow up seeking the Lord. Use this same process to teach them how to answer questions about their faith. As they prepare for job and or college interviews they will benefit greatly from these same interview skills you have instilled in them as children. And through this process of questioning and answering you are helping them develop powerful critical thinking skills. ZAN TYLER and her husband Joe homeschooled for 21 years teaching all of their children from kindergarten through high school. Zan is the author of Seven Tools for Cultivating Your Child s Potential. FALL 2016 CHOIS COnneCtIOn 15 H C l s cho o om e t ion o n v en ry lo the g be o God t June 3 -4 2016 My heart was spoken to about the areas where I need to be more attentive to the Lord s leading. NA M The I DA H Amazing PA speakersO were real about their own struggles. I was continually Visit the website for more information and to register online. encouraged. N N U B R A N DT C E N T E R We have been homeschooling for many years and it was our first time to come to the convention. It was great 16 16 CHOIS COnneCtIOn FALL 2016 CHOIS COnneCtIOn FALL 2016 We loved every moment of the weekend. Seriously cannot pick a favorite Great options and so helpful. Every year I am amazed at the quality of speakers you bring to Idaho Your topics were in line with what I needed to hear both encouraging and inspiring change. Our kids always enjoy the program and it is great that my husband and I can enjoy the convention together knowing the kids are having fun. FALL 2016 CHOIS COnneCtIOn FALL 2016 CHOIS COnneCtIOn 17 17 THE LEARNING ADVENTURE by Daniel Bobinski Nurturing a love for learning As homeschooling parents it s our job to observe the various facets and discover the uniqueness of each child. W hen God gives us children He sends them with certain However once we have that understanding we need to be smart with it. If we accidently create a learning environment that we like but our children don t we can inadvertently smother their love for learning. Consider the mom who loved doing math worksheets when she herself was in school. She thought of numbers as pieces of a puzzle and she marveled at how the puzzle could be put together in so many different ways. Math worksheets were fun for her so she was eager to share that fun with her daughter. Unfortunately the daughter did not find these worksheets enjoyable. In fact the daughter cried whenever a new worksheet appeared on the table in front of her. Had the mom not stepped back to think about how her daughter liked to perceive and process information it would have been easy for her to keep giving her daughter worksheets and before long her daughter would have been thought of as math deficient. Then the daughter like so many children before her would have grown up hating math. Fortunately the mom realized that her daughter would never be fond of those worksheets. Why Because the daughter liked to touch whatever she encountered and she learned how something worked by tinkering prepackaged traits that make each one exceptionally unique. In fact I like to think of children as diamonds. Think about it. They re highly valuable each one is unique and each has many facets for us to admire. As homeschooling parents it s our job to observe the various facets and discover the uniqueness of each child. This includes noticing each child s interests including their innate intelligences and the different ways they perceive and process the world around them. In so doing we can get a good idea about how each child likes to learn. 18 CHOIS COnneCtIOn FALL 2016 with it. Using academic language she perceived by doing rather than watching and then processed by active experimentation instead of through passive reflection. Once the mom realized this she searched for (and found) an excellent hands-on math curriculum. As you might surmise the daughter dove in and ate up the learning. She not only loved it math became her favorite subject. By the time the daughter was in seventh grade she was testing at the college level in math. This same girl is now entering high school. Ask her what her favorite subject is and she ll tell you Math. She loves algebra and says she can t wait to learn trigonometry and calculus. Why do I tell you this story Because I want to share a principle that helps homeschooling parents nurture a love for learning in their children. This mom took a deep interest in how her daughter noticed and processed information keeping an objective perspective along the way that is not letting her own preferences cloud what she saw. It didn t take long for the mom to realize that God wired her daughter very differently from how she herself was wired and that made all the difference in her creating a learning environment that her daughter enjoyed. It was not the type of environment the mom would have liked in school and it certainly did not mirror anything that you ll find in public or private school classrooms. But it was the type of environment that brought about a deep love for learning in her child not only in math but in every subject If you d like a little scriptural backup for this principle allow me to quote Proverbs 22 6 which says Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it. Looking at The Soncino Books of the Bible a set of Hebrew Bible commentaries the editors state that the phrase Train up in this verse is taken from the Hebrew word for education and that the verse is more accurately translated Educate a child according to his way. From an educator s perspective I look at this and say that to nurture a love for learning in children we need to teach them in ways that that they like to learn which may not be the ways we like to learn. Each child is a valuable gift from God and I believe one of our core responsibilities is to study the various facets of these little diamonds especially regarding how they learn best. Only then can we create the perfect setting that allows our precious diamonds to shine like God created them to shine. C.K. QUADE LAW PLLC ESTATE PLANNING ELDER LAW DISABILITY LAW Compassion Knowledge Quality in practice Heather L. Conder Heather and her husband John live in Meridian and currently homeschool two of their four children. Full spectrum estate planning such as Special Needs Trusts Supplemental Needs Trusts Guardianships and Conservatorships and Powers of Attorney is our main focus. We assist people with developmental disabilities and the elderly as well as providing legal planning to their families caretakers and other advocates. Other services we provide Affirmative Life Planning Wills Codicils and Restatements Living Will Social Security Disability Miller Trusts Elder Abuse Family Trusts Probate ESTP Updates Checkups 600 E. Riverpark Lane Suite 215 Boise Idaho 83706 208.367.0723 DANIEL BOBINSKI is a homeschooling dad a workplace training consultant and Director at Family Experience LLC. A Certified Behavioral Analyst and a Certified Motivational Analyst Daniel thoroughly 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. FALL 2016 CHOIS COnneCtIOn 19 BRIGHT BEGINNINGS by Copper Webb the value of C H O R E S It s a commonly heard phrase in homes where preschoolers reside I want to do it all by myself As little ones grow develop and master control of their own bodies their attention then turns to mastering their environment. This phase is the perfect time to introduce children to responsibilities. Yes I am referring to chores. Household chores have decreased in popularity. A 2014 survey of 1 001 U.S. adults by Braun Research found that while 82% of parents reported having regular chores when growing up but only 28% of parents required their own children to do them. Their reasoning is simple parents felt that chores were not a good use of their child s time and didn t want their children to feel burdened. Ironically household chores -something that parents can be so quick to dismiss -- are a proven indicator of future success. Drawing from a longitudinal 20-year study1 Marty Rossmann emeritus associate professor of family education at the University of Minnesota found that the best predictor of young-adults success was that they participated in household tasks when they were three or four. Marty Rossmann found that waiting until children were older before introducing chores backfired and children failed to grasp the concept that we are all in this together and were far too self-centered. Starting early is key Rossman writes because by involving children in tasks parents teach their children a sense of responsibility competence selfreliance and self-worth that stays with them throughout their lives. has to learn to play it. We cannot do anything only by imitation training is also necessary. 2 Training for playing the piano involves a series of exercises for independent practice and so it should be with training our preschoolers in life skills. Yes working alongside your preschooler means slowing down efficiency but in the long run the rewards are rich. making chores work THE IMPORTANCE OF TRAINING As parents we hope to get our preschooler involved in a chore but ultimately leave them alone while we do our own work. With few exceptions this is not realistic and will fail miserably. It is not until age six that a child has developed the necessary reasoning to think through and plan for what is required for completion. 2 It s essential that we repeatedly tell and show a preschooler how to work. Maria Montessori used the example of someone learning to play the piano. A person cannot play music on the piano merely by imitation he BREAK IT DOWN When working alongside a preschooler it s essential to simplify a chore into small manageable steps. For example You pick up all the cars and put them in the blue bucket. I ll pick up all the dinosaurs and put them in the green bucket. DESIGNATE A FINISH LINE With their inability to break down large tasks into small pieces preschoolers are often overwhelmed. When faced with picking up the toys in the playroom my own five-year-old daughter will almost always cry This will take foreverrrrrrrrrrrrrr 20 CHOIS COnneCtIOn FALL 2016 Appropriate Chores for Preschoolers Put toys away Make their bed Put clothes in hamper Fold dish towels and washcloths Match clean socks Dust Vacuum Empty wastebaskets Wipe down bathroom counters Wash mirrors Collect trash in the vehicle Bring in mail or newspaper Assist in preparing meals Set and clear the table Put away clean silverware Wash plastic dishes in the sink Sweep with a child-sized broom Wipe baseboards and walls Fill pet s food dish Water plants Pull weeds Timers work wonders. I often set a 5-minute timer on my phone and tell my children that we will all pick up toys at turbo speed and see how much we can do before the alarm sounds. They are always amazed at how much they can accomplish in mere minutes. Along those same lines I ll often play a peppy tune from our music library and we will work on a task for as long as the song lasts. HEAP ON THE PRAISE Lavish encouragement and praise on your child. They are an important part of your family and their contributions are valuable Praise is a great motivator so don t save it for the end of the job. My son Desmond is a fun-loving child and it is a challenge to keep him focused on a task. I picked up a great tip from author Dani Johnson 3 and when Desmond was a preschooler I often played the role of a sports radio commentator when working with my him. Look at Desmond go He is so fast at picking up Those Duplos don t know what s coming He shoots He scores Into the tote they all go One hand two hands Desmond can do it all He is the master picker-upper This method was so much more effective and far more pleasant than nagging. COPPER WEBB is a second-generation Idaho homeschooler and occasionally blogs at She and her husband Mike have three sons and one daughter. They daily make their children do household chores eat vegetables read quality literature and various other boooooorrrrrrriiiiiiiing things. They re banking on the research that it s worth the struggle. thestruggleisreal 1 Rossmann Marty. (Sept. 2002). Involving Children in Household Tasks Is it Worth the Effort College of Education and Human Development. U. of Minnesota. Web. 11 April 2014. 2 Lillard Paula Polk. and Lynn Lillard. Jessen. Montessori from the Start The Child at Home from Birth to Age Three. New York Schocken 2003. Print. 3 Johnson Dani. Grooming the next Generation for Success . Shippensburg PA Destiny Image 2009. Print. Come and see the VISION THE MOST UNIQUE MUSEUM I VE BEEN TOO NWSM Vision Center 1831 Wildwood St Boise ID 83713 Like us on Facebook Follow us on twitter contact us at 208- 972-6288 email info FALL 2016 CHOIS COnneCtIOn 21 PARENTING by Rob James A Evel Knievel services we provide the daycare the teaching the shuttle service the medic the caregiver ... How are we not providing Believe me our sons could care less about verbs. They care that we re there ... Dads Boys & heights changed my perspective. My job was to change it back. As parents we often find ourselves frustrated and without answers to simple problems screaming milk-spilling tree climbing. It s all the same. Our job as fathers is to stop comparing ourselves to our wives. Take a deep breath. Step back. Be better than your expectations. 3. my dad Was evel knievel . Inching through the fourth-grade lunch line David Bernard and I traded first-hand secrets about Bigfoot UFO s and the fact that both of our dads were apparently Evel Knievel. This isn t unusual. Boys conjure images and embellish what they know to be true. But why I have an idea. Growing up my dad worked in an office and wore a suit. Short of that I had no idea what he actually did. I didn t tell David that my dad jumped school busses for a living because I wanted my dad to be that person. I said it because I wanted to know more ... but didn t. There was a mystery about dads but I m not sure it was always a good thing. The takeaway is simple to a child we will always be a powerful force if we re present. God doesn t want more from us than that. In fact He wants us to bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord (Eph 6 4). Push a mop for living. Build skyscrapers. It doesn t matter as long as we re part of their lives always lighting the way in the name of Christ. Champion the fact that for the first time fathers have the opportunity to project more than a vague image. Indeed we can be powerful full-time examples in their lives ... Evil Knievel with a mop. few weeks ago my son innocently asked me what I do for a living. I muttered something incoherent about teaching and making meals but basically I was stumped. How do I frame this in a Christian light that also helps him make sense of why his dad is like the other moms on the block It s complicated but for men how our sons perceive our worth is often more impactful than proving the mundane things we do around the house. True or not we often connect what we do with the value it provides. But the kind of job we perform is meaningless in a child s eye. Men often fail to understand this so here are five tips to help keep everything in perspective. I m writing to dads but there s nothing here that doesn t apply to moms 2. greaT dad Terrible moTher. Pop culture has effectively perpetuated the myth that the genders are interchangeable. Of course men and women can perform similar roles. But men are not women dads are not mothers. I can never hope to replace my wife. But that s ok. Let me explain. Back to verbs my daughter has a particular volume. I m not sure any one of them accurately brings it to life to shred shriek shrill and screech All of them offer a glimpse but none of them really represent it. She s hefty with her vocal chords. Let s put it that way. And being hefty she likes to focus on random obsessions. Yesterday it was balloons. Like a machine gun scattering syllabic bullets Bawoon Bawoon Bawoon I often revert to my impatient side when she repeats things like that -- a side my patient wife rarely displays. At those times I remember something my dad used to tell me. When I was little I couldn t climb trees like my brothers. My dad always stoic and calm sat me at the bottom of a young Oak and said Just be someone you re not for a few minutes. And someone you re not wants you to look at the world from the top of the tree ... You see he knew that the idea of 1. don T geT caughT up in Words. I love that the English language is so flexible. Like a puzzle words can mean nothing. But in the wrong mind words mean everything. And Christian men love to get stuck in the words. Most of this stems from 1 Timothy 5 and how we perceive who and how we provide for our families. Over the centuries we ve been conditioned to believe that provision refers to hunting gathering bartering fighting any behavior that converts energy into family currency. Stay at home dads (and I m one of them) often find themselves lamenting the fact that a diaper bag isn t nearly as valuable as a tool belt. After all what kind of male roles are we teaching The problem is that we forget to break down the value of the 4. Where you are is Where you are and here is ofTen boring. I wonder how my dad would feel about my role as mom. He was clear about his manhood and what duties were male. Changing diapers wasn t one of them. Spending days at home even less. Consider the hundreds of ways we entertain ourselves smartphones video games television. There is no real reason to be bored any more. But 22 CHOIS COnneCtIOn FALL 2016 this is precisely the problem. When I was a child I remember telling my dad how bored I was and how I could never find enough to do. He told me often that boredom should be a commandment. There s beauty in simplicity after all. Of all the complaints I hear from dads the idea that parenting is menial repetitive and downright boring ranks at the top. It s boring dads. Yes but teaching your children how to live a solid life means emphasizing the simplicity of love. Nothing more. Remember God is not a God of confusion but of peace (1 Corinthians 14 33). same way I doubt Jesus cares that we have a hard time being a man in a woman s world. During a late night jog with dad when I was in high school we found an injured squirrel. Dad brought it home and gave me the responsibility of nursing it back to health. You re the most important person in his life now. That s a valuable place to be. But at this moment you might very well be the least important person on Earth. Think about that ... Until my walk with Christ began in college I didn t truly understand this. You see when Jesus said that when I am lifted up from the earth [I] will draw all people to myself (John 12 32) He was reminding us that we have a place. And our place Boys conjure images and embellish what they know to be true. But why is following Him. Our children and wives follow that. Dads -- we pull the caboose. So to my son ... I guess what I do for a living is love you. I serve you and every silly endeavor your brothers and sisters concoct. I can t say this out loud during lunch but I guess my job is more simple than I ever thought possible. While I m not building supercomputers I am framing a love of Christ and life that will follow you forever. ROB JAMES is a Christian homeschooling dad enjoying life and kicking back with four wildly untamed kids in the high desert of Boise Idaho. A transplant from Kansas City Rob is an occasional writer former teacher sometimes photographer and full time dad. 5. you Will alWays be number TWo ... or Three . Look through the common core standards and you ll find a lot about math and language but nothing about the stuff that makes us solid people -- self-deprecation selflessness and charitableness. Again popular culture teaches us to live happily selfserving lives. But Jesus didn t. In the FALL 2016 CHOIS COnneCtIOn 23 HOMESCHOOLING FOR HIGH SCHOOL by Amy Vassar HIGH SCHOOL in this area. First I feel it is important to address the issue of maintaining rigor in our high school programs whether our approach is traditional or non-traditional. Second I will share some ideas for creative ways to put together a solid high school program with a non-academic emphasis. Before I go any further let s define what we mean by academic and non-academic. This is an ongoing debate in various educational circles including community colleges that offer both traditional fields of study as well as preparation for skilled trades so it s worth outlining here. When I speak of an academic course of study for high school students I mean those traditional courses like algebra calculus English chemistry history and foreign language. Nonacademic studies as far as this article is concerned include skills and job- or trade-specific study and practice. Some courses may be a combination of the two like construction math. Regardless of emphasis we want to hold our students to high standards. They are capable of accomplishing great things and homeschooling freedoms depend in part on our commitment to maintaining high standards without government oversight. However those standards can be individualized. If you decide that your son or daughter would benefit from a less traditional route in high school take some time to think about the nonnegotiables. What level of math or science should they complete Are there subjects that should be done every year in conjunction with their alternate program What is the minimum amount of time they should spend on school each week One thing to keep in mind is that some of these career fields will require some kind of college degree or certificate so you will want to make sure that the nonnegotiables include whatever requirements may be necessary for admission to those programs. Once you ve determined your I love having the privilege of homeschooling my own kids don t you Getting to see the first time each mental light bulb flicks on. Inspiring a passion for learning. Raising a child who delights in academics. Seeing them grow into teenagers who love to study who are committed to their own education and who are carefully preparing themselves to attend the college of their dreams. Oh wait. I have a teenager and that s not how our life looks right now I know sometimes all of the above is true and I do love to see that. But it is not my reality. Maybe it s not yours either. I used to think that homeschooling if done correctly would always produce students who loved being students and who excelled in academic fields. Yes you can go ahead and laugh. I know better now and this article is for those of you who are in the process of learning this too. I want to outline two things that have been part of my own journey 24 CHOIS COnneCtIOn FALL 2016 for the student who HATES ACADEMICS FALL 2016 CHOIS COnneCtIOn 25 answers to these questions start mapping out the individual program that will capitalize on your son or daughter s interests and give them exposure to and practice with the skills that will help prepare them for the future. For example you may require that they complete Algebra 1 and 2 and Geometry and then shift to math that is more focused on your student s particular interest such as consumer math business math or construction math. You may decide that they don t need to study science every year of high school but that they should study English every year. Once you have these non-negotiables determined start mapping out the 4 years (or however many years remain of your student s high school career) by filling in those courses. Keep in mind that they don t necessarily have to be completed in traditional semester or year increments. For example some courses could be completed in shorter high-intensity segments (like during the summer) to allow more flexibility for scheduling the rest of your program. you are going to do now is create a massive multi-year unit study with that interest as your core theme. Let s look at some brief examples. Say your son wants to be a concrete finisher. In addition to the nonnegotiables you already determined there may be some courses that are halfway between academics and skills that he could use. He should probably study construction math. If he expects to be selfemployed a little accounting or Quickbooks knowledge would serve him well also as well as Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree it will live its whole life believing it is stupid. Now for the fun part What are the skills and abilities that your son or daughter excels in What career intrigues them Perhaps they are mechanically inclined. Maybe they have a love for fashion or some work with communication and sales. This is one field where an apprenticeship would be invaluable. He should also become familiar with the trade organizations publications and shows that inform the concrete industry. What about a daughter who wants to learn about graphic design construction or computers or visual arts. Whatever has captured their interest is the hook for their high school program. Essentially what 10% Discount on Wills & Trusts for CHOIS & ICHE Members Call 939-2600 now for your Free Initial Consultation 26 Learn more at CHOIS COnneCtIOn FALL 2016 Some classes that would bridge the gap between academics and skills might be geometry and art history. She should also work on developing computer skills and if she expects to do freelance work probably some accounting and Quickbooks experience too. Since much graphic design work relates to marketing a course or independent study relating to sales and marketing may be a good addition to the program. Finally networking with current graphic artists and completing an internship would have tremendous benefit as would completing some freelance projects perhaps as a free service to a non-profit organization in the community. As you build the program use guidelines from HSLDA or other reputable sources to calculate approximate credits for each course. Determine how you will assign grades for each one and keep your transcripts updated regularly so that you don t forget to record any of the components that are included in the program. Obviously none of these ideas will leave academics out completely but they will allow your son or daughter to create and complete a program that is tailored to their passions and thus capitalize on the academic topics that will specifically benefit them in their chosen career. And of course if they end up changing their minds and going a different direction with work after high school they will still have a solid high school education. Redesigning high school to fit the needs of your non-academic student may seem overwhelming at first. But this is what we do as homeschooling parents right We customize and modify and challenge and inspire. We recognize that preconceived notions about the right way to do education are sometimes just the result of old habits and we don t try to force a particular model just because it suits someone else s expectations. Our children who are skilled in mechanical creative or other nonacademic fields have so much to offer and if we can embrace that belief we ll spend much less time banging our heads against the wall because they hate Spanish or precalculus. As Albert Einstein so aptly expressed it Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree it will live its whole life believing it is stupid. 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. FALL 2016 CHOIS COnneCtIOn 27 JOY IN THE JOURNEY by Linda Hobar Keeping the in Homeschool I m pretty serious about the academic side of home education. As courtroom evidence to that statement consider Exhibit A I spent 17 years teaching three children at home. Consider Exhibit B I spent 15 years writing The Mystery of History a fourvolume world history curriculum. And last consider Exhibit C All my children have graduated from college with honors and one is presently working on her Master s. All of this data combined would suggest that the Hobar family placed a strong emphasis on the school side of homeschool. But I must say in retrospect I don t think those 17 years of home education would have been truly successful or the least bit delightful if we hadn t placed a sincere emphasis on the home side of homeschool too--where love and respect are born and bred. Let me elaborate. Since our children were little my husband and I cared about keeping our home homey. To him that meant our main spaces were clean clutter-free and organized . For me that meant our living areas were decorated cozy and inviting. Between the two of us I think we naturally created that kind of homey-home. But much more important than making our house neat and comfy my husband and I cared about keeping our home in good balance. To him that meant that along with keeping up the yard and our cars and doing the dishes there was always time to rough and tumble and play. For me that meant that along with keeping up the laundry and meals and weeding the beds there was always time for talking tenderness and affection. Without planning it I think by God s design and by doing what came natural in the realms of love and respect we drifted toward keeping our home a healthy place for work play and matters of the heart. Did this shape the success of our homeschool I think so Since homeschooling is really an extension of how you live I think we instinctively created an atmosphere for learning in our home where hard work was rewarded fun and kisses were expected and grace was readily available. Let s take that to a deeper level. From the earliest days of having children my husband established a no tone policy with our kids. (I never mastered it ) It meant that when he and the children were working or playing the kids were not allowed to have a disrespectful tone with their father (ie. no backtalk no rolling of the eyes and no footstomping protests.) Like a gentle giant he simply earned their respect without shouting arguing bartering or bribing. You could say he was the fun but admirable captain who kept the lines of authority straight in our home. Did his parenting style influence our homeschool Absolutely. At the end of the school day the children knew they were accountable to their dad even 28 CHOIS COnneCtIOn FALL 2016 HOMESCHOOL It s a two-part word with HOME needing just as much attention as SCHOOL. if they had me sidetracked. (And that was easy to do ) Truthfully I didn t fare so well when it came to discipline. Being a Mary and not a Martha I struggled too much with my feelings to enforce the rules like I should have. But when it came to loving my children and caring for their needs I believe I did my job well. (At least most of the time ) That means that working or playing with my children I showed patience when they were childish gave comfort when they were hurt and insisted they love one another through kind words and deeds. And when we didn t get it right we napped we hugged and we prayed together for forgiveness and grace. You could say I was the sappy second captain who kept the lines of love and communication straight in our home. Did this influence our homeschool I think so. At the end of the school day no matter how rough it had been my children knew they were deeply loved by their mama and could talk to me about anything. I share all this to remind you that homeschooling is a two-part word. To succeed in the part that is school it helps to succeed in the part that is home where love and respect are groomed and developed if children are college bound or not. In fact because college degrees don t ultimately define success then the home side of homeschool is that much more important So I ask on the home front are you working hard playing hard and dealing well with matters of the heart Is there an atmosphere in your home of love respect and forgiveness If so thank God. It s heaven on earth when our homes are the safe refuge they should be and a warm snuggly place for our families to retreat from the world. Schooling studying and learning should naturally follow well to help place our children wherever the Lord would lead them. Now if for some reason your home is not in the shape you d like it to be first take heart and don t feel alone. All homes have seasons of disarray crises and full-blown storms. (Ours included ) Second it may be wise to set school aside temporarily to fill the love tank at home and work on improving your family dynamics. We have done this more than once--because when there s chaos and disrespect at home school doesn t follow very well So be it for a few months a couple of weeks or for several Fridays here and there de-clutter to reduce stress revise chore charts re-establish discipline pull out some family games to laugh read books on marriage and parenting or simply prioritize time in God s Word to fill your soul. Homeschool. It s a twopart word with home needing just as much attention as school. If you d like to hear more about homeschooling or world history (my real speciality) please join my email list at I d love to connect ICHE Bulletin Board March 2017 testing registration has closed. Information letters are mailed in January. Go to the website for suggested test preparation materials Scope and Sequence and other testing information. january 2017 TesT preparaTion leTTers mailed Applications are posted on the website to participate in this annual Statehouse reception for our legislators. Deadlines to apply Music (December 1) Displays (October 15) Pies (January 21). Hundreds of home-baked pies are needed for our lawmakers favorite event of the session. Your help is appreciated. february 1 2017 legislaTive pie day LINDA LACOUR HOBAR author of The Mystery of History is a follower of Christ a genuine people-person and a fan of comfortable high-heels. Formerly a missionary she graduated from Baylor University where she first fell in love with world history. Join ICHE or renew online. 25 memberships are effective Follow To find your for one on Facebook IdahoCoalitionOfHomeEducators expiration date click on Join ICHE. online iche memberships Follow us on Facebook IdahoCoalitionOfHomeEducators FALL 2016 CHOIS COnneCtIOn 29 THE 5TH & FINAL ARTICLE IN THE RAILROAD FIELDTRIP SERIES FAMILY FUN FIELDTRIPS by Connie Seward THE L Boise Depot Families can view the interior of the Boise Depot by taking advantage of the free open house held each week. The Boise Depot is open to the public for self-guided tours on Sunday and Monday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and closed on Legal Holidays. Two sets of glasspaned wooden doors lead visitors from a large brick plaza on the north side of the building and also from the train tracks on the south side of the building. 1 Inside visitors can view the Great Hall which once served as the depot waiting room. Large arched entrances and upper story windows allow a flood of natural light to fill the Great Hall with its 44-foot ceiling. The Spanish ceiling trusses and rafters are each imprinted with an antique locomotive. In the centers is a doubleend car and between the two ends are two old-time coaches. 1 Ten of the original benches which were heated by geothermal water line the walls. At the west end of the building the original Barkalow Brothers wood and glass newsstand once provided train passengers with reading materials snacks and other items. 1 Overlooking the main hall is a room accessed by matching staircases. Families can also learn about the Depot history by taking part in guided tours. On the first Sunday of the month guided tours are offered free of charge. Tours are held at 12 00 noon and 1.30 p.m. and are approximately one hour in length. Tours are also available on the second Thursday evening of the month during the summer from 5.30 to 8.30. In July the ocated on the Boise bench the Depot grounds feature a panoramic view of the city and an impressive view of the State Capitol along with the lovely Platt Gardens. Platt Gardens was originally designed by Spanish landscape architect Ricardo Espino and built in 1927 by the Union Pacific Railroad. The garden was named for Howard V. Platt who at the time was general manager of the Oregon Short Line Railroad. When trains actively ran through the Depot visitors would often picnic in the gardens while waiting for passengers arriving on the train. 1 The Platt Gardens include ponds filled with large colorful koi gazebo winding walkways a volcanic rock monument benches trees and flowering plants. CONTACT INFORMATION 2603 W Eastover Terrace Boise Idaho 83706 Phone 208-608-7644 Boise Depot Reservations or Tours Meliza Guajardo 208-608-7608 or 208-608-7648 30 CHOIS COnneCtIOn FALL 2016 The Boise Depot is a beautiful historic Spanish-style structure operated by the Boise Parks & Recreation Department as a public meeting space and historic site. Designed by New York architects the building opened in 1925 to elaborate fanfare in the capital city. Thursday tour also includes free music and food available for purchase from local vendors. A Thursday night tour is available October 30th for Halloween and also on December 8th when the Boise Depot will be trimmed for the Christmas holiday. The guided tour highlights the history of the iconic Boise Depot and take guests through the progression of local rail service from the railroad s arrival in Boise and construction of the Depot to its years of operation and renovation. Guests will see the building inside and out and learn how restoration efforts in the 1990 s preserved the building for future generations. The tour finishes with an up close look at the bells in the 96-foot tower. 1 Registration is requested online and a calendar with detailed information on monthly free public tours and events can be found at the website. When registering you can request the tour be addressed toward a certain age group and the docent will do his best to structure the presentation as requested. Big Mike a powerful Mikado-type steam locomotive which was built in 1920 by the American Locomotive Company is located alongside the Boise Depot railroad tracks. Boise s Big Mike was used as an all-purpose freight engine along Union Pacific s main line from North Platte Nebraska to Fruitland Idaho. Engine No. 2295 was retired by the Union Pacific Railroad and donated to the city of Boise in 1956. The locomotive was subsequently moved to the 3rd street entrance to Julia Davis Park. On December 9th 2007 Big Mike was moved to a new home on a siding on the east side of the Boise Depot. Hundreds of people watched the move which occurred at midnight on the cold winter s night. 1 Big Mike s display includes kiosks with maps photographs and colorful illustrations. The interpretive kiosks include information on how steam locomotion works Union Pacific s Old Overland route A chronological history of train crews during the steam era Big Mike train facts and specifications and Engine 2295 The Big Mike story. The kiosk s interactive displays include three short videos about how engineers operate trains locomotives in motion and photos of depots along Big Mike s route and Big Mike s move from Julia Davis Park to the Boise Depot. A fun and informative sheet for kids which features two train themed word puzzles and a picture of Big Mike and the Boise Depot is downloadable on the website. Families or field trip groups can schedule a private tour of the Boise Depot for 45.00 per group. The tour can be tailored toward a specific age group if needed and there is no limit on the number or ages of attendees. The bell tower elevator is wheelchair and stroller accessible. CONNIE SEWARD along with her husband Quentin home schooled their children through high school in the Treasure Valley. Their family continues to enjoy discovering Idaho together. An old railroad key passed down by a great uncle who worked as a Union Pacific train engineer during the mid 1900 s rests on their mantle as a reminder of a bygone era in Idaho history. References 1. parks-locations parks boise-depot FALL 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 FORMAL MOMENTOUS REVERENT CELEBRATION A P P L I C AT I O N D E A D L I N E I S J A N UA RY 1 2 0 1 7 Visit the website for more information and to apply online . S D ave MAY the 20th ate 2017 LET HELP YOU write the final chapter of YOUR HOMESCHOOL STORY