This Digital Edition requires Flash 9.0.115 or above to activate some rich media components.

Please click the following link to download and install: Get Adobe Flash player
When you are finished installing, please return to this window and PRESS F5 to view this edition.

Description: CHOIS Connection is a quarterly Christian publication designed to encourage Christian homeschool families of Idaho state. It includes articles from leading homeschool educators, resources for educating children from preschool to high school, and fun suggestions for homeschool field trips, upcoming events for homeschoolers both statewide and nationally.

Connection Winter 2016 a magazine for idaho home educators Try During the Holidays JESSICA HULCY Unit Studies Stressless hol i days MARILYN ROCKETT FREEDOM Confessions of a LEFT-BRAINED Mom PAMELA GATES J. MIKE SMITH the best educational environment Earn credits from a premier liberal arts university while still in high school. VLADIMIR IMAKAEV Mass Communication Major Class of 2016 FIND A COLLEGE YOU TRULY LOVE Northwest Nazarene University helps students pursue their passions and prepare for their futures At NNU opportunities for experiential learning abound. From degree-specific internships to service learning trips to Peru from clubs where students invest money on behalf of the University to field hours producing short films in NNU s Film School we are dedicated to providing you opportunities for meaningful experiential learning to develop your worldview and gain a professional edge. Learn more at LOVE.NNU.EDU 2 CHOIS COnneCtIOn WINTER 2016 Subscribe Today Connection Winter 2016 a magazine for idaho home educators EDITOR S NOTE Homeschool Friends Don t you just love these long winter nights They re perfect for curling up with a good book or your favorite magazine CHOIS Connection Last month CHOIS teamed up with ICHE to visit homeschool families all across our state. It was awesome meeting families in Coeur d Alene Moscow Cascade Twin Falls Idaho Falls and Pocatello. We d like to thank all of you for coming out to meet with us. Idaho is full of wonderful people Please mark your calendars for the 19th annual Idaho Homeschool Convention on June 1-3 2017. We re back on the campus of Northwest Nazarene University with an exciting lineup of speakers. To learn more about it please visit our website. I ll start by telling you about our teen program for next June. Your teen will enjoy a day hearing from Linda Hobar the creator of the Mystery of History curriculum. Linda is an exceptional speaker and she will have your teen enthralled by her captivating tales. On the second day our teens will have the pleasure of hearing from Mike Riddle. Mike will be teaching them from a Biblical Worldview about apologetics and creation science. This ex-Marine will engage your students with his wit and fast-paced speaking style. We know your teens won t want to miss hearing either of these two fabulous speakers and each of them have also agreed to do two adult workshops as well. Have a wonderful time learning together with your children this Winter Try 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 During the Holidays JESSICA HULCY Unit Studies Stressless hol MARILYN ROCKETT i days PAMELA GATES Confessions of a LEFT-BRAINED Mom the best educational environment J. MIKE SMITH FREEDOM Email or go to to subscribe online If paying this subscription fee would be a financial hardship for your family please email info and request a scholarship. 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 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 Linda Patchin WINTER 2016 CHOIS COnneCtIOn 3 Connection a magazine for idaho home 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. Advertisers 2 15 18 18 24 25 25 27 29 30 BOARD MEMBERS Adam and Diana Childress Alan and Deanne Knopp Paul and Linda Patchin Tony and Jennifer Vahsholtz Mike and Copper Webb PUBLISHER Published quarterly by CHOIS EDITOR Linda Patchin GRAPHIC ARTIST Diana Childress Northwest Nazarene University ICHE Northwest C hristian Credit Union Barry Peters Attorney at Law Future Problem Solving Program T he Ambrose School Jonathan Long Realty Trail Guide to Learning Harvey s Repair C.K. Quade Law ADVERTISING Rates are available upon request by email. CONTACT INFO Christian Homeschoolers of Idaho State PO Box 45062 Boise ID 83711 info 2016 Christian Homeschoolers of Idaho State. All rights reserved. 3 3 19 29 30 31 32 In T his Issue Letter from the E ditor Subscribe today Community Meeting Highlights ICHE Bulletin Board Digital CHOIS Connection 2017 Graduation Details 2017 Convention Details 4 CHOIS COnneCtIOn WINTER 2016 WINTER 2016 INSIDE Featured Articles Unit Studies 6 During the Holidays JESSICA HULCY this issue WINTER 2016 Home not School 8 JULIE BOGART E asy Steps Make 10 Stressless Holidays MARILYN ROCKETT Freedom T he Best 12 E ducational Environment J.MIKE SMITH It s A C lassic 16 LINDA PATCHIN Confessions of a 20 Left-Brained Mom PAMELA GATES Fingerplays A Powerful 22 Development Tool COPPER WEBB Calling Uncle 26 AMY VASSAR Discover Lava 28 Hot Springs Idaho CONNIE SEWARD WINTER 2016 CHOIS COnneCtIOn 5 Remember that hot cocoa or cider makes all tas s festive k Try o you feel like you have no time to enjoy the holidays Are you drawn to unit studies but you do not want to let go of your curriculum Solution Turn several holidays into kidfriendly units sprinkled with learning Learn about the holiday s history and traditions the songs of the holiday the people of the holiday the stories associated with the holiday the different ways the holiday is celebrated around the world and also make crafts and cook special holiday dishes. You can have your cake and eat it too During the Holidays D How does one plan a holiday unit Pick one main activity and then add to it. You will have to make choices. You cannot cook every treat instead prepare your favorite recipe. Remember we are not trying for 30 minutes of art and 30 minutes of history each day. Some units are more art and some are more Bible and some are more history. Be content with the flow and always try to combine activities to kill two birds with one stone. Unit Studies Christmas By Jessica Hulcy 2017 CHOIS Convention Keynote Speaker Christmas s primary activity could be a dramatized nativity for the neighborhood throughout the weeks before Christmas or performed for the extended family on Christmas Eve. The production will involve costumes and props that are either gathered or made. Pick easy rather than elaborate --bathrobes vs. fancy costumes. 6 CHOIS COnneCtIOn WINTER 2016 Cooking is an essential element of a holiday unit study and can be coupled with singing carols as you make cookies which leads to sharing giving what has been made either with the group after the nativity is dramatized or sharing the goodies with shut-in neighbors. Easter You could study Christmas traditions found in three different countries dedicating one week of study to each country. There is always the option of making some gifts or a gingerbread house if your kids have the desire to create. Some evenings could be earmarked for wrapping gifts while someone reads The Littlest Angel or The Night Before Christmas or everyone watches Scrooge Miracle on 34th Street or It s a Wonderful Life. Other days could be designated as shopping days or decorating days. Plan your weekly events and communicate the schedule to the family. Remember that hot cocoa or cider makes all tasks festive. You could study Christmas traditions found in three different countries dedicating one week of study to each country. The Hulcys especially enjoy the traditions of Sweden Germany and Mexico so each of those countries gets one day in our family. Swedish Santa Lucia with a wreath of candles on her head serves buns and coffee for breakfast and traditional risengr d rice porridge is served for dinner. Germany gives us the Advent wreath which must be started four Sundays before December 25. It could be started as early as November 27 but it is always a challenge for our family to get it started on time. With the Advent wreath come Scripture readings and a focus on the meaning of the Christmas season. Mexico brings us the posadas procession of Mary as well as Joseph being refused lodging and the breaking of a star-shaped pi ata from Walmart after which we serve caramel flan. As an alternative to studying Christmas traditions in a variety of countries read about Saint Nicholas and the origin of Santa Claus. The centerpiece used in our home during our Easter celebration is an Easter Tree designed by my friend Pam Lancaster. It is made from a branch secured with rocks in a coffee can on which is hung seven small symbols with accompanying verses that commemorate the last week of Christ s earthly life. For Palm Sunday we hang a small palm branch made of construction paper. On Monday Christ cleanses the temple so on that day we hang a birdcage made of toothpicks on the Easter Tree. Your family could read the Scriptures to first identify and then make appropriate symbols to go on your tree. Good Friday is the day of Christ s death so you could use cotton balls to make a lamb that represents the Lamb of God. Cover the lamb with a black cloth to represent Christ in the tomb but on Resurrection Sunday remove the black cloth move the lamb to the top of the tree and decorate the entire tree with ribbons flowers hearts butterflies and eggs to celebrate the risen Savior. Sing Up From the Grave He Arose and He Lives Turn several holidays into kid-friendly units sprinkled with learning Perhaps you could choose one gospel to read entirely during Easter week observe da Vinci s The Last Supper painting and discuss how the artist draws attention to Jesus celebrate communion with your family on Thursday and on Friday make and serve hot cross buns to remind us that it is the day when we remember Christ s death on the cross. Throughout the week discuss these terms atonement propitiation redemption salvation and penal substitute. A wonderful allegory to read watch is The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe. Dye Easter eggs to hide on Easter morning and be sure to discuss why eggs are associated with Easter celebrations. The rule for holiday unit studies is as follows Do what you can and what works for your family. Enjoy JESSICA HULCY co-author of KONOS Curriculum the first curriculum written for homeschool is an educator author and popular national homeschool speaker. A graduate of the University of Texas mom to four grown sons and Grandear to grandchildren Jessica lives with her husband Wade on acreage in Texas. www. kOnOS .COm All activities are taken from KONOS Volume II by Carole Thaxton and Jessica Hulcy. Copyright 2012 used with permission. All rights reserved by author. Originally appeared in the December 2012 issue of The Old Schoolhouse Magazine the family education magazine. WINTER 2016 CHOIS COnneCtIOn 7 HOME not By Julie Bogart 2017 CHOIS Convention Speaker School HOME IS NOT SCHOOL. I ll say it again Home is not school. Remember when you decided to homeschool Remember what you felt about school as a concept As a method of education You rejected school. You said to yourself I think I can do a better job or at least a more loving job or possibly a more attentive-to-my-child job at home than what is available at school. With that burst of bravery you stood up to the man and said with your actions I can do this You swiftly researched education products learning styles--a crash course in teaching or facilitating or modeling or partnering (whatever method you chose)--and marched forward with conviction and uneasy confidence. The first fledgling steps into homeschooling sometimes mirror school (What else do you know ). But usually it doesn t take long to see that you can relax--pay attention to a child s interest not do every page switch routines mid-week play with Play-Doh for an entire morning and read aloud book after book in any order you choose. When I think of school I think of permission slips bells stiff chairs blackboards facing forward waiting for other kids to finish raised hands scheduled breaks due dates being good following the rules starting and stopping when told to do so. Home is where you get to leave the schedule behind. Home is the place you flop on the couch show up as yourself-- cranky giddy silly happy moody. When I think of the properties of home I think of snacks when I m hungry hugs no pressure to be or do in any particular way. Home is the place where people get away from the expectations others put on us out there. Home and school form an uneasy alliance. The memory of school and what it requires causes many of us to violate the natural rhythms of home in our attempt to bring education to the kitchen table. Even when we as home educators attempt to apply a schedule or a method we are completely willing to reply to a text or get up to change a diaper in the middle of a lesson. That s because we are at home Intuitively we feel the difference. No school teacher can pause mid-lesson to check a website or grab a cup of coffee. Yet at home we do all of these with ease without considering that the lesson we are teaching to our children is that the rules and plan are not real--they are a shadow of the memory of school. 8 CHOIS COnneCtIOn WINTER 2016 When we embrace the feeling of home and allow learning to be the fruit of curiosity depth space time and freedom our homeschools experience lift-off--excitement and energy that confirm to us we re having a powerful educational experience with our children. Somewhere along the way however you may find that you go through your first bout of wavering confidence. She didn t read at seven years of age. His handwriting is illegible at ten. She can t skip count. He isn t writing full paragraphs like his cousins in school. TO START AGAIN --to screw up the courage to make homeschool more about home than school-- requires a second commitment. It s what I like to call the re-upping moment. That moment is critical to long-term home education. It s the time in your journey where you put faith in your own vision and trust that you have what it takes to create a rich satisfying expansive experience of learning. This happy fantasy can be yours. You get there by paying attention to your child s unique quirky personality and his or her interests pacing yourself deep diving into subject areas applying the principle that less is more indulging writing that expresses self and a child s rabbit-trail mind-life doing one invested thing at a time using your real life as the primary engine of your educational journey rather than canned curriculum. The methods are as natural as home. It s your confidence that needs a boost. THAT MOMENT SHAKES YOU. Your brain flips into reverse. Just like a new tired language learner reverts to grunting in her native tongue you return to the only educational model you understand school. You buckle down. You buy new books. You enforce a schedule. You require more work. You follow traditional strategies. The life s blood of your cozy home slips from view apples rulers yellow school buses and workbooks crowd your field of vision. THE NET EFFECT Not progress. Not joy. Not home. School. School--with its culture of pressure evaluation critique grading measuring comparing forcing a pace testing requiring and shaming--comes flooding past your front door and right into your living room. The choice to follow a school model for writing for example leads to stifled voice and plodding progress. Your child s work may mirror the samples but it doesn t sing. You may finish the assignments but none are memorable beyond the feeling of getting it done. TAKE HEART. YOUR INSTINCTS ARE GOOD. Be home with your kids in all the ways that home provides. Lead them into short lessons big juicy conversations writing voice curiosity and interestled study. You are in for a joyful exploration of life not merely subjects for school. One day when you look back your memories will not be of workbooks satisfyingly completed but of a big shared mutually satisfying life lived that also powerfully educated your children. I can t wait to hear how it all turns out for you JULIE BOGART raised and home educated her five children who are now adults. She s the creator of the innovative writing program called Brave Writer and the popular fast-growing practice called Poetry Teatime. Her books include a series of non-sectarian daily readings for home educators and an anthology of poems to read aloud (with author Nancy Graham) in addition to more than 200 pieces of curriculum for literature and writing. Is this what you wanted This replication of school at home At some point you may think to yourself I miss cozy. I miss natural. I miss the originality of this family. BravewrIter .COm WINTER 2016 CHOIS COnneCtIOn 9 Easy Steps Make ST R E SS l e ss holidays by Marilyn Rockett A homeschooling mother has more to do on most days than almost any human on the planet must accomplish. Then the holidays arrive Disorganization adds stress and frustration to what should be a happy time. Perhaps these ten principles will help you stress less as you celebrate this joyous season. ee God s Perspective S Take Time to Plan Lighten Your Load Reevaluate Your Plans Establish a Tradition Establish Priorities Slow Down Savor the Season Set Goals implify Your System 10 CHOIS COnneCtIOn WINTER 2016 S See God s Perspective Take Time to Plan In the bustle of life we forget to see things from God s perspective. Focus on people rather than on all the things you think you have to do. Stress steals the joy of the season from you and your family. Lighten Your Load Eliminate activities that won t make a difference for eternity including overspending. Some things aren t worth the anguish. Enlist the family s help with cleaning baking and decorating. It is good training for your children and this isn t the time to do it all by yourself. Ecclesiastes 8 5b-6a tells us that a wise heart knows the proper time and procedure for everything. Ask the Lord what you should do this season and take time to reflect on wise plans. Write down what you want to accomplish during the holiday and plan to do those things. Establish a Tradition Reevaluate Your Plans When you see that a particular plan or activity is not working well reevaluate for changes. It is prudent to change plans when they are not serving the intended purpose. An old proverb says A good plan today is better than a perfect plan tomorrow. Continual reevaluation will help you enjoy the holiday. Establish Priorities Pr ior itize as you make plans. You probably don t have time to do everything you want to do so wisely choose those activities that bring a peaceful celebration time. Ask your family which holiday activities they enjoy best. Which things are most important Do those first. Set Goals Your children will remember simple meaningful traditions. I made a special Advent calendar when my boys were young that we read from every year during December. We added an ornament each year for each son (trying to depict something special for that year in the choice and adding the year s date to the ornament) which gave them a set of special tree ornaments to take with them when they established their own homes. Every year we ate a particular breakfast casserole on Christmas morning that I made the night before and just popped into the oven to bake while my husband read the Christmas story from Scripture before we opened gifts. I joyfully passed the Advent calendar on to our youngest son for his first child our grandson and I cried when our son sent me a picture of him reading one day s reading to our precious grandson continuing the tradition. We still make the breakfast casserole and read the Scripture before opening gifts and our grown sons and grandchildren look forward to those traditions when we are together for Christmas. Choose your own meaningful and simple activities to establish your family traditions. is not all mixed up. In order to display God s glory through our homes and families we don t want the season to be all mixed up. With simple principles you can reverse what is often a stressinducing season. You and your family will reap the peaceful rewards of a joyous holiday celebrating the real meaning of Christmas. Who knows You may even find time to share your holiday with others who need to know the reason for the season. A wise heart knows the proper time and procedure for everything. Ecclesiastes 8 5b-6a This is easier to do when you establish priorities. Add one holiday activity at a time into your schedule (bake wrap gifts decorate the tree address cards or write a Christmas letter etc.) and don t set your goals so high that you lose sight of why you do what you do. Slow Down Simplify Your System Shop online cook less cook ahead and freeze food drop any thoughts about a perfect holiday and just enjoy the things you do. Stop formal schooling in December and school your children using holiday activities crafts and gift making. Why do we believe we have to cram in so much during the Thanksgiving and Christmas season One half the troubles of this life can be traced to saying yes too quick and not saying no soon enough (Josh Billings quoted in Little Things The Peter Pauper Press 1969). Slow down to eternal speed and enjoy your family Savor the Season A. A. Milne (creator of Winnie-thePooh) says this about organization Organizing is what you do before you do something so that when you do it it WINTER 2016 CHOIS COnneCtIOn 11 FREEDOM THE BEST EDUCATIONAL ENVIRONMENT by J. Mike Smith President Home School Legal Defense Association 2017 CHOIS Convention Keynote Speaker a reCent n ew YOrk tImeS artICle 1 On PennSYlvanIa S new HOmeSCHOOl law HaS SParked a dISCuSSIOn On wHetHer Or nOt HOmeSCHOOlerS are BeIng PrOPerlY regulated BY varIOuS StateS . I n one of the key provisions of the amended homeschool statute the Pennsylvania legislature eliminated the power of the school superintendents to unilaterally determine whether or not education is taking place in a homeschool. This seems like a reasonable change in the law especially since no other state gives this kind of sole authority to any school official. Even Pennsylvania s own department of education did not openly oppose the amendment. Yet some critics are taking issue with the new law they want more regulation rather than less. At Home School Legal Defense Association we believe that less regulation not more is not only good but right. In the United States system of government the states have a legitimate interest in ensuring that their citizens are educated. The Supreme Court has clarified that states need their citizens to be literate and self-sufficient. And in each state two groups of students need to meet those qualifications--public schooled students and nonpublic school students. The nonpublic school category includes private school students and homeschooled students. And these are the students the state regulation debate is concerned with. Sadly an increasing percentage of public high school seniors are performing below the basic level of reading on the National Assessment of Educational Progress. 2 But homeschooled students seem to be thriving. Since the early 1990s academic studies have shown that homeschooled students tend to score significantly higher on nationally normed achievement tests than their public schooled peers. 3 Based on 12 CHOIS COnneCtIOn WINTER 2016 tHe kInd Of regulatIOnS tHat tHeSe CrItICS want wOuld damage tHe mOSt ImPOrtant Part Of HOmeSCHOOlIng -- tHe aBIlItY tO PrOvIde IndIvIdualIzed eduCatIOn fOr eaCH and everY CHIld. TEST RESULTS COMPARISON Idaho Coalition of Home Educators Iowa Tests of Basic Skills & Iowa Tests of Educational Development - 2016 - these results state after state has legalized homeschooling and many states impose only minimal regulations on homeschoolers. Some critics however especially those in the ivory towers of academia are troubled that parents have this much freedom to teach their children. The critics insist that at a minimum each state should require homeschoolers to provide formal notice submit to a curriculum review and or approval and undergo a formal assessment each year where school bureaucrats determine whether the student should be allowed to continue being homeschooled. Some critics of homeschooling also believe children s social development and beliefs should be dictated by academic elites. In other words they think that parents are not capable of providing their children with a proper social education so the state should mandate students exposure to politically correct beliefs and ideas that value tolerance above truth. Fortunately these critics views are not the majority views especially among state and local legislators and education policymakers. They see that homeschooled students tend to test on average significantly higher than their public school counterparts sometimes by as much as 30 percentile points. 4 Nor does state regulation seem to affect homeschool test scores studies that have compared test results from highly regulated states with those from minimally regulated states have found no significant variation. That s why so many states agree that homeschooling works best with fewer not more regulations. WINTER 2016 CHOIS COnneCtIOn 13 Idaho is a great example of minimal or criminal acts by this handful of bad regulations in action. The state does not parents. And why should we think that regulate or monitor its homeschoolers. the bad parents who are already willing Instead a homeschool education is to neglect their children s education directed solely by the parent or guardian would suddenly comply with these new who offers subjects that are commonly homeschool regulations taught in Idaho s public schools. According to the Idaho Coalition of Home In fact the kind of regulations that these Educators which provides nationally critics want would damage the most normed standardized achievement important part of homeschooling-- testing options to homeschoolers on a the ability to provide individualized voluntary basis the 2016 test results for the education for each and every child. Idaho homeschoolers Some children thrive who utilized their tests in a loosely structured t Ome CHOOl revealed that the environment. Other egal efenSe average composite test children need lots of score was in the 76th structure. There simply SSOCIatIOn we percentile. 5 That is a is no one-size-fits-all tremendously successful solution that works for BelIeve tHat outcome and it explains every child. What s truly leSS regulatIOn why the Idaho legislature best is to give each places so much trust in its parent the freedom to nOt mOre IS homeschooling parents. make that choice for his or her child because no nOt OnlY gOOd Faced with these facts one can do it better and But right the critics turn to another certainly not the state. objection. They argue that some homeschooling children may There s an old saying If it ain t broke slip through the cracks because the don t fix it. Homeschooling isn t broken. state has no way of monitoring their In fact many parents are providing an progress. Therefore they insist that all outstanding education for their students homeschoolers should submit to new through this wonderful educational and stringent regulations. Essentially they option. That s why homeschooled want to presume that all homeschooling students who face no state regulations parents are guilty of child neglect then are doing as well as (or better than) force them to prove their innocence. homeschooled students in states with That is not how a free society like the strict regulations and why both groups United States works. We do not punish outperform their public school peers. the innocent for the actions of a few malefactors. There are sufficient laws Homeschooling works because so in every state to address irresponsible many homeschooling parents love their a H l a d S . children and take the time and effort to find the very best ways to teach them. We are glad that most state policy makers understand this and we are grateful that they have not burdened these amazing parents with ineffective and stifling regulations. This is a great example of responsible people making good use of their freedom. Let s keep it that way. This article is reprinted with permission from the First Quarter 2015 issue of the Home School Court Report published by Home School Legal Defense Association. 1 Motoko Rich Home Schooling More Pupils Less Regulation New York Times January 4 2015 www. 2015 01 05 education home-schoolingmore-pupils-less-regulation.html 2 Rutenberg David High School Literacy A Quick Stats Fact Sheet January 2009 American Institutes for Research accessed April 28 2015 www.files.eric. fulltext ED507600.pdf 3 For example Homeschool Progress Report 2009 Academic Achievement and demographics www. docs study ray2009 2009_ Ray_ StudyFINAL. pdf 4 Ibid. 5 Test Results Idaho Coalition of Home Educators accessed November 2 2016 testing.html testingresults 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 14 CHOIS COnneCtIOn WINTER 2016 WINTER 2016 CHOIS COnneCtIOn 15 It s a C lassIC In those days a boy on the classical side officially did almost nothing but classics. I think this was wise the greatest service we can do education today is to teach few subjects. No one has time to do more than a very few things well before he is twenty and when we force a boy to mediocrity in a dozen subjects we destroy his standards perhaps for life. --C. S. Lewis by Linda Patchin L et me be upfront right from the start. Writing about Classical education intimidates me. While I dabbled in giving my own children a classical education I know that there are many of you homeschool parents out there who are far more deeply invested in this method of teaching. This article is meant to give a broad overview of what a classical education entails for those who are curious about it. The Classical Method of teaching has become very popular over the last decade. It can be found in many of the elite private prep schools of our nation. The main emphasis of this method is teaching a student how to think reason and communicate their thoughts persuasively. In the book Classical Education The Movement Sweeping America authors Gene Edward Veith Jr. and Andrew Kern tell us Classical education provides a conceptual framework for mastering the entire range of objective knowledge. It also offers a theory of human character development and it contains a teaching methodology that is demonstrably effective and eminently practical...Classical education cultivates wisdom and virtue by nourishing the soul on truth goodness and beauty. Grammar StaGe The classic model divides learning into three stages beginning with the Grammar Stage usually corresponding with an age range of 6-10 years old. During this stage of learning the focus is upon developing foundational skills. Emphasis is placed upon learning to read building vocabulary and math skills and learning how to use language effectively. Many classical proponents would begin a study of Latin at this point as well. Latin is to vocabulary what phonics is to reading. If you want your children to have expansive vocabularies then there is little else more beneficial than teaching them Latin. Latin students understand the origin of English words and they have an easier time learning other foreign languages. Dialectic StaGe The Dialectic stage usually corresponds with ages 10 to 12. During this time the teacher seeks to mold and shape a child s desire to question compare and catalog. This is a great time to dig deeper into the study of logic debate and reasoning skills. These students will hone their ability to draw conclusions and support them with facts. 16 CHOIS COnneCtIOn WINTER 2016 rhetoric StaGe The final stage of the Trivium is the Rhetoric stage which corresponds with the teen years. Students continue to develop the skills that they learned previously as they work toward the goal of using language both written and oral to eloquently and effectively express their thoughts. There are many advantages to this teaching method. It produces logical students who are good at thinking independently. The classical method provides a very rigorous and challenging course of study. Many adults would not want to enter a debate with a student who has been classically educated because they would most assuredly lose. These students typically function at a very high level of academic achievement. These are all laudable goals and by now you may wonder why every homeschool isn t pursuing a Classical education. Like all methods however Classical education has some pitfalls. If you are looking for quick success perhaps in order to stifle the concerns of family and friends this method could create problems for you. It is the tortoise approach which wins in the end but may not appear to be winning earlier in the race. This is a rigorous academic approach to learning and if a parent is lacking confidence in their ability to teach this method could be very demoralizing to them. There seems to be a lot of internal pressure built into this method perhaps because of its popularity and for its reputation for producing academic allstars. A parent who might do a wonderful job homeschooling with a different method could struggle with this approach and give up on homeschooling altogether. This is one reason why I recommend holding lightly to any teaching method. It s hard to let go when you are completely sold-out that this is the ONLY way to teach even when success is eluding you. This is also a very difficult method to jump into at a higher level if your kids were not classically trained from the beginning. Not impossible but difficult. Approach all teaching method changes slowly perhaps one subject at a time until you have established a strong footing. It has been my experience that this method may produce children who struggle with pride. If not taught humility these students can be condescending when communicating with the lessinformed. Frankly speaking their reasoning ability quite often exceeds many adults and this can create a host of social issues. If you choose this method keep your kids feet on the ground and their noses out of the air And finally if you choose to use this method keep an end goal in sight. Much like a Liberal Arts degree classical training can sometimes create high thinking without practical application. Remember to focus your students on their future vocation and employment prospects. Mark Twain once said that a classic is a book which people praise and don t read. If Classical Education is your cup of tea then pursue it with all that you ve got and enjoy the reading. Likewise if the classical method does not fit for your family there are many other methods of teaching that can produce the same high level of competency. reSourceS on the claSSical methoD ClassiCal EduCation thE MovEMEnt swEEping aMEriCa by Gene Edward Veith Jr. & Andrew Kern tEaChing thE triviuM by Harvey Bluedorn thE wEll-trainEd Mind by Susan Wise-Bauer a l cu r claSSic m riculu taPeStrY Of graCe wOrldvIewS Of tHe weStern wOrld kOnOS H IStOrY Of tHe wOrld mY fatHer S wOrld CrItICal tHInkIng ClaSSICal COnverSatIOnS rOman rOadS m edIa LINDA PATCHIN learned Latin along with her four children. She encourages all homeschooling parents to not be afraid to tackle some of the seemingly difficult subjects. It only requires an semper fidelis quam fixisti pectus amicum. claSSical curriculum ProviDerS WINTER 2016 CHOIS COnneCtIOn WINTER 2016 CHOIS C 17 10% Discount on Wills & Trusts for CHOIS & ICHE Members Call 939-2600 now for your Free Initial Consultation 18 CHOIS COnneCtIOn WINTER 2016 Learn more at idaho Falls de CasCa twin Falls oCatello l MosCow l P ne Coeur d a le t Communisy M e et i n g l l Comments attended frOm tHOSe Of YOu wHO THE PURPOSE OF THE MEETINGS WAS TO SHARE ABOUT THESE TWO STATE ORGANIZATIONS AND TO TELL THE STORY OF IDAHO S HOMESCHOOLING HISTORY. What a blessing to have such freedom to homeschool in Idaho and to have two organizations willing to reach out and encourage us homeschool moms and dads along the path. Your selflessness to take time out of your busy schedule and travel a long distance to reach out on a personal level and share with us is remarkable and I know the Lord will bless you as you have blessed us m ICHelle In POCatellO Come hear Barry Peters President of ICHE speak about Idaho Homeschool History and the future of homeschooling in Idaho. The purpose of the meetings was to share about these two state organizations and also to tell the story of Idaho s homeschooling history. George Santayana rightly said Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it. Not only is it important to remember the past but that knowledge should inform our future. B arry Peters and Mark Duenas from the Idaho Coalition of Home Educators and Linda Patchin from CHOIS made a circuit around Idaho to host 6 community meetings. They were blessed to meet homeschool families from Coeur d Alene Moscow Cascade Twin Falls Idaho Falls and Pocatello. Thanks to everyone who came out to hear them speak And finally we think that this story is so important that CHOIS is devoting one We would love for you full Keynote address to its telling at theto June 2-3 2017 Homeschool Convention. join us for a meeting with Don t miss your opportunity to hear leaders from both of ICHE President Barry Peters tell this very Idaho s state homeschool moving story. organizations Meet Linda Patchin Chairman of CHOIS and Editor of the CHOIS Connection Magazine. Come hear Barry Peters Our story of ICHE speak Ages of Presidentbegins in the Dark about Homeschooling when parents were Idaho Homeschool Historyall for and jailed and children were seized the crime of home education. And yet the future of homeschooling God s hand was upon our movement in Idaho. even then as He wove a intertwining characters circumstances and events. He gently lead us from those dark days to the modern age of nearly unfettered freedom. It was quite a journey. If you d like to know more about it please sign up to receive the CHOIS e-newsletter from We will tell the story in a weekly blog post. If you d like the short and sweet version you may very soon see a 5-minute video that hits all of the important highlights. This video will be posted on both and Our community meetings concluded and with Mr. Peters sharing his concerns about the great threat to Idaho homeschool freedom that heYou ll enjoy dessert believes will rear its head in the coming Legislative session. If door prizes and you missed hearing him speak you can information about read about his concerns in the fall issue upcoming legislation We that of the CHOIS Connection Magazine. may join us homeschool hope that you will a ect in fighting this battle by signing up to receivein Idaho. freedoms e-alerts from ICHE and then responding by We would love for you to sending emails and making calls to your join us for a meeting with local Representatives and Senator. ICHE CHOIS. We have so much to be thankful for in the state of Idaho.We have the best laws of any state governing our freedom to home educate our children it is truly a gift from God. If you haven t heard Barry tell of the amazing history of home education in our state you must go listen. I cry every time I hear it. a mY In twIn fallS Barry Peters s narrative on the history of Idaho homeschooling was compelling. Surely God has blessed us abundantly God bless you for all the wonderful work you do tanYa In I daHO fallS NOT ONLY IS IT IMPORTANT Idaho s state homeschool TO REMEMBERorganizations THE PAST BUT THAT KNOWLEDGE SHOULD ICHE and CHOIS. tapestry of INFORM OUR FUTURE. INSPIRE PROMOTE PRESERVE On our tours we shared about dessert You ll enjoy all of the amazing things that God has done for us door prizes and in securing our freedoms in the past but information about the battle isn t over yet. Homeschoolers upcoming legislationagain of Idaho must stand firm once that and let their voices ectheard loud and may a be homeschool clear. We pray that you will stand with freedoms in Idaho. us in defending homeschool freedom in Idaho leaders from both of Thank you so much for coming to Pocatello. It was so good to meet you in person and I really appreciated all the information that was shared. M argaret In POCatellO Meet Linda Patchin Chairman of CHOIS and Editor of the CHOIS Connection Magazine. I was blessed by what the team shared. I hope and pray that it will grow and bring fruit. l Inda In m OSCOw You can t know how much it means to us that you came all the way up here. anOnYmOuS In C Oeur d a lene WINTER 2016 CHOIS COnneCtIOn INSPIRE PROMOTE PRESERVE 19 CONFESSIONS OF A LEFT-BRAINED MOM By Pamela Gates CLS 2017 CHOIS Convention Speaker There she was my 8-year-old daughter crying at the table with her phonics workbook in front of her. This was becoming an all-too-familiar scene. I thought What am I doing wrong I loved being a homeschool mom but schooling should not be this hard I SOUGHT HELP I began asking other homeschool moms if they had any suggestions. Dianne Craft s name came up as a specialist who works with struggling learners. I made an appointment. I watched and learned as Dianne worked with my daughter. At age eight she still did not know all of the letters in her name. To give her an immediate boost in her confidence Dianne wrote her name on a card with colored markers adding picture and story on the letters to jazz them up . To help her access her photographic memory she held the card up high and had her take a picture of it with her camera . She liked this new process of learning. Remarkably she was able to spell her name forward and backward in less than a minute. BUT MY OTHER KIDS LEARNED THIS WAY As a mother of six I had learned to be efficient at assigning independent learning times. My older boys (11 and 9) learned to read so easily using the regular curriculum. They breezed through the phonics games. Completing their workbook assignments was not a challenge for them. Checking off each assignment from their daily list was something that gave them a sense of completion. Oral instructions were no problem and their spelling words were learned by using the spelling curriculum and writing each word multiple times. I thought that this homeschooling was actually pretty easy However none of this worked for my daughter. Slower louder and more repetitions didn t help. In fact it just seemed to make her feel like she was dumb. What to do It was obvious that I needed to find alternative teaching methods for her. But what methods I m about as left-brained as they come. (Schedules rules auditory instructions lists etc. are my friends.) I like sticking with what I m comfortable doing what I ve always done NOT looking outside of the box. A GRIN APPEARED My daughter was a non-reader despite hours of phonics games and sight word memorization. The words continued to be brand new every time she saw them. Dianne showed me how to teach her sight words using the whole new method of embedding color and picture on the words. She started with my daughter s hardest word the . Using this embedding technique my daughter was able to read the word and spell it within a couple of minutes. By the end of this short session she was able to read eleven new words and actually read a simple story from a book. 20 CHOIS COnneCtIOn WINTER 2016 THE GRIN GOT WIDER Tackling phonics using a whole new method was the next step. In teaching phonics once again the sound and letter were superimposed on one another so the brain could learn it as a unit . By employing her photographic visual memory and bypassing her weaker auditory memory my daughter was able to learn and retain many phonics combinations in one short afternoon. She experienced the instant success that had eluded her before. Dianne explained We are simply accessing the smart part of her brain. best ways of adopting the use of these new (and strange) teaching strategies is by thinking opposite of the teaching strategies you have been using. For example Think color embedded in words vs. black and white words. Think discussion vs. workbook writing. Think colored stick figures vs. oral instructions. Think embedding picture story and emotion vs. memorizing rules. Think picture notes vs. studying written notes for a test. I had to train myself to ALWAYS have a colored marker in my hand when I was teaching. Words from my mouth were not working. I had to remember to draw what I was saying whenever possible. White boards everywhere I am not an artist in any sense of the word. I found that when my children laughed at my abstract art it just made things stick better I KNEW THE GRIN WAS HERE TO STAY. IS MY CHILD A RIGHT-BRAINED LEARNER Why did this process work Dianne called this new teaching process I was learning Right Brain Learning Strategies . The right brain is where the long term memory storage is. It learns best with color picture story and emotion. This way of teaching is often thought of as the universal learning method . That means that when Plan A (more left-brained black and white rules repetition workbooks) don t work with a child then Plan B the more right brain (visual color picture story emotion) method always works. Does that mean that my daughter is a right brain learner Not necessarily. It could mean that her auditory processing problem was blocking her normal method of learning. Then this more visual approach is what moves her past this learning block. A common question we hear from parents is Will I have to do this forever As your child begins to understand how well these simple strategies work for her she will use them on her own. In fact the more she develops her photographic memory the more she will be able to see black and white information in her head. I found that my other children enjoyed right brain strategies because they were more fun. In fact my second daughter found that by adding color picture and emotion to her class notes in her college courses she did better in tests. She said her friends questioned her about it at first until they realized she was getting high marks spending a fraction of the time they were spending studying their copious written notes. A picture really is worth a thousand words RESULTS PRICELESS This paradigm shift was uncomfortable for me. But I quickly became addicted to my daughter s new-found enthusiasm. It is wonderful to hear from parents who tell us that their child is now asking for the next spelling word Give me something really hard Mom Or I m so smart Or Can I read more I saw my sad discouraged little girl become a happy confident successful learner. When she was eight I wondered if college would be an option for her. She recently graduated summa cum laude and is currently attending graduate school. We all know that in many ways homeschooling requires us to brave. It may be time to bravely move from Plan A to Plan B PAMELA GATES is a Certified Learning Specialist in Dianne Craft s Learning System. She has 16 years experience working with bright hard-working but struggling students. She is an Educational Consultant conducting Consultations with homeschool families across the nation. Pam s workshops are filled with practical teaching strategies that parents find are easy to implement the next day. Kids will love them and begin to feel as smart as they really are www. dIanneCraft.Org THINK OPPOSITE This new way of thinking about learning is stretching to say the least for a more LeftBrained mom. How do you do it One of the WINTER 2016 CHOIS COnneCtIOn 21 1. THE ITSY BITSY SPIDER CLIMBED UP THE WATERSPOUT. DOWN CAME THE RAIN AND .... I M quIte COnfIdent tHat tHe reSt Of tHe nurSery rHyMe and ItS aCCOMPanyIng Hand MOtIOnS Have been effOrtleSSly retrIeved frOM yOur lOng terM MeMOry. FINGERPLAYS A POWERFUL DEVELOPMENTAL TOOL 2. 3. 4. by Copper Webb Fingerplays have long been a staple of any preschool class whether formal or informal. Why the collective love for rhymes with hand motions It s because they are a multi-faceted development tool. Consider all that is built and nurtured in a simple fingerplay fIne MOtOr SkIllS g rOSS MOtOr SkIllS PatternIng SkIllS vOCabulary PHOneMIC awareneSS CreatIvIty attentIveneSS SPaCIal awareneSS M eMOrIzatIOn SkIllS rHytHMIC PrOfICIenCy n uMeraCy SkIllS relatIOnal COnneCtIOn The last benefit listed is one of my favorite reasons to do fingerplays with my preschooler. Once upon a time I had four children age four years and under. We lived and breathed all things related to early childhood development. Many of our days were spent all together on the living room floor. Fast forward nearly four years to today and I now have only one preschooler. The multi-level education of the older three children fill our days and activities and classes often take us outside the home. Taking time to pause and perform fingerplays with my preschooler provides the perfect opportunity to kneel down on his level look into his eyes and laugh with him. On the next page I have listed some family-favorite fingerplays that you can do today with your preschooler. 22 CHOIS COnneCtIOn WINTER 2016 1. OPEN SHUT THEM Open shut them OPen HandS wIde tHen make a fISt Open shut them rePeat 3. FIVE RED APPLES famIlY and frIendS) (CuStOmIze wItH nameS Of YOur Five red apples in a grocery store HOld uP fIve fIngerS Daddy bought one and then there were four. Bend dOwn One fInger Give a little clap. ClaP HandS Four red apples on an apple tree Open shut them OPen HandS wIde tHen make a fISt Open shut them rePeat HOld uP fOur fIngerS Momma ate one and then there were three. Bend dOwn One fInger Put them in your lap. PlaCe HandS In laP fOlded Creep them creep them SlOwlY walk fIngerS uP YOur BOdY Three red apples. What did Hazel do HOld uP tHree fIngerS Why she ate one and then there were two. Bend dOwn One fInger Creep them creep them COntInue walkIng fIngerS uP BOdY tO CHIn Two red apples ripening in the sun HOld uP twO fIngerS Right up to your chin. Open wide your little mouth OPen mOutH Dezzy ate one and then there was one. Bend dOwn One fInger But do not let them in. SHake Head tO IndICate nO Open shut them OPen HandS wIde tHen make a fISt Open shut them rePeat One red apple and now we are done HOld uP One fInger I ate the last one and now there is none. Bend dOwn laSt fInger and make a fISt To your shoulders fly flutter HandS lIke BIrdS tO SHOulderS 4. SEE THE SNOWFLAKES See the snowflakes falling down Softly softly to the ground. HOld HandS HIgH mOve fIngerS raPIdlY BrIng HandS tO laP They make a blanket soft and white. To keep the flowers through winter s night. Pat laP gentlY wItH HandS aS tHOugH PattIng SnOw On flOwer Bed Open shut them OPen HandS wIde tHen make a fISt. Open shut them rePeat Flutter from the sky. flutter HandS dOwn Falling falling falling falling Almost to the ground. flutter HandS dOwn See the snowflakes on their way Twirling swirling as they play. HOld HandS HIgH mOve armS In CIrCular mOtIOn BrIngIng tO laP Quickly pick them up again HOld HandS uP And turn them round and round. turn arOund In CIrCleS wItH armS raISed Is it not a pretty sight When all the earth is dressed in white CrOSS armS tO Hug Self rOCk SIde tO SIde 2. HERE S A NEST FOR ROBIN REDBREAST Here s a nest for Robin Redbreast CuP HandS tO fOrm neSt Here are some recommended resources Too Many Rabbits and Other Fingerplays by Kay Cooper Marc Brown s Playtime Rhymes by Marc Brown The Eentsy Weentsy Spider Fingerplays and Action Rhymes by Joanna Cole The Complete Book of Rhymes Songs Poems Fingerplays and Chants by Jackie Silberg Here s a hive for Buzzy Bee fIngertIPS tOgetHer tO fOrm HIve Here s a hole for Jacky Rabbit fIngertIPS tOgetHer tO fOrm HOle And a house for me. InterlOCk fIngerS knuCkleS uP tO fOrm HOuSe COPPER WEBB is a second-generation Idaho homeschooler. She resides in Meridian with her husband Mike and their four children. Copper maintains that it was an itsy bitsy spider that climbed up the water spout not an eentsy weentsy spider. WINTER 2016 CHOIS COnneCtIOn 23 24 CHOIS COnneCtIOn WINTER 2016 WINTER 2016 CHOIS COnneCtIOn 25 Calling UnCle by Amy Vassar A s I am writing this it s early fall. This is my favorite time to homeschool. The spirals on our spiral notebooks still function correctly. The pencil sharpener still sharpens without eating the pencils. Pages haven t yet started falling out of textbooks. The weather has started to turn cold just at night which makes chilly mornings perfect for working on school inside and warm afternoons perfect for a nature walk. The school year is full of promise. It s kind of like the spring of academics. But when you read this it will be winter. The Wednesday of the school year. The time when nobody can find a pencil or a ruler. When you start bribing cajoling threatening. And that s just to get yourself out of bed. It s cold outside and it s still dark when you wake up in the morning. The days are short and the sunlight is pale. You watch the other kids in the neighborhood waiting for the school bus and even while you feel sorry for them standing out in the frigid wind you sometimes wonder... Do they have it better Am I doing the right thing Would my kids and I get along better if we weren t together all day Am I really giving them what they need Of all the times of the year this is when the temptation to quit is always strongest for me. I want to quit. I want to hide. I want to give up. I want to run away. I want to change my name because if I hear Mom in that tone one.more. time. I m going to lose it. 26 CHOIS COnneCtIOn WINTER 2016 So here I am in all the real life messiness of another homeschool parent who gets exactly where you are to tell you that it s okay to call uncle sometimes. It s okay to quit to hide to give up to run away and yes even to change your name. Wait what Did you read that right Give it another look. Yep that s what I said. Now let me explain. it s okay to rUn away. it s okay to qUit. Don t quit homeschooling but quit trying to do it all. Quit joining every group and every activity that is recommended to you. Quit using programs and curricula that aren t a good fit for your family. Use your resources wisely but don t let them run you. As homeschooling parents we are a passionate bunch and we are great at sharing resources. But you don t have to try every resource recommended and if you tried one that s not working give yourself permission to quit if that s the best thing for yourself and your students. Don t pack your bags and run away to Timbuktu though. Instead run away to your quiet place. Run into the arms of the One who cares more about your children than you do. The Bible tells us Jesus often withdrew to the wilderness for prayer (Luke 5 16 NLT) and Jesus got up and went out to an isolated place to pray (Mark 1 35 NLT). Running away to a place of submission refreshing and direction will give you the strength to face your day with new vision for yourself and your children. Exploration 3rd-5th Settlement 4th-6th Progress 5th-7th Full Curriculum it s okay to Change yoUr name . Don t worry you can still be Mom because deep down that name is still precious no matter how many times we ve heard it shrieked from the other room where we know someone is tormenting a sibling. Again. But don t forget about those other names wife daughter friend sister... Today maybe you need to take some time to refocus on one of those. For today change your name and come back tomorrow ready to embrace the role of Mom again in all of its beautifully messy splendor. it s okay to hide . We all want to be there for our children but sometimes they become too reliant on our constant availability. Try taking a few strategically-placed minutes each morning to leave your children working on their assignments and go hide. Your self-imposed timeout could be used for devotions a cup of coffee or planning out the rest of your day. It is interesting to see the kinds of strategies our kids employ when they know that we aren t available to answer a question at the moment. This may even give you better insight into their learning style. t his is real life . it s okay to give Up. You are not going to give up on your children s success but maybe it s time to give up on a preconceived idea of what homeschooling needs to look like. Maybe you need to give up on expectations that other people have placed on you. And without a doubt it s time to give up on trying to do everything on your own strength. Let God know that you are giving up and that it s up to His strength to see you through. I have never known Him to disappoint You are in the trenches. Go out there today and fight the good fight. When things get rough and you just can t take it anymore go hide or run away or change your name. But don t give up on your kids. Don t hide from tough decisions. Don t run away from what God has called your family to do. Winter won t last forever even though some days feel forever long. Above all remember that He who calls you is faithful (I Thessalonians 5 24 NLT) and ultimately that is all we really need. Multi-Sensory Living Books Charlotte Mason friendly Families Learn Together notebooking Unit study junior extension Grades K-2 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. WINTER 2016 CHOIS COnneCtIOn 27 iscover D LAVA HOT SPRINGS A small town that celebrates big Lava Hot Springs is a historic year-round resort community less than one hour from Pocatello Idaho with a population under 600. Situated in the mountainous valley of the Porneuf River on the old route of the Oregon Trail and California Trail the resort town is often a favorite stop along the way to Jackson Hole Wyoming and Yellowstone National Park. Located 11 miles east of I-15 on U. S. Highway 30 Lava Hot Springs centers around the renowned geothermal pools that were used for centuries by Native Americans and were given to the state in 1902 as a health and recreation facility. These soaking pools along with the geothermal heated Olympic swimming pool complex are the reason for the town s resort status. The water is discharged into the Portneuf River after it is used. Local businesses primarily hotels and motels divert geothermal water from hot springs and from one deep and several shallow wells for space heating and soaking tubs and pools for their guests. The majority of these sites are located within 200 feet of the Portneuf River. 1 Lava Hot Springs has much to celebrate with its rejuvenating hot springs one of a kind-Olympic Pool Complex Portneuf River and friendly residents. While winter s chill still hangs in the air the town begins ushering in spring with a large festival. Smaller but no less exciting celebrations continue throughout the following IdaHO by Connie Seward months bookended by a large fall celebration and several smaller holiday festivals. All celebrations are centered around affordable family entertainment and learning. Fire & Ice Winterfest is a big celebration intent on chasing away the winter doldrums. Held on the first full weekend in February USA Today calls this festival one of the top 10 Zaniest winter festivals in the world and for small wonder Despite average temperatures in the 20 s participants of all ages join Running of the Bulls for a Main Street race clad only in swim wear to the finish line where they are rewarded with free admission to the steamy hot pools and a free breakfast the next morning. Polar Float Parade is another cold-defying event where participants dressed in outlandish costume jump into the bone chilling Portneuf River for a mile float to the Community Building. The 10 admission fee includes a float tube and prizes are awarded for best individual or group costume. Thankfully Ice is only half of the festival The fire portion of the celebration begins with hot Chili and Bread Tasting followed by a Lava Flow Fire Performance and a Torch Light Parade in the evening. Fire performers entertain through four different variations of spinning fire (staff poi dart and hoop) and music. Snow permitting daredevil skiers also race down Lava Mountain with torches. Chinese lanterns to be released at the conclusion of the torch ski are available for purchase. The Indoor Water Carnival held at the Olympic Swimming 28 CHOIS COnneCtIOn WINTER 2016 youth and plenty of delicious Bavarian food such as brats and pretzels round out the big fall celebration. All celebrations are centered around affordable family entertainment and learning. No celebration is needed to appreciate Lava Hot Springs refreshing naturally warm water. The Indoor Aquatic Center is a 6-lane 25-yard pool with 85-degree natural water and includes a 1-meter diving board and an AquaClimb Wall. Portneuf Kiddie Cove features both an indoor kids pool and a 10-person natural hot pool. Sloping from zero to 18 deep the beach entry pool features toys sprays and slides. The 92-degree water and heated decks offer a comfortable and fun play area. The 102-degree natural mineral water means the indoor pools offer fun for kids and adults of all ages. In the summer large doors open to the lawns surrounding the outdoor pool area. 2 Both the Indoor Aquatic Center and Portneuf Kiddie Cove are open year round. The outdoor Olympic Swimming Complex is open late May through Labor Day weekend and is the only facility of its kind in the Intermountain West. Two heated swimming pools cover nearly one-third acre of swimming space. The free-form Olympic size pool has 50 meter racing lanes and a dizzying 10 7 and 5 meter diving platform overlooking 17 feet of clear warm water. The second pool is an AAU size 25-yard pool. Two curly tube slides two 175-foot water slides with BULLETIN BOARD Complex is free and features events such as float relays wall climb races diving contests and a splash event. Participants in the Sub Zero Super Hero Endurance Swim at the Aquatic Center are awarded prizes for swimming heroic efforts and costume. Other family-centered events include the Rubber Penguin Race and the American Legion Breakfast. March 2016 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 teStIng PreParatIOn letterS m aIled 2017 teStIng regIStratIOn M ay 1 - auguSt 1 Octoberfest celebrates the arrival of fall and the harvest season. The weekend begins with a costumed 3.5 or 10k Fun Run Walk Bike for the whole family including the dog A Duck Race Raffle is held in place of the traditional Bavarian royal family horse race and there is a Punkin Chuckin event too. Lava Flow Fire performers entertain with fire spinning and Baker Ranch Hayrides are pulled by Percheon French draft horses for 3.00 a person including hot chocolate or lemonade. Verruckt Hamsterrad Race aka Crazy Hamster Race is a crazy rolling race in the inflatable Hamster Sphere . Live music games and activities for legISlatIve PIe daY Applications are posted on the website to participate in this annual Statehouse reception for our legislators. february 1 2017 deadlIneS tO aPPlY Music (December 1) Displays (January 9) Pies (January 21) Hundreds of home-baked pies are needed for our lawmakers favorite event of the session. Your help is appreciated. Harvey Breaux 208-573-1157 25 Hartman Boise ID 83704 harvey IdahoCoalitionOfHomeEducators Join ICHE or renew online. 25 memberships are effective for one year. To find your expiration date click on Join ICHE. Follow us on emBerSHIPS OnlIne ICHe mFacebook IdahoCoalitionOfHomeEducators WINTER 2016 CHOIS COnneCtIOn f OllOw uS On faCebOOk 29 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. a 60 foot vertical drop and terminal velocity of 38 mph and a splash pool heighten the fun. 3 A beach volleyball court and spacious grass picnic grounds surround the entire pool area. The World Famous Hot Springs are open year round except for Christmas and Thanksgiving. Bubbling up from an ancient volcano hot springs water swirls through the pools daily. The odor-free naturally filtered waters are ever-changing and clean with no chlorine or sulfur. The Hot Springs Complex features five outdoor gravel or rock bottom pools at temperatures varying from 102 to 112 degrees for personal enjoyment. 3 On cold winter days the steam rising from the pools wrap people in a cocoon of anonymity. The heated sidewalks and dressing room floors keep your toes toasty warm even on the coldest of nights. 2 The Sunken Garden is the remains of an ancient algae reef formed in the Portneuf River long ago. The natural rock wall area now showcases beautiful native and imported plants and flowers and meandering paths. Located just off Main Street above the World Famous Hot Pools the gardens are free of charge for relaxing and viewing enjoyment. Other family-centered attractions include miniature golf a museum and the rapid filled portion of the Portneuf River running through the heart of town which USA Today has listed as the number one tube floating stretch in the United States. Over 200 hundred hotel rooms and 400 camping or RV spots are available for overnight guests as well as many bed and breakfast establishments inns ranches and vacation rentals. 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. 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 References 1. portneuf-range 2. 3. lavahotsprings DIGITAL FORMAT Connection Connection Winter 2016 Fall 2016 a magazine for idaho home educators Try During the Holidays JESSICA HULCY Unit Studies Stressless HOL I DAYS MARILYN ROCKETT 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 Get the same great magazine on your tablet & mobile devices Visit Confessions of a LEFT-BRAINED Mom PAMELA GATES Keeping the Home in Homeschooling Linda Hobar Why Join a Homeschool Group J.Mike Smith FREE FREEDOM J. MIKE SMITH the best educational environment COMING SOON... FREE MONEY What are ESA s and how will they affect homeschoolers 30 CHOIS COnneCtIOn WINTER 2016 FORMAL MOMENTOUS REVERENT CELEBRATORY 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 ave MAY the 20th D ate 2017 LET HELP YOU write the final chapter of YOUR HOMESCHOOL STORY WINTER 2016 CHOIS COnneCtIOn 31 Christian Homeschoolers of Idaho State P.O. Box 45062 Boise Idaho 83711 S end updateS to info choiS . org if your mailing addreSS haS changed or if you no longer wiSh to receive the choiS c onnection m agazine . 19 th annual _ I daho homeschool c onventIon _ BE ON GUARD. STAND FIRM IN THE FAITH. BE COURAGEOUS. BE STRONG. 1 CORINTHIANS 16 13 CHOIS CONVENTION JUNE 1-3 2017 NNU BRANDT CENTER NAMPA I IDAHO Visit the w w w. choiS . org website for more information.