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Saturday, November 22, 2008

Issue #1 Nov 1, 1999


Nurturing our children in the freedom of Christ
#1, Nov, 01 1999
Sr. Editor & Publisher : Elissa Henry
Assistant Editor: Teri Brown
Contributing Editor: Patricia Moon


1. Welcome from the Editor
2. "Just The Basics, Ma'am" by Patricia Moon
3. "Unschooling how-to" Poem by Starfreedom
4. "Unschooling Our Faith" by Teri Brown
5. Featured Homeschool Magazines
6. List of Homeschool Magazines
7. Poll: How Many Books have YOU bought??
8. Contest for subscribers...with a great prize!!
9. Closing letter from the editor
10. Subscription Information

1. Welcome from the editor

Hi all, hope this newsletter is received in the manner it was love and through God!!

This e-zine was "birthed" as a part of our upcoming book..Christian
Unschooling: Growing your children in the freedom of Christ. Like always, we are wanting to help educate other Christians about unschooling. It is an equally Godly way to homeschool. How did Christ teach the disciples? With curriculum? Or did He just teach them by using things around them each and every day? When using what the learner is interested in, and expanding on that.....that is unschooling! I feel very strongly about not hiding the fact that I unschool, and NEVER hiding the fact that I love and serve God.
Sometimes, these topics seem to not go quite hand in hand. We will keep you updated on the progress of the book, and ask that you cover it in prayer!!

This is our premier issue...welcome to what we hope will become a wonderful joint effort between you, our readers, and Teri and I.

All issues, sent out through email, will also be able to be found on the website. They will be archived, by issue. The benefits to this are great!! If someone joins later, they are able to see past issues, we do the storing so you need not, AND there will be graphics available online that I cannot send out via email!!

You will notice a plethora (huge amount) of the Christian fish symbol adorning the e-zine. This is because I PROCLAIM LOUDLY I am a Christian. I want to share with you the origin of the fishy symbol!!

The fish has been a symbol of Christianity for a very long time. We must look to the Greek language for the explanation. In Greek, the words "Jesus Christ God's Son Savior" look very different than they do in English. The first letter of each Greek word was taken (a game called acrostic) and the letters formed the word "fish", or "ichthys"in Greek.

You can look to the book of Acts to find some times in the Christian church where it was unsafe to openly proclaim a belief in Jesus. As such, the symbol of the fish took on an important job of identifying other Christians. If you were to meet someone, u could just nonchalantly swipe 1/2 the fish, an arch, in the sand.....if the other party were also a Christian, they could finish it off. If not, no harm..the other person would not recognize it!!

2. Just The Basics, Ma'am
Patricia Moon

"That sounds so nice, but do they know the basics?"

My palms no longer get sweaty when I hear that question from well meaning friends, family, and even strangers concerning our unschooling family. I laugh to myself, thinking about what their reaction would be if they only knew how very unstructured our scholarly pursuits are. Instead, of my snickers, they get my standard, "Oh, they are ahead in some things, and behind in others, just like public school children..."

Basics? Whose basics? We learn the 3-R's and far beyond, while living as very active members of our community. At the same time, we try to stay out of the sign-up-for-every-activity-offered loop. Sara (12) and Jon (10) have very good discernment about how to choose to join or not to join an activity. And Hindsight lives on a high pedestal in our family.

There was the year that they both joined different sports teams and we were kept hopping from games to practices 6 days a week! We were all worn out and no one really enjoyed the season. The next year, consulting Hindsight, they both took a break from organized sports (and gave mom & dad one too!).

This year, Jon is in soccer and Sara is taking care of the team's candy fund raiser; instead of the Candy Mom, she is the Candy Sister and she keeps track of the candy and the bookkeeping. Next week Sara and her dad will do the concession stand volunteer work for Jon's team. We all get to truly enjoy this soccer season.

My aunt owns an antique mall and the children and I work there a few times a week. I'm sure some of those so-called basics are being used when the children walk the sales floor helping customers, mark price tags for merchandise, and look up current prices in the catalogs? They do the dirty work too, which are lessons in themselves. Sara is begging to ring up sales and I'm sure I will relent one of these days. My proudest mom moment recently, now that you asked, was the first time I saw one of them walk up to a new customer and ask if they could help them find anything. If these aren't basics, I just don't know a basic when I see it.

My children are able to function in society now, not when they graduate from one level of school or another. Our daily life puts them in contact with many adults in the work-a-day-world. When the butcher had a pig hanging ready to cut and pack, Jon asked some questions about it. The butcher took us back and showed us all the organs and talked about their functions and how all parts used to be utilized. The same thing happened a few months later at the grocery store when we saw someone in the meat department packaging meat. That man was wonderful. He invited us to the back where we watched the conveyor belt process of weighing and packaging the meat.

There's a lot of 3-R's in them thar activities.

Secretly, I think public, private and school-at-home parents are just fearful of the unknown. Do they really think that we sit around, eat Bon-Bons and watch cartoons all day? Possibly. The thing is that they don't KNOW what we do all day and they aren't privy to the children's test scores.

Even armed with our daily schedule and test scores, do you suppose they would be satisfied? No...they would be, well... they may be upset. I hate upsetting people, so I just give them my vague answers and carry on.

I can't imagine going up to parents who are not unschoolers and saying, "That's sounds so nice, but do they know the basics?"

3. "Unschooling how-to"
by Starfreedom

Bake something, make something, go somewhere, clean something, read
something-anything, take a nap-dream,
Look up a word-something absurd, have a big bowl of ice-cream.
Life is for learning, living, doing.
How far will your imagination go?
Be, see, climb a tree. Beyond texts there is so much to know.
Life is an education, a journey where anything goes.
And the only limits that slow you down are the ones that are self imposed.

4. "Unschooling our Faith" by Teri Brown

Sometimes I sit and ponder Jesus and how he taught the disciples. If you think about it, they were in a sense, unschoolers. They followed Him, ate with Him, worked with Him, and listened to Him. It is important to realize here that he didn't teach them to read and write, He taught them about faith. He taught them about His Father.

In attempting to follow Christ I have emulated his example in teaching the Christian faith to my children. The things of the Spirit are so intertwined in our lives that just in the course of the day's activities I find many chances to teach my children of Christ. Why should I get my children a packet to teach my faith when Christ did not have one for His decibels? How can you teach a living, breathing faith if you are teaching out of a book that is not the Bible? How the Word addresses our day is what makes it relevant to our children. How can we please God today with our actions? That is what they need to know.

To bestow my children the gift of my faith is why the Lord has given them to me. It is my most important mission, not something to take lightly. So I look to the bible to find the clearest illustration of this process, the years that Christ took a crew of, mostly uneducated, men and turned them into men of faith. Men that our God used for his perfect purpose. I know I cannot be like the most perfect of teachers....... but I will try to imitate him. That
is why I am here.

5. Featured Homeschool Magazines!!

Greetings---the Blessed Mother is a quarterly postal magazine dedicated to encouraging women in the lost art of mothering. We are a SUBSCRIBER written magazine that focuses on mothering from a natural/attachment parenting (but PRO spanking) philosophy. Past issues have included letting God plan your family, the dangers of vaccinations, family bed, non circumcision, extended breastfeeding, unschooling, age integration (instead of segregation), homebirth, honoring your husband, and modest dressing (I'm not speaking about "dresses only" but rather clothes that conceal what is underneath them.)

Subscription price for the magazine is "pray about what the Lord would have you give and talk it over with your husband" :) If you would like to receive sample issues please send a check (made out to "the Blessed Mother") or cash in the amount of $3. You can also visit our web site at

Shannon Schermerhorn
10353 Trabuco Street
Bellflower, CA 90706-5081

TEACH ("To Encourage And Challenge Homeschoolers"), a 28 page quarterly publication, where you will hear from some experienced "keepers of the home" and prominent homeschoolers. We desire to offer specific ideas to increase your enjoyment in learning with your children.

See for yourself: Send $2 to: 18016 West Spring Lake Drive, Renton, WA 98058 for a printed copy, view text only:, or send a blank email to:

6. List of homeschool magazines and e-zines

Alternative Education Resource Organization
417 Roslyn Road, Roslyn Heights, NY 11577, 516-621-2195
The Education Revolution
(formerly the AERO-Gramme) $15/yr

Our readers share stories on homeschooling and home business successes and failures. We'll put you in touch with experts that will help you become more energy independent or live completely off the grid with solar, wind, and hydro power. Each issue of the magazine highlights sensible products and vehicles that won't waste your hard-earned dollars. If you're ready to do more for yourself and others, join our growing family of readers.

Eclectic Homeschool Newsletter

Family Unschoolers Network -
unschoolers newsletter,
1688 Belhaven Woods Ct, Pasadena, MD 21122-3727, 888-386-7020 (orders only) or
410-360-7330, -fun learning for the whole family, online sample issue, back issues available

Gentle Spirit Magazine

God's World
P.O. Box 2330, Asheville, NC 28802
800-951-6397, WORLD (newsweekly) for adults, also child focused
newspapers at many levels.

Holt ; Growing Without Schooling
2380 Massachusetts Ave.,Suite 104, Cambridge, MA 02140 617-864-3100
The magazine & group founded by John Holt.
Unschooling focus, $25/yr (6 issues)

Home Education Magazine
P.O. Box 1083, Tonasket, WA 98855
$4.50 sample $20/6 issues/yr. 800-236-3278
wide ranging, unschool flavored

Home Educator's Family Times
Box 708, Gray, ME 04039, 207-657-2800
$15/ 6 issues, samples online

Homefires - The Journal of Homeschooling

Homeschool Digest

PO Box 374, Covert, MI 49043
$18/yr -quarterly, Christian, practical tips, simple suggestions and bold biblical challenges

Homeschool Fun Magazine
4536 SW 14 Ave,
Cape Coral, FL 33914, 941-549-4400
variety of articles, special features, message boards, more

Homeschooling Today

PO Box 1680, Ft Collins, CO
Christian Perspective, pull out art lesson in each issue, also
features on literature, science, unit studies, much more
$20/6 issues

NHERI Nat. Home Education Research Institute
Box 13939, Salem, OR 97309, 503-364-1490
$25/4 issues. Somewhat technical
social science research edited by Dr. Brian Ray

Box 1, Camas, WA 98607, 800-891-5255, latest research, homeschool testimonials, and up-to-date counsel from the Moores ("Where Homeschool Began") and much more,
$15/6 issues

New Attitude Magazine
Joshua Harris has anchored his highly acclaimed New Attitude Magazine to a visually spectacular World Wide Web location, and you will not want to miss this! Many of you will know Josh's father, Gregg Harris, popular long-time homeschooling author and seminar speaker. Gregg Harris's book, The Christian Home School, was the first homeschooling book we read. Now, it's always the first one we recommend. Trained by his father and mother in their own homeschool, Joshua Harris is bringing a timely message to other young men and women who are homeschooled. Visit this site, and get the latest on Joshua's speaking schedule, subscription info, back issues, and much more.

The Mothers Heart P.O. Box 225-W,
Middlefield, CT 06455, a publication for mothers with with hearts in the home, $13/quarterly

Practical Homeschooling
PO Box 1250,
Fenton, MO 63026-1850. 800-346-6322, $20/ 6 issues.
This is Mary Pride's magazine and looks very attractive, also Home Life catalog site and resources


Teach Magazine

The Utmost Way Magazine
is a free publication of Utmost Enterprises, provided by a home school family. This publication is designed to benefit home school families, Christians, and hopes to reach the unsaved with the blessing of Jesus Christ. One of the main features for home schoolers is the new research library that serves as a one-stop resource for doing school work, book reports, and research

7. Poll: How many books have YOU bought??

The numbers from this poll will be used for marketing information for our upcoming book on Christian Unschooling.

Please respond to

In the past 3 months, how many books have you purchased?
How many of them were on the topic of homeschooling?

Thanks in advance for answering this!!

8. Contest

Join in the fun!

Enter Seedling's first contest. (in honor of our first edition:) Just send us a 150 word essay on the theme of Stupid Parent Tricks. You know the things you can't believe you did that your children managed to survive? Like the time I kept shoving Oreo cookie crumbs back in my toddler's mouth only to find out that it was bark dust! No wonder the poor kid kept spitting them out and looking at me like I was nuts. The funniest story will receive a year's subscription to TEACH Magazine!! Entries must be received by Nov. 20th and winners will be announced in the next edition of Seedling!

9. Closing Letter from the editor.

Next month's Seedling issue will carry a theme of Christmas!! We need submissions: Christmas stories, family traditions, links, crafts, you get the idea!! Submissions can be sent to

Look for big changes on the main page of our website Christian Unschooling at: . We plan on keeping you up to date on the progress of the book, but in addition, we also hope to make the site more interactive and user friendly. Please cover this in prayer because we are thinking of moving domains. We were blessed with a GRAND offer, use of a domain without pup-up ads, and more incredibly, a professional webmaster to create it!! (current webmaster, Elissa, goes ::sigh::)

The other night I was trying to choose a book to read to my son for bedtime, when I came across a book entitled The Seeds That Grew and Grew .It is a Bible story based on Matthew 13:1-9; 18-23

Matthew 13
1. That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat by the lake.
2. Such large crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat in it, while all the people stood on the shore.
3. Then he told them many things in parables, saying: "A farmer went out to sow his seed.
4. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up.
5. Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow.
6. But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root.
7. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants.
8. Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop--a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.
9. He who has ears, let him hear."

18. "Listen then to what the parable of the sower means:
19. When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is the seed sown along the path.
20. The one who received the seed that fell on rocky places is the man who hears the word and at once receives it with joy.
21. But since he has no root, he lasts only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, he quickly falls away.
22 The one who received the seed that fell among the thorns is the man who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke it, making it unfruitful.
23. But the one who received the seed that fell on good soil is the man who hears the word and understands it. He produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown."

Our children are the SEEDS!!!!!!!!!! A Seedling is a precious thing, that with the right "ingredients" can be wondrous!! Let's continue to grow our children in the "good soil", in Jesus Christ.

Be Blessed,

Elissa Henry
Teri Brown
Patricia Moon

10. Subscription Information

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