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Sunday, November 30, 2008

Issue #20 June 1, 2001


Nurturing our children in the freedom of Christ
Issue #20, June 1, 2001
Sr. Editor & Publisher: Elissa Wahl
Assistant Editor: Teri Brown
Contributing Editor: Angel Dyke


1. Welcome from the Editor
2. Transferring a Way of Life? by Sally Hunt
3. Homeschool Group Field Day Freebies by Alice Steen
4. Speaking of Freebies....LINKS
5. Last with Mary Griffith, Tonight!!
6. Note on Contests
7. Closing letter from the editor
8. Subscription Information
9. Reprint Information

1. Welcome from the editor

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

Well, the month of May saw us traveling across country to show off
the new baby to my family in NC! What a blessing. My brother and
sister came down from NJ, bringing with them my 95 yr old
grandmother. She so adores babies, and being a great-grandmother.

We had a very relaxing time, I had a break from being primary child-
holder , and we even got to do some very educational and fun
sight-seeing! We saw the beach of course, Tryon Palace (the old
governor's mansion), Fort Macon, Cape Lookout (my ds is a lighthouse
buff), and we attended the annual Blackbeard Festival. That was
pretty neat as they had "pirates" "battling" in the waters, complete
with pyrotechnics and gunfire!

My parents also had copy of our book, it was a so neat to see and
hear how proud they are of me. They made me sign it and everything

It was so great to be able to reconnect with family...God really
created us to be families....he sent Jesus to a couple, to be a is a unique relationship! With homeschooling, we are
blessed, we get to keep that tight-knit family connection!

Please read on, and we pray you are blessed!

2. Transferring a Way of Life?
by Sally Hunt

The most important fact about the subject of education is that there
is no such thing. It is instead a transfer of a way of life. G.K.

I think G.K. Chesterton nails it. As our children grow up they are
ultimately learning how to tackle life--what's important, what's worth
loving, who they are before God. Those are the important lessons, the
ones that will shape them. The reading, writing and arithmetic are
the details. We homeschool because we want to be the ones who say
everyday, "This is what is important to know. This is valuable."

We want our sons to love learning. We want them to grow up nurtured
and supported in our values. We want them to know that their
character is more important than their standardized test scores. That
loving God is more important than anything. We want them to have the
freedom and time to be kids; to slow down the pressure and stress of
growing up too quickly and the cultural morals that often accompany
those pressures. We want them to pursue their own interests and to
develop the talents and skills God has given them. We want to
encourage faith and foster wisdom and maturity.

One of the most helpful discussions I ever heard on home education
was at a recent seminar by David Crabtree, president of Gutenberg
College in Eugene (small, classical "Great Books" college) and
homeschooling dad of four children. In addition to echoing the goals
I stated above, these specific things from his talk have been an
encouragement in days of doubt (all parents have these!):
* Education is a difficult, long term project, and parents are not
really able to do this well--but God is able. It will not go the way
you plan but God is at work and He is faithful.
* Your children are your education--a custom curriculum designed by
God for you.
* Character--not high test scores--determines success at college. "I
don't want the geniuses," he said, "Give me the plodders, they end up
doing the best."
* Pop culture is a rival to parents and we need to counter that
Quality time only comes from quantity time.

We were fortunate to ride in the wake of the first wave of
homeschooling popularity in the early 1990s. While Cameron and Nathan
were preschoolers,I read everything I could get my hands on about
homeschooling. I watched homeschooled kids for signs of, well, I
wasn't sure what, but I never saw it. I found curious, social,
outgoing children who seemed to love learning. As we approached the
Kindergarten Question, I looked at my sons and wondered. Cameron was
funny, somewhat shy and fairly complacent. Not one to demand
attention. Would he fade into the woodwork at a school? Hide his
hurts under a veneer of nonchalance? And Nathan--our bouncy
chatterbox who taught himself to read at 5 but with an emotional
range was as wide as his smile. How often would his temper be
triggered in such a setting? Would he be a problem kid?

We now have officially homeschooled for 9 years--yikes! has it been
that long? Our oldest son is 14 and our youngest close behind at 13.
We have navigated learning to read, times tables, organized classes,
disorganized home life and have paid way too much money in library
overdue fines. We've had an early reader and a late reader and two
boys united in their reluctance toward math. Homeschooling has
brought us top of the world experiences and days of despair when the
local public school looked very appealing. Cameron is still somewhat
shy and Nathan is still exuberant. And we are still, truly by the
grace of God, homeschooling.

One of the most common questions asked of homeschoolers used to
be "What about socialization?" This is asked a lot less these days,
partly because homeschooling is much more visible now and partly
because the effects of negative socialization are more and more
apparent in our society. It is pretty hard for kids not be socialized
in some way or another and most homeschoolers are busy in many
different social settings. There is nothing magical about being
grouped together with kids your own age for 6 plus hours a day. The
important question is what type of socialization are they being
exposed to. We intentionally limit (but not eliminate) their exposure
to large groups of children of their own age--even in the best of
settings (church, private schools) the quality of interaction tends
to drop as numbers and the amount of time spent together goes up.
When you homeschool, it is often assumed that your choice means that
you believe private or public schooling is second rate. In one sense
this is true- -after all, we all try to make the best choices for our
children and if I didn't believe the homeschooling was best, and I
had a choice, I wouldn't be doing it. But every family's situation is
different and each child is unique--thus schooling choices are also
different. For us, we value the flexibility, the ability to customize
education, the amount of time spent with our kids, plus being able to
better limit their exposure to the prevailing culture.

We have not been your "typical" homeschoolers. I ran a
daycare/preschool and after school program in my home until my oldest
was 11. We were intentionally "relaxed" homeschoolers in those early
years, juggling some formal work around lots of library books, the
pursuit of each boy's own interests and our home business. A
generally happy, busy time. The field trips, crafts, learning, social
time and taking care of little ones benefited Cameron and Nathan.
After we closed our daycare, I began working part time for our church
and am able to bring the boys along with me and still have the
flexibility for them to participate in other activities.

Our homeschooling adventure continues be a roller coaster ride with
surprises at every turn. Currently Cameron and Nathan are very busy
with "outside" classes juggled around my work hours. They are taking
Spanish fencing classes at a publically-funded resource center for
homeschoolers in a nearby town. They also take biology, Old
Testament, writing and History in classes taught by other
homeschooling parent (including their mom) and are currently in a
Shakespeare drama class through a local Christian homeschool support
group. Oh yes, they volunteer at the library, and each
has his own interests he is pursuing in his "free" time. This schedule
makes for a much more structured days (and much more "homework") than
in the past, but it suits our current needs. Next year we may opt for
less structured time--or maybe not. The patchwork of our days changes
from year to year, but our primary reason for homeschooling has
remained: It is a transfer of a way of life.

Sally Hunt lives in Oregon with her husband Ron, sons Cameron and
Nathan, 15 chickens, two dogs and three or four cats. She has a BA in
journalism from the University of Oregon and was a reporter in her
former life. She has written for Homeschooling Magazine, Heart of
Homeschooling and The Parents Review.

3. Homeschool Group Field Day Freebies
By Alice Steen

If you are part of a homeschool group and are contemplating a big
event such as a Field Day...keep in mind many places are willing to
give "freebies" for such activities :0)

This is my second year being in charge (if you want to call it that!
lol) of organizing give-aways for our annual homeschool field day. I
decided to organize my freebies into 2 categories...freebies for
volunteers and freebies for participants.

My freebies for volunteers are really far I've gotten 3
hotels to donate 2 night stays each. And many local restaurants to
donate dinners for 2. These I'm using as incentives to get
volunteers ( I make it clear in request that the request is to
entice volunteers for the function)...When we tell parents we need
volunteers their eyes roll over..UNTIL they realize they may have a
chance (by a drawing) to win a 2 night stay at a hotel or a dinner
out for 2..THEN they are more than willing to donate an hour or so of
their time :0).

My freebies for participants include many "trinkets" from local
radio/TV stations, Insurance companies, book stores, Large companies
and retail stores.

All most places request is a letter of request on your "school group
letterhead". Its simple to make a letter w/ your groups name and
various info. I usually put in the letter how long the group has been
around..and how many people would benefit from X company/business'
donation. I clearly ask for what I'm looking for and explain what it
will be used for. ***Example..Field day on Jan. 1...we are expecting
200 families with kids ages ranging from Pre-K ---High school. we
would like to see if X would consider donation freebies to be given
away to our participants.****

I've even been blessed to have a MAJOR Toy store donate most of out
field day field supplies. And even had a Major retail chain donate a
gift certificate for our group to get supplies such as ribbons (for
awards) and pins and other knick knacks.

Be sure to end your request with your personal info such as contact
person and their address, phone number, email.

I make 4 generic donation request forms and just make multiple copies
of each to be given to various types of businesses such as Radio/TV
stations, Retailers, Restaurants, Hotels and tell them that we will
mention their business on our Thankyou Board at the event and in our
newsletter (FREE ADVERTISING for them :0)). And do a lot of phone
calls and leg work!

Persistence pays off and you may be able to have a wonderfully
memorable homeschool event at little or no cost.

While it may be too late for an end of the school year blow out,
don't forget..beginning of year, or fall festivals...hmm.. :0)

Good luck!
Alice Steen

4. Speaking of Freebies: Links

Federal Resources for Educational Excellence

Steals & Deals at
Great software titles, free, with shipping!!
Free software, for low shipping fee

Madison Direct Free Software
More free software

Best Links to Free Stuff (Top 100)

All the Best Free Teacher Resources - Language Arts - Math and
Special Needs


Daily emails with free and cheap deals!!! Subscribe to: hsf-
dailyfinds at:

5. Last Minute- Chat with Mary Griffith, TONIGHT!

Tonight, Friday, June 1 at 7:00 pm ET (that's 4:00 pm for us West
Coast types)held at MomsOnline, on the web, not the AOL version, in
the chatroom called: The Den

They will also be giving away a copy of The Unschooling

6. Note on Contests:

Last month our contest was on healthy recipes and we chose a winner
out of the entries we received. The entry we chose was a winner all
right, such a great recipe that it had been published, ironically, in
the book we were giving away!!

Please always try to list the source where things are
can be so hard as they are passed down and around, so this is just a
reminder, to please give credit where it is due!


7. Closing Letter

We hear that our books are finally making it to all their new homes!
We are so pleased and pray they make a difference in your lives. As
always, take what you like and leave the rest.

We are still looking for submissions, so send in anything and

Oh, also, if you are in a state where evaluations are an option, and
you know a great evaluator, could you please forward us the
information (if it is ok with them!). We would love to get a brief
section at the end of each state's support page on our website, of
cool/unschool friendly evaluators, contact info and the regions they
cover. Thanks!!

Until next time,
Be blessed you all!

Elissa Wahl
Teri Brown
Angel Dyke

8. Subscription Information

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9. Reprint Information

Individual authors herein retain their own copyrights. You may
freely copy this entire newsletter or material from this newsletter
in other nonprofit publications (unless otherwise marked in the
article), but you MUST include the author's name and this entire

"Reprinted with permission of Elissa Wahl from Seedling, a
Christian Unschooling E-Zine. For a free subscription, send
any e-mail message to or visit

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