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Sunday, November 30, 2008

Issue #21, July 3, 2001


Nurturing our children in the freedom of Christ
Issue #21, July 3, 2001
Sr. Editor & Publisher: Elissa Wahl
Assistant Editor: Teri Brown
Contributing Editor: Angel Dyke


1. Welcome from the Editor
2. How Your Christian Unschooling Book Changed Our Lives, letter
from a reader
3. Book Review by Teri Brown
4. Testimony and Scrapbooking Idea
5. Cool Unschooly Cover School and Evaluator in Colorado
6. Science Company Offers Microscope Kits for Homeschoolers
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!

EEEKKK, we were so busy this month! To top it off, we traveled 10
hours for my husband's family reunion (hence the late sending of this
newsletter..forgive me!!)

On our homefront: One of my son's traveling the country
currently....from NV to FL via a plane, then FL to NJ , driving.
There he will get to see relatives we left behind, and attend a
different family reunion. After the 4th, he will drive back to FL,
hang for a while then fly back home! Talk about a world traveler!

Our baby is thriving! It seems as if he is actually getting a tooth.
He is a great blessing to us...we are doing the whole Attachment
Parenting thing....nursing, co-sleeping and holding him ALL the time .
(sometimes Mom wishes for free arms, but oh well! This time will pass
all too quickly, I remind myself)

My two stepsons are still in ps....they have year-round school here,
and they are antsy to get out and have some fun!

We have some busy months ahead of us....boy scout camp upcoming,
friends coming in from FL,and my parents finally getting to come out
and see where I now live!

Even in these crazy, hectic times, we need to remember God...set
aside time for Him....Psalm 46:9-11 "Be still, and know that I am
God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the

I have made it a habit to pray in bed before falling asleep..but
sometimes this plan goes awry and I pass out :( Maybe this sounds
familiar . Here are two ideas...maybe they can work for you

1) A prayer journal. Be it pen and paper, or typed on the computer,
this is a time dedicated to communicating with God.

2) Quiet Bible/Worship time with the kids. I have bought tapes of my
church's worship time. I plan to make a habit of early mornings,
sitting down with my sons and reading a bit of the Bible to them and
then singing a few songs. Music is way big in this house....maybe
bring out some tambourines, or any kind of noise making things you
have around the house, allowing them to actively participate! Let's
make a joyful noise unto the Lord. Psalm 100:1-3 Worship the LORD
with gladness; come before him with joyful songs.

Please read on, and we pray you are blessed!

2. How Your Christian Unschooling Book Changed Our Lives, letter
from a reader
Lisa Beamer, Editor of CFO

I read it through cover to cover and absolutely loved it. I was
just talking to my dh about it and the whole unschooling concept
today, as a matter of fact. After reading your book and then thinking on it and
evaluating how our school year went last year and what I want to
change this year, I am leaning more and more towards taking an unschooling
approach to it. It just seems to make so much sense the more I
consider it and the more I examine how my kids are self-motivated to learn about

Perfect dh and I took them for a day trip to the
mountains on Friday...we spent time playing in a creek and
picnicking, and then we went on a hike for about 1 1/2 hours. Aside from the fact
that my dh hasn't quite grasped the concept of hiking with little kids (walk
10 feet, stop and look at something, walk 10 feet, stop, etc...he was a
mile ahead of us half the time! LOL), it was such a great experience.
Just in that hike, my kids learned to identify moss, deer tracks, woodpecker
holes in trees, baby maple trees, the signs of a dead and dying tree, the
trail markers, sounds different animals make, how to hike safely and avoid
snakes, why bugs like wet places, and some info about the life cycle
of the more I'm probably not remembering. All of this came
about just from us walking and them either asking questions or me noticing
something and saying, "Hey! Look at this!" and then them asking. It
was really cool! And the more I think about it, the more I realize that
this happens an awful lot in our life. Just last week, out of the middle
of nowhere when we were driving, one of the kids asked me "How do bones

So when we got home, I pulled off the shelf this fun kids' book on the
human body that I'd gotten a month or so ago at the used book store
and we sat down and looked at how the muscles attach to the bones to make
them move and then they got into looking at the skin and organs and brain
and all that. And then, later that day, we coincidentally went to take a
meal to this one family from our church who has two boys, both in
wheelchairs because of birth defects, and on the way home, the kids started
asking me why these boys couldn't walk and I was able to relate it back to some
of what we talked about earlier in the day about how our muscles and
bones and brain and nerves all work together and how God made these boys
differently and their bodies don't function like ours do. It was really a neat
serendipitous learning experience, not to mention a lesson in
compassion for those who are different from us.

All this to say that as I see these kinds of things happen, I am
becoming more and more convinced that unschooling is a cool way to educate
kids...and I see more of this ever since we cut TV viewing in our
house WAY down this summer. I'm still not sure how to handle the teaching the
kids to read and some of the math stuff--they both enjoyed the workbooks
we used last year for these subjects and they want to do them again, so I'll
probably get them, but I think I'll try to be less uptight about
keeping them on a schedule with them and I'll just let them choose their own

Lisa Beamer
Editor of Christian Family'sonline

3. Book Review
Teri Brown

Healthy Foods: An Irreverent Guide to Understanding Nutrition and
Feeding Your Family Well
Leanne Ely, C.N.C.
Champion Press LTD

"Wouldn't it be great to have an easy formula for calculating exactly
what your body needs? The FDA believes they have done just that. Just
follow the food pyramid-one size fits all. If you did that you would
be eating six to 11 slices of bread a day. Not red hot if you have a
carbohydrate sensitivity."
Says Leanne Ely in her newly released book, Healthy Foods: An
Irreverent Guide to Understanding Nutrition and Feeding Your Family
Well. Imagine a book that says that you are the expert of your own
body and in control of your own wellness. Then imagine a book that
will give you the common sense tools on how to do that. Then imagine
a book that gives you those tools in a humorous and entertaining way.
Healthy Foods is just such a book.

The book is separated into three parts, Realistic Health for
Realistic Families, Here's Looking at You Kid, and Making Mealtimes
Manageable. Realistic Health for Realistic Families is the foundation
of the book with chapters like Change Your Food, Change Your Life and
A Health Plan for Real Life. Part two, Here's looking At you Kids,
gives an honest and well thought out look at how today's fast food
diet is affecting children. Making Mealtimes Manageable gives tips
and advice on doing just that, making your mealtime manageable. Then
come the family tested recipes. Nummmm. There is some great food in
here and many that children will actually eat! Recipes include Very
Garlic-y Chicken Caesar Salad, Enchilasgna, (you have to try it to
believe it!) and my personal favorite, the Avocado Yumwich. There is
something in this book for everyone.

What lifts this cookbook out of the pack for the homeschooling parent
is the Unit Study you can purchase with it. The unit study is fun and
educational. How to feed a family nutritionally is something that I
want my children to know before the go off on their own and this book
and unit study are a thoughtful and entertaining way to start.

This book is widely available! Order through the publisher to get
free shipping:

4. Testimony and Scrapbooking Idea
" I have P.A.S.S.ED the test!"

About two years ago, I was spending some time with the
Lord when he revealed to me that he wanted me to PASS
the test. I sat back and ponder this for I found this
a curious thought.

I was thinking, "What is the test?", and "how do I know
that I have passed?".

The Lord didn't immediately answer these questions,
but did give me some instructions. He said, "In order
to pass the test, you will need to P.A.S.S."

Attitude (make sure it is right),
Seek him, and
Step out.

He continued to show me this lesson in the choices
that Peter took in walking on water. He had to
preserver and believe in the things of God, having
the right attitude without doubt, seek the Lord by
asking His direction, and finally being obedient to
the direction given.

As I look at this biblical example there are so very
many parallels between the PASS example the Lord gave
me and Peter's example of walking on water. The
examples are numerous and maybe someday I will write a
book about the powerful way this has touched me.

That was two years ago.

Lately, "passing the test of walking on water" has
puzzled me. I knew what the test was, how to walk it
through, but how do I know when I have passed it.
"What is the point?" I asked the Lord. This week He
revealed to me how to know when I have gotten an "A"
in His tests....

It is simple.

We have passed the test when we have persevered, with
the right attitude, sought him, stepped out in faith
and finished with JOY!


Praise the Lord for Joy!
"His burden is light",
"the joy of the Lord is our strength",
"you will know them by their fruit."

It makes so much sense now!

As I look at my life, I am presently evaluating it
with this new insight. And recognizing the areas of
my life that I have passed the test and joy is

One specific area is bringing creativity and worship
to children. I have a passion to give children the
opportunity to allow their natural creativity to be a
blessing for the Kingdom of God. One way the Lord has
enlightened me to do this is through an inspirational
series of scrapbook ideas that you can find in the
website below.

One of the albums helps children with their
self-esteem and the other is a family project that
helps communicate the Blessing from parent to child.
It has been a blessing to many, may it bless your
children also. Praise God for the creative liberty in

This is a true story about my life, let me know if it
has inspired you, by e-mail me at
I would love to hear from you.

I pray that you too PASS the test!

Michelle Schmidt

5. Cool Unschooly Cover School and Evaluator, in Colorado

West River Academy

West River Academy is a private school in Grand Junction, Colorado
that has been serving the nationwide homeschooling (especially
unschooling) community since 1993. Peggy Nishikawa, a Grand Junction
mother of 3 lifelong homeschooling daughters, started the school to
provide an affordable alternative to registering children with the
school district. Families follow the learning style of their choice
and submit a year-end letter describing their children's learning
activities and progress over the year. If desired, an official grade
report, letter of grade promotion or transcript can be issued at the
end of the school year.

West River Academy offers a High School Diploma Program culminating
in the awarding of a diploma and 4-year high school transcript. The 6-
month program requires the student to submit an educational biography
and 6 monthly reports detailing his learning activities and progress
towards his graduation goals. His 4 years of book learning, work,
volunteering and life experiences all count towards the 25 credits
required for graduation. The West RiverAcademy diploma/transcript has
been accepted by all colleges and employers it has been submitted to.

In 1998, under the supervision of Kiyo Nishikawa, West River Academy
opened an International Division, which has enrolled a total of 98
students from Japan and Spain. The students stay with local host
families. Four of these students have finished their high school
educations here and graduated. The others were in short-term programs
devoted to cultural exchange and English language proficiency.

In 1999 West River Academy became accredited by the National
Association for the Legal Support of Alternative Schools (NALSAS).
Since then, 42 students have graduated and joined the US Armed
Services. All except one made it through basic training, making the
success rate 98%--compared to 84% for students from public and
private schools nationwide.

This past year West River Academy enrolled 241 families from 17
states, totaling 365 students. The High School Diploma Program
graduated 26 students this year.

The tuition for one child is $45 per year, with $135 as the maximum
annual tuition per family. The fee for the High School Diploma
Program is $200. Other services, such as consultations and
transcripts, are provided a la carte. If you would like further
information or a registration form, you can contact Peggy Nishikawa
at 970-241-4137 or or 779 Jasmine Court, Grand
Junction, CO 81506.

6. Science Company offers Microscope kits for homeschoolers

Our company currently manufactures a
line of excellent microscopes and has
been contacted by many home schooling
professionals for our equipment. As a
result, we have developed a special
package especially designed for the
home school student that can take them
to the college level.

This package includes a choice of 3
fine student microscopes at reasonable prices:

* MFL-02 is a beginning, or younger student,
microscope with 3 different objectives and
lights from beneath.

* MS-01 also lights from beneath and has 3
objectives, but includes a finer focus.

* MS-03 is the same as the above but adds
a 4th objective so the advanced student
can use magnifications up to 1000X

We have also assembled a custom made kit
to accompany any of the four microscopes
above. This will permit your student to
learn and perform various experiments,
by having all the necessary equipment
already on hand.

The kit includes:
* Prepared slides for Elementary,
Intermediate and High School levels
* A dissecting Kit with the necessary
* 72 Plain slides and 100 cover slides
for experiments
* Lens Paper, a pipette, a spare light bulb,
and a spare slide case
* An instruction manual for the microscope
and instructions for making slides
* An excellent study book entitled
"The world of the Microscope"

We are preparing a Home School Study
Page to add to our website. We would
like to make it a forum for students
to post and answer questions. As home
school parents, we would appreciate your
input on this idea and welcome you to
visit our website:

Please feel free to share this information with
other members of the Home School community.
We are very interested in your comments and
suggestions as to how we can better serve your
needs and science curriculum for your student.
Please contact us and help us bring the wonderful
world of microscopes into your student's home.
10061 Riverside Dr. #71
Toluca Lake, Ca. 91602
( 8 1 8 ) 8 4 8 - 1 3 0 8

7. Closing Letter

Well, our book has made it to many of your shelves by now....please
please if you have read and enjoyed it, go review it at
just type in, Teri Brown, or Elissa Wahl, it will bring you right

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

Until next time,
Be blessed you all!

Elissa Wahl
Teri Brown
Angel Dyke

6. Subscription Information

Subscribe at :

Unsubscribe at:

7. 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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