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Sunday, November 30, 2008

Issue #27, Jan 1, 2002


Nurturing our children in the freedom of Christ
Issue #27, Jan 1, 2002
Sr. Editor & Publisher: Elissa Wahl
Assistant Editor: Teri Brown
Contributing Editor: Angel Dyke


1. Welcome from the Editor
2. An Unschooling Family Story
3. A Mothers Prayer, by Andrea Ballard
4. Expanded Horizons or the Quirky Things We Do by Teri Brown
5. Algebra Videos and workbook
6. Closing letter from the editor
7. Subscription Information
8. 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!

This month's issue is a hodgepodge with no theme...sometimes I have
enough submissions to make it thematic...other times not. Sounds
like unschooling in my house! Often a huge spurt in an
interest...then a low time where we just do "stuff" with no real
theme. Always learning, always growing.

We just took a trip to the Grand Canyon. The sights and things we saw
and learned, have really impacted us. We have SO much to
little time...about mesas and buttes, geographical formations, Major
Powell, the Anasazi, petroglyphs, cliff dwellings, mules, lions and
tigers and bears ohmy!

Seriously, there is much in nature, much that God gave us to learn

Mark 13:27-29 "Now learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as
its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is

A "simple" trip to the Grand Canyon left us feeling small, but in awe
of God's greatness. Think about some themes in nature you can learn
from....some local sights and attractions are sure to wield many
hours of learning.

Please read on, and we pray you are blessed!

2. An Unschooling Family Story
Sara Miller

We have homeschooled for approx. 10 years, and as each year
passed, I found myself moving from Konos Unit studies, Charlotte Mason
methods, other curriculums-to what THE KIDS WANT to study!
We own a family greenhouse operation, and the last several years, as I
took the kids portfolios to a certified teacher to be assessed (Ohio's
law), I found myself asking her, "How many years can I continue to use
the GREENHOUSE for Science?" Yet, I knew in my heart, that our
learning experiences far outweighed "science".

Our 18 yr old son did not really care for the plants. We moved him to
the office. He became "manager" at 13, setting up our computer,
designed data bases for the business, paid the bills, etc. I knew
that we were on to a good thing when I saw the 4" thick computer
books he ordered from bookclubs and checked out of the library. He
has worked at 2 computer businesses, 3 weeks in a tax office, a
hospital billing dept., and is currently at a local gov't agency,
doing interviews for people needing housing. (They hired him on a few
weeks before his 18th birthday, didn't even think to ask his age-they
don't hire under 18-and when they did ask, the manager wasn't sure
what to do. Impressive resume!) His future plans include a local
college and full steam ahead in his own computer business.

Our oldest daughter, now 16 1/2, is our top salesperson in the
business. She was 8 when the greenhouse opened. She loves people and
spent many hours helping them with their planting needs. Over and
over, I hear- "Where's the red-head? I want her to help me!" She has
been the child that has thanked us the most for keeping her home
where she could "really learn"! She works part time as activity aide
in a nursing home. Interestingly, she was just a volunteer there,
when management approached her and wanted her to seriously consider
letting them put her on their payroll! She mentioned lately, that
when my husband and I get old and want to retire, she will "move
into" our house and run the business.

Our next daughter is almost 13. She is my "dreamer", surprised me by
running the cash register last Spring and was in charge of selling the
mum crop this fall. She told me recently that she cannot WAIT until we
open up again in March. She loves to sing, and asked us if she could
practice and perform in "Messiah" this winter. A church, where she
knew no one, yet no one was a stranger. An interesting tidbit, she
met several homeschoolers in the 135 member choir, some of them WHOLE

Our third daughter is 10. I had to laugh when I saw "The Porch Swing"
listed as a website! ( ) We tease
Caitlin about her swinging. She spent so many hours on that thing.
Mind running, mouth running...performing one person plays and
composing stories. We remodeled this fall, made the porch into a
bedroom, so she took to the swing in the yard. Now, everyone that
goes by (we live on a highway) can see her. I have even had customers
comment that she must like her swing! She informs us that she "will
be married on a porch swing"! After she writes her book, of course.

Our fourth daughter is 6. She is learning to read. A big box of dress
up clothes provides hours of imagination and fun.They have a room in
the basement where they "play" school. They invite the homeschooled
neighbor boy over. I discover that the older ones have taught the
younger one some addition. Wait a minute, I haven't even let her do
much with counting m&m's yet!

My children have taught me so much on this journey. It has been the
greatest reward in this life, to see them mature in the Lord, to
pursue their passions, to discover their uniqueness...

Unschooling has been rich, rich, rich...

Sara Miller, Miller Flowers, Greenville, OH

3. A Mothers Prayer
Andrea Hope Ballard

A teachable spirit
And self-control
Peace and humility
A gentle soul

Protection from evil
A prudent wife
A steadfast heart
A Godly life

To pray for my children
An awesome task
Give what they need
Is all I ask

Not wealth or fame
Or worldly desires
But place in their souls
Spiritual fires

Please open their hearts
To the truth of You
Make them your men
Faithful and true

Give what they need
To make them strong
Not what they want
If their wants are wrong

And You alone know
Teach me what to pray
That my sons might be
Godly men one day.

I have several poems posted at my website:

My hope is that these poems will be of encouragement to other moms
out there who are homeschool and that they will inspire moms to open
God's Word to seek further encouragement.

Andrea Hope Ballard

4. Expanded Horizons or the Quirky Things We Do.
Teri Brown

"Your family finds the strangest things to do," a friend once
commented to me. Well, she was right. Whether that is due to being in
the right place at the right time or divine intervention, I can't
say, but I have another theory. We find strange things to do because
we are open to the strange, quirky and the unusual. By living our
life the unschooling way, my children have been exposed to some of
the most wonderful things, more than many children get in a life time.

A trip to an herb farm, found by attending a gardening club meeting,
led to a class. Soon we were learning the ins and outs of candle
making and constructing herb and cheese pizzas. This class led to
another class the next day, given to us free by the instructor, and
we learned the secrets of forming a willow trellis. The herb farm
became one of our favorite places to go, to share tea, or growing
tips with the owner. They have a wonderful shop in the basement where
we poke around in corners, checking out new candle molds, handmade
soaps and sniffing fragrant oil essences.

Not strange enough? Here's another example. A magazine article led to
a trip to the library for a movie on clowning. My children were
hooked. They practiced by themselves for a bit and by chance a
friend mentioned an acquaintance who was a professional clown. That
led to clown classes with a woman who was Vice President of the local
clowning association. Which led to Rose City Clowns. Soon we were
attending workshops and board meetings run completely by clowns. Try
sitting with a straight face as clowns discuss new business and the
latest treasurer's report! The last meeting we attended had a
workshop on puppetry. A professional puppeteer took us on a worldwide
history tour of the world using puppets. We handled the type of
puppets used in ancient Egypt and looked in awe at black-market
Indonesian puppets which until recently had been banned from leaving
the country. Both kids were delighted with the puppets and I foresee
puppetry in our future.

Being open to adventure and learning has led us down some odd roads.
One thing leads to another, often, it's just as much my interests
that lead us there as the children's. Sometimes it's sheer nuttiness
that takes us down a different path. Take the knights in the park. We
were driving down the road and my husband said, "Look at that!" He
quickly pulled over and we watched in awe as what looked like the
knights of the round table fought duels before our eyes. We hopped
out of the car to get a better look and before I knew it I was
chatting with several knights around a picnic table. We are
scheduling a full exhibition for my homeschool group in the next few
months. Now my children are checking out books on the medieval times
and ancient weapons.

We do some very quirky things as a family, I think most unschoolers
do. It's being alert to the opportunities that the world has. They
are almost limitless in their diversity and scope. The trick is being
able to spot them and to have the time and inclination to follow up
on whatever opportunity might present itself. If you do that, you
too, will soon be leading the often quirky unschooling life.

Teri Brown

5. Algebra Videos and workbook

We are homeschool parents of 8 kids - 5 down, 3 to go. My wife and I
have been teaching both inside and outside of schools for over 20

We have found that very often a crisis develops when homeschoolers
reach the level of algebra. The subject can be difficult without the
help of a teacher, and often the parents have long forgotten their
algebra and are stumped when their kids need help.

I have prepared a series of videos that teaches ALGEBRA and
is specifically designed for homeschooling. If you would be
interested in knowing more about these videos, please e-mail me at:

I would like to invite you to visit my web site as well:

I would be happy to e-mail a copy of my 180-page "Algebra
Workbook" file as a "free gift" to anyone who so requests by e-
mailing me at the same address:

The "Workbook" shows exactly what is covered in the video course, but
is a valuable tool in itself and a great "freebie".

Daniel Suttin

6. Closing Letter

Well, we pray that this issue has touched you...please feel free to
forward this ezine to any who might be interested.

If you feel led to submit an article, a link, a book review, anything
at all, please email

Until next time,
Be blessed you all!

Elissa Wahl
Teri Brown
Angel Dyke

7. Subscription Information

Subscribe at : or email

Unsubscribe at: or email

8. 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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