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Sunday, November 30, 2008

Issue #29, August 4, 2002


Nurturing our children in the freedom of Christ
Issue #29, August 4, 2002
Sr. Editor & Publisher: Elissa Wahl
Assistant Editor: Teri Brown


1. Welcome from the Editor
2. Homeschooling in Time of Trials by Tamara Eaton
3. Homeschooling Chronically Ill Kids by Elissa Wahl
4. Some Links
5. Live & Learn Unschooling Conference Info
6. Ordering Info on our book
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!

Lots has happened since our last issue of Seedling, way back in
February. I imagine so, in your lives, as well. Teri's family and my
family, have both been afflicted with some ongoing medical concerns.
We heartily apologize for not being able to continue publishing
Seedling during these last few months, but our priorities had to lay
with our families.

Teri was diagnosed with a pituitary tumor, she underwent surgery and
they were able to remove a huge portion of it. A small amount
remains, so Teri will need to start undergoing radiation therapy. She
asks for your continued prayers.

My baby had some varied symptoms that needed constant supervision and
treatment, and eventually called for a prolonged hospital stay, both
here Las Vegas, and also in Los Angeles. While he doesn't yet have a
definitive diagnosis, and may never have, he is home now and much
recovered. Prognosis is great, and we are thankful.

I guess it is easy to see why Teri and I had to put Seedling, and
much of our lives, on hold, but even in the months of treatments, and
constant Dr visits, we were still homeschool moms. Our kids can now
spout off more medical terms than most, are familiar with weird
looking instruments, and have first hand knowledge of what hospital
rooms look like, but they never stopped learning. The learning just
looked different!

While I don't have many articles for this edition, I have a few words
of comfort about homeschooling through trials, and during sicknesses.

I will give you back your health and heal your wounds, says the
LORD. Jeremiah 30:17
It is in His power, if He deems it so…we need to remember that...even
the bleakest diagnosis, or lack thereof…can be handled by our God.

Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day.
2 Corinthians 4:16

Please read on, and we pray you are blessed!

2. Homeschooling in Time of Trials
by Tamara Eaton

No matter what we're going through in life, if God has called us to
homeschool, He will give us the grace, wisdom and strength! In all
the years we've homeschooled, we've done so through many different
circumstances and trials. It's not like God calls us to homeschool
and we say, "OK, Lord, now will you please hold off all the trials
for the next 12 years so we'll be able to really concentrate on
academics?" He promises to help us THROUGH the trials, and in the
MIDST of the trials!

There have been periods of time when we didn't accomplish as much
academically as I'd planned because of major moves, new babies, busy
toddlers, a major illness, and other challenging circumstances, but
guess what? Through it all we not only survived, but the Lord blessed
and worked in many other areas of our lives! It was good for our kids
to see us trust God in trials, they grew stronger spiritually. And
they didn't really suffer academically either because we operate on a
year round, relaxed homeschool as a part of our whole lifestyle plan.
I like what William Butler Yeats said, "Education is not the filling
of a pail, but the lighting of a fire." Homeschooling parents are
busy lighting fires and those fires continue to burn in spite of
difficult circumstances if we have helped our children enjoy learning
during their early years.

At times those challenging homeschooling periods were a blessing in
disguise because they kept me from trying to imitate "school at home"
in the earlier years. I was forced to have a relaxed attitude and
look to our textbooks or curriculum as "tools" to enrich our
homeschool instead of being a slave to them. As a result, our
children really enjoyed learning and didn't get burned out from too
much formal studies.

It also helps to look at the overall picture in light of Eternity.
What does *God* want us to accomplish in homeschooling our children?
Has He called us to homeschool? Has He not promised to give us wisdom
and strength? If we're experiencing trials is it not because He has
allowed them for a purpose in our life? Is He not still in control?
Nothing catches Him off guard! We can certainly trust Him to work out
all the "details"! We all have seasons of our lives when
circumstances aren't the best--we just have to trust the Lord to help
us do the best we can and to "fill in any gaps".

He has used the trials to help *mold* me into the person that I
should be...patience comes from overcoming trials, from learning not
to allow our circumstances to determine our attitudes, but instead
yielding to the Holy Spirit and the fruit of the Spirit and not the
fruit of flesh! We are inadequate at times, but GOD isn't! He
promises to use us to minister to our children and He will enable us
to care for their needs if we will just trust Him.

Sometimes when things get out of whack, we call a family meeting and
lay out the problems and prayerfully discuss solutions and enlist
everyone's help. It needs to be made clear that this is not
just "Mom's problem" but everyone needs to pitch in and work together
as a family.

If we or our kids are stressed out, fussy and exhausted, something
has to give! We have to take time to examine the situation as
objectively as possible. Get to the root of the problem. Then trust
God for wisdom to fix it. Ignoring it and hoping it will resolve
itself won't work!

It's amazing how you can feel all overwhelmed and bogged down only to
dig through all the stuff you're going through and find out the root
of the problem is something you hadn't considered if
the kids' attitudes are straightened out, your homeschooling will be
less of a burden and more of a joy! You can live without catching up
with the laundry or having a spotless house, but when you have
disobedient, grumpy, uncooperative kids, you want to RUN AWAY from
home! THAT is what needs to be worked on first! Or maybe you're not
getting enough rest because of too many commitments--simplify your
life! Then everything else will fall into place as you trust the Lord
for wisdom and direction.

Now for some practical suggestions--how about getting the kids
motivated so that even if you are especially busy, the older ones can
continue doing their work on their own and even help supervise the
younger ones?

When I had small children and had to "homeschool from the couch or
bed" (or perhaps from a rocking chair with a new baby or sick child),
I often set up a little table with chairs right beside me so the
younger ones could spend quiet time coloring or doing "school work"
nearby. It's helpful to keep some boxes of "quiet" toys and
educational games in storage just to bring out or rotate on
challenging days. It's also VERY helpful to consistently work on
Biblical child training principles BEFORE you experience trials so
that you only have to tell your little one once to do something and
he will obey without delay!

Homeschooling gives us flexibility in teaching our children, on days
we don't accomplish much "academically", then we can take time in the
early evening to go over something or make it up on the weekends. Or
use the summer to work on any weak areas. It also helps to find ways
for the kids to learn "painlessly" through interesting hobbies,
fascinating books, wholesome PBS TV or videos, computer software,
educational games, etc. Then they're still enjoying learning even if
you had to stay up all night with a sick child and can't even
function well enough to put a complete sentence together!

In some ways the past two years have been the most difficult of my
life but God has NEVER let me down, He has *carried* me through it
all and given me the grace I needed so that regardless of the
circumstances at times, I still have been able to enjoy my family and
minister to their needs. Sometimes not physically as much because of
some health trials, but always emotionally and spiritually.

What God has given me to share in this area doesn't come out of a
life that has been perfect and without trials, but from a life that
has meant trusting Jesus in the midst of the trials, focusing on His
Word instead of all the circumstances and seeing Him ALWAYS faithful!
The Lord wants to encourage us all to come to Him when we are weary,
when we are in trials, in fact, ALL the time! He delights in our
dependence upon Him. Even when it seems as though darkness is all
around, HE will be our light and lead us in His way.

"Why do you say, Oh Jacob, and speak, O Israel: "My way is hidden
from the Lord and my just claim is passed over by my God"? Have you
not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the Lord, the
Creator of the ends of the earth, neither faints nor is weary. His
understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the weak, and to
those who have no might He increases strength. Even the youths shall
faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall, but those
who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up
with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall
walk and not faint. " Isaiah 40:27-31

"...count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that
the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have
its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking
nothing. If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to
all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But
let him ask in faith, with no doubting..." James 1:2-6

Oh that we might all look to Him for our strength and wisdom!

©Copyright 1997 by Tamara Eaton

3. Homeschooling Chronically Ill Kids
Elissa Wahl

Illnesses, disabilities…they can affect mom, dad and/or child. When
kids are sick, does schoolwork REALLY need to be their priority?
Making sure you have your Dr's excuse on hand while you have to
report in for chemo; doing homebound work, to stay in your assigned
grade with all your friends…are these things we should be doing with
what precious time we have?

While our baby was sick, we were placed on the Hemotology/Oncology
floor of the hospital. While I did not ask every parent, the few kids
I did talk to, were on "homebound", studying at home under the
school's supervision. It hurt my heart to hear them talk of it.

We had the opportunity to meet the greatest, Spirit filled family…one
daughter was undergoing chemo. She was the most beautiful teen girl…
her presence filled the room. She continued to go to school…in
actuality LOVED school, her friends, it was her life…studied for
finals while receiving chemo…and then she died 2 months later.

I am not suggesting every sick child be pulled out to homeschool…but
if the means are there, and the parent willing….Sadly, our society as
a whole, doesn't think of homeschooling as a viable
likely ISNT the first thing to pop into someone's head when given a
terminal diagnosis. I would hasten to say, it isn't even in the top
50 things.

Homeschooling, to a parent of a terminally ill child, might seem like
more work, more stress, more burden. If we could help people see,
learning doesn't have to be all scope and sequence, all from
textbooks, all in lecture form, pre-typed out by Mrs. Teacher, the
night before.

I would LOVE to encourage you, as parents. Homeschooling can help
bring a family together, help unite, help siblings be part of the
medical process, instead of merely observers.

Learning how your body functions, how medicines work, how technology
helps, roles of different nurses, and doctor specialties, it's all
learning. The "basics" can be learned using your experiences,
whatever they may be.

Whether your children are healthy, or ill, please cherish every
moment you have with them.


4. Some Links

Homeschooling Chronically Ill Kids

EZBoard, Homeschooling with Cancer

Homeschooling When Mom is Ill

Beyond Surviving Homeschooling

Has a whole host of links..sick moms, kids, email loops…

5. Live and Learn Unschooling Conference Info

School's Out Support's
Live & Learn Unschooling Conference Update

The Early Bird Deadline for registration is right around the corner!
Please get your registration to us by 15 August 2002---in time to
take advantage of this special rate!

This will be a wonderful opportunity to learn how learning happens,
to erase any doubts about unschooling, and to have a great time with
other unschoolers from around the country!
Don't miss it!

Be inspired by Sandra Dodd, Anne Ohman, Joyce Fetteroll, Lisa Bugg,
Ned Vare & Luz Shosie, Fiona Hutchison and others!

Fun for the whole family!
All presentations, funshops, and activities will be open to all ages--
-No Age Descrimination!

Payments will be accepted by Check, Money Order, or PayPal.
Don't hesitate! Fill out your form today!

Click here to go directly to the form!
Schools Out Support:Registration

And don't forget the hotel registration either!
Clarion Town House Deadline for the conference rate and availability
is 15 September 2002.

Kelly Lovejoy, Coordinator
Schools Out Support
Fax: 803-776-7006

6. Ordering Info on Our Book

In case anyone has forgotten, we have actually written and published,
a book! ChristianUnschooling; Growing Your Children in the Freedom of
Christ, is available nationwide.

We are found at, Barnes & Noble ( ) , even
To read an excerpt of the book, please go to our publisher's website:

7. Closing Letter

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

We can't, and never intended, to publish this ezine all on our own…we
would love submissions of any form. We have no real guidelines, other
than nothing anti-Christian. Any book reviews, cool trips taken,
poems written, anything goes. Please help us keep this going.

Until next time,
Be blessed you all!

Elissa Wahl
Teri Brown

8. Subscription Information

Subscribe at : or email

Unsubscribe at: or email

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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