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Saturday, November 22, 2008

Issue #3, Part 1, Jan 1, 2000


Nurturing our children in the freedom of Christ
#3, Jan, 01 2000
Sr. Editor & Publisher: Elissa Henry
Assistant Editor: Teri Brown
Contributing Editor: Patricia Moon


(Part #1)
1. Welcome from the Editor
2. Unschooling in a Schooling World by Patricia Moon
3. Q & A on Christian Unschooling -Answers by Jeanne Musfeldt
4. Write-up of an upcoming homeschool magazine: HELM, by Karen Gibson
5. Variety of Quotes From Noteworthy People, Re: Education, Schools & Learning

(PART #2)
6. Christian Unschooling: A Viable Option by Teri Brown
7. Cooler than cool links to Live Web-Cams
8. Contest for subscribers...with a great prize!!
9. Closing letter from the editor
10. Subscription Information
11. Reprint Information

1. Welcome from the editor

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

This month, due to general consensus, Seedling will be received in 2 emails. This is instead of 1) shortening it & 2) sending it as an attachment. PLEASE look for the next email also!!

Hope everyone is having a great holiday season!! I'm sending out this newsletter the night of the 31st, just in case there happen to be any computer glitches. (Please Lord, not mine!! )

Jan 1st, 2000!!!!!!!! A time that is inspiring fear. Fear among computer people, fear in communities as terrorists seem to threaten, and for some, a worse fear, that it may be the "end of time." None of us know what will occur with regard to this could-be computer fiasco...maybe the power will fail, maybe our cars won't start, maybe our PC's will crash. While we cannot be sure of the events that will occur, we, as Christians, do NOT have to worry that it will be the end of time!!

I know there are some groups out there that have marked this as Jesus' return to Earth, as the apocalypse..however, we can PLAINLY see in 2 Pet 3:10 -"But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare." Again, in 1 Thess 5:2 -"for you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night".

As if that were not enough proof that we, as mere mortals, could not 2nd guess God's timing, there is this scripture- Mark 13:32 "No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father". We can also look at - 2 Thess 2:1-3 "Concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered to him, we ask you, brothers, not to become easily unsettled or alarmed by some prophecy, report or letter supposed to have come from us, saying that the day of the Lord has already come. Don't let anyone deceive you in any way, for that day will not come until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the man doomed to destruction". Does this not speak directly to us, in order to calm us, in order for us NOT to be scared!!!

Last night I read through Revelations, and I want to share some things that struck me.

Rev 1-3 "The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show his servants what must soon take place. He made it known by sending his angel to his servant John, who testifies to everything he saw--that is, the word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ. Blessed is the one who reads the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear it and take to heart what is written in it, because the time is near".

Rev 2:29- "He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the

Rev 3: 6- "He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the

Rev 3:7-12 "To the angel of the church in Philadelphia write: These are the words of him who is holy and true, who holds the key of David. What he opens no one can shut, and what he shuts no one can open. I know your deeds. See, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut. I know that you have little strength, yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name. I will make those who are of the synagogue of Satan, who claim to be Jews though they are not, but are liars--I will make them come and fall down at your feet and acknowledge that I have loved you. Since you have kept my command to endure patiently, I will also keep you from the hour of trial that is going to come upon the whole world to test those who live on the earth. I am coming soon. Hold on to what you have, so that no one will take your crown. Him who overcomes I will make a pillar in the temple of my God. Never again will he leave it. I will write on him the name of my God and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which is coming down out of heaven from my God; and I will also write on him my new name.

Rev 3:13-22- "He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. "To the angel of the church in Laodicea write: These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God's creation. I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm--neither hot nor cold--I am about to spit you out of my mouth. You say, `I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.' But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see. Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest, and repent. Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me. To him who overcomes, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I overcame and sat down with my Father on his throne. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches."

Rev 22:1-5 "Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of
the tree are for the healing of the nations. No longer will there be any curse.
The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will
serve him. They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads.
There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light
of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign for ever
and ever."

Recap of all that!!! We are to believe in God, we are to listen to his Word, we
are to CHOOSE HIM!! AND, we will be blessed!! Blessed by God..HOW awesome!! And, by His promise, we will see God, we will serve him, we will all live for ever and ever with Him!!! How peaceful that sounds, how blessed we are to have such an awesome loving God!!

2. Unschooling in a Schooling World
Patricia Moon

Not going "by the book," can lead us to reevaluate our own definitions of unschooling.

The challenges of homeschooling are many. I'm fairly certain that we all agree on that one. Trying to unschool in a schooling world can be twice the challenge. Attempting to do anything "by the book," can close more doors than it opens—even when we wrote the book ourselves! That's really what every unschooling family does. They figuratively write the book on unschooling for their specific family. So just how tightly will we hold to our own rules?

Our family tries to balance the challenges and opportunities of homeschooling to come up with our ideal learning situations. Some of the more structured places we have found learning situations are at church and Boy Scouts. The children have also had a tutor. The main challenge of these situations is getting those in charge to accept our unschooling ways. Another challenge is trying to decide exactly what our homeschool will and will not accept as a viable learning situation.

Sara (12) is taking confirmation classes at her church this year and Jon (10) is in his second year of Scouts. Both had a music and Spanish tutor who came to our home for over two years. The pressure to stick with the prescribed formulas (the book) has been daunting, to say the least. While our tutor quickly caught on to our unschooling ways, the Scout leaders clearly have not. The whole process of learning is tilted sideways, from our perspective. Every one of these "teachers" uses a book, and that book is what the children are expected to follow.

Cub Scouts was much closer to the natural learning we are used to, but apparently, as the boys move up to Webelos, the parent-child aspect of learning is left behind. In Cub Scouts, Jon could repair a sink drain and we would find a slot in the book to record his accomplishment. Not so with the next level of Scouts. Now he is expected to make or do something, write about it, and then discuss it with his leader and usually to his group. Many of his daily life accomplishments just don't fit in now. In my mind, the value of Scouting was for Jon to experience the group activities and have a wonderful way to record some of the things that he does in his everyday life. For Jon, Scouts meant getting together with his friends to do fun things and earning points for recording what he already does! Now it seems that the focus is on what the book says. The whole thing has lost the excitement of doing things together and putting a spotlight on ordinary accomplishments.

No matter what requirements Sara is given for her confirmation classes, the fact that she is reading, seriously contemplating, discussing, and teaching the Bible to her parents and brother, should be given merit. I was so impressed and surprised the other day when she explained to Jon about the serpent, the apple, and especially, why Adam & Eve became ashamed of their nakedness. Reading the Bible on her own greatly enhanced the lessons taught in her class at church. It allowed her explanations to come across clear and concise and full of true understanding. Sara has the goal of reading the Bible from start to finish. That is her own goal--something no one has forced on her, and something no one evaluates or grades. It is doubtful that the pastor can account for this accomplishment within the covers of the lesson book that she follows.

The whole idea of natural learning, or unschooling, is to learn as we live; to soak up the plain old joy of learning as we go about our daily lives. My confusion and lack of a firm grip comes with things like Spanish and music.
These lessons called for a serious commitment of time and money. It was a family decision to hire a tutor to teach these topics. The tutor came once a week and left homework for the children to do every day. Not exactly natural, but we pushed on. The lessons became such an intrusion, and so miserable for everyone involved, that we finally stopped. (Sometimes we're slow learners) Here's the thing, though; the children WANT to learn music and Spanish and we want them to! We are back to square one now. I have found some tutorials on-line and we will try those. My husband, Joe, can help a bit with both subjects. However, from what I understand, both of these subjects call for fairly regular practice-- the "use it or loose it" theory. It will be another interesting experiment in our lives to see if we can practice unschooling, while learning in a pretty schoolish way.

Although the challenges of unschooling in a schooling world are many, we can't help but learn from them. It keeps us on our toes and demands that we frequently update our own book of unschooling.

Our main project for the year 2000 is to actually make a Moon Family Homeschool book where we will record all the creative, scholarly, and even the mundane things, that we do. It will be part scrap book, part photo album, part journal and part "school" record. I hope to inspire other families to do the same.

3. Q & A on Christian Unschooling -Answers by Jeanne Musfeldt

Q1: We have, as many do, a daily routine. Some things that could be involved would be getting up, reading the Bible, doing chores, brushing teeth, eating, bathing and returning to bed for a good rest. It is our children's education that is more unstructured. This is something that is little understood by both Christian homeschoolers and secular unschoolers. Can you expand on this?

A1: I think the easiest way to describe our schedule is to compare it to that of the public-schooler, on summer vacation. We do things, like you listed, meals, chores, etc., all together, but my son might choose to do some math things at noon, while my middle daughter might choose to do them at 7pm. And the learning of school subjects isn't always done with traditional methods, like textbooks. As a matter of fact, it is more often done without textbooks! For the most part, things like math are practiced with games, or cooking. We do have a set schedule for when we do chores, and when we go to bed and other daily things. But not for when we are learning things. As an adult, do you have a set time for your learning? Or do you just learn things during the day as you go along?

Q2: As Christian unschoolers we are concerned about giving the Lord the room to develop the gifts he has given our children. It would be a waste of time to force Shakespeare on them, if the Lord clearly wants our child to be a missionary in Africa. Just like it would be a misuse of His time to train our children in French if the child is to be a chemical engineer. Can you comment on the enigma of these concepts being put together?

A2: I think this is a very important thing to consider. If we are busy, as homeschoolers, filling our children with knowledge we think is important, they will not have time to find their own desires. When you keep getting forced to do things you don't want to (such as textbook learning, for school-at-homers), the desire to do something similar is totally gone. If you were forced to cook all day every day, that love for cooking would soon be gone. You wouldn't choose to do it in your spare time now, would you? I trust the Lord to know what knowledge my children will need for their adulthood. He knows far more thank I do at this point in their lives. I am not saying that I do not care, far from it. But whom is better than the Creator to know what they will be need know now and in the future?

Q3: As unschoolers, we follow our God-given interests in all areas. Can "interests" evolve into a career in your opinion and is college really necessary?

A3: College is a very man made thing. To be a doctor in today's society, I think it is almost mandatory for the learner to have the college education. However, there are ways to be involved in the medical profession, without all those years of training. My own personal opinion on college is that if the child is wanting to learn more about whatever topic, and college is the next step, by all means, the parents should do all they can to encourage that child. If the child wants to go, they will learn to jump thru the appropriate hoops to get that degree. Right now, this minute, you want to learn about unschooling your child from a Christian perspective. So, you are doing the research and reading this e-zine. See how it all connects?

Q4: How do you feel Unschooling aligns with the Bible?

A4: I feel it very much aligns with the Bible. How did Jesus teach his disciples? Did they all get workbooks and be forced to learn about things they weren't interested in? No, of course not. He taught them using the birds of the air and the lilies of the field. He taught them using parables; things that were relevant to them in their time. Right now, what is your learner interested in? Can you think of some things to help them learn even more? Take the interest they already have, and go with it! Another section of the Bible that instantly comes to my mind is "Teach them , talking when you sit at home, and as you walk along the way, and when you lie down, and when you get up." Deuteronomy 11:19. To me, this means, always teaching the children. Not just when it is "school-time", but when the learner is wanting more knowledge.

Q5: Unlike many homeschool parents, we do not create daily lesson plans, nor do we have the educational goal for our children of a "standardized" education. What do you see as our job as the parents of unschooled children? What is our role in their education?

A5: My job, for me, as a Christian Unschooling mom is to help my children find the resources they need to learn about the things they want. My youngest is very interested in dolphins right now, so when we go to the library, I help her to find books on that topic. I see a show about it, I tell her to come and see! I read something about them on a message board, and a web site is provided….I go to the site with her. I am not directing the learning, but I am strewing her path with exciting things to help her learn more about that topic. I am quite sure that many parents do the same thing, unschooling or not. You know what excites your children. You know what their interests are for now. The children light the fires. You just need to give them some more fuel to keep them burning. But, on the same token, don't keep adding to that fire, once it has gone out and there is no more interest there.

4. Write-up of an upcoming homeschool magazine: HELM, by Karen Gibson

Home Education Learning Magazine
A Bimonthly Print Publication
First issue: March/April 2000

Thank you so much, Elissa, for asking me to write about HELM, home education's newest magazine! I'm Karen Gibson and my friend, Donna de Poalo, are very excited to be bringing our dream to fruition. Our desire with HELM is to provide inspiration to those considering home education and those who are already on this wonderful journey of life long learning. We have seen a need for information which focuses on the value of family based education and will direct our efforts towards filling this need.

We chose the name HELM because it suggests to us the idea of taking charge. The HELM philosophy is that the path a person follows in his own and/or his children's education must be of his own choosing, free from intervention. We believe that learning should be self-directed and, much like the captain of a ship charts his course, so should individuals chart a course of
learning as a way of life. It is our hope that HELM will inspire you to test foreign waters, provide you with an occasional life-preserver, and help you acquire the information you need for an unforgettable and successful learning journey.

Each issue of HELM will include information on resources available to home
educators and ideas about how to take charge of your and/or your family's
education. There will be regular columns focusing on how children learn,
"Ask a Scientist", home educating teens, unschooling the high school years,
Christian unschooling, product reviews and much more! One of HELM's regular features is a humor column, presenting some the more humorous moments of home education, written by Gail Thomas. Another regular feature will be "Life in the Galley"; readers can submit their chronicle of life and learning in the kitchen and win a year's free subscription to HELM upon being chosen to be printed in a future issue.

We are offering a special introductory subscription rate of $9.95 for the first year for all paid subscriptions received by January 31, 2000. Our normal rate will be $19.95 per year. Please visit our web site for more information: or write to us at

Karen M. Gibson
Donna De Poalo

5. Variety of Quotes From Noteworthy People, Re: Education, Schools & Learning

Mark Twain:
"In the first place, God made idiots. That was for practice. Then he made school boards."

Robert Frost:
"Education is the ability to listen to almost anything without losing your temper."

G. M. Trevelyan:
"Education... has produced a vast population able to read but unable to distinguish what is worth reading."

Emma Goldman:
"No one has yet realized the wealth of sympathy, the kindness and generosity
hidden in the soul of a child. The effort of every true education should be to
unlock that treasure."

William C. Bagley:
"When will the public cease to insult the teacher's calling with empty flattery?
When will men who would never for a moment encourage their own sons to enter the work of the public schools cease to tell us that education is the greatest and noblest of all human callings?"

"Knowledge which is acquired under compulsion has no hold on the mind. Therefore do not use compulsion, but let early education be rather a sort of amusement; this will better enable you to find out the natural bent of the child."

Charles Schulz:
"Try not to have a good time ... This is supposed to be educational."

Victor Hugo:
"Common sense is in spite of, not as the result of education."

Ronald Reagan:
"We think there is a parallel between federal involvement in education and the
decline in profit over recent years."

Alec Bourne:
"It is possible to store the mind with a million facts and still be entirely

Ralph Waldo Emerson:
"The secret of education is respecting the pupil."

Sydney J. Harris:
"The primary purpose of a liberal education is to make one's mind a pleasant
place in which to spend one's leisure."

Bishop Mandell Creighton:
"The one real object of education is to have a man in the condition of
continually asking questions."

Robert Maynard Hutchins:
"The object of education is to prepare the young to educate themselves
throughout their lives."

Tryon Edwards:
"The great end of education is to discipline rather than to furnish the mind; to
train it to the use of its own powers, rather than fill it with the accumulation
of others."

Henry Adams:
"Nothing in education is so astonishing as the amount of ignorance it
accumulates in the form of inert facts."

Robert Maynard Hutchins:
"My idea of education is to unsettle the minds of the young and inflame their

Erich Fromm:
"Education is helping the child realize his potentialities."

Paul Karl Feyerabend:
"The best education consists in immunizing people against systematic attempts at education."

George Bernard Shaw:
"He who can, does. He who cannot teaches."

"I'm sure the reason such young nitwits are produced in our schools is because they have no contact with anything of any use in everyday life."

Ezra Loomis Pound:
"Real education must ultimately be limited to men who insist on knowing. The
rest is mere sheep herding."

Elbert Green Hubbard:
"A school should not be a preparation for life. A school should be life."

And, with that thought in mind, please look for the next email with the
conclusion of Seedling!!!

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