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Saturday, November 22, 2008

Issue #3, Part 2, 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 #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

6. Christian Unschooling: A Viable Option
Teri Brown

"It's a new day and already they're behind schedule. Mom, still in her PJ's, tries to wipe the table free of crumbs while a toddler clings to her leg whining. According to her lesson plans they are almost three weeks behind. Today they would get back on track. After several false starts the children are gathered at the table still sticky with jam. Distracting two of the children with a story tape, she finally sits her eight year old down with the poem he was supposed to copy last week. Her son is frustrated before he even starts and he keeps looking out the window. Meanwhile the other children forget the story tape and run throughout the house playing. She cajoles and threatens until once again the morning ends in tears. All hopes are dashed. Another day is wasted."

That poor mother in the story could have been me about a year ago. In fact, it was me one year ago. In spite of all my good intentions the homeschool that I had always dreamed about had turned into a nightmare. I knew the Lord had called me to homeschool my children.... what was I doing wrong? My children were bright and fairly obedient. Why then was our schooling such a struggle?

My husband and myself decided to put our school on hold and ask the Lord for guidance. The kids got a vacation and I got a much needed break. We went back to doing all the things we used to do before school started, fieldtrips to museums and parks, hours at the library, volunteering at nursing homes and Meals on Wheels and the errands of daily life. Slowly, I heard the small, still voice of the Lord whispering in my ear. “I am teaching you all the time.”

I took tons of books out of the Library about homeschooling. Getting Organized books, Unit study books, Curriculum books, How to books. I read every magazine I could get my hands on. While I was doing this my children were reading books on horses, insects, Anno’s math books, the civil war and watching videos on sign language. I was checking into different curriculums hoping for the magic that would help my children to love learning. The Lord kept whispering, “I am teaching you all the time.”

“What does that mean?” I wondered. Then the Lord opened my eyes to what my children were doing and learning every day. “But that isn't enough!” I protested. Back to the library where I ran across the writings of John Holt.What he wrote about was unschooling. What he wrote about made a lot of sense. What he wrote about wasn't from a Christian perspective. I looked for Christian books on unschooling and found none. “Well, that takes care of that.” I thought. Unschooling isn't for Christians. And yet.... The Lord kept speaking to my heart. “I am teaching you all the time.”

So I went to the bible. I found many verses that I felt were pointing towards homeschooling, but what about unschooling? Didn't the Lord want me to teach my children to be disciplined? Didn't I have to have a strict school schedule in order to do that? I came across the lovely verses in Deut. 6: 5-8

You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your strength. And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes.

My husband and I already taught the Lord's word this way. We led by example and by discussing the applications of his word in the car, at the table and anywhere the subject came up. Why couldn't I do that with all the other things my children needed to know? If I taught them about the most important subject in their life this way why not every thing else? Please don't misunderstand me, I am not saying that the bible says that unschooling is the only right way to teach your children. I am saying that the bible, as far as I can see, does not outline any one correct way to teach them.... only that it must be at all times.

Unschooling for us is at all times. I began journaling exactly what my children did in a day and I was astounded by the diversity and depth of their learning.
After a month I showed my husband and he was as equally impressed. A typical day would include:
Watching magic shool bus, writing a letter to a friend, coming to
mom for spelling help, playing with legos, catching bugs and looking them up in the encyclopedia to see what they needed to eat, helping me make brownies, reading their library books and playing board games.

Looking over the list, we would see all of the learning opportunities that our children were given in the course of a normal day. Everything they were doing was real, it meant something to their lives. Why force my child to do a writing assignment when he would do the same thing, learn more and get far more
satisfaction from writing to a friend?

We live and learn in our daily lives and trust in the Lord to teach us what we
need to know. The amount of knowledge available to be learned is so vast now, there is no way to teach our children everything. What purpose will they gain by memorizing the periodic elements tables if the Lord has given them the gift of music and wishes them to sing for his glory? They will not remember it and you may have wasted a good deal of time that the Lord has given us to use wisely.

My desire is to trust the Lord with all things and that includes my children's
education. As time passes I can see the Lord work in their lives. Without my
agenda, taking up their time, I have placed my trust in Him to develop the gifts that he has so generously bestowed them with. Watching these gifts mature and grow has been one of the greatest blessings of my life. The Lord as always is right, he is teaching us all the time.

7. Cooler than cool links to Live Web-Cams

Discovery Online -- Live Cams!
This is THE site for various live cams!! On the right side of the site, find a
listing of the cams available. BE SURE to check out the baby gorilla!!

Leonard's Live Web Cams

Totally cool site offers cams throughout the US and the world!!!!!

Offers about 15 cameras positioned throughout Africa. Site offers LOADS of info!!

Reality WebCams
Many, many cams throughout the world.

Eye Spy on the World
Cameras from Antarctica to Zurich.

More throughout the world.

BLM Fairbanks Alaska
Live cam of Fairbanks, AK!!

Amazing WEBCAMS - Over 2500 Worldwide
The name says it all!!

Boa Constrictor Cam - Samson & Cooper
Site talks about the snakes and also has a web cam.

AntCam Time Machine - Live Web AntCam
If you like insects with lots of legs, this one is for you!! (I am steering clear)


Web cam by the University of South Carolina, showing Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches.

The Amazing Fish Cam!

Also has links to other cool fish links.

Fish Tank just a cam of a fish tank.

Fisheye View Coral Reef Cam
Totally startling colors!! This is a beautiful spot for a cam!

Vivaria Projects FrogCam
Shows a vivarium inhabited by three yellow-banded poison-arrow frogs.

View Nesting Bald Eagles
This is a site that offers a shot of nesting eagles, and LOADS of info about them!


Check it out, offers last 6 shots too, for more chance of seeing one of these beasts!!

MontréalCAM - A view of the Polar World at the Biodôme
Name says it all.

CamZone - Shamu CAM - SeaWorld of California

Zoocam2 GiraffeCam
The World's First Live Internet Zoo Camera. Online from Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Cayman Turtle Farm Webcams
Has lots of links too!

You guessed it, view some llamas!!

Fun Cameras (animals ...)
Lists many animal webcams..have fun!

8. Contest

This is the same contest we ran last month!! Not one single entry was received last month:((( We work hard at finding neato prizes, so, we will give you another chance!

This contest is for kids:)

Have your child write up to 250 words on why they like to read. The winner will receive a free book from Reconciliation Press titled Under the Sky of an Angry God. This is a historical fiction that looks fantastic from the reviews I've read. Please include first name only and age of child. The winner will be published in the January issue of Seedling. Entries should be received by Jan. 25th and winners will be announced in the next edition of Seedling!

Donated by: Reconciliation Press

9. Closing Letter from the editors

Well, you all..if you are reading this, chance are your PC has not crashed.

This is the first time we have had to split up the issue into 2 emails, we sincerely hope it worked ok for everyone!!

By now, you all should know we launched our new site!! If you haven't visited in a few days, check it out, we are always adding new info!! Christian Unschooling THE website, can be seen at : . Much thanks need to go out to Miss Tammie....our webmistress who diligently made this site look the way it does!! Thanks!!

Next month's issue will focus on courtship...courtship is versus dating.
Courting is actually gaining a lot of attention, and for that reason, we want to
share some resources and articles with you.

Now, for our begging!! We intend this e-zine to be subscriber-made. In order for that to happen, YOU ALL need to send us stuff to put in!! Please send in any essays you or your children write, any great nationwide homeschool
events/contests, any cool links, any ideas for links you want to see featured, a book review on any nonfiction book that would be of interest to us as
Christians, as homeschoolers, as unschoolers, or simply as parents. We want this e-zine to be interesting and helpful to all our might get
bored listening to us ramble . Thanks in advance!!!

Now, go on, and be blessed!!

Elissa Henry
Teri Brown
Patricia Moon

10. Subscription Information

Subscribe at :

Unsubscribe at:

11. 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 Henry from Seedling, a
Christian Unschooling E-Zine. For a free subscription, send
any e-mail message to or visit

© 2000 SEEDLING, Elissa Henry, publisher; all rights reserved.

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