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Sunday, November 30, 2008

Issue #30, Oct 1, 2002


Nurturing our children in the freedom of Christ
Issue #30, Oct 1, 2002
Sr. Editor & Publisher: Elissa Wahl
Assistant Editor: Teri Brown


1. Welcome from the Editor
2. Unschooling Language Arts by Lisa LaLonde
3. What Are We Doing This For?!? By Tanis McNeil
4. Book Review, DayTripping
5. Book Review, Heads Up Helping!
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!

Thanks to everyone praying for our families…we are enjoying much more
health than in the recent past.

I have not been able to devote much time to Seedling or our website
lately…I so apologize. This is my ministry and I hope to be able to
devote the proper time to it soon.

On the heels of my baby's illness, came discord in my home state
regarding homeschool regulations. As homeschooling is near and dear
to me, I hit this subject head on and spearheaded our state's only
statewide networking group. We are working very hard on passing some
Administrative Codes that will be beneficial to NV homeschoolers. In
an upcoming edition of Seedling, I will dedicate some space to laws,
how they affect us, how we can be more active, etc. This is truly an
area that could make or break our ability to educate our children as
we feel led.

Please read on, and we pray you are blessed!


"Language arts" has been an area that has been easy for my oldest
daughter to acquire, and now I see my second and third child going
through the same process. Although these skills have begun at
different ages, I see a similar pattern. For my children, these
skills have been learned through reading quality literature. We are
a family of voracious readers, and I believe this is what has led my
children to acquire the language arts skills.

My daughter began at age six to memorize the Billy and Blaze books
that we continually read out loud. She could "read" them word for
word because she had heard them so often. A few months after doing
this, she said she wanted to read more books; ones we had never read

We played a few phonics games, and she spent about a week with a book
trying to figure out words. We continued to read a loud to her,
especially at a higher level than she was reading at. We went to the
library weekly, and she became engrossed with reading. Now, at age
12, we cannot keep enough good books around for her desires. We
still read a loud because it is a treasure we share together.

The other areas of language arts have come easily to my oldest, and I
perceive this to be because of the amount of reading she does on her
own as well as what we read to her. For example, she is an
incredible speller. Soon after she began reading, she went on a
story writing binge. She used very phonetic way of invented spelling
at that point; using the first and last sounds and sometimes a few
middle sounds. As she read more, she began to notice her spelling
and gradually added more letters to words, especially vowels. By age
eight, she was a fairly decent speller and most anyone could read
what she wrote. I see this same pattern of spelling emerging from my
nine-year-old son. My five-year-old son is at the early stage of
copying words and asking how to spell many words.

In addition to spelling, my daughter has a knowledgeable vocabulary
and is quiet adept at grammar. Again, I believe this is due to
reading good quality literature. I do not have to do pages of
grammar practice and vocabulary lists to achieve this result. She
notices when words do not sound correct. She uses proper tenses,
subject-verb agreement and punctuation because she has read so much
that she knows what sounds and looks correct.

My goal for my children in the language arts area is to develop
competent readers and writers who love to do these things. I believe
they are acquiring these skills quite naturally, using high quality
living books.

Lisa LaLonde I love to write about unschooling.
Please feel free to contact me via email.


Don't we all face this soul-searching question on a regular basis? Do
others' misunderstandings and preconceived ideas cause you to wonder
at times if you are just holding your children hostage? Pushing the
panic button of our inadequacies and our children's issues often
brings forth the doubt. We ask questions to pacify the worldliness in
us like "Do math lessons really need to be a part of my
responsibility?" Instead we need to ask ourselves "What does God want
me to get from this process?"

My mother worked full time nearly all my growing up years. I longed
to know her better than what our limited interaction afforded. As a
result, (combined with serious personal issues), there was a
pervasive battle going on in my heart and mind that I couldn't
articulate. I was weak and sick like a prisoner of war. I
consequently made a vow to myself, while young, that I would know my
kids and they would know me. I decided that I should be at home with
my babies and preschoolers. Then God introduced me to home education
through friends I admired for their intimate interactions that I felt
I wasn't achieving with my kids with my best intentions.

Now the war going on in my mind and heart that I was training my kids
in was for true freedom and intimacy. Due to some conflicting
objectives, however, I often felt as if I was working for the wrong
side! One day I was desperate for a new level of understanding and
God spoke to my heart. He said (among other things) I
was "performance oriented, instead of relationship oriented". I was
wounded and wounding.

James chapter four, says, " What causes fights and quarrels among
you? Don't they come from your desires that battle within you? It
isn't about opposing battles between people, but our own internal
battles that lead to problems. Scripture shows also that the source
and solution are supernatural. (2 Chron. 20:15, Ephesians 6:12)
Dealing daily and seasonally with internal and external conflict, we
must remember our battle is not against flesh and blood. In Nehemiah,
we find a picture of the people of God holding a sword in one hand
and supplies in the other as they did the work of rebuilding the
walls. An awareness of the need for strong walls needs to come from a
fear of the Lord, not a fear of man. Guard your heart, we are told,
for it is the well- spring of life. What are we guarding it from?
Distractions and a competitive mindset can sabotage our focus. I have
faced the battles of my own personal distractions as well as
comparing my methods with others'. We are admonished that soldiers in
training do not get caught up in civilian affairs.

There are three lines in battle grounds: The front, the support, and
the reserve. We can place ourselves on the front lines in new ways
as, in the context of our own training, we take on a new mantle of
authority; directing all of our children's education.

On the front lines we need a continual supply of ammunition and
supplies. We must also seek to alternate heavy duty warfare with
supporting others in the battle. It reaffirms our resolve.
Complacency and despondency are common in the reserve line due to
lack of consistent, focused involvement. The year my children were in
public school, their teacher asked me privately why I didn't become a
(real, implied) teacher. I timidly responded with my vow, hoping I
wouldn't offend this concerned teacher and conscientious mother. I
left that encounter with a feeling of shame that I had wasted what
abilities I did have.

Analyzing a cycle of reactions, I soon realized that a continued
focus on improving myself (especially, to feel more significant and
effective) leads to a more negative, naval gazing view of my life.
Plummeting confidence can numb us into a reserved mode. I harbored
the apathy of the reserve line by not taking those thoughts captive

Take every thought captive by giving it to God. Jesus reminds us, "
Apart from Me you can do nothing." On their own, soldiers would
accomplish very little, and bring harm to the cause. They were
conditioned mentally to accept any deprivation or sacrifice,
including death, as duty and obligation to make them ready for the
continual bombardment of their resolve and function. Stand firm and
wear the armor He provides. Identify, and never be ashamed. Your
adversary the devil goes about as a lion, seeking whom he may devour.
He is a Hitler to the soul. Where did the bravest soldiers'
sacrificial mindsets come from? They understood the consequences for
countless others, known to them and unknown, if they abdicated their
responsibility. To obey was critical to the survival of the ideals
their previous, comfortable existence was based on. Are we consumed
with a desire to see that plan carried out no matter what?

I love the song by Twila Paris, "What Did He Die For?" It compares an
American soldier with Christ. The answer is a unwavering "Freedom,
and Love." The freedom is of the Lord. The love comes through us as
we obey.

Kathy Waldorf (workshop speaker) once wrote me," …being committed to
home education isn't the goal. We need to be committed to Christ, to
find our identity in Him. Even if it doesn't look like what you
thought it would be, He is quite capable of directing both your
education and your children's."

Kathy further shares, " I also know that if I am daily in the Word
that God will let me know if I've missed the mark." If I'm afraid, I
can trust God to lead me to listen to others, to build my confidence.
(Judges 7) As we keep our minds on Him He promises our minds will be
kept in perfect peace.

Tanis McNeil, mom of 4

4. Book Review Day Tripping, by Teri J. Brown

Day Tripping: Engaging Your Child's Mind and Imagination Through
Family Field Trips, will get your family started on collecting
memories rather than toys!

"Families are fracturing in this fast-paced modern world where time
is the most precious resource a family has," says author Teri
Brown. "Day trips are one way a family can slow down and spend some
time together as a unit. The experience, whether it's a trip to a
museum, wildlife viewing area, or farm, becomes a part of the
family's collective memory, something to share and recollect for
years to come."

"Positive memories of family outings create the warmth and bonding
that is so needed in our world today."

Brown knows what she's talking about. As the Field Trip Lady for 'The
Link', a national homeschooling magazine, Teri has been
giving "DayTripping" tips and advice to homeschoolers for the last
several years. Now, with Day Tripping, she brings her expertise to
parents everywhere.

To obtain a review copy of the book, DayTripping: Engaging Your
Child's Mind and Imagination Through Family Field Trips, or an
interview with the author please contact:

IHS Publishing
1618 Kendolph
Denton, Texas 76205

Phone: 940-566-6123 (help line)
940-383-0443 (fax)

For more info on Day Tripping:
Author's Site

5. Book Review Heads Up Helping!

Teaching Tips and Techniques for working with ADD, ADHD, and Other
Children with Melinda L. Boring, MA-CCC/SLP

Finally a book about homeschooling kids with ADHD, by a mom who
homeschools her children who have ADHD! Fabulous!

This book chronologies one family's journey through parenthood,
homeschooling, the realization that their son had some difficulties,
a subsequent "diagnosis" and much more. Labeling, advocacy,
strategies, every issue that a parent faces when trying to teach a
child with ADHD is explored and expounded upon in this book.

I am very impressed with the amount of knowledge the reader can gain
on the topic of ADHD. For parents who have their children at home and
want to better understand them and their perceptions, this book is
IT. You may have some or all the struggles this mom had, no matter, I
guarantee you will read this book and feel empowered and hopeful…and
best of all, like you can better understand your child!

Love your kids, differences and difficulties!

Heads Up Helping, Melinda L. Boring, ISBN # 1-55369-332-9, Traford
Publishing, or go to the authors website:

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.

As our time is drastically limited, by homeschooling, health and
other issues…Seedling will be going to at least bi-monthly issues.
Hopefully this will take off some of the time pressure. We pray it
can remain a blessing and serve as a reminder why we have chosen to

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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