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Thursday, November 27, 2008

Issue #8 June 1, 2000


Nurturing our children in the freedom of Christ
# 8, June 1, 2000
Sr. Editor & Publisher: Elissa Wahl
Assistant Editor: Teri Brown


1. Welcome from the Editor
2. Our Choice to Unschool by: Kimberly in Louisiana
3. Activity: Hero of the Week by: Karen in Virginia
4. Excerpts from Homeschooling on a Shoestring
5. Contest Winner and frugal homeschooling tips!! ( a MUST read!!)
6. Film Search
7. Writer's Guidelines for Seedling
8. Closing letter from the editor
9. Subscription Information
10.Reprint Information

1. Welcome from the editor

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

Well, lots going on in my homefront!! We are looking forward to traveling back to NJ shortly and then around the country in search of a house and a great homeschool community! I guess it's normal to wonder what God has planned for us. My pastor last week ( how I LOVE
church!! ) had a great talk on complaining and trusting in God's plan. Refer to Exodus 16 for how God supplies and supplies and supplies, according to His will; it hit home HARD for me. We need to have full trust in God and keep our eyes on Him and go about His
business. Period.

In the meantime, life goes on and here it is, time to send out this
issue of Seedling. This e-zine continues to bless me!! I LOVE "meeting" everyone who writes in, love hearing how about all of your family's lives, love reading your contest entries, cool activities etc. This is a truly subscriber-made e-zine; I am just blessed to put it all together!!

So, read on, and be blessed!!


2. Our Choice to Unschool
Kimberly in Louisiana

I read that you needed submissions to Seedling and felt the desire to write. I am a Christian Unschooling mother of 3. My oldest is a stepson whom I have raised for 11 years. He has been freed from the public school "prison" for a year. It has been the most incredible experience I have ever had besides my marriage and birth of my children. This is because of the circumstances of his background. I was losing my son to the kids at school, the secularism in schools and non-supportive teachers and personnel there. I did not realize I had a choice to do something else until the Lord led me to dig for a copy of an article that I had received a couple of years before, filed and proceeded to forget about. I did find that homeschooling article, and it changed my life (our lives).

See, I also have a mentally handicapped child who has Fragile X Syndrome. He is almost 9 years old now and remains in public school (for now) only because he has a wonderful aide who is with him all day to watch out for his safety, redirect him, and teach him too. She is super. Trey is placed in 1st grade with half regular kids and
half special kids. It works for him and he is happy to go. I unschool my daughter who is five. She is bright, happy and isn't afraid to ask questions of anyone she meets. She is not affected by Fragile X due to the fact the gene wasn't passed to her. I am the carrier and found this out at my son's diagnosis when he was 5.

Regardless, we unschool for many reasons, but one is the fact that I
can take my other 2 kids to do things that my son isn't able to enjoy nor understand due to his disability. The autistic characteristics overwhelm him and he isn't able to enjoy most activities other kids love. That is o.k. though. We take Trey to places he does like and can handle as a family and save the other things for when he is at school. This is such a flexible, satisfying lifestyle for my family. I wouldn't trade it for the world. God's grace and blessings have been upon us this past year and my children have grown in his Word, learned to appreciate his World and take care of it, and grow as people who care for others before themselves. I have the time and opportunity to impart the morals, values and way of life the Lord has asked us to impart to our children. We were able to start attending church last year due to a special needs class being started. Now I can bring ALL my children and they have a place to learn and grow as Christians. Brad (the 14 year old) has been born again and baptized this year.

How exciting to see what the Lord has in store for us. This family
is being transformed by a loving God. Our lives are so blessed. I
had almost literally given up on my 14 year old by believing what the school personnel were telling me. He had been suspended for foolish things, told he was stupid, threatened by peers on a daily basis, saw drugs at school, saw pornography there, and so much else. Our schools are in serious trouble. God was taken out and now every one of the kids are suffering. I pray for the children in schools, the teachers, parents, etc. My Fragile X child will probably be there for a short amount of time due to what he will come up against in the older elementary grades. We will do what the Lord tells us as time goes on with him. He is very vulnerable to mean people. He would do what someone told him (good or bad) because he doesn't know. It is sad that people would take advantage of my son, but it will happen as he gets older--just so they can get a laugh at his expense. Right now his aide is his salvation and the children he goes to school with all know him and are young enough to still show sympathy and empathy to someone who has special needs and needs help. So, I pray that all of you are blessed in your unschooling and growth in the Lord. We are certain that we are doing what He led us to do and loving it.

In Him,
Kimberly in Louisiana

3. Activity: A Hero of the Week

When my children started identifying Bill Goldberg as their favorite
American hero, I knew it was time to broaden their horizons. Last
year we began making posters of our American Hero of the Week. It has sharpened many skills and I hope some of my homeschooling friends might find it as enjoyable as we have. Each week we pick a hero to learn more about. We have used current events, scientists,
interesting people from our text books, and even our church members.
Using colorful office file folders, ( we prefer the legal size) our
scanner, the Internet, magazines and our sketch books, we create a
biographical poster that is easily saved. In their spare time the
children investigate our special person and we collect data and
pictures throughout the week to complete the poster. We get movies
and books from the library and take field trips to supplement their
investigations and of course the Internet is a popular tool. At the
end of our school year, we create a gallery of posters in our living
room and have a party with red white and blue accessories. The
highlight of our party is the voting of our favorite hero and
awarding handmade medals to our hero's poster. Last year's grand
prize winner was Daniel Boone for sacrificing his career to help the
American Indian. Runner ups were Rosa Parks and John Glenn. We also
do an animal of the month poster that lists interesting facts on
biomes, location and God given attributes (camouflage, mimicry skills etc.). Though I do these projects with 7 and 9 year old children, I think it can be used for many age groups.

Karen in Virginia

4. Excerpt from Homeschooling on a shoestring

Reprinted with permission from "Homeschooling on a Shoestring,"
copyright 1999 by Judith Waite Allee and Melissa L. Morgan (Harold
Shaw Publishers,1999). For tips, resources, and free e-zines, go to (Judith) or (Melissa)


---Ask for outdated wallpaper sample books. They're inspirational for young artists and make great gift wrap.

---Ask at printing companies for scrap paper that is misprinted on
one side and blank on the other. It comes in a wide variety of colors and textures.

---See if your local newspaper uses a web press and can provide "end
rolls," the paper that is left when they change rolls of aper on the
press. The end rolls are the width of the newspaper and often have
thirty feet or more left on them. If available, they are sometimes
free, sometimes cheap.

---Visit local businesses and inquire about scrap materials. Try a
wood shop or carpenter as a source for scrap wood (interesting field
trip, by the way)that can be used for carving or making crafts, and
ask picture framers for scrap mount board for posters and pictures.

---Ask someone who sews about scrap fabric and buttons.

****S E C O N D E X C E R P T****


Too many young adults know nothing about electricity bills or car
insurance,checkbooks or taxes. Think of your teenager as an apprentice, under your tutelage, for his adulthood. Your job is to
include him in your world so that he will be ready for his own adult
responsibilities. Here are some ways to integrate academic skills
with real-world experience while your child is still in the shelter
of the nest:

---Involve your teen in household budgeting. Although this can be more difficult if the parents want privacy about their earnings, there is a good argument for taking your teen through the steps of juggling household finances. You may find your teen becomes more realistic once he has gone through this process. You can start by saying, "Here are the standing bills, and this is what is left over. What do you think about how we're allocating our money, and do you have any suggestions?" He may say, "Omigosh, we have to live on this?" And he may have some great ideas!

---Give your teen a voice in choosing her homeschooling activities.
One mother said, "My kids always wanted to do more than we had time
and resources to do. I asked them to draw up a detailed list of costs for activities, including uniforms, manuals, dues, materials, and transportation. Then they figured out the cost per hour of activity. They needed to be able to intelligently answer the question, "Is this activity worth X dollars per hour to you?"

--If your teen has a job, encourage him to get his own checking and
savings account. It cannot hurt to start learning early. How many
adults struggle with balancing a checkbook? (This question is rhetorical; let's keep this anonymous!)

NOTE: Judith and Melissa are working on a new book about educational
family travel on a shoestring, and would love to hear about tips,
ideas, experiences, resources, or freebies. E-mail .

Judith Waite Allee
CO-AUTHOR: "Homeschooling on a Shoestring"
SEEKING: Tips & experiences on frugal educational family travel for
upcoming book.
4 FREE E-ZINES: Brief & only 6 times a year!
~Frugal homeschoolers ~Educational family travelers
~Homeschool speakers ~Homeschool conference planners

5. Contest Winner and frugal homeschooling tips!! ( a MUST read!!)

Well, by FAR the most common tip we got was: Use your library!!!
here's what Rebecca Orlowski of San Diego, Ca. has to say about
libraries!! "By far, the best discovery I've made is the use of the
library's system online. Here in San Diego, I can search all of the
county branches, find the book I want, and order it to be sent to my
local library. I do this at least once a week and it's a true

Also get to know your local librarian. I read stories for mine when
she's absent. In return, she forgives some of my late fines, she
offers me first crack at donated materials for practically nothing,
and she gives me first dibs on any new books in the system that seem
to be related to homeschooling."

Here are a few more fabulous tips, see the winning tip at the end!!

My best money saving idea is to use clear sheet protectors on
consumable workbooks. We use overhead projector markers (NOT dry
erase markers). The overhead markers do not rub off. They have to be
wiped with a damp rag. This makes the work much neater and there
isn't the frustration of it smearing or coming off. To save even
more you can use a report cover and move it from page to page. Now I
can use my "consumable" books over and over again and if they need
more practice or just like doing that page they can.

Joanne Brandenburg

Pat Wesolowski from the newsletter BIG Ideas/Small Budget is full of tips on saving money. Here are a few:

Call local newspapers and ask about the 'end rolls' of paper. Most
give this paper away, some charge a small fee. It can be used for
gift wrap(yes, you can decorate it first), to cover tables for craft
use or picnics, to pad a package, for murals and MORE!

The independent contractor who takes care of the greeting cards in
most stores throws away tons of envelopes every year. Ask the store
manager for the name and number of the person who you should contact
and give them a call, asking them if they will either save the
envelopes for you or let you meet them at the store to pick them up.

Why not get paid to shop, eat out, get gas, go to movies and more?
Many, many companies hire mystery shoppers for jobs such as these. I
know, it's a 'tough job' but someone has to do it! Check with your
favorite places of business (the ones you frequent most often) and
ask the manager if their company has a mystery shopping program and,
if so, how does one take advantage of such an opportunity? Or, for
$5 and a SASE you can receive a Mystery Shopper Report from BIG
Ideas/Small Budget. This report will fill you in on how to get
started, including a list of companies who hire mystery shoppers in
every state without charging a fee. For more info. write to

One of the best kept secrets is how inexpensive it is to stay in the
cabins at a KOA campsite. Those of us with families so large we
cannot stay in ONE hotel room LOVE this option. One room and two
room cabins can be found at most of the KOA sites with fees well
under $30 a night! Bring your own sheets and such ... but plan to
have a great time enjoying the pool, play ground and other facilities found at many of the sites (such as boating, fishing, water slides, etc.)

Mary Snow reminds us to do the following:

My money saving educational tip is to make contact with your local
County Extension office. They are a treasure trove of new ideas,
projects, curricula, and resources. For example, the youth program
isn't just 4H projects, they have bio-tech lessons as well. In my
area the youth staff will meet with a small group of homeschoolers to teach lessons in certain areas. If nothing else, the Extension office has multitudes of publications on a variety of topics. Most states have web sites where you can download their pubs for free.

Drumroll please!! And the winner of the book Homeschooling on a Shoestring goes to.......Rebecca Davis and her "Nature Journals"!!

Recently I was searching for a journal for my 4 year old son. I
wanted a journal that had pages that were half lined and have blank.
This way my son could color a picture of something he discovered and
I could write the story of the picture as he narrated.

Books I found were rather expensive $18 and up. Due to our financial
budget this was not an option. Instead I printed a page as I wanted
it and took it to a local print shop. They copied 100 pages front and back for $5.60 and bound it for an additional $1.29.

I never realized how inexpensive binding could be. I have since
printed a water cycle workbook for my children. It cost me 89 cents
to bind each workbook. The book includes explanation, experiments,
coloring activities, a short quiz, and much more. All the pages are
bound together so it portable plus a great keepsake!!!

6. Film Search

Hello Christian Home Schoolers, I work for an independent documentary film co. in NYC, and am researching Christian families. We are considering making a film on the topic and are looking for a family to feature. I was wondering if you'd mind initiating a
correspondence and perhaps filling me in on who you are and why
you've made some of the choices you have. You are under no
obligation or commitment of any kind by this. did you happen to read
the Feb 27 New York Times Magazine article called "A mighty fortress" about Christian America fundamentalists? Please email me at:

Tanya Turkovich

7. Writer's Guidelines for Seedling!!

-Christian slant, if not Christian, nothing anti- Christian.....meaning, write on unschooling, your day, a cool trip
you did, etc, but don't go Pagan on me! This is a Christian
Unschooling e-zine.

-Unschooling slant, or things of interest to unschoolers. PLEASE
don't write about your great experiences with Abeka!! Christian
Unschooling e-zine!!

-Write from your heart, about issues important to us as families, as
Christians, as unschoolers......

-Read a great book that would interest others? Write a review about

-Do a GREAT project with your kids, write us about it!

-Are you homeschooling in a unique situation? In a remote area,
special needs child, homesteading, single parent, working mom, got a
hsed kidlet into college already, etc??!! Write us!

-Kidlets and teens can feel free to write too! Why they like hsing,
their goals and how hsing helps, any volunteer activities or
apprenticeships they are involved in....

-Send in any important to homeschoolers info you might come across,
that would be pertinent nationwide.

-There is no set word count necessary, we will work in your article
sometime, somewhere!!

-End your article with any pertinent info, such as the name u would
like it under...I.E. Lisa in Colorado, or James Smith dad to Matthew,
etc.... a website if you have one and a quick line about it.

8. Closing Letter

Hey!! Due to popular request, we now have a message board up on our
site!! Check it out and
post away!! (no flaming of course!!) This is our grand opportunity to reach out to others about Unschooling!!

Also keep an eye on Teri's great new site, Unschooling-Suite101 She has many great

Last month we mentioned maybe going bimonthly, but were begged not to do it!! Therefore, look over the general writer's guidelines we've listed in this month's edition and see if you can help keep this e- zine going!! We hope this can continue to be a blessing to you all for a very long time to come!!

Until next time,
Be blessed you all!

Elissa Wahl
Teri Brown

9. Subscription Information

Subscribe at :

Unsubscribe at:

10. 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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