Friday, November 6, 2009

Brigham Young's charge to Karl G. Maeser

In the book 'Educating Zion' President Spencer W. Kimball gave a talk entitled 'Climbing the Hills Just Ahead'. In his instruction to educators about teaching with God's spirit he says .......'this would be in harmony with the spirit of Brigham Young's charge to Karl G. Maeser, so often quoted; "President [Young] looked steadily forward for a few minutes, as though in deep thought, then said; "Brother Maeser, I want you to remember that you ought not to teach even the alphabet or the multiplication tables without the Spirit of God. That is all. God bless you. Good-bye."

In speaking specifically to Brigham Young University and it's educators Pres. Kimball goes on: "The uniqueness of Brigham Young University lies in it's special role --- education for eternity -- which it must carry in addition to the usual tasks of a university. This means concern -- curricular and behavioral -- not only for the 'whole man,' but also for the 'eternal man.'

That same mission, I believe, is for each of us and each of our children. Nothing is temporal in God's sight. Eternal truths are eternal; there is nothing of insignificance when it is a truth. But, there is a lot of 'busy work' (pages and pages of homework including non-truths) that would keep souls from spending their time learning truths if they were to let it.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Learning Esperanto; The International Language

We're learning Esperanto in our homeschooling co-op.  It's fun!  The following is from the booklet we received:

"Esperanto, the international language, is a language developed to make it easier for people of different cultures to communicate.  It is now spoken by at least 8.5 million people, in over 100 countries. Esperanto (a planned language) is specifically intended for international/intercultural use, so those who use it meet each other on an equal footing, since neither is using his or her native language." Its simple, logical, regular design makes it easy and fairly quick to learn.

To sign up for the free on-line course and be assigned a personal tutor go here:  http://pacujo.net/esperanto/course

Upon completion of the first 10 lessons you will receive a "Certificate of Completion" which in most areas  will count for a student's basic language requirements for school graduation. 

Monday, September 14, 2009

More of Family, Less of School...

Today I found this message online. Raymond and Dorothy Moore are some of the best authors for homeschooling families. Here is just one of their inspirational thoughts from one of their published books:

"[Homeschooling]...recipe for genius: More of family and less of school, more of parents and less of peers, more creative freedom and less formal lessons."— Raymond S. Moore

From the book _School Can Wait II_ by Raymond S and Dorothy N Moore, 1982

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Problems Getting Immunization Waiver

Yesterday I had problems getting an immunization waiver form for my 13 yr. old son. He won a scholarship for two on-line computer classes for homeschoolers and was thrilled. (I couldn't afford them without this scholarship.)

AFTER he won we were sent a form stating that these classes were run-through a charter school so he'd be considered a 'part-time' student of that school. In order to do that we'd have to send them a copy of his birth certificate and immunization record. (Why would they need an immunization record for an on-line class?)

I decided to sign the optional 'waiver' form instead. (I'd done that in the past once when he was in public school.) Though he is actually 'up-to-date' on immunizations as required by scouting I didn't want to share this information with this charter school and those funding these classes.

I went to the school district office to sign the form. The receptionist (someone I knew) read over the form and said 'That's wierd. They've never done that before...and I've worked here for 20 years". She handed me the form which said that I must get the waiver from the Health Department.

So, I drove over to the health department. The receptionist there informed me that I would have to 'meet' with the nurse and pay $15.00 in order to do it. And....the nurse wasn't in. She was only in for a few hrs. per week.

In addition to doing that --- they would keep 2 of the 3 forms that I filled out.

Well, I don't know about the rest of you but, with all else that is going on, this is something more to be concerned about. Not for those of you who are burying your heads in the sand. But, for those of us who know and see what is coming down the pike. Truly our parental and privacy rights are being threatened and overruled.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Homeschooling and Socialization; GREAT article

My friend sent this article to me. It says what I'd say so I wanted to share. The author deserves all the credit. His name is at the end. Enjoy! It's food for thought....

August 10, 2009
Whenever we tell new acquaintances that we home-school, the same question seems to pop up. As if scripted, they look at us with heads turned to the side in concern and ask, “Don't you worry about socialization?" The implication of the question is that home-schooled families invariably have a vast iron door, behind which the outside world is not allowed. Day in and day out, our little ones are subjected to nothing more and nothing less than the voices of their parents and the dreary monotony of school-work in a classroom where the only children present are siblings.The further implication, though probably not intentional, is that we are in danger of turning the children into odd little things, akin to Uncle Fester on the Addams Family. You know, educated, capable, oddly charming, but entirely unsuited for polite company in the world at large.Well, let me reassure everyone that socialization is progressing nicely in the vast majority of the home-schooled families I know, and that it is equally unsuccessful in many of the families whose children are not home-schooled. Socialization, a rather modern and meaningless word, has far less to do with educational technique than it does with parental direction; or failing that, the guidance of non-parental forces in the world at large.In fact, my children socialize with relatives, with other youth at our church and with adult instructors in music lessons, sports and cooperative classes. They even interact with friends, many of whom are not home-schooled but who hang around with us despite our odd, “Fester-like” ways.I feel very comfortable with the “socialization” my progeny receive, because I see that they are consistently polite, they smile at others, they carry on engaging conversations with adults, and they have hopes and dreams to engage in society at large. They are growing into individuals who are wise, appropriately bold and always kind. I think that's the kind of socialization I want them to undergo.So, I consider myself a little bit of an expert on “socialization.” And as the new school year is rapidly approaching, I want to share my perspectives for the encouragement of other parents, home-schooling and otherwise. Here goes:Children and adolescents do need to spend time with kids their own age. They need friends and allies. But do not be deluded that friends are adequate socialization. All children, and especially all teenagers, are charming morons. No, don't be offended. I love them! They are nuclear reactors of potential. But they need guidance. The very idea that hanging around with other kids will make children into proper adults is madness. It makes as much sense as training a soldier by having him hang around an amusement park (well, he's with people his own age!). It's as rational as training a hunting dog by turning him loose in a dog-park; which makes for a standard-issue dog, but not much of a pointer or retriever.Socialization, as I see it, is the act of teaching our young to be responsible members of society. And it requires intense, well-planned and daily monitored guidance. And no matter how much we may love our children's friends, they are not there to “socialize” our kids; more to the point, it's our job as parents to socialize even our children's friends! I'm forever taking their hats off indoors, reminding them to be polite and questioning their statements and assumptions. It's my job as an adult to help shape all of the kids around me into proper adults. That's socialization!The modern perversion of socialization, from my perspective in a busy emergency department, regularly results in kids committing crimes, using drugs, getting STDs or unwanted pregnancies, and learning to be profane. It further leaves them with no coping skills, no moral, spiritual or intellectual framework, and worst of all, no vision of greatness for themselves!Those are the legacies of what we now call “socialization.” But they don't have to be. The most important factor in the socialization of children is the intense, concerned involvement of their parents. Our kids' friends are not the instruments of change, for they are in need of change themselves.But if we love them all intensely, our own and the ones who visit our homes, socialization will be exactly what we hope for it to be. No, I don't worry about socialization. It's going just fine.Ed Leap is a physician and writer. He lives in Tamassee and can be reached at drdagger@juno.com or www.edwinleap.com.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

What we're doing this year....

What are we doing this year?  Well, we're getting prepared to move.  But, in the meantime we're meeting with a community co-op and participating in a wonderful group of homeschooling families.  We have several parents teaching courses this year; in math, science, writing, history, government and music.  We are so thankful for all who give of their time to mentor other students.  This is a great group of students and parents who are similar-minded in their quest for true education and learning from the best books.

All of us give of our time in one way or another. As we all work together in helping each other our resources are expanded.

We all do much at home as we seek to build self-starters and those with a quest for life-long learning.  Each child has different strengths and weaknesses, talents and abilities, desires and learning styles.  The benefit of homeschooling and co-ops is the flexibility of the forum.  It's not a one-size-fits-all as is public education.

I recently talked to a teacher in a neighboring county whose district has had to cut teachers'.  Her class size is now to 38.  She says that it's mostly 'crowd control'.  She doesn't have the time nor ability to really teach as she'd like.  (Plus, may I add, the textbooks are watered down.  That's a blog for a different day.)  :)

For more information on our philosophy visit our other blog;  http://homeschoollist.blogspot.com/

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

It was a WONDERFUL campout!

We had a WONDERFUL week camping with friends. I can't ever remember a time where I felt so closely connected with a group of friends where we all helped each other, cared for each other, and enjoyed a week in the mountains together. It was truly wonderful!!!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

We're going camping!!!

We're going camping this coming week and are very excited about it. My son recently returned from a week-long scout camp where he learned some 'wilderness survival' skills. We'll be putting some of them to use this week but probably not the eating of cattails --- though we might venture a taste-test. :)

Summer education is different than most of the rest of the year -- but, similar in the way that it's life-long learning. We'll be taking some adventure hikes, cooking round the fire, learning to use solar ovens, and spending time with other home-schooling families. We truly look forward to the adventure of sleeping in a tent under the stars! And... hopefully we'll outsmart the mosquitoes with our citronella candles.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Shakespeare and Esperanto

Our homeschooling group just finished Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing. It was an incredible experience and the youth had a wonderful time rehearsing and working together.

One Mom directed, another organized a stage crew, other parents and students built the set, several mothers sewed beautiful and authentic and intricate costumes, one Mom taught about stage make-up, others researched and did hair, another made authentic mustaches for all the boys, and one took beautiful photos of each of the cast and made a huge and professional display at the front entrance, others were greeters and some helped back stage with all the prompts and props. I made posters and flyers and programs and supervised the concession sales.

We all pitched in and the whole thing was a great success.
Even my younger children felt needed as one presented juggling and yo-yo tricks before the play started and both helped tremendously in selling concessions. And, they both continue to quote their favorite lines from the play. Who'd have known how much these younger children would love Shakespeare?

Now, we're involved in an Esperanto class taught by one of the Father's (of 10). We meet bi-monthly to learn and practice this language - spoken by 8.3 million people in the Eastern part of the world. Esperanto was developed so that those speaking different languages could communicate in one easier one. It has similarities to Spanish and Italian -- and is easy and quick to learn.

These are some of the benefits and blessings of homeschooling. We have friends from all over our valley -- and the kids are able to mingle with like-minded and good kids who are striving for great educations and great opportunities and I am thankful for the good experiences and opportunities that we've had this year. When good people seek to make a positive difference -- the Lord increases their power and abilities. We know He's blessed us.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Steady and Sure

Steady and Sure was the theme for the 2008 Youth Program Especially For Youth.

We would all do well to think upon that title.

Things are quickly changing around us. There is no real security in temporal things. Our trust is to be in the Lord; our Firm Foundation, whereupon, if we build our lives, the blowing winds will not have the power to knock us down!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Monday, March 2, 2009

I love Homeschooling

Yesterday, a lady at church asked me about homeschooling. "But, don't you worry about their socialization?" she inquired. "Yes", I replied. "That's why I homeschool. At school they learn 'social skills' from other kids who have no social skills".

She didn't know what to say to that as that fact had probably never crossed her mind.

I did tell her that they get plenty of social experiences through scouting and church activities, through our homeschooling friends, cousins, community events etc. and that no, of course not, I don't want them to be wierd. But, that I do worry about the amount of disrespect that is so common in our public schoolrooms as the teachers aren't able to discipline as they once were.

Most of us as parents care very deeply about our children, their education, their spirituality etc. We do what we feel is the right thing for our families. And, for many, that is public schools. Though I wonder how many of them even know (or feel) that there are alternatives to the 'traditions of the fathers'.

I've found that my children get along better when they are homeschooled. Sure, we still have our tifs and challenges, but, there is a better spirit in our home, we can discuss and study things that we otherwise woudn't be able to, and we know that the Lord is guiding our studies.

Because we've chosen this path, we have less of the worldly influences and also, less financially. But, I feel, the trade-off is worth it. The sacrifices on my part and actually compensated for in love at home and in more light and truth being available.

Monday, February 23, 2009

What Prophets have said about Public Schools

Pres. Boyd K. Packer (to BYU College of Education)
"In many places it is literally not safe physically for youngsters to go to school. And in many schools --- and it is almost becoming generally true -- it is spiritually unsafe to attend public schools." Oct. 9, 1996

Pres. Ezra Taft Benson
"The tenth plank of Karl Marx's Manifesto for destroying our kind of civilization advocated the establishment of 'free education for all children in public schools.' There were several reasons why Marx wanted government to run the schools ..... one of them [was that] 'it is capable of exact demonstration that if every party in the State has the right of excluding from public schools what-ever he does not believe to be true, then he that believes most must give way to him that believes least, and then he that believes least must give way to him that believes absolutely nothing, no matter in how small a minority the athiests and agnostics may be."
(Dec. 1970 Improvement Era)

Pres. Benson
"It is self-evident that on this scheme, if it is consistently and persistently carried out in all parts of the country, the United States system of popular education will be the most efficient and widespread instrument for the propogation of atheism which the world has ever seen."
(Dec. 1970 Improvement Era)

Pres. Wilford Woodruff (He inaugurated the private school system of the LDS church in 1888.) Rather than dividing the secular from spiritual as other schools did, he instructed the Saints that the Gospel of Jesus Christ should act as a thread running through the entire curriculum. Issuing a proclamation to the Latter-day Saints, he wrote:
"Religious training is practically excluded from the [public] schools. The perusal of books that we value as divine records is forbidden. Our children, if left to the training they receive in these schools, will grow up entirely ignorant of those principles of salvation for which the Latter-Day Saints have made so many sacrifices. To permit this condition of things to exist among us would be criminal. The desire is universally expressed by all thinking people in the Church that we should have schools where the Bible, the Book of Mormon and the Book of Doctrine and Covenants can be used as text books, and where the principles of our religion may form a part of the teaching of the schools." (curricular letter to Stake Presidents, June 8, 1888)

"Latter-day Saint education was meant to be a complete exposure to truth; a much different approach than that offered through state sponsorship."
"Curriculum is limited by those who determine the curriculum -- which is geared toward testing -- which is determined by those who draft national and standardized tests -- who are aligned with the tax-exempt foundations -- which are controlled by the international banking establishment."
"Brigham Young and the early prophets spoke out in favor of a church-controlled private school system."

All quotes taken from book Awakening to our Awful Situation; by Jack Monnett, PhD.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

The 5,000 Year Leap

I'm reading a book called The 5,000 Year Leap by Cleon Skousen. I've wanted to read it for several years but didn't have a copy. Last year my daughter's school class read and discussed it.

Last week I heard Glenn Beck recommend it to everyone to read. And, the following day I attended a seminar about the Constitution where the book was being sold for $5.00 so I purchased a copy.

If we are to learn the lessons upon which the founders built this nation -- in order to not repeat mistakes --- we may do well to study these principles.

I've been studying The Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson (a former U.S. Secretary of Agriculture and the thirteenth President (Prophet) of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints"). He calls the Constitution "a Heavenly Banner' and one which we must know and understand and defend. He stated "I wonder what our Founding Fathers would do and say about America today if they were here. As they looked searchingly for the answers, they would observe evidence of weak and vacillating leadership in many places, not confined to one group or party. They would find a tendency for men in high places to place political expediency ahead of principle. They would be concerned with the alarming growth of a something-for-nothing philosophy, a failure of people to stand on their own feet. They would find some bad examples by unscrupulous politicians and by delinquent parents, and possibly a weakening of religious training, and the substitution therefore of a faith-destroying materialism."

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Worst thing a mother can hear "I'm BORED"

A least favorite thing in my life is when my kids have been working, playing, studying, inventing, creating etc. all day and then they have a 5-min. lull. "I'm bored". I very strongly dislike that statement!

Mom's never have time to get bored. At least most of the ones that I know. Our list of things-to-do never has an end -- and we always have pending projects or chores.

My sister says that it's good that kids get bored -- because then they have to be creative and think of something to do.

I've often given them the list of possibilities; chores, books, crafts, service, sports etc. but that never seems to really help. Apparently they have to think of things on their own most of the time. So, I've learned to say 'oh, I'm sorry. I hope you'll find something to do'. And, then often add under my breath (for reinforcements' sake) 'Mothers never have time to be bored" (hopefully someday they'll catch the hint.)

Friday, January 2, 2009

Christians Called to Mass Exodus from Public Schools

This came out today. It's definitely worth watching and pondering.
I've always loved and appreciated Dr. Moore. His comments here are worthy of extended consideration despite the traditions we've all lived with over our lifetimes.
Most of us are products of public schools. We think we turned out alright. But, things have changed over the past years and are not how we and our parents experienced them.

PLEASE take 5 minutes to educate yourselves a bit on what some of these great thinkers of our times are saying.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hRGZLSVph3A