Monthly Archives: October 2006

Time to Change Your Clocks!


Daylight Saving Time
is ending!

'Fall Back' Sunday, October 29th.

forget to set your clocks back!

Turn your
clocks back one hour
before you go to bed

on Saturday night
you'll wake up on time.
Enjoy your extra hour of sleep!

Stuff Around The Farm

Just thought I'd take a few minutes to catch you all up on the goings on around the farm.

  • Tony and the boys cleaned out an old chicken coop on our property and attached an old A frame chicken tractor to it because a guy who came and cut some logs for us is supposed to give us a bunch of laying hens.  Yipee!
  • The boys are hoping that selling eggs is in their near future.
  • Today Billy and Lady got out of the barn while all of us were in town, but fortunately they stuck around by our tobacco barn.  UNfortunately though when Jake went to try and lead them back to the barn they decided to go for a run.
  • Jake, Jon, and I had to head up the hill in the truck to find to find them and as we got them steered in the right direction, Hank herded em right down to the barn. Hank surprises us time and time again with what a brave and helpful dog he is!
  • Since we've noticed another stray lurking around, we moved the chicken tractor closer to the house again.
  • There is a direct correlation between the closeness of the chicken tractor TO the house, to the amount of flies IN the house.  Ick.
  • Real friends don't mind riding in the truck with you even when it's smelling…well umm…. shall we say, “organic”.
  • The kittens are now pretty much staying outside.  It is so much fun to watch them stalking stuff, chasing each other, and climbing the trees.
  • Tony bought our mastiff, Mary Jane, a cow bell on her collar.  It is so funny to hear that bell jingling as she runs to greet you!
  • We're all looking forward to a big bonfire Sunday night with some of our home church buddies.  There's nothing better than friends, a fire, and fellowship!

This is such the happenin place

First my husband got a blog, then our friend Joel (the geography whiz) got one, then our friends Hannah & Allie, then my oldest son, AND NOW….

<a href=”” title=”Photo Sharing”><img src=”” width=”375″ height=”500″ alt=”Jake's 10!” /></a>
you can visit my middle son Jake's blog!

And his friends, Jordan and Josh have a brand spankin new blog too!

Creating a Transcript Built on Your Child’s Passions

Well I was doing a little reading over on MommyLife and she introduced me to another wonderful blog – KS Milkmaid!  Christina is  homeschooling her six children on their Fuller Family Farm. I love how she values what each child is learning and considers it their ministry. And I love how they’ve got the natural thing going on at their farm.  Oh the Lord seems to be drawing many people back towards the natural lifestyle.

She has a great entry on *homeschool transcripts and how you don’t have to waste a lot of time covering subjects in the typical public school fashion to fulfill high school graduation requirements, but rather you can build a solid education around your child’s passion (think Unit Study) while including all of the important subject areas.  She gives a great example of how her son’s passion for deer hunting could be developed into studies that would be appropriate for a high school transcript. 

Here’s how she explains it:

My oldest son is passionate about deer hunting. If he were going to college, I would develop a transcript based on this passion alone. It sounds ludicrous at first, but reason with me for a moment.

He would be allowed to hunt deer but with requirements that would allow him to put together a transcript acceptable for college. He would have to demonstrate a full knowledge of deer anatomy. He would have to include a booklist he used to gain his knowledge. He would include a comprehensive report on deer anatomy, too. I would require him to process the deer from start to finish, showing his practical application of the knowledge he has obtained.

Andrew would be required to use my art history books and find hunting pictures from all of the major historic art movements. This would start with prehistoric cave drawings and end with modern art. He may be required to produce his own art work in whatever medium he chooses.

He would be required to explore occupational opportunities for hunting, or hunting related skills. This might include a report of the guide and recreation industry, as well as specialty butchering shops. He would be required to submit a profit report of these industries. He might even interview a guide or spend time with a specialty butcher.

He would be required to read A Look at Life from a Deer Stand by Steve Chapman, and give a book report. I would ask him to submit his own article emulating the author’s style. Equally, he could be required to find poems, stories, and reports about hunting through the major historic movements in literature as well.

The possibilities for creating a solid transcript in deer hunting are endless. My son is passionate about a lot of things, so I would treat each of his interests with the same approach.

I would also require him to help me create his high school transcript which would allow him to have credits in spreadsheets and office work.

You’ve really got to go *read the whole entry to get the whole gist of it though.  This was just so affirming and refreshing. We’re relaxed homeschoolers and while I see the fruit of this approach, I battle the fact that others really try to get you "back in the box" once it’s time for the high school years. But I want so much more for my sons’ education than what I had.  I want them to really know how to research, learn and apply what they’ve learned in their lives, not just spit out required information for tests and transcripts and I love the way Kansas Milkmaid integrates the two.

Of course if you’re looking for more information about homeschooling a high schooler, I’d be remiss if I didn’t point you toward my favorite ebook  on the subject – Homeschooling the High Schooler: From Transcript to Graduation.

*9-10-08 Edited to add – Since this entry is almost 2 years old now, Christina had done some bloggy housekeeping and removed the original link. When I realized that, I asked her if she’d mind reposting that entry and she kindly said that she’d try to.  I really appreciate her going to all of this trouble just for lil’ ol’ me! The new link is working now, but don’t miss out on all of her other great entries and check out her online store too!

Word of God Speak

The other day we heard someone questioning how we would know if our kids were “really measuring up” since they weren't in the public schools. While the question initially irked me, it later saddened me. 

It reminded me of how misguided so much of society's thinking is. This person and so many others measure their success as a parent and their child's education by the school system's report card. And I know that I shouldn't be surprised. If God hadn't put some homeschool families along my path during my college years, I suppose I would be questioning it as well.  However, I realize now how often we look to society for our education and validation rather than God's Word.

I think most of our generation were educated in public schools (aka secular, government schools) and therefore we have to acknowledge that our thinking is going to reflect that.  For 7 or 8 hours a day, for 12 or 13 years of our lives, we were trained to think as non-Christians, no matter what we believed. Chris Klicka says it well when he says, that this causes a type of spiritual schizophrenia – thinking and applying worldly principles while simultaneously believing as a Christian. 

The Bible is clear that parents should educate their children.  Nowhere in Scripture will you find where God says that government officials are supposed to raise and educate our children. The only time that children were educated by others is when they were forced into that situation because of oppression. And God is faithful to preserve His people when they endure severe circumstances, but those circumstances are definitely not the norm here in America.

Sometimes I wonder what people in America would do if there wasn't a government school system.  What if they themselves hadn't been taught by the government schools?  Would they still think that would be the ideal?  Would they really think that the best education for their child would come from a stranger who doesn't share your Christian beliefs in a classroom of 20 or 30 children?  Would the government school be where God would want your child or where Satan would want your child?  Are some of the things that they are going to learn in the government schools going to be stumbling blocks for them as they  grow?

Matthew 22:21 says, “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's and to God the things that are God's”.  Our children are God's.  Isaiah 29:23 says that they are “the work of His hands”. Trust God's Word about how they should be educated. “These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your sons, and shall talk of them when you lie down and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand and they shall be as frontals on your forehead. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.” Deut 6:6-9

I share all of this because I know what keeps many parents from homeschooling their children is the fact that they don't feel like they can do it “as well as” the public schools. Nothing could be further from the truth. You can teach your child their ABCs and 123s. And you can teach them the higher level courses too (or you can find a video course, or a co-op, or find a friend to help you). And all the while you can be teaching your child to think as a Christian with a Biblical worldview. The government schools are not the gold standard that Satan would have you think they are. As a Christian, God's Word should be our gold standard for how we educate our children. I know when you are just considering homeschooling that it can be a daunting thought with pressure from friends and family, but take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ as it says in 1 Sam 15:22-23 and trust God's Word.

In fact, take some time to read through Psalm 119.  It's a blessing.