Four quick items

     Death notice for a homeschool pioneer: Dr. Raymond S. Moore passed away Friday, July 13, 2007, at the age of 91 after having suffered a massive stroke on Father’s Day. He is survived by his wife Bernice Reid Moore; a brother and two sisters; son and daughter; and three grandsons. Over the past several decades Dr. Moore and his first wife Dorothy, who predeceased him, were known and loved as homeschooling pioneers. Together they authored numerous books on homeschooling. Raymond was a missionary, a world traveler, lecturer, author, educator, and a consummate gentleman. His highest goal was to serve God. His family and friends knew him as a devoted husband, father, grandfather, mentor, and friend. I have never read, and in fact do not even possess, any of Dr. and Mrs. Moore’s books related to homeschooling, although I have read excerpts from them. However, several people who have been homeschooling for many years have said that they were helped immensely by the Moores’ materials and some even by their personal assistance.

 

     The Land of Lincoln: Over the past several years we have had the privilege of seeing several sites related to Abraham Lincoln. The Lincoln Homestead State Park near Springfield, KY, has relocated several original log structures associated with Thomas Lincoln and Nancy Hanks, Lincoln’s parents. The Old Fort Harrod State Park in Harrodsburg, KY, has relocated and enshrined the cabin in which Lincoln’s parents were married. The Lincoln Birth Place National Historic Site at Hodgenville, KY, consists of two parts, a replica of the cabin in which he was born on the original site, and the nearby farm on Knob Creek to which the family moved shortly afterwards. The Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial, where Lincoln grew up, is located near Lincoln City, IN. Mary Todd, who married Lincoln, was from Lexington, KY, and her family’s home is located there. Outside of Lerna, IL, there are the Lincoln Log Cabin State Historic Site which has the foundations of the cabin built by Thomas Lincoln where Abe lived as a young man along with a reconstructed farm, and the Moore Home State Memorial, the house where he said goodby to his family before leaving for Washington. In Vandalia, IL, the Vandalia State House State Historic Site is the building where Lincoln served as a state legislator. A Lincoln-Douglas Debate Museum has been built on the site of one of the famous debates held in Charleston, IL. Just recently, we spent a few days in Springfield, IL. At Lincoln’s New Salem, northwest of the city, the buildings of the town where Lincoln lived as a young man have been rebuilt on their original foundations, including the store where Lincoln clerked, and the two locations of the stores that he co-owned. The Lincoln Home National Historic Site consists of a visitor’s center, the only home that Lincoln ever owned, and four city blocks with buildings of Lincoln’s time. The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum (two separate buildings but across the street from each other) are dedicated to preserving the memory of the sixteenth President. And Lincoln’s Tomb State Historic Site is an impressive structure in Oak Ridge Cemetery. Also, there are the Lincoln-Herndon Law Offices and the "Lincoln Depot" which is the restored Great Western Railroad Depot from which Lincoln departed for Washington. We had a really enjoyable visit.

 

     Socialization: "Homeschoolers don’t live in a vacuum. There isn’t one homeschooler I know who hasn’t been involved in outside extracurricular activities. Through these activities, they have spent time with all different ages and types of people. They have friends in all age groups, and they learn from those people as much as they share with them. Homeschoolers aren’t being crippled socially. We are the ones who are ready to go out and live in the real world" (Magda Pride, homeschool graduate in the May/June, 2007, issue of Practical Homeschooling, p. 64).

 

     A Little Homeschool Humor: Under the headline "Historical Disappointment," Paula C. of Seattle, WA, wrote, "My son Travis, who homeschools, took his family to see the Dead Sea Scrolls when they were on temporary exhibit in Seattle. At the end of the tour, he found his six-year-old son sobbing. When Travis leaned down to ask my grandson what was wrong, Ben said, ‘Dad, you promised me squirrels–Dead Sea Squirrels. And there weren’t any!’" (in The Home School Court Report, Mar./Apr., 2007, p. 24).

Bob and Arty

      The "Missionary Adventures of Bob and Arty" books by Jeff Barth were recommended in the 8/04 issue of my free e-mail homeschooling newsletter ( biblicalhomeschooling-subscribe@yahoogroups.com ). I recently decided to purchase them and ordered a set of three (In Search of the Lost Missionary, Mission Alaska!, and The Storm!) from an online homeschool resource provider (this set was the last in stock for this provider). Currently, I am reading the first one to our younger son and finding it quite interesting.  There are actually five volumes in all, and the provider from whom I purchased them said, "NOTE: Though this is a series, each book stands alone. There are also two other volumes in this series that we have chosen not to carry." In trying to do some research on the other two volumes, I found that still another well-known homeschool resource provider who advertises the books said, "Please note: There are actually two volumes we don’t carry. Both books had something in it we objected to and did not feel that part provided wholesome reading. In Volume 2, there was a part that talked about a monster (the tribal people thought there was a monster). Volume 5, The Lighthouse Mystery, talked about strange noises up in the tower. We did not feel comfortable carrying those two books." Volume 2 is entitled Trapped in an Abandoned Mine. I have heard Jeff and Marge Barth speak, and I just have trouble concluding that they would write something that I would find objectionable. Internet searches came up with very little other information about the series. Looking to see if there were any used copies of these two books available, I could find none of The Lighthouse Mystery. However, Amazon.com listed two dealers and Barnes and Noble listed one of the same dealers, both of whom had Trapped in an Abandoned Mine for $198! I thought, "Good night, nurse!" I wonder if there is anywhere to get copies of these two books at a more reasonable price.

“Snapshot of a Student’s School Day”

     Our friend Nancy Ketchum submitted the following from the Finish Line:  This list in from a class directed at public school teachers, only last week. Remember, this is not a list from the homeschool community. (This is the breakdown of the 390 minutes that a typical student spends in school each day between 1st and 5th or 6th grades.)

15 minutes Interruptions

55 minutes Discipline of students (interrupts instruction time)

15 minutes Waiting

25 minutes Lunch

55 minutes Individual problems & questions (usually not theirs)

45 minutes Transitions (walking, changing subjects)

3 hours Instruction time

Note that this schedule does not even include any extra recess time; I’m guessing the district this was generated in has dropped regular recess times in favor of PE (or just to have more time "because of testing"). In other words, asking you to fill in the above routine is asking your student to spend time wasting a lot of time! There is not THAT much instruction –worthily used time–going on in a classroom. In fact, I’ll add that the instructor of this particular course held up this handout, and she, NOT a homeschooler at all, said, "And can you wonder why the homeschoolers think we’re wasting kids’ time? They can get done what you accomplish in half the time, just because they don’t have 30 kids in the room to deal with." (That was the lead-in to improving motivation in students, and better classroom management skills.)

Something else going on in your local public schools

      On July 6, 2007, Donald E. Wildmon, Founder and Chairman of the American Family Association, under the headline, "Maryland Board of Education: State’s right supersedes parent’s rights: Only a positive view of homosexuality can be taught in classrooms," reported, "The Maryland State Board of Education has ruled that the right of the state supersedes the rights of parents in teaching children about homosexuality. The Board said the ‘right (of parents) is not absolute. It must bend to the State’s duty to educate its citizens.’ The ruling means that the teaching of homosexuality as an accepted and approved lifestyle in Maryland public schools can move forward. Very important! Some professionals feel that the Maryland curriculum could become the model for promoting the homosexual lifestyle in public schools across the nation. The new policy prohibits any unfavorable view of homosexuality from being presented. A video for use with eighth-graders instructs students on how to put a condom on a p—s. The Board has been trying to incorporate the promotion of homosexuality into their sex-education classes. A federal judge overturned a previous attempt to include the promotion of homosexuality because of the curriculum’s expressed hostility toward Christianity. But in approving the new curriculum, the Board refused to hear arguments from those who oppose the promotion of homosexuality in the classroom." Makes me glad that I homeschool!

Where the evidence leads

     In recent decades, the dominant portion of paleontologists have believed that birds evolved from dinosaurs based on some dinosaur fossils that show filamentous patterns interpreted as "protofeathers." However, according to World Magazine (June 30/July 7, 2007; p. 70) a new study published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B challenges this view. Sinosauropteryx, a turkey-sized dinosaur related to Tyrannosaurus rex was first discovered in 1994 and was hailed as an ancestor to birds because it had a mane of fibrous structures along its spine, supposedly rudimentary feathers. But Alan Feduccia, a University of North Carolina professor who co-authored the Proceedings paper, argues that a microscopic examination of the alleged "protofeather" fibers shows, with what Feduccia considers definite evidence, based on the structure of the fibers and their position, that they are in fact degraded skin collagen fibers and have nothing to do with feathers or protofeathers, challenging the idea that dinosaurs evolved into birds. Other scientists disagree, but Feduccia is sticking by his guns and says, "There are too many problems with the current dogma of the dinosaurian origin of birds. I’m willing to go wherever the evidence leads us." Well, of all things–it just might lead to God’s creation! And I am so thankful that I can homeschool our children studying the evidence that leads to believing in God’s creation.

Current items of interest for homeschoolers

     Catalogues with interesting information and products: Young Explorers Creative Educational Products (1-800-239-7577, www.YoungExplorers.com ) has items that help children to imagine, create, explore, and play. The Summer/Fall Homeschool Sale catalogue from Christian Book Distributors (CBD; www.Christianbook.com ; 1-800-Christian) is in, and it has almost everything that you might imagine that you could want! The 2007/2008 Calvert School catalogue ( www.calvertschool.org ; 888-487-4652) has a prepared curriculum for those who want their children to study by correspondence. Trend ( www.trendenterprises ) has teacher-created, child-texted materials for Pre-K through Grade 9 that include time-saving teaching tools that are affordable and fun, support standards that build skills, and learningproducts that deliver results. The latest Keepers of the Faith catalogue #19 ( www.keeprsofthefaith.com , 906-663-6881) has, among other things, a lot of wonderful reprints of godly literature that are designed to help develop character under "Family Reading." The latest Love To Learn catalogue (www.LovetoLearn.net , 1-800-771-1304) has recommended educational resources related to most subjects that homeschooling families need to study. HomeScholar Books ( www.homescholarbooks.com ), operated by Amelia Harper in Nashville, NC, carries literature resources for use with J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings, C. S. Lewis’s The Chronicles of Narnia, Laura Ingalls Wilder’s "Little House" books, and Lucy M. Montgomery’s "Green Gables" books, along with a host of other "wholesome fantasy favorites." The Back to School 2007 Catalogue for PreK-7 from Teacher Created Resources ( www.teachercreated.com , 1-800-662-4321) has materials created by teachers for teachers that relate to most academic subjects. The 2007/2007 Beautiful Feet Books catalogue ( www.bfbooks.com ) contains materials and suggestions for studying history through literature.

 

     Good Reading: The July/August, 2007, issue of Home School Enrichment Magazine ( www.HomeSchoolEnrichment.com ) has wonderful articles by Cindy Puhek ("I Don’t Want My Kids to Be Normal"), Marc and Cynthia Carrier ("The Heart of Christian Homeschooling"), JoJo Taberes (part five of "Raising Our Children to Survive as Politically Incorrect Christians"), our friend Joanne Calderwood ("The Secret to Homeschooling Freedom"), and Denise Kanter ("Getting the Homeschooling Journey Off to a Good Start"), and many other items, including regular columns on history by Amy Puetz and science by Ray and Gale Lawson. I just received my first issue of No Greater Joy (July/August, 2007; www.NoGreaterJoy.org ), which has several articles about parenting and family life by Michael and Debi Pearl and some of their children. The July, 2007, issue of Biblical Insights ( www.biblical-insights.com ), which is not a homeschooling magazine, has several good articles on the theme "Evil–A Clear and Present Danger" that would benefit homeschooling families, such as Mark Broyles’s "The Battlefield: Your Family," Sewell Hall’s "The Changing Morals in America," Denise Bowman’s "What Happened to Modesty?", Jim Deason’s "The Homosexual Agenda," Jason Moore’s "Has the Media Desensitized Us to Sin?", Art Adams’s "The Epidemic of Internet Pornography," Marc Hinds’s "Obscenity and Profanity," Russ and Tracy Bowman’s "The Tragic Loss of Childhood: The Spiritual Rape of Innocence," and Terry Slack’s "I Am Fearfully and Wonderfully Made: The Psalmist’s Answer to Evolution." The Vol. 14, No. 7 issue of Answers Update, a monthly newsletter from Answers In Genesis ( www.answersingenesis.org ) has a lot of news about the opening of AiG’s new Creation Museum in Hebron, KY, near Cincinnati, OH, and information about many AiG publications. It says that a journalist very high up at a major Cincinnati newspaper told an attorney, who took notes, that the people who operate the Creation Museum "are no different than tan the skinheads and people who deny that the Holocaust happened," and later repeated this same comment, even though the Museum specifically has an anti-racism exhibit. The July, 2007, issue of Home School Helper from Bob Jones University Press ( www.bjupress.com ) has two articles that most homeschooling families would be interested in, "When am I ever going to use this?" (a frequently asked question by almost all students) by Eileen Berry, and "But You Don’t Know Josh" by Jo Hall. The May/June, 2007, issue of Practical Homeschooling ( www.home-school.com ) has many interesting articles, including several by publisher Mary Pride: "The Principal of the Thing," "Homeschoolers Win & Win & Win & Win," and "The Rules of High School are Changing, along with other useful information. The July/August, 2007, issue of Home Educator’s Family Times ( www.HomeEducator.com ) has an interesting editorial by Jane Boswell; several expressions of "Homeschool Graduates’ Thoughts;" articles on "CLEP"ping, learning disorders, and using the Bible in the homeschool; and interesting information by Jenefer Igarashi, Barbara Frank, and Sharon Jeffus among others.

Winston Churchill on his school years

     Our friend Kathy Evans of the St. Louis Homeschool Network sent me the following quotation from Winston Churchill about his school years. "In retrospect these years form not only the least agreeable, but the only barren and unhappy period of my life. I was happy as a child with my toys in my nursery. I have been happier every year since I became a man. But this interlude of school makes a sombre grey patch upon the chart of my journey. It was an unending spell of worries that did not then seem petty, of toil uncheered by fruition; a time of discomfort, restriction and purposeless monotony."