Red Wagon Tutorials

     First off, let me make sure that I include the disclaimers that  no one pays me to "advertise" anything on this blog, and that when I pass along information about curricula, services, etc., I am not necessarily endorsing it.  Simply, when someone informs me of something that sounds as if it might be beneficial to some homeschoolers, I share that with others.  Each one is responsible for checking into it for himself.

     On Thursday, April 29, 2010 I received the following e-mail from Steve Rosenoff ( rosenon@apologia.com ) of Red Wagon Tutorials:

     My name is Steve Rosenoff.  For the past eight years, I have been teaching Apologia Science courses full-time for The Potter’s School and Apologia Academy.  Last year I felt lead to start a new ministry.  In addition to my live courses, I now offer my thirty-two class lecture series recorded on DVD.  Each class is ninety minutes in length.  I currently have the presentations available for General Science, Physical Science, Biology, Marine Biology, and Chemistry.  I will adding in Advanced Biology and Physics next year.  I am a sole-proprietor business, with a staff of two.  I am looking to advertise in as many home schooling newsletters as my advertising budget will allow.  Could you please send me information on how I could advertise with your organization?  My web site is http://www.redwagontutorials.com/.  I am endorsed by Dr. Jay L. Wile and have the full support of Apologia Educational Ministries in this venture.  I also give away one free DVD to a missionary family for each one sold. 
 
     Thank you in advance for sending the advertising information.  I appreciate your help.

     The DVD-R-offer:  We are preparing a new, version 1.0 DVD package recorded during the 2009-2010 school year for distribution next summer.

     Each course disk contains:

32 WMV 60-90 minute video presentations
32 MP3 audio file for MP3 player upload
32 Fill-in-the-Blank lecture note sets
32 Teacher lesson notes with links
16 Formal experiment report samples
16 Module Tests and answers
01 1st Quarter Exam and answers
01 1st Semester Exam and answers
01 3rd Quarter Exam and answers
01 2nd Semester Exam and answers
01 Comprehensive Exam and answers
01 2010 Assignment Supplement
01 2010 Course Schedule
01 Introduction letter

     The DVD is yours to keep and there is no access limit for the licensed student.  The recordings are never updated with new information, however.  We do not grade your student’s tests, exams, or lab work.  We make no guarantee that the web sites we visit on the DVD or reference in the class notes will be available for the DVD program with the next use or subsequent uses: web sites change and we cannot update a DVD to reflect those changes.  Cost is $150, plus shipping.

God Bless,
 
Steve Rosenoff
Online Teacher
Red Wagon Tutorials

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Good reading

     Home Educator’s Family Times ( www.HomeEducator.com/FamilyTimes ) is a bi-monthly homeschooling newspaper edited by Jane Boswell. It is actually sent free, although if you can afford it they ask you to pay a subscription price ($10 for a year, $18 for two years) to help them defray expenses. The Mar./Apr., 2010, issue has homeschool-related articles by Jean Reed, Jon Remmerde, Barb Frank, Alison McKee, and Pam Puniello, plus Todd Wilson’s Homeschool Humor and other interesting information.

     The Old Schoolhouse ( www.TheHomeschoolMagazine.com ) is a wonderful, huge quarterly homeschooling magazine. The Spring, 2010, issue includes an editorial by Deborah Wuehler, an article about homeschooling in Russia, a couple of items on studying World War I, information on learning about fish, flowers, and bees, Carol Barnier’s suggestions on "Teaching the Figety Child" (without losing your mind or using duct tape!), 25 tips for math success, a section on summer camps, product reviews, and a host of other useful material.

     Imprimis ( www.hillsdale.edu ) is a free monthly publication of Hillsdale College. It is a "speech journal" that contains speeches made at Hillsdale College events. The Apr., 2010, issue has a speech "The Coming Constitutional Debate" by Stephen J. Markman, Justice, Michigan Supreme Court. Judge Markman has also served as U. S. Attorney in Michigan, Assistant Attorney General under President Ronald Reagan; and Chief Counsel of the Senate Subcommittee on the Constitution. His articles have been published in the Stanford Law Review and the University of Chicago Law Review. If you want your high school students studying U. S. Government to have a proper understanding of how the liberals, leftists, and socialists, including those in the Obama regime, view the Constitution, they need to read this speech!

This seems to be what “education” is all about today

     I recently received a note from my friend, Dr. H. E. "Buddy" Payne, who also happens to be President of Florida College, a small, private college in Temple Terrace, FL, which has recently been denied funds from a couple of major contributors who had been matching donations from their employees to the college because of the college’s stand against homosexuality.

     Dr. Payne noted that recently his atttention had been turned to the writings of Richard Rorty, a man described in the book Rorty and His Critics (2000, ed. Robert B. Brandom) as "one of the most original and important philosophers writing today." In his essay entitled "Universality and Truth," professor Rorty was unusually candid in his assessment of students and parents from what he would call "fundamentalist" homes. He wrote:

     "We try to arrange things so that students who enter as bigoted, homophobic, religious fundamentalists will leave college with views more like our own.

     "…We are going to go right on trying to discredit you [fundamentalist parents] in the eyes of your children, trying to strip your fundamentalist religious community of dignity, trying to make your views seem silly rather than discussable. We are not so inclusivist as to tolerate intolerance such as yours."

     Dr. Payne then said, "You’ve no doubt heard the hype about ‘liberal college professors’ and the attack on absolute truth and Christian values. But ladies and gentlemen, it is real. This is the kind of sea in which college students are navigating."

     And I will add that it is not only in colleges. While the push may not be as strong and noticeable in public schools, it is still there, and many teachers in secondary and even elementary schools are following the same agenda as Mr. Rorty and his fellows "liberal college professors," only they are usually less candid about it.

     There is no better reason than this for Christian parents to homeschool their children. No, it is not our desire to isolate them, hiding them in a closet or keeping their heads in the sand. Our goal is to prepare them for the "real world," but in order to be prepared for the "real world," young people need to be well grounded in the absolute truth of God’s word during their most formative and impressionable years, and that task is made one thousand times harder when we have to spend so much time seeking to "unteach" them of all the leftist propaganda that is being poured into their brains in school before we can even start to impress them with the principles of truth.

     I know that there are exceptions, but it seems to me that when the humanists have them eight hours a day, five days a week, 36 weeks out of the year, trying to teach children the truth by talking with them a little in the evening and on weekends and taking them to Bible study and worship services three times a week just is NOT enough. Rather, the homeschooling lifestyle which allows us to choose curricula in which they can study all subjects from a Biblical worldview and to "talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up" (Deut. 6:7) instead of just using time that’s left over from everything else, is much more effective. That is what true education is all about!

 

one more reason why Christian children have no business in public schools

     In an item headlined, "You heard it right … class credit for keeping quiet,"  Bill Bumpas of OneNewsNow on 4/29/2010 reported that a high school in New Hampshire recently awarded credits toward graduation for students who participated in a national school-based observance for homosexual rights.

     Officials at Bedford High School gave credit for a course called "Real World Learning" for students who remained silent all day long in class on the "Day of Silence" in a show of support for homosexuality. The move has stirred protests from parents who say they were not notified about the plan.
 
     Kevin Smith, executive director of Cornerstone Action in New Hampshire, says school officials now claim that any group can be eligible for credit for attending civic meetings or participating in other political events. Smith believes school officials are merely trying to defuse public pressure.
 
     "They certainly didn’t promote that idea when they said they were going to give credit for the Day of Silence; they certainly weren’t being very open at that point," he recalls. "I think it’s only because they’ve now had pressure put on them that they’re starting to whistle a new tune."
 
     The New Hampshire activist says the newly announced policy will "open up a huge can of worms."
 
     "Your going to have political ideologies from all across the spectrum now saying that they want credit for doing such and such during the school day — and it really takes away from the learning environment," he laments. "It takes away from the activities and classes and the subjects that they should be focusing on –and now we’re politicizing the classroom even more."
 
     Smith believes politicizing issues, whether they be on the left or the right, have no place in the classroom.

     Note–I wonder; would the school would give credit to students who might go to a rally to show their opposition to the radical homosexual rights agenda? 

Math Resource Site for Homeschoolers

      In Wednesday, April 28, 2010, I received the following e-mail from Andrew Joseph ( andrew@tenmarks.com ) and thought that I would pass it along to you.

     I wanted to let you know about a new Math Teacher Resource site that was just launched – called "TeacherZone".  "TeacherZone" is a free resource for Teachers and Homeschooling Parents, and has thousands of free math video lessons for Grades 3-10.   It’s available at http://teacher.tenmarks.com .

     Thousands of homeschoolers and teachers have signed up for the free service over the last few days, and the feedback has been just phenomenal.  They love how they can use the videos as part of the study session and share with kids to help them explain the concepts after.  Parents who’ve used TeacherZone like how they can quickly find the right lesson, show it to the kids, share it by email and other ways – to help with homework and much more.

     If it makes sense, can you let your homeschooling community know about the site.

Thanks

Andrew Joseph
Co-Founder and President
TenMarks Education, Inc.

homeschooling in Sweden–a thing of the past?

     In an item headlined, "Sweden to join Germany in persecuting homeschoolers? Legislative proposal ‘would essentially ban’ freedom in education" on April 26, 2010 Bob Unruh of WorldNetDaily reported that members of Sweden’s parliament are being warned to drop plans to change their homeschooling laws or they soon could be on par with Germany, where persecution over homeschooling recently prompted a family to flee to the U.S. for asylum.

     The warning comes from the Virginia-based Home School Legal Defense Association, the premiere homeschooling advocacy organization in the world.

     The group sent a letter today to each member of Sweden’s lawmaking body noting the recent case of a German family that fled to Tennessee. The letter cited U.S. Immigration Judge Lawrence Burman, who wrote, "No country has a right to deny these basic human rights."

     "He refers to the right of parents to decide the best form of education for their children, which includes the right, even if regulated, to educate their own children themselves," the HSLDA letter says.

     Michael Donnelly, HSLDA’s director of international affairs, told WND the letter was sent because of concern among homeschoolers in Sweden, who number only in the hundreds, about the pending change that could be used to bring even criminal counts against homeschooling families.

     "We wish to point out that Sweden’s behavior in repressing home education and in considering laws that would severely restrict, if not entirely eliminate home education, is similar to behavior for which Germany has been criticized. In fact, the United States of America has granted political asylum to a German family who fled persecution because of their desire to homeschool their children," the organization’s letter says.

     Sweden’s homeschooling plan apparently is recommended in Chapter 24, Paragraph 23 of a proposed school law, officials said.

     It "appears likely that the same circumstances that currently exist in Germany would appear in Sweden, forcing Swedish citizens who wish to homeschool to flee their home country. It is our understanding that some Swedish families have already chosen to flee because of the harassment from local school authorities," the letter says.

     Further, such action would violate several established precedents, HSLDA said, including:

     The European Convention on Human Rights, which includes rights of liberty, security of person, respect for private and family life, freedom of thought, conscience and religion, education, equality and nondiscrimination.

     The United Nations Declaration of Human rights, in which Article 26 states parents retain the right to choose the kind of education their children receive.

     And the Treaty of Amsterdam, which "calls for respect for those fundamental rights."

     Donnelly said HSLDA is raising concerns about the Swedish issue not only because of its Swedish members.

     Parents in the U.S. do not want such "social" programs moving into the U.S., he said, and if they are allowed to dominate in Europe, they eventually would. Donnelly said the long-running problem in Germany drew the criticism of a United Nations special rapportuer’s documents.

     "Even though the special rapporteur is a strong advocate of public, free and compulsory education, it should be noted that education may not be reduced to mere school attendance and that educational processes should be strengthened to ensure that they always and primarily serve the best interest of the child," the report said.

     "Distance learning methods and homeschooling represent valid options which could be developed in certain circumstances, bearing in mind that parents have the right to choose the appropriate type of education for their children, as stipulated in article 13 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights," the U.N. report said.

     The HSLDA letter urges the Swedish lawmakers "to vote against this severe law to modify Chapter 24 Paragraph 23 in the proposed new Swedish school law. This change would essentially ban homeschooling in Sweden. In a pluralistic and democratic society such as Sweden, freedom in education must be respected."

     World Net Daily has previously reported on the case of Swedish parents Christer and Annie Johansson, who were homeschooling as they prepared for a family move last year from Sweden to Annie’s home country of India.

     Swedish police barged into a passenger jet awaiting departure and forcibly took custody of their son, Dominic Johansson, 7.

     The boy remains in state custody. The parents were scheduled to have an April 23 meeting about the case but HSLDA officials, who have been monitoring the situation, said the meeting was canceled.

     "Sadly, there has been no other change in the status of 7-year-old Dominic Johansson, forcibly separated from his parents, Christer and Annie, more than 10 months ago. Dominic continues to be held in state custody in a foster home. His parents are allowed monitored visits with him only once [for an hour] every five weeks. The situation remains one of intense difficulty for the family," HSLDA said recently.

     Christer Johansson at that time told WND in an interview from Sweden that he and his family are simply on hold – unable to make any plans whatsoever because of the state’s custody of their son.

one room Amish school house in Rockome Gardens, Arcola, IL

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     Rockome Gardens is located at 115 N. County Road 425E, Arcola, IL (Phone: 217-268-4106).  Beginning in 1939, local factory owner Arthur Martin decided to build a large garden on the grounds of his country home.  He named his creation "Rockhome" and opened it to visitors. In 1952 Martin deeded the property to the Mennonite Church Board of Missions and Charities from Elkhardt, IN, which used the house as a retirement home for missionaries for a while, but in 1958 it was sold to Elvan Yoder who with his sons took over management of the place.  Elvan quickly realized its potential as a tourist attraction and started adding extras–buggy rides, a rare view into a real Amish home, a gift shop, custard stand, tree house, antique museum, haunted barn, lookout tower, ice cream shop, little signs with Amish aphorisms throughout the property, and a few farming exhibits to the gardens –and reopened Rockome Gardens as an Amish theme park. Over the years, various other attractions –antique farm buildings from the area, a rock shop, an Indian trading post, a grist mill, a cheese shop, a petting farm, a corn maze, an entertainment stage for country and bluegrass acts, and an oak furniture store–have been added. Rockome Gardens and was purchased in early 2005 by local businessman Bob McElwee who reopened the park with a new vision as a time capsule of 1940s rural America.  There are also a bakery, candy shop, restaurant, and an old Amish school house still intact as it was years ago.  Rockome’s School House program recreates a late 19th century school day. Children can participate by role-playing the discipline of the era while practicing their lessons with materials such as McGuffey readers, dip pens, and slates. During recess, the young scholars play games of the period.