Linn School, Marion, OH

The Linn School at 2481 Marion-Bucyrus Road on State Route 4, about two miles north of Marion, OH, was built in 1897 and restored in 2003. While most one-room schoolhouses of that period have been adapted to new use, vanished or fallen into disrepair, the Linn School survives because it was rescued by two brothers, Oliver and Merle Hamilton. The Hamiltons restored the building, interior included, to the period of 1909-1913 when they attended the school and donated the school to the Marion County Historical Society to use for educational programs. Visitors to the school are transported back to a time when tin lunch pails, a pot-bellied stove, McGuffey readers, desks with inkwells and fold up seats, and a recitation bench were the norm.

Check out Home School Book Review

     Do you like to read books? 

     Home School Book Review at reviews books, primarily children’s literature, from a Biblical worldview.  There are over 1,350 reviews there already, and more are being added every day. The 48 that were added just this last week include the following:

The Tale of Despereaux, by Kate diCamillo;

With Lee in Virginia: A Story of the American Civil War, by G. A. Henty;

The Ides of April, by Mary Ray;

The Runt, by Rick Boyer;

Duncan’s War (Book 1 in the Crown and Covenant Series), by Douglas Bond;

Treasures of the Snow, by Patricia St. John;

The Year of the Hangman, by Gary Blackwood;

Among the Brave, by Margaret Peterson Haddix;

The Shepherd of the Hills, by Harold Bell Wright;

The Hangman’s Curse (The Veritas Project Volume 1), by Frank Peretti;

The Scarlet Pimpernel, by Baroness Emmuska Orczy;

and Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt.

     What are they all about?  Did they receive bravos or brickbats?  Check and see for yourself.  In addition, you can search to learn if your favorite books have been reviewed or to find books by your favorite authors or in your favorite categories.  (Parents: some books about homeschooling and parenting are reviewed there also.)  And you can leave comments too.  Just go to .  I’ll be glad you did, and I hope that you’ll be glad you did as well.

Snap the Whip (1872) by Winslow Homer (1836-1910)

Because it seems the quintessential embodiment of the American spirit, this painting is one of Winslow Homer’s most discussed and reproduced works.  Winslow Homer was an American landscape painter and printmaker, best known for his marine subjects. He is considered one of the foremost painters in 19th century America and a preeminent figure in American art.  Largely self-taught, Homer began his career working as a commercial illustrator.  He subsequently took up oil painting and produced major studio works characterized by the weight and density he exploited from the medium. He also worked extensively in watercolor, creating a fluid and prolific oeuvre, primarily chronicling his working vacations.  The first time I ever saw a print of this painting in a magazine, I thought that the building looked like a one-room schoolhouse.  This conclusion was corroborated when I purchased a book Early Schools by Bobbie Kalman which contains a picture of the painting on the page entitled “Hurrah! It’s recess.”  And the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s description of the painting says, “Released from the confines of a one-room schoolhouse, exuberant boys engage in a spirited game.”

what’s new at Home School Book Review

To all book lovers!

     Perhaps you’re trying to decide if some book that you’re considering reading (or considering having your children read) is worthwhile or not.

     You can see if it’s been reviewed on Home School Book Review to help you make your decision.

     Or maybe you’re just wanting to check out some books that you haven’t read to see what’s available.

     You can look through the archives of Home School Book Review to determine if there’s something there that interests you.

     Some of the books reviews that have been added this past week include:

Tirzah by Lucille Travis –a story about a young Hebrew girl during the Exodus.

The Royal Feast: Make Character Your Pride by Davy Liu–a children’s book about Daniel in the Lion’s den from a lion’s perspective.

Shadow Hawk by Andre Norton–mystery and intrigue in ancient Egypt.

The Rescuers by Margery Sharp–the basis for the Walt Disney Movie (the movie is cute but the book is better).

Victory on the Walls: A Story of Nehemiah by Frieda C. Hyman–historical fiction about the rebuilding of the walls of Jerusalem.

Heidi by Johanna Spyri–a classic that nearly everyone has heard of, but to appreciate it fully you really need to read the book.

The Prince and the Pauper by Mark Twain (Samuel L. Clemens)–I believe that this is Mark Twain’s best novel.

     The URL address for Home School Book Review is .

     Browswers welcome!

news from Home School Book Review

Calling all lovers of books and literature:

     If you enjoy reading, you should profit from Home School Book Review right here at Homeschool Blogger ( ).

     There are over 1,2o0 book reviews to help parents and youngsters choose books that are appropriate and beneficial. 

     The categories include adventure, mystery, science fiction, historical fiction, and children’s books, plus parenting, homeschooling, and Bible study.

     Even though last week was a short one due to our having to be out of town, the following books reviews were among those added:  When I Was Little: A Four-Year-Old’s Memoir of Her Youth by Jamie Lee Curtis; Here We All Are by Tomie de Paola; Roll of Thunder, Hear Me Cry by Mildred D.  Taylor; Papa’s Wife by Thyra Ferre Bjorn; Crispin: The Cross of Lead by Avi; and The Cost of Discipleship by Dietrich Bonhoffer.

probably reason #3 or 4 why people began homeschooling

     Barb Frank in her The Imperfect Homeschooler e-newsletter from Cardamom Publishing has a What Our Kids Are Missing Out On Dept. and made this observation:   “In this Massachusetts town, kids from elementary school to high school age can get condoms from the school, and their parents won’t be told, nor can they object.”  Here is the news item.

Condoms, secrecy for Provincetown pupils: Parents, official criticize policy
By Jack Nicas
Boston Globe Correspondent / June 24, 2010

     Students in Provincetown — from elementary school to high school — will be able to get free condoms at school under a recently approved policy that takes effect this fall. The rule also requires school officials to keep student requests secret, and ignore parents’ objections.

      “The intent is to protect kids,’’ said School Superintendent Beth Singer, who wrote the policy that the Cape Cod town’s School Committee unanimously passed two weeks ago. “We know that sexual experimentation is not limited to an age, so how does one put an age on it?’’

     “It’s about availability,’’ said committee chairman Peter Grosso. “We’re not handing ’em out like M&M’s.’’

     The policy, which requires school nurses to supply condoms to any student who asks, drew criticism yesterday from some parents, a family-advocacy group, and even the town manager, who expressed alarm that children would be able to acquire condoms beginning next school year.

     But Singer assured critics that, despite the strict wording of the policy, its practical application will be more flexible, and that not every child who requests a condom will necessarily get one. For example, if a student in the early elementary school grades requests a condom, the nurse will ask the student a series of questions and almost certainly deny them, she said.

     “If that were to happen, we would deal with it in a professional and appropriate way,’’ she said. “I don’t anticipate that this policy is going to affect youngsters. It’s there for adolescents.’’

     Several high schools in the state make condoms available to students. While complete data were unavailable yesterday, Provincetown’s policy to make them available with no age restriction, and declare parents’ objections irrelevant, seemed to set it apart.

     Jeanmarie Kaeselau, 41, who has a fifth- and an eighth-grader in the school system, said she would be uncomfortable with her younger son coming home with school-issued condoms.

     “That’s a little weird,’’ she said. “I’d rather have him come to me.’’

     But Kaeselau will not have a say. The policy, first reported in the Provincetown Banner, keeps parents from knowing if their children receive condoms, and mandates that school officials can choose to supply them even if parents object.

     Kris Mineau, president of the Massachusetts Family Institute, blasted the policy as an “absolute push to promote sexual promiscuity.’’

     “This is the theater of the absurd to hand condoms to first-graders who don’t even know what their purpose possibly could be, who can’t even spell sex,’’ he said. “And it’s a gross violation of parents’ rights.’’

     Town Manager Sharon Lynn said she would prefer a system that requires parental consent until children reach a certain age.

     “I think the parents should be responsible for [their children], and know what their children are doing,’’ Lynn said in an interview.

     But Michele Couture, chairwoman of the Board of Selectmen, said that when it comes to sex, safety is paramount.

     “I don’t know, you don’t want to take away a parent’s right to decide what’s right for their child,’’ she said. “But it’s unrealistic to think that a parent saying no to condoms means the child’s going to say no to sex. They’re still going to have sex; they’re just not going to have a condom.’’

     The policy began this spring when the school district’s Wellness Committee, an independent board of residents, recommended making condoms available at school. The School Committee then enlisted Singer, the superintendent, to write a proposal.

     At a public, televised meeting on June 8, the five-member School Committee voted 4 to 0 to approve Singer’s plan. (One member was absent.) “No one came to comment,’’ Singer said, noting the issue had been on the agenda for weeks.

     Grosso said one member proposed limiting the policy to the high school, which serves seventh- to 12th-grade students, but he fought against it.

     “I was the one who said, ‘Well, you never know,’ ’’ said the 64-year-old father whose two children graduated from Provincetown High School. “It’s very possible that a fifth- or sixth-grader would be getting involved in sexual activity.’’

     Singer said she wanted the policy to apply to the Veterans Memorial Elementary School so that fifth- and sixth-graders could get condoms. There were 17 students in those grades this year, according to state data; there were 69 students in preschool through fourth grade at Veterans.

     The policy was approved as the school system contends with a dramatic drop in enrollment — down from 500 students in 1980 to 152 this year. The School Committee recently announced that the high school will close in 2013. The school had 66 students this year; 36 are enrolled for this fall.

     Yesterday, the town leaders were already speaking for and against the condom rule.

     Lynn, the town manager, said she received angry calls and e-mails yesterday not only from local residents but from as far away as California.

     “I do believe there should be an age limit,’’ she said. “I don’t know what that age limit should be, but I would think that something like at least early teenage years would be appropriate.’’

     But Grasso said any student who wants a condom, preschoolers and up, should get one.

     “As the grades get lower, the possibility gets lower,’’ he said, “but we’re not going to pick an age.’’

     NOTE:  At least the Town Manager makes some sense, although she apparently has no say in the matter, and it is good that some parents are protesting.  But what is worse is that there are probably a lot of bone-headed parents with mush for brains and wet noodles for backbones who think that this is a marvellous idea.  The fact is that back in the 1980s, this very kind of thing is one of the reasons that homeschooling began to take hold.

why the UNCRC must NEVER be ratified in the US

     (NOTE: My previous post reported the serious illness of my father. He passed away on Sunday, Sept. 5. We just returned home yesterday after trying to begin some arrangements for the disposition of his affairs.)

     In an item headlined, “Home schoolers victims of U.N. treaty,” Bill Bumpas of OneNewsNow reported the following on 9/10/2010.

     The U.S.-based Home School Legal Defense group fears a U.N. treaty is causing increasing problems for home schoolers in various countries. The latest example involves four families in Botswana who have been ordered to send their children to public school.

     In July, police and social workers raided the homes of the Seventh Day Adventist families and seized their teaching materials. Despite evidence showing that the children were being well-cared for and that their education was being provided, the families were ordered to cease home education.

     Mike Donnelly, director of international relations for the Home School Legal Defense Association, explains the state’s rationale:

     “The magistrate judge basically said that these parents were products of the public school systems themselves, that [home schooling] was a cheap form of education, and that the children had a right to an education under the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child — and that the parents should therefore enroll their children in school.”

     Donnelly is concerned that countries like Botswana and Sweden are using the UNCRC against homeschooling families.

     “The government officials in these countries all seem to interpret ‘the right to education’ — which is one of the clauses in the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child — to equal enrollment in public school…,” says the HSLDA spokesman. “[I would argue that] is clearly not what is intended…but that’s how it’s being interpreted.”

     The Botswana families are determined to continue home schooling. “I must obey God,” one father is quoted as saying. “The schools here are corrupt and teach my children things that go against our faith and our values. I cannot allow them to go to these schools.”

     Donnelly is hoping for a stay in the judgment as well as intervention from government leaders. The parents have been ordered to appear before the court today to report their compliance with the order.

why you have not heard from me

     I have four weblogs at

     One is a book review blog, .  I try to add new book reviews to it every day.

     Another is a blog for religious articles that I have written, .  I add to it whenever I have an article that I have written.

     Still another is a hymn studies blog, .   I am now adding a new hymn study to it about once a week.

     And there is this blog, which is primarily for homeschool-related items.

     However, I have not been able to add to any of these blogs for the past week.  We are in South Carolina, where my 82-year-old father became ill and was taken to the hospital on Thursday of last week.  By Saturday night he was not expected to live, so we came from Illinois on Sunday.  Monday he rallied a bit but by Wednesday, the doctors said that there was nothing more that they could do.  He was transferred to Hospice on Thursday, and we are here with him, trying to help him be as comfortable as possible during this time.  Right now, we do not know exactly what the future holds for him or us, but we shall continue to see to his needs as best we can.