“R” Little Red Schoolhouse Museum

Bennington Township Schoolhouse #5 is representative of the more than 9,000 rural schools that once dotted Iowa. Consolidations eliminated these one-room schools by 1966, but this building survives as a reminder of early education in the state.  It was built in 1909, replacing an older building, and originally stood in the center of Bennington Township, four miles east of U.S. Highway #63 on the Dunkerton Road and then two miles North, near St. Johns Lutheran Church.  Thus it was known as “Center School,” and because of its location was used as the voting place for the township.   The Black Hawk County Conservation Board purchased the building in 1966 for $1,000 from Donald Sage. It was moved to Black Hawk Park, Cedar Falls, IA, in 1968 and given a new foundation and roof. At that time restoration work was undertaken by several local groups, most notably the Cedar Falls teachers, who chose this resource as their Bicentennial project in 1976.   In the fall of 1987, the search for a new home began and in a short time, a site was designated in the Riverfront Beautification area near the Ice House Museum at First and Clay Streets. The building was moved on October 6, 1988, to its present location and is now known as “R” Little Red School House Museum.

another reason why we belong to and support HSLDA

     On Thursday, January 27, 2011, the Home School Legal Defense Association made the following report:

Appellate Briefs Filed in Arizona Illegal-Search Case

     In March of 2005, two social workers and six deputy sheriffs descended on the home of John and Tiffany Loudermilk to “investigate” a two-month-old anonymous tip that their house was unsafe for children. After almost an hour of threats, the social workers finally threatened to take all of their children into custody if not allowed inside. The Loudermilks reluctantly agreed. The assembled officials took less than five minutes to determine that the allegations in the anonymous report were false.

     HSLDA reviewed the case and sued the social workers, their attorney, and four of the deputies for violating the Loudermilks’ Fourth Amendment right to be free from unreasonable searches. We also sued the social workers for threatening to remove their children without justification.

     The judge denied the defendants’ motions to dismiss in September 2007, and then denied their motions for summary judgment in March 2010. The deputies appealed, claiming that they should be immune from liability because, they said, the right to be free from unreasonable searches was not clear enough for them to realize that threatening to remove a child if not allowed inside the home violated the Fourth Amendment.

     In HSLDA’s answering brief, we argued that the law has been clearly established for at least 10 years, ever since we successfully sued social workers on behalf of the Calabretta family in a similar case. We also demonstrated that any reasonable officer should know that threatening to remove a child to gain the “cooperation” of the parents is inherently coercive and that the officers should have known so at the time.

     Within the next few weeks the appellate court will either decide the case or will schedule oral argument. In the meantime, proceedings in the trial court are on hold.

     For more homeschool news visit: http://www.hslda.org

     Note:  I normally support law enforcement officials in their efforts to keep us safe, but “the right to be free from unreasonable searches was not clear enough for them to realize that threatening to remove a child if not allowed inside the home violated the Fourth Amendment”?  You’ve got to be kidding!  It’s as plain as the Constitution!  I wonder if this office is run by the same sheriff who made the stupid remarks about the congresswoman being shot because of “right wing” talk radio.

The Old Schoohouse Expo

Hello Friends,

Here we are at the beginning of the 2nd semester of school and most are wondering, Am I doing this right? , Do I have what I need to finish this journey?  Well, do not be despaired, TOS is here! And we bring you Homeschooling with Heart Schoolhouse Expo!

Come recharge your heart at the Schoolhouse Expo.

     The Homeschooling with Heart Expo will give you tips, tricks, and tools to enhance all phases of your homeschool journey, from the preschool and elementary years to high school, college, and beyond.

     In addition to the privilege of attending approximately 20 live, hour-long sessions, this spring the Schoolhouse Expo introduces two new fabulous tracks:

     · The High School track offers practical and informative sessions by speakers whose expertise lies in the area of higher education. Encourage your high school student to join us too?we have some great things in store! If you currently are teaching a middle school student, this track should prepare you to successfully homeschool through the high school years.

     · Our second unique session track is the Entrepreneur/Work at Home track. Are you interested in exploring family opportunities for home-based businesses or working at home? You?ll be informed and inspired as you hear from individuals who have practical tips and success stories to share with you!

     Enjoy an impressive lineup of 16 dynamic speakers: authors, teachers, business owners, and researchers, from the comfort of your own home — sipping tea or coffee, while wearing your pajamas! You will receive a one-year membership to the Homeschool Legal Advantage and a free will, valued at $65; 21 downloadable gifts worth more than $200; access to MP3 files of the sessions, for future reference; door prizes; access to a virtual vendor hall jam-packed with the market?s most outstanding vendors; and a whole lot of fun!

     Right now, you can buy your ticket to the live 2011 Schoolhouse Expo for an amazing price! Purchase your ticket by February 9th, and receive a $20 discount and gifts (valued over $419.87) for only $19.50!

     This special offer won’t last long! The Early Bird Sale ends February 9 at 11:59 p.m. We’d love to have everyone there, but space at the Schoolhouse Expo is limited. Tickets for the live conference are available on a first come, first served basis?we only have a limited number of tickets. Our May 2010 conference sold out within a few weeks. We want you to join us, so make plans to pick up your ticket during the Early Bird Sale! Get all the details here!

     We want you to join us, May 16-20!

One reason why many of us appreciate HSLDA

     There are some in the homeschool community who just do not like the Home School Legal Defense Association.  Most of them object to the fact that, while HSLDA is committed to defend the right of all people to homeschool, the organization is built upon an obvious religious and political foundation with which they strongly disagree.  They often say that in order to keep the right to homeschool “pure” it should be kept away from any religious or political agenda.  However, for many of us our homeschooling is a religious function, and like it or not homeschooling is often a political item that is fought out in the halls of legislatures and other government entities.  And it’s also true that one  major party (Republican) tends to support homeschooling while the other major party (Democrat) tends, because of its funding by the teachers unions, to oppose it.  Anyway, many of us who homeschool do agree with the basic religious and political thrusts of HSLDA, so we support it and deeply appreciate the work that it does on behalf of homeschoolers.  Here is one example:

HSLDA Helps Family Avoid Truancy Charges

     When a Colorado family’s special needs son began struggling in public school, the parents decided to homeschool him. Having maintained good communication with the public school, the family thought that verbal notification of their son’s withdrawal was sufficient. However, the district homeschool coordinator and attendance advocate insisted that the family submit a description of their curriculum before they would formally change his student status in the system. They gave the family a deadline, stating that if they did not receive acceptable information, they would initiate truancy proceedings.

     The family contacted HSLDA for advice. Staff attorney Mike Donnelly sent a letter to the attendance advocate explaining that truancy charges were unwarranted, not only because the family was in compliance with Colorado’s homeschool law but also because they had decided to homeschool at the end of the previous year and did not even send their son to public school in August 2010.

     For the next month, HSLDA mediated communication between the family and the district. Finally, shortly before Christmas, HSLDA received written confirmation that the matter was concluded with no curriculum submission or truancy proceedings necessary.

be careful where you send your kids to college

     First, there were co-ed dorms.  Now there are “gender neutral” dorms.  What in the world are these?  These excerpts from an article entitled “Gender Neutral Housing” by Ashley Herzog at TownHall.com will help to explain.

      Earlier this year, Ohio University announced a new pilot program for gender-neutral housing, which has become all the rage on college campuses. The program allows people of “all genders” to live together in the dorms.

     Some of my older readers might assume this is just a lame attempt by middle-aged administrators to seem cool by allowing male and female students to shack up together. You’d be wrong. These days, gender-neutral housing is mostly a bow to LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) students who demand their own special dorms. OU’s student newspaper praised the “progressive step,” which is mostly meant “to accommodate those students who identify as transgender.”

     The idea that college life is so tough for gay and transgendered students that they need separate housing is preposterous. Far from being uniquely oppressed, the LGBT contingent is often the most catered-to of any group on campus. Administrators go to great lengths to satisfy these students while simultaneously nurturing a victimhood complex.

     In other words, your son may be forced to room with a homosexual student or your daughter with a lesbian student in order to promote “diversity,” and any attempt to refuse, change, or even oppose such a pairing would be looked upon as denying the rights of the LGBT student.

Will the leftist, social-engineering educrats listen? probably not!

     One of the reasons that the homeschooling movement took off so sharply in the 1980s was the rise of “preschool to graduation” sex education of a “morally neutral” (translation–IMMORAL!) nature in public schools.  The agenda was developed by such paragons of virtue as Planned Parenthood and other secular humanist run organizations (talk about the fox guarding the hen house!).  It was palmed off on to an unsuspecting public by claiming that it would reduce unwanted teen pregnancies, venereal diseases, and even abortions.  Well, IT DID NOT, but the promoters have been pushing for even more detailed and explicit sex education at younger and younger ages.  And, of course, teachers can’t tell students anything about what’s right or wrong, only give them “the facts” (as the humanists see it) and let young, inexperienced, immature children “make their own decisions” (often telling them to do so without consulting parents, religious leaders, or others who could steer them in the right direction).  Well, what does the public think about this?

     In an item entitled “Survey abundantly clear – leave sex ed to parents” by Bill  Bumpas of OneNewsNow on 1/19/2011, we are told that a new study reveals that just about all parents believe they should be the ones who primarily teach their children about sex.

     A study published in the Journal of Adolescent Health (abstract) says that researchers interviewed 1,600 parents of school-aged children from Minnesota between September 2006 and March 2007.  Practically all (98%) of the parents said children should get most information on sexuality from parents.
     Chad Hills, analyst for sexual health and abstinence education with Focus on the Family’s CitizenLink, agrees that sex education begins in the home.

     “Who else besides a parent knows the family values, their religious beliefs, [their] family principles regarding morals in relation to sexuality?” he asks. “And most importantly, who else knows the heart of their child better than the parent?”
     In the study, parents were asked to pick two options regarding where young people should get most of their information about sex. The study results had teachers in second at 58 percent, followed by healthcare professionals at 43 percent and religious leaders at 30 percent.
     However the study also revealed that parents believe most youngsters get their information from friends and media — a red flag for Hills because, as he points out, that more than likely means promiscuity is encouraged.
     “Any time you take sex outside the God-given context of marriage, you’ve got to realize it’s going to spread disease, it’s going to create unwed mothers [and] children without fathers,” he cautions. “It destroys lives; it destroys futures.
     The pro-family analyst says parents must find a way to break the ice and talk to their children about sex.

      Note:  While it appears that most parents would prefer that their children get their information about sex at home rather than public schools, it appears that far too many of them have just been too weak-kneed to oppose the leftist, secular humanist, social-engineering class of educrats who control the public schools and have been pushing and promoting “values neutral” sex education in the schools for years.  Maybe the tide is starting to turn!

New Miss America homeschooled

     First of all, I don’t necessarily approve of “beauty pageants,” although some of my opposition has been lessened since many of them have removed the “swim-suit competition” phase.  However, while many probably already know this, I just want to report a fact.  The morning after the Miss America pageant, when I heard on the news that the winner planned to attend Patrick Henry College, I wondered if she were homeschooled.  Of course, one doesn’t have to be a homeschooled student to attend Patrick Henry College, but it is the first college founded by and primarily for homeschoolers.  My hunch proved correct.

     On 1/16/11 our friend Cathy Mullins, a homeschool mom and leader of a homeschool support group in St. Louis, MO, sent out the following note:
     Hi everyone!

     I just found out that Teresa Scanlan,  The new Miss America,  was a homeschooler, and will be attending Patrick Henry Universtiy ( started by HSLDA founder Micheal Farris).

     Check out her website:  http://teresastravelsandtidbits.blogspot.com/p/bio.html

     Be sure to click on the BLOG tab too and read why she felt called by God to compete.

     I sure hope she has not compromised herself in any way that will show up later (like many other beauty contestants).  If she truly loves the Lord, she will have so many opportunities to share the gospel!!!!  Awesome!

     This was confirmed by an Associated Press item dated 1/18/2011 entitled ” New Miss America says God gives her a purpose,” which began, “The newly-crowned Miss America, 17-year-old Teresa Scanlan, is a mostly home-schooled Christian who pointed heavenward when she was announced as the winner Saturday night.”
     The item concluded that after her year as Miss America, Scanlan plans to attend Patrick Henry College — a Christian school in Virginia — where she’ll study government and work toward a career in law or politics.

more filth and ungodliness for young people on TV

     The following item reported by Bill Bumpas of OneNewsNow on 1/17/2011 helps to explain why we have given up on television and would under no circumstances have cable, dish, or whatever that puts money into the pockets of these purveyors of filth.  It also helps to explain why we homeschool, so that we can have adequate time to train our children to meet such ungodliness in life while protecting them from it during their most vulnerable years.

TV watchdog: New MTV series about teens ‘dangerous’

     The Parents Television Council (PTC) is calling a new show set to premiere tonight (Monday, Jan. 17) on MTV as “the most dangerous program that has ever been foisted on children.” 

     The series website describes the program as “a wild ride through the lives of a group of high school friends stumbling through the mine field of adolescence…and stepping on most of the mines as they go.” Continuing its description: “Be it sex, drugs, the breadth of friendships or the depth of heartbreaks, Skins is an emotional mosh-pit that slams through the insanity of teenage years.”

     In addition, the website includes an interactive map asking visitors to “post the truth about the biggest parties, heartbreak, friends, sex, and every kind of trouble.” The program about teens carries a TV-MA rating — for “mature audiences only.”
     PTC spokeswoman Melissa Henson says MTV is being “disingenuous” in kicking off the new series. Henson says based on what her group has seen from the BBC series and trailers for the new MTV version, Skins takes a very disturbing look at teenage life. She says it portrays “lots of promiscuous teenage sex, lots of drug use, underage alcohol consumption; dangerous, reckless, irresponsible behavior…all of which goes rewarded or without consequence; lack of any kind of parental involvement or supervision in the lives of these kids.”
     Henson tells OneNewsNow she believes MTV is deliberately marketing Skins to a teen audience — both through extensive advertising during MTV’s Jersey Shore, which has a substantial number of young viewers, and ads placed on websites like Teen.com.
     “So it’s really very disingenuous for MTV to claim that they’re behaving responsibly by putting an MA rating on the show or putting it on at 10:00 at night when they are so clearly trying to market it to young audiences,” Henson argues.
     She points out that many of the actors and actresses on the show are under 18, so according to the MTV rating they are too young to watch the show they are performing in. In fact, PTC says according to video trailers available to the public, the series “make[s] sexual objects of almost every single one its characters” and asks viewers to approve of those characterizations.
     The PTC spokeswoman argues the new show is a reminder of the need for cable choice — the option to choose and pay for only the channels consumers want to watch.

Just another reason why young people whose parents are trying to raise them in a godly manner have absolutely no business whatever in public schools any more

Here is a portion of an article by Laurie Higgins who is with the Illinois Family Institute:

The “Vagina Dance” Taught in a Crystal Lake High School
by Laurie Higgins, Director of IFI’s DSA –Illinois Family Institute

     A couple of months ago Crystal Lake’s Prairie Ridge High School Health teacher Jacqulyn Levin decided that the best way to teach her co-ed class of sophomore students the parts of the female reproductive anatomy was to use something she called the “Vagina Dance.” To the tune of the Hokey Pokey, Levin led her class in a puerile dance that involved pointing to and singing about reproductive body parts while prancing about the classroom. 

     Her selection of this inappropriate instructional activity demonstrated a lack of empathy for those who may have a degree of modesty and self-respect that Levin does not possess. Did she consider that some students might feel uncomfortable participating in or even watching this dance and that they might fear being ridiculed if they chose to opt-out?

     Her decision to use this dance as a teaching tool also reveals that she has no commitment to fostering modesty (please don’t be deceived by the attempt of “progressives” to conflate essential modesty with some kind of priggish, neurotic prudery). The very fact that a teacher would consider such an activity reflects how debased and immodest a culture we have. And it reveals that she has no regard for the values of all the families who have entrusted their children to her tutelage.
     When a father complained about the dance, she defended it as a “kinesthetic” device to help students memorize body parts. The “kinesthetic” argument is simply a rationalization, an obvious and foolish attempt to conceal the inappropriateness and silliness of the activity with a patina of pedagogical legitimacy. Somehow few teachers in math, science, literature, or social studies feel the need to employ “kinesthetic” activities to facilitate memorization. If ever there was a subject in which “kinesthetic” activities would be inappropriate, it would be seem to be female sexual anatomy in a coed class.

     You can read the entire article at:


a toy gun is a “weapon”–really! the school board said so

     Sometime last year I recall blogging about a boy who brought a toy gun to school and was expelled, so his parents decided to homeschool him for a year.  Now they want to put him back in school, but the school board says no.  Here’s the story:

Child Still Expelled for Toy Gun – a Year Later
Parents want their child back in school. School board says no way

     Samuel Burgos has fond memories of his friends at school, but he only gets to see them in pictures now.

     The 8-year-old boy hasn’t been in school for a year and will likely miss another year if the Broward County School Board has its way.

     Burgos was suspended from school in November after a teacher found a toy gun in his backpack. But when the boy went to register to go back to Pembroke Pines Charter School, he was told he will be expelled for this school year, too, as part of the county’s zero tolerance weapons policy.

     “He made a mistake, but why the severe punishment? I don’t understand that,” said Magdiel Burgos, Sam’s dad.

     School board officials said the rules are quite clear and that the toy gun constituted a weapon. A school board report on the incident mentions that Samuel showed the toy gun to another student and it was capable of firing projectiles.

     That’s all it takes for it to be considered a weapon.

     “This is in his backpack and it’s a toy. It’s not a real gun. It’s a toy,” said Magdiel Burgos, twirling a plastic gun.

     The school board said they would admit Samuel into a correctional school for problem children who have been expelled located in Hallandale Beach.

     The parents refused and believe their son has already paid for his mistake enough. Samuel has since been home-schooled, but his parents want him back in public school.

     “I can’t sit here and allow them to send my kid to a school where students have committed actual crimes,” Burgos said. “He hasn’t committed a crime.”

     Next week, the family will attend a school board meeting to try and get their son back in class as soon as possible, but that could be after Thanksgiving.

     Burgos says his child has been set back emotionally and will probably have to repeat the second grade. He thinks there should be some room to determine that his child didn’t bring a real gun to school.

     “I understand the board is concerned about schools, and as parents we are concerned, too, but they need to work with us,” he said.

     The school board says it’s common sense to know that this kind of item can’t be allowed on school campus and that responsibility also falls on parents to know what their children have in their backpacks.

     For more on what your child can and can’t bring to school, go to www.browardschools.com.

First Published: Sep 16, 2010 4:15 PM EST


     Barb Frank, in her Imperfect Homeschooler newsletter’s What Our Kids Are Missing Out On Dept., also reported this and made the following comment:
     Last year, a boy was expelled for bringing a toy gun to school, so his parents homeschooled him. This year, the school wouldn’t let him back in but offered to put him in a “correctional school for problem children.” My question is, why do the parents want him back in this school at all?