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by Mimi Rothschild What are the experiences and opportunities that reallyÂ count in building Christlike character and at the same time, can serve individual personality? How can the homeschool curriculum and homeschool program provide for such experiences and opportunities? The Christian homeschooling teacher needs not only a clear-cut purpose, butÂ we also must know his own children very well [...]
Yellow Star: A cast of homeschooled students and graduates present a story of faith and courage set in France during World War II. It is an inspiring Christmas drama for the whole family. Performed by The Homeschool Dramatic Society, Cookeville, TN. Trailer for Yellow Star DVD "Maurice Beaumont and his sisters are living in their family’s large old house in a Nazi-occupied French village during World War II. In spite of the Nazi presence, the Beaumonts’ lives are calm and quiet. Things change, however, when they agree to take in several children from Paris who have been sent to the country to avoid the tension and fighting in the city." "Things change even more when four workers in the French Resistance ask the Beaumonts to take in several Jewish children who are being hidden from the Nazis. The Beaumonts recognize the danger to themselves and the children from Paris if they take in the Jews, but they also recognize the danger to the Jewish children if they do not take them in. If they agree, the identity of the Jewish children must be kept a secret from the other villagers and, most importantly, from the Nazis." "The children, the villagers, and the Nazis are all in desperate need of the peace that is found only in Jesus Christ. The star that shone above the Christ Child so long ago to point the way to Him is bright enough to illumine all of their war-torn hearts, but that light will not penetrate their darkness unless they let it shine through." "Traditional French songs and folk dances, as well as original musical numbers and choreography, bring this story to life for the entire family. This play was performed by the Homeschool Dramatic Society on September 11 and 12, 2008 at the Cookeville Drama Center in Cookeville, Tennessee." The production, written and directed by Mary Evelyn Notgrass, is available on DVD from the Notgrass Company. If you are considering homeschooling, realize the wealth of private music, drama, and sports training available to your family. There is no reason to be beholden to the state for your child's education.
OK, so my kids have no idea who any on the hottest Hollywood celebrities or pop stars are... no clue. Ask them and they will just stare at you like you are dumb. (I've got to work on their manners!) As homeschoolers we get to pick and choose who we want to admire and why. The media cannot force feed us or our children because we abstain from their influence altogether. No cable television, no satellite, and only rabbit ears on rare occasions (like when we got a direct hit from Tropical Storm Fey). So on December 7th, we can look at the lives of real people who made a difference... like those brave men who did their duty for family, liberty, and country on December 7, 1941. Brave men like Cassin Young: CASSIN YOUNG Congressional Medal of Honor Rank and organization: Commander, U.S. Navy. Place and date: Pearl Harbor, 7 December 1941. Born: 6 March 1894, Washington, D.C. Appointed from: Wisconsin. Other Navy award: Navy Cross. "Comdr. Young proceeded to the bridge and later took personal command of the 3-inch antiaircraft gun. When blown overboard by the blast of the forward magazine explosion of the U.S.S. Arizona, to which the U.S.S. Vestal was moored, he swam back to his ship. The entire forward part of the U.S.S. Arizona was a blazing inferno with oil afire on the water between the 2 ships; as a result of several bomb hits, the U.S.S. Vestal was afire in several places, was settling and taking on a list. Despite severe enemy bombing and strafing at the time, and his shocking experience of having been blown overboard, Comdr. Young, with extreme coolness and calmness, moved his ship to an anchorage distant from the U.S.S. Arizona, and subsequently beached the U.S.S. Vestal upon determining that such action was required to save his ship." U.S.S. Vestal If you are considering homeschooling, consider turning off your TV and reading to your children starting now. You can read about more of these brave heroes here and here.
I keep seeing stories about homeschooled college football star and Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow. The prospect of competing in high school sports, scouting, and having a professional sports career are not concerns for our family. But, sports are a consideration for many families considering homeschooling, especially as families consider homeschooling high school. In some states, homeschoolers are able to play on local public school teams. In other states certain homeschoolers are fighting to change laws to allow homeschoolers to play. The public school bureaucrats, of course, don't want private homeschoolers playing on their teams. My personal opinion is that I don't want anything the government schools have to offer. With "free" goodies comes control and government control of my home school would be an anathema. The good news is that the options for private sports training are many and varied. Private and amateur leagues abound in most metro areas. For example, the Oklahoma Christian Home Educated Football Association is a nonprofit Christian athletic organization established to serve homeschool families in Oklahoma City and the surrounding areas. Although the public schools may have larger programs for traditional team sports, we live in a new world order of sporting. Baseball and American football are not Olympic sports. (Baseball and softball was voted off the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London.) The internet provides a medium for acquiring the best training information regardless of your locale. So, if it’s the training, discipline, team experience, or personal confidence that you are hoping sports will help provide your children, homeschooling is still the best option... if your children love the Lord, sports is just another avenue where these positive character traits can be a good witness. Let's pray that Tim Tebow can continue to be a good witness for the Lord and homeschoolers. Here is some Tim Tebow biography from Wikipedia: Timothy "Tim" Richard Tebow (born August 14, 1987) is an American football quarterback for the Florida Gators. He was the first college football player to both rush and pass for 20 touchdowns in a season and was the first sophomore to win the Heisman Trophy. Tebow played quarterback for Nease High School in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, where he became a Division I-A recruit and ranked among the top quarterback prospects in the nation as a senior. After a tight recruiting battle, he chose to attend the University of Florida over the University of Alabama. Tebow, being a dual threat quarterback adept at rushing and passing the football, was used in his freshman season largely as a change of pace to the Gators' more traditional quarterback, Chris Leak. His contribution in the 2006 college football season was as a key reserve who helped the Gators win college football's national championship game for the first time since 1996. As a sophomore in the 2007 season, he became the Gators' starting quarterback and broke the Southeastern Conference records for both rushing touchdowns and total touchdowns accounted for in a single season. In addition to the Heisman Trophy, his performance in 2007 also earned him the Maxwell Award as the nation's top football player, the Davey O'Brien Award as the nation's best quarterback, and the James E. Sullivan Award as the nation's most outstanding amateur athlete in any sport. Tebow was born on August 14, 1987 in the Philippines to Bob and Pam Tebow, who were serving as Christian missionaries at the time. While pregnant Pam suffered a life-threatening infection with a pathogenic amoeba. Because of extremely strong drugs used to bring her out of a coma and to relieve her dysentery, the fetus had experienced a severe placental abruption. Expecting a stillbirth, doctors recommended an abortion to protect her own life. She carried the baby to term, and both mother and child survived. All of the Tebow children were homeschooled by their mother, who worked to instill the family’s deep Christian beliefs along the way. In 1996, legislation was passed in Florida allowing homeschooled students to compete in local high school sporting events. The law specifies that homeschooled students may participate on the team of the local school in the school district in which they live. The Tebows lived in Jacksonville, Florida, and Tim played linebacker and tight end at the local Trinity Christian Academy for one season. Tebow's preferred position was quarterback, but Trinity football team's offense did not rely on passing the football, so he began to explore his options to play for a new high school. He decided to attend Nease High School, which under head coach Craig Howard was known for having a passing offense. With the rest of his family living on a farm in Duval County, Tim and his mother moved into an apartment in nearby St. Johns County, making him eligible to play for the football team at Nease. His performance soon began to turn some heads, and led to a minor controversy over him being a homeschooled student that chose for which school he wanted to play. As a junior at Nease, Tebow’s stock rose as he became a major college football quarterback prospect and was named the state of Florida's Player of the Year. He would repeat as Player of the Year in his senior season. One of his highlights as a high school athlete was finishing a game on a broken leg. During his senior season he led the Nease Panthers to a state title, earned All-State honors, was named Florida's Mr. Football and a Parade All-American. Tebow finished his high school career with 9,810 passing yards, 3,186 rushing yards, 95 passing touchdowns and 62 rushing touchdowns. He played in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl Game in San Antonio, Texas which features the top 78 senior high school football players in the nation and is shown nationally on NBC television. Tebow was considered one of the nation’s top recruits and was the subject of an ESPN “Faces in Sports” documentary. The segment was titled "Tim Tebow: The Chosen One", and focused on Tim’s homeschool controversy and missionary work in the Philippines, as well as his exploits on the field of play and the college recruiting process. Tim Tebow was also featured in Sports Illustrated on the “Faces in the Crowd” page. In 2007 he was named to FHSAA's All-Century Team that listed the Top 33 football players in the state of Florida's 100 year history of high school football. Despite having family ties to the University of Florida, where his parents first met as students, he remained open-minded during the recruiting process and became very close to Alabama coach Mike Shula. After careful consideration he decided to play for Urban Meyer's Florida Gators. One of the reasons he chose Florida was because of Meyer's spread option offense, an offense for which Tebow was deemed a prototypical quarterback. Tebow spent the last three summers before enrolling at the University of Florida in the Philippines, assisting with his father's orphanage and missionary work.
This weekend, I was at in a quandary at the library -- I had reached the 100 book limit on my card again, and this did not reflect the other books we had out on another card. The librarian, with a knowing smile exclaimed, "you must be a homeschooler!" We then got into a conversation about why homeschoolers are noted for reading a lot more than their schooled counterparts (as an aside â€“ I do screen the books I get from the library for inappropriate content. There are still wholesome fiction books and accurate non-fiction to be found in libraries, if you know what you are looking for, and if your library has not been totally taken over by liberals). Why is it that home educated children are known for reading a great deal more than typical children? Looking at our own home, I can see several reasons. First, homeschooled children do not come in after a hard day of traveling to and from school and have to tackle a load of take home assignments. They do their reinforcement work as they learn their subjects and so their nights are not plagued with the burden of homework. And, since a homeschoolerâ€™s day is usually shorter in duration than a brick and mortar school day, homeschoolers naturally have more free time to read.Â In our home we are building what we call a "generational library" -- stocking our shelves with classic and quality Christian books found at garage sales, on-line, etc. that cannot be found in the secular libraries. The library we have in our home is brimming with all kinds of edifying gems our children love to read again and again. In addition, our church has an expanding family resource room that is brimming with God-centered reading materials. And, we go to the library, on average, twice a week. Most homeschool families I know have unplugged the TV and are not engaged in the entertainment gamer craze. It is no wonder, then, that no one has to force anyone to read in our home -- whenever they get a free moment, our children grab a good book and that they are several grade levels ahead in reading. We are not anti-technology -- far from it -- my husband is a computer programmer, and our children will hopefully reach his level of expertise one day. But, technology can replace book reading in the lives of modern day children. I am convinced there are a multitude of skills such as vocabulary accumulation which are gained by old fashioned book reading that just cannot be obtained elsewhere. Here is an article in this regard that caught my eye today. Note that is states that among the children surveyed "almost a third take a games console to bed rather than a book, while a quarter never read in their own time". I guess we homeschoolers should be happy when we catch that child with the flashlight, trying to read under the covers!