Sunday, December 16, 2012

by Robert Louis Stevenson

"Loving Father, Help us remember the birth of Jesus,
that we may share in the song of angels,
the gladness of the shepherds,
and the worship of the wise men.
Close the door of hate and open the door of love
all over the world.
Let kindness come with every gift and good desires with every greeting.

Deliver us from evil by the blessing which Christ brings,
and teach us to be merry with clean hearts.
May the Christmas morning make us happy to be Thy children,
and the Christmas evening bring us to our beds with grateful
thoughts, forgiving and forgiven, for Jesus' sake, Amen!"

Thursday, December 13, 2012


 A sobering reminder. Beautiful song, incredible message.  Merry Christmas.  (Click on the little box on the bottom right to expand and watch in full screen.)


For the past several years I have included the lyrics of this "poem" in my CHEE Christmas newsletter. Today I received this video of it being done by homeschool moms, and it is quite cute. You really must take a moment and watch.  Enjoy!  


10th Annual Home Educators’ Day at the Capitol
Celebration Under the Dome event
Wednesday February 27, 2013
9:00am - 3:00 pm

Come join us for a fun-filled, information packed, and uplifting celebration of our homeschool freedoms. A great day of civics for the whole family!

  • Informative and educational workshops
  • Tours of the Capitol
  • Visit with your legislators
  • Hear from lawmakers
  • Great fellowship with other homeschool families

Space is limited so pre-register today: Click Here  for more information and to get your registration packet

This event is hosted by CHN and Christian Heritage Home Educators of Washington

Thursday, November 22, 2012

See The Light Shine - Art Program

I heard about this  DVD Art Program , designed with homeschoolers in mind, and it looks so interesting.   You can check out their website at the link above, which is really good.  There are many short video clips explaining the program and giving lots of samples of the lessons.  It is Christian based, and in addition to the regular Art Class dvds, there are also Bible Stories that incorporate an art lesson.   And from what I can tell, you can order one dvd at a time, if you choose, which is sometimes a help to the budget (rather than having to purchase a huge program all at once).   There are not a lot of extra costs for supplies, and the website has a terrific blog with loads of info and ideas.   Has anyone used this program?  I'd love to hear what you think of it, either after you have used it or even just read about it. 

Friday, November 16, 2012

Homeschool Ski Programs - Details!

  Click the link above, to read all the details about the Homeschool Ski Programs being offered to homeschoolers this year.

  Programs are being offered at two Mountains... Mt. Spokane and Silver Mountain



Saturday, November 3, 2012

Eagle Cruise on Lake Coeur D' Alene

WHEN: Saturday December 8, 2012
TIME: 10:00-12:00
Boarding TIME: 9:30 a.m.
WHERE: CDA Boat Launch
COST: $10.00 Per a Person This is a great deal as these cruised usually run around $20.00 per a person for adults!

Come and watch the Eagles soar! In the past we have enjoyed watching the Eagles dive down after fish, and just seeing them up close in their natural habitat is an awesome experience! We will receive a free hot chocolate with our admission. We will have the inside of a heated warm cabin aboard the Mish-an-Nock to eat and enjoy our deserts and bag lunches as we approach were the Eagles nest and come in. We can go outside on deck for pictures and fresh air! There is also a large outside deck with tables and chairs. This is the largest and nicest boat in the fleet.
I am asking that everyone bring their favorite desert to share.

Everyone will be responsible for bringing their own sandwich and drink.
Dress layered. Bring binoculars! Cameras!
If you sign up for this field trip YOU MUST BE THERE!! Family and friends are welcome! This trip may be limited to a certain number of people so sign up early!
Please email Lorna below to get payment instructions.
To sign up please contact Lorna Casey-Kaiser at or call (208) 818-6892

Lilac City Homeschool Band

You are cordially invited to attend a Concert

Who will perform: The Lilac City Homeschool Band

What they will perform: The Fall Concert

When they will perform: Thursday, November 15, 2012, at 7 PM

Where they will perform:  Holy Names Music Center
3910 West Custer Drive Spokane, WA 99224

Come join us for a full evening of music. We are excited to announce that this will also be the first performance of our new jazz band!

Friday, November 2, 2012

School at Home or Homeschooling?

Following is an email I received from Christian Education Awareness Network (CEANet), regarding K12 virtual public schools and an online curriculum available to homeschoolers.  From what I can figure out, this appears to be similar to BJU's HomeSat or Abeka's dvd program, where full time online enrollment is an option, like a private school, or homeschoolers may enroll in certain classes only, such as Latin, math, or Spanish, etc. 
    This second option is my reason for sharing this, in case this is helpful to some homeschool families, and can be a resource to accomplish certain high school goals.  I am aware that there are many online courses or enrollment options being marketed to homeschoolers, but I had not heard of this particular one before, so thought I would introduce it.  For those pursuing a classical approach to homeschooling, there may be some courses offered that can be a resource to you. 
     I do not know all the details, but thought it was interesting enough to mention, in case you want to research further.  This post is not intended as an endorsement or recommendation, but merely FYI ( for your information). 
      Any comments from what you discover in your own research are welcome.
You may watch a trailer here .  
School at Home or Homeschooling?
by Dave Bohon

From The New American, August 7, 2012
Over the past several years an educational phenomenon has been exploding across America. Fed up with the homogenized, secular indoctrination; embrace of dysfunctional and sexualized behavior; and tolerance for rebellious and unruly children that largely define public education in the United States, an increasing number of parents are pulling their kids out of the local schools and opting instead for a home education plan.
According to Dr. Brian Ray of the National Home Education Research Institute (NHERI), as of 2010 there were, by best estimates, over two million homeschooled students ages five to 18 in the United States, with the population of home educated students growing by up to six percent every year. While the reasons parents choose to teach their kids at home may vary, what is clear is that homeschooled kids outshine their public-schooled counterparts on just about every level.
Home-educated students typically score 15 to 30 points above public-school students on standardized achievement tests — and they do so regardless of their parents’ level of formal education. These taught-at-home students also typically score above the average on the SAT and ACT tests colleges use for admission — which means that most universities love having them, and in many cases actively recruit them. And while opponents warn that homeschooled students miss out on crucial opportunities for socialization provided in a public-school setting, the truth is that children educated at home typically score above average in tests of social, emotional, and psychological development.
Dr. Ray told The New American that increasingly parents throughout the United States are turning toward home-based education because “they want solid academics for their children, values and worldview that they choose rather than what the state chooses, stronger family relationships, and individualized education rather than a one-size-fits-all system.” He added that many concerned parents are fed up with the lax behavioral standards prevalent in most public schools.
Over the past 30 years, the traditional homeschool model has earned a reputation for providing the foundation many parents want for their children. With the help of private, free-market homeschool curriculums like A Beka, Bob Jones, A.C.E., and Alpha Omega — all with Christian foundations — tens of thousands of families raised a generation of Americans with solid academics, along with crucial scriptural training and the principles of Americanism that are essential to the nation’s future.
As homeschooling gained widespread popularity throughout the 1990s, the public-education establishment found it increasingly difficult to stop the exodus of families seeking something better for their children. But with the introduction of online learning in the late 1990s, a core of education “entrepreneurs” suggested that, using the charter-school concept, public schools might just offer their own version of homeschooling that would allow students to fulfill all the requirements set by a district — but instead of going to a classroom they could use an online curriculum.
One of those entrepreneurs was former U.S. Education Secretary William Bennett, who in 1999 helped found a company called K12, which has gone on to be a leading player in what has become known as the “Virtual Academy.” Companies like K12 contract with school districts to provide curriculum and education consultants, in return reaping part of the local, state, and federal tax money that the district gets for each student. The families that sign on to these public-school virtual academies get “free homeschooling” for their kids — which typically includes “free” computers and other perks — while the school district retains the per-student monies it would have lost had those families gone with another homeschool option. It all sounds like a win-win scenario, right?
Wrong! Companies like K12 and Connections Academy have exerted great effort to convince the public that they are providing a quality homeschool option through public schools.
But homeschool experts point out that these public-school virtual academies have little in common with traditional homeschooling. Dr. Ray noted that while traditional homeschooling has always been privately funded and privately pursued, public-school virtual academies are tax-funded, state-run, and state-controlled. Ray emphasized that in the virtual academy model, “the state chooses and controls the curriculum — that which is used to teach, train, and indoctrinate the student.”
By contrast, he said, “in home-based education and private schools, parents and private organizations get to decide what is used to teach, train, and indoctrinate children. The center of power and control with a virtual academy is the state; in private education, it is parents, family, and freely-chosen private associations.”
While K12 boasts that online public school offers “powerful choices for parents,” and other virtual academies insist that their curricula give parents and students flexibility, a majority of those “choices” and flexibility are lost when it comes to one important element that has always been essential to a majority of homeschool parents: Christian instruction. Israel Wayne, a noted education expert, author, and publisher of the Home School Digest, explained that when parents contract with a state-run virtual academy to teach their kids, they are essentially surrendering their right to teach biblical concepts to their children in their homes (or elsewhere) during the scheduled school day.
And why is that? Students enrolled in a virtual academy are part of a charter school, and “any school that receives government funds is prohibited by law from allowing what is considered to be sectarian religious teaching,” Wayne said.
In addition, since online students are enrolled in a local school district, and are under the direction of teachers assigned through the school (parents are merely “learning coaches”), they are susceptible to whatever social indoctrination the school deems important for students to embrace — from the prevailing attitudes on homosexuality, contraception, and abortion, to the science curriculum’s take on evolution.
Virtually all experts and leaders in the traditional homeschool community have condemned K12-style public-school virtual academies as an unworkable option for parents who want a homeschool experience for their children that they control and guide.
The Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA), the leading organization defending the rights of homeschool families, has strongly cautioned parents against enrolling their children in virtual charter schools. “Many homeschoolers are seduced by attractive marketing and forget that virtual charter schools are actually controlled by the public school system,” said a recent HSLDA article on online charter schools. The organization added that it “does not represent students enrolled in full-time charter school ­programs.”
While K12/Connections-style virtual academies may be a bad fit for homeschoolers, there are, nonetheless, some online homeschool curricula that not only provide solid academics, but which also reinforce the Christian and Americanist values a majority of homeschool parents say they want for their kids.
One of the most recent is FreedomProject Education (FPE), a K-12 online curriculum that combines basic academic subjects with disciplines that hearken back to the classical tradition of past generations. In fact, the motto for FPE is “A Classical Education in the Tradition of America’s Founders,” and its stated mission is to empower students “to understand, enjoy, and preserve the freedom and moral responsibility embodied in America’s founding principles.”
FPE founder Alan Scholl noted that the program offers the basic courses parents would expect in any quality homeschool curriculum. “But we also offer solid college prep classes like logic, American Studies, Latin and other foreign languages, and even Biblical Studies,” he said. “FreedomProject is classical education for the modern age, the kind of education George Washington and our Founding Fathers received. And it’s all delivered with a state-of-the-art online learning system.”
Scholl said that with many parents in search of a solid curriculum that will prepare their kids for the future, they need look no further that FPE. “We have taken great care to design a curriculum that teaches solid academics, along with the fundamentals of liberty, citizenship, and Americanist-minded independence,” he said. “The flexible, affordable, and high- quality alternative to government education is here, for anyone who is seeking a better way to educate their children, or supplement their own efforts through homeschooling.”
For more information about FreedomProject Education, visit .

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

A Few Thoughts on Teaching Spelling

   As a homeschool mom I assumed that teaching spelling would be simple.   As a student, spelling always came so easy to me, almost effortless.  I just assumed it would be the same for my children.  But my first child was not a natural speller, and as a young adult, still isn't great.   Over the years, I tried a lot of different programs on him, but only saw small improvements over his school years. Recently, he has improved... over the last 3-4 years. Honestly, I don't know why... maybe writing college papers and reading has forced him to practice more. Or maybe it is the texting world we live in? Go figure. But as a homeschool mom I was always mortified at his spelling.   My other child has an excellent memory in general, but her spelling is not so great either. She was a strong and early reader, but it didn't transfer to her spelling.    My youngest was a late bloomer in the reading department, and I have postponed formal spelling instruction until this year (5th grade). So far, it looks like it might come easier to her than my others. Don't know that for sure yet, but I am a little surprised.
I have heard it discussed many times, and it kind of seems to be true... that just like there are math minded folks, or artsy folks, there are folks whose brains can spell, and those who kind of can't, and some in between. Or an even better comparison, is to that of one who is tone deaf. Their brain is just wired that "way". That doesn't mean that we shouldn't work on it ( My ds was so tone deaf as a boy... he couldn't follow the tune to Happy Birthday!... but after several years of piano and music instruction, his musical ear is soooo much better, good even). Anyway... all that to say keep your hopes high as you work on skills to improve, but keep your expectations realistic and be glad we live in the age of SPELL CHECK! : )   So, while we should continue to exercise the brain in thinking sequentially, and practicing with spelling lists, etc., maybe we should consider that those who are not fabulous spellers, may not be turned into one, regardless of how many spelling tests we administer.

I was not a real smart kid, or highly academic. I struggled with math, and was mediocre in most subjects. But, as I mentioned above, I was and am a pretty good speller ( most of the time... typos don't count, nor do menopause brain fogs!). But I did nothing to make that happen. I just see words in my mind's eye when I hear the word... even if I don't want to "see" them. So I have this photographic memory that kind of flashes words across my eyes.  I have a friend who was a pre-med student and quite smart and academic.  Yet, she sometimes struggles with spelling relatively simple words. Her brain just blocks out the sequence of the letters.  It is really an interesting thing, once you start to look into it.

Anyway... I'll throw out a few spelling helps that I know of.  I have tried several over the years, and figured that I would bounce around a little, to get different methods and approaches, in hopes that something would stick. 
 Here are a few ideas:

Spelling Workout... CBD sells these workbooks, and they are affordable. I don't think you need the teacher's edition, but they sell one.  I used them off and on over the years, and personally I liked them. They are traditional spelling books, with a list and a few pages of activities to reinforce the list. This program does have a few extra features that are a little special... There is an article at the beginning of each lesson, that is usually interesting science or history info, that contains some of the list words. Also, there is a proofreading exercise that requires correcting misspelled words, a paragraph writing assignment and for most lists, there is a box at the top that contains the spelling Rule or tip that applies to the list they are working on. For example, the "au" and "aw" spelling... "au" comes in the middle of a word, as in faucet, while "aw" comes at the end of a word, as in saw.  A friend of mine had her kids copy these boxed spelling rules into a notebook, and study them, and gave them tests on these rules, not just spelling tests.   CBD has it here and you can look at some sample pages for the level you might be interested in:


Excellence in Spelling:  The Phonetic Zoo -

This program is put out by Andrew Pudewa and IEW.  It is a little pricey, but includes audio cds and small and large lesson cards that contain the rules, etc.  It is pretty much an independent program, as the student listens to the lesson and words on headphones, and even corrects his own work.  There are 3 levels, and the initial price includes just one level of cds, but all 3 levels are on the cards.  So, as the student completes a level, you purchase the next level of cds only (not new cards).  You can read a detailed review of it here .
IEW sells it here and there are placement tests and an introduction by Andrew Pudewa.

I used this book and Book 2 of the same title, when my ds was in his early to mid teens. Again, we just kept plugging away, but I can't say I saw this huge transformation in spelling skills. Yet, I certainly had to do something... couldn't just leave his spelling skills hanging at an elementary grade level!

Spelling Power... large book, about the size of a phone book, with a ton of word lists. Hard to explain, but there is a system to using the book. Once you figure it out, (and she does explain it), it isn't hard. The newer version is a little expensive, but I think you may be able to find an older version for a good discount... check the used resources.  Looks like the newer version has a bit more bells and whistles, but the program is basically the same from what I am reading.
    Here is the current edition on CBD: . Read the review towards the bottom of the page by Karen Andreola.
  If anyone has other recommendations or a spelling story to share, I'm sure we would all welcome the comments.  

Sunday, October 14, 2012

IEW - Andrew Pudewa coming back to Spokane

IEW (Institute for Excellence in Writing)

Andrew Pudewa- seminars in Spokane

The Two Andrews: On Writing and Teaching Writing

12/07/2012, 9:00am - 4:00pm

IEW Speaker: Andrew Pudewa

Registration - $59

Registration (Additional Family Member) - $30

Location: Northview Bible Church, 13521 North Mill Rd., Spokane

Host: IEW

Phone: 1 800-856-5815


Thursday, October 11, 2012

Those We Love the Best

Those We Love the Best

They say this world is round, and yet
I often think it’s square.
So many little hurts we get
From corners here and there.
But one great truth in life I’ve found,
While journeying to the west,
The only folks who really wound
Are those we love the best.

Those you may thoroughly despise
Can rouse your wrath, ’tis true;
Annoyance in your heart will rise
At what mere strangers do;
But those are only passing ills;
This rule all lives will prove:
The rankling wound which aches and thrills
Is dealt by the hands we love.

The choicest garb, the sweetest grace,
Are oft to strangers shown;
The careless mien, the frowning face
Are given to our own.
We flatter those we scarcely know,
We please the fleeting guest,
And deal full many a thoughtless blow
To those who love us best.

Love does not grow on every tree,
Nor true hearts yearly bloom;
Alas for those who only see
This cut across a tomb!
But soon or late the fact grows plain
To all, through sorrow’s test.
The only folks who give us pain
Are those we love the best.

  Author Unknown

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Home Education Journal... a great blog!

    In case you didn't read the comments to my previous post about our school plans for the year, I wanted to post this LINK to a great blog, "Home Education Journal".   Even though my children are older I was still inspired and motivated by her wonderful ideas for teaching many different subjects.   If you are looking for some fresh ideas for teaching your elementary aged children, do yourself a favor and spend some time reading through many of the posts  HERE .   She goes into interesting details of how she implements several different curriculum resources, and gives links to many online/free resources, so there is plenty of inspiration and guidance if you are looking for either.    As a veteran homeschooler, it is encouraging to me to know that there is someone like this author out there, and to see that baton passed to a new generation of homeschoolers ( by the way, the author was homeschooled herself, by one of our CHEE moms!). 

Monday, September 24, 2012

Plans for the new school year... Lord Willing, And the Creek Don't Rise!

   We have finally started back to school, after a delay due to travel to visit our elderly, sick grandma.    I have had a difficult time feeling "ready" this year and part of that is because it has taken me awhile to get my list written out and ordered.
     I thought I would share what we are "planning" on working on this year.  Again, these are my plans... who knows where the Lord will actually lead us.   As my friend and I were discussing, we make our plans, but with the stipulation, "Lord willin', and the creek don't rise!".  
     Perhaps some of you would like to comment and share what your schedule looks like this year.  I am always encouraged and inspired by seeing what others are doing.  Remember, this is no contest or comparison...just a chance to get some ideas.

  •  Math - Teaching Textbooks Algebra 1 & Math 5
  •  Bible - Answers in Genesis &  Hero Tales
  •  Science - Christian Kids Explore Chemistry & Apologia General Science
  •  Language -
           ~ Abeka Grammar  ( strongly considered Rod & Staff English or Shurley English, but guess we'll revisit those options for next year?). 
           ~ Abeka Read & Think ( Reading Comprehension)
           ~ Daily Grams
           ~ Penmanship (Italic and general  copywork)
           ~ IEW Spelling
           ~ IEW Writing - Student Intensive Writing, level A.  Planning to move quickly through first several units, and then switch to IEW Narnia Study.
  • Typing ( computer program - Typing Instructor)
  • Geography - Evan-Moore Daily Geography
  • Geography - Beautiful Feet Geography Maps and Literature
  • History - Finish Literature study of 1800's - pioneers, Civil War, Alamo - by reading books on the topics and reading Little House series.  Hope to finish by Thanksgiving, and then start Ancients with Mystery of History, I think.
  • Music - Piano lessons
  • Reading & Read Alouds - working from a list of historical fiction and classics  that I compile from catalogs such as Sonlight and Veritas Press ( I often check out titles from library, or pull from my already stocked shelf), as well as a few series dds enjoy, like Sisters in Time, American Girl selections, & Trailblazer Books.  
  • PE - Homeschool Tennis lessons
    I've probably forgotten to list something important, but this is what I can think of now.   Anyone else feel like posting their list?  

    You can post as a comment.  Or, if you are receiving this by email, click on the gray words "CHEE BEE" in the left corner of your email, and it should take you directly to the blog page where you can comment.   : )

Friday, September 21, 2012

Teaching Textbooks

   I have been homeschooling for 17 years now, and I have seen and heard of a lot of higher math programs.  I've read the discussions on the different merits and approaches of various publishers, as we all search for that perfect algebra program!   Over the years, I find it interesting to hear the diverse reactions and responses to the many different programs out there.  And I've come to the conclusion that, like almost any other subject curriculum, finding a math program that suits your student, especially higher math, is a very personal opinion that is influenced mainly by the success of our students.   Another interesting observation is that if a student is going to do well in math, he/she will do well no matter which publisher you go with.  And if a student is going to struggle with math concepts, the same will be true, no matter which publisher.  While the approach, or scope and sequence, or presentation may vary, I think the end result is basically the same.

  Over the last 15+ years, I have heard moms "swear" by a certain math program, only to hear another mom completely reject that same program, faulting the curriculum for the student's struggle.  I have heard one program highly criticized by one mother, and the same program highly praised by another.  So, it seems to me that like our individual students, who all learn so differently, there are many math choices out there to choose from, and we should find one that is the best fit for our learner, knowing that some students are just not "math minded" and will struggle no matter which one we go with.

I have heard challenges regarding "college prep" quality or the accusation of being remedial attached to Teaching Textbooks.  Due to that stigma, I shied away from TT for many years, until my homeschool household became busy enough that I was looking for a mom friendly way to accomplish our math goals.   I began doing some research on math programs, and I was encouraged by what I found.  Now, let me say here that I am not pushing TT as the "best" math program.  In fact, like any of the others, some may not care for the way some math concepts are taught. That is a fair reason not to use it.  But I don't think it should be rejected because it is deemed remedial or sub-standard. 

 I know I have written about this before, but I'll recap what the authors say about the scope and sequence of the program.  Most math publishers are marketing to many different public and/or private schools.   Because each school district covers different math concepts in any given grade, the publisher includes EVERY topic in their math book, hoping to be chosen and purchased by each school district.   The school district then uses the chapters that teach their chosen topics for that school year/grade, and skips the chapters that covers topics they are not incorporating into that grade.  This explains why we remember skipping around in our books or not finishing a book when we were in school. (Even our colleges still do this.. they pick and choose topics/chapters from a textbook.)  Homeschoolers buy these same textbooks, and we work frantically, trying to finish every chapter in the book! 

 The authors of Teaching Textbooks, decided to instead spread out the scope and sequence of math topics and just cover a more reasonable amount of topics at a gentler pace, yet still covering it all over the series of grades.  This is why if you compare a certain grade of TT with another publisher, you will get the idea that they are not as thorough.  But what is missing from one grade, is being purposely postponed until another grade.  

 In my personal research, I still read mixed reviews on TT, just like any other curriculum.  But I am personally aware of several families who have students that have tested quite well on the SAT or CLEP or other college entrance exams, who worked through the TT high school math.  So, the proof is in the pudding, as the saying goes.  Just like any other math curriculum, some students will perform well in college courses, and others won't.  But that probably has more to do with the student than the math curriculum used. 

 So, why consider TT?  Because it makes completing higher math easier on the PARENT.    My heart is burdened for the many homeschoolers who put their children in school, often because of science or math.  That just isn't necessary.  Teaching Textbooks makes it possible for the parent to slip in and out of the course, as needed, without having to keep up along the way, which is often just too time consuming.  This curriculum takes alot of the anxiety out of teaching math, and if a curriculum can offer that, and hence help us resist quitting, then it has much value in my opinion. 

 And if you are still concerned about the quality of the math taught, I figure that most often, we are trying to complete a graduation or college entrance requirement, and these courses adequately do that.  If our student is going on into a math major, they will be prepared enough to do so, and they will have plenty of opportunity at the college level to complete oodles of math courses.

 On a side note... the lower levels also take ALOT of the stress out of teaching math.  I hear from a lot of moms, who tell me that tears are often a part of their math time each day.  TT almost eliminates that problem, because the frustrations just don't seem to build between parent and child. 

 The one draw back to TT is the price.  However, you can look for them used, and get a good savings, and usually resell to purchase the next grade.   homeschool classifieds is a good place to buy and sell used curriculum.  Do be aware though, of the newer version 2.0 for some courses.  Reselling the older version is becoming difficult, and finding the newer version used is also difficult.  So, one must decide what is the better investment for your family and budget.   

  There are other dvd based math programs as well, such as Math Relief, which is another wonderful, traditional algebra program.    But TT is just a little more techy and has just a few more ease of use options, so that as long as it is working for my student, I will probably stick with TT... for my PARENT/TEACHER benefit, not because it is better math. 


Christian Heritage 2012 Mother-daughter Tea


Christian Heritage 2012 Mother-Daughter Tea Luncheon & Day Conference …

October 13th ~ SPOKANE AREA Tea
    Registation is $36 and the deadline is September 25, 2012

    PLEASE NOTE: No At-the-Door Registrations Can Be Accepted

    Ladies, you are invited to enjoy a Lovely Day …
    ... at the Christian Heritage Mother Daughter Teas
Need a shot in the arm? Need to re-focus? Need encouragement & fellowship? This event is just for you! Come relax, sip tea, and enjoy an entire day of refreshment with inspirational teaching, a delicious luncheon, enriching fellowship, elegant entertainment, and special music.

  • Bring a hand-made item to enter in the Homemakers’ Gallery Contest or peruse lovely displays of jewelry, soaps, books, and other gifts for purchase.
  • Designed to Delight & Enrich Every Lady ~ Small or Grown! Don’t miss sharing this special occasion with your daughters of any age.  

Click  here to see all the details and to register

Stacy McDonald is a pastor’s wife, homeschooling mother of ten, grandma of two, author, speaker, and blogger. She encourages women all over the globe on issues related to marriage, motherhood, homemaking, chastity, natural food & health, and Christian culture. Still in the trenches of motherhood, she offers much with her depth of wisdom and experience in an absolutely, delightfully inspiring way.


  • “Passionate Housewives Desperate for God”
  • “Christianity: The Real Women’s Liberation Movement”
  • “The Heart of Chastity”

Hobby Lobby and Freedom

Funny this should come to my attention today, because I just enjoyed my first visit to the new Hobby Lobby ( next to Michaels on Division) a few days ago. I was so impressed with the store.  I had heard it is Christian owned. But right away I noticed a sign on the window letting customers know they are closed on Sundays, so employees can worship. Wow... is that refreshing, or what?! 

Then today, I heard of a lawsuit they are involved in, trying to resist the government from forcing them to pay for abortion meds for their employees, through the new healthcare law.   Some are calling for a boycott, but I think we should do our best to support them instead.

 We were very impressed with the store... it is a combination of JoAnn's Fabrics, Michaels, and some type of home decor store ( can't think of one by name).   It's huge, and very well organized.   So, if you have any shopping needs that might be met by the description above, stop in and have a look around.   Happy Shopping!  : )

 You can read about the legal situation here .  It is a short and informative article, so read up.  : )

Thursday, September 20, 2012

CYT Play - A Christmas Carol

A Holiday Classic with a Musical Twist
For ten years Madison Square Garden hosted “A Christmas Carol the Musical“ infusing new rhythm into Charles Dickens’ timeless story. Ebenezer Scrooge, a miserly, cold-hearted creditor receives some unwelcome visitors on Christmas Eve. Their visits compel Ebenezer to face up to the effects of his selfishness and coldness on others as well as on himself. Generosity, joy, and family are celebrated in this engaging drama. Please join the audience as Christian Youth Theatre presents this holiday performance with not only a powerful musical score but also a powerful life-changing message!
Advanced reservations are required and area homeschoolers are invited to sign-up now through Friday, October 5 to attend with our group. Payments must be received by the deadline to secure a spot. Please send payments made payable to Shelly Potts, along with the number of adults, the number of children, and contact information to:

Shelly Potts

17912 W Charles Road
Nine Mile Falls, WA 99026
If you have any questions, call Shelly at (509) 796-2770.
What: CYT’s school day performance of “A Christmas Carol”
When: Tuesday, November 6, 201, 12:30pm
Where: The Bing Crosby Theater (901 W. Sprague)
Cost: $4.00 per person due by Friday, October 5
Please identify yourself as being with the “Spokane Home Educators” (SHE) when referring to our group

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

A Mother's Heart

As mothers, we have an awesome opportunity: the chance to plant seeds,
kindle fires, and impart a legacy of wealth. These seeds may not
germinate for many years, sometimes not until after our own death; the
fires may only smolder until our children reach adulthood, when
suddenly, the Spirit’s breath fans them into life. But we can be
confident that the things our children learn from us of God and His Son
will be a permanent part of their hearts, enriching their lives and
eventually their children’s lives, an eternal heritage from one
generation to the next.

Excerpt from /A Mothers Heart/ By Ellyn Sanna

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Position Available : )

Thought this was kinda cute. 


Mother, Mom, Mama, Mommy

Long term, team players needed, for challenging permanent work in an, often chaotic environment. Candidates must possess excellent communication and organizational skills and be willing to work variable hours, which will include evenings and weekends and frequent 24 hour shifts on call. Some overnight travel required, including trips to primitive camping sites on rainy weekends and endless sports tournaments in far away cities. Travel expenses not reimbursed. Extensive courier duties also required.

The rest of your life. Must be willing to be hated, at least temporarily, until someone needs $5. Must be willing to bite tongue repeatedly. Also, must possess the physical stamina of a pack mule and be able to go from zero to 60 mph in three seconds flat in case, this time, the screams from the backyard are not someone just crying wolf. Must be willing to face stimulating technical challenges, such as small gadget repair, mysteriously sluggish toilets and stuck zippers. Must screen phone calls, maintain calendars and coordinate production of multiple homework projects. Must have ability to plan and organize social gatherings for clients of all ages and mental outlooks. Must be willing to be indispensable one minute, an embarrassment the next. Must handle assembly and product safety testing of a half million cheap, plastic toys, and battery operated devices. Must always hope for the best but be prepared for the worst. Must assume final, complete accountability for the quality of the end product. Responsibilities also include floor maintenance and janitorial work throughout the facility.

Virtually none. Your job is to remain in the same position for years, without complaining, constantly retraining and updating your skills, so that those in your charge can ultimately surpass you

PREVIOUS EXPERIENCENone required unfortunately. On-the-job training offered on a continually exhausting basis.

Get this! You pay them! Offering frequent raises and bonuses. A balloon payment is due when they turn 18 because of the assumption that college will help them become financially independent. When you die, you give them whatever is left. The oddest thing about this reverse-salary scheme is that you actually enjoy it and this wish you could only do more.

While no health or dental insurance, no pension, no tuition reimbursement, no paid holidays and no stock options are offered; this job supplies limitless opportunities for personal growth and free hugs for life if you play your cards right.

You Might Be Homeschooled If...

You Might Be Home Schooled If ...
  • you never get "snow days" off
  • "P.E." includes yard work
  • you've ever been in more than three grades at once
  • all the signatures on your graduation diploma end with the same last name
  • after your first year in college, the academic dean keeps asking, "Are there any more at home like you?"
  • your extracurricular activities take more time than your academics
  • your teacher has ever come to school in her pajamas
  • your family has the national average of 2.5 each bedroom!
  • you get your high school diploma BEFORE you get your driver's license
  • your 15-passenger van contains more kids than the passing school bus
  • your first real date is on your honeymoon
  • your Home Economics class transitions smoothly into married life
  • denim is a primary color
  • your grade and your age have ever matched
  • you NEVER get to use the "1-10 items" Express Lane in the grocery store
  • you feel sorry for the over socialized public school kids
  • you consider school work after lunch to be cruel and unusual punishment
  • you have to move dirty laundry off your desk before you can study
  • the only questions you missed on the ACT were the ones dealing with "the late Cretaceous Period."
  • your answering machine gets the phone more than you do
  • the term "Anglo-Saxon" makes you think of your geometry book
  • your mom can turn ANYTHING into an object lesson illustrating your current assignment
  • the Home School Channel is the only channel allowed in your house
  • the ACLU is considered a four-letter word in your house
  • you think public school looks a whole lot like prison
  • you consider loss of reading privileges to be the most drastic form of punishment
  • you could win a science fair by summarizing your plenteous experience in removing stains from clothing
  • you have changed FAR more diapers than the average day care worker
  • your yearbook is also your baby book
  • you can actually read your diploma when you graduate
  • your four-year-old brother can answer the socialization question
  • you have so many baby sitting requests that you form a referral company

Monday, June 4, 2012


    We just watched this film, and it was such a great story.  It is based on a true story, and was very engaging and heartwarming.  I rarely recommend movies to others, because there is so much diversity regarding what is appropriate.  But I think this film was such that I can pretty much say it shouldn't offend.  And personally, I find it SOOO  hard to find anything for my "tweens" to watch, that I am always thankful for a recommendation for a movie that we can enjoy as a family. 
      However, there is a short dialog where a father is explaining some of the spiritual beliefs of certain Indian tribes, and a girl is commenting on  "how smart dolphins are... some think even smarter than humans."  ( I paused it here, and we talked about how people are created in God's image, etc.)
      Also, at the end of movie, they show footage of the real people interacting with the real dolphin (who is also in the movie), and I didn't pay alot of attention, but the music might not be appreciated by all ( but you can always push mute).
   Anyway... this is definitely a movie worth considering.

But don't take my opinion...  Here is plugged-in's  Review

Wednesday, May 16, 2012


I have been praying and thinking about this journey. What is my passion, regarding homeschooling? What are my concerns? Joys? Successes? Failures? What are yours? I realize and respect that the “vision” may be different for each family. Your homeschool journey may look different from mine. You may have different definitions, goals, etc. The circumstances that led you to homeschool may be entirely different from mine.

I am passionate about independent homeschooling, K-12. It is my calling. And on days when I don’t “feel” the calling, it is my conviction. So I look to resources that will inspire me and help to equip me for that long journey all the way through high school, help remind me of the costs… both of home schooling and NOT homeschooling my children.

Sometimes the stresses of life and the attack of the enemy wear us down, until we are weary and vulnerable to choosing other options for educating our children… options we really are not comfortable with, never thought we would consider. For me, educating my children is a form of discipling my children. So, there is no other option. I am committed. A little like marriage.

I feel ''called'' to homeschool my children. The Lord has pressed on my heart that we need to commit to this calling of homeschooling, and have a vision, so that we are not tempted to turn away or quit when we hit a bump along the way. I pray the Lord will renew our vision and calling, as we seek Him for this new school year coming up

Saturday, May 5, 2012


  This is a great video, done by Gena Suarez from The Old Schoolhouse magazine.  My heart was so encouraged to see this powerful message put together that echoes my own conviction that if at all possible, our children belong at home with us.  That is God's design for the family.  In spite of our flaws and failures, the Lord has given us the most beautiful privilege and responsibility of raising children to know and love and serve Him.  And home educating/home discipling our children is a wonderful opportunity to do just that!  For regular encouragement and strength for this homeschool journey we are on, check out TOS magazine.   And watch this special message and be encouraged that you are making the best decision for your family as you keep your kiddos "Home Where They Belong".

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

It's Not a Race & Little is Sometimes More

I have recently had several conversations with newbie homeschool moms, who are struggling with a sense of being behind.  While some of our children may be needing some extra work in an area, I like to ask the question... "Behind Whom?"  You see, it is not a race in the sense of a competition.  And the public schools certainly shouldn't set the standards for your homeschool.  After all, they were designed to produce factory workers to fill the factories of the Industrial Age... not exactly a top priority on my homeschool goal list. 
   So, where does that sense of being behind come from?  Probably from our own desire to do a good job, or our need to prove to our critics that we can teach our own children at home, or maybe from watching someone else's children excel at a subject or two.   Now for those who are inspired and encouraged and successful at studying for National Latin Exams, or whose children are musical wizards... wonderful.  You definitely help raise the image of homeschooling in the eyes of the public, and we appreciate and applaud all you are doing.   But what about the rest of us? 
    I would suggest that the rest of us slow down and give ourselves and our children permission to work at our own pace and keep everything in perspective.  For instance, while you may, you don't have to agonize over your first grader being behind in grammar.  You see, a noun is a noun, whether you are 6 or 16.  You will have lots of time to teach grammar and parts of speech, and will have much more success if you wait until it is relevant to their skills ( like understanding writing a sentence).    When we put extra pressure on ourselves and our students to get 11 subjects done all out of traditional textbooks and workbooks, it won't be long until the joy is gone or we feel like such failures that we begin to look at other options, thinking this homeschool thing isn't working out so well.
   But the problem often lies in the model we are trying to recreate... the traditional classroom.   Remember, the classroom is part of an institution, designed to control the masses.  Our home is a place where nurturing, discipling, teaching and training can occur in a relaxed, productive environment.    If we are trying to run a classroom, (like I was when I first began), it won't be long before family gets in the way.  We begin to resent our little ones, who are interrupting the lessons, or the neighbor or elderly family member who needs to be accompanied to the doctor.   But when homeschooling is a lifestyle, we can dump some blocks on the floor for baby, give our preschooler some paper and crayons at the coffee table, and pile on the couch to read living books about God's wonderful world, and learn our "science or history or geography".   Or we can pack a few picture or chapter books, or maybe our penmanship, and head off to that doctor's appt., knowing that we are spending this day training our children to have a heart to serve others, and teaching them that there are days when we set aside our agendas to tend to the needs of others.  This is real life learning and does have value.  Maybe we will get that math lesson during nap time or in the afternoon, when we return from the doctor's office.  Maybe not.  We will pick up tomorrow where we left off.  We will just do the next thing, as Elisabeth Elliot says.  And when homeschooling is a lifestyle, we have lots of time ( although it will never feel like enough time!)  So, remember that it is not a race, or competition.  
   And sometimes, little is more.  The Three R's by Ruth Beechick is a worthy read, encouraging us to work on the basics: reading, writing, & 'rithmetic.  Great advice, by the way, especially for those younger years.  If you concentrate on the three r's, you will still have plenty to teach, but the stress will melt away for many moms.   So get a good phonics program ( or read about how you can easily teach phonics without a "program" in Ruth's book above), and teach your little one to read, if they are ready.   Abeka has a good phonics program... Letters and Sounds K, 1 & 2, but it moves quickly.  If your child does not "take off" with this, using a program like Explode the Code is a much better choice, since it is more incremental.  The end result will be the same... reading.  But the journey will be much easier.  Or Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons is almost a guarantee at quick reading success.   You don't have to spend a lot of money, and you don't need a lot of bells and whistles.  Little is More. 
   Find a handwriting program as well, to practice the forming of letters.  They will do some writing in their phonics program, but I find they enjoy and benefit from a penmanship book.  A Reason for Writing, or Getty-Dubay Italic writing are just a few common book series.  Once they get to cursive, be mindful of whether or not the fancy loops are giving them trouble.  For us, they were.  We switched to italic, and we now have beautiful, simple, penmanship.   Be flexible.  
   And then there is math.  All math is not created equal.   I have been surprised at the different paces that different math programs work at.   Abeka is fast and introduces advanced concepts very early, starting in 2nd grade.  The Kindergarten and First grade books cover the basics, but by the middle of grade 2, it steps up a lot.  This worked fine for my older children.  This was a disaster for my younger.  I like to do what I know, and was reluctant to change, but I am so glad I did!   Saxon moves a little more slowly, but is quite teacher intensive.  If you can afford it, Teaching Textbooks is a great paced math program for grades 3 and up.   Or look at manipulative based programs, like Math U See or Making Math Meaningful.  And as kids advance, pull in resources like Times Tales on DVD and see some magic worked in learning those times tables! 
    The resources are out there, to fit your child, at his/her pace, for learning the academics.  Don't panic in the early years (or anytime!) thinking you are behind.   I think of that sweet, well meaning mom who is laboring at potty training her 18 month old baby.  Why?  She will spend 2 years with messes all over the house, wet beds during the night, tears (both hers and his), trying to force this development.  Or.... she can determine to set aside some funds for Pull Ups, and revisit this in about a year, and it will most likely be quite painless.    Timing is everything.
    And a quick note about subjects beyond the three r's... look to living books (books that are not written for a particular reading level or skill level), and read about God's world.  Read biographies or historical fiction to learn about history and and geography and people and how God has moved in the lives of man.  Read books about all kinds of animals, the solar system, rocks, health, to learn about science.  (Caution: watch for and reject library books with evolutionary content).  As your children get older, biographies and living books are still wonderful, even as you begin to pull in more structured curriculum for these subjects. 
   Keep your eyes on the Lord, looking to Him, rather than the government schools for direction in your homeschooling.  Read, read, read magazines and books that have been written to encourage and guide the Christian homeschooler ( see Great Resources tab above).  Be confident in the Lord, that He has given you your children to teach, train and disciple, therefore He will equip you to complete this task.  It may not look like what you think it should look like.  But be content and do the next thing, step by step, working at your own pace along this journey, which is not a race.  : )

Monday, February 20, 2012

IndoctriNation Movie

This is an in depth look at the IndoctriNation Movie, which addresses and exposes the history of our public school system.  It is very informative and fascinating.  

 Here is the trailer:

 And this is one in a series of clips from the movie:

Click the link below to watch more in the series.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012


 Valentine's Day is a day to show those around us that we love them, and to show them in a special way. ( Of coures, our Lord demonstrated the PERFECT way and the PERFECT love, by His death on the cross!).    Our family enjoys homemade valentines, and occasionally flowers and treats make their way into the celebration.  
    While we appreciate any gesture of love from each other on this and any day, we are inspired and challenged by God's Word to show our love EVERY day, according to His description of what that looks like (and it really has nothing to do with flowers and chocolates!).    
 This song is a beautiful definition of LOVE... taken from scripture.  I first heard this song when my dear friend sang it at church about 35 years ago.  And I still sing it in my kitchen as I do dishes, prepare meals, etc.   I hope you are inspired too. 

                                    So, Happy Valentine's Day... God's Way.