Thursday, April 3, 2014

Happy Resurrection Day!

Below are a few videos of some of my favorite songs that celebrate the resurrection of our Savior.  They are performed by Keith Green and Don Francisco.

 I hope they minister to you too.  For some, they will bring back rich memories of a special time in Christian music.

    Keith Green was a powerful part of the Jesus Movement in the 1970's.  Along with two of his children, he was killed in a plane crash at 28 years old .  He was full of much conviction and had a passion for telling others about Jesus.  You can learn more about his ministry here .
   Don Francisco was also a strong voice in the Christian music community during the 70's & 80's.  He and his wife, Mary (from Wendy & Mary) still minister today.


                                  The Easter Song, by Keith Green

  Too Small a Price, by Don Francisco
From their website...
Don Francisco's music has always focused on the forgiveness of a loving God. Don is known worldwide for his ballads written from the point of view of Bible characters who were surprised by God's grace. His best known song, "He's Alive", is written from the point of view of Peter just after the crucifixion of Jesus. "Too Small A Price" is another powerful song written from the point of view of the thief on the cross who slowly comes to realize that he is being crucified next to the Messiah.
This song has two parts.  The first is the story of the thief as mentioned above.  The second part is what is happening with the saints, during the 3 days that Jesus' body is in the tomb. 
The Victor, by Keith Green
He's Alive! , By Don Francisco

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Common Core State Standards Initiative - Let's Be Informed

     So what do you know about "Common Core"?  If you're like me, you've recently been hearing the phrase more and more, but aren't sure what all the fuss is about.  As a home educator, I often must ignore the issues that  plague the public school system.  I'm busy enough keeping my own nose above water, and working on the task of homeschooling my own children.   So while I can't get too involved in every political issue floating around, this subject seems to warrant my attention, especially since people and organizations (like HSLDA) that I respect are starting to weigh in heavily on the topic.  The information that is coming to the forefront is alarming and concerning, and seems to affect all of us... public, private and home schools... and eventually our society in general.   It is definitely worth spending a little time finding out what this is about, because our children's futures are closely linked to this agenda. 
     My understanding of Common Core is that it is a standardized curriculum primarily for math and English, designed by the federal government, that individual states are adopting and implementing in their public schools.  The incentive for states to give up the independent governing of their own public schools is of course... money... incentives in the form of federal dollars.  Since the public schools do have many issues with the quality of education, this sounds like it should be a good thing, right?  But there are several problems with this that affect homeschoolers, either directly or indirectly, and families in general.  For example, as public schools change their curriculum to reflect what is on the Common Core exams, and colleges change their entrance and placement exams to reflect that same curriculum, private and home schooled students who are not taught the content of Common Core, will be at a disadvantage for admissions, scholarships and other options.  And the content of Common Core is
reason enough to be concerned.  Also, it appears that there is an agenda completely separate from educating, as it calls for the gathering of private information, studying students' behavior for invasive purposes, etc.  It's all rather shrouded and curious.  I'm no expert for sure, and am still trying to understand it all.  Perhaps the info. below will help add some clarity.
     Below is an article and a few short videos that will help explain the reasons for the concern. You may not be able to watch them all at once, but please take the time to work through this information until you have a good understanding and can tell a friend why they might want to be concerned too. These are all quite compelling, so take a moment, and join me on a journey of information gathering.  I think we owe it to our children not to sleep on our watch. 

Also, here is an article by Michelle Malkin, with more details. Quite informative.

This is a short film (39 min.) from HSLDA, explaining Common Core and some of the concerns:

David Barton on Common Core (39 min.): 

Arkansas Mom on Common Core (4 min.):