Tag Archive | Homeschool

Upcoming Events and Activities

~ CHEF – Christian Home Education Fellowship

The Annual State Convention

In 2010 our twenty-second annual convention is scheduled for May 14-15 at the Sumatanga Camp and Conference Center in Gallant, AL, located between Birmingham and Gadsden. We look forward to welcoming you to a new location, with nature surround sound. This year parking is free! We have moved away from the downtown inner city to one of  God’s beautiful nature creations. Bring the family. Enjoy the nature trail up the Chandler Mountain or the walking trail around Sumatanga Lake. This is a family friendly environment, that the whole family will enjoy.

Godly speakers will encourage and inspire you to fulfill your God given responsibility to train your children. You will have an opportunity to examine curriculum, hear keynote speakers, attend workshops, and make new homeschool friends.


Andrew Pudewa

Jeannie Fulbright

Betty Statnick

Becky Cooke

Ben Williams

Luke Milam

Convention information



~ Ligonier National Conference

Orlando World Center Marriott Resort & Convention Center
8701 World Center Drive
Orlando, FL   32821

June 17 – 19, 2010

  •  Alistair Begg
  •  Michael Horton
  •  Steven Lawson
  •  Albert Mohler
  •  Burk Parsons
  •  John Piper
  •  R.C. Sproul
  •  R.C. Sproul Jr.
  •  Derek Thomas

Homeschool Groups

You know it is hard to believe but it is time to start thinking about school for next year. Our homeschool group has opened enrollment for the upcoming year.

Here are a few Homeschool groups in Alabama.

Note: I really only know about the support group I’m in.  So check these out well before committing.

American Heritage Christian Academy
P.O.Box 30, Cropwell, AL 35054
Contact: Misty Smith
Phone: (205) 369-8483
Email: [email protected]
Coverage Area: St. Clair County and surrounding areas.
Requirements: $50 enrollment fee per family each year, HSLDA membership, application package to fill out, pastor recommendation, interview process, submission of grades and attendance each semester.

Crossroads Christian School
Office: (205)640-5698
Administrator: Debbie Landry (205) 338-2599
Website: http://www.crossroadschristian.us/

Evangel Christian School
P.O. Box 1670, Alabaster, AL 35007
Phone: (205) 706-2595
Fax: (205) 621-4831
Email: [email protected]
Homeschooling to transform the culture for Christ.

Heritage Academy
1401 Montgomery Highway, Vestavia Hills, AL 35216
Telephone: 205-655-4886
E-mail: [email protected] 
Gilbert F. Douglas, III
Website: http://www.theheritageconnection.com/ 

Hope Christian School More
111 Industrial Park Drive, Pelham, AL 35124
Phone: (205) 664-2232
Fax: (205) 663-0287
Email: [email protected]
We are located just 20 minutes South of Birmingham, Alabama. We offer a complete range of services from SAT testing to a full sports program. HCS has 15 area Support Groups, which are located within a 50 miles radius of the main office.

The Way Home Christian School
2462 Lawrence Cove Rd., Eva, AL 35621
Contact: Stuart Whitney
Phone: (256) 796-8533
Email: [email protected]
Providing administrative and support services to home educators since 1988

Other helpful resources:

Christian Home Education Fellowship (CHEF) of Alabama, Inc.
P.O. Box 20208, Mongomery, AL 36120-0208
Phone: (334) 288-7229
Fax: (205) 333-8672
Email: [email protected]

Home School Legal Defense Association

Home School Legal Defense Association is a nonprofit advocacy organization established to defend and advance the constitutional right of parents to direct the education of their children and to protect family freedoms.


You are welcome to leave your schools contact information in the comments.


Whooping Crane Migration

We have a small pond and we often have blue herons that fly over or land at our pond. One year we actually had one living at the pond for a few weeks.

This might be an interesting activity for your children to watch. Can you believe that they lead young whooping cranes by an ultralight to new nesting grounds for the winter?


WKRG.com News

Live Crane Cam

Deke’s Way – 2009 Migration Route


Background Checks Proposed for Homeschooling in UK

All it takes is a couple of bizarre cases of abuse and the combined claim to be homeschooling to start laws like the one being proposed in the UK.

Criminal background checks proposed for homeschoolers

Plan called most ‘overbearing law in the English-speaking world’

A proposal in the British Parliament calling for mandatory criminal background checks for parents who want to homeschool their children is the most “overbearing law in the English-speaking world,” charges a U.S. advocacy group.

“This bill is breathtaking in its scope and reflects a perverse level of suspicion towards parents who home-educate their children,” said Michael Donnelly, a staff attorney and director of international relations for the Home School Legal Defense Association.

The group is the world’s premiere advocate for homeschooling and has been active in cases in Europe as well as the U.S.

Donnelly said the bill “places total discretion in the hands of local education officials to determine whether or not they will ‘register’ a home education program and would require criminal background checks for parents before they could begin homeschool their own children.”…

Parents face criminal checks before teaching own children

Parents who educate their children at home should undergo criminal records checks, according to the Government’s education inspectors. …

… Ofsted’s proposal raises new concerns about state control of family life. Mr Wells said: “If Ofsted are calling for CRB checks for home-educating parents now, how long will it be before they are demanding that all parents are CRB-checked?”

Robert Whelan of the Civitas think-tank called the proposal “monstrous” in suggesting that “you can no longer be a parent without a piece of paper from the state.”…

It is strange though that if a parent doesn’t pass a background check they can’t homeschool but can still parent the child the rest of the time? I guess this is just the first step to maybe requiring background checks on people before allowing them to have children.

While I’m sure the desire is to protect children who will not pass the background checks? That would be left totally up to the government. Maybe if you have spoken out against sin or a political leader? A member of a “radical” church, meaning a Biblical church. See the problem.

The US tends to follow right behind the UK by a few years.


Homeschooled Young Adults

There are several young adult and older teens who were homeschooled that are beginning to make some progress in sharing their faith and their lifestyle with others. Two homeschooled young ladies Jasmine Baucham, daughter of Voddie Baucham, and Abigail of Pearls And Diamonds (shared with her sister-in-law Lauren) are examples of young ladies who are striving to serve their Lord, their families and encourage their peers in living godly lives.

One interesting feature of the movie The Mysterious Islands that I noticed was the music for the film. After the film we were able to hear Ben Botkin talk about composing and producing the music for the movie. When I heard his name and that he was homeschooled, I suspected he was related to the Botkin sisters, Anna Sophia and Elizabeth Botkin of Visionary Daughters. Sure enough he is a sibling of theirs. Quite a talented family they have.  We were able to get an audio track of the movie and I think we’ve listened to it several times. Seems he has helped compose the music for several of the Vision Forum Movies such as League of Grateful Sons, The Return of the Daughters, and Jamestown. It will be interesting to see what future projects he gets to work upon.

Teens and young adults can do hard things and serve the Lord. My how I wasted my youth years!

Wonder what the Lord has in store for each of these in the next twenty years?


The Timing of College?

Who doesn’t know an individual that after attending college right after high school and getting their degree decided to return to college for a totally different career field?

Many juniors and seniors have ideas of what they want to be as adults and will direct their education in that direction but often their ideas are based little on the facts of a career. Very few get the opportunity to really see what their planned work will really be like. You know, the pre-med or nursing student who faints at the sight of blood. The accountant that can’t stand looking at numbers all day.

Children mature at much different rates. While some teens are prepared to make lifelong decisions many are more interested in what outfit to wear. Public school pushes the idea that a certain age child should have reached certain goals. Not all 5 year olds are ready for Kindergarten, not all first and second graders are ready for reading. And contrary to popular opinion not all seniors in high school are ready for college and the independence associated with it.

Homeschooling generally prepares teens better for the more independent studies of college. I said generally because all parents homeschool differently. Some parents are more hands-on and directing about a teens education while others assign work and supervise but allow the student more independence similar to college.

But even if a child is prepared for the academics and the less directed studies in college, all high school graduates are not mature enough for the college environment. This is where a parent can be most helpful. Parents should know their children well enough to determine if their child is easily influenced by others, peers and/or teachers. Use to be worrying about negative peer influences was the biggest concern, yet today there is just as much concern about the negative influence of teachers. Homeschooled children are often accused of being gullible and easily swayed by others. I’m sure that there are some homeschooled students that are like that, just as there are some public schooled students like that. But generally most homeschooled students are independently minded enough not to believe everything they are told, especially if parents have taught them to analyze false claims and advertising gimmicks. Also many parents work at preparing their students to be discerning and to determine the truth of what they hear no matter who said it.

What is a parent to do if they realize their child is not prepared for college?

Should a student attend college and hope to settle on a major while attending?

Has your child any real idea what their declared major is like in real life? Here is where an internship would be invaluable if it is an unpaid job.

What if your student is not academically ready for college level classes? The child that has to be constantly reminded to get projects in on time or forgets about things until the day they are due will struggle in college.

What if your child is not mentally ready for the peer pressure and influence of questionable teachers?

These are several things to consider in relation to college for high school graduates.


I Work So My Children Can Go to a Christian School

This is a very common reason women choose to work.

 They are convicted that the Lord would not have His children educated by the government (Caesar) so they work to afford private Christian schooling for their children. From the outward appearance, this might not seem like such a big deal, especially if the mom is free when the children are out of school.

There are several considerations that must be given to this decision.

1) First all Christian schools are not the same. There are some that are no different from any other private school. Often a Christian School may even use the typical curriculum and just add in a Bible Class. The really good Christian schools tend to very expensive and/or small and hard to get into. Often they are both! One of the best Christian schools in Birmingham had such a long waiting list that once your baby was born you needed to call about being put on the list. See good schools limit the teacher / student ratio so as to insure a better quality education.

There are other Christian schools that really work like a group homeschool. The students use a homeschool like curriculum and teachers are just available to help if needed but not actually teaching. That is a lot of money to pay for something you can do better yourself.

2) One matter that using a Christian school does not solve is peer pressure and the influence of peers. See just because the school itself might be very high quality that does not mean that the home life of the children is any different. As we found, even children from church, regular church member’s children can share much more information than we would desire with our children. I remember a 5 year old several years ago that was about to explain ‘French kissing’ to some classmates at church. I nipped that in the bud real quick, and shortly thereafter eliminated much of our children’s group activities unless a parent could be right with them.

Christian school teens aren’t necessarily any different than the teens in an average  Christian youth group at church. If you don’t realize the issues with many Christian youth groups just volunteer to help teach and supervise the kids for a year. I think then you will be made aware of the problems with grouping large numbers of youth together. 

Christian Schools vs. Homeschooling 

“… I found that most (not all of course) of the students in the Christian schools I attended did not have a genuine relationship with Jesus Christ. Many had simply learned the art of looking churchy and saying the right things in front of the teachers.

The school I attended in sixth grade only went to eighth grade. Even at that age the students were involved in drug and alcohol use, pornography, satanic heavy metal music, lying, watching R-rated movies, and sexual activity.

Their parents, of course, would have defended them to the death, insisting that they were “good” kids. I don’t mean to imply that this behavior never happens in a homeschool family, but I do believe that homeschooling parents are more likely to know what their children are doing and could at the least keep their children from directly having these kinds of hoodlums as companions and role models….” Continue 

3) Another issue is that for some reason students educated in Christian schools often end up with a much lower Biblical worldview than students educated at home. Although Christian school students do end up with a more Biblical worldview than public school children, they fall quite a bit behind those who were homeschooled.

Data from the Nehemiah Institute .


Tirocinium by William Cowper

I stayed up way too late last night reading this poem. I was working on a post about homeschooling verses Christian schooling and in my research found this treasure of a poem. This poem was written to a gentleman to convince him to not send his boys to school in 1784! Other than the older English style, this sounds like it could have been written today about our schools.

(I know it is long but actually this is just a portion of the full poem, which can be found here.)


Would you your son should be a sot or dunce,
Lascivious, headstrong, or all these at once;
That in good time the stripling’s finish’d taste
For loose expense and fashionable waste
Should prove your ruin, and his own at last;
Train him in public with a mob of boys,
Childish in mischief only and in noise,
Else of a mannish growth, and five in ten
In infidelity and lewdness men.

Ye nurseries of our boys, we owe to you:
Though from ourselves the mischief more proceeds,
For public schools ’tis public folly feeds.
The slaves of custom and establish’d mode,
With packhorse constancy we keep the road,
Crooked or straight, through quags or thorny dells,
True to the jingling of our leader’s bells.
To follow foolish precedents, and wink
With both our eyes, is easier than to think;
And such an age as ours balks no expense,
Except of caution and of common sense;
Else sure notorious fact, and proof so plain,
Would turn our steps into a wiser train.

There shall he learn, ere sixteen winters old,
That authors are most useful, pawned or sold,
That pedantry is all that schools impart,
But taverns teach the knowledge of the heart.

No nourishment to feed his growing mind,
But conjugated verbs and nouns declined?
For such is all the mental food purvey’d
By public hackneys in the schooling trade;
Who feed a pupil’s intellect with store
Of syntax truly, but with little more;
Dismiss their cares when they dismiss their flock,
Machines themselves, and govern’d by a clock.
Perhaps a father, blest with any brains,
Would deem it no abuse, or waste of pains,
To improve this diet, at no great expense,

To show him in an insect or a flower
Such microscopic proof of skill and power
As, hid from ages past, God now displays
To combat atheists with in modern days;
To spread the earth before him, and commend,
With designation of the finger’s end,
Its various parts to his attentive note,
Thus bringing home to him the most remote;
To teach his heart to glow with generous flame,
Caught from the deeds of men of ancient fame;
And, more than all, with commendation due,
To set some living worthy in his view,
Whose fair example may at once inspire
A wish to copy what he must admire.

The ostrich, silliest of the feather’d kind,
And form’d of God without a parent’s mind,
Commits her eggs, incautious, to the dust,
Forgetful that the foot may crush the trust;
And, while on public nurseries they rely,
Not knowing, and too oft not caring, why,
Irrational in what they thus prefer,
No few, that would seem wise, resemble her.
But all are not alike. Thy warning voice
May here and there prevent erroneous choice;
And some perhaps, who, busy as they are,
Yet make their progeny their dearest care

Now look on him, whose very voice in tone
Just echoes thine, whose features are thine own,
And stroke his polish’d cheek of purest red,
And lay thine hand upon his flaxen head,
And say, My boy, the unwelcome hour is come,
When thou, transplanted from thy genial home,
Must find a colder soil and bleaker air,
And trust for safety to a stranger’s care;
What character, what turn thou wilt assume
From constant converse with I know not whom;
Who there will court thy friendship, with what views,
And, artless as thou art, whom thou wilt choose;
Though much depends on what thy choice shall be,
Is all chance-medley, and unknown to me.
Canst thou, the tear just trembling on thy lids,
And while the dreadful risk foreseen forbids;
Free too, and under no constraining force,
Unless the sway of custom warp thy course;
Lay such a stake upon the losing side,
Merely to gratify so blind a guide?
Thou canst not Nature, pulling at thine heart,
Condemns the unfatherly, the imprudent part.

Though wouldst not, deaf to Nature’s tenderest plea,
Turn him adrift upon a rolling sea,
Nor say, Go thither, conscious that there lay
A brood of asps, or quicksands in his way;
Then, only govern’d by the self-same rule
Of natural pity, send him not to school.
No—guard him better. Is he not thine own,
Thyself in miniature, thy flesh, thy bone?
And hopest thou not (’tis every father’s hope)
That, since thy strength must with thy years elope,
And thou wilt need some comfort to assuage
Health’s last farewell, a staff of thine old age,
That then, in recompence of all thy cares,
Thy child shall show respect to thy grey hairs,

Survey our schools and colleges, and see
A sight not much unlike my simile.
From education, as the leading cause,
The public character its colour draws;
Thence the prevailing manners take their cast,
Extravagant or sober, loose or chaste.

~ William Cowper ~


Need Any More Reasons?

A wide variety of encouraging reasons for homeschooling your children.

New Nationwide Study Confirms Homeschool Academic Achievement

… In short, the results found in the new study are consistent with 25 years of research, which show that as a group homeschoolers consistently perform above average academically. The Progress Report also shows that, even as the numbers and diversity of homeschoolers have grown tremendously over the past 10 years, homeschoolers have actually increased the already sizeable gap in academic achievement between themselves and their public school counterparts-moving from about 30 percentile points higher in the Rudner study (1998) to 37 percentile points higher in the Progress Report (2009). …

In a letter to his daughter Abigail, John Adams wrote:

In your solitary hours, my dear daughter, you will have a delightful opportunity of attending to the education of your children, to give them a taste and attachment to study, and to books. A taste for science and literature, added to a turn for business, never can fail of success in life. Without learning, nothing very great can ever be accomplished in the way of business. But not only a thirst for knowledge should be excited, and a taste for letters be cultivated, but prudence, patience, justice, temperance, resolutions, modesty, and self-cultivation, should be recommended to them as early as possible. The command of their passions, the restraints of their appetites, reverence for superiors, especially parents, a veneration for religion, morals, and good conduct.

You will find it more for your happiness to spend your time with them in this manner, than to be engaged in fashionable amusements, and social entertainments, even with the best company.

From Large Family Mothering Sherry writes a challenging post about homeschooling Have you lost it?

… In our country we do not face physical retribution for having unpopular ideas. We have been conditioned to believe that the goal of our entire lives is to make sure that people “like” us, or understand us, or that everyone should feel “comfortable” with their life choices. All it takes for us as the wimpy, spineless church we are is for someone to get their feathers ruffled, then we immediately back off and recant! …

Home Education: The Strength of Our Weakest Argument

As an exponent of Home Education, I often find myself engaged in the same arguments over and over again. It seems there are not many “arguments” for Christians sending their children to government schools (once you answer the ‘Salt and Light’ argument, the ‘what happens if all the Christians leave?’ argument, and the ‘educational antinomianism’ argument, there’s not much to say). However, one argument that one hears on the rarest of occasions is the ‘superiority of government education’ argument. It seems some people have not gotten the memo and still believe the myth of home-educated imbeciles walking around who can neither read nor write well (and is “extremely awkward” when relating to others), and have little more than a few memory verses (KJV of course) to show for their years of sheltered isolation under the tutelage of their legalistic, under-educated, hyper-patriarchal parents. (by the way, this is only a slight exaggeration of the actual charge) …


Do you still need any other reasons?


Sweet Homeschooling

This week we found blueberries at a very good price so the kids begged for us to make blueberry jam. They have learned to like blueberry jam due to a friend that has given us some, made from her parent’s blueberries. I was hesitant at first and actually said not right now but then I walked across the produce area and there were the same blueberries for even .50 cents less! How could I refuse? I saved .50 cents a pint almost instantly!

So we made two batches of blueberry jam that really is very good. The blueberries didn’t seem to make as much as the strawberries did earlier this summer. So we ended up with only six and a half pints. Plus tasting and licking spoons and the pot.

Since we were already in jam mode, we also made a new recipe I had seen just that week. Zucchini Jam! Sheri at The Nourishing Home had posted the recipe. I know it sounds strange and the kids thought that would be so gross. But since I had unclaimed Zucchini in the refrigerator I decided to give it a try.

Zucchini Jam

4 cups Shredded zucchini
1/2 cup crushed pineapple
1/4 cup lemon juice
3 cups sugar
1 (3 oz.) box orange Jell-O (I actually used a sugar-free box)

In a large pot, cook zucchini for 10 minutes on medium-low, stirring constantly. Add in the pineapple, lemon juice, and sugar. Cook for 20 minutes. Add Jell-O and boil for 2-3 minutes to make sure the gelatin is dissolved. Ladle into freezer containers, leaving 1 1/2 inch headspace. Put into freezer when cool.

You can also water bath can these. Ladle into clean jars, put lids and rims on, then process in water bath canner for 10 minutes.

This was so good. I actually liked it better than the blueberry jam. It tastes like orange marmalade to me. Plus it is so cheap to make. Zucchini is something around here that if you just know a gardener you get offered lots of it.

What could be sweeter than making jam for school (recipe reading, math, science, home economics, working together, etc) and then licking the pot?