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SCHOOL + RV = ROADSCHOOLING H SNEAK PEEK AT 2018-19 NEW CURRICULA H BUILDING SKILLS AS AN APPRENTICE

HOME

EDUCATOR

QUARTERLY

Dave and Karen Eubank’s

EXTREME HOMESCHOOLING Peter Gets an Unforgettable Lesson in Physics.

A Publication of HOME EDU CATOR QUA RTERLY / SPR IN G 2 0 1 8

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SPRING 2018 H VOLUME 22 H ISSUE 2


Education with purpose and joy.

© 2018 BJU Press. All rights reserved.


PAGE 38

FE AT U RES 8 CURRICULA: SNEAK PEEK AT 2018-19 NEW CURRICULA by Jasmine Lucero 22 THE MAIN THING: HOMESCHOOLING IN A WAR ZONE by Karen Eubank 30 PRIDE OF TEXAS: FROM OBSTINATE TODDLER TO ADAMANT TEEN: A HOMESCHOOL SUCCESS STORY by Melissa Humes 34 AGES AND STAGES: THE CASE FOR CAREER AND TECHNICAL EDUCATION by Katie Roehrich 38 RULES AND REGS: FASTEN YOUR SEAT BELTS, GET READY TO ROADSCHOOL! by Christy Thomsen

D E PAR TMENT S 5 PRESIDENT’S REVIEW by Tim Lambert 20 COLORING OUTSIDE THE LINES: One Simple Change that Transformed our Homeschool  TANDING GUARD: THSC Interventions: How THSC is Helping Members 28 S Defend Their Rights 47 UPCOMING EVENTS 47 ADVERTISER INDEX 47 THSC MEMBERSHIP BENEFITS 48 PROFESSOR VARNEY, MASTERMIND OF MACHINERY: Engineering Tabletop Trebuchets 50 AT THE END OF THE DAY: Ancient Secret for Success: Psalm 1 (Day at a Time)

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BOA RD OF DIRECT ORS Ray Ballmann Doug Bartsch Kent Dowden James Frank Donna Harp Mary James

Tim Lambert Nathan Macias Gavino Perez Sarah Singleton Ray VanNorman Kyle Workman

PU BL IS H IN G T EA M President/Publisher | Tim Lambert Publications Manager | Donna Schillinger Managing Editor | Shannon Kingsbury

Your copy of Home Educator Quarterly © 2018 is sent free as a courtesy of its advertisers and Texas Home School Coalition Association. THSC is a non-profit organization dedicated to serving and informing the homeschool community, promoting home education in Texas, and protecting Texas homeschool families through intervention and legal assistance for its members. Contact THSC for permission to reproduce articles or portions of articles. Editorial correspondence and address changes may be directed to review@thsc.org. The deadline for article submission for the Summer 2018 issue is April 15. Interested authors should see THSC.org/writers. The articles in this magazine reflect the freedom of home educators in Texas to choose from a wide variety of homeschool philosophies and teaching methods. Opinions and attitudes expressed in articles do not necessarily reflect the beliefs of the Texas Home School Coalition Association. THSC does not endorse or advocate any one method or philosophy. The board encourages all home educators to seek God’s will in determining what is best for them, their schools and their students. Publication of advertisements does not signify endorsement of items or services offered.

Contributors | Christina Belbas, Nathan Bryant, Molly Luxeder, Anna McFarland, Maxine Mitchell, Laura Yates Advertising | sales@thsc.org Graphic Design | Lisa Rahon lisarahon.myportfolio.com Cover photo by Jump-Tandem, Prostějov, Cz Texas Home School Coalition PO Box 6747, Lubbock, TX 79493 staff@thsc.org (p) 806.744.4441 (f) 806.744.4446 THSC.org HOME EDU CATOR QUA RTERLY / SPR IN G 2 0 1 8

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college shouldn’t be a debt sentence

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PRESIDENT’S REVIEW

A

­By Tim Lambert

s the family goes, so goes the church. We have seen over and over that the enemy attacks the church through the family. We rarely see this so literally as we did with the attack on our dear brothers and sisters last fall when a shooter opened fire on an entire congregation in Sutherland Springs, Texas. Among the fallen, a precious homeschooling family. We continue to mourn their loss. More often, churches are torn apart one family at a time. Beyond the loss to the kingdom of heaven, this breakdown filters into all our sectors of society, including all branches of government. This connection drives us to action at THSC. Everything that we do is rooted in our mission to empower and equip families. From the informative and encouraging articles in this issue of “Home Educator Quar-

H H H H

terly,” to the speakers and workshops we’ll soon offer at the Called to Teach THSC Conventions in Arlington and The Woodlands, to the legislation and candidates that we vet and endorse, we are always focused on strengthening Texas families. We believe that a loving family is the best place for children and that those same loving parents can provide their children with the best education—bar none. This means families should have complete control over the education and upbringing of their children. We see our job as a protector of these rights, and where possible, we work to expand these rights. Without these family freedoms, the good Christian parents in our state would not be able to raise the next generation of Christian leaders who will continue to lead the church and, in turn, the nation. Protecting the liberty of families is the driving force behind our every move. Thank you so much for being a part of a cause that is so vitally important to the fate of our society. Far from an exaggeration, we see every dollar that we steward and every person that we coach as an investment in the kingdom of God and in the future of the church and our beloved state and country. Parents, I encourage you to stand strong as you raise the next generation of leaders. You are Called to Teach!

President, THSC

Inside This Issue . . . Some things for my son were genuinely difficult due to his small size and delays, but often the problem was his unwillingness to try or to believe he could accomplish a task. Bridget Kessler p. 20 We decided early on that this would be a family mission, and thus the jungles of Myanmar became our kids’ first and primary classroom. Karen Eubank p. 22 The same stubbornness which I viewed as such a liability in her early years—the source of many tears—became the tenacity that catapulted her to Blinn College at age 16 and to Belhaven University Honors Program as an 18-year-old college sophomore. Melissa Humes p.30 We don’t make our kids write reports. We don’t make our kids compose a musical about it or do any of that busy work. They just experience it. They learn really the way God has bent them. Todd Wilson p.38

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ARLINGTON — MAY 10-12, 2018 THE WOODLANDS — MAY 31-JUNE 2, 2018

Join Texas families for fun & entertainment.

PLUS! Workshops • Huge Exhibit Hall • New to Homeschooling Workshop • Texas Leaders Conference Kids Convention • Teen Staff • Preteen Programs • Special Buddies (The Woodlands location only)

Keynote Speakers

KEN HAM PAM TEBOW EMERSON EGGERICHS RAY COMFORT JOHN ERICKSON Creation Museum Homeschool Mom Author, “Love & Respect” Living Waters Author of “Hank the Cowdog” Series

REGISTER TODAY AT THSC.ORG/CONVENTIONS

Includes Exhibit Hall, Workshop access, and Hank the Cowdog for the immediate family all weekend PLUS 30 percent off all programs and events.


CREATION TRUTH FOUNDATION, INC. OF NOBLE, OK IS PLEASED TO ANNOUNCE THAT THEY WILL BE BRINGING THEIR . . .

. . . TO THE ARLINGTON

The Museum has some of the most outstanding fossil specimens available to science, including Tyrannosaurs Rex, Triceratops, Pteranodon, and Albertosaur, just to name a few.

“Such a rare collection makes this exhibition a unique and fascinating experience.” “Don’t miss this opportunity to see this wonderful display of those ‘Terrible Lizards.’”

Arlington Convention Only. Dino Tours start Thursday at 2pm. Dinosaur and Fossil Exhibit will be up for viewing during the whole Convention. For info visit thsc.org/dinotours.

creationtruth.com

Creation Truth Foundation will also have books, videos and the Truth In Science homeschool curriculum for grades 3, 4, 5 and 6 available for purchase at their booth.


CURRICULA

Sneak Peek AT 2018-19 NEW CURRICULA

By Jasmine Lucero

Spring is in the air, and while you may be gazing toward the finish line of another homeschool year, it is time to start thinking about

WRITING AND LANGUAGE ARTS

next year’s curriculum! But don’t let

Max Elliot Anderson Adventure and Mystery Books

that overwhelm you—THSC has the

MiddleGradeAdventureandMystery.blogspot.com

scoop on this year’s new curricula and products! Many of these vendors will be in the exhibit halls of one or both of Called to Teach THSC Conventions in Arlington on May 10-12 and The Woodlands, May 31-June 2. Look for the

symbol to start your exhibit

hall hit list. Please note availability dates for products not yet released.

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T E X AS H O M E SC H O OL COALI TI ON / THSC . ORG

Six new stand-alone books for readers ages 8-12: “Whispers in the Graveyard,” “Shadow,” “Last Chance,” “Snake Island,” “Troubles at Timber Ski Lodge,” and “Scanners,” all available on Amazon.


Real Reading Company



RealReading.com/Products  Three new titles are coming in the “Reading and Spelling, Pure and Simple” series.

“First Grade - Word Study Workbook I” (Lessons 10-18) Preschool and early elementary students learn to read, spell and understand short-vowel words. Both workbooks follow a standard format consisting of six exercises per lesson. The first exercise, “Read, Discuss, Spell,” presents a list of words to learn. Students discover that reading simply involves recognizing the letters of a word and knowing the sounds they make, then pronouncing these sounds from left to right. The “Discuss” component calls for the teacher to chat with students about word meanings (no formal definitions needed) and make students aware that many English words have several meanings. This activity of discussing words ensures that students will develop the habit of thinking about meaning while they read. A spelling test is given at the end of every lesson’s first exercise. These products are recommended for special education students as well as ESL students.

“Second Grade - Word Study Workbook I” (Lessons 1-18) This workbook provides lots of practice with short-vowel words, including words with double consonants. Advances in reading and spelling occur because students have learned to use phonetic tools to read (decode) and spell (encode) short-vowel words, which make up some 50 percent of syllables in the English language.

“Upper Elementary - Word Study Workbook I” (Lessons 1-18) Now the focus shifts to teaching and practicing for mastery all of the other patterns for advancing as a reader. This workbook is a confidence-building review of short-vowel words. This set of lessons helps students prove to themselves just how far they have come as authentic readers. The words per lesson are more numerous, yet students can read and spell these words easily, quickly and accurately. As always, word meanings are discussed in every lesson.

Series Available May 2018 Discount: 6+ copies is 30% off total price

HISTORY

Historical Conquest, LLC HistoricalConquest.com/figurines-6-box-set Available July 2018. Discount: $5 off pre-orders placed before July 1, 2018 (No discount code needed) Historical Conquest introduces the newest edition to its popular game for all-age learners: Historical Figurines. These figurines are available in sets of six, enough for up to six players, which go well with their Ultimate Package of Historical Conquest cards. HOME EDU CATOR QUA RTERLY / SPR IN G 2 0 1 8

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SCIENCE

B.A.C.K. for Learning

BackforLearning.com Discount: Free shipping on all orders!

Cell Kit Interactive plant, animal and bacteria cell puzzles are appropriate for middle school and up. Genetic Jewelry Kids make their very own unique bracelets while learning about genetics. Fun for all ages.

BJU Press/HomeWorks by Precept BJUPressHomeschool.com Available July 2018 Discount: Save 10 percent by ordering through your local HomeWorks by Precept consultant. Visit HomeworksbyPrecept.com to find a consultant near you. Science Grade 2 Video Course Science 2 focuses on scientific occupations, living things, environments, fossils, parts of the earth and how they interact, natural resources, light and shadows. Students develop basic science skills and learn to apply science to the real world as they participate in hands-on activities and projects.

MATH

Singapore Math Live

Historical Conquest, LLC

(The Woodlands Only) SingaporeMathLive.com

TheTotallyMedievalGame.com Available August 2018

Video support for Singapore Math curriculum, Primary Math 1-6 Instruction and solutions videos (accessed online) that allow you to give your child an excellent foundation in math and problem solving/critical thinking skills.

High School Math Live HighSchoolMathLive.com Available April 2018 AP Calculus BC Live and interactive online instruction for students who have completed Calculus I, this second-year calculus course will prepare a student for the AP Calculus BC exam. This AP Calculus BC course is officially recognized by the College Board as “meeting or exceeding the expectations colleges and universities have for Calculus 2.�

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T E X AS H O M E SC H OOL COALI TI ON / THSC . ORG

Totally Medieval: Math Game Discount: Become an ambassador and host local tournaments monthly to get steep product discounts. Totally Medieval takes historical figures, as well as fantasy characters (optional) and makes math an enjoyable subject once again. All ages of learner, practice your math skills as you fight knights, samurai, dragons and other historical or mythical figures. The adventure is always changing and you are in control of the journey.


We make it easy so you can make it amazing

WE SUPPLY THE LESSON.

You supply the love.

The only thing greater than seeing your child learn is knowing you were the most important part of his education. For over 40 years, Abeka has been there for parents like you, with a proven approach to teaching and tools to help you succeed. Learn more at abeka.com/TexasHome.

HOME EDU CATOR QUA RTERLY / SPRI N G 2 0 1 8

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MATH, cont.

BJU Press/HomeWorks by Precept BJUPressHomeschool.com Available July 2018 Discount: Save 10 percent by ordering through your local HomeWorks by Precept consultant. Visit Homeworksby Precept.com to find a consultant near you.

Geometry Video Course This high school geometry course encourages the use of technology, including detailed instructions for use of dynamic geometry software and the integration of STEM (science, technology, engineering and math). An expansion of real-world modeling within a biblical worldview encourages practical application of geometry and biblical principles.

GEOGRAPHY

Visualize World Geography

VisualizeWorldGeography.com Available May 2018 Convention Special: 40 percent off plus accompanying workbooks and poster sets that are only available at conventions.

Online Video Series on World Geography A new online curriculum makes it simple to learn world geography. Four complete video sets for all age learners. Homeschool Co-ops call 866-VWG-7772 for a license quote that allows group access.

FOREIGN LANGUAGE

Flip Flop Spanish FlipFlopSpanish.com Available August 2018 Discount: Use coupon code “THSC” for 15 percent off

CURRICULUM COMPANIES! 12

El Puente - Family Spanish Bridge After you complete “See it and Say it Flip Flop Spanish” or any other beginning Spanish curriculum, enjoy growing in your foreign language curriculum together as a family. Each week learn words you can practice with custom activities for ages three to adult. Incorporates movies, mad libs, conversational skits, games and charades to increase knowledge of Spanish vocabulary and grammar. No need for the teacher to be the leader—any family member can lead the lessons.

Don’t miss out on showcasing your new products in this annual feature in the spring issue of Home Educator Quarterly.

T E X AS H O M E SC H OOL COALI TI ON / THSC . ORG

Send news releases about products in development for 2019-20 to Review@thsc.org by Jan. 1, 2019. Subject line: For New Curriculum Feature.


Song, music, and rhyme will help you

REMEMBER

SKIP COUNTING

& MATH FACTS in no time!

Text MATHFACTS THSC to 797979 or visit mathusee.com/math-practice to download your 15 skip count and addition facts songs, coloring pages, and activities.

888-854-6284 (MATH) | sales@mathusee.com HOME EDU CATOR QUA RTERLY / SPRI N G 2 0 1 8

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UNIT STUDY

Homeschool Complete HomeschoolComplete.com Discount: Use coupon code “THSC” for 15 percent off Third Grade Complete All-Inclusive Homeschool Curriculum

Complete Unit Studies Available April 2018

The program will challenge your child to continue to build higher-level thinking and problem-solving skills that create a love of learning. The teacher’s manual includes step-by-step instructions, activities for different learning styles, all practice worksheets for each lesson, reading comprehension pages, enrichment activities to challenge learners and an appendix with resources.

Individual unit studies for kindergarten through sixth grade are a great way to enhance curriculum. The detailed lesson plans include skills and activities that cover all subject areas and address students of various learning styles. With hands-on activities, experiments, art projects, games, songs and more, these are true unit studies, not just worksheet-based curriculum with some activity ideas thrown in. Units are available in printed and downloadable format.

BIBLE

Scripture Memory Fellowship ScriptureMemory.com/SwordGrip SwordGrip Flipbook Help students of all ages get a grip on the New Testament by memorizing with SwordGrip. Featuring a key passage from each New Testament book, this flexible resource offers levels (one, two, or three verses weekly), cut-out verse cards, Grip-It-Tighter questions, progress stickers and more. Available in KJV, NKJV and ESV, and integrates with your Amazon Alexa.

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SwordGrip Teacher’s Guide Companion to the SwordGrip Flipbook, the teacher’s guide includes commentary on the 82 memory verses, explanation of key words, a suggested group program, application questions and more. T E X AS H O M E SC H OOL COALI TI ON / THSC . ORG


Better Grades & Higher Test Scores! • Grades PreK-12+ Read the case below to find evidence to identify the innocent and guilty suspects. Remember, the story and suspects’ statements are true.

The Big City Bicycle Thief Today at 12 p.m., the New York City Police arrested one of the suspects below for stealing a bicycle in front of a phone store between 9:30 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. 2Police were helped by three witnesses who gave them statements about what they saw. 3Each suspect also gave the police a statement which is listed below. 4After weighing all the evidence, the police arrested one of the suspects. 5The suspect later confessed, and the bicycle was found in his apartment. 1

Witness 1: 6He was younger than me. 7He had a dark mustache. 8His shirt was open at the neck and had a white stripe. Witness 2: 9When he looked to see if the bike was locked, I saw that he had a large, red scar across his cheek.

Also Available in Spanish!

Witness 3:

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The thief had dark facial hair.

Bob Veach I was in the city in the morning, but I walked home. 13 I was surprised when the police car pulled me over for questioning. 14I’ve never ridden a bicycle. 12

Steve Berta I left the phone store shortly after 9:30 a.m. and went straight home and then straight to work until 5 p.m. 16 At one point on my way back home, I looked back and saw the bicycle in front of the store. 15

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I’m pretty sure his shirt was blue or green.

Sam Edwards I love to ride, but I rode to the area of the store and back on a bicycle.

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Kent Kitchel I rode out of the city just after 10 a.m. this morning. 19 The police stopped me, and I gave them my statement. 18

Want to know the answer? Visit: CriticalThinking.com/home-educator

Sign up for free critical thinking puzzles!

Pick your grade level–delivered weekly to your inbox.

Free Shipping AND 20% Off

On Orders Over $35 Coupon: HEQM2018

Offers expire 5/31/18 at 11:59 pm PT. Valid online only. Offers do not apply to bundles or sets, sale items, iOS, Android, or Windows Tablet apps. Offers may not be combined and are not retroactive. Minimum $35 order required to receive free shipping. Free shipping HOME offer applies to standard EDU CATOR QUAground RTERLYshipping / SPRI N(not G 2Rush 0 1 8 Delivery) on merchandise shipping to one location within the 48 contiguous United States.

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All-new Chemistry from Dr. Jay L. Wile

3001 W Woodbridge Dr Muncie, IN 47304-1074 http://bit.ly/berean13 (877) 794-3005

build critical thinkers 16 T E X AS H O M E SC H OOL COALI TI ON / THSC . ORG

Award-winning Elementary Science


SPECIALTY CURRICULA

Classic Learning Initiatives CLTExam.com Classic Learning Test The Classic Learning Test is a college entrance exam based on the liberal arts and is perfect for the homeschooling community. More and more colleges and high schools are coming to embrace the CLT as the best benchmark for academic evaluation. Classic Learning Test 8 and 10 CLTPrep.com/CLT8-and-CLT10 Available April 2018 The Classic Learning Tests 8 and 10 are assessment tests 7th and 8th graders (CLT 8) and 9th and 10th graders (CLT 10). Based in the liberal arts, these tests provide a rigorous benchmark that can help students and their families to gauge their academics.

College Prep Genius Store.CollegePrepGenius.com Available May 2018 The Classic Learning Test (CLT) is the new alternative to the SAT and ACT, which reflects Western traditions-based curricula that many families use. More and more colleges are accepting this game-changing test for entrance and scholarship money. CLT Study Guide Solutions Manual Understand how to derive the correct answer quickly from the CLT Student Guide with this solutions manual. Each question is decoded with detailed profiles and revealed patterns. CLT Prep eCourse Module The CLT Module is a great addition to the “College Prep Genius Master the SAT� e-course. Students learn the standardized hidden patterns in all three sections of the test.

Rolling Hills Publishing / Auto Upkeep Homeschool.AutoUpkeep.com Discount: Retails for $100; direct from publisher: $69.

Auto Upkeep Homeschool Curriculum Kit The Auto Upkeep Homeschool Curriculum Kit has the resources you need to homeschool your high school student on basic car care, maintenance, repair, auto ownership and how cars work. The kit includes the Auto Upkeep textbook, workbook and homeschool resource USB flash drive. The homeschool resource USB contains supplemental materials relating to the textbook and workbook. It includes a course syllabus outline, PowerPoint presentations, lab activities, study questions, chapter tests, exams and answer keys.

HOME EDU CATOR QUA RTERLY / SPRI N G 2 0 1 8

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Discover Texas DiscoverTexasOnline.com

textbooks and lectures? By contrast, children who learn through active participation retain 70-90 percent! In this course, you’ll learn specific ways to create active learning adventures that will help your children become eager, lifelong learners.

Homeschool How-To 102 / How to Make Learning Meaningful, Memorable, and Fun! Discount: bit.ly/MakeLearningChilds Play_33OFF “I don’t remember the answer. Why do I have to know this, anyway?” Maybe you’ve heard this complaint at your house. Studies show that we remember only 10-20 percent of what we read in books or hear in lectures. So why do we continue to teach using primarily

Some homeschool parents wonder if they’re giving their children enough. Have they left gaps, and taught all they’ll need to succeed? The idea that you could teach everything is a myth, but you can teach your children to learn how to learn. In a few easy sessions, you will learn how students progress through six levels of learning. When you complete the course, you’ll have the tools you need to create stimulating learning experiences.

Homeschool How-To 103 / How to Encourage Creative Thinking Discount: bit.ly/ItDoesntTakeA Genius_33OFF Homeschool How-To 101 / How to Teach the Way Your Child Learns Discount: bit.ly/StepAwayFromThe Textbooks_33OFF You’ve decided to homeschool? Congratulations! Once the decision is made, many parents’ next question is: “So where do I get curriculum?” or “Which program is the best?” Those aren’t bad questions, but you could save a lot of money and frustration by first asking, “How does my child learn best?” Answering that question is the subject of this quick introductory course! ■ Jasmine Lucero is a veteran homeschool mother of seven, soon-to-be eight. Her eclectic life involves chasing chickens, wrangling bees and gardening on the homestead.

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Discover Creation A D V E N T U R E S

Guided tours that reveal the fallacies of evolution and validate God’s word.

Rock & River July 2-7 • Raft, rock climb, and hike mountains in CO. Yellowstone Aug. 31-Sep.4 • Experience the wonders of Yellowstone from a creation perspective. Canyon Country Call AOI Experience the unique geology and archaeology of southern Utah and CO.

Transform Math From Chore to Joy!

ALPHA OMEGA INSTITUTE

Visit: DiscoverCreation.org

or call 800-377-1923

• • • • • • •

Engaging Videos Interactive Questions Unlimited Practice Immediate Feedback Complete Solutions Auto Grading Chat W/Teacher

“Math used to cause tears in our house. Not any more! We love UnLock Math, it speaks the same language as my daughter.” Renee Scott Alaska

unlockmath.com HOME EDU CATOR QUA RTERLY / SPRI N G 2 0 1 8

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COLORING OUTSIDE THE LINES

COLORING OUTSIDE THE LINES

One Simple Change That Transformed Our Homeschool By Bridget Kessler

N

o matter what abilities our children do or don’t possess, parents stubbornly believe that their children are full of potential. It is that belief, not a degree or particular skill, that makes a great educator. With firm guidance and a “can do” attitude, students thrive. What students need most is someone to believe in their potential so strongly that they begin to believe it themselves. I found this to be true of our youngest son whom we adopted when he was 21 months old. During his first year with us, we realized he had some developmental delays. He rarely put more than two words together, and his favorite phrase was “I can’t.” As I observed him at therapy, I noticed an unsettling trend. Therapists who did not give in to his protests saw some progress. Those that always gave in … saw none. Observing these professionals, I eventually learned the art of knowing when I should accommodate and when I should push a little harder. Some things for my son were genuinely difficult due to his small size and delays, but often the problem was his unwillingness to try or to believe he could accomplish a task. With the underlying assumption

that thoughts determine our emotions and emotions drive our actions, we decided to ban the phrase “I can’t” permanently. It became a curse word in our home. In its place we offered more optimistic phrases like, “I need help,” or “I need practice.” The change seemed small; however, something clicked. Although it didn’t erase challenges, it made a crucial change in the way our son responded to them. Eventually he was making progress by leaps and bounds. But the changes didn’t occur in him alone. If I didn’t want him to say “I can’t,” I had to stop saying it too. I found myself asking, “Why not give it a shot?” Over the years, that paid off. My 14-year-old began racking up college credits. My 11-year-old’s creativity with Legos led to opportunities for him to study web design and robotics. When we learned a disability was to blame for another son’s disdain of reading, I began a dogged pursuit of the one book that might ignite a passion for reading. I secretly cried the first time that son begged to stay up late to finish “just one more chapter.” It was a joy to see the conversion in my family. Recently, someone said of my youngest son, “He’s the most confident

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Torchbearers

HIS HILL Bible School Camp Retreats

T E X AS H O M E SC H OOL COALI TI ON / THSC . ORG

kid. You’ve done well.” I assured her it was he who had learned to be an overcomer, and in the process, he may have taught us all. When we strike “can’t” from our vocabulary, we achieve success. That is true of students and of parents, who are charged with the monumental task of giving our kids the best education possible. We may need practice. We may need help. But we can! We absolutely can. ■ Bridget Kessler is a freelance writer, wife and mother of six. She holds a master of arts in human services counseling: marriage and family. You can read more of her writing at TheKesslerDiaries.com.


THE MAIN THING

The Eubank family in west Mosul during the fight to liberate it from ISIS.

HOMESCHOOLING IN A

WAR ZONE

A

22

By Karen Eubank

lthough I have a degree

can get messy at times? I liter-

in special education from

ally homeschool in a war zone.

Seattle Pacific University

Yet, just as Jesus multiplied a few

and thought myself adequate-

loaves and fish for the multitudes,

ly prepared for homeschooling,

so I have seen a miracle of abun-

teaching has been a very different

dance in the offering of the home-

experience from what I prepared

school we’ve given our kids along-

for—starting with exchanging the

side our ministry—which is rarely

typical classroom for a bunker.

at home, and sometimes I doubt

You think your homeschool area

qualifies as school!

T E X AS H O M E SC H OOL COALI TI ON / THSC . ORG


I met my husband Dave as he was leaving the Army after 10 years as an officer to become a missionary. We were married during his second year at Fuller Theological Seminary. We immediately began taking mission trips to Thailand, where Dave had grown up as a missionary kid, and to the border of Myanmar (formerly Burma). After Dave graduated, we moved to Thailand—just as a military offensive in Myanmar was sending thousands of people fleeing from their homes. Dave’s childhood in Thailand, experiences in the military, and desire to bring Jesus’ love to those under attack by an oppressive military led him to begin a mission of providing relief to the people of Myanmar, just across the border, who were stuck in the fighting at the front lines. Local medics and others joined him on these relief missions, and soon local leaders asked him to train people to be full-time relief teams to help those under attack on the front lines. So began the Free Burma Rangers, whose training included jungle survival skills, such as

land navigation and swimming, basic medic skills, and reporting. This last skill is important to get the news out about the military oppression and the people’s courageous response. For our family, the trainings and relief missions meant living with the rangers in Myanmar at the training camp and backpacking through the mountains to sites within Burma where displaced persons were sheltered.

Sahale, in Karen State, Burma, feeds an elephant at dawn.

Global Classroom on the Go We decided early on that this would be a family mission, and thus the jungles of Myanmar became our kids’ first and primary classroom. The Rangers’ deep love for our children has provided a foundation for our kids’ education.

Lessons in generosity, simplicity, hospitality and compassion have more than made up for what I knew they were missing in more formal education. A friend bought us Christian Light Education curriculum, which was well-suited to our remote, mobile lifestyle. Our school work is mostly pencil on paper due to minimal electricity in rural villages or places where infrastructure has been destroyed. Sometimes I carry a solar panel and rechargeable battery for computer-based courses. Our camp in Myanmar now has permanent solar panels for consistent electricity (sunshine permitting) and a satellite dish for intermittent Wi-Fi. My kids’ school schedule is: everything, any time. Our missions have now taken us to the Nuba Mountains of Sudan and to Kurdistan, Syria and Iraq. In the summer, we travel around the U.S. to share about our work and thank supporters. Homeschool happens anywhere with a flat surface and an hour of stationary time. We’ve had school on riverbanks in Myanmar, caves in Sudan, and bunkers in

Suuzanne at a Good Life Club program for children in Burma.

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Iraq overlooking Islamic State group (IS) positions. School is government meetings in Washington, D.C., or Baghdad, and church meetings all over. Airports make good classrooms, and documentaries courtesy of in-air entertainment provide topics for writing assignments. We’ve had school at 10,000 feetplus basecamps of Grand Teton National Park in Washington state and Mount Rainier in Wyoming, the beaches of Malibu, and the rivers of Montana. We live by a work-hard, play-hard ethic. Two-month stints in Chiang Mai, Thailand, allow the kids to participate in sports and audit classes through Chiang Mai International School. Our kids’ individual interests and abilities have blossomed through life experiences in both ministry and recreation. My oldest daughter, 17-year-old Sahale, loves singing and has learned and performed songs in the languages of the peoples we visit. She and 15-year-old Suuzanne contribute videography and photography to our work. Our ambitious 12-year-old Peter is interested in engineering, military and aviation. All three of our children love animals, and Suuzanne looks forward to studying animal science with a focus on animal behavior. Sahale is considering music and communication in college. Work and recreation often intersect with swimming, rappelling, backpacking, running, hunting and riding. Our children know that God has blessed them with an abundance of opportunities and abilities to enjoy such an active lifestyle.

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The Eubank family with the FBR team and new rangers at ranger training in Karen State, Burma.

J

Worth Your While

esus proclaimed that He had been sent “to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free” (Luke 4:18). This verse inspired Dave Eubank to follow Christ’s example in two of the world’s most dangerous war zones. The Free Burma Rangers, a faithbased humanitarian aid organization, provides medical care, basic needs and human rights advocacy to the war-ravaged regions of Burma, Sudan and the Kurdistan region of Iraq. Founded by Dave and Karen Eubank in 1997 after Burmese Army attacks destroyed entire villages, Free Burma Rangers now consists of 71 full-time teams and hundreds of localized staff members providing humanitarian relief to their countrymen. In June 2017, Eubank’s heroic rescue of a six-year-old girl brought Free Burma Rangers into an international spotlight. Providing medical care to Iraqi

victims of ISIS, Eubank and other Free Burma Rangers and volunteers were working alongside the Iraqi Army when they spotted the girl hiding next to her deceased mother, among a pile of corpses. An Iraqi tank and the U.S. Air Force dropped smoke screen, providing cover from ISIS snipers as Eubank and the team rescued the girl and one other man. After some time, the girl was reunited with her grandmother and aunt. Watch how Eubank’s courageous act comes full circle in “Rescued and Restored: Girl Rescued from ISIS Massacre Restored to Her Family” on YouTube. Fuller Seminary podcast series “Conversations” recently featured an hour-long interview with Eubanks in which his fascinating and admirable worldview are explained. Search “Eubank” at FullerStudio.Fuller.edu. For more about Free Burma Rangers, visit FreeBurmaRangers.org.

New ranger teams, ethnic staff and foreign volunteers pray together at ranger training in Karen State, Burma.

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Fighting the Real Enemy We have spent 25 years in conflict zones and I cannot thank our team, friends and family enough for the support and prayers that carry us through the most challenging times. As I discovered early on, even on the good days, we would all need God’s help for patience and endurance to weather an ordinary homeschool day amidst conflicts and combat. But we’ve also had significant answers to prayer at times when homeschool has been put on hold for sicknesses like malaria and typhus. We have personally experienced how education is a casualty of war, as both materials and minds are put on hold. Threat of Myanmar army attacks have caused a stagnant chaos where all our bags, including school materials, stayed packed in case we had to make a quick exit. In Sudan, we took our books into room-sized caves alongside other families, fleeing airplane bombs. We retreated with our science study guides into a rear room when IS snipers were in the neighborhood. And I loaded up on Scripture memorization when we were threatened with imprisonment one year. Even during playtime, I pray earnestly while watching my kids precariously perched on steep cliffs or on the backs of bulls. In each fearful situation I fight doubts, but continue to be thankful for God’s faithful comfort and confirmation of our original vision to help people at risk, even when those at-risk people include our family.

Looking back, I have always felt peace about obeying a call unique to Dave and me and about staying together as a family. My belief in Jesus’ command to pursue the spirit over the body have strengthened me whenever I’ve felt out of control of my kids’ safety. I trust His sovereign wisdom to lead and redeem our decisions. Jesus once told His disciples to feed an overwhelming number of people with five loaves of bread and two fish. Similarly, He leads me to offer a few materials and this teacher-mom who feels inadequate for the task of educating her children. I’ve seen God multiply my offering in many ways. My kids can patiently study in challenging environments; they can give thanks for their unique experiences. They know how to serve others. They are good stewards of their bodies, minds and souls. They graciously honor their father and mother. As a family, we’ve learned that God can do immeasurably more than we ask or imagine. We give Him glory for the years behind and those still ahead. ■

Dave and Karen's Backstory In conjuntion with Dave and Karen Eubank, Brinkman Adventures has created a dramatized podcast that follows Dave from childhood in Thailand to when he formed Free Burma Rangers with Karen. This free episode is 26 minutes long. Visit Brinkman Adventures at Called to Teach THSC Convention in Arlington, where they will have more episodes about the Eubanks available at their booth. BrinkmanAdvertures.com/Free-Episode-2

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Top: Sahale helps with dentistry in Syria. Left: Peter rodeos during the family’s speaking tour in the U.S. This image courtesy of The Cody Enterprise. All other photos courtesy of Dave and Karen Eubank and Free Burma Rangers. T E X AS H O M E SC H OOL COALI TI ON / THSC . ORG


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STANDING GUARD

H H H H

THSC Interventions: How THSC Is Helping Members Defend Their Rights By Joshua Newman

A

t THSC, we believe that families have an inherent, God-given right to raise their children without undue government interference. That is why over the last 30 years THSC has fought long and hard to make sure that all homeschoolers in Texas are safe from the overreaches of the government. One of the ways we continue to do that is through THSC interventions—one of the most valuable benefits of being a member of THSC. WHAT ARE THSC INTERVENTIONS? When a government agency, public or private school, college or university, or even a private company or organization harasses or discriminates against a THSC member family for homeschooling, THSC steps in. Such interventions typically involve informing the concerned party about Texas homeschooling law and state policies and working towards a solution. Even in situations involving private organizations and companies (which have fewer legal obligations than public institutions), we have seen significant success in negotiating solutions. The situations where intervention is required are many and diverse. Here

Join the 2019 THSC Watchmen Team! 28

are a few of the most common types of interventions that we encounter: • Extending Social Security benefits past a student’s 18th birthday when the student is still being homeschooled. • Assisting members in withdrawing their students from public schools • Extending child support payments past a student’s 18th birthday when the student is still being homeschooled • Advocating for equal treatment for homeschool graduates in the college admissions process • Confirming for an agency or company that a family is a THSC member and that they are meeting state educational requirements while homeschooling. WHY INTERVENTIONS MATTER As a result of THSC interventions on behalf of members in 2017:

• 25 families received needed verification of their THSC membership and homeschooling status • 11 families received help in getting their students successfully enrolled in college. When a government employee is failing to respect the rights of homeschoolers, sometimes the most effective avenue is to call in an outside party. That is where THSC comes in. Having done this for many years, THSC has developed relationships with many state and federal agencies to facilitate solutions for our members. THSC offers interventions for our members because we believe in the God-given rights of families and we work hard to protect them. If you believe in this as well, then we invite you to become a THSC member to protect your God-given rights! ■ Joshua Newman serves as chief legislative analyst for Texas Home School Coalition.

• 115 families were able to gain resolution to their homeschool-related situations • 38 families got their Social Security benefits or child support reinstated

Critiquing legislation, meeting with legislative staff, testifying on behalf of pro-family legislation. This is the job of the THSC Watchmen.

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PRIDE OF TEXAS

FROM OBSTINATE TODDLER TO ADAMANT TEEN: A HOMESCHOOL SUCCESS STORY BY MELISSA HUMES

Photo by Hannah Edgecombe

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W

hen we see weaknesses in our children we tend to despair, but can I encourage you to look ahead to what that character flaw can blossom into? The caterpillar morphed into the butterfly—the weakness transformed into strength. My husband and I never questioned whether we would homeschool our children, and we started from the time they could sit and listen to little board books. Our family read diligently: we read real books. We read the best books: books that made us weep, books that were so funny we cried laughing, books that pulled our heartstrings, books that were difficult to understand, and books that were hard to stomach. We wrote constantly, played often— and we persevered. This diligence not only resulted in children who loved to read and write; it also contributed to a transformation in our daughter, Kate.

Henry Ward Beecher once said, “The difference between perseverance and obstinacy is that one comes from a strong will, and the other from a strong won’t.” We saw the embodiment of this statement in our daughter Kate. At just three years old, Kate was such a good

Photo by Kathryn Deden reader that while I was teaching her older sister how to read, Kate would lean over and tell her what the next word was. But Kate was stubborn! Everything was a battle: picking up toys, going to the bathroom, cleaning the dishes, getting dressed.

If she didn’t want to do it, then the battle with Mom was on. It was exhausting. There were days when I didn’t think I would make it to bedtime. My oldest had been so compliant. What happened to this child? I prayed a lot and immersed myself in Scripture, I called my mom crying many times, and I clung to my husband’s encouragement. The first breakthrough came when Kate was saved at age seven. Immediately there was evidence of the Holy Spirit softening her heart. Then, consistent discipline and perseverance in our homeschooling led to a disciplined teenage phenomenon. At 15 years old, she would get up at five a.m. so she could finish all her schoolwork by noon and then read to her heart’s content. She cleaned houses for extra money; she played the cello with a fierce competitiveness; and she worked with underprivileged kids in an after-school program in our small community.

Photo by George Humes

The Humes family

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Humes Family Recommended Reading List Books that made us weep

Elementary

Middle School

Junior High

High School

“The Hundred Dresses” by Eleanor Estes

“The House at Pooh Corner” by A.A. Milne

“Hope Was Here”by Joan Bauer

“The Snow Goose” by Paul Gallico

Books that were so funny we cried laughing

“Mrs. Piggle Wiggle” by Betty MacDonald

“Detectives in Togas” Henry Winterfeld

“Cheaper by the Dozen” by Frank B. Gilbreth and Ernestine Gilbreth Carey

“My Heart Lies South” (Young People’s Edition) By Elizabeth B. de Trevino

Books that pulled “Understood “Moccasin “Anne of Green “A Tale of the heart strings Betsy” by Trail” by Gables” by Two Cities” Dorothy C. Fisher Eloise J. McGraw L.M. Montgomery by Charles Dickens Books that were “The Door in “Island of the “The Westing “Till We Have difficult to the Wall” by Blue Dolphins” Game” by Faces” by understand Marguerite by Scott O’Dell Ellen Raskin C.S. Lewis de Angeli (for one reason or another) , Books that were “The Sign of “I Am David” by “Brave New “Fallen hard to stomach the Beaver” by Anne Holm World” by Angels” by Elizabeth G. Speare Aldous Huxley Walter D. Myers

The same stubbornness which I viewed as such a liability in her early years—the source of many tears—became the tenacity that catapulted her to Blinn College at age 16 and to Belhaven

The same stubbornness which I viewed as such a liability in her early years—the source of many tears—became the tenacity that catapulted her to Blinn College at age 16 and to Belhaven University Honors Program as an 18-yearold college sophomore. University Honors Program as an 18-year-old college sophomore. Kate plays cello in the university orchestra, is a student ambassador, is the secretary for the English honor society, and edits the president’s foundation newsletter.

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But the story doesn’t end there. We were sitting around the kitchen table eating, laughing and talking when Kate mentioned she had received an email with her acceptance to Oxford University’s semester abroad in England for the spring semester 2018. That stubborn child whose strong will transformed into industriousness is studying at Oxford University for a semester abroad as a 19-year-old college senior! I looked at Kate in shock—then I burst into tears. Everyone started

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laughing in confusion as to why Mom was crying. My sister (and fellow homeschool mom) was sitting next to me and proceeded to explain why I was crying. As a homeschool graduate myself with little college experience, this was just as much a triumph for me as it was for Kate. It was a moment of sweet success to savor. It was a second-generation homeschooler success story. ■ Melissa Humes and her husband Andrew have eight daughters. The oldest two are juniors at Texas State University and Belhaven University, and the youngest is in first grade.


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AGES & STAGES

Career & Technical Education

The Case for

By Katie Roehrich

Y

ou’ve heard of STEM, which takes traditional topics like math and science and weaves them into an interdisciplinary approach to learning. But what do you know about CTE? Vocational tech or career and technical education, aka CTE, offers contextualized learning for students—ways for them to master technical and academic content by applying it to a specific industry or career pathway. CTE offers students hands-on learning that focuses on solving a problem or undertaking a project that is reflective of an authentic, real-world challenge.

What is Career and Technical Education?

CTE prepares students to be careerready by teaching abstract academic

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skills in combination with technical, job-specific skills. CTE includes architecture, construction, transportation, logistics, automotive maintenance, hospitality, tourism, manufacturing, agriculture, natural resources, and the arts, among other industries. CTE addresses the skills gap by training students to enter high-growth industries with tangible and transferable credentials. The skilled trades are the hardest jobs to fill in the United States. Students have become highly educated, but many lack the skills needed for building infrastructure or for joining a growing healthcare industry. For the last few decades, societal opinion in the U.S., including that of parents, has emphasized the importance of a fouryear degree. While there are many jobs that benefit from a bachelor’s or master’s

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degree, many important and necessary careers require a skill set that can be learned in less than two years and mastered through an apprenticeship and on-the-job training. Although clearly not every student is destined or suited to attend a fouryear university, our society tends to hold this as the ideal. A mindset shift may be required here.

CTE and the Homeschool Advantage

Homeschooled children spend approximately three hours per day studying to keep themselves on grade level with their schooled peers. That’s three times less than average-schooled children. This also means that homeschooled children spend less time studying what doesn’t


interest them, so there are more hours in the day to study and learn what does. You don’t have to be highly skilled in any of the CTE career options in order to instill curiosity and learning opportunities in your student’s school day. In fact, it’s a great way to expand your own interests and skill set! So how can those extra hours be used to benefit your homeschooled student, as well as your family as a whole by engaging them in activities that lead to job skills? Simple. Chores! Even something as seemingly simple as learning how to keep house can lead a child toward their interests and potential career paths. Doing laundry becomes part of an elective lesson in fabrics, color palettes, mending and potentially an interest in fashion, tailoring or costume design. Many car and bicycle maintenance tasks are relatively simple and require only a few tools or materials. Teach your students to change the oil in the family car, how to change a car or bicycle tire and the process for cleaning and lubing a bike chain—and these tasks become a gateway for a career in automotive maintenance or as a bicycle mechanic. Master a free accounting software such as FreshBooks and teach your budding accountant or entrepreneur about billing, accounts receivable and how to set a business up for filing quarterly taxes.

A Change in Apprenticeship Laws and Regulations

The shortages of specifically-trained workers cut across multiple job sectors, from construction trades to agriculture, manufacturing, information technology and healthcare. In recent years, apprenticeships have been few and far between. Of the 146 million jobs in the United States, about 0.35 percent, or slightly more than a half-million, were filled by active apprentices in 2016.

In June 2017, President Trump signed an executive order to roughly double the taxpayer money spent on learn-to-earn programs from $100 million to $200 million. The money would be diverted from existing job training programs. Industries are given the freedom and flexibility to design apprenticeships that suit the rapidly-changing technologies used. The U.S. Department

of Labor sets standards, and organizations like the National Coalition of Certification Centers connect community colleges with industries seeking highly-skilled recent graduates. Fortunately, apprenticeships in Texas may be eligible for Pell Grants and early eligible applicants are likely to receive financial aid.

CTE in Texas

Texas has now launched 60x30TX, a strategic plan in higher education aiming to position the workforce in Texas among the highest achieving states in the country and in the global marketplace. 60x30TX is entirely student-centered and its aims include:

• 60 percent of young adults (25-34) will hold a postsecondary credential by 2030 • All graduates will have marketable skills regardless of major • No student will graduate with debt exceeding 60 percent of their first-year wages. In Texas, 77 percent of all high school students take at least one CTE course, and one in four students takes three or more courses in a single program area. To help you tailor homeschooling curriculum for your CTE-bound student, use the lists of required courses that many colleges provide on their website. You can get a general feel for the expectations of a CTE program just by reviewing course requirements. Use this as a guideline to discuss career goals with your students and to lead them toward their personal interests.

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CTE May Not Be the Final Answer

While some countries (particularly in Europe) stress vocational education that develops specific job-related skills, others like the U.S. emphasize general education that provides students with broad knowledge and basic skills. Critics suggest that if people acquire skills that are finely tuned to current employment opportunities, they might not be particularly prepared to adjust to new technologies. As businesses grow larger, technology improves and worker needs transform, people with vocational training may be more likely to be out of the labor market later in their lives. However, the benefit of a well-rounded technical education is the emphasis on transferable skills. Vocational training is not only the hands-on, obvious skills of building, fixing or creating. No, perhaps even more important are the intangible skills acquired

through CTE-focused learning. Confidence, creativity, good communication, adaptability and curiosity should all be considered part of an interdisciplinary education. As technology advances, manufacturing plants close, how we use natural resources continues to change, industries become obsolete, and the workforce ages, homeschool teachers can prepare their students for a dynamic career and the confidence to grow and change as our society’s needs do. ■ Katie Roehrich is a freelance writer who creates content rooted in personal and spiritual growth, education and building relationships. Learn more about Katie at katieroehrich.com.

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Auto Maintenance Curriculum

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Cosmetology Curriculum

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Commissioned Corps of the U.S. Public Health Service

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T E X AS H O M E SC H OOL COALI TI ON / THSC . ORG

Agriculture Curriculum

TheHomeschoolMom.com/Homeschool-Lesson-Plans/ Agriculture

The Texas Workforce Commission

TWC.state.tx.us/programs/apprenticeship-program-overview A list of certified Texas vocational and career training providers

Freshbooks Accounting Software

Freshbooks.com Teach your student how to be an accountant.

National Coalition of Certification Centers

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RULES & REGS

FASTEN YOUR SEAT BELTS: GET READY TO

Roadschool

By Christy Thomsen

Homeschool doesn’t mean homebound.

Instead of buying bulky souvenirs, the Mulkey family collected bumper stickers from the places they visited.

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More families are taking advantage of the freedom of homeschooling to hit the road and bring all sorts of academic subjects off the pages of books and computer screens and into living color. “Roadschooling” creates deep family bonds, lifelong memories and ignites the fire to learn. This article introduces you to four families that have grown together and learned together on the road. Arnold Pent III, Todd Wilson, Christie Mulkey and Rick Green share their snapshots from their homeschooling journey.

The Pent family crossed the country in Packards, Pontiacs and planes.

THE PENTS

Arnold Pent III grew up in one of America’s first “roadschooling” families. His book, “Ten P’s in a Pod,” recounts his family’s educational adventures. In the early 1950’s, when homeschooling was still considered uncharted territory, his father and mother took their eight children out of public school and began an adventure in roadschooling. Pent was 11 years old at the time and traveled extensively with his family until the age of 24. The Pents traveled throughout the continental United States, Canada and Mexico in as many as three cars at a time, preaching God’s word and sharing the gospel message with others via song and Scripture recitation. Pent’s mother designed her own homeschool curriculum and frequently taught the younger children lessons while driving. The older children enrolled in the American School of Correspondence for their high school studies. Though their education centered around the Bible, including Scripture memorization, the family also felt it was important to live history by immersing themselves in the places where history happened. They toured the monuments and museums of Washington, such as the Smithsonian Institute and the Library of Congress; Mount Vernon; Montpelier (James Madison’s home); and the Grand Canyon. “We were getting our education in ways that most kids couldn’t,” says Pent. “My father was not a big pattern person,” recalls Pent. “He followed what he called ‘the leading of the Lord.’ When it came on him mysteriously, we were

ARNOLD PENT III 55 YEARS LATER

T

he highest educational priority of Arnold Pent II was that his children learn the Bible. He believed in this so strongly that, despite their hectic traveling schedule, the family continued their practice of Bible study three times daily, for a total of two to four hours. They often took turns quoting chapters of the Bible from memory while driving. Pent estimates that by the age of 20, he spent 10,000 hours reading or listening to the Bible. Pent recalls that his father’s message was consistent to every audience, “Get your kids into the Bible, get them to hear the Bible, teach them to know the Lord, and most of all take them to heaven.” At the age of 19, Pent journaled his “roadschooling” experiences in “Ten P’s in a Pod.” Now a real estate developer in Texas for more than four decades, Pent also owns and manages natural gas interests, oversees operations of an Angus cattle farm, and oversees and hosts Edgewood Farm Getaway (EdgewoodFarmGetaway. com) for visiting Christian families near Washington, D.C. Pent has been married to Esther for 49 years and has trained his three married sons to support their families as entrepreneurs. His only daughter recently married and is pursuing music ministry with her husband. Through his many experiences as a businessman, father and grandfather, Pent has concluded: “In this age of enormous distractions, the Word of God is more important than any other thing. Nothing impacted every area of my life more than saturation in the Bible.”

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off and running. He would get up one morning and say, ‘The Lord is leading me to take a trip to Canada.’ So we’d pack up and take off to Canada, or take off to California, or take off to New York.” On their educational odyssey, they faced many obstacles and learned invaluable lessons about God’s faithfulness. Many times they didn’t know where their next meal would come from, but God always provided. Sometimes his family would rent a house for a few months. Other times they stayed in people’s homes. Often, the large family would split up and stay in multiple homes. The constant exposure to an unknown itinerary like car trouble, selling fertilizer with his father to make ends meet, and showing up to perform at unscheduled events has developed in Pent the ability to feel comfortable in any circumstance. Reflecting on his roadschooling adventures, Pent says, “One of the most important lessons I’ve learned is simply

to show up. Don’t think you can plan out everything and predict everything in

Todd Wilson and kids, celebrating Ike’s birthday RV style in Springfield, Mo.

a way that you know what the result is. When there’s an open door, an opportunity, just show up.”

The Wilsons stopping to rest at a truck stop out West

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THE WILSONS

Fifteen years ago, Todd Wilson of Familyman Ministries bought and repaired an old recreational vehicle (RV) and hit the road with his wife and eight children. Now, three RVs later, Todd says, “It’s the most amazing homeschool we have ever had.” The Wilson family travels up to four months of the year, speaking and exhibiting at homeschool conventions and visiting notable sites. “My kids have been everywhere. My kids have seen all the Civil War battlefields. They’ve been to Revolutionary War battlefields, presidential museums. They’ve been to the biggest chair, the biggest bottle of ketchup, the biggest wind chime. They’ve seen factory tours.” As part of the Familyman business, the kids are learning valuable career skills as well. “They interact with people. They load up our trailer, they sell our products,” says Wilson.


When visiting places of interest, Wilson notes, “We don’t make our kids write reports. We don’t make our kids compose a musical about it or do any of that busy work. They just experience it. They learn really the way God has bent them. I have sons who love history and they love battlefields. I have other kids who like bugs that they saw, they like the people they met or they just like being together as a family. That’s really what homeschooling is. It’s taking each of their bents and letting them enjoy it to the max.” Beyond schooling, some of the Wilson family’s best memories happened spontaneously. “Maybe it’s a storm that came through and you all go to Walmart because it’s the only safe place, or maybe you stopped at the Cracker Barrel and you all got 10 cent candy canes and you sit out on the front porch on a beautiful night and you think, ‘Man, this is as good as it gets.’ You can plan some great destination and you get there and it rains or it’s closed or 100 other things, your kids get sick, but you can’t have those moments unless you’re there, unless you’re out there, and they don’t come everyday. They surprise you.”

The Green family in front of the Mayflower II

The Mulkey family at the Okefenokee Wildlife Refuge in Folkston, Georgia

THE MULKEYS

Christie Mulkey, a Texas homeschool mom of six, took a month-long trip to the East Coast with her family that ignited a desire in them to travel more. They wanted learning to come alive! After purchasing an RV and renting out their home, the Mulkeys began journeying during their eldest daughter’s senior year of high school. They went on five trips for three to four weeks each, staying with family in between trips. The Mulkeys mapped out their desired destinations and researched online to decide which sites they wanted to visit before each expedition. Because of their numerous destinations, they often focused on only several unique aspects at each site! Then they selected books, movies and music to go with the locations they traveled to. “We covered everything from geology to folk music … we kind of went with what was available to us as we discovered it, but we did prepare in advance,” Christie says. Except for math, the children’s school subjects were driven by where they went and what they did. While driving, they studied math and listened to audiobooks. After visiting a location that afforded a great learning experience, each child would pick something to orally report on to the rest of the family. For example, when HOME EDU CATOR QUA RTERLY / SPRI N G 2 0 1 8

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Rick Green and family—photo by Christina Hastings Photography, ChristinaHastings.com

they visited the Shipwreck Museum in Whitefish Point, Michigan, they each chose a shipwreck story to retell around the campfire after dinner. “Those places are so distinct in my mind now,” Christie reflects about their year of travel. “It was a really unique opportunity.”

The Greens

Rick Green is an attorney, former elected official, founder of Patriot Academy, and co-host with Brad Stine of “Comedy and the Constitution,” featured Saturday evening entertainment this year at Called to Teach THSC Homeschool Conventions in Arlington and The Woodlands. Rick, his wife Kara and their four children travelled in a 1981

Eagle bus for 10 years. They thought they were buying a bus ready to hit the road, but ended up gutting the bus. “I went to find a leak and basically spent the whole night ripping out the entire interior of the bus,” Rick says. “I think I rebuilt everything on that bus

ONLINE EXCLUSIVE:

Hitting the road with your students this summer? Check out THSC.org/roadschooling for four educational tourism itineraries. three times because I messed it up the first two times.” Kara made a journal entry at every stop and every breakdown. Rick laughingly says, “We went to 45 different states and broke down in 43.”

The Mulkey family on Hornblower Niagara Cruise at Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada

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T E X AS H O M E SC H OOL COALI TI ON / THSC . ORG

The Greens traveled for five to six months out of the year, three to four weeks at a time. Seeking to bring history to life for their children, they found places of interest on their way to homeschool conventions and Rick’s speaking engagements. In their “bus schooling” years, Kara learned not to try to teach six subjects while on the road, but just to pick one or two. Kara taught their young children lessons while Rick drove the bus. On location, Rick provided rich commentary about the historical or cultural significance of the stop, understanding that the greatest benefit of this type of education is learning the stories of the people who lived history, rather than just learning the facts. Kara recalls, “He made it fun and made them want to know more.”

The Wilson family at Martin Luther King Jr. Grave, Atlanta, Georgia


HOME EDU CATOR QUA RTERLY / SPRI N G 2 0 1 8

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The Greens posted pictures of everywhere they went and people began to say they wished they could come along with them. This led to the shooting in real time of their American history trips and the production of the show “Chasing American Legends.” “We made it so if you can’t travel the country, if you don’t have those opportunities and the freedom to be able to do that, at least through these videos, you can go with us and you can visit those locations through the eyes of our kids.”

The Green children at Pikes Peak Summit, Colorado

Driving It Home

The Pents, Wilsons, Mulkeys and Greens learned to travel with a purpose and their kids gleaned first-hand knowledge, life lessons and lasting memories. According to Rick Green, roadschooling doesn’t have to be hardcore. It can start with taking intentional vaca-

tions. “Vacation with a purpose. Don’t just go to the beach and veg out. Take your kids somewhere that they’re never going to forget and that’s going to bring history to life.”

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And it doesn’t have to be an expensive or ambitious trip to the colonial states. Green recommends the Alamo and the San Antonio mission trail, Presidio La Bahia in Goliad and


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Arnold Pent, his siblings and mom, as they toured North America in their 1932 Packard

Gonzalez, Texas, where the first shot of the Texas Revolution was fired. If “roadschooling” sounds like an adventure you want to try, Todd Wilson

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says, “Just do it. Some people say, ‘I’ve got to get my ducks in a row.’ The best way to get your ducks in a row is when you’re moving.” ■

T E X AS H O M E SC H OOL COALI TI ON / THSC . ORG

Christy Thomsen and her husband raise their seven children in the country in Texas. They are currently converting a school bus into an RV so they can inexpensively travel as a family. Follow their progress at HomeschoolBuilt.com.


UPCOMING EVENTS

H H H H

Texas Leaders Conference

THSC Convention–Arlington

May 10, 2018 Arlington, Texas THSC.org/TLC

THSC Convention–The Woodlands

May 10-12, 2018 Arlington, Texas THSC.org/Conventions

May 31-June 2, 2018 The Woodlands, Texas THSC.org/Conventions

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H H H H

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17 THE DISCOVERY CENTER

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4, 37 LUMERIT

35 BCE ACADEMY

36 MATH MAMMOTH

29 THE KINGDOM CODE

16 BEREAN BUILDERS

13 MATH-U-SEE

6 THSC CALLED TO TEACH HOMESCHOOL

2 BJU PRESS

29 PEARLS FOR HIS GIRLS

43 BRITISH FLYING TRAINING SCHOOL MUSEUM

43 QUEST

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43 BUREAU OF ENGRAVING AND PRINTING

45 RETRO-OUTFITTERS.COM

51 TIMOTHY PLAN

25 CHRISTIANBOOK DISTRIBUTORS

45 RIGHTSTART MATHEMATICS

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46 SCHLITTERBAHN

19 UNLOCK MATH

19 CLASSICAL CONVERSATIONS

45 SETON TESTING SERVICES

27 WAYLAND BAPTIST UNIVERSITY

21 FOUNDERS CLASSICAL ACADEMY

32 SPANISH FOR YOU

20 WINGS TO SOAR ONLINE ACADEMY

44 FRONTIER CAMP

33 TEXAS TECH UNIVERSITY K-12

CHRISTIAN EDUCATION

CONVENTIONS

THSC ASSOCIATION MEMBERSHIP BENEFIT PROVIDERS

H H H H

The following companies offer discounts and benefits to THSC Association members. Find out more at THSC.org. Blue Cross/Blue Shield Health Insurance bcbstx.com

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Creation Illustrated creationillustrated.com

HEP Bookstore hepbookstore.com

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Liberty Mutual libertymutual.com

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Education Plus homeschooltranscripts.com

Lumerit lumerit.com

UberSmart Software ubersmartsoftware.com

The Texas Home School Coalition (THSC) is a 501(c)(3) educational organization that is supported by tax-deductible donations. THSC is dedicated to serving the homeschool community; it promotes home education in Texas by educating the public, the homeschool community, and officials about homeschooling.

THSC Association, a 501(c)(4) advocacy organization, is dedicated to Keeping Texas Families Free. It is supported by membership fees and donations. THSC Association membership benefits include legal assistance, as well as a long list of other offerings and discounts.

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COALITION ASSOCIATION

The work of the THSC PAC (Political Action Committee)—endorsing and supporting pro-homeschooling candidates— is supported by donations that are not tax-deductible. See THSC.org for more information.

HOME EDU CATOR QUA RTERLY / SPRI N G 2 0 1 8

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Engineering Tabletop Trebuchets

With

PROFESSOR VARNEY MASTERMIND OF MACHINERY by Nikki Varney

A

trebuchet is a fairly simple mechanism which launches a projectile by using stored gravitational potential energy and converting it to kinetic energy. You will be using your engineering skills to make a tabletop trebuchet to launch a grape. To get an idea about how trebuchets work and how to build your own trebuchet, search YouTube for these videos: “How to Make a Trebuchet (Catapult)” by TheDrumMaster2000 and “How to Build a Trebuchet” by MythBusters.

Engineering Design Process

In making your trebuchet, you’ll undergo the same process that professional engineers use for everything from race cars and rockets to fidget spinners: design, build, test and redesign. After your project is complete, because we are still students of engineering, we’ll also reflect on the process. Advanced students can challenge themselves academically with the “Extension” exercises. Ready to begin?

48

Design:

• How should you start and proceed? Trebuchets have bases, lever arms, slings, etc. You need to decide in what order you will build the components for your trebuchet.  hat will your trebuchet look like? •W Draw sketches, including measurements, and decide which materials might best suit your design. •W  hat type of materials do you want to use to build your trebuchet? Straws, duct tape, fabric, string, popsicle sticks, glue, packing tape, pencils, tongue depressors, weights, rocks, etc.

Build:

• Gather your design plans and your materials in the area where you will build your trebuchet. •T  ime to get down to business! Build your trebuchet according to your plan.

Test and Redesign:

• Your trebuchet doesn’t have to be finished before you test and redesign. You might need to change your plan

T E X AS H O M E SC H OOL COALI TI ON / THSC . ORG

before you’re ready to toss a grape. That’s okay. That’s engineering! • Once your trebuchet is built, you’re ready to toss your grape! • Make adjustments to make your grape travel as far as possible.


Reflect

• Either in writing or in discussion with your siblings or parent-teacher, discuss these questions: • What are some aspects of your trebuchet that worked well? Why did they work well? • What are some aspects of your trebuchet that didn’t work well? How did you fix them? • What was the hardest part of building your trebuchet? Why did you find it hard?

Extension

• Calculate the gravitational potential energy stored in the trebuchet. GPE = mgh • Calculate the kinetic energy of the grape. v = d/t and KE – 1/2mv2 • Compare the gravitational potential energy with the kinetic energy. The law of conservation of energy states that they should be equal to each other. What are some reasons that your values are not equal? ■

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HOME EDU CATOR QUA RTERLY / SPRI N G 2 0 1 8

49


END OF THE DAY

H H H H

Ancient Secret of Success: Psalm 1 (Day at a Time) By Donna Schillinger

T

here’s something very natural about fresh starts. Renewal is built into nature, so it makes sense that when the new calendar arrives in the mail, I feel like it’s time to try again and try harder. I want to mean it when I say, “This time, I’ll keep it up.” But right about now, resolve is weakening and many of us are resolutely resigning instead of reaching that milestone we had named and claimed in January. Before you start to loathe yourself for your inability to stick to a plan, consider this: Maybe the problem is the goal. Do we perhaps focus too much on end results, and not enough on the character development along the road to achieving those results?

I recently watched a YouTube video that shifted my thinking about goal setting to a paradigm that I believe to be biblical and, according to the video, also good for business. Instead of an ultimate goal, such as “become fluent in Portuguese,” a truly smart goal is to determine the sure and steady steps toward that end, then consistently complete those small increments until the desired result is achieved. Using this logic, I set a goal to simply log on to Duolingo.com and complete at least one Portuguese lesson per day. That takes all of two minutes. If I miss a day or two, it’s no big deal. I’m seeing real progress by consistently achieving this small goal. If I just remain faithful, I will

eventually become fluent. If I had set for myself the ambitious goal to become fluent in Portuguese, by now, I might have become frustrated with the fact that I’m still not fluent. In setting that goal farther out on the horizon than I can see, I would have set myself up for discouragement, and possibly resignation, when the kind of progress I long for is not apparent. We could apply this same goal-setting strategy to parenting as well: “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” (Proverbs 22:6) Notice here that the parent’s mandate is to train, and the result we so desire comes as the effect of that faithful, daily act. If we mess up today, tomorrow is another today. Our chance is not over; it’s just begun again. Far from being a newfangled idea, this is the same strategy to success we see in Psalm 1: Meditate and delight in the law of the Lord today (and tonight), and ... you will prosper in everything you do. There’s something a little arrogant about lofty goals, and something a little humble about committing to do a small but significant thing over and over. Homeschool today. Eat well today. Pray together today. Be grateful today. Get good sleep today. Stay faithful today. Just today. ■ Donna Schillinger serves as publications manager at Texas Home School Coalition.

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T E X AS H O M E SC H OOL COALI TI ON / THSC . ORG


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Nonprofit Org.

Texas Home School Coalition PO Box 6747, Lubbock TX 79493

U.S. Postage

PAID

Dallas, TX Permit #3531

“Ten P’s in a Pod” author Arnold Pent invites you to

Roadschool to Edgewood Farm in Virginia near the Blue Ridge Mountains and Washington, DC

rnold & Hosts, A

t

en Esther P

“Enjoy the rental accommodations on our farm where you and your family can visit the nearby homes of Presidents Washington, Jefferson, & Madison, the new Museum of the Bible in Washington, DC, or simply rest and relax on our 450 peaceful acres.”

Ten P’s In a Pod A Mil lion -Mile Jou of the Arn rnal old Pent Family

Arnold P ent III

Edgewood Farm is th e home of th e author

Book your reservations today at www.EdgewoodFarmGetaway.com “Your Ten P’s in a Pod should be required reading. I still count it among one of the handful of most important books I have ever read.” Andrée Seu Peterson, World Magazine Columnist “Ten P’s in a Pod” chronicles the journeys of one of the first “roadschooling” families in America. 52 T E X AS H O M EOrder SC H OOLthe COALI TI ON / on THSC . ORGAudible, or in print at www.ArnoldPent.com. book CD,

Profile for Texas Home School Coalition Association

THSC Home Educator Quarterly— Spring 2018  

Sneak Peek at 2018-19 New Curricula; Homeschooling in a War Zone; From Obstinate Toddler to Adamant Teen; The Case for Career and Technical...

THSC Home Educator Quarterly— Spring 2018  

Sneak Peek at 2018-19 New Curricula; Homeschooling in a War Zone; From Obstinate Toddler to Adamant Teen; The Case for Career and Technical...

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