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Archive for November, 2007

Thanks to the FIAR board, I’ve been alerted to an on-line petition to give homeschoolers an opportunity to defend their choice to homeschool. The NEA recently took a stand against homeshooling in their 2007-2008 resolutions:

The National Education Association believes that home schooling programs based on parental choice cannot provide the student with a comprehensive education experience. When home schooling occurs, students enrolled must meet all state curricular requirements, including the taking and passing of assessments to ensure adequate academic progress. Home schooling should be limited to the children of the immediate family, with all expenses being borne by the parents/guardians. Instruction should be by persons who are licensed by the appropriate state education licensure agency, and a curriculum approved by the state department of education should be used.

The Association also believes that home-schooled students should not participate in any extracurricular activities in the public schools. The Association further believes that local public school systems should have the authority to determine grade placement and/or credits earned toward graduation for students entering or re-entering the public school setting from a home school setting.

This being the season of Thanksgiving, I can’t help but think about the brave men and women that brought their families through great difficulties to this new land in order to live, worship, and bring up their families as they saw fit, without government intrusion. My husband serves in the military to defend these freedoms. I have personally known many homeschooled kids over the past 20 years and find them to be delightful, well rounded people who are comfortable in their own skin and in any social setting. I signed to defend the rights of parents, who know their own children better than anyone, to decide what educational setting is best for each of their children. Whether or not anyone reading this in the US personally chooses to homeschool, I encourage you to sign the petition to support parents right to have that option.

Homeschoolers Against NEA Philosophy

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This is just too much. If you could use a good laugh, take a time warp back to the year 1977. I was 9, so have some vague memories of of that fashion-challenged decade. Before reading, make sure you take a potty break and remove any beverages from the vicinity. Yeah, you could laugh that hard.

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G and I have spent nearly five years, now, trying to decide what to do with that little holiday that comes around the end of every October. Some years we’ve shut the lights out and opted out altogether. Some years we’ve dressed B up and taken him out to a church “Fall Festival.” And, some years we bought candy and handed it out to trick-or-treaters with specific Halloween tracts. This year, as the holiday approached, we just looked at each other and shrugged.

Over the years I’ve polled many of our fellow Christian friends. Their responses ran pretty much along the lines of the various options mentioned above. I’ve read and listened to Christian leaders arguing all sides of the issue – to participate or not to participate. I heard many valid points on both sides and became frozen with indecision. This year, a combination of things finally set my course.

Our church just had a World Impact Festival, with various speakers serving locally and around the world. During that event, God lit a fire in my heart for my community. I also listened to a couple of radio broadcasts on the subject: The Bible Answer Man, and Focus on the Family Weekend Magazine. The latter broadcast interviewed the author of Redeeming Halloween. Wow! I’ve got to get that book.

All of this kept bringing 2 Timothy 1:7 to mind: “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” In that light, it didn’t seem right to hide in the back of the house with the front lights out, avoiding the holiday altogether. I like Hank Hanegraaf’s take on seizing the opportunity of people coming to my door asking for treats. What better treat can I give them than the knowledge of their Father, who loves them? This year, that’s what we did.

So, it looks like we’re opting in. I’m sure over time just how we participate will change as B grows older. I love the idea in the book I mentioned above of hosting a “Fear Not” party. I am definitely going to read that book. Instead of fear and bewilderment, I’m looking forward to next October 31st with excitement and boldness. After all, “greater is He who is in me than he who is in the world!” 1 John 4:4.

ETA: Here’a another great post on the subject: Leaving the Light On.

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