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138 Responses

  1. Scott says:

    We inherited a little pekingese dog. A senior lady my wife does some in-home care for might be on her way out of this life and her faithful companion Bonnie had nowhere to go. So, we welcomed her into our family. She’s a gentle soul, a little long in the tooth, but hey, even of us old folks need a place to go and be loved on 😉

  2. happy birthday to me. i’m 39 for the 9th time
    -mike

  3. Scott says:

    On a sad note, a good friend of my daughter and her husband was killed a couple of days ago. He had one of those jacked up rock climbing trucks. Turned it over and went into the river and landed upside down in a shallow pool. However, he was trapped and drowned.

  4. Scott says:

    Since I can, I thought I’d update my situation 😉

    Just completed one year with the trucking company I transferred to after 3 years with the other one. It’s hard to believe I have over four years in this industry now. My, how time flies.

    I am so content and at peace with where I’m at in life. The Lord has provided so wonderfully for my family in spite of me 😉

    I get home home every weekend, have great benefits and an excellent salary, for that I’m very thankful!

  5. erunner says:

    I’ve got music up for the week. It’s all from the “Jesus People” era so if you’d like to take a trip down memory lane drop by. Not familiar with the era? Good chance to hear some excellent music. Not your cup of tea? That’s okay. Have a great Saturday!

    http://morethancoping.wordpress.com/2013/06/07/praise-worship-the-jesus-people-era-june-7th-2013/

  6. g2-da3ef6f47ce131adb5a9c10374b87f88 says:

    Good to see you, Scott. Praying for your daughter and the family of those in the accident.

    So nice to hear that you’re in a good place!

  7. erunner says:

    Scott, I’m sorry about the young man who died so tragically. What a devastating time this must be for the family.

    I’ve been able to read your posts through the years and you have done so well after the terrible times you went through. I’m so glad to read you are in such a good place now.

  8. My previous post was using my sea radio handle. NOT!

  9. Scott says:

    Thanks!!!

  10. Xenia says:

    eRunner, I noticed that you have one of my favorite songs posted, “Oh Lord You’re Beautiful” by Keith Green. A few years ago 2 pious Orthodox ladies and I were driving up to spend some time at a remote monastery and the driver happened to have that CD in her collection. We played this song over and over and over and over as we drove through the mountains. Glory to God!

  11. jtk says:

    Happy Birthday, Mike!

    Scott, sad to hear about the rock crawling couple.

    Here’s my open blogging question–what is the fruit of homeschooling in YOUR neck of the woods/in your experience?

    Good? Bad? Ugly? A mixed bag?

    More is coming:
    http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2013/06/07/Report-Growth-in-Homeschooling-Outpacing-Public-Schools

  12. Xenia says:

    jtk, we homeschooled our five kids for fifteen years. The two youngest attended a Christian high school. In my experience, homeschooling is an option if the local public school is intolerable or the local Christian school is unfordable. I would chose public or private schooling over homeschooling if at all possible, which is a 180 degree change of heart from what I believed 25 years ago.

    In our case, my oldest three went to the local public elementary school which fell into the “intolerable” category. Used syringes, p0rn, teachers who barely spoke English, and even a child murder were the features of our neighborhood school. We could not afford the Christian school so we homeschooled with mixed success. I wound up the leader of the local homeschool support group and saw many cases of educational neglect among the families. Also, very few moms are qualified to teach chemistry, higher math and foreign language. I wasn’t, that’s for sure.

    The fruits of homeschooling are also a mixed bag. Of my own five, two are active Christians, two are nominal Christians and one is a noisy agnostic. I look at the (now grown) kids of my old homeschool support group and the results are not impressive. Many resent having been homeschooled and don’t want anything to do with the Christian culture that it was part of. Not all of them are resentful, of course.

    I feel that homeschooling is a good option if there is something you actively need to protect your children from. Otherwise, try for a Christian school and if that’s not an option, send them to the public school. Pray over them before they leave in the morning, be involved with the school, ask questions, and keep up a good line of communication with your children, know the families of your children’s friends, etc.

    Having known all three kinds of families- homeschoolers, Christian schooler, and public schoolers- the rate of the kids turning out to be active believers is about the same for all three. My preference is Christian school but it’s no guarantee your kids will turn out like you want ’em to.

    One thing I am very adverse to is the propaganda you hear at home school conventions.

  13. Nonnie says:

    I agree with Xenia about home school.

    I too home schooled for 5 years and then my kids went to a mission school when we moved overseas, and we were all very thankful for that affordable school.

    “One thing I am very adverse to is the propaganda you hear at home school conventions.”
    Exactly……I could not agree more!

  14. Steve Wright says:

    jtk, the best option in my opinion, and thus the one we have chosen for our family, is an online public charter school.

    All the benefits of homeschooling, with the benefits of a structured, advanced curriculum – geared for going on to university if desired, or not. Honors and AP courses available etc.

    K-8 is different from High School (at the school we use). My son has been in this school for all 10 years of his education, starting with Kindergarten.

    Daughter starts Kindergarten this Fall.

  15. Homeschool your kids for a good education not for propaganda reasons. As a pastor I have many many homeschool families. Most do a good job. The ones who do poorly usually leave our people. The main thing is getting them a good education.

  16. PP Vet says:

    We have over 100 academic years of experience homeschooling our children.

    I cannot emphasize this enough: You have to do what you are called to do. Seek God and find out what that is. There is no one-size-fits-all template.

    There are principles that apply regardless:
    1. If you want Christlike children, you have to find a way to become Christlike yourself. If whatever you are doing now is not working, try something else. Do not delay along your own personal path of transformation.
    2. Take ownership of your child’s education, whatever path you choose. Do not abdicate that role to a school or to the government, whether or not you homeschool.

    Unlike others, I actually believe a lot of the homeschool propaganda. However, even though some of the words spoken may be true, actually taking hold of healthy principles and genuinely integrating them into our lives with substance and without artificiality is staggeringly difficult and personally demanding. Most give up or get stalled along the pilgrimage, too discouraged by the continuing revelation of the depth of our own depravity.

    Many are called (to Christian home school conferences), but few really get the message. And the ones that do, don’t often really want to talk about it.

  17. Gary says:

    I was listening to Clean Before My Lord on cd this morning on my way to work. It’s one of my all time faves. Great perspective!

    I have a lot of respect for any parent who can homeschool their children. It’s a lot of work.

  18. Christlike children … does that have a content as a phrase for us that is coherent and transferrable?

  19. fme2 says:

    Ah, the homeschool debate! We did it off and on through our kid’s K-12 education. We had a wonderful Christian elementary school where they got a great foundation. Then, with the help of a local Christian alternative school that met once a week and which structured the kid’s curriculum, we homeschooled through middle school and one semester of high school for the oldest.

    During that time, I got an online Masters degree in Curriculum and Instruction and eventually, a secondary teaching licensure. Teaching other people’s public high school kids was a challenge I wasn’t up to. I admire our teachers on this blog– it’s a tough job, with little appreciation, monetary or other. I also admire the homeschool families who did it well and for the right reasons– it, too, is a tough job, but a rewarding one.

    Two weeks ago, a boy our kids grew up with, and who was diagnosed with a fatal disease at 15 years old, celebrated his 21st birthday, then shot himself. He didn’t want to go through the agony of the end term of that disease, or put his family through it either. He was an incredibly gifted writer, kind soul. member of a fraternity, majoring in Philosophy and he had been homeschooled. His Mom was so grateful for the years she had with him. It’s never a waste of time to invest in your kids, and homeschooling allows extended time to get to know your children, encourage their strengths, help shore up their weaknesses, and influence them for the kingdom.

  20. Neo. says:

    I fear we have reduced Christianity down to a set list of “right and wrong”.

    “Eating” of the tree of knowledge will kill and destroy.

    But if we are obedient to the prompting of the Spirit, we are not under Law but Grace.

  21. Xenia says:

    PP Vet, I have sat through too many “Buy our curriculum and your child is (practically) guaranteed to grow up to be a devout Christian” or “Buy our curriculum and your children will grow up to be the next generation of Senators and doctors.” It’s crass commercialism, home-style. And there’s too much fear-mongering. And I have heard entirely too many Us vs Them speeches where you come away with the feeling that the rest of your fellow Americans are demons. That’s the kind of propaganda I hated.

    The talks where people actually showed you how to teach stuff, I appreciated those sessions. MTM may be interested to know that I heard Rousas J. Rushdoony speak at a homeschool convention.

  22. Cori says:

    I’ve homeschooled for over 17 years then I put my middle son in high school for football reasons. I found the quality of the education mediocre compared to homeschooling. Homeschooling has been a lot richer. I am now putting my younger twins in highschool for the same reason. They want to play sports. They are well socialized but I think it’s because we have integrated them into our community from a very young age. We thought that important for their sakes and also to prepare them to be able to share the gospel with others. Spiritually they seem to have a lot less distractions (ex. girls, pressure to conform, less persecution), Although, school has strengthened my middle son in many ways. His faith was challenged, which was good, and he has had to learn to maneuver his way through friends and situations with love and discernment. All in all I think homeschool has been great although so has school.

  23. Scott says:

    A correction on the first post up at the top. Our newest family member is not a Pekingese, she’s a long haired Chihuahua. Shows you what I know about dog breeds 😉

  24. erunner says:

    Xenia, The discussion here about some of Keith’s music motivated me to share music from that era this week and “Oh Lord You’re Beautiful” is one of my favorites as well. Thank you for sharing that story. I can just imagine the three of you driving along and singing!

    Seems like you dropped by as well Gary. Glad you saw something you liked.

  25. erunner says:

    I had a friend whose kids were home schooled. He had a dim view of the fact we allowed our children to attend public schools. Our niece was rejected from a christian preschool (I think she was 4) because she failed to pass an entry test. That totally blew me out of the water.

    I’ve come to appreciate whatever choices parents have for their children’s schooling as I’ve seen children from all experiences grow up to either live up to or shatter their parent’s expectations.

  26. PP Vet says:

    Defining Christlikeness in children – or in adults – is very very hard.

    I like I Cor 13 of the Living Bible: Very patient and kind, never jealous or envious, never boastful or proud, never haughty or selfish or rude. Love does not demand its own way. Love is not irritable or touchy. Love does not hold grudges and will hardly even notice when others do it wrong. Etc.

    Bot those words are not sufficient to grasp something – the choice to love – that cannot be quantified.

    I have children who are Christlike with me as long as I am Christlike with them. I also have some who are Christlike with me even when I am not Christlike with them. They are perhaps the greatest joy on earth.

  27. Xenia says:

    Scott, chihuahuas are the BEST! She is very cute.

  28. Scott says:

    Xenia, I’m very surprised by her demeanor. She’s very sweet, not a yapper.

  29. Xenia says:

    If folks are going to homeschool, I suggest they choose the simplest curriculum available for each subject, at least at first. Simple math books, simple spelling books, etc. for the grade level. One thing I have noticed about homeschool families is their tendency to believe all the hype they hear at a HS convention and load up on complicated curriculum that has a million components. Maybe one of these things per year is ok but if you get complicated (and expensive) programs for each subject and for each kid you will not be able to do it and you’ll get overwhelmed very soon and everything will end up in the closet. The best curriculum is the one you will actually finish.

    If you are creative and have a lot of energy, resources and well-disciplined children, I liked unit studies for elementary aged kids, especially if you have a houseful of kids. It’s fun but it requires a lot of preparation. If you are going to do unit studies, then you really need a simple math program!

    I knew so many moms who were in over their heads who had their kids do maybe the first few chapters of each book and when it started getting difficult, blame the curriculum and buy something new. If the mom can’t do basic math (multiplying fractions and so forth) then she needs to find someone who can. You can’t just skip the last 3/4 of all your books and spend all year doing the first few chapters of multiple curricula and say that was a full year of math, spelling or reading.

    Also, you can’t decide that advanced high school courses like physics and trig are “unimportant for the Christian.” If you can’t teach these difficult courses, find someone who can. If you think (like some families I have known) that your daughter only needs to learn how to read and do arithmetic because you are grooming her to be a stay-at-home mom, you are doing your daughter a grave mis-service unless you are Amish.

    And (while I’m on my rant) if you are going to homeschool, really do it. Turn off the phone and computer and actually work at it. Don’t get up at ten and sit your kids in front of the History Channel and call that school. (Yes, I have seen plenty of this, too.)

    The successful homeschool families I know of got up early, ate breakfast together, did a few chores and then began their school day at a set time and worked diligently through the material until lunch time, ate lunch together, and then finished up what remained to be done after lunch. Only then was the phone answered or the computer looked at.

    I have just seen too many families who just kept their kids home from school, gave them a terrible education, and then were too embarrassed to send them back to school because they couldn’t even read, etc. This is more common than most people are willing to admit, especially in states/ counties where there is no government oversight.

    End of rant.

  30. Xenia says:

    I don’t know why I felt I had to write all that. Sheesh….

  31. PP Vet says:

    “I have just seen too many families who just kept their kids home from school, gave them a terrible education, and then were too embarrassed to send them back to school because they couldn’t even read, etc.”

    That sounds like … propaganda.

    Are you saying you personally know four such families about whom you first-hand know that to be true?

    Three?

  32. PP Vet says:

    I think I will spread that quote around the homeschool community to see if I can find anyone anywhere who has ever seen that happen.

  33. Xenia says:

    I would say at least four, maybe more, plus a few on the border.

  34. Xenia says:

    Remember, I was the director of a largish HS group for many years and saw things most people would not have seen.

  35. Xenia says:

    So PP Vet, you never saw a family that did a terrible job homeschooling? Were your privy to the private lives of a large number of homeschoolers, as I was?

  36. Xenia says:

    As the leader of the group, failing hs moms would come to me for advice. I really did see what I saw. I also saw plenty of wonderful homeschools.

  37. Gary says:

    erunner,
    Back in the day Children of the Day was my favorite group. I liked the harmonies. Later I liked Daniel Amos, Randy Stonehill and the infamous Larry Norman. I still like Stonehill and ocassionally DA but they are spotty. Shotgun Angel was their best album.

    Xenia,
    It was a good rant- full of sound fury. Not that other kind.

  38. Cori says:

    And (while I’m on my rant) if you are going to homeschool, really do it. Turn off the phone and computer and actually work at it. Don’t get up at ten and sit your kids in front of the History Channel and call that school. (Yes, I have seen plenty of this, too.)

    Xenia,
    I totally agree. Too many families take the education of their children lightly. I think that the outcome of the children depends on the grace of God and the intentional training of the children by the parents
    . And even that’s not a guarantee. But at the same time homeschool has a stigma that turns off a lot of people. I would recommend that parents do their homework and find a group with whom your family fits and also look at all the beautiful curriculum that is available. It’s a Godsend if one takes advantage of it.

  39. Xenia says:

    I think I will spread that quote around the homeschool community to see if I can find anyone anywhere who has ever seen that happen.<<<

    Go ahead and ask around but don't just limit your inquiry to the doctrinaire home schoolers.

  40. Xenia says:

    I will also add that the first ten years of homeschooling, when the kids were little, were ten of the happiest years of my life! (Except now. I think I am even happier now.)

  41. PP Vet says:

    So you personally know first-hand of four families whose children are now illiterate as adults because their families attempted to homeschool? That is the implication of your statement.

    That strains credulity, unless you lived in Eastern Oregon.

  42. Xenia says:

    PP Vet, I knew four families with kids approaching junior high age who had children who could not read. At least four, probably more. It was a long time ago but I have sat here and came up with the name of four families and if I thought harder, I could come up with a few more I am sure. Eventually these kids did learn how to read because their parents sent them to some kind of co-op or charter school or hired a tutor. Some had learning disabilities that went undiagnosed. Some needed glasses but never got the free vision tests they give at school so the family never realized their kid couldn’t see very well. <— And this last family was OURS.

    (He could read, though.)

  43. Steve Wright says:

    If I may elaborate on our choice of school.

    First, the curriculum is quite solid. Not super advanced by any stretch either. Someone very familiar with our program and the brick and mortar public schools (as a teacher) said we are about 1/2 to a full grade ahead in the early years.

    The curriculum is “free” – I use quotes to indicate that as a taxpayer I certainly have paid for the schools – but it is true that I do not pay a dime for materials. I even get a monthly reimbursement check for internet access.

    The curriculum forces a schedule to some extent, but of course with tremendous liberty on a day to day basis.

    The amount of hands on, versus online teaching varies as the grade level proceeds.

    There is a teacher available anytime, and quarterly progress checks are made to ensure the child is adequately advancing. These were always a formality, but I find them very important if in fact a child is being poorly taught at home. High school is a different world as each class has a teacher, and the parent becomes more the overseer. In K-8 the parent is the key teacher and the teacher is an overseer.

    I was blessed with parents who sacrificed for me to attend a top private college prep school from 7-12 – with no religious affiliation. My courses match very well with where my son is at present. By the time he graduates high school he is set to have taken 3 years of foreign language, biology, chemistry, and physics for sciences, all the way through calculus (not pre-calc which is 11th grade) – and will be eligible and I believe ready for a university education.

    A final note – because this is a public school in the legal sphere, and not “homeschooling” per se, all the possible problems with politics, getting colleges to accept classes and so forth are basically removed. There is one small hurdle as to science class because of the lab issue, but it is easily overcome in two different options that are the parents’ choice.

  44. Gary says:

    Oh, and Keith Green was a favorite. How could I not include him? Rushing Wind was my favorite.

  45. Xenia says:

    The families:

    1. Family A: Just lazy, all around. Slept late, never did any school work that amounted to anything. They lounged around in their PJs all day. 12-year old boy could not read.

    2. Family B: An arts and crafts family. They spent all their time cutting and pasting and rarely did any real school. The girls were pretty smart and I think they eventually taught themselves. Mom claimed that she didn’t need a curriculum, that all that text-book stuff was oppressive.

    3. Family C: Mom was very eccentric (I’ll say, out of kindness), spent an enormous amount of money on fancy curriculum that she lacked the patience to use. She had a lot of kids and some of them thrived in the chaos and some fell through the cracks.

    4. Family D: A very poorly educated single mom who simply did not understand what was expected of her.

    5. Family E: A diligent but poorly educated mother who had a large number of children and did not have the time or capacity to teach them all well. One child had a learning disability but never had it addressed and I don’t know if this child ever learned to read. She was not retarded, either. Last time I saw her this child was a teenager and could not read the labels on the groceries.

  46. Xenia says:

    This was 20-some years ago. Nowadays there are more options, like the ones used by Steve’s family. My neighbor, a former homeschooler (her two boys grew up to earn masters degrees, both of them) tutors hs kids, especially those who are having trouble learning to read. She is paid by the county as part of a charter school and it’s a face-saving alternative to sending them to public school as illiterates.

  47. Steve Wright says:

    Forgive my ignorance on this question…

    Does the typical popular homeschool curriculum of today come as web-based? Not 100% of course (that wouldn’t be good in its own right) but are the courses online?

    If not, this would strike me as a huge disadvantage for any kid, no matter how committed the parents are…

  48. Xenia says:

    In the case of family E up above, I was asked to read a lengthy essay written by the oldest child, a rather smart kid (could play the piano well, etc) that was to be the child’s final exam before the mom declared them finished with high school. I was handed a big wad of handwriting that was supposed to be the magnum opus of this child’s 12 years of homeschooling. The writing was at a fourth grade level, at best.

  49. PP Vet says:

    X, thank you for the specific examples and the explanations – I think that puts it in context. Your original quote sounded like something a public school system teachers union would put out.

    There are indeed families with what the HSLDA calls “bad facts”, on that we agree.

    Perhaps we are in agreement that:
    – Troubled families who homeschool become troubled homeschooling families
    – Homeschooling should not be over-promoted as a panacea
    – The decision about how to educate one’s children is a serious one.

    In my experience, I do not know of a single family that decided to homeschool that much regrets trying, even if they decided to quit. It has been an absolute godsend to so many Christian families.

    The only homeschooling family I know a lot about has produced one Rhodes Scholarship finalist, two Phi Beta Kappas, five college graduates including four summa cum laude, four Presidential Scholars, two law degrees, two currently in med school, and now has three in undergrad. All at real traditional historic brick-and-mortar universities. After over 100 academic years of homeschooling. 🙂

    So I am a little biased.

  50. Xenia says:

    PP Vet, your family is very unique! I have never met a family like yours but I have met too many families like the ones I listed. Congratulations on a job well-done!!!

    I do agree with you. Well-said.

  51. Ricky Bobby says:

    My wife homeschools by choice. She doesn’t trust the public school system and she comes from a family of teachers and is smart and does an excellent job training our kids in classical education. The curriculum is A Beka, the reading is phonics. Our kids are off-the-charts smart and test well ahead of their grade-level. They participate in a “Co-op” of other families and meet once a week in a classroom environment with different classes and other moms teaching as the lead and assistant. They have P.E. during this day as well. They have a monthly field trip and a “mom’s night out”. It’s a cool balance. My wife and kids love it and the women and kids in this Group are winners (families are successful small-business owners and professionals, etc). The kids aren’t geeks and the moms are smokin’ hot! 😆

    -go fast run left!

    Ricky Bobby

  52. Reuben says:

    Denim jumper talk?

    I got a bike today, so I can chase my son around the neighborhood. I forgot how fun it was to ride. It has been 20 years at least.

  53. Rob says:

    Honest question. Are homeschoolers teaching a solid evolution based science, or using homeschool to avoid a secular education? How do those kids do in college? How many are majoring in science?

  54. Linnea says:

    Rob,

    My friend who homeschooled is a PhD biochemist and developed a curriculum in science for homeschoolers. Her curriculum is based on observation and the scientific method. What you do with you experimental results is almost always based on your world view.

    My kids excelled in science and math, but I didn’t attempt to do it all myself. The families I associated with were diligent homeshoolers who spent time on developing character and critical thinking skills. The former is more important, in my opinion. I work with PhDs in pure science from top notch universities and many are scoundrels

  55. Rob Murphy says:

    @ 54
    You may not have noticed, but kids in America are getting their butts handed to them in the hard sciences and math in comparison with international levels.

    Should the hard science of statistics and results influence the tacit endorsement of the educational accomplishments of “solid evolution based science” in your proposition?

  56. Rob Murphy says:

    @55 great post Linnea.

  57. PP Vet says:

    @55 great post Linnea.

  58. brian says:

    Thinking of trying to get by not driving as much, I E biking taking the bus etc. sort of trying to go native so to speak. Actually it is for health and just sanity issues. I cant stand driving and it makes me rather frustrated at times.

  59. PP Vet says:

    Yes, that is a healthy thought generally. Driving should be avoided whenever possible. It is dangerous, expensive, and polluting. However cycling on public roads (bicycle or motorcycle) is so so much more dangerous.

    Still, if e’s friend were on a different (closer), interstate, I would have been happy to help.

  60. David sloane says:

    Split pea soup at Anderson is what we always enjoyed there in the 60’s and 70’s. I don’t think the place is there any more. Anyone remember the name of the place that served it?

  61. Gary says:

    I gotta have my car. I like driving. I drive a lot. My work car has almost half a million miles on it.

  62. Ricky Bobby says:

    Rob asked, “Honest question. Are homeschoolers teaching a solid evolution based science, or using homeschool to avoid a secular education? How do those kids do in college? How many are majoring in science?”

    We’re teaching our kids “how” to think, while there is some push in teaching them “what” to think, but when they’re older and more able to process issues for themselves I will personally teach them the basics of Evolution, Theistic Evolution, Intelligent Design and the other non YEC theories out there. My wife will let me teach them those options when they’re older 🙂

    I think my kids will do vastly better in “University” than say a Patrick Ewing who “graduated” from Georgetown University (supposedly prestigious institution) and couldn’t read or write….just sayin’.

    Go fast walk left!

    Shake & Bake! It rhymes, they’re both verbs…AWESOME!

    -Ricky Bobby

  63. Gary says:

    It was Anderson’s near Buellton on I-5 in California. I ate there once. Didn’t much care for it.

  64. Gary says:

    Shake and bake do rhyme. Look mommy- I helped!

  65. jtk says:

    THANK YOU, PP COMMUNITY!

    Here I started a great discussion by asking a simple question!

    As a pastor, this issue should be on the “radar” for all of us.

    As a citizen, this will be more and more of an issue.

    As a missionary, I’m both extremely troubled and encouraged by the fruit of homeschooling.

    As a parent, I know what Jesus is telling me to do (homeschool) but I want to make sure I do it in a godly AND effective way, in the fear of the Lord.

    Some of the most rebellious, socially retarded kids I’ve ever met were homeschooled.

    And THE BEST and the brightest, very socially graced, were homeschooled.

  66. jtk says:

    Rob,
    Your #53 is a joke, right?

    On par with The Onion and Landover Baptist…..

  67. Gary says:

    That was a joke? God didn’t really make her that way?

  68. Lutheran says:

    jtk,

    I got in late on the discussion about HSing.

    FWIW, here’s my 2 cents…

    We HSed 2 sons. One just graduated with a Master’s degree in English. He’s seriously considering Lutheran seminary.

    The other guy has 1 more year to go at a Lutheran college. He’s doing quite well.

    We parental units are quite happy with our decision. We really believed it was what God had in mind for us.

    A couple of observations/suggestions: don’t black/white schooling options. HSing is not all good and public school is not all bad (you can of course switch that around). Be flexible, especially when the kids hit the teen years. One of ours went to public high school parttime and it went well. The other attended there not at all. Beware of people who are overly dogmatic that 1 way is right for every kid.

    Don’t use HSing as a retreat from the world. Instead, teach ’em to live IN the world (being not of the world, I believe, means following Christ, practicing disciplines in an organic, weave-it-in by-example way) You can’t be in the world if you’re always shielding them from the world, all the time.

    The other caveat is something I’ve heard from a couple of nurses — that sometimes HS kids get in trouble sexually more than other kids, when they leave home. Maybe it’s becuse they can be more isolated then public school kids (though there are ways to mitigate this). Leaving home is something that I believe should start several years before they actually leave home.

  69. Julie Anne says:

    This is a hot topic for me – I’ve been HSing my kids for 20+yrs, teaching the last two now. I love homeschooling when there is great support, ie, homeschool co-op where enthusiastic parents teach subjects in which they are skilled. However, I have strong reservations about the Homeschool Movement, a conservative fundamentalist Christian sub-culture. You can find this culture at Christian homeschool conventions and especially among the speakers they bring in. When you dig deep, you will find an agenda beneath the Homeschool Movement. The roots come from John Rushdoony and the Reconstructionist movement. I write on this topic on my blog. Some of the teachings include: full-quiver, courtship, purity movement, patriarchy, Dominionism/Reconstructionism, dresses-only, etc. Here is one of my more popular articles giving an overview of dangerous teachings/trends: http://goo.gl/YlsXO

    Remove all that junk and homeschooling is a wonderful option.

  70. Julie Anne says:

    The other caveat is something I’ve heard from a couple of nurses — that sometimes HS kids get in trouble sexually more than other kids, when they leave home.

    I have been noticing patterns regarding this. The Homeschool Movement I described above teaches a lot on purity and modesty and courtship. You get these ideas in the minds of parents who are legalistic and it usually backfires. For example, in our spiritually abusive church which adhered to many aspects of the homeschool movement, the pastor harped big time on modesty/purity from the pulpit. We had a dress code. Boys were told to look away when they saw women jogging in the street. We turned over magazines at the grocery store and any time we saw someone with a swimsuit on tv, the station was turned until the scene was clear. It became over the top. The interesting thing is that most of the youth in that church ended up living very sexually immoral lives – more so than I’ve seen in any other group of youth.

  71. Nonnie says:

    Lute and JulieAnne’s 70 and 71….Yes, you both said what I was trying to write last night and deleted. Thank you. There is good and bad in all situations of schooling. You have both said it so well.

    I HS’d for 5 years and we had a great time, but when we moved overseas we lost our HS co-op and support group, and because of our living conditions in Manila, we desperately needed to place our children in school. There is a wonderful school for missionary children there and that school became a “safe haven” for our children. They all graduated from there and we thanked God for it!

  72. Josh Hamrick says:

    Gary – The other thread got closed.

    You asked if I am a songwriter, and I am. I would love to look at some of your more serious poetry.

  73. Lutheran says:

    KevinH,

    Funny. My son found the book you linked to the other day and showed it to me. At first I thought it was satire, but it’s not. Wowee!

  74. Kevin H says:

    Lute,

    I initially thought the book was a joke, but the more I looked at it, the more it does seem as if it’s a real book. I think a couple of the reviews were done tongue-in-cheek. Maybe I’ll have to buy a copy to make sure. After I’m done with it, I could send it to Michael and he could do a book review for us on the PP. 🙂

  75. Gary says:

    Josh,
    Give me an address and I’ll send you a batch. It can be your church or a p o box if you don’t want to post your home address

    Lutheran and Kevin,
    Julie Anne has a blog on that book. We had a lot of fun playing with it.

  76. Gary says:

    We were coming up with like-minded children’s books. The best was Oompa Loompas in the Hands of an Angry God. I’m still laughing at that one.

  77. Josh Hamrick says:

    Gary – send an email to josh@joshhamrick.net , and I’ll get you the info.

  78. Kevin H says:

    Gary,

    I just saw the posting on Julie Anne’s blog at your prompting. I guess I’m way behind on my news cycle. 🙂

  79. Julie Anne says:

    Kevin, Funny you mention that book.

    I did an article (http://spiritualsoundingboard.com/2013/06/01/indoctrinating-your-children-with-doctrine) on that book 1-1/2 wks ago and the comments are still going (comments currently at 576). I found the author, J.D. Hall, on Twitter and invited him to join the conversation. He came, commented and left – couldn’t stand the heat that my readers were giving him, but then debated with me on Twitter. He then complained about getting his Twitter wall all filled up with dialogue, so he wanted to go to Direct Message (private). I found his behavior and treatment of others to be condescending and rude, especially for a pastor. He claims that I’m postmodern and that’s why I can’t handle it when he says that he’s right and I’m wrong.

    In one part of the conversation when someone else jumped in on Twitter, he said to the other guy, “don’t throw pearls before the feminists” or something like that, clearly referring to me. I have very serious concerns about this book and his methodology in which he shoves his doctrine down people’s throats and behaves like a jerk. His Twitter handle is: @PulpitAndPen

  80. Julie Anne says:

    Kevin, the author offered the book to me. Maybe I should take him up on the offer and then send it to you 🙂 I’d need to send it pretty quick or else I’d be tempted to burn it just because of my dealings with him.

    (I must have been tying my response the same time you and Gary were posting.) BTW, Gary rocks on children’s book titles. I haven’t laughed so hard in a long time.

    Gary – my fave was One Fish, Two Fish, I Chose You Fish. hahahahaha

    Nonnie – – What was the name of the school your kids went to? My family lived in the Philippines 1988-90. We had friends in Manila and I’m trying to remember the name of the school they went to. Was it Faith Academy?

  81. Michael says:

    As the resident evil Calvinist, I have to comment.
    First I think the book title was very ill advised and counter productive…and more than a little arrogant.
    I actually shuddered a bit when I saw it…
    However, Julie Annes lead into the conversation was also full of misinformation and the kind of anti-Calvinist bigotry that makes those of us in that camp upset.
    Not all of us turned a blind eye to SGM…

  82. Lutheran says:

    Michael,

    Anyone who thinks the author of that book and his POV is “mainstream” Reformed is badly mistaken, IMHO. All this guy represents is himself and perhaps his church. Period.
    That’s how I see it.

  83. Kevin H says:

    Julie Anne,

    I think I will pass on the offer of the book. Now that I know for sure that the book is real, I will go back to looking for the occassional spider under my daughter’s bed as she find them much scarier than Arminians. 🙂

  84. Michael says:

    Lutheran,

    This guy is part of the YRR…and most of those guys need about ten more years of life experience before they are allowed on any social media, in my opinion.

  85. Gary says:

    LOL @ resident evil Calvinist. Makes me think of the “I’m Hugo” scene from the older Little Women. Such evil!! Regardless of the content of the book the title was insulting.

  86. Lutheran says:

    Michael,

    I’m a bit older and have had no contact with the YRR. My interactions have been with folks who don’t so much wear their Calvinism on their sleeve and use it as a lightning rod, like these groups seem to. For example, the CRC, Calvin College grads, folks in the United Presby. denom, Anglicans like Stott and Packer who are Reformed…in fact, much of higher-education evangelicalism (for lack of a better term) is Reformed in theology to one degree or another. Richard Mouw, to just give one quick example, the Fuller Sem president, comes out of a Calvin College/CRC background.

  87. Julie Anne says:

    Michael – What misinformation? I presented what I saw – a book cover that certainly wasn’t meant for children, the table of contents that showed TULIP. I actually spent 10 minutes looking on Amazon for an Arminian children’s book to represent the other side. My point of the article really was not to bash Calvinism, but his method. I understand the labels for identifying where one lines up doctrinally, but other than that find them to be divisive.

    Of course as frequently happens, the discussion morphed into the Calv/Arm debate, but the primary issue I have is the shoving of any doctrine down someone’s throat, especially young children. It’s bully behavior that I talk about on my blog (and when I find it on the other camp, I’ll deal with it there, too, ie, Bob Grenier). I have a lot of Calvinist friends who do not behave like this guy.

    If you shuddered when you saw it, I’m sure there are others who did as well. I’m wondering why other Calvinists aren’t telling him to knock it off.

  88. Michael says:

    Lutheran,

    I agree…and all I can do is be the most irenic Calvinist I can be…Packer is my model as I follow him as he follows Christ.

  89. Julie Anne says:

    Michael – – I can’t remember if it’s on public Twitter or private, but I asked him directly about YRR. He said he is not New Calvinist or YRR. That surprised me.

  90. Michael says:

    Julie Anne,

    You presented the old hackneyed argument that a Calvinist can’t tell a child (or anyone else) that Christ died for them.
    That’s simply not true.
    My son is told that every day.
    It shows a complete misunderstanding of Calvinism and it’s unfair.
    As to child rearing…what child is not raised in the families religious tradition whether Arminian, Calvinist, Orthodox, or Catholic?
    My son is being raised to be biblical according to my best understanding…as are kids in all the other traditions.

  91. Julie Anne says:

    Lutheran said: All this guy represents is himself and perhaps his church. Period.

    I don’t agree. He seems to be schmoozing and speaking with the likes of Phil Johnson, Paul Washer, Dr. James White, Chris Rosebrough Here’s a little something I found: http://pulpitandpen.org/reformation-montana/

  92. Julie Anne says:

    Micahel said You presented the old hackneyed argument that a Calvinist can’t tell a child (or anyone else) that Christ died for them.

    Whoa, Nellie! Where did you see that? I tell my kids that every day.

  93. Michael says:

    Chris Rosebrough is a Lutheran.

  94. Michael says:

    Julie Anne,

    From the body of your article;

    “Keystone, your comment shows that you do not know Arminian doctrine rightly.

    That’s the point of “unconditional election”. It has nothing to do with merit or demerit. Calvinism teaches man is not worthy of salvation, and that is right. However, it also essentially teaches that others are damned without any reference too their deserving it (although, that is denied; nevertheless, it is the logical conclusion).

    Conditonal election would not give nightmares for the Arminian can truthfully tell the child God loves him and will save him; all he need do is trust Christ.

    If the Calvinist were honest, he would need to tell the child that he might be of the elect or you might be damned to hell forever and there is nothing you can do about it. While the child cries that God can’t be like that, in good Calvinist fashion, you can tell him, “Who are you, child, to answer back to God.”

    If I were 7 years old and heard Calvinistic doctrine, I’d have stinking nightmares…along with wetting my pj’s! (Source)”

  95. Josh Hamrick says:

    “If the Calvinist were honest, he would need to tell the child that he might be of the elect or you might be damned to hell forever and there is nothing you can do about it.”

    Michael, is that not precisely the Calvinist position?

  96. Lutheran says:

    Michael,

    I guess John Stott would be my Packer. I love both these men for what they stood/stand for!

  97. Michael says:

    Julie Anne,

    Classic Calvinism believes in what we call “the free offer of the Gospel”.
    We don’t know who the elect are so we are compelled to offer the Gospel of Christ’s birth, death, resurrection, ascension, and return to every man, woman, and child.
    I would never speak to a child or an adult in the fashion caricatured in that statement from your blog.
    Never.

  98. Michael says:

    Josh,

    For God’s sake, who in their right mind would say that to someone seeking Christ?
    I tell everyone (including my son) what Christ has done for them…we offer Christ crucified for their sins, not arcane theology on the mechanics of salvation.

  99. Josh Hamrick says:

    @ 101 – I wish the other Calvinists I knew were more like you. Seriously.

  100. Michael says:

    Lutheran,

    I love Stott as well…but I’m an Anglican wannabe. 🙂

  101. Michael says:

    Josh,

    When Calvin was a young man and a relatively new convert, he published the first edition of the Institutes.
    The doctrine of predestination was up front with the doctrines of God.
    As he matured as a pastor, he moved that part of the book…way to the back.
    That’s where you’ll find it in the final, magnum opus edition.
    The reason was that he wanted people to understand all the other wondrous things of God before they ever tackled the “mechanics’ of salvation…they needed to know of the “free offer’ and all about the gift of God in Christ Jesus before that was even worth discussing.
    I wish that the rest of tribe understood that love and relationship must come before difficult doctrines as well as Calvin did.

  102. Julie Anne says:

    That wasn’t my statement, Michael. The response that I quoted was intended to show how people reacted to the book. I haven’t personally dealt with any Calvinist who liked JD’s approach – and that should say there is a problem. Man, why aren’t you thanking me for showing that this guy is representing a bad form of Calvinism?

    Classic Calvinism believes in what we call “the free offer of the Gospel”.
    We don’t know who the elect are so we are compelled to offer the Gospel of Christ’s birth, death, resurrection, ascension, and return to every man, woman, and child.

    (I agree with this ^^^)

    This guy is a fraud then. I think others in the Calvinist camp would want to reign him in.

  103. Josh Hamrick says:

    “I wish that the rest of tribe understood that love and relationship”

    They are like Job’s 3 friends. They may be “correct”, but when and how they are sharing their info makes them totally wrong.

    Of course, my group has idiots, too.

  104. Michael says:

    Julie Anne,

    Sigh.
    Calvinism is not some monolithic entity with a central government.
    It is a systematic theology with many different variations and shades spread through innumerable denominations.
    I would not say that Hall is a fraud…I would say that he’s playing to those in the camp who love to think they are the last word on biblical doctrine.
    There are folks like that in every camp.
    We all think we’re right.

  105. Michael says:

    I knew I should have taken a shower before I sat down here this morning… 🙂
    Back shortly…

  106. Xenia says:

    “If the Calvinist were honest, he would need to tell the child that he might be of the elect or you might be damned to hell forever and there is nothing you can do about it.”<<<<

    For God’s sake, who in their right mind would say that to someone seeking Christ?<<<

    Plenty of people, as I have heard with my own ears. And they would tell you, Michael, that no one seeks Christ.

  107. Steve Wright says:

    I know this only stirs the pot, but it is an honest question from someone on “the other side” of both doctrinal issues.

    Why would a Calvinist baptize an infant? What I mean by the question is simply what does the Calvinist see as happening to that infant at baptism.

    (MLD and Tundra, not being Calvinists, need not join in… 🙂 )

  108. Michael says:

    Xenia,

    You are an able historian.
    You must know that some of the greatest evangelists in the history of Protestantism were Calvinists.
    The modern missions movement was started by Calvinists.
    I believe in election and predestination as theological constructions.
    I have never put those constructions in front of the free offer of the Gospel to every man, woman, and child.

  109. Xenia says:

    Steve, that is a question I have wondered about, too. My baby grandson was baptized in a Calvinist church. The pastor had a lot to say about what baptism *didn’t* do for little Sammy so I concluded it was more of a baby dedication, with water.

  110. Xenia says:

    Well MIchael, maybe you wouldn’t but I am here to tell you that many do.

  111. Michael says:

    Steve,

    Not all Calvinists practice paedo baptism.
    Those that do believe it’s the NT method of entrance into the covenant as circumcision was in the OT.

  112. Xenia says:

    Well, I have determined never to argue about Calvinism on the Internet and here I go, breaking my vow. I will return to my vow now.

  113. Gary says:

    How now thou vow? My lips are zipped.

  114. Julie Anne says:

    Michael said:I would not say that Hall is a fraud…I would say that he’s playing to those in the camp who love to think they are the last word on biblical doctrine.
    There are folks like that in every camp.
    We all think we’re right.

    This is where abuse comes in, though, Michael. It becomes heavy handed, my-way-or-the-highway, people are treated like less-thans, like they are not Christians because they don’t measure up to your particular brand of theology. I have seen this spiritual bullying from the pulpit where it makes congregants question their salvation (because they didn’t line up with their pastor on every thing). Doctrine becomes idol and relationship with God becomes secondary. Fairy-See-ism is SadYouSee

  115. Michael says:

    Xenia,

    My Calvinism is very Packer shaped…and you know that he has engaged in great, irenic discussions with the EO to all of our benefit.
    I think we can do the same. 🙂

  116. Michael says:

    Julie Anne,

    If you think that is only a characteristic of Calvinism I’ll send you a few hundred Arminian sermons to help you get some balance.
    All traditions believe they are correct and they teach those doctrines to the best of their understanding.
    I don’t have any problem with that as long as we can disagree on secondary doctrines in love.

  117. Steve Wright says:

    The dean of my prior seminary is a Calvinist – but very irenic and a great guy (he taught several of my theology classes). He used to pastor a small Baptist church in the middle of the country and when he taught the key Romans chapters from his Calvinist point of view he said he lost several families in the church. Their loss in my opinion.

  118. Gary says:

    *sings* Gimmie that old time derision…

  119. Steve Wright says:

    Speaking of Packer…

    A fascinating read is his Evangelism and the Sovereignty of God.

    I highly recommend it, especially to the non-Calvinists in the group.

    It was a required text from my Church Planting professor in seminary who incidentally was NOT a Calvinist, but very Baptist through and through.

    How many seminaries would you find THAT sort of freedom and openness. 🙂

  120. Michael says:

    Steve,

    That’s a classic.
    Your seminary has risen greatly in my estimation… 🙂

  121. Steve Wright says:

    Michael, I think it would be a hoot to watch you walk through our church bookstore.

    It would be a “textbook” case of mixed-emotions (pun intended) 🙂

  122. Josh Hamrick says:

    Steve – I’d guess all the SBC seminaries are similar in their approach.

    I read that Packer book a few years back on Michael’s request, and really liked it. Full of good quotes.

  123. Steve Wright says:

    Josh, my seminary is not SBC though. It isn’t even Baptist in any general sense.

    I think it could be compared to a poor-man’s Dallas. Certainly we read more Dallas guys than anyone else as far as textbooks go.

  124. Josh Hamrick says:

    @ 126 – No, I know which seminary you went to, and think very highly of it. I love Dallas, too. I was just pointing out that if anyone knows how to mix their soteriologies, it’s the SBC’ers.

    I would guess Mohler probably pushes the Reformed position a little more at Southern, and Paige Patterson might push the non-calv position a little more at Southwestern, but for the most part, all parts are fairly presented.

  125. Steve Wright says:

    I think that is a fundamental part of higher education – studying different points of view. There is only so much time in the day though, so I also think it is appropriate for a seminary to have some core beliefs they aren’t going to debate with students over.

    As I think I told you before, Josh. My seminary allowed me to write my Masters Thesis on a topic that went against the belief statement of the seminary. Yet there it sits today, in their library, as representative of what a former student produced and they signed off on as properly presenting and supporting the case (without of course actually agreeing with me that I am right 🙂 )

  126. Lutheran says:

    I may be wrong, but I think there’s more than one view of baptism in the Reformed camp.

    One I have in my library that I really like is from Geoffrey Bromiley, who taught at Fuller for many years::”Children of Promise: The Case for Baptizing Infants.” I found it very helpful.
    He used a Trinitarian framework to present the discussion.

    http://www.amazon.com/Children-Promise-Case-Baptizing-Infants/dp/0802817971/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1370893690&sr=8-1&keywords=geoffrey+bromiley

  127. Michael says:

    Lutheran,

    There are differences.
    Most go back to the foundational idea of entrance to the covenant, but again, it’s not monolithic.
    There are many Reformed Baptists as well.
    I’m still straddling the fence… 🙂

  128. Lutheran says:

    Steve Wright —

    A question for ya.

    I’ve heard that most Dallas profs. tend to be 3- or 4-point Calvnists. I’m sure it’s no monolithic, but —

    what do you know? Thanks.

  129. Steve Wright says:

    Hard to answer for me, Lutheran. The books I would read as part of seminary didn’t really go down that path. Ryrie’s ‘So Great A Salvation’ certainly would not be promoting a strong Calvinism but much like Packer’s book to the non-Calvinist, I don’t think an irenic Calvinist would disagree strongly with Ryrie there. (Michael and I had a fun time one night years ago and I got him to agree with much of Ryrie’s quotes in that book 🙂 )

    I imagine if one was actually a student at Dallas and got to know the professors personally, one could understand better their soteriology.

    (I’ve never liked the label of a 3 or 4 point Calvinist myself – but I understand what you are asking. I guess I am a 2.5 pointer 🙂 )

  130. Lutheran says:

    Thanks, Steve. Appreciate your perspective.

    I said this on an earlier blogpost, but I think at least a moderate Calvinism is woven through the majority of higher-education evangelicalism, except the Wesleyan/Methodist institutions. I guess I’d call it a soft Calvinism.

  131. Julie Anne says:

    Michael: I’ve said it numerous times. I don’t care what you call yourself (Cal/Arm), if you behave like a bully and abuse, I call that bad boy out. It is destructive no matter what the doctrinal foundation.

  132. Steve Wright says:

    but I think at least a moderate Calvinism is woven through the majority of higher-education evangelicalism
    —————————————————-
    I saw that, and would tend to agree. Like with the dean of my seminary I mentioned earlier.

  133. mrtundraman says:

    “When you dig deep, you will find an agenda beneath the Homeschool Movement. The roots come from John Rushdoony and the Reconstructionist movement”

    That’s actually the thing I like the best. The Reconstructionists provided the philosophical basis for the movement. I am a Rushdoony fan!

  134. Julie Anne says:

    #136 :::::ja just fell off her couch and cannot get up:::::

    dumbfounded!

  135. Gary says:

    It’s been 5 days Julie. Are you up yet?

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