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E-News September Issue 8, Volume 3

Wyoming Parental Rights Update
Many of you have heard of the controversy over the Texas Governor ordering 12 year old girls to be vaccinated against HPV. This sparked four candidates to speak about parental rights in the last Republican debate. Read more . . .

California legislature passed a law in August now awaiting the Governor’s signature. It would allow children as young as 12 years old to consent to certain medical care without parental involvement. Read more. . .

These types of government actions could discourage us, but we are not helpless in this battle. Our goal of a parental rights amendment to the U.S. Constitution is large. But we in Wyoming can do our part. The Amendment was introduced into the last Congress with Cynthia Lummis as one of the over 140 cosponsors. We have two U.S. Senators who will gladly support this soon, if enough of us ask. A call blitz is planned by in October. We will put out a special email to let you know when this will happen.

And we can be part of the 38 states necessary to ratify the amendment. Toward this end we can pass a Wyoming resolution asking Congress to send us the amendment.
Five states have passed resolutions: MT, FL, SD, LA, ID; four others have them introduced. Let’s join them! And you can do your part: tell your friends and relatives about the need for a Parental Rights Amendment. If you have not signed the online petition, go to

How to work with your local school district:
I have received several calls and emails this fall on working with local school districts that cover a variety of topics so I’d like to answer some of the most pressing questions and concerns. There are really two issues involved.
First the annual reporting that all home educating families need to do. State statute requires that homeschooled families send in their annual list of curriculum to their local district. Basically all that is required is a name of students, name and address of parents and a list of curriculum. There is a sample letter (Amy can you add the link) on our website that you can use. Or the best form is the one already done by HSLDA. If you are not a member of HSLDA we encourage you to become a member.
The second issue involves working with local districts for classes, dual enrollment, testing, and/or sports participation. Parents who wish to use any of these resources need to work with their own district. As long as the district does not require more of homeschooling students than they do of public schooled students then they are not contradicting the law. A question came up this fall about a state sports organization requiring testing for homeschooled students to participate in sports. Since public school students are required to maintain a certain grade point average to participate schools can require records from home educated students for participation or testing. If families want to participate with the local district you have to play by their rules. I hope this clears up some issues that have come up this fall. If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to ask. You can go to HOW’s website and send your question through the contact us page.
Todd Smith HOW President. 

Courageous the movie is coming to Casper, Cheyenne, Gillette, Riverton, Rock Springs, and Sheridan the opening weekend Sept. 30-Oct. 2. God is calling fathers to rise up and fulfill their God-given role as fathers. If you want more information visit their website at

Prayer Requests
HOW is a ministry to Wyoming Homeschool Families. As a ministry we want to uplift one another in prayer when we are able. Please let us know of any prayer requests and we will include them on our prayer page. You may send your prayer requests via our contact form. We will keep them posted each month until you update us on a situation so please stay in contact.

Please spend a few minutes today uplifting these people in prayer:
Pray for the HOW Board Member families as they serve Wyoming Homeschoolers
HOW County Contacts as they work to serve you locally and coordinate information between you and the Board.


Reclaiming Family Worship
Todd Smith, HOW President
As Christian Homeschoolers we try and incorporate the teaching of Scripture into our curriculum choices. We look for ways to study God’s Word that give our children new information and help them to be good students of the Word. This year in our family we are going back to the basics. We are going to do a Bible overview. Looking at approximately two books a week we are going to try and answer those who, what, where, why, when questions for each book of the Bible and memorize at least one key verse for each book of the Bible. This will give us a foundation to build on for next year as we try to study Christian Doctrine. 
Now depending on where your children are at in their faith this may seem like a simplistic exercise or it may seem like a lofty goal for those of you with younger children. But this will give us a chance to see where our children are at in their knowledge and build upon it. 
But beyond treating the Bible as a textbook I think it is time for families to reclaim and recapture a forgotten practice of family worship. At least forgotten to many Christians that I know. There has been an emphasis for individuals to each find a time of day to have a devotional type of quiet time before the Lord. A time to read the word, pray, and maybe write about what you’ve read, but I haven’t seen a lot of emphasis on gathering the family unit together in each household once or twice a day to have family worship.
This used to be common. Everyday families would gather to read the Word, pray together, and sing together. But now it is rare. I recently read a great book written in 1847 called, “Thoughts on Family Worship” by James W. Alexander (read it at Google books). This is a call back to something that had a great benefit for families, the church and society as a whole. Another good resource that has been recently done is, “Gather the Family”, a documentary by Franklin Media. It shows how different types of families are striving to put this into practice in their homes. I encourage you to look at these resources but you don’t need them to get started. Simply gather your family, read God’s Word, sing a little, and pray together. If we return to this daily devotion maybe we can see our families, our churches, and our nation turn back to God.

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Annual Board Meeting
The HOW Board met in Casper on September 8th. We started planning for the 2012 convention with a decision to move the location to Casper. The ice cream social time at convention 2011 yielded useful input including several asking for a change in location. From the financial report we learned that the convention this year lost money, somewhat from lower attendance, but mainly due to expenses. Do not lose heart, as we are planning the best convention yet for 2012!

Last year we decided that couples who had years of homeschooling experience and had graduated their last child could provide a wealth of wisdom as board members. Therefore, we changed the By-laws to allow for this. Please pray about serving Wyoming homeschoolers if this is your situation. This would likewise include those who serve as County Contacts. We would prefer to be a larger board for more input from various parts of the state and for more shoulders to the plow. If you are interested just fill out these forms (HOW Board Application and Personal Reference Questionnaire).

Todd & Melissa Smith  
Mark & Annette Barcus  
Clint & Cindy Beaver 
Greg & Jan Loftus

HOW Convention 2012
HOW has some great changes coming this year to the convention. First we would like to introduce you to the keynote speaker, Kevin Swanson. We would also like to announce a chance in location. Last year several people mentioned that having the convention in a more central location would be a good idea. This year the convention will be at College Heights Baptist Church in Casper. We are excited about the possibilities that a new location will bring! Mark your calendar now for May 11-12, 2012!

The One Indispensable Constituent of a Good Education
By Kevin Swanson, Keynote speaker, HOW 2012 convention

The right theory on education is pretty important. If you get it wrong, you will ruin the next generation. For parents this is important, because most parents do not want to see their children ruined. But which is the right theory of education? People really trust the theories of thinkers like Jean Jacques Rousseau, Fichte, Marx, Mann, Dewey, Hirsch, or Montessori and they follow them. Mostly they follow the revolutionary thinker of the 18th century, Jean Jacques Rousseau who postulated a K-12 education funded by the state that would "withdraw the child as much as possible from parents and relatives." (Durant: Rousseau and Revolution, 179). This was his recommendation for the modern world, upon abandoning five of his own babies on the steps of an orphanage, withdrawing them from parents and relatives and remanding them to the professionals.

Meet Kevin Swanson the 2012 HOW Convention Speaker
Homeschooled himself in the 1960's and 70's, Kevin Swanson and his wife, Brenda, are now homeschooling their five children. Since graduating from his homeschool and then serving as student body president of a large west coast university, he has gone on to other leadership positions in corporate management, church, and other non-profits. Kevin has 35 years of experience in the homeschooling movement and serves as the founding director of Generations with Vision – a ministry he founded to strengthen homeschool families around the country. As a father who wants to leave a godly heritage for his own five children, Kevin’s passion is to strengthen and encourage the homeschooling movement all over the world, and to cast a vision for generations to come.  For the last 7 years Kevin has hosted a daily radio program – Generations Radio – the world’s largest homeschooling and Biblical worldview radio program that reaches families across the US and in over 80 countries.
Kevin also served as the Executive Director of Christian Home Educators of Colorado from 1998-2009, and still works actively with CHEC in his work with Generations with Vision. He has also authored several popular books for homeschoolers, including Upgrade-10 Secrets to the Best Education for Your Child, Second Mayflower, the Family Bible Study Guide Series, Christian Classics Study Guide, and others. Serving as a passionate supporter of home education, he has been interviewed on hundreds of media outlets, including Dr. James’ Dobson’s Focus on the Family and the Fox News Network. 
Kevin Swanson may be contacted through his website at

Information for High School Students
Wyoming Admissions Officers (WAO) is a non-profit educational and professional association whose aim is to energetically provide quality information about post-secondary options for high school students, parents and counselors throughout the state of Wyoming. WAO is comprised of admissions staff from all seven community colleges and the University of Wyoming. more...


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