E-News November Issue 9, Volume 3
Thankful for Homeschooling|
President HOW, Todd Smith
It seems that once November hits it is a mad race of holidays until January 1st. November is also usually that month when we pause to give thanks. Thanksgiving for a Christian ought to be more than good food and football. It ought to cause us to really pause and think about what we value most.
For many families this means that a few months of formal school has gone by and it is a good time to pause and see what has been accomplished and what on your list of school items still remains undone. Evaluation can be a good thing but don’t let it take over to the point where you simply lament over what could have been.
I have been reflecting a lot this last month as we sent our oldest off for a three month internship. It wasn’t that I didn’t believe those parents who were older than I was, I did, but 18 years truly goes by really fast. This year I encourage you to not only pause and give thanks for the many blessings in your life such as family and friends, but also to pause and especially give thanks for being able to home educate. In other parts of our world it is still a struggle. For most all of us it is a great blessing.
I thank the Lord for the special time I have with my wife and children. I would never trade that for the world. Time will soon catch up to me and my youngest will be out of the home and I’ll never wish I would have spent less time with my children. Give thanks for what you have. Yes, homeschooling is not easy some days, but the alternative to me is not worth the cost. I get to spend time molding lives that God has entrusted to my care. And that more than any job or any amount of wealth is what I will cherish down the road.
May God bless your family as you gather together and enjoy the blessings of God and the blessing of home education. Thank you Lord for giving us the responsibility of raising up the next generation for you. For that is our ultimate aim. Not academic scores or good colleges. Lord forgive us when we place curriculum and lesson plans over discipleship and faith.
Parental Rights Update
By Jan Loftus
Do you want the good news or bad news first? This will be bad news, then good news, so if you answered, "good news," then skip to the latter part of the article. We know that the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) is a threat to families, with 37 U.S. Senators holding it back at this time with Senate Resolution 99 (S.R. 99). What is happening in countries that live with the UNCRC? In Sweden, homeschooling was made illegal July 2011. Spankings, time outs, and sending children to their rooms are criminal acts. In the Netherlands, parents have become caregivers, responsible to feed and clothe, but not to guide, train, and teach. Read more . . .
In our country, are we acting as the frog in the pot? In Wyoming, parents are allowed to access their children’s medical information by state law, until the children are 18, unless emancipated. Not so in Minnesota where the age is 12! Yet those parents will care for their sick one at midnight, not the health care workers. Back to Wyoming: according to Federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act already in place, you are your child’s "personal representative" when the state allows you to be. (We would all agree with the state taking over in cases of abuse). California just passed a law allowing children as young as 12 to consent to the Gardasil vaccine without parental knowledge or consent. Minnesota already allows the same thing. In Virginia, the vaccine is even mandated by law, the state having made the decision.
If we lived in NYC, Mayor Michael Bloomberg would have just told us, regarding teaching our 11 year olds such pornographic material that it was blocked by Family Research Council's filter, "I think it’s the responsibility of the city to explain to kids the risks . . ." (emphasis mine)
Back to the frog in the pot-we must act to protect our children. These are real threats to our families. We can’t even say as Hezekiah did that it won’t happen in our lifetime. We will see our children struggling to raise their children with the government as the parent.
O.K., what is the good news? Nationally, the Parental Rights Amendment should be introduced into this Congress very soon. Our Representative to Washington D.C., Cynthia Lummis was a cosponsor in the last Congress. Senators Enzi and Barrasso, though family friendly, were not. Take a couple minutes to call today. Thank Representative Lummis for cosponsoring the Amendment in the last Congress and ask that she become an original cosponsor in this session of Congress along with the lead sponsor Trent Franks from Arizona. Also, call our Senators and ask them to become original cosponsors with the lead sponsor Sen. Jim DeMint of South Carolina. Their phone numbers can be found here: http://www.parentalrights.org/index.asp?Type=B_BASIC&SEC=%7b846F491E-9012-4CF9-A9B5-4D782560B24E%7d
Also, Wyoming will have the opportunity to pass a state Resolution in the next session, February 2012 urging Washington to send us the Parental Rights Amendment for ratification. Five states have passed Resolutions and four others have introduced them. Sponsoring the Resolution is Representative Botten from Sheridan with Representative Davison from Kemmerer as cosponsor. They are working to inform our state senators and representatives ahead of the session. We are responsible to let our representatives know that this is important, to write asking them to pass this to protect our right and responsibility to raise our children. There are 59 (one vacant seat) representatives in Wyoming State session. Fourteen parents have already volunteered to help get letters to our representatives and senators in January. Forty-four more are needed. It won't take much of your time. Please email me if you can give a little time: firstname.lastname@example.org
God's Theory of Education
By Kevin Swanson, Keynote speaker, HOW 2012 convention
On April 28th, 2004, the police uncovered a family (father and daughter) deep in the forests of northwest Oregon. Homeless and destitute, the father had opted not to leave his daughter to grow up on the streets. Instead, he took her into the woods, and for four years they lived in a lean-to in the forest. Police were amazed to find the girl clean, healthy, and . . . educated! There in the forest, the father had homeschooled his daughter with nothing but a Bible and a decrepit set of encyclopedias. Officials tested the twelve-year-old and found that she had already achieved a 12th-grade equivalency.
Now, ask yourself, how could this be? There was no department of education. No certified teacher. No expensive curriculum. No notice-of-intent to homeschool and no standardized tests. So what was the secret? Police Sgt. Michael Barkley told reporters, "What was so clear was that their living conditions were unacceptable, but their relationship was a real deep love and caring for each other" (Source www.katu.com).
There are some factors in the education of a child that transcend all others. Because they are so basic and powerful, they eliminate the need for experts, expensive government programs, and extensive regulations. Sadly, they are factors largely ignored by our education systems in place today. more...
HOW Convention 2012
HOW has some great changes coming this year to the convention. Be sure to read the above article by keynote speaker, Kevin Swanson. Also see how you can listen to one of his speeches below in the "Becoming a Homeschoolers of Wyoming Member" article.
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!
Become a Homeschoolers of Wyoming Member
We want to encourage you to join HOW. Thomas Jefferson once said, "The Price of Freedom is eternal vigilance." We appreciate the homeschooling freedoms we enjoy in Wyoming today and we thank the pioneers who blazed the trail before us. That being said, we know that Thomas Jefferson's words ring true. HOW exists to promote homeschooling within our State and to work together with like-minded families to preserve our freedoms. Will you join with us in this eternal vigilance? By being members of HOW not only do you get all the great benefits listed below but you also become a formal part of the HOW team as we work together in this state. Just as joining Homeschool Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) gives you the legal protection for homeschooling, joining HOW gives you a network of families who will work together to preserve your freedoms and will be there for you when our freedoms are threatened. $20 a year is a small amount to give for the benefits you receive. As a team we will accomplish far more together than we will as individual families. Homeschoolers of Wyoming (HOW) is dedicated to helping homeschooling families around the state.
The Purpose of HOW and Membership is to provide support and further the interests of family-funded, parent-directed home education of children. The support provides a network for legislative purposes, newsletters, conventions, and activities. Membership in HOW is open to all family-funded, parent-directed home educating families in Wyoming. The leadership is Christian directed and led, consisting of couples serving as board of directors.
Everyone who signs up receives these special discounts! A $20 discount with HSLDA (Only paid members of HOW are authorized to use HOW's number to receive the HSDLA discount. If you are using this membership number please sign up to continue to enjoy your savings.) And $10 off your convention registration. Plus ... A hard copy of the convention issue of HOW News, mailed to your home in February and these FREE downloads:
The Homeschool Vision (MP3 audio) by Kevin Swanson, Generations With Vision
Supermom's Simple Guide to Healthier Eating for Beginners and Beyond (ebook) By Erica Johns
Become a member!
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.
Wyoming State Bee 2012
Wyoming Community Foundation with USA Touring your hosts for the Wyoming State Spelling Bee 2012 would like to check in with you and give you some additional information and some of the same information to make sure you understand how this years program will work for your students. The Wyoming State Spelling Bee 2012 will take place March 17 at the Best Western Ramkota Hotel here in Casper. All detailed information is available to you once your school has registered for this years event at www.spellingbee.com. In order for your students to participate in the Wyoming State Spelling Bee 2012 program, your school must enroll with the Scripps National Spelling Bee at spellingbee.com by the December 16 deadline. This will also serve as your registration with the Wyoming State Spelling Bee 2012. (This date is an extension to the October 17 deadline that was in effect.) more...