We are a Christian homeschooling family of 9 sharing experiences on our 14 acre farm in rural Virginia. Blog entries could feature anything going on in our lives: our walk with Christ, triumphs and struggles, homeschool, family life, helpful hints, tips for large family living, rural living, herbal medicine, etc. If you enjoyed your visit, please drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org
Miss Hannah turned 6 months on 6/22. She's in my arms at the beach. She loves to kick and splash and watch her siblings play in the river. Hannah has more hair than what you can see, but it is so much lighter than her newborn hair.
I looked up from a serious phone conversation with Clint to see these two knuckleheads trying to crack me up. Brandon and Amanda are not only my children but also my brother and sister in Christ. They are also some of my dearest and closest friends.
At Answers in Genesis, we seek prayerfully to support parents no matter the type of education they choose for their children, including state education, independent secular education, independent Christian schools, and homeschooling. We produce a number of resources that can be used in many of these environments.
It will be of concern to many, therefore, to read of the report on “Elective Home Education,” compiled on behalf of the Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF) by Graham Badman in the United Kingdom. The areas of specific concern to Christians (and many non-Christians) will be the proposed compulsory annual registration of their children and inspection visits by representatives of the Local Education Authority (LEA).
In many cases, it is precisely because of the poor standard of LEA provision that parents have chosen to educate their children at home. There will also be concern that these proposed inspection visits should involve conversations between LEA representatives and the child alone—without the parents present. This latter point is an abuse of parental responsibility and rights.
Badman states, “This review does not argue against the rights of parents as set out in Section 7 of the Education Act 1996 outlined above, nor their deeply held convictions about education.”1 This quote underlines the problem with the report—and the basis for why Ed Balls, Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families, was wrong to accept the report. Parents do not have rights under English law to educate their children in the way they wish—they have a duty to do so. Even non-Christian critics of the proposals have pointed this out. Gill Kilner, a home-educating blogger, says this:
Elective home education: the deliverance (in elective home education) or delegation (to schools) by parents of any and all compulsory educational provision is a legal duty, not a legal right. It is our legal duty to ensure our children’s education is suitable and efficient. The education acts confer this duty on parents, because parents know their children best and are therefore in a position to ensure the provision is suitable for them. Mr Badman seems not to have grasped this.2
The famous quote from successive education bills—repeated in the Education Act 1996, Section 7—does indeed refer to duty:
Duty of Parents to Secure Education of Children of Compulsory School Age
The parent of every child of compulsory school age shall cause him to receive efficient full-time education suitable—
(a) to his age, ability and aptitude, and
(b) to any special educational needs he may have,
either by regular attendance at school or otherwise.3
This is in line with the biblical position:
You shall teach them [God’s laws] diligently to your children. (Deuteronomy 6:7)
Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it. (Proverbs 22:6)
And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord. (Ephesians 6:4)
Whichever form of education you choose, the parents (and specifically as indicated in Scripture, the fathers) are responsible, and we will answer to God. In my book, Truth, Lies and Science Education, I noted:
Education is first and foremost the duty of the parent rather than the state. . . . Parents may delegate this educational responsibility to those whom they trust, but this delegation in no wise removes their responsibility for the education of their children.4
In other words, Badman has his priorities reversed. It is not that homeschoolers should submit to education authorities; it is that if parents choose to send their children to a collective school, rather than educate them at home, the school must still educate them according to the wishes and direction of the parents. The teacher is in loco parentis. As an aside, Christian parents should think long and hard about whether the teachers at their children’s school are bringing them up according to the values that the parents want—and if not, then it should be considered a mistake to send our children into such an environment.
Many Christians in the UK have chosen to homeschool their children for precisely this reason—for the positive reason that they understand their biblical duty and for the negative reason that they do not feel able to delegate this responsibility to their local school, knowing that the teachers’ own personal ethics and moralities are not in line with the Bible. In the past, there has been no reason for parents to need to justify this decision. The Bible makes no requirement to justify this position and supports those who take it. In an atmosphere where increasing numbers of Christians feel that they suffer discrimination for their faith, this report could open up one more avenue for such discrimination.5
Monday in a Harlem middle school, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice told a group of 120 students that administration officials are actively discussing “when and how it might be possible to join” (that is, ratify) the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). As before, she also communicated what a disgrace it is that the U.S. would stand with only Somalia against such a widely-accepted treaty.
This is the first direct public statement by the Obama administration that it will seek ratification of the UN CRC.
In my 30 years of political involvement, I have learned to recognize this as what is called a “trial balloon.” Like in World War I trench warfare, our opponents have “sent up a balloon” to see if it will draw fire. If things remain quiet, they will proceed with their plans to push for ratification of the CRC in the U.S. Senate.
To discourage them from doing so, we need to make sure that our voices are heard with unmistakable clarity. We must let the Obama administration know that we oppose this anti-family, anti-American treaty.
Here’s what we need you all to do:
1. Call the White House comments line at 202-456-1111. Tell them you heard the administration wants to ratify the CRC, and you strongly oppose this giving away of U.S. sovereignty to the UN. Also keep in mind that this treaty gives the government jurisdiction to override any decision made by any parent if the government thinks that a better decision can be made—even if there is no proof of any harm. (emphasis mine)
2. Call Ambassador Susan Rice’s office at the United Nations. Tell her that you want her to represent the United States to the world rather than trying to get the United States to go along with international law initiated by the UN. Her office number is 212-415-4000.
3. Contact your Senators and urge them to oppose ratification of this treaty. (Find your Senators’ contact information by typing your zip code into the box here.)
Ask them also to defeat it once and for all by cosponsoring SJRes 16 – the Parental Rights Amendment.
It is very important that we speak up right now. Please call before you close this email!
I was writing down the new dates of the eggs I just put in the incubator. Joshua was reading my egg hatch times chart on my computer. "Mom, what is a piggy-on?" "A what?!" "A piggy-on?" I had to look at the chart to figure it out. It was PIGEON! PIG-E-ON!
Brandon is 17 and I told him he could decide if he wanted the cut stitched or not. I told him the pros and cons of either way. He said leave it alone and see.
We told the children we were taking them out to Texas Roadhouse to celebrate our freedom from Hurricane Isabel. Clint and I have decided we do not want to do the elevation. We just feel God leading us in another direction and it feels wonderful to have closed that chapter in our lives.
On the way to the restaurant, I look back and Brandon has blood running down his face big time. The cut had reopened. I stopped in Dollar General looking for cayenne (coagulant, antiseptic, anesthetic-very good to have on hand in an emergency-stops bleeding fast). They were sold out. He was able to stop it again himself with direct pressure, so we went ahead out to eat.
We had a nice time, but I kept expecting Brandon to start bleeding again and wondered how that would go over with the waitress.
We came home, shaved him bald and closed up the cut. I think all Brandon learned yesterday was not to run in the house....again. It seems to be a boy thing! :-) I wonder how long it will take before he's back at running through the dining room, grabbing the top of the door frame and swinging over the baby gate again.
You can see he is SOOOO torn up about having losing his hair!
We had a little fun with it.
It's a small gash, but it kept "springing a leak."
He has a nice head. He says he's a lot cooler now! LOL
We do not have problems with swimmer's ear, but a friend of our recently did. Here are the home remedies we shared with her.
I had a repeated incidence of swimmer's ear when I was a teen. The doctor I saw told me to tell my parents to not use such a strong mix of chemicals in their pool. I never told my parents that because I was afraid I'd get into trouble, but you might want to check your chemical usage and see if you are using too much.
You can make a homemade swimmer's ear prevention solution by mixing equal parts of rubbing alcohol and white vinegar, and apply to ear after swimming. This is much cheaper than the OTC preventions. This is what the doctor told me to use. The alcohol dries out the fluid and the vinegar kills the bacteria. Vinegar is a good antibacterial and makes and excellent household cleaner. You can make your ownvery easily and inexpensively.
If an outer ear infection is suspected, you can help it heal faster with hydrogen peroxide. The coldness will make the ear ache a little more initially and the bubbles will tickle. You'll have to be still for about 10-15 min while it works. When I am expecting I am more prone to allergies and ear infections so I use this quite often. I repeat it 1x.
For inner ear infections, I give our family echinacea and goldenseal (capsules @ Walmart for $5) and use Sudafed to help open the passage and help it drain. Echinacea cleanses the blood and boosts the immune system. Goldenseal is a natural antibiotic, antifungal and antiviral. I have not found an alternative medicine that works better than Sudafed to open passages.
Eat fresh or minced garlic on toast a few times a day and that will help kill an infection too. It also thins out mucus which helps it to drain easier.
If Hannah's pacifier is down where she can reach it, Emily puts it in her mouth to crack us up. I told everyone when Emily was in the womb that she was going to be a pistol! She was so lively and would react to us talking to her even then. She is such a delight to everyone who knows her.
We celebrated Caleb's birthday on June 6. We decorated a ready made cake with Matchbox cars. The ready made cake was so he wouldn't see us baking one and ruin the surprise party. Clint decorated the cake on the deck while I had the boys cleaning their room. We called him down and told him to go see Dad for his next assignment. Clint had the cake lit and sitting on his lap in the den. Amanda had hung the birthday banner up.
It's another busy day at Contentment Acres! I woke up at 5 hoping to catch the black snake that has been eating our chicken eggs. It is eating 4-5 eggs off and on, so I am expecting a large one or more than one. I need the eggs for the incubator. I lost all except one of the first chicks we hatched out due to temperature issues in the brooder.
Amanda found a black widow spider in the chicken coop. She came and told me and I grabbed a jar..(lengthy pause in which you remark how brave I am)..and asked Brandon to catch it! :-) We had a "homeschool moment" with it and then Clint took it to work with him.
Clint opted to work this weekend. Brandon is doing yard work for us. Amanda is heading the crew of her siblings in housework. I have been working on the bookstore most of the morning and worked on the ceiling in my office for a couple of hours.
My prayer for you today is:
Ephesians 3:17-19 That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.
Emily, 23 months, helping peel potatoes. She ate more than she peeled, but she has the willingness to contribute which is the point at her age. Work is fun when we do it together with the right attitude. She usually comes around and takes a bite out of potatoes when I am peeling them.
pictured L to R: Caleb 7 on Amanda's lap 14, Clint holding Hannah 5 mos, Bethany 5 and Emily 23 months, Brandon 17, with Joshua 9, on his lap
Clint's 40th birthday didn't go exactly as I had hoped.
I had planned to load the children in the shuttle bus, pick up a cake and pizza and head to his employer's for lunch.
I was going to call Kevin, a friend who works with Clint, and find out which plant Clint was in and have him sent unsuspecting to the break room.
As it turned out, I had to stay off of my leg as much as possible that day because it looked like the infection was spreading. The night before, we had four sick children, one who vomitted in his bed twice, which is why Clint looks tired in the picture. We improvised, adapted and overcame!
That afternoon, I took him out to Golden Corral's buffet for his birthday while the children set up a party at home.
Then we decorated his car too!
See the streamers on the ceiling fan? When we'd turn those on, Emily would throw back her head and belly laugh!
It was a fun day and he really seemed to enjoy it.