Home School Court Report
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MAY / JUNE 2000
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Cover Story
A Tribute to Home School Moms

Special Features

Changing of the Guard

Legal Contacts for March/April 2000

National Center Reports

CAP Training and Lobby Day

Elementary and Secondary Education Act

Marriage Tax Penalty Relief

Across the States

State by State

Regular Features

Press Clippings

Prayer and Praise

Active Cases

President’s Page

C O V E R   S T O R Y

From Another Mom

The following article is an excerpt from The Home Schooling Mother: A Mom Just Like You, written by Vickie & Jayme Farris.

How God Chose an Unlikely Candidate for This Job

The grocery checkout line didn’t seem to be moving. I looked impatiently at my watch, thinking of my children who were waiting (and probably fighting) in the van. It had been a long day. As I finally approached the checker, it was difficult to return her friendly smile. My 2-year-old son Peter, however, greeted her with a cheerful “Hi!”

Smiling at Peter, the checker turned to me. “How old is he?” she asked. “Is he your first child?”

“No,” I said, smiling in spite of myself. “Actually, to tell you the truth, he’s my tenth.”

“Your tenth!” She shook her head in amazement. “I don’t know how you do it. I only have two children, and they drive me crazy! You must be the most patient, organized woman in the world.”

I laughed to myself, reviewing the day’s events in my mind. First, I woke up later than I had planned, due to the fact that I had stayed up too late the previous evening. Walking downstairs and into the kitchen, I discovered that Peter had emptied half of the Cheerios box on the kitchen floor, and that Joey had a slight fever.

A Reader’s Review of
A Mom Just Like You

I sit here writing this to you with a lump in my throat and tears in my eyes. I finally got A Mom Just Like You in the mail today and have been reading it ever since.

I wanted so badly for your wife to be a mom like me, but I didn’t think she would be, to be perfectly honest. I picked up the book with the attitude of “OK, let’s see what the wife of Mike Farris is really like as she claims to be like me.”

By the time I was on page 28, I was in tears and they were tears of joy! I was so relieved and so blessed to hear that she is just like me. It was such a thrill to hear of the struggles and fears that we all don’t want to admit we have as home schooling moms—and they were being addressed by your wife!

The scriptures all fit so perfectly and the success stories of your children have given me a fresh hope and reinforced the vision I have for my own as I enter the high school years.

This book “read my mail” and spoke to my heart as no other home schooling book has done, and I can truthfully say I think I have read them all. Words cannot describe how important it was to hear that Vickie was fearful, insecure and unsure of herself at times. It was such an encouragement to hear that the kids fight—honest! : )

We form pictures of other people—the wife of Mike Farris had to be rich and famous and doing dinner parties with her 10 perfect children sitting patiently by in a perfect home (not with Cheerios on the floor). Please tell Vickie “thank you” from me. She touched my heart, blessed, and encouraged me!!!

—Monica Hall
via e-mail to Mike Farris

The day had continued in a similar fashion, with multiple quarrels between children, a frantic search for the van keys, and a scraped knee in the Wal-Mart parking lot. Now, standing impatiently in a grocery line listening to the sound of my head throbbing, I was faced by a woman calling me “the most patient, organized woman in the world.”

“No, not really,” I smiled. “It’s not that I’m all that patient or organized. It’s pretty much just the grace of God that gets me through.” It was a simple answer, but a complete one.

It is common for outsiders to assume that a home schooling mother of a large family must be naturally qualified for the job. Contrary to this assumption, however, I have never had any asset except the grace of God. I started my married life with no natural abilities as a housekeeper, seamstress, cook, or even as a mother. In fact, as I look back, I believe I was probably the least likely candidate for this job.

I grew up an only child. My mother ran her house with innate German orderliness, providing our family with excellent meals and immaculate surroundings. I never had the desire to learn cooking or sewing, and I left for college without knowing how to prepare a meal. It was Mike who first taught me how to fold and change a diaper, after the birth of our first child!

Although necessity has taught me to become fairly organized, our house is still often a place of frantic searches—for keys, warranties, Lego™ men, and soccer shoes (all very recent examples, by the way!).

So just how did I go from being a shy, non-domestic only child to being the mother of 10 children and the wife of a nationally-known home school leader? The story starts and ends with God, and God alone. He changed my direction, re-channeled my desires, and brought success instead of defeat. The words of the Apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 1:26-31 seem to describe my life perfectly:

Brothers, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him. It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness, and redemption. Therefore, as it is written: “Let him who boasts boast in the Lord.” (NIV)

I am daily reminded of my own weakness and foolishness apart from God. Like other home schooling mothers of young children, I doubt my capability as a mother and a teacher, and I worry over the weaknesses I see in the lives of my children. I am fully able to identify with “the lowly things of this world and the despised things.”

However, with three grown daughters and two more rapidly approaching adulthood, I have also been able to clearly see the other side of the equation: that God’s power can “nullify the things that are” and produce extraordinary results. I can look back and remember the weaknesses and failings of my three oldest daughters, and see firsthand how God was able to transform them in answer to my prayers.


From Their Children
Joshua R. McGarvey
Alicia Robinson
Gideon Larios
Elisabeth Strackbein
Matthew Durkee
Heidi Roach
Tabitha Baskin
Samuel Rivera
From Their Husbands
From Another Mom