The Home School Court Report
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November / December 2004

Charting freedom's course

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On the other hand: a Contrario Sensu

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Prayer & Praise




How to drive a thirsty Marine crazy

How do you know when your family has been homeschooling so long that it has become second nature? When your husband sends home practical science lessons from a war zone!

The following is part of a recent letter from my husband, who is deployed to Iraq:

Tell the kids about this. When I go to the unit icebox and take out a bottle of water (all liquid), as soon as I remove it into the room (85°F), it freezes solid right before my eyes. Why is this?

Here is the answer. Inside the icebox, there are roughly 100 bottles of water. All Marines get their daily water from there. The icebox runs on electricity and is set to roughly 31°F (just below freezing). Every time a Marine opens the top of the icebox, warm air enters, the top is then closed, and the gasket seals the air inside. As the temperature inside the icebox lowers, the pressure drops as energy is removed from the air. This makes the freezing point lower as well—to roughly 30°F. Therefore, the water at 31°F is above its actual freezing point until the bottle is brought into the room (normal pressure) where it freezes (in 85°F) instantly before your eyes.

— Meredith Harwood
Orford, NH

Covetous crooks

My 4-year-old daughter Chloe and I were on our way home from shopping when we passed by a prison. I explained to her that prison is a place for people who break the law.

"People who steal?" she asked.

"Yes," I answered.

"People who kill?" she probed.

"Yes," I responded.

"People who covet?"

I told her that man doesn't put people in jail for coveting, but that she was right—coveting is indeed breaking the law of God!

— Tony and Tracy Broadhurst
Beltsville, MD

Thinking up a storm

When our oldest son, John, was 8 years old, he became interested in drawing cartoons. He had been taking art lessons, but he needed some coaching on his story lines. One day at the lunch table, my husband Chris and I gave John a mini lesson on "brainstorming." We then left him alone to create a new cartoon. After about 20 minutes, we were surprised to see that his page was still blank. When we asked him why, he sighed deeply and said, "Right now, my brain is just not having any tornadoes."

— Lori Peardon
Anderson, SC

Piecing it together

While flying to Florida, I tried to teach my children the principle of air pressure changes during takeoff. I gave them some chewing gum, but after a minute or so, my 3-year-old, Ashley, said, "Hey, Mommy, what about my other piece?"

"Why do you need two pieces?" I asked. She replied, "To stick in my other ear!"

— Linda Goodall
West Haven, CT

Laptop learning

During the summer, I enthusiastically informed our 4-year-old that she would be starting school this year. I was shocked when she said, "I don't want to!"

Later she clarified, "I don't want to go to school! Mom, I just want to learn to read and do numbers on your lap!" Relieved, I assured her that she would be taught at home.

The first day of homeschool presented an excited little girl, arms full of her teaching materials, eagerly exclaiming, "Mom! I'm ready for your lap!"

— Jane Heikoop
Lowell, MI

Dramatic math

When we began using a supplemental math text called Verbal Analysis of Mathematical Strategies, my 8-year-old son immediately memorized the title. However, I had to wonder if he wasn't closer to the truth than he intended when I heard him proudly tell his sister, "Our new math book is called Verbal Analysis of Mathematical Tragedies!"

— Rhonda Beachy
Sugarcreek, OH

Differences between on and off the field

My husband and I both enjoy watching football. Apparently, the finer points of the game are not lost on our two children. One morning this fall, as we were completing our math and handwriting work, my 2nd-grader asked me, "Is it halftime now?"

— Molly Black
Bay City, MI

Freewill offering

I was looking over my son's writing assignment, unsatisfied with what appeared to be a paragraph I had seen before. "Joshua, you just did the same writing here that you did for a previous assignment," I remarked. He responded, "No, Mom, that other writing I did was not an assignment—it was free will."

— Yvonne Mutch
Jefferson, OR

Redefining "family car"

For many weeks we had been shopping for a used van to accommodate our family of nine (six children, two parents, and one grandpa). Then one day while we were out running errands, our 7-year-old spotted a stretch limousine. The driver looked relaxed and happy. "Look, Mom," said Matthew, "he must have a really big family!"

— Vicki Davis
Beaverton, OR

Send us your story

We are looking for humorous, warm anecdotes and true stories illustrating that homeschooling is the best educational alternative around.

All material printed in the Court Report will be credited, and the contributor will receive a $10 coupon good toward any HSLDA publication of his choice. Submissions may be edited for space. Mail to:

Attn: Stories, HSLDA
P.O. Box 3000
Purcellville, VA 20134