The Home School Court Report
Vol. XXIII
No. 1
Cover
January/February
2007

In This Issue

SPECIALFEATURES
REGULARCOLUMNS
ANDTHEREST

A Contrario Sensu
On the Other Hand
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- disclaimer -
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. Please be aware that we cannot return photographs.

Mail submissions to:

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

Or email us (include "Stories" in the subject line) at: ComDept@hslda.org



CLEAR VISION

Though our first five children were public-schooled, the Lord put it into our hearts to homeschool our youngest. Since my highest level of education amounted to a few college units, I initially felt somewhat intimidated by the idea of taking complete responsibility for our little daughter’s education. I knew that I would need to prayerfully go to the Lord for wisdom. More than anything, I feared that I would not be able to teach her to read, since my own early school reading instruction, based on the “sight method,” left me struggling with reading until my early 20s.

It has been four years since we began homeschooling. As I recently looked back on that first year, our great God brought to mind one of my most precious memories thus far.

After completing our day’s homeschooling, my then-4-year-old daughter and I ran errands. While in a local convenience store, a clerk who was assisting us in finding a battery for our garage door opener discovered that he was unable to read the battery size in fine print on the package. He handed the package to me, but after squinting for a bit I determined that the type was also too small for me. Turning to my daughter, the clerk said laughingly, “You have young eyes. Maybe you can read this for me.”

We were both amused when she dutifully read, “Warning: please keep out of the reach of children.”

—by Vicki P. / Chico, CA

POLO & HIS POULTRY

During the long drive into town one day, my three children took turns requesting stories for me to tell. When it was 3-year-old Gabriel’s turn, he asked for the story of Marco Polo. I had no idea he had even heard of the famous explorer, so I curiously asked him which part of Marco Polo’s story he wanted to hear.

“I want you to tell me how Marco Polo was born in Venice and walked across the land of the chickens to get to China,” Gabriel replied confidently.

Seeing my confusion, my 5-year-old son whispered, “I think he means Turkey, Mommy.”

— by Jeannine T. / Santa Barbara, CA

A WELL-TRAINED MIND

At the end of the school year, as my children were preparing to take their standardized tests, I made it clear to each of them that they were not expected to know the answer to every question. Nonetheless, my 10-year-old son became teary-eyed as he encountered unfamiliar territory on his test.

Stopping the testing time to calm his heart, I reminded all my children that the focus in our homeschool is to teach them how to think, not just teach to a test.

My 16-year-old son caught me off guard with his response. “Mom, you don’t teach us how to think.” He paused dramatically. “You teach us to think.”

According to my standard for education, he scores an “excellent”!

—by Carolyn W. / Valencia, CA

OOPS! CAN I RETRACT THAT?

During a Torah study our family attended, our 10-year-old daughter, Hannah, met several new adult friends. The day after the study, she related how one man had commented that her mother “must be pretty sharp” after she told him she was homeschooled.

Hannah asked me what sharp meant. When I told her that the man had meant I must be pretty smart, she started laughing uncontrollably.

“Oh no!” she said. “I thought he meant strict, and I told him, ‘Not necessarily.’ ”

—by Cindy B. / Payette, ID

THE RESPECT A MOM DESERVES

I teach an elementary science class in my home to eight lively students. Thankfully, another mom assists me, and today, during a quick recess, my assistant found it necessary to correct one of the older boys in regard to his behavior.

He turned to her, and after examining her critically for a moment, asked, “Are you a mom?”

When she replied “yes,” he considered this for a moment. Then he replied (with what might have been a hint of disappointment), “OK. I guess I have to obey you.”

My assistant and I got a kick out of this!

—by Yvonne M. / Jefferson, OR

THAT PIONEERING SPIRIT

The following question appeared in my 14-year-old son’s English text:

About which of the following subjects would an 8th-grade beginning writer probably write best:
  1. kings and castles
  2. covered wagons and pioneers
  3. doctors and famous operations
  4. classrooms and playgrounds

The “correct” answer in the teacher’s book was D. My son marked B and I realized that for many homeschooled students, D might be the least familiar subject!

—by Debbie S. / Broken Arrow, OK

PRAISE INDEED

On his graduation day, our second son gave a speech reflecting on his homeschool experience. He said,

Mom, I would like to thank you for the many years of dedication of getting up and teaching me-for getting up on the days when you did not feel like it and taking the time to explain problems that I didn’t know . . . I would like to thank you for the 16 long years of doing what was right.

We have just begun our 18th year of homeschooling and have two sons attending college. It has been well worth it and we are proud of them!

—by Jim and Sharon P. / King George, VA



MEMBERTHOUGHTS

HOW DO YOU DO IT?

How do you entertain toddlers while teaching teens? Or juggle carpooling to soccer practice, cooking dinner, and monitoring your son'’ science experiment? The Court Report is starting a new column-written by you. Send us tips you’ve gleaned from experience, and we’ll share them with the rest of our readers.

Our first topic is summertime. Whether you take the summer off, school all the way through, or hit the road for an educational vacation, send us a brief description (250 words or less). Mail submissions to:

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

Or email us (include “Parent Tips” in the subject line) at:

ComDept@hslda.org

Please include your name and address. Submission deadline is March 15, 2007.