2017 IVOLUME 2 IISSUE 98
T H E H E A R T O F H O M E S C H O O L I N G
How to do
Dad to Dad:
Out of the
Mouth of Babes
Who has the
Hearts of Your
And Hope6 14 18 20
ARTICLES INSIDE THIS ISSUE INCLUDE
JUNE 15-17, 2017
Rocky Mountain Homeschool Conference
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Front Cover and This Page: The Rocky Mountain Homeschool Conference event.
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CHEC Homeschool Update IVolume 2, 2017 IIssue 98
6 How to do
BY DR. JOEL BEEKE
8 Anchored to
INTERVIEW WITH THE SENNES
BY KATHERINE DANG
12 One Season
at a Time
BY MARCIA WASHBURN
14 Out of the
Mouth of Babes
BY STEVE DEMME
16 Educated for
BY ISAAC AND HEIDI BOTKIN
20 Brain Glitches
BY BRIDGET MOSLEY
11 Day at the Capitol
PRESENTED BY CHEC 29-56 Rocky Mountain
PRESENTED BY CHEC
4 Director’s Desk
18 Best of Blog
22 Homeschool Leaders
23 Legislative Liasion
24 Curriculum Review
26 Partner’s Page
19039 Plaza Drive, Suite 210 Parker, Colorado 80134
720.842.4852 I1.877.842.CHEC (2432) ICHEC.org
well, almost. But for
that protruding foot,
those candy wrappers
that had escaped from
their hiding place, the
soft but noticeable
sound of surreptitious
activity, and a rather
obvious shape on
our living room sofa
that looked just like a
with a blanket, you
wouldn’t have even
known she was there.
Yes, this is a picture of my daughter cleverly
concealing herself (or so she thought!) as
she feasted on forbidden sweets. I’m sure none
of your children have ever attempted something like
this. But alas, MY children deal with many of MY
Hiding is instinctive to all human beings. From our
first parents, Adam and Eve, to my little daughter,
the innate desire to hide from God and from others
that which we know to be wrong is something that is
present within all of us.
One of the most important lessons that a child should
be taught as early as possible is that God always
sees them. This is exactly what we are taught from
Proverbs 15:3, which says, The eyes of the LORD are
in every place, keeping watch on the evil and the good
(NKJV). A question I ask my children daily from their
children’s catechism is, “Does God know all things?”
to which they reply, “Yes, nothing can be hid from
My goal in repeating this question so regularly is
that I want to instill in my children the knowledge that
they can never hide their sin from God. Either when
hiding under a blanket or when they are grown and
away from those who provided accountability in their
childhood, God always sees them!
It is my prayer that this truth becomes much more to
them than a deterrent from sinful behavior. My desire
is that they happily embrace it, and they learn and
experience a life that is lived transparently and obedi-
ently before God is the best life they can have. This
can be described as a life lived coram Deo.
The phrase, coram Deo, literally means in the
presence of or before the face of God. R.C. Sproul
believes coram Deo is the big idea of the Christian
life. The idea which captures the very essence of our
faith. “To live coram Deo is to live one’s entire life in
the presence of God, under the authority of God, to
the glory of God.”
The most effective way to instill this lifestyle in our
children is to model it for them. We need to ask our-
selves the hard question, “Do I live coram Deo? Is my
life, as well as my spouse’s, lived transparently and
obediently before God as well as our children?”
Many parents hide their own disobedient lifestyles
behind hypocritical facades that are in reality just as
effective as my two-year-old’s blanket. AND, most of
the time our children know us for who we really are.
In fact, a study produced by Generations, called the
Gen 2 Survey, found the biggest factors determining
the faith direction of millennials were parent-teen
GOD SEES YOU!BY STEVE CRAIG
C H E C H O M E S C H O O L U P DAT E I Vo l u m e 2 , I s s u e 9 8 , 2 0174
Just how do you find joy and fulfillment when you are
shrouded in obscurity? A life that is lived coram
Deo, rests and rejoices in the knowledge that
the smallest of choices and the most insignifi-
cant of actions are seen by God. Nothing goes
unnoticed or unrewarded by Him. To use a Facebook
metaphor, if you know that He likes the ‘posts’ of your
life, no one else’s ‘posts’ will matter much to you. God
sees our sin (the bad), but He also sees our
joyful obedience and love (the good).
relationships and the hypocrisy OR authenticity of
As I reflect on my own upbringing, I have come to
the conclusion the most significant factor influencing
my faith direction was the knowledge, that while my
parents were not perfect, they were for real. Their
lifestyles were characterized by the same obedience
they expected from me AND a willingness to own-up,
even to their children, when it was not. They weren’t
hiding behind what they weren’t.
Our children are watching to see if we are for real.
Really obedient. Really sorry when we’re not obedi-
ent. Really coram Deo.
The other truth that we must model before our chil-
dren is that a life lived coram Deo is not only a safe
and secure life, it is also a life that experiences the
greatest purpose and meaning.
For many homeschool parents (especially mothers),
much of life is lived in the trenches with little chance
that their daily investments, sacrifices, and toil will be
noticed by the big world outside of their home.
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Our children will be attracted to a coram Deo lifestyle
when they witness that our choices are dictated by
a faith that rests happily in the reality that God is a
rewarder of those who diligently seek Him (Hebrews
11:6 NKJV). If they perceive that the notice and smile
of God is not enough for us, how can we think that it
will be for them?
Homeschool parent, on your hardest day,
God sees you! I trust that you will be able to find
great satisfaction and joy in your calling as you fulfill
it coram Deo.
Steve Craig is the Executive
Director for Christian Home
Educators of Colorado. He and his
wife Tara are second generation
homeschoolers and have a
passion to inspire others toward
biblical discipleship in the home. Steve and Tara
live in Parker with their four children: Carson,
Christiana, Angelina, and Jewel.
Vo l u m e 2 , I s s u e 9 8 , 2 017 I C H E C H O M E S C H O O L U P DAT E 5
Given the importance of daily family
worship as a potent force in winning
untold millions to Gospel truth throughout the
ages, we ought not be surprised that God requires
heads of households do all they can to lead their
families in worshiping the living God. As Joshua
declared, As for me and my house, we will serve
[or worship] the Lord (Joshua 24:15 NKJV).
worship twice a day, try 10 minutes in the morning and
15 in the evening. Be consistent.
Lead family worship with a firm, shepherding hand and
a soft, penitent heart. Speak with hopeful solemnity.
Expect great things from a great covenant-keeping God.
According to Scripture, God should be served in spe-
cial acts of worship by families today in the following
Suggestions for Daily Instruc-
tion in the Word of God
God should be worshiped by daily reading and
instruction from His Word. Through questions,
answers, and instructions, the parents and children
are to interact regarding sacred truth (Deuteronomy
6:6-7). When reading and teaching the Bible, consider
1. Have a reading plan. Read 10 or 20 verses
from the Old Testament in the morning and 10 to 20
from the New Testament in the evening. Or read a
series of parables, miracles, or historical portions.
Read the entire Bible over a period of time. A whole
Bible makes a whole Christian.
2. Involve the family. Family members who can
read should have a Bible to follow along. Set the tone
by reading with expression as the living, breathing
book it is. Assign portions to be read by each family
member, teaching how to read articulately, reverently,
and with expression.
How to do
Family worship will require some preparation.
Have your Bibles ready and a Scripture passage
selected. Catechisms and books with ques-
tions and answers for children are very helpful.
Sometimes you might read through a book like
John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress and discuss it
together. Set your times for family worship then
carefully guard them like a precious jewel. If you
JOEL R. BEEKE
C H E C H O M E S C H O O L U P DAT E I Vo l u m e 2 , I s s u e 9 8 , 2 0176
3. Be plain in meaning. Be plain in applying
scriptural texts. If a sin is rebuked in the Word call the
family to keep watch against it; if a duty is command-
ed, press it upon them; if a promise is offered, urge
your family to trust it and receive its comfort.
4. Encourage family dialogue around God’s
Word in-line with the Hebraic procedure of
household question and answer (cf. Ex. 12:26–27;
13:14–15). Use the Family Worship Bible Guide
(Grand Rapids: Reformation Heritage Books, 2017)
to help you. Read aloud the thoughts for each Bible
chapter. Dialogue about the thoughts expressed.
Answer the questions asked.
5. Be pure in doctrine. Don’t abandon doctrinal
precision when teaching young children; aim for
simplicity and soundness.
6. Be relevant in application. Sharing your own
personal experiences when appropriate provides con-
crete illustrations, but do that simply and concisely.
Ideally, tie together biblical instruction with what you
recently heard in sermons.
7. Be affectionate in manner. Proverbs continu-
ally uses the phrase my son, showing the warmth,
love, and urgency in the teachings of a God-fearing
parent. When you must administer correction to your
children, do that with heartfelt love. Tell them you
must convey the whole counsel of God because you
can’t bear the thought of spending eternity apart from
them. My father often said to us with tears: “Children,
I cannot miss any of you in heaven.” Tell your chil-
dren: “We will allow you every privilege an open Bible
will allow us to give you — but if we say “No” to you,
you must know that flows out of our love.”
8. Require attention. Proverbs 4:1 says, Hear, ye
children, the instruction of a father, and attend to know
understanding (KJV). Don’t allow children to leave
during family worship.
Daily Prayer Before
the Throne of God
Does not the command to pray without ceasing (1
Thessalonians 5:17 NKJV) include when we are with
our families? Again, here are some specific guidelines
for leading the family in prayer.
1. Be short. With a few exceptions, don’t pray for
more than five minutes. Tedious prayers do more
harm than good. Teach with your eyes open; pray with
your eyes shut.
2. Be simple without being shallow. Pray
for things that your children know about, but don’t
become trivial. Don’t reduce your prayers to self-
centered, shallow petitions.
3. Be direct. Spread your needs before God, plead
your case, and ask for mercy. Name your children and
their needs one by one on a daily basis. That holds
tremendous weight with them.
4. Be natural yet solemn. Speak clearly and rev-
erently. Don’t use an unnatural high-pitched voice or
a monotone. To hold attention, don’t pray too loudly
or softly, too fast or too slow.
5. Be varied. Develop variety in prayer by remem-
bering and stressing the various ingredients of true
prayer such as calling upon God to hear your prayers;
adoring God for His titles and attributes; declaring
your humble dependence and need; confessing family
sins; asking for family mercies (both material and
spiritual); interceding for friends, churches, and the
nations; giving thanks for God’s blessings; and bless-
ing God for His kingdom, glory, and power. Use a
prayer list to remember needs. Mix these ingredients
with different proportion for variety.
Daily Singing of the
Praise of God
Psalm 118:15 says, The voice of rejoicing and salva-
tion is in the tents of the righteous (KJV). That is a
clear reference to singing. Every Christian family
should own a few copies of a good psalter (psalms set
to meter and music) and hymnal from which to sing.
1. Sing doctrinally pure songs. There is no
excuse for doctrinal error no matter the good tune.
2. Sing Psalms first and foremost, without
neglecting sound hymns. Remember that the Psalms
are the richest gold mine of deep, living, experiential,
scriptural, piety still available to us today.
3. Sing heartily and with feeling. As Colossians
3:23 says, And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as
to the Lord, and not to men (NKJV). Meditate on the
words and discuss a phrase.
Pray each night with your spouse that God will bless
your feeble efforts that day at family worship to the
well-being of the precious children entrusted to you.
Cling to God’s promise: Cast thy bread upon the
waters: for thou shalt find it after many days (Ecclesi-
astes 11:1 KJV).
Joel R. Beeke (Ph.D., Westminster
Seminary) is president and
professor of systematic theology
and homiletics at Puritan
Reformed Theological Seminary, a
pastor of the Heritage Reformed Congregation in
Grand Rapids, Michigan, editor of Banner of
Sovereign Grace Truth, editorial director of
Reformation Heritage Books,
and a prolific author.
Vo l u m e 2 , I s s u e 9 8 , 2 017 I C H E C H O M E S C H O O L U P DAT E 7
INTERVIEW WITH THE SENNE FAMILY
PLEASE SHARE THE BACKGROUND STORY OF YOUR OWN
UPBRINGING, EDUCATION, AND WORK EXPERIENCE.
AI (Brenda) was raised in a Christian home in a small farming community in northern
Mississippi where families were related or had known each other for generations. At home, I was
taught that our whole family was expected to make a contribution by working on our family farm
and also by helping Daddy in his construction business. I attended public school. During my
elementary years we began each school day with prayer, and the Bible was taught regularly.
I (Tim) grew up in Durango, Colorado in a very secularized family. We went to church when I
was very young but things like Darwinian evolution, secular philosophy, and Freudian psychol-
ogy were just accepted as fact in our household. I worked at a ski resort after high school
then joined the U.S. Army. I made the Army a career and stayed in for nearly 24 years. While
assigned to Fort Jackson, South Carolina, a very gentle and patient believer who was also
my roommate led me to the Lord! After the Army,
I worked for a general contractor for a time; then
about four years ago I started a business building
and restoring custom cabinets and furniture. I have
a Bachelor’s degree in Organizational Management
from Colorado Christian University.
HOW DID YOU MEET, MARRY, AND
BEGIN YOUR FAMILY?
AWe met in Oklahoma in the summer of
1987 while Tim was an instructor at the U.S. Army
Field Artillery School. At the time I (Tim) needed
assistance with a project, and Brenda offered to help.
She really went out of her way to help and I was very
impressed; I knew right away there was something
very special about Brenda and decided that I wanted
to get to know her better. Our relationship was very
casual at first, but it didn’t take long to discover what
a wonderful person she is, and we were married in
Bad Kissingen, Germany in 1988. In God’s provi-
dence it took some time for us to have children, but
looking back the Lord’s timing was perfect.
Tim and Brenda Senne recently celebrated 28 years of marriage.
They give thanks to God for the blessings of living in Colorado and
homeschooling their children. Brenda was born and raised in northern
Mississippi and is a full-time homemaker and homeschooling mom.
Tim is from Durango, Colorado, served in the U.S. Army, and is a self-
employed cabinet and furniture maker. Their family volunteered to help
with CHEC’s Casterline Banquet last fall.
to the ROCK
C H E C H O M E S C H O O L U P DAT E I Vo l u m e 2 , I s s u e 9 8 , 2 0178
card making. She started piano at age seven and
plays every Sunday during worship. Jeremiah (13)
loves reading the Bible and is very artistic with a
variety of media. He also enjoys history as well as
hunting, fishing, and climbing 14’ers.
Our family activities include just about any outdoor
recreation, especially Nordic and alpine skiing,
hiking, and camping. One of the great benefits of
homeschooling is the flexibility it provides. For
example, during our spring break two years ago,
we visited the Gettysburg National Battlefield
historical park in Pennsylvania to provide a hands-
on approach to understanding the American Civil
War. Prior to our visit, we read-up on the causes of
the war and some narrative history of the various
battles and campaigns. Walking the battlefield
and visitor center made the history come alive and
helped all of us to better understand what life was
like during the Civil War era. Last year we visited
some of the historical sites around Boston, Mas-
sachusetts. To add some variety we also visited
a maple syrup producer in upstate New York and
participated in tapping the maple trees, gathering
sap, and making the syrup. Those experiences are
going to stay with us the rest of our lives especially
because it was a time of growing together as a fam-
ily while learning and having fun.
WHEN DID YOU DECIDE TO HOME
EDUCATE YOUR CHILDREN?
WHAT WERE YOUR GOALS AS
YOU STARTED OUT, AND HOW
HAS YOUR VISION CHANGED
OVER THE COURSE OF YOUR
AWe discussed and prayed about schooling
options and decided to homeschool well before our
children were of school-age. That decision was based
on the belief that our primary responsibility as parents
is to raise our children in the discipline and instruction
of the Lord (Ephesians 6:4), and that we are obligated
before God to Impress on our children the Word of the
Lord (Deuteronomy 6:7 NIV). Providentially, as we
were considering options for educating our children
we met a homeschooling family. They gave us the
opportunity to observe homeschooling up-close.
The mother in that family was herself homeschooled.
She was able to share with us a wealth of experience
regarding methods, legal requirements, choosing
curricula, and so on.
As believers, everything we do in raising our children
is or should be done out of a desire for them to be con-
formed to the likeness of Jesus Christ. In that regard
our vision for educating our children has changed very
little over the years. Early on, we had a strong desire to
decide which textbooks and other materials to use as
opposed to having someone else who doesn’t share
our worldview make those decisions. More impor-
tantly, providing a biblical foundation for learning each
subject is central to our approach; it informs every
aspect of our homeschooling environment. We have
discovered that we’ve achieved better results with
some curricula than others; that is mostly a result of
the learning styles of our children.
WHAT ARE THE AGES OF YOUR
CHILDREN, THEIR TALENTS, AND
HOW DO YOU INCORPORATE
THOSE INTO HOMESCHOOLING?
WHAT DOES YOUR FAMILY DO
TOGETHER FOR FUN?
AAbigail (16) is particularly interested in theol-
ogy, physics, and astronomy, as well as knitting and
SINCE A STRONG MARRIAGE IS SO
IMPORTANT FOR HEALTHY FAMILY
LIFE, WHAT ARE SOME THINGS
THAT YOU HAVE DONE TO INVEST
IN YOUR MARRIAGE?
ADaily prayer time together is vitally important
in our marriage, as well as our regular family devotions.
Taking time to listen to one another is also of great
value. The simple act of listening is a demonstration
of the way we appreciate one another and value the
contribution we both make to the success of our mar-
riage and family.
BASED ON YOUR EXPERIENCE,
WHAT IS THE PRIMARY PIECE
OF ADVICE YOU WOULD GIVE
TO FAMILIES WHO ARE NEW TO
ADon’t allow temporary struggles to cause you
to lose sight of the ultimate objective. If our goal was
merely to produce well-educated children and produc-
tive citizens, we may succeed in doing so while failing
at our greatest responsibility—which is to lead our
children to Jesus Christ and encourage them in their
relationship with Him as their Savior. One other bit of
advice: seek out veteran homeschoolers as mentors,
then learn from their experience and wisdom.
AS BELIEVERS, EVERYTHING WE DO
IN RAISING OUR CHILDREN SHOULD BE
DONE OUT OF A DESIRE FOR THEM TO
BE CONFORMED TO THE
LIKENESS OF JESUS CHRIST.
Vo l u m e 2 , I s s u e 9 8 , 2 017 I C H E C H O M E S C H O O L U P DAT E 9
The Bible strongly suggests four stages
in the development of a full generation:
infancy, from birth to 7 years (Jonah 4:11, I
Samuel 1:21, 24, Luke 10:13, 15-16, 18:15, 17);
childhood, ages 4-12 years, (Proverbs 22:15,
Ephesians 4:14, II Timothy 3:15, Galatians 4:1-
3, I Corinthians 13:11); youth, 13 years old to
age 19 (Ecclesiastes 11:10, 12:1; Lamentations
3:27, II Timothy 2:22); then, to arrive at adult-
hood upon reaching 20 years of age (Numbers
14:29, Isaiah 45:8, I Corinthians 16:18). Each
stage forms the foundation of the next. The
question at hand is whether parents are raising
up generations who have, or do not have, the
capacity to give account of themselves to God
for their decisions and actions by the age of
twenty. For the Scriptures teach, So then every
one of us shall give account of himself to God
(Romans 14:12 KJV).
The Bible warns, Beware lest any man spoil
you through philosophy and vain deceit, after
the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the
world, and not after Christ (Colossians 2:8
KJV). Worldly wisdom, or “vain deceit” and the
“traditions of men,” cannot lead nor incline an
individual’s mind and heart to follow or pursue
“after Christ.” Modernism from its experts and
laboratory studies has developed its “Frankenstein,”
the teenager, for whom parents must subscribe to a
mandatory list of psychological needs, requirements,
and demands if their child is to become socially
adjusted to an ever-progressive world.
First, the teenager must become socially and
emotionally emancipated from the domination of his
parents. He is encouraged to be “rebellious” or get
free from the restraints of parental control. Second,
the teenager must be allowed to fit in with his con-
temporaries, to find his own society in which he may
have prestige and acceptance and to which he gives
allegiance. Third, the teenager must explore and
experience new relationships before he can discover
for himself what is right and what is wrong for him, to
achieve thereby independence from the influence of
his parents. And, meanwhile and finally, parents must
support— (morally and materially)—their teenager
until he achieves full independence from them.
By contrast, the Scriptures refer to those seven years
before adulthood as the years of youth. Clear, specif-
ic essential instructions are given for youth to follow
if they are to develop the character and conscience
prerequisite to adulthood. First, exercising humble,
respectful subjection to lawful authority— God
(Ecclesiastes 12:1), parents and elders (Exodus 12:1),
and civil rulers (Romans 13:4)—will temper the sin
of youthful pride. Second, youth are instructed to
improve their capacity to bear burdens and hardships
of all kinds—physical, emotional, intellectual, and
spiritual (Lamentations 3:27, I Samuel 17:11, Genesis
37:27-28). Third, the Scriptures instruct youth to ex-
ercise a good conscience and good government over
their sensual appetites (Ecclesiastes 11:10, II Timothy
2:22, Genesis 39:7,8 9,10-12). Finally, besides
fulfilling his appropriate duties to God, family, and
to others, one is obligated to himself to pursue his
God-given purpose and place in this world (Daniel
1:8, Luke 2:42, 46, 49).
Parents are the deciders as to whether the aims, content,
and methods of the education of their children will result
in raising up a generation of teenagers or a generation
of adult men and woman prepared to be independently
dependent upon God and accountable to Him at home,
in business, in the church, and in the nation.
Katherine Dang is a popular
Christian speaker who is president
of the Philomath Foundation,
Publications, and a
OR YOUTH?BY KATHERINE DANG
C H E C H O M E S C H O O L U P DAT E I Vo l u m e 2 , I s s u e 9 8 , 2 01710
Fife drum march to the Capitol
EVENT RECAP BY KATIE WARD
at the Capitol was
held on Friday, April
The state of Colorado recognized this day as Home
Education Day by proclamation of the governor, and
over 1,500 registered for the day's activities.
It was a privilege to join with you to learn about our
government, honor God in the public
arena, and show our legislators that
we will stand together to maintain our
We are grateful to God for the
freedom He has granted us! May
we be faithful to preserve it.
Jenna Ellis teaching the Constitution
101 class at the Capitol
MARK YOUR CALENDARS!
Day at the Capitol April 13th, 2018
Liberty Celebration at Pillar of Fire Church
Colorado homeschool rally
Chief Justic Roy Moore
Vo l u m e 2 , I s s u e 9 8 , 2 017 I C H E C H O M E S C H O O L U P DAT E 11
Women often groan
when they hear
about the Proverbs
31 woman who seem-
ingly could do it all,
have it all, and be
it all. She seems so
we could never be.
But scholars tell us that the description we read
is a summary of her entire adult life. She didn’t
do all of those things all at once. Her children rise
up and call her blessed (Proverbs 31:28a NKJV)
probably didn’t happen until they were adults
with little ones of their own. That’s when our
children really begin to understand what we have
done for them, isn’t it?
citizenship activity, continuing education, and
ministry, but they are not the main focus of these
busy years. The primary responsibilities in the
Production years are stabilizing the family income
and raising godly children. Most homeschooling
families find themselves in this season.
▪ Provision (40-60 years): This is a season of
showing hospitality and entering into more in-
depth ministry opportunities than were possible
in earlier years. The home is financially stable,
the children are raised and moving out on their
own. Dad and Mom now have the experience to be
able to mentor others. I was 38 when my last son
was born, so I straddled both the Production and
Provision seasons as I raised my family well into
▪ Protection (60-end of life): It is now possible to
contribute more actively in the areas of citizen-
ship and ministry without neglecting the family.
Education and finances are generally no longer
the focus. Having raised their own children well,
people in this season have earned an audience
and are often invited to serve in their churches and
BY MARCIA WASHBURN
So often we feel guilty that we can’t be active in as
many out-of-home activities and ministries as we
might like. After all, there is so much good to be
done in a hurting world — church activities, political
causes, serving the homeless or elderly, and on and
on. How can we do all of this and still run our house-
holds, teach our children, and love our spouses, too?
The answer is, we can’t. And we shouldn’t feel guilty
Gregg Harris, homeschool pioneer and pastor,
reminds us that there are four seasons in our lives
divided into roughly twenty-year blocks. Sometimes
these seasons overlap and ages will vary. In each
season there will be elements of education, career,
ministry, and citizenship, but the focus on each of
these areas varies with the seasons.
▪ Preparation (0-20 years): These are the years
when we learn basic living skills and prepare for a
career, whether in the workplace or in the home.
Education, both formal and experiential, is the
major focus of this season.
▪ Production (20-40 years). Harris calls these the
“Business and Babies” years. There may be some
AT A TIME
C H E C H O M E S C H O O L U P DAT E I Vo l u m e 2 , I s s u e 9 8 , 2 01712
MANAGEMENT FOR MOMS
Out of the
The very next day, one of the dads informed me
that he had read the entire book the previous
night! Before he had left home that morning, he
spent some time with his eight-year-old daugh-
ter. He asked her if there was anything she
would like to share with him so he could pray for
her. She looked him in the eye and asked, “Did
you learn that at the conference?”
The dad and I looked at each other and burst
into laughter just talking about it. Later, as I
pondered his words, my heart was stirred. This
short and wonderful father-daughter interaction
spoke to me on several levels.
First, the dad diligently read the book in one
evening and applied what he learned at the first
opportunity. He was not only a hearer but
a doer of the word. Kudos to him!
Second, he is a lifelong learner. He devoted
two days to attend a conference to become a better
husband and father, and to be with other kindred
spirits who are seeking the same things. My eyes
well with tears as I write these words. I love men like
this for investing their precious time preparing to be
a better servant leader in their home. May God bless
and keep them!
Third, eight-year-old children don’t miss
much. That precious child was right on target. She
knew her parents were attending a conference and was
not surprised when they were different at home as a
result. What an impression her dad made on her as she
witnessed this humble man learning and growing.
We read in Genesis that Abraham was 99 years old
and still being taught life lessons from his heav-
enly Father. One of my sons told me that the most
encouraging thing about me is that I am always
learning and growing. May God help us to always
be growing in the grace and knowledge of our Lord
and Savior Jesus Christ. Jesus has another name for
humble, lifelong learners. He calls these committed
individuals “disciples.” And not only disciples, but
also brothers, sisters, and friends. For whoever does
the will of My Father in heaven is My brother and
sister and mother (Matthew 12:50 ESV).
Dads, I want to encourage you to be the best
husbands and fathers you can be. The week before
Father’s Day, I will be presenting several workshops
to help you become servant leaders in your home.
I’m looking forward to meeting you then
at the CHEC Rocky Mountain Homeschool
Conference in Denver! May our good God bless
and keep us ever learning and growing.
Steve Demme is the author of
Math-U-See and the founder of
Building Faith Families. In
addition to his weekly podcasts
he produces a monthly newsletter
and other resources to strengthen
and encourage parents. Learn more about these at
BY STEVE DEMME
Last summer I had the privilege of speaking at a state
homeschool convention. I led a few men’s workshops
and offered my book The Christian Home and Family
Worship for free to those who would commit to
reading all 90 pages within 30 days of the event.
C H E C H O M E S C H O O L U P DAT E I Vo l u m e 2 , I s s u e 9 8 , 2 01714
DAD TO DADDAD TO DAD
I stood in the middle of the
stage shaking. This was the
fifth and final round of the
2016 senior semifinals at
the National Bible Bee.
I knew if my recitation was flawless, I had a shot at
being a finalist. Was this real? Were my dreams of
the past eight years about to become a reality? So far
in my National Bible Bee career, God in His infinite
mercy had withheld my heart’s desire of becoming
a finalist. In the first part of Philippians 4:12, Paul
states, I know both how to be abased and I know how
to abound (KJV). I had learned the difficult lesson of
abasement; now I wondered, was I ready to learn how
to abound through Christ?
I have competed in the National Bible Bee since it’s
inception in 2009. I attended my first nationals in
2013 feeling pretty confident. I was crushed when I
didn’t advance beyond the preliminary round. After
failing to advance to the semifinals the following
year, I began to realize my priorities were all wrong.
I wanted glory for me, not glory for God. I am so
thankful God did not give me what I wanted right
away because if He had, I never would have learned
the valuable lessons of surrender and trust which He
At the Nationals in November 2016, my goal was dif-
ferent. I wasn’t going for me this time. My goal was to
glorify God and do my very best for Him. After taking
the 225 question multiple-choice test and quoting
five passages during the preliminary round, I scored
in the top 15 and advanced to the semifinals.
I was asked to recite Isaiah 25:6-9, which happens to
be one of my favorite passages! I smiled and started
quoting; in the middle of the passage something
clicked and I quoted like never before. The words
coming out of my mouth were clear and pas-
sionate. I realized with joy that God had opened
my lips so they could speak forth His praise.
I continued to see God’s hand on the competi-
tion and experienced joy as I stood on stage
with the other finalists. I prayed a lot that
morning, surrendering the finals to God, asking
Him to put my will in sync with His. In the end,
I placed second, and I felt so humbled that
God would hand-pick me from among so many
The National Bible Bee has taught me so much
about who God is and how I should live. I have
become an avid Bible reader, memorizer, and
I have learned to surrender everything to God.
Through the Bible Bee, I have learned how to
lose and how to win because, I can do all things
through Christ who strengthens me (Philippians
Danika Puhek is the oldest daughter of Cindy
and Peter Puhek who homeschool in the
Colorado Springs area.
BIBLE BEEBY DANIKA PUHEK
Glory to God at the
Vo l u m e 2 , I s s u e 9 8 , 2 017 I C H E C H O M E S C H O O L U P DAT E 15
BY ISAAC AND HEIDI BOTKIN
When Heidi and I (Isaac)
were born, our respective
parents began to pray about
how we should be educated.
When they choose to teach
us at home, it wasn’t for
lack of options. Isaac’s
parents lived in Washington
D.C. suburbs absolutely
surrounded by private
schools, and Heidi’s father
was actually teaching at a
school in Ohio.
prepared us for where we are
today, and what we are doing.
First, our educations
prepared us for our work.
By figuring out how to teach
us at home, our parents
demonstrated discipline, and taught us
to be self-disciplined. More importantly,
they taught us how to learn; how to teach
ourselves. Isaac has worked as an employee,
freelancer, and manager, in several different
fields. Even though he wasn’t trained in every
one of those areas, his parents equipped him
to train himself and do the work.
Second, our education prepared us to be
parents. By having us, and all of our sib-
lings, at home, our parents gave us a front
row seat watching how parenting works.
We were around to see great parenting in
action, all day, every day. Now that we have
children of our own, we still feel over-
whelmed a lot, but we also have an excellent
example to guide us.
Third, our education gave us unique oppor-
tunities. Instead of being stuck in classrooms
with our peers, our parents took us interest-
ing places and introduced us to fascinating
And even in those early days of home
education, there were various co-ops and
pre-packaged curricula that they could have
used, ways of moving a “regular” education
from classroom to home without any other
major changes. These would have been
easier, faster, and in many ways cheaper than
how our parents ended up teaching us. But
they wanted to give us educations that were
completely different in their focus, not just
To do so was hard, time-consuming, and
expensive in many ways. We’ve watched
our parents change careers, take massive
pay cuts, and move across the country (or
around the world) just so they could teach us
diligently and according to their understand-
ing of scripture (Deuteronomy 6:7). Today,
they would say that it was all worth it, and
so would we. Their efforts have perfectly
PHOTOGRAPHY BY ISTOCK
C H E C H O M E S C H O O L U P DAT E I Vo l u m e 2 , I s s u e 9 8 , 2 01716
OUR PARENTS MODELED
PERSONAL SACRIFICE BY GIVING
UP HIGH-POWERED CAREER
OPTIONS TO INSTEAD PURSUE
WORK THAT WOULD PROVIDE
MORE OPPORTUNITIES FOR
real-life character training.
people. Our flexible schedules allowed
us to work alongside our parents, serve
the Body of Christ, and fight spiritual
battles in Kingdom work long before we
“graduated.” All of the academic and
book-learning parts of education had a
very real, practical, hands-on component.
As important as all of those, and so many
other things are, it was the way that our
parents went about teaching those things
that really mattered. Our parents used
our home education to show us the real
meaning of success, and prepare us for
a life of service, sacrifice and a life lived devoted to
the Lord (1 Timothy 1:5). They could have told us
these things when we got home from government
school, but by devoting so much time to us, and
making so many sacrifices to keep us close to them
gave us an example to follow.
Our parents modelled personal sacrifice by gladly
giving up high-powered career options to pursue
jobs that would include us kids, work that would
provide more opportunities for real-life charac-
ter and training. They illustrated the meaning of
service by bringing us to widows' homes, pro-life
rallies, nursing homes, orphanages, and homeless
shelters. They showed us that true success can’t be
measured in college degrees, paychecks, number of
cars, or even spheres of influence. Success can only
be measured using God’s standards (James 1:27).
This is not to say that we had perfect parents, or
a perfect education. In fact, our parents would be
the first to point out that the first thing that they
demonstrated to us was their own imperfection, and
their need for repentance and humility, prayer, and
constant reliance on the Lord. Thankfully, they daily
demonstrated that repentance, humility, and reliance
on the Lord.
In short, they saw home education as more than just
an alternative to other kinds of school. It was more
than just a way to keep us from getting bullied in
the locker room, or to make time for other activities,
or to get us into a better college. They were trying
to make us a part of their daily lives, to involve us
in the real world, and teach us to love, honor and
glorify the One who made us.
Now, it should be noted that our two families are
very different in many ways, and the actual mechan-
ics and subjects of the education were pretty varied.
One family taught Latin with varying levels of reten-
tion, and the other family had better success with
math. Within each family, every child was different,
and everyone got a different education, tailored to
In fact, our families are different enough that the
only things that our respective educations really had
in common were those things that we mentioned
earlier: being completely involved in our
parents’ lives, an emphasis on discipline
and character, lots of real-life ministry
that allowed our parents to demonstrate
our place in the world while still working
to protect us from worldly influences
(Romans 12:2), a trust in the Lord and
study of His Word, and reliance on Him.
This is why we are confident that our
parents were able to prepare us for our
adult lives, not just for where we are
today, but but for wherever we will be to-
morrow. We are also confident that if we
can teach our own children these Biblical principles
that our parents emphasized, and be the same kind
of example to them, we will be able to give them the
tools they need for wherever the Lord calls them.
Isaac and Heidi Botkin have
one son and a second baby
on the way. They are raising
their family in middle
Tennessee in the midst of
ever-changing areas of work
and ministry including video, design, manufactur-
ing, ministry work, and community outreach. They
blog at www.IsaacBotkin.com.
Did you know CHEC collects Box Tops for Educa-
tion? Each qualifying box top is worth 10 cents
to CHEC, and every little bit helps us return the
investment to Colorado families. Simply collect
the box tops and then drop them off at a CHEC event or the office (or mail
them to us). Learn more at www.CHEC.org/connect/support.
LABELS FOR EDUCATION
This program ends soon! We need 2200 points to
reach our goal. Deliver your labels to CHEC by June 30th!
SAVE YOUR BOXTOPS!
Vo l u m e 2 , I s s u e 9 8 , 2 017 I C H E C H O M E S C H O O L U P DAT E 17
BEST OF CHEC.ORG/BLOG
BY NORM WAKEFIELD
In the past months, I
have received the trou-
bling news of four young
people who have left
their homes without the
blessing of their parents.
Such occurrences seem
to be on the rise. We
might expect children
of parents who are un-
believers to make a bolt
into premature indepen-
dence, but these young
people I know have
bolted from parents
that have a sincere love
for their children and
a commitment to train
them in God's ways.
BEST OF CHEC.ORG/BLOG
Visit CHEC.org/blog for
weekly encouragement, with
Tips for Teaching Sons by
Only One Director and One
Audience by Vicki Lewis
Adopted Child by Shari
When we hear of a young person behaving in such a
way, questions leap into our minds. What caused this
behavior? Could the parents have done anything to
prevent it? Could this happen to us? If our own teen-
age son or daughter is discontent, contentious, and
disrespectful, then bringing up the subject may evoke
fears that can almost be tasted.
Although I don't think I have all the answers to the
questions above, I believe God's Word provides
helpful insight and hope that may be encouraging and
directive. If we wish to prevent teenage mutiny, the
hearts of our children must be our primary concern.
Who has the heart of your child? What does this have
to do with the problem?
The Dynamics of the Heart
What is your understanding of the relationship between
the heart and the will? My observation is that many
Christian parents have erroneous ideas on this topic.
Biblically speaking, the heart refers to that central
governing aspect of our souls involving our thinking,
understanding, conscience, and spirit. Proverbs 23:7
indicates that the thinking in our heart determines who
we are. So our mind, our thinking, and our under-
standing are functions of the heart.
The apostle John implied that our conscience is
another aspect of our heart when he wrote, We shall
know by this that we are of the truth, and shall assure
our heart before him, in whatever our heart condemns
us; for God is greater than our hearts, and knows all
things. Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we
have confidence before God (1 John 3:19-21 NASB).
Another word used synonymously with heart is the
term spirit. God prophesied through Ezekiel, And I shall
give them one heart, and shall put a new spirit within
of your children?
C H E C H O M E S C H O O L U P DAT E I Vo l u m e 2 , I s s u e 9 8 , 2 01718
them. And I shall take the heart of stone out of their flesh
and give them a heart of flesh (Ezekiel 11:19 NASB).
Some theologians consider the spirit to be that aspect
of our heart which relates to God. That may be so, but
in all three — the mind, the conscience, and the spirit
— we relate to God. Whatever function it plays, the
spirit is an influential, powerful, motivating force.
A False Notion About the
If we aren't careful, we may base our relationships
with our children on a false notion regarding the
nature of man. That false notion is that the will dictates
the condition of the heart. When we operate out of
this false presupposition, we think that if we can just
convince our children of what is right and wrong, they
will act accordingly.
Parents who think this way also tend to think their
children can become Christians by simply exercising
their free will to choose to accept Jesus Christ as their
Savior. That makes sense if one thinks the action of
the will dictates the condition of the heart.
The problem with that kind of thinking is that it is un-
true. If parents teach their children that one particular
action is the right thing to do and another action is
unrighteous, will their children then exercise their will
accordingly? Not always. The apostle Paul, in Romans
7, stressed the helplessness of a man who knows what
is right but doesn't have the power of the Holy Spirit at
work in his heart and life. Wretched man that I am!
The problem isn't the will, but the heart. Paul wrote,
For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in
my flesh; for the willing is present in me, but the doing
of the good is not (Romans 7:18 NASB). Therefore, it
is important that we...
Learn the Truth About the Dy-
namics of the Heart and Will
The truth about the will of the natural man is that it is
not free to act righteously. The Bible teaches that the
natural man's will is in bondage to the spirit condition
of the heart. “As a man thinks in his heart, so is he,”
goes the proverb. When choices are made, yes, the
will is acting. However, the will always chooses ac-
cording to the inclination of the heart. That prevailing
inclination is based on the person's understanding
and thinking within his heart. No person will ever
choose to do anything contrary to the condition of his
Interested in the rest of this article? Find
Part 2 on the CHEC.org blog to discover three
insights into keeping the heart of your child.
Norm Wakefield combines his
knowledge of Jesus Christ and the
Scriptures with his homeschool
experience to equip parents,
children, and young adults for the
challenges they face, and how the Gospel applies
to all relationships and circumstances in life.
Norm lives with his wife, Alma, in Bulverde, Texas.
They have four children, and 14 grandchildren
whom they help to home
educate. Learn more at
JOIN THE VOLUNTEER TEAM!
CHEC is made up of an incredible team of
volunteers. Volunteers help...
■ host events like Intro Seminars
■ serve at the conference Used Curriculum Sale
■ enter data and sort files at the CHEC Office
...all while building relationships and investing
in the next generation. We’d love for your whole
family to join us!
Learn more at CHEC.org/volunteer
Vo l u m e 2 , I s s u e 9 8 , 2 017 I C H E C H O M E S C H O O L U P DAT E 19
BEST OF BLOG
Simply put, a ‘brain
glitch’ is a slight
weakness in one’s
that makes it harder
to learn (or to show
what one knows).
Here are three
When I start working with a student, I first
share my own learning struggles — my brain
glitches — with him/her. We all have brain
glitches of one kind or another; there is no
perfect brain. Next, I encourage the student’s
parents to share about their glitches. In this
way, the fear that lurks behind a brain glitch
promptly exits the room. The last thing I want is
for the student to think he is alone. If he thinks
this, he can’t learn efficiently because the first
So, working memory has a profound effect on our
learning ability. For example, it allows us to keep
track of where we are in a multi-step math problem
or compare and contrast two concepts. If we
struggle to store relevant information temporarily,
we will struggle to learn.
Weak Auditory Processing
Auditory processing is the ability to hear individual
sounds within words. While children with poor
auditory processing skills hear just fine, they have
difficulty learning to read and spell because it’s
so much harder for them to accurately and rapidly
‘map’ or connect each sound in a word to the
letters in that word. Poor auditory processing can
also cause kids to mispronounce words. Instead
of “baptized,” they might say “bap-a-tized” or “li-
bare-y” instead of “library.”
Such glitches keep kids from covering as much
material as their peers because they work so
slowly, quickly fatigue, and struggle to complete
assignments. They soon fall behind and become
discouraged. Additionally, these glitches also strain
family relationships because of the ongoing frustra-
job of the brain is to protect itself from danger, like
feelings of isolation. I want my student to know he’s
not the only one who struggles to learn. I also reas-
sure the parents that their child is not lazy. In fact,
he is working harder than most kids because brain
glitches make learning much more laborious.
There are several ways a brain may glitch. If your
child is a struggling learner, he may have one or
more of the following glitches:
Slow Processing Speed
Processing speed is the rate or tempo at which you
carry out simple tasks like completing easy math cal-
culations or reading a short, simple passage. Some
researchers describe slow processing speed as a
water hose with a partially blocked valve. The rate of
task completion is sluggish and inordinately slow.
Inadequate Working Memory
Working memory is the ability to briefly hold or
store information in our minds for a few seconds
while taking in more information. Learning requires
us to ‘hold on’ to several bits of information so
that we can apply them to what we already know.
BY BRIDGET MOSLEY, MED
C H E C H O M E S C H O O L U P DAT E I Vo l u m e 2 , I s s u e 9 8 , 2 01720
tion they bring to both kids and parents.
These students often have a lot of
‘smarts.’ They can build intricate
lego structures, have uncanny
memories for details of particu-
lar topics of interest, or create
beautiful juxtapositions to drive
home a theme in their writing.
While these learning glitches are
certainly significant, the greatest learning
obstacle is the shame and isolation that stem from
fears about brain glitches. The parents may worry,
“What are we doing wrong?” or, “Is our child lazy?”
The child may think, “I’m stupid!” or, “There’s some-
thing wrong with me!” This is the time to hold fast in
hope, claiming God’s promises. Let’s remember He
will see to completion the good work He has started
in each of us, and our children. Being confident of this
very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you
will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ (Philip-
pians 1:6 NKJV).
We also have hope because God has graciously
designed our brains. Specifically, let’s look at three of
His concepts which make learning much easier:
God created us to be readily changed by the gentle,
daily demands life places on our brains. These
experiences build neural pathways in the brain, and
this is called “neuroplasticity.” If you help your child
practice a specific skill, very deliberately, about five
times a week, you can help him improve nearly any
brain glitch. God makes our brains highly malleable.
He wired us to learn.
2. Deliberate Practice
Deliberate practice is not your ordinary practice.
Rather, it is highly intentional, targeted training to
develop a skill that a child is almost ready to do. De-
liberate practice maximizes performance because you
help your child grow a little bit every day. It’s the kind
of practice that is neither too easy or too hard. For
example, if your child is learning to read, you would
have him read a passage at his comfort level, several
times that day until he could read it fluently. You
would time him and encourage him to read just a little
faster each time. This type of practicing causes the
connections between brain cells to rapidly thicken so
that kids can learn more quickly and deeply. So, set
small, specific, achievable goals each day, practice
daily, and celebrate these pocket-sized achievements.
Eric Lindros, a former professional ice hockey player,
summed it up well: “It’s not necessarily the amount of
time you spend at practice that counts; it’s what you
put into the practice.”
With a lot of consistent practice comes automaticity:
the effortless, quick retrieval of information. At this
level, your child’s brain subconsciously and thought-
lessly retrieves and uses the foundational, key bits
of information you’ve taught so that he can learn. For
example, kids who know their multiplication facts to
automaticity are freed to focus their full attention on
a new math concept. When foundational material is
efficiently retrieved and applied, or automated, a child
flourishes and learning becomes easier and more
When your child struggles or seems stuck, ask
yourself if he is getting consistent, daily opportuni-
ties to practice well and automate key skills. God has
designed our brains to grow quickly IF we practice
daily and automate essential skills.
At the 2017 CHEC conference, I’ll show how you can
help your children overcome common brain glitches
by applying powerful principles like deliberate
practice and automaticity in fun and engaging ways.
Please join me! There is no shame in acknowledging
and working through the brain glitches we all have.
God would have us come together, rejoice in His
gracious design, and learn more ways to help our
children grow and reach their God-given potential.
There is and always will be great hope in Him.
Bridget Mosley, MEd, is a former
homeschooler who has helped
thousands of families over the last
29 years. She is a Cognitive
Learning Specialist at WowzaBrain.
com, an online learning center that coaches
parents to help their children work through their
brain glitches. She is also a
consultant to “Baby
EyeQ”™ brain gym.
GOALS EACH DAY,
Free Online Events to Equip You
for Christ-Centered Homeschooling!
Vo l u m e 2 , I s s u e 9 8 , 2 017 I C H E C H O M E S C H O O L U P DAT E 21
As we come
other as leaders,
we are reminded
by Scripture of our
need to encourage
each other daily:
As iron sharpens iron, so a man sharpens the
countenance of his friend (Proverbs 27:17 NKJV).
How can we do this if we ourselves are discour-
aged, as if we are adrift without tethering?
Picture yourself walking around a reservoir on a
windy day, the waves lapping at the lakeshore.
There is a 20-feet-long pier on which you can
walk out over the water. Venturing out, you
notice a small boat loosely tied to a dock at the
end. The waves gently bump the boat against
the dock. The closer you get, the more the boat
is moving. Then you see it: the knot securing the
boat is loose, and apparently no anchor holds
the boat fast. Glancing around, you are unable to
locate the boat’s owner. You pick up your pace
BY MARK AND AMBER BAUGHMAN
knowing the boat will float away if you don’t secure it
to the dock. As you race down the pier, a rope slips
from its tie-down allowing the boat to drift out into the
current. You bend over to reach out and grab the rope
but you just miss it! You look around in dismay, not
knowing what to do as the boat drifts farther away.
Christ is our strength, our refuge, our security. If we
anchor ourselves to Christ, we can be held fast, even
supported and encouraged. If the little boat in the
story had been anchored or rope tied securely to the
dock, it would have stay tethered despite the wind and
waves. The drifting, solitary boat will now be directed
by the elements, wherever the wind and waves push
it, even to destruction against the rocks.
As leaders in our church, homes, ministry,
homeschool group, or workplace, we need to keep
ourselves anchored in Christ, tethered to the Word of
God, holding fast, enabling us to minister to others.
The more you give yourself to others through
loving service in Christ, the more you need to
be tethered to the dock. Increased intimacy with
Christ will positively affect all your interactions with
others: your spouse, children, friends, co-workers,
and those God has put in your path to witness to.
Don’t be set adrift like the boat; call on Him in prayer
and praise to be your anchor, your lifeline!
Anchored securely in Christ, you can take oppor-
tunities to sharpen other leaders as your own life is
sharpened by them! This is the goal of CHEC’s
network of homeschool groups, and of our
upcoming LEADERS LUNCH on Friday, June
16 at the Rocky Mountain Homeschool Conference.
More details will be sent via email to all groups in our
network. If you are unsure if your homeschool group
is a part of our network, learn more at CHEC.org/
CHEC's Homeschool Group Network brings
together Colorado homeschool groups to
give leaders support and to help families
connect with their local communities. Find
a group or learn how to connect your group
to the network at CHEC.org/groups.
Mark and Amber
Baughman are the new
Directors for CHEC.
They live in Castle Rock
where they have
homeschooled their six children for over two
decades, and they have recently been promoted to
grandparents. Amber started the Castle Rock
Christian Homeschool Group 18 years ago. They
look forward to networking with homeschool
leaders in Colorado.
C H E C H O M E S C H O O L U P DAT E I Vo l u m e 2 , I s s u e 9 8 , 2 01722
BY CAROLYN MARTIN
Walking into the
room there is a
heaviness in the air
and a presence of
The topic to be discussed today could be educa-
tion, health care, life, mental health, parental rights,
religious freedom, or any of a myriad of other issues
that are caught in the middle of this war for the soul of
humankind. Make no mistake, we are at war against a
well-equipped and experienced adversary who seeks
to devour, destroy, and kill.
The scene described above is a weekly occurrence
in committee meeting rooms at our State Capitol
in Denver. Not all the issues bring a firestorm, but
every bill that is brought forth brings to light oppos-
ing viewpoints. This reveals the enemy’s greatest
weapon: divide and conquer. For those who fight
for truth and justice, this reveals a deficiency in
our worldview, and a reliance on man’s knowledge
instead of on God’s truth.
The battleground is found not only in our legislature
but also our schools, our courts, our churches, and
even in our families. Anywhere hope and truth sprout,
the counterfeit springs to action promising happi-
ness and fulfillment grounded in this temporal world.
Take for example a bill brought forth this year that will
prevent parents from seeking help from a professional
counselor to guide a gender or sexually confused
child to wholeness using God’s truth. Because the
bill’s sponsors espouse a secular worldview that says
our identities are fluid, they believe it is abusive to
stand on biblical truth when providing counsel. Their
solution is built on a foundation of lies, leaving behind
a wake of pain and suffering.
How do we battle the lies all around us? First, we
must examine ourselves to see if we have fallen prey
to the lies spread throughout our culture. A Barna
found that only 19% of born again believ-
ers, or one in five, have a biblical worldview! The
transforming power of the Gospel is the only hope for
a culture steeped in the hopelessness of worldviews
that deny the reality of God. The hope and truth of
Jesus Christ cannot permeate our culture if we don’t
even believe it ourselves. We must become well-
skilled at articulating what we believe and why.
Second, we must live God-centered lives, being
guided by His Holy Spirit to do the works He has
prepared for us. Each of us has been uniquely made
to engage this world with the love and hope of our
Savior. The Body of Christ cannot function properly
without each one of us doing our part.
He has a battle plan; let’s make sure we are performing
our unique part! If your family or homeschool support
group would like to join me in the good fight for true
freedom, please email me at Carolyn@CHEC.org and I
can share with you a number of ways to become involved
with the battle at your local and our state levels.
“Barna Survey Examines Changes in Worldview Among Chris-
tians over the Past 13 Years.” https://www.barna.com/research/
tians-over-the-past-13-years/ (accessed March 5, 2017)
Carolyn Martin and her husband,
Todd, began homeschooling their
three children in upstate New York
before moving to Colorado in 2004.
Her passion is to see
homeschooling remain free from government
intrusion for future generations. For legislative
questions, email carolyn@CHEC.org.
Donate to the Homeschool Freedom
fund and help CHEC stand strong with
homeschool advocacy, public policy, and
the defense of homeschool freedom
in Colorado. Make your contribution at
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was reading at a first grade level. After working
with the Wowza Brain program for one year, and
admitting they were not as faithful to it as they should
have been, her son had advanced two grade levels
and could independently read for the first time! My
friend showed me some of Wowza’s materials and
they looked like fun, directed, and creative ways to
implement the training Teri had recommended. I
signed up the next day.
Wowza Brain begins with a reading assessment. If
the child is a pre-reader, he or she begins with Level
1 which is designed to teach letter sound and letter
shape recognition. If the child already has good
command of the alphabet, he or she begins with Level
2 and this was where my son began. Level 2 consists
of 25 games designed to make reading automatic
and covers skills such as sight word recognition,
distinguishing between ‘b’ and ‘d,’ and blending
sounds to make words. One of the games is called
‘Find and Tap’ in which a child taps a letter on the
page, says the letter’s sound, and then taps a picture
that is also on the page that begins with the same
sound. The game begins with the child doing this at
50 beats per minute on the metronome, and he works
his way up to 90 or 100 beats per minute!
I decided to get my son tested when I realized he was
considerably delayed in learning to read compared
with his four older siblings. I received help from
Teri Spray at Christian Cottage Schools (www.
learningrivers.com) in assessing my son’s brain
glitches. Christian Cottage Schools has been helping
Colorado homeschooling families successfully
educate their children for decades. Teri determined
my son’s thinking was ‘disordered’ and felt he would
benefit from working with a metronome. She said
the beat of the metronome has been found to triple
a child’s progress in different areas of learning by
changing the processing of the brain and helping it
make new neural connections. It also helps a child
work in rhythm and increase his or her concentration.
Teri sent us home with some information and ideas
on how to begin.
About a month later I was having dinner with a friend
and told her about my son’s learning challenges
and the ways we were integrating the metronome
into our schooling. She told me she had also used
a metronome with her son a few years prior through
a program called Wowza Brain Training (www.
wowzabrain.com). At the time, her brilliant 10-year-
old son who was well advanced in math and science
When a child is
with a struggling
learner have access
to many helpful
My homeschool hit a learning challenge
roadblock when my fifth child was not reading
fluently after two years of phonics training.
I quickly discovered that homeschooling
had uniquely positioned me to give my son
the extra instruction he needed to overcome
his learning glitches. Thanks to the help I
found through Christian Cottage Schools and
Wowza Brain Training, my son is on his way to
becoming a fluent reader.
Struggling LearnersBY CINDY PUHEK
C H E C H O M E S C H O O L U P DAT E I Vo l u m e 2 , I s s u e 9 8 , 2 01724
On the website there are video instructions for
each game and other helpful information to train
parents (called coaches) to help their children.
The program is most effective if the coach and
child work together 30-45 minutes per day, five
days per week. Along with the very informative,
easy to use website, a Wowza Brain specialist
checks-in with the coaches once a month. I
have had several conversations with Dr. Bridget
Mosley, who is my specialist and the creator of
Wowza Brain Training. She is caring and encouraging
and has sent me additional materials that were not
included in the Level 2 games but she felt would help
my son. Bridget has also helped assess my son’s
reading progress and has given recommendations
on where to focus our efforts. If a family lives in the
Colorado Springs area, they are welcome to work
with Bridget through her office, but I have found the
website and phone calls very effective in assisting me
with helping my son at home.
CHEC’s Homeschool Introductory
Seminars are held throughout the year
to give parents the vision, legalities, and
nuts and bolts they need.
A seminar is coming to a city near you in
July and August!
Interested in helping host a seminar in your home
town? Please contact josh@CHEC.org!
NEW TO HOMESCHOOLING?
Sign up at
Learning glitches can be a disguised blessing. I
cherish the extra time I spend with my son during
our intensive instructional sessions together each
day. In working to overcome his learning glitches I
feel like we are doing something big and significant,
like climbing a mountain. When he ‘summits this
mountain’ and begins to read independently it’s
going to be cause for great celebration.
Don’t let a learning struggle become the proverbial
straw that breaks the homeschooling camel’s back.
Homeschoolers already have the structure and
relationship with their children that makes a
parent acting as a reading coach seem natural.
With great resources such as Christian Cottage
Schools and Wowza Brain Training, any parent
can become a learning disability specialist for
his or her child.
Cindy Puhek resides in Colorado
Springs and has been married to
Peter for more than two decades.
They are well into their second
decade of homeschooling their
six children who range in age from toddler to high
schooler. Cindy holds a master's degree in
chemistry and has written dozens of articles to
encourage others in their homeschooling
journeys. You can visit her blog at www.
WITH GREAT RESOURCES
PARENT CAN BECOME A
SPECIALIST FOR HIS OR
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C H E C H O M E S C H O O L U P DAT E I Vo l u m e 2 , I s s u e 9 8 , 2 01726
PARTNER with CHEC
Together, we’re motivating parents to disciple the next generation of Christians.
Thank you for partnering with us!
BY STEVE VAUGHAN
My first introduction
came through our
acquaintance with a
family in small town
My wife and I had no children at the time, had
ourselves been public schooled, and wondered
why in the world would anyone want to teach
their children at home when there were trained
professionals to do so, for free! I mean, we
turned out okay. Little did we know that God
would keep this unique family in the deep
recesses of our minds and bring them to the
forefront in due course.
After moving to Colorado, and having our first
child, God’s providence directed us to bring my
be of immense help to us. With a little less fear and
trembling, we embarked on this new adventure called
homeschooling. Little did we know how CHEC would
become an integral part of our lives in coming years.
Several years into this journey, my wife began to
help offset the cost of our family’s CHEC conference
registration through volunteering. It started with help-
ing stuff the bags for the attendees. Then, when our
children were older, they helped with directing people
to the vendor hall and workshop rooms.
In 2005, our family had grown to five children with
another on the way, and we needed to find a bigger
home. Enter Mike Cheney, Realtor, and homeschool
dad. In the process of finding our new abode, we be-
came great friends with the Cheney family. Mike and
Roxie were then the CHEC Conference Coordinators,
so were well-trained in securing volunteers. A year or
so later, Mike asked if Jennifer and I would be willing
to serve on the Conference Committee as the Vendor
wife, Jennifer, home from working full-time to raise
our family. I was a home care nurse which had me on
the road 30,000+ miles each year. Consequently, I lis-
tened to plenty of Christian radio and news programs.
The more I heard, the less I wanted our children to
attend any public school. But we were not income
endowed enough to afford a good private school. Time
for a decision was quickly running out as our oldest
daughter was nearing school-age, God had blessed
us with a son, and child number three was on the way.
The only option I thought viable was homeschooling.
How hard could that be? We were about to find out.
After convincing my wife she could at least teach the
elementary school level, we, or more appropriately
she, began looking for support. I’m not certain where,
but we heard about the existence of homeschool
support groups, and an organization called CHEC.
A quick call to them yielded several support group
options in our area. They also informed us of their
annual homeschool conference that would prove to
Vo l u m e 2 , I s s u e 9 8 , 2 017 I C H E C H O M E S C H O O L U P DAT E 27
Donation Amount $
☐ One time donation $
☐ Monthly donation $
☐ Or go to CHEC.org and click
To set up automatic monthly credit card or ACH/bank
transfer, call the office at 720-842-4852.
PLEASE REMOVE THIS SECTION AND MAIL WITH YOUR DONATION TO:
19039 Plaza Drive, Suite 210 Parker, Colorado 80134
For 27 years, CHEC has been at the forefront of the battle for home education and discipleship. CHEC serves thousands of families every year
through our events, Update magazine, widows fund, special needs fund, the CHEC Independent School, and more. We receive phone calls
throughout the week that give us a chance to provide advice, encouragement, and an extra “boost” to homeschoolers when the going is tough.
CHEC depends on your generous donation to both continue and expand our mission.
Assistants. Through prayer and consideration of the
time involved, we agreed to serve and remained in
that position for three years.
Mike was also the coordinator for the Father Son
Retreat. After attending my first year, Mike asked if
I would serve as the Camp Nurse. I quickly agreed.
Then I found out that this position also involved help-
ing with registration, room assignments, setting up
activities, and anything else Mike could think of! But,
I got to patch-up small wounds, give IV fluids, remove
a damaged fingernail, assess broken bones, as well
as assist in saving a young woman’s life who was
having a reaction to some medication. This continues
to be one of my favorite CHEC volunteer opportunities
as it utilizes all of my skills sets!
In 2010, the Workshops Chairman resigned due
to other commitments. Mike asked us to consider
moving up into this role, which would require a good
deal more work. With more prayer and discussion,
Jennifer and I felt God lead us to accept it. I had never
been a chairman before, so was initially hesitant to
lead. Everyone on this committee had more experi-
ence than me. What if I made a bad decision? What if
the conference turned out horrible? The buck stopped
with me! During our first big meeting, an important
decision needed to be made, and made by me. I
gave a pleading, “Help me out here” look toward my
assistant. With a twinkle in his eye, like a mother
bird urging her young to spread their wings and fly,
he shoved me out of my nest of comfort, told me it
was my decision to make, and I needed to make it. In
spite of that, or more likely because of it, I served as
Workshops Chairman five years.
During that fifth year, I was asked to consider becom-
ing a CHEC Board member. Honored and humbled, I
accepted the invitation, surviving both the interviews
and voting process. Shortly after this, I was also
asked to be the Director for the just launched CHEC
Midwifery program. CHEC really wanted an RN for
the position. I was a bit reticent about taking on a
third position. I still had a business to run, coached
a speech and debate team, helped pastor a church,
and had a number of other duties. After some prayer, I
said I would give it a try.
At the first Board meeting, holding three separate
positions, a strange thought came to me: I, as the
Chairman of the Workshops Committee was answer-
able to Chris Galanek, Conference Coordinator at that
time. Chris and I were on the same level as Directors
of CHEC programs, and Chris was also answerable to
me since I was also a Board member. I was answerable
to me as a Director and a Board member. The song I’m
My Own Grandpa started coursing through my brain!
I decided that I needed to give something up,
and after consulting with the Board, resigned my
Workshops Chairman position. Shortly after that, the
providence of God separated the Midwifery program
from CHEC oversight to become its own ministry,
and I was left with just being a CHEC Board Member
… and co-hosting Generations Radio, Camp Nurse
and sometimes a speaker for the Father Son Retreat,
sometimes a speaker for the CHEC Conference, and
helping teach High School and Beyond Seminars.
Serving CHEC and the thousands of homeschooling
families it assists is addictive!
I know it sounds like a lot, but it doesn’t feel like a lot.
I have come to know and love all who are involved as
CHEC leadership and staff. I get to experience how
God has brought together some of the most qualified
men and women to lead this organization. I get to see
their love for our Lord, for each other, and for all the
families who are homeschooling in Colorado. It is an
honor and a privilege to be part of this organization
which has become a huge part of our lives, and I
wouldn’t have it any other way.
Thinking of volunteering in a small way to start serv-
ing with CHEC? The upcoming conference is a great
place to start! CHEC.org has a listing of volunteer
needs and ways to donate both your time and finan-
Steve and Jennifer Vaughan live in
the Denver metro area with their
children who have all been home
educated and who serve CHEC
alongside their parents. Their oldest
daughter, Ashley, is currently pursuing a degree in
music through Lumerit Education, while working
as the CHEC Independent School Registrar.
Presented by Christian Home Educators of Colorado
TODD WILSONMICHAEL FARRISBENHAM BROTHERSDR. JOEL BEEKE
JUNE 15-17, 2017
D E N V E R C O LO R A D O
CONFERENCE KEYNOTE SPEAKERS
CHEC HOMESCHOOL UP DA TE
I 2017 R OC KY MOUNTAI N H O M E S C H O O L C ONFERENC E30
LEARN HOW TO REGISTER ON PAGE 54!
ABOUT THE CONFERENCE
The conference is full of help and encouragement for homeschool parents on
every stage of the journey. Plan effectively by checking out all the different
Check out the speakers (pages 34-38) and schedule (pages 40-45). Watch
for the tags to find workshops that fit your needs:
New to Homeschooling Track
New! High School Beyond Track
Homeschool How To’s
Stop by the Vendor Hall, Used Curriculum Sale, Youth Vendor Area, Silent
Auction—see page 48 for more information and page 49-50 for vendor listings.
FELLOWSHIP FAMILY FUN
THE CONFERENCE IS EVERYTHING YOU NEED
TO BEGIN HOMESCHOOLING OR GET
CHARGED UP FOR A NEW YEAR:
CHEC HOM ESCHOOL UP DATE
I 2 01 7 ROC KY MOUNTAI N H O M E S C H O O L C ONFERENCE 31
ENCOURAGEMENT ABOUT THE CONFERENCE
Are you just beginning?
COME GET INFORMED AND LOADED WITH TOOLS
TO START YOUR HOMESCHOOLING OFF RIGHT.
Does CHEC provide a Continuing Education Form?
Yes! CHEC provides a Continuing Education form for those attendees who are required to obtain continuing education hours
(e.g. foster parents or Colorado teacher certification).
Please ask for a form at the CHEC Info booth near the main entrance. Fill in the form with the workshops you attended, and have
each workshop presenter sign the form next to their workshop. Once you have completed the form, come back to the CHEC
Info Booth and a CHEC representative will sign it for you or mail to the CHEC office. Deadline to have the form completed is July
15, 2017. Please note that you will need to check with your licensing agency to find out which workshops qualify for continuing
Located just inside the main
entrance, this booth has helpful
homeschool parents and grads
ready to help you navigate
the event and answer your
questions. Plus, stop by to
purchase a copy
of the new
Stop by this booth in the vendor
hall to chat with a homeschool
mom about anything—parenting,
special needs, the best place to
pick up lunch—you name it.
Workshops with the Homeschool
How-To’s tag are especially
geared to help you with
beginning nuts bolts.
This all-day track on Thursday
will guide you through following
homeschool law, managing
a home while educating,
choosing curriculum, keeping
records and more! To RSVP for
free, checkmark the New to
Homeschooling box when you
register for the conference.
or Friday at
CHEC HOMESCHOOL UP DA TE
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Youth entrepreneurs can sell their wares in Youth
Vendor section of the exhibit hall and participate in
the business plan competition, gaining valuable in-
struction and feedback that will help them in their
entrepreneurial endeavors. Plus, The Apprentice-
ship, Mentorship, and Entrepreneurship program
will hold two exclusive training sessions!
When Thursday and Friday at 10:45-11:45am
Cost $30 add-on to your family’s full conference
Ages Homeschooled graduates and students
ages 13+ who live with their parents (business
must belong to youth, cannot be the family busi-
Students entering grades 9 and beyond this fall
are invited to join this program to learn the basics
of how to prepare for their first job. Instructor Rick
McFaddon will present 3 hours of instruction on
resume writing, interview preparation and practice,
and learning the “how” and the “why” of networking.
When Friday at 1:00pm-4:30pm
Cost $20 add-on to your family’s full conference
Ages Homeschooled youth in high school
(grades 9-12) and older
ACADEMY OF ARTS
Join the Academy of Arts Ministries in performing a
drama on the life of the Apostle Paul on Friday night
of the conference! Participants will spend two days
of intensive drama training and rehearsal in prepara-
tion for the performance on Friday night.
When All day Thursday and Friday
Cost $20 add-on to your family’s full conference
Ages Homeschooled graduates and students ages
13 and older
Dr. Jenna Ellis, lawyer, professor, speaker, and home-
school graduate, will guide students through a four-
session course on understanding the US Constitution
as a legal document. Students will learn how there is
a profound misunderstanding of where our funda-
mental rights come from, what power our American
government has to regulate our rights, how we can
read and understand what the Constitution means
through the principles of Originalism, and how we
can use our constitutional knowledge to advocate for
true liberty and religious freedom in today’s culture.
When Thursday at 10:30am-4:30pm
Cost $15 add-on to your family’s full conference pass
Ages Homeschooled graduates and students ages
13 and older
“Our mission is to aid Colorado homeschool families in the
procurement, growth, protection, and allocation of the assets
and resources that God calls them to steward.”
FOR MORE INFORMATION, CALL US AT (720)598-9230 | HOMESCHOOLFAMILYALLIANCE.COM
Putting the Home in Homeschooling
Homeschooling families have special considerations when buying
a home. School room or no school room? Big bedrooms? What
about the ability to look out over the yard and watch your children
Come to the Rocky Mountain Homeschool Conference to learn from
3 professional homeschooling dads who “have been there and done
that” to make the decision a bit easier. You will get some sage advice
on the kind of house to look for, a balanced biblical approach to
financing a home, and ways to protect your investment properly.
CHEC HOMESCHOOL UP DA TE
I 2017 R OC KY MOUNTAI N H O M E S C H O O L C ONFERENC E34
DR. JOEL BEEKE
Dr. Joel Beeke is a pastor, seminary
president, and professor of System-
atic Theology and Homiletics. He has
contributed 2,000 articles to books,
journals, periodicals, and encyclope-
dias. His recent books are Parenting by
God’s Promises and Prepared by Grace, For
Grace. He and his wife, Mary, have three children. Mary
Beeke prepares pastors’ wives for ministry life as a leader
of Ministry Wives Institute and offers thoughtful counsel
in her book, The Law of Kindness.
Holding Fast to Christ Who Holds Fast to You
Bringing the Gospel to Our Children
Helping Our Children Discern God’s Will
Handling Peer Pressure
Discpling Through Family Worship
Discipling Our Children as Prophets, Priests and Kings
Twin brothers David and Jason Ben-
ham are former professional baseball
players, bestselling authors, speakers,
and nationally acclaimed entrepreneurs
whose business success earned them a
reality show with HGTV. When their show was
abruptly cancelled because of their commitment to biblical
values, the brothers chose not to back down and encour-
age others to do the same! They are married to Lori and
Tori, and altogether the couples have nine children.
Living Among Lions: Thriving Like Daniel
in Today’s Babylon
Whatever the Cost
Getting Your Kids on Board: How Dad Passes a Vision to
Michael Farris is recognized as
one of the pioneering leaders
of the modern homeschooling
movement. Mr. Farris has served
as the founding president of both the
Homeschool Legal Defense Associa-
tion and Patrick Henry College, has litigated
cases before the highest courts of America, and has
testified before both the House and Senate. Mike currently
serves as the president, CEO, and general counsel of Alli-
ance Defending Freedom, chairman of the Board at HSLDA,
and chancellor emeritus at Patrick Henry. Mike and his wife
Vickie have 10 children and 20 grandchildren.
Constitutional Literacy: It’s For You and Your Children
Why We Should Have Hope in the Midst of Hard Times
The Coming Attack on Homeschooling
From the Legal Elites
Todd Wilson is a dad, writer,
conference speaker, and former
pastor. Todd’s humor and realness
have made him a favorite speaker
at homeschool conventions across
the country and a guest on Focus on the
Family. As founder of Familyman Ministries,
his passion and mission are to remind dads and moms
of what is most important through seminars, books that
encourage parents, and a weekly email for dads. Todd and
his wife Debbie homeschool six of their eight children (two
have graduated) in northern Indiana.
What to do When Your Plan Doesn’t Go
According to Plan
An Unbeatable Team
Life After Graduation
This We Believe
CHEC HOM ESCHOOL UP DATE
I 2 01 7 ROC KY MOUNTAI N H O M E S C H O O L C ONFERENCE 35
Jason and his wife Jennifer have been home-
schooling their four children for more than 15 years
in Colorado Springs. Along with being a husband
and father, Jason has served in multiple positions
within both local and state homeschooling organizations. Combining his
passion for homeschooling with over 20 years of teaching and writing
on the truth of Christianity, Jason recently completed a curriculum on
defending the faith for all ages. Jason’s greatest passion is the Triune God
and seeing the Gospel impact multiple generations of families.
Ensuring They Know the Reason for Their Hope
Tools and Tactics to Counter the Culture
Daniel Craig is passionate about home education,
discipleship and worldview. As a first generation
homeschool graduate, he completed his Bachelor’s
Degree in Music and has pursued Seminary Studies
in Philosophy and Apologetics. As the founder of LifeLaunch, a grow-
ing ministry with the mission of launching the next generation through
powerful mentoring relationships and real-life integration, Daniel shares
his expertise and first-hand experiences with parents and students at
conventions and seminars across the country. He is also an accomplished
tenor and has blessed audiences around the country with majestic and
powerful songs of worship to God. Daniel currently resides in Colorado
with his beautiful wife, Megan.
The Power of Mentorship: Secrets to a Truly Higher Education
Stephen is the Executive Director for Christian
Home Educators of Colorado. Stephen and his
wife Tara were both homeschooled for all of their
primary and secondary school years. One of Ste-
phen’s primary life goals has been to raise a godly family for the glory of
Christ and he has a strong belief in the significance of home education
and home discipleship toward accomplishing that end. Stephen and Tara
live in Parker with their four children, Carson, Christiana, Angelina, and
Stephen will be teaching part of the New to Homeschooling track.
Alex is a homeschooling father of four. He has
nearly 15 years of experience assisting families
with their mortgage needs. He understands what a
blessing it can be for his clients to own a home where
they can disciple their children. Alex has a dedicated team whose focus is
on providing the best solution for each family’s needs.
Putting the Home in Homeschooling (Panel Presentation)
As a High School Consultant for HSLDA and
mother of two homeschool graduates, Carol
relishes the opportunity to encourage and equip
homeschooling parents as they raise the next genera-
tion of leaders. She has a passion for science and holds a BS and MS in
Engineering. Over the years, Carol has led high school students through
English, Algebra 1, and Geometry programs, as well as helping students
prepare for the Timed SAT writing essay. Carol currently tutors writing
students from middle school, high school, and community college.
Carol will be teaching the High School Beyond track.
Mike and his wife, Roxie, have been blessed with two
children, Annie and Corey, whom they have home
educated since birth. The Cheneys are involved in
several entrepreneurial ventures. As the Director of the
national AME Program (Apprenticeship, Mentorship, Entrepreneurship),
Mike has a passion for sharing a vision for discipleship in all kinds of
businesses. The Cheneys are blessed to have served CHEC as Confer-
ence Coordinators from 2001-2012. Mike also served as CHEC’s Opera-
tions Director from 2002-2011.
Mike will be leading the AME Youth Entrepreneur training as part of the
Youth Features; see page 32.