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2016 IVOLUME 3 IISSUE 96
T H E H E A R T O F H O M E S C H O O L I N G
On the Road
Of Home
Discipleship
From Homeschool
to...
Lifeby Kevin Swanson
Simple Guide
Biblical
Family
Family
New!New!
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very Christian family is like a garden,
sometimes grow...
Front Cover: Father and Son Retreat event.
Photography by Ian Serff/www.serffcreative.com
This page: The Rocky Mountain Ho...
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What will they
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around us only serve as a reminder that it is funda-
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ROAD
of Home
DISCIPLESHIP
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INTERVIEW WITH PASTOR TIMOTHY FAN
YOU HAVE ONE DAUGHTER
WHO HAS GRADUATED FROM
YOUR FAMIL...
THEMATIC INTERVIEW
WHAT ARE THE FRUITFUL
BLESSINGS YOU ARE
NOW EXPERIENCING FOR
FAITHFULLY DISCIPLING
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Update Magazine - 2016, Volume 3, Issue 96

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The fall edition of The Homeschool Update, a triannual publication by Christian Home Educators of Colorado.

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Update Magazine - 2016, Volume 3, Issue 96

  1. 1. 2016 IVOLUME 3 IISSUE 96 T H E H E A R T O F H O M E S C H O O L I N G On the Road Of Home Discipleship From Homeschool to Professional Excellence Pursue a Christ- Centered Curriculum Off to a Good Start with Struggling Learners 6 10 14 26 JESUS CHRIST: ARTICLES INSIDE THIS ISSUE INCLUDE FOREVER THE SAME Father Son Retreat Recap PAGE 30
  2. 2. Lifeby Kevin Swanson Simple Guide Biblical Family Family New!New! E very Christian family is like a garden, sometimes growing greener and sometimes a little brown around the edges. How green is your family garden? In Family Life, Kevin Swanson offers a big picture overview of the biblical family, complete with scriptural principles, practical suggestions, discussion questions, and helpful resources for further study. Intended fortherestorationofhealthyfamilygardensin the post-modern wasteland of disintegrated family life, this book not only warns you of the toxic influences that threaten the family garden, but also provides guidance for cultivating the family garden in the interest of yielding a great spiritual crop. How Green Is Your Garden? Generations.org/FamilyLife
  3. 3. Front Cover: Father and Son Retreat event. Photography by Ian Serff/www.serffcreative.com This page: The Rocky Mountain Homeschool Conference event. Photography by Sarah Lee Bryant/www.sarahleephoto.com CHEC Homeschool Update IVolume 3, 2016 IIssue 96 INSIDE Thematic Features 6 On the Road of Home Discipleship INTERVIEW WITH TIMOTHY FAN 16 Christ the Essence BY TERI ONG Special Features 10 From Christian Homeschool to Professional Excellence BY JOHN AUXIER II 14 Christ-Centered Curriculum BY BLAIR WATKINSON 20 Supper's Not Done 'Til the Plates are in the Cupboard BY MARCIA WASHBURN 26 Off to a Good Start with Struggling Learners BY LIDA BRINGE CHEC Events 22 Rocky Mountain Homeschool Conference Recap PRESENTED BY CHEC 30 Father Son Retreat Recap PRESENTED BY CHEC Columns 4 Director’s Desk 24 Homeschool Leaders 32 Best of Blog 34 Curriculum Review 36 Partner’s Page 19039 Plaza Drive, Suite 210 Parker, Colorado 80134 720.842.4852 I1.877.842.CHEC (2432) ICHEC.org
  4. 4. PHOTOGRAPHYBYISTOCK What will they think of next? I noticed a soapy scent and little blue dots when I went to grab a paper towel from the kitchen recently. Upon further inspection, I discovered that you can now purchase soap infused paper towels. How clever! I have no idea how long they have been around, but it was certainly a new concept to me. THE SAME BY STEVE CRAIG From space exploration to the ability to shop for nearly any item from your living room, there is no denying the fact that we have seen unprecedented and sometimes breathtaking developments in technology during the last 100 years. Just think of the myriad of functions that are now common to the ubiquitous smartphone which we would have never thought possible 25 years ago. I don’t have to look very far from the paper towel dispenser in our kitchen to find another example of ingenuity that has become a modern “necessity.” The microwave. Now here is some hope for any homeschool parent who is worried they will destroy their child’s future by providing them with a sub-par education! The microwave was invented by an American named Percy Spencer. Despite being orphaned as a child, failing to complete grammar school, and never re- ceiving any formal training in electrical engineering, Spencer became one of the world’s leading experts in radar tube design.1 Spencer joined the Navy when he was 18 and became intrigued with wireless communication. He became a self-taught expert in radio technology by reading textbooks while standing watch at night. He taught himself trigonometry, calculus, chemistry, physics, and metallurgy…whatever that is. Spencer went on to work for Raytheon where he, largely due to his reputation and expertise, managed to help Raytheon win a government contract to develop and produce combat radar equipment.2 While standing in front of an active radar one day, he noticed that the candy bar in his pocket had melted. This prompted further investigation and experi- ments which led to Raytheon filing a patent in 1945 for a microwave cooking oven, eventually named the Radarange™. The first commercially produced microwave was soon to arrive in 1947. Standing at 6 ft. tall, weighing 750 lbs., and having a price tag of $5,000 (about $53k in today's dollar), it would be a while before the price and size of the microwave became small enough for the average momma to afford one for her kitchen.3 Sitting on the countertop right next to our micro- wave is a more recent example of how technology and innovation are improving our standard of living. My Keurig coffee maker. People have been brewing coffee for hundreds of years using many different Yesterday, Today, and Forever Jesus Christ: C H E C H O M E S C H O O L U P DAT E I Vo l u m e 3 , I s s u e 9 6 , 2 01 64 DIRECTOR’S DESK
  5. 5. around us only serve as a reminder that it is funda- mentally flawed and lacking. After all, if our world was in such good shape, there would be no need for the tremendous amount of effort that is being directed towards its improvement. Psalm 102:25-27 reminds us of the expiring nature of our universe and compares it with the everlasting and unchanging perfection of our God. “Of old hast thou laid the foundation of the earth: and the heavens [are] the work of thy hands. They shall perish, but thou shalt endure: yea, all of them shall wax old like a garment; as a vesture shalt thou change them, and they shall be changed: But thou [art] the same, and thy years shall have no end.” Our biggest problem, however, is not the environ- ment around us. It is the innate brokenness that defines all sons and daughters of Adam. While we do rejoice in the promise of 2 Corinthians 5:17 (KJV) “...if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new….” We still identify with the Apostle Paul when he says in Romans 7:18 (KJV) “For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.” Let's face it. We need serious help. No matter how many years you have been homeschooling, this year will present its own unique challenges. And that is only one small aspect of life. From elections to relationships, health to finances, there is a myriad of things in the coming year that will present you methods. It is kind of sad to think that they’ll never know what they missed. While I have to admit that the quality of the coffee produced by my Keurig does not rise to the level of that which I used to enjoy from my French press, I have laid aside the preferences of my finer tastes in favor of speed and convenience. The best thing about my Keurig is that my three- year-old can make coffee for me in the morning without me lifting a finger! As I said, what will they think of next? Just stroll down the aisle of any department store and you will be bombarded with marketing about the next new gadget or the improved version of the one you already have. Against this backdrop of change and innovation comes the starkly contrasting truth from Hebrews 13:8 which says that “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, and today, and forever.” Why will there never be a new and improved ver- sion of Jesus Christ? Because you can’t upgrade perfection. Charles Spurgeon put it this way: Perfection, indeed, seems to be the sole prerogative of God. He is perfect in everything. In all His attributes, there is no lack. From what- ever point of view we regard Him, He is without blot or blemish. And no man, speaking truth- fully of God, can say that there is anything of imperfection in Him. If we speak of majesty, His Glory is unsurpassed. If we talk of power, His is Omnipotence and that, indeed, is infinite power! If we speak of wisdom, His is the wisdom of the Godhead—He knows all things, from the most minute to the most immense. He comprehends all secrets and grasps all knowledge in His mighty mind.4 The idea of something or someone never changing could almost seem boring, until you reflect more deeply on the fact that the constant attempts to enhance the world with major concerns or seemingly insurmountable difficulties. How will you make it through? You can’t…alone. But you are Christ’s, and He is unimaginably perfect in every sense. Your chal- lenges will never tap His resources. You can take Him to the bank day after day after day. He is perfect and He never changes. Take the tremendous hope of this truth with you into this next school year and lean on it every moment of every day. Not only will it strengthen you, it will motivate you to be more absorbed with Him and His perfections than the problems in yourself and the world around you. Christ never changes, and neither should our love and admiration of Him. Finally, while most homeschool parents give their children a good education and perhaps even a fantastic education, it won’t be a perfect one. But, you can give them a perfect Christ. And at the end of the day, that is all that really matters. Don’t allow the ideology of humanism to creep into your homeschool. Don’t teach your kids to put great stock in their talents, their education, and the name they can make for themselves with them. Make the priority of your homeschool the con- necting of your flawed children to a perfect and unchanging Savior. In Him, there is the fullness of joy and at His right hand, there is pleasure forevermore.  NOTES 1 Percy Spencer - https://en.wikipedia.org 2 Percy Spencer - https://en.wikipedia.org 3 Source: Microwave oven - https://en.wikipedia.org 4 http://www.spurgeongems.org/vols43-45/chs2581.pdf Steve Craig is the Executive Direc- tor 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. WHY WILL THERE NEVER BE A NEW AND IMPROVED VERSION OF JESUS CHRIST? BECAUSE YOU CAN'T UPGRADE PERFECTION. “ “ Vo l u m e 3 , I s s u e 9 6 , 2 01 6 I C H E C H O M E S C H O O L U P DAT E 5 DIRECTOR’S DESK
  6. 6. ROAD of Home DISCIPLESHIP on the INTERVIEW WITH PASTOR TIMOTHY FAN YOU HAVE ONE DAUGHTER WHO HAS GRADUATED FROM YOUR FAMILY’S HOMESCHOOL, AND ARE CURRENTLY HOMESCHOOLING YOUR FOUR OTHER CHILDREN. SHARE WHY YOU CHOSE TO HOME EDUCATE, AND HOW YOU BEGAN. A Early on in our marriage, He revealed to my wife, Sarah, and me that the biblical commands concerning the education of children are all directed towards the prize of capturing the hearts of our chil- dren for the glory of God. We let Malachi 4:6, “And He will turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers, lest I come and strike the earth with a curse,” lead us in our decision to homeschool. We reasoned from Scripture, “If God commands us, as parents, to seek to win the hearts of our children for His glory, why would we entrust their hearts, through education, to others?” Since it is the parent-child relationship that constitutes the primary sphere of biblical educa- tion for children, this, we realized, demands a full integration of family life and educational contexts. We began with much prayer and trembling before God. We sought help and guidance through the CHEC conferences. Then, as a couple we spent innumerable nights developing and talking over a biblical understanding of how to keep our homeschool centered on God’s glory and founded upon the Gospel. WHAT WERE SOME OF THE STRUGGLES THAT YOU AND YOUR WIFE EXPERIENCED IN THE EARLIEST YEARS OF YOUR HOME EDUCATION JOURNEY? A We started home education just after adopting two precious girls from Ethiopia. Since they came to us at ages eleven and two, neither Timothy Fan serves as the pastor of Genesis Family Church in Westminster, CO, and is the author of Divine Heartbeat: Listening to God’s Heartbeat for Preborn Children, and God’s Ordinary Tinker: The Life and Doctrine of John Bunyan (forthcoming). He and his beloved wife, Sarah, disciple their five children in Aurora, CO, where they pray for the Lord to be the Protector of widows and orphans, and the Defender of the little ones in the womb. C H E C H O M E S C H O O L U P DAT E I Vo l u m e 3 , I s s u e 9 6 , 2 01 66 THEMATIC INTERVIEW
  7. 7. THEMATIC INTERVIEW WHAT ARE THE FRUITFUL BLESSINGS YOU ARE NOW EXPERIENCING FOR FAITHFULLY DISCIPLING YOUR CHILDREN? A In God’s lovingkindness, the longer we persevere through the difficult trials of Christian home discipleship, the more spiritual fruit we see. Our children have been reborn in the Gospel, and are beginning to entrust their hearts to us. We our- selves have been refined to the point of being quite different Christians than we were when first starting out. Most importantly, our children have found a strong confidence in the fear of the Lord. This has become a spiritual compass, and a place of refuge for them. We have the unspeakable joy of seeing our children become eager to arise and declare to their future posterity the praises of the Lord, and the miraculous works that He has done. WHAT DO YOU ENVISION AS YOUR PRIMARY ROLES NOW AS A HOMESCHOOL HUSBAND AND DAD? A As a husband, I pray that He will conform me more and more to the terrifyingly wonderful standards of Ephesians 5:25-26, so that I may sacri- fice myself for my wife just as Christ “gave Himself” for the church. As a father, I plead with my children from Proverbs 3:1-4, especially that they may write what I teach them “on the tablet of [their] heart[s],” knowing that this will be possible in my relationship of them speaking any English, we started out with a unique set of trials. We also faced many of the struggles that are common to most Christian home educators: feelings of inadequacy; constricted finances forced us to cling to 1 Timothy 6:8: “And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content.” Most painfully, there were many days we labored on behalf of less-than-grateful children. Yet God’s command for us to disciple our children kept us from straying. The road of discipleship is a fellowship in His sufferings. Our greatest help in those earliest years was to cling to the promises of Christ. We knew He promised the power and comfort of His Holy Spirit to carry us when we were too wounded and frail to keep on going. We realized that the struggles and trials of homeschooling were designed for our own discipleship and sanctification. The Holy Spirit’s application of God’s exceedingly great and precious promises to us fueled our perseverance through the difficult days. with them only insofar as my instructions to them are in line with Holy Scripture itself. In practice, as a husband, this means lots of sweat- filled service on my part (bathroom cleaning, diaper changing, late-night conversing, etc.), coupled with a zealous vigilance over my wife’s personal, protected time alone with the Lord. As a father, this means guarding my life and doctrine in purity and holiness, and exhorting my children with tears of compassionate love, such that they know that the propelling motive behind my parenting is love. BASED ON EXPERIENCE SHEPHERDING YOUR OWN SONS AND DAUGHTERS, AS WELL AS PASTORING CHILDREN IN YOUR CHURCH, PLEASE SHARE SOME TIPS FOR TEACHING CHILDREN TO LOVE THE LORD WITH ALL THEIR HEART, SOUL, MIND, AND STRENGTH. A The greatest commandment, to love the Lord our God with all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength, is so exceedingly lofty, who can obey it even for half a minute? Yet this must be our central aim in educating our children. Our little ones must grow up seeing that we love God. We must teach them to shun idols—pointing out the dangers of the idols that tend to find refuge even in the church. We also must demonstrate to them a willingness to CONTINUED ON NEXT PAGE WE REALIZED THAT THE STRUGGLES AND TRIALS OF HOMESCHOOLING WERE DESIGNED FOR OUR OWN DISCIPLESHIP AND SANCTIFICATION. “ “ PHOTOGRAPHYBYISTOCK Vo l u m e 3 , I s s u e 9 6 , 2 01 6 I C H E C H O M E S C H O O L U P DAT E 7 THEMATIC INTERVIEW
  8. 8. suffer for the Name, so that they may grow up unashamed of the chains of the blessed Apos- tle Paul. They must observe us savoring God’s Commandments as sweet nourishment for our own souls. As we love good and hate evil, and constantly set before them the immeasurable magnitude of Christ’s substitutionary death for us on the cross, they themselves, by the gracious revelation of the Holy Spirit, will grow to know this God whom we love. Thus we constantly pray 2 Thessalonians 3:5 over them, with deep yearnings: “Now may the Lord direct [their] hearts into the love of God and into the patience of Christ.” HOW CAN PARENTS DISCIPLE THEIR CHILDREN IN THE WAYS OF OUR LORD WHILE TEACHING THE THREE R’S, CORE SUBJECTS LIKE LITERATURE AND SCIENCE, AND EVEN HIGH SCHOOL ELECTIVES? A The motivation for all learning (from memorizing spelling words to balancing chemi- cal equations) should be to better understand God’s world and Word. As John Chrysostom, that great preacher of the early church, liked to say, “All of creation is designed to teach us about God’s Word.” We teach our children, then, that God’s invis- ible attributes are “clearly seen” in the created order (so wonderfully created in the span of six literal days!). We also teach them that the whole of creation, from spiral galaxies to hu- man languages, is held together by the mighty providence of Christ (Colossians 1:17). We aim for meekness and humility as we bring every subject of learning under the Lordship of Jesus Christ, thus constantly reminding our children On The Road of Home Discipleship INTERVIEW CONTINUED FROM PREVIOUS PAGE that it is God who gives breath, and God who takes away breath. WHAT SUGGESTIONS DO YOU HAVE FOR PARENTS AND THEIR STUDENTS TO KEEP FOCUSING ON CHRIST WHEN THERE ARE SO MANY OPPORTUNITIES AND DISTRACTIONS? A One’s time investments reflect one’s true priorities. All of man’s labor and the striving of his heart quickly become vanity, without the fear of God. Jesus habitually rose before daylight and went out to a solitary place for prayer. The Son of God prioritized prayer over busy activity. Thus when Proverbs 4:23 says, “Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life,” it means, practically, that it is dangerous for homeschooling parents and their children to allow the busy pace of life to keep them from tending to the weighty matters of the heart. MOST CHRISTIANS SEE OUR CULTURE QUICKLY DECAYING AROUND US, YET WE BELIEVE JESUS CHRIST IS THE SAME YESTERDAY, TODAY, AND FOREVER. HOW CAN PARENTS HELP THEMSELVES AND THEIR CHILDREN CLING TO CHRISTIAN FAITH AS TROUBLE INCREASES? A The verse immediately following the above verse says, “Do not be carried about with various and strange doctrines” (Hebrews 13:8 –9). Thus as the world changes around us, with the hearts of men growing cold and wickedness increasing all over the earth, it is imperative for us to teach our children how to discern “various and strange doctrines.” Instead of feeding them over-simplified biblical clichés during family Bible times, we must teach them who this unchanging Lord really is (doctrine proper). We must also teach them the unchanging doctrines that have been once for all delivered to the saints (historic Christianity). Practically speaking, we want them to shun the modish, contemporary books of today’s mega-preachers in favor of time-tested ones. Our children need to grow up loving the likes of John Bu- nyan, Richard Baxter, and Amy Carmichael. These are the Christian heroes whom we want them to imitate. A few more practical suggestions are in order here. First, we must exhort our children to examine them- selves as to whether they are in the faith (for Christian homeschooling by no means guarantees this). We want them to make their call and election sure (2 Peter 1:10). Then, since the Western world is becoming increasingly hostile to true believers, we would do well to teach our children how to pray for persecuted believers (including the preborn children of the Abortion Holocaust) all around the globe. The day may soon come when our children will be called to share “the same sufferings [that] are experienced by your brotherhood in the world” (1 Peter 5:9), and when that day comes, they will find strength in the knowledge of those who have suffered for the sake of righteousness before them. Lastly, we must teach our children what the Puritans called “Heavenly mindedness.” Since Jesus Christ is indeed the same yesterday, today, and forever, our children can endure all things if they know how to set their hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to them when He is revealed. For He who never changes shall always keep His promises to us, His saints, to the praise of the glory of His grace.  Reverend Timothy Fan can be contacted at tim. fan@godcentereduniverse.com. C H E C H O M E S C H O O L U P DAT E I Vo l u m e 3 , I s s u e 9 6 , 2 01 68 FAMILY ENCOURAGEMENT
  9. 9. ■ An easy alternative to submitting a Notice of Intent ■ Simple online enrollment ■ One low price includes your whole family ■ Report to CHEC rather than a school district ■ Extra assessment options JOIN THE CHEC INDEPENDENT SCHOOL! Learn more at CHEC.org/independent-school CHEC Independent School ENROLL ONLINE TODAY!
  10. 10. Looking back at my childhood, it seems at times quite contradictory. I am currently a research professor in Nuclear Engineering at the University of Tennessee, with several joint appointments at National Laboratories across the nation, and I grew up in a homeschool family. Society may try to convince you that homeschooled children are, well, homeschooled…with whatever connotations, that may carry! To the contrary, homeschooled children can be everything that God has envisioned for them to be. While under my parent's tutelage, our days were filled with literature, grammar, mathematics, and most importantly Bible study. The Bible was the central theme of our education and my parents did their best to ensure that the Bible was a book that we had to personally understand, not a book of PROFESSIONAL EXCELLENCE From Christian Homeschool to GENERATIONS BY JOHN D. AUXIER II traditions to be followed. To supplement our overall development, my siblings and I also participated in a broad variety of extracurricular activities ranging from musical training to 4-H and Tae-Kwon-Do. Homeschooling is about developing the individual, working with their strengths and weaknesses, developing their spiritual balance, helping them un- derstand that success is not rooted in brilliance but in hard work and perseverance, as well as empha- sizing the importance of following God, our parents, and trusted mentors as mentioned in scripture. My C H E C H O M E S C H O O L U P DAT E I Vo l u m e 3 , I s s u e 9 6 , 2 01 610 GEN2
  11. 11. parents always discussed difficult decisions with us and we prayed about them for direction. Over the years, my parents struggled with many challenging questions such as: is his education sufficient, is he socially developed, how will we address social topics, how can we help him keep the Bible at the center of his life? These are questions I am sure most homeschool families ponder and wrestle with as they educate their children. During our first years of homeschooling, we lived in a suburban area in Brighton, Colorado. When I was 13, we transitioned from living in the city to living in the country. We acquired some acreage near La Salle, Colorado, and over the next few years, we dug many ditches, built barns, and finally our home. Tasks such as caring for the animals and mowing fields brought many changes to our way of living. While not always pleasant, the additional responsi- bilities helped me develop a strong work ethic. That same year, I accepted Christ as my Savior, and my spiritual journey began. The next year I entered high school and my father, who is an exceptional person, suggested that in lieu of some of my homeschool curriculum, I could begin taking classes offered at Aims Community College. After speaking with the adviser at Aims, we learned that if I could pass the college entrance exam, I could enroll in classes that fall. The advisor recommended that I begin by taking music history. Having never been in a large classroom, I found the college environment to be daunting at first. For example, I did not take notes during lectures in homeschool, but this was necessary during college lectures. My next challenge was learning to write essays which met with my professors' expectations without compromising my belief in God. Because of my age, 14, I was constantly being asked by everyone how old I was and why was I enrolled in college at such a young age. The other issue fellow students and instructors voiced was why I believed in God. On many occasions, my faith in God was discredited, which in turn gave me the opportunity to share God with others while defending my faith. Fortunately, our family kept up our morning Bible readings during this time, and I continued in my homeschool studies, all the while developing a new appreciation for verses such as 1 Timothy 4:12a, Let no man despise thy youth: but be thou an example of the believers…, and Ecclesiastes 12:12, And further, by these, my son, be admonished: of making many books there is no end, and much study is a weariness of the flesh. After completing a couple of semesters at Aims, my dad's job took us to New Mexico. This move was one of the hardest changes I had experienced up to that point in my life, yet God was definitely at work in this transition. So much was different: the culture, the church, the support network. The one thing that was consistent was our family relationship. At this point in time, God provided me with two instruc- As my siblings and I made the transition from part- time to full-time students, new questions regarding the next phase of college in our lives were just below the surface, such as what major to pursue, career options, and graduate schools, etc. God was there at this juncture to introduce two concepts to my family: first, the importance of having good academic mentors, and second, the advantages of sending multiple siblings to the same school. At this point, my younger sister began her college career, and together we each had an anchor to keep us from drifting off the right spiritual track and an ally when things were tough. I mention my age and accomplishments only to say that God has been true to His Word in my life. Regardless of a person’s age, God has a plan for their life, and He is faithful to bring it to completion. “ “ CONTINUED ON NEXT PAGE tors who continue to have an impact on my life. The first was my chemistry teacher, Mrs. Robyn Hayes, who inspired me to think about Ph.D. programs and helped me to develop my love for chemistry. Along with Mrs. Hayes was Dr. Ajit Hira, who encouraged me to pursue research internships and collaborations with other students and faculty. As I moved forward, God continued to work in my life by providing a strong church family and an excellent internship opportunity at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL). During my time at LANL, I had a number of experienced scientists as mentors and they introduced me to the large world of nuclear forensics. God does provide! At last, it was time to consider secondary education. My siblings and I knew we wanted to stay together since that closeness had provided a strong safety net in socially turbulent situations. Following con- siderable discussion and many prayers, my younger brother and I enrolled at the University of Tennessee to pursue the final portion of my education, and my sister enrolled in pharmacy school at East Tennes- see State University. My brother pursued a degree in nuclear engineering, and we actually worked together on research projects for my Ph.D. Although my parents did not grasp the topic of the research Vo l u m e 3 , I s s u e 9 6 , 2 01 6 I C H E C H O M E S C H O O L U P DAT E 11 GEN2
  12. 12. that I was compiling for my Ph.D. defense, they continually reminded me that I was right where God wanted me to be, and they were always there to support me. Ironically, God manifested himself to me by providing me with a strong Christian scientist as a Ph.D. adviser who was the ripe old age of 90. I was his youngest Ph.D. student and he was the oldest professor at the university. By the end of my college career, I had graduated at age 19 with my Associ- ate in Science at Northern New Mexico College followed by a bachelor's degree in Chemistry from Adams State College at age 21, and my Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of Tennessee at age 24. During college, I in- terned at LANL and then accepted a Post-Doctorate position in the Nuclear Engineering department at the University of Tennessee. Shortly thereafter, I accepted a position as associate research professor at the University of Tennessee where I am currently employed with joint research appointments at LANL, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and the Y12 National Security Complex. I mention my age and accomplishments only to say that God has been true to His Word in my life. During each phase or career change, I solicited many prayer warriors on my behalf, and God has blessed my efforts. Regardless of a person’s age, God has a plan for their life, and He is faithful to bring it to completion. God has richly blessed my life from the beginning with parents who consistently emphasized that God’s Word is relevant from the time you start your education process until the time of completion. Hebrews 13:8 says, “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and forever.” He continually demonstrates this to me with good mentors and colleagues who share life experiences and give me a richer perspective on life. In closing, I would advocate that homeschooling provides an excellent platform for academic Christian Homeschool to PROFESSIONAL EXCELLENCE CONTINUED FROM PREVIOUS PAGE and professional excellence. As a nuclear scientist, I interact with people all over the world, and I am thankful God has given me such a unique mission field in which to share my faith in Him with others.  John D. Auxier II completed his Bachelor of Science in chemistry from Adams State College in Alamosa, CO in the spring of 2010. During his undergraduate years, he participated in the ACS/DOE nuclear summer school in 2009 with W. Frank Kinard and worked as an intern at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) on projects involving alpha spectrum deconvolution, mobile stage applications of gamma-ray analysis, and americium/plutonium separations with Mr. Donivan Porterfield and Dr. Lav Tandon. He completed his Ph.D. at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville (UTK) with Dr. George K. Schweitzer in inorganic chemistry; focusing on material development for thermal neutron detection. Auxier was a post-doc for Dr. Howard Hall in setting up the UT Radiochemistry Center of Excellence, where he has been in involved with projects for the development of surrogate nuclear melt glass, advanced chemical separations, and new detection platforms for remote radiation detection applications. As a research associate professor at the UTK, with joint appointments at the Y-12 National Security Complex, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and LANL, his current interests involve research in nuclear forensics, nuclear and radiochemical separations, and radiation detection applications. As part of this research, he has published numerous scientific articles on nuclear forensics and radiation detection material development and received patents on rapid separations and surrogate forensics materials. He has been awarded previous awards from sponsors including DHS, DTRA, and DOE/NNSA. John Auxier currently resides in the Knoxville, Tennessee area and can be contacted at jdauxier2@yahoo.com. C H E C H O M E S C H O O L U P DAT E I Vo l u m e 3 , I s s u e 9 6 , 2 01 612 GEN2
  13. 13. This classic go-to compendium used by countless families in Colorado is now completely updated and streamlined for you! Whether you are just getting started, or you have years of experience, don’t miss out on this fantastic resource! NEED A MAP FOR YOUR HOMESCHOOLING JOURNEY? Get 20% OFF your pre-order! Visit chec.org/guidbook by Nov. 30th and enter code: “UPDATE16” GET 20% OFF YOUR PRE-ORDER! Visit chec.org/guidebook by Nov. 30th and enter code “UPDATE16”
  14. 14. Written by dads and for dads, the new Dad to Dad column will provide special challenges, advice, and encouragement for fathers as they engage in the process of bringing their children up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. —Steve Craig PHOTOGRAPHYBYISTOCK Pursue a Christ-Centered CURRICULUM When teaching computer science classes at a local pub- lic university, I love to challenge the students in discussions of ethics and leadership. The students delight in these discussions, some for the joy of the topics discussed, others because it means a delay in talking about the syllabus-directed subject matter. For most, however, it feels like a forbidden pleasure, “It’s computer science class, are we allowed to be talking about these things?” Modern education tends to disintegrate education into distinct subjects without connection between them and without regard for the whole. But a Christian education ought to be unified, with Christ as the ordering principle of the universe. He is the Fountain of living water, the Treasure of all wisdom and knowledge, the Creator and Sustainer of the universe. With that in mind, Luke 10:27 provides a wonder- ful foundation to consider unity in homeschooling. Loving God with our whole being, and reflecting on the familiar passage from Deuteronomy 4:4-9 which follows the call to love God, demands an all-encom- passing, unified ministry to our children. Take for instance the pattern found in the book of Proverbs. I imagine Solomon and his son, walking by the way, perhaps noticing the insects crawling across the ground, and Solomon speaks the words of Proverbs 6:6, “Consider the ant…” and tells his son the importance of diligence in preparing for the future. Just as Solomon connected the truths of God to a study of nature, a Christ-centered curriculum is one with integrity: it fits together, each part an integral component of the whole. Yet, even as Christian homeschoolers, we tend to fall into a pattern of disintegrating knowledge: each school subject self- contained, with no consequence to the others, and no particular unity. BY BLAIR WATKINSON C H E C H O M E S C H O O L U P DAT E I Vo l u m e 3 , I s s u e 9 6 , 2 01 614 NEW COLUMN DAD TO DAD
  15. 15. As I sit and watch my children making efforts to- wards their various homeschool studies, I’m in awe that they are created as image bearers of the living God. The image of God in them is marred by the fall, but Jesus is reconciling them, restoring that image, until we are all made like Jesus Christ. This should be our pursuit in homeschooling: that our children would grow in Christlikeness so they may more perfectly bear the image of God in our world. Dads, by considering the true nature and purpose of the things we study in our homes, and inviting our families to do the same, I believe we as fathers can have a profound discipleship toward the restoration of the image of God in His children. For example, what is the nature and purpose of language? When we realize God spoke words and brought things into existence, and Jesus himself is called the Word, we must conclude that language matters. Is the purpose of language to get our way, or is it to communicate ideas and to build relationships with people? In the language arts, we can remind our children it was God who created language, and His purpose in language includes speaking truth, building others up, and proclaiming His excellencies. Consider the nature of the natural sciences such as biology, chemistry, or physics: the studying of the or- ganic and inorganic physical universe and asking the question, “What causes things to be, and what causes them to change?” Our study of the physical universe ought to lead us to a deeper apprehension that it is Christ who created everything and sustains all. The nature of the moral sciences, such as ethics, history, and politics is the studying of the realm of the human soul and asking the question, “How do you cultivate well-being in the human soul and in society?” Our study of the moral and social sciences ought to lead us to a deeper apprehension of the fallen state of mankind and exalt the cross of Christ in our own personal lives as well as in the public square. So what can dads do? Recognizing our efforts are not primarily so our kids can get jobs, prepare for college, or compare themselves with others; our home discipleship and the study of various subjects should lead us to see the true and living God. Practically, we can help our children understand the nature and purpose of the things they are studying by asking about relationships, cause and effect, and (especially in literature) the “should” questions, such as, “Should Rahab have lied to the king’s servants about the Israelite spies?” JUST AS SOLOMON CONNECTED THE TRUTHS OF GOD TO A STUDY OF NATURE, A CHRIST-CENTERED CURRICULUM IS ONE WITH INTEGRITY: IT FITS TOGETHER, EACH PART AN INTEGRAL COMPONENT OF THE WHOLE. With my young children, I ask, “What is the purpose of books?”, and I challenge them to use books according to their purpose (especially when they’re used as stepping stones across imaginary lava pits or when their love for reading results in unkindness towards disruptive siblings). I try to connect their language arts to our family worship by offering ideas to write about from our reading together. Consider the nature, purpose, and ethics of things you see as you are out for walks and drives. As our children grow, the quest for understanding the proper nature and purpose can be readily applied to more complex ideas such as marriage, work, sexuality, and law. This will allow them to freely bear God’s image in society with the right biblical understanding. Dads, may the Lord bless your family discipleship as you walk by the way.  Blair and his wife Marcie homeschool their six children in Franktown, where Blair serves as a Lieutenant Colonel in the Air Force, an Assistant Professor of Computer Science at the US Air Force Academy, and is preparing for doctoral studies at the Colorado School of Mines. “ “ Vo l u m e 3 , I s s u e 9 6 , 2 01 6 I C H E C H O M E S C H O O L U P DAT E 15 DAD TO DAD
  16. 16. We began home educating in the official schoolish sense in 1985 when our oldest daughter was four years old. The baby of our family turns 21 this fall, but we are still involved with our local umbrella school and its enrichment program. As I compare my early experiences as a homeschooler with what I see happening now, I find some definite changes. For example, thirty years ago, it was standard fare for workshop speakers to joke about all the moms wearing denim jumpers, and get a hearty laugh. I recently heard an old-timer tell the same kind of joke and nobody got it because the modern uniform is mother/daughter skinny jeans and t-shirts! Some of the changes I see are for the better. Thirty years ago curriculum choices were few. We basically had to adapt materials for home use that BY TERI ONG CHRIST The Essence C H E C H O M E S C H O O L U P DAT E I Vo l u m e 3 , I s s u e 9 6 , 2 01 616 FAMILY ENCOURAGEMENT
  17. 17. PHOTOGRAPHYBYISTOCK had been developed in the 1970's for the burgeon- ing Christian school movement. Now parents can pick and choose from a wide range of textbooks, consumables, video programs, computer-based courses, and programs custom made for all sorts of learning styles and special needs. We now can have access 24/7 to tutors and mentors via the internet. Enterprising homeschoolers have stepped up and worked together to meet the needs of our commu- nity in a plethora of creative ways. Homeschooling, though not the choice of the major- ity of American families, has become much less of a social risk than it was when our family began. Moms don’t have to fear being seen at the supermarket with their children in tow during school hours anymore. We no longer feel compelled to explain to the checkout ladies that our children aren’t truant OR contagious; they’re just homeschooled. And the checkout ladies no longer feel the need to raise a suspicious eyebrow, since many of them know somebody who knows somebody…. The jury is still out on some of the changes, however. So many options are now available for hybrid plans: part home/part school, part mom/part internet tutor, part family/part government school, part church-based/part community college, etc. I have to say I am concerned because I see more and more families making choices based on what I believe to be questionable criteria. In the infancy of homeschooling, the call was for Christians to re-establish the family as God’s incu- bator for mature and faithful saints to serve together in the Body of Christ. But thirty years in, the family is often sacrificing its strength as a unified whole on the altar of individualization. A 2016 paraphrase of Deuteronomy 6:6-7 might read: These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your computer screen. You shall teach them diligently to your children and shall talk of them when you are getting ready to get in your car, when you ride in your car, when you get out of your car, and when you are sitting waiting for the next event! When we define ourselves or encourage our children to define themselves according to individual pas- sions when we let them say, It's just who I am, we are speaking of essence —the essentials of what makes them tick. By way of analogy, springs, gears, face, and hands make a watch tick, if you will. It does not matter if they are enclosed in a gold case or a silver case or in a plastic case. The descriptors don’t matter much to the essential function. I am right now looking at a little sticker on my laptop that says Intel Inside, Core 13. The manufacturer of my computer obviously believes the inside core es- sence is what counts, not the white plastic Gateway case on the outside. God intends for Christians to be Christ Inside. The essence of our being is to be Christ. The Apostle Paul taught this: For me to live is Christ. (Phil. 1:21) If we let other earthbound passions define who we are, we diminish Christian to being a mere descrip- tor, rather than the essence of our life. The great unchanging task of Paul’s life was to make known the riches of a glorious mystery, ...which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. (Colossians 1:27) That is to be our lifelong task as well. There is nothing wrong with wisely delegating some instruction of our children to others; there is nothing wrong with being involved in a wide variety of activities and events so our children can develop their own special talents. But we need to ask periodically, What are we encouraging our children to BE? One thing should never change; we must BE Christians who happen to be called to educate our children at home. Our children, God willing, should BE Christians, who happen to play sports or music or computer games, or even do a little studying from time to time. Christian must be the essence and Home Educator the descriptor, today and always.  Teri Ong helped found Colorado Heritage Education School System, a private school for homeschoolers, where she teaches enrichment classes. She also teaches English and music at Chambers College in Greeley, Colorado. She is the author of Lies Christian Parents Teach and Steps to Christian Virtue. Face-to-face instructional time with Mom and/or Dad is frequently replaced by screen time be- cause Mom and Dad are trying to juggle the daily schedule so all can pursue their individual passions. The people in the car are likely to be part-time homeschoolers, part-time athletes, part-time musi- cians, part-time video kids, part-time soccer moms, part-time meal facilitators, part-time talent agents, part-time entrepreneurs, and part-time Christians. I heard a speaker recently who challenged my think- ing about how people analyze personal identity in our post-Christian culture. He said that our essence, our core being, is one key thing, and everything else about our life is a descriptor or a qualifier. I had to stop and ask myself, What AM I first and foremost? I ask you, what is your essence and what are your descriptors or qualifiers? Take the name of our state organization, for example: Christian Home Educators of Colorado. Of Colorado is obviously a descriptor or qualifier. We could just as easily be Christian Home Educators in some other state or country. But when it comes to Christian and Home Educator, we need to do some soul searching. Are we Christians who happen to home educate, or are we home educators who hap- pen to also be Christians? IF WE LET OTHER PASSIONS DEFINE WHO WE ARE, WE DIMINISH CHRISTIAN TO A MERE DESCRIPTOR­—RATHER THAN THE ESSENCE OF OUR LIFE. “ “ Vo l u m e 3 , I s s u e 9 6 , 2 01 6 I C H E C H O M E S C H O O L U P DAT E 17 FAMILY ENCOURAGEMENT
  18. 18. What shall we do about Mother? Most of us haven’t thought much about caring for our parents—they have always been the ones who cared for us. But now Dad’s health is failing. Mom’s memory is slipping. How can we best show honor for our aging parents? Home-Based Eldercare is a caregiver’s bootcamp of stories and strategies for those who wonder whether they will be able to care for their loved ones. Christian Family Eldercare is a non-profit organization dedicated to honoring seniors, including our own parents, members of our church, and even the “least of these” among us. Our mission is to encourage relational, family-oriented, and cross-generational eldercare. What shall we do about Mother? Home-Based ELDERCAREStories and Strategies for Caregivers by Marcia Washburn Available at ChristianFamilyEldercare.org
  19. 19. graduation ad 2017 CHEC GRADUATION CEREMONY SATURDAY, MAY 20th, 2017 WESTMINSTER, COLORADO CELEBRATE YOUR STUDENT’S HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATION WHO Open to all homeschool graduates WHAT A celebration to thank God and honor the graduates (and parents!) WHEN Saturday, May 20th (choose 10am or 3pm) WHAT’S INCLUDED Traditional graduation elements: ■ Pomp and Circumstance as graduates and parents enter ■ Special music sung during the ceremony ■ Commencement address and charge to the graduates ■ Parents’ presentation of the diplomas ■ And finally - the 2017 Class is announced! We take care of all the coordination! Your registration includes participation in the ceremony, a cap and gown, a printed diploma and cover, and ceremony programs. (Optional photo/video package also available.) Pictured:Partofthe2016GraduationClass Plan now to join the celebration! Learn more and register at CHEC.org/events/graduation
  20. 20. PHOTOGRAPHYBYISTOCK Isn’t it amazing how different a child’s view of com- pleting household chores is from yours? I remember telling our eight-year-old to clean up his room one wintry day. It was littered with toys, clothes, and projects on every flat surface, including the floor. The bed wasn’t made and every doorknob was in use —as a hanger! When I returned to check on him an hour later (there were three younger siblings to care for fine it for myself. What does it really take to qualify as a clean bedroom? Picking up toys, yes, but not painstakingly arranging them in the storage bin. I decided that he should take care of the biggest parts of the room first. The floor and the bed are the largest surface areas in a bedroom, so doing them first will change the appearance of the room right away. This is what I told him. Cleaning a bedroom Start with the floor. Pick up everything that doesn’t belong on the floor and put it away. Note: there must be a specific place where each item be- longs, or your child will not be able to successfully complete this task. If he has too many possessions, give some away or store them to be rotated out later. Make the bed. For a younger child, this may mean just pulling up the comforter, fluffing the pillow, and arranging his stuffed animals on top. He will soon learn not to put everything on the floor on top of the FAMILY ENCOURAGEMENT SUPPER'S NOT DONE 'Til the Plates Are in the Cupboard BY MARCIA WASHBURN at the time), there was no visible evidence that any cleaning had taken place. Our son sat on the floor calmly arranging his Legos in the bottom of a plastic tub between his legs. He had fit them into every empty space, piece by piece, layer by layer. He looked up with a grin of satisfaction, convinced that his efforts would be highly complimented. “Don’t you remember that I told you to clean up your room? You’re just sitting here playing with your toys!” My voice was a few decibels louder than usual. “But Mommy, I am cleaning my room. I’m putting away my Legos,” he said in a puzzled tone. What can you say to a child who was putting together 100-piece puzzles shortly after his second birthday—gray side up, no less? It was all I could do to keep from chuckling at his innocent question. Apparently, it was time to teach this son what my definition of a clean room was. But first I had to de- C H E C H O M E S C H O O L U P DAT E I Vo l u m e 3 , I s s u e 9 6 , 2 01 620 MANAGEMENT FOR MOMS
  21. 21. bed since he knows he will have to make the bed next. Clear flat surfaces. Put away anything sitting on dressers, desks, tables, or other flat surfaces that don't belong there. Arrange any decorative items tastefully. Explain, if necessary, that clothing hung on a doorknob doesn’t qualify as a decorative item. Dust and vacuum. An older child can be taught to dust and vacuum his room as well. Even little ones may enjoy putting socks on their hands (spray them with dusting spray first) and wiping the dust off of their furniture. Report for inspection. Post a list of what consti- tutes a clean room in his room. It may be in words or in pictures for a pre-reader. When he reports to you for inspection, ask him if he has done everything on the list. Sometimes, especially at first, he will say, “Just a minute,” and go back to finish something. Spend time working alongside your child, especially when cleaning his room is a new task. Teach him and encourage him and try to make it fun with jokes, laughter, upbeat conversation, or music. Even after he knows how to do it by himself, consider joining him now and then; everyone enjoys having a helping hand. When his room is clean, be sure to admire it with him and remind him how pleasant it is to live in a tidy room. Helping in the kitchen Use a similar approach when teaching your children to help in the kitchen. The average woman spends 50,000 hours in the kitchen by age 45, so welcome your children’s help while they’re young, even though their “help” may slow you down at first. When they’re older, they will save you many hours of work. Define the job. For example, describe what doing the dishes means at your house. Is it just doing the dishes or loading the dishwasher? Or does the task include drying and putting away all of the dishes? Does it include washing the pots and pans? Does it include putting away the leftovers? Wiping the table and countertops? Sweeping the floor? Give the jobs interesting names such as Trans- portation Engineer (clearing the table), Sanitation Engineer (washing dishes), or Conservation Engi- neer (putting away leftover food). Divide the job into smaller tasks. Again, post the list on a card in the kitchen. If you have several children, you might divide the tasks into more than one job description. For example, one child might be responsible for carrying in the dishes and wiping the table, another might wash the dishes or load the dishwasher, and another may put away leftovers and wipe the countertops. Master the job. Allow each child to do the same job long enough to really learn how to do it well and efficiently. Then let him teach his replacement how to do it well, sharing the tricks of the trade with the rookie. Recognize the benefits Why such an emphasis on teaching your children to share in household tasks? First, everyone in the house except an infant should share in the workload, especially since Mom has added homeschooling to her workload. Second, they need to know how to run a household when they leave home; this applies to young men, as well. Third, teaching good work habits instills character qualities such as thoroughness, diligence, and DEFINING YOUR EXPECTATIONS FOR HOUSEHOLD CHORES WILL HELP YOUR CHILDREN LEARN VITAL TASKS AS THEY PREPARE TO RAISE THE NEXT GENERATION. orderliness. Teach the meanings of these words during your family devotions, memorizing the definitions. Then, when you compliment your child’s work, use these character qualities to describe how you see him growing. Here are some sample definitions1 :  DILIGENCE vs. Slothfulness Picturing each task as a special assignment from the Lord and using all my energies to ac- complish it. Colossians 3:23  THOROUGHNESS vs. Incompleteness Knowing what factors will diminish the ef- fectiveness of my work or words if neglected. Colossians 3:23  DEPENDABILITY vs. Inconsistency Fulfilling what I consented to do, even if it means unexpected sacrifice. Psalm 15:4  ORDERLINESS vs. Disorganization Preparing myself and my surroundings so I will achieve the greatest efficiency. I Corinthians 14:20 Defining your expectations for various household chores, listing them where your children can refer to them, and praising their efforts will help your chil- dren learn vital household tasks as they prepare to raise the next generation of homeschoolers. Oh, and that son whose idea of cleaning his room was arranging the Legos so neatly for storage? He went on to graduate from an elite engineering school. Go figure.  1 Definitions from Institute in Basic Life Principles. See www.iblp.org for further information. © 2016 by Marcia K. Washburn. Want more tips and encourage- ment for managing your home and your children? For a limited time, get Marcia’s best-selling Homemade Convenience Foods free with your purchase of Marcia’s Management for Moms Series. See http://www.marciawashburn.com/ ManagementforMoms/UPDATE.html for details. Vo l u m e 3 , I s s u e 9 6 , 2 01 6 I C H E C H O M E S C H O O L U P DAT E 21 MANAGEMENT FOR MOMS
  22. 22. Rocky Mountain Homeschool Conference ▶ Speakers My favorite part is listen- ing to the speakers. I always learn something new and I have been homeschooling a long time. Loved the speakers! I found encouragement to keep running the race with an infusion of joy and excitement. ◀ Fellowship I would feel so alone in home education if not for this conference. We are new to this and it was great to find ways to help our children. We are grateful for the work of God at our annual conference. Keynote sessions, workshops, shopping, fellowship, and family time blended together for a full weekend of refreshment and growth. We love to see the Lord bring together a di- verse blend of believers to this event, unified with one purpose: to raise our kids to know God and love His Word. We're so glad for everyone who was a part of this year's event. We receive hundreds of survey forms, and we read and consider carefully all feedback as we plan for the future. (And we're excited about what's ahead!) Here's what some families had to say... C H E C H O M E S C H O O L U P DAT E I Vo l u m e 3 , I s s u e 9 6 , 2 01 622 CHEC EVENTSCONFERENCE REPORT
  23. 23. THANK YOU Samaritan Ministries Alpha Omega Publications Heritage Defense Choir Fire Colorado Avalanche Denver Broncos Horse and Soul HSLDA PE+Plus The Pinery Country Club Play-Well Robots-4-U Western Conservatory Worldview Academy We are grateful for these companies who partnered with CHEC to make the conference possible this year: ▶ Shopping I needed the good deals at the used curriculum sale! I so appreciated talking with the speakers at their booths. I am very filled up and encouraged and ready to embrace my 8th year of homeschooling! I learned a lot! About different curriculums and about disciple- ship being first at home. I learned to see my children as treasures. We have a renewed commitment to spend more time in God's word. Praise God for His hand on the conference this year! JUNE 15-17, 2017 MARK YOUR CALENDARS! Keynote Speakers Include: MIKE FARRIS I TODD WILSON I DR. JOEL BEEKE Rocky Mountain Homeschool Conference PHOTOGRAPHYBYSARAHLEEBRYANT(SARAHLEEPHOTO.COM)WINSLOWROBBINS Vo l u m e 3 , I s s u e 9 6 , 2 01 6 I C H E C H O M E S C H O O L U P DAT E 23 CONFERENCE REPORT
  24. 24. PHOTOGRAPHYBYISTOCK Strategies for a SUCCESSFULYEAR The new school year is always a good time to ensure members of your group are operating on the same page and working towards the same goals. Here are some strategies we have implemented for our local homeschool support group co-op which meets three times a month. BY SHARI HOWARD MCMINN Newsletter: This monthly communication tool is emailed out to all members to inform each member family of upcoming events and general news for the group; it is a great way to reach out to those parents who don’t attend planning meetings. Delegate Tasks: After years of begging members to help out with specific jobs, this year we assigned each member equivalent tasks. Veteran members were paired with newer members to get to know each other, and to learn from one another. Members can trade assignments with each other if they choose, but it is their responsibility to coordinate, communicate, and complete the task. Core Committee: One leader can’t—and shouldn’t— do everything, and wise counsel is essential. Our group is fairly informal, so there are several faithful parents I rely on for input between our regular meetings and for guidance when prob- lems occur. Group text and email saves me time, guarantees the same message gets out to everyone at the same time, and provides a written record of communication versus phone calls or individual meetings. Set the Standard: From producing a meeting agenda to sweeping the floor before locking up the building, the leader sets the bar for how the group operates. It can be burdensome, but must be done consistently. Saying ‘no’ to other commitments outside of your family and your group will reserve your time and energy to accomplish a quality job of leading your group. Christ in You: in order to lead, you must be in prayer, study the Word, be committed to a church, submitted to your elders, and be in a personal relationship with our Savior above all. This founda- tion of faith will get you through the stressful times, and give you the inner strength to lead the families you serve. It can be daunting to counsel parents on a wide variety of homeschool needs and family is- sues while managing your own household, so make certain Almighty God is your end all and be all.  Shari Howard McMinn has been a leader for homeschool and other community support groups for more than 20 years. She teaches the NUTS BOLTS portion of CHEC's Homeschool Introductory Seminars and is the Editor of the CHEC Homeschool Update magazine. A widow and mother of 11, she is also a farmer, non-fiction author, and public speaker. For more information on her life and work, go to sharimcminn.com. Readers may contact her via email: shari.mcminn@yahoo.com. C H E C H O M E S C H O O L U P DAT E I Vo l u m e 3 , I s s u e 9 6 , 2 01 624 HOMESCHOOL LEADERS
  25. 25. Glen Eyrie Retreat Center OCTOBER 7-8 Our first Homeschool Leadership Retreat is just around the corner and is sold out! We are really excited about the group of Colorado homeschool leaders that will be gathering at the beautiful Glen Eyrie Conference Cen- ter for a time of refreshment, networking, learning, and encouragement. We are looking forward to teaching on biblical leadership and biblical conflict resolution, plus a town hall style discussion that will address common questions and issues faced by homeschool group leaders. The town hall session will provide an invaluable opportunity to learn from many years of your combined leadership experience. The beautiful setting and gracious hospitality of the Glen Eyrie Confer- ence Center is sure to refresh all of us leaders from around the state as we come together to be strengthened and inspired in the pursuit of God’s calling to serve the homeschool community of Colorado. What I am looking forward to the most is the opportunity to build last- ing friendships with those who are walking the same road and to be challenged by the work that God is doing through them. Hebrews 10:24 reminds us to “consider how to stir up on another to love and good works.” The 2016 Homeschool Leadership Retreat is going to be an op- portunity to do just that. For those of you who were not able to make it to this year’s retreat, I hope you will make plans to attend next year so that you can join this com- munity of homeschool leaders that God is using to guide one of the most significant movements of our day. The CHEC leadership team is grateful for each one of you and our hope is that this retreat will be a blessing to you even as you have been a bless- ing to so many. I look forward to seeing you soon at Glen Eyrie! Sincerely, Steve Craig Dear Colorado Homeschool Leader, SAVE YOUR BOXTOPS! Did you know CHEC collects Box Tops for Education? 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). Looking for other ways to support CHEC? Learn more at www.chec.org/connect/support. Vo l u m e 3 , I s s u e 9 6 , 2 01 6 I C H E C H O M E S C H O O L U P DAT E 25 HOMESCHOOL LEADERS
  26. 26. Here are some key points to kick-off the new school year (or get back on track during the year) with a struggling learner:  Daily teaching times  Bite size pieces of information  Repetition and practice  Outside encouragement Daily teaching times are so important with any student but some of our special students really do well with a predictable routine.I’m not thinking of a timed schedule (although that can be successful too), but a predictable pat- tern of what comes next. Try to plan subjects so that all the work sitting with pencil in hand practice for him to feel a sense of success and to solidify what is learned. Some curriculums do this very naturally. But have you ever looked through a curriculum and seen a few easy steps and then BOOM it seems to jump into something way ad- vanced? I noticed this in violin books. A few pages on ‘how to hold the bow’, ‘how to hold the violin’, ‘basic scales’, and then you turn the page and you’re into Paganini and Tchaikovsky! OK, maybe not quite that bad, but definitely a jump where there should be repetition and practice. When an idea or skill is re- inforced with different activities, the repetition won’t seem boring. When things are going slowly due to isn’t all at once. Getting the blood moving around faster once in a while is a good idea! Having a good routine makes transitioning from one subject to the next easier. Keeping the lessons short according to age and attention span is important. If yesterday’s lesson went on forever, who wants to sit down to do it the next day? They will remember if it was a good experience or not. Breaking information down to smaller steps is a challenge but is necessary for my special guy. Little bite size pieces of information that get slowly assembled are a good way for him to make progress. This takes some creativity and practice. I have seen our swim teacher do this with teaching my son to swim. Think about it – to swim you have to breath, turn your head, get your face in the water, put your body horizontal, kick your legs, move your arms… there is a lot going on all at the same time! She has taught skills separately, and then worked on combining them – not all at once, but in various creative ways. I think the same concept applies to teaching other subjects too. For my most challenged student, I have found it is important to allow enough repetition and Off to a GOOD STARTBY LIDA BRINGE STRUGGLING LEARNERS C H E C H O M E S C H O O L U P DAT E I Vo l u m e 3 , I s s u e 9 6 , 2 01 626 STRUGGLING LEARNERS
  27. 27. this repetition and practice, the teacher can start to get discouraged which leads me to my next point. I think it is important to have some outside encouragers—someone who doesn’t see your student every day but can see the progress from a week or a month ago. My son sat down and read one of his readers to a friend of mine that we had over, and she gave him such encouragement that he went on to get several more readers to go through with her! Other times friends have interacted with him and he read a sign or a title on a book and they are impressed enough to tell me about it. It made me realize that yes, he could read that, and a year ago he couldn’t! It can be discouraging to work day after day and not seem to make any progress. Sometimes information has to be repeated and practiced many more times with our special kids than with our other children. It can seem like we are on a plateau when in fact we are on a very slight incline! Look for someone that you see occasionally and that seems to have a heart toward your child; see if they would give you some feedback now and then, and encourage your child. It could be a grandparent, a friend of mom and dad, or an older sibling (or even an older sibling’s friend). If you have a set time to get together, you can use it as a goal: “We’re going to see Miss Jane next week; maybe you can show her ____” (whatever you are working on). It’s good to have encouragement for your student and for you, too! It’s easy to lean on a ‘special needs’ label as an excuse for slow progress. But slow progress can turn into no progress. If it is hard to see progress from day to day, the temptation is to skip a day, be- cause it doesn’t seem to really matter. But of course, skipping days adds up to nothing and progress is impossible. In fact, you lose momentum and have to start up a routine all over again. I’ve been guilty of this. But we saddle up and get back on the horse. Consistency and routine are important to suc- cess in learning, so keep with a daily routine (and when you get off of it, get back into it); keep the learning and information in manageable portion sizes; continue repeating and practicing for reinforcement and a feeling of accomplishment; and look for cheerleaders in your life who can see long term progress.  Lida and her husband, Nea,l are parents of five children they have homeschooled, the youngest of which has Downs Syndrome. Three have graduated; one is married and made them grandparents! She can be found at her church most Sunday mornings making coffee. Lida also enjoys sewing, pottery, cooking, hiking, and playing fiddle. PHOTOGRAPHYBYISTOCK JOIN THE VOLUNTEER TEAM! CHEC is made up of an incredible team of volunteers. Volunteers help... ■ host events like Intro Seminars ■ greet at larger events like Day at the Capitol ■ enter data and sort files at the CHEC Office ...all while building relationships and invest- ing in the next generation. We’d love your whole family to join us! Learn more at CHEC.org/volunteer Vo l u m e 3 , I s s u e 9 6 , 2 01 6 I C H E C H O M E S C H O O L U P DAT E 27 STRUGGLING LEARNERS
  28. 28. COLORADO HOMESCHOOL FAMILY DAYS  Saturday, October 1, Denver Art Museum Free Day  Thursday, October 6, Student Matinee at Colorado Ballet — Swan Lake  Saturday, October 15, Denver Firefighters Museum Free Day  Monday, October 24, Denver Museum of Nature and Science Free Day  Tuesday, October 25, Inside the Orchestra Tiny Tots Perfor- mance  Monday, November 14, Nature’s Art Homeschool Day at Den- ver Botanic Gardens  Friday, November 11, Four Mile Historic Park Free Day  Saturday, November 12, $5 Day at Butterfly Pavilion  Thursday, November 17, Denver Zoo Free Day  Thursday, December 1, Colorado Symphony Beethoven Symphony No. 7 open rehearsal for students  Saturday, December 10, Josef Jacobs, German ace, free day at the Vintage Aero Flying Museum VIEW MORE UPCOMING EVENTS AT CHEC.org/resources/colorado-events-calendar/
  29. 29. RESOURCESFORYOURFAMILYBUSINESS www.AMEprogram.com Audio talks $ 3ea Video Sessions from $ 5ea Our mission is to help families and individuals with practical application in Apprenticeship, Mentorship, and Entrepreneurship as you establish, integrate, and operate your family businesses to the glory of God. See all the resources we offer at our website to help you grow your vision and passions. Including new products, seminars, and conference events with topics as: Starting a Business – The Nuts Bolts Residential Real Estate The How-To’s to Lawn and Pet Care Advertising and Marketing for Your Business Success and Failure Stories from Entrepreneurs All our resouces are now available electronically – No wait for delivery. No shipping. AND all at lower prices!
  30. 30. Over 2,700 meals were served (all made from scratch!)—much-needed after full days of adventuring: zip line and ropes course challenges, highland games, dog training, swimming, basketball…and more. But what is more—the relationships strengthened and truth shared will, we pray, last into eternity. Here are a few comments from attendees: I learned how to communicate better with my son, and his desire to know the Lord through His word and prayer has increased dramatically. I trust God is at work in my son's life and I see fruit of righteousness. I thank God for the men who come together in winsome purposeful community to impact us with the very words of God, which will bear fruit in multiplied ways only God knows. We have a 'good' relationship but now we are more committed to a godly relationship. May the fruit from this weekend bring much honor and glory to Jesus Christ and contribute to building His kingdom! Over 250 fathers and sons from 34 states, Mexico, and British Columbia traveled to the Rocky Mountains in September for four days of adventures, relaxation, and biblical encouragement. CHEC EVENTS 2017 FATHER SON RETREAT August 31 - September 3, 2017 I Crooked Creek Ranch www.coloradofatherson.com PHOTOGRAPHYBYIANSERFF/SERFFCREATIVE.COM SIGN UPfor only $249/person untilOctober 31st! EVENT RECAP C H E C H O M E S C H O O L U P DAT E I Vo l u m e 3 , I s s u e 9 6 , 2 01 630 CHEC EVENTS
  31. 31. A seminar is coming to a city near you: ■ Parker (10/22/2016 ) ■ Colorado Springs (1/7/2017) ■ Parker (1/14/2017) Sign up for the seminar closest to you! ALSO CHECK OUT OUR HIGH SCHOOL BEYOND SEMINARS! NEW TO HOMESCHOOLING? CHEC'S HOMESCHOOL INTRODUCTORY SEMINARS ARE HELD THROUGHOUT THE YEAR TO GIVE PARENTS THE VISION, LEGALITIES, AND NUTS AND BOLTS THEY NEED. Sign up at CHEC.org/events
  32. 32. There are days when we look at our sons and think, “If they were in school, they’d be on so many pills they’d rattle when they walked.” At one point before our oldest graduated, Melanie was teaching six boys aged 18 to 6. Was it noisy? You bet. Active? Quite. Chaotic? Oh boy. It still is. BEST OF CHEC.ORG/BLOG to retirement when he knew them; they were from a different generation, trained to a different set of expectations. Since then, classrooms have become much less friendly toward boys. Increasing emphasis on high-stakes testing—high stakes for the teacher as much as the student—is locking students to their desks, filling out worksheets and practice exams for many weeks of the year. Recess has been eliminated in some districts, and rough-and-tumble games have been banned in others. What's more, the diagnosis of attention deficit hyperac- tivity disorder, ADHD, has mushroomed. Even though there is controversy over the exact nature of the condi- tion, the number of students and adults diagnosed with ADHD has continued to climb by 3% a year. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2006 nearly 12% of American boys had been diag- nose—not suspected or labeled, but diagnosed—with Homeschool BY HAL AND MELANIE YOUNG BOY FRIENDLY And guess what? They still learn, and they do quite well on outside measures like the SAT and ACT, AP exams, and other standardized tests. And our oldest moved comfortably into one of the most challenging colleges in the U.S. It sure doesn’t look like a traditional classroom in operation here. The difference, we fully believe, is why we think homeschooling is generally the best option for educating boys. Hal graduated from twelve years of public school and did pretty well academically, but then he’s always been an avid reader, a regular bookworm. Having a mom who was a librarian probably helped. But then, in the classroom, he figured out how to fit in. It’s not that easy for a lot of boys today. Many of the standout teachers Hal remembers were close C H E C H O M E S C H O O L U P DAT E I Vo l u m e 3 , I s s u e 9 6 , 2 01 632
  33. 33. PHOTOGRAPHYBYISTOCK.COM ADHD. That’s separate from any learning disabilities they may have had. And a large percentage of them were on psychoactive medication to deal with it. How about girls? The CDC found something less than 4.8% had been identified as suffering from ADHD. We’re not medical professionals, and we’re not about to argue about the definition of the disorder or how it should be treated. However, it does raise the question of how one boy out of eight ends up “dysfunctional” and in need of medical intervention. If nearly two- and-a-half times as many boys as girls are finding themselves out of sync with the culture, could it be that the standard of “functionality” may be playing against something which is commonly found in boys? Has our culture “pathologized boyhood,” as some have suggested? Making learning boy-friendly What we’ve found in raising a houseful of active boys demonstrates to us why many of them may be strug- gling in the traditional classroom. Frankly, boys and girls respond to different things, whether social and emotional cues, educational techniques, or even the setting of the thermostat. No, really. We had an illustration of this when our soon-to- graduate son visited Hampden-Sydney College, an all-male school in Virginia. John was invited to sit in on a freshman economics class. He came back completely charged up. Mom, it was great! he crowed. The professor yelled at them, he called them knuckleheads, they argued. It was awesome. His mom, no stranger to vigor- ous debate, was still taken aback. Didn't he find that intimidating? No, and apparently the rest of the class ate it up as well. Young men respond to louder voices, stronger statements, verbal challenge. It’s one reason that experimental single-sex classrooms are reporting great progress among students that were academic washouts and disciplinary problems the year before; instead of aiming for a calm, low-key environment, these teachers have found a way to fully engage male students and get them where they live. Visit the CHEC blog for weekly encouragement, with articles like:  Secret of Successful Homeschooling  Four Important Tools for Character Training  Teaching Music in the Home Go to CHEC.org/blog to read more! A second fact is that boys are active—always. We used to have cats; if you watch them, they are rarely still. Even asleep, a tail is twitching or a paw flexing somewhere. Boys are the same way. Yes, it may distract the teacher if boys are drumming their pencils while they read, tapping a foot, or turning some ran- dom object while they listen. That’s natural. Give them something quiet to handle, a tennis ball to squeeze, or something like that. that excess energy can make it easier to sit down and focus afterward. A related idea is how your son sits. We've all read the recommendations for feet flat on the floor, light coming over the left shoulder, proper posture, and so forth. On the other hand, Thomas Jefferson did much of his writing at a tall desk without a chair. Winston Churchill did the same, or else dictated his speeches and books to a secretary while he paced the room and made wide hand motions. If your son is more comfortable doing his math with his feet propped higher than his head, can you live with that? Of course, you can! Oh, and the thermostat. Research has found that boys work best in a cool environment. Warm rooms (heated for the girls' comfort) make them drowsy. If you’re teaching a mixed group, consider putting your daugh- ter’s seat in a sunny spot, and your son in the cooler part of the room —maybe even give him a small fan! Finally, don’t forget the value of active learning. Experiments, demonstrations, anything that will make the ideas on paper more concrete will help your sons absorb the concepts in the books. You can even turn mundane exercises into a competition— who can finish their math drills fastest and with the best accuracy? Who can read and report on the most books this month? Field trips and visits with special people— veterans, professionals, specialists of any sort—are not only fun but extremely valuable for connecting textbooks with the real world. Is homeschooling the only way to educate a son? We won’t claim that it is. For our money, though, we can’t think of a better way to take a boy as God made him and help him become what God intends him to be—without forcing him through a mold for the convenience of an institutional program. And it can be very, very rewarding along the way. Hal and Melanie Young are the parents of eight children who are homeschooled from the beginning. Their book, Raising Real Men: Surviving, Teaching and Appreciating Boys, is available from Great Waters Press at www.RaisingRealMen.com. Better yet, give them an opportunity to use large muscle groups. Instead of filling in worksheet blanks, maybe your son will work better on a whiteboard or even large sheets of paper with a big marker instead of a sharp pencil. As an engineer, if Hal had a really complex problem, he often found himself moving away from the computer and drawing oversized flowcharts on the back of blueprints or sketching pos- sible solutions on the blackboard. Somehow it helped him focus his thoughts when he could see the whole problem, BIG. Or maybe he needs to be challenged to run up and down the stairs ten times when he just can’t focus on math. Using those big muscles and burning up Vo l u m e 3 , I s s u e 9 6 , 2 01 6 I C H E C H O M E S C H O O L U P DAT E 33 BEST OF BLOG
  34. 34. and a bingo game to make the learning fun. The last section is called Making Music and includes dozens of songs that every child should know in categories such as Our American Heritage of Folk Traditional Music, Patriotic Songs, and Sacred Songs. One of the best aspects of this CD-ROM is there is nothing additional to purchase with the program. Marcia has used links to YouTube and other internet sites to allow the reader to hear and see the music being performed without having to purchase expensive CDs. Beethoven Who? is really like three separate music programs combined into one. It's a history of music program, a music theory program, and a music appreciation program. I can foresee a family taking several semesters to work through all the rich material in this course. Most of the music programs available to homeschoolers were written for a classroom setting, which makes using them in our multi-aged one room schoolhouses difficult. These classroom oriented programs also tend to be very expensive. Marcia has produced an invaluable resource which is both reasonably priced and designed for use by the whole family in order to enable homeschool parents to introduce their children to the glorious and eternal I had never met teens like this before, and it sparked in me a desire to cultivate a taste for good, compli- cated music in my own kids. However, in the typical homeschool, there is little time at the end of a day full of reading, writing, and math to study music. So here are a couple of products that make introducing your elementary aged students to classical music fast and painless. The Practical Homeschooling award-winning cur- riculum Beethoven Who? was written by veteran homeschool mom and piano teacher Marcia Wash- burn with the person who feels unqualified to teach her children music in mind. The CD-ROM or digital download is broken into three sections. The first is Listening to Music which takes the students on a journey through the history of music be- ginning with the Baroque Period and ending with the Twentieth Century. The second section is called Reading Music and it introduces the reader to the language and notation of music with lots of suggestions for activities to reinforce what's being learned. This section includes printable flashcards When I first began homeschooling, I heard veteran homeschoolers tell stories about their teenagers who liked classical music. Some of those teens even preferred classical music to other genres and had their favorite composers just like most teens have their favorite rock musicians. MUSIC APPRECIATION for Busy FamiliesBY CINDY PUHEK CURRICULUM REVIEW PHOTOGRAPHYBYISTOCK C H E C H O M E S C H O O L U P DAT E I Vo l u m e 3 , I s s u e 9 6 , 2 01 634 CURRICULUM REVIEW
  35. 35. taught the story the symphony is seeking to convey. In a long and complicated piece of music, children enjoy recognizing the main themes since these familiar segments of music act like rest stops on the journey through the symphony. Music, we are told in Scripture, is one aspect of earth that carries on into heaven. The effort to cultivate in our children a taste for the finest music on earth is very worthwhile. Thankfully, with products such as Beethoven Who? and the books from Classical Magic, learning to understand and appreciate fine music is doable for even the busiest homeschooling families. 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 masters degree in chemistry and has writ- ten dozens of articles to encourage others in their homeschooling journeys. You can visit her blog at www.homeschoolenrichment.com/blogs. world of music. You can purchase Beethoven Who? at www.marciawashburn.com. Classical Magic has produced a three book series called A Theme to Remember Vol I and II, and Clas- sical Karaoke, (available at Rainbow Resource and Sing N Learn). This wonderful resource is designed to introduce children to the history of great music from the Baroque Period to the 20th Century and to the composers who wrote it. The CD’s which accompany the books have recordings of small portions of famous pieces of music with funny lyrics added to them. The lyrics always contain the name of the music piece and the composer and often some historical information about when and why the music was composed. As children learn the little songs, they are learning to recognize and name the titles and composers of symphonies, concertos, and minuets. The books contain supplementary information and explain characteristics of music in each musical era, biographical information about the composers, and definitions of musical terms. However, even if a family never reads the books, the students will learn an enormous amount of information listening to the CD’s, and this can be done in the car. One caveat: most families will want to skip a couple of the songs and I recommend previewing the books before using them with your children. Nevertheless, with roughly 40 pieces of music on each CD (about 120 total), it is worth the effort to screen out any objectionable material in order to benefit from this rich, easy to use product. A fourth book is also available from Classical Magic called Journey to the New World. Unlike the other 3 books which focus on the history of music, Journey to the New World leads children through the themes of Dvorak’s New World Symphony. Music apprecia- tion often grows with knowledge, and I know this symphony is one of my children's favorites. This book broke the long piece of music into smaller pieces and CASTERLINE SINGLE MOM'S BANQUET Register now at CHEC.org/events FRIDAY, OCTOBER 21, 2016 PARKER, COLORADO Enjoy a delicious meal, an encouraging message, special extras, and provided childcare—all on us. Vo l u m e 3 , I s s u e 9 6 , 2 01 6 I C H E C H O M E S C H O O L U P DAT E 35 CURRICULUM REVIEW
  36. 36. C H E C H O M E S C H O O L U P DAT E I Vo l u m e 3 , I s s u e 9 6 , 2 01 636 Does not wisdom call, and understanding lift up her voice? On top of the heights beside the way… Beside the gates, at the opening to the city, at the entrance of the doors, she cries out... “O fools, understand wisdom… By me kings reign, and rulers decree justice. By me princes rule, and nobles. All who judge rightly. Proverbs 8: 1-3, 5, 15, 16 (NASB) For over two decades, one of the largest annual gatherings on the steps of Colorado’s Capitol has been CHEC’s Homeschool Day at the Capitol. We gather there to ask for, to demand: nothing! We wish for nothing but to be left alone to enjoy the liberty to disciple our own children in God's Word. At this annual rally we also lift up our elected leaders in prayer, seek to encourage homeschool families, give a vision HOMESCHOOL Freedom Initiative Report Treon Goossen, a Christian homeschool mother and wonderful friend of CHEC, worked to see our current favorable homeschool law passed in the late 1980’s. Since then, Treon spent every legislative session at the Colorado Capitol. She monitored all the bills being proposed, attended scores of hearings, and sent emails urging our presence at critical hearings where our parental rights and Christian liberties were at stake. Treon went to be with the Lord this year, and she is sorely missed. In Treon’s absence, Steve Craig, CHEC’s Executive Di- rector, together with Colorado Senator Kevin Lundberg, worked tirelessly to study and keep us informed on a dangerous bill during the 2016 Legislative Session. This bill would have included homeschoolers in a centralized health-choice tracking database, which included documentation of children’s immunizations. PHOTOGRAPHYBYISTOCK to future statesmen, and publicly thank God for our blessings of liberty. We Americans are blessed with great liberty, which most people throughout history have not enjoyed. Newer homeschoolers may not be aware that homeschooling has not always been legal in Colo- rado and in most of America. Early homeschoolers were imprisoned, forced to flee their homes, or had their children forcibly taken from them. Even though in recent years we have seen civil government’s laws increase over virtually every area of our lives, the freedom to homeschool has actually improved. God has blessed the work of a handful of dedicated watchmen and has granted us an “island of freedom” in the midst of growing socialism, human- ism, and collectivism. PARTNER with CHEC Together, we’re motivating parents to disciple the next generation of Christians. Thank you for partnering with us! BY GEORGE SECHRIST PARTNER'S PAGE
  37. 37. Vo l u m e 3 , I s s u e 9 6 , 2 01 6 I C H E C H O M E S C H O O L U P DAT E 37 CHEC’s coordinated effort against the bill with phone calls, emails, letters, and presence at a State House of Representatives hearing helped turn the tide, with the bill failing. That bill and many more which threaten Christian liberties will no doubt be back again. We must not forget that the price of liberty is eternal vigilance. The enemy of our liberty and of our children's souls never rests and does not want to see our children discipled by their parents, learning to love God and un- derstand the relevance of His word to every area of life and study. In Ezekiel chapter 33, the prophet describes the job of the watchmen on the wall, which is to blow the trumpet to alert Israel to approaching enemies. Today's battles for our freedom are not with swords or guns against approaching armies but are much more subtle. Today's watchmen on the wall need to be wise and understanding to engage in a battle of worldviews. It's Liberty in Christ's law versus the chains of statist, humanist, evolutionary thinking. These critical battles are fought by becoming informed, and then informing others; by prayerfully and humbly working to influence our magistrates. They are fought at our kitchen tables, in our living rooms, and in the halls and offices of the Capitol. The mass media wants us to focus on the Presidential political race, which is generally out of our control. The battles we can have a tremendous impact on are right here in Colorado. Shockingly, we are told by many that our children belong to the state and should be taught, tested, and tracked by professionals. This follows the goal found in the tenth plank of Karl Marx’s communist manifesto, which promotes: ‘free education for all children in public schools’ to implement that atheistic, communist worldview. This is not a time to take our homeschooling and parental rights for granted and become complacent. Evil will definitely prevail if good men do nothing. For these reasons, the new CHEC Homeschool Freedom Initiative was launched in June at the State Conference and ended on August 15, 2016. Many homeschool families in Colorado pledged to give of their time, their prayers, and their financial resources to maintaining homeschool freedom. They recognized the importance of working with CHEC to establish a stronger effort to protect and defend Christian homeschooling liberties, parental rights, and to promote godly principles to our elected of- ficials at the State Capitol. Fathers, mothers, and grandparents, we ask each of you to determine what your family’s role will be in maintaining homeschool freedom. Colorado homeschoolers desperately need key leaders to get involved in the direct legislative work; we need Christians to be watchmen on the wall—to be informed and to inform others; and we need many active citizens to attend legislative hearings, organize educational Town Hall meetings, visit and pray for our elected officials, send emails, make phone calls, write letters to editors and much more. PARTNER’S PAGE Name Address City State Zip Phone 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 26 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. Our estimated annual budget for the carrying out the legislative work that we have planned is a lean $24,000 per year. As of August, donors have given more than $15,000 to the Homeschool Freedom Fund. We are thankful for those encouraging supporters who have already contributed, and for those of you who will contribute to the on-going Homeschool Freedom Fund. Donating is easy! Go to CHEC.org, click on the DONATE tab, then click on the Homeschool Freedom Fund. Your generous contributions throughout the year, and at year’s end, will help preserve our homeschooling “island of freedom” in Colorado. One of the major expenditures that is budgeted in the CHEC Freedom Fund is for hiring a coordinator to carry on in Treon’s footsteps as a Legislative Liaison. Please pray for God to bring us just the right qualified and committed person. As a final thought, take any coin out of your pocket and notice the word “LIBERTY,” which has been on our coins since 1792. Liberty is biblically defined as living according to God’s law, not enslaved to sin or tyrants. Our founders are reminding us not to forget it and not to take it for granted. Will you join with CHEC in pass- ing our heritage of liberty to your children’s children? George Sechrist and his wife Tammy have gradu- ated all four of their children from homeschool. He has graciously served as a Board Member of CHEC for more than a decade and coordinates the annual Day at the Capitol event. You may contact him at george@chec.org. PARTNER'S PAGE
  38. 38. CHEC BOARD OF TRUSTEES: Bill Roach, President George Sechrist, Vice President Kevin Lundberg Brenda Kelly Ian Serff Todd Strawser Steven Vaughan CHEC DIRECTORS: Steve Craig, Executive Director Kevin Swanson, Director of Generations With Vision Mike Cheney, Director of AME Todd Strawser, Director of Christian Family Eldercare The CHEC Homeschool Update is published triannually by Christian Home Educators of Colorado, 19039 E. Plaza Drive, Suite 210, Parker, CO 80134. The purpose of the Homeschool Update is to provide information, resources, and leadership for home educating families while effectively communicating the activities, opportunities, and needs of Christian Home Educators of Colorado. The Homeschool Update is free to all who request it. Donations are gladly accepted. The views expressed by contributors and advertisers in this news magazine do not necessarily reflect those of CHEC. Permission is granted to reprint any portion of this magazine, except where noted, provided the following credit is given: “Reprinted from the CHEC Homeschool Update, Volume 3, Issue #96, 2016; 720.842.2432, CHEC.org.” Editor: Shari McMinn, sharimcminn.com Creative Assistant Designer: Sarah Bryant, sarahleephoto.com Ad Manager: Heidi Botkin Advertising Policy Ads are published on a space-available, first- come, first-served basis and are subject to approval. Payment must be made by the deadline to reserve ad space. New advertisers must include complete product description. We reserve the right to refuse any ad submitted. CHEC’s mailing list is not sold or rented. Advertising in this magazine provides an excellent opportunity to reach homeschooling families likely to be interested in your product or service. Questions may be directed to admanager@chec.org. Circulation: V1 V3: 5,500  V2: 7,500 Next Advertising Deadline: December 1, 2016 For advertising opportunities with CHEC, go to chec.org/advertise. Copyright © 2016 by CHEC CHEC HOMESCHOOL SPELLING BEE WHEN: Saturday, February 4, 2017 WHO: Homeschooled students in 8th grade or below HOW: Register and begin preparing today! Winners advance to the Denver Post state-wide spelling bee! CHEC.org/events/spelling-bee C H E C H O M E S C H O O L U P DAT E I Vo l u m e 3 , I s s u e 9 6 , 2 01 638 CHEC EVENTS
  39. 39. February 2017 Refresh Ladies' Event DENVER March 2017 High School Beyond Seminar PARKER April 2017 Homeschool Day at the Capitol DENVER May 2017 Homeschool Graduation Ceremony WESTMINSTER June 2017 Rocky Mountain Homeschool Conference DENVER What’s NEXT with CHEC October 2016 Homeschool Leadership Retreat COLORADO SPRINGS Casterline Single Moms' Banquet PARKER Homeschool Intro Seminar PARKER January 2017 Homeschool Intro Seminar COLORADO SPRINGS Homeschool Intro Seminar PARKER February 2017 Spelling Bee ELIZABETH 7-8 21 22 7 14 4 Visit CHEC.org/events to learn more and register 4 7 7 20 15-17 Vo l u m e 3 , I s s u e 9 6 , 2 01 6 I C H E C H O M E S C H O O L U P DAT E 39 CHEC EVENTS
  40. 40. NONPROFIT ORG US POSTAGE PAID DENVER CO PERMIT #792 Christian Home Educators of Colorado 19039 E. Plaza Drive, Suite 210 Parker, Colorado 80134 Change Service Requested Dear families: If you no longer want to receive this magazine, please contact the CHEC office and ask to be removed from our mailing list. Thank you. 720.842.4852 I 1.877.842.CHEC I office@chec.org Refresh....A DAY OF ENCOURAGEMENT FOR LADIES Find rest and refreshment on your journey. This will be a day full of fellowship, biblical wisdom, spirit-filled worship, and pamperingdoor prizes! WHEN: Saturday, February 4th 9am–6pm WHERE: Embassy Suites Denver Southeast COST: $30 early registration ($39 late) All adult ladies are welcome! Register at CHEC.org

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