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
Pursue a Christ-
Off to a Good Start
6 10 14 26
ARTICLES INSIDE THIS ISSUE INCLUDE
FOREVER THE SAME
Father Son Retreat Recap PAGE 30
Lifeby Kevin Swanson
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
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?
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
6 On the Road of
INTERVIEW WITH TIMOTHY FAN
16 Christ the Essence
BY TERI ONG
10 From Christian
BY JOHN AUXIER II
BY BLAIR WATKINSON
20 Supper's Not Done
'Til the Plates are in
BY MARCIA WASHBURN
26 Off to a Good Start
BY LIDA BRINGE
22 Rocky Mountain
PRESENTED BY CHEC
30 Father Son
PRESENTED BY CHEC
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
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.
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.”
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
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
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
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
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
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
Percy Spencer - https://en.wikipedia.org
Percy Spencer - https://en.wikipedia.org
Source: Microwave oven - https://en.wikipedia.org
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,
WHY WILL THERE
NEVER BE A NEW AND
OF JESUS CHRIST?
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
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
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
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
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
WHAT ARE THE FRUITFUL
BLESSINGS YOU ARE
NOW EXPERIENCING FOR
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
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,
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.
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
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
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
CONTINUED FROM PREVIOUS PAGE
that it is God who gives breath, and God who takes
WHAT SUGGESTIONS DO
YOU HAVE FOR PARENTS
AND THEIR STUDENTS TO
KEEP FOCUSING ON CHRIST
WHEN THERE ARE SO
MANY OPPORTUNITIES AND
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
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.
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
■ 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
Learn more at CHEC.org/independent-school
at my childhood,
it seems at
I am currently a
research professor in
at the University of
Tennessee, with several
joint appointments at
across the nation,
and I grew up in a
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
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
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
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
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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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
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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
Pursue a Christ-Centered
classes at a local pub-
lic university, I love to
challenge the students
in discussions of ethics
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
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
DAD TO DAD
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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?
ELDERCAREStories and Strategies for Caregivers by Marcia Washburn
Available at ChristianFamilyEldercare.org
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.)
Plan now to join the celebration!
Learn more and register at CHEC.org/events/graduation
Isn’t it amazing
how different a
child’s view of com-
chores is from yours?
I remember telling
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
'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
“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
My favorite part is listen-
ing to the speakers. I always
learn something new
and I have been
homeschooling a long
Loved the speakers! I
to keep running the
race with an infusion of
joy and excitement.
I would feel so alone in home education if not for this
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
and family time
for a full weekend
of refreshment and
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
Alpha Omega Publications
Horse and Soul
The Pinery Country Club
We are grateful for these
companies who partnered with
CHEC to make the conference
possible this year:
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!
ship being first at
I learned to
see my children
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
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
Strategies for a
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
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
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
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
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!
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
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
Here are some key
points to kick-off
the new school
year (or get back
on track during
the year) with a
Daily teaching times
Bite size pieces of information
Repetition and practice
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
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
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,
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.
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
Saturday, October 1, Denver Art Museum Free Day
Thursday, October 6, Student Matinee at Colorado Ballet —
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-
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
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.
AND all at lower prices!
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
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
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.
2017 FATHER SON RETREAT
August 31 - September 3, 2017 I Crooked Creek Ranch
SIGN UPfor only $249/person untilOctober 31st!
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
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
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
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
BY HAL AND MELANIE YOUNG
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
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
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
Secret of Successful
Four Important Tools for
Teaching Music in the
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
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
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
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
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
I heard veteran
stories about their
teenagers who liked
Some of those teens
classical music to
other genres and
had their favorite
composers just like
most teens have
their favorite rock
for Busy FamiliesBY CINDY PUHEK
C H E C H O M E S C H O O L U P DAT E I Vo l u m e 3 , I s s u e 9 6 , 2 01 634
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
world of music. You can purchase Beethoven Who?
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,
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
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
Register now at CHEC.org/events
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 21, 2016
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
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
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.
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
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.
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 email@example.com.
at the Capitol
Visit CHEC.org/events to learn more and register
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
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 firstname.lastname@example.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