Your Invitation

My blog has moved to a new address. You are invited to visit Life Nurturing Education at its new domain.

Homeschooljournal is a marvelous neighborhood. I always enjoy the diversity I find while strolling its familiar paths. I will be back to visit often.

Ron and Andrea, thanks again for hosting me for so long. You are amazing!

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Dirty Work

My goal is to create one flower bed a year. Some goals fizzle. We bought this home four years ago, but only one garden graces our property. Life, literally, interrupted my plans the year I gave birth to a sweet little girl. Then, last spring, we bought a new septic system. Heavy equipment squishing around the yard wasn’t conducive to planting. This year is different. My waist bends, and the plumbing works. So I’m adding another garden. Most people start in the front, but not me.

Massive magnolia trees fill our front yard. A few bushes cling to life. Monkey grass spreads around the porch. And a shovel doesn’t go more than two inches into the ground without hitting roots. The roots that destroyed our plumbing. The roots that cracked the foundation. The roots that suck up all the water. Our front yard remains barren. Until we get dirt for raised landscaping, I’m working in the backyard. It’s easier to restrain the dog than break my back and shovel.

Jameson Middleton, A Mother with her Daughters in the Kitchen Garden, 1883

I forgot how messy gardening is. Dirt is in my hair, under my fingernails, and on my clothes. I forgot how hard gardening is. The sod is shoveled scoop by scoop. My children help, but they want to plant the seeds without the work. They want to enjoy the harvest without the wait.

When Angel wrote of her desire for a clean house, I encouraged her,

We are preparing the soil in our children’s hearts. Pushing a plow and pulling weeds tends to make a mess.

Seeds of truth cannot take root and grow, unless our children’s hearts are pliable and sustentative. Scattering seeds upon impenetrable ground has little effect. With diligence, the ground is cultivated. With patience, the seeds sprout. The work we do sometimes seems invisible, but roots stretch beneath the surface giving life. Let’s continue preparing for the harvest, even though it involves daily scrubbing.

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3 for 3

3 Bears

Our thoughtful neighbor gave Sweet Pea three baby bears for her third birthday. How appropriate!

Wordless Wednesday

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If I’m Famous, Why am I Folding Laundry?

There should be witty, insightful words here, but I only have so much time to waste spend on the computer. Those hours were spent exploring corners, contemplating accessories, and arranging furniture at my new internet home. Your invitation for tea will arrive soon. I look forward to showing you around!

While I move cyber boxes and fold forsaken laundry, I’ll share my new celebrity status. As you can see, I got a make-over for the occasion and lost 63 1/2 pounds.

5 Minutes for Mom Interview

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What if…Homeschooling was Illegal

Ashpenaz blazed through town snatching young men from their homes. The policeman searched for the handsome, strong, and intelligent. When he found such youth, he carted them off to the king’s palace.

Daniel in the Lions Den, Mezzotint by J. B. Pratt, with Hand Colouring by Briton Riviere
The King’s Answer by Briton Riviere

One of my biggest fears is that my children will be taken away from me. It is completely irrational, but, nonetheless, it is a fear. Can this sneaking trepidation be overcome? It is so stealth an issue I haven’t given it much concentrated thought. The anxiety surfaces when a sheriff pulls up to our house, or the headlines falsely proclaim, “Homeschooling is unconstitutional.” Maybe standing face to face with this fear will put things into perspective.

What if homeschooling was illegal? Imaginary scenarios are difficult for me, especially this one. We have laws that protect the intrinsic rights of parents in the land of the free. My hope is they will not be encroached upon, but what if they are? Laws could have any number of restrictions, culminating in the removal of children from parents and placing them in government schools. Would that happen? It’s doubtful, but that did happen to a child named Daniel.

Daniel was one of the young men taken away from his home by Ashpenaz. The king wanted the brightest and best. King Nebuchadnezzar began their training by giving them a superior Babylonian education. Completely surrounded by the culture, Daniel still refused to worship Nebuchadnezzar. Gazing at the rich table set before him,

Daniel made up his mind that he would not defile himself…Daniel 1:8

Daniel resolved. He determined in his heart to remain a Jew. Daniel followed the king’s orders until they went against his conscious. Then he chose lions’ mouths to preserve his most precious possession; his faith in God.

A wise preacher told me,

You have to choose which hill you will die on.

I pass many hills not worth climbing. For the sake of my children, I will traverse any mountain. I’m just not sure public education resides on a mountain. Public schools do not force children to worship the state. If the law said my children had to attend public school, I would appeal repeatedly. I would try escaping. But in the end, we all have to trust in something greater than our ability. Even if our children receive an education founded on biblical principles, the choice to embrace it is up to them.

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Good News from California

Numerous headlines about the California judge who ruled against homeschooling flood the internet. Thankfully, there is good news. (pdf)

Freedom from Fear by Norman Rockwell
Freedom from Fear by Norman Rockwell

Released March 11, 2008

SACRAMENTO – State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O’Connell announced today that the California Department of Education has completed a legal review of the February 28 California Court of Appeal ruling regarding home schooling. O’Connell issued the following statement:

‘I have reviewed this case, and I want to assure parents that chose to home school that California Department of Education policy will not change in any way as a result of this ruling. Parents still have the right to home school in our state.

‘Every child in our state has a legal right to get an education, and I want every child to get an education that will prepare them for success in college and the world of work in the challenging global economy.

‘As the head of California’s public school system, I hope that every parent would want to send their children to public school. However, traditional public schools may not be the best fit for every student. Within the public school system there are a range of options available. Students can take independent study classes, attend a charter school, or participate in non-classroom-based programs. But some parents choose to send their children to private schools or to home school, and I respect that right.

‘I admire the dedication of parents who commit to oversee their children’s education through home schooling. But, no matter what educational program a student participates in, it is critical that the program prepares them for future success in the global economy. I urge any parent who is considering or involved in home schooling their children to take advantage of resources and support available through their county or district offices of education.’

Liberty triumphs as parental rights are upheld!

What if it didn’t work out this way? What if our biggest fears came true? Mandi asked me what would I do if homeschooling was illegal? I’ll address that question tomorrow.

Via Principled Discovery, via Just Enough, Nothing More

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Spring! Texas-Style

Spring! Texas-Style

One thing I learned about always wishing for snow is, if a storm actually visits, you are unprepared. Sunshine bounded into our room Friday morning proclaiming,

There’s stuff in the sky! It’s snowing!

Because I’m Supermom, I rolled over muttering, “No, it isn’t.” She insisted. Of course, little early bird was telling the truth, and seconds later the house jumped with children.

Last week we ran around in sandals; this week we scrambled to find warm coats and hats. We don’t own any mittens, and only one person has snow boots, so the excitement of playing in the evanescent white didn’t last long. However, the moments before my children froze are etched in my mind. Pure joy. Pure excitement. The wonder of childhood.

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