Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Homeschool, day 2

I’m still easing into this homeschooling, as is Jacob. We are not up and running with his full load of subjects, but I did add a Spanish assignment today, based on his sister’s assignment in school since they had been in Spanish I class together up until now. Alexandra is still in that class, so maybe I can have Jacob try and keep up with her somehow.

I also e-mailed Jacob’s Biology teacher at the high school, and she was kind enough to send me a list of topics that they had covered until now as well as topics that she plans to cover in the second half of the year. Now I can go through the Biology textbook and decide what to teach during the rest of the year.

Jacob started Geometry class today at the homeschooling center! Nita car pools with another woman; they have taken on driving Jacob as well. I am so thankful! Nita invited Jacob for lunch today, and picked him up early so he could spend time with Peter. They played ping-pong, so Jacob wasn’t quite so isolated today as he had been yesterday. He didn’t get all his assignments done on time, however, because the one Geometry class, which would take 40 minutes in school, took up his afternoon. He spent the evening doing schoolwork. I’ll probably have to double up the other subjects on other days and free up the Monday and Wednesday afternoons for Geometry.

I’m still panicked over taking all this over and doing a reasonable job with his education.


Tuesday, January 29, 2008


The first day of homeschooling is over.

My husband George is still out of town, I’m still working full-time on-site in my corporate headquarters office, and Jacob was home alone all day being “schooled.” I know that there are many who would challenge me on this. How can leaving a teenager home alone be called “schooling”?

I left Jacob with a handwritten list of assignments and checkboxes that he was to cross off when he was done. Naturally I would check to see that he actually completed the assignments. But with all the discipline already in place at home, I really didn’t doubt that he would try his best to complete all the tasks.

Even so, guilt gnawed at me that I had to leave him alone.

These are the assignments I gave Jacob:

□ Read Global History - Unit 6, ch. 2, section 3, pp. 724-728. On p. 734, answer ques. 16, 17, & 18.
□ Answer questions #1 - 3 in the Global History textbook on p. 746
□ Do 1/3 of the CBS (Community Bible Study) questions
□ Read 5 pages in Ukrainian
□ Read ch. 3 of Lords of the Earth
□ Write a short summary (about one page, but no less than 200 words) of Part I of Lords of the Earth
□ Write sentences using the words you defined for chapters 1 -3 in Lords of the Earth
□ Workout - 20 min.
□ Play piano - 30 min.
□ Read Isaiah 53 out loud at least three times with feeling until you feel comfortable reading it to an audience

At the end of the day, after eight hours at the office, after supper and driving to the high school for Jacob to empty out his locker, and after visiting the local library with the kids, and after devotions, I just felt like collapsing! But I still had Jacob’s work to correct. And by then, it was almost 10 PM! I was worn out.

I looked at Jacob’s work, corrected the sentences he wrote for the vocabulary words, checked the answers to the Global History questions (I have no answer key; I had to look at the text myself to find the answers). It was SO much time that I panicked! After all, I’d agreed to keep working full-time for the next month. And I still don’t have high-speed Internet hookup at home, which I need to start working from home at least some of the time. On top of that, George is still gone for two more weeks, so I don’t have moral support. The girls have their own needs, too, so I have to give, give, give of myself. It was such a relief to me that Alexandra offered to help cook supper with me when I got home from work. We quickly cooked up some Pad Thai for the first time ever. Praise God the girls like to cook and that they continue to want to learn more.

Jacob kept working on his vocabulary words and sentences even as I corrected his other assignments in the late evening. I was impressed that he kept working until 10:30 PM, returning quickly with corrections to the definitions of the words or writing new sentences for vocabulary words he’d misused or did not understand well enough to use in a sentence at all. I am so thankful that he’s motivated and that he wants to do well. I don’t have to intimidate, scold, or punish. No, he does the work on his own. Thank you, Lord, for that!

Monday, January 28, 2008

This is it!

Well, tomorrow is it: I begin homeschooling.


I'm stilling working full-time, so Jacob will have to be very self-disciplined to make this work (no pun intended). In other words, I'll still be working 9 to 5 in the office while he's at home with the books, and this will continue for a week or two until I get not only DSL Internet at home later this week, but also get all the company's security measures in place so that I can work from my home computer. And my Fortune 500 company is really particular about security.

Fortunately over the past few years, when our kids have been home alone while George and I are at work, such as during winter break or some days in the summer, we have always given them a list of tasks to do, which they have to cross off the list over the day. So that's what I did on Thursday and Friday for Jacob because he was done with exams. I also left him a list of things to do when he gets home from school today since he won't have any homework. Teenaged boys need to stay busy to stay out of trouble.

I partially dread and am partially excited about this new venture. I dread the day-to-day tedium, especially of trying to work on top of "teaching," yet I'm excited over having control over his studies. The Wordly 3000 books seem to be great, just what he needs, but as I went through them last night, I realized that I could not find the answers to the exercises in the student book anywhere! I could figure them out and make educated guesses that are better than Jacob's guesses, but that seemed like too much work. Sure enough, I searched on the Internet and found that I had somehow omitted finding the answer keys to the student books, available for a mere $2.99. I hadn't ordered them; I had ordered the test booklets with answers. So now I have to wait until my answer keys for the exercise books arrive before I can begin using those vocabulary books.

One thing I read calmed my nerves a little: you can ease into homeschooling. You don't have to dive into all the subjects in depth right away. So I have decided to start with English (reading Lords of the Earth by Don Richardson), Global History (continue with the school textbook and assign questions from the book), and music. I'll add on the rest of the subjects - Biology, Geometry, Health, and Spanish - little by little.

Today, the first day of the new semester, Jacob went to school to say good-bye. He doesn't seem upset by this new venture, or even nostalgic about leaving school and his friends behind. One reason is that his "friends" are really just acquaintances. The one friend who is his lab partner also goes to our church and is in youth group with him. They will continue to talk on the phone often and see each other regularly. The others - they were just folks to chat with at the lunch table or to joke with in class, not anyone that he'd stay in touch with outside of school.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

You’ve been here three hours!

Libby told me that as I was leaving her house just before suppertime. Ah, the forthrightness of a youngster!

Indeed I had been there longer than I intended. But I had so many questions that I needed to ask Libby’s mom, Nita - and I needed to be reassured that I really was doing the right thing by homeschooling Jacob, that I really could do it, that it wasn’t beyond my abilities.

So I packed up all three of my kids, who are close in age to Nita’s kids, and went over for a pep talk and some down-to-earth instructions in organizing a typical day. I needed both.

I had confessed in an e-mail that I was completely overwhelmed by the Apologia book on Biology. Where do I begin? How much do I assign Jacob per day? Calmly, thoughtfully Nita handed me a printout of a schedule that she had gotten off the Internet.

I was stunned: there are actually people that out of the goodness of their hearts and from their own experience make this available?! Wow. Thanks, Donna.

Nita knows where to get information. And I have a lot to learn.

Friday, January 25, 2008

What about work?

I should have requested to go to part-time status when we first decided to pull Jacob out of school. That was in December. But I put it off. Then Christmas came and went. Then I took some vacation days. And next thing I knew, it was the middle of January.

I thought I’d have a good case for my company to keep me part-time. The company had been through a long period of restructuring, and our department survived. Hiring freezes seem to have been in effect ever since I started working here seven years ago. And it was actually the company – my boss – who wooed me to join the ranks of employees rather than continue doing writing projects for them on a freelance basis. I'd been working freelance for 18 years...

My boss often works from home, so she just wasn’t around for me to broach the subject. And I wasn’t quite sure what I’d say. Homeschooling still isn’t common, and I knew people would think I’m a little weird to pull my son out of "perfectly good school" and teach him myself. I waited a few days for her to come in, but since she continued to work from home, I finally called her and stated my case – “We’ve decided to pull Jacob out of public school and homeschool him.” I requested part-time status and permission to work from home, and held my breath.

“I thought you were going to tell me you’re sick. I’m glad it’s not that,” said my boss. I had been on a medical leave for several months in 2002 because of a bout of lupus. “I’ll see what I can do,” she promised.

She didn’t get back to me for over a week.

“I talked it over with my supervisor,” said my boss, again over the phone. Her supervisor – the head of the department – is the one who makes these decisions. “He said that his brother used to homeschool his kids,” she added with obvious amazement in her voice. I was probably as surprised to hear that as she had been, but this was a good thing. “You could go down to 32 hours. But we would still like you to work on site. It won’t work for us to have you working from home. We want you to spend more time with the SMEs (Subject Matter Experts), not less.”

Thirty-two hours on site! When? That would be over six hours per day, and the absolute soonest I could get to the office would be 1:00 PM. There isn’t a person in the office after 6:00 PM. Besides, most of my contact with the SMEs is via e-mail or phone. I rarely see them in person.

We went back and forth, and I counter-proposed that I work on site at the office from 1:00 till 6:00 PM, and then work the rest of the hours from my home office. I had, after all, been working freelance when I first met my boss. She’s hired me to write a video script for her, which I did evenings at home while I took care of the kids in the day.

My boss said that she’d have to ask her supervisor about this.

Several more days passed. When she called me back, I was surprised that her counterproposal to mine was that I continue to work 40 hours per week, but flexible hours from home, except for the 1:00 to 6:00 part. “We’ll try it for a month and see how that works.”

I reluctantly agreed to the 40 hours.

But before I can start coming in only afternoons and putting in flexible time from home for the rest of the hours, I have to get high-speed Internet at home! I’ve been functioning on a phone connection for over the last decade. It's painfully slow - slow enough to discourage teenagers from surfing the 'net. And then there are all the security measures that the company requires I put in place so that I can connect to their intranet from home.

“It may take a month to get all this arranged,” my boss added.

A month!? How would I start teaching Jacob at the end of January?

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Roller coaster down

The Biology text arrived yesterday. All my optimism about homeschooling slipped away when I took a look at the Biology textbook. Oh my… There is so much TEXT. And Jacob is such a slow reader. And the tests – they are fill in the blank!! Jacob is used to multiple-choice tests, and filling in answers is so much harder. I can hear his moans and groans now. I'd be moaning, too. In fact, I’m panicking.

Even with the Solutions and Tests that comes along with the textbook, I am overwhelmed. How much reading do I assign per day? I can't even figure out the exercises, so how will he? Oh, my head hurts from just looking at that book… What on earth have I gotten us into?

Jacob is home alone today without company. I have to be in the office. My husband, who is a native of Ukraine, left suddenly for his home country yesterday because his mother, who’s been bedridden for two years, is dying. He’ll be gone three weeks. Alexandra, who is in ninth grade, has two mid-term exams, so she's in school all day. Larissa, who is in middle school, has a regular school day.

Jacob is done with all his mid-term exams. He’s completed his first semester and will be homeschooled for the rest of the year – the rest of high school, God willing. To keep Jacob busy and get his feet wet with this homeschooling, I gave him a list of assignments to complete today:

□ Practice piano exercises – 10 min.
□ Practice piano pieces – 20 min.
□ Read ch. 1 of Lords of the Earth. Write down all words you don't know. Look up their definitions. Write down how long it took you to read the chapter (p. 18 – 43).
□ Spanish – go to and take the Spanish test (under Gauge your level) to check your level. Look around the website.
□ Do CBS (Community Bible Study) questions
□ Read 5 pages in Ukrainian
□ Work out with weights
□ Fix your mobile and hang it up

OK, fixing his butterfly mobile is a chore, not homeschool assignment, but I have to keep him busy – and get that mobile off the dresser in his room.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

All those books!

A Beka. Sonlight. Christian Liberty Press. Apologia. And, of course, there is But which books do I buy??? And how do I know what I’m supposed to buy? These were the challenges I faced when I started this venture.

The first step was to figure out what subjects I’ll be teaching. Because I want to finish out much of what Jacob is currently taking in tenth grade of his public school, I’ve decided on:

Global History
Spanish I

Buying the Geometry book was rather simple: I ordered what Marcia uses at the homeschool center since she will be teaching him - Geometry, Second Edition, by Harold R. Jacobs. She gave me the link, and I found the book used on along with the teacher’s text. That set me back about $35 each, or a total of $75.

Biology. I went with Marcia’s suggestion and got the Apologia textbook, Exploring Creation with Biology, 2nd Edition, and the Solutions and Tests that goes with it. During that first long phone conversation, Marcia had said that the Apologia books were written in a conversational style and that students liked them. On top of that, the labs were simple and geared towards home study. I ordered the CD as well. The three items were $87.

For English, I’ll both have Jacob read some of the classics and some Christian books about missionaries. I’ve read quite a few of them, so I can pick out the ones that are well written. And I’ll have him do some vocabulary-building exercises. Maybe even put grammar in there somewhere. And, of course, have him write essays. Oh, he’ll really be annoyed, but I love English and he is weak in it. On, under the tenth grade curriculum I found a vocabulary-building book called Wordly Wise 3000. There is a Wordly Wise book for each grade level along with a test booklet with answer key, and they’re only $9.99 each. I bought a set for grade 10, and then because Nita said that these books were hard, another set for grade 9. Maybe I’ll start Jacob in grade 9 instead of ten, if his ego can take that.

Global History. For now, I’m planning on sticking with the book Jacob currently uses – World History: Patterns of Interaction. The school let me keep it through the end of the school year. It even has questions at the end of each section, though if I can’t find a teacher’s guide, I’ll have to read the text myself and see whether he’s answered the questions correctly. It’ll be a bit of work. And how will I test him? Well, I’ll cross that bridge when I get to it. Maybe I’ll find a teacher’s guide, but I haven’t looked for one yet.

Spanish. I didn’t get anything because I have no idea what to do about Spanish! Nita offered to teach Jacob, but we haven’t finalized anything. She seems to always be going in two directions at once, so I’m not sure how it would work out to have her teach. And I can’t do it; I studied French…35 years ago. OK, one thing at a time.

For music, Jacob will simply continue with his piano lessons, but spend much more time practicing that in the past. No text needed here. It’s kind of like taking orchestra. He’ll have a year-end recital. Maybe even play at a nursing home with his sisters.

The Health is a half-year requirement, so I thought I’d teach it now and get it out of the way. Jacob had been taking computer programming as an elective, and I know I can’t teach that! Although Marcia told me that she never used a textbook for Health and Nita hasn’t gotten around to teaching Health at a high school level, I like the formality of a good book that contains all the information in one place. I found what looks like a good book on just by looking around. It's called Total Health. I also bought the teacher's edition, and the test and quiz master book. They were $35, $35, and $20 - another $90.

I didn’t find all these books on the same day. I’ve been ordering and ordering. And they’ve slowly been showing up at my house.

Now we need a new bookcase for them all.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Getting excited

I started to read online lists of homeschool books. Curriculum possibilities. Tailoring programs to your child's interests. I began to get excited.

On, I found book after book praising the benefits of homeschooling, books following the lives of real home-schooled kids who were successful, teenagers who was ecstatic about leaving the public schools and being homeschooled - or some called it “unschooled,” a term I don’t like because of its negative connotations.

Some kids live on a farm and part of their schooling is taking care of the animals. Another girl spends a part of her day caring for and riding her horse. You can be an apprentice for a craftsman and count that for school credit, learn to weld or build, cook or draw.

I read reviews for a number of books or clicked to look inside them when possible.
Real Lives: Eleven Teenagers Who Don't Go to School Tell Their Own Stories is about kids who rebuild bikes, write to 50 penpals, work with horses, and, judging from some of the chapter names, raise bees, among other things. Homeschool Open House is "like being a fly on the wall of different families who are homeschooling." And The Teenage Liberation Handbook: How to Quit School and Get a Real Life and Education really got me enthused. The reviews, called Must Read, Fantastic, and Life Changing, extolled the virtues of homeschooling over and over, and suggest that suffering through school is not a necessary evil. There is another way, a better way.

But the book I ended up buying is more practical: Homeschooling: The Teen Years: Your Complete Guide to Successfully Homeschooling the 13- to 18- Year-Old. I figured that I needed some useful information, basic how-to's: How to overcome challenges. How to deal with people's concerns or objections to homeschooling.

While clickig around, I stumbled onto a DVD about North Korea called Seoul Train, a documentary about the underground railway for North Koreans escaping into China. I love learning about situations like this, painful stories that the world at large knows little about. This is the type of thing that I'm really looking forward to sharing with my children, getting them impassioned to do something about social conditions. Persecution. Abandonment. Street children. Slavery. These are either glossed over or not mentioned at all in school. They will be part of my curriculum as well. I want to make the world and its heartbreaks come alive for my children.

I ordered a copy of Seoul Train.


I met with Jacob’s guidance counselor, and she was very nice about me withdrawing him from school. At my request, she allowed me to keep all of Jacob’s textbooks through the end of this school year so that I can transition him from public school to homeschooling, and check to see what he learned earlier in the year as well as see where he should go according to the old textbooks.

Next, I called the school district office from my work office and told them that I would be homeschooling my son starting February 1. The woman I spoke with said that I couldn’t withdraw him until I got my paperwork in, and that she would send it to me. My friend Nita said otherwise: that I could withdraw him and send the letter of intent within two weeks of withdrawing him. Whatever.

Now that I got those legalities out of the way, I began to surf the Internet looking for books. I had the list of state-required courses, and I want to parallel the public school curriculum as much as possible. It’s not their curriculum that is the problem (although some of the Health topics are an issue); it’s the environment of the school.

"Mom, if you knew what I hear in just one day at school, you'd pull me out right away," said my ninth-grade daughter, Alexandra, whom we plan to start homeschooling in September. It made me wonder.

Monday, January 21, 2008

The homeschooling center

Since it’s Martin Luther King Day, the kids had the day off from public school. Because my husband George is a self-employed general contractor, he took the day off to be home with them. OK, he really took it off because he wanted to come with Jacob and me to the homeschooling center, and the home where he was supposed to work was on the other side of town. All the driving didn’t seem worth it. Ah, the luxuries of being self-employed.

The homeschooling center is a bit of a drive from our house – about 10 to 12 miles. The owner, Marcia, came to the center just to meet with us and show us around. The center was closed for the day because of the holiday. But Marcia took time out of her day to meet with us.

The homeschooling center, which is a building that looks like an old house, is Marcia’s ministry. Homeschoolers get together here for drama classes, Bible studies, to hear guest speakers, and sometimes for social functions. The classes that run vary greatly because there is no paid staff. Whatever volunteers propose to teach is what is offered. Geometry is not a regularly offered course. Marcia taught both her sons Geometry and is teaching this course out of the kindness of her heart – for just $100 for the semester (January – June)!! This is definitely a ministry, not a money-making proposition.

Marcia loves to talk, something I learned during my initial call asking her whether Jacob could join her class. She talked for about 45 minutes, volunteering all kinds of information, from textbooks recommended for the sciences to making mission trips count as curriculum or extracurricular activities. My choice. As I’ve often said, when you listen, you learn; when you talk, you just repeat what you already know. I learned quite a bit from her.

After a detailed tour of all the rooms, including their small library, we got down to business: Can she or can she not take on teaching Jacob Geometry? He had brought his current Geometry textbook, and I held my breath as she flipped through the chapters and asked him questions about what he has covered in his class.

“I think that you’re pretty much where we are. You’ve had some things we haven’t, and we’ve covered some topics that you haven’t, but you can catch up on those.”

I released my breath. Praise God! One course is in place. Now to buy the textbooks…

Friday, January 18, 2008

Where do I begin?

How do I go about pulling my son out of public school and starting to homeschool him? My husband and I decided when - after the first semester ends in late January - but how? What are the legal requirements? And how on earth do I actually teach him? I can’t prepare lectures on six subjects every day!

I’m starting out with just Jacob this first half year. The plan is to pull the girls out of school in the fall. But for now, homeschooling one child is all I can do. I’m trying to get part-time status at work, but even that is still up in the air. I can’t quit altogether, so I’ll have to juggle.

Since I don’t know the first thing about homeschooling, I turned to my friend Nita who has been homeshcooling her three children their entire lives. The oldest, Peter, is in ninth grade and a friend of Jacob’s. In fact, because Peter is homeschooled, Jacob has long wanted to be homeschooled as well. At least I’m not pulling him out of school against his will.

Nita invited me over, made me a cup of tea, and pulled out her books.

“The kids basically teach themselves,” she explained. “They read the lesson, do their work, check it off their list, and go on to the next subject. Sometimes Libby is done by noon.” That’s her seventh grader.

That sounded easy. Too easy. Jacob doesn’t like to read, so this will be agony for him! Then again, he needs to learn to read better and faster, so this will be good for him, painful as it may be.

“You need to inform the school district of your intent to homeschool within two weeks of taking him out of school. The district will send you certain forms that you need to fill out. And you’ll need to give them an IHIP (Individualized Home Instruction Plan), which includes the books you plan to use. You’ll have to send the district quarterly reports of what you covered as well.”

My head was already swimming.

“What do you use for textbooks?” I asked.

“Oh, I don’t always use textbooks. Sometimes I just have the kids read a book and write a report about it, and that’s English. Or we read a book about a historical event, and that’s Social Studies. Peter does have a textbook for Chemistry that he’s going through on his own. And another for Geometry. He’s going to a class in Geometry at a small homeschooling center. That class has been a godsend! I don’t know what I’d do without it. I had trouble enough with Algebra.”

I wasn’t keen on the pick-and-choose books as “curriculum,” but my ears perked up when I heard about the Geometry class.

“Do you think that this teacher would be willing to take on one more student?” I asked hopefully. Jacob was halfway through Geometry, and I hadn’t known what I’d do about finishing it up. Teaching English didn’t faze me - I’m a writer, after all, and an avid reader. Social Studies would actually be fun since love to travel, have been to four continents, and enjoy history. Health, a requirement, would be a piece of cake, especially since Jacob has just covered human anatomy and physiology in his Biology class. And Biology, which he was halfway through, won’t be a problem either since I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Biology. Four years of the stuff. Yes, I know, I’m a writer not a scientist, but my left brain and right brain were duking it out for years. I got a second Bachelor’s in Photography to satisfy my creative side.

But math. Oh, how I dread math! The bizarre thing is that I loved math in high school and graduated with the top grades in math and science. But mention higher mathematics today, and I cringe like a “typical” girl. How sad.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

How did I get into this?

Homeschooling. The word frightened me. Visions of disarray and confusion filled my head. No structure to the day. No set curriculum. Arguments with the kids over assignments, timing, and due dates. My own inadequacies, especially with the high-level math courses that I took so many decades ago, concerned me. Yes, I had aced the courses in high school. But I haven't used trigonometry or geometry in three decades! I don't remember a thing about math above basic Algebra. And the public schools have fabulous labs; how could I possibly teach my kids the sciences, such as Biology, Chemistry, and Physics? Would my kids turn out to be uneducated buffoons, unable to keep to a deadline or take a test seriously, not able to get a decent job? What would I do day to day at home??

Mothers of other homeschoolers I knew spoke about chaos, their own disorganization, schooling round the year, piles upon piles of assignments to correct and grade – and no time for themselves. They are with the children 24/7.

It all sounded like the stuff of nervous breakdowns.

You see, my kids aren't learning reading and writing or basic arithmetic; they are in the 7th, 9th, and 10th, grades! And my daughters, who are in grades 7 and 9, are Honors students!!

And the financial hit. How could I homeschool my kids when I've been the main breadwinner since I got married? I have a professional job; my husband does manual work - general contracting. He would go nuts sitting at a desk; I like the peace and quiet of a writing job where I spend hours on my own just thinking. And writing. And getting paid to do so. I like working. My husband's pay is not nearly as substantial. How would we manage on just his income, which is sporatic, because he's self-employed?
So when my husband brought up the subject of homeschooling our middle school- and high school-aged children over a year ago, I panicked! And I found many reasons to talk him out of it. No way, it won't work, I had told him.

So we tried putting our son into a Christian school for his first year of high school. That was nearly a disaster. The academic level of the school was pitiful compared to that of the public school. I'm not saying all Christian schools are academically inferior, but this one was. Jacob, just one grade ahead of his younger sister, fell behind her in math in just that one year. OK, so that isn't the end of the world, but there were other issues besides academic level: Discipline (or lack thereof). Little homework in math or science. Assignments that were busywork in English. Favoritism in the classroom. And girls dressed just as seductively in this school as in the public schools - a real distraction to a teenaged boy. So after the nineth grade, we transfered him back into the tenth grade of our local, academically high-level suburban public high school - a school from which I myself graduated many, many years ago.

A year ago, I just wasn't ready to take the frightening plunge into homeschooling. But I now see that there is no other way. I have to make it work, and you can follow me as I struggle to do so.

You see, this is what finally got to me. My husband made this analogy: "You take a freshly baked loaf of bread, and you put it in a manure pile. You keep it there a year, two, three… When you finally take that loaf out of the manure, the inside - it's still edible. But the outside stinks. It's absorbed the stench of the manure."

And that's what is happening to our kids in public schools. We try to teach them what it right and wrong, try to give them a Christian upbringing, try to shield them from the manure of the world. But they absorb it. How can they not when they stew in it day after day, year after year? So we decided to pull out Jacob first at the half-year mark of tenth grade. And then I'll just have to dive in. Sink or swim.

I'm a reluctant homeschooling mom, but I'll soon be homeschooling nonetheless.

What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us; what we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal.”
— Albert Pike, Scottish Rite Freemason (1809-1891)