# 7 ~~~ June 2000
EDITOR / WRITER: Barb(ara) Edtl Shelton
PROOFREADERS: Aline Kae Turner and Tina Metschke
CONTRIBUTING AUTHORS THIS ISSUE:
W. Phillip Keller (with Charisse introducing him)
FROM THE DESK OF THE EDITOR:
(which I just know is under one of these piles
My personal goal for getting out this newsletter is about every other month. Not that I'll always make it, but that's what I'm hoping for. As you probably noticed, this one is just ONE month's worth! I ended up with so much for it, that I needed to just go ahead and get it out. I have only so much space in each email, and I'd already
maxxed it out only 3 weeks after sending out the last issue!
to let you know, I'm going to put my own writing in basic black, as you
are reading right now; other people's writing in blue/bold;
questions in red/bold; and guest
authors in black/bold. This is just to make things a little
more clear at first glance. If you notice any errors, please let
NOTES FROM BARB
A couple of weeks ago we mailed out the invitations to Sharnessa's wedding! Finally got that done! Her and Sam's wedding is 5 weeks from today! And Tory and Chrissy's is one week and two hours later!
;-) We are currently working on invitations for theirs! (I'm only
helping with theirs; was actually in charge of Sharn's.)
One has NO idea until one is looking directly into the eyes of one's future children-in-law exactly HOW that is going to feel when one looks at them! I have to tell you that, for me, it is WONDERFUL ~ on both counts: with Tory's Chrissy, and with Sharnessa's Sam. One evening last week, as Chrissy was getting ready to leave after we had worked on invitations (Sharnessa's and Sam's; not hers!), she asked me "When do I start calling you 'Mom'?"
I said "Sweetheart, whenever YOU feel ready!" She sweetly and smilingly said "That's going to feel weird!" I said "I know; that's because the word 'Mom' already has a very special and complete meaning for you, because that's what you call your OWN Mom!"
(and she has a wonderful mother!) "So it's just plain weird to share that name with another person!"
I was thinking that she would start calling me "Mom" after the wedding; hopefully RIGHT after the wedding, since that's when I'll "officially and legally" be her "Mom-in-law," but as she came to me to hug me good-bye, she said "Well, g'bye, Mom!" and it even sounded so natural coming from her that I hardly noticed it at first!
But then it hit me ~ what an honor!!! AND delight! I'm not losing a son; I've gained a DAUGHTER!
And I'm going to have a hard time calling her my "daughter-in-LAW" because she's my "daughter-in-LOVE"!
Just "Daughter" for short!
I refer you to an article entitled "The Biblical S.A.T.'s of Learning" by Marilyn Howshall; one of the longer articles at my website, but also one of the very best! It's eye-opening, freeing, and WELL worth your time!
NEW AT MY WEBSITE?
Click here to see what I've added since the last Form+U+la Reflections, which came out on 6-8-00.
TIPS 'N' TONERS
Let's talk about "site" vs. "sight."... A "site" is a place you can go ~ whether it's to a physical place, like a historical site, or to a cyberistic place, like a web site. A "sight," on the other hand, is something you
see, like you can "see the sights" of a city. Now, even though a web site may be lovely to
see, it's not a "web SIGHT"; it's still a web SITE. :-)
"Whose" vs. "who's" is a very common error. Most common is the use of "who's" in place of "whose," as in "Who's cup is this?"
The reason for the confusion is that we are dealing with a "possessive" here, which typically involves an apostrophe, right?
Usually right! However NOT when we have a possessive pronoun! Words ~ pronouns ~ like "hers," "its," "theirs," etc. do NOT use an apostrophe, even though they are possessive. Understanding (and of course remembering!) this simple rule will take you miles in correctly using possessives and apostrophes. "Whose" is a bit trickier because it actually goes beyond just the possessive pronoun: "Will every person whose name starts with an S please bring a dessert?" "Whose" is definitely possessive, but no apostrophe. Just memorize it; don't try to figure it out.
;-) (Something you'll often find to be the best route when dealing with the English language!
There are certain rules, but there are also MANY exceptions!)
Charisse, one of the moms on the Sr. High Form+U+la list, wrote: "A friend of ours gave my daughter a book... somewhat like a daily devotional. I've read some other works by this man, W. Phillip Keller, and truly enjoyed them. This book is called "What is the Father Like?" This morning, my daughter let me begin reading her book. It is written with such compassion, that I thought I might share a tiny little piece of it for any to be blessed."
Here it is...
I AM THE AUTHOR
By W. Phillip Keller
I am the Author of all truth, all life. Before an event comes into being in your life I know it. I have authored it.
I am the eternal One, who has planned to disclose Myself to you. When you seek Me earnestly, when you yearn for My presence, when you long to know Me as I am in reality ~ it is because I am calling to your soul.
Yes, I call for you, and I come to you, My beloved child, because I yearn to meet you.
I await your love and childlike trust. And the more you get to know Me, the more you will trust Me.
Open your heart to Me now... just like a child. I am your Father...
and your Friend... your Companion on all the pathways of your life. I am never far away.
I am present with you, to preserve and enrich every moment of your life. For I hold in My hand all things that concern you. I have planned... I have authored... all the circumstances of your life.
All the circumstances that I authorize are intended to reveal ~ in the fabric of your life ~ that I arrange your circumstances in order to make clear to you the vast breadth of My character. I want you to know there is nothing that can happen to you that is out of My control. In everything I invite you to draw near to Me. Be very sure I am near to you. And I understand you fully!
(From Charisse again:) He meets each one of us, each child of ours right where we are at. And the exciting part is...He doesn't leave us there. Isn't God good!?!
First, Here's an idea a mom shared: "I just recently discovered the Homeschool Oasis and bought the
Form+U+la book. I'm really excited about using it and since I know I will be using it over the next 6 years, I went an extra step and, after taking the whole book apart, I put every page into a plastic sheet protector. It took two big notebooks to hold every page, but I felt like it was well worth the time to protect this investment!"
Q: ...I have pretty much gone through the book one time. I'm sure I haven't read everything yet. I will have to go back through it a lot, I'm sure, before everything sinks in. What I want to know is this: Am I understanding the idea of this correctly? I'm supposed to make up blank forms and fill it in with everything WE do, taking the "suggestions" that are listed for each class, but not necessarily using them all? I'm supposed to fill the sheets in with whatever I think is important and valuable to my children's education, right? Not that I don't think that absolutely everything on there is WONDERFUL! And I will probably be using much of the suggested material. But say I don't have all of this yet? I make blank forms for my kids, and start with what I have, or can get, and begin logging that down. RIGHT? I just want to know if I'm understanding the concept correctly at this early stage. Could someone let me know if I'm missing something, or if I'm on the right track. In the meantime, I'm continuing to read. :-) "
A: Yes, you have the basic idea! Just be sure you don't miss the "heart stuff" which is really the most vital part of my book. If you keep reading, it'll only make more and more sense, if you ask the Lord to speak to you between the lines of what you read!
Q: What I am wondering is, have any of you sat down and tried to explain why you do things differently than those who are in public school, or those who homeschool, but do "school at home"? I'm wondering if I should read some of Barb's articles with them or if this will put them on "overload" and/or bore them to death... *I* don't find Barb's writing boring!
:-) But you know ~ many times they'd rather be outside doing something than listening to me go on and on about something... like I'm doing now ~ rambling.
A: You are NOT rambling!!!!! (In fact, one of the few "rules" of this list is that NO one is allowed to use that term (rambling) or anything akin to it!!! I'm probably a bit hyper-sensitive because I tend to use a lot of words, ;-) but I put an awful lot of love and care and time into them, and I'm not going to apologize for doing so. Same with anyone on this list. If they take the time to write out a question with enough verbiage to actually give people a true idea of what's going on in their life, or if they take the time to write out a thoughtful answer, I don't call that "rambling." It's just being careful and thoughtful(!); having a
real conversation. :-)
OK, now I'll quit rambling ( ;-D ) and get on with my thoughts about explaining
Form+U+la to your kids... Other great ideas have been offered, and mine aren't much different. Get yourself a certain color highlighter or post-a-note (the tiniest size) and highlight/mark stuff that you know would benefit your teen as you read the book. Don't wait till you're all done with the book before sharing these bits and pieces with them, but do so along the way. But they need more than just understanding how
Form+U+la itself works, but what's
behind it! Just like YOU do! They need a "season of re-education and renewing of the mind" just as much as anyone because they are tied in to the same system YOU are!
That's exactly why I created a little class called "Educational Foundations" which I counted as part of their Social Studies credits. I think ours was 1/2 credit, but give it as much or as little time as is necessary for your teen to start thinking differently about education ~ just make sure it's really in their heart. If they're still saying "But, MOM, I want REAL school," then it's obvious that their "REALITY" hasn't yet changed!!!
BTW, whatever you have them read out of Form+U+la would also "count" toward this credit! If you have the new
Form+U+la (with the lovely pictures of my lovely family on the lovely cover), go to page VI-D~27 and in the first category there, third item down, you'll see
Sr. High: A Home-Designed Form+U+la (selected ch's ~ which means "chapters"). That was BEFORE I did the revision last year (1999); because of how much I have now added to it, woven in all the way through, I'd now put "selected portions" instead of "chapters." (For those of you who have the OLD
Form+U+la, the Educ. Found's class is on pages VI-B-34 and 35. You won't find
Form+U+la on there because, for some odd reason, I hadn't thought to PUT it on there yet. No idea why not. However there
are a few individual items on there that are now IN the new Form+U+la.)
Anyway, hope this all makes sense ~ and helps!
These next two questions will be answered by Donna Heck, my "list shepherdess" on the SHF-L list:
Q: Can you give an example of how you decide what 120 hours of work is? I know it would be a lot to list a whole course description, but can you give an idea?
A: (from Donna) She is welcome to do this, but if you had the book you would be able to see all of Barb's courses that she has done for her son and daughter. I used these a lot to get ideas for my courses. Much that you have asked is thoroughly explained in the
Form+U+la book. I urge you to purchase it soon and don't rely completely on the web site or this list for info. There is soooo much in the book that we really cannot do it justice. :-)
[Further answer from Barb:] AMEN!!! ;-)
Q: Also, how do you all deal with things like lab sciences and foreign language?
A: These are also covered extensively in the book. Another book I suggest for the lab science is Barb's Lab Science book. There are several articles at her web site about it, starting right here.
Q: Which should I read first, Wisdom's Way of Learning (WWOL), or Sr. High
A: [This first answer is from a mom with several children 12 and under to another mom in a similar boat:]
"If I could only select one, I think I would go with WWOL right now ~ especially if you have lots of little ones. Barb's book is EXCELLENT, from what I've heard (her children are all younger, so she hasn't read it yet), but WWOL would help you lay a firm foundation for your whole educational philosophy. And then in a year or whenever, you could purchase
"Form+U+la." Just my opinion. Also, there is much to read at Barb's site on both of these areas and there is also a WWOL loop if you're interested in more support."
A: [And this is my (Barb's) advice to those with older children:] My only concern would be whether you have an older child (too) or not. If you do, you may want to get
Form+U+la first, get your older one going on a "jumpstart plan" (instead of on a pile of work/textbooks!) which I have laid out in quite a bit of detail at the very beginning of the book. Also, all through
Form+U+la I introduce the Lifestyle of Learning (LoL) message, and then in section 7 I have a whole section on just LoL, aspects that are especially helpful if you have already started out (and gone many years) on the wrong foot and/or are just not seeing
how you could possibly do a LoL. Many people hear about it, read a little, get overwhelmed, turned off, and/or just don't understand it, and give up entirely. My writing kind of ushers people into it so that they will be less likely to misunderstand it and miss out on God's best for them ~ for many years! ... So it's really something you need to hear God on. If your children are all younger, then you should definitely start with WWOL!!! I have made up
"A Personal Guided Tour Through the Highlights of Senior High: A Home-Designed
Form+U+la" for parents with pre-highschoolers (aka "younger children"! ;-D ) Here's what I say at the beginning of that page:
"As I talk with homeschoolers with younger children, I realize that there is much in the new
Form+U+la that is completely applicable to them. However, I haven't felt comfortable just handing them a copy and telling them to read it because there is also much in there that they don't need right now ~ that they'd have to sift through, and at the risk of getting overwhelmed. So I went through the book with a fine-tooth comb and designed a "Personal Guided Tour" through the book which serves as an excellent "open door" into our ministry for anyone with children from "in utero" up through right-before-high-school-age. It's also good for family and friends who just want to know the heart 'n' soul of what we do, and why and how we do it. My hope is that it will be more than just "informational," but that you will also find it edifying, eye-opening, and encouraging."
I'd like to refer you to Dennis Peterson's "Unlocking the Mysteries of Creation" taped seminar and book which are both on my "Resources for Sr./Jr. High" page at my website. It's not quite halfway down the page.
SEASON OF RE-EDUCATION & RENEWING OF THE MIND
section is very long in this issue. If you have not yet put yourself
through such a season, I hope you'll take some time to thoughtfully read
Q: What is the price to take the parent's course from you?
A: This totally depends on how many of the resources you have on hand or can borrow. If you have to buy it all, it'll cost quite a bit more than probably any of the other courses. (in WA)
Q: What is the length that the course takes to complete?
A: This depends on how quick of a reader you are and how fast you proceed through everything. Any of the other courses (offered in WA state) will be faster.
:-) This is not cheap or quick. It's an in-depth season designed to change your thinking, deepen your relationship with God, help you apply that to homeschooling, and equip you to "do it God's way." ;-)
Q: Do you give a certificate at the end?
A: Yes. But that means pretty close to nothing to anyone other than someone who feels they need to "qualify" to homeschool here in Wash. state. My certificate does not make you "certificated" like a teacher. I don't even
want it to!
Q: I have heard and read about this "season" of life that we need to go through. How long does it take? How do you know you are truly done with it? I take it the season involves a lot of reading and "educating" of the mom? I feel like my life is in a state of limbo and change: homeschooling, looking for a new church home (sigh), thinking over what truly are our priorities for our family and children, learning to relax more, learning to "hear" the Lord like I should, learning to not run ahead, etc. I struggle so much with obedience sometimes in some issues and self discipline too. I feel like a poor example to my kids so often. It almost seems too late with my kids, but the Lord has a plan in all this. I need a spiritual overhaul. :)
A: I'm going to take this one section at a time...
Q: I have heard and read about this "season" of life that we need to go through.
A: In case you're reading this and don't know what this mom is talking about, go here for an intro of it.
Q: How long does it take?
A: Go here.
Q: How do you know you are truly done with it?
A: You never will be. But you WILL be far enough along that you'll sense a deep FREEDOM to function as you sense the Lord is leading you, and you will be seeing and feeling GOOD FRUIT in your home and your own life.
Q: I take the season involves a lot of reading and "educating" of the mom?
A: Absolutely! Read this article for more on this!
Q: I feel like my life is in a state of limbo and change: homeschooling, thinking over what truly are our priorities for our family and children, learning to relax more, learning to "hear" the Lord like I should, learning to not run ahead, etc. I struggle so much with obedience sometimes in some issues and self discipline too. I feel like a poor example to my kids so often. It almost seems too late with my kids, but the Lord has a plan in all this. I need a spiritual overhaul. :-)
A: And that is EXACTLY what this season is all about!
And here is part of an ongoing conversation with a precious mom:
Q: I am hoping that this is something I can do financially...
A: You don't need to buy everything at one time! And you can borrow whatever you can from friends! More on this here.
Q: Other than doing the parent course for homeschool, do you have kids do an actual homeschool program through you?
A: No I don't. That's something YOU get to do! ;-)
Q: I mean, we checked into doing a homeschool program through a Christian School in our area that would keep track of progress, we would meet with a teacher, etc. Do you do that program or help the parent in doing that type of thing? Or do you just teach the parent part of
A: I just help the parent. hope you will not rush into such a program before going through the course!
You will feel SOOOO differently about EVERYthing after doing so! People who think they can't afford the course have NO idea how much more they will spend even in just ONE year if they
don't! And most of the cost of my course is just going toward BOOKS that you will KEEP in your own library!
We only get a $15 course enrollment fee and that's for the certificate, mailing it, and some record keeping!
The rest is for BOOKS that you can even buy elsewhere if you want!
[I'm including this next part here even though this is a newsletter for high school only because I know there are a few with younger children, and many of you also know moms in this boat.]
Q: I am a young mother and each stage of their little lives is very new and kind of
scary. Now I am approaching the school stage, and I want my little one to have the very best, which is not public school.
I would love to homeschool all the way through, but could I do it realistically?
A: Absolutely!!! All you need is a heart to SEEK and OBEY the Lord!!!
Q: Is it depriving my children of interaction with other kids? Do they benefit more from being home or at a regular school?
A: Please read this, and this, and
this at my website!
Q: Many questions go through my mind...
A: And I have a feeling that every single one of them is going to get answered in this course!
;-) Having worked (and played!) with homeschoolers for almost 18 years now, and having been one myself all that time (still am!), I think I probably know every single question that has ever been asked!
And that's not pride! It's just EXPERIENCE! I haven't heard a NEW question in many years!
;-D You are in for a lot of wonderful freedom and joy, dear sis!
It won't just come to you; you have to seek it. That's how God has set it up to work!
"Seek, and ye will find; knock, and the door will be opened." He WILL show you all that you are seeking to know!
And how wonderful that you are doing this while your children are YOUNG, before you have lost much precious time! So MANY come to me, ready to really
hear only YEARS after wasting much precious time, seeing bad fruit in their children that is SO much more difficult to FIX than it ever would have been to do it right in the first place!
Q: I want to be sooooo protective, yet fair as well.
A: As I tell my children, "FAIR" has nothing to do with it! ;-D
Mom, your only "requirement" is to follow HARD after the Lord! Everything else falls in place after that!!!
Q: Education is sooooo important, I don't want to mess this up for my children.
A: The only way you could mess it up is by NOT getting GOD's heart on it! You can certainly do it without ME!
But my course is designed for those who just don't know which books to read or how to sort it all out!
IN'S AND OUT'S
Some moms prefer the content-based credit rather than the time-based credit.
Time, in their opinion, is meaningless because some people just take longer than others.
I feel that, even if not going with the time-based approach to earning credits, time still has something to do with the assigning of a credit, only it's more "behind the scenes."
If we are going to have a credit-based framework at all, then "time" is a part of it. It doesn't become meaningless just because we aren't using that approach; it just doesn't become the "whole point."
Even in a content-based credit, time should be considered, or the whole system becomes meaningless.
Here's what I mean...
What moms have been doing thus far is they have decided how much time a thing
ought to take, or how... (see below...)
...I present different options for designing a framework in my new Form+U+la. (I was aware of only one back when I first wrote
Form+U+la, and was thankful to have even that, as NO one was doing high school on ANY basis OTHER than "PACES"!)
Section VI-A~1 through 13. I first present all the options (that I'm aware of up through the present), and then I present what each of those systems "looks like" laid out and documented, with the Master Plan on the left, a sample "class" on the right.
Q: Our oldest daughter has been studying sign language as her "foreign language" requirement and really enjoys it. We had decided on your standard amount of hours for credit completion and were satisfied with her progress. We recently sat down to see how things are going, and, since she was quite short on hours, thought it might be good to contact the local community college and see what they have to offer. We haven't been able to find any other classes for her to take and I am at my knowledge and skill limits in this subject (actually, she passed me a long time ago!) Anyway, after completing her "interview" (in sign) we were thrilled to know the recommendation was that she would be able to pass over the first 2 classes and could go into an "interpreter" course if she likes. I shared this info with her daddy and now our question is how many credits, if any, should we award her? Technically, she has not taken very many classes and I guess we didn't keep track of all her study time and practice time. But if she could begin college-level courses, she obviously has reached a good level of proficiency. We want to be sure we don't give her a "free ride" here but want to have her records/transcript reflect her accomplishments thus far. Thoughts or ideas?
A: Patti (on the SHF-L list) answered: If it were my daughter, I would award the same amount of credit that would be given for the first 2 classes. Remember, a high schooler earning college credit earns high school credits much more quickly than college credits. I don't know exactly what the ratio is, but I do know that if my daughter goes through Running Start (college program for high school juniors and seniors; called "Dual Enrollment" in other states) for 2 years, she will have enough credits to earn a high school diploma (which would take 4 years in high school, obviously).
A: [More from Barb:] When I was in college they had what they called "challenging a course." If you knew the stuff and could pass the test, then you could get the credit. This is one totally valid option, but, as always, consider what is the most "profitable" thing for your student? Do they need to get credit? Or do they need to spend more time in profitable pursuits? If you give them credit only so that they will spend more time in vain pursuits, then I would hesitate to give them credit. Only YOU know your child and what is their true need at any given time! One choice is not right and the other wrong; just "what is right for HIM or HER, for right NOW?" (Also, just for further reference, see my article on this.)
I just found out about Milligan's ~ a company that sells diplomas! Considering they
personalize them just for you, and come in a blue padded leatherette cover, I think the price (a standard one is $28.95) is very reasonable. They also sell caps, gowns, and tassels! Their number is 1-800-544-4696. Email:
This is from Charisse on the SHF-L List:
''I'm enjoying the Form+U+la book soooo much. I'm stirred up and excited. Even Josiah (my wonderful 16-year-old) was looking at it with me yesterday and asking what kind of "fun" stuff could we do and plan for the fall. (We only do Bible study, devotions, and fun reading in the summer.) It was one of the few times he showed genuine interest. He even told me he would be glad to help teach Alycia (14 yrs.) her history this year which is soooo cool, because Josiah, like his father, loves history and can make it seem to come alive ~ right off the page. Reading your book has been like a breath of fresh air. I haven't inhaled it all yet, but I know it is one of my MAIN resources from here on out. I'm no longer even feeling "burdened" about some record keeping. It's nice to feel like this isn't so overwhelming."
FROM MY UTMOST FOR HIS HIGHEST
Here's something that doesn't have a lot to do with homeschooling ~ or does it? The prayer in the section that follows is an excellent follow-up to this section of June 25's passage:
"We say that there ought to be no sorrow, but there is sorrow, and we have to accept and receive ourselves in its fires. If we try to evade sorrow, refusing to deal with it, we are foolish. Sorrow is one of the biggest facts in life, and there is no use in saying it should not be. Sin, sorrow, and suffering
are, and it is not for us to say that God has made a mistake in allowing them.
"Sorrow removes a great deal of a person's shallowness, but it does not always make that person better. Suffering either gives me to myself or it destroys me. You cannot find or receive yourself through success, because you lose your head over pride. And you cannot receive yourself through the monotony of your daily life, because you give in to complaining. The only way to find yourself is in the fires of sorrow. Why it should be this way is immaterial. ... You can always recognize who has been through the fires of sorrow and received himself, and you know that you can go to him in your moment of trouble and find that he has plenty of time for you. ... If you will receive yourself in the fires of sorrow, God will make you nourishment for other people."
(And I, Barb, would add: ~ even, if not especially, for your family!)
The following prayer reveals incredible insight to taking up our cross and following Jesus...
by Patti Fisher
One day as I spoke to the Lord in prayer,
I gave Him this heartfelt request:
That He would remove my deep suffering from me,
this heartache and burden and test.
I just knew I could be more service to Him,
if only my strength He'd renew.
And my heart would so willingly heed His command;
His will and His work I would do.
The answer was clear in His loving response:
'Oh, My child, if you only could see
That this suffering and pain is a part of the plan
to help you become more like Me,
For if I had not suffered, then you would be lost.
My prison of pain set you free.
Your salvation was won when I died on the cross
and the guilt of your sin died with Me.
This trial is not meant to burden you down,
but to teach that to Me you must cling.
This suffering for you is a crown, not a cross,
for it's proof you're a child of the King.
My grace is sufficient to meet all your needs.
Just trust Me, secure in My love,
My strength in your weakness becomes stronger still
and peace will descend from above.
I know very well of the pain that you bear.
My heart aches to see your distress.
Just know that I love you and will meet your need,
if only in Me you will rest.
Do not be afraid; I am always with you.
You're safe in the palm of My hand.
Whatever your trial, you can be assured by Me
it was lovingly planned.'
I raised up my head, which so low had been bowed,
and the joy in my heart knew no end.
'Lord, I praise You so much that You cared about me
enough for this trial to send.
For I see that it's just further proof of Your love;
Your way is most perfect, indeed.
Teach me that the clay to the potter must yield,
and You, Lord, are all that I need.'"
Copyright 1999 by Barbara Edtl Shelton; as follows:
Permission is granted to reprint anything in this newsletter in a not-for-profit
to copy it to give to a friend (or mere acquaintance) provided that
is used in its entirety and credit given as follows:
Used with permission from Barb Shelton. Website address: