Introductions Thread (Come say hi.)

(Rydona Te) #21

This particular group is for kids as young as 5. There was the aforementioned 6 page 12pt font statement of faith affirmation that we must sign and agree to, a testimony of how my husband and I came to Christ, and only after that will be the home interview. Followed by a one year probationry period during which we can be excommunicated at will, and only then can we wait list for tier 2 membership.

Getting into seminary school and getting baptised were much easier.

I am not a leader type. But this really leaves me with no choice.

What kinda of things are offered at a co-op? I’m so new at this whole thing.

How to start or find a local support group?
(Carrie) #22

Hi, I’m a 2nd generation homeschooler and extremely enthusiastic to have discovered this forum!

My kids are in the dinosaur phase. They are 6 and 3.5.

I was raised in awe of Ken Ham. My family (homeschoolers/missionaries) attended his seminars and chirped “Were you there?” at any whiff of evolution in books and tv programs. Young earth creationism was a significant part of my Christian identity. (This was in central WA state btw)

In college I met people who were Jesus lovers who didn’t believe that the earth was young. Most influential was my biology major roommate (I was studying English lit) who happened to be a Hugh Ross fan. She regularly got materials from Reasons to Believe. I ate them up. My viewpoint began to change. At this point I’d consider myself an evolutionary creationist. It was a gradual shift; but my death grip on Genesis loosened bit by bit.

I now reside in Boise Idaho and enjoy a robust homeschooling culture here. Unfortunately, the co-ops I’ve looked into use YEC materials exclusively and the state convention has workshops in the same vein. I have not needed to “out” myself as a believer in evolution yet, simply because my kids are very young, but I know it is in my near future as I search for a group. I’ve used some Sonlight materials with my kids but for the most part we are unschooled at this point. I do have a degree in education and an endorsement in library media. I taught in public schools for several years before having kids. I left a ‘dream job’ as a librarian to stay home with my babies.

I look forward to learning and contributing to this forum! I’m not a scientist or a theologian, but I’m an educator and a lifelong learner. Thankful to have found you!

(Mervin Bitikofer) #23

Hi, Carrie – glad you’ve found some good community here! I’m not official here or anything (and not even a homeschooler :worried:), but I am an enthusiastic Christian educator. I hope that’s close enough for occasional fellowship here. I guess maybe you’ve been hanging out here a while and probably don’t need introductions, but I just wanted to let you know I resonate with your passions towards kids (especially your own!) and being a lifelong learner. My own two sons are both undergraduates in college right now [is there an emoji for panhandler complete with a ‘donate’ button?]

In any case I’ve always enjoyed this forum for its wildly unrestrictive participation (but not completely out of control --thanks, moderators). But it is quite a contrast to a typical Bible study where answers are well-prescribed and carefully corralled back into the fold should any stray across a line. This can be frustratingly far the other way for people concerned about heresy and imminent lightning strikes – but, hey! It’s not like we’re all standing right next to each other, right? But I do think there is something healthy (even in the midst of existing dangers too!) of all of us feeling safe enough to bring our thoughts, be they orthodox, heretical, or just crazy to the table for other Christians to react to or even correct. There are very few Christian fellowships that are like this. (And yes, I think this qualifies as Christian fellowship even without everybody here being required to self-identify that way – we are all the richer for it.)

In any case, that’s my long welcome.


Hi Carrie! Some of us never leave that phase.

(Christy Hemphill) #25

Hi Carrie, so glad you found your way here! No science or theology degrees are required. :grin:

And just for clarification’s sake, it’s the open forum where things can be more of a theological free for all. We have asked the participants on the homeschool forum to be people who accept or are least seriously exploring the BioLogos perspective and don’t have a problem with our What We Believe statement.

(Ashley Lande) #26

@Homeschool_Forum Hello! I’m so thankful for this thread. I discovered Biologos a couple years ago and was so relieved to find it! Our family came to the Christian faith about three years ago. Before that, we were sort of adrift in a new-agey pastiche with a Brahmanistic / pantheistic view of God. What a relief to know that God is very intensely personal! I was very attracted to Biologos as not only a way to reconcile evolution with the Christian faith but also as a community of people wrestling with all the big questions!

I always wanted to homeschool. I grew up attending large suburban public schools (with the exception of high school - private Catholic all-girls) and loathed school from day one. I wanted my children to have a much different educational and formational experience than I did! I have a son, Israel, age 6 (we chose the name somewhat randomly when we were still new-agey, obviously… I love how God works) and a daughter, Arrow, age 4. Last year was our first year of homeschooling.

We are originally from Kansas City but two years ago moved to a very rural area in southeastern Colorado. The a couple months ago, we moved to a small town about forty minutes outside of Wichita. We’ve already joined a co-op here and it looks like our homeschooling support community will be much better than in Colorado, where hs’ers were quite sparse and most were YEC (though very nice people that we had playdates with - just might have been challenging to be in a co-op situation with them, had one existed, since we had some different views). Anyway, I’m so grateful this forum has been established!

(Chris Stump) #27

Welcome, Ashley! So glad you found us! I hope you and the family are enjoying what remains of the summer before you dive into school:-) And feel free to ask questions of this group. There are several pretty experienced homeschooling families here:-)

(Jen Rutkowski) #28

I am a reluctant homeschooler:). I grew up in a great public school and have been very pro public school. However, in Jan, the local public school started to rapidly become a poor fit for my second grader. He was bored and equated school as a place where he didnt learn. There is something particularly tragic about a jaded 7 yo. He would come home and try to learn as much as he could about math and science just to scratch this insatiable itch of his. And then he would spend 7 hours at school “doing nothing.”

So, after about 6 weeks of trying to figure out what to do and work with the system, we pulled him out. I promised him that he could learn as much math and science as he wanted to (I am a chemical engineer by training, so this is also my first love!). And we have not looked back. I wish we had pulled him sooner, it has been such an unexpectedly good fit for us.

Now my rising 1st grader wants to be homeschooled, as does my 4yo. I told my 1st grader that I wanted him to finish first grade at the local school, and then I would homeschool him if he still wanted it.

(Christy Hemphill) #29

@Jen.R Good for you taking into consideration the needs of each individual kid. I’m always a little skeptical when people think homeschooling, or public, or private school is the only good/rational/Christian/whatever option. Obviously different situations work for different parents and different kids at different phases of life and circumstances.

I’m a reluctant homeschooler too. We moved to rural Mexico, and there just aren’t really any other viable options. I have been enjoying it, but I am also a little daunted by how much work it is to do a good job. Like you said on the other thread, you have to actually teach stuff, and have a plan and goals and not just bake some cookies and call it math.

I was a public school teacher, as was/is my dad, brother, sister-in-law, several aunts, and cousins. I don’t have this big beef with the American education system (in functional school districts that are doing a good job, at least.) I have found the extreme reaction to things like common core standards alignment or even “textbooks” in the homeschool community to be a little mystifying. I know you can’t replicate a classroom experience in your home, and there are definitely aspects that are better not imitated, but it’s not like I’m aiming for the opposite of public school education.

I have a fourth grade boy who sounds a lot like your son. He spends all his screen time on Scratch (a site developed by MIT to teach young kids computer coding.) He asks a million questions I don’t know how to answer, and I’m constantly telling him to watch a Kahn Academy video about X. It is really amazing what curious kids can teach themselves if you point them in a direction.

Welcome to the forum!

(Mervin Bitikofer) #30

Can you send me your “bake some cookies and call it math lesson plan”? I have some students who would consider that a most attractive change of pace.:stuck_out_tongue:

(Christy Hemphill) #31

@Mervin_Bitikofer It only counts if you halve or double the recipe. Or use standard measuring cups and a metric recipe.

My AP Chem teacher had a pre-Christmas vacation lab where we synthesized a couple artificial flavors and made lollipops over bunsen burners. It was the best. :lollipop:

(Jen Rutkowski) #32

Thanks for the welcome!

I am familiar with Scratch - what an incredible tool. We just bought Lego Mindstorms which was pricey, but a huge hit. And it uses a programming platform similar to Scratch. I am so very thankful that I am homeschooling in the age of the internet. How exactly does the inner ear work? Youtube! How does the immune system in the blood work? Youtube! Want to know about the different parts of an animal cell and their functions? Youtube! My heavens. I took classes on this in college and I would have learned the concepts much quicker and more thoroughly if I could have watched a 20min video on the lipid layer or mitochondria or whatever. And as a result, my 8yo has a better functional understanding of this and much more than I did, thanks to an unimaginable wealth of virtually free resources.

Plus, the beauty of science curriculum in elementary school is that you can pretty much cover whatever you want as long as you cover something. Science education is woefully lacking in traditional elementary schools, so we are free to pursue our areas of interest without “falling behind.” Or at least that has been my albeit limited experience.

(Mervin Bitikofer) #33

You just brought that up so you could use the lollipop emoji! That does sound like a great lab, though! I’ve never synthesized any artificial flavors before --that sounds pretty advanced.

(Mervin Bitikofer) #34

Not to knock “Scratch” – I’m pretty impressed with it myself, but another alternative for those who have dabbled in the free (and now very user-friendly) Linux operating system shells like Ubuntu, there is “Kturtle”. It’s a bit more typing-based than the click-and-drag Scratch, but for that very reason it also gives a great feel for fun graphical programming in a simple environment.

(Christy Hemphill) #35

My father-in-law delegated his Christmas shopping to his new lady-friend last Christmas and she was not clued in to the typical price range (there are only five grandkids and two are babies) and she got my son Lego Mindstorms. He was so ecstatic. This book has been really helpful for him.

The internet definitely beats the second-hand encyclopedia set I was always referred to as a child.

(Jen Rutkowski) #36

Can your FIL add my son to his Christmas list?:joy: Thanks for the book recommendation. Ordering it now! I know so little about computer programming, other than the one C++ class I took in college (and hated).

We are LEGOland members (a real hard knock life we live in SoCal), and they have a 45 min Mindstorms class for kids in 3rd grade and up. I cannot wait to take my son to it.

(Jen Rutkowski) #37

I have not heard of Kturtle - thanks!

(Ashley Lande) #38

Christy, I am jealous that your kids are in an immersive foreign language environment - although I’m sure there are plenty of hardships involved! I am trying to learn Spanish along with my 6- and 4-year-old. I have a Skype lesson once a week with a Nicaraguan woman I had the good fortune of meeting through an old neighbor when she visited the States. How are your children handling living where they are not native speakers of the language? Or am I assuming too much - do they already speak Spanish? I took one year of French and then five years of Latin in school, and I really regret not intensively studying a living language.

I am also wary of those who are absolutely certain that any educational option is the “right” one or the “Christian” one. This is definitely one of those “disputable matters” where some attempt to dogmatize their own choice and though I love and am a big fan of homeschooling for a number of reasons (and am slightly biased because I mostly loathed my own public school experience), I believe in grace for many different decisions! I have friends whom I admire deeply as parents who send their kids to public schools.

(Christy Hemphill) #39

Hi Ashley. Sorry it has taken me a while to get back to you. Every couple weeks I do field work where there is limited or no internet.

The oldest (11) is very social and highly motivated to have friends, so she can handle conversational Spanish pretty well. We are working through a Spanish 1 text book to hit on the grammar points she doesn’t pick up on just by participating.

The middle one is a boy, (9) very introverted, and could care less if he can ever communicate with anyone. When we are in Spanish speaking environments, I’m pretty sure he just thinks about other things and tunes it all out. It is amazing how little he understands after living here three years. We are trying to be more proactive about teaching some at home.

The youngest girl (8) usually refuses to speak Spanish to us, though evidently she does with other people who don’t speak English. I get the impression she understands way more than she lets on.

We also spend time in an indigenous area where most of the children and many of the adults speak very little Spanish, so all the kids know basic politeness phrases in that language.

It will be interesting to see how it all turns out. A really good book I read on bilingualism and children was by Colin Baker. I think it was called A Parents’ and Teachers’ Guide to Bilingualism. It was helpful in that it pointed out that total bilingualism is really rare unless you live in a bilingual society.

¡Buena suerte en tus estudios!

(Bruce Holt) #40

Hi Rydona,

I’m sorry I haven’t had time to contribute to the forum as much as I had hoped to this summer, but I have been reading faithfully, and your story stuck with me. I have been praying for you and your family.

How is it going with the new co-op idea? I’d love to hear an update if you are willing to share it.


p.s. - As the forum’s geography nerd, I was quite pleased to learn through your story about Oshawa—a city I wasn’t previously familiar with.