Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Still Homeschooling the Old-Fashioned Way? You betcha...

In the last month or two, I’ve been receiving emails - at least one per week - from a well known and popular homeschool magazine. The emails are from the president of the magazine, advertising a new way to homeschool. The subject line of the email reads. “Are you still homeschooling the old-fashioned way?”

Wrong inbox to send to…

I’m Christian, I homeschool, and I so some marketing.

This one broke all my rules.

First of all, here’s a short marketing lesson: There are several kinds of marketing. One is clean, in my opinion, it doesn’t make the customer feel bad or pressured, it simply gives them a choice banking on their intelligence to choose correctly for their particular purposes. Another kind is dirty marketing, in my opinion. It plays on negative emotions and creates need in your life.

Here’s a few examples we're all familiar with:
One advertisement you’ll recognize easily is a commercial for dentists. Not all of them, but many say things like “Avoid cavities, see your dentist every three months!” This implies that you will get cavities if you don’t go to your dentist often. For some people with unusual dental issues, this is true; but for the majority of the population, this is a created need and the fear motivator is you will suffer if you don’t.

Another marketing ploy is to play on someone’s lust. They create a situation making you feel like you don’t have something and then supply the fix for a price. You see a mild version of this in commercials for bubble bath. They show a harried woman with children and laundry surrounding her. The created need is for more time to herself free from responsibility. The answer is the bubble bath to give her some time in that magic land of me, myself and I. It says you aren’t getting enough time alone and then it supplies the bubble bath to give it to you.

Another plays on self worth; you need this hair color because you are worth it. This plays on pride. So if you are worth it, you’ll use that product and the implication is everyone who doesn’t, isn’t feeding their self-worth.

Imagine my surprise when this sort of dirty marketing, arrived in my inbox from a respected Christian homeschool magazine? And about homeschool itself!

I expect Christian homeschool products to be free from worldly influence as much as possible without nitpicking. This was definitely glaring.

Before I even opened the first email so many alarms went off in my brain.

1. I must be homeschooling the old-fashioned way (whatever that is)
2. I must be tired of it
3. I’m somehow not caught up with the times or other homeschoolers because I’m “still” homeschooling the old fashioned way…whatever that is.

This created the fictional situation that I’m homeschooling badly, that I’m probably tired of it and why the heck don’t I catch up to everyone else, which plays on a person’s fear of comparison, not keeping up with the Jones’ and fear of inadequacy. Comparison is rooted in jealousy which is rooted in adultery according to scripture.

Then I opened this email to find out what the old-fashioned way actually is… not a happy moment for this 18 year homeschool advocate veteran.

And an even bigger surprise coming from a Christian homeschool magazine whose market branding supposedly is to support traditional Biblical values and Biblical homeschooling.

What the email said is old-fashioned, implying out-dated, is actually anti-biblical…big surprise there after the dirty marketing.

The advertisement is for an online homeschool designed by a Christian homeschooling family and for so many dollars a month I can homeschool the NEW way, keep up with the Jones’ and not be tired of homeschooling, oh and get results I never could get using the old way…

as if I was tired or inadequate or lacking good results in my old homeschool…

and hundreds of my fellow co-laboring parents are enjoying the NEW homeschool and having marvelous results.

I bet they are...

I wrote the president a polite note reminding her a homeschool is defined by the parents teaching their children, not some other parents teaching their children, according to the Bible. I’m not tired of homeschooling and I don’t need the new way of homeschooling which is just a thinly veiled disguise for a private school. It’s no different than the public or private schools I’m avoiding by teaching my children myself. The only thing different for this school is they don’t have to look at my children and perhaps deal with behavioral issues. The only thing different for me if I put them in this online school is I wouldn’t have to cart them around to any building except my own.

It’s a win-lose, they get my money and I get my children a private education and a much needed nap for myself which are things I gladly gave up long ago for the joy of teaching my children myself at home.

So many things that say they are Christian, aren’t. So many companies that say they are promoting traditional Christian homeschool values are being infiltrated by the desire to make more money and recently specifically geared to grabbing the homeschool dollar. Why else would a homeschooling magazine promoting homeschool buy into this false advertising and false homeschool?

It’s bizarre.

Now I’m sure there’s a place for an online school for some families. But let’s not call it homeschool or the new homeschool. Yes, it’s school at home but it’s not homeschool as defined by the Bible. Does that make it wrong, maybe not for some. As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.

I haven't received a return email.  Let's hope it's because repentance is taking place and the emails are getting pulled.  This same woman was quick to answer a friend's concerns about other questionable things a few years ago.  We'll see if she's maintaining her previous or rather old-fashioned standards.

Next week I'll give my opinion on the homeschool dollar, the companies who lust after it, and what they are doing to get you to feed their cravings.

photo credits:

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Custody Battle

The pagan god Justice
I know what you’re thinking, whose kids are in the crossfire now? Even in our modern day we understand someone is fighting for control and someone is resisting. Two parents.

There’s the general topic of Satan vs. Jesus in the classic custody battle. We were the children of darkness, now we are the children of light and Satan wants us back. But this is not about that battle, well, not directly. This is about another that rages in the hearts of men, far more insidious and cruel, carrying greater consequences. This is the custody battle we have with God when we want control over someone else. It doesn’t sound pretty does it? And right about now you’re probably chuckling to yourself thinking, Aha, this isn’t about me, I never have this problem.

Hmm, said the new man to the old man nature…it’s time to kill the beast.

Have you ever noticed that God is big on boundaries? Many people don’t realize just how many boundaries he has. The greatest of these is parentage. God is parent. You step over his parentage and you’ll be wishing you could turn back the hands of Time. The problem comes when you receive consequences and don’t know why. I’m willing to bet a lot of folks get burnt who never even saw the electrical fence they busted through. The meaning of ‘lacking understanding’ becomes clear in those instances. It’s always a question of lordship in one way or another. It’s still the same lie the enemy promoted to Eve way back when.

There isn’t a week that goes by that I don’t hear about some authority figure doing something wrong. This is not new; it’s all over the Bible starting with Genesis. And Ezekiel 34 practically screams off the pages these days. Plug in any political figure you can think of. So what does God say about these bad puppies? David had Saul. Saul wanted to kill him, for crying out loud. I used to think David was so brave and compassionate, so utterly righteous that he didn’t kill Saul when he had the chance. I don’t feel that way anymore. Now I think it was David’s penchant for lordship that made him cut Saul’s garment and lord it over the King of Israel. So, does this mean we are relegated to knuckling under the Saul’s in our lives? How can we lessen that sentence?

I think the answer is in David’s blunder. He took vengeance in that act. Oh, it wasn’t the vengeance due him, the old man nature cries, so it was ok to take a little vengeance, right? Hell, no… David took custody when custody belongs to the parent. Was David Saul’s parent or his king? No. Perhaps his time in flight and the caves of Israel would have been much shorter if he handed custody over to God where it belonged in the first place. It was that act of taking lordship over Saul when he cut his robe, that finally made him realize his sin, that he was stretching his hand against the Lord’s own. Nothing like waking up in vomit…

Maybe then he stopped talking bad about the king to his entourage of criminals, who had their own authority issues. Maybe then he stopped pitying himself and felt compassion for Saul, the human plagued by an evil spirit that David originally tried to heal. Maybe then he stopped thinking of all the ways he could do it better and tried to see what God wrought in his mentor for him. Maybe then he stopped relishing the thought that the man’s own ally (son) betrayed him and David chose to stop betraying God.

It was absolutely then that he finally understood the lesson. Custody belongs to God. Man, I’d like to have been privy to his prayers that night.

Don’t we love all those things about David when we’re in the throes of bitterness?! Of course we do, they justify our position. After all, David was supposed to be king, and, ugh, Saul should get out of the way! Makes you wonder if David’s later problems stemmed from all that. Not that he wasn’t a great guy, a phenomenal leader, but his mistakes teach us to avoid his errors.

Do you have an authority figure trying to kill you? Let him do it, spiritually speaking. Die to self. Give custody back to God. I’ve seen errant husbands and wicked pastors wake up quickly when Jesus visited them, once everyone else got out of the way. It’s a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. Be aware, God will keep you in that relationship or another equally irritating one until you get your spiritual ducks in a row. Find out what he’s trying to teach you. There’s nothing like an unrighteous leader to expose the weakness in your own soul. Submit to the lessons and you’ll be rewarded for a lifetime. Resist God and you’ll be complaining for the rest of your life about someone somewhere.

Is the custody battle between you and God rather than Satan and God? It means you bought the lordship lie somewhere. You aren’t alone, we all do it sometime. God will rescue you when he feels the need to do so, but if you keep trying to be him, he can’t do a thing. Here’s the way out. Give up the custody battle. Step back and let God be the parent. You’ll be happy you did and free from all the junk that goes with trying to control. Here’s to your freedom, not from the awful authority figure in your life, God will take care of that, but from the tyranny of your old man nature. Aren’t you glad that beast is dead now?

Wickedness, when you examine it, turns out to be the pursuit of some good in the wrong way. C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity, page 50.

photo credits:

Thursday, August 5, 2010

It's Here! Autism Epidemic: Shaking the System

by Lea Schizas & Litsa Kamatero
Cover Art by Delilah K. Stephans

$3.99 in the US
$5.99 outside the US

Click the title to go to an ordering page.

If you don't have a Kindle (very expensive.. although recently they came out with a less expensive version) go to Amazon's Kindle page. There you can download their "Kindle for PC" for free. No cost at all. It installs on your pc, laptop, and/or netbook in seconds. There are downloads available for other apps as well. Unfortunately Kindle keeps a corner on the market by only allowing their own books on it, sigh... but the other ereader companies also have free ereaders for pc's and you can read a number of files on them. Nook is Barnes & Noble's ereader. They also have the free ereader for pc and they use universal ereader files so you can put other downloads on it and you're not limited to Barnes & Noble content. Other ereaders use universal files as well. Some others to research if you're planning to buy one, Kobo, Borders, Sony Ereader, Nook and Jetbook.

Enjoy, everyone, and thank you, Lea and Litsa for putting your time and effort into this for all of us.

From Lea Schizas:

Autism Epidemic, Shaking the system is an inspirational book with personal stories and helpful information, not only for families affected by autism but as an autism awareness platform to sensitize the general public and offer them an insight as to what autism is and its impact on families.

Table of Contents

Out of the Wild–Poem by Litsa Kamateros
Authors’ Note
Foreword: Sarah Lalla Moyal, BSc, CCN
A Mother’s Reflection

Chapter One: Lost in Bureaucratic Red Tape
A Parent’s Ray of Hope
Brittany’s Story

Chapter Two: Guide for Parents
What is Autism?
Speculations Abound
Early Warning Signs
Understanding Autism and Its Symptoms
In the Meantime

Chapter Three: Therapies
Social Skills
Hybabaric Oxygen Therapy
Chelation Therapy
Occupational Therapy (OT)
Floortime Therapy
‘Miracle Cures’ Helpful Tips
Tiny Soldiers 21st Century Battle
Anderson’s Story

Chapter Four: Parental Motivational Guide
It’s Time for School
The Isolated Sibling
Ten Signs To Look For in Autism
She’s All I’ve Got

Chapter Five: Ongoing Research & Controversies
Mitochondrial Dysfunction
Biomedical Intervention
Environmental Factors
The One – The Only One
Jackson’s Story

Chapter Six: Coping Stresses
Diagnosis: Shock, Grief, Denial
Waiting List: What Do I Do Next?
Social Stigmas
Parental Determination
Matthew’s Story
My Brother…My Soul
Lucas’s Story – A Grandparent’s Perspective

Chapter Seven: Educational Value
Questions from Parents
Spencer’s Story – A Grandparent’s Perspective

Chapter Eight: Personal Reflections from the Authors
Victor’s Story
Shaking the System Autism Oath
Medical Professionals & Government Officials Oath
There Will Come A Day
List of Resources