Tuesday, January 24, 2017

How do you like school?

How Do You Like School?
My sleeping herb garden out the back kitchen French doors.

Winter has settled into a routine. I’ve been ministering to my family. Dean’s mother went to be with Jesus. Some of the extended family gathered here for hugs, to remember Mom and to watch old family-movies taken by Dean’s grandfather in the 1950s. Sweet memories.

This post is a gentle warning.
Gentle, because I omit the list of terrible snares that young people are falling into today. But it is a warning, just-the-same.

Three days a week, I do physical therapy exercises, here at home, in my efforts to manage the chronic pain of peripheral neuropathy. Best of all, P.T. has enabled me to bend my back far enough sit on the floor and play with my littlest grandchild. And I'm able to keep our baseboards free of dust.

Morning sun gives the best light for dusting yards and yards of baseboards. 

While I exercise, I listen to Christian radio. Between songs is a two-minutes broadcast for parents and youth leaders. Like-it-or-not, I’ve been made aware of the multiplicity of problems that exist in teen culture today. I said to the Man-of-the-House, “How can I bear listening to yet another broadcast about youth culture? It's horrible. It's overwhelmingly sad.”

What makes it upsetting is that we know teens who are experiencing these dark attitudes and behaviors. Their parents have asked us to pray. I’ve done so with a heavy-heart this winter. I've also acted outside my comfort zone. Earlier this month, I typed a letter in the “Contact Us” window of CPYU Center for Parent/Youth Understanding, the ministry that provides the two-minute radio piece and a newsletter. I've never done anything like this before.

Here’s the gist of it.

Dear Sir
I've been hearing Walt Mueller's excellent short, informative pieces about youth culture, on the Christian radio, for nearly 2 years.

I'm old enough to have witnessed results of teens who attend public high school. Even teens who sit in youth-group every Sunday falter morally. The social engineering of the leftist-agenda/curriculum, as well as the peer-hierarchy-environment, along with hours spent with sensational entertainment/media, seem to be insurmountable influences. 

The little quilt is called "Cherry Baskets" and will one day be for a granddaughter.
Statistics claim 80% of children of Christian parents do not return to the church. Is it that they do not come to know our loving Savior in a personal way? Do they not see the need for Christ’s atonement for their sins while young? Or are they pulled in too many directions? Anyway, it's heart-breaking for parents. We know because some have shared their deep sorrow with us.

In the 1970s my husband was a youth group leader. He saw how little involved parents were with their teens. They didn’t seem to know them. Thus, they heavily depended on others for bringing up their children, and for leading them to Christ.

Forewarned, I decided to home teach ours. What have I observed over 30 years? I’ve noticed within my circle of friends, that the biggest problems of youth culture are happily absent in children home taught through high school.

1) High-school-age homeschool students have acquired the habit of self- education. They are not bored. 

2) They are well-read and express themselves with clarity, orally and in writing.

3) In humility their ears are open to the counsel of the Word of God.

4) Joy and reverence are attitudes that accompany their walk with God.

5) They maintain a close relationship with their parents and siblings.

6) They are comfortable relating to people of all ages.

7) They smile and have a sense of humor.

8) They understand the true meaning of "courtesy" found in the Golden Rule of Jesus. They practice purity in preparation for marriage.

9) They are patriotic and know their history.

10) They entertain wide and varied interests - (commercial and volunteer) - interests that have little to do with teen-fads – especially fads that are self-destructive, dark and dangerous. And they are not afraid of a little hard work. 

Home educating families do not live in isolation. Networking, support groups, conferences, co-ops, orchestra, field trips, etc., are accessible in many communities. Home-taught-teens have opportunities, too, to look outside themselves with acts of service, such as baby-sitting, singing or playing an instrument at a nursing home, etc. A short hop on-line will show what modern research reveals about homeschooling. One article (unintentionally) debunks the misleading stereotype of the homeschooler: "18 Reasons Why Doctors and Lawyers Homeschool Their Children" by Kathleen Berchelmann, M.D.

I enjoyed all the hand-quilting I stitched into it of a comfortable size. 
Won't you make homeschooling one of your helpful suggestions for Christian parents sometime? It has such immense advantages that I don't understand why it is ignored. Why keep homeschooling a secret? It is a wonderful alternative to the pressures and perversions of public school. Perhaps you have already addressed it somewhere at CPYU but I’ve missed it. We've seen that sending teens off to be immersed in the highly captivating youth culture of public school (of which you speak) is a situation greatly counter-productive to whatever little time a student and parent have left-over to discuss the Biblical worldview, etc.*1

What did our Lord Jesus say about the children (who are on loan to us)? "Hinder them not." Therefore, should we immerse them in a youth culture that is grounded in a godless-mindset that would be a stumbling block for them, while thinking: It won't happen to my child?

My dream was to knit a pinefore for Eloise. I saw this realized this January.
 Perhaps, some spiritually mature teens do survive. But my husband says, for every one that seems to come out okay, a hundred do not. I am so saddened to see how teen culture has found its way into the church, that I had to write CPYU. I've been listening to you. And the myriad of gruesome problems that parents are suppose to be aware of and/or talk about with their teens. Thanks, this time, for listening to me.     Karen Andreola

I like this in-the-round seam-free pattern. I went bananas over the cute ruffle. 
 [Addendum: I received a reply with the perspective of CPYU shortly after my letter was read.]

 Too Polite
“How are things,” I asked a mother several years ago. We stood in the church hallway. She looked nervous.
 “Oh, you haven’t heard? Barbara and Greg (not their real names) decided they wanted to attend public high school to be with their friends.”
 “No, I haven’t heard,” is all I said, trying to keep my smile-muscles from weakening. My private thoughts were, your children decide what’s best for them? And, this is placing a very high priority on friends.

I finished hand-quilting my Northern Star quilt in William Morris fabric. 
I had this same sort-of-conversation with another mother who told me her children decided they wanted to attend the big public high school. In both instances, I stood staring, dumbly until the subject was changed. After all, I thought, my opinion isn’t being called for. I was too polite. I bit my lip. And now I wish I hadn’t. I could at least have posed two questions. One about peer-pressure/counsel. The other about the atheist/socialist-curriculum/counsel. I wish I could report the years proved my forebodings incorrect about these children. What can be sadder for the parent who discovers his child is walking in the counsel of the ungodly? *1

The Man-of-the-House read what I've written here (before I posted it). He told me that if even the mighty among us (highly-educated pastors and leaders in ministry) fall. Why do we think our fragile, impressionable young people would be immune to temptation in an anti-Christian environment?

This bird I "fussy-cut" is my favorite of the stars. 

How do you like school?
 A modern survey reveals how students feel in public high school. The top 3 responses were:

and bored.*2

Charlotte Mason says that if children do like school, it is usually for the wrong reasons. They don’t like school because they find it interesting. Or because it satisfies their craving for knowledge.

 If children like school it is because:

 . . . they delight in the stimulus of school life, in the social stir of companionship. They are . . . eager for reward and praise. They enjoy the thousand lawful interests of school life, including the attractive personality of such-and-such a teacher. But it seems doubtful whether the love of knowledge (in itself and for itself) is usually a powerful motive with the young scholar. The matter is important. Because, of all the joyous motives of school life, the love of knowledge is the only [lasting] one; the only one which determines the [measure] . . . upon which the person will hereafter live.*3

 Miss Mason also recognizes that:

 “. . . by far, the most valuable part of education is carried on in the family . . .”*4

I pinned it to the wall in the upstairs hall landing. Stairs at left. Window, right.

I think this has been true, and will be true, in every century.

Two of our grandchildren (homeschool-kids) walking back from their mailbox. 

 “Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the ungodly . . .*5

Comments are Welcome,
Karen Andreola

 End Notes
*1 Mathew 7:13,14 is one of many reasons parents home-teach through high school.
*2 USA Today “Our High School Kids: Tired, Stressed and Bored.” Pub. Oct., 2015.
 *3 Charlotte Mason, School Education, pages 245-246,
 *4 Ibid, pg 94
 *5 Psalm One is another reason.


  1. Thank you for making a stand for home schooling. I agree with everything you wrote in your letter, and I feel that home schooling through high school is of vital importance in these troubled times if we wish our teens to hold onto the values with which we raised them.

    I speak from sad experience. I allowed my oldest child to attend public school for high school because we had moved to a rural area and she was feeling isolated. Without wishing to divulge the details, I will say that the results were nothing short of heartbreaking for me as a mother. If I could, I would go back in time and keep her safe at home with me until she was old and wise enough to go out into the world and face its temptations. I will not be allowing my younger three children to attend public school.

    1. Dear Laura Jeanne, I am so sorry to hear about your precious daughter. It was brave and unselfish of you to share your warning-story. It brought a tear to my eye. You obviously have a generous and kind heart. May God heal your daughter's wounds and bring her into the loving arms of Christ the Savior by His grace and mercy. With God all things are possible. Mathew 19:26. Never give up hope. Karen A.

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Winter Greetings, Karen!
    This post comes at a particularly relevant time for me. One of my dear ones has a 2 month old baby and is returning work in a couple of weeks. She is in agony over the coming separation. Societal pressures begin early in life, don't they?

    When young couples marry, my husband and I strive to counsel them to not cultivate a lifestyle that requires both salaries to maintain. So far, we are failures in the counseling department.

    Fast forward a few years and the same scenario is played out in school choices, in entertainment choices, in pastime choices.

    Why is it that we who belong to Christ are so easily deceived by the promises and threats of this world?

    This reminds me of Proverbs 1:5. God tells us, "A wise man will hear and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels."

    May God give us ears for hearing and hearts willing to be changed.


  3. Thanks for sharing this letter you wrote and the thoughts you also shared in this post. I wholeheartedly agree with you and thank God regularly for being able to homeschool our kids. I am also thankful for the gift of being homeschooled (as was my husband). My oldest will be graduating next year and I am so thankful for the relationship that we can have with her and all of my children.

  4. I love everything about this post! Thank you, Karen, for your narrow-road walk. It gives me strength and encouragement in my own homeschooling and stand for truth. We are blessed to have brave pioneers like you who share your wisdom with us.

  5. Dear Karen - How wonderful of you to have had the courage and knowledge to approach this subject. I have often enjoyed reading your posts to reassure me in not only our homeschooling journey, but to add to Christian beliefs. May we all remain strong in our faith by continuing to trust in God's plans for each of us - Julia

  6. My 9 yr old daughter has been requesting that we send her to public school and I have been in a quandary wondering if I am keeping her from having the chance to "experience" public school. I went to public school and it did have it's certain appeal, especially when I look at it through the haze of my memory. And I struggle with whether I am doing them a service because our homeschool schedule lacks structure... But after reading this article today, I am convicted that we are on the right path and I need to buckle down and consider our school day as the blessing and priority it is.

    1. You took the words out of my mouth! My daughter is 9 but she is not requesting to go to school. We do however lack structure and I struggle so much thinking I am doing my children a disservice by not teaching them structure. I have wondered if they would be better off going to school. This is such a great article. I will be be buckling down to get the most out of these precious days with my children.

  7. Karen, you speak for so many of us. Thank you for sharing this letter with all of us. I agree with you whole-heartedly--too many parents think that sending a child to Church and youth activities there will counter all of the world's influence. My husband has also said many times, "why is the child allowed to make that kind of decision?" We have tried to live the Deuteronomy 6: 7 life, and homeschooling has made all the difference. You and your books and product recommendations have been such a part of what we have done. You are a member of our family! God bless and keep you all. Janis

  8. Oh, Karen, Amen and Amen! What a sad day we live in as I see my own nieces and nephews embrace the world's philosophies and standards as best. What a joy to home educate my children and be the one to train them in the precious truths of God's word. Thank you for your excellent blog as you continue to encourage and strengthen us. Love all your beautiful needlework. You are a blessing. It is a joy to bump into you around our small town!

  9. Dear Karen,
    Sadly, not every homeschool graduate is a success story. I know public school graduates who have continued practicing their faith, while some of their homeschooled counterparts have not. There are many, many factors. There is no "silver bullet." When I was a young mom I was told that homeschooling WAS the silver bullet. I have learned otherwise, the hard way. I have no criticisms for other families who have chosen differently than I have. Why did one of my children reject what she was taught while another did not? I have no answers, but I do know life often holds the unexpected for us.
    With much love and respect,
    (If you opt not to approve this comment, I fully understand.)

    1. Dear Kristyn,

      I am sorry to hear about your daughter. Oh, I sympathize with the pull on your heart strings. I knew this post would not be an easy one to read for some loving and dedicated mothers (who knows how many) who have poured themselves into the lives of their children, unselfishly, and have met with disappointment to some degree or another. Yes, I agree that many variables are involved in bringing-up children.

      I confess to being something of an idealist. Reading Charlotte Mason’s writings as encouraged this. Life is messy. We are all imperfect parents. I certainly am one. Dean told me, as we talked about your comment in the kitchen, that as parents we do all that is in our power and responsibility to do - and after we have done it - to stand.* The rest is between the Holy Spirit and the child. God's Word will not return to Him void. It will do what He means for it to do in His way, in His time. Never give up hope, dear mothers. Keep praying. Karen A.

      *Eph 6:13.Therefore put on God’s complete armor, that you may be able to resist and stand your ground on the evil day [of danger], and, having done all [the crisis demands], to stand [firmly in your place].

  10. Karen I enjoyed your article. Everything you said is true. Home schooled children seem to be well rounded out in academics. I love the jumper you knitted for Eloise. Thanks for sharing.

  11. Karen,
    I am truly encouraged with your honesty. It is heartening to read. :)

  12. Dearest Karen,

    I send my sympathy in the loss of Dean's mother. Oh, what peace there is in knowing she is with Jesus.

    Your quilts are beautiful. I have a friend who is expecting twins this spring, so I must get myself busy making two pink quilts. I have the design in my head, but I must get moving. The purple pinefore is so cute. One day, I'd like to learn to knit...correctly. My rows grow longer and it ends up looking like a cape.

    Your post is timely, as always. I taught public school for thirteen years and told myself that I would never homeschool. Funny how looking at that precious baby changes priorities. After being in public education, I couldn't send my children there. Here we are thirteen years later and graduation is just around the corner for our first child. We can only put our faith in God to lead her life. We do what the Bible teaches and leave the rest to our Heavenly Father. We are praying she will follow the leading of the Holy Spirit in all she does. I believe that it is our responsibility as parents to raise our children knowing Christ. It is then up to that young person to decide if they will follow the direction in which they were raised, as we pray they will, or go their own way. Dean is right; never give up, just pray. God is faithful.

    Praying that you are feeling better. Here in Texas, we are enjoying(?) spring one day and winter the next. That may be why we are all suffering from sniffles and headaches.

    Take care,


  13. Thank you, Karen, for sharing your heart with us in love and truth. I love that you took that step and shared your heart with the radio program. I pray that they take your words of wisdom seriously! Homeschooling is truly, if you think about it, the original plan. God created families to be families and to be close. How can we do that if we are away from our children many hours per week coupled with the indoctrination of others?

    God bless you! I absolutely love your home, and your blue quilt! It is beautiful!

  14. Dear Ladies, It is so good to hear from you. Thank you for sharing your comments. I am placing my email here to answer a request. Please feel free to write: karenjandreola@gmail.com I remember now that I had removed my email from the sidebar (due to spam). You can also reach me through Facebook Message at: KarenAndreola/Author

  15. What a powerful reminder to continue pressing on!
    Thank you, Karen. I needed this encouragement.

  16. So sorry about the loss of Dean's mother. Thank you, Karen, for sharing this. šŸ’œ

  17. Thank you for your article. Our family home-schooled all 5 of our children all the way through high school using primarily the Charlotte Mason method. Many of their home school friends went back to public school when they reached high school age. There were many different reasons given: academics, sports, socialization, but sometimes I thinks many moms were just burned out and didn't want the responsibility of teaching higher academics.

    Today, 4 of our children are successful professionals and the youngest is still in college.
    We are somewhat unusual in that all 4 of our unmarried children - ranging in age from 30-21 and consisting of 2 boys and 2 girls, still live at home. This is not something we have demanded of them, but something they have chosen to do. They go to their jobs everyday- computer programmers- and have active social lives with many friend. but decided not to move out until they get married. They all contribute financially to the household and are able to save quite a bit of money toward their future. Many people think this arrangement is strange but I call it a win-win situation. We are still a part of their adult lives and they are very close to each other and our oldest, who is married with her own home. We are fortunate that we have a large house and they all have their own private bedrooms.

    I think this is one of the blessings of home-schooling through high school. I doubt if my children would have remained close if they had gone to public high school. We are very glad we did not give in to the "public school for high school" trend. Now that they are adults and have gone through college and out into the working world, they too feel that they were blessed by their home education experience.

    Tammy Dougherty

  18. Dear Mrs. Andreola,

    Sending my sympathy for Mr. Andreola's mother. Thankful to hear that your therapy is helping you. And thanking the Lord for home education this morning just reading your post.

    Indeed, we can't afford to be silent any longer....



  19. Karen, your post made me examine my heart. I don't think I'm thankful enough at times (especially in the deep cold season, when we are all a bit stir crazy) for the opportunity to home educate. My husband works VERY hard to allow me to stay at home and teach the children. May I have a heart of gratitude and do my very best for the Lord. Bless you.

  20. Just a little note of encouragement for those mothers who feel discouraged by the choices their precious children have made. We too have experienced lots of heartache with our three teens, including hard drug abuse and teen pregnancy. Thanks be to God, we have come through it now. They have all cleaned up their lives, our daughter is a wonderful loving mother ( who now attends church and wants to homeschool!), our sons are hardworking, honest and loyal young men. One is a shaky believer the other not at this point. They all love each other and are very close. I attribute this in great part to homeschooling. I continue to pray for them and all young people today. It's a hard world our there...

    1. Thank you for sharing this. I remind myself that we are not on the last page of our story. Most of the families I know have a prodigal or two in their homes, but there is a horrible stigma among the homeschoolers. We moms especially heap blame on ourselves. I have watched it over and again since my kids were young. Now that I am in a position of life being nothing like I envisioned, I have decided there is nothing to be gained by being fake. There are people who have been very harsh (mainly homeschoolers keeping up a pretense) but many others who tell me I did my best and to leave it all in God's hands. That is all I can do. I'm glad your family is through the rough years. I hear being a grandma makes up it. ;-) God bless.

  21. This was excellent and also has been my experience as well with the youth I know, homeschooled or not.

  22. Thank you for writing this, Karen. Every time I remember to visit your blog, I get wise advice and gentle words from the heart of a mom who has been there. This encourage me to continue home educating, and to appreciate the blessing that it is.

  23. First of all—what lovely things you've been making! Handmade things really help a house feel like home.

    Second—You are are so right about school. I homeschooled my oldest until 10th grade. He was very uncooperative (to say the least), and I knew I had to do something different if my youngest three were ever going to learn to read, write, etc. He took as much attention as all 3 youngest together!
    I still remember making the call to the school. I wish I hadn't. We live in a small town, but he ended up getting involved with the wrong kind of kids. Unfortunately, he covered it well. He's now 26 and very mad at God. He believes he's saved, but he's not showing any signs of it. I've torn my heart apart about everything I should have or shouldn't have done. Ultimately, he's made his choice—for now—BUT GOD!

    Momma is going to keep praying. God gave me a song for Matthew while he was still in the womb. The last line was, "Jesus loves you Matthew even more than we do." I think that was God preparing me for how difficult it would be to mother this boy now man.

    My other 3 children do go to a youth group in our church. The majority of other kids are so worldly, it has shown our kids just how depraved they are. Two of mine, as a result, are in youth ministry. My 19 year old daughter helps as an assistant youth leader. My 15 year old daughter holds a Bible study for girls from pre-teen up through high school twice a month in our home. My 17 year old son attends a boys only Bible study on Thursday nights with homeschooled boys he's known all his life and a few others. He has decided he wants to be a police officer.

    I know they all will continue to need a praying momma. I will never regret homeschooling them...and yes, I am homeschooling the younger three all the way through. In fact, my 19 year old lives at home and is going to the community college.

    God bless you! Thank you for the peek into your life.

    Father God, I thank you that Karen is getting some relief from the PT. I ask you God, in your mercy, by the power of the blood of Jesus to restore her body to complete health. I ask it in faith in Jesus' Name! Amen.

    Hugs Karen!
    P.S. Super cute grandkiddles!

    1. Dear Laura,
      I don't cry easily. Only a few things will make the tears roll down my face. One of these is hearing about a young person who has loving parents, who has heard the Word, but has gone astray. Thank you for sharing your story. What an honest and humble person you are. Those who minister do so, out of love, to meet a need. I pray that your story here will minister to the one who needs it. It is so good to hear that you have not stopped praying for your son, and all of your children. That your subsequent children are ministering to others is also very encouraging. Karen A.

  24. Thank you so much for this article! My husband and I feel so strongly about this issue, yet sometimes believe we are a lone voice crying in the wilderness. It is encouraging to know we are not alone! We home educate our two girls and plan to do so through high school. My husband and I both had very difficult high school and college through young adult years.... wandering from the Lord even though brought up in Christian homes. We were lured by our peer group and the culture. By the grace of God, He sought each of us His lost and wandering sheep. We do not want our daughters to be formed and shaped by their peers, the culture, nor by the secular educational system and its values. We don't want them to walk the path we chose as young people, and possibly walk away from the faith forever.

    Why do people think that teenagers are less vulnerable than younger children? I am assuming this is what parents think if they home educate their children but decide to place them in traditional school for high school. Teenagers are at one of the most vulnerable times in their lives, I would argue. They have almost adult bodies, and raging hormones and they don't yet have emotional or spiritual maturity! We need to help and guide them at this most challenging time of their lives. We need to be there for them! They need guidance and accountability to make good decisions. We also need to show them that a life in Christ is being connected to the body of Christ. So instead of teens only spending time with teens, we need to teach them that their church is their spiritual family. It is a place where we worship the Lord, we are equipped, encouraged, built up; we learn and grow and we serve one another. We value older men and women of the faith and their advice, instead of thinking they can't relate to us. We interact with, serve and worship alongside of people of all generations. (Do you get the feeling I am not a big fan of youth group? Why do we always feel the need to segregate everyone into age related groups?)

    I find I am being far less gentle than you in my reply, Karen. I apologize. I simply feel so strongly that home educating is the best way, because we, as parents, are the ones responsible to carefully hand down the faith to our children. How are we supposed to diligently do this as we sit in our house, walk by the way, when we lie down and when we rise, if our children are gone most of the day?

    I am so encouraged by your articles. Thank you for the time and effort you take to write them. I also want to mention that the Charlotte Mason Companion was the first home education resource that I purchased when I first decided to teach at home. It has been invaluable to me in our homeschool. Thank you!

    1. Your letter, Abigail got me thinking. Thank you for writing.

      My husband Dean in the 1970's (just before I met him) took over for the youth group leader of a large church one summer while the youth group leader was away at a summer semester of study. Dean told the large group of high school age students (of one hundred or more) that he wasn't going to plan a summer of extravagant social activities (going to the beach, hiking a mountain, canoeing, etc.) They would read the Word, sing with a guitar and pray for one another - now and again play volley ball in the gym. That summer the one hundred reduced itself in size to a handful - all sitting cross-legged on the floor singing with the guitar, reading from the Word, and praying for one another earnestly. When youth group is centered around advertised entertainments and social activity the emphasis can be off Jesus.

      I often remember the little poor 19th century white church building where we worshiped in rural Maine. This was at the time when our children were coming of age. The congregation was a handful of young home-teaching families and some faithful grandparent-age members. Sunday school was taught by the pastor. We met in the church pews before worship service - 7th grade through adult all together. A handful of younger children were taught by 75-year-old Mrs. M. around one table at the side of the lobby by the entrance and coat rack. Mrs. M. had taught Sunday School there for 45 years, Mr. M. told me. The children liked their lesson and loved Mrs. M. She was like a grandmother to my children. The little ones played freely in a tiny room above the entrance. I took the "Honey Bees" 4-6 on a rotating plan. It worked out nicely. Youth group was on some Wednesday evenings in the Victorian farm house of Mr. and Mrs. M. The pastor taught this group. Old Mr. and Mrs. M. took part and so did another married couple. My girls were among only a handful of other students who attended. Therefore it was really half-adults, half young people, on those evenings. It felt very much like a church family where generations mixed mostly. The young people, 7th grade up, did acts of service, helping out with the worship service, playing their instruments and singing monthly at a nearby nursing home. They helped teach VBS, clean and paint the building, mow the grass. Some of these same children attended the high school classes Dean and I held in our house. Was it all a dream? I thank God for those six years of our lives.

  25. My husband and I feel strongly that in today's society the term minister might better be replaced with cruise director.

    I do not mean for that to be perceived as flippant. Perhaps it is amusing in a way, but it is written from a mostly sad, bewildered, almost despairing viewpoint. (I'm so glad Marilla Cuthbert reminds us that despair is for the ungodly.) I too wonder if beautiful simplicity wasn't all a dream.

    In her autobiography Margaret Thatcher remarks that teen culture wasn't invented until after WWII because up until that time people were too busy struggling to survive.

    I am reminded of God's warning to the Israelites about being what my son calls fat and happy in the land while forgetting the Lord their God.

    Someone remarked that the apostle Paul changed his message to reach more people. I was horrified, and I think Paul would be too.


    1. Hear, hear. Thank-you, Susan. (Marilla makes me chuckle.) At the same time, on a serious note. I think "cross-over" ministry has a place. I had a friend who showed up to church (for the first time in her life) because she thought she saw a movie advertised in the newspaper and that it was playing at the location of the church. Instead, what she walked into was an evangelical evening (maybe the movie already had played). Anyway, she was intrigued at the straight-forward message she heard spoken and and gave her life to Christ that night - both she and her husband. If cross-over is extended, however, into becoming a permanent, prominent, relaxing and entertaining feature of the landscape, when and where does anyone take a step to actually cross-over?

  26. True, Karen, we never know what ripe soul might be passing by. Each year our congregation hosts a fall games and picnic day for ourselves and the community. We have a family of 7 who dropped by for a visit, decided to stay, and came to know Christ. That is pure joy!

    It's the cultivation of the taste for entertainment over worship and study in ourselves and our children that troubles so. God's people become shallow.

    A disappointed child at our dinner table pouted and whined, "But, mommy, it's not my FAVORITE."

    The same God who warned the people about forgetting Him when they were in a plentiful land also told those same people to enjoy the land in Joshua chapter 1. I Timothy 6:17 tells us that God gives richly and for our enjoyment and good use.

    I love to dream of heaven where delight in His gifts will not hinder our reverence for Him.

    Good friends make us better. You do that for me, Karen.

    Many thanks,

  27. As hard as it is - God made man with freedom of will. Our children fall into this category. Many men of God in the Word had children who chose not to obey God's will. This is not to say we are not responsible for our children but we cannot fall into guilt and condemnation (both sins themselves) for the decisions our children make. I also remind myself daily that "the goodness of God leadeth a man to repentance." So I don't allow fear and worry to creep in and instead teach my kids how much God loves them - no guilt or condemnation- and uphold high standards of course and then pray for them. That is all we can do. Then remember ultimately it is their own life to live.

  28. Hello, Mrs. Andreola. I think I posted a comment here some years back; I've been an intermittent follower. Thank you for what you do and for your book, The Charlotte Mason Companion, which was one of my first homeschooling books. It put into my heart that this was the path for us...but I went off track lured by what friends were doing and forever plagued with second guessing myself. I think that the one day a week Classical school that mine did for a couple of years nearly killed the joy of learning.

    If only...we could do it over again, I would hold tight to Charlotte Mason's books. Now, we are nearing the end of 9th grade and my longing for those days is so great, some days it seems unbearable. I know that it does no good, that the present days will end up flown past and in a haze if I keep focusing on the past- so I push it aside. The present is what we must now make the most of and it is still the same dilemma, do what would bring more joy and true learning or focus on what is supposed to get her into a good university. We are led to believe those things are at odds...maybe not.

    I do so wish that some homeschoolers who made it through those high school years and on into the college ones would share with those of us like myself who long for confirmation of how to make these last years wonderful, full of learning and not driven by those outside standards. Something like an entire book of this would be fabulous. Most of the interesting, well known, Charlotte Mason style homeschoolers seem to have avoided writing about this, though they did write much about the earlier years.

    Of course, by the time anyone gets around to this my own will probably be finished with high school.

    Thank you for your sweet blog!

    1. Dear Elizabeth,
      Thank you for sharing your thoughts and feelings. I agree that is it okay to soberly evaluate methods and their results (cause and effect) especially if these methods have disappointed or have gone awry. But then not to stay there. Yes, take courage. A Christian can leave regret at the cross. We can leave it behind us and live in the present. We can try again, apply new methods for the present. You are wiser today than you were yesterday, Elizabeth. God works in us and through us. He is our resource. And He is limitless in power. We can lean on His everlasting arms as the hymn writer says.

      I wholeheartedly believe that the same principles that are applied to the elementary years and are carried over into high school with success, are those that prepare the student for college. The same principles that lead a young child into the love of knowledge, good habits and maturing character, are those principles that can be taken advantage of by the student in high school and then, in college. These are, indeed, the same principles that enable the student to actually do well in college. I've seen it in the lives of my children and have heard about it in others.

      High school is just more sophisticated and studies can branch out to be quite diverse - depending on the circumstances of your church, community, and your student's talents and interests. This diversity may be one reason writers hesitate painting a picture for others. God guides the parent who seeks and asks for guidance. Pray and watch. Take courage and trust what He places into your heart and mind to do with your student. Trust in the Divine Educator - the Holy Spirit - to illuminate your mind and your child's. We are not alone in this work that He has called us to perform.

      Giving older students choices helps them blossom. There were some things my children "had" to study, and other topics that I gave them an option to study (after discussion.) I attempted to email you personally but your comment has a "non-reply". If you email me (karenjandreola(at)gamil.com) and still have many question perhaps a telephone call would be a help to you.
      I could write at length about our own experience. It would not necessary be a "standard" to follow but it might offer up ideas. Many of us who have finished home teaching in the early years of this century didn't have anyone to "follow" when it came to high school. We tried to carry-over the same principles that we saw worked-out in our children's early years. I remember having to "find my feet." This took longer than I liked. I can't claim to doing everything right. I'm sure I didn't. I did believe, however, in what Pastor Wiersebe also says, "When the service is the most difficult, God may be doing His deepest work in your life, so don't run away." God cares about our work (in leading our child to maturity) but He also cares about we the workers. We are growing, too. This is one of the blessings of home teaching that makes it so good for parent and child.

      Perhaps those who have overseen high school at home would share ideas and experiences.

  29. Mrs. Andreola, thank you for your response and I do take it to heart . I will look at the settings on my account and change it so I receive email as I would have appreciated it very much.

    1. I'd be happy to converse with you Elizabeth. Anytime. Rather than providing a link I place my email here (to be typed by those who see it) to reduce the nasty spam I receive.


  30. Here in England we took out twins girls out of school aged 7, that was nearly a year ago. We had flexi schooled up to then but we felt strongly about what they were learning at school & the behaviour of the other children and how it was affected our little girls. The twins are number 7 and 8 so we have been through the whole school system before. Thanks to the internet we found our home school was a thing we could do, it is very uncommon here in England so sadly there are no groups to join in with so we are going it alone and enjoying every moment of it. I love reading your blog, its very inspiring.
    Fondly Michelle