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Monday, August 26, 2013

Home school organization

Homeschool and organized just seem like oxymorons as soon as you say it.  Kind of like Jumbo shrimp.

I originally found this on Pinterest - but I can no longer find this pin.  I believe that this idea will work with any school work (home, public, or private), chores, or regular responsibilities that anyone has.

I am cheap.  I admit it.  It is ok.  The original pinner used a cutesy folder and label maker.  I on the other hand knew that this was a 'rough draft,' and didn't want to use a $5 folder for the first try.

First, decorate the folder.  Not necessary, just because girls like it cute.  This is the backside of the folder.

This is just a cheap manila folder that I had in the classroom

I printed all the classes, and glued the paper to the inside flap of the folder.  At the top of each flap is a piece of magnetic tape (with another strip on the other side too).  After doing this six times, I found that velcro and e6000 works best.  Just make sure to let the glue dry overnight before attaching and undoing the velcro.

This is the front side of the folder.  You can see I have cut the front slightly shorter - not necessary to do.  I cut the folder into 9 equal strips, one for each subject.

Hanging on the wall.  As a subject is done for the day they can flip up that flap.  I have visual confirmation that Language is done and don't have to ask a hundred times if they finished or not.

Next time:  
  1. I will not use a cute folder, the manila is just fine for me.  
  2. I will not trim the top - it was unnecessary.  
  3. I will also use Velcro instead of magnetic tape.  This is mostly because I am now out of magnetic tape and Velcro is super cheap.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

How homeschoolers measure up

Homeschooled: How American Homeschoolers Measure Up
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Once upon a time, all children were homeschooled. But around 150 years ago states started making public school mandatory and homeschooling eventually became illegal. It wasn't until the 90's that all states made it legal again. Today, with more than 2 million homeschoolers making up 4% of the school-aged population, it's the fastest growing form of education in the country.


  • 1840: 55% of children attended primary school while the rest were educated in the home or by tutors.
  • 1852: The "Common School" model became popular and Massachusetts became the first state to pass compulsory attendance law. Once compulsory attendance laws became effective, America eventually relied entirely on public and private schools for educating children. Homeschooling then became something only practiced by extremely rural families, and within Amish communities.
  • 1870: All states had free primary schools.
  • 1900: 34 states had compulsory attendance laws.
  • 1910: 72% of children attended primary school.
  • 1960: Educational reformers started questioning public schooling's methods and results.
  • 1977: "Growing Without Schooling" magazine was published, marking a shift from trying to reform public education to abandoning it.
  • 1980: Homeschooling was illegal in 30 states.
  • 1983: Changes in tax law forced many Christian Schools to close which led to soaring homeschooling rates.
  • 1993: Homeschooling become legal in all 50 states and saw annual growth rates of 15-20%.
32 states and Washington D.C. offer Virtual Public Schools - free education over the internet to homeschooling families: Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, District of Columbia (DC), Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Mexico, New Jersey, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, Wyoming.
4 States offer tax credits for homeschooling families: Iowa, Arizona, Minnesota, Illinois.
10 States don't require notification of homeschooling: Alaska, Idaho, Texas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, New Jersey, Connecticut.
14 States require notification of homeschooling: California, Nevada, Arizona, Utah, New Mexico, Wyoming, Montana, Nebraska, Kansas, Mississippi, Alabama, Kentucky, Wisconsin, Delaware.
20 States and D.C. require notification of homeschooling, test scores and/or professional evaluation of students: Washington, Oregon, Colorado, South Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, Arkansas, Louisiana, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Ohio, Maryland, New Hampshire, Maine, D.C., Hawaii.
6 States require notification of homeschooling, test scores and/or professional evaluation of students; plus other requirements like curriculum approval, parent qualification, home visits by state officials: North Dakota, Pensilvania, New York, Massachusetts, Vermont, Rode Island.
No Federal help is available to homeschooling families yet. The IRS says that homeschooling costs "are nondeductible personal, living, or family expenses."


Home schooling is the fastest growing form of education in the country.
  • 1999: 850,000 homeschoolers (1.7% of the school-aged population)
  • 2003: 1.1 million homeschoolers (2.2% of the school-aged population)
  • 2007: 1.5 million homeschoolers (2.9% of the school-aged population)
  • 2010: 2.04 million homeschoolers (4% of the school-aged population)
  • From 2007- 2009 home-schoolers increased ate a rate of 7%/year
  • From 2007- 2009 public-schoolers increased at a rate of 1%/year


Education Level of Homeschooling Parents (Fathers/Mothers)
  • No High School Degree: 1.4% / 0.5%
  • High School Degree: 8.4% / 7.5%
  • Some College: 15.4% / 18.7%
  • Associate's Degree: 8.6% / 10.8%
  • Bachelor's Degree: 37.6% / 48.4%
  • Master's Degree: 20% / 11.6%
  • Doctorate Degree: 8.7% / 2.5%
Number of children in homeschooled families:
  • 1 child: 6.6%
  • 2 children: 25.3%
  • 3 children: 26%
  • 4-6 children: 35.9%
  • 7+ children: 6.3%
Most important reasons parents say they homeschool their kids (students, ages 5-17, 2007):
  • 36 %: To provide religious or moral instruction
  • 21 % : Concern about the environment of other schools: safety, drugs, and negative peer pressure
  • 17 %: Dissatisfaction with academic instruction at other schools
  • 14 %: Unique Family Situation such as time, finances, travel, and distances
  • 7 %: Nontraditional approach to child's education
  • 4 %: Child has other special needs
  • 2%: Child has a physical or mental health problem


Standardized achievement tests: On average, homeschoolers rank in at the 87th percentile. (Note: The 87th percentile is not the test score. It is the percent of students that scored lower... so, only 13% of students scored higher.)
  • Boys: 87th
  • Girls: 88th
  • Reading: 89th
  • Language: 84th
  • Math: 84th
  • Science: 86th
  • Social Studies: 84th
  • Core: 88th
  • Parents income <$35,000: 85th
  • Parents income $35,000-$70,000: 86th
  • Parents income >$70,000: 89th
  • Parents spend <$600/child/year: 86th
  • Parents spend >$600/child/year: 89th
  • Neither parent has a college degree: 83rd
  • Either parent has a college degree: 86th
  • Both parents have college degrees: 90th
  • Neither parent has a teaching certificate: 87th
  • Either Parent has a teaching certificate: 88th
Grade Placement compared to public schools:
  • Behind: 5.4%
  • On track: 69.8%
  • Ahead: 24.5%


Homeschooled Adults' Perception of Homeschooling
"I'm glad that I was homeschooled"
  • Strongly Agree: 75.8%
  • Agree: 19.4%
  • Neither: 2.8%
  • Disagree: 1.4%
  • Strongly Disagree: 0.6%
"Homeschool gave me an advantage as an adult"
  • Strongly Agree: 66.0%
  • Agree: 26.4%
  • Neither: 5.7%
  • Disagree: 1.5%
  • Strongly Disagree: 0.4%
"Homeschool limited my educational opportunities"
  • Strongly Agree: 1.0%
  • Agree: 4.2%
  • Neither: 6.6%
  • Disagree: 29.2%
  • Strongly Disagree: 58.9%
"Homeschool limited my career choices"
  • Strongly Agree: 0.9%
  • Agree: 1.2%
  • Neither: 3.9%
  • Disagree: 18.8%
  • Strongly Disagree: 75.3%
"I would homeschool my own children"
  • Strongly Agree: 54.8%
  • Agree: 27.3%
  • Neither: 13.5%
  • Disagree: 2.8%
  • Strongly Disagree: 1.6%
Homeschooled / General Population
  • Participate in an ongoing community service activity (71% / 37%)
  • Consider politics and government too complicated to understand (4.2% / 35%)
  • Read a book in the past six months? (98.5% / 69%)
  • Continue on to college (74% / 49%)
"Taken all together, how would you say things are these days--would you say that you are ..."
  • Very happy (58.9% / 27.6)
  • Pretty happy (39.1% / 63%)
  • Not too happy (2% / 9.4)


Average homeschool family spends $500/child/year.
The average public school spends $9,963 per child per year, not including capital expenditures or research and development.


Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Senior Scams

Tuesday August 20:  Something scary happened tonight.  I went to my mom and grandmothers house to help my mom out.  I am not there more than just a few minutes when my mom starts telling me about a phone call my grandmother got.  Apparently my 'brother' is in 'Germany' and got into a 'car accident' and then got 'arrested' for having 'pot' in his car.  He is now in 'jail' and needs 1700 to get out.

First of all, my brother is NOT in Germany.  He wouldn't leave the country without calling.  This got my grandmother panicky and she called my mom at work.  My mom got on the phone with my brother immediately and found out that this is NOT true.

Go back to last week.  I don't remember the details, mostly because I didn't think much of it at the time, but I answered my grandmothers phone and some man (not boy) was asking for 'grandma'.  It was not any of my kids.  It was not my brother.  Like I said - I didn't think anything of it.  Maybe a wrong number, maybe a confused person.  Whatever.  I never thought about it again, until tonight. 

Well, mom said this has been going on a while.  I have gotten the same thing via email - from my pastor, his wife (diff countries and dates, go figure), from my best friend.....  I delete it and tell the sender that their email was hacked.  No BD.  Well, this is WAY diff in my book. 

After doing very little research I found the same scam and how they probably got my brothers name.  Just Google "Grandma phone scam."  There are a lot of results - all on the same one I have been talking about.

Ok, so now you get the picture.  Don't let grandma answer the phone.  We will see how well that works!  haha.

I unfortunately don't have an answer on how to fix this - although I wish I did. 

Number one - KEEP PERSONAL INFO OFF FACEBOOK - this should be a no-brainer, but it causes problems for people every day

Number two - BEWARE - keep in contact with family and know where they are.  Even a quick text so they know you are ok.

Any other advice?

UPDATE - 8/21/13

I was at my grandmothers this morning (this is the next day!) and she got another call.  I had just got finished telling her not to answer any call she doesn't know, and the phone rings. 
The young man said "Hi grandma (may have been grandpa) guess who this is"  this time she knows.  
She says "I don't know, who is this?" 
He says "It's one of your favorite grandsons"

First of all  - we don't call her grandma
Second - how many grandsons does he think she has?!

The call went on for a minute and I convinced her to deceive the caller, then hang up.  Just wish she wouldn't have answered at all.  We will have that conversation - again, and again.

UPDATE - 3/8/14

This time I get the call.  My son answers (I don't usually answer unknown numbers on my cell.  I also don't like to talk and drive (he is 15 and watching extra close).  My son answers and said it sounds like grandma.  He was confused because grandmas number would come up on caller id.  I take the phone (NEVER talk and drive!) and say hello.  The caller calls me by name and says "This is your grandma"  Again, we don't call my grandmother 'grandma.'  I didn't listen or argue, but once I figured out what was going on I simply hung up.  This is getting frustrating!

Saturday, August 17, 2013

DIY Bathroom lights

 My house is getting older.  It's still in good shape, but there are a few places that could use some help.  I was at home depot not too long back and saw these really cool $40 kits to remake bathroom light - just like the ones I have.  I cant find them again.  In a state of  'boredom' I decided I was going to experiment.  With nothing more than a can of black spray paint this is what I did.

Already had this on hand - never know when you will need black spray paint 

The lights before.  The bathroom isn't huge so having all 4 lights shining is overwhelming - I have all 4 bulbs installed - just 1 shining at a time.  It's hard to see, but there is some rust starting to form on the silver plate behind the bulbs.  Doesn't look bad from a distance - but I am picky....

After taking the bulbs out I found out that the round piece that holds the bulbs pulls right off!  How simple!

This is what I was left with when the bulbs, light bulb holder in place thingy and silver plate were removed.

A little spray paint - OUTSIDE - and after an hour it was ready to be installed.

Total time: 1 hour 15 minutes to do this for 3 bathrooms.  I would like to try a different color next time.  Not bad for a quick afternoon 'pick me up'

Dragon cake

I found this fantastic cake on Pinterest.   My son saw it a few days before his birthday and decided that this is what he wanted for his birthday cake.  The only problem - no directions!  I like to think I am pretty crafty and can figure things out, so I tried.  Learn from my experience.

I used a store bought angel food cake.  Cut it in half so it is half as thick.  Then cut the cake in half so you have two letter "C's". 
UPDATE - this was way too thick for a strawberry shortcake.  When you cut the cake by the thickness, do it in thirds or even fourths. 

Stack the pieces and form a 'snake'. 

UPDATE - it came out so cute!  Now I want to make other shapes for the girls - a rainbow, flower, peace sign.....

Take off the top layer and put on a layer of whipping cream.  I used a cookie press - just to make it look pretty - and cool whip

After the cool whip is done on the bottom layer, slice strawberries and layer them on the cake.  I used my moms strawberry slicer, but if you use a knife just slice the berries very thin.
Then so the same to the top layer of cake (this could be done with ANY cake!  oh the possibilities!)

Then I took a full (really pretty berry) and used  it as the head

I used a knife to make a teeny tiny slit for the eyes and 'tongue'.  I took a leaf from one of the berries and put it in a slit for the tongue and small pieces of leaf for the eyes. I would have used candy eyes, but I left them at home.
 Since it was a birthday cake we then put in candles.  It looked like a Chinese dragon when the lights were out and the candles were lit.  My son loved it.

UPDATE:  This needs to be assembled the day OF the party so the cool whip doesn't soak through the cake.  I made it about an hour before dinner and everything was yummy after dinner.    As previously mentioned, cut the cake thin so you have a good ratio of cool whip, strawberries and cake.  I cut it way too thick and ended up putting more whipping cream and strawberries on everyone's slice.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Satan's Favorite Bible Verse

Wow!  One more reason to read the verses before and after the one you are memorizing, and to understand what you are reading!  I love this.  I did not write any of it.  It was all found at  I don't know what I was looking for, but God knew....

Acts 2:38 Satan's Favorite Bible Verse
Acts 2:38

Satan's Favorite Bible Verse

"Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost." (Acts 2:38)

The above verse of scripture is a favorite among many religious groups. One can hear it several times on Sunday morning radio programs, as well as from the pulpits of numerous groups, and it can be found in much religious literature. The verse is a favorite because, on the surface, it seemingly states that one must be baptized in order to be saved, and without baptism one is not saved. So, those who believe that water baptism is essential for salvation make it a regular habit of using Acts 2:38 as scriptural support.

The problem is that Acts 2:38 isn't the only verse in the Bible which deals with salvation. While many claim to "speak where the scriptures speak and remain silent where the scriptures are silent," they practically ignore most of the New Testament teaching on salvation. The only verses that such false teachers quote and reference are the ones they feel they can use to promote their "water gospel." The fact is that most of what the New Testament says about salvation doesn't include baptism at all! (John 5:24, John 11:25-26, John 14:6, Romans 4:5, Romans 10:9-13, Eph. 2:8-9, etc.), and the few places that do mention water baptism do not include it as part of one's salvation. Water baptism follows salvation as one of the first steps of obedience for the new believer.

In spite of this obvious truth, the cultists remain steadfast in their heresy, insisting that Acts 2:38 sets forth water baptism as a requirement for salvation. Thus, this verse of scripture has become Satan's favorite Bible verse. In fact, many are trusting water baptism alone for the salvation of their souls! Indeed, Satan has deceived multitudes by his perversion of Acts 2:38.

Rather than ignore Acts 2:38 by quoting "our favorite verses" instead, it is more appropriate to facethis popular verse of scripture and see if the cultists are right in what they claim it teaches.

The Truth about Acts 2:38 First, please notice that verse 38 isn't the only verse in Acts 2. In Peter's message, a great deal was said before verse 38 came out of his mouth. In fact, he even told his listeners how to be saved before verse 38! In Acts 2:21, Peter quotes from Joel 2 and says, "And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved." His words preceding verse 38 were so convicting that his listeners were "pricked in their heart" in verse 37. So, to use verse 38 out of its context causes a misrepresentation of God's word. The verse does not stand alone, and, in fact, a totally different meaning is conveyed when one makes it stand alone.

Another error that many make with Acts 2:38 is the error of assumption. It is assumed that the word "for" must mean "in order to get." That is, being baptized "for" the remission of sins supposedly means to be baptized "in order to get" remission of sins. However, a closer look at the scriptures will reveal that this isn't the case at all.

Notice Luke 5:12-14: "And it came to pass, when he was in a certain city, behold a man full of leprosy: who seeing Jesus fell on his face, and besought him, saying, Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean. And he put forth his hand, and touched him, saying, I will: be thou clean. And immediately the leprosy departed from him. And he charged him to tell no man: but go, and shew thyself to the priest, and offer for thy cleansing, according as Moses commanded, for a testimony unto them." Jesus made this man clean in verse 13, yet in the next verse, verse 14, Jesus tells him to go offer a sacrifice "for thy cleansing" as a "testimony." Here the word "for" cannot mean "in order to get" because he had already gotten his cleansing in verse 13! It obviously meant "because of" his cleansing. If a man goes to jail "for stealing," then he goes there "because of" the stealing that he's already done, not "in order to get" a chance to steal again.

Some like to argue that the Greek word "eis" means "in order to," but this isn't always the case. Jesus said in Matthew 12:41, "The men of Nineveh shall rise in judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: because they repented at (eis) the preaching of Jonas; and, behold, a greater than Jonas is here." The Greek word for "at" is "eis." Does this mean that the men of Nineveh repented "in order to get" the preaching of Jonah? No, they repented "because of" the preaching of Jonah. So, even "the Greek" doesn't demand the popular interpretation of Acts 2:38. The word "for" can be used different ways, not just one, so it is wrong to assume that it must mean "in order to get" in Acts 2:38.

Another factor which is commonly ignored is the JEWISH factor. Every person in Acts 2 is a Mosaic law observing Old Testament Jew. In fact, they are all gathered together to observe a JEWISH FEAST called Pentecost (verse 1). A fair reading of the whole chapter (especially verses 4, 14, and 36) will clearly reveal that no Gentiles (non Jews) are present. Since this involves Jews, it involves a NATION (verse 36!!), not individuals. No one asked, "What must I do to be saved?" The question asked concerned the NATION of Israel: "Men and brethren, what shall we do?" (verse 37) Not, "What shall I do," but rather, "What shall WE do?" Acts 2 presents a NATION of people who come to realize that they have murdered their blessed Messiah and they're asking what THEY must do. It's a question concerning NATIONAL salvation. Isaiah 66:8 says, ". . . shall a nation be born at once? for as soon as Zion travailed, she brought forth her children." The "nation" is Israel! Romans 11:26 says, "And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob." Acts 2:38 is dealing with NATIONAL salvation. The Messianic Kingdom is still available to the Jews (until Acts 7:60 when they kill Stephen), so national salvation remains an issue until then.

This is clear from what follows Acts 7. In Acts 8, an individual from Africa is saved (before baptism). In Acts 9, an individual from Asia is saved (before baptism). In Acts 10, an individual from Europe is saved (before baptism). Why didn't these individual conversions occur before Acts 7? Because the first seven chapter of Acts deal with Israel (1:6-8; 2:36; 3:12; 4:8-10; 5:31; 6:7-14; 7:1-60). The question of INDIVIDUAL salvation is asked and answered in Acts 16:30-31: ". . . Sirs, what must I do to be saved? And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house." Those who fail to make this distinction are guilty of violating II Timothy 2:15 where we are told to RIGHTLY DIVIDE the word of truth.

The Bible says the gospel is to go to the Jew FIRST (Rom. 1:16), so they are the FIRST to receive the gospel in the book of Acts (chapter 2), but they are not the last to receive it. Acts doesn't end with chapter 2, so we should be cautious of anyone who develops their doctrine in Acts 2 while practically ignoring the next 26 chapters! 

If God didn't stop in Acts 2, then why does anyone else? Could it be that the later chapters in Acts contain information which the cultists want hidden from us? Could it be that there are other scriptures in Acts which do not agree with the wording of Acts 2:38? Could it be that Peter himself, the one preaching in Acts 2:38, says something different when speaking to individual Gentiles like you and me? One only has to read Acts chapter 10 to get the answer. Peter is preaching again in Acts 10, except only to individual Gentiles, and something very interesting occurs. In Acts 2:38, the Holy Ghost was promised to be given to the converts AFTER they were baptized, yet in Acts 10:44 the Holy Ghost falls upon the Gentiles BEFORE they are baptized! Now, Paul tells us in Romans 8:9, " . . .if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his." Having God's Spirit is synonymous with belonging to God or being saved (John 3:6-8), so the Gentiles in Acts 10 were saved BEFORE they were baptized in water. Why don't the Acts 2:38 cultists ever point this out? Answer: It destroys their perverted doctrine that water baptism is essential for salvation.

The fact is that Acts 2:38 is NOT the "model" plan of salvation, nor are any of the other "water verses" which the cultists use. Only by taking such verses out of their context can one teach such heresy. All of the Bible is true, not just the favorite "proof texts" of the cults. Baptism saves no one. It only serves as a testimonial picture of the death, the burial, and the resurrection of Jesus Christ AFTER one has believed on Christ (Acts 8:36-38). Paul said in I Corinthians 1:17 that ". . . Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect." 

This "gospel" is defined by Paul in I Corinthians 15:1-4, and it does NOT include water baptism. The dying thief was not baptized, yet Jesus saved him (Luke 23:42-43), and John wrote that we are washed in the BLOOD of Christ (Rev. 1:5), not in the water. In fact, the saints in Heaven claim to have gotten there by the blood of Jesus (Rev. 5:9), not by water. By faith in the blood of Jesus Christ one is saved (Rom. 3:25). Water baptism only follows this faith as an outward step of obedience.

Friend, if you have fallen for the water gospel, why not repent of your sin and trust Jesus Christ alone? Acts 10:43 says, "To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins." Why not believe on Christ 100% right now and quit trusting something you DO for salvation? "Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ." (Rom. 5:1) Ephesians 2:8-9 says, "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast." 

Romans 10:9-13 says,"That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved." Why not right now?

Copyright © 2000 James L. Melton
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Wednesday, August 7, 2013


I have big dogs.  One is an Akita.  He has a LOT of fur.  Summer time in Houston is miserable for him.  We adopted him, otherwise I think it is unfair to have a dog like that this far south.  He loves ice cream.  Problem is, I know dairy is not good for dogs, neither is sugar.  We also know that all three of the dogs like popsicles.  Who doesn't like popsicles when it's 100 degrees outside?

We bought some 'sugar-free' popsicles on sale at Kroger - but I don't particularly like buying that kind of stuff.  For $1.00 for a box of 24 - I'm sold!  Then I had a great idea for the dogs....

After boiling a chicken (or any meat) save the juice.

Put that juice in a popsicle mold (ice cube tray)

Instant puppy treat.  They love it!   I even left a few pieces of meat in there for them :)