[Article]
on 04/15/2014 - 8:26pm

It's here! The long-awaited book telling the history of home education in Minnesota is now available. Over thirty early home educators shared their 'stories' with Given and Eileen Hoffman as they put together the book The Voices of the Pioneers: Homeschooling in Minnesota, released just prior to the 2014 MÂCHÉ conference.

"The Minnesota Association of Christian Home Educators (MÂCHÉ) brings you this collection of first-hand stories of more than thirty homeschool pioneers. Sit down with a hot beverage and enjoy this conversational-style history of those who ventured to do what was considered less than legal and more than a little bit crazy. Learn why parents removed their children from public schools to educate them at home and how these pioneers fought for that right before local courts, district courts, the Minnesota Supreme Court, and in hearings before both the Minnesota House and Senate. Witness the birth of MÂCHÉ and its thirty years of growth and influence."

To give you a taste of what will be inside the covers, please read on. "Less than six months later, on January 5th, 1981, someone reported us to a social worker...

[Article]
on 03/09/2014 - 5:58pm

Dear Support Group Leaders,

MÂCHÉ is excited to have Joe and Zan Tyler as our guest speakers for the 2014 Support Group Leaders Symposium.  The Tyler’s come to us with over twenty five years of homeschool leadership experience.  Please plan to spend your lunch break during the 2014 Conference with us on Friday, April 11th, 12:15 pm, when Joe and Zan will offer insight, inspiration and support for homeschooling leaders. 

You also won’t want to miss this wonderful opportunity to get any updates relevant for your support groups as well as encouragement to continue to serve the homeschool community around you.  MÂCHÉ truly appreciates your service to the homeschoolers in your area.

This event is by invitation only.  Please keep an eye out in your email box for a message from Constant Contact.  If you are a leader of a support group in your area and you are not listed on MÂCHÉ’s group webpage (You must be logged in to your MÂCHÉ membership account to see this page), please contact MÂCHÉ at...

[Article]
on 01/29/2014 - 12:52pm

“For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise” (2 Corinthians 10:12).

After homeschooling and graduating two sons, I can look back to a tale of two sons: “It was the best of times. It was the worst of times.”

Our firstborn learned the fundamentals of reading in a Christian school before we moved from Lubbock and ended up feeling forced to homeschool. Everything I learned about home schooling was discovered through speaking to a friend at the Christian school in Lubbock and reading everything I could find. The authors who influenced me the most were the late Dr. Raymond Moore and his wife Dorothy. I then met Ruth Beechick in the book You CAN Teach Your Children Successfully. She endeared herself to me when she stated that curriculum should be the servant and not the master.

I started our adventure using everything Dr. Moore’s foundation, The Hewitt-Moore Foundation, recommended. By the time the first year was over, I had discovered that some of...

[Article]
on 01/29/2014 - 12:03pm

We’re all familiar with the term “trophy wife.” This usually describes the rich, worldly man who chooses not to marry for love, but rather to marry for a suitable “trophy” to show off among his friends and business partners: a beautiful woman, beautifully dressed, perfectly-coiffed, manicured, and lavishly bejeweled.  Love never enters into this arrangement; it’s purely about image.

Did you know we can also have “trophy children?”

When we raise “trophy children,” it’s always about image - how we’re perceived by others. It’s about having the brightest, most talented, best behaved children among our peers. Love may not even enter into the equation.  It’s about showing off what we have that they may not have: "Your children are disrespectful, lazy, underachievers. But look at MY children! See how perfect they are? See how great I am? See how perfectly we raise our children? Don’t you wish you were like me?"

Now that’s the cold, ugly side of it, of course. Few of us are that coldblooded. But where does “wanting the best for our children...

[Article]
on 12/09/2013 - 1:48pm

“You have it so easy…. You homeschool only one!”  – That is what I heard for many years as a homeschool mom. As my friends who had many children got to the point where they were homeschooling their last child, they realized that homeschooling “only one” is not any easier than homeschooling many. It is just a different mindset, but God can provide the answers whether we homeschool one or more. For some of us, homeschooling only one is the home education path that God has us travel for 12 years. For other homeschool parents, it might be a path they are on for just a few years as the baby of the family completes the family’s homeschool journey. That old adage of “hindsight is 20/20” is so true. This homeschool mom has completed her in-the-trenches homeschool journey. Our son is now 25 years old. He (and we) survived the homeschool journey! I hope these few words of experience might impart some wisdom to the moms who are still plugging away in those trenches. God knows where you are and He will meet you there!

I was a professional educator before I was a homeschool mom. I taught all levels from kindergarten through...

[Article]
on 08/27/2013 - 10:17pm

A new homeschooling year! Excitement is in the air as you open packages of materials and prepare for the best year you have ever had! At least, you told yourself that you and the children would do that this year. That is what you want to do—have the best year yet.

The myth circulating is that a homeschool mom is supposed to teach her children (all academic subjects, all day long), keep her home immaculate, bake bread twice a week, chauffeur the children to two activities per day, and still have time for her husband and her church. Right? A homeschool mother certainly didn’t start that rumor!
Regardless of false expectations from others and even from ourselves, a homeschooling mother does have more to do on most days than almost any other human on the planet. Disorganization adds stress and frustration to her day. Can she teach two children—or ten—and survive? Is it hard work? Yes, to both of those questions. However, when you PACE yourself, your job is much easier and less stressful.

PLAN

Planning well does take time. However, it takes much less time to plan than to try to recover from the consequences...

[Article]
on 08/26/2013 - 11:57pm

Eeek! You did it! You made the decision to take full responsibility for your child’s education and to homeschool them! I am so excited for you and you should be too, for you are embarking on one of the most rewarding adventures.

But I also want to be real with you. It is scary.

You will wake up excited one morning and terrified the next. You will have days where you wonder why on earth you thought you could this. You will worry that you are behind, you will worry that you aren’t doing enough, and you will worry that you are doing too much.

You will have days when your child refuses to do what he or she is asked. Where chores go unfinished and where math takes four hours and yet you accomplish nothing. Tears will flow and you will want to quit.

You will most likely start out with a very pretty picture of what your school will look like. You probably read books, researched learning styles, and decided on what method you believe will work best for your child. Most likely it will turn out to be the exact opposite of what your child thrives on. You will spend money on curriculum that doesn’t work. More than once.

There will be...

[Article]
on 07/02/2013 - 9:29am

What is CHW / FTJ?

Have you heard about home education and want to know more about this educational choice for your children? 

Have you been homeschooling and now your children are reaching those high school years?

Please consider attending a "Considering Homeschooling Workshop (CHW)" or "Finishing the Journey: Homeschooling Through High School (FTJ)" workshop! This is an excellent opportunity to find the answers you have been looking for and to see how you can maneuver the many questions, challenges, joys and rewards of these two vitally important stages in the homeschool journey of life.

Registration is now open for two upcoming events. Scroll down and click on the event that you would like to attend. You will receive directions on how to register.

 

August 10, 2013 - Plato, MN

Crossroads Church...

[Article]
on 06/29/2013 - 5:06pm

I had one of those days again last week . . . the kind that made me second guess myself as the chief educator in our home. It was one of those days when I felt the wave of discouragement wash over me and leave me battered and bruised. It all started with a simple writing and math lesson for two of my precious children. With good attitudes they worked hard at their studies, but as they submitted their lessons to me for review, my heart sank.

I had recently looked over my yearly goals for our children, and it was grade time for mama. Here we were, nearly a year later, and I felt we were still struggling with the same points. "“Lord,”" I thought, "“I’'ve failed. They can'’t spell any better today, or add any better. What am I doing wrong?”"

Almost instantly I recognized this sinking feeling. It seems to come at the end of a “school year,” as I evaluate myself and my children students fairly severely. Every year, the Lord reminds me in His still quiet way to hush . . . not to speak, but just to listen. We put the school books away and loaded up into the van to rush off to piano lessons. My heart aching, I poured out my sorrows and fears in...

[Article]
on 06/29/2013 - 4:20pm

Western life serves as an allegory for homeschooling to me since I am a bit of a Louis L’Amour fan. My dad owns every book and the images of cowboys and pioneers taking on hard challenges are seared into my mind.  Adventurous and inspiring, these westerners left behind the familiar and comfortable in hopes of staking a new claim and making a better life for themselves and their families. Starting homeschooling is a little like heading west. We choose to be “beholden to no one” by disconnecting from the public educational sector. Only a few brave souls join us in our trek. We know it won’t be easy, but we expectantly hope for the glorious end of the trail. As we climb back into the homeschool saddle this year, it is good to remember some of the principles that helped our pioneer forefathers stay the course and finish the journey.

  • Pioneers have a different mindset.  We all walk with paradigms in our heads of what “education” looks like.  For me it was little desks, backpacks, and red marks on test papers.  But as pioneers we need to evaluate what we think a good education really entails....