What makes a great writer?  Over the years, we've used a number of different activities and texts.  What helped the most?  I polled my students--who range from college age to teens--to see what they thought.  The results were interesting.

While the early activities we shared and the texts we used probably had at least some role to play, our students credited other things for their success: developing strong reading skills, getting to write on topics that were important to them, having a writing buddy for advice and encouragement, analyzing others' papers, and studying a foreign language. 

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School time is here! Why wait? Start planning now if you want to have a Perfectly Miserable Homeschool this year! Cranky kids, lost tempers, stress, discontent, an unhappy marriage and plenty of complaining can be yours with very little trouble! Just follow these ten easy steps! (Start by leaving your sense of humor behind and taking this tongue-in-cheek article Very Seriously.)

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Recently, a bill was introduced in the South Carolina legislature that would have severely curtailed homeschooling. I was pleased to see the rapid response of homeschoolers to this threat to our freedoms. Based upon some of the questions and concerns that we fielded during this time, I thought it would be helpful to review how to respond to those who attack homeschooling.

Over the years, I have found that people who oppose homeschooling, or who want to severely regulate it, fall into one of three categories. There are those who oppose based upon ideological principles. There are those who oppose based upon ignorance of homeschooling. And there are those who oppose because of insecurity about their own educational decisions. Our response to each of these three groups should be different.

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ADHD is a controversial subject in America today.  Is it just a discipline problem?  Is it just a gender issue blown out of proportion?  Does it really exist at all?  Part of the misunderstanding lies in the definition of ADHD itself.  Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is not really a single disease with a set course of treatment, but rather a collection of symptoms that may point to different underlying problems.  One of the advantages of a home school setting for students with ADHD is that it offers flexibility for parents to explore the underlying issues that may be contributing to the out-of-control behavior they observe.  Drugging ADHD students in school to make them compliant is like putting a band-aid on a compound fracture.  It may keep the outward symptoms covered up during the school day, but it fails to cure the underlying issues.

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Scripture tells us in 1 Corinthians 10:12 that if we think we are standing firm, we must be careful that we do not fall. Recently I was saddened to hear bad news about several old friends. These friends were conservative Christian home-schooling families who seemed to be the “model homeschoolers.” So when I heard that their families had been broken apart, I was somewhat stunned. I began to ponder how easy it is for even a “model family” to fall off the path. I believe it starts when we stop putting our faith in Jesus for grace to serve Him each day and instead begin to rely on other things. They may even be good things, but a reliance on them is a reliance on externals, not internals. Following are some externals that may become substitutes for Christ.

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"Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers." (I Timothy 4:16)

It was Wednesday at 4 pm. Three mothers and their teenage boys walked into the orthodontic offices of Doctors Fearing, Payne and De Mise. Well, what actually happened was Mrs. Homemacher, Mrs. Hopewell, and Mrs. Hidebound walked into the office. Their three boys followed ten paces behind as if they had no clue who had driven them there.

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Integrity is a difficult concept for many people to understand.  Some people claim it, even though they can’t define it.  You can’t go down to the corner store and get it, but you can lose it at the corner store.  You can’t get a degree in integrity, but you can lose integrity getting a degree.  It is more than what you say.  It is more than what you do.  However, it is directly connected to what you say and do.  Proverbs 10:9 tells us, “The man of integrity walks securely, but he who takes crooked paths will be found out.”

When I attended the US Air Force Academy we had an honor code, “We will not lie, cheat, or steal, or tolerate among us those who do.”  This may not be a textbook definition of integrity, but it is a pretty good working definition.  It embodies the two key principles of integrity. What you say and what you do are consistent and they are honorable.

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For I can testify about them that they are zealous for God, but their zeal is not based on knowledge.  Since they did not know the righteousness that comes from God and sought to establish their own, they did not submit to God’s righteousness.  (Romans 10:2-3)

Here’s a good stuffy, scholarly-sounding quote to throw around next time you get into a discussion about Karl Marx’s theory of economics: “The relative values of commodities are, therefore, determined by the respective quantities or amounts of labor, worked up, realized, fixed in them.” 

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School time is coming soon! Why wait? Start planning now if you want to have a Perfectly Miserable Homeschool this year! Cranky kids, lost tempers, stress, discontent, an unhappy marriage and plenty of complaining can be yours with very little trouble! Just follow these ten easy steps! (Start by leaving your sense of humor behind and taking this tongue-in-cheek article Very Seriously.)

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“The history of the present [government] is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute tyranny over these states.”  An interesting quote.  Sounds like it came from a talk radio diatribe, or possibly from a right-wing conservative blog.  Actually, it comes from our Declaration of Independence.  In that document the term I have in brackets—government— was actually “King of Great Britain.” 

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