Monday, September 30, 2013

When did home schooling become a crime?

I am not one to post about others however I am trying to spread the word. The following post is from another blogger about a family right here in FLORIDA. I am so disappointed in our government. Please share and pray for this family.
**I wrote this article on behalf of my dear friends, Steve and Kristina Spell. Please read and share. Regardless of your personal views on homeschooling, this situation is about an attack on choice and freedoms and needs to stop. Thank you.**
As a parent, you rest in knowing that you are the one to make choices for your children and your family. You have the unique ability to know your children better than anyone else and to manage your home in the way that best suits your family’s needs, beliefs and well being. This is a freedom that all parents should have, the freedom to raise their children in a safe, nurturing environment but this is a freedom that is currently being attacked in one family in Tallahassee, FL by the State of Florida.
                  On February 3, 2011, homeschooling parents Steve and Kristina Spell were approached by law enforcement at their home and told that they were under arrest. Shocked, they struggled to find childcare for their six children who stood scared and confused as they watch their parents apprehended by state officials. Kristina was eight months pregnant with her seventh child. They were given three hours to find childcare for the evening and then were told to turn themselves in. Otherwise, the police would return and forcefully remove them from their home. They were being charged with five counts of Compulsory Attendance Violation. In other words, they were being arrested for homeschooling.
                  It appears as though an estranged family member was seeking revenge on both Steve and Kristina and reported them to the Leon County School System, claiming that their children were being neglected and deprived of an education. A representative from Leon County Schools visited the family to assess the situation. Kristina explained that she was in fact homeschooling her five school aged children and proceeded to show the representative her paperwork, proving that her family was covered under the umbrella of a private school that is registered with the Department of Education. Meaning, the Spell family was indeed homeschooling their children but they were accountable to a private school, which kept records for them and allowed them to participate in activities such as sports and field trips.
                  The Spell family followed the letter of the law when it came to their choice to home school their children and they felt confident when confronted by their county’s school system but regardless of the evidence, these two homeschooling parents were arrested in front of their six children for simply choosing to educate them at home.
                  Over the last two and a half years, the Spell family has been dragged slowly through the court system. As a single income family, they have seen devastating financial loss as they were forced to pay out of pocket for their attorney’s retainer fees while Steve has lost thousands of dollars taking unpaid days off of work to attend court proceedings. They were forced to remove themselves from the private school umbrella and register through Leon County where the children were required to undergo rigorous grade level testing and each child tested very well for his/her particular grade level.  Their eldest daughter has successfully graduated from high school (at home) and is currently working full time with a reputable company in Tallahassee, FL. Steve and Kristina have been blessed to add two more children to their family since their arrest in 2011. Kristina, the founder of a non-profit organization that rescues and restores victims of sexual trafficking, has continued her work and her homeschooling, in spite of blatant threats from the State of Florida to enroll her children in public school. Kristina says, “I want to raise and teach my kids my belief system, not the cultures. As an American that’s my right and as a Christian, it’s my mandate.”
Regardless of the family’s continual compliance with the State, the case is set to go to trial this week and if found guilty, Steve and Kristina could face up to ten years in prison, leaving their eight children parentless for a decade, all because of their choice to educate them at home.
If you are as outraged about this situation as you should be, make your voice heard. Contact the State Attorney’s Office in Tallahassee, Florida and protest this case. Contact your local news provider and share this story. Utilize your social media and any public platform you have to shed light on this area of injustice.
Help end this victimization and blatant war on homeschooling so that the Spells, and all families like them, can have the freedom to choose what is best for their children, whether that is a public education or a solid education in the home.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Not sure any day is enough.

When I started this blog I was going through a rough time with our adopted son. I was lucky to make it through a day with out crying. So asking myself is today enough then was a completely different story than asking today. As time moves on and we grow closer to God we are shown things within us that need to change. At that point in my life I could not change. I was unable to receive what God was showing me.
Now three years later and many many lessons later, I believe I hear God's voice much clearer. I have come to a point in my life where I am not wiling to deal with nonsense. I choose my friends wisely as to surround myself with people who show me where I am falling short and help me to make changes in my life.
My life ministry is my children and husband. I believe God has put me in a position to love them and show them His love for them. asking myself daily is today enough has changed a little. Now it is more like Did I show them God working in my life today. It is hard when you wake up and seem to cook, clean, teach, and many other things through out the day, then ask what did I do today to teach them Gods love. Now we have Bible lessons and we talk about God, but I am more talking about my actions. I believe God uses our actions more than our words to teach others.
So as of today I am setting a personal goal to let me actions show my family Gods love.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

2 weeks down.

Well we have had two successful weeks of home schooling. The first week seemed so easy, but mostly it was just reviewing. This week we did a lot more but still a lot of review.

We celebrated Solomon's birthday at Busch Gardens on Tuesday and I was reminded of how fortunate our family is. Not only has God blessed us with four beautiful children but with finances to enjoy lots of activities. Growing up my parents struggled paycheck to paycheck just pay the bills. I am grateful that I had parents who worked so very hard so I could enjoy the things I loved. And now I look at my life and pray my children will grow up with a  sense of need, NOT want.
This has been the topic of my prayers this week. Daily I hear people (myself included) saying I "need" this or that. When actually we have everything we need and much much more! Our urgency for things has put our country in a state of want rather than need. I say this not to make anyone feel bad but to explain the joy God gave me with just $20 this week.
While at Busch Gardens I was waiting for the boys to get off a ride and saw two grown men having their picture taken with Big Bird and Elmo. These two were with a group from Orlando for persons with physical and mental disabilities. One of the men was in a wheel chair and the other had major malformation of his face. Anyway I could see the joy they both had while having their picture taken with these fun characters. I watched from a distance for about 5 min, until the Lord prompted me to but them a picture that had been taken. When the men and their caregivers saw the pictures they were ecstatic. The one care giver told me all they wanted while visiting Busch Gardens was having a picture with Elmo. It was such a joy for me to see them smiling and laughing. I took pictures with them and shared in their excitement.
This week God has brought both of these men to mind daily. I will continue to pray for them both and I will so grateful for my healthy God loving children.
Thank you Lord for your blessings in my life!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Day 2 Down!

Well we are off to a good start. Day two of home school was as productive as day one. I know that the first few weeks will be light work for the boys but it is nice just to ease into things.
We have family in this week and Labor day weekend so, having things lighter these weeks helps out.
I am so very excited about homeschooling this year. I believe God has called me to this and I cant wait to see how he changes our lives.

Friday, August 2, 2013

WOW 3 years?

I can't believe it has been 3 crazy years since I blogged. I guess I need to keep up a little better. I had stopped blogging because I wasn't sure how much was too much to share regarding our adoption. I was afraid of people looking down on us and our family for our choices. I have since learned it doesn't really matter what other think. God is in control and we have followed His leading in trying to do the best for our family.
Since my last post we have moved to North Port Florida and are currently attending a great Church.
 Marcus has moved to an independent living program to help him get ready for life beyond high school. He will be a senior this year and hopes to join the military after graduation. We think this is a great opportunity for him!
Solomon will be in 1st grade this year, and after a year at private school we David and I decided home school will be the best option for our family. I am looking forward to learning and teaching him and Josiah this year.
Josiah had a wonderful Pre-k year and will start home school this year as well.
And as many of you know we have a baby now. Isaac is 15 months now and growing too too fast!
I hope to keep the blog up better this year sharing my experiences in homeschooling.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Monday, July 19, 2010

Catching up!

Sorry it has been so long since I updated everyone. The past few months have been very difficult. I actually started another blog without names, pictures in hope that I would feel more comfortable expressing our life when I realized it is the life God gave me and I should not be ashamed but excited to give my daily, weekly or monthly testimonies. They may not always be sweet and fun, but it is my life. My hope is that families who have either adopted or are thinking about adopting will find my blog helpful and helpful in their journey.

So since I last blogged we have moved to Sarasota. Wow what a change. We are getting into a grove, Marcus started football, Solomon starts pre-k and I am excited to get some one on one with Josiah.
I am so thankful that we were finally able to move to Sarasota. We were in Orlando while David was either commuting or staying in Sarasota. During this time I was dealing with behaviors from Marcus that I could not handle alone. Davids dad stepped up to the plate (thank goodness) but Marcus really needed Davids strong hand and guidance. So here we are. Since moving I thought finally things will get better, of course just when you think that they get worse. Raising a teenager is tough but loving a child who has the background Marcus does is even tougher. I don't know if he really does not care or if it is just a front. Sometimes I feel like he just thinks of ways to make me mad.
I was given a WONDERFUL book by my friend Beth about training a child. I have had this book for almost a year and never opened it until this week. I think God was laughing at me and saying I told you to read this. It has made a huge impact on how David and I will continue to parent not only Marcus but Solomon and Josiah also. There are so many great ideals and most importantly it is Christ centered. We have already started implementing things that are helping.
One issue we have trouble with is every time we ask him to do something he always ask WHY. Now most times he knows why and it is his way of disobeying. So now IF he completes the task with out question or comments I explain, however if he questions or comments I completely ignore him. So far so good. Lets hope it continues to work.
As for Solomon he just had his 4Th birthday. I can not believe he is four already. For those of you who did not know, David and I were told we could not have children. After many doctors and research we found Pope Paul IV and we were able to conceive using there Creighton Model approach. We got pregnant however had a miscarriage on August 11 2005. One year later on August 11 2006 Solomon was delivered. God had many blessing in store for our family and we just had to be patient and learn to trust him. Anyway Solomon is growing and learning and is super excited about starting school on Monday.
Josiah is our "all boy" child. He is into everything and does not stop. He is talking more and more and loves to swim. I have never seen a toddler swim like him. He can swim the length of the pool without coming up for air. Maybe he is the next Phelps. LOL

As for now we are just trying to survive the stage of life we are in. We know God is faithful and his plan for our family is better than any plan we could have for ourselves.

Also let me know if you do not recieve our photos each month and I will add you to the list.