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I’m Still Here!

Hello everyone…yes, I am still here. I know that it has been a long time since I have made an entry, but life has gotten in the way, as it often does. Homeschooling a 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grader with a pre-schooler, active toddler, and special needs baby keeps me hopping. I feel so blessed to have them and they come first. But, with that said, I know that I owe you an update!

Soon I will be posting some new pictures and updates, but for today…how about something fun?  For you ladies out there, have you ever stopped to think about what the contents of your purse reveal about you? What they say about who you are, or what season of life you are in? This came to my mind when I was going through my purse the other day.

In my purse you may not find make-up, nail files, or mirrors. You may not find lotions or jewelry. There is nothing wrong with having those things, but right now in this part of my life you might find more in my purse that belongs to someone else than belongs to me!

Here are some of the things that I have in my purse: crayons (always!), a matchbox car, polly pocket dolls, baby wipes, pacifiers, cute coloring page gifts from my children, collected rocks, baby Tylenol, a Chuck E. Cheese ticket, special socks for my son’s foot brace, and a business card to a candy factory to call for a homeschool field-trip.

My purse says that I am a Mommy. I may not have much room for my stuff in there, but it is still full, just like my heart!

What is in your purse?

As you may know, I recently posted that our newborn son Kolby was born with a clubfoot. You can read that entry here: https://thefullquiverhomeschoolhouse.wordpress.com/2008/08/28/clubfoot/ 

This is all new territory for my family and I, because we have never had any experience with this condition previously. We had no knowledge base to pull from, so I began doing extensive research to learn as much as I could, as a layperson, to best meet our son’s needs. I have found some very valuable resources that I want to share with you in case you have a loved one affected by clubfoot or know someone who does.

I recommend visiting the following web-sites:

  • http://www.six-feet.com This is an all-inclusive page that speaks to all of the aspects of having a child with the clubfoot birth defect.
  • http://www.ponseti.info/  This page deals with specific aspects of clubfoot treatment and education.

Another fabulous resource that I was so grateful to have suggested to me is this:

Click to join nosurgery4clubfootThis is a wonderful internet-based forum composed of parents who are currently having their children treated, and it is full of wonderful information that can only be gleaned from personal experiences! This group has already been such an incredible blessing to us, even this early in our journey. I HIGHLY recommend it!

Baby Brownies!!!

My children have a special tradition that they do with their Grandma every time that a new baby is born into our family. They bake “baby brownies”! All of the children from the oldest to the youngest get to help prepare and decorate brownies to be enjoyed when Mommy, Daddy, and the new baby come home from the hospital. This allows the children the chance to make wonderful memories with their Grandmother while she is caring for them, and teaches them that babies being born is something to celebrate and look forward to!

This is the third time that they have made “baby brownies”, and let me tell you,they keep on getting even tastier every time. After all, they are made with more and more love each time, as another little set of hands gets their turn to help!

Aprons on! Everyone is ready to get started!

Kassidy has got the right idea!

 

Kaitlyn adds some oil.

Here comes Kourtney with the eggs!

Time to start the mixing!

More mixing with Kyle.

Kassidy keeps it going.

Kourtney gets her chance to mix it up.

Okay, time to bring in the big muscles with Kory!

Time for the yummy chocolate frosting!

Kyle is the official frosting-tester…now that is a great job to have!

Ah! The finishing touch…rainbow sprinkles!!!

Here is the final product…delicious!! These did not last long, let me tell you!

Clubfoot

Our sweet little Kolby was born with a clubfoot. Clubfoot is a congenital deformity of the foot, where the foot is twisted inward and downward.This condition is found in only about 1 out of 1000 births, and was most likely caused due to position in my uterus,in his case.

Kolby is being treated currently with a series of casts that are changed weekly to aid in moving his foot by degrees into the proper position. He is currently on his second cast, and due to have his third applied Friday morning. We make weekly trips to the local children’s hospital to have this done. The hope is, that if his casting is successful, we will be able to avoid subjecting him to something much more invasive like surgery.

It is still very difficult however,for me as a mother, to watch him being made uncomfortable for the removal and application of casts. It is my natural inclination to protect all of my children from any kind of pain, so it is hard, even when I know what is being done is an effort to help him. There is nothing quite like watching someone twist your newborn’s foot, or like watching someone saw a cast off of your tiny two-week old! Prayers for Kolby and a mother’s heart would be so appreciated!

I have done a lot of research about clubfoot thus far, and I will continue to do so during this journey. However, if you are reading this, and have any knowledge or experience in this regard please contact me either here in comments or via e-mail! I am always looking for more input and ideas to take care of my son the best way that I can. Thank you!

He is here!

I know that it has been a while since I updated here. But I have a good reason. No, really, I have a GREAT reason!!

THIS is why I have been MIA for a little while:

Kolby Bradford was born on August 12th, 2008 at 5:51am!

He weighed 4 pounds and 15 ounces, and was 18 inches long.

Isn’t he just a sweetheart?

Everyone is just loving him and enjoying him so much!

Big sister Kaitlyn was the first sibling to hold him.

Next it was big brother Kyle’s turn.

Big sister Kourtney gets her chance.

Big sister Kassidy has been waiting patiently to hold her new brother.

Kory is a big brother now!

Welcome home baby Kolby!!! We love you!

Well, it has been a long 6 months but the battle for homeschool freedom in the state of California has ended for now…with success!! After following this case closely since not long after beginning this blog, it is nice to see such a positive culmination of events in this important matter. Below you can read more about this victory for parental rights. Praise the Lord for His obvious hand in this fight!

The following case report can be found at this location:

http://www.hslda.org/hs/state/ca/200808080.asp

Here is the text:

A Great Victory for California Homeschoolers

In a unanimous decision, the California Court of Appeal for the Second Appellate District today ruled that California statutes permit home schooling as a species of private school education.

Today’s decision stands in stark contrast to the opinion this same three-judge panel issued in February, which would have made California the only state in the union to outlaw home education had it remained in effect.

It is unusual for an appellate court to grant a petition for rehearing as this court did in March,said HSLDA Chairman Mike Farris,but it is truly remarkable for a court to completely reverse its own earlier opinion. We thank you for your prayers and give God the glory for this great victory.

When the court vacated its earlier decision on March 25, 2008, it invited interested organizations to file friend-of-the-court briefs.I have never seen such an impressive array of people and organizations coming to the defense of homeschooling, said Farris, who was one of the attorneys who argued the case on rehearing along with Alliance Defense Fund attorney, Jeff Shafer who represented the father. The father was also represented by Gary Kreep of the United States Justice Foundation.

California’s three largest homeschool organizations, California Homeschool Network, Homeschool Association of California and Christian Home Education Association joined together in one brief to defend the right of all parents to homeschool. HSLDA, Family Protection Ministries and Focus on the Family also joined in a separate brief. Numerous other private organizations came to the defense of home education as did California’s governor, attorney general, and superintendent of public instruction.

We are extremely grateful to all of the organizations who worked tirelessly to protect and preserve homeschooling freedom in California. We are also thankful for you, our members, for your prayers and support during this trying season.

The freedom to homeschool is a precious gift from God. But keeping it free requires vigilance and perseverance. We must continue to work together diligently to preserve this precious freedom in California and elsewhere.

Below are excerpts from the opinion:

We will conclude that: (1) California statutes permit home schooling as a species of private school education; and (2) the statutory permission to home school may constitutionally be overridden in order to protect the safety of a child who has been declared dependent. [FN1: We use the terms home school and home schooling to refer to full-time education in the home by a parent or guardian who does not necessarily possess a teaching credential.]

Although the Legislature did not amend the statutory scheme so as to expressly permit home schooling, more recent enactments demonstrate an apparent acceptance by the Legislature of the proposition that home schooling is taking place in California, with home schools allowed as private schools. Recent statutes indicate that the Legislature is aware that some parents in California home school their children by declaring their homes to be private schools. Moreover, several statutory enactments indicate a legislative approval of home schooling, by exempting home schools from requirements otherwise applicable to private schools.

While the Legislature has never acted to expressly supersede Turner and Shinn, it has acted as though home schooling is, in fact, permitted in California.

While the legislative history of Education Code section 44237 is somewhat complicated, it confirms this interpretation, and also reflects the Legislature’s apparent intent to accommodate home schooling parents.

The most logical interpretation of subsequent legislative enactments and regulatory provisions supports the conclusion that a home school can, in fact, fall within the private school exception to the general compulsory education law.

We therefore conclude that home schools may constitute private schools.

While the interpretation of the private school exemption is ultimately an issue for the courts, we find it significant that education and enforcement officials at both the state and local levels agree that home schools may constitute private schools.

In short, the rule of Turner and Shinn has been discounted as a doctrinal anachronism, and clinging to such precedent would undermine a practice that has been, if not actively encouraged, at least acknowledged and accepted by officials and the public for many years.

Another news story regarding this issue can be found here:

http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-homeschool9-2008aug09,0,858947.story

The article follows:

Parents may home-school children without teaching credential, California court says

Gov. Schwarzenegger praises the reversal by the 2nd District Court of Appeal as a victory for students and parental rights.

By Seema Mehta, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
August 9, 2008

Parents may legally home-school their children in California even if they lack a teaching credential, a state appellate court ruled Friday. The decision is a reversal of the court’s earlier position, which effectively prohibited most home schooling and sparked fear throughout the state’s estimated 166,000 home-schoolers.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who had vowed to allow home schooling through legislation if the court did not act, praised the ruling. 
 
“This is a victory for California’s students, parents and education community. This decision confirms the right every California child has to a quality education and the right parents have to decide what is best for their children,” he said. “I hope the ruling settles this matter for parents and home-schooled children once and for all in California, but assure them that we, as elected officials, will continue to defend parents’ rights.”

In February, the 2nd District Court of Appeal ruled in a child protection hearing that parents must have a teaching credential to home-school their children. The decision caused a nationwide uproar among home-schoolers, religious activists and others, and the court agreed to reconsider its decision, a move described as unusual but not unprecedented.

The issue arose in part because California’s laws do not specifically address home schooling, unlike those of at least 30 other states.
Friday’s ruling essentially upheld the position of the state Department of Education and state Supt. of Public Instruction Jack O’Connell, who have traditionally allowed home schooling as long as parents file paperwork with the state establishing themselves as private schools, hire credentialed tutors or enroll their children in independent study programs run by charter or private schools or public school districts.

“As head of California’s public school system, it would be my wish that all children attend public school, but I understand that a traditional public school environment may not be the right setting for each and every child,” he said. “I recognize and understand the consternation that the earlier court ruling caused for many parents and associations involved in home schooling. It is my hope that today’s ruling will allay many of those fears and resolve much of the confusion.”

The court also said that the right of parents to home-school their children can be overridden if a child is in danger.

Home-schooling families celebrated the ruling.

“We’re ecstatic, happy and thrilled,” said Loren Gould of Westchester, who teaches her son, Logan, 7, at home. “He gets to keep his love of learning alive. . . . The world is his classroom.”

The case stemmed from the Long family of Lynwood, who were accused of mistreating some of their eight children. All of the children are or had been enrolled at Sunland Christian School, where they would occasionally take tests, but they were taught in their home by their mother.

Lawyers appointed to represent the two youngest children had asked the court to require them to attend a public or private school full time so adults could monitor their well-being. The family court declined, but the children’s lawyers appealed.

The 2nd District Court of Appeal ruled in February that Sunland officials’ occasional monitoring of the Longs’ methods of teaching were insufficient to qualify as being enrolled in a private school. Because Mary Long does not have a teaching credential, the family violated state laws, the ruling said.

The Longs, the Sunland school and others appealed, and the appellate panel agreed to revisit the ruling. That panel heard arguments in June at a freewheeling hearing attended by at least 45 attorneys representing disparate groups. Democratic and Republican politicians, religious and secular home-schoolers, and liberal and conservative legal scholars all weighed in, saying the court had erred.

Phillip Long, who has said the family chose to home-school the children because of their strong Christian beliefs, said Friday that he doesn’t believe the court was swayed by the legal arguments.

“Only one thing swayed this court — politics,” he said. “This court was under pressure. . . . They did it to protect themselves and their reputation. Those judges want to be Supreme Court judges, they want to move up. They’re not going to do anything to upset their careers.”

Though the appellate court upheld the right of parents to home-school, it did direct the family court to revisit whether the Longs should be allowed to continue to home-school their children.

It’s unclear what will happen, because in July the family court terminated its jurisdiction over the family’s children, though the children’s lawyers are appealing that decision. Long is confident he will prevail.

“Educating your children in your own home preexisted these buffoons that sit on the 2nd Circuit,” he said. “It preexisted this state. It preexisted us. Parents have been teaching their own children since the beginning.”

California does little to enforce the education department’s provisions and insists that doing so is the local school districts’ responsibility.

In addition, state education officials say some parents home-school their children without the knowledge of any entity, making them virtually impossible to locate.

Home-schoolers and government officials have largely accepted this murky arrangement, but the court faulted the Legislature for failing to clarify the rules.

“It is important to recognize that it is not for us to consider, as a matter of policy, whether home schooling should be permitted in California. That job is for the Legislature. It is not the duty of the courts to make the law; we endeavor to interpret it,” Justice H. Walter Croskey wrote in a ruling signed by the two other members of the panel. “Our first task, interpreting the law of California, is made more difficult in this case by legislative inaction.”

To that end, the court said additional requirements for home-schoolers in other states such as standardized testing or home visits should be considered by the California Legislature.

“Given the state’s compelling interest in educating all of its children . . . and the absence of an express statutory and regulatory framework for home schooling in California, additional clarity in this area of the law would be helpful,” according to the ruling.

Statements such as those irked some home-school organizations that are weary of regulation, but were supported by constitutional scholar Erwin Chemerinsky, the dean of UC Irvine’s law school, who urged the court to overturn its initial ruling that banned most home schooling.

“I believe it’s the right of parents, if they chose, to be able to home-school their children. That’s absolutely their right,” he said. But “the state has an important interest [in] making sure all children are adequately educated.”

seema.mehta@latimes.com


Kaitlyn and Kyle with their arts&crafts painting projects!

Kaitlyn, Kyle, and Kourtney check out some other projects.

 

 

Kassidy thinks that the fair is lots of fun!

Kory enjoys one of the free coloring books they gave away.

Kaitlyn with her tree poster project.

Kyle with his tree poster project.

 

Kassidy and Kory like their flags!

Kaitlyn found stickers, candy, and a flag!

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