Saturday, January 19, 2008

Wisconsin Homeschooling

Because of the recent court decisions in Wisconsin about virtual schools run by the State, some bills are currently before the Senate and Assembly. Hearings were held in Madison this week. Homeschoolers did not attend; public e-schoolers did; that is as it should be. Based on what happened at the hearing, though, it is terribly important that homeschoolers contact their legislators.

Updated information is not yet available on WPA's issues website, but I'm going to keep checking there for updates in case some news might be posted. Information will keep coming out on WPA's email list, and situations will change rapidly. If you care about new restrictions on homeschooling, I strongly urge you to join WPA and get on the email list so that you can be involved in protecting your freedoms. And if you think you're safe and don't care too much about protecting your freedoms, then consider people like me with special-needs kids who need individualized programs that are unique enough that they may not pass muster with the State (and which we shouldn't have to get okay-ed, anyhow).

The basic problem at this point is with Assembly Bill 697. The bill describes what responsibilities in a virtual charter school will be held by a certified teacher, and declares that the person providing educational instruction in the home need not be licensed nor certified. Although this does not apply directly and immediately to homeschoolers, the bill also says that the DPI will promulgate rules regarding "instructional staff." This will govern interactions between parents and students in the home with regard to education. This is too invasive and will eventually come back to hurt homeschoolers.

I realize that this is not enough information to help you know how to respond and whom you should phone in the Assembly. That would be a great deal of information to include in one blog post. Please join WPA and get informed so that you will be able to take a few minutes (or more, if possible) to help protect our good law.

Epiphany's Gold

It's been three weeks since I jogged: ice storms and illness and being away and vocational "stuff" interfered. So today (when it's a whoppin' 0° out) I made myself go out and jog. To ease the pain of getting back to the exercise routine, I took along a tape of my father-confessor's Epiphany sermon. Oh, I just have to bubble over about something in it!

The magi brought gold. Gold is fit for a king. Jesus is the King of kings.

The magi brought gold. Mary and Joseph were going to need some gold/money as refugees.

(You may have heard those points before.)

The magi brought gold. The tabernacle and the temple were rich with much gold. Jesus is the true temple; He came to tabernacle among us, full of grace and truth.

The magi brought gold. The altar was covered with gold. The mercyseat was gold. The place of atonement in the Holy of Holies: gold everywhere. John tells us (1 Jn 2:2) that Jesus is the propitiation for our sins and the sins of the whole world.

The magi brought gold.

Friday, January 18, 2008

This Past Week

The three youngest kids and I ran away this week to Fort Wayne. We stayed with Katie and Nathan, but got in a good long evening with Jane and family. I went to Indiana with firm resolve to sleep a lot so as not to relapse into illness. But I just couldn't tear myself away from talking with these ones I love so much. Managed to get at least six hours a night, and am still feeling fine. :-) Didn't hear as many lectures as I would've liked, but got to put in some time helping a friend with the CCA booth. Attended a wonderful church service Thursday evening, and then later the Sabre ceremony. The boys and I had only one complaint about chapel: too much choir; we like to sing those hymns and songs TOO!

Gary didn't get to go with us. He stayed here, hoping to get called in for a job. The brief news is that he has been hired for full-time employment with a secular business. He starts Wednesday. (Mom, vacation-time is arranged such that he will be able to go to the reunion in June. Hooray!) We assume that he will continue on in a part-time position here at this congregation and at Rockford, but that is yet to be determined, pending discussions with the DP and decisions of the next Voters' Assembly, and how this can all be worked out. Don't have much more news than that until after Sunday (at the earliest). In spite of all the changes that are coming, there is some relief in knowing that paychecks will come regularly and that there will be health insurance for Maggie.

Monday, January 14, 2008


Some people are so technologically inept that they are incapable of operating an alarm clock. Such a person might choose to use the kitchen timer (25' from her bed) to set an alarm on those rare days she needs to be awoken early. But then when somebody decides to set the kitchen timer for a perfectly reasonable use (timing the oatmeal or the brewing tea), it can sure jolt a technologically-inept person awake FAST, and set her to wondering WHY she's supposed to be getting up right now.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Diagramming Sentences

Too much of sentence-diagramming in English books is picky rules about how to write it. Do we underline the subject once and the predicate twice? Which words have a box around them and which are circled? Different texts have different conventions, and none of it matters! What's important is that the person knows what the main sentence is, and what phrases/clauses modify what. And that part is VERY important!

One hymn recently threw me for a loop. Pastor and Kantor took a shine to "O Savior of Our Fallen Race" and I think we sang it about ten times in the last six weeks. The first time through, I couldn't figure out what one antecedent was. And the meaning of that pronoun was hidden well enough that I couldn't figure it out as I was singing. Of course, I forgot after church to take a good careful look at the hymn. And then we sang it again a week or so later, and I still didn't know what I was singing. (It drives me NUTS when I don't know what I'm singing!!) When I sat down to figure it out, I thought this stanza was a prime example of why people need to be able to diagram sentences.

Today, as year by year its light
bathes all the world in radiance bright,
one precious truth outshines the sun:
salvation comes from You alone. Alleluia!
(LSB 403:4)

What's light? Whose light? What is IT?

Today one truth outshines the sun. Basic adverb, subject, verb, direct object.
Year by year tells when this bathing is happening. So the picture ends up being that one truth (salvation is of Christ alone) outshines the sun as the light of that truth bathes the world in radiance.

Sometimes the sentences can get pretty convoluted in the poetry of hymns. It's easy when once you look at it and figure it out. But when I'm faced with a new one, sometimes I get a fresh look at how important it is to pay attention to the punctuation in a hymn and what the main subject/verb are.