"It is better to grow a child than to repair a man."

Earl & Diane Rodd
August 1989 2180 Northland Ave.
Lakewood, OH 44107
Phone (216) 521-8856

A letter at last!
No we have not forgotten you! We "camped out" in our home for two months and a week. Then our household goods arrived June 8, and we had the task of unpacking and organizing. In the midst of this, Earl worked out of town half the time and all the family went with him or to grandparents' (part way to where Earl was). Now, finally, comes a long overdue letter. It has been a case of waiting until there was time to write a "good" letter!

Diane has mailed many letters to US suppliers and publishers to discover who is able to accept personal Australian checks and to encourage them to use Mastercard or Visa to help you purchase items easier and cheaper. Remember checks must not have "non-negotiable" written on them. Please see attached list for latest information.

Earl spent most of February and March working in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Diane and the boys were able to join him for a few weeks there, and homeschooling was very easy while living in a resort motel. Indoor swimming pool and spa were very convenient and fun. However, when staying with grandparents, homeschooling ceased! There were just too many other things to do. So the boys finally had a holiday after 16 straight months of work. After we moved into our house, they helped Diane with cleaning, etc. We resumed "formal" work in July after quite a long break.

Standardized tests
Both our school-age sons have taken standardized tests because we wanted to see where we stood and we thought that Ohio law might require it (new regulations have since come out rather than a new law and do require some sort of evaluation. Standardized tests are the easiest.) Administering the tests was fun in itself. Even tests have their biases - Earl found a reading comprehension question whose answer required acceptance of socialist dogma concerning what causes jobs to be eliminated. Many publishers (we used Mott Media) supply tests here for parents to administer (as we believe Light Educational Ministries does in Australia).

We would encourage you that administering the tests is a straightforward task and can be a lot of fun. Even though you may remember standardized tests as scary when you were a child, there is nothing scary at all about administering them. From our own experience and from sharing with others, parents can learn a lot in watching children take tests, especially younger children where the test questions and/or answers are given orally. Sometimes, even when they miss questions, the thinking process that goes on is really very interesting and may be steps ahead of the test writer!

Diagnostic tests
We also have used the diagnostic tests from Alpha-Omega publishers (Lifepacs). These are tests that you administer and score yourself. They are not standardized tests. Their purpose is to place a child into the correct level of Alpha-Omega Lifepacs. While we don't use Lifepacs very much at all, we were interested to try the diagnostic tests. The tests are very directly keyed to Lifepacs which means that our children missed some blocks of questions just because they had not, for example, read a piece of literature used at a particular level of Lifepacs. Nonetheless, the tests were useful as quick diagnostic tests showing where there were gaps in knowledge. When the scores indicated a gap in learning, it was very easy to see if this represented a "real" gap or simply that the child did not know the specific piece of literature or unusual terminology used by Lifepacs. The tests also showed what I had thought about Alpha-Omega math which is that it is too easy.

Home Schooling Law for Us
There is still work going on to get a new law regarding home schooling in Ohio. But the new regulations are a blessing for now. They are written in terms of "notification" rather than "approval" and appear to be binding on local school officials (previously in Ohio, local school officials could make their own rules - we intentionally picked a house in a city known to be friendly). The regulations require very minimal requirements in the way of parents' qualification (high school or equivalent) and performance (25th percentile on standardized tests or other evaluation).

August 24th, we are to be on a call-in radio program (two 1 hr programs on the two Christian stations at different times). The program is one which covers a variety of subjects, but concentrates on saving babies from abortion. This radio program is a matter for prayer although the time will have passed by the time this letter gets to you all. We accidentally came into this opportunity through a phone conversation with the program director on another matter. So we trust it is the Lord's opportunity to share effectively about home schooling.

God has also placed us with a church who supports homeschoolers. Homeschooling isn't their reason for existing (which we are thankful for), but most of the 25 families who attend teach their children at home. What a contrast from our Australian experience. It is really a blessing to attend a church which sees character and family as main priorities before ministry. Hopefully, we will be able to share intensively on this in later letters. Most families in the fellowship have a lot of young children (our eldest son is one of the oldest children.) Many families have 6 children so Sunday meetings have quite a crowd of little ones!

In April, Earl attended a conference called "Equippers 89" which was held a few miles from our home. The conference was organized by a group of related churches so we found it a good opportunity to learn the background and teaching emphasis of the "stream" of Christ's Body we are in for now. We share this because one session, in particular, was exciting. An older man named Bill Ward shared on "the second generation." Because God has appointed parents to be the influence on their children, he shared from a lot of experience that even children who are home schooled cannot be around parents "too much". He also shared an exciting approach to "dating", in a word, "NO". Many fellowships have worked hard in training their children that marriage is a "covenant", not something to do if you are "in love". They teach children than God has a plan for their lives and to make it a matter of lifelong prayer to know and live according to that plan. In particular with regard to a husband or wife, prayer and seeking the Lord is encouraged, not dating. This teaching background is important to us because the world says marriage for "convenience", not "covenant". Dating is seen as an invitation to arouse the emotions, the flesh and lust - not a very sensible thing to do on purpose. Rather, we pray our children know God's choice as they encounter members of the opposite sex in "real life" situations, i.e. families meeting with other families, Christian service etc. Then the families of both boy and girl can seek the Lord and if they all see this relationship as God's plan, then comes marriage. It is exciting to know this approach to marriage works, and our children can enter marriage without the bruises of a string of heartbreaks and broken relationships. Also, no one but the immediate families knows that anything is serious until a date is announced - our children can work out what God is saying to them in the safety of their families rather than under the watchful eyes of everyone looking for a good soap opera.

We wanted to share this because it was a powerful message due to the good experience shared. While God must show each of our families how to train our children within the environment we live, this message is food for thought.

The Issue of Our Day
Another strong current in our fellowship, and one receiving increasing emphasis among God's people, is an active stance to save the lives of innocent children being murdered daily in abortions. This action has landed several of our number in jail. This has provided them with opportunities to witness and has also exposed the nature of the spiritual battle. Some judges, police, and prosecution officials are irrational in their defense of abortion, and absolute nonsense often surfaces which is an obvious sign of spiritual, not natural, blindness. Thankfully, many also are pro-life. For those of us raised on American history, the issue abounds with parallels to the early 1800's and the fight to recognize black people as humans and not as "non-persons". There is language in some pro-death court decisions which exactly matches that in decisions in the 1800's declaring blacks (or the unborn) as "non-persons". (It also matches Nazi statements regarding Jews).

Our Culture
We live in a city with "good" schools which means they spend a lot of our tax money. We have, however, heard enough to know they are no place for a child to be. In general, the popular culture continues to be ever more anti-Christian. Many homesexuals have chosen to live in our city. Thus we are confronted with their need of the Savior. The home is the place we believe God has appointed to train children in His ways so that they are not sucked into the godless morass of popular culture, especially its entertainment industry. I would emphasize a newsletter from 1988 on Psalm 101! We have done a lot of letter writing - to government officials and to companies - to challenge them on moral issues. Joshua even wrote an excellent letter to General Foods regarding where they advertise and received an excellent reply.

Please Contact Us
Because it has been so long since we have written, some of you on our list may have moved or are no longer intereseted in any future letters we may write. We would greatly appreciate your writing to us if you want to hear from us. Some of you, we hear from regularly so we know you are there! For others, you can just send us an airletter or tell someone else who is writing to add your name to their letter.

Now to Some Thoughts
We are including two short thoughts in this letter because these have been issues well burned into our spirits, and we thought it right to share them.

Stress, Burn Out and the Bible

The world calls it stress, burn out, etc. but our Lord pinpoints the problem as anxiety or worry. Matthew 6 :24-34 (NAS) says,

Matthew 6:24
25. "No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will hold to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.
26. "For this reason I say to you, do not be anxious for your life, {as to} what you shall eat, or what you shall drink; nor for your body, {as to} what you shall put on. Is not life more than food, and the body than clothing?
27. "Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns, and {yet} your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they?
28. "And which of you by being anxious can add a {single} cubit to his life's span?
29. "And why are you anxious about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin,
30. yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory did not clothe himself like one of these.
31. "But if God so arrays the grass of the field, which is {alive} today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, {will He} not much more {do so for} you, O men of little faith?
32. "Do not be anxious then, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'With what shall we clothe ourselves?'
33. "For all these things the Gentiles eagerly seek; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.
34. "But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you.
35. "Therefore do not be anxious for tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. {Each} day has enough trouble of its own.

We are told not to worry about our food, our clothing or our homes. We are to seek His Kingdom first and these necessary things will be added to our lives. But our natural mind says, "Food has to be bought, prepared, cooked, served, and leftovers have to be cleaned up or recycled! Clothes have to be bought or made, washed, folded or ironed. Homes have to be found, bought, sold, rented, painted, repaired, etc." And yet Jesus told us to never worry about such things! What a test of faith and obedience for homeschooling families who have the opportunity to worry about these things as well as providing a godly education!

To avoid anxiety (stress) we must learn to approach the necessary details of running a home and educating our children with faith and trust in God. We must not trust in our own efforts! When the natural and the spiritual are divorced, we are not open to allow the Lord to show us easier, quicker, and better solutions to our daily physical and educational needs. We don't all have household servants, time-saving devices, time to read some author's book on how to save time, or special tutors in subject areas we feel inadequate to teach. However, we all do have access to the Creator of the universe who is also our FATHER. Dependence upon Him and the Holy Spirit (our Helper) may be the answer to the stress some homeschooling families are experiencing.

Luke 10 :38-42 (NAS) says,

Luke 10:38
39. Now as they were traveling along, He entered a certain village; and a woman named Martha welcomed Him into her home.
40. And she had a sister called Mary, who moreover was listening to the Lord's word, seated at His feet.
41. But Martha was distracted with all her preparations; and she came up {to Him,} and said, "Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to do all the serving alone? Then tell her to help me."
42. But the Lord answered and said to her, "Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered about so many things;
43. but {only} a few things are necessary, really {only} one, for Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her."

In this passage of Scripture Jesus clearly shows that Mary's ability to rest at Jesus' feet was more necessary and more appropriate than Martha's worry, frustration, and concern in giving Jesus and his followers a proper meal. Dependence, rest and fellowship with Him was Jesus' answer to Martha's case of burn out.

In the beginning God Himself rested on the seventh day after a six day work week that put the solar system, the plant and animal kingdom and mankind into perfect order. His choice to rest is the pattern He set for us to follow and obey. Jesus gave confirmation to man's need for rest when He said,

Mark 2:27 (NAS)
28. And He was saying to them, "The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath."

Romans 14 :5,6 teaches that no one can dictate to another what specific day of the week must be a day of rest, but the stress in our bodies and in our minds may force many homeschooling families to take a closer look at the fourth commandment. Exodus 20 :8-11 says,

Exodus 20:8 (NAS)
9. "Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.
10. "Six days you shall labor and do all your work,
11. but the seventh day is a sabbath of the Lord your God; {in it} you shall not do any work, you or your son or your daughter, your male or your female servant or your cattle or your sojourner who stays with you.
12. "For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day; therefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day and made it holy.

The sabbath is a day of rest for the whole family not just a day off for Mom to get her wallpapering finished! The Creator of the human body knows that body needs a whole day of rest every seventh day and a two week holiday in July or January won't end stress. The Biblical pattern can't be ignored without severe consequences. Eventually the whole family will be showing signs of anxiety (stress) and not just mom!

We pray that homeschoolers will find a way to rest after a six day work week that will bring refreshing to the whole family, glory to the Lord and a witness to others who may be observing all we do.

Isaiah 58:13
14. "If because of the sabbath, you turn your foot From doing your {own} pleasure on My holy day, And call the sabbath a delight, the holy {day} of the Lord honorable, And shall honor it, desisting from your {own} ways, From seeking your {own} pleasure, And speaking {your own} word,
15. Then you will take delight in the Lord, And I will make you ride on the heights of the earth; And I will feed you {with} the heritage of Jacob your father, For the mouth of the Lord has spoken."

The Expert Mentality

In our day, we see attempts by professional educationalists and other humanists to insist that only a "certified" teacher is capable of teaching children. This is but one manifestation of what we call the expert mentality. This mentality invades the church and can render Christians powerless when they should be powerful. For home schooling families, it may be the number one impediment to the confidence of parents that they can (and are appointed by God to do so) train their own children. The "expert mentality" is an outgrowth of our technological age. With high technology affecting many areas of life, we often don't have any understanding of day to day high technology items such as electronics or even parts of motor cars. Thus there are times when we need an "expert". Unfortunately, this concept has drifted into the so-called "social" sciences. The problem is that social science has failed as dramatically as physical science has excelled. Social science without God is always wrong. Ungodly economists have given us a world of debt. Ungodly psychologists have told our children that fornication is good for them. In America, when the "experts" on sex education from the Planned Parenthood organization enter schools, teenage promiscuity increases and with it the pregnancy rate. They then say we need their "expert" services for counseling on "safe sex" and access to abortions without parental knowledge. Ungodly educators have given us steadily declining reading levels etc. So much for the "experts" in the so-called social sciences. Social science deals with people, and people are spiritual beings. Only our Creator knows how we are made and His instructions work.

As home schooling parents, we have an apparent dilemma. On the one hand, in our technological age, it is obvious that there are times when we need an "expert". And yet, in so many ways, "experts" are a total failure! How do we determine if an area (e.g. math, motor mechanics, self-image courses etc.) is one in which use of an "expert" is acceptable in God's sight? We offer the following as a criteria.

The first part of the criteria has already been discussed. We must be careful of the attempt by humanists to take the advances which physical science has brought in technology and assume that the same success comes to social science just because a person has "credentials". Remember that the "credentials" of a humanist mean that he is carefully trained in rebellion against God and His claims to Lordship of our lives.

The second part of our criteria deals with pre-suppositions, or what a person believes. A simple example is the motor mechanic who works on our car. We choose a person who shares our pre-suppositions about cars; one who believes that various laws of mechanics, physics and chemistry apply to the workings of a car. We would not hire a motorcar mechanic who believed he should replace the parts in our car with part numbers chosen from the lottery. In the so-called social sciences, this criteria leads us to reject the "experts" because they do not share our pre-suppositions at all. The humanist who believes that man is an evolved animal who is getting better all the time (and who needs released from the bonds of God's laws) cannot be turned to as an "expert" in any matters relating to human behavior! This leads us to a startling, but true, conclusion! Every Christian who understands the nature of sin and the redemption of Jesus knows more about the deep matters of human nature, behavior and function than the humanist with five degrees after his name! The Bible says it so clearly.

I Corinthians 1:27
28. but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong,

I Corinthians 2:10
11. For to us God revealed {them} through the Spirit; for the Spirit searches all things, even the depths of God.
12. For who among men knows the {thoughts} of a man except the spirit of the man, which is in him? Even so the {thoughts} of God no one knows except the Spirit of God.
13. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things freely given to us by God,
14. which things we also speak, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit, combining spiritual {thoughts} with spiritual {words}.
15. But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God; for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised.
16. But he who is spiritual appraises all things, yet he himself is appraised by no man.
17. For who has known the mind of the Lord, that he should instruct Him? But we have the mind of Christ.

However, none of the above is an excuse for lack of diligence. To the contrary, God calls us to be diligent in seeking Him and studying the Scriptures and learning within the framework God has given us in the Body of Christ with its many diverse parts. If we do this, then any parent is truly an "expert" to whom God trusts the training of their children.

Does this discussion mean that Christian parents are never to turn to another person for help? NO! The Bible specifically instructs older women to instruct younger women and clearly tells us that the Body of Christ is made of many members, each one different with different specialties. Believers in Christ are encouraged to build each other up. The Proverbs exhort us that in the abundance of counselors is victory!

In conclusion, we encourage Christian parents to be confident that they can do what God calls them to do, train their children, without falling into fears and insecurities fostered by the "expert mentality".

Curriculum News

Publishers and Acceptable Methods of Payment

The following is a brief list to indicate method of acceptable payment. A detailed description of services or a review is on the following page.

US Resources Readily Usable and/or Adaptable in Australia

Publisher Australian Cheques Mastercard/Visa

Backyard Scientist x
Education Services x
Christian Book Distributors x
Great Christian Books x
Riggs Institute x x
Shekinah Curriculum x
Rod & Staff x
The Teaching Home x

Description of US Adaptable to Australia Resources

All prices are US currency and do not include the cost of shipping.

  1. AirMail is 45 US cents per 1/2 ounce. Limit is 4 pounds
  2. Book rate for seamail is $1.34 up to a pound (.454 kg), $2.30 up to two pounds, and $.90 per additional pound up to 11 pounds. There are other rates for very heavy boxes of books but this gives you an idea of what to expect.
  1. An Australian personal cheque must not have the words "non-negotiable" written across it. These words make your cheque worthless in US banks.
  2. You must calculate the correct number of Australian dollars using the daily exchange rate.

Calculate the amount of your cheque by: Add price of books in US dollars + shipping in US dollars Convert to Australian dollars by dividing by the exchange rate (currently about .76).

Review of Backyard Scientist books.

Diane is compiling reviews of books which are clearly useful in Australia or perhaps on books which have problems for the Australian environment. Below is one such review.

Backyard Scientist Jane Hoffman
P.O. Box 16966
Irvine, CA 92713
(714) 551-2192

Jane Hoffman has three books now available. Adaptation to Australian usage requires an understanding of US measurements (ounces, pints, quarts, inches, feet, etc.) and some US Brand Names and what those mean (e.g. KookAid is a powdered form of cordial). Solutions to this cultural problem could be:

  1. have your child write to one of our children and ask for the US item. If it is not too expensive, our child will send it to you Airmail. What a great way to have a cultural exchange!)
  2. have your child write to one of our children for an explanation of an item or term you or your child does not understand. What a great way to learn the need for clarity in written communication skills!
  3. write Jane Hoffman herself. She is a busy lady who travels around the country giving scientific demonstrations, but she still runs a home business and does all correspondence herself. She probably would love to "investigate" Australia/American differences.
Earl thinks this is quite a useful "experimental" science course.
  1. It is simple enough for Diane to do without Earl's help! Yea!
  2. It is simple enough for older children to do with younger children.Yea!
  3. Most of the items can be found in the kitchen or bought in the local grocery store.Yea!
  4. All the reviews say the experiments do work. (We have discovered some publishers where this claim is not made and we have discovered why - even Earl couldn't get it to work!!! For those who wish to know - these are the Suitcase Science Kits that Mary Pride raves about. Our first attempt did not work and all we needed was the sun, so we are not too impressed with the Science Suitcase Kits and we aren't game to purchase more or recommend them to you! Also, the Suitcase Science experiment we purchased was only useful for one simple experiment. The equipment was not generally useful.)
  5. Children think all this is fun while they are learning.

The books offer a good collection of worthwhile scientific experiments, even though some of you will already have seen some of the experiments.


"Each experiment establishes the question to be answered and lists the common, readily found supplies needed to begin experimenting. Detailed instructions are provided to the experimenter. At the end of the experiment, key questions are posed about what has taken place and about what the experimenter observed. These are followed by an explanation that is easily understood of what has taken place and why. Ideas for further experimentation and exploration are often offered the budding scientist."

Earl's pet peeve about children's science experiment books is that they do not explain the science behind the experiment. These books generally do provide explanations as stated above. We found only one experiment which lacked any explanation whatsoever.

The Original Backyard Scientist ages 4-12 years US$8.50
Backyard Scientist, Series One ages 4-12 years is a sequel US$8.50
Backyard Scientist, Series Two ages 9-14 years US$8.50

While on the subject of science, let us review another product. We have not tried it yet because we are using other things, but some of you maybe interested.

Institute of Creation Research (Creation Science Foundation QLD) has designed a science course for primary level. GOOD SCIENCE CURRICULUM by Dr. Richard Bliss
K-3 is $49.95
4-6 is $49.95

The sample of one of their experiments given in a newsletter was
very, very well done.

Contact the staff in Queensland to see if they plan to bring it into

Can We Help?

If you see a book or item advertised or reviewed in The Teaching
or elsewhere which you think you would like but not without seeing
it or a review of it, we will review it for you.

  1. Give an accurate description of the book or item.

    1. Name
    2. Address
    3. Purchase Price

  2. Where you saw it or heard of it.

We will order it and review it for you. After reading our review, if you
decide to purchase it, we will send one copy to you for the purchase price
(US price converted to Australian dollars). Postage will be our gift to you.

Copyright by Earl & Diane Rodd