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

Earl & Diane Rodd 93 Gt. Ryrie St. Heathmont, Victoria 3135 Phone (03) 879-4082


  1. For December, we will have a meeting on Sunday, December 4th at the home of Chris and Gabrielle Symons at Lot 1, Steels Creek, Yarra Glen, Victoria (730-1791). Weather permitting, we will have a barbeque starting at 1PM or when you can get there. They live on a good sized property with plenty of space for children and parents. This will be a good opportunity to spend a relaxed afternoon in the country as we meet to help and encourage each other in the God given task of training our children. If the weather does not permit a barbeque (e.g. fire ban), you are still invited to come at 1PM with a picnic lunch. As always, please feel free to come at any time you can during the afternoon and join the discussion, fellowship, information exchange and encouragement of working with other home schooling families. To get to the Symons home, go north into Yarra Glen on the main road. Just north of the shops, turn left on Eltham-Christmas Hills Rd. Shortly after turning onto this road, turn right into Steels Creek Rd. Go 4km up this road. The Symon's home is on the left. The letterbox is a cream can with a sign with the name "Blen Laker". On the right of the road is a hayshed. Just before arriving at their home, you will see a Kangaroo warning sign.
  2. Dale and Karen Williams (059-669-063) live in Warburton and are interested in forming a home school support group for anyone living near there. Please contact them if you would like to join such a group or if you have friends living in that area who would be interested.
  3. Your newsletter editors, the Rodd's, are moving from Australia (Lord willing) on the 8th of February 1989. We are moving to the USA to our home state of Ohio where neither of us has lived for 20 years. We feel called to take on the challenge of living as God calls us Christians in the midst of our own culture and relatives. It is not yet known what will become of this newsletter. We hope someone here will continue the newsletter. Also, if and when we have something to say, we will send additional "newsletters" to you all. Diane hopes to review books, materials and publishers that will suit the Australian home schooler (e.g. find those who can take Australian dollar checks). The year has been an interesting spiritual adventure for us as we set out to make this move, saw all the doors close, and then just as we came before the Lord willing to make a substantial commitment in Australia, the door opened for the move. We are already becoming very aware of the people and things we will miss! We have quite a number of household items for sale (car, stereo, small and large appliances, furniture etc.). We don't want to use up precious pages of a newsletter with a list of items to sell. If you would like a list, send a self-addressed stamped envelope. Our temporary address after February 8, 1989, will be in care of Earl's parents, Mr. & Mrs. Earl Rodd, 1427 Arnold Ave. N.W., Canton, Ohio 44703, USA, phone 0011-1-216-456-6043.
  4. We have been advised by The Teaching Home that they can accept Australian dollar checks (and New Zealand) for magazine subscriptions and other materials provided by The Teaching Home . Simply call your bank on the day you mail the check, find out the current exchange rate and write an Australian dollar check calculated at that exchange rate. For example, if you wish to order the Fugate book at US$6.95 + US$1.39 postage and the exchange rate is .85, then you would send an Australian dollar check for (6.95+1.39)/.85 = A$9.81. Please recall that the same facility is available from Rod & Staff publishers for those items not available in Australia.
  5. We have been asked to remind any children who can contribute articles, poems, drawings etc. to Little Arrows to submit them for the next issue to Gabrielle Symons (address above), or Dianne Mollison, 26 Glen Ave., Croydon, 3136.
Avoiding Pressure not of the Lord

The Bible says,

II Corinthians 3:17
18. Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, {there} is liberty.

John 8:31
32. Jesus therefore was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, "If you abide in My word, {then} you are truly disciples of Mine;
33. and you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free."

The Scriptures encourage us that if we allow Him to direct us, we can live a life of liberty free from the bonds (pressures, worries, hassles) of the spirit of this world. There is a holy pressure from the Lord which is important to us - this is the "fear of the Lord" which is the beginning of wisdom and knowledge.

The major cause of unwarranted pressure on home schooling parents is our own schooling traditions. We cannot change the fact that most of us grew up in schools and were trained to believe that an outside "expert" was needed to teach children to read and write (and teach them values). We can, however, allow the Lord to change the attitudes which go with our up-bringing and be free to concentrate on God's priorities of training children who know Him and will live lives according to His plans.

Below, we give a number of hints for taking away unnecessary pressures. Before giving that list, we first mention again the number one principle to avoid pressures. Christian character must be our number one priority We could give many applications of this principle but will provide one here because it relates to the hints below. If a child has learned the value of hard work and has true victory in his life over the desire of the flesh to be lazy (and spend countless hours on worthless activities such as TV, gossip, skateboarding etc.), he is then equipped to use his maturing years very productively so that even if his academic accomplishments are minimal at say age 12, he will soon excel. Of course, as a child develops this character, he will accomplish more than others who are allowed to constantly yield to the desires of the flesh.

Basic Principles To Help Deal with Pressure

  1. Eternity is longer than this life. Why does this matter? It matters because if we know this (really know it in our spirits), then eternal values will be the motivating force in our lives rather than the cares of the world (e.g. What grade is your child in?).
  2. Meditate in God's Word on the subject of God's election of you as the parents of your children. Read Psalm 139 and be confident that God has intentionally created your children, and He chose you to be their parents. He knows your weaknesses and has provided His strength. Can we learn to say with Paul that "I am well content with weaknesses, ... for when I am weak, then I am strong."?
  3. Many research studies are showing how little most children really know these days. For example, Australian studies have shown a large percentage of leaving students who cannot read and write well enough to complete a job application. Earl's experience is that many recent university graduates cannot write reports with good sentence structure, grammar and spelling. Most of us have read of such studies and reports. They are true! Of course, doing better than a mediocre average should not be our standard, but we can realize that even in our worst moments, we are doing better than schools.
  4. Research reported in Dr. Raymond Moore's books has brought him to the conclusion that parents with no professional teaching background generally make better home training parents! This finding is so contrary to our expectation (how many times, when you have told someone that your are home schooling, have you been asked if you are teachers), that we have a hard time believing that God has equipped parents to be our children's best teachers.

Practical Hints to Help Avoid Pressure

  1. When just starting home schooling, start one subject at a time and build up. Don't start into 5 subjects on day 1. Add subjects after a few weeks (or months) to get used to how you will handle the last one added. Children who have attended school and are now starting to be trained at home may have particular weak (and strong) areas. It will help parents and children to spend the first months working on strengthening any weak foundations. Areas to watch out for include basic phonics, spelling (again addressed by learning phonics well), grammar, handwriting (cursive), and knowledge of basic arithmetic tables. A child should be able to do add/subtract/multiply/divide flashcards very quickly before proceeding onto more advanced work. :note. We have a 3 page paper of suggestions relating to household routine for families just starting home schooling whose children have attended school. If you would like a copy for yourself or a friend, send us a self addressed stamped envelope. We are happy to send you a copy.
  2. Don't feel pressure to finish a "year" of any text in a "year". Often in a school situation, texts are not finished in a year. Rather they are not finished at all! You have the option of finishing them by taking more than a year. Also, most series of texts (especially in math and English), have considerable repetition from year to year. Therefore, you may find that you may use a text in which you need to spend far more than a year even though the text is supposed to be completed in one school year. However, if the child masters the material at this time, you will find that he can skip through large parts of the succeeding "year" (or "years") in the same series or subject. There are two obvious reasons why a child may need far more than a year in a one year text. The first is that a child may be just starting home schooling after attending school and he may have a weak area. The second reason is that a text for a particular year is a big jump in difficulty over the previous year's text.
  3. Publishers may provide a carefully planned curriculum with different years and subjects carefully coordinated. You may be concerned about using just one subject or year out of such a curriculum and therefore missing the careful coordination of the authors. Don't worry about not using all of it. True, you may miss some of what the authors have planned, but children learn at such erratic rates that they will naturally confound the best laid plans of authors.
  4. Don't limit yourself to "school hours." You may find it convenient to use early morning (maybe with dad before he is off to work), an evening, a weekend, time travelling in the car, walking or sitting in the park.
  5. In subjects with parental expertise, exploit it! If father or mother have particular areas of expertise, be sure that if one of your children has any interest in the area, you do not deny him the opportunity to be your disciple! Share and teach all you know, academics as well as spiritual.
  6. In subjects with no parental expertise, learn together. This is especially a good idea in everyday areas such as consumer education, banking or insurance. Learning together with older children may involve reading books, using text books, or even attending a course such as a TAFE or an adult education course. Ask the Lord to guide your personal reading selection.
  7. Be willing to use material out of grade level, either up or down, when the subject you want is only available at a different grade level. Children often have interest levels and abilities which differ by several years among subjects. Furthermore, a particular year level from one publisher may differ in difficulty or ease from that of another publisher. Be free to use your judgement since you work with your children day by day and know what they can and cannot do. Examples of when you would use up level or down level material are:
    • Meet a child's interest in a subject. A child may be especially interested in science, literature, geography or history and will cover several year's texts in a short time. Why stop an eager learner just because the next book is out of "his" grade?
    • Use down level material for a quick survey of a gap in knowledge. Sometimes, you may want to fill in a gap and a down level book can provide a very quick overview (we did this when we wanted our oldest son to have some idea of American history before we took a vacation which would include many historical sites.)

We hope that this short discussion helps to avoid unnecessary pressure. Parents training their children at home cannot avoid the pressure which comes when they accept sole responsibility for training their children. We must accept God's grace and know that "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."

Copyright by Earl & Diane Rodd