The Eleventh Article of Faith and What it Does Mean and Does Not Mean for LDS Homeschool Mothers in Regard to the Education of their Children

Elder Renlund’s Religious Freedom Symposium Speech in Brazil, 2017
Elder Renlund just gave this speech in Brazil at the Religious Freedom Symposium. I know there are many members of my church who are going to interpret the meaning of his words differently. I wanted to present my beliefs about what it does and does not mean for LDS Homeschool moms in regard to the education of their children.

In my opinion, Elder Renlund is saying that we need to know that religious freedom and “allowing all men to worship how when or what they may,” (11th Article of Faith of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints) is good for all people and all society everywhere around the world, to have as law and to have in their hearts as individuals.

These are things he did not say and did not mean by his speech:

  • He did not say that this means we must teach our children equally about all religions and their beliefs from when they are small children and then allow them to choose a religion after having exposed them equally to each and every other religion out there.
  • He did not say that we must allow educators of our children to teach our children whichever beliefs the teacher wants to teach to our children.
  • He did not say that we must associate equally by giving equally of our time with non-believers (people not of our own faith) and with believers (those of our own faith).

This is what I believe about LDS Homeschool moms need to do and do not need to do to uphold religious freedom while taking advantage of religious freedomfor their own family at the same time:

  • You can be, but you do not have to be, in a homeschool co-op that is for homeschool families of all faiths. You are not hiding your light under a bushel if you choose to only be part of groups which are for the education of your children, which include LDS perspectives, instruction and references and which are taught by a teacher who is LDS.
  • You can teach your children about respecting the religious beliefs of others by not saying bad things about any other religion, by pointing out the differences in our faith and the faith of others in a repectful manner.
  • You can talk to the homeschool moms who have different religious beliefs in front of your children, about her religious beliefs, in a kind manner, being a good listener and showing the greatest of respect for her and her beliefs.
  • You do need to go to large homeschooling community group events such as picnics, field day and field trips, which are for homeschooling people of sundry faiths. You do not need to attend all of them, but attending some is good for you and your family and for those in your community.
  • You do not have to feel okay with the idea of your children being taught homeschool lessons about any subject, by a homeschool mom or by anyone, who is of another faith.
  • Elemetary aged kids are very vulnerable to believing everything they hear from adults, even when they are not their parents and expecially if there is the appearance that their mom endorses the teachings because she set up the teaching opportunity. Junior High children can handle being taught by teachers of another faith a little more than small children. High School kids can handle it even more. However, as for me and my house, I have decided to no longer allow people of other faiths to teach any homeschool class or lesson to my children of any age, unless I feel confident that it is a public and community situation which does not allow religious beliefs to enter into the discussion.
  • Humanism is Taught in Accredited Schools all over the World. It is a Religion.

L.D.S. Homeschool Curriculum Web Site List

First, check out my Curricula here: L.D.S. Homeschool Products at my Teachers Pay Teachers store

Next, I have tried to make a fairly comprehensive list of LDS Homeschool Curricula. This is for teaching of Doctrines and Scriptures of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, and for academics from the LDS perspective.

I have compiled this list so that you will now have the same trouble I had in finding great LDS Homeschooling Curricula and Resources. I am really excited about this. I hope this helps a lot of new and experienced homeschool parents in getting what they need in order to teach homsechool with an LDS perspective.

I am using Life School, Discover the Scriptures and Finch Family Games a lot in my homeschool, but some of these others look worth trying, too. My advice is to try samples of each and see what works best for your family! I warn you against buying a full curriculum without sampling it. I also advise searching for reviews and asking around before outting money into any of this!

Happy Discovering, and please tell others about this resource! Thanks!

About LDS Homeschooling:

Notes About Michelle Stone’s ‘Celestial Education’ DVD (available on YouTube and Vimeo)

These Teach Homeschool Academics with LDS Gospel Lessons:

Walk Beside Me Preschool (free)

Brite Music K-2 Plus Values and Safety Education
Keystone Ed by Tresta Neil

LIFE School K-8

Latter-Day Learning

Textbook Publishers (Kimber, Skousen)


Jenny Phillips Curriculum (k-3; 4-6 in the works; appears to be LA only)

Kindred Learning

Discover the Scriptures

Courageous Beings

Polar Star Studies

Building Heroes Academy (k-6)

Learning To Read Using the Book of Mormon

Mormon Little Books

The House

My LDS Preschool

Resources for Teaching Academics from an LDS perspective:

Simplified scriptures for early readers (1st or 2nd graders)
Timelines, etc.

Book of Mormon Sight Words Flashcards
Living History Books

Teaching Self-Government

iPlates

Milestones Academy

Hold 2 the Rod

Moorhouse Academy Curriculum Blog
Resources for teaching One week sample here

Devotionals, Coloring Pages, Scripture Printables for posting & Copywork Pages

Science and Religion, LDS perspective book by David Barker

LDS doctrine to very young kids:

Faith in God Activity Booklets for Boys and Girls made by a homeschool mom
Brick of Mormon

Finch Family Games

Hatch Patch

In His Image (ages 5-7)

L.D.S. Notebooking Booklets (free downloads)
Book of Mormon

Early / Easy Readers

Learning to Read Using the Book of Mormon

Learn to Read Using the Book of Mormon Reader

The Friend Magazine

LDS-Notebooking TPT Store

Resources for Teaching Youth the Scriptures and Doctrine:

2016 LDS.org Curricula
Book of Mormon Study Guide

The Golden Plates Comic Book

For the Strength of Youth

Church Youth Theme for 2015

Preach My Gospel lessons

Academic Curriculum Created by LDS People:

Confessions of a Homeschool Mom

Melissa Cloud’s TPT store


Krista Wallden’s TPT store

Melonheadz TPT store

Confessions of a Homeschooler
Grade-Level Packages

Joy School (Preschool)

Other Resources

A Thomas Jefferson Education

The Helpful Garden (free Montessori Printables)

Facebook group for Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints who Homeschool

Note: If YOU have a curriculum or resource that would fit into any of these lists, and want yours included here, I would be happy to add it. Please send me a message! Thanks!


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LDS Homeschooling Northern Utah fb page

Today’s Agenda

These are my plans. We’ll see how it goes. Having a plan does not mean this is exactly what we will do. It means these are my goals for today.

1- sleep in, breakfast–catch up on rest after all the canning (whew)

2- get ready for the day (showers, etc.)

3- have life school/ discover the old testament lesson

4- housecleaning and lunch

5- complete life school /discover the old testament assignments

6- Speech & Debate homework

Update: We did do 1-5! Yay

The Declaration of Independence

The Declaration of Independence: A TranscriptionIN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,

“When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station

“to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them,

“a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are 

“endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

“–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men,

“deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,

–That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.–Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

“He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

“He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

“He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the

“right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only. 

“He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and

“distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures. 

“He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly,

“for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

“He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

“He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.

“He has obstructed the Administration of Justice,

“by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.

“He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

“He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.

“He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.

“He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.

“He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:

“For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:

“For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

“For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:

“For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:

“For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:

“For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences

“For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:

“For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:

“For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

“He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.

“He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

“He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.

“He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.

“He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

“In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury.

“A Prince 

“whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

“Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our Brittish brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been

“deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity.

“We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

“We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled,

“appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.”

http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/declaration_transcript.html

Raising Future Mothers and Fathers In My Homeschool

One thing people who do not homeschool or did not homeschool their kids often notice when they see my kids, is how good they are at childcare, or at caring for littler kids and babies. Sadly, most often, it is seen in a NEGATIVE LIGHT. Sadly, it puts too many under the impression that I am an awful mother. Here are some things people have said to me:

— “At least you actually teach your kids. Some people who homeschool just turn their kids into childcare slaves.”

(This was meant as a compliment, but the fact that this person thinks other homeschool moms do that is just mean and sad. I wonder why this person thinks homeschool moms do that.)

— “She is good with the kids, but that is what she does, right? She keeps care of the kids always. Do you babysit for her sometimes and let her have a break?”

OUCH OUCH

— “She practically raises him, doesn’t she?”

(referring to my young daughter and my preschooler)

OUCH again!

     Some people need a point of reference because there are parents who take advantage of kids. Here are the facts. My daughter is a teen and babysits once a week. We pay her $1 per child per hour in Utah. On top of that, when I need to take a shower, go to the bathroom for 5-15 minutes, make dinner for 15 to 30 minutes, or plant the garden with her dad’s help for a few minutes to a couple hours, we ask her to wath the baby inside where he will not run into the road. Sometimes, I ask one of the other kids. It is not always her.

     This is just a guess, but I think that many people think youth should not be good with kids and that if youth are good with kids, it must be because all they do is childcare, all day long every day. I also think that, sadly, many people just enjoy judging the homeschool mom and think it brings them to a higher plane of existence when they knock her down. It could possibly be because they see something good in her children and the way she is raising them and they are upset that most moms do not get that result in youth. They feel that they need to defend themselves not by playing defense, but by attacking (playing offense). I think they think that attacking her in this way will make them better than the homeschool mom. After all, turning kids into childcare slaves so that the mom can sit and eat bon bons all day and watch soap operas is wrong! Since her kids are good with kids, it must be this way. What else could explain why they are so good with kids?

     You know, there are a lot of kids who are not homeschooled and are good with kids and babies, too. My mom used to do childcare to earn extra money. My siblings and I were often asked to babysit because of this. We were clueless and had a lot to learn, but my sister and I also love the “Babysitters Club” book series, and we loved being around kids and babies. I do not think we were awesome sitters. Even when I became a new mom, I had a lot to learn. I once changed my niece’s diaper and used Clorox wipes instead of baby wet wipes on her bum. The point I am trying to make, though, is that even though we were not homeschooled, there were other reasons we were pretty good with kids and babies. Some of these reasons were:

• because my mom did childcare for pay during our childhood

• because we read books about babysitting

• because we were hired to babysit often

• because we just adored babies and little kids

     So, if you see a homeschooled child who is good with kids, please do not assume it is because the mom is neglectful of her offspring. If you are jealous, then just give your child more opportunities ti be around little kids and babies  and teach your child these skills. Your child can learn this in the summer, after school or on weekends. If there are not little kids or babies around, find a friend or relative who has some and offer to tend them. Make sure your child is around to observe, be taught and learn.

     If you do not have jealousy, but maybe your kids are all raised and you feel you have wisdom to offer the world, so you think your job is to go around insulting the new generation of moms, please remember that we, the new generation of mothers, are now in charge, whether you like it or not. You had your turn. Your turn is over. If we ask for advice, please give it. If we do not, then please do not give it. Please do not offer your opinion freely, but only when we ask for it. 

The reasons I plead for this for all of the new generation are these:

• It is harder than you think to raise kids now. It is harder than it was in your day because there are more horrible things out there for the mama bears to fight away from our cubs. Your judging us inly lets us know to trust you less because is clues us in to how clueless and naive you are about what things are really like now.

• Finances are tighter now for one income families than they were in your day.

• Hours in our day are so extremely limited.

• We are constantly working and constantly exhausted from nonstop hard work.

• You have likely forgotten what it was like for you. Maybe you think you remember back 20, 30 or 40 years. You cannot. We know because if you could remember, you would not give your critical opinion, judge us, lecture us and so forth. If you remembered, you would just be kind, understanding, supportive and gracious. However, you hardly ever are, so we know you do not remember. Your house has been spotless for 40 years, so you are good at this now. Your house was not spotless 20, 30 or 40 years ago when you had lots of little kids all day long every day. You think it was. You know you are losing your memory, but somehow, you think that your memory of having a spotless house, perfect kids and being a perfect young mom are extremely accurate.

• Some of you were never stay-home moms. If you were never a stay-home mom, do not judge stay-home moms. ‘Nuff said on that (though you probably STILL think you know what it is like to be a stay-home mom, since you did it in the evenings and on weekends with lots more money, a bigger house, better clothing, a better car, better vacations, better toys, less mending to do, better stores you can afford to shop at, more convenience meals, more money to go out to eat, and having spoken with adults all week). 

• Jesus told you not to judge. Jesus said if there is a mote in the other person’s eye and you want to take it out for them, then first remove the beam that is in your own eye so that you can see clearly to remove the mote from the other person’s eye.

     I am sure there are others who also judge homeschool moms because their kids are good with kids. I do not know everyone who does this. If the reason you see my kids being good with kids, as negative, is because this lets you know that my kids are not learning the same way the kids do in public school and this makes you angry because of your tax dollars at work or because homeschool moms are ruining the community’s children, which children the community should decide how to raise. Here are some facts:

• These kids are mine and mine to raise. They do not belong to the community. The idea that they do comes from Karl Marx, the father of Communism. Anyone who thinks my kids should be raised in a way of which the community approves, when not abused in any way, has been influenced a lot more by communist ideas than they know. I love my kids and want the best for them. I am raising them this way because I think this is the best decision for our family.

• Tax dollars do NOT pay to educate homeschooled kids and I pay the same taxes you do (I am not exempt) for public and charter schools. We buy all of the educational materials ourselves.

• We are not ruining our kids, nor are we giving them a disadvantaged life. If you look at the statistics, homeschooled kids are still better at learning how to live in the real world, better on tests and better at colleges and Universities than public-schooled kids when you figure the averages. This does not mean all homeschooled kis are better at these than all public-schooled kids. When you take the average, you consider all of the kids in the system.

     In conclusion, I would like to say that it is not a bad thing for youth and children to be good at childcare, and that my having a goal to raise mothers and fathers is not a bad thing. You know that it is a good thing, but somehow, society is trying to propogandize you into thinking it is downright unnatural. This is a lie. The father of all lies is Satan. Satan has good reasons for convincing you to believe that my raising good mothers and fathers is a negative thing that should be scorned. One of the signs that Christ’s 2nd coming is nearer is that people will call good “evil” and evil “good” and sadly, this childcare abitily issue is one of those things. Please do not say that my kids knowing chilcare is a bad thing. It is a good thing. Mother Eve knew this and you should, too.

Homeschool Socialization Like Jesus Christ’s

My goal for socialization for my homeschooled kids is this: I want them to be socialized the way Jesus was so that they can become like Jesus.
Luke 2:52

“And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man.”

From when Jesus was a baby and toddler until he was 12 and went to the temple, worrying his mother half to death, that is all we have about Jesus’ childhood.

However, we can get a lot out of that. 

1- He increased in wisdom. It says wisdom, not memorization, by the way. Being wise is much different from memorizing and completing standards. It says nothing of tests or graduation. He developed a strong mind and he learned. Wisdom means knowledge used in the best way possible. Wisdom is knowledge and knowing how to apply it in the best possible way. Wisdom is knowledge plus righteous use of that knowledge. 

I do not believe a person can be wise who does not know, respect, pray to and obey God. I do not believe a person can have wisdom and not have Charity. I believe Jesus in His childhood learned how to love others, be a good listener, have empathy and apply the scriptures and His religion, to daily life.

2- He increased in stature. He became physically strong and healthy in body. I think “stature” means physical abilities and muscles. 

3- He increased in favor with God first. It does not say “with man and God.” He first increased in favor with God. I think this means He learned to obey the commandments, to learn of God and to obey God. I am sure he learned the religious customs of the Jews. He learned the scriptures and did many things to please God, including service. He ledned the scriptures and word of God well enough to go teach the men who workd in the temple many things they did not before understand. I am sure He learned about God, His Father, and much of it, from prayer and fasting, from listening to God and from trying and testing God’s principles.

4- He increased in favor with man. I think this means He learned Socialization, but a God-pleasing, Mom-and-dad pleasing kind of socialization. I think this means that He learned how to honor his mom and dad, the customs and traditions of the Jews in His land, the customs and traditions of other peoples around him, how to treat others, and so forth. I think this means He learned to be kind, to be friendly, to deal with rude and two-faced people. I think He learned his manners. I think this means He learned how to groom and clean himself properly, how to eat, how to clean and work. I think it could mean that He learned the academic items necessary to function in His society and things children were expected to learn, such as reading, writing, math, science, history and the arts. I think He likely played and talked with other people of all ages. He probably had friends who were kids near His age.