Posted in Books, Education, Entertainment, History, LifeHacks, Productivity

Who Has Time to Read?

So you don’t have time to read? Neither do I; but I have found time to listen.

Last year I joined to catch up on my “to be read” stack and I’ve come to love it. They have a great selection of audio books from some of my favorite authors.

Audible is owned my Amazon and has great customer service. Three or four times over the past year I have purchased a book with my monthly credit only to be disappointed with the content or reader. Each time Audible has allowed me to return to book for another selection.

There are several plans but I belong to the base plan of 1 book credit per month for $14.95. I have found it takes me about a month (base on my travel time) to get through an 8 hour book. Then it time for a new one.

I highly recommend this service and hope that you will find it as useful as I have. They often have a free book or other great offers for new customers. Give it a try.

Posted in Education, Homeschooling, Kids

Homeschooled Stats

Once upon a time, all children were homeschooled. But around 150 years ago states started making public school mandatory and homeschooling eventually became illegal. It wasn’t until the 90’s that all states made it legal again. Today, with more than 2 million homeschoolers making up 4% of the school-aged population, it’s the fastest growing form of education in the country.


  • 1840: 55% of children attended primary school while the rest were educated in the home or by tutors.
  • 1852: The “Common School” model became popular and Massachusetts became the first state to pass compulsory attendance law. Once compulsory attendance laws became effective, America eventually relied entirely on public and private schools for educating children. Homeschooling then became something only practiced by extremely rural families, and within Amish communities.
  • 1870: All states had free primary schools.
  • 1900: 34 states had compulsory attendance laws.
  • 1910: 72% of children attended primary school.
  • 1960: Educational reformers started questioning public schooling’s methods and results.
  • 1977: “Growing Without Schooling” magazine was published, marking a shift from trying to reform public education to abandoning it.
  • 1980: Homeschooling was illegal in 30 states.
  • 1983: Changes in tax law forced many Christian Schools to close which led to soaring homeschooling rates.
  • 1993: Homeschooling become legal in all 50 states and saw annual growth rates of 15-20%.


32 states and Washington D.C. offer Virtual Public Schools – free education over the internet to homeschooling families: Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, District of Columbia (DC), Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Mexico, New Jersey, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, Wyoming.

4 States offer tax credits for homeschooling families: Iowa, Arizona, Minnesota, Illinois.

10 States don’t require notification of homeschooling: Alaska, Idaho, Texas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, New Jersey, Connecticut.

14 States require notification of homeschooling: California, Nevada, Arizona, Utah, New Mexico, Wyoming, Montana, Nebraska, Kansas, Mississippi, Alabama, Kentucky, Wisconsin, Delaware.

20 States and D.C. require notification of homeschooling, test scores and/or professional evaluation of students: Washington, Oregon, Colorado, South Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, Arkansas, Louisiana, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Ohio, Maryland, New Hampshire, Maine, D.C., Hawaii.

6 States require notification of homeschooling, test scores and/or professional evaluation of students; plus other requirements like curriculum approval, parent qualification, home visits by state officials: North Dakota, Pennsylvania, New York, Massachusetts, Vermont, Rode Island.

No Federal help is available to homeschooling families yet. The IRS says that homeschooling costs “are nondeductible personal, living, or family expenses.”


Home schooling is the fastest growing form of education in the country.

  • 1999: 850,000 homeschoolers (1.7% of the school-aged population)
  • 2003: 1.1 million homeschoolers (2.2% of the school-aged population)
  • 2007: 1.5 million homeschoolers (2.9% of the school-aged population)
  • 2010: 2.04 million homeschoolers (4% of the school-aged population)
  • From 2007- 2009 home-schoolers increased ate a rate of 7%/year
  • From 2007- 2009 public-schoolers increased at a rate of 1%/year


Education Level of Homeschooling Parents (Fathers/Mothers)

  • No High School Degree: 1.4% / 0.5%
  • High School Degree: 8.4% / 7.5%
  • Some College: 15.4% / 18.7%
  • Associate’s Degree: 8.6% / 10.8%
  • Bachelor’s Degree: 37.6% / 48.4%
  • Master’s Degree: 20% / 11.6%
  • Doctorate Degree: 8.7% / 2.5%

Number of children in homeschooled families:

  • 1 child: 6.6%
  • 2 children: 25.3%
  • 3 children: 26%
  • 4-6 children: 35.9%
  • 7+ children: 6.3%

Most important reasons parents say they homeschool their kids (students, ages 5-17, 2007):

  • 36 %: To provide religious or moral instruction
  • 21 % : Concern about the environment of other schools: safety, drugs, and negative peer pressure
  • 17 %: Dissatisfaction with academic instruction at other schools
  • 14 %: Unique Family Situation such as time, finances, travel, and distances
  • 7 %: Nontraditional approach to child’s education
  • 4 %: Child has other special needs
  • 2%: Child has a physical or mental health problem


Standardized achievement tests: On average, homeschoolers rank in at the 87th percentile. (Note: The 87th percentile is not the test score. It is the percent of students that scored lower… so, only 13% of students scored higher.)

  • Boys: 87th
  • Girls: 88th
  • Reading: 89th
  • Language: 84th
  • Math: 84th
  • Science: 86th
  • Social Studies: 84th
  • Core: 88th
  • Parents income <$35,000: 85th
  • Parents income $35,000-$70,000: 86th
  • Parents income >$70,000: 89th
  • Parents spend <$600/child/year: 86th
  • Parents spend >$600/child/year: 89th
  • Neither parent has a college degree: 83rd
  • Either parent has a college degree: 86th
  • Both parents have college degrees: 90th
  • Neither parent has a teaching certificate: 87th
  • Either Parent has a teaching certificate: 88th

Grade Placement compared to public schools:

  • Behind: 5.4%
  • On track: 69.8%
  • Ahead: 24.5%


Homeschooled Adults’ Perception of Homeschooling

“I’m glad that I was homeschooled”

  • Strongly Agree: 75.8%
  • Agree: 19.4%
  • Neither: 2.8%
  • Disagree: 1.4%
  • Strongly Disagree: 0.6%

“Homeschool gave me an advantage as an adult”

  • Strongly Agree: 66.0%
  • Agree: 26.4%
  • Neither: 5.7%
  • Disagree: 1.5%
  • Strongly Disagree: 0.4%

“Homeschool limited my educational opportunities”

  • Strongly Agree: 1.0%
  • Agree: 4.2%
  • Neither: 6.6%
  • Disagree: 29.2%
  • Strongly Disagree: 58.9%

“Homeschool limited my career choices”

  • Strongly Agree: 0.9%
  • Agree: 1.2%
  • Neither: 3.9%
  • Disagree: 18.8%
  • Strongly Disagree: 75.3%

“I would homeschool my own children”

  • Strongly Agree: 54.8%
  • Agree: 27.3%
  • Neither: 13.5%
  • Disagree: 2.8%
  • Strongly Disagree: 1.6%

Homeschooled / General Population

  • Participate in an ongoing community service activity (71% / 37%)
  • Consider politics and government too complicated to understand (4.2% / 35%)
  • Read a book in the past six months? (98.5% / 69%)
  • Continue on to college (74% / 49%)

“Taken all together, how would you say things are these days–would you say that you are …”

  • Very happy (58.9% / 27.6)
  • Pretty happy (39.1% / 63%)
  • Not too happy (2% / 9.4)


Average homeschool family spends $500/child/year.

The average public school spends $9,963 per child per year, not including capital expenditures or research and development.


Click to access 2009030.pdf

Click to access 2009_Ray_StudyFINAL.pdf

Click to access HomeschoolPopulationReport2010.pdf

Click to access HomeschoolingGrowsUp.pdf


Posted in Bloggers, Books, Culture, Education, Homeschooling, Kids, Leadership, Parenting, Technology, Theology

Navigating New Technology and Spirituality (Tim Elmore)

Last week I was able to hear Dr. Tim Elmore give a talk entitled, “Marching Off the Map: A Compass to Help the Next Generation Navigate New Technology and Spirituality”. Last year, after reading his book, “Artificial Maturity” I started following him at his website

Below are the notes I took during his talk. If you have or work with young adults (teens through 30 year olds) I suggest you start reading the blog , books, and resources from Growing Leaders.


This is the first generation that

  • Doesn’t need adults to get information (They need us for interpretation)
    • They don’t need us to access it but to process
    • Helping our kids learn how to think not what to think
  • Can broadcast their every thought or emotion
  • Enjoys external stimuli at their fingertips 24/7
  • In social contact at all times yet often in isolation 
    • Extremely social but not relational
    • Most sleep with phones
    • Showering with a cell phone
    • Low Emotional Intelligence for kids and Adults
  • Will learn more form a portable device than a class
  • Adults have actually been enabled to be narcissistic
    • Every year Narcissism is going up in Students
    • People are into themselves – Selfy Pics
    • However, The real world is not about them
  • Uses a phone instead of a wristwatch, camera, wall calendar or board game.


Dr. Elmore refers to the Millennial generation as, Generation iY, because life is pretty much about “i” (Self Centered)


Generation iY S.C.E.N.E

  • Accustom to S- Speed: They Assume Slow is Bad
  • Accustom to C- Convenience: They Assume Hard is Bad
  • Accustom to E-Entertainment: They Assume Boring is Bad
  • Accustom to N-Nurture: They Assume Risk is Bad
  • Accustom to E-Entitlement: They Assume Labor is Bad


So, How should we lead them?


1.  Don’t think Control, think Connect (Be authentic, Real)

        We must build bridges of relationships that can bear the weight of truth.

        Balance Screen time with face time. Every minute on device is a minute in person.

2.  Don’t think Inform, think Interpret (How think, not just what)

3.  Don’t think Entertain, think Equip. (Share why they need what we teach, before what)

        Churches are good at preaching, but not equipping.

4. Don’t think “Do It for Them”, think “Help Them Do It.”

        Let them fail (They took the monkey bars off playgrounds becuase we didn’t want them to get hurt now in their 20s they won’t take risk.)

5.  Don’t think Impose, think Expose. (Expose beats Impose every time)

6.  Don’t think Protect, think Prepare.

       Unbelievable, some school district no longer use Fs , the lowest is D is “Delayed Success”! Graces does not take away truth.

7. Don’t think Tell, Think Ask (Learn to ask good questions)

8.  Don’t think Cool, think Real. (To these kids the only thing that is worse than being uncool, is being unreal)

9.  Don’t thin Prescriptive, think Descriptive

10. Don’t Lecture, think Lab. (Missional experience: Serving Others)


Over the next several weeks I’ll be posting other notes from this conference (Catalyst 2013) I recently attended.

Posted in Education, Family, Homeschooling, Parenting

So You Are Considering Homeschooling?

My wife and I developed these questions to help parents think through homeschooling for their families. I encourage you to sit down with your spouse and give thought to each of these questions and write out your responses below. I believe God can use these question to bring clarity to anyone interest in homeschooling.

  1. Why do we desire to homeschool?


  2. What is our ultimate goal for our children through the process of homeschooling?


  3. How well equipped do we feel to educate our children through the different stages of their development? How do we plan to educate ourselves about homeschooling?


  4. What role does our faith play in our homeschool desire and design?


  5. How much money will it cost us to homeschool? How much do we plan to spend on curriculum and programs?


  6. What will our homeschooling schedule look like? Schedule Months, Days, and Specific Hours



Posted in America, Books, Education, Money

America’s Finacial Demise (repost)

With the election right around the corner, I wanted to repost this blog from a few years ago. I know that most of us cannot fathom that our government could actually go bankrupt. The argument below is not built on an emotional rant, but on financial facts that apply to us all. All of our elected officials must make some significant changes within the next few years, or we will see a catastrophe financial collapse in our lifetime.

I met Ethan Pope back in 1996 when JJ and I began attending Temple Baptist Church in Hattiesburg.  Ethan has a heart for God, a heart for people, and a heart for managing money the way God instructs us to in the scriptures.  By reading a few of his books, and spending time with him in his office, he helped put me on the way to making some wise financial decisions – namely, not to to live beyond my means.

A few years ago, Ethan relocated back to Dallas and now he as released a book entitled America’s Financial Demise.  In short, the same is true for our government that is true for us.  We cannot spend more money than we take in.  If Ethan’s research is on target, and I believe that it is, we are on an “unsustainable” coarse financially and sooner than later, America’s financial system will crash.  If this is true, and again I believe that it is, what we going to do about it?

Take time to order the book, and listen to Ethan’s talk from January. Then prayerfully consider what you should do in response to this timely message.

America’s Financial Demise from Master’s Men on Vimeo.

Posted in Education, Missions, The Word, Theology

Should The Bible Be Taken Literally?

Recently I’ve been a part of conversations and heard stories about Christians, who are potentially over-reacting to others who say that we shouldn’t take the Bible literally. I’m certainly not a scholar on the issues of Biblical interpretation, but I want to attempt to bring out one point that may make peace with some who are being branded as Heretics.

When we hear others say that we shouldn’t take the Bible literally, we need to ask them a few questions to determine exactly what parts of the scripture they are referring to. I’m not saying that some parts are the scripture are not inspired. I believe, as 2 Timothy 3:16 states that, “All

Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness.” I also hold to the verbal-plenary theory of inspiration for scripture.

However, we must remember that while the scriptures record exactly what God inspired, that some of what God inspired was intended to illustrate. And by nature some of these illustrations contain metaphors. The scripture is comprised of different genres that involves narratives and poems; songs and wisdom writing, personal letters and apocalyptic text. These varieties of text demand that we consider what is being said from God, in light of how it was communicated by the human writers. The Gospels are full of Jesus using parables (stories) and metaphors “the kingdom of heaven is like…” to get his point across. Often, after using some of these stories, Jesus would tell his disciples the literal meaning behind the stories.

I am aware that there are those out there who are saying that the entire scripture shouldn’t be taken literally and that is Heresy, but there are definitely passages where the writer/speaker themselves were not intending to be literal within the context of what was being communicated. So, In the future, when political candidates, family, friends, or co-workers say that we shouldn’t take the Bible literally, we should just ask them, “What Parts?” they are referring to. It’s their answer to that questions the will help us understand exactly where they are coming from.

Feel free to comment to continue this discussion or to clarify something I have written. To HIM be glory.

[This was reposted from July 2008)

Posted in Education, Entertainment, LifeHacks, Parenting, Theology

5 Steps to Filter an iPad, iPhone, or iPod Touch

If you have kids or adults J that want to use an iPad, but need restricted use, you can perform the following steps.

  1. Install a filtered Internet App. The one we use is You will need to setup an account on the website and then install the app from the iTunes app store. The cost of the app is a onetime cost of $4.99. Mobicip will be used for Internet Browsing and the built in Safari Browser will be disabled (see step 2).
  2. Visit the website and follow her instructions for How to Child-Proof an iPad (The instructions for the iPhone and iPod Touch should be similar)
  3. BE AWARE: There are ways tech savvy teens and adults can still get back onto the unfiltered Safari Browser. This can be done through any non-threatening apps that have a back door access to Safari. You should check your apps by clicking on any web links that you see in the about section of that app and make sure it doesn’t open up Safari.
  4. Because some of the functionality of the iPad is built around Safari, making these changes will make it a bit cumbersome to use. For instance when you try to open a link in an email it will no longer work. You would have to cut and past the link into your new Mobicip browser. However I feel like these inconveniences are necessary for protecting our loved ones.
  5. You can’t replace regular conversations with the person whom you are trying to protect. Talk to them about how they are using the device and monitor their usage (Mobicip allows you to do that).

Post any questions you may have and I’ll try to help as much as possible. Thanks, TD

Posted in Culture, Education, Homeschooling, Kids, Parenting

Is Homeschooling Legal?

I’ve heard this before coming from well-meaning people, but a closer look at this question reveals an understanding about life and government that is very disturbing. If you think about it, for someone to even ask this question they are under the impression that the education of children is something that can ONLY be done by the government. That only “they” know what a child should be taught and that a person’s children are best educated by “The Government.”

So let’s ask another question, why do many parents feel inadequate to education their own children? Could it be, because they were “taught” in the same educational system that they are now told they should send their kids into? Thankfully, we live in a country that grants us the right and freedom to teach our own children!

The great news is that even though America has move toward a more socialist society; children, at this point, still legally belong to their parents, not the government. I once heard Pastor Voddie Baucham tell an audience that when asked this question, about the legality of homeschooling, he would simply reply, “My children are not the property of the State of Texas.” (The State where he lives.)

BUT THERE ARE LAWS! Yes, thankfully we can home educate our children, but there are laws in each state that allow for this. This right is being challenged daily in our country by those who believe the government knows best. You can/should visit the Home School Legal Defense Association’s website and learn about the laws of your particular state if you are considering homeschooling your children. We joined HSLDA earlier this year to help fund the fight to keep homeschooling legal and to provide for some legal protection in this area if we ever need it.

I’ll end by saying that I don’t think ALL public education is bad. We live in an area where that has great schools and great teachers in the system. However, I do believe that if a family wants to teach their children, instead of sending this into the system, they should legally have that right.

What are your thoughts on the legality of homeschooling?