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Women Living Well Blog: Christmas In July! Our Homeschooling Curriculum Has Arrived!

Women Living Well Blog

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Christmas In July! Our Homeschooling Curriculum Has Arrived!

I have received emails asking me - "What homeschooling curriculum do you use?"

Here's the answer: K12

This may come as a surprise to you, but my children are enrolled in Ohio's Public Homeschooling program called The Ohio Virtual Academy. It's an online public school and the curriculum that comes with the program is called K12.
And are you ready for this? These 5 boxes are packed to the gills with History, Science, Phonics, Art, Music, Language Arts, and Math books and tools - and they all come to my house for FREE! In Ohio - it's FREE! and soon we'll receive our FREE computer, printer, and monitor in the mail for Alexis (Alex's free computer is already in the school room ready to start another school year).
Alex has his finger up marking the start of his 1st grade year. Alexis will be starting Kindergarten. When we pulled into the driveway and saw the boxes, the car was filled with cheering - it felt like Christmas in July!

The kids are begging me to start school today! Come February (when the excitement has worn off) perhaps I will pull up this blog post and remind them of their excitement today!

We are expecting a crew of 20 for a BBQ lunch tomorrow after church! I can't wait to have the whole family over! BUT that means we will not be starting homeschooling but rather cooking and cleaning. Have a great holiday weekend with your families.

Walk with the King!
Ps. If you homeschool - I'd be interested in hearing what curriculum you use - so feel free to share in the comments section. Are there any K12'ers out there?
Not Back to School Blog Hop



Blogger Suzanne said...

Hi COurtney,
I know the feeling! My girls are older but STILL love these boxes. We used Connections Academy which is similar to K12. K12 is an awesome program, by the way! It was meant to be for one year but they are doing great and they BEG to keep this up so we still do school this way. Awesome!!! Have fun tomorrow:)

July 3, 2010 at 9:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Public school curriculum scares me! It has been 'dumbed down' and is not God - centered. We use the Robinson Curriculum and ADORE it! Before that, we used mostly A Beka. Please don't think I'm judging you, not by any stretch of the imagination, okay?! It just scares me!

July 3, 2010 at 9:46 AM  
Anonymous Tracy @ Hall of Fame Moms said...

I just began homeschooling my first grader too (my oldest). He did one yr at Plain Twp kindergarten this past year.

Yesterday (due to his insistence) we did lapbooks on ladybugs...even the 4yo did one ;)

I'm doing traditional homeschooling using a lot of free and low cost unit studies/notebooking, etc stuff I've found online but I did consider K12 or OhVA (are they the same?).

I'll be curious to know how it goes for you. I'd like to know your thoughts. Actually you said Alex did kinderg. already that way, right? Do you have a post on how it went?

July 3, 2010 at 9:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We use ACE School of Tomorrow for everything but math, we use Saxon for math. With six children, I need something they can do independently and ACE does just that.

July 3, 2010 at 10:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That is awesome that it is all free! Is it only free in Ohio? My sister lives in Michigan. Do you know if they offer free curriculum there or where to look on the site for that information?

July 3, 2010 at 10:05 AM  
Blogger Emily Fiore said...

When did you start homeschooling and did you ever send your kids to public school? The reason I ask is because I used to be a public school teacher until I had my daughter. She's 2 1/2 and I go back and forth about what to do when the time comes. I kind of feel like I should be doing something with her now, but don't know where to start.

July 3, 2010 at 10:06 AM  
Blogger Lisa said...

Like Kelly, I'm aprehensive of public school curriculum. I know your children are young but, what do you do about the material that is contrary to the Bible? How do you incorporate your biblical world view into the curriculum? From an educational standpoint, K12 looks great. I'm just wondering about these other issues.


July 3, 2010 at 10:16 AM  
Blogger Sarah said...

I would love to homeschool, but my husband is hesitant due to the fact that our daughter gets anxious in social settings. He wants to make sure she has exposure to the social aspect of school. With my son, he has an IEP, so homeschooling is out.

July 3, 2010 at 10:16 AM  
Blogger Country Girl said...

We use Alpha Omega's Weaver Curriculum. Have used it since 2002 and really love it. We use lifepacs/SOS for math.

July 3, 2010 at 10:17 AM  
Blogger Stacey said...

Hey Courtney,
We have been homeschooling since the beginning. Now my kiddos are going to be starting 6th, 4th, and Kindergarten this year. We have tried quite a few things but have really settled into using Sonlight. It is so rich in literature and since my kiddos love to read AND be read to, it is a perfect match. And, the gospel is at the center of it all. They have a wonderful website to peruse if you ever decide to make a switch. Blessings, and have a fun

July 3, 2010 at 10:26 AM  
Blogger Jenny said...

My husband isn't saved, so we see diffently on this issue. I want very badly to homeschool, but he thinks that's shielding them from things they'll need to learn how to deal with as adults; for example, dealing with a teacher you don't like will prepare you for a boss you don't like. He also sees it as depriving them of a social life. (which is a good thing, if you ask me!)

Any advice on how to help persuade him?

July 3, 2010 at 10:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My son is starting kindergarten this year and I'm not buying curriculum, I do have the ABC's of ACE for preschool, and we will use the stories to learn his phonics and I'm buying cheap workbooks you get from walmart and sams, although I have considered paces from ACE, however, I don't like ACE for the older grades, I graduated from an ACE school and it doesn't prepare you for college. You don't learn to take notes or to study for exams, nor do you take mid or end term exams. ACE makes school easy for the teachers I just don't think it gives the kids what they need. We are looking into Sonlight & Winter's Promise. I've heard A Beka can be difficult for parents to use, but have been looking into it.

July 3, 2010 at 10:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We have actually thought about using the K12 curriculum because it is also free in PA but we haven't come to a decision yet. We've been praying about it like crazy! Do you use anything in conjunction with this program?

July 3, 2010 at 11:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I also have concerns and caution about teaching from a public school curriculum. There is an article at site that covers this very topic (Caution: Public School at Home Programs to Recruit Homeschoolers). Prayerfully consider any curriculum. Please don't consider this criticism just caution. I have been greatly enjoying your site! God bless you. We have been using the Charlotte Mason method. Love, peace, joy! Jonie in NE.

July 3, 2010 at 1:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have the same question that others have do you incorporate your Biblical beliefs and the way that public school curriculum is headed scares me too. They definitely are not God centered and are even removing some history. and then there is evolution.... How do you deal with these issues? Our first son isn't even a year old yet but I am already thinking about these things.

July 3, 2010 at 1:58 PM  
Blogger Tia said...

We do something similar. My kids Jonah (5~1st grade) and Ellie (4~in K4) are enrolled in an online academy. Thankfully though we can order Christian curriculum! And it's FREE as well! We can order from Abeka, Sonlight, Calvert and others! There is an allotment of $1500 for curriculum and lessons (music, dance etc) and then unlimited monies for consumable supplies (like glue, markers, etc). It's been a wonderful experience. The kids have webclasses offered as well as opportunities to go to "face to face" classes and experience a classroom setting. Each month there are 2 fieldtrips, parents can attend as well! I love this way of homeschooling. We can get the assistance we need and still be our child's teacher and number #1 influence!
I know other's have expressed concern with secular curriculum, and though I agree on some levels, I don't think it's necessarily bad for your kids to come into contact with certain ideas (ie evolution) as long as they are taught that is a God-less view, and one that isn't supported by the bible. Not all public school curriculum is dumbed down (I'm an ex-teacher) though some definitely has, the neat thing is you can monitor what is going into your child's brain as they come into contact with the world. After all we ARE living in the world and need to know how to defend ourselves against ideas that are contrary to ours! Have fun going through all those boxes....we are waiting for ours to arrive too!

July 3, 2010 at 2:17 PM  
Blogger Robin said...

I am starting my second full year of homeschooling my son - he went to kindergarten for the first grading period, and then we started homeschooling for the rest of kindergarten and first grade. Last year, I made up my own curriculum to study the history of New York State (required for elementary school in New York). This year, I was excited to find a curriculum by Geography Matters called "Trail Guide to Learning". We are using the first year (can be used anywhere from 2nd to 6th grade) called Paths of Exploration. It basically covers every subject except math, music, PE, and cursive writing in an integrated, literature-based curriculum. I can't wait to get started, and neither can my son!

July 3, 2010 at 3:14 PM  
Blogger Katy~The Country Blossom said...

We feel the same way when our curriculum arrives! :) Ours is already organized and ready for us to start...which we will probably do in August.

I use the Christian Light Education curriculum. It is very focused on our Christian beliefs and comes in series of workbooks. It is actually published by a mennonite company. :)

July 3, 2010 at 4:11 PM  
Blogger Theresa said...

We use Covenant Home Curriculum. It is a Christian, classical education and we love it. Pretty amazing that the state gives you free computers for the kids. Can you use it for other things or only their curriculum?

July 3, 2010 at 4:19 PM  
Blogger Courtney (Women Living Well) said...

Wow! Lots of questions!

Tracy - we already completed the first year with it and liked it. My sister Kristen used it for 7 years with her 3 boys and currently is a K12 high school math teacher.

Patty - check their website but I believe it is free in Michigan also.

Emily - my son attended preschool at our church - but my daughter I did preschool at home this past year.

Lisa - I filter everything through God's word and from a Christian perspective. You are only required by the state to complete 90% of the material - so there is plenty of freedom to skip over lessons if I needed to but thus far I've had no problem.

Jenny - Pray and respect your husband's view. In time, the Lord will change your heart or his. Pray God brings you both together on this issue - don't let it be a point of contention. I was raised in a public school 12 years - and I am passionately in love with Jesus. A lot of that comes from my mom staying involved in my life and teaching me God's truth. Pray and trust God to care for your children when they are not in your care.

Tab - my Bible, library books, Vision Forum books, etc.

Ashley - you are spurring me on to make a youtube about this - thanks - stick around an answer is coming!

Theresa - we use it for other things too - the kids use the web like etc.

Hope this helps!
Much Love,

July 3, 2010 at 4:47 PM  
Blogger Naomi said...

I enrolled my son in a public charter school in PA and it's also free. I get a free computer, printer and all the supplies I will need!! I'm just as excited to get started!! It should be fun!

July 3, 2010 at 5:11 PM  
Anonymous Brandy said...

We've been homeschooling since our oldest showed an interest in learning. We started out using simple workbooks you can buy at Walmart. Last year was our first "official" school year -- where I had to deal with the school board (no big deal here in Wyoming ... just fill out a few papers and send them in. that's it!). She's 6 1/2 and just started 2nd grade (because we finished 1st grade a month before public schools and she was BORED and begging us to start 2nd lol)

We did Abeka last year and are doing it again for 2nd grade, but we'll probably do a bit more eclectic/pick n choose approach for 3rd.

July 3, 2010 at 11:40 PM  
Blogger Today On... said...

I have no clue where to start when it comes to home schooling! My son went to school this past year, he has had speech difficulties and school has helped him tremendously. I do still have homeschooling in the back of my mind it's just hard not knowing where to start! With my kids being in public school, I know they won't teach religion or God and I'd like for them to learn about it and not just at home!

July 4, 2010 at 12:29 AM  
Blogger Grace McHugh said...

I just do not get the "it's free" thing. And to have the government fingers in my way. We did not buy preschool or kindergarten curriculum and my five year old is keeping up with her 1st grader brother. She is reading amazingly well. We used My Father's World first grade and it was wonderful. We will be using it for second grade and I am guessing my five year old will be using it at the same time. Always teach at the level of your oldest to bring the younger ones to a better level of learning. Tapestry of Grace is another good one. My word is very careful of "free" government handouts. They are against homeschooling.......truly they are. We are a threat to their agenda. Check out the HSLDA website, No Greater Joy, Voddie Baucham.........the list goes on. Prayfully consider what God wants, not what your purse can do. Blessings to you. :)

July 4, 2010 at 12:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We looked into K12 but in Texas there is a wait list so we choose Connection Academy which is a charter school and very similar to K12. It is also through the state. We will start for the first time in Aug. I posted about public online schools and was bombarded with bad remarks. For my family public online schools are the best. I'm a single mom who has to work full time. Even though it's from home it is still full time. I just don't have the time to prepare curriculum so this is best option right now. I'm glad to know others use public online schools and have had good experiences. I love your blog. It is a highlight to my day.

July 4, 2010 at 12:51 AM  
Blogger Christy said...

Wow - this is a popular topic! We are using all sorts of things this year for K and prek - ABeka, Saxon, Heart of Dakota, among others. How amazing that your state gives you ALL THAT for free!

July 4, 2010 at 6:52 AM  
Anonymous Lizzy said...

we have been praying about homeschooling since our oldest finsihed public kindergarten last year. I'm thankful you opened my eyes to the options of something free! K12 is free here also.
I'm saddened by the negative, somehwat judging comments. though.
I feel the most important part of homeschooling is that we are WITH our kids. No matter what the curriculum used is, the main point for me, is the time with my children.
You are such a godly, prayerful woman Courtney, it's clear God has leads all your decisions, including curriculum. I would never question what He has led someone else to choose, even if it means staying in the public school system!

July 4, 2010 at 9:11 AM  
Blogger Alyson Sandlin said...


I'm not sure if you can address this or some of the other ladies. As a former public school teacher whose daughter just finished kinder at a public school I am baffled by all the negative comments about public school curriculum. I've been trying to think in my 4 years of teaching (and in being in my daughter's school) what about the curriculum I taught and she learned could be considered scary. I think it is great that people choose to home school and I fully support people's choices in that, but I was wondering if someone could explain to me the fear of public school curriculum.

I'm assuming what you are teaching is exactly what the public schools are teaching. You stated that you haven't had any problems with it so I assume that means you don't have any problem with the curriculum being taught in public schools.

I'm not trying to be argumentative, I am just honestly interested as a teacher as I didn't know there was so much fear out there about what we were teaching.

July 4, 2010 at 9:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A great place for a free curriculum is You only have to add math and grammar- if I remember correctly. We used it for a few years and it is God centered, literature based using Charlotte Mason type of ideas. (We also tend to stay away from the public school curriculum- for many reasons.) Right now, we use Tapestry of Grace and LOVE it! I have 5 kids and each one loves a different aspect of it. I am so thankful to find what works for my family. And I am glad you did, too!

July 4, 2010 at 3:38 PM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

Hi Courtney! I just found your blog through Scary Mommy (believe it or not!)and I'm so excited! I totally like what I'm reading here!

I'm a SAHM to a 21 month old boy and have thought about homeschooling when the time comes, but I'm not sure yet! I have heard of this K12 program although I don't really know much about it except it's a popular curriculum. I was an elementary teacher before a SAHM.

I look forward to following your blog! You can visit mine also at

July 4, 2010 at 4:45 PM  
Blogger Sheri said...

Unit studies for the littles and Lifepacs for the bigs. (Needed more structure for highschool but less on me at this point, at least until the depression/anxiety attacks are under control)

July 4, 2010 at 4:46 PM  
Blogger D and A said...

I decide what we are going to use as we go but my base comes from The Well Trained Mind. I always say that I am a classical unschooler. :) We use things like Saxon math, Apologia Science, language Lessons for the Well Trained Mind, Lots of books for History and Reading, We read the Bible, and add lots of other things as we go. You did not ask this but my basic goal is lifelong learners who love and know God.

BTW, I enjoy the day books come, it is fun!

July 4, 2010 at 5:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am excited for you. How exciting for the kids. Love those pictures with the boxes I hope that it is a fun experience. I am sure it will be.

I am a eclectic mostly traditional homeschooler. I am going to be using a Unit Study that covers History and Science, Creative Writing, art, muscie, literature that is from Christian Cotttage Unit Studies for both K grade and 5th. It has the work based for each level.

Also, for math I use MCP for both, Shurley English for my 5th and I am still undecided for my K grade on phonics.

July 4, 2010 at 5:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have to agree with the posters who stated that they would not be comfortable going through the public school system. I can absolutely see the draw, with the offers of free computers, printers, curriculum, etc, but to me it's a wolf in sheeps clothing. I do know that at least in our state, once you sign up through these 'umbrella or charter' systems, you are no longer legally considered a homeschooler with the state, and are then bound to the rules of the public school system regarding what you teach and when. For me, it takes away most all of the freedoms that made us want to homeschool in the first place. Yes, with 4 children it's a lot more expensive to do it 'on our own', but it's a price my husband and I are willing to pay to maintain our freedoms of choice in how our children are taught.

July 4, 2010 at 7:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi! I found your blog through raising homemakers--realy like it! I hve a 5 yr old, 3 yr old, and 8 month old. This fall marks when he'll officially be kindergarten. We went to our "state's homeschool option" informational session(sounds similar to what Ohio's K12). We were going to move forward, and then we came into contact with a lot of people and information warning about the quiet lure of it. I couldn't feel at peace, and so while I would long for structure and free help, I just couldn't do it. So, on to homeschool curriculum shopping I go. But my 5 yr old reads at a 3rd grade level, so I'm not too nervous :) God bless you!!

July 4, 2010 at 11:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Government school is "free" in every state- the K12 program (done through a governement school) IS NOT A HOMESCHOOL PROGRAM - DO NOT BE DECEIVED! This program is our modern day version of the apple the serpent dangled in front of Adam and Eve...

I suggest that you get a hold of a copy of a Vision Forum DVD called; "Exposing A Trojan Horse"- You can view a snippet on the Vision Forum website-

About a year ago a local Christian radio station was airing ads for a K12 program in our area, the ad included lingo "homeschooling, "free" curriculum etc"; I became so tired of hearing this ad for Government school on this particular radio station, so I called to let them know of the deception; the folks at the radio station were completely unaware of what they were really advertising- Thankfully some reseach was done and they stopped running the ads.

Alyson- What is "scary" about government school? Well, I could go on for many paragraphs, but I will sum it the way a speaker at the Bible camp we just got home from did, "... Sending your children (or inviting it into your home)to government school is the equivalent to spiritual abortion"... Secular textbook companies are rewriting history to be p.c. History books are being re written, removing the Christian hertiage of America.

July 5, 2010 at 12:21 AM  
Blogger Shawnee said...

We use K12 as well. It's a great curriculum and my children love it. I supplement with devotions and prayer time and also teaching them how we believe as well when teaching History lessons. It's been a huge blessing for our family. We are going into our 4th Year.

July 5, 2010 at 4:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Courtney,

From reading your blog I know you are a woman who loves our Lord, is daily in His Word and prayerfully seeks His Will for you life. Please don't let these other women discourage you or scare you. I'm sure they mean well, but for some reason as women we like everyone to do and like the same things that we like. The most important part is you are active in your children's education. You are their teacher. You are watching over what they are being where God is leading you. If K12 works for you right now, they are only in 1st and Kindergarten, then wonderful. That doesn't mean you can't change if you want when they get older or supplement more later on. The great thing about all of this is there are so many moms out there who want to give their children a wonderful education and raise them to love our Lord! You are one of them and you are doing a beautiful job!

July 5, 2010 at 9:58 AM  
Blogger Alyson Sandlin said...

Wow - "spiritual abortion" are some pretty strong words. I hate that this topic is so divisive. For those of you who posted that you are struggling to decide between homeschooling and public school, or you're feeling guilty about public school I want to encourage you.

There are some valid reasons to homeschool, but I often feel that it is held up as the only "Godly" way to educate your children. May I humbly submit that many of us who use public school do so because we feel it honors God. My husband and I believe very strongly that the overall theme of scripture from the very beginning is that God is reconciling the world to Himself. Now we get to take part in that reconciliation. My children are very grounded in the Word and they are a light in their school. I am very involved in the school as well and had the opportunity to serve (another theme in scripture) my daughter's teacher and her classmates and show them the love of Christ. There were some instances that I felt the children without resources were being left out of events and I was able to go to the principal and point out the injustice. If all Christians pull out of public school, there will be no one left to fight for these babies who don't have parents to fight for them. What then will happen to our society?

Sorry this is long, but my point is for those of you who are struggling, follow God's leading. But if He leads you to public school please do not feel that you are less of a mom or less of a Christian. Get in there and show Christ's love to the least of these. I think that honors Christ.

July 5, 2010 at 10:42 AM  
Blogger scrapper said...

We do K12 and love it. my son is gifted and was in the a magnet program for all of the children in his school district when we took him out. I assumed he would sail through the 4th grade curriculum. That was not the case. He was challenged, we could work at our own pace and most importantly we were together. We do morning devotionals and he also has additional personal scripture study. I have the option to preview anything he learns previous to his learning it and I am there while he is learning it. It is free but is also returned at the end of the year. Very similar to a library. Courtney I am so excited to know you use this program. It's nice to know that your blog post are even that much more applicable to me. Thanks!

July 5, 2010 at 2:23 PM  
Blogger More than Survival said...

There are a TON of wonderful, dedicated Christian families that send their children to public school. It is the responsibility of the parents to teach the ways of God and that can be done even if our children attend a public school. I am a home school graduate, but my children attend public school.... shocking, I know, but we are to follow GOD's leading in all areas of our life and not all are called to home school. Bullies come in all shapes and sizes and as Christian women we shouldn't bully others to all home school!!

July 5, 2010 at 3:10 PM  
Anonymous Amy said...

Hi Courtney,
I love reading your blog and watching your videos! You are such an inspiration!
We are going into our second year with k12 through OHVA and we love it! I have a 5th, 4th, and 1st grader so we are BUSY! My kids love getting the boxes too and can't wait to begin school! Oh, if that feeling only lasted, haha!

July 6, 2010 at 10:51 AM  
Blogger Dusty said...

This will be our second year homeschooling. My daughter will be in kindergarten and my son will start preschool. For now, we use Heart of Dakota curriculum, but I have my eyes on some others as well that I plan to look into as they get a little older.

July 6, 2010 at 2:40 PM  
Anonymous Jody said...

As a fomer employee of the Ohio Department of Education, you did not get that curriculum for free...our taxes paid for that! You're welcome!

July 6, 2010 at 2:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Vision Forum has a DVD on this subject titled "Exposing a Trojan Horse"- I suggest you order a copy.

July 6, 2010 at 6:17 PM  
Blogger Karen said...

To the "tax comment", actually Courtney's taxes paid for it!! She is getting what every other tax paying (and lets face it non tax paying) person is getting through the state school system. Sheesh.

I say good for you girl!!! You are a strong Christian woman, you are obviously teaching your children very well, and I dare say better than alot of folks who might use all "Christian" curriculum. It's not the curriculum, it's the time, teaching, talks, lessons learned.

The whole scare tactic approach about the gov. trying to steal away our children by luring us with "free" stuff is ludicrous. Both Courtney and her husband are well educated, and they are making the best decisions for their own family, prayerfully I am sure. for those that say they aren't judging...if you have to say that then you know you are!!

Here we go again...women tearing eachother down over our differences and beliefs, most of us calling ourselves "Christians" too. It's really sad.

July 6, 2010 at 11:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Karen- The concerns being raised by some of the commentors are concerns of true homeschooling vs. educating at home, not in judgement of any one's personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

We've been homeschooling a very long time (15 years), our oldest daughter, a graduate of our little homeschool (22 next week) began her education at one of the top private Christian schools in our area, we came into homeschooling more out of necessity than anything else, the funds ran out, (when our twins were born and I left the work force) government school was not an option - we were however lured into the system with that "free" tag, accessing ancillary services (orchestra). Our journey within the gov. schools was not a pleasant one. Once we freed ourselves from the bondage of the local district, God moved into our school in ways I can't even explain. We've done it all- seen it all, we even have a large "Christian homeschool" co-op in our area. Titus 2:4; says... Then they can train the younger women to love their husbands and children. It's up to the younger women to then listen.

We actually have very dear friends who used a vitual academy last year, for 6th and 3rd grade- The entire family was swamped with excessive curriculum and administrative duties. They all were exasparated at times with the expected work load. Ephesians 6:4; warns us parents "Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord." Last spring, we went rounds with them on the topic, they went ahead with it- However, they do not say or call themselves a homeschooling family.

You are welcome to disagree, the facts are the facts. Virtual academy families are not considered to be homeschoolers in the eyes of the law- and if a dispute arose HSLDA would not be able to defend those families. The problem is in the labelling, children are enrolled into an alternative ed program through the government school system in their local area and are counted as FTE's within that district. In our state, the laws make it illegal for a district to label those programs as "homeschool", HSLDA works quite diligently here to make sure the districts stay within the law.

About the curriculum we use, it's Rod & Staff. We've even visited the folks down in Crockett, KY where it is published. A couple years ago, we were treated to a personal tour of the facilities and learned all about how books are formed.

I'll be leaving your comment on my blog-

In Him,

Scripture references are from the NIV

July 7, 2010 at 1:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

July 7, 2010 at 1:33 AM  
Blogger Karen said...

Courtney, bless your heart.(hugs)

I honestly don't know how you do it, you certainly HAVE taken some really bugs me too! I totally understand from the non-Christians as they might not understand our stance at all on many subjects (like the whole being loving to your husband debate! ;0)

What bother's me the most is the "attacks" from the Christian women. It is easy to sit behind a computer screen and "defend" yourself and tell someone else they are or are not homeschooling, if you use this or that curriculum you are doing it WRONG, being submissive, following the Bible, etc. etc. I think it's plain wrong, it's ugly, and it turns many people off.

I often wonder how you deal with some of these women? I mean..I would just be angry and annoyed over it all day!

You have a lot of grace in your heart, and you are a wonderful example to us all.

PS: I knew you did not delete any comments, why Kimberly would say so is beyond me. :/ Frankly, I would not blame you if you did!

July 7, 2010 at 1:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

One last comment from me and that will be that- Karen- all day yesterday the comments were gone- yes, they've reappeared today- from my computer they were not here, so my comments on my personal blog were accurate. Nobody was telling anybody that they are "homeschooling" correctly or incorrectly- The facts are indisputable, the law in our state (maybe Ohio and your state are different) catagorizes these programs to be alternative ed programs, the children are enrolled into the district and are not counted at homeschool students. Those are facts, not attacks- Yes, I passed on a strong quote from a speaker, speaking against gov. schools. You don't have to like it- but don't fall into the trap of becoming the bully and attacker of the messenger. I highly doubt that a respected Christian publishing company like Vision Forum would produce a DVD such as the "Exposing a Trojan Horse" that respected Christian men endorse on this topic, if it wasn't such a threat to families. You go girl, invite Satan into your home, I have no problem with that- he isn't welcome in ours!

PS I'm no longer following this blog, and will be removing the button for "Raising Homemakers" too.

July 7, 2010 at 3:37 PM  
Blogger Karen said...

In response to Kimberly..."You go girl, invite Satan into your home, I have no problem with that- he isn't welcome in ours!

PS I'm no longer following this blog, and will be removing the button for "Raising Homemakers" too."

YIKES!!! :0 I can assure you satan is NOT in my home, nor in Courtney's, but I do believe he might be using this conversation to divide us. :/

July 7, 2010 at 5:46 PM  
Blogger Courtney (Women Living Well) said...

Ok - I know some of you are wondering WHEN I am going to say something. The truth is - there's not a lot for me to say. It is clear there are strong emotions and beliefs on both sides of the coin.

When I posted this post I naively thought it was just a little extra window into my was a Saturday when I posted this and for those who have followed me a long time you know I don't usually post on Saturdays - it was just an "extra" for fun! OOps - it wasn't so fun was it? :-(

I am not someone who is going to be against things (I'm not into debating stuff much) but rather:

I am for encouraging women to walk with the King

I am for strong marriages

I am for Biblical parenting

I am for embracing homemaking.

So I'll keep writing on those topics and try to avoid these hot buttons! Live and learn.

Kimberly - I am sorry to lose you as a follower but I have been blessed to see your love and passion for God and your family. This blog is just a ministry - numbers are not really my gig...whether two or 10 follow - I write to the glory of God. There's no personal financial profit in blogging for me (no ads and no money accepted for speaking) - just simply an outlet and the joy of meeting so many amazing women along the same journey that I am in.

Kimberly I bet if we met in person we have a lot more in common than you think!!! (our days look similiar despite my curriculum) I know I'd love you! Sorry to disappoint you.

Everyone - keep walking with the King and don't get sidetracked - Hebrews 12:2 is one of my favorite verses - it says "let us fix our eyes on Jesus..." fixem' on Jesus not me!! I am sure to disappoint again. And I apologize in advance.

Your very flawed blogger,
Ps. I love you guys and am so grateful for some of the supportive emails I received this week - thank you from the bottom of my heart!

July 7, 2010 at 6:16 PM  
Blogger Yvonne said...

Thank you so much for taking the high road with this controversy. I read the entry shortly after it posted and I saw it only as a little celebration of getting a little "gift". One of the biggest downfalls I have encountered with Christian ladies is an inability to translate their passion about something without coming across with arrogant dogmatism. I have been convicted of this in my own life and I strive to keep the pause button "on" myself before speaking or typing something.

And for the record, I'm sure the poster who removed you from her blog must certainly have a problem with her computer as I saw her comments the entire time on this post and I did check back several times.

Your post has had a good effect -- I am checking into whether my state has the K12 program and what it looks like, what I can add, etc. assuming I am able one day to homeschool.

Thanks, Courtney. May the Lord continue to bless you and this blog.


July 8, 2010 at 8:20 AM  
Blogger Robin said...

Hi, Courtney. I just wanted to let you know that I am happy for your family, that you have found a curriculum you like, and that it is free! That is definitely a blessing, as funds can be tight everywhere right now. I left a comment a few days ago about the curriculum I am using, and I had taken your post as "fun", as you mentioned. I was appalled to see some of the subsequent comments. I am a Christian, and I was extremely saddened to see the way that Christian women were treating each other. I'm sure you were, too. If anyone is interested, I actually wrote a post about this last night in my own blog, http://musicofthe I really needed to speak my mind, and I hope it does not offend, but I am was really upset about the division that I saw between Christian sisters, and between homeschoolers, who should be banded together, not tearing each other apart. Blessings, Courtney, and have a great school year! - Robin

July 8, 2010 at 9:13 AM  
Blogger Robin said...

Sorry - it appears I put a space in my link. It should be:

July 8, 2010 at 9:22 AM  
Blogger Stacie, A Firefighter's Wife said...

This is precisely why I avoid such hot topics on my blog. It seems to always turn ugly.

I watched you on the Rachel Ray Show. Very nice. What an encouragement to women who do not feel called to have a career.

I myself felt pressured into going to college when all I ever wanted was to be a SAHM. I am now living my dream! My hubby is a firefighter and I am able to stay at home with my six wonderful children and homeschool them.

As far as homeschooling I use a mix of curriculum. Modern Curriculum Press, Saxon Math and I use my Bible to teach Biblical principles and character building.

It works for us!

July 8, 2010 at 9:46 AM  
Anonymous Rachel @ Busy Mommy Media said...

We used k12 last year and loved it. We've sinced moved into what we hear is a really good school district so we're thinking about giving it a try for a year. We really enjoyed k12 though.

July 10, 2010 at 12:46 PM  
Anonymous Valerie said...

Hi Courtney, I am new to your blog. Just wanted to say I've enjoyed looking around. :) Our family has tried many different curricula, among them are Abeka, Charlotte Mason-style, and, for this coming year, Accelerated Christian Education (A.C.E.).
I'm a pastor's wife in Arkansas with four children and one more due any day now. I look forward to reading more here. :)

July 11, 2010 at 10:41 PM  
Blogger Soaring Eagle said...

We're using Heart of Dakota. This year I'll be also homeschooling my son using Little Hands to Heaven. My almost 7 yr old daughter will be using Beyond Little Hearts for His Glory.

July 30, 2010 at 8:06 AM  
Blogger Kristine said...

Hi Courtney. Thanks for posting your excitement about K12. It is here when I started to consider this program. I signed my kids up for our first year (9th, 8th, 4th, 2nd grade) this week!

I am a little nervous with the "unknown" but I know I need the accountability and discipline. I have homeschooled all the way through and love being home teaching/training my children. I have a couple of questions: How long does it each day? Is it difficult to keep up? Can I have your overall impression from your kids perspective?

Thanks again for teaching your readers to Walk with the King. Our earthly world is so distracting and overstimulating to me. I have reminders in my home to keep things simple and focused on the main things.

Be blessed as you serve Him in the blog world!!


July 30, 2010 at 11:47 AM  
Blogger Courtney (Women Living Well) said...


I am just at the beginning of the K12 homeschooling journey - my children are just going into 1st grade and Kindergarten.

But I can share with you that my sister homeschooled her 3 boys for 7 years with the K12 curriculum and she currently is a K12 virtual high school math teacher - so she has thoroughly enjoyed her experience. So much so she wanted to work for them!

How long were the boys school day? Well I wasn't there everyday but it was very flexible - 5 hours is the requirement but they were done long before that everyday and out shootin hoop and practicing their pitching. They supplemented with sports activities, a Bible program at our church, and other things.

If you are in Ohio your 9th grader could have my sister as a on-line teacher - her name is Mrs. Stopp.

Anyway, she loves the materials - her kids scored exceptional on all the standardized tests and last year they entered public schools and were straight A students (one son did get a few B's). (and more importantly the boys are doing well spiritually - it was not a tramatic switch over - praise the Lord :-)

I really hope this year goes well for you. Let me warn you in advance for the first few weeks it's going to take extra time to sort out their system - how the lessons work, the computer stuff etc. But By October you will be cruising and finishing much more quickly. Hang in there!


July 30, 2010 at 12:46 PM  
Blogger Jenny said...

Oh wow on these comments! I see nothing wrong with using a free curriculum and supplementing it to fit your family's needs. At least you are getting something out of the taxes you pay!

August 1, 2010 at 11:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow! Good things you don't live in my neigborhood. Those boxes would've mysteriously disappeared. LOL! Just kdding. You have the cutest children. I hope you have a super fabulous year and save me some of that bbq!

August 2, 2010 at 1:21 AM  
Blogger Liz @ Sugarplum Creations said...

We get so excited when our books come in the mail too! It *is* like Christmas! I'm new here, but I love ya already! :)

August 2, 2010 at 2:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow - I see a lot of passion here. I also see that people have shown concern and wanted to bring to Courtney's attention something Courtney may or may not have known about the system she has chosen, as a good loving Christian sister should. What a lot of passion followed. Courtney - you behaved very well here and I thank you for showing me how to handle such a situation. I am new to the blogging world, and not American so how would I know who is right and wrong here. All I know is this - someday any of you may be very glad that someone cared enough to let you know that there was a possible problem. I once, in the search for new childrens books bought some that had a very good rating and reviews etc. I made it through the first and halk way throught the second i began to feel very ill whenever I picked up the book. Happily I mentioned it at my bible group and was horrified to learn that these books were very ungodly and that the Author was very anti God. I believe that my feeling ill was the Holy Sprit preventing me from reading the authors words and I am sad that I bought the books - and therefore supported the author in his writing. I was very glad that day that someone had shared their concern over me reading those books.
We read this blog because we like what Courtney has to say - and so we know that she is able to assess a situation and make her own mind up. I believe we should applaud people for sharing information but NOT judging, and certainly not attacking individuals. But I actually think that it shows how many of us are passionate about God, about glorifying Him, and about raising our children in His word and as His servants.

August 2, 2010 at 8:51 AM  
Blogger Daddy's Chick's said...

Just wanted to wish you a blessed school year. Thanks for sharing.

August 2, 2010 at 10:13 AM  
Blogger Daddy's Chick's said...

Just wanted to wish you a blessed school year. Thanks for sharing.

August 2, 2010 at 10:14 AM  
Blogger Giggly Girls said...

Wow, you've got quite a thread going here. LOL I'm glad that you guys have found what works for your family, regardless of what others think.

And aren't box days the best?

August 2, 2010 at 10:31 AM  
Blogger Carrie said...

Wow. Crazy thread. As a former public school teacher I would say that you are getting your tax money's worth for sure, because I remember scrambling around trying to find enough of everything for each teacher's classroom... not one child in my classroom EVER got all that stuff, much less a computer each! That is great you can get all that stuff for no additional out of pocket cost! Do you have to return the textbooks or are they yours to keep?
Also... the only thing I will say about using "public school" curriculum...I am not afraid of the content...we live in this world so it is a given that we will need to filter content and being a good steward with not spending money on fancy stuff is great for you!
What made me nervous about it was the fact that my home could be stepped into and observed with no notice and nothing I could do...because I was technically part of the government school.
Not sure about the truth to that, but I never really considered our local state program anyway..I have way too much fun going to expos and spending my money! ha ha!

August 4, 2010 at 12:25 PM  
Blogger MissMOE said...

I was just at a friend's house--where her K12 boxes covered the dining room table! I love box days. We're using a bit of everything this year! I'm most excited about Joy Hakim's The Story of Science. Enjoy your year.

August 4, 2010 at 7:59 PM  
Blogger Our Village is a Little Different said...

I'm stopping by from the blog hop. Wow! Hot topic! I'm sure you'll be a wonderful filter and that you know what's best for your children. I hope you have a fabulous school year. It sure is exciting to get curriculum! My mail lady earns her salary just from my house alone!

August 6, 2010 at 12:41 AM  
Blogger melissa said...

Hi Courtney,

I have been researching homeschooling curriculum all week. I have been waiting for a sighn to help me make this somewhat hard decision to homeschool my 4th and 2nd grade boys! I just found the K12 is available in our county today! I think I am very excited about this. How did you come to your decision to homeschool? I keep looking at the pros and cons, and truthfully, the pros def. outweigh the cons!

Can you email me some of your thoughts on the K12? Our email is

thank you, Courtney, I look forward to hearing from you....and WOW! Some people are rough on their commenting, huh?!?


August 9, 2010 at 5:19 PM  
Blogger Robin said...

I'm a single mom, so homeschooling is currently out of our reach, but I would love to do the K12 program, supplemented with the Sonlight bible curriculum.

To anyone who is considering that K12 is a typical public school curriculum, it definitely is not! One of it's founders is Bill Bennett, former Secretary of Education, and amazing, conservative historian and philosopher. Some of his books include, "The Book of Virtues"' "The Patriot's Almanac", and "America: The Last, Best Hope".

I encourage anyone to look into this program! Amazing research behind the curriculum.

August 14, 2010 at 9:33 AM  
Blogger Robin said...

I feel a little silly about the post that I just put up... Not that I don't stand by what I said, I just hadn't read all the way thru the comments to understand how heated the debate had become.

There is obviously passion on all sides. My own personal situation calls me to oversee my son's education to the best of my ability and teach him to know Christ and spread His love in whatever circumstances we find ourselves.

Courtney, you handled this whole thread beautifully. Thank you for your blog. I am a new follower, and am loving your posts as well as the connections to so many other Christ-centered moms.

August 14, 2010 at 10:17 AM  
Blogger Courtney (Women Living Well) said...

Robin - thank you so much for what you shared! And yes, K12 has an amazing founder and back when it began James Dobson had recommended this curriculum. There are many many many many Christians using it and involved in the making of it. But I'm not hiding that I'm enrolled in a public school. This is what works for our family in this season of life. We are taking our choices on schooling one year at a time - one day at a time :-)!

Thanks for your sweet words!

August 14, 2010 at 12:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Courtney, I was just browsing your site. Great site! I can't wait to finish looking at everything. I stumbled upon the "homeschooling" topic here. Yes it looks like it is a HOT topic. I think we Christian moms are all trying to do our best to raise our children the way God wants us to. We all love our children and just want the best for them. I don't think most of these ladies were trying to be "judgy" just trying to warn you that there are things you need to be careful about. I don't know anything about charter schools or k12 but I do know we need to be very careful with our children. My husband and I were both public school kids. We choose to put our children in private Christian schools that used A beka curriculum. When my oldest daughter came home from school after her first couple weeks in K. She said to me "mommy do you want me to tell you 1 John 1" I said sure thinking she would say a couple of verses. She started out and kept going and she recited the whole first chapter word for word. I stood in my kitchen and cried. When my husband heard her tears rolled down his cheeks also. We looked at each other and said, if that is all she ever learned it was worth every penny. There is something so special about a Christian curriculum that has weaved our precious Lord's word throughout every subject. It's truly "priceless". Just in case your wondering we do not have alot of money to pay for private Christian school. I have driven the same used van for 10 years and we live in a small 1200 sq ft home. After our first child started K we just adjusted and God provided. He is so good :)

August 30, 2010 at 10:39 PM  
Blogger Jaimie said...

Oh my goodness!! This is my first time to your blog and WOW, it was a doozy! :) I think you handled all of these criticisms and comments with such grace. I keep thinking, "WOW - what do all the non-Christian moms visiting this page think of all these 'Christian' moms bashing each other and judging each other?" It really is sad. We wanted to send our son to Christian school so badly. Homeschooling is not an option for us right now. We tearfully enrolled him in the public school near our house. However, since doing so we have seen that it is SUCH an opportunity for us to be a light to all of those little children who need Jesus. If we won't go to them, who will? Who will befriend them and teach them about the Lord? We can't make decisions based out of fear of man. God is able, and mighty, and He can protect my son and use him to be a light. This debate just made me feel even more confident about that than ever.

August 31, 2010 at 2:33 AM  
Blogger Holly Vaughan said...

Wow, I just found Courtney through MoneySavingMom and you are fabulous! Keep this up! And I just wanted to say that I'm a Born-Again Christian beginning a teaching career in a public high school. It can be scary, but there are believing teachers out there. I've found that in Family and Consumer Sciences (formerly home-economics) there are millions of "PC" ways to incorporate the Truth in my classroom, after all, my subject used to train girls to be good homemakers. I appreciate that there are some Christian parents who send their children to public schools, they truly are lights in a lot of darkness, but I can definitely understand the decision either way. Stay strong ladies whichever way you are convicted!

August 31, 2010 at 6:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello Courtney,

Just curious how do you like K 12. How do you like it from a believers view.

October 13, 2010 at 12:10 AM  
Blogger Courtney (Women Living Well) said...

I just wrote an answer to this question in an email to a reader (it might be the same reader) so I'm copying and pasting that email here:

This is our second year using it and we love it. My oldest sister used it for 7 years with her 3 boys. She is a pastors wife, conservative Evangelical just like me. I trusted her take on it and am glad I did. She now is a second year K12 online high school math teacher and enjoying it!

Here’s the truth. The curriculum is so fun and easy to do in the sense that all the lessons are well thought out and planned and I simply turn on the computer and it tells me what to do. The children love it. Lovely!

The down side is:
1. Every now and then you bump into something that is ungodly. All I do is skip it or cover it and explain what God’s word says about it. It’s really not a big deal when you are sitting right there with them covering the material. There are very few issues I’ve had thus far with finding unspiritual stuff. For example in history Alex’s lesson on Friday covered Abraham! And we will be doing Moses and 6 other lessons from the Bible. It’s not anti-God! It just includes all the Egyptian stuff and Greek God stuff etc. But I help him sort that out with no problem – I want him to be aware of those things – that doesn’t bother me.

2. I do have a teacher I answer to…once a month she calls and assesses him over the phone etc. We are blessed and really like our teachers.

3. You have to log your hours – again – you do have to answer to the state. This does not bother me – I consider it accountability. It forces me to be sure my kids get the right hours of school in. I’m okay with that.

We are only required to cover 90% of the curriculum. This means that 10% can be skipped over – so if there are faith issues we do have the option to skip over but we have never taken advantage of that option yet.

Hope this helps!
Much Love,

October 16, 2010 at 3:43 PM  
Blogger fredsgirl said...

Hi Courtney,

I just recently came across your blog and have been very encouraged and challenged. I am a homeschooling mom of 4 8 and under (1 on the way). Question about K12, which I had considered, but was concerned about so much "screen" time. What are your thoughts about that? We are currently enrolled in a Charter school which I love b/c they pay for many extra-curricular stuff (like piano, art, school supplies, and printer ink/paper) which we would not otherwise afford.

November 15, 2010 at 12:55 PM  
Blogger Courtney (Women Living Well) said...

Fredsgirl - You asked about screen time. At my children's ages (5 and 7) there's not a lot of screen time. Basically, it's me with a lot of screen time. All of the lesson instructions are on-line but then you go and do the projects hands on. We make crafts, do experiments, worksheets, read chapter books etc. The entire curriculumn is parent led - everything is taught by me - so there's not much screen time. The only screen time they have is the educational games that go with Math and some history lessons that include cool illustrations and stories I read to them from the computer.

I would imagine as they get older and more self-taught there's more screen time - but not at this point.

Hope that helps.

November 15, 2010 at 1:50 PM  
Blogger Gingerich said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

November 29, 2010 at 2:10 PM  
Blogger Gingerich said...

Three years ago I homeschooled my 2 girls 12, 15 and my 2 boys 6,7. I used Alpha Omega LIFEPAC. These are study and workbooks similar to the ACE program only with 'color'. But with several life crisis issues I felt unsuccessful and sent my children back to public school for 2 more years. Thankfully I am now homeschooling my boys again. But this time I am using a DVD program created for Alpha and Omega called Switched on Schoolhouse. It covers 5 subjects and it is an interesting program. There are learning games to help my boys comprehend and remember spelling words, multiplication facts. Their work is graded and stored for me. I simply check their work thru my program on the computer and the calendar keeps everyone on time and up to date.

But this new public school program to me is just a way for the Camel to get his nose under the tent.
And it shouldn't be there.
In California they are banning restaurants for giving out toys unless they serve a healthy meal.. While I feel like that is my call.

The government couldn't run their own school facilities safely or effectively and is closing schools across the globe in an attempt to balance the $$. So now their next move is to monitor and govern our home schooling also. Now some may be excited about being accountable to the government but that is not my choice nor is it a wise one.

November 29, 2010 at 2:17 PM  
Anonymous Mel said...

Hey Courtney, we are a homeschool family too.:) My best friend actually lives in Ohio (she's in Chicago right now while her husband undergoes cancer treatment), but she uses the k12 curriculum and just loves it. I so wish we could get it here in Missouri, but right now we can't. If we lived in the St. Louis area, maybe then....
To those who oppose, curriculum really is a personal choice and should be the decision of each individual family. Homeschooling is not an easy thing, and when you find that curriculum that clicks and works for your family....go with it. Curriculum isn't the only way that your children are going to learn.... We are using My Father's World right now, but it is so expensive, I'm hoping that something like k12 will be available by the time my youngest gets to school age. At least then our taxes would be put to good use.:)
No, seriously, though, we love homeschooling; we've went through a couple of different curriculums in different subjects, and it can be hard to find that niche at first....but when you do, you just know, and you just keep going.:) Happy Saturday!

February 5, 2011 at 2:46 PM  
Anonymous Amanda (mom of 4) said...

I just found your site andI love it! I found you thru raising homemakers, and have added u to my shortcuts!! A lot was said about public versus private versus homeschooling' but really it all comes down to what is best for YOUR child and YOUR family and YOUR finances. My husband and I have 4 kids... a 16month son, an 8 yo daughter, a 12 yo daughter, and a 14 yo son. We live in a very small community in southwest MI and attend a good Pentecostal church. Our older 3 children have always attentded public school because I was able to be involved in the classroom. I also took the time to make sure teachers knew some of our beliefs and knew what we expected of our children. However with the birth of our unexpected blessing in Oct of 2009, i decided to stay home full time. At the same time, it became very clear that my oldest, who has adhd and some anxiety issues, needed a change. So out of publc schools he came, home to mama, off most of his meds, and back to being a good natured kid again. But my girls are doing so well, and being such lights, we left them in school. Yes we deal with somethings most homeschoolers don't, but that is where i as a parent step in to remind the girls of the teaching they get at home. I dont feel that there is a right or wrong answer to this, just as long as u as a mother do what is best for your kids! God bless u and yours!

February 25, 2011 at 3:21 PM  
Blogger Genevieve said...

Just watched your video on You Tube about a day in the life of your homeschool. Thank you so much for sharing! I'm sorry you've been given grief about using K12. We don't use it but we ARE enrolled in a public charter school, so technically, my kids are public school students. The school pays for all their (non-religious) curriculum and my son's karate classes and all we have to do is meet with a teacher once a month to develop a learning plan. I've met with two different teachers during my time with this school and they have both been wonderful Christian ladies.

Anyway, I just wanted to encourage you and say that the most IMPORTANT thing is that your kids are with you and you are developing in them a Christian worldview. You are teaching them how to interact with the world! And that is no small thing. Well done!

April 20, 2011 at 5:35 PM  
Anonymous Rebecca Davis said...

So they send a free computer?! Wow I want to home school my children!

April 20, 2011 at 6:30 PM  

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