Privacy and Online Security

I’m an avid Facebook user but I try never to post anything pertaining to my personal life and family. Facebook is continually changing its Privacy Policy and, frankly, nothing is ever truly “private” when posted on the internet. With the surge of identity theft, people focus more upon keeping their banking and credit card information safe than the mundane details of their lives, such as pictures of tonight’s dinner. Sometimes, those mundane details and routines create a larger security risk.

Facebook-vs-Google-Plus

With the increasing popularity of social networking, many different websites offer you to sign in to comment using avenues such as Facebook. Even Google+ users can use their log in for comments on sites such as YouTube. Should one avenue, such as Facebook or Google, really have access to the bits of information floating around on the many websites that ultimately converge to identify you?

I’m positive that there is far more information about me than I would desire floating around in cyberspace. Information that I rather keep out of the public eye can be found if someone was diligent and persistent enough. That is a scary proposition! We are now living in an age where child predators and criminals are virtual and faceless!

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Does this mean I will live in fear and close down all of my blogs and social networking profiles? No. What will I do? I will remain vigilantly cautious regarding what I post online. I don’t post pictures of my children or their names. I avoid using any GPS location services. When asked for my current city, it is left blank. I don’t have a birthday… not for social networking, anyway.

In this internet age, online security and privacy concerns will continue to remain in the forefront as a dark cloud hovering over the masses. While it’s not foolproof, careful analyses of what we post to blogs or social networking sites can help keep ourselves and our families safer. The old adage, “It’s a jungle out there!” not only fits adulthood, but online as well.

Simple: Not Complex

A few years ago, I had a virtual meltdown over the complexities of my life. From personal development to homeschooling my five children to meal planning, preparations, and shopping to the household management of cooking three meals a day, the barrage of laundry, and keeping up on cleaning schedules to… well, you get the picture.

All along, I was convinced that these issues were stemming from poor time management skills. The more I tried to “manage” my time (and the children’s), the more harried I became. It wasn’t until my best friend introduced me to “A Thomas Jefferson Education” that my eyes were opened to something the Lord had been trying to tell me all the while: Simple, not complex.

Look at the world of machines: from automobiles to dishwashers. The more complex the mechanism, i.e. the more moving parts, the greater the likelihood of a failure. We’ve had our share of failed appliances: refrigerator, ranges, ovens, dishwashers, washers, and dryers. Some were fixed while others ended up at the transfer site due to the amount of damage they had caused. If we compare that to Creation, even though an ecosystem can be analyzed into many details and parts, it is still vastly simpler than its manmade counterparts are.

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I’ve had my fair share of relying upon Man. It’s stressful, fearful, and always leaves me empty. When I rely upon God, when I’m following Him to my utmost, I experience peace, security, satisfaction, and fulfillment! Simple is peaceful; complex is chaos.

Simplicity can be applied to every facet of your life. In home education, I design simple courses to promote self-education for my now six children. Each child has his and her own bent and mission in life and all I do is to encourage them in those areas. In household management, we have purged most of the clutter, which saves time on chores. Do I really need all of those clothes? If it hangs in the closet for six months, it is time for it to bless someone rather than cause undue stress for me. Even such a small thing as this has cut down on the amount of laundry!

Simple, not complex. I didn’t say, “Easy, not hard.”

Homeschooling and the Holocaust

Interesting blog post pertinent to homeschooling, the Common Core, and the German family. Those that do not know history are doomed to repeat it.

Homeschooling Wisdom from Chris Davis

As I write this post, a family from Germany is living in a town not far from me. They are seeking asylum in America for religious reasons: they want to raise and educate their children without German State interference. They are homeschoolers, something not allowed in Germany. Our government has gone to court seeking their deportation.

Many of you know that I spend several months each year in Israel, leading tours, mostly for homeschooling families. In Israel, the Holocaust is the ever-present backdrop against which life is lived. It is part of the Israeli educational fabric; ignorance of the Holocaust is not an option.

Yet, even among educated individuals, not everyone agrees as to how the Holocaust could have happened.

“What,” you may be asking, “Does the Holocaust have to do with homeschooling?”

The answer is “More than you could ever imagine!” A quick history lesson will make this clear…

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