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Welcome to Newbieland

By Pete Storz

Pitfall Tours is happy to offer the homeschool community a special adventure tour especially for newcomers - a trip to Newbieland. Newbieland is not for the timid, but if one is persistent, the challenges this country presents can be met and even enjoyed. Pitfall Tours promises that you will grow personally from your experiences in Newbieland. Pitfall Tours has miss-served the homeschoolng community since 1980, guiding unwary parents into many of the traps and snares to which homeschoolers are susceptible.

Our tour begins as we land in Isolopolis, the capital city. Newbieland is a remarkably flat plain, so flat that estimating distances from one place to another can be difficult. Isolopolis is located right in the middle of Newbieland, with nothing visibly close by. This gives the city a certain lonely aspect. Though Isolopolis is quite large, with many residents, the city is not very busy, and finding very many people gathered in one place is rare. One exception is support groups that are organized to assist their members and regular visitors with their families' educational endeavors. Visitors who get past the feeling of being alone soon realize that there are many interesting places to visit, lovely sights to see, and fun things to do, with great freedom to pick and choose what they find particularly interesting or amusing.

Moving along, we come to Weirdstadt. People here move about more, though they still aren't very outgoing. This, plus their very inquisitive manner of looking at people, may cause you to feel that there is something odd in what you are doing or how you look. Here again, keeping things in perspective can be liberating. You'll soon realize that everyone is unique, and that behind every peculiarity is someone or something that will be interesting to learn about and explore. As in Isolopolis, you will find much of interest in Weirdstadt, with considerable freedom to follow your fascination.

The next city we visit is Indecisive-burg. To a visitor Indecisive-burg can be very confusing. The city is organized around a number of market plazas, with streets that radiate out from each plaza. This can leave a visitor unsure of which way to go and perhaps a little reluctant to explore the city. A visitor who is both flexible and a bit venturesome will quickly realize that something interesting or beautiful can be found in almost any direction, and that the city's streets intertwine so that going in the right general direction will get you where you want to go, with perhaps a turning here or there.

Responsibiligrad is the next stop for our tour. Responsibiligrad is a grand, imposing city. Its tall, stately buildings and grand monuments impress (and almost intimidate) the visitor that this is a very serious city indeed. Responsibiligrad is quite important, but visitors should not be afraid to explore the city. Grave decisions are made here that will affect families for years to come. Visitors who have the courage to move about the city and understand its culture and purpose find their visit rewarding indeed. A visit to Responsibiligrad requires much personal initiative, but it is time well spent.

From here, our tour will be following the infamous Unfamiliaria Highway along which the next few cities we will visit are situated. Travelers find almost everything along this route new and maybe a little scary. Many will feel unsafe, even though the highway is well built and follows a route that has been used for many centuries. - There also is considerable assistance available along the way.

Our first stop along this highway is Learningcurvna. Even at first glance, a visitor can see that Learningcurvna is a complex city. Finding one's way around the city can be a daunting task, and one is almost afraid to start. Don't be afraid, though. This city too has a wealth of interest and beauty, and almost without realizing it, you'll be able to move about easily and find whatever you want. Learningcurvna ends up being much less confusing than it first seemed.

This tour of Newbieland is definitely one of the longer tours Pitfall Tours offers, so we will have to move right along to Budgetania. This is a city of surprising contrasts, being the commercial heart of Newbieland. Budgetania is easily the best place to find almost anything you might need or want. Many visitors find their shopping constrained, though, by the size of their wallet. With careful shopping, flexible domestic arrangements, and sometimes hard work, the homeschooling family will be able to find and purchase goods that will suit and serve their family well. Be careful, though, since one may seriously deflate one's wallet.

Next on our itinerary is the sometimes imposing, sometimes intricate city of Legalia. Visitors' experiences in Legalia vary considerably, depending on which borough of the city they visit. Some find it relatively simple, with considerable freedom to move about and do pretty much as they please. Others find their activities much affected and constrained by regulations having to do with what they can do, where, and when, and sometimes their activities are closely monitored by local authorities. One can easily become fearful of moving about doing very much and consequently find less of interest than one might. Adding to visitors' confusion, the ordinances of the various boroughs of Legalia may be inconsistently enforced, with officials in less restrictive boroughs occasionally trying to impose restrictions not permitted by the ordinances of their borough, while officials where ordinances are tighter may show surprising flexibility. Pitfall Tours suggests that not learning local ordinances and doing what one pleases, mindless of local restrictions, will greatly increase the degree of adventure visitors will experience in Legalia.

As we prepare to leave Newbieland, we will spend some time in Underminington, Newbieland's cultural center. People here are pretty outgoing and curious. They love to poke into your personal business and tend to offer advice rather freely. Since the residents of Underminington are somewhat contrary and feel threatened when people do things differently than they do, their advice will often call into question what you are doing, and sometimes they will speculate as to your sanity. You may find yourself having second thoughts about your choices as well. If you come to Underminington prepared - well informed and firmly decided - your visit to Underminington will be more pleasant and less daunting. But where's your sense of adventure?

Pitfall Tours believes that you will agree with us that this visit to Newbieland will be a once in a lifetime opportunity - something for which you may feel relieved - and quite an adventure. Don't miss it!

Copyright © 2003, Peter Storz and HomeschoolChristian.com

About the author: Pete Storz grew up in Woodland, CA, near Sacramento. His family attended a Lutheran church, and for grades 1 through 3, Pete attended the private school run by that church, and public schools thereafter. Pete attended a college in Phoenix, AZ, graduating with an Associate's degree. While in Phoenix, Pete worked in a Christian bookstore and tape library, was involved in a ministry that reached out to Jehovah's Witnesses, and ran sound for several local contemporary Christian music bands. Pete moved to "Silicon Valley" to work in electronics and be closer to his parents. He met Becky in 1978 at a church, and they were married in 1980. They have three children, Suzy, Chris, and Katie. Becky first heard of homeschooling on a Focus on the Family program, and about a video seminar by Dr. Raymond Moore that was to be hosted at a nearby church by his daughter. After attending this and a seminar by Gregg Harris, Pete and Becky were encouraged to believe that they could homeschool their children. Remembering that first year or two, when support was crucial but hard to find, Pete and Becky started a support group in 1992 with a special emphasis on fellowship, person-to-person support, and helping new homeschoolers get started. Though Pete and Becky stepped down from leadership after 4 years, SELAH Christian Schools continues to assist homeschoolers in the San Jose, California area. Pete and Becky continue to publish a resource directory for San Jose area homeschoolers as well as other support activities.

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