Homeschooling, Uncategorized

The ONE thing

We are nearing the end of summer and with that the excitement to plan for a perfect upcoming homeschool year is at its peak. Curriculum companies, authors, speakers etc. are providing the top teaching materials and education theories of 2018 ensuring us that utilizing the suggested resources will equip our children to succeed in the world.

I don’t know about you, but this causes me to go through a rollercoaster-type cycle of school year planning. My initial excitement to start school back up and establish that much needed routine after an adventurous summer starts growing looking as I dig through all the options and elite materials, but then, the inevitable happens….a crash…an overwhelming feeling of defeat lost in a flood of resources coming crashing in from all sides drowning me to a point of desperation. Every year I go through this (I must be a slow learner) and end up loading our book shelves with a library of doctorate level books and our schedules with opportunities that will provide an exceptional resume.

This year, with my oldest daughter starting High School and all the beautiful emotions that come along side this journey, my youngest daughter struggling with security and my son being tossed back and forth between being a boy and becoming a man (I like to be real), I knew something had to change because we were missing something and I started struggling holding it all together. I started praying. 

God answered my prayer in ways that spoke straight to my heart. Not only once, but He confirmed it on many occasions (He must know I can be stubborn).

The ONE thing we sometimes forget when planning our school year, is that we first have to submit it to God. 

We have to remember that we as parents or as teachers are not able on our own. Submitting to God and allowing Jesus Christ to have His rightful authority in all aspects of our life, to include homeschool, is essential in creating a homeschool year that will allow our families to grow first spiritually and then academically. He will equip those that prayerfully seek Him. He will open our eyes, He will make us sensitive to each of our childrens’ needs, He will give us the patience needed to work through trials and struggles,  He will make us aware of problems and provide us with the solution, He will give us grace, He will give us mercy, He will give us the heart and spirit we need to raise and educate our children. We have to listen to the Holy Spirit as He guides us, not the world around us. He will convict us of the changes we need to make and direct us in choosing the right curriculum.

This year, God has convicted me to create peace in our home and to create time for character building and conversations that oftentimes get missed in the chaos of the every day demands on us. In the midst of every day life, we often forget why we decided to homeschool in the first place. The reason our family started to homeschool was our great desire to raise and educate our children in an environment that is driven by our love for God. We have a passion to teach them to serve God,  be independent thinkers and be bold as they stand for truth. Because it is so easy to get caught in the academic side of homeschooling, we started  an annual homeschool meeting with the principle (Dad) to allow us to refocus on why we homeschool. We pick a favorite restaurant, dress up fancy, and bring our notebooks to the table. We discuss everything from our mission statement to successes and failures of the past year. We share the good, bad and the ugly as well. Together, we pray, make a plan and commitment for the following year. Incorporating everyone in this step allows each child to have ownership of their education and gives them a voice. It has changed our homeschool to an environment in which each child is excited to grow spiritually, academically but most importantly walks in the path God has for each of them.

How do we incorporate the ONE thing

  1. Pray
  2. Submit your Homeschool to God
  3. Follow in the Authority of Jesus Christ
  4. Listen to the Holy Spirit
  5. Continue to PRAY IN FAITH and continue to FOCUS OUR EYES ON JESUS

Please consider joining us in our weekly homeschool prayer group by sending us a an email or message. 

Counting it all Joy,

Simone and Kerstin

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Devotion, Faith

Weekly Devotion: Humility

Our bible study group has been studying through the book of Daniel. What I love most about our group is that we have multiple generations as well as multiple cultures participate which offers very diverse views. The heart of each of us is to grow and continue to live our life for the Lord through seeking God, encouraging each other and holding each other accountable (And trust me, the younger generation is rather bold in pointing out shortcomings).

One of the reoccurring themes in Daniel is the sin of pride, its consequence, but most importantly, God’s sovereignty in it all. Studying the various kingdoms and their kings in the time of Daniel pointed out very clearly how pride is a step towards destruction and how God hates it.

How does this apply to us today? We look around us and see facets of pride and egocentric lifestyles we didn’t even realize existed. Much                                                                                            of our time is spent worshipping the false gods of this world. This may sound harsh, but when we truthfully reflect on how we spend our days and what we allow into our lives, it becomes evident that we give priority to security, money, food, impurity through the things we watch…Our bodies are a living sacrifice, a vessel of God created to worship Him. We have allowed ourselves to align with the culture and this world rather than with the word of God.

Everything is about ourselves, especially her in the US. Truthfully, I believe we clearly miss the big picture. When studying the past, we clearly see how God raises up kingdoms and allows them to be destroyed as well according to His purpose and plan. The US is just a glimpse of time in the timeline of God’s story. This nation has completely turned away from God, how do we expect God will continue blessing us if we do not acknowledge and praise the Giver Himself? God will humble the proud in His timing. The scriptures give us clear warnings to turn back to Him. We have a choice!

Humility is recognizing and acknowledging our total dependence upon the Lord and seeking Him in every aspect of our life which belongs to Him. If we don’t realize that we are nothing apart from Christ, we will continue to struggle with pride. Our flesh is sinful and leads us to a desire to have authority and control.

James 4:6-10  

But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Be wretched and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. 10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.

 

How do we humble ourselves?

  1. Submit and surrender yourselves to God and His will.
  2. Repent and turn away from any sin in your life and do not allow the devil to get a foothold.
  3. Seek God and study His word.
  4. Purify your hearts.
  5. Mourn, weep and grieve over our sinfulness.
  6. Do all this for the Lord with a pure heart and He will lift you up.

If you won’t humble ourselves, God will!

Humility is a default response to those who seek God.

There is a different aspect of humility that is so often missed however. Having the opportunity to surrender into the love of God through Christ Jesus, is our greatest gift.  It gives us the peace we all seek but that is otherwise unattainable. When we seek God, desire to be in the presence of Him and start to understand His sovereignty, humility will be our natural default response. God will exalt the humble according to His purpose and what better place is there to be?

 

Homeschool Resources, Homeschooling, How To, Uncategorized

8 Tips for a Successful Homeschool Co-op

Homeschool Co-op

What is a co-op? A co-op is simply a group of two or more families meeting together to share their collective efforts in teaching their children.

Co-ops can range anywhere from adding socialization and hands on activities to your children’s education to a reflection of a strict private school and everything in between.

Often you personal experiences in your past as well as your desire for your kids future, have part in shaping your idea of what a successful education for your children should look like, to include a homeschool co-op.

For us, being part of a personal co-op has enhanced our academic studies, but more importantly allowed my children to learn alongside others, as well as learn to develop their own ability to think as they are introduced to different views as well as different ways of working through problems. With each teacher specializing in one field, it has greatly enhanced studies in fields that often fall short. It has allowed my children to gain confidence in standing firm on their believes as they are encouraged and shaped by other strong believers.

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Here are 8 TIPS to consider before you start or join a co-op

  1. Pray for direction in making a decision on whether to move forward as well as God’s leading as He brings together families of same values and commitment.
  2. Don’t rush it…wait on God’s leading! He may be guiding you towards a co-op but He may lead your family towards a year of peace and quiet
  3. Develop and understand your purpose for building or joining a co-op Socialization and fun, extra curricular activities or in depth studies of a specific subject
  4. Define expectations Refreshing midweek break or high level of additional academics
  5. Define Structure Scheduled classes or flexibility, homework assignments and deadlines or no required additional work
  6. Extend grace We are all human and have our strength and weaknesses, this includes our very own self;)
  7. Develop a culture in which you can openly encourage, share and develop new ideas, but also address problems Problems will arise, it is inevitable: It may be the students not participating, parents expectations not being met and everything in between. If we have the ability to openly share in love, only then can a co-op succeed
  8. Continue to prayerfully give your co-op into God’s hands