Why I Chose a PSP over Charter School

 

I often get asked why I chose a PSP over a Charter and every time my heart speeds up just a tad before I answer. You see this topic can be a touchy one and opinions can be strong about it, as they should be this is our children’s future. I have multiple friends who chose Charter and love it because it has worked best for their families. I still adore these friends, still value their opinions, and am still amazed at the work they do in their lives for the Lord. That choice was right for them.  My decision to go with a PSP had everything to do with the convictions the Lord laid on my heart, in regards to my family. This is my truth, my answer to that often asked question.

I didn’t always know that I would homeschool. I knew of homeschooling long before my girls were born through my closest friend who was already homeschooling her children.  I had honestly thought I was not capable to educate my children, but that is a topic for another day. My husband and I did know with absolute certainty that we did not want to send our children to public school so we planned on sending them to a private Christian school, God had another plan. Between pricing out local schools, watching my friend home educate her kids, and consistent prayer I felt the Lord lay the calling on my heart to home educate my girls.

Now that we made the decision to homeschool I dove head first into praying and researching my options, and there were so many options to wade though. My first order of business was to figure out where to go for support. See I already knew that I did not want to go at this homeschooling thing on my own. Of course I had my friend who was there any time I needed her, but her kids where much older than mine.  I wanted my girls to have friends, and I needed the support and friendship of other moms that were in the same stage of life I was. So that lead me to the state Charter Schools or Private School Satellite Programs (PSP). As followers of Christ we knew that our children belong to the Lord, He has entrusted them to us to train up in His ways so they are fully equipped to follow His calling on their lives. We also knew that children learn more from examples, and as their parents it is our job to be that example, this weighed very heavy on my heart the entire time I was researching the local charter schools. I’m not going to lie, the charter schools were very compelling because money was tight and charter was free, including the curriculum. Through my time researching and praying there were three main factors that I just could not get past.

First, it felt like I would be lying. In researching the charter schools I found out that they are directly connected to the state public schools. The charters get their funding from the state so in turn they need to follow the states rules. Which meant that all the curriculum I got through charter would have to meet public school standards, so I could not use faith based materials. Now I know that there are charters that will tell you it is ok to use faith based curriculum, you just have to purchase it with your own money, and print out non-faith based worksheets to turn in to show your children’s work. However, all the curriculum I wanted to use was faith based. I wanted to instill in my children that Christ is the foundation for every area of our lives, not just Sunday school at church and Wednesday night bible study. He is the foundation to our grammar and mathematics, He is the God of order. I wanted them to grow up seeing how God was at the center of every moment in history and the orchestrator of science.  So I would have to purchase my own curriculum, which was fine. But I couldn’t get past the part about printing off the worksheets and turning those in as my children’s work because the truth was it would be a lie. Those worksheets would not have been the curriculum we were going to use. Not only would I be lying but in the end what would that teach my girls? That lying was ok when it meant we could benefit from it? That whole thought just put a pit in my stomach.

Second, I could not hide Him under a bushel. This one hit a me a little harder, by choosing to not turn in the faith based curriculum we were using was in fact denying Christ (Mark 8:38). When my children were still in diapers one of the first songs I taught them was This Little Light of Mine. You know the one, talks about letting your light, the Lord, shine so that you can be a Light for Him in this world. The song makes a point to demonstrate how we are not to hide our light, hide the Lord from the world. And that is exactly what it felt like, that I would be denying Christ, just hiding my light under a bushel because the State told me to. Just like lying, I felt like I would be setting the example that denying Christ for money was ok. I knew I couldn’t do that.

Third, Which King do I serve? We all have grown up hearing our parents say things that at the time just seem random or silly. My father was a big fan of the saying “If you take the kings gold, you do the kings bidding.” I used to roll my eyes and just nod and say “I know Dad, I know.” Well that saying slammed to the forefront of my mind years ago while I was trying to decide between a PSP and a Charter. If I took the money the charter was offering then I had to follow their rules. And who knew what changes could come up later down the road. What requirements on curriculum would be passed on to those that schooled through the charters, they are directly linked to the public schools after all. But what truly sealed my decision was a question that came screaming through my mind in the middle of the night, “Which king do you serve, which kings bidding are you going to do?”

Now I am not saying charter schools are bad, or that Christians should never join a charter school, that is not for me to say. Everyone has to make that decision for their own family. I’m just saying it was not the right fit for our family. It did not line up with what our goals were for our homeschool.

Of course choosing a PSP did have its own challenges, mainly money was still tight, and I honestly had no clue how we were going to swing it. But here’s the thing about following the Lords calling, if He calls you, then He will provide for you. And that is exactly what He did, and is still doing six years later.

The Lord lead us to Revival Christian Academy and we have called RCA home ever since. If you are still trying to decide what is best for your family, seek the Lords guidance, I promise you He will lead you to exactly where you are supposed to be, and He will provide the way for you to get there.

Millie Hickman

Ways to Discipline Your Kids

Our families were asked in an open forum town hall meeting, how they discipline their kids, and here’s their answers.

  1. In the case of a temper tantrum, stop everything, sit with your child and let them know this behavior is not OK and will not be tolerated.  Resume your activity once they are finished.
  2. Get eye to eye with your child and speak with them.
  3. Disobedience=losing toys and privileges
  4. Using God’s word as a positive affirmation of what we are to do and not do.
  5. Pray with your child
  6. Immediately remove your child from whatever they’re doing
  7. Let your yes be yes and your no be no!
  8. Use the book Wise Words for Moms as a guide for teaching and disciplining your kids.
  9. Show them their need for Christ.
  10. Use the book My ABC Bible Verses-Hiding God’s Word in Little Hearts
  11. Whoever spares the rod hates their children, but the one who loves their children is careful to discipline them. Proverbs 13:24

Why is Private Homeschooling Still a Good Idea?

 

  • In our world grade is based on mastery not age
  • We are perfectly equipped to educate our kids
  • You can’t serve two masters
  • Take time off for family crisis
  • We can pray with our kids throughout the day
  • Our right to intervene for medical reasons is preserved with private homeschooling
  • We can have an IEP that is not dictated and enforced by the State, but instead by God
  • Public education subjects can be a waste of time-we are to redeem the time wisely Ephesians 5:16
  • Private homeschoolers are not part of government data collection
  • We as parents are able to limit outside influences over our kids
  • Public school takes away our choices
  • Private homeschooling is a discipleship program to our kids
  • We can teach from a biblical world view
  • Our kids are with us-the best place to be!
  • Teaching our kids is our God-given right
  • Kids aren’t sick as much as when they are in a classroom with other kids
  • Deuteronomy 4:4-6
  • Time to work on character building
  • To develop a love of learning in our kids-not just teach them to memorize facts
  • We have control over where our kids are
  • Deuteronomy 6: 6-9 “And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. 7 You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. 8 You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. 9 You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.”

 

Top Ten Reasons to Homeschool

Last year I was at a leadership conference of Christian homeschool support group leaders and we participated in a town hall meeting.  We were asked the question, “Why is private Christian homeschooling still a good thing?“.  I was greatly impressed by the variety of answers that were given and they all made me think and appreciate our freedoms to homeschool in California.  I’ve selected the top 10 for you.

  1. We can take time off of school if a family crisis arises.
  2. Our rights to intervene on behalf of our children for medical reasons is preserved with private homeschooling.
  3. In the homeschool world a grade is based on mastery, not age.
  4. We can school as the Lord would direct us to. (Deuteronomy 6:4-9)
  5. We are perfectly suited to educate our kids.
  6. We are in charge of our child’s education/one on one time.
  7. We are not part of government data collection
  8. We can can freely speak of God and His ways and precepts.
  9. Our kid’s time will not be wasted taking subjects that are not contributing to their character or career path
  10. We can school our kids at their pace, not the pace dictated for a large classroom

 

Academy Days CO-OP-Grassroots Homeschooling

 

RCA Has Gone Cooperative!

You heard that right, we are going CO-OP! Back in the early days, homeschooling families came together, using each other strengths and resources to give their kids the best education they could, forming a CO-OP.  Academic subjects can be taught in a cooperative learning environment however, we are going with a more enrichment-oriented focus. We want to build the relationships in our homeschooling families, strengthening those life long friendships. In a co-op you are part of the team, we all contribute in some way or another. Think about where your talents and skill are that you can offer to the group. We are so incredibly excited about this new adventure. Keep your eyes open for more information on what we will be covering in our Academy Days this fall.