Will You Be There?

On April 21st I’ll be holding a workshop just for you. We will be discussing how to cultivate creativity and imagination in your child. I pray that everyone will gain new ideas on how to ensure that their homeschooling inspires their children. Those precious early years are where perhaps we, as parents, spend too long with the curriculum requirements leaving very little time for children to be creative. Why is this so crucial? We are losing our children’s hearts and minds by the time they reach high school. What if we could accept the challenge of developing in our children a drive and desire to learn that would extend into the high school years?

Am I suggesting that we throw off the non-negotiable academics in those early years? Am I meaning that we allow our children to burn our houses down using their creative juices? Of course not! We need to learn how to move our children forward academically in a way that does not exasperate the late or the early bloomer. I knew that the time was very short for my young children. I knew that if I did not permit my children opportunities to learn and create in those early years, they might have lost their enthusiasm to learn by the time they hit high school. Also, the time spent through the years created bridges of good communication that now extend into their adulthood. Our children could even have wound up resenting us because of our methods to complete the curriculum in the early years. Yes, high school is very different, but the goal is to usher your children into the high school years encouraged and affirm that they are ready to do their very best. I believe with all my heart that children can be prepared to face high school and ready to learn. We need to examine and possibly risk some time before they reach high school to go down the “rabbit trails” of learning that our children are interested in. Again, I will share much more on April 21st about how to do this and stay sane as a mom. I will even explain what “rabbit trails” are and why they are essential to our children. Let me close with a short poem that I discovered in the summer of 2007 when our son left to attend the United States Military Academy at West Point. I began to cry when I realized how much it encapsulated what we, as teachers, can be to our children in the high school years.

 

 by Loretta Lambert

 

The Teacher

Said to the students:

“Come to the edge.”

They replied: “We might fall.”

 

The teacher said again:

“Come to the edge.”

And they responded:

“It’s too high.”

 

“Come to the edge”

the teacher demanded.

 

And they came and the teacher pushed them and they

flew.

5 Characteristics of Biblical Discipline

 

  1. The necessity of Discipline

  • To deter destruction (Heb. 12:4) – Discipline is discipleship!
  1. The Means of Discipline:

  • Actions and words (Heb. 12:5)
  1. The Motive in Discipline:

  • To express love (Heb.12 :6-8)
  1. The Goal of Discipline:

  • To teach obedience (Heb. 12:9)
  1. The Result of Discipline

  • Short term pain= Long term gain! (Heb. 12:10-11)

7 Steps to Discipline

  1. A clear warning
  2. Establish responsibility > “Who did it?” > “Who chose?”
  3. Avoid embarrassment
  4. Communicate grief > “ What you did is not who you are.”
  5. Institute discipline
  6. Sincere repentance
  7. Unconditional love

Town Hall Meeting-2021 Recap

Last year at our Town Hall parent meeting we asked two questions of the RCA families.  And here’s how they answered.

QUESTION:  Why is Homeschooling a good idea?

  • You can avoid the comparison trap; your kids can achieve their own goals.
  • Homeschooling will allow you to help your child hold on to their innocence.
  • We are currently seeing the consequences of Godless behavior in public schools.
  • (Prov. 22:6) is not a suggestion.
  • Homeschooling will allow your children to avoid bullying and persecution.
  • Avoid getting called into the school office.
  • Your children can be taught at their level.
  • You are called to be set apart!
  • You can protect our children from physical altercations.
  • No one cares more about our kids then we do.
  • You can avoid death threats & be in control over your own household.
  • You can be obedient to the Lord.
  • Homeschooling will allow you to teach in God’s way. (Deut. 6:4-9)
  • Homeschooling will allow you to teach one on one.
  • You can go by your own schedules – such as sleeping in. And you can modify your schedule how you please.

 

QUESTION: What did you learn this year as a parent?

  • We learn what our kids know, and we learn from our kids!
  • Some mom’s aren’t crafty or artistic.
  • One mom learned that her child’s learning style was different than her own. She had to adjust her teaching style to her child’s learning style.
  • “I taught my child to read.”
  • “I learned to give my son to the learned.”
  • One mom hates dirt and her daughter likes nature.

Christian Home Educators Association-Against Initiative

CHEA does not support the Educational Savings Account Initiative as put forth by California School Choice due to the threat it poses to private homeschooling freedoms.

CHEA is aware of the Educational Savings Account Ballot Initiative currently circulating petitions. In keeping with our mission to promote private Christian home education and to protect parents’ rights to direct their children’s education and upbringing, we do not support the initiative due to the threat it poses to private homeschooling freedoms.

Government Money, Government Strings

Seldom does government funding not include government regulation. In keeping with the history of public funding of private educational institutions, these may come in the form of government-directed teacher qualifications, curriculum content, and testing regardless of the protections for private schools the framers have included. The protections built into the current initiative are too vague to adequately address the very real concerns that come with funding, both directly and indirectly, homeschooling specifically and private schools as a whole.

Looking at the history of charter school law, the original intent was to put control and decision making back into the hands of parents and educators. Regulations were introduced incrementally over the years. Thirty years later, it is now highly regulated under state control, not in the hands of parents or the local educators. Like charter school law, with the passage of an ESA initiative, we can expect that more regulations will come; incrementally and regardless of the framers’ original intent.

A Cautionary Tale

Another phenomenon that took place with the passage of charter school law was the emergence of an industry of high priced educational service providers built around the proliferation of educational funding. Time honored extracurricular providers such as dance studios and music studios also began accepting state funds. What followed next? With the proliferation of funds, all families, regardless of whether their children were enrolled in charter schools, faced paying higher prices for their children’s extracurricular activities. Eventually, dual price structures started to emerge. Those families who paid with educational funds were charged higher fees than those who paid “out of pocket.”

Why should we not expect the cost of private education to increase with the proliferation of public funds? Private school tuition that was once $10,000 per year could become $20,000, and so on, regardless of whether a family chooses to take government funding or not.

A Very Real Concern

California is one of 13 states where private home educators operate according to laws governing private schools. We have been doing so successfully for many years. In 2008, California’s Fourth District Court of Appeals definitively declared that parents may legally educate their children under the private school statutes.

Still, the term “homeschooling” is not a legally recognized term and is not used in the California Education Code. We are concerned that use in this initiative will invite scrutiny and definition by our liberal and progressive legislators. Doing so will likely remove us from the protection of the private school statutes and result in additional regulation. This would effectively change California from one of the best states for homeschooling to one of the most restrictive.

In Conclusion

We are aware of parents’ disillusionment with California’s public education system. And we are sympathetic to parents who are seeking financial relief from the costs of education outside of that system. Regardless, the ESA initiative poses a very real threat to private homeschooling freedom, and risks negative impact on all private schools with or without a campus.

We maintain that homeschooling under the private school affidavit option provides parents with the most liberty to direct the education and upbringing of their children to the glory of God. We have consulted with Family Protection Ministries and Home School Legal Defense Association and appreciate their assistance analyzing this initiative.

For more information on government funding of private education, see the article by Nathan Pierce of Family Protection Ministries, Should We Take Government Money for Private Education?

Enhancing Creativity & Relationships in the Seasons of Homeschooling

There are three seasons of homeschooling for each child. The earliest season is when your child begins kindergarten and ends their fifth grade. Next, there is the middle school season where your child may be gifted and is zooming ahead in some or all areas, or your child may be a late bloomer and needs a bit of remediation before he enters high school. (My son was remedial in middle school.)  Finally, your child walks into the High School years, which is the final season for both you and your child.

Note:  please don’t misunderstand me; your parenting does not end when your child graduates. It is, however, utterly different since now they are an adult. So that season is altogether different, and it can be wonderful. It will also be one where your prayers are the most significant influence.

Let’s return to kindergarten through the fifth-grade season. These years are bridge builders for the relationship between you and your child. The years spent listening to your child’s thoughts, ideas, and dreams in this season will yield great dividends in the next two seasons in your home.

For now, let’s focus on the “old dusty” educational research and child development findings that can influence how you navigate the brief eighteen years you have your child in your home.

You may ask: Why should it matter what season your child is in? Should my educational plan look different in each season? Great questions!

For starters, a strict curriculum in the early years is very satisfying for us as moms. Who doesn’t look forward to checking off the workbooks completed each day? It is very comforting. But why are we so convinced that these early workbooks will yield the results we want in the high school years? At night do you imagine you will ever see your child cradling his workbook as he heads to bed? Or do you hope and pray that he will catch the fire of beautiful literature and carry his rich living book off to bed with him?

Our children’s love for learning in the high school years can be cultivated early. A simple, fun project after a beautiful read-aloud in the early years can ignite the fire in your child to want more of this exciting adventure called education. Please do not buy the lie of our educational system that getting the curriculum workbooks done each and every year will result in a passionate desire to learn in the High School years. If you as an educator ignore what the research says, you might find that your child winds up being bored in high school or, even worse, burnt out.

Note:  I do not want to mislead you in any way. Each year I had educational goals for my children.

But I always made time in that first season to be creative and fun. Yes, I moved my children forward in the early years to memorize their math facts and know them inside and out. Yes, I taught my children to read. My children also learned to write in all sorts of different creative ways. But I also gave them mental breaks where reading aloud became the cornerstone of each day.

But the point is to remind you to make time for the fun, creativity, and, yes … mess with your kids in the early years. When they hit middle school and high school, those fun days will be increasingly rare.

However, I pray that a love of learning in the first phase will capture their hearts and minds and help sustain your relationship with them in the more rigid middle and high school years. This requires that you follow the research, see the seasons of education distinctly, and pour relational creativity and fun into the early years.

Written by Loretta Lambert

Perspective is Everything

When my son Jack was seventeen, he found himself in a job he loved. But although he was doing something he was gifted at and something that interested him immensely, it was hard. He was the youngest person on the team and sometimes was not listened to. He was the least experienced at work. It was a demanding position that allowed little room for error, and there were demands placed on him that were sometimes overwhelming, if not unfair, to him.

Are you frustrated with your job of homeschooling? Maybe you’re not educated, disorganized, and feeling alone.

Maybe you feel inept and unknowledgeable, and this worries you. Perhaps you’re overwhelmed, and you hate filling out paperwork, turning in your HSLDA card to us, or coming to parent meetings. Do you have a bad attitude about what God has you doing? Well, God has the answer for our bad attitudes, right in His Word! The apostle Paul said, “Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything you do. Try to please them all the time, not just when they are watching you. Serve them sincerely because of your reverent fear of the Lord. Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people. Remember that the Lord will give you an inheritance as your reward and that the Master you are serving is Christ. Colossians 3:23-24. I encourage you to take stock of your attitude and ask yourself, “Who am I working for?”  If you’re working for someone else and trying to please them, or yourself, other than the Lord, your attitude could be reflecting the frustration you are feeling. But if you change your perspective and know that you have been divinely appointed to this job and if you do it all as if God is your boss, leaving the feelings of inadequacy, frustration, resentment at His feet, and do your best, then you will be rewarded!

Watching Mother Teresa care for people with their open sores, stinking bodies, and bleeding wounds, an observer said to her, “I wouldn’t do what you do for a million dollars.”  “Neither would I,” Mother Teresa smiled. Jon Courson’s Application Commentary

by Michelle Becerra

Reading Tips

There is also an AMAZING podcast called “read aloud revival” by Sarah McKenzie. She is a Christian homeschool mama and an incredible resource!

 

And these are a few things I’ve learned:

  1. Have snacks. Haha! They will sit longer with food present.
  2. Most of the time they won’t just sit quietly. My son is 5 and VERY active. He will literally be doing acrobatics while I’m reading. But you’ll be amazed at what they comprehend!
  3. You’ll be surprised at the level they can follow! I was getting lost, but found my 7 year old could recall details I couldn’t. She is also my lazy reader.
  4. Just keep going! Once it becomes a habit you’ll see the fruit. ❤️

The biggest blessing I’ve seen from reading aloud is how it knits our hearts together. We have inside jokes about Winnie The Pooh which was our first read aloud! Hope that helps! I’m no pro but I when we do this it’s great for everyone, myself included!

Rachel Montano-homeschool mom

Education With the End in Mind

 If parents want to provide the best form of education to their children, they must research the educational findings toward that end. To do otherwise would be like showing up with a tennis racket to be on the swim team. But, of course, the beautifully crafted tennis racket would not be sufficient to participate on the swim team, would it? No, it would not.

 

This is also the case with educating our young children. Consider an ill-informed curriculum. Each year we show up with a curriculum for each child and believe that the beautifully crafted curriculum will comprehensively cover what the child needs for their education. Why wouldn’t we believe this? But, unfortunately, it is the way so many view education. Without considering what the educational research says, we are in jeopardy of unconsciously viewing our elementary children as buckets that must be filled to the brim with workbooks, tests, and comprehension questions. No better than a tennis racket at a swimming pool.

 

Let’s consider the swimming pool and the goal we all share as educators and parents. Our prayer is that each child will fall in love with learning in the early years and stand tall in high school, motivated to do their best. One of our hopes and prayers is that as they develop over the first eighteen years, discovering their gifts and talents, that they will begin to see the direction God has for them after high school.

 

The burden of my heart is that we need to educate with the end in mind. Sooner or later, all of our children will grow up and head off into the world. By the time they reach high school, the way we are educated for the first eight or nine years should have blessed them with a love for learning and a passion for continuing to learn. The goal is that no child who reaches high school will be burned out on workbooks and ill-informed curricula. Instead, they will have energy in their learning and view laziness as something they must fight against. In addition, the excitement of knowledge will have been encouraged in the early years so consistently that they will have gained a work ethic to do the best they can do in their high school courses.

 

I hope to advance this conversation in future newsletter blurbs, discussing the differences in educating an elementary school student and a high school student. There are extreme differences, and these must be wrestled with as an educator. Our task in the early years is one of advertising well an incredible love for learning through the effective use of living books, creative projects, field trips, etc. We also want to move forward with wisdom regarding math. (Did you know that there are two elements about math that need to be determined: one is memorizing basic math facts and then learning the math concepts taught through the grades. Please do not say your child is bad at math if he has not over-learned the math facts. It would help if you simply began with the math facts first. I have many verifiable stories regarding this math process.)

 

Let me close with something for you to ponder as you educate your children. Becoming a Nation of Readers: The Report of the Commission on Reading published in 1985 states: “reading is a basic life skill. It is a cornerstone for a child’s success in school and, indeed, throughout life. Without the ability to read well, opportunities for personal fulfillment and job success inevitably will be lost. The single most important activity for building the knowledge required for eventual success in reading is reading aloud to children” (Anderson et al., 1,23). So, let’s prioritize, over workbooks, reading aloud to our elementary school children!

By Loretta Lambert

 

Works Cited:

Anderson, Richard C., Elfreida H. Hiebert, Judith A. Scott, and Ian A. G. Wilkinson. Becoming a Nation of Readers: The Report of the Commission on Reading. Champaign-Urbana: the University of Illinois, Center for the Study of Reading, 1985.

Qualities Needed in Trials

I am marinating in the Book of James.  WOW it’s a book of deep challenges and pure Ethics of Christianity.  James issues instructions more profusely than any other writer. In the short space of 108 verses there are 54 commands, imperative forms (not suggestions beloved brothers and sisters)  Family Challenge:  Go on a “Command Hunt” and record them all and see all The Lord does in and through you… Woot wooooooo.  Here are a few scriptures with a few thoughts:

Qualities Needed in Trials:

James 1:19 “So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger/wrath; for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God”

Doers-Not Hearers Only:

James 1:21-22 ”Therefore lay aside ALL filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word which is able to save your life; But be doers of the word and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves”……keep reading

James 1:26 “If anyone among you thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this one’s religion is useless”

I am sharing with you an acronym that has been incrediably helpful in making me PRAY/THINK BEFORE SPEAKING.  You can put this up in your school room and all memorize this as a family. ASK YOURSELF…

T= Is it True  (Phil 4:8, Prov 12:19)

H= Is it Helpful  (Eph 4:29)

I= Is it Inspiring  (Heb 3:13, Heb 10:23-24)

N= Is it Necessary  (Col 4:6, Matt 12:36)

K= Is it Kind  (Eph 4:31, Eph 4:15)

Application suggestions:

  1. Why do we always think we have to respond immediately in our marriages, with our kids, on the phone? Training our kiddos in righteousness, if we were angry or frustrated my husband and I would say, “we need a few minutes to calm down and pray and think so we handle this in a Godly manner and not a fleshly one with saying things we can’t take back”  (Side note – did we always do this NO but it was a habit we tried to develop)  We would then come together and talk it out and always pray together and ask for forgiveness.   This teaches our kids a lot about Godly conflict resolving.
  2. As the kids matured we also challenged them when we saw something that needed addressing we would sometimes ask them if they were ready to hear what we had to say. If they said yes, we proceeded and if they said no (which we encouraged honesty), we said you have a designated time to go get your heart right, pray, beg for forgiveness (Bhaaaaaa) and we then would come to the reasoning table of goodness.  Sometimes they did this with us also…..we were always growing and learning too.

Personal Growth:

What steps can you take to bridle your tongue?  Become a better listener to The Lord and others? Control your anger?  How can we be a better doer and hearer?

You can’t give what you don’t have…In the morning when I rise, noon day and evening “Give me Jesus”

Dear Lord, I pray for these precious parents in this very challenging time but also epic time to fill them with your wisdom and discernment.  Holy Spirit lead, guide and direct their steps. I pray that the JOY OF THE LORD would be their STRENGTH and that they would be in every moment seeing ALL the blessing they do have and not what they don’t have.  We love you Lord and thank you for your love and faithfulness in it all and through it all.  We need you Lord!!!   In Jesus Name, Amen

Mighty Warrior,

Annie Nauretz (Romans 8 ALL OF IT)
Retired Homeschool mom of two

 

Filling Your Cup

 by Loretta Lambert

From birth to approximately 6th grade, my goal was to advertise the joy of wonderful books by reading aloud each day. If the book bored us in the early years, it was tossed aside. I knew there would be plenty of time to enforce assigned reading in the late middle school and high school years.

But the early years are meant for falling in love with reading aloud. And why not fall in love with reading aloud in the early years? All of education involves or begins with reading. By the time our children reached late middle school, my goals were that they are motivated to take on a complete education and know that all I required was for each child to do their very best. I was well aware that some of my children had academic weaknesses but, the goal always remained:  do your best!

At this point, I need to ask all of you the same question I asked myself every new school year for twenty-three years: How am I doing in living the best I can live? This question is so broad that it is almost overwhelming to even begin to answer. So let’s focus on the most important aspect of our lives: our personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ.

As the mom and teacher, you are the one person your kids will witness day in and day out. I am sixty years old and, I have learned that none of us can consistently pour into anyone’s life from an empty cup. Our children will know if we are faking it. It’s funny how our children can see right through us. On a horrible morning of homeschooling, my then twelve-year-old son blurted out, “Mom! Have you had your quiet time today? You haven’t been very kind this morning!” He called it! He was right. I had not stopped to give the day over to the Lord and, it showed!

So, as you walk into September, I extend to you the same challenge I carried with me over the decades of homeschooling! C.S. Lewis once wrote: “The only people who achieve much are those who want knowledge so badly that they seek it while the conditions are still unfavorable. Favorable conditions never come.” How true is that statement for a mom! There will never be an easy time to make time to meet with our Savior. It will never be smooth sailing. Our daily lives have a way of screaming at us, “get to work!”

But I can absolutely say that our lives in Christ are more “caught than taught!”. What I mean is that a godly life lived before your children, because He has empowered you for the day, will be the greatest gift you can ever give to your children. Some of the notes I most treasure from my children are ones that have reminded me of this great truth. With tears in my eyes, I have opened notes from my four children thanking me for my growing relationship with God. My kids fully know how desperately I need my Savior and my time with Him each day. But they know I have a Savior that I pursue daily who saves me from all I need to be protected from!

 

“None of us can consistently pour into anyone’s life from an empty cup” Loretta Lambert