My Upstream Learner

This year we embarked on our second year of homeschooling, and I am slowly feeling more confident and settled in with this new way of life. This was a tough decision for my husband, Jason, and I and was definitely something we did not take lightly.

Jason and I have been married for 13 years and have two boys, Jonathan, 9, and Jacob, 7. The biggest reason this decision was so difficult for us was because of the services Jacob was receiving at school. He was diagnosed with Autism at the age of 3, and from that time up until last September 2019, he had been receiving services through the school district in some form or another.

When Jason and I started talking about homeschooling in August of last year, that was the one thing that we kept going back to that made the decision so difficult. We knew God was calling us to switch to homeschooling but to be completely honest, I was really nervous about what that unknown looked like with Jacob not receiving those services anymore. It kind of felt like a safety net for him and me, and it was terrifying to think about cutting those cords and losing what he had in place. But we both knew that God was calling us to make this change, and we took the leap of faith and put all our trust in God. Ultimately, we knew we needed to be obedient to God’s will.

Fast forward one year, and we are so happy we decided to homeschool – for so many reasons. Jacob is doing so well and continuing to thrive.

Over the past 9 years, I am learned that in motherhood, complete transparency is so important. Learning that other moms are going through the trenches and have the same challenges and demands that I face has kept me sane and continues to take the weight and burden of feeling like a failure off my shoulders. Every day is not rainbows and sunshine. To be honest, most days are challenging. I am constantly questioning my ability and asking God if I am enough. I dread starting school most days because I know I will get a lot of push back from Jacob. It takes a good ten minutes to get him to the table, and then I am constantly trying to find new fun ways to get him excited and engaged to even start on his assignments. What works one day usually doesn’t work the next. On good days, I’ve also learned that I have about 20 minutes blocks where he will cooperate and be attentive. For some subjects, like reading and math, he will easily get so frustrated, and he is the only one that can pull himself out of that ‘mood,’ and it doesn’t matter what I do or don’t do. I also have to redirect him about 48 times throughout the school day. My patience is constantly being tested on a daily, even hourly, basis.

Regardless if your child has been formally diagnosed or not, please know that you are not alone in this journey. Many other moms, and dads, are experiencing very similar things, and we’re all on this emotional roller coaster together. Please be encouraged to know that God didn’t make a mistake. He called you down this path that not every parent can or is willing to journey on, and that does not go unnoticed. He sees you, in the trenches, sometimes crying with frustration, and He is right there with you to help guide you…all you need to do is ask for His help. From what I have learned this past year, He doesn’t let anything go to waste and will always bless your time spent homeschooling your children. For us, seeing Jacob’s heart more and his little personality continuing to shine has been one of the sweetest gifts of this journey.

We are all in this together, and please know that we are here to rally around you to encourage you and pray for you.

Lots of Love,

Sarah Talbot

November Parent Meeting

This upcoming election is the most important one in our lifetime, if not ever.  Our nation and our state are in a crisis in so many areas. We at RCA feel strongly that we must be on our knees fighting for our nation.  For as much as we can point fingers at politicians and lawmakers as the source of our misery and fear, we must remember that this is a spiritual fight!  Ephesians 6:12 tells us, “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of [a]the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.”  My question to you is, are you willing to wrestle?  During a wrestle, both individuals are strong and become weak, but only one prevails.

I don’t believe it’s a coincidence that our November parent meeting is on Election Day.  I know we all will be following the election into the night, but I hope you will take this opportunity to come together and pray (wrestle) for our nation!  On Tuesday, November 3rd, we’ll be hearing from guest speaker Nathan Pierce, our legislative liaison to the State capitol.  He will be giving us a legislative update and discussing why private homeschooling needs to be protected.  We will follow him up with a guided time of corporate prayer led by one of our dads.  Please feel free to bring your high schooler to this meeting.

I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.  For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; 1 Timothy 2: 1-5

Please DO NOT miss this next meeting!
6 pm Coffee Fellowship & Root Beer floats
7 pm Parent Meeting & Prayer

Welcome Back to School!

Come celebrate the beginning of a new school year together at our annual kick off bbq!

Join us on the back lawn for burgers, hot dogs and root beer floats. Bring drinks, chairs, picnic supplies as needed for your family.  See you at 5 pm Friday September 18th!

Welcome Back-Kick Off BBQ

It’s that time again, time to head back to school, and what better way to kick off the school year that to come together for a good ol’ fashioned BBQ and game night!  Join us on the back lawn on September 18th 5:30-8:30 pm to celebrate all the Lord has done in bringing us back to school this year!

 

 

 

 

 

 

WHO: Revival Christian Academy families

WHERE: Revival

WHEN: Friday September 18th 5:00-8:00 pm

WHAT: Bring your own chairs, blanket, EZ Up, and food & drinks (hamburgers and hot dogs will be provided)

 

 

 

 

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.

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It’s Time To Enroll!

Revival Christian Academy is now accepting enrollment for the 2020-2021 school year. Our early registration is from May 1 to June 15, and standard enrollment begins on June 16. If you’d like to register to be apart of Revival Christian Academy, then please take time to fill out the enrollment form.

 

Enroll Today!

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

 

Juggling Kids

Tips for Less Stress and More Fun While Homeschooling Little Ones

  1. Pray without ceasing!: Seriously though before homeschooling, this didn’t come as naturally to me as it does now. As a homeschool mom, I find myself always in prayer starting early in the morning before the kid’s wake up; I pray to ask for God’s wisdom and direction for the day. We open our school with prayer, each taking turns to thank God for the opportunity to homeschool and learn about Him each day. We pray when we are having trouble with a subject for God to help us. I pray to communicate better with my children. I pray for wisdom and direction in how and what to teach. I pray for forgiveness when I catch myself teaching in the flesh and ask for help. The kids and I pray before each subject and ask God to help us to learn the subject and to see Him in it. The other day my son prayed, “God help me to learn how to read so that I can read your Word for myself.” Talk about a motivator to teach my boy how to read. Keeping the focus on the Lord, and doing all things unto Him, has given schooling an eternal purpose, and this is where we find peace and joy.

  2. Do Not overbook your calendar: I am one to want to sign up for it “ALL” at church, you name a ministry, and I was involved, because I love God’s people and I felt like I was doing the Lord’s Work. I also often felt overwhelmed and irritated at my kids and husband because I was trying to finish a project for one ministry, as I was heading out the door to a different ministry meeting. Am I saying ministry work is terrible? Absolutely not! I am saying that we need to have our priorities in order, God first, (His Will, not mine for the ministries I serve in or join.) husband (1st ministry) and Children (2nd ministry). I am thankful to my God-fearing husband for pointing this one out to me. I am learning before committing to anything to pray about it and also talk it over with my husband. I need to be available for God to use me where He wills, and for me to be available for my husband and children. 

  3. Embrace the “WHY”: I confess I have been irritated more than I’d like to admit with the endless “why this? Why that?” from my children until the Lord helped me to see those as teachable moments, child-directed teachable moments. When I changed my perspective on the endless “Why?” and embraced them as fertile soil to teach my children. I began to encourage and enjoy the “Why ?” and these moments with my kids. I also saw that my children appreciated my complete attention and availability and soaked in all the info given.

  4. Do not be held captive to your curriculum: Use your curriculum to structure your school days but do not let it dictate everything you teach your child. One size doesn’t fit all; each child learns differently. Be led by the Spirit, praying for wisdom and discernment. God knows your child best, what they’re thinking, how they learn, what their gifts are, and He has a plan and a purpose for them. Be observant of your child’s likes, interests, passions, gifts, strengths, and weaknesses. If you are doing science, for example, and your child is really into seeds and the cycle of a plant, then dig deeper into it. Plant a seed, observe the cycle in your back yard — order books on seeds, gardening, trees, etc. from the library. Child-led learning is the best because they are engaged and wanting to learn more. 

  5. Meal prep lunches and snacks for the week: “I’m hungry, MOM.” The #1 sentence in all homes with growing children hands down. Feeding your children 1000 times a day can be a distraction when doing school, an annoyance, and a time suck if you let it. Take care of it before your school week starts and prep your lunches and snacks for Monday- Friday. Set an eating schedule for snacks and meals, then meal prep. You can make premade p&J sandwiches; I make a whole loaf of bread and freeze them in zip lock bags. You can make homemade Lunchables by dividing up lunch meat and cheese into snack zip lock bags or Tupperware. Cut up carrots, cucumber, celery and divide into snack sizes in zip lock bags or Tupperware.

  6. Peaceful Library Trip: I think we must teach our children library etiquette, it’s not a playground; it is a calm, quiet, and orderly place. My children know how to act in a library for like 2 mins, then the wiggles and giggles take over and two rambunctious kids (age 6 and 4) enter the picture, and now you have a shushing mad dogging mom (that’s me) and it is far from a pleasant experience. Until now, I have discovered that you can go online and order books to be conveniently picked up, all nicely stacked at the book check out counter. YESSSS! It is awesome! (note: order books two weeks in advance of when you will want to use them in your schooling) Now I can get the books I need without the stress, and when I go to pick them up, my kids get to pick out three books each of their choice in the children’s section. Now going to the library is enjoyable.

  7. Ordering groceries online: Such a time saver and a stress relief. I do think it is important to take the kids to the store and teach them about the way a grocery store operates, how to act in a store, where to find what you need, and my favorite is showing them the variety of different fruits and vegetables that God has created for us to eat. Although the convenience, stress-free, and the time I save with the online grocery shopping is a blessing.

  8. Saved by The Bell (ok that may have aged me, lol): We take a break after every subject, my kids are little ages 6 and 4 so the wiggles need let out often for all of us. We usually do 30 mins of school, 30 min break, 30 min of school, 30 min break, all day long. When the kids leave for break, I let them know I am setting the timer on the stove so when they hear it ring they need to please come out ready to learn. Not sure why this works better than me calling them to come, but it does, and they love it, so we do it.

  9. Forever Warm Coffee: I love my coffee. Although I find myself reheating the same cup of coffee 5-8 times in the morning until I realize it is lunchtime, so I pour it out and drink water. Well, the other day, I decided to use my traveling coffee mug, and I had warm coffee into the afternoon. So now I make a travel mug of coffee with my almond milk and honey just the way I like it, I enjoy it during my quiet time and sip on it throughout the day, and it is warm til dinner. AKA Mommy sippy cup lol, It is excellent!

  10. Have Fun! You can turn everything can into a game. At the younger ages we play a lot of scavenger hunts (ask a question, get it correct, get a clue to find the next one), red light, green light ( answer correct= green light, wrong= red light), we play detective math (I will play the inspector gadget theme song, and the kids are detectives trying to find the answers to the problems which we call evidence). Use toys as manipulatives. Be creative, read through the curriculum a week ahead, and plan fun ways to teach in the form of games; this has been a game-changer for us.