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