Friday, July 20, 2012

Hope Academy

Our homeschool has a name, Hope Academy. Originally, we intended "hope" to be an acronym for Honor Our Pledge to Excel. That phrase came from 2 Corinthians 8:7, the guiding scripture of our education journey.

But since you excel in everything, in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in diligence, and in love- see also that you excel in giving.

It is a story of the Corinthian church. The Corinthians had promised a "love offering" for missionaries, but they didn't follow through with quickly providing it. The bible doesn't say specifically, but, from studying the passage, there is no indication that the Corinthians were purposely not following through, they were just busy. They were busy doing good things, growing in faith, increasing their knowledge, etc. BUT, in all that, their offering (note: not their tithe) got pushed to the side. Paul went to them and basically said, "Hey, brothers and sisters, you excel in all of these great things, remember to excel in giving too."
That passage really seems to be a great reminder to homeschool families today. Because of the overabundance of opportunities available, it is not always easy being a homeschool family. Ever checked your email only to be enticed into wasting precious time scouring some class or curriculum website that you know realistically you will never have the time to do, but it is SO COOL! That happens more often than I like to admit. The key is figuring out what God would have you do and letting Him focus your wandering eye. But who needs platitudes? You already knew that. The real question is how do you live it out. God's plan can feel very elusive or maybe that's just me. The answer lies in that very same passage. Trust me. Take Paul's advice. It works. God's word is faithful and true like He is. Each year, we choose a specific Christian History curriculum or book to go through that will help all of us stay grounded in the faith. We also carefully choose a Christian Living study to challenge us to watch our speech (and your hearing and seeing too!) We make sure we cover the required homeschool subjects and more for our state so we will broaden our knowledge. We lay out a plan with goals for the year to help us stay diligent in the doing of it all. And love. Maybe not every moment is filled with sunshine and butterflies, but we work to keep each other accountable to love as He loves us. Super Hubby and I take turns with the kids and choose a book to go through with them one on one. That means that one year I will spend time with the oldest learning and also with the third child. That same year, Super Hubby will do that with the second and the fourth child. Even with all that going on, we make time to give as a family with our time and money to others.This plays out by doing community service projects, serving meals at a local shelter regularly, being active leaders (yes, even the kids) at church, everyone pitching in money to sponsor a needy child (lots of lessons there), and doing one "big give" every year whether that's running VBS, holding a neighborhood Hallelujah Night carnival, or a short term mission trip. Super Hubby and I apply this truth to the purpose and plan for homeschooling and it helps us weed out what does not fit.
It really works for us, but it may not work for you. The great thing about homeschooling like the body of Christ is that we work because we are a collection of parts working together to achieve the calling of the whole. Search the scripture with your own super hubby and find out what His plan is for your homeschool journey. He has one you know!
Off for another Aviles Adventure!

Shema Homeschooler FREEBIE LINK!
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I was a stubborn girl and resisted Christ's gift of salvation until 1991 when I accepted that I was a sinner in need of salvation. Six weeks later, I married my middle school sweetheart, Super Hubby. Diagnosed with infertility as a teenager, we were quite shocked to find that I didn't have the "stomach flu" in 1995. We now have a quiver of four. Our Son of Strength, 16, constantly amazes us as he prepares to launch out. Zealous One, 13, our only girl, is too much like me. The Son of Tenderness, 12, keeps us grounded in love for one another. And Bold One, 9, invigorates us with his youthful daring. In our 12 years of homeschooling, it seems we have tried every approach, so each year is slightly different from the rest. For the past two years we have used Ambleside Online, a Charlotte Mason curriculum as the basis of our school work. Our goal is to be deliberate parents and build a strong foundation for our children in God's ways first, and academic knowledge second. Our family is active in ministry at our local church home.

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