“All your children will be taught of the Lord, and great will be your children’s peace,” (Isaiah 54:13).

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Life Schooling

"In everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus,"
(1 Thessalonians 5:18).
One of the great things about homeschooling is the opportunity to capture so many teaching moments--those times when life experiences are the best teachers. Think of it as the difference between "theory" and "practice." Things will often seem easy to implement "in theory" but are actually much harder when put into practice. Thus the beauty of all-day, hands-on teaching of our children.

Such a teaching moment manifested for us Saturday evening when a pickup truck plowed into the back of our van. We were stopped while waiting for the car two ahead of us to make a left turn. The truck came flying up behind us and hit us hard enough to open the inside cover of our moon roof and knock both side mirrors out of alignment.

I was driving because my husband had just finished working, and the kids and I decided to go to Lowe's with him since we hadn't seen him all day. We were all tired, and hot, and obviously having a car accident wasn't in our plans.

When the truck hit us, Sara (who was in the third-row passenger seat, where the impact was) immediately burst into tears and said, "Ow, my back hurts!" That obviously scared me.

Our children, as always, were watching us. How did we handle this? What words did we say, what actions did they see? What were we more concerned about--our safety or the condition of the car? I think we did a good job responding in a Christ-like manner. My husband's first words to the driver of the car that hit us were, "Are you okay?" I was (am) proud of him.

God tells us to give thanks for everything. I just finished reading Corrie Ten Boom's story, The Hiding Place, to my children. She inspired me by going through the depravity of the Nazi death camp that she was in, yet still being thankful to God for everything-- even the fleas in her barracks.

Homeschooling is often an imperfect mess. We are human, and we will fail as we attempt to teach things to our children. There will be gaps (just like in the public education system!), there will be tough subjects to teach, tough days to get through. But, if we remember to always thank God for every day, and each moment--no matter how stressful or inconvenient--we will teach our children about God's Sovereignty, which is more imporant than anything they'll ever learn from a textbook.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Above Rubies Devotional: Order in the Home

According to all that I show you, that is, the pattern of the tabernacle and the pattern of all its furnishings, just so you shall make it” (Exodus 25:9, 40; Hebrews 8:5).

God has given to women the privilege and responsibility of being the manager of their home. We have as an important a task as the manager of any business. Just as a business can’t run well without order, nor can a home. I don’t know about you, but I can’t run my home efficiently without some order. Here are a few of my thoughts.


One of my favorite sayings is, “Things don’t just happen; you have to make them happen.” We cannot make our home run efficiently unless we organize. This will be different in every home. Some women are high-powered organizers; others are laid back. Whatever our personality, we must have a certain amount of organization. The blatant fact is that if you just let life happen, chaos eventuates! You must plan your meals, make sure supper is ready in time for your husband coming home each evening, organize your cleaning and laundry, and of course, train your children to do their specific tasks. To organize a home does not mean that you are a slave in the home. You are the organizer, making it happen by getting everyone involved. (1 Timothy 5:14).


A routine keeps order in the home. In our home I expect everyone to be up in time for breakfast. We have our Family Devotions at 8.00 am. Anyone who has not finished their breakfast before this time misses out on breakfast. It is over. We can’t keep meals going all day. We have to clean up and get on with the day. We have lunch at a certain time and supper at a certain time. I am aghast when I hear of mothers allowing their children, and especially their teens, to sleep in and get up whenever they want. This is poor training and does not prepare them for life. It does not prepare them for a career and how to get to work on time and does not prepare daughters for running a home. Children should learn to get up at a certain time. The day is for work and adventure, the night is for sleeping! (Proverbs 6:6-11; 13:4; 24:3-34; 26:14).

Of course, children need their sleep, but if they cannot get up in the morning they are obviously going to bed too late the night before. I am still old fashioned enough to believe in the old adage, “Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.”

However, in saying this, I don’t believe in legality and rigidity either, and allow everyone to sleep in in the weekends. I don’t enjoy sleeping in myself, but am happy to give everyone else that privilege. And also there are different seasons in life and things change when a new little baby comes into the home.


Order can only happen with discipline, firstly in our own lives and then teaching it to our children. We also must try to get to bed at a reasonable hour so we can get up early and be ready to face the day—to prepare breakfast, put in a load of laundry, organize schooling and each child to their various tasks.

One of my best disciplines in regard to cleaning is my weekly Preparation Day. Every Friday we clean the whole house from top to bottom. Cleaning once a week keeps the home in good shape. (Luke 23:54).


Keeping a home running smoothly is easier said than done! Children lag behind. They disobey and complain. But they’ll get tired of you nagging. Inspire and encourage your children instead. When you train your young children you may need to use some “carrots” to get them motivated. You will have your different ideas that work in your family. However, you may want to print up a schedule on the fridge. Each child who is up on time each morning gets a star. Each child who does their appointed task without complaining gets a star. The one who gets the most stars at the end of the week gets a prize—something worthwhile. This gives them incentive and encouragement to do what is right and to get into the habit of doing it.


Resisting what? I’m talking about resisting the resistance that comes from your children and teens. They may want to keep sleeping. They will naturally be lazy. They will muddle around instead of doing their chores. Don’t give in! Keep up your plan. Keep the order until it is a habit in the home. Training doesn’t happen in a day. It takes time, but it will become a habit if you are consistent and don’t give in! (Isaiah 28:9-10).

However, in the midst of keeping order, we must also have freedom; freedom to change our plans if something special is happening; to halt our schedule if someone needs help or arrives at our home and needs encouragement, or freedom to do something unexpected and different, just for the spice of life. Keeping a basic sense of order in the home gives freedom to do fun things. If your home is out of order, you will not have a springboard on which to jump off and do something different.




“I thank you, dear Father, that you are a God of order. Please teach me how to keep order in my home just as you have order in your heavenly home. Amen."


The beauty of my home is order!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Teachers Needed

Is everyone getting excited about THESIS starting again soon? Are you curious about what classes will be taught?

We will be posting the schedule soon, but we have one more slot to fill. The 4th-5th grade middle period (from 1:40-2:20) still has an opening for two teachers. Have you considered teaching a class, but you are waiting to be asked?

There's a great class that Liz DeRoos taught a few years ago that is math-based but feels more like arts & crafts. The kids who took that class had a blast learning math in a fun way. If you would like to teach this class, Liz will gladly help you to plan out the lessons for the year.

Or, do you have a desire to teach but you have something else in mind? Well, that's great! As I mentioned, this one class is the only slot we've yet to staff.

We've added three more classes to our class schedule this year--so we need your help!If this is not your first year as a member of THESIS, and you have ever considered teaching--now is the time to step up!

Please call Liz DeRoos, at 304.534.5822, or Selena Campbell, at 304.363.0944, if you are interested in teaching this 4th-5th grade class this year.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Class Schedule & Used Curriculum Sale

Our tab with the label "Class Schedule" will be eventually filled in with an actual table of classes--hopefully by the end of the month. I have the table created, but I need to tweak it because it is showing up too wide.

In the meantime, we are excited about what is happening with THESIS this year! We've changed the class sizes for the lower grades, and we've got a few electives that the 6th-12th graders can choose from. Hopefully, these new changes will work well.

Our first field trip of the year will be to the Pittsburgh National Aviary. More details will be forthcoming on this blog, and in our first newsletter. We will need to plan that trip soon, so if you are interested in going, please send me an email at campbells(at)ma(dot)rr(dot)com. (Fill in the @ sign and the dots that are spelled out in parentheses...the way I typed it keeps trolling software from picking up my email and spamming my account).

As a reminder, we are doing a used curriculum sale in the fellowship hall during this year's drop-in registration on Tuesday, August 23rd. Whether you are planning to buy or sell, it is truly right around the corner, so don't forget to mark your calendars!