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

Friday, August 26, 2011

Back 2 School Kick-off Family Dinner

Anyone who came to the registration meeting on Tuesday knows what a great crowd of homeschooling families we have this year!

To celebrate the beginning of the new school year, we will have a "back 2 school" dinner for the whole family.

When: Friday, September 2, 2011, at 6:00 pm

Where: Fellowship Hall of Trinity Assembly of God (same place that registration was located, only we get to spread out more!)

What: Food, fun, and fellowship!

§ Gourmet pizza and beverages will be provided.

· Families whose name ends in A-L, please bring dessert for 12

· Families whose name ends in M-Z, please bring salad for 12

§ There will be a scavenger hunt for the kids!

§ If you haven’t registered for classes yet, you may do so at this dinner.

Questions? Please contact Liz DeRoos at 304.534.5822 or Selena Campbell at 304.363.0944

See you then!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Homeschooling in WV

"By wisdom a house is built, and by understanding it is established," (Proverbs 24:3).
Homeschooling in West Virginia is being attacked by the State Superintendent's office. Go here to read about it.

Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA), is an organization dedicated to fighting legal battles on behalf of homeschoolers, and to helping defend our right and privilege to teach our children at home. If you are not currently a member, I strongly encourage you to join, in light of the recent developments in West Virginia regarding homeschooling.

Don't know what's going on? HSLDA Staff Attorney Mike Donnelly is hosting a free e-conference for HSLDA members, on Thursday, September 8, 2011, at 2:00 pm.

Click here for more info on the conference.

Click here to join HSLDA.

If you are a member of Christian Home Educators West Virginia** (CHEWV), then you get a discount on membership with HSLDA.

Confused? Contact one of the THESIS administrators and we'll be glad to answer any questions you may have.

**You must be a member of CHEWV in order to participate in year-end standardized testing with THESIS homeschool co-op.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Registration & Used Curriculum Sale

Yes, believe it or not, registration is upon us!

Tomorrow, Tuesday, August 23, from 1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. in the fellowship hall of Trinity Assembly of God, THESIS administrators (and some teachers) will be available to assist you in registering for new classes and signing up to assist with our co-op.

During this time, you will also be able to sell and/or peruse used curriculum. If you have not already done so, please be sure to notify Liz DeRoos or Selena Campbell that you are selling something, so we can be sure to have a table available for your items.

At registration, you will receive the normal new school year packet of info, with class descriptions and a schedule, along with the fall THESIS newsletter. There will be signup sheets for helping in various areas, as well as a signup for our first field trip of the year to the National Aviary in Pittsburgh.

See you then!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Investment and Reward

The Campbell family is the new owner of a yellow lab puppy, named Daisy. Those of you who have experienced training a dog from early puppy-hood are thinking, "Is she nuts?" I'll answer that question for you: yes. Or, maybe the answer is I'm going nuts. I love to get uninterrupted sleep, and I have not been doing that since Saturday night. I feel nuts when I am fatigued.

I made the comment to my husband the other evening that the investment (in this dog) isn't worth the reward (Kyla's joy, well-trained dog later). He didn't respond to that comment, although scriptures about dripping faucets were going through my mind.

As much as I hate to admit it, this puppy is good for our family. I've replayed that comment that I made over and over again in my mind. And, what a selfish comment it is. Nothing that takes time, effort, blood, sweat, tears--and steals your sleep--seems like it is going to be worth it at the time, whatever the ultimate goal. When your flesh wants its own way, it dearly hates to be inconvenienced.

Homeschooling is one of those things that can cause you to think, on occasion, "Is the investment really worth the reward?" Or maybe, "Will the reward be worth the investment?" This is especially true when you are going over the same math concept for the umpteenth time, or struggling to plan lessons for science and history for all your kids collectively to save time so you won't have to clone yourself to get things done during the day. It basically boils down to your sinful flesh screaming about inconvenience. Your "life" isn't going the way you planned.

Maybe you never saw yourself as a homeschooler (I never saw myself as a mother, let alone a homeschooling mom), so the endless days of required patience that is needed to diligently instruct your child(ren) in the ways of the Lord, while interweaving reading, writing, math, science and social studies, can make you want to scream, "Is this really worth it?"

Regardless of the outcome of your child--who from said child's behavior, you know has a free will and can choose to go their own way instead of God's--the investment is worth the reward.

All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness," (Hebrews 12:11 NASB).

God has set before us an incredible task: Not just to care for and train our children, ever pointing them in His direction, but for us to grow more Christ-like as He sanctifies us through daily living the life He has called us to live, saturated with His grace.

When your children are with you 24/7, the opportunities for life-lessons abound. I have a huge one before me right now--a lesson in patient endurance, with the goal being not to whine about the road on the way. God is showing me more each day how He is shaping me into the image of Christ through homeschooling my children.

Some days will be harder than others, but all of them count toward the ultimate goal of running the race and getting to the end. Keep your eyes on Jesus as you start the new year, and you will do great!

Friday, August 12, 2011

On Socialization

Even if you haven't officially started homeschooling yet, just mentioning that you are considering it (let alone have made the decision to do it) can bring a standard response from people. The first thing you will hear is, "What about socialization?"

My dear friend from high school called me yesterday, and I hadn't talked with her for months. We were trying to quickly catch up so I could finish getting dinner ready, and the conversation included what was in store for our coming school year. When I mentioned our co-op, and the potential class sizes (21+ in my middle school class alone!), she responded by saying, "Can you do that? I mean, isn't the whole point of homeschooling to avoid that kind of environment?"

I say this to show you one thing -- you have nothing to "prove" to anyone in relation to your decision to homeschool. People will believe things about homeschoolers no matter how you seek to enlighten them. If you don't do things with others, you are weird. If you are doing things as a group, it is still weird.

The definition of socialize is:

"To make fit for living in a group; to subject to governmental ownership or control."

Those who say homeschoolers aren't socialized just mean that they are different, i.e., they don't have a herd mentality, following the "in" crowd (and driving you nuts about having all the latest fashions and tech-toys). And they are usually able to have an intelligent conversation with people of all ages, not just their peers.

Do not allow comments about a lack of socialization scare you! Your children will be fine as they grow up in your home as lovers of learning, self-confident that God has an amazing purpose for their life that He will equip them to accomplish.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Imperfect Homeschooling

The featured book for this month is, "The Imperfect Homeschooler's Guide to Homeschooling," by Barbara Frank.

I don't have my copy of this book at hand because I loaned it out to someone, so I can't post any quotes of her wisdom. But I will tell you that Barbara Frank is a 20-year homeschooling veteran, and her wonderful book is full of practical and sanity-saving suggestions for running your homeschool.

If you are feeling overwhelmed with the thought of "doing it all" and perfectly, this is definitely the book for you. I had a "moment" a couple of years ago, and I know that God lead me to read this book. I highly recommend it, especially if you struggle with wanting to "do it right" and you are worried about not doing enough.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Proposed Class Schedule & More

I hope that everyone is wringing out every last drop of summer from the days that we have left because before we know it, fall will be upon us. Although it wasn't quite as cool as a true fall day, it felt like fall as I sat out in my garage-porch listening to the rain showers this morning. I do love fall, so I'm not sad about the heat passing. I will, however, sorely miss my garden veggies!

If you haven't already taken a look, our proposed class schedule is available now under the "Class Schedule" tab at the top of this blog. We are excited about the new classes, and the new format for this year. Hopefully, things will move along smoothly and the weather won't interfere much with our schedule. I once heard that the water table has to be at a certain level for the year, meaning that a great deal of rain in spring and summer means little snowfall in winter. We shall see!

I also want to remind everyone that registration is fast approaching, and with it will be our first (annual?) used curriculum sale. Tuesday, August 23rd, we will have open registration and a curriculum sale from 1-4. You can come when you like, leave when you like. Just be sure to RSVP to Liz DeRoos (304.534.5822), if you plan to sell something, so we can reserve a table for you. You don't have to stay the whole time, but if you are selling, make sure that you come back to pick up your money and any unsold items!

Speaking of curriculum, maybe you are struggling to get your lessons planned, or just to wrap your mind around this great responsibility of educating your children. THESIS, being a faith-based group, believes that God is the center from whom all things flow. Here are some thoughts, based on that philosophy:

  • Science -- God created the world and all the amazing things in it
  • Math -- things work in an orderly fashion because God designed them that way
  • History -- history is all about God sending Jesus to redeem us, and His master plan
  • Language Arts -- the great commission is to tell others about Jesus, and writing and reading help us to do that well (always be prepared to give an answer for the faith you profess)
  • Literature -- reading about the lives of others helps us to see God's power at work
  • Economics -- we are called to be good stewards
  • Government -- governments and rulers are in place because God put them there (so we should be praying for our president, whether or not we like him!)
  • Arts -- God has given us different ways to express worship to Him, through music, art, dance, etc.
  • Health -- God's plan for our health, both physically and spiritually