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Homeschool Update Magazine - 2017, Volume 3, Issue 99


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The fall edition of The Homeschool Update, a triannual publication by Christian Home Educators of Colorado.

Published in: Education
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Homeschool Update Magazine - 2017, Volume 3, Issue 99

  1. 1. T H E H E A R T O F H O M E S C H O O L I N G Homes of Mercy When Kids Make Bad Choices Getting the Year Off to a Good Start Father Son Retreat Recap4 10 18 24 ARTICLES INSIDE THIS ISSUE INCLUDE 2017 IVOLUME 3 IISSUE 99 Refresh....A DAY OF ENCOURAGEMENT FOR LADIES PAGE 2
  2. 2. Refresh.... Featuring A DAY OF ENCOURAGEMENT FOR LADIES GUEST SPEAKER RACHEL CARMEN Rachel loves encouraging and inspiring moms to grow deeper in their walk and relationship with our Heavenly Father. She's been married to Davis since 1986, they have seven kids, and they love to laugh! Davis and Rachel own Apologia Educational Ministries, and Rachel is an author and speaker. She is passionate about helping moms not only survive motherhood but draw near to the Father and thrive in motherhood. Find rest and refreshment on your journey. This will be a day full of sweet fellowship, biblical wisdom, Christ-centered worship, and pamperingdoor prizes! Register at Limited space — register soon for the early-bird price of $30! WHEN: Saturday, February 3rd, 9am - 6pm WHERE: Embassy Suites - Denver Southeast
  3. 3. CHEC Homeschool Update IVolume 3, 2017 IIssue 99 INSIDE Family Encouragement 6 Homeschooling Wisdom INTERVIEW WITH THE FITZPATRICKS 10 When Kids Make Bad Choices BY TODD WILSON 13 The Art of Creation BY ISAAC RUSSELL 14 Thanksgiving BY BENHAM BROTHERS 18 Getting the Year Off to a Good Start BY MARCIA WASHBURN 26 It Makes a Difference BY AMBER SCHAMEL CHEC Events 2 Refresh 11 Casterline Single Mom's Banquet 16 Rocky Mountain Homeschool Conference Recap 21 Homeschool Group Leaders Retreat 24 Father Son Retreat Recap Columns 4 Director’s Desk 20 Homeschool Leaders 23 Legislative Liaison 30 Best of Blog 32 Struggling Learners 34 Curriculum Review 36 Partner’s Page 19039 Plaza Drive, Suite 210 Parker, Colorado 80134 720.842.4852 I1.877.842.CHEC (2432) Front Cover: Photography from This page: Photography by Sarah Lee Bryant/ Rocky Mountain Homeschool Conference event.
  4. 4. PHOTOGRAPHYBYISTOCK So far as I can tell, Jesus was not big about giving out homework. But in case you’re a homeschool student (or teacher!), let me quickly point out that I did find one very clear instance (possibly the only one) of a homework assignment that was given by Jesus. The homework assignment that I am referring to is found in Matthew 9:10 - 13, which says: And as Jesus reclined at table in the house, be- hold, many tax collectors and sinners came and were reclining with Jesus and his disciples. And when the Pharisees saw this, they said to his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?” But when He heard it, He said, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. Go and learn what this means, 'I desire mercy, and not sacrifice.' For I came not to call the righteous, but sinners (ESV). In this passage the Pharisees are perplexed. They can’t understand why Jesus would be eating and fellowshipping with sinners. Although the Pharisees were spiritual leaders in their day, they were blind to the heart of God and were therefore worse than use- less to the people that needed their help most. They clearly needed a change of perspective. And so Jesus follows up some corrective instruction by giving them a homework assignment: Go and learn what this means, ‘I desire mercy and not sacrifice.’ The concept the Pharisees were struggling to understand was not a new one. Jesus is quoting from Hosea 6:6. Neither was it insignificant, for it touches on the very heart of how God wants us to worship Him! Sadly, the Pharisees never did the homework. Only a few chapters later in Matthew 12:1 - 7, Jesus catches them twisting what it meant to keep the Sabbath. After correcting them once again, Jesus pointed out their failure to do their homework when He said, “But if ye had known what this meaneth, ‘I will have mercy, and not sacrifice,’ ye would not have condemned the guiltless.” In so many words, Jesus basically tells them that if they would have done their homework they wouldn’t have gotten so off-base. The homework assignment in Matthew 9:13 was given to the Pharisees rather than to Jesus’ disciples. That said, as parents who are called to be the primary spiritual leaders and teachers of our children, we too can lack a proper understanding of the mercy of God, which in turn can make us worse than useless to our own children. I believe that taking the time to learn what God means when He says, “I desire mercy and not sacrifice” has the potential to completely change the tone of the A Homework Assignment from Jesus MERCYHomes of BY STEVE CRAIG C H E C H O M E S C H O O L U P DAT E I Vo l u m e 3 , I s s u e 9 9 , 2 0174 DIRECTOR’S DESK
  5. 5. should reflect on constantly. But our need for mercy doesn’t end there. We are told that David was a man after God’s own heart. I suggest that one of the reasons for this is that he had a deep understanding of and depen- dency on the mercy of God. This is clearly borne out by his frequent mention of God’s mercy in the Psalms. The word mercy appears 276 times in the KJV. Over 100 of them are in the Psalms. But the Psalms weren’t just nice poetry for David. When the rubber met the road in 2 Samuel 24:14, David said, relationships within your home this year … if you do the homework! This passage got me thinking about my own understanding and practice of mercy, and I’d like to share a few things that I hope will be a springboard to your own study on this homework assignment from Christ. Christians are first and foremost those who have received the mercy of God I think the first obvious step in learning how to exhibit the kind of mercy that God desires from us as a form of spiritual worship is to get a grip on the mercy of God. The parable of the unforgiving servant in Matthew 18:21 - 35 highlights our tendency to disconnect our treatment of others from the reality of the matchless mercy that the Lord has extended to us personally. Webster says that mercy is, “That benevolence, mildness, or tenderness of heart which disposes a person to overlook injuries, or to treat an offender better than he deserves.” As Christians, we would do well to continually dwell on the fact that none of our stories would have ended well were it not for those beautiful words in Ephesians 2:4: But God, who is rich in mercy (KJV). Paul defines Christians as vessels of mercy in Romans 9:23 (KJV), bringing home the point that we should never lose from our identity the fact that we are first and foremost those who have received mercy from God. 1 Peter 2:10 states: Once you were not a people, but now you are God's people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy (ESV). Christians are those who continue to seek and rely on the mercy of God The bestowal of mercy is not just a one-time event in the life of the Christian either. Our justification through Christ’s atonement and adoption into God’s family are certainly glorious milestones that we something that you are actively seeking from Him, then you are missing the boat. Christians are those who exhibit mercy to others All of this leads us to the conclusion that since we have received, and continue to rely upon, such great mercy from our Father, then mercy ought to flow from the Christian to others, especially those in our own home. A home of mercy — that is what I want! I desire “the benevolence, mildness, or tenderness of heart which disposes a person to overlook injuries, or to treat an offender better than he deserves” to be noticeably present. This is what James 3:17 (KJV) is talking about when the writer says, But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. I hope my children grow to think of home as defined by these things more than they think of it as a place where the basic necessities of life are provided for. It’s a beautiful picture, and I know I have a long ways to go in lead- ing our family to this reality by becoming a more merciful husband and father. But as I continue to learn what I desire mercy, and not sacrifice means, it is an attainable vision. Let me encourage you to make this homework assignment from Christ your own and to strive to make your home a place of mercy!  Steve Craig is the Executive Director for Christian Home Educators of Colorado. He and his wife Tara are second generation homeschoolers and have a passion to inspire others toward biblical discipleship in the home. Steve and Tara live in Parker with their five children: Carson, Christiana, Angelina, Jewel, and brand new daughter Ariel. TAKING THE TIME TO LEARN WHAT GOD MEANS WHEN HE SAYS, I DESIRE MERCY AND NOT SACRIFICE HAS THE POTENTIAL TO COMPLETELY CHANGE THE TONE OF THE RELATIONSHIPS WITHIN YOUR HOME. “ “ I am in great distress. Let us fall into the hand of the Lord, for His mercy is great; but let me not fall into the hand of man (ESV). David was an example of a man who pressed into the mercy of God his whole life. And so should we. Hebrews 4:16 encourages us to come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need (KJV). In a similar vein, Jude 1:21 tells us to Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life (KJV). When your need for mercy is only something you only look back on, if it is not part of your current dependence on God or Vo l u m e 3 , I s s u e 9 9 , 2 017 I C H E C H O M E S C H O O L U P DAT E 5 DIRECTOR’S DESK
  6. 6. WISDOM Homeschooling From our Family to Yours INTERVIEW WITH THE FITZPATRICK FAMILY PLEASE SHARE THE STORY OF YOUR BACKGROUND, MARRIAGE, AND FAMILY. A I (Hugh) grew up without Christ and without the church. When I was in college, I attended a Bible study to get closer to a girl I'd met. That girl became my wife, Heather. In those initial meetings I only pretended to understand the Bible, but I knew that something inside me was changing. After a few months I was reading the Bible regularly. One day I realized I believed what it said about Jesus and with tears streaming down my face, I confessed my sins and put my faith in Christ. I have never once regretted it. After marriage, I wanted to finish both of my undergradu- ate and graduate degrees before having kids. That was a massive mistake! Six years later we had Colin and loved every second of being parents. We knew we wanted more children, but that was the time we began a gut-wrenching roller coaster of emotional highs and devastating lows with both infertility and miscarriage. We wrestled with all the Why? questions. Lord, why us? Are we being punished for some sin? Why won't You give us another child? We don't understand. We asked the Fitzpatrick family of Elizabeth, Colorado to share some wisdom from their decade of home education. Hugh is married to his best friend, Heather, and is a manager for LGI Homes. Prior to that, Hugh was a pastor and teacher. Heather is proud to be Hugh’s wife and a homeschooling mother to their overactive 5-year-old and sci-fi fanatic 17-year-old. PHOTOGRAPHYBYISTOCK C H E C H O M E S C H O O L U P DAT E I Vo l u m e 3 , I s s u e 9 9 , 2 0176 THEMATIC INTERVIEW C H E C H O M E S C H O O L U P DAT E I Vo l u m e 3 , I s s u e 9 9 , 2 017
  7. 7. children; and second, we have a strong conviction that parents have the primary responsibility for our children’s education. HOW HAS GOD GUIDED YOUR YEARS OF HOME EDUCATION? WHAT ADJUSTMENTS HAVE YOU HAD TO MAKE TO FOLLOW HIS LEADING? A Heather was swayed by some nag- ging fears. Fear that she didn't know enough. Fear that she would ruin our son. Fear that she wouldn't have enough patience. Fear that she would choose the wrong curriculum. But after 11 years of homeschooling, Heather realized that pleasing the Lord trumps everything else. She doesn't care what others think anymore because she came to the realization that walking obediently with the Lord is her chief responsibility. Heather researched curriculum, but finding the right curriculum also means figuring out what works best for our children. And if that means ditching one curriculum for another, then so be it. Not surprisingly, our oldest child loved Heather all the more when she was willing to try a different program for him. We have made our share of mistakes to be sure, but we try to learn from them and grow from them. The les- son we learned is that our job is to be faithful to the Lord, and ultimately, the results are in His hands. After three years on the emotional roller coaster, adoption was conceived amidst the grief. And in 2005, we officially began the adoption process. But adoption is about waiting. Waiting for paperwork, waiting for the fees to be processed, waiting for the courts, waiting for a match. After seven years we finally got The Call! A birth mother selected us to be the parents to a baby she just delivered. Two weeks later, we brought home our beautiful little girl, Abigail. Now we can finally say, it is SO WORTH THE WAIT! God's plan for our family was worth every tear we cried, every training session, every fingerprinting, every inconvenience. WHAT LED YOU TO CONSIDER HOMESCHOOLING AND WHAT WERE YOUR PRIORITIES AS YOU BEGAN? A I think some couples have always known that they will homeschool their children. We were not one of those couples. Rewind to around 10 years ago. When Colin entered kindergarten at the local public school, I started to have a growing convic- tion that morally and biblically speaking, something was seriously wrong with public education. What I saw alarmed me. Even the best public schools in the state had too many unwholesome influences to ignore. They couldn’t measure up to the plumb line of God’s Word. The problem was that my wonderful wife thought she was not cut out for homeschooling, so she was adamantly opposed to it … until the day we met with Colin’s kindergarten teacher. The way God wired my wife, when it comes to our children she wants to be there for all those first moments in life: first word, first step, first tooth, etc. When Colin’s teacher began to rattle off all the things Colin would be learning for the first time, that’s when Heather had her change of heart moment, and on the drive home Heather an- nounced out-of-the-blue that she thought we should consider homeschooling. That’s all I needed. We pulled Colin out of the public school immediately, and we’ve never looked back. In summary we started homeschooling for two reasons: First, we felt homeschooling was the best avenue for us to be able to pass our values onto our EXPLAIN SOME DIFFERENCES IN YOUR CHILDREN’S LEARNING STYLES AND INTERESTS; HOW DID YOU MEET THEIR NEEDS AS INDIVIDUALS WHILE MAINTAINING FAMILY UNITY? A There is a 12-year-gap between our oldest and youngest, and the gap is even wider when it comes to how they learn. I think God likes to keep us on our toes! Our oldest is an auditory learner; he learns best from hearing. He likes to talk a lot because hearing himself helps concepts to sink in. From the very start he's always loved being read to aloud. Our youngest, on the other hand, is more of a kinesthetic learner. She learns by doing. She loves to touch and feel the texture of things. We've discovered that giving her something physical helps her to con- nect with what's being taught. For example, when we read aloud to her she enjoys tracing her finger along on the page. Knowing our children's different learning styles has helped us get past the challenge of figuring out what we needed to do to get the information to stick in each child's mind. It has also been helpful to figure out our own learning styles. It's natural that people tend to favor their own learning style while teaching, so knowing this will help us to remember to give other learning styles some extra effort. WE HAVE A STRONG CONVICTION THAT PARENTS HAVE THE PRIMARY RESPONSIBILITY FOR OUR CHILDREN'S EDUCATION. “ “ PHOTOGRAPHYBYISTOCK (CONTINUES ON PAGE 8) Vo l u m e 3 , I s s u e 9 9 , 2 017 I C H E C H O M E S C H O O L U P DAT E 7 THEMATIC INTERVIEW
  8. 8. IF YOU COULD START ALL OVER, IS THERE ANYTHING YOU WOULD DO DIFFERENTLY REGARDING HOMESCHOOLING? A First, we would teach our oldest how to read differently. The problem wasn't the program, the problem was us. Because we were so green we thought that if we simply used the right curriculum and followed it to a T, our child would become an avid reader in a snap. But that's not what happened. Instead we got tears, frustration, and failure. The les- son we learned is don't start too early and don't push if your child isn't ready. Trust God, not your schedule. Second, we wouldn't give a hoot about what others thought. Sometimes we got so worried about proving to skeptical family members or a nosy church mem- HOMESCHOOLINGANADOPTEDCHILD? This book is a must read for parents considering adoption, fostering to adopt, or who are in the thick of adoption exhaustion! Veteran homeschooling mom, Shari Howard McMinn, shares 15 years of research and hands-on practice gained while raising five children adopted through child welfare (in addition to her 6 biological children). Full of practical advice on every parenting topic imaginable, this book will not only equip you with new skills to help you navigate common parenting challenges, it will also help reinvigorate your marriage with thoughtful discussion, prayer, and fun couple dates to enjoy at home! Key Features • Over 70 chapters on all kinds of practical topics • Scriptural support • Discussion questions • 75+ creative date ideas for you and your spouse Considering Adoption or Foster Care? ber that homeschooling is really the best choice for our son, we pushed academics too early and too hard. Third, we'd be more patient. … Fourth, we'd major in the majors of life instead of majoring in the minors. Fifth, I (Hugh) would have taken a more active role. We believe that homeschooling is most effective when fathers are seriously committed and involved. Sixth, we'd look more at the meltdowns as an op- portunity to grow our children's character. And last, we'd stop and smell the roses more. That expression, “the days go slowly but the years go quickly” is so very true. It's hard to believe that we're entering our 11th homeschooling year. If we'd realized how fast the years would zoom by, we'd have made an effort to savor the days a bit more.  Homeschooling WISDOM (CONTINUED FROM PAGE 7) C H E C H O M E S C H O O L U P DAT E I Vo l u m e 3 , I s s u e 9 9 , 2 0178 THEMATIC INTERVIEW
  9. 9. graduation ad 2018 CHEC GRADUATION CEREMONY SATURDAY, MAY 4TH IN ELIZABETH or SATURDAY, MAY 5TH IN LITTLETON CELEBRATE YOUR STUDENT’S HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATION WHO Open to all homeschool graduates WHAT A celebration to thank God and honor the graduates (and parents!) WHEN Friday, May 4th at 7pm (Elizabeth, CO) or Saturday, May 5th at 10am or 3pm (Littleton, CO) WHAT’S INCLUDED Traditional graduation elements: ■ Pomp and Circumstance as graduates and parents enter ■ Special music sung during the ceremony ■ Commencement address and charge to the graduates ■ Parents’ presentation of the diplomas WE TAKE CARE OF ALL THE COORDINATION! Your registration includes participation in the ceremony, a cap and gown, a printed diploma and cover, and ceremony programs. (Optional photo/video package also available.) Plan now to join the celebration! Register at
  10. 10. Let me say up-front that as a young adult I made bad, immoral choices. I wish I could go back and unmake them. But it was because of those bad choices that I determined to train my children in such a way that they would avoid making the same bad choices. The plan looked something like this in my head: God would deliver to me a lumpy, misshapen clump of clay (which is what they looked like at birth), and I, the parent on a mis- sion from God, would mold, form, admonish, encourage, chastise, and CONTROL that little lump. I would smooth and shape my child until he or she was perfect upon leaving the shelter of my home, thereby assuring that he or she wouldn’t make any of those same bad choices. It was a great plan. Unfortunately, God left a few gray areas in His Word on how to achieve all that, so I was vulnerable to the first ‘schmo’ who came along offering a failsafe plan for raising children who would love God and would avoid making When Kids Make BAD CHOICESBY TODD WILSON bad choices in the future. We bought the plans and followed some of their advice, but somewhere along the way we figured out by watching how it turned out in other people's children that we had the wrong plan … and, it certainly wasn’t God’s plan. And then it dawned on me: my lumpy clay thinking was wrong. In fact, maybe God has lessons — pain- ful lessons — that my children NEED to go through and learn so they can be what God wants them to be. They may have to get fired from a job, or two, to learn what God wants them to learn. They may have to experience some terrible consequences to learn what God would have them learn. I can’t keep that from happening. I certainly don’t want it to happen and pray that they won’t need to go down that path … but I want God to do what is best for my children to bring them to Himself. So with that said, just assume your children WILL make some bad choices along the way. Some will be worse than others and will have uglier consequences, but the truth is our children will make some bad choices. At the same time, some of their choices won't necessarily be bad, just different than you would make. The next part is the important part. How do we help them AFTER they’ve made a bad choice and possibly strayed from the narrow path? Here’s the answer: you love your child, because your love is the way back. I talked to some parents about a week ago who were going through a hard time with one of their children. They called me aside so no one could hear, and they laid out the ugly details. They were baffled by her choices and were doing everything they could to get her “fixed” and back on the road to godly living. Now, they were looking for advice that I could offer to make the whole situation go away. I listened, and then offered my only advice: “You’re just going to need to love your daughter through this. I looked right at the dad and added, “And your love is the way back.” I know they were disappointed because they wanted more. They kept going back to CONTROLLING her more, COMING DOWN HARDER, sending her AWAY to a school where she would be whipped into shape. “There is no easy answer here,” I said. “Your child is in deep and may go deeper. And there’s just not much you can do to stop her, but maybe that’s where she has to go to learn what God would have her learn.” We talked more and I could tell that the father wasn’t thinking loving thoughts. He was thinking how to come down like a hammer — and his words were harsh. Honestly, I don’t blame him. I’d want to come down hard too. I’d want to fix the whole situation. I’d want to keep it under wraps so no one would see what my “lump of clay” had become. But it’s not the right way. I’m telling you, LOVE IS THE WAY HOME. Give it freely. PHOTOGRAPHYBYISTOCK C H E C H O M E S C H O O L U P DAT E I Vo l u m e 3 , I s s u e 9 9 , 2 01710 FAMILY ENCOURAGEMENT
  11. 11. known children who wanted to let others know of the struggles they were facing only to have their parents discourage them from doing so. NO, even though it will probably be embarrassing to you (they may even post it on Facebook!) you need others to be pray- ing… and others can’t pray if they don’t know. And You need to love your wayward, bad-choosing son or daughter … no matter what. That doesn’t mean you accept or allow their behav- ior, but you never stop loving them!! Don’t put up walls or demand conditions to be met to re- ceive your love; instead give it freely. You hug the unhuggable, you smile at those who are hard to smile at, you love the unlovable! Does this sound like Jesus in Scripture, or what? I remember speaking at a men’s event down in South Florida. The group was small but great. At one point after a session, an older dad came up to me and told me through tears that his son had announced that he was gay. The father replied, “No, you’re my son, and I will always love you.” The dad went on to tell me that he continued to love his son and eventually the son had left that terrible lifestyle. The dad concluded the conver- sation with, “My love was the way out.” So in a nutshell, your child will make bad choices, but you must keep loving — never stop loving. Oh, and one more thing: don’t try to hide it or keep it silent. You need to tell others so they can pray. I’ve LOVE IS THE WAY HOME. GIVE IT FREELY. NO MATTER WHAT. “ “ they won’t know unless you suck up your pride and tell them. Yes, I was embarrassed; but you know what? I’m OK with that now. So don’t be shocked and don’t be silent. And don’t ever stop loving. I’m telling you, Dad and Mom, your love is the way home for your children in the very same way that God’s love was, and still is, OUR way HOME. Amen!  Familyman, father of eight, grandpa, author, and speaker, Todd Wilson is passionate about what matters and wants to bring his blend of laughter, realness, and practical Biblical encour- agement to your dads, moms, and families. For fifteen years Todd and his family have traveled the country in their big familyman Mobile RV speaking to tens of thousands of parents. Learn more about Todd’s ministry at HOMESCHOOL CURRICULUM DESIGNED TO GROW LASTING CHARACTER FROM THE INSIDE OUT. • Open-and-go curriculum • Rich conversation starters • Mobile and print-friendly versions • Service activity options • Join a community of other Character Growers Learn more about our products and services at Vo l u m e 3 , I s s u e 9 9 , 2 017 I C H E C H O M E S C H O O L U P DAT E 11 FAMILY ENCOURAGEMENT
  12. 12. Order Today at Preparing to Care for an Elderly Loved One, But Not Sure Where to Start? Experience the first-ever forum of biblically focused caregivers, physicians, and pastors with Christian Family Eldercare’s online video series Caregiving 101. This series, designed to equip families and churches to thrive in eldercare, features inspiring messages, practical medical talks, caregiving panels, legal advice, veteran caregiver encouragement, and much more. • Responding to the Impending Eldercare Crisis • What to Expect with Caregiving • Dealing with Common Challenges • The Impact of Socialized Medicine on the Family • Home Healthcare • Identity Issues of Caregivers • Legal Aspects of Eldercare • Meeting the Emotional Needs of the Elderly • Eldercare in the Family Economy • Caregivers and Faith • The Church in Eldercare PLUS! Video MP3 Download $8499 $2995 Topics Include Free Bonus!$14.95 Value Order Caregiving 101 by November 30 and get a FREE copy of Home-Based Eldercare: Stories and Strategies for Caregivers, by Marcia Washburn. Encouraging, Equipping and Enabling Relationship-Centered Eldercare
  13. 13. The majority of people believe artists are weird people who hang out in their apartment all day paint- ing and going insane! The truth is, an artist may be a friend of yours and you don't even know it. I started becoming an artist when I was 12 years old with just simple drawings and watercolor paintings. I didn’t really have much natural skill when I started, but my art teacher taught me very well from the beginning. In the years since the beginning of my art career, I have made countless drawings and some of them I have turned into colorful paintings. I have been state champion in a multi-state competition. I have sold one painting and am planning to sell more. Over the first year or two I learned to draw animals by focusing on their basic body shapes as they all work together to make each animal. I was taught that mountains were more than just triangles, that they were rough and rigid even from a distance. I started off just looking at something and trying to The Art of CREATION Painting is an art form that can be whatever you want it to be. You can paint trees that don't really look like trees but resemble trees, as long as everything else slightly resembles common things without it being too detailed. You can look at a picture of something and try to paint it, or you can get an idea in your head and paint that. There are no real rules to painting; it’s basically only what you want to paint, with a few skills which can be learned over time with practice. I was taught how to see what God created and incorporate it into a painting for others to see and be inspired to take a second to appreciate what God has made for us. If you are young, old, or just have some time to kill, I recommend you begin art and at the very least it will give you something to do in your free time for your own satisfaction.  Isaac Russell has been home schooled from the beginning, and now, at 18, has almost completed this part of his education journey. In addition to fine art, he also played tuba in band, ran stage lights for various theater productions in Salida, ran cross-country and track, and swam for the Salida Cyclones summer swim club. paint what I saw. As the years went on I began to see the beauty of God’s creation and everything that I am surrounded by every day. Now, I look outside, see a mountain, think to myself that I could take that mountain, put a field in front of it, add some trees, maybe a river or trail and then soon enough I've got a new painting started! At the start of each school year, I had to try to find a day each week when I would have time for art class. At one point I didn't know if I would even want to find the time. I wasn't sure if I would continue to enjoy art. But year after year, I started to enjoy the calm which painting brought to me. Even if I didn't know what to paint when I first sat down, I learned to be patient, waiting to think of something. I didn't need to make anything super detailed for my work to be considered good. All I had to do was make it my own; if someone else liked it that was a bonus. BY ISAAC RUSSELL The Western Governor’s Association (WGA) has selected a painting by Salida artist and homeschool student Isaac Russell (age 18) as the winning entry for Colorado in their Celebrate the West regional art competition. The painting was selected from entries of high school students from around the State of Colorado and represented Colorado at the Western Governor’s Association Annual Meeting in Whitefish, Montana, June 26 - 28, 2017. Isaac is an art student of Lynn Angelo of Salida. Christine Ogsbury, of the WGA, says Isaac’s painting was selected because, “(The) beautiful painting re- ally stood out and captured the beauty and richness of Colorado, and living in the western U.S.” Isaac Russell wanted to share with our readers regarding his art education and experiences. Vo l u m e 3 , I s s u e 9 9 , 2 017 I C H E C H O M E S C H O O L U P DAT E 13 FAMILY ENCOURAGEMENT
  14. 14. PHOTOGRAPHYBYISTOCK THANKS GIVING If there’s anything we need today in America, it’s more fathers. Not just dads who have children, but fathers willing to invest in future generations and lay their lives down spiritually, morally, and physically so that others might live free. And I’m a bit ashamed to admit it, but until recently, I’ve not drawn the connection between fatherhood and Thanksgiving. Thankfully, we never quit learning! During the Thanksgiving season I enjoy reading to my kids the story of the Pilgrims. They (the Pilgrims) didn’t just sit back and enjoy the comforts of England and Holland. Rather, fathers chose to suffer that we might live free. Why? Because that’s what fathers do. In the words of the Pilgrims’ first governor, William Bradford, “… they cherished the work of laying good foundations … and were stepping stones unto others for performing so great a work.” Wow, stepping-stones. That’s good stuff. One of the greatest fathers to our nation was Pastor John Robinson. He was the Pilgrims’ pastor back in Holland, and it was he who taught the Pilgrims the basis for freedom in the New World. It was his teaching that fueled their journey here and established the basis for liberty and justice for all. Just one man, acting like a true father. Governor Bradford said of Pastor Robinson, “For be- sides his singular abilities in divine teachings (wherein he excelled) he was also very able to give directions in civil affairs and to foresee dangers and inconveniences, by which means he was very helpful to their outward estates and so was every way as a common father unto them.” Read that again slowly and think it all the way through. Here was a pastor who not only understood the Bible from a theological perspective, but he understood how to apply it to all of life from a practical perspective, including civil matters. And he also acted as a watch- man to the Pilgrims by warning them of dangers and inconveniences to their freedom. When you’re willing to lay your life down for others and seek to help them in every way, including warning them of dangers they may not see (and are very unpopular to speak about), you become a father to them. John Robinson was a father to the Pilgrims and so was a father to us all. BY DAVID AND JASON BENHAM For though you have countless guides in Christ, you do not have many fathers. For I became your father in Christ Jesus through the gospel. (1 Corinthians 4:15 ESV) Dads, here are some great ideas from the Benham Brothers for you to put into practice this coming holiday season! C H E C H O M E S C H O O L U P DAT E I Vo l u m e 3 , I s s u e 9 9 , 2 01714 DAD TO DADDAD TO DAD
  15. 15. Where did he get this incredible picture of fatherhood? In the very book that this nation was founded upon – the Bible. In such a fatherly way the Apostle Paul said to the early church in Thessalonica, You are witnesses, and so is God, how devoutly and uprightly we behaved toward you believers; just as you know how we were exhorting and encouraging and imploring each one of you as a father would his own children (1 Thessalonians 2:11 NASB). Paul also acted as a watchman to the church when he referenced the prophet Ezekiel (who was called to warn the people of dangers coming because of their sin) to the elders of Ephesus, Therefore, I testify to you this day that I am innocent of the blood of all men, for I did not shrink back from declaring to you the whole purpose of God (Acts 20:26 - 27 ESV). It was Paul’s example in Scripture that provided the foundation upon which John Robinson and the Pilgrims stepped up to be fathers at a time in history when the whole world was about to change – for the better! So, for Thanksgiving this year I have one message: when dads become fathers, our land will be restored. We must never forget that the land is cursed when fa- thers are absent: He will restore the hearts of the fathers to their children and the hearts of the children to their fathers, so that I will not come and smite the land with a curse (Malachi 4:6 NASB). It is a lack of fathers that is hurting this nation today, and it will be a “father’s heart” revival that will get us back on track. This Thanksgiving let’s recommit to being fathers in our nation, like John Robinson and our Pilgrim forefathers. The time is now.  David and Jason Benham are both homeschool dads and were popular speakers at the CHEC Rocky Mountain Homeschool Conference this past June. First published November 24, 2015 at, this blog post is reprinted with their permission. COLORADO HOMESCHOOL SPELLING BEE WHEN: Saturday, January 27, 2018 WHO: Homeschooled students in 8th grade or below (exception: Boulder County residents must participate in their county spelling bee) HOW: Register for $25/student today! Winners advance to the statewide Denver Post spelling bee! Vo l u m e 3 , I s s u e 9 9 , 2 017 I C H E C H O M E S C H O O L U P DAT E 15 DAD TO DAD
  16. 16. Rocky Mountain Homeschool Conference Just a few days after the 2017 Rocky Mountain Homeschool Conference, a group of homeschool moms and daughters gathered for a Bible study. As I interacted with these ladies I noticed no one could stop talking about the weekend's conference. They kept telling me, It was the best one we've been to in years! Having experienced it myself, I would have to agree. The passion of the speakers was truly the high- light of this year's conference. Dr. Joel Beeke encouraged parents to hold fast to Christ, and in so doing, make bringing the gospel to their children a priority. In Friday's General Session Michael Farris left listeners awed at God's protection of His people despite the anti-Christian agenda in our nation; he motivated attendees to stand up for truth. And, on Saturday the Benham broth- ers received a standing ovation as they told the story of losing their HGTV (Home Garden TV) show, by taking a stand for their Christian principles. Finally, Todd Wilson, in his humorous and engaging style, equipped families further for the task of homeschooling as the conference ended on Saturday afternoon. As I spoke with families over the course of the con- ference, I heard over and over how Norm Wakefield, Andrew Pudewa, Renee Ellison, and many more left an impact on families. One mom told me, “It was really hard to choose what workshops to go to. They were all so good!” Here's a further highlight sampling of what the speakers shared: “Model for your children a continual coming to Christ in your own life. When hard times come let your children see you go to Jesus, and when hard times come in their own lives they will go to Him as well.” – Dr. Joel Beeke We have hope because no matter how hard the days are, we serve the One True and Living God. – Michael Farris If your theology does not become your biography, your theology is worth- less. – David Benham Dozens of young people were also blessed by the youth features at this year’s conference. On Thursday, Jenna Ellis, Esquire, taught a multi-faceted RECAP BY JULIANNA DOTTEN C H E C H O M E S C H O O L U P DAT E I Vo l u m e 3 , I s s u e 9 9 , 2 01716 CHEC EVENTS
  17. 17. PHOTOGRAPHYBYSARAHLEEBRYANT(SARAHLEEPHOTO.COM)TOBIASSTEEVES course on the Constitution. On Friday, Mike Mc- Fadden helped youth navigate through the world of resume-building. That night a group of young people, who had been working tirelessly over the weekend under the tutelage of the Academy of Arts, performed a drama on the life of the apostle Paul. In addition, vendors from all over the nation filled the exhibit hall, allowing families the opportunity to investigate cur- riculum options, extra-curricular ac- tivities, and more. Participants of the AME (Apprentice- ship, Mentorship, and Entrepreneurship) Youth Vendor program also displayed an impressive array of goods for homeschooled youth and their families. JUNE 14-16, 2018 MARK YOUR CALENDARS! Keynote Speakers: VODDIE BAUCHAM IPHIL TUTTLE KEVIN SWANSON IROB RIENOW Rocky Mountain Homeschool Conference The CHEC conference left me encouraged to stand more boldly for my faith, live out the gospel in relationships, and keep on with our high calling of discipling the nations. And I wasn't the only one; families across the state and nation left the conference strengthened for the task of home dis- cipleship. Here’s what a few of them had to say: “Thank you!! I received so much great information and so much encouragement! The love of Christ was over the entire conference and it was unlike anything I've ever experienced at any conference. Can't wait for next year!” – Pine, Colorado “It was a wonderful conference. The speakers were fantastic. We left feeling very encouraged; every workshop we went to and every speaker we heard were worthwhile! We hated to see the conference end.” – Colorado Springs, Colorado May God be praised!  Julianna Dotten feels very blessed to have been homeschooled and discipled by godly parents. She currently works as the CHEC marketing assistant and enjoys serving her family and church. Most of all, her desire is to seek the Lord wherever He has put her. Want to join in behind the scenes with CHEC? We have a tremendous team of vol- unteers who keep things going—and with lots of openings now, we'd love for you to become a part! BOX TOPS: Did you know that every Box Top that you submit to CHEC is worth $0.10 and goes to support the year- round ministry of CHEC? Simply collect then drop off at any CHEC event or at the CHEC office. Action: Collect, then deliver to CHEC. OFFICE VOLUNTEERS: Do you enjoy typing, organizing, and office work? We're in need of several volunteers who can serve at the CHEC Office in Parker on Mondays and/or Thursdays helping with data entry and preparing for events. Our office team is a lot of fun to work with and there's usually some chocolate around to snack on while you help the team! EVENT VOLUNTEERS: Are you looking for a family volunteer project? We're looking to build our volunteer teams (greet- ing, event setup, photography, and more) for Homeschool Day at the Capitol and the Rocky Mountain Homeschool Conference. It's a fantastic way to build friendships with others in the Colorado homeschool community, plus support the year- round ministry of CHEC! DONATIONS: Are you passionate about home education and have a desire to help it grow and stay free for generations to come? CHEC works throughout the year to pro- tect homeschool liberty and to serve homeschool families, and as a 501c3 non-profit organization, we depend on donations from families like you to continue the ministry. Action: Make a one-time or monthly recur- ring donation at YOU! Vo l u m e 3 , I s s u e 9 9 , 2 017 I C H E C H O M E S C H O O L U P DAT E 17 CHEC EVENTS
  18. 18. Fall is my favorite time of year. It is a time of new beginnings, new projects, and new hopes and dreams that “this” year will be different. For 43 years, my fall seasons began with the start of a new school year — either as a student myself or as a teacher. We selected a room in our unfinished basement for our classroom. Since six separate desks would have monopolized the room, my husband installed a pre-cut laminated countertop along two walls. This desktop was supported by four legal-size, two-drawer filing cabinets. The laminated surface was also ideal for art and science projects (and great for laying out my sewing projects during after-school hours). Each child was assigned one filing drawer for his school materials, and I used the remaining drawers for my teaching files. Textbooks were placed at the front of each drawer along with a lunch box (great for portability) filled with markers, scissors, and small supplies. A jar held the child’s pencils within easy reach. Hanging file folders in the drawers held school papers (divided by subject areas), coloring books, artwork, and flat memorabilia. An added benefit: my students learned how to use a simple filing system. Each son had a bulletin board hung on the wall by his “desk” to display his work and to post reminders, mem- ory verses, etc. When we did group activities, the boys could easily turn their chairs toward me. Until the boys Getting the Year Off to a Using Wise Business Practices to Improve Your Homeschool BY MARCIA WASHBURN As each September rolled around I just “knew” that this would be the year we would get it all together. I would find the secret to homeschooling a houseful of children while living in a magazine perfect home. Yeah, right! I eventually admitted my name is not Super-Mom. Over the 19 years that we homeschooled our five sons, we developed some strategies that worked well for us. We discovered that homeschooling is much like operating a small business. Essential to the success of both are establishing a suitable workplace, prioritizing a schedule, and assigning jobs efficiently. The Workplace Through the years we’ve had school in a variety of locations: in a spare bedroom, around the dining room table, in a camper trailer, and from the living room couch during a difficult pregnancy. Each loca- tion worked, but as our family grew to include five sons and we acquired more learning materials, we felt the need to establish a permanent schoolroom. GOOD START C H E C H O M E S C H O O L U P DAT E I Vo l u m e 3 , I s s u e 9 9 , 2 01718 MANAGEMENT FOR MOMS
  19. 19. were tall enough to sit well in full-size chairs, we used some small school desks along one wall. The pre-school age children could play (quietly some- times!) on the floor, while the older boys worked. A floor-to-ceiling bookshelf stood on the opposite wall and a timeline raced along the ceiling. Hand-me-down carpet covered the floor, and a U.S. flag disguised the entrance to the crawl space under the house. As my class got smaller (my how fast they do grow!), we eventually abandoned the schoolroom and began using the living room again for our “together times.” The boys took turns sitting on either side of me as we snuggled under an afghan in the big recliner while I read aloud. You may not have a room to devote to school alone, but ask God to give you creative and resourceful ideas for maximizing the space you do have. If you use a kitchen table, give each child a box to store his items so you don’t have school materials out all of the time. Setting Priorities Since we wanted to center our day and our educa- tion on the Lord, we decided the first priority of the day would be to start with Bible and prayer. Then if the rest of the day fell apart (we all know this happens occasionally), we would have com- pleted the most important work of the day. When the children were young we used a children’s Bible. As they grew, we worked our way through various books of the Old and New Testaments. We made a point of memorizing scripture portions such as the Lord’s Prayer, Psalms 23 and 100, Romans 12, and Proverbs 3. Even young students can learn long passages one phrase at a time. We made a prayer notebook to direct our family prayer time. It acted as a guide so that our family remembered to pray beyond our own borders. Using an inexpensive photo album with self-sticking pages, we set aside several pages for each day of the week. On Mondays we prayed for our immediate family; we had pictures of each of us. What a blessing to hear the boys praying for each other! On Tuesdays we prayed for our country. As we prayed, we referred to pictures of our president, sol- diers, our flag, etc. Wednesdays were for our church family whom we would be seeing at the evening service. Thursdays were for missions and included pictures of missionaries whom we supported. On Fridays we prayed for our extended family, some of whom we may be seeing over the weekend — grandparents, cousins, etc. Seeing their pictures every week helped our little ones remember and recognize relatives who lived at a distance. Handling Assignments Homeschooling is a great way to individualize instruction for each child. But it didn’t take me long to figure out that teaching seven different subjects to each of five children of different ages on an individual basis was not going to work at the Washburn house! I had to come up with a better way of covering the material. I didn’t want to lock them into workbooks all day so we did much of our Bible, science, his- tory, music, literature, and art together as a class, sometimes as unit studies. The sequential subjects — reading, math, and spelling — were taught individually. Each week I wrote assignments in each boy’s assign- ment notebook: a 5 x 7-inch stenographer’s tablet ASK GOD TO GIVE YOU CREATIVE AND RESOURCEFUL IDEAS FOR MAXIMIZING THE SPACE YOU HAVE. with spiral wire at the top (available at office supply stores). I used an assignment book even for my pre-readers so I could keep track of their progress. The page was headed with Monday’s date; assign- ments and reminders for the week were listed below. Sometimes I would slip in a surprise such as “Do ten pushups,” “Give Mom a kiss,” or “Make popcorn for everyone on Wednesday at 2:00.” Reminders to work on memory verses, practice piano lessons, etc. were also included. The younger children needed day-by-day as- signments for each subject. I could write weekly assignments for the older boys, allowing them to learn to plan how they would use their time. Some of them preferred to finish all of their grammar for the week, and then move on to another subject; others preferred to do a little of each subject each day. The boys checked off assignments as they were completed. When I had an individual conference with each boy, it was easy to spot his progress. He could note any questions about his work in the notebook also. If I was called away from the schoolroom, the boys knew what to work on until I returned. At the end of the school year I filed the used assignment books with samples of the boys’ work. Homeschooling, especially with a “quiver full” of students, can be complicated. Using the sound business practices of establishing an optimal work environment, prioritizing your schedule, and assigning individual jobs efficiently can help your school to run more smoothly. If you approach your tasks with prayer and imagina- tion, you will find the organization tools that will most benefit your family. Blessings!  ©2005-2017 by Marcia K. Washburn who writes from nineteen years of experience homeschooling five sons. See for a special price on her book, Activity Days for Homeschool Groups and Families, filled with fun hands-on learning activities. You can contact Marcia at This article is adapted from one that appeared in the 2006 CHEC Update, First Quarter, and is used by permission. “ “ Vo l u m e 3 , I s s u e 9 9 , 2 017 I C H E C H O M E S C H O O L U P DAT E 19 MANAGEMENT FOR MOMS
  20. 20. FAITHFUL While reflecting on the past 22 years of our homeschooling and the associ- ated changes within our household, we have come to appreciate the seasons of home education that come and go. These memories are a reminder of how God is ever present and has a journey for each of us — a journey which is often unseen until revealed on the timeline that He has for us. This past June we were reminded of God’s faithfulness during the CHEC Conference. One particular speaker we learned from was Norm Wakefield — specifically his discussion regard- ing how God is with His people. For example, God guided and guarded Noah until the day BY MARK AND AMBER BAUGHMAN arrived when God made a firm decision to wipe out mankind through a flood. While Noah built the ark, God was with him, and his family of eight survived the great flood. Likewise, God was with Abraham. God remained faithful and built His chosen generations through him. Jesus Christ, our Messiah and Savior, came from Abraham’s line. Hebrews 11 details other heroes of our faith and how their light continues to shine for the glory of God. As some of you are facing fears and new challenges for this next school year, we will be praying that God would stir your heart to look at how God used ordinary people to become mighty men and women to move mountains, shake up the norm, and cast vision for an unknown future. Uncertainties and fears are a burden that we don’t have to carry. Remember, God is with us, sustaining you and me, being faithful to His own. Thankfully, He gave us the Holy Spirit so He could be with us always, faithful through eternity. One of the ways CHEC works to help ease the burdens of homeschool families is through our Homeschool Group Network. Check out to find a group near you that can provide your family with the encouragement and foundational help neces- sary for a successful home education journey. CHEC also assists Homeschool Group Lead- ers. We would like to invite group leaders from across the state to our 2nd annual Leadership Retreat (see info at right) coming this November. We will once again be enjoying the splendor and beauty of Glen Eyrie Castle in Colorado Springs! We hope to be an encouragement to you, come alongside you, and lift you up in every way we know how. While we are at it, we want to pamper you a little, too! We are gearing up to present topics for which you have asked, speakers that will be be a positive influence, and provide an opportunity to dialogue that will leave you yearning for more! All leaders of groups in the CHEC Homeschool Group Network are invited to the retreat. Learn more at or  Mark and Amber Baughman are the Homeschool Leadership Directors for CHEC. They live in Castle Rock where they are still home educating their youngest children, having graduated several older sons and a daughter. They have also been promoted to grandparents! PHOTOGRAPHYBYISTOCK God is Looking for a community to plug into? CHEC's Homeschool Group Network brings together Colorado homeschool groups to help families connect with their local communities and give leaders encouragement and support. Find a group or learn how to connect your group to the network at C H E C H O M E S C H O O L U P DAT E I Vo l u m e 3 , I s s u e 9 9 , 2 01720 HOMESCHOOL LEADERS
  21. 21. HOMESCHOOL GROUP LEADERS RETREAT Learn more at WHEN: Friday, November 10 - Saturday, November 11 WHERE: Glen Eyrie Retreat Center Homeschool group leaders are invited to join us for fellowship activities, networking, round-table discussions, biblical messages and encouragement, and time to relax around the beautiful grounds of the Glen Eyrie Retreat Center. CASTERLINE SINGLE MOM'S BANQUET Register now at SATURDAY, OCTOBER 14TH LITTLETON COLORADO All single moms who homeschool are invited to this special evening including a delicious meal, an encouraging message, and provided childcare — all on us. Vo l u m e 3 , I s s u e 9 9 , 2 017 I C H E C H O M E S C H O O L U P DAT E 21 CHEC EVENTS
  22. 22. Presented by Kevin Swanson and Generations Are You Ready for Your Kids to Leave the Faith? Or Are You Looking for Something Better? M any families do not realize that the curriculum they have chosen for their children actually conveys the wrong worldview of history, science, life’s purpose, and truth. It should not be surprising then to discover that 80-95% of teens growing up in Christian homes are abandoning a biblical worldview. We don’t think the Christian worldview should be conveyed in a single isolated course. It must be integrated into every course, every school year, and every day of our children’s education experience. It must hang like a “frontlet between their eyes” as they study history, science, literature, and math. (Deut. 6:8-9) Order Today at This Passport Entitles the Bearer to Curriculum Orders of $100+ Valid through Dec 31. Limit 1 per $20OFF Read more about the four pillars at 8th Grade 9th Grade 10th Grade 11th Grade 12th Grade Our Core Curriculum sets for 8th-12th grades focus on five areas of study essential for passing on the faith. Get a year’s worth of curriculum for five subjects for only $129-$139 (35-40% off)! History Literature Worldview Culture Bible Christian Character Save Big with Our Core Curriculum Packs Use Code UPDATEFALL17 Family Discipleship Biblical Worldview Best Teachers, Best Books Worship Life Application That’s why we’re pleased to present the Christian Discipleship Curriculum based on four pillars of Christian education:
  23. 23. REPUBLIC FREE BY CAROLYN MARTIN Requires Our Sacrifice PHOTOGRAPHYBYISTOCK We have been given a great trust. This truth became more real to me as I taught my children the history of the world while I watched the world around me elevate immorality and descend into despair. It is no accident that we were born in this time and this place. This time, where the gospel is being sent out to the far reaches of every tribe and nation. This place, America, where freedom and liberty for all men was birthed. God has trusted us with the greatest of responsibilities: to ignite in the hearts of men the true freedom that is found in the gospel AND to preserve a way of ordering society that allows men to live out that freedom fully. Our first responsibility is to pray for our lead- ers. In 1 Timothy 2, we are exhorted to pray for kings and all those in authority. While the first church lived under Roman rule, we live in a republic where the people are the authority. We elect people who repre- sent us. They are not the kings who rule over us; they are subservient to us. If we are to pray effectively for them, we must get to know them. A few years ago the Lord challenged me to go, see, listen, and pray. He sent me to the Capitol in Denver where my eyes and ears were opened, and my heart was overwhelmed with the despair I found there. My prayers have not been the same since. You can begin by going to your representative, seeing them for who they are, listening to their needs, and praying in specific ways that will lead to transformation. Second, we need to vote. Living in a republic means that we are responsible for our government. We have not been subjected to anything we did not permit. President Garfield said it well; “Now more than ever before, the people are responsible for the character of their Congress. If that body be ignorant, reckless, and corrupt, it is because people tolerate ignorance, recklessness, and corruption. If it be intelligent, brave, and pure, it is because the people demand these high qualities to represent them.” Po- litical rhetoric should not be enough to get our vote. Demand more of those for whom you vote. Third, we need to educate ourselves on the issues. As we pour into our children a solid founda- tion of Biblical principles, let us use that framework to explore the answers that Jesus brings to the problems which face us today. We know the truth, but do we know how to bring the truth to bear on a desperate, dying culture which cannot even see the depth of their own despair? As Christians who value every life, from conception to natural death, our clarity on issues like abortion, suicide, and euthanasia is often seen as harsh and unloving. Digging deeper into the heart issues that lead to life-ending decisions will better equip us to give an answer for the hope we have.  Fourth, we need to get involved. When you take seriously your role as a steward of your government by praying effectively for your representative, becom- ing an informed voter, and educating yourself on the issues, you can’t help but get involved. Seek God’s direction; I am confident He will show you. These four responsibilities require our time and resources, yet the sacrifice is worth it. More could be said, but I’ve run out of space for this article. If you need assistance, it would be my pleasure to walk alongside you and see what God has in store! Please feel free to email me anytime at  1 “Barna Survey Examines Changes in Worldview Among Chris- tians over the Past 13 Years.” barna-survey-examines-changes-in-worldview -among-chris- tians-over-the-past-13-years/ (accessed March 5, 2017) Carolyn Martin and her husband, Todd, began homeschooling their three children in upstate New York before moving to Colorado in 2004. Her passion is to see homeschooling remain free from government intrusion for future generations. For legislative questions, email Donate to the Colorado Homeschool Freedom fund and help CHEC stand strong with homeschool advocacy, public policy, and the defense of homeschool freedom in Colorado. Make your contribution at Keeping a Vo l u m e 3 , I s s u e 9 9 , 2 017 I C H E C H O M E S C H O O L U P DAT E 23 LEGISLATIVE LIAISON
  24. 24. CHEC EVENTS PHOTOGRAPHYBYSARAHLEEBRYANT(SARAHLEEPHOTO.COM) Nearly 300 dads and their boys traveled to the Rocky Mountains over Labor Day weekend for four days of adventures, relaxation, biblical encouragement, and lots of quality time. Speakers included Bill Potter, Scott Brown, Kevin Swanson, and speakers from Frontline Missions International. Here are a few comments from men who attended this year: My favorite part was just playing with my kids. I have such little time to really enjoy getting to know them and be with them. My sons and I grew closer together and closer to God. I appreciated Frontline Mission's program. They challenged me to be a bolder Christian. I believe that my son and I bonded. He understood that I took time to just be with him. I believe that this was very important to make sure he understands how special he is to me. I enjoyed the speakers because they were relaxed, realistic, encouraging and fun. I loved the sit-down, family style meals and getting to know some other father/sons from across the country. Next year's event is August 30 - September 2, 2018. Learn more at  C H E C H O M E S C H O O L U P DAT E I Vo l u m e 3 , I s s u e 9 9 , 2 01724 CHEC EVENTS
  25. 25. God used my role as an active leader in the homeschool movement to prepare me for my 15 years of service in the Colorado state legislature. I fight hard for families, defending the fundamental right parents have to raise their children. I also do all I can to keep state government limited to its proper role with lower taxes, fewer regulations and more liberty for all. I am blessed to have a wonderful family where I am a husband, father and grandfather. My family is at the heart of why I have worked and served in the public arena. I want to see the very best opportunities and continued freedom for my children, your children, and their children. Experience in the legislature has given me both a broad and a detailed understanding of the intricate inner workings of our state’s finances. As state treasurer I can speak out for the interests of us all with much greater impact, but this will only happen if you make the decision to help. We can have a Godly influence on our state, while giving our children a unique, practical lesson in their responsibility to be change agents in our constitutional republic. Paid for by the Committee to Elect Kevin Lundberg As a 501(c)3 organization CHEC does not endorse political candidates Dear Friends, I am now prepared to take on a larger role of service and have prayerfully chosen to seek the role of Imagine us creating a strong team of freedom-loving Christian families who become a dominant political force, not just for my current race, but for every level of political office in Colorado. Please join our team today! Go to the website at, send me an email, make a donation, display a bumper sticker, sign up to be a county team captain, help organize a meeting in your area, and plan on being a delegate to the Colorado Republican Assembly next spring. Contact me today, For Life and Liberty! Colorado State Treasurer.
  26. 26. DIFFERENCEBY AMBER SCHAMEL It Makes A People considering homeschooling their children often ask me about my experience as a homeschool graduate. They wonder if I ever felt handicapped by my education, or if social interaction was difficult for me. If they will be investing all that time into their child, will it really make a difference? It did for me. I’ve never attended a public or private school. My parents provided me with my initial educa- tion and even continuing education after home high school graduation, and I have to say I never felt handicapped. Au contraire. I hope that through my testimony in this article, you will see that the freedom and customiza- tion of homeschooling and mentorship is an invaluable asset. I also hope it will help you understand why “Homeschool Alumni” is a badge I wear with pride. And if the day and opportunity should come, I will excitedly homeschool my own children. Besides the strong foundation of faith and convic- tion that my parents instilled in me, I think the most valuable thing the homeschooling experience gave me was a unique mindset toward learning. I learned how to learn. And usually I didn’t have to go to a class or college to learn. With the research and communication tools out there today, it is possible for a person to educate himself in almost every sub- ject. Because of this I learned many skills through apprenticeship and informal education. While I do not hold a certification in particular subjects, I have learned from CPAs, business owners, CEOs, and tax attorneys. My parents taught me that determination and a willingness to learn will get you far. They were right. This mindset has propelled me further ahead than any textbook ever could, and it is something I likely would not have learned in a traditional school environment. Homeschool also allowed my parents and me to customize my schooling to fit my interests and call- ings. Instead of advanced math classes, my parents chose to provide me with business and practical math. This allowed me to take over as the bookkeep- er for our family businesses after my graduation from home high school. The freedom of learning outside of a classroom permitted me to hone-in on certain subjects so I not only learned them extensively but also experienced them. Instead of going through a single history class, I read countless books, attended living his- tory days, visited historical museums, and walked many battlefields. It created in me an almost obses- sive love of history — which led me to one of my favorite pursuits, historical fiction writing. I’ve always had a vivid imagination; my brother claims I was a living musical as a kid! I didn’t con- sider writing books until I was in home high school, and it wasn’t something I necessarily aspired to do. I feel it was more of a calling on my life. PHOTOGRAPHYBYISTOCK C H E C H O M E S C H O O L U P DAT E I Vo l u m e 3 , I s s u e 9 9 , 2 01726 GEN2
  27. 27. From a very early age I loved books. I would go to the library and check out a stack of books — some fiction, some nonfiction — and I would read them all! As I grew older, entering home junior and senior high school, I became more and more frustrated with the kinds of books available to me. I greatly enjoy fiction along with many other genres, but it was getting to where every fiction book I got my hands on had immorality, rebellion, feminism, or anti-biblical worldviews. I would look at the book and think, “This is for adolescent girls?” It grieved me, but I didn’t know what to do. My epiphany came a few months later when I was reading an old book that I had picked up in an antique shop in Arkansas. In the midst of the story, in a place that felt perfectly natural, I read this: How long will heartless, soulless wives, moth- ers, sisters, and daughters waltz moth-like round the consuming flame of fashion, whom by neglecting their duty, and deserting their sphere drive their husbands, sons, and brothers out into the world, reckless and depraved, calloused in heart, and irrevocably laid on the altar of mam- mon. God help the women of America! (Beulah by Augusta Evans, 1859 Public Domain) This is what young ladies were reading in their nov- els in the mid-1800s! Something that encouraged them to go back to the Biblical model of femininity and sincerity. It was then that a vision was cast in my life to create stories that would be excellently written with riveting tales, yet upholding the biblical principles I hold so dear, and promoting the morality which Christ desires. It was a scary aspiration, but I said, “Lord, for your servant David you ‘taught his hands to war’ and you honored his efforts. You know why I’m doing this; so I’m asking, ‘Please, Lord. Teach my hands to write.’” It’s been a long process and I learn more every day. Six books later, the Lord has proved Himself faithful. I have been so humbled by the opportunities He has provided me — from interacting with authors I admire, to joining those names in the top 5 of the Amazon Christmas Bestsellers list, to having Dawn of Liberty named Book of the Year by the Christian Small Publishers Association (CSPA). I look back and know that without the Lord’s guidance and the foundation set forth by my parents in homeschool, I would not be where I am today. I pray someday I can recompense them for their investment in me.  Amber Schamel writes riveting stories that bring HIStory to life. She has a passion for travel, history books, and her Savior. This combination results in what her readers call historical fiction at its finest! Her title, Dawn of Liberty, was awarded the 2017 CSPA Book-of-the-Year award in Historical Fiction. She lives in Colorado and spends half her time volunteering in the Ozarks. Visit her website or email her at Vo l u m e 3 , I s s u e 9 9 , 2 017 I C H E C H O M E S C H O O L U P DAT E 27 GEN2
  28. 28. Withautomaticgrading,at-a-glancereportcards,and theassuranceofsecuredatastorage,youcanquicklysee whysomanyparentsaroundtheglobelovethefreedom ofonlinelearningwithMonarch. Wethinkyou’llloveit,too,whichiswhywewantyouto tryMonarchrisk-freefor30days. Monarch just freed up your evening. Visit and use promo code MON30CHEC. ™
  29. 29. “Our mission is to aid Colorado homeschool families in the procurement, growth, protection, and allocation of the assets and resources that God calls them to steward.” FOR MORE INFORMATION, CALL US AT (720)598-9230 | HOMESCHOOLFAMILYALLIANCE.COM Putting the Home in Homeschooling Homeschooling families have special considerations when buying a home. School room or no school room? Big bedrooms? What about the ability to look out over the yard and watch your children playing outside? Call us today for some sage advice on the kind of house to look for, a balanced biblical approach to financing a home, and ways to protect your investment properly. We are committed to helping homeschool families just like you and we look forward to working with you.
  30. 30. BEST OF CHEC.ORG/BLOG ONE AUDIENCE Only One Director BY VICKI LEWIS PHOTOGRAPHYBYISTOCK “God is both our Director and our Au- dience,” suggests author Jean Fleming in her book, Between Walden and the Whirlwind: Living the Christ-Centered Life. So where, I wonder, is the balance between retreating from the world and being caught up in a whirlwind of activities? How much stress is okay and how much stress is too much? Handling a certain amount of load in our lives is a good thing. The problem arises, however, when there is an overload situation. A coffee cup was designed to hold a certain amount of coffee; more than that and the cup will overflow. Four tea cups stack nicely, but the addition of a fifth cup causes the entire stack to fall over. Each of us BEST OF CHEC.ORG/BLOG Visit for weekly encouragement, with articles like:  Homeschool High School  How to Make the Most of Your Homeschool Time  What a Dad Can Do  Recommended Readings: Historical Fiction  Have You Been with Jesus? can carry a specific amount of weight, but we cannot safely carry five pounds more than that. As homeschooling moms we are (now here’s a news flash for you!) finite. God has lovingly designed us with limits: physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual. What are your limits in these four areas? Physical limits are relatively easy to discern and measure, but what about your emotional limits? I can carry one person perhaps physically, but how many people can I carry emotionally? How many hundreds of questions can I answer in a day and how many decisions can I make before my life starts to topple over? Take a good look at this page. Do the words all run from edge to edge of the paper? Is the writing solid from the top of the page to the bottom? Could you read it like that? Every page of type has something called margin: white space with nothing in it that causes the important words to be easily read. What does a page from your life look like? Is it margin- less? Or is there breathing space around your days? We are not infinite; each day has no more than 24 hours in it; our energy supply is not inexhaustible; C H E C H O M E S C H O O L U P DAT E I Vo l u m e 3 , I s s u e 9 9 , 2 01730
  31. 31. we cannot keep running on empty. Our limits are real and are not the enemy. Overloading is the enemy. Our limits are also uniquely individual. We cannot and should not exceed these personal limits due to the expectations of other people. Consider Jesus. He did not meet every need before Him; He did not heal every sick person or minister to all those in Israel. He did not have an alarm clock, an answering machine, a cell phone, or email. He quite simply did only those things which God the Father told Him to do. He only did those things which pleased His Heavenly Father. We have only one Director whose job it is to tell us how to live our lives. And we only perform for an Audi- ence of One: the Person we want to please the most with the way we live our lives. What if, as an experiment, I scheduled only 80 percent of any given day (rather than 100 percent or 120 percent)? Then there would be plenty of margin in my life to be available should God assign me certain tasks. There is time to cuddle with a little one, call a friend to encourage her, sip a cup of tea, fix a nice din- ner for my family, rest in a lawn chair and take a deep breath, read something inspirational, spend some time in prayer, or just sit quietly with our pug resting on my lap. Try leaving a margin in your day and in your week and in your school schedule. And remember how tenderly your Director is watching over you! Because He first loved us.  This was originally published on Vicki Lewis’ blog, Fresh Enthu- siasm: Growing in Grace and in the Knowledge of Jesus Christ. Then republished with permission on Find her other edifying posts at Vickie Lewis has a Master’s degree in Education. She and her husband, both former public school teachers, chose to homeschool their four children (now adults) to provide them with a Christ-centered education. ■ An easy alternative to submitting a Notice of Intent ■ Simple online enrollment ■ One low price includes your whole family ■ Report to CHEC rather than a school district ■ Extra assessment options JOIN THE CHEC INDEPENDENT SCHOOL! LEARN MORE AT CHEC.ORG/INDEPENDENT-SCHOOL CHEC Independent School Vo l u m e 3 , I s s u e 9 9 , 2 017 I C H E C H O M E S C H O O L U P DAT E 31 BEST OF BLOG
  32. 32. PHOTOGRAPHYBYISTOCK “My child is 10 years old and not really reading! He can barely write his name let alone a whole sentence. It’s scaring me because he’s so far behind!” This is not uncommon for me to hear. During seminars and conference talks I often mention my son — “the most dyslexic person I have ever met” — who didn’t read a book until he was twelve! I talk about it because I want people to ask me about it so I can share with them that having a child who’s not reading isn’t the end of the world. I want them to regain hope and have confidence that home education is still the best option. For most of my adult life I’ve been teaching either music or writing. However, I do have While these are not exclusive, and children can experience more than one of these, finding and focusing on the dominant one can bring break- throughs. No children are neurologically perfect — everyone has some degree of dysfunction; it’s just a question of what, and how serious. This fact helps us realize that we shouldn’t compare children based on age or grade (as the modern education paradigm pushes us to do). Let’s look at these four possible areas of what is often labeled “dyslexia” and how to approach each. The most common problem can be a lack of information. Many children, especially when in classrooms, can simply miss basic phonics instruction — the bits of information that allow independent decoding. Sometimes this is due to an inferior instructional model; other times, it can be the result of a distracting environment, or a physi- ological condition that makes attentiveness difficult. If this is the case, intensive phonics instruction, usually one-on-one, can be tremendously beneficial for the student. If children lack sufficient phonics in- formation, decoding will be a struggle, however, this can be remedied. While most phonics programs are training in the field of child brain development and have been blessed with a modicum of knowledge and experience that allows me to bring some per- spective to this problem. NOTE: Non-reading, often called “dyslexia,” is a symptom, not a cause. The dictionary defines the word as “a general term for disorders that involve difficulty in learning to read or interpret words but that do not affect general intelligence.” The more I’m at this business of teaching and par- enting, the more I’m quite sure that reading is much more a brain function than an academic subject. You can bang your head against the wall trying to teach a child to read using the best phonics system in the world and still fail to do so. And you can have another child (in the same family!) to whom you don’t have to teach much at all but who learns to read as if by osmosis. So, it’s important for us not to beat ourselves up because of having a non-reader; the causes may be outside our control. In my experience, there are four general areas of function that can impede smooth development of reading and writing ability. Thoughts on DYSLEXIABY ANDREW PUDEWA STRUGGLING LEARNERS C H E C H O M E S C H O O L U P DAT E I Vo l u m e 3 , I s s u e 9 9 , 2 01732 STRUGGLING LEARNERS
  33. 33. similarly based on the Orton-Gillingham system, Susan Barton’s Reading and Spelling System (visit has produced excel- lent results for a wide range of readers. Secondly, reading struggles can result from auditory processing difficulties. If children, especially at a young age, don’t hear the language consistently or accurately, their basic linguistic understanding — phonemic awareness and grammatical comprehension — will be impeded. Decoding not only requires children to connect sounds with symbols, it also requires them to compare those possible combinations of sounds with their existing database of known words. Therefore, not only must children under- stand that “e-i-g-h” makes the long sound of the vowel “a,” they must also know the word “sleigh” and have some concept of its meaning, otherwise, they are unable to decode or determine the context of its usage. Auditory processing issues can also be nutritional or neurological, in which case more pho- nics drills alone will not suffice. Two great sources for pertinent information in this regard can be found at and A third case where the label “dyslexia” may arise is with serious visual challenges such as convergence and laterality issues. While it is somewhat normal for a child under six or seven to still be settling their sidedness, if it persists long after that, mixed dominance (i.e. being right-handed and left-eyed) can slow down the acquisition of reading and writing ability. Sometimes difficulty with convergence of vision (tracking with both eyes) can frustrate reading and cause children to tire quickly when dealing with small print or busy pages. If this seems to be the problem, I would refer you to a behavioral ophthalmologist (an eye specialist who studies and treats how the eyes are used, rather than acuity) and again to information from familyhope- Lastly we have the “true” dyslexics, people who really see the world very differently. They think in three dimensions and in trying to wrap their brain around everything, two-dimensional things like text on a page can frustrate them. Rather than summarizing this complex idea, I refer you to The Gift of Dyslexia by Ron Davis and to the website For my son this approach provided the breakthrough for which we were praying. Some of the techniques seemed quite odd to me but they worked for him! It was after a week of Davis Program methods that I first caught him reading without being forced to do so! Having studied this further I now believe that his way of seeing the world is a gift! Some of the greatest engineers and inventors are believed to be “true” dyslexics. Late reading is not the great disaster that we’ve been led to believe. The education establishment has made reading a god because without reading one can not take standard- ized tests. We need not follow that disordered thinking. There’s no reading test at the gates of heaven, and many successful people, even those who’ve gone on to get doctoral degrees, didn’t read until in their teens. As parents we desperately want to help our children overcome obstacles in the path of learning to read and write. I hope I’ve offered a few thoughts on the different places to look for that help, but above all we must keep things in perspec- tive. God made our children the way they are, and blessings are often hidden inside challenges. With His guidance we can find help for the symptoms of dyslexia without falling into extreme frustration or despair.  This article first appeared in IEW’s June 2011 e-Newsletter. © 2011, Institute for Excellence in Writing, L.L.C. The above article is available for your personal use or for distribution. Permission is given to duplicate complete and unaltered. Since the 1990s, Andrew Pudewa has become the principal speaker and director of the Institute for Excellence in Writing (IEW). Presenting throughout North America, he addresses issues related to teaching, writing, thinking, spelling, and music. IEW successfully equips students of all ages and levels of ability, including those with special needs. Its methods not only build written and oral communication skills but also improve critical thinking. More articles like this can be found on his website at this link, help-support/resources/articles/thoughts-dyslexia. Mr. Pudewa can be contacted via email, andrew@ EVERYONE HAS SOME DEGREE OF DYSFUNCTION; IT'S JUST A MATTER OF WHAT AND HOW SERIOUS. WE SHOULDN'T COMPARE CHILDREN BASED ON AGE OR GRADE. “ “ Vo l u m e 3 , I s s u e 9 9 , 2 017 I C H E C H O M E S C H O O L U P DAT E 33 STRUGGLING LEARNERS
  34. 34. rigorous enough to be used until high school. And, it would probably benefit students to go through the books more than once. Colleges like to see at least two years of foreign language on a high schooler’s transcript. In the past, computer-based Rosetta Stone ( has been the standard high school foreign language program for homeschools. Students can choose from 23 different languages to study. The program is designed to be completed indepen- dently so students can work without parents needing to teach. Using pictures and multiple interactive activities, students are immersed in the language. Not a word of English is spoken. Students get to soak up the rhythm and structure of the language by working with it instead of formally studying it. The language is absorbed like the student’s first language was absorbed when he or she was a baby. The downside to Rosetta Stone, however, is it is possible to work through the program without actually learning anything. There are ways to get the correct answers and move through the lessons without ever mastering the material. As I was working with Rosetta languages use different frequencies. The young ear hears a wider range of frequencies enabling children to reproduce the sounds of a foreign language easier than students with older ears. Classical Academic Press (classicalacademic- offers some wonderful foreign language curriculum for both early and later elementary students. Song School Latin Books I and II and Song School Spanish are gentle introductions to foreign language. Using songs, fun activities, and optional DVDs, 1st to 3rd-grade students can learn over 100 vocabulary words each year, thereby laying a founda- tion for their upper elementary programs. Spanish for Children, French for Children, or Latin for Children (from CAP) can be started as early as 3rd grade. There are DVDs, textbooks, and workbooks to accompany each of these programs. The goal is to teach the students how the language is structured so they can begin forming their own sentences. Classical Academic Press sets the bar very high with these programs, and young students will need to work through the books slowly. These programs are Learning a foreign language is an im- portant aspect of education. It’s great for brain develop- ment, it empowers world travelers, and it can equip students for effective mission- ary outreach. But unless a parent is bilingual, learning a foreign language can be challenging within the homeschool. Here are a few programs that are worth exploring. Foreign language is best started in elementary school if possible. The ear loses its ability to hear certain sound frequencies if they are not heard on a regular basis, and different FOREIGN Language OptionsBY CINDY PUHEK CURRICULUM REVIEW PHOTOGRAPHYBYISTOCK C H E C H O M E S C H O O L U P DAT E I Vo l u m e 3 , I s s u e 9 9 , 2 01734 CURRICULUM REVIEW
  35. 35. of Christ. Most of the programs I’ve discussed use Scripture memory as part of learning a foreign lan- guage, so our students will be armed with Bible verses as they go to these community conversation groups. Learning a foreign language should be part of every homeschool. Even if mom and dad never became fluent in a second language, this does not mean our children cannot. Relying on good curriculum and on- line resources available to teach all the nuances and idioms of a foreign language to children and teens, any student can receive top rate foreign language instruction from home.  Cindy Puhek resides in Colorado Springs and has been married to Peter for more than two decades. They are well into their second decade of homeschooling their six children who range in age from toddler to high schooler. Cindy holds a masters degree in chemistry and has written dozens of articles to encourage others in their homeschooling journeys. You can visit her blog at www. Stone in preparation for this article, one of my high school students came over and showed me how to get a perfect score even if I totally blew one of the exer- cises. With the exception of the review lessons, Rosetta Stone allows a student to retake a section multiple times, or to click a button to reveal the correct answers before completing a section. So, while Rosetta Stone is a fantastic tool, it might not be a rigorous enough course for some high school students. I think a good option to supplement Rosetta Stone is to take an online foreign language course. Online courses provide planning, record keeping, grading, and accountability, which can be very helpful when studying a difficult subject like foreign language. And, most of them offer the students some form of access to the subject matter experts. The Potters School ( and Veritas Press Scholars Academy ( both offer live, online courses that allow students to interact with the teacher and other students. They have a vast selection of foreign language course offerings that range from Arabic to Russian. On the downside, these courses lock a student into a schedule in which they must be in front of a computer screen at a certain time on designated days. They also come with a hefty price tag ($488 - $680). Abeka Academy offers Spanish I and II as self- paced online courses at a cost of $429 per year. Help from teachers is just a phone call away. But by far the best deal for online foreign language is Bob Jones Distance Learning Online. Access to the online video lessons for one year, plus books, costs $79. This is also self-paced. There is no direct access to the teacher, but students can post questions in an online forum and have them answered by BJU staff. While only Spanish I, II and III and French I and II are offered, the price might make up for the lack of course offerings. It’s also important to give our high school students a chance to converse in the language they are studying, and this is often lacking for homeschools. In my city, foreign language conversation groups meet at our local library. This not only can enhance a student’s language study, but can also be a unique opportu- nity to reach out into the community with the love Vo l u m e 3 , I s s u e 9 9 , 2 017 I C H E C H O M E S C H O O L U P DAT E 35 CURRICULUM REVIEW
  36. 36. C H E C H O M E S C H O O L U P DAT E I Vo l u m e 3 , I s s u e 9 9 , 2 01736 One Family's Partnership WITH CHEC PARTNER with CHEC Together, we’re motivating parents to disciple the next generation of Christians. Thank you for partnering with us! BY IAN SERFF When we married 25 years ago, God started my wife, Stephanie, and me on a journey we could never have imagined. Today, our family is blessed with seven children, each of them special in God’s eyes and our hearts. We are also blessed by CHEC as a Christ-centered organization, which has become the second center of our lives. We began the education part of parenting our first- born daughter by sending her to a private Christian elementary school so that she would get a biblical foundation for her life. But by the time our second daughter entered our lives, Stephanie did not feel it was right to have our children away from us for so many hours during the day, with others directing their learning. In time, Stephanie attended her first CHEC Homeschool Conference, telling me me I needed to join her to “see what homeschooling was all about.” I was in the beginning of my career and did not know what God has in store for us, but I agreed we could try it for a year. Oh, how blind I was at the time! I thank God for changing my heart to be aligned with Stepha- nie’s, to see what a Christ-centered homeschool would mean to our family. Then God opened our hearts even deeper to love and adopt special needs children. We were already homeschooling our other children, so it felt right to continue with our adopted special needs children to give them more attention and a better education. Fast forward to today: we have a very diverse family. My wonderful wife teaches all our children at home while balancing developmental and medical appoint- ments. I operate a graphic design business at home. We have seen God use us and stretch us in so many ways. Many days we are very humbled and brought to our knees before Him. With His grace and strength, we rise up and press on. … Over time, we saw the many ways CHEC was as- sisting our family’s home education, and we wanted to give back to CHEC. It started with meeting Kevin Swanson, CHEC’s executive director at the time. He was just beginning to get CHEC’s affiliate ministry, Generations Radio, operational. He and I talked about creating the first visual identity for the program, and through that process, he introduced me to the PARTNER'S PAGE
  37. 37. Vo l u m e 3 , I s s u e 9 9 , 2 017 I C H E C H O M E S C H O O L U P DAT E 37 homeschool conference committee, including the CHEC staff designer, Amy Menges. I started as designer of print publications. After working the first year as a volunteer, I realized it was the people I en- joyed working alongside more than anything. These peer relationships brought me back for another year, which quickly turned into many more years. What really struck my wife and me was how CHEC functioned so strongly as an organization helping people. We learned the reason for that strength was because Christ was at the center of CHEC's mission; the focus of CHEC was to share the gospel with other families and provide resources and help for Christian discipleship. This focus brought unity to a diverse blend of families from different denominations, churches, and walks of life. What a blessing this was to be a part of something beyond ourselves. We were so thankful to be a part of this ‘family’ within the homeschool community! Being a part of the ministry of CHEC has significantly helped us to increase our faith and be covered in prayer by CHEC staff and committee members. We are able to stay in the fight with our our whole family at home, educating our children, and keeping Christ as the focus in the trials and triumphs of our lives. After 10 years of being an assistant designer on the CHEC conference committee, God brought some unique situations to enable me to become a part of the year-round ministry of CHEC through my design work. When Steve Craig came on as executive direc- tor, it was a pivotal time to expand the reach of CHEC, Name Address City State Zip Phone Donation Amount $ ☐ One time donation $ ☐ Monthly donation $ Or go to and click for either a one time donation or to set up an automatic monthly credit card donation. To set up an ACH/ bank transfer, call the office at 720-842-4852. PLEASE REMOVE THIS SECTION AND MAIL WITH YOUR DONATION TO: 19039 Plaza Drive, Suite 210 Parker, Colorado 80134 For 27 years, CHEC has been at the forefront of the battle for home education and discipleship. CHEC serves thousands of families every year through our events, Update magazine, widows fund, special needs fund, the CHEC Independent School, and more. We receive phone calls throughout the week that give us a chance to provide advice, encouragement, and an extra “boost” to homeschoolers when the going is tough. CHEC depends on your generous donation to both continue and expand our mission. and we rebranded CHEC’s logo, publications, and website for more effective marketing and outreach. CHEC’s strengths come from amazingly skilled and experienced families who have special gifts and abilities the Lord has given them. God brings the right people to the team for a season. And when God brought a new designer onboard, He led me to transi- tion to a different role of service with CHEC. Currently, our family serves meals together at the Homeschool Day at the Capitol. Our older children assist at the homeschool conference in hospitality, etc. I am now also a CHEC Board Member. God has opened up many diverse ways for our family to serve others through CHEC, and we are thankful to be able to serve you and your family. Have you thought about how or where you could help CHEC, yet do not know where or how you can volunteer? There are many ways you can be a part of serving other home educating families throughout Colorado. Visit the Volunteer Page at volunteer and fill out the volunteer interest form to see where your household giftings could fulfill a need.  Ian Serff is owner and creative director of Serff Creative Group, Inc., a design firm located in Aurora, Colorado. With over 25 years experience in the design industry, Ian focuses his energy on creative design solutions for his clients, including print, web, interactive media, and strategic branding with creative design implementation. Readers can contact him through his website CHEC’s Homeschool Introductory Seminars are held throughout the year to give parents the vision, legalities, and nuts and bolts they need. A seminar is coming to a city near you! ▪ CASTLE ROCK: NOVEMBER 4 ▪ COLORADO SPRINGS: JANUARY 6 ▪ CASTLE ROCK: JANUARY 13 Interested in helping host a seminar in your home town? Please contact! NEW TO HOMESCHOOLING? PARTNER'S PAGE
  38. 38. CHEC BOARD OF TRUSTEES: Bill Roach, President George Sechrist, Vice President Kevin Lundberg Brenda Kelly Ian Serff Todd Strawser Steven Vaughan CHEC DIRECTORS: Steve Craig, Executive Director Kevin Swanson, Director of Generations With Vision Mike Cheney, Director of AME Todd Strawser, Director of Christian Family Eldercare The CHEC Homeschool Update is published triannually by Christian Home Educators of Colorado, 19039 Plaza Drive, Suite 210, Parker, CO 80134. The purpose of the Homeschool Update is to provide information, resources, and leadership for home educating families while effectively communicating the activities, opportunities, and needs of Christian Home Educators of Colorado. The Homeschool Update is free to all who request it. Donations are gladly accepted. The views expressed by contributors and advertisers in this news magazine do not necessarily reflect those of CHEC. Permission is granted to reprint any portion of this magazine, except where noted, provided the following credit is given: “Reprinted from the CHEC Homeschool Update, Volume 3, Issue #99, 2017; 720-842-4852,” Editor: Shari McMinn, Creative Designer: Sarah Lee Bryant, Advertising Policy Ads are published on a space-available, first-come, first-served basis and are subject to approval. Payment must be made by the deadline to reserve ad space. New advertisers must include complete product description. We reserve the right to refuse any ad submitted. CHEC’s mailing list is not sold or rented. Advertising in this magazine provides an excellent opportunity to reach homeschooling families likely to be interested in your product or service. Questions may be directed to Circulation: V1 V3: 5,500  V2: 7,500 Next Advertising Deadline: November 22, 2017 For advertising opportunities with CHEC, go to Copyright © 2017 by CHEC October 2017 Casterline Single Moms Banquet Homeschool Teaching Summit November 2017 Homeschool Intro Seminar Homeschool Group Leaders Retreat January 2018 Homeschool Intro Seminars High School Beyond Seminars Colorado Homeschool Spelling Bee February 2018 Refresh: A Ladies' Day of Encouragement April 2018 Homeschool Day at the Capitol May 2018 Homeschool Graduation Ceremonies June 2018 Rocky Mountain Homeschool Conference What’s NEXT with CHEC 14 16-21 4 10-11 13 27 3 3 4-5 14-16 Visit to learn more! C H E C H O M E S C H O O L U P DAT E I Vo l u m e 3 , I s s u e 9 9 , 2 01738 CHEC EVENTS
  39. 39. RESOURCESFORYOURFAMILYBUSINESS Our mission is to help families and individuals with practical application in Apprenticeship, Mentorship, and Entrepreneurship as you establish, integrate, and operate your family businesses to the glory of God. See all the resources we offer at our website to help you grow your vision and passions. Including new products, seminars, and conference events. All our resouces are now available electronically – No wait for delivery. No shipping. AND all at lower prices! Audio talks $ 3ea Video Sessions from $ 5ea AVALIABLE FOR PRE-ORDER TODAY! OneWithEverything: AnatomyofaHotDogStandOtherGreat FamilyBusinessesYouCanStart. NEW BOOK ON BUSINESS In search of a God-honoring way to provide a living for your family? This book tells you how you might go about starting and growing a family business. In addition to telling you some of my story, I have asked some other business owners I know to share their stories as well. If you are interested to know more about starting a business or improving the one you already have, I think you will find much practical, instructive, and easy to understand wisdom which you can start using right now. We have endeavored to tell you a little bit about the why and a lot about the how of the family business. The key to it is in that little word “how”. It’s about money, margin, mission, and ministry; and keeping them in balance for God’s glory and your benefit. “I think I am busier than ever yet I am mostly content and have a sense of peace as I believe I am generally on the path the Lord has set for His glory and my benefit. There seems to be time for business, ministry, and family. I no longer feel like a guy climbing the wrong ladder. ”— Mike Cheney, May 2017