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Update Magazine - 2015, Volume 3, Issue 93


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

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Update Magazine - 2015, Volume 3, Issue 93

  1. 1. 2015 IVOLUME 3 IISSUE 93 T H E H E A R T O F H O M E S C H O O L I N G Starting Right: Loving God With All You Have Keeping Love for God the Main Thing How to Do Family Worship (Part Two) Cover Story: Father Son Retreat Recap ARTICLES INSIDE THIS ISSUE 4 6 8 18 LOVING GOD WITH OUR HEART, SOUL, AND MIND
  2. 2. Why this conference? This is a critical time for our nation. The Obergefell decision has been compared to the Dred Scott decision which precipitated the Civil War. The 2016 elections will have significant impact on religious liberties in the next twenty years. If you care about family issues, history, political concerns, and church vitalization, this conference is for you. Get equipped to: • Defend parental & religious freedoms • Present the hope of the Gospel in a post-Christian culture • Face persecution with grace & courage • Pass on a legacy of freedom to your children on the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta Will American Christians be the next persecuted minority group? Join freedom-loving Christians from across the country for this national conference on the future of our religious liberties. Huge Savings for CHEC Families! (Use code CHEC to save up to 60% off through Oct. 15) Benham Brothers Kelly ShackelfordKevin Swanson Bill Jack Bill Potter Naghmeh Abedini Col. John Eidsmoe Chaplain Douglas Lee Speakers Ticket Option #1 Ticket Option #2 Ticket Option #3 $ 79 $39 $ 129 $69 $ 199 $79 PER INDIVIDUAL PER COUPLE PER FAMILY N ovem ber6-7 Des M oines Persecuted Christians Forum Hear the gripping stories of courageous American Christians who are standing by their faith, and get equipped to do the same!
  3. 3. The views expressed by contributors and advertisers in this news magazine do not necessarily reflect those of Christian Home Educators of Colorado. The purpose of the Homeschool Update is to provide education, resources and leadership for home educating families, while effectively communicating the activities, opportunities and needs of Christian Home Educators of Colorado. CHEC reserves the right to refuse any article or ad deemed inappropriate for our publication. 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 #93, 2015 ; 720.842.4852,” Advertising information on page 30. CHEC Homeschool Update, Volume 3, 2015, Issue #93, is published triannually by Christian Home Educators of Colorado, 19039 E. Plaza Drive, Suite 215, Parker, CO 80134. The Homeschool Update is free to all who request it. Donations are gladly accepted. CHEC Homeschool Update I Volume 3, 2015 I Issue 93 INSIDE 19039 E. Plaza Drive, Suite 215 Parker, Colorado 80134 720.842.4852 I 1.877.842.CHEC (2432) I Family Encouragement 10 Building Tomorrow’s Generation BY MARCIA WASHBURN 12 The Gen2 Survey BY KEVIN SWANSON Thematic Features 6 Keeping Love For God the Main Thing BY JASON PARKER 8 How to Do Family Worship (Part Two) BY JOEL BEEKE CHEC Events 16 The Rocky Mountain Super Conference on the Family 18 2015 Father Son Retreat Front Cover: Father and Son Retreat event. Photography by Winslow Robbins/ This page: The Rocky Mountain Super Conference on the Family event. Photography by Sarah Lee Bryant/ Columns 4 From the Director’s Desk 22 Curriculum Review 24 Partner’s Page
  4. 4. 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 93 , 2 01 54 PHOTOGRAPHYBYISTOCK YOU’RE OFF AND RUNNING ON A NEW SCHOOL YEAR! NEW BEGINNINGS ARE WONDERFUL OPPORTUNITIES TO GET A FRESH START. STARTING RIGHT BY STEVE CRAIG It’s a chance to reevaluate the past, wipe the slate clean, set goals for the future, and plunge back in with faith and hope. Good starts are important, so what’s your good start routine? Getting that early jump on the school year? Lining out a schedule that will help your kids glide through their day like a German bobsled? Dialing in on the optimal curriculum and mix of subjects? These are all good things and things we normally obsess over. As a dad, however, I don’t think I always put enough focus into making sure that I as a PARENT am off to a good start. What and where are MY priorities? I think most of us parents know that the calibration of our lives has a tremendous impact on setting the tone for everything else that goes on in our home. If we are not off to a good start, it is doubtful that our homeschool will be either. Before the school year progresses any further, now might be a good to time join me in a little introspection. WHERE TO START? We all know that homeschooling is much more than academics, right? We’ve been to the conferences DIRECTOR’S DESK or listened to the tapes that have made that clear. Homeschooling is about discipleship…the raising of our own children in the fear and admonition of the Lord. The quintessential home discipleship passage in all of scripture is Deuteronomy 6:6-7: “And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.” I love this passage. It practically screams “homeschooling”! Unfortunately, however, we often leave off the verse before, which really creates the impetus for home discipleship. Deuteronomy 6:5 says, “And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.” When God says that we should diligently teach our children His commands, He is referring especially to this command to love Him. Whatever else we may be able to unpack from the depths of Deuteronomy 6:5, it is certain that the love required by God is no lukewarm or half-hearted affair. No, God requires Loving God with All You Have
  5. 5. Vo l u m e 3 , I s s u e 93 , 2 01 5 I C H E C H O M E S C H O O L U P DAT E 5 DIRECTOR’S DESK If you are like me, you are probably sensing a need for more love for God in your life. So what are some things we can do to fan the flames of love for God? GOD LOVED YOU FIRST Remember, the ONLY reason that we can love God at all is because He loved us first (1 John 4:19). He is not asking anything of us that He has not already abundantly given to us. We must draw our inspira- tion to love, not only from the command to love, but also from contemplating our God Who is love. Matthew Henry puts it this way. “His love is the incentive, the motive, and moral cause of ours. We cannot but love so good a God, Who was first in the act and work of love, Who loved us when we were both unloving and unlovely, Who loved us at so great a rate, Who has been seeking and soliciting our love at the expense of His Son’s blood; and has conde- scended to beseech us to be reconciled unto Him. Let heaven and earth stand amazed at such love! His love is the productive cause of ours.” God’s love is great (Ephesians 2:4-5). His love is constant (Proverbs 17:17). His love is sacrificial (Revelation 1:5). His love is higher than the heavens (Psalms 103:11). His love is lavish (1 John 3:1). His love is inescapable (Romans 5:8). His love is incomprehensible (Ephesians 3:19). Admire it. Bask in it. Study it. Emulate it. LOVE a superlative love that engrosses, captivates, and compels everything we are and everything we do…. including homeschooling! The “take home” for me is that I can’t really move forward with the discipleship of Deuteronomy 6:7 without the personal devotion of Deuteronomy 6:5. Dueteronomy 6:5-7 can be paraphrased like this– “Love God with everything you’ve got…and teach your children to love Him too.” LOVE IS THE ESSENCE Isn’t it amazingly wonderful that God puts love at the very top of His requirements for us? We were reading 1 Corinthians 13 recently as a family and were reminded that even though we heap up all of our spiritual giftings, accomplishments and good deeds (including homeschooling!), without love, it amounts to nothing. Love is the supreme spiritual virtue. “So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love” (1 Corinthi- ans 13:13). In fact, Jesus makes it clear in Matthew 22:37-40 that everything concerning the duty which God requires of man finds its root, purpose, and summation in LOVE. “It’s not about rules, it’s about relationship.” I’m guessing you’ve heard that statement before. While I am not always sure what is meant by it, what I DO know is that rules without love…well, it’s just something that God never had in mind. Love is the reason for rules and everything else that God has given to govern our actions. In order to teach our children to undertake any other Christian duty, we will have to teach them first about love. And for that to happen, there will need to be an authentic love for God radiating from our own lives. NEED SOME LOVE? So how about it Dad and Mom? Do you love God? Do you pray for more love? Is love for God the compel- ling force that is filling your life and spilling over onto your home, spouse, and children? You know that home discipleship thing? Is it the natural result of the overflow of love for God in your life, or is it more of a “love as I say, not as I love” kind of deal? These are questions that I am asking myself as I write. GET OUT OF THE SMOG 1 John 2:15 says, “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world, if any man loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” Does the world have you mesmerized? Even in one or two areas of your life? Repent of it. Ever tried to light a camp fire with wet wood? All you get is a bunch of smoke. The fire of love for God is not going to burn with wood that is soaked in love for the world. “…be not conformed to this world; but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind…” (Romans 12:2). Get out of the smog of the love of the world and into the clear, crisp atmosphere of the Word of God, the worship of God, and people of God. “Turn your eyes upon Jesus. Look full in His wonderful face. And the things of earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of His glory and grace.” MAKE IT YOUR PRAYER God loves to give His children good gifts. Do you think He will withhold greater love for Him from you if you ask Him for it? Certainly not! As you start this new school year, make the words of this hymn the prayer of your heart and the anthem of your home. More love to Thee, O Christ, more love to Thee! Hear thou the prayer I make on bended knee. This is my earnest plea: More love, O Christ, to Thee; More love to Thee, more love to Thee! 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 Castle Rock with their three children, Carson, Christiana, and Angelina. IS LOVE FOR GOD THE COMPELLING FORCE THAT IS FILLING YOUR LIFE AND SPILLING OVER ONTO YOUR HOME, SPOUSE, AND CHILDREN? “ “
  6. 6. 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 93 , 2 01 56 FAMILY ENCOURAGEMENT A QWHAT DOES IT MEAN TO LOVE GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, SOUL, AND MIND? When Israel stood poised to enter the Promised Land, Moses called upon the people to reaffirm their covenant relationship with the Lord. Out of sheer love and grace, the Lord had brought Israel out of bondage in Egypt and entered into covenant with her at Mt. Sinai. Now, in Deuteronomy 6:4, Moses set forward Israel’s pledge of allegiance to the one true God. In that context of complete and exclusive loyalty comes the great command of Deuteronomy 6:5, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.” When we affirm that the Lord alone is our God, this demands a wholehearted commitment of love to Him. Love, as it is used here, is not only an emotion, but a commitment to give ourselves for the best interest of another. In this context of a covenant relationship of an inferior to a superior, namely man’s relationship to God, love means to seek to serve and obey God, to honor Him, to THEMATIC INTERVIEW LOVE FOR GOD the Main Thing Keeping seek to carry out His desires. It is a sincere affection and heartfelt loyalty which seeks union and com- munion with the Lord by walking in His ways. This personal response of allegiance is total, including heart, soul, and strength. Heart, soul, and strength are concepts that move from the innermost part of our being—our heart, which is our control center, the source of our thoughts, desires, ambitions, hopes, and dreams—to the outermost reaches of everything we possess—our strength. There is no room for apathy in any area of life. We must be on an intentional quest to bring our entire being to conform with our confession: the Lord alone is our God. Absolute allegiance to God requires that we love Him with all that we are and have. This kind of allegiance cannot help but show itself in what we do. Love leads to obedience. So we should ask, “What will the practice of absolute allegiance to the one true God look like? Am I serving God with everything I am and have?” Deuteronomy 6:6-9 show us what the practice of allegiance to the one true God looks like. It compels a personal commitment to internalize God’s Word, a family commitment to perpetuate God’s Word, and a public commitment to make God’s Word rule all of life. PHOTOGRAPHYBYISTOCK INTERVIEW WITH PASTOR JASON PARKER 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 93 , 2 01 56
  7. 7. Vo l u m e 3 , I s s u e 93 , 2 01 5 I C H E C H O M E S C H O O L U P DAT E 7 FAMILY ENCOURAGEMENT QBut that’s not all. You see, our love is a response to God’s love, and God was not done revealing His love. When God gave His only Son, the splendor and power and holiness and beauty of His love became evident like never before. Jesus revealed to us the eternal love within the Triune God and called us to participate in it. In the second half of John’s Gospel, Jesus showed us what it means to love the Lord in truth. Let’s just touch on some of what Jesus showed us. In John 13, we read that Jesus loved His own to the end, and He demonstrated this love by setting an example of washing their feet, including even His enemy Judas’ feet. This action set up His new command- ment to “love one another just as I have loved you” (v. 34). As Jesus continued His farewell discourse before going to the cross, He revealed that through His love, His disciples were being taken up into the loving relationship of God the Father and God the Son (John 15:9). His followers were to remain in His love as they obeyed His commands (15:10), especially His command to love one another (15:12). The greatest expression of this love is to lay down one’s life for his friends (15:13), which Jesus would do shortly in a supreme way, but which His followers were also called to do. When Jesus prayed His high priestly prayer in John 17, Jesus tied the love of the Father and the Son and believers to the mission that the Father sent the Son to accomplish. “I in them and you in Me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that You sent Me and loved them even as You loved Me” (John 17:23). Jesus also prayed, “I made known to them Your name, and I will continue to make it known, that the love with which You have loved Me may be in them, and I in them” (John 17:26). The unity of Christ’s people in love is essen- tial to glorifying our Triune God in the world. To sum up, we might say that loving God means you have entered into the loving communion of the Triune God, giving yourself entirely to Him to serve Him on His mission. Q Q CHILDREN NEED TO SEE WHAT REAL LOVE FOR GOD LOOKS LIKE. HOW CAN PARENTS LIVE IT OUT BEFORE THEIR CHILDREN? Building off of what we have briefly seen from Scripture, children need to see their parents giving themselves entirely to the Lord to serve Him on His mission. They need to see that their parents truly delight in God’s Word, both in learning it and in obeying it. Family devotions should be truly a time of devotion, where parents and children unite their hearts to call upon the Lord. Children need to see their parents yield a glad submission to Christ’s instructions. They need to observe Dad and Mom making decisions for their lives explicitly based upon God’s truth. They need to experience Mom and Dad confessing sin and changing their lives as they grow in grace. They need to know godly love in discipline and in encouragement. It is crucial that the children see their parents leading the family to serve God and others. They must learn that the family is not an end unto itself but a glorious scene of self-sacrificial giving. They need to know what deep commitment to a local church looks like. They need to see what it looks like to love unbeliev- ers, including the unbelievers who do not like us and make no attempt to hide their contempt. Parents should honor those who love the Lord well and hold them up as faithful examples before their children. WHAT ARE SOME THINGS THAT KEEP HOMESCHOOL PARENTS FROM LIVING OUT THIS LOVE FOR GOD? The short answer is sin. Sin strangles love. But to be a little more specific, the love of the world and the things in the world is what leeches the life out of love for God in a home. God describes the love of the world as what your unredeemed mortal nature A A THEMATIC INTERVIEW desires, what your morally blind eyes desire, and pride or confidence in your temporal possessions (1 John 2:15-17). Fathers, I would take this opportunity to exhort you to beware of provoking your children (Ephesians 6:4; Colossians 3:21). There is a reason the Scripture singles us out for this admonition. Mothers, I would take the opportunity to encourage you to guard against giving free reign to the little frustrations, the small covetous moments, or the fears that can seep into even the best homeschooling situation. Homeschooling can be a great opportunity to lay down your life for others, but all worldliness wants to avoid the cross. It cannot bear to think of dying to its cherished dreams (compare Galatians 6:14). Disordered, deceitful desires are slain through dying with Christ, and then you come to experience real life—resurrection life, eternal life—in Christ. IN THE SPIRIT OF JOSHUA WHO SAID, “AS FOR ME AND MY HOUSE, WE WILL SERVE THE LORD,” WHAT ARE SOME WAYS THAT YOU CAN BUILD UNRESERVED LOVE FOR GOD WITHIN YOUR FAMILY? Let me just put forward one central means of build- ing love. The local church is a school of love. It is in committed relationships of love with real people that you have to work hard at compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, as the apostle Paul had to tell the church at Colossae. This is the arena in which you have to “put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony” (Colossians 3:14). The apostle John emphatically insists that if we do not love our brothers in Christ, we do not love God (1 John 2:7-11). 7 A (CONTINUES ON PAGE 9)
  8. 8. 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 93 , 2 01 58 FAMILY ENCOURAGEMENT How to Do FAMILY WORSHIP(Part Two) BY JOEL R. BEEKE DAILY PRAYER BEFORE THE THRONE OF GOD Does not the command to “pray without ceasing” (1 Thess. 5:17) include when we are with our families? Families eat and drink the daily provision of a gracious God at their tables. To do that in Christian way, a family must follow 1 Timothy 4:4–5, “For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving: for it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer.” Again, let me offer some specific guidelines for leading the family in prayer. 1. Be short. With few exceptions, don’t pray for more than five minutes. Tedious prayers do more harm than good. Don’t teach in your prayer; God doesn’t need the instruction. Teach with your eyes open; pray with your eyes shut. 2. Be simple without being shallow. Pray for things that your children know something about, but don’t allow your prayers to become trivial. Don’t reduce your prayers to self-centered, shallow petitions. 3. Be direct. Spread your needs before God, plead your case, and ask for mercy. Name your teenagers and children FAMILY ENCOURAGEMENT Editor’s Note: Part One of this article was printed in the last edition of the Update. and their needs one by one on a daily basis. That holds tremendous weight with them. 4. Be natural yet solemn. Speak clearly and reverently. Don’t use an unnatural, high-pitched voice or a monotone. Don’t pray too loudly or softly, too fast to be understood or too slow to hold attention. 5. Be varied. Don’t pray the same thing every day; that becomes tedious. Develop more variety in prayer by remembering and stressing the various ingredients of true prayer, such as calling upon God to hear your prayers, adoring God for His titles and attributes, declaring your humble dependence and need, confessing family sins, asking for family mercies (both material and spiritual), interceding for friends, churches, and the nations, giving thanks for God’s blessings, and blessing God for His kingdom, glory, and power. Use a prayer list to remember different persons and organizations on different days. Mix these ingredients with different proportion to get variety in your prayers. DAILY SINGING THE PRAISES OF GOD Psalm 118:15 says, “The voice of rejoicing and salvation is in the tabernacles [or tents] of the righteous: the right hand of the LORD doeth valiantly.” That is a clear reference to PHOTOGRAPHYBYISTOCK One of the outgrowths of loving God will be the desire to worship Him. Here are some tips to encourage your family in this area.
  9. 9. Vo l u m e 3 , I s s u e 93 , 2 01 5 I C H E C H O M E S C H O O L U P DAT E 9 FAMILY ENCOURAGEMENT Q A singing. Every Christian family should own a few copies of a good psalter (psalms set to meter and music) and hymnal from which to sing. If one of you can play the piano, all the better. But even recorded music is helpful. Use whatever means you can to assist your family to sing God’s praises together. 1. Sing doctrinally pure songs. There is no excuse for singing doctrinal error no matter how attractive the tune might be. 2. Sing Psalms first and foremost without neglecting sound hymns. Remember that the Psalms, called by Calvin “an anatomy of all parts of the soul,” are the richest gold mine of deep, living, experiential scriptural piety available to us still today. 3. Sing heartily and with feeling. As Colossians 3:23 says, “And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men.” Meditate on the words you are singing. On occasion discuss a phrase that is sung. CONCLUSION Believers in Christ follow in the footsteps of Abra- ham’s faith, and we must also follow in the footsteps of Abraham’s obedient leadership of his family. “For I know him,” God said, “that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the Lord, to do justice and judgment; that the Lord may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him” (Gen. 18:19). John Paton served as a missionary over a century ago to a cannibalistic people in the islands of the south Pacific Ocean. Those people killed and ate the missionaries who had preceded Paton within minutes of their arrival. Paton faced enormous dif- ficulties and sorrows. But he persevered in the name of Christ. One earthly means by which God prepared him for his labors was his father in Scotland. In later years John Paton looked back upon his father with great gratitude. Paton’s father worked out of a shop in their house. Their family had a small room in their home which was their prayer closet. John was deeply affected by his father’s regular devotion to prayer in that room. He remembered, “Thither daily, and oftentimes a day, generally after each meal, we saw our father retire, and ‘shut the door’; and we children got to under- stand… that prayers were being poured out there for us, as of old by the High Priest within the veil in the Most High Place.” The Paton children could sometimes hear their father’s voice full of emotion, pleading for them before the throne of grace. Paton also remembered of his father how, “When, on his knees and all of us kneeling around him in family worship, he poured out his whole soul with tears for the conversion of the heathen world to the service of Jesus, and for every personal and domestic need, we all felt as if in the presence of the living Savior, and learned to know and love Him as our Divine Friend.” When John Paton left his home to go to Glasgow to study theology and do urban evangelism, he had to walk forty miles before coming to a train station. His father walked the first six miles out with him. They spoke about the Lord, and his father gave him counsel. Then for the last half- mile they walked in silence. His father’s lips still moved, but now in silent prayer for his son while tears streamed down his face. When they came to the place of their parting, father grasped son by the hand, and said, “God bless you, my son! Your father’s God prosper you, and keep you from all evil.” Overcome by emotion, he could say no more, but his lips continued to move in silent prayer. John Paton later wrote, while reflecting back on this experience, “I vowed deeply and oft, by the help of God, to live and act so as never to grieve or dishonor such a father and mother as He had given me.” May God grant that you and I become fathers like that! Dr. Joel R. Beeke is president and professor of systematic theology and homiletics at Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary and a pastor of the Heritage Netherlands Reformed Congrega- tion in Grand Rapids, Michigan. His Ph.D. is in Reformation and Post-Reformation theology from Westminster Theological Seminary (Philadelphia). He and his wife Mary have been blessed with three children: Calvin, Esther, and Lydia. HOMESCHOOLING CAN EASILY BECOME ALL ABOUT MATH, SCIENCE, ETC. HOW DO YOU KEEP LOVE FOR GOD CENTRAL IN YOUR EDUCATIONAL ENDEAVORS? Realize that every subject you study is, in its deep- est and truest sense, an exploration of the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. You are studying His mighty works in creation and providence. Your study itself is a gift of participation in His great plan. Never forget that the unifying principle of the entire universe is none other than the Beloved Son of God (Colossians 1:15-20). Constantly make the connection to Christ in everything you study and then worship Him. AS A PASTOR, IS THERE A CLOSING ADMONITION YOU WOULD LIKE TO SHARE? There is a lifetime of learning that goes into loving God truly. My answers here are not adequate, but I pray that they are an encouragement to all to taste and see that the Lord is good! Jason is a native of the great state of Colorado. He and his wife Monica enjoy serving the Lord at High Country Baptist Church in Colorado Springs, along with their six children. Keeping LOVE FOR GOD the Main Thing (CONTINUED FROM PAGE 7) Q A FAMILY ENCOURAGEMENT
  10. 10. 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 93 , 2 01 510 FAMILY ENCOURAGEMENT He loves to design projects and then see them come together. He and our sons built a 40 x 60 ft. shed, improvising country-boy style with a tractor and ropes to lift the heavy materials. He headed up the volunteer crew that did all of the finish work on our church’s new sanctuary. Over the years he has added eight rooms onto our house. My sweetheart is a slow and careful worker, making design changes as necessary to ac- commodate challenges along the way. He is a craftsman and takes the necessary time to produce the desired end result. Because of his careful planning, we have avoided many mistakes along the way. Here are some of the lessons I have learned from our joint building projects: ■ You need a plan. Blueprints put the builder’s vision on paper. ■ Use quality materials if you want the building to last. ■ You need to follow the correct sequence. You can’t (or shouldn’t!) put up the sheetrock until the wiring is in place. My husband is a builder, not by trade but by inclination. FAMILY ENCOURAGEMENT BUILDING Tomorrow’s Generation ■ Am I putting together a pre-fabricated home, fol- lowing the instructions from someone else’s plans and hoping they will work for my family, too, or am I listening to God’s quiet voice to discern the plans He has planned for my family? ■ Am I just trying to get through today or am I building a cathedral, a carefully thought-out build- ing intended to be a blessing down through the generations? GENERATIONAL VISION We tend to discount the powerful influence of par- ents, especially fathers, on their children. The Bible shows us how strong this generational influence is. In I Kings we read about two different lines of rulers for God’s people. Following Solomon’s death most of the tribes followed one son to become what was known as Israel, while a more faithful remnant around Jerusalem followed another son to become what was known as Judah. The kings of Israel were consistently wicked and not only worshipped false gods themselves but led the people away from the true God, also. Over a period A craftsman’s reward is carrying a project from the design work to the completed building. The builders of the fine European cathedrals didn’t have that privilege. The architect knew that he was building for future generations. Perhaps his grandchildren or great-grandchildren would worship in the building he designed, but he would only see the beginning of the work. God is building a house—a temple for Himself (Eph. 2:20-22). This is not a building we can see— it is the Church—the Spirit of Christ living inside us. The Lord has no trouble keeping track of what order to build. He insists on only the highest quality materials and is willing to rip out anything that would compromise the final quality of the building. God is not in a hurry to complete the building. As parents, we too are builders. We are building tomorrow’s generation. We need to ask ourselves, “What am I building into my children?” ■ Am I throwing together a haphazard shack made from whatever materials are at hand, making it up as I go along, or do I have a vision—a blueprint— in mind to guide me? (While Cleaning Up Today’s Spilled Milk) PHOTOGRAPHYBYISTOCK BY MARCIA WASHBURN
  11. 11. Vo l u m e 3 , I s s u e 93 , 2 01 5 I C H E C H O M E S C H O O L U P DAT E 11 FAMILY ENCOURAGEMENT of 86 years, Israel had eight kings, some with reigns as short as two years. One king, Zimri, only ruled for seven days! Over and over, the Bible says that these kings were wicked. Describing Ahaziah, it says that he lived an evil life, reproducing the bad life of his father and mother and that he was even worse than his father. During this same time period, there were only four kings in Judah. Although the first two were wicked and had short reigns, Asa and his son Jehoshaphat broke the generational tradition and served the Lord faithfully for a combined total of 66 years. Asa respected God, and his son led a life like that of his father, pleasing to God. Like Asa, we, too, want to raise our children in such a way that their lives will please the Lord. But how do we walk that out? WALKING IT OUT Jesus only had three years to teach His disciples what they needed to know to get the early Christian church started. How did He do it? Through small group and one-on-one teaching. This sounds a lot like homeschooling, doesn’t it? Early in His ministry, Jesus selected twelve men to mentor. These men walked with Him, asked Him questions, and saw Him in private moments when He was tired. His life was on display for them— there were no hidden moments. Proverbs tells us that he who walks with the wise grows wise, but a companion of fools suffers harm.1 The disciples became wise by walking with Jesus. “The most powerful form of evangelism available to man happens when a father takes his little boy by the hand and says, ‘Let me show you Jesus.’”2 Do you want your son to repeat your life and character? Do you want your daughter to repeat your life and character? Jean Paul Richter reminds us, “What a father says to his children is not heard by the world; but it will be heard by posterity.” You will see how well you parented your children when you observe how they raise your grandchildren. DEALING WITH THE SMALL STUFF Our eight-foot-long dining room table has seen a lot of meals. It has also seen a lot of spills. What is it about boys and drinks anyway? For eighteen years we seldom sat through a meal without someone spilling something, usually his milk. I think the boys all got their mother’s clumsy gene. To save the table I used a plastic tablecloth. The boys developed trigger-quick reflexes from our regularly overturned glasses: before the milky river could head for the carpet, they would grasp the tablecloth and lift it to pool the milk on the table. They got lots of practice. I learned lots of patience. What is the small stuff—the spilled milk—at your house? The challenge of living on only one income? Toilet seats left up? Trimming 128 finger and toe nails (yep, I counted them!)? When your days are filled with one thing after another and you don’t seem to be getting anyplace, remember that God uses the small things to build the big vision. Perhaps this passage from Isaiah 49:4-6 (NCV) will encourage you: “But I said, ‘I have worked hard for nothing; I have used all my power, but I did nothing useful. But the Lord will decide what my work is worth; God will decide my reward.’...The Lord will honor me, and I will get my strength from my God. Now He told me, ‘You are an important servant to me . . .’” I doubt if Susannah Wesley, mother of nineteen including two famous preachers, ever considered that her work in teaching, caring for, and often pro- viding for her family would ever result in the Great Awakening revival that led to the American War for Independence. She was just bringing in fuel to heat the water to cook and do laundry with, while trying to keep the baby from falling into the fire. She was just teaching her children to read from Genesis 1 in her worn Bible—the only curriculum she had. Susannah Wesley lived most of her years as an anonymous mother struggling to raise her children alone while her husband was away preaching or imprisoned for his faith. Most of the work that God does in us occurs during the anonymous years when no one else is watching.3 BUILDING TOMORROW’S GENERATION God has called us to build the next generation one brick at a time, one glass of spilled milk at a time. Each time we choose to get out of our chair and correct our child (again!), we put a solid brick into the foundation of his life. Each time we protect our child from the moral filth of bad literature, TV shows, video games, or evil companionship, we clear an obstacle out of his way, making his race an easier one to run. Our actions today will clear a path, making a way for our child’s future ministry to his own children. Most of us parent as we were parented, for better or for worse. Our children see how we respond to spilled milk and they assume this is the proper reaction. Perhaps we will react to life’s little annoy- ances with more patience as we begin to view them through generational glasses. Each time we react with a Christ-like attitude we teach our children how to love our grandchildren of the future. We would be wise to keep our eyes on Jesus, studying how He ran His race, never losing sight of God’s ultimate purpose.4 We are indeed building tomorrow’s generation while cleaning up today’s spilled milk. © 2015 by Marcia K. Washburn who mopped up quarts milk spilled by her five sons. For more encouragement, see Marcia’s book, Managing Your Children from the Management for Moms series available at her Building Tomorrow’s Generation website at Ask for a free copy of “Mommy Tips” by writing to marcia@ Footnotes 1 Philippians 4:11b-13 (ESV) 2 Upgrade: Ten Secrets to the Best Education for Your Child by Kevin Swanson (Generations with Vision: 2000), p. 91 3 Anonymous: The Unrecognized Riches in Uncel- ebrated Seasons of Your Life by Alicia Chole (Thomas Nelson: 2006) 4 Hebrews 12:2
  12. 12. 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 93 , 2 01 512 GENERATIONS Parents who love Jesus Christ desire nothing more than to see their children walking in the truth. That is why Generations with Vision (a subsidiary of Christian Home Educators of Colorado) sponsored the Gen 2 Survey between 2013 and 2015. Under the oversight of Dr. Brian Ray from the National Home Education Research Institute, we conducted a The GEN2 SURVEY spiritual survey of 10,000 millennials who grew up in Christian homes in the 1990s and 2000s. How are they doing now? Who will still “keep the faith” in the next generation? And, more importantly for the interest of home educators, did homeschooling make a difference for millennials? The survey considered the influences of educational methodol- ogy, parental relationship, church involvement, and culture on the spiritual condition of the millennials. Many of us who have homeschooled our kids over the last 40 years have done so for spiritual reasons in hopes that our children would love the Lord and walk with Him. And, homeschooling presented an entirely different form of development where parents and siblings replaced professional teachers and peers as the primary social influences in a child’s life. While we know that there is no “silver bullet” or magic formula that will guarantee the best raising for our kids, there are some environments that are better than others. For example, if you forget to water plants or if you water plants with hydrochloric acid, most likely No doubt with some degree of secret delight, they speak of the influence of Christians wan- ing in the culture. Meanwhile, those who are still hanging on to the faith are looking for some little piece of good news with the millennial generation. Hardly a day goes by in which we are not reminded by some major news source that the “nones” or the “unaffliated” or “atheist” categories are growing among millennials. Homeschooling Making a Big Difference Chart A GENERATIONS BY KEVIN SWANSON PHOTOGRAPHYBYSARAHBRYANT/SARAHLEEPHOTO.COM
  13. 13. Vo l u m e 3 , I s s u e 93 , 2 01 5 I C H E C H O M E S C H O O L U P DAT E 13 GENERATIONS the plants will not survive. Providing a decent environment is important to the outcome of the raising, while we still realize that God is completely sovereign over the increase, whether with crops or kids. (Also, we should note that correlation does not absolutely establish causation. These results will no doubt direct more study on the stronger correlations.) THE RESULTS OF THE GEN2 SURVEY The most surprising revelations coming from the Gen 2 Survey came under the heading of education methodology. The indices considered on Charts A, B, and C are Belief in God, Perspec- tive of Evolution Creation, and Sexual Abuse. The differences were stark. The input variable considers the number of years attending public, private, and homeschool, or the level of com- mitment to each form of education. Increased commitments to public school (i.e. the longer a student was public schooled), indicated a higher likelihood of belief in naturalistic evolution, a lower likelihood of belief in God, and a higher likelihood of sexual abuse (according to their own admission). Surprisingly, Christian schooling yielded similar results as public schooling. However, homeschooling showed just the opposite trend – a much lower likelihood of belief in naturalis- tic evolution, a higher likelihood of belief in God, and a lower likelihood of sexual abuse. According to this study, the Christian schooled student (at 9-13 years in the institution) is 250% more likely to be sexually abused that the homeschooled student (at 9-13 years). The public schooled student (at 9-13 years) is 310% more likely to be sexually abused that the homeschool student (at 9-13 years). The Christian school student is 270% more likely to believe in evolution than the homeschool student. The public schooled student is more likely to believe in evolu- tion by a factor of 330%. Of course, this does not mean that every Christian school is equally ineffective at producing students who uphold a biblical view of creation and believe in God. But the move- ment as a whole is called into question. The study compares the Christian school movement to the homeschool movement as a whole. This study looked at a wide distribution of the homeschooling and Christian schooling populations. Gener- ally, the study found negative results for the Christian school movement; at least if the goal is to produce Christian believers, young people who exhibit Christian behavior, and hold to some semblance of a biblical worldview. Chart D summarizes and compares the relative strength of correspondence between inputs and outputs. Chart B Chart C Chart D(CONTINUES ON PAGE 14)
  14. 14. 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 93 , 2 01 514 GENERATIONS The GEN2 SURVEY (CONTINUES FROM PAGE 13) are homeschools in which the father-child relation- ship are not good, and as would be expected these generally do produce worse results (as determined by the outputs studied here). Incidentally, there was almost zero difference between father-son relation- ships and father-daughter relationship on this metric. THE MOST DRAMATIC CHART Chart G presents the most dramatic result of the entire study. This question examines the hypocrisy perceived to have been seen in the parents’ lives.  Whether this question uncovered fundamental rela- tionship difficulties or genuine hypocrisy cannot be discerned. However, it does appear that a parent’s walk in accordance with his or her professed beliefs matters greatly in the raising of our children. Chil- dren who perceived their parent’s hypocrisy walk away from the faith. “Apostasy” refers to an aban- donment of the Christian faith entirely for atheism or agnosticism. The “apostate” was almost 600% more likely to address his parent’s hypocrisy. Parents who do not walk the talk are sending another mes- PARENTAL RELATIONSHIPS The most telling set of charts produced by this study contrasted the homeschooled population with the general population on parental relation- ship (during the teenage years). The study considered the teen relationships with both father and mother, both were found to be equally important in the life of the teen. The father-teen relationship was no more important than the mother-teen relationship (and vice versa). The output considered in the following charts was sexual activity outside of the covenant bond of marriage. What the Gen2 Survey produced is even more interesting. Referencing Chart E, the reader will note that solid father- teen relationships in the broader population (public schooled and private schooled stu- dents) contributed to a 60% improvement on illicit sexual activity later in life. In other words, the father-child relationship is important in those teenage years for everybody! However, Chart F addresses only the homeschooled population and here the improvement is much larger – 367%!   This means that relationships within the homeschool context are six times more influential in the life of a young person than that found in the general social context (for those attending conventional schools). Also, the homeschooled graduates who scored their relationships with father during the teen years highest maintained a 311% higher average score on illicit sexual activity (than the broader population who testified to the same good relationship). Given that the homeschool context is closer to a 24/7 social setting, and peer contact is minimized (far less of a com- petition with the parental relationship), these numbers are not all that surprising. The homeschool environment provides a context in which a relationship might occur and where other relationships have less of an influ- ence upon the young person. Obviously, there Chart E Chart F
  15. 15. Vo l u m e 3 , I s s u e 93 , 2 01 5 I C H E C H O M E S C H O O L U P DAT E 15 GENERATIONS sage home to their kids, and they are getting the message. Authenticity, humility, confession of sin, and true faith really matters, if the next generation is going to walk with God. THE MOST ENCOURAGING NEWS The question on the minds of most homeschooling parents is this: will the first generation homeschool grads homeschool their own children? Will they honor their parents’ legacy and continue homeschooling through the generations? Much sacrificial labor and resources have been spent building a movement outside of the $800 billion public school system. Much of this has been invest- ed by parents who have wanted to see their children keep the faith, pass it on to their own children, and build the Kingdom of God through the generations. Here’s the good news: 82% of homeschool graduates (who were homeschooled 7-12 years) plan to use homeschooling for at least part of their children’s education. 40% of graduates (who were homeschooled 1-7 years) plan to use homeschooling for at least part of their children’s education. There is a significant leap in commitment found with those homeschoolers that “made it the distance.”  Surviving the Junior High and High School years appeared to be very important if there will be significant second generation involvement in the homeschool movement. This data suggests that second generation growth in the home education movement is about to explode. Over the next fifteen years, these graduates will begin to homeschool their own children. Assum- ing they will maintain the same average birth rate as the first generation (3.5), these graduates will be homeschooling about 5,000,000 children by the year 2030. If we apply a 6% per year increase in the first generation homeschooling (docu- Chart G Chart H mented over the last ten years), we estimate a total homeschooling population of 10,000,000 by 2030! Chart H shows the growth expected from both first and second generation homeschoolers over the next 15 years. If you are a Christian living in America in the early part of the 21st century, I don’t think you will find more interesting and encouraging news than this. While not all homeschoolers are Christians and homeschooling is no silver bullet, there is no question that it has produced some great fruit in an otherwise fairly ignoble time in human history. God has risen up a concerted minority that does not con- form to the uniform humanist worldview taught by the public institutions. Will this fledgling movement make a difference for the faith, for the family, and for freedom in the years to come? I sure hope so. Homeschooled himself in the 1960’s and 70’s, Kevin Swanson and his wife, Brenda, are now homeschooling their five children. Kevin is the Director of Generations with Vision and is a former Executive Director of CHEC.
  16. 16. 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 93 , 2 01 516 CHEC EVENTS Whenever you hear similar words or comments, no matter the reference, you always vow to yourself that next time, or next year, or next whenever, “I am going to go!” “I WILL be there!” “Nothing will stop me!” “I will attend!” What prompts these remarks is the stellar work spearheaded by Super Conference Coordinators, Chris and Jenny Galanek, for a job more than well done on the 2015 Super Conference. A highlight of the year for many folks is the Super Conference. The CHEC convention organizers peruse the critiques – reading and rereading your responses – to incorporate changes and hone ideas for future conventions. Whether attending for the first time or a returning seasoned veteran, comments affirmed that the speakers inspired, the workshops strengthened, and the exhibit hall equipped. Thankfulness and gratefulness fill our hearts as we read the comments. To God be the glory! The Lord worked supernaturally in many areas, but one way in particular was how He provided finances for families who wanted to attend but were financially strapped. Other notes pointed to encouraging the weary with renewed vision; awakening the complacent and flooding them with energy; hearing a fresh word; strengthening families in home discipleship; and receiving a hope. God’s grace continues toward each of us. The Introduction to Homeschooling Track was a highlight for many thanks to Andie Davidson, Renee Ellison, and Kevin Swanson. Needs were met and families were given the tools they needed to embark on the adventure God has for them. Plans are already in the works for more of this in 2016. “YOU MISSED IT! OH, IT WAS SO GOOD! BEST EVER!!” Those are just a few of the remarks from attendees at the CHEC Rocky Mountain Super Conference on the family this year. Rocky Mountain Super CONFERENCEBY BARB WEST CHEC EVENTS PHOTOGRAPHYBYWINSLOWROBBINSANDSARAHBRYANT Above ■ Todd Friel’s powerful keynote, “The Joy of Parenting,” had a full house smiling. Below ■ The vendor hall was packed during breaks.
  17. 17. Vo l u m e 3 , I s s u e 93 , 2 01 5 I C H E C H O M E S C H O O L U P DAT E 17 CHEC EVENTS Mark Baughman outdid himself as hundreds of bidders participated in the Silent Auction. This enjoyable diversion bolsters finances within CHEC which in turn helps homeschool families around the state. Watch for this next year and come join the fun! As usual the Vendor Hall was fabulous – burgeoning with curricula, games, DVDs, CDs, art supplies, and of course books! This not to be missed portion of the Super Conference is a draw for folks every year as some come just to peruse this part of the venue. It is a show stopper and one of the largest in the country. Many thanks are extended to Jason and Karen Lipman, the Vendor Chairmen. A very special treat on Friday evening was the opportunity to view “Beyond the Mask” and be privy to an interview with the film makers, Chad Burns and Aaron Burns. Many volunteers return year after year to give of themselves in ministry to the homeschoolers of Colorado and surrounding states. Thanks to this brilliant team for a fabulous job: Jason Jennifer Churchill, Louie Cassandra Colorado, Bob Lisa Coruzzi, Rick Patti Dotten, Mark Tracy Gilliland, Terresa Hill, Dale Lisa Johnson, Brenda Kelly, Linda Kidder, Christy Korin, David Jennifer Moody, Kyle Obrecht, Ian Serff, and Marcia Washburn. We are energized as we begin work on the 2016 Rocky Mountain Super Conference on the Family. So make plans NOW to attend the Super Conference next year. Not to be missed keynote speakers will include Tedd Tripp, author of Shepherding Your Child’s Heart, and Israel Wayne. Save the date—June 16, 17, 18, 2016! Barbara West has been homeschooling for over 25 years. She and her husband, Bruce, a retired Air Force pilot, have been married for 36 years. They have five children, three of which were adopted, and three grandchildren, two on earth and one who moved to heaven. The West family moved to Colorado Springs in 2013. Friday evening’s showing of “Beyond the Mask” included an interview with producers Chad Burns and Aaron Burns CHEC Independent School serves hundreds of families in CO Young Entrepreneurs booths were a highlight in the vender hall Thanks to the Galaneks for coordinating the Super Conference for the past three years!The used book sale offered deals to shoppers Peter Heck’s dynamic session, “America’s Deadly Obsession”
  18. 18. 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 93 , 2 01 518 CHEC EVENTS Rain, fog, sunshine, rainbows, warm days, and chilly nights – the mountain weather gave attendees a taste of it all. There was plenty of food (over 3,300 individual meals were served) tons of fun including fishing, kayaking, swimming, the high ropes course, the game room, the Big Ball, highland games, evening campfires, likeminded fellowship, crazy competitions, and an epic triathlon. The fun was incredible – but more importantly, God was at work turning the hearts of fathers to their sons and sons to their fathers. “Be strong, and show yourself a man, and keep the charge of the Lord your God, walking in his ways and keeping his statutes, his commandments, his rules, and his testimonies, as it is written in the Law of Moses, that you may prosper in all that you do and wherever you turn” (I Kings 2:2-3). King David, the son of Jesse, gave this charge to his son and Jesse’s grandson, Solomon. His charge points to the responsibility of fathers to walk with their sons (Deuteronomy 6) and to tell them of the Lord and the wonders He has done, even to the 4th generation (Psalm 78). The Father Son Retreat encouraged men in this same truth – to walk together, telling of the Lord and the wonders He has done. Praise God for a glorious 2015 Father Son Retreat! Over 300 fathers and sons from across America gathered in the Rocky Mountains for the 2015 Father Son Retreat. CHEC EVENTS BY MIKE CHENEY, RETREAT COORDINATOR 2016 FATHER SON RETREAT September 1-4, 2016 I Crooked Creek Ranch PHOTOGRAPHYBYWINSLOWROBBINS/THEWDESIGNER.COM SIGN UPby Thanksgiving for $239! (Regular cost $399)
  19. 19. Online Homeschool Curriculum FREE FOR 30 DAYS! Use Promo Code: MON30CHEC | 800-622-3070
  20. 20. 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 93 , 2 01 520 It is rare that one gets to write an article like this about a person they know really well. Yet God has given me such an opportunity. I have known Sharon Ford for more than 15 years. She is the loving wife to her husband Evert. She is also the mother of six children and has been homeschooling for over 23 years. From the beginning of our friendship she began encourag- ing Jennifer and I in our homeschooling journey and she has continued to do so over these many years. She has been a constant friend to our family and a constant encouragement to us in the good times and in the not-so-good times. But it is not only us. She has done so for dozens upon dozens of families for decades, all while working through homeschooling her own six children. How amazing, to see one so giv- ing! She has been a member of Helping Our Members Educate (HOME) in Colorado Springs for more than 15 years, has volunteered for more than 13 years and has served on their Leadership team for over a decade. I have seen her build relationships with hun- dreds of moms and give thousands of hours of her time to do so. She has led group after group, gone to meeting after meeting, arranged event after event. She has cried with many a despairing mother and rejoiced WHAT CAN ONE SAY ABOUT SUPPORT GROUP LEADERS? When I look at these leaders certain words come to mind… caring, humble, loving, selfless and sacrificial are among them. I have had the pleasure over the last year to work with many of these leaders and am continually amazed at how much they give. From their time to their treasures these homeschoolers sac- rifice over and over again to bless, encourage and help others, often those they hardly even know. This article is about the 2015 Support Group Leader of the Year, Sharon Ford, but as you read it I want you to know that it is also about all Support Group leaders. What I write about my friend and co-laborer in Christ, I am writing about your homeschool support group leader as well. SUPPORT Group Leader AWARDBY JASON CHURCHILL with those same moms as they have found victory. I have seen her delight in the joys of leading as well as patiently enduring the suffering that comes with such a calling. Why? Why does she do all of this, day after day, month after month, year after year? It is all to glorify God and to bless my family, the family next to me, and the hundreds of families that have been a part of our group. Well Sharon, God has been glorified! Thank you. Thank you for serving Him and in serving Him you have so faithfully served us. To all you Support Group Leaders out there, I say the same. Thank you. God has been glorified through you. And to all of you who are in a Support Group, you have your own “Sharon’s” who have sacrificed and are sacrificing for you. Thank them. Jason and Jennifer Churchill recently celebrated their 20th wedding anniversary and have three fun and crazy boys and one fun and delightful daughter. They’ve been homeschooling for more than eighteen years. The Churchill’s are passionate about the glori- ous Gospel of Jesus Christ and they’ve been blessed to serve Christian Home Educators of Colorado in various positions for nine years. CHEC EVENTS PHOTOGRAPHYBYSARAHBRYANT/SARAHLEEPHOTO.COM
  21. 21. Vo l u m e 3 , I s s u e 93 , 2 01 5 I C H E C H O M E S C H O O L U P DAT E 21 OF ALL-TIME! BEST-SELLING WORLDVIEW TEXTBOOK Now a reference book for the homeschool family. 1,740 FOOTNOTES OVER 500 SOURCE EXPERTS 186,238 WORDS Download your free chapter today at “Understanding the Times will help any believer respond with grace and wisdom.” Jim Daly President, Focus on the Family The only resource you’ll need to teach biblical worldview. C M Y CM MY CY CMY K ■ 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
  22. 22. 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 93 , 2 01 522 CURRICULUM REVIEW The Bible should not simply be a subject studied in our homeschools. God should be the backbone of all our studies from math to literature and from science to foreign language. As parents, we should have constant conversations with our children about “who God is, what God has done, and what God requires” (Dr. RC Sproul Jr.). But even though I need to be cautious not to make the Bible just another academic subject, it is still appropri- ate to stop and formally study God’s Word as a family and to train my children to study God’s Word independently. There are several resources to help with this training, and I want to draw your attention to a few of them. SURROUNDED By God’s WordBY CINDY PUHEK CURRICULUM REVIEW of this study geared for 4-7-year olds, 7-10-year olds, 11-14-year olds, and 15-year olds to adult. Every member of the family can study the same book of the Bible at their own level and then come together during family devotions to discuss what’s been learned. Through the Sword Study, students are taught the inductive Bible study method which includes learning to ask questions, recognize themes and key words, determine Greek or Hebrew roots of key words, and then find cross references using those same root words. The goal of the Sword Study is to train students in this methodol- ogy well enough that they can apply it to any section of Scripture. Ruth is the newest Sword Study, and my family is looking forward to digging into Ruth as soon as our current study is completed. Scripture memory is another great way for the Word of God to become part of the fabric of our households. There are several great resources for memorizing and retaining Scripture. Music has always been a strong glue for learning and retaining information. Back when my firstborn was a preschooler, I found Thy Word Creations ( This PHOTOGRAPHYBYISTOCK Kevin Swanson has produced some wonderful guides for daily family devotions (www.genera- Covering Proverbs, Psalms, Genesis, and Matthew, these guides are designed with a busy father in mind. No prior preparation is needed to lead the study and each study takes around 30 minutes to complete. The passage is written right in the study guide so there is no need to juggle between a Bible and the guide. At the end of each day’s Bible reading, there are several comprehension and thought questions with enough substance to really make an impact. There is also a companion workbook for the book of Proverbs de- signed for children 9-years old and up so the study of Proverbs can continue independently outside of family worship time. Whether your family has been observing family worship time for years or you’re just starting to establish a family altar, these guides will be helpful in making family Bible study time doable and effective. My favorite resource for training children to study the Bible independently is the Sword Study (www. There are four different levels
  23. 23. Vo l u m e 3 , I s s u e 93 , 2 01 5 I C H E C H O M E S C H O O L U P DAT E 23 CURRICULUM REVIEW company is unique in that it has put entire chapters of the Bible such as Psalm 23, I Corinthians 13, and Isaiah 53 to music. As we listened to the songs, I found we were effortlessly learning and retaining long sections of Scripture which my children and I can still quote more than a decade later. Some of the CD’s by Judy Rogers (Go to the Ant, Why Can‘t I See God) and Steve Green (Hide ‘Em in Your Heart Volumes 1 and 2) are also excellent resources for memorizing Scripture and learning Biblical concepts. These CDs are available at For background music, The Scripture Song albums are a huge blessing ( These five albums use an acoustic and folk sound to put scores of passages from the King James Bible to music. I would enjoy this beautiful music regardless of the words so it’s a huge bonus that the lovely sounds are helping us meditate on God’s Word throughout the day. Finally, I want to mention a wonderful Bible course produced for elementary students by Veritas Press. Currently, they offer Genesis to Joshua and the Gospels as online, self- paced courses (www. Three more courses are currently in development which will cover the rest of the books in the Bible. The courses are engaging with tons of built in review. The only materials needed for the online study is a set of cards that list the events being studied and a few facts related to each event. The subject is handled in a surprisingly deep way for an elementary Bible course and I always learn something when I sit in on a lesson with my children. One caveat to this recommendation is Veritas likes to use Renaissance art as illustrations on their Bible cards that I find immodest. We take a Sharpie and clothe any immodest figure in the art work, and this allows us to enjoy this otherwise excellent course. I hope these resources will be a blessing to you as you seek to obey Deuteronomy 6:7 by diligently teaching your children about God when you sit and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up. 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.home- SUBMIT YOUR PHOTOS to the CHEC Homeschool Update! OFFICIAL RULES Submit your photos (.jpg or .png) via email to with subject line “Update Magazine Photo Submission” by December 1st, 2015 for a chance to be featured in the CHEC Homeschool Update. Any homeschooled student, graduate, or parent/grandparent of a homeschooler is invited to participate. Include photographer’s name, age (if school-aged), and hometown. Original photos only. Quality must be 2MB or higher. Featured photos will be chosen based on overall quality, family-friendliness, and the magazine issue theme, which will be Loving Our Neighbor as Ourselves. Photographer will be credited. We’re looking for high-quality photos that showcase the real life of homeschool families in Colorado. Over the next few months, use your camera to capture memories in your every-day family life. Here are some ideas. ■ Family meal time ■ Household tasks ■ Bible time and devotions We’ll feature selected photos in the next edition of the Update! ■ Play time ■ Textbook work ■ Household chores CHEC Family Books Resources By Christian Home Educators of Colorado
  24. 24. 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 93 , 2 01 524 It was that early excitement – that encouragement my parents received as new homeschoolers – that prompted our family to give back and volunteer for CHEC. We hope you will join us. 1. Pass the vision on! A whole new generation of parents are considering homeschooling and CHEC’s ministry remains as vital as ever in encouraging these families onward by giving them a vision for Christian disciple- ship. “Where there is no vision, the people perish” (Proverbs 29:18). Have you been blessed by CHEC’s ministry? Then there is nothing more fulfilling than seeing others excited by the same vision of family discipleship or equipped by practical ideas from PARTNER with CHEC BY JULIANNA DOTTEN your years of homeschooling. Don’t take this minis- try for granted. Get involved and bless others! 2. Serve as a family! Volunteering for CHEC offers a great opportunity to serve as a family. I can testify that you really do get to know your family best when you serve together. So whether you give a few hours at the CHEC office fold- ing brochures or help set up the conference, consider signing your family up and learn to serve together. 3. Say thank you. Every one of us has stories of the way CHEC has blessed us, whether it be sitting before a gripping speaker, talking through homeschool difficulties on “Something looks different here,” my mom mused as she walked the halls of the CHEC conference for the first time in 1997. After attending countless dull conventions as a former teacher, she immediately sensed a tangible excitement, a contagious enthusiasm in the air. “The people really want to be here!” Nearly two decades later, CHEC still provides both vision and practical tools to countless homeschool families from every walk of life. And there is a whole new generation of parents eager to soak in encouragement to keep going. PARTNER’S PAGE 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 93 , 2 01 524 Your support enables us to motivate parents to disciple the next generation of Christians by providing information, leadership, and resources to families across Colorado. Thank you for partnering with us! TOP 10 REASONS to Volunteer for CHEC PHOTOGRAPHYBYWINSLOWROBBINS/THEWDESIGNER.COM
  25. 25. PARTNER’S PAGE the phone with a staff member, or gaining much- needed fellowship with other families. Right now, there are countless families who need that same encouragement that you received. CHEC needs vol- unteers both at the conference and year-round, and there is no better way to say thank you than giving a few hours toward the work. 4. Serve fellow Christians. As Christians, our ultimate motivation to serve must be founded on a love for Christ and His body. Paul reminds us in Galatians 6:10, “Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith.” Steward the gifts God has given you and bless fellow Christian families in their walk. Do you have a knack for organization, relational skills, or compassion? CHEC can channel those gifts to bless countless homeschool families. 5. Include the grandparents. For us, having three generations working together at the conference this year added to the joy of serving as a family. So encourage your grand- parents to get involved. My grandparents served as greeters at this year’s conference and loved meeting the people around them and feeling a part of our family’s life and ministry. Their big smiles and listening ears made all the difference for many first-time families and overwhelmed parents. 6. Remember “many hands make light work”! CHEC is a nonprofit ministry and keeping up with the workload can be a handful if only a few people are involved. But if we all pitch in, we can keep this crucial ministry flourishing. 7. Learn! Are you looking for real-life educational opportunities for your children? Volunteering with your children for CHEC allows them to gain invaluable tools like communication with strangers, computer skills, and organization. I have learned so much more from inter- acting with people and solving real-world problems with CHEC than any textbook that I ever read. 8. Make new friends! Volunteering for CHEC also produces friendships as you work alongside other like-minded families on a common goal. Our family developed a friendship with one of the speaker’s assistants from the U.K. while helping in the vendor hall several years ago. It was fascinating to talk with a fellow Christian from a different culture. As a result, we still talk about the time we helped “Brother John” at his booth. 9. Earn vouchers! And of course, volunteering for CHEC helps offset the cost of the conference. CHEC gives vouchers for every hour worked throughout the year. If finances are the only reason you can’t attend the conference, don’t miss out! Especially if you get your whole fam- ily involved, the hours add up before you know it. 10. Have fun! Every year, we look forward to volunteering at the conference because it’s exactly that: fun! What could be more fun than using your gifts to bless others and invest in a cause you believe in? So whether you are a young person looking forward to the future or are in the midst of the homeschool battle right now, CHEC’s ministry offers you the opportunity to get involved and make a difference. Let this be the year that your family learns to serve together, developing enduring friendships with other homeschoolers while you say “thank you” for all that CHEC has meant to you. So come be part of the CHEC team! Julianna Dotten is an 18-year-old homeschool graduate who lives with her family in Elizabeth, Colorado. Vo l u m e 3 , I s s u e 93 , 2 01 5 I C H E C H O M E S C H O O L U P DAT E 25 Name Address City State Zip Phone Donation Amount $ ☐ One time donation $ ☐ Monthly donation $ ☐ Or go to and click To set up automatic monthly Credit Card or ACH/ Bank Transfer call the office at 720-842-4852. PLEASE REMOVE THIS SECTION AND MAIL WITH YOUR DONATION TO: 19039 E. Plaza Drive, Suite 215 Parker, Colorado 80134 For over 25 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. Daily, our office receives phone calls which 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.
  26. 26. 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 93 , 2 01 526 Christian Family Eldercare is dedicated to honoring seniors and aims to bolster elderly care to become relational, family-oriented, and cross-generational. Whether it’s for your own parents, church members, or“the least of these”, equip yourself today to thrive in the season of eldercare that’s sure to come. Marcia Washburn writes with transparency about the joys and challenges of caring for adult relatives in her home over the years. Home-Based Eldercare is a caregiver’s bootcamp of stories and strategies for those who wonder whether they will be able to care for their loved ones. Using practical illustrations, Marcia gives advice about legal issues, emotional and spiritual care, personal caregiving, and much more. “But if any widow has children or grandchildren, let them first learn to show piety at home and to repay their parents; for this is good and acceptable before God.” I Timothy 5:4 Encouraging, Equipping, and Enabling Relationship-Centered Eldercare Prepare Today to Honor Them Tomorrow! NEW! Home-Based Eldercare Stories and Strategies for Caregivers
  27. 27. Vo l u m e 3 , I s s u e 93 , 2 01 5 I C H E C H O M E S C H O O L U P DAT E 27 Our Regular Tours Include: •Denver Museum of Science •Denver or Colorado Springs Zoo •Garden of the gods •National Center for Atmospheric Research •State Capitol •Train/Automobile Museum •Art Museum •Dinosaur Ridge (Morrison) Biblically Correct Tours Call Russ Carter @720-422-2235 WWW.BCTOURS.ORG BC Tours Register your student today for the Political Action BC TOURS’ Worldview Camp, Jan 4-6 3 day (9am-5pm) camp includes a workshop and tour at the State Capitol! Is your student prepared to face the political issues of our day? Students will learn to evaluate Law, Government and Politics from a Christian Worldview. We will tour the Denver State Capitol, the Colorado Supreme Court and the Colorado History Museum from a Biblical Perspective. Go to for more info. CHEC’s Homeschool Introductory Seminars are held throughout the year to give parents the vision, legal options, and nuts bolts they need to begin their home education journey with confidence. This year we’re coming to these cities: ■ Fort Collins ■ Thornton ■ Lone Tree ■ Grand Junction ■ Colorado Springs ■ Buena Vista ■ Pueblo LEARN MORE AT CHEC.ORG/EVENTS COMING TO A CITY NEAR YOU! INTERESTED IN HELPING HOST A SEMINAR IN YOUR HOME TOWN? PLEASE CONTACT JOSH@ CHEC.ORG!
  28. 28. 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 93 , 2 01 528 CELEBRATE YOUR STUDENT’S HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATION J U LIE FISH ER FIN E ART STU DIO Art Classes Ages 8 - Adult: All Levels Email: Phone: 303-371-7852 Blog: 2016 CHEC GRADUATION CEREMONY SATURDAY, MAY 21st, 2016 ELIZABETH, COLORADO WHO Open to all homeschool graduates WHAT A celebration to thank God and honor the graduates (and parents!) WHEN Choose the ceremony time on May 21st that works for you 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 ■ And finally - the 2016 Class is announced! 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. (A professional photographer is an optional fee.) Solid Foundation in Art Drawing, Colored Pencil, Watercolor Plan now to join the celebration! LEARN MORE AND REGISTER AT CHEC.ORG/EVENTS/GRADUATION
  29. 29. Vo l u m e 3 , I s s u e 93 , 2 01 5 I C H E C H O M E S C H O O L U P DAT E 29 Explore for yourself at Families affiliated with CHEC receive a $1250 partner scholarship annually. ($5000 over eight semesters.) “Many colleges tell you that you’re a name and not just a number, but this was the only school I interacted with that made that a reality.” -Hudson Jungck, Freshman Global Studies major “I liked how CCU was very strong in their faith. There was a realness to CCU that stood out.” -Ali Gordon, Freshman Communications major, Political Science minor, Leadership Studies minor Hudson and Ali both were strong students who grew up homeschooled. They had tons of college options. But as they looked at colleges, questions started to come up. “I wanted to know what was going to be poured into me as a student,” Ali explains. “And I wasn’t satisfied with another school’s answer.” “There’s a clear spiritual aspect here,” adds Hudson. “It’s not partially secular like many Christian colleges tend to be. CCU is Christian inside and out—in name and practice.” • Five schools of study • 26 majors • Study-abroad options • Christ integrated in every subject • Student-initiated mission trips • Dozens of ministry opportunities • Division-II NCAA athletics • Groundbreaking employment program A ChristiAn College with dynAmiC Community, thriving ACAdemiCs, And ACCess to big-City denver And roCky mountAin wilderness.
  30. 30. 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 93 , 2 01 530 CHEC BOARD OF TRUSTEES: Bill Roach, President George Sechrist, Vice President Kevin Lundberg Brenda Kelly Todd Strawser Steven Vaughan CHEC DIRECTORS: Steve Craig, Executive Director Kevin Swanson, Director of Generations With Vision Mike Cheney, Director of AME HOMESCHOOL UPDATE Advertising Policy Circulation: 7,000 Next Advertising Deadline: December 10, 2015 For advertising opportunities with CHEC, please visit the Advertising Center listed under CHEC Services at We reserve the right to refuse any ad submitted.Payment must be made by the deadline to reserve your ad space. Ads are published on a space-available, first-come, first-served basis and are subject to approval. Payment must accompany ad to reserve space. New advertisers must include complete product description. 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 The CHEC Homeschool Update is published 3 times a year by Christian Home Educators of Colorado. Copyright © 2015 by CHEC Creative Assistant and Designer: Sarah Bryant, Editing Assistant: Paula Miller Ad Manager: Phillip Schwarz THANK YOU HSLDA Worldview Academy Sunset World vacations Whole Health Papa John’s Pizza Broncos PE+Plus Baughman, Pauline Baughman, Mark Martinez, Rod Domino’s Pizza Wayne, Gary Avalanche Pinery Golf Chick-fil-A Taco Bell Maroon Bells Chocolate Memoria Press OfficeMax Smashburger TiresPlus Costco CVS Pharmacy Fathead Pizza Hut King Soopers Castle Rock Zip-Line Tours Elitch Gardens Les Schwab Tires Donut House Brunswick Zone Creation Museum Seasons52 Sprouts Village Inn Walmart Fazoli’s Italian Sports Clips Denver Zoo Denver Museum of Nature and Science I Fly Indoor Skydiving Speed Stack Compass Classroom Godstruck Ministries Lakeshore Learning Store Which Wich Sandwich Big R Brothers bar/grill Buzzards Pizza Cavenders Western Wear Cold Stone Creamery Dickey’s BBQ E-Bistro/Formaggis Egg and I Great Beginnings Hacienda Colorado Lowes Murdock’s Nixon and Co Nuggets Pasta Jay’s Red Lobster Rio Grade Mexican Roses Bella Cucina Italian Safeway Spavia Park Meadows Fox and Hound AMC Lifeway Christian Bookstore PetSmart PF Chang’s Rock Bottom/Walnut/SingS- ing Brewery Sweet Tomato/Souplantation Vanishing Scroll-Derrick Howard Freddy’s Frozen Custard Smallcakes Mardel gift bag Texas Roadhouse TrueValue Dairy Queen DSW Shoes Los Arcos Mexican Brewery Bar Panera Bread Tractor Supply Co Vitamin Cottage/Natural Grocers Baskin Robbins Black-Eyed Pea Blue Nectar Mexican Grill Chili’s Dick’s Sporting Goods Five Guys Nothing Bundt Cake Outback Steakhouse Subway CHEC operates through the generosity of donations from families like yours. We’re also grateful for the support of organizations and companies. The following organizations and companies donated items for our Super Conference Silent Auction. Proceeds from the Auction go towards underwriting the event to make it affordable for families. Samaritan Ministries sponsored the Rocky Mountain Super Conference and through their support, we were enabled to provide encouragement, resources, and biblical truth to hundreds of families. Summit Ministries Heritage Defense Alpha Omega SpineOne Pain Imaging Education First Bank Other Super Conference Sponsors 15% OFF FOR HOMESCHOOLERS
  31. 31. Vo l u m e 3 , I s s u e 93 , 2 01 5 I C H E C H O M E S C H O O L U P DAT E 31 CHEC EVENTS October 2015 Casterline Widows Single Mothers’ Banquet PARKER Homeschool Introductory Seminar PARKER January 2016 Homeschool Introductory Seminar PARKER COLORADO SPRINGS February 2016 Spelling Bee CASTLE ROCK April 2016 Homeschool Day at the Capitol DENVER May 2016 Homeschool Graduation Ceremonies ELIZABETH June 2016 Rocky Mountain Super Conference DENVER 23 24 9 8 21 16-18 What’s NEXT with CHEC Visit to learn more and register!
  32. 32. NONPROFIT ORG US POSTAGE PAID DENVER CO PERMIT #792 Christian Home Educators of Colorado 19039 E. Plaza Drive, Suite 215 Parker, Colorado 80134 Change Service Requested Dear families: If you no longer want to receive this magazine, please contact the CHEC office and ask to be removed from our mailing list. Thank you. 720.842.4852 I 1.877.842.CHEC I We’ve completely redesigned our website to make it easy for you! Come and check out... ■ Breakout explanation of Colorado law ■ At-a-glance events and registration ■ Directory of regional support groups ■ Testing FAQs answered, plus resources ■ History and vision of CHEC ■ Full information for the CHEC Independent School Whether you’ve been part of CHEC for years or are just getting started, is for you. HAVE YOU SEEN THE NEW CHEC.ORG? VISIT TODAY!