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Update Magazine - 2016, Volume 1, Issue 94


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

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Update Magazine - 2016, Volume 1, Issue 94

  1. 1. 2016 IVOLUME 1 IISSUE 94 T H E H E A R T O F H O M E S C H O O L I N G LOVING OUR NEIGHBOR PAGE 12 HOMESCHOOL DAY AT THE CAPITOL APRIL 8TH, 2016PAGE 2 Rocky Mountain Homeschool Conference SEE THE DETAILS ON PAGE 17 Do You Love Me? Feed My Sheep Colorado’s Homeschool History Allowing Others to Receive a Blessing Homeschooling with Littles ARTICLES INSIDE THIS ISSUE 4 6 8 14
  2. 2. APRIL 8, 2016 Sponsored by The Homeschool Field Trip of the Year! House Senate Opening Constitution Class Liberty Celebration Rally at Noon And More! Stand for Homeschool Liberty! REGISTER AT CHEC.ORG © 2016 CHRISTIAN HOME EDUCATORS OF COLORADO Future Statesman Study Guide 2016 S P O N S O R E D B Y : THE SACRED CAUSE OF OUR COUNTRY Purchase Online Now! Future Statesman Workbook
  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 1, Issue #94, 2016; 720.842.4852,” Advertising information on page 30. CHEC Homeschool Update, Volume 1, 2016, Issue #94, is published triannually by Christian Home Educators of Colorado, 19039 E. Plaza Drive, Suite 210, Parker, CO 80134. The Homeschool Update is free to all who request it. Donations are gladly accepted. CHEC Homeschool Update IVolume 1, 2016 IIssue 94 INSIDE 19039 Plaza Drive, Suite 210 Parker, Colorado 80134 720.842.4852 I1.877.842.CHEC (2432) Family Encouragement 6 Colorado’s Homeschool History BY JULIANNA DOTTEN 22 Restoring Honor BY TODD JESSIE STRAWSER 24 Legacy of a Homeschool Dad BY JASON JENNIFER CHURCHILL Thematic Features 8 Allowing Others To Receive a Blessing BY MARCIA WASHBURN 12 Love Your Neighbor: Bringing it Home BY PETE OLSON CHEC Events 2 Day at the Capitol PRESENTED BY CHEC 17-20 Rocky Mountain Homeschool Conference PRESENTED BY CHEC Front Cover: Day at the Capitol event. Photography by Winslow Robbins/ This page: The Rocky Mountain Homeschool Conference event. Photography by Sarah Lee Bryant/ Columns 4 From the Director’s Desk 14 Best of Blog 21 Curriculum Review 26 Partner’s Page SAVE $10 with code WINTER! Expires March 1st PAGE 17
  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 1 , I s s u e 9 4 , 2 01 64 PHOTOGRAPHYBYISTOCK What must it be like to be Peter on that post- resurrection morning? There he was, standing on the beach by the Sea of Galilee after a hardy breakfast of fish and bread. The morning sea breeze on his face. His Mas- ter, Jesus, the Son of God, his Savior, standing before him. As Jesus looked upon Peter, I’m sure Peter felt and knew that those eyes, so full of love, penetrated his soul, searching every nook and cranny. DO YOU LOVE ME? Feed My SheepBY STEVE CRAIG And now Jesus is speaking, “Do you love Me?” Oh, the thoughts and memories that must have rushed through Peter’s mind in that moment. The last three years had been the most rich and wonder- ful of his life as he spent them walking and talking with Christ, observing His example, witnessing His miracles, soaking in His wisdom, awed by the cour- age and authority that He showed His enemies. My, could He make those Pharisees squirm! But things had not ended as Peter dreamed they would. He thought the last three years with Christ had changed him. He KNEW they had changed him. He loved Christ. He had been absolutely confident he would even be willing to die for Him. He thought he would never be capable of betraying his Lord! And then, more memories. The soldiers. The arrest. The courtyard. The fire. The servant girl….speak- ing, “You also were with Jesus, weren’t you?” His denial. Not once. Not twice. Three times. And then, a sound. What was that? The sound. The sound of a cock crowing. Oh, yes. Now, he remembered. Jesus had told him this would happen. He knew Peter’s weakness all along. DIRECTOR’S DESK Jesus. Yes, and there He was in his memory on that awful night. The sound of the cock crowing still in his ears. His denials barely off his lips. Jesus was turning. “No, please stop”, he thought. “Don’t look. Don’t look at me now!” But Jesus did. He looked right at Peter. And oh, what a look! Much like the look that Peter felt now, standing on the beach, with the eyes of Christ directly upon him plumbing the very depths of his soul. “Do you love Me?” Those words. That question. Asked, not once. Not twice. Three times. And it grieved him. It grieved him because it reminded him, as it reminds us, how weak had been his love. Peter now knew his weakness as he had never known it before. He had revealed it as plainly as he possibly could on that night. It must have shocked him. Have you ever been shocked by your own weak- ness? The ease with which the heat of your burning love for Christ can be reduced to a smolder that can hardly be felt? It can surprise us. We are so sure of ourselves and confident in our fervor for Christ.
  5. 5. Vo l u m e 1 , I s s u e 9 4 , 2 01 6 I C H E C H O M E S C H O O L U P DAT E 5 DIRECTOR’S DESK love Me?” It is this that will make the other expressions of repentance acceptable. The great thing Christ eyes in penitents is their eyeing Him in their repentance. “ –Matthew Henry And so that is what we do. We turn our gaze on Christ and we say with Peter, “Lord, you know that I love you.” And we keep it there. “Do you love Me?” Peter answered, “Lord, You know that I love You.” So now what? “Feed My sheep.” These words must have warmed the heart of Peter a thousand times more than the morning sun warmed his body. These were words of acceptance. Words of affirmation. Words of trust. As if to say, “I still want you on the team, friend. Get back in the game.” As homeschool parents, we often feel our inadequa- cies, especially when it comes to feeding and tending the sheep that God has put under our care. Sometimes we wonder why we don’t just let the “professionals” do it. There is a great danger in accepting and adopting qualification standards for ourselves that are derived from the culture rather than the word of God. In this in- And then it happens. A spouse that just doesn’t understand. A child that humiliates you in the presence of your friends. The loss of something you treasure. Pain that the doc- tors can’t seem to fix. You realize by your reaction to these temptations that your love for Christ is weaker than you thought. Well, it might have been a surprise to Peter, but it certainly wasn’t for Peter’s Savior. Jesus always knew Peter for what he really was, and loved him even still. Just like He knows and loves us. As Psalm 139:1 17 remind us, “O Lord, Thou has searched me and known me. How precious also are Thy thoughts unto me, O God! How great is the sum of them!” Even when we surprise ourselves, we do not sur- prise Jesus. It is a good thing when Jesus reminds us, as He gently reminded Peter, who we really are and that He knows all about it. “Do you love Me?” What could Peter say? What would you say? The question was as direct as it was fundamental. If Peter had been the one who had been betrayed by a friend, the question would probably have been something more like, “Wow! Your love sure didn’t last as long as you thought it would, did it?” or “What proof do you have of your love for me?” But Jesus’ question was simply, “Do you love Me?” The question certainly provokes an awareness of the frailty of our love for Christ and by His grace stirs within us a grief unto repentance. But the question is not designed to leave us in introspec- tion but instead to move our eyes to Christ and to encourage us to fix them on Him with renewed affection. “Peter had professed himself a penitent; witness his tears, and his return to the society of the disciples; he was now upon his probation as a penitent; but the question is not, “Simon, how much hast thou wept? how often hast thou fasted, and afflicted thy soul?’’ but, “Dost thou stance, Jesus focuses right in on the heart of what He is looking for in those who feed His sheep—“Do you love Me?” In fact, that is what parents who truly love Jesus inevitably do. They feed sheep. Not to prove that they love Jesus, but because they love Jesus. It reminds me of the two great commandments–“Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul and mind” and “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Love for God will flow out onto those around us just as surely as the water will flow out onto all the surrounding surfaces when my little daughter overfills her cup. However undeserving and underqualified we may feel, our love for Jesus compels us to feed and nurture our children as an expression of this love. Homeschool parents sacrifice a lot for their children. When they disappoint us, we can come across like, “What is the matter with you? Don’t you know how much I do for you? Can’t you understand how easy my life would be if I didn’t choose to pour so much of my time into you?” You’ve probably felt that mar- tyr complex creeping into your mind a time or two before. Next time, spend some time mediating upon what a great honor and privilege it is to be working as an under- shepherd to the Chief Shepherd, the Great Shepherd, the Good Shepherd, Jesus Christ. Are you perfect? Nope. Do you ever let the Great Shepherd down? All the time. But, do you love Him? YES! Then, feed His sheep. 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 four children, Carson, Christiana, Angelina, and Jewel. “THE QUESTION PROVOKES AN AWARENESS OF THE FRAILTY OF OUR LOVE FOR CHRIST. WE TURN OUR GAZE ON CHRIST AND SAY WITH PETER, “LORD, YOU KNOW THAT I LOVE YOU.” LOVE ME DO YOU
  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 1 , I s s u e 9 4 , 2 01 66 FAMILY ENCOURAGEMENT There’s no doubt about it, I’ve grown up in a homeschool bubble. To my parents, public school was never an option. In fact, my earliest knowledge of public education came from peering over the fence at the school children walking past our backyard. When my little brother and I inquired about why we didn’t get to walk to school with backpacks, my mother quipped that we were certainly welcome to trot around the neighborhood with our backpacks. But we were coming right back to our dining room for school. I wouldn’t have had it any other way. Growing up in the nurturing atmosphere of our school—the kitchen table—I’ve never known any fear of truant officers, school boards, or antagonistic neighbors. We could march behind mom in the store at 10:00 in the morning Colorado’s HOMESCHOOL HISTORY BY JULIANNA DOTTEN PHOTOGRAPHYBYISTOCK without fear that the clerk would report us truant. “We’re homeschooled,” we answered to suspicious glances, and that settled it. But it hasn’t always been like that. Technically, Colorado has never banned homeschooling. But because the law required the county school district to approve all curriculum unless using one of the two state-endorsed options, school districts could bully families tirelessly. Numerous families faced truancy charges and court battles. Fam- ily, friends, and even churches often shunned families who acted on their God-given responsibility to educate their children. That’s when Treon Goossen entered the scene. As a homeschool mother, Treon enjoyed a degree of freedom from her lenient school district. But as she surveyed the families around the state strug- FAMILY ENCOURAGEMENT Remembering the Battle CHEC Conference, 2007 Day at the Capitol, 2008 CHEC Conference, 2009 Bible Bee, 2010
  7. 7. Vo l u m e 1 , I s s u e 9 4 , 2 01 6 I C H E C H O M E S C H O O L U P DAT E 7 FAMILY ENCOURAGEMENT gling through court battles, Treon decided something must change. The last straw came when she heard the State Board of Education laughing over the number of families denied homeschooling rights by their local districts. The time had come to act. Along with homeschool mother Rory Schneeberger, Treon Goossen led the fledg- ling group of concerned homeschool parents to convince two legislators to sponsor a bill for homeschool freedom in 1987. Facing opposition from both sides of the aisle, the bill failed to pass the House. But God wasn’t finished with Colorado and neither was Treon Goossen. Before the next legislative session, the two met with Senator Al Meiklejohn. He agreed to sponsor the bill on one condition: Schneeberger and Goos- sen, who was then expecting her fifth child, must attend every hearing. Though both lived over an hour away, they agreed. HSLDA attorney Chris Klicka jumped on the ball to help convince Representative Dick Bond to sponsor the bill in the house. Manning the phone from Virginia, he helped Treon, Rory, and the two congressional sponsors to work out the nuances of the bill’s wording. As the 1988 bill took shape, Treon and Rory could sense building opposition. Both discovered bugs planted in their homes, tapping their phone conversations. They started using a phone booth, developed a code system, and kept going. As God would have it, SB 56 passed on May 10, 1988, free- ing homeschooling from state censure. “It’s God’s bill, that’s all I can say,” Treon Goossen concluded. Today, almost 30 years later, Treon Goossen continues to faithfully lobby for homeschool rights in Colorado, attending session meetings, keeping tabs on any bill threatening parental rights, and in- forming families all over the state of current events. She testifies to time after time of God’s miraculous protection of the homeschool law. It was against this backdrop that Christian Home Edu- cators of Colorado emerged in 1990 as a statewide support and leadership organization for home educa- tors, forming out of several homeschool groups. In 1991, executive director Kevin Lundberg and a team of volunteers sponsored the first CHEC conference with the goal of promoting Christ-centered family discipleship. Under the direction of dedicated execu- tive directors, board of directors, staff teams, and incredible volunteers, CHEC has reached thousands of families with a vision of home discipleship. Throughout the years, CHEC has supported homeschool families from across the state by offering homeschool conferences and how-to seminars, creat- ing a comprehensive homeschool guidebook (which transitioned to an informational website), promoting homeschool related activities and events, and provid- ing five-day-a-week homeschool phone support. Thousands of students are enrolled in the CHEC Independent School, the largest one in the state, which offers oversight of homeschools under the Colorado non-public school law, easy and affordable enrollment, a variety of assessment options, and more. In addition, CHEC supports homeschool freedom through spon- soring Homeschool Day at the Capitol and maintaining a recognized state-wide presence that has sustained the respect of legislators for many years. But through all the labors of providing leadership and resources for home educators, CHEC’s heart of reaching families with God’s transforming truth for discipleship has remained constant. Kevin Lundberg will never forget the time a lady stopped him in the hall of one of the early homeschool conferences. “[When] she attended a conference several years prior, [she] found more than enough information and encouragement to teach her children at home, but even more importantly, she found God’s love and salvation for herself and her family. Now [she and her family] were headed out to the foreign mission field. CHEC has touched tens of thousands of people, many of whom are now multiplying this ministry in ways we never thought possible. God’s plans always exceed our dreams.” The story isn’t over. Thanks to the passionate pioneers, leaders, and supporters of homeschooling STAY ON THE ALERT about current homeschool events, news, and legal issues by signing up for CHEC eblasts at! here in Colorado, my parents never experienced the kind of persecution those only a generation before faced. After 28 years of freedom, it’s easy to assume our rights will remain undisturbed. But as Treon Goossen explains, “The undercurrent is still there. [The educational bureaucrats]’ goal is to just obliter- ate homeschooling unless it’s under their control. That has never gone away.” Thirty years later, we remain indebted to the tremen- dous sacrifice of Treon Goossen and the many faithful homeschool advocates who stood for freedom and enacted the Colorado homeschool law. Today, we stand on the shoulders of the great men and women who had a passion for Christian education in forming CHEC 26 years ago. Now it’s our turn. Whether it’s making a statement for liberty by attending Homeschool Day at the Capitol, responding to calls for action from Home School Legal Defense Association, supporting CHEC financially, or faithfully praying and discipling our children in the Lord, our efforts count. Whatever battles lie ahead, we must face them with cour- age. Through God’s help, we will carry the vision forward. After all, “Greater is he who is in you than he who is in the world” (1 John 4:4). Julianna feels very blessed to have been homeschooled and discipled by godly parents, Rick and Patti Dotten. Her family has been involved in CHEC in a variety of ways including serving on the conference committee last year. She desires to see a new generation take hold of the same vision of Christ- centered education that CHEC helped plant in her family’s life. Julianna has edited for Generations with Vision for the past several years and is currently study- ing communications at Chambers College in Greeley while still being actively involved in family life.
  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 1 , I s s u e 9 4 , 2 01 68 FAMILY ENCOURAGEMENT everal years ago we had a rather small cat we called “Tuna” because she loved salmon- flavored cat food (don’t question the logic). Tuna was a first-time mama—well, not really a first- timer, but she had never been able to raise a litter before. One day she would look like she had swallowed a cantaloupe and the next day she would be svelte as a maiden again. We never found any kittens—there are hundreds of hiding places on a farm—so we kind of figured this litter would perish, too. This time again Tuna refused to reveal her babies’ whereabouts. For weeks she kept odd hours and ate ravenously, shrinking to practi- cally a shadow of her usual small self. Finally one night in desperation she moved her kittens from their hiding place into our garage where I was startled to spot them the next morning. Cowering in cupboards of motor oil and lacquer thinner, I spotted tiny balls of furry meows, accented by blinking eyes. Counting, there were one-two-three-four gray striped look-alikes, an orange one, and a black one with white mittens. Oh, my! That little mama FAMILY ENCOURAGEMENT Like most Americans, I was taught to be indepen- dent—to stand on my own two feet. Asking others for help was difficult for me: I saw it as a sign of weakness. The root, of course, was pride. I was happy to help others—giving rides, playing the piano at church, teaching support group lessons— but I seldom asked anyone else for help. God used my fourth pregnancy to teach me this lesson, along with quite a few other lessons such as trust. An ultrasound at 21 weeks revealed that I was carrying twins, but that one twin had died at eigh- teen weeks. The other twin was alive but had brain, heart, and kidney abnormalities. We were referred to a specialist in Denver. Meanwhile we sought prayer from our church friends. The specialist’s ultrasound showed nothing abnor- mal about the heart or kidneys (we attributed this to God’s healing touch following the initial ultrasound). But there was still an abnormality in the live baby’s brain. The doctor suggested that we terminate the pregnancy, explaining that the baby would have seri- ous mental deficiencies and that there was a danger that I would contract a potential deadly disease, disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC), due to retaining the dead twin. She also warned that I would most certainly go into labor very soon and at just 22 had been the sole source of nutrition for six babies for the past eight weeks! No wonder she was emaci- ated. She had finally gotten desperate enough to bring them to us for help. Aren’t we sometimes that way, too? We keep on pressing forward, day after day, week after week doing things on our own. At first we believe we’re handling things pretty well by ourselves. But pretty soon it is obvious, even to our own stubborn wills, that we need HELP! Why do we wait so long to ask for help from each other or from our Father in heaven? You know, we really can trust Him—Father Knows Best is not just the title of a classic TV show. Our children will always require more than we can provide—we cannot raise them with only our own limited resources. God designed us to need Him and to need each other. In His own loving and efficient way, the Lord designed an opportunity for me to learn to receive from others. After all, the Bible teaches us that it is more blessed to give than to receive. If no one receives, how will others be blessed? ARTBYISTOCK Allowing Others to RECEIVE A BLESSINGBY MARCIA WASHBURN C H E C H O M E S C H O O L U P DAT E I Vo l u m e 1 , I s s u e 9 4 , 2 01 68
  9. 9. Vo l u m e 1 , I s s u e 9 4 , 2 01 6 I C H E C H O M E S C H O O L U P DAT E 9 FAMILY ENCOURAGEMENT ton nose. We buried his body at the foot of a favorite uncle’s grave in an oak casket his daddy built for him. Josiah was perfectly normal other than having im- mature lungs and was sent home three weeks later. I am happy to report that he is now a daddy himself. Homeschoolers have the same life emergencies that other families do: Moms get sick, relatives die, caregivers need support, and cars break down. Here are some ways to come alongside others, receiving a blessing as you bless them. ■ Don’t just say, “Call me if you need something.” Say, “I’d like to bring over your evening meal on Wednesday about 6:00. Would that work for you?” ■ When bringing food, ask about food sensitivities and preferences. The ladies who coordinated our meals checked with each other so we didn’t end up with spaghetti four nights in a row (whew!). Use disposable dishes and include reheating instruc- tions. If several families are dropping off food, leave a cooler on the doorstep so doorbells aren’t waking babies or sick folks. ■ If you would rather drive than cook, here is your chance to shine. This sometimes-overlooked, but essential service can really be a blessing. A person who is having surgery or receiving dialysis or chemo treatments often needs transportation. He or she is too medicated or exhausted to drive alone. ■ Another often-unnoticed need is for those who provide care for an elderly relative. It is so helpful to have another person along for routine doctor I was happy to help others— but I seldom asked anyone for help. weeks gestation, the baby couldn’t survive. When my husband and I refused the recommended “therapeutic” abortion, we were sent to another specialist across the city for yet another ultrasound. After the chief of radiology completed the ultrasound, he said, “There is nothing wrong with the live twin,” and sent us back to the first specialist. Of course there was no medical explanation for the brain’s normal appearance, but my husband and I are convinced that God healed our little boy as we drove across town that afternoon. We had chosen the name Josiah long before we knew we were carrying twins. When I checked the meaning of his name, the book said that Josiah means “healed by God.” What a wonderful faith-builder! I was sent home on total bed rest, with instructions to be checked weekly for DIC. That’s when I learned how to receive help graciously. Members of our church immediately set up a schedule to provide meals for the Washburns. Moms dropped by to clean my house and take our three older boys (ages 6, 4, and 1) to homeschool support group meetings so they could get out of the house. Others dropped by just for a visit to encourage and pray with me. I homeschooled the older two from the couch. It was difficult to see busy women taking time to come into our home to scrub our toilet and vacuum our car- pet. It was especially hard to see my husband return from a hard day’s work and still have the errands to run and the children to care for. I felt perfectly fine, but had to remain supine. It was a hard lesson, but it made me grateful for my normal good health. We had been warned that I would likely go into labor very soon—seldom does a pregnancy continue more than a few weeks after the death of one baby. So no one expected that “taking care of the Washburns” would turn into a four-month commitment. God graciously allowed us to carry the pregnancy until 36 weeks, surpassing all medical expectations. Little Enoch, so-named because God took him, was born first. He was about the size of my husband’s hand and somewhat flattened since his twin compressed him as he grew. Otherwise, he appeared to be a perfectly normal baby, down to his tiny toes and but- appointments so one can escort the elder into the building while the other parks the car. Even a teenager can help out in this way. ■ Mothers with new babies or who are fighting the flu or any number of other challenges would welcome a few hours of peace and quiet to take a nap or get a haircut. And don’t forget those who are caring for elders—consider volunteering to sit with the elder while the caregiver gets out for a few hours each week. This could be a wonderful ministry for a fam- ily whose own grandparents live far away. ■ The most important thing we can do for our friends is to pray for them, followed closely by personal visits. Nothing says “I care about you” like a short visit that closes with prayer. Don’t overstay your welcome. Whether the person is ill, grieving, or caring for a newborn, several short visits are less tiring than one lengthy one. Call ahead to be sure the time is convenient. We all have packed days with little time to spare. But over and over again, I have seen the Lord multiply my time when I was willing to share some of it with friends in need. Perhaps it is the same principle as tithing our income—we get more done with 90% of our time than with 100%. God has a way of working things out that way, doesn’t He? I am thankful for the lessons learned during those long months on the couch. Those sweet-spirited ladies blessed me and I, in turn, asked God to bless them. There have been times since then when I needed to ask for help. My experience so many years ago has made it easier to admit my need. I pray that you will, as a friend of mine is fond of saying to her children as they leave the house, “Be blessed and be a blessing.” © 2016 by Marcia K. Washburn who continues to support the mama cats who live in their outbuildings. Look for Marcia’s brand new book, Home-Based Eldercare: Stories and Strategies for Caregivers, along with other resources at
  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 1 , I s s u e 9 4 , 2 01 610 FAMILY ENCOURAGEMENT WHATISTHEAMEPROGRAM?Perhaps you’ve been to an AME event, purchased some of our products, or visited our booth at a conference. But maybe you’re not really sure what AME is. Life-Training that Integrates with Real Life The modern world is realizing that the typical college training experienceisn’tsufficienttoprepareyoungpeopleforasuccessful career. Many families are rediscovering apprenticeship, a tried and true method for equipping young people for life and work. The AME Program was founded in 2007 to promote and facilitate apprenticeship, mentorship, and entrepreneurship opportunities for families through events, trainings, a searchable mentor/apprentice database, and more – all with the purpose of bringing glory to God. Where Are We Today? • The mentor/apprentice database has reached over 1,000 • We have offices in Colorado and Kansas City • We’ve hosted multiple training events • And we’re growing! Learn More and Get Involved in the AME Program: AME Dinner Series See and hear more than 4 hours of stories of their successes and failures, struggles and victories, the strategies they employ and the lessons they have learned. Gain from the wisdom and insight of 9 men who are engaged in the battle for the family economy. The Nuts Bolts of Marketing Your Business in the Online Age Acquiring and Keeping Customers through Branding, Marketing, Websites, SEO, Social Media A 4 DVD set with more than 4 hours of rich content and stories of growing and marketing your business. Get both DVD sets for one low price: Downloadableproductsavailablein avarietyoftopics,singledownloads andpackagesstartingat$3each! $ 8900 $ 3900 Plus, use coupon code CHECupdate to download the 2-Day AME Real Estate Class for free (valued at $149.00). See more details at www.AMEprogram.comA part of Christian Home Educators of Colorado Limited availability. Grab them now before they are gone!
  11. 11. Vo l u m e 1 , I s s u e 9 4 , 2 01 6 I C H E C H O M E S C H O O L U P DAT E 11 FAMILY ENCOURAGEMENT DISCOVER THE REMARKABLE STRUGGLE FOR WESTERN LIBERTIES OVER 2,000 YEARS GetaVisionof FreedomforChristiansinthe21stcentury!Inthisseminal book on freedom from a Christian perspective, Kevin Swanson first defines the term and then traces the struggle for freedom through biblical times and church history. You will read of the battle for the Magna Carta, the Scottish War for Independence, the Dutch War for Independence, the battle for religious liberties in the 17th century, and America’s War for Independence and the Bill of Rights. Go to NEW! •Offe r Ends March 5 ,2016• Special offer for CHEC families! UseCo uponCodeFr eedom Get1 FREE! Buy1
  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 1 , I s s u e 9 4 , 2 01 612 FAMILY ENCOURAGEMENT THE PERSON WHO LIVES NEXT DOOR IS TYPICALLY WHO WE THINK OF AS OUR NEIGHBOR. WHO IS OUR NEIGHBOR, BIBICALLY SPEAKING, AND HOW DOES THAT CHANGE THE WAY WE LOOK AT OUR FAMILY? A Jesus speaks to exactly this point in His parable of the Good Samaritan. The obvious truth is that whoever God brings across our path with needs that we are able to meet is our neighbor. Thus, our neighbor certainly starts with our fam- ily members who are in our presence, basically 24/7. Scripture teaches that meeting our family’s needs is our priority; but, that doesn’t exclude God using us in meeting the needs of those outside of our family. SOMETIMES A MORE DISTANT NEIGHBOR MIGHT BE EASIER TO LOVE THAN THE ONE THAT LIVES UNDER MY OWN ROOF. WHY IS THAT? A Love is certainly giving to the basic needs of another without expecting anything in return. For example, it’s admi- rable to support poor children overseas; however, we are not the ones directly raising these children and the ones that have to live with them 24/7. In our families, we learn both tough love and merciful love as we “tabernacle” here on earth together. Also, we have expectations on each other as family, but not on the people we “love from a distance”. We cannot afford to have a bitter and critical spirit against our family members, but we often do. It is in our families where we learn the depth of true love which is giving mercy and forgiveness. THEMATIC INTERVIEW LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR: Bringing It Home PHOTOGRAPHYBYISTOCK INTERVIEW WITH PETE OLSON
  13. 13. Vo l u m e 1 , I s s u e 9 4 , 2 01 6 I C H E C H O M E S C H O O L U P DAT E 13 FAMILY ENCOURAGEMENTTHEMATIC INTERVIEW protect them and when to let them enter the battle. This discernment can only come from seeking the Lord and hearing His voice. We must know our child’s heart and teach them that all their decisions should be motivated by the desire to please the Lord. It’s not enough to teach our children to simply please us as parents. We must discern what kind of outreach ministries each of our children can handle and be successful in. It will obviously differ according to the child. We accomplish this by doing ministry with our children; teaching, training, and even de-briefing after minis- try opportunities. WHAT ARE SOME WAYS THAT YOU AS A FAMILY HAVE BEEN ABLE TO OBEY GOD’S COMMAND TO “LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF”? A One major way we, as a family, have reached out to others is through hospitality. For many years we lived on a farm which was an excel- lent avenue for having people over. We would plan activities and meals intentionally to encourage others. Often we gave a lot of produce away from our purposely large garden. Throughout the years, we’ve had many opportunities to visit the elderly and to assist them in whatever their needs were; i.e. meals, home care and repair, etc. One time we took a Christmas tree over to a neighbor and sang Christmas carols with them. SOMEBODY MIGHT BE THINK- ING, “BUT MY FAMILY IS NOT LIKE THAT!” WHAT ARE SOME WAYS THAT ANY HOMESCHOOL FAMILY CAN REACH OUT WITH LOVE TO THEIR “NEIGHBORS”? A There are so many ways to minister. Scripture commands us to watch out for the needs of widows and orphans. This is a good place to start. There are many single moms 13 SOMETIMES SPECIFIC CHILDREN OR EVEN FAMILIES AS A WHOLE STRUGGLE WITH THE FEAR OF MAN THAT PROHIBITS THEM FROM REACHING OUT TO LOVE THEIR NEIGHBOR. WHAT ARE SOME CAUSES OF THAT, AND HOW CAN IT BE CORRECTED? A Being secure in who we are as a beloved child of God is one of the most basic truths that each Christian needs to know deep in their heart. When one lacks this security, then they are fearful of the influence and opinions of others. Thus, they stay inward. Often fear is the result of unhealed hurts from one’s past that haven’t been taken to Jesus for healing. Another cause of fear is simply selfishness and pride. Tragically, I’ve seen many home education families not reach out to others because they are afraid those people will ‘dirty’ their family or lead them astray from Christ. In protecting our children from worldly influences, we need balance. WE NEED TO TEACH OUR CHILDREN TO LOVE AND SERVE NOT ONLY THEIR OWN FAMILY AND CHURCH, BUT ALSO THE LOST WORLD AROUND THEM. HOW CAN THIS BE ACCOMPLISHED WHILE STILL PROVIDING THE NEEDED PROTECTION FOR OUR CHILDREN? A This topic requires great balance and wisdom from the Holy Spirit. We also need to be very aware of our children’s spiritual maturity. Obvi- ously, with many young children, their nurturing is their parents’ priority and thus, time reaching out to the world is limited. However, as our children meet Christ and mature, they should be able to interact with worldly people without going the world’s way. Our children will have to survive and battle the world system at some point. The key is knowing when to today who need a lot of help and encouragement. We need to consciously be aware of our neighbors and looking out for them. Introduce yourself to new neighbors; possibly take a plate of muffins or cookies to them in the process. Just last week, as I was leaving our house, I heard water gurgling up. Walking over to our neighbor’s yard, it was obvious that their sprinkler system had frozen and burst. Fortunately, someone was home and able to deal with the situa- tion. Too often, we’re in such a hurry and get caught up with our own things that we miss our neighbors’ needs when they are right in front of us. AS A PASTOR AND HOMESCHOOL DAD, DO YOU HAVE A CLOSING ADMONITION THAT YOU WOULD LIKE TO SHARE ON THIS TOPIC? A It is often fear that immobilizes us and keeps us from following up on the opportunities that God gives us to be a neighbor to someone. As in war, the Christian soldier must break out of fear and get moving. If reaching out to your neighbor is difficult, ask God to show you a simple step; then obey. That small first step will be the beginning of a bigger ministry. Let’s not be the priest and the Levite from the Parable of the Good Samaritan who were too focused on themselves to help others. Rather, be that Good Samaritan, willing to help our neighbor even when it costs us. Remember, our salvation was not free; it cost Jesus everything. Let’s follow in His footsteps. Pete Olson and his wife Roxy were some of the very first to home educate in CO in the early 1980’s. Hav- ing degrees from CSU and Denver Seminary, he has also taught in Christian day schools and still teaches classes for home education students. Pete presently serves as the pastor of Good Shepherd Bible Church in Arvada, Colorado.
  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 1 , I s s u e 9 4 , 2 01 614 BEST OF BLOG Do you wonder what to do with wiggle worms while you’re schooling the others? BY RENEE ELLISON 1. Athletics: three laps around the living room; ten reps with an unopened can of soup in each hand; four push-ups in each corner of the school room, etc. 2. Chores: dream up little jobs to do that really don’t matter but that will occupy him. For example, he can use a washrag to wipe all of the door handles throughout the whole house, or sort books or papers by size. He can empty all the trash cans, sort the silverware drawer, wipe down the front of the cupboards and the lower realms of the walls near the floor, wipe the bathroom floor with a damp paper towel, wipe out the bathroom sink, wipe down the inside of the front window, sweep the front steps, shake rugs, dust the window sills, etc.—whatever he or she is physically up to. If you don’t use soap for any of these projects there is no danger that they will do anything wrong. 3. Creative activities in place: ■ you draw large squares on a piece of paper, and then the little guy colors each square with a different color PHOTOGRAPHYBYAPRILMALLICK Here’s the overall principle: busy children are happy children! This means you have to stay ahead of your little guy with projects—even if those projects are only just busy work. For much more on this topic, read our e-book/Kindle book, Training Terrific Tots: 50 ideas to use with a little one who can’t read! ( pizzazz) It is loaded with ideas. Meanwhile, here are two approaches to homeschooling children while you also have a child who is too young to do academics. One approach moms use is to let the little guys “hang from the chandeliers” and just concentrate on the academics with the older children. The other method is to cor- ral all of your youngsters into your school area: no one can go beyond this line during school time— here is YOUR part of the table to work on—or, you must work on this large beach towel with your puzzle, trucks, or whatever. The secret for the mom is to stay ahead of the little guy with attention-focusing activities that he can do with little or no input from you. Toward that end, here are some ideas: BEST OF BLOG Visit the CHEC blog for through-the-week encouragement, with articles like: ▶ 7 Tips for Family-to- Family Mentoring ▶ 5 Ways Dads Can Get Involved ▶ Shopping with Kids ▶ Keeping the Hearts of Our Children Go to WWW.CHEC. ORG/BLOG to read more and sign up for email updates!
  15. 15. Vo l u m e 1 , I s s u e 9 4 , 2 01 6 I C H E C H O M E S C H O O L U P DAT E 15 BEST OF BLOG ■ he plays with ice cubes on a tray ■ he plays with a tubful of water on the kitchen floor, using measuring cups and funnels on a towel on the floor right here at your feet The overall accomplishment goal for the mother is to focus on just one child at a time, deeply—shifting your focus from child to child until you have cov- ered them ALL and then you get back at it with the first ones again, no matter what you are doing during the day—laundry, fixing a meal, etc. You get one child fully into that activity with you, so that you are double-whamming your time—building relationship, character qualities, bonding, securing obedi- ence, laughter, enjoyment, and letting them know that you cherish them. Focus, but then shift your focus—that’s the name of the game. Cycle through your children over and over and over and over. Smile warmly at the other three—while going deep with the one. Renee Ellison is an experienced teacher, homeschool mother, and confer- ence speaker. She is founder of Homeschool How-To’s. This article was originally posted on Homeschool How-To’s and is shared with permission. Article header photo was submitted to the Update photo contest by homeschool mom Luisa Alzamora. See page 28 to learn how to submit your photos to Update magazine! Do you play a musical instrument, sing, act, or speak? We want you! We’re looking for homeschool students to be part of our general sessions at the upcoming Rocky Mountain Homeschool Conference. It’s a great way to bless homeschool families with your gifts and gain experience performing in front of 1,000+ people. We have openings for instrumentalists, vocalists, and orators. We’d love for you to participate! Learn more at ers/general-sessions. CHEC’s Homeschool Introductory Seminars are held throughout the year to give parents the vision and nuts bolts they need. Seminars are hosted year-round across the state, including: ■ Buena Vista ■ Colorado Springs ■ Loveland Our next seminar is April 2nd in Parker— sign up today! START HOMESCHOOLING WITH CONFIDENCE! INTERESTED IN HELPING HOST A SEMINAR IN YOUR HOME TOWN? PLEASE CONTACT JOSH@ CHEC.ORG! CHEC.ORG/EVENTS ■ Grand Junction ■ Pueblo ■ Westminister PERFORMERS WANTED
  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 1 , I s s u e 9 4 , 2 01 616 GENERATIONS getting updated conference insert What shall we do about Father? Most of us haven’t thought much about caring for our parents—they have always been the ones who cared for us. But now Dad’s health is failing. Mom’s memory is slipping. How can we best show honor for our aging parents? 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. Christian Family Eldercare is a non-profit organization dedicated to honoring seniors, including our own parents, members of our church, and even the “least of these” among us. Our mission is to encourage relational, family- oriented, and cross-generational eldercare. Home-Based ELDERCAREStories and Strategies for Caregivers by Marcia Washburn Available at
  17. 17. Vo l u m e 1 , I s s u e 9 4 , 2 01 6 I C H E C H O M E S C H O O L U P DAT E 17 GENERATIONS JUNE 16-18, 2016 D E N V E R C O LO R A D O Rocky Mountain Homeschool Conference Presented by Christian Home Educators of Colorado AUTHOR OF COMING! Dr. Tedd Tripp—See inside for more
  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 1 , I s s u e 9 4 , 2 01 618 CHEC envisions families honoring Jesus Christ by embracing home discipleship that is Christ centered, parent directed, and free from government control. Join us! Donate at I 720.842.4852 I Call Monday-Friday, 10 AM to 5 PM As homeschool families, a lot of things are fighting for our time: academic excellence, character training, extra-curricular activities, entrepreneurial ventures, and so on. All of these things may be healthy and good, but it’s easy to let them steal from the most important thing. This year, we encourage you to focus on the One who can provide a strong foundation for us and our families: Jesus Christ, “a cornerstone chosen and precious” (1 Peter 2:6). RockyMountainHom Christian Home Educators of Colorado REGISTER AT Rocky Mountain Homeschool Conference
  19. 19. Vo l u m e 1 , I s s u e 9 4 , 2 01 6 I C H E C H O M E S C H O O L U P DAT E 19 CONFERENCE FEATURES: 5 Keynote General Sessions 90+ Workshops 200+ Exhibit Hall Booths Used Curriculum Sale (buy sell) Family Movie Night As we gather with thousands of other homeschool families at the 2016 Rocky Mountain Homeschool Conference, together we will be reminded of these truths that will last through eternity: “And [Christ] is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything He might be preeminent. For in Him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through Him to reconcile to Himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of His cross” (Colossians 1:18-20). We look forward to fellowshipping with you! KEYNOTE SPEAKERS TODD FRIEL TEDD MARGY TRIPP ISRAEL BROOK WAYNE OTHER SPEAKERS INCLUDE JEFF BALDWIN DANIEL BOBINSKI TOM CLARK DIANNE CRAFT SCOTT DAVIDSON DIANE KUMMER BRIDGET MOSLEY DAVE MARY JO NUTTING PETE OLSON TERI ONG CINDY PUHEK SONYA SHAFER MIKE SNAVELY TODD STRAWSER KEVIN SWANSON STEVEN VAUGHAN NEW FOR 2016! YOUTH TRAINING CERTIFICATION PROGRAMS! Hunter Safety CHEC Family Choir Youth Entrepreneurs Add-on to your registration! SAVE $10 withcode WINTER!EXPIRES MARCH 1ST
  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 1 , I s s u e 9 4 , 2 01 620 REGISTER EARLY AND SAVE! TOLL-FREE 877.842.CHEC I DENVER METRO 720.842.4852 BRING THE WHOLE FAMILY! Register with the Family add-on to include grandparents and children of any age who live with you. FULL CONFERENCE: All general sessions, workshops, exhibit hall, and used curriculum sale. Spouse included! Family add-on is just $30! SHOPPING: Exhibit hall and used curriculum sale. Spouse included! Family add-on is just $20! $ 89 $ 49 $ 99 $ 59 THURSDAY, JUNE 16TH General Session - 8:30 am Workshops - 10:30-5:00 pm Shopping - 3:30-8:30 pm FRIDAY, JUNE 17TH General Session - 8:30 am Workshops - 10:30-5:00 pm Shopping - 10:00-8:30 pm Afternoon Keynote - 4:00-5:00 pm SATURDAY, JUNE 18TH General Session - 8:30 am Workshops - 10:30-3:30 pm Shopping - 10:00-3:45 pm Closing General Session - 4:00-5:30 pm DOORS OPEN AT 7:30 AM WHERE? The conference is held at the Denver Mart located on the northeast corner of I-25 and 58th Avenue. DISCOUNTSAVAILABLEfor pastors,first-time attenders,single moms,and parents ofpreschoolers! FAMILY MOVIE NIGHT! 7:00 pm SPECIAL DISCOUNT FOR UPDATE READERS! Save $10 on registration using the code WINTER (expires March 1st)
  21. 21. Vo l u m e 1 , I s s u e 9 4 , 2 01 6 I C H E C H O M E S C H O O L U P DAT E 21 allows new projects to be offered on a regular basis. I needed a good art program for my budding art- ists, and we have found Sharon Hofer to be a very thorough teacher who encourages her students to achieve things far greater than most students or parents think possible. My elementary and high school students were able to work with Creating a Masterpiece and produce amazing artwork. Find out more about Creating a Masterpiece at Dwane Thomas is the educator behind Visual Latin (www.compass and he seeks to make Latin accessible to beginners. Each lesson contains three segments: introduction of new vo- cabulary, working with sentences, and reading and translating from a simplified version of the Vulgate Bible. Worksheets are also included with the DVDs so students can have additional practice. Each of the two levels of Visual Latin contains 30 lessons. For elementary students, one lesson a week is recommended. High school students will need to complete 2 lessons each week and supplement with Lingua Latina per se Illustrata. A teacher’s guide for the supplemental material is available free at the PHOTOGRAPHYBYISTOCK with Wes explaining what is happening and why. The DVDs are really visual textbooks and would enhance any study of science. With Biology 101 being over 4-½ hours long, Chemistry 101 being over 10-hours long, and Physics 101 being over 11-hours long, they are well worth the $69.95 price tag. Creating a Masterpiece is another program that spans the ages. Sharon Hofer began Creating a Masterpiece when the waiting list for art lessons at her art studio was 200 students long. In order to accommodate this growing list of students, Sharon began producing DVDs of her art classes. These DVDs were unique in several ways from other video art classes. First, Sharon wanted even the youngest children to produce quality art rather than simple crafts. Sharon divided the DVDs into segments with each segment being about the same length as an art class. She required students to only complete one segment a day so they don’t burn out or become overwhelmed. She also provided a list of art sup- plies needed and a link to purchase those supplies. I found this aspect very helpful because I am an art novice and need help getting the right supplies. In 2015, Sharon shifted Creating a Masterpiece from a DVD-based curriculum to a online class. The cost for the whole family to subscribe is $39 per month or $299 for the entire year. This new online format (CONTINUES ON PAGE 23) CURRICULUM REVIEW RESOURCES It’s challenging to find curriculum that applies to a wide range of ages. Resources which are applicable to the whole family are great both for family together- ness and for the pocketbook. Here are a few DVD- and internet-based products that can be beneficial for elementary students, high school students, and everyone in between. It’s always great to find a product that entertains while it educates. Wes Olson has done a masterful job producing Biology 101, Chemistry 101, and, new this fall, Physics 101 ( These DVDs have enough depth to be used as a high school science credit, but they are entertaining enough that my elementary-aged students gladly watch them. Wes Olson is not a scientist but rather a film maker and a Christian homeschooling dad with a great sense of humor. He is able to explain scientific principals from a layman’s viewpoint, and he does this very well. The epi- sodes are full of demonstrations of experiments Family Friendly BY CINDY PUHEK
  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 1 , I s s u e 9 4 , 2 01 622 GENERATIONS Unfortunately, this is a common feeling for many elderly today. While they are the ones we are called to honor the most, seniors live as some of the loneliest people in the world. Recently a study concluded that loneliness is worse for your health than obesity and may in- crease the chances of premature death by 14%. And while the Bible reminds us that we should “stand up before the gray head and honor the face of an old man,” many seniors today live as what Christ called the “least of these” among us. As some of the most vulnerable people in our society today, our beloved elderly are often left alone and overlooked. But did you know that you—yes you dad and mom—you are one of God’s main tools to restore honor? RESTORING HONOR:Building Generations to Persevere BY TODD AND JESSIE STRAWSER Caring for the sick and dying is not a thing you’ll find many doing in our culture today. This is mainly because the elderly are seen as past their point of usefulness, unable to produce something tangible, not contributing…but that’s where our culture is gravely mistaken! “How much better to get wisdom than gold! And to get understanding is to be chosen rather than silver.” Proverbs 16:16 Indeed, the Word tell us not only do they have wisdom, which is to be prized above gold, but that declaring the goodness of God is essentially the role of the aged. This is the job of old men and women: to pass on wisdom to the next generation! Do we honor them by allowing that opportunity? Do we embrace the blessing of visiting and serving the elderly and receiving their wisdom? “Now also when I am old and grayheaded, O God, do not forsake me, Until I declare Your PHOTOGRAPHYBYISTOCK It starts with the call for every Christian, whether you think you’re in a season of caring for the elderly or not. For the Word reminds us that, “Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress.” James 1:27a This verse came to light for us many years ago; with little ones at our ankles, and yet wanting to serve and love others, our family began visiting senior rest homes. Even today after 12 years of weekly visits, few joys compare to seeing the eyes of a frail 90-year-old man light up when our little 2-year-old reaches out her chubby hands for a hug. Relation- ships are built, loneliness fades, and honor for those who possess true wisdom is gently fashioned. Ever feel lonely? Have you ever wished someone would stop by? Maybe talk to you for a while? GENERATIONS
  23. 23. Vo l u m e 1 , I s s u e 9 4 , 2 01 6 I C H E C H O M E S C H O O L U P DAT E 23 GENERATIONS strength to this generation, Your power to everyone who is to come.” Psalm 71:18 Many today wonder why we see so many youth veer off into laziness, selfishness, and sometimes outright foolishness. Could it be because they’re not receiving the wisdom of elders 60 years older than them? Not hearing the stories of war-torn Christians who have endured spiritual battles for decades? Are they sitting at the feet of their grandparents, seeking to grow in wisdom? We must bolster the next generation by ensuring wisdom is transferred. I encourage you parents to bring the generations together. Pair up your youth that lack wisdom with those God-fearing veterans of the faith who have much to share. While we honor the elderly we will also gain wisdom from our seniors to strengthen the next generation to even greater faith in God. As an additional blessing, visiting and serving the elderly today may prepare you for a future season of eldercare yourself, perhaps for your own parents one day, a key element of restoring honor. Considering the future brings into play how we live out honor today. In great contrast to the common model, where honor is sporadic based on circumstances, Biblical honor is consistent in youth (exampled in Proverbs) and increases throughout life, compounding respect, dignity, and reverence to levels higher than the com- mon model will ever attain. It’s important that we run after honor and provide an example of this for our children and future generations. “But if any widow has children or grandchil- dren, let them first learn to show piety at home and to repay their parents; for this is good and acceptable before God.” 1 Timothy 5:4 Consider the message here: children instructed to repay their parents, by showing piety in their home? This is not the “I’m 18 now, see ya mom and dad, have a nice life” mentality I once knew. No, this can only come through years of honor, respect, and a cultivated relationship. As relationships grow, bolstered through love, honor begins to bloom. So now it’s your turn. Go visit the elderly in a rest home, take a walk in your neighborhood and check in on that widow, consider how you’ll care for your parents one day, and transfer wisdom to the next generation. Even with a gaggle of little ones in tow you can stop loneliness, restore honor, build the generations to persevere, and make eldercare a relationship-centered reality. Todd and Jessie Strawser share a deep conviction to see the gospel of Christ advance and for the Chris- tian church and family to thrive. The Strawsers have served with CHEC in various capacities since 2009 after moving back to Colorado following a career in the military. In addition to raising and home educat- ing their seven children, the Strawsers lead Christian Family Eldercare, a national network dedicated to encouraging, equipping, and enabling relationship- centered eldercare. Todd serves as a deacon at his local church, works as an IT Project Manager in Colorado Springs, and runs a small property man- agement business. Both Todd and Jessie were raised in Colorado Springs and now live in Monument. Age of Child Age of Child Honor for Parents End of Parents’ Life Common Model Biblical Model website. Visual Latin is very engaging. I have used this program with some of my own children and used it to lead a co-op class. Everyone has enjoyed Dwane Thomas’ sense of humor and his masterful teaching style. Learning how to sew can be a wonderful creative outlet for young ladies. Modesty Matters (www. has created a thorough curriculum called You Can Sew for students who are complete beginners with the sewing machine. In this one semester, DVD-based course, students learn about sewing tools and fabrics while completing four sewing projects. A large notebook is included with the DVDs. If your student already knows his/her way around a sewing machine and a fabric store, the Modesty Matters project DVDs or downloads are a wonderful teaching tool. Each project is worked out step by step on the DVD allowing students to watch the project being completed before attempting it themselves. PDFs are included with the DVDs which provide written instructions and the pattern. I have taught many girls how to sew using these DVDs. The projects are simple (the dresses do not have zippers) and consistently turn out beautifully. I hope these resources will give you some ideas about how to enrich your study of science, art, Latin, and home economics in ways which include the whole family. 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 Family Friendly RESOURCES (CONTINUED FROM PAGE 21)
  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 1 , I s s u e 9 4 , 2 01 624 FAMILY ENCOURAGEMENT LEGACY OF A Homeschool Dad BY JASON AND JENNIFER CHURCHILL speaking of his, and our, propensity to regularly forget the importance of the Gospel. Let me explain what he meant: There we are, one moment pondering the Gospel, the death and resurrection of Christ, this great salvation that was wrought for us and how that is to influence how I treat my spouse and…. The light is on in the kid’s room. Those kids keep leaving the lights on! I keep telling them. They are so irresponsible! That is why the utility bill was so high last month. I can’t believe how high the prices of gas and electricity are these days. It’s all our government’s fault! How are we supposed to make it when prices just keep going up? PHOTOGRAPHYBYISTOCK;SWASEYFAMILY “GIVE ME THREE SECONDS AND I WILL FORGET THE GOSPEL.” Of all of the memorable sayings and illustra- tions that Garrett Swasey gave us in his sermons, this phrase was the most loved and oft quoted. In fact, if you are around the mem- bers of Hope Chapel for any amount of time you will hear this phrase used frequently. Garrett always used to say, “I don’t mean this as a good thing.” That is because he was Editor’s Note: On Friday, November 27th, 2015, a dearly loved husband, father, church elder, and police officer, Garrett Swasey, was killed in the line of duty in Colorado Springs, CO. Garrett was a homeschool dad and some of you probably saw him and his wife Rachel walking the halls of CHEC’s Rocky Mountain Homeschool Conference the last several years. Garrett’s example serves as a vivid reminder of the sacrificial love of our Savior and may we be chal- lenged to show it to our families, churches, and the lost world around us, right down to our last breath. “Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son [to be] the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another” (1 John 4:7-11). This was Garrett’s motivation and this will be his legacy. He wanted to be like his Savior who loved to the death. FAMILY ENCOURAGEMENT We find ourselves, perhaps moments or even hours later, not having our focus on the Gospel. We dis- cover that we have not thought about our children, their room, our electric bills, or our government in light of who Jesus is and what He has done. Garrett’s statement, while pointing out our forget- fulness, also reminds us of our need to remember the Gospel every second of every minute of every day. It is the Gospel, and the Gospel alone, that is our power, our motivation, our impetus for godly, righteous, fruitful living. The Gospel should inform and direct our marriage, our parenting, vocation, ministry, friendships, and decision-making. Garrett wanted to be thinking about the Gospel all of the time. It was this driving passion to have the
  25. 25. Vo l u m e 1 , I s s u e 9 4 , 2 01 6 I C H E C H O M E S C H O O L U P DAT E 25 FAMILY ENCOURAGEMENT Gospel infuse and direct every action that made Garrett the person that he was. It was his under- standing of how Christ laid down His life for him that led Garrett to lay down his life for others. He didn’t just do this on Black Friday to save the lives of those in danger, he did it in every facet of his life. Garrett was the true definition of a servant. He lived the life of a servant of Christ by giving himself for his wife and children. Time and again he placed Rachel, Elijah, and Faith before himself, build- ing a beautiful home life where they saw sacrifice demonstrated on a daily basis, where they saw what it means to be godly and to follow Christ and to love others. He did this as a gentle warrior. Snug- gling and laughing and playing with his wife and children while providing leadership, protection and sustenance to them. This was just the beginning, though, of how Garrett served, for the same tenderness and love with which he served his family was also poured out to his friends and church body. There are so many examples I could give of his service, especially to our family. The first time I was introduced to Garrett was when I decided to call a church that we had read about online. It was about 4:30pm on a Saturday afternoon. Of course no one would be answering the church phones. But Garrett did. He spent 25 minutes talking to me that day. Then after a few visits to the church, I wanted to ask some more questions. So Garrett took me out to break- fast, and we talked, and talked. I asked all kinds of messed-up, weird questions that he patiently and lovingly answered. Six hours later we parted. I was a stranger then, and he spent six precious hours with this man who was hurting. That was just the first of many such instances. Garrett was also a gifted musician whose knowl- edge of music was astounding. Not only did he play on the worship team, but he also spent nearly three hours every Sunday after church teaching my children and several other teens in the church how to play guitar. He served both them and the church by investing in the next generation of the church’s musicians. I could go on for pages. Eight years of stories of a smiling, loving, caring servant who gave everything he had to his family and his church while daily placing his life on the line to protect the community. He finished well, doing what he did: protecting and serving others in the name of Christ because of the Gospel. I end with this. We have a three-year-old in our congregation that comes from a broken home and is a veritable bundle of energy. Often this little boy transfers this energy into negative behavior that is hard to control or even direct. Each Sunday Garrett, who had a seemingly unending list of tasks to perform as a church leader and musician, still took the time to build a special relationship with this little boy. In fact, each Sunday that little boy would wait at the door for Garrett’s arrival. Garrett would pick him up in his arms and carry him around church pour- ing out the love that he so needed. That was true leadership, true servanthood. He loved the least of us. That little three-year-old boy still stands at the door each Sunday waiting for Garrett. Thank you God for Garrett Swasey and the impact he has had on all of our lives. Thank you for predestining him, for calling him, for justifying him and now for glorifying him through Your great and glorious Gospel. Jason and Jennifer Churchill recently celebrated their 20th wedding anniversary and have three fun and crazy boys and one fun and delightful daughter. They have been homeschooling for more than eighteen years. The Churchills are passionate about the glorious Gospel of Jesus Christ and they’ve been blessed to serve Christian Home Educators of Colorado in various positions for nine years.
  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 1 , I s s u e 9 4 , 2 01 626 FAMILY ENCOURAGEMENT Did you ever imagine a day would come when Russians would enjoy more freedom and less regulation regarding the education of their children than Americans do? Homeschooling In The FORMER USSRBY SCOTT AND ANDIE DAVIDSON tion to the world as a result of the indoctrination that occurs in their schools. There is a desperate need to offer an alternative. Through a series of providential events, the Lord introduced our family to a man back in 2010 who has lived in St. Petersburg, Russia, with his family for nearly 25 years. Working with the Navigators initially, Blake Purcell and his wife Cathy established a pasto- ral seminary and have been training and shepherding pastors across the nine time zones of Russia (even to the far east coastal city of Vladivostok). Visiting our church here in Colorado, he encouraged my family to consider coming over to share our experiences in teaching our eight children at home. After a two week “fact-finding mission” with my 11-year-old daughter in 2011, we decided we should spend a more extended time visiting the various churches Blake had planted PHOTOGRAPHYBYISTOCK Well, that day is here. Many Russian families experi- ence more liberty than some American families in the more regulated states. Back in 1992, a law allowing various forms of education for children was issued in Russia. As a matter of fact, their Federal Framework Law goes so far as to state that, “Parents (guardians) of children have the primary right to educate and to bring up their children before all other persons.” Wouldn’t you love to hear that claim from our legisla- tors? Despite all this, the homeschooling movement in Russia has not primarily been a Christian movement until the last few years. The idea that children require a Christian education is foreign to most Russian be- lievers. Private Christian schools are an impossibility for the vast majority of Russians, so homeschooling remains their only option to avoid the godless govern- ment educational institutions. Just like in America, many Russian families are losing the next genera- Editor’s Note: While CHEC’s primary focus is serving Colorado homeschoolers, God has enabled CHEC to expand its ministry internationally through support of Paideia Missions. You will be encouraged to learn what God is doing in the home education movement in the former USSR! FAMILY ENCOURAGEMENT PARTNER with CHEC 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 1 , I s s u e 9 4 , 2 01 626 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!
  27. 27. Vo l u m e 1 , I s s u e 9 4 , 2 01 6 I C H E C H O M E S C H O O L U P DAT E 27 FAMILY ENCOURAGEMENT or supported. So, in October and November of 2012 all eight of my children, my wife, and two young ladies who wanted to help traveled to four different cities in Russia, using the Purcell’s apart- ment in St. Petersburg as our headquarters. We met with dozens of families in their homes and churches talking about why and how we disciple our kids. Our primary focus was the pastors who had been trained through Blake’s Slavic Reformation Society but who were not offering their children a distinctly Christian education. We recently heard the news that 100% of the pastors who have children have begun homeschooling them! One of the cities we visited was Vyborg, near the coast of Finland. We met with about 13 families from one church. We spent two weeks meeting with one or two families each night sharing our experi- ences and letting them ask questions, often staying up till 1 or 2 in the morning (Russians stay up late). Within weeks of our time in Vyborg, every single family with children removed them from the govern- ment schools and began homeschooling. That was three years ago and they are still going strong despite the opposition from school officials in their area. That trip birthed a vision in our hearts for a non-profit ministry called Paideia Missions. Paideia is a Greek word found in Ephe- sians 6:4, translated “nurture,” meaning the whole training and education of a child, the cultiva- tion of their mind as well as their morals and the nurturing of the soul. This vision for a discipleship- based lifestyle is what will truly transform a nation over multiple generations. If you remember, Jesus’ Great Commission to “go and make disciples of all nations” has two distinct parts: baptize them and teach them to obey all He has commanded. Too often, overseas ministries put the majority of their focus on the first part and fail to do the hard, long tasks of teaching believers to obey all He has com- manded, especially regarding the nurturing of the next generation which is absolutely necessary for cultural transformation. Since that time, we have held two “Family Education Discipleship Conferences” at the St. Petersburg Christian University. (“Family Education” is their word for homeschooling.) We more than doubled our attendance last year and expect to pack the place out this year. Last year, one of the significant elements of the conference was the tremendous amount of Christian materials and curriculum we PARTNER’S PAGE Vo l u m e 1 , I s s u e 9 4 , 2 01 6 I C H E C H O M E S C H O O L U P DAT E 27 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 Plaza Drive, Suite 210 Parker, Colorado 80134 For 26 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. were able to display and sell – literally over a ton of materials. Plans are already underway for a third conference in March of 2016 led by a team of Rus- sians we have been coaching who grasp the vision for family discipleship. Russia is not the only nation in which we hope to minister, but it is the location that the Lord seems to be opening doors for currently. We have had requests for a similar ministry in Africa, Brazil, China, and most recently, Hungary. We would love to expand our ministry, but in order to accomplish this we need to build up a support team of families and churches committed to the vision of Christian education and multi-generational discipleship. If any of this interests you, please contact us or visit us at Also, if you are interested in serving with Paideia Missions, we are always looking for those whom the Lord may be leading to travel far, get out of their “comfort zone,” and testify to what has been done in their hearts and lives. May all of our activities contribute to the filling of the earth “with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.” (Habakkuk 2:14) Scott and Andie Davidson homeschool eight chil- dren and live in Parker, Colorado. Scott served with CHEC for five years and his wife regularly speaks at the Rocky Mountain Homeschool Conference. Five years ago they founded Paideia Missions in order to share their homeschooling experience with other nations around the world. PHOTOSBYANDERSONFAMILY
  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 1 , I s s u e 9 4 , 2 01 628 ■ 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 SUBMIT YOUR PHOTOS to the CHEC Homeschool Update! OFFICIAL RULES Submit your photos (.jpg or .png) via email to office@ with subject line “Update Magazine Photo Submission” by April 10, 2016 for a chance to be featured in the CHEC Homeschool Update. Any homeschooled student, graduate, or parent/grandpar- ent 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. We cannot print phone photos. Featured photos will be chosen based on overall quality, family- friendliness, and the magazine issue theme, which will be Christ the Cornerstone. 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— family meal time, household tasks, Bible time, play time, textbook work, and chores. We’ll feature selected photos in the next edition of the Update! Photo Submitted by Savannah Fine ENROLLMENTOPEN THROUGHAPRIL 30TH!
  29. 29. Vo l u m e 1 , I s s u e 9 4 , 2 01 6 I C H E C H O M E S C H O O L U P DAT E 29 graduation ad 2016 CHEC GRADUATION CEREMONY SATURDAY, MAY 21st, 2016 ELIZABETH, COLORADO 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 Saturday, May 21st (choose 10am or 3pm) 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 partici- pation in the ceremony, a cap and gown, a printed diploma and cover, andceremonyprograms.(Optionalphoto/videopackagealsoavailable.) Plan now to join the celebration! LEARN MORE AND REGISTER AT CHEC.ORG/EVENTS/GRADUATION
  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 1 , I s s u e 9 4 , 2 01 630 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: 5,500 Next Advertising Deadline: April 10, 2016 For advertising opportunities with CHEC, go to 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 © 2016 by CHEC Creative Assistant and Designer: Sarah Bryant, February Spelling Bee CASTLE ROCK March High School Beyond Seminar PARKER April Homeschool Introductory Seminar PARKER Homeschool Day at the Capitol DENVER May Homeschool Graduation Ceremonies ELIZABETH 20 5 2 8 21 What’s NEXT with CHEC Visit to learn more and register! June Rocky Mountain Homeschool Conference DENVER July/August Homeschool Introductory Seminars AROUND THE STATE September Father Son Retreat FRASER October Casterline Banquet for Single Moms PARKER 16-18 1-4 21
  31. 31. Vo l u m e 1 , I s s u e 9 4 , 2 01 6 I C H E C H O M E S C H O O L U P DAT E 31 CHEC EVENTS TA K E YO U R S O N O N T H E A D V E N T U R E O F A L I F E T I M E ! CROOKED CREEK RANCH | FRASER, CO SEPT. 1-4 2016 Register Now at
  32. 32. NONPROFIT ORG US POSTAGE PAID DENVER CO PERMIT #792 Christian Home Educators of Colorado 19039 Plaza Drive, Suite 210 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 I1.877.842.CHEC CHEC’s High School Beyond Seminars equip parents and teens to finish their homeschool careers with excellence. A special guest speaker from HSLDA and experienced homeschoolers will share sessions on: ■ Developing a 4-year high school plan ■ Transcripts record keeping ■ College prep testing ■ Dual enrollment ■ Entrepreneurship college alternatives LEARN MORE REGISTER AT CHEC.ORG/EVENTS COMING MARCH 5TH TO PARKER! HIGH SCHOOL AHEAD?