We just signed up online for the annual conference of the North Carolinians for Home Education! We love going to this every year and have made it a priority. We are encouraged by all the speakers, sessions, and talking with other home educators. We always meet new friends and run in to old ones that we would never otherwise see. The book fair is fantastic. We buy our My Father's World curriculum (so we don't have to pay shipping) and all sorts of other birthday and Christmas gifts for the kids. If you homeschool in North Carolina and have not been, you should seriously consider going. See ya'll there.
Emma Curtis, one of the students in our local home school association (High Country Christian Home Schoolers), e-mail interviewed me for their online publication. Here are the questions and my answers:
1) How long have you been homeschooling? Six years
2) Do you have any tips for new homeschoolers that plan to have large families?
We recommend selecting a curriculum that allows you to teach some subjects to several grade levels at once. We use My Father’s World. We are able to teach Bible, History, Vocabulary, Art, and Science to our three oldest together (5th, 4th, and 2nd grades). This is not only efficient for the parents, but it gives us more of a group learning experience with more dialogue and learning from the other students. Although they are studying the same basic subject, they are allowed to work at their own levels.
I would assume that a large family full of undisciplined, selfish consumers would be quite miserable. The only way it is possible to have a large family and a peaceful home is for each family member to see himself or herself as a productive part of a team. It is important to establish a culture of service, strong relationships, kindness, and shared purpose.
3) What are the Christian principles that your family embraces most?
The purpose of our family is to love God, love people, and make disciples. This is not unique, of course. We believe that is God’s purpose for all believers, families and churches. As I mentioned in the last question, having such a purpose is one of the keys to having a productive, peaceful home. All other principles, guidelines, or questions fall somewhere under these goals.
4) What are some of the greatest triumphs and trials our family experienced while planting a new church in Boone?
The greatest trial of our experience in starting Highland Christian Fellowship was working through significant theological and practical difference with other believers. This can be hard at two levels. First is when such difference are dealt with wrongly, without humility, patience, and love. Second is when such differences cannot be resolved, even when dealt with rightly. We have learned that it is important to discern between primary and secondary issues of faith. There are comparatively few primary issues of faith that must be met for Christian fellowship. In general, I’m afraid the Church often makes too much of secondary issues.
The greatest triumph of our experience has been the tremendous spiritual growth of everyone involved. Many of us have seen the last few years as providing the most significant spiritual growth in our lives. Now that we are established, our hope is that the greatest triumph will be that God uses us powerfully to see the lives of others transformed by the love and truth of Christ.