Volume 1 Issue 5 - CAK Home school program

Newsletter . . . . . .
Volume 1 Issue 5
March 2015
Let’s Talk Co-ops
by Shelly Powers, CAK Homeschool Assistant to the Director
When I first started homeschooling in 1996, I remember hearing about the great concept of a co-op.
In fact, the most popular homeschooling book after Raymond Moore’s Better Late than Early was a book on
how to set up a co-op. It sounded like a smart idea, but with a 5-year-old and a three-year-old, the only group
I needed was our play group so I could get my kids worn out before nap time. As the early elementary school
years rolled along, we met with a few families on a weekly or monthly basis and did holiday projects and fun
school activities together. Those activities were loosely structured and always open for re-scheduling in the
case of sick children or last-minute interruptions. My kids and I “did school” and had the freedom to change
things as needed. If you are in this stage of your homeschooling life right now, I highly recommend keeping
a loosely-scheduled time-with-friends approach instead of a strict co-op schedule. Definitely more mommyfriendly! But as my oldest, Clay, approached middle school, I started seriously checking out the local
homeschool co-ops to help us out with science and math.
So what exactly is a co-op? Simply put, it is a way for individual homeschooling families to come
together to educate their children in a group setting. Most co-ops operate on a one-day-a-week schedule.
(There are also three-day “co-ops”, but I see these more as schools since more days are spent in class than
out. This article does not deal with these programs.) The term “co-op” comes from the word “cooperative”,
which comes from the word “cooperate”, implying that all members work together to accomplish a goal. And
that is where the rubber meets the road. A co-op is truly a shared responsibility of all parents involved. Joining
one means taking on at least one responsibility in trade for your child taking a class in the program (along
with any fees involved). It does not mean someone will be watching your child so you can go home every
Monday for three hours and catch up on your laundry, school planning, or in my case historical fiction reading.
It means that you will be putting in 10-20 hours of mandatory “volunteer” hours per semester overseeing
study hall, cleaning co-op facilities, assisting a teacher, or doing any other necessary duty. Many moms don’t
think of this commitment when they dream of not having to teach their child Pre-Algebra, but it is a definite
and necessary reality of a co-op.
Most co-ops are run by a board. That term sounds official, but let me define it clearly: “A group of
volunteer homeschooling moms willing to give many hours of their year to be sure the co-op runs smoothly”.
I had my kids in a homeschool co-op for years, blindly assuming the board members were really holding
exclusive monthly parties they called “board meetings”. It looked like fun, so I joined my friendly co-op board.
Boy were my eyes opened! Those meetings really were meetings, and in-between them there was a lot of
emailing, phone calling, planning, poster-making, and fire-putting-out-ing (and more meetings). I will never
pass judgment on a co-op board’s work load again! My advice: Always smile at your co-op board members,
ask how you can help them, and give them lots of chocolate.
There are essentially three types of co-ops these boards run: enrichment, academic, and a mixture of both.
An enrichment co-op offers classes that are extracurricular or non-academic in their approach. Examples of
enrichment classes are art, physical education, special history or science topics such as a Little House on
the Prairie study or a series on introductory science experiments, or literature-based language arts classes.
They are usually taught by homeschooling moms with an interest in teaching these topics and making them
fun, and they are offered at nominal fees. Though students can learn a lot in these classes, most enrichment
classes are on the K-8 level and are not designed for credit. Academic co-ops take their course offerings
more seriously. While they may offer a class on the Little House series, the goals for the class are more
instructional than fun. Most academic co-ops offer high school prep classes for middle schoolers and also
high school classes which cover the state goals for the subject and thus can be taken for credit. Academic
classes are usually taught by experienced teachers or laymen. Since most of us homeschool moms have
at least one subject area we wouldn’t dare try to teach our children – mine is any form of high school
science—these classes are a great boon for us. The teachers are for all practical purposes hired as
one-day-a-week tutors, so academic co-ops expect parents to keep their students responsible in completing
assigned work. If a student has trouble with assignments or subject content, most teachers make themselves
available by phone or email to answer questions. If a co-op meets in a large enough facility, it can offer both
enrichment and academic classes at all levels.
As a side note to types of co-ops, each co-op approaches conduct and discipline differently. As you
research your options, be sure to ask to see the co-op’s policies. Some are overtly Christian and have every
family sign a statement of faith, but some do not. This could definitely have an effect on the pool of friends
your children will spend time with. Some programs allow high schoolers to leave campus for lunch and some
do not. Tardiness and late assignments are dealt with differently also. Look the policies over carefully and
be sure you agree with the co-op’s approach on issues important to your family. You will have to sign an
agreement on them.
Now let’s look at the pros and cons of putting your child in a co-op. As I mentioned in the first paragraph,
I needed help teaching my seventh grader science and math. In science, I had exhausted my unit studies
and was scared to provide a shaky science foundation to Clay, who I thought would go into that field. We
found a great science teacher at a local co-op, and Clay learned so much that year. One thing I learned was
that Clay was at the point where he needed to be accountable to another teacher besides me for at least
one subject. Let’s just say that he was at the point of thinking, “This shorter-than-me woman is really capable
of teaching me everything? I don’t think so.” I was amazed at the independence he developed as he realized
he could not be late turning in his work; Mom may have let a few assignments slide, but his co-op teacher
did not.
But Mom had a few adjustments of her own to make. Remember how I started off talking about how
flexible our elementary-level homeschooling life was? Well, I slammed into this co-op schedule thing like a
brick wall. I had not realized that my calendar was no longer my own; now there were assignments from
another teacher on it. That teacher did not realize that we had planned a fall vacation on the exact date he
had planned for Clay’s fall astronomy project to be due! I’m usually pretty even-keeled, but this interruption
put a little storm in my boat, and I had to learn to be flexible in a different way. From that year until now (with
my last child, Cody, in 11th grade), my calendar has not been completely my own, but our family has made
that sacrifice for the benefits a co-op offers.
As we reached high school, I was grateful to not have to teach Chemistry, Geometry, and other
challenging subjects. The class fees I paid were very reasonable – definitely a lot cheaper than paying a
tutor. The one drawback our family has found in accomplishing our science classes at co-ops is that we
would have loved to have had a few more class sessions every week. Danae’s once a week two-hour
Chemistry class session left us needing to contact the teacher during the week with questions about the
material. If you are certain your student will be majoring in a specific subject area in college, I would highly
recommend thinking about opting for a dual enrollment class in that subject in lieu of a co-op class. Dual
enrollment classes allow the student to earn both high school and college credit at the same time, all in one
semester. But be sure your student is ready to be on a community college campus and to start a college
career and transcript. An option for a student not ready for college-level work would be to take the class at
a co-op first, then a year or two later to take it for dual enrollment credit. This takes some planning, so start
thinking about it at the beginning of eighth grade.
As you can tell, homeschool co-ops have a lot to offer. As a homeschool veteran, I recommend
evaluating your children, your homeschool approach, and the co-op itself before enrolling in one. Personally,
I am glad I kept my children home with me until they were in middle school; I don’t think they would have
wanted to go back to the non-co-op life after having started it. They have a collection of great memories of
co-op classes and experiences, and I have had the benefit of having gifted teachers for my children in subjects
I could not have taught them.
CEEC (Christian Education Enrichment Cooperative) is a high school only, college prep co-op. We meet on Fridays in
the Fountain City area. The new family deadline is the last Friday in February. For more information please contact
us at [email protected]
BHEA (Blount Co. Home Education Association) is an enrichment k-12 co-op in Maryville, TN. BHEA operates with
the help of many parent volunteers, provides support, information and encouragement to home schooling families
and students. Contact: Sara Small, [email protected]
Masters Monday is a co-op in West Knoxville for grades 6-12. Master's Monday co-op is operated to provide tutorial
assistance in particular subjects, taught from the perspective of a Christian worldview, to students who are being
homeschooled. New Family interviews will be March 23��. Contact: [email protected]
Quest Academy was started in 2005 and offers academic and enrichment classes for all ages, PreK-12th grade. We
meet in Lenoir City (about 15 mins. from the Turkey Creek shopping area). Our rates are very affordable and we even
serve a hot lunch. The hours we meet are from 10am-3:30pm. High School classes start at 9am. A few other things
we offer are field trips, yearbooks, graduation ceremonies for Kindergarten and HS, Parents' Night Out, Parent
Appreciation Luncheon, four dances throughout the year for MS and HS and then Prom for HS students in May. Some
of our most memorable field trips have been to Nashville to see the Parthenon and the Hermitage, Atlanta, GA
Aquarium, Chattanooga Rock City and Ruby Falls, Washington, DC, and even a trip to Italy!!! Our co-op serves families
from many surrounding areas such as Maryville, Loudon, Knoxville, Oak Ridge, and Harriman. I hope you take the
time to check out our website. Contact me, Patty Leach, at 865/604-2070 or via Quest email or personal email.
Quest Academy of the ARTs was started in 2011 and offers enrichment classes one day a week. Our past classes have
included cooking, drama, ceramics, photography, and music. This fall we will be offering movie making and puppet
making. T-shirt quilts and duct tape clothing/art are on the list for our spring session. Classes are on Fridays and go
from 10:30-2:00pm. You can get to our website by going to our co-op website and clicking on the link at the bottom
left corner of the page. www.questacademyco-op.com
Thursday Connection (TC) located in West Knoxville is a K-12, one day a week cooperative, whose purpose is to assist
parents as they homeschool by offering core academic classes and diverse elective courses. Whether your family is
interested in one or two enrichment classes (e.g., cooking, Photography, drawing, or ballroom dance) or you need a
full day of academic classes (e.g., Hands On Science, World View, chemistry, geometry, or world history), Thursday
Connection can support your homeschooling. New to TC in Fall 2015, we will offer a dual credit English class in
conjunction with Pellissippi State Community College. Please visit our website, thursdayconnection.org, for course
descriptions for a listing of classes offered. Fall 2015 and for more information and how you can register with us on
April 9th. Course schedules and descriptions are located under the “Registration” tab and “Documents” sub title, as
well as all the forms needed for registration.
FREEDOM Home Educators is a local cooperative in West Knoxville that offers CORE sessions in the morning and
electives in the afternoon once a week. It is our desire to create both a strong academic environment and a
supportive community amongst our families. Our ages range from K-4 through 11th grade, with nursery available.
Registration for next year is currently open so if you'd like to know more, or would like to visit, please contact us. Or,
come to a Q&A session the first and third Mondays of the month. To contact Janis Huskey, either e-mail
[email protected] or call 865-384-7631.
Classical Conversations is for grades k-12 and meets in various locations. Classical Conversations is a leader in the
home-centered education movement. It is a mission: To know God and to make Him known. It is a model: Classical
Conversations combines the classical method of learning with a biblical worldview. It is a method: Classical Conversations families meet in communities where parents train parents to implement home-centered education well.
Contact Leigh Barron [email protected]
Funtastic Fridays: We are a Christian co-op that meets once a week at Broadway Baptist Church in North Knoxville. We
are non curriculum based and all our classes are extra work added to your class at home. We have classes from
pre-school to high school. You choose your classes and determine the length of your day. Parents are required to stay
at the church while kids are in class but do not have to attend the class. Cost is $35 per family per semester with an
additional $3 per kid per semester charge for insurance. All classes are paid for separately and directly to the teacher.
If you have any questions feel free to contact Shannon Marsh (865-556-9329) or Megan Emehiser (865-936-3129) You
can also contact us at [email protected] or on our Facebook page.
Wednesdays at Deane Hill is not a formal co-op. We are just a group of parents getting together to provide opportunities for our children. We meet on Wednesdays from 9am-12:30pm at the Deane Hill Recreational center. P.E. and
enrichment classes are offered. Contact: Christine Richolson
[email protected] 865-675-0818.
**If you know of another co-op that you would like to see advertised in our newsletter, please contact Jennifer Vals at
[email protected]
. . . Busy Times!
With Spring Coming . . .
. . . .There is much to anticipate this spring semester, and as I look at the calendar, I am a bit overwhelmed at how
many activities are listed week by week. We have our annual spring testing coming up in March. Thank goodness
Shelly is able to “show me the ropes” since it’s a lot to organize. She has worked hard calling proctors and setting
them up in each grade level. We also have our first Spring Fling, a school-wide park day potluck on April 18th (rain
day of April 19th). Next, we will have high school interviews, where new students in our high school program
interview with me, CAK Principal Mr. Snider, and a CAK board member. I look forward to getting to know the
rising 9th graders, as I will be their guidance counselor next year. I’m excited about our CAK Senior Murder Mystery
party on March 7th. I wanted the graduates to have a special activity to celebrate their senior year, and this year’s
party will be a Western themed game called “Who Shot the Sherriff?” Our CAK Graduation ceremony will be on
May 8th, and we have a special program lined up for our students. Shelly will be traveling to Europe at the end of
May as she takes a group of homeschool students on an educational tour. Finally, Shelly and I will be reviewing high
school student portfolios in May and June. I look forward to the time where I will be able to get to know our high
school students on a one-on-one basis and celebrate their progress throughout the year. As you can see, the CAK
Homeschool calendar is definitely full of activities! I hope that I will see you at one of our events!
As you progress through this latter half of the school year, I pray that you enjoy all your activities. I know that
with spring coming, there is a lot to anticipate. It’s my favorite time of year, and I look forward to warmer days.
Song of Solomon 2:11-12 says “For behold, the winter is past; the rain is over and gone. The flowers appear on the
earth, the time of singing has come, and the voice of the turtledove is heard in our land”” What a wonderful time of
What a wonderful time of year to look forward to!
to look forward to!
CAK Homeschool
Jennifer Vals
Make Me Happy Lord
With less than three months till the school year ends, many students feel “crunched” or rushed. It is very easy to
become overwhelmed and frustrated at the rate that the time has flown. The hardest thing to maintain this time of
year is true joy in the Lord. Many people in the Bible struggled with joy in the midst of their circumstances, such
as Moses and David. In Psalms 94, the writer expresses his fear towards his circumstances, and how he is reminded
of the Lord’s goodness in salvation from his enemies. In verse 18 and 19 it says; “I said, “I am about to fall,” but,
Lord, your love kept me safe. I was very worried, but you comforted me and made me happy.” That needs to be
our focus as we are approaching a close to the school year. Proverbs 15 echoes the verses in Psalms by saying, “Every
day is hard for those who suffer, but a happy heart is like a continual feast.”(Verse 15) Choosing joy is difficult,
especially in the midst of a struggle, but remember that God can use your struggles to aid you in your calling. To
remain joyful and happy in the midst of a hard time, cling to God and allow Him to sustain you. Psalms 1 gives a
beautiful allegory of the Christian walk saying; “They (happy people) are strong, like a tree planted by a river. The
tree produces fruit in season, and its leaves don’t die, everything they do will succeed.” We need to be like trees;
planting ourselves near our source of life (God) so that we can produce good fruit in season. One final reminder
that we can have in the Lord to do what He promised can be found in Romans 8:28; “For we know that in everything,
God works for the good of those who love Him. They are the people He called, because that was His plan.”
-Savannah Price is a senior student who plans on getting her masters in English, a minor in Secondary Education, and a minor in business. She
has plans to someday run and teach at an orphanage in a third world country.
The CAK Homeschool Graduation Ceremony will be the evening of Friday, May 8th. We are excited
to announce that Jason Zachary will be our special speaker. Jason Zachary is a passionate Christ
follower, small business owner, and former candidate for the United States Congress in the 2nd
District. He is the husband of 15 years to his wife Holly and the father to their ten year old son, Tyson,
who is a homeschooling student. They live in Hardin Valley and attend First Baptist Concord Church.
al s
08 May 2015
Grace Lutheran Church
076 Middlebrook Pike
Knoxville, Tn 37923
r Profile
S Class of
Owen Finley
“If you could spend time with a historical figure, who would you
pick?” This is a rather difficult question to answer simply, since
the two-thousand or so years of modern Western civilization
have produced many fascinating individuals. I would probably
choose Earnest Shackleton, who commanded an Antarctic expedition from 1914 to 1917. When his crew became stranded
on Elephant Island after their ship was destroyed by ice, Shackleton and five other men made a 720 nautical-mile journey to
South Georgia in a 20-foot open boat to get help. I admire
Shackleton’s courage, determination, and dedication to those
under his leadership in the face of extreme difficulties.
“What are your future plans?” I hope to attend either the
Virginia Military Institute or the Citadel, major in Political
Science and then serve as a Marine Corps officer for four years
or so. I don’t know what I will do after that, but I intend to
continue doing dangerous and adventurous things throughout
my career.
“What advice can you give to younger students?” Don’t just
educate your mind! Being physically fit will give you more
flexibility when you are deciding what you want to do after you
graduate. Also, always use the Oxford Comma.
“What is a particularly meaningful Bible verse to you, and why?”
Micah 6:8b,c: “And what does the Lord require of you? To act
justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.”
These are words to live by for everyone, but they especially
speak to me as a big brother, leader, and future military officer.
“What is your favorite academic subject, and why?” I took three
philosophy classes at Pellissippi. I enjoyed these classes be- "If you could have any one super-power, which one would you
cause rather than just learning rote facts about things, we choose and why?” Actually, I think that instead of being specexplored the qualitative aspects of various topics, including tacularly awesome at one thing, it would be better to be well
artificial intelligence, political philosophy, and personal identity. above average in as many things as possible. In the words of
"What do you enjoy doing in your free time?” I enjoy reading Robert Heinlein, “specialization is for insects."
articles about politics, looking at and using knives, reading the “What is one thing you wish you had more time for in your life?”
odd book, having informal debates, and playing Ultimate Fris- Being outside. Although I love hiking and backpacking, Saturbee.
day is often a de facto school day, and I haven’t had time to
“What is your favorite book?” I have several. One of them is pursue those activities as much as I would have liked.
“The Once and Future King” by T.H. White. It is at various points
a children’s book, a philosophical inquiry into the nature of
justice, a romance, and a tragedy. It is definitely worth reading
if you haven’t already.
“What do you think the meaning of life is?” To use the abilities
God has given you to glorify Him by helping others, preferably
having a good time in the process.
r Profile
S Class of
Emma Campbell
4. If you could spend time with a historical figure,
who would you pick?
William Shakespeare. He is one of my favorite
playwrights. I’d love to shadow him for a day!
5. What are your future plans?
I am planning to take advantage of the TN Promise and
go to Pellissippi State Community College for a year.
After that I am planning to transfer to a college or
university (I’m still deciding which one) and dual major
in Theatre and Education with a focus in Biology.
6. What is a particularly meaningful Bible verse to you
and why?
Matthew 6:27 “Who of you by worrying can add a single
hour to your life?” This verse really resonates with me
because I am such a worrier. The rest of the passage goes
on to talk about how if God watches over the fields and
clothes the grass of course He will take care of you. I find
myself reading the passage more and more during this
time in my life, and every time I find comfort in it.
7. What is some place that you would really like to
The United Kingdom. I’d love to just go for a summer or
a semester and just immerse myself in the culture. I’d love
to study abroad in London, England, or Dublin, Ireland.
1. What is your favorite academic subject and why?
Biology/Life Science has been my favorite academic
subject since 7th grade. My favorite part is genetics or the
cell. I think it is so cool how intricate and precise our
God is even in the microscopic parts of us!
2. What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
Theatre. I actually became homeschooled in order to have
more time to do theatre. I really love performing on stage
and becoming someone else for a little while.
3. What is your favorite book?
The Giver, by Lois Lowry. I don’t even know how many
times I’ve read it!
8. If you could have any one super-power, which one
would you choose and why?
The ability to duplicate myself, that way I would be able
to get everything done at once!
9. What three words would your friends use to
describe you? Passionate, funny, ambitious.
10. What advice can you give to younger students?
Work ahead! It may not seem like it now, but there will
come a time when you get a job or get really involved in
another activity and you’ll put off your school work.
Working ahead is a great habit to form now because it
will be super useful in the future.
Resource List
Spring is right
Around the
Don’t forget to fill out the resource form so
that you can share your resources with our
program participants! The resource list will
be published on our website in a password
protected area. Check out the email with
the form link and fill it out now!
A Funny
-Charles Spurgeon
Would you like to read reviews of
homeschool curriculum?
Check out: cathyduffyreviews.com
Dear Holly Homeschooler,
I am worried about teaching my older students subjects
that I don’t know very much about. What is your advice?
Ignorant Inga
Dear Ignorant Inga,
The great thing about homeschooling curriculum is that
it is constructed in a way that enables the student to learn
directly from the curriculum so that the parent does not
need to know the subject matter. With this in mind,
sometimes parents can learn alongside the child while
working through the material in the self-directed
curriculum. Another options is that your student may be
able to take part in a homeschool co-op, take an online
class, or find a tutor to assist with the subject.
What is your favorite curriculum?
Email your answers and brief
description why by Mar. 20th to:
[email protected]
and we'll list your ideas in
our next newsletter.
Do you have a question for Holly Homeschooler? Just
email: [email protected]
CAK Homeschool Families: Take a Closer Look
1. Tell us about your family- how long have you
been homeschooling and how many students
do you have?
My husband, Michael, and I have been married
for 20 years. We were high-school sweethearts.
We have three children. (Jack - 9th, Olivia - 7th,
and Tempe - 4th grade). We are in our third
year of homeschooling.
2. Have any of your kids ever attended any
regular school? If so, why did you decide to
After our two oldest completed their 3rd and
2nd grade years, we moved them to Concord
Christian School. Our youngest joined them
there and I lasted another three years before
the desire for more time to mentor and disciple
my children was just too overwhelming.
3. How did you receive your calling to homeschool?
Although our actual homeschooling experience is short, the journey to this path was a long one, on which, I learned
to be patient. In my heart, I’ve been a home- schooling mother since my oldest began kindergarten. Although God
was encouraging me, my husband was not. He was loyal to the school system he had grown up in and graduated
from. After four years, his dedication was waning. The following year, we enrolled them in a private Christian school.
After three years there, I could no longer ignore the will of God for our children, nor the calling He had placed on
my heart all those years before. The Lord heard my cry and He finally opened my husband’s heart to the idea. We
believe it was God’s perfect timing and we have never looked back!
4. What is your favorite part about homeschooling?
After longing for more time with my children all those years while they attended public and private schools, my
favorite part about homeschooling is TIME! I enjoy the hours we spend together everyday and appreciate the
difference it has made in our relationships with each other. Our conversations are so different. And by “different",
I mean we actually have them! I also don’t miss the early morning rush to school. How did we do that for so many
. . Continue on page 10
5. What is your least favorite part about homeschooling?
When grades are due! ; )
6. Are you a part of any support groups, co-ops, or other homeschool
related communities?
We are a part of Classical Conversations, which “connects families with
others who wish to give their children a classical, Christian education at
7. What advice do you have for new homeschoolers?
I still feel very much like a “new homeschooler” myself. But, I will share this, onIy because it encouraged me recently.
I am currently reading When People Are Big and God Is Small, by Edward T. Welch. In his book, he points to David
as a “shining example of a man who feared God, not man”. He writes, “When he [David] was afraid, he remembered
that people could have great power when compared to himself, but they had no power when compared to his God.”
As a new homeschooling mother, I can sometimes feel inadequate, and as a result, afraid. Homeschooling is hard,
but David’s example reminds me that nothing is too hard for God! I am grateful that the God of the universe with
all His power is homeschooling my children and their future does not depend on their completely inadequate
8. What are some of your favorite extra- curricular activities that your students participate in?
Both of our daughters are classical ballerinas. Our son has recently discovered he loves to play the piano and he is
also very active in Trail Life. All three are involved with the children’s ministry and the youth groups at First Baptist
9. What is a favorite curriculum that you would like to recommend?
This year we began using The Circe Institute’s The Lost Tools of Writing. This step-by-step method really helps take
your student’s thinking and writing to the next level. I also love Beautiful Feet Book’s History Through Literature.
10. Do you have a homeschooling philosophy or approach that you like to follow?
God has called us to the Classical approach, which we do through our Classical Conversation’s community. We
believe that God is raising up a generation of Godly, virtuous, winsome, persuasive leaders through homeschooling
11. How has God sustained you throughout the homeschooling journey?
Our journey has truly been a Matthew 11:30 experience. All along the way God has undeniably hidden unexpected
blessings for us to discover. Timely blessings that strengthen and reenergize us in our cause, His cause. Beautifully,
in God’s way, He gave us each other. My husband is incredibly supportive. God uses him mightily to sustain me and
I am grateful for the commitment he’s made to homeschooling.
12. Is there anything else you’d like to add?
I am very grateful for our CAK family! Without all your hard work, dedication, and encouragement, our homeschooling journey would have a great many more bends in the road, and, let’s face it ...I'd never get my grades in on time!
CAK Homeschool Families: Take a Closer Look
1. Tell us about your family- how long have you
been homeschooling and how many students
do you have? We have been homeschooling
nine years; Abbi is in 8th grade, Cliff is in 6th
grade, Zachary is in 5th grade, Molli is in 2nd
2. Have any of your kids ever attended any
regular school? If so, why did you decide to
homeschool? They all attended preschool prior
to Kindergarten, but have been homeschooled
all of them since then.
3. How did you receive your calling to homeschool? I was homeschooled myself and taught public and private
school prior to getting married and having children. My husband and I talked before we got married about wanting
to homeschool the children that were born into our home.
4. What is your favorite part about homeschooling? I love choosing curriculums and books for us to read each year.
5. What is your least favorite part about homeschooling? I love our time in the school room, however, I don't believe
I have a good balance of maintaining the rest of my home consistently in an orderly manner. I also have to be
very intentional in helping my kids get along as they are with each other all the time.
6. Are you a part of any support groups, co-ops, or other homeschool related communities? We participate in
Classical Conversations and have for the past 7 years.
7. What advice do you have for new homeschoolers? Homeschooling is more about the parent - usually the mom character transformation is constantly occurring as two generations of learning are being restored. We will not
know all we need to know at the beginning of the year, but God is our teacher and source of wisdom and we can
ask Him to be our teacher. "The Lord your God is with you, He is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you,
he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing." Zephaniah 3:17
8. What are some of your favorite extra- curricular activities that your students participate in? Ice skating, dance,
Trail life (boys), church activities, piano lessons
9. What is a favorite curriculum that you would like to recommend? I am loving the Classical Conversations
curriculum that provides the backbone for what I do with Kindergarten through 6th grade and then more structure
in the middle and high school years. In addition to this, our children are enjoying the books listed in the Sonlight
catalog for reading as well as Beautiful Feet for history and science reading. Shurley grammar also gives an excellent
preparation for English leading up to the Essentials and Institute for Excellence in Writing program in 4th - 6th grade.
. . . Continued on page 12
10. Do you have a homeschooling philosophy or approach that you like to follow? As I am learning more each
year about the Classical model of homeschooling, I am realizing that this method gives us the tools of learning to
receive information according to how God made our brains to learn. We layer the foundation of knowledge and
build upon it to the level of understanding as our students become dialectic.They become rhetorical as they grow
and mature and begin to own their faith and teachings they have been exposed to. "By wisdom a house is built, and
through understanding it is established; through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures."
Prov. 24:3-4
11. How has God sustained you throughout the homeschooling journey? Every day is an exercise in faith and
obedience - especially during the winter months!! - He has faithfully provided the answers or help we have needed
at just the right time, as well as a mom or a friend for our children at just the right moment to encourage us along
the journey.
12. Is there anything else you’d like to add? We all have an image of our family that we feel most comfortable for
others to see (i.e..the picture I have included) - all dressed, matched, coordinated, sitting or standing just right AND
smiling at the same time). However, God sees the journey of the heart transformation that happen every day in
every one of us because we wrestle with our sinful nature in the process of becoming who God created us to be.
This is why we do what we do. I love the prayer of George Whitefield who prayed "God, give me a deep humility,
a well-guided zeal, a burning love, and a single eye.."
CAK Homeschool is in the process of adapting Applecore HMS, a new data system that will enable you to report
grades and attendance digitally. You will also be able to register your students online and even have the option to
make your payments digitally. No more paperwork! Combining the best in web development and internet security,
Applecore raises the bar on ease of use. Look for more details in the spring!
Would you like to contribute an article to the CAK Homeschool Newsletter? Go ahead! Just email Jennifer Vals with
your submissions of by the next deadline, March 20. [email protected]
Spring Testing
Don’t forget! Spring Testing is March 16, 17, and 18th at CAK.
Spring Fling
Mark your calendars! The CAK Homeschool school-wide Spring Fling will be on April 18th (rain date April 19th).
More information will be forthcoming!
High School Students and Parents!
Don’t forget to look at our password protected web content under “9-12 Program.” If you can’t remember the password,
email Jennifer. There are volunteer and community service listings as well as a college admission handbook available
to you! Instructions for portfolios can also be found in this area. Remember, our website is CAKhomeschool.com