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Your Family Can Change History

Your Family Can Change History

Can your family make a difference in the confusing times we are living in?

Let’s meet Corrie and her family who lived during some significant changes. This Dutch family loved the Lord and lived a simple life going to church and running their own business. Their home was filled with love and laughter. Guests frequented the little home behind the watch shop.

Almost a century earlier, in 1844, Corrie’s grandfather, Willem was approached by a Messianic Jewish pastor who asked Willem to start a weekly prayer meeting for the Jewish people. That was strange because back then there was no nation of Israel, and the Jews were scattered throughout the world. Nonetheless, Willem began weekly prayer meetings for the Jewish people that continued for exactly 100 years.

Corrie’s parents, Casper and Cor had moved to a Jewish neighborhood in Amsterdam for a short while early in their marriage made good friends and enjoyed joining in many Jewish festivities. Casper also spend lots of time sharing passages of Scripture in the Old Testament such as Isaiah 53 that Casper believed were fulfilled in Christ. 

When Corrie’s grandfather died, her father Casper brought his family back to Haarlem and took the helm of the weekly prayer meeting.

Corrie and her sister Betsy never married and remained at home with their widowed father Casper. Corrie started clubs for girls where she taught them crafts and shared the Gospel.

War Breaks Out!

Abruptly, everything changed when invaders from nearby Germany conquered and began to rule the peaceful nation. The goose-step marching sent shivers down their spines when they saw the Nazis marching down the street. People began to disappear; never to be seen again. Their Jewish friends were taken away to concentration camps. It felt like darkness had descended on the land.

When Germany invaded Holland during World War II, Corrie, Betsy, Casper, and the rest of the ten Boom clan, joined the resistance. They housed Jewish people who were fleeing for their lives, until they could find another place to hide out in the country nearby.

Even so, love and laughter continued to fill the little home. Their Jewish visitors might tell stories or play the family piano. When there was danger, the guests had to escape quickly to the hiding place. They worked hard to get the drill down to 70 seconds. They also had to get rid of any evidence of their presence such as a teacup or extra hand of cards.

The hiding place was a tiny secret room. The thick walls of the hiding place were built below the floor so the Nazis wouldn’t find it with a secret entrance through a linen closet. This little family saved the lives of many Jewish people.

When Casper was warned of the danger of hiding Jewish people, imprisonment and death, Casper declared that he felt it a great privilege to give his life to save God’s Chosen People.” Corrie and Betsy shared his heart. 

Clash of World Views

The ten Booms faced a collision of worldviews. Hitler led Germany with a wicked philosophy doing everything in his power to make the Jewish people and every other “undesirable” feel debased, humiliated, and hopeless. But he could not overcome love, forgiveness, and mercy, that flow from the heart of God. Corrie and her family recognized the value and dignity of every life, especially the lives of those so precious to our Father God. When worldviews collide, God’s love always wins.

The night of the final raid came on an evening when Corrie was very sick. Betsy answered the door. Though suspicious of the Dutch traitor, she gave him help anyway. He brought back the Gestapo, who arrested all three ten Booms, but those in the hiding place were not found. The soldiers chopped, hacked, and destroyed, but the little hiding place worked! Two days later, members of the resistance were able to get the five people out of the cramped little space and they all escaped to freedom.

The final raid came 100 years to the day that the Willem ten Boom held his first prayer meeting. Coincidence? I don’t think so. This family was in the center of God’s will, though it was not an easy place.

Lone Survivor

Corrie alone survived the concentration camp, being let out due to an administrative error. She and her family made a conscious decision to forgive. Even the traitors that reported them were both written a letter from the family expressing forgiveness and the love of Christ. Corrie spent the rest of her life sharing her testimony and helping people learn to forgive.

The ten Boom family paid a huge price to resist evil. Yet, because of their heart to obey God rather than man, they saved lives. After the war, Corrie ministered to thousands of bitter souls who learned to forgive from her example.

Glamorous? No. They were just a normal Christian family. Just an ordinary family who trusted God. A family that obeys God can change history. Because of families like the ten Boom, enough Jews survived to make it to the Holy Land and usher in the birth of Israel in 1948.

Don’t underestimate what God can do with your family.

Your family can speak wisdom into the lives of those who are confused and frightened. Your family can teach timeless truths that many Americans have forgotten.

Even if your family is just a place where visitors find love and laughter, think how many lives can be changed by that! You may think you don’t have a perfect family, but your family may be the best example of Christ that anyone has ever seen.

True North Homeschool Academy Family learning together

Resources that Help Your Kids Make a Difference

All our online classes and other resources are designed to support your family and help your kids strengthen their faith. Our podcast, Softskills 101: Life Skills for a Digital Age, provides encouragement and information that will help you homeschool. High school students can learn more about how to defend their faith with our Introduction to Apologetics Course. This is a class students can join for a full year, or for just one semester- we hope you check out the other courses and resources on the website for parents and K-12 homeschooled students.

Meredith Curtis

Meredith Curtis is a writer, speaker, and curriculum creator with Powerline Productions and teaches courses like Who Dun It, at True North Homeschool Academy. A veteran homeschooler, she is mom to five and “Grandy-Merey” to five so far. As a pastor’s wife, worship leader, and teacher she loves to give young people the gift of classic books and a Christian education to see lives changed for the glory of God.

Teach Your Teen to Plan an Event

Teach Your Teen to Plan an Event

How to Plan a Field Trip to the Local Pumpkin Patch

It’s fall and the weather is crisp and glorious and perfect for a field trip to the Pumpkin Patch. Why not use this opportunity to teach your tweens and teens about how to plan an event?

Event planning is a great way to build your tween/teens executive functioning skills as it requires creativity, communication, critical thinking and collaboration! All tools that will benefit themselves and others as they learn and grow. Expect that some of your kids will have some natural ability at event planning while others will need to be shown a basic structure and reminded of it.

Event Planning is Easy When Using This Basic Structure

Name of Event:

  1. Who
  2. What
  3.  When
  4. Where
  5. How much
  6. Follow Up Activities
  7. Supporting books, films & YouTube Videos

Adding Goals Keeps Field Trips Focused

I also like to add in Goals for field trips. Goals can be as simple as, “have fun” and “fellowship” or more academic such as “to grow in our understanding of world politics”. Goals help keep us focused and can help us understand how much of an investment we want to make in terms of both time and money.

Homeschool Dad slicing pumpkin to toast seeds with kids

Extend the Learning With Follow-up Activities

Additionally, follow up activities are a great way to extend the learning and fun! Again, simplicity can rule- – carve the pumpkin and roast the seeds; or simple events can turn into larger events- invite friends over for fall potluck and bonfire!

Supporting Books, Films and YouTube videos can preface the event or be add-ons after the initial event, to extend the learning, great memories and fun that is sure to be had by all.

Example of a Simple Plan

  • Name of Event: Visit to the local Pumpkin Patch
  • Who Family and friends from co-op
  • What Trip to the local Pumpkin Patch
  • When October 2021 
  • Where You Pick Pumpkin Patch; 45 min from home. Need water bottles, simple snacks and shoes.
  • How Much $5 car, $10 for corn maze, $4 pumpkin, $4 Caramel apples and $5 Gallons of cider- $45-50, not including gas.

Examples of Follow up Activities: 

  • Decorate your pumpkins: carve, paint or permanent marker, depending on ages. 
  • Create a pumpkin vase for fall flowers
  •  Roast pumpkin seeds (recipe below)
  • Roast pumpkin and make homemade pumpkin soup or pumpkin bread
  • Make Pumpkin Spice Lattes (recipe below) 
  • Save seeds to grow next spring

Supporting Books/ Films/ YouTube Videos 

Pumpkin Seeds for Snacking

Scoop seeds from pumpkin and clean well. Boil the seeds for 10 minutes; then toast them in the oven at 350 for approximately 20 min (watch so that they don’t burn).

For savory seeds, toss with a few teaspoons of garlic and rosemary, curry powder or cilantro lime seasoning. 

For a sweet and salty snack, dust with pumpkin spice blend or cinnamon and sugar! 

Pumpkin Spice Latte for Momma 

Prep Time: 5 minutes, serving Size: 2

  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 cup very strong coffee (4 tablespoons coffee grounds to 1 cup of hot water)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2-4 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon (plus extra for dusting)
  • 2 heaping spoonfuls of pumpkin

Pour all of the ingredients into a pot and heat over medium-high heat until the coffee is steaming hot. Pour into mugs and top with whipped cream & cinnamon. Enjoy!

Homeschool mom and daughter having a picnic

Event Planning Helps Your Teen & You!

Helping your teen grow their event planning muscles will help them handle projects that require multiple steps and follow through on the tasks assigned to them. It also develops soft skills that are so necessary for them to navigate in today’s world.

And while they are learning, they are helping you. It is important to enrich your family with fun activities that build memories but it can be time consuming. It may take a couple of times with you overseeing what your tween or teen is doing, but before you know it, you will be able to provide them with the resources and support they need and let them take some planning off your plate!

We’ll offer Event Planning this spring in our Student Clubs for students ages 11-18, so be sure to check out our Student Enrichment Clubs memberships!  

Advanced Placement for the Homeschooler

Advanced Placement for the Homeschooler

Advanced Placement for the Homeschooler. Is this even a thing? Launching our homeschooled students can feel trickier than ever before. We have college costs and world view to contend with.

Many homeschooling parents are looking for the least expensive, most time effective way of getting their kids through college, with a degree, vocational training and minimal debt. And for those purposes, you may want to consider Advanced Placement classes (known as “AP”) as part of your overall strategy of launch success.

In this article, True North Homeschool Academy teacher, Dr. Jim Stobaugh , a well-known college admission coach and author, answers some common questions about the AP Tests.

Q: What is the difference between AP and other college credit options?
A: AP is preferred by most colleges because it is created and closely monitored by universities. Dual enrollment & especially CLEP are a hit and a miss–universities prefer certainty.

Q: What is the minimum score necessary to equal credit at college?
A: Normally a score of 3 although William & Marry, for example, allows a score of 2. Parents should phone the admission departments at colleges.

Q: How many hours is an AP course worth and how many hours can I take to college?
A: 3-6 hours per course depending upon the consenting college. Most college allow 18-28 hours. Vanderbilt, for instance, will transfer in 18 hours but only if the score is 4-5.

Q: When should my student take an AP course.
A: When he/she is ready! Normally 11th or 12th grade, but in some cases 10th grade. Speak to Dr. Stobaugh about this.

Q: How much time will my student have to spend completing AP work?
A: Normally 1 hour per day (5 hours/week).

 
Parents must find a cooperating high school. Students will have an option to take the exam onsite or at home digitally.
 

Here is a list of high schools that administer AP exams:

 
AP EXAM SITES

What is an AP Scholar Award?

 
 
What is an AP Capstone Diploma Award?
 
 
Advanced Placement tests can be an important and integral part of your college process and plan, setting you up for college success, scholarship money and unique opportunities.
 

Advanced Placement Classes from True North Homeschool Academy

 
We are currently offering 3 Advanced Placement tests through True North Homeschool Academy:
 
 
Earn college credit while still in High School!
 
Buy an AP Bundle for greater savings!

About Dr. Stobaugh

Dr. Stobaugh has had more than 25 books published including the SAT and College Preparation Course for the Thoughtful Christian (2016), and The ACT and College Preparation Course for the Christian Student (2012), as well as a critical thinking literary writing and history series.

He is the pastor of Mt. Laurel United Church of Christ, Boswell, PA, an evangelical Protestant church not too far from the Flight 93 crash. Jim and Karen reside on a farm called The Shepherd’s Glen in the Laurel Highland Mountains, Hollsopple, PA. You can read his blog and order his services at www.forsuchatimeasthis.com.

Stand Out!

Stand Out!

Stand Out: How to Maximize your High School Years

Each year there are roughly 15.4 million high school students in America, with 25% of those students from 24,000 high schools. Each of those high schools has a “Best;” the best football player, scholar, performer, linguist, etc. Competition is stiff for both college and university scholarships.

Furthermore, the number of honor students in India is greater than the number of total students in America, and with today’s global market, future college-goers are competing with scholarship dollars and opportunities internationally. Standing out from the crowd will garner your student scholarship money and opportunities that being one of the many will not.

Group of people working in charitable foundation. Happy volunteer looking at donation box on a sunny day. Happy volunteer separating donations stuffs. Volunteers sort donations during food drive

What is a Stand-Out Factor?

A Stand out factor can be many different things but they are most likely to include:

  •       Initiative –student initiated, led and directed
  •       Passion – student has personal investment
  •       Individuality –has to do specifically with the students core values
  •       Strategy –student has strategized to achieve

I would also recommend that a Stand-Out Factor include:

  •       Positive impact on others
  •       Uniqueness
  •       Broad Reach & Big Win

With technology so readily available, it’s almost easier to develop your stand-out factor than ever before. Young creative entrepreneurs can self-publish novels, music, videos, and movies. But, publishing doesn’t automatically make something Stand-out. How can you tell if you have developed your stand-out factor? It’s the difference between ordinary and extraordinary!

What’s a stand-out factor? It’s the difference between ordinary and extraordinary!

Lisa Nehring, Director, True North Homeschool Academy

Stand Out Students

Below I’ve listed some of the ideas students that I’ve worked with have actually done to develop their own ability to stand out:

  • Write, perform and publish a quality play, book, music or film
  • Develop art skills like throwing drawing and painting, pottery, creating stained glass windows/ lamps, blacksmithing, etc and enter art contests
  • Hike a trail for a cause or a challenge 
  •  Raise money to travel abroad and serve on a mission            
  • Breed and trademark a type of fruit or flower
  • Breed and sell a pet- iguana, dogs, miniature cows
  • Win money as a prize bowler, archer, skier, etc.          
  • Start a business, track your earnings and impact
  • Help run a state or national political campaign, work as a legislative Paige,
  • Study and Perform Shakespeare
  • Learn multiple languages, particularly Critical Languages
  • Travel internationally; create guidebook or blog about travels, do international community service or charity work
  • Do hundreds of hours of Community Service 
  • Build a functioning web-site
  • Build something impressive- like a Robot, Drone or Plane, or replicate all of the Enterprises’ ships as models 
  • Earn a license or Certification– pilot’s, drone, PADI
  • Learn tech- 3-D Printing, Robotics, Photoshop, Photography and it’s many digital uses!
  • Earn Awards such as the  National Latin Exam, German National Exam 
  • Participate in and win National Competitions- Geography, History, Bible, Poetry
  • Participate in CAP or Jr ROTC
  • Turn your interest in performing into becoming a juggler or clown
  • Turn your interests into an opportunity to impart your knowledge to others and teach a skills you’ve learned in person, or online
two female soccer players on the field

Use What You Have

Identify and develop areas where your students show interest or talents and skills they are already using. You might also consider areas that you, as the parent, can coach or develop in your student. If you have a passion or hobby and your student shows interest, I would venture to say that that is an area that would be perfect to develop into a stand-out factor. 

Outsource When Needed

On the other hand, each of our kids shows talents and abilities that we might know nothing about. In which case I would encourage you to research and find resources that can develop your student’s interest beyond your knowledge.  Resourcing your student doesn’t have to be expensive, as there are so many great online tutorials now. Literally, the world is at your fingertips with the tap of your fingers. At the same time, don’t overlook local resources. My older kids took horseback riding lessons from a National Barrel racer in return for mucking out stalls. 

Developing your student’s stand-out factor might garner those students scholarship dollars and opportunities; it might lead to jobs or even a career. At the very least, it will develop your student’s overall sense of ability and accomplishment, as well as soft skills, such as work ethic, communication skills, creativity, and critical thinking.

High School is the perfect time to develop your student’s stand-out factor, through clubs, projects, and course work that helps them understand themselves and opportunities more robustly, such as our Orienteering Course. 

If you need help identifying or knowing how to further develop your student’s stand-out factor, we’d love to help! Check out our Academic Advising program and Parent Membership programs!

Athletic Young man swimming the back crawl in a pool. Swimming competition.
Why Learn German?

Why Learn German?

Why should your child study German? Honestly, the best reason of all is simply because they want to. Whether the interest comes from family heritage, an interest in history, or just that it sounds “cool,” that internal drive is what motivates students to move beyond requirements to any level of mastery.

Benefits of Learning The German Language

Most of the benefits provided by learning German are common to learning any foreign language:

  • It satisfies college requirements.
  • It increases a student’s understanding of English.
  • It increases a student’s ability to recognize context clues.
  • It increases cultural understanding, both of their native culture and the culture of the target language.
  • It broadens perspectives and shows new ways of looking at the world.

German has the added advantage of being delightfully literal.

 

A Good Teacher Makes Language Learning Less Intimidating

I took German in high school because Russian wasn’t offered. I had never really thought much about language before that. Spanish made more sense, or so everyone told me, but I did not enjoy my eighth-grade introduction to Spanish. Fortunately, I had two excellent German teachers whose teaching styles perfectly matched my preferred learning style.

The first was Ms. Glendening. She opened the doors of wonder for me and a whole new world of language. When I wasn’t able to afford to go on the class trip to Germany, she was visibly disappointed. She then searched for a scholarship opportunity that paid for a year of study abroad. My second teacher was living in Germany.

As a teacher, I try to emulate the best characteristics of both: immersive, meaningful, playful, and encouraging.

Beautiful postcard view of the famous historic town of Rothenburg ob der Tauber on a sunny day with blue sky and clouds in summer, Franconia, Bavaria, Germany

Parts of German grammar can be intimidating. There is no getting around gender or case or adjective endings. How tedious this is for students has a lot to do with how it is taught, however. One of the clearest methods I know is a simple sentence-building activity that visually demonstrates how German sentences are put together. I turned it into a sort of simple choose-your-own-adventure type game. This grammar drill ended up the most requested game for our end-of-year party.

If a student develops a passion for German that brings them beyond college requirements, there are, of course, other benefits.

  • German is the dominant language of the EU, with more native language speakers than any other European language. It is the second most spoken second language (behind English).
  • Germany has the largest GDP of EU member countries.
  • Germany directly invests over $10 billion into the US economy. Several German companies have satellite offices in the US.
  • It is the language of Goethe, Schiller, Kafka, Brecht, Beethoven, Mozart, and many others.
  • German immigration has greatly influenced American culture.
  • Many of the world’s most significant works in science, theology, psychology, history, and literature are written in German.
  • Plus, binge-watching your favorite television series sounds like more of an accomplishment in German!

Join us this fall on the wonderful adventure of learning German! German I, German II, and National German Exam Test Prep are all available and taught by Dana Hanley.

GET THE RECIPE BOOK

Project & Presentation Samples

These are examples of some of the projects complete by students in our online German classes.

Brochures:

Video Presentations:

Life Skills: Helping Teens Achieve Goals & Enjoy Life

Life Skills: Helping Teens Achieve Goals & Enjoy Life

For many people, it seems like life has two options: achieving goals and enjoying life. Neither one of them seems as if they are one hundred percent fulfilled. There seems to be a broad spectrum on the scale of go-getters and over-achievers to those who slack in all departments.

How many times have you heard your student saying they don’t have enough time or they are overwhelmed with all the things? For so many homeschool families, the demands of work, career, education, family, and homeownership seem overwhelming. All while striving to teach our families how to achieve goals and enjoy life in a balanced manner.

Avoid the Overwhelm

Do you wish you had someone to partner with you in helping your teens learn to achieve goals and enjoy a balanced life?

We are doing that for you with the Life Skills 101 course offered at True North Homeschool Academy!  Your students will learn how to prioritize life, learn how to set and achieve goals, and sharpen skills for living life on their own as an adult.  In this full-year course, four broad areas are covered in depth. They include:

  • Finding Balance
  • Setting & Achieving Goals
  • Managing Life Areas
  • Time Management

Throughout the course, students will learn how to navigate these various areas as they prepare for launching into the next phase of life.

Finding Balance

If you think about life being balanced, you might envision a seesaw in the position of being directly balanced in the middle with no ups, no downs, and simply managing to stay in the middle ground.

What does it mean to be in balance, if life has its difficulties? When you are in balance, you maintain your equilibrium while life’s ups and downs come to visit. Of course, you go through the various emotions as circumstances both good and not so good work their way through life. 

Being in balance means intentionally, no matter how hard it is, choosing how you will show up under any given circumstance.

Do your teens need to learn how to achieve balance? In Life Skills 101, we will discuss ways to:

  • Take inventory of the various areas of life.
  • Create and implement a plan for finding and keeping life in balance.
  • Create action steps to help bring things back into balance when things get challenging. 

Sometimes, the unexpected can throw you off. In Life Skills 101 we teach how to hit the reset button when life throws you a curve and knocks you off balance. 

Setting & Achieving Goals

Does your student want to author a book, be a young entrepreneur, or simply get to appointments on time and have a clean room?  Learning how to break large goals down into manageable tasks is at the core of the Life Skills 1010 curriculum. From identifying a dream or aspiration to making a plan to achieve it, this class allows the student to take the time to dream, research, investigate and plan for the future.

It’s like a snowball effect. We will focus on how to start small and continue rolling that snowball down the hill. Before they know it, your kids will have a boulder of success coming their way! 

Managing Life Areas

Teaching teens to manage all the things of life is a full-time job! Letting go and letting them step into managing their own lives, can bring a sense of panic to every homeschool mom. The Life Skills 101 course partners with families to teach teens how to live a whole, full, and complete life. Learning to break your life down into categories and then addressing each. This creates a launch pad into adulthood that your teen can return as they expand the skills and confidence on living life successfully. Throughout the full-year course, students will learn what it takes to become independent and manage these aspects of daily life.

  • Cleaning & Organizing
  • Food shopping & meal planning
  • Scheduling
  • Budgeting & personal finances
  • Resume, cover letter, and interview skills
  • Workplace expectations

Time Management

At the end of the day, so many life skills are achieved by learning solid time management. Students learn how to identify the most important tasks and how to say no to time-wasting activities, or behaviors. Students will sharpen their skills in:

  • Task management
  • Prioritization
  • Balancing work and play

Throughout the course students will use a variety of technology and digital tools to create projects, turn in assignments and find the best tools to help them successfully navigate life in a digital environment. 

 

Life Skills for a Successful Launch into Adulthood.

There are many challenges each of our kids will have to face. Let’s help them learn how to achieve goals, fulfill dreams, and live a life they love. Find more information about Life Skills 101 here.

Looking for help with teaching your teen Life Skills? Life Skills 101 Orienteering and Entrepreneurship. Taught live online at True North Homeschool Academy!

Join us on Facebook too – our page Life Skills for Homeschooled Teens is a great community and we share tips and laughter along the way!

High School Life Skills Classes

Click the image to see the full class description and schedule!

  • Computer Illustration – One Semester
  • Introduction to Computer Science – One Semester
  • Life Skills 101 – One Semester
  • Adapted Life Skills
  • TNHA ONLINE CLASS IN VIDEO EDITING
    Video Editing Basics
  • TNHA Personal Finance Course for High School Homeschoolers
    Personal Finance
  • YES
    Photoshop
  • TNHA Online needle arts class in knitting and crochet
    Knitting & Crocheting
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Middle school or Junior High Students who want to be challenged may also join this high school level class.
    Photography & Digital Technology
  • Leadership for the digital age online class for high school homeschoolers
    Leadership for the Digital Age
  • TNHA Life Skills 101 online high school and junior high class
    Life Skills 101
  • TNHA HIgh School Class Orienteering Career Development for Homeschoolers
    Orienteering