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3 Secrets to Raise Motivated Leaders in Your Homeschool

3 Secrets to Raise Motivated Leaders in Your Homeschool

Did you ever think that you are the answer to the world’s leadership crisis? Yes, you! You can change the world by raising motivated leaders in your home school.

At every age, these secrets work to build leaders.

Secret #1: Integrity Matters

Beyond punishment for dishonesty, reward your children when they are honest, singing their praises. When they do the right thing, shout it from the housetops so they know you are proud of them. Make it more important in your eyes than a home run or a great test score. Value integrity and model for your kids that it is a value worth living!

Secret #2: Leaders are Motivated Learners

Provide opportunities for your sons and daughters to pursue learning about things that delight their hearts. If your son loves archery, do a unit study on the Middle Ages. If your daughter loves horses, let her science class be an independent study on horses and how to care for them.

Model enthusiasm for learning by reading and researching. Let your kids know you love to learn.

Secret #3: Leaders Lead

Give your children and teens opportunities to lead. They don’t have to plan the family vacation on their own, but they could plan family night once a month or choose what color to paint the bathroom.

Give them access to the decision-making protocol in your house. Let them have a voice and participate in the final direction your family takes—at least once in a while.

Cultivate a heart for others, especially younger children, the elderly, and those less fortunate. When your family is observant—seeing needs and taking positive steps to meet them, you are also cultivating that heart in your children year after year.

Leaders lead because they care about others. When my daughter realized a homeschool dad who was going back for his degree needed help with College Algebra, she offered to tutor him. She saw a need and met the need.

Logical thinking is a great tool for your future leaders. True North offers Formal Logic focused on the structural validity of arguments and Informal Logic where students study and master 29 logical fallacies. These high school courses are great options for your future leader.

College, Homeschool Mom Anxiety & post-2020 Future

College, Homeschool Mom Anxiety & post-2020 Future

I understand homeschool mom anxiety. I am a teacher and a homeschool mom who has struggled with the college question. And, I get this question ALL the time;  “Can my homeschooled kid get into college?”

It is usually accompanied by explaining how the homeschool parent has made unconventional decisions about their kids’ education (check, you homeschool). What I hear through all of the details is Homeschool Mom Anxiety:

Did I do enough? 

Did I focus on suitable material, subject or lesson? 

Can my kid compete? 

Can my kids hold their own once they start interacting with a group of peers? 

Let me assure you, your kid CAN get into college. 

While Homeschool Mom Anxiety can be Intense, Let’s Look at the Facts.

  • Homeschool standardized test scores are generally higher than public school test scores overall.
  • Homeschooled students score about 72 points higher than the National Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) average. 
  • The average American College Test (ACT) score is 21. The average score for homeschoolers is 22.8 out of a possible 36 points. 
  • Homeschoolers are at the 77th percentile on the Iowa Test of Basic Skills.

Homeschoolers have also consistently won.

  • Scripps Spelling Bee 
  • Apangea Math Contest
  • 3M Young Scientist Challenge
  • National Geographic Bee  
  • USA Mathematical Olympiad 

So, yes, homeschooled students can get into college, compete well and succeed in traditional performance-based environments and competitions. 

Homeschooled students go to college, university, Ivy League schools, Conservatories, Military Academies, and everywhere else public school kids go.

Speaking of colleges and homeschool mom anxiety, what are the expectations of college admissions boards?

Test Scores, Transcripts, Community Service, Extracurriculars, the Students Stand-Out Factor, essays, and references. They’ll look at the package they ask the student to submit, and then they’ll accept or deny your student entrance to their school. 

Post-Covid

Post-Covid, the path to college acceptance is shorter than ever before. My youngest daughter got accepted into a private college with a hefty discount based on the application and a homeschool transcript. That’s it. No test scores, references, or other supporting documentation is necessary. 

In my experience, parents have been asking the wrong questions, particularly since 2020.  

The more relevant TWO QUESTIONS  homeschooling families need to be asking are

  • How will my kid pay for college?
  • Is college essential?

The Rising Costs of College

If you’ve been following college costs for the past couple of years, you realize that they have skyrocketed. For the 2021-2022 academic year, the average price of tuition and fees came to:

  • $38,070 at private colleges
  • $10,740 at public colleges (in-state residents), not including room, board, and expenses
  • $27,560 at public colleges (out-of-state residents)

With additional fees for room and board, which average to:

  • $13,620 at private colleges
  • $11,950 at public colleges

You read that right.

It costs between $22,000 to $51,000 PER YEAR to attend college. 

Since most kids don’t generally have $100- $200,000 laying around, and the expected rate of parent contribution is often ridiculous, student loans are often the go-to. 

You’ve heard me say it before, the average college student graduates in six years, not four, with an average of $37,000 in debt. 

But approximately 40% of students who start college drop out, and many have already incurred debt. Debt cannot be bankrupted; it increases exponentially if the payer takes a forbearance or deferment. Debt can financially cripple a young adult for life. 

Holy Buckets, Batman! That’s a lot of responsibility for most young adults, many of whom have never made a significant purchase before college. 

Is College the Next Best Step?

For those who believe college is the best next step, I would encourage parents to help their young adults run a cost/ benefit analysis. Talk to someone in the working world who is in their potential career field and consider pay/ benefits and vocational costs in terms of time and money. What will be the actual ROI (Return on Investment) of their college degree? 

Dave Ramsy says it so much better than I do in Borrowed Future, an excellent documentary on the crazy debt that begins incurred the lack of intense scrutiny that parents and young adults should be bringing to bear on college costs and degree ROI. 

And it’s not that there are no scholarships and opportunities that will bring college costs down. Still, since 2020, even scholarships have gotten thin, as people’s regular giving and contribution habits have changed. 

College costs are not limited to financial debt but can have long-lasting effects on a student’s worldview, politics, faith, and so much more. While college classes might not instigate change for students, extracurricular activities are. And with college students spending less than 3 hours a day on academics and more than ever before on “Student Life” that guides students towards socialism and secularism, it’s time to rethink college in the traditional sense.

Anti-Education I am Not

Look, besides having five kids, my husband and I have five graduate degrees between us; we are hardly education averse. We both love to learn and have raised five inquisitive auto-didacts. But times, they are a-changing, and it’s time to get innovative and creative about education, degrees, and vocational training. 

And who better to do that than homeschooling families? We’re so used to thinking outside the box that this should be second nature for us.

Is College Necessary?

In the past, having a degree paid dividends for the student. You can bank on the financial benefits of having a degree, and the more advanced a degree one holds; generally, the higher salary one makes. But most of the articles and charts that this information is based on don’t consider the financial debt and burden of student loans. 

In the past, getting a degree was about so much more than just earning a piece of paper. It was the traditional pathway to adulthood for many of us, and we launched our career success as adults. Many of us met lifelong friends, not to mention our spouses in college, discovered artistic and intellectual areas of interest and passion, and, just as importantly,  we learned how to learn. 

Without college, how will our young adults find friends suitable mates and hone their intellectual pursuits and abilities? I talk to Moms from all over the country every week, and I can assure you I’m not alone in my query. 

It’s Time to Develop the Art of Non-conformity

As if we haven’t done so already, being homeschoolers and all. Look, the world has changed and continues to change. You’ve heard me talk about this 4th Industrial Revolution that we’re in, right? And with every revolution, careers and industries die, and extraordinary opportunities and fortunes are to be made. But, it’s also a time of upheaval, so old ways and paths just might not work or be worth the price to be paid. 

Ease Your Homeschool Mom Anxiety and Re-negotiate What College Looks Like

College is a worthy pursuit, but there is no reason to do it all on campus. Dual Enrollment, CLEP, and Community College classes can get your kids ahead for pennies on the dollar. And while  DE is limited to pre-high school graduation, CLEP exams can be done even while students attend college classes. Also, parents, it’s never too late to talk to your kids about finishing college in 4 years or less. The longer they are in college, the higher the cost or debt. So, finishing sooner than later saves them time and money. 

Everybody needs Entrepreneurship

In my reading and studying on the future of work and education, one topic that comes up repeatedly is Entrepreneurship. It’s so crucial that some colleges require students to take Entrepreneurship as part of their required program credits. And Peter Thiel, former PayPal CEO who created the Thiel Fellowship, is so committed to Entrepreneurship that he offers 24 students two years and $100,000 to get things done. 

Former Homeschooler and pageant winner Samantha Shank created materials for educators, has a successful TpT store, and is currently graduating with an M.S. in Education debt-free. She wants to purchase her first home, financed by her TpT store and website. 

Entrepreneurship Tools

With online tools, entrepreneurship is easier than ever to jump into. Of course, time-honored ways of making money still exist, like clearing houses (my sister and I cleaned houses all through high school, making $30-$50 way back in the day), lawn service, and babysitting. But, there are so many new ways to earn a buck now, too- like selling on Teacher’s Pay Teachers.

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And while certain degrees and fields might require higher education, like the medical and legal profession, even those fields are changing with innovative AI and robotic development. What’s needed for licensure or certification now, but be different in the field in 5-10 years. 

Develop Marketable Skills  

While not everyone’s cut out to be an entrepreneur, making room in your junior and senior high school schedule to develop marketable skills just makes good sense. At the very least, your kids are creating a robust transcript, and they might even be discovering a lifelong passion, vocational path, or lucrative side- hustle that pays their way through college, as Samantha Shank discovered. 

Homeschool Mom Anxiety

While we live through a time of shifting and upheaval, we don’t need to worry about our kids getting into college.  The relevant questions, particularly post 2020, are:

  • How will they pay for it 
  • Is it worth it given what they will pursue vocationally

Entrepreneurship and Marketable Skills Training are two sure-fire ways to set your kids on the path to Future Success! 

If you are looking for skills training for your tween or teen, particularly in marketable skills that are applicable now, check out our wide variety of classes that allow kids to make money now: Entrepreneurship, Video Editing, Photoshop, Computer Science, Computer Illustrator, Graphic Design and more!

How to talk to you kids about porngraphy

How to talk to your kids

February is often thought about as the month of love, romance and relationships. And while, as parents, none of us want to think that our kids might be involved in porn, if they have access to the world wide web, they are being targeted to view porn. And just because this month is all about love and romance, it’s a great time to talk about teaching our kids the difference between real love, Biblical love, sacrificial love, and poor substitutes that will rob them of their dignity and morality. 

Create a Safe Place for Kids Who Struggle with Porn

Why bring up such a touchy and maybe even painful subject? Because love does not exploit others, it is sacrificial and good. And if we are raising our kids to be the kind of people who follow 1 Corinthians 13: 4-8a, we must talk to our kids about pornography and teach them how to hide their hearts, minds, and souls from this devious parasite. We must also create accountability and safe people and places to go if they struggle with porn.

Love suffers long and is kind; itdoes not envy; love does not parade itself, is not [a]puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil;  does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails. ~1 Corinthians 13: 4-8a

Statistics Tell the Hard Truth About Porn Use

Think your kiddos are immune? Here are the statistics: 

  • Nearly 27% of teens receive sexts and emails and around 15% are sending them.
  • 57% of teens search out porn at least monthly
  • 51% of male students and 32% of female students first viewed porn before their teenage years.
  • The first exposure to pornography among men is 12 years old, on average.
  • 71% of teens hide online behavior from their parents.
  • A 2016 study on Canadian adolescents showed that 45.3% admitted to problems in erectile dysfunction.
  • US youths (ages 14-18) exposed to pornography: 84:4% of males and 57% of females

You might also be shocked at the types of pornography teens are viewing:

  • 83% of boys and 57% of girls have seen group sex online
  • 69% of boys and 55 % of girls have seen same-sex intercourse online
  • 39% of boys and 23% of girls have seen sexual bondage online
  • 32% of boys nad 18% of girls have seen bestiality on line 
  • 18% of boys nad 10% of girls have seen rape or sexual violence online
  • 15% of boys and 9% of girls have seen child pornography online

And according to Enough.org,  “Extreme content is the new norm. Soft porn has disappeared. In 2010 the journal Violence Against Women reported physical aggression in 88.2% of leading pornography scenes and verbal aggression in 48.7%, with 94.4% of the aggression directed towards women and girls. A February 2018 headline in Esquire Magazine read, “Incest is the Fastest Growing Trend in Porn.”And according to Enough.org,  “Extreme content is the new norm. Soft porn has disappeared. In 2010 the journal Violence Against Women reported physical aggression in 88.2% of leading pornography scenes and verbal aggression in 48.7%, with 94.4% of the aggression directed towards women and girls. A February 2018 headline in Esquire Magazine read, “Incest is the Fastest Growing Trend in Porn.”

What are the effects of Pornography?

Studies have shown that kids who viewed pornography for hours each week have less gray matter in their brains than those who did not view it. 

Youth that view pornography once a month or more are at a greater risk of developing:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Sexually permissive attitudes
  • Preoccupation with sex
  • Inability to distinguish between fantasy and reality
  • Unrealistic ideas about sexual relationships
  • Insecurities about body images in females and insecurities about sexual performance in males.

Furthermore, the long-term effects of porn on relationships include abuse and divorce.

Guide Your Children Well

I think we can all agree that porn is a problem. What are we supposed to do about it, short of getting rid of all electronic devices in our home? We need to start by talking to our kids about sex and pornography. Kids under ten targeted for porn is a growing issue, so don’t think that waiting until they’re in high school is a good idea. Expect that by age 12, your kids have been exposed to porn. After you have an initial age-appropriate talk with your kids about porn, develop regular check-in times where you ask open-ended questions. Give your kids time to respond, and create an ongoing conversation with them about sexuality and porn. Look, consider who they’ll talk to about sex, if not you. Again, you are their God-ordained guide. 

  • Talk about sexuality within the context of family and marriage. Define for your kids what healthy, normal, Biblical relationships are and what normal and healthy exchanges of affection are between husband and wife and others. 
  • Straightforwardly talk about sex. Get comfortable with correct terminology and be prepared for awkward questions. Your kids are exposed to global culture, and you are their best guide. 
  • Talk to your kids about what they may encounter online. Let them know that it might be scary or uncomfortable but assure them that they can always come to you and tell you about it. Let them know that others might try to share pornography with them but that they can always come to you and that they should not be embarrassed or ashamed to go and talk to a parent about this. 

Trust Your Faith to Direct Your Conversations

  • Share age-appropriate material with your kids about sex. 
  • Talk with your kids about the difference between porn and real sex. Let them know that porn is fantasy, bodies are altered, staged a certain way, and not private, but carefully curated to market well. Pornography is also ultimately selfish as it is only about satisfying one person -the viewer. Real sex requires good communication, humility and transparency and can be awkward and beautiful as a married couple negotiates their sexual relationship. Marital sex requires thinking about someone besides just yourself. 
  • Talk about consent and personal boundaries. Porn can be violent and can quickly normalize non-consensual behavior. It fuels sex trafficking and enslaves both the people working in the sex industry and viewers. It exploits the weak to feed a billion-dollar “industry.” 
  • Normalize sexual arousal and put it within the context of being created by a loving and creative God, within Christian marriage, and within the context of stewarding one’s heart, mind, and soul for a future spouse. Pornography can easily be likened to having a virtual affair with one’s now or future spouse. This view is not a guilt trip. This is a reality check. Sexuality within marriage is about accountability and covenant.

The Bible is Clear

The Bible is clear about how we are to approach sexuality as followers of a Living God in 1 Corinthians 6:12-20

All things are lawful for me, but all things are not [helpful. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any. Foods for the stomach and the stomach for foods, but God will destroy both it and them. Now the body is not for sexual immorality but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. And God both raised up the Lord and will also raise us up by His power.

Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ and make them members of a harlot? Certainly not! Or do you not know that he who is joined to a harlot is one body with her? For “the two,” He says, “shall become one flesh.” But he who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him.

Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?  For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body [c]and in your spirit, which are God’s.

Prepare for Awkward Conversations with Your Kids About Porn

While talking to our kids about porn might be awkward and uncomfortable, we must let them know that we are willing to have awkward conversations and can handle the awkwardness. It’s a challenging topic to confront but a necessary one for the sake of their hearts and minds. 

Additional Resources: 

Podcast

Communicating with our Kids about Pornography with Hal and Melanie Young Podcast

Books

Every Man’s Battle

Every Young Man’s Battle

Raising Real Men

Porn accountability

Covenant Eyes

Accountability 2You

Re-thinking College

Re-thinking College

Re-thinking College

Re-thinking college is something all of us with college-aged kids should be doing! With sky-rocketing debt associated with a degree and a mushy job market, the exponentially rising costs of college, it might not be the best way to launch our young adults. But, where does that leave us? As I’ve said before, we are in the 4th Industrial Revolution, and with any revolution, there are high costs and great opportunities if you know where to look. This article will explore ways to hack college and look at viable options to do alongside or instead of college!

What are the Colleges Teaching?

I was talking to a relative this weekend. Both of his kids went to the top-rated public business school in America. They both said they learned little past what they taught in high school, now believe that socialism is better than capitalism, and have embraced a pro-choice stance. For the time and money involved, their conservative, Christian, pro-life parents are disappointed with the values, education, and return on their college investment.

The College Experience

From where I sit, I believe that the college “experience” – both educational and social- is mostly a thing of the past. Colleges and Universities are merely bastions of social reform, and the “Academy” is no longer interested in education, which includes skill-building, synergy, stewarding Christian Culture, and the Great Conversation. College might still be necessary for specific careers or fields, but it’s no longer mandatory for vocational success or a rite of passage required for upward mobility.  For many of us, college still seems like a reasonable goal. As homeschoolers, college acceptance validates the time and effort we’ve invested in our kids. As our kids launch, it’s a logical “next step” and an excellent, negotiable middle ground between childhood and adulthood.

Is the ROI of College worth it?

This experience leads us to some hard questioning if we are committed to launching our kids well. Is the traditional “4-year” college route, with debt, a smart way to go? As parents, how do we proceed in:

  • guiding and directing our young adults in a way that will position them well
  • launch them with  as little debt as possible
  • give them ever increasing responsibility and autonomy
  • utilize their talents

I believe that going through college – if your student needs that documentation for entering into a Big 10 Company, graduate school, etc., should be done as efficiently as possible. In other words, get college credits quickly and as inexpensively as you know how to do it. Work towards a degree program with clarity and focus. (For a fascinating look at most colleges’ pre-pandemic state of messy affairs, check out the book College Unbound).

College GEN ED’s 

For kids who are still preparing to graduate from a college or university, I would get General Education courses out of the way before hitting the college trail- either through Dual Enrollment or CLEP, or a combination of both.

30 Credits would be equivalent to 1 yr of College and remember that most college courses count for 3 credits:

6 Credits of English

  • Composition I*
  • Composition II/*

3-6 Credits of Math

  • College Algebra
  • Geometry
  • Accounting I or II

3- 9 Credits of Science

  • Environmental Science
  • Biology *
  • Chemistry*

3-6 Credits of Social Sciences

  • Psychology *
  • Sociology
  • Government*
  • Econ*
  • History

3-6 Credits of “Diversity” 

  • Religion
  • World Religion**

At True North Homeschool Academy, we are so committed to helping families re-think college that we offer many test prep courses. We also have a new Dual Enrollment program. Combining DE with CLEPs can save your student even more time and money- getting them on the road to independence sooner.

CLEP for College Credit

Not sure if the college or university of your choice (or should I say, within your financial reach) takes CLEPs? Some schools have it posted on their website. If you talk to admissions, but you can’t find it in print anywhere, it’s not binding, so check the website and catalog or ask the Admissions Counselor to write it on school letterhead, with a signature. Furthermore, you can always earn an Associate’s Degree from one of the “Big Three”- Thomas Edison, Excelsior, or Charter Oaks and transfer your Associate’s Degree from one of these accredited colleges. Because it’s an Accredited Degree, your credits and classes will transfer, and you can jump into upperclassman status, finish faster and not spend quite as much money.

The Importance of Learning Entrepreneurship

II encourage every young person I know to learn how to navigate the online world with at least some understanding of what it means to be an entrepreneur. Developing an online business is even better, offering an online educational program, better still. Alternative Ed is booming and will continue to do so. Online education was a $1 billion business in 2010, was expected to be a 2.1 billion dollar business in 2020 (pre-pandemic estimates), and is now projected to be a $357-$435B business by 2023-2025. Learning to sell online can position any young person well, and you certainly don’t need a degree to learn online sales and marketing.

For those still eager to attend college, I would suggest creating an ANI or other Compare/Contrast chart to evaluate your ROI for the projected schools, degrees, and job prospects. If students have been working and saving for college but aren’t’ getting scholarship dollars that will allow them to graduate without extreme debt, other types of investments might be more prudent in both the short and long term.

What is the Return on Investment for College?

College ROI should be evaluated from both a monetary, lifestyle, and values point of view. Sending kids to college who aren’t clear about what they’ll be studying, or their vocational plans ultimately lead to more debt as they change majors or leave school. Further, with no clear job prospects or way to pay back the debt. The majority of college graduates (those who do graduate, and the 50% or so who don’t), leave college with an average of $37,000 in debt. They often graduate in six years instead of four.

Strategize Higher Education Investment

Once you’ve determined if higher education is worth the investment, determine a strategy. There are some exciting scholarship opportunities available. Scholarships like the Military (leadership and vocational training, along with a regular paycheck), Critical Languages, or Community Services Scholarships. Sports and NCAA opportunities provide excellent opportunities but often take years of lead-up time, parental time and money, and political astuteness. Particularly as we now navigate transgender athletes.

Develop You Students Stand Out Factor

Being intentional about helping your kids develop their sense of “otherliness” in unique and stand-out ways

It’s a whole new world to navigate for young adults, and it’s worth spending time thinking through alternatives to a traditional college experience. Like True North’s Orienteering course, a Vocational Exploration course can save thousands of dollars literally and get kids started on a vocational path while still in High School. Practical courses that will prepare our students for the Future of Work, including the increasing “Gig” Economy, are also prudent.

Career Exploration can save you TIME and MONEY

Not sure where to start? The Orienteering Course will help students explore their strengths and skillsets, look at various educational and vocational options and develop a plan. Courses that teach marketable, real-world skills, many of which we offer at True North Homeschool Academy, like:

These courses give students real-world, marketable skills. It’s not too early to begin researching college costs, talking with your students about the lifestyle they hope to live, and strategizing the best ways to make that happen.

Typical Course of Study

Don’t overlook the importance of a solid Jr and Sr High school Academic Program, complete with rubrics, gamification (courses will use it more widely over time), and grading. Your young adults will live and work in a world where being able to think and adapt quickly and collaboratively. A solid academic program lays an excellent foundation for that time of critical thinking. Not sure where to start in developing a program? Our Academic Advising programs are designed to work with and for your family.

Lastly, for students bent on a particular job that might entail college, check out our Young Professionals Series for practical, hands-on advice and actionable steps to develop your student’s professionalism while still in high school.

Take a listen to our ReThinking College podcast!

Our Academic Advising program, designed to help you create an actionable plan, will save you time, money, and frustration now and as you launch your young adult! SPED Advising is also available! 

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!