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Dynamic, Virtual Online Clubs for Homeschool Kids

Dynamic, Virtual Online Clubs for Homeschool Kids

Let’s talk about Virtual Online Clubs for Homeschoolers

 

When I was growing up we were involved in clubs, it was just part of life.

We were Girl Scouts for years, part of a square dance club complete with crinoline poufed skirts. Wewere in Music Clubs and community service clubs. People just did clubs. It was a great way to learn new skills, meet new people, get out of the house and create amazing memories!

My kids have participated in a ton of clubs over the past twenty-five years. Including, Girl and Boy Scouts, Lego League, Music Clubs, Art Clubs, Horse Clubs, AYSO, Larping, Theater & Book clubs, Service clubs and more.

 The beauty of a club is that it is usually full of awesome learning and looks like fun!

Virtual, Dynamic Online Clubs are Academics Plus Fun!

 

Clubs can provide both academics and fun for our Jr. and Sr. Homeschool High School students. 

In my opinion and experience, clubs takes some of the pressure off of academics, allowing the kids to learn and experience rich and varied skills and opportunities.

As a Transcript Artist, I see a lot of homeschoolers selling themselves short on credits because they often forget to count clubs, service work, hobbies and areas of interest as “credit” on their High School Transcript.

For instance, my graduated son had a serious interest in history and weaponry for years. One Christmas he found himself the happy recipient of a few encyclopedias on the history of weapons. He Larps regularly with friends -an informal club of sorts -and he has spent countless hours creating armor, swords, distaffs and more out of foam noodles, duct tape, cardboard, plastic and even more duct tape. It’s not a “class” per se, however, the amount of time he has put into not only learning about weapons, but constructing and crafting them, could certainly count for credit.

Don’t think kids learn much through this type of activity? When watching movies, he can tell almost immediately if the armor is appropriate to the times. That’s history and craftsmanship, right there!

About True North Homeschool Academy Clubs

“What about socialization?” This common question directed at homeschooling families is often met with a strong response. We’re right to ask, “Who defines socialization?” and understand that socialization is more than peer-to-peer relating. We are constantly socializing. That’s just part of culture, right? 

Still, many homeschool parents often ask me about this question. And honestly, I think it comes from a place of needing support. We’re not trying to imitate the school culture and follow the pattern of the world when it comes to friendships. We’re too busy transmitting our faith culture to our kids!

And that’s the beautiful thing about what we do here at True North Homeschool Academy. We understand the importance of our common Christian culture. Our live online classes are born out of a desire to support homeschool families. And yes, even provide an avenue to socialize with your homeschool tribe. 

Wouldn’t it be a dream-come-true to find a safe place for your kids to make friends, interactive in a live setting, and learn some really cool stuff? We think so. That’s why we created Homeschool Clubs 

Each club will be worth at least a 1/4 credit per semester or 1/2 credit per year- so all of the fun of the a club, none of the pressure of a traditional course, and credit to boot! Of course, students and parents are welcomed and encouraged to add more to the club to make it full credit worthy (and we are happy to provide guidance on that, if you need it).

If you are looking for a Club that you don’t yet see, please let us know! We might just be able to make it happen!

10 Reasons to Join a Homeschool Club

Here are ten great reasons why your child should be in a homeschool club:

Homeschool Clubs offer accountability.

In a homeschool club, students meet regularly with others with similar interests and abilities, setting goals and report progress to their classmates and club mentors. Writing down and sharing goals is a sure-fire way to move ahead with them!

Homeschool Clubs provide a diverse learning environment.

Rubbing shoulders with those who know more than you allow students to have something to reach and strive for. In our Writing Club, we have students with a broad range of ability, experience, and passion. The older kids encourage younger students and provide amazing role-models.

Homeschool Clubs offer mentorships.

Being a mentor for those who don’t know as much as you do gives students a chance to hone their own abilities. The best way to learn something exceptionally well is to teach it. In writing club students with experience are reaching out to younger students to offer advice, encouragement and support, share contests, online resources, editing, and more!

Homeschool Clubs are skill building.

Clubs allow students to grow and develop their skills in ways that they possibly wouldn’t seek out on their own. Our writing club has delved into songwriting, comedic sketch writing, and more based on the interest of club members!

Homeschool Clubs are low stress but offer high rewards.

Clubs allow students to immerse oneself into an area of interest without a huge time or monetary investment. Jr and Sr high school is the perfect time for students to explore various areas of interest. Clubs give students support to explore and develop in areas that may lead to career interests, lifelong hobbies, friendships, and professional skills!

Homeschool Clubs are a great way to earn credits.

Clubs are a low-stress way to earn credits. Our writing club is automatically worth a half a credit a year but students can earn up to a full credit of writing, depending on their goals and commitment. This allows students to build their transcript in a low-stress fun way!

Clubs often offer side benefits.

Because our good writers are readers, our writing club does a weekly “Book-Share” too. Students learn about different genres, learn assessment tools and participate in co-authoring quarterly “Tweens and Teens Book Recommendations,” which are published on our blog. Also, students have the opportunity to write blog posts for our blog, allowing them to publish before a fairly wide audience while still in high school.

Homeschool Clubs offer more freedom than a traditional classroom.

For example, homeschool club members can socialize with people that they have things in common with. In our Writing Club, we often do break-out rooms with smaller groups. The kids work on projects together, like writing poems or songs and have a blast laughing, brainstorming, and coming up with amazing ideas together.

In a Homeschool Club, everyone is there because they want to be there.

They are already interested in the subject matter which makes it easier to make friends! People tend to be warmer and more engaged when it’s something they want to do versus something they have to do. In our Writing Club, kids are meeting and talking with kids from around the country both inside (and outside of class).

Homeschool Clubs allow students to have input!

On the suggestion of one of our Writing Club members, we have writing “buddies.” Kids were paired up randomly with someone else in the class. This is because kids wanted to be able to continue writing prompts, share ideas, and brainstorm outside of class. The enthusiasm is contagious and some writing buddies are even writing stories together!

Clubs. We LOVE them at True North Homeschool Academy because we LOVE watching students learn, grow and develop into people who are passionate and eager to engage in the world around them!

What are you waiting for? Join a Club – we have lots to choose from and you can get more information about how to join us at our homeschool clubs page.

 

 

 

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!

The 5 Love Languages and Your Family

Do you ever feel like you are constantly giving, Giving, GIVING love to your kids, and for the life of you they are not getting it?! Of course, it could be because they are having a bad day, struggling with a specific challenge, or just growing like a week.  BUT another reason could be because you are not speaking your teen’s love language.

What is a “love language”?

I first heard the term love language from the author, Gary Chapman. He defines it as “the way people speak and understand emotional love.”

One of the best things you can do for your ENTIRE FAMILY is learn all your love languages. 

You would think that being around each other all the time would make it obvious what love language we each are. In fact, I assumed that. I thought that whatever way I gave and received love was how EVERYONE received love… spoiler alert: I was TOTALLY WRONG! 

There are actually FIVE love languages

  1. Words of Affirmation
  2. Acts of Service
  3. Receiving Gifts
  4. Quality Time
  5. Physical Touch

Think you *know* the specific love language of each of your family members?  Go ahead and guess.  Write it down – maybe make a game and everyone guess what love language they are… then do yourself a favor and take the free quiz –you might be surprised! 

 A Guide to the 5 Love Languages 

Let’s go through the different love types and ideas on how you can show love to that type.

Words of Affirmation: An ENCOURAGING WORD does wonders for this person.

  • Write this person a note with words of encouragement or a Bible verse
  • Leave a voicemail full of affirmations -keep them sincere!
  • Send sweet texts
  • Give a shout out to them on social media
  • Leave a post it note on their desk or in the book they are reading with a fun note of encouragement

Acts of Service: DOING SOMETHING is super meaningful for this person.

  • Bake this person’s favorite cookies
  • Laugh at their joke
  • Offer to bring them soup in bed when they are sick.
  • Wash and clear their car 
  • Clean their room for them

Receiving Gifts: RECEIVING AND GIVING GIFTS brings joy to this person. 

  • Consider starting a collection for this teen, like postcards or mugs from your travels
  • Bring a sweet treat home every time you visit this certain store
  • Start a charm bracelet that you add to on special occasions
  • Subscription boxes are like regular gifts that you receive in the mail; there are so many fun ones from food to grooming to interests
  • Gift cards from a favorite store 

 Quality Time: Giving this person YOUR FULL ATTENTION means everything

  • Take road trips together.
  • Tell them you have 30 minutes and you want to spend it with them. Then ask them what they want to do. The answer may surprise you.
  • Have a lull in the middle of the day? Play a board game.
  • Plan a regular coffee or breakfast date 
  • Plan an experience that you do together when you have  long week-end; canoeing, going to the zoo, reading a book out loud, etc.

Physical Touch: This person knows you love them by how much they can FEEL your love.

  • A good shoulder massage after a stressful day
  • A strong mama bear hug when the world feels against them.
  • A playful hip bump as you walk by
  • Put your arm around them when they are standing next to you
  • Hold hands when you are walking together, or even sitting next to each other

It is interesting to me how we homeschool moms often are quick to say, “Learn your teen’s learning style,” which I totally agree with. However, I would argue that just as important as learning your kiddos’ love language!

Not only will your kiddo be able to learn well (by leaning into their learning style), but they will also be able to receive your love well (by sharing it in their language).  And let’s face it – being around each other 24/7 and NOT showing the “right kind” of love to your family can cause unnecessary friction as much as teaching them with the wrong learning style.

So, make it a Family Night

As a family, take the quiz  and then compare notes. 

For your tweens and teens, helping them learn their love language is similar to them learning their personality type and leadership style. They are all pieces to the puzzle that makes them who they are. And it’s always a good thing to know more about yourself so that you can lean into your natural abilities as well as develop areas that don’t come naturally. 

Take it further

  • As you celebrate throughout the year, offer gifts to each other that are particularly meaningful based on each other’s Love Languages. 
  • For Birthday’s, create meaningful gifts for the Birthday Person, making sure you give a gift that expresses each of the 5 Love Languages. 

While love languages might seem simplistic, it’s another tool in our toolbox of parenting and home education that can help inspire and motivate our family members. More importantly, it allows us to communicate our love and respect for each other in ways that celebrate the unique art in each other. 

Check out our Orienteering Class. It covers learning styles, personality, interests, skills, and abilities and helps students hone in on vocational interests and training that will save both of you time and money. This is a class EVERY student should take!

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.