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Is God Calling Your Kids?

Is God Calling Your Kids?


When it comes to educating our own kids, many of us, especially those who never imagined we’d be homeschooling, recognize that it’s a task that God has called us to. And He’s been faithful to equip us along the way. Amen? 

We’ve understood our own role in being faithful to that calling. But have we ever stopped to consider that God has a calling for each and every one of us? Not just preachers, teachers, or pastors. 

God is calling our kids. 

For Such a Time As This

The story of Queen Esther in the Bible shows us just how God is working providentially through men and women who are called and prepared to stand in hard times. 

Do you think Esther mulled over her calling? Did she study the nature of a calling on her life? I don’t know that we can know that, but we can know is that she was prepared. 

Preparing Our Kids for God’s Calling

From the time Esther was little, she likely heard the stories of her people. She had seen God’s faithfulness demonstrated. Beyond her basic education, she’d obviously been educated in the art of persuasion! 

Trusting in God’s Ability 

Leaning on TRUTH, she used her best soft skills and life skills to make a stand and save her people. 

Did all of the preparation that brought her to that place cause her to rest on her own ability? No, but she did have God Confidence. 

And that’s exactly what we want for our own kids, isn’t it? 

Independently Dependent On God

Back to homeschooling, I see so many parents diligently preparing their children for a future of independence. This independence comes with great responsibility, and we ultimately want to see them independently dependent on the Lord, right? 

This is the only thing that will cause them to stand against a world in chaos. 

Why the 3 R’s Aren’t Enough

We believe that Education is the Transmission of Culture. Every child can learn the basics of a good education. Many will excel at the difficult subjects. But that’s not a complete education. They need a foundation of a strong culture to find their true north. 

The 3 R’s are important. And I deeply care about grades, transcripts, and college preparation

But, what I care about most deeply, is using those fundamentals in a way that serves a bigger purpose — the transmission of culture. 

A Bold Statement & A Challenge to You

I want our kids to excel at academics. I want them to be prepared for the Future of Work, be equipped with soft skills, and win in the gig economy. 

But, what I ultimately want (and I have a feeling this is important to you, too) is to develop our kids to find their true north (the TRUE NORTH – Jesus Christ) and bring others with them. 

All the teaching and learning we do is to that end. That we would know Christ and make Him known. 

Is God calling your kids? I challenge you to ponder that question. 

Then ask yourself if you’re moving in the direction you want to with their education.

Two Have a Greater Return for Their Labor

True North Homeschool Academy teachers are a group of passionate, qualified, creative educators providing carefully curated Core Courses and Clubs delivered by utilizing cutting-edge technology, gamification, and solid academic pedagogy. 

We understand the unique challenges and opportunities of homeschooling.

If we share the same goals, and I think we just might, won’t you take a moment and check out our catalog

As always, leave me a comment to ask me anything. 

DIY Homeschooling

DIY Homeschooling

Let’s face it, we homeschoolers love figuring things out. As a group, we DIY homeschooling. It’s in our DNA. While everything is “figuroutable” — it’s not always the easiest path to follow, is it?

A History of Homeschooling

When homeschooling got its start, materials were limited, groups were non-existent, and laws were strict. In fact, it was illegal in many states. The first homeschoolers were true pioneers. They invented DIY homeschooling because they had to! We truly stand on the shoulders of those who’ve gone before us.

Homeschooling Has Changed

Homeschooling has seen a lot of changes, and friends, that’s a good thing. The craziness of 2020 has accelerated some of the changes, and we now have more homeschooling families than ever before. So, why are we still DIY homeschooling? What can we do differently and why should we?

The Bible is True

Homeschooling is the responsibility of the parents.

Deuteronomy 6:7 You shall teach [the words of God] diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. 

The Bible also tells us we don’t have to do it alone. Two are better than one, because they have good return for their labor. Iron sharpens iron. We’re to use our gifts to minister to others. When we know the truth, we’re to be helpers to the truth. We’re to provoke one another to good works. We’re one body, with members.

While not all homeschoolers are Christians, the principles of Christianity bless all of homeschooling and homeschoolers.

This sums up my point — we need one another. We can DIY homeschooling, but we don’t have to.

The World Has Changed (Sort Of)

The world has changed. We’re more connected than at any time in history. What hasn’t really changed is human nature. Let’s be honest, it’s the realization of the continuity of human nature that’s part of why we homeschool in the first place. As Christians, we feel a responsibility to our children to provide for them and protect them from the worst in human nature.

We also want them to see the best in people and be prepared to live and work in the world God has given us. It is our Father’s world, after all. He wants us to tend to it and the people he puts us in touch with.

Homeschooling prepares our kids for that.

With all of this connectedness, we need to be diligent to our responsibility to our children. And again, we don’t have to do that alone. We don’t need to DIY homeschooling.

Moving Beyond DIY Homeschooling

True North Homeschool Academy was born out of a passion to equip and nurture parents as they intentionally educate their children. 

We’ve been offering live online classes for over a decade, and have collectively been involved in alternative education in the form of private schools, classical academies, yeshivas, co-ops, class days, classical charters, online academies, and more. 

We believe that Education is the Transmission of Culture. We are coming from a decidedly Judeo-Christian point of view. We are people of the Book. 

True North Homeschool Academy teachers are a group of passionate, qualified, creative educators providing carefully curated Core Courses and Clubs, delivered by utilizing cutting-edge technology, gamification, and solid academic pedagogy. We understand the unique challenges and opportunities of homeschooling.

Making Your Homeschool Your Own

I know many will choose the DIY homeschooling route. And I’m here to support all homeschoolers. But, if you’re looking for support, accountability, and connection, I encourage you to consider our live, online, interactive classes.

A partner in homeschooling doesn’t mean you have to have a cookie-cutter homeschooling experience. And you don’t have to DIY homeschooling. Pick and choose what works best for YOUR family. Make your homeschool your own.

Getting Started with a Homeschool Partner

Things to consider:

However you decide to pursue homeschooling, your children will thank you. Leave me a comment if you have questions.

Visit the new catalog here.

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!

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!  

How to Fail as a Homeschooler

How to Fail as a Homeschooler

(Portions of this post originally appeared on the Golden Grasses website- by Lisa Nehring)

It’s that time of year when parents are re-evaluating schooling options for their kids. I hear over and over again, “I want to homeschool (or my kids want to homeschool), but I’m so worried I’ll fail.” Having homeschooled for 25 years, we’ve seen it all. Wild homeschooling success and wild, abject homeschooling failure. Here is my not so subtle list about how to fail as a homeschooler. Check it out. Maybe it will help you evaluate whether or not you have what it takes to succeed as a homeschooler.

(Wondering why we homeschool? You can find the answers here.)

1- Stop Learning 

I mean you, the Homeschooling Teacher. The first law of the teacher is to know the material, which takes time and energy. If you want to fail as a homeschooler, model NOT learning. Model NOT reading, model intellectual apathy, fed on a diet of social media, low standards, and cultivated disinterest.

2- Be Prideful about your Kid’s Success and Ability

Be haughty and prideful when it comes to your own child.  They already know it all, why learn more? Your child is “too good” for every program out there. Also, refuse to let your child mingle with children you deem “less-than.” This not only sets them up to fail in homeschooling but also in life.

3- Never Ask Questions

Cultivate the attitude of disinterest; what you don’t know is boring. Asking questions requires vulnerability and humility. Don’t show either.

True North Homeschool Academy Facebook Group

3-Be Stingy & Hoard

Opportunities, people, competitions, curriculum, knowledge; you need to keep whatever good thing you have to yourself. Don’t share, promote, develop, or go beyond your circle. Keep in mind the toddler rules, “What’s Yours is Yours and What’s Mine is Mine, What’s Broken is Yours.”

4- Be Fearful

Homeschool because the world is scary, and public schools are of the devil. Be reactive. Be closeted and fearful. Homeschool because there is nothing better. Hunker down for the coming of apocalypse zombies.

5- Be Lazy

Have the attitude that no matter what you do or don’t do as a homeschooler, it is better than what the public schools do or don’t do. So if you really don’t “do” school or even train your kids, that’s okay.  At least it’s better than what the public schools are doing, anyway, right?

(Trying to figure out how to succeed at this homeschooling gig as a Busy Mom, check out our post on Sacred Sanity – A Busy Mom’s Guide to Homeschooling.)

6- Be Tolerant

Let your kids run wild in the name of homeschooling freedom. Allow them to break the rules, to be rebellious, to set a low standard for others at classes, co-ops, field trips, to subtly jeer and undermine. This tolerance gives the impression that all homeschoolers have low standards and ensures that no homeschoolers will be allowed that field trip in the future. It also provides that any homework assigned will be mocked, that work itself is not that important, and that co-ops should cater to the lowest common denominator.

7-Be Irresponsible

Make excuses; make them often and frequently, for yourself and your kids, regarding academic standards, character issues, things left undone, and overdone. Don’t take responsibility to educate your kids.

8- Be Idolatrous

Idolize your child, and their individuality to the point of extreme. Idolize creativity while sacrificing discipline. Buy into the cheap imitation of chaos theory that free expression without tools, time, or discipline will produce creative talent beyond our wildest dreams. In keeping with this, teach to your kid’s strengths (if you teach at all) and let their weaknesses go unchecked.

I’m sure that there are other ways to fail as a homeschooler, but these are the ones I’ve personally most often encountered over the years. And, True Confessions, My name is Lisa, and I’m a Homeschooling Failure myself, having participated in all of these at one time or another. Admission, so those in the know tell me, is the first step towards recovery. Good thing, because next, in honor of those in recovery as Homeschooling Failures, I’ll post How to Succeed as a Homeschooler.

(Have you decided that you’re ready to begin? Check out our post on Homeschooling 101!)

Having homeschooled for 25 years, we've seen it all. Wild homeschooling success and wild, abject homeschooling failure. Here is my not so subtle list about how to fail as a homeschooler. Check it out. Maybe it will help you evaluate whether or not you have what it takes to succeed as a homeschooler. #homeschooling #homeschooler #TrueNorthHomeschoolAcademy