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.
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.
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?
Hosting a Christmas Craft Party can be a fun way to celebrate the season with a small group of friends, build community and relationships and allow your kids a way to create fun crafts that are gift worthy.
Making it Happen
Set a Date and time. Early afternoon works well. Plan on 2-3 hours for crafting and visiting.
Decide on an age range and crowd; teens only, or grades 5 and up, Mother/Daughter etc. This will allow people to choose appropriate crafts.
Ask everyone you invite to each bring a craft with enough supplies for a specific number of kids, plus a few extras for mistakes and tagalongs. Also, ask them to bring clearly written instructions and an example of the craft. This will be helpful to the kids.
For parents who aren’t naturally “crafty”, you can direct them to some fun and simple craft sites or offer ideas for “Christmas Crafts”. You may want to ask a couple of parents to bring snacks, drinks etc. if you know they will not want to be in charge of a craft.
Send the invites and include an R.S.V.P. so you can plan to have enough supplies and treats.
The Day of the Crafting Party
You might want to provide holiday music, lights, and decorations – but remember, simple can be just as fun!
Provide festive snacks, a self-serve hot chocolate, tea and coffee bar, Let others know to bring treats, too, if you are open to that. An open snack/ drink buffet works well as parents/ kids move about crafting and visiting.
Set up various workstations – card tables and chairs, areas at the peninsula and dining room table, etc. so that as people arrive, they can set up their craft at a station. Additionally, they should set up printed instructions, as well as an example of the craft already made.
If their craft requires hot glue guns, the stove, microwave or other more difficult items, ask parents (or teens) to stay at the station to supervise.
Now the Fun begins!
Parents and kids move from workstation to workstation, creating crafts. It’s helpful for the hostess to have a place for crafts to sit or dry while people visit and move about. You could have a specific spot set aside with paper plates and kids names on them to gather their crafts between stations. Additionally, have large paper bags or boxes available for people to collect their crafts in or let people know to bring their own.
Be sure to take plenty of pictures that you share after the day of the party!
Crafts don’t have to be super complex to be a lot of fun and something the kids really enjoy.
Kids love making items that they can give to family as Christmas gifts, or hang on the tree.
Expect a mess but let people know how much mess you’ll put up with. Glitter might be a no-go at your house, and that’s o.k. as long as people know ahead of time.
Soup and beverage mixes
Shadow box ornaments
You could use this as an opportunity for your tweens and teens to gain some life skills by coordinating the party with you. This makes a great homeschool group or co-op party idea too.
You may decide to do it every year. It’s a great way to share the season with others and will provide many happy memories of crafting and visiting!
As Thanksgiving approaches followed closely by Christmas, life can get a bit… hectic! This week’s life skill tip is all about simply being thankful! Haven’t heard of The Penny Challenge? Stay tuned for this fun and simple way to instill thankfulness!
Ralph Waldo Emerson said,
“Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you and to give thanks continuously. And because all things have contributed to your advancement, you should include all things in your gratitude.”
As my household, we could use this reminder as well.
So, we are doing a penny challenge.
Each of us are being given some pennies to hide around the house. Over the next week or two, as we find them, we are to think of something we are thankful for that has happened on that day. Then the finder of the penny gets to keep the penny. It might be simple, but sometimes a simple token; like a penny, can remind us to pause and be thankful for our many blessings!
Raising Thankful Kids
We want to create teens that are thankful in season and out of season. It might be the key to helping them push through that hard time. And look, we know hard times will come; it’s the nature of life! Counting his blessings made all the difference for Willie Nelson,
“When I started counting my blessings, my whole life turned around.”
Even better the BIBLE says it!
“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
Sure, life is going to throw you lemons, but if you can see that those lemons are helping you become who you were meant to be not only will you be more pleasant to be around as you go through that season, you will also be on the lookout for ways to make that lemon work in your favor.
If your kids love gamifying learning -and which one doesn’t, be sure to check out Classical Memory classes as well as Personal Finance. Both classes, along with many others at True North Homeschool Academy are specifically designed to make learning FUN, with interactive, dynamic games, challenges and great discussions!
Many of us consider music an elective and one of those homeschool subjects that we may “get to.” But I contend that music is a life skill which informs us in many areas of our lives. Chiefly, It allows our kids to develop executive functioning as well as transferable skills.
I encourage you to carve out time for music. Just consider that you probably already do. What’s on your playlist? How many hours a week do you listen to music while you workout, or are in the car? Music is an integral part of our lives. Accordingly, the songs we listen to, the movies we watch, as well as the worship we offer can change our mood and – above all – lead to redemption.
A Universal Language
Music is a Universal Languages, along with Math and Latin. As has been noted, we can communicate to others with music, even if we lack a common language!
I’ve teamed up with Melissa Grande, a professional Musician and one of our amazing True North Homeschool Academy teachers to talk about some of the obvious benefits of studying music!
10 Benefits of Studying Music
Stress Management & Therapeutic Benefits – Music calms the soul, gives kids the ability to express emotions and work off the wiggles! It utilizes many neural pathways to learning. Music education is kinesthetic, and auditory, but also visual as they develop eye-hand coordination and the ability to read music.
Quick Thinking Skills – playing an instrument requires the student to think quickly. That requirement increases exponentially if they are playing with a band of any kind. Kids become quick thinkers as they have to check what’s going on with other musicians.
Social Skills – these become well developed through music as students learn collaboration & communication skills. Skills are required for coordinating with others in the home about best practice times. Social skills are used when working with other musicians, coordinating with teacher and developing as a performer.
Responsibility and Discipline – are a natural outcome of music studies as students learn to take care of their instruments. It also requires that they focus on practicing and tough out the physical hardship of developing their craft.
Problem Solving – is one of the many gifts of studying any art. Students must simply work to understand the music. The sounds of their instrument and how to create music with others involve problem solving skills.
Time Management and Deadlines – are integral to developing as a musician. You must show up to lessons on time, show up to practice and performances while juggling other responsibilities and demands.
Pride in Accomplishments – (and learning that you have the ability to Do Hard Things). We want good things for our kids, and might even have to guard against serving up fun too often. Instead, teach them to hold out for deep joy and fulfillment when they have overcome and can enjoy their accomplishment.
Perseverance and Patience – we know that good things come from years of practice and investment. Excellence comes with practice. Our kids learn this as they wrestle with loving their instrument and playing music over the long term.
Creative Expression – this might seem obvious but is not to be overlooked. Music allows our kids – and us- creative expression. Who hasn’t lip-synced at the top of their lungs in the car alone? Who hasn’t cried, hearing a touching song, or choked up singing Handel’s Messiah? Music moves our spirit and soul and unlocks hidden emotions and allows us to become more fully human.
Self Expression – along with creative expression, music allows us to express ourselves as individuals. We all have a song to sing and a beautiful story to tell. Music allows us another avenue to share that with others!
A Lot of Bang for Your Homeschool Buck!
Music is one of those courses of study that give you so much bang for your buck. Your kids learn a fantastic academic skill, that can garner them scholarship dollars and amazing opportunities. As they develop their skills, music will help them maintain their positive mental health. They will develop transferable skills that will hold fast throughout their lives.
Not sure where to start with Music Education in your homeschool? Check out True North Homeschool Academy Music classes. We believe in and value music education so much that we offer k-12th grade opportunities that will inspire and delight!
Check Out K-12 Classes to Get Their Creative Energies Flowing
Art & Music I – one of our most popular Elementary classes last year! This is a Charlotte Mason inspired course that teaches Art through the Seasons. Children learn to play the tin whistle along with learning about music.
Art & Music II – for those who couldn’t get enough of Art and Music I. (or for older kids) Students will again have inspiring Art through the Seasons lessons and learn rhythm through bucket drumming!
From Handicrafts to Technology
Take a look at more than 30 electives available on our website. True North Homeschool Academy offers elective courses that are creative and practical.