Published on December 1st, 2014 | by Christie0
Homeschooling and the Bennes Family
I present you another Email received from our good friend David, an experienced home-school parent.
We began homeschooling our five children in 1998. Our firstborn will be awarded a college degree in May and our youngest two have just begun preschool. I’ll be about 56 when they graduate from high school! Talk about a vocation!!
When I first read books about homeschooling, it appeared that all the parents had at least a bachelor’s degree. I felt so intimidated and undereducated, possessing only a high school diploma. My testimony is to those who feel they aren’t capable or qualified to teach their own. With my husband’s encouragement and the Lord’s grace, I’ve made great strides in understanding how children learn. I can say with certainty that when the Lord gives us the conviction to do something, He will equip us to do it or provide the resources we need. My husband earned his B.S. in Vocational Education and Training during his 13 year Naval submarine career (he’s the techno-geek who is happily reproducing baby geeks!). He’s even given birth to a home-based business: We offer an “Introduction to Computer Programming in BASIC” for high school credit to homeschoolers. We invite you to visit us at our website:
We began homeschooling after our first son finished first grade with some reading and math difficulties. So began the exhausting and overwhelming task of trying to find the right curriculum, only to find it doesn’t exist. So, we used a combination of materials and, we now have the confidence to begin putting together our own. Our first goal has been to honor God in our marriage. Then to help us build a strong biblical foundation and Christian worldview in our children, we have six more goals for our children:
1) That our children have a close fellowship with the Lord Jesus Christ;
2) That they have a vocation when they leave home;
3) That they be good financial stewards;
4) That they be productive citizens in the community;
5) That they know what to look for in a Christian spouse;
6) That they carry on the faith through their children.
My husband insists in giving our marriage the priority it deserves and our love has grown stronger. He takes me on a date once a week; and we enjoy overnight dates at least once every six months. We are both actively involved in training our children in spiritual growth as well as academics and sports. He has never considered this a “mom” thing.
My husband’s more active role in teaching our children academics began (after he left the Navy for a more important job—being a dad) when he taught a short summer course in Introduction to Electricity and Electronics. He followed that course up with a few simple computer programs. Since then he has lead them through other science and math courses. They have participated in science fairs with various projects that have earned Blue Ribbons.During the last four years, we recognized the lack of hands-on science and math in many of our fellow homeschoolers’ programs, so we’ve offered lab classes in our home in life science, physical science and biology courses. This lead to a dividend when I exchanged science labs for art lessons. I’m currently conducting hands-on math labs for preschoolers as well. We also realized that there is a lack of technical training available to the homeschool community and began several projects. The most successful has been the computer programming class. We also host the Low-Country Christian Computer Programming Club which meets weekly during the school year. We’ve held one official contest with judges who work in computer programming in their fields. We will be hosting our second contest this May. This club helps us provide a supervised, productive social atmosphere for our middle sons. Our club has rules that promote godly Christian character in behavior/speech and dress. It is also a place where it is Cool to be smart! The Lord has provided all the equipment from the computer hardware to the chairs and even the disks the students need to record their programs! There are elected officers and they are responsible for running the club. We have about 16 participants. Our son, Joey, has an opportunity to learn leadership by being responsible for maintaining and setting up the hardware and tutoring less experienced programmers.
I’m the liberal arts fan and so we do balance each other. We’re using David Quine’s Cornerstone Curriculum Project materials with Joey to work through a classical Christian education program. He has also been studying piano for seven years and is earning Blue Ribbons in major competitive events.
He has also completed his third year of computer programming and wants to study Visual Basic next.
Our middle son, Eric, has been studying German for the past two years along with Joey and is developing his fluency with a tutor who is a native speaker.
We regret to admit we have not been perfect and have allowed negative influences through exposure to worldly music, TV, etc., so we’ve sought ways to limit those influences. We’re fortunate to be members of a small local church where almost all the children are homeschooled, and the parents share the same concerns for their children.
We are involved members in our local support group (LCHEA) which offers a wide variety of activities on a regular basis such as group science classes, spelling and geography bees, science fairs and sports classes. We also have a secondary mom’s subgroup which helps us with high school issues. We take advantage of as many activities as we can, yet strive to maintain order and regularity in our routine. With God’s grace we will live to see all our children reach our goals! Amen!