By guest author Shari McMinn
In a day and age when reading a long, non-fiction book has fallen by the wayside, I challenge you to consider purchasing and reading – over and over again – CHEC’s newly revised and updated The Homeschool Guidebook for Colorado; A Comprehensive Guide to Home Education in Colorado. Just do it! The sooner the better!
Our children, and their future children, are a priceless gift to us from Almighty God, and we want to spend eternity with them! Research proves that homeschooled children are more likely to stay with their Christian faith than those who were privately or publicly schooled. That is not a statistic we parents should take for granted! Is your family homeschool focused on what really matters for eternity? Are you more concerned with getting your kids into Harvard than Heaven?
As Managing Editor of the CHEC Guidebook, 2017 softcover edition, I was honored and inspired to oversee this massive project which humbled me in many ways. My lessons in humility came as I read and reread each chapter. As I searched for typographical and grammatical errors, eventually reviewing typesetting and pagination, I was blessed to read the 280+ pages more than 20 times in 9 months!
That is a lot of reading! In doing so, I was convicted, encouraged, and inspired that homeschooling not only continues to be the best educational choice for my family, but God’s choice for my children, and subsequent grandchildren who will come in His timing. The Guidebook contents corrected me on a few shortcomings I have as a homeschool teacher, and gave me fresh insight into my students’ struggles.
Chapter 2 – A Vision for Christian Home Education particularly stood out to me.
When my late husband, Cary, and I began homeschooling 23+ years ago, we wrote out our vision for what successful homeschooling would look like for our children. It was upon that foundational vision that we based our decisions for schedules, curriculum, and outside activities. Now that more than half of my children are adults, I am experiencing the fruitful payoff of our vision and follow-through: my children grew in their Christian faith despite the sin and shortcomings of their parents and are successful in their life endeavors!
As they serve in various career fields – Acting/Entertainment, Agriculture/Graphic Design, Automotive/Industrial Design, Culinary/Tourism, and the Military, their Christian lights shine brightly in the dark world. The curriculum we used helped them academically achieve, but in the end it was secondary to character training, daily discipleship, church attendance, Christian service projects, prayer, and the living out of our faith as part of homeschooling.
I am in the unique position of having a lot of kids whom I have home educated for more than two decades with six more years to go. When the Guidebook was first introduced in the late 1990s, I purchased the original three-ring binder and used it for years. As time wore on, I didn’t reference it as much because we entered the age of the internet with Google, Facebook, and YouTube!
My daily time for reading grew more limited, and my reading times were shorter in duration. The 2017 Guidebook has been streamlined and fully updated to meet the needs of veteran parents like me, but also the new generation of cell phone dependent, technology saavy parents who are using online resources and have even less desire to read thick, instructional books.
Whether you are new to home education with your first child in preschool, have a bunch of stair step kids you have been schooling a few years, are embarking on the high school part of your journey, or have reached the ‘burnout’ years and can’t wait to graduate your youngest, the 2017 CHEC Guidebook can help you cast (or recast) a homeschool vision, educate you on the law, help you begin, equip you to teach your ‘different learner’, chart a course through high school and beyond, encourage you, and help you overcome burnout.
Along the way, you will learn the many ways that CHEC can interact with your family’s homeschool, the importance of belonging to a homeschool group, and the ins and outs of standardized testing or alternative evaluations.
As an avid reader and researcher, I humbly believe that the Guidebook is one of the best books I have ever read, and edited! It is an essential and invaluable resource for your children’s lives, and a worthy investment in the future generations of your family. Reading it, completing the included worksheets, and discussing it with your family members will build unity while increasing your Christian faith.
You can purchase it online at CHEC.org, or obtain a copy at one of CHEC’s upcoming seminars or the annual conference. Invest in yourself as a teacher, your children as students, and your future as a family for generations to come.