Putting Jesus First

The hustle and bustle of this time of year can be an easy distraction from focusing our attention on what is important.

It is not hard to get utterly consumed with the details of a meal or fall into having a two hour debate with a family member on which colour lights ‘need’ to adorn the kitchen window.

Let us be reminded of the events in Luke 10:38-42 where Jesus kindly reminded Martha that being still to listen to Him as her sister Mary chose to do, was much more valuable than all her preparations.

We should be encouraged as we spend time with family and friends and enjoy the opportunity to share the truths of Jesus.

Even if the turkey does manage to run away let’s remember what He said to Martha:

…“Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.”

Follow Mary’s example this season and don’t be distracted from the one thing that is needed – putting the voice of Jesus before everything else.


TEACH Field Trips

Every home educator loves to go on a field trip! Below are some of the ideas sent in by some TEACH families who have organised field trips for their own children, and as part of one of the TEACH groups.

Make a Pizza! – Penny Hughes

Our group went to Pizza Express – they allow 15 children to make a pizza each. Whilst we waited for them to be cooked we were served squash and then we left with a pizza each. A few parents had a go as well because we only had 12 children. It had to be booked in advance and was FREE. The event took about 40mins in total but then we sat outside in the sunshine munching away and chatting.

Where Milk Comes From – Jane Godden

One of our most memorable home-ed trips was when a group of us went to the local dairy – one of the Mum’s arranged the visit, and we were shown around the dairy, from the huge chilled tanks where the milk was delivered, to the finished yogurt product. And much to our delight we were all given generous samples to take home, all for free!

Looking at Old Buildings – Tara Buck

We have visited many National Trust and English heritage properties. National Trust do a Home Educators card, cheaper than family membership, you need to make your trip on a school day, so no weekends or school holidays, but this is worth the discount and is usually less crowded. English Heritage properties are free to home educators, but you need to book in advance and explain a little about what educational boxes you will be ticking in visiting their property. If you just turn up, you will have to pay normal entrance fees.

A Load of Rubbish – Helen Klemperer

A couple of good trips spring to mind. We went on a free tour of the recycling centre to see all the rubbish being sorted plus a talk. Also a local farm runs free welly walks which are excellent. A guided tour around by the farmer with a chance to taste fresh produce in the fields.

Painting with Water – Rose Lawson

I approached a friend who does watercolour painting and we organized a watercolour workshop. The children were given step by step instructions and they all produced their own watercolour picture at the end of workshop. We took a photograph of them all and it ended up in local paper!


Home Schooling Growth

The European Academy for Christian Homeschooling (TEACH) continues to experience good growth as more and more parents are becoming concerned about the state of secular education.

The number of families home educating with TEACH has grown from 614 at the start of 2015, to over 660.

A vital part of the work of TEACH is our District Representatives. These are TEACH families who have been home educating for a number of years, and assist TEACH by connecting with new & existing TEACH members. Many District Representatives also run homeschool groups, organise promotional events, and run practices for TEACH teams & ensembles at the European Student Convention.

We are pleased to welcome a new member to this invaluable team: Robin & Susan Law in Kent. Robin & Sue have four children and joined TEACH six years ago.

“God called us to home educate our children twelve years ago. God spoke very clearly in the following two years. Deuteronomy 6:4-9 and Isaiah 54:13 were the main scriptures God gave us. He confirmed them wonderfully a few years later after we pulled Peter out of a good Christian school. We attended a home educator’s camp in Cefn Lea and the main theme on the programme was these two scriptures. God also brought a very experienced home educating family to our church and they encouraged us greatly. Later God led us to TEACH & ACE curriculum which also had the very same scriptures!

It has been a beautiful journey so far. It has been exciting: fulfilling and life changing. God has taught us and blessed us greatly because we obeyed his calling. It has been sacrificial and lonely at times but, our children are growing strong in the Lord and that is of greater worth than anything this world can give.”


Keep Going

As we head towards the latter end of this term you may be finding that the enthusiasm for homeschooling, which was at its height at the beginning of the academic year, is wearing thin.

There are a lot of factors at this time of year that add to the deceleration of homeschooling gusto. Whether it be the longer nights, the greyer skies, or the colder weather we can often feel downtrodden and washed out.

However, fear not and don’t be downhearted. In these darker days, we as believers always have our constant light, Jesus Christ. His Word is full of truths promising that He is faithful to carry us through difficult times.

In Luke 15:20 we can read about how the Father of the Prodigal Son saw him coming from a distance, had compassion, and ran to embrace him.

Even when we are disheartened and our thoughts have drifted from Him, He is watching and always ready to encourage and comfort us. All we have to do is face Him and He will draw us back into His care.

Friends, have courage and remember that our Saviour is always present to help us and carry us through life’s storms. Whether it be an actual storm or a particularly difficult morning of PACE work – He is there.


ABCs for English Learners Now Available

The ABCs for English Learners is designed for students aged 5-9. The English vocabulary within the curriculum allows children to verbally communicate their questions, needs and ideas.

This 36 week programme is a combination of Speaking English with Ace and Christi and ABCs with Ace and Christi. By week 19, the students are ready to begin the first level of English PACEs.

The Daily Guide provides detailed instructions for a second language supervisor. The student will gain confidence while having fun developing listening, speaking & comprehension skills.


Little By Little

“Not going to school?”
“Is it legal?”
“How will you cope?”
“Will they have friends?”
“What about their GCSEs?”

Over and over again, friends and family would ask us these questions as we set out to teach our two girls at home 16 years ago. As September drew near, the date that our eldest daughter would ‘start big school’ came closer. It felt very daunting, frightening and foolish to even think of attempting to home-educate our children instead of going down the traditional route. Years later, our youngest now 18 and having just finished the Advanced level, I can see God’s hand over our lives. We have known such blessing and freedom, despite all the challenges, doubt and fears that go with this way of life!

The verse that the Lord really laid on our hearts early on was Deuteronomy 6:7, where it says, “…and thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.” While it is a huge responsibility, and you can feel overwhelmed with the enormity of the task before you, it is also very simple. All we are called to do is to teach our children when we sit round the meal table, when we go for a walk, when we are in the car, when we put them to bed. It is just ‘little by little and line upon line.’ We may not feel that we accomplish much during each day, but when put it together over a lifetime, we do!

God can use our faithfulness and what we give Him. All we need to be is willing, and then He will equip us for the calling that He has given us!

As our girls have finished their home education, I wanted to help encourage other mums as they start their journey. For this reason, I have recently become the National TEACH Coordinator and seek to help to support new ACE families. I look forward to meeting you all in the future.


An Introduction

I hope you are all enjoying your holidays and the great summer weather!

As you should hopefully be aware, I have taken over from Ross Purchase as TEACH Manager here at CEE. It is a job I am already thoroughly enjoying, and I have been blessed by the conversations I have had with several families during my first few weeks here.

My wife Becky & I are both graduates of the ACE curriculum, and we are really looking forward to teaching our new daughter Phoebe at home. She is now three weeks old, but I still can’t quite get her to do her phonetic alphabet yet, you know how it is…

We have always been passionate about being involved in the work of CEE, and if you’ve attended TEACH Camp or ESC in the past couple of years you may have seen us there. We are both looking forward to meeting & connecting with you all at future events.

I would like to share a passage that spoke to me while I was praying about taking this position, taken from Romans 8:31-39.

“What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written: For Your sake we are killed all day long; We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

The position of TEACH Manager seemed like quite a huge responsibility for a little IT Engineer from Mid-Wales, especially with Becky five months pregnant at the time! Those verses reminded me that it wasn’t me who needed to be able to conquer everything, because it is only through God that we can conquer anything. And if God is for me, then who can be against? And whatever does befall me, nothing will be able to separate me from the love of God, which is all I need, both in this life and the next. I pray as you enjoy your summer holidays, that you will be reminded that through all the challenges of home-educating, God is for you, and so nothing can stand against you.

Please do call the office or send me an email if you’d like to speak to me or ask any questions. I’ll do my best to answer both the phone & the question!