CLEP Co-op

This fall, I started a little CLEP Co-op.
In the past few years, I have seen my children work so hard. In fact, they worked harder than I ever did in college. They worked about as hard as I did when I was studying for the CPA exam. I started to question why we work so hard through high school. What is the purpose? What are we trying to accomplish? 

The last year my children went through the program, I really lost them to studying hours. They wanted to study through the weekend. They did everything they could to get caught up. My husband had been questioning me, “What are we doing this for?” We found that almost everyone was working towards college prep. They were prepping for college entrance exams and prepping so they would be strong in their foundation when they went to college.
A few years ago, I heard a preacher, Voddie Baucham, really challenge the idea of waiting to start college until college age. He proposed a radical idea to have children potentially graduate from high school and college at the same time. There is a mother in our hometown, Linda Newsam, who inspired me because she taught her kids college level classes and let them CLEP out of them. She was able to get them 18-20 hours before they graduated high school.
From the moment I started homeschooling, my eyes had been set on this. When Voddie Baucham spoke, it really shook me up, and I decided I was going to reach for this goal, as hard and as stretching as it may be because it’s unfamiliar territory.
Pioneers are people who do unfamiliar things and knock down doors trying to figure it out. Lots of people try to come in on the toes of pioneers, giving them ideas and telling them how to change things and make it different. But they aren’t the ones who plowed out the ground. They just got to go on the road that was paved ahead of them. It looks easy to them. It seems simple, so it’s easy to criticize. It’s easy to look in and say how you would change things. But you are not the pioneer. Sometimes you just need to be thankful for the ground ahead of you. I’m thankful to Linda. I’m thankful to Voddie.
My goodness! We are five to six weeks into our program, and I couldn’t be more thrilled with where we are, even if we were only doing it with my two children. We have a very small little co-op. I kept it small on purpose, with grace-filled mothers leading these children. I wanted to have a place to fail and an easy place to land. I didn’t want everyone’s slams, criticisms, and opinions floating through, in and out, and not giving us the grace to breathe, to move and change and make our way.
I can’t even tell you. No one’s passed an exam yet. We don’t have any successes. But I can tell you what we do have. We have children who are learning and loving. We have children who are being stretched beyond their imagination. They are learning to work hard but with a different purpose. They are doing things that would seem virtually impossible.
Right now, kids are analyzing and interpreting literature. What I have seen it do is create our children’s ability to think critically. Every leader on the planet needs to be able to think critically. They need to be able to look at something and get inside someone’s head and make proper assumptions. “What do you think they meant by this when they said it?”

I think we generally make assumptions about what people say or what we read based on email, text, or on Facebook. We make assumptions based on feelings and not based on, “Let’s get in their head. Let’s know the author of this well. Let’s really concentrate on where you think they were coming from on this.” That is what our children are learning. That is going to make them tremendous leaders in the future. I am pumped and excited.
We want you to know we are opening the doors to allow a few more students in. We are going to be cautious about who we invite and allow in because you’re going to have to have the grace to allow everyone to fail.
One thing I want to note is that whether our children pass or fail the CLEP exams, I don’t care because quitting would be the real failure. Failing isn’t missing the mark on the exam. Failing is never trying. Failing is not pushing your limits and finding your boundaries and finding where you can grow up. I just want to let you know we are pushing our kids to learn to fail and not to be afraid of failure. Our number one problem in America is that people are afraid of failing so they never try. They don’t realize that not trying is the failure.
May our kids press on and press through and fail often in Jesus’ name.

What Relationship Means

Being a homeschool mom, I have a lot of time with my children. I’m with them for hours every single day of their lives, but just because I’m with them doesn’t mean I’m actually engaging with them in their hearts. I can be commanding them to do things, issuing orders, telling them what to do with school, giving them tasks and challenges, but all the while, not truly connecting with them and their hearts.
The question is what is the most important, quantity time or quality time with our children? I would argue that it’s neither. Greg Gunn of Family-iD first introduced me to this concept that it’s not about quantity time or quality time; it’s about quality of relationship. When you have a quality relationship with someone, it doesn’t matter if you spend five minutes together or an hour. When you connect with each other with your hearts, that is what makes the relationship continue to be woven together and glued together thickly.
How can we relate that to God? In my own home, I have a choice with God. I can choose to spend a lot of time with Him and acknowledge Him. I can choose to have a quality relationship with Him. That’s a very different thing. Having a quality relationship with God involves listening.
I think sometimes we feel guilty about going to God and asking Him for something and telling Him what our needs are because we think, “Oh, I haven’t spent enough time with You. I haven’t read the Bible enough. I haven’t prayed enough. I don’t feel worthy to ask You this.” But it’s not really about the time; it’s about the quality of your relationship with God.
I think it’s important for your heart to bow down in thanksgiving to Him continually, like when you see the sky and the beautiful sunset or the puffy, beautiful clouds and you acknowledge the Creator. I mean, that’s quality relationship right there. It’s not a work. It’s recognition. It’s honoring God. I want to encourage you to seek a quality relationship with God and your spouse and your children.

Mama Bear’s Cubs Face Rejection

I never really expected my girls would endure friendship rejection. Most definitely I expected to raise my kids in a Christ-centered home and community. Surely, they would not be subject to the God-less relationships similar to my childhood.
I should have known this was a terribly incorrect assumption when my oldest was in the first grade. I hung out with her teacher one day at lunch and observed. While all the other children were playing, my daughter meandered around the two-foot-high timbers bordering the Christian school’s playground perimeter. She repeated this lonely walk-a-thon daily. She rarely played or engaged with the other kids. The teachers never said a word, but I should have noticed the early piercing of her heart. Throughout that entire first-grade year, my little six-year old would beg me to homeschool her.
So, that’s how I came to homeschool my kids. I’ve been doing it for a long time now. We noticed and took decisive action to right the wrong in her heart. Friends had broken her spirit.
But the wisdom of the Lord would prevail. My oldest daughter, now almost 17 years old, has enjoyed many friendships and rich community time since our homeschool journey began. However, even with close friendships, a single rejection can break her heart and impede her ability to be thankful for what she does have.
Have you or a loved one been a victim of the negative power of rejection?
Why do friends stop texting, inviting, or including? My child and other teens I know can be surrounded by a multitude of friends, yet completely alone. I have overheard some say, “Never alone. Forever lonely.” There is an epidemic of hurting teens who appear included and well loved on the surface. The signs of hurt and loneliness are evident, though, in other areas of their lives, such as strife with parents and siblings, sudden withdrawal from friends and family, or lashing out in anger.
I want to pause and acknowledge that even my own children have sometimes been the rejecters instead of the rejected. I ask you, please forgive us if you have been that friend we unwittingly excluded or denied.
What’s a mother supposed to do about this deep and wide issue of heartbreaking, repeated rejection?
We leave it to these young girls to solve their own relationship problems while we consume Christian books learning how to help our kids marry and protect their purity. However, the way they live in relationships today is a great picture of how they will live them out as a wife and mother.
In the name of privacy and (unearned) trust, are we truly expecting these little self-centered hearts to work it out for themselves?
I have this sickening feeling that many of our children could be developing a pattern of quitting or divorcing things that no longer thrill them. Like me, I am sure you desire your children to be finishers, faithful to the end, to forgive and forget quickly, and to demonstrate endurance with people.
But how will our daughters learn to be good friends if we don’t teach them along the way? How will they be faithful wives if we don’t teach them to have endurance now?
I submit to you that it’s time to help this generation lead their heart while learning to be a good and faithful friend.
First, we must be acutely aware of how our daughters operate in friendships. We consistently need to be sitting on the outside of their social circles, listening and asking tough questions like,
“Why are you not spending time with this friend anymore? Tell me what’s really going on. Don’t withdraw your friendship just because an issue came up.”  
We need to teach them: Friendships require open discussions, even if it’s embarrassing, because working through difficulties creates deeper, stronger relationships. Don’t kill friendships with walls against intimacy simply because someone hurts you. Deal with the adversity. Run straight into it with truth and love.
Secondly, we need to teach our kids to love without expectation. Even if someone starts to dislike them or even hate them, they should choose love, and the source of love lives in us. We are called to practice forgiveness at least 490 times. Do you really want your kids to practice un-forgiveness or divorce with their friends just because they can’t work through a challenging moment? Let’s encourage our children to chooseto be a good friend to have—how to be a “stayer” and not a “player.”
Thirdly, we must teach them to lead their own heart. The truth is that I can’t keep my daughter’s heart from breaking and I have limited control over how other people treat her. However, what I can do is teach her how not to have an easily offended heart. I can teach her to lead her thoughts by taking them captive.
Lastly, I ensure my daughter knows who she is in Christ—that she is trademarked by God. Period. A trademark is legally protected; your brand is legally yours. Likewise, your identity in Christ is yours and cannot be changed by any other person’s choices or opinions.

Ultimately, the ability to be a steadfast friend in Christ speaks to the way we measure success in home education. I would venture to guess that if you raise a person who is a faithful friend to others, your child will grow to be a good friend to you. Someday, your positional authority as parents will fade into the sunset and what remains in your child will be a brother or sister in Christ whom you have taught, hopefully, to love with His love. When our own children are good friends to have, they reflect the love of Jesus, which amounts to a greater accomplishment than any ACT, SAT, or MBA.

What Relationship Means

Being a homeschool mom, I have a lot of time with my children. I’m with them for hours every single day of their lives, but just because I’m with them doesn’t mean I’m actually engaging with them in their hearts. I can be commanding them to do things, issuing orders, telling them what to do with school, giving them tasks and challenges, but all the while, not truly connecting with them and their hearts.
The question is what is the most important, quantity time or quality time with our children? I would argue that it’s neither. Greg Gunn of Family-iD first introduced me to this concept that it’s not about quantity time or quality time; it’s about quality of relationship. When you have a quality relationship with someone, it doesn’t matter if you spend five minutes together or an hour. When you connect with each other with your hearts, that is what makes the relationship continue to be woven together and glued together thickly.
How can we relate that to God? In my own home, I have a choice with God. I can choose to spend a lot of time with Him and acknowledge Him. I can choose to have a quality relationship with Him. That’s a very different thing. Having a quality relationship with God involves listening.
I think sometimes we feel guilty about going to God and asking Him for something and telling Him what our needs are because we think, “Oh, I haven’t spent enough time with You. I haven’t read the Bible enough. I haven’t prayed enough. I don’t feel worthy to ask You this.” But it’s not really about the time; it’s about the quality of your relationship with God.
I think it’s important for your heart to bow down in thanksgiving to Him continually, like when you see the sky and the beautiful sunset or the puffy, beautiful clouds and you acknowledge the Creator. I mean, that’s quality relationship right there. It’s not a work. It’s recognition. It’s honoring God. I want to encourage you to seek a quality relationship with God and your spouse and your children.

One Key to Happiness: Family




Everyone’s searching to belong. We search to belong to a family, a friend circle, or some other sort of group.


I’ve recently started taking back my health. I joined a gym and signed up with a coach. There are like a hundred of us fighting to take back our health. What is incredible is the community and the fellowship with like-minded people. It is ridiculous. We’re all fighting, we’re all standing, and we all encourage each other because we are in the same race. It is awesome.

When people become Christians, they start searching for where they fit within the community of believers. They wonder, “Where do I fit in? Where is the place of community for me? Where am I going to be encouraged and loved? Who will hold up my arms when I’m about to fall into temptation?” We’re striving for the kind of community I have at my gym.

“May God Almighty bless you and make you fruitful and increase your numbers until you become a community of peoples.” (Genesis 28:3 NIV) 


I think we can find what we’re searching for within our own families. The problem today is that families are dysfunctional. Parents don’t stick together. They get a divorce. Strife steps in and tears down the bonds in marriage and families. It tears mother from daughter, father from son, sibling from sibling, and families splinter.


Even in school, what do we do? We promote segregation of the family. You go into your grade, and your siblings go into their grades. You don’t see each other all day long. When you do, the older one probably looks down on the younger ones because they are not the same age. School categorizes everyone by age.

I believe the ultimate community we are all searching for is provided through the family. A family doesn’t need to be perfect; it just needs to be united. I think God set it right there in front of us: “May God Almighty bless you and make you fruitful and increase your numbers until you become a community of peoples” (Genesis 28:3 NIV). Ask people from big families. They have built-in friendships and bonds that small families may not experience.
Pray with me:

I pray today, Father, that the walls we have built up in our families and close friendships would be torn down and we would choose unity over having our own way. I pray that we would be like-minded, that we would be one as Christ is one with God. I pray that we would choose to lay down our life over taking up our platform or grievance against each other. I pray that we would no longer be easily offended by one another and that we would encourage each other every single day. In Jesus’ name, amen.

One Key to happiness – FAMILY

Everyone’s searching to belong. They’re either searching to belong to a family, to a friend circle, to some sort of group.

I’ve recently started taking back my health and through that, I’ve joined a gym and signed up with a coach. There’s like a hundred of us fighting to take back our health. What is incredible is the community and the fellowship from like-minded people. It is ridiculous. We’re all fighting, we’re all standing, and we all encourage each other because we are in the same race and we are trying to take back our health. It is awesome.
I think, a lot of times, when people become a Christian, they start searching and looking for, “Where do I fit in? Where is the place of community for me? Where am I going to be encouraged and loved and someone holding up my arms when I’m about to fall into temptation?” We’re striving for the same community that I have at my gym.

Reading Genesis 28:3—I love this because God says, “I’m gonna multiply your numbers until you’re a community of people.”
I think what we’re searching for, we can find within our own families. But the problem today is that every family is dysfunctional. Parents don’t stick together. They get a divorce. Strife steps in and tears down the bonds in marriage and families. It tears apart bonds mom from daughter, father from son, siblings from siblings and you just have all these splintered strife.
Even in school, what do we do? We promote segregation of the family. You go into your grade; your sibling’s going to go to their grade. You’re never gonna see each other all day long. When you do, the older one’s probably going to look down on the younger one because they’re not the same age. We automatically start categorizing everyone by age through school.
I believe the ultimate community that we’re all searching for is provided through the family. A family doesn’t need to be perfect; it just needs to be united. I think God set it right there. “I’m gonna multiply your numbers until you’re a community of people.” I think you can ask big families how they feel. They’ve built in friendships, built in bonds that small families never really experience.
I just pray today Father, that the walls we built around our own personal family, with close friends and close acquaintances would be torn down and that we would be like-minded that we would be one just as Christ was one with God; that we would choose unity over having our way. We would choose to lay down our life over taking up our platform or our grievance against each other. That we would no longer be easily offended by one another, but we would be mighty encouragers every single day, in Jesus’ name.