God placed it on our hearts many years ago that homeschooling was an ancient path He desired us to walk. I was homeschooled up to 9th grade, when I began attending a private Christian school for the duration of my secondary education. Things are much different now than they used to be. For example, the internet has enabled hundreds of thousands of parents to educate their children effectively and efficiently, even if they do not know the first thing about teaching. This is largely due to the ability to research, which I wholeheartedly love. Information has never been so readily available. I remember my mom having to send away for tests and books. Everything was done by correspondence, which was extremely slow and could often be frustrating as there was no instant access to chatting with curriculum advisers, blogs, homeschool forums, etc. I was also trained almost exclusively with textbooks and workbooks, which were the only materials available back then on the homeschooling frontier, and which were expensive and boring. Unfortunately, the retention rate I had after spending most of my schooling buried in them was lacking at best.
Since discovering I was pregnant with my first daughter, my heart was to find a new way. I realized that whole, living books enabled subject matter to come alive in a real and lasting way. We have embraced many of the methods outlined by Charlotte Mason, Dr. Ruth Beechick, and others who believe children’s minds are vastly capable of understanding deep truths if only given to them in palatable ways. We base our learning around discussion, interacting with the material in a variety of ways, using creativity as we explore, and keeping God’s Word as the foundation upon which we build everything else. We have a variety of visual, auditory, and kinesthetic learners in our house. As such, my methods have to change slightly every year. I am thrilled to be able to have such a hands-on approach with my children. Homeschooling enables me to encourage them in their strengths and fill in the gaps of their weaknesses.
Pete has long had a vision for our family of claiming the Promised Land in our lives spiritually and physically. It didn’t take long for us to come up with a name for our homeschool. To us, Hebron Heights Academy is a reminder that we have to fight to take the high places. The children of Israel did not just wander into the Promised Land accidentally. They had to fight the enemy with God on their side. They had to believe His promises despite being surrounded by giants in their land. We are extremely passionate about this calling God has given us. We are imperfect vessels, but that does not mean we cannot carry the mandate with His strength and the long-suffering patience Holy Spirit has with us!
While we embrace many elements of Charlotte Mason’s educational philosophies, we also derive several of our own methods from Classical Education principles. The wonderful thing about home education is that we are free to use what works for us and discard what does not, and the benefits of an individualized education for our children are far-reaching. For more information and answers to some of the many questions new homeschooling parents have, visit www.wholeheart.org and www.heartofwisdom.com. We use Sonlight curriculum as the main spine of our home education and have been extremely pleased with it thus far. All of the resources listed above have helped us completely redefine education for our family. We have embarked on a journey of lifelong learning, hoping to instill that love in our children. We can understand anything if we know how to learn.