Carmen Snider and Rayane Holmes, two of our homeschooling moms who help with coordinating homeschooling group activities, put this article together…a glimpse inside a beautiful, fun, and educational VISION that GOD has poured out through Gwen’s leading for our HOMESCHOOLING children. As you will see, there’s nothing but JOY in the educational experience of these Remnant children! Keep reading…
To many parents, the very thought of homeschooling can seem daunting…to say the least. “Will I be able to teach my children all they need to know?” “Will they end up having enough social activity?” “Will they miss out on all the extracurricular activities that other children enjoy?” Well, homeschooling our children in the Remnant has turned out to be the opposite of daunting. It has been delightfully FUN and entirely blessed by GOD! We have the help and support of so many Saints, each gifted in their own areas, from mathematical formulas to foreign languages to cooking fundamentals to four-square on the playground to Christ-centered fellowship…we are not lacking in any area!!! Praise GOD!
One of the biggest blessings God has provided for us at the Remnant is our Homeschool Co-Op Program. Through the vision God has given to Gwen Shamblin and under the direction of Jennifer Martin, we have the tremendous blessing every week as homeschoolers to gather together. Each Tuesday, we have Co-op for children of all ages… with close to 150 homeschoolers as well as several homeschool parents and volunteers attending. We have been blessed to be able to offer a variety of extracurricular classes, all taught by members of the Church…selflessly using their gifts and giving their time to teach and guide and love on these children. Due to the generosity of God through these sweet volunteers, this year we have been able to offer: German, Spanish, Drama, P.E., Life Skills, Sewing, Nature Study, Bible Reading, Elementary Art, Ballet, Drawing, Speech, Legos, Life Science, Anatomy, Geography, Baking, Knitting, and ACT Test Preparation. We also have even been able to offer activities for our sweet preschoolers and academic tutoring to those who may need it. And that is only what is offered on Tuesdays!!!
Then on Thursdays, the high schoolers come together again for a time of instruction and fellowship. This year, God has allowed through Gwen’s direction to be able to offer a few high school level courses taught by experienced, dedicated Remnant teachers. We have been blessed to have English, Biology, and Chemistry offered to our high schoolers, as well as a supervised study hall and upper level math tutoring. This has been a tremendous blessing to the students, as well as the parents who may not feel particularly qualified to teach such subjects to their children. Some of the children have reported that these classes taken here at Remnant have actually helped them when it came time to take the ACT test. These are just a few of the jewels that have come from our time together. We usually spend the entire day taking classes, having lunch, spending time reading “The History of the Love of God” and sharing how God is convicting our hearts to love more, taking care of God’s house and serving where there is a need. These times together have been beautiful and have brought us all closer to God and closer to each other.
Aside from our regular worship services, these Co-op days are the highlights of our week. Just ask the children…. “What do you love about Co-op?” and you will see…
“I love that I know everyone at Co-op and they’re all so sweet and kind! Everyone knows how to obey so we get so much done in one day! I especially like the drama class…it’s actually really fun and we get to use our talents to point up to God.
“I love getting to see all my friends because I know they’re never going to be mean, always only nice because of what our parents are teaching us through the Church and the leaders and Mrs. Gwen. Plus… I really like the ACT prep class because it’s really fun how hard it is, so it makes getting the questions right such a blessing!
“I do love Co-op because you get to play with people who are humble and not bragging in sports. P.E. is my favorite class because I get to play sports especially with people who don’t get mad at you if you miss the shot or the catch.”
“I love Co-op because we get to do classes and learn about God and spend time with friends. I don’t really have a favorite class because honestly they are all great!”
“My favorite thing about Co-op would be getting to be around Saints all day long and learn from Godly teachers! It’s a blessing to be growing closer to God while being at school! Learning is so much easier with God being first in the classroom and in everything we learn!”
“The classes are such a blessing…to get to learn new things with your best friends in the whole wide world! And the teachers are the best!”
“I love love LOVE Co-op!! My favorite part is obviously getting to read the Love book. I think it’s really encouraging getting to read it with everyone and all the youth are getting to hear the same thing. It has helped me to change so many things in my heart! We are all definitely getting closer and it’s like we are together all the time!”
And if you ask the teachers and parent volunteers, you will find the same joyful enthusiasm:
“It has been a huge blessing to be able to use my teaching degree for God’s Kingdom and to help His children learn and discover. There may be no paycheck, but the payment is the response of the students when they thank you and give you a big hug and share what they’ve learned. I would not trade my Tuesday Co-op days for any job…no matter what I got paid!”
“Thanks to our amazing leadership, we know how to teach learning the characteristics of Christ as opposed to being solely task-oriented in the world. The children understand they are working for the Kingdom of God.”
“I really love that Co-op gives us an opportunity to do something that needs to be done together. My kids have the chance to learn side by side with other children who esteem God while simultaneously being taught by a Saint who adores God and sets an example by serving as a teacher. We have even been able to FaceTime with some other homeschooled Saints across the country so that they could participate in the class along with us! It’s a win-win for the Kingdom.”
“The blessings and fruit have been so much JOY! The opportunity to give more and serve these children has given back so much! I wake up on Co-op days feeling like it’s Christmas!”
Indeed…it feels like Christmas every day!!! For those of us at the Remnant who have felt led by God to homeschool our children, Co-op has been a gift from God to fill in the gaps that we once felt were missing. We no longer worry if our children are missing out on anything academically. On the contrary…pursuing a LOVE for GOD through acquiring the characteristics of Christ has been our highest goal and, as a result, God has come back in and blessed our children academically. We are all unified…raising and teaching our children together in the Kingdom of Love, so a lack of “socialization” is the last thing on this parent’s mind these days. But most importantly, our faith and love for God continues to grow as we have watched Him guide, lead, and provide for our children as He promised in Isaish 54:13, “All your sons will be taught by the Lord, and great will be your children’s peace.” We can also testify to the truth found in Matt. 6:33 when Jesus said, “Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness and all these things will be added to you.” Well, Homeschool Co-op is just one of the many abundant blessings He has added to us here in the Remnant…as we have learned here to put Him first in everything! We are beyond blessed and forever grateful for His incredible goodness and love shown to us AND to our children!