Saturday, August 29, 2015

A Support Group for Parents Who Homeschool AND Work!

AND THRIVING. This meeting is for working parents (full or part time) who homeschool. We will meet throughout the year at The Living Water School for prayer, support, encouragement, advice and SANITY! Our first meeting is this Thursday, Sept. 3 at 7 pm.  We want to be able to pull the working and homeschooling families together in order to help each other, especially those who are doing it for the first time! Please come out and join us! Parents do not have to be members of The Living Water School to participate.
It is open and free to anyone who needs the support, wants more information to learn how to do it, etc. Hope to see you there and spread the word about WHAT?!

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Child-Focused Education

I know it's a weird question to ask a parent who is seeking to place their child in a new school:  "Do you mind if he doesn't finish the math book this year?  Are you ok with us focusing on his heart first?"  When I was the principal of other schools, and I would receive a wounded student, in my mind i would think, "Oh how I wish I had time to heal his/her heart."  In the traditional system there is no time to work on the inside of a child.  There is the curriculum.  There is testing.  There is the deadline to finish the scope and sequence.  There is everything...but the child.  At our school, our view is a bit different.  We are first focused on the child, their heart, their mind, their soul, their being.  Oh yeah there is teaching and learning going on, but even more important there is personal development going on.  I have told parents, "As long as your child is wounded, no matter how many schools you place them in, they will keep struggling until the wound is healed."  These wounds could come from years of being bullied, a loss of some kind, abuse, mistreatment by a teacher, low self-esteem (because no one has taken the time to identify why God made them special), feeling like their giftedness is being stifled so they are not free to walk in their gifts/talents...any number of things can wound a child.  When school is so focused on getting kids to finish "the work" and less focused on healing the heart, then we continue to fill kids' minds with information while their hearts remain empty...scarred.  Our belief is that once a child is made whole, then in no time at all they can learn all they need to learn to make in the next phase of life.  Once the child is whole, with no distracting-haunting memories, no unresolved hurts, no feelings of being held back from their calling, etc. they are free to embrace all the knowledge that is available to them.  They are free to fly as far as the winds of their passion will take them.

A Blessing...

Monday, August 10, 2015

Info Session Tonight!

Homeschoolers Bless Us & We Bless Homeschoolers!

For my homeschooling friends: God has been good in blessing us with the core staff that we need.  At this time The Living Water School & Homeschool Center​ is offering homeschooling moms or dads the opportunity to bring their children to the school for a free day (for socialization, activities, etc) at least once a week (6 to 8 hours a day), in exchange for you giving us the following:  supervision for the kids.  This also allows volunteers to allow their younger kids (ages 3 and under) to tag along since you will not have instruction duties.  We just want to make sure we have enough chaperones for students who may want to go outside, to join in with a group of kids playing a game, to read aloud to a child who needs a reading buddy, to engage in conversation with kids as they freely learn and discuss various topics, to monitor kids who choose to eat at various times (there is no scheduled lunch eat when they are hungry), so every child who has a question about anything can get an answer or help finding it, etc.  Our school is growing beyond the numbers we planned for and we are thankful!  You volunteering will allow us to stay true to our promise to provide a free, yet safe learning environment to every student. The only requirement is you must have a background check, be finger printed and be willing to attend 1 meeting per semester for the volunteers.  If interested, please contact us!  (We also welcome childless volunteers who want nothing in return but the experience of being a part of a very unique school!)

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

A School Where Children Learn to Lead

In my opinion, the only standardized test that is of any importance is the SAT and colleges are slowly starting to get rid of that (but we want to get them ready just in case, so NOTHING stands in their way).  If we teach kids how to think early and how to be prepared for that, then there is no need for the insane testing that goes on...the 2 hours worth of homework, etc...With that in mind, I start guiding children how to write paragraphs (following the SAT format) in kindergarten.  By the end of kindergarten last year, my students were able to write short paragraphs of 5 sentences....topic sentence, 3 supporting sentences and one closing sentence.  We did this over and over and over until it was habit.  As they get older, hopefully those students will build on it.  At The Living Water School & Homeschool Center​ students will most surely build on it as they do their independent projects.  This is also why we do math and reading small groups instead of formal large class build the skills necessary to score high on the SAT one day (if it still exists).  However, there is no formal SAT practice/test taking practice until junior high/early highschool. Our whole focus is giving them the mind to think for themselves, the initiative to be forward thinking, the ability to lead and innovate and the skills necessary to be successful post high school...but we don't wait until high school to do that.  We start it in kindergarten so that over the years these things are second nature.  So that by the time they have to take an SAT or GRE or whatever, they are not scared or nervous, but so confident that they see it as just another task they can conquer. I am not interested in having my students work for anyone, but the goal is for them to be the employer....that is the goal for my own children and that is the goal for any child who attends.

Monday, August 3, 2015

A Peak into Our Entrance Interview

The School Report (that's what I'll call it and I'll only do it once a day at the most): SO today had a student do his entrance interview. It's a time where I sit with he and his family and get a sense of his education experiences, likes, dislikes, interests, needs, etc. It's a relaxed conversation with everyone and especially the child gets to SPEAK. THEN I do a reading and math diagnostic (so I can assign him to the appropriate reading and math small group). No pressure. They can do whatever problems they want on it, and can stop whenever they want to. I did not isolate the child in a quiet room, but just let him leisurely try some of the work. After all of that I could determine that he was a grade behind. We all create a plan, based on the notes I took from the conversation and diagnostic and we create an educational path that is uniquely his. When it was all done, the family (grandmother, father and aunt) said, "You don't know how long we have been trying to find a school that would relate this way to him. This is the first time we have seen him NOT have any apprehension about school." At one point the little boy (8 yrs old) said, "Sometimes I just needed a break. Sometimes I just wanted to play outside for a little while, but instead I could only sit in my seat all day. Um...Is it ok if I research tornados and cyclones???" I said, "Well of course! How about we make you the school weatherman? You have to come in every day and update us on the weather! And whenever you need a break, feel free to go outside and get some fresh air." He says, "Oh i can do that! I'll make sure to tell you when a tornado is coming and go over with you how to stay safe during a tornado!" So someone tell me why a kid like this could not enjoy school? He LOVES to learn. THIS is why the school must stay small. I may not reach everyone, but prayerfully the few I reach will make a difference. A few slots are still open!

Saturday, August 1, 2015


Upcoming Info Sessions!!

Sunday, August 2 @ 9:30 pm-Conference Call (724-707-2592/ pin# 83023)

Monday, August 3 @ 7 pm-Info Session at the school (2200 Culbera Dr. Hillcrest Heights, MD 20748)