Another school year is about to begin! The August Mom’s Corner is the time I traditionally take to introduce my family to those of you who are new to our mailing list since last year at this time.
The Maxwell Family consists of Dad (Steve), Mom (Teri), Nathan (22), Christopher (20), Sarah (17), Joseph (10), John (8), Anna (6), Jesse (4), and Mary (2). We are beginning our fifteenth year of homeschooling, with two of our children already having graduated from our “non-accredited private school,” Flowing Streams Christian School.
The Lord, two years ago, fulfilled a vision Steve has had for a long time. Steve is now working full time with Christopher in our fledgling family business, Communications Concepts, Inc. They are distributors for printed materials (letterhead, business cards, forms, etc.) and specialty items, write software manuals, and offer one-on-one software training. Nathan is doing contract computer network administration for Western Auto’s corporate headquarters in Kansas City.
Sarah is in the twelfth grade, Joseph in fifth, John in third, Anna in first, and Jesse and Mary in our home preschool. We use Bob Jones University Press for high school curriculum, and ABEKA/Rod and Staff for elementary. Each year brings challenges and excitement to our home and school.
God has given us a vision for our children regarding their preparation to be self-supporting in life. We see the importance, even as young adults, of their remaining in our home where they have the counsel and guidance of their parents until they are ready for marriage. While they are living at home, working, studying, and maturing, they are saving a large portion of their earnings with the hope of being able to purchase a home debt free. We are also greatly enjoying the pleasure of having these years to enjoy our adult children as we spend our evenings and weekends together. We are constantly, as a family, seeking God’s direction as they pursue a course for their future that is very non-traditional.
Ministry-wise, the children, from Anna on up, help Steve with a twice-monthly church service at the Leavenworth County Infirmary (nursing home). In addition, Steve, Christopher, Joseph, and John team up with Nathan, who has recently taken on a monthly Saturday service at the City Union Mission in downtown Kansas City. Nathan also volunteers there one night a week, leads a young men’s early morning Bible study, attends our pastor’s preaching class, and is head usher at our church. Christopher plans and coordinates the children’s programs for our homeschool support group meetings, is the Sunday night pianist at our church, and attends Nathan’s Bible study and the preaching class. Sarah helps Christopher with the children’s programs for the group, edits the homeschool newsletter, and helps greatly with the workload that Managers of Their Homes has generated (including keeping up the Dad’s and Mom’s Corners e-mail list).
For many years our family had a heart’s desire to be near our extended family. In 1990 God opened doors allowing us to move to Leavenworth, Kansas, where we purchased the house next door to my parents the following year. We have loved the relationships that we have been able to watch grow, develop, and change between the various members of the family: parents, daughter, son-in-law, grandparents, and grandchildren.
1999/2000 will be the tenth year Steve, with the help of the children and me, have been leading our local homeschool support group.
We know that many of you have felt God’s leading to homeschool your children. Most of you would tell me you feel inadequate for the task. May we encourage each other in the thought that in our own strength we are inadequate. But whom God calls He also enables. His strength is made perfect in weakness. He wants our hearts to be turned toward Him. He wants us to be truly humble. Then He can work with us and mold us as the vessels of clay we are.
Our children will learn academics this year. We will too. But, in the face of eternity, more important education will be taking place. Rough edges will rub against each other. Can I patiently instruct and train as needed? Can I admit my shortcomings to my children and seek their forgiveness? Am I willing to be consistent in working with them? Will I give and give and give of myself? It is my desire that I will. Is it your desire? Is it the constant prayer of your heart?