With so many homeschool groups to choose from, how does one begin to decide? All groups are not created equal. There are many different types of groups out there. It is important to ask yourself why you are seeking a group. Do you want activities for your children, support from other parents, advice from homeschool veterans regarding curriculum or teaching styles, socialization for your children…and for you? The best way of not only answering, but also prioritizing these questions is to sit down with your spouse and list the reasons you have chosen, or are considering homeschooling versus sending your children to school. Reminding each other of these will certainly help you nail down what is right for your family in a homeschool group. What do you need as the main focus of a group? Some groups are activity focused, others concentrate on college prep, and still others are mostly informational, providing many resources and advice from other families.
C.E.D.E. however, mainly focuses on the great commission, to go and make disciples of the nations. (Matthew 28:19) We do this by strengthening the family as a whole in their walk with the LORD through mentorship, encouraging leadership, rhetoric and unity in Christ. Here are some of the differences between C.E.D.E. and other groups:
- So what about academics? The best way to realize your children’s full potential in academics is to discuss your ultimate goals before deciding on curriculum. All homeschool curriculum teaches academics at a more accelerated rate than public school, simply because you work at your own pace without having to wait for the lowest common denominators in a class of 30 students to catch up. But what do you want your children to learn in addition to academics? Leadership, politics, trade work, sewing, music, etc. We seek to empower the dominion of Christ’s kingdom by equipping parents to edify their children’s greatest strengths.
- We are not activity based, which means our focus is not on activities. We focus more on how each child’s strengths can contribute to the family’s vision and their future. For example, we offer a monthly speech club for younger and older aged children to learn rhetoric and public speaking, educational field trips for the whole family so everyone learns together and the older can teach the younger, fellowship times for families to support each other and build lasting relationships. Though we do have special activities, they are family oriented rather than split up by age groups, and it is not the main focus of our group. Some activities are obviously not suitable for very young children to participate. However, we invite them to attend with their families so they may learn by watching as they grow older.
- Board decisions made for the group are made by discussing scripture and complying to it, rather than by a majority vote of the board members. We believe in the sufficiency of scripture for every area of life.
- Because we believe in the importance of family unity, our leadership board consists of couples instead of individuals. A husband and wife team makes up one single board member.
- A unique characteristic of our group is the application process: After an online application is submitted, the applying family will have an opportunity to meet with the board member families to talk about the group, answer questions, etc. To maintain the effectiveness of the group, we must build intimate relationships for mentorship and discipleship. Getting to know the board members and their families will help you decide if C.E.D.E. is right for you.