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Berea Lutheran Academy

Berea Lutheran Academy

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“I get to be their inspiration as they are my inspiration. I get to watch them grow up, not just see them in my hurried evenings after they are home from school and I am home from work. I get the privilege of being with my kids all day long. I can’t imagine it any other way.“
“I get to be their inspiration as they are my inspiration. I get to watch them grow up, not just see them in my hurried evenings after they are home from school and I am home from work. I get the privilege of being with my kids all day long. I can’t imagine it any other way.“

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Published by: The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine on Aug 06, 2014
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Berea Lutheran Academy By Vickie Butterfield
Hello, and welcome to Berea Lutheran Academy, where kids receive a ―stable‖ background. We’ve been in operation since fall 2002, and we are located in Mountain Home, Idaho. We
currently have ten students in our school, ranging from a sophomore in high school down to one in kindergarten for the2011
2012 school year. Six are my own kids; four are grandkids. We will be adding more students in 2012. We began homeschooling when we brought home our first adopted daughter. She was 6 years old at the time and had been abandoned. She worried so much about that happening again that while in kindergarten, she would call her foster mom several times during the
day to make sure that she didn’t forget that she was at school and to remind her about
what time to come get her. Kindergarten was only for the morning too!
When we brought her home we just couldn’t put her in school the following week. She’d just left the foster home she’d been at for nearly eight months. New parents, new state, new
town, new school
we just c
ouldn’t do that to her. Since it was recommended that she
repeat kindergarten, we decided that homeschooling would be the best option. Our daughter needed that time to bond, learn to trust, settle in, and adjust to a new life. The rest, they say, is history. Our school day typically runs from 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday. We save Friday for catching up, field trips, games, appointments, crafts, or playtime. Between 10:30 and lunch is group time around the dining room table. Together we do Bible, history, science, music, and art. After lunch is independent work: math, language arts, and career/ elective classes for the high school kids. The kids are spread out in different areas of the house. I separate the kids out as bigs, middles, and littles so if I need all the bigs for
American Lit class I can say ―bigs‖ vs. calling each name. When I’m teaching one of the mini classes, the other kids will be doing their individual
subjects and wait their turn or press on and complete their work. Once all their work is
completed, they are done for the day. Occasionally, we have a student who can’t stay motivated during the day and consequently will have ―homework.‖
I do like to fit in thirty minutes of quiet reading time in the afternoon as well. Everyone drops what they are doing and gathers in the family room, lounging on the couch, lying on the floor, getting comfortable for reading. I set a timer, and they know they can stop when they finish the chapter they are on after the timer goes off. I (Mom/Nana) am the main schoolteacher for all subjects. My oldest daughter, Brandy (the
grandkids’ mom), likes to teach high school math. Brandy also teaches her four kids on her
days off from work. Dad/Papa sometimes helps with the teaching. If there is a topic, math problem, or something
 
Brandy or I can’t get through the kids’ heads, we call on Dave when he gets home from
work. I have used DVDs for teaching some subjects or supplementing a lesson. The kids seem to thrive on a Charlotte Mason style of learning with some workbooks, textbooks, and printouts thrown in there. They enjoy reading encyclopedias and sharing information just for fun
(some days when there is lots of this going on, I don’t stop them for ―school‖ work; I let
that be school for the d
ay). And I mustn’t forget to mention all of the wonderful products we
receive to review as a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew! Others like to point out that I have a lot of kids to teach at home and how difficult that has to be. I have to remind them that my class has only ten students, whereas the typical public
school class has more than thirty students. I have it easy in comparison. I’ve never gotten
frustrated enough to wish for the big yellow school bus to stop by our house and pick up the kids. I h
ave, however, wondered if I’m not doing ―enough‖ and if they’d be better off in
school, but then I remind myself that I get to be their inspiration as they are my inspiration. The Lord has called us to keep them at home where they belong, for us to be their teachers. What better motivation could I ask for?
Then there is the added bonus of seeing the kids’ ―aha moments.‖ I get to hear them read their first words or a complete story. I get to write ―Great job!‖ on their papers and cover
their papers with
stars or smiley faces. I get to teach them consistently so that they aren’t
confused from year to year, having different teachers who expect different things from them. I get to enjoy the personality of a busy child vs. putting him on meds and never really getting to know him. I get to be their inspiration as they are my inspiration. I get to watch them grow up, not  just see them in my hurried evenings after they are home from school and I am home from
work. I get the privilege of being with my kids all day long. I can’t imagine
 it any other way.
My Current Students
• Nicole, 18, has cognitive delays. The public school was letting her down in her education.
She will be graduating from school in 2013. A future homemaker and mommy to a houseful of kids, she plans to homeschool too. Nicole is eligible to vote this year . . . where did time go?
• Jaime Rose, 17, is our future detective/crime scene investigator. She likes being
homeschooled so she can work at her own pace and study what she wants. She said the main perk to being homeschooled is being home with family.
• Ashley, 16, was the first child we adopted. She is succeeding and likes being at home. She
plans to homeschool all her adopted kids while on the mission field. Her favorite part about homeschooling is the ability to learn what she wants at the pace she needs.
• Donald, 15, likes being at home to work on his own as well. He doesn’t like sitting in a chair all day and wants to move around. He likes the idea that when he’s finished with his

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