Homeschool Film Fest 2018

Join us for Homeschool Film Fest 2018!

At 9 pm on the Friday of the Homeschool Conference (March 23), after the keynote, you can come and watch some of the latest and greatest short films made by homeschoolers in Manitoba. Kick back and relax after a full and exciting day at the conference and enjoy! If you are attending the MACHS conference, no further registration is necessary to attend this event. The short films will be presented with a bit of commentary about them. This is a great opportunity to watch and discuss these films with friends! If you are a homeschooler and have made a short film, feel free to consider your involvement at this event. Please send the short film to [email protected] with Homeschool Film Fest 2018 in the subject and a brief description. This does not guarantee your film will be shown, but we will get back to you with more info. Don’t miss Homeschool Film Fest 2018. It’ll be a blast!

 

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Worldview Academy Scholarship

An Opportunity for Manitoba Homeschool Teens 13+
~a message from the MACHS board

MACHS has been blessed by a generous gift that we would like to pass on to a Manitoba Homeschool youth aged 13 and up. The Worldview Academy has donated a scholarship to one of its 23 Worldview Camps in 2018 (locations include Minnesota and other states). The scholarship covers all camp costs with the exception of transportation and has a value of $745 US. A list of camps / date and further information including an information brochure can be accessed at http://www.worldview.org/

Many of you will remember Bill Jack who has spoken at our MACHS conference in the past and is coming back in 2018. Bill is a faculty member with the Worldview Academy. Also a number of homeschooled Manitoba teens have participated in these camps in the past with very positive experiences.

At Worldview Academy Leadership Camps, junior high and high school students, ages 13 and up, are challenged to think hard about their faith. They are treated like real people who wrestle with real issues—and who need answers that match the real world. Each camp features 20+ hours of lively classroom sessions and discussions, which guide students to better understand servant leadership, apologetics/evangelism, and comparative worldviews.

The Worldview Academy experience is unlike any other. Students are taught by inspired teachers, challenged by creative activities, moved by meaningful worship, and welcomed into a community of life-long friends. Students join groups of the same age and gender for the discussion of the big ideas. They are led by college-aged small group leaders from across North America who have dynamic personal relationships with Jesus Christ and the life skills and spiritual maturity to lead students in discussions throughout the week. The six days are filled with laughter, tough questions, biblical answers, and a deepening hunger for Christ.

If you would be interested in attending a Worldview Academy Camp and applying for this scholarship opportunity the MACHS board would ask for the teen to write a letter of application (1000 words maximum length). Identify who you are, some information about you (age, interests, and family), tell us about your homeschool journey so far, and explain why you would like to attend camp. We would ask that these be sent to [email protected] by January 25, 2018.

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Getting to know Steve Demme

Let’s get to know Steve Demme! He will be joining us as our keynote speaker at the 2018 MACHS Conference. Come here him sharing the story of his personal journey toward a vibrant daily life in Christ and the impact the love of God has made on his parenting.

Click here to take a deeper look into Steve’s ministry.
He has a great podcast that you should check out, and
a facebook page.

His desire is to strengthen, teach, encourage, validate, and exhort parents in Manitoba to follow the biblical model for the Christian home.

 

Steve and his wife Sandra have been married since 1979. They have been blessed with four sons, three lovely daughters-in-law, and three special grandchildren. Their fourth son, John, has Down Syndrome and lives with them in Lititz, PA.

Steve is the creator of Math-U-See and the founder of Building Faith Families. He has served in full or part-time pastoral ministry for many years and has served on the board of Joni and Friends Eastern PA.

And you get to meet him this March…

Laugh, tell stories and hang out with one of the homeschooling pioneers.  Get a selfie with the home educator’s favorite math teacher.  It’s going to be Steve-U-See!

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Keep Your Eye on the Prize

While home educating your children, there are many distractions that need to be dealt with or managed. We are bombarded by expectations, comments, and pressures from relatives, such as grandparents, from our Christian friends, and from ourselves.  These could derail our home educating journey if we are not careful.

Often relatives are quick to criticize when they see us doing things differently than what they expect or what they see from other forms of schooling (i.e., public/private). Our friends can exaggerate how their children are succeeding at their public/private schools and how they feel their own time is being used more effectively for Christian service and “the Lord’s work.” This can contribute to our already somewhat distorted thinking that “I’m not doing enough” with my children, that my children are missing out, or that “I’m not pleasing the Lord” because my service time is limited or lacking. To combat these pressures and distractions, I 

encourage you to remember to keep the first things the first things, to remember why you are doing what you are doing, and to remember the “big picture” and where you are hoping (and praying!) this effort will lead.

 

Home education provides the best environment for raising our children in the “training and admonishment of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4). For Christian parents, our number one desire for our children is that they would not depart from “wisdom and understanding . . . sound judgment and discretion” (Proverbs 3:21).  Within home education, instruction with godly example is the best way for us to instill these truths upon our children. Do not take the discipling of your children lightly. It is the most important job the Lord has for you to do (Deuteronomy 6:7).

Also, why did you begin your home educating journey? Was it to provide your children individualized instruction and learning opportunities, strengthen family relationships, have a flexible schedule that met your family’s needs, less negative peer influences and/or to instill your Christian values and morals on your children?  Whatever the reasons, I believe that it is important to “remember” them and to spend time renewing your commitment to these reasons if you are feeling deflated or pressured.  More than likely, these reasons are as important now or even more so than when you started. Take time to resolve to continue to push forward with renewed vision and purpose.

Research has revealed that most home educated children turn out to have a deep and meaningful faith as an adult, have strong morals and values, and make valuable contributions to their families, churches, communities, and society. When we are tempted to say, “homeschooling is too hard” or “it doesn’t really matter,” we would do well to remember the outcomes of those that have gone before us, those who made the sacrifices necessary to home educate through high school and gained the rewards. It is important to continue to remember the big picture and how the Lord has brought you to this point and that He can continue to help you to completion (Philippians 1:6).

So, if you are feeling distracted or pressured by comments from others or your own negative thinking, consider remembering the tremendous benefits of home education.  Remembering these benefits will help you focus on what is most important, the reasons why you first chose this journey. Focusing on these things will inspire you to continue, and give you the hope for an outcome that will help you to know that it was all worth it. You sacrificed for your children and went against popular cultural norms, to give them the best opportunity to live their lives “worthy of the calling they have received” (Ephesians 4:1). I believe there is a great reward for you in heaven.

Ian Mogilevsky is married to Debbie, and is a home educating father of eight children, three of which have graduated. Vocationally, he is a psychologist with an expertise in working with children, teens, and adults with learning differences.  He is also the president of MACHS.

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Homeschool Short Film Challenge

Wondering what could get 30 homeschool teens and alumni waking at the crack of dawn to drive across the province?  Manitoba has a thriving community of filmmakers, and on Saturday, October 28th, a 13-hour film challenge was the draw.

This was the second film challenge hosted by Liberty Film, with the goal of bringing filmmakers together to learn how to work under pressure, and of course, have fun. Caleb Mogilvesky did an excellent job of planning and running the whole affair.   

The group of thirty was divided into 4 teams.  By the end of the day, each team was to have produced a short film over 45 seconds long.

 

The morning was dedicated to brainstorming, settling on an idea, outlining and scripting, as well as preparing any props and locations that would be needed.  The whiteboard was a key part of that process.

 

After lunch, the filming began. In a team leaders meeting during the noon break, we found that every team was planning to shoot most of their film outside in the blasting wind and freezing cold.

 

Wearing the headphones was a real privilege in the wind.

 

 

 

 


Some did enough filming inside to keep ears and toes warm.

 

 

 

The short time demanded operating a camera at the same time as coaching acting.  

 

 

As soon as each team completed shooting, editing could commence.

Sometimes editing is tedious for the young siblings of the host family.  It took about 3 hours to get all the clips together, the sound right, and the music slapped on top. 

 

The only time to socialize was over supper and lunch so we all made the most of it.

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Once all the films had been edited everyone piled into the living room and watched all the films on the Tv. It’s a great reward after a long day of work.

 

 

If you would like to watch the films click here. 

 

 
Mercer Lawrenson lives with his family on their farm near Sanford Manitoba. He spends his days farming, making YouTube videos, and volunteering with MACHS.  His personal blog is TheMercerReport.com

 

 

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Thoughts from a Homeschooled Teen

Hello. My name is Abby, and I am a homeschooled teen from Southern MB.

A few of my hobbies are art, photography, writing, filming, and playing sports.
I love country life, historical artifacts, trying new things, yellow, and living a full life for Christ!

 

Homeschooling is a lot more than just learning the basics of math, reading, and writing. More importantly, it’s about getting equipped for life, as a person and a Christian.

Homeschooling gives you the option to choose what you want your children to learn, at their own pace, and do the things they are most interested in doing.

Kids need to take action with their imaginations and ideas, and should be encouraged to do so! As a homeschooler, you can take the time to get involved with your kids/siblings and help them to grow their ideas and carry them out. If they have an interest in something specific, encourage going deeper!

I’ve listed some of the advantages that homeschooling offers to families who are concerned not only about academics, but also instilling good character in their children.

Some children learn certain subjects faster than others, and each one has their own strengths and weaknesses. You can have your own schedule and take time to teach your kids individually in the areas most needed, and the things they are most interested in.

Country Lifestyle: Not every homeschooler lives in the country, but for those who do, living on a farm or country yard gives a lot of opportunities for everyone to learn. Children love dirt and crawly creatures. Their curious minds like to experience things hands-on, to feel with their fingers, and observe things for themselves;  they’ll ask questions and want to learn.  Having animals and/or a garden to care for opens up a whole new world of teaching the kids about responsibility and productiveness, and all working together.

It is a thrill to a child to be allowed to buy their own animals to be responsible for. They will be excited about what they have accomplished, when they see little green plants peeking out of the dirt, growing to full maturity and producing fruit; and they will enjoy learning, as long as you, the parent or older sibling makes it an enjoyable thing.

Job 12:7-10  – Psalm 104:24-25 

In The Home…: Home is the place to receive the skills and knowledge that you will need later on. Being able to operate the microwave oven is not going to do it.  Mothers are able to spend time instructing their older girls in preparing meals, working alongside them until they can do it on their own.  They can then be given the responsibility of planning a meal and also preparing it and letting the younger ones participate.

Children are also taught how to clean up after themselves and each other and learning how to keep a home.

Of course, the kids need play time, the time they can let loose their imaginations, and have fun together, all ages. Big siblings will know how to play with little kids and have a great time, even in doing little kid things that might make us teens groan when little brother or sister wants to play with us.

Everyone is always together, big siblings helping out little siblings and spending time together, building character, building bonds that only siblings can have. In spending time together, kids learn how to talk to and relate to people of all ages, not just their own age group.

 

Working together: Children need to know how to interact with people who are not in their everyday lives and learn how to address new people and communicate confidently. There are so many ways to get out and do things! It depends on what your children are interested in. Making films, coordinating group events, bible studies, etc. are things the older teens can do themselves if they have the desire.

I also find volunteering in different places (e.i thrift store, soup kitchen, community events, conferences) to be a great way to get involved with other people, to learn communication skills and build new relationships with different kinds of people. It’s a wonderful experience.

 Shopping with the kids is also a good idea, though perhaps not an easy task! It is a trial of patience for sure on mom’s part, especially if you have several little ones, but the kids will be taught to look for good deals, do the math, and check out. Again, make it fun! Not a chore.

 Well behaved kids who are enjoying each others company and excited to work are a strange sight to most people these days!

Equipped for Life: Not every public schooled person is like this, but as I’ve observed, there are a lot of kids who go through school, graduate, and then don’t really know what to do from there. The teen years are often not talked about in a positive way.  Our culture has low expectations for teens and most teens live up to those expectations. We need to rise above low expectations and teach our children to do the same. We need to give them a vision for the future, teaching them that serving God brings purpose to our lives.

Most importantly, we need to be spiritually equipped to live a steadfast life for Christ on this earth and pass this on to our children. All the education in the world, all the schooling and knowledge are completely and utterly worthless in the end, if you do not know God, and do not follow Him.

The older I get, the more I see the world’s need for Jesus.  I understand the importance of passing on my faith to my children someday. We need to be spiritually prepared to be steadfast, unwavering in the fight. [John 15:19-25) The world is bound to hate you, possibly even kill you,  if you are proclaiming the truth and doing what is right in the eyes of God. The world will try to snatch away children and lead them astray. This is the world that our parents, and someday us teens, are/will be raising our children in, and we need to be able to raise them in truth, to stand for their faith and fight courageously for the Kingdom.

The ‘home’ part of home educating is what gives parents the opportunity to train up their children in the way they should go. It is hard for a parent to raise a child the way he ought to go when the child is scarcely with his parents for the twelve first crucial years of his life, and instead is being daily indoctrinated by the world!

Proverbs 22:6 “train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.”

Ephesians 6:1-4 “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.  “Honor your father and mother,” which is the first commandment with promise: “that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth.”  And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord.”

  My parents believe that homeschooling is the way that God wanted them to raise up their children for His glory, for His Kingdom; and I believe the same. I want my children to grow up to love the Lord their God with all their hearts, minds, and strength, more than anything else.

2 Timothy 3:16-17  “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.”

That verse tells us just what we need to be completely and thoroughly equipped for life;  so we may live an effective life here on earth as a follower of Christ.

 

 

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The “right” way to fill in your forms

Time for the Government Forms…

Some of you are wondering, “How do I fill out my forms the right way?”  Great question!  I’m excited to tell you, there is no “right” way.  These forms were developed for us as parents to let the government know what we are planning to do to educate our kids.  It doesn’t matter what you are planning to do, just write that down, and it will be the “right” thing to say.

For example, in Language Arts, if you have a curriculum for writing, but are planning to teach reading by just reading books together, write down “Writing Program X, group read alouds”.  Nothing more specific is needed, no matter the age of your child.

Since different children of different ages can learn in a group setting with the same material, there is nothing wrong with describing your Gr. 2 and Gr. 11 studies in the same way. Take a look at the example I’ve uploaded here

This our Grade 11 form from 2016, only the personal info is erased.  I used exactly the same words on my Gr. 2 form and for everyone in between.  More examples can be found here. (Link)

Why would we give more detail, even when more is politely requested?  Because we believe in the fundamental choice of parents to direct the education of their own children.  When all home educating families band together to prove that we are not asking for approval, but simply informing the government of our choice and methods within the law of Manitoba, we can maintain freedom from intrusion into all our homes and parenting choices.

And more detail will be politely requested.  Most homeschool families have been receiving requests for additional reporting information.  These look like personal letters, but are actually being sent with similar wording to everyone.  There is no need to respond to these requests.  More on these letters requesting additional reporting appear in a separate article.

A great description of the forms, the reasons to keep it simple and the boundaries that can be maintained around the homeschooling office at the Department of Education can be found in this video of a presentation at the Intro to Homeschooling night last week.

 

 

 

 

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Have you received a letter from a homeschool liaison?

Most families have been sent longer and longer responses to their submitted forms and reports in the past year.  These are form letters, usually asking parents to add more detail to their forms and reports, and mentioning “required” pieces of an educational program.  The reality is that parents have the right to choose the method and timing of their child’s education.  And only the parents decide the satisfactory outcome.

Any detailed documentation of your child’s progress might be nice for your own sense of accomplishment, but is not useful to present to the government for any future applications.  If some families decide to report in a very detailed way, the government employees may see that as the benchmark for all families and start to request it from everyone.  Since we have heard from the Minister of Education that government interference in homeschools is not part of the intention of his office or necessary for the requirements of the law, MACHS is confident that your reports do not need to include detailed records.  Satisfactory progress should be indicated, and any more specific records or grading can be kept in your own filing if you desire.

The letters that are being addressed to parents of high school students are particularly misguided.  Wording such as “Homeschool students do not graduate” and “credits can only be earned under the supervision of a certified teacher” are being used to scare home educating families into thinking that an alternative method of education outside of a government mandated program are somehow inadequate and will not be accepted by employers or post-secondary institutions.  This is simply false.  These letters are not new information;  they are the repackaging of what has always been true to make it sound as if a Manitoba government program is necessary for a high school education.

Homeschool graduates have always been accepted in all kinds of post-secondary options, with differing requirements of documentation.  The incorrect assumption of the homeschool office is that home educating families want to present a Manitoba diploma at the end of their high school journey.  Homeschool parents are the ones who provide the diploma and graduate their high school students.  The reason we are homeschooling is because we don’t want the government to be the ones who “provide” for our students.  To suggest that unless we enroll in some government high school program, we will be ineligible for future opportunities is ludicrous and basic fear-mongering.

MACHS is working toward a comprehensive catalogue of the requirements of post-secondary opportunities for homeschoolers.  We will be bringing this information to parents as it is collected.  But it should be stated that any well-educated high school graduate can expect to be admitted into these institutions without the intervention of the homeschooling office.  Yes, we agree, the government cannot provide a diploma for you or proof of what you studied;  this is what you signed up for.  You are responsible to prove your student’s accomplishments.  Further information on how to present these proofs will be outlined in a separate article.

Suffice it to say, do not be concerned about the lengthy statement from any liaison regarding your high school students.  It is a simple attempt to frighten parents into accepting a government education.

The response to the requests for additional information should follow the same principle as the requests for home visits.  None of us have anything to hide, but that does not mean that we need to comply with every request for scrutiny.  If some families politely agree to a request for a home visit or for additional reporting information, then the families who choose to decline appear as if they do have something to hide, rather than simply preferring less government involvement in their family’s educational choices.  For this reason,  please consider including minimal information on your government forms.

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Intro to Homeschooling evening

MACHS will be hosting an informational evening
“Intro to Homeschooling”

Wednesday, August 23rd

6:15 pm to 9:30 pm at the Bethesda Church, 1350 Grant Ave. in Winnipeg

The evening will provide you with important information, such as how to notify to the Minister of Education of your intention to homeschool, types of homeschooling methods, curriculum choices, student evaluation;  in addition to:  how to complete your January and June reports to the government and activities of MACHS!    

A panel will share their approach and experiences, in addition to being available to answer every question that you might have. Interactive small group discussions will provide a relaxed and informal setting to put you at ease.

If you are a new homeschooler, thinking about homeschooling, someone who would like to help beginning homeschoolers or just want to brush-up on the basics, this evening is for you!  

Please let us know of your desire to attend by emailing [email protected] or calling 204-488-8361.

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Filling out your June reports? Here’s all you need to know.

June is here, and that means most homeschoolers are waltzing into summer, but before you do, remember to hand in your June reports.

It’s not an ordeal, so don’t worry, and everything you need to know is right here.

Click here for the form to fill out.

Wondering what to include?  Click here to see sample notification forms. These are copies of reports from a few families. You can choose how much information you would like to include.

In summary, Manitoba law requires families to send in three forms:  notification by September 1 indicating course of study for each student, and then January and June reports each indicating satisfactory progress.  There is no requirement for elaboration on checking off “satisfactory progress” for each student’s work.

Send in your June report by June 31, and if you get a note back asking for more information, politely decline, and let MACHS know.

If you want to hear someone describe how it works, here is a short video from Homeschooling 101.

Here is a video from the conference explaining MACHS position on notification forms.

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