Photo by Samet Kurtkus on Unsplash
Wow, has it really been three months since we’ve produced new material for the website? At the van Eck home, we spent the summer working on three huge projects for Grammar of Grace and Wisdom’s Way—projects we’d planned and projects that were unexpected. It’s been a little insane for this family of 10 (and no, we don’t have any teenagers)!!! But somehow, by God’s grace, we got some great stuff done and managed to keep everyone alive!
So, what have we been up to??
First, we published four books for Grammar of Grace!
Koine for Kids is a Greek workbook for ages 5 to 95. It’s fun, beautifully laid out, and requires no previous knowledge of Greek to teach children biblical Greek phonics. It came out in July, and is already a hit!
The Christian Grammar School at Home: Prep Year Later Knowledge Guide is designed for 9- or 10-year-olds, as a first taste of written academic work, or grammar school “light”! The daily assignments are short and sweet, easily completed by lunchtime on a typical day, but the old-fashioned assignments, in just one year, yield an amazing transformation in the ability of these young ones to read, write, and comprehend.
The Christian Grammar School at Home: 1st Year Later Knowledge Guide, for 10- or 11-year-olds, was completely revised and expanded over the summer, and now comes in layflat binding instead of coil! Instructions are clearer, the Exercises and Answer Key are expanded, and so much more. While the assignments are virtually unchanged from the original edition, the Guide is cleaner and more user-friendly.
The Christian Grammar School at Home: 2nd Year Later Knowledge Guide, for 11- or 12-year-olds, is out of testing, completed, and fabulous! Between seeing the development of the young folks who used the Guide last year, and then watching the final version take shape over the summer, I am thrilled with the latest addition to the Grammar of Grace curriculum.
Second, I wrote the final book of the Christian Grammar School at Home curriculum, the 3rd Year Later Knowledge Guide. It feels like having summited Mount Everest! With the final year of grammar school completed, the entire Noah Webster-style grammar school curriculum is laid out to view:
- Students read and study 27 complete books of the Bible: Genesis, most of Exodus, Numbers, half of Deuteronomy, Joshua, Judges, Ruth, 1 & 2 Samuel, 1 & 2 Kings, 1 & 2 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Daniel, Jonah, Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Acts, 1 Peter, Jude, and Revelation.
- Students study every word in Webster’s Blue Back Speller (believe it or not, it’s a huge feat).
- Students thoroughly learn English grammar.
- And Arithmetic.
- Students complete high school Latin I & II.
- …you can take a fuller look at that view from the summit here.
We already have our group of testers using the 3rd Year Later Knowledge Guide this year, and so far it is looking fabulous. My goal with the entire Grammar of Grace curriculum has been to research and study the methods our Christian forefathers used to teach their children, and to apply them as well as possible for modern homeschooling families. And once again, seeing these methods in action just blows me away. They are so good! And the children learn so well with them!! I am more excited than ever about our full grammar school program; I can’t wait to share the finished product with you. Lord willing, it’ll be ready next summer.
Wisdom’s Way is the name of the program we have for doing Grammar of Grace curriculum together with other families. We meet once a week, like a homeschool co-op, but we all follow the curriculum at home together on the same schedule, so we can go over the hard stuff together in class, help parents learn these methods, provide accountability to help us all keep up, and encourage each other along the way!
You would think that, out in small-town redder-than-red Christian conservative rural Texas, the government mandates and shutdowns of the past seven months would not have had a big effect on us, but government overreach affected everything out here—not as much as in the cities, true, but still enough to turn churches, businesses, and every family’s daily life upside down.
The shutdowns began during our Wisdom’s Way spring break, and (as we all know) still haven’t ended. In WW, we had completed 24 weeks of the 30-week schoolyear, so I sent out weekly art and geography lessons to everyone, and our Later Knowledge students had Zoom meetings, and we eventually limped across the finish line of the schoolyear.
But still, the churches weren’t open.
In addition to six weeks of classes, we had to cancel our Year-End Presentation & Party, Info Meetings for next year, and our summer one-day Practicum.
Some churches began to open a little, but not back to normal.
My husband and I realized that, if churches were not freely open to their own congregations, how could we as a homeschool group ask them for the use of their facilities? And even if we found a church willing to host us, what would happen when cold and flu season started up in the fall?
With much prayer, we decided to try to purchase a small, inexpensive house to use for Wisdom’s Way. We figured we could use money we had in savings, and that facility fees could cover a loan payment, and that purchasing a property is always a pretty sound way to invest one’s savings, anyway.
From that decision, to where we are today, is a story there is not time to detail here. There were many trips out to small houses, a contract that fell through, an offer that was refused, many revealing inspections, and finally a very big surprise… Through a long series of providential occurrences, we discovered a beautiful old building in the town square of our county seat, in which renters occupying the first floor were paying enough monthly rent to cover a mortgage and taxes, and the second floor was beautifully restored and unoccupied.
Of course, you can guess how this story ended up: We purchased this beautiful old building, our renters downstairs are Christians who are excited (and not irritated!) about our plucky bunch of Christian classical homeschoolers meeting upstairs once a week, and Wisdom’s Way in Bonham is one month into the new schoolyear, with our very own facilities.
Finding a new place was a mountain of work, and moving in and getting the building ready for Wisdom’s Way has been a mountain of work (still not completely done, but we’re getting close!). There was so much prayer, so many adventures along the way, and it was a task we did not have any idea we would be taking on this summer!!! But we are so thankful for how everything has worked out, and the blessed situation we’re enjoying now.
Well, that’s the abridged version of why we’ve been away, this summer. I’m guessing you also had some adventures, with so many summer plans canceled, jobs lost, loved ones kept in isolation, churches shut down, and so many more difficulties we’ve all faced over that past 7 months. If you have any interesting stories to share, please share them below! Or if there’s anything we can be praying for you about, please message us, and it would be our joy to join you in prayer.
In the meantime, we’re back! I pray the Lord will continue to help his faithful ones and bless, protect, and guide us in the year to come.
Thanks for dropping by; please keep us in prayer!