Our First Homeschool Graduation

From the time our oldest daughter turned two years old, we planned to homeschool her. Friends and extended family often asked if we would teach her at home all the way through high school. Our answer was always the same: “We’ll see!”

Each year, we continued to have God’s peace about continuing to homeschool, and in August 2016, our firstborn completed her high school work. Of course, we had to host a celebration to commemorate the occasion.

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What About Dating?

On Friday morning I was driving my twelve year old twin daughters to their arts enrichment program when the topic of homeschool reviews came up. We talked about the math, science, and history curricula we are currently reviewing, and then I mentioned the video about dating, courtship, and marriage that I’ll soon be reviewing.

“Oh, that must be for when your kids are older,” one twin piped up.

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Drive Thru History Adventures Review

For the last six weeks, our family has been exploring the Holy Land, where the events of the Bible actually happened, using a unique Homeschool Bible Curriculum. In addition to reading the stories straight from Scripture, we take virtual field trips to Israel with Dave Stotts, our tour guide on a journey through the Gospels. He brings to life the historical context of each event as it unfolds. Our entire family has enjoyed reviewing the Bible History course at Drive Thru History Adventures.

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Experiencing Taiwan

I remember that Christmas Eve like it was yesterday. We folded up the umbrella strollers and left them at the end of the jetway then trudged on board the aircraft carrying one child and guiding the other. Rebekah was three, and her younger brother was just shy of two.

Just after the kids finally conked out during the first leg, we had to deplane in Alaska. Carrying drowsy children into the terminal, we noticed display cases of stuffed wildlife that captivated them during our midnight stopover.

An hour later, the flight crew ushered us back on board for the final leg of our trip. We all eventually fell asleep. Before we knew it, we were landing in Taiwan on Christmas morning.

After passing through customs, we scanned the expectant crowd for the family members who were supposed to meet us. At last, we saw Grammy along with my husband Joe’s younger siblings.

Upon leaving the airport, we encountered rush hour traffic even though it was holiday back home. Inside the van, aunts and uncles played with the kids as we rode through Taipei en route to Grammy’s apartment for a once in a lifetime Christmas celebration.

The rest of the day was a blur; I am sure we slept half of it away in the haze of jet lag. In lieu of a homemade Christmas dinner at Grammy’s, we paraded down the street to a local Chinese restaurant where most of us feasted, though the kids did little more than pick at their food.

In the days that followed, we explored the city, played in the park with the kids, hiked a few trails, shopped at the night market, went to the zoo, and sampled all kinds of Chinese food. The kids heartily enjoyed the sweet variations, especially red bean paste. Our adventure in Taiwan was over too quickly, and soon were on board our return flight to the US.

None of us would ever forget the sights, smells, and tastes of Taiwan—not even our oldest daughter. When she returned to Taiwan fourteen years later, she felt like she was going home. “I was born for this!” she exclaimed when tasting authentic Chinese food the evening she arrived in Taiwan.

She drank in the sights and devoured all of the experiences Taiwan had to offer—exploring Taipei on foot and bicycle, visiting the night market, navigating the steep stairways on hiking trails, riding the high speed rail to visit other cities… When the time came for her to return home, she was reluctant to leave.

I was not surprised in January when she decided to apply for Discipleship Training School with YWAM in Taiwan. God has given her a love for Taiwan that I do not understand and cannot explain. I am excited to see how God will grow her and use her in this next chapter of her life as she seeks Him and shares His love with Taiwan and the world.

In two weeks, Rebekah will set off on an incredible five-month adventure of discipleship, missions training, and outreach. She tells her own story at GiveSendGo.com, where you can become part of her upcoming mission:

Pray for her.
Support her financially.
Share the link on social media.
Follow her to receive updates on her trip.

Will you pray for my daughter as she begins her adventure? Comment below to let me know you’ll be praying.

This is the third in a series of blog posts about Rebekah’s upcoming adventure. In the first, I share why my husband and I are encouraging her to leave the country. In the second, I share the joy of her acceptance to DTS along with the daunting preparations to be completed before her departure.

Typing with UltraKey Online

Last semester, my twin daughters used a free app on the computer to learn how to type. Although they enjoyed the lessons and quickly learned to type well, they were excited when we had the opportunity to review the UltraKey Online Family Subscription from Bytes of Learning. UltraKey Online is a keyboarding app that incorporates success-based learning and is designed for multiple students.

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Social Studies at Their Own PACE

My kids look forward to reading about interesting events in history, discovering new places around the world, and imagining their future impact on society. It may seem like reading a workbook and filling in the blanks would suck the life out of a subject, but that has not been our experience at all. My kids love learning about Social Studies with ACE PACEs and enjoy working independently through the material.

Middle and high school social studies thoroughly cover history, government, and geography, with a unit on careers thrown in for good measure. Here is what to expect in each grade.

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Trusting My Teen With Art Supplies

When my children were younger, I had a severe aversion to pulling out art supplies. The logistics of such a venture were overwhelming when there was no other responsible adult to assist with the setup or the aftermath.

By the time they were finished painting, globs of paint were smeared across endless sheets of paper, each one a treasured work of art. Where could I put them all to dry? What could I possibly do with them afterwards?

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Taiwan Bound

My heart is racing as I write these words. My oldest daughter, Rebekah, received her official acceptance packet to attend Discipleship Training School in Taiwan. Ever since she first expressed interest in attending DTS overseas, we have been encouraging her to go. We are so excited!

During the training phase of DTS, Rebekah will be at the YWAM (Youth With a Mission) base in Taipei, Taiwan. She will take classes, work with a mentor, study the Bible, draw near to God, engage in ministry, and prepare for an outreach. Then she will travel with her team to another country to share the love of Christ abroad.

The coming weeks will certainly be a whirlwind of activity as we prepare for her departure in March. We are trusting God to direct our steps and provide for every need that arises.

Fundraising

I will admit it right now. I am not sure where the money for Rebekah’s DTS is going to come from, but I know that God will provide. In the coming days, my daughter has her work cut out for her. With the help of a friend from church, she is planning what to say when she announces her upcoming adventure to our congregation. She just finished setting up online donations so friends and family who do not live nearby can have an opportunity to support her.

Travel Arrangements

Ever since Rebekah expressed an interest in attending DTS in Taiwan, I have been investigating airfares. After she received her acceptance packet, we prayed for wisdom about the best dates for her to fly and the best timing for us to purchase the ticket. Yesterday, my husband looked at the fares and declared it was time. I clicked the appropriate buttons and bought her round trip ticket to Taiwan.

Travel Insurance

Did you know that missionaries need travel insurance? Specialized insurance companies provide medical coverage worldwide. I certainly would not have considered the need for insurance to cover loss of property, medical evacuation, or the myriad of other situations these policies address. I was glad to be able to get a reasonable quote from Talent Trust Consultants, who even provided a discount since Rebekah will be serving with YWAM.

Extra Passport Pictures

Since most countries require that passport pictures be submitted along with visa applications, and we do not yet know what country Rebekah will be doing her outreach in, YWAM asked that she bring along four extra passport pictures. In addition, she will be using a couple passport pictures this month, when she applies for her visa to stay in Taiwan. She and her dad will be heading out to the AAA office this weekend to have those photos taken.

Taiwan Visa Application

Because Rebekah’s round trip ticket will span more than three months, she needs to apply for a visitor visa to Taiwan as soon as possible. After submitting an online application, she will travel downtown and visit the consulate to receive the visa. The logistics of working all of this out are a little murky at the moment, but I am confident God will direct us.

Prayer

The only way all of these factors will come together is by His hand. The mountain of preparations we are facing at this moment is certainly bigger than we can handle on our own. However, God is bigger than any mountain we could ever face. I pray that God will continue to show us exactly what needs to be done and open the doors we do not yet know about so that we (or she) will be able to walk through them when the time comes.

Would you like to partner with us? I invite you to be a part of my daughter’s incredible journey to the other side of the world. If you want to commit to pray for Rebekah’s DTS or even contribute financially, click on over to GiveSendGo and let her know.

This is the second in a series of blog posts about Rebekah’s upcoming adventure. In the first, I share why my husband and I are encouraging her to leave the country. In the third, I travel back in time to share the past experiences in Taiwan that have inspired her to attend DTS there.