Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Homeschooling With Compassion

Several years ago I started this blog with the intent of making sponsorship a family venture. I can honestly say that sponsorship is something we do as a family, and the ministry of sponsorship is truly woven throughout our daily lives. 

We are homeschoolers and from the beginning I've wanted to give my girls a global education. Here are some of the ways we've pulled the ministry of Compassion into our educational pursuits.

We start our morning with some sort of Bible lesson. Often we'll read a devotional from He Walks Among Us by Richard and Renee Stearns. Mr. Stearns is President and CEO of World Vision, and this devotional is a beautiful resource for understanding some of the needs around the world. The photographs are beautiful, and the stories and lessons are so good. After our Bible lesson, we'll choose a child that we sponsor/correspond with to pray for. Currently I keep bookmarks for all our children in a recycled plastic container. We choose a child's bookmark, pray for that child, then remove the bookmark. We go through all the bookmarks and then return them all and start over. 

There are so many books that help us understand what life is like in other countries, and we've found so many gems in our local library system. From picture books to chapter books, there is a resource for almost every country where Compassion works. 

My girls and I love to do "free writes". Usually we choose our own topic, set a timer for 5-10 minutes and write freely until the timer goes off. Sometimes I choose a broad topic like "Compassion" and then we brainstorm all the different ways we can narrow the topic and find something to write about. Recently our list looked something like this...

  • my birthday buddy
  • writing letters
  • where Compassion works
  • what sponsorship looks like
  • persuade someone to sponsor a child
  • what does the Bible say about poverty
  • meeting Orm in Thailand
  • Compassion Sunday at our church
  • what is Compassion
  • my trip to Compassion headquarters in Colorado
  • our Compassion family

Also, letter writing is a great writing exercise for kids. My girls each write to three kids every month, and although I had to help them for quite a while, they now do this on their own. 

This is "homeschool central" for us....if you look closely you can see the bookmarks that serve as prayer cards, and the three fish are named Kenya, Peru and Inda (for India and Indonesia)

We have a big map hanging above our school desks, and as we talk about our Compassion children (or where Compassion works), I ask my girls to point out where that country is located. It's become second nature to them by now, and often they race to see who can find the country first. When they were little, we had a different map hanging in their playroom, and I taped our Compassion kids' photos to it near the country where they lived. 

We also enjoy reading the brochures Compassion sends us about each child's country.

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