Category Archives: Homeschooling

How Can A+ Help Me Homeschool?

I’m done! I guess God doesn’t intend me to homeschool anymore. 

These were my thoughts in 2009, when I just didn’t know how to do it. I had loved homeschooling my daughters for six years, but with two babies, and with the girls getting older and pushing back on me, I decided that season of our lives was over.

I loved teaching, though, so I went back to school and got my Master’s Degree in elementary and special education, and then I taught for the next eight years. I learned many skills and strategies that I wished I would have had when I was homeschooling. Now I am back to homeschooling, this time with my boys and a baby girl.

By no means am I saying that you should have a teaching credential if you’re going to homeschool. However, if you are struggling because you’re overwhelmed with curriculum choices, or because you have a child with learning or behavior issues, it can be helpful to work with someone who has some expertise in strategies and research-based learning.

Over the past eight years, I’ve worked with hundreds of students and families in schools and in private tutoring. Many of those parents struggled to find and educational fit for their children, and many of those children struggled academically, socially, or behaviorally. I have been able to assist those families and students in formulating plans to see academic growth and to increase positive social and behavioral interactions.

Sometimes we just need some informed encouragement. I am able to come alongside you and encourage you to stay the course, and to collaborate with you to formulate a plan for success. Whether you need to evaluate your curriculum options or to have a tutor for a few hours a week (in person or online), I can work with you to meet your family’s individualized needs.

I understand a good deal of what homeschoolers struggle with, because I’ve lived it. And I have children with special needs and academic challenges. So as a fellow traveler, I can relate and help you form a workable action plan. If this sounds like the thing you need, contact me at heatherpwalton@gmail.com or 502-438-4680.

A+ Education Solutions offers a range of educational services

I started A+ Education Solutions in 2013 because I had a strong desire to help students who need a little extra help to reach their goals. In the process, I started a cottage school that morphed into a more traditional model of a school, partnered with my husband as he pastors our church, moved, had a baby, had a couple of children leave the nest, taught at another wonderful Christian school, and most recently, realized that I need to return home and center myself there. Through all of it, my mission for a vocation has not changed: I believe God has called me to creatively facilitate Christian education for a diverse population of students.20170612_074936

Though I no longer run Jubilee Academy, the model I began there still lives in my heart. What is that model? Well, for starters, it’s a kinder, gentler model of education — an individualized model, where students are seen as real people who have struggles, but who also have much to offer the world. God created each of us with unique gifts, and those gifts are meant to be shared with the world. However, some people buy into the cultural lie that academics and athletics are the prized intelligences, and that others are inferior. Can you imagine a world without artists, mechanics, electricians, fast food servers, and on and on? Two of the most important jobs in the world are plumbers and trash collectors. Think about that for a moment.

But we all have to get through the academics, at least for 13 years. Some of us really struggle, though. And we just need a helping hand, maybe just for a season, and maybe all the way through. Sometimes the student needs direct help, in the form of tutoring and assessment. Other times, the student needs indirect assistance, such as an IEP advocate at school or homeschool support for his parents. A+ Education Solutions is here to help with these needs. Rates are reasonable and assistance is personalized to your family’s needs. Because I’m focusing on health and family, slots are limited, but there are a few left and I am happy to put others on my waiting list. For more information, email heatherpwalton@gmail.com or text/call 502-438-4680. I look forward to hearing from you!

 

Top Ten Reasons to Enroll at Jubilee Academy

Students work together to research and present particular ecosystems to the class.
Students work together to research and present particular ecosystems to the class.

People interested in finding out more about Jubilee Academy may like to know why they should consider enrolling their children. In my opinion, here are the top ten reasons:

10. If you’re a homeschooler, it may help you avoid burnout. When I first homeschooled my two daughters, I started strong. But one of my daughters had some learning challenges, and that led to burnout. After five years of homeschooling, I enrolled my daughters in school. At Jubilee Academy, we want to help you avoid burnout. Having a couple days a week to catch up on errands, plan your homeschool curriculum, and just have a break, can give you the oasis you need in order to stay fresh as a homeschool teacher and as a parent.

9. It’s affordable. Whether you are looking for full-time or part-time programming, we are an affordable Christian school. We always will keep our tuition low, because part of our vision is to offer a Christian education to families who normally wouldn’t have access to one.

Students have opportunities to present ideas to their peers.

8. Our teachers are highly competent and caring. All have credentials and experience that qualify them to teach with excellence. Most have teaching degrees and certifications. More importantly, each teacher believes that your child is an important member of our learning community.

7. Social skills and character training are included in the curriculum. We dedicate time daily to explicitly teach social skills, and we have an extended social skills class each week. We begin each day with a devotional or Scripture reading, and we refer to the Bible throughout the day in order to teach our students to be people of good character.

6. We don’t use Common Core Standards. Many parents and teachers have concerns about the Common Core Standards which the state of Kentucky requires to be taught in the public schools. Teachers are overwhelmed with the expectations on them, and they have to dedicate time to things other than teaching. Parents are concerned about an increasingly secular humanist worldview and less emphasis on the basics. At Jubilee Academy, we do not use the Common Core Standards. Instead, we teach the basics, like spelling, handwriting, and multiplication tables.

Spending time in nature is an important part of the curriculum at Jubilee Academy.
Spending time in nature is an important part of the curriculum at Jubilee Academy.

5. We teach from a Christian worldview. Everything we do comes through the filter of Scripture. We incorporate the Bible and its principles throughout the day, from an academic and character-building standpoint. Scientifically, we embrace creationism and can back it up with evidence. We train students to treat each other according to the Golden Rule and to do their work as working for the Lord.

4. Hands-on learning engages students. We want students to be active learners, so we give them opportunities to do, rather than to just “sit and get.”  Jubilee students experience learning. Education is something they participate in–not something that is handed to them. Whoever is doing the work is doing the learning, so we want our students to work hard every day.

3. Our students have made gains in all academic areas. We recently tested our students in reading, writing, and math. Each made gains since the beginning of the school year–many in all three areas. We continually assess students to make sure they are progressing and mastering the material. We don’t move on until we know they have mastered a unit. Therefore, they make gains.

2. Our low teacher-student ratio helps us give your children an excellent education. Research confirms that one of the best determiners of a good education is a low teacher-student ratio. At Jubilee Academy, we are committed to a 1:10 student-teacher ratio.

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Students learn about fractions by playing a game with cardboard pizzas.

1. We see your child as an individual. Even though our students are in class with up to nine other children, each student is treated as an individual. We group students roughly by grade level, but we tailor learning to each child’s needs. We do this by making smaller groups within the class and by differentiating assignments and expectations. We want to see your child make progress during the year. We don’t expect every child in a grade to be on the same page. We simply expect each child to do his/her best and to make gains throughout the year.

If you share our philosophy of education, consider setting up an appointment to tour or to have your child shadow at Jubilee Academy. We would be happy to answer questions and to discuss your children’s specific needs. We still have room left for next school year, but some grades are almost full.

There is an informational meeting Feb. 18, 6:30-8 p.m. at Jubilee Academy, 7505 Kavanaugh Road, Crestwood, Ky. 40014. If you register at or before the meeting, you receive $50 off the registration fee for each child.

Don’t hesitate to call 502-439-4400, or email jubilee.academy@aol.com, if you have questions or want more information.

https://apluseducationalsolutions.com/jubilee-cottage-school-policies-and-information/

Jubilee Academy plans homeschool classes, camps in February

Jubilee Academy students investigate fractions with manipulatives.
Jubilee Academy students investigate fractions with manipulatives.

In February, Jubilee Academy will host some mini-classes and camps both as stand-alone events and as opportunities for families to get acquainted with our programing. Registration for 2014-15 programming has begun, so the timing is ideal for those wanting to secure spots for next school year.

The following opportunities are available in February:

Reading Comprehension Camp (February 17-20, 9 – 11 a.m.) will introduce students in grades 4-8, to research-based strategies for reading comprehension. This camp will be interactive and engaging, so students will have an enjoyable, educational experience. Cost for camp is $80/student.

Mini-Classes: (February 18-20) The following classes will be offered for Grades 2-5:

12:30 – 1:30 p.m. Ecosystems and the Environment (Learn about animals, habitats, and adaptations from a creation science perspective using hands-on experiments and activities.)
1:30 – 2:30 p.m. Knights and Castles (Learn about medieval customs, games, diseases, living arrangements, and hierarchies, using hands-on activities.)
Each class is $50/student. Add on a class or a sibling for 1/2 price.
Informational Meeting: (February  18, 6:30-8 p.m.) There will be an informational meeting and registration event for those interested in finding out about 2014-15 classes at Jubilee Academy. Whether you are looking for two, three, four, or five days of classes, this meeting will provide useful information to help you decide whether Jubilee is a good fit for your family’s needs. Registration will be accepted that evening as well.
Ongoing Registration: Families may register for Jubilee Academy at any time. We are taking registration for next year, and we still have a few spots left for the current school year.
Coming Soon: Information on summer camps. Subscribe to this blog for updates.
Contact Information: For more information, or to schedule a tour, contact Heather Peavler at 502-439-4400 or jubilee.academy@aol.com.

Jubilee Academy adds Tuesday/Thursday homeschool program

Jubilee Academy Students regularly engage in nature study.
Jubilee Academy Students regularly engage in nature study.

There are some exciting changes that will be taking place at Jubilee Academy after Fall Break. The school year has been great so far, but I want to be able to provide an even better, more focused education for our students. Therefore, I have hired an additional teacher, DeAnn Merritt, and am also bringing Janet Schweinhart on full-time. The Tuesday/Thursday/Friday students will be split into three groups. These groups will allow for our students to receive a more focused education, while maintaining flexible grouping options.

 Because of this, we also are able to open the Tuesday/Thursday program for homeschool students. If you have been looking for a cottage school option for your children, this is a fabulous opportunity. Our Tuesday/Thursday program features instruction in reading, writing, math, science/social studies, social skills, and related arts. Families also may add Friday to the Tuesday/Thursday program if they prefer. There is no homework with any of our programs, so you are free to focus however you wish on the off days, or we can provide you with lessons for those days as part of our supplemental program.
DeAnn Merritt will teach PreK-Grade 1 at Jubilee Academy.
DeAnn Merritt will teach PreK-Grade 1 at Jubilee Academy.

I am excited about the addition of DeAnn Merritt to our faculty. DeAnn will primarily teach PreK-Grade 1. I have seen the work she does with younger kids. She has many years of teaching experience and a heart for instilling a love of learning.

We are currently enrolling PreK (4 years and up) to Grade 6 in our part-time programs and in our full-time program. Jubilee Academy offers many options. For more information, contact Heather Peavler, 502-439-4400, or jubileeacademy@apluseducationalsolutions.com.
For Jubilee Academy policies, go to Policies and Information.
 

Reflections on God’s grace in building Jubilee Academy

The grounds at Kavanaugh Center provide lots of natural beauty to explore.
The grounds at Kavanaugh Center provide lots of natural beauty to explore.

I have to give glory to God for the way He has blessed Jubilee Academy. Here’s a list of ways I have seen Him work so far:

1. Giving me a vision: For years, I have wanted to open my own school. I figured that was something I might do eventually. I never would have imagined, even 6 months ago, that I would get to do it this soon. I also believe that He has given me a philosophy and a vision for a program that is needed in our area.

2. Support of family and friends: My immediate and extended family, including my in-laws, have been so supportive. They’ve been excited for me. They’ve helped with open houses, brochures, advice, time, and even financial contributions.

3. An excellent location: I can’t think of a better location that Kavanaugh Center. The grounds are beautiful, and I keep finding new trails and natural beauty there. The staff has been fabulous and is glad to have us there. They are thrilled with our success, and very encouraging.

4. Two qualified co-teachers with high character: Janet Schweinhart and Cheri Withrow share a similar vision and are excited to get to work at Jubilee. They have experiences and gifts that equip them to work well with our students. I didn’t even have to work hard to find them. God basically showed me that they were the ones He was providing to the school.

5. Students from families looking for this kind of school: Families have sought out our full-time and part-time programs because they’re looking for what Jubilee Academy has to offer. They want structure with individualization. They are looking for a blend of progressive and traditional methodology. They are seeking a Christian worldview, authentic experiences, real-life applications, and a small teacher-student ratio. I am so excited about the students God has brought and is continuing to bring. Each one is precious and worth working hard to provide a Christ-honoring education.

I had hoped that my vision of beginning my own school would be well-received. Honestly, I am amazed at just how well-received it has been so far. The full-time and part-time programs are nearing capacity. I never dreamed I would need to add a second classroom and two staff members to begin our first year. I feel very blessed and honored, and I am so excited to see how God will work through Jubilee Academy in the lives of students and families this year.

Jubilee Academy expands faculty to provide excellent educational programming

Jubilee Academy at KavanaughSince Jubilee Academy has grown quickly and has added a full-time option, I have hired two faculty members to ensure high-quality educational programming. Not only do both people have strong backgrounds in education, but I also can attest personally to each woman’s character.

Janet Schweinhart, Instructional Assistant
Janet Schweinhart, Related Arts Teacher

Janet Schweinhart is going to be the instructional assistant and related arts teacher, teaching music and art, and providing reinforcement and intervention on a daily basis. Janet has a Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance and Pedagogy from the University of Louisville and has taught music in a one-on-one situation for 30 years. She also was a Reading Recovery teacher for five years and a reading tutor for the HART (Help A Reader Today) Program in Oregon. Janet has three sons, all of whom are adopted, who have struggled with learning challenges.

“My passion for education stems from a philosophy that I believe ALL children can learn,” Janet said.  “As a teacher, it is a joy to discover how  students learn, to create en environment where the child can progress from there.  There is nothing more gratifying than to see a student grasp a concept.”
Cheri Withrow, Teacher
Cheri Withrow, Teacher

I added Cheri Withrow as a teacher at Jubilee Academy, primarily for our full-time program. Cheri has a Bachelor’s Degree in Family & Consumer Sciences from the University of Kentucky and a Master of Arts in Teaching from Bellarmine University. She is certified in Kentucky to teach Kindergarten-5th Grade.  Cheri spent two years teaching Kindergarten at Locust Grove Elementary in Crestwood. She also has taught many Vacation Bible Schools and has been on several mission trips around the U.S. She and her husband, Chad, have been married four years and have a 1-year-old daughter, Anna.

I am blessed that God provided each of these educators to help begin Jubilee Academy with me. I am convinced that our students will be blessed as well.

Summer Reading/Writing Camp off to a good start at Jubilee Academy

Students enjoy one of the special reading areas at Jubilee Academy.
Students enjoy one of the special reading areas at Jubilee Academy.

Today was the first day of the reading and writing camp at Jubilee Academy. There were nine students, ages 9-16, participating. It was exciting to teach for the first time in my new classroom. Getting to work with students there confirmed for me that it will be a fabulous place for the cottage school to meet, and that I set up the room in a way that works well for me.

After spending countless hours this summer preparing the room, articulating philosophy, making business-related decisions, and speaking to parents, it was refreshing to actually teach there. I love teaching, which is one of the main reasons I decided to begin the cottage school.

Spending the time with students at the camp was another piece of confirmation for me that I am doing the right thing by starting Jubilee Academy. I look forward to seeing how God works through this ministry.

Jubilee Academy adds full-time program with additional part-time options

Heather Goodale, teacher at Jubilee Academy, talks with students about the coming year.
Heather Goodale, teacher at Jubilee Academy, talks with students about the coming year.

Several families have expressed an interest in having their children attend Jubilee Academy full-time. Others would like to remain part-time but would appreciate a three-day option. We have worked out a plan to make this happen.

Families will have the option to attend the Monday and Wednesday program, to attend a Friday program, or to attend all five days. Tuesdays and Thursdays are limited to full-time students.

Mondays and Wednesdays will include reading, writing, and math for grades K-6. Fridays will include reading, writing, and alternating science/social studies for grades K-12. Tuesdays and Thursdays will include all subjects for grades K-6. Students attending full-time will have a complete curriculum and will receive grades and report cards.

Jubilee Academy, which is a Christian program, admits students with mild disabilities, including ADHD, learning disabilities, and high functioning Autism, as well as typical students.

Pricing is as follows:

Monday and Wednesday program: $160/mo. (1st child), $125/mo. (2nd child), $110 (additional siblings)

Friday reading/writing workshop: $60/mo (1st child), $50/mo (2nd child), $40/mo (additional children)
Friday Science/Social Studies: $10/mo (1st child), $8/mo (additional children)
Full-time program: $4500/year (includes grades/report cards)
To hold a spot, registration paperwork must be completed and a deposit of $150 for the first student and $75 for additional students is due by August 4. School begins September 4. Back-to-school night is August 29.
For more information about Jubilee Academy, visit https://apluseducationalsolutions.com/jubilee-cottage-school-policies-and-information/
To schedule a visit to Jubilee Academy or for more information, call 502-439-4400, or email hmgoodale01@gmail.com.

Jubilee Academy expands to provide excellence

ImageI’m excited to announce that I have acquired a second schoolroom for Jubilee Academy, directly across from my current room. The staff at Kavanaugh Life Enrichment Center was generous in their rent requirements, so I decided to add the room. This will expand our opportunities to provide an excellent educational experience. I plan for my instructional assistant to use the room to work with small groups of students on concepts that need reinforcement. The extra space also will allow me to enlarge the library to include more books, which will enrich students’ experience. I hope to have the room set up in time for Open House, which takes place Tuesday, July 16, 6-8 p.m., and Thursday, July 18, 4-7 p.m.