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Jubilee Academy announces workshop for parents whose children struggle academically

Teaching a child with special needs doesn't have to drive you crazy.
Teaching a child with special needs doesn’t have to drive you crazy.

Do you feel called to homeschool your special needs child? Whether you’re currently teaching your child at home or are considering doing so, or if you want to more effectively support your traditional student, Jubilee Academy’s Teaching Students who Struggle Workshop is designed for you. The workshop is taught by Jubilee Academy Director Heather Peavler Goodale, who is certified in both regular and special education. Heather has taught students with special needs, such as ADHD, learning disabilities, and Autism spectrum disorders, for three years. She also has three children with learning or attention struggles, so she understands what it’s like to teach and parent children who struggle.

During the workshop, you will learn research-based strategies to help your children be successful, and you will receive tips on how to reduce the stress of educating special needs children. The workshop will take place three Tuesdays in February, Feb. 4, 11, and 25, 6:30-8 p.m., at Jubilee Academy, 7505 Kavanaugh Road, Crestwood, KY 40014. Parents should plan to attend all three sessions if possible. Cost is $45 for one or both parents to attend. Financial aid is available for those who need it.

For more information, or to sign up, contact Heather Peavler, 502-439-4400, or Registration deadline is Jan. 28.

God is good ALL the time

Psalm 23

Have you ever heard someone say, after something goes right, “God is good!”? If you’re like me, you’ve heard that phrase countless times. But how many times have you heard someone say, “God is good!” after something goes wrong, or when they’re going through a tough time? Here’s a more challenging question: How many times have you said, “God is good!” when something has gone wrong in your own life?

Is God good all the time? Of course He is. If you’re a Christian, you probably think that’s a ridiculous question. But since we seldom celebrate our sorrows by stating that, “God is good!”, I believe it’s a fair question.

Yes, God is good all the time. He’s good when you get the promotion and when you lose the job. He’s good when you find out you’re pregnant and when you miscarry. He’s good when your kids make you proud and when they devastate you. He’s good on your wedding day and on the day you find out your spouse has had an affair. He’s good when the tests come back negative and when you find out you’ve got six weeks to live. He’s good when your name is clear and when you finally have to admit the ugly truth of what you’ve done. God is good ALL the time. Not just when things go right.

In my own life, the past couple of years have taught me more about this concept than the rest of my life put together. I have been a Christian for 20 years this month, and God’s grace has carried me through many small and medium difficulties. But I’m convinced that, the longer we live, the larger the difficulties we have to face. At least that’s been my experience.

Right now, I’m seeing God do amazing work at Jubilee Academy, and that is so encouraging! It’s exciting! It’s something to celebrate! It’s a feel-good kind of thing. God is good!

But I’m also seeing God do extraordinary work in other areas of my life, but it’s a struggle. It’s not enjoyable. It’s painful. It’s definitely not feel-good. At times it’s discouraging–even devastating. But, because God is at work, it is exciting and it is something to celebrate. God is good!

So, the next time you hear that phrase, “God is good!”, remember, God is always good, no matter what we’re going through or how our circumstances appear. I challenge you to say and to believe that “God is good!” all the time, no matter what’s going on.

Top Ten Reasons I’m Excited About Jubilee Academy

ImageFour weeks from today we begin the school year at Jubilee Academy. 28 days. That’s really not much time. I’m excited about this school year for several reasons:

1. God has proven that He is in this. He has provided and blessed beyond what I would have  imagined throughout the process of starting this school. We have a fabulous location with truly kind and encouraging hosts. I just learned that we will have a third classroom available, which is an unexpected blessing.

2. I get to teach my own children. This was the catalyst for launching Jubilee Academy. I wanted to teach my children, but I also desired to remain a classroom teacher. God has worked this out beautifully.

3. Children from amazing families are registered. There are many Godly families who have decided to enroll their children in both the full-time and part-time programs. These families share my vision for an education that equips their children to not just know the what and the how, but the why, an education that equips them to know what they believe and to be able to defend those beliefs.

4. I get to teach children from diverse backgrounds. Some of the families who have joined our school have adopted children from all over the world. I admire these families so much and am honored to be able to teach a diverse group of students. When I started this endeavor, I hoped and prayed for a diverse population. Now I will work with students from countries such as Ethiopia, Liberia, India, and China.

5. I get to partner with families to disciple their children in the Christian faith. Having worked in public school for the past couple of years, I was not allowed to openly share my faith as part of my everyday curriculum. I did have opportunities to mention matters of faith, and I took full advantage of any occasion to legally discuss the Gospel, but at Jubilee Academy, faith is central.

6. I get to use the best research-based strategies and to meet students’ individual needs without being constrained by a superintendent’s or principal’s agenda, or by laws such as No Child Left Behind or Common Core Standards. The absence of bureaucracy will be refreshing!

7. Jubilee Academy offers programs to meet a variety of needs. Students get to come 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5 days. Some will attend half-days. I have been able to partner with families to address their individual situations. There are typical students, students on the Autism Spectrum, students with ADHD, and students for whom English is a second language. From the family who is bringing 10 adopted children for reading and writing instruction, to the pastor who wants more time with his kids during the week, to the mom who just wants a little help with math, to the single mom who works full-time but wants an affordable faith-based education–Jubilee Academy is a place where they all can get their children’s needs met.  I am truly amazed that God is allowing me to be a part of  serving these incredible families!

8. I’m partnering with two amazing educators who share my vision, are flexible, and support me 100 percent. They will be a blessing to our students. Thank you, Cheri and Janet!

9. We have a beautiful setting in which to learn. It’s a wooded area with nature trails, campfire areas that make excellent outdoor classrooms, playgrounds, picnic tables, and natural beauty as far as we can see. We will be constantly reminded of our Creator as we learn to grow closer to Him.

10. Since God is clearly doing this, I don’t have to fake being perfect! Throughout the year, I will make mistakes. It’s inevitable. I’m a recovering perfectionist, so this bothers me. I want to be perfect for these incredible students and families. But I just can’t. There is freedom in acknowledging this. Our pastor has been going through a sermon series that has resonated with me. It’s about the beatitudes. According to the beatitudes, in order to be truly healthy, we need to acknowledge that we need help. We can’t pull off a Godly life in our own strength. The week he preached that sermon, I asked God to provide help for a particular situation that affected my role at Jubilee. He did–almost immediately. Another thing the beatitudes teach us is that we don’t have it all together, so we don’t need to pretend. We need to be authentic. So, I’m not pretending: I’m not going to be the perfect teacher or administrator. But I’m depending on the One who is. I’m excited to see what He has in store for all of us as we embark on the adventure ahead!

Students experience math at Jubilee Academy

ImageI’ve given much thought to how to teach math at Jubilee Academy. This is a unique situation because I’m only teaching two days per week, and because I’m dealing with multiple grade levels. It’s difficult to use a traditional curriculum or scope and sequence under these circumstances. Therefore, I had to think extra creatively about math.

This is what I came up with:

All students will complete a daily math review sheet on their level. Then I, or one of my assistants, will check it and go over anything they got wrong.

Students also will have a daily mini-lesson with me. I will tailor instruction toward their individual levels, rather than their grade levels. For example, if we’re studying fractions, there may be three groups: One works on identifying fractions. Another studies equivalent fractions. The last group adds fractions. Students will learn this in a mini-lesson with me, and then they’ll have some practice work to complete.

They also will have concept reinforcement stations, where they may work individually or in groups. The stations will have games and tasks related to concepts they have learned previously. They’ll have some choice in which stations they complete, but will be accountable to work on a variety of tasks and to work for the entire math workshop.

I also will have a whole group number talk, during which we’ll investigate ways to solve problems. Students will articulate what strategies they think should be used to solve the problem and will talk me through their thinking. I’ll reflect on their thinking and ask questions to stimulate further dialog to encourage critical thinking.

My young students and those who need extra time with a teacher also will work individually or in small groups with my instructional assistant. I want to ensure that each student receives adequate instruction with each concept, because math concepts generally build on each other. 

In everything we do at Jubilee Academy, we want students to understand that it’s OK to mistakes. Students who don’t make mistakes generally aren’t trying new things. Great learning can take place when students try different approaches. However, we will ensure that we clear up misconceptions before releasing students to work on their own.

My goal for math instruction is to help students understand the how and the why of math concepts. Since they will receive small group and individual instruction, work at stations on new and review material, and have opportunities to share their thinking, I believe they will be well-rounded, confident mathematicians. 

Jubilee Academy Writing Center

Jubilee Academy Writing Center

This is the writing center in our second classroom. We just acquired the additional space yesterday, and are trying hard to have it ready by this week’s open house, which takes place Tuesday, July 16, 6-8 p.m., and Thursday, July 18, 4-7 p.m.

Jubilee Academy Open House July 16 and 18

Jubilee Academy equips students to cooperate, collaborate, and think critically for the glory of God.

Jubilee Academy is hosting two open houses, July 16, 6-8 p.m., and July 18, 4-7 p.m. If you’re considering enrolling your children, this would be an excellent time to meet the faculty, tour the facility, and register for the year.

There still are a few spots left at Jubilee Academy, which is a cottage school in Crestwood, KY, serving students in grades K-6. We meet Mondays and Wednesdays during the school year, which runs Sept. 4, 2013-May 14, 2014. Content covered includes reading, writing, and math, with science and social studies incorporated where it fits naturally. Students learn from a Biblical worldview throughout the day.

There is much excitement as students enroll and as interested parents make inquiries about Jubilee Academy. Because of the response I’ve received, I’m preparing to hire an instructional assistant. There even is a possibility we’ll be able to acquire an additional classroom where the instructional assistant will work with small groups of students. This also will allow us to accept a few extra students, with a cap at 20.

So if you’re thinking about partnering with Jubilee Academy to educate your children, please visit one of the open houses or contact me to set up an appointment. You may call 502-439-4400 or email for more information or to schedule a tour.

Growing Toward Our Goals

Growing Toward Our Goals

This bulletin board is designed for students to celebrate their victories. When they meet one of their goals, they get to post it on one of the fence posts. As the year goes on, they will have many victories on the posts, which is a tangible way for them to see their progress.