2021 Year in Review

I know I’m late with my life update this year. It’s already February! I didn’t know what to say or how to say it. As for my kids, as of December 31st, they are 9, 11, 13, 16, 20, 21. The oldest is a senior in college. The next in line is building a computer 3D modeling business. In 2021 he worked on contract with companies from Brazil and Korea. He also sells assets and tools that he’s created and has big plans for this year, which I guess you’ll hear about next year!

Here are maybe my two favorite pictures from the year.

Here my husband and I are pictured with one of my former camp kids. We “randomly” ran into him in September. When I was in college, I ran a summer program for kids through CityTeam Ministries in Chester, PA. It was a full day camp for the whole summer. We had the same kids year after year, and I was fully invested, so I got to know, especially some of the kids, very well. I went to visit their homes in the projects and took them on excursions. They all had turns coming to my parents’ house to work on a camp newsletter. Brennan remembers my mom serving him fried eggplant. He had thought it was breaded chicken. Must have traumatized him since he remembers 25 years later. :0 He told me of how he got baptized and how I changed his life. Great memory for me. These kids had families that used the services of the drug-rehab and homeless shelter. They all had tough stories. He was the kind of kid that I sometimes prayed the Lord would just keep him alive. He did and abundantly so. This was a big treat for me last year.

Homeschooling looks different in different places. This picture is from Uganda. My husband has a friend, who is a refugee there himself, though in college. The kids in the refugee camp have had limited access to education, especially since COVID requirements shut down all meetings, including schools. He wanted to do something for them and started talking with my husband about homeschooling and it developed into a plan. He started a non-profit and got together some laptops and teachers. The teachers take the laptops to homes two hours at a time. They get in three homes before the battery dies. There is limited electricity in the camp, but the teachers charge the laptops overnight. The only focus is literacy and computer literacy. Many of these kids have never touched a computer before. The university student, our friend, is taking our EP coding course and has plans to teach the kids coding to try and work towards getting them into jobs. There are way more kids wanting to take part than can at this point, so I am sure this idea of his will keep growing.

My husband finished the Biblical Hebrew course which you see on the site, and is planning to add to it as he is able. He is still working on the Romani Bible translation, a big undertaking, but they have made tons of progress. He meets weekly (online) with Roma families and they read the Bible together in Romani and pray together.  I am working on some more miracle stories for our 153love.net site as well. I will hopefully be getting those up over the next several weeks. I also am working on getting together more of the Good Morning, Lord! lessons edited into books and then getting those edited versions onto our EP site and the videos uploaded to YouTube. I have written over 300 at this point.

The rest of the work we’re officially doing you probably know about from the site. Thanks for partnering with us and being part of our EP family. I know many of you are also my dear brothers and sisters in Christ. I’m thankful He’s brought us together for such a time as this.


New Courses and Books 2022

UPDATE: The books and courses have been released. Here’s the new blog post with all the info.

Update: The last math books are being published this week. I will start working on getting all the new links on the site this week. Once everything is ready, I’ll have a new post here with more info specific to each course so you can be confident about the changes and what they mean to you. All the new math books have a big NEW badge on them. The new courses when they appear in My EP will all also say NEW on them. You’ll be able to know for sure you are using the new update! 

Below is the information I released before on the new Math 1, 2, and 3 courses. Here’s the new info. We’re releasing updates to Math 4 and Math 5 as well. Math 4 is getting daily fraction practice for a good part of the year, and the answer key has word problems worked out as much as we could. Math 5 is getting more examples in the lessons and parent guide as well as being reworked a little in a few places. Other little updates in the books include replacing all the bug pictures. For the bug lovers out there, there are still some, but cartoon images this time. I had also asked in the Preschool and Kindergarten facebook group for your children’s names. I used that list and worked to include lots of new names into the new math courses. 🙂

In high school, Literature and Composition II is getting a whole new course. There will be books for a complete offline course as well. Geometry is in the works, but we couldn’t get that done for this year.

The new course links will start to appear on the site in April so you can begin with the new courses if you are ready. You’ll be able to add them to My EP with Parent Add-Ons, and we’ll be making more announcements as they are added officially into the course blocks on My EP.

I’ve been working to update several of our math courses. Some other courses are getting updates, but levels 1, 2, and 3 are getting whole new courses. We typically switch in new courses around the 4th of July. By then most people are finished their school year but not starting the new year yet.

The old courses will be available for you to finish if you will find yourselves in the middle of one of those courses when summer rolls around. You should just finish out the course you are in.

The change will mostly just affect those in Level 1 Math currently. The other levels are not really introducing new content. Things are just moved around to get in some more practice with multidigit addition and subtraction in Level 2 and multiplication and division facts practice in Level 3. The only real content change takes place in Level 1 Math. In the new course, they work on all their math facts up to 9 plus 9 and 18 minus 9. That means in the new Level 2 Math they will be expected to know those.

The current online course and offline parent guide both make mention of that and ask you to practice those facts over your summer break.

We will plan on releasing all the new books to match these new courses in April. In April we will also release all the updates to the other books.

All the Little Things

I was thinking how no one was going to notice all the little things I did to get ready for Christmas morning. No one is going to recognize my thoughtfulness in wrapping the silly little things in their stockings so they have things to unwrap while they wait for grandparents to arrive and settle in on Christmas morning. They won’t appreciate the organization and lists to make sure everyone has the same number of gifts so no one feels left out as we go round and open the gifts on Christmas morning. No one is going to say thanks for making sure Christmas Eve dinner is all planned so we can get to the Christmas Eve service. No one is going to stop and realize that everyone got their own favorite treats in their stocking, just that they are happy to get what was in their own. I doubt anyone will thank me for organizing the gifts so everyone can find theirs or that I planned the order of gifts for optimal happiness. 😊 They will just be happy. And that was the point, to make them happy, not to get the thank you.

I may not be wiping down the counters or the mirrors for the millionth time for their happiness, but just because it needs to be done, and I can do it. It makes me happy to keep the home in order and moving along, even if no one notices the multitude of little things that us moms (and dads) constantly do to keep life happy for our families. No one says thank you when groceries need to be put away. No one says thanks for getting the bills paid. Our kids live in a bit of ignorance when it comes to the many blessings they receive from having you as their mother or father or grandparent to take care of them.

I know it’s easy to sigh and wonder why they can’t keep their fingers off the mirrors, but it’s also a joy to do it with a heart of gratitude. There’s a verse in Proverbs that goes something like this: The stable is clean where there are no oxen. I’m thankful my home is full, even if that means there is always something to be wiped from the counters.

And it’s a glimpse at the Father’s heart. He sends the rain on the righteous and the unrighteous, meeting their basic needs. The sun rises to give us all light and heat each day. It sets to give us rest. Jesus healed even the ungrateful ones. It pleases the Father to care for His children. It pleases the Father to care for His creation, even when they don’t recognize it. And I wonder how many “little things” I miss that my good Father is doing for me.

You know how good it feels when someone does notice and stops to say thanks. We should give that gift to our good Father. And when the bad stuff happens, when the problems pile up, instead of complaining as if God is laying down on the job, it should remind us of all the things we’ve neglected being thankful for, and we should rejoice. It should wake us up to thanksgiving and praise. Problems are temporary, but the love of our Father is for all eternity.

Grateful for Sticking with It

Easy Peasy is the curriculum I nearly talked myself out of using many times. I’m so glad I didn’t listen.

Poetry? Surely my active, ADHD, hyperlexic son would hate poetry. But we stuck with it and Mr. David’s videos became one of my son’s favorite EP memories. He even recognized several poems in other contexts. I’m so glad we stuck with it.

Such hard reading assignments! No way will he enjoy archaic language and long chapters – in first and second grade? But we stuck with it. And his vocabulary blossomed. And his comprehension grew. And he liked it.

But having him restate what happened in the chapter? No way. And I wish we had stuck with it. By fifth grade I learned that one of the best ways to help a hyperlexic learner (or any learner for that matter) with comprehension is to have them restate what happened often in a reading passage. It increases speaking skills, articulation, summarization, comprehension, visualization, and application skills.

Heidi? No way will my son enjoy a book about a sweet little girl. But I stuck with it and he loved it. In fact he shivered with excitement at some parts, laughed out loud at others, and tears welled up when the grandfather reconciled with God.

Swiss Family Robinson? No way! It’s boring and scientific and wordy. But I stuck with it. And he liked it. He still has his diorama he made of the island.

And I can’t count the times I thought this about a science lesson or a history lesson. “He’s not going to like this…” and he loves it.

But the biggest surprise of all was Penrod. Reading about an irreverent, irrepressible, impulsive, indolent, and irascible boy was one thing I don’t think my own incorrigible imp of a son needs to do. It’s bad enough reading “Calvin and Hobbes!” But he laughed and laughed through the chapters. So did I! And right when I thought there was no hope for Penrod, we meet his great-aunt. Her wisdom in raising wild boys gave me such hope and encouragement. I’m so very, very glad we didn’t listen to myself talk us out of this experience.

-By EP user Beth Swan

Thank You and Coming Soon Announcement

Thank you to everyone who has given donations to my family. I realized that I hadn’t been sending thank you notes. I always write a thank you note to anyone who donates to the site, but because the donations to my family were mixed up with the registrations to My EP, those didn’t get notes. I’ve gotten the system straightened out so that everyone gets a thank you note now. So, sorry if you weren’t personally thanked, but we do receive all your gifts and we are grateful for your love and support. We don’t have any paid work. Your donations are what the Lord is using to provide for our family.

I also wanted to say that there are three new books coming soon. I will hopefully have the links up by next week.

  1. I have the next Good Morning, Lord! book ready. It’s the lessons from the book of Exodus. Genesis is already available.
  2. I wrote a very short choose-your-own adventure type book. Let’s say it’s for around ages 8 – 11. You are on a mission trip to build a greenhouse in a Roma community in the Republic of North Macedonia. My husband and I were church planters there years back. In the book are some of our color photos from our time there. It’s called “Acknowledge Him in All Your Ways.” You’ll find the right path if you chose to trust God is in control and use His Word to guide you. 🙂
  3. The big news is that I have a new novel ready. I wrote in back in January of 2021 and have been working on editing it, on and off all year. It’s called The Trumpet and the Swan. I will tell you more about it at the release, but I will say that it is another end times story, but this one is set in modern day. It’s not trying to predict anything because that would defeat the purpose. The point of the book is that you don’t need to know everything, you just need to know Jesus. It’s teaching having a relationship with Jesus, walking with Him. Hopefully it’s just as engaging as The King Will Make a Way.

Once I get all the work done to get these published, I will work on getting them on the site somewhere as well. The Good Morning lessons can be found here. The Trumpet and the Swan will be available in hardcover. The King Will Make a Way is available in hardcover now!

Updated: The books are out. Find them here.