For the past two years we’ve been using Alpha and Omega‘s Switched on Schoolhouse. It’s a computer based curriculum that includes games, puzzles, and video walkthroughs by professors and teachers that lead the child through each lesson. One of the other features which we really enjoy is that it also will do 95% of the grading for you and is a stickler for spelling. For instance, if they get an answer right but misspell it, the system will automatically deduct 1% for each misspelling. One of my favorite features is that both kids can do their schoolwork at the same time. Just install the network client version, point it to the database on the primary computer and it’s up and running. It is also a great savings point for us as we can use the same software over again since Kylie is two grades ahead of Caleb – just create a new “student” account and assign it the 7th grade workload and “BAM!” he’s ready to go.
At the end of the last school year, Caleb came to us and asked that he be able to use books for this school year. He had been having trouble with his handwriting and he really wanted to spend the time to improve it. We agreed, but opted to stay with the Alpha and Omega publications so that he would still stay in the same teaching style. Unfortunately, in order to order the Lifepac (the equivalent curriculum to SoS) for 6th grade it would cost us $275 + shipping. We only had roughly 1/3 of that available. I figured that I could purchase it next month, but by that time Kylie would have already been doing her school work for a week and a half. I prefer that they do their work at the same time which makes things easier for us.
So, last night we left to pick up Kylie from her babysitting job before heading to Young Marines and our path ended up taking us past the local homeschool supply store. They have a huge selection of new and used so we thought we’d swing by and see what was available. As we headed to the used section, I immediately found a Lifepac Bible for 6th grade that had EVERYTHING (teacher’s book, tests, workbooks) minus the first workbook. Right next to that was the Lifepac Math for 6th grade with the same contents. It turned out that just that day a man had come in with a full set minus the first book in each. The price? $15 each. All I had to do was to go home and order the first book from AOP at $5 each.
$15 x 5 = $75 + tax = $80.25
$4.75 x 5 = $18.75 + shipping = $23.75
My budget? $105
1) God is sovereign in all things. He put it in the mind of the man to take his curriculum to the store on that one specific day at that specific time. The staff had time to organize and price it accordingly, then put it on the shelf. No one else picked it up (full sets are extremely rare to come by, especially with the workbooks in pristine condition), and it was exactly in our price range. God also orchestrated our day such that we would not just pick up Kylie early and head home so she could get dressed there as we would normally do, but our path took us directly past the homeschool store. Lastly, God put it in my mind to “just go and see what they have available”.
2) God knows the cares and concerns of my heart and He will meet them when they are in accordance with His will. In Matthew 6 Jesus told us:
“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
“Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.
Given that information, I can conclude that God knows my needs and He will fulfill them. He knows the things that are pressing heavy on my heart and it is His desire to meet my needs. Psalm 37 concludes:
Delight yourself in the Lord,
and he will give you the desires of your heart.
See that? Delight myself in the Lord – not with sports, or with television, or with vain ambition and HE will give me the desires of my heart. Does that mean that if the desire of my heart is for a Porsche then I’ll get one? Nope. Not even if I really, REALLY desire it. See, if I am delighting myself in the Lord, then my desires will conform to His desires. My wants will become His wants. In this process, along with my prayer life, I am opening myself up to God and revealing to Him my nature that, through the transformative process of sanctification, seeks after Him and desires to become more like Him in every way. Therefore, my desires, conforming to His purposes, will be fulfilled.
In this case we see that God has met our needs again. Occasions such as ours last night at the homeschool store are not rare and are anticipated when we see an issue coming up where we have a specific need that we know is outside of our ability to control. May God be praised for all things. For our salvation, for our needs, and for homeschool curriculum.