Thursday, September 22, 2016

News and Notes for September & October

     We have officially reached the fall season!  Fall has always been one of my (Mrs. Lipskoch) favorite seasons!  Cooler temps (hopefully!), colorful leaves, and fun holidays to look forward to are some of the exciting things that happen in the fall.

     Around here, the thing that always kicks off our fall season is the Tent Meeting.  This is an encouraging and exciting time for us here at Harvest.  Our hearts are always full after the evenings of hearing the encouraging messages from God's Word.  Tuesday night is our School emphasis night, and Bro. Scott Justice will be preaching.  Those of you who have heard Bro. Scott before will know what a blessing he is to us here.  Your students will also be doing a bit of singing that night, so you don't want to miss that! 

     Don't forget that Monday through Friday of this coming up week will be adjusted school hours.  We will begin at 9:15 instead of 8:15 each morning.  This allows the teachers and student to be able to attend tent meeting without being exhausted by the end of the week!

     We have scheduled a field trip for October 28.  We will be combining this field trip with our fall party.  Mrs. Rhonda will be heading up plans for that, so if you have any ideas or questions, be sure to get in touch with her.  Our plan right now is to go to Tannehill State Park and enjoy some outdoor time in the beauty of God's creation.  This is a whole-school field trip, so we hope lots of you are able to attend. 

     The student will begin enjoying the cooler temps soon, but remind them that school work must still be done!  There will be several days away from school in the fall season, so they need to work diligently while they have to opportunity to.  Have a great week, we hope to see you at Tent Meeting, and Happy Fall, Y'all!


Thursday, July 7, 2016

Summer Fun and School Supplies!

     I hope you are all having an enjoyable summer break!  Mr. and Mrs. Lipskoch have returned from their big summer adventure...with most of their sanity intact!  We had a good time, and want to state our appreciation for the prayers and gifts you all gave to make our trip possible.

     We are back at work here on campus and are in the middle of preparation for the upcoming school year.  A couple of dates to remember are July 18, which is the last day to enroll for the upcoming school year, and August 10, which is the first day of school.  We will be having Orientation on August 8.  The calendar can be viewed on the website.

     I have already had some parents asking about school supply lists.  Our list hasn't differed much from last year.  A few items that are a "must" would be:

       *  KJV Bible.
       * Magazine holder for PACEs. (metal or sturdy plastic)
       * Box, cup, or other type of desktop organizer for school supplies.

     If your student chooses to use mechanical pencils, please remember that they will also need lead and eraser refills for those pencils.  (Mrs. Lipskoch may monitor these refills for the students in her Learning Center.)  Tissues and hand sanitizer will also be kept by the supervisors.  (Small personal sizes may be kept by older students in their own office.)

      Parents of younger students, crayons and glue sticks are probably the items that will need replacing the most.  They tend to get used up pretty quickly!  The 24 pack of crayons is probably the best size -- not too few, and not to many for them to keep up with.  Mrs. Lipskoch does prefer her 6 and under students to use regular wooden pencils, rather than mechanical.  (There is not enough lead in the world to keep a 4 year old in pencil lead!)       

     Just in case you need it, here is a link to our printable school supply list.  If you have any specific questions about school supplies--or anything else--feel free to message or call the school.

     Please pray as we prepare for another great school year here at Harvest!  See you soon!

Image result for school supplies

Monday, February 8, 2016

Valentine Party!

     Our annual Valentine Party is scheduled for this Friday, February 12th. As always, parents are welcome to attend as they are able. Lunch will be provided that day for the party. (Your student will still need to bring a snack for morning break.) If you are able and would like to bring something for that day for the party, please contact Mrs. Clevenger and let her know what you are able to bring. Some ideas are chips & dip, candy, and drinks.

      The students will be exchanging Valentine cards that day, if they would like to. Participation in this is not a requirement. However, if your student decides to give out Valentines, they must give one to every other student so no one is left out. Attached to this letter, you will find a complete list of the students to make this easier for your student to make sure each of their classmates get a Valentine.

      We will be out of school Monday, February 15th for President's day.

      Regional Student Convention(RSC) is March 14th – 17th.

      RSC commitments are needed by Monday, February 15th. We need to finalize registration. You can meet with us before school at drop off, or after school at pick-up to handle these items. Please call us with any questions.

      The students are really working diligently this quarter. We expect to see many of them make the Honor Roll for third quarter. Thank you for encouraging them to work hard in their studies as we begin the last half of the school year!

Student Name List

Lilly Caldwell       Sydney Jackson       Jenna Key           Levi Lipskoch
Riley Holmes       Will Vaughan         Rhiannon Wingo       Loxton Findley
Clayton Randall       Levi Findley       Julian Stanford        Sam Vaughan
Maddie Vaughan      Ethan Lipskoch      Jaden Lipskoch     Hannah Stanford
Dalton Randall         Jake Key               Landon Nolen        Sierra Scott
Dawson Scott       Haley Clevenger       Autumn Dye        Josh Randall
Danae Randall     Tyler Vasiceck        Shane Trejo

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Funeral Arrangements and School Closing

As many of you already know, we lost a member of our school family last Saturday. Tabitha Smitherman, Sydney's mother, was tragically killed in a car accident. Her two boys were in the vehicle with her, and are currently recovering from their injuries at Children's Hospital.

Tabitha's funeral arrangements are as follows: visitation from 12:30 to 2:30 Thursday, February 4, at Peoples Chapel Funeral Home on Brooklane Drive in Hueytown. The funeral service will immediately follow the visitation, and the graveside service will take place at Big Creek Baptist Cemetery.

In order to allow any who would like to attend these services to be able to do so, we will be canceling school on that day.

Many of you have expressed a desire to help in any way, and if we learn of anything that needs to be done, we will be sure to pass on the information to you. Tabitha's parents and family have expressed their thanks for the support and prayers they have received.

Please continue to pray for Tabitha's family, especially her children, as they begin to cope with the loss of their mother. We are thankful that Tabitha professed a belief in Jesus as her Saviour, and is now in Heaven with Him. Please be mindful that you do not know how much time you have on this earth, and where you will spend eternity is of vital importance. If there is anything we can do to help you or your students with this matter, please make the time to talk to one of us.

Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life:
he that believeth in me, though he were dead,
yet shall he live:”
John 10:25

Monday, January 25, 2016

How Does It Work? Scoring

    It's been a little while since we have done a "How Does It Work?" post.  These posts explain the ideas behind the procedures that are a part of the ACE curriculum.   In this post, the scoring procedure will be explained in detail, including the benefits of having your student check and grade their own work.

     "Scoring" is the process in which the student takes the work that they have completed and checks it against a Score Key which has the correct answers in it.  Throughout the PACE, there are specific places where the student is required to stop, raise their flag to get a supervisor's attention, and ask permission to score the last few pages of their work.  The supervisor then looks over the completed work, asks the student to quote from memory the Scripture verse found at the beginning of the PACE, and signs the strip which gives the student permission to score.  Then the student goes to the designated scoring stations in the middle of the Learning Center, retrieves their correct Key, and uses a red pen to compare their work to the Score Key.  A red "X" is placed by any incorrect answer, and the student then returns to their office to make any necessary corrections.  After these have been made, the student raises their flag again and receives permission to restore their incorrect answers.  A circle is placed around the red X if the answer is correct and the student returns to their office to continue with their daily goals.  

    The benefits of this process are many.  The process of reading and carefully looking at each answer reinforces the learning of the material.  Also, the student benefits from learning the very important ability of beings responsible for holding themselves to a standard.  They must learn to understand that they are not always correct, and to correct themselves.  

     Probably the most important aspect of the scoring process is the development of character in the student.  Because they are expected to correct themselves, they must learn to develop the required character traits of humility and thoroughness that it takes to complete the scoring correctly.   They are also taking the responsibility of learning to manage their time and energy to be successful in their work.  

    Usually, the first thing that crosses parent's minds when they are new to the ACE program is "Well, that seems an easy way to cheat.  You are giving them the answers!"  Yes, we are.  And yes, the temptation to take shortcuts is there.  And we have seen just about all the ways that a student can think of to find these shortcuts!  There are several stop-gaps in place to bring any misuse of the procedures to the supervisor's attention.  Scoring takes place in the center of the room, under the notice of the supervisors.  The PACE completion guidelines are also helpful in catching any carelessness in the scoring process.  And PACE tests are always a good indicator of what a student actually knows.  If a student makes a very low grade or fails a PACE test, but their work throughout the PACE has been perfect, it raises a red flag.  The supervisor then can look through the PACE and speak with the student if there is a need.  

     Another concern many parents have is that the scoring process is to "complicated" for their student to handle.  It takes too much time away from their other work; you can't expect them to be able to follow through with the more complex scoring; they are not mature enough to handle the responsibility -- these are all excuses parents have made for their students when scoring has become an issue.  However, the ACE Procedures Manual says it best: "Even a second level student can score Physics."  Because the issue is simply one of matching.  The student must be trained that "close enough" is not good enough!  If your answer does not match the Score Key (with rare exceptions), then your answer is incorrect.  

     The scoring process is an important step in training a student to take responsibility for their own learning, which is the goal of the ACE program.  Of all the processes in this curriculum, it is the one that really puts the character of the student to the test.  Shortcuts during in scoring procedures leads to lazy students, poor performance, and low test grades.  Review of the material and the correct answer during the scoring process cements the knowledge in the student's mind.  

     I hope this look into another important aspect of the Learning Center has helped you understand a little more about what takes place in your student's daily school responsibilities.  Encourage your student to take the job of scoring very carefully, and to be diligent and honest in this process every day.  They will be better students and grow in character when they put into practice the traits they have been studying in their PACEs! 

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Family Traditions

     I have been thinking about family traditions lately.  I suppose that this is the time of year when traditions are most noticed, but of course, you can certainly have traditions through the whole year!  I hope each of your families have special traditions at Christmas time and at other times of the year. 

   Unfortunately, the faster pace lives we live now make traditions seem like a thing of the past.  Think back to your own childhood.  What are some things that your family did together?  Traditions are one thing that gives us a tangible part of what a family means.  Your family traditions may only make sense to your family!  But that's OK, because that is what make them special.

     Now, think of your family today.  Do you think your kids can say "Every year (week, day, month) we do _____________ together."  I hope so.  Because if we don't pass on the importance of traditions, how will our kids know how to have a family tradition of their own?  Traditions aren't something you do once for the novelty and then never visit again.  They must become a part of the fabric of your family if they are to have any meaning to them.  Several studies have been done on how children of families that have strong traditions are able to do better when faced with challenges in their day to day life.   Family traditions don't have to be elaborate rituals---simply eating around a table and having a conversation is beneficial to a child's social, emotional, and language development.


     Not that the elaborate rituals aren't fun!  I know several families who began the tradition of "Elf on the Shelf" for their kids.  Some families pick a special birthday number to have a big party.  Some have a special vacation spot they visit every year.  The what isn't as important as the fact that it takes place.  And the fact that your kids can say to their kids, "When I was little we always..."   And hopefully, they will believe in the importance of having traditions when they have families of their own. 

     Take a few minutes and talk to your kids.  See if they can come up with something they feel is a "tradition" in your house.  You might be surprised to find out that it is not what you think your "traditions" are at all!  It may open up a whole new list of ideas and topics for you as a family.  I remember reading a statement someone made once that said something like, "Our family history is only one generation away from being lost forever." 

     Of course, some of the most important traditions you give to your children come from the faith you have as a family.  A belief in and a relationship with Jesus Christ is the most important thing you can pass on to your children.  This faith goes beyond simple tradition into the realm of the eternal.  Pray with and for your kids.  Read the Scriptures to them.  Try to make this an everyday occurrence. This is one "tradition" you can't afford to ignore in your family.  In fact, we are commanded by God to do so in Deuteronomy 6:6-7. "And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart; And thou shalt teach them diligently to thy children, and thou shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up."  That pretty much covers the whole day.  Your kids will be exposed to enough of everything else through the rest of their lives; it is up to you as a parent to make sure they have a strong foundation on which to build the rest of their lives.   One website makes this as easy as pressing "Play."   "Keys for Kids"  gives a Scripture and devotional every day that is on point for kids and what they are facing in their lives.  They have made it very convenient to receive through email, online, or in the mail.  Family dinner may be the perfect time to have family devotions.  Or you may want to have them just before the kids head to bed. 


    So, as we are looking to a new year and enjoying some of our Christmas traditions as a family, I hope you take some time to reflect on the importance of these traditions and how they help build a strong family.  And maybe 2016 can be the year you begin some new traditions in your family.  Merry Christmas and a blessed New Year!

Friday, August 28, 2015

How Does It Work? -- Break Times

    One thing that parents seem to comment on as they get to know our procedures around here is the fact that we have ten to fifteen minutes of break time every hour.  Through our dealings with parents whose students have been in the public school system, we have realized that recess has become an endangered species in our schools.  Even as people are complaining about obese, unhealthy kids, they seem to be taking away out-of-your-seat time in the classrooms.
     Most of the time, adults are not required to work all day without an opportunity to at least get away from their work for a lunch period and a few minutes here and there through the day. Yet school kids are expected to sit and pay attention for several hours a day, and most of them only get one period of down-time in an eight hour day!

      Kids are wiggly.  They are easily distracted. They get bogged down by doing the same thing for a long period of time.  (If  that thing requires mental effort--they can watch TV all day!)  And when all these things happen, it can make the learning and retention of their school work difficult, if not impossible!  So, we have break times.  We tell the students to get up, get out of their seats, and get moving in some fashion.

     Also, studies have shown that kids who spend time playing, especially outdoors, are able to perform better in their academic work.  Their brains get a "reset" by taking time to look away from their books, get their blood circulating, and engage other neural pathways. 

     Another benefit to break times is the fact the kids get much needed confidence boosters.  Break time is often the best time for students to learn lessons in perseverance and patience.  A kid who may be struggling in an academic subject can shine on the ball field and gain the confidence needed to come back in an tackle that tough concept.  Students who shine academically need the opportunity to work on their physical development to help them be well-rounded as an individual.  They need to strike out and then get back up to bat again.  The lessons learned in these areas will benefit them for the rest of their lives.

    One of the most obvious perks of break time is in the way that it teaches everyone how to treat other people with kindness and friendliness.  When kids are encouraged to spend time with other kids of differing ages, they must learn the interpersonal relationship skills that are so necessary in their adult lives.  Older kids have to learn to be examples of the right kind of things, and younger kids have to learn that it sometimes pays off to listen to someone who has done it before you.  Playing as a team, depending on others, and working with people's weaknesses are all things that will stand them in good stead in their future work environments.

     So, we plan to keep break time an important part of our school day.  Because, as we have found,  "it does a body (and mind) good!"