1. Happy New School YearAm I really ready for this?
Just starting, as so many are, in this crazy new environment? Perhaps you have been thinking, praying, and planning for months. Your curriculum is ready to go and so are you. It’s been a long summer and the kids are ready for something new. They need some structure.
Second thoughts creep in. Perhaps I was too hasty. I’ll never keep up. What if the kids don’t get it, or can’t stay on schedule? Remember, it’s your homeschool and your schedule to adjust as needed. When it’s your schedule, not an arbitrary one set by someone else, you are not late. Keep the peace and keep it fun. Take breaks. The kids will remember the fun times with you.
Maybe you’re an old hand at this and you know the challenges that can arise. If unforeseen circumstances interrupt, take as much time as you need. Don’t feel guilty. God knows your situation and you will start at the right time for you.
Is it really worth it?
Yes! A thousand times yes! There is no better way to invest the best years of your life than in your children’s eternal lives. You’ll never have this opportunity again. College may or may not be in the future. Whatever their goals, preparation is important. But preparation for eternity is essential. You are not wasting time. Daily investment in eternal results is huge!
If you are new to homeschooling it may seem like a scary adventure into the great unknown.God knows what He’s doing and knows where He is leading you. New or not, unknowns are in the school year ahead, but God can be trusted to work out His plans for your family.  
You are embarking on something really big, really important. Fear not. Pray, pray, and pray some more. With God’s help, you can do this!

2. Christian ballet school registration for 2021-2022
A Christian ballet school located in Marlborough, Massachusetts will be holding its Registration Weekend for the 2021-2022 season on September 11-14. Classes are available during the day and after school time for girls ages 18 months-12th grade. For more information, please visit Beautiful Feet Ballet School’s website at https://www.beautifulfeetballet.com/.

3. Free 3-week study group – plus essay contest
In celebration of the beginning of the school year, Hillsdale College invites you to join in the joys of learning by enrolling in a free three-week study group for their popular online course, The Genesis Story: Reading Biblical Narratives.
Taught by Professor Justin Jackson, more than 175,000 people have taken this course to gain a deeper understanding of the first book of the Bible. And now you can encounter the profound beauty and timeless lessons of Genesis in this unique study group, which includes:

  • six lessons on the central relationships of Genesis, including Adam and Eve, Abraham and Isaac, Jacob and Esau, and Joseph and his brothers.
  • a syllabus and study guide to direct your learning through the three-week study group. 
  • a discussion board dedicated to this study group, so you can ask questions and learn with friends. 
  • an essay contest for high school students, with a $500 prize for the best essay. 
  • and, an exclusive live Q and A session with Professor Jacksonavailable only to study group participants.  

The study group begins on September 7, and you can reserve your free spot today by clicking on this secure link:https://online.hillsdale.edu/study-group/genesis.
A recent review from one of Hillsdale’s online students declared that “Professor Justin Jackson is amazing. His passion and reverence for Genesis comes through; the pace is perfect; the tone is perfect; the content is outstanding.”
EDITOR’S NOTE: My son and daughter-in-law, Hillsdale grads who both studied under Dr. Jackson, say that, on a campus chock-full of top-notch professors they loved, Dr. Jackson stood out as one of the best of the best. ~Anne Smith, MassHOPE

4. Zoo Academy
At Animal Adventures in Bolton, our mission is to educate about the animal world through hands-on interactive programs. Zoo Academy will follow the same mission, as your child learns the skills to help them along their path toward independence or a potential career, in a fun, safe, engaging environment. Led by our trained staff and the zoo’s founder, Dr. Edward Laquidara, your child can get a unique education unlike any in New England. The Zoo Academy will run three mornings a week with an all-day option available if your child needs to stay and do some schoolwork. Go to https://www.animaladventures.net/zoo-academy for more info and to enroll today!

5. MassHOPE Facebook groups
Did you know that MassHOPE has two private Facebook groups in addition to its main Facebook page? If you would like to join the MassHOPE Massachusetts Homeschool Discussion and Support Group (described in Item #7, below) or the MassHOPE Massachusetts Homeschool Marketplace and UCS group, or if you invite anyone to join these groups, please note that there are questions you will need to answer in order to be approved. If you don’t get approved soon after your request to join, perhaps you didn’t answer the required questions.

6. MassHOPE advertising opportunities
MassHOPE has a variety of advertising options available at reasonable rates in several media paths – MassHOPE website, dedicated email, Facebook, MassHOPE Messenger. If interested, please send an email to advertising@masshope.org. All ads are subject to availability and space. MassHOPE reserves the right to accept or reject ads as we must apportion limited space and evaluate relevance to our audience.

7. MassHOPE Facebook discussion group
Connect with us on Facebook at MassHOPE’s Massachusetts Homeschool Discussion and Support Group. This group provides support and encouragement for homeschoolers pursuing privately-funded, parent-led home education. Its purpose is to encourage and equip homeschool parents to disciple and educate their children for the Lord, and to connect families within our state to give them opportunities to gather together for educational and recreational experiences.https://www.facebook.com/groups/MassHOPEDiscussion/

8. The MassHOPE Educator ID Card
Educator IDs are available for benefits such as potential discounts at retailers. Order them from our website HERE.

9. Are you on our mailing lists?
To those who have been recently added to our email list through our website: if youwould also like to be added to our “snail mail” list to receive information (such as our print newsletter) via the U.S. Postal Service, please send your full name and complete mailing address to newsletter@masshope.org.

10. Your news items wanted
Do you know of an event or activity in or near Massachusetts that would edify or interest the homeschool community? Email Anne Smith at volunteer@masshope.org and we will review it for possible inclusion in the MassHOPE Messenger. 

11. Remember to “Like” MassHOPE on Facebook
“Like” MassHOPE’s Facebook page: facebook.com/MassHOPE?fref=ts. You’ll be encouraged in your homeschooling journey and will receive all updates for upcoming events.

12. Do you receive The Voice of HOPE?
MassHOPE publishes a quarterly print newsletter, The Voice of HOPE. In addition to announcements you might also find in the Messenger, we provide three or four full-length articles on a variety of homeschooling topics. If you would like to add your name, please send your name and “snail mail” address to newsletter@masshope.org.

13. Support MassHOPE through AmazonSmile
Do you shop at Amazon? If you shop through AmazonSmile, Amazon will make a donation to MassHOPE! If you’re not already signed up, you can do so more easily than ever. To start supporting our organization, simply click this link, which is unique to MassHOPE: http://smile.amazon.com/ch/04-HYPERLINK “http://smile.amazon.com/ch/04-3220412″3220412. That’s all! From then on, when – and only when – you enter the Amazon website through amazonsmile.com,Amazon will automatically donate 0.5% of the purchase price of eligible products to MassHOPE. Thank you for supporting the work of your Christian state homeschool organization!

14. How to homeschool legally in Massachusetts
This video features Michael Donnelly, HSLDA’s designated counsel for Massachusetts: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nmELLON4OFI&list=PLe7Gz-9V5xsWzxwNhyZUNrdz0K-tbkz9a&index=21. The link referenced for further Massachusetts-specific articles is https://hslda.org/legal/massachusetts.

15. Getting started? NEW videos and webinars
1.Three-part video series on getting started: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XVOzkYx2vcA&list=PLe7Gz-9V5xsWAtvLTz1gA1CYyPLBBe-Ke.
2. Helpful overview of how to start homeschooling: https://hslda.org/post/ready-set-go-choosing-homeschool-curriculum-and-more.
3. You Can Homeschool Through High School: https://hslda.org/post/you-can-homeschool-through-high-school.
4. How to Start Homeschooling with Special Needs: https://hslda.org/post/how-to-start-homeschooling-midyear-with-special-needs-q-and-a.

16. MassHOPE: homeschooling in Massachusetts
Check out this MassHOPE site for getting started.

17. A bevy of materials, offers, and helps
https://www.mfwbooks.com/My Father’s World materials. Includes offer of two free activity packs.https://homeschoolhistory.com/Notgrass History web-based curriculum. Free trial.https://www.iew.com/three-weeks-of-language-arts-instruction-from-iewFree language arts lessons from IEW.https://coronavirushomeschooling.com/The importance of Christian homeschool organizations for homeschool freedom.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sRgV-1tfKz8&feature=youtu.beYouTube with Dr. Kathy Koch: Having Conversations about Today’s Tough Stuffhttps://www.oaclub.org/Remember Adventures in Odyssey? Free 28-day trial.https://billygrahamlibrary.org/continue-the-journey-from-home/Family activities from the Billy Graham Library.

18. Variety of interesting sites suggested by the Heritage Foundation
Science, engineering, and building projects and lessons from The League of Young Inventors.
Exciting free courses from Hillsdale College in literature, politics, history, and economics.From Joy Hakim: DIY lessons on topics such as the human body, Magellan’s travels, the story of Elizabeth Jennings Graham, and plagues from previous eras.Students can explore the remains of Athens’ ancient Acropolis, Parthenon, Temple of Zeus, and more in these virtual tours.
Free online language learning materials in English, Spanish, French and German, from Lingoda.More free language learning from Duolingo, with 23 languages.Core Knowledge offers a vast array of resources. Their Language Arts, History and Geography, and Science curricula are available for free.
TouchMath offers free downloads of TouchMath Workbooks.

19. Browsing corner for vets and newbies
How To (and How Not To) Homeschool During COVID-19 by John Stonestreet by John Stonestreet‘Most Rewarding Thing You Can Do’: Homeschool Experts Offer Hope to Parents in COVID-19 School Shutdowns by Kayla RootHome-school family feels the impact of social distancing, offers advice to other families by Tiffany Kafer5 Tips From Homeschool Veterans For Parents New To Learning At Home by Laura Isensee