Dear Parents: A love letter from your child’s teacher…

Dear Parents,

February is the month of hearts and flowers and Valentine’s Day, so I am sending you this love letter. It is not as much about you, as it is about someone we both love dearly—your child.

As parents, you are the primary teacher and guardian of your child, and I know you loved your child first. But I get to spend a large part of each day with your precious child, and even though I didn’t plan for it, I fell in love—with your child, and all the other children I am privileged to teach.

We both want the same thing for your child—that he or she can be holy, healthy, and happy—in that order. I want your child to learn about science and math and great literature and music, and I want your child to develop good character and healthy relationships. However, nothing matters as much in the span of eternity as having your child develop a personal relationship with Jesus.

Read more

Embracing the “Extra”

by Shanna Meyer

When asked to describe what it’s like being the parent to a child with special needs, my first feeling is that of instant gratitude—gratitude that I am blessed to be the mom to such an amazing little soul. Every child is a gift from God. The only thing different about the life of a child with special needs is that it comes with a little (sometimes a lot) of “extra.” At times that extra can be scary for the entire family, but just like anything new in life, you learn to adapt. And even though it might not be what you expected, if you embrace that extra you will realize just how lucky you are. And for everyone who is blessed to know and be a part of that special needs child’s life, they will also get to experience the wonders that a little extra has to offer.

Read more

Online Use Inventory

by Jamie Bonnema

Isn’t it mind boggling to think about how many of our daily tasks have turned into online experiences? We no longer have to leave our vehicles or houses to shop. A library is not required for research—it is only a reach away with the touch of our phones. News is available in real-time online instead of in the newspaper a day later. Pen and paper has been replaced with online documents and an online notepad. Phone calls have given way to social media messaging, conversations have turned into likes and emojis, and memes have replaced how we convey our opinions. Instant gratification, as well as instant disappointment, is readily available around every online corner.

Read more

Social Media Buffet

by Jamie Bonnema

The social media experience has some running away, many addicted, and others trying to set good boundaries for its use. In trying figure out guidelines for myself, my trips to buffets with family when I was young came to mind. Everything looked so good when I walked in. The choices seemed to be unlimited. I always loaded up my plate, went back for more, topped it off with too much dessert, and finished the meal hanging over my chair, sick with regret. As a wiser adult, I can now go to a buffet, have a great time, and walk away feeling good and nourished.

Read more

Thoughtfully Entering the New Year

by Jamie Bonnema

On a snowy day, I sit at the computer to write. The kids are quietly playing after a morning of sleeping in. The brightness from the snow defeats the overcast sky, and I feel perfectly cozy in my sweats on the couch. In these moments I can do some quiet thinking, continual praying, and flush out a few ideas roaming in my head. I’m very thankful God gives us moments like this to just sit still and catch our breath.

I had a visit with family over the break. A question caught me a bit off-guard as I forgot a new year, even a new decade, was sneaking up on me. I was just enjoying the Christmas season, making it through each event without a catastrophe, and aiming for a joyful spirit despite some challenges. But there the question was, and I had not yet solidified my answer.

Read more

O Come, Let Us Adore

Last Thursday evening our Genesis Classical Academy students presented their Christmas concert, “O Come, Let Us Adore.” The final number in the program was a rousing rendition of “O Come, All Ye Faithful,” complete with the nativity scene presented by the kindergarten class.

One of our parents captured this heartwarming (and hilarious) photo of the manger scene. This photo was not staged, folks. It represents “real life” in the world of kindergartners.

Mary was covering her ears, trying to block out the noise and chaos of the stable. Joseph was exhausted after the long trip to Bethlehem. The shepherds dutifully kept watch over their sheep, while the wise men searched for the star.

And the angels – oh, those angels! They were rockin’ it out above the manger. Dancing. For. Joy.

Consider this photo our Christmas card to all of you, because it represents so many of our wishes for you during this blessed season.

We pray that you will find rest in the midst of the busyness of the season, and that you will be able to block out the noise and keep your focus on the One who is the true gift, Jesus.

We hope that you will keep careful watch over the hearts and minds of those whom God has entrusted to your care, and that you will continue to search for the Guiding Light, in the presence of the Holy Spirit.

And we wish you joy! We pray that you will take time to dance for joy.

And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” Luke 2:10-11

Merry Christmas from Genesis Classical Academy! May God shower you with His richest blessings today, and throughout the coming year.

Fighting the Battle Alone

by Jamie Bonnema

Awhile ago, I was disheartened by many issues going on around me. I was frustrated and overwhelmed. I felt torn and divided, not knowing which battles to fight and understood that I can’t fight them all. I backed away a bit from the things I had been working on, realizing that I felt like my wheels were spinning, I was out of the fiery enthusiasm that I had started with, and felt at a loss for the role I am to play. I was burdened by the thought that I have to do more, but questioned what I can really do that would make a bit of difference. The joy had seemingly been stolen from me. And with a wonderful holiday season approaching, I did not want that heaviness to linger much longer.

Read more

Embracing the Season

by Jamie Bonnema

It always feels like time is speeding up, especially this time of year. I admit, the early winter-like temperatures had me anticipating the holidays a bit sooner than I normally do. What I consider the busiest time of year is already upon us. We have solidified our Thanksgiving plans, starting our gift-giving lists (and shopping already!), and have debated with our friends and family when is too early to decorate for Christmas. We join in on all the festivities we can, wanting to fully take in the magical feeling of the season. We anticipate the celebration of the birth of our Savior and don’t want a second to go by where we miss a chance to enhance this experience. And, in the process of doing, we can still end up missing living out this amazing gift.

Read more

Seeds of Faith

Dear Genesis Friend:

I asked our students what I should write in our Matching Challenge letter for 2019, and they said, “Why don’t you tell them the pumpkin story?” I thought it was an excellent idea…

Genesis Classical Academy has been gifted pumpkins each year by a local couple, one per child, to be decorated at our annual harvest party. But they retired, and it was looking like there might not be 85 pumpkins for this year. One of our GCA moms had been trying for several years to grow pumpkins to carry on the tradition, but her attempts had been mostly futile.

Read more

Staff Spotlight

The leaves are nearly gone, the air is crisp, and we have even had a bit of snow—fall is passing quickly! Here at Genesis Classical Academy we have completed the first quarter of our fifth school year, and 21 new students are settling nicely into the rhythm of a classical education.

We also are blessed with the talents of several new teachers who, along with our veteran staff, are working hard each day to guide the minds and hearts of our 84 students.

Read more