Starlight School was the name of our homeschool during the girls’ elementary years. We chose the name Starlight School because it reflects our vision for educating our children through a discipleship-oriented approach. The Bible says we shine like stars when we obey and live by God’s Word. Specifically, Daniel 12:3 says, “Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, like stars forever and ever.”
Also, Philippians 2:12-18 says, “Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed – not only in my presence but now much more in my absence – continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to His good purpose. Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe as you hold out the word of life – in order that I may boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor for nothing. But even if I am being poured out like a drink offering on the sacrifice and service coming from your faith, I am glad and rejoice with all of you. So you too should be glad and rejoice with me.”
We’ve entered the junior high and high school years now, and so a while back I let the girls decide what to call our homeschool. We had to have an official name for their transcripts, you know. And because we visited Oxford, England, just a few weeks before my oldest began her 9th grade year and my youngest began her 6th grade year, that name came up quickly. We were all enchanted with Oxford!
Known as the “City of the Dreaming Spires” and home to the oldest university in the English-speaking world, Oxford is like no other place I’ve visited. The university was founded in 1096, and its motto is Dominus Illuminatio Mea, which means “The Lord is my Light.” What an excellent motto for a homeschool, too!
In addition to educating British prime ministers and Nobel-prize winning scientists, Oxford also graduated John Wycliffe (religious reformer), William Tyndale (Bible translator), William Penn (founder of Pennsylvania), John Wesley (founder of Methodism), Lewis Carroll (author of Alice in Wonderland), J.R.R. Tolkien (author of Lord of the Rings), and C.S. Lewis (author of The Chronicles of Narnia).
C.S. Lewis’s home, the Kilns, (pictured above) was what drew us to visit Oxford in the first place. Lewis is one of our favorite authors, so it seemed quite fitting to name our school after the place where such a great writer and theologian studied and taught for so many years.
My kids absolutely love learning through literature and living books. Besides Lewis, other authors we adore reading include Elizabeth George Speare, Gene Stratton Porter, Jane Austen, George MacDonald, Edith Nesbit, L.M. Montgomery, Madeleine L’Engle, Louisa May Alcott, and Maud Hart Lovelace.
In addition to great literature, the curriculum we have used at one time or another includes: Simply Charlotte Mason’s Spelling Wisdom and Hymns for Prose, Mystery of History, Story of the World, Drive Thru History Holy Land Series, Cover Story Middle School Writing, Easy Grammar, First Language Lessons, A Reason for Handwriting, RightStart Mathematics, Teaching Textbooks Math, Apologia’s Exploring Creation series, Christian Liberty Nature Readers, Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons, My Father’s World Kindergarten, Adventures in My Father’s World and MFW’s Exploring Countries and Cultures.
Some lessons taught by me and by their dad, but my children are deeply blessed by the contributions many brilliant adults regularly make toward their education, including their piano teacher, dance instructors, drama/speech tutor, science tutors, choir tutor, art tutor, Spanish tutor, French tutor, Sunday School teachers and youth group leaders. We thank God for each of them and the unique passion they share for the subjects they teach.
For the story behind our decision to homeschool, I invite you to read my Countdown to Kindergarten post from August 2008 and The Paramount Reason We Homeschool from April 2010.
2 thoughts on “Our Homeschool”
You just never know how (or who) your words are going to encourage! I love reading some of your blog, Diana. I just read your link to “The Paramount Reason” and it is spot on with what I’m working through right now. Our girls are 9, 6, and 3 and I’m very much leaning toward homeschooling them next year. Definitely not an easy decision, but you are very right that the #1 reason to homeschool has to be because the Lord called us to it. He’ll supply the answers to all the rest of the questions.
And, on another note, the Lord seems to love to weave people in and out of our lives at just the perfect moments. You (and Michael) encouraged me many years ago at OSU and you are still doing so through your writing about homeschooling. And, one of MY freshman family “kids” lives near us and is teaching me so much about homeschooling curriculum as well.
Anyway, just wanted to say thanks! God bless.
Krista (Stanfield) Johnson
And your kind words today encourage me, Krista! I pray that God gives you peace with your schooling decisions — He is so faithful and trustworthy. Every family is unique and I’d never be one to say everybody should homeschool. But homeschooling has been such a blessing for our family in countless ways, and I thank God for the freedom to do it! Bless you, sweet Krista, and your beautiful girls!