"I feel my children's school is not as prepared and proactive as it could be for the upcoming school year. I'm also not equipped to teach my children by myself. I don't know what to do." (Amanda, mother of two)
Maybe you're a parent, or a grandparent, and you feel the same way. Maybe the stress of the pandemic and how to care for your family and prioritize their needs seems like an unsolvable puzzle.
One of the most beloved stories in the Bible is Daniel in the Lions' Den. God shows us that, even in the face of seemingly insurmountable obstacles, God makes a way and keeps us safe.
If you're concerned about your child's education for the upcoming school year, and looking for an option, God is making a way through The Lions' Den.
Read more about The Lions' Den by following these links to the sections below.
Zion understands that, given the current pandemic, many parents and guardians are worried for their school-aged child’s health given the communicable nature of COVID-19. At the same time, parents and guardians are questioning their current school’s educational plans for the upcoming school year, while even drawing concerns that homeschooling may somehow undermine children’s social and emotional development.
We know there are hard decisions ahead, and Zion fully supports our community in whatever educational decisions they see fit for their families.
In listening to the needs of our local community, assessing the guidelines given by medical and educational leaders, and asking God’s guidance through prayer, Zion is establishing The Lions' Den, a network of home-educating families looking to create a virtual community as they venture into distance learning for the 2020-2021 school year using the Florida Virtual School (FLVS).
FLVS has a 23-year history of innovation and success in primary and secondary education. The Florida Legislature passed groundbreaking legislation in 1997 establishing Florida Virtual School (FLVS) as a grant-based pilot project, pioneering Florida's first Internet-based, public high school. Today, it serves students statewide, nationally, and internationally in grades K-12.
For this initiative, we chose the name The Lions' Den in honor of the history of educational ministry at Zion, the "Home of the Lions." Several of our Zion Lutheran School alumni, who now have school-age children of their own, initiated the conversation that birthed this ministry opportunity.
While we cannot recreate Zion Lutheran School, we recognize that God is creating something new in our midst to meet a very substantial and important need in our community; for, even in the midst of the lions' den, God walks with us!
Navigating unfamiliar educational territory can be stressful and anxiety-ridden. One of the clear objectives of this ministry initiative is to recognize and cultivate the partnerships that exist in our community. As the African Proverb states, it takes a village; so, the success of our village in The Lions' Den rests on the partnerships between families, Florida Virtual School, and Zion.
According to the Broward Home School Education website:
“By enrolling in home education, the parent is assuming all educational responsibilities regardless of the mechanism used to educate their child. In essence, the parent is becoming the teacher, guidance counselor, ESE [Exceptional Student Education] specialist and principal of their home education school. Home Education is 100% parent-driven.”
However, by utilizing a free, accredited public school education curriculum offered by FLVS, much of this educational burden will be alleviated from the shoulders of parents or guardians facilitating the in-home education.
FLORIDA VIRTUAL SCHOOL (FLVS)
Florida Virtual School is accredited by AdvancED and Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Council on Accreditation and School Improvement (SACS-CASI). All courses meet the Florida State Standards, so it is complete curriculum taught by Florida-certified teachers who are subject matter experts.
As a parent, you can feel confident that your student is receiving the highest quality of education that will be accepted anywhere no matter what your child’s future plans include. Additionally, FLVS allows the flexibility to tailor a student’s educational path based on his or her strengths and learning needs. The curriculum is FREE to all Florida residents.
By enlisting to be part of The Lions’ Den , our community will help you navigate the registration process and most importantly establish a homeschool network with whom you can create a schedule that works for your student and family.
Additional benefits to working with FLVS is that they:
Although your child has an online FLVS instructor, the parents/guardians must take a more active role in educating their child.
This may come as reinforcing lessons taught by the FLVS teacher, motivating their child to stay on track and completing the required course work, and submitting on behalf of your child the completed work to the FLVS teacher for grading. FLVS provides a 16-week schedule with detailed objectives for each week.
Even within the FLVS Flex Program, time management and the ability to avoid procrastination are needed skills. But, don’t worry! As a member of the Lion’s Den community, we will hone these skills together.
Such home educator responsibilities may include, but are not limited to:
ZION EVANGELICAL LUTHERAN CHURCH
The Lions’ Den Homeschool Co-op is a community outreach project of Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church. As a continuation of our long-standing, 62-year mission, we seek to “serve our neighbors” by facilitating a sense of community among parents and guardians who wish to explore parent-directed educational options for this upcoming school year.
Although we are not offering any educational instruction, Zion seeks to help those parents and guardians with children enrolled in the Florida Virtual School program by providing a stable, physically distanced, but socially connected network of likeminded individuals who are also embarking on their own FLVS journey during this COVID-19 time. All Florida Virtual School students are welcome to join our virtual community.
Such support offered to members of The Lions’ Den Homeschool Co-op may include our help to:
If you missed our Information Session over Zoom, you can watch it here!
This agreement (found here) states, in writing, the partnership between Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church and the families that choose to enroll with The Lions' Den.
Please note: Zion will need the names and dates of birth of all children enrolling with The Lions' Den, as well as courses enrolled at FLVS, in order to ensure that families in our co-op are placed with the same teacher(s) in each grade level. Names and DOB are collected as part of the Google Form link above.
If you are registering with FLVS Flex, Send a completed Notice of Intent (found here) to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please note, you must send one notice for each student you wish to enroll in home education.
For more information:
Broward Home Education
1400 NW 14th Court Bldg. 17, Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33311
(754) 321-1558 / fax (754) 321-1694
If you are enrolling in The Lions' Den and are a resident of another Florida county, you will need to submit a similar document to your respective county. Please contact Kurt Schmidt at email@example.com if you have difficulty locating this document.
Registration instructions can be found here. Parent e-mails will be collected as part of the student registration process.
Important to Note:
Login to your account at www.flvs.net > LOGIN > FLVS Flex. Once inside, scroll down and click the blue “Approve” button; then, in the pop-up window, click “All Course Segments” and “Approve."
Once you have approved the courses, please e-mail a list to Kurt Schmidt at firstname.lastname@example.org to ensure that students are grouped together by grade level for all enrolled classes.