ROCHELLE — Greater Rochelle Area Christian Educators, or GRACE, was established in 2003 as a home-schooling workshop. Members work together to provide a fun, Christian-focused educational day for students once a week.
The educational experience at GRACE is a hybrid approach. Students and teachers meet on Fridays. Many teachers, especially in academic classes, provide daily assignments for students to progress during the week at home. Most teachers are also available for students to answer their questions during the week.
GRACE is proud to offer a wide variety of courses ranging from kindergarten to high school. Areas covered include science, math, writing, literature, music, art, foreign languages, economics, history, physical education, character development, the Bible and more Again.
Art teacher Sarah Taylor spoke about her teaching experience. “It’s a real privilege to have this unique opportunity to work in an environment where the structure allows us to encourage students to think and process at their own pace,” Taylor said. “Art is not just pretty pictures. It’s their way of thinking and the freedom to try. I find that students generally thrive when given the tools and options to create in a way that matches their learning style with art as a vehicle. I am humbled and grateful for this unique opportunity to foster growth with this collective group of families at GRACE. It is a vast network of people, the board, teachers, members and the host church, working together to create an excellent learning environment.
Deneen Dale, co-chair, added insight from her perspective as a science teacher. “I have loved teaching biology, chemistry and physics at GRACE for the past 18 years!” said Dale. “As a former Rochelle Township High School teacher, I have been able to use the education, experience and passion I have to teach another generation of students while remaining true to my Christian faith by class. When I join my students each week, we spend time completing labs, reviewing material from the chapter we are covering, and answering questions. It’s a great place to connect with other people who are passionate about their subject and who love students!”
GRACE member Molly Johnson said, “GRACE has been a tremendous resource on our homeschooling journey. We enjoyed the benefits of other parents’ passions and experiences for teaching different subjects and skills during our weekly lesson days. While this has helped us with structure, we are also able to maintain our own family priorities for schools and education during the week. »
Dedicated teachers are passionate about their content areas and seek to support parents in their homeschooling journeys, not replace them. This cooperative approach to parenting relies on parent involvement, either through teaching or volunteering in other skills needed each meeting day. Therefore, parents work to the limit of their strengths to create a dynamic learning environment, whether students are enrolled in a single course or a full day course.
The GRACE Board of Directors and current members recognize that there is a new light on homeschooling. Many families who would never have considered this an option have been forced to homeschool in one way or another over the past couple of years. For those who have found homeschooling to be right for their family, we want to be there to support them on their homeschooling journeys. Like everyone else, our organization has taken a hit with the restrictions imposed on us due to COVID-19. We are grateful for technology and the many teachers who devote countless hours to converting their lessons to online formats. However, being able to start this school year in person was a priority for us, and we chose to do so even though we were not going to be able to operate at full capacity. We are entering the 2022-2023 school year with great enthusiasm! Our course offerings are back at 100% with over 65 courses on the schedule. We hope to see many familiar faces again in the fall as well as new families joining the program.
For more information on GRACE, visit their Open House, Friday. April 29 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Rochelle United Methodist Church, 709 4th Ave., Rochelle, IL 61068. You can also visit their website at www.gracerochelle.org.