Impacting Lives Around the World

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Do you have children with a passion?  Something that burns so brightly in them that they pursue it with relentless energy and joy?  Maybe it is sports. Maybe it is dance. Maybe it is acting or singing or even competitive horseback riding.  Whatever their passion, at NorthStar Academy, your child will have the freedom and flexibility to follow that passion wherever it leads while still receiving an excellent college preparatory education that is second to none.

“No longer must your family settle for a hectic and frantic schedule that leaves everyone exhausted and frustrated.” 

 

Often the constraints of traditional brick and mortar schools make it difficult, if not impossible, for your child to follow their dreams and talents.  Days are long and arduous while trying to fit practice and competition schedules into the school day calendar.  Online learning is now an option with ever increasing quality and rigor.  No longer must your family settle for a hectic and frantic schedule that leaves everyone exhausted and frustrated.  NorthStar Academy’s unique program allows for you to craft a schedule that is tailored to your needs.  Start dates occur every week of the year, and students have 52 weeks to complete their 36 weeks of coursework.  This allows you to create a school calendar that works for your family.  Dedicated and supportive teachers will allow your child to receive the attention and support needed to be successful.

“You will find that with NorthStar Academy, the potential is limitless.”

 

Over the years, NSA has served many families that are pursuing unique passions.  MaryBella is an eleventh grader who can compete in the rodeo circuit thanks to NSA.  Olivia works alongside her parents in remote parts of the world bringing medical care to those in need.  Athena is able to travel with her parents as their jobs take them around the world.  Tranton has the flexibility to help his dad on the cotton farm because of NSA.  The Argue family who are musicians just released their debut album while their children took courses with NorthStar.  You will find that with NorthStar Academy, the potential is limitless.

Passions come in all forms and so will your school scheduling possibilities.  Take back your family’s educational journey. Whether you are a home schooling family here in the US or a family serving overseas, NSA can meet your unique needs with exceptional support, a focus on discipleship, and a dual accredited educational program.

Online School: Training for the Future

During an informal discussion at an educators’ conference, I heard an intriguing statement.  It went something like this: “not every student is successful in an online environment, but the type of student who is successful in an online environment can be successful anywhere.”  It brings up an important point: the successful online student has developed skills that will translate to a variety of life circumstances.  Additionally, the online school environment forces students to either use (put into practice) or learn and develop these skills in order to be successful.  In other school settings, these skills may not be as critical for success.  An online setting requires students to develop and employ certain character traits and work habits for success.  Online school provides an environment where certain skills are requisite, not merely helpful.

What are some of these skills that an online school like NorthStar Academy helps hone and develop?  I’ll let our students speak for themselves.  These quotes are from a list of suggestions and lessons that current students wrote to help the new students entering our program.

“Set up a schedule or timetable for your schoolwork. Try your best to stick to it, organizing your assignments and to-dos. If you fall behind, you can always look back on this and see how much you need to catch up.” Carolyn S.

 “Shut down everything on your computer that will distract you…Set boundaries for yourself and keep yourself accountable for all of the things that could be distracting you.” Morgan R.

“Don’t overwork yourself. Work at your own pace. Take breaks every once and a while…” Alexander T.

“Be good at time management. If you aren’t good at time management, then it will be very easy to get overwhelmed…I would recommend making a schedule and sticking to it.”  Emma S.

“Should you get behind for any reason, know that it will be okay, know that you can get out of the situation, and make a plan! It is hard to overcome, but it is not impossible. Know that you will need help, however. Have an open conversation with your parent(s)/supervisor and try to get to the heart of the problem…You’ll have to really reflect and think about where your priorities are…I would also highly recommend that, in addition to talking to your parent(s)/supervisor about the problem (really, they can help so much), you talk to your teacher about the problem when it arises. Not only are they more than willing to help you out and help you figure out a plan for getting back on track, but also, them being aware of what you have to say about the situation is important…Together, [parent and teacher] help is invaluable.” Shauna C.

“Always make sure you understand all of the directions and material while completing assignments and before taking tests. Your teachers are great resources, so if you don’t understand something, just ask!!” Megan K.

What type of life skills do you see these students talking about? I see these: developing self-control, effective time management, creating a schedule and task list, self-pacing, learning how to balance work and play, understanding and planning for long-term goals, seeing the value of collaboration, self-regulation and knowing how to eliminate distractions, understanding that short-term failures happen and discipline and effort can help remedy the situation, learning the value of asking for help, evaluating priorities, understanding the value of authority figures, etc.  There are certainly others, and I could include additional quotes, but I think the point has been made.

I cannot think of a life situation where these skills would not prove useful.  They show a skill set that would be valuable in a variety of life circumstances: high school, university, marriage, work, parenting, etc.  What employer would view these character traits and not hire this type of person?  What university would view these qualities and deny admission as a result?  How many of us still struggle in these areas and wish that we had more chance to develop and refine these skills in middle school or high school?

As was stated earlier, the successful online student can be successful anywhere.  They have the opportunity to develop and practice life skills that translate to a variety of situations.  At NorthStar Academy, we provide an environment where students can find success, and are supported along the way by a host of teachers and educators.   We understand that the skills they are learning now will be with them the rest of their lives.

Scott Berggren

Dean of Students

Thoughts on election day…

Here is what I, and the rest of the NSA staff, know to be true the eve before a big vote in our home country:

God is Love. Love wins. Period.

Love has no boundaries or colors or genders or parties. As we trust God to take care of His people, He has to trust us with His precious reputation. Our hands and feet and words are Jesus’ reputation on Earth and what we do with them matter.

Reputation is important and we take it seriously at NorthStar because we are leaders here. No one else in the world has a school like ours. We know this as a fact. We’ve asked around. We stand alone in the field of online Christian education –specifically in an education that focuses on discipleship and social-emotional investment in our students. Here are stories I’ve bore witness to at NSA…just today… that speak the kind of Love I’m talking about:  

One of our teachers had a baby recently. Her 8th graders will not stop Skyping her because they want ‘baby time’.

One of our students is scared and lonely and in a very dangerous country. She is waiting for visas. She is covered in prayer.

A parent was concerned that her student was falling behind and I heard of three different staff members trying to figure out why that was happening in this family and coming to a loving solution.

Not a single negative word about elections or parties or people. Only Love. Only Mission. Only Jesus.

 

Many of our students live outside of our borders and we send Love to them via the magic of the internet.  We take Christ’s reputation beyond our safe borders to our students in political unrest because we can. We are free.  We feel this freedom in our bones because some of our students live in places that are not free, nor are they safe, and we have the unbelievable privilege of looking into their eyes and speaking words into their hearts. We are teachers. This is what we do. We have learned from the best teacher in history. We’ve studied how Jesus taught. We are poor mimics, but we are mighty in our efforts.

At NorthStar, the mission field is as wide as the entire world.

The work is as big as the responsibility of carrying His reputation, with grit, with clever innovation, and most certainly with integrity, so that God’s great Love reaches all. Love is what connects us. Human to human. 

Choosing to live like Christ means something different than what our Christian nation is representing right now during elections. It has to be said. Every single Christian I know agrees on that point and is saddened at the damage to Christ’s reputation. Many of us are in a state of grieving as we enter elections.  We are a global community at NSA. We don’t let borders stop us. Or race. Or governments. We are cultural rebels for Christ and His love and His reputation are critically important to us. 

All of us who live like Christ are missionaries; no matter our life’s assignments, we all have a calling to a Love that is greater than any solution on a ballot card.

We do not fear.

We have faith and a backbone.

We steer the ship despite ever-changing maps. We look to the heavens, instead. We know where our help comes from.

We trust in the North star that has constantly been calling wise men and women to the feet of Jesus since the day he was born on the run.

We stand firm and bend a knee in worship to an adopted refugee born in a little town called Bethlehem.  

 

–Kristi

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