Frequently Asked Questions & Answers
Because we are making books for you we would like to encourage you to, 'grow a tree'.
If you have received seeds in your Oikos order, we hope you and your children will enjoy this project
Did you know...
The primary use for this species is as a wildlife food source. It is also a good shade tree.
Sawtooth Oak is a large species, reaching a mature height of 21m. The leaves are similar to those of the chestnut but are smaller, 10-20cm, and have pointed teeth. The acorns are also small in size, about 2cm long, and are enclosed in cups. Approximately 2/3 of the nut is covered by the cup. Trees produce about 300 acorns per kg.
When planting acorns, plant them about 2cm deep. The seedlings should not be transplanted until they reach 30cm or more, in height.
We would like to encourage you and your children to do some further fact-finding on the Sawtooth Oaktree and learn the best way to plant the acorns and take care of them.
An exercise in patience while you wait for your oak tree to grow!
This video shares a personal testimony which we hope will encourage and help you.
Please watch this video which is a personal testimony of living with illness.
While we offer educational resources for all ages, we are not a formal institution and don’t require formal registration. This is due to the vision, philosophy and objectives of the ministry.
We only require for you to register an online account (which you will be prompted to do automatically as you checkout on the Oikos online store). Registering online enables you to shop without having to enter your details every time you wish to checkout, as well as keeping a record of your previous orders.
Click here for the playlist of video testimonies of other grandparents.
I, Sonja Wood, asked my mother, Yvonne McCurrach, to write her testimony of being a grandmother of home educated (Homeschooled) grandchildren. She wrote this letter to parents choosing to teach their children at home and advising them to include the grandparents as much as possible.
Letters from Granny Oikos
As promised I will outline our experiences as the grandparents of home educated (Homeschooled) children.
We have seven grandchildren ranging in age between 12 and 27 years old, four boys and three girls. Missy and Jamie are the only two who are home educated (Homeschooled).
I would suggest that as parents who are choosing to educate your children at home, it is a good idea to have a visit with grans and grandpas, without your children, to explain your reasons, motivation and heart to them. It is a good idea to also visit at a later stage with the children who can also tell gran and grandpa how they would like them to feel about them being home educated (Homeschooled). We were very fortunate that Greg and Sonja included us from the very start of their home education (Homeschooling) journey.
We have enjoyed being in a position where we have been ‘Hands on’ grandparents to all our precious grandchildren and so it has been a tremendous blessing to us that we have participated in Missy and Jamie’s home education (Homeschooling) from the very beginning. We can see how much our support and participation has meant to our family and of course the rewards are numerous.
As for feeling deprived of the opportunity to brag about our grandchildren who have made it into the 1st rugby team, been chosen as an exchange student to go to U.S.A for 6 months, to win art exhibitions, be made head prefect etc. etc. not a chance. All the above are very commendable but my personal feeling is the memories we cherish are more precious by far. What can replace teaching my grandchildren to swim (in the dam at Mbona!!) having wonderful craft mornings together, going for walks to find frogs, baking gingerbread men, dressing up, reading Bible stories, telling them stories about their Mom when she was a little girl (they love those), going on camping trips that involved writing a diary and working out how many kilometres from Mbona to Pilansburg Game Reserve. I could go on and on as many other grans could do but turning all the above into learning experiences is what has made us realise how much we can contribute to our grandchildren’s education and have lots of fun in the process. We have been richly blessed. In addition to all the above, Sonja and the children have an annual ‘Grandparent’s Day’ when us four grandparents are treated to a lovely lunch (done by Missy and Jamie) and a sharing of the years work. We take gifts to the children and congratulate them on their achievements. By the way many public schooled children don’t ever win a prize because there’s not much room at the top but every year our two get commended for their efforts and have many ‘Achievement Awards’ to their credit.
I am very aware that not all grandparents are in a position to do all the above things but the fact is that even from a wheelchair grandparents can support, enjoy, love and participate in the choice that their children have made. The alternative — ‘Disapproval’ is soul destroying to oneself, destructive to the family and produces nothing but sadness and negative results and so my prayer is that all parents who choose the ‘Home Education (Homeschool) Route’ will seek God’s help in bringing grandparents on board with them to enrich the lives of these precious children who have been entrusted to our care, and to acknowledge the wisdom and guidance that grandparents can pass onto the children.
God bless and love from Yvonne.
P.S. I must share with you that since coming to live at Mbona (where Greg and Sonja’s home is) it has become Jamie’s job to take granny swimming in the dam —- I sit on the back of his surfboard and we both paddle out to the centre of the dam, slide off the board, have a lovely swim and then I hang onto the back of the board (because I can’t haul myself back onto it) and Jamie paddles us back to the bank. Isn’t that precious?
For Grandparents of Home Educated (Homeschooled) Grandchildren
We are the very blessed grandparents of two precious home educated (Homeschooled) grandchildren. Melissa and James are now aged 19 and 14 and so we have enjoyed being on the sidelines to see them blossoming into outstanding young adults. Our daughter Sonja and her husband Greg drew us into the lifestyle from day one and have encouraged us to participate whenever and wherever we can enjoy sharing this amazing journey that we have all gone on. We have been careful not to intrude and so have been led by these dedicated parents to help when our input would be of value.
Maybe we have been denied the ‘Bragging and Boasting’ that most of us enjoy in telling our friends about the ‘Trophies’ awarded to our grandchildren at school and let me emphasise that I am in no way diminishing these achievements (we have 5 other precious grandchildren of whom we are very proud) However there is little to equal the precious times we have spent doing crafts, digging in the garden (looking for worms) looking at stars through the telescope, sewing, knitting, planting seeds, reading together, painting pictures, learning to swim and camping —- where every project becomes educational in such a fun way. Believe me we have learnt so many new things ourselves that it has advanced our own education at a very late time in life!! As they say , “You are never too old to learn!’ I add that even from a wheelchair or a rocking chair, be it academic, sport or creative arts you are never too old to have fun and make special memories
Go for it grannies, and grandpas – have lots of fun, be hugely blessed and very proud of your children who have made this amazing commitment to be the kind of parents who are dedicating themselves to the most noble of all callings – to present to the world young people who are in every way special and ready themselves to give to society something with which they have been blessed.
May God bless you with many more years to Support, Observe, Participate and Enjoy the fruits of your precious family.
For Further Encouragement
Please get yourself this little treasure of a booklet called Letters by Granny Oikos. Please visit the store to see this book.
Here is a video playlist which we did specifically for vulnerable children being educated while using Oikos.
Poverty and HIV/AIDS are the two most influential factors on children living in South Africa today, more than half live in poverty and the HIV/AIDS epidemic has left a population of millions of orphans and vulnerable children.
Vulnerability is one of the key hindrances to development and learning; the ability of vulnerable children to attend or perform in school is likely to be severely affected. Where they are able to attend school they often are stigmatised and bullied. It may be very difficult for a child in these circumstances to concentrate sufficiently to be able to study and learn enough to get a Matric.
As many as one in five children start school developmentally vulnerable and not fully ready to learn. They are stressed and experience negative health, social and developmental outcomes resulting in poor school attendance and educational achievement. They lack the resources and care to meet their basic psychological and physical needs. They are generally at a greater risk of abuse.
Is it appropriate, therefore, to persist with exposing vulnerable children to a conventional education system from which they are unlikely to benefit?
Should the focus, in the first instance, not be on the emotional and social development of the vulnerable child rather than on the perception that education is paramount regardless of the child’s personal circumstances?
A happy and well-adjusted child is better able to deal with the problems of life, whether they have a comprehensive education or not. Such a child will deal better with the process of education anyway, even if this begins later in the child’s life or takes longer than would normally be the case.
Oikos Family Ministries offers an alternative to conventional school and classroom learning with a Bible based home education curriculum that focusses first on the emotional and spiritual well-being of the child.
“God impressed on our hearts and birthed a vision in us to support families to grow in Kingdom living so that they could raise their children at home and to serve Him with their heart, mind and soul.
This vision was birthed in 1987 but in fact the seed was planted during our childhood years. It is our hope and desire to be used by God as His servants for His Kingdom purpose as we support families who choose to keep their children at home.
Oikos learning lifestyle has developed over the years to now offer families the following…
- A comprehensive stock of educational resources for children from birth through to adult life
- Detailed information, testimony and video support on our website online. A full review of all resources available from Oikos.
We believe that God deposited in us His heart for children to be raised in loving homes with parents or carers who nurture, guide, teach and train them in His Word and so equip them to follow Him all the days of their lives. His heart and vision for Kingdom living is brought into every aspect of the Oikos Learning Lifestyle. In fact, the resources that God has placed before us all support in raising children to be men and women who love and serve God with all their heart, mind and soul.”
(Greg and Sonja Wood, founders of Oikos Family Ministries)
It is Oikos’ objective to facilitate a positive learning environment which encourages each child to “discover his or her unique gifts, talents and abilities, to come to know God in a deep and personal way, and to develop qualities in their lives that reflect the life of Jesus.
Not only is the Christian lifestyle, environment and education essential for our children’s spiritual growth and well-being, but we are morally obliged to train our children in this way in obedience to God and His Word”.
Matthew 6:33 (NIV)
33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
It is our belief that “all these things” include a comprehensive education and training for each child to enable the realisation of the “unique gifts, talents and abilities”, if that is God’s will.
The Oikos Home Education curriculum is offered for home education purposes to Christian parents and to Christian children’s’ homes and orphanages, or other places of safety for vulnerable children.
We suggest that you watch the video of Charmain Coertzen’s testimony, and the other testimonies that are available on the website.
Please email any enquiries, once you have visited the website and watched the videos we have suggested, to [email protected] or phone +2731 880 2345.