Written by Kate Dirkse

Initially we would say that the path that led us to Holland Christian Schools was a direct result of Covid. However, as we reflected on our educational journey, God’s behind-the-scenes work was being done much sooner than we actually realized. Our children attended a Christian preschool and naturally made their way into the public school system like so many in our community do. Our local elementary, being a Blue Ribbon nationally recognized school, seemed like the most logical fit for the kids. And it truly was for Ellery, our first born. She thrives in school, it comes very easily to her, and really is an educator’s dream. It was during our middle child’s elementary experience that our eyes were really opened. Curriculum differences as well as the learning environment that our son was in both began to open our eyes to the incongruencies between our family beliefs and what our kids were learning in school. These incongruencies continued during our 2021 virtual school year at our local public school. It was at the end of the 2021 school year that we decided to shift to homeschooling as we knew our time with our local public school had come to an end and we needed to pause and reflect as to where we were being called to next.

During our homeschooling year we were introduced to Holland Christian’s Homeschool Connection (HC²). HC² allowed us to get “a taste of” Holland Christian, and we were blown away by what we experienced! Our children loved both the HC² middle school program and elementary program. When the time came to decide whether we would continue on the homeschool journey or enroll the children full time, Holland Christian met all of our kids’ individual needs and they were all eager to return to full time school.

Holland Christian’s outdoor education program, Forest School, was a natural fit for our youngest, who spent a majority of his preschool and kindergarten schooling at home enjoying the flexibility to learn freely with lots of nature and time outdoors! When we asked him what word he would use to describe Holland Christian, he chose “FUN!”

Our middle son is so incredibly social and thrives on connection. Entering a new elementary school in the fifth grade can present its own set of challenges, but the team at Holland Christian’s Pine Ridge Elementary did a wonderful job of welcoming him. His teacher did an amazing job of meeting both his academic and social needs. They placed importance not only on his academic success, but who he was as a person, and recognizing how God created him uniquely in His design. The growth he experienced in his faith was amazing to witness this past year. Learning about God’s Word in school everyday was one of his favorite things about 5th grade. “Exciting” was the word he chose to describe Holland Christian.

For our oldest daughter it was the welcome she received from her HC² peers that will be remembered as an impactful and formative time in her life. As a sixth grade girl, she was welcomed by a large group of 6, 7 & 8th grade young ladies who were the kindest, most caring and welcoming group. We truly believe that the kindness and love that she was shown in that formative year helped her to grow in her faith, respect for herself, and her beliefs, and set her up for success as she transitioned into full-time middle school in seventh grade. She was confident, brave and caring as she began her new school year during what we believe is one of the hardest times in adolescence. Her passion for helping others truly shined during her 7th grade year, and she was excited to continue that work through Holland Christian Middle School’s  South Africa trip that she went on this fall. They are all excited and eager to attend school every day!

Our children have seen tremendous growth at Holland Christian academically, spiritually, and emotionally. They are able to learn and grow in both their faith and academics. The firm foundation from which they are now able to learn has allowed the greatest teacher, our God and Father, to be intricately woven into their day-to-day learning. I would tell any parent looking to enroll their child(ren) into Holland Christian Schools, that it is the best educational decision that we have made for our children. HC has recognized all of our kiddos’ unique and distinctive differences and allowed them to soar.

Our children are growing up in the world where things truly seem to be changing every moment. To know that our children’s education and the environment where they spend so much time are firmly rooted in a Christian faith that has stood the test of time gives us confidence and an invaluable sense of security.

Have Questions?

We look forward to meeting you and your family and introducing you to the fresh, creative, personalized education at Holland Christian! We are here to help! Get in touch using the contact form linked below or call us at 616.820.2805.

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