Summer 2015 Newsletter

Class Fees

by Don Kautz, Vice Chair of the Board

Last fall, a tentative fee schedule showing several increases was announced. The Board has been looking at these proposed increases comparing them to the needs of the school and the budget limits with which we all have to live. Though those proposed fees compared to fees of other organizations offering similar services in the area are still very reasonable, and though CHESS fees have not increased for many years, we determined to not institute that type of increase at this time. Instead we are increasing class fees by 15% for next year and will probably have smaller, incremental increases in the future. These increases will help us to continue to provide a valuable service to our CHESS families.

Your Input

We want to empower you, our CHESS families, to take ownership of CHESS, giving you opportunities to help us improve the services we offer. In light of that, we will be offering CHESS families short surveys at the end of semesters as well as giving students the opportunity to evaluate their classes and teachers.

Please feel free to offer to the principal, Matthew Aden, or CHESS office any ideas or suggestions you may have.

Class Fees
Member Prices Non Member Prices
Class Type Early Late Early Late
Elementary $46 $57.50 $57.50 $69
HS 1 Day $57.50 $69 $69 $80.50
HS 2 Day $109.25 $120.75 $120.75 $132.25
Study Hall $12.50 $12.50 $12.50 $12.50

* High School Diploma Program all options $155.00 per semester

Introducing the Office Manager

Meet Tessa Powell

I don’t believe we’ve ever been formally introduced! My name is Tessa. Most of you probably already know me as the girl helping out in the office. I was pleased to accept the position of Office Administrator at CHESS in February.  Though my title is Office Manager, I have done my level best to fill both of the Cliffords’ capacious shoes.

I became involved with CHESS in one way or another back in the year 2000 when my parents decided to homeschool both my brother and me. Originally, my brother and I were supposed to have a brief stint with home education through our elementary years, but God had a different plan for us, and we both went through the entire program. I graduated with my CHESS high school diploma in 2012, and my Chambers College degree in 2014. During my sophomore year in high school, I worked in the CHESS office as an intern, and continued as a staff assistant in the Chambers College office until last year.

In my last semester of high school, I began teaching a K-1 class on the book of Genesis at CHESS, and discovered that I had a real desire to work in Christian education long-term. I continued to teach for CHESS for the next two years, but was unsure of how I could make Christian education a full-time job. I applied to teach at several online schools, and looked into getting licensed at UNC in order to work at a school like Dayspring, but nothing came of any of this. God clearly had a different plan.

When I heard in the fall of 2014 that it was possible CHESS was going to discontinue, I racked my brain for ways I could help fill the void for for the many, many families that CHESS serves with its uniquely beneficial program, and thus I began looking into helping out with co-ops in the Greeley area. As I looked into these co-ops, it became very evident to me that the CHESS program was almost irreplaceable in what it offers to homeschool families.  It also became apparent that God had a very different plan for me.

In October, MaryBeth contacted me and offered me a job with the intent of training me in the spring semester until she could move on with her family and leave the care of CHESS to the Board, to the future principal, and to myself. I jumped at the chance, and also applied for the position of Office Manager. I was eventually hired, and the plan was for MaryBeth to remain on board for the spring semester so she could train the new principal and me for the years ahead.

As per usual, God had a different plan. We did not find a new principal until the end of this spring semester. Eventually, it became clear that it was best for MaryBeth to be with her family, and she resigned in February. I stayed on and began to tread water. Whenever I came across a question I could not answer or an issue I could not resolve, my line was, “Let me do some research and get back to you on that.” Then I would promptly ask MaryBeth and write down her answer for posterity.  If not for MaryBeth’s continued patience and incredible mind for detail, coupled with an enormously capable assistant in the person of Sarah Goodman, I don’t think any of what transpired this semester could have been possible.

By the grace of God, however, I have settled comfortably into this position and am looking forward to working with you all in the future. Through these circumstances, the Lord has certainly strengthened my faith and broadened my outlook on life. His Word has been the most precious thing to me throughout this semester, and as often as I found myself insufficient to the task at hand God proved His sufficiency.

I look forward to following the rest of His plan.


By Nels Nelson, Board Chair

Children.  Few things in life are more important than this stewardship God has given parents.  Business meetings, adventures, financial opportunities and careers often get in the way of this stewardship, so it is important to recall God’s plan for parenting found in Ephesians 6.  To sum it up, it is to teach our children to love and serve Christ.  

However, if you are like me, you only refer to Ephesians 6 when a child is inconvenient, disobedient, disrespectful and an embarrassment.  I am quick to quote, “Children, obey your parent in the Lord: for this is right” (Ephesians 6:1) to force them unto obedience.  It comes out like this:   “You better obey, because if you don’t, God will get you.”  It is easy to wield the Bible as a club to subject them rather than instruct them.

Yet, Ephesians 6 is written in the context of the relationship of redemption.  Paul shows us this in verse 2:

Ephesians 6:2, “Honor your father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise.)”

Paul is quoting from Exodus 20:12, the fifth commandment.  God gave the Ten Commandments to a redeemed people delivered from slavery.  Moses explained that God delivered His people for the purpose of serving God in the wilderness (Exodus 7:16).  This term "serve" can also be rendered worship.  Thus Exodus 7:16 could read this way:

Exodus 7:16, “Let My people go, that they may worship Me.”

Paul quotes Exodus 20:12, and assumes that a love relationship between the parents and God, and the children and God, already exists.  God is calling parents to set the example for the children by cultivating a deep, abiding relationship with God.  Paul is reminding parents to honor and worship God with all our substance (Proverbs 3:9).  

So, when we read Ephesians 6:2 in the context of worship, we see that Paul is telling the children to “worship” their parents!  

This points out the question, why such a high view of parents?  Because parents are ordained by God to oversee, protect, and teach HIS possessions unto Christ.  Moses instructed the redeemed of Israel this way:

Deuteronomy 6:6-8, 6 “And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes.  You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.

Moses is calling parents to disciple their children.  Thus, the authority a parent exercises is the authority of God.  So, by teaching children to honor their parents, the parents are teaching them to honor God. When a child honors his parents, he is not worshipping his parents but God who is ruling through the parents.  Thus, as parents we are called to disciple our children so that they love and worship God.

The parent/child relationship is all about God exercising His authority through the parent so that the child learns to worship God.  Many in our day think the chief goal of being a parent is to have our children get good grades, dress a certain way, and act in a way that doesn’t embarrass the parent.  However, Paul says the chief goal of parenting is to teach our children to become true worshippers of God.  

The Bible teaches us that God the Father is someone who has a love relationship with the Son.  We as parents should reflect this concept of relationship with our children. God doesn’t draw His children by barking orders at them; He draws them by His love (Romans 12:1 and Jeremiah 31:3).  Likewise, we as parents shouldn’t just issue edicts, but labor to cultivate deep, rich relationships with our children.  We cannot do this with threats, decrees, or force.  We must develop a love relationship with them so that love compels them.  Don’t just be their friend, be their shepherd.

Two very influential Christians of the 1800’s illustrate this well:  Dr. Charles Hodge, who taught at Princeton Seminary (d. 1878) and Archibald Thomas (“A.T.”) Robertson, who wrote one of the most important Greek grammars of the twentieth century (d. 1934).  Both were used mightily by God in the preservation of His church at a time when liberalism was gaining significant ground in America.

Now, both of these men had boys.  When Charles Hodge was in the study and his son entered the room, Hodge always welcomed him in — this was God’s child entrusted to his care.  Dr. Calhoun described Hodge’s parenting this way, quoting Hodge’s son’s recollection:

"His study had two doors, one opening outwards toward the Seminary for the convenience of the students, and a second one opening inward into the main hall of the home (for the children.)  He prayed for us at family prayers... and taught us to pray at his knees with such soul-felt tenderness, that, however bad we were, our hearts all melted to his touch." (Calhoun 1994, 192)

In contrast, A. T. Robertson’s demeanor toward his son was much the same as toward his students.  In fact, the “flavor” of A. T. Robertson’s demeanor is captured by his biographer, Everett Gill:

Students all remember how abruptly he would enter class, comment on the ventilation, castigate janitors in general, pass right on to `Let us pray’...  The prayer over, he turned at once to the calling of the roll...  Then calling for books to be closed, he scanned his class roll, while the students waited in suspense to see who the first victim would be.

"Having fixed upon [a] man, he would say with the solemnity of a judge summoning a prisoner to his feet to be sentenced, `Mr. Blank, will you recite?’ Brother Blank stood, bracing himself for the worst.  ‘Brother Blank, what is the title of the lesson?’ Brother Blank, clearing his throat for time, replies weakly,

"The lesson is about the healing of the man who was let down through the roof.’ `Yes, but what is the title of the lesson?’ `I don’t remember.’ `Well, did you ever know? That will do.’  Mr. Blank sits down in mortification and with not a little resentment, as Dr. Bob records a mark against the name of Mr. Blank as all the class can see.  There is no question in any one’s mind that it is an F- a failure..." (Gill 1943, 6)

There is such a contrast here!  It is interesting to note that both of their sons grew up and went into the gospel ministry.  A. A. Hodge, like his father, became a professor at Princeton and shaped a generation for Christ.  A. T. Robertson’s son became a liberal theologian and leveled harsh attacks against the Bible. Clearly, Charles Hodge was a shepherd, while A. T. Robertson was a taskmaster!

Are you a shepherd or a taskmaster?  The greatest thing we can do for our children is to disciple them to love the Lord by developing a love relationship with them.  Let us present the face and affections of Christ to our children!

Calhoun, David B. Princeton Seminary: Faith and Learning 1812-1868, Volume 1. Carlisle: Banner of Truth, 1994.

Gill, Everett. A Biography of A. T. Robertson. New York: The Macmillan Company, 1943.

The Lord's Provision for a New Home

The Provision

The Lord graciously provided CHESS with a new home - allowing us to continue to serve homeschooling families in the upcoming 2015/2016 school year.  We are so thankful for this provision and look forward to seeing all your smiling faces and hearing your joyful voices once again in the halls of Reformation Baptist Church on Wednesdays and at First United Methodist Church on Mondays.  Please see Class Schedule and Location.

Behind the Scenes

We would now, however, like to take you behind the scenes and share with you a bit of the story of searching for a new CHESS home.  Mrs. Kautz (Science teacher) and Mrs. Smart (Writing teacher) put on their "real estate hats" and led this search.  They made, MANY inquiries and heard basically the same answer:  “No.”  Mrs. Smart was reminded of someone else two thousand years ago who was repeatedly told that there was no room available for his family.  

Mrs. Kautz became the “Queen of Cold Calls"!  Watch out science students, she may try to turn cold-calling into some sort of wacky science experiment or give it to Mrs. Cassidy for mathematical computations.  Yet, through it all, she learned a lot.  Here were Mrs. Kautz’s Top Ten Things she learned in the search for a new CHESS home:

10.  Most Greeley churches don’t have enough room for us.  

9.    Most Greeley churches don’t know about CHESS.  

8.    After you’ve recited your speech a couple of times, it rolls off the tongue quite easily.  

7.    I’ve called churches in Greeley that I previously didn’t know existed.  

6.    I now look at churches with an eye as to how much classroom space they might contain.  

5.    Greeley has a LOT of churches!!  

4.    CHESS parents were wonderful about suggesting possible locations.  

3.    Church secretaries and pastors are very nice people to talk to.  

2.    Trying to “sell” CHESS to a possible location has made me realize all over again what an       awesome organization it is!  

1.    CHESS will continue in a new home!

And we praise God, once again, that He DID provide us with a new home! 


Greetings from the Board

The CHESS Board is pleased to introduce our new principal, Matthew Aden.  Matthew began taking on his responsibilities as principal on April 20.  He looks forward to meeting and getting to know you over the summer and into the fall semester.  

A Note from the Principal

By Matthew Aden, Principal

It is exciting and humbling for me to be able to begin work in this ministry and to be able to serve our Lord and King at the same time.  Many of you know me from classes in which I helped, others of you I have talked with in the hall, and still others of you I have not had the pleasure of meeting yet.   I hope to be able to serve all of you as you start or continue your homeschool journey through the quality services and classes that CHESS offers.

My own background as a homeschooler (I was home schooled for all but one year of my education.) and the excellent education I received at Chambers College, from which I graduated in 2014,  were some of God’s ways for preparing me to serve in this ministry.  I enjoy talking with and listening to people, and I love to interact with kids, young and old.  In May, I will be married to Rose Cassidy, and this, by far, is the most exciting thing in my life right now.

If you have any questions, stop by the office and arrange an appointment to talk with me.  I would be happy to sit down with you.