Family Spotlight! From Brazil to the U.S.

Meet the Leite Family!

Meet Alessandro (Al) and Rachel Leite.  This beautiful couple has been married 15 years and have 4 children,  Hava (10 - 6th grade), Levi (8 - 4th grade), Daniel (5 - 1st grade), and Boaz (4 months).  Both parents have roots in Brazil and now live in Texas.

What do you consider your home country and where are you living now?

Alessandro was born and raised Brazilian.  I (Rachel) am American but moved to Brazil at 12 years old when my parents became missionaries.  We have been living in the US (Florida and Texas) for the past 14 years and all our children were born here in Texas. 

What has been the best part of homeschooling?

The deep relationships among our family members and our spiritual growth together.

What has been the hardest part of homeschooling?

How much energy and time it takes - we don't get a lot of "me time" because it's almost always "us time."

What is your children’s favorite thing to do in the country you now live?

We are so blessed to live in a place where there are so many resources for homeschoolers and entertainment/education in general. We work very hard and fast when we are home, so we all enjoy it when we get to go anywhere else! We do a lot of activities with our church, which includes an incredible full-scale library, P.E. and artistic options. We also love to go down the street to our neighborhood park and when we've been working extra hard, it's nice sometimes to lay everything down and go out for a cold treat! (Texas is hot!)

What homeschool curriculum have you found that works for your family and why do you like it?

We have used My Father's World from day 1 and it has been a practically perfect fit for us. Besides being very cost-effective and entirely Biblically based (the two main selling points when we started), the fact that it is all-inclusive (everything we need can be purchased through their site) and almost completely "open and go" allows us the time to be able to be involved in many ministry opportunities in our church and community. Sometimes, we pack up our backpacks and do school in the car, at church or anywhere! Even though I have an education degree, I love that I don't have to spend time piecing a curriculum together. Also, since we reuse materials for younger siblings, and since we all sit together, the youngers learn from the model of the olders which facilitates their learning and everyone's cooperation. I especially love when the olders cheer the youngers on in a new skill or benchmark, or I pull out something for a younger sibling and the older one(s) says, "Oh, I remember that and you're gonna love it! It's so fun!"

What piece of advice do you have for women around the world who are homeschooling?

Harmony begets harmony. If you as the parent/teacher are peaceful in your task, the children will be too. If you are stressed, they will be too. Our job is not to teach them everything (we don't know it all anyway!), or to give them stuff and extracurricular activities (the LORD provides those as we need them), but to teach them to be people of character and good students, curious and able to find the wisest answers to life's questions.

"Even though I grew up in ministry, I struggled severely with depression and anxiety. By the time I was in college, it escalated quickly and I was encouraged to leave school to be hospitalized for the chemical imbalance that was consistently inhibiting my success. I was a cutter and attempted suicide on more than one occasion. I didn't leave school, but I was on a cocktail of medication and in therapy. During the most dramatic suicide attempt, my knees fell to the floor and my mouth spontaneously called on the Name of Jesus (I was not intentionally speaking). From that moment forward, I began to heal from the inside out. It was confirmed by various doctors, therapists and pharmacists that my severe state would require dependence on medication for the rest of my life, but that's just not what happened. The LORD saw fit for me to be completely healed, off all medications indefinitely, and I understood that Philippians 2:5-11 was for me. He chose to heal me and help me see His purposes for me - which later would include helping these 4 little Leites (whose births are miraculous stories too!) know their eternal worth and influence on the world for His glory. For anyone reading this, I share this only to encourage you that no matter how dark the path may seem, Jesus' light will be enough and can lead you to completely unexpected and unimaginable blessings!"
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Rachel
Personal Testimony

Do you have any prayer requests you’d like to share?

My husband is finishing yet another degree in his life, but this time in his second language. Education is challenging no matter your age, but language barriers make it even more difficult. Even though I'm fluent in another language, I'm glad I don't have to get any degrees in it!

Do you have any resource links or ministry website that you would like to share?

  • One of my favorite homeschool heroes is Renee Ellison at Homeschool How-To's. I heard her speak at some homeschool conferences and she is so incredibly wise - not just in how to educate children quickly and effectively but also about a truly counter-cultural way of life including the blessing of being chosen by G-D to be a woman, wife and mother - that I consider her one of my mentors! 
  • I would be remiss if I didn't include our church website where you can also access our iCampus and watch services live, but also all the archives. First Baptist Dallas is a place where life happens.
  • Hope for the Heart is one of my all time favorite resources to recommend. They have all kinds of resources for individuals and families, but also a toll-free number you can call when you're having a tough time dealing with pretty much anything, and a live person will talk and pray with you. June Hunt, the founder and CSO "Chief Servant Officer," is another G-dly woman I consider a mentor and friend for life! 
  • If you ever find yourself needing resources for Jewish evangelism or Jewish roots, Chosen People Ministries is so helpful, because the Bible tells us to pray for the peace of Jerusalem and to share the gospel "first to the Jew and also to the gentile"  They also have a large group of missionaries around the world who not only share the gospel, but teach the basis of our faith through Jewish eyes.

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