The LGBT Agenda and our Public Schools

gayAs a good friend pointed out the other day, we do not have to travel across the ocean to fight wars; they are in our own backyard. Last night was a prime example. My husband and I attended our local school board meeting where they were to vote on a proposed change to the EOE policy to include the LGBT community and the term “sexual orientation and gender identity”.

Doors opened before 5 pm and there was a high attendance. After well over 50 speeches from the community the board postponed the vote until the next board meeting stating that they were not allowed to make executive decisions past midnight. The next meeting will be June 1st. Both sides spoke to the issue.

Pastors and evangelicals talked about the nature and consequences of the homosexual lifestyle in general and how it goes against God’s standards clearly defined in Scripture. Concerned citizens talked about how this policy would constitute endorsement of sexual lifestyles and behaviors that most of the people in our community do not condone. Local parents addressed the concern that the school would be putting children at risk while ignoring the overwhelming evidence that proves the dangers of such policies. Many spoke to the confusing nature of this issue on the minds of our children.

The LGBT community was represented by business men and women, young students and teachers. Some articulated their message in a respectful manner wishing for understanding and compassion. The majority spoke of fear, hatred, bigotry, judgment and hypocrisy.  I truly wished I had counted the number of times that these key phrases were used during the evening. Other phrases heard were “it takes a village after all” and “no one has a monopoly on truth”. This issue was time and again equated to civil rights. One lady went so far as to compare this perceived discrimination as to what happened to the Jews in Germany.

The most shocking testimony was from an ex-homosexual who testified of his deliverance from this sinful lifestyle. I thank God for that man’s testimony for the Lord. The most disturbing testimony was from a local pastor who defended this lifestyle.  My heart aches for the confusion and blindness of so many in the LBGT lifestyle. I pray that the Lord will open their hearts to the truth of His word. However, this man willing deceived the hearers last night. Claiming to be a student of the Word, he ignored God’s perfect design for marriage as one man and one woman. God’s standard is that any sexual activity outside of a one man/one woman marriage is unrighteous.

 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. (1Co 6:9-10)

He down played scripture like Romans chapter one as “cultural issues” where it is clear that this is a moral and spiritual issue. “Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves,” (Rom 1:24). (See also Jude 7.)

He devalued the words written by Paul and other passages saying that Jesus never spoke on the issue of homosexuality. Did he forget that,All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness”(2Ti 3:16)?   Or that Jesus is The Word of God (John 1:1, Rev 19:13)?

He compared Christians who speak out against the sin of homosexuality to the Pharisees of old. A true understanding of the Pharisees reveals that they were on the ones who in the name of religion twisted God’s original Word to their own liking and traditions of men. Read the Sermon on the Mount. Over and over Jesus said, “You have heard that it was said by them of old time…….But I say unto you………….”

  • We’re okay because we haven’t murdered. But Jesus said if you have hatred in your heart that you are in danger of hell fire.
  • We’re okay because we haven’t committed adultery. But Jesus said if you look with lust you have committed adultery in your heart.
  • We’re okay because we divorced according to the law. But Jesus said your unjustified divorce is leading to adultery.

And so on, all through Chapter 5 of Matthew. God’s standard is that holy. God’s judgment is that pure. In fact, Jesus said, “That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.”(Mat 5:20)

Today it sounds like this:

  •  We’re okay because we are tolerant and nonjudgmental. But Jesus said, “Judge righteous judgment” (John 7:24).
  • We’re okay because we love Jesus. But Jesus said, “If you love me, keep my commandments” (John 14:15).
  • We’re okay because God accepts us just the way we are. But Jesus said, “Why call me Lord, Lord and do not the things I say?” (Luke 6:46).

God is not okay with sin in any fashion. To say that God is okay with sexual sin is quite deceptive.

Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry: For which things’ sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience: Col 3:5-6.

I saddened for those who willingly lead people astray.  Scripture warns them. Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; (Isa 5:20). Thus saith the Lord GOD; Woe unto the foolish prophets, that follow their own spirit, and have seen nothing! (Eze 13:3)

The goal of the gay agenda is to force our society to fully accept their lifestyle as morally, socially, and religiously equivalent to the heterosexual lifestyle. These attempts at policy changes and others across the nation is just a stepping stone. If we allow this, where will we draw the line? Will we draw the line at giving special rights to pedophiles or those who think they were born with a natural desire for animals?  God’s Word speaks to that as well.

Last night, over and over again, it was said that those who oppose this are being judgmental and hateful.  Can I just tell you that when I speak God’s truth that I am no more judgmental than a doctor who judges the seriousness of a patient dying with cancer. Out of love for mankind and a sense of professional obligation a good, noble doctor must offer the cure no matter how painful.  There is a cure for sin and eternal death, although it is often painful to hear.

I do not stand in judgment because the judgment has already been made by God. To warn those who will one day be judged for their sins is the most loving and compassionate thing anyone can do. To those who are blinded by their sins against God this, of course, will sound like hate. Truth always sounds like hate to those who hate truth.

 Let me say that again, Truth always sounds like hate to those who hate truth.

Christian parents, this issue is not going away.   The youth in the public schools are being indoctrinated with this liberal propaganda every day.  Pay attention, it starts in kindergarten and continues year after year. On this topic Dr. Ken Ham wrote, “It is also important to note that the public education system has by and large thrown out God’s Word and raised generations of children to believe they are just animals who evolved by natural processes. In that worldview, who determines right and wrong? And who determines what marriage should or should not be? In fact, why should there be any such thing as marriage any way? Why shouldn’t people do what they want with anyone, even any animal? Why shouldn’t they do what is right in their own eyes if they can get away with it? Why not? If there’s no absolute authority, what right does anyone have to tell anyone else what they should or should not do?”[i]

My advice is to get your children out now. Homeschool them or send them to a good private Christian school. Make the necessary sacrifices. Otherwise, do not be surprised when they come home after being taught by the village stating that absolute truth does not exist.

[i] http://blogs.answersingenesis.org/blogs/ken-ham/2012/07/31/why-are-they-intolerant-of-the-only-true-marriage/

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Five Tips for Choosing a Homeschool Curriculum

choosing curriculum

“I am so sorry.” she said after bumping into my arm. I smiled back and reassured her that it was not a problem. Apologetically she replied, “I am just walking around in a daze!” I saw that same dazed look many times throughout the day. I recognized it almost immediately. This was the look that many mothers have when attending their first homeschool convention.

I remember, very well, the overwhelmed feeling that came upon me many years ago. As I contemplated homeschooling my 4 year old, two thoughts whirled through my mind. The first was, “Wow! Look at all these homeschooling families. I won’t be alone.” The second thought was, “Wow! Look at all this curriculum. How will I ever choose the right one?”

Knowledge plays a paramount role in choosing the correct curriculum for your family. This process of learning is never ending. For us, it began when we started our incredible homeschool adventure, over a decade ago. It has continued on through the last homeschool convention we recently attended. And in the years ahead we will continue to seek knowledge.  Homeschool fairs and conventions are wonderful means to attain information but they can also be rather intimidating. In fact, for a first time homeschooler, pouring through dozens of catalogs, simply doing an internet search, or just talking with veteran homeschooling families can be daunting. There is a lot of information out there. And there are a lot of things to take into consideration each school year. What style of teaching will we use? How much money will we spend? How many hours a day or days a week will we teach? What will our goals be? And what curriculum will we use?

Choosing a curriculum for your children is an important task. In addition to acquiring knowledge about each product there are some key factors to consider in this choice.

 What foundation is it built on?

The first aspect to consider when choosing a curriculum is to determine what foundation the curriculum is built on. Each family will have a different standard. For our family, it is imperative that it has a strong, Biblical foundation. The importance of giving children a Christian education is one of the focal reasons many choose to home educate. When I look at various curriculums, the subject that needs to be addressed is whether this particular study will give my children a biblical world view. The reason we ask this question is because there is no such thing as amoral education. I believe that everything our children learn will either draw them to God or away from God. We must ask ourselves, as parents, if this is a dynamic worth considering. “If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do? Psalm 11:3.

 Does it fit our family?

Just as there are many different types of families, equally there are many different types of curriculums. Some families choose a traditional home education. This is simply taking the concept of school and bringing it home. Traditional homeschooling usually includes text books, workbooks, written tests, and core subjects. Others choose to incorporate Unit Studies into their education. I have a friend who is doing a unit study through Little House on the Prairie with her three daughters. All three girls, of different ages, will get their math, language, science, history, and Bible in this study. In addition, they learn how to cook and sew throughout the year. Other families choose eclectic, relaxed, or unschooling. Still others choose the methods of Charlotte Mason, DVD/video schooling, or internet homeschooling.

We have used various types over the years. I began with the traditional approach, but soon realized that my young son was less apt to sit behind a desk all day. It was more effective to teach him his spelling words while he did jumping jacks, or read to him classic literature curled up on the couch. We found that doing science at the park or in our back yard was successful as well. So we adapted our methods. As we added more children to our family, I found myself doing more Unit Studies. Now that the children are getting older, we have switched to doing the majority of their schoolwork with a computer program. And, if necessary, chances are we will again alter our approach to fit our family.

When determining what style fits our family we should pay attention to not compare ourselves to other homeschooling families. I have noticed that homeschooling parents seem to be notorious at the comparison game. The Jones children are leaning Latin. The Smith children are three grade levels ahead in math. Our friends at co-op are using the newest science curriculum. And so on. It is an easy trap to fall into. And yet it must be avoided for the well being of the family. The Bible warns us of this. “For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise,” 2 Corinthians 10:12. It is not wise to compare ourselves to others because we are not them. We must seek the Lord and His standard for our family and stop comparing ourselves to everyone else. God created us unique. He created our family unique. Unless we embrace our differences and do what works with our family, we will constantly struggle in our homeschooling.

Is it fun?

As the old adage goes, “Do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life.” Likewise, consider the wisdom behind this saying, “Give a child a love for learning, and he’ll never be in school.” If we can successfully instill into our children a true love for learning then the act of studies will not be a chore. This is a concept that I still have to go back to on a weekly basis. Sometimes lessons become mundane. But one of the greatest advantages of home education is that they do not have to be.   We have a great freedom in how we teach our children. Math facts can be boring but if you have a daughter who loves to cook you can teach her fractions in the kitchen. She will have so much fun that she will not even realize she is learning. History can be a drab but if you have an auditory learner you can find some fascinating historical audio dramas to listen to in the car. This will help peak your child’s interest in history. Some children struggle with writing but are very proficient at sending letters to friends or writing emails. A wise parent will use these avenues to teach their children. My oldest son loves to work with wood; therefore, we have tried to use his passion as an opportunity to teach various subjects of importance.

It must be said, however, that it will be difficult to make everything a child must learn fun and exciting for them. My son likes to ask the question, “Why do I need to learn this?” He continues with explaining that it is likely that he will never use this information in life. It is then that I take the opportunity to remind him of an important fact. It may be true that unless he becomes an engineer he might not need to know the high levels of calculus and trigonometry. But he will need to learn how to study. And unless he becomes a history major it is likely that it will not be necessary to memorize all the dates of every war. However, he will need to be able to sharpen his memorization skills. Studies teach us diligence. And that is unquestionably an attribute worth achieving. All children need to be trained in the art of hard work. And all of these things can come about by simply learning higher math or detailed history. With the right attitude, even learning tedious facts can be a joy to both the student and the teacher.

 What are others saying?

The homeschooling movement has grown over the years. There is a generation of homeschool graduates who are now teaching their own children. Homeschooling groups and co-ops are in abundant. There is easy access to literature and information about homeschooling and curriculums. Homeschoolers do not have to be lone rangers. There is support and connections all around. Parents need to learn to take advantage of all this information and wisdom from others. A little research will go a long way in determining if a curriculum is right for your family. Ask around. See what others are saying. Talk to people who have used it. Read the reviews before buying. As one homeschooling mother puts it, “A friendly warning about curricula that doesn’t live up to the hype has inoculated me against unnecessary cases of buyer’s remorse.”

 Are we being consistent?

When choosing a curriculum for your children remember these key factors. What foundation is it built on? Does it fit our family? Is it fun? What are others saying about it? And one final thought I would like to offer is on consistency. While consistency does not necessary play a part in which curriculum to choose, it does play a part in whether we become successful in this choice. We have found ourselves having to change a curriculum that was not working during the middle of a school year. But one thing that did not change was the consistency of doing that necessary study. The math curriculum might have changed but the study of math did not. Perhaps a reading or language curriculum is not working for your family. It is okay to adjust. Just be sure to continue to teach reading and language on some level. Maybe you are unsatisfied with a Bible program, that’s okay too. Just be sure your family is reading the Bible every day. A good rule of thumb for younger children is to be consistent in teaching the three R’s – Reading, wRiting and aRithmetic.

An essential element in homeschooling is you, the parent, taking the God given responsibility for your child’s education. These decisions are important but you are not left to face them alone. Commit the path of learning your family will take to prayer. Trust in God to lead you. And keep your eyes focused on Him. “Let thine eyes look right on, and let thine eyelids look straight before thee. Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established,” Proverbs 4:25-26.     

 (This article is taken from my book Home Discipleship: Much More than ABC’s and 123’s. To read more visit: www.homediscipleship.net.)

When Leaders Fall….and what we can learn from them

leaders The subject line read Another Homeschool Tragedy. As I opened the email my heart grieved. Similar to other stories reported over the past year, it contained scandalous news involving a local homeschool father/spiritual leader. A man has fallen into sin. Families are torn up. Lives are devastated. Ministries are tarnished. The testimony and integrity of Christians are questioned. And, the homeschool community faces shame and disgrace.

Opinions will always abound when scandals surface. Some will throw rocks at the accused. Others will call for grace. Some will claim that it was inevitable. Other will say they cannot believe it happened. But placing opinions aside, there are things we can learn when those in leadership fall. After all, did not God give us examples in His Word of men and women who fell into sin in order that we can learn from them?

Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted, 1 Corinthians 10:6.

No doubt there are just as many examples of people doing wrong than right in the Bible. Keeping this in mind, there are at least four principles we can learn when considering this subject. As the old adage goes, a wise man will learn from the mistakes of others; an ordinary person will learn from his own; a fool will learn from neither.

Do Not Believe Everything You Hear

The first principle is something that we should already understand. It is not wise to accept at face value everything we hear second hand. We should certainly not believe every word we read on the internet. In this information age of blogging, social media and online news, the internet is to gossip as fuel is to fire.

As a pastor, my husband counsels with many couples. Occasionally he will ask me to sit in on the sessions. Something that I have gained from this experience is that almost always there are three sides to every story – his, hers, and the right one. If this is true of face to face conversations, how much more should we be cautious of news traveling online?

Negative news loves to spread, especially when it involves Christian people. The world is looking for a reason to criticize our faith. This is why a standard of living is so meticulously laid out for the church in Titus 2. God’s children are to look and live differently than the world with three reasons mentioned specifically in this passage. The first reason is so that the Word of God will “not be blasphemed” (verse 5). Another is that those who are “of the contrary part my may be ashamed, having no evil thing to say,” (verse 8). And finally, so that others “may adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour in all things,” (verse 10). We are to live “soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;” Titus 2:12. Unfortunately, Christians do not always do so.

Believers need to walk circumspectly. We also need to speak with caution and be careful with our accusations especially when it involves a spiritual leader. On the other hand, we do not want to be guilty of hiding or covering up sins to the determent of others. Often, people will downplay the reality of what is happening or ignore it all together in fear that Christianity will look bad. When leaders fall into sin there is a warning in Scripture toward both ends. “Against an elder receive not an accusation, but before two or three witnesses. Them that sin rebuke before all, that others also may fear,” 1 Timothy 5:19-20. This is, of course, in context of a local assembly.

When we hear news of scandal it is good to remember to not believe everything we hear. Also, when people fall into sin, note that it rarely helps to take those sins and magnify them before the world. Unless you are directly involved in the situation, often the best response is none at all. Silence is never misquoted.

Let it Serve as a Reminder

Since the beginning of time pride has caused sin, ruin, and heartache for mankind. It was Satan’s pride that caused his fall (Isaiah 14:12-14). Eve was tempted with pride when the serpent tricked her into believing that she would become as a god, knowing good and evil (Genesis 3:5). Our Lord was tempted with pride in the wilderness (Matthew 4:5-7). We are warned in I John 2:16 about the “pride of life”. Pride is such a stumbling block that one of the qualifications to be a pastor or elder is that he must not be a novice, “…lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil,” I Timothy 3:6.

How many times have we heard of a man preach or teach against the very sin that he ends up falling into? (Being transparent here, how many times have I lectured my children about sin in their life to only have the same sin rear its ugly head in my life.) Pride tells us that we are untouchable. Pride dismisses accountability. Pride elevates man and pushes God far away. So given the warning of pride, when we hear of leaders falling into sin let it serve as a reminder to remain humble ourselves. “Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall,” 1 Corinthians 10:12. The truth is that none of us are immune to sin. In fact, it is that very moment we begin to think that we are immune when we are at the highest risk of falling.

People are people; nothing more. It is pride that tries to make more of man than he is. But lest we forget, God is God and nothing less. When we grasp this concept the pride in our lives become detestable and we are left in humility before the One who discerns of the thoughts and intents of our heart.

Understand Healthy Emulation

Romans 12:3 warns, “to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think.” We fall into danger of temptation when man is elevated too high and no doubt this can become a problem. On the other hand, we see in scripture the concept of healthy emulation. God places people in our lives as examples to follow. Christians should imitate those of noble character. The Apostle Paul spoke to the church in Corinth saying, “wherefore I beseech you, be ye followers of me,” 1 Corinthians 4:16. To the Jewish believers he said to be, “followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises,” Hebrews 6:12. Speaking of pastors and elders, Paul wrote, “Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation,” Hebrews 13:7. We are to look to our leaders, consider their behavior, and follow their example. This is healthy emulation. The Apostle John gives the same instruction in his third epistle stating that we are not to follow after evil, but that which is good (3 John 1:11). In other words, imitate those who do good things.

There is a balance. Extreme tenets almost always lead to problems. I have known those who will put a man or ministry on a pedestal, but then jump to the other extreme (complete disregard for any man or any ministry) when that man falls. I believe that we can find that balance in the local assembly, which brings us to the next point.

Recognizing the Importance of the Local Assembly

The problem I see with online ministries and parachurch organizations is that while they do good works for the Kingdom, if we are not careful these organizations can easily become a surrogate for the local assembly. When the intimacy of the local assembly is replaced with a general or broad application, accountability is no longer possible. You see, the local assembly is not an organization, but an organism – a living body.

Consider Paul’s instructions to the Philippians. “Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you,” Philippians 4:9. Paul had already told the Philippians in 3:17 to be followers of him, now he reminds them again. Do the things that you have not only learned, received and heard from me, but also those things that you have personally seen in me. Paul practiced what he preached and those in Philippi could verify his words because they had seen the way he lived. It is hard to follow someone solely based on their bio. This is why the local assembly is important for healthy emulation. We need to witness the walk of those we look to for examples.

I certainly do not want to discount all works and resources outside the local assembly. That would be foolish. Many ministries provide valid support for believers. Many organizations and leaders greatly influence others in the Christian community. I am thankful for the wealth of books and tools that are available for Christians and the homeschool community. These resources have personally brought value to my life over the years. I have written books to the Christian community as well as the homeschool community. But the bottom line is that while books can be a great resource, they are no substitute for the Word of God. And just as resources are no substitute for God’s Word, ministries or organizations should not be a substitute for the local assembly.

Thousands upon thousands of men and women are faithfully and silently serving the Lord. They are placed in our churches as examples to follow. There are spiritual leaders who set a good example to follow, families who are living out godly principals, and parents that are bringing up their children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. Look to the local fellowship for support. Personally know those who you follow. Be an example for others to follow. And welcome accountability that can only come from a local fellowship of believers.

News of scandal brings concern and uncertainty to our community. But like all things, good can come from it. When news travels remember to not believe everything you hear. Let it serve as a reminder to stay humble before the Lord. Understand the importance of healthy emulation and the need for the local assembly.

“Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do. And we beseech you, brethren, to know them which labour among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you; And to esteem them very highly in love for their work’s sake. And be at peace among yourselves,” 1 Thessalonians 5:11-13.

Am I Good Enough?

parentGod has entrusted the discipleship of our children to us. What an awesome responsibility! When we consider the high calling and standards that is placed on Christian parents, it can be overwhelming. I know this from experience. There are times that I feel as though I have outright failed as a parent. I haven’t taught them enough. I haven’t been consistent enough. I’ve missed teaching opportunities ….and so on.  Am I good enough?

The truth is that we are the ones God has chosen to parent our children. You see, it doesn’t take long to recognize the source of discouragement and despair. It is the enemy that wants us to lose heart. So when I feel this way, I run to God’s Word and let the light of His truth shine bright.

Have you ever been discouraged? It takes a lot to bring up children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. Let me remind you that God is on your side!  No one has a more vested interest in your children than the Lord. Be encouraged! Turn to Him. Trust in His leading and be pointed to His Holy Word.

Do you want to learn more about discipleship? Join me over at The Homeschool Leadercast as I talk about:

  • Discipleship in the home

  • Why home discipleship is so important

  • What home discipleship should look like

  • If we don’t disciple our children, they are going to learn from others

  • The biblical mandate to disciple our children

  • The foundation for Home Discipleship

  • Marriage as the framework for home discipleship

Image courtesy of stockimages / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

5 Important Reminders for the Upcoming School Year

remindersWith school just a few weeks away I have a lot of my mind. This year I have children in 11th, 9th, and 5th grade to teach. It’s high time to get the books out, start on lesson plans, make schedules, buy supplies, and more. But in the midst of it all, I want to remind myself of 5 very important things.

Relationships trump everything else!

 The relationship we have with God and the relationship we have with others is really the only thing that matters from an eternal perspective. The greatest commandment sums it up with love.  “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets,”  Matthew 22:36-40.  Life is about relationships. Does our homeschooling foster this idea?

 Stop comparing our family to everyone else!

God’s plan for our life is the standard all must seek. God created each of us (and our family) in a unique way. Unless we embrace our differences and seek out God’s will for our family, we will constantly struggle in this area.  We are all striving to live our life and raise our family in a way that is pleasing to Him. Some are simply further down the road than others.  Some have been traveling longer. Some travel at a faster pace. And some take a different path altogether. My life will not look like yours. Your life will not look like mine. But let each of us look like Christ. If we are going to compare our lives with anyone, let it be His!  “He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked,” 1 John 2:6.

 Have fun and love to learn!

 I can get so caught up in teaching my children something that I completely miss the point. I am trying to cultivate a love for learning in them. I need to remember that this will never be done by drilling facts or figures into their head. We are so blessed in that we have the freedom in how we teach our children. In that we can make learning interesting. Smile, laugh, and enjoy learning together! You’ll be surprised at how much more that will retain. “And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord,” Colossians 3:23a.

 Don’t become too busy; live the simple life!

I understand that learning can take place in the car, library, at co-op’s, and during field trips. In addition, our children can be involved in jobs, ministry, sports, music lessons, volunteer work, and more. We have the world as our classroom and opportunities abound for our children, but we cannot do it all. It is not really an issue of whether or not we can do it all.  The issue is that we shouldn’t even try. In truth, the home is an important aspect of home education. In the excitement of planning for this upcoming year, I really want to remember that sometimes “busy” can stand for “Bound Under Satan’s Yoke.”  “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour,” 1 Peter 5:8.

 Don’t forget why we are doing this!

There are many reasons we homeschool our children. I could talk about the educational value, the protection it offers, the positive impact it has on the family, the freedom and flexibility it offers, and so much more. But the bottom line is that God has called my husband and me to disciple our children by His Word and in His ways. Simply put, homeschooling makes the process a lot easier. For now, this is the will of God for our family and being in His will is exactly where we want to be.

“ And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God,” Romans 12:2.

The Twilight Zone (Homeschool Edition)

hs edition twilight The show never appealed to me much. I really don’t care for scary or creepy movies. Plus, frightening and sinister thoughts do not make Paul’s list to the Philippians of things we are to think upon (Philippians 4:8). However, the other day I felt like I stepped into the Twilight Zone.

It happened like this.

We were pleasantly surprised with 3 inches of snow last week. So like every good homeschool mom I suggested we put up the books, get out our coats and gloves, and go visit some friends. On the drive Abigail (my turns-14-in-a-few-weeks, wonderfully sweet, precious, a little OCD, and only daughter) said, “Mom, I’m NEVER going to get all my school work done!”

Where in the world did this come from? I was geared up for a fun day of visiting a friend over a cup of coffee while the kids played.

“Abigail, it will be okay,” I said, “We can take Friday to catch up on school this week.”

To which she replied, “We just take off too many days! It will be the middle of summer before I’m done with all my work.”

WOW! I was stunned. We take off too many days? What child says that? I’m a pretty relaxed homeschooling mom. We typically get all of our work done by Thursday, taking off Friday for errands, field trips, etc. Plus, we’re almost always finished with the school year by the end of May. I never wanted to be one of these “stick-to-the-schedule no matter what the cost” type of moms. I don’t want to “cram” lessons into my children, but let them enjoy learning. I don’t want to be ruled by the curriculum. I don’t want society, expectations, or anything other than the Lord and my husband dictating our weekly agenda. Homeschooling should be a lifestyle, not something we add-on to our life but who we are. Success isn’t gauged by finishing a book or taking a test, but whether or not I have given my children a love for the Lord and a love for learning.

“Would it make you feel better if you knew that some of the schools around closed for the day?” I said.

“Yea, a little”, my sweet daughter finally acknowledged.

The kids built a snowman, constructed a fort, had a snowball fight, drank hot chocolate and enjoyed the day. And that night, my daughter stayed up late doing her schoolwork.

We are quite opposite in many ways. She wants to stick to a schedule. I want to go with the flow. She wants all her schoolwork written down. I want to “do the next page.” She wants structure. I want freedom. She wants to sit at a desk with her books neatly stacked up. I want to work in the recliner or couch with a cup of coffee and my feet propped up. But I am so thankful for her. She’s just like her daddy, and the Lord knows that I need that structure here throughout the day. While I am certainly not an “unschooler,” I sure appreciate their style. But my daughter helps to create in me a beautiful balance.

Am I too relaxed? Maybe, just a bit!

Am I happy and enjoying my children and this wonderful season of life? Absolutely!

So now that I think about it, I didn’t step into the twilight zone at all. It was just a normal homeschool day where I learn as much as my children do.

snow kids snow day kids snow

What’s the “matter”?

What’s the matter, homeschooling mother?  Are you like me?  Does the thought of teaching science to your children scare you?  The sciences in general have a reputation of being an almost out-of-reach specialty that is only for a few people.  So it’s understandably if words and phrases like: physics, atoms, electrons, extranuclear region, berkelium, gravitational force, electromagnetic spectrum, and the laws of thermodynamics concern you some.

Maybe you love teaching science.  Maybe you excel in it, therefore so do your children.  But, for the rest of us what do we do?  The reality is that science does not have to be hard.  After all, true science is simply getting to know God and understanding and appreciating His power and greatness.  What Christian mother doesn’t want to teach that to her children?

Not too long ago, I received the Christian Kids Explore Physics book from Bright Ideas Press to review with my children.  The book contains 30 weekly lessons with step by step lesson activities, coloring pages, fun experiments, Review It questions, and unit quizzes.

The children and I have both really enjoyed studying physics.  The scientific terminology is explained in simple, easy to understand terms.  For example:

Physics – The study of matter and energy in great detail

Matter – Things that we can see or touch, have weight, and take up space

Energy – The capacity to do work

Because of the simplicity of each lesson all my children, regardless of age, can grasp the scientific facts with confidence and assurance.  However, there is enough information in each lesson for continued learning if you choose.  That is one of the reasons I like this curriculum.  It is easily adapted.  Another reason I like this curriculum is because of the authors statements in the introduction.

“The important thing to keep in mind is that God is at the center of everything – including the study of physics.”

Last week while learning about the lithium atom we made atomic cookies.  All you need are three protons, four neutrons, and three electrons.  Amazingly enough, cookie dough and M&M’s work wonderfully well! 

 

Andrew’s lithium adom model wasn’t edible but he still had fun making it.

You can purchase Christian Kids Explore Physics for $34.95 for their website.  To see what others are saying about Bright Ideas Press and their products click here.

Disclaimer:  As a member of The Old Schoolhouse 2010-2011 Crew, I received the Christian Kids Explore Pysics in exchange for an honest product review.   I do not receive any other form of compensation for the reviews posted on this blog.

Student Planners

Moms, how are you coming on your organizational skills this year? 

I’m going to admit right now that I have not always been the most organized person.  But over the years and with much prodding from my dear husband, I have become much more organized in all that I do (from running the house, to my writing, to teaching the children and everything in between).

So this year I started off with great expectations.  At the beginning of the school year I had everything scheduled and organized.  Of course, I must give credit where credit is due and The 2010 Schoolhouse Planner sure has helped in this area.  So I’m off to a good start.  Now comes the challenge of imparting to my children the same organizational skills.  After all, it is important for children to be structured.  It’s important for them to have order.  And as they get older it is even more important that they learn the self discipline it takes to keep them organized.

There are two things I have learned to help my own children with these skills.  First, I have to emulate the behavior for them.  After all, when it comes to children, more is caught than taught.   Secondly, I must provide for them good resources and tools to use.  For example, if I want to teach my children to be early risers then I myself must be an early riser.  Secondly, I should invest in an alarm clock for them (giving them the proper tool). 

To teach my children to be organized I first must be.  Then I need to give them the proper tools or resources.  This is where the Schoolhouse Student Planner comes in.  I received the Middle School (7-8 grade) planner from TOS in exchange for an honest review.  It is 278 pages of informative articles, helpful calendars, valuable forms, and so much more.  In fact, there really is too much to list but below are a few examples.

  • To-do lists (today, tomorrow, next week . . .)
  • Audio/Visual log
  • Log sheet
  • Marking period planners
  • Wish list (stuff to buy later)
  • Science lab sheets (use to gather all the supplies and record the experiment too)
  • General book reports
  • Early elementary book reports (with room for pictures!)
  • Chore charts (includes tasks and pictures for primary and secondary grades)
  • Loaned and borrowed lists (no more lost books, CDs, DVDs . . .)
  • Important phone numbers and contacts (never forget a phone number again)
  • Address book (from A–Z)
  • Family tree
  • Community service record (college and scholarship applications may require this information)
  • Dates to remember (birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, important events)
  • Website login/password reference (handy!)

In addition, there are those much-needed, must-know lists for those hard to remember facts and figures:

  • Thirteen colonies
  • Multiplication table
  • Branches of government
  • Planets
  • Measurement conversions
  • Elements
  • Capitals of states or countries
  • Timelines
  • Kitchen and measurement conversions
  • And more!

The student planners complement the Schoolhouse Planners in a very nice way but can also stand alone.   At just $19 they are affordable as well.   I must say that our family is well on our way to having a smooth, well-run household and a very productive year!   Visit the store to learn more information.

Shew me thy ways, O LORD; teach me thy paths. (Psa 25:4)

 

Entrusted With Arrows

“Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward. As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth. Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them.”  Psalm 127:3-5a

 Movie Makers has just released a new documentary which I recently had the privilege to review.  Entrusted with Arrows: Entrepreneurial Homeschool Fathers, is an hour long documentary challenging ordinary men to be extraordinary fathers.  Statistics show that the average father spends less than seven minutes of quality time with their children each week.  Perhaps just as alarming, statistics also show that children in Christian homes are being raised without a biblical worldview.  These children in turn reject the faith of their parents when they reach adulthood.  The film highlights fathers who have rejected the world’s standards.  They have embraced a more biblical model because they understand that they are called to disciple their children.   

 We get a glimpse into the lives of average men who have chosen to not just educate their children at home, but have chosen to come home and lead in the discipleship of their children.  The common denominator in all these families is their faith in God.  We see God open doors as they start home businesses.  They stay with their children on a regular basis and follow the commands of God to teach, train, and disciple.  As they follow in obedience, we see God bless these families.  This film is encouraging and uplifting, pointing us to God and His will for Christian homes.  It is a must see for those whose hearts desire is to follow God in every area of their life.

 And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. (Deu 6:6-7)

Our First Day of “school”

Day one is over. School is officially in session. That means in our home that pencils and minds alike are sharp and ready to be used. The computers and text books are out. Our goals are listed along with a long list of books to read this year. With day one behind us I’m looking forward to a great year with my children.

Actually, to tell the truth, we’ve “done school” all summer. What I mean is that part of my goal in teaching my children at home is that I create in them a love for learning along with a mindset that we always pursue knowledge. I don’t want my children to think that “school” takes place from 8 to 3 or from Monday to Friday or from August to May or from Kindergarten to 12th grade. The word school really is unsuitable. I prefer education. I want my children to learn every day. I want those who love them best to be their teachers. I want the world to be their schoolroom. I want life to be their homework. I want the Bible to be the preeminent textbook. I want their classmates to be from babies to adults. I don’t want to fill their minds with useless information. I want to create in them a desire to learn all they can for God’s glory. I want them to excel in reading classics, to chase after truth in science, to discover the world through history (His – God’s Story), to read and follow after great men and women. I want them to use their writing skills to change the world. I think Williams Butler Yeats said it best when he said, “Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.” That is what I want to do – light a fire that burns their entire life. My prayer is that their education never ceases but that they continue throughout all their lives on this pursuit of truth and knowledge.

Lofty goal?  Yes.  Is it worth it?  Absolutely!