The Importance of Written Goals for Yourself, Your Students, and Your School Year.
The Southern Baptist Academy
Friday, 25 July 2014 12:51
Most people understand that goals are important, but did you know that written goals are about 40% more likely to be achieved and those goals which are both written and discussed with a friend have a success rate of 76%. This is from a recent study by Psychology professor Dr. Gail Matthews (http://www.dominican.edu/dominicannews/study-backs-up-strategies-for-achieving-goals).
For the Christian homeschooling parent, this is exciting information. Someone who has put in the love and work it takes into successfully educating their child whether via standard written curriculum or the more modern online homeschooling method wants to believe that the work that they and their students have put into that education will be profitable and successful. To this end, writing goals seems a clear choice in that it will make attaining those goals more likely.
What does a helpful written goal look like? It looks S.M.A.R.T.
- Specific goals, rather than vague goals are more achievable, such as “I want to make good grades” versus “I want to get 100% on my math test Tuesday.”
- Measurable goals are those that can be measured through a metric such; date, grade, or certain amount of something.
- The A in the acronym can mean “attainable”, or “action-oriented. Both are valuable in helping you reach your outcome. Action oriented is obvious “I will choose the appropriate online homeschooling site for my student.” An attainable statement means that the goal is within.
- R is for realistic or relevant, meaning “is this goal truly attainable given my circumstances and does this goal make sense in the plan I have for my life”. Each person much choose which will be more helpful to their situation.
- T stands for time, timely, time-bound, or time sensitive. All mean the same thing basically; you put a date on your goal to make it concrete and give yourself some motivation.
Whether you are creating objective goals for education, or you and your student are creating some personal goals, using the SMART system is sure to help you reach those goals more effectively.
Vision for Your Child’s Childhood
The Southern Baptist Academy
Wednesday, 12 February 2014 10:11
God’s Vision for your Child’s Life (where does Christian Homeschooling Online fit in?)
Proverbs 22:6 “Train up a child in the way he should go [and in keeping with his individual gift or bent], and when he is old he will not depart from it.” (NIV)
I sat down one day, prayed feverishly to God, and asked for wisdom. My children and I were going through the healing process from being victims to domestic violence. They were silent witnesses to domestic violence that I had tolerated too long. I wanted their childhood to be a complete reversal from the past so I visualized and set goals for what I wanted my children’s childhood to be.
God spoke to me to envision what they would tell their kids about when their parents about their childhood. What stories would they have to share? Would they be good stories, traumatic stories, and sadness/fear stricken stories? Would they be grown adults that were emotionally healthy? On the other hand, would they carry deep scars from my parental choices and emotional roller coasters?
I created a vision-to encourage and mentor-to allows them to make mistakes. God showed me to be their support to help back them up when they fell in life. God had blessed me with parents that provided that unconditional love and support. I have been able to flourish with their Godly support providing confidence in my adulthood. God instructed me to follow through with the vision by communicating to them via text and/or in person these words-I am proud of you, I am so proud to be your mom, and I love you.
I want their childhood foundations built strong as the winds of change in adulthood come. Therefore, they would have emotional security inside to be able to endure and make healthy life choices. Without the negative inner self-talk dialect be hopeless, worthless, and your nothing or will not be anything. I want their inner dialect to be God driven; you are strong, you can figure out how to get through this obstacle with God’s direction, their loved, and help is only a phone call away.
I encourage you to seek God’s wisdom to create your mental vision for your children. Envision them as adults telling the stories of their childhood. Think about your everyday life, what is the atmosphere is that surrounds them in the privacy of your home. Is it an environment that when they are grown they felt safe, protected, loved, and happy in or is it an unstable, walking on eggshells, fearful experience? My goal is that my children will not spend their adulthood erasing and reprogramming themselves from damage during their childhood that God has entrusted me trains them in.
10 Tips for Homeschooling Online: Reading
The Southern Baptist Academy
Monday, 10 February 2014 12:46
Your child’s reading is the foundation of his/her homeschooling. His/her success depends a great deal on the level of support that she or he receives at home. Using Christian homeschool programs can greatly enhance your child’s enjoyment of and proficiency in reading. A solid Christian homeschool program gives you the tools and the opportunities to learn to read.
An experienced and well respected Christian homeschool will enable you to follow these 10 Tips for preparing your child for a life of loving reading. (These are adapted from the ideas of Michael Levy)
Tip #1: Read with and to Children Regularly
Reading at home with children is one of the best ways to ensure that they are ready for reading. It also sends the message that reading is enjoyable and fun. Parents should read with their children at least five times a week.
Tip #2: Let Children Explore Books Alone
Depending on the age of the child, it is not always necessary to control tightly the books your children read. Many parents often make the mistake of strictly controlling the reading opportunities that their children have. They may let their child select the book, but then completely take over from there. All children should be given the time to explore a book before and/or after they read it with a parent or other adult. When the child reaches the point where he or she can read alone, it’s still a good idea to not rush into reading, but to encourage exploration first.
Tip #3: Show Confidence in the Child’s Abilities
Children need to believe that they can do something. And, when a child becomes discouraged, it is often a parent’s belief in his or her abilities that helps the child over a rough patch. Displaying a lack of confidence can make the child question his or her abilities.
Tip #4: Avoid Expressing Worry About the Child’s Progress
Parents can sometimes fret about the pace with which their children are mastering reading concepts. If you are occasionally worried about a child’s reading progress, it is probably best to avoid discussing this with the child. Raising issues about the child’s reading skills risks compounding any reading problems the child is having by bringing them to his or her attention especially when they may not be equipped to do anythign about those issues. By partnering with a good Christian homeschool program, you have the support of professional educators who can provide any needed feedback or direction to your child.
Tip #5: Encourage Children to Read to Others
Parents are built-in audiences for young readers. Parents should encourage their children to read to them often. Grandparents, aunts, uncles, older siblings and cousins, and neighbors are also usually willing to listen to your child read.
Tip #6: Maintain Realistic Expectations
When you partner with a leading Christian homeschool program, you will be surrounded with professional educators who have experience with hundreds, if not thousands of other students. These professionals are able to help keep your expectations about your child’s progress realistic. Parents have been reading for so long that they have understandably forgotten how long it took them to learn to read. Children learn to read at different paces and they begin to learn to read at different ages. Parents need to be sure to accommodate different learning styles to avoid rushing a child into reading or expecting too much from a struggling reader.
Tip #7: Avoid Rushing a Reading Session
Children should not feel rushed during a reading session. And, parents should avoid feeling conflicted between spending time reading with children and getting something else done. Schedule time for reading when nothing else will interfere.
Tip #8: Provide Reading and Writing Opportunities
Encourage children to read and write by putting them in charge of the shopping list and sharing letters from friends and relatives. Parents can also help teach children to learn to write by helping them write their own name on letters to friends and relatives. Opportunities for reading and writing development can be found in simple, everyday activities.
Tip #9: Provide Appropriate Reading Materials
Parents should make sure that their young readers have a wealth of age-appropriate reading material. Be sure to stock the home with books that interest the child. Take the child to the library as well. Encourage children to select their own library books and participate in the library’s story time.
Tip #10: Nip Problems in the Bud
A child who is having trouble reading might have issues that need attention. A child that has trouble might have a learning disorder, hearing problems, or poor vision. Parents should be aware enough to attend to problems as early as possible but not so concerned that they create problems where none exist.
Michael Levy, PhD, is professor emeritus at the University of Florida, where his teaching and research focused on human cognitive functioning, particularly information processing, learning, memory, and writing. Dr. Levy was an innovator in the development of interactive tutorials for teaching complex concepts (such as those embodied in Reading Buddy 2.0) and has published 12 books and nearly 200 articles and book chapters.
10 Tips for Fun and Successful Play Dates
The Southern Baptist Academy
Thursday, 6 February 2014 11:23
The idea of play dates used to make me nervous. I worried about who I should invite and how to invite them. I stressed about planning activities and how involved I should be. I especially stressed about what to do if it all went wrong. Would my daughter forgive me if I just avoided them altogether?!
Most likely she wouldn’t.
My daughter is 3-year-old social butterfly. She makes a new friend just about every time we go out to the playground, the museum, the swimming pool or even the supermarket. While casually playing with others outside is great, time spent one-on-one is best for close friendships. In this way, she learns to share, cooperate, listen and hopefully make lasting friends. Play dates are where she can learn those skills in a safe home environment.
Here are some of the best tips I’ve found to help you with your child’s next play date:
Before the Play Date
- Invite one of your child’s friends. Decide who to invite with your child. One-on-one play dates are best for developing close friendships. With three or more, there is more of a chance of a child feeling left out.
- Keep the get-together short. Between one and two hours is more than enough time for younger children.
- Be specific about a time and date when organizing a play date. Many moms make the mistake of saying, “We should set up a play date.” People get busy and if you offer a specific date and time, it’s more likely to happen.
- Avoid mealtimes at first. The best times to schedule a new play date is mid-morning or afternoons.
- Set up play date rules. Discuss with your child how to be gracious.
- Discuss discipline with the other parent. If mom stays for the visit, and it’s a good idea at first, it may be more effective for each parent to discipline her own child.
- Set up “activity stations”. Put them in different areas or rooms of your home. Some fun ideas may include art, sand play, dress up, sports, play dough or building toys.
During the Play Date
- Be involved. While you don’t want to be hands-on for the entire play date, it is important for parents to have a role in the play date.
- Keep the activities rolling. Suggest changes in activities when you sense restlessness or misbehavior.
- Always have snacks. Food is a great diversion for a play date that’s getting out of control. Make sure you ask about any food allergies her child may have, and always choose a healthier option.
After the play date
If your child feels good about the play date, let the other mom know and plan another play date!
What are your best play date tips?
Sleep Deprivation Related to Weight Gain
The Southern Baptist Academy
Tuesday, 4 February 2014 12:28
Author: Joanna Dolgoff MD
There seems to be a number of contributing factors to the obesity epidemic our nation is facing. Some of these include excessive caloric intake, decreased physical activity and cultural influences. Now some researchers are investigating whether sleep deprivation may contribute to obesity.
Research presented at the International AC21 Research Festival points out that short sleep duration may lead to obesity through an increase of appetite via hormonal changes caused by the sleep deprivation. Lack of sleep can produce the hormone Ghrelin which can stimulate appetite and creates less Leptin which suppresses appetite.
Babies and children under the age of 5 getting less than 10 hours of sleep at night are more likely to be overweight or obese 5 years later. Insufficient sleep at night may be a lasting risk factor for obesity later in life (napping cannot replace the benefits of nighttime sleep). Babies and children up to age 4 who didn’t sleep enough at night were 80% more likely to be obese 5 years later. In older children (5-13) this same link to obesity was not seen.
As for kids, studies show that most are not getting enough sleep. There is an epidemic of childhood and adolescent obesity and video games and fast food are not solely to blame. Researchers uncovered that shortened sleep in children under 5 years old predicts weight problems later on. Also, short nighttime sleep duration increases the risk of early teens to shift from normal weight to overweight. In other words, adolescents who sleep less are more likely to pile on the pounds.
Sleep disorders in young children may be avoided by following established bedtime routines. Begin the calming down process at dinnertime. Dinner should not be served watching T.V. every night. After dinner, allow the child to have some quiet playtime. Offer puzzles, blocks or books ( as long as the activity is relatively quiet ). Run a warm bath and allow for some playtime in the bath. After the bath, get your child in a routine of getting their pajamas on, brushing their teeth and cleaning up. Put your child into bed with a few books ( or feel free to join in this time ). Set a limit and have some relaxing reading time before bed. Have the books seem like a special treat every night which will also help develop a love of reading. Most importantly, be firm with the bedtime routine. The less you deviate from it the easier it will become. This lets your child know what to expect each night. Repetition for young children especially, can be extremely comforting.
Many teen’s hectic schedules keep them up late many nights. Most teens need at least 8.5 hours of sleep. However, studies show 85% of teens are getting less than 8 hours every night. This sleep deficit causes many problems including adverse effects on their health causing weight gain. Some ways to prevent sleep disorders may be to avoid caffienated beverages after lunchtime and limit stimulating activities before bedtime. Also, limiting extracurricular activities and practicing relaxation techniques before bedtime such as gentle stretches help prevent symptoms of insomnia ( Resource-Mayo Clinic 2007).
So, are we overweight because we sleep less, or do we sleep less because we are overweight? Until we know these answers, it makes sense to include a good night’s sleep in any child’s routine. It turns out getting good, regular sleep may help to eat more regular meals which can be associated with better weight control. We should avoid using food as a “pick-me-up” when it turns out, it’s really just sleep we need!
Joanna Dolgoff MD is a pediatrician who specializes in child and adolescent weight management. She is the creator of Dr. Dolgoff’s Weigh
Online Homeschooling Your Child with A Learning Disability
The Southern Baptist Academy
Friday, 31 January 2014 10:52
Author: Melissa Murdoch
Making the decision to home school your child is not the easiest decision at the best of times, but what about when the weight of your decision is compounded by the fact that your child has been diagnosed with a learning disability? Firstly, do not despair that your child has been ‘categorized’ as having a learning disability. This may or may not be correct. It may simply be that the classroom that the child is in follows a teaching style not optimal for your child’s learning style. If this is the case, then more personalized and focused attention may yield very different results.
Even if your child has been diagnosed with a learning disability by more than one professional, you must remind yourself that this label should only be used as a tool, rather than an excuse. If categorizing or labeling of your child does not produce improved results, or worse, your child’s ability seems to deteriorate even further, then what use is this label?
Homeschooling is an ideal environment to provide the sort of one-on-one attention that may be required for your child to thrive academically, whether learning new things is a challenge for them or not. The important thing is to focus on what they can do, rather than what they can’t do. And, if your child has some acute difficulties, educating your child at home does not necessarily limit your resources. Acute learning difficulties may need particular strategies to overcome hurdles, so your child’s facilitation may require that you learn some of these strategies from a professional, and continue to employ them from home. Remember, even at a school specially catering for ‘special needs’ children, will not have the time and resources to give your child the attention that you can.
If your child has an acute learning disability, you may need to contact your local General Medical Practitioner for details on what resources are available locally. It is best to at least be aware of what’s available, even before you need them!
It is important to focus on your child throughout his/her education – never the disability or perceived disability itself. While your child may have some more challenges on the educational pathway, it is important that the focus stays where it belongs. The focus is the outcome to be achieved, or the concept to be mastered, rather than the difficulties met along the way. Whatever it is you focus on becomes bigger, so ensure that it is the destination rather than the bumps along the road.
Focusing on the disability itself also practically ensures that the child will not achieve as highly as they are capable. A learning disability is a challenge to be managed rather than an excuse for not achieving. If your child give their disability too much consideration, it will become a anchor that drags them, and may become an excuse to not even try.
Remember, even though as a homeschool parent you are responsible for your child’s education, kids are kids. Sometimes, their attention and behavior will fluctuate. This is normal and, what’s more, I suggest that sometimes you just go with it rather than trying to fight it. When your child is being extremely uncooperative, this may be your sign to take a break, step back, change gears and focus on something else. Sometimes a change of subject will suffice. At other times you may need to take a break, have a snack or better yet, go out and do something fun.
Keep in mind, too, that if you are frustrated, your child will pick up on that frustration. Relax, keep things light, and calm. Stress inhibits the learning of new concepts.
Learning is fun, even with a child with learning challenges. By taking responsibility for their education, you are doing the best you can for your child.
The Christian Homeschooling Online Decision; How the Lord Changes Hearts and Minds
The Southern Baptist Academy
Tuesday, 28 January 2014 09:41
Author: Deborah Wuehler,
“We know without a doubt it is God’s calling . . . . We homeschool just as we breathe.” This was just one part of a response from the question of how one family was led to homeschooling. As I asked the question of other homeschoolers, I was incredibly encouraged and overwhelmed with the rich answers that were given. Although all the answers were very different from one another, they all pointed to one God Who orchestrated every event in their lives to bring them to make one of the most important decisions they could ever make—that of home education.
Following is the story that started it all; this is what led me to start asking others about their own stories of how the Lord led them to homeschooling. Listen in as Chrystina shares how the Lord changed her heart:
. . . All of last year I had quiet impressions to start homeschooling my children. I never, never, ever desired to homeschool my children. I love them but felt that school is where the trained professionals know how best to teach children. I can quote all the reasons I never thought of homeschooling, but I know that you have heard them all. Nevertheless, as the year went along the Lord nagged at me continually. I finally knelt in prayer and said that if I was to do this, He would have to perform a miracle, as a true change of heart is what I needed. The thought came into my mind that I knew virtually nothing about it, so why not at least look into it. I had only heard the negative, never the positive of homeschooling.
I checked out every homeschooling book our local libraries had, and between the two there were 13 books. I read them all with my journal in hand, writing down what I liked or would improve upon if I was homeschooling my kids. I prayed to the Lord again and asked for His help since this seemed to be the course He was calling my life to travel on. I was told to first teach of His Word, and then follow with the rest of their schooling. I was reminded why public school was wrong for my children: the Lord is not allowed to reside within its walls. I know what I am doing is the right thing, and I believe that I can do this. I thank you all for the courage to speak the truth, help teach those you have never met before, and comfort and strengthen those of us in need.
Chrystina Swain, Killeen, Texas
I was so touched by Chrystina’s story that I became curious as to how the Lord drew others to homeschooling. I received more stories than I can possibly print here (however, you can find all of the stories in full on our website at http://thehomeschoolmagazine.com/How_To_Homeschool/articles/teachers_lounge_winter08.php
Within these stories were numerous reasons given for facilitating the decision of home education. Let’s look at a sampling of those reasons and hear from homeschool families worldwide:
Crime in Public Schools
. . . I started reading terrifying reports about the crime in schools and I knew that there was no way I’d send my child out “among the wolves.” South Africa has a very high child abuse rate, and I just didn’t feel right leaving my children with strangers . . . . Then we read some books about true Christian education and realised that no school we knew of held the same values we have, and so we made the tentative decision to homeschool until the end . . . . My children are only 5 and 4 years old, but I can already say with assurance that homeschooling is the best for them, and I will continue to do it.
Thandi Nkomo, South Africa
. . . Alex began begging me to homeschool him. He would cry occasionally on the way to or from school, telling me his horror stories from school . . . . So, in the summer after first grade, I began to seriously consider homeschooling Alex. We already had some curriculum at home, so we “did school” for a month over the summer break. He did great! Yes, it was new and scary for me, but I had a feeling once we got in a groove it would be worth it . . . . I believe God drew us to homeschool through my son’s (and then daughter’s) repeated, emotional pleas to do so. God speaks to us through others, and I’m glad He does.
Christine Drumm, Channahon, IL
Public School Turned Older Children Away From God
The Lord started my homeschool many, many years ago. I have two grown daughters. They went to private Christian school and to public school. I must say public school was one of the biggest mistakes I ever made. I was a single mom at that time. The Lord brought a wonderful Christian man into my life after being single for 12 years. We married when my older children were 16 and 17. I saw how public school turned them away from God. From that moment on, we knew we were going to homeschool any children we had. Praise the Lord—He gave us a beautiful girl . . . . She is almost 11 now and she knows nothing but homeschooling. We know without a doubt it is God’s calling; it is not a year-to-year thing;, it is a lifetime. We homeschool just as we breathe.
Nancy Timbrook, Pensacola, Florida
. . . Going through our many boxes in the attic, I came across a box from my public school experience. I found many copied worksheets that I had saved and I had written on them as a young girl, “Homeschool.” I shared them with my husband and we started talking about our experiences in public school. . . . I used to beg my parents to homeschool me . . . . I made copies of my worksheets and kept them all those years. My husband and I had plenty of time to decide, since our first child was still an infant. But as time went on and we were blessed with another son, we were determined to homeschool and felt that was what the Lord was calling us to do. Today, I am so blessed to be at home with my three children . . . . This is our 4th year into it and yes, we do have some rough days, but we cling to Jesus and He reminds us of why we are here and where He will take us.
Jamie Tvedt, S.H.I.N.E. Academy
A Change of Heart
. . . I had no intention to homeschool. That was for “them,” not me. As my son started kindergarten, I assumed the local public school would be where he’d begin first grade, so my mind was set, and that’s what I planned. Speaking through my husband, the Lord said, “No, you will not be placing your children in public school.” . . . I really struggled, dragged my feet, and tried to convince hubby that if we placed our son in public school I promised to be very involved in our son’s classroom, would join the PTA, etc., so his tender, innocent heart would be “protected” at all times by my presence. Hubby kept saying, “No.” I’m not always a submissive wife. But I knew I had to obey my husband, and God. Reluctantly, I agreed to do it. But I didn’t want to. My mother-in-law was very supportive . . . and investigated and researched curriculum, and I also did some searching. Near the end of that summer, we had chosen our core curriculum. . . . Six school seasons later, I occasionally struggle and drag my feet. I’m teaching a 6th, 3rd and 1st grader, but even with heel marks on the floor, I have homeschooling through high school in “my” plan, which looking back, is evidence that the Lord did indeed change my heart. I’m thankful He did!
Sydney Hennessy, Tacoma, Washington
Because of the “System”
. . . The whole idea would take me several years to get wrapped around this brain of mine. I spent nearly all my life wanting to teach . . . . I finished high school and went to college for Education. But, when I was in the end of my first teaching experience, I monitored a study hall. Many children were “herded” in and seated and I had a bad feeling about the whole thing. I decided then, I really didn’t want to teach in the public field—not because of the children but because of the system. . . . In short, we’ve had six children, 16–8 in ages, and we homeschool. It took me 7 years or so to finally say, “God has called me to homeschool; I love being home; teaching my children is the hardest job but I wouldn’t do it any differently, as long as I have the choice.”
Danell Pribis, Phoenix, NY
Desire to Teach Own Child
Long before kids were a possibility in my life, I wanted to be home with them . . . raising my kids was of utmost importance to me before they even existed. In my mental plan, I would return to an awesome, satisfying, and successful career once they were school age. . . . I fell into teaching . . . at a private school,. and my child could attend there, tuition-free! As I taught my students, . . . I made mental notes of what the kids liked and what helped spark learning because I wanted to teach my son this way. He was learning, just a few classrooms down the hall, but I was missing out on being part of his “a-ha” moments. . . . After 2 years, I began daydreaming about being home with my son . . . . The seed was planted and watered. . . . I prayed, . . . “I am sometimes very slow to recognize where You are pointing me to, Lord, so please, please make it so obvious a sign that I can’t miss it.” Towards the end of that year, the school announced it was closing after some 40 years! Imagine my shock. No job and no school for my kid—God does have a sense of humor. God is good . . . and for me and my family, that was the door opening that led us on our homeschool journey.
Liliana Hense, Palo Alto, CA
Special Needs Child
. . . A guest speaker talked with us about homeschooling. She made homeschooling seem do-able and rewarding. The Lord spoke to me through that veteran homeschooling mom, and I knew that my son would never go to public school. When my son was six we got the devastating news that he had Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, a fatal disease that causes progressive muscle wasting. God knew that our son had this disease and we believe that He led us to homeschooling before we knew he had it. Our son suffers from frequent falls, inability to get up once he falls, inability to climb stairs, and an inability to run. That coupled with physical therapy twice a week would make public school a challenge. It hurts my heart to think of my child sitting on the ground and waiting for a busy teacher to notice and help him up. Our children belong at home and they deserve a God-centered education.
Angela Gilbert, Dierks, Arkansas
Desired a Christian Worldview
I think one of the main reasons why we felt led to homeschool had a lot to do with my own educational experience. I was raised in both public and private Christian schools, and neither of them seemed to fit the educational goals that my husband and I had for our own children. Even with church, Sunday school, and youth group, my Christian worldview was really lacking. My academic experience could have been better as well. I attended 3 different Christian schools, which each had their own positive and negative aspects. One of the biggest negatives was the homework load, and the fact that the teachers there, like in public schools, still have to teach to the ability of the average child. . . . I managed to keep my faith through my public high school experience, but I was not the example of salt and light that so many Christian parents hope their children will be. “Peer dependent” was my middle name, and something that followed me a while into my young adulthood. My husband and I made the decision to homeschool when our oldest son was very young. We wanted to give him and his brothers a better chance to focus on what God thinks rather than what their peers think. . . . We are learning the academics together, and more importantly, we are learning more about our Creator together.
Lisa Mandere, Redding, California
To Honor God
. . . I read about the reasons people were homeschooling their children . . . . What hit me hardest were the parents who said they homeschooled to honor God. After reading the scriptures and praying, these parents were convicted to homeschool their children to keep God at the center of their homes. I felt that conviction almost immediately after reading their stories. I knew the most important gift I could give my children was a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. Would that happen if I let them spend 6–8 hours a day away from my home? Maybe, maybe not. Those odds were not good enough for me. . . . I am halfway thru our first year of homeschooling and the kids and I both love it. We have an opportunity to start our day with Christ without rushing out the door to school. I am sure this is what God had planned for us from the beginning. It just feels right!
Heather Etcher, Berryville, VA
Many similarities have been shared here, in the overt and covert ways that the Lord orchestrates people and events that lead to the decision of home education. We have seen convictions mature to realize God’s intention that the family unit be undivided in learning, loving, working, and growing together. We have seen the vision clarified that God never intended for us to give our children over to an ungodly culture.
Why is God leading so many parents to take back the education and discipling of their own children? What is His purpose for the future? Well, I can’t pretend to know the unknowable future, but I do know I can find past, present, and future truth written in His Word. He desires of us what He has always desired. He wants children who are like Caleb of old, whose hearts are fully His. He wants Daniels who can take on a king and a kingdom and stand strong in the midst of ungodliness. He wants Josephs who, although they are falsely accused and put in places of confinement, are Godly examples of excellence and service to the King of Kings. He wants Shadrachs, Meshachs, and Abednegos who will not bow to the idols of the day, even in the face of death. He wants obedient Esthers who are not afraid to trust their God for miraculous deliverance. He desires Timothys who are bathed in the Scripture from infancy and ready to preach the Word and serve the Church at an early age.
God desires that the hearts of fathers be returned to their children and that the hearts of mothers come back home to be joyful mothers of children, so that a Godly heritage might be raised for His glory and purpose.
May His desire be our desire as we continue to keep those children Home Where They Belong.
Identifying Childhood Talents
The Southern Baptist Academy
Monday, 20 January 2014 10:52
Author: Stephen A. Peterson
Every child has interests and talents along some line, whether athletic, drawing, musical and any of a multitude of possible activities. In the majority of instances, a child’s talents, are usually not great enough to place her/him as a “genius” or “extraordinary”—but it serves as a basis of interests and activities that may help bring a child happiness, emotional health and success in life. Encouraging a child develop their interests and talents are well worth the time and effort parents/caregivers give to their cultivation.
Many parents/caregivers generally want to know how to recognize what talents child has and at what age they can be recognized. A child’s talent shows itself in activities related to it. A child with musical ability will demonstrate an absorbing interest in listening to music. The child will also take advantage of every possible opportunity to produce music of her/his own, either by playing with a music like toy instrument, playing with an instrument they find at home or asking for an instrument of choice.
By observing a child’s behavior, a parent/caregiver will be able to determine what her/his interest and abilities are. The stronger the talent, the stronger her/his interest and the more things he/she will want to do related to their interest.
No one knows at what age a talent will manifest itself in a child. A great deal of a child’s interest depends upon her/his environment. Educators and child development specialists will tell parents/caregivers that childhood talents are realized when a child has some contact with what interests her/him and the environment is conducive for the blossoming of their particular talent. For instance, a child with chemical abilities may not demonstrate her/his talent until her/she goes to school and has her/his real first contact with a high school chemistry laboratory. Similarly, a child who, as a little boy or girl, is given no opportunity to work or do things in a kitchen for fear on the part of her/his parents/caregivers that he or she will hurt her-/him-self. A child, in this instance, may exhibit no indication of their talent for cooking until he/she has the free and unlimited access to a kitchen.
Interest and ability go hand in hand. It is very helpful when parents/caregivers make every possible effort to identify, encourage and learn what their child’s talent or talents is/are. Then given them every opportunity possible to develop and enhance them.
Children And Fear
The Southern Baptist Academy
Thursday, 16 January 2014 10:34
Author: Stephen A. Peterson
Ghosts, witches and death are entities and events most people fear. However, Halloween is one period of the year when we sublimate our fear for a day of fun. If children are going to grow up to become well rounded adults, they must be able to work through fear.
Fear is a basic and indispensable part of the human make up, and like all strong emotions, it can become an asset or a liability depending upon how it is dealt with and used. Children must be taught how to manage fear instead of letting it manage them. Those who learn how to manage fear, as indicated in the first sentence of this piece may even learn to enjoy it in small doses.
The earliest fears we have are of loud noises, losing our parents/caregivers and their love and of falling. The fear of the unknown typically follows—strangers, animals and so forth. Then there is the fear of what is understood—fire and death. Of these fears, the fear of losing parental/caregiver presence and their love has been found paramount. The late child and developmental psychologist Erik Erikson considered this THE key in early human development (Trust versus Mistrust).
In teaching children how to manage reasonable amounts of fear, it is well to encourage games and experiences having an element of adventure. A great deal of the excitement of many of the old adult-child games such as: “hide and seek”, “cops and robbers”, “search and find” developed from the fun of injecting small amounts of fear to help children manage fear but also to enjoy it. The infant game of “peek-a-boo” plays out a baby’s basic fear of losing her/his mother. “Peek-a-boo” asks the infant “Where is mom?” The quick answer “There she is!” Mom goes away but she always returns and everything is alright and safe.
As children grow, playing swings, climbing on metal stationary bars on a playground and climbing on then sliding down slides helps them deal with fears of losing support. Exploring and search play helps young children deal with fear of the unknown as do adventure stories.
Since too much fear of the feeling itself may cause fear to build up to the point of panic, parents/caregivers and teachers who help children deal with their fears when they accept and understand them are great assets in a child learning how to cope with them. Adults also can help by explaining away unrealistic causes of fears and by making reassuring plans for meeting real dangers safely.
Saying to a young child afraid of the dark in an angry, unrealistic tone of voice (“You chicken! No one your age is afraid of the dark. That’s babyish!), is extremely harmful. It makes a child ashamed of her/his feelings he or she cannot help. Now the child has develop another fear—the fear of losing a significant adult’s approval, love and support. This can be absolutely devastating to any person of any age. We now know that when fear is added to fear and not immediately dealt with such individuals experience lifelong fears, anxiety, depression, irrational behaviors, digestive problems, night terrors, neuroses even psychoses that affect others around them in an adverse way.
Lastly, it is wise to teach children caution in those areas where they can learn to take greater responsibility when the parent/caregiver is not present. Such as knowing when a swing is not safe; a tricycle is not safe to ride on; when it not appropriate to ride in a car with an adult. In doing so, parents/caregivers develop valuable safety habits as well as ways to deal with fear and build up solid courage in their child’s life well beyond their childhood.
A Godly Father
The Southern Baptist Academy
Friday, 10 January 2014 10:37
Author: Shaila Touchton
Godly father is a man of God and a man of prayers
He is careful to lead a blameless life
He fears God and is obedient to His Word
Walks in house with blameless heart
He leads a life of integrity
Leads the household well
He sets Godly example in so many ways
He doesn’t enter the path of the wicked ways
Nor walk in the way of evil ways
For his steps are ordered by God
He trusts and delights in the Lord
And commits his ways to God
He hides God’s word in his heart
In everything he brings glory to God
With instruction from the Bible
He instructs and guides his children in the ways and words of the Lord
He will protect his family from deceitful influences
He is kind, loving and compassionate,
He is the good provider, honest and hardworking
He is generous, forgiving, humble and faithful
He is reliable towards his wife and children
He is responsible, caring, gracious and generous
He is the keeper of promises
He will see his family members are clothed with humility, pure, righteous and holy
He will honor his marriage vows
Loves his wife who is mother of his children
And is not bitter against her
He has a forgiving heart loaded with lots of patience
He Treasures His wife and Children
Godly fathers are hard to find
Who is the image of God
And reflecting the nature of God