The Earth is the Lord’s – Earth Day Activities for Christian Homeschoolers

 

Windmill and Field of Flowers representing Earth Day Activities

The earth is the LORD’s and the fullness thereof, the world and those who dwell therein, for he has founded it upon the seas and established it upon the rivers. -Psalm 24:1-2

Have you considered incorporating Earth Day Activities into your coursework this week?

This year, Earth Day is celebrated around the world on Saturday, April 22, 2017. It offers an opportunity to hone in our curriculum calendar to consider world events, stoking our students’ interest in environmental science, while cultivating a biblically-centered worldview on care for God’s creation. Check out the links below and discern if any of the activities might benefit your students if you incorporate these ideas into your curriculum this week. Read more

4 Ideas for Spring Break Homeschool Field Trips

Palm trees and sunset with text overlay 4 homeschool field trip ideas for spring break

Spring Break is upon us! Need ideas for homeschool field trips to get the family out of the house? While your students might take a break from worksheets and textbooks, there’s no reason the learning needs to stop.

As a homeschool parent, there are a number of homeschool field trips waiting for you and your family to embark upon. The following list is focused on the Los Angeles and Orange County area of Southern California, but if you’re reading from outside the area, use this as a launch pad for your own field trip research. When you go on one of these field trips, keep the conversation going with our discussion questions, below.

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A Hike in Black Forest: Incorporating Beauty Amidst Busyness

Woman walking in the woods“The heavens are telling of the glory of God;
And their expanse is declaring the work of His hands.” Psalm 19:1 NASB

Hiking through the Black Forest near Baden-Baden, Germany, I happened upon a clearing that revealed a rustic chapel. Stepping through the unlocked door, I found myself alone, awestruck by quiet reverence. Rustic pews graced each side of the center aisle. Light gently streamed in through side windows. A single candle flickered near the altar. I sat, quietly allowing the stillness to envelope me, wondering if others would enter. They did not. I was alone. I continued to sit, taking in the stillness. Listening, I felt the arms of Jesus enfold me. Enveloped in His presence, and overwhelmed by His beauty and quiet strength, I began to weep. “Heavenly Father, in the stillness of this moment, I feel you, know You, recognize your awesome presence. Here in the middle of the Black Forest, earthly coordinates unknown, I rededicate my life to you.”

A time warp had occurred. Distractions cleared away, cluttering thoughts cast aside, clarity emerged as I removed myself from the cacophony of the rush and hubbub of the city. Like pollution washing away on a rainy day, worldly cares rushed past me. The more I allowed the beauty of the forest and the quietness of the chapel to calm my inner spirit, the farther away I was from worldly cares and the nearer I felt to Jesus.

The Psalmist knew what he was saying when he penned, “The heavens are telling of the glory of God; and their expanse is declaring the work of His hands” (Psalm 19:1), and “Cease striving and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10). The beauty of the Black Forest and the quietness of the chapel had enveloped me with His presence.

Prayerful Reflection: 

  1. Lord Jesus, how am I incorporating stillness, nature, and beauty amidst busyness I experience in my homeschooling routine?
  2. Lord Jesus, is place and time and quietness on our family calendar?
  3. Lord Jesus, is place and time and quietness on my personal calendar?

Lord Jesus, I confess that I have neglected to make space for You by neglecting to place myself and my family in the beauty You have created. Help me to create rhythms of beauty and quietness so that we all might be still and hear from You. And, Lord, help me not to feel guilty to pull away from everyone for quiet moments of prayer and study so that I might be filled by You and return to my family restored and filled by You. Amen. 

Sabbath Queen – the Art of Welcoming Rest

lioness welcoming rest in a tree“Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.” EXODUS 20:8

I don’t know about you, but I love my week-ends. I work extremely hard during the week and I work long hours. Week-ends for me are a time to catch up on my home chores. A time to get some sunshine and work in the yard. A time to sort my laundry and wash my clothes. A time to go grocery shopping and plan a menu. A time to sort my paperwork and pay my bills.

I don’t know what I would do without my week-ends.

Week-ends are also a time to get ahead. I get ahead by doing a little extra work for my job. I get a head by answering my work e-mails and phone calls over the week-end. I get ahead by doing a few extra writing projects and earning a few extra dollars.

But something has gone wrong.

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“God Again” – A Reflection on Repetition

a child reading a worn bible as reflection on repetition

“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might”
Deuteronomy 6:5 (NASB)

A Reflection on Repetition

Our great nephew, Kenneth, came home from Sunday School with his dad, Nathaniel. (Kenneth’s mother, Jessica, had been home sick.) When her three-year-old walked in the door with his Dad, Jessica asked Kenneth, “What did you learn in Sunday School?”

Three-year-old Kenneth responded “Um-m-m <sigh> God again!”

My husband and I laughed so hard when we read Kenneth’s childlike response on Facebook, “God again!” Read more

Understanding Students with Special Needs

Empty Desk - Understanding Students with Special Needs

“The student is not above the teacher, but everyone who is fully trained
will be like their teacher.” -Luke 6:40

Teaching students with special needs presents unique challenges, as well as opportunities to practice empathy, and refine our teaching—and allow the Lord to refine us. Dr. Eastman’s lecture models perspective taking, challenges presumptions, and gives practical tips on engaging and understanding students with special needs.

A homeschool dad and father of six (5 boys and 1 girl), Dr. Eastman invites his high school aged son to share from his perspective as a student with special needs.

Please enjoy Dr. Eastman’s presentation, offered by Biola University’s School of Education, and Open.Biola. Consider watching with a pen and paper nearby, and follow along with the in-lecture activities. Watch below. Read more

Walking in the Spirit

Editor’s Note: With winter thawing, today’s post, Walking in the Spirit, comes from our contributor, Ken Berding, who teaches at Biola University, and writes for the Good Book Blog. Read this, originally posted September 19, 2016, on their site. This post is an excerpt from Dr. Berding’s book, Walking in the Spirit (Crossway, 2011), which you can buy on Amazon.

Ice cream cone held against the horizon

As you daily walk in the Holy Spirit, God will fill you with his Spirit in such a way that your desires to sin lessen. Galatians 5:16—set in a chapter that parallels Romans 8 in many ways—says it so well: “Walk in the Spirit and you will not carry out the desires of the flesh.” The one who walks in the Spirit will not give in to the desires of the flesh. Walking in the Spirit and carrying out the desires of the flesh are mutually exclusive ideas; you cannot do one at the same time as you engage in the other. Read more

Doing Ministry Together: Priorities of a Good Family Life

EDITOR’S NOTE: This week’s post on family ministry priorities comes from Talbot Seminary Professor of Bible Exposition, Dr. John Hutchison. This blog post was originally posted on the Good Book Blog, and you can read it, and other posts from Talbot Faculty, here.

Dr. Hutchison has 30 years of pastoral experience, and he is presently serving as Pastor-Elder at Oceanside Christian Fellowship in El Segundo, CA. He writes this blog from the perspective of a husband and wife balancing full-time public ministry, and private family life. Whether you are engaged in ministry with your family or not, his insights are wise and relevant to busy families living and learning together.

Photo of an open Bible siting on a home end table in front of a family photo

One of the greatest assets to effective ministry is a positive message coming from the home—specifically a healthy marriage and stable relationships with children. Patterns of dysfunction here can be disastrous. Paul provided for two young pastors, Timothy and Titus, a list of qualifications for church leadership (1 Tim. 3:1-13, Titus 1:5-9), most of which emphasize character qualities. One notable exception is the more visible factor: “He must manage his own household well . . . for if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for God’s church?” (1 Tim. 3:4-5). Read more

Writing Objectives: The ABCDs of Clear, Concise, and Measurable Actions

Woman typing at her desktop, writing objectives for learning

One of the most conceptually difficult, yet extremely essential pedagogical skills is that of writing good lesson objectives. New, experienced, and veteran classroom and homeschool educators alike often experience difficulties developing clear, concise, and measurable objectives. However, without the presence of such objectives, the purpose of the lesson can quickly become unclear to both students and teachers. Consequently, being able to write or identify clear, concise, and measurable writing objectives is crucial to the success of any lesson or unit of study. What does it look like? Read more

About My Father’s Business – Trust, Control and Adolescent Behavior

William_Holman_Hunt_-_The_Finding_of_the_Saviour_in_the_Temple - Painting of Jesus as an adolescent boy in the Temple

This morning I read Luke 2:41-52 where Joseph and Mary were looking for their adolescent son, Jesus, for three days. They were clearly upset when they found Him, “Son, why have You treated us this way? Behold, Your Father and I have been anxiously looking for You.” And He said to them (verse 49), “Why were you looking for me? Did you not know that I had to be in my Father’s house?” And then verse 50 is the startling commentary, “And they did not understand the statement which He had made to them.” Read more

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