When “Knowing Better” Isn’t

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We were all told as children that we “knew better than that” if we persisted in acting upon a belief that ran contrary to reality.  Children learn about gravity and know better than to try to fly by jumping off the roof.  Children learn that monsters aren’t real, and they should know better than to be afraid of what might be under the bed. Many keep using the phrase as a way to explain how much they think they know about the world, often with a derisive connotation.  Indeed, some who do not profess the Christian faith use this language when describing why they do not believe in Jesus; they “know better” than to think a man born in the Middle East two thousand years ago is actually God. Read more

Online Learning Management Systems

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What is a Learning Management System?

A Learning Management System (LMS) is a web-based learning portal, where students and instructors can exchange resources, assignments, announcements, information and course contents.  For online education, the functionality and design of the LMS is critical and can dramatically influence the learning outcomes1 as well as user satisfaction2, because the LMS not only serves as a portal for classroom resources (as it often does for on-campus classes), it should also serve as an active environment where learning activities and interactions occur. Read more

Cross it Off, Smile, Repeat: The Art of Goal Setting

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Almost everyone enjoys the satisfaction of setting and meeting a goal. Whether it is getting to the gym three times a week, making sure your children meet the required P.E. hours, or knocking out the “to do” list, every time you scratch a task off of your list, you have to admit it just feels good! Experiencing that good feeling is not at all surprising to those who study psychology. According to Psychology Today, when goals are made and met, there is a release of dopamine, which does two things. First, it gives the feeling of pleasure, and secondly, it gives a desire to want to meet another challenge. Perhaps you have felt this after you have sorted through your schoolroom and gotten rid of old materials, or cleaned out the kids’ closets. Those who set goals have a higher level of productivity and commitment.  There is so much more to setting goals than simply getting tasks done. Achieving goals can teach us valuable lessons about ourselves, as well as keep us on track. Read more

6 Ways We Can Equip Our Students to Finish the Race

Finish line on red running track with while lines. Shot with pro Canon DSLR.

“Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize.”
(1 Corinthians 9:24, NIV)

As parents who home educate our children, we must ask ourselves “how important is the prize that my child is running after?” Coaching our children to finish the year strong is a prize well worth our effort. Finishing a task well is just as important as getting off to a good start. It is not uncommon to be motivated and fired up when we start something new, but admit it, sometimes it is hard to stay focused and finish the task when things gets tough. The writer of Ecclesiastes knew this when he wrote, “Better is the end of a thing than the beginning thereof.” What can we do to finish our homeschooling year in a way that honors the Lord and our children? Read more

5 Field Trip Ideas for Spring Break

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In Torrey Academy, we love taking students on meaningful field trips.  We think that by visiting authentic places¹, students can learn more about the text or topic of study they are interacting with in class.  As a homeschool parent, there are a number of great field trips available to you.  The Torrey Academy tutors have compiled a short list of suggested activities for Spring Break, along with some discussion questions that you can talk about as a family.  Of course, this list is focused on Los Angeles, as it’s our home base, but online parents can perhaps be inspired to find similar activities in their hometowns. Read more

No Peace? Know God.

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Whoever said homeschooling was easy was not being honest. It takes a toll on the heartiest of parents. When God calls us to embark upon any journey, He does so with the best of intentions in mind, and the choice to home educate is no exception. Across the world, parents are responding to the calling of taking the education of their children into their own hands. They are sacrificing their careers for lesson-plans, their clean laundry for hands-on science, their orderly home for near chaos. What could possibly persuade anyone to sacrifice time, resources, and a comfortable way of life for the next twelve or more years? Following in the footsteps of Abraham, David, and the Apostles, obedient parents all over the world are answering the call of God. Read more

Waiting for Pentecost

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A question that is often addressed in Torrey Academy staff meetings is, “what’s the best way to teach our students?” What is the business, if you will, of education? How we answer this question determines what we do with our students in our classrooms. On this point, Dorothy Sayers, in The Mind of the Maker, declares that “It is the business of education to wait upon Pentecost.”1 We at Torrey Academy agree with this wholeheartedly, but it sounds a bit strange; are we really waiting for tongues of flame to descend upon our heads in a Torrey class? Of course not. (At least, this hasn’t happened yet.) Sayers does not use “Pentecost” as the historical descent of the Holy Spirit after the Ascension, but the idea of Pentecost does paint a picture of what we are waiting for.

So what is Pentecost? At the historical Pentecost, it was the descent of the Holy Spirit and subsequent illumination of the disciples. Sayers uses the term to mean an epiphany, a revelation of an idea that illuminates students’ minds. If the business of education is waiting upon Pentecost, educators must wait for the ideas presented in texts and discussion to work upon students’ minds until they have such an epiphany. Read more

Welcome!

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Welcome to The Inspired Educator, a place where Biola Youth Academics seeks to partner with you in your family’s academic journey. We are passionate about education and desire to come alongside you in your schooling efforts to provide a tailor-made education, nurturing your child’s unique purpose to become a relevant and redemptive voice in a changing world.

You may be asking yourself who or what is Biola Youth Academics? We are a valuable resource to the community and have been around since 1996, beginning as a supplementary education program for K–12 home educated students through Biola University, a Christian university with over 100 years of faithful service and doctrinal integrity. In fact, our instructors, tutors, and administrative staff are mostly experienced homeschoolers themselves! Read more