The Case for Homework: Capturing the Heart of My Child

Editor’s note: This week’s post, “The Case for Homework: Capturing the Heart of My Child” is written by our BYA Temecula Valley Campus Coordinator, Barb Tupaj. We’re grateful for Barb’s keen insight, gathered and gleaned from over a decade of homeschooling and years as a BYA parent and campus coordinator.

Mother and teen daughter spending time doing homeschool curriculum homework together

The 2017-18 academic year marks my tenth year as a Biola Youth Academics parent. This is also the year my youngest of five children began schooling with Star Academics. This milestone has proven to be exciting and challenging for my daughter and for me.

Biola Youth Academics is known to be an academically rigorous program for homeschool students—which I love. It is also known to have equally high expectations of parents, which I admit does not always stir up loving emotions. In particular, the requirement that parents grade their student’s homework can sometimes frustrate me as I struggle to complete my daily tasks as a wife and working homeschool mom. I can be inclined to put off the grading or view it as a burden.

I may even think, It would be so much easier for the instructors to do the grading.

My Attitude or the Heart of My Child

Recently, I was wrestling with these emotions when God taught me a much needed lesson. It came as I assisted my daughter in correcting her history homework. Neither her attitude nor mine were particularly honoring to God and yet we pushed on out of a sense of obligation.

My daughter, 13 years old, sat next to me on the couch. I read the history text out loud so she could listen for the information needed to answer the homework question correctly…then it happened. While I read, she gently rested her head on my shoulder and sat listening with a tender heart. Tears began to roll down my cheeks as I realized the reason behind grading my child’s homework. This one-on-one interaction provided a moment of connection with her. What started out as an obligation turned into an opportunity to capture the heart of my child.

Finding time to grade homework will remain a challenge but I now view the task as an opportunity to win the heart of my child.

Prayerful Reflection

  • Abba, am I approaching my work with a posture that glorifies you?
  • Lord, where do I need an attitude adjustment before I can ask the same of my children?
  • Lord Jesus, when I feel my responsibilities are too much to bear, am I turning to you with my anxieties and burdens?

Heavenly Father, I can’t do this work alone. Empower me, by your Spirit, for that which you’ve called me to do. Help me recognize that it’s your kindness that changes my heart and my attitude. Thank you for showing me your kindness through my children. Help me to model to them your kindness and grace, too. In Christ’s name, amen.

Barb Tupaj

Managing Multiple Grades in Your Homeschool Curriculum

Two children playing outside with text overlaid: "Managing Multiple Grades in your homeschool curriculum"

When homeschoolers talk about managing multiple grades in their homeschooling curriculum, one topic comes up again and again: Time. There’s never enough of it in the homeschool setting. Three kids. Four dogs. A household. Church. Neighbors. Friends. Spouse. Chores. Three sets of curriculum! How can I possibly fit in three sets of curriculum!? Here are some principles to remember: Read more

The Bible in Your History Curriculum – The Bible’s Influence on Earth-Shattering Events

Editor’s Note: Today’s blog post, “The Bible in Your History Curriculum – The Bible’s Influence on Earth-Shattering Events,” is offered by Biola University‘s Assistant Professor of Apologetics and internationally-known speaker, Sean McDowell. Consider how incorporating his insights might help you teach the Bible in your history curriculum at home. We’re grateful to Dr. McDowell for allowing us to repost this article from his blog, SeanMcDowell.org.

Martin Luther King, Jr. - The Bible in Your History Curriculum

Dr. Martin Luther King giving his “I Have a Dream” speech during the March on Washington in Washington, D.C., on 28 August 1963. WikiCommons.

In the recent update to my father’s classic book Evidence that Demands a Verdict, we begin with a chapter on the uniqueness of the Bible. Unquestionably, in comparison to every book ever written, the Bible stands out as unique in a number of areas including authorship, literary genres, translation, geographical production, circulation, survival, and impact. The Bible truly stands in a category of its own.

And yet I was recently reading a new book (which is part of a larger series of books being released this fall as part of the opening of the Museum of the Bible in Washington D.C.) about the Bible’s influence on key historical events. The book is called 99 Earth-Shattering Events Linked to the Bible, and its fascinating!

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Leaving Worksheets Behind – Creativity in Your Homeschooling

Adding creativity in your homeschooling - child coloring with crayonMake room for creativity in your homeschooling curriculum

At the end of each academic year, I would always ask my students, “What were your favorite assignments and projects this year?” In all my years of teaching, I never heard a student respond that his or her favorite assignment was a textbook assignment or worksheet. Rather, students always selected memorable projects like: Read more

Four Tips on Homeschooling at the Kitchen Table

Two students homeschooling at a kitchen table

How many of you use your kitchen table for multiple purposes, such as meals, art, building projects, and recreational reading? Do you also use your kitchen table for the majority of your homeschooling endeavors? If you do, you’re not alone.

The vast majority of homeschooling families have multiple purposes for their kitchen table as well. So, in order to reduce chaos in your kitchen table transitions, here are four tips for homeschooling at the kitchen table: Read more

What We Want — or What We Need?

Holding out roll of cash - what we want

In our homeschooling journeys, are we modeling for our children to pursue what we want, or to seek out what we truly need?

As I read Acts 3:1-10, I was struck by the story of the lame man. Lame from birth, he was daily carried to the gates of the Temple where he asked for alms of those who entered the Temple. Imagine a life habituated towards asking for alms on a daily basis . . . yet, we see it every day in the lives of the homeless. “Do you have a quarter to spare?” the man asked me as I went through McDonald’s drive through. He looked at me expectantly. “Yes,” I responded and handed the man some cash. “God bless you.” Read more

Homeschooling in the Spirit

Young boy laughing joyfully while reading Scripture

Is it possible to educate our children in such a way that we are homeschooling in the Spirit? I always stand amazed at the work of the Holy Spirit each time I read the book of Acts. For example, today I read Acts 8 and was reminded of how in verse 29 the Spirit says to Philip “Go up and join this chariot.” Philip follows the lead of the Holy Spirit and guides the eunuch in his understanding of Isaiah and “preached Jesus to him” (verse 35). The eunuch believes in Jesus and asks to be baptized.

A similar event happened to my friend, Sue, this week. Sue was walking the trails of Fullerton and she passed by a truck with two workers, she felt a nudge from the Spirit to go back and share with the workers. She turned around, walked back, and struck up a conversation with one of the men. Read more

Modeling Christ at Home

Woman writing at home

Our children pick up on whether or not we are modeling Christ at home. For instance, I am not a professional writer, but I love to write. However, I have not always enjoyed writing. In high school, I used to loathe writing assignments, and saw them as time spent not doing other things that were more interesting…talking on the phone with my friends (remember stretching the phone cord as far as it would go so you could have some privacy?). I tried to complete these assignments as covertly as I could, because if my mother discovered an opportunity to write, she took it; whether it was a thank-you note, a letter to my grandmother, but especially if it was a homework assignment. Read more

A Prayerful Observer Discovers Entry Points to Paradigm Shifts in a Child’s Home Education

Woman Praying - A Prayerful Observer - Inspired Home Educator Blog Post

When we become a prayerful observer of our children’s thought processes, learning styles, values and worldview, the Lord can highlight entry points to help bring new academic and spiritual understanding.

In Acts 11, Paul addresses the Athenians by standing in the Areopagus and saying, “Men of Athens, I observe that you are very religious in all respects. For while I was passing through and examining the objects of your worship, I also found an altar with this inscription, “TO AN UNKNOWN GOD.’ What therefore you worship in ignorance, this I proclaim to you . . . ” Paul then goes on to preach the gospel message.

Note three aspects of Paul’s approach to teaching in Acts 17:22-31: Read more

Fostering Wonder and Curiosity for Science and Research at Home

Little Girl in Wonder watching a hose spray water

How great God is and how great is His creation! Every time I gaze at the stars, scan the canopy of heaven, inhale the beauty of the ocean, explore underwater sea creatures, touch the soft fur of my favorite canine, or marvel at a spider’s orb web, I gasp and declare that God’s creation shouts His glory.

I am awed by His handiwork, wrapped up in His beauty, and enveloped in His love as He displays His love through the gift of nature. We were created by God and placed in a garden among plants and creatures. Nature is the place where we flourish as we are nourished by His love and beauty in the created order. We learn about our Creator through the book of nature (see Romans 1). And so, as an educator, I’ve always given value to building upon the natural design of the child which is consistently awe, wonder, and curiosity in relationship to the created order.

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