What Age Should You Buy Your Teen a Phone? Here’s What I Did.

Editor’s Note: When do you buy your teen a smartphone? Sean McDowell shares his experience around buying his son a phone. He shared this on his blog, where he regularly writes on Christianity, Culture, Ethics and Apologetics.

Teen holding a phone at the kitchen table

Some of you may think I’m crazy for waiting so long to allow my son to have a smartphone. I teach part time at a Christian school and my 11-year old daughter is one of the only kids in her 6th grade class who does not have a phone. So, why would I first give my son a phone as a freshman in high school? You may think I need to “get with the program.”

I have two big reasons for waiting this long. And the second is the most important. Read more

How to Teach Multiple Grades (without Losing Your Sanity!) – Using Bloom’s Taxonomy at Home

Editor’s note: Today’s post is from Catherine Hood, Torrey Academy Director. Here, she applies Bloom’s Taxonomy of Educational Objectives to help illuminate how you can teach the same material to multiple grades at home. Find this helpful? Pass the post along!

How do I juggle teaching multiple subjects to my second grader, fourth grader, and seventh grader, all at the same time? This is one of the most common questions among homeschool parents. But there are ways of helping all your children learn while still keeping your sanity! Read more

The Easiest Way to Memorize the Bible: What I Learned from Dr. John Mitchell

Author’s Note: Today I’m excited to share with you a piece that I wrote a number of years ago about how to memorize the Bible. This little article — which you can read on my blog, Kindle Afresh — has probably been read by more people than anything else I’ve written in my life. I hope that it will increase your desire and confidence to keep hiding God’s Word in your heart.

Girl looking over the top of her Bible – Memorize the Bible – BYA blog

One of my professors in college was really old. I can hear everyone asking: “How old was he?” (No, his social security number wasn’t 7…). Let’s put it this way: he was the founder of the college at which I was studying (Multnomah in Portland, Oregon), and the school was celebrating the half century mark of its founding while I was there! In fact, Dr. John Mitchell was over the age of 90 when he taught the two classes I took from him. He continued to teach well into his mid-90s. Not surprisingly, he was getting forgetful about some things by the time I had him as a teacher, but what he definitely was not forgetting were the Bible verses he had memorized. His ability to recall Bible verses was astounding.  I do not know this for a fact, but I would guess that he had all of the New Testament and large sections of the Old Testament committed to memory. All of his students were profoundly impacted by his immersion in the Scriptures. Read more

Imitation and Repetition – In Play and At Home

Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma. – Ephesians 5:1-2

girl dancing in ballerina tutu – imitation and repetition at home

We were recently in our nephew and his wife’s home for a seven-day visit. It was such a delight to play with their five children each day, ages 7, 5, 4, 2, and 1. Each night, my husband and I reflected on what we noticed about each child. Imitation and repetition was a recurring theme. Read more

What is Classical Education?

Editor’s Note: Classical Education is at the core of Torrey Academy’s pedagogy and a rising trend for homeschool families and charter schools across the United States. But what is it? In this blog, Torrey Academy director, Catherine Hood, examines the history and philosophy of Classical Education at each stage of learning.

Stack of old leather-bound books – What is Classical Education blog

“How will I use this information?”

This has become an all-too common question asked by students today. I certainly asked it often, much to the frustration of my high school teachers. This expectation that education must be “useful” is a relatively new development in Western civilization. Particularly now, in this age of rising college tuition and cost of living, parents and students alike are single-minded in their educational priorities. Students must get the best grades and test scores, so they can go to the best colleges, so they can get the best jobs, so they can make enough money to live a comfortable life. While these pursuits aren’t necessarily wrong, is this really the fullness of the way God created us to live? Read more

The Sheer Joy of Imaginative Play

And He has filled him with the Spirit of God, in wisdom and understanding, in knowledge and all manner of workmanship to design artistic works, to work in gold and silver and bronze, in cutting jewels for setting, in carving wood, and to work in all manner of artistic workmanship. –Exodus 35:31-33

boy plays with LEGO blocks – imaginative play blog

From the beginning, God has endowed humans with creative gifts, and there is nothing like the sheer joy of imaginative play as a child develops. A LEGO block becomes an orchestra director’s baton. A dry erase marker becomes the pointer for the show host. The jungle gym becomes a restaurant. The blanket-covered kitchen table becomes a Mars home base.

Imaginative play is characteristic of the sheer joy of childhood. Yet, we sometimes leave this behind… as children grow older, we fill their lives with intense schedules, and often forget that they, too, need space for play, imagination, and creativity. Read more

Read the Top Torrey Academy Student Paper for Spring 2018

Editor’s Note: On the blog this week, we are featuring the top essay in the Torrey Academy course, Faith of Our Fathers, written by Abby Borne. In this essay, Abby explores the presence of knightly vows in Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, exposing them as verbal promises and declarations of truth deeply tied to a Knight’s honor and integrity. She clearly researches and argues for the danger that comes in making vows, as the refusal to stay true to one’s word may result in civil and social death, and highlights the connection to Christ’s words of warning around vow-making for Christians. We’re proud of our accomplished Torrey Academy scholars, like Abby, and we’re grateful for the opportunity to share the fine work they produce with you. Enroll your student in a Torrey Academy course today.

Portrait of Chaucer as a Canterbury pilgrim

 

Vow of Death: The Importance of the Knightly Vow in The Canterbury Tales
by Abby Borne

“A promise is a comfort for a fool.” — Traditional Proverb

The modern attitude on vows is relatively relaxed. Some cynics are justifiably skeptical about the worth of promises due to the lack of importance placed on them. Promises are often only kept when the breaking of an oath poses a threat. Elementary school best friends make “pinky promises” between each other, couples make wedding vows, and written contracts keep people bound to their word, with legal and financial consequences for those who do not keep it. Medieval oaths, however, were taken more seriously. Vows are seen throughout The Canterbury Tales, whether between a husband and wife, a lover and the magician who will help him, or two knights and cousins who swear brotherhood to each other. The free giving of vows is portrayed as honorable, but often these promises are broken or put in danger. In no case is the breaking of a vow so dishonorable and tragic as in the breaking of a knight’s oath, as knightly chivalry includes a focus on the keeping of vows. The breaking of such a vow would even result in a loss of a knight’s identity. Although knightly vows are often seen as a way to obtain honor and show integrity, they can lead to dishonor because if the giver of the vow breaks their vow, this leads to a loss of identity and a form of civil and social death. Through an investigation of medieval and chivalric society and a closer look at two specific examples of knightly oaths, this paper seeks to explore honor, integrity, and the reason Christ exhorted his church to be careful in its vow-making—a lesson which is applicable even today.
Read more

24 College Visit Questions Homeschoolers Need to Know

Editor’s Note: Are you making a college visit tour this summer? Tim Milosch is a professor, course designer, consultant and homeschool alumni. He also runs the website CollegeBoundHomeschooler.com, where he offers expert advice for making the transition from homeschool to college. Visit his website where you can get a free college prep worksheet.

Two men talking in college admissions- College Visit Questions blog

I don’t think the idea of going to college became a real possibility for my parents and I until we visited the campus of Biola University.  

Up to that point, the idea of transferring to a four year school was an abstraction and a massive expense.  Then we met an incredibly friendly team of admissions and financial aid counselors who walked us through the process of making it happen.  We toured the campus and ate in the cafeteria. By the end of the trip, my parents weren’t saying “Wait and see,” but “When you go in the fall….” Read more

Raising Tiny Disciples at Home

Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age. –

Matthew 28:19-20

Two young girls read the Bible together - Raising Tiny Disciples blog

While on a Sunday morning walk, I noticed a vehicle with cartoon figures of a mother, father, and children on the back window along with vinyl words which read, “Raising Tiny Disciples.” Those words struck a chord, as they are so descriptive of Christians’ homeschooled family life. As I sat at the kitchen table of my niece and nephew and their five homeschooled children, with Scripture and a cup of tea, I saw much evidence of a home centered on raising tiny disciples: their Bibles, a hymnal, Sonlight curriculum, children’s artwork of God’s creation, a large children’s library, and Bible storybooks. Read more

Five Tips for Dealing with Unsupportive Family and Friends

Editor’s Note: While homeschooling success stories abound, choosing to homeschool is often still seen as an unconventional path. Have you ever received pushback from unsupportive family and friends on your choice to homeschool? Veola Vazquez, a prolific author and professor of psychology at California Baptist University, lends her insights on how a homeschooling family can best endure when loved ones disagree.

Two brothers walk toward the beach – Unsupportive Family and Friends blog

Have you heard comments such as these?

“Your kids will never compete academically with public school kids.”

“Your kids will end up with social problems.”

“You can’t keep your kids in a bubble.” Read more

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