Author Archives: Guest Blogger

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

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

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

Unfounded Fear, but Fear Nonetheless — A Reflection on Homeschool Life

Editor’s Note: Yvana Uranga-Hernandez, Ph.D. is a homeschool mom and associate professor of Communication Sciences and Disorders at Biola University. Yvana Uranga-Hernandez is also the director of the Biola University Speech-Language Clinic, which serves children and adults with any number of communication disorders. She writes from experience and expertise, reflecting on encountering an all-too-common emotion in ourselves and our children: Fear. Consider sharing this devotion with a homeschooler you know.

Teen looking down – unfounded fears BYA blog

We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.
2 Corinthians 10:5 (NIV)

My son was pacing and worried and had so much on his mind that, at first, I was not sure what to do with all of his emotions.

“What if I fail my test?” he said, “I think I will this time.” Read more

How Technology Challenges Our Teens and 3 Resources to Help

Editor’s Note: This week’s blog, How Technology Challenges Teens and 3 Resources to Help, is shared with us by Brett Kunkle. Brett is founder and president of MAVEN, a homeschool dad, and keynote of the 2018 Biola Homeschool Expo. For more from Brett, pick up the book he co-authored, A Practical Guide to Culture: Helping the Next Generation Navigate Today’s World.

Teen girl kneeling on bed typing on laptop - technology challenges teens faith - BYA blog by Brett Kunkle

Certainly, the host of intellectual challenges our young people face are a threat to their faith. The arguments of an atheist professor. The objections of a skeptical friend. But how often does the typical evangelical kid actually encounter skeptical arguments? Not all that often. In fact, most kids—Christian or non-Christian—don’t talk much about religion with their peers or even their family.

Now, don’t misread me. I think Christians must equip their kids with good apologetics, evidence for the faith and the ability to deal with skeptical challenges and objections to Christianity, because our youth will encounter them at some point. Read more

Hospitality Table: The Unseen Guest at Every Meal

Editor’s Note: Today’s blog post, “Hospitality Table: The Unseen Guest at Every Meal,” is written by Vic and Christine, who serve with Medical Ambassadors International at the California headquarters office. Vic is a medical doctor who coordinates MAI’s international ministry in holistic community development. Christine is a former Fulbright Scholar and health educator who served in Africa and then later in Asia with her husband. They homeschool their two girls, Selah and Rinnah.

Brunch at the Hospitality Table

If this table could talk… It might seem strange to ask for prayer for our dining room table. It’s a long, heavy, big black table that my husband’s brother gave us when we returned from Asia and moved to California’s Central Valley. Sometimes, the table gets covered in mail and butterfly crafts and piano lesson books, and it’s seen its share of spills and scratches. But, in our family priorities, its main role is to be the gathering place for our guests. Read more

Should you be sheltering students from evidence against Christianity?

Editor’s Note: Sean McDowell is an internationally known apologist, author and expert on helping youth cultivate a flourishing faith. Originally posted to SeanMcDowell.org on January 13, 2017, today’s article was the #1 post on his blog last year. Have thoughts to share about Sheltering Students? Join the conversation on Facebook.

Teenage girl with backpack steps into a shelter in the woods

Sheltering students from beliefs contrary to Christianity is a big mistake. Let me say it again, to be sure it sinks in: Sheltering students from arguments for other religions, or against Christianity, is a bad strategy for developing them as disciples in the faith.

In his book You Lost Me, researcher David Kinnaman argues that “protecting” kids from opposing viewpoints is ultimately detrimental to their faith. Like “helicopter parents” who “hover” over their children to keep them from any conceivable danger, many young Christians feel that the church demonizes everything outside the church, fails to expose students to the complexities of the “real” world, and is too overprotective. Read more

“Sticker Shock” – Choosing to Invest in Your Home

Editor’s Note: Today’s post, “‘Sticker Shock’ – Choosing to Invest in Your Home,” comes from Rebecca Kocsis, who serves as general manager of CHEA, and Director of CHEA’s Support Network. This post originally appeared on CHEA’s blog, Homeschool411; we’re grateful for Rebecca’s willingness to speak from her two decades of homeschool experience, as well as CHEA’s faithful 35 years of serving Homeschool families in Southern California.

Couch – Invest in Your Home BYA blogHomeschoolers live in their houses all day, every day. Contrary to our traditional schooling counterparts, who are often out of the home for the better part of the day, our homes are well occupied. Because they are well occupied, our furnishings have a way of developing that lived-in look well before their time. That “lived-in look” is fine for a pair of jeans or old sneakers, but on sofas it quickly deteriorates to just plain old shabby. I know that the shabby chic look is in, but too shabby is not chic. Read more

Giving Notes of Thanks

Editor’s note: Today’s blog, “Giving Notes of Thanks,” is written by Michelle Eastman, and adapted from the archives of her blog, A Heart Surrendered. Michelle is a veteran homeschool mom, who is educating five boys and a girl at home. She is also the wife of Dennis Eastman, Associate Director of Biola Youth Academics. We hope you enjoy her practical insight and Spirit-filled wisdom, and visit her on her blog.

Giving Notes of Thanks – Card that says "Thanks" next to a coffee cup with heart latte artToday has been a day of joy and reflection … and both were needed for the hurting and weary heart that beats in my chest.

This morning I was given the glorious gift of an entire hour to myself! My children were gone, my tennis shoes were laced, and I embarked on the long walk I had been dreaming of for days.

It had just stopped raining, so the temperature was crisp, the streets were wet, and the air smelled fresh and clean. For this rain-loving girl it was the perfect setting for my time alone. Read more

Prayer and Self-Regulation: A Spiritual Practice that Increases Focus and Self Control

Editor’s Note: Enjoy this week’s blog by Luciano Cid, Assistant Professor of Biola University’s School of Education, as he explains the connection between the role of prayer and self-regulation in a child’s development.

Young Girl reading quietly on a couch demonstrating prayer and self-regulationRecently, while I was teaching Sunday school to a group of four and five year old children, I experienced an amazing psycho-spiritual event. You see, although the children who normally make up my Sunday school class tend to be extremely well behaved and respectful, this particular day, for some reason, a great majority of them were acting a bit unruly. Read more

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