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
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
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
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
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. –
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
My nephew’s wife asked her three-year-old daughter what she learned in Sunday School, and she replied, “Playdough and Jesus!” We all had a good chuckle over that response, but in all seriousness (smile), learning ought to be fun!
For example, in my commute in this morning, Dr. Denise Reid, Associate Professor, told me how she and her daughter took her grandson to Tanaka Farms in Irvine (South Orange County). They rode a tractor, sat on bales of hay, were taught how to properly harvest strawberries, and then had the special opportunity of receiving a basket, harvesting the strawberries, and eating to their heart’s delight. Additionally, they enjoyed taste testing of many fresh vegetables from the field, including fresh green onions, cilantro, and carrots. What would you rather do . . . a book assignment or a field trip? Which is more memorable? Which adds the most fun? Which reduces stress on children at home? Read more
Have you ever been involved in the soul surgery of family or church confession to God for failure in any area? I have. I remember a time when our elders confessed their failing and when our church corporately confessed our failing in the same meeting. Members stood up, confessed their sin, and then we all prayed our confession corporately. I also remember a time when a member of our church staff confessed moral failure from the pulpit and resigned. And, I remember times in my own household when my husband and I would have to come before the Lord and confess our failure in response to a disagreement, confessing our poor responses to one another and to God. Read more
I recently took a three-day retreat. During this time, I stayed at a spiritual retreat house that included a small library with many Christian books. Among the books, I found Tom Holladay’s The Relationship Principles of Jesus (2008). I was completely struck by Tom’s second exercise on relationship which included David’s model of Emotional Prayer, based on the Psalms. Read more
As home educators, we have the opportunity to teach our children invaluable life skills, such as financial literacy—this begins with budgeting for teens under our roof.
My mother taught me a great method for managing my money as a young child. It was the 10/10/80 plan. I would tithe 10% of my allowance, save 10% of my allowance, and spend 80% of my allowance. I have implemented the 10/10/80 most of my life, except, as I have gotten older and had more income, I give more than 10% and save more than 10%. By always living within my means, I don’t go into debt, except for items that are true investments, such as real estate or an education. Read more
Editor’s Note: On October 6, 2017, after 42 days in the hospital, June Hetzel’s brother moved on to glory. The following blog post, “Too Tired to Pray,” was written in the midst of those trying 42 days.
Have you ever felt too tired to pray? I have. For example, right now, I am in the midst of untold agony as my only brother, Rick, is fighting for his life at Kaiser Permanente, Anaheim Hills. It’s day 37. He’s out of ICU but he’s not out of the woods. Yesterday was the first day in 37 days that he could breathe on his own for an extended period of time. Unfortunately, he had to get a tracheostomy at day 21. His digestive track is not working and they had to move him from a feeding tube to feeding intravenously. His kidneys are working at 50%. His skin is deteriorating from an advanced case of diabetes. He suffers from depression and I am completely helpless and hopeless to save my brother, and so are the doctors. They give my brother a grim diagnosis. All my emotional energy goes to him. I try to conduct daily business as normal, but nothing’s normal. I’m emotionally exhausted and physically exhausted. I need frequent breaks. Then, I fell and hit my face on the cement. Bleeding, numb teeth, swollen lips, painful nose. Ugh. The Lord forced me to rest … for days. Read more
When considering the weight of homeschooling in light of current events, it’s been a difficult season, to say the least. The trauma of racism, Charlottesville, the uncivil rhetoric of leaders, local and global violence, and other current events collectively concern us as we seek to live out love of God and neighbor in the context of a chaotic world. This makes your role as a Christian home educator all the more important. Read more
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