Category Archives: Devotional

5 Practical Ways to Communicate Love to Your Teens — Even When It’s Difficult

Two African American teen girls in yellow dresses sitting on a bench smiling at each other - communicate love blog

We love our teens. But, if we’re not intentional in how we communicate love to our teens, those relationships can strain. A parent’s love is never-ending. Sometimes, though, our teens test our patience, our wills and our limits. Our call as Christian parents is to love our teens even, and maybe especially, when they’re hard to love. Here are five practical and important ways to communicate love to your teens. Read more

Enriching Your Child’s Soul Through Homeschool Discipline

Editor’s Note: This blog post on biblical models of homeschool discipline is written by Victoria Smith and Luciano Cid, Ed.D. Victoria Smith is an education major in her third year at Biola University, a member of the Torrey Honors Institute and a homeschool educator. Luciano Cid is Assistant Professor of Education at Biola University, and has contributed to The Inspired Home Educator before, on the ABCDs of writing objectives and altering student perspectives through cognitive dissonance.

Father and son look at each other, smiling - homeschool discipline blogHow should homeschooling parents discipline their children? It is our belief that discipline, either in the classroom or at home, should be carried out by an adult who is trying to “train up a child in the way [he/she] should go [and] even when [that child] is old … [he/she will] not depart from it” (Proverbs 22:6). Consequently, the disciplining of any child has an inherent philosophical and theological responsibility embedded within it, a responsibility that lies with the adult — hopefully one who continually strives to be virtuous — rather than with the child. Therefore, when discipline is carried out, either in a traditional school environment or in a homeschool one, it is imperative for the adult to recognize that whatever is being employed to do so is either training the child to see the love, mercy, justice, freedom, and perfection of God’s discipline or the anger, vengeance, injustice, control and imperfection inherited in man’s ways. Read more

Playdough, Jesus, and Stress Management: The Effect of Stress on Children at Home

Girl laying on grass looking at the sky - Stress on Children blog

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

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

Soul Surgery – The Power of Confessing Our Sins Together

Mom and Daughter pray together - the soul surgery of confession

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

Emotional Prayer – Teaching Your Children to Pray What They Feel

Hands held, praying together - emotional prayer blog

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

What If? – Staying True to the Intergenerational Investment of Home Education

Silhouette of a Child leaning against a tree and reading the Bible

In the 75th anniversary of Wycliffe’s ministry in Bible translation, I found myself absorbed in reading their history over the holidays. Obstacles, such as cross-cultural and linguistic challenges, kidnapping, and martyrdom wove throughout Wycliffe’s history.

I was particularly struck by the story of Chet Bitterman. When Chet was considering missions work, he told his wife, “I’ve only got seventy-five years on this earth at best. I want to use them to give someone the Bible.” So in obedience to their calling, this young couple joined Wycliffe (p. 103). Chet and his wife, Brenda, prepared for missions work and were to work with the Carijona people. As they prepared to move to this village in Colombia, they were at the Summer Institute of Linguistics in Colombia.

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

Resolutions for Change: Conducting Teacher Evaluations for Homeschoolers

Woman holding up a shiny January Calendar for resolutions - BYA's Teacher Evaluation blogHappy New Year! When January 1st rolls around, homeschoolers have the opportunity to hit the reset button, and get a fresh start by creating resolutions together. Doing this well takes intention, motivation and careful conversation with your children.

Now that you are half-way through the homeschooling year, take inventory of how things are going. Carve out time in your busy schedule to pause, reflect, and pray about the last few months. Ask God to highlight the strengths of your family and homeschooling—and to graciously point out areas to improve in the coming year. Read more

Budgeting for Teens – Five Money Tips for Homeschoolers

Teen's homeschool desk with budgeting supplies

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

« Older Entries