Category Archives: Devotional

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

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

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

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

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

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