Category Archives: Devotional

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.

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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

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

Too Tired to Pray – Finding Rest in the Stress

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.

Looking into a hospital room - too tired to pray BYA blog

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

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

Grace-Filled Homeschooling – Finding Hope in the Mess

Editor’s Note: Today, we welcome Director of Torrey Academy, Catherine Hood. Her first contribution to the Inspired Home Educator is this blog, “Grace-Filled Homeschooling.” She is an alumna of Torrey Honors Institute at Biola University, and comes to us with home education and classical education experience from The Cambridge School in San Diego, CA and Grace Classical Academy in Laguna Niguel, CA. Her keen insight into the lives of our students, the role of education, and the importance of faith is evident in conversation, and—as you’ll see—her writing. Know of someone who needs to find hope in the mess? Consider sharing this blog on grace-filled homeschooling with them.

Closeup sad child being hugged by his mother at home. Grace-filled Homeschooling.Parenting is hard work. Teaching is hard work. Sometimes you may wonder why you chose to combine both of those challenges into your daily life. During a recent Torrey Academy Parent Forum, one homeschool mom shared the best piece of advice she had received when she began homeschooling: “You just need to accept that as a homeschool parent, you will see the worst of your kids, and your kids will see the worst of you.” Read more

Educating for the Civic Square – Homeschooling and Current Events

Times Square, New York - Educating for the Civic Square

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

The Case for Homework: Capturing the Heart of My Child

Editor’s note: This week’s post, “The Case for Homework: Capturing the Heart of My Child” is written by our BYA Temecula Valley Campus Coordinator, Barb Tupaj. We’re grateful for Barb’s keen insight, gathered and gleaned from over a decade of homeschooling and years as a BYA parent and campus coordinator.

Mother and teen daughter spending time doing homeschool curriculum homework together

The 2017-18 academic year marks my tenth year as a Biola Youth Academics parent. This is also the year my youngest of five children began schooling with Star Academics. This milestone has proven to be exciting and challenging for my daughter and for me.

Biola Youth Academics is known to be an academically rigorous program for homeschool students—which I love. It is also known to have equally high expectations of parents, which I admit does not always stir up loving emotions. In particular, the requirement that parents grade their student’s homework can sometimes frustrate me as I struggle to complete my daily tasks as a wife and working homeschool mom. I can be inclined to put off the grading or view it as a burden. Read more

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