When we become a prayerful observer of our children’s thought processes, learning styles, values and worldview, the Lord can highlight entry points to help bring new academic and spiritual understanding.
In Acts 11, Paul addresses the Athenians by standing in the Areopagus and saying, “Men of Athens, I observe that you are very religious in all respects. For while I was passing through and examining the objects of your worship, I also found an altar with this inscription, “TO AN UNKNOWN GOD.’ What therefore you worship in ignorance, this I proclaim to you . . . ” Paul then goes on to preach the gospel message.
Note three aspects of Paul’s approach to teaching in Acts 17:22-31: Read more
How great God is and how great is His creation! Every time I gaze at the stars, scan the canopy of heaven, inhale the beauty of the ocean, explore underwater sea creatures, touch the soft fur of my favorite canine, or marvel at a spider’s orb web, I gasp and declare that God’s creation shouts His glory.
I am awed by His handiwork, wrapped up in His beauty, and enveloped in His love as He displays His love through the gift of nature. We were created by God and placed in a garden among plants and creatures. Nature is the place where we flourish as we are nourished by His love and beauty in the created order. We learn about our Creator through the book of nature (see Romans 1). And so, as an educator, I’ve always given value to building upon the natural design of the child which is consistently awe, wonder, and curiosity in relationship to the created order.
Here’s a quick idea for a lesson in church history: For many years I have been curious about a Roman governor known to us from history as Pliny the Younger. My interest initially arose because I resided for four years in one of the principal cities he governed—not to mention that one of my four daughters was born in that city. Moreover, since I have expended significant effort studying the writings of the earliest Christian authors after the period of the apostles (those authors known as the “Apostolic Fathers”), I continue to be intensely interested in learning anything I possibly can about the lives of Christians who lived during the first half of the second century.
What if someone like Pliny had come in contact with Christians? What if a Roman governor had wanted to know what Christians believed and how they lived? Read more
The earth is the LORD’s and the fullness thereof, the world and those who dwell therein, for he has founded it upon the seas and established it upon the rivers. -Psalm 24:1-2
Have you considered incorporating Earth Day Activities into your coursework this week?
This year, Earth Day is celebrated around the world on Saturday, April 22, 2017. It offers an opportunity to hone in our curriculum calendar to consider world events, stoking our students’ interest in environmental science, while cultivating a biblically-centered worldview on care for God’s creation. Check out the links below and discern if any of the activities might benefit your students if you incorporate these ideas into your curriculum this week. Read more
Spring Break is upon us! Need ideas for homeschool field trips to get the family out of the house? While your students might take a break from worksheets and textbooks, there’s no reason the learning needs to stop.
As a homeschool parent, there are a number of homeschool field trips waiting for you and your family to embark upon. The following list is focused on the Los Angeles and Orange County area of Southern California, but if you’re reading from outside the area, use this as a launch pad for your own field trip research. When you go on one of these field trips, keep the conversation going with our discussion questions, below.
“The student is not above the teacher, but everyone who is fully trained
will be like their teacher.” -Luke 6:40
Teaching students with special needs presents unique challenges, as well as opportunities to practice empathy, and refine our teaching—and allow the Lord to refine us. Dr. Eastman’s lecture models perspective taking, challenges presumptions, and gives practical tips on engaging and understanding students with special needs.
A homeschool dad and father of six (5 boys and 1 girl), Dr. Eastman invites his high school aged son to share from his perspective as a student with special needs.
Please enjoy Dr. Eastman’s presentation, offered by Biola University’s School of Education, and Open.Biola. Consider watching with a pen and paper nearby, and follow along with the in-lecture activities. Watch below. Read more
In November 2015, I was fortunate enough to present at Biola’s biannual Justice, Spirituality, and Education Conference. The theme for the conference was “Raising Flourishing Children in a Perishing World,” a subject that has been relevant — as we all know — since the first set of brothers (i.e., Cain and Abel) roamed the earth. My own particular presentation was titled, “Paradigm Building and Paradigm Shifting: How Jesus’ Dialectical Approach Can Assist Us in Teaching Our Children to Be in the World, but Not of the World.”
Given this focus, I began my presentation by introducing Bronfenbrenner’s “Ecological Theory of Development.” This was done so I could illustrate the plethora of factors that can impact a person’s development (e.g., family, church, peers, culture, extended family, neighbors, school boards, government agencies, mass media, economic situations, teachers, health services, religious organizations, neighborhoods, biology). Our children are — like it or not — influenced by all of these factors as well. Consequently, there are three choices we, as parents and teachers, can make in light of such influential domains. Read more
For a number of years I taught writing classes to homeschooling children. I loved teaching this class. I’ll never forget one particular young man (let’s call him Charlie) and his keen interest in insects. When I asked him to write a story, he would create insect characters. When I asked him to write a poem, it would be about an insect. When I asked him to write a report, he would choose an insect to study. Charlie was completely enthralled with insects. Read more
As we enter into the new year, I am thinking about fresh starts. For example, I love that I can start a new calendar, set and reach a new set of goals, begin a new journal, work on new habits in health and exercise, read some new books, or explore a new hobby. Fresh starts are like clean slates … and most people like fresh starts … they find it … well … refreshing! Read more
Consider this, some scuba divers won’t go deeper than twenty or thirty feet; others, however, are willing to take the deep dives and explore hidden treasures. Teachers and home educators are the same way. How do you get your students to think for themselves, rather than to simply absorb someone else’s thinking? It begins with modeling true curiosity, asking the deeper questions, and habituating the students to explore their own questions. Read more