Editor’s Note: On the blog this week, we are featuring the top essay in the Torrey Academy course, Faith of Our Fathers, written by Abby Borne. In this essay, Abby explores the presence of knightly vows in Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, exposing them as verbal promises and declarations of truth deeply tied to a Knight’s honor and integrity. She clearly researches and argues for the danger that comes in making vows, as the refusal to stay true to one’s word may result in civil and social death, and highlights the connection to Christ’s words of warning around vow-making for Christians. We’re proud of our accomplished Torrey Academy scholars, like Abby, and we’re grateful for the opportunity to share the fine work they produce with you. Enroll your student in a Torrey Academy course today.
Vow of Death: The Importance of the Knightly Vow in The Canterbury Tales
by Abby Borne
“A promise is a comfort for a fool.” — Traditional Proverb
The modern attitude on vows is relatively relaxed. Some cynics are justifiably skeptical about the worth of promises due to the lack of importance placed on them. Promises are often only kept when the breaking of an oath poses a threat. Elementary school best friends make “pinky promises” between each other, couples make wedding vows, and written contracts keep people bound to their word, with legal and financial consequences for those who do not keep it. Medieval oaths, however, were taken more seriously. Vows are seen throughout The Canterbury Tales, whether between a husband and wife, a lover and the magician who will help him, or two knights and cousins who swear brotherhood to each other. The free giving of vows is portrayed as honorable, but often these promises are broken or put in danger. In no case is the breaking of a vow so dishonorable and tragic as in the breaking of a knight’s oath, as knightly chivalry includes a focus on the keeping of vows. The breaking of such a vow would even result in a loss of a knight’s identity. Although knightly vows are often seen as a way to obtain honor and show integrity, they can lead to dishonor because if the giver of the vow breaks their vow, this leads to a loss of identity and a form of civil and social death. Through an investigation of medieval and chivalric society and a closer look at two specific examples of knightly oaths, this paper seeks to explore honor, integrity, and the reason Christ exhorted his church to be careful in its vow-making—a lesson which is applicable even today.
Editor’s Note: Are you making a college visit tour this summer? Tim Milosch is a professor, course designer, consultant and homeschool alumni. He also runs the website CollegeBoundHomeschooler.com, where he offers expert advice for making the transition from homeschool to college. Visit his website where you can get a free college prep worksheet.
I don’t think the idea of going to college became a real possibility for my parents and I until we visited the campus of Biola University.
Up to that point, the idea of transferring to a four year school was an abstraction and a massive expense. Then we met an incredibly friendly team of admissions and financial aid counselors who walked us through the process of making it happen. We toured the campus and ate in the cafeteria. By the end of the trip, my parents weren’t saying “Wait and see,” but “When you go in the fall….” 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
Editor’s Note: While homeschooling success stories abound, choosing to homeschool is often still seen as an unconventional path. Have you ever received pushback from unsupportive family and friends on your choice to homeschool? Veola Vazquez, a prolific author and professor of psychology at California Baptist University, lends her insights on how a homeschooling family can best endure when loved ones disagree.
Have you heard comments such as these?
“Your kids will never compete academically with public school kids.”
“Your kids will end up with social problems.”
“You can’t keep your kids in a bubble.” Read more
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.
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
Editor’s Note: Has car trouble ever dampened a homeschool family vacation? Too often, it’s not just the breakdown of the family van, but the breakdown of the family spirit, and communication, that defeats us. In this post, Kenneth Berding, professor of New Testament at Talbot Theological Seminary and homeschool dad, writes about the car troubles that he and his family have experienced on summer vacations. We’re grateful he’s shared his reflection with us. Read it here, or visit his blog, Kindle Afresh.
Just Another Homeschool Family Vacation
“It wouldn’t be a Berding vacation without car trouble!”
So remarked one of my adult daughters two days ago just after her tire shredded on the California freeway on our way to a family vacation at Lake Arrowhead. Unbelievably, this is family vacation seven (yes, #7!) in which we’ve found ourselves in an auto shop. A blown tire in New Mexico…a wiped out transmission near Klamath Falls, Oregon…then again in Central California…then again on a different vacation at Lake Tahoe (whereby I promptly sold the car to a mechanic)…a complete electrical failure on the California-Nevada border (towed all the way to Las Vegas)…another blown tire on the road to San Luis Obispo for a wedding…and finally, my daughter’s shredded tire two days ago. Maybe my cars are just demon-possessed (joking, of course). But along the way, I’ve learned a few things about how God might want us to respond in such situations. Here are five that come immediately to mind: Read more
Editor’s Note: This week’s blog, How Technology Challenges Teens and 3 Resources to Help, is shared with us by Brett Kunkle. Brett is founder and president of MAVEN, a homeschool dad, and keynote of the 2018 Biola Homeschool Expo. For more from Brett, pick up the book he co-authored, A Practical Guide to Culture: Helping the Next Generation Navigate Today’s World.
Certainly, the host of intellectual challenges our young people face are a threat to their faith. The arguments of an atheist professor. The objections of a skeptical friend. But how often does the typical evangelical kid actually encounter skeptical arguments? Not all that often. In fact, most kids—Christian or non-Christian—don’t talk much about religion with their peers or even their family.
Now, don’t misread me. I think Christians must equip their kids with good apologetics, evidence for the faith and the ability to deal with skeptical challenges and objections to Christianity, because our youth will encounter them at some point. Read more
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
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.
How 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
The perennial question — posed to anyone who ever whispered the idea of homeschooling out loud — is, you guessed it, “What about their social life?” But, as many homeschoolers will tell you, there’s little cause for concern when it comes to socializing the home educated.
As founder of the National Home Education Research Institute, Brian Ray, told PBS, “Research shows that in terms of self-concept, self-esteem and the ability to get along in groups, homeschoolers do just as well as their public school peers.”
If your students are not at school from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. — with 3 hours of homework afterwards — it’s often the case that they’ll have more time for socialization. Read more