Sunday, January 31, 2010

Hearing Aids for the Whole Family

From Answers in Genesis

Let’s face it—sometimes your family doesn’t get much out of the Sunday sermon. But with a little work, dads can greatly improve the family’s listening experience.

Try these hearing aids:

Get more sleep. The Sunday service is not for sleeping; the night before is. This requires planning, especially for young people, who like to use Saturday night as an opportunity to stay up as late as possible.

Sit closer. Almost without exception, the best listeners are in front. There are some valid reasons to be in the back, but it will usually impede your listening.

Look at the speaker. Even younger children can be taught to listen with their eyes.

Minimize distractions. If you must, find a better place to sit. If your children are the problem, “divide and conquer” by asking a relative or friend to sit with you. And don’t permit the Sunday shuffle to the restroom.

Use your Bibles. It is difficult to follow the pastor’s line of thought without seeing the Bible text before you. Teach the family to read it, underline it, and insert marginal comments.

Take notes. Your family’s notes may be imperfect, but they help the sluggish mind. Your younger children can draw what they hear.

Ask questions. With your children at your side, go up to the pastor for clarity. “Pastor, I did not understand the meaning of ‘sanctification.’ Would you help me understand?”

Talk it over. While sitting around the dinner table, just before Sunday dessert, briefly summarize the message and enthusiastically apply it to the family. The child who is the most engaged gets extra dessert. You might even have the children bring their notes to the table for the discussion.

Dad, you must do all you can to keep your family listening. Years of the “wandering mind syndrome” will leave you and your family spiritually destitute.

Jesus said, “Take heed how you hear. For whoever has [understanding], to him more will be given; and whoever does not have, even what he seems to have will be taken from him” (Luke 8:18, NKJV).

When it comes to Sunday sermons, no one is too young for hearing aids. “He who has ears to hear, let him hear!” (Matthew 13:9, NKJV).

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Spelling Practice Ideas

Found this wonderful list of spelling practice ideas from I'm just going to list some of the ones I think would work easier for a homeschooler. Go to the list to see them all including a list of spelling words for first grade.

  • Spell words with alphabet macaroni (can be glued to paper) or alphabets cereal (yummy to eat!).
  • Spell words with magnetic letters on cookie sheets.
  • Use alphabet stamps and let them stamp out their words on paper.
  • Squirt a bit of shaving cream on their desks and allow them to write their words.
  • Cut letters from magazines or newspaper to spell the words.
  • Make a wordsearch or crossword puzzle at with the spelling words.
  • Fun Pens: students copy the words in "fun pens". You can find them at the Dollar Store or Walgreens. They light up, or are wiggly, or gooey, etc.
  • 30 Second Words: Students fold paper in quarters. Write the spelling word in one corner of the corner. The teacher gives the students 30 seconds to write the word as many times as they can.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

More Parents Opting For Homeschooling

BANGALORE: Does your child hate going to school? Is she stressed out, pressurized and overloaded? Or, are you sick of the conventional schooling system? Simple, don't send them to school. Try homeschooling -- that's what more and more parents in Bangalore are doing.

In cities like Mumbai and Pune, many parents have stopped sending children to regular schools. Instead, they learn by themselves at home or are taught by parents or tutors. There are over 50 such children in Bangalore and there's even an online forum where their parents interact with each other and seek help. All of them have different reasons for choosing this system.

For agriculturist Vivek Kariappa, it was the realization that conventional schooling is biased against the rural system. His children followed no textbooks, but an agriculture-oriented curriculum. They were urged to read, to search for more information, to face problems and solve them.

When his son, who was interested in sports, complained he wasn't getting time to indulge in his passion, Sunil Ruthnaswamy thought of pulling his child out of school last year. "Now, I have time for both. I study three hours a day, which I feel is equal to a day studying at school. I devote three hours each for cricket and rowing and am quite happy," said Joshua Ruthnaswamy, 14.

However, for many, dislike for the conventional system made them opt for homeschooling. Says Amit Mathur, a software professional: "My wife and I were not satisfied with the education we got. We don't trust the present system of schooling. I don't want to see my child growing up without thinking."

There are also children with learning disorders for whom homeschooling is a better option.


There is no separate syllabus for homeschooling children. Most parents TOI spoke to followed prescribed textbooks. However, some didn't follow textbooks and others designed their own curriculum by referring to syllabi of different boards.

None of them thrust books on their children. "When my child was in first grade, I used to take him to shops and make him understand addition and subtraction. Later, I used textbooks as worksheets. That's how I taught him maths," said a parent, Chetana Keni. Children are encouraged to figure out things by themselves and find pleasure in learning new things.

While most parents help children in the lower classes, they take the help of tutors when they can no longer deal with a subject. "We have a forum. Each parent is good in some subject. For example, I love maths. So, when a child needs assistance in it, I help him out," said Amit Mathur, a software developer.

On reaching Class 10, the child can take the board exam privately by registering with the National Institute of Open Schooling or International General Certificate of Secondary Education. The degree is acceptable across the world.


Most children have a timetable, which is not regimented. They study for a particular number of hours (ranging from 2 to 6 hours), spend time pursuing their area of interest, with friends and then by themselves.

"The biggest advantage is that the timetable is flexible. The child can learn what he wants when he feels like it. He can go as in-depth as he wants. He learns it at his pace, the way he wants. He takes ownership of his learning. The stress on the child is zero," said Aditi Mathur, a strong believer of alternative education methods.

The children are generally happy with what they do. "I get a lot of time in doing what I always wanted to do. I know how to divide time between activities. The only thing is school was much more fun with so many friends around," said Joshua.


Experienced homeschoolers say parents should know how to go about teaching their children in the right way. "All parents are not born teachers. Even they need training on teaching methods, and creating a conducive environment, how to instil discipline and so on," said Chetana Keni, who gives such training to parents.


A child's social networking skills is one area of concern. "I won't recommend homeschooling for any child who lives in a flat without good interaction with neighbours," says Chetana. However, some parents say they have made new social circles -- in the neighbourhood, during extra-curricular activities and at home. "The advantage here is they have friends from all age groups, and not just their peer group," observes a parent.


The cost of homeschooling varies on what and how the child learns. "At times, it can be more expensive than sending the child to regular schools. It depends on the child's learning needs. Apart from routine requirements like books, CDs, painting kits, one also needs to pay for extra classes which these days cost not less than Rs 500," said Chetana.


Considering the system our schools are following, homeschooling is a good option. A school is crammed -- be it in curricular or extra-curricular activities. In a family, it's a more relaxed environment and therefore more conducive for learning. Some say the pressure the child faces in school is good. But, in 90% of cases, the pressure doesn't do any good. Homeschooling is good as long as the child doesn't take it easy.

-- M S Thimmappa, clinical psychologist, and former vice-chancellor, Bangalore University

Friday, January 15, 2010

Is Teaching American History Unconstitutional?

Is Teaching American History Unconstitutional?
According to Baptist Professor Derek Davis and his cronies,apparently the answer is "Yes!"

Occasionally, the Secular and Religious Left go beyond their normal anti-religious bigotry to make claims that are just too outrageous to be ignored. This week provided such an example. (While this email is longer than normal, I think you'll find it filled with useful and interesting information.)

Several months ago, I was one of six expert reviewers appointed by the 15-member elected Texas State Board of Education to give input into the drafting of the 2010 history and social studies standards for textbooks. (This is a task I have previously performed in other states.) Although these standards we formulate will initially apply to Texas students, they will soon become the standards used in textbooks across the nation.

Last year, writing teams of Texas teachers drafted the 2010 proposed standards. We, the expert reviewers, were asked to point out where we thought changes should be made; the State Board of Education would then make their decision about which (if any) of our hundreds of proposed suggestions to adopt.When I reviewed the proposed standards, I found many reasons for concern. The writing teams had recommended the removal of Nathan Hale, Daniel Boone, and General George Patton; they eradicated Columbus Day, Martin Luther King Day, and Christmas (but they did add Diwali as a holiday). They also declared that to say there was "an American love of individualism, inventiveness, and freedom" was to express inappropriate "value language," and they also rejected the concept of identifying specific beliefs that contributed to our "national identity." In fact, they declared that students needed to be shaped "for responsible citizenship in a global society," but not citizenship in American society. And instead of an emphasis on the positive things about America (i.e., American Exceptionalism), America was often shown as fault-ridden – as a global villain.

I made known my opposition to these and other positions in my official reviews and offered suggestions for positive change. My first review (from July, 2009) is posted on the state website, as is my second review (from September 2009).

Those two official reviews were 43,538 words in length, and contained three mentions of Christianity. In the first review, I pointed out how early colonial Christian leaders such as William Penn and Roger Williams insisted on having written constitutions to limit the government; I also showed how American Christians and Jews cooperated together in the American Revolution. In the second review, I noted the current polling on religious affiliation in America to demonstrate that the mention of Christmas should be reinstated in the standards. Those three simple mentions of Christianity caused the Left to explode.

Groups such as the Texas Freedom Network (the state arm of the radical People for the American Way) joined with other radicals in the Religious Left to denounce my mentions of Christianity. They nationally distributed a press release of outrageously false claims that were soon parroted by ABC, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, etc.

On Wednesday, January 13, the Texas State Board of Education met to begin the process of voting on the final recommendations for social studies textbooks; many of the board members know me very well and are very familiar with the lies of the Left (having themselves been subjected to them on many occasions). Hopefully, they will reinstate traditional American heroes and patriotic values, focus on the teaching of history rather than modern pop culture, and include coverage of good characteristics about America. Not surprisingly, however, the anti-religious secularist bigots made known their presence (and their ridiculous claims) at the meeting.

One of those in the Religious Left is Christian secularist, Dr. Derek Davis, Dean of Humanities at Mary Hardin Baylor (a Baptist University) and director of the school's Center for Religious Liberty. Although he heads a department at a major Christian university, he is a national evangelist for a completely secular public square; and based on his previous statements, he apparently wants to see all mentions of Christianity confined, like pornography, to the privacy of one's own personal life.

Dr. Davis amazingly asserts in the Houston Chronicle that a mention of Christianity in American history standards will "violate the Constitution" because it will portray "the United States as a Christian nation in some legal sense."

While there is no such recommendation in the standards, consider the stupidity of what he purports. According to Dr. Davis, it would "violate the Constitution" if the history texts were to include information from the more than 300 court rulings over the past two centuries that have declared America to be a Christian nation. Imagine! He believes it would be unconstitutional to let students know what courts have affirmed for 200 years!

He similarly believes that it would be unconstitutional for students to see the public declarations of American presidents on the same subject – declarations such as:
  • Intelligence, patriotism, Christianity, and a firm reliance on that God Who has never yet forsaken this favored land are still competent to adjust in the best way all our present difficulty [i.e., the Civil War]. 1 PRESIDENT ABRAHAM LINCOLN
  • No candid observer will deny that whatever of good there may be in our American civilization is the product of Christianity. 2 The teachings of the Bible are so interwoven and entwined with our whole civic and social life that it would be literally impossible for us to figure to ourselves what that life would be if these teachings were removed. 3 PRESIDENT THEODORE ROOSEVELT
  • America was born a Christian nation – America was born to exemplify that devotion to the elements of righteousness which are derived from the revelations of Holy Scripture. 4 PRESIDENT WOODROW WILSON
  • American life is builded, and can alone survive, upon . . . the fundamental philosophy announced by the Savior nineteen centuries ago. 5 PRESIDENT HERBERT HOOVER
  • If the spirit of God is not in us and if we will not prepare to give all that we have and all that we are to preserve Christian civilization in our land, we shall go to destruction. 6 We cannot read the history of our rise and development as a Nation without reckoning with the place the Bible has occupied in shaping the advances of the Republic. 7 PRESIDENT FRANKLIN DELANO ROOSEVELT
  • This is a Christian Nation. More than a half century ago that declaration was written into the decrees of the highest court in this land. 8 In this great country of ours has been demonstrated the fundamental unity of Christianity and democracy. 9 PRESIDENT HARRY TRUMAN
  • We are Christian nations, deeply conscious that the foundation of all liberty is religious faith. 10 PRESIDENT DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER
  • In these last 200 years, we have guided the building of our Nation and our society by those principles and precepts brought to earth nearly 2,000 years ago on that first Christmas. 11 PRESIDENT LYNDON BAINES JOHNSON
  • Let us remember that as a Christian nation . . . that we have a charge and a destiny. 12 PRESIDENT RICHARD NIXON
  • Of the many influences that have shaped the United States of America into a distinctive Nation and people, none may be said to be more fundamental and enduring than the Bible. 13 PRESIDENT RONALD REAGAN

According to Dr. Davis, it would "violate the Constitution" to present these, or the hundreds of similar statements by our elected presidents, or to tell students what our federal and state courts have repeatedly declared! Amazing!

Apparently, Dr. Davis (and the others among the growing group of militant so-called "Christian" secularists) has not read the Constitution – or even the decisions by modern liberal Supreme Courts that have held that history cannot be censored simply because it is Christian. Nevertheless, Dr. Davis and his cohorts have found it a useful tactic to claim that something with which they disagree is "unconstitutional."

We need to stop the use of this ridiculous tactic. How?

FIRST, begin with the wise recommendation of Founding Father John Jay:

Every member of the State ought diligently to read and to study the constitution of his country. . . . By knowing their rights, they will sooner perceive when they are violated and be the better prepared to defend and assert them. 14

SECOND, the next time the Left claims something is "unconstitutional," insist that they prove it by citing the relevant part of the Constitution.

FINALLY, when the intolerant anti-religious bigots try to intimidate Americans from presenting an accurate view of American history, let's make our voices heard on talk shows and in letters to the editors, denouncing their attempt to rewrite American history and censor expressions of religious faith.

It's time for some new voices to be heard in the debate – the voices of common sense, well-informed citizens who have no agenda but to see the best for our great country. It's time for your voice to be heard!

God Bless!

David Barton


[1] Abraham Lincoln, The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln, Roy P. Basler, editor (New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 1953), Vol. IV, p. 271, First Inaugural Address, March 4, 1861.[2] "Our Nation, A Product of Christianity," Springfield Republican, 1884.[3] Theodore Roosevelt: The Man as I Knew Him, Ferdinand Cowle Iglehart, D. D. (New York: The Christian Herald, 1919), pp. 307-311.[4] Woodrow Wilson, The Papers of Woodrow Wilson, Arthur S. Link, editor (Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1977), Vol. 23, p. 20; "An Address in Denver on the Bible, May 7, 1911."[5] American Presidency Project, "Herbert Hoover: Radio Address to the Nation on Unemployment Relief, October 18, 1931" (at[6] American Presidency Project, "Franklin D. Roosevelt: Address at Dedication of Great Smoky Mountains National Park, September 2nd, 1940" (at[7] American Presidency Project, "Franklin D. Roosevelt: Statement on the Four Hundredth Anniversary of the Printing of the English Bible, October 6th, 1935" (at[8] American Presidency Project, "Harry S. Truman: Exchange of Messages With Pope Pius XII, August 28, 1947" (at[9] American Presidency Project, "Harry S. Truman: Address at the Lighting of the National Community Christmas Tree on the White House Grounds," December 24, 1946" (at[10] American Presidency Project, "Dwight D. Eisenhower: Address Before the Council of the Organization of American States, April 12th, 1953" (at[11] Presidency Project, "Lyndon B. Johnson: Remarks at the Lighting of the Nation's Christmas Tree. December 22, 1963." ([12] American Presidency Project, "Richard Nixon: Remarks at the National Prayer Breakfast, February 1st, 1972" (at[13] American Presidency Project, "Ronald Reagan: Proclamation 5018 – Year of the Bible, 1983, February 3rd, 1983" ([14] John Jay, The Correspondence and Public Papers of John Jay, Henry P. Johnston, editor (New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1890), Vol. I, pp. 163-164, from his Charge to the Grand Jury of Ulster County, September 9, 1777.To sign up on the WallBuilders email list and receive future information about historical issues and Biblical values in the culture, visit

Sunday, January 10, 2010

The Conscience and the Holy Spirit

Parenting Tip
January 7, 2010

The Conscience and the Holy Spirit

The heart contains a number of internal prompters but some of them lead children in the wrong direction. For example, the heart contains emotions, but sometimes those emotions prompt children to act inappropriately. The heart contains desires but when those desires are wrong we call them temptations.

God has placed two governors in the heart to guide the internal motivations of a person. Those two governors are the conscience and the Holy Spirit. The conscience is a part of the heart. The Holy Spirit is a person. The conscience can prompt children to do right or avoid wrong, but the Holy Spirit can empower them to change.

As you help children develop a strong conscience you’re making them more aware of internal promptings. In doing so, you’ll be preparing them to learn to listen to the voice of God in their lives. We have no record of the conscience speaking in the Bible. Instead, it feels good or bad, but the Holy Spirit does speak.

Children can learn to listen to the voice of God in their lives. How does God speak to a child? Through his Word, through an internal sense of peace, through prayer, and even through parents.

Talk to your kids about the internal prompters. When you do, help them to know what to do with those promptings. Just because you feel like doing something, doesn’t make it right. We must always check our hearts against the scriptures. That’s the only way to know what is truly the right thing to do.

To help your children understand the biblical concept of the conscience you might want to get Hero Training Camp, the Conscience Development Course for Kids. Learn more about Hero Training Camp at

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

A Response to Robin L. West—“The Harms of Homeschooling”
January 5, 2010

While the number of people in academia who are openly critical of homeschooling are few, every now and again an article will be published in a university periodical which attacks homeschooling.
The critics in academia come from the far left of the political spectrum. One such critic, Robin L. West of the Georgetown University Law Center, recently published an article titled “The Harms of Homeschooling,” which appeared in the Summer/Fall 2009 issue of the University of Maryland’s Philosophy and Public Policy Quarterly.

Before we answer the specific charges Ms. West makes against homeschooling we’d just like to give you a flavor of her perspective.

In the article she says, “Education, after all, is typically described as a core, and possibly the core, state responsibility.” We hope you’d agree that anyone who can entertain the idea that education is the core responsibility of the state (even though education is not mentioned as a state responsibility in the U.S. Constitution) and neglect to recognize that defense/national security is the core responsibility of the state is clearly out of the mainstream.

Later in the article Ms. West says, “Homeschooling is now such an entrenched practice, recriminalization is not a viable option in any event.” It appears that Ms. West is suggesting that she would not oppose regarding homeschoolers as criminals?

While Ms. West’s views are far from the mainstream, it is still important to challenge the erroneous statements made in her article.

One of her points is that U.S. courts do not recognize the fundamental right of parents to raise their own children, and by extension the right to homeschool. She adds, however, “Federal courts may someday acknowledge the existence of this right.”

Thankfully, Ms. West is wrong. The United States Supreme Court has acknowledged the fundamental right of parents to raise and educate their own children.

In 1925, the U.S. Supreme Court declared: “The child is not the mere creature of the state; those who nurture him and direct his destiny have the right and high duty to recognize and prepare him for additional obligations.” Pierce v. Society of Sisters [268 U.S. 510 (1925)].

In 1972, in Wisconsin v. Yoder (406 U.S. 205), the Court described parental rights as fundamental, saying: “This primary role of the parents in the upbringing of their children is now established as an enduring American tradition.”

In 2000, the Court declared that the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment protects the fundamental right of parents to make decisions concerning the care, custody, and control of their children. Troxel v. Granville, 530 U.S. 57 (2000).

Of course, the views of judges and their interpretation of the Constitution could change, but to say that the current jurisprudence does not uphold parental rights is simply wrong.

Further in the article Ms. West lays out her reasons for strictly regulating homeschoolers. Her first charge is that homeschoolers could be abusing their children. It is simply not true that homeschooling is used as a cover for child abuse. Ms. West cites no evidence to support her claim. In our experience parents who claim to be homeschooling but are later revealed to be child abusers are already well known to the authorities.

The latest example is from the Detroit News, which also took the view that homeschoolers should be regulated due to the potential for hiding child abuse. While the examples used by the Detroit News were tragic, they were of children who were being abused while in the public school system and then later removed by their parents. The children were well known to authorities, and there was nothing preventing the authorities in Michigan from following up on these children.

Regrettably, tragedies do occur, and no amount of regulation can ensure that all children will be safe all the time. Unfortunately, even in the most heavily regulated area of education—the public school—children suffer serious injury and death. It is a sad fact that some parents mistreat their children, and society rightly devotes time and resources to protecting children from abusive parents. But Ms. West is suggesting that states should spend tens of millions of dollars investigating all homeschooling families in an attempt to uncover child abuse. This would be unwise in light of the fact that there is no assurance that increasing the regulation of homeschoolers would prevent child abuse.

Ms. West also wants to force immunizations on homeschooled children. Some parents object to vaccines because of safety concerns, religious objections, or because of their medical history. It should also be noted that there have been no public health repercussions from a relatively few people opting out of vaccination programs.

West also makes the unusual claim that homeschooled children will not properly understand citizenship unless they are in a public school classroom. Being active and engaged citizens is a distinction of homeschooling. Simply reading the studies on homeschoolers participation in society should convince any fair-minded person of whether homeschooled graduates are active, engaged citizens. For example, in the 2004 study Homeschooling Grows Up, which surveyed over 7,300 homeschooled graduates, it was discovered that 71.1% of homeschool graduates participated in a community service activity (volunteering, coaching, neighborhood association etc.) compared with 37% of the general population.

Ms. West is also very concerned about the participation in civic and political campaigns by homeschooled fundamentalist Protestants, which would seem to contradict her earlier point about homeschoolers and citizenship. In any event, it appears that Ms. West simply does not like a Christian point of view being presented in the public square.

Perhaps the most condescending statement made by Ms. West is her assertion that the typical fundamentalist, Protestant homeschooling family lives, “in trailer parks, 1,000-square-foot homes, houses owned by relatives, and some, on tarps in fields or parking lots. Their lack of job skills, passed from one generation to the next, depresses the community’s overall economic health and their state’s tax base.”

It is truly sad when someone in a position of authority can make such a statement. While we do not doubt that some homeschoolers find themselves in less advantageous socio-economic circumstances, who is to say that a 1,000-square-foot house is inadequate to raise a family. Also, perhaps Ms. West is unaware, but some homeschool families travel between campsites and trailer parks because they are “homeschooling on the road.”

Ms. West also seems to be unaware that all the studies of homeschool graduates have shown homeschoolers to be outperforming their peers not only in community activity but also in employment income. The latest study from the Canadian Centre for Home Education, titled Fifteen Years Later: Home Educated Canadian Adults, showed that the average homeschooler aged 15–34 earned $27,534 Canadian dollars as opposed to the average in the general population for 15–34 year olds of $22,117. Ninety-five percent of the respondents in this study considered themselves to be religious with 74% attending religious services at least once per week.

After making her case for regulating homeschooling Ms. West concludes that, “The sanction for failure to comply with minimal curriculum, content, visitation, and testing requirements would simply be enrollment in a certified private or public school.”

In other words, if a homeschool family does not re-create the public school in the home, subject itself to the authority of the state by allowing home visits, and allow the state to control the curriculum via testing, then the sanction would “simply” be enrollment in a private or public school.

Sadly, Ms. West does not appear to have any understanding of why parents homeschool and must realize that if her policies were ever implemented, it would end homeschooling as we know it today.

It is unfortunate that homeschooling still has persistent critics who seem unable to grasp what makes homeschooling such a successful method of education.

Hundreds of thousands of parents, and over 2 million homeschooled children, are experiencing the benefits and blessings of a home education. As Michael Farris, chairman of HSLDA and president of points out, a restrictive approach to home education is at odds with the fundamental notions of freedom and liberty on which Western nations are built. “Any nation that severely restricts the ability of parents to choose alternative forms of education, including home education, cannot call itself a free nation. Freedom necessarily requires the individual to have the liberty to think differently and believe differently than programs instituted by the current rulers of any nation. Educational freedom is the cornerstone for all freedom of thought and conscience.”

We are thankful that we still live in a free nation, but of course, without eternal vigilance our freedoms can be lost.

By joining together in an organization like HSLDA we can continue to effectively defend the right to homeschool. Other Resources

2003 HSLDA study of homeschooling adults: Homeschooling Grows Up
National Home Education Research Institutes’s full version of the above study: Home Educated and Now Adults

NHERI’s response to West’s article: “The Harms of Homeschooling? Where are the Premises”
HSLDA: “The Detroit News Wants to Regulate Homeschooling”
Robin L. West: “The Harms of Homeschooling”
HSLDA of Canada: Fifteen Years Later: Home-Educated Canadian Adults

Another Reading Assessment

Ok, today we tried MindPlay at I like some aspects and dislike others.

It's convenient since its online. I introduced it to Micki as a computer "game," so it would have a better reception.

The test is online and is fairly long. It had 11 pages of 5 words each for phonics. You click a link to hear the word/sound and then select from about 6 choices in a pull-down menu. This got a little tedious for a 5 year old, but it did show how many you completed out of the eleven, so you could count down.

Micki had 3 short stories to test for comprehension. (I'm assuming older children would have more.) As you read the story, you select missing words from a pull-down menu of about 4 choices. This part went much quicker than the phonics section.

When you are finished, you are sent an email with a link for the results. You recieve a basic graph and some details about each test.

For instance under the phonics section, they noted under "Word Structure" Micki had difficulty wiht forming plurals and syllabication which is no surprise since we've only talked about simple plurals ending in -s and just started counting syllables in words.

What I thought was interesting was Micki had a harder time with the phonic sounds like "mib" or "sish" than she did with real words. With real words, she went right to the correct answer most of the time.

One thing that I didn't like about the comprehension section is the problem with any standardized test. There were a few times especially on the last story that Micki chose words that made sense but were not the "correct" choice therefore meaning she would get that one wrong. Oh, I also had to remind my creative daughter that we weren't making a funny, silly story but a "real" story with the right words. Again, she would have chose the wrong answer not because she didn't know it but because it would be more fun to put a hamster in a "pool" instead of a "cage."

Monday, January 4, 2010

Guidlines for Children by Jim Elliff

Guidelines for Children
Written by Jim Elliff
Submitted by Corina Hallam (from my church's ladies email)

RULE # 1

"Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord, but those who deal truthfully are His delight." Proverbs 12:22

"A lying tongue hates those who are crushed by it, and a flattering mouth works ruin." Proverbs 26:28

(New Jerusalem) "But there shall by no means enter it anything that defiles, or causes an abomination or a lie, but only those who are written in the Lamb's Book of Life." Revelation 21:27


"He who is faithful in what is least is faithful also in much; and he who is unjust in what is least is unjust also in much. Therefore if you have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches? And if you have not been faithful in what is another man's, who will give you what is your own? Luke 16: 10-11

We share our things with others and give to everyone who asks of us.
When we open something, we close it.
When we turn on something, we turn it off.
When we take something out, we put it away.
We do not make unnecessary work for others.


"And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ. But he who does wrong will be repaid for what he has done, and there is no partiality." Colossians 3:23-25


"Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others." Philippians 2:3-4

We don't hurt anyone with unkind words or deeds. If we do, even accidentally, we say, "I'm sorry."
We listen to others and look at them when they speak.
We don't disturb others by being too loud.
When can I be loud? --at a sports event, in a big open field or yard
We ask permission to use something belonging to someone else.
We greet others with a smile when we meet them.
We comfort someone when he is sad or hurt.
We rejoice with someone when he is happy.


  • What are the signs of disrespect to your parents and other adults?
  • Knowingly disobeying
  • Making fun of them
  • Not speaking when they greet you
  • Making threatening statements, rude or hurtful remarks
  • Yelling for them to come to you when it not an emergency
  • Grumbling about decisions they make
  • Being ungrateful for something they do for you or give you
  • Complaining about what they have given you to eat
  • Talking back
  • Objecting, mocking, correcting, questioning, or giving unasked-for explanations are all signs of disrespect.
  • Speaking in an irreverent way or in anger.
  • Saying to your parents or an adult, "I'll do it in a minute" or "just wait."
  • Pushing for something after being told "no."
  • Treating a discipline lightly.
  • Not listening when you are being spoken to.
  • Entering into a closed room of an adult without knocking or quietly asking
  • Sighing, shrugging the shoulders, or giving a sour look when told to do something


"My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord, nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him; for whom the Lord loves He chastens, and scourges every son whom He receives.... Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it. Hebrews 12:5b-6,

An adaptation for our family from a list by Greg and Sono Harris, Christian Life Workshops

Why is Grading so Important?

Homeschool Heartbeat
Program Audio--
Click here to Listen Online.
Why is Grading so Important?
Volume 94, Program 211/4/2010

Please note: This week’s program is a rerun that originally aired May 19, 2008.

How can parents evaluate their own children’s homework? On this week’s Home School Heartbeat, host Mike Smith and his guest Lesha Myers will discuss why grading is so important.

Mike Smith:It’s hard to follow the classroom model of grading since most homeschool families approach learning differently. My guest this week is Lesha Myers. She wrote a book called Making the Grade. Thank you for joining me on Home School Heartbeat, Lesha!

Lesha Myers:Thank you, Mike. It’s a pleasure to be here!

Mike:Lesha, what would you tell parents who might be asking, “So what’s so important about grading, anyway?”

Lesha:Well, there are a lot of things, but let me share just one: it helps our students to learn more. I remember a friend of mine telling me what happened when she started grading. Things were going okay for her, but she wanted the quality of her children’s work to improve—she wanted to move them to a higher level. So, she sat down, thought about what she wanted her children to actually do, explained those thoughts to her children—how she was going to grade them—and she was absolutely amazed at the change. Her children rose to the occasion and started producing vastly superior work. They just needed a bit of direction to understand what their mother wanted.
So, if I could use an archery analogy, they needed a target to hit; they needed an evaluation to determine how close to the bull’s-eye they got, and then they excelled. Mom was happy, and so were the children.

Mike:Well, that’s great, Lesha! I look forward to talking to you more about this next time. And until then, I’m Mike Smith.

Evaluate the Strength of Your Child's Conscience

Parenting Tip
January 4, 2010

10 Questions to Evaluate the Strength of Your Child’s Conscience

As you enter the new year, take a few minutes and consider your own parenting. You might want to set some goals for your child’s development this year. The following questions are addressed in Hero Training Camp, the conscience development course for kids. You can use it in your family to help your children understand the biblical concept of the conscience and then take practical steps to strengthen it.

1) How is your child doing at taking initiative?
One of the signs of maturity at any age is learning to see what needs to be done and doing it. Part of conscience training is helping children to be more sensitive to things that need to be done. But seeing a problem isn’t good enough. Responding is also important. Heroes look for things that are out of place or need to be fixed, and they take action. Talk to your kids about being heroes now, in the small things of life. After all David didn’t start being a hero by killing Goliath. He started by demonstrating responsibility with the sheep, practicing his musical instrument, and learning the skill of using his sling. Being a hero starts in the small things of life.

2) What convictions does your child have?
All children have convictions. Some are erroneous or just simply wrong. For example, some children believe that if a brother is irritating then they have the right to punch him. Others believe that they should be able to get to the next level of the video game before responding to Mom’s instructions. The conscience uses convictions for making decisions. The best convictions come from the Bible. Choose to make this year a year of helping children understand how God’s Word is relevant for their lives.

3) How does your child handle mistakes and offenses?
Another sign of maturity is the ability to respond well when you’ve done the wrong thing. After all, the conscience prompts people on the inside when they’ve hurt someone, made a mistake, or done the wrong thing. But many kids don’t know how to respond well to offenses. Instead, they react by blaming, rationalizing, justifying, and getting angry. Kids need a plan for dealing with wrongs. Plan to spend extra time this year teaching children how to handle their mistakes and offenses, learn from them, experience forgiveness, and move forward in life.

Read more on our blog Learn more about Hero Training Camp at

Reading Level

I wanted to find some free online resources to check Micki's reading grade level. I have found some and will do a few different ones over the next week or two in order to check consistency in results and just for the fun of it.
The two tests listed below are for reading only not comprehension. Both were very basic and very easy compared to the tests that I had to give while student teaching.

In case you were curious, Micki scored 3.0 on one and 4.5 on the other. Either way, not bad for a first grader who just turned 5 last month.

A Book in Time website

Received this link from a Yahoo group. It is History for Kids. It's seems to be an great resource for teaching history (especially those of us of the classical persuation who teach it chronologically). It has a selection of books listed in sections for various periods in history, often a synopsis of the books, and recommended age group. It also has crafts, maps, and online games for various time periods, as well.
While it's not the the final word in all things historical, it's a nice resource. Have fun and explore.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Puritan Classical Education Besmirched

Thursday, December 31, 2009
Puritan Classical Education Besmirched

Recently a Reformed magazine re-published Gary North's innocently titled "Classical Education." But the subtitle gives it away: Classical Christian Education is Like Marxist Christian Education, But a Lot More Subtle.

In his typical shocking manner, he contends that "at least a third" of Christian mothers have adopted a curriculum based on the worldview that endorsed homosexuality, polytheism, slavery, and female infanticide--pagan humanism.

Of course, being a short article steeped with unfounded generalizations and assumptions, it is not exactly clear what the author is condemning when he attacks 'Classical Education.' Such an education is a three-step process of grammar, dialectic and rhetoric. And it teaches Latin. But it is the Latin that appears to be the focus of this diatribe:

"To force a child to learn Latin is to encourage him to accept the premises either of medieval Catholicism or the Renaissance"

The unspoken assumption is that learning a little Latin with edited sources will lead the child to read the entire Latin source--the sources being either the original Greeks and Romans or the medieval or Renaissance variations. Then the poisoning of the mind will be complete and humanistic elements will converge into a full-blown pagan worldview (or at least a severely retarded Christian world-view). As though that has not already happened before the popularity of Latin!

Assuming that the typical Christian has a weak grasp on the Biblical antithesis, this is a serious concern. And assuming that Latin is or can only be taught with the classics, this could be a concern as well.

Not only that, the poor near-sided Puritans imbibed the same sewage. North admits that the Puritans used the classical curriculum from the grammar schools to the universities (but fails to mention that Luther, Calvin, Knox, et. al. used it as well). More importantly, he fails to explain the cultural milieu in which the Latin (and the rest of the subjects) were taught.

The English society was homogeneous on a level modern Americans little comprehend. Even when the Puritans were outnumbered (most of the time), many of the laws and social expectations were strongly influenced by the Bible. The same schools that taught Latin, instructed in Bible reading, rehearsed the catechisms and reviewed the Sunday sermon. This religious instruction, integrated with the Protestant Gospel, included the work of the ministers (sermons, catechizing, weekly lectures and home visitations) and especially the household instruction, catechizing and devotions by the parents.

When the young are encircled by such a spiritual phalanx, learning Latin with edited texts was not a means to "separate Christian children from their parents." Not by a long shot.

On the other hand, such a culture no longer exists. And many self-proclaimed Christians are biblically ignorant on a scale that makes the Statute of Liberty appear like a toy doll. So, learning Latin (even without reference to the pagan sources at all) will do little and may even be harmful.

It is claimed that using such a method (or rather learning Latin?) for over 1800 years is a surrendering of education because it violates the Christian antithesis--isn't that what Van Til taught? Using the classical educational approach apparently imported "alien philosophical categories into the Church." Yet these 'categories' are never listed. And the historical "evidence" is vague at best. Many things are linked to unfaithfulness in the rise and fall of churches.

In fact, it is not exactly clear why using some useful tools of unbelievers (like learning a foreign language) is necessarily wrong or will necessarily lead to humanistic compromise. Much of the article is based upon a slippery slope assumption--a logical fallacy taught by unbelieving logicians everywhere. In fact, Aristotle first systematized logic--does that make it suspect? Perhaps the children learning logic may be tempted to read Aristotle?

Such an amazing effort to run Latin into the ground by asserting its negative affects in history leads to a curious logic: the last 150 years has seen the disappearance of Latin with a corresponding increase in secularism and decrease in confessional Protestantism. If this is the fruit of no Latin, give me Latin schools any day!

I do agree with him that a good dose of Calvin's Institutes is more needful than Latin. But then, do I have to have one without the other? Or cannot families and schools teach Latin and Greek (as they used to)?

More significantly, with all this hammering going on North has certainly hit upon something here. It is Calvinism that is needed now, not Latin. It is a renewed knowledge of the Law & Gospel thundered from the pulpit that is the crying need of the hour. To return to the good ol' days of educational superiority, families and churches need to ignore all the educational hype and turn to the good ol' confessions of yesteryear. Rather than hyping up the power of this or that curriculum or method, we ought to return our children to the lost tool of learning that should structure any legitimate method, the Puritan ABCs: Alphabet, Bible & the Catechism.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Dr. Laura: Homeschooling Does Not Hamper Socialization

From Dr. Laura's Blog:
Home-schooling Does Not Hamper Socialization
May 22, 2008 on 12:00 am

One of the criticisms lobbed at the home-schooling community/movement is that home-schooled children are being shielded from diversity and a multitude of challenging influences which will ultimately handicap them in their ability to function in the “real world.” In other words, “How will these children function in our diverse, multicultural society when they are raised in a setting with monolithic views and beliefs?”

Research examining home-schooled students’ academic achievements have consistently found that they score higher than the national norms on standard achievement tests. So the only grenade left to throw at home-schooling parents is that they are hurting their children socially and emotionally. The few studies in these areas have generally found home-schooled children to have equal or better self-esteem than traditionally schooled students. Then the argument becomes one of how to truly know you are measuring self-esteem.

Researchers from the Department of Psychology at Belhaven College in Jackson, Mississippi recently published their findings in Home School Researcher (Vol. 17, No. 4, 2007, pp. 1-7). They decided to study home-schooled students’ ability to successfully adjust to college life as an important criterion for demonstrating a positive outcome (or not) of home-schooling.
They compared Christian college freshmen who had previously been home-schooled with a matched sample of traditionally schooled Christian freshmen on the College Adjustment Scale. The average scores of the two groups were compared across nine scales designed to measure emotional, behavioral, social, and academic problems as typically presented to university counseling centers.

The home-schooled students scored significantly lower on the anxiety subscale, while no difference was found between the two groups on the remaining scales. Additionally, there was a general trend characterized by home-schooled students reporting fewer symptoms of emotional distress and social problems, and achieving higher first semester GPAs:

The results suggest that home-schooled college freshmen successfully adjust to the social and academic environment of a Christian college with a diverse student population. The college does not require that all students attending the college assent to a personal faith in Christ. The previously home-schooled students are also confronted by many peers who make lifestyle choices different from their own. Most of the college peers of the home-schooled students would be considered less conservative in their dress, entertainment interests, moral values and behaviors, than those typically experienced in most Christian home-schooled families. Therefore, these students are not entering a homogeneous social community that necessarily mirrors their family backgrounds.”

Obviously, home-schooled students have additional adjustments to make when leaving their homes and entering a university or college environment: social relationship, peer pressure, classroom structure, etc. They are being forced to adapt to a social environment decidedly different from their homes or home school support groups.

The results demonstrate that home-schooled students are able to successfully adapt emotionally, interpersonally, and academically to their first, and most challenging, semester in college. That is probably because, having had the consistent teaching and support of a family and a community, they have developed strengths and convictions that provide a bridge over the troubled waters of a multitude of challenges and temptations.

I personally believe that home-schooling helps students who have problems with focus and difficulties with energy control. The traditional school environment required “Stepford Child” control, and the teaching techniques required for a group of thirty do not necessarily assist the learning needs and talents of each individual student. So, instead of drugging kids to be docile, perhaps we should turn to the successes of home-schooling.

Becoming a Woman of Influence: The Case for Cookie Bakers

Becoming a Woman of Influence: The Case for Cookie Bakers
From Oct. '07

The headline on a news story this week read, “Laura Bush Not 'Baking Cookies.'” The article detailed the First Lady's increasing involvement in national and international issues, and the headline referred to Hillary Clinton's now famously sneering reference to the fact that she wasn't the type to “stay home and bake cookies.” A local women's college in our area has a billboard campaign that shows the face of a woman with the words, “Become a woman of influence.” Apparently, going to college is the path to power and influence for women. For several generations now, the prevailing belief has been that those women who want to be of some consequence in life had better drop the cookie dough, leave the babies behind and head for the work force. This fallacy has done incalculable damage to the family and most specifically, to the young children of our land.

If the observation that the “hand that rocks the cradle rules the world” is correct, the world is being ruled today by an ever changing army of low paid daycare workers. The tender nurture of one's own offspring is now viewed as unsavory work that should be outsourced to strangers as soon as possible. Once, women outsourced their laundry or their house cleaning. Today, we send the children out for daily care. Entire generations have grown up in day time orphanages where the vast majority of their day is spent without their mothers. It is little surprise that America's children are not doing well. In the book, Home Alone America: The Hidden Toll of Daycare, Behavioral Drugs and Other Parent Substitutes, author Mary Eberstadt details the fact that America's children and teenagers are dealing with a tidal wave of issues virtually unknown to early generations, including alarming childhood obesity rates, eating disorders, ADD and ADHD, self-harming, alcohol and drug use, sexual promiscuity as lifestyle, venereal disease and suicide. She points out that if the public debate ever shifted from what is best for mothers to what is best for children, there would be no debate over whether mothers of young children should pursue full-time careers outside the home. What is best for children should be obvious to everyone—the care of their own mothers.

In recent years, educators beginning with preschool teachers have observed a radical change in the seriousness of behavioral issues of the young children they deal with. Children, raised in a pack from their earliest childhood and socialized with their peers rather than loving adults in a home setting, are exhibiting shockingly anti-social behavior. Ironically, the push for greater “socialization” of babies and toddlers with their own peers has produced the reverse affect in children---anti-social behavior. The notion of a child being expelled from daycare or preschool for violent behavior would have seemed absurd at one time. It is now commonplace as little ones who have had to grow up in a “Lord of the Flies”, survival of the fittest setting from earliest babyhood have developed aggressive behavioral traits to protect their own turf. If mother is not there to look out for you, even small children understand early on that they are their own best protection, and biting, kicking and hitting are the frequent result. Deprived of the strong bonding with their mother, these weakly attached children are then labeled as behavioral problems at an early age and tagged for behavioral drugs in order for teachers to be able to handle them down the road in school.

With this reality staring Americans in the face, why do mothers persist in believing the media perpetuated lie that real women of influence aren't home baking cookies, but are out dragon slaying in the business world? Why are women now systematically trained to deny their nurturing instincts as mothers and taught to adopt masculine characteristics of aggression in order to be deemed a “success” in society? As I asked in an earlier column, why are so few couples committed to making financial plans that enable mothers to stay home to care for their babies? I believe with all my heart that God instilled in the hearts of females the desire to nurture and care for others. It is part of what makes womanhood a beautiful thing. The modern feminist movement rejects God's plan and His design in creation and subverts what womanhood is all about. America's babies are the poorer for it.

Motherhood is far more than changing diapers and baking cookies. It is the job of a master weaver. We as mothers daily weave the fabric of our children's lives. For babies and young children, mothers are the sun around which their world revolves. Every diaper change for a baby is a chance for eye contact that builds trust and love between mother and infant. It's not about diapers. It's about a child's world. To those who accept and love God's design for motherhood, it is a precious and sacred thing to look into those beautiful baby eyes. The bond of trust and love that mothers build through daily care is the bedrock foundation for that child's lifetime of emotional, physical and spiritual well-being. For mothers and fathers who are tempted by the siren song of a bigger house, a better car, and more disposable income, walk carefully. Make sure that whatever decisions you make for your family's income, that you at all costs don't interrupt the work of the weaver of your children's lives.

The handwriting on my Mother's Day card was the typical, awkward writing of a ten-year-old boy. The note was decorated with a drawing of a flower comprised of hearts. This is what my son wrote, unedited.

Your (sic) the absolute best mother in the whole world! Thank you for all your hard work, patience and love. You are the most important part of the whole universe. You make people! Have a happy Mom's Day!


The bold letter emphasis is mine. Young William knows what all the hard-bitten feminist experts and authors will never admit. Mothers are women of profound influence. They make people. With every batch of cookies, with every story time, with every bath, a human being is being formed. That, my women friends, is true power.

Schools Are For Fish

Home Where They Belong

11 Reasons to Teach Biblical Doctrin

11 Reasons To Teach Biblical Doctrine
By Brannon Howse

This is an excerpt from Brannon’s new book: Building A Biblical Worldview Verse by Verse. Click here for more information or to order your copy:

Besides the all-important reason of keeping people from having to hear Jesus say “depart from me,” there are 11 benefits here and now of teaching Biblical doctrine.

1. Biblical doctrine builds discernment and reveals the will of God for our lives.
• DiscernmentWhat parent does not want their children to have discernment to make Godly decisions? Discernment and sound judgment are a by-products of teaching Biblical doctrine.

1 Thessalonians 5:21 says, “but test everything, hold fast what is good.”

And Romans 12:2 commands, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”

• Revealing the will of God for our lives
In John 7:17 Jesus said, “If anyone wills to do His will, he shall know concerning doctrine, whether it is from God or whether I speak on My own authority.

2. Biblical doctrine prepares us for every good work.

2 Timothy 3:16-17: “All Scripture is given by the inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.”

3. There has been a vast falling away from Biblical truth.

The Bible describes this great apostasy or this falling away from Biblical truth in 2 Timothy 4:3-4:

“For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ear away from truth and be turned aside to fables.”

4. False teaching is destroying lives.
Enemies of the truth know exactly how to encourage false teaching: “Education is thus a most powerful ally of humanism. What can the theistic Sunday schools, meeting for an hour once a week, and teaching only a fraction of the children, do to stem the tide of a five-day program of humanistic teaching?”
—1933, Charles Francis Potter, Humanism: A New Religion 1

And Colossians 2:8 prescribes the antidote: “Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ.”

5. Biblical doctrine is not boring but a strong mooring.

As I said earlier, most self-professing Christians cannot articulate, much less defend, the essential doctrines of the Christian faith, but why is it that we spend so much time on things that will not last and that do not matter? Adults as well as teens can tell you all about pop culture, about sports teams and superstars but can these same teens and adults tell you how we know Jesus is God, how we know the Bible is true, or how we know Jesus rose from the dead?

Biblical doctrine is the Gospel, the will of God for our lives. It is what Jesus talked about during his earthly ministry. In spite of how it’s sometimes been presented, the real picture of Jesus and His teachings is riveting. Jesus commanded respect, inspired commitment, and renewed lives in ruin.

6. Biblical doctrine taught early and consistently builds a faith that lasts.

In 2 Timothy 3:15 Paul, speaking about Timothy, says, “And that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.”

Who was it that taught Timothy the scriptures from such an early age? 2 Timothy 1:5 answers the question: “When I call to remembrance the genuine faith that is in you, which dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice which I am persuaded is in you also.”

Timothy’s mother and grandmother taught him early, and he became one of the most powerful leaders in the first century church.

Deuteronomy 6:7 also reminds us to always be teaching God’s truth to our children: “You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.”

7. Biblical doctrine stirs the heart and mind.

“Heart” refers to the core of a person’s being, and it is significant that the Bible mentions the heart 826 times.

Proverbs 4:23 explains that out of the heart “spring the issues of life.”

From the heart proceed our good and bad thoughts, emotions, and behavior. So preparing the soil of a child’s or teen’s heart is crucial if we want to plant the seeds of Biblical truth and see them grow to maturity.

The Bible also commands us to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, strength, and mind. And Romans 10:10 makes the point: “For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”

8. Because there is no application without acquisition.

If we want to see our children, friends and family apply Biblical truth to all areas of life, they must first know what the truth is. Knowledge means the acquisition of truth; wisdom means the application of truth.

So where do we find knowledge and wisdom?

Proverbs 2: 6 explains, “For the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding”

Proverbs 9:10: “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.”

And Proverbs 1:7: “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge.”

If adults and teens are to acquire wisdom and knowledge, we must encourage them to study Biblical doctrine and come to understand the character and nature of God it reveals.

9. Biblical doctrine convicts those that contradict.

Titus 1:9 says: “Holding fast the faithful word as he has been taught that he may be able, by sound doctrine, both to exhort and convict those who contradict.” The scriptures are great at setting the record straight—whether in theology, doctrine, or lifestyle.

Remember, too, what 2 Timothy 3: 16 says: “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.”

10. Biblical doctrine will last forever.

The Bible says that grass withers and the flower fades but the Word of God stands forever. The reason is, as John 1:1 tells us, the Word of God is God: “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God.”

So, when we commit ourselves to teaching and training hearts and minds with the Word of God, we are planting in the lives of others something that will last through all eternity.

11. Because lives are at stake, and it is appointed unto every man to die once and then face judgment.

Pay close attention to James 5:19-20: “Brethren, if any among you wanders from the truth, and someone turns him back, let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save a soul from death and cover a multitude of sins.”

Marching Orders

Would a fireman ignore a fire alarm, lean back in his recliner and watch the rest of the ballgame as hundreds of souls perish in a burning office building? Would an emergency room doctor sip coffee in the break room, reading the latest fishing magazine and ignore the Code Blue alert over the hospital P.A. system? Yet today, Christian school administrators, Sunday School teachers, youth pastors, senior pastors, Christian college professors and presidents, deacons, elders, and parents are just as culpable as they ignore the warnings, the cultural flashing lights, and all the social sirens that scream a spiritual Code Blue—the warning of imminent spiritual and eternal death.

Many of them won’t be disturbed because they are busy entertaining and being entertained. They won’t be distracted because they caught up giving adults and teens what they want, not what they need. They rally to be inclusive, not offensive. They’re committed to consensus more than truth, customers over converts, donors over disciples, a big tent over the narrow way, and self-actualization over self-sacrifice. They will not be awakened from their malaise because they don’t want to change their priorities or practice. The Christian life they falsely conjure offers everything and requires nothing.

Yet we should not be discouraged. God has seldom, if ever, moved among the majority, but He has historically and providentially worked among a remnant. And believe me, there is a remnant. It’s thrilling to see how many and how strong they are who flock to Worldview Weekends because they know their need. As you read this book and share it with your children, you are part of that vestige of hope.

I thank God someone once spoke doctrine into my life, revealed the true condition of my heart and mind, and declared Code Blue for my soul. It’s time we declare Code Blue for the American church and return to teaching sound Biblical doctrine before any more step unwittingly into eternity. I pray that this little book will be used by thousands of parents and grandparents to teach their children Christian doctrine. If we remain faithful to teaching a Biblical worldview and teaching sound theology, we will see lives saved for Christ.

This is an excerpt from Brannon’s new book: Building A Biblical Worldview Verse by Verse. Click here for more information or to order your copy:

Notes from "Family Practice" by R.C. Sproul, Jr.

I've just been reading a book edited by R.C. Sproul Jr entitled "Family Practice". It has some awesome articles written by a variety of authors. One that really stuck out to me was "Raising Biblically Responsive Adults" by Gary Ezzo.
There is no way I could share the whole article, but I wanted to share a couple of paragraphs that I thought were really meaty.

"The moral goal of parenting is to train them in the ethics of Christ. Today the parents are often more occupied with the child's psychological health than his moral health, more with his happiness than his holiness. As a result and to our shame, the modern church has failed to raise children who are thoroughly moral (Matt. 23:27). Many children know how to act out the Christian life, but do not live it in its reality. This happens because parents tend to tell their children what to do, but fall weak-kneed for the lack of knowledge when it comes to telling them why they should do it. Knowing how to do right and knowing why to do right are distinctly different things. The first speaks to moral action in the present; the second, to a deposit of moral principle for the future.
"To complicate the matter, many Christian parents communicate moral precepts only in moments of conflict. That is, they train primarily in times of correction when suppressing evil and wayward behavior. Suppressing such behavior is important, but when it is done to the exclusion of elevating good, you distort the real meaning of good. When teaching godly principles, these parents tell their children what is wrong and what not to do, rather than what is right and what to do. The path to righteous deeds is left undefined, so the child becomes morally vulnerable, open to the fiery darts of the evil one"

This book is full of meaty tidbits. I recommend it. It's only 98 pages and each chapter is only about 6 pages so it's a fast read for the quality you're getting from it.

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