Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Double Up...Math activity w/ recipes

Materials: recipes, index cards

1. Choose & read a recipe.
2. Double the recipe and record the new recipe on an index card.
3. Write how many people your new recipe will serve.

* Triple or divide the recipe.
* Research the cost of the recipe.

The end of Miley Cyrus (OneNewsNow.com)

Miley Cyrus is one of the biggest teen idols in history. Her face appears on T-shirts and merchandise of almost every kind imaginable, she's got a successful singing career, and she's starred in the Disney TV series Hannah Montana and the movie of the same name. All this and she's only 17.

In our house she was never a big name, probably because my daughter was too old by a year or two to be interested in her, or in her TV show. And my son was, well, my son. Basketball is his thing. But I know plenty of young teens who were -- and are -- huge fans of hers, and plenty of parents who, for a time at least, were happy to have her as a role model.

Much like the Jonas Brothers, for whom Miley used to be the opening act, she seemed to be a good kid, with a close family and solid values. Unlike the Jonas Brothers, either something changed, or that image was just that: an image.

Continue reading The end of Miley Cyrus (OneNewsNow.com)

Fall Leaves---Science & art

I wish I had found this activity in the spring when I was teaching DD about plants!

Fall Leaves

The colors that appear in fall have been hidden by the green chorophyll.

Draw outlines of leaves; color them with crayons, and paint over the leaf with green tempera.  After the paint dries, use pennies to scratch off some of the paint to reveal orange, red & yellow underneath.  Discuss how it approximates the scientific process.

Language Arts idea using cartons/boxes

Sharing a few of my collected ideas from my index card box.  I'm going to just copy them as I have them written down.  Most are language arts but there's a few math ideas thrown in.  I don't know they sources but probably teacher magazines.

Promote the Product:
1.  Choose a container.
2.  Think of a new product for that container.
3.  Design a new label for the container.
4.  Write a promotional paragraph selling the new product and describe its use.

Give each student/team a cereal box.  Have them find as many adjuctives on the box as they can.  Make a chart listing all the adjectives they find.  Let them use tally marks to count how many times each adjectives is found.

Have children count the number of adjectives, then the number of verbs and nouns.  Have them use ratios to show the comparisionsthen make fractions and compare.  Have children offer their ideas about why adjectives are used more often.

Challenge students to use a thesaurus to find new words for the more commonly used adjectives.  They can also replace adjectives with descriptive phrases.

Catalog the Carton using containers with info filled labels.
1.  Read information on the container.
2.  Make a list of different categories of information on it, i.e. recipes, contents
3.  Tell how the type of information are different or similar.
4.  List any selling points on package.
5.  Why is this information on the package.

Get Science Experiments & Videos FREE

This is from www.superchargedscience.com.  I found out about it from www.mathmammoth.com.

Now you can get the  Science Activity Manual & Video Collection FREE! This is a step-by-step teaching guide of some of my best easy-to-do, ooooh-ahhh, exciting science experiments which your kids can be doing this afternoon... it will be on sale in the near future, but right now, you can get it for free!

It's packed with loads of totally fun activities that are also educational. You're kids will be having a great time, while at the same time learning science on a deep level. You have to try it to experience what I mean.

Monday, June 28, 2010

A High and Holy Calling

Leslie Basham: Nancy Leigh DeMoss says women can nurture life in a variety of ways.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: Childless women whether married or single can do so much to support the parenting ministry of others in the Body of Christ.

Leslie Basham: Nancy doesn’t know we’re using this story, but it illustrates the point perfectly. It comes from the co-author of Lies Young Women Believe, Dannah Gresh. She was visiting Nancy’s home while they were preparing to write the book together.

Dannah Gresh: I’ve been given this picture into Nancy’s quiet life, her private life. She is the same woman if not a deeper woman in quiet. When she talks about true womanhood and says that a woman should be hospitable, it would be easy for her as a single woman not to have to do that. But she’s had me sleep over at her home once, and she tucked me into bed with a prayer. That’s mentoring and mothering and nurturing at its best in a quiet place where nobody else sees it and nobody else needs to know.

When she’s had groups of us over for dinner, she’ll take time the night before to research what our names mean to make placards and to speak truth into our hearts, which is again a very mothering and nurturing thing to do. So what she’s teaching, she’s living.

Leslie Basham: This is Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss for Friday, June 25.

Thousands of women have added their names to the True Woman Manifesto. You can read it and add your name to it at ReviveOurHearts.com. That document includes this line:

Children are a blessing from God; women are uniquely designed to be bearers and nurturers of life whether it be their own biological or adopted children or other children in their sphere of influence.

Nancy’s been teaching through the True Woman Manifesto in several series this year, and she’ll focus on this important statement today.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: I’m holding in my hand the May 3, 2010 issue of Time Magazine. You may have seen this. The cover says in big letters, THE PILL, talking about the 50th anniversary of the Pill. And the feature article in this issue was written by Nancy Gibbs. It’s called “Love, Sex, Freedom and the Paradox of the Pill.”

Let me just read the first part of that article. She says,

There's no such thing as the Car or the Shoe or the Laundry Soap. But everyone knows the Pill, whose FDA approval 50 years ago rearranged the furniture of human relations in ways that we've argued about ever since. . . .

Today more than 100 million women around the world [that figure boggled my brain] start their day with this tiny tablet.

There’s a lot of very helpful research and background history in this article if you want to know some more about the background. Let me just read a couple quotes from it.

In 1960 the typical American woman had 3.6 children. [I don’t know how you have 3.6 children, but I think that’s on average.] By 1980 [20 years later], the number had dropped below 2. [Which, by the way, is below replacement rate for a culture.]

For the first time, more women identified themselves as workers than as homemakers. "There is a straight line between the Pill and the changes in family structure we now see," says National Organization for Woman president Terry O’Neill, "with 22% of women earning more than their husbands. In 1970, 70% of women with children under 6 were at home; 30% worked. [They all worked but 30% worked outside the home.] Now that's roughly reversed."

Dr. Al Mohler from Southern Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky was quoted in the article. And he said,

The ability to control human reproduction has done more to reorder life than any event since Adam and Eve ate the apple. Go back a hundred years. The idea that you’d have adults who’d intend to have very active sex lives without any respect to the likelihood of children didn’t exist. And it’s now unexceptional.

So today it’s just a given that there can be an active sex life without any consideration of the likelihood of children.

Dr. Mohler in his blog commenting on this Time piece, this feature article said,

The idea that sex would be severed from child bearing is a very modern concept and a concept made meaningful only by the development of the Pill and its successor birth control technologies. The severing of this relationship represents a quantum change in human life and relationships, not to mention morality (from his 4/26/10 blog).

Now, it’s not my intent in this program to talk about the Pill or birth control, contraception. That is not the issue that we’re talking about today. We’re looking at the True Woman Manifesto though and it’s just interesting that this article appeared at the time that I was preparing for this series where we come to this point in the manifesto that says,

Children are a blessing from God; women are uniquely designed to be bearers and nurturers of life whether it be their own biological or adopted children or other children in their sphere of influence.

And as is true with so many areas of life, the trajectory that the world is on is moving right directly away from the trajectory of Scripture, the worldview of Scripture. And again, please don’t quote me on this program as drawing any conclusions about the Pill. That’s not the point here. The point is that in the last 50 years or so there has been a concerted move away from women having children or delaying childbearing until they’re really past their most effective time to have children.

These trends have had consequences. Thinking has consequences. Ideas have consequences. And the consequences within our culture have been significant in ways that perhaps you’ve never even thought about.

But what I want to do is just take us to God’s way of thinking because the best way to combat the darkness is to turn on the light. And the best way to combat things that aren’t true is to show people what is true. I think sometimes we Christians are just thought of as being negative, as being against this or against that. Certainly, we need to be against sin, and we need to hate the devil, and we need to hate deception.

But it’s the truth that is more powerful than lies. So I just think by educating women in God’s Word, God’s truth, God’s ways of thinking, then the lights start to go on and things start to click.

A woman came to me before this session and she thanked me for the last session where we talked about children being a blessing. She had tears streaming down her cheeks as she said, “I have three children, but I have not considered my children always a blessing.” Now, I know there are moments in every mother’s life when blessing isn’t the word you would use to describe your children.

But she said, “Thank you so much for helping me see that my children really are a blessing." And then she said something really interesting. She said, “My children make me impatient.” Now I knew what she meant, but I just took a moment there in that conversation to remind her what we all need to be reminded of whether we think it’s our children that make us impatient or our co-workers or our laptops, whatever.

I said, “You know, really it’s not your children who make you impatient. The fact is, you are impatient. God knows that’s in your heart and He loves you enough to bring circumstances into your life (in her case it’s three children) who squeeze you and bring to the surface what’s inside you so that you can see that you really are impatient so that God can change you, so He can sanctify you.”

So I said, “That’s why your children are a blessing because they help you see areas of your life that need to be changed.” And of course, I wasn’t telling her anything she didn’t already know. But that’s how we need to remind each other to think about even the challenge of children, that God uses this in a sanctifying way in our lives.

Now, I’m getting ahead of myself. I want us to think just for a moment about the first mother. Genesis 3:20 tells us that "the man called his wife’s name Eve." Now he had already called her woman. He was man; she was woman. But he had a proper name, Adam, and he gave her her proper name, Eve.

He called his wife’s name Eve. Have you ever wondered why? I mean, did he go through a book of 20,000 names? Well, there weren’t any books on naming your wife, and they didn’t need books on naming your baby at that point because there were no babies. So why did he come up with this name? Well, the Scripture tells us. He called his wife’s name Eve "because she was the mother of all living" (verse 20).

Now if you’re using as I do the English Standard Version of the Bible, there’s a little marginal note that says Eve sounds like the Hebrew for life-giver and resembles the word for living. So he called his wife something that reminds us of life-giving, of living. She is the mother of all living.

When you think about Adam naming his wife life-giver, living, it’s a statement of faith that Adam is making in the promises and the redeeming love of God. You say how so? Adam and Eve had just made this fatal choice for which God had said the consequence would be what? Death. "In the day that you eat you will surely die" (Genesis 2:17). Yet Adam gives his wife a name that highlights life and her calling to be a life-giver.

What is that saying? You see, God is going to mercifully allow Eve and women subsequent to her to give birth to children who will continue the human race. So God has said, “You have sinned. You will die.” And yet God has made this provision through childbearing for there to be subsequent generations. For the woman who had brought death to the human race, the woman and Adam, to now be givers of life to the human race.

God has made a provision for this woman and for her offspring to have eternal life. Yes, the wages of sin is death. But from the very beginning, from before creation, God had already made plans for life to eclipse death through Christ and His sacrifice on our behalf.

Now Adam and Eve couldn’t have told you that whole story at that time. They only had tiny, little glimpses of it. But now we see the story. We look back on what they were looking forward to. We see that this was a statement of grace. This was a statement of faith that Eve will be the mother of all living, that though we’ve sinned and though there is death, God has made provision so that we can have life.

So even in the naming of the first woman, there’s a hint of the gospel, a hint of what we can experience through Christ and a reminder that being a life-giver for a woman is a high and a holy calling. We need to recalibrate our thinking. Now 50 or 100 years ago what I’m saying would have been “duh.” Everybody understands this. But today, it’s really a counter-cultural way of thinking that mothering, that bearing and nurturing life, is a high and holy calling in the will of God.

All through Scripture you see mothers given a place of honor. You see God’s heart for women to be childbearers. I love that verse in Psalm 113:9 that says, “He gives the barren woman a home making her the joyous mother of children. Praise the LORD!” God’s saying there’s something to be celebrated when women give birth, when women have children, when women make homes.

Now as we’re going to see, there are different ways that God allows different women to do that. But I don’t want to overlook the obvious physical way. None of us would be here if some woman would have not said, “I am willing to be a bearer and nurturer of life, to have a baby.” And physically we see women are uniquely and intentionally designed by God to be bearers and nurturers of life. Our bodies are designed physiologically to conceive and carry children.

Let me just state the obvious. Men cannot have babies. And women are designed physiologically to nourish and nurture their babies through the pregnancy. I read this about child bearing: “Women’s bodies,” this one author said, “tend to store up fat.” Now, we don’t like storing up fat. “Women’s bodies tend to store up fat in order to nourish babies both during pregnancy and while breastfeeding. This is your body’s way of protecting you and your baby from famine.”1 So thank the Lord for fat deposits! Right?

Women are uniquely designed to have children. They are uniquely designed to nurture them once they are born. There’s a God given capacity to feed, to nurse them with your own milk, nurturing. It’s a picture of all kinds of motherhood that God has equipped us to do by pouring our lives into others.

Even when we talk about discipleship and mentoring and Titus 2 mandate, it’s this concept of women being mothers, physical mothers, spiritual mothers. This whole concept of nurturing is something that is not as comfortable for many women today as it was at one time.

I saw a poll conducted by Women Today Online in which half the respondents said that they did not see themselves as nurturing in a way that comes naturally to them, half of the respondents.2

Now these things used to be axiomatic. They were givens. In the 1960s if you were a mother and a nurturer, a nurturing woman, you were honored. It was the right thing to do. It was accepted. There was a degree of respect recorded to that.

But in so many ways culture has stripped this from women. We’ve tried for now five decades to eradicate the things that God put into women’s lives or at best we have devalued so many of those things. We’ve allowed our selfish instincts to rule. And so many women today who have been put in positions of taking the man’s responsibility to provide don’t have energy or capacity left to nurture.

Now again, I’m trying to state general principles. Don’t let your mind go running off and say that I’m making absolute statements. I’m not saying no woman should be working outside her home. We’ve done other series where we’ve explored those kinds of issues. But I’m just saying if you look at the culture as a whole where women are feeling like they have to go into the workplace for their family to survive, one of the things that has done is exhausted women so that they’re not feeling the capacity to give their children the best hours of their day and to nurture them.

It’s no longer considered particularly desirable or meaningful for a woman to be a nurturer. What kind of occupation is that? Rather, we have “supermoms” who manage their children. They’re administrators extraordinaire. But the opposite of nurturing has been drilled into them. That has to be taught. That has to be trained today.

But let me just remind us if we go back to creation, God has wired and equipped us to be bearers and nurturers of life, physically and spiritually. The calling is to surrender to that work of the Spirit in our lives, as true women to say, "Lord, maybe nurturing doesn’t come naturally to me." Maybe you didn’t have a nurturing mother. You say, "I don’t know how to nurture."

It used to be that once a woman held a baby in her arms there was just something natural that really came out. Today, there are first-time moms, second, third-time moms, who hold these babies in their arms, and there’s no instinct there. It’s awkward; it’s not natural. Now, I’m not saying that having babies and nurturing babies is all easy, but it used to be more instinctive. But God has still put that within you. If you will let Him by His Spirit, He can bring out that God-created bent, that wiring to bear and nurture life.

You read this concept through the Scripture. I love that passage in 1 Thessalonians 2 which is not a passage on mothering particularly. But you see Paul describing his ministry to the Thessalonians. And he says, “We were gentle among you like a nursing mother taking care of her own children” (verse 7). He didn’t say we were gentle among you like a nursing dad taking care of his own children. Dads can’t nurse!

Now, I’m not saying men can’t be nurturing. But I’m saying there’s a unique sense in which God has equipped women to be nurturers. So Paul says, “We were gentle like a nursing mother taking care of her own children.” That just brings a picture to mind of how Paul ministered to these believers.

So he says, “So, being affectionately desirous of you, we were ready to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own selves, because you had become very dear to us” (verse 8). Paul looked at how women were wired and he said, “That’s a quality there, that’s a quality I wanted to have in our ministry.”

Elisabeth Elliot wrote a book years ago—if you can get a hold of a copy of it, I don’t know if it’s still in print (it may be)—called Let Me Be A Woman. A fabulous book written I believe to her daughter if I’m not mistaken. And she said,

Every normal woman is equipped to be a mother. Certainly not every woman in the world is destined to make use of the physical equipment but surely motherhood, in a deeper sense, is the essence of womanhood. The body of every normal woman prepares itself repeatedly to receive and to bear. Motherhood requires self-giving, sacrifice, and suffering. It is a going down into death in order to give life.

We see it in the salmon swimming upstream, going back to their homes so they can lay their eggs and die. It’s a life of sacrifice. It’s a life of self-giving, of suffering at times in order to bear and nurture life.”

Now clearly your own children, those of you who have been blessed with children—the affirmation here is that children are a blessing. Those of you who have biological or adopted children clearly there’s a call to love them, to nurture them, to nourish their lives. But there are so many other ways, both those who have their own children and those who don’t, can be bearers and nurturers of life as they invest in other people’s children, in other lives.

I think of a woman I heard about recently who was not ever able to have children. She’s an older woman now who has shepherded hundreds of kids in her church’s youth department. I think of foster care and adoption and so many women who are loving children who are not their own flesh and blood.

So I don’t know what season of life you may be in. We have gray-haired women here. We have much younger women, women in every season of life—some empty nesters, some of you doing the hard work right now of little ones at home. I just want to say that whatever season of life you’re in would you ask God to give you a heart for bearing and nurturing life? Ask God to help you make room in your life for children.

You say, “I’ve got seven kids.” You need to make room in your heart for those children because sometimes you can start to resent those children that are such a blessing from the Lord. I know some of you are thinking it’s a hard season right now. Some of you are so sleep deprived you hardly know how to function. That’s where some like me need to come alongside and say, “Can I give you a break and let you and your husband get away, let you have a date night, let you as a single mom go spend some hours doing something you need to do for yourself? Let me take your kids.”

See what we can do to help lift the load of others, to invest in children and realize that as we do we are investing in the next generation. We’re passing the baton of faith on to the next generation.

There are women in this room who have prodigal children and your heart is so heavy for them. When I talk about children being a blessing, you’re just thinking about how they’ve broken your heart. Wouldn’t you love to have some other women in the Body of Christ come around and say, “I’m going to pray with you and for you and for that son or daughter who’s way far from the Lord, and I’m going to believe God with you to break through in their life”?

Sometimes you have to be willing to be in there for the long haul and say, “How can I pray for you? How can I encourage you in this season of life?” Children are a blessing from the Lord. What a privilege God has given us as women as He has uniquely designed us to be bearers and nurturers of life for His glory and for the advancement of His kingdom.

Leslie Basham: Nancy Leigh DeMoss has challenged every woman, even if you have no biological children, you can nurture life. That message was based on the True Woman Manifesto which you can read at ReviveOurHearts.com. The True Woman Manifesto was created in conjunction with the True Woman Conference. Earlier this year conference goers heard the Manifesto read and affirmed these statements by saying, “Yes Lord.”

Nancy, it really was a powerful moment.

Nancy: It was Leslie. And actually it was just one of many very powerful moments at that conference. A woman who attended the True Woman Conference earlier this year wrote to us afterwards and said, “I’m 26 years old and I didn’t realize how important my role of a wife and mom really is.” She was challenged to rethink her view of that calling at that conference. And she said in her note, “I’ll never forget this experience.”

We put in a lot of effort to make sure that the True Woman Conference is thoroughly biblical. Your Bible will be open all weekend. You’ll understand it better and know how to apply it to practical areas of your life, whatever season of life you may be in. It’s a great thing to be able to experience that teaching in the context of other women who are wanting to become true women of God.

So that’s why being at the conference is different than just listening to the messages on CD or reading the same material. I want you to experience a True Woman Conference for yourself as thousands of other women from all across this country and even other countries will be doing this fall.

So plan to join us in Indianapolis this September or come to Fort Worth in October. For more details and to get more information about group discounts, visit ReviveOurHearts.com.

Leslie Basham: Nancy’s going to continue leading us through the True Woman Manifesto next time. Please be back for Revive Our Hearts.

Revive Our Hearts is an outreach of Life Action Ministries.
All Scripture is taken from the English Standard Version.

1 http://www.llli.org/NB/NBSepOct00p156.html

2 Stacey Wiebe. “Born to Nurture” – http://www.Womentodaymagazine.com

OCH- Amphibians

Currclick's freebie this week is an amphibian unit. It looks like a lot of great stuff!

OCH- Amphibians: "OCH- Amphibians"

Preparing Princes

From http://www.aboverubies.org/

Psalm 45.16; "Instead of thy fathers shall be thy children, whom thou mayest make princes in all the earth."
What an amazing vision for parents, to prepare children to be princes and princesses in all the earth.

The Hebrew word for prince is sar It is used to describe our Savior, the Messiah. He is called Sar Shalom in Isaiah 9:6, "The Prince of Peace." God wants His children to also walk with princely character. Sar has a number of meanings.

A head.

God wants us to raise our children...
To be the head and not the tail. (Deuteronomy 28:13)
To not be defeated by the temptations of the devil and this world, but to be an overcomer; We must remind our children that they should not be surprised when trouble and difficulties come their way. If we did not have trials, we would have nothing to overcome. And God's rewards are only for the overcomers; therefore, we can rejoice that we have obstacles to overcome! (Numbers 13:30; John 16:33; Romans 12:21; 1 John 4:4-5; Revelation 2:11, 17, 26; 3:5, 12, 21; 21:7)
To not be subservient to the lusts of this world but to reign in life with Christ. (Galatians 5:16; 2 Timothy 2:12; 1 John 2:15-17; Revelation 5:10)

A ruler.

God wants us to teach our children to rule over their own spirit. It is a powerful thing to rule the spirit and this gift belongs to princes. Proverbs 16:32 tells us that the one who rules his spirit is better than one who captures a city! We have to teach this principle to our children. Instead, many children are trained by their parents to have no control over their spirit. From an early age they are gratified with every whim and fancy. When they whine for something, they get it. When they keep pestering their parents for something they get it. This does not train them to rule over the lusts of the flesh that will constantly come to tempt them. This does not prepare them to rule in adult life.

A disciple of Christ learns to deny his own lusts and desires. Titus 2:11-13 says, "For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present world..." Did you notice the word, "deny"? Jesus also said, "If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross and follow me." (Matthew 16:24) *
The Message Bible tells us to kill off the tendency of "doing whatever you feel like whenever you feel like it, and grabbing whatever attracts your fancy. That's a life shaped by things and feelings instead of by God." (Colossians 3:5-6)

A Master.

God wants us to teach our children to master their emotions, to live by the truth of the Word of God rather than their feelings. A wimpy person lives by their feelings. Feelings are deceiving. They change from day to day and come and go, whereas God's eternal truth is absolute. We should teach our children to keep a good spirit and trust in the Lord even when things are going bad. Rather than give into their feelings, we teach them to thank the Lord for His goodness and that He is a faithful God. We teach them to confess their trust in the Lord. We teach them to confess the joy of the Lord even when they feel unhappy. We teach them to put a smile on their face instead of a grumpy face. These daily habits will help them to be masters of their fickle feelings and to be men and women who will trust God and stand strong even when everything is going wrong.

A Leader.

A person of princely character is not easily led into devious ways by others. Instead, he is one who knows what he believes, stands true to what he believes and leads others into truth. We must soak our children in the Word of God. We must impart the understanding of God's truth to them so that they are rooted in truth and are confident to lead others in the ways of God. (1 Corinthians 9:24-27; 2 Timothy 2:2

A Prince (a Nobleman).

We must raise our children to know that they are sons and daughters of the King of kings and Lord of lords. They belong to royalty, the greatest kingdom on earth. This does not mean that they are proud, for pride has no part of God's kingdom. He is looking for subjects of his kingdom who are meek, humble and tremble at His Word.

However, we teach them to walk with dignity as true representatives of the King of kings. We should bear the image of royalty because we His children. We should walk, speak, dress and act as subjects of the heavenly kingdom and teach our children to do the same. We should have about us a heavenly aristocracy. Because we belong to the One who owns the cattle on a thousand hills, we can walk with stateliness even though we may not have a penny to bless ourselves!

A Priest.

God has made us kings and priests to God. (Revelation 1:6; 5:10; 20:6) Not only has He made us kings and priests, but He says that we will reign on the earth. If we are going to reign, we should start practicing now.

We will teach our sons to be priests in their homes, taking their leadership to provide and protect their families and to lead them into the ways of God. They will take up their responsibility to rule in godliness and not give in to wimpiness. As priests, we all have a responsibility to intercede on the behalf of others and to bless others in His name. (Deuteronomy 10:8; 18:5; Numbers 6:23-27; 21:5)

May our sons walk as princes and our daughters as princesses. (Psalm 144.12)

Above Rubies, http://www.aboverubies.org/

""Father, please teach me to walk like a princess and help me to train my children to walk as subjects of the King of Kings and Lord of lords. Amen."

I am giving extensive training to my royal subjects!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Celebrating America's 234th Birthday

Another excellent email from Wallbuilders.com

234 years ago, 56 Founding Fathers pledged their lives, fortunes, and sacred honor - putting literally their lives, their monies, and their reputations on the line - to guarantee freedom for future generations. Because of their sacrifices, America is still the longest on-going constitutional republic in the history of the world. This is a blessing that we too often take for granted.

Typical Fourth of July celebrations include cookouts, firework shows, days at amusement parks, or any other number of frivolous activities. However, when the Founders reflected on what they felt upcoming Fourth of July celebrations might - and should - look like, John Adams said it should also be a day when we remembered God's hand in deliverance and a day of religious activities when we committed ourselves to Him in "solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty."

The importance of remembering God's Hand in American independence was passed from generation to generation – illustrated by John Quincy Adams' famous 1837 oration in which he reminded Americans:

The birthday of the nation is indissolubly linked with the birthday of the Savior. It forms a leading event in the progress of the Gospel dispensation. The Declaration of Independence . . . laid the cornerstone of human government upon the first precepts of Christianity.

As this Fourth of July approaches, let's break ranks with only participating in "traditional" activities and remember to:

1.  Take time to honor and thank God on the Fourth – make it a day celebrated "with solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty."

2.  Read the Declaration of Independence. Knowing the reasons for our founding is no less important today than it was 234 years ago.

3.  This is a flag-waving time of the year, so review the fascinating account surrounding Francis Scott Key's writing of the Star-Spangled Banner. You can view a 7-minute video of that inspiring narrative, or download it to show at your church over the next two Sundays.

4.  Read John Quincy Adams' famous 1837 Fourth of July oration .

5.  With your family and/or friends, go online and learn about two Founders that you've never heard of or aren't familiar with. A great site to visit for more information about the founders is http://www.colonialhall.com/.

If you are interested in reading other famous patriotic orations about the Fourth of July, or if you want to know more about each of the 56 signers of the Declaration of Independence, you can order our two books on these subjects (Celebrate Liberty Famous Patriotic Speeches and Sermons Book, and Lives of the Signers of the Declaration Book  ). We also have a number of our other products on sale at a special 15% discount.

Enjoy your Fourth of July!

(By the way, if you know of others who might enjoy learning of God's hand in America's history, have them  sign up on the WallBuilders' website for these periodic email pieces.)

God Bless!
David Barton

Friday, June 25, 2010

Runner from Ravenshead

There is an adorable movie The Runner from Ravenshead.  It's described as "Pilgrim's Progress meets Little Rascals."  Pajama School is actually having a drawing for the DVD!

Is It OK for Moms to Have Jobs Outside of the Home?

The following is an edited transcript of the audio.

Is it biblically acceptable for a mother to hold a full time job outside of the home?

It can be. It is like the alcohol question, it can be.

In fact I would say, outside of the home is a complex statement. Only after the industrial revolution was home and work separated, by and large. Everywhere there is an agrarian kind of culture, home and work are together. If all the kids are weaving the baskets that you sell to make a living, are you home? If the garden around the house is what supports the family and the husband is out there building a barn, and you're doing this, are you home?

All that is to say the very question is ambiguous, and it is today. My niece has a full time job, and her office is in her home. She works for a company three states away.

Having said it can be, I want to discourage it because mothering and homemaking are huge and glorious jobs. What children need at age one, five, six, fourteen, eighteen is simply amazing, and so is what those needs call forth from a woman's creativity and heart and mind, personally for each one of these little ones that are coming along.

And, just being able to focus on the home where ministry can happen—not being enslaved by anybody's clock—you can say, "I want to work my tail off for king Jesus, but I don't want anybody to pay me for it. I'm going to do it right here in this neighborhood with my husband's connections and my connections. We're going to lavish grace on people's lives."

So, I'm calling for ministry full-time when I say "don't work full-time if you have a family." Turn your family into ministry. Turn your family into a global dream for what this family might become, or what this man might be, or what we might be together as we are home.

Those are the kind of dreams I want to offer the younger women that are coming along so that they don't think, "If I don't get a career and make lots of money and be equal with men in pay and time and everything, I've somehow sold out to something small or something that doesn't require intellectual capabilities."

It is a great and glorious calling to be a mother and a homemaker and a wife and a neighborhood make-it-happen kind of person and a church minister. Who knows what God might be pleased to do.
Five Ways to Use Audio books

1. Sheer Fun

Audio books are still books. And the reasons you read a print book are the same reasons that you listen to an audio book – simply for the fun of a great story whether it be a suspenseful mystery, a heart-rending narrative, or a silly adventure.

It’s not “cheating” to “read” an audio book. It still counts as reading although the process is admittedly different than visually reading print. (Jim Trelease agrees with me on this.) So if you’re looking for pure entertainment, an audio book is a great alternative to mind-numbing television or video games.

 In our home, we keep the audio book CDs on the bookshelf where my daughter can access them at anytime. Although she still has to ask for permission to watch movies, she is allowed free reign with audio books. I often find her in her bedroom sketching or playing while an audio book is playing in the background.

 2. Redeeming Otherwise Wasted Time

Listening to audio books while riding in the car is probably the biggest opportunity to redeem a big chunk of time in your week. I first fell in love with audio books in just this situation. I was working full time by day and working on a master’s degree by night. Listening to classics (on cassette back then) during those long 45 minute drives kept me alert on the road. I “read” A Tale of Two Cities, Tess of the D’Urbervilles, and Jane Eyre during those years. With my busy schedule, there was no way I could have fit in reading long novels. But using those long hours in the car gave me the time to read classics that I still remember fondly.

But travel time isn’t the only time that you can rescue for reading. Consider playing an audio book during bath time, meal preparation and clean up, household chores, or quiet/nap time.

 3. Buying Time for Mom

Most moms realize the value of reading aloud to their children. But sometimes time is short. An audio book is a great way to expose your children to books without your actually doing the reading. When you play the audio CD or MP3, you can fold laundry and sweep while you listen along with your children.

If your homeschool curriculum includes many living books, consider replacing a few of them with audio format to free up more time for your other tasks.

In our home, we have that common rule that we don’t watch a movie based on a book until we’ve first read the book. Audio books are perfect for getting in this requirement quickly and painlessly.

 4. Adding More Advanced Titles

Children can understand audibly at a higher level than they can read silently themselves. So audio books are a perfect way to give your children a nudge tow ards slightly more challenging books. Remember, audio books are not cheating.

5. Motivating Reluctant Readers

Most children like being read to even if they don’t like reading alone. Audio books are a great way to encourage independent reading, especially if you listen to the first book in a series. Once your child is hooked, you can offer her the second book in print form.

 Audio Book Do’s
  • Stop and discuss the book periodically.
  • Listen with your children as much as possible. 
  • Choose books for fun as well as educational value. 
  • Allow kids to use their hands while they listen (crafts, chores, or play). 
  • Buy unabridged versions of books so you get all the original goodness.
Jimmie is a former public school teacher and now a homeschooling stay-at-home-mom to her eleven year old daughter “Sprite.” Although she admittedly tends towards a Charlotte Mason learning philosophy, Jimmie is not afraid to “break the rules” and do what works for her particular situation -- living abroad with an only child in a bilingual environment. Visit her blog Jimmie's Collage.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

WatchKnow. Videos for kids to learn from. Organized.

I found out about a new site with 1000s of educational videos entitled WatchKnow. Of course, you need to make sure to review the videos before your children.  Here's what it states about the site:

We at WatchKnow.org feel that potential geniuses are everywhere, from small, rural towns to giant, sophisticated cities. But their potential may go to waste if they are not given the right educational opportunities. We at WatchKnow.org want to help make these opportunities available to everyone.

We believe that everyone is created equal, and we take the American Dream seriously. One of the best ways to make these ideals a reality for everyone is to offer free online educational material to our youth.

This is the vision behind the non-profit WatchKnow.org. WatchKnow has indexed over 15,000 online educational videos for children, putting them into a directory of over 3,000 categories. The videos are available without any registration or fees to teachers in the classroom and to students at home 24/7. You can dive into our innovative directory or search by subject and age level. Video titles, descriptions, age level information, and ratings are all edited for usefulness. The site invites broad participation in a new kind of wiki system, guided by teachers. We have had a tremendously positive response from educators to the website.


One of the Yahoo Groups I'm in is entitled Above Rubies which is an extension of the ministry Above Rubies.

One person recently mentioned she was considering homeschooling and wondered about the whole socialization question.  Many of the ladies shared wonderful thoughts.  I'm going to copy their responses here while attempting to credit the correct individuals.


I think the main answer is that socialization in an age-graded environment, with one or maybe two teachers in charge of a large group of children that are all the same age, is actually an artificial environment. At no other
time in your child's life will he be in that kind of social situation, accept perhaps if he joins the military or gets a job at a factory (and even then, there is usually a variety of ages).

In the Bible, we see the family and the faith community as God's instruments of "socialization" . Home educated children actually do better in the areas of socialization that count most--stable, happy marriages, gainful employment, civic involvement, etc. I could go on, but I already did in this blog post:


. . . Have you read *When You Rise Up: A Covenantal Approach to Homeschooling* by R.C. Sproul, Jr.? I think it will be of great encouragement to you. He also addresses the socialization issue. More importantly, he stresses that the goal of education is to lead our children to Christ. If we don't do that, we have accomplished nothing.
By Tiana Krenz


First, define "socialization. " One homeschool author found that

non-homeschoolers who ask "What about socialization? " might really be
asking one of SEVEN different questions!

My understanding of the proper definition of socialization means the training of children to behave properly in social situations. For example, using knife, fork and spoon appropriately when in the US, or holding the hand just so while using the hand to scoop food into the mouth in India. Table manners, interaction requirements (eye contact? firm handshake? appropriate volume? refraining from jumping on the furniture?), etc, are usually best taught (imho) by the parents to the children. Training in social norms is not done in a classroom setting, much, instead it's the law of the jungle (among the students), or the law of the teacher there (hopefully that's helpful, but she has other things to deal with -- like academics! -- besides the training in
behavior appropriate to the situation).

Of the aforementioned author's possible SEVEN underlying questions someone might really be asking, two I happen to recall are, "Will they have any friends?" and "Will they ever leave the house?"

The answers to these are: yes, they'll have friends, and yes, they'll leave the house. :)

Btw, my oldest is 20 (now out on her own) and we've been homeschooling ALL the way. Today one young daughter played with the neighbor boy (until she got into trouble with me for breaking our rules -- showing off to them, I think), another daughter had a friend over for about 4 hours, we are consistently the last ones to leave church because we're busy hanging out with friends, youth group, speech club, Sunday School, friends from out of state this past weekend, debate camp in August, tournaments (intense bonding at those!), sleepovers, birthday parties AND MORE.

We have plenty of opportunities to build friendships, get out of the house, ... and I train in social skills at home, too.

Mama to 7 in Utah
AR Moderation Team


Whether or not you choose to homeschool (I'm in the research stage with my 4 year old DD, too), you can't change your child's bent for being social or not. My DD is naturally gregarious and outgoing; some of her cousins are more reserved, and naturally so. I have a feeling that my DD--who tends to try to lead the way and gets into mischief--might not do well in a regular school environment. Even her Sunday School teachers comment on how outgoing
she is compared to some of the other kiddos, and how they sometimes have to reign her in. But that's just *my* DD and her personality. [She's a lot like her parents. ;-) ]

You can't teach your child to be outgoing when he/she is not that way. What
you *can* teach your child are polite manners and acceptable public behavior, and how to love others as Christ did. That can usually give a child the confidence to start saying "Hello!" to unmet friends at church, the grocery store, etc. My DD gets shy around new people sometimes, but very rarely. A friend at our church has a DD the same age who is painfully shy, but her younger siblings are very outgoing. The parents are both fairly laid-back friendly people. All these different personalities in thesame family!

All that being said, I don't believe that forcing your child into what another poster called an 'unnatural environment' is necessarily positive OR negative: it's just what's been done in schools to push as many kids as possible through the system without physically losing track of them. And while I don't think teaching herds of kids how to stand in line, take turns, and share *everything* including school supplies are necessarily *bad* things by themselves, the good old USA is marching toward Socialism at an alarming rate. Doesn't everyone who has to stand in a bread line have to wait, take turns, and share everything? Sorry if I've ruined your morning coffee . . . LOL!! I have a good friend who toes the line at atheism (she won't classify herself) and teaches in a public high school: my conversations with her lead me to believe that that environment is becoming VERY Socialist. Well, I could go on, but I'll just say this: Yikes.

No matter what, we want to teach our children to be Godly, to think independently and ask good questions, and to weigh everything against Scripture. Those are things that are most certainly NOT taught in a public
school environment these days (according to what I've seen in my sibling's
kids, and in my own neighborhood) ; and those skills weren't taught well during my own private parochial education, either. I've had to make poor
decisions and "pay the Piper" so to speak, and I want to make sure that my
kids get a better education than I did.

Just my .02!!
Blessings, Allie


Homeschooling opponents just love to pull out the socialization card, don't they? Our first two children were in ps through fifth grade. They are now 22 and 21 years old. All the others have been homeschooled from birth. In our experience, our younger children have more success socially than our older two. Our 21 yo dd has finally blossomed--but it was really hard for her in school, and it took her many years to overcome the bullying and herd tendencies of ps. When we go to the park, my children make friends with whoever is there--they are not worried about whether the children they meet are cool or popular. My children can converse with adults of all ages. They are as comfortable in a nursing home or watching the church nursery as they are spending time with their friends.

I personally do not want my children socialized the way they are in ps.

Things you can do to be proactive--both for any naysayers, and more importantly, to give yourself the confidence you need:

1. Be active in your church. Let your child make friends there.

2. as already suggested, get to know people one at a time and build a network of friends for you child--just make sure you and their parents are of like mind on the most important issues.

3.Find a good homeschool group. There are many different homeschool groups out there. We couldn't find what we were looking for when we first started our hs journey, so we helped form what we were looking for--a Christian group whose main purpose was to encourage each other as parents. We are likeminded-- for the most part--some of the people who join are not always on the same page, but all leadership IS. We have parent support group meetings about once a quarter--different events--but always for the edification of the parents. The by-product of this is that there are PLENTY of activities and opportunities for our children to play together. WE have park days, swim days, field trips during the school year, co-ops on occasion, special events like spelling bee and science fair. But we started out just to support and pray for each other. Our children have been the beneficiaries. If you can find a group like this, GREAT. If you cannot--then form one yourself. You will not regret it! :-)

Andrea in GA


Cool Insect Coloring Book

We just returned from story time at a local nature center.  The topic was insects, so obviously, all the kids had to have a chance to catch insects with a net.  My dd & I caught a robber fly, or so we were told by the docent.

Needless to say, I had to continue the learning at home.  I found a really cool resource from Clemson University.  It is an Insect Coloring Book that you can print out as a whole or page by page.  There are 44 insects and a color key so you can color the insects correctly.  Each page has a little information about the insect. 

Just think, you could pull an individual sheet to deal with an insect you just read or saw.  You could use the whole book as a study unit and study each insect as your come to it.  You could write up the additional facts and add it to the notebook. 

Free insect coloring sheets/book.  Who would have thought?

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Preschool Thoughts

Recently, I met a lady that was considering homeschooling.  She would be starting with preschool.  I shared some ideas and thought I'd post them here.

The main source I used for preschool was Letter of the Week and I just did the letter of the week format. It did was free and did a great job doing the basics. I added some math to it. You could just pick up some math workbooks at Walmart and such, but since we knew we were going to use Singapore Math eventually, we started out with PK Singapore Math. I think it's called Early bird.

Another idea is a series of books entitled Five in a Row. I used it for kingarten but there is a Before Five in a Row that would be very appropriate for PK. You read one book daily for a week and learn various concepts from that book. When I used FIAR for kindergarten, all I did was add math and reading and I was done. It was really fun.

Now, I also want you to know that there are several PK curriculums out there that provide all the books and give you specific lessons plans. If you'd like more information on one of those, just let me know. I just didn't go that route which is why I share things like Letter of the Week and FIAR. They are the things I used that worked well for me. The thing about homeschooling is not everything works the same way for everyone, and there is great freedom to change.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Charles Spurgeon's Birthday and Bible

June 19, 2010
By: Jeff Lacine

The Bible is God’s Bible; and when I see it, I seem to hear a voice springing up from it, saying, “I am the book of God; man, read me. I am God’s writing; open my leaf, for I was penned by God; read it, for he is my author, and you will see him visible and manifest everywhere. -Charles Spurgeon

Charles Spurgeon was born on June 19th (today) in 1834, and was made by God to be a gift to the body of Christ. His preaching impacted tens of thousands of people in his own day and millions since that time.

He was a pastor who was unwaveringly committed to Jesus Christ, and therefore unwaveringly committed to the Bible. He preached in a manner worthy of the message he proclaimed, fervently and with great conviction, to audiences of more than 10,000 with no modern amplification.

Read the rest of the article here.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Cleaning House--Workboxes

I've been clearing out many things preparing for a moving sale and came across my index card box of educational ideas. 

Way back when I graduated from college with my teaching degree, most people didn't have personal computers yet nor was the web very webby yet, so it was recommended that we keep a card box with cards listing ideas that we come across while reading or teaching.  The rule was that the highest compliment you could pay a teacher was to steal her idea!

Anyway!  I came across my box and decided that storing some of the ideas on my blog was most efficient way to keep them.

Since I'm planning on trying to use Sue Patrick's workbox system, I perused them last night looking for ideas for additional activities that I could add to my dd's workboxes. 

I'm going to write them down as I wrote them but then maybe add some personal notes on ways that I may use them this year.

Have each child write his or her telephone number across a sheet of paper.  Using all the digits, create number sentences to equal 0.  Add, subtract, multiplication, division may be used as often as necessary, but only the digits in the phone number can be used and only as often as they appear (i.e. 267-9102--number 2 can be used twice.
I might use this just as a source of numbers to have her write simple addition or subtraction sentences. 

Cut bright pictures of people, animals, and favorite popular character from magazines and stick a toothpick through at two places to make simple puppets.  Students will enjoy writing scripts for their puppet show.
Cute idea in itself, but I think it could be even more specific by writing the script to teach something they just learned or read about.

Use letter shape cookie cutters with play dough.  Have students cut the letters out of play dough and spell words.
Fun way to practice spelling words.

Use an egg carton.  Cut a thin slits into the bottom of each egg carton so that one card can fit in each slit.  Use to put numerical cards in order, put words alphabetically, events in chronological order, etc.
Again, how about alphabetizing spelling words, using letter cards to spell small spelling words, putting presidential or time line cards in order, etc.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Summer Reading Contest

Summer Reading Contest by Keepers of the Faith

We are pleased to announce our first ever Summer Reading Contest!

Contest Details: To enter the contest, simply choose any KOF book from our KOF reading categories, and write a review of the book answering the question, "How did this book change your life?" Not every book causes a major shift in one's life, but every good book can teach some lesson or impact us for the better. And sometimes the truths portrayed in a story allow us to see "living for Christ" in a new light. We want to hear how these books have impacted you or your family!

Each submission should be 200 words or less. Please send in your submissions via email to sales@keepersofthefaith.com. In the subject line put “Reading Contest.” Include your name, age, address, and phone or email (if different than the sending email). You may send in submissions for multiple books to increase your chances of winning. Your review may appear on our website!

Contest Period: The contest will run from June 15th until September 1st. Winners will be chosen after September 1st.

Contest Prizes: There will be three levels to the contest based upon age, and three winners per level. Prizes will be in the form of credits to the customer account, which can then be used to purchase any of our products.

Level 1: Ages 12 and under
Level 2: Ages 13 through 18
Level 3: Adult

First Place: $25
Second Place: $15
Third Place: $10

Top 10 Trends in Homeschooling

Onlinecolleges.net sent me an email asking me to share this article.  I thought it might be beneficial to some, so here it is.
Top 10 Trends in Homeschooling

Homeschooling Dads

I thought this was a really great article about fathers' roles in home education.  It's from the Knowledge House Newsletter June 2010.
A father should be involved as much as possible in the home education of his children. The more he actively participates, the more credibility homeschooling has in the eyes of his children, the less stressed mom will be, and the more likely it will be a long term experience. It's a real blessing to have a father who can spend time with his children during the day. Even a father who works away from home can be their nightly homework checker or Bible teacher. A father may teach some other subjects as well, but most importantly, he must be supportive of his family’s homeschooling endeavor. Fathers should consider the following duties.

Principal (The principal may not do any teaching, but he is in charge to make sure the teachers teach, and he provides the help and support they need to do so.)

-Pray for guidance and blessing.
-Write down goals and a plan of action.
-Make a schedule and see that it is followed.
-Help select curriculum and plan lessons.
-Talk to your children about what they are studying.
-Review your children’s work; grade papers.
-Assist with special projects (science experiments, etc.).
-Go along on field trips.
-Attend workshops and conferences with your wife.
-Offer encouragement to your wife and motivation for your children.
-Enforce the discipline of your children.
-Take an active interest in politics and legislation that may affect home education.
-Provide income for purchasing school supplies and materials.
-Give your wife a break (bring home dinner; take the kids to the park).
-Hand out the diploma or certificate of promotion at the end of the school year.

Spiritual Leader (As the spiritual head of the household, the father should be a good role model.)

-Pray for your family and your homeschool.
-Take the family to church regularly.
-Bring God into everyday conversation.
-Teach your children about God’s creations.
-Teach your children about God’s historical works.
-Teach your children the Ten Commandments.
-Evangelize your children.
-Take your children on "fishing trips" (witnessing).
-Tune in to Christian music on the radio.
-Lead the family in daily devotionals.
-Encourage reciting Bible verses from memory.
-Read the Bible aloud and study Biblical passages together.
-Read Bible stories to children at bedtime.

Instructor (The father may be better at teaching certain subjects; examples follow.)

-Physical Fitness/Sports.
-Woodworking Shop/Auto Mechanics.
-Science and/or Mathematics
-History, Government and/or Economics
-Logic and/or Critical Thinking
-Any other subject dad enjoys, majored in, or otherwise knows well.

Finally in all of these things remember Colossians 3:21 which says, “Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged.” Similarly, Ephesians 6:4 states, “And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.”

Happy Father's Day!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Embrace Homemaking--Be Busy at Home
Posted on 08 June 2010 by Courtney

Do you feel frustrated with your homemaking skills? I do! And then I think, how will I ever pass this on to my daughter if I don’t get this myself? I especially feel frustrated on days when I decide to have a down day. If I spend one day just letting things go – the place suddenly appears as though a bomb went off – the dishes quickly pile in the sink, the shoes pile by the door, the coats pile on the chair, the clothes pile in the bathroom, the markers, crayons, paper and toys just pile pile pile!!!!

Homemaking takes diligence and we must embrace it if we will find joy in it! As we clean we long for perfection – to create a heavenly home that truly does not exist – there will be no perfect home until we reach the shores of heaven. The frustration we feel as homemakers is a direct result of the effects of a fallen world.

Have you ever noticed how every time you go to the grocery store there is a new expensive cleaning gadget that has been created to make cleaning quicker? We have gone from rags and soap to throw away wipes that already have the solution in them. We have gone from buckets of soapy water and mops to thingymajigs that spray liquid and mop. It’s really amazing how they market these “quick” cleaning items! We want the easy way out!

But truly to be a good homemaker it takes just one thing – DILIGENCE! It’s not the tool in your hand – it’s your heart! You can read all the websites and magazines and books on cleaning and own every gadget and gizmo – but if you lack diligence and have not given homemaking your time – you just won’t get it all done. And this is what our daughters need to know!

The Proverbs 31 lady gave time to her home. We canbe busy running here and there – going to play dates, sports for the kids, birthday parties and serving at church. Those are not bad things – BUT Titus 2:5 says that the younger women in the church need to learn to be “busy at home“. So that means – first we need time in our homes and second, if we feel really busy homemaking – then you are doing it right!!

Homemaking takes time and will keep you quite busy! The home is where the molding of children’s hearts takes place. The home is where your husband finds comfort and solace, where your children can share their passions and grow intellectually, spiritually and emotionally. Because we live in a fallen world – your home will never be perfect. Please do not strive for perfection – you will frustrate yourself and all who live in your home. But on the opposing side, please do not neglect your home believing that there is something greater and with more meaning outside the doors of your home.

God clearly puts a priority on homemaking in both Titus 2 and in the example of the Proverbs 31 woman. So embrace homemaking today – and get busy. Sit down and make your to-do list and follow the mandate that God has given younger women – “be busy at home“. And don’t forget to bring your daughters along side of you as you are busy at home.

Walk with the King!


Courtney Joseph blogs over at Women Living Well. She has been married to her high school sweet heart for 12 ½ years, home schools her son and daughter and is a graduate of the Moody Bible Institute. Her passion to see women living well landed her on the Rachael Ray Show in November, 2009. Since then, she blogs regularly about marriage according to God’s word.
How can ‘mother’ be a sexist stereotype?

Carolyn Moynihan
4 Jun 2010
While most Europeans worry their heads off about what is happening to the euro and the economy, certain members of the European political bureaucracy are getting on with more important things. Like drafting long resolutions about how to combat gender stereotypes in the media and having even longer meetings to get their ideas endorsed.

Let me say, straight off, that there are media stereotypes that undermine women’s dignity and in some cases are downright insulting. Why, for example, does the weather girl -- I should say female weather person -- on my local television network always, always, summer and winter, appear with half her chest exposed, unless it is to add sex appeal to what is an intrinsically boring segment of the news hour? Since her male counterpart is always well covered up (and still more interesting to listen to) we have to conclude that the value of a woman announcer is her sexuality, not her personality, let alone her expertise.

Read the rest of the article here.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Using Audio Books in Your Homeschool

by Molly Evert
For years I viewed audio books as a nice supplement, to be enjoyed only as a treat, when we had inclination or money to do so. It wasn’t until I started regularly using audio books with our dyslexic son that I realized how their widespread, daily use could revolutionize our homeschool! Here are some ways I’m using audio books with each of our four children:

With our preschooler:

• Audio books develop a love of literature. Our preschooler listens every day during his rest time. Sometimes he listens to a special book again and again, while other days he discovers a new favorite.

• I love reading to my preschooler, but sometimes he wants to hear so many books that it is hard to satisfy his thirst! Audio books give him some measure of control; he can listen when he wants to, rather than waiting until mom is available.

With our emerging reader:

• Our emerging reader likes listening to a book and then trying to read it. Pre-listening before reading makes it easier for him to decipher names and tricky vocabulary.

• When the text is not too difficult, our emerging reader can read along while listening. This develops reading fluency, and helps him progress through a book even when some words are beyond his reading level. Bear in mind that it’s important to have access to the pause button for this activity, as sometimes the narrator gets ahead of the emerging reader and he may lose his place.

• I have spurred each of my three older boys to overcome a lack of reading confidence through the initial use of audio. We start out listening to a book that is within their ability to read. After a few chapters (when it starts to get really interesting!) I make the switch to text. The boys are excited enough to see what happens that they are willing to take a stab at reading the text. Excitement gives way to surprise as they see it isn’t as hard as they feared it would be. Voila! The gateway to chapter books has opened!

With our special needs child:

• Audio books have opened a whole new world for our dyslexic son. Through the use of audio books, he can work independently, at or above grade level. His interest in school has blossomed for the first time, and he is finally able to take personal responsibility for completing assignments, rather than waiting until mom can help him decipher his history book.

• Before we started regularly using audio books, our son thought that he hated books. Now, he has discovered that he loves them! He can finally sit down with a good book and actually enjoy “reading” it, an experience which many of us take for granted.

• Our dyslexic son’s reading level has grown over the years, but so has the difficulty of his schoolwork. Audio books enable him to keep up with a rigorous load of assignments.

With our high school student:

• Our high school student listens to audio books over the summer to get a jump start on the new school year. He enjoys listening, and the advance preparation will lighten his load in the fall.

• Some high school level books are really long! Audio books are a welcome break.

• Audio books help our busy high school son kill two birds with one stone. He listens while cleaning his room, working in the yard, and exercising.

As a break from family read-aloud time:

• We enjoy listening during lunch. Everyone is gathered together and quiet.

• We “redeem the time” daily by listening while driving to and from sports practices as well as whenever we take long road trips.

• Our children crawl into bed a half hour early so they can listen before falling asleep.

Molly Evert stays busy homeschooling her four boys, ages 5 to 14. Life is about to get even fuller, as she and her family eagerly await a precious baby girl, due in September. She is the creator of My Audio School , a website which provides educational audio content for children. You can find her articles and teaching podcasts on her blogs at  Counter Cultural Mom and Counter Cultural School , and on the e-zine Mentoring Moments for Christian Women.

Blog Archive