Sunday, October 31, 2010

Protecting is a Part of Good Parenting

Protecting is a Part of Good Parenting

I heard the parents of an 8-year-old girl defending the question of “the appropriateness” of a top pop song. The mother answered, “Well, I mean, unless you shelter your children from all music and T.V. you can’t keep them from singing to and dancing to (said inappropriate song).”

The implication? Parents are helpless to exercise their wisdom and authority over the things they deem inappropriate or harmful for their children. This is a frightening implication for any parent, but especially disturbing as a Christian parent commanded to guide and direct his children “in the way he should go”.

Why would a parent feel he can’t (or shouldn’t?) protect his 8-year-old from lyrics he deems harmful (music is a powerful influence according to studies)? Is the statement “I can’t protect him from that” just a convenient way to avoid the work that accompanies such protection?

I’ve seen other “helpless” responses from parents. I remember my own father wringing his hands as I left the house with young men he *knew* I shouldn’t be with. But, what was he to do? Everyone else was doing it.

Or the fashion battles that very few parents are willing to fight anymore. (Are you honestly OK with the fact that your teen-aged daughter has a message written across her rear end? Or her cleavage showing?)

I’m discouraged by the epidemic of displaced authority given over to the culture instead of parents in whose hands God has placed these children.

There is so much confusion and deception about “children needing to find themselves” or “express themselves” instead of brave men and women loving their children enough to say “as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord”.

There is a gross misconception about the “harmless” exposure to the messages bombarding our children through music, television and peers. (Whatever things are TRUE, PURE, JUST, HONEST, VIRTUOUS, PRAISEWORTHY, LOVELY…)

It’s not about “sheltering” as much as it is about directing their tastes to spiritual things (which will naturally involve abstaining from some things while replacing those with others–call it sheltering if you like). If a child is fed a steady diet of junk food, that’s what he will crave. Conversely, our job is to help them develop a taste for healthy food just as we are to do with their spiritual diet.

Let’s hold up our daily activities, interests and pursuits to the light of God’s Word. If if it doesn’t stand, get rid of it. No matter the cost.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Martin Luther: In His Own Words---FREE DOWNLOAD

Now here is a good reason to celebrate October 31, Reformation Day!  October 31 was the day that Martin Luther hung his 95 Theses on the door to the Wittenburg church which was the start of the Reformation. 

I found out from The Savings Lifestyle that is offering a free down load of Martin Luther: In His Own Words until October 31. 

Just go to this link.

One of the Worst Parenting Mistakes You Can Make

This article is from .

No matter how physically active a child is, time spent in front of the computer or television screen is associated with psychological problems.

In other words, children can't make up for TV time by spending extra hours exercising.

The findings also suggest that the way children spend their sedentary time, in addition to how much time they spend being sedentary in the first place, matters for their mental health.

According to Live Science:

"... [R]esearchers asked 1,013 British 10- and 11-year-olds how much time each day they spent in front of a computer or TV. The children also wore accelerometers around their waists for a week to track their physical activity and sedentary time ...

The study found that ... more than two hours a day in front of a TV or computer was associated with more emotional and behavioral difficulties."

Live Science Oct 11, 2010
Pediatrics October 11, 2010 [Epub ahead of print]

Dr. Mecola's Comments:

I've written about the wide variety of health benefits that exercise provides, one of which is treating depression and boosting mental health. These benefits apply to children as well as adults, and, in fact, the younger you start, the greater the long-term benefits.

However, there's nary a household in the US that doesn't have at least one TV, and/or a computer, and for all their potential benefits, TV-watching and computer use also has a long list of drawbacks, especially where children are concerned.

Most troubling is the finding that you may not be able to compensate for time spent in front of the TV or the computer screen. Because regardless of your child's overall level of physical activity, spending more than two hours a day on these digital displays may be all it takes to impact their mental and emotional health...

Kids Spend an Astounding Amount of Time Watching TV or Using Computer

Today, less than one-third of kids aged 6 to 17 get at least 20 minutes of vigorous exercise a day.

Compare that to the TV-watching statistics below, and you'll realize just how troublesome the above findings may be. It may even be a crucial part of the equation that might explain why so many children are now using anti-anxiety and antidepressant drugs.

The average American watches nearly FIVE HOURS of TV a day

More than half of American children have a television in their bedroom; one study put the number at 70 percent

Twice as many adolescents with a television in their bedroom watch more than five hours of TV a day compared with youths without a TV in their bedroom

90 percent of American toddlers, under the age of 2, watch TV, videos and DVD's regularly

About 40 percent of babies, under 3 months of age, watch TV, videos and DVD's regularly

Based on a 2007 survey of families in two states, kids at 3 months watched less than an hour of TV daily, and that viewing time climbed to 90 minutes as children reached the toddler stage

Visual digital media such as television programming and educational DVD's are being increasingly introduced to an ever younger audience.

Unfortunately, contrary to what you've been told, this type of educational material may actually retard language development rather than speed it up!

British psychologist Aric Sigman writes in his 2008 paper titled, DOES NOT COMPUTE, Screen Technology in Early Years Education:

"… [T]he scientists found that for every hour per day spent watching specially developed baby DVDs and videos such as Baby Einstein and Brainy Baby, children under 16 months understood an average of six to eight fewer words than children who did not watch them.

One of the authors stated," The evidence is mounting that they are of no value and may in fact be harmful.

Given what we now know, I believe the onus is on the manufacturers to prove their claims that watching these programs can positively impact children's cognitive development. The bottom line is the more a child watches baby DVDs and videos the bigger the effect. The amount of viewing does matter."


So much for Baby Einstein and teaching your child to use a computer as soon as they're able to press a button, with the hopes of boosting their development...
The Steep Price of Letting Your Child have a TV in Their Bedroom

Keeping a TV in your child's bedroom is not a wise parenting decision, based on the evidence available.

A growing body of research shows strong links between a TV in the bedroom and numerous health and educational problems.

Children with TVs in their bedroom:

Score lower on school tests

Are more likely to have sleep problems

Are more likely to be overweight

May have an increased risk of smoking

Tend to consume more unhealthy foods

Exercising More May Not Be Enough, Unless You Also Shut Off the TV...

Clearly, the vast majority of kids and teens are in dire need of more exercise. However, based on the findings reported in the journal Pediatrics this month, exercising more may not be enough to compensate for the detrimental impact of TV and computer use.

The other side of the equation is shutting off your TV and computer more often...

As reported by Live Science:

"The study found that regardless of age, gender, socioeconomic status, or whether a child had hit puberty, more than two hours a day in front of a TV or computer was associated with more emotional and behavioral difficulties.

Most importantly, the connection between screen time and psychological problems held regardless of how much overall physical activity the kids engaged in."

What that means is that it's not a sedentary lifestyle that poses the greatest risk to your child's mental health, but rather the activities your child engages in while being sedentary.

Other sedentary activities, such as reading or doing homework, had no detrimental impact on the children's mental health.

Another interesting fact was that the total amount of time spent on sedentary activities in general also did not have a negative impact on mental health – only the amount of time spent watching TV or in front of the computer impacted their psychology and behavior.

The researchers found that:

Children who spent more than two hours a day watching TV or using a computer were 61 and 59 percent more likely to experience high levels of psychological difficulties, respectively

Children who spent more than two hours a day watching TV, and also failed to meet physical activity guidelines, were 70 percent more likely to experience high levels of psychological difficulties

This risk increased to 81 percent for children who used a computer for more than two hours a day while also failing to meet recommended exercise guidelines

Watching TV Changes Your Brain Chemistry

While much of the TV debate focuses on advertising messages and the impact of violent or sexually explicit programming on young minds, there's an even more disturbing aspect to television.

As it turns out, TV may be harmful no matter what programs your kids are watching or what ads they're exposed to!

Yes, television in and of itself is one of the most powerful brainwashing devices there is.

According to research by Dr. Aric Sigman, a British psychologist, watching TV actually causes physiological changes – mainly changes in your brain chemistry – and there's nothing beneficial about them.

These changes have little to do with the content you're watching, but rather the fact that when you're watching a TV or computer screen, you're in essence entraining your brain to function and process information differently.

Watching a TV (or computer screen) produces an almost narcotic effect on your brain, actually numbing areas that would be stimulated by other activities, like reading.

And, the longer you watch, the easier your brain slips into a receptive, passive mode, meaning that messages are streamed into your brain without any participation from you. This of course is every advertiser's dream, and accounts for much of the success companies achieve by putting ads on TV.

Watching TV also disrupts the production of the hormone melatonin, according to Dr. Sigman, which could be playing a role in sleep disturbances and even causing early puberty in adolescents.

The 15 Potential Side Effects of Watching TV

Through his research, Dr. Sigman has identified 15 negative effects that he believes can be associated with watching television:


Trouble healing

Heart trouble

Decreased metabolism

Eyesight damage

Alzheimer's disease

Decreased attention span

Hormone disturbances


Early puberty


Sleep difficulties

Increased appetite

Limited brain growth


How to Get Your Kids Moving

I think there's no doubt that it is imperative to limit your child's TV, computer, and video game time, in addition to encouraging your child to spend more time doing some form of physical activity.

Overweight and obese children will need at least 30 minutes of exercise each day, and may benefit from closer to 60 minutes. But even if your child is not overweight, you should encourage him or her to take part in physically engaging activities after school and on the weekends – the benefits are just too plenty and too varied to be ignored, including boosting mental health.

Encourage your child to engage in activities that are naturally interesting to them, such as playing on the monkey bars, rollerblading, skateboarding, dancing or playing basketball with friends. Allow your kids to exercise in bursts throughout the day -- a game of tag here, a bike ride there -- so they don't feel pressured or like they're being "punished."

Like adults, kids need variety to their exercise routines, so be sure your child is getting in aerobic, interval training, weight-training, stretching and core-building activities. This may sound daunting, but if your child participates in a gymnastics class, sprints around the backyard after the dog often and rides his bike after school, you'll be covered.

Interestingly, burst-type interval exercises are typically what most children will do spontaneously, and even young children can begin implementing Peak 8 exercises. This type of high-intensity exertion is what most people are missing from their exercise program.

Last but not least, remember that you act as a role model by staying active yourself.

If your kids see you embracing exercise in a positive way, they will naturally follow suit. Plus, it's easy to plan active activities that involve the whole family and double up as fun ways to spend time together. Hiking, bike riding, canoeing, swimming and sports are all great options.

Think of it this way … by taking the time to get your kids interested in exercise now, you're giving them a gift that will keep them healthy and happy for the rest of their lives. Combine that with reduced TV and computer use, and you're giving your child the best platform possible for a healthy, long life – physically, mentally and emotionally.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Betsy's Price is Right: Homemade Face Paint

I made the following post to my "frugal" blog.  I wanted to share it here as well because face paint is fun and can be educational!  Nothing like painting your face blue when you study about the Celts, for instance!

Betsy's Price is Right: Homemade Face Paint: "We don't do Halloween around here, but we're definitely into dress up at other times! Living on a Dime Newsletter from ha..."

Monday, October 25, 2010

Rethinking Language Error

This came from Teaching God's World News -Oct 25, 2010 edition.

Rethinking Language Error

To grow up with English teachers in the house--two parents and a sister--is to love wrangling over language. We made a team sport of arguing minor points of grammar. Each of us had a specialty: Dad monitored pronoun-antecedent use; Mom addressed comma rules; Sis investigated mistakes with as-as and so-as. And I, I took the road less traveled by concerning possessives before gerunds.

Together we policed the punctuation, usage, spelling, and mechanics of much of the Southeast. No "Cantaloupe's $2" sign went unnoticed; no church bulletin was above critique.

When I became an English teacher myself, I graded papers with gusto--sure that my insightful marks would elicit grammatical perfection. Imagine my horror when my students actually made mistakes!

The alarming trend continued when I had children. My own progeny regularly committed that most egregious of grammar faults: misuse of lie/lay.

Then at some point, I realized (with the Holy Spirit's help, no doubt) that perhaps we all blunder. Perhaps we're all . . . um . . . human. It was life-changing.

Here's how I'm thinking now about language error: Mistakes can be a sign of growth. Listen as little children become aware of verb tenses. They unconsciously realize that the simple past is often formed by adding -ed, (kick/kicked, walk/walked). They absorb this information and incorporate it albeit sometimes with words that do not form their plurals that way. They are assessing, adapting, attempting--all higher-order thinking skills--yet adults often judge the result to be raw error. My favorite example involves a five-year-old who was asked what he thought happened when Jesus said, "Peace, be still." His answer? "Peace beed still," of course.

Nobody masters everything at once. I have a note at my desk from my (then) first-grade daughter. It reads

Dear, Mom
I ♥ you.
, Love
Margaret .S

Can you guess what her class was studying? Yep. Letter form and abbreviations. And while my first reaction might have been to grab my red pen, I took a deep breath and said, "Perfect capitalization! Flawless spacing! All the right punctuation marks!" And only later, "Let's talk about where punctuation marks go."

Recognize stylistic choices as valuable. Allow students to flex style muscle by bending a few "rules." Not every time, but sometimes, a good fragment fits the bill. The same with using passive voice, beginning a sentence with a conjunction, or ending it with a preposition. Just encourage students to communicate the message clearly and be prepared to justify departures from the grammatical straight and narrow.

So I'm relaxing (a bit) about grammar. Now all I have to work on is table manners.

-- Kim Stegall (editor and freelance writer for God's World News magazines, online biographies, and News Now articles.)

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Joyfully at Home, by Jasmine Baucham

Jasmine Baucham shared this article in the recent VBM newsletter.

"So, how old are you?" the young lady asked.

She, along with her family and two others, had come to our home for dinner the same week I was wrapping up the last edits for my book.

"I'm twenty," I replied, smiling. I'd been told I looked fifteen all night, and was prepared for the runaround. What I wasn't prepared for was her next comment:

"Twenty? Are you serious? I thought twenty year olds would be out doing something with their lives, going to college, and getting a career, not living at home with their parents."

It's a common sentiment, but it took my thirteen-year-old houseguest to put it bluntly. I just smiled and shrugged. "I am doing something with my life," I maintained, "and I am in college online. I'll be graduating within the next year, I start tutoring English students next week, I enjoy being part of my family unit, and I just finished my first book."

She looked so shocked that the other young lady standing with us grinned. "I guess she told you."

We shared a laugh, and the conversation eased to other things.

I no longer mind telling people that I still live at home. It is something that used to bother me -I hated the strained silences that followed when I revealed that I wasn't going off to a brick and mortar university, and that I was planning on living at home with my family until I was married!? I dreaded the inevitable questions that followed: Why aren't you going to college? What if you don't get married for ten years? Don't you want to have some freedom? What if you never get married at all? What's so good about living at home?

Nowadays, though, I've learned that a disarming smile does the trick as I respond in turn: I'm not going to off college because this is a critical time in my life, and I think it is so much more precious to spend that time being discipled and protected in my parents' household than anywhere else. Whether I get married in ten years or ten months, I plan to suck every ounce of joy and industry out of all of the time I have at home. I don't want to be free from the responsibilities and ties of my home, nor do I desire independence -I enjoy fostering an identity within the family unit. If I should never marry, I do pray that the Lord would continue to direct me down avenues of industry and service. And the most wonderful thing about living at home is that it's Christian character bootcamp: Phillipians 2:1-11 comes to life in the family unit (especially with all of the little people we have running around!)

I could say that I'm training to be a wife. Certainly, I have a bevy of household experience in my back pocket, and certainly, I would love to be married someday... but my desire to be near my family goes a bit deeper than that: at the root of my decision to stay at home was a desire to serve the Lord full-heartedly in the sphere where he had deemed fit to place me. It was a desire not to alter what I took as an ideal situation: why would I -a Christian young woman blessed with a home full to the brim of love for Christ -choose to remove myself from a situation where I could receive protection, discipleship, support, and accountability? Because the thirteen-year-old girls of the West would look at me and say: "I thought you would be doing something better with your life?"

Staying at home has taught me to have a thicker skin than that: I chose to do what I knew was best -I chose to follow where the Lord was leading me -I chose to have those uncomfortable questions thrown at me at every turn -and I chose to seek to answer them.


Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Biblical Reasons to Home School

The late Chris Klicka has a lot a great stuff on the HSDA website.
I've kept a hard copy of this article, but decided to share it. It is really encouraging this week considering some "broohaha" I accidently stirred up on Facebook.

Biblical Reasons to Home School

By Chris Klicka, Senior Counsel for the

Home School Legal Defense Association

THEME: God has delegated the authority and responsibility to teach and raise children to the parents first. Parents can delegate their authority to teach and raise children to someone else, but they can never delegate their responsibility to teach their children to anyone else. God will hold parents responsible for what education their children receive (whether from teachers, books, projects, or peers). To whom much is given, much is required. We have a free choice in this country to not send our children to an ungodly public school—we will, all the more, be responsible. Remember, our children are dying souls entrusted to our care!

I. The raising of children is delegated to parents by God:

A. Psalm 127:3-5 (“Behold, children are a gift of the Lord; the fruit of the womb is a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, so are the children of one’s youth. How blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them; they shall not be ashamed when they speak with their enemies in the gates.”)

B. Gen. 33:5, 48:8-9; Isa.8:18; Heb. 2:13 (“Children whom the Lord has given me”)

C. Matt. 22:21 (Render to Caesar that which is Caesar’s, and unto God that which is God’s—our children are God’s)

D. Training of children was not delegated to the state. The only Biblical accounts of states education were coerced: i.e. Moses, Joseph, Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego.

II. Children, however, are still considered by God to be His (Therefore, children are a gift of stewardship and parents do not own the children):

A. Ezekiel 16:20-21 (“You slaughtered My children and offered them up to idols ...”

B. Psalm 139:13-16; Job 10:8-12; Isaiah 49:1,5; Jeremiah 1:5; Luke 1:41,44 (God’s claim to unborn children)

III. God has given us certain conditions we are commanded to meet when raising children (part of our stewardship responsibility):

A. Ephesians 6:4 (“Fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.”) Fathers have the greatest responsibility in training their children in the Lord and disciplining them. Are fathers “provoking” their children by sending them to public school?

B. Deuteronomy 6:6-9 (also see Deuteronomy 4:9, 11:18-21) We are commanded to diligently teach our children God’s commandments and principles all the time. Sunday school is not enough—children in public school are taught to think as non-christians thirty or more hours a week.

C. Psalm 78:1-11 (Teach God’s principles to your children all the time so they will teach their children and so “that they should put their confidence in God and not forget the works of God.”)

D. Exodus 13:8,14; Joshua 4:20-22,24 (Teach you children what God has done).

E. Proverbs 6:20-23 (Children’s responsibility to obey parents’ teachings who in turn, should be teaching God’s principles)

F. Psalm 1:1-2 (Meditate on God’s law day and night); Proverbs 23:7 (“For as a man thinks, so is he”) Children in public school are being taught to think like non-Christians.

G. II Corinthians 10:5 (Take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ)

H. Isaiah 54:13 (“And all your children shall be taught of the Lord; and great shall be the peace of your children.”); John 21:15 (“Feed My lambs” and “Feed My sheep”).

I. Jeremiah 10:12 (“Thus saith the Lord, learn not the way of heathen nations.”) Isn’t that what our children are learning in the public schools?

J. Colossians 3:1-3 (“Keep seeking the things above, where Christ is . . . set your mind on things above, not on the things that are on the earth.”) The things above are God’s words recorded in Scripture. The Bible is the “blueprint” for all areas of life.

K. Matt. 16:23 (Peter, thinking like a humanist, told Jesus he wouldn’t have to die. Jesus said, “Get behind me Satan! You are a stumbling block to me: for you are not setting your mind on God’s interests, but man’s.”

L. Matt. 22:37 (“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your should, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and foremost commandment.”) How can our children love God with their mind when public school trains their minds to ignore God?

M. Luke 6:40 (“A pupil is not above his teacher but everyone after he has been fully trained, will be like his teacher—a blind man cannot guide a blind man, can he? Will they not both fall into a pit?”) Are spiritually blind teachers teaching our children and leading them astray?

N. Romans 12:2 (“Be not conformed to the pattern of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”) Public schools conform our children to the pattern of this world.

O. Prov. 22:6 (“Train up a child in the way he should go, even when he is old, he will not depart from it.”) We need to train our children in God’s ways now so they will walk in righteousness as adults.

P. I Samuel 15:1-23 (“To obey is better than sacrifice.”) Are we trying to make a “sacrifice” to God by sending our children to public school to “save souls” while disobeying God’s clear commands to us concerning raising our children?

IV. Good versus bad “socialization” of children:

A. Proverbs 13:20 (“He who walks with wise men, will be wise but a companion of fools will suffer harm”)

B. I Corinthians 15:33 (“Be not deceived; bad company corrupts good morals”)

V. Content of true education:

A. Psalm 111:10; Proverbs 1:7 (“Fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge”)

B. Proverbs 2:6, 9:10 (“The Lord gives wisdom; from His mouth comes understanding.”)

C. Colossians 1:16-17, 2:3 (All things created by Him and for Him, he holds all together.) James 1:5 (In Christ are all treasures of wisdom)

D. II Timothy 3:15-17 (“. . .continue in the things you have learned and become convinced of . . . and that from childhood you have known the sacred writings which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.”)

E. II Tim. 2:15 (“Study to show yourself approved to God, handling accurately the Word of truth.”)

F. James 3:13-18 (Wisdom not from above is earthly, natural, demonic. Wisdom from above is “pure, peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy.”) Whose wisdom are your children being taught?

G. Psalm 119:97-101 (The goal of education is to train children in God’s law so they can govern themselves, be wiser than their enemies, have more insight than their teachers, understand more than the aged).

H. Matthew 18:6 (Whoever harms one of these little ones who believe in Me, it would be better for Him that a millstone hung about his neck and he drowned in the sea.) Are we harming our children if we send them to public school?

Thoughts to remember: God’s truth and His principles are the foundation of all knowledge; children must not only be taught to believe as Christians but also to think as Christians; God’s principles must be taught to children in a comprehensive manner on a daily basis; God’s truth speaks to every academic discipline. Where would Satan like our children to be taught? Sending our children to modern public education is like playing Russian roulette with their souls!

“I have no greater joy than this, to hear of my children walking in the truth.” III John 4

Adapted from The Right Choice: Home Schooling by Christopher Klicka


I will confess it.  We are one "those" Christians.  You know, the ones that so "fanatical" that we don't participate in Halloween. 

Both my husband and I participated in Halloween when we were children and even after we became Christians in our teens.  Eventually, however, we found out the details of Halloween's origins.  After that, we could no longer participate.  We did eventually feel that we could take advantage of the world knocking on our door by passing out tracts with candy.

David L. Brown wrote many different articles concerning the origins and practices of Halloween.

One of his articles I found online is quite extensive, so I'll give a "teaser" here and then provide the link to the whole article.

INTRODUCTION TO -- THE DARK SIDE OF HALLOWEEN What's going on? The sidewalks are swarming with excited children masquerading as every imaginable creature and character. There is Batman and the Joker, Wonder Woman, witches, devils, ghosts, skeletons and even razor fingered mass murderer Freddy Krueger. These children are going door to door shouting "Trick or Treat," hoping to collect a "ton" of candy before the night is over.

Take a look at the houses the children are going up to. They are strange, too! Eerie grinning Jack-O-Lanterns watch as the children approach. Skeletons, witches, black cats and more decorate the doors and windows.

Oh yes, don't miss the "haunted house" downtown. You'll be able to find it by the long line and the strange sounds coming out of the old mansion. Likely you will find a group of kids talking about what they've just seen inside... the bloody body in the bathroom, the axe wielding maniac that chased them, the body hanging by the neck in the closet, and the bubbling pot in the kitchen filled with body parts.

Then, across town there's a party going on at a friend's house or perhaps at school. The activities are different than the usual party though. Someone is telling fortunes. Perhaps a group is playing with the OUIJA board and there is going to be a seance right after they watch the newly released horror video.

By now you have guessed what is going on. It's HALLOWEEN. To most people it seems like harmless fun. BUT, beneath Halloween's candy coating is a history of diabolical evil, evil that is directly connected to the occult and Satanism, evil that you need to be warned of!

Click here for the entire article.

Some Easter Ideas

Sorting through more files and came across some Easter idea.  I know, it's early, but I'd rather have them on here where I might remember to look verses a misc. filebox. 

The first one in available online at Easter Story Cookies along with many other places.  Here's the recipe.

Begin this recipe on Saturday, the day before Easter.

1 cup whole pecans
1 teaspoon vinegar
3 egg whites
pinch salt
1 cup sugar
zipper baggie
wooden spoon or a wooden meat hammer
duct tape or packing tape

Preheat oven to 300*F.
Place pecans in zipper baggie and let children beat them with the wooden spoon or hammer to break them into small pieces.
Explain that after Jesus was arrested he was beaten by the Roman soldiers. Read John 19:1-3.
Let each child smell the vinegar. Put 1 teaspoon of vinegar into the mixing bowl.
Explain that when Jesus was thirsty on the cross he was given vinegar to drink. Read John 19:28-30.
Add egg whites to the vinegar. Eggs represent life.
Explain that Jesus gave his life to give us life. Read John 10:10-11.
Sprinkle a little salt into each child's hand. Let them taste. Then put your pinch of salt in the bowl.
Explain that this represents the salty tears shed by Jesus's followers, and the bitterness of our own sin. Read Luke 23:27
So far, the ingredients are not very appetizing! Add 1 cup sugar to the bowl.
Explain that the sweetest part of the story is that Jesus died because he loves us. He wants us to know and belong to him. Read Psalm 34:8 and John 3:16.
Beat with a mixer on high speed for 10 to 15 minutes until stiff peaks form.
Explain that the color white represents the purity in God's eyes of those whose sins have been cleansed by Jesus. Read Isaiah 1:18 and John 3:1-3.
Fold in broken nuts. Drop by teaspoons onto wax paper covered cookie sheets.
Explain that each mound represents the rocky tomb where Jesus's body was laid. Read Matthew 27:57-60.
Put the cookie sheet in the oven, close the door and turn the oven OFF. Give each child a piece of tape to seal the oven door.
Explain that Jesus' tomb was sealed. Read Matthew 27:65-66.
Leave the kitchen. If you've been making these cookies just before bedtime, GO TO BED!

Acknowledge that the kids are probably sad that they've worked hard to make these cookies, and now have to leave them in the oven overnight. Explain that Jesus' followers were in sad when Jesus died and the tomb was sealed. Read John 16:20 and 22.

On Easter morning, open the oven and give everyone a cookie. Ask the kids to notice the cracked surface. Have them bite into the cookies. The cookies are hollow!

Explain that on the first Easter morning, Jesus' followers were amazed to find the tomb open and empty. Read Matthew 28:1-9.

One that I've used often especially with preschoolers is Empty Tomb or Resurrection Rolls.  A couple of hints from me.  Whatever you do, don't use colored marshmallows.  Passages that go well with it are John 19:40-42 and Mark 14:8 (anointed with oil).

Crescent rolls
Large Marshmallows
Melted Butter
Sugar & Cinnamon

Give each child one roll.  Place body of Jesus (marshmallow) on roll. Anoint body with oil (melted butter).  Sprinkle body with spices (sugar & cinnamon).  Wrap body in roll and seal.  (Wrapped in linen and sealed in tomb.)

Bake at 400 degrees for 8-10 minutes.  When the children eat them the marshmallow will be melted.  Jesus is not in the tomb.  It's EMPTY!

Last thing to share is the Jelly Bean Prayer.  You print up the poem and include it in a baggie or plastic egg with with mentioned jelly beans.

Red is for the blood He gave.
Green is for the grass He made.
Yellow is for the sun so bright.
Orange for the edge of night.

Black is for the sins we made.
White is for the grace He gave.
Purple is for His hour of sorrow.
Pink is for our new tomorrow.

A bag/egg full of jelly beans
Colorful and sweet
Is a prayer, is a promise
Is a friend's small treat.   OR  A loved one's treat.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Currclick's Freebie of the week

Pack your English- THANKSGIVING
Boost new words by playing these ready to print and use vocabulary games! From traditional board games to guessing pockets and tic-tac-toes, you will find educational games to practice and reinforce vocabulary with your children.
You can use the games to play daily with your children at school or home.
You can adapt the vocabulary in the games using the blank cards to meet your children's needs.
You can also expand the vocabulary connecting the words and concepts to other activities seen in class.
Children can play the games individually, in pair work or in groups.
Besides using a variety of games promotes the acquisition of new words and concepts as well as the use of different games.
CLICK HERE --->Thanksgiving:

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Free Curriculum! Yippee!!

A couple of months ago, I posted an entry about Paperback Swap.  I just wanted to give an update.  Soon after posting, I did receive the first semester textbook of Singapore Math for this year.  This week I received the texts for the second semester and first semester next year. 

They way it works, especially for curriculum, is to make your wish list.  That is what I did for these books.  I put them on my wish list.  When someone listed them, I was notified that they were available if I still want them.  Needless to say, I said yes.

Postage is paid by the sender.  It all averages out in the end since you pay the postage on the books your send.

So let your fingers do the walking over to Paperback Swap.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Why Begin a Nature Study Routine?
From's weekly newsletter 10/11/10

“Nature Study,” the term evokes either ideas of excitement and amazement, or apprehension and quandary. I remember one time several years ago of trying to be hospitable to a new homeschooling family in our community. I invited them to come over one afternoon and told them that we’d go out and do a nature study for fun with all the kids. The mom looked horrified. The kids kept asking, “What will we do?” I explained an outing where we’d go to a field full of wildflowers on our property, identify some with a field guide, maybe sketch one for a notebook entry and pick a lovely bouquet to take home. Due to their trepidation they never came! Now granted, some personalities are more suited to outdoors than others, nevertheless, all students can benefit from nature study or even just being outside. I currently teach at an environmental charter school where I hold classes outdoors. Students who could never sit still or quiet inside a classroom can be taken into the woods for class and it has a sedative effect on them. They are transformed into attentive learners.

There is a stillness, a quietness, almost a selfless outcome that nature study has upon the human soul. When one is encouraged to unobtrusively observe plant life, animal life, or even rock formations and weather patterns, focus changes. Perhaps all day long you and your student have been fastened upon completing a specific task, mastering a certain skill, or finishing a chore. When that student begins to observe nature, maybe a vein in a changing leaf or a chipmunk scurrying to prepare for winter; no longer are the thoughts, “I’ve got to get this done, then math is next, …” The mind begins to consider thoughts such as, “What is going on with this leaf. What might that chipmunk be thinking, or how on earth does he fill his cheeks that f ull anyway?” Through this surveillance the student becomes cognizant of a world outside of his daily-required motions. Now interest sparks. The door is wide open for the positive characteristics that can be learned from creation.

Consider examples seen in nature of perseverance, faithfulness, sowing and reaping, cycles and seasons; a bulb that has repeatedly forces its way through the snow each spring, a weed that springs through no discernable crack in the hot, dry sidewalk to produce a lovely flower, a mother bird who with skill and patience weaves the perfect home for her family-to-be, a tree that is gorgeous in a unique way during every season. These feats are all encouraging. You’ll find that students young and old pick up on the qualities displayed and through this observation find a confirmation to establish these traits in their own lives.

Nature study is worthy of our time. It has been disheartening as an educator to see many more children who can name numerous Disney characters than can correctly name a single tree or bird in all of God’s creation! As teachers to our children, we must regularly incorporate observing and studying the natural world into our lessons. Teaching our students to look beyond themselves and beyond man’s created amusements is an honorable characteristic and a worthy goal of instructors because of the attributes it develops in our learners. Passing on the learned behavior of purposefully making time to admire nature promotes thought processes worthy of leaders. This is evident from the impact of avid nature observers such as George Washington Carver, Thomas Jefferson, and others.

So how does one begin to teach nature study? It is simple, decide to make time for it, and then start by stopping. What? Yes, start by setting a time to stop all the tasks that make up yo ur school day and simply get outside, look and listen for a set time period, say fifteen minutes one or two times a week. You’ll find nature to be extremely intriguing and entertaining. Ask your student to go outside and follow an ant, watch a bird, or observe and insect in a flower. Gradually you and your student will want to have record of observations, and want to know the proper names of what you see. Your nature study will grow into journaling and identifying species with field guides or other resources. Maybe you would like to make crafts from natural items you find outside (a favorite of this author). How this discipline develops is your choice. This isn’t math or English where you are expected to achieve certain grade-level expectations. You are free! What a great teacher therapy! You need this too!

Currclick offers many resources to help with your nature study. Nature study is really nature enjoyment and nature appreciation. You can make it as elaborate or simple as you wish. However, don’t allow yourself to become overwhelmed by what someone else’s idea of nature study is. You know your learner best, follow your teacher instincts and begin with baby steps.

Angie Markum holds a B.S. in Secondary Education Mathematics and has been an educator since 1985 in public, private, and home schools.  She offers art, nature and math resources here on Currclick.

OHC- American Colonies

Currclick's freebie this week is a stuf of the American Colonies.
"It can be used as a stand alone unit but might serve you best along side your regular materials."

OHC- American Colonies:
Childrearing is Soulwinning. . . Or Not
Posted By Tiffany on October 7, 2010

Modern-day Christian parents can’t figure out why their children are turning away from God in droves and rejecting the faith they were raised with, and it’s not uncommon to hear older couples in churches speak with regret about their children “who aren’t following the Lord.” Bewilderment and confusion surrounds their thinking as they try to grasp how their children could have walked away when they had tried so hard to “raise them right.”

It’s undeniable at this point that Christianity is losing its youth. Although many fall away from faith during high school, the college-aged population is where Christianity is being hit the hardest.

When Christian couples set out to raise a family today, they are well aware of these statistics, but they begin their journey with the best of intentions of raising their one to two children up as godly Christians, hopeful that their children will be an exception. They may even consciously intend on making choices that they believe will help their children remain faithful and moral–taking them to church, restricting what movies they can see, and heavily monitoring and overseeing their interaction with other “worldly” children. Every Sunday morning, they faithfully bring their child to Sunday school, and every Wednesday night, their child is in attendance at Awanas or the other church children’s program. For years, they are involved in every possible church activity, but as the child grows older, the parents wonder why their child isn’t making the faith his own or doing things of his own initiative. By the end of high school or college, the parent is tired of the battles. They don’t want to fight and drag their children to the youth group; they are tired of arguing about modest clothing choices, CDs, movies, boyfriends, and everything else. They look around at the other children in the church and shrug their shoulders. It’s just hard to raise kids in this culture, and they did their best. Apparently, they were just given a child that would not be a Christian. They are saddened and downcast, thinking that they were helpless victims and couldn’t have done anything better.

So said the older mother across from me, a year ago, as we sat in the church nursery rocking babies. She told me her story: how her son had walked away from the Lord, was living with his girlfriend, and was about to have a baby. She talked about how she had always brought him to church and youth group, but she ended with a shrug of her shoulders, saying, “But we tried to raise him right, he just wouldn’t listen. I don’t know what else we could have done.”

I continued to rock the baby asleep in my arms, as she went on, “But your parents, they’re so lucky to have children like you two. Such good examples, ministering and going to a Bible college. Your parents must be so happy!”

I smiled and replied something along the lines of, “Yes, my parents did an excellent job of raising us. The tireless effort my mom put into homeschooling us has really shaped us into who we are today.”

The mother’s tone changed slightly and she replied, “I don’t know how she did it! I would have killed my two kids, I tell you that! Your mother was so lucky to have such good, patient, and quiet kids.”

She continued, “You don’t intend on doing that with your children, do you?”

“Absolutely.” I replied. “It is one of the things I look forward to the most!”

At this, shock and slight repulsion started to show on her face, and she went on to try to convince me why I should work and put my children into public school. Although I tried to present my reasoning, she was incapable of understanding where I was coming from, and she ended our conversation by saying, “Well, you’re young. You might change your mind once you have kids and have to put up with it every day!”

When I walked away from the nursery that day, my mind was just completely boggled by this interaction. Though this woman had admired the results of the training we had received at home from our parents, she failed to see the role that it played in shaping children into mature and God-loving individuals. You see, she may have thought my parents were “lucky,” as in “You must have hit the lottery jackpot and gotten two great kids!” but the truth of the matter was that my parents had put in tireless effort into shaping us into who we were. They were not “lucky,” they were obedient to God’s call to train up your child in the way they should go.

My parents did not simply take us to church and hope that Sunday school and sermons would bring us to the Father. They read us the Word, had nightly devotions, prayed and conversed with us about all of life from a Biblical viewpoint. They also led by example, and showed us what it meant to minister, love, forgive, and put God before all else.

Christian parents who trust in church ministry programs will be disappointed. There is only so much that a church can do for a child, and in the end, it was never the church who had responsibility for the child in the first place. God’s Word calls parents to train up their children, and God gives the responsibility for shaping the child’s worldview squarely into a parent’s hands.

“These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.” ~Deuteronomy 6:6-9

Notice that this verse speaks of the home having an atmosphere of godly instruction. It is all good and well to have Scripture training at church, but if the home is not the foundation of the child’s Scripture learning, results are doubtful, and the parent is not fulfilling his God-given responsibility.

In a culture where getting a “Christian” child out of the child-rearing experience appears to be “hit or miss,” it is understandable why people react even more harshly to me when I say anything about wanting a big family. To them, this is merely my way of trying to be more spiritual or a “supermom,” while increasing the chance that I will bring up children who walk away from the Lord.

But, let me tell you, I am not setting my mind on this because I think there is anything about having babies that is holy or righteous in and of itself, or because I hope to one day be viewed as “supermom.” Having children for the wrong reasons can be done with any family size in mind. Even Christian parents who have two kids because it’s “the next life step” can be wrongly going about the idea of child-rearing.

Any parent who brings a child into this world ought to do so with fear and trembling and prayer and supplication before the Lord, because a new soul–one that will live eternally–has irrevocably been created, and that soul will end up one of two places. If Christian parents truly believe what they claim to about eternity and Heaven and Hell, than I urge them to think more carefully about what choices they will make in raising their children.

It may not mean homeschooling–though I think public schooling your child will only increase those exhausting battles, and is comparable to swimming upstream–but it most certainly will mean providing a foundation of truth and Gospel learning at home, and not merely Sunday school or church camps.

May God help us to bring up godly children who will glorify Him with their lives, whether we are parents now or will be in the future!

This article orignally appeared on Tiffany’s blog, True Femininity.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Activities and Crafts by Themes

Just came across a website new to me.  It's Activity Village based out of the UK.  It has over 40 themes that include crafts and games. While a few more UK specific (although having a Robert Burns day or a unit on the Tudors might be quite interesting), most are general things.  Some include Ancient Egypt, Ancient Greece, China, Dinosaurs, Narnia, Robots and more.  There's even birthday party ideas!

Parenting and Prayer

This is from the Oct. 4, 2010 email newsletter from


Parenting - there is no greater joy, no bigger responsibility, nothing that will keep you on your knees at the Father's Throne begging for His help and wisdom more than having children. Not a day passes that I do not thank God for my family and nearly in the same breath, tell Him how inadequate I am for the job and how much I see my need for Him.

God says David, the author of most of the Psalms, was, "truly a man after God's own heart," but he was alive to witness one of his sons, Absalom, wanting more and being willing to pursue it even at the cost of decimating his own family. And David wasn't alone. Parenting issues plagued the patriarchs, too. Abraham's son Ishmael was never happy and caused problems for him from his conception. Isaac not only lost sleep over his twins, but was swindled by one of them. And Jacob had his fair share of headaches and heartaches with his 12 boys, not to mention one of his daughters. So, we are not alone or experiencing something new when we sweat over our children and their decisions.

Sometimes I wonder if one of the best things raising children has done for me is the overwhelming awareness of my own inability to do what I wanted to do. Parenting has made my reliance on the Lord stronger and steadier so that I am now in constant communication with my Father. My 10 year old, Luke, said it like this last year, "Mom, you have shown me that God is just a word away." He was saying that he is learning to pray all the time about everything, not just at meals or bedtime.

Ladies, we are faced with a job filled with obstacles, landmines, deserts and jungles and all we have is the clothes on our backs and the power of the Almighty God of the universe at our disposal - at this very instant in my writing my phone rang. It was my husband wanting to discuss something that could have severe consequences to us about one of our children!

Wow, how comforted I was to glance at the words I had just penned. So I began praying, seeking, banging on His doors, and just like He promised, He answered. I talked to this child and the Lord filled me and used me. I heard myself saying things I had never thought of before. And our child listened and apologized and sincerely promised to work on this issue. They even suggested we put it on the calendar to talk about it again in a week to check up on their progress.

Our God will do the same for you. The reason we need to be in constant prayer isn't so that God will hear you, it is so that we will hear God. Don't let fear of parenting paralyze you, don't let lack of prayer keep you from the Father, and don't let anything rob you of the daily loving of your children!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Not doing the whole thing and still getting it done.

I'm sure that this will not be a surprise to veteran home educators.  It's a relatively new practice to me, however, since it's rarely practiced in a classroom sitting.  Here it don't have to do all the problems.  Not all the problems on a page need to be done in order to prove competence!  Imagine the possibilities!

Yes, sometimes in the classroom I would say, "Do all the odds," or "Do all the evens," but that was the extent of skipping some of the problems.  Doing all the problems in a classroom is necessary to a certain extent regardless if it's a class of 6 or a class of 26.  This is because of the wide range of abilities within a single classroom.  There will be a few students who "get it" after only one or two problems.  The majority will comprehend after a few more problems while the remaining few will need all of them (and possible more) to understand.

Of course, I've just described one of problems with a classroom education.  It requires that you teach to the median which then leaves the above average and slower than average students to become either bored or struggle.  Educating at home allows you to modify according to the needs of your student.

For instance, when I was faced with 15 problems of the same type, I selected four different problems. If she got them all correct, that would be it.  We'd be done.  If she missed a few, I gave her a few more or possibly even demonstrated how to do this again if I thought it was necessary and then gave her a few more.  Repeat as needed! 

This helps to really limit frustration and saves time.  It also allows you to move on as needed.

Sometimes, the next day, I might return to the page and do one or two more problems in review before continuing on to the next concept.  It's actually helpful as a review, but also, since they've been mastered already, it starts math out on a big positive.  I find that setting that positive mindset really helps with my daughter.

Learning as I go.

The Value of Listening


Parenting Tip

October 7, 2010
The Value of Listening

Jesus said, “out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks" (Matthew 12:34). Parents can use this principle to gain some understanding and insight into a child’s heart. Listening becomes key.

It’s surprising how many times we ask kids why they don’t talk to their parents and hear the answer, “Because they don’t listen to me.” Yes, it’s true some children confuse listening with agreeing. On the other hand, we find some parents really don’t listen to their children, whether they agree or not. They’re irritated by the lack of logic, the different viewpoints, or the na├»ve opinions of their children.

Listening can feel like torture as a child goes on and on about things that don’t make sense to the parent. It’s in these moments, however, that parents can learn a lot about a child’s heart. Children may be wrong, but they’re usually following some kind of internal logic. Listening allows you to figure out what's going on and offer more truth where helpful.

As you listen to your kids talk, try to discern what may be distracting them from understanding the truth. Don’t feel like you have to point it out on the spot. Take time to listen and make mental notes of errors in their thinking. Look for creative ways to help them understand truth more fully.

An accepting, safe, listening ear, often opens the heart in ways that nothing else can. As you listen to your child, you’ll learn about dreams, goals, and commitments. Good or bad, time spent listening to your children gives you a greater sense of what’s going on inside, offering you ideas and direction about the heart change that’s needed.

...This parenting tip was taken from the book, Parenting is Heart Work, by Dr. Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller, RN, BSN.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Multiplication tables - structured drill video

Another great math video from!  This time it's about multiplication drills.

Monday, October 4, 2010

CurrClick Freebie this week

"Simple Schooling Leif Erickson is a 17 page unit study about the Viking explorations in the Northern Hemisphere. It covers Leif Erickson’s father Eric the Red, his childhood, early exploration, and trip over the North Atlantic to the Western Hemisphere.
There is a memory, vocabulary, timeline, and matching worksheet as well as a poem and links to Simple Schooling resource page for videos and other web activities."
 Simple Schooling Leif Erickson

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Posted By Kelly Crawford on September 29, 2010

Some may have never even heard the term “catechism”, so, briefly, it is a summary of the basic Christian beliefs in a Q & A format.

Years ago, catechizing children–that is, having them memorize the catechisms–was as natural for a Christian parent as teaching their children their ABC’s.

Currently, few Christians even know what it means. I submit that the loss of the catechism tradition plays a huge part in why many Christians are so shallow in their knowledge of theology and the Bible.

As a parent, few things are as important as teaching our children how to handle the Word of God–which begins with the basic tenets of our beliefs. It should be FIRST on our list!

And the catechisms make it so easy. To a parent who asks, “How do I teach the Word of God to my children?” There isn’t an easier answer than to begin with the simple instruction of the catechisms.

We prefer the Shorter Catechisms with our children–and even as named such, there are 107 questions and answers to prove challenging to even adults!

As already mentioned, great spiritual heroes of the past were taught these tenets of the faith as early as they could talk, and expected to learn them before anything else.

I admit that we have waxed and waned in our teaching of the catechisms. But my husband and I were talking last night that we need to revisit the practice and see it through.

These make GREAT exercises for school, by the way, particularly incorporated into copy work.

I challenge you…it may seem overly simple or pointless, but I think you’ll be amazed at how much wisdom and knowledge is imparted through these questions, and how often you’ll refer back to them as you daily instruct your children.

Columbus Day

The Old Schoolhouse Magazine sent out their "Teacher's Toolbox" with resources about Columbus Day.  I thought I'd share them here.

The History Channel has a series of video excerpts from its programs on Columbus, including historical re-creations. Click on the thumbnail images on the right.

How Stuff Works also has many short videos about Columbus.

Here's a story and quiz page from about Columbus.

Test your knowledge about Columbus in this game.

Help Christopher Columbus make it to his destination with these mazes.

Lots of fact and coloring pages can be found at

Older students can read an entire book online about Christopher Columbus.

Learn about the history of Christopher Columbus.

Read about the history of Columbus Day from

Get hands-on with this fun craft.

Design your own crossword puzzle or use specific suggestions.

Use this wordsearch to help students learn important words about Christopher Columbus.

Sing out loud with these words sung to familiar tunes from

Think you have enough drama in your day? Not like this! has some fun plays about Christopher Columbus.

Cook up a good lesson with these time-appropriate recipes from

While the older kids are reading, use these coloring pages to keep the little ones occupied.

Blog Archive