Tag Archives: Bible

Attentiveness

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This past school year I added some character development studies to our homeschooling lessons.  These studies have proved to be a great opportunity for our family.  Homelife Ministries has wonderful family character quality guides.  E and B found much to notebook and journal about and as a family, we found much to discuss, memorize, and put into practice.  J, Z, and I made several lapbooks of the same studies from Homeschool Share.   The Homeschool Helper Online has some good ideas for character studies, too.  (Links are at the end)

I was able to include the subjects of Bible, History, Science, Music and Language Arts into each study making for simplified days with lots of time to pursue elective interests.  These charactier development lessons were a welcome break in between topics in our usual history studies.  We  completed six such studies this past year.  We will be adding more next school year.

“Pay attention! ” “Watch what you’re doing.”  “Listen.”  These are things parents say to their children on a regular basis.  I know I say these often during our homeschooling days, whether it is during math, cooking, art, or whatever.  If I would listen, I would hear the Father saying those same words to me just as often.   Attentiveness seems to be an across the board kind of character trait that both my children and myself need to further develop.  Attentiveness was good place to start with our new studies.  Though all of our character development lessons were good, this one was my favorite.  This one is also the most reviewed one.

This is J’s and Z’s attentiveness lapbook.   I covered the back with  clear contact paper so they can do the wordsearch puzzle with washable markers again and again.

 attentive 1  attentive 2

Below are the free resources I used for this and our other character development studies.  These are the links I’ll be going to again as we continue our lessons when our homeschooling starts back full time in the fall.

Hymns, Scriptures, application, examples, and science connections for copywork,  notebooking, journaling, and discussion from  http://www.characterjournal.com/  (scroll down a little bit then select the character quality from the list on the right sidebar)

Lapbooking and notebooking materials  http://www.homeschoolshare.com/character_lapbook.php

A few more ideas from  http://www.homeschoolhelperonline.com/character_studies.shtml

For other posts about character development  https://stilllearningsomethingnew.com/2013/03/08/keeping-the-code/ and https://stilllearningsomethingnew.com/2013/03/10/calling-for-reinforcements/ and  https://stilllearningsomethingnew.com/2013/05/10/but-he-has-a-good-heart/  and  https://stilllearningsomethingnew.com/2013/06/10/1654/

betty jo

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Rewinding

turnip

I did not just “fall off the turnip truck”, and I have “been around the block a few times”, meaning that I’m not naive, inexperienced, or immature.

I know that from time to time I will be in a disagreement  with others.  I am aware that conflicts happen within families, churches, neighborhoods, and groups.  I find myself currently involved in yet another conflict that the outcome will affect others.  This time the differences in opinions have left me shocked, angry and hurt.

It has been a week since the disagreement and I am still devoting too much of my time and energy dwelling on it.  Dwelling on the disagreement, not the solution.  My family knows about this situation that I’m having a difficult time with.  My kids are watching me and my reactions.  I realize that lately I have not been “practicing what I preach” or “walking the walk”.  I’m showing my kids what not to do instead of showing the right thing to do.

As of this very moment I am prayerfully changing my attitude.  The Holy Spirit is reminding me of the Scriptures I should be applying.  First there is this one,

Matthew 5:9  Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.

I desire to be a blessed child of God.  I will allow peace to take over my attitude so that the hurt and anger will no longer have a place.

Next, the Word reminds me of more principles to apply,

1 Corinthians 13:5  It [love] does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.

Ouch!  I’m guilty of not acting in love.   I have dishonored those I’ve disagreed with.  I’ve thought badly of them.  I’ve spoken some of those dishonorable thoughts out loud.  I have been rather self-seeking, self righteous, and closed minded.  I was easily, very easily,  angered.  I know why, too.  It’s because of the records of wrongs I keep against them.  It’s true, I keep a mental list of everything, both little and big, that has ever offended me.  This list is not helping with finding solutions.  It is keeping my focus off of the matters at hand ,therefore keeping us from resolving the issue.  I’m laying my list down and will try not to pick it up again.

Proverbs 19:11  A person’s wisdom yields patience;  it is to one’s glory to overlook an offense.

I’ll be getting over my hurt ego now and letting go of the anger.  I’ll be moving forward toward a resolution with both wisdom and patience.  This new and improved attitude is not just for my own benefit, but for the group of people this disagreement affects.  I also want my kids to see me doing what is right, setting a good example for them to follow.  They will always be involved in conflicts, too.  It’s just part of life.

God isn’t done with us any of us yet.  He guides and equips us through conflict.  He forgives us.  He encourages us with hope.  He reminds us of who we are and sometimes rewinds us to start over with the right attitudes.

betty jo

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But, He Has A Good Heart

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“No, he’s not a Christian, but he’s got a good heart.”

“NO, he’s unemployed!  He lives in his van down by the river.  He smokes weed for dinner…”

“But, he’s got a good heart!”

The van in the photo does not have anything to do with our family, it just happened to be parked at the neighbor’s across the street from our house.   And that conversation, thank GOD, was not between my E17 and me, or about one of my boys.  It was from last Sunday’s sermon.  My church is just one of many Life Church TV locations.  That means when we meet, we watch a sermon on a video feed along with people all over the world.  This past Sunday Pastor Craig tackled the message of purity in the second part of the sermon series, Bless This Home.

Matthew 5:8   “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.”

Usually I do not think much about my long-term goals as a homeschooling mom because I’m so busy just trying to meet our immediate daily goals.  But I do have some long term goals.  One is to help my children learn to “see God”.

According to Matthew 5:8,  this means that I must teach them the importance of purity.  I have found that trying to teach my kids purity is most difficult as so much of the world seems so very determined to teach them impurity.

Sunday’s message has me asking myself these questions, and realizing that I currently have much that can be improved on about the attitude of purity in both my personal life and teaching about this Godly attribute to my kids.

1) How would you describe the current condition of your heart? 2) What impurities have you allowed into your family? What can you do to remove them? 3) What steps do you need to take to create a permanent culture of purity in your family?

As my kids and I seek answers to those questions we’ll be meditating on these Scriptures from my sermon notes.

Jeremiah 17:9-10  “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it? “I the lord search the heart and examine the mind, to reward each person according to their conduct, according to what their deeds deserve.”

Ephesians 4:18-19 NIV  “They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts. Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, and they are full of greed”.

Psalm 119:9-10 NIV  “How can a young person stay on the path of purity? By living according to your word. I seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from your commands.”

Proverbs 4:23 NIV  “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”

1 Samuel 16:7 NIV  “But the lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the lord looks at the heart.”

Ephesians 5:3 NIV  “But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people”

.Ezekiel 36:26 NIV  “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.”

To view other teaching purity related posts click here  https://stilllearningsomethingnew.com/2013/03/08/keeping-the-code/   and here   https://stilllearningsomethingnew.com/2013/03/10/calling-for-reinforcements/

You can view  Bless This Home 2  here   http://www.lifechurch.tv/watch

betty jo

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Train Up A Child?

Proverbs 22:6 says, “Train up a child in the way he should go,
And when he is old he will not depart from it.”   This is one of the homeschooling parent’s favorite verses.  This verse is what motivates Christian parents to teach their own kids in their own homes. This encourages us to seek out Bible based curriculum.  

Just in case Christian homeschooling isn’t enough, we add church, Sunday school, youth groups, AWANA, Keepers of the Faith Clubs, UPWARDS, etc.  We try to “socialize” our kids with other Christian homeschoolers by joining support groups and co-ops.

We are careful about how much tv , secular music, internet, social media, or video games they are allowed.  We monitor their reading choices.  We enforce modesty.

But, we don’t want our kids to be too “sheltered” as we fear they won’t know how to act once they enter into the “real world”, so we get them involved in mission projects.  We add current event studies to our homeschool days.  Sometimes we may go as far to watch a Twilight DVD or an episode of Teen Mom with our teenage girls or some Alien Zombie Something with the teen boys so they can find out for themselves just what all the hype is about.

Is this enough training in the “way they should go”?  A homeschool parent has hope that it’s enough.  But a homeschool parent also has doubt.  At least this homeschool mom has doubts  sometimes.

I’m taking a serious look at how I have been training mine.  It’s not only because A-21 is struggling to make a place in his post homeschool world, it’s also because of a new blog and social media site I stumbled on.  In fact I’ve been shedding tears over it.  My heart is breaking for those who have written articles.   The site?  Homeschoolers Anonymous.

These former homeschoolers have written several articles.  I only read a few before tears blurred  my vision.  They share stories of abuse, of being social outcasts and misfits.  Some have written about “breaking free” of the faith they were taught by their parents.  Homeschoolers Anonymous has a mission statement.  The following is what I copied and pasted from their site:

“The mission of Homeschoolers Anonymous is:

1. To bring awareness to the suffering many children experience through aspects of certain homeschooling subcultures

2. To educate the public about the inner workings and politics of the homeschooling world

3. To provide a voice against some of the extreme positions from within homeschooling ideology

4. To inspire others to speak up about abuse and control

5. To give hope to those who currently suffer from abuse and control

6. To bring healing to those who have escaped an abusive or controlling home environment and provide new survivors with resources for developing independence

7. To create a community of shared experiences”

E17 knew I was upset.  I confided in her.  I told her about Homeschoolers Anonymous.  She tried to assure me that she’s glad that she’s been homeschooled.  She does not think she’s been overly sheltered.  She does not think I’ve forced my faith on her.  She says that she’s planning to homeschool her own children some day.  She gave me hope.

I’m praying about the training.  I want it to be in the way they should go.  I’m praying about the way I teach and the way my kids learn.  I’m praying that I’m not being too controlling or forceful.  I’m praying that they will never feel that they have been brainwashed or have to “break free” from their mom’s faith.  I’m praying that my kids will know that I love them more than anything else on earth.  And I am praying that they will come know, love, and follow Jesus through something I said or did or had them do.

Here’s the link to Homeschoolers Anonymous:  http://homeschoolersanonymous.wordpress.com/about/

betty jo

Gothic Revival in Western Kentucky

We toured some local historical churches with our homeschool support group. The three we visited are over 100 years old.  Not that old on the scale of old churches around the world, but old enough to have history.  Each of these were designed in a Gothic Revival manner, meaning that they look like mini middle age cathedrals.

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c t e   church door

The windows we admired were beautiful stained glass,  the Bible in art,  just like those windows from long ago when the common man could not read the stories for himself, but instead saw them in the church windows.

church tour 1   c t 4 c t a c t b c t c c t d

 As I stood amazed at the artisan skill,  I was humbled at the thought that God chooses not these fine buildings for his home, but  us.  “Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God.” (1 Corinthians 6:19)

 One of the tour guides reminded us of this lesson from Luke 21:5-6,  “Some of his disciples were remarking about how the temple was adorned with beautiful stones and with gifts dedicated to God. But Jesus said, “As for what you see here, the time will come when not one stone will be left on another; every one of them will be thrown down.”  I’m glad to have seen these and shared them with my kids and friends before that happens .

betty jo

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Concerned Teacher

Math lessons are the least of my homeschool concerns for this coming up homeschooling week.  Well, for that matter, neither is anything “common core” a big concern for this new week.  Nor is our homeschool group field trip.  So, what is it that concerns me about this week?  It’s this,  “Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly.” (James 3:1)

 I’m concerned about how the judgement of  my teaching at the end of the week will turn out.  Will I have demonstrated Godly behavior?  Did I teach them Bible truths as we went about our day?  Was I slow to anger and quick to forgive?  Will my kids know without a doubt that I love them and think they are wonderful?  Did I encourage them?  Did I go about my work without grumbling or complaining?  Do they know their Savior better because of something this momma said or did?

These words haunt me as I plan for our school week, “If anyone causes one of these little ones—those who believe in me—to stumble, it would be better for them if a large millstone were hung around their neck and they were thrown into the sea.” (Mark 9:42).

God help me.

And I’m praying that maybe, just maybe, the week will end with a judgement like this, “True instruction was in his mouth and nothing false was found on his lips. He walked with me in peace and uprightness, and turned many from sin.” (Malachi 2:6)

betty jo

The Homeschool Village

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Calling For Reinforcements

Sometimes Christian based homeschooling isn’t enough.  Sometimes Sunday school, youth groups, or attending church aren’t enough either.  Sometimes it’s wise for parents to call for reinforcements.  It can be beneficial to seek other options for the hard topics.  And one of the most difficult  topics, we as parents have to face with our teens is “purity”.

The little time we spend in discussion of keeping oneself pure is not much compared to all the sources pouring impurity into our youths –  books, movies, TV, the internet, magazines, fashion, music and more.  We parents can so easily be viewed as “old fashioned” and our instruction not relevant for today.

E17 went to “The Silver Ring Thing”.  This is a national event tour.  The speakers are young and hip.  The bands are popular and fun.  But the important thing is they dare their audience to defy  cultural norms.  They speak out in truth about dating, love, faith, and sex. These folks are our reinforcements and I’m so glad to have them on our side in this cultural war.

Now when E17 is faced with tough choices about life and love she will have more to base her decisions on than just what mom said or a Scripture verse from a youth group lesson.  Now, she has something more, she has this Silver Ring Thing to reinforce her beliefs and values.  And I’m relieved.

Here is the Bible verse theme from Silver Ring Thing:

1 Thessalonians 4:3-5   The Message (MSG)

1-3 One final word, friends. We ask you—urge is more like it—that you keep on doing what we told you to do to please God, not in a dogged religious plod, but in a living, spirited dance. You know the guidelines we laid out for you from the Master Jesus. God wants you to live a pure life.

Keep yourselves from sexual promiscuity.

4-5 Learn to appreciate and give dignity to your body, not abusing it, as is so common among those who know nothing of God.

And here’s the link to the Silver Ring Thing Promo:

betty jo