by Mike McHugh
Many reasons could be given as to why Christian parents should home school their children.
The number one reason why home education is so valuable, however, stems from the fact that it is the best God-ordained instrument for child evangelism and family reformation in the world. This statement may come as a surprise to many people, including those who claim the name of Christ, for most parents that consider evangelism important are more likely to assume that secular day schools are the best place to spread one’s faith to others. The Bible, however, clearly teaches ( Click for more )
Most parents are aware of the true saying, "The family that prays together, stays together." Far fewer parents, however, know that "The family that reads together, grows together." In the days before television and computer games, family reading was one of the most popular and cherished aspects of family life. Today, it is rare to find a family that incorporates the reading of good books into their weekly routine, even though such an activity is so easy and inexpensive to pursue. More parents need to recognize the immense value of family reading, and to learn how to develop this wholesome ( Click for more )
A common concern among home educators today centers around the subject of "burnout". More than a few recent books or newsletters have contained testimonials describing the plight of home school parents who pushed themselves to the point of exhaustion and experienced burnout. Most parents who end up in this depressed state for a season have simply set unrealistic goals for themselves and their children or perhaps have pursued certain objectives at a pace that was wrong for their families. These occasional testimonies should not be surprising, however, for as long as human beings remain ( Click for more )
It is not uncommon for parents contemplating home education to ask, "Is home education legal in my state?" or perhaps, "How can I be sure that the state will grant me the freedom to educate my own children?" In light of these familiar questions, one more question needs to be asked: "How many parents in America today still believe that they have been endowed by their Creator with the inalienable right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness?"
The sad reality is that a significant number of parents in the United States have lost the meaning of liberty as expressed in ( Click for more )
In Acts 13:36 states: "For David, after he had served his own generation by the will of God, fell on sleep, and was laid unto his fathers, and saw corruption:"
This passage from the book of Acts should remind Christian home school parents of the fact that every soul born under heaven has a God-ordained destiny that he or she is designed to fulfil in their generation. Just as it was no accident that David was born at a particular period in history to a unique set of parents, so it is with each human being. No child born into this world enters it by accident: by good luck ( Click for more )
It is often difficult for concerned parents to know how early they should get their children involved in reading and other "academic" subjects. There are so many mixed messages being put forth these days. Some experts tell moms and dads to get their youngsters in formal education as soon as possible --- fill those minds with masses of information! Others direct parents to wait until their children feel like learning, and actually encourage parents to avoid formal academic training until youngsters reach age eight or nine. Both extremes, and they are extremes, suggest that parents will ( Click for more )
Nearly half of the states within the U.S. require home school students to pass standardized achievement tests each year. These testing laws were enacted several years ago by those legislators who bought into the notion that such testing was the least intrusive way for the state to monitor home taught children to ensure that they were receiving an education that was comparable to students in the public schools. Sadly, this logic is being accepted by a growing number of home educators and home school associations across the United States who are weary of haggling with state school officials ( Click for more )
The covenant of marriage and the calling of home schooling share one basic need that is critical to their survival ---- commitment. Parents will never be able to convince their children of their need to be committed to the task of education, unless they as parents display a consistent level of commitment in their marriage relationship. It should come as no surprise that there is a clear correlation between the growing number of broken marriages in the United States and the rise in the number of students who decide to drop out of school. How easy it is for husbands and wives to forget ( Click for more )
Does your home school family have a “story hour” several times each week? If not, you need to incorporate this wonderful exercise in to your schedule. Stories have a special way of powerfully communicating important truths and character-building principles in a manner that is difficult to rival. The fact that the Creator often chose to communicate His will to the human race through the use of morally laden stories is a stunning reminder of just how well adapted stories can be to getting truth into the heart.
Stories that combine a healthy balance of intense action, ( Click for more )
For too many teachers, including those from the realm of home education, the act of reviewing a student’s work is commonly regarded as an optional step that may be dispensed with if time is lacking. This mindset is as familiar as it is misguided, for the process of reviewing a student’s work remains one of the essential steps in successful teaching. It is often the lack of a thorough review that sets children up for failure, as teachers press students in to new lessons, or even new subjects, before they are adequately prepared by their previous studies. When teachers fail ( Click for more )
One of the chief enemies of learning is distraction in the minds of pupils. A lack of adequate attention during times of instruction strikes at the heart of learning and causes a multitude of problems for both teacher and student. On occasion, apathy or a lack of attentiveness in learners can result from illness or fatigue, in which case the best remedy is for the teacher to postpone his lesson until the student is physically ready. Regrettably, however, the remedy for dealing with students who can’t stay focused is not always as simple as having them get a good nights’ ( Click for more )
One of the most common assumptions that undermines the success of home educators is that every parent is well-suited to home school without outside support or accountability. While it is certainly true that some parents have the capability to home school on an independent basis, my own experiences in the home school movement have taught me that most home educators are not best served by approaching their task as the lone ranger. In my perspective, the home school community has been receiving a rather one-sided and artificially rosy picture of independent home schooling for many years. ( Click for more )
The purpose of this article is to challenge parents to home school in a disciplined and orderly manner, for it is my sincere belief that only a structured approach to home schooling is consistent with biblical standards. This message is born out of a desire to see more parents prosper in their commitment to home school by adopting or maintaining approaches to learning that are true to Holy Scripture.
In the book of First Corinthians, chapter 14, we read, "Let all things be done decently and in order." In my view, more parents need to ask themselves, "Does our approach to home ( Click for more )
Have you ever noticed how many popular toys, particularly for boys, are "action heroes"? Children are naturally drawn to strong personalities that they often use as role models. Names like Superman, Spiderman, Wonder Woman, and GI Joe are but a few of the personalities that have become part of the common vocabulary of children today. As a Christian home school dad, I have noted with some concern, however, that many of the great characters from biblical history seldom seem to appear among the listing of those individuals whom young people regard as heroes. In light of this revelation, ( Click for more )
My wife and I are just beginning our fifteenth year as home educators. On many occasions over this period of time, we have had people remark that they could not help but notice how different our children’s attitudes and behavior were compared to other youngsters. In most cases, thankfully, these remarks were intended to be complimentary, for any young person today who is respectful of authority, polite, and well spoken is bound to get noticed, as well as complimented. Sad to say, such a child is indeed a rare treasure in our modern post-Christian culture.
How ironic it ( Click for more )
The home school movement in the United States is now entering its second generation phase. The pioneers who began to home school during the 1970’s are, for the most part, finished teaching their own children and are now seeing them marry and have children of their own. It is entirely likely, however, that these second generation parents will be largely unaware of the significant price that was paid by many of the early home school pioneers to make home education possible. I am concerned that the majority of home educators today may be tempted to think that the right to home ( Click for more )
Home educators often experience the same difficulties as traditional school teachers in getting children to pay attention during times of instruction. Anyone, in fact, who has ever taught for any length of time will inevitably face students who seem lost in a fog and difficult to reach. Experienced teachers clearly understand what it is like to come face-to-face with students who are sporting a blank stare and glazed eyes. They also realize all too quickly how much of their hard work in lesson preparation can go down the drain when students are not prepared to listen to what is being ( Click for more )
Graduates, parents, families, and friends, I am honored to deliver the 2006 Commencement Address to the Christian Liberty Academy home school Class of 2006,2010. Last week during our on-campus commencement address, our speaker, State Senator Peter Roskam, commented that no one comes to a graduation service to hear the commencement speaker. I must say that I agree with that comment; but all the same I am blessed to have this opportunity to speak to you. And let me begin by saying Congratulations. Congratulations to parents, graduates, and to all that had a part in helping to make this ( Click for more )
Many of the most famous home educators from by-gone days were those who exhibited a capacity for creative genius. How different our lives would be without the intellectual exploits of inventors like Thomas Edison and the Wright brothers. We would literally be largely "in the dark" and "grounded" were it not for their accomplishments. The simple fact is that home education, properly approached, is a unique vehicle for stimulating creativity in young minds. Parents of home school students must, therefore, take the time to evaluate whether they are doing enough to encourage creativity ( Click for more )
Modern educators tend to place little attention upon the past and seldom encourage their students to draw from the wisdom of previous generations. This tendency to de-value the wit and wisdom of dynamic individuals who lived long ago, may well stem from the pagan notion that such people are connected to a more primitive time in the chain of social evolution and, therefore, have almost nothing to offer contemporary society. Christian educators, however, who reject the theory of evolution will not fail to teach their students to value morally and intellectually sound principles even ( Click for more )
Another Independence Day, July 4th celebration has come and gone in the United States. From all appearances, most Americans have almost no idea what they are celebrating on the Fourth of July except perhaps their right to party long and hard. For the record, Independence Day was originally established in the U.S. to celebrate the kindness of Almighty God in granting a weak fledgling nation a stunning victory over the mighty empire of Great Britain. Many of the leaders who lived during and after the struggle for American Independence, most notably George Washington, commented openly ( Click for more )
In early June, 2006, the United States Senate rejected a proposed amendment to the United States Constitution that was designed to protect the institution of marriage by defining marriage as a union between one man and one woman. This legislative proposal was put forth by politicians who were seeking to raise a standard against the growing efforts of those that are intent on redefining marriage to include "same sex" partners. The mere fact that such a bill was even deemed necessary, reveals the extent of the current crisis and further clarifies just how intent the forces of darkness ( Click for more )
Like it or not, people are often judged on the basis of how well they speak the common language of the culture in which they live. Numerous studies from the realm of business have consistently reported the tremendous advantage that verbally savvy businessmen have over competitors that lack a good command of the language. The simple fact is that those who can speak well will usually be more successful in whatever profession they choose to enter. This well-established principle is likely based upon the truth that individuals who possess the ability to speak clearly and ( Click for more )
A common struggle for home educators is to know how best to approach the task of teaching literature. The following article will help instructors to establish a sound philosophy for the study of literature, and will also provide teachers with useful objectives and principles to incorporate into the teaching process.
The study of literature should illuminate the issues of life with the light of biblical truth. It should dwell on themes of useful work, God’s creation, the Holy Scriptures, and the experiences of those who are striving to lead a consecrated life. In a manner ( Click for more )
One of the most common complaints of home school students is that the study of history is boring and tedious. For many students, history study involves little more than a process of becoming acquainted with a mass of irrelevant facts and dates for the express purpose of obtaining a passing grade. Although such students obviously do learn some useful information about the past while they wade through a sea of historical facts, much of what they learn ultimately goes down the memory hole or is misinterpreted.
In addition to utilizing well-written and historically accurate textbooks, ( Click for more )
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