Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Homeschooling Perspectives

I was looking for a word document on my hard drive today and ran across this (partial) article by Adam Andrews from the Center for Literary Education, www.centerforlit.com. I am not sure where this article came from. I thought it was interesting and might cause some of my homeschooling friends to want to investigate Adam's materials more extensively if you haven't already done so.

Hope you have a terrific Tuesday!

Three Kinds of Education:
A Buyer’s Guide

By Adam Andrews
When you decided to homeschool your children, you made a shrewd move: you chose to treat education as a commodity. Not content meekly to accept the government’s general issue brand, you declared yourself a consumer in the education market, with the same rights and privileges of all consumers everywhere – namely, the right to choose between options; the right to decide whether, and what, to buy.
Boy, the decisions came thick and fast after that, didn’t they?
What books to read? What tests to take? Which math curriculum is best? Which book prepares Johnny for the college boards? What about phonics? Latin, French, both or neither? Science now or science later?
Every homeschooler is of necessity a curriculum designer, and these are all important decisions. It may be helpful to consider that although the number of curriculum choices on the market increases daily, there are really only three types of education to choose from.
First, there is “practical” education. This kind of education is designed to give students a basic set of skills that will enable them to function in society and will help them avoid becoming a burden on the public weal: skills like reading a newspaper, driving a car, balancing a checkbook, operating a computer, playing on a basketball team or filling out a job application.
The ultimate goal of “practical” education is the creation of good citizens. Students who are the products of such education learn how to behave, and their parents and teachers are primarily concerned with having them turn out to be well adjusted citizens of their neighborhoods and communities.
The second type is “professional” education. This kind of education is designed to produce experts in a particular discipline. The fields of engineering, higher math and science, advanced computer programming, architecture, medicine, law, business and information technology teem with students who have this sort of training.
“Professional” education produces students who know lots and lots of information about a relatively narrow field of inquiry. These students are experts - specialists. They have been taught more than simply how to behave; they’ve also been taught how to perform – that is, to apply their specific knowledge, when asked or hired to do so, to a specific type of situation. Parents who desire this kind of education for their kids are often primarily concerned with having them get good, high paying jobs.
The third type of education available to the choosy consumer is “philosophical” education. This kind of education is concerned primarily with reading great books, studying world languages, and writing about ideas. It’s designed to give students the ability to tell the difference between truth and falsehood; to recognize the timeless principles that make successful societies possible and to communicate these ideas to their neighbors.
A “philosophical” education produces students who are not only capable of choosing good over evil but also capable of leading their fellow men in the pursuit of good…

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Where We Can Rest

Here's another of my favorite songs from Steven Curtis Chapman's Glorious Unfolding album. 
May the lyrics speak peace to your heart as you too rest in Him.

Feet of Jesus
~Steven Curtis Chapman

At the feet of Jesus I will lay my burdens down
I will lay my heavy burdens down
In the stillness I can hear my Savior calling out
Come to me and lay your burdens down

So I will lay down my struggles
I will lay down my shame
All the fear I drag around through this life
like a ball and chain
(All my questions and confusion)
I will sing Hallelujah to the One who sets me free
And you will find me at the feet of Jesus

In the arms of Jesus I will find my peace and rest
I hear him calling come to me and rest
Carried by my shepherd cradled tightly to His chest
There and there alone my soul finds rest

So I will rest in the shelter of my Savior’s embrace
Hidden safely in the refuge of His mercy and His Grace
And I Will Sing Hallelujah to the One who sets me free
And you will find me in the arms of Jesus

At the feet of my Savior
At the feet of my King
I will bow down and worship
I will lift my voice and sing
Hallelujah Hallelujah to the One who sets me free
You will find me at the feet of Jesus

Friday, August 22, 2014

What Is Intended: A Reminder

This is one of my favorite songs from a favorite album. I know, there are some of you who will not understand how Laura can possibly enjoy this style. You don't know me very well if that's the case. :)

It's okay. A lot of folks from my CHM background love Southern Gospel. I don't. Funny as it may seem to some, I was discouraged from listening to SG as a child. I'm happy for whatever helps you come before Abba to worship Him "in spirit and in truth."

If the words and the spirit of "Glorious Unfolding" don't evoke in you excitement and hope for what we have entrusted to Jesus, I'm truly sorry. This song inspires me, motivates me, and gives me a fresh reminder of good things to come! It helps me go about my housework with higher energy, a smile on my face, and a happy, hope-filled heart.

Pay close attention to the lyrics. Try to not let the "style" (if it is foreign to you) distract you from them. As you listen, may you be reminded of where we believers are headed, in spite of all the dark, sad, scary, disconcerting headlines these days!

I'm convinced we are headed for a Glorious Unfolding!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

What's The Big Deal?: Parenting with Eternity in Mind

Most of us have felt it, but have we chosen wisely once we've thought through the feelings?

It's almost time for youth drama (or choir or whatever event it might happen to be). My child is eleven, but the age for being in youth is twelve. She looks at me with those longing eyes, "Mama, can I pleeeeeeeeease be in it? I'm almost twelve. Just one more month, and I'd be old enough."

I feel her pain. I ache for her.

If I follow my feelings and the authorities will allow it, I'll make it happen.

But what is the eternal perspective of this scenario? Is there more than meets the eye?

"She really wants this. It's not a bad thing," I could reason. "In fact, it's a good thing. I'm so glad she wants to be involved with the youth at church! Her closest friends are already twelve, and she feels left out. What's the big deal? There's no major difference between eleven and twelve anyway, especially if it's eleven years, eleven months! Who could be ridiculous enough to enforce that?!"

If we take this seemingly innocent-all-too-common path, I believe we are helping push our children the wrong direction.

If we try to look through the eyes of Christ and New Testament teaching, is this not an accurate view of what is really going on?

"Mama, there is something my flesh wants badly. I want it more than anything in the world at this moment. I don't like feeling left out, and my feelings are what matter most. I don't care what the rules are or what they are for. I know what I feel. I don't care what anybody else in the church family or fellowship thinks or believes. I know what I want. I don't care about other kids whose parents won't let them join until they are twelve. Let them fend for themselves. I want what I want. So make it happen, Mama. Get me what I want."

So many seemingly small things can push us down the path of following the flesh. The habits we form as children will likely dictate what we become later in life (or at least what we will struggle with most.) God help us all as parents to do whatever we can to build our children's resistance to what is probably the biggest battle we Christians must fight.

Godspeed, my dear readers!