Math Fact Fluency

Why are students frustrated by math?  Because they don’t know the basic facts.  In order to do math easily, students need to be able to write the answers to math facts instantly, without hesitation—basically as fast as they can write.

math-fluency-1

What is Math Fluency?

Math fact fluency is the ability to recall the answers to basic math facts automatically and without hesitation. Fact fluency is gained through significant practice, with mastery of basic math facts being a goal of both teachers and parents.

“Fluency refers to having efficient, accurate, and generalizable methods (algorithms) for computing that are based on well-understood properties and number relationships.” National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, 2000, p. 144

“Math fluency is the desired outcome of continuous learning and practice in math. It is more than memorizing math facts and recalling answers to questions. It is feeling confident and able to take part in math lessons and activities. It’s the ability to complete assignments and activities accurately, without hesitation.” May 23, 2016

Math

Why is it important?

Learn math without fear, Stanford expert says

Stanford Professor Jo Boaler says that students most effectively learn “math facts” working on problems that they enjoy, rather than through exercises and drills they fear. Speed pressure, timed testing and blind memorization damage children’s experience of math, she says.

(Sourced from https://news.stanford.edu/2015/01/29/math-learning-boaler-012915/ on 15.11.2018)

Some of the sub-processes, particularly basic facts, need to be developed to the point that they are done automatically. If this fluent retrieval does not develop, then the development of higher-order mathematical skills, such as multiple digit addition and subtraction, and fractions-may be severely impaired. (Resnick, 1983).

“Once procedures are automatized, they require little conscious effort to use, which, in turn, frees intentional and working memory resources for use on other more important features of the problem” (Geary, 1995).

How can we expect students to complete a complex task if the aren’t able to perform the basics of computation? Especially for students who struggles with Math and don’t get it intuitively, or the first time they try to master it.

Math facts fluency leads to higher order mathematics

Through automaticity students free up their working memory and can devote it to problem solving and learning new concepts and skills (Geary, 1994). Quite simply, a lack of fluency in basic math fact recall significantly hinders a child’s subsequent progress with problem-solving, algebra and higher-order math concepts.

Fluent math facts mean less confusion

Math facts are important because they form the building blocks for higher-level math concepts. When a child masters his/her math facts, these concepts will be significantly easier and the student will be better equipped to solve them faster. If the child spends a lot of time doing the basic facts, he/she is more likely to be confused with the processes and get lost in their calculations.

Math fact automaticity affects performance – not only in Maths

In later elementary, students have longer and more complicated computations to complete to check their understanding of various concepts. At this stage, if a student does not have his/her math facts committed to memory, he/she will spend a disproportionate amount of time figuring out the smaller calculations and risk not completing the test. This not only affects their performance in math class, but will also in other subjects, such as science and geography.

Less Math anxiety

Math can be compared to languages in some ways. Just like you have to learn to combine letters into words and words into sentences – and we have strategies like phonics and sight words to help kids to learn to read – math facts are the foundation blocks for learning the next level of Maths. There is rote learning involved in both language and math mastery. Math anxiety starts when children fall behind and can’t keep up. To avoid these anxieties, students’ early elementary years should focus on learning the foundation math skills needed for later years – math facts are among those important math skills.

When and how should I teach Math Fluency?

During middle school, kids transition from grasping foundational concepts to organizing and synthesizing information through graphing, estimating, solving equations, and more.

Math Fluency Tests

Children should learn the operations in order (addition, subtraction, multiplication and division).  If a child needs to start with addition facts, there is no need to test the other operations. NOTE: There is an exception: If a child is in 4th grade or above, multiplication facts (which can’t be counted on fingers) have priority.  Fluency with multiplication facts is SO indispensable to further math computation, fractions, and pre-algebra that you can’t wait until they have mastered addition and subtraction.  Go back for those skills later (Sourced from http://www.rocketmath.com on 15.11.2018).

 

Tech Tools for mastering Math Fluency

Tech tools can guide kids through this critical turning point with engaging activities that build their math fluency and confidence. On this list, you’ll find games that promote problem-solving, social platforms for collaborating on tough mathematical concepts, and lessons that revolve around real-world concepts to make math more meaningful to middle school students.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Elephant Learning: https://elephantlearning.com/

Matific online mathematics activities, games and worksheets for students in Grades K-6Matific

Our personal favorite is Matific:  https://www.matific.com/za/en-za/home/our-product/homeschooling/

Matific is designed by educational experts to foster the teaching and learning of conceptual understanding for K-6 students. Immersing students in an engaging learning platform, Matific covers your mathematics curriculum and supports students to achieve mastery in a playful and thought-provoking manner.

Sourced from: 

https://proudtobeprimary.com/5-tips-building-math-fluency/

https://www.commonsense.org/education/top-picks/10-best-math-tools-for-middle-school

The Charlotte Mason Way

download

We feed a child’s lively curiosity.

“But mind does not live and grow upon entertainment; it requires its solid meals,” she says. Therefore, we safeguard a child’s curiosity with the best we have to offer in books and things. Children are born learners. We can see how babies devote themselves to it—with eyes, ears, nose, hands, and mouth. We can’t do the learning for them. They do that part on their own. When we attempt to “learn them” boredom sets in. 

– Charlotte Mason

The Charlotte Mason method is based on Charlotte’s firm belief that the child is a person and we must educate that whole person, not just his mind. So a Charlotte Mason education is three-pronged: in her words, “Education is an Atmosphere, a Discipline, a Life.”

An Atmosphere, A Discipline, A Life

By “Atmosphere,” Charlotte meant the surroundings in which the child grows up. A child absorbs a lot from his home environment. Charlotte believed that the ideas that rule your life as the parent make up one-third of your child’s education.

By “Discipline,” Charlotte meant the discipline of good habits—and specifically habits of character. Cultivating good habits in your child’s life make up another third of his education.

The other third of education, “Life,” applies to academics. Charlotte believed that we should give children living thoughts and ideas, not just dry facts. So all of her methods for teaching the various school subjects are built around that concept.

 

7 Characteristics of a Charlotte Mason Education

The Charlotte Mason way is a method, not a curriculum, so understanding this will help you make the most of anything you choose to use as your curriculum to educate your children. With this method of educating, your children will learn how to learn, observe and process information. Learning the different aspects of this method will help you to educate the whole child, and growing an independent, self learner.

The teachings and philosophies of Charlotte Mason, a British educator from the last century, are currently experiencing a revival, especially among American private and home schools. Mason’s educational ideas were originally used by governesses in England to educate the children in their charge. Eventually, schools based on her philosophies sprung up throughout England, and her original training school became a college to supply teachers for the Parents’ Union Schools throughout the world.

Mason developed a lifetime love of learning in her students by actively engaging children firsthand with nature, literature, science, history, art, music, and avoiding dumbed-down materials — what she referred to as twaddle — as much as possible.

1. Habits

Charlotte believed that the development of good habits within a child provides the foundation for early education. She wrote, “The mother who takes pains to endow her children with good habits secures for herself smooth and easy days.”

For this reason Charlotte advised delaying formal academics until age six, instead advocating play and work within the gentle boundaries of the family unit.

Charlotte saw good habits as so crucial that she recommended putting all else aside if a bad habit appeared, and working with the child (in a friendly way) to reconcile the issue before it could develop further.

2. Style of Lessons

Charlotte Mason style lessons are short, especially for young children. The goal is to train the child to focus fully on their work, but only for the amount of time they are developmentally capable of.

For early elementary-aged children this often means only 5-15 minutes per subject. In older grades the duration extends to 45 minutes or more.

When a child becomes restless, Charlotte advised changing the lesson to a different type of subject–maybe moving from handwriting to music study, or from math to handicrafts.

Short lessons means that more subjects can be incorporated into a school day. This fits with the Charlotte Mason philosophy of introducing many topics to children and allowing them to delve deeper into the ones that spark their interest.

3. Living Books

Living books are the opposite of textbooks–quality literature (either fiction or non-fiction) written by an author with a passion for the topic. The writer’s passion and expertise breathes life into the book, as opposed to a textbook that gives impersonal overviews of many topics.

Living books present inspiring stories that engage the minds of children and adults alike, providing characters our children can look up to and emulate.

4. Narration

A Charlotte Mason-style education uses narration as one of the central methods to evaluate a student. The goal is to teach a child to think and express themselves clearly.

Up until the age of 10 or 11, Charlotte advises teachers to use mainly oral narration with a child. After listening to a short passage of a book, the child will tell back, in his or her own words, important aspects of the story.

Letting a young child do this orally helps them develop analytical thinking skills without getting stuck by the physical mechanics of handwriting.  At around age 11 Charlotte Mason teachers begin having children do written narrations, which lengthen and become more in depth as children get older.

5. Dictation

Dictation exercises introduce and reinforce spelling and grammar concepts.

Charlotte recommends using inspiring quotations or Scripture for dictation. The child studies the passage until they are certain of the spelling and punctuation. Then the teacher dictates the passage slowly while the child writes it down.

Formal grammar study is usually delayed until age 10 or 11 in a Charlotte Mason education.

6. Art & Music Study

Charlotte Mason believed in exposing a child to greatness in many forms, which is why she introduced music and art appreciation at her schools.

In Charlotte’s schools, one composer or artist was studied each term–both through experiencing the music and art, reading living books about the artist, and perhaps reproducing the style through art or music lessons.

7. Nature Study

Charlotte thought children should spend as much time as possible outdoors, especially as young students.

Students kept their own detailed nature journals and also used nature best roids guides to discover and identify the natural world in their neighborhood.

Charlotte Mason’s ideas created an educational revolution when she developed them. She believed that, regardless of what social class they belonged to, children deserved dignity and respect. She hoped education would open the doors of equality and opportunity to all.

Charlotte_Mason_1902_Frederic_Yates

Charlotte Mason’s educational philosophy can be characterized as a Christ-centered philosophy of education for Christian discipleship, a unique contribution in the history of Christian and educational thought.

This method of homeschooling allows you the freedom to slow down, to cherish the sweet moments of childhood, and to embrace the world around you, while completely losing yourself in the books of people, places and ideas. If you feel like you need to simplify your homeschooling, the Charlotte Mason method can help you do that.

 

Charlotte Mason Books All Homeschool Moms Should Read

Charlotte Mason books are so inspiring and full of ideas that can be implemented with any curriculum, or routine in learning.

 

51DE19C47QL._AC_UL320_SR246,320_

1.  A Charlotte Mason Companion: Personal Reflections on The Gentle Art of Learning by Karen Andreola

This modern classic is written by the homeschool mom who first carried Charlotte Mason’s writings to America in her suitcase in 1987. Miss Mason’s books were soon republished for a new generation. After ten years of intense study and successful application of Miss Mason’s principles with her own children, Karen wrote A Charlotte Mason Companion: Personal Reflections on The Gentle Art of Learning ™.

Today’s parents can now see what a Charlotte Mason education looks like in a contemporary setting while gleaning from its many benefits. Charlotte Mason’s principles of education are not only a way of learning but also a way of life. A Charlotte Mason Companion gives you powerful tools to create an extraordinary learning experience. At the turn of every page, you will meet a practical idea and the inspiration to carry it out. Chapters on using good books, heroes in history, poetry, art and music appreciation, nature study, the atmosphere of home, the discipline of habit, keeping up enthusiasm, (to name a few) are referred to again and again by Karen’s readers. Since its debut in 1998, A Charlotte Mason Companion continues to be one of the most trusted and often quoted books in the home school world. Plenty of encouragement, wisdom and gentle instruction await you in this beautifully written and beautifully illustrated book.

 

51uk2Mqo09L._SX303_BO1,204,203,200_

2.  A Charlotte Mason Education: A Home Schooling How-To Manual by Catherine Levison

The immensely popular ideas of Charlotte Mason have inspired educators for many decades. Her unique methodology as written about in her six-volume series established the necessary protocols for an education above and beyond that which can be found in traditional classroom settings.

In A Charlotte Mason Education, Catherine Levison has collected the key points of Charlotte Mason’s methods and presents them in a simple, straightforward way that will allow families to quickly maximize the opportunities of home schooling. With weekly schedules, a challenging and diverse curriculum will be inspire and educate your child. A Charlotte Mason Education is the latest tool for parents seeking the best education for their children.

 

CMexplainedcover-238x300

3. The Charlotte Mason Way Explained by Dollie Freeman

Although this method originated in the 1800’s, it is still very relevant to today’s homeschool. Learn how to implement the methods of old into today’s homeschool, while satisfying state requirements and preparing your children for higher education.

This eBook is jammed packed full of information on every method and how to teach it into today’s homeschooling using the Charlotte Mason Way, through preschool to High School. You will be getting the experience of a veteran Charlotte Mason homeschooler, who has used this method of teaching for seventeen years.

 

51tu7KnptzL._SX322_BO1,204,203,200_

4.  For the Children’s Sake: Foundations of Education for Home and School by Susan Schaeffer Macaulay

For the Children’s Sake is a book about what education can be, based on a Christian understanding of what it means to be human-to be a child, a parent, a teacher-and on the Christian meaning of life. The central ideas have been proven over many years and in almost every kind of educational situation, including ideas that Susan and Ranald Macaulay have implemented in their own family and school experience.

 

download (1)1

5. When Children Love to Learn: A Practical Application of Charlotte Mason’s Philosophy for Today by Elaine Cooper

They’re hallmarks of childhood. The endless “why” questions. The desire to touch and taste everything. The curiosity and the observations.

It can’t be denied-children have an inherent desire to know. Teachers and parents can either encourage this natural inquisitiveness or squelch it. There is joy in the classroom when children learn-not to take a test, not to get a grade, not to compete with each other, and not to please their parents or their teachers-but because they want to know about the world around them!

Both Christian educators and parents will find proven help in creating a positive learning atmosphere through methods pioneered by Charlotte Mason that show how to develop a child’s natural love of learning. The professional educators, administrators, and Mason supporters contributing to this volume give useful applications that work in a variety of educational settings, from Christian schools to homeschools.

A practical follow-up to Crossway’s For the Children’s Sake, this book follows a tradition of giving serious thought to what education is, so that children will be learning for life and for everlasting life.

 

41UnzmNh4-L._SL250_

6. Habits: The Mother’s Secret to Success by Charlotte Mason, complied by Deborah Taylor-Hough, author of A Twaddle Free Education

A selection of Charlotte Mason’s writings on the topic of Habit Formation in children. Her teachings on the topic of education required six large volumes to cover. This book makes it simple for homeschooling parents to find exactly what they need to learn about Charlotte Mason’s thoughts on establishing good habits.

Mason developed a lifetime love of learning in her students by actively engaging children firsthand with nature, literature, science, history, art, music, and avoiding dumbed-down materials — what she referred to as twaddle — as much as possible.

 

41owKhJHGbL._SL250_

7. The Outdoor Life of Children: The Importance of Nature Study and Outdoor Activities by Charlotte Mason, complied by Deborah Taylor-Hough

Book Number Two in the Charlotte Mason Topics series, The Outdoor Life of Children is a compilation of Charlotte Mason’s writings on the topics of Nature Study, teaching natural philosophy, and the importance of children being out-of-doors. Now all of Charlotte Mason’s writings on Nature Study and the outdoors (from the original six-volume set) are located in this one, easy-to-use volume.

 

51jjvv8JodL._SL250_

8. Ideas and Books: The Method of Education by Charlotte Mason, complied by Deborah Taylor-Hough

A selection of Charlotte Mason’s writings on the topic of the place of ideas and books in the education of children. Mason’s teachings on the topic of education required six large volumes to cover. This book makes it simple for homeschooling parents to find exactly what they need to learn about Charlotte Mason’s thoughts on ideas and books.

 

51gm4a4uQML._SL250_

9. The Living Page: Keeping Notebooks with Charlotte Mason by Laurie Bestvater

“We all have need to be trained to see, and to have our eyes opened before we can take in the joy that is meant for us in this beautiful life.” Charlotte Mason. “Composition books and blank journals are readily available at every big box and corner store, available so inexpensively as to be common and ironic as we reach that digital dominion, the projected ‘paperless culture.’

Shall we despair the future of the notebook? Is the practice an anachronism in an age where one’s thoughts and pictures, doings and strivings are so easily recorded on a smartphone or blog,and students in even the youngest classrooms are handed electronic tablets with textbooks loaded and worksheets at the ready? Or is there something indispensable in the keeping of notebooks without which human beings would be the poorer?” THE LIVING PAGE invites the reader to take a closer look in the timeless company of 19th century educator, Charlotte Mason.

 

41-Cs5M0RSL._SL250_

10. Minds More Awake: The Vision of Charlotte Mason by Anne E. White

To open the door to the treasures (and the treasuring) of knowledge is to set children on the journey to an intentional, purposeful life. This exploration of Charlotte Mason’s educational philosophy focuses on two “power tools,” the Way of the Will and the Way of the Reason, and examines the ways in which Mason’s principles are made practical.

 

11. Charlotte Mason: The Home Education Series

Charlotte Mason’s classic series on home education re-released at last, with a fresh transcription formatted to match the original. Large margins make this edition a pleasure read or study.

More Resources to Explore:

https://simplycharlottemason.com/what-is-the-charlotte-mason-method/

https://charlottemasonhomeschooling.com/

http://amblesideonline.org/

https://www.mfwbooks.com/wps/portal/c/about-us/charlotte-mason

https://www.thecharlottemasonway.com/charlotte-mason-curriculum/

https://cathyduffyreviews.com/homeschool-extras/approaches-to-education/charlotte-mason

My Introduction to Charlotte Mason’s Philosophies

https://www.sonlight.com/

Ambleside Online Booklist by Year

http://charlottemasonpoetry.org/contributors/

http://charlottemasonpoetry.org/parents-union-school-time-tables/

http://charlottemasonpoetry.org/notes-of-lessons/#Art-and-Architecture

http://charlottemasonpoetry.org/learning-styles-and-charlotte-mason/

 

Sourced from:

http://simplehomeschool.net/7-characteristics-of-a-charlotte-mason-education/

https://www.joyinthehome.com/10-charlotte-mason-books-all-homeschool-moms-should-read/

Miss Mason says, “…all children must read widely, and know what they have read, for the nourishment of their complex nature.”

When a child becomes a reader his true education begins. Because all true education is self-education.  By reading he envisions, hears, and feels with his developing imagination. Feeding upon ideas invites him to reason and discern. This knowledge is nourishing.

💡 Placare 📚 Docere 🎯 Movere

An ancient Roman orator once laid down for his pupils the three-fold aim of a teacher:

1. Placare (to interest) 2. Docere (to teach) 3. Movere (to move)

1. To interest the audience (in order to teach them).
2. To teach them (in order to move them).
3. To move them to action.

2e364f5968bfd08a24dc34fb6ec5ba7b

1. Placare (to interest)

I want especially to insist on attention to this rule. Some teachers seem to think that to interest the pupil is a minor matter. It is not a minor matter and the pupils will soon let you know it.

Believe me, it is no waste of time to spend hours during the week in planning to excite their interest to the utmost. Most of the complaints of inattention would cease at once if the teacher would give more study to rousing their interest. After all, there is little use in knowing the facts of your subject, and being anxious about the souls of the pupils, if all the time that you are teaching, these pupils are yawning and taking no interest in what you say.

I know some have more aptitude for teaching than others. Yet, after considerable experience of teachers whose lesson was a weariness to the flesh, and of teachers who never lost attention for a moment, I am convinced, on the whole, that the power to interest largely depends on the previous preparation.

Therefore do not content yourself with merely studying the teaching. Read widely and freely. Read not only commentaries, but books that will give local interest and color—books that will throw valuable sidelights on your sketch.

To lose their interest is fatal.

efa1cb26375fa4fbc8d7bb088b9a4c29

2. Docere (to teach)

You interest the pupil in order that you may teach. Therefore teach definitely the Lesson that is set you. Do not be content with interesting him. Do not be content either with drawing spiritual teaching. Teach the facts before you. Be sure that God has inspired the narration of them for some good purpose.

To do this requires trouble and thought.

50c4cfd927aa2a42de2f884035fa8cb3

3. Movere (to Move)

All your teaching is useless unless it have this object: to move the heart, to rouse the affections toward the love of God, and the will toward the effort after the blessed life. You interest in order to teach.

You teach in order to move. That is the supreme object.

2011755ef4e7fa0e4a7a60c1a794cb44

 

 

Sourced from http://amblesideonline.org/ProphetsKings.html on 2.09.2018

Compiled by Hanlie Wentzel

 

What Kind of Smart is my Child: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences

Compiled by Hanlie Wentzel on 2 Aug 2018.

208337-2130x1812-multipleintelligence

The theory of multiple intelligences was developed in 1983 by Dr. Howard Gardner, professor of education at Harvard University. It suggests that the traditional notion of intelligence, based on I.Q. testing, is far too limited. Instead, Dr. Gardner proposes eight different intelligences to account for a broader range of human potential in children and adults. These intelligences are:

  • Linguistic intelligence (“word smart”)

  • Logical-mathematical intelligence (“number/reasoning smart”)

  • Spatial intelligence (“picture smart”)

  • Bodily-Kinesthetic intelligence (“body smart”)

  • Musical intelligence (“music smart”)

  • Interpersonal intelligence (“people smart”)

  • Intrapersonal intelligence (“self smart”)

  • Naturalist intelligence (“nature smart”)

Dr. Gardner says that our schools and culture focus most of their attention on linguistic and logical-mathematical intelligence. We esteem the highly articulate or logical people of our culture. However, Dr. Gardner says that we should also place equal attention on individuals who show gifts in the other intelligences: the artists, architects, musicians, naturalists, designers, dancers, therapists, entrepreneurs, and others who enrich the world in which we live. Unfortunately, many children who have these gifts don’t receive much reinforcement for them in school. Many of these kids, in fact, end up being labeled “learning disabled,” “ADD (attention deficit disorder,” or simply underachievers, when their unique ways of thinking and learning aren’t addressed by a heavily linguistic or logical-mathematical classroom.

The theory of multiple intelligences proposes a major transformation in the way our schools are run. It suggests that teachers be trained to present their lessons in a wide variety of ways using music, cooperative learning, art activities, role play, multimedia, field trips, inner reflection, and much more (see Multiple Intelligences in the Classroom, 4th ed.).

How to Teach or Learn Anything 8 Different Ways

One of the most remarkable features of the theory of multiple intelligences is how it provides eight different potential pathways to learning. If a teacher is having difficulty reaching a student in the more traditional linguistic or logical ways of instruction, the theory of multiple intelligences suggests several other ways in which the material might be presented to facilitate effective learning. Whether you are a kindergarten teacher, a graduate school instructor, or an adult learner seeking better ways of pursuing self-study on any subject of interest, the same basic guidelines apply. Whatever you are teaching or learning, see how you might connect it with

  • words (linguistic intelligence)
  • numbers or logic (logical-mathematical intelligence)
  • pictures (spatial intelligence)
  • music (musical intelligence)
  • self-reflection (intrapersonal intelligence)
  • a physical experience (bodily-kinesthetic intelligence)
  • a social experience (interpersonal intelligence), and/or
  • an experience in the natural world. (naturalist intelligence)

You don’t have to teach or learn something in all eight ways, just see what the possibilities are, and then decide which particular pathways interest you the most, or seem to be the most effective teaching or learning tools. The theory of multiple intelligences is so intriguing because it expands our horizon of available teaching/learning tools beyond the conventional linguistic and logical methods used in most schools (e.g. lecture, textbooks, writing assignments, formulas, etc.).

The Natural Genius of Children

Every child is a genius. That doesn’t mean that every child can paint like Picasso, compose like Mozart, or score 150 on an I.Q. test. But every child is a genius according to the original meanings of the word “genius,” which are: “to give birth” (related to the word genesis) and “to be zestful or joyous,” (related to the word genial). Essentially, the real meaning of genius is to “give birth to the joy” that is within each child.

Every child is born with that capacity. Each child comes into life with wonder, curiosity, awe, spontaneity, vitality, flexibility, and many other characteristics of a joyous being. An infant has twice as many brain connections as an adult. The young child masters a complex symbol system (their own native language) without any formal instructions. Young children have vivid imaginations, creative minds, and sensitive personalities.  It is imperative that we, as educators and parents, help preserve these genius characteristics of children as they mature into adulthood, so those capacities can be made available to the broader culture at a time of incredible change.

Unfortunately, there are strong forces working at home, in the schools, and within the broader culture, to stifle these genius qualities in children. Many children grow up in homes which put an active damper on the qualities of genius. Factors in the home like poverty, depression and anxiety, pressure on kids to grow up too soon, and rigid ideologies based on hate and fear, actively subdue the qualities of genius in childhood such as playfulness, creativity, and wonder. Schools also put a damper on childhood genius through testing (creativity can’t thrive in an atmosphere of judgment), labeling of kids as learning disabled or ADD, boring teachers, and regimented curriculum. Finally, the broader culture, especially mass media, represses the genius in our children through its constant onslaught of violence, mediocrity, and repugnant role models.

The good news is that there is much that a teacher or parent can do to help children reawaken their natural genius. First, and most importantly, adults need to reawaken their own natural genius—find within themselves the source-waters of their own creativity, vitality, playfulness, and wonder. For when children are surrounded by curious and creative adults, they have their own inner genius sparked into action.

Second, adults need to provide simple activities to activate the genius of children. Something as simple as a story, a toy (Einstein said that a simple magnetic compass awakened his love of learning at the age of four), a visit to a special place, or a question, can unlock the gates to a child’s love of learning. Third, create a “genial” atmosphere at home or school, where kids can learn in a climate free from criticism, comparison, and pressure to succeed.

Treat each child as a unique gift from God capable of doing wonderful things in the world . Finally, understand that each child will be a genius in a totally different way from another child. Forget the standard I.Q. meaning of genius, and use models like the theory of multiple intelligences to help kids succeed on their own terms. By following these simple guidelines for awakening each child’s natural genius, you will be contributing immeasurably to the welfare of your children and to the world they will inherit someday.

Resources

(Sourced from: http://www.institute4learning.com/resources/articles/the-natural-genius-of-children/ and  http://www.institute4learning.com/ on 2.08.2018)

Mastering the Art of Language Arts

Compiled by Hanlie Wentzel on 30 July 2018.

2756f37cff19141dcb3528da3ebdbc09

 

Language arts (also known as English language arts) is the study and improvement of the arts of language. Traditionally, the primary divisions in language arts are literature and language, where language in this case refers to both linguistics, and specific languages.[1] Language arts instruction typically consists of a combination of readingwriting(composition), speaking, and listening.[2] In schools, language arts is taught alongside sciencemathematics, and social studies.[3]

(Sourced from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Language_arts on 30.07.2018)

The Language Arts

  • Listening: understanding spoken language
  • Speaking: communicating ideas through oral language
  • Reading: understanding written language
  • Writing: communicating through written language
  • Viewing: understanding visual images and connecting them to accompanying spoken or written words
  • Visually Representing: presenting information through images, either alone or along with spoken or written words

(Sourced from https://www.education.com/reference/article/language-arts/ on 30.07.2018)

What should I focus on when teaching Language Arts in our Homeschool?

A. Reading

Reading, by definition, is the ability and knowledge of a language that allows comprehension by grasping the meaning of written or printed characters, words, or sentences. Reading involves a wide variety of print and non-print texts that helps a reader gain an understanding of the material that is being read. Reading of texts that are often included in educational curriculum include fictionnonfiction, classic, and also contemporary works. Reading goes beyond calling words to understanding the information presented in a written or a visual context.

It’s a great idea to start and keep a Reading List for your homeschool, here is how and why: https://www.sonlight.com/blog/the-how-to-of-keeping-reading-lists-for-your-homeschool.html

Here are a few ideas and links to compile your own Reading List.

#Homeschool Reading Lists:

  1. https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/justin-taylor/a-complete-classical-christian-school-reading-list-grades-1-8/
  2. https://www.goodreads.com/list/tag/homeschool
  3. https://ihomeschoolnetwork.com/homeschool-reading-lists/
  4. http://www.thepeacefulhaven.com/homeschool-reading-list-kindergarten-12th-grade/
  5. https://www.theunlikelyhomeschool.com/2015/06/my-list-of-top-book-lists-and-other.html
  6. http://www.classical-homeschooling.org/celoop/1000.html
  7. https://a2zhomeschooling.com/main_articles/reading_lists_p1/
  8. https://a2zhomeschooling.com/explore/language_arts_kids/high_school_literature_english_reading_lists/
  9. https://blog.hslda.org/2015/07/16/reading-lists-for-teens/
  10. https://welltrainedmind.com/a/the-great-books-history-as-literature/
  11. https://charlottemasonhome.com/2007/05/30/literature-by-grade/
  12. https://simplycharlottemason.com/planning/curriculum-guide/literature/
  13. https://www.goodreads.com/list/show/21764.Charlotte_Mason_Method_Living_Book_List_Elementary_School

B. Composition

Composition is defined as the combination of distinct parts or elements to form a whole and the manner in which these elements are combined or related.[4] The following are examples of composing in language arts:

  • The art or act of composing a literary work (i.e. novels, speeches, poems)
  • A short essay, especially one written as an academic exercise. An essay is a short literary composition on a particular theme or subject, usually in prose and generally analytic, speculative, or interpretative. There are many types of short essays, including:

Compositions may also include:

#Homeschool Creative Writing Resources:

  1. http://iew.com/
  2. http://www.bravewriter.com/
  3. https://www.noredink.com/
  4. http://www.wtmacademy.com/handbook-faq/
  5. http://www.writeathome.com/

#Homeschool Grammar Mechanics Resources:

  1. http://iew.com/fix
  2. https://grammargalaxybooks.com/get-started/
  3. https://www.sonlight.com/homeschool/subjects/language-arts/grammar/keys-to-good-language/
  4. https://www.khanacademy.org/humanities/grammar
  5. http://www.winstongrammar.com/
  6. https://www.grammarbook.com/
  7. https://www.quill.org/tools/grammar

#Homeschool Spelling/Vocabulary Resources:

  1. https://thebookconnectionblog.wordpress.com/all-about-spelling-interactive-kit/
  2. https://spellingyousee.com/
  3. http://wordlywise3000.com/
  4. https://www.homespellingwords.com/spelling-games

#Homeschool Handwriting Resources:

  1. http://www.areasonfor.com/handwritinginfohome.html
  2. https://www.oikosfamily.co.za/store/product-category/hand-writing-series/
  3. https://practicalpages.wordpress.com/free-pages/handwriting/
  4. https://www.lwtears.com/hwt

C. Speaking

Oration and live delivery are often key components of language arts programs. This can include through dramatic interpretation, speeches, oral interpretation of poetry, and the like. Speaking is a valuable way to enhance concepts of persuasion, and develop linguistic skills.[5]

#Homeschool Public Speaking Resources:

  1. https://a2zhomeschooling.com/explore/language_arts_kids/public_speaking_kids/
  2. https://dualcreditathome.com/2017/08/homeschoolers-guide-developing-public-speaking-skills/
  3. https://cathyduffyreviews.com/homeschool-extras/electives/speech-and-debate/sound-speech-public-speaking-communication-studies
  4. https://www.toastmasters.org/
  5. https://www.homeschool-your-boys.com/public-speaking-in-homeschools/

D. Listening

Listening can be considered the basis for development of speaking, reading, and writing skills.[6] It is the act of understanding spoken language, and is often paired with speaking.

#Homeschool Read-Aloud Reading Lists:

  1. https://sherigraham.com/homeschoolers-read-aloud-guide-book-lists-websites/
  2. http://simplehomeschool.net/top-25-read-alouds/
  3. https://www.design-your-homeschool.com/read-alouds.html
  4. https://readaloudrevival.com/favorite-booklists/
  5. https://www.goodreads.com/list/tag/read-aloud

 

 

Ideation

Compiled by Hanlie Wentzel on 18 May 2018.

Ideation-header

Definition of ideation in English:

ideation
NOUN {mass noun}
The formation of ideas or concepts.
Pronunciation
ideation/ˌʌɪdɪˈeɪʃ(ə)n/

(Sourced from: https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/ideation)

What is Ideation – and How to Prepare for Ideation Sessions

BY RIKKE DAM AND TEO SIANG
(Sourced from: https://www.interaction-design.org/literature/article/what-is-ideation-and-how-to-prepare-for-ideation-sessions)

Ideation is the process where you generate ideas and solutions through sessions such as Sketching, Prototyping, Brainstorming, Brainwriting, Worst Possible Idea, and a wealth of other ideation techniques. Ideation is also the third stage in the Design Thinking process. Although many people might have experienced a “brainstorming” session before, it is not easy to facilitate a truly fruitful ideation session. In this article, we’ll teach you some processes and guidelines which will help you facilitate and prepare for productive, effective, innovative and fun ideation sessions.

Ideation is often the most exciting stage in a Design Thinking project, because during Ideation, the aim is to generate a large quantity of ideas that the team can then filter and cut down into the best, most practical or most innovative ones in order to inspire new and better design solutions and products.

“Ideation is the mode of the design process in which you concentrate on idea generation. Mentally it represents a process of ‘going wide’ in terms of concepts and outcomes.

Ideation provides both the fuel and also the source material for building prototypes and getting innovative solutions into the hands of your users.”
– d.school, An Introduction to Design Thinking PROCESS GUIDE

Ideation Will Help You:

  • Ask the right questions and innovate with a strong focus on your users, their needs, and your insights about them.
  • Step beyond the obvious solutions and therefore increase the innovation potential of your solution.
  • Bring together perspectives and strengths of your team members.
  • Uncover unexpected areas of innovation.
  • Create volume and variety in your innovation options.
  • Get obvious solutions out of your heads, and drive your team beyond them.

Why do We Need Ideation in Design Thinking?

We’ll let Grand Old Man of User Experience, Don Norman, answer this important question in a down-to-earth and very relevant way. Don Norman helps us take one step back and reflect upon why we need to challenge assumptions, ask stupid questions and provoke our current understanding, which is—in fact—what Ideation methods such as Challenge Assumptions, SCAMPER, and Provocations help us do:

“One of my concerns has been design education, where the focus has been centered too much upon craft skills and too little on gaining a deeper understanding of design principles, of human psychology, technology and society. As a result, designers often attempt to solve problems about which they know nothing. I have also come to believe that in such ignorance lies great power: The ability to ask stupid questions. What is a stupid question? It is one which questions the obvious. ‘Duh,’ thinks the audience, ‘this person is clueless.’ Well, guess what, the obvious is often not so obvious. Usually it refers to some common belief or practice that has been around for so long that it has not been questioned. Once questioned, people stammer to explain: sometimes they fail. It is by questioning the obvious that we make great progress.

This is where breakthroughs come from. We need to question the obvious, to reformulate our beliefs, and to redefine existing solutions, approaches, and beliefs. That is design thinking. Ask the stupid question. People who know a lot about a field seldom think to question the fundamentals of their knowledge. People from outside the discipline do question it. Many times their questions simply reveal a lack of knowledge, but that is OK, that is how to acquire the knowledge. And every so often, the question sparks a basic and important reconsideration. Hurrah for Design Thinking.”
– Don Norman, in Rethinking Design Thinking

According to Don Norman, asking stupid questions is not stupid at all. However, Ideation and Design Thinking is not only about challenging assumptions and asking so-called stupid questions. It’s also about going from researching and defining your users and their needs in the Empathise and Define phases and moving on into starting to come up with the right solutions for the users via Ideation methods:

“You ideate in order to transition from identifying problems to creating solutions for your users. Ideation is your chance to combine the understanding you have of the problem space and people you are designing for with your imagination to generate solution concepts. Particularly early in a design project, ideation is about pushing for a widest possible range of ideas from which you can select, not simply finding a single, best solution.”
– d.school, An Introduction to Design Thinking PROCESS GUIDE

The d.school celebrates Design Thinking, and d.school provides one of the most – if not the most – celebrated and recognised resources on Design Thinking and ideation techniques. D-school is a design school based at Stanford University in cooperation with the German Hasso Plattner Institute of the University of Potsdam. Here, we’ll introduce you to how you can prepare for Ideation Sessions based on d.school and the international design and consulting firm IDEO’s best practices.

https://dschool.stanford.edu/sandbox/groups/designresources/wiki/36873/attachments/74b3d/ModeGuideBOOTCAMP2010L.pdf

d-school, Bootcamp Bootleg, 2010:
http://dschool.stanford.edu/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/BootcampBootleg2010v2SLIM.pdf

Tim Brown, CEO of IDEO, Change by Design, 2009

Don Norman. Rethinking Design Thinking, 2013:
http://www.core77.com/posts/24579/rethinking-design-thinking-24579

Shark Conservancy @ Hermanus Old Harbour

http://www.sharkconservancy.org/

The SASC team works tirelessly to promote better understanding of sharks, engaging with local communities, students, special education groups, and our global social media platform. Our goals are to dispel myths about sharks, cultivate a sense of stewardship for the oceans and grow conservation-conscious communities around the world.

Our education and outreach initiatives are science-based, ensuring we provide our visitors and education groups with unparalleled insight into the secret world of sharks. We pride ourselves on experiential, hands-on educational programming. Education groups can book special tours of the Shark Lab or can even book special shark tagging trips with our research team.

Make them My Disciples

Compiled by Hanlie Wentzel on 10 Feb 2018.

little boy studying the scriptures.

Our kids are vital members of the body of Christ now, and like every other member of the body we should be concerned with providing opportunities for them to meet Jesus, grow in faith, and become true disciples of the Way. The best way to do that is to provide age appropriate instruction, inspiration, and opportunities for growth and service. –Isaac Hopper

The Bible is the perfect tool in training our children through discipline and discipleship. We should never underestimate the power of God through His Word. -Genna

What Kids Really Need

#1—Kids Need God
(1 Chronicles 29:11; Proverbs 2:4-5; Acts 17:24-25)

The Situation: Children ask, “What is God really like?” Schools, friends,
television, and other sources expose children to a variety of ideas. Much
of what kids hear about “god” does not even resemble the God who
reveals Himself in the Bible.

The Solution: God delights to reveal Himself to all who seek Him. Knowing
God personally and enjoying His greatness is the highest privilege
of every Christian. The Bible is the one inspired place to find out about
God—His personality, His attributes, His Names, and His character.

#2—Kids Need Reverence
(Luke 12:4-5; Philippians 2:12)

The Situation: Children wonder, “Why fear God?” Though kids often
hear about God’s love, they rarely learn about the fear of the Lord. They
are largely unaware that God commands people to fear and revere Him.
As a result, children show disrespectful, indifferent, or flippant attitudes
toward God.

The Solution: To those who fear Him, God promises deliverance, love,
protection, restoration, and reward. Those who know the Lord God Almighty
possess a deep reverence and awe for Him. The “fear of the Lord”
provides exclusive access to the halls of knowledge and wisdom. In fact,
learning cannot take place until we fear the Lord! (Proverbs 1:7).

#3—Kids Need Worship
(1 Chronicles 29:11; Revelation 4:11)

The Situation: Children wonder, “Why bother with worship?” Many kids
understand very little about the purpose of worship. Rather than focus
on God, they often center on themselves. Children want to be “entertained”
not “bored.” They lose sight of the fact that God is the primary
audience.

The Solution: God made people for the express purpose of worshiping
Him. Worship is our primary purpose in life—not an optional activity
each week to endure or to enjoy. Worship means “worth-ship.” We give
God special devotion and honor because He is worth-y of worship.

#4—Kids Need Faith
(John 20:30-31; Hebrews 11:1,6)

The Situation: Children ask, “Can you prove it?“ Some kids are taught to
believe that the scientific method is the ultimate test of validity. In their
worldview, people who believe in miraculous events are simple-minded and
uninformed. Faith is a weakness that cannot stand up to scientific reasoning.

The Solution: In reality, faith forms a bridge that connects truth and hope.
At one end, the bridge of faith rests securely upon the tangible foundation
of Scripture. The events revealed in the Bible are factual and historically
reliable. On the other end, the bridge of faith reaches toward God’s intangible
promises yet to come. Because we know certain things that are
true, we have faith. Because we believe, certain things will become true.

#5—Kids Need the Bible
(Joshua 1:8; 2 Timothy 3:16-17)

The Situation: Children ask, “What’s so special about the Bible?” Billions of
beautiful and interesting books are printed every year. Some children treat
God’s Word like any other book, missing out on its guidance and power.

The Solution: The Bible stands alone, the only Book from God—His
inspired, relevant, and life-changing message. God has preserved His
Word through the centuries so that it might continue to speak to us
today and transform us tomorrow. Cultivate a deep appreciation for the
richness and power of Scripture so the Bible will become your child’s
trusted companion.

#6—Kids Need Direction
(Proverbs 22:6; Ephesians 4:14)

The Situation: Kids ask, “Where does this path lead?“ They are looking for
clear direction. Many parents feel inadequate, so they leave academic and
social training to the school and spiritual training to the church—or to
chance. As a result, children wander, or worse, choose dangerous courses.

The Solution: God has given parents primary responsibility to train their
children (Deuteronomy 6:6-9). Parents must rise to this challenge, or worldly
influences will win the hearts of their kids.

#7—Kids Need Prayer
(Matthew 7:7-8; James 5:16)

The Situation: Kids wonder, “Will God really answer my prayers?“ Some
children think that God is too big or too busy to hear their requests.
Others feel too awkward or unworthy to speak with Him. Still others stop
praying after a request is not granted.

The Solution: God yearns to hear from His children! The Lord speaks to
us via the Scriptures. We respond to Him via prayer. God created people
to enjoy unbroken communion with Him. Prayer can be as natural as eating
and sleeping.

#8—Kids Need Jesus
(John 14:6, 20:29-31; Matthew 28:18-20)

The Situation: Children ask, “Is Jesus Christ real?” Some people honor Jesus
as an important historical figure, some worship Him as God, still others
reject Jesus and use His name with contempt or indifference. Many children
are confused about His true identity and don’t know Him as Savior.

The Solution: Though 2000 years have elapsed since He walked the
earth, Jesus Christ remains the central figure of human history. Jesus’
messages, miracles, passion, and triumphant resurrection confirm that
He is truly God and truly Man, the Savior of the world. Children can affirm
Jesus Christ as personal Savior and exalt Him as Lord over all.

#9—Kids Need Character
(Matthew 12:33; Luke 6:45)

The Situation: Some people challenge established Christian virtues.
They ask, “Why value a righteous lifestyle?” Many children grow up
without the benefit of role models who exhibit positive character traits.
Qualities such as honesty, diligence, and respect are in short supply.
Homes and schools do not necessarily reinforce these basic values.

The Solution: “Character” describes who we really are, the person we
choose to be. Jesus modeled character traits all Christians can develop.
We build character through thousands of choices, one decision at a time.
Outside, everyone can see our attitudes and actions (our reputation).
Inside, only God knows about our hidden thoughts and dreams.

#10—Kids Need the Holy Spirit
(Galatians 5:16; John 16:13)

The Situation: Children wonder, “Why do I sometimes do what is
wrong—even when I don’t want to?” For many kids, the spiritual life feels
like a tug-of-war. Evil pulls on one side and good tugs on the other. The
flesh battles against the Spirit.

The Solution: The “Spirit of life” has set Christians free from the power of
sin and death. God’s Spirit indwells (lives permanently inside) every Christian
(1 Corinthians 6:19), but many Christians are not filled (directed and
empowered) with the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 5:18). To walk in the Spirit,
Christians must be under the full influence of God.

#11—Kids Need God’s Worldview
(Acts 1:8; Acts 17:24-28)

The Situation: Kids ask, “Why should I care about people on the other
side of the globe?“ Many children are nearsighted and self-focused,
showing concern only for what immediately affects them. They are
largely indifferent about what matters most to God.

The Solution: Our worldview is the lens through which we interpret
everything we see. It becomes the basis for our beliefs and decisions.
A correct worldview begins with the infinite, personal God revealed in
the Bible. God wants people to see the world from His perspective. The
Scriptures form the framework for living out a consistent, Christ-centered
worldview.

#12—Kids Need Discipleship
(Matthew 28:18-20, Deuteronomy 4:9)

The Situation: Many kids wonder, “If Christianity is so special, why don’t
Christians live like Jesus?“ Children readily distinguish between what
they read in the Bible and what they see in real life.

The Solution: Jesus calls all His followers to unswerving allegiance to
Him—and His word is never negotiable. Being a disciple is much more than
“part-time Christianity.” First and foremost, Jesus Christ calls the Church to
make disciples. Discipleship is Christ’s sole weapon to win the world. He
never mentioned “Plan B.” The vitality of the next generation of Christians
hinges on the willingness of parents and churches to disciple children.

#13 Kids Need Wisdom
(Psalm 111:10; Proverbs 9)

The Situation: Kids wonder, “How can I make good choices?“ On issues
related to their values, character, and conduct, many children are
exposed to very conflicting perspectives. They are pulled in divergent
directions and need help to choose wisely.

The Solution: Proverbs 1-9 is God’s guidebook for parents to direct their
children. These chapters extol the way of wisdom and condemn a life of
folly. The last chapter personifies wisdom and foolishness as two opposing
voices that beckon to children. Wisdom calls youth to follow a
righteous path (9:1-12). Folly cries out for kids to listen to ill-advised ideas
(9:13-18).

– extract from Disciple Land

The Road Less Traveled: Can homeschooling be a lonely lifestyle?

Compiled by Hanlie Wentzel on 15 Nov 2017.

We all need face-time to connect with others. To form social bonds, meaningful relationships and the blessing of real friendships.

For this {huge and diverse} group of homeschoolers to feel like a Tribe, we need something called “group cohesion” for a sense of belonging to develop.

“Group cohesiveness (also called group cohesion and social cohesion) arises when bonds link members of a social group to one another and to the group as a whole. Although cohesion is a multi-faceted process, it can be broken down into four main components: social relations, task relations, perceived unity, and emotions.[1] Members of strongly cohesive groups are more inclined to participate readily and to stay with the group.” [2] https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Group_cohesiveness

Media groups are wonderful forums and resources, but we all need to feel connected on a personal level. To feel that others know us and care about us. More importantly, for all of us to take ownership… and initiative… to care for and support one another.

“Birds of a feather flock together”. People always gravitate towards like-minded people or familiar friends. We all have to make the effort to reach out, be inclusive, to put ourselves out there and be emotionally vulnerable.

For example, to admit that you are new or lonely…or that your kids struggle to make new friends easily and just fit in effortlessly…is hard. The fear of rejection, of not being accepted or liked…is a very basic human response. Not only for kids, but also for adults.

The good news is…by just creating a space for face-time…these real connections will develop. For us busy Homeschool Moms and for our kids.

We have to be deliberate, but at the same time organic, informal and spontaneous.

THE INTROVERTED HOMESCHOOLING MOM: Finding the balance between ALONE and LONELY

Introversion is not a Social Disorder. Introverts are not anti-social, they are just emotionally drained by social interaction (especially strangers or large groups) and need quietness and solitude to recharge their batteries.

Introverts often experience socializing as exhausting and draining. They find solace in solitude.

Introvert Moms love their homes, and are gifted at homemaking, creating a beautiful and loving space for their family.

Introverts are highly creative. They are the thinkers, teachers, researchers, artists, writers, philosophers, inventors and prophets. Who all need solitude to be at peace and to grow in their crafts.

Yes, sometimes we need secret passageways to escape company…because we are too polite to tell people it is time to go home.

We need to find a balance between our desire for solitude and our need for connectedness. All of us need to be connected in a deep and meaningful way to others. We need to be brave and be kind.

Iziko Museum & Planetarium CT Field Trip 2017

Iziko Museum & Planetarium

The new Iziko Planetarium and Digital Dome is the most advanced digital planetarium on the African continent. This multi-functional, world class facility brings digital technology to Cape Town – creating a space of innovation and discovery; where art, science and entertainment meet.

The Iziko Planetarium and Digital Dome not only provides immersive multi-sensory edutainment and a platform for artistic production – it will also be used for cutting-edge scientific research and to optimise South Africa’s eResearch and data visualisation capacity.

In addition, learners and educators from primary to tertiary levels will benefit from computer generated imagery that makes interactive teaching and visual learning possible; providing an unparalleled and accelerated learning experience.

This digital full dome theater provides audiences with an unequaled experience of animation and 360◦ cinema; as well as making virtual exploration of the universe, the inner workings of the human body, or the intricacies of an atomic structure possible.

Homeschooling a Gifted Child

Compiled by Hanlie Wentzel on 23 Aug 2017.

The intuitive mind is a sacred gift
and the rational mind is a faithful servant.
We have created a society that honours the servant
and has forgotten the gift.
– Albert Einstein

f05614_398460c1f2504bd3bb94dac225faa53e-mv2_d_3900_2340_s_2

I am . . .intense.

Intensity defines me. The further along the IQ spectrum I am, the more intense I am likely to be. Children who are highly, exceptionally, or profoundly gifted have different intellectual, social, and emotional needs than those who are mildly or moderately gifted.

My intensity has a huge impact on my educational needs. I am internally driven to learn more deeply and rapidly than my age-mates. My thirst for knowledge and understanding is all-consuming. My analysis is sophisticated, and my knowledge of many topics may be advanced. I am very likely to be perfectionistic in my quest for truth and mastery, causing me intense anxiety when I don’t get something the first time. I may follow logic to extreme conclusions, and be intensely upset when others behave in ways I think are irrational or unjust.

My reactions in the classroom may be fueled by how I interpret what you or fellow students say and do. I may perceive personal feelings and thoughts that you think are hidden to me, but my empathy isn’t the same as immaturity, and I may react differently than you may expect. This includes questioning parts of society most people take for granted: it is likely that I fiercely believe children should be treated with the same equality and dignity adults enjoy—yet I also intensely need adult guidance and reassurance as I struggle to understand life’s injustices and challenges as we learn about them in school.

I am likely to be extraordinarily sensitive, so that typical school sounds, smells, lights, and physical contact may be excruciating and even panic-inducing. At the same time, I may also be sensory-seeking, reacting to noise with noise, and touch with collision. I may need to move constantly while I learn. 

What you can do: Feed my intense need for knowledge and deep analysis. Cultivate a culture of calm, logic, respect, and justice in your classroom, and expect that I may have deep perception and empathy.

Know that I may not be able to control my reactions from oversensitivities and physical overstimuli. Ask me before entering my “space,” even to offer a high five or make eye contact. Accommodate my need to move while learning.

6 Types of Gifted & Talented Kids

characteristics-of-gifted-children-faster-earlier-differently-32-728

I am . . .asynchronous.

I am many ages at once: 8 years old chronologically, but 15 when I read or do math; 10 socially, but only 6 when I write. My asynchrony may work in my favor in one situation, but not in another. This is particularly true if I am gifted but have a learning disability like dyslexia, ADHD, Asperger’s Syndrome, Sensory Integration Disorder (Highly Sensitive Kids) or others (this is called being “twice exceptional”).

No matter how advanced my intellectual understanding is, it is likely to outstrip my emotional coping skills because of my limited life experience.

I may learn to do math or read early, but I may also develop fine motor skills late.

Even at surprisingly young ages, I am acutely aware of how different I am from my age-mates. I can see that others treat me as if there is something “wrong” with me. But asynchrony isn’t an indicator of a problem in itself; it is part of who I am.

What you can do: Provide educational content matched to my intellectual age, not my chronological age. Challenge me by using vocabulary you would use with an older child, or even an adult. I will ask if I don’t understand you.

Understand that uneven development across domains, even if I am achieving above grade-age level, may indicate that I am compensating for a learning disability.

Help support my weaknesses and any learning disabilities, while challenging my intellect, so that I can learn to work hard, persist, and take intellectual risks. This is crucial to my well-being.

Discuss my asynchrony matter-of-factly with me; it is part of who I am. But honor my dignity, particularly in areas where I lag behind or suffer from a disability.

My family needs your support as much as you need theirs; I wear them out as much as I wear you out! It is okay to offer my parents ideas to help meet my intellectual needs at home. At the same time, they probably have effective ideas to help make your job with me easier.

1441590409_orig

I am . . .misunderstood.

I have astounding educational, social, and emotional needs stemming from my intensity and asynchrony.

The higher my IQ, the less likely I am to perform well in school. I crave high-level challenge and vast quantities of information. My need to learn drives me, every waking moment. I am happiest when I am learning new things. Unlike typical kids, I do not thrive on repetition and can be easily frustrated by it.

If I appear to “level out” with typical children in third grade, it is more likely despondence or even depression in reaction to the extreme educational mismatch. I may hide who I am, especially if I am a girl.

But giftedness is not temporary; it is a neurological condition. It is part of my original equipment and will stay with me my entire life.

I may act out because my needs are not being met; this is the case even if I am extremely young. Sometimes I will “shut down” altogether. I may not show teachers what I am capable of, especially if my abilities have drawn unwelcome attention in the past. I may be slow to answer as I mull over many possible answers you may not have anticipated. I may refuse to endure practicing rote materials I’ve known for years. I almost certainly will question authority and reject what I perceive to be illogical or unjust rules.

I will not socialize with children with whom I have nothing in common, just because we have the same birth year. It is likely that I get along better with much older children, or even adults.

But in the correct educational setting, matched to my intellectual age and pace, with true intellectual peers, nearly all of my challenging behaviors vanish. Contrary to what you may have been told, I will benefit intellectually, socially, and emotionally from acceleration, especially if the older class is prepared for my arrival.

If my parents are advocating for me, it is very unlikely they are pushing me to achieve. Instead, they are trying to find ways to meet my needs. My giftedness, even if profound, is not the result of my working hard (but my family and educators can and should help me learn to do so).

What you can do: Educate yourself about the top myths about giftedness and gifted education. (Resources are listed on the Gifted Homeschoolers Forum website.) Know that one of my greatest challenges in childhood will be coping with my understanding of how different I am from my age-mates, and even from other gifted children. Finding ways for me to interact daily with true intellectual peers is the surest way to help me.

Understand that my giftedness does not imply that I work hard; nor does it imply that my parents are pushing or “hothousing” me. It is who I am, and I am dragging my parents along for the ride.

If you seek to measure my abilities, understand the ramifications of the ceiling effect for gifted children, especially those who are highly, exceptionally, or profoundly gifted. Take my parents’ account of my giftedness seriously; research shows that parents are the most accurate predictors of the level of their children’s giftedness, particularly for highly, exceptionally, and profoundly gifted children.

characteristics-of-gifted-children-faster-earlier-differently-21-728

I am . . .incredibly unique.

Not all gifted children are the same. My abilities may differ from other gifted kids. I may be lousy at math, but years ahead in reading. Or, I may be incredibly talented in math, but after years of not being challenged in school, I may have poor work habits and may have lost my innate love of learning. My advanced potential may lie in non-academic areas, or areas that schools don’t always measure well, like pattern-spotting, social and leadership skills, emotional precociousness, or the arts.

The further along the bell curve I am (see chart), the more likely it is that you have never encountered a student like me before.

My IQ is Then I am Kids like me occur
145-159 (3-4 S.D. from the mean) Highly Gifted (HG) 1:1,000 – 1:10,000
160-179 (5-6 S.D. from the mean) Exceptionally Gifted (EG) 1:10,000 – 1:1 million
180+ (6+ S.D. from the mean) Profoundly Gifted (PG) Fewer than 1: 1 million
Adapted from http://www.hoagiesgifted.org/underserved.htm

What you can do: Educate yourself about how unique gifted children are even from one another. Get to know me. I am unique!

Sourced from: https://giftedhomeschoolers.org/educators-guide-to-gifted-children/ on 22.08.2017

See Resources and Links under GIFTED EDUCATION & 2e {links are to the right..on the Home Page)

#GentleQuietSpirit: Teaching your Introverted Child

25b7d815b599b3e5a1a5aa17bdf66038

In our extraverted society, introverts have it tough.

Misunderstanding of this unique personality type is all too common, often leading to an extremely poor learning experience.

Introverts naturally tend toward territorialism. They’re happy to be alone. Large groups and constant noise can easily drain their energy. They often prefer listening over speaking, and they don’t share private thoughts with just anyone. This can make the traditional school environment a tough one for an introvert to deal with. Even homeschool environments don’t always suit the introverted learning style—after all, they can’t do everything by themselves. Nor should they.

For a free e-book on “How to teach your Introverted Child” go to http://landing.collegeplus.org/introvert-ebook/

How Can You Know if Your Child is an Introvert?

The simple answer: pay attention. Pay attention to what your child does, how he spends his free time, what he talks about, what he gets excited about, and—most importantly—how he processes information. The only way to understand if your student is introverted is to know how he thinks and processes stimuli. If he seems like a talker to you, that doesn’t necessarily mean he’s extraverted. For instance, what is he talking about? Is he relaying something cool he learned on his own time, or is he using that conversation to piece together his findings and assemble them into an understandable whole?

Society

Unfortunately, western society often favors the extravert. As the industrialization movement of the late 1700’s took off, the west had to come up with an organized way to cope with education, shift management, and day-to-day social processes. We began working to the clock rather than the sun, and our view of work was changed to support a “team effort,” rather than the previous individualistic approach.

In the education revolution, which happened around the same time, we needed a standard way to deliver information and assess student progress. Since more and more children were publicly educated, class sizes also grew. This naturally assisted in the “social” orientation: increasing stimulus, and viewing the more vocal, outgoing, and “stand-outish” kids as the most successful. But as you already know, this one-size-fits-all mentality just doesn’t work. Even worse, this mentality often portrays introverts as the “outcasts.” They’re the quiet ones who talk differently, think differently, enjoy different activities, and just don’t fit in. This mentality opens the floodgates for judgement and ridicule, causing many introverts to simply shut down.

How to Teach Your Introvert

Avoid the Word “Normal” We as humans enjoy creating definitions and boxes to help us better understand the phenomena of our daily lives. Knowing a person fits into a standard “type” helps us wrap our minds around the broad category of this person. One of the types we’ve created is called “normal.” As we mentioned before, society has been engineered to favor the extraverted student. Young children must adhere to this warped sense of normal lest they risk being called “different,” “weird,” or, heaven forbid, “sick.” However, people never fit squarely into boxes. Students vary greatly based on their personality, interests, natural ability, etc.

Practical Tips:

Forget schoolrooms You’re homeschooling for a reason. I know families who work best on a rigid schedule with desks, class times, and homework due dates. But for the majority of homeschool families, the “school time” tactic just doesn’t work. Forget the school room. Forget the “teaching time.” Allow your student to explore curriculum on their own, work through the homework you give them, and come to you to learn things as they need it.

Chuck the one-size-fits-all curricula Introverts work for internal rewards more than external ones. So you want to foster that love as much as possible. Find what they think is interesting and hone that interest. Allow them to spend more time on the subjects they love and foster interest in the “boring” subjects by helping them apply that learning to their lives. This will aid in cultivating an innate love of learning which will last far beyond their school days.

Use effort-based accomplishment Especially when it comes to grading more nebulis activities like writing, it’s important to provide your child with a basic rubric (expected learning outcomes), and grade them based upon that. There are two grades when using this system: A for Acceptable, and N for Not Complete. If your student is not understanding and practicing the learning outcomes you’ve defined in your rubric, send their work back for a second try. If you want further teaching on effort-based grades, I would recommend Andrew Pudewa’s free ebook, Marking and Grading.

Give Your Introvert Space

Introverts are a particularly private bunch. Having someone hover over their shoulder and watch everything they do or providing constant stimulation can quickly become overwhelming, resulting in poor performance and a loss of valuable learning.

Practical Tips:

Give your student deadlines This is a great way to prepare your student for inevitable expectations enforced by employers, managers, and the world in general. Don’t hover or nag, instead give your student deadlines and maybe a little guidance, but then allow them the freedom to accomplish tasks his way. Build quiet time into every school day Even when not working on a particular project, your introvert needs plenty of time to himself to think and reflect on the stimulation around him. Building quiet time into their day will allow your student to recharge their batteries and keep himself mentally healthy.

Try a flipped classroom Don’t demand instant answers. Allow your student to chew on a problem or work it out on their own before coming back to you with an answer. Once they prepare their thoughts beforehand, a small-scale group discussion can help them learn new ideas and new ways of thinking. An especially helpful technique when applied to homeschool groups, this can help your introvert feel like “part of the group” without fear of failure or rejection.

Help Your Introvert Socialize

It’s worth mentioning that while introverts definitely have a unique way of interacting with the rest of the world, they still need to interact with the rest of the world! One of the first things God said after creating man was “it is not good for man to be alone” (Gen. 2:18). He Himself desires, above all else, to have relationship with His creation! Who are we to say we can ignore the very thing God created us for?

Practical Tips:

Give him a gentle push A little socialization can be good for an introvert, even if it comes with resistance. I’m not advising you force your introvert to behave like an extravert, but the fact of the matter is kids (especially young kids) don’t often know what they need. But you do. Start a homeschool co-op, get them involved in a team, or just organize a sleepover with their best friend. Your student doesn’t need a full social calendar every day, but she does need interaction. Don’t be afraid to gently nudge her into new things.

Provide a safety net Introverts get embarrassed easily. Being singled out or having any attention drawn to themselves, especially when that attention is negative, can be more damaging than you realize. They need a private place to learn that it’s okay to fail. Little tricks like not interrupting their speech will help you create this safe atmosphere. Especially when correcting your student, do your best to correct in private and speak their language so that they can more easily understand the concept you’re trying to teach.

Try small-scale socializing Having one or two friends over instead of a big party at the park can be the perfect way for an introvert to socialize. Allow him to be himself. Allow him to be private. Especially if he’s still uncomfortable socializing, easing him into more brief interactions (perhaps an afternoon, rather than an all-day thing) can help him feel more at ease, knowing he will have time by himself later. By allowing for limited interactions, your introvert will begin to feel more familiar and more comfortable. Once he feels like he can be himself, his relationships have the freedom to develop into deep, meaningful interactions, and your student’s innate need for people will be satisfied.

10c97c29496ed4aa851c9f493549ef09

Meeting your child’s Learning Style

50c4cfd927aa2a42de2f884035fa8cb3

How can we meet the learning styles of our children?

What difference does it make when we teach to the different learning styles? How can we determine what learning styles our students have? Teachers have been asking themselves these questions for years, and the best teachers will continue to ask them looking for better and better answers. These are valid questions and ones worth looking into, but sometimes their answers might be simpler than you might think. Here are some quick tips you can use to make sure you teach to your students’ learning styles – whatever they are!

e946ba_b7c8f79d2a0c4411961e438a9525fbce_mv2

1. Visual/Spatial Learners

Visual learners often do well in school because most teachers know how important it is to write things on the board. These learners see things and absorb the information into their minds. For these learners, what they see is key. Here are some ways to meet the needs of these students.

Don’t shy away from the text book. Assign reading and book work, which will give these students a chance to see the information they need on the printed page.

Use the white board. You probably do already, but even in beginning level classes, write vocabulary and grammatical structures on the board for these students to see.

Provide visual keys when you can. These may include picture dictionaries, physical items and object lessons.

intelligence-part-1-15-638

2. Bodily/Kinesthetic Learners

Bodily or kinesthetic learners can be easily overlooked in the classroom. Traditional classrooms don’t necessarily encourage students to get up and move in the middle of class. However, kinesthetic learners can really flourish in the homeschool classroom if you take the time to plan the right activities.

Try total physical response, a proven effective teaching method. I have found this style of teaching particularly effective at the beginning level.

Play games with dice, cards, popsicle sticks or any other manipulatives. I have found that teaching vocabulary can be fun and engaging when I make ways for students to handle the words.

Have your students take notes in class. Though they will need to process the information they hear, the motion of writing words on the page will help them absorb the information that they are hearing.

Similar to note taking, encourage students to mark up their text books (if you won’t need to reuse them with your next class). Highlighting and making notes in the margin will help your students retain the information they are reading.

intelligence-part-1-16-638

3. Aural Learners (auditory, music, rhythmic)

I’m not one to advocate heavy lecture in English classes, but that doesn’t’ mean you can’t explain new concepts from the front of the class. Your aural learners will absorb information best when they hear you explain a new concept and will also benefit from hearing a native speaker use English.

Allow and encourage your students to read aloud. Out loud reading is particularly helpful with directions for test taking. Remind your students to be respectful of the rest of the class, but allowing them to hear the directions and not just read them may make or break their test scores.

Most classes already include speaking activities, and these will surely benefit your aural learners, but don’t limit them to speaking class. Including opportunities for your students to talk and work together will benefit students of everything from grammar to writing.

Feel free to get jiggy with your class and include songs that model grammar or teach a concept. (Think School House Rock) Hundreds of these types of songs are available on line, and you’ll be surprised at just how catchy some of them are.
If you are teaching elementary ESL, don’t under estimate the value of chants in the classroom. Simply sitting your students in a circle and having them keep a rhythm by clapping on their legs can be key to helping them remember that day’s lesson.

intelligence-part-1-14-638

4. Verbal/Linguistic Learners

Verbal or linguistic learners will naturally excel in language classes, and your homeschool class will be no exception. You will probably have no problem identifying these students who pick up on language with little to no effort and may sound the most like native speakers. Linguistic learners will connect through any language based activities, which is what class is all about, so you won’t need special accommodations for them unless it is to challenge them.

Including word puzzles, games and tongue twisters in class will appeal to your linguistic learners and help add some excitement to classroom activities for them.

intelligence-part-1-13-638

 

5. Logical/Mathematical Learners

Logical and mathematical learners are just what they sound like. They learn best through logical and organized methods or through mathematical and abstract concepts. You can include specific activities in your homeschool class to reach these hard science lovers.

When teaching grammar, take time to teach sentence diagraming and linguistic sentence trees. Your logical learners will appreciate the linguistic science behind the grammar.

Don’t shy away from abstract diagrams or visuals in your classes. These learners will love them.

Logical learners will also appreciate word puzzles and the challenge of working out grammar on their own before you give the explanation to the class.

intelligence-part-1-12-638

6. Solitary/Intrapersonal Learners

These students who learn best on their own may find a highly communicative class more challenging than other students. Here are some ways to reach these members of your class and decrease their potential stress.

Use learning centers in your classroom. By setting up a few stations and allowing students work on their own for a few minutes each day, you will be sure to give these independent learners what they need.

Plan independent activities in class from time to time. You can assign exercises from a text book or give students worksheets. Though keeping these activities to a minimum is best, don’t exclude them all together.

intelligence-part-1-19-638

7. Social/Interpersonal Learners

Social or interpersonal learners learn best when they interact with other people. This may be the easiest type of learner to target in the classroom since most teachers use group activities on a regular basis anyway. Here are some ways you can be sure to reach these learners.

Invite conversation partners from another class. When these learners interact with native speakers, they will pick up on language points that come up in conversation.

Plan group activities for class time. Having discussion groups within your class will help meet these students’ need to work with others.

Challenge groups to solve problems together. Rather than giving your class all the answers, see if they can figure things out on their own. Try using a jigsaw and other similar activities.

Use interviews with native speakers and people on the street. Any time you can get these learners interacting with native speakers, especially with a clear directive in mind, they will flourish.

intelligence-part-1-18-638

Ultimately, remember that everyone learns through a combination of learning styles.

For some people, one style is clearly dominant. For others, they will learn equally well through two or three styles. Regardless, teachers who include activities geared toward every learning style will find their students become successful language learners and, eventually, fluent speakers of English.

For a Memletics Learning Style Assessment for your child, please contact me or see http://www.baobabtherapy.com/fly-true/

Sourced from: http://www.busyteacher.org and https://www.slideshare.net/srgeorgi/intelligence-part-1

WiseHearted

And to all who are WiseHearted I have given wisdom and ability to make all that I have commanded you. (Ex. 31:6)

And He has filled him with the Spirit of God, with ability and wisdom, with intelligence and understanding, and with knowledge and all craftsmanship, To devise artistic designs…for work in every skilled craft…even of those who do or design any skilled work. (Ex. 35:31-35)

Making your ear attentive to skillful and godly Wisdom and inclining and directing your heart and mind to understanding (applying all your powers to the quest for it); Yes, if you cry out for insight and raise your voice for understanding, if you seek (Wisdom) as for silver and search for skillful and godly Wisdom as for hidden treasures,

Then you will understand the reverent and worshipful fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of (our omniscient) God. For the Lord gives skillful and godly Wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding. He hides away sound and godly Wisdom and stores it or the righteous (those who are upright and in right standing with Him); He is a shield to those who walk uprightly and in integrity, That He may guard the Paths of Justice; yes, He preserves the way of His saints.

Then you will understand righteousness, justice, and fair dealing (in every area and relation)’ yes, you will understand every good path. For skillful and godly Wisdom shall enter into your heart, and knowledge shall be pleasant to you. Discretion shall watch over you, To deliver you from the way of evil and the evil men, from men who speak perverse things and are liars, Men who forsake the Paths of Uprightness to walk in the ways of darkness.

Skillful and godly Wisdom is more precious than rubies; and nothing you can wish for is to be compared to her. Length of days is in her right hand, and in her left hand are riches and honor. Her ways are Highways of Pleasantness, and all her paths are peace. She is a TREE OF LIFE to those who lay hold of her; and happy (blessed, fortunate, to be envied) is everyone who holds her fast. (Prov. 2:2-18)

And you my son, know the God of your father (have personal knowledge of Him, be acquainted with Him, and understand Him; appreciate, heed and cherish Him) and serve Him with a blameless heart and a willing mind. For the Lord searches all hearts and minds and understands all the wanderings of the thoughts. If you seek Him (inquiring for and of Him and requiring Him as your first and vital necessity) you will find Him. Be strong and do it! (1 Chron. 28:9-10)

Pictures

7 Simple Ways to Wash Your Children in the Word

Sourced from: http://www.freehomeschooldeals.com/7-simple-ways-to-wash-your-children-in-the-word/

7-ways-to-wash-your-kids-in-the-word

Most Christian homeschoolers would agree that one of the main reasons we homeschool is to disciple our children in our Christian faith. We are inspired, convicted even, by the words of Deuteronomy 6 which exhort parents to diligently teach about the law (word) of God while we sit in our homes, when we walk by the way, even when we lie down and when we rise up.

Yet, the reality often looks different – I know that it is in my house. I mean to disciple my kids, to have meaningful Bible studies and heart-felt philosophical exchanges, but as the pendulum swings and life gets busy and busier, we can tend to lose our spiritual focus in exchange for the academic responsibilities that are ever-present as homeschool families.

This should be no surprise. The Bible is clear that we, as Christians in this world, are fighting a battle; it’s a spiritual battle against the prince of this world – Satan – who roams around seeking whom he may devour. He is actively seeking to steal, kill, and destroy you, me, and our families. One of the methods that Satan uses, at least in my home, is distraction. We get busy and spread too thin and before we know it, we are chasing after man-made goals and activities – often at the expense of more spiritual subjects.

With this in mind, I compiled a list of seven ways that we can simply and naturally include spiritual teachings throughout our days in the true Deuteronomy 6 way.

1. Love the Word yourself. More is caught than taught, as they say. When your kids see you in the Word and the subsequent peace and joy that comes from that time, they will naturally be drawn to do the same in their own lives.

2. Share what God is teaching you. You do not need to be a Bible scholar to teach your kids about the Word. Begin where you are and share how God is answering your prayers and how He is speaking to you through your time in the Word.

3. Encourage your kids to share what God is teaching them. There is just something about other believers sharing their testimonies that is so powerful. Encourage your kids to share what God is teaching them. Listen. Try not to lecture or preach but encourage thought and joy in how God speaks to all of us!

4. Post scriptures throughout your home. Deuteronomy 6 says to write them (scriptures) on the doorposts of your house and on your gates. Nowadays, with printers and online Bibles, printing verses and posting them throughout your home is EASY!

5. Commit to memorize the Word together. I used to get so overwhelmed with Bible memory. My anxiety over how to teach so many kids the Word paralyzed me, and basically we were not memorizing at all! A dear friend suggested writing verses on 3X5 cards and attaching them to a key ring. When I see a verse that I want our family to memorize, I write it down and add it to the stack of cards. We read them throughout the day. Don’t worry – a little work each day will end with your family learning many verses. How can a young man keep his way pure? By keeping it according to God’s Word!

6. Correct your kids with the Word. Remember, conflicts are opportunities to teach character. Don’t just moralize your kids. Correct them with the Word. Use Bible verses to convict and correct your little ones. In this way, not only are they hearing the word but they are applying it to their lives. Point them to their need of a loving Savior!

7. Pray that your kids would have a supernatural love for God’s Word. Everyone has ups and downs in their spiritual walks. Pray that God would give your children a supernatural desire and love for God’s word.

Another homeschool year is upon us. Take the time now, before life gets too busy, to implement some of these strategies into your daily routine and watch your kids grow in wisdom and knowledge and favor with God and men!!

“So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. ” – Romans 10:17

8 Ways to honor your child

Sourced from: http://lastingthumbprints.com/8-ways-to-honor-your-child/

honoring-your-child

We recently had a birthday in our house and going on a hike was the birthday child’s activity of choice. It would have been very easy for us to deny this request for many good reasons. But instead, we chose to honor him by saying yes and finding the time to do this activity as a family.
I’ve found that it’s far too easy for me to let the busyness of life take control of my day and not remain intentional in our relationships. My children are each a unique blessing from God and deserve my respect and value. And really, if I expect my children to be able to show me honor, then I have to be able to model it myself.

Here are eight ways I try to honor my children in this beautiful and messy journey of motherhood.

Study Your Child

In order to gain a solid understanding of any subject, we have to study it. The same goes for any good relationship, including our children. We need to understand what makes each of our children tick in order to meet their needs well.

What type of personality does s/he have? Which learning style seems to work best for my child? If we don’t take the time to learn who they are, then we will all suffer frustration and misunderstanding. A great place to start is with the book The Five Love Languages of a Child.

Show a Genuine Interest

Take a genuine interest in what your child is passionate about. Spending 30 minutes to play a video game with your child may sound like torture, but taking the time to learn about and share in your child’s interests will go a long way to developing a strong relationship.

Have a tea party. Play cowboys. Watch the 500th remake of a Lego stop motion video your child has been creating with a smile on your face. Show your child that the things s/he likes are important to you.

Acknowledge Their Feelings

Don’t trivialize the way that your child feels. Handle their feelings seriously and with care. Don’t make jokes or belittle them. Let your children know that how they feel is important to you. Share in their joy and excitement. Hold their hands through discouragement and disappointment. Be their biggest cheerleader and their biggest champion!

Find Ways to Say Yes

If your child has a reasonable request, find a way to say yes. Don’t let inconvenience rob you and your child of opportunities to build your relationship and create memories. There are plenty of times we have to say no as parents, so be on the lookout for ways that you can say yes.

Keep Your Word

Our children need to believe what we say to them. If you want your child to trust you, don’t make a habit of breaking your word. Being consistent is also really important.

Admit When You Are Wrong

Be willing to acknowledge when you are wrong. Apologize, seek their forgiveness, and pray together. This will not only strengthen your relationship with your child, but will teach your child the right way to reconcile with others.

Give Your Full Attention

Be engaged when you are with your children. Ask questions. Look your children in the eyes when you talk with them. Turn off your phone or at least set a phone free time at meals. Our children need to know that we are listening and they have our full attention.

Celebrate Your Child

Share in your children’s accomplishments, no matter how big or small. Even if it’s just a high five and a big smile. Let’s face it, we all like affirmation and children need it too. Speak words of life over your children. Remember to tell your children that you are glad they were born and that you like the way God made them.

As we purposefully choose to do these things, we are not only building strong relationships with our children but providing a model for them to follow in the future as they make relationships with others. These are the things that build a real legacy.
What are some ways that you honor your child?

Multiple Intelligences…we are all smart :)

Sourced from: http://turnthrice.wordpress.com/2012/04/24/im-smart-youre-not-whats-wrong-with-our-educational-system/

“I’M SMART. YOU’RE NOT.” — WHAT’S WRONG WITH OUR EDUCATIONAL SYSTEM?

Children learn very early in their schooling how to determine intelligence: grades. But is intelligence really this black and white?

This post is inspired by a conversation I had with three good friends from my highschool. As we were having dinner, we started to talk about the relationship between the general beliefs society, how the media affects those beliefs, and the crucial lesson that is almost completely lost in the educational system: how to think critically.

Society’s beliefs are made up of so many factors, but the general consensus is apparent to everyone in the population: bad grades = stupid

With regards to schooling, this consensus has driven us to severely undermine the potential of students based on their performance in school. We are told at a young age that if we work hard, we will get a good education, which will then lead us to a good job. This is something many youth don’t believe, and they have reason not to. Post-secondary degrees no longer guarantee jobs, but students aren’t being presented with appealing alternatives. This is to say that young adults that don’t get a post-secondary education, be it by choice or because of poor grades, are being viewed as “failures” by society.

I think this view is mostly because of the interpretation of good grades as intelligence. This is so false a notion I cannot even fathom how much I hate this mode of thinking. BLARGH. There are seven types of intelligences:

Your grades do NOT measure your intelligence! The only intelligence that gets measured in the common classroom is logical-mathematical. Every other intelligence gets shunned within classroom walls or is only implicitly acknowledged. Classes that are available to students which focus on the other intelligences tend to be undermined. Our society doesn’t value “skills that aren’t in the standard curriculum” (frenchfirecracker) and this is stunting the potential of many students. As a result, intelligent people are thinking that they are not intelligent because their strength lies in intelligences that aren’t reflected in their school grades.

When I was going through highschool, university was the most realistic option. My parents were (are) both working and I had good grades. I had not even considered any alternatives to a university education. I wasn’t aware there were any alternatives—like apprenticeship and vocational studies—as I completed my application forms to McMaster University and the University of Waterloo. In highschool, there was this constant unspoken pressure that if you wished to pursue a career that wasn’t in science, math, or business, you would have a hard time getting a job.

I knew many students who weren’t getting good grades but were so, so good at things outside of the classroom. These students were often the ones that grew up hating school and learning.

Education is a process of living and not a preparation for future living. – John Dewey

The youth of today are being saturated by so many mediums of knowledge: television, the internet, books, video games, etc. There is just so much access to new things to learn from, be the information vocational (career-related) or not. It’s no wonder students get bored in school. Why would anyone be interested in knowing the various mechanisms a benzene ring can undergo under acidic conditions when they can instead be learning about something that truly interests them from random websites on the internet? Our students are not getting “dumber” nor is ADHD an epidemic among them. It’s just that the things they are learning in school and the way in which it is presented to them is just so boring when compared to things they can learn about on their own, that they would choose to learn about.

What can be done about this lack of interest amidst an oversaturated life of knowledge? I’m not really sure. One thing I do know is that encouraging students to think outside of the box is the best way to prepare them for any sort of future. The educational system doesn’t stress critical and creative thinking enough, at least not for my taste.

School shouldn’t be all about getting the right answer. In the bigger picture of life, there isn’t always a correct answer. What should be more emphasized is the process of getting to that answer by thinking creatively and critically.

This post was inspired by this video by the RSA (an enlightenment organisation committed to finding innovative practical solutions to today’s social challenges) on Changing Education Paradigms. Please take a look and let me know what you think! Is the way our schools are structured enough to prepare our youth for the future? What should change? What needs to change?

Whole Heart Ministries

Sourced from: http://www.wholeheart.org/about-whole-heart/

WHOLE HEART MINISTRIES

Since its birth in 1994, Whole Heart Ministries has been dedicated to helping Christian parents raise wholehearted children who will live for Christ. Clay and Sally Clarkson have served in full-time ministry since 1975, both as single adults and as a married couple, in overseas missions, discipleship ministries, and in church ministry. Whole Heart Ministries brings to full expression the convictions and messages they have cultivated and taught since the late 1980s.

MISSION

The mission of Whole Heart Ministries is “to encourage and equip Christian parents to raise wholehearted children for Christ.” Whole Heart Ministries helps Christian parents and their children worldwide through ministries of speaking, teaching, training, writing, and publishing that focus on the biblical and practical aspects of home nurture, home discipleship, and home education. Our ultimate objective is to come alongside Christian parents to help them prepare their children to become Christian leaders in the next generation.

MINISTRIES

Whole Heart Events

WholeHearted Child Home Education Workshop
Mom Heart Conference
Mom Heart Leader Intensive Training
Mom Heart “Fall Into Motherhood” Webinar

Whole Heart Press

Educating the WholeHearted Child, by Clay Clarkson *
Our 24 Family Ways, by Clay Clarkson
Seasons of a Mother’s Heart, by Sally Clarkson *
Journeys of Faithfulness, by Sarah Clarkson
Just David (Clay Clarkson, ed.)
The Gold Thread (Clay Clarkson, ed.)
Read for the Heart, by Sarah Clarkson *
Heartfelt Discipline, by Clay Clarkson (Summer 2010)
The Mom Walk, by Sally Clarkson (Fall 2010)
Speaking and Conference Audio & Video
(* Apologia/WholeHeart imprint)

Whole Heart Online

Whole Heart Online (wholeheart.org)
Whole Heart Blog (wholeheartblog.com) *
FaithShaped blog (faithshaped.com), Clay *
Disciplinology blog (disciplinology.com), Clay *
(* under construction)

Mom Heart Ministry

Mom Heart Online (momheart.org) *
Mom Heart Blog (momheartblog.com) *
I Take Joy blog (itakejoy.com), Sally
The Mission of Motherhood, by Sally Clarkson (WaterBrook Press)
The Ministry of Motherhood, by Sally Clarkson (WaterBrook Press)
Dancing with My Father, by Sally Clarkson (WaterBrook Press)
(* under construction)

ORGANIZATION

Whole Heart Ministries is a non-profit, 501(c)(3) federally tax-exempt religious organization. We operate under the authority of a Board of Directors made up of godly men and women committed to the ministry and mission of WHM. Financial information is available upon request. We are Christ-centered, conservative, and evangelical in our doctrinal beliefs and ministry practices. Ministry is done by people, not by an organization, so we encourage you to think of us in terms of “who we are” as much as you do in terms of “what we do.”

Are you raising Warriors or Refugees?

Sourced from: http://www.itakejoy.com/are-you-raising-warriors-or-refugees-looking-at-this-issue-anew/

“Sally, how can I be sure that my children won’t be tempted by all the evil in the world,” a sweet mama asked me.

“You can’t.” I replied. Part of your job as a mom is not to hide them from the world and scare them about what is in the world, but to arm them with the purpose of becoming a warrior for God’s kingdom in dark places, so that they will not be overcome or surprised by the challenges they will encounter as adults.”

Warrior, running toward the battle to take ground for God’s kingdom.

Refugee–running away from the battle and seeking to escape engaging in the fray.

My children’s stories definitely stretched me–but God was with me and He was my protector and guide through each step of the journey.

“What, Nathan? You want to move to New York City and attend the film academy? You are only 19–it is a difficult place? You really want us to pray about this?!”

“I do not ask you to take them out of the world, but to keep them from the evil one.” Jesus, about His disciples, in John 17: 15

And so send him, we did. And Joel and Sarah to Cambridge, Joel to Boston for school, Sarah to Oxford, and trusted them to God’s call on their lives–and Joy to an out of state college.

Not too long ago, a friend whispered to me at a conference, “Sally, there are all sorts of women that I know who attend your conferences because they are encouraged, but they are criticizing you behind your back. They are asking the question, ‘How did the Clarksons allow their son to move to Hollywood, such a wicked place, if they have such high moral ideals?’ They think you are living a compromise to your life as a Christian.”

I am not surprised at statements like these. We get them all the time. I have always told my children that if you stand up to lead, you automatically become a target.

Yet, I also understand the concerns of these people who are criticizing us.

I have also been criticized for over-protecting my children. But the over-protection was for shaping their foundations when they were young and vulnerable. (keeping them innocent, giving them g-rated hero stories, giving them protection from peers whose values are worldly at a young age so they can develop their own foundations–before sending them out!) Keeping them loving what is good, true, honest.–And then as they begin to ask questions and grow and learn and show maturity–you take them with you in ministry, little by little, was the philosophy we followed.

I did not ask God to send my children into difficult, morally challenging arenas. But I did ask Him to help Clay and me build them into godly leaders who would take His light to a dark world. And, since they are adults and we released them into God’s hands to follow what road He put on their heart, (with input from us all along the way), I spend a lot of time on my knees every day and ask for God to guide, intervene and protect my children.

Yet, I think at some point in the Christian life, regardless of peers, our church’s stand, our friend’s opinions, blogs, loud voices giving pontificating statements, we must decide just who we think Jesus is and how His life and words should influence the way we live and the choices we make. There are few radical Christians and yet, He calls us to live radically–even if that means staying at home with your children to disciple them or serving Him in in the world in an unusual places–we must follow Him, not anyone else.

Jesus does not call us to a safe life–but to follow His life.

Jesus, the exact image of God, related to prostitutes and offered them a clean slate of forgiveness, and allowed them to touch Him and wash His feet.

Jesus, touched the infirm and contaminated–the lepers, the woman who was unclean, the blind, the sick.

Jesus looked out on the multitudes not with condemnation, but with compassion and told us to pray that God would send laborers into the harvest. He also sent His disciples into the world to redeem it.

Jesus did not exalt and affirm the Pharisees who had rules and laws for everything and stayed away from the “wicked” folk. Instead, he told the parable of the Good Samaritan, one of the “unacceptable” from a religious point of view, but the only one who was able to please God. He honored because he got involved, because he lived in a compassionate way and gave of his life to save the beaten man, a victim of thieves, unlovely and in the dirt.

I think serving Jesus will, at some point, make all of us uncomfortable.

And so, I had to confront my own belief in what I thought was most Biblical in philosophy for raising children.

I wanted an Anne of Green Gables life that was safe, protected and always g-rated. But, that is not the world God into which He placed me.

So I had to consider, “What is your will for my children.” He answered, “To follow Jesus to the cross, to be willing to give up their lives to redeem the world for His glory–to become a warrior for Christ’s kingdom.

A warrior is one who sees the battle in his land, and is willing to sacrifice his life to protect those he loves, to save them from harm and to engage the enemy in battle. Battle is rough, costly, difficult and requires sacrifice for the sake of the people who are being warred against.

Now a refugee, on the other hand, is one who runs away from the battle, in order to protect himself or his loved ones. When there is no defense against the enemy, often, people are forced to flee. But in fleeing away from the battle, they leave no impact, no defense, for those left in the wake of the raging enemy army.

Often I see parents who raise their children to run away from the cultural battles and to stay far off from those who are lost and broken and who have scars and difficulties. They find it easy to criticize those who are engaged in bringing the light of Christ into the arena of darkness–this is the place in which our family receives criticism.

I will admit that the world can be a very fearful place to be. And I spend a whole lot of time in prayer for my young, idealistic warriors!

But, God has asked me, as a mom, to live by faith, not to look to the limitations of my own life and this wicked world we live in, but to the God who tells us to overcome evil with good, to remain faithful, to endure.

So, as a mom, I had to ask, “Would He have me do anything less than send my own children, as God sent His own son, into the world to redeem dark places?”

And so when we read in the Psalms,

“Praise be to the LORD my Rock,who trains my hands for war,my fingers for battle.

He is my loving God and my fortress,my stronghold and my deliverer,my shield, in whom I take refuge, who subdues peoples under me.” Psalm 144: 1-2, we would pray with our children. ”Lord, these are your children created by you with a personality and a purpose. Train our children for the spiritual warfare in which they will engage. Prepare them for the battles they will confront. Be their fortress, their stronghold, deliverer and shield. They are not ours to hold on to, but ours to prepare for your kingdom purposes.”

Depending on what you decide, preparing one to run away from the battle or to engage in the battle, will require a very different parenting philosophy.

But as for the Clarksons, we will seek to engage in the battle, and rub shoulders with the lost, because we cannot do other than what our Lord and savior showed us to do–to go into the world to make disciples, to see the multitudes with compassion and to become workers in the Harvest field of the world.

Nathan has chosen to answer the call of God and engage the warrior story that was written on his heart. Recently, he has written a study with the 10 aspects of what it means to become a hero.

– See more at: http://www.itakejoy.com/are-you-raising-warriors-or-refugees-looking-at-this-issue-anew/#sthash.l9dINlzc.dpuf

Introduce, Recognize, Identify :) pre-schoolers

Sourced from: http://www.abcjesuslovesme.com/how-do-i-teach/introduce-recognize-identify

Teaching a child a new concept can be daunting. Where do you begin? What do you say? When do you say it?

There are three steps in teaching something new: Introduce, Recognize, Identify. Each step gives the child more ownership in the learning.

1. The child is introduced to the new concept.
“This is a triangle. It has three sides. It looks like a piece of pizza.”

2. The child recognizes the concept.
“Point to the triangle.”

3. The child can identify the concept and the concept is learned. Review is necessary for retention.
“What is this shape called?” (The child names triangular-shaped items as triangles.)

In the perfect world, this progression would occur within a week’s time frame. But depending on your child and the concept being learned, it may take a couple of hours to many weeks to learn a new concept. Always follow the child’s cues as to when he/she is ready to move on to the next step.

To provide you with an example, I have separated the 3 Year Curriculum Lesson Plan into the three part process. Notice how the child’s participation and ownership in the learning increases through the week.

Lesson plan steps-
1. Introduce (Mondays) – This is a ______.
2. Recognize (Wednesdays) – Show me the __________.
3. Identify (Fridays) – Name this item.

3 Year Old Curriculum
Day 1 – Introduce Concepts
• Begin by introducing the Bible story, verse, song, poem – child is listening
• Introduce the new letter and number with rhymes and sandpaper tracing (This is the letter ___ and it makes the sound ____.)
• My ___ Books – Child listens as you read
• Introduce the new colors or basic math (I am sorting the blocks into different colors.)
• Introduce the name activity
Day 2 – Recognize
• Review Bible story, verse, song, poem – allow child to fill in key words
• Review new letter and number by tracing and doing an activity – (Point to the letter ____.)
• My ___ Books – Child fills in the phonetic sound of letter or name of the number
• Review new color or basic math by doing an activity – (Which block is _____ in color?)
• Do name activity
Day 3 – Identify
• Review Bible story, verse, song, poem – encourage child to take active role in each aspect with assistance along the way
• Child identifies new letter and number by tracing and doing an activity – (What is this number? What sound does this letter make?)
• My ___ Books – Child fills in the phonetic sound of letter or name of the number
• Child identifies new color or basic math by doing an activity – (What color is this block?)
• Do name activity

Throughout the week
• Do cooking activities, watch videos, read books, etc when time is appropriate
• Review all activities while in the car, bathtub, or whenever teachable moments arise

Understanding Learning Styles

Sourced from: http://www.homeschool-curriculum-for-life.com/learning-styles.html

Understanding learning styles helps you to understand how your child learns and what system or philosophy you will be comfortable with using in your homeschool. These learning style overviews will put you in a strong position to assess each program you come across as to its suitability for your family.

It is important to remember that a program must suit you and your child. I have seen many moms who choose a program with a huge amount of hands-on activities because their child is a kinesthetic learner, only to find that it is a burden that she herself cannot carry due to her own learning and personality style being totally unsuited to a kinesthetic based program.

Please note that the following learning style information is based on my interpretation of The Way They Learn by Cynthia Ulrich Tobias and I HIGHLY recommend that you purchase this book to get a much fuller picture of her approach to learning styles.

Basic learning styles are:

•Visual – learns by sight, needs visual stimuli like books and colour

•Kinesthetic – learns by doing and making, enjoys hands on craft and experimentation

•Auditory – learns by listening, enjoys story tapes and being read too

Perception Styles

•Abstract – using our thoughts and imagination to gather information

•Concrete – gathering information with our five senses

Ordering Styles

•Sequential – ordering of the information gained in a step by step logical pattern

•Random – storing the information is an unsystematic or haphazard way

There are thus four main styles of thinking and acquiring knowledge:

Concrete Sequential– a predictable person who does not like surprises. They are very practical and organized and have a strict “black and white” outlook on life. They are not risk takers.

Abstract Sequential– A very deliberate person who like to do things “properly” even if they overstep a boundary. They love information and are great thinkers.

Abstract Random– this person is a “people person”. They care more about the people and others feelings than about the task at hand. They are highly sensitive and are the peacemakers in the family.

Concrete Random– Do-er, Mover, Shaker is this person who is on the go, moving forward and sparking projects. They seem impatient but are actually highly instinctive people whose intuitions are mostly right.

Love Languages

The book The Five Love Languages of Children hit the market and took many by storm.

It is only one way to gain understanding of yourselves and your children and needs to be used in conjunction with the other information above. Often we and our children are a blend of the 5, but one is always a little more dominant than the other.

•Touch – your child feels loved and appreciated with physical touch like a kiss on their head when they have done well, playing with your hair, enjoying cuddles.

•Words of Affirmation – this child likes to give and receive words that encourage and reacts badly to verbal reprimands.

•Acts of Service – these children do their work to please you and feel loved when you offer to do something for them.

•Receiving Gifts – these children are the ones who leave flowers by your bedside or sleep with the shirt you bought them that day. They are the children who may seem materialistic but are really feeling your love by gifts to them.

•Quality Time – our child who is a “quality time” child always asks to have only one parent drop her off at an activity or sneaks out of bed when all the other children are sleeping to have a “little chat”.

Putting it all together

Putting all this information together into something that you can use can be a bit daunting. My suggestions are:

1. Read the following two books on learning styles for more in depth knowledge: The Way They Learn and Every Child Can Succeed: Making the Most of Your Child’s Learning Style by Cynthia Ulrich Tobias

2. It takes as much as a year of watching and praying to truly know God’s creation – your child.

3. Look at things like heart motivation i.e. what motivates my child to want to build things all the time or why does my child love horses and dogs. Pray about these things too, God will show you more and more about your “blessings” everyday.

4. Make sure that you do not see these profiles as static – you must ensure that you develop your children’s “weak” areas to become acceptable and give them a finely honed skill in their areas of strength.

5. Knowing and understanding learning styles and personality profiles is not an excuse for bad attitudes towards instruction and work. Your child must still be trained to enter into their learning or work disciplines with a happy and obedient heart.

For a Learning Style Assessment and your child’s profile, see my website: Baobab Consulting: http://www.baobabtherapy.co.za

Or click on this link: http://www.baobabtherapy.co.za/4+Seasons+Group+Therapy

Tuisonderrig neem dramaties toe…yay!

Leendert van Oostrum skryf in die Desember 2013 nuusbrief van die Pestalozzi Trust ’n artikel met die titel : “Onweerswolke dreig vir tuisonderwys”. Hiervolgens het die fenomenale groei van tuisonderwys in Suid-Afrika oor die laaste 20 jaar die aandag getrek van die staat, vakbonde en groot beleggers. Dit lyk of hierdie partye begin saamwerk om meer beheer oor tuisonderwys te kry. As ouers niks doen nie, en hierdie samewerking slaag, sal ouers die vryheid verloor om hulle tuisonderwys aan te pas aan die behoeftes van hulle kinders, en sal tuisonderwys vir meeste ouers onbekostigbaar word. Om hierdie kommerwekkende ontwikkelinge te stop moet ouers ingelig bly en tuisonderwys organisasies ondersteun.

Die fenomenale groei van tuisonderwys

Volgens die artikel was daar in 1994 ongeveer 50 tuisskolers in Suid-Afrika. In 2011 was tuisonderwys vir die eerste keer ingesluit in die sensus. Volgens hierdie sensus was daar in 2011 reeds 57 000 tuisskolers.

Die syfer van 57 000 impliseer dat daar ongeveer 130 leë skole ontstaan het en 2000 potensiële onderwysposte vakant geword het. Indien die gemiddelde tuisskoolgesin ongeveer R6000 per jaar spandeer aan tuisonderwys, is dit ’n mark van ongeveer 342 miljoen rand. Hierdie soort syfers trek die aandag van die drie-party alliansie van die staat, vakbonde en beleggers, wat begin aksies onderneem om hulle belange te bevorder in die tuisonderwyssektor.

Waarom Tuisonderrig?

INTRODUCTION

Before we can discuss what Christian education is, we need to ask ourselves what education is. Education is not simply the acquiring of factual knowledge. Although facts are necessary in the process, they do not constitute education. “Getting an education” is not synonymous with “passing exams”.

If we compare education to a fruit tree, the facts would be represented by the leaves. Leaves are very necessary to a tree, and without them, a tree will die. However, there is more to a tree than just the leaves. Leaves die and fall off the tree, just as facts (so-called) change with increasing knowledge, or are forgotten. We do not keep a fruit tree for the leaves.

More permanent than the leaves are the trunk and branches of the tree. These represent the world view that we are being taught. It is important for us to realise that all education teaches a world view of some kind – either a theistic world view, in which man is directed to an authority above and beyond himself, or a non-theistic world view, in which man assumes himself to be the ultimate authority. Another way of saying this is to say that all education is religious education – there is no such thing as so-called “secular” education. When schools move away from a Biblical world view, in which God is acknowledged as the ultimate authority, they substitute for that a humanistic world view, in which man is regarded as the ultimate authority. As neither of these two positions lie within the realm of scientific investigation and proof, we have to face the fact that both are positions of faith. In the last analysis, everybody lives by faith – faith either in the God presupposed to be there, or faith in the conclusions of men known to have lived.

Does it matter what world view we are taught at school? Yes, because this is a fruit tree. The fruit that it bears will depend on the type of tree it is. As Jesus said, “A good tree cannot bear bad fruit; nor can a bad tree bear good fruit”(Matthew 7:18). If children are educated in terms of a humanistic world view, the fruit that is produced in their lives will be humanistic fruit. Even if that child becomes a Christian, his thought patterns will be humanistic. This is why the Bible tells us in Romans 12:1-2 that we are to “be renewed in the spirit of our minds” – we need to change those humanistic thought patterns for Biblical thought patterns. Because God is God, this can be done. However, it would be much better if we had Biblical thought patterns to start with.

What “fruit” do we get from our education tree? First of all, we get the fruit of “values”. Our values in turn produce our “behaviour”, and our collective behaviour makes up our “society”. When we look around at our society today, we certainly do not see evidence of a Biblical world view – rather, we see the fruits of humanistically inspired selfishness, arrogance, laziness, dishonesty and immorality.

Those of us who know something about history will realise that this has not always been the case. In Great Britain in particular, there was a Biblical world view that pervaded every area of society for a long time. When Queen Victoria was asked by an African chief what the secret was of England’s greatness, she gave him a Bible. After the Reformation – and particularly after the “Glorious Revolution” of 1688 – the people of England had become people of the Book, and that Book was the Bible. This position was renewed in the Wesley-Whitfield Revival of the eighteenth century. As a result of that Biblical world view, England became a great nation. Now that they have moved away from their Biblical foundations, they have declined as a world power.

What God has done in the past He can and will do again. However, we need to do our part. A very important part in the process is the restoration of Biblical Christian education, so that a generation can grow up with a Biblical world view. This brings us to the roots of our tree – it needs to be solidly rooted in God Himself, and grounded in His Word, the Bible.

WHAT CONSTITUTES A WORLD VIEW?

A world view is a philosophy, or, more simply, a way of looking at life. Every world view has the following components:

1. A system of authority.

2. A belief about where we come from.

3. A belief about what is right and wrong.

4. A belief about who man is.

5. A belief about where we are going.

Let us compare two diametrically opposed world views to see how this works out in practice:

THE HUMANISTIC WORLD VIEW

  1. System of Authority: As a fundamental doctrine of humanism is that there is no God, there is no possibility of a supernaturally inspired authoritative work such as the Bible. Instead, humanists accept as authoritative the works of philosophers from ancient times (e.g. Plato, Socrates, Aristotle), down through history (e.g. Voltaire, Descartes, Rousseau), to the present (e.g. Darwin, Marx, Freud, Engels, Nietszche, Dewey, Spock).

  2. Where do we come from? A humanistic system presupposes that there is no supernatural being “out there” controlling our destinies. Man is therefore a product of evolutionary chance, a series of genetic “accidents”. He is responsible to no-one except himself. “Every day, in every way, he is getting better and better.” We also need to take great care of our environment – there is nobody else to look after it. It all depends on man – if we fail, our grandchildren will have no world to live in. This is the basis of the “Greenpeace” movement.

  3. What is right and wrong? For a humanist, there is no such thing as an absolute moral standard. Each individual decides for himself what is right or wrong, and society determines the framework of what is acceptable or not acceptable. This framework changes with the generations. What was wrong for our parents is not necessarily wrong for us. For example, there was a time when “living together” was considered wrong, but now it is considered normal, sensible, even desirable. Man is responsible to no-one but himself.

  4. Who is man? According to the humanist, man is simply the highest product of evolution. He is superior to all other creatures (sorry, evolutionures) because of his well-developed brain. Man, by taking thought and acting collectively, can control his destiny and the destiny of the whole earth. Man has the potential within himself to solve all known problems, such as poverty, disease, ignorance and war. In order to do this he must work together with others. Thus, for a humanist, “socialization” is of paramount importance. Man is not created by any supernatural force or being, and is therefore not responsible to anyone except himself.

  5. Where are we going? Humanists believe history moves evolutionarily. We are moving towards the perfect, utopian society, in which there will be no problems such as poverty, disease, ignorance and war. We will achieve this by working together and by putting our superior brain power to work. We will select from all mankind the most intelligent people to rule over us all. There will be no more divisions such as national barriers, economic barriers, language barriers, racial barriers or even gender barriers – all will be equal. There will be perfect equality, perfect freedom, perfect brotherhood. This is why humanists have such a positive attitude towards Marxismand Communism – their world view is virtually identical to the Marxist ideal. In the struggle to reach this perfect state of things, there is going to be war, bloodshed and great loss of life. Humanists have therefore divided wars into two types: “good” wars and “bad” wars. Any war that advances the cause of global utopia (communism) is a “good” war (e.g. the Gulf War) and should be fought. Any war that does not do this is a “bad” war, and should not be fought (e.g. the Vietnam War). When we understand this, we will begin to understand international politics.

    Think about what your child is learning at school and watching on T.V. Doesn’t it correspond to the above ideas?

THE BIBLICAL CHRISTIAN WORLD VIEW

  1. System of Authority: As Christians we accept the Bible as the authoritative, infallible Word of God. It is the final authority in the life of a Christian, and is the “Source Book” for every discipline of study and every area of life. There is no area of life about which the Bible says nothing. In Biblical Christian education, therefore, the Bible has to be central.

  2. Where do we come from? God has told us in His Word that He has created all that exists, including man. Each person is individually created in the image of God, and is unique. Man is thus responsible to God, his Creator. God is also the Creator and Preserver of His creation. Although man is responsible to look after the earth, God is the One Who preserves the earth. We don’t have to worry that there will be no earth for our grandchildren to live on, because God is in control. At the same time, we are not to be careless and wasteful in the way we treat the earth, because we will have to give account to the true Owner one day. Thus we avoid simultaneously the twin errors of earth-worship and earth-neglect.

  3. What is right and wrong? As God is our Creator, He has the right to determine how we should live. He has given us full instructions in His Word on how we are to live. Our first responsibility is to worship and obey Him in all things, and our second is to act in love towards all other people. God’s moral laws are unchanging. We don’t break them – just as we don’t “break” the law of gravity – they break us if we ignore them. In our present society there is ample evidence to show that it is sheer folly to ignore the laws of God. Doing so does not harm Him, as He is always the same, but it does harm us, and eventually destroys us and our society.

  4. Who is man? Man is a being created in the image of God, the highest point of creation. Man is neither free nor determined – he is responsible to God. Each person is who he is because of his response to God, whether positive or negative. No person can refuse to respond to God, and God knows the response of every individual human heart. No man can successfully oppose God, for He is Sovereign Lord over all mankind. However, man is in a state of rebellion against God. In spite of this, man is loved by God, to such an extent that God was willing to die for man in the Person of our Lord Jesus Christ, Who bore our sins in His own body on the Cross. The Bible tells us that all mankind will live for ever – either in heaven with God, or in hell without Him. Each individual person is therefore of eternal significance. There is no higher view of man than the Biblical view.

  5. Where are we going? God has set up His Kingdom on this earth by coming and living among us in the Person of our Lord Jesus Christ, dying on the Cross and rising again from the dead. Each person who comes to Him through the Lord Jesus Christ, turning away from his sin in true repentance and asking His forgiveness, is born again into His Kingdom. Our duty as Christians is to establish His Kingdom in our own lives and in every area in which we live and work. One day our King, Jesus Christ, will come back and be acknowledged by all, Christians and non-Christians, as the Lord of all. His Kingdom will last forever.

If our children are taught in accordance with the above framework, it will make a tremendous difference to the way they live.

 

HOW DOES THIS AFFECT EDUCATION?

As we have said, all education is religious. Education in the West has been based during the twentieth century on the humanistic world view. One of the most influential people in this regard has been John Dewey (not to be confused with the John Dewey who drew up the Dewey Decimal System used in libraries).

John Dewey was a dedicated humanist and an atheist. He drew up and was a signatory to the First Humanist Manifesto, published in 1933. He was an educator, a professor at Columbia University, and had tremendous influence on teacher training in the United States. He is known as “The Father of Progressive Education”, and our new Outcomes Based Education is the best expression to date of his ideas.

John Dewey became very dissatisfied with the American system of education in the 1930’s. He objected to the absolutist nature of the curriculum, and to the obviously Christian foundation. Here are a few quotes from John Dewey:

“Elementary schooling was everywhere in the past devoted to the promotion of literacy. It was identified with acquiring skill in reading, writing and figuring … higher education was almost equally controlled by concern for symbols, namely advanced mathematics and foreign languages.” … John Dewey, 1930.

If children are not meant to learn to read, write and cipher at school, what are they meant to do? John Dewey believed that schools should be agents for social engineering:

“Schools do have a role – in the production of social change.” … John Dewey, 1930.

“It is the business of the school environment to eliminate … the unworthy features of the existing environment …Selection aims not only at simplifying but at weeding out what is undesirable.” … John Dewey, 1938.

And what did he consider “undesirable”?

“We must drive the very idea of God from the mind of man.” …John Dewey, 1938.

In an educational setting, this means simply leaving God out of the subject matter being studied. Religious Instruction is permitted – as long as it is kept separate from the “important” subjects in the curriculum. In this way children will get used to thinking of the practical issues of life without any reference to God whatsoever.

“The teacher is the new missionary – it is his job to spread the new gospel of Humanism to the children.” … John Dewey, 1938.

Notice the religious terminology used. Humanism is a religion!

These ideas of John Dewey – and many more – have formed the basis for Western education (including South African education – even so-called “Christian” National Education) for the second half of the twentieth century. When we understand this, we will understand why educational standards have plummeted, both in the United States and in South Africa.

Some of the important results of humanist-based education are:

  1. A de-emphasis on the basic skills of reading, writing and arithmetic. The “Look-and-Say” method of teaching reading has virtually gutted the literacy of the nation. Children are taught to guess words rather than to read, and are unfit to read anything except the newspaper, magazines and popular novels. This effectively cuts them off from the world of ideas and serious thought. The “New Maths” has had a similar effect on the mathematical prowess of the nation, producing a generation of people who are dependent on calculators for even the simplest calculations, and who seem to be completely devoid of the ability to think logically.

  2. A de-emphasis on factual knowledge. According to humanists, the facts are not important. After all, there is such a great amount of knowledge in the world. It is impossible for anyone to learn it all. Pupils need rather to learn how to access information – in encyclopedias, the library, on the computer, etc. What is really important is that the pupils “grow together in the process of becoming”. We therefore find that the actual content of the subject is played down, while more emphasis is placed on project- and group-work.

  3. A strong emphasis on socialization skills. According to humanists, people need to learn to work together in order to solve all the problems of our world. At school, then, pupils must above all else learn to work together. In the practical classroom situation, this can take the form of group discussions, group projects, class debates and so on. What is discussed is not as important as the discussion process. The democratic procedure is also used extensively to teach the children to bow to the majority view of the group.

  4. A strong emphasis on self-expression. For the humanist, there is no absolute standard of right and wrong. Personal opinion becomes the final authority. Children must be encouraged to “express themselves” without limitation. As knowledge is found within ourselves, we will discover what we need to know without being told by some outside authority. There is therefore a strong emphasis on “discovery learning”. In the new “Outcomes Based Education” the role of the teacher has been further de-emphasised, so that now he/she is called a “facilitator” rather than a teacher.

  5. A strong emphasis on “fun” in education. If children are to be free to express themselves, they must not be forced to do things that they don’t want to do. All “drudgery” must therefore be removed from education. Everything should be “fun” and attractive to the child. “Drudgery” would include anything that takes some effort, for example, memorising poetry or the tables, practising long division, learning lists of dates, rivers, mountains or products of countries, etc.

WHAT ABOUT BIBLICAL CHRISTIAN EDUCATION?

As we have said, all education is religious. Biblical Christian education is based on the Biblical Christian world view, and this will affect all areas of study.

What does God say about education?

“These are the commands, decrees and laws the Lord your God directed me to teach you to observe … so that you, your children and their children after them may fear the Lord your God as long as you live by keeping all His decrees and commands … so that you may enjoy long life … be careful to obey so that it may go well with you … these commands 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 … be careful that you do not forget the Lord.          …Deuteronomy 6:1-12 (NIV)

Education, according to God, is supposed to take place all the time, within the context of normal, daily life.

“We will not hide them from our children; we will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the Lord, His power … wonders … statutes … and … law … so the next generation would know them … and they in turn would tell their children. Then they would put their trust in God … and … would keep His commands. They would not be like their forefathers … stubborn and rebellious … whose hearts were not loyal to God.    … Psalm 78:4-8 (NIV)

Notice the order of things here: we are to teach the next generation about Who God is and what He has done, and then they will put their trust in Him. God does not expect us or our children to make “blind leaps of faith”. He wants us to know in Whom we are putting our trust – and we can only know that by being taught by somebody else who already knows Him as Lord in every area of life.

What does God have to do with a normal school curriculum?

“For by Him (Jesus Christ) all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.”            … Colossians 1:16-17 (NIV)

As all things were created “by Him and for Him”, it follows that He must be the centre of every discipline of study. To ignore the Creator when attempting to study His creation is sheer folly:

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.”    … Proverbs 9:10 (NIV)

“… Christ, in Whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.”    … Colossians 2:3 (NIV)

Let us remember, then, that God has a purpose in education:

“And He made known to us the mystery of His will … to bring all things in heaven and on earth together under one Head, even Christ.”     … Ephesians 1:9-10 (NIV)

From this we know that God’s purpose in South Africa is to bring this nation into submission to our Lord Jesus Christ. When we teach a Biblical Christian world view to our children, we become part of this great work and endeavour of His. What a privilege!

Some of the features of Biblical Christian education are:

  1. A strong emphasis on the “relevants”, i.e. the “Three R’s”. Because God has communicated with us through a written Word, it is of vital importance that we learn to read, write and cipher well. In reading we teach the most logical method: that of learning the letters and the sounds corresponding to them and learning how to put letters (and sounds) together to make words. At the same time we learn to write and spell what we are reading. In Maths we teach first the basics: number combinations, tables, how to add, subtract, multiply and divide, how to work with fractions, decimals and percentages. When these basics have been mastered, we teach our pupils how to apply them in real-life situations. For this logical thought processes are vitally important, as well as a “tidy mind”. One reason why Biblical Christian education is always popular with the ordinary man-in-the-street is because normal parents want their children to learn to read, write and cipher, and they recognize that these skills are taught in schools based on the Biblical Christian world view, while they are lacking in humanistically controlled schools.

  2. A strong emphasis on discipline and order. Christians recognize that man, though created in the image of God, is depraved. This means that he is fallen, ruined by sin, and is unable to respond properly to God apart from the grace of God. It also means that man in his natural condition is a rebel. That rebellion must be dealt with early in a person’s life, so that later they will be able to turn to God and obey Him. Children are not “naturally good” and “naturally keen to learn”. They have to be trained in diligence and good study habits. They have to learn to do patiently work that sometimes seems tedious and even (to the child) unnecessary. They have to submit themselves to the teacher’s way of doing things, even if they themselves think that they can find a better, shorter and easier way. They have to have humility of mind in order to be able to learn from others. They have to submit to the discipline of exams. These, and many other things, contribute to the discipling of the child in the ways of the Lord.

  3. A strong emphasis on hard work. A Biblical Christian realizes that work is not part of God’s curse on man. Work was given to Adam before the Fall. The Bible tells us that God works continually – in the hearts and lives of His people, in the affairs of nations, in the care for and upholding of His creation. Work, therefore, cannot be a bad thing. In fact, work is a form of worship, and is a great blessing to mankind. Children have their work assigned by God just as adults do. The work of a child is to study, so that he can be trained in the ways and works of God and can one day take his place as a faithful steward of God’s creation in whatever field to which God may call him. Children will one day give account to God for the way they have done their work, just as adults will. We do not do our children any favours when we try to make school one long fun-session. Children who learn to work hard are the ones who find deep enjoyment and satisfaction in their studies – not those who do as little as possible hoping to have more leisure time.

  4. The realization that God is Lord over all of life. As a child studies the different subjects from a Biblical Christian perspective, he begins to realise that God is in control of every area of life. God is a wonderful Mathematician, a skillful Scientist, a brilliant Strategist, in control of History (which is actually His Story), a great Artist, and so on. God has given directions on such practical matters as buying and selling, employers and employees, dealing with crime, family relationships, and many, many more. Just as there is no place where we can flee from His presence (Psalm 139), so there is no area of life in which He has nothing to say. All life is sacred. All legitimate work is done as unto the Lord. All relationships are subject to His scrutiny.

  5. A strong emphasis on our personal relationship to God. A Biblical Christian realizes that a person is who he is on the basis of his response to God – either positive or negative. Thus the primary relationship for any person is that person’s relationship to God. After that, his relationship with his fellow man is of great importance. The child is “vertically socialized”; i.e. he is taught how to relate to God, his parents, older and younger siblings and other relatives. In this way he is fitted for society, and is able to relate to all kinds of people on the basis of the Biblical principles governing relationships that he has learned at home.

 

A MODEL OF CHRISTIAN EDUCATION: THE WHEEL

The basic principle at the root of the Biblical Christian world view is that Jesus Christ is Lord over all of life. This means that there is no such thing as “sacred” versus “secular”. Jesus Christ is Lord in politics, in the family, in the business world and in education just as much as He is Lord in the Church. Our duty as Christians is to bring this perspective to our world, to inform others of His Lordship in these different areas, and to implement this practically wherever we can. This is why a Biblical Christian has no use for the term “full-time Christian service”, as this implies that there is simultaneously a “part-time Christian service”. Every Christian is called by God to implement His way and will in the area of life in which they are involved.

There are seven areas of life which influence all people. They are as follows:

  1. The Church – because man is a worshipper. Ever since Jesus Christ came to invade the history of our world, every person has had to come to terms with this fact, whether they accept Him as Lord and Saviour or not. Those who have never heard of Him, or who have rejected Him, are involved in false worship of one kind or another. God calls upon us to worship and praise Him as the highest Being over all that is.

  2. The Arts – because man is a creator, being made in the image of God. God has endowed man with differing gifts and talents. Every person has some creative ability within himself or herself. We are to use these gifts and talents to the glory of God.

  3. Education – because man is a learner. Children are born curious. (The only way to destroy that curiosity is to send them to a humanistic school!) God’s first commandment to man was to “subdue the earth”. In order to do this, we have to know about our world. God wants us to know – but we are to observe His basic principle in this too: “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom” (Proverbs 9:10). It is significant that as education has moved away from its Christian basis, so the standards have dropped. People today are far more ignorant than people of, say, a hundred years ago, even though they theoretically know more facts. In Science we have been living on the capital of the past, and that cannot last forever. As we return to the Lord in education, we will find that the standard of work and study is raised, and new discoveries will once again begin to be made.

  4. Economics – because man is a worker. God instituted work before the Fall, and God Himself set the example by working in creation, and by continuing to work, not only in the lives of individual men and women, but in preserving and maintaining His whole creation. Man’s work is to be done as a form of worship to God. God has so ordained that man will earn his keep by honest, hard work, and He blesses diligence with prosperity. We have to be careful, however, not to forget that it is God “Who gives us the ability to produce wealth” (Deuteronomy 8:18), and be thankful to Him. One way of doing this is by honouring Him with the first-fruits of our labours, by tithing our income faithfully. When we do this, we acknowledge His Lordship over us in this area. We are also not to fall into one of two errors: either seeing work as an undesirable thing and trying to get out of it as much as possible, or becoming so involved with our work that we become workaholics. Both errors are wrong. God has given us one day in seven to rest, so that we will work hard for six days (countering the first error) and will rest on the seventh (countering the second).
    • The Media – because man is a communicator. It was God Who first said “It is not good for the man to be alone” (Genesis 2:18). In our relationships with others, we are to honour the Lord by dealing truthfully, fairly and respectfully with our fellow human beings. This applies at the individual level, the national level and the international level.

    • The Government – because man is a ruler. God is the Author of government, which He instituted for the orderly procedure of fallen man. The God-given responsibility of government is to provide protection for its citizens, whether from outside attack or from criminal activity within the country, and to see that justice is done. Those who govern are to do so in submission to Jesus Christ, Who is King of all kings and Lord of all lords. When this is the case, a government will be operating from a position of strength – the strength of the Lord Himself. It is not the function of government to provide education, medical care and financial help for its needy citizens. These functions are to be undertaken by families, the private sector and/or the church.

    • The Family – because man is a procreator. God has ordained that human beings will be involved with Him in the bringing into being of new people. This is a sacred responsibility, and must not be treated lightly. God has ordained the marriage relationship, so that two people who love one another and are committed to one another will be able to bring into the world more people, whom they will love, feed, clothe and provide for and raise in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. In doing this important task parents are given the privilege of working alongside the Creator Himself. The marriage relationship must be kept pure and free from sexual immorality of any kind, so that this can be done.