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

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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

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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.

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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.

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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)