Socialize the Children in Your Homes

Considerations at the End of Time With “Essential Questions”. Lifted from the book, Ultimate Education by Ellen Dana

A craze is in the world—a bent to socialize and immerse our children in everything from violin lessons, to drama and ice skating. New ones emerge almost every week. Judge for yourself where that bent is headed. Principles in quotes below, are extracted at random from an old book with an up-to-date message, a message for end-time people. We are much closer to the end of time than when it was written over 100 years ago, making it of double importance. The book is Child Guidance, by an author well known in her day and whose publications keep on blessing many Christian homes.

First we should ask a modern “Essential Question.” The worldly educators believe they have something new and innovative, in these thought-provoking questions, but as a Christian…

I would define Essential Questions as “The questions that point the way into fellowship with our heavenly Father and fulfill the deepest longing of our spiritual lives.”

We also need to remember that it was on lack of trust that Eve succumbed to the serpent in the garden, buying the strong intimations of the Adversary that “God is holding out on you. You’ll be much smarter when you eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil.”

We need to ask our own “essential questions,” but not from the same mindset as those educators in today’s secular systems who must find substitutes for godly education.

“Fathers and mothers, in full assurance of faith plead with your sons and daughters. Let them not hear one impatient word from your lips….” p 476

Moore Academy Essential Question: How will the children hear patient words if they are continually gone from the home? If they are not hearing patient words at home, what can you do about it?

  • “Fathers and mothers who have in various ways indulged your children to their hurt, God desires you to redeem the time. Take heed while it is called today.” P 476

Moore Academy Essential Question: If parents 100 years ago needed to redeem the time, what about today?

  • “Pray much more than you do. Lovingly, tenderly, teach your children to come to God as their heavenly Father. By your example teach them self-control and helpfulness. Tell them that Christ lived not to please Himself.” P 478

Moore Academy Essential Question: How will they see an example in you if they aren’t there to see it? Whose example will they be observing and how much control will you have in that situation if they are not learning from you in the home?

  • “It costs something to bring children up in the way of God. It costs a mother’s tears and a father’s prayers. It calls for unflagging effort, for patient instruction, here a little and there a little. But this work pays. Parents can thus build around their children bulwarks which will preserve them from the evil that is flooding our world. p 479

Moore Academy Essential Question: Are you paying for the right kind of lessons? What spiritual lessons will you teach “here a little and there a little” while the child is gone to a group class or event aimed at caring for his supposed need for socialization or early development of skills, urgently pressed by “significant others”?

  • “Teach your children that the heart must be trained to self-control and self-denial. The motives of the life must be in harmony with the law of God.” p 558

Moore Academy Essential Question: Would you know whether your children have self-control and whether they deny themselves if they are not often near you, working with you, studying with you, learning at your knee?

  • “In the solemn assembly of the last day, in the hearing of the universe, will be read the reason of the condemnation of the sinner. For the first time parents will learn what has been the secret life of their children.” p 560

Moore Academy Essential Question: Would you not rather know now what the secrets are that may keep your children from living in precious fellowship with Jesus? Now is the time to work, pray and study with your children, putting a hedge about them so they begin now to enjoy sweet fellowship with Christ. This is not to escape the fires of the last days for it is not a “fire escape,” but a road to glorious moment-by-moment living in Christ. They will then also be able to meet the King of the Universe when He comes in glory. Every moment is precious time!

Moore Academy Essential Question: Am I personally learning at the feet of Jesus how to be completely submissive to Him so that He can work out His will in my life and in the life of my child?

Read the book* for yourself and ask yourself the questions. No more time is left to think of “business as usual.”

Quotes from Child Guidance* by E. White, A book greatly beloved by Dr. Moore and his wife, available at Moore Academy and Adventist Book Centers.
Ellen Dana the Educational Director at Moore Academy. She enjoys helping families around the world to successfully homeschool their children. She strives to carefully and responsibly continue promoting a balanced educational effort with individualized curriculum planning and surveillance of enrolled families’ practice in using the Moore Formula type of education avidly taught by the Moores.

Homeschooling with a Baby or Toddler

I’ve heard the question many times, “How do you homeschool with a baby/toddler?” The answer is easy. You just do. It becomes normal and for us it happened very quickly and without warning.

 

Our youngest will be two at the beginning of December. We didn’t get nine months of planning and organizing to prepare our homeschool for a new addition. We literally had no warning at all. We got a phone call…”We have a baby born this morning in Texas. Can you drop everything and go now?” After a two week stay in Texas we were back home with Sallie and ended up taking a month off from school to enjoy the newest edition.

From that point she was involved in everything we did. When we did school outside, she slept outside on the porch with us.

 

When we were doing school inside, she slept in the middle of us.

Whether she was sleeping or awake Sallie was where we were doing school for the majority of the school day. With her involvement in our day throughout her infancy she has learned the routine. She knows when we do school we stay together in one area. She sits in our laps, climbs on us, or plays quietly in the floor. Some may think that is a distraction but when you stop to think about it there is a valuable lesson being learned by our two older children.

 

When they grow up and get jobs they will be interrupted during their day. They may be working on an important project, writing an article for a newspaper, writing orders for a patient, or taking a phone call from a client and an interruption comes. Even public school children learn to deal with distractions from classmates, intercom announcements, fire drills, etc. Homeschooling with a toddler will give older children the ability to learn amidst distraction and chaos. Sure, it may take getting use to but I think it can be a hidden blessing.

An involved toddler is going to learn a tremendous amount as well. Sallie sits and colors while we are at the table. She knows where the paper and crayons are kept and where to sharpen a pencil when the lead breaks. She has her own stack of papers and magazines to choose from. She also uses dry erase markers and draws on the white board and then erases it. From the beginning she has been involved in daily chores by helping put wet clothes in the washing machine, sweeping with a small broom, feeding animals, letting the dogs outside to go to the bathroom and calling them in, getting clean trash bags when we take out the trash, etc. She is learning priceless tasks that our other two didn’t learn because I had no patience for jobs done any other way than perfect.

 

Sallie accompanies us on all field trips unless her age doesn’t allow it but in two years we have only encountered that one time. She sits with the older children, raises her hand when questions are asked (she doesn’t answer, just copies the other children), follows them when walking from one activity to the next and generally acts like she is the same age as everyone else in the group.

Having a toddler and homeschooling teaches EVERYONE! While there may be busy feet running and climbing around during school and potty training breaks or clean ups from potty training accidents there is far more to lose if that funny little person is confined/gated off somewhere else in the house while school takes place. Be patient with your little ones and teach your older children to do the same and you too will see the blessings.

Let Us Give Thanks

 

Today is Thanksgiving in the United States. It is one of my favorite holidays, because I think it’s important to take time to remember our blessings and thank God for all of His provisions and watch care.

I’d like to remind us of a few verses which speak of giving thanks to God. Perhaps your children could use them for copywork as well as memorizing them. Hey, maybe we as parents should memorize them as well, if we haven’t already!

“Give thanks unto the Lord, for he is good; for his mercy endureth forever.” Psalm 107:1.

“Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.” Psalm 100:4.

“O give thanks unto the God of heaven: for his mercy endureth for ever.” Psalm 136:26.

“And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.” Colossians 3:17.

“By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name.” Hebrews 13:15.

“Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Ephesians 5:20.

Perhaps today you could also have each person say or write what he/she is thankful for today. Share your blessings with each other. So often on Thanksgiving we get so caught up in the food preparation, and feasting, we forget to express our heartfelt thanks to our Heavenly Father who blesses us each day with small and great things: life; the air we breathe; sunshine and rain; the songs of the birds; the home we live in; family and friends; sunrises/sunsets.

I know this year my family is thankful in a big way. On September 25 my father was taken to the hospital by ambulance, with acute pancreatitis. Within a couple weeks, he began refusing meds, food, treatment, and requested hospice. He’d given up. He said his good byes to us. But my brother asked one more time, the night before he was planning to head back home, if my dad really wanted this, or to go back to the hospital. My dad said, hospital. We took him to a different one than the first in which he’d been. After several weeks there, and a few rounds of dialysis (because his kidneys had shut down), he was finally transferred to rehab. Even though he is still in rehab, and may be for awhile yet, we are thankful he is alive, and he grows stronger each day. I think this situation has drawn us closer together as a family, as well.

What are you thankful for this year?

Music Education: Part 1

 

As you would expect from a music educator/homeschool mom, there is a lot of music happening at our house. However, I could be doing so much more and worry that I have failed. OK, so I outsource a lot of music education and am not too good at making them practice consistently everyday. If music isn’t their passion (or even if it is), they need reminders to practice frequently. I’m not alone in the fear of failure as a homeschool mom. I’ve had conversations with other mom’s asking how to teach music without being musical. Any of the fine arts are difficult to teach if you are not proficient in that fine art. It costs a lot to outsource the classes or private lessons. It is important to budget for fine arts. Rest assured, there are many ways you can incorporate music education into the homeschool without taking out a loan.

First, it is important to understand the value of music education. Sir Ken Robinson has gained popularity speaking out about reforms in education. Recently I’ve been reading his book, Out of Our Minds: Learning to Be Creative. I’ve enjoyed his views on the importance of the fine arts and the importance of creativity. As a music educator I’m pleased to have another advocate for fine arts education. Also recently I’ve been looking at research by neurologists on the effect of music learning and neural development. The research confirms the interconnection of language learning which music educators, such as Shinichi Suzuki and Edwin Gordon, have based their theories of music learning. Music stimulates multiple regions of the brain and strengthens the connection between the right and left hemispheres of the brain. There are many more studies and examples of the value of music and brain development.

The next part in this series will explore the foundations for music learning and how to establish those foundations. I’ll give examples of how to incorporate music education into your homeschool. In the mean time, do something creative daily and take some time to listen to music or better yet, sing and/or play a song.

What Grade Are You In?

 

My son, 11, has often found himself in the position of not knowing exactly how to answer the question, “What grade are you in?”

This caused both of us some anxiety at first, mostly because I had to get over my truth-in-reporting obsession. For some reason I felt I needed to be able to actually respond with a grade level — even though our studies were eclectic. Added to that, we purposely started academics a year later than the public school system, and I just wasn’t sure what to say. Nonetheless, our approach has worked well for our family.

We are not unschooling, though our method borrows from that child-led philosophy. However, we turned that into more of a child-READY philosophy, and adopted the path of relaxed homeschooling, based primarily on the books of Mary Hood. (Check out “The Relaxed Homeschool: A Family Production” and “The Joyful Homeschooler.”)

Hood holds a PhD in education, and developed the relaxed approach while homeschooling her own children. “The relaxed homeschooling philosophy frees families to learn in a more family-oriented environment. Parental goals, plus the goals, personalities, and interests of each of their children, guide their learning experiences,” she notes in an interview with Creation Ministries International. Her own children were schooled in the manner that best suited each child, from unschooling for the oldest — who now has a PhD; to desk, chair, and schedule for another who craved routine; and somewhere in between for the remaining.

This approach has saved our own family from extremes which didn’t work for us or suit my child. School-in-a-box felt terribly stifling to me, and discouraging to him. At the other end of the spectrum, pure unschooling seemed too chaotic, a bit purposeless.

We read in the Bible that Jesus learned at his mother’s knee until, at 12, he joined the teachers and rabbis in the Temple, the arena of formal education at that time. Based loosely on that, along with the wisdom gained from Raymond Moore’s “Better Late Than Early” and the books of Mary Hood, our family chose not to start formal education at an early age. We concentrated on life skills, active participation in family duties around the house, early cementing of character and values, and building the strength of our family as a unit loyal to each other.

As my son became ready, academic skills were added. For him that meant not reading at all at 5 or 6, picking up some beginning skills at 7 and 8, and actually becoming a reader at age 9. Back to that first question, though… When you’ve adopted the “readiness” path, it can be intimidating for someone to ask what grade your child is in. Other kids his age were in 4th grade, yet he had only just started reading. How exactly do you respond?

This affected how we handled other academic skills, too. Anything I wanted him to know in those early years, I read to him. Areas that he personally found particularly interesting, I helped him search for online or in the Netflix library of documentaries. I discovered that if it is something he can simultaneously see and hear, he grasps much more quickly. Learning shows such as Wild Kratts on PBS became fun sources of information.

The good news is that readiness really IS key. In the two years since starting to read, his reading vocabulary skills have leaped to 7th grade level. Awesome teaching from me? Not hardly. Pure readiness on his part.

Today, he would be in 5th grade if he’d gone to school, but I suspect he’d be burned out, held back, or branded with some label. Instead, he has finished a review of 3rd grade math; is nearly done with 4th grade in writing, spelling, and social studies; reads comfortably above expected grade level; and gleans a lot of advanced history and science through his favorite medium — documentaries. The plan is to start 5th grade — more or less — in January. But, I’ve come to terms with the fact that his grade level doesn’t really matter very much.

We still don’t have an easy answer for “what grade are you in,” but it doesn’t make me cringe any more. I have is a child who is at ease with the skills he has gained, has an inquisitive mind, and feels like a specialist in several areas of personal interest. And, he has the confidence to answer that question without hesitation. His favorite answer: “I’m in multiple grades.” Works for us.

“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind,” 2 Timothy 1:7 KJV.