Posts by Admin

Posts attributed to “Admin” have been written by various guest authors. Thank you for your contribution to the SDA Homeschools blog!

You’re Doing Great!

I have an admission. I am intimidated by Pinterest parents. I am. You know the parents who are dying their spaghetti in rainbow colors and making their children’s lunch boxes into awesome cartoon characters. These parents leave me shaking my head! How in the world do they have time to make their own hand sanitizer and personalize their child’s birthday party with every possible creation? These are impressive women and men, but I am not one of them. I want to be. I long to be. But, in the end, I am NOT.

As intimidating as Pinterest parents are, they are nothing when compared with the super homeschool parent! You know who they are…or maybe you are that super parent. Own up to it. Own it! We all stand with mouths agape at your accomplishments. I page through your creations of lap book programs and unit studies with amazement. I look at your collages of organized crafts and science projects and your well organized schedules and I think, “If only…” If only I could be that put together, that creative, that time savvy. If only, if only…

But No, not me. Nope. Not even slightly. I do have a lesson plan…written…even in pretty colors…most of the time…some of the time…

Should I hang my head in shame? Should you? I know that I am not alone. Plenty of you fall into the same category as me. You see those posts right here on this blog or others and you think, “Maybe I am failing,” or “I wonder if I can hire them to homeschool my kid?” or “I’m not telling anyone what my homeschool looks like!”

I say hold your head high ladies and gentlemen. Hold them high and say, “Today we started school before lunch! Today we finished our school work — or at least math and reading! Today I did not yell at anyone, or cause anyone to cry! Today we survived!”

I have encouraged others when they were struggling. I have told them not to worry, not to stress. I’ve told them how cooking meals and grocery shopping and even playing games is educational. But, how do I feel about it really? How do I feel about it when I apply it to my family, my homeschool?

Honestly, I want to be the super mom. I start some weeks that way! It may even last a week or so. Probably over the years it has lasted months at a time, only to have that perfection swept away by the events of life: unexpected circumstances, illness, or just too many days of negative attitudes — swept away and then given up, when too much time passes or passion passes or I decide that I just can’t anymore.

So I guess the question is this:

What does the perfect homeschool look like?
A. Your homeschool
B. My homeschool
C. Super parents’ homeschool
D. All of the above/None of the above

Your answer might depend where on the Bell curve of emotion you fall right now! But, the answer for me is D.

Really, there isn’t a perfect homeschool. Homeschool is fluid. It is constantly changing and morphing into a new form. What is one day perfect for your family may then turn out to be too much a week or month later.

Right now, we are doing great! But, doing great for us right now means that we are doing only the major subjects. It means that we are doing school five days a week and that we are keeping the house clean. That’s it. No art. No science. No handwriting. Spanish when I remember to remind them. I haven’t written a lesson plan in three months!!!
But, we are doing great, because it is where we are right now. It meets our needs, today. Really. You see, my nephew just moved in with us and has begun homeschooling for the first time. We have absorbed him right into our program, and he is catching up quickly — but what a shake-up to everyone. He not only joined our family, he changed countries; and, while he speaks English, he’s not caught up.

So you have compassion for me now, right?! You are saying, “Well, you have an excuse!”

BUT last year, it was that my husband started working from home. And before that, we moved. And another time, we were doing some remodel work. Life is not stagnant. It doesn’t wait or keep things on an even keel.

So, STOP! Stop beating yourself up. Stop saying, “Why can’t I be like super parent!” You are a super parent. You are rolling with the punches. You are loving your kids when anyone else would lock them in their room for a week. You are educating your kids! Homeschool is education. Education is learning to handle every day: how to turn a bad day into a good day, how to make cookies and double the recipe, how to keep a house clean, how to make a meal when you didn’t plan or shop. Education is your child seeing you handle unkind people, or unkind circumstances. Education is reading stories to your children and listening to them read stories to their little brother. Education is being right there in the moment present with your children, there for them. Oh yeah, it is English and math and history too.

Remember, today they know more than they did yesterday and they will know even more tomorrow! So, since your kids won’t say it, and your spouse may not realize that you need to hear it… Thank you! Thank you for showing up every day! Thank you for loving your kids! Thank you for being an awesome educator!

Blog author: Dusty Meyers

Jesus Loves Me – A Hymn Study

 

Many Christians around the world teach their children to sing Jesus Loves Me. This song is number 190 in the Seventh-day Adventist Hymnal. What a wonderful hymn for any age. This famous hymn is worth learning more in depth.

Anna Bartlett Warner and her older sister, Susan, became writers. They wrote books and poems while living on Constitution Island in the State of New York. They were across the river from West Point, and the cadets would come across the river for Bible studies with Anna and Susan at the Warner’s house.

One of the novels Anna wrote included a song. That song from the novel was given music by William Bradbury, who wrote many songs for children. That song, of course, is Jesus Loves Me. Bradbury added the refrain. Throughout the years the hymn has had different verses written, and it has been translated into many different languages.

The Mysteries
As I was researching the hymn, I came across some mysteries. Maybe you would like to see if you can figure them out. Sometimes facts are wrong in books and on websites. It takes time to search them out and see what information is actually correct.

One mystery was the year Anna was born. I found it cited as 1820, 1824, and 1827. That is a lot of years. The one tricky thing is that Anna’s mother’s name was also Anna, so it could get confusing when doing research. I checked on the website for Constitution Island, which has wonderful information about her family and pictures and videos. I also found a picture of her gravestone. Which source do you think is correct and why?

Another mystery is the name for the house Anna lived in. The Companion to the Seventh-day Adventist Hymnal says they called it “Good Crag.” I have found old pictures which refer to it as “Wood Crag,” and I have found other sources which say it was called “Good Craig.” I haven’t concluded anything on that yet, so maybe you would like to see if you can figure it out.

There are a few more; however, I’ll leave those for now. This hymn has plenty of learning opportunities, so here are some suggested activities.

Language Arts
Can you find the rhyming words in each stanza?

Rhyming patterns: The rhyming words mark the end of a phrase called a line. The first line ends in the word “know.” Assign that line a capital “A.” The next line ends with the word “so.” That rhymes with the first line so it is assigned a capital “A” as well. The third line ends in the word “belong.” That doesn’t rhyme with “know” or “so.” Then that line gets assigned a capital “B.” The last line ends with the word “strong.” That rhymes with “belong,” so give it a capital “B” also. We can say the rhymes scheme for the first stanza is AABB. See if that same pattern is followed for all three stanzas.

Writing: Could you write a new stanza for this song using the AABB rhyming pattern?

Music: Pentatonic Scale
This song was very popular in China. Missionaries loved to teach it wherever they went. One reason it was popular in China is that the tune is pentatonic. If you have a piano or keyboard, play the black keys only. That is pentatonic, which means a five-note scale — only five pitches compared to a major scale which has seven notes. Many songs in China use the pentatonic scale. See if you can figure out how to play Jesus Loves Me using only the black keys on the piano. In the hymnal, the harmony parts are not pentatonic. The cool thing about the pentatonic scale is that all five notes sound good together. See if you can improvise some harmony using only the black keys.

History/Social Studies
Anna and Susan were authors. Was that common for women during that time in history? Were there any other famous women authors during that time?

What is West Point? Can you discover any famous Americans who are associated with West Point?

Geography 

Find Constitution Island and West Point on a map. How far did the cadets have to row a boat to go study the Bible at the Warner’s home?

Foreign Language
Sing the song in another language or using sign language.

Bible
Study the words of the song. What do those words mean? There are a lot of words that are symbolic and can be a bit tricky for very young children. Can you find Bible verses that tell you that Jesus loves you?

~

This post is republished from an earlier date on the SDA Homeschool Families blog and was written by Lois Barger-Meythaler.

Encouraging the Struggling Child

 

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Is your child stressed and discouraged with a subject at school? Does he display anger because of an annoying sibling at home? Are you tired and frustrated because the child is upset and disrespectful? Is it time for a “consequence” for that “bad attitude”?

Don’t miss this precious opportunity given to train and empower your child with Scripture promised in His Word, “Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted. Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ, Galatians 6:1,2.

How do you apply this to an out-of-control child? Instead of threats or punishment, put your arm around your young struggler and sympathize with his struggles to have a better attitude, then pray a blessing that fits his case—one like this: “Bless (name) who has been learning Holy Scriptures all (her/his) life, and that these Scriptures are making (him/her) ‘wise unto salvation,’ 2 Timothy 3:15. Thank you for making ______ perfect in You.”

Or, praise God aloud for His promise for the perfect mind of Jesus in place of any self-oriented thoughts: Thank Him that “Now unto Him that is able to keep (name) from falling, and to present (him, her) faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy,” Jude 24.

One mother realized she was confusing disobedience with frustration because her son did not handle himself one day, under stress. After applying the above principles, the next day she said, “I cannot express how grateful I am. Every day I realize another aspect of this truth. It changes our relationships at home and my heart every time I come beside and offer comfort, scripture, blessings, and prayer.”

Author: Ellen Dana, Moore Home Schooling. Ellen is 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.

Run-Away Boy Meets Run-Away Goats

It’s amazing how God works sometimes when you surrender to him, rather then trying to control the situation yourself.

My young son was struggling to focus on homeschool this morning.  An emotional outburst was brewing, but I was determined that it would not be on my part.  Instead I was quietly praying, continually realigning my emotions with God.  If God be with me, who can be against me?  I called my son to prayer repeatedly, but he was resisting.  It didn’t look like anything was going to resolve easily this morning.  Sure enough, it didn’t take long.  He got frustrated, jumped up, and ran out the door.

Should I follow him?  Chase him down?  Make him come back?  Force him to put that pencil back on the paper and form words?

No.  I should pray.  And pray I did.  Lord, cover my son.  Call to his conscience.  Bring him back on his own please.  Diffuse the battle, if possible.  Nevertheless, not my will, but God’s be done.

I calmly got up and moved out the door to see what was happening.  I spotted him outside and thought maybe we’d need a brisk walk before we headed back in.  Instead, God had worked out something different.  Effective.  Amazing.

Out at the road was a county sheriff, trying to herd two beautiful goats out of the road.  It seems everyone at home was converging on the same spot, even grandma and grandpa.  Apparently the goats had escaped from some neighbor’s home and were out for an adventure.  I wondered what the sheriff was going to do with them.  Turns out, the sheriff was wondering the same thing.  Young son was drawn and started helping.  The goats turned right into our driveway.  Which is right by our chicken pen.  The chickens were out for the day, so into the pen went the goats.  Well, almost straight in, we had to lure them in with a little grain.  Now they are out there waiting for their owners to get home from work and realize that they have missing animals.  They were beautiful, well-cared for goats.

My son was so happy that he had goats at his house, even if for a little while, that he went straight back to his schoolwork, once they were settled in, without me telling him.  And in just over an hour he was finished.

It is amazing what happens to a run-away boy when he meets run-away goats.  Thanks to God for using it all for good.

Stronger in Jesus

It is often said that what doesn’t kill us, makes us stronger. I guess I’ve lived long enough now to learn the truth in that maxim. As much as we might want to avoid it, suffering and pain and challenges do often make us stronger. In my church, we are taking a three-month period to study this very idea of suffering and what connection God could possibly have with it. We are discovering that it should really be no surprise to the follower of Jesus when tough times come. After all, Jesus was constantly facing sorrow, wasn’t he? And he told us that if we follow him, we will have both the fullness of joy AND sorrow. Why? Because that was his path through this world, and if we are walking in his footsteps, it should not be surprising that we walk through difficulties as well. This world was not his home and neither is it our home. It shouldn’t be expected to be always comfortable.

The idea that trials make us stronger doesn’t mean that we can’t also learn through joy and happiness and blessings. We can and we do learn from the good times. But, like it or not, it is when we are in the darkest of the dark that we scramble hardest for a match. And when we get a spark, we are so much more grateful for its light than we are when we’re walking in the cloudless sunshine.

It’s a fact. What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger. Still, it’s important to add one condition to this truth. That condition is that while we are suffering, we find ourselves clinging to Jesus during the difficulty.Otherwise, we just survived. There’s a difference, isn’t there? We cansurvive trouble without becoming necessarily stronger. We can still be alive, but wanting to be dead. To come to the other end of the darkness and actually be stronger, means that we have had an encounter with the Man of Sorrows. It means that we can actually look at the pain we endured (and still may be enduring) and yet be grateful for the opportunity to connect with Jesus in an intimate way.

So, with the condition of going through sorrow with Jesus, we can truly say that what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger. More important, however, is our new awareness that what doesn’t kill us makes GOD stronger….in our eyes. After all, God is the Hero of each story. No matter what the trial is, in the end God is the One who reaches down and strikes that match in the darkness. It is God’s strong hand that picks us up. It is the strength of God’s own words that bring hope and restoration and peace to our weakened condition.

Some people believe God is incapable of allowing bad things to happen to good people. But if we are honest, we must realize that it is because of enduring some bad things, that we know more about the good things of God. Paul said in 2 Corinthians 12:9 NKJ that God’s strength is made perfect in our weakness. “Therefore I take pleasure in my infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

When the next wave of difficulty washes over us, or even crashes head-on into our faces, we can remember that in our helplessness, God is made powerful. And in God’s power, we will be made stronger too.