Foundational Resources

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We have been reading so much about character training as the foundation of true education, and it has enjoyably become the bulk of our homeschool focus with teaching young children (and some parental retraining)….

I loved the analogy I read on another homeschool blog speaking of character formation in an illustration of how much a mother watches diligently over a child who is sick. The encouragement was for mothers to be as diligent to the formation of habits, just as they would tend to a sick child. What a perfect picture!

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“The lessons learned, the habits formed, during the years of infancy and childhood have more to do with the formation of character and the direction of the life than have all the instruction and training of years after,” CG 184.

Did you catch that? Character formation is the most important lesson we teach our children, and from babyhood is the best starting place. What a beautiful responsibility we have in this.

I’ve been collecting character training resources for a few years now, and am excited about a group we recently were able to start in our home which we call Character Club. My post today will be to share with you what’s on my bookshelf under this subject.

First, I want to talk about how grateful we are for the free resources from www.characterfirsted.com, which we use on a weekly basis. Our favorite Self-Control-Downloads(1)part is the Family Connection pages, which we use to remind ourselves of what we “will do” throughout the day to display that particular character. A while back I made a poster on self-control with pictures of choices displaying self-control and also those associated with acting out in anger. I then included pictures of what those particular choices would lead to: consequences or blessings. I have yet to take this poster down, because it has been an awesome regular visual aide for us all (and many visitors have shared they enjoyed the visual themselves)! Even my 2-year-old can walk you through it when I need to bring her to evaluate her choices.

Character-Sketch---open-bookset_250x250I appreciate the three volume set of Character Sketches from IBLP and their booklets, as well as coloring books. These have added a rich depth to each animal and character we have learned about. How beautiful is God’s book of nature! It’s not just for the children, but often I find I could spend several evenings reading these thick books like a good novel all on my own. I bought all three of mine used on Amazon, but paying full price online ($140 for the set) still would be worth it for the value and information you receive from each.

powerLastly, my new favorite book was given to me by a friend, and I literally almost sleep with this resource. The Power of True Success can be purchased on IBLP as well, or Amazon for $35, and you will be buying many copies of this book to share with friends of all ages. It’s a priceless resource and guide for homeschooling parents! It lists all 49 character qualities taught by Christ, alongside quotes, Scriptures, applications, and evaluations for a greater understanding in how to assimilate these characters into our life.

Lastly, I’d like to share another FREE resource that I only recently discovered that has been excellent in reinforcing and expanding what I’ve been doing to build character in our home. Section one of the Ten Principles of True Education from Sonlight Educational Ministries is titled “Character Building,” and it is motivational to say the very least! It brings you through an excellent study of the Mount of Blessings and the rich/foolish builders. What character are you building in your hearts and the hearts of your children each day? You can find it on their website under Google Drive link in their Downloads: http://www.sonlighteducation.com/downloads.html.

I’d like to think of myself as a character building enthusiast! And, I hope you find some resources that can aide you in restoring Christ’s character into your homeschool. That all being said, I’d like to add one more thing. Wherever we go, we are exhibiting either the character of God who created us or that of our carnal nature. I am praying more and more it will be the first and not the latter.

Blessings,

Allison

Homeschooling Resources: Moore McGuffey Readers

Moore McGuffey Readers

Reading can be a challenging subject to teach, and challenging for some children to learn.

Reading was a fairly easy subject for my oldest three children to learn. Frankly, I don’t think my oldest enjoys reading all that much, or maybe it’s just that he doesn’t take time to read (I think he’d rather watch videos/documentaries or play video games than read). My two middle children enjoy reading.

I used Reading Made Easy, by Valerie Bendt, for my oldest three. I worked on it some with my youngest, as well. I even purchased the activity books on CD for him. It just wasn’t “clicking” for him. So, we tried other resources, which did help him finally begin to grasp phonics, etc.

For extra reading practice, he is using the Moore McGuffey Readers. He is still in book 1, mainly because we forget to read from it every day!

Cathy Duffy states in her review of the Moore McGuffey Readers:

“This reading series covers a wide skill level span so it must be used at a slower pace than other readers. Readers have excellent discussion questions. You will want to use more reading material than what is included here to complete your program. This is an updated version of the Original McGuffey Readers that are published by Mott Media.

“The First Reader is suitable for first and second graders, and for some third graders. The Second Reader should be appropriate for third and fourth graders, although some third grade level students might not be ready yet for book 2 because of the level of the comprehension questions. It also increases significantly in difficulty from beginning to end. Most fifth graders will be able to handle the Third Reader. It should be used for two or more years, being suitable for fifth through eighth or ninth grade levels. The Fourth Reader is appropriate for students in grades 10 through 12.”

You can also watch a video review on YouTube, by Oikos Family Ministries, if you wish.

Each lesson contains the story to be read, followed by a list of vocabulary words, which may or may not be suitable for spelling words, as well. Beginning in the second book, there are also comprehension questions for each chapter.

This set of McGuffey Readers, edited and updated by the Moores, offers culturally acceptable accounts, better word lists, and questions that require more thought, while retaining the original paintings in color for the first two books and providing a strong cloth binding. (By the way, the book covers are all the same color; the above graphic does not portray the color accurately.)

The books can be purchased, as a set or individually (book 1, book 2, book 3, book 4), through the Moore Foundation, or can be found used on Amazon.

You can read my reviews for the Schoolhouse Review Crew on my blog at Life at Rossmont.

Homeschool Resources: Understanding the Body Organs and the Eight Laws of Health

Understanding the Body and the Eight Laws of Health

One of the recommended courses for high school is health, so I went searching for something to use for my 10th-grader. I came across Understanding the Body Organs and the Eight Laws of Health, by Celeste Lee.

The book is divided into two sections. The first section explains in a simple, concise way the body organs’ functions and how they relate to one another. The second section discusses GOD’S PLAN, an acronym for the eight laws of health, explaining each one along with the many benefits to you by following the entire plan.

There are also several appendices discussing eating between meals, hot and cold fomentations, steam bath, and vitamins; and providing alkaline and acid food charts.

Table of Contents
The Heart
The Lungs
The Digestive System
The Stomach
The Small Intestine
The Large Intestine
The Liver
The Gallbladder
The Pancreas
The Kidneys
The Bladder
The Glands
The Spleen
The Skin
The Brain
God’s Plan
God’s Sunshine
Open Air
Daily Exercise
Simple Trust
Proper Rest
Lots of Water
Always Temperate
Nutrition
Appendix 1: Eating Between Meals
Appendix 2: Alkaline-Acid Food Chart
Appendix 3: Hot And Cold Fomentations
Appendix 4: Steam Bath
Appendix 5: Vitamins

I believe it would be a good idea to supplement with other resources to make it a full one semester course for your high schooler. Perhaps some print-outs of the body organs as they are discussed would be helpful, or have your student draw his own copies. You could also have your student learn more about the NEW START Lifestyle through Weimar Institute. There are some videos to watch on the website, around 20-30 minutes each.

Understanding the Body Organs and the Eight Laws of Health is published by TEACH Services, Inc., and can be purchased on their website. I actually purchased my copy on Amazon.

You can read my reviews for the Schoolhouse Review Crew on my blog at Life at Rossmont.

Resources for Preparing for Baptism

Every year, for the past few years, we have received an invitation from our Conference youth director for my not-yet-baptized child to take a series of Bible studies by correspondence, to earn a free week at summer camp and participate in the baptism on Sabbath.

The first few times, I was hesitant, because I felt he was too young to attend camp. With his developmental delays and speech impairment, I didn’t feel comfortable with his going, either. The past couple years, I asked him if he wanted to try it. He told me he wanted to be 13 when he got baptized. But because of his learning disabilities, etc., I would prefer he attended junior camp rather than teen camp.

He turns 13 this summer! So I’d planned to enroll him in the Bible studies this past winter (January/February), when the invitation came. That way he could technically still be junior age for camp. It didn’t come before we went to Florida for “spring break” though, so we began making arrangements with the pastor at my parents’ church there. (We grew to appreciate him in autumn of 2014, while my dad was gravely ill, and even spent time in hospice).

There were some resources he suggested for my son to go through. I thought I’d share them with you, in case you are ready to help your child prepare for baptism. They would also be helpful, even if your child is already baptized.

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Our first resource, which we began using in January, was Making Jesus My Best Friend. It is the baptismal preparation resource for younger children (ages 8-10). It contains 10 lessons, covering such topics as: the Bible is God’s word; the Sabbath; the second coming; death; God’s judgment; and the New Earth. Each lesson has a story to read, followed by questions to answer. At the end of the book is a list of the baptismal vows, for either the parent or the pastor to go over with your child.

I purchased our copy through Amazon, for $8.99. You can also purchase it through the Adventist Book Center, for the same price.

We actually finished up this book while we were in Florida, so the pastor went over the baptismal vows with my son. He was well satisfied that my son seemed prepared for baptism, and we even considered having his baptism then (near Grandpa’s birthday), but my son decided to wait for our next visit back to Florida.

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The next resource the pastor suggested is Step by Step: Learning to Follow Jesus. It especially helps children understand the principles found in the book Steps to Christ. It contains 30 lessons, containing a Bible verse, a lesson to read, followed by teaching tips at the end of each lesson. Some of the topics covered are: we learn God loves us, why He loves us, what God is like, being sorry when we do wrong things, we can believe God’s promises, and we learn to trust God’s plan.

I found this on Amazon, as well, currently for $10.07. It’s also available at the Adventist Book Center, for $11.99.

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Our next resource is What We Believe: Seventh-day Adventists Believe for Kids. It serves as an introduction and summary of each of the 28 fundamental beliefs of the Seventh-day Adventist church, in simple, easy to understand language for children. Each lesson contains a Bible verse, a lesson to read, followed by teaching tips.

I purchased it through Amazon, also, for $9.99. It is temporarily out of stock on the Adventist Book Center website, but you may find it at your local ABC. It is listed at $11.99.

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Our final resource is God’s Ten Promises. It definitely helps children understand the Ten Commandments, and helps us look at them as promises, not a list of “do nots.” This book is written more in story form; we are introduced to a set of brother/sister twins who learn one summer, through a series of family worship sessions and life experiences about each of the Commandments. The book actually contains 12 lessons, covering each of the commandments, as well as an introduction and a summary. Each story is followed by teaching tips.

You can find it on Amazon, for $12.99. It appears to also be temporarily out of stock on the Adventist Book Center. It is listed at $15.99 there.

By the way, my son’s baptism is coming up in just a couple weeks!

Although these resources are written for children, the pastor also suggested I share them with a young man our family has recently become acquainted with, who is in his mid-twenties, and has begun studying to become a Seventh-day Adventist (from a Catholic background).

I hope you find these resources as helpful as we have.

How Do They Learn?

During this series on temperament, we’ve contrasted the basic types in four areas: Introversion vs. Extraversion, Sensation vs. iNtuition, Thinking vs. Feeling, and Judging vs. Perceiving. You’ve probably now got a fairly good grasp on your child’s preferred style. When you put all the letters together, there are 16 specific subtypes, but it’s easier to focus on the four general temperament types. Let’s look at those.

1) If your child has both Sensation and Perceiving, they are defined as an SP, a Sensible Playful child.
2) If your child prefers Sensation and Judging, they are defined as an SJ, a Sensible Judicious child.
3) If your child mixes iNtuition and Feeling, they are defined as an NF, an iNtuitive Feeling child.
4) And, if your child combines iNtuition and Thinking, they are defined as an NT, an iNtuitive Thinking child.

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SP’s: Prodigal Son, Rebekah, Adam, Laban. SJ’s: David, Deborah, Mary, Luke. NF’s: Peter, Jonathan, Barnabas, Jeremiah. NT’s: Esther, Paul, Solomon, Noah.

Not only will each of these four categories approach life a little differently, they will also learn with different styles. They may prefer different methods of instruction and varied types of curriculum. Take a look at the four types, and see if your child’s style suddenly looks familiar.

SP: These kids like action and freedom. They are spontaneous, and search for immediate gratification. This sometimes makes them “difficult” students, especially in a very traditional setting, because they’re learning styles aren’t as easy to understand. If this is your child, makes sure he gets a lot of hands-on experience, and include the physical as much as possible in his learning. She may love competition and taking risks, learn more easily from media, and be enthusiastic about performing. If you can find a way to make learning into a game or contest, this child will likely enjoy it. Also, variety and frequent changes will ward off boredom. SPs love function, so manipulating and building objects will be happily received. You may find this child struggles with paper and pencil, but excels with verbal and visual presentation. Think active and fun!

SJ: The SJ child is into belonging, especially in their family, which makes the family dynamics in homeschool all the more important. They are often more responsible and dependable about approaching their schoolwork, and usually enjoy workbooks and structure. A lesson that is presented bit by bit, in sequence, will seem sensible to them. Your little guy is not as apt to “wing it,” and likes to prepare if he has something to present. She does not do as well with independent projects, but might thrive on question-and-answer learning. Being asked for written responses also works well for this child. Asking them to guess or improvise, though, may meet with crisis.
The SJ often enjoys belonging to clubs, so you may want to look for some outside activities — Pathfinders, pen pals, library classes — for them. Of all the types, this one most values report-card-style grades. Think consistent and stable!

NF: These kids are on a search for self. He wants to “be himself” and “be somebody.” She may be more charismatic, dramatic, and idealistic. Therefore, finding a way to give meaning to learning becomes very important. Calm and positive communication is also crucial, and the NF child is the least likely to be able to take any sort of sarcasm or teasing. Personal feedback is needed, and positive comments can help this child to excel. They love interaction, and will probably want you to be very involved in their learning. They will want to talk through it, and they may talk a lot! Sometimes, their spoken vocabulary surpasses their ability on paper, so working with audio tapes can be a creative method for this child. The NF child often likes subjects that focus on people, so studying history via biographies could be helpful. Think cooperation and recognition!

NT: The NT child has a long list of “should-knows.” They think they should know, well, everything. He may ask endless questions, because he needs to understand, predict, and control. This child, more than the others, is likely to “live in its head.” She may have a lot of intellectual curiosity, and go for technology at an early age. NTs are more independent learners, and they especially like to pursue their areas of special interest, sometimes researching one area in such depth that they forget the rest of their work. They may not be as good at writing things down, and tend to hoard information rather than sharing it with their parent/teacher. You may need to help this child more with social and life skills, and with setting priorities. This may mean pushing them away from their books and computers, and out the door to play! NTs are also prone to self-doubt, so look for ways in which they can succeed. Think logic and well-reasoned dialogue!

I hope you’ve enjoyed learning more about yourselves and your kids via temperament. It’s a huge topic, and we’ve only scratched the surface. But, there are lots of excellent books out there — first and foremost, Please Understand Me, by David Keirsey and Marilyn Bates, upon which this information was based — for anyone who wants to study further.

Enjoy those little SJs, SPs, NFs, and NTs that God has blessed you with. Each is “very good” in His sight!

“So God created human beings in his own image. In the image of God he created them; male and female he created them…. Then God looked over all he had made, and he saw that it was very good!” Genesis 1:27, 31 NLT.