Thursday, May 24, 2012

Deuteronomy 11:19 and Homeschooling

You shall teach them to your children, speaking of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. Deuteronomy 11:19 NKJV

I've been studying this verse lately as I prayerfully consider curriculum and resources for the coming homeschooling year.  What I keep coming back to time and time again is that although the academics are an important part of one's education, the most important and beneficial thing I can impart as my children's teacher and mother is that of the Word of God and how it is to be applied to EVERY aspect of our lives. 

We've been dealing with an awful lot of character issues over the last few months and it's time to kick it in high gear and shift our focus to deal with those issues in a Godly manner. Enter in hormonal changes, and it's gets a bit challenging to say the least!

There are many resources I've been looking at to help train up the children God has blessed us with.  One of the things that I felt God was leading me to was to search for resources that I could use with all of my children no matter what level they are at developmentally.  This, of course, cuts out a good portion of the resources out there. 

Here is what we found on Character Education and Bible curriculums.  This list in no way reflects all the resources that may be available.  This list is just what I've come across that I felt would be a good fit for our family.

Doorposts - Bible-based parenting and character training material

Doorposts offers several different Biblically-based resources that can be easily integrated together and include Bible Character Education, Bible Study, Bible-based Music and more! They also have packages that you can purchase at a decent price.  We are looking at using the "For Instructions in Righteousness" book along with some of their charts.  We may or may not implement the Polished Cornerstones and Plants Grown Up resources.

We Choose Virtues - We are also looking at another Character Education Curriculum from We Choose Virtues.  It was originally formulated for the public school sector but they also offer faith-based resources.  We are currently working with one of their resources, the Parenting Cards - faith based and will have a review up very soon.  They cover the virtues of Obedience, Helpfulness, Kindness, Diligence, Perserverance, Self-Control, Gentleness, Attentiveness, Patience, Contentment, Forgiveness, and Honesty.  They come with a card that explains some Family Flash Card Games that can be played to reinforce the concepts you want your children to learn.  We Choose Virtues also offers package deals.

Pumpkin Seed Press - Beautiful Girlhood Series - I actually found out about this resource awhile back when I came across the Blog B'twixt and B'tween as I was searching for Bible Studies for Tween girls.  The blog offers extra things to do each week with your daughter to create, hopefully, a stronger bond, as you work through the book Beautiful Girlhood (originally written by Mabel Hale) Revised by Karen Andreola and the Companion Guide to Beautiful Girlhood by Shelley Noonan and Kimberly Zach.  Scriptures quoted in the book are taken from the New King James Version, unless ohterwise indicated.  Once mothers and daughters move through this set, they can move on to Beyond Beautiful Girlhood Plus Companion Guide to use as a tool for transitioning into adulthood.  I, personally, was blessed with some used copies of all three of these books and will be getting started as soon as possible with my twin 'tween girls.  I continue to search for a complementary resource that my husband can use with our young 'tween boys.  Please feel free to comment on any resources you have come across that may be useful and easy to implement, and of course fun and engaging for boys!

Apologia - What We Believe Series - As my husband and I hear of current news, listen to modern day music and watch the entertainment choices on television and the big screen, it has become clearly apparent that our children be equipped to discern among competing ideas and stand in the truth. When searching for multi-level Bible Curriculum I found the Apologia "What We Believe" Series.  Apologia teamed with Summit Ministries to bring this series together. The "What We Believe" Series claims to teach your child the essential beliefs of the Christian faith, but with so much more! According to their website it is student-directed, Bible-based curriculum, that will help your children learn how to use Scripture as a lens through which to view the world around them—to see everything the way God sees it—and know the truth.  THIS is definitely what I want, we want, for our turn to Scripture to guide each and every step of their lives.  We will defintely be adding this curriculum to our line up for the upcoming year, starting with the first book in the series, "Who Is God and Can I Really Know Him?"

Of course, in addtion to the above resources, our children will continue using AWANA Truth & Training resources, Keys for Kids daily devotionals from CBH Ministries and gleaning from the Word of God through Expositional preaching at our Church.  At the base of it all, of course, we will use The Holy Bible, God's Holy Word and Truth.  My husband and I believe with this strong basis, the academics will fall into place as God sees fit.

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