We have an amazing heritage as Americans.
Our nation's history is filled with heroes, many who loved Jesus Christ with all their hearts, minds, souls, and strength.
I love history! As an American, it is fun to go back in time and learn about Colonial America and the American Revolution and discover the people who made history.
If I were to create a Hallmark of Fame for the heroes of the American Revolution, I would start with my Favorite Founding Fathers.
Let me introduce them to you.
Fiery speaker, governor of Virginia, US representative, father of 17 children, devout follower of Jesus Christ, and Father of the Bill of Rights, Patrick Henry stirred up the hearts of Virginians with his famous "Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death" speech.
Patrick was a delegate to the First Continental Congress and the Second Continental Congress, but he opposed the Constitution because he felt that it would create a huge monstrosity that would trample on state and individual rights. He penned many of the Anti-Federalist Papers, letters to newspaper editors, that warned of the dangers to come. Once the Constitution was ratified, he championed the Bill of Rights, or first ten amendments to the Constitution that protect individual and states' rights.
Henry served as a US Representative and as governor of Virginia for five terms. Offered positions in both President Washington's and President Adams' cabinet, he declined for health reasons.
His famous "Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death" speech is filled with quotes from the Old and New Testament. He read his Bible for hours at a time and urged Americans to flee from the deism and atheism. He loved America and gave his life to her service.
The teen years are an amazing adventure that can be filled with joyful exuberance one minute and angst the next.
So much is going on in the heart, mind, and life of a teen.
While there can be challenging moments, parenting teens is awesome! We can enjoy a deep friendship with our beloved sons and daughters while we pass the baton of faith to the next generation.
Let’s explore the teen years so we can understand and enjoy our teenagers.
A Time of Fluctuating Emotions
There are so many ways to teach high school courses in your home school.
We have had a blast learning about all kinds of things in all kinds of ways. My teens have learned independently and learned in group settings. We love both options!
The sky is the limit when it comes to options. If I forgot something, please add it to the comments below.
Okay, are you ready? Here are some great options to teach high school courses to your teenager.
Mom or Dad-Designed Classes Taught by Mom or Dad
Hope in Jesus will never, ever disappoint.
He is faithful and unfailing.
Before I was saved, I placed my hope in so many different things, like physical appearance, attention from people, the way I acted, my dreams, my wants, etc. I was left broken and depressed each time, because, all those things failed me.
When I started following Jesus, I got new dreams and desires that weren't necessarily wrong or sinful, but it was (and has been) so easy to place my hope in those things.
And even though the desires weren't really wrong, when I placed my hope in them, I would end up feeling in despair and sadness, even brokenhearted at times.
When we place our hope in anything but Jesus, even good things, we will always end up disappointed because JESUS is the only hope that will endure and meet all our needs. He IS all that we need. He is all that will satisfy.
"And now, Lord, for what do I wait? My hope is in You." -Psalm 39:7
What in the world are we waiting for if our everything is found in Jesus?
Place your hope in Him, because He will never, EVER disappoint.
Curriculum can have a big impact on how well you and your children enjoy homeschooling and how easy it is to learn.
Curriculum can also be a big investment financially. Here are some steps to making that important decision of picking out the best curriculum for your family.
Step #1: Pray
God created you and your children. He knows what materials would work well with your family. Do not leave out prayer when making curriculum decisions. Ask God to guide your to the right curriculum choices and to speak wisdom through other people.
I set aside a day at the end of each school year. I evaluate the previous year.
We spend lots of time praying for our children and the upcoming year. We ask God for discernment and wisdom before beginning to plan the year ahead.
Step #2: Assess Self & Children (Teacher & Students)
You’ve seen the good fruit in other families and you like the idea of hanging out all day as a family, but you are wondering if homeschooling is a good idea.
Possibly you feel that God is calling you to homeschool (or you husband wants you to) and you don’t like the idea.
Whatever your situation, if you begin to homeschool you will need some reasons to homeschool over the long haul. It will not always be easy or flow smoothly. Determining why you are homeschooling will help you persevere no matter what circumstances arrive.
In addition, relatives, close friends and complete strangers will come the big questions: "Why are you homeschooling?" and "Aren't you worried about their socialization?" Be ready to answer these questions graciously and calmly.
Here are the reasons our family has embarked on the homeschool adventure.
Obedience to God's Word
The Bible makes it clear that the responsibility to teach and train their children belongs to parents, not the church, nor the government. You are free to delegate this responsibility to a public or private school but keep in mind that as a parent, you, not the school, have the ultimate job of educating your child. If they do not receive a good education, the blame is on your shoulders. Delegate carefully.
"Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it" (Proverbs 22:6 NIV ©1979).
"Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord" (Ephesians 6:4 NIV ©1979).
"My son, keep your father's commands and do not forsake your mother's teaching" (Proverbs 6:20 NIV ©1979).
"Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the LORD is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commands are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up" (Deuteronomy 6:4-8 NIV ©1979).
Parents are responsible to equip children for the life God has called them to live. They are to train little ones academically, socially, physically and spiritually. Part of a parent's duty to their children includes developing their character, preparing them with practical life skills, teaching them to handle their emotions, and equipping them for long-lasting relationships.
When parents put their children in a public or private school, they are delegating a portion of their children's education to someone else. It does not alleviate their responsibility for their education nor their accountability to God. Their education must still be closely supervised by their parents.
In our home, we decided not to delegate our responsibility to a school but rather to teach our children academics at home. We combine our areas of teaching and training: spiritual truths and character building are interwoven with academic time. Social training takes place as well when we learn to interact as a family in a way that honors God. There is so much to learn! Learning is not restricted to "school hours" but takes place everywhere and any time!
We live a lifestyle of learning.
When we studied the 20th Century, we two history labs each week so we could enjoy hands-on fun to make the past come alive.
When we studied art movements of the 20th Century, we enjoyed splatter painting to learn more about Abstract-Expressionistic Art.
Before I tell you what we did, let me tell you a little bit about Abstract-Expressionistic Art.
In Abstract-Expressionistic art, the act of creating the work is more important than the final product.
One famous artist, Jackson Pollack, would place a large white canvas in the middle of the floor and throw paint in different methods onto the canvas.
He also dripped the paint or dip yarn in paint and pulled the yarn across the canvas. Pollack is remembered for his drip paintings.
Do you remember the movie Princess Diaries? The mother is an artist and she pops balloons that are filled with paint. When the paint bursts, it splatters onto a canvas. She is painting in the Abstract-Expressionist style.
We did not fill balloons with paint and pop them, as fun as that sounds. That's way too much mess for me! Here's what we did.
Directions for Splatter Painting
We love to snuggle up and read books in our house. So, when we decided to study the 20th Century for a year, the first thing we did was look for books.
There are so many good books to choose from. It was hard to narrow it down.
We looked at HIS Story of the 20th Century to choose books that would dovetail nicely with the material covered in each decade.
Here are the books we chose.
Kim by Rudyard Kipling is set in Colonial India when it was under British control. Kim gives us a great look at what is was like to be in the British Empire generally and India specifically. The story is an engaging one, though frustrating at times as Kim makes choices that will keep him from knowing the Lord. An Irish subject in the British Empire, Mr. Kipling shows us his roots in several ways--maybe you can find them. One of the things that impacted me was an up-close look at how the culture in British colonies influenced the English as much as they spread their culture to the lands they ruled over. It was said that "The Sun Never Set on the British Empire." Kim will give a taste of that empire, as well as an exciting story.
The Singing Tree by Kate Seredy is supposedly for younger children and my kids were teens. But who can resist this story that takes you into the heart of a industrious, loving Hungarian family who is drawn into World War I? I love the opportunity to see the war from the other side. Of course, there is All is Quiet On the Western Front, but I find that book dull and preachy. So, we dove into The Singing Tree. Yes, it was an easy read, but a great story set in Hungary.
Cheaper by the Dozen by Frank Gilbreath, Jr. and Ernestine Gilbreath Carey is a delightful zany adventure set in the Roaring Twenties into a family with 12 children. Written by two of the children, it is refreshing to read about a large family whose parents planned to have so many children. Of course, the changes of the 1920s affect this family much to father's consternation. The book is a lighthearted and fun trip back to the 1920s.
"What is that?"
"It's a shell. A little animal lives inside," my daughter started to explain to her younger brother.
We were vacationing on the beach. Life was slow and relaxing, but we were still learning.
You see, all of life is an adventure and learning is a fun part of that adventure.
We are always soaking up knowledge of some sort. It might be learning about flying or fighting from playing a video game. It might be learning about crime scenes from watching a murder mystery. We learn about animals from taking care of our pet. Sometimes we learn negative things, too. Why not be proactive learners, instead of passively soaking up information?
I am always curious. I love to imagine.