Lessons for Life - Part 2
Fathers, we salute you and wish all of you an early Happy Father's Day! You have a unique calling to provide for your families spiritually, financially, emotionally, and physically. We thank you for the job you are doing!
To all you seniors graduating this year, congratulations! You are now ready to begin a new season of life and we look forward to hearing of your successes.
In this month's newsletter, as well as in May's, we are encouraging both moms and dads to think about and implement life-skills education for your children. Last month we talked about the skills of Managing the Home Front, Nutrition and Health, Financial Management, and Job Preparation. This month, we are adding four more skills for your consideration. Remember, exposure to these is beneficial while expertise in each one is not required. Your children have a lifetime to enjoy learning and practicing these skills.
TECHNICALLY SPEAKING--Learning the Basics
Knowledge of computers has become paramount in our world today. Therefore, it's absolutely necessary for your children to learn to use the computer and Internet in a safe and God-honoring manner. This is an area where families must talk with their children about what is and is not acceptable when using the resources available through technology. Please let your children know the dangers that can be encountered and how to avoid them. Colleges, today, require incoming students to know how to type, email, and use programs such as Word, at the very least. Many tutorial programs are even available to download free from the Internet.
If you know a homeschooling family who can benefit from receiving a free computer from the government, please direct them to this governnent website.
THE CULTURAL ARTS--Participating in and Appreciating the Fine Arts
Understanding and enjoying fine art and music is possible, and you can have fun learning right along with your children. Recognizing what to listen for in a musical piece or what to look for in a painting will increase your child's interest in "culture." This knowledge will come in handy when attending concerts, ballets, or operas; visiting art galleries or museums; or discussing the merits of a piece of art. Volunteering to usher, collecting tickets, serving refreshments, etc. at cultural events will expose your children to the fine arts and give them an appreciation for these God-given gifts and talents.
Your children can also benefit from participating in recitals, art shows, and theatrical productions. These opportunities will give them practice in perfecting good stage presence, public speaking skills, and simply being in front of people.
A LIFETIME OF GIVING--Volunteering and Serving Others
Giving to others with no expectation of reward or payment is a godly
value well worth instilling in your teen. Opportunities to serve
their community are unlimited from making and taking meals to
shut-ins, contributing food or serving food in a shelter, writing
cards to servicemen and women, visiting the elderly in nursing homes,
caring for neighbors' pets while they are away, etc.
Another example would be for your teen to provide free babysitting one hour a week for a homeschool mom with a number of small children so that she can do her grocery shopping while your teen plans and directs an arts and craft activity for the children. Your teen learns how to prepare and plan out an activity, and another mom gets a well-deserved break in her week.
Although your teen may volunteer as an individual, one important aspect of homeschooling is that the whole family can be involved together in a volunteer effort. However you choose to structure it, volunteering can become a natural part of your teen's life that will give him the opportunity to make a difference in others' lives long after his high school years are over.
SPIRITUAL TRAINING--Building a Firm Foundation
Most likely, at the top of the lessons for life that you desire to pass on to your children will be a love for the Lord and obedience to Him. Homeschooling provides ample opportunity for parents to train and disciple in personal/family devotions.
Dads and moms pursuing God themselves by daily being in His Word will be the greatest example your child could ever have. If your home is lacking in this regard, take it before the Lord in prayer and request His help to be disciplined in this area. Also, a faithful commitment to and service in a local church will develop a sense of spiritual community and the practice of fellowship in your child that, with the Lord's help, will continue to be a vital part of the rest of his/her life.
By instilling a thorough understanding of a variety of worldviews, you will equip your child to be able to test the philosophies of the world against biblical Christianity. Good resources are available to help you as you endeavor to pass on to your children information they can use to process current events and learn how their values affect the way they perceive issues in the news.
- Generation Joshua encourages young people to reach others in the name of Christ especially in the civic and political arenas.
- Myers Institute provides camps and resources for communicating a biblical worldview
- "Understanding the Times: The Religious Worldviews of Our Day and the Search for Truth" by David Noebel is a book that looks at many issues from a number of worldviews.
Encourage your child to be well read in the Christian classics. Start off slowly if your child is not an avid reader, perhaps even reading some of the book suggestions below as a family one chapter at a time.
In lieu of our suggestions, you may want to elicit book suggestions from your pastor. Perhaps give your teen a list of good spiritual books and allow him to choose three or four to read during the coming school year. Then, once a quarter, set up a special time with him at the local coffee shop to discuss the main points of the book and draw him out about his thoughts on the book.
- "Knowing God" by J.I. Packer
- "Pursuit of God" by A.W. Tozer
- "Pursuit of Holiness/The Practice of Godliness" by Jerry Bridges
- "Know What You Believe" by Paul Little
- "Know Why You Believe" by Paul Little
An enjoyable video series called "Faith Lessons on the Promised Land--Crossroads of the World" by Ray Vander Laan is a collection of 20-30 minute faith lessons from portions of Scripture taught at the site in Israel where they originally took place.
As you complete your school year and summer awaits you, take time to enjoy some leisure activities to refresh you for the next year. We will continue to be available to assist you through the summer so as you plan for the fall, give us a call or email us with your questions and concerns.
In our July newsletter we'll look at the unschooling option. Elizabeth Smith, wife of HSLDA's president, Mike Smith, will share her thoughts on alternatives you have as you homeschool through high school.
Last one in the pool is a rotten egg...
Becky and Diane
This resource is an article from the Homeschooling Thru Highschool newsletter (5/31/2006), and is provided by the Home School Legal Defense Association as a service to the homeschooling community.