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Making Biblical Family Life Practical
20 minutes | May 21, 2021
Teens, Preteens, and Social Anxiety – MBFLP 263
One of the hallmarks of adolescent behavior is social awkwardness, often to the point of anxiety. That’s true in the best of times! Yet here we are after a year of pandemic alarms, mandates, and “abundance of caution,” and you may be finding your young people are not eager to begin seeing people outside the family again. What can we do to help our teens and preteens resume normal, healthy interactions? Resources We Reference Our episode reviewing Dr. Jean Twenge’s book iGen about characteristics of our children’s generation “How the Pandemic has Impacted Teen Mental Health,” Mott Poll Report, 3/15/21 Craftsman Crate by subscription, individual boxes, or party packs Upcoming Events (May-June 2021) We’ll be speaking at the Thrive! Conference (North Carolinians for Home Education) in Winston-Salem, N.C., on May 27-29, 2021. We’re speaking four times on Thursday and Friday, on parenting pre-teens, helping your struggling learners in high school and college, the challenges of boys and media, and what you can achieve academically with a more relaxed homeschooling approach. And our booth is in the usual spot on the upper level of the book fair! We’ll also be part of the Homeschooling With Confidence: Unstoppable online event hosted by Home Educators Association of Virginia (HEAV.org). This is going to be a different sort of online event with more interaction with the speakers and with other attendees – we’re looking forward something special with this one! The post Teens, Preteens, and Social Anxiety – MBFLP 263 appeared first on Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network.
38 minutes | Apr 30, 2021
Seasons of Motherhood – MBFLP 262
There are seasons to motherhood Ecclesiastes says that “For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven.” (Eccl 3:1) Yet young women are being told that they can and should do all things right now. They’re being urged to set their priorities by the culture’s values instead of their own – unless their priority is “Me first!” In this special presentation to a mothers’ group in Winnsboro, Louisiana, Melanie offers an encouraging perspective on the opportunities and special needs at different stages of our children’s lives, and the critical contribution that a mother can make in each of those times. Upcoming Events We’ll be speaking at two conferences this month: May 6-8, 2021 Teach Them Diligently – Mobile, AL May 27-29, 2021 Thrive! Conference (North Carolinians for Home Education) – Winston-Salem, NC If you’re there, come by our booth and say hello! And if you’d like to see us at your nearby event, let them hear from you! Call our Listener Contact Line – (919) 295-0321 The post Seasons of Motherhood – MBFLP 262 appeared first on Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network.
25 minutes | Mar 5, 2021
Effective Discipline for Teens – MBFLP 261
A reader writes, “I need suggestions how to discipline my 14-year-old son.” She’s finding out what we all discover – if you try to discipline your 14-year-old like he was still six, you’re likely to have a fight on your hands! So what do you do with this young person who’s growing so tall, but still needs a lot of guidance and discipleship? It’s more than behavior management With younger kids, a great deal of our training is behavior – “Don’t tease the cat,” “Don’t touch the stove,” “Stop hitting your brother!” Tedd Tripp points out that Ephesians 6:1 is fundamental for the younger set: “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.” And external behavior is important – that’s what hurts others and damages things! But as they move into the early teen years, our children need more coaching and discipleship to reach their deepest need – the condition of their heart. They need to be confronted with Right and Wrong in a larger sense than, “Honor your father and your mother.” When they realize their failing and sin, they are more likely to grasp their need for a Savior! And when we recognize that their behavior is more than “You’re on my nerves!” but something rooted on their human fallenness … maybe we can be a little more compassionate and not as quick to react. As they change, we should too A lot of parent-teen relationships are strained or broken because parents don’t adapt to their young person’s changes. When they reach adolescence, they’re not kids any more! We need to understand they aren’t the little ones we’ve raised so far, but young adults-in-training. We can’t just continue the old discipline models and expect the same response. Appropriate correction for a four-year-old is humiliating, at best, to a 14-year-old. More and more, we need to move our discipline to adult responses. What does that look like? Well, consider what happens when we make a mistake or cause an offense as an adult. Are we sent to stand with our nose in the corner until we say we’re sorry? Does our boss or pastor or neighbor give us a sharp swat on the hand? Of course not. Instead, we are likely to experience “natural consequences.” Gilbert and Sullivan’s comic operetta The Mikado includes the chorus, “Let the punishment fit the crime!” Humor aside, that’s actually quite Biblical. Over and over again in Scripture, you see principles of repentance followed by restitution. We use this as a guide with our teens – if you break it, you fix it – whether it’s a broken toy or a damaged relationship. It’s a hard lesson, but we impress on them that being an adult sometimes means we accept responsibility for things that aren’t strictly our fault. Maybe something happened by accident, or someone took offense by misunderstanding – we still need to step up and try to make things right. Occasionally the problem isn’t actual sin but rather just high spirits or too much energy. Maybe they really are on your nerves, and that’s most of the problem! How did Coach handle it? Sometimes the best correction is just to work it off. How did your high school coach handle it if you were goofing off during practice? What did your drill instructor do at boot camp if you weren’t putting your back into the job? A bit of strenuous exertion can be a lifesaver here! “Drop and give me ten!” – a call for some push-ups is a good manly punishment for a minor but irritating infraction. You can have them run up and down the stairs, or laps around the back yard. Ask Dad for advice, since he’s probably received similar correction in his time! It’s not offensive or demeaning, but it can use up some energy and help your son focus again. It’s not supposed to be easy or fun. Hebrews 12:11 says, Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it. (continue …) The most important part But the most critical thing to remember is the foundation you’re laying for the long term. What sort of relationship are you building with your teenager? Our relationship with God is more than just crime-and-punishment – that’s part of it and unavoidable, but it’s not the full relationship. If that’s all we know of our heavenly Father, there’s a lot that’s missing! Likewise with our kids. Of course we’ll have times of conflict or confrontation, but the question will remain – what sort of relationship do we have now, and what sort are we building for tomorrow? … Tune in for practical applications! The post Effective Discipline for Teens – MBFLP 261 appeared first on Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network.
14 minutes | Feb 26, 2021
MBFLP 260 – Accident-Prone Kids
A reader asked, “What can you do about accident-prone kids who always seem to be breaking things?” “Uh oh …” We’ve all heard the dreadful sound from the next room – or the sharp crash of breaking glass – or the muffled whump in another part of the house. All kids will have moments of clumsiness, carelessness, or foolishness, that result in something getting broken or someone getting hurt – that’s just normal childhood. But some kids seem to leave a path of destruction in their wake – what do you do about them? Let’s say up front that we’re not talking about kids who are suffering from trauma, illness, or developmental conditions that lead to destructive behavior – that’s a different situation altogether. We have friends who deal with these things on a daily basis, and they are walking a different path. But what about your average, healthy, otherwise normal kid who you’d think would know better? How do you deal with them? First thing … One of our basic rules of parenting is Don’t Freak Out. We don’t respond at our best when we leap to reaction. It may help to remind ourselves that this world is not our ultimate home and all its things are passing away (1 Corinthians 7:31). All our stuff is actually God’s stuff, and we are just stewards and managers of it for Him (Psalm 24:1). That’s not easy advice, but it’s true – right? Take a breath, and pray for perspective. Next step, Triage the situation. Not only answering the question, “What just broke here?” but rather, “Why did something just happen?” We find there are three basic profiles – (continued … ) Three scenarios The angry child who acts from rage or malice. This is the one who intentionally hurts someone or damages something, or the one who fails to control his temper and lashes out blindly. This is upsetting but it’s rooted in clear sinful behavior, and you can respond along those lines. Repentance and restitution are the goals here. The truly innocent child. This one honestly didn’t intend any trouble, and wasn’t inviting it by foolish or careless behavior. In other words, they aren’t to blame – something they did may have triggered a problem, but they didn’t cause it by neglect or malice. He needs to express sympathy and concern, and even apologize; you may need to convince him that an apology isn’t always an admission of guilt! We try to see this as a multi-victim event – both the one who was injured, and the one who stumbled and caused it. Mercy is our first reaction, and then training in responsibility – if you knock it over, you need to pick it up, even if you didn’t do it on purpose. The careless child. This is the child who loses school books, forgets to close the gate, or leaves his brother’s bike out in the rain. They aren’t malicious but they are inattentive! It’s important to remember that irresponsible behavior is not the same as rebellion – our response needs to be different. Irresponsibility should bring natural consequences – like replacing a lost book with his own money. It’s appropriate to use these events to remind them to concentrate and pay attention (even while we privately admit they aren’t very good at this at the moment). And then … Once we understand what’s motivated the incident, we can respond in a way that will be just and will protect our relationship with the child. Our children are not cookies, so a cookie-cutter approach won’t respect their individual needs, fears, weaknesses, and strengths! If you have a middle school student and you’re wondering why they are the way they are (you know what we mean), check out our book No Longer Little: Parenting Tweens with Grace and Hope. You can find it on our website here. The post MBFLP 260 – Accident-Prone Kids appeared first on Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network.
16 minutes | Feb 22, 2021
Helping Dad Connect With The Kids – MBFLP 259
A reader asks: “How can we help dads connect with their kids?” Moms seem to naturally connect with little ones – even before they’re born! It’s not so easy for dads, though. More than one has said, “I can’t communicate with this baby – I’ll let Mama handle it until he’s six or seven, and can understand me.” That may be common but it’s unnecessary and really, it’s giving up precious time in your child’s life. It’s true, you’ll have a different relationship when they reach that age, but that’s true for every age – and the longer you put off your child, the harder it might become to build bridges later. So what can be done about it? First off, don’t let it become a source of contention between husband and wife. If she raises the issue, he needs to step back a bit and ask, “Lord, is it true?” rather than getting defensive. Recognize that “connecting” isn’t magic and mystical – it’s just a matter of spending time and interacting with your kids. Train yourself to be intentional about “dad time.” Hal used to de-compress on the commute home, trying to mentally close the office door behind him and re-focus his mind on his roles of husband and father when he got home. That’s not obvious when you’re working from home, though – you have to remind yourself to step away from work and notice your family around you. Practice some self-denial. The world really plays on our natural desire for our own needs and interests. Certainly there’s a need for some rest and recuperation just to keep yourself healthy and strong! But being available for your children’s needs means your own will have to wait sometimes. Patience is a fruit of the Spirit – it should not surprise us that we don’t naturally abound in it! (continued … ) Disciple Like Jesus Did Take your kids along when you can. The American theologian Jonathan Edwards had eleven kids and responsibility for several churches in colonial New England. Whenever he traveled to another village, he took a child along. Even when they’re very little, Dad can bring along the baby or the toddler when he runs an errand. Take the opportunity to talk with them about what you’re doing – even if they can’t talk back, they’ll grow accustomed to your voice and they’ll learn more than you realize! Invite your kids into your work. Men seem to communicate better shoulder-to-shoulder – working together on some project. Whatever task comes to hand, ask one of your kids to join you – “Come on, let’s change the oil on the car,” or “Let me show you how to unstop a toilet.” Allow for additional time and distraction; it won’t be as efficient as doing the job solo, but it’s important time for training and relationship. What if they’re not interested? Keep asking, and sometimes, don’t give them the option – just bring them. Jesus trained His disciples this way – He lived and worked with them, and He explained and asked and answered questions as they came alongside Him in ministry. And don’t be shy about inviting yourself into their world, either. “Hey there – whatcha building?” “I haven’t read that book – what do you think about it?” Initiate conversations! Ask open ended questions. Assume that they can understand and respond, and see if you can draw them out. Remember that you can’t schedule a heart’s opening – you have to be there when they’re ready to share. That means the time you invest simply being with your children and interacting with them will open doors and opportunities for deeper conversation and counsel. HAVE YOU GOT A QUESTION YOU’D LIKE US TO DISCUSS? Call our Listener Response Line at (919) 295-0321 The post Helping Dad Connect With The Kids – MBFLP 259 appeared first on Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network.
18 minutes | Jan 28, 2021
Make the Most of Uncertain Times – MBFLP 258
“How do I encourage my young men to look forward to the future?” In part 1, we talked about the reality of uncertainty as a part of every time and every life, though the immediate upheaval is a very real and very disruptive event! (see episode 257, “Making Sense of Uncertain Times”) But how can we provide some practical help to young men whose plans for college, work, nnd relationships have been upended and put on indefinite hold? What can we do as parents to help them make the most of these uncertain times? Remember the pandemic hits everybody differently. People in stable relationships with established careers may be better able to adjust to the disruptions than young men who are just at the starting point. Young single adults may be feeling real isolation and loneliness. They may appreciate more contact with family, in real life or online. Reach out! And plan to listen – they may be missing people they can talk through their concerns with. A new socialization problem Encourage them to be inventive about socializing online. We have young adult friends who have organized online prayer meetings, held conference calls for fellowship, connected through video gaming platforms, and more. Some video conferencing programs offer service for small groups for free, and messaging apps like Skype and Signal can be used for several people in a call. If your teens don’t have a social media account, now may be the time to train them how to use it wisely. Social media has its pitfalls, for certain, but it is possible to use it for God-honoring purposes. Your teens will be expected to have some social media savvy when they leave your home; it’s widely used in business and academia as well as peer-to-peer. What better time to coach your teens than right now, while they’re still at home and open to guidance? For kids too young for social media accounts, we may want to use ours to facilitate fellowship for them and their friends. It’s worth remembering that our online friendships may be part of our own coping mechanisms; our younger kids may not have that connection for themselves. Maybe you can set up a game meeting, a virtual tea party, or some other way for the elementary and middle school kids to interact … with supervision. Realize that all our social skills may be rusty – your young people may need encouragement and coaching when they can resume meeting people in person. (jump to continue … ) What can you do with this time? Parents and people in a more stable situation may be able to provide perspective. If we aren’t in the throes of the uncertainty faced by our sons, we may be able to think of alternatives and options that they haven’t considered yet. We also may be able to point out that life doesn’t end at 25 or 30 — in fact, the most productive and effective part of their lives and careers is very likely years in the future still. A few months delay at 18 or 23 is not going to stop the world for them! Some practical ideas to consider: Start a business. Start something online. Begin writing the book you wanted to write. Read up a subject and take a CLEP exam for college credit. None of this has to be permanent or long term, but any of them will encourage you to be active, keep thinking, and avoid just giving up! Give them hope! Your sons need encouragement and they need the benefit of your experience and your ideas. Remind them this is a just a passing time in their lives and it will soon be past. Rather than despairing, they can make the most of the opportunities they have in these uncertain days! Resources We Mentioned Skype messaging app Signal messaging app SKRAFTY moderated Minecraft server and more Our free College Decision Resource Pack – click here to download your copy! The post Make the Most of Uncertain Times – MBFLP 258 appeared first on Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network.
16 minutes | Jan 26, 2021
Making Sense of Uncertain Times – MBFLP 257
How can we encourage our young adult sons to look forward to the future? A listener asked the question, considering the wide-ranging effects of the pandemic response. What can we say or do to give hope to our young adults, when everything seems to have a roadblock? What do we do when college is reduced to online classes, when social opportunities are severely restricted, and many entry-level jobs aren’t hiring? First, we need to recognize our sons’ struggles may be very different from our own. Those of us in stable relationships, with family surrounding us and our careers well underway, will weather the storm very differently than the young man who is just starting out. They need our understanding and sympathy. That’s only Biblical – Romans 12:15 tells us to “rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep.” Put yourself in his place – how would you feel if suddenly high school graduation wasn’t going to happen, and college would likely be video classes like the last semester of high school, and the great adventure of moving out and meeting new people was postponed indefinitely? It would be disappointing and disorienting, at best. Your son doesn’t have your perspective to give him some balance and patience! Consider that when Jesus went to the tomb of His friend Lazarus, He wept. Even though He was about to bring Lazarus back from the dead, Jesus could share the immediate grief of the sisters. Surely we can be sympathetic to our sons’ worries before we try to fix them! We have perspective they (probably) don’t This may be the first time your young adult had a total upheaval of long-held plans. It may feel like the end of the world to them. Those of us who have experienced sudden job loss or a health crisis might be able to say, “It’s not just the present trouble – there’s a certain amount of uncertainty in LIFE.” Times of greater or lesser disruption will come, but there are no guarantees about the next day’s plan (James 4:14). In fact, our response to difficult times reveals our character. In uncertain times, God intends us to keep going. When the Jews were taken away to Babylon, God acknowledged the disruption but told them to keep on with life – build houses, plant gardens, get married, raise families, and pray for the peace of their place of captivity (Jeremiah 29:4-7). Jesus described the end times (in Matthew 24) as master leaving on a journey and returning unexpectedly – he wants to find his servants watchful but working! Uncertainty is a part of life, by God’s design – but He wants us to trust Him and keep on doing the best we know how! Resources We Mentioned Romans 12:15 – Weep with those who weep John 11:1-44 – Jesus wept James 4:13-15 – You do not know what will happen tomorrow; for what is your life? It is even a vapor … Jeremiah 29:4-7 – God’s instructions to the Jews in Babylon to live as normally as possible – even as captives and exiles! Matthew 24:3-47 – Jesus describes the end times and suggests we should keep working until He comes! Gary Smalley, If Only He Knew (the marriage book Hal mentioned) The post Making Sense of Uncertain Times – MBFLP 257 appeared first on Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network.
24 minutes | Jan 16, 2021
The Foundations of Education – A Conversation with Ken Ham – MBFLP 256
As we bring up our children in the training and admonition of the Lord (Ephesians 6:4), how can we confidently address the hot button issues in our culture? When the world says humanity is a cosmic accident, society is nothing but structures of oppression, and personal autonomy and self-identification are the highest good – how do we respond? In part two of our conversation with Ken Ham, founder of Answers in Genesis and author of the new book Will They Stand, we talked about how our educational choices for our children have a major, critical impact on their spiritual development and training. Only Two Options We talked at length about forming a worldview – the lens through which you see and interpret the world around you. Ken uses the example of building a house. “You don’t build a house by starting with the roof and walls,” he said, “you start with the foundation.” He said that 95% of children in Christian homes are being taught in the public school system, where they are told that all things have a naturalistic cause and explanation – “which is atheism,” he pointed out. All week they are taught a philosophy and worldview which is not just un-Christian but actively hostile to Christian teaching. Then on Sunday we attempt to teach them about Jesus and Christian doctrines. “We try to put the roof and walls on a foundation that won’t make that structure stand,” he said. “And we wonder why they leave the church, and build a new structure based on secular thinking.” “Ultimately we have to understand there are only two foundations to build your way of thinking. You start from God’s Word, [God] Who knows everything. That’s the only way to come to right conclusions about anything, is starting from Someone who knows everything, Who’s given us the key information we need. The Bible is a revelation from God giving us [that] key information. “If you don’t start from God’s Word, there is only one other starting point — that’s man’s word.” (continue …) God’s Design for Teaching God’s Precepts Answers in Genesis is best known for its presentation of Biblical, young-earth creationism. But Ken explained that so many of the “giants” our children will face, the most controversial issues in the public arena, are addressed in the first eleven chapters of Genesis – the act of Creation is only the first part. “How do you teach your children about marriage? The gender issue? The abortion issue?” he asked. “You’ve got to start with Genesis 1 through 11. If you don’t have Genesis 1 through 11 as the foundation, you can’t build the structure.” Just on the example of marriage, Ken pointed out that Genesis 1:27 and 2:24 demonstrates God’s design for gender, marriage, and family, and when Jesus was asked about marriage and divorce, He referred back to those passages – without hedging or apology. When Paul deal with relationships between the husband and wife, he did the same. God’s word is clear, and we can stand on it with confidence. God also gave instructions to His people on teaching their children, Ken said – in Deuteronomy 6. “You shall teach them diligently to your children, and you shall talk of them [God’s words] when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.” (v. 7) “Education is not just an hour or two that you do on Sunday,” he said. “Education is twenty-four hours a day. … “In 100% of what you do, you are teaching your children.” In the first part of this interview (episode 255, “Building a Legacy”) we talked with Ken about the importance of being intentional in teaching and training our children to know and love Christ. Our personal example is crucial; so is the educational system we chose to occupy so many hours of our children’s lives. As Ken says in Will They Stand, “You will leave a legacy … the question is, what kind?” The post The Foundations of Education – A Conversation with Ken Ham – MBFLP 256 appeared first on Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network.
19 minutes | Jan 13, 2021
Building a Legacy – A Conversation with Ken Ham – MBFLP 255
Welcome to the new year! Glad as we may be to see the old year passing, the challenges to our families never change. As the world around us becomes more hostile to Christian teaching, how do we prepare our children to walk in faith when they leave our home? What sort of foundation can we lay to give them a base to stand on? We kick off our 2021 season with a conversation with Ken Ham of Answers in Genesis. Ken is famous for defending Biblical creationism and the historicity of Genesis, but he also writes and speaks on family issues. His book Already Gone looked at why children and young adults leave the faith they grew up in. A second book, Already Compromised, examines how colleges and universities drift away from their foundations, too, and how parents should guide their children’s educational choices after high school. “Parenting Kids to Face the Giants” But his newest book is a more personal account of how parents can build a godly legacy in their family. Will They Stand shares the importance of raising strong believers from childhood forward, preparing them to hold fast against a hostile culture outside the home and the church. In the first half of this two-part interview, we talk with Ken about the foundation his father laid for him and his siblings, then how Ken and his wife Mally have kept Biblical principles central to their family. He centers his argument on a constant, intentional approach with an eye to future generations: “Please understand that you too will leave a legacy to the generations to follow. They may not build memorials to you, and it’s unlikely that they will place signs outside of the place of your birth … but what you leave behind will forever impact the hearts and souls of those in your family and beyond. You will leave a legacy; the only question is what kind of legacy it will be.” (from the book, p. 63) The post Building a Legacy – A Conversation with Ken Ham – MBFLP 255 appeared first on Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network.
14 minutes | Oct 12, 2020
Biographies for Book Lovers – MBFLP 254-2
. Finishing up a listener’s question from episode 245, (“What Are You Reading Right Now?”), this episode Hal is talking about some of his favorite biographies, and why he likes reading this special form of history. Biography is more than just the facts Some years ago, Hal started reading biographies to learn more about figures in local history. What impressed him was how, when he’d been reading the life stories of men who had faced challenges and lived life with honor, faith, and courage, it started to show up in his own thinking — “How would such-and-such have handled this?” That shouldn’t come as a surprise, after all. Paul wrote to the believers at Phillipi, Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy — meditate on these things. (Philippians 4:8, NKJV) A life well and truly lived will show evidence of these things. What better way to consider them than to observe how other humans have applied them to the struggles of life? People are complex A well-written and honest biography will include the facts of the person’s lifetime, as well as the cultural context he or she dealt with. Much of the current “cancel culture” betrays an inability to recognize the good that a person accomplished in spite of their times, instead forcing long-passed people through a filter of 21st century sensibilities. At the same time, an accurate biography will acknowledge the faults and failures of the subject. Humans are highly complex and inconsistent beings, which may prevent us from reaching our best potential as well as hindering us from sinking as low as we might! An account of someone whose life work has been assessed through the lens of time, whose impact has been seen by the outcomes of his actions and words, can be a powerful encouragement and example to follow — or an earnest warning of ways and ideas to avoid! And that’s why biographies can be good for the character and soul. It’s worth considering! If you’d like to know more about biographies Hal mentioned, links are here (and for history, here are links to books from the first episode ) If you’d like to leave a comment, question, or request, our Listener Response Line is (919) 295-0321 The post Biographies for Book Lovers – MBFLP 254-2 appeared first on Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network.
18 minutes | Oct 8, 2020
History for Book Lovers – MBFLP 254-1
Earlier this year we talked about books and authors the two of us enjoy together (episode 245, “What Are You Reading Right Now?”) and we mentioned that each of us has genres we like personally but separately. A caller on our Listener Response Line reminded us that we hadn’t returned to those books – “You teased us a little bit!” she said – so this week, Hal is sharing some books of history and biography which he’s been reading. The Value of History Over half the Bible is historical narrative, and God tells His people to remember the past and talk about it with their children. In Deuteronomy, Moses tells the people: Remember the days of old, Consider the years of many generations. Ask your father, and he will show you; Your elders, and they will tell you: When the Most High divided their inheritance to the nations, When He separated the sons of Adam, He set the boundaries of the peoples According to the number of the children of Israel. (Deuteronomy 32:7-8) The reference to “nations” and “peoples” says this is more than the history of Israel – it’s all of us as “sons of Adam.” When we learn about history, we’re learning how God has guided people and nations over the centuries, with and without their cooperation or consciousness, and we can learn or take warning by their example. Our own Benjamin Franklin, whatever his personal theology, observed to the Constitutional Convention in 1787, “I have lived, Sir, a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth – that God Governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without his notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without his aid?” (here’s a transcript) … and we know this to be true because it’s in Scripture: The Most High God rules in the kingdom of men, and appoints over it whomever He chooses. (Daniel 5:21) That’s a good thing to remember during this election year! And it’s a good reason to take a look at history, too. If you’d like to know more about books Hal mentioned, here are links to all of them … If you’d like to leave a comment, question, or request, our Listener Response Line is (919) 295-0321 The post History for Book Lovers – MBFLP 254-1 appeared first on Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network.
13 minutes | Sep 18, 2020
Raising Siblings Without Rivalry – Part 3 – MBFLP 253-3
Part 3 – Building Friendship Between Your Children We want our kids to be friends and allies, not rivals and opponents, but that takes some conscious effort. As parents, we can make both the positive and negative efforts to build friendship and avoid tearing it down. How can we prevent harsh feelings between our kids? And better, how can we promote affection and goodwill toward siblings? Practical Ideas Remember your kids learn from your example – all the time. If you want to raise kids who are kind, you need to live and speak in kindness at home. They are always watching, even when you don’t think you’re teaching and when they don’t realize they’re learning. Do your kids really believe there’s justice in your family? Unfair treatment from a parent might be favoritism toward one child – the only girl in a family of boys, the “baby” of the family, or anyone singled out (think about Joseph in the Bible!). It can also be one child who gets blamed for everything – the one who’s “the usual suspect” in every situation. One way we provoke our children (Colossians 3:21) is by jumping to conclusions when there’s trouble between the kids – dig deeper and be sure you’ve dealt with both the reaction and the cause! Protect their dignity in front of their siblings. We made a point, as much as possible, to correct or discipline children privately, not in front of the family. Don’t give ammunition for teasing, or reason for a child to feel defensive and wary around the family. Encourage acts of service for siblings – look for ways they can bless one another. Whether it’s offered as an apology for past bad behavior, or an expression of love and kindness just because, cultivate a spirit of thoughtfulness between the kids. Help them understand and look for others’ point of view. Some kids are thoughtless about how their behavior hurts or offends others. On the other hand, some kids are quick to assume the worst and take offense where none was given. Teach them that intentions are important, but perception and reception are important too and sometimes a bigger problem than the intention! Suggest activities they’ll want to do together – on the condition they do them together. Bake cookies, provide projects they cooperate on, look for shared experiences and adventures. Shared memories are the ties that draw them together in later life. Often it’s the smaller things Passages We Referenced She opens her mouth with wisdom, and on her tongue is the law of kindness. – Proverbs 31:26 And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another … – Ephesians 4:32 … be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity. – 1 Timothy 4:12 1 Corinthians 13:1-8 – what love is, and is not The discretion of a man makes him slow to anger, and his glory is to overlook a transgression. – Proverbs 19:11 Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged. – Colossians 3:21 (also Ephesians 6:4) We’d love to hear from you! Leave your comments, suggestions, and requests below, or call our Listener Response Line at (919) 295-0321 Part 1 – [ Principles for Preventing Sibling Rivalry ] Part 2 – [ Making Competition Helpful, Not Hurtful ] Part 3 – The post Raising Siblings Without Rivalry – Part 3 – MBFLP 253-3 appeared first on Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network.
33 minutes | Sep 16, 2020
Raising Siblings Without Rivalry – Part 2 – MBFLP 253-2
Part 2 – Making Competition Helpful, Not Harmful When you’ve got more than one child, you are going to have challenges. How can you teach them to play together and enjoy games without the older ones overrunning the younger? We had six boys over a twelve-year span, so we had to figure this out! This episode, we’re talking about some practical ways to make family competition helpful, not harmful. Games, sports, and competition are Biblical. Remember the Bible often describes our Christian lives as a race (Acts 20:24, 2 Timothy 4:7, Hebrews 12:1). The apostle Paul points out that you only win when you play by the rules and discipline yourself by training (1 Corinthians 9:24-27). We wrote a whole chapter about this in our book Raising Real Men, but we agree with the old theologians – games can be a great way to learn skills and exercise our minds and bodies, if they’re done in the right attitude. Ways to Make it Work Recognize that older siblings and younger siblings may not appreciate how different they are. Depending on the child and the range of ages and development, you will have to coach your older, bigger, stronger kids to take it easy on the little siblings. Teenagers can’t react to their five-year-old brother like he was another teen. We made it a matter of honor for our boys to restrain their impulse to hit back when a little one hurt them. On the other hand, younger ones need to be reminded that bigger kids are bigger, and it’s not wise to treat them like they were elementary-age peers, either. The idea that “We’re all equals in the eyes of God and our parents,” is good, but you have to remember that equality of status and equality of value do not mean equal capability or strength! “Compete against the clock and your own best time.” We found our boys of all ages like to race the clock on math worksheets. The fact that one is doing third-grade work for the first time, and older brother is doing the same practice sheets he did five years ago, doesn’t matter when each one is racing himself. Give younger kids a handicap. Let the older kids start further back, or give the younger ones a head start. Or let the younger ones choose or answer first, so the older ones don’t jump ahead every turn. Even up the playing field a bit. Create teams across the ages. This is really effective with board games. The oldest child is paired with the youngest, and the next oldest with the next youngest – for example, the 15-year-old with the 5-year-old, playing against the 12-year-old and 9-year-old. You can also make the rule that the older team member can’t touch the board; he has to talk with his younger teammate and persuade him to move the pieces or play the cards strategically. Often, the youngest children just want to move the pieces, anyway – it’s the older kids who get the grand design of the game! Part 1 – [ Principles for Preventing Sibling Rivalry ] Next Segment – Building Friendship Between Your Kids Part 2 – The post Raising Siblings Without Rivalry – Part 2 – MBFLP 253-2 appeared first on Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network.
29 minutes | Sep 15, 2020
Raising Siblings Without Rivalry – Part 1 – MBFLP 253-1
One of the questions we hear most often is, “How do you deal with sibling rivalry?” We had eight children, and six boys in a row, so we had plenty of competition and challenge to work with! A certain amount is normal and can be accommodated even within the family, but it has to be guided and supervised to keep it from becoming bullying or persecution. Girls have their own temptations too, especially in emotional and relationship areas; we’ve known women who grew up as “mean girls” in their own family, and struggled with broken relationships decades after they left home. We didn’t want that in our own family – we wanted our children to grow up to be friends – so we tried to take positive steps to build and protect relationships between our kids. And like Tedd Tripp says, we trained behaviors in the youngest, in the process of teaching the hearts and attitudes of all! Principles for Preventing Sibling Rivalry Home Should Be Safe – Nobody should feel like they have to keep their guard up when they cross the family threshold. That goes for spouses, too. Zero Tolerance for Bullying – or Provoking – Bigger kids can tyrannize young kids, but younger kids can cause lots of trouble for older siblings, too. Proverbs 6:16 says God hates one who causes discord among brothers – so bickering and arguing are important, not just kid stuff. See the Family as A Team – You won’t score together, if you are fighting one another instead of your enemy or opponent. Encourage your kids to pull together and support each other, especially in front of the rest of the world. Enjoy Teasing and Wrestling but Don’t Cross the Line! – It’s fun until it’s not, for somebody. If you continue after someone calls “stop” then you’ve become a bully – see “zero tolerance” above. Recognize How Different Your Kids May Be – and Keep an Eye on Them – Some kids can tolerate teasing and rough-housing, and some can’t. Don’t let either set the tone for everybody, but guide their interaction to head off offenses and hurts. That also goes for the child who’s quick to take offense — that’s no help either. NEW! This week we’re trying a new format – three shorter episodes on the same topic! Look for parts 2 and 3 later this week and let us know what you think And if you have suggestions, questions, or requests, leave us a message on our Listener Response Line – (919) 295-0321 Next Segment – Making Competition Helpful, not Hurtful The post Raising Siblings Without Rivalry – Part 1 – MBFLP 253-1 appeared first on Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network.
11 minutes | Sep 15, 2020
Raising Siblings Without Rivalry – Part 1 – MBFLP 253-1
One of the questions we hear most often is, “How do you deal with sibling rivalry?” We had eight children, and six boys in a row, so we had plenty of competition and challenge to work with! A certain amount is normal and can be accommodated even within the family, but it has to be guided and supervised to keep it from becoming bullying or persecution. Girls have their own temptations too, especially in emotional and relationship areas; we’ve known women who grew up as “mean girls” in their own family, and struggled with broken relationships decades after they left home. We didn’t want that in our own family – we wanted our children to grow up to be friends – so we tried to take positive steps to build and protect relationships between our kids. And like Tedd Tripp says, we trained behaviors in the youngest, in the process of teaching the hearts and attitudes of all! Some of Our Family Principles Home Should Be Safe – Nobody should feel like they have to keep their guard up when they cross the family threshold. That goes for spouses, too. Zero Tolerance for Bullying – or Provoking – Bigger kids can tyrannize young kids, but younger kids can cause lots of trouble for older siblings, too. Proverbs 6:16 says God hates one who causes discord among brothers – so bickering and arguing are important, not just kid stuff. See the Family as A Team – You won’t score together, if you are fighting one another instead of your enemy or opponent. Encourage your kids to pull together and support each other, especially in front of the rest of the world. Enjoy Teasing and Wrestling but Don’t Cross the Line! – It’s fun until it’s not, for somebody. If you continue after someone calls “stop” then you’ve become a bully – see “zero tolerance” above. Recognize How Different Your Kids May Be – and Keep an Eye on Them – Some kids can tolerate teasing and rough-housing, and some can’t. Don’t let either set the tone for everybody, but guide their interaction to head off offenses and hurts. That also goes for the child who’s quick to take offense — that’s no help either. Coming in Part 2 Making competition a helpful thing, not a harmful one … NEW! This week we’re trying a new format – three shorter episodes on the same topic! Look for parts 2 and 3 later this week and let us know what you think And if you have suggestions, questions, or requests, leave us a message on our Listener Response Line – (919) 295-0321 The post Raising Siblings Without Rivalry – Part 1 – MBFLP 253-1 appeared first on Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network.
31 minutes | Aug 24, 2020
Getting Kids On Board With Your New Homeschool – MBFLP 252
Are you starting homeschooling this fall? Was it always your plan, or did the pandemic make this an unexpected “best option”? Either way, are your kids on board with the decision? Parents have the responsibility and the perspective to make this choice for their family, but sometimes the children aren’t thrilled. Even if it’s the best thing for them, it’s always more pleasant if everyone’s in accord about the plan. What can you do to help your kids understand and accept the lifestyle change you’re making? How is it different for young kids, middle schoolers, and teens? This episode, we’re talking about working toward harmony with your new homeschooling project! An Avalanche of New Homeschoolers The sudden shutdown of practically all public education in March, and the prospects of very restricted school reopening this fall, have prompted a lot of families to reconsider homeschooling as an option. How many? Several states are reporting double-digit increases in new homeschools, and when North Carolina opened its website for new homeschool filings in July, the rush crashed the site for an entire week. In June, researchers at the University of Michigan surveyed 1200 families in Michigan, Illinois, and Ohio, and found 12% already planned to keep at least one child at home this fall. Another survey of 2000 families by OnePoll found that 43% are “seriously considering the option of homeschooling” this year. Vermont had a 75% increase already! With so many new families beginning homeschooling, a large percentage are taking children out of classroom schools. Their kids have already had some experience of school culture, developed friendships at school, and formed relationships with teachers. The change in school approach is going to be more disruptive for them than their pre-school and kindergarten-age siblings. That means you’ll need to approach the idea differently with the older kids. Even elementary school kids may complain, “I haven’t seen my friends in for-e-ver,” — though to be honest, that’s been heard in homeschooling families, too, during the lockdown! So it’s important to acknowledge that your kids’ fears, concerns, preferences, and objections do matter, even if the decision has been made already. Take the time to listen and engage them on their levels–you’ll be glad you invested in the relationship. This episode, we’re talking about practical ways to address some of those concerns. Not incidentally, we’re also addressing some concerns you might be having as an unexpected homeschool parent, yourself–like socialization, your qualification to teach, and college prospects at the end! So join us — Articles Dealing With This Explosive Growth Michael Shaw, “Homeschooling Experiences and Views During the Pandemic.” EdChoice, 18 Aug 2020 Zoya Gervis, “Parents are starting to consider homeschooling their kids for upcoming school year.” New York Post, 31 July 2020 Kao-Ping Chua, M.D., et al. “Plans for School Attendance and Support for COVID-19 Risk Mitigation Efforts,” University of Michigan Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation, 26 June 2020 Terry Stoops, Ed.D, “Pandemic produces a strong increase to NC’s massive homeschool population.” The John Locke Foundation, 20 August 2020 [Side note: Many of the news reports on this subject have misread or misrepresented the actual findings; for once, they tend to overestimate how many people are choosing homeschooling. Some media reported the UofM findings, for instance, as “A third of parents may homeschool,” but the actual study says 12% plan to homeschool, and 21% were undecided. That’s a different picture. Still, 12% is a huge increase over the 3-to-4% homeschooling rate nationwide last year.] Comments, Suggestions, or Requests – Use Our Listener Response Line – (919) 295-0321 The post Getting Kids On Board With Your New Homeschool – MBFLP 252 appeared first on Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network.
33 minutes | Aug 18, 2020
The Problem of Perfectionism – MBFLP 251
A reader asks, “What can you do about an over-conscientious child?” C.S. Lewis observed that our sins are often forms of virtues which have gone astray. The apostle Paul wrote to the church at Colossae, “Whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Jesus Christ.” (Colossians 3:23-24) We should be pursuing excellence–but it’s very easy to let that pursuit turn into self-righteousness, arrogance, and pride. And it can also drive a person to distraction, depression, and despair, as the reality settles in that we can’t truly reach perfection in our own strength. So what should we do when we see one of our children … or ourselves … leaning on human effort and achievement instead of faith in Christ? When striving for excellence becomes an unforgiving and ungracious pursuit of the unattainable? When our obedience to God is based on appeasement rather than love? But doesn’t the Bible speak about perfection? Yes, it does. Jesus speaks of loving your enemies, a supremely unnatural thing to do, and says if you do this, “you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.” (Matthew 5:48) While it is true that God is pure and sinless, we aren’t and won’t be until heaven. Yet we can strive after this kind of perfection, which is not sinless but rather, balanced and mature, like James describes: “But let patience [as a result of the testing of your faith] have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.” (James 1:4) The sort of perfectionism to beware of has several unhelpful fruits: Pride – if I think I’ve achieved it, or I think I’m capable Arrogance – if I look down on others who aren’t trying as hard as I am Inefficiency – putting too much time and effort into unimportant things Fear – if I’m not confident I’ll succeed, I don’t want to try Faithlessness – if I don’t realize how desperately I need Christ Guilt – if I don’t recognize my inability, any disappointment is my own fault Really, it’s a form of legalism–hoping to earn God’s favor or dissuade His anger by our own diligence. (continued …) Can we be over-conscientious? It’s good to be careful, watchful, observant. Our hearts are still drawn away from Christ and God’s law, so we need to be on guard against our own sinfulness. Our conscience can be helpful – Paul says in Romans that Gentiles who didn’t know the law of Moses sometimes did the right thing anyway, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do the things in the law, these, although not having the law, are a law to themselves, who show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and between themselves their thoughts accusing or else excusing them (Romans 2:14-15) But our conscience can be mistaken or confused. Paul wrote the church in Corinth, “I know of nothing against myself, yet I am not justified by this; but He who judges me is the Lord.” (1 Corinthians 4:4) And the apostle John wrote, “If our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and knows all things.” (1 John 3:20) Romans 14 deals with matters of personal conviction, and Paul says, “Let each be fully convinced in his own mind.” (verse 5) – but we do need to recognize that our conscience needs to be trained by the word of God. And we need to remember that each of us is on life-long road of growth–and we haven’t all reached the same level of maturity yet! So how should we guide our children in this area? Our hope and our self-worth are not found in our report cards, our job descriptions, our paychecks, or our prizes — hope and identity come from our relationship to Jesus Christ Encourage your perfectionist children to try things they might avoid. Encourage your bookworm to learn tennis or dancing. Get your athlete piano lessons or tutoring in French. Help them realize that they can’t excel in everything – and they don’t have to! Be sure to praise the intangible things. Character doesn’t come with a scorecard, but God is much more concerned with the sort of person we are than the numbers we achieve on the tests. Help them gauge the real value of quality. If over-exactness makes you late on your homework, you still lose. Sometimes “good enough” is the right answer, and better than “good enough” may actually be a distraction–or worse. Finally, be sure they understand that “By grace you have been saved through faith, that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.” Instead, our obedience to God is not meant to earn His forgiveness or love–it’s our loving response to what He’s already done for us. “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” (Ephesians 2:8-10) The post The Problem of Perfectionism – MBFLP 251 appeared first on Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network.
31 minutes | Jul 10, 2020
Motivating Boys to Write – MBFLP 250
If you’re homeschooling a boy (or just helping your son with his homework!) you’ve probably seen his frustration about writing. Yet the ability to put thoughts into words and words onto paper is a crucial skill for life and career. How can you get past his natural hesitation and open up that channel for communication? This episode we talk about some of the reasons why your boy may hate to write, and then, practical ways to overcome those hurdles! The post Motivating Boys to Write – MBFLP 250 appeared first on Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network.
29 minutes | Jul 1, 2020
Beating Boredom This Summer – MBFLP 249
Summertime is always a challenge – with the change of routine, it’s easy for our kids (or ourselves) to feel adrift. This year, with the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, even our backup program may be on hold or cancelled. What can you do to make the most of summertime with your family, when vacation may be postponed, summer camp or youth sports shut down, and even the local pool or gym is off limits? This episode, we talk about things you might consider with your kids and mate, to make the most of the enforced time together this year! Who knew, when the schools and universities closed in March, that we’d still be home in June and July, with summer vacation upended as well? Camps and programs for missions, music, sports, and more, have been closed by the virus. Travel is still restricted. Entertainment facilities, beaches, parks, and more are shut down or curtailed. Our own son had his honeymoon reservations canceled by the hotel the week of the wedding! (Thankfully, he was able to make other arrangements!) So many of the things we take for granted and do every summer are in jeopardy – or already gone. Last week, we spoke with a radio host about ideas for “engaging our kids” during this time. There are ways to build memories and build skills – and there are also opportunities to build (or rebuild) relationships, if we’ll take the step. A New Feature for the Program Hal was inspired by World Radio’s program “The World and Everything In It” and their listener participation in the daily news podcast. This episode, we’re pleased to announce a new opportunity on our own program – our new “Listener Response Line” at (919) 295-0321. This is our voice mail where you can leave a comment, a question, or a suggestion. We’d love to hear from you! The post Beating Boredom This Summer – MBFLP 249 appeared first on Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network.
31 minutes | May 20, 2020
Raising Them Up – a conversation with Israel Wayne – MBFLP 248
This episode, we’re talking with Israel Wayne, homeschool graduate, father of ten, and author of the new book Raising Them Up: Parenting for Christians. He shares some of the difficulties of his childhood – parents who divorced early, an abusive stepfather, times of poverty and homelessness – and the incredible way that God has redeemed that experience for His glory and the help of His people! You’ll enjoy this surprising and encouraging conversation with Family Renewal’s Israel Wayne. Starting Over After a Rough Start “When I got married, I was twenty-three, my wife was twenty, and we started our marriage with a clean slate,” Israel said. “I didn’t bring the baggage with me. I had the opportunity to start out on the right foot, developing the kind of relationship with my wife that my parents never had, learning how to be the father that my father wasn’t able to be. We now have ten children – our oldest is 20, our youngest is 16 months – five boys and five girls. And I think it’s really interesting, fascinating, and ironic in a way, that God has given us this ministry called “Family Renewal. “This may be surprising to some people because some don’t know much about my back story. But I really believe in the capacity of God to reach families that are broken and families that don’t feel like there’s hope for them, that feel like, “Well, yeah, we’re not that poster family for homeschooling or ‘a Christian family.’ I believe that God’s grace is big enough that God can reach even you, and I believe my background leads me to have faith for those families. It’s part of why I do what I do and why I wrote Raising Them Up: Parenting for Christians.” Not Available on Amazon! Raising Them Up: Parenting for Christians is available direct from Family Renewal Ministries CLICK HERE to order your copy! While We’re On The Subject During this time of widespread shutdown and isolation, a lot of authors, teachers, and publishers are struggling. Dozens of homeschool conventions have been cancelled, including some of the largest in the United States and Canada, and that has made a serious dent in the support your favorite homeschool vendors need to keep going. When you’re ordering online – and who isn’t, now? – would you take a minute and consider ordering direct from the authors and publishers? You might not know that when you save a dollar on a book at the (ahem) online megastore, 75% of the income from that book goes to the website owner – not the author. In normal times that’s just business reality – but while the crisis lasts, remember the creators who are pouring their heart and knowledge into your family and homeschool, and let’s channel those purchases back to the homeschool vendors you depend on! GREAT NEWS! Our book NO LONGER LITTLE: Parenting Tweens with Grace and Hope has received the 2020 CHRISTIAN INDIE AWARD for the Relationships and Family category “The Christian Indie Awards honor Christian books by independent authors and small publishers for outstanding contribution to Christian life.” Awarded by the Christian Indie Publishing Association (formerly the Christian Small Publishers Association) CLICK HERE to find out more, or order your copy! Available in print, audio CD, and downloadable formats The post Raising Them Up – a conversation with Israel Wayne – MBFLP 248 appeared first on Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network.
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