As I shared last week in my “Seven Key Take-Aways” post about the Teach Them Diligently Convention in Omaha, I was blessed to receive a message that I wasn’t exactly prepared for. I realized that in order to lead my children to God and expect them to have a relationship with Him, I must be living out a passionate relationship with God myself.
There were many other important messages that resonated with me during those three days at Teach Them Diligently. Here’s a roundup of my take-aways and the speaker sound bites that made the biggest impression on me:
Ken Ham: Is Genesis Relevant in 2013?
In the first major session of the convention, Ken Ham spoke on the relevancy of Genesis today. My take-away from this session was this quote: “If the Bible can’t be trusted in its history, it can’t be trusted at all.”
Genesis is being attacked today. It isn’t full of “stories” but of true history. He explained the seven C’s of History: Creation, Corruption, Catastrophe, Confusion, Christ, Cross, and Consummation. As homeschool parents, we are also fulfilling the Great Commission. My sister-in-law Renée wrote a post about the battle we face against the authority of the Bible as Ken described to us.
Heidi St. John: REAL LIFE Homeschooling
For this session, Heidi used an acrostic — REAL LIFE — to highlight her tips for thriving in the daily life of homeschooling.
- Remember the Goal. Education is discipleship and discipleship starts at home.
- Expect Opposition. Remember fruit takes time to grow.
- Adjust for Life. Be Flexible: Character training trumps curriculum every time.
- Listen for the Lord. Be in the Word. Listen to your spouse, your children, and Godly counsel.
- Legalism – Let it go! Legalists are always offended. Don’t add to God’s Word, be aware of self-righteousness.
- Invest in what matters most: Your relationship with God. Nurture your marriage relationship, God called you and your spouse together for a kingdom purpose. Invest in the discipline development of your children.
- Follow the Leader: Jesus! Matthew 11:28-30: “Come to me… take my yoke… learn from me.”
- Enjoy the journey!
I also attended a session with Heidi St. John called “The Busy Mom’s Guide to Daylight: Fitting Your Size 16 Day into a Size 10.” Here are the 10 steps she shared for managing your time wisely:
- Seek the Lord for the things of first importance (claim the promise, stop comparing, ask for direction).
- Assess the situation, with wisdom and discernment.
- Stop wasting time (worrying, on Facebook, etc.). It’s not time management, it’s ME management. Identify what are your top five time “bandits.”
- Develop a plan of action: Eliminate bandits, write down weaknesses and pray over them, write down goals for each child and yourself, make a to-do list, prioritize, and realize that you are not going to get it all done.
- Check your priorities. They are spiritual life, marriage, family, and then homeschool.
- Clear the clutter, emotional (no drama mama) and physical.
- Use one calendar. Combine activities and create “white space” (activity-free days) in your calendar — two days in a row if possible.
- Consider a routine. “Blessed are the flexible for they shall not break.”
- Be intentional. Live life on purpose.
- Remember the reason. Your words matter.
Rachael Carman: How to Have a H.E.A.R.T. for Your Kids
Rachael also used an acrostic — HEART — for her session:
- Have a Heart for God – on your knees, in the Word, and worship (M&M = meditate and memorize). “We should start our days with Dear God and end with Amen.”
- Enrich your marriage. Your marriage is your children’s primary point of reference for love, trust, and perseverance. We should live a marriage worth defending.
- Accept your children: They are blessings from His hand and are pre-wired for His use. Who might your children be? Discipline is key. “Resent it and fight, or lean into it and enjoy.”
- Release your children to God. Our children are not ours. God has a plan for them, start letting them go.
- Teach them Truth (Deuteronomy 32:46-47). Teach them the nature of God and the heroes of the Faith. “Oh my children that you would know God.” — quote shared by Ted Tripp
I attended another session with Rachael Carman called “Teaching Your Kids to B.L.E.S.S.” First she shared what our culture’s norm is, which is to CURSE:
- Cruel (vicious words that cause pain)
- Ugly (unattractive words)
- Rude (disrespectful, tone is rough, crude, graceless, impolite and surly)
- Selfish (egocentric, stingy, greedy for attention)
- Embarrassing (humiliating, shaming, storytelling, insulting, awkward)
On the other hand, the Lord’s standard is for us to BLESS:
- Beneficial to all you hear: Pause before you speak, don’t vent.
- Loving (1 Corinthians 13)
- Encouraging: Then need to cheer one another on, intentionally choose words.
- Sacrificial (Philippians 2:14) : How can I serve you today? Ministry is never convenient but always a good investment.
- Smiling (Proverbs 15:13)
She added that tone matters! And they will know you are Christians by your love for one another.
Hal & Melanie Young: Ballistic Homeschooling —Teaching Boys
Although much of what was shared in this session I had heard in a previous convention workshop by Andrew Pudewa, I did take away a few key points.
- Boys want to be brave and courageous.
- Using “big” muscles makes it easier for them to learn.
- Music on headphones can help cover distractions.
- Give them goals and a purpose.
Debra Bell: Raising an Independent Learner
“Kids learn best when they take responsibility,” Debra Bell shared. Young children have the gift of curiosity, are inquisitive, natural explorers, and are independent. In a traditional school setting, teachers make most of the decisions and kids lose motivation and curiosity. Research has proven that Kids learn best: 1) with a teacher who cares about them, 2) when they have older peers as models, 3) when they have the opportunity to help younger kids, 4) when they have the opportunity to be outside exploring and investigating, and 5) and in an authentic environment. All of these are things found in a homeschool environment.
She shared some strategies that encourage independence:
- Give kids responsibility incrementally: 1) Time management 2) Subjects 3) Curriculum.
- Teach your child to ask questions.
- Allow your kids to initiate projects and writings of their own choosing.
- Do not start a subject until your child is ready to do the majority of the work.
Debra reminded us that grade levels are for mass education, and standardization is a man-made invention. Focus on teaching your children skills for independence: Research skills, library skills, internet skills, the 3 P’s (projects, papers, and performances), and find an expert.
Other suggestions she shared are:
- Use discovery learning
- Give kids time they need to discover concepts and connections
- Give kids opportunities to teach
- Model independent learning yourself
Debra also reminded us that “Homeschooling is a blessing and a joy!”
An Evening with Pam Tebow
Pam shared anecdotes about her journey as a homeschooling mother and missionary, as well as what God taught her about parenting and training up our children for God’s purposes.
- Your children are a gift from God: Love your gifts as God gave them to you.
- Don’t compare your children: They all have special abilities and qualities.
- Love is not based on feelings: It is choosing the best interest of another person and acting on it. Be conspicuous about your love.
- Training your children like arrows is a long and tedious process. Pick a target and be intentional: What are God’s goals, what are your children’s goals? Then hit the bull’s eye — you will need the intervention of God.
She also shared her Three M’s of Training your Children:
- Master: Love the Lord, Seek God’s plan, have a relationship with God.
- Manual: The Bible. Don’t try to teach your children in your own strength.
- Missions: We are created for good works. Don’t give up!
What is God showing you in this season of your homeschooling? If you attended any homeschooling conventions, what are your key take-aways? Does this message resonate with you? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.
Check out the earlier posts in our series on Homeschool Conventions 2013:
- Click here for Part One: Tulsa OCHEC, The Experience
- Click here for Part Two: Tulsa OCHEC, The Speakers
- Click here for Part Three: Tulsa OCHEC, The Vendor Hall
- Click here for Part Four: Seven Key Take-Aways from Teach Them Diligently
- Click here for Part Five: Teach Them Diligently Take-Away: Battle’s On!