D is for…Dang

Katherine Dang is one of my favorite BPA teachers. She is so knowledgeable and gentle and kind and, well, wonderful. Her organization is Philomath Foundation and she is available for consultations, conferences and the like. Ms. Dang has been in BPA education for over 30 years. Her wisdom is inspiring and her materials are top-notch. I hope you’ll take time to listen some of her conference audio (her Series on the Introduction to American Christian Education is wonderful. I’ve probably listened to each session a dozen times!) Material from the Wednesday Night Salons she holds in California is also great for sparking discussions in your own small group setting.

Her materials are available here. Dang’s Universal History volumes are excellent texts for high school and beyond. She also offers others materials such as a science project guide and several literature guides on this page.

 

C is for…curriculum guides

The Noah Plan Curriculum Guides (CG) from FACE are wonderful tools for almost every subject. They are chock full of info on lesson planning, teacher notebooks, foundations of the subject, timelines and more. There are projects and checklists and sample student work. They are a terrific resource for newbies and experienced BPA’ers alike. I talked more about them in this post.

There are CG’s for history/geography, literature, mathematics, art, English, and reading. They are useful for K-12 and are useful for planning lessons because they have quarterly lesson outlines for K-12 in the front of each guide (except art). Science is not available but I hope it they write one. For some BPA help with planning science lessons and laying a science foundation from PMom click here.

They are also excellent resources if you don’t use the Noah Plan and even if you don’t homeschool. They offer each subject’s Christian history, resource lists and more.

 

 

B is for…Bible

In our trip through the BPA alphabet we can’t pass up the chance to highlight the Bible. It’s our most valued tool and our educational guidebook. All subjects have their foundations in the Bible and therefore this book must be honored here.

The Bible is also irreplaceable in core subjects like literature and HisStory. It is full of material to help your family master the subjects and see how they fit into Providential history.

As Christians we should look to God’s Word for help in every area of life. There is wisdom for how to gain wisdom, what true wisdom is and more. We learn how to interact with one another, what God feels is most important and how to relate to Him.

The Bible is the foundation for all subjects and as we turn to His word we are changed into His image more and more.

A is for…acronyms

This is the start of a new week and a new series. In case you can’t tell, this is a series going through the alphabet the BPA way!

For those new to BPA I decided to make A for Acronyms. Here’s a list of basic terms

  • BPA : Biblical Principle Approach
  • C&P: Christian History of the American Revolution–Consider and Ponder (book)
  • FACE: Foundation for American Christian Education (organization)
  • GACE: Guide to American Christian Education (book)
  • PI: Pilgrim Institute (organization)
  • T&L: Teaching & Learning America’s Christian History (book)
  • CHOC I: Christian History of the Constitution I (book)
  • CHOC II: Christian History of the Constitution II–Christian Self-Government with Union (book)
  • MWOG: Mighty Works of God (HisStory curriculum)
  • Rudiments: (training and education)
  • SDS: Self-Directed Study (training)
  • Webster’s 1828: American Dictionary of the English Language, Noah Webster 1828

Am I missing anything? Leave a comment below and I’ll add it!

No dancing allowed

This song from the Wicked soundtrack really struck a chord with me (pun intended). Too many parents these days are content to help there children glide along the surface of life, never digging deep to experience the joys–and the pain–that life offers.

Dancing through life
skimming the surface
gliding where turf is smooth
life’s more painless
for the brainless
why think too hard?
when it’s so soothing
dancing through life
no need to tough it
when you can slough it off as i do
nothing matters
but knowing nothing matters
it’s just life
so keep dancing through…

dancing through life
swaying and sweeping
and always keeping cool
life is fraughtless
when you’re thoughtless
those who don’t try
never look foolish
dancing through life
mindless and careless
make sure your where less
trouble is rife
woes are fleeting
blows are glancing
when you’re dancing
through life…

gangnam-style-sign-278x370I am concerned we are raising a generation who is unaccustomed to hardship and adversity. Cancelling honors awards, giving “participation trophies” and incessant access to social media contribute to a culture of shallow individuals with no real grasp of difficulty.

Unfortunately if you prevent hurt feelings then you also prevent the satisfaction of excellence. I think most of these decisions are made to make the adults feel better. Kids are more resilient than we would like to admit. So if we cut out all rewards of excellence why try? What child wants to get straight A’s, for example, only to have their honor roll removed, communicating to them that excellence is punished and mediocrity is desired? Catering to the dancing crowd will leave our country with a full dance card but no one to walk us home.

When will we decide that pain and hardship are actually tools that build godly character, and that we can embrace and celebrate failure. We can look to God’s word for countless examples of this lifestyle in action.

God, please help me to care more about my child’s character than their comfort. Help me to raise gardeners and not dancers. Help me to teach them to embrace hard times and all the good that can come of it.

1 My son, if you accept my words and store up my commands within you, 2 turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding, 3 and if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding, 4 and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure, 5 then you will understand the fear of the LORD and find the knowledge of God. 6 For the LORD gives wisdom, and from his mouth come knowledge and understanding. 7 He holds victory in store for the upright, he is a shield to those whose walk is blameless, 8 for he guards the course of the just and protects the way of his faithful ones. 9 Then you will understand what is right and just and fair–every good path. 10 For wisdom will enter your heart, and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul. Proverbs 2:1-10

 

Filofax: my inner organizer’s new love

Warning: total Filofax geekery commencing in 5, 4, 3, 2…

Planners are a fantastic tool. I have used them for years. I used to be into Franklin Covey planners, then the store in my city closed. I tried some planners from the office supply store. I printed my own and used 3-ring binders. I bought some online. Then one day on YouTube I found the holy grail of organizers–Filofax.

The more I looked into it the more convinced I have become that Filofax makes the highest quality organizers out there. Along with the quality, there is this delicious variety of colors and configurations. There’s a planner to fit literally every need. So, needless to say, I have two planners on their way to me. :)

Filofax personal Malden

Filofax personal Malden

This lovely purple Malden in in personal size and will be my daily planner. I swear Filofax had me in mind when they designed this. It’s on its way from England (via eBay) and when it arrives I will show you all around inside. (personal size pages are 3 3/4 in. by 6 3/4 in.)

Filofax pocket Chameleon

Filofax pocket Chameleon

This little red beauty has a special job to do and when it arrives from FilofaxUSA I will show you all about that too. (It was 60% off–a great deal!) I’m really excited about this planner and what it’s for. (pocket pages are 3 1/4 in. by 4 3/4 in.)

If you are as geeked about Filofax as I am, or if you just want to see more of them in action, there’s a blog for that: Philofaxy. Also I have a Pinterest board for all things Filofax.

Do you use a planner of some kind? What’s your favorite?

Getting organized the Pinterest way

Utilize every inch of space, even the back of a door.

 

Great ideas galore.

 

Pics to aid your attempts to get organized.

 

This just makes me smile. Who doesn’t need batteries??

Source: bhg.com via Anna-Marie on Pinterest

 

A lazy Susan in the fridge? Genius!

 

This Oklahoma mama is an organizing rock star.

 

These little bags are a terrific way to keep things tidy–and handy.

Source: bhg.com via Anna-Marie on Pinterest

 

Organizing solutions for your children’s stuff.

 

Solutions for almost anything.

 

A few more organizing ideas.

 

Have a favorite link? Share in the comments.

Staff of Faith

The choir sang this hymn at church today and I enjoyed it so much I wanted to post the uplifting words for you.

My faith, it is an oaken staff,
The traveler’s well loved aid;
My faith, it is a weapon stout,
The soldier’s trusty blade,
I’ll travel on, and still be stirred,
By silent thought or social word;
By all my perils undeterred,
A soldier pilgrim staid.

I have a Guide, and in His steps
When travelers have trod,
Whether beneath was flinty rock
Or yielding grassy sod,
They cared not, with force unspent,
Unmoved by pain, they onward went,
Unstayed by pleasures, still they bent
Their zealous course to God.

My faith, it is an oaken staff,
O let me on it lean!
My faith, it is a trusty sword,
May falsehood find it keen!
Thy Spirit, Lord, to me impart,
O make me what Thou ever art,
Of patient and courageous heart,
As all true saints have been.

Thomas T. Lynch, 1855

For a short and well done bio on Mr. Lynch click here.

 

25 ways to connect with your kids using technology

25tech

Technology often gets a bad rap, and for good reason. It is too easy to isolate yourself and forget those around you. Even if you don’t mean to, technology can build a wall that separates you from those you love. But what if technology became a tool to connect instead? Here are some ideas to get you started (I tried to include something for every age and both genders).

  1. Take silly photos together. Print some out and frame them.
  2. Start a digital scrapbook about a specific topic.
  3. Write a story or start a joint blog. (I would love to read a parent-child blog about almost anything!)
  4. Start a secret dialogue. Write to one another in short text messages to keep communication flowing.
  5. Surf the web to research something you both want to learn how to do.
  6. Use the web to plan a weekend, just the two of you.
  7. Make art (or visit a museum from your armchair). There are a ton of great art apps out there that are user friendly.
  8. Read a classic book aloud.
  9. Choose a music playlist to exercise to together.
  10. Find some printables to play with, like these great ones or some from my printables board.
  11. Facetime or Skype with someone far away.
  12. Use a Bible reading program together. Print out scriptures for you both to memorize.
  13. Peruse news sites to spark conversations about current events. Then use a Bible program or Bible app to investigate what God’s word says.
  14. Write letters to soldiers, persecuted Christians or sick kids and print them out. Add original artwork at the bottom.
  15. Play a game against one another.
  16. Start a secret Pinterest board you can both add to. Share inside jokes, things you want to do together or whatever tickles your fancy.
  17. Search for new music to listen to. Look for something you don’t usually listen to.
  18. Find a recipe to try and cook together.
  19. Find some plans to build a fort or something for the backyard.
  20. Make your own movie or tutorial video to upload for the world to see.
  21. Research something your child wants to save for. Check prices and reviews and print a picture to keep them motivated to save.
  22. Use a computer program or app to learn a new language together.
  23. Develop a spreadsheet to keep track of family chores. Decide how the chores will be divided together so they feel they have more say and will therefore [hopefully] take more responsibility.
  24. Plan a party for an ordinary day. Print out decorations and put on a simple soiree. This is great to beat cabin fever.
  25. Take your phone on a nature walk to research flora and fauna you find on your journey.

I hope this gets your creative juices flowing. Do you have any ideas to add? Share in a comment!

 

I did it too! (subway art)

This week starts a new adventure. I am in love with Pinterest and I have done so many projects inspired by things I have seen there. Each Wednesday I am posting a little something I saw on Pinterest.

This week is my little subway art piece. It came from this pin. It can be printed from here. It was an easy download and print right at home. I put it in an 8×10 frame. It sits in a little nook in my kitchen and I think it’s adorable. I plan to fill this frame with subway art for all holidays and seasons.

Want to join in the “I did it too!” fun? There are only two rules:

1) Give credit with a link to the Pinterest pin that you got the idea from.

2) Post a picture of the finished product.

Join in below!