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Alberta Home Education Association

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Support Group Leader shares Logic and Critical Thinking Resources

Hi all,

 

Juanita Rogers from Calgary recently hosted a Support Group Meeting where a veteran Home School Mom shared her favorite resources for teaching Logic, Critical Thinking, and more.  I hope you enjoy reading the below!

 

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Resources for Teaching Logic, Critical Thinking, Apologetics, Christian Worldview, Etc.

 

Our support group enjoyed learning from Lisa, a wise homeschool mother, who has graduated four children through traditional home education and is still home educating her last two. I admire the job she has done because her children are such strong believers and they are able to stand their ground and defend their faith with confidence.

 

Their family has been doing BSF Bible studies for 8 years now which has given them a solid base and has taught them to look at everything in light of God’s Word. Lisa mentioned that they like to use the King James Version or New King James Version for Bible study as they are the most accurate translations.

 

Summit Ministries provides excellent Christian worldview curriculum which Lisa’s family has used over the years to ground their children. As the children got older, they have sometimes met with other families and used Understanding the Times (Summit Ministries) as a group study.

 

Other resources Lisa uses for Biblical teaching, apologetics and Christian worldview are: Almighty Over All – Understanding the Sovereignty of God by R.C. Sproul Jr.; Ligonier Audio Series (Introductory Logic) by R.C. Sproul; Worldviews in Focus – Thinking Like a Christian – Understanding and Living a Biblical Worldview  by David Noebel and Chuck Edwards; Evidence That Demands a Verdict by Josh McDowell; Don’t Check Your Brains at the Door by Josh McDowell and Bob Hostetler; What if Jesus Had Never Been Born by D. James Kennedy and Jerry Newcombe; a variety of Answers in Genesis apologetics DVDs and books; and Character Sketches by Bill Gothard. They also read the writings of Spurgeon.

 

Lisa uses Teaching the Trivium by Harvey and Laurie Bluedorn, which gives a Christian perspective on classical education.  She shared that it is important to teach our children to divide fact from opinion. It is necessary to properly equip them so they do not get caught in foolish debates.

 

Some resources which Lisa uses to teach language skills are: Vocabulary from the Classical Roots by Norma Fifer and Nancy Flowers and English from the Roots Up by Joegil K. Lundquist and Grammar Songs.

 

Two other books which Lisa mentioned are: The Fallacy Detective by Nathaniel Bluedorn and Hans Bluedorn and How to Lie with Statistics by Darrell Huff.

 

I was greatly encouraged to focus on training our children to know the Bible and to be well educated in logic and apologetics. They need to be equipped to contend with the differing worldviews; our children need to have a strong Christian worldview in order to do so. Too many Christian youth are leaving their faith when they leave home. I hope this brief summary will encourage you and provide you with a list of helpful resources.

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Bible Resources and Making God Real in our Lives

I don't know where you are spiritually, but I am a born again Christian that loves the Lord and wants to make Him real to our children.  There are so many ways to do that as we home educate and live our lives.  I personally have a couple hard situations in my life that I am praying about and asking God for direction and wisdom.  He has never failed me and has been a comfort through the years.

The following is a little lesson that I think would be awesome to share with our children and spouse.  I know the first time I read it, it hit me pretty hard.  We do not serve a small God, but the one true God, who is the Creator and the God of details.  Nothing has been left to chance in His creation and He has an amazing plan for each one of us. 

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Here is one of my favorites about the Bible.
 
What is the shortest chapter of the Bible?       Psalm 117
 
What is the longest chapter of the Bible?        Psalm 119
 
Which chapter is in the center of the Bible?       Psalm 118
 
What is the center verse of the Bible?          Psalm 118:8  (By the way, there are 594 chapters before Psalm 118 AND there are 594 chapters after Psalm 118 - Add these numbers together and you get  1188 - Psalm 118:8)
 
Doesn't this verse say something significant about God's perfect will for our lives?  The next time someone says they would like to find God's perfect will for their lives and that they want to be in the center of His will, send them to the center of His Word.
 
And what does Psalm 118:8 say?
 
It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man.
 
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What a cool little Bible lesson, hey?  I always try to share things like that with our children. 
 
Other ways I try to bring the Word of God into our lives:
  • Sometimes using Bible Verses for copywork,
  • Having Sword Drills with the girls (I want our girls to know their Bibles well and be able to find verses easily.  I simply have 5 verses picked out, sit all of us down at the table, and then we race to find each one, after I say it out loud.  And yes, we hold our Bibles up in the air.  smile),
  • Using a short Devotional once or twice a week (We have enjoyed this Science Devotional over the years - I love learning about animals that just couldn't have happened.)
  • Having discussions as often as possible.  I learned a few years ago about how important talking and discussing life with our children is - we cannot assume what they think or what they would do in certain situations.  Now, when topics for discussion come up, I try to make time to discuss them at some point in our week.  Especially moral topics.
                           
Those are just a few of the ways I bring the Word of God and Christianity into our home educating week.  There are others, but I just wanted to encourage you in that direction.  Be purposeful in teaching your children about God.
 
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Teaching the ABC's with Go Along Books!

Oh, I just love these sites.  I have no little ones in my house, but boy, do these sites make it easy to start home educating your little ones.

Letter of the Week - Tons of ideas here.  It has been around for years and the site has really grown.  All free!

Totally Tots - Wow, I love this site for little ones.  Excellent, excellent site.  Newer website with a lot of input from many moms.  Again, tons of ideas and all free.

Read to Me and ABC - This was new to me, but again I love it for little ones.  She says reading is so important and has linked books to each letter of the alphabet w/ activities.  Very good.

I think any of these would be great to use with teaching little ones their alphabet.  Why not check them out?

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A fun writing extra for Home School moms and their big kids!

I am always looking for fun extras to add into our home educating day.  It is SO easy to get focused on just the academics and forget about having fun together or even *bonding* with our children. 

So, I keep the idea of *fun extras* in mind while I am surfing and I do spend a bit of time looking for ones that fit our family and our children.

The below is one such extra.  Easy and fun for our older children.  AND an easy way to do some extra writing!

I think it is just a hoot to do and a fun record of where the girls and I were - on a certain day.  I tend to print 3 or 4 copies of each page at a time (divide them into different file folders for each day and I), and then let the girls choose which one they want to do out of their personal file folder.  Then the finished version can go into their portfolio or into a binder, as they choose.

They are printable journaling pages (print in color or in black and white if you want to color them).  She has fill in the blank journal prompts intermingled with to do lists, lightning rounds that you can just circle your favorites and more....  Today she is up to 39 different pages that you can print.

Why not check these Printable Journal Pages out?

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Book Review - Educating the Whole Hearted Child (Clay and Sally Clarkson)

Smile - Educating the Whole Hearted Child has been one of my favorite books for years. My copy is pretty tattered and even after 20 years of home educating our children, I still keep it for a reference and peruse it now and then.

The subtitle is: A Handbook for Christian Home Education (and farther down the front cover, it says "How to use real books and real life to make your home a vibrant center of living and learning for your child.) To me, it has kind of a Charlotte Mason feel.

Tons of bible verses are scattered through out - for those of us who have a faith based philosophy of home education.

They share about coming home to home educate, shaping your child's heart and so much more. I appreciate the gentle spirit and encouragement that is sprinkled through the pages. I esp. liked all the home schooling tips and ideas that were shared and suggested in many chapters, as well. (Feel free to only use one or two ideas at a time!)

They also share little tidbits of life through their In Our Home segments, which I enjoyed reading so much. It's like a glimpse into their home and heart for parenting and home educating.

I actually have a bookshelf of my favorite home schooling books - I try to buy one (or two - smile) each year, as home school support for me. Educating the Whole Hearted Child is one book that will always stay on that bookshelf as a reference book for home schooling in our home. I would highly recommend it!

*I just looked it up on the Whole Hearted website and see that the third edition is brand new, as of 2010. I think I will pick up a new copy at the Convention!  Educating the Whole Hearted Child

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