Posted in Classical, Education & Homeschool News, Reading & Literature, Subject Math

A Classical Education Success Story

8+5=13 (additio)

Classically educated children score higher on standardized tests, and private education by nature costs more than public. ACCS schools average an annual price tag of $7,000.

But classical educators point to the success of Gregg’s Hope Academy as proof that classical education isn’t just for the privileged elite. Three-quarters of the students are from low-income families; 80 percent are ethnic minorities.

And yet their math and reading test scores are three times those of neighboring public schools.

Read more: https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/the-exponential-growth-of-classical-christian-education

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Posted in Classical, Education & Homeschool News, Homeschooling Methods

Plagiarized Homeschool Products

PDS Classification

I was saddened to read this post about plagiarism in Veritas Press’s Omnibus program:

Plagiarism, Wilson, and the Omnibus

I chose not to use this program with my kids for other reasons (cost, pace, theology, artwork) but it is always disappointing to read this sort of news.

Posted in Christian, Covenantal, Education & Homeschool News, Homeschooling Methods

On Biblical Integration and Christian Education

La LectureEvery so often, an article like this pops up in some news source:

Homeschooled Children Do Not Grow Up To Be More Religious

So much for all those homeschool books, articles, etc. that imply that if you just use x curriculum and do x, y, and z, then your children will embrace the faith and carry it on to the next generation!

Articles like this make me want to evaluate what I am doing in my homeschool and family to pass on a spiritual heritage to my children.  At times, this can be a frustrating exercise.

You see, in an ideal Christian homeschool, we would use all Christian resources that teach from a Christian perspective and have our beliefs woven into every subject (Consider also: An Education Acceptable to God).  Yet, this doesn’t always work for a variety of reasons:  Maybe the resources are made more for a classroom setting and don’t easily adapt for a homeschool.  Maybe the resources don’t work with the teacher’s teaching style.  Maybe the resources don’t work with a child’s learning style.  You get the point.

I have run into all of the above problems and use some “neutral” resources in our homeschool.  For instance, I have been using English Lessons Through Literature with Delightful, 8, and have really liked the program because it combines artist study, poetry, fine literature, and gentle grammar (including diagramming) and writing instruction all in one resource.  We were originally doing all of these things separately, but found ourselves getting too bogged down at the beginning of this year.  Sometimes having only one book or file to deal with is a major plus when you have a bunch of little ones running around getting into everything!

As much as I like English Lessons Through Literature, though, it does not include an explicitly Christian perspective.  What to do?  This is where the idea of Biblical integration comes in.

To quote one source, “Simply stated, biblical integration is taking a lesson objective and/or lesson outline, and teaching it from a Christian perspective.”  This is easier said than done in a homeschool setting because it is not always possible to prepare detailed daily lesson plans for each student in each subject for each day (at least, not in my family).  However, here are some things I have been doing to move our learning in a more integrated direction:

1. I have been reading up on how different subjects relate to a Christian worldview.  Some helpful online resources for this are:

2. I have been evaluating how I can more explicitly bring God’s Word to bear on different subjects.  This might be as simple as asking, “On which day of creation did God make this type of animal?” during a science lesson.

3. I have been making sure we keep up with daily family worship, which for us includes Bible reading, Psalm singing, memory verses, prayer, and catechism.

4. I have been making sure I don’t miss opportunities to talk to my children about spiritual things.  This week, it happened at 1:00 in the morning after one of my little guys fell out of bed.  His brother, who got woken up in the process, was suddenly interested in the concept of having a “stony heart” (Ezekiel 36:26) and wanted to know more about it.

This isn’t pure biblical integration as the above websites would have it, but it’s a start.  What about your homeschool?  Do you use all resources that reflect your theological beliefs?  Or do you use some “Christian friendly” resources that aren’t so explicit?  How do you include God in your curriculum so that you are giving your children a truly Christian education?

Posted in Education, Education & Homeschool News, Higher Education, Reading & Literature, Subject Bible & Theology, Subject English, Subject Math, Writing & Penmanship

Education Around the Web, December 2015

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Some recent education-related headlines:

Homeschooling:

Home schooling of 20,000 children across the country will be reviewed amid fears they are being ‘radicalised by parents’

UK government mulls ‘crackdown’ on homeschoolers

Higher Education:

Oklahoma university president: School is not a ‘day care’ or ‘safe space’

Subjects:

Harry Potter in schools ‘offends religious parents’: Teachers accused of exposing children to ‘witchcraft and Satanism’ when using books in the classroom

One in eight children have never been given a book: Study also finds pupils who read outside of school are five times more likely to be above expected level for their age

Philadelphia high school removes Huckleberry Finn from curriculum because its racial slurs are ‘challenging for students’

Parents’ outrage after Virginia high school students are asked to practice calligraphy by writing ‘There is no god but Allah’

Teachers should ban times tables tests to stop children developing a crippling fear of making mistakes, says leading academic

Miscellaneous:

Blind seven-year-old girl who was banned from using her white stick because it could trip up teachers will go to another school after being ‘forced out’ by online campaign

Christian religious assemblies for children should be scrapped along with segregation of pupils by faith says ex-High Court judge

Tell pupils that Britain is Christian, schools are told as Education Secretary vows not to force teachers to spend time on atheism

(Updated) Kid’s toys are recording and transmitting every conversation

Posted in Education, Education & Homeschool News, Higher Education, Leftism in Education, Public Education, Subject English, Subject Math, Subject Physed & Health, Survival, Writing & Penmanship

Education Around the Web, November 2015

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I have been very busy for the past few months and have rarely had both hands free at the same time, making it next to impossible to write blog posts.  However, I have been able to cobble together a few education-related headlines from this past month.  Here is what caught my eye:

Homeschooling:

School to homeschoolers: Sign up or face criminal charges

Leftism in Education:

Children as young as FOUR being given transgender lessons which encourage them to explore their ‘gender identities’

Dumbing Down of America? California School District’s New Grading Scale Gives out Cs for “Doing Absolutely Nothing at All”

Ontario elementary teachers to integrate transgender content into the “teaching of all subject areas”

Primary school BANS blind seven-year-old girl from using walking cane ‘because it could trip up teachers’

Utah school homework assignment to make propaganda poster for jihadi groups: “JOIN ISIS!”

Higher Education:

Universities Have Become Totalitarian Gulags

Subjects:

It pays to be good at maths! Nigerian professor solves 156-year-old Riemann problem to scoop $1 million prize

Ontario math scores remain low in latest round of testing

Primary school bans pupils from wearing goggles in swimming lessons because ‘they don’t prepare youngsters for emergency water situations’

The intricate handwriting and perfectly penned sketches of a 1930 schoolgirl that came to light when her satchel was found in a school clearout are a fascinating insight into a bygone age

Miscellaneous:

How starting school at seven can improve concentration at 11: Holding children back a year is found to reduce inattention by 73%

Praise hard work, ignore grades and NEVER tell them they’re clever: Super-tutor who has taught royalty reveals how to get children ‘addicted’ to learning

School leavers are unemployable because they can’t speak properly, says business leader

Posted in Education, Education & Homeschool News, Higher Education, Leftism in Education, Reading & Literature, Subject Bible & Theology, Subject English, Subject Math, Subject Philosophy, Writing & Penmanship

Education Around the Web, October 2015

990536_37770166Some education-related headlines I encountered this past month:

Homeschooling:

Growing up homeschooled: Photographer’s intimate portraits of children learning outside the conventional classroom walls

‘Hate’ for homeschoolers rattles Marine who served in Iraq

Subjects:

Can YOU solve the maths problem Scottish schoolkids couldn’t? Exam question slammed as being far too difficult

Children aged 11 who can’t write their own name: Popularity of computer games means secondary school pupils lack basic skills

Common Core gets a Fail for common sense: Angry parents baffled by third grade math question that claims 5+5+5=15 is NOT correct

Detroit Public Schools: 93% Not Proficient in Reading; 96% Not Proficient in Math

Grades for US schoolchildren fall: Only a third of the nation’s eighth-graders are now proficient in math and reading

Schoolchildren aged 14 left traumatised after being told to investigate child murders as part of their philosophy homework

Leftism in Education:

Chicago Public Schools Mandate Sex Ed for Kindergarteners

Fury after children as young as 13 are made to write a fictional ‘suicide note’ for GCSE English homework

Obamacare causes Tennessee district to close schools over lack of funding

Principal holds up student election results because winners not diverse enough

‘This is racist in every form’: Florida mother’s outrage over Middle School ‘Lifeboat Test’ where students forced to choose between saving Barack Obama Justin Bieber and Donald Trump

VIDEO: Student says TX teacher forced 7th graders to deny God is real, or take a failing grade

Higher Education:

Counselling services at college have doubled because millennials are having ’emotional crises over everyday life’, psychologist claims

Miscellaneous:

Can you believe this essay is handwritten? Chinese school forces pupils to write English letters like a computer – and each character must be identical EVERY TIME

Despite lack of funding, parents increasingly choose independent schools in Ontario

Girl, six, sent home on school bus in just a shirt and underwear after her pleas to go to the bathroom were ‘ignored by teacher’ and she soiled herself

Schools will start telling pupils they should have children as early as possible to avoid fertility problems

The ‘no-tech’ school where screens are off limits – even at home

Posted in Education, Education & Homeschool News, Higher Education, Leftism in Education, Public Education

Education Around the Web, September 2015

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Some education-related headlines from the past month:

Homeschooling:

Gov’t Official Warns Homeschoolers: Prepare For Home Visits

Homeschooled Student Gets Perfect ACT Score

Humanist Education:

Diversity: the only credential

No more religious exemptions: Quebec schools launching mandatory sex ed pilot project

Ontario’s sex ed puts kids in danger – but you won’t hear that from mainstream media

Parent makes a point about how ridiculous Common Core Math is by using it to write a check

Parents plan to pull kids in massive Ontario-wide sex ed strike on Oct. 1

Professors threaten bad grades for saying ‘illegal alien,’ ‘male,’ ‘female’

San Francisco elementary school removes boys’ and girls’ bathrooms and makes them gender neutral

School district stops kids from playing Tag to ‘minimize negative physical interactions’ among students

UN Goals for Humanity Target Children as “Agents of Change”

Why This 7-Year-Old Girl Got in Trouble for Just Signing Her Name on Her Homework

Miscellaneous:

Four-year-old left-handed boy forced to write with his right-hand by teacher who said it was ‘evil’

The saddest little bookworm: Baby breaks into inconsolable sobs every time mother finishes reading book

‘We’re going to be the majority soon!’ Furious Muslim parents taunt New Jersey school board over religious holiday closure