Christian Students Belong In Public Schools

The public schools need Christian students. But only those students who are properly trained. Christian students should be in the public schools standing up for what they know to be true, backing up their arguments with evidence and witnessing to both their fellow students and faculty alike. But in order to make that happen they will need training. Only those soldiers who are trained for battle should go off to war.

The church makes a great effort to send missionaries throughout the world in order to spread God’s word. But at the same time we are ignoring one of the largest mission fields in existence today. At a public school, for the first 13 to 14 years of a young persons life they are immersed in a naturalistic environment. Those students in the public schools who do not know Jesus Christ need missionaries just as much as any African native. I believe that the children of Christian parents should receive proper training and attend a public school.

I did not always feel this way. My wife and I home-schooled our own children. And I was once a teacher at a private Christian school. At one time I thought that it was best to educate a child in an environment where Christ is Lord – either at home or in a Christian school. But I now realize that there is a vast difference between education and training. I now believe that these conservative methods of education actually violate God’s word. The Bible states that we are to be a light on a hill. By withdrawing unto ourselves for our children’s education, whether at home or in private schools, we are in fact putting a basket over that light.

What the Church needs to do, both its leaders and its members, is to train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it. We should always be ready to give an answer to everyone who asks for a reason concerning the hope that is in us. But this is precisely where we let our children down. When it comes to science I am afraid that most of us have no answer.

We live in an age of reason. Like it or not things are different now than they were in the past. Today science has replaced God as a source of truth for many people. It is going to take effort to provide a reason for the hope that is in us. The hope that this world so desperately needs. Every Christian parent needs to take the time, and make the effort, to become educated in science.

This does not mean that every parent is expected to get a PhD in science. I know from experience that science can be confusing and scary for some. And I know that many parents lead very busy lives. But I also know that, with a little effort, anyone can learn the basics of science. The child needs only enough science to provide a foundation. With that foundation, and some encouragement, they can take it from there. And help should always be available from the local church. But unfortunately, this is often not the case.

When I was growing up I had questions about evolution. I was raised in a Christian home by Christian parents. They taught me that the Bible was true. While at school I was learning something else entirely. I was learning that life had originated on its own. I was learning that humans had evolved rather than having been created. One day I asked my dad about this. He had no idea of what to say but he did see my concern.

My father took me to our local church to meet with the pastor. I can still recall being in the basement of the church just before an afternoon potluck. The three of us were standing next to a table decorated with plates and silverware. Concerning evolution the pastor told me: “Just don’t believe it. It is from the devil”. I have to admit that I went back to school very confused. Here was my teacher presenting all of this “evidence” supporting evolution and all my pastor could say was “Just don’t believe it”. I do not blame my father and I do not blame the pastor. They did not know any better. But they should have.

Budgets can be tight and bills have to be paid. This can be true for both parents and churches alike. I believe however that the leaders of the church need to make certain that their members are scientifically literate. Local churches very often have youth leaders, choir directors and the like. I think that every local church should also have someone who is trained in the sciences. This may be a volunteer or they may need to be paid. In any event every local church should have someone who can train the parents who can then train their children.

Christians need to be able to defend their faith. And every Christian parent needs to be able to adequately train up their children. That training includes the sciences. In my opinion the teaching of evolution has led countless people over the years to deny Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. We send missionaries to the four corners of the Earth to proclaim the Gospel – and rightly so. And yet we ignore one of the largest mission fields on earth – our public schools.


Source by Jeff Van Fleet

The Educational Value of Playing With Legos

All kids at one time or another, if given the opportunity to do so, will find themselves lost to Legos. By that I mean, the joy of building and creating something from these simple, but unique toys, is something that all kids can understand and get wrapped up in. Entire cities can be created with enough time and Lego blocks. Play rooms can be transformed into monuments, dolls can have new furniture and cars can drive from home to the garage to any number of public buildings, all in a world of Legos. But beyond the obvious creative implications of Legos, there are other educational benefits as well, not the least of which are in the skills and concepts that they teach experientially.

The easiest benefits to point out are the educational tools of space, relationship and proportions, all of which will help to improve math awareness skills. Fun time playing with Legos teaches halves and wholes, depending on the blocks being used. Quarter blocks are also available, and while kids don’t refer to them by that name, they are learning division theory quite nicely! Angles must be taken into account as well when building, which is also learned experientially through trial and error as kids play with Legos and have the opportunity to create.

But what about other educational benefits of Legos? Legos also teach patience and perseverance. That may not seem like an educational payoff, but it is. Kids must learn to take their time, build up from the foundations, and “snap” things together nicely and securely before moving on. The understanding of these concepts will help students to perform better in school because parents know all too well that school concepts work in order, they take time and repetition. There is an order to the learning process in the same way that there’s an order to the building process. All kids like to skip steps in math, fail to show their work, avoid homework, etc. These are important parts to gaining educational competence, however, and Legos help to prepare our kids for this lesson.

Sometimes Legos get stuck together. In the same way, sometimes things get “stuck” for our kids. Having a common experience in Legos, children can be taught to work at their problems. They can learn not to give up. They can benefit from understanding that if things get stuck, they need to keep working to break their problems down into parts. One part at a time, problems are not so difficult to overcome. Do you ever remember scraping your knuckles on a set of Legos as you tried to pry them apart? Sometimes separating Legos is hard work, just like school, but the joy of creating new things, or getting to just the right “piece” is worth the hard work! School, too, is not always fun for every child, and some subjects will be less entertaining than others. But when a child perseveres in their studies, there is nothing more exciting to see than the glow on their faces when a concept is mastered.

Like Legos, our worlds are made up of different colors and shapes, purposes and potentials, but from Legos, we have much to learn. The educational benefits are not as straightforward as they might seem, but nevertheless, our “teachers” they can become.


Source by Camille Rodriquez

Here’s Why You Should Never Underestimate Play in Preschool

Many parents send their children to school even at a young age. They believe that the earlier their children attend school, the better it would be for them. There are some parents, however, who are hesitant to send their kids to preschool. They think that their children are too small or young for it. While it is true that kids largely depend on their parents, a high-quality preschool serves as a strong foundation for them to learn academically, emotionally, and socially for their future success.

Parents usually worry about their children’s performance at school – on how they are going to handle assignments and answer their teacher’s questions. This should not be the case though, for preschool involves activities that enable children to learn while playing. Forget about the idea that preschool is rigorous, because in reality, it is playful. And here are some good reasons why your child should go to preschool and how important play is.

It is well-settled that, by nature, children are playful. This is the main reason why play is a main activity for preschoolers. There are different types of play that your child may experience, namely creative, dramatic, manipulative, and physical.

  1. Creative. It takes place when kids use art materials like clay, pencil, paint, etc., to form or draw a certain thing using their imagination.

  2. Dramatic. Students are given specific characters and they will act out and take on the roles of adults, animals, and the like. This enhances their social skills as they need to interact with others.

  3. Manipulative. Kids love playing with toys, whether small or big. Doing this allows them to control on how to hold and handle them.

  4. Physical. Play in preschool helps children to become healthier. Doing sports games, such as basketball, relay race, or mini-obstacle course seems as if they are performing exercises. Also, it helps them to grow strong, joyful, and stress-free.

The value of play, therefore, should never be underestimated. It provides benefits that can be really helpful to your children as they grow and study further. For instance, children learn best when they are physically engaged. Imagine your child playing basketball or any other physical sports with his classmates. He will push himself to win and even start building motor skills. This goes the same when your kid participates in a dramatic or cooperative play. His language and vocabulary abilities are improved. As the teacher gives students instructions on what to say and how to act, the latter begin communicating on their own and express their thoughts and emotions.

Another major advantage of play is self-confidence. Your child starts to feel confident about what he is doing when his teacher acknowledges him for his accomplishment, no matter how big or small it is.

Play in preschool promotes social and emotional development. If you want to prepare your child for the future, the best way to do that is to send him to school, be it local or international preschool.


Source by Shine Manson

Preschool Language and Literacy Development Activities

Here are some great activities that parents and caregivers can easily work into their preschooler’s day to help with language and literacy development.

What do you do?

Have your child draw pictures and tell stories of things they do in the morning or at night. For example, I get up and eat breakfast, then I brush my teeth. This works on sequencing and memory.

Snowflakes

Show your child how to fold and cut paper to create a snowflake, circle, or heart using instructions that he or she can follow. Then allow the child to follow the instructions to make his or her own snowflake or other shape. This activity helps with memory, following directions, sequencing and hand coordination for writing.

Picture Stories

Using a book or magazine, show your child pictures and ask him to make up a story about the picture. Encourage your child by asking W questions…who, what, when, where…and why. Again, this develops sequencing as well as observation and imagination skills. Write your child’s story down to illustrate that words can become permanent records of stories.

Quirky Questions

Ask your child a silly question like, why do frogs hop? As your child answers, have fun by asking additional how, where and other open-ended questions to build language. Take turns asking quirky questions and making up answers.

What Happened Next?

Read a story to your child, or tell your child a story. Then ask your child to tell what happened at the beginning, middle and end of the story. This helps with memory and sequencing.

Grocery List

Have your child make part of your grocery list, then allow him or her to get the items at the grocery store. Even if the child cannot write the words for things, he or she can draw a picture to represent the items that need to be purchased. This helps with developing a connection between written words and real items and ideas.

Letter Search

Using an old magazine or newspaper, have your child circle the letters of his or her name in the magazine or newspaper. This helps with developing letter recognition. When your child starts to recognize different letters, also have him or her search for those letters.


Source by Loretta M Gilbert

Bringing Dinosaurs Into the School – An Aid to the Creative Curriculum

With the roll out of the Creative Curriculum within the United Kingdom, giving teachers and administrators the opportunity to be more flexible in the delivery of core teaching programmes, new opportunities have emerged to motivate and enthuse young people, particularly when it comes to the science subjects. After all, one of the key aims of this new development is to help young people, in fact students of all ages from reception/foundation right up to key stage four, gain the capacity for original ideas and actions. In effect, to help students learn about science, the environment and other related science subjects such as mathematics; through personal exploration and enquiry.

The Creative Curriculum and the Teaching of Science Subjects

In our experience, as teachers the creative curriculum has allowed us to act as facilitators to learning, we have found that the greater flexibility in being able to teach core subjects and national curriculum principles has been a very positive experience both for those teachers delivering the lessons and also for the pupils.

Being more creative has led to the abandonment of many of the older lesson plans and schemes of work we had. Others have been modified and adapted to make them work within the context of having greater teaching freedoms. In particular, being able to introduce new term topics such as a study of dinosaurs has brought real benefits to the delivery of the teaching programmes.

Whilst we accept that modifying existing lesson plans, topics and schemes of work made more work at the beginning of this new teaching style, the outcomes have more than made up for this with a more motivated and enthusiastic group of students, who do, genuinely seem to be able to apply key skills and demonstrate learning.

Why Choose Dinosaurs?

The choice of a study of dinosaurs and indeed other prehistoric animals as part of a themed topic for a term or part of a school term is a really good idea in our opinion. Firstly, most children go through a phase of being fascinated with these prehistoric creatures, this will ensure a willingness to participate in the lessons and activities. Secondly, dinosaurs these days are rarely out of the media what with television shows, cartoons and films so most children are very aware of them and already have some knowledge. Perhaps, most importantly of all, the subject of dinosaurs or to be more precise a study of the Order of reptiles known as the Dinosauria provides enormous scope for developing a range of exciting lesson plans across a range of subject areas.

Subject areas that can be covered include the sciences, mathematics and geography but also with some creative thinking, areas of teaching as diverse as music, physical education and dance. For example, utilising the subject of dinosaurs for a term topic gives teachers the opportunity to explore themes such as changing environments and extinction. When delivering such a scheme of work we have incorporated many different subject areas all loosely based around the mass extinction event that occurred sixty-five million years ago that led to the death of the dinosaurs. Science areas can be covered by exploring the possible reasons for the extinction event, the breaking down of food webs, the impact of volcanoes and changing climates. This can permit teachers to explore current themes and issues related to subject areas such as global warming and the impact of human population growth on the planet. By being creative, the extinction motif can be applied in other subject areas such as composing a piece of music to reflect change and the death of a whole group of prehistoric animals. This enables teachers to tap into other learning styles of the pupils. With music and movement in mind, we have helped create dance classes where pupils try to interpret the death of the dinosaurs through creative dance and other performance works.

Most children have some knowledge of dinosaurs, indeed, in our experience there is usually at least one very knowledgeable person in the class, perhaps a budding young palaeontologist that can be relied upon to help enthuse and inform on the subject area. When wanting to encourage independent learning we hung a washing line complete with pegs across the classroom. We then asked the pupils (in this case key stage two students), to think of questions about dinosaurs and write them on a piece of paper with their name on them. We then examined the questions that had come out and grouped them (another useful exercise involving word association and spatial awareness). Once the question areas were grouped, teams were selected and each team given the task of researching a question and reporting on their findings to the rest of the class. This encouraged independent problem solving and research using a range of resources and then each team made a presentation to their class mates and wrote up their findings for display on the “resources wall” that we had created to help theme up the room for the dinosaur topic.

As teachers, we found the delivery of a topic associated with dinosaurs and other prehistoric animals a joy to teach and found our own curiosity and interest ignited. There were certainly many key benefits for putting dinosaurs into the classroom, a summary of the benefits we found are listed below:

1). Pupils were more involved in their learning and took greater responsibility for their learning. There was a real sense of ownership when being taught this subject. For example, the sense of pride when designing their own prehistoric animal, working out where it lived, what it ate and what name it should have.

2). Students were more enthusiastic about the subject areas and there was greater motivation. For instance, exploring the concept of averages with a key stage 3 class using some dinosaur footprints to make a trackway and measuring the average distance between steps.

3). As teachers, we too were more motivated and enthusiastic about the subject area of dinosaurs. It was a “fun” aspect of the curriculum and it was more rewarding and personally satisfying to see how the children responded to the more creative teaching methods employed.

4). Greater parental involvement. One benefit of teaching about dinosaurs that was not foreseen was the greater interest shown by parents and guardians. Adults too, also seem to have a fascination with dinosaurs, we encouraged the children talk about dinosaurs with their parents and guardians when at home and we saw a marked improvement in the attitude of many parents towards teaching when they began to see how creative we were in delivering teaching plans and programmes. One thing we would recommend is to have an “open afternoon” permitting the pupils to show off their work and studies involving dinosaurs. We set up a “mini- museum” that showcased the work and the experiments the children had done. This was very well received by the parents and guardians that attended.

Bringing dinosaurs into schools is certainly recommended. It enables teachers and educationalists to tap into the enthusiasm of the pupils, it motivates learning and provides a rich environment for developing lessons and learning. We even learnt a few things ourselves – would definitely recommend.


Source by Mike Walley

5 Reasons Why You Should Teach Your Child to Be Helpful

As a parent, you have the responsibility of teaching your child important life skills they will need later in life. One such important skill every child needs to learn is how to be helpful. Lots of parents either don’t recognize the need to teach their children this lesson, or they don’t want to bother with it because they are too busy. If you don’t think it’s important, here are five points to consider:

1. They learn how to do things on their own. When a child is required to help, they begin to learn how to do things on their own. It is imperative that every child begin to gain their independence at some point, and by teaching them at an early age how to help, they start to figure out how to do things on their own.

2. They learn how to do things for others. As your child starts becoming helpful, they not only learn how to do things on their own, but they also learn the importance of doing things for others as well. Remember to share with your child the importance of giving to others, but not giving beyond their means. You don’t want them to become doormats to others, but you do want them to know the importance of helping others.

3. They learn the importance and reason for being helpful. As your child becomes helpful at home, they will quickly grasp the importance of helping out. Being a good helper makes Mom’s afternoon less stressful. Helping Dad with the yard work means they’ll get that Saturday morning fishing trip they’ve been wanting to go own with Dad.

4. They understand how helping others creates a more positive environment for everyone. As stated above, helping around the house means a lot less stress for everyone, and a lot more fun for everyone, too. By being helpful, they will come to understand the give-and-take of daily life.

5. They will use this experience to build upon as they grow older, as they learn how to become self-sufficient and helpful in more areas of their life. When you teach your child how to help out at home, even if it is something as simple as setting the dinner table, this is something they can build on as they grow. Letting your kids help out in the kitchen will eventually lead to them learning how to cook their own meals. Life skills like this one are essential to living a full life as an adult.


Source by Hope Wilbanks