Tuesday, July 6, 2010

I Have to Invite You

Send me an email, so I have your address to add to the member group. fbcbfprays@gmail.com

Sign up to Be a Member

Okay...I've done the research. The easiest way to take care of this problem will be to sign up to be a member. I'm changing the settings for that purpose. After that is done, no one will be able to comment unless I've approved their membership. If, at that point, someone makes inappropriate comments, I can block them. Without this tool, I have no other way of blocking this behavior, and it takes a lot of time to delete every inappropriate comment.

People can still view the site and submit for membership, so we will still be reaching others in spite of having to take this precautionary step. I hope this doesn't inconvenience you too much.

Problems with Inappropriate Comments on Blogsite

Hello again,

I've been looking through some of the comments and have seen that there are some people that are adding eronious comments to our posts. I'm working on deleting them. I have noticed, however, that they've been going on for awhile and some of them are fairly recent. I will attempt to keep up with deleting them, and will lodge the appropriate complaints.

I have desired to keep this an open forum, so if this is not a topic with which you are actively involved I would ask that you not comment on the blog. If it becomes apparent that this cannot be self-governed, I will be forced to make this a membership only blog. There is no cost to me in this; it just adds some extra sign one tasks to the bloggers and to myself in monitoring that.

As for those of us involved in the conversation...it should be not surprise to us that we would run in to a little opposition here. Let's just step around it. Have a great day.

New Principle Approach Training Site

Hello...I'm so sorry I wasn't able to pursue this blog as actively as I started for the last school season. I have changed my email and you may now reach me at fbcbfprays@gmail.com.

I wanted to share with you that you can get this sort of training now at http://www.principleapproach.org/, and this is a professionally run site not distracted by needs other than the Principle Approach. There is, however, a small membership fee at the entry level with larger fees for more services. If you would like to continue with my free service, please let me know. I am not as efficient as they will be since I do this around homeschooling my own children and running a family business.

Emailing me directly is the best way to communicate with me about this matter. I am not closing down the site, and will continue postings, but it will help me to know how many people are using it.

Thank you and best wishes in your continuing pursuit of the Principle Approach.

Friday, October 9, 2009

The Renewing of Your Mind, A Daily Sacrifice

I'm sorry I have not been on recently. Like you, I've been immersed in our family's school here. Expect more postings and lessons soon. This is an article by one of our readers. I think it will bless you.

The Renewing Of Your Mind, A Daily Sacrifice
Danika Gravelle ~ July 25, 2009
“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God,
that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice,
holy, acceptable unto God which is your reasonable service.
And be not conformed to this world:
but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind,
that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable,
and perfect, will of God.”
Romans 12:1-2
The initial thought of homeschooling paints a romantic, often idyllic picture of lazy mornings sipping
tea, as our children, still in their pajama's at noon, sit around our feet with angelic eyes, drinking the
very nectar of life from every word that cascades over the falls of our lips. Somehow we came to
believe that the hidden mystery of all understanding would effortlessly manifest itself once a perfect
environment for learning was established. I am certain somewhere during your first week of
homeschooling, reality pierced this faulty, humanistic notion like an alarm clock interrupting a sweet
dream. Several emotions may have reared their ugly heads; anger that it wasn't going to be that easy,
fear that you would not succeed, and the feeling of numbness as you implored anyone who would
listen, “Now what?!” The fact is, homeschooling is challenging at best, painful at worst, and at times
exquisitely frustrating, but above all, it is the most humble sacrifice you can offer to God in the
stewardship of your own life and that of your children and family.
If you are a first generation homeschool family, like myself, it is not likely you were educated on the
foundation of Biblical principle, cultivated in the rich soil of the love of learning, and inspired by
Providential history: the Chain of Christianity® with the Gospel Moving Westward. It is more likely the
name of Jesus Christ was an intolerable utterance, history was a regurgitation of facts that needed
memorized for the test and each subject studied was an island in itself. Because this is the predominate
mental disposition of 21st century parents, it is imperative we return to the rudiments of true education
and “be transformed by the renewing of [our] minds.” (Romans 12:2)
My husband and I had a lengthy discussion regarding the Principle Approach® methodology, which
we use in our homeschool, and why it couldn't be more “user friendly,” or in other words more cut and
paste like other “canned curriculum.” The answer is that those canned curriculum's are merely secular
model's of schooling, with a Christian veneer. I equate this to a “mushy gospel.” Many churches have
compromised the gospel message by trying to make it more “user friendly,” to the point that it no
longer holds to the rudimentary Biblical principles of Jesus Christ. A watered down gospel is no gospel
at all. Paul was commanding in his address to the Galatians in regards to the perversion of the gospel of
Christ. “But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we
have preached unto you, let him be accursed” Galatians 1:8. Secular methodologies of teaching with a
scripture affixed to the top of the page does not make the teaching Christian. This is “another gospel,
which is accursed.” Canned curriculum's do not produce a citizenry with a Biblical worldview because
children are not forced to reason among the scriptures and lay them as the foundation for all their
learning. Seeds will only produce after their kind, therefore, socialized, secular teachings, no matter
how “Christianly” they are dressed, will only produce socialized, secular citizens.
If we are going to impact our future generations, we must be diligent in restoring our own minds,
“taking every thought captive,” (2 Cor. 10:5) according to the Biblical mandates of Christ. If our learning
was based upon an accursed model, we must be willing to offer ourselves, our time and our resources
to God that we may be fully restored in spirit, soul, mind and strength. We must not lose heart in this
endeavor, for we are without excuse.
2 Corinthians 9:8, “And God is able to make all grace abound toward you;
that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work:”
If “grace abounds,” then “nothing is impossible” to those who believe (Mark 10:27).
Our lives are living texts to our children and to those around us. The examples we set through our
words and deeds are the stories our children “read and repeat.” Rev. S. Phillips, A.M. wrote a powerful
article in 1861 called, The American Christian Home. The following lengthy quote articulates precisely
the principle of parents as the Living Texts.
“Example has much to do with the interests of home. It plays an important part in the formation of
character; and its influence is felt more than that of precept. Our object in this chapter is to show the
bearing of example upon the well-being of the Christian home. Example may be good or bad. Its power
arises out of the home-confidence and authority. Children possess an imitative disposition. They look
up to their parents as the pattern or model of their character, and conclude what they do is right and
worthy of their imitation. Hence the parental example may lead the child to happiness or ruin …
“The power and influence of the home-example are incalculable. Example is teaching by action. By
it the child inherits the spirit and character of the parent. Such is its influence that you can estimate the
parent by the child. Show me a child, polite, courteous, refined, moral and honorable in all his
sentiments and conduct; and I will point you to a well-conducted nursery, to noble and high-minded
parents, faithful to their offspring. Theirs is a holy and a happy home; and the blessing of God rests
upon it. But on the other hand, in the wayward, dissolute child I discern unfaithful parents who have no
respect for religion, and who take no interest in the spiritual welfare of their children. Thus the child is
a living commentary upon its home and its parents. The fruits of the latter will be seen in the character
of the former. The child is the moral reproduction of the parent. Hence the pious parent is rewarded in
his child. Whatsoever thou sowest in thy child, that shalt thou also reap.
“The precepts of home are unavailing unless enforced by a corresponding example. Nothing is so
forcible and encouraging as the ‘Follow me.’… We learn from example before we can speak. Hence if
we would have our children walk in the way of God’s commandments, we must go before them; we
must take the lead; we must exemplify in our action what we incorporate in our oral instructions; our
light must shine not only upon, but before them; they must see our good works as well as hear our good
precepts. Said a man once to J. A. James, ‘I owe everything under God, to the eminent and consistent
piety of my father. So thoroughly consistent was he, that I could find nothing in the smallest degree at
variance with his character as a professor of religion. This kept its hold upon me.’ It was the means of
his conversion to God.
“Thus children readily discern any discrepancy between a parent’s teaching and example. If we are
professors of religion, and they see us worldly-minded, grasping after riches, pleasures and honors; the
dupes of ungodly fashion, manifesting a malicious spirit, indolent, prayerless, and indifferent to their
spiritual welfare, what do they infer but that we are hypocrites, and will our precepts do them any
good? No. ‘Line upon line and precept upon precept’ will be given to no purpose. Hence the necessity
of enforcing our precepts by Christian deportment. Speak in an angry tone before your child; and what
will it avail for you to admonish him against anger? Many parents express surprise that all they can say
to their children does no good; they remain stubborn, self-willed and recreant.
“But if these parents will look at what they have done as well as said, they will perhaps be less
surprised. They may find a solution of the problem in their own capricious disposition, turbulent
passions and ungodly walk. The child will soon discard a parent’s precepts when they are not enforced
by a parent’s example. Hence that parent who ruins his own soul can do but little for the soul of his
child. The blasphemer and sabbath-breaker is unfit to correct his child for swearing and sabbathbreaking.
He alone who doeth the truth can teach his children truth. He only who has good habits can
teach his children good habits … ‘Thou that teachest another, teachest thou not thyself?’ Hence parents
should say to their children, ‘Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.’ Their example should
include all their precepts. In this way they both hear and see religion in its living, moving and breathing
form before them …
“If such, then, are its influence and necessity, we can easily infer the duty of parents to show their
children a Christian example. If they form their character upon the approved model of their parents,
then the duty to give them a Christian model is very obvious.… That family is happy as well as holy,
where the parents rear up their children under the fostering influence of a Christian example …
Slater, Rosalie J. ; Hall, Verna M.: Teaching and Learning America's Christian History. American Revolution Bicentennial
ed. San Francisco : Foundation for American Christian Education, 1975, S. 29
I beseech [beg, coax and implore] you, brethren,
by the mercies [ goodness, helpfulness, and tenderheartedness] of God,
that ye [ you as a personal pronoun]
present your bodies [heart, mind, soul and strength]
a living [revived, reborn, restored]
sacrifice [a holy, sacrificial offering to God, acknowledging His power and Providence]
holy [devoted and consecrated],
acceptable [well pleasing] to God
which is your reasonable service [there is nothing more important
that you could do with your life, time or resources;
the summation of your Providential purpose].
Romans 12:1 ~
Danika's Amplified ad nauseum Version
What is true Biblical Education?
The education of youth [is] an employment of more consequence than making
laws and preaching the gospel, because it lays the foundation on which both law
and gospel rest for success. ~ Noah Webster, 1788
“The dictionary inculcates either a secular or a Christian worldview through definitions
establishing the system of values by which the family will live. Consider the contrast of the
definition of education.
Modern Dictionary ~ 1980
“The action or process of educating or of being educated;
a stage of such a process;
the knowledge and development resulting from an educational process;
the field of study that deals mainly with methods of teaching and learning in schools.
Noah Webster's American Dictionary of the English Language, 1828, says:
The bringing up, as of a child;
instruction; formation of manners.
Education comprehends all that series of instruction and discipline which is
intended to
1. enlighten the understanding
2. correct the temper
3. form the habits and manners of youth
4. fit them for usefulness in their future stations.
To give children a good education in manners, arts and science, is important; to give
them a religious education is indispensable; and an immense responsibility rests on
parents and guardians who neglect these duties.
The Foundation for American Christian Education, Why Every American Christian Home Should Have the
Noah Webster 1828 Dictionary, www.face.net/207186.ihtml.
The scriptural foundation for this verse is 2 Timothy 3:16-17.
16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God,
and is profitable for doctrine,
for reproof,
for correction,
for instruction in righteousness:
17 That the man of God may be perfect,
throughly furnished unto all good works.
True, Biblical education is not about filling an empty vessel with wood, hay and stubble, but
rather the tender cultivation of a seed that it may grow into the fullness of life as intended by
its Creator. As good stewards of God's property, we are to “bring up” our children
according to God's word; to “lead them from a distant to a nearer place.” We are to convey
the message of the cross to our children, that they may believe and receive the inheritance of
eternal life through Jesus Christ. The Principle Approach® leads the student/teacher in
founding all learning on the rudiments of Christ. Education is simply seeking the heart of
God. Every subject and discipline presents a different perspective in which we may intimate
ourselves with His divine attributes. All other learning is but vanity if Christ is not laid as
the Cornerstone and sure foundation. Christian education using a secular model is a
contradiction; an oxymoron. You cannot lead your child in the Way, if are using the wrong
map. It is vital our homeschools break from the secular methodologies and philosophies of
teaching, and embrace God's model as laid out in His word.
Matthew 7:13-14
13 Enter ye in at the strait
gate: for wide is the gate,
and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction,
and many there be which go in thereat:
14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way,
which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.
The Educational Process is a Christian Journey
A Distant Place Biblical Education A Nearer Place
1. Darkness
2. Wide gate
3. Blind
4. Lost
5. Crooked places
6. Lies
7. Destruction
8. Death
1. Jesus Christ as the focal point
of all history and learning.
2. Biblical Principles lay the
3. “Reflective thinking and
reasoning from the Scriptures.”*
4. “Furnishes each child such
aid...to reach the fullest
expression of his value in
1. Light
2. Narrow Gate
3. Sight
4. Found
5. Straight path
6. Truth
7. Salvation
8. Life
*Quotes taken from The Distinctives of American Educational Systems chart, Adams, Carole Goodman ; Youmans,
Elizabeth L.: The Noah Plan Self-Directed Study in the Principle Approach. Chesapeake, VA. : Foundation for American
Christian Education, 2004, S. 13-14
We must be intentional about leading our children in the path of righteousness, for His
name's sake (Psalm 23:3). True Biblical education draws out the providential destiny of our
children by drawing them nearer to Christ. The closer they come to Christ, the more
irresistible the call.
Deuteronomy 6:4-9 gives us the Biblical model for homeschooling.
4 Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD: 5 And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all
thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. 6 And these words, which I command thee this
day, shall be in thine heart: 7 And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of
them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down,
and when thou risest up. 8 And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as
frontlets between thine eyes. 9 And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates.
Do you see it? Do you hear what the Spirit of the Lord is saying to the family? Biblical
education is experiencing God in every aspect and detail of our lives. God did not bless us
with children that we should send them to the Assyrians for their learning. All of life must
participate in the daily worship of God, being intentional to not compartmentalize our
studies between the sacred and the secular. God is the Creator of all things, therefore His
attributes are clearly seen in the world around us. We are to lead our children in learning
how to see the world around them with a Biblical Worldview.
Romans 1:20 ~
For the invisible things of Him
from the creation of the world are clearly seen,
being understood by the things that are made,
even His eternal power and Godhead;
so that they are without excuse:
The power of educating our children according to Biblical principle is that it teaches them to
stand upon their own Biblical convictions and are “henceforth...no more children, tossed to
and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning
craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive” Ephesians 4:14.
Scriptural Mandate for Homeschooling
Deuteronomy 6:4-9
7 Governmental Biblical Principles from the
Principle Approach®
V4 Hear, O Israel: the LORD our God is one LORD: Individuality – Everything in God's universe is
revelational of God's sovereignty, infinity,
diversity, and individuality.
V5 And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all
thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy
Christian Principle of Self-Government – God
ruling internally from the heart of the individual.
In order to have true liberty, man must be
governed internally by the Spirit of God rather
than by external forces. Government is first
individual then extends to the home, church, and
the community.
V6 And these words, which I command thee this
day, shall be in thine heart.
Christian Self-Government
Conscience, Our Most Sacred Property – God
requires faithful stewardship of all His gifts,
especially the internal property of conscience.
This is a tool for self-government...It means to
value your Christian conviction and conscience
above all external possessions, even life itself, as
did the first century Christian martyrs.
V7 And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy
children, and shall talk of them when thou sittest
in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way,
and when thou liest down, and when thou risest
Christian Self-Government –
Conscience, Our Most Sacred Property -
America's Heritage of Christian Character – The
image of God engraved upon the individual within
brings dominion and change to his external
environment. The model of Christian character is
the Pilgrim character, which demonstrates the
qualities that make up our heritage of Christian
Character: faith and steadfastness, brotherly love
and Christina care, diligence and industry, and
liberty of conscience.
“This divine power of the gospel revealed itself to
the heather in the lives of Christians, which
showed for the virtues of Him who had called
them out of darkness into His marvelous light, and
enabled them to walk as the children of God, in
the midst of a perverse generation, among whom
they shoe as light in the world!...the whole life of
a Christian, from beginning to the end, is a
conflict with the world and the powers of
darkness, a conflict within and without...” Neander,
“Memorials of a Christian Life,” 1852
How the Seed of Local Self-Government is
Planted – Christian self-government begins with
salvation and education in God's Law and Love,
and flows in governing oneself, one's home,
church and community...and an education in the
principles of lawful action.
The Christian Principle of American Political
Union – Before two or more individuals can act
effectively together, they must first be united in
spirit in their purposes and convictions. Internal
agreement or unity will produce external union
that will be visible in the spheres of government,
economics, and home and community life.
V8 And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine
hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine
Christian Character
V9 And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy
house, and on thy gates.
How the Seed of Local Self-Government is
The Christian Form of Our Government – The
divine flow of spiritual power and force is
manifested in individual Christian selfgovernment
and character, liberty of conscience,
and the wisdom to know when to unite and when
to separate as an [American] Christian.
God has given to us “everything that pertains to life and godliness,” that we may be
“equipped for every good work.”(2 Peter 1:3; 2 Timothy 3:17). By no means are these 7
Governmental Principles of the Principle Approach® the only principles at work, but they
are a place to start, and provide enough evidence to illuminate the completeness and
sufficiency of God's word, for the proper education of our children. In every teachable
moment throughout every day we are to obey God's mandate to diligently teach our children
according to His precepts and commands as laid out in the Holy Scriptures.
The Biblical model of education does not transpire through fill in the blank and multiple
choice methodologies found in secular canned curriculum. Life itself is the stage from
which we draw our lesson plans, apply God's principles, study His eternal attributes and
worship Jesus Christ in spirit and truth. This is the true model of Christian education and its
curriculum. As parents we must overcome our apathy and be willing to embrace the hard
labor of renewing our own minds according to the word of God, that we may convey these
truths to our children. If we don't, we will be like that “double-minded man, who is unstable
in all his ways” (James 1:8). The Living Bible says in James 1:7, “People like that should
not expect to receive anything from the Lord.”
Whether you are taking the first steps to obey God's mandate for homeschooling your
children, or have been in the process for sometime using an accursed system, do not be
discouraged. God is interested in the complete restoration of everyone in the family because
we are all God's children. My advice to you is to find a mentor that would be willing to
walk with you, to disciple and teach you from the Holy Scriptures, in the way you should
go; not as “the blind leading the blind,” (Luke 6:38), but as a fellow servants of Christ. The
Christian family does not need more playgroups to teach socialization skills to its children,
but more discipling and study in the word of God, that we may raise up a godly generation
who will be faithful in raising up godly generations.
Joshua 1:8-9
This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth;
but thou shalt meditate therein day and night,
that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein:
for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous,
and then thou shalt have good success.
9 Have not I commanded thee?
Be strong and of a good courage;
be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed:
for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.
Go, ye, therefore, my beloved brethren, to thy children and be Godly educators, firmly
established in the Holy Word, and not socialized regurgitators of processed flummeries
leading down that spiral staircase to the pit of hell.
Godspeed and God bless...

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

My Notebooking

I meant this comment to be in response to one of our comments below, but I wrote too much so I'm placing it here. I hope it is useful to you.

The notebooks are an extremely valuable part of the PA method. In fact, I wouldn't hesitate to say they are at the very heart of what we do. Notebooking is not just something we have our boys do--we also use the method in our personal studies.

I used the method while working on my Master's degree at a local Christian University. Although the University is a Christian university and the faculty and administration honor God in what they do with their students, they are not unusual in the fact that they do not practice the Principle Approach. In the beginning of my program I received many amused comments when I walked in with my binder and hole puncher. I chuckled with them, and simply told them that I used these tools because of my own inadequacies. I do lose things if they are not attached in a binder. That's just how I am. The most amusing thing was to watch them watching me. As the course of study began, I would listen to the professor and read the course syllabus to determine how to set up my dividers. I would quietly go about setting up my notebook as I listened to the course introduction. Then my notebook was my tool throughout all my studies. I chose key words from the courses to define and research in key word studies--outside of the professor's assignments. I asked questions. Lots of questions. In fact, my advisor once told me that professors had been discussing me--warning one another about me. They would tell each other that I was really nice if they just gave me time--'she simply asks a lot of questions; don't be intimidated.' That really struck me as funny. If you know me personally, I'm really soft spoken and I love people. I never dreamed the word intimidating and Michelle Heidemann would be used in the same sentence!

What happened next was really interesting. I was very successful in my work at the University. In fact, my thesis was even published on a secular educational research engine even though it was about Biblical reasoning in learning. About halfway through my course of study people started to ask me if they could borrow my hole puncher. I noticed that they had binders of their own, and they weren't laughing anymore (they didn't bring hole punchers though. I think they knew they could use mine). [I was also a homeschool parent with an education background taking classes with Christian public school educators. They, in the beginning, felt I was a bit of a 'traitor'.]

I share that story because I took the method into a situation that wasn't set up for it and used it anyway--kind of like Daniel in Babylon (although this is a wonderful university and was very flexible in allowing my to tailor my degree toward my own needs, and I met some wonderfully Godly people and challenging professors). Doing this made all the difference in my success.
It is important to not be rigid in your selection of dividers. The 4 Rs (research, reason, relate, record)do need to be utilized for successful learning; however, it isn't necessary to call your dividers that unless it works well for you and/or your children (find what works best for your children; it may not be what works for you). I will give you our dividers for the year if you promise not to be rigid with them either. Just use them as an example.

History:1.Foundations2.Timeline3.Key Individuals4.Key Events5.Key Documents6.Research (includes notes)7.Quizzes

English:1.Foundations2.Orthography3.Grammar4.Composition5.Speech (Elocution)6.Syntax
Literature:1.Foundations2.Bible as Reader (BAR)3.Poetry4.Shakespeare5.Quizzes(then a divider for each major work studied)


Mathematics1.His Story of Mathematics2.Foundations3.Principles (mathematical laws here)4.Notes5.Homework6.Tests

Science1.Foundations2.His story of Physical Science or Meteorology (the boys are taking different branches)3.Experiments4.Study questions5.Tests

Logic1.Foundations2.His Story of Reasoning3.Notes4.Essay5.Tests

Economics1.Foundations2.His Story of Economics3.Notes 4.Homework5.Tests

My teacher notebook:1.Calendar2.Gabe (place for records)3.Michael4.Lesson Plans5.Resources and bibliography...I will probably add more

I have a binder for this course as well:1.Reflections2.Word Studies3.Research4.Ideas for instruction (an application area to what I do with the boys)Then, since I also use if for a couple of other studies I have a couple more dividers in the back for those.

I hope this is helpful. Let me know if you have any questions.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Lesson 3: Handwriting

Is handwriting important? On page 102 Miss Slater makes a point that making handwriting important instills character. She even points out the interesting point that individual letters are even call 'characters'. Is the attention to detail important? Why do you think so--or not?