For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. John 3:16-17
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“The Gospel is not man accepting Jesus as his Saviour, but that God accepted the Lord Jesus as the perfect and only Saviour two thousand years ago. The Gospel is not man giving his heart or his life to Jesus, but that Christ gave His life, His whole being, in the place of sinners. The Gospel is not man receiving Christ into his heart, but that God received the Lord Jesus into Heaven as the mediator of sinners. The Gospel is not Christ enthroned in the human heart, but that God enthroned the Lord Jesus at His right hand in Heaven.
Do we see the great distinction between these two messages? One is subjective and puts the emphasis on what man must do. The other is objective and puts the emphasis on what Christ has already done. The sinner is only to trust in what has already been done on his behalf. the Lord Jesus cried, “…It is finished…” He did it all. He took upon Himself the load of sin, the full responsibility for the sin of mankind. Because Christ paid the complete debt, God raised Him from the dead and accepted Him into Heaven. The resurrection was God’s sign to all that He accepted the Lord Jesus Christ forever as the perfect Saviour. God is satisfied. Is the convicted sinner? Will he rest the whole weight of his soul’s salvation on Christ’s acceptance by God as the perfect Saviour? Will the sinner cease once and for all trying to do anything to save himself? Will he trust only in God’s Son for salvation?” From Firm Foundations Creation to Christ, Trevor Mcllwain with Nancy Everson pg.13
5th of Tamuz, 5767
Look at the behemoth, which I have made along with you; he eats grass like an ox. See now, his strength is in his hips, and his power is in his stomach muscles. He moves his tail like a cedar; the sinews of his thighs are tightly knit. His bones are like beams of bronze, his ribs like bars of iron.
Job 40:15 – 18
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When it comes to learning science, most of us were taught in the public school system, which is a big proponent of the random fact teaching methodology. In other words, science was a single subject taught in a vacuum separate from other subjects. When it comes to teaching difficult or complex subjects such as science, it makes more sense to take a holistic approach. Here’s why.
The Science Random Fact Junk Drawer
There has been much news lately about the American education crisis in regard to a lack of interest in STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) disciplines. The United States is falling behind other developed countries when it comes to new technologies and discoveries, mainly because it is producing fewer graduates with related degrees.
One of the reasons for this lack of interest in STEM disciplines is the way kids are taught. Students often learn a bit of science here and a bit of science there without being provided any logical way to connect the dots. This collection of random facts can be likened to your junk drawer at home – you know there’s a screwdriver in the midst of all those rubber bands and paper clips and batteries and gadgets somewhere, you just can’t find it amongst all the clutter.
The same holds true for kids learning science. For instance, if a child learns a little something about the earth and the moon and how the shadow of our planet can cause a lunar eclipse, that’s an interesting, but random, fact. You might also have taught your child some astronomy concepts and explained how the moon affects the ocean’s tides. Perhaps your child has also learned something about gravity and the moon’s gravitational pull. But if you are using many mainstream homeschool science curricula, those facts were never pulled together to show the student how the moon is at the core of all these facts and they are interrelated. That’s why it’s so difficult for many kids (and adults alike!) to make the leap between one science fact and how it impacts so many other areas of the world around us. This also makes it very hard to extract a random fact later because the child must rely on rote learning.
The Whole Science Teaching Approach
A better, more effective way to teach homeschool science is through an exponential approach. By helping kids make their own connections between subjects, they are much better equipped to draw broader conclusions. This is also a great way to encourage their natural curiosity and develop hands-on experimentation that offers exciting new discoveries in the child’s mind.
The whole science homeschool teaching approach is all about extrapolation. Once your student has assimilated some core concepts they are prepared to expand that knowledge and apply it to different, everyday situations.
For instance, let’s go back to that random fact about the moon’s gravitational pull on the earth. That’s a physic concept and that explains much about a lunar eclipse, which is a topic generally brought up in astronomy. Those same gravitational forces are at work when it comes to oceanic tide cycles, a topic that may be part of biology learning. By painting the bigger picture, a student can connect the dots between physics and astronomy and biology herself and become excited about learning more.
This approach also compartmentalizes and organizes bits of information so they can easily be retrieved at will and on-demand. And it aids the homeschool science teacher, who often doesn’t understand the information herself, presents complex concepts, and helps the student come to a conclusion that need not be foregone.
When it comes to teaching a difficult subject such as science, the homeschool teacher would be wise to use a wholly scientific approach rather than relying on a random fact methodology.
“I’m going to tell you about…” Seeing this phrase at the beginning of a paragraph/essay/research paper is, to me, the equivalent of fingernails on a chalkboard. I’m also not a real big fan of the “first, next, then, last” system much past third grade. Writing, even expository writing doesn’t have to be boring.
Of course, the first thing a writer needs to keep in mind is the audience that the work is intended for. For example, if your high school senior is writing an essay for a college application, he probably doesn’t want to open with a joke… But with that in mind, teaching your child the following tips when teaching writing will not only make the writing more interesting, but the quality of his writing will be improved.
Hook your audience.
The reason movies or television shows open with an exciting or suspenseful scene is to get your attention and keep it. A good hook will draw your readers in so that they want to keep reading. A hook can consist of a number of things: a quotation, a question, an exclamation, reveal something startling or provide a description. The goal is to get your reader into your second paragraph.
There are several words and phrases that your writer can use to get from paragraph to paragraph. However, I implore you to teach your child how to use these transitions correctly. I once made the mistake of simply giving a 6th-grade class a handout containing transition words. I got pages and pages full of paragraphs that started with “In addition…” The transition word or phrase used should be relevant. I suggest keeping a handout or printout of transitional words and phrases as a permanent component of your child’s writing folder. A quick Google search with the terms “writing transition” will give you plenty of options to choose from so that you can print out a list that is suitable for your child’s age level.
There’s nothing more distracting than trying to read something full of grammatical errors. I’ve had students write the most wonderful, creative stories, but the quality of the story is lost in the run-on sentences, the misspelled words, and the random capital letters. You’ll probably find that your child is not overly receptive to your asking for these errors to be addressed, but it is an important part of the writing process. A technique I like to use is to give the child a familiar piece of work (a fairy tale, poem, etc.) and fill it full of errors. It is uncomfortable to read and the student often sees the value in writing with correct grammar. It doesn’t make them any happier about having to correct the errors, but at least they know why they are doing it.
This is a set of writing tricks complied by a teacher from Texas (Mary Ellen Ledbetter). Using these tips in your writing adds life and depth to your writing. Some of these tips include using hyphenated modifiers (adjectives), using figurative language, and using parallel groups of words. (I just did that, did you catch it?) Again, you can do a Google search for “Smiley Face Tricks” to find many, many copies of Ms. Ledbetter’s tips.
My final tip is going to go here, in my concluding paragraph. Can you guess what my final tip is? End your writing. Even if your story has a cliffhanger, it should have an ending. Wrap things up. (There are tips for full-circle endings in the Smiley Face Tricks). Summarize and let your reader know that you are done imparting information or telling your story. In summary, teaching your child to utilize some of these tricks when writing will make their writing more interesting, more informative, and more likely to hold a reader’s interest.