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What is Presbyterianism?

To be Presbyterian is to confess the Westminster Confession of Faith and Catechisms in theology and practice. Presbyterians are also known as Reformed Christians.

What homeschool curriculum are you using?

I am of the idea that curriculum isn’t something that you buy, it is something that you do together or apply in teaching and learning. To that effect, we primarily employ the classical Christian educational philosophy and pedagogy in our homeschool curriculum.

What is classical Christian education or homeschooling?

I have practically adapted the description suggested by Dr. Christopher Perrin of Classical Academic Press:

Classical Christian Education is a traditional approach to education rooted in western civilization and culture, developed by the church, grounded in piety and governed by theology, employing the historic curriculum and pedagogy of the seven liberal arts in order to cultivate men and women characterized by wisdom, virtue, and eloquence.

In summary, classical Christian education makes use of the seven liberal arts and the great books. To learn more about Classical Education, you may download this guide for parents.

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  • This is one children's book that I've been looking forward to getting this year. ๐˜›๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜”๐˜ฐ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ ๐˜๐˜ด ๐˜ˆ๐˜ญ๐˜ธ๐˜ข๐˜บ๐˜ด ๐˜™๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ๐˜ฏ๐˜ฅ is written by professor and father Jonny Gibson who uses the imagery of the moon to explain to children about the forever goodness of God even when we cannot always see it so clearly. The book was inspired by the same conversations he had with his son Ben after losing their stillborn daughter/sister, Leila. Dare I be so bold in saying that I think it is the best children's book in 2019 written by a Reformed-Presbyterian author? The illustrations by Joe Hox, who also created the loveable animals in the "Good News for Little Hearts" (ed. David Powlison and Ed Welch) series, capture the emotions of each character beautifully. They also bear a striking resemblance with Dr. Gibson and his son. I may have a bit of biase because the author is in the same presbytery as my husband, but Leila's story has shaped a big part of my understanding about worship. Dr. Gibson writes this in his other book, ๐˜™๐˜ฆ๐˜ง๐˜ฐ๐˜ณ๐˜ฎ๐˜ข๐˜ต๐˜ช๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ ๐˜ž๐˜ฐ๐˜ณ๐˜ด๐˜ฉ๐˜ช๐˜ฑ: "[T]his book is written in memoriam of a stillborn girl, Leila Judith Grace Gibson. She has taught her parents more about the gospel in her short life and sudden death than they have understood in a lifetime-Leila the Evangelist. She has also taught them more about the worship of heaven than they have ever appreciated-what it means to worship God on earth as he is worshiped in heaven. Each Lordโ€™s Day, her parents and brother gather with the saints on earth to get a glimpse by faith of what their daughter and sister in heaven now sees by sight: 'But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to innumerable angels in festal gathering, and to the assembly of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, and to God, the judge of all, ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ต๐˜ฐ ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ด๐˜ฑ๐˜ช๐˜ณ๐˜ช๐˜ต๐˜ด ๐˜ฐ๐˜ง ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ณ๐˜ช๐˜จ๐˜ฉ๐˜ต๐˜ฆ๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ๐˜ด ๐˜ฎ๐˜ข๐˜ฅ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฑ๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ๐˜ง๐˜ฆ๐˜ค๐˜ต, and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.'" (Heb. 12:22-24, emphasis added)

ฮœฮฑฯฮฑฮฝฮฑฮธฮฑ! 
Maranatha!
Come, Lord Jesus! 
#RaisingCovenantChildren
#RecommendedReadsForKids
  • "Parents, be exemplary: Your example may do much towards the salvation of your children, your works will more work upon your children, than your words; your patterns will do more than your precepts; your copies than your counsels. What was then said unto pastors, may very fitly be said unto parents, in Titus 2:2, in all things show yourself a pattern of good works; and in Timothy 4:12 be thou an example in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity. It will be impossible for you to infuse any good into your children, if you appear void of that good yourselves. If the old crab go backward, it is to no purpose, for the young one to be directed to go forward: Sirs, young ones, will crawl after the old ones." โ€”Cotton Mather, A Family Well Ordered, 37-38.

#RaisingCovenantChildren
  • "In Adam's fall,
We sinned all"

These lines are taken from theย ๐˜•๐˜ฆ๐˜ธ ๐˜Œ๐˜ฏ๐˜จ๐˜ญ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜ฅ ๐˜—๐˜ณ๐˜ช๐˜ฎ๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ, which became a textbook for children among colonists and early Americans in the 18th century. It was created by the Puritans who made settlement in Boston, Massachusetts. I createdย a printable called ๐™ˆ๐™ฎ ๐˜ฝ๐™ž๐™—๐™ก๐™š ๐™‹๐™ง๐™ž๐™ข๐™š๐™ง ๐˜ผ๐˜ฝ๐˜พ๐™จ, whichย is an updated version of the ๐˜•๐˜ฆ๐˜ธ ๐˜Œ๐˜ฏ๐˜จ๐˜ญ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜ฅ ๐˜—๐˜ณ๐˜ช๐˜ฎ๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ. I also added new content for the letter I as it was missing in all of the editions. Then I took the liberty of modernizing some of the texts while sticking to content of earlier editions that provided a more Biblical and theological emphases. It is my hope that children will learn their Bible and theology along with their ABCs, as it was in times past. Just as Charles Spurgeon onceย exhorted, "Let us from the beginning mingle the name of Jesus with their A B C. Let them read their first lessons from the Bible. It is a remarkable thing that there is no book from which children learn to read so quickly as from the New Testament: there is a charm about that book which draws forth the infant mind. But let us never be guilty, as parents, of forgetting the religious training of our children; for if we do we may be guilty of the blood of their souls." Young children then learned that their life is brief, and so they must cling to Jesus by faith for life everlasting. Hard truths or difficult doctrines are not concealed. Thus we find that theย Shorter Catechismย was also included in the ๐˜•๐˜ฆ๐˜ธ ๐˜Œ๐˜ฏ๐˜จ๐˜ญ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜ฅ ๐˜—๐˜ณ๐˜ช๐˜ฎ๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ. How much more do we need to address these things to our children today! It is my prayer that we will train our children, and see themย grow in grace and in knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christย (2 Peter 3:18). You may download a FREE printable of ๐™ˆ๐™ฎ ๐˜ฝ๐™ž๐™—๐™ก๐™š ๐™‹๐™ง๐™ž๐™ข๐™š๐™ง ๐˜ผ๐˜ฝ๐˜พ๐™จ now at raisingcovenantchildren.com [link in profile @raisingcovenantchildren]

#RaisingCovenantChildren
  • Over the years, we have amassed quite a number of math manipulatives for our homeschooling. Because of my daughter's dyscalculia, a specific learning disability in learning and comprehending arithmetic, we've tried many math curricula in a span of one year. But we've been referring to these materials over and over again. Our favorites are definitely the nature counters, ten frames, tactile numbers, Math U See and Numicon blocks, and all sorts of dice. I will write more information about these manipulatives, how to use them, and where to get them. 
What are your favorite Math manipulatives?
  • I picked up this Filipino story book from a sale pile at @nationalbookstore recently, and shared the story with the children this morning. I'm starting to get what Charlotte Mason meant about choosing living books. I'm not a CM purist by any means, so I still use textbooks. I also incorporate a lot of visuals. So I make the children hunt for stuff they could find in and around the house that relate to the lesson. But I think I'm beginning to understand the emphasis and the reason why days are to be filled with the presentation of many living ideas after my eldest said, "More Filipino books, Mama!" This, in spite of my lack of Filipino reading prowess. My Hiligaynon heart is swelling with joy.

#OurLivingLearning
#CharlotteMasonPh
  • We finally reached ancient Greece in our history lessons so we made a crown of leaves similar to the ones awarded to Olympic winners.

#TheClassicalPreschool
  • My husband and I brought the children to watch the #VanGoghAlivePH show last week. Our preparation involved doing individual picture studies on Van Gogh's works for several weeks. But we all had mixed reactions during and after the show. I personally wished the presentations were bigger and that more people would look at the slideshow instead of taking selfies or group photos in front of the screens. However, what made a distinct impression on me was a question posed by my daughter after we watched the show. She asked, "Mama, is Van Gogh in heaven?" I did not expect to get that sort of response after an art show. I know that Van Gogh was a son of Dutch Reformed pastor. But his father's church did not adhere to the orthodox Calvinist teachings of Dort and leaned toward
Grogingen theology (Murray, 1978). The whole show actually reminded me of what Augustine wrote in his ๐˜Š๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ๐˜ง๐˜ฆ๐˜ด๐˜ด๐˜ช๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ๐˜ด, "Our hearts are restless until it rests in you." So I told her that we cannot know for sure because Van Gogh's writings may tell us about how he wrestled with religion, but they did not seem to point to a true and proper object of his faith. The talented painter tried to find solace in art and in nature, but it is only through faith in Jesus that men are saved from sin. Natural revelation in creation is insufficient for salvation. My little dyslexic struggles with reading and memory, but I would not trade academic achievement with her big heart for the Gospel. Having a child with a learning disability has continually taught me to look beyond the physical and see with spiritual eyes what ultimately matters. I think that is what true wisdom really is.

#RaisingCovenantChildren
  • Around the same time last year, I created a mini infographic and even some felt items to illustrate the doctrine of double imputation or what some theologians like to call โ€œThe Great Exchange." R. C. Sproulย writesย about this all-important teaching: "This is the very heart of the gospel.ย  In order to get into heaven, will I be judged by my righteousness or by the righteousness of Christ?ย  If I have to trust in my righteousness to get into heaven, I must completely and utterly despair of any possibility of ever being redeemed.ย But when we see that the righteousness that is ours by faith is the perfect righteousness of Christ, we see how glorious is the good news of the gospel.ย  The good news is simply this: I can be reconciled to God.ย  I can be justified, not on the basis of what I do, but on the basis of what has been accomplished for me by Christ. Of course, Protestantism really teaches a double imputation.ย  Our sin is imputed to Jesus and his righteousness is imputed to us.ย  In this twofold transaction, we see that God does not compromise his integrity in providing salvation for his people.ย  Rather, he punishes sin fully after it has been imputed to Jesus.ย This is why he is able to be both โ€˜just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesusโ€™ as Paul writes in Romans 3:26. So my sin goes to Jesus and his righteousness comes to me.โ€ Thankfully, the late Dr. Sproul did the hard work and provided help for many of us parents on how to better explain this truth to children by writing The Priest With Dirty Clothes. I provided a link on my blog to the FREE audio recording from Ligonier Ministries, along with the  infographic and a short video of how one of my kids narrated back when I first explained double imputation using the felt materials. I used a black and white shirt for sin and Christ's righteousness, respectively, because that's how I've always taught children this doctrine. It also reflects the teaching from  Zechariah 3:1-5. 
All these and many more now available on my blog raisingcovenantchildren.com [Link in profile @raisingcovenantchildren]

#RaisingCovenantChildren 
#ReformedMama
  • It is quite a challenge to bring small children to worship. But I love the perspective that Jason Helopoulos provides when he wrote that, "The sound of young children reminds the adults in the covenant community that their lives are united with these covenant children and it remains essential that they pass on the faith to the next generation." I agree that our children are the next generation. Although it must be also be emphasized that they are likewiseย alreadyย part of the current generation as present members of the covenant community, whether communicant or not. Lordโ€™s Day worship is not merely a spiritual discipline we uphold, but we need to embrace it as a way of discipleship. 
We go through the difficult process of bringing and training our covenant children to honor the Lordโ€™s Day by attending to the means of grace because that is how God disciples His people. J. C. Ryle admonishes us, โ€œDo not be cast down because your children see not the full value of the means of grace now. Only train them up to a habit of regular attendance. Set it before their minds as a high, holy, and solemn duty, and believe me, the day will very likely come when they will bless you for your deed." If we truly believe that God promises to work through the means of grace, we must do well by bringing our children and not to hinder them. Bishop Ryle also give us a sobering reminder, "Do not allow them to grow up with a habit of making vain excuses for not coming. Give them plainly to understand, that so long as they are under your roof it is the rule of your house for every one in health to honor the Lordโ€™s house upon the Lordโ€™s day, and that you reckon the Sabbath-breaker to be a murderer of his own soul." How wonderful it would be when we could finally go to Zion, our final resting place and dwell in the presence of the Lord forever. The blessings of eternal unbroken fellowship with the Triune God is perfected in heaven and tasted on earth during the Lordโ€™s Day. Wouldnโ€™t you want that for your children as well?

I write about "Honoring the Sabbath Together" by offering practical tips on how to help children worship with us on the Lord's Day. Now up in my blog!

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