Posts Tagged ‘homeschool’

Anne with an ‘E’ Study Guide


As a home educator for over 25 years, I have learned the importance of designing curriculum to meet the individual needs of my children while always focusing on their spiritual development.  When my oldest daughter chose to read  Anne of Green Gables, I couldn’t find a published study guide that combined the emotional growth and the spiritual honesty of Anne with the rich vocabulary and literature of her era.  Hence, the birth of Anne with an ‘E’.

Anne with an ‘E’ is more than a comprehension study with vocabulary and questions; it is also interpretive.  Think About and Discuss questions are meant to take the parent/child, student/teacher deeper into Anne’s world – a world with moral and spiritual values very different from our world yet embracing the same hopes and dreams of young men and women today. 

Locate each Vocabulary word in the chapter.  Write out the word along with the sentence in the book.  Using a dictionary, write out the definition that pertains to how the word is used. Many of these words are ‘archaic’ and the use of an older dictionary may be necessary in order to find the proper definition.  To strengthen retention, a personal sentence may also be written using the word.  All definitions are found in the Teacher’s Section.

Creative Writing, Literatureand Other Activities may also be done in this notebook.  Many of the Creative Writing assignments are short compositions and/or thoughts about situations that Anne experiences.  Three literature pieces that Anne speaks about are included in the Appendix.  The others, which are very long,  may be found in anthologies or with a simple internet search. 

Geographyincludes learning about Nova Scotia, Canada and the surrounding region where Anne grew up and attended school.  An outline map of Nova Scotia is included.

Bible Application makes use of Bible study.  Each Scripture can be written out.  Feel free to use different translations of the Holy Bible as they may have different nuances in the words used.  Many of the questions and discussions challenge the ideas of church and religion as Anne’s childlike faith is tested through the use of  Scripture.   Bible Application brings  challenges from Anne’s world  to a personal spiritual growth level.   As our family walks in a Biblically Messianic Jewish faith, you may find some new and different spiritual concepts presented.

Purchase  Anne with an ‘E’ on

©2013 Tentstake Ministries Publishing, all rights reserved.  No copying or reproducing of this article without crediting the author or Tentstake Ministries Publishing. 

A Child and a Concordance

“Yeshua said, ‘Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them for the kingdom of heaven belongs to them” (Matthew 19:14).

About 10 years ago, against my better judgment,  I sent my two youngest children to Vacation Bible School at a local church.  The week’s events were based on the life of Christ should have been benign and harmless.

When I went to pick my children up after the first morning, my eight-year-old son was acting strangely.  I asked him what was bothering him and he shared they had decorated Christmas trees – in June!  He was very upset about the event, refused to take part,  and even went to his younger sister’s classroom to remove her.

I was also upset.  Basically, if a VBS wants to teach children about the life of Christ and start with his birth, that is fine.   However, a better way to teach about the event would be to use the Bible account.  There were shepherds watching sheep and angels singing praise songs at the event.  No one decorated a tree with gold and silver.

My son remained in a state of confusion for the next few hours after we were home.  As we began talking about what happened, he was indecisive about returning the next day. My son had taken a stand regarding the ‘Christmas’ ordeal so I  told both of my children to decide if they wanted to go the next day.  I didn’t are about their decision; I figured the worst was over.   My son, however, could not make a decision.

I decided to give him a little help.  I pulled out my NIV Exhaustive Concordance and sat him down next to me on the sofa.   I explained that every word in our Bibles was in the Concordance.  I showed him all the references to ‘the’, ‘a’, and ‘but’.  I explained that we were going to look up ‘Christmas’ and find all the references to it in our Bible.  He laid the huge book on his lap and opened it, turning the pages slowly looking for ‘C’.  He slid his finger down the page until he looked at me and said, “It’s not in here.”

Since we had been celebrating the Sabbath for his whole life, he had never gone to church on Sunday. I knew if he continued to go VBS for the week,  he would be asked to attend church on Sunday for some presentation as it was the church’s way of getting people into their building.  I suggested we look up Sunday.  Again, he looked for the reference and when he couldn’t find it, he looked at me and said, “It’s not in here.”

My final suggestion was Easter.  When he found the entry in the Concordance, it said, “a mistranslation of the word Pesach“.   Because he had celebrated Passover his entire life, he immediately knew that Pesach meant Passover.  He looked at me and asked, “Passover is in the Bible?”  I didn’t have to encourage him to look for the word.  He  turned the pages until he found Passover.  I showed him the number next to the word and told him that was  how many times Passover was found in the NIV Bible.

“What else is in here?  Is Feast of Trumpets or Hanukkah?”  He began looking up all of the Feasts of the LORD.  He noted how many times each of them appeared in the Bible.  When he finally finished his research,  he closed the concordance and sat quietly for a few minutes.  “I’ve made my decision about going back to that school tomorrow.”

“What is it?” I asked.

“I don’t want to go anymore because nothing they do is in the Bible.”

Over the past few years,  I hear people trying to defend one version of the Bible or another to the exclusion of all others.   I have even heard people come against one Concordance or another.  It is important that we use the tools we have to teach and train whoever needs teaching and training.  It is the Spirit of the LORD that guides us into all Truth; not a specific version of Scripture whether Hebrew, Aramaic, English, Polish, Chinese or Portuguese or Zulu!  To know the Hebrew or Aramaic or Greek may give a deeper meaning to a Scripture, but it is not the end-all of Scripture translation.

Years ago I heard a story about a woman in prison who had one page of the Bible.  It was all she ever had or read.  From that one page, she had a vibrant and powerful relationship with the LORD.  It probably wasn’t in Hebrew or King James English, but in her own language, whatever that was.   It didn’t matter whether the translation was by word or phrase or from the Greek or Hebrew.    She had the Word of God, one page.   It was precious to her filled her heart.

The faith that my eight-year-old son exercised was not about the original language of the Scripture, for he could only read English, but about what was contained within those Scriptures.   It wasn’t about whether the Concordance was the ‘right one’ or  had some ‘problems,’ but that what it contained gave him an understanding of Truth.  He simply believed what he read and the Spirit of wisdom did the rest.

©2011 Tentstake Ministries Publishing, all rights reserved.  No copying or reproducing of this article without crediting the author or Tentstake Ministries Publishing. 

Lifelong Learning

“How long do you intend to home school?

Home education is not only about reading, writing and arithmetic.  It includes learning about life and enjoying the world in which we live.  It is teaching and training children the way to learn for the rest of their lives.  Home education, in the right mindset, begins at birth setting in motion a love for learning.  Training continues until a child takes the reins and discovers his own love of learning and continues to learn and grow through his life.   To limit education to finishing middle school or high school or even college, puts a child into a box and quenches vision of a lifetime of discovery as well as personal growth.

I once read that the perfect way to homeschool is to give your child the ability to read, write and a little mathematics. Then, take them to the library to explore all of life.   Of course, visiting real historical places, taking them to ballets and operas, touring museums and participating in sports shows them the vast number of opportunities that life offers.  Each hand-on adventure that allows touching, seeing, tasting or hearing gives opens another window or door and gives them each a foundation of understanding that learning can be a lifelong adventure – not something that happens from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

One of the greatest blessings of home education is the freedom to learn.

Children are different and have different ways of learning, different interests in learning, and different visions for their lives.  I am reminded of the verse in Proverbs 22:6 “Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.” Often times this verse is taken to mean that if you train your child spiritually he will not depart from that way.  Though this can be the partial meaning, the original Hebrew states something more like, “Train a child in HIS way (according to his bent) and when he is old he will not turn from it.”

Spiritual training is foundational in the home education of our children.  It was primary, foremost, and always first on the day’s agenda.  Yet, each of our children received this spiritual training differently because they have been spiritually gifted in different ways.  For example, I have four children.  One of my children has the gift of teaching, another has the gift of mercy, another has the gift of giving, and another has the gift of exhortation.  In spiritually training them, they had to learn how to use their own gifts in their own way.  They had to learn the challenges and pitfalls of their gifts in order to discern when they were to use them.  They had to experience the blessing and joy of using their gifts rightly and to the glory of God.

Education is the same way.  Each of my children had different interests and challenges.   I had one who loved math and history, another who loved marine biology (we live on the prairie) and the arts and languages, another who loved music and using his hands, and another who loved reading and dancing, but struggled with dyslexia.     Teaching them according to their interests was of vital importance.

The one who loved math and computers was given lots of math and a computer.  He studied the history of ancient worlds and today loves to travel whenever and wherever he can.   He works for a big corporation as a network manager. He has always loved Apple Computers and has certifications in many areas.

The one who loved horses read every horse book imaginable and studied horses until she was ready to have a horse.  She knew the history of horses, the science of breeding, and the economics involved in taking care of a horse.  This one also loved the arts and acted in plays and is now living and working in New York City.   She also taught herself Portuguese and has visited Brazil several times.

The one who loved to use his hands played instruments and wrote piano music.  He is studying pre-med and wants to be a chiropractor.

The dancer is still up in the air, but whatever she chooses to do, she will succeed.  She has a lifetime to live and learn.

©2011 Tentstake Ministries Publishing, all rights reserved.  No copying or reproducing of this article without crediting the author or Tentstake Ministries Publishing.