The Parable of the Amaryllis

29 Dec 2021

Hello. My name is Rachel, and I kill plants. I’m serious—plant-killing might be a certifiable hobby at this point. No plant has lasted in my house for more than about a month. This might sound strange coming from a science teacher, but I’m much more comfortable with chemicals in vials than in caring for living things. A few weeks ago, I decided to try my luck again and bought an amaryllis bulb on a shopping

New Birth

15 Dec 2021

Veiled in flesh, the Godhead see, Hail the incarnate Deity! That is a remarkable line. What I have also found remarkable over the years is how many people (saints and pagans alike) will sing that line without blinking an eye, without pause, without any realization whatsoever of the profundity of what just exited their mouths. Similarly, has it struck you how oddly normal a nativity scene is, as if the truth that “the Word becoming

Looking Forward to the Second Advent

8 Dec 2021

HOPE FOR WEARY SOULS by Leah Coll In most of our lives, there’s the public story, and then there’s the other one. Here’s a recent chapter from my public book: Some of you may know my husband Rob nearly died of a brain aneurysm in May. Since we have many friends and family members in various places, not to mention our global homeschool community, I shared a lot of our journey on Facebook. After a

Preparing Hearts for Advent

Advent30 Nov 2021

Now that the pie is eaten, it’s officially time to put up the Christmas tree! (No judgment if it’s already been up for a week...or three). Between parties, shopping and decorating, December can feel like a sprint to the 25th.  On the Christian calendar, we have officially entered the season of Advent. The word Advent comes from the Latin word adventus meaning "arrival" or "coming." In Ancient Rome, it was used to describe the "glorious entry" of

Preparing for Exam Season

11 Nov 2021

Does exam time loom before you like a dark cloud, a season of student life when the sun does not shine until you emerge from the other side?  Here is my advice: Don’t study for exams! That is to say, don’t start preparing for exams by diving right into studying. Cramming doesn’t work. Instead, plan to light your path through exam time by first considering three priorities: when to review, how to review and what

Wired for Goodness

25 Oct 2021

“Blessed is the man… delight is in the law of the Lord… He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither.”  Psalm 1 Beauty, Goodness and Truth In our first of three articles on beauty, goodness and truth, we said that a child’s journey in education begins, not with an investigation into truth, but with the power of beauty that brings

How to Become a Successful Student

15 Oct 2021

I like to ask students, “What does a student do?” Most commonly, they reply,  “Students study.  Students learn.” Then I like to ask what activities students must do to make that learning happen. In other words, what are the habits of a successful student?  I use a framework of five categories to help students address the varied aspects of student life that need to be part of their routine: workspace management, task management, reading practices,

Nurturing a Love of Beauty

27 Sep 2021

A common theme in Christian education circles is the pursuit of “Truth, Goodness and Beauty.”  And perhaps it is appropriate that we begin a discussion about education with the pursuit of “truth.”  But is that really where God starts with us?   We are reminded repeatedly in scripture (1 Chronicles 16:29, 2 Chronicles 20:21, Psalm 29:2, Psalm 96:9) that we should, “worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness.”  Jesus also encourages us to come to

The Sound of Silence

24 Sep 2021

Have you ever created something beautiful, or performed an extraordinary feat...and no one noticed?  Whether it’s playing a beautiful song on the piano, or painting a beautiful landscape, or making an amazing and improbable shot on the basketball court, it is a natural reaction to want to be noticed.  And while that desire can become corrupt and turn into a toxic form of pride, the basic drive to create and to have others share our