Archive for September, 2008

Preparation For College (A Note To Parents And Students) – 3

Tuesday, September 30th, 2008

Tenth Grade

Students should continue to prepare for the SAT but should double the preparation commitment. Again, students should resist taking the PSAT. Keep reading. At the end of the tenth grade, take an old SAT. If you score about 1150 take the PSAT next fall (junior year). You will need to work all summer.

Preparation For College (A Note To Parents And Students) – 2

Monday, September 29th, 2008

Ninth Grade

After twenty years, all my coaching experience told me that the typical six week preparation course was a waste of time. Then, in early 1992, by mistake really, I included several 10th graders in a year long preparation course. They continued in the 11th grade. The increase in their scores was remarkable! The next year I included ninth graders and after three years the results were even better.

The ninth grade, though, seems to be the limit of preparation. Three years is plenty. That may not be the ninth grade for a homeschooler if he/she is graduating early. But three years. Not four or five–one can actually burn out the student. Preparation can be accelerated to two or one year (i.e., one school year or thirty-two weeks) but any less is pretty useless. In the homeschool community in particular I have found a group of folk who are willing to work for three years on SAT preparation with remarkable results.

This community also is ideal for another observation I have made. It is better for a person to work alone rather than in a group–although group preparation is helpful if it is implemented once a week. There is no substitute for individual reflection and study in the SAT preparation process.

I would like to see a ninth grader read about 32 books. Reading is the key to a high verbal score. A ninth grader should also take very seriously his spiritual formation. Spiritual preparation is perhaps the most important preparation a Christian student will have. It is his stress reduction and it reminds him that he is preparing to please God not to please man. I would not take the PSAT or SAT during the ninth grade.

Preparation For College (A Note To Parents And Students)

Friday, September 26th, 2008

The following is a suggested timetable for college preparation:

Pre-Ninth Grade

During the late grade school/junior high years work with critical thinking exercises. The Mindtrap Game, Inc., is a great way to begin SAT Preparation. Also, consider having your son/daughter learn Latin and/or Greek instead of a modern language. Modern languages can be picked up fairly easily in college. Greek/Latin will help in vocabulary preparation and grammar skills. I do not recommend administering the PSAT or SAT before junior year unless your son or daughter is a gifted student and may wish to enter several enrichment programs (i.e., Johns Hopkins, Duke). Be careful. Some of these programs are more expensive than they are worth. With particularly gifted students it is ok to accelerate math preparation. But be careful. Have your student begin reading quality books as soon as possible. In addition to your transcript, an SAT score, and extracurricular activities, many college want to see a book list. A suggested book list is included at the end of this booklet. Most of the soft Christian reading we do is great for our spiritual lives but looks bad on a college reading list. Remember than the SAT math portion only includes algebra ½, a little algebra 1, some geometry, and, a lot of arithmetic work problems. It is possible to accelerate a math program too much and you will have to review basic math skills junior year (when your son/daughter is studying the quadratic equation!).

SAT Preparation Course For The Christian Student – 10

Thursday, September 25th, 2008

My prayer for you is (Ephesians 3:14-21) “For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, that he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his spirit in the inner man; that Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; and to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God. Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, unto him be glory int he church by Christ Jesus, throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.”

More Anne Bradstreet

Wednesday, September 24th, 2008

Anne Bradstreet (ca. 1612-1672) – Verses upon the Burning of our House, July 18th, 1666

Here follows some verses upon the burning of our house, July. 18th. 1666. Copyed out of a loose Paper.

1 In silent night when rest I took,
2 For sorrow near I did not look,
3 I waken’d was with thund’ring noise
4 And piteous shrieks of dreadful voice.
5 That fearful sound of “fire” and “fire,”
6 Let no man know is my Desire.
7 I starting up, the light did spy,
8 And to my God my heart did cry
9 To straighten me in my Distress
10 And not to leave me succourless.
11 Then coming out, behold a space
12 The flame consume my dwelling place.
13 And when I could no longer look,
14 I blest his grace that gave and took,
15 That laid my goods now in the dust.
16 Yea, so it was, and so ’twas just.
17 It was his own; it was not mine.
18 Far be it that I should repine,
19 He might of all justly bereft
20 But yet sufficient for us left.
21 When by the Ruins oft I past
22 My sorrowing eyes aside did cast
23 And here and there the places spy
24 Where oft I sate and long did lie.
25 Here stood that Trunk, and there that chest,
26 There lay that store I counted best,
27 My pleasant things in ashes lie
28 And them behold no more shall I.
29 Under the roof no guest shall sit,
30 Nor at thy Table eat a bit.
31 No pleasant talk shall ‘ere be told
32 Nor things recounted done of old.
33 No Candle ‘ere shall shine in Thee,
34 Nor bridegroom’s voice ere heard shall bee.
35 In silence ever shalt thou lie.
36 Adieu, Adieu, All’s Vanity.
37 Then straight I ‘gin my heart to chide:
38 And did thy wealth on earth abide,
39 Didst fix thy hope on mouldring dust,
40 The arm of flesh didst make thy trust?
41 Raise up thy thoughts above the sky
42 That dunghill mists away may fly.
43 Thou hast a house on high erect
44 Fram’d by that mighty Architect,
45 With glory richly furnished
46 Stands permanent, though this be fled.
47 It’s purchased and paid for too
48 By him who hath enough to do.
49 A price so vast as is unknown,
50 Yet by his gift is made thine own.
51 There’s wealth enough; I need no more.
52 Farewell, my pelf; farewell, my store.
53 The world no longer let me love;
54 My hope and Treasure lies above.

Write me!

Anne Bradstreet

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2008

We studied Anne Bradstreet today. Do you remember her? She was born in 1612 and died in 1672. She was one of the first poets to write English verse in the American colonies. But she wrote only for her family, mostly just to her husband of 44 years, Simon Bradstreet.

She wrote her poems while homeschooling eight children.

She also wrote more personal poems of considerable beauty, treating in them such subjects as her thoughts before childbirth and her response to the death of a grandchild (Encyclopedia Britannica).

To My Dear and Loving Husband
If ever two were one, then surely we.
If ever man were loved by wife, then thee;
If ever wife was happy in a man,
Compare with me, ye women, if you can.
I prize thy love more than whole mines of gold
Or all the riches that the East doth hold.
My love is such that rivers cannot quench,
Nor ought but love from thee, give recompense.
Thy love is such I can no way repay,
The heavens reward thee manifold, I pray.
Then while we live, in love let’s so persevere
That when we live no more, we may live ever.

Write me!

My Wife, Karen

Monday, September 22nd, 2008

What happens when one lives with a person, and loves that person for 31 years?

I think about that a lot these days. I have been married to my wife Karen for over half my life.

I love my wife. She is the only lover I’ve had, or, I ever hope to have.

I think I am too dependent on her though–I depend on her quiet strength. Good sense. Steady hand. She never exaggerates, never panics. I do. I worry about a lot things. I panic all the time. I worry about paying the bills. I worry about our kids. And grandchildren. I think she does too–but why doesn’t she act worried?

I think she prays a lot. She tells me that I can’t worry about things and pray about them at the same time. But I try to do that (I confess). But she is right you know.

Karen drives an 8 year old Subaru with 100,000+ miles. She deserves a Mercedes Benz. I don’t think she will have one though. Quite frankly she would give any extra money she has to one of her prayer causes.

She loves to shop. To shop for the grandchildren. Never for herself. She shops in outlets. She always has. It is in her nature.

We are not poor, by any standards. But she is a warrior. And she grasps life with temperance and passion–both at the same time. She shops in outlets. She is a homeschool mom. She gathered our inter-racial family, special needs family, around her, and changed all our histories, really.

We are both old now, I guess. She is gray and so am I. But, believe me when I tell you that there is enough fire in my eyes yet, in my soul, to tell you honestly, she is, and always will be, the uncontested love of my life.

Our marriage verse is, and I pray it now, Psalm 34:3–Magnify the Lord with me! Let’s praise 7 his name together!

Write me.

My Father’s Birthday

Friday, September 19th, 2008

My father’s birthday was a few days ago. He would have been 76. But he has been dead for 27 years.

I have problem on his birthday. I remember that he never knew half of my children. He never knew any of my grandchildren. He was a good man, my father. You would have liked him. He was quiet, gentle, and kind. He never wanted to be the center of attention.

He loved hunting and fishing. He loved my mother more. He was married when he was 17 and 19 when I was born. He was more an older brother to me than a father. I missed him so much yesterday.

Dad always went to church. He loved God and His Son our Lord. His religion was naive, I suppose, and pristine. Not very profound. But one cold in the spring of 1971 I met his Savior and I gave my heart to Him. And my life was never the same.

Dad never talked about his faith much. If ever. But he faithfully took me to church, week after week, until I feel in love with his God. And for that I am forever grateful. Thank you dad.
I missed my dad so much yesterday. Write me.

Theresa Moon

Thursday, September 18th, 2008

I want to ask you to remember Theresa Moon, today. What a powerful, effective witness for our Lord! Teresa is the founder and president of Communicators for Christ ( Her ministry is on the front lines of preparing this generation to share the truth of the Gospel with this generation.

Many of us talk about apologetics and a few of us even are able to do it–like some of my students do as they work with my curricula. But no one is doing it more effectively, more consistently, more often, than Teresa Moon. Her organization is quietly transforming the world view of a nation. CFC furthers its mission in three ways: training students to become cultural communicators; helping parents guide cultural communicators; and equipping teachers We believe that those who identify with Christ must develop public speaking and critical thinking skills in order to witness effectively to a hopeless world. Communications training gives students the tools they need to present the message of the gospel persuasively and boosts success in school and beyond. Pray for her and her family. Pray that Communicators for Christ will have God’s favor as it shares the Good News with unsaved Americans.

Let me know what you think.

Public School – Part 3

Wednesday, September 17th, 2008

It amazes me how absent the church is from this school. Virtually no one attends church anymore. 2000+ community. There are churches all around us but they have no impact on this school. Why?

Hey, I am a pastor. I know that my fellow pastors want to impact this school. I know this school wants to be impacted. Os Guinness warns us that sacrosanct institutions (e.g., public schools) will become dysfunctional in the years ahead. How right you are, Dr. Guinness!

What an opporutnity for the Body of Christ! There are fewer obstacles to the Christian witness than we really understand. We can pray. We can hold receptions for teachers off campus. We can have trainings for staff. We can have breakfasts for students. We can honor administrators. All in the name of Christ. Why don’t we?

Write me and tell me what you think And remember to pray for me.