In our culture, we see many skewed views of work. On one end of the spectrum there are people who hate work and do anything and everything to try to get out of it. On the other end are the workaholics to whom their work is their life and it trumps everything, including God and family. Obviously neither extreme is correct. But what is the biblical view of work? How do we teach it to our children?

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Mr. William Goat and Mrs. Nanette Goat were pondering. They wanted to raise their young goats just right. They had a good set of standards for their kids to follow. But the other creatures in the barnyard had such a variety of different standards! Oh, they all followed the very basic farm rules, but everyone had a particular interpretation of the rules. The barnyard was become disharmonious because everyone was so proud of his or her particular standards. What should they do?

“I’ll tell you what, Billy,” said Mrs. Nanette. “Tomorrow let’s ask some of the other animals and see how they view creatures who have different standards. I will talk with Mrs. Cat and Mrs. Pig. Why don’t you talk to Mr. Rooster and Mr. Dog?”

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Most homeschooled students are avid readers. However, finding good clean books to satisfy their voracious appetites can be a real challenge in today’s world. In this article I’m going to list some books that my sister and I enjoyed as young people. Most of you are familiar with traditional classics, such as the Chronicles of Narnia or the Nancy Drew series. I’d like to give you a list of some lesser-known books that your children might enjoy. Many of these are out of print (I will designate them OOP), but can be purchased used at www.amazon.com or other used books sites.

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I was asking my mom what topic I should write about for my column this week. After writing for The Times Examiner for ten years, one tends to run low on new topics, y’know? But Mom had a great suggestion: Why don’t I list things that she and Dad did in our homeschooling that worked? And she even gave me permission to list things that didn’t work too! So here we go. In no particular order: Things That Worked In Our Homeschool.

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“Johnny, give your toy to your sister. You need to learn to share.”

“No, Annie, I don’t feel like taking you to the party tonight. It’s time you learn to give up your own desires once in a while.”

“We shouldn’t complain when our high taxes go to support the homeless. The Bible says we should sacrifice to help others.”

All three of these statements have something in common. Do you know what it is?

All three have a faulty understanding of the meaning of sacrifice. The first sentence sounds pretty innocuous and I’ve often heard it said to toddlers. The second statement is a little more problematic and you may have heard parents of teenagers say this. The third statement shows the full picture of misunderstanding biblical sacrifice.

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“Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone?  Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake?  If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!”  (Matthew 7:9-11)

I once read a supposedly amusing account of a mother whose young son left the house one morning to catch the school bus.  But he returned after a couple minutes and in a discouraged voice told her that school was boring and he hated it and wanted to stay home.  Her reply was something along the lines of, “Life’s tough.  Get on the bus.”

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One of the key tenets of Marxism is that the end justifies the means. In other words, if the goal is desirable then you can use whatever means are necessary to achieve it, even if they are unethical. After all, it’s for the “greater good,” right?

A Christian worldview rejects this notion wholeheartedly. Good ends should be achieved by good means. God has given us standards of right and wrong that He expects us to obey regardless of whatever noble goals we are pursuing. For example, as Christians we support worthwhile charities and missions. However, no Christian in his right mind would reason that it is acceptable in God’s eyes to rob a bank in order to give lots of money to a charity or a missionary. 

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Not every family is blessed by having a Great Oracle of Wisdom such as myself in their midst, but my family is lucky. I am always ready to dispense Advice and Instruction whenever I’m asked for it, and often when I’m not asked! (Isn’t that nice of me?) And although my Vast Talents occasionally go unappreciated by my thankless family, I have no doubt that you will appreciate the tips on homeschooling and childrearing that I, the Homeschooled Oracle, have to offer. I share these Fabulous Tidbits out of my store of Personal Experiences, Personal Observations, and from the Stock of Truisms I learned from my Venerated Parents.

A-a-hem. Here it goes.

Kids will be kids. But that doesn’t mean they can’t learn to act like well-behaved adults—usually at a younger age than parents give them credit for.

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