Strengthen Your Family Through Biblical Homeschooling

Tag: Children

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Have you noticed how often we jump to conclusions in this day and age? We read a headline and fill in the blanks with whatever we THINK goes there without taking the time to dig deeper to find out what really happened and why. In parenting, we can often do the same thing if we’re not careful. This week, let’s chat about the importance of not jumping to conclusions and how taking the time to have even difficult conversations with our children can prove to be an incredible discipleship time.

The post Don’t jump to conclusions: The Importance of Questions in Conversations appeared first on Teach Them Diligently 365. You can watch the video there.

If you aren’t yet a member of Teach Them Diligently 365, now is a great time to check it out. Through that community, you will have access to even more helpful content, including hundreds of audio recordings from past Teach Them Diligently events, exclusive webinars and special events, an active community of like-minded homeschool moms pursuing the same goals you are, and monthly live virtual meetups for fellowship and fun. Learn more at

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A Heart of Rebellion

By Chuck Black, for the Teach Them Diligently Blog 10/2013

In 1998 BT (Before Teens) I held to the ideological view that if we as parents immersed our children in the truth of God’s Word and walked fully in a real and tangible faith, that our children would emerge at eighteen as shining knights in service to the Lord, fully equipped and able to take on the attacks of a secular world. Fast forward to 2005 and our first child launched into the fray as a solid young woman of faith. Alas the formula worked, and all seemed right with our well-oiled soldier producing machine. Over the next few years however, I started to discover a few cracks in my shiny ideology. By the time our third child, a strong-willed boundary testing son reached eighteen, my godly soldier producing machine appeared broken and lying in pieces all around me. The spirit of rebellion had gripped the heart of my son so completely that I was forced to question all of the training and discipling I had diligently implemented into his life. At the pinnacle of his rebellion with dire consequences imminent, I looked up and asked God, “What happened? We tried to be godly parents and raise him in the nurture and the admonition of the Lord. What did I do wrong?”

It was through the prayers of my wife, Andrea, that our answer came. God spoke to her and said, “I am a perfect Father, and I have children rebel against me all the time. What makes you think you would be exempt?” Then I realized that even the once perfect angel, Lucifer, rebelled in a perfect home with a perfect Father. I had failed to consider the will of the heart. Even with the extreme care of gardening and cultivating the heart of our children, they still must choose Christ and His ways on their own.

What then? Do we throw up our hands in despair, knowing that we cannot control the hearts of our children? God forbid! God is not mocked and neither does his Word return void. Although each child must ultimately choose Christ, we can guide, train, nurture, and help mold their hearts.

As parents we must become master discerners of the hearts of our children. Every time I walk by one of my children, my radar is turned on and tuned in, listening to their heart. When I first began to see Ian wander, I did not ignore the signs. The further he wandered the closer I got to him. I wanted him to know that I would not let him be content in his sin, and that I would do whatever it took to see him through it. During the two years that he choose to walk away from the Lord, the voice of truth kept calling him and so did our relentless love for him. Not the gushy, ‘it’s okay…we love you no matter what you do’ love. No, it was the tough love that said, ‘I will love you so much that I will discipline you, and I will not walk away from you.”

Through much prayer, the power of the Word hidden in his heart, and a phone call from a brother in Christ to my son, God pulled Ian back from the brink of his rebellion. By the grace of God, Ian returned and began to walk in the Spirit once again. It was a long hard journey and there were setbacks, but he did return to the Lord…and to us. Eventually he became the worship leader for Campus Crusade for Christ ministries at his university sharing the love of God to over four hundred students each week.

A heart of Rebellion Chuck Black,Teach Them Diligently ConventionThose were trying times for me. There were as many lessons for me to learn as there was for Ian. I learned not to judge families with a wayward child. I learned to walk in faith and cling to God in a way I never had to before. I learned to love my child in spite of the sin that was ruining his life. I learned that God is faithful, and that we must endure to the end. I learned that God never abandons us. The irony of it all was that just prior to experiencing the rebellion of my son, I had written the first book of the Knights of Arrethtrae, Sir Kendrick and the Castle of Bel Lione. And do you know what the theme of the book was? That’s right…rebellion. Little did I know that the words I had penned regarding the spirit of rebellion would soon be tested in my own life.

Parents, my encouragement to you is to listen to the hearts of your children. Let God’s love spill out through you and onto your children and let it endure to the end, even through those tough times when your child is questioning everything you’ve taught him. Through prayer, call upon the power of the Holy Spirit to draw him back.

Tonight as I sat down to write this article, Ian called and wanted to Skype with me. My voice was not enough…he wanted to see my face. The image popped up and there was my son, looking at me with weary eyes from hours of studying. Before I could say a word, Ian looked at me and said, “I love you, Dad.” It was all the reward I needed for persevering through those tough years.

And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.

Galatians 6:9
Are you familiar with Chuck Black’s books? They are without question our family’s favorites to listen to on audio book as we travel. We have been known to drive around for an extra hour or more just to finish a book before we get out of the car. Click here to purchase your own sets!

Parents of Teens, Come Hear Chuck Black and Others Speak at Teach Them Diligently 2018

  • Chuck Black is first a believer in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior and in the Holy-Spirit-inspired, infallible Word of God. He is second a husband to his wife, Andrea, and third, a father to six children ranging in age from 30 to 20 (Brittney, Reese, Ian, Emily, Abigail and Keenan). Chuck and Andrea have homeschooled their children for the past twenty-four years. Register now and make your plans to hear Chuck Black at Teach Them Diligently 2018 ( Nashville, TN, Rogers, AR, Myrtle Beach, SC ), you will be glad you did!
  • Norm Wakefield will also be speaking at all six of our 2018 locations! ( Nashville, TN, Rogers, AR, Atlanta, GA, Mobile, AL, Myrtle Beach, SC, Columbus, OH ) He has spoken at homeschool conferences as a keynote and featured speaker since 1992. Having been a pastor for 10 years, he has a shepherd’s heart and a vision to be an instrument in God’s hands to turn the hearts of men to Him and to their wives and children.
  • Find out more about our Teen Program ( including sessions on “Christian Apologetics: Defending and Advancing Biblical Christianity in a Postmodern World” ) at Teach Them Diligently 2018

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Group Activities for Homeschooled Middle Schoolers

I’m blessed to be part of a local homeschool support group in my community that’s been around for about a decade. When we joined in 2010, they offered monthly group activities for elementary age and teens, and the existing opportunities allowed my fourth and second grade daughters to make friends while I found support among their parents.

However, the dynamics of our group are changing: This year, we discovered there’s a large segment of members with “tweens” — homeschooled middle schoolers who aren’t quite ready for (nor wanting to participate in) teen activities, but are too mature for the “kids” program. Since two of the tweens are mine (almost 13 and 11 now), I decided to help out with filling the gap in our program.

Group Activities for Homeschooled Middle Schoolers

I’m a strong believer in the idea that good socialization includes interaction with all ages, and we keep this in mind in all the activities we participate in. However, if you have tweens (ages 10-13) in your family, you are probably experiencing some transitional challenges too — especially if your family also has little ones and/or older teens.

At this age, tweens are dealing with a lot of changes, including physical, emotional, and social development. There’s more of a divide between the boys and girls when interacting in groups. They are taking on more responsibility and freedom. However, they also still need your attention and guidance. Tweens also benefit from being challenged and stretched to enjoy friendly competition and demonstrate their skills in positive ways.

With all of this in mind, here are three easy group activities you can coordinate for homeschooled middle schoolers:

1) Movie Nights

Because we already had teen movie nights taking place that were quite successful, we decided to try tween movie nights. We used a similar format of watching a movie at someone’s home, followed by discussion and games/fun time, only with movies for younger ages. It’s easy to research potential movies for tweens using Web sites such as Focus on the Family’s Plugged In. You just need a host home, a discussion leader, and families to contribute potluck snacks (or rotate the snack responsibility).

Those families that participated really enjoyed the movie nights, however we hit a snag when our host family (with a house large enough to accommodate our group) moved to another state. Because we haven’t found an ideal location to continue, we’ve put our movie nights on hold for now.

Group Activities for Homeschooled Middle Schoolers

2) Activity-based Outings

Tweens still love to run, jump, compete, and play, but they’ve outgrown the playground equipment. Activity-based outings give them an opportunity to be active and socialize in an environment that suits both boys and girls and encourages their interaction in positive ways. Think bowling, roller skating, ice skating, “jump” gyms with trampolines, laser tag, etc. While the boys and girls might naturally want to separate into different lanes or teams, splitting them into teams would be an easy way to mix it up and teach appreciation of one another’s skills.

Activity-based outings usually come at a price, but if you get organized, you can usually arrange for a group discount. You might also live in an area where local attractions offer discount days especially for homeschoolers. Where I live in Colorado, we have homeschool skate days, bowling days, and even our local Six Flags hosts an annual homeschoolers day.

Group Activities for Homeschooled Middle Schoolers

3) Volunteer Opportunities

Our teen group has participated regularly in volunteering with Operation Christmas Child at the local sorting facility (which requires ages 13 and up), and it’s been very popular over the years. Although not all volunteer programs allow younger ages, there are a few that do. Volunteering together is a great way to serve and be social at the same time.

In the past, we’ve participated in the local co-op farm’s clean up days, where children of all ages can pitch in. Other organizations to check out for existing volunteer opportunities include horse rescue ranches, children’s camps, libraries, churches, trail maintenance and park service, etc. If you’re not finding much available in your area for middle schoolers, you can organize your own. Some examples include sponsoring a parents night out (where tweens entertain the little ones for free), making treats for a nursing home, leaf gathering and cleanup for the elderly, etc.

Segregating middle schoolers isn’t the goal of these suggestions: In fact, we expect parents to participate with their tweens. And if younger siblings need to tag along, that’s not an issue. Our mission is to provide activities that homeschooled middle schoolers can thrive in at their stage and feel comfortable socially, while they still enjoy being kids!

Are you homeschooling tweens? If so, what challenges are you experiencing with their physical, emotional and social changes? Do you participate in any activities organized for homeschooled middle schoolers? What are some of your tween’s favorites?

About Renée Gotcher

Renée Gotcher is a wife, writer, entrepreneur & home-educating mother of three daughters: Audrey, Claire and Elise. A former journalist, Renée was homeschooled during her last two years of high school and started homeschooling in 2010. She is editor of NextGen Homeschool and blogs on personal topics at A New Chapter. Her family lives in Castle Rock, Colorado.

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Ken Ham and Children at Teach Them Diligently Convention 2012

We’re so glad you asked! Teach Them Diligently Convention is designed with entire family units in mind! It is our family’s desire that your family will come and be encouraged and equipped together. We have a number of ways your children can get involved.

ENDURE the Race

Our children’s program this year is called ENDURE the Race.  All “junior runners” between the ages of 4 and 12 can register for this awesome event! The Apostle Paul often used athletic contests as powerful illustrations of the Christian life, but he did not generally point our attention to the quickest or strongest athletes. His focus was instead on those that ran the race with endurance. With the Olympic Games fresh in our memory, this year’s theme focuses on heroes of the faith, and how they “ran the race” they were called to run with endurance.

Dr. Nathan Crockett is the Director of Ministry Training at Bob Jones University where he teaches several undergraduate Bible classes. Nathan has served as a youth pastor, interim senior pastor, and currently leads Rooted, the young adult ministry of Morningside Baptist Church in Greenville, SC. Nathan regularly preaches at churches, teen camps, children’s venues, and student leadership conferences.

David Overly serves as the Assistant to the Vice President of Ministerial Advancement for BJU. He is currently involved with recruiting initiatives, speaking at conferences, and event planning. He graduated from BJU in 2015 with a bachelor’s degree in Cell Biology, and he is currently working on a Master’s Degree in Communication.

Nathan and David are excited to be returning to Teach Them Diligently Convention and leading our children’s program.

The children’s program will commence Friday morning a little before the workshop sessions begin.  The children will break for lunch with their families and resume their activities until dinner time.  Saturday’s schedule will be the same.  The cost of this program is $50 per child (t-shirt included). Children can be added to your registration at any time as long as space allows.

Everyone who is over 18 years old that will be working with the children will complete a background check. Those younger than 18 will be coming through the Servant Leadership Track and will be accountable to the team leadership.

4:12 Program for Teens

I Timothy 4:12 tells us to “let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity.

The Four-12 program will seek to equip and train your teens to become wholly- devoted, servant-hearted biblical leaders seeking to please Christ in all they do. Four-12 will feature in-depth teaching sessions about how to grow into Christ-likeness and how they can influence the world in which they live for Christ.

There is NO COST for the teen program this year, but your teen does need to be registered.

Your teen will have the opportunity to hear Biblical discussions on life issues facing 21st century teens. The eternal truth of God’s Word speaks to the chaotic world around us. We can find hope and confidence in Scripture for the many questions we face today. The 4-12 teen program is designed to inspire and instruct your teens to follow God and be Christlike examples among their siblings and peers. Specifically, the LifeTalk sessions provide teaching and discussion on relevant issues. Topics include Devotions, Relationships, Leadership, Communication, God’s Will, and more! We hope your teen will join us for these informative and helpful sessions. With speakers such as Sam Horn, Nathan Crockett, Chuck Kittrell, and others, your teen will benefit greatly from this program.


What about our 12-year old?

Robotics at Teach Them Diligently

Children of all ages are very important, and at Teach Them Diligently, we know that each child develops at his own pace. That’s why we’re offering parents the option to use their own discernment in selecting programming for their 12 year olds. Feel like they’ll benefit from being grouped with others in the age-specific “runners” in the ENDURE the Race program? They’re more than welcome to Enlist!  Or they would be welcome in Four-12 Teen Track.

As we did last year, we are also working on special offerings specific to this age group to be held throughout the weekend.  Our suggestion is that you stay plugged in to our blog and read more about each program as the information becomes available.  Once you’ve seen what’s in store, you’ll be better equipped to make an informed decision as to the best fit for your child.

And if I prefer to keep my children with me?

Toddler Room In Spartanburg

They are welcome to attend any and all sessions with their parents.  We are home educating families who are accustomed to being together, working together and learning together.  Families absolutely have the freedom to choose to do so at the convention as well.  To help accommodate those with smaller children who may have a hard time sitting still through all the sessions, we are setting up a toddler room at each location. In that room, there will be audio and visual feeds available from the keynote session for you to enjoy while your little one gets some energy out.  We will also have close circuit  TV in the main hall outside of the keynote session auditorium at all sites.

If you have further questions about the children’s programs at Teach Them Diligently Convention, don’t hesitate to ask.  You can leave a comment here, and we’ll respond as soon as we can.

If you still haven’t registered, what are you waiting for? We’d love to have you! Register here.

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Homeschooling Parents

About David and Leslie Nunnery

Leslie Nunnery and her husband David founded Teach Them Diligently, the nation’s premier source for gospel-centered homeschool events. With seven years of homeschooling experience from preschool-high school and a passion to encourage and equip homeschool families, this mom of 4 shares her know-how and insights weekly through Teach Them Diligently media and on

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