External Compliance vs. Heart-Engaged Obedience?

Christian education is facing a crucial and unsettling time. It has sought for years to lay a thoroughly biblical foundation for students and to impart truth on every hand. But many Christian school students are cold, and even resentful, toward that teaching. As Christian educators, we should try to bring students back to Christianity’s foundation—the truth of the gospel—so that when we address students’ behavior it is motivated by and grows out of our dedication to the gospel.

Since young people sometimes try to define truth by their own subjective perceptions, perhaps we should ask ourselves some questions about what we are teaching them. Are we teaching them the whole truth? Could we actually be dumbing down our presentation of the truth? Amid calls of “Don’t give them doctrine, make it practical!” and an obsession with “principles to live by,” have we maybe lost sight of the basics and unintentionally obscured the person of the gospel, Jesus Christ?

The Cross

We often respond with more and more behavior-focused instruction when our students’ behavior seems to indicate that they do not understand Christianity. There’s a need to balance our teaching of practical do’s and don’ts with teaching Christ’s perfect sacrifice for us on the cross. Perhaps one reason the gospel has lost its wonder and richness for young people is because of our presentation of the wonderful central figure—Jesus Christ. He is sometimes overshadowed by lesser goals when He should be the focus as well as the motivator behind practical Christian living.

In 1 Corinthians 1:23 Paul also states that there were those (the Jews and Greeks) who found his preaching of Christ unacceptable. Even though the impact of Paul’s ministry on both his own generation and on every generation since is astounding, even Paul’s faithful preaching of the gospel was not welcomed by every person who heard it. The same holds true when we admonish our students. Some will accept it while others may reject the truth.

When faced with such animosity or dismissal of the truth, we may mourn our own lack of power and the great limitations of our flesh that we think make us inadequate to share the gospel that we love. We must remember that God is never frustrated or limited. His promise in Isaiah 55:11 shows that His Word is never “void.” He holds the key to our hearts and has the power to accomplish whatever He intends to—in spite of our sinful nature and wandering hearts.

God alone is able to reach our hearts and those of our students. Whatever work He intends to do in our students’ lives is not impossible. And we can help by trusting in His power, not our own, to guide us as we share His truth through our words and actions.

How do you share the Truth with your students?

Have Homeschool Questions? We’ve Got Answers.

Questions are important. They help us all learn more. When you ask us a question, we at BJU Press are able to help you better understand our products and services. In turn, your questions help us learn when, where, and how we can better serve you. Sometimes the answers to your questions are helpful for others too. Today, we’re sharing a few questions that we frequently hear and our answers. We hope they help!

Question: How do I know if the edition I have is compatible with new materials?

Answer: While it is sometimes possible to make textbooks from different editions work together, we suggest using textbooks and support materials from the same edition.

As a general rule, when new editions are released not only are the page numbers and structure of the materials different, but much of the content is also new. However, sometimes we need to update the same edition of a textbook but only for copyright purposes. In that case the edition stays mostly the same and the new item’s title includes the words “copyright update.” These products may be compatible with earlier ones.

Something else to consider when deciding what edition to use is our limited supply of earlier editions. Once a product has been replaced by a copyright update or new edition, it is no longer being reprinted.

Question: I’m using Distance Learning (Hard Drive or DVD). Why did I not receive a Teacher’s Edition? Does my Parent Guide include everything I need?

Answer: Surprise! You do have access to a complete Teacher’s Edition (TE). As part of your Distance Learning Hard Drive or DVD lease, you can access your TE from your bjupresshomeschool.com account and even download the PDF to your personal device (computer, tablet, or smart phone). Follow the instructions below to locate and download your TE.

  1. Log in to our website using your email address and password. After entering your login information, the site will take you to your account info page.
  2. Select the Your Distance Learning Products link.
  3. If using more than one format of Distance Learning (such as DVD or Hard Drive) you will also need to select which formats’ (DVD or Hard Drive) materials you wish to view. Then you should see the options described in the next step.
  4. Select the View button for one of your Distance Learning products.
  5. If you’re interested in downloading the TE as a PDF, right click and select the Save As option.

When you order a DVD or Hard Drive kit, you will also receive a Parent Guide. This guide includes all the information you need to complete any grading or preparation mentioned by the Distance Learning teacher. It serves as a roadmap for that specific subject. For more details, watch the Printed Materials How-to Videos.

If you are a Distance Learning Online user, your TE can be viewed when you log in to your parent account.

Question: When should I start a structured learning schedule for my bright toddler? What grade math should I use for my delayed learner? How can I motivate my child to complete the lesson?

Answer: Those are great questions that either of our two homeschool consultants would love to discuss with you. Both Pam and Emily have homeschooled their own children and hold degrees in special education. Their thorough knowledge of all our products and previous teaching experience allow them to share insight with you. You can connect with them by emailing hsconsult@bjupress.com or calling 800.845.5731 (Monday through Friday from 8 am to 5 pm ET)  and asking to speak with a homeschool consultant. They love assisting you in your homeschool journey!

Have a question that we didn’t answer? Feel free to write it in a comment below. We’re here for you.

A Homeschool Graduate Embarks on Teaching Her Own Children

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Don’t Celebrate Columbus Day?

Christopher Columbus arrives in America

Columbus was only one of many famous explorers, and he never actually got to the North American continent. So, why celebrate Columbus? As early as 1792, there were official celebrations of Columbus's voyage. In 1934, in response to lobbying by … [Continue reading]