Posted on

EDUCATE YOUR CHILDREN ON THE POWER OF MUSIC

Do you have a soundtrack for your life?

Songs you listen to when you feel victorious? Songs that bring comfort when you’re feeling blue? Songs to give you energy when you clean house or exercise?

Music has an amazing ability to influence our moods, which, in turn, can influence our actions. That’s powerful.

We would be wise to educate our children on the power of music.

MUSIC IN OUR STORY

My husband is a guitarist. The first time I met him, he was backstage getting ready for a concert. The second time I saw him, he and his brother joined a mutual friend for a jam session at my house.

I quickly fell in love with his music. A few months later, I fell in love with him.

After we married, he pursued a career as a studio guitarist, and I began writing “The Great American Novel.” We didn’t plan to have children.Our plans changed when I became pregnant.

However, five years into our marriage I became pregnant—and our plans changed.

My husband loves playing guitar, but when when he became a dad, he set aside his musical aspirations and dedicated himself to supporting our family.

I’ve never met a more dedicated father.

MUSIC IN OUR HOMESCHOOL

Music has “played” an important role in our homeschool.

When my sons were big enough to hold my husband’s travel guitar, he began teaching them how to play it. As they grew a little older, he bought them their own guitars and taught them music theory, techniques, and how to care for their instruments.

They quickly became competent guitarists.

We often talk about the most significant purpose for music: “Music is made for worship!”

Today, both my sons are equipped to lead worship on guitar. One of my favorite memories is pictured below when Ryan and his dad led worship at my dear homeschool mentor’s farm.

(BTW: We’re working on a new resource designed for beginning or aspiring guitarists. Click here for more info!)

Listening to music together and asking questions has sparked some lively discussions:

  • What attracts you to a particular piece?
  • What mood does it inspire?
  • What story is told by its lyrics? Is it edifying?

MUSIC IN OUR CULTURE

We seize every chance we can to develop critical thinking, so we talk about how music impacts our culture.

(I firmly believe that critical thinking is one of the most valuable tools we can put in our children’s toolbox. That’s why I created Philosophy Adventure and other critical thinking resources.)

The late atheist philosopher Bertrand Russell, who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1950, made this sinister statement:

Education should aim at destroying free will so that pupils thus schooled, will be incapable throughout the rest of their lives of thinking or acting otherwise than as their schoolmasters would have wished….and in order to condition students, verses set to music and repeatedly intoned are very effective….

When I first encountered Bertrand Russell’s comments about such dangerous objectives and blatantly manipulative methods, I was shocked. But his words only deepen my resolve to help my sons and other students develop critical thinking skills.

MUSIC IN YOUR HOME

Music is a tremendous gift. However, as Bertrand Russell demonstrates, it can also be tremendously destructive.

Given the powerful nature of music, I urge you to be proactive and engaged.

Do you have guidelines for what music your children are allowed to listen to?


 

Posted on

5 Mistakes Parents & Students Make When Planning for College

5 Mistakes Parents & Students Make When Planning for College

Do you know the five mistakes parents and students make when planning for college?

 

The words affordable, efficient, and effective aren’t typically associated with college. But they can be accurate descriptors of your student’s college experience.

On March 27, at 7:00 PM CST, I was joined by education innovator Woody Robertson todiscuss the best ways to navigate the college decision.

We discussed common flawed thinking like:

  • Expecting to go into debt for college
  • Expecting college to train you for your career
  • Thinking you’ll figure out what you want to do in college
  • Failing to prepare for the battle of worldviews
  • Not taking advantage of dual credit

CLICK HERE TO RECEIVE THE FREE WEBINAR REPLAY

Posted on

Walking with the Waodani — Part 4 — Life Lessons

Russell and Gary in Quito

(This is part 4 — life lessons — in our Walking with the Waodani series. Click here to start the series at the beginning.)

WHAT ABOUT SOCIALIZATION?

We hear it so often that it’s become cliché. But I suppose, if you don’t homeschool, there’s no way to know how many “social” opportunities are available to homeschoolers. Continue reading Walking with the Waodani — Part 4 — Life Lessons

Posted on

Walking with the Waodani – Part 3 – Poison Fishing

Russell's Salinas fish

(This is part 3 — poison fishing — in our Homeschooler Adventure Walking with the Waodani series. Click here to start the series at the beginning.)

FIRST CAME SPEAR FISHING

In our previous Homeschooler Adventurer post, Russell Winter told the story of spear fishing in the Amazon River. The post also mentioned how, during his seven-week adventure in Ecuador, a new friend had taken him spear fishing on the Salinas coast. See the lovely fish he caught there? Continue reading Walking with the Waodani – Part 3 – Poison Fishing

Posted on

MAKING THE MOST OF HIGH SCHOOL WITH COLLEGEPLUS — PART 7

COLLEGE PLUS REIMAGINED AS LUMERIT SCHOLAR

(This is part 7 in our series. If you missed our first post, you can find it here.)

In the midst of our CollegePlus studies, the program underwent a major transformation. Consequently, we decided to “interrupt our regularly scheduled programming” to explain this change.

We’ll start with a little history… Continue reading MAKING THE MOST OF HIGH SCHOOL WITH COLLEGEPLUS — PART 7

Posted on

MAKING THE MOST OF HIGH SCHOOL WITH COLLEGEPLUS — PART 6

TEACHING TO THE TEST

One of the greatest gifts of homeschooling is the freedom to customize your child’s education.

(This is part 6 in our series. If you missed our first post, you can find it here.)

Without formal testing, it is unreasonable to expect a teacher who is responsible for a large classroom of students to know with certainty whether those students are comprehending the material presented. But in the intimacy of the homeschool environment, there are a variety of ways to make this assessment. Continue reading MAKING THE MOST OF HIGH SCHOOL WITH COLLEGEPLUS — PART 6

Posted on

MAKING THE MOST OF HIGH SCHOOL WITH COLLEGEPLUS — PART 5

A STUDY OF WORLDVIEWS

Do your children see the world through the lens of Scripture?

Everyone has a worldview. It is the “lens” through which we view everything around us. Most people blindly accept theirs from the culture in which they live. However, Christians are called to cultivate a biblical worldview. Continue reading MAKING THE MOST OF HIGH SCHOOL WITH COLLEGEPLUS — PART 5

Posted on

MAKING THE MOST OF HIGH SCHOOL WITH COLLEGEPLUS — PART 4

Making the Most of High School

WHEN BOYS BECOME MEN

My homeschool mentor warned me, “One day, you may want to stop calling Roger and Ryan your boys and start calling them your sons.” I’m so grateful for her wise words.

It happened so fast! Long days crawled past while years flew by. But today, there’s no doubt — my boys have become men.

(We marked the transition with a special gathering detailed in Celebrating Manhood — a rite of passage guide.) Continue reading MAKING THE MOST OF HIGH SCHOOL WITH COLLEGEPLUS — PART 4

Posted on

Don’t Run from the Mirror — Why You Need to Teach!

Why you need to teach

YOU WILL BE FACED WITH A CRITICAL CHOICE

Is everything is going well in your homeschool now? Just wait. If your experience is anything like many of us, the day will come when you’ll encounter difficulty and discouragement. When you do, you’ll be faced with a critical choice: run … or overcome.

Continue reading Don’t Run from the Mirror — Why You Need to Teach!

Posted on

MAKING THE MOST OF HIGH SCHOOL WITH COLLEGEPLUS — PART 2

HAVE YOU EVER HAD A WONDERFUL OPPORTUNITY DERAIL YOUR LESSON PLANS?

Shortly after my two teenage sons, Roger Dean and Ryan, officially started CollegePlus, my husband announced that he was taking us on a week-long vacation to Texas to visit his 88-year-old father.

(This is part 2 in our series. If you missed our first post, you can find it here.)

In 2005, Granda Farrell had moved back to his home town, a thousand miles away from us. We missed him. (I miss him now.) It had been far too long since our last visit. Although I was thrilled at the thought of seeing him again, I felt a bit of stress not knowing what impact this unexpected trip might have on our studies. Continue reading MAKING THE MOST OF HIGH SCHOOL WITH COLLEGEPLUS — PART 2

Posted on

MAKING THE MOST OF HIGH SCHOOL WITH COLLEGEPLUS — PART 1

Making the Most of High School

HOW CAN WE MAKE THE MOST OF THESE FINAL DAYS OF HOMESCHOOLING?

Unbelievable as it may seem, my firstborn son is now a high school senior and his brother is a junior.  Where did the years go?

In the joyful chaos that was my life after my second son was born a mere 19 months after my first, a dear friend warned me, “The days are long but the years are short.” Looking back to that day now, I marvel at the truth of her statement. Continue reading MAKING THE MOST OF HIGH SCHOOL WITH COLLEGEPLUS — PART 1

Posted on

Preparing our children to fulfill God’s purpose

We pour our hearts into preparing our children to fulfill God’s purpose for their lives.

We love them deeply, intimately, sacrificially. We know there is a time to shelter, a time to prepare, and a time to release. Yet, when the time comes, it can be incredibly hard to let them go…. Continue reading Preparing our children to fulfill God’s purpose