Confronting Cultures of Darkness
The thought processes within a particular group of people control the direction in which that particular group or society continues. Although outside factors may influence one’s thinking, every person has the ability to choose the direction his life will take. His lifestyle is just an outward expression of what resides in his heart.
“For as [man] thinketh in his heart, so is he” (Prov. 23:7).
Outward expressions of man’s heart is seen in his artistic, musical, architectural, philosophical, and scholastic tastes and achievements (or lack thereof).
Past societies are known by their cultural achievements. Some societies have given mankind a better way of living than was previously known. Others, however, have left destruction and decay in their aftermath.
In order for mankind to be able to change the culture into a “kinder, gentler” one, mankind must be willing to look into his heart and see the darkness that dwells there. He must be willing to allow the Light of God’s Word to enter in and enlighten him into what is possible when he yields to the precepts set in God’s Word. As he ceases to be conformed to the darkness of this world and yields to the transforming power of God’s Word, he begins to realize that his life has purpose and meaning.
That purpose is to glorify God and influence with godly seed the society or culture of which he is a part. The biblicly-enlightened man is to influence society, but he can only do this if his foundation is firmly established. Otherwise, he will be influenced by the society around him.
A look through the eyes of history will show how societies rise or fall, how their thinking processes dictate their treatment of others, and how their peoples prosper or suffer great cruelty under their governmental leaders.
There are marked differences between those societies and governments who allow the absolutes of God’s Word to influence their decisions and those who turn away from or neglect the absolutes of God’s Word.
How do we confront the culture of darkness for the betterment of mankind?
It may seem like a lost cause for a man to think that he is able to turn a society from the path of darkness and chaos. However, light penetrates the darkness no matter how small that light is.
Individuals with vision have changed the course of history. That course, however, has been determined by those individual’s worldviews. Whether a godly worldview or a humanistic, man-centered worldview, individuals have had great influence on the society around them.
Jesus, as an individual, exerted such a profound influence over His disciples that it was told that they “turned the world upside down.” These men stood strong in their determination to spread the gospel. Although highly persecuted, their stand for the gospel has influenced mankind ever since.
Paul was used mightily by God in confronting the evil in his day. Since his time, many other men and women have had a profound impact on their societies: Jonathan Edwards, George Washington, James Madison, Billy Sunday, Dwight Moody, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Clara Barton, etc.
We also remember others who have had great influence on their societies: Stalin, Lenin, Hitler, Huxley, Kant, Darwin, and Marx.
The above individuals’ influences have continued to impact societies today. Some for good, some for evil.
However, as individuals, we also have an influence for good or evil in our society. So, how, as individuals, can we confront the evil of this world? How can we make an impact that leaves society better for our having existed on this earth?
Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus. 2 Timothy 1:13
Speak with sound words.
First, we must speak with sound words. Those words convey the intent of our hearts. If our minds and hearts are set on glorifying God, we will choose our words carefully and purposefully.
“But foolish and unlearned questions avoid, knowing that they do gender strifes.
And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient,
In meekness, instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth;
And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.”
2 Timothy 2:23-26
Our words can make a deep impression in the lives of others. The way our words are expressed can make a difference in how receptive others are to those words.
Speak with words composed of truth.
Next, our words must be composed of truth.
“These are the things that ye shall do; Speak ye every man the truth to his neighbor; execute the judgment of truth and peace in your gates” (Zechariah 8:16).
Our words should be composed of truth whether within our own communities, in the judgment halls, or in conversation with other nations and peoples.
Stand in truth.
“Stand therefore, having your loins gird about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness” (Ephesians 6:14).
Then, we must stand in that truth.
No matter how the tide of opinion may try to sway us from our stance, we must uphold truth. It is truth that will bring liberty to those caught in the lies of deception.
Uphold truth to society.
Finally, we must uphold truth to society. Truth is not based upon man’s opinion but firmly upon the Word of God. The foundation of truth must be firmly established. It is the absolute upon which societies will be judged. It is also the glue that holds a nation together. Without it, all that is left is a society in chaos.
“The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God” (Psalm 9:17).Copyright 2016 Peggy ClarkTo receive future posts by email, see the sidebar for blog subscription. Peggy Clark is the author of So, What's the Latest News? Messages from a Prisoner in Rome. Available from WestBow Press, a division of Thomas Nelson & Zondervan; Amazon; Barnes & Noble; and other retailers.
Stitches Well-placed, Devotional
Stitches of Prevention
“A stitch in time saves nine” is a famous maxim.
In this world of troubled souls, a few stitches might help to prevent some of those frazzled places that develop in men’s hearts.
A few well-placed ones can stop a tear before it completely destroys a soul.
But waiting until a gaping hole develops may require replacement of parts that we hold dear. These holes require many stitches to repair.
Stitches of Repair
Mending a broken heart or encouraging a depressed soul may require a variety of stitches. These stitches are especially helpful when administered by those who have experienced them themselves.
Some may need to touch the hem of His garment.
Some may need to highlight an important part.
Some may need to surround a weak section.
Some may need to open a place for connection.
Some are long, some are short, depending upon the need.
Stitches to Meet the Need
Maybe you know of some other stitches that can mend broken souls. This is just a short list. However, no stitch is of any value until it is applied to the recipient.
- Stitches of hope
- Stitches of grace
- Stitches of encouragement
- Stitches of mercy
- Stitches of kindness
- Stitches of love
- Stitches of joy
- Stitches of peace
- Stitches of patience
The best ones though, are placed just in time.
Maybe it’s needful for us to do a little mending today.
What stitches do you need to work on?
Do you know how to sew?
Who was it that taught you?
Is there a certain garment or craft that you enjoyed working on more than others?
Are you passing your gift on to others?
Maybe you would like to add some stitches to the list above. Just leave your stitches in the comment box below.
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Tackling the Storms of Life
How to Tackle the Storms of Life
Know the storm is coming.
Whether rain, hail, wind, snow, or sleet, storms are a part of our world. Cool air masses meet with warm air masses and the weather becomes unsettled.
Storms, especially wind storms and blizzards tend to drive away everything that is not nailed down. Flood waters lift and carry items with such force that it simply leaves one in amazement at the sight of the devastation left in the flood’s aftermath.
Freezing temperatures from snow and sleet can leave the unprepared outdoorsman with frostbite or worse.
That‘s why we must be prepared for the arrival of storms.
If we know that a storm is coming, we won’t be caught off guard.
In the same way, when spiritual forces of light meet with spiritual forces of darkness, struggles develop. The conflict that follows can leave our world in turmoil.
Troubles and trials that ensue cause us to cast off idols that cannot bring deliverance. Thus, we are driven to the refuge of the True Master.
Storms, both physical and spiritual, will come our way, but they need not find us unprepared.
Prepare for the storm’s arrival.
Storms can be gentle, but many times they are a source of great danger. Knowing how to prepare will keep us from being overly apprehensive when a serious storm is forecasted.
Adequate preparations may not prevent damage but will keep us from being caught defenseless.
Don’t let the storm find you unprepared.
Results from dangerous storms may include downed power lines, fallen trees, structural damage, water-covered bridges, tainted water supplies, and even mud slides. Being prepared in the event such things may happen will find us thankful if and when they do come our way.
Keeping a fresh supply of batteries for items such as flashlights, lanterns, and radios will keep us supplied temporarily with the light we need to see and with updates we need to know concerning changing weather patterns.
Since batteries do not last forever, kerosene or oil lamps are a great resource to have as a backup for flashlights. (Just be sure to have a safe reserve of oil stored properly.)
Some radios have the ability to use solar power as an alternative in addition to battery or electric power. Consider those when making your next radio purchase as radio may be rendered the only means of communication with the outside world.
Storage of fresh drinking water is important not only for cooking purposes but also to keep us from becoming dehydrated.
Canned goods that can be eaten cold can help us survive hunger if the storm is prolonged.
Extra blankets and quilts help with warmth during power outages. They can also be used to cover freezers and coolers to keep items colder for longer periods of time. (Be sure to remove them when the power returns.)
A first-aid kit may be purchased at many department stores. One could also be assembled using a tool box, a lunch box, or a sturdy plastic shoe box and items purchased from local pharmacies or department stores. Pharmacy staff are very helpful in giving direction for compiling items that would be useful in such a kit.
Your insurance company or local fire department may be willing to check for areas of weakness and give advice for strengthening your home. This should be done before any storm is expected.
Spiritual storms that come our way may also leave us vulnerable if we are not prepared.
Physical storms and storms of nature can cause our faith to be weakened. Troubles and trials, though not of our making, may attack our faith; but being prepared with the gospel of peace will give us guidance when it is needed.
Having the Word of God embedded in our hearts, maintaining a right relationship with God and others, and keeping our fellowship with Him intact will arm and shield us against oncoming spiritual danger.
Response time is critical and can avert disaster; therefore, we should especially know how to answer the trial of temptation when it comes knocking at our doors. Jesus Himself was faced with temptation, but handled it successfully with the Scriptures.
Stay in the place of safety.
Do not leave an area of safety when the storm hits.
If lightning strikes while you are outdoors, do not be the tallest object in an open area. Stay close to the ground instead.
During a tornado warning, a ditch or other low-lying area may be the safest place to occupy if a storm cellar is not available.
If flooding occurs, get to higher ground as soon as possible. Do not travel over water-covered roads or bridges. You cannot see when a roadbed has been eroded or washed away.
In windy conditions, stay away from windows that may break and send glass flying in your direction.
Speaking encouraging words to those around you will help to keep everyone calm and composed.
Encourage yourself in the storm.
It is especially important to stay in the place of safety when spiritual storms come our way.
Staying in God’s presence by prayer and reading His word will encourage us in our deepest trials.
Acknowledging the truths of God’s Word will keep us from making poor decisions that can jeopardize our safety.
The fellowship of God’s people will also give us encouragement as we navigate through the problems of life. Sharing our burdens with others will uplift us and cause others to pray on our behalf.
Remember that the trying of our faith works for us patience and brings us to greater maturity in Christ.
Encouraging ourselves in the storm gives us a hopeful outlook and confidence in God who is able to deliver us and/or carry us safely through any situation or circumstance. Our trusting attitude can strengthen and encourage those around us.
Be encouraged in the knowledge that Christ is our buckler and shield, our counselor and our friend. He will never leave or forsake those that are truly His.
Clean up from the storm.
When the storm is over, the clean-up process begins.Depending upon the severity of the storm, this can take a day, a week, or even months.
If there is major damage noted, the insurance company should be notified as soon as communication is restored. Carefully follow the insurance company’s directions and keep detailed records and receipts as clean-up is being completed. Taking photos of the damage may help you in your communications with the insurance agent.
Rubbish and other debris that litters sidewalks, yards, and roadways must be removed. Broken branches from trees may still be dangling in the air from overhead so be careful to look upward before proceeding to clean up those particular areas.
Remove debris to the proper designated areas.
Be aware of fallen power lines that may be tangled in any branches or trees that have fallen and do not go near them. Conspicuously mark off that area so that no one approaches and is endangered. Fallen power lines are a life-threatening situation that must not be ignored. Call the power company immediately and let them know of the situation.
Repair what is damaged. (Check with your insurance company first. They will probably want to do an assessment before you begin this process.)
Check outdoor lighting, gutter systems, sprinkler systems, and fencing for damage.
Look at the roof to see if any shingles have been broken, cracked, or blown away. Don’t forget to check animal kennels or animal houses for structural damage.
Inside the home, be sure to check the ceiling for wet or damp spots indicating a possible roof leak. Feel around window sills and dry any wet areas where rain may have entered.
Replace what is necessary to be replaced. (Check with your insurance company first.)
Hopefully, there will be no major damage from the storm, but sometimes items do have to be replaced. It may be an area of the roof, an electrical appliance, or a broken window. Take care of these items as soon as possible.
Roofing, structural, and electrical systems are the areas that should be considered first. Deficiencies in these systems will cause additional damage or may even cause a home to be destroyed if not taken care of properly. Hire a professional to take care of needed assessments and repairs.
Taking the proper steps will bring order out of chaos.
The disorder caused by a storm may seem unsurmountable, but taking the proper steps in the proper order will bring order out of the chaos.
Storms brought on in our spiritual life may also seem chaotic. The disruption to our lives may cause us to want to throw our hands up in despair. However, we have a Heavenly Father who is able to bring order out of our chaotic lives. We should seek Him first before we do anything else.
We may need to seek God’s forgiveness, ask for His cleansing, or just praise Him that He is in control of our situation.
Know that storms are not always brought to us because of sin. But if sin has brought our trials to us, the proper place to lay our sins is at the feet of the only One who is able to cleanse us and forgive us and restore us to full fellowship with God our father. That One is Jesus Christ.
Life happens to everyone. Just ask the Lord what His will is for you during this time of unsettledness. Follow His guidance. Be obedient and follow His direction; it may be that He is getting ready to bring a great blessing into your life.
Assess the aftermath.
After any storm it is important to assess the aftermath. Yes, the insurance company will do an assessment, but you should also do your own.
List any and all damages.
Take an adequate assessment.
What was or will be the cost to repair the damages?
What will insurance cover? What will be your responsibilities and financial expenditures?
Where are the weak places? Are walls, floors, and roofs safe?
Was the first-aid kit adequate or does it need additional items?
Is my environment healthy at the moment? What will need to be done to prevent mold?
Are the remaining trees safely standing?
Are my neighbors okay? Especially be concerned for elderly neighbors.
Retain a resource list for future help during and after a future storm. These names and phone numbers may come in handy at a later time.
Just as we do after storms of nature, we also need to do an assessment of our spiritual lives after we have battled the storms that have attacked our minds and hearts.
Are we where we need to be with God?
How can we better prepare for the next crisis?
Did we have and are we continuing to have a strong devotional time each day?
Was and is our prayer life intact?
Are we in full fellowship with our Christian brethren? Do we have areas of unforgiveness and bitterness hidden in our hearts? Does restitution need to be made to anyone?
Have we allowed things that are not pleasing to God to creep in and distract us from doing His will?
Have we truly sought God for His assessment of our lives?
Prepare for the next storm.
After recovery from the storm, we must begin preparations for future storms that may come our way.
Look at yours and your insurance company’s assessments.
Ask yourself a variety of questions as you look at each item listed. These will help with your preparations for any future storms.
Why did the damage happen? Were any areas of danger overlooked? Have structures been maintained properly?
Have trees been planted, placed, or trimmed properly? Is there anything I could have done to minimize the damage?
Then begin to shore up the property where needed.
Store up extra supplies especially in areas where particular items were needed or depleted during the last storm.
Prepare for the future day when
another storm will come.
Experiencing storms helps us to prepare for future storms. Do not take lightly the lessons that have been learned from previous storms. The safety of family members is of utmost importance. Take your assessment and prepare for that future day when another storm will come.
Recovery from spiritual storms may take moments or may take years depending upon the particular storm and our relationship with God.
Strengthen your spiritual life by attending church services, revival meetings, conferences, and Bible studies.
If you do not have a regular devotional time, begin one. Engage family members in this endeavor.
Prepare a place where you can pray without interruption. Spend some time meditating on and memorizing Scripture. Encourage your children and reward them for memorizing Scripture also.
Get professional Christian counseling if needed. Some storms require additional help. Do not be afraid or ashamed to seek this help if needed.
Job was prepared when the storm came his way. He was able to trust in God even though he had lost all physical possessions and all of his immediate family with the exception of his wife.
His thoughts may have questioned the reasons for the storm, but he did not question his salvation nor his future in heaven. He did not throw his hands up in despair, did not entertain thoughts of suicide, or retain bitterness against his friends.
However, the storm bought him closer to God than ever. He gained new knowledge of God and His attributes.
He also received blessings of restoration and encouragement from family and friends. To those around him, their perception of God was greatly changed.
Who knows how many people were and are still being changed because of the way that Job weathered the greatest storm that any man could endure.
Are you prepared for the storm? Are you prepared so that your testimony will remain in tact just as Job’s did?
What serious storms have you experienced?
What did you learn during those storms?
Did the storms change you in any way?
First Step in Homeschooling
So, you’re contemplating homeschooling your children. Does the thought bring butterflies to your stomach?
Are you asking yourself questions?
All of these questions and more will fill your mind in the days ahead.
- Can I do this?
- What if I make a mistake?
- What will other people think?
Yes, you can homeschool.
Yes, you will make mistakes. We all do. We’re human, but we learn from them and continue onward.
We gain knowhow by taking one step at a time — precept upon precept, line upon line.
Yes, other people will think. But before they have the chance to tell you their opinions, have your own reasons as to why you will (or will not) do homeschooling settled in your own mind.
And that is the one question you will have to answer for yourself.
Everyone will give you reasons why you should or should not homeschool. However, you must realize that this is your decision.
- Write down your own thoughts for desiring to homeschool.
- Add to your thoughts a list of reasons that you feel are supportive.
- Think through this process carefully and prayerfully.
By expressing yourself in writing as to your reasons, you have taken the first and most important step in homeschooling.
- Why is the question that when answered will anchor you through any difficulties you may face after you have made your decision.
- The reasons why will also be your prepared response to any who would desire to challenge your decision to homeschool.
The Storms of Life, continued
©2016 Peggy Clark
Dusting off the dried clumps of sand from her face and hands, she began her trek in the direction of the rooftop when suddenly there was a deep voice from behind her.
Turning she saw a gray-haired man with a fishing pole and a bucket in his hand. “Good morning, Miss. Fine morning isn’t it? And where did you come from?”
“Are you all right?” he said as she suddenly fell backward. “You must be hurt. Here, let me help you.”
She had not previously noticed the dried blood that covered her right arm and leg. Nor could she have seen the bruising on her face and other parts of her ravaged body.
As if shaken out of a daze, she began to weep uncontrollably. Memory now came to remind her of things she could not now bear to remember.
“Here, here, let me help you! You mustn’t cry. I won’t harm you. Stay still now while I look at your arms and legs.”
She nodded affirmation although the tears just would not stop.
The gray-haired man patiently checked for cuts and broken bones.
“Well, my lady. You’ve got some nasty cuts and bruises. Hopefully, you have no broken bones, but I don’t want to run the risk of injuring you any further. Will you trust me to run to the house yonder and bring round a truck? I won’t be any longer than I have to, I promise.”
She lay back and rested. Finally, help had come. Maybe Providence was on her side.
“In my distress, I called upon the LORD, and cried to my God: and he did hear my voice out of his temple, and my cry did enter into his ears.” 2 Samuel 22:7
We may ask why the journey of life had to take us down a particular path, why we were left alone to struggle through the waves of trials and temptations that sought to overcome us, and why it took us so long to get to a place of safety and respite.
Storms come as unwelcome disturbances in our lives.
Those disturbances present themselves in a variety of ways. They may consist of a ripple, a splash, a flood tide, or even a tidal wave.
When our vessels filled with the lower pressures of mediocrity, complacency, and sinful desires meet with the higher pressures of holiness, compassion, truth, and situations not of our choosing, struggles develop.
Our response to God’s trimming makes the difference as to whether our sails are filled with the wind and prosper spiritually or are ripped from their spars and toppled in defeat.
Sometimes our response of grasping on to whatever lies before us drowns those who are trying to liberate us from our muddy waters.
We resist the command of submission to someone else’s control and find ourselves drowning in despair.
It is when we look upward instead of downward that we catch a breath from God and see His hand reaching out in deliverance.
No matter how surprised we may be at the onslaught of the storm, we find that each disturbance does come with its own special blessing. Those individual blessings may be hidden at the moment, but they are there just the same.
We are strengthened as we struggle through the swelling waters and find that God is on the tip of every resounding wave, inviting us to come and walk with Him on the water.
We discover that His is the only Voice that has the power to calm the storm in our souls.
“[B]e not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee” (Isaiah 41:10).
After the storm we wake to find that the rubble in our lives has been loosed and carried far out to sea. If remnants remain, they are only there to remind us of our deliverance from that which sought to destroy us.
Our outlook is freshened and intensely set on things that are of greater importance than the mediocrity of the past.
Our vessels become known as seaworthy, able to withstand the storms of life, and able to lead others through troubled waters.
Why does it take us so long to get to a place of safety and respite?
It takes as long as it takes for us to realize that God is our Life Preserver, the Tugboat who draws us into His safe harbor and can give us calm waters in the midst of any storm.
It takes just as long as it takes for us to accept this truth.
And accepting Truth is how we survive the storms of life.
© 2016 Peggy Clark
Peggy Clark is also the author of So, What's the Latest News? Messages from a Prisoner in Rome published by WestBow Press, a division of Thomas Nelson & Zondervan. Ask for it at your local Christian retailer or order online at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other online retailers.
The Storms of Life, Continued
©2016 Peggy Clark
Suddenly she was awakened by the earth eroding underneath her. A loud roar sounded in her ears. Warmth surrounded and tugged at her body, slowly pulling her back into the sea from whence she had come.
She must resist its deadly grasp. Now awakened, she slowly began to pull herself forward once again. This time she was able to make progress although every movement caused her body to wreak with pain.
Finally, turning over on her backside, she let the sun shine fully on her face. The aching inside told her she must have help and soon.
“Help, I must have help,” she repeated to herself but her body gave way to fatigue before she could muster enough energy to cry out.
Once again the forces of nature or some power from above cried out to her. Seagulls screamed in increasing volume desiring some morsel of food as if to say, “Get up and give us,” but she had nothing left to give.
Startled, she was awakened to a new day. A new day in all its splendor. She embraced its warmth and drunk in its laughter. Birds sang cheerily and a butterfly fluttered about her head.
She reached out and touched one of its wings. It danced away toward the morning rays of sunshine and out of her sight.
What was that in the distance? Peeking out above the trees that lined the shore was a gray rooftop. She listened intently for sounds of life and heard dogs barking in the clearing just ahead.
Hope sprang up in her bosom even though she found herself struggling to get up from the ground.
Why does our journey of life take us down a particular path?
Why are we left alone to struggle through the dark waters of turbulent forces as they try to overcome us?
Overwhelmed by successive waves of circumstances beyond our control, our inclination is to grasp hold of whatever lies before us.
Human nature digs our fingers in deep and splits our fingernails in anxiety. We exert all our energies in resisting the forces of change.
Our first reaction is to turn back to the past, to that which we are familiar, until we are entrapped in its undercurrents. The old man gently tugs and teases, whispering in our ears his deceptive voice. He wishes to erode our faith. Our foundation of sand quickly vanishes away.
Panic sets in as we realize we cannot stand against these forces alone. The intensity of the storm obliterates our view. Blinded, we cannot see the shoreline just ahead. Moment by moment our strength weakens as the undertow pulls at us.
Crying out for deliverance, we strain to hear an answer. None is heard except that of the vultures as they rob us of that which we hold to be of value.
Yet, the voice of resistance is heard from somewhere deep inside reminding us that we must resist the temptation of giving in to that which wishes to destroy us.
Rays of hope peek through the dark clouds allowing faith to swell up in our hearts.
Hope then gives faith the surge that is needed to overcome the depths of our trials and preserve us from drowning in despair.
Hope befriends faith and says, “Believe. There is a tomorrow.”
He sent from above, he took me; he drew me out of many waters;
He delivered me from my strong enemy, and from them that hated me: for they were too strong for me.
They prevented me in the day of my calamity: but the LORD was my stay.
2 Samuel 22:17-19
To be continued.
©2016 Peggy Clark
Peggy Clark is author of the Bible study, So, What's the Latest News? Messages from a Prisoner in Rome published by WestBow Press, a division of Thomas Nelson & Zondervan. Ask for it at your local Christian retailer or purchase online.
Scope and Sequence
What is a scope and sequence?
Why are they important?
How will they benefit me as a teacher at home?
What is a scope and sequence?
Companies that produce educational curricula also produce a scope and sequence for their particular curriculum.
A scope and sequence gives information concerning new material being introduced, at what depth material will be taught, the sequence at which material is reviewed and built upon, and the level (grade) at which that material will be presented.
Why is a scope and sequence important?
Suppose that you have a child in a public or private setting and wish to home educate them. A scope and sequence from that particular school’s curriculum will let you know what has already been introduced to your child.
Also, suppose that your child struggled last year. Their grades may have been okay, but you realize that your child has not comprehended sufficiently what you feel needs to have been accomplished at this point. A scope and sequence will let you know what material was covered during the past year. Should any of that material be revisited? Probably so. Should areas of accomplishment be retaught? Probably not. This is where a scope and sequence is handy.
As you look at the scope and sequence of other curricula providers, you can see at what level any particular information is being introduced. If the information you are concerned about is being introduced at the next level (grade) of a particular curriculum you are considering, then you need not worry. It will be introduced to your child as if it had never been taught.
However, if it has already been introduced, you might need to do a reteaching of that particular introductory material before you move ahead. In this scenario, there is no need to reteach a whole level (grade) if there is only a gap in a particular portion.
How will a scope and sequence benefit me as a teacher at home?
The introduction of and type of subject matter varies from company to company. Different curriculum providers introduce new material at the level their particular authors and editors feel is appropriate. Requesting a scope and sequence from each company (or publisher) you are considering will give you an overview of material covered by each provider from preschool through high school.
Even if you choose not to use a particular company’s curriculum, you will benefit by seeing the different levels at which curriculum providers introduce new material. This is highly beneficial if you choose to do unit studies or deviate from a particular providers sequence.
During the high school years, some subjects are taught by courses. Those courses may be built around a particular topic instead of in a spiral pattern. For example, in the area of history, one course may center entirely on World History, while another course may center on a particular country’s history. Also, some courses may center on particular time periods.
If you were to decide to home educate your child during the high school years, you would not want to reteach a particular course that your child had already taken. In other words, if a child had taken World History at the ninth grade level, you would not want to reteach that same course at the tenth grade level unless there were problems with the previous course. Instead you would want to teach your country’s history. In this scenario, knowing the particular subject matter that your child has already been taught is very beneficial.
Different provider’s scope and sequences can also help you create your own scope and sequence for your particular situation.
Periodically reviewing your scope and sequence (at least at the beginning of each school year) can help you catch gaps before they occur and aid you in keeping on track as to your own goals for your child’s education.
Also, a scope and sequence can assist you in setting and attaining goals. Goals are what you wish for your child to learn academically before they are presented with that kindergarten, elementary, or high school diploma.
A scope and sequence can also be used as a checklist that lets you know where you have been and where you are going. In other words, your spot in the journey.
Your curriculum provider has a scope and sequence for each subject. Just ask for it when requesting information or when ordering catalogs. They should be happy to send you one.
I hope this information has been beneficial to you. If so, leave a comment. You may also leave suggestions for future posts.
Teach Facts Through a Variety of Learning Channels
Children absorb information through a variety of learning channels. Yet, each child has a particular channel through which he or she experiences greater learning. Therefore, it is important to know these channels and adapt the input that the child receives accordingly.
Access Every Channel of Learning
At the same time, for greater learning to take place, every channel should be accessed so that greater knowledge is received and retained. This will also help children exposed to different learning environments increase their competence when receiving information that is not presented in their unique learning styles.
The five senses of seeing, hearing, touching, smelling, and tasting can help us remember the channels of learning as these are the pathways that God has given us to receive information.
Know the Different Learning Modalities
Children have a preferred style of learning. The tendency of a child to learn in a particular way that helps him or her best utilize the information received is called a modality.
There are six channels or modalities through which we receive information: visual, auditory, tactile, olfactory, gustatory, and kinesthetic. Do not allow the use of these words to confuse you. They simply refer to the senses that God has given us to learn.
- The visual modality is the use of sight to receive information. Children preferring this style of learning enjoy material presented in a way that engages the sense of sight. The use of colors, posters, video, charts, live performances, and illustrated storybooks are this child’s favorite modes of learning.
They also love to read in quiet places. Noises detract and can lead to irritation. They usually prefer a neat desk and feel uncomfortable in cluttered places.
- The auditory modality is the use of hearing to receive information. Children preferring this style of learning enjoy material presented in a way that engages the sense of hearing. This is the type of student that can learn through the use of lecture and audio materials.
Auditory learners love to talk and to listen. You may catch them reading aloud to themselves or humming their favorite tunes. They may also create rhymes or songs to remember special events or lists.
Oral drill of spelling words; historical, scientific, and mathematical facts; and other such vocal methods keeps this child engaged.
- The tactile modality is the use of touch to receive information. Children preferring this style of learning enjoy material presented in a way that engages the use of their hands. The use of objects or manipulatives, textured papers, and special writing instruments helps this child to learn more effectively.
Hands-on projects, how-to presentations that involve the child’s assistance, and the use of models for explanation of concepts helps to keep this child engaged.
- The olfactory modality is the use of smell to receive information. Children preferring this style of learning like to ‘smell the roses.’ However, they strongly react to environments where smells are not to their liking. When they enter a room, you may hear them comment on the ‘smells’ they sense.
- The gustatory modality is the use of taste to receive information. Children using this modality become great taste testers. As children it seems everything ends up in the mouth. They love tastes, textures, and smells. They prefer to use scented markers to highlight important information and to develop projects that consist of a variety of smells.
A writing assignment may be filled with words which describe the smells encountered on a nature walk or the smells of foods experienced during a recent trip to the market or their favorite restaurant.
- The kinesthetic modality is the use of movement to receive information. Closely related to the tactile modality, children embracing this style of learning prefer movement in opposition to sitting still. The handling of manipulatives also increases their absorption of facts.
Whether utilizing ‘jumping jacks’ to memorize math facts or clapping hands to the drilling of letters, these students love learning when it involves movement in any form. You will catch them doodling, fidgeting with their hands, and tapping the desk with their pencils.
Adapt Teaching Styles to Optimize Learning Experiences
The knowledge of these six learning modalities can help parents and teachers adapt their teaching styles in order to access the learning channels that children prefer to utilize when receiving information.
Adjust Teaching Plans to Create Variety
Preparing to utilize methods that employ every learning style will also create greater variety in the classroom. This makes for a better teaching and learning experience for both teachers and students.
As you make lesson plans for the upcoming week, I hope you will consider each of the six learning modalities and adjust your teaching plans accordingly.
A loud screeching sound jolted me out of bed this morning. I grabbed a flashlight as I went out the door and hurried to the chicken pen.
There I encountered an intruder inside the fence. I could not open the pen for fear the inhabitants would fly out and I would be spending the rest of my day trying to retrieve them.
Faced with the intruder, I found my weapon of choice would not work as it should. Tearing back to the house, I retrieved another weapon of choice.
Sadly, I had to work with this weapon for several minutes which allowed a clean getaway for the intruder, but not until he had devoured my beautiful black bannie rooster!
I searched diligently for the intruder but to no avail. How did he get into the pen? I thought that the double-layer fortified fencing was sufficient to deter any invading varmint, but not this sly devil.
He had obviously found a vulnerable spot somewhere and slid his white wirey-haired body through my fortification. There was no tear in the fence or any hole dug underground. Oh, he was a sly one for sure! He had to have crawled through an opening between the rafters.
Then I thought about how the demonic forces of Satan seek for the vulnerable places in our lives. Just when we think we have ourselves sufficiently covered by the armour of God, the evil one finds an area of vulnerability and seeks to devour his prey.
Yes, he is a sneaky one. Just as the intruder must have went to the top of the fence and climbed through an upper opening, Satan goes for the upper parts of the body. He seeks to invade our minds with his damaging thoughts. He taunts and rages in whispers and lies.
His teeth sink into our thought patterns and seeks to devour us with his unsavory words. We must be armed with a working weapon of choice.
That weapon of choice is the Word of God. God’s words will defeat the intruder’s attack upon our minds. But we must be ready! We must be armed with the Word! We may never have a second chance.