They’re Back! – Bible Truths

Greetings from Me and My House,

They’re back! And I am SO excited! One of my favorite resources is finally back. These have been hard to find since they went out of publication a few years ago. And I am super-glad to be able to provide them again.

Encyclopedia of Bible Truths by Ruth Haycock had finally been republished! We have used and recommended this from the beginning, when it was 4 individual volumes. Then it went to a single, all-in-one book, and now is back in 4 volumes again.

These books are like a Topical Bible for school subjects, giving Biblical concepts (principles) and related verses for various content areas within each subject. The four volumes are: Lanugage Arts/English, Social Studies, Science/Mathematics, and Fine Arts/Health, and there is a slight discount for buying the 4 Volume Set.

Check them out (and/or order) through these links!
4 Volume Set
Language Arts/English
Social Studies
Fine Arts/Health

ALSO – I’m working on my Creation & Order Resources page on my site. It should be up in a day or two. Check it out here.

At Jesus’ feet,
Lisa @Me and My House

Order Christian and Home Ed Resources Here

Enriched by a Bunch of Old Books

Greetings from Me and My House,

While we’re on the topic of old books, I’ll go back a nearly a couple more centuries – over 325 years ago, to the last half of the 1600’s. In our studies of Providential History (yes, the subject is His Story!), I’ve desired to go back to the Reformation period through the Founding of our nation, America, and study the writings of particularly the Puritans, those who shaped our nation upon God. Although, the author I’ve chosen to focus on this fall did not come to America, he, like the Pilgrims and Puritans that did shape our nation, was a dissenter/non-conformist, a Puritan. He preached, and he wrote. Much of both was done while he was in prison for preaching the gospel.

One of the first books of John Bunyan’s that I purchased, several years ago, was The Fear of the Lord. If you know me well, you know that this is a favorite topic of mine, for “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom”, and “wisdom is the principal thing”.

But, Bunyan is most well known for The Pilgrim’s Progress, an allegory of Christian life, the story of Christian and his salvation and journey to the Celestial City. This book is second only to the Bible in number of copies sold, and number of lives impacted by it. It was through this book that we, too, were introduced to John Bunyan many years ago. Our children have had a couple different videos of Pilgrim’s Progress that they have enjoyed over the years, and our favorite children’s adaptation of the book is the beautifully illustrated, Dangerous Journey, (which is the only adaptation I recommend, and only for a shortened retelling for young children, and its beautiful pictures).

But for your own personal reading, or family read aloud, I highly recommend reading the complete book, and not in an “updated”, “edited”, or “abridged” version. The classic is quite readable and very beautiful language. The modern rewrites lose much of what makes it a timeless enjoyable classic. In fact, if you have trouble reading classic English, I very highly recommend getting the audios and listening to it as a family. Our favorite set of audios are from Blackstone Audiobooks. I love the English accent of the reader, that helps to authenticate it. This version from Answers in Genesis sounds OK too, but I don’t like it near as well as Blackstone’s.

But don’t stop at Pilgrim’s Progress in your reading of John Bunyan. He wrote many great books of Christian teaching, that have also survived the test of time, including our Fear of the Lord, although it is lesser known than many others. Grace Abounding: to the Chief of Sinners is probably his next most well known book. This book is Bunyan’s autobiography. It is said to be, “one of the best and greatest autobiographies in the English language.” Perhaps that is because you learn about so much more than just Bunyan in this book. You learn of life, Christianity, and probably even see yourself somewhere.

The Holy War is an allegory like Pilgrim’s Progress, this one on spiritual warfare. I’m just getting into it, wanting to finish Grace Abounding first.

To do these classics justice, a new collector’s volume has been published, a beautiful anniversary edition put out by New Leaf Press/Master Books that contains not only Pilgrim’s Progress, but also several of Bunyan’s other writings too, including The Holy War, and Grace Abounding. I can’t wait to get it.

This is only the tip of the iceburg of Bunyan’s books that have stood the test of time and remain great reading for us today. But it is a good place to start. Many others can be found by entering John Bunyan into our search box on our Resource page (link below). You can see several other editions of Pilgrim’s Progress there too.

There are also entire websites devoted to John Bunyan, and many of his works are available on the internet, to either be read online, or downloaded, some even for your pda, to be read with Bible Reader that I mentioned earlier this week, and some to be listened to.

The “Complete Set” of Bunyan’s works is online here and here.
I use this site quite often for Christian and classic books online. They have all 3 of the most popular books by Bunyan in several formats, including mp3 and pdb (for Palm/pda).
Here’s another Bunyan site.

This site, Hall of Church History, isn’t particularly “Bunyan” but has great info and links to many of the Puritan’s writings and information. Phil’s tagline for this site is “Theology from a Bunch of Dead Guys”. Gotta love it.

Enjoy your reading! You will be greatly enriched! I promise!

At Jesus’ feet,
Lisa @Me and My House

Order Christian and Home Ed Resources Here

Introducing – The Scriptures!

I’m on a roll, a blog everyday in this new year. Don’t count on it continuing.

But something I do hope YOU continue is your daily Bible reading and study. Everyday of not only this year, but every year for the rest of your life. It is said, “This book will keep you from sin, or sin will keep you from this book.” I hope sin in your life is forgiven. That not only the presence of sin is under the blood, but the power of sin over your life is broken. And that you have a deep hunger for God’s Word, and reading, studying, and hiding it in your heart every day.

The children and I are finishing a wonderful book from the early 1800’s. (Sound familiar? Yes, older books really are much better usually.) This one is entitled The Scripture Guide and is by James W. Alexander. It is a great introduction to understanding the Bible for children. It is written as a dialog between an uncle and his two young nephews that he is instructing. It concludes with 30 directions for reading the Bible that we would all be benefitted by keeping in mind.

I have read many children’s introductions to the Bible. This is by far the best, for delight in reading, and understanding the Scriptures as God’s Word, and how we should approach our study of them.

I highly recommend that you enhance your reading of the Bible, with an understanding of the Bible itself, not just individual verses, but as a whole. The Scripture Guide is a great way to do that.


Happy New Year ~ Bible Reading

I hope you all had a “Blessed Incarnation of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, Emmanuel, Day” (think about it – “Christmas”) and a triumphant entry to the New Year.

If you don’t have a Bible Reading Plan I encourage you to begin one. It is a great way to begin the New Year, with a plan to read God’s Word completely through, during the year. It is important to read the Bible, completely and in context (as opposed to haphazardly, here a little, there a little). There are many plans you can follow. A very easy one is to read about 3 chapters a day (5 on the Lord’s Day/Sabbath).

One we are enjoying following is a bit different. It prescribes reading from both the Old and New Testaments everyday, and takes you through the whole Bible completely once, and the New Testament and Psalms twice in the year. The layout of it divides the readings into Family and Individual readings, so half the chapters will be read by yourself, and the other half as part of your daily Family Altar time (I hope you are doing this too.)

One great thing about this schedule is that the whole family (and perhaps your whole church, if they do such) is reading the same chapters each day and you can all discuss them at any time. It is a great way to bring spiritual unity in growth, in the family and the church.

This schedule was arranged by Robert Murray M‘Cheyne, who lived in the early 1800’s. It is/was recommended by Ravi Zacharias, Charles Spurgeon and John Stott, among many others.

Here’s a link to a site where you can download/print the schedule. (There are many others, but I like the format of this one – legal size, folds to brochure to fit in Bible, large enough to read easily.) Look under Daily Bible Reading and click on pdf file:

(Put M’Cheyne Bible into a google search and you will come up with many others, some interactive online versions.)

And here’s a link to a website where you can download free Bible Reader software for reading the Bible on your Palm (or other) handheld, and M’Cheyne reading schedule that you can check off the chapters as you read them. Click on your type of handheld on the left to get the download page for Bible Reader.

Then click on this page to choose a bible version to download. Several are free. KJV is $5.00.

Then click on this page, on Robert Murray M’Cheyne’s Schedule to download his reading schedule:

You can also download many other books (many for free) to read on your Palm with Bible Reader. But that’s another topic for another day.
For today, start a systematic reading of the Bible itself – for a Blessed New Year!


Foundational Studies Progress

It has been my goal to get our Foundational Studies written up in book form this summer. Some of these have been in just my loose teaching notes format. Some of these needed majorly revamped and updated, and others had never been really solidified.

Although I’ve not done much else project-wise this summer, it’s been slow going. A VERY active and curious one-year old and 5 other children have kept me jumping up more than sitting to write. And sometimes the brain just can’t focus when it only gets 2-minute snippets at a time.

But I am so excited to announce that the Communication Foundations is put together! I’m sure I could add to it, and continue to revise until Eternity, but I will instead just made necessary editorial changes, as I believe it meets my goals. The rest of the Pillars are in various stages. I don’t work on one thing at a time. Bible is also complete but in need of final organization.

It was my original intent to publish a Freedom & Simplicity guide for each Pillar, and still is, but I believe I will put all the Foundations Studies in one book for now, to help you see the big picture of each Pillar, until the other work is completed.


Freedom & Simplicity™ Framework – Part 1

Studying all the various philosophies and methods of teaching children can be confusing, and their structures rigid and daunting; so many great things to do, so little time to plan it, let alone fit it all together, let alone accomplish it. I think this is just where God wants us. It forces us to seek God for His easy yoke, if we don’t want to burn out, and aren’t unfaithful by seeking the easy way out. His way comes together so much better than the striving of the flesh that we can easily get caught up in. Homeschool burnout is probably one of the greatest problems among moms that teach their own. And many fluctuate between these two, in an unending circle of burnout (trying to do what they think they should according to some book or list) and easy way out (giving up and doing little or nothing, or just going from one thing to the next with no unity or tying it together). Finding that place of excellence in spirit, that is neither the laziness of the flesh, nor the burden of the soul, requires something that does not come naturally to us.

Yet following the Spirit need not be blindly going from day to day not knowing what youre doing until you wake up and seek God for the day. Our God is a God of order and a God of direction, and many times He even gives direction in advance and set patterns to follow. Sometimes He will disciple us through others, sometimes on His own.

We have found that having a framework to help us plan our studies allows excellence, yet through Freedom and Simplicity. Perhaps these guidelines can help you to not get burnt out, nor take the easy way out. Perhaps they will spur you to seek God for your own way in Him.

Freedom and Simplicity™ framework for Wisdom, Understanding, and Knowledge

This framework takes us through the Three Seasons of Learning Wisdom, Understanding, and Knowledge. Through Wisdom a house is built, by Understanding it is established; by Knowledge the rooms are filled…. Proverbs 24:3-4

Wisdom: This is the Foundation. It gives us the Big Picture, based on the definition of Wisdom is seeing from God’s perspective. How does God view —? What does God think about —? What does God want us to learn about —? It gives our study the solid foundation of a Biblical viewpoint, and a reason for learning it. The framework we follow for this is determining our Focus of study, a Foundational Scripture for that Focus, and the Principle it teaches.

Focus: Determine the focus of your study. Seek God for this. It may be one or several for the year. He may show you the big picture of all the various topics first, or perhaps He will direct your plans for one, before being shown the next. These Focuses can be anything – a character trait, a time-period in HisStory, an aspect of Creation, a book or chapter or passage of the Bible, …..

Foundational Scripture: Find a Scripture passage that represents your Focus. Perhaps you’ll have one right from the start. If not, use **Naves Topical Bible, **Strongs Concordance, and/or **Websters 1828 Dictionary definitions to help you find related Scriptures, and choose the most appropriate, that conveys your Focus the best.

Foundational Principle: What is the principle, the main idea you want them to learn through this Focus? Again this may be plain from your Focus and/or Foundational Scripture. More than likely you will need to study the various Scriptures, look up definitions, and most of all PRAY. What is the key lesson God would have your family to learn from this study? Ruth Haycock’s **Encyclopedia of Bible Truths may also be of help in finding these Foundations.

Understanding: This is the Framework. It gives our study structure, and provides the walls to hang the information on.

Supporting Scriptures: Find other Scriptures on the topic, that reinforce and build on the Foundational Scripture. Here again, your Naves, Strongs, 1828 Dictionary, and Encyclopedia of Bible Truths will guide you.

Supporting Principles: Find leading aspects that reinforce and build on the Foundational Principle. The study of the Foundationals, and the Supporting Scriptures will lead you to these. (You may not determine any of the Principles until this stage, and then choose the one that is the overlying Foundational Principle.)

Knowledge: This is the precious and pleasant riches that fill the rooms. It is the details and facts that illustrate and serve as examples of the Principles. It is the crowning touch that makes the house a home; that gives substance to the theory of the Wisdom and Understanding.

Examples and Illustrations from the 7 Pillars of Learning: How is the Principle illustrated in Government? In HisStory? In Creation? In Economics? In Dominion? Biblical examples? (In addition, Bible has been covered in the Wisdom & Understanding steps, and will also be integrated into the rest, as will Communications.)

By dividing the different Pillars into various aspects, it will be easier to see what fits where. Don’t stress if you don’t have examples from all of the Pillars; just find what fits. Allow God to direct; Pray. He will bring things across your path at just the right time that will fit just what you need. Perhaps not always what you think you need, but what He knows you need. For example, in a study of the Fear of the Lord, I had thought it would be nice to include a biography but I didn’t really have any idea of whose life really exemplified this trait that I wanted to use. In some other reading, I just happen to come across the quote from Charles Finney, “What would it take to change the world? A handful of men that feared nothing but God and hated nothing but sin.” We decided to read a biography on Finney to see why he felt this way.
CONTINUED IN PART 2 – We will cover the various aspects of the different Pillars and how to plan this Knowledge aspect.

** = Resources available through Me and My House ministries.


Wisdom’s 7 Pillars – Worldview

Greetings from Me and My House,

We are eagerly awaiting Baby’s arrival any day now at our house — with much left to be done before I feel “ready” to take a “baby break”. Nice thing about birth and new babies, they MAKE you stop and take time out from your busyness. With our daughter’s wedding less than one month away though, there is still plenty to be done here. I will definitely not get bored while waiting for Baby.

Are you looking at the subject of this post and saying, “Wait a minute. Worldview isn’t one of the 7 Pillars.” You are so correct! Actually, Worldview is the House itself. It is Wisdom, for Wisdom is seeing ALL the world and life (all learning) from God’s perspective; and what is a Biblical Worldview other than thinking God’s thoughts after Him.

Wisdom is what the whole ministry of Me and My House is about. Seeing from God’s perspective; thinking His thoughts – renewing our mind to have the mind of Christ; and living it, holy as He is holy; and of course, discipling our children in it. (See back post from March to read more of our thoughts on “the Principal Thing.”)

Anyhow, this post is titled by Wisdom’s 7 Pillars because it is following the format of the other posts with that title, in listing resources for learning and teaching a Biblical Worldview. It encompasses all 7 Pillars. Our emphasis is to raise our children to have a consistency in thinking Biblically in all areas of life, so we incorporate Biblical Worldview (the search for God’s Wisdom) into everything we study. Some of the resources we use for that are listed below.


If you read our “Off to a Home Ed Start” post in May, you know that the Principle Approach is a Discipleship/ Christian Worldview method of education. We utilize a lot of the resources written by “Principle Approach” authors/speakers, but more than that we agree with their method of “4R-ing” a topic (we adapt it a bit in L.E.D., which is also what PA is all about). But whether you are “4R-ing” or utilizing the 6 Processes of Learning in L.E.D., the principle is the same; you are researching, particularly from Scripture to find what God has to say and what his viewpoint is on the topic you are studying.

Some PA resources (in addition to a method similar to theirs) that we utilize in teaching a Biblical viewpoint (building a foundation – or is that house – of Wisdom) – and some authors and ministries that produce PA (and PA-type) resources that we recommend are:

Encyclopedia of Bible Truths (EBT) by Ruth Haycock – is a reference book for self-study (without having to do ALL the looking up yourself) on what Scripture says about many topics. It is categorized by “subject” and outlined by aspect giving Scriptures for each area – somewhat like a Nave’s Topical Bible for “school subjects”. We find this indispensable, and highly recommend it! Useful for parents in their planning, and students of all ages for research.

A Guide to American Christian Education for Home and School (ACE) by James Rose – is PA resource that I find invaluable in helping me see
the Biblical viewpoint for teaching our studies. It gives overviews and outlines for teaching many “subjects” from a Biblical viewpoint.

Christian Home Learning Guides (CHLG) # by Marshall Foster is also a great overview for presenting a Biblical Worldview throughout the “subjects” learned (PA). ** See note a very bottom of this post.

The first 2 are probably my biggest planning helps for teaching everything from a Biblical Worldview. EBT and CHLG are 2 of the biggest ongoing resources used by our Youth.

Rudiments of America’s Christian History and Government by Rosalie Slater & Verna Hall is the Foundation for our “Fear of the Lord” Foundational topical study when our children reach the Youth season, beginning formal study. (“The Fear of the Lord is the beginning of Wisdom.”) Through it, and the resources we add to it, we teach a Foundation for Creation and HisStory – God’s story of His earth and its inhabitants. (Our younger children do not personally go through these resources, but are taught the same principles as we study through this.)

Some of the study resources from F.A.C.E. (Foundation for American Christian Education) utilized in this course are:
Webster’s 1828 Dictionary – written back when the words of our language had meaning and significance and written from a Biblical viewpoint, meaning Noah Webster (the Father of the American Language – and certainly the Father of the American Dictionary, although “Webster’s” dictionaries have changed MUCH since Noah’s time) tells you what God meant when He used that word (obviously translated into English from the original language). *** see note at very bottom of this post.
Teaching and Learning American Christian History (T&L)
Christian History of the Constitution (CHOC)
Consider & Ponder (C&P)

A few other foundational resources (those specifically from a PA are
marked *) we use are:
*America’s Providential History by Steven McDowell & Mark Beliles – should be read by everyone – and given for graduation (or anytime) to any student in government schools.
*The American Covenant by Marshall Foster & Mary Elaine Swanson comes in at a VERY narrow second to the above. (Video available from MMH, but not book)
Unlocking the Mysteries of Creation by Dennis Petersen is another one
that EVERYONE needs to read.
Science & the Bible by Henry Morris as well as MANY other resources from ICR, and Master Books too. Genesis Flood and Genesis Record are 2 more in-depth books by Morris.
Adam and His Kin by Ruth Beechick, also her Genesis: Finding our

Other topic specific resources I’ll save to list under their appropriate “Pillar” in future (or have listed in past) posts.

2 resources on foundational, biblical core beliefs – knowing Biblical
answers and absolutes are:
Answers for Difficult Days # by David Quine – a short study of the Word answering 7 vital questions we all have. Highly recommended as a basic.

Beyond Belief by Josh McDowell – covers the absolutes of very basic
Christian beliefs – key convictions we must hold to as absolutes. It doesn’t cover many areas or in depth, but these are areas that our CHRISTIAN society has compromised on. I think it’s beyond sad that this book is needed for Christians. But statistically 91% of our Christian teens don’t believe in the moral absolutes of the Bible.

Others specifically for understanding the core beliefs of a Christian Worldview are:
Know What You Believe – and
Know Why You Believe – by Paul Little – 2 classics on what and why Christians believe what they do.
So What’s the Difference? – a classic on the beliefs of differing religions.
Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis (It’s a classic, but it’s been a long time since I’ve read it)
and books by Francis Schaffer.

Resources specifically for teaching Worldviews are:
How Should We Then Live? by Francis Schaeffer – is THE classic, for a background on the thoughts that have shaped our society, that should
not be missed be anyone.

Understanding the Times (UTT) by David Noebel (abridged – published
by ACSI or original/unabridged) – is an fairly in-depth coverage of Christian and other worldviews today covering 10 main areas of thinking – law, history, ethics, etc. We’ve used both the abridged and unabridged (depending on the youth), and generally incorporate the 10 areas into their appropriate “Pillar”, rather than studying this book straight through on its own.

Thinking Like a Christian also by David Noebel – is a 12 week course overview by video presenting only the Christian Worldview aspect out of UTT. We consider it a “basic” introductory resource, perhaps a good place to start. But, we believe it is important to not just teach our children what Christianity believes (although of course that is of utmost importance), but also, our Youth, what they are up against – or to recognize where their own thinking has been influenced by non-Biblical thinking. This would be a great resource to do an Introduction to Biblical Worldview course for home ed co-ops or Sunday School/Bible Study type classes.

The Universe Next Door by James Sire – is a “classic” on worldviews. It covers a chapter on what each of the major worldviews believes. It includes several other worldviews, whereas Noebel groups some of these groups together (into 4 basic worldviews, I think).

How Now Shall We Live? by Chuck Colson is a hefty (like Understanding the Times UNabridged book) that contains many “How to’s” in living out a Biblical Worldview.

Life’s Ultimate Questions by Ronald Nash is another biggie – THE Introduction to Philosophy text, if you want to begin to go deep.

Below are a few easy reads on Worldviews. The above read more like texts, these more like “real books”. Each in itself would not constitute a “course” in Worldviews, but are GREAT (and required) reading as a part of our Worldview training:

Tearing Down Strongholds and Defending the Truth by RC Sproul, Jr. – is a great easy read for showing how the non-Christian worldviews are not consistent with their own supposed beliefs – “self-contradictory and self-refuting” – good practical apologetics – defense of Christianity against other worldviews.

Straight Thinking in a Crooked World by Gary DeMar – is more in depth than the above. It’s basically on defending the Biblical Worldview by taking the others down to their pre-suppositions and showing they don’t have a leg to stand on – their inconsistancies. I personally preferred Tearing Down Strongholds

Persuasions: A Dream of Reason by Doug Wilson – is short little story with chapters about those with various worldviews, walking toward the abyss “meeting up with” and conversing with Evangelist. Very good – small, quick and easy read.

We also have several tapes by many different homeschool speakers that we utilize as a part of our Worldview training:
Thinking Biblically, Speaking Secularly (and MUCH more) by David
Barton is one favorite. (Too many to look up and list right now anyhow. – These are off the top of my head, so must be the best since I remember them – right?)

In addition, Jeff Myers has MANY great resources for equipping our kids to stand and to LEAD in our society from a Biblical Worldview. Check out . (Some available from MMH.)

Marshall Foster has some great tapes on training your children from a Biblical Worldview. Our favorite series is: World Changers, but I don’t know that it is available anymore. Battle for the 21st Century – is on building a family dynasty for the glory of God. It is available. Check out the Mayflower Institute at

Also, you may want to read: Homeschooling from a Biblical Worldview by Israel Wayne for ideas in incorporating a Biblical Worldview into your teaching at home.

Also don’t forget the PEERS test – to evaluate your/your student’s worldview. It’s from the Nehemiah Institute

Other Biblical Worldview websites you may want to check out are: – Israel Wayne – includes much info and also many links to other Worldview ministries. – Worldview Academy – Foundation for American Christian Education – James Rose – American Christian History Institute – David Barton – Wall Builders – Gary DeMar – American Vision – Institute for Creation Research – Kent Hovind – Creation Science Evangelism


SUMMARY – Our top picks – don’t miss resources:
Encyclopedia of Bible Truths
Guide to American Christian Education
Understanding the Times
How Should We Then Live?
Answers for Difficult Days (and possibly Beyond Belief – they’ve got to
know these are ABSOLUTES for ALL).
Tearing Down Strongholds
America’s Providential History
Rudiments …

and a STRONG foundation in Genesis and Creationism.
Then incorporate whatever else is most applicable to YOUR family. (American Covenant and Know What/Why You Believe are also on our
“required” list.)

Whew! Not at the end of our resources, but that’s the cream of the

Resources followed by a # are not available through Me and My House ministries. Please check the author’s websites. For all others just enter the name into the search box on our Resources & Recommendations pages:

Search by any of the authors’ names, on our webpage listed above, to see all available by them.

Get future posts on this blog by email:


Wisdom’s 7 Pillars Resources – Bible

We rely heavily upon the Bible for our “curriculum”. But obviously it

isn’t the only book we study. We utilize 4 Real Resources, rather than
textbooks, as our “core curriculum” – Real Books, Real People, Real Places, and Real Experiences. As a part of this Lifestyle we go to places and do things that are relative to “Real Life” – not contrived (which doesn’t always mean, not planned). We talk to “real people”, people who have lived life – gone places, experienced things that are interesting to listen to. And we read real books, exciting stories about the lives of the people that have experienced life, that have learned and grown. Exciting books that allow us to experience in our minds what we aren’t able to experience with our bodies. In addition to stories, we read factual books that present information in an interesting, rememberable way – as much as possible, books that relate that information to God and His Word, and relationally to our lives. I plan to (eventually) send a post of Resources for each of the 7 Pillars of Learning. (perhaps posts for each Pillar.) In this post I’ll start with Resources that specifically relate to our study of God’s Word (that all other studies hinge upon) and our growth in Him.

The Bible of course is our source that all other resources are held up to and compared with. We prefer to stick with KJV or New King James Version for their accuracy. We buy our little ones a NKJV Giant Print Bible as soon as they begin to read. The large print is easier on their eyes, and the NKJV is very understandable, yet accurate – without being a paraphrase, or “dumbed down” version. When our children reach their “formal study” years (around puberty), we buy them a NKJV Spirit-Filled Life Study Bible. This keeps us all reading the same version aloud, for easy follow along, and all memorizing in the same translation. If you prefer the purity and beauty of the original KJV, it is also available in a Giant Print and we recommend the Full Life Study Bible (good study notes), or the Rainbow Study Bible (color coded by theme), or the Hebrew Greek Key Study Bible (includes the original Hebrew/Greek words and their meanings – like having Strong’s concordance in your Bible.) If using KJV, you’ll probably want various family members to have the different recommendations here for optimal study use. The Thompson Chain Reference Bible is also a good study Bible available in KJV and NKJV. For our little ones, babies, toddlers, and prereaders we buy a Baby’s/Toddler’s Bible that they carry around with them as soon as they are able, developing a love for God’s Word at a very early age.

For learning about the Bible, we use several resources. One area we
study is Bible Survey, for familiarity with the whole of God’s Word. Probably my favorite resource for adults and teens is Chuck Missler’s “Learn the Bible in 24 Hours” – a CD-ROM that takes you through a quick (24 Hour) overview of the Bible. It is divided into 1 hour sections, and includes a visual (PowerPoint) presentation along with the audio teaching. Another resource for Bible Survey is “What the Bible is All About” by Henrietta Mears. It is a classic that gives an overview of each book and a reading plan for reading the highlights of each book. It is divided into 52 lessons, and has daily readings for each chapter. There is also “What the Bible is All About for Young Explorers” for younger children. These can be used for Family Study of this topic by presenting from the “…Young Explorers” version then having the older youth also read the regular version and reading plan.

If you have only pre-readers, or desire to use a Bible Storybook, whether for family devotions or your Bible Survey with young children, two of our favorite story Bibles are “The Child’s Story Bible” by Catherine Vos (a classic) or the “Illustrated Children’s Bible”. or you may want to use “Bible Studies to Read” and “Bible Stories to Color” by **Rod and Staff. Each has simple Bible Stories going through the highlights of the entire Bible. Your children can draw or color pages as you read, or narrate or act out the story – either in person or with felt cut outs.

In another post I will continue covering recommended resources for
Bible Doctrine, Bible Principles for Life, Bible References, Bible Study and Memory, Devotional Life and more; as well as documenting our Biblical Studies through Journaling.

**Rod and Staff books not available through Me and My House.


Homeschool Stewardship

Greetings from Me and My House,

It’s that time of year when many home educators begin thinking of resources for “next year” – unless you, like us, continually plan and buy all year round. Either way, this is something to think about when buying and selling.

Homeschool Stewardship

‘Tis the season for homeschool shopping. Everyone’s planning what to use next year. Curriculum fairs and Conventions fill the calendar. Catalogs fill the mailbox. And EBay, TUAC, and Veg-Source are ablaze with Homeschool resources changing hands. As you set out to buy and sell this spring and summer I want to challenge you to do it with a steward’s heart.

Many home educator’s have one thing in mind when they begin looking for resources – CHEAP! Most even have a good excuse for doing so. Most homeschoolers have a limited single income, and a larger than average family, and they have learned that those funds have to really stretch. But I want to challenge your thinking – as God has not called us to be cheap, but to be good stewards; and they are not the same thing.

Stewardship is glorifying God with your money and possessions. It is being wise in our purchases. It is not just getting the “cheapest price” (or selling at the highest dollar we can get) while allowing our integrity to wane.

This point touched my heart once again recently, at a homeschool parent’s meeting, as one mom shared (and my grown daughter reaffirmed) how online “Christian ” homeschool sellers “mask” (usually not out-and-out lie about) the quality or “important information” (such as version) of a book/resource – all to “sucker” another person into “making up” their own loss from a purchasing mistake, or to get their own costs back out of something they got good use out of – and the resource shows it.

This is nothing unusual. Christian homeschoolers, unfortunately, have a horrible reputation of being cheap to the point of being unscrupulous, never wanting to pay “their due” for the things they use and buy, only wanting the cheapest, preferably free, things they can fanangle – a horribly sad but sometimes true commentary, and even more horrific witness. A stereotype we must try to overcome by our own integrity.

I’m sure all our hearts go out to the mom who was cheated in making that purchase. We think it’s horrible that a Christian homeschooler would hide the truth just to make a buck. Hopefully, we also will think twice in advertising our own things, as to whether we’ve been fair and thorough enough in our descriptions. None of us want the reputation of being a “cheat”.

But especially, in this time of conventions and such, we need to look at another side of this same problem. That is, as a buyer. Do we try to cheat a seller out of their “due wages”? Elijah Company has long ran an article in their catalog as to why they don’t discount. It is well worth your reading. [Below is an update from Elijah Company who has, since the original publication of this article, closed down their catalog sales, due to the very problem I discuss here.] Now, I’m not saying you should never buy anything at discount again, rather that this is a perspective we all need to take a look at and some have probably have never thought of.

Perhaps the biggest abuse of this is from people who take the “free” information given by one seller and then go and make their purchase from another seller, because “it’s cheaper through them.” Never giving a second thought to the fact that they are robbing the “workman of his due wages”. Many vendors, usually the smaller ones, offer much “free” advise, consultation, and workshops as a “ministry”. (In fact , most of the time they have to pay to give a workshop – as well as for printing handout sheets, etc.) Most care deeply and passionately about the products they sell, only sell ones they have personally used and can give a high recommendation of, and will talk to you about your personal situation. The cost of this service is many times just thought of as included in the price of the resources they sell, and they usually don’t discount. They aren’t usually big enough to be able to offer discounts, even if they wanted to, and the time they invest into each sell is far more than they are being compensated for through the profits of the sale.

The big discount companies rarely do workshops, give free consultations or advise. The salesperson may be just that, an order taker, paid to take your order who may know nothing about any of the products being sold, let alone recommendations for your particular situation. Yet, it happens over and over. A small vendor will take the time (and perhaps pay out of their own pocket) to do a workshop, take a phone call, or answer an email, giving the buyer information, helping them to make their decision. Then the buyer says, (by their actions if not their words), “Thank you very much for all your help. Now I’ll take my business dollars elsewhere – to where they discount or have on sale.” – robbing the vendor of the wages they have earned.

They may feel they have been good stewards. They have gotten “free” advise, and a bargain price as well. But in reality they have acted without integrity, which is not good stewardship at all, as it does not glorify God, and has harmed their Christian witness. [Here’s the updated info from Elijah Company.

” • Elijah Company’s catalog has always been one of the most respected—and requested—resources available to home schoolers. People say, “Everyone must have the Elijah Company catalog, especially new home schoolers!” For years, many thousands of home schoolers have turned to Elijah Company for their home schooling needs. However, in the past couple of years, although everyone wanted an Elijah Company catalog, many would use it to purchase from home school discounters. Eventually, we could not compete with these companies and we have had to close our store. Yet, the Resource Guide is still an invaluable resource for anyone wanting to know what long-time home schoolers consider valuable and useful.

• We are happy to offer you our 22 years of homeschooling experience and you may buy our new Resource Guide for only $5.95. (The $5.95 covers printing and shipping inside the 48 contiguous States).

Even though we are no longer offering home schooling materials, Elijah Company hopes to continue to help parents raise their own children at home for many years to come. You’ll love our new Resource Guide.”]

Perhaps this has shown you a side of the coin you’ve never considered was there before. Hopefully, you are one that makes your purchases (and sells) with more than the bottom line monetarily, as your primary factor. The bottom line is always to bless – as a buyer to bless those who bless you (purchase from those who provide you with the info, especially personal info), as a seller to bless others as you have been blessed – and if you have made a mistake or were ripped off yourself, to humbly accept the lesson learned, and still to bless.

As a seller of your used materials, this means to fairly represent and fairly price your items (this doesn’t mean you have to give them away or underprice them – just be fair). As a buyer this means to purchase from those who give you personal information.

So, can you never utilize the bargains and discounts? Not at all. When you don’t need any further info about a resource than the discount catalog or display gives – go for it. When you do need more, and you get that info from another source, buy from that source – paying the workman their due wages, even if it isn’t the cheapest price you can find.

One last thing about Homeschool Stewardship. Many times people just send for or take anything “free”. Please realize that “free” catalogs aren’t really “free”, they cost the vendor – and they aren’t cheap. They are their advertising expense. If you plan to purchase from a vendor, by all means take their catalog. Even if you think you MIGHT purchase from them, they are glad to invest in you. If you know you’ll never buy from the vendor, please don’t take (or send for) their catalog – especially just because they give better descriptions and pictures than the cheaper suppliers you plan to buy from. Suppliers offer their catalogs (many times for free) to get them into as many hands as possible, but it is for the purpose of sales. If you won’t buy, don’t take and then throw in the trash their hard spent money.

So, pour over those catalogs you get and internet sites. Find the materials you’re interested in. Then ask the seller that you will buy from any further questions you have. And spend those hard earned, sometimes hard to take from other budget needs, dollars in a wise way by being both fair and a good steward.

At Jesus’ feet,

[Update on us: We are currently an Affiliate of CBD, a discounter. We still give much free councel, but also can not afford to compete with the big discounters, to earn our “return”. So we just ask that if you are benefitted by the ministry of Me and My House that you would place your orders through our website, to CBD to get their great discounts, and we will get a small return from them.]

[Another related issue is copyright. See this site.]

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The Resource Bug is Biting – Part 3

1. If you’ve held off your purchases and not bought at the convention, PRAY (and research more if needed) until you feel sure, then ORDER. If you were unable to see something at the convention, but you still feel it may be best, order it. Don’t choose what you feel is going to be second best just because you haven’t seen what you really wanted to try. Most companies have return policies, on curriculum type things anyhow, and it is better to look and pay a return fee if it isn’t going to work, than to keep trying other things, and always wondering if this other would have been better.

2. Realize that mistakes WILL be made! It is part of learning and growing – and learning and growing involve COSTS. Don’t throw out an *apparent* mistake at the first sign of difficulty. Pray about how (if) it can be adapted to fit your goals/methods, or if it is indeed what God wants but is going to require you to STRETCH and GROW. Give it some time, and really try to utilize it, especially if it fits into your “guidelines”.

3. If you truly make a mistake, repent, spend more time – prayer and research – finding the replacement. Sell the old on a curriclum swap e-list or local used book fair. Chalk it up to experience. But be careful not to get in the rut of always jumping from one thing to another, and never truly implementing ANYTHING, always jumping to the newer, better resource, in looking for THE answer. If this is happening, go back to the beginning and spend more time Renewing Your Mind and getting God’s direction.

4. Also realize that as you grow, the *PERFECT RESOURCE* that is perfect this year, may not be *PERFECT* NEXT YEAR or 5 years from now. You will be growing and continually renewing and adapting. Start where you’re at and grow from there. Sell, give or throw away, whatever no longer fits into your philosophy and goals and move on. But try to purchase things you won’t “outgrow”, like the Real Resources/ Living Books things the guidelines below suggest.

As I said above, Renewing our Mind to God’s purposes and plans for our family’s education is the primary factor in determining what resources will work for us. Having a well developed personal Philosophy of Education – which is just another way of saying, knowing how God wants you to teach your children – will keep you from making mistakes more than anything else. We have developed a set of guidelines that help us stay within our philosophy. There are so many tempting things out there that sound SOOOOO GOOD, we can easily get distracted and buy things that don’t “fit” our family.

We try to follow each of these resource qualifications for every learning resource purchase, although #3 and #4 don’t always apply, #1, 2, and 5 are musts! We use almost all Real Resources – Living Books (great literature) as well as Skills Resources for teaching “how to” (whether that be math, sewing, phonics, cooking, writing, car repair, etc.) Only resources that fit these guidelines are worth spending our hard earned, many times hard-to-come-by, dollars on. Other things – such as an occasional “fluff” or extra resource/book “just for fun” must come out of extra money (a rare thing) or from the library. I really don’t like spending money on something that isn’t worth keeping in our own family library. They aren’t worth the money or space they take up, let alone the time wasted on them. We do all really need to be watchful that we Redeem that Time that the Lord has given us, and not waste it on vanity.

Here’s the qualifications I think through when deciding what resources to buy. They are a part (the *5th* principle) of the “8 Principles of L.E.D.” (which you can receive on tape from us). They should be applicable for anyone following a Lifestyle Education through Discipleship.
5 Qualifications for L.E.D. Resources:

1. Relational & Relative – (individualized vs. canned) It must be something that speaks into OUR lives, not just the “latest, greatest everyone is raving about it” resource. Does it further the goals God has given us for OUR family’s education? (not just what someone else says we should be learning.) Is it based on premises we believe in? (Biblical worldview.) Does it follow the way WE believe teaching and learning are best accomplished? (not textbooks/
workbooks.) Does it promote adaptation to individual circumstances? (or is it written to be used in a lock-step way – daily, scripted lessons, etc.?) Does it fit OUR LIFESTYLE?

2. Multi-level – Is it something that can be used by many different ages? (or is it “grade leveled”?) Most Living Books fit into this. A timeless, living book can be enjoyed by EVERYONE in the family, but even Skills Resources should cover all aspects of the topic, not just 1st grade, 2nd grade. We don’t use grade levels in our family’s education and don’t like resources that are written as such. Some resources may contain only “Introductory” level information, etc. but this isn’t the same as “grade level” resources.

3. Multi-disciplinary – Is it something that crosses the “subject” lines? (or does it only cover one “subject”?) Many Real Resources are TOPICAL, they only cover one topic, but that doesn’t mean they only cover one “school SUBJECT”. Obviously all “Living Books” fit into this category. Even resources like dictionaries and such will be used in all of learning. Most non-textbook resources don’t have to be pegged into a “subject” hole. But, just as obvious, things like a Math book will only cover Math.

4. Multi-sensory – Does it teach through more than one sense? If it’s a Skill-learning Resource or teaching guide, does it give ideas for presenting material in more than one way, to reach learners of various types?

5. Re-usable – Will it be able to be re-used by others, as well as the original student? (or will it be consumed and
thrown away when done with?) Real resources are ones that will be used over and over and are worth saving and using again. Even better yet, they will promote the student producing something worth saving. Recently, I heard a quote, from ages gone by, that any book worth reading once is worth reading 3 times. And, that we need to read them (or listen, if it’s a tape – in these modern times) at least 3 times before we really “get” it. I really believe it. I don’t think a resource is a good one, if it’s something I’m going to turn around and get rid of as soon as we’ve “gone
through it”. It should be worth saving for future reading and reference.