High School Chapel

My Passion

Teaching is my passion.  I love it.  I can't imagine not teaching or learning something new each day.  I love to research, I love to write, I love my students, and I loved my classroom and "home" school Timothy Christian School in Piscataway.  I try to make myself available at least once a year, if not more times to speak in chapel to the students.

Most of whom I have had as third or fourth graders or some I have taught when I was subbing when Julia was a year old.  This week I will be speaking with the high schoolers.  The seniors are near and dear to my heart because I had many of them in third AND fourth grade because I looped grades that year and had pretty much the same class the following year.  

My topic this week is going to be on Choosing Godly Friends: Friend or Fool.

This topic took me awhile to put together.  At first I wanted to focus on Honor...that word kept coming to me, but I just couldn't develop it into a good enough "talk" for the teens.  I felt this friendship topic would hit home a lot better because we can all relate to having friends, and knowing godly people and knowing fools.  

I love the verse in 1 Corinthians that says: "Bad company corrupts good morals."  Choosing godly friends and being a godly friend is so important because who we associate with and how we act will affect our reputation and can truly affect our character.  I'm going to stress to the teens tomorrow through many different media examples that choosing to hang around "fools" will get you in a lot of trouble and can have lasting consequences.  

photography by Erin Nicastro Photography

This topic is so important to me because John and I have been praying for Julia, Mark, and Micah's friends since before they were born!  We know the importance and impact friends can have on a child's life.  I want my kids to be salt and light to the world, but at the same time I want them to have a close inner circle of friends who are godly, loyal, trustworthy, honest, and loving.  I want them to have friends who build them up verbally and encourage them to be all they can be (because even if parents do this at home, which we do, sometimes children listen to their peers even more than their parents).  Becoming a mom has taught me that it is my job to pray for my children and to help surround them with godly people to choose from.

Proverbs 12:26 A righteous man is cautious in friendship, but the way of the wicked leads them astray.
John even enrolled our children in Chinese school not only for the academic purpose of teaching them a 2nd language, but he felt it was so important to teach them the value of loving other cultures, investing in surrounding our kids around children whose parents value discipline, education and academics as much as we do.  

Proverbs 13: 20 Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm.
I am really excited to go into the scripture and explain what a fool is to the teens.  I don't think we talk about wise/vs fool very often, and I think it is SO important to choose WISE friends.  Fools may be cunning, and crafty, and popular and beautiful, they may be attractive and witty and charming, but a fool will lead you to your death, where a wise friend will steer you on the right path.

Foolish Friends

Proverbs 18:2 A fool does not delight in understanding but only in revealing his own mind. (close-minded)

Proverbs 15:5 A fool rejects his father's discipline, but he who regards reproof is sensible. (disobedient)

Proverbs 26:11 Like a dog that returns to his vomit is a fool who repeats his folly. (repeats same sin)

Ecclesiastes 5: 3 For the dream comes through much effort and the voice of a fool through many words. (always running their mouth)

Proverbs 10: 8 The wise of heart will receive commands, but a babbling fool will be ruined. (always running their mouth)

Proverbs 20: 3 Keeping away from strife is an honor for a man, but any fool will quarrel.  (loves to quarrel)

Proverbs 29: 11 A fool always loses his temper, but a wise man holds it back.  (loses his temper)

Proverbs 14: 16 A wise man is cautious and turns away from evil, but a fool is arrogant and careless. (arrogant and careless)

Wise Friends

Proverbs 29: 3 Whoever loves wisdom makes his father rejoice, but a companion of harlots wastes his wealth.   (loves God's word)

Proverbs 17:9 He who covers over an offense promotes love, but whoever repeats the matter separates close friends.    (forgiving person)

Proverbs 14: 16 (see above) cautious and turns away from evil

Proverbs 20:3 (see above) keeps away from strife

Proverbs 10:8 (see above) teachable spirit, receives commands

Ecclesiastes 5: 3 (see above) works hard at achieving their dreams

Proverbs 18:2 (see above) delights in understanding

Prov. 15: 5 (see above) regards reproof (correction)

Jesus-The Ultimate Friend...how do we become godly friends to others

Prov. 17: 17 A friend loves at all times...

John 15: 13 Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends

John 15: 14 You are my friends if you do what I command

John 15: 15 I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master's business.  Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.

2 Peter 3: 14 So then, dear friends, since you are looking  forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him

Colossians 3: 12-14 Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourself with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.  Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another.  Forgive as the Lord forgave you.  And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.

I can't wait to share with the high-schoolers tomorrow!  Please pray for me as I speak from God's word that it will soften their hearts and they will be receptive to hearing me.

****Tomorrow I will post the Wednesday Book Club Chapter 6!


Success in Spelling: Homeschool Front

On the Home School Front

Wrapping Things Up

As any good teacher would, I like to look back over the year and see what worked well and what didn't with my current students.  This year, Julia who technically is only in Kindergarten by age, will complete First Grade curriculum.  I was very excited to teach her Spelling because A. I am a great speller. B. I know it is a skill she will need as she gets older. C. I knew it would help her vocabulary to grow.  D. I was excited to watch her reading skills increase. E. Did I mention I am a good speller?

The first couple of lists went great!  She was getting 100's like nobody's business.  But as the lists grew longer and the words got bigger she really started to struggle, and the first time she didn't get a 100 on her test, she cried.  It broke my heart to see how hard she was on herself.  It reminded me of me.

So for a few weeks I stopped testing her on Fridays.  I would just do a quick oral test to get an idea if she basically could master the list.  It took the pressure off and she wasn't so concerned about seeing that 100 on top of her paper.  My thing as a teacher is I want to stretch my students but I don't want to break them!  I didn't want her to get discouraged so I felt my new plan was working.

Then I started focusing even more on her reading skills.  I found that once she really mastered the beauty and smoothness of phonetics and special sounds and reading really really well, so much so that she was animated when she read, I saw that her love of writing and care about spelling really grew.  She wanted to write.  She wanted to spell things correctly.  It actually got annoying to some degree because this kid wanted me to spell while I was in the shower, driving in the car, making dinner.  It really became her passion.  And do you think it stopped her when I said, "You have to wait, or sound it out?"  Not.  At.  All.  I love how first graders spell things phonetically and it is completely wrong but totally understandable.

She wrote my sister in law a "Congradulashin" card on her twins and said, "I know you will be a grate mom."

Just recently the past few weeks we went back to the traditional written testing towards the end of the week for a grade to see if she mastered the list and Julia has been getting only 1 wrong or a 100.  I've been so proud of her.  She has done so well.  I wanted to share our success tips in spelling.

Success in Spelling

1. Practice at least once a day orally.  Say the word, spell the word, say the word.  Have your child say their words to their pet.  Have them say it to a sibling.  Have them say it to Daddy when he gets home.  Have them say it in a mirror (Julia loves the mirror practice!)

2. Practice every other day on paper.  You can be creative and write sentences, do ABC order, do cursive handwriting, use chocolate pudding or colored markers.  Make it fun! But practice!

3. Pre-test on Wednesday orally and written and study from the mistakes.  This is what really helped Julia to do well by Thursday/Friday depending on our test schedule because she could zero in on the hard words.

4. On Tuesday write each word on index cards and carry them everywhere, to the store, in the car, to the park, and have them "practice" by themselves.  Visual learners need to see the words more often!  This also teaches your child how to study on their own at a young age.

5. Write sentences OR orally make up a story using all or some of the spelling words to discuss meaning of the words.  Julia and I loved making up silly sentences or stories.  And she also loved illustrating them!

Mommy is so proud of you Julia.  I loved learning and studying with you!


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