Week: September 9th - 13th
This week, Eric addresses the topics of Constitution Day, students’ religious liberties, and building relationships.
9/9/19: Missionary or Tourist?
When it comes your children’s schools, are you a tourist or a missionary?
Tourists visit a place thinking about what they get out of it. They invest little time in getting to know the people and care little about what they might contribute to the culture. On the other hand, missionaries understand the importance of building relationships to help others understand the love of Jesus. They invest time and energy to understand the needs of the people. If your children are in public schools, you could say they are in a culture with its own customs and beliefs. So, I’ll ask you again, are you a missionary or just a tourist?
Pray every day for your children’s teachers and look for opportunities to build relationships, understand their needs, and bless them with the love of Jesus.
9/10/19: Promoting Conversation
Do you talk at or with your children?
Conversations with your children are important for their emotional well-being, for learning to interact socially, and to develop thinking skills. There is a difference between conversations and directives. It’s the difference between talking with someone and talking at them. “Don’t leave your bike in the driveways,” is a directive and, of course, they are important. Conversations, on the other hand, have give and take. Both parties contribute and each party has something to learn. Conversations with your children are like a tennis game. Each side has to return the ball in order for the game to be any fun.
In today’s world, it seems harder to pull ourselves away from our smartphones, video games, and TVs. But, when conversations get started children grow emotionally, intellectually, and spiritually. Make a point of asking your child an open-ended question today.
9/11/19: School Values
Do you know what values are being taught in your children’s schools? Schools recognize that students are in great need of moral and emotional help. Many schools have some form of character education. Schools attempt to stop students from bullying and promote kindness. While this is good, too often schools focus just on what I call functions of character. That is, what students are supposed to do. How they are supposed to function. Schools need to also focus on foundations of character – why certain behaviors and good or bad. That often relates to students’ religious beliefs. When schools affirm students’ religious beliefs, they will see an improvement in students’ character and conduct.
Schools often talk about teaching the whole child – their emotional, social, and health needs as well as their learning. But too often the students’ spiritual needs are neglected. That must change.
9/12/19: Constitution Day is Coming
Constitution Day is next week. Here’s an idea you can teach your children.
Constitution Day is Tuesday, September 17th. A practical way to help your children (and their teachers) recognize the day is to have them understand religious freedom as guaranteed in the First Amendment. It states: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”
When it comes to public school students, that means they have the right to talk about their faith at school, to write about their faith in homework, and to pray with their classmates. As a civics lesson, teachers should explain to students the rights they have at school to express their faith while in class. Parents need to advocate for this in their schools.
9/13/19: Students’ Religious Liberties
Constitution Day is next week.
Tuesday, September 17th is Constitution Day. Public schools need to include in their civics lessons, the five religious freedoms students have in school.
First, students can pray, read their Bibles, and talk about their faith in class. Second, students can organize religious clubs, and announce their meetings just like any other club. Third, students can express their faith in their class work and homework. Fourth, student can express their faith at a school event such as talent show. And fifth, students can express their faith at a graduation ceremony.
As a civics lesson, teachers should explain these rights to students and Constitution Day is a great time to do it. Here’s an idea, how about announcing it over the school intercom on September 17?