Summer's over and a new school year has begun. All of Columbia is back on a school schedule which requires families to work together to get to school and get to work. Students are feeling the emotions of getting back on track at school. Some are feeling excited; others are struggling with anxiety. After a long summer, many students are ready to get back to a schedule and begin growing, learning new things and preparing for what's next in life.
At Heritage, we have set our spiritual theme for the year as GRIT. Our theme verse is Galatians 6:9, "Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up." Through out the year, we will be looking for ways to integrate true grit into the hearts and minds of our students. Now, GRIT is not a biblical word, but there are many words in the Bible which could be mistaken for GRIT. Words like "perseverance", "long-suffering", or faith, hope, and love.
Hebrews chapter 11, for instance, is dedicated to heroes of faith who kept believing and didn't give up even when they faced great adversity in life. The Old Testament is full of such heroes fo faith. Abraham, Joseph, and Ruth are three such heroes.
Abraham believed the promise of God even though he and Sarah were childless (Genesis 15:6). Jospeh never gave up hope in the dreams which God had given even though he faced adversity after adversity. In the end, he still cringed to God's goodness (Genesis 50:20). Ruth became the hero of Elimelech and Naomi's life story with loyalty and love. Even though she was a Moabite woman, God worked through her loyalty and love to redeem a family and provide a redeemer for the whole world (Ruth 4:22). These heroes have been given to us in scripture to serve as examples for us today.
This school year, we are striving to help our students become successful in life by instilling in them spiritual qualities such as faith, hope, and love. Christian author John Ortberg has said of grit, "Over time, grit is what separates fruitful lives from aimlessness."
Let's work together to encourage our students to choose faith, hope, and love. Together, we can grow GRIT in our lives and the lives of our students as well.
Winter is almost over and spring time is just around the corner. Spring time reminds us that God is a creator who loves to creatively renew, renovate, regenerate, and redeem his creation. Interestingly, the Bible begins with words about God's work in creation (e.g. "In the beginning God created", Genesis 1:1) and ends with words about a new creation in Revelation 21.
What we sometimes miss is the connection that we share with God's creative power. Just as God is a creator, so too do we possess the ability to create, procreate, and recreate--it's a part of the image of God which we all share (Genesis 1:27).
Recently, I have been re-reading a book by Wayne Grudem entitled, Business for the the Glory of God. Grudem promotes the idea that all areas of life including business can be conducted for the glory of God. In other words, it is not just pastors, youth pastors, and missionaries who share in a divine call to give God glory with their life--we all share this call!
Doctors, lawyers, teachers, business women, artists, craftsmen, and coaches are all called to creatively utilize God-given gifts to reflect God's glory and give God glory with their life.
This has profound meaning for our daily lives . . . it means that creativity, innovation, imagination, and productivity glorify God. How will use your gifts and talent? What work will will you produce to reflect God's glory and give God glory?
At Heritage, we want each student to understand their unique value and opportunities to reflect God's glory in their studies and future careers. Perhaps a Heritage student will innovate a new manufacturing process or invent a medical device to save lives. To God be the glory in all things!
"Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving." ~ Colossians 3:23-24
It's that time of year again! During the first and second weeks of April (April 3rd & 5th for Elementary and April 10th & 12th for Secondary), all Heritage students participate in Stanford Achievement Testing provided by BJU. Homeschooling families are also invited to participate. You can gather more information by selecting the Stanford Achievement Testing tab on the web page.
The Stanford Achievement Test ("Stanford 10" or SAT-10) is a nationally recognized standardized test that students have the opportunity to take at Heritage Academy. The Stanford test covers a wide variety of academics in each grade level such as reading comprehension, spelling, vocabulary, mathematics procedures and problem solving as well as science, social science and listening skills.
Test taking is a skill that students can improve on with practice. Tests are scored by an official service and sent back to the parents. The results show where the student compares with the typical student in the same grade across the nation, as well as whether they are above or below average in each subject.
The Importance of Assessment
Assessment is an important tool in the educational process for students of all ages. Studies show that regular assessment can help students test better and learn better (See The Impact of Formative Assessment and Learning Intentions on Student Achievement, Hanover Research [August 2014]). While academic assessments do not measure intelligence, they do provide helpful feedback for students, parents, and teachers related to specific skills and subject matter.
So encourage your student to relax and then grow to enjoy the experience of taking a test.
If I asked, "What is the most important thing you can do with your child(ren)?" How would you answer? You might say, "Go to church together!" or "Take my kids on a family vacation." Indeed, there are many important activities which enrich children's lives and help them grow into productive citizens. Amazingly, the most important thing is actually quite simple--eat together.
Anne Fishel, a co-founder of The Family Dinner Project, and professor at Harvard Medical School, suggests that studies show that eating dinner together is the most important thing you can do with your child (See her Washington Post article). While that might seem like an oversimplification, the message is clear -- spending time together without distractions creates memories and allows children to dialog with parents about important everyday issues.
If you want to build positive memories and healthy kids, start up the BBQ and spend some time together eating dinner!