Okay, so you knew that the holiday gift list was not too far away, but because we are talking about homeschooled children, it's important to consider the gifts that will allow homeschooled children to get as much as possible, in terms of education and development, from the gifts.
Accordingly, here is a list of the coolest educational gifts for the 2008 holiday season. They're guaranteed to put a smile on a child's face, and a spike in their test scores.
o Planet Earth DVD Set - The best selling DVD collection of all-time, this is an awesome supplement to any science curriculum. Whether a parent is looking for a way to introduce biological concepts such as evolution, biomes, and biodiversity, or simply looking to add to an existing curriculum, this DVD set is definitely a must-have.
o Amazon Kindle - Imagine having all of your favorite books available in one place, and at the touch of a button. This is exactly what you get with the Amazon Kindle. Its wireless capabilities make it possible to download just about any title that Amazon carries.
o Spark Talking Globe - A fun way to encourage young children to learn about other cultures and customs, this talking globe is touch-sensitive, full of activities, and contains more than 20 minutes of sounds and entertainment.
o Discover Digital Video Camera - What is life without a digital camera to capture all of its important events? This digital camera is designed to be used by students, and comes with silly special effects features, an LCD preview screen, the ability to be played back on a television, and space for more than 80 minutes of recording time.
o Leapster Frog Learning Center - One of the hottest electronic toys on the market today, this Leapster product more than lives up to the quality and reputation of one of the industry's most education-friendly companies. Portable and full of fun and exciting learning games, this Leapster comes complete with two built0in games and can be expanded to play a wide variety of other games.
o Discovery Paper Recycling Center - An excellent way to teach kids about the environment, this popular toy comes with everything a parent needs to help a child learn to "go green". This hands-on activity is sure to spark tremendous interest in the environment.
o Hydrogen Fuel Rocket - Is there anything better than getting something that flies for Christmas? This rocket, which runs on nothing more than tap water, can soar upwards of 200 feet in the air, and is guaranteed to generate more than a few oohs and aahs when it launches. Easy to assemble and easy launch, this rocket has enough fuel for hundreds of fun-filled flights. An awesome way to introduce children to the concepts of physics, in particular Newton and his three very famous laws, not to mention a great way to learn about alternative fuels. Definitely a must-have for any parent teaching a child about science.
Do we provide education too easily here? I have just returned from another visit to Kenya and the behaviour in the classrooms was impeccable. How we could learn much from our African colleagues.
One Teacher began well. He had wisdom, fame, wealth and knowledge. Surely he would be a most satisfied and secure man.
He had been highly successful in the commercial world. His writings became inspirational. People came from all over the world to hear him lecture.
He built that magnificent Temple in Jerusalem and led the nation in prayer.
It was as if King Solomon could do no wrong, but he faced a crisis.
He reached a day when he regarded everything as meaningless, pointless and empty.
What had happened?
Solomon was negatively influenced by those around him. He turned from Almighty God to worshipping false gods, which are not gods at all.
He began to do evil and no longer followed the God of his fathers.
Compromise corrupted Solomon. Bad influences led him into idolatry.
Solomon was well educated, but education is not everything. Education is not the key.
What was he living for? What was the purpose in all he had been doing? Who am I and what am I doing?
He was experiencing what is called an identity crisis.
The search for satisfaction is never easy, and without God it is impossible.
Jesus Christ said, "Without me, you can do nothing." That is strong, but it is true. Apart from Christ we do nothing spiritually fruitful and lasting.
Peter knew that, and he certainly made his life count. Read the account in the book of Acts or in his two letters.
It is right to study English, Maths and Science, but they are not much use without trust, integrity, purity, generosity and diligence.
Sandy Shaw is Pastor of Nairn Christian Fellowship, Chaplain at Inverness Prison, and Nairn Academy, and serves on The Children's Panel in Scotland, and has travelled extensively over these past years teaching, speaking, in America, Canada, South Africa, Australia, making 12 visits to Israel conducting Tours and Pilgrimages, and most recently in Uganda and Kenya, ministering at Pastors and Leaders Seminars, in the poor areas surrounding Kampala, Nairobi, Mombasa and Kisumu.
He broadcasts regularly on WSHO radio out of New Orleans, and writes a weekly commentaryentitled "Word from Scotland" on various biblical themes, as well as a weekly newspaper column.
His M.A. and B.D. degrees are from The University of Edinburgh, and he continues to run and exercise regularly to maintain a level of physical fitness.
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