Introducing: Laura Barnes, Brain Trainer

1273403_10201180328804017_1852832432_oLaura Barnes graduated from high school from Moberly, Mo. in 1988.  She has been married for 25 years and has three children.  Laura has homeschooled her children and a niece for the past 20 years. She has taught yearbook in the Heartland Homeschool co-op last year, but also taught drama and P.E. in another homeschool co-op several years ago.
Laura is currently homeschooling her last child, who will graduate in 2016.  With her last child she has had many struggles over the years teaching him.  Last year he was tested and it was discovered that he had problems with dominance in his eyes and ears.  Since he has been working with a Brain Trainer he has made many improvements.  It is through watching her son’s  growth in education and in social settings that she was greatly encouraged. She also took an online course Overcoming Learning Challenges. Laura is seeking to help others who are working to make education more productive and more enjoyable.
With Laura joining us we will be able to help more families beginning this Fall.  Welcome, Laura!

Beginning Sentences with Variety – Post Reformation

When our students write extended paragraphs we want them to use a variety of ways to begin each sentence. Each sentence in the paragraph should start with a different word or phrase. We should see a number of different types of structures at the beginning of each sentence. By using these beginnings writers avoid using too often used words like: and, but, so etc.

  • Prepositional Phrase Examples:
  • Since 1986 the Apache remained the best combat helicopter.
  • During the last decade we have grown old.
  • In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.
  • To the train station, I must go.
  • At the store, I looked for green beans.
  • Verb + ing Examples:
  • Cruising at * miles per hour, the Apache helicopter performs ideally for a *** mission.
  • Beginning at the beginning makes sense.
  • Jumping up and down warms the body.
  • Reading opens the world to readers.
  • Screaming produces noise.
  • To + Verb Examples:
  • To improve on the Apache would be hard to do.
  • To write a book seems overwhelming to me.
  • To jump in where I do not belong produces trouble.
  • To wear old clothes does not put you in the lower class.
  • To ride in a jet invigorates me.
  • Two or more adjectives:
  • Sleek, speedy and agility, describe well the Stinger missile.
  • Tall and lanky individuals make good basketball players.
  • Short, stubby and broad legs belong to the land turtle.
  • Sweet, sticky and golden brown buns rounded off our breakfast.
  • Stingy and arrogant, the man walked away without a friend.

Trial and Triumph

Drawing on the Richard Hannula’s excellent book, Trial and Triumph – Stores From Church History students can learn history and writing skills while reading these mini-biographies and then summarizing them.

John Bunyan – Happy Pilgrim – 1628-1688

John Bunyan, author of The Pilgrim’s Progress and other books, began his best-selling allegory as if the story to follow was a dream. In real life, Bunyan earned his living as a traveling tinker. His sinful reputation of cursing preceded him as he traveled for his trade. To arrest him in his evil speech, God used a woman who told him that his behavior would spoil the children of the town. Realizing his sin, he determined to read the Bible and ask God to help him live a life pleasing God rather than himself. However, God had not saved him yet, but was using the Bible to work in his heart, specifically John 6:37, “My grace is sufficient for you.” Once God had saved him, he began to learn and then to preach His word. For that he was imprisoned for twelve years, released and later imprisoned another six months. During this second imprisonment he wrote The Pilgrim’s Progress. He also wrote, Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners. In the end he continued giving his visitor simple messages from God. At the age of 59 he died.


Jonathan Edwards – Great Awakening Theologian- 1703-1758

As a young pastor, Jonathan Edwards confronted the youth, under the influence of alcohol, who were carrying on loudly in the streets at night. Eventually, as Edwards continued to preach the Word faithfully, God was pleased to send a revival. While all did not see this as a revival, he continued steadfastly. After a time of cooling, God began using George Whitefield in New England. Edwards invited him to Northhampton, Massachusetts to preach. To God’s glory, the revival rekindled under Whitefield’s and Edward’s preaching. Diligent and changed people met for prayer Bible studies every evening. God used Jonathan Edwards’ famous sermon, “Sinners in the Hand of an Angry God,” in the lives of many people. Later, in 1749, Edwards realized that the practice of the church allowing non-believers to partake of the Lord’s Supper violated Scriptures. Climbing the steps to the pulpit, Pastor Edwards, preached on the new policy. Great and divisive conflict occurred leading to Edwards’ dismissal from the church. Subsequently, God used Edwards as a missionary to the Housatonic Indians at Stockbridge, Massachusetts. Next, the College of New Jersey (Princeton) called him to be the president. Within two months of his arrival at the college, he died of small pox. Calm and peaceful, he died ready to see his Savior, Jesus.

John Newton –Slave Trader Saved by Grace- 1725-1807

Loving and nurturing, John Newton’s mother taught him from Scriptures. Sadly, when John was 7 years old, his mother died. His father a sea captain was away much of the time. His step-mother spent little time with him and he no longer heard Christian truths from Scripture. Begging constantly, his father finally allowed John to go on the ship as a cabin boy when he was eleven years old. After a number of years he left his father’s ship and began working on other ships. His Christian teaching long forgotten, he turned to cursing and bad behavior. To make a living he ended up on a slave trading ship and gave no thought to those African families affected. After years of this kind of life, he heard from his father and he began to think about what the Bible taught regarding sin. God did a work in his life and he repented of his sins. Forgiven and rejoicing he returned to England and attended church faithfully and answered God’s calling on his life. He pastored the church in Olney. Besides preaching he wrote hymns for his church to sing, including: Amazing Grace, Glorious Things of Thee Are Spoken and How Sweet the Name of Jesus Sounds in a Believer’s Ear.” On his tombstone one can read the words of John Newton: “My memory is nearly gone; but I remember two things: I am a great sinner, and that Christ is a great Savior.”