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Kim Schlauch

Kim is the blog content manager at Liberty Christian School. She has professional experience in the fields of business and education and hands-on experience as the mother of two school-age children. She enjoys reading, writing, spending time with her family, and anything chocolate.

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Christian Parenting Tips:  How Do You Teach Grace?

Posted on May 10, 2016 3:00:00 PM by Kim Schlauch

cross of grace

Grace is one of the core principals of the Christian faith.  However, the abstract concept of grace can be challenging enough for adults to understand, so how can this topic be taught in a way young minds can comprehend?

Grace can be defined as the free and unmerited favor of God. Simply put, grace means not getting what we deserve.  Consider the following Bible passages:

“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23)

“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:23)

We are all sinners.  Sin separates us from God and if He gave us what we deserve, we would never be able to bridge the gap between God and us.  However, God loves us so much that He sent Jesus to pay the price for our sins.  Because Jesus took our place on the cross, through faith in Him we are no longer separated from God.  That’s grace.

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TEACHING GRACE

While teaching grace to children begins with explaining it to them in a way they can understand, they need to witness it through our actions and behavior to fully embrace the idea of grace.  Here are three ways to live out grace in your life:

In Parenting

Treat your children with respect.  We respect our children when we establish boundaries and appropriate consequences for misbehavior that focus on addressing the behavior, not shaming the child.  When addressing misbehavior, take the time to listen to them to understand why they made the choices they did and help them to understand the real world consequences of bad choices.

Maintain a healthy balance of boundaries and grace.  For example, when the circumstance warrants it, get input from your child on what might be considered appropriate punishment for the given infraction (e.g. it might be agreed that losing screen time privileges for a week might be fitting punishment).  However, demonstrate grace by waiving the punishment and offering grace by doing something like going out for ice cream instead.

In Relationships

Children pay attention to how we treat others and how we react to circumstances.  Ways to show grace through your actions include choosing to not react in kind when someone says something hurtful, maintaining a positive and gentle attitude when others exhibit irritating habits, and treating others with respect even when we may not receive it in return.

Through Forgiveness

Make the daily choice to forgive others.  Be grace to others.  Honestly forgive them when they wound you.  And, rather than living a life of bitterness and unforgiveness, offer grace and forgiveness even if the “I’m sorry” has not been spoken.  This may be difficult, especially if the “I’m sorry” never comes, but choosing to offer grace in these circumstances can free you to move forward and model grace and forgiveness for your children.

The best way to teach God’s grace is model it for them, dare to give them what they don’t deserve, and (at times) withold what they do deserve.  After all, that’s what God did for us when He allowed Jesus to die on the cross.  That’s grace.

benefits of christian education ebook

How to Bully-Proof Your Child

Posted on May 3, 2016 3:00:00 PM by Kim Schlauch

Bully Proof Child

Liberty Christian students in 5th through 8th grade, as well as parents, faculty and staff recently had the opportunity to participate in The Protector’s “Freedom From Bullying”  program conducted by organization Founder and President Paul Coughlin.  This unique program provides kids the tools for living lives of courage, character and freedom from bullying.

According to Mr. Coughlin, the American Psychological Association estimates that 90 percent of fourth through eighth graders report being victims of some form of bullying. Bullying is defined as unwanted, agressive behavior involving a real or perceived power imbalance and occurs repetitively over time.

The Theater of Bullying

The Protectors program is based on the premise that bullying needs a conducive environment to exist and thrive.  It needs a theater.  The Protectors strive to dismantle the theater by getting the “four characters” to change their role.

The Characters:

Bully - The number one reason someone becomes a bully is because they think they are more important than anyone else.  In most cases, bullies don’t want to physically hurt others, they want to control them.

Target - Children who are fearful, timid, weak or not liked are prime targets for bullies.  

Bystander - The audience of children and fellow classmates.  These individuals have the potential to become accomplices by either failing to act or worse, by encouraging tormentors.

Authority - The audience of instructors, administrators, coaches and anyone else who works with youth.

Transforming Bystanders into “Alongside Standers”

Since studies show that Bystanders possess the most potential power to transform the “Theater of Bullying” into a theater of character, freedom and justice, The Protectors focuses primarily upon the potential strength, heroic desire and rescuing capacity of Bystanders by transforming them into “Alongside Standers.”  By intervening on behalf of Targets, these Bystanders have the potential to help create safer and happier schools as well as character within themselves.

The Protectors also provide assertivness training for Targets, help Authority dispel the many damaging myths about bullying, and inspire children who bully to employ their power in life-affirming directions instead.

Bully Proof Kids

Raising Bully-Proof Kids

In addition to the programs and training available to the “characters” in the Theater of Bullying, The Protectors also offers resources for parents, including Mr. Coughlin’s book, Raising Bully-Proof Kids.  This ground-breaking book in the field of parenting explains how with the best of intentions an alarming number of parents are raising fragile, passive and even narcissistic children due to over-parenting, creating prime candidates for bullying throughout their school years.  The book offers a faith-based approach to raising assertive, confident and strong children who grow in courage, character and leadership. Here are some key points from the book:

  • Contrary to our assumptions, kids who receive constant parental protection don’t do better in life.
  • In many ways, what happens to kids at home is far more likely to enhance or destroy their safety than what happens elsewhere.
  • Bullies tend to come from parents who bully.
  • Children who have become fearful and timid are prime targets for bullies.
  • Most bullying would not take place if it weren’t for the display of power they want others to witness.
  • Courage is not optional.
  • Children learn far more about courage from behavior than our words.

Ultimately, this engaging book offers stories, insights and instruction that show parents how to  raise assertive (not passive or aggressive) children who are able to live abundant lives and are better able to love God and others as they love themselves.  Kids of character.

Please visit The Protectors website for more information and resources.

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Liberty Christian School Community Spotlight: Sigrid Houston

Posted on Apr 26, 2016 3:00:00 PM by Kim Schlauch

Sigrid Houston

This month’s Liberty Christian School Community Spotlight features Spanish teacher Sigrid Houston.  Mrs. Houston’s enthusiasm and her love of foreign languages make Spanish class a fun and engaging experience for her students.  Here is what she had to share with us.

Q. Why do you like teaching at LCS?

A. I honestly love everything about LCS. I really mean that!  I love the supportive staff here, the students are just the best, and I love that I get to teach something that I am passionate about in a Christ-centered environment.  How could I possibly ask for more? 

Q. What motivated you to become a teacher at LCS?

A. I had served for 12 years as the Children’s Ministry Director at Covenant of Grace Church in Reisterstown while my kids were growing up. My youngest is now 18 and it’s time to get back to my passion:  Spanish!  Liberty Christian School and Covenant of Grace Church are very closely tied, so when I saw the vacancy announcement for a Spanish teacher, I jumped on it!  And I mean jumped!  It was just exactly what I wanted to be doing, and to be able to teach in a Christ-centered environment? Wow!  What an opportunity!  I feel so very blessed to be here!

Q. Where did your interest in Spanish originate? When did you learn to speak Spanish and do you speak any other languages?

A. My interest in Spanish originated in 8th grade and it was because of my wonderful teacher, Miss Doris Helms. Her enthusiasm for the language was contagious. She was a challenging teacher and her expectations were very high, but the reward was that we all learned so much from her! I went on to double  major in Spanish and International Affairs (combination of political science, history, geography, economics) at the University of Mary Washington.  I also speak Russian, and studied briefly at Middlebury College in Vermont.  After college, I worked as a linguist for the Defense Department and I learned to speak Russian.  In addition to teaching at Liberty Christian School, I have also been teaching  English as a Second Language to adults at Covenant of Grace. I teach the advanced class and have served in this capacity for 7 years. I get the opportunity to use both my Spanish and Russian in class as I teach English to people from all over the world. Even though the teaching is done in English, the knowledge of how other languages work enables me to better teach English to these populations.

Q. What is a unique experience, talent or interest that you bring to your classroom to help shape the learning experience of your students?

A. I try to keep language fun.  This, of course, means that we get a little loud sometimes. I like to challenge my students and I’m just so excited for them when they meet my challenges. I know they can do it, and I love to watch them see that, yes, they CAN do it!  It makes my heart sing!  With the lower school students, we do puppet shows, songs, games and other things to make learning fun!  The kids just love those puppets!

Sigrid Houston in Costa Rica

Q. You had the opportunity to be a part of the LCS Costa Rica Mission Team this past February. Tell us about your experience and what it meant to help lead a group of LCS students on a foreign missions trip

A. It is almost difficult to put into words how it felt to lead a group of students to Costa Rica for the first time. It was amazing!  I feel that God truly blessed me with the opportunity to use my experience with Spanish language, ESL teaching and Children’s Ministry to serve in La Carpio. All my past experience led to this place. I am just in awe of our Creator and how He knows exactly what He’s doing when he leads us all our different life paths. La Carpio brought them all together for me.  Watching our 8th graders serve and share Christ with these impoverished children touched me deeply. Our students quite willingly and enthusiastically shared their time, shared their hearts and shared the love of Jesus with these adorable kids.  Seeing their tears as we served in La Carpio on the last day and they had to say goodbye to the kids. Oh my!  How blessed we are here at LCS to have such tender souls. We are all changed as a result of having been there.  We will not forget this experience.

Q. What are some of your interests and hobbies?

A. I am a huge fan of puzzles. In fact, I just started a 1,000-piece puzzle last evening, so I won’t see my dining room table for a while! In fact, I look at Spanish and Russian as puzzles. I like to pick languages apart and see what makes them “tick.” I also love walking/hiking. I’ve done quite a bit of this with the boy scouts, but I’ve missed this a bit during the school year. I have big plans for doing lots of day hikes with my 18-year old before he goes off to basic training this summer though.  He and I are big hiking buddies.

Q. Tell us about your involvement with the Boy Scouts of America.

A. Boy Scouts. I have to say I just love this organization. Both my sons are Eagle Scouts from Troop 634 out of Covenant of Grace Church in Reisterstown.  I have been involved with scouting since my older son, Tim was a first grader and he’s now a junior in college. Ack! That’s 15 years! I started out as an involved parent when the boys were cub scouts and then, as they advanced to boy scouts I jumped in with both feet. I served as the troop committee chairman for two years until I started teaching at LCS, and I still serve on the committee.  My son Michael and I travelled with the troop on a High Adventure trip to Florida Sea Base where we spent a week as crew aboard The Yankee, a 75-schooner.  Florida. July. 30 people on a boat.  Need I say more?  It was great, but, as with all high adventure trips, not always easy...but always worth it.

The Houston Family

Q. How do you inspire your students to love learning?

A. I have to say I just love foreign languages!  OK, so maybe I’m a little weird, but I’m hoping my enthusiasm rubs off a little bit!  I challenge my students to think. Growing up is all about learning how to think on your own, and learning a foreign language teaches you more than just that language. It teaches you things about your own native language that you may have never thought about before.  It also teaches you to think outside the box. I like being outside the box! It’s fun and challenging out there! 

Q. What do you want your students to gain from having known you? 

A. My hope is that my students learn to challenge themselves and strive for their very best in all circumstances.  One person’s best isn’t necessarily the same as another person’s, and I want my students to feel confident in their own abilities to succeed. Spanish is a tricky thing to teach. Some students take to it like sponges, and others not so much.  God doesn’t need a world full of linguists anyway! He needs a world full of servants who serve Him and always do their very best with the skills they have.  I want my students to understand that God isn’t always going to put us in comfortable situations, but that He is always our Comfort.  When we do our best to serve Him even in those challenging areas, we will be blessed beyond measure. I saw this lived out in Costa Rica when my students were scared to use their Spanish the first day. Then, as they got used to the environment, they used more and more Spanish and grew in their Spanish ability and in their overall confidence.

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Parenting With Personality: Introversion, Extraversion and the Classroom

Posted on Apr 19, 2016 3:00:00 PM by Kim Schlauch

LCS classroom

During my time in the classroom as a substitute teacher, instructional aide and parent helper, one thing that always stood out for me was the way in which individual students interacted during class discussions.  While some students were very quick to raise their hands and join in on the conversation, others sat quietly and held off on getting involved in the discussion even after they were encouraged to do so.

Why are some students so quick to answer while others hold back?  Is it simply because some are naturally more outgoing and others are just a bit more shy?  Or is it that those who seem less engaged are simply tuning out?  Regardless of the reasons, I often wondered if there was a way to better engage the class to ensure all students were benefiting from the learning experience.

Is Your Child an “Innie” or an “Outie?”

While outgoingness, shyness or distinterest may all play roles in the level of class involvement, I have come to discover that the way in which each individual student is wired to relate to his or her environment is a major contributing factor as it relates to student behavior. This discovery is based on the work of Swiss psychologist Carl Jung and his theory on personality types.  According to Jung, individuals are energized by either the external world (extraversion) or the internal world (intoversion).

Extraverts

Extraverts get their energy from the world around them.  They are energized by other people and  thrive in situations where there is a lot of interaction, activity and stimulation and can become drained if they have to spend a lot of time alone.

Extraverts tend to be:

  • Outgoing and gregarious
  • Accessible and often noticed because of their perceived ease with others
  • Quick to speak, slow to listen

Introverts

Introverts, on the other hand, get their energy from the inner world of thoughts, ideas and emotions.  They are energized by pursuing solitary activities that allow them to work quietly and alone and can become drained by too much interaction

Introverts tend to be:

  • Perceived as being reserved and contemplative
  • Prone to hold back their thoughts and ideas to carefully listen to and thoughtfully process what is being said
  • Quick to listen, slow to speak

According to Jung’s theory, while we each have a preferred way of being with the world, we all can alternate between these two energy attitudes.  However, too much time spent in our less preferred mode, as previously mentioned, can be draining.  It is also important to keep in mind that neither way of being is better than the other.

Understanding whether your child is an extravert or an introvert can be very helpful as it can aid in determining which kinds of activities and situations can bring out your child’s natural preferences and talents and which types may be more difficult and draining for your child.

individual and group activity

Classroom Applications

Here are three ways to help both extraverts and introverts thrive in the classroom:

  1. Choice is Key

    To give all students the opportunity to do their best work, the ideal is to provide them with different options to meet the learning goals.  For example, when appropriate, students could be given the opportunity to work on class assignments in pairs or on their own.

  2. Combine Social and Reflective Activities

    To meet the needs of both extraverted and introverted students, it is a good idea to balance social and reflective activities.  For example, before a group discussion, the teacher could provide a worksheet for students to complete, giving introverts the time and opportunity to think about and process the questions beforehand. Or after the class discussion, the teacher could have students complete a reflection sheet or journal entry as a way to process and reflect upon what was discussed.

  3. Expand the Parameters of “Class Participation”

    Rather than having all classroom participation points dependent upon how much students raise their hands and speak up in class, other activities, such as the opportunity to help others one-on-one or submitting written class discussion reflection sheets, can be incorporated into the mix.

To ensure both extraverted and introverted students have the opportunity to benefit from the classroom learning experience, talk to your child’s teacher to ensure there is a balance of activities that appeal to both types.

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