Charlotte Mason, Homeschool- Charlotte Mason

Up Periscope.

October 20, 2015

 blue-periscope-picI am so excited about the Periscope App and how it will allow me to connect with readers and friends across the globe in real life about Faith, Art and Family. You can find me on the Periscope App at the same handle as my IG: @ellieeugenia

I will be broadcasting live on October 27th for the Charlotte Mason Book Club. So, go to the link if you think you may want to join in.

I am excited to use Periscope as a way to better get to know all of you and a way to discuss all things Faith, Art and Family.

Created with love from Petra Burger -

elliewithgirlsI’m Ellie Benson. I am a Wife, Mom, Artist and Sometimes Writer that lives in Augusta, Ga with her Illustrator Husband and her two loving girls. I am the farthest thing from perfect but I have a Redeemer, I am ever thankful for that fact.
I am the creator/contributor of Charlotte Mason Living (a Charlotte Mason Styled Homeschooling Community) amongst other things, write for my personal and work on art in the little time I have left after homeschooling my oldest. 
You can find me on Instagram: @ellieeugenia.
Book Review, Faith, Family, God Made All of Me, teaching children about their bodies

God Made All Of Me

October 16, 2015

Talking to our kids about certain issues such as our bodies, what is appropriate and what is not and what God has designed for his children, can be difficult. We have increased conversations in our home about growing, changing bodies, appropriate touch and intimacy because of my oldest who is almost as tall as me now. I actually measured her yesterday and she is two inches from five feet, at 8 years old. Not very recently, I was rather alarmed by people asking me if she was twelve years old or just older and more mature than she really is. I went into a mini-panic mode and with much Godly Wisdom from others quickly took those concerns to God. Now, don’t get me wrong I am happy to see her growing into a lovely young lady that loves Jesus but I also want to make sure that she hears about beauty, truth and goodness in regards to her body from her Parents. I will begin, and have, discussing all of this by pointing her to the Word while the World will try to point her to relativism and ultimately sin.

Honestly, I did not know where to start with all of this. It’s some scary stuff on my part.  I wondered, in past, why parents avoided these topics sometimes until it was too late and I realized in my own anxiety that it must be because as Adults we carry our own personal baggage with us into Parenthood and are afraid our kids will be scared and alarmed just as we are ashamed or dismayed about our pasts.

I can tell you that children, at least my child, view these discussions with much less trepidation than we do. Yes, of course, some awkwardness may be evident but at least with my 8 year old it was pretty much matter-of-fact discussions and digging into heart stuff and some why’s and how’s from her. You see, I forgot that this discussion was not new for us we hadn’t had “the talk” about intimacy and our bodies yet but I realized that we had been studying the Old Testament in home school for the last three years with Long Story Short  and reading the Bible together the whole of her life  and she was quick to remind me that she knows more than I realized about what the Word says. Long Story Short and it has been an excellent source for Bible Teaching in our home and great way to discuss the Gospel in a totally accessible way. Not to say that is where we stop because I have read her the Bible and I think “Phew, one and done”.  The goal is to continue on in her Heart’s Education. As we are drawing to a close of the Old Testament and are discussing Ruth I realize that we have been discussing longer than I realized about the how God designed us. She has learned many times over about Christ being the Bride Groom and the Church, His Bride, likewise how God in his Sovereign Grace created us, loved us despite sin and and then ultimately saved us from that sin through Jesus Christ and He has been our Redeemer. This frames our conversations about our bodies and intimacy, sexuality and more. The Gospel, period, is the starting place…and the ending place. As we move in to the New Testament later this year, I can draw these truths out with her as we learn from the Life of Christ.

Additionally, I wanted to share two Gospel-Centric resources for talking to your children about our bodies and God’s design for intimacy when you aren’t sure where to start. The first was recommended to me in a Charlotte Mason forum when I panic-stricken realized I couldn’t put the conversation off anymore. The book is Before I Was Born. It is part of a larger series call God’s Design for Sex, I haven’t reviewed any other books in the series but I will tell you this book was very beneficial because I didn’t have the right words to say.

The second book is a new picture book from the Holcomb’s called God Made All of Me. This book is an excellent resource to fill in the gaps, Us, Parents may have missed in prior discussions or avoided altogether. God Made all of Me is beautifully illustrated and written very clearly. It specifically deals with the subject matter of appropriate intimacy vs. inappropriate intimacy. Children, need to know what is inappropriate so not only can we properly protect their bodies but they learn to protect themselves as well as they grow older.

Of course, We are taking the Gospel Road when talking to our children about all of these things and it is a huge contrast to the opinions of the World. I don’t want this education in the things of God and how he views his creation to end there because the World will never cease to try to teach their ways to my daughter. I encourage diligence and trusting God to not be fearful. Eventually, I intend to start a devotional called Beautiful Girlhood when my daughter is ready for it and I hope to delve into deeper conversation and questions about how she was made for his Glory using the Gospel always as a guide.


I’m Ellie Benson. I am a Wife, Mom, Artist and Sometimes Writer that lives in Augusta, Ga with her Illustrator Husband and her two loving girls. I am the farthest thing from perfect but I have a Redeemer, I am ever thankful for that fact.

I write for this blog and am the creator/contributor of Charlotte Mason Living (a Charlotte Mason Styled Homeschooling Community) amongst other things and I work on art in the little time I have left after. So, not much time.  This blog is a space to mull over thoughts on Family, Faith and Art and to preach to myself.

You can find me on Instagram: @ellieeugenia.

Art, encaustic

Dream within a Dream

September 24, 2015


A Dream Within a Dream
Take this kiss upon the brow!
And, in parting from you now,
Thus much let me avow —
You are not wrong, who deem
That my days have been a dream;
Yet if hope has flown away
In a night, or in a day,
In a vision, or in none,
Is it therefore the less gone?
All that we see or seem
Is but a dream within a dream.
I stand amid the roar
Of a surf-tormented shore,
And I hold within my hand
Grains of the golden sand —
How few! yet how they creep
Through my fingers to the deep,
While I weep — while I weep!
O God! Can I not grasp
Them with a tighter clasp?
O God! can I not save
One from the pitiless wave?
Is all that we see or seem
But a dream within a dream?

This is my piece for a group Art Show inspired by Edgar Allan Poe. The elements used are encaustic medium (wax + resin), oil pastel, paper, encaustic paint, photograph, plastic and spray paint. I have been doing a lot of experimentation in encaustic and I am thrilled in the process which is a very visceral and deliberate yet suprising ,still, process because of how the elements change on their own and you can expect varied outcomes from the same application. I hope to explore it more. Join Kenny and I, we will both have pieces on the show, for the Edgar Allan Poe art show:
Book Review, Faith, Faithmapping


September 14, 2015

Most of us emphasize one aspect of Christianity over another. Competing voices tell us that the Christian life is all about this or that: missions, discipleship, worship, the cross, or the kingdom. It’s as if we are navigating the Christian life with fragments of a map—bits and pieces of the good news—rather than the whole picture. If we put those map fragments together, we discover a beautiful, coherent picture. Faithmapping invites Christians to see that map, exploring a whole gospel that forms a whole church who carries that glorious news to the whole world.

Faithmapping by Daniel Montgomery and Mike Cosper is a true gem for those that need the guide of a gospel compass, so since all of us do, it’s for all of us.

The book is beautifully written to lead us away from confusion, hype, division and instability that may happen as we attempt to maneuver through a life of faith. There are many sirens attempting to call our ship into the rocks but there is only one good path leading to truth. Mr. Montgomery and Cosper articulate such.


In each part of the book the authors illustrate how we fit amongst the Gospel Narrative; the Whole Gospel, the Whole Church, and the Whole World. I appreciated how well each portion was very clearly expressed, here are my favorites quotes from each.

The Whole Gospel: Crossless Christianity wants the glory without the suffering. It wants access to God (Genesis 2) without acknowledging the ravaging effects of sin in our hearts and in our world (Genesis 3). Jesus calls his followers to deny themselves and take up a cross; a share in the kingdom means a share in suffering. Paul shows us in Philippians 2 that Jesus’s glory is put on display because of his willingness to suffer the humiliation of putting on human flesh and enduring death on the cross.

The Whole Church: Our culture feeds us the lie that the main goal in life is to climb the ladder of power and influence . . . but Jesus says that all those things are found in descending. Jesus and his kingdom are on a collision course with the values of this fallen world and he is calling us to align with him.

The Whole World: We live in a world full of needy people, and the gospel is a message for needy people. To quote Tim Keller again: Before you can give this neighbor-love, you need to receive it. Only if you see that you have been saved graciously by someone who owes you the opposite will you go out into the world looking to help absolutely anyone in need.

I enjoy the minds and writing of these two Pastors, the book is insightful and also they are both humorous at times. I love G.K. Chesterton for that, who is always able to make us laugh at our own absurdity. The authors’ wit likewise definitely had me bemusing peculiarities.  A book about the gospel that quotes both D.A. Carson and Larry David (Curb Your Enthusiasm), both Tim Keller and Garrison Keillor is a book I find engaging.

The book is clear yet doesn’t shy away from lovely theological thoughts but it is not an arduous book to read and I feel it would be helpful in any stretch of your journey, even for the Theologicophobic.

It may require some new words, but as missiologist Ed Stetzer has said, if Christians can learn to order at Starbucks, they can probably learn to handle some theological language.

I have read work from both the authors separately and have enjoyed it, likewise was my experience with Faithmapping. I look forward to their next book(s), together or separate.

This book was a complimentary copy from Crossway. 

You can purchase this book here:

Art, Faith

Created to Create

September 8, 2015

We are created to create. In the beginning God made all things, and he created Man from the dust from the ground. We are the image-bearers of a Creator God thus we bear his image in creating in our own limited capacities.

In my mind it is an obvious extension.

Somehow, though, the creation of art has caused a lot of confusion over the years in Christian circles:

What is the place of art in the Christian life? Is art- especially the fine arts- simply a way to bring worldliness in through the back door? What about sculpture or drama, music or painting? Do these have any place in the Christian life? Shouldn’t a Christian focus his gaze steadily on “religious things” alone and forget about art and culture?…

As evangelical Christians, we have tended to relegate art to the very fringe of life. The rest of human life we feel is more important.

Despite our constant talk about the lordship of Christ, we have narrowed its scope to a very small area of reality. We have misunderstood the concept of the lordship of Christ over the whole man and the whole of the universe and have not taken to us the riches that the Bible gives us for ourselves, for our lives, and for our culture.

The lordship of Christ over the whole of life means that there are no platonic areas in Christianity, no dichotomy or hierarchy between the body and the soul. God made the body as well as the soul, and redemption is for the whole man.”
Francis A. Schaeffer, Art & the Bible

There seems to be two extremes with Contemporary Christianity and  Art making (please, know that I am speaking generally knowing outliers always fall outside of generalities). You have the “just don’t” camp, who feel art making is a waste of time and then you have the other extreme, the “sterilized and cheesy” camp, that think Christian art is something that must be scrubbed of anything that might offend. What you are left with is highly skilled but meaningless art i.e. Thomas Kinkade or efforts to tell a story through art without any teeth. We need to strike a balance, our options don’t need to be no art or bad/gimmicky art.

Yet even if we think we aren’t creating, we are creating, even in the smallest possible ways, so we all should strive towards displaying God’s glory. That doesn’t have to look like “Contemporary Christian Art” you have seen. You don’t have to be a Christian and paint only unexciting dreamy pastoral scenes or paint cheesy Christian-y scenes of a very pale Jesus touching butterflies or Jesus walking through fields of daisies. In fact, your art doesn’t even have to be “Christian” but a way of telling stories well that ultimately will show God’s glory. Because, our stories tell a gospel narrative in the realest ways, we don’t need un-authentic additions. I don’t know who is at fault for bad christian art but I do know since we are all creators regardless if we choose to be or not, let us strive toward excellence.

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So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. –1 Corinthians 10:31

I really want to un-pack this more in future posts and as we kind of strike a balance in our own lives with work, faith, art and family. Kenny and I have been working on creative projects pretty consistently recently and discussing art and what that looks like for us in our job, homes, in life. I would just say to sum it all up is that believe that creation was created to create. We start a home group this next week with our church that will be reading through State of the Arts by Gene Veith and I am pretty excited to dialog about art in a biblical group context.  I believe it will be a good avenue to learn about how we are all creators in some form.

I have been working on Encaustic (wax and mixed media) pieces again for myself and for a few shows. I hope to get a new body of work together for a show within a year. Kenny and I both went to school for art, so it is important for us, but we don’t always set aside time for art making outside of a work environment, so it is refreshing to have a reason to make art. Also, I am trying to be a bit more intentional with photography work, which has not been updated well since my wedding work. I am excited to consider all these things as we figure out what art is to us. We aren’t the best artists, nor are we the most skilled, but good art is not about being the best at something but telling stories well. I don’t think we understand fully yet what that looks like and am excited about our Arts home group through our church Crawford Avenue so we can delve into the State of the Arts.

I can’t help but mull over all of creation and I have a desire to encourage image-bearing creators, especially in telling a narrative much bigger than our own.

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Encaustic and Mixed Media on Cardboard.


A few months ago, I was able to photograph Herb Hodges for a project for our church and it was an eye-opening delight for me to listen and try to capture his story visually. I haven’t shot a lot of photography since my wedding photography days, but I enjoyed so much being a visual story teller to a gospel narrative.

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a portion from the To Kill A Mockingbird interpretation. I have a group show coming up again soon, I will post details to come.



















You can see my photography portfolio here: Ellie Eugenia Benson and Instagram is usually where I show my Encaustic and our Design work: @EllieEugenia and @BensonBensonCo.


Book Review

Accidental Feminist

September 4, 2015

At one point in my life I may have fallen into identifying with Feminism and not really knowing it and some of that may still remain. Not the “bra burning”, anti-men feminism but the more subtle “rights for women” feminism, the Susan B. Anthony’s of the world. I still love Susan B. Anthony, I still identify with her a lot but the problem when as a believer I allow my identity to be something other than the Gospel. See, in my personal opinion Feminism is not the cause of all of society’s ills, like some would have you believe. Sin is. And, I believe that Feminism in all it’s permeations is one way the world tries to put bandages on brokenness, but maybe Feminism’s ideas of brokenness are skewed too by their ideas of right and wrong, it’s a moral imperative based on a sliver of knowledge based on dim glasses. So, along the way things go all topsy-turvy. We do not need feminism to be the gauge for what is wrong and right in the world. We have God for that.

The book Accidental Feminist is a really good read for anyone that struggles with “adopting and incorporating what the world has to say about women instead of what God has to say about women in Scripture.” At first I struggled reading it because I am an accidental feminist and God is dealing with me slowly through these areas of my life. It was a good book in that it had me questioning whether I could really trust God’s authority in all aspects of my life. It’s just the beginning of Christ dealing with my intimate heart matters of submission and identity and more. Courtney Reissig addresses all of these things and I encourage you to read the book and allow it to challenge you likewise.

Feminism ultimately exists because sin exists—male sin and female sin. As Christians, we have a better answer. We don’t need to go back to a 19th and 20th century movement to put our stake in the ground for equality. We simply need to go back to Genesis 1. What many don’t understand about the beginnings of feminism is that it wasn’t just about basic equal rights; for some feminists, it was also about reimagining God and his Word. The belief that God’s Word couldn’t be trusted started the slow erosion that has led us to the feminism of today. Because my generation has grown up in a feminist world, we need fresh eyes to see how this ideology, while laced with good results, is actually damaging to our view of God and his Word. – Courtney Reissig in an interview with Crossway

This book was a complimentary copy from Crossway.


You can purchase Mrs. Reissig’s book from Crossway. Additionally, here is a post to help if you wonder if you are an Accidental Feminist: 6 Signs You Might Be an Accidental Feminist. 


Book Design, Giveaway

Crowned Giveaway

September 3, 2015

My friend and writer, Melissa Deming of Hive Resources, is giving away a sweet bundle for a discipleship group. Maybe, your Discipleship group. Go enter.


I am a bit partial, ;), because I designed the book and love how it turned out. I am going to share about the process here in a future post. I am looking forward to seeing the book live in the wild now.

crownedmockuplarge Check it out, Melissa Deming is an author that loves the word and writing and teaching it well. I am thankful for her, excited for her new book and happy I was able to work on this project.


Sweet Mercies, Everyday

September 2, 2015
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God’s mercies don’t come in one color; no, they come in every shade of every color of the rainbow of his grace. God’s mercies are not the sound of one instrument; no, they sound the note of every instrument of his grace. God’s mercy is general; all of his children bask in his mercy. God’s mercy is specific; each child receives the mercy that is designed for his or her particular moment of need. God’s mercy is predictable; it is the fountain that never stops flowing. God’s mercy is unpredictable; it comes to us in surprising forms. God’s mercy is a radical theology, but it is more than a theology; it is life to all who believe. God’s mercy is ultimate comfort, but it is also a call to a brand-new way of living. God’s mercy really does change everything forever, for all upon whom this mercy is bestowed. —Paul David Tripp, New Morning Mercies

This past week I turned 33. No Magic happened overnight to make me feel any different. I woke up weary as always. Everyday for the past 33 years, waking up to reality, each and every day…I am not discouraged though and I am incredibly joyful.

I have dreams that I can fly regularly. It’s been my reoccurring dream since I was a child. That and the weird dream animal changeling that chases me, but that’s a story for another day. In my dreams, my fear of heights vanishes and I become able to soar over city and field like a human hand-glider and a running start takes me off. Sometimes, when I just wake up I am still in the in between half dream-half reality and at those moments, my brain hasn’t told my heart yet that the night’s endeavors are not reality. It’s a sleepy, glowy feeling still where all things are yet possible.

There is cold reality of this world that we wake up to every day. It is easy to feel fatalistic, and want to give up completely . There is reality and the contrast, what feels like magic, what feels like dream, but is actually the truest reality and the greatest thing possible that has already happened and will happen.

That thing is the amazing mercy and grace extended to us through a true heavenly king living for us as a man and dying for us as a man and raising as a king, and by his tremendous sacrifice his Father makes us heirs with this king. This is no dream or fairy story where the pauper becomes the prince, this is real life. The truest reality. God’s mercy is extended to us, broken and poor in spirit and those that run to Jesus are made sons and daughters of God, heirs to a heavenly throne.

I really used to hate the analogy of a heavenly heirship because of ill-use by those that would cherry pick their bible verses toward a works-based religion but It is silly for me to diminish truth because some are bad truth-tellers. The truth is we deserve nothing but are given everything.

One thing that always stood out to me in the Beatitudes was “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven“. What a merciful statement. The poor in spirit are as the Matthew Henry Commentary states:

 To be contentedly poor, willing to be emptied of worldly wealth, if God orders that to be our lot; to bring our mind to our condition, when it is a low condition. Many are poor in the world, but high in spirit, poor and proud, murmuring and complaining, and blaming their lot, but we must accommodate ourselves to our poverty.

I live in a very poor neighborhood in our city, right next one of the richest neighborhoods in our city. What does that mean? Well, to God none of those arbitrary neighborhood lines make a difference because we are all equally sinners in need of a savior. The rich and poor in reality are really just a vapor and the truly merciful bit is all these worldly distinctions of rich and poor matter nothing to a Merciful, Benevolent God. So, it’s the matrix of the Gospel, where the dream of the Kingdom is real and are “former lives” are no more. Of course, we must live these lives in a way, while we have them, as an emptying of self and an accepting receptacle of the pouring of his spirit. This is why the “poor in spirit” inherit the Kingdom, regardless their bank account balance.

I think a lot about poverty these days. Like I said of where we live, we chose to live here but it is also true that we couldn’t afford to live elsewhere so it is a mingling of desire and necessity for us. I am realizing at 33, life is a dichotomy on the surface. I live with the poor, most would call us poor, but I have daily interactions with many people I would consider wealthy or well-off or doing fine. Then the other end of the spectrum might see us as the ones, “doing fine”.  To be truly honest because I see a lot on both ends I can say that I most never meet a prideful poor person. Poverty has a way of kind of weathering that down. I am not saying that poor and needy people can’t be prideful or that wealthy people cannot be humble and poor in spirit, that would be stupid to say, but what I am saying is that the fear of being judged for asking for help is not there, the fear of sharing their difficult circumstance stories with strangers is not there. Most people that are poor know that their need is great and they can’t do it alone. But, I think I can liken that to what the Bible means by “poor in spirit”, we have need and the Father tells us to lay down our pride and come and He will give us a Kingdom, True mercy.

And again back to mercy… mercy in Hebrew is Checed pronounced kheh’·sed (that k is virtually silent, Hess-id). In the Hebrew Lexicon it means Benevolent, as mutual benefits, mercy to those with misfortune. Isn’t it a beautiful story that regardless our circumstances and state we are all equally in need of God’s benevolence, we are equal at the Cross, all in need of adoption into this heavenly family? This is mercy and it isn’t a dream, it is the realest thing.

In this neighborhood, a church from the suburbs, my church, is beginning to make this place their worldly home, merging with an existing body and praying for how we can serve this community as Crawford Avenue Baptist Church. I am obviously not from the suburbs but this suburban church was a very good church home for our family and we made the trek out to Berea Baptist Church in Evans, Georgia every week to be a part of this family because the word was taught and hearts were being changed. The geography was not important. Now, in God’s infinite mercy, He is bringing a whole family to this community in Harrisburg, Augusta, Georgia to make a whole, new family and to love the people here. I know God is being merciful to us by providing new facilities for our church when we needed them. I know God is being merciful to both churches by bringing us together as a family. I know God is being merciful to me because I have prayed (and I am sure others have) for a Gospel-Drenched church to love Harrisburg well and to contrast the poor and often damaging theologies taught by the well-meaning here, I know God is being merciful to the residents and transients of Harrisburg because, well, as churches go, they can’t do better than one that truly does aspire with the help of the Spirit to righteousness. To be completely sappy now, excuse me ;), there is a Berea Love Bomb about to happen in Harrisburg but more than that, much more, is that God’s mercy means that the love bombing has been happening from the beginning and it wasn’t us doing it, it was God. The plans He orchestrated and the hands He moved, He already knew He would do it, I am so thankful for his immense mercy.

So, as we start to see how all things are merciful things as they work together, even the hard and hurting things, the wandering times, the home-less times, everything is colored by his mercy. We know that the Father loves us well and we can rejoice in sweet new mercies everyday and call out to the one that makes us his own, and this is all, dream coming true.

Here I raise my Ebenezer
Here there by Thy great help I’ve come
And I hope, by Thy good pleasure
Safely to arrive at home
Jesus sought me when a stranger
Wandering from the fold of God
He, to rescue me from danger
Interposed His precious blood

image2 (1)Read more about Berea Baptist Church’s Merger with Crawford Avenue in the community of Harrisburg in Augusta, Ga: HERE.

Catechism, Faith, Family

Catechising your children, why you should.

August 27, 2015

This idea of all education springing from and resting upon our relation to Almighty God-we do not merely give a religious education because that would seem to imply the possibility of some other education, a secular education, for example. But we hold that all education is divine, that every good gift of knowledge and insight comes from above, that the Lord the Holy Spirit is the supreme educator of mankind, and that the culmination of all education (which may at the same time be reached by a little child) is that personal knowledge of and intimacy with God in which our being finds its fullest perfection. ― Charlotte M. Mason

I am not a perfect parent. In fact I may be the picture of “imperfect parent”. And, that is ok. I do not need to be perfect when I have a perfect, risen, Christ. That is why I am so eager to help my children understand the truths of the Bible. A Catechism is an excellent tool for imperfect parents to prod their children toward Truth, Beauty and Goodness. This post is my argument toward Catechising your children, with a bit of my experience so far.

Emma, my oldest, is 8 and this child has one million questions about life and plus some. I have gone into a bit of a panic mode lately as she is growing and changing and is looking more like a little lady than a baby, in my eyes. But, I know I can have  confidence in Christ and in the truths we have been teaching her.


Every home school morning, we have Liturgy. Liturgy for us is a Hymn, our Bible Lesson, a discussion of Habits and finally our Catechism. I will delve into Liturgy on a different post but for now I have linked to the individual items we use.

We have been using the North Star Catechism for a few years now, and I have been very happy with it. It clearly written with impeccable content.

Our kids need to have their faith firmly rooted in doctrine that has weathered the centuries. For thousands of years, travelers have been guided on their journey by a fixed point in the night sky: the North Star. While other stars appear to shift with the passing of time, the North Star remains anchored. This gift allows travelers to know where they are and where they need to go. Like its celestial namesake, our prayer is that the North Star Catechism will like be a faithful guide for the next generation. — North Star Catechism

You can also get a free pdf of the Catechism from Sojourn Kids along with some other resources available.

So, we delve into these questions and Emma is hearing and learning. We memorize the questions, answers and corresponding verses. Once she has memorized a verse we put it in a rotation to revisit it, so it doesn’t completely disappear from her memory.

I wish we had started earlier. The North Star Catechism gives age suggestions for each part but since we only started a few years back we are just progressing at our own pace and I am not as worried about the age range or else we’d have to cram to be able to catch up since the ranges start at about three. I encourage to start at any age, of course earlier is better but don’t feel you have missed your chance.

I have transferred the questions and verses to index cards and we go through a few every morning.

So there is the How, but Why do we Catechise? This from John Piper:

Why is it important?

  1. We are required to “continue in the faith, stable and steadfast” (Col. 1:23).
  2. We are urged to “attain to the unity of the… knowledge of the Son of God…so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about by every wind of doctrine” (Eph. 4:13-14).
  3. There are many deceivers (1 John 2:26).
  4. There are difficult doctrines “which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction” (2 Peter 3:16).
  5. Leaders must be raised up who can “give instruction in sound doctrine and also confute those who contradict it” (Titus 1:9).

We believe these are excellent reasons to continue on. We have done the Catechism for a few years now and in the first few I wondered “Does she get it?”. Well, sometimes, you will see how your children “get it” during interesting and unexpected conversations. My daughter surprised me when we were discussing why someone was going to jail. I said in my worldliness that they were a bad person and did some bad things. She responds with “Mama, but, No one is truly Good except God.” (Q.6) and of course that, at first, surprises me and then leads to excellent discussion. Because, she is right and I am glad she heard this truth repeatedly and can tell it to me even when I need to hear it.

Another instance was recently a very bittersweet conversation that arose. She said that she liked the President but asked why sometimes people dislike him and asked if I liked him. I said I loved him and that we should love our President and pray for him no matter if we disagree on things. She asked me what I disagreed on and I responded that the biggest thing was that our President is Pro-Choice and our family is Pro-Life. I knew that there would be a time we would need to talk about this but I didn’t expect it to be on a Saturday nature walk. So, of course she asked me what it meant. I asked her if she would be ok to talk about it because it was really sad. She said yes and I explained to her the awful truth of what Abortion is. She looked at me sadly and said “Well, Mama, that is wrong because God made everything and me (Q.1) and made those babies too, and we need to take care of them.” It was a sad conversation but I was hopeful in her answer to me and it made me happy to know she is actually “getting it.”



For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. —Ephesians 6:12-13


There are many more instances of my child speaking truth when things seem scary, dark and uncertain and I pray that there will be many more instances where she can see this light of truth and speak it with confidence. This is why we Catechise. Darkness is all around and the only remedy is breath-taking light.

The key is becoming convinced that you are furnishing your child with the mental foundation on which the rest of his or her spiritual life will be built. Or, to switch metaphors, you are laying the kindling and the logs in the fireplace, so that when the spark of the Holy Spirit ignites your child’s heart, there will be a steady, mature blaze. — Kathy Keller

I can only pray that light revealed to my child’s heart will be a mature blaze one day. I am thankful for resources like the North Star Catechism. I basically don’t know what I am doing as a parent, but none of us do. I know the only way I can combat my parental and general ignorance is through the Wisdom found in His Word and sharing that Word with my children is what I am called to do as a parent to these image-bearers of God.